It Was Better Than That

The other night the colours on display in the sky stopped me in my tracks and I just stared. The red was so deep and rich, contrasted with the black of the approaching night. I tried to take a photograph that would capture the hues but I don’t think it really does the sunset justice. Photographing atmospheric events is tricky and probably requires a deep investment in time and getting the DSLR out. I took this photograph with my iPhone and while the camera is good it’s not great. Also, I don’t do much in post. I like the shot to work. The things I will do are crop and maybe white balance adjustment. I rarely use filters as they seem to be a little “cheat”.

Sunset Colours
Sunset Colours

This view is in stark contrast to the view this morning through the window of . . . . nothing. There is fog out there and my normal uninterrupted view of around ten kilometres of countryside is reduced to 0.05km.

But When Is It?

I was using my favourite aircraft tracking site 360Radar when I noticed that they have built in the terminator into the view:


In this picture you can see the lines of the terminator, the line of the end of sunlight across the globe. But, it’s more complicated than that isn’t it? There are two lines and I suspect that one is the onset of sunset and the other is when the sun has dropped below the horizon. Rather, what happens is that the Earth rotates more so the Sun drops below the local horizon.

That gets you to thinking about sunset and when it is. According to Wikipedia, which is a perfectly good reference for most things scientific, sunset is the moment the sun dips below the horizon. After that there are different types of twilight!:

Twilight subcategories.svg
By TWCarlsonOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

I hope this doesn’t over complicate issues too much for you all.

One of the things that humans like to do is have simple black and white answers for all problems. We can’t live in a society without rules. We need them to ensure we give everyone a similar set of values and guidelines. We use heuristics all the time. These are brain shortcuts so we don’t have to think about things from the very start. Stereotyping is an heuristic. It allows us to make quick judgements about people so that we don’t have to think too much. The problem is that stereotyping is wrong most of the time and our brain is wrong. Heuristics while brain efficient are mostly wrong.

The question “when is twilight” leads to a multitude of different types and times. Most things in society aren’t really black and white. There are always complications. There are always times when other factors seem important. We love these rules but often they need to be tempered by knowing the circumstances. The media like forcing that black or white notion, they like to implement simple thinking in society to make everything simple. Most people don’t want to think about things or over complicate them. Most people want a simple life where they don’t have to think or consider others.

It’s good to learn that we should always spend extra brain power thinking about the issues are reasons more. As the author Ben Goldacre put it:

I think you’ll find it’s more complicated than that.

620 nm

I took a jaunt out into the local countryside yesterday and it was good.

The weather was cold and slightly misty which made the whole Downs to Medway area look lovely. Here’s a photo over the vineyard looking south.

Vineyards and Mist
Vineyards and Mist

While running down the Downs I noticed the lovely view of the sun reflecting off the new bridge which I have mentioned a few times within these communications.

The New Bridge
The New Bridge

There were some lovely scenes where the sun reflected off the river Medway the whole vista was calming and stunning. Later on there were some wisps dangling from the clouds. Now, like most of my photos the thing I am looking at isn’t always the thing that ends up being the focus of the photo. That’s probably what separates me from a proper photographer, that and I used my iPhone!

Look At The Wisps
Look At The Wisps

Five Finger Death Punch

I snuck into London last night to see Five Finger Death Punch at The Forum in Kentish Town. Curiously Kentish Town didn’t look as Kent-like as the name implies. Here’s a power station viewed from the fast train from Ebbsfleet to St Pancras [who was a Roman convert to Christianity and beheaded for his belief].


I had a pleasant walk from the London terminus to The Forum, about 40 minutes, and waited in The Assembly Rooms for Smith. Once he had arrived we chatted and ate. The queues to enter the auditorium were large, but gave us time to digest the contents of the flyers we were handed before discarding them in the traditional manner.

The first band on were called Pop Evil. They played ROCK. It was ok. Not to my current tastes but they were a good warm up band.


Then, on came Upon A Burning Body. A band from Texas. They played pretty good music although I couldn’t understand most of what the singer sang. This didn’t worry me, I don’t really do lyrics. Although I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this band again they were pretty good over all. I liked the suits they wore.


During their set all the lights stopped working and they carried on while lit from torches held by security and the guys in the “desk-in-the-middle”. The pit opened up in front of me and it was quite funny to see this close. Young men running in circles and generally pushing into each other. The atmosphere was one of comradeship as when someone fell down after being hit, they would be helped up by everybody. I saw a couple of rugby tackles and at some point it turned into a competition to see who would be the last man standing. Then, it went wrong. A short tubby man decided he was going to hit with his hands. He threw a punch and got warned to stop by most in and around the circle. He had gone too far. You don’t intentionally hit people in this small world of machismo. Then he threw another punch, caught a chap on the chin and stood gloating. About five guys rushed at him, pushing him to the floor and then two of them dragged the guy to the side and security. I didn’t see him again. As much as most people would look in horror at “the pit” it’s actually a safe place where, if you accept the rules, you will be looked after and everyone has the same needs.

Five Finger Death Punch burst onto the stage playing “Under and Over It”. There was energy and excitement. They played well and have a good stage presence. I was really impressed at Download last year and so was looking forward to this. They played songs. I don’t know the names of the songs. I just recognise them. I’m pretty sure my head is full up and can’t learn new song names. Also, the way I listen to music has changed. I no longer sit in my bedroom staring and the record sleeve, I play music while running, driving or working.


It was a solid gig. They played well. They played 3 ballads too many. I hate ballads. The atmosphere gets lost and the energy of the room fades during ballads. Also, as a rock child of the eighties, ballads were how bands promoted themselves. They had their place but are not necessary anymore.

The set finished at 22:30. This made the FFDP stage time about seventy minutes which was rather short. I was hoping to hear four more hard and heavy songs when the houselights went up. I was left feeling a little disappointed. They didn’t quite “bring the house down” in my opinion. A big problem for me was the singing of the chorus to Champagne Supernova by Oasis. I never liked Oasis. I think they wrote poor songs, sang badly and were hyped in a battle with a group of real intelligent people who could write songs. Don’t be a metal band and then play some Oasis. They were shit. It’s shit and it makes you shit.



Took this picture while waiting to go into the cinema. I like bridges. When you think about the things we can do as the human race when we put our minds to it, it’s remarkable. We can travel with ease and talk to practically anyone in the world via a small device we can carry. On the negative side we don’t yet have the political ambition to stave off anthropogenic climate change, or even to make sure the end result is the least worst possible outcome because we really are changing our planet and beyond recognition.



Here’s a picture of the lovely sunset from a few nights ago. I was walking the dog. I only just got this shot as it was quite windy and the clouds were moving fast.