Adam dreamt of sex, Eve of power

wo,en power men sex Rod Fleming
Eve. Pic: Rod Fleming

Women always think in terms of power. When they decorate a home they are showing their power within their space. When they outlaw masculinity and masculine behaviour, they are exercising power.

Men think in terms of targets and things. That is why a man gets irritated when his wife interferes with his prized model collection. It’s also why men ‘objectify’ women. Men objectify everything, there is no need to feel it’s special treatment.

Men, innately, seek to achieve targets and to acquire things as measures of status with which they can persuade women to give up what they want, which is sex. Women see their power over that sex as the means by which they can control the individual man they might be partnered with, but also the broader society.

Women — not men — commoditise sex.



Continue reading Adam dreamt of sex, Eve of power

Focus and Depth of Field

Originally posted 2013-04-12 19:23:44.

focus-taxis
This picture, taken at Edinburgh’s Waverley train station, shows the use of selective focus to isolate the subject. Pic: Rod Fleming

Focus and depth of field are related, and the advancing photographer should understand the relationship between them.

If you are used to using a digital compact, then focus may be something you take for granted. Things just are in focus. But if you are thinking of buying a DSLR or a film camera, then focus becomes much more important. In fact it is one of the primary creative tools the photographer has.

Lenses resolve the light emitted from objects in the world into an image that we can use. Sometimes, as in a telescope, this is for direct observation, and the focus is inside the eye; in photography, resolution is always on a plane behind the lens.

Let’s begin with a point of light in front of the lens. Now strictly, a point has no diameter, so think of something like a star which appears to be a point (but isn’t really.) If we want to make a photograph of this we must create a sharp image of it, and to do this we first need a lens. The lens will take the very narrow cone of light it receives from the star and reverse this into a steeper cone behind it. The plane on which this sharp image is created is called the focal plane of the lens. The distance between this and the lens is called the focal length of the lens. Continue reading Focus and Depth of Field

DIY Fiddle Repair and Maintenance

Originally posted 2013-05-14 16:40:34.

DIY fiddle repair
DIY fiddle repair

After a little while in the violin world, I know you will have seen this reaction: you have just gone into your friendly music shop and said, “My fiddle needs a new bridge. Can you sell me one?” You are shocked as the light outside dims, the interior of the shop becomes gloomy and the owner, in a voice that would render the bravest heart weak, intones, “You must never, ever, attempt to do any work on your violin yourself. Oh no. That is for the luthier to do. Now get ye hence and practise your scales.” And he refuses to sell you a bridge blank and you scuttle off with your tail between your legs thinking that everyone else in the shop must now consider you an uneducated oaf.

 Well, you’re not. Continue reading DIY Fiddle Repair and Maintenance

Manila: Skinny Cats, Transports of Delight and Beautiful Women

Originally posted 2013-04-12 18:30:37.

Jeepney in Manila
Jeepney and taxi in Manila

Manila is huge. Apart from Manila itself, the conurbation of Metro Manila includes other cities that would themselves be enormous by any other measure: Makati, Pasig, Quezon, Cavite, and others. So transport is a major part of Manila life. But this is Asia, and unlike Europe, there is no organised public transport. There are no service buses, no trams or metro systems oganised by local government. Everything is run privately, and the sheer amount of private transport provision is staggering.

Given that I have not yet see anyone carrying a passenger on his shoulders, and horse-and-cart solutions are reserved for the tourist area of Intramuros, the old part of Manila, the most basic, though not always the cheapest, means of transport is the gloriously named ‘pedicab’. This is a bicycle with a side-car.

The main problem with this solution, leaving aside the thorny moral issue of whether it can be right for a 14-stone Scotsman and an admittedly much lighter Filipina to be push-biked around by a sweating 9-stone Pinoy, is the complete lack of suspension on these contraptions. Since the roads in Manila resemble the Somme after a barrage, this means a bone-jarring ride that risks lumbar impaction.


Continue reading Manila: Skinny Cats, Transports of Delight and Beautiful Women

Thatcher, Britain’s First Woman Prime Minister

Originally posted 2013-04-12 18:18:43.

thatcher-at-torness
Margaret Thatcher at the opening of Torness Power Station in 1989

Margaret Thatcher, heroine of the Falklands, the scourge of the miners, the ‘most divisive’ Prime Minister in recent British history, maybe any British history, died in 2013.  She was 87.

Legions of trendy-lefty commentators danced in the streets, and people far, far too young to have any recollection whatsoever of what Dame Margaret Hilda Thatcher actually did, filled their Facebook drivel, er, pages, with claptrap about how much they hated her and were glad to see her gone.

Well, I remember her reign, and indeed it was not pleasant. But what is forgotten, perhaps wilfully, by those who celebrated her death, is what it was like before Thatcher. They forget too, that without her, a great part of what the ‘British’ now accept as normal, simply would not exist.


Continue reading Thatcher, Britain’s First Woman Prime Minister

Non-Politically Correct Writing and Photography by Rod Fleming and Guests