onsdag den 5. november 2008

No more bribes untill I find Max and Greg on DVD

Today seems to be International Hooray for Obama day. Twitter is glowing, Facebook is glowing, fantastic.

On top of that - or maybe because of that? - I managed to get an extended deadline on the next games chapter and this time I was too clever to offer bribes such as robot cakes.

Last time I ended up covering myself in frosting and some sticky green apple-stuff. Never thought I should say this, but I really miss my Max and Greg video, featuring two gays in a gay kitchen giving tips on making really gay cakes. It was amazing, but now it's gone. Like VHS. I'm sure those guys could have shown me how to make a proper 3D robot cake on wheels and all, like the one below my lame attempt to 'robotify' ready-made brownies .

Not knowing how to make a cool cake that would make it to Sweden and having created a birthday cake that ended up looking like Jabba the Hut a couple of days before, I googled 'robot cake' for inspiration. Bad idea. Really bad idea.

Earth is apparently swarming with people who have nothing better to do than go berserk in cake decoration.
Some appear more like a social commentary, like this amazing Slayer cake that suggests a completely new and sweet side to metal fans.

Hmmm...what a wonderful idea for a theme cook book; Metal cooking.

mandag den 1. september 2008

More dirt and pain loving wedding planners on BBC, please!

Not having the energy or focus to actually write a decent post now, I will refer to my friend Christina's post on the Inner Man. We discussed it shortly Friday night over some bison vodka and Inuit throat singing, and concluded that inner man is a weird personality trait of (at least) female archaeologists.

Not working in archaeology any more, but having done my share of brick laying and dirt shovelling this weekend, I have too had a recent encounter with the inner man.

Oh, now I made myself thinking of being on excavation. I do miss it sometimes. Staggering around with a fully loaded wheelbarrow in the early morning...it's a certain kind of magic. And pain. And level of dirt under your fingernails. And cuts and bruises. And solitude.

I wonder whether choosing archaeology as your field of work is actually making a living out of your inner man? In HCI research it's not particularly useful. And would it not be difficult to live side by side with your inner man working as a wedding planner or a personal shopper?

Hmm..an idea for a fun future experiment or BBC TV series.

fredag den 25. juli 2008

Seriously wasting time online...and then The Dawn of Projector Enhanced Flashing.

I was supposed to spend this week's peace working hard on the thesis. I managed to open Word and look at it...twice.

Seriously disappointing even for me.

To kill time I've surfed all sorts of wacky DIY/arts/tech pages and have been feeling stressed with all things I could do if I had more time and skills.
But then I stumbled over a 'Diaper cake to hide the Champagne' (diaper cake, WTF?), a 'cozy carpet made out of old t-shirts' (decorating with t-shirt patchwork?), and 'bird house made of chopsticks' (...?!?) and suddenly realized how in sane (though no doubt creative) many DIY'ers really are.

Which is why it almost came as no surprise when I found a flasher who apparently has tossed away the cotton coat in favour for projector enhanced flashing (and yes, he is butt naked at the picture...pure naked skin , duct tape, and car battery).
I honestly don't know what to think about it...I hate flashers as much as the next sane person but it looks actually pretty funny. I'm wondering if his incentive is turning a perv hobby into some kind of tech/art performance to avoid trouble with the law?

tirsdag den 15. juli 2008

Exit cucumber Frog, welcome raspberry caipirinha and Pompon Finkelstein

Okay, it was not literally for ever, the cucumber frog. It sort of started smelling after a week in the fridge...
So, now I'm frog-less again and trying to cope with it.

Nothing is really happening - Kaare is away somewhere, it's 8 pm and I'm still fiddling around with the thesis. It's okay really, 'cause I am accompanied by my second raspberry caipirinha and some great old Buddha Bar tracks I dug up.

Kaare is going on holiday next week and I am starting to wonder how my health will cope with that. Seem to remember how I wrote my bachelor's thesis locked up alone in my flat with some bottles of Whiskey, a tiny mountain of cigarettes and some Swedish Knäckebröd.

