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Category Archives: reality

Had a fantastic day out at Smokejack Brickpit.  In the 1980’s a new species of dinosaur Baryonyx walkerii was discovered here.  The lower Wealden sediments here are quarried for brickmaking.  The pit is designated as an SSSI, from the designation document:

“The site consists of a pit in the lower Weald Clay Group, probably near the Hauterivian-Barremian boundary. Important for depositional environments and faunas, its dark to light grey and brown clays with siderite concretions have yielded insects, ostracods, molluscs, fish, articulated and disarticulated bones of reptiles, and numerous gastroliths.”

The depositional environment was lagoonal so many different facies are represented.   The fossil bones that I collected were from a thin, dark, carbonaceous seam near the top of the pit.

 

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All the pieces of fossilized bone that I collected from Smokejack Brickpit. I’ve been able to join some pieces using superglue. Now awaiting identification from the experts at The Natural History Museum.

Of all the different bits of bone the piece below is likely to be diagnostic.

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Smokejack Brickpit, Ewehurst, Surrey.

Ace trip to Smokejack Brickpit, Ewehurst, Surrey yesterday.  Found several pieces of fossilized bone.  Dinosaur or crocodile?  Need to get them ID’d.

Visited an exhibition called Abstract Remix at The New Arts Project, London.  From the press section of The New Arts Project website,

“Emma Hart and Mat Collishaw: this week’s best UK exhibitions”

To me this reads as Emma Hart and Mat Collinshaw are recommending Abstract Remix rather than their exhibitions being recommended by Jonathan Jones of The Guardian.

Most of the artist’s use slick modern materials like epoxy resin.   A big surprise was that Markus Linnenbrink’s artwork Whatevawillbe had indentations rather than projections. Did I like this exhibition?   I was attracted by the colours of Linnenbrink’s art which were very bright and appealing but most of the work had a rather ‘manufactured by machine’ appearance that I didn’t like.   I prefer stuff to look more man made and the process more obvious.

Also went to see Chris Olifili, Weaving Magic at The National Gallery.  Having seen the BBC Imagine programme about Olifili conceiving and realizing this work I was keen to see it for myself.  Here it is:  very reminiscent of a stained glass church window.  Strange references collide.  Christianity – stained glass windows.  Hindu – the drawings on the walls and Tapestry weaving – medieval European.  All made by someone who is of Nigerian heritage, brought up in the UK and lives in Trinidad!  A real cross cultural mix that has been realized into something magical.

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I listened to Behind the Scenes on BBC Radio 4 this morning.  Choreographer Crystal Pite makes Flight Pattern her profound dance for the Royal Ballet.  What an interesting and talented person she clearly is!  I would like to have seen this performed but sadly I’m too late.  I was particularly intrigued by her descriptions of finding a language to express the refugee’s story.  It’s no different to any other creative endeavor except that the medium is time based and the materials are people, their clothes and the space that they work in. The tension between creativity and practicality was also fascinating.

In considering my response to The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray I’ve been participating in some Implicit Association Tests.  Project Implicit is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control.

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The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report.

Among the various tests that I have taken I’m really surprised by this result.  I was encouraged by my scientist father to study Geology.   I have always loved this subject and still do.  My understanding of science is that it is the closest thing that we have to the absolute truth.  It was quite a shock to discover than many people do not share this point of view.

Is my strong automatic association for Male with Sciences and Female with Liberal Arts due to nature or nurture?

 

It’s been dry here for weeks and weeks, no April showers.  Today it’s 1st May and it’s been raining.  time to plant out my seedlings.

 

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The sunny Yorkshire Dales

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Zak Ove, The invisible man and the masque of blackness, 2016. At the Yorkshire sculpture park.

The main exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park was Tony Cragg‘s work.   I liked some of his sculptures but many of them seemed mass produced and too similar.  They are not ‘site specific’ and many sit uneasily in the landscape.  Watching a video of his work was like looking at a sculpture factory.  I  prefer his works on paper, especially the ones on his website.

Political assault on facts:  March for Science – occurring right now – reported on BBC Radio 4, but this is the first that I’ve heard about it! If we don’t have Science all that we’re left with is fiction.

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I’ve just read this unbelievable tale:  438 days an extraordinary true story of survival at sea:

“On 17th November, 2012, Salvador Alvarenga left the coast of Mexico for a two-day fishing trip. A vicious storm killed his engine and the current dragged his boat out to sea. The storm picked up and carried him West, deeper into the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Alvarenga would not touch solid ground again for 14 months. When he was washed ashore on January 30th, 2014, he had drifted over 9,000 miles.”

This is what I found so shocking:  THE MIDDLE OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN IS POLLUTED BY PLASTIC WASTE!!!  NOT ONLY WERE PLASTICS FOUND FLOATING IN THE OCEAN OBJECTS WERE FOUND IN THE STOMACHS OF VARIOUS SEA CREATURES.  If this isn’t a pollution wake-up call then I don’t know what is.

 

Visited the National Portrait Gallery on Friday to see:  Howard Hodgkin Absent Friends and Michaelangelo & Sebastiano at the National Gallery.

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Leos triplet – image shamelessly stolen from watchthisspaceman!