Lord of the Flies

January 11, 2008

Oh my. I have just watched a time-lapse movie of the corpse of a piglet decomposing in a flurry of insects. Quite fascinating. The internet is a weird and varied place.

I found out about it on a writer’s website – she was recommending it to crime writers. I recommend it to the merely curious – or at least the curious with strong constitutions.

I won’t embed the thing but if you want to watch it, it’s here



January 8, 2008

If you’re on Twitter and you like a bit of word action, check out TwitterLit. Around twice a day you’ll be treated to the first line of a book. If you’re intrigued enough to find out what the book is, there’s a link to the relevant Amazon page. If you buy the book from Amazon, Debra gets a kickback but, hell, I reckon she’s earned it.

I’ve always loved the opening scenes of movies, the playful and sometimes meandering ways in which they introduce what’s to follow. Even if the rest of the movie doesn’t live up to it, a good beginning hooks you in and makes you tingle with the possibilities of what could happen in the next 90 minutes. TwitterLit makes you realise that it’s just the same with books. In the last week, we’ve had:

“From the snap of the ball to the snap of the first bone is closer to four seconds than to five”

“The greatest advice I’ve ever heard was in the women’s bathroom”

“They came for me in the nighttime, which is usually the way of it”

If you’re not on Twitter (and why not?), you can get TwitterLit via RSS (details here) and enjoy it with your regular dose of blogdom.


January 7, 2008

Big Brother. So addictive. In the UK, this year’s Celebrity Big Brother was shelved due to the Racism Row of last year, so instead we have Big Brother Celebrity Hijack where celebrities, no longer trusted to be contestants, take turns to be Big Brother. The contestants, meanwhile, are all 18-21 year olds of “exceptional talent”.

On the minus side, there’s something about seeing all these ridiculously successful youngsters that makes you feel immediately old and inadequate. This was made even worse when the Fashion Designer told the Singer/Songwriter that he’d heard he was “stoosh”. Great. Not only was I never going to be as successful as these people, it now turned out I was too old even to speak their language. (For those in my age-group, “stoosh” means stuck-up and rude – from a brief Googling, it appears to come from a Jamaican word for “classy”.)

On the plus side, however, the contestants’ highly competitve natures make it highly likely that they’ll soon be at each other’s throats. And the Boxer and the Circus Performer are kind of easy on the eye.


January 6, 2008

Watched an amazing documentary last night about how close we came to going out in a shower of nuclear missiles back in 1983. People on both sides talked frankly about the circumstances that led the Russians to believe (mistakenly) that the Americans were about to launch an all-out attack. 

The 90 minute show was accompanied with enough classic 80s pop to take an oldie like me right back. It also made liberal use of the “reconstruction”, a device I’ve always hated before, but one that seemed to work here – I think because we didn’t hear the “actors” talk, we just saw them pretending to be spies/soldiers/politicians while the real spies/soldiers/politicians talked over them. 

But someone involved in the reconstructions was having a laugh. When a Russian spy had to type a code into his calculator transmitting device, the number was 55378008. I recognised it instantly, of course. It won’t work on your iPhone calculator because the numbers are too round, but as kids we were endlessly amused by tapping it into our LCD (or even LED) calculators and turning it upside down to read “BOOBLESS”.


January 5, 2008

A word you only really hear a lot in January. My resolutions are to work more, write more and exercise more. But I’m thinking I’ll add a fourth – blog more. (Not hard, given my recent record!)