Well, it went surprisingly okay that last time, so there is no need to freak out or go shopping for real food.

torsdag den 3. juli 2008

Who says diamonds are forever ? People who never got a frog carved out of a cucumber, that's who!

Things have been quiet here because I finally had a break-through with my thesis writing. It's actually starting to interest me and I no longer have the irresistible urge to take a nap every time I open 'ThesisOfDoom_versionN.doc'

Good for me.

The reason for me neglecting the thesis now is twofold:

First: I wanted to share the wonderful pictures of a present I got from Kaare. What you really want when you are sound asleep at night is your semi-drunk boyfriend to come home from a night out with the girls from work carrying a crowned frog he carved out of vegetables. For you only.

That is so sweet/weird/scary/funny/vegan that it made me speechless (almost).

As you can see from the pictures it has a 'mundane every-day crown' (cucumber), a 'party crown' (carrot) and a very festive 'galla crown' (mushroom). Vegan accessories - I love it!

Second: Thanks to Christina Seehusen I found this great website that bitches over bad archaeology. I must say, I did not realize that there were SO many areas one could bitch about archaeology-wise. It's hours of fun, I tell you.

[Trailer: Bad Archaeology is the brainchild of a couple of archaeologists who are fed up with the distorted view of the past that passes for knowledge in popular culture. We are unhappy that books written by people with no knowledge of real archaeology dominate the shelves at respectable bookshops. We do not appreciate news programmes that talk about ley lines (for example) as if they are real.

In short, we are Angry Archaeologists!]

tirsdag den 20. maj 2008

Why not ban girls in sexist princess outfits

Sunday was crepes day.

When you don't really enjoy 5th league football or have an unhealthy desire to travel to London JUST to see Wembley Stadium you got to find something else to do.

So, well stocked with cider, beer, Polish chocolates and stacks of Malo's gooood crepes we sat out for a classy dinner. However, we ended up youtubing Polish/French/Danish disco horrors until 02 am. I wonder what became of my well-prepared playlist of NuTango and smoothe jazz?

But it was dead educational, I tell you. After watching a certain Polish female singer who can't sing, I have started thinking about whether the Polish EU membership is irreversible.

French Dalida won our disco hearts with her 'Laissez-moi danser'. Not because of her performance but because her Village People-ish dancers made Tomek remark: 'All of them would get killed in Poland'. Not surprisingly, Brødrene Bisp (Pope Brothers) got the same remark. They are a sensitive people, the Poles.

To make all Danes feel proud I shared Tommy Seebach's classic Apache-interpretation, which directly led to a discussion of moustaches and whether they can ever ever EVER be cool.

In France, Poland and Denmark the answer is definitely 'no'.

However, I know for a fact (or rather, I know from a short Reuter's note in some inferior Danish newspaper) that in India policemen with moustaches get paid more than their face hair-less colleagues. This is presumably because a moustache adds to your authority and thus makes you a better policeman. Like tweed suits and elbow patches do for researchers, you understand.

It is fun to think about how one thing or behaviour can be interpreted so differently in different cultures or contexts. Let's take a totally random example: head scarves. I read that back in Denmark we are (still) discussing head scarves, the people who wear them, what they symbolize (if anything), and where (if at all) people should be allowed to wear them.

Everyone who has followed Danish politics knows that when politicians talk about 'head scarves' they actually do not talk about a piece of cloth worn on top of the head. What they really are talking about is fashion.

Seriously a person cannot be 'against scarves' per se (OK, of course you could, but it's like being against people wearing green or people wearing jeans, and that is just stupid).

My interpretation is that the Danish government (or the dark corners hereof) are against certain ways of wearing a scarf (as in certain ways of wearing green...oh, wait, that is also stupid).

You see, worn the right way a headscarf is urban and street fashion. The superpower of fashion, Belfast Telegraph, nails the trend with this razor-sharp observation:
Immortalised by Audrey Hepburn, adopted by Kate Moss - and now the hottest accessory on the catwalk. (see here for full article).

