Pattern Recognition

by Dhamaka

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"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"........ Albert Einstein

My new dance photography blog, DanceTog is here

My formal G20Voice blog is here

"When you're standing on a comfortable rug, you have to expect it to be pulled from under your feet sometimes"
........ Ben Moor
Global Warming - the debate

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This is my personal blog, not a venue for saleable images. In fact, because it's here that I share things that are important to me with the members of the moblog community, photo quality's not my priority. Events, occasions, achievements, thoughts, trips and experiments - you'll find them all here. Contact me for the development version of my photo portfolio, for a selection of saleable images or visit my dance photography blog or my website for cuttings. And remember that all photos remain my copyright unless I've specifically said otherwise.

* * * *

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race"
........ H G Wells

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better"
........ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Luck favours the prepared mind"
........ Louis Pasteur

"Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction, and somewhere in the terra incognita in between lies a life of discovery."
........ Rebecca Solnit

"Give, give, give -- what is the point of having experience, knowledge or talent if I don't give it away? Of having stories if I don't tell them to others? Of having wealth if I don't share it? I don't intend to be cremated with any of it! It is in giving that I connect with others, with the world and with the divine."
........ Isabel Allende

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs - ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
........ Harold Thurman Whitman

"The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes...."
........ Marcel Proust

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.. you have no such accurate remembrance of a country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle...."
........ Ernest Hemingway

"Ambition leads me not only father than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it is possible for man to go."
........ James Cook

"The grand show is enternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapour is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."
........ John Muir

"The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."
........ Iris Murdoch

"Photography for me is not looking, it's feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you're never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your picture...."
........ Don McCullin

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on assignment at Curves Gym in Braintree
They're lovely people, if you're local you should pop in..

bronxelf says:

Oh I hate to tell you this....


email to follow...

Or, you know, a link.

27th Oct 2005, 23:03

Steve says:

Are you selling burgers next?

*Statement now retracted*

27th Oct 2005, 23:06

Dhamaka says:


27th Oct 2005, 23:06

Dhamaka says:

not actually selling anything - sorry..

27th Oct 2005, 23:07

bronxelf says:

Sorry, This particular bit of news is something i wanted to make sure you saw.

When it first came out last year I really hoped it wasn't true, since so many of my friends liked the place, but it is, and as such... well... You know.

ETA: Babs Mikkelson (of Snopes fame) is someone I know from elswhere on the net (and ironically, not through Snopes.) she's unfailingly accurate. :(

I realize that Heavin isn't financially supporting Op.R. with funds out of there, but the association is MUCH too close for comfort for me. (much.)

27th Oct 2005, 23:08

Joe says:

fixed your link elf :)

27th Oct 2005, 23:09

bronxelf says:

thanks. I didn't even know it was brokey. :)

27th Oct 2005, 23:10

Joe says:

"anti-choice" is this the more PC verson of "pro-life"?
to quote the great Bill Hicks...."hey pro lifers, don't link arms around abortion clinics, link arms around cemeteries"

that kind of fascist bullshit really riles me.

27th Oct 2005, 23:16

Dhamaka says:

Thank you for that information B'elf. It sounds really bad but to be sure of the direct link I'd like to find out more about the way the UK franchises work.

I still enjoyed the day. The staff here are wonderful and actually use their brains when they train people (never seen that before), the woman who bought / set up the operation is inspirational and it was great fun getting them to relax into the photos..

the heavy stuff will have to wait

(edit - 'till I find a way to look into the relationships and the wherewithall to do something about it)

27th Oct 2005, 23:19

bronxelf says:

Joe-- just call them "forced birthers" and be done with it.

tbh, I find these loons MUCH MUCH more frightening than anything terrorists can whip up.

27th Oct 2005, 23:21

Dhamaka says:

It's scary that anyone can act like that.

27th Oct 2005, 23:23

bronxelf says:

That's why afaiac, the Scariest Book Ever Written award goes to The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.


27th Oct 2005, 23:28

Joe says:

it's scary that anyone can think like that, not to detract from your work, what are you there to do?

27th Oct 2005, 23:28

beth says:

i've got that book on my shelf. i've never read it..

27th Oct 2005, 23:29

Geodyne says:

Beth - you must. You simply must. I finally read it a couple of years ago at the prompting of no less than 5 of my female friends. There are some horifying parallels with some US states. I'll side with Elf on scariest book ever written.

27th Oct 2005, 23:33

Dhamaka says:

I'm with you completely on that B'elf

Joe - I'm writing about training success stories, women changing their lives. A couple of the women I met/interviewed have made spectacular changes in fitness and lifestyle or got fit against all the odds. That sort of stuff. And the woman who runs/owns it might make a story all on her own.

Now I've got ethical considerations to add to that..

