Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The Lighthouse – Part Three

Part Three of the Lighthouse visit series, this time taking a look at the views seen from the Tower.

This is a closer view of the Viewing Gallery mentioned Part Two.

On the right wall you can see the external view of the door to nowhere I dubbed ‘Mystery Door, which is really just for access.

The Lighthouse Viewing Gallery And Mystery Door

The Lighthouse Viewing Gallery And Mystery Door

This next view is relatively wide, with the City of Glasgow College building on the left, and the Travelodge in Queen Street on the right.

The best part is the Gallery of Modern Art, which had illuminations around it, and I was taking these pics in the evening.

The only problem with these pics seems to the lack of colour from the grey and overcast sky on the day. This seems to have affected everything, including the Travelodge. Although this has a particularly blue line of illumination around its facade, even this has come out as little more than white as seen by the camera, although was intense as seen by eye.

I’ve still to find a satisfactory reason for this disparity, which I have come across in a number of sources with blue illumination.

While the obvious/easy answer is just to dismiss it as camera sensor sensitivity in that part of the spectrum, it’s not that simple, as I’ve found that the camera will record the colour accurately if close to the source. This means the whiter part of the emission travels, but the blue part is not as strong (bright) as it appears to be, and dissipates before reaching the sensor if distant.

But this does not identify the type of light source, which I’d like to know.

It’s NOT simply because the colour is blue – I have pics of other buildings with blue signs and illumination which have not suffered this loss of colour over distance.

Click the pic for a bigger version.

The Lighthouse East View Stitch

The Lighthouse East View Stitch

The next view is wider still, looking up West Nile Street on the left and reaching round, and just past, the St Enoch Centre on the right.

It’s less detailed, but can still be clicked on for a bigger version.

The Lighthouse East View

The Lighthouse East View

Next up is a just a better view of the City of Glasgow College, and a big mural on the building to the right (a newer college building).

The Lighthouse View City Of Glasgow College

The Lighthouse View City Of Glasgow College

Next, a closer look at the roof and canopy/dome of GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art).

The Lighthouse View GoMA Roof

The Lighthouse View GoMA Roof

This was a closer look at the Travelodge facade in Queen Street (mentioned above), but still no blue.

For information – see those high flats in the background to the right of the Travelodge? I don’t live there, but that’s roughly where I walk into Glasgow to get my pics.

The Lighthouse View Queen Street Travelodge

The Lighthouse View Queen Street Travelodge

The pic proved interesting – when I finally got it home and looked at it… I had NO IDEA what it showed!

I had to do some thinking, and identify other features before I remembered where I had been pointing the camera.

It’s actually a very unusual view of Central Hotel, next to Central Station.

You’d never be able to see this from the street or ground level, which is what threw me at first.

The Lighthouse View Central Hotel

The Lighthouse View Central Hotel

I had to zoom in and crop the top of the hotel tower.

It looks as if it has two white doors that could be a real surprise (shock) for anybody sneaking up that tower and opening them without knowing where they lead to. Almost as much fan as the ‘Mystery Door mentioned earlier in the Lighthouse Tower.

Central Hotel Tower

Central Hotel Tower

There might be a Part Four.

I’ve found some more pics looking down from the Lighthouse Tower onto the streets below.

26/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Proposals for Argyle Street probably show comment areas are dead

Argyle Street West

Argyle Street West

Last year, a new (tougher) adblocker began to take out comment sections in the few media (news) sites that still opened them after some stories.

The rule sets and routines became more accurate, and the comment areas returned a while ago – but not the sense that used to be found there. Now, they mostly belong to the politically minded(or the paid shill), the activist, and the moron, with few relevant comments being seen buried amongst the rubbish they spout.

Things are very different from 2013, when changes to George Square were announced, rather than proposed, and the people expressed their displeasure at the plans, and they were cancelled. A facelift, just to tidy the place was completed instead.

However, five years later, I really can’t say the same about proposals to improve the flow of traffic around Argyle Street, as described here (I’m not sure why the title picked on the drains):

Argyle Boulevard: drains take the strain in Glasgow

There are some good ideas contained in the proposal, but the few comments after the article are so sad, they can nearly all be dismissed as being from the politically minded (or the paid shill), the activist, and the moron.

Staying on topic, as someone who walks and cycles the length of the city from Charring Cross to Glasgow Green, I’m surprised to say that some areas have been altered to become very good for these forms of transport in recent years. I didn’t mention car because the extension of parking controlled areas renders this pointless unless visiting someone who has off-street parking they can let you use. I’m NOT paying for parking, and the fines are now ridiculous.

