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England #4: Black Pharoahs? Homeward Gyre.

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So now I’m slowly getting my life back, after the frenzy of putting together the various editions of The Big Aha and Notes for The Big Aha…see the book’s website for more info on all that.

Today let’s dig down into my remaining stash of photos from our trip to London and Oxford in early October, 2014. Come with me to Oxford by way of yon quaint and elegant Christ Church College garden gate…

Saw this lady frosting custom cakes all day long in a bakery within a roofed market. Felt a little intrusive to be taking her picture. But, wow, a cake factory.

I love shadows of odd shapes. Chains for manipulating the shutters of an Oxford dress shop. Very smart outfits on sale, rather dear.

Ah, giant lily pads. The SF fantasy of living on them, like a frog. You’d want to be fully amphibious for that. Last night, dropping off to sleep, I was imagining people who were somehow gene-tweaked to swim as fast as Jet-Skis. In the waves off Kauai.

The chapel at Christ Church College in Oxford has this cool window. The jigsaw-looking panels were pieced together from shards recovered from church windows broken during WWII. A nice symbolic thing. Shards of our personalities reconstructed into bopper minds someday, perhaps.

The last hotel we stayed in was the Pelham, right across the street from the South Kensington tube station in London. A really nice place, with a great view. Expensive, but not quite as bad as some of the other places we came across. On our last night, I watched a BBC showing of a documentary movie of the Stones playing a 50th anniversary concert in Hyde Park this year or last year.

It was great how happy the Stones were, Mick and Keith so jubilant, at peace, plying their trade. I’d like to write like that.

I’ve seen this big statue of a pharaoh in the British Museum before. The striking thing here is that—wow, the pharaohs were Black! Africans, my man! Such a lovely sculpture, so smooth and, what, over a thousand years old.

Another cool piece in the British Museum, shows some Assyrians swimming. They’re holding inflated bladders to help stay afloat. Dig the fish.

The British Museum was insanely crowded, a rainy Sunday, as full as Times Square on New Year’s Eve almost. You have to feel a bit ambivalent about the pieces in the museum as well—all of them looted from weaker nations by Imperial Britain back in the day. But, whatever the details, it’s always amazing to reach back in time and see the endless flow of human craft and intelligence. We really haven’t changed all that much in the last few thousand years.

Mandatory Ionic column outside the British Museum.

What’s this photo doing in here? It’s a hallway on the Stanford campus. Oh, it’s the tunnel leading from my British experience to my next level of existence.

Here comes God! A dodecahedron.

And now, tracing a long smooth gyre, I drift down to my home planet. But which part is land, and which part is sky…or is it sea?

What? You haven’t been to the BIG AHA page yet?

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3 Responses to “England #4: Black Pharoahs? Homeward Gyre.”

  1. Mary Gustafson Says:

    Vanessa von Bitter shared your blog with me. Lovely pictures

  2. failrate Says:

    >> somehow gene-tweaked to swim as fast as Jet-Skis. In the waves off Kauai.
    Sounds like what would happen to practical technology for dealing with deluge/typhoons/rising sea levels. After it was no longer necessary/useful, it would get converted into its sport form. Kind of like how surfboards went from being a type of useful canoe to being a piece of sport kit.

  3. Dianne Says:

    Hey Rudy, Hope all is well with you today. You mentioned they year 2014 here and it has yet to arrive. Good to know someone is already in the future! :-) Have a good day!

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