The Coliseum at Night, or should that be the Colosseum at Night? As a Brit in America I’m used to the potato – potato pronunciation issues as well as the differences in spelling. Does it matter? I think not. There are far bigger issues facing the world than the correct spelling of some ancient structure. I’ve only been to Rome once, for one evening. I’d been working on some M&A due diligence in Italy which had involved stops in a number of cities with no time really to see anything outside of conference rooms, factories and spreadsheets. I’m thinking now I’m lying and that this was my second trip to Rome, my first having been on an Inter-Rail trip in the 1980s. I recall seeing the Sistine Chapel on that trip. Now I’m wondering where those photos are hiding. According to Wikipedia the name is thought to derive from a colossal statue of the Emperor Nero that was situated nearby. It’s certainly a place I’d like to go back to and spend more time.

The Coliseum at Night from the Via Sacra

The Coliseum at Night from the Via Sacra

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I took today’s photo, Contrail, through the window of a Qatar Airways jet on a flight from Doha to JFK, New York. According to the on-board flight map we were somewhere close to the border between Finland and Sweden at the time. Gazing out of the window I had seen we were approaching the contrail of a jet traveling on an almost perpendicular heading. As we drew nearer I realized we were going to pass below it so I got my camera ready and took a few shots. This is my favorite of the bunch. The contrail itself disappears into the cloud on the horizon but the sun is casting a shadow of the contrail onto the cloud below. I have to say, Qatar Airways Business Class is the most luxurious business class air travel I’ve had in my 40+ years of flying around the world.

Contrail taken from flight QR 83, Qatar Airways from Doha to New York JFK airport.  Passing under a contrail between Finland and Sweden.

Contrail taken from flight QR 83, Qatar Airways from Doha to New York JFK airport. Passing under a contrail between Finland and Sweden.

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Today’s photo is the bow of a dhow moored in a marina in Doha, Qatar. Although built in a traditional style, complete with outhouse hanging off the back of the poop deck (literally), I think the boat itself was not that old. It’s function seemed to be that of a party boat. I was struck by the contrast between the brown of the hull planking and the green of the water.

Bow of a traditional style dhow moored in the marina in Doha, Qatar.

Bow of a traditional style dhow moored in the marina in Doha, Qatar.

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For today’s photo I chose an image of one set of air vents at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, TX. The building is named after Houston engineer George Rufus Brown, who joined his brother, Herman, in his fledgling engineering company, Brown and Root, in 1922. I worked with successor company, KBR, from 2009 – 2013. In these air vents I find similarities with the services of the Pompidou Center in Paris. And when I lived in Paris, working with Schlumberger in their then facilities in Montrouge, I worked in a building designed by the same architect as the Pompidou Center that also had brightly colored services, like these George R. Brown air vents. I think there’s no middle ground with services like these. Either you hide them completely or you make them a feature.

George R. Brown Air Vents, George R Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX.

Air Vents on the roof of the George R Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX.

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Does one ‘bale out’ or ‘bail out’? In this case, the man in the photo is bailing out as in he is using a pan to move water from a ditch. If I were a writer for the Guardian I’d probably be in hot water now as their style guide prefers the ‘bale’ spelling for removing water. But the Guardian is just wrong on this point. The English ‘bail’ derives from the French for bucket, ‘baille’. Anyway, this was a photo I took from the Li River in China. I couldn’t tell if he was removing water from somewhere or adding water the somewhere. The boat I was on sailed by and the man passed from view.

A man uses a small pan to bail water out of a ditch or to water plants growing above the ditch. In the foreground are recently harvested rice paddies while in the background are the karst limestone hills familiar of the area around Guilin, China.

A man uses a small pan to bail water out of a ditch or to water plants growing above the ditch. In the foreground are recently harvested rice paddies while in the background are the karst limestone hills familiar of the area around Guilin, China.

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