We have heard a lot in the last sixty years about everyday products that have been a spin-off of space exploration, and they have made life better. But now we hear of something dubbed ‘Earth Scan’, that will enable doctors to identify bowel cancer much quicker. I say space technology, while it comes from there, it is actually artificial intelligence, or AI. We live in incredible times for scientific development, especially in AI, and the way it is going to develop over the next 20 years is mind blowing. There is a fear of it on the streets through. Now, in 20 years I might be dead, so some will say it’s easy for me to say this, but I think it’s great and we should embrace it, not fear it.
I don’t know what I weighed when I was born, and my parents have been dead for 30 years, so I can’t ask. But I know it would have been more than 8.6 ounces! No, that’s not a mistype for 8lb 6oz… it is 8.6 ounces!
The family from San Diego want to remain anonymous, good for them, but they agreed that the hospital could release redacted details of the girl’s birth last December. She was given an hour to live having been born almost twenty-three and a half weeks into her mother’s pregnancy, but she just kept breathing and growing and at five months old went home a healthy 5lb baby girl.
I suspect it’s down to a mixture of a child with a natural positive instinct, great medical care, dedicated staff, and advanced medical procedures.
I hesitated to write on this theme again, but it is only when we are all acting, and screaming, that anything will be done. Social media has much to contribute to life, but I seriously wonder, and always have, if it really does have a net benefit. True, I use it commercially, but not as an individual. We read about people learning how to make bombs, how to self-harm and being encouraged to do so, groomed by perverts and exposed to numerous other damaging scenarios. The social media companies claim to be doing something about it, indeed one cannot deny that they are, but how seriously? I’m not going to hit you with a mass of statistics, just look on Ofcom’s website for those. Around 80% of adults think that Facebook is the worst social media offender and about the same percentage of kids aged between 12 and 15 had potentially harmful experiences online in the last year.
Although falling in popularity, Facebook is also seen as the largest source of fake news.
I guess kids from poorer backgrounds see two routes to fame and wealth these days; pop music and football. I’ve got nothing against either but football, and sport in general, does so much good for all kids generally and not just the very lucky few. So, I was saddened to read while we were in Scotland for our Land’s End to John o’ Groats trip, that over 100 council-owned football pitches have closed since 2010. So, I looked further and it’s no better in the rest of Britain where another 610 council-owned football pitches had closed. We’ll no doubt be told it is all a fallout of the austerity years, but I suspect more than that. The lure of selling off a prime site for development will be powerful, in any economic times. We need green space in our towns and cities and I marvel when I walk, which I do often, in my beloved London at just how much green space there is. When you see it from the air coming in to land it is incredible. I’ve been involved in creating sporting facilities, cricket and football, as the spin-off of housing development, small housing development, when I lived in a village in Somerset. You can use a ‘Section 106’ to make the developer fund a replacement pitch out of town, but that will reduce the value of the land being sold. Councils have no problem doing that when the vendor is from the private sector, but it appears it’s not the same when they are the vendor, the beneficiary of the gain!
Now it’s not very often you hear me singing the praises of the French, especially President Macron! But he’s had a great idea and is being slagged off by the establishment for it! He wants to invite young, free-thinking, new-thinking architects to submit design ideas for the Notre Dame. Established French architects and the Paris Council have ridiculed the idea, although Britain’s Norman Foster, who is now 83, seems to be the favourite!
Who knows what ideas the young might have, but it is total madness not to allow them to express them. I have always seen the French as a nation of socialist peasants, some say I’m wrong and maybe I am, but this sort of behaviour suggests not! Let the young be part of the process! You don’t have to accept their ideas and they will benefit from the experience.
Now, this is wonderful madness and I might sell my washing machine and get into this business. A street in a gentrified area of Brooklyn, New York, is abuzz with all sorts of designer shops and restaurants, but now also has a slightly different laundrette. The brain child of Corinna Williams, the premises has a café and flower patio. The soft drinks are free and there’s film screenings – you can even sing along to karaoke! There’s another in Manhattan East Village that is an English-themed bar and laundrette offering Old Specked Hen!
There are more coming… Love it!