27th Oct 2005, 23:35

Dhamaka says:

Beth, I've got the talking book which might be easier to get through. You're welcome to borrow it if you want. Geodyne's right

27th Oct 2005, 23:36

bronxelf says:

The Handmaid's Tale is *absolutely* the stuff out of my worst nightmares.

Geo-- I remember telling you you *had to* read it, and warning you that it was going to scar you for life anyway...

Beth- Seriously. Scariest. Book. Ever. And even more so if you see just how near to accurate that is, in some parts of the US.

27th Oct 2005, 23:41

Dhamaka says:

G'nite all, I'm off to bed. Look forward to seeing how this develops

27th Oct 2005, 23:45

Geodyne says:

Sleep well. :)

27th Oct 2005, 23:46

Geodyne says:

Elf - that's right, you were one of the 5 - the others were all LJ former ascfers.

When I have 5 women whose opinion I value telling me that I simply *must* read something to further my education, I listen.

27th Oct 2005, 23:47

Viv says:

I'll read it after you Beth!

Hidden control - scary!

27th Oct 2005, 23:53

Helen says:

I saw it on the telly.

27th Oct 2005, 23:53

Joe says:

I've not read it, but I have had an in depth review from my brother and my mum many years ago, I guess I should pick it up.

27th Oct 2005, 23:55

Dhamaka NLI says:

Steve - I've just thought through the implications of your comment. Are you really suggesting I/one shouldn't use a photo that has the composition I/one most like/s or that I/one should not blog something if I/they liked it? How is my/ones recommendation of a gym any different to that of a book, music or concert?

rant over, I'm going back to bed

28th Oct 2005, 00:14

Steve says:

"if you're local you should pop in.. " was the line that made me write my comment, it brought out feelings of celeb indorsement...... but you are right, it is no different to me plugging shows that I work on, which I do all the time. So I retract my hypocritical statement and submit myself for group flogging. Sorry everyone for being momentarily cynical.

Sorry Carol

Must have felt guilty, woke up having a bad dream, me awake at 5am????? without getting paid! and sober!!!!!

28th Oct 2005, 05:11

Dhamaka says:

Helen, Helen... Can I help flog him? Please... *pretty please*....

Sorry about the bad dream, Steve. Hope you were able to get back to sleep.

28th Oct 2005, 08:09

Gael says:

So that's where you were! Only just got Phoenix's message, sorry : (
By the way, I've never even heard of this gym!!!

28th Oct 2005, 09:42

Steve says:

Like a baby...... crying and sat in my own shit

28th Oct 2005, 09:43

Gael says:

I am local - I'll "pop in", due to Dhamaka's "celebratory endorsement"!

28th Oct 2005, 09:46

Gael says:

AND I'm going to see Margaret Atwood next week, woo hoo!
Not that I'm excited or anything : )

28th Oct 2005, 09:47

Dhamaka says:

No worries Gael - I have no sense of direction in a car, got lost on the way home and didn't get in till about 5 mins before this post anyway, so it's probably just as well we didn't get to meet up..

There'll be other times, especially since it seems there have been two dead-by-flu parrots somewhere in Essex..

28th Oct 2005, 16:38

Dhamaka says:

of course you're not excited at all about seeing Margaret Atwood.


28th Oct 2005, 16:39

onceupon says:

This is the part of the Snopes article that seems most relavent though: "All this is by way of saying that while it's correct to identify Gary Heavin as a patron of pro-life endeavors, it would not be right to point to Curves as a supporter of those same causes. "

And because each Curves location is a franchise, privately owned, I didn't feel too bad about joining one in Orlando -- one of three owned by the same couple. They are frighteningly perky, but keep their personal politics out of their business, which I can respect. I canceled my membership (it's not structured enough for my undisciplined self), but it seems to be making a huge difference in many women's lives. I have to think that kind of balances things out a little.

As for The Handmaid's Tale? Terrifying. Should be on every high school reading list.

28th Oct 2005, 16:51

onceupon says:

Gael -- It IS exciting that you are seeing Atwood! She spoke here a few years ago and I got to spend some time with her before her presentation thing (as a student escort) and she is totally fascinating. You're going to love it.

28th Oct 2005, 16:52

Dhamaka says:

thanks for that perspective Onceupon.

*getting slowly more and more envious of Gael*

28th Oct 2005, 16:59

onceupon says:

I don't have a problem with someone being anti-abortion. What I have a problem with is the insistence that EVERYONE should live according to that individual's standards. That's the issue for me. It's simply wrong, I feel, to force one's beliefs on others.

I do know some very fervent pro-life workers though, and they are pro-death penalty as well. The reasoning process seems to be that while the "innocent child being murdered" has done nothing to deserve its fate, the "murderer on death row" deserves to die. But, even by Christian logic, this is sort of flawed reasoning because the whole "eye for an eye" Law of Moses schtick was fulfiled (in biblical terms) by the coming of Christ who advocated a turn the other cheek philosophy. The logic is faulty even by their own standards but there is no budging them on the issue.

