6 sentence story – Death Supreme

“He was an extraordinarily intelligent man,” they say, “someone who worked tirelessly to protect the people from change.” To me though, he lacked pragmatism. His bright mind, molded by his god-view, was distorted to defend a status quo established centuries before. Unyielding and narrow minded, his decisions would impact millions for a generation and beyond. I think he enjoyed in the notoriety. Personally, I didn’t like the man’s demeanor.

160218_Scalia

~Richard

Fighting Legends

Last night’s fight was a brutal battle of strength and wits. Although it was fairly matched for the first eight rounds the Blue Bomber was able to drive home a devastating blow to the Red Rocker, the reigning champion, midway through the 9th. Our reporter was able to capture the precise moment from his ringside seat and have this spectacular action shot here for The Evening News Sports Page within minutes…

160217_Boxers

~Richard

Quintessentially British? – The Mini

There was a time when I was younger, back in the UK, that just about everyone had owned a mini at some point. They were everywhere. A small car designed to fit in a 10ft x 4ft x 4ft space, carry 4 people at highway speeds and sip fuel.

Following his success with the iconic Morris Minor, Sir Alec Issigonis’ design was an instant hit in 1959 and remained in production, largely unchanged until 2000. Over 5.3 million units were made and it became a British icon alongside Big Ben and the Union Jack.

The Mini is one of the most iconic images of post-war Britain. It symbolizes the swinging 60’s: Carnaby Street, youth culture, rock & roll, sexual liberation, and freedom for the common people.

What could be more British than that?

Well, it must not be forgotten that it was designed by a Greek refugee, Alexander “Alec” Issigonis, later knighted for his engineering/design work. Alec fled to Britain with his family from Smryna in Greece (now called Izmir in Turkey) during the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922.

160216_Mini

My point of designing this simple art work was to bring to the fore the concept that we are all one people and you cannot predict who will do what for whom. In these days of vitriolic rhetoric aimed at the sea of refugees fleeing the Middle East, this is perhaps something we should reflect upon…

~Richard

 

52 week challenge: week 7

Week 7: Portrait: Faceless – Tell someone’s story without showing their face.

Ice Queen No More

The night was bitterly cold. So cold, in fact, that it was too painful for her to draw a deep breath. She waited for him inside the building and tried to peer out through the frost covered window. At last she spied him hurrying towards the door. She smiled. Soon they would both be warm.

160215_IceQueen

~Richard

#dogwood52 #dogwoodweek7

All You Need is Love

 

Yes, today is the day to celebrate lurve… or so we are told. Quite why we cannot share love for the rest of the year is beyond me, but I guess this day at least provides a focal point for this emotion. In the “old” days, when I was a youth, Valentine’s Day was a day when sweethearts connected with cards, flowers, chocolates, and dinner. These days it appears that valentine greetings are appropriate for any member of your extended family, friends and even pets. This year we were even asked by our school district to send valentine wishes to our kids’ teachers, in a desperate attempt to raise funds. Personally, I found that request fairly disturbing, but then perhaps I am too much of a traditionalist – the lyrics to the Police’s classic, “Don’t stand so close to me” seemed to instantly fly into my head when I read the email.

So how did we get to today? Valentine’s Day really first emerged in the writings of one of the first authors to compose written works in English, Geoffrey Chaucer, best known for his wonderful collection, The Canterbury Tales, way back in the 14th Century. In another book, The Parlement of Foules, he celebrated the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia when he penned:

For this was on seynt Volantynys day

Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.    

The meaning of which roughly translates to “A gift was given on Valentine’s Day, when every bird chooses his mate”

However, given that mid February in England is way too early for birds to be mating it seems unlikely that he is referring to today’s date.  

Over the following centuries there were many other links of St Valentine to the expression of love, but it seems to have been the early 19th century where this exploded into the sending of amorous missives as handwritten notes and then the mass-produced cards that we know today. For some reason this activity struck a collective chord (perhaps even plucked a heart string) in the populace and today we spend an estimated $19 Billion (yep, you read that correctly) celebrating the day in the US alone. Is it no wonder that Hallmark, jewelers and even car manufacturers push this date down our throats almost as soon as the xmas trees are cleared away?

Anyhow, not wishing to rain on anyone’s parade, to use the modern vernacular: May you all have a very Happy Valentine’s Day wherever you are, whatever you do, and whomever you are spending it with, and that’s especially if you are on your own.

160214_LoveIsAllYouNeed

~Richard

Office Poetry – Be Longing

In order to keep up with the “philosophical” theme of this blog I’m going to periodically add a few poems to my ramblings. I don’t know how long I’ll keep this up but to start off I have a few related to being in the corporate world for 25 years. Disclaimer – they’re not usually positive.

Here’s the first:

Be Longing

Long days

Long corridors

Long faces

Long departed colleagues

Long past vacations

Long overdue praise

Long gone

~

160213_DeadOnTime

~Richard

Latest Cameras from Nixon and Conan

Amid great fanfare the two flagship camera manufacturers today launched their latest and greatest DSLR products to an eagerly awaiting crowd of photographers at KameraTek 2016 in Berlin, Germany. The Conan CIII-p0 and the Nixon RII-d2 are similarly priced and are clearly aimed at the aspiring professional photographer, as well as those amateurs with bags of cash, who must have the latest gear. But how do they shape up in the field? Well, few have been able to get hold of the models yet as both manufacturers have kept them under tighter wraps than the details of a Donald Trump political plan, but we are able to report that novel technology is used in both models as we had pre-release models.

