The Boston Big Picture with a collection of some beautiful, some moving and some shocking photos covering the year 2010 – and all of them are stunning. Proof if ever it was needed that a picture paints a thousand words. If you have 5 minutes you’ve got to take a look. Part one, part two and part three.
My dad went into hospital on Tuesday for back surgery and before I got the chance to call the ward and find out how the operation went on Wednesday my dad had texted me: “Went well, hope to get out tomorrow J”. I don’t know whether to be more surprised that he’s coming home the day after surgery (modern wisdom is to get up and moving ASAP after this kind of surgery instead of bed rest) or that he’s such a fluent texter that his first thought isn’t to phone but to text! The world has changed a lot in the 15 years since he previously had back surgery, no doubt about it!
I subscribe to Stephen Fry’s infrequent but fascinating podgrams (which are podcasts of the essays on his blog) and his most recent edition (episode 4) was called ‘The BBC and the future of broadcasting’. It’s easy to take for granted a public broadcasting service like the BBC and resent having to pay the subscription fee but Stephen’s thoughts on the value and importance of the BBC makes for great reading – and if you listen to the podcast version it makes for great listening. If I were one tenth as good a writer as Stephen Fry I’d be one hell of a writer: The BBC and the future of broadcasting.
I’ve just been listening to a young man called Adrian Sudbury talking on the radio about being faced with terminal leukaemia and having only weeks to live. Hearing him talk about putting things in order, accepting his fate with real bravery, feeling sorry for his family to lose a brother and a son so young and trying to raise awareness of donating bone marrow was very sobering and puts the supposed stresses of ordinary day-to-day life in perspective. They say only the good die young and never was it truer than for Adrian.
Some friends of mine are taking part in a 1300 mile round-Scotland cycle ride to raise funds for a children’s hospital back home. If you’ve got any spare cash and were thinking of buying a lottery ticket or some other waste of money, then why not make a donation instead? You can find out more here.
Preston Gannaway of the Concord (N.H.) Monitor won this year’s Pulitzer prize for feature photography by chronicling a family coping with a terminal illness. I watched it with the sound turned down first to just look at the photos and it brought it all back. You forget how terribly hard it is watching someone you love suffer and how tough it is carrying on without them. It’s a wonderful piece of work and shows how powerful a tool a camera, in the right hands, can be to tell a story.
So it’s April the 1st which means loads of “April Fools” jokes floating around the web, most of them not particularly amusing. There are several from Google (which I found mildly amusing), YouTube forwarding all featured videos to a classic Rick Astley number (still a great pop song after all these years) and a host of others that – although I’m sure people were trying hard – I just didn’t find funny. But my favourite has to be this film from the BBC. Full marks for the planning and execution of something really cool that made me laugh. Nice to see my license fee going on something fun!