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Columbia South Carolina

 

As already mentioned Columbia is the State capital and second largest city in South Carolina.  But we were only staying one night and it was Saturday.  The markets had taken over the down-town area so we went for a wander.  The town was pleasant but our combined memory is more of the comfortable Home Towne Suites out on Columbiana Dr and the nearby shopping mall that provided food than of the City itself.

 


Saturday Markets Columbia - Click on this picture to see Meet Your Cremator and more
 

Most of the stalls were selling local produce like honey, cheese or jam.  A number had handcrafts. 

But the most innovative was Meet Your Cremator.  This guy is a ceramic artist who makes personalised ceramic mugs that are caricatures of the client.  He was chatting up some potential clients so I could only go by what he was saying to them. As far as I could work out he takes their photograph and possibly makes a sketch of what they might expect, then during the week in his studio/pottery he crafts a mug of their 'mug' and brings it back next week. They're a sort of modern Toby Jug.

It seemed to have a lot of downsides.  Did they trust him enough to pay upfront?  And if so what if they hated the thing?  If not, does he trust them to turn up next week?  Has he got a shed full of unsellable mugs?  And how many people want a ceramic caricature of themselves anyway? 

It was the stall's name that initially caught my attention. It seemed to suggest a change of business direction.  Did he start out making crematory urns?  I can see why that might've been an even harder sell than personalised mugs: 'It's the latest thing: an amusing caricature of your loved one to keep their ashes in... Got a photo of your mum on you?' 

 

 

 

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Travel

Bridge over the River Kwai

 

 

In 1957-58 the film ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai‘ was ground breaking.  It was remarkable for being mainly shot on location (in Ceylon not Thailand) rather than in a studio and for involving the construction and demolition of a real, fully functioning rail bridge.   It's still regarded by many as one of the finest movies ever made. 

One of the things a tourist to Bangkok is encouraged to do is to take a day trip to the actual bridge.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Book of Mormon

 

 

 

 

Back in the mid 1960's when I was at university and still living at home with my parents in Thornleigh, two dark suited, white shirted, dark tied, earnest young men, fresh from the United States, appeared at our door.

Having discovered that they weren't from IBM my mother was all for shooing them away.  But I was taking an interest in philosophy and psychology and here were two interesting examples of religious fervour.

As I often have with similar missionaries (see: Daniel, the Jehovah’s Witness in Easter on this Website), I invited them in and they were very pleased to tell me about their book.  I remember them poised on the front of our couch, not daring or willing to sit back in comfort, as they eagerly told me about their revelation.  

And so it came to pass that a week ago when we travelled to Melbourne to stay with my step-son Lachlan and his family and to see the musical: The Book of Mormon I was immediately taken back to 1964.

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Opinions and Philosophy

Carbon Capture and Storage

(Carbon Sequestration)

 

 

 


Carbon Sequestration Source: Wikimedia Commons

 

At the present state of technological development in NSW we have few (perhaps no) alternatives to burning coal.  But there is a fundamental issue with the proposed underground sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a means of reducing the impact of coal burning on the atmosphere. This is the same issue that plagues the whole current energy debate.  It is the issue of scale. 

Disposal of liquid CO2: underground; below the seabed; in depleted oil or gas reservoirs; or in deep saline aquifers is technically possible and is already practiced in some oil fields to improve oil extraction.  But the scale required for meaningful sequestration of coal sourced carbon dioxide is an enormous engineering and environmental challenge of quite a different magnitude. 

It is one thing to land a man on the Moon; it is another to relocate the Great Pyramid (of Cheops) there.

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