28th Oct 2005, 17:17

Dhamaka says:

Don't do youreself down MA77. You have as much right to an opinion as anyone else.

I agree with your first paragraph Onceupon, but where I get confused is when I ask what rights does the potential baby have, when does it stop being a blob of cells and start being a potential baby and how does anyone trade off between the needs and choice of a born person against the (presumable) needs and desire of a potential person. Obviously it has to be a personal choice but there is no one answer that makes me feel that everything's OK.

But I was shocked by the guy who sorted my back this morning (thank you, thank you, it's so nice to be out of pain again) because he said he thought that all abortions should be made illegal

28th Oct 2005, 17:35

onceupon says:

Yeah, the question of when life starts is very tricky, and there just doesn't seem to be a universal answer for it.

I was adopted -- the product of a one-night stand, and as I born after Roe v Wade there was no real reason for my biological mother to carry me to term. Obviously, I'm quite glad she did. *grin* As a result, I've always felt kind of personally invested in promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion.

When it comes to personal beliefs, I can understand when someone says the potential baby has the same rights as a born person (to use your terminology), but I'm not so sure about the arguments that the rights of the potential person trump those of the born person. That seems to place potentiality higher on the value scale than actuality. Which is a sticky argument to get into, you know?

Legislating such things seems a bad deal for governments.

And the unilateral banning of abortion no matter what the situation doesn't solve anything at all! Glad he sorted your back out though -- it's horrible to be in constant pain.

28th Oct 2005, 17:55

Steve says:

I see myself as the sum of my memories, without the ability to either recall them or form new ones I don't think that I would be alive. I would be happy for my life to be terminated in this situation, ergo I believe my mother had the right to terminate my life up to the point that I started to form these memories. As to when that is, I do not know.

This is a personal belief and should be treated as such.

28th Oct 2005, 18:07

onceupon says:

Steve, when do you think memories started to form? This is really interesting. I think my earliest memory is from around 3 years old. Does that mean, do you think, that I was unable to form memory before then or that I simply can't recall the earliest memories formed?

28th Oct 2005, 18:09

Steve says:

I really do not know on the memory front, You must be able to form memories at a young age for that is how we learn. As to whether or not they form in the womb is an interesting idea, I suspect that they do. but we lack any language to express these memories so they mainly get lost.

As a side note to my previous statement the most important thing for me is that the mother is given a choice. It must be her and hopefully her partners choice, no one elses.

28th Oct 2005, 18:14

Dhamaka says:

I stopped eating pigs when i realised they had such a strong sense of self and others that they put out false trails in the wild to stop other pigs finding nice food. I wouldn't eat a baby pig even though it hadn't learned enough to set up false trails.

Obviously I'm not comparing pigs to humans but I'm trying to show that I think sentience is different to memories and different to the ability to think. It's where sentience starts that worries me.

28th Oct 2005, 18:20

Dhamaka says:

who said something like "I don't agree with what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" ? That sums up my feelings about personal choice..

(late edit - it was Voltaire, apparently)

28th Oct 2005, 18:21

onceupon says:

Ma77 -- You don't sound like someone in favor of child killing. A reasoned pro-choice stance is sometimes hard to express, but I think you're doing just fine.

Steve -- I don't know about the memories in the womb thing. It's an interesting thing to ponder though. I kind of wonder how much of a newborn's behavior is instinct and how quickly the learning process begins.

It DOES come down the choice though and that's why the two sides of the argument are pro-life and pro-choice rather than pro-life and pro-abortion. One doesn't have to be in favor of abortion as birth control (I know one person who honestly believes abortion is a viable birth control method when other birth control has failed) to be in favor of people determining their own lives and making their own decisions on these issues.

28th Oct 2005, 18:25

Steve says:

You could play music into the womb and then prod the mother a view the childs reaction, then after a while just play the music (no prodding) and see if the child reacts in the same way.

This may in certain quarters be deemed as cruel...

28th Oct 2005, 18:29

Dhamaka says:

I was listening to something on the radio that said they now think children are born with a sense or appreciation of music and they build their language on this. They just changed or stopped part of the rhythm. Parents couldn't hear the change but the babies did. Maybe that would be sufficient - and it's slightly less cruel

28th Oct 2005, 18:32

Steve says:

We could probably fix the entire world between our applied minds....... and some red wine.

28th Oct 2005, 18:50

Dhamaka says:

indeed Ma77
Steve, you keep the red wine. I'll do it on green tea and jaffa cakes

28th Oct 2005, 20:39

onceupon says:

I'll share in on the green tea. But what on earth is a jaffa cake?

