Saturday Scenes

Thu 28 April 2011

Judging a Book by its Cover

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:40

On the 23rd of April in 1923, booksellers in Spain declared a holiday: Book Day!

This special celebration includes a tradition of giving books as gifts, a two-day read-a-thon and the King of Spain presents the Premio Miguel de Cervantes, an award for an outstanding writer in the Spanish language.

And ever since 1995, 23 April has become an international celebration: World Book Day!

Why the 23rd of April?

World Book and Copyright Day – Wikipedia

Although 23 April is often stated as the anniversary of the deaths of both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, this is not strictly correct. Cervantes died on 23 April according the Gregorian calendar; however, at this time England still used the Julian calendar. Whilst Shakespeare died on 23 April by the Julian calendar in use in his own country at the time, actually he died ten days after Cervantes, because of the discrepancy between the two date systems. The apparent correspondence of the two dates was a fortunate coincidence…

I should point out that it isn’t quite the international celebration you would hope for. Notably, the UK celebrates World Book Day in March, to avoid clashes with Easter school holidays and St George’s Day. Because no one reads when they are on holiday, apparently. The annual event there is called World Book Day UK which is an interesting sort of truthiness usually reserved for Americans.

And on the 23rd of April in 2011, these wonderful photographs were submitted:

Come celebrate with our Saturday Scene submitters:

If you’d like to be included, just take a photograph on a Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with your location. We’d love to see what you see!

Wed 20 April 2011

Turn on, tune in, drop out

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:49

On the 16th of April in 1943, Swiss scientist Albert Hoffman, who had synthesised “Lysergsäure-diethylamid 25” as a part of his research into respiratory and circulatory stimulants, accidentally absorbed a small amount through his fingertips.

16 April – This Day in History

“Last Friday, 16 April 1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant, intoxicated-like condition characterised by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours. After some two hours this condition faded away.”

Albert Hoffman had discovered the effects of LSD on human consciousness.

On the 16th of April in 2011, I thought I was hallucinating when I saw how many photographs had been submitted to Saturday Scenes. We broke all records this week with forty photographs. Take a look!

And these are the psychedelic souls who submitted the scenes:

Trippy!

Would you like to add your photo? It’s simple to join in:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location

We’d all love to see even more SatScenes in the next edition!

Thu 14 April 2011

Fun is the One Thing that Money Can’t Buy

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:21

On the 9th of April in 1970, Paul McCartney put out a press release to announce the release of his first solo album, McCartney. The release, in question and answer format, stated unambiguously that he was not planning any new albums nor singles with the Beatles.

Paul McCartney Interview: Beatles Break-up 4/9/1970 – Beatles Interviews Database

Paul is asked if the release of the ‘McCartney’ LP is a rest away from the Beatles or the start of a solo career, to which he replies that it is both. But when asked if he is planning a new album or single with the Beatles he answers in the negative. When questioned if he forsees a time when Lennon and McCartney will become an active songwriting partnership again, he answers directly and simply, “No.” Is his break with the Beatles temporary or permanent? Paul’s responds that he does not know. When asked the reason for his break with the group, Paul lists: “Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family.”

The following day, the Daily Mirror ran with the headline “Paul is Quitting the Beatles” and CBS News announced “The Beatles are Breaking Up.” A week later, McCartney’s solo album was released in the UK.

The McCartney album was released in the UK on April 17th 1970, just nine days following the release of what would be the Beatles final LP, Let It Be.

Let It Be was released 41 years ago. Other than the Beatles’ Anthology series in 1994, where McCartney, Harrison and Starr performed two unfinished Lennon songs, Let it Be and McCartney’s press release marked the official end of the Beatles.

And on the 9th of April in 2011, somebody spoke and I went into a dream.

Sorry! I was just singing along. On the 9th of April in 2011, these wonderful photographs were taken:

And here are the people who submitted, with a little help from their friends:

Why don’t you join us?

Simply take a photograph on Saturday and tweet it as a mention to @SatScenes with your location. It’s easy and fun.

Wed 6 April 2011

A Hairbrained Scheme and Most Dangerous

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:47

On the 2nd of April in 1962, the first panda crossing was opened in London.

Zebra crossings had been in use since the 1950s but as traffic increased, it became clear that this wasn’t enough. Automated traffic light systems were expensive and there was concern that they would unnecessarily slow traffic. The Minister of Transport decided to tackle the problem by finding a middle ground between traffic lights and zebra crossings. The result of this was the panda crossing.

The design was somewhat convoluted. The general idea was sound: there were markings on the ground to ensure it was easily recognisable like a zebra crossing and there were lights which could be seen from afar like a traffic light system. Pedestrians pressed a button to signal their desire to cross and a light display would tell them when it was safe. If the crossing was not in use, all lights were off.

CBRD » Histories » Pedestrian Crossings

About here is where the Ministry got a bit carried away – a pulsating amber light warned motorists that people were about to cross and a pulsating red light stopped traffic. After eight seconds, ‘CROSS’ began to flash, and the amber traffic light returned, this time flashing. Pedestrians then had seventeen seconds of Zebra Crossing-style priority, during which time ‘CROSS’ flashed faster and faster. The Ministry was careful to distinguish between the lights that pulsated and those that merely flashed: the answer, apparently, is that a pulsating light never completely goes out. After all that, the lights just switched off, and traffic could move freely once more.

The AA stated that it would simply take time for drivers and pedestrians to understand the new crossings. However, despite a huge publicity campaign, the public continued to feel that it was too confusing and the scheme was dropped. In 1969, the much more successful pelican crossing was launched. These remain in use although the high-tech puffin crossing, with sensors to detect the progress of pedestrians, is gaining traction.

So:

On the 2nd of April in 2010, why did the panda cross the road?

To get a great photograph for SatScenes, of course? We’ve got a lovely variety this week, take a look:

Use Twitter to follow these fine photographers who aren’t afraid of crossings:

Have you got a camera or a smart phone?

Then you should take a photograph on Saturday. It’s easy to join us!

Simply send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and the location and all the rest happens automatically!

I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!

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