The Conan boasts a staggering new focus system, ADHD, with 1024 focal points being monitored to ensure that it’s almost impossible to get a blurry shot. Meanwhile Nixon has finally been able to launch its new OCD image stabilization system after more than 2 years in beta-testing.  Interestingly, both models now appear to follow the same algorithms of Sunny’s latest WTF image capture engine which users of the iPharce 6 may find similar to Abble’s Live Photo feature, that became so popular in the last year.

Not to be outdone by the big two, Olympix  also announced their latest m43 flagship model the Olympix OMG, which packs an astounding 26.8MP into this crop sensor, a 30 fps continuous burst mode and a new array of mouthwatering lenses to fit its rangefinder style body. Interestingly, although they have adopted a new RoFL mount system, it remains compatible with the old LoL system too, which is great news for those who committed to the much older technology introduced way back in 2015.

Cameras 9 ©2016, Richard Reeve

All these advancements of course will make very little difference to any photographer’s skill at being able to compose an artful composition, but then that isn’t part of the design. We consumers have an insatiable appetite for the latest changes, however incremental, and readily gobble them up on  a six-monthly schedule in the never-ending quest for the latest gear. And the manufacturers are simply feeding the beast.

Carry on clicking…

~Richard

52 week challenge: week 6

Week 6: Artistic: Candy – Your artistic interpretation this week should be inspired by something sweet. A great chance to play with macro photography.

This one was relatively easy for me, as we have a house full of candy at the moment, an excess from xmas and some more recent additions for Easter. Or rather, since “candy” isn’t a term I would normally use, we have lots of “sweets” in the house, to use proper British vernacular!

The ones that I chose are known in the US as “fruit candies”, but as kids we would have called them “boiled sweets” and they were a staple available from any elderly relative who, back in my childhood days, always seems to have a variant of these on hand in a paper bag in case of getting a dry throat or a cough. Odd behavior perhaps, but I’m just telling it like it was.

I was going to use a zoom and some of my macro tubes to experiment but in the end I decided to stick with f/1.7-20mm as before and set this up in my “studio” by placing a black cloth over a chair balanced on the ironing board under the shop LED lights in the basement! I couldn’t be bothered to dig out a tripod from the trunk of the car so I took the shot hand held and used manual focus to get as close as the lens would allow me.

Sweet and Fruity

I’m pleased with the result but let me know what you think.

~Richard

#dogwood52 #dogwoodweek6

6 sentence story – First Words

The neurology team had been working with him closely since the accident had rendered him effectively powerless to communicate. Being able to half blink one eye had been his only way to get his basic needs laboriously expressed to his carers. These novel neurological implants opened up a world of possibility to him through using thoughts to simulate basic muscle movement to control the cursor on a computer keyboard display. They waited eagerly for his first words from his prison in over two years. The letters written to the screen came slowly: H-E-L. What a great start, they thought as the rest of his message was revealed: P-M-E-D-I-E…

~Richard

 

*This is based on a conversation with a friend, TK, who did help to create and develop such a life-changing communication tool, but with a much more positive outcome.

Year of the Monkey

Today is the start of the Chinese New Year, the year of Monkey (or fire monkey to be slightly more precise). When I first thought of this the old maxim “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” immediately came to my head, with the well-worn image of the three wise monkeys, Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru:

 

160208_MonkeysNew

Although this is better known from Japanese iconography, popularized in the 17th century, it supposedly has its roots in the teachings of the venerable Chinese philosopher, Confucius, who originally wrote, “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety” in the Analects of Confucius 1800 years before. This was later simplified to the nine words we know today.

In these recent days of political bombast, bully rhetoric, vitriolic speeches and  general mud-slinging by people who vie to be our would-be rulers it would be gratifying to see them heed this maxim, if only for a short while. Imagine how refreshing it would be for them to opine only positively; to layout their well-thought out plans for the country; to ignore sound bites and twitter hits, and actually attempt to act like the statesmen and stateswomen they purport to be.

But, that being said, why should we be so hard on our politicians? We should all consider this behavior and attempt to act this way in our own lives. I know that I am easily drawn into the trap of “water cooler moaning” during the day, and I too should know better.

One thing that I noticed a few years ago, when I took up photography seriously, was that my outlook on the world did actually change. it seems that somehow looking through a viewfinder, and searching for a well composed shot literally focused my mind on seeing things in a different way. I’m not saying that I do this all the time, but when I am in my “photographer mode” I certainly am a more positive person.

So, here’s a challenge for you: Try to be mindful of  the simple phrase “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” throughout the day and try to deliver on it.

Oh, and a Happy (Chinese) New Year!

~Richard

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

MrReid.org

Stuff that interests Mr Reid, a physicist and teacher

From 1 Blogger 2 Another

Sharing Great Blog Posts

Journeys Through Pre-World War 3 Britain

Travelling the overcast isles

cancer killing recipe

Inspiration for meeting life's challenges.

the poet's billow

a resource for moving poetry

My Cynical Heart

Welcome to my world.

Rustic Rumination

Mind over matter

Stephen Liddell

Musings on a mad world

thisisyouth

Travel. Climbing. Characters. True stories, well told.

OPOD blog

Adventuring the globe whilst based in the beautiful PNW, with a focus on fitness & adventure travel, conservation and a healthy balanced lifestyle. All with my beautiful partner in crime, Stephanie!

Fictionspawn

Games, Illustrations and Short Stories

RPR Consulting, Inc

Success By Design

Back to Blighty

A returning expat's perspective of Britain

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

Jim Kayalar Photography

Photo Book Store

DADDYSCUISINE

Happy Eating

in cahoots with muddy boots

Cooking, gardening, traveling and photographing around the globe

P e d r o L

storytelling the world

%d bloggers like this: