The following text is from an email I sent (10th March) to a friend explaining an idea I had. His response? It's already been done! Check out these funky and beautifully functional maps - damn shame they aren't being developed/used everywhere! Just had another 'idea': I'd kill for a site that was able to graphically show all the places one could get to within 60mins of point X. So, I want to know where I can buy a house within 60mins of central London? I want to know what area I can explore for interesting walks within 45mins of Winchester? Etc. I'd imagine a shaded 'stain' bleeding out from the x-point (obviously an irregular shape depending on access and the mode of transport used). Lots of sites will plan your route and allow car, bus, train, foot, modes but only ever for one A-B journey, which is fine of you already know where you're going but crap for folk who are exploring. Probably a rather tough nut to crack even with the pre-existing linear route-planners.
Tags: anthropology, History, time
by Karim Attia, 15 May 2009 My Nan often comments on how much things have changed and how quickly, which prompted me to question what is a good measure of the pace of ‘change’? Food yield of land? Speed of physical travel? Many other options occurred to me but the train of thought that seemed to provide the most pleasing/likely answer was the following: The Roman Empire was limited by its ability to maintian contact throughout its vast lands. It was able to extend its lines of communication as much as it did through road building and naval power. This demonstrates how communication is the primary limiting factor on the extent to which a cohesive and stable society can expand. In other words, swift, reliable and cheap communication is key to the growth of human society and, therefore, a good/the best measure of change...perhaps.
Tags: anthropology, beer, Canterbury, Celts, death, England, fire, Fordwich, fungi, Halloween, History, mushrooms, nature, porter, Samhain, time, walk
by Karim Attia; 3rd November 2003. I wasn’t thinking about Celts or looking for spirits, I was thinking of my stomach and looking for mushrooms, but in the end I got a bit of everything and more. My childhood dislike of mushrooms (fungi) only ended after reading Tolkien’s loving evocation of them early in The Lord Of The Rings. Since when mushrooms and I have developed a very close relationship. Here in England fungi are at their most abundant between September and the end of November. So, on Halloween day just gone, my girlfriend and I went ‘shroom-hunting’ armed with wellies, paper-bags, map, guidebook and sandwiches. Fungi eat the dead. Apart from a few types of bacteria, fungi are alone in being able to decompose lignin (the hard part of wood). They truly are ‘les fleurs du mal’ – the flowers of decay. In keeping with this dark behaviour they, unlike most sun-loving chlorophyll-driven plants, don’t care a damn about the sun. What they do care about is moisture. Dawn after a damp night is usually considered the best time to go foraging – we left at noon. We headed for Fordwich (‘The smallest town in England’), it being close and there being plenty of woods ...
Tags: anthropology, blog, Halloween, History, language, Moon, Moonshadow, Samhain, symbolism, time
by Karim Attia. I chose the name ‘Moonshadow’ because I wanted a brand that would be internationally recognisable and timeless, and because I love the Moon. This reflects the conception of this site as both a means for personal expression/sharing and a way of marketing myself and the things I produce – films, scripts, photographs, etc. No small reason was the remarkable luck in finding that the moonshadow.co.uk domain name had not already been taken. SYMBOLISM Those things that every human being, irrespective of time and place, would recognise are limited to astral bodies (Sun, MOON, stars), certain elements of the weather, fire, the human body itself (plus its functions), consciousness, certain shapes (the CIRCLE) and certain structures. I took my cue from the study of ancient language, which has been able to trace certain words back through time to find the roots from which modern languages evolved. Some of the most ancient survivals include the word for ‘fire’, ‘hole/cave’, ‘hand’, and in counting ‘one, two, three, many’. As for my love of the Moon, it’s not that I dislike the Sun, but that is simply too painful to view for long, or often – sunrise is my favourite time, closely followed by sunset, which ...