Nessie dead – internet to blame?

02/06/2013

Have you come across recent sightings of the Loch Ness Monster?

Phillip Hoare hasn’t and is blaming the internet:

Each era creates their own monsters. . .

Whether these creatures were basking sharks, baleen whales, or unidentified new species, or whether they were what people wanted them to be, it is notable that they conformed to the culture and fashion of their times. Does that explain why the Loch Ness monster has been quiet of late? Have we, in our plethora of computer-generated images, become cynical about such monsters, now that we realise how easily we can create them ourselves? Arthur Conan Doyle believed in the Cottingley Fairies (and in ectoplasmic spirits) because the manipulative art of photography was still a mystery. . .

Now, thanks to YouTube – where there is a new cryptozoological sensation every day. . .  we’re attuned to duplicity. Our innocence is gone, along with an era that was trusting, gullible, even. It may be far-fetched to suggest that those 1930s monster-believers were contemporaneous with fellow Europeans who placed their faith in real-life monsters – the totalitarian leaders who offered darker and more dangerous fantasies – but it is undeniable that in the internet age, it is much more difficult to fool us. Or at least, that’s what we think.

I’m not sure that it is any less difficult to fool the gullible and the ability of computers to manipulate images makes it easier to do so.

But perhaps the speed at which the internet enables information to be transmitted means we’re likely to be fooled for a shorter time because it won’t be long before someone lets us know we can’t always trust that seeing is believing.


November 12 in history

12/11/2009

On November 12:

1651  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexican mystic and author, was born.

1729  Louis Antoine de Bougainville, French explorer, was born.

1840 Auguste Rodin, French sculptor, was born.

 

1847 Sir James Young Simpson, a Scottish physician, was the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic.

1866 Sun Yat-sen, the 1st President of the Republic of China was born.

1889 DeWitt Wallace, American magazine publisher, co-founder of  Readers Digest, was born.

1912 The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

 
Man with receding hairline, looking left, wearing naval uniform with medals, polished buttons and heavy shoulder decorations

1912 Striking worker Fred Evans was seriously injured in a clash with police and strikebreakers during the bitter six-month-long dispute at the goldmining town of Waihi. He died the following day.

1918  Austria became a republic.

1929  Princess Grace of Monaco, was born.

1933 Hugh Gray took the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster.

Lochnessmonster.jpg
The “Surgeon’s photo” (1934), later revealed as a hoax.

1934 Charles Manson, American cult leader, was born.

1936 The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic

1942 The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal between Japanese and American forces began.

1943  Bjorn Waldegard, Swedish rally driver, was born.

FranzWurzBjörnWaldegård1984.jpg

1944  Booker T. Jones, American musician and songwriter (Booker T and the MG’s), was born.

 

1945 Neil Young, Canadian singer and musician, was born.

1958  A team of rock climbers led by Warren Harding completed the first ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.

Yosemite El Capitan.jpg

1962  Naomi Wolf, American author and feminist, was born.

1969 Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the My Lai story.

1970 The 1970 Bhola cyclone made landfall on the coast of East Pakistan becoming the deadliest tropical cyclone in history.

1970  Craig Parker, New Zealand actor, was born.

 

1990 Crown Prince Akihito was formally installed as Emperor Akihito of Japan, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch.

1990  Tim Berners-Lee published a formal proposal for the World Wide Web.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


August 22 in history

22/08/2009

On August 22:

565 St Columba reported seeing the Loch Ness Monster.

1851 the first America’s Cup was won by the yacht America.

1862 French composer Claude Debussy was born.

1864 12 nations signed the first Geneva Convention and the Red Cross was formed.

1893 US writer Dorothy Parker was born.


1934 Genral “Storman’ ” Norman Schwarzkopf

1969 The first Young Farmer of the Year contest was held. The winner was Gary Frazer.


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