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31st January 2004
Rediscovered MetaSpy ( http://www.metaspy.com/info.metac.spy/metaspy/ )which tells you what people are searching MetaCrawler for.
Along with the standard fodder such as "whipped cream bikinis", "divx player gratis mundo", "how things work, effects of driving and braking on a seized wheel", my favourite query was "food". Just what kind of web pages are you searching for with such a general term as "food"? What do you expect to find? Strangely, "food" keeps re-occuring as a query, so maybe other people are repeating it from MetaSpy (like me) or it's some kind of test query.
Need To Know ( http://www.ntk.net/ ) told me about 2 new and useful railway timetable sites:
30th January 2004
Saw "Night Shift", a performance by "-ology performance arts collective". The flier said "Two solitary souls meet in the world. One of them laments and implores of the other a consolation. Very slOwly the Other One apprOaches and wispers 'It is night for me too. Is this not a consolation?'"
I turned up ("By Ladbrookes, On Edgbaston Street, Birmingham Bull Ring") for the out door performance, wearing my "appropriate clothing" for the 6:30 performance. A couple of other people turned up. Nothing seemed to be happening, so they left about 6:45. As I was leaving, five other audience members arrived, and I spotted the performers.
The performance started, in the rain, with two people sitting on benches, with "Sailing By" (the shipping forecast music) playing in the background. As they stepped from bench to bench, a street cleaning vehicle turned up, driving round and round, and sometimes drowning out the music & sound effects. The two performers lay down on the (concrete) benches with small lights on (in the rain) and moved from one to another.
Then, a phone call - both went into the two nearby phone boxes. The man departs, across to some street stalls decorated with black, white and grey paintings forming scenary. After a while, the woman and the audience follow.
The two explore, after a couple of minutes a passer-by attempts to steal the lights from the benches. The performance is suspended while "the man" goes and retrieves them. It restarts, with movement through the stalls and scenary, climbing through and under, round and about (with the street cleaning vehicle still buzzing backwards and forwards). A painting becomes detached from the stalls. After a few minutes, another falls with a loud bang!
Finally, the street cleaning vehicle goes away, and we're left in a soundscape of sea birds (matching the paintings). The couple finally meet, gloves off, and touch. They dance. They go to the sea, look out. They run in and out of the waves, trying not to get their feet wet. A wave crashes, their feet are wet. They walk into the sea and swim away...
Talk about "the show must go on"! Very nice.
Ate at YoSushi Sushi conveyor in Selfridges - Not a lot of Sushi on the belt, just 2 bits of Nigiri going round and round and a couple of plates of california rolls. Lots of salads and fruit etc! I had freshly prepared tempura instead, which was OK but not perfect.
I was trying to explain about the evolution of rulence in parasites, in the context of a discussion on Influenza Pandemics and realised that I wasn't clear on what I'd read, somewhere in RichardDawkin's work. So I found a couple of papers:
29th January 2004
Listened to two programs from MelvynBragg's InOurTime series, the latest one on Cryptography and an older one on LamarkianEvolution. Both are available from the RadioFour "Listen Again" website -
Saw NickRevell, JamesCook and other comedians at TheComedyKav. Excellent. I'd heard NickRevell on the radio before ("Nick Revell Radio Show" + various others) but didn't know what to expect from his stand up. Very lively performer, told engaging stories with lots of laughs. Well worth seeing.
Saw TheGreatDictator by CharlieChaplin at TheMAC. Excellent film, with CC playing both Hitler and a jewish barber (who fought in the 1914-18 war). Covers a lot of ground, from slapstick, love story, political parody, to the jewish ghetto and concentration camps. Ends on what I thought was a very nice speech by Chaplin, which I presume really did come from the heart as he both wrote and directed the film. A few themes reminded me of FritzLang's Metropolis
Ate at SabaiSabai, the new(ish) thai restaurant in Moseley which has taken over the premised of TheLimeAndChilliHouse.
Saw TheShapeOfThings at TheMAC, nice film about an nerdy guy and his relationship with an arts student. No great supprises in the plot, but an interesting idea.
Saw LostInTranslation at the UGC Cinema on BroadStreet. Found it too long for the plot and not really very interesting.
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