Sunday, 24 May 2015

Today's Art - Golden City

Golden City
Roger Smith 2015
On Canvas
Copies available here.

Golden City - Framed
Copies available here.

Somnolent Singaporeans & High Tech Dogs

The narcissist fantasy that is the 'selfie' took another blow recently; quite literally.  The blow in question followed a fall off a two metre cliff and death by drowning for a non-swimming Singaporean.

According to Channel News Asia the ill-fated Mohamed Aslam tried to take a selfie on a Balinese cliff and lost his footing after being hit by a wave.

Much as I love my photography, the site of groups and individuals forcing their way into the limelight with upraised smartphones leaves me cold.  And I suspect their joy is transitory as there is not real visual dissection of the scene that surrounds them - just group, point, click and move away.

So prevalent have selfies become that the inventor of the 'selfie stick' must have made a fortune. These invasive rods are a danger to objects and people around them; most museums in the world have quickly moved to ban them.

Photo: Straights Times
All this selfie taking and smart phone fiddling is also bad for the health.  A global research company has found that less than 20% of Singaporeans get the required 8 hours of sleep required to stay healthy.

A thousand people between the ages of twenty and fifty nine were surveyed and half of the student cohort slept badly because their brains were still buzzing from using their smartphones or tablets before going to sleep. What ever happened to the glass of warm milk and a good book before bed?

Singapore is described "as the third most sleep-deprived city in the world" with two other Asian cities, Seoul and Tokyo taking the dubious honour of ranking first and second.  The soporific Aussies in Melbourne fared much better, being identified as the best rested.

Not that technology alone makes for snoring MRT passengers.  Work stress, the lack of a good bolster and the oppressive heat of Singapore all contributed to less than happy slumbers.

Not only are we hell-bent on damaging our health through over stimulation of our brains, we are now inflicting pervasive technology on our pets.  But in the case of the Dogtelligent Connected Collar your pooch now can experience the joys of "virtual fence and leash technology that gently tugs, activity trackers, GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, ambient temperature sensors, and an ultrasonic micro-speaker to correct barking".

Let's just hope there are no severe electrical storms around when you decide to take your dog 'walkies'.  If there are we are a likely to get a new definition for the term 'hot dog'.

Actually when I think about it, these same collars may have great potential when applied to human commuters on the MRT.  Sleepwalking to work could be achieved with ease.