Monday, October 27, 2003

Well it's different.
Bound to be cloudy though - and looking up the weather also says sunset is at 16:45 GMT/UTC. How depressing is that? Why does winter have to happen?

Anyway, other stuff:
Wetware does languages - quite interesting - though the suggestion in the comments section for a intermediate universal non-loss language (so all the properties of a sentence are retained) would be hellish to both design, build and interpret. Take a nice, simple word like "home". It can mean; a building, a house, a flat/apartment, a caravan, a boat, a retirement institution, a mental health institution, any other structure people live in, an area where someone or something lives (so that includes the property, the part of town, a village/town/city, a parish, a borough, a county, a country, a football pitch, a cricket ground, a position on or in furniture/a building/an area), a perception of a remembered or imagined place, an area of safety, it can be used as a qualifier (as in the Home Counties, the home side), it can mean to focus in on, to return to, and umpteen other things [and that's without searching out archaic versions in a dictionary]. It can act as a noun, verb and adjective. Now add in the American variations in usage, now the Australian, now the rest of the world's variations on the English word. Now add in the differing senses many European languages use (such as le/la and beyond in French). And whatever the rest of the world feels like having. Suddenly an apparently simple thing is can have many meanings, inferences and nuances, and need many qualifiers to make it make sense.
"Go home" doesn't seem quite so clear now.
Even the apparently simple, supposedly universal "scissors, paper, stone" is not. To (some of) those on the other side of the Atlantic, it's "rock, paper, scissors".

Speaking of...I'm not sure what "which" there is, but that's never stopped me before - dreams can be very weird. Last night/this morning dreamt I was lying awake in bed at night when a mouse ran across the quilt, over my face, and jumped off the bed. But then I wasn't sure if I dreamt it, so lay awake in the dark and dozed off again - only to wake up feeling it on my hip, and when I tried to brush it off it clung on and started biting me. So I was pulling it by its tail (because then it couldn't bite my hand), and then thought if I go and sit over the bath and point the shower at it, the mouse would let go (mice obviously not liking jets of cold water) and I'd have it trapped in the bath, and then as I went to get up I woke up, and found I was in the same position I dreamt I was in apart from my mouse-grabbing arm was trapped by the quilt. And that it was daylight, and must have been for a while, which meant I dreamt it all, including waking up. Strange.

And not quite the sort of dreams one would expect after watching the second part of Channel 4's 100 Greatest Scary Moments (aka cheap TV). During which I learnt that people get scared by some very funny things (in both senses). The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (not the re-make) - tired watching it earnestly, but gradually the entire cinema started giggling, and then having hysterics at the sheer slap-stick (apart from one guy shushing us). Also things that claim to be children’s films petrify children (well I've always hated The Wizard of Oz and Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang) - maybe it's just the strangely balletic gait of the childcatcher - actually thinking of other scary films, it's always the people and things that move in a very controlled or self-aware way that I didn't like. The lumberings of Frankenstein as just comic, but it's those that slink, sway, skip or skitter that make me tense up. The Gollum's of this world (that's the film version).

Which reminds me: TV ads that blatantly rip-off films - where do we stand? The English Amelie of Standard Life - good, bad, annoying or dull? Other than implying that this illustrious financial group will take your fiver and pin it to a noticeboard...and that their customers will happily pay £5 for a's obviously going for those who consider themselves quirky, and find banking rather uninteresting.
Also the St Ivel Gold Ad - yes, you too can advertise your creamy butter (or low fat substitute), by images of people gliding effortlessly across sand. Think cool and smooth, think deserts and sand dunes. Feel it gliding across your tongue like one of the most abrasive substances known to man.
And anyway we go with the one with the little man and a trombone (cos it's cheaper and tastes nicer).
Actually who would win in an all out battle between Lurpack Trombone Man, the Homepride Man and those mischievous Jelly Babies? I'm sure you could easily turn the brass instrument into a bazooka - just load it with Bertie Bassett's nose.
And sorry to those who haven't seen the ads, but I don't know where to find them on the web.
Anyhoo, rantage over for the time being.

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