||[Jul. 15th, 2017|08:41 pm]
durham_rambler dicovered that a Newcastle WordPress user group was having a talk about Search Engine Optimisation for WP, and we run enough sites which use WP in whole or in part that this seemed like a useful thing to brush up on. The group is run through Meetup.com, which seemed to want to organise my entire social life, and I was a bit nervous that we were going among trendy young things who use such platforms, but I think it's simply a convenient tool for organising meetings, and the other people there all seemed very normal. The talk was interesting, and pointed towards some useful-looking tools. It didn't dispel my suspicion that SEO is 50% dark arts, 50% common sense, but it did reassure me that SEO for WordPress isn't actually any different to SEO for anything else. So that's all right, then. We could have gone on to the pub, but instead we came home and watched television.
We watched Horizon on the rearrangement at the Natural History Museum which replaces the much-loved (plaster) dinosaur in the grand entrance hall with the (actual) skeleton of a blue whale. There was maybe twenty minutes of actual material, and that could have been extended to half an hour if they'd answered questions like "How did they come by a plaster cast of a diplodocus? Was it an actual cast of an actual skeleton, and if so, where was the original? And if not...?" And so on. As it was, interesting though it is to watch people at work, there was an awful lot of padding. The Natural History Museum is a fabulous building, and I was quite happy just to admire the beautiful space and the lovely camera work. I could have done without the fake tension that is obligatory in this sort of programme: Will it be ready in time? will they get it through the door? will they raise it into position safely? oh, no, what was that cracking noise? Yawn. The BBC would not be broadcasting this extended advertisement for the new display if anything had gone seriously wrong. David Attenborough should know better. What's more, they got through the entire hour without mentioning Donovan. That can't be right!
Yesterday we went to a concert in the Cathedral, part of the Brass Festival: the Cathedral Choir and His Majesty's Sagbutts & Cornetts in a programme of sixteenth and seventeenth century music. The 'Surround Sound' element was that the performers moved around the cathedral, so that you heard music from different directions. I've heard this effect used in the Monteverdi Vespers, and was interested to hear more, but - well, no, it didn't add much to the music. There was certainly an added impact when the choir were standing in the side aisle just level with my seat, but then when they returned to the front of the nave I was aware of a corresponding diminution, so... Curiously, the sound felt most direct when it came from behind me. I'd been expecting some sort of give and take within the same piece (two pieces were called Battaglia, which I thought might offer some scope for this). Just another concert of glorious baroque music, then, and if I couldn't actually see the performers for most of the time, I could always sit back and look at the Cathedral.
Saturday evening: sitting here with a glass of wine writing about it.
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