Free As A Bird

November 17, 2021
0:07 - portraits of Beatles as children on mantle (from left to right,  John, George, Paul. Ringo in front)
0:14 - more portraits (left to right, Paul, John, Ringo, George)
0:38 - Beatles walk through dock workers
0:48 - Cavern Club (club where Beatles played many shows before becoming  famous)
0:52 - Beatles performing at Cavern Club
1:06 - Strawberry Field ("Strawberry Fields Forever") 1:18 - Eggman appears ("I Am the Walrus")
1:27 - Beatles begin to walk off curb behind eggman
1:33 - Pretty nurse selling poppies from tray ("Penny Lane")
1:42 - Barber shop, with pictures of every head he's had the pleasure  to know, including the Fab Four ("Penny Lane")
1:47 - Sign on wall reads "Help" ("Help!")
1:49 - Boy holds up hand to whisper to girl ("Do You Want to Know  a Secret?")
1:50 - Ringo jumps from doorway
1:54 - Beatles stand by car
1:56 - Window has Beatles montage. First third looks like  Anthology 1 cover. Other panels may be covers of other two  volumes. [They Are, ed.]
2:02 - Birthday cake ("Birthday")
2:02 - Cake has a 6 and a 4 on it ("When I'm Sixty-Four")
2:07 - George appears on street
2:13 - George walks into office (In reality, Apple headquarters) with  sign that reads "Dr. Robert" ("Dr. Robert")
2:18 - Ringo runs by
2:22 - John in crowd scene at car wreck, craning neck while others  turn away ("A Day in the Life")
2:26 - Car wreck ("A Day in the Life" definitely, "Don't Pass Me By"  possibly)
2:27 - Fire engine ("Penny Lane")
2:29 - Policemen in a row ("I Am the Walrus")
2:32 - Fireman ("Penny Lane")
2:38 - Helter Skelter slide (It looks like a lighthouse, but you can  see the slide circling the building. "Helter Skelter," of course.)
2:38 - Kite ("Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite")
2:42 - Children run by in pig masks ("Piggies")
2:43 - Someone enters house through window from ladder ("She Came in  Through the Bathroom Window")
2:51 - Writer working at desk ("Paperback Writer")
2:54 - Beatles walk behind children in pig masks (It's small, but it's  obvious it's them)
3:00 - Sir Walter Raleigh portrait ("I'm So Tired")
3:05 - Beatles on TV
3:06 - John sitting in chair
3:08 - Copy of Daily Mail on table ("Paperback Writer") which reads 'Ten Thousand Holes in Blackburn, Lancashire' ("A Day in the Life")
3:08 - Bowl of green apples (reference to Apple Corps, Ltd.)
3:08 - Box of Savoy Truffles sits on table (kind of hard to make out,  but that's what it says: "Savoy Truffle")
3:10 - Picture of Chairman Mao in window ("Revolution")
3:13 - Workers repairing hole in roof ("Fixing a Hole")
3:13 - Blue Meanie pops his head through hole (the film  "Yellow Submarine")
3:18 - Newspaper taxi appears ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds")
3:22 - Woman leaves home ("She's Leaving Home") 3:22 - Picture of Mao being carried across street ("Revolution"  definitely, "Carry That Weight" possibly)
3:22 - John and Yoko waltz by (taken from film "Let It Be" and  probably representing "The Ballad of John and Yoko.")
3:23 - Blue Meanie pops head up from out of sewer (the film  "Yellow Submarine")
3:25 - Magical Mystery Tour bus passes in far background (Hard to see,  but it's there)
3:31 - Big game hunter leads procession, including elderly lady and  elephant, out of party ("The Continuing Adventures of Bungalow  Bill," who always went hunting with his elephant and gun and  always took his mum.)
3:33 - Ringo at table near door
3:45 - Brian Epstein begins to put on his scarf
3:47 - Head of Stu Sutcliffe on body of James Dean from "Sgt Pepper"  cover
3:48 - Flowers, drum and tuba from "Sgt Pepper" cover
3:49 - H.G. Wells and Lawrence of Arabia from "Sgt Pepper" cover  chat (I know other guests are supposed to be rest of people on  the cover, but they aren't as clearly identifiable as these two)
3:58 - Eleanor Rigby headstone ("Eleanor Rigby")
4:00 - Priest walks from grave ("Eleanor Rigby")
4:01 - Sheepdog runs through cemetery ("Martha My Dear" definitely,  "Hey Bulldog" possibly)
4:04 - Long and winding road in background ("The Long and Winding Road")
4:05 - Paul romps on hill ("The Fool on the Hill")
4:12 - Zebra-crossing from the cover of "Abbey Road"
4:14 - Meter maid with bag across her shoulder steps onto curb  ("Lovely Rita." She's definitely wearing a uniform and  carrying a little white book.)
4:30 - Beatles walk into theater (taken from "A Hard Days Night")
Richard Starkey, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney
The Beatles Anthology

The Betrothed And Eiffel Tower

November 16, 2021

Gone For Christmas

November 15, 2021
Amanda Shires
From the album For Christmas

Why Tokyo Works

November 14, 2021
While trains have long been part of Japanese daily life after most of Tokyo was leveled during World War II, Japan had to make a post-war decision to either adopt the American automobile-focused city or to rely on public transportation. Of course, they chose public transportation, likely because of Japan’s lack of natural resources like oil. Thus, small towns outside of Tokyo could connect with the denser downtown areas, turning these peripheral areas into liveable, well-connected hubs. This is why Tokyo today is so sprawling, yet so connected. The system was so effective that Tokyo currently has an incredibly low car-ownership rate — 0.54 cars per household — while San Francisco’s rate is 1.10 and London’s is 0.74. 

