Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bending the Rules of Time and Space

An interesting little diversion at work - which was sparked by sending an old (1996 vintage!) BBC Drama website to Martin Currybet.

-----Original Message-----
From: Martin
Wow - that's fantastic.

My favourite bit - only in the BBC could we have "The programmes in this archive are listed by production year. A production year runs from April through to March the following year".

So as well as inventing 25 and 26 o'clock for the late night schedules, our years are not in synch with the rest of the Western world. Genius

So - the BBC breaks the rules of Time. But the 25 and 26 o'clock reminded me of something I once heard joked about - the BBC foot. Not content with changing the clock, there was an officially sanctioned way of measuring space, too. So, in an effort to amuse Martin, I went and checked with my trusty oldskool BBC source...
Kim Plowright says:
Anyhow - reason for sudden contact - a query - 'The BBC Foot' - as used in studios - is this a myth/joke, or real? - remember you and Geoffrey joking about it once.
Jane says:
no, not a joke, does exist or rather did exist - 300mm pourquoi?
Kim Plowright says:
I wanted to check to tell a friend about it; it will amuse him greatly.
Jane says:
In the old BBC rehearsal rooms @ N Acton the floor tiles were made to those dimensions and are probably still in place, pm on fawlty towers never used a tape to mark up, just the tiles and his size 10's
The BBC: we bend both time and space to our will. Mwa-ha-ha-ha, etc.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

beautiful agony - facettes de la petite mort

beautiful agony - facettes de la petite mort

Not particularly safe for work, this one... although there's no actual rudeness visible on the landing page.

A fascinating take on pornography - video shot in mcu, just showing the face of the subject as they (hello Dad! It looks like a decent site, probably won't mess up the credit card or download too much spyware...) come.

I haven't actually bothered to download anything - just a look at the homepage is enough to get the idea, and understand how the site... delivers. Strange, it's almost conceptual porn. I wonder if this oblique approach on the erotic would be more willingly consumed by women? Certainly there's none of the lurid plasticy long-nailed revoltingness of mainstream sites.

I was toying with an idea along these lines a couple of years ago, but - well, thinking up an idea for an art/porn site and then actually engaging with the moral and practical complexities of setting it up are two completely different things.

I've had a line that was dropped into a pub conversation tickling at the back of my mind for months. Something along the lines of 'You can't possibly hate the human race, they're really quite sweet. All they want to do, deep down, is look at each other naked.'

Or even, it seems, look at each other and fill in the mental idea that the other might be naked.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Digital Futures

So,

Among the general weirdness of my life (which I still haven't decided if I want up on the web... after all, it's bad enough being able to track down the me-as-a-19-year-old-with-fuck-all-sense, let alone me as a thirtysomething full of gin and bitters...) there are still a few stand-out things.

The main among these is the... well, the switching back on. Not just the memory stuff, but a thousand other little bits of my personality that got shelved and forgotten. Already, I'm thinking that *perhaps I blogged this last week* - but the sensation is so pervasive it surprises me daily.

The extraordinary thing is the beginning to think visually again. I had completely forgotten what a joy it is to engage with the stuff you see on a daily basis...

I've been doing Alexander Technique lessons for a few weeks now - six, possibly? They aren't life changing in the way that all these new age advocates would suggest, and I find myself regularly holding back a wry smile, or recontextualising a burst of hilarity when my teacher says something entertainingly disingenuous. The imaginary lemon was fairly special, but she hit on the magic trick of describing fluffy stuff in terms of 'the Jedi Force in Star Wars' - which enabled me to buy into it immediately.

The positive side, though, is that I've been able to move my neck. Not that remarkable, until you realise that the moment I managed to move my neck, I realised that I've been in constant, moderate-to-severe pain since 1996. Nine years. No wonder I'm vague and grumpy. So, now I find myself willingly entering in to the lessons and even doing my homework, and many tiny miracles are happening - shoulders resetting, jaws losening... It is a strange thing to do whilst in such a complex emotional place as the freeing of long-held tensions brings long-supressed memories back to the surface. It can be something as simple as a situation, or a book, or seomthing equally trivial, but a few have been absolute doozies, and left me feeling nauseous. Still, the dislocated yet present feeling that persists for an hour or so after the lesson is enjoyable, and some work is being done.

Among the thoughts are recollections of the huge ammount of work I did about conceptualising the body and anatomical representation in the media. I am surprising myself by how aware I had made myself of my physical constituents, whilst remaining unaware of the fact I have inscribed a whole cut of philosophy into my physicality. The linking of these nodes of thought to the (very solid) flesh is so complex and pervasive that working on something as simple as moving a shoulder back into allignment is - unbidden - turning into a metaphorical task about picking a position to see the world from. That, or I am more suggestible to fluffy stuff than the rational humanist inside me would have you believe. Questions such as 'Where are your thoughts situated?' or 'Are you a visual thinker?' are so much more loaded when you are engaged in a koan of no-mind over matter.

One thing that keeps springing to mind is the aside in Microserfs about bodies as hard-drives for memory stores, and how a massage becomes a turning poing for changing stuck patterns in a relationship.

Speaking of which - an odd moment today. Whilst sitting at lunch on the south bank, my ex-once-removed walked past. I called out, and we spent a moment talking - which rapidly turned into an awkward 'well, it's nice to see you but actually I have nothing to say, and I feel that you may want me to fuck off and die, possibly via the medium of blunt rusty spoons' sort of moment.

I got home to discover that my new housemate has invited her to our housewarming.

I must establish if he actually got carnal with her prior to her arriving at the party.

And a final note: it really is spring. Weeks of false promises from various blossom trees and snowdrops around the place were followed through with the grand opening pomp of sunny morning and fresh air; swiftly followed by a small but distinct return of the missing-presumed-lost sex drive, and the first tiniest inkling of the traditional but rubbish getting-over-the-ex innappropriate crush.

Here we go again. How tedious.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Amazon.com: Books: On Bullshit

Amazon.com: Books: On Bullshit

Squint at the cover for this book at a distance.

Is it a coincidence that it looks a bit like an iPod?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Naef Spiele AG

Naef Spiele AG

Beautiful toys for grownups. Building Blocks come of age.