Look at the picture of dead cool woman in yellow here. If you catch yourself thinking 'but that is not what we mean...these women are wearing their scarves differently', I want you to thoroughly think about the consequences of that thought.

I am not sure Dansk Folkeparti will buy into arguments founded on street fashion so just to make a point I include a picture of a well-known headscarf-clad woman, who is neither a Muslim or terrorized by her Muslim husband. It looks dead ugly, that scarf, but it is hardly illegal.

But should it be?

Let's say that we want to legislate about how people dress. Why not - we are ruled by law in any other aspects, and already we are not allowed to wear hats at demonstrations. Then I am just wondering: are we really most concerned with how women wear scarves? Can't we find something more disturbing to ban? I do not have the answers, I'm just wondering, here...

tirsdag den 6. maj 2008

Pianos and trumpets make me want to start smoking

So, last week I had Harry Potter-style lunch at Lorna’s college. To underline that Cambridge is an impressively celebrity-filled spot, Paul Mellar, professor in prehistoric archaeology, popped by during lunch for a chat on how HCI and archaeology are related. (And yes, we are talking the Star Carr man. THE Star Carr! THE STAR CARR!)

After the latest news on water logged wood from the Palaeolithic we talked a bit about the concept of bringing HCI-people and archaeologists together for a workshop. Apparently Lorna has been contemplating this for some time.

I think we managed to convince Paul that it would not be an entirely waste of time. Of course the question remains: what would we do in such a workshop? I’m quite sure that HCI people would find it interesting to listen to how archaeologists interpret prehistoric life based on signs and traces, but will archaeologists have any clou or interest in studies of how people use modern technology?

Or will they simply get lost in the weird wonders/horrors of domestic robots, chicken petting machines and hamster computer games?

Along completely unrelated tracks: Sunday provided a strange concert experience. The strange mix of piano, trumpets, kids on violins and really bad rock’n’roll dancers is best coined by Fabio’s remark ‘It makes me want to start smoking’.

I think it’s his subtle way of saying: Premature death no longer scares me.

To push the limits further we are now contemplating going to a Andrew Lloyd Webber-style LOTR musical in London. If you dare, try Gollum’s song here.

(Yes, I know that the pictures in this post are totally un-related to the subject, but I've been discussing knitwear for two pub nights in a row and have decided to move on. Counting from now),

tirsdag den 22. april 2008

Today's lesson: Chivalry is an outdated concept, it is a stupid French idea.

This weekend it was St. George's day, and I must say, the re-enactment of the beating of the dragon was more fun that I had dared expect.

To fill you in on the story (as told by the announcer and enacted by volunteers in costumes):

First, poor villagers were terrorised by an evil Saracen who threatened them in his pretty heavy Scottish accent. To quote the cape-clad villain: 'I'm dead evil, man - I'll eat ye all for bloody breakfast ye know'.

Well, the villagers told George who then had a pretty bad clash with the Saracen. And died. Then, we - the audience - had to bring George back form the dead by cheering and yelling. And the evil Saracen was kicked back to Scotland.

The villagers were happy.

Until a tiny Godzilla-clone dropped by to feast on their maidens. And terrify them with the flapping of his wings and the dancing of his Godzilla dance.

Of course they would not stand for it, the villagers, and they called for good old George.

He punched the dragon in the face and it fell over.

And this is where it gets fun...

The villagers piled on top of the dragon, kicking it, biting it and jumping on it. Because, as we had learned during some lame military demonstrations earlier:

'Chivalry is an outdated concept. It is a stupid French idea. We don't use it because we want to win'.

To this quote the volunteer soldiers demonstrated the stabbing of an imaginary enemy (my guess is a frog) that was lying down. They did not show the planting of a knife in someone's back, but I'm sure they know how to.

Anyway, the villagers kicked Godzilla's butt and danced on its grave while the sheep were creating a sheep pyramid and the public went mad.