“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation,” says Colombian politician Gustavo Petro. His quote rings especially true when considering Tokyo’s trains. Its rail system is an equalizer between rich and poor. It’s usually the fastest way to get from A to B within the city, it’s affordable and everyone uses it. There is no stigma attached to riding the train, it’s simply the standard.

Easy Times

November 13, 2021
Easy times come hard for me and oh, my darling
Time again to dream that you are coming home
Judy Collins and Stacy Keach
Performed by Judy Collins
From the album Living

Faces #12

November 12, 2021
Photo by Emad Kolahi on Unsplash


November 11, 2021
Bob Humphrey
My Traveling Star

On The Beach

November 10, 2021

Orphan Street, Berlin

November 9, 2021
Hans Baluschek


November 8, 2021
Hans Baluschek

Corner Of The Big City

November 7, 2021


November 6, 2021
Close to You
Knowing When to Leave
Make It Easy on Yourself
Always Something There to Remind Me
I'll Never Fall in Love Again
Walk on By
Do You Know the Way to San Jose
Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Performed by The Carpenters
Recorded at Walter Reed Medical Center, November 8, 1970

Fallen Fruit

November 5, 2021
To the ones who came before us
All the golden ones who were lifted on a wing
We had no idea the dreams we had were far too big
Far too big
Ella Yelich-O’Connor
From Solar Power


November 4, 2021
Tony Hatch
Performed by Anya Taylor-Joy
From the film Last Night in Soho

Climate Depression Is Real. And It Is Spreading Fast Among Our Youth

November 4, 2021
If you are anything like me, you think of the climate emergency a lot. Possibly every waking hour. Perhaps you experience the psychological tension caused by feeling trapped between the truth of climate and ecological destruction on the one hand and inaction from world leaders on the other. I feel this tension myself, and as a parent and climate activist, I see it affecting young people especially hard.

We are in a growing epidemic of serious climate depression among young people. This is a crisis that cannot be solved by “positive messaging” any more than climate breakdown itself. Ultimately, the only thing that will help the mental and physical safety of every age group, including the young, is meaningful action from world leaders.

Global heating is a vise tightening on nearly every aspect of our planet, our society, and our minds, driven by the production of fossil fuels. Each gram of fossil fuel burned intensifies every manifestation of climate and ecological breakdown; there is no negotiating with physics. Without emergency-mode climate action, things will break. Lots of things. Big things. Eventually, everything.

Gaia May Destroy Humans Before We Destroy The Earth

November 3, 2021
Almost 60 years ago, I suggested our planet self-regulated like a living organism. I called this the Gaia theory, and was later joined by biologist Lynn Margulis, who also espoused this idea. Both of us were roundly criticised by scientists in academia. I was an outsider, an independent scientist, and the mainstream view then was the neo-Darwinist one that life adapts to the environment, not that the relationship also works in the other direction, as we argued. In the years since, we have seen just how much life – especially human life – can affect the environment. Two genocidal acts – suffocation by greenhouse gases and the clearance of the rainforests – have caused changes on a scale not seen in millions of years. 

For billions of years the Earth’s surface temperature has been determined mainly by the radiant heat coming from the sun. This energy increased over time because it is the nature of stars like the sun to increase their heat output as they grow older. But temperatures on Earth remained relatively stable thanks to Gaia: forests, oceans and other elements in the the Earth’s regulating system, which kept the surface temperature fairly constant and near optimal for life.

The global warming that concerns all of us, and which will be discussed this week in Glasgow, includes a great deal of extra heating that comes as a consequence of extracting and burning fossil fuels since about the middle of the 19th century. That releases methane, carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere. They absorb radiant heat and stop it escaping from Earth. This is what causes global warming.

Warnings that once seemed like the doom scenarios of science fiction are now coming to pass. We are entering into a heat age in which the temperature and sea levels will be rising decade by decade until the world becomes unrecognisable. We could also be in for more surprises. Nature is non-linear and unpredictable, never more than at a time of transition. 

My fellow humans must learn to live in partnership with the Earth, otherwise the rest of creation will, as part of Gaia, unconsciously move the Earth to a new state in which humans may no longer be welcome. The virus, Covid-19, may well have been one negative feedback. Gaia will try harder next time with something even nastier. 

James Lovelock
The Guardian
Photo by Mario Wallner from Pexels

Travelling Carnival, Santa Fe

November 2, 2021
John Sloan
 Smithsonian American Art Museum 

The Girl I Left Behind Me

November 1, 2021
Eastman Johnson
 Smithsonian American Art Museum 

A Madonna

October 31, 2021
Henry Wolf, copy after Sandro Botticelli
Smithsonian American Art Museum 


October 30, 2021