Conversations with my brother

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My brothers wife accused him and myself of being twins this evening, the age difference explicable by the fact that he, in her words, "slept in".

As near as I can tell this accusation was prompted by, amongst other things, two conversations between my brother and myself about a year apart. In both cases my brother asked a very simple question:

"Do you remember that cartoon?"

and

"Do you remember that film?"

And I answered "yes" to both. The source of her consternation stems from her belief that when someone asks a question along the lines of "do you remember that xyz?" it's typical to wait for the person asking the question to supply enough information to discern the subject of the question before giving an answer. That I knew the answer in both cases - much to her and my brothers bemusement - seemed to violate her views on causality.

Of course there was nothing magical or supernatural about how I was able to answer correctly. I simply know my brother well enough to know that if a particular cartoon had sprung to his mind at that point it would have been the 1986 series Silverhawks that we last watched together about 20 years ago.

And similarly there was no other film he could possibly have been thinking about at that moment in time than the 1984 cult classic "Night of the Comet", regardless of fact that I didn't even know he'd seen it.

Obvious really, isn't it?

In good company

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It's so very easy to take things for granted, and it seems that one of the things I've taken for granted recently is the incredible skill levels of some of the people I've been hanging around with lately.

Someone's put together a video featuring a smattering of London's immensely talented juggling community, and I'm rather proud to say that I've met a considerable number of them. Keep an eye out, I even make a blink and you'll miss it appearance in the background during the credits.


London Juggling from Will Hexagonic on Vimeo.

Introductions

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It is a cliche universally acknowledged that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Had I borne that in mind, it's possible I might have been able to conjure a better opening conversational gambit than "Ah. I thought you were a woman."

I want a baby pygmy hippo!

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Just, awwwww...!

Disney are sponsoring the speaking clock in the UK. The idea strikes me as odd, largely because I remember a competition to select a new voice for the speaking clock many years ago. The search was conducted with that peculiarly British sense of gravitas reserved for the utterly trivial.

The speaking clock must surely be an anachronism in a world where information flows ever more freely, but that it's now open to the highest bidder seems a commericalisation too far for my liking.

Nevertheless, what intrigued me about the story wasn't anything to do with sponsorship, nor the reasons behind it (to promote a direct to DVD film), but the fact that the new voice represents Tinkerbell. One of the most famously silent characters in Disney's canon. On the one hand, it's great stunt to inform people that Tinkerbell now has a voice, but on the other hand I can't help but think that someone, somewhere, has entirely missed the point...

Curling up with a good book

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My, it's been a while: crawling under the duvet on a chilly night and literally curling up with a good book. So much going on that I rarely seem able to make time to read these days. My commute to work is fragmented enough that it doesn't lend itself well to reading anything for more than a few frustrating minutes at a time, and other times I would once have set aside to read are now taken up with contact practice sessions.

It's fairly evident when I've been reading the same book for several months!

Hearing Neil Gaiman talk again recently lent me a little perspective and reminded me of how much I love books. Time is duly being set aside in my schedule as a result. I have a small pile of books I need to get through and added a couple more this weekend - Gaiman's Graveyard Book is an unsurprising addition, followed by Danielewski's House of Leaves, a book I've been curious about since it was parodied over at xkcd.com

The Unfinished Swan

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This is just lovely. It's a video of a forthcoming first person game. First person games are rarely novel, but here the mechanic is wholly new (and I therefore immediately pledge it my heart, such is my long established relationship with novelty).

Whilst the atmosphere is undeniable, how it will play as a game is difficult to say. The video is little more than a tech demo. Based on what's shown so far I can easily see it being more irritating than fun, but I'll be keeping an eye out for it anyway.

The official site is over here btw.

Kelvin Kalvus

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Talent shows seem to be all the rage these days across much of the planet so it's nice to see contact juggling being represented. And represented well at that.

Germany's rendition of Britian's Got Talent featured the absurdly talented Kevin Kalvus recently. Apparently membership of contact juggling forums in Germany swelled considerably immediately afterwards.

I was fortunately enough to meet Kelvin at the EJC back in August where he was holding a workshop. Very nice guy indeed, and I'm glad of the reception he got.

On the downside, I can't help but watch his performance and think I've got a long, long way to go yet...

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

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Fantastic video. Takes a while to get going, but stick with it.

It's not just the skill of execution which impresses me, though it's an immensely skillful performance, it's the fact that someone actually conceived of it to begin with. Just wonderful.

Enduring marketing

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Is Stan Lee moonlighting in advertising?

Earlier tonight I passed a poster advertising a new razor blade. Rather than touting the number of blades as a selling point, the poster pointed out their composition instead. They're made of... Endurium.

Endurium?

Or more likely Enduriumtm.

I lay no claim to being able to recite the period table (always got lost around the lanthanides), but I'm willing to wager a not-inconsiderable sum that Endurium won't be found in it's vicinity. It sounds remarkably like something used to lace Wolverines bones. One wonders what the marketing department rejected on the way to discovering Edurium. Unyieldium? Immodium? Payingthemarketingdepartmenttoomuchmoneyium?