South Park Self

the still, sad music of humanity

I am not, alas, of the cellphone generation. My phone is not a prosthetic limb, it's an occasionally useful communication device on which I probably receive more spam/sales calls than social ones. I am capable of, as I did this weekend, turning it off for a meeting on Friday morning, and suddenly and vaguely recollecting its existence on Sunday afternoon, at which point it had accumulated about eight texts and missed calls, and had caused me to leave hanging several people who were trying to visit. For which, my apologies. Note to readers: I am very firmly of the internet generation, and will infallibly read email way before I'll remember to look at my phone.

It also has a camera. I occasionally remember this, and occasionally take photos with it, and then completely forget that I've done so, until the guilt at not looking at the damned thing for three days prompts me to dig around in its innards in a spirit of enquiry and reveals all sorts of images going back months.

This was taken at the Kingston-on-Thames conference, and is a rather conflicted combination of a truly beautiful river-surmounting evening sky rendered generally exquisite by London's insane and terrifying density of aircraft vapour trails, the contemplation of which invariably gives me a punch to the solar plexus with eco-fear.

This is a stitched composite which has a chunk missing as I apparently didn't take any photo which covered that patch of sky; however, it gives a much better sense of that amazing repeated bow effect than the better but narrower stitch which is also on my Flickr.
  • Current Mood: impressed awed, terrified
I used to think I was of the internet generation, but then I found out that kids these days consider email old-fashioned, and prefer to IM on their mobile devices, no doubt LOLing as they sext each other.

Well, yes, that's the scary part. We are of the internet generation, which means we were actually geekily proud to be cutting-edge for a while, but now that whole geek/internet thing is out of date. Whatever these kids are, they're not primarily about the internet in the sense that we know it. We are neither instant nor fragmented enough for their new toys. Length and coherence are the province of the aged. Also, get off my lawn, kids.
Great pic btw. Good quality shot of the vapour trails. I live not far from Kingston and Heathrow Airport, and it really is frightening the frequency of planes circling to land; about one every 2-3 minutes.
The sky was doing that obliging thing where it clearly had the vapour trails professionally staged and backlit - the light was amazing. While I am, of course, glad to think that the whole of London isn't blanketed by vapour trails, I am also slightly chilled by the implied plural of "a Heathrow flightpath." And they want to put in another runway. Aargh.
> While I am, of course, glad to think that the whole of London isn't blanketed by vapour trails, I am also slightly chilled by the implied plural of "a Heathrow flightpath."

Yep, it's only like that under an approach to Heathrow. or to a lesser extent, Gatwick or Stansted. Or London City Airport. ... Ok, fine ... large parts of London.

> And they want to put in another runway

Yeah, because it's full up with flights. As I learned doing rail scheduling, if every timeslot in the day is full, then any problem delays everyone else for the rest of the day.

It's hard to put in more runways at Heathrow because it's now surrounded by residential areas; putting more flights there would be bad for these people. The right thing to do is to build an island like Hong Kong did and put all the runways there instead and either turn Heathrow into houses or the kind of airport that's mostly full of Cessnas. The right time to start building it would be in the region of 1990 to 1995.

I realise that this is selfish, but fights to Cape Town are enough of a mission without dealing with the usual over-capacity chaos at Heathrow.

Edited at 2012-10-03 03:26 pm (UTC)