Thought, experience and memory from a brain in a jar, one that sometimes has control over a thirty-two-year-old Londonite.

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Location: Herne Hill, London, United Kingdom

12 December, 2005

Missing Believed Wiped

The NFT play host to an annual show of recently recovered archive television. Many programmes get misfiled, destroyed or misplaced and turn up decades later in old men's sheds, or taped over the cricket. The Missing Believed Wiped screening allows the dust to be blown from the tapes, the programmes get shown, and then filed away again. Top show this year, but probably the most curious line up, and a somewhat atypical turnout for all of that.

Choice pickings were Shaggy Dog, by Dennis Potter which was made for ITV as part of the Company Of Five series of one off plays. It was much stronger than expected, and actually managed to fit the strand (what I've seen of it) rather well, with Potter flexing his political muscles but keeping it within a soft, fleshy, human frame.

We were also treated to the first reel of the first ever episode of The Avengers, along with the usual array of slightly flawed, format still maturing, action drama. One was a delightful courtroom drama where the case hinged on a new type of electromagnetic car door lock, presumably sold by the Maguffin car door lock company.

There's often something quite extraordinary that is shown, too, such as one year where they showed one of the earliest and abandoned experiments in television recording - we watched bleary, almost incomprehensible images of a dancing chorusline that were practically supernatural.

But the ghosts this year were of a different order all together, the filmed interview inserts for a documentary called Tyranny. The film concerned itself with Adolf Hitler, and the interviewees included Adolf's chauffeur and sister.

Code Repair

In an idle moment I attempted to use my N7 Assistant (see GRW Language Lab for details) and found to my happy surprise that Firefox afford more flexible dialogue boxes than Internet Explorer. I'd long thought about reworking the Assistant so that the questions it asks you pop up in their own windows, but I could never get the thing to work. Now I'm tempted to leave it as it is.

Or I would have been. Much to my dismay the bugger wouldn't actually spit the text out at the other end. However, a brief and only slightly irritating bit of coding later, and the thing is back on its feet. The problem seemed to have something to do with the different way IEx and Firefox handle variable scopes. Anyhoo it works, and to celebrate I've parsed a poem and popped it up. Poetry's more fun to N7 than prose somehow.

04 December, 2005

Radical Underground

Radical Underground
Radical Underground,
originally uploaded by Simon Scott.
A suitably surreal photo on the way to see the League of Gentlemen Pantomime. Courtesy of the curious policy the Hammersmith Appollo have of putting the curtain time rather than the door time on the ticket we missed the very start of the show, but enjoyed the rest of it. The show seemed to build on the structure of the last tour. In that one the first half involved the boys doing their bits in dinner jackets, the way they used to pre-telly, and the second half was more costumes and catchphrases. This was, as a friend pointed out to me, just panto, and so it makes a certain kind of sense for them to literally do a panto this time round. The djs have gone, however, replaced by an abortive attempt to do a nativity play by those irascible Legz Akimbo. Interesting to see the one-shot characters from series three getting such strong responses from the crowd, too. I've been pleasantly surprised by both the film and the show... I think I' allowed to like them again now!

02 December, 2005

Clouds and that

Xenmate on flickr commented on a pic of some clouds I'd taken a while back. Apparently they're due to something called the Kelvin Helmholtz instability, which I won't pretend to understand, but can nevertheless appreciate!