---Thanks to Malo for providing the pictures. If it wasn't for his stupid French chivalry he would probably have helped the Brits beat up Godzilla with his camera. But, alas....---

fredag den 18. april 2008

While stuffing dried pigs' ears into my expensive new handbag I realise that I am a softie!

My God, living in UK has turned me into a sissy. I fear that if I stay much longer I will start dressing in pastels and floral patterns. Everybody is so bloody friendly - I mean even strangers greet you in the streets.

I am really starting to get concerned here. On my way home I met this beautiful little cat with leopard-like spots all over its treacle fur. It meowed a bit and did the 'please come and pet me'-dance, and all of a sudden I realize that I am off my bike petting and talking to a cat. A strange cat on the street!

Well, I left the cat (though I did consider taking it home for a while), and remembered (oh, horror) that I this morning I woke up to the sight of five rabbits hopping around in the garden, playing with the squirrels and the ducks. And I honestly thought it was cute and not at all tacky.

Later, I was stuffing stinky dried pigs' ears into my new insanely expensive handbag so that I could make an impression on canine participant no 3.

That was when I realized that I am turning soft.

But it gets worse...

Well back home I get the final punch. From the entrance I have a fine view of my latest purchases (well, I did spend the weekend in London with no internet access):

a) One cute green handbag with flower motif and pink sequins,
b) One white handbag with pink edges,
c) One pair of shiny pink glitter sandals (goes well with both bags),
d) Two pairs of polychrome wedges - also with hints of floral patterns,
e) One pair of oh-so-cute ballerinas covered in blue sequins.

I don't know if you can even say this about women's shoes, but that's pretty gay to me.

And to top it off, I have also (to solve the problem that the washing machine killed half of my clothes) lately become the owner of 3 dresses - none in black - & a serious adult purple jacket.


To return to normal I have decided to:

a) Insist that next week's pub night is held at Cambrige's Goth/metal bar (Tuesdays only, of course - and probably not that Goth after all...),
b) Use the evening in the company of this lovely web page where you can buy skeletons and stuffed animals,
c) Put 'Adrian Mole' and 'Through the Looking Glass' aside and go for 'World War 3.0 -Microsoft and its enemies',
d) Kick something, and
e) Fall asleep to Slayer

God, I hope I don't wake up tomorrow believing in God or something similarly lame.

torsdag den 17. april 2008

The troubles of a yarn addict

Stuart Taylor contributed with this picture, which I really enjoy. Credits to unknown flikr user.

Is there such a thing as evil wool products?

We have this ongoing discussion at work about the nature of wool.

Can wool products-such as Lenin's knitted red gloves a couple of posts below-ever be anything but cute, cozy and cuddly?

I would really like to think so, but have a hard time finding the evidence.

My best shot so far is this film from New Zealand, but I would like to do better.

Can anyone help me find proof that the use of wool does not add a bit of grandmother-feel or ridicule to a product? Any proof at all?

I mean, there is a reason for why the Nazis were fond of long leather coats, right? And the prospect of Darth Wader in wool causes only amusement, right?

As I come to think about it the challenge is the same for crafts such as batik and knitwear...

Are some crafts and fabrics just doomed to be associated with stoned hippies and old people's homes for all eternity?

Would some textile designer please take up the challenge and improve on wool's rep!

Tim Reagan has proposed the knitted dog walking attire and the lab bunny...but I would still argue that the use of knitwear adds a certain 'cuteness' to these designs (though KUDOS for the lab bunny! Wanna learn how to knit now.)

tirsdag den 15. april 2008

Google is OFF the Christmas card list!!!

Got back from CHI2008 in Florence with a challenged liver, tons of business cards, and absolutely no budget for holiday this year (thanks, Copenhagen University for cancelling most of my funding and making sure that I will have to spend the summer working on the house because I cannot afford to escape. Thanks a bunch).