28th Oct 2005, 20:46

Dhamaka says:

onceupon, you haven't lived...
moblog clicky
BBC clicky
nuvva moblog clicky

but the only realy way to know is to taste them

28th Oct 2005, 20:59

onceupon says:

Oooooooh. That sounds TASTY.

28th Oct 2005, 21:02

Dhamaka says:

ohhhh yes.

I just went on an errand, popped by the supermarket on the way home for a snack and had finished one of those packets by the time i got home

bad Dhamaka! *grins*

28th Oct 2005, 21:05

bronxelf says:


(sorry getting to this late.)

You are the only person who owns your body. Can someone force you to give a blood transfusion to someone else? No. That's your choice. Can someone force you to give away a kidney? No. Again. That's not something someone can force you to do.

The problem with this is that we are speaking, fundamentally, about the right to one's own body, and the right to say no to being host to another organism.

Consent to sex != consent to pregnancy/parenthood, which is ultimately my biggest issue with the forced-birth movement. They want it both ways. Not only do they want to remove the rights one has to their own body *after* the fact, they further seek to take those rights away *before* the fact, by denying people access to birth control and voluntary sterilization.

That, and they're unbelievably full of shit. Linky.

Onceupon: Jaffa cakes are like Pims, but they only come in orange, and not the raspberry or pear.

ETA: onceupon- l (I know one person who honestly believes abortion is a viable birth control method when other birth control has failed)

Seriously, Im asking. Um..How *else* would you classify it? Cause I fail to see tthe distinction here. (I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm genuinely asking, cause I don't see what else you'd call it.)

28th Oct 2005, 21:11

Dhamaka says:

I heard you already Bronxelf *grins*

You get pear jaffa cakes?

28th Oct 2005, 21:22

bronxelf says:

Pear and raspberry. They're sold here by Lu brand and they're called Pims. They also have orange as well. They seem to be pretty much the exact same thing as Jaffa Cakes, just with different fillings.

ETA: Sorry. This is the one issue that's *guaranteed* to get me going.

28th Oct 2005, 21:34

Gael says:

Re the last ditch method of birth control concept; surely that would be the "morning-after" pill?

28th Oct 2005, 21:44

onceupon says:

Belf -- I think I put that wrong. Because, reading back, in a strict sense that IS what an abortion is. 'S what I get for trying to discuss serious stuff AND work at the same time.

The person in question sort of equates abortion with, say using a condom. This is probably a case of my world view getting in the way of my being able to really back her up on that. I am absolutely pro-choice, but I can't view abortion quite so casually as she does.

Is this making any sense?

28th Oct 2005, 21:46

bronxelf says:

Rather expensive condoms, really. I mean it's not really cost-effective, now is it?

I often wonder how people pass economics in high school.

28th Oct 2005, 21:57

onceupon says:

Not cost effective at all. She never seems to lack for funds in general though, so the base economics of the situation may not be something she's really considered.

Interesting -- this whole discussion has sort of my clarified things in my own head: I've no beef at all with birth control, indeed I'm a big fan. The morning after pill, while a hormonal nightmare, also gets a thumbs up. But I tend to think of abortion as a much more serious option -- a solution to a problem, to be sure, but one that I don't know I could choose.

28th Oct 2005, 22:04

Viv says:

no that is the crux of the matter - it is a choice - it is not an easy answer
unfortunately sometimes it's an answer people are pressured in to - I've known that
and sometimes its a medical decision where the odds are very much against the birth of a healthy child - my first experience of abortion 30+ years ago when my friend was carrying her first child and she contracted german measles in the first month!
no decisions are easy but when the considerations are purely social/lifestyle much more difficult!

There is always a for and against and the first case I mentioned - a young woman was pressured by threat of withdawal of support from parents and she had an abortion against her will really and later married the father - sure its someting that will always cause her pain...

Remember first being persuaded of the right to abortion by an Ironside programme about a rape!

29th Oct 2005, 00:11

Rich says:

*gosh, what a long thread. Can't read all that, I'll go insane*

What gets me is that most of the most vocal opponants of abortion are men, on the whole. I'm kind of the opinion that unless you actually own a womb you don't have the right to tell owners of said organ what to do with it. They also tend to be overly emotionally attached more to the concept of children as A Good Thing that Needs To Happen rather than just a totally random happenstance that, when you actually think about it, matters about as much as how many germs are on your toilet right now. It's essentially none of your fucking business what anyone else does unless they're actually hurting you right now. And no, you're not allowed to refer to transcendant sky-daddies of uncertain cosmic heft as intermediaries on this one.

But at the same time, i can also appreciate that just cos people believe certain things that doesn't make them unable to run a good aerobics class.

To summarize: Abortion: generally a useful option to have available, for completeness if nothing else.

29th Oct 2005, 01:21

bronxelf says:

"One cock, no vote." -Dennis Miller.

29th Oct 2005, 07:00