Tag Archives: wheelie bin

What a load of rubbish!

20110829 Wheelie bin with face sneaking up on us 150x150 What a load of rubbish!

I love it when readers send in pictures.  A bit of interactivity makes this job more interesting and I’m always intrigued to see other people’s observations.  Nick from Bristol, has sent in pictures before and his hunt for faces seems to be unstoppable.  He is, what I call, a bona fide venarifaçadeur.

Nick sent in this very artistic photograph of a wheelie bin.  I have often walked past wheelie bins like this and thought they were an eye short of a face, as they have one offset bracket resembling a right eye and a large bracket resembling a mouth, but no left eye.  This masterful artistic photograph creates the impression of a left eye through partial obscurement by another wheelie bin.  The bags sticking out of the top create the impression of hair parted down the middle, again the existence of the left side suggested by the fact that it is partially hidden from view.  Nick’s says, “This bin tried to sneak up on me last night.  I spotted him tho [sic]!”  I don’t know where the photograph was taken but it looks suspiciously likeWhiteladies Road, Bristol.

Nick’s choice of gender is interesting; initially I would have said it was a “she”, but I can kind of see where he’s coming from.  It’s a bit of a pretty-boy-floppy-curtains hairdo of the 90s – maybe like a Backstreet Boys thing; not that I know who they, you understand… 

Rubbish in rubbish out 

But there is a link in the above:  This head is effectively full of bags of rubbish and what do heads full of rubbish generate?  Rubbish; it’s self-perpetuating.  This same idea has applications in science, where the adage of “gigo – garbage in, garbage out” holds true.  It doesn’t matter how good your formula or scientific model, if your input data is wrong, the output will be wrong – often by a much larger margin of error.  Weather systems are chaotic like this, which explains why it is beautifully sunny here today when it was absolutely pissing it down yesterday.  In structural engineering, if a mistake is made, it is often the assumed loading that is incorrect.

Theory of relativity

But what is rubbish?  Rubbish in its generic day-to-day form is something that looks like black plastic bags, which may or may not be in a container – a bin.  Ask someone to draw a picture of rubbish and that is probably what they will draw.  Rubbish suggests something that is bad or undesirable. 

A lot of good things get thrown out with the rubbish: metals, recyclable plastics and paper and compostable organics to name a few.  What is rubbish to one person actually has a use elsewhere.  To me an empty plastic bottle is rubbish, but to a bottle recycling plant or companies like Recresco, it is a raw material and a source of money. 

Computers and electronics contain gold in higher concentrations than some mines.  A broken iPhone, flatscreen TV or Playstation 2 may be useless to us, but in vast quantities this e-waste can generate a tidy profit.

If I wrapped a load of gold bullion in a bin bag and put it out by the roadside and asked someone what they saw, their response would likely be, “rubbish”.

Rubbish, it seems, is a relative concept.

Foreign objects

The above reminds me of another thought I had a while ago.  If you spill curry on your T-shirt, you will most likely end up with a stain – a negative word to describe the foreign matter on your item of clothing.  But the stain is made up of curry, which is delicious and nutritious, so how can this be bad?  Similarly, if you took a piece of fluff from your T-shirt and mixed it into your vindaloo, you’d be complaining about a foreign object in your food.  But again, this fluff in large quantities is used to make clothing, so how can this be bad?  Japanese knotweed was once seen as an ornamental plant.

Fluff is actually delicious.  I love the stuff under the sofa – I call it spice.

At the end of the day, it is about context.  But what do I care?  If I can suck it up I’ll eat it!

Posted in I See Faces | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

What’s it all for…?

20101102 Wheelie Bin Looking Pensive 300x225 Whats it all for...?I was on my lunch break and was engaged in thought, clasping my sandwich in one hand and mobile phone in the other. “I must start making my own sandwiches,” I thought. It’s amazing how a market has evolved around people being too busy (or in my case lazy… maybe) to make their own packed lunch. It’s almost like a vicious circle: we’re too busy to make lunch, therefore we buy lunch, which is more expensive. We work longer hours so we can afford to buy the sandwich, which leaves us with less time to make sandwiches… Okay, perhaps not strictly true with sandwiches, but I do think the general principle holds true – to an extent.  A friend of mine does a joke about vicious circles, which is kind of cute…

I returned to reality with a crash, as I saw what appeared to be a Gromit-like face looking back at me pensively, as if it was mocking me. It was part of the hinge mechanism of a large wheelie bin.

Posted in I See Faces, Object | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment

Sponsored Links