Friday, 20 July 2007

Whispering pictures

On Wednesday night at Paul and Jo's, we played a version of Chinese Whispers involving writing and drawing, rather than whispering. Last time we played this, "A young boy is eating pizza on a train." became

which was described as "A man eating pizza on a jigsaw piece.", which was translated into

This was interpreted as "He stood on top of the giant hot dog." and became

giving our final result: "A man standing on a hot dog." I will leave you to imagine how a brass band and cricket game became a church with a music group and people standing in cakes. Then, while we were praying, we were interrupted by the voice of Yoda: "Message from the dark side, you have." from someone's phone. Quite a funny night.

When I started writing this, it was dark enough to be after sunset, and torrential rain was pouring down among the thunder and lightning. We almost needed a boat to get across the campus. Now, the sun is shining brightly and evereythign looks dry.There's nothing quite like a quick thuderstorm.

P.S. Not for the first, interesting weather in London proved much more serious in other parts of the country, with more floods and all sorts of travel chaos.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Guns on stations or bombs on trains?

The announcement of London as the host city for the 2012 Olympics wasn't the only thing that happened nearly two years ago. The next day, four bombs went off on the city's public transport, killing 52 people. After the bombings were unsuccessfully imitated two weeks later, police armed with large guns were stationed at many railway stations, watching passengers enter and leave.

Yesterday, after the recent car-bombs in London and Glasgow, I saw heavily armed police again at one station. It probably says something strange about how my mind works, but I'm instinctively more disturbed, if not scared, by the visible guns than the thought of possible bombs. I wonder whether it would be any different if Jean Charles de Menezes hadn't been shot 2 days before I first saw them.

(I could offer 10 points for guessing which station I saw the police at, but there are already points on offer for naming that station.)

Monday, 2 July 2007

Olympic preparation déjà vu

Just under two years ago, the city I was living in was awarded the Olympic Games for the second time in my life. This time round, I didn't participate in a basketball dribbling race at an event that was part of the bid process, although I did walk through a gateway supporting the bid at a Guy Fawkes' Night Display. However, we do live roughly the same distance from the site of the Olympic Stadium as the furthest part of the Olympic village will be.

As of today, the roads, footpaths, cycleways, towpaths and waterways in the Olympic Park area will be closed to allow for construction. Thankfully, the two main routes, the Greenway and the River Lee Navigation, are excepted from this, so it will still be easy to go off along the river or head towards Beckton. The Greenway will be partially closed at some points, but that's just as well, because that part of the Greenway could do with revamping. The Olympic Park should be quite a nice area by the time everything is done.

Of course, this is not the only "closure" that has just come into effect. Yesterday England "went smokefree". It is no longer legal to smoke in enclosed areas that are also workplaces. At the same time. the whole college campus has been declared a non smoking area. I don't think I've ever breathed in so much cigarette smoke while walking down a public road as I did outside the college this morning.

(Ten points for the best explanation of what the picture has to do with this post.)