Traffic (by which I mean cars, buses, cycling, and walking) has changed in Glasgow over the years, and changes to the streets are long overdue. Some of the routes I find myself following just to turn a corner (as a road user) within the one-way system are just daft.

Discussion of the proposals is fine, but as can be seen in the comments (discounting the utter tripe), most is immediately dismissive, ignores the need for change, and I won’t even consider those that merely insult.

I also worry about undue weight being given to single-issue groups, who were vociferous in their negative views on the recent changes announced for Sauchiehall Street. The world does not revolve around single issues – we ALL have to be accommodated and accept less than perfect solutions for our particular demands.

Hopefully we won’t see offerings from the sort of person who thinks that changes which slows traffic and give some priority to cyclists should be opposed – because slowing traffic means it will be stationary for longer, and this means bowing to cyclists causes increased levels of pollution. Might as well lump pedestrians in with that logic, and start removing all pedestrian/zebra crossings.

(Sir Robert Winston, supposedly a clever fellow, it seems I’m looking at you!)

I look forward to watching this develop, and hope it moves forward without too much delay.

As for media site comment sections? I think I’ll be adding some rules to my adblocker to kick them out in future.

Argyle Street East

Argyle Street East

26/06/2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

More disappointment – there goes another skill

I’m sometimes surprised by the general lack of awareness regarding the ownership of some well-known car marques, but then again, the changes over the years have probably also left many people, who are not really interested, behind.

For example, as of today, little old Volkswagen, almost wiped out by World War II, recently held the title of world’s largest automaker by sales, is (at the moment) now Volkswagen Group, and sells passenger cars under the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen marques; motorcycles under the Ducati brand; and commercial vehicles under the marques MAN, Scania, and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

While some of those marques maintain almost autonomous operation, sharing of resources (and I’m now making a wider reference, not only to the given examples) means a blurring of some once unique characteristics.

For example, I used to be able to make a reasonably accurate guess at what kind of car was about to pass me in the street, just by listening to the engine/exhaust. Fat chance of succeeding with that today (unless it’s maybe a BMW – but even their move away from their inline 6-cylinder engine has ruined that), as many marques within a group share parts and development.

Another aspect of this group mentality has seen many specialised components being outsourced. Rather than manufacture their own parts, a group will sub-contract the manufacture, such as with electrical or electronic parts. This brings a number of advantages, avoiding the need to have their own manufacturing facilities for the many special processes needed, and having parts delivered just-in-time reduces the amount of inventory, and space needed for it.

It has downsides too. While the electronic suppliers may develop clever security systems, because the core components are shared across the industry, criminals only have to hack ONE system to gain access to many marques. If each car maker had a proprietary and unique security system, life would be a lot harder for the thieves.

I come across quite a few roadside remains after collisions, which can leave a lot of remains from the car involved scattered around, as per this pic.

Cambuslang Crash Remains

Cambuslang Crash Remains

This used to provide an amusing distraction for a few minutes, trying to identify the make/model of the car involved.

But over the years, this game has become almost impossible, unless there’s a handy bit of identifiable bodywork left behind.

It used to be possible to piece together labels on parts too, which once carried the manufacturer’s name/logo.

That doesn’t work any more – most parts have the info, but related to the part maker, not the car maker.

Headlamp ‘glass’ (no longer glass of course, but ‘water clear’ plastic) and various lenses used to help too, but these are now smooth and featureless (as with many body panels now), so yet another clue has evaporated. Headlamps are often no longer headlamps, but complete assemblies incorporating ALL the vehicle’s lighting for each corner.

I once found a complete headlamp unit (missing only one mounting lug) – to this day I have NEVER seen a matching unit on a car. The stickers gave no human readable info, and there were no logos or other marks anywhere on the mouldings.

Even knowing distinctive features helps little, as CADCAM has made it relatively cheap and easy for parts to be changed frequently.

It must be tough to be a forensic examiner, and new clues have to be found in order to make accurate identifications from parts found at the scene of an incident.

26/06/2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Today is Chocolate Pudding Day

26 June is Chocolate Pudding Day.

Is it just me, or do we seem to have a whole load of days dedicated to chocolate in some form or another?

Not that I really care about all this decadence – any excuse will do for chocolate.

These puddings come in all shapes and sizes, some are simple, yet others seem to need complex recipes. It seems they can even trace their history as far back as the 17 century.

Interesting – that’s just about when trials for witchcraft reached their nasty peak. I hope there isn’t a connection!

They can be hot or cold, but to be honest, I like mine hot and melty.

The messier, the better.

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding


26/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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