one day at a time…
Friday 25 July 2003

Pix of the Day: Fascination With Gradual Change
CREDITS: © NAME/WarrnamboolCAM.com
Allansford New River Crossings © Bruce Henderson/WarrnamboolCAM.comAllansford Old River Crossings © Bruce Henderson/WarrnamboolCAM.com
We have a weakness for observing gradual change, especially as patterns of road transport supersede one another. Those who are bemused by the last sentence are probably best advised to quit while they are ahead, though if you bear with us you may begin to see things around you that you never noticed before. We say this with all modesty, but we have become aware that some people are just blind to such things. As roads are developed, improved, realigned, or upgraded, they leave behind testimony to their previous use. Often this contains clues to social, fiscal, and industrial developments. We know a place in the northwest of England where the arrival of the railway, at a stroke, turned the pattern of road communications through ninety degrees. The old roads are still there, but exist only as lanes that run to the railway, then cease abruptly, to begin again on the far side of the tracks.

From Hurricane, UT, State Route SR-9 climbs the edge of the Hurricane Fault onto the Colorado Plateaus heading for Zion. We find it endlessly fascinating to observe the line of the old wagon road built by the Pioneers: different availabilities of road building equipment; different levels of motive power available for the vehicles that would travel on the roads; and different availability of financial resources to do the building. All of these things have an observable impact on the end products.

This pair of photographs shows three iterations of road transport in the town of Allansford, now a suburb of Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia. The picture on the left shows the new bridge that replaced the old bridge. The picture on the right hows the original fording of the river, seen through the balustrade of the bridge that was in turn its replacement. We think that pictures like these of nothing much in particular, which are now increasing in number because of the web and digital cameras, will provide valuable information for people in the future wanting to know more about the superficial appearance (which of course has deeper implications if you are able to read the clues) of life in the past.

Just as oral history was developed as a new discipline by interviewers such as Studs Terkel, we think that in addition to the existing discipline of photoarchaeology will be added a discipline of deliberately recording things whose significance is not the present, but the present seen from the future. We suggest that the last picture in that series (content may change by the time you visit) of the local store makes an ideal example of the genre. Anyone for 'photosemiotics'? Or maybe 'photosemeiology'?

Caricature of the Day courtesy of Caricature Zone
IDENTITY LINK: click the image below. Click this text for a BIO-FINDER LINK.
Caricature Zone
American singer/actress (1970- ) At last a woman graces this feature! We had hoped for somebody of a certain age, more recognizable to us on the understanding that we think our working knowledge of popular music chanteuses ended at Dusty Springfield. However, even we knew this singer, and were proud to be able to say what contraction of her name is frequently used. Naming any of her songs, let alone humming them in that engaging off key and tone deaf way we have, is probably outside the bounds of the reasonably possible. Her name has been one of the top three search engine terms, and if the potential variants of her frequently misspelled first name are added, then the amount of information offered about her is overwhelming. You may well have been targeted with spam offering pictures of her naked, all of them fakes we have been assured.

These days artists are often represented by the statistics offered by their marketing department, so we did try to find a biography that dealt with her output rather than her promotional efforts: we failed, so please let us know if you find one worthy of linking. Her break came co-starring with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson (the latter co-incidentally yesterday's 'Caricature of the Day' because the day we write, which is the day before the feature, is usually the stars birthday) in the 1995 feature film 'Money Train'. There is a good tasteful picture gallery (we shuddered at some of the stuff we saw during our research, most of it just attempts to cash in on search terms) and brief bio by Cenk Tarhan, which we particularly enjoyed because it also features The Cranberries, Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

The official web site plays background tracks, which allowed us to confirm that we are unable to name or hum any of her songs. Her buttocks are reportedly insured for $150 million each, but this sort of nonsense has been going on since Betty Grable and her million dollar legs, though nevertheless, if it exists, we would like to read the contract just for the exclusion clauses.

On This Day in 2002: Langdale Triptych Thursday 25 July 2002
Langdale Haymaking 1 © Tony RichardsLangdale Haymaking 2 © Tony RichardsLangdale Haymaking 3 © Tony Richards
Recent pictures of the Langdale valley in the English Lake District were well received, so I thought you might enjoy this recent Langdale haymaking triptych from Tony Richards who is a blog favorite. The peaks in the middle picture are the five Crinkle Crags, which have a special place in the hearts of walkers in the district. Click on the pictures to see them full size.

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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)