Monday, June 26, 2017

Readers Write and Monday Miscellany



An email from Jay M in respect of the Sgt Pepper cover posts:
Hi Otto, 
Have you seen the Ted talk referring to the 'Sgt Pepper's' album cover by Jann Haworth? 
Mistakes, Omissions, and Iconoclasts: From Sgt Pepper to Work in Progress | Jann Haworth |

An email from Shirley G, in response to the post “Looking At . . . Places", which included the Sagano Bamboo Forest on the outskirts of Kyoto city (link at:
Good morning Otto 
On Sunday your Bytes showed several photographs of the bamboo walk in Kyoto Japan. A couple of years ago I was in Kyoto and had the joy of walking through the bamboo forest. At one point along the pathway there was a musician playing the pan flute – what magic it added to the occasion. Just wonderful. 
Once again Otto thanks for your daily bytes. 
With regards 

From Tobye P in the U S of A, in response to the post Looking Back: People, which featured photographs of famous people from years gone by (link at:
OMIGOSH-these are fabulous! 
Thanks so much-I love this kind of stuff-Churchill is thin! Hitchcock is-unrecognizable! Ghandi dances! And Queen E in the same brooch decades later-theirs is such a sweet story. Wonderful shots from the past-I am grateful that you shared these. Thank you Otto.

Sincerely, Tobye 

Thanks to all those who take the time to write, it lets me know that people are out there reading Bytes.


Tokyo's birds: 

Remember the Hitchcock movie The Birds, where all these thousands of birds gather and attack people? Birds everywhere (how did he do it???). Well, that is actually happening in Tokyo. For decades now birds of various species including crows, cormorants and owls have been winging it into the city and nesting, damaging, attacking and, of course, pooing. The increasing numbers of cormorants has also been damaging to the fishing industry and to flora and fauna. The cause of the increased numbers has been attributed to urban development encroaching on forests and breeding areas, plus the attraction of fresh garbage for food in a city of nearly 14 million people.

Interestingly the Oz musical group Birds of Tokyo (remember their hit Lanterns?) took their name from an article one member had read about the absence of birds in Tokyo's high-density central business district due to pollution and overcrowding. According to band member Ian Kenny "We thought that was interesting, no birds in Tokyo — we thought, we'll be the birds of Tokyo.”

Japanese photographer Yoshinori Mizutani has highlighted the issue of bird numbers with a photographic series he has called HANON, a reference to a French piano instruction book. You will understand why when you see some of his photographs below:


The Hardy Tree:

London’s St. Pancras Old Church, considered to be one of England’s oldest places of Christian worship, Hs an adjoining cemetery. That cemetery is the location of the Hardy Tree, an ash tree surrounded by hundreds gravestones, layered practically on top of one another.

Back in the mid 1860’s Britain’s expanding rail network needed part of the church’s land for a new rail line. In the way was the church’s graveyard, requiring the bodies to be exhumed and relocated. The unpleasant task was delegated to a lowly placed labourer who was destined find future fame as the author of Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the D’Urbervilles, one Thomas Hardy.

Thomas Hardy

Hardy completed the task but was left with a final puzzle: what to do with the hundreds of gravestones that were remained. Hardy elected to place them in a circular pattern around an ash tree in the churchyard in a spot that would not be disturbed by the railway. The Ash tree has matured, the gravestones have weathered but all remain The tree has grown over some of the gravestones, a somewhat apt metaphor for death and return to the earth.

Some other notes on St Pancras Old Church:
  • The architect John Soane designed a tomb for his wife and himself in the churchyard, that tomb being the inspiration for the design by Giles Gilbert Scott of the British iconic red telephone boxes.
John Soane's tomb

  • The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the future Mary Shelley, planned their 1814 elopement over meetings at the grave of her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, originally buried in the cemetery.
  • Charles Dickens mentions it by name in his 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities, making it the location of body snatching to provide corpses for dissection at medical schools.

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