Sunday, November 20, 2011

New Bank of England 50 Pound Note

Above, detail from the new Bank of England 50 pound note, issued by the Bank on November 2nd of this year. Matthew Boulton (left) manufactured the steam engine inventions of James Watts (right): together the two men were of huge importance to the Industrial Revolution. On some level, the Bank's officials must hope that the ingenuity and canny ways of Boulton and Watts et al might trickle down the 200 intervening years and save and inspire the Austerity Britain of today.

Speaking of austerity, an austere-looking raven (above) has been perched for weeks now, at 103rd and Broadway, here in New York City. Perched on an apple which is held aloft by an outsized clamp, or
vise, the whole thing is one of a series of animal sculptures by artist Peter Woytuk.

If you're not from America, nor a resident thereof, you might wonder at that word, vise. It's the American English spelling of vice, which has other connotations both here, and where English-, Scottish- and Irish-English, are spoken. We, non-American English speakers, know that a piece of paper money is called a 'fifty pound note', and not a 'fifty pound bill.' A bill is a document requesting payment for goods or services rendered, but Americans perversely call a bill, a check. Hardly anyone is left in the world who might try to pay a bill or a check, ...with a cheque.

From bills, to bills, and beautiful birds:

This cute little bird is from Ethiopea. I thought I would test Google Image Search using this image, and these are what turned up as 'visually similar', according to Google's great machines:

Yes, that first image is a bird. The others are airplanes, save one, which is... a ceiling fan!