Returned to London with a notebook full of drawings - my brain believes that if it makes my hands busy my eyes will stay open during long and boring sessions on Fitt's Law. Fat chance. After a night out with the Scotts nothing is that simple. Actually, that is when you really need Mama Bar, the local Italian place where you (supposedly) come for a glass of warm milk, biscuits and someone to tell you that you're alright after all. (Oh, by the way; no decent Mama Bar would dare to close. Ever.)

Wasn't a complete failure though. Managed to stay wide awake during Janet's cool talk on the Mars Rovers and Tyler's talk on how gamers just wanna play World of Warcraft with a Kofi Annan avatar. Go figure.

And what about this year's Google party, you may ask. Well, here's what I have to say about that: you are OFF the Christmas Card list!!! (and that is meant as a punishment, in case you wonder) After last year, many of us looked forward to joggling freaks on roller blades in an inferno of body tequilas or something of the kind. Just out of spite I didn't go to the early session the day after, though I easily could have.

Coming back to rainy London and completely failing to hunt down new canine participants in the local park I retreated to Alex's house for the weekend to enjoy great books on art, architecture and robotics.

And then it happened...!!!

.....my eyes have finally been opened to the joys of the British Cuisine: it is custard galore, I tell you! Found the best little shop that even put 'suitable for breakfast and lunch' on their yummy products. 'AND afternoon tea AND dinner', may I add. (And there is nothing you can do about it mum, you cannot force me to eat my veggies at a distance. Yet. The guys in Singapore are probably working on that this very moment.)

Kudos for giving me carte blanche to have custard with all meals, custard producer's marketing department!

Not so much kudos for the taxi security marketing department that created this add I found in the cab on the way home to Cambridge.

Guys, I hardly think that 11 layers of pain suffices 'security' if it came to a car crash. And you mentioning it on the add that is supposed to show off your cabs as security champs actually makes me a bit anxious about the rest of your security stuff.

Got home safely though, so I might be wrong.

fredag den 28. marts 2008

Guerilla Knitting 2.0

Ganske kort: Tim Regan har netop introduceret mig for fænomenet Guerilla Knitting, eller Xtreme Knitting, som er det, der ville komme ud af at klone en street artist med en gammel dame fra Hosekræmmeren.
Er det ikke bare cool?

Faldt også over denne ironiske StarWars-kommentar (håber jeg) til traditionel 'cute' knitting. Ja, man fattes ord.

Verdamt! I just realized that Tim Regan (yes,the proud owner of Henry, the dogumentarist, that you read about earlier) posted a blog on the exact same topic.

Only, he was kind enough to also refer to my friend Anders Bonnesen who have done some great knitting work (and that is something you rarely get to say about...well, anyone).

So, to fix that I hurry to add Anders's work here. Check it out, and guess who has the beautiful (and possibly lethal) tripod sitting in her home...(no, it's not his mom, dammit. How could you?)

Tim mentions that to him, blogging is a way of keeping up to date with what his friends are doing. Actually, in Tim's case, it's probably more about using technology to embarrass his sweet kids in a parallel reality. And globally, just to make sure that they cannot even leave the country.

But, to be honest, I don't think he needs to - his orange home-made papier maché thingy that turns a perfectly good camera into a crappy dysfunctional camera, has probably already earned Will and Meg a place in the hall of tormented kids. Not because it is there, but because he wears it. In public. For real.

Anyway, that was a bit besides the track...The point is, since my friends are a rather international lot, and since I would be lost if they chose to blog in, say, Portuguese, I will consider continuing my blog in English.

First, however, I have to consider the professional consequences of giving my entire professional community the opportunity to read what is going on in my mind. It is not exactly a career-booster, I fear.

torsdag den 27. marts 2008

Kattedame 2.0

Har lige sendt den franske Bulldog 'Henri' hjem iført sele og kamera. Lydsiden til sådan en Marty Feldman-eyed lille satan er simpelthen fantastisk, og jeg ærgrer mig over at vores kameraer ikke optager lyd.

Efter en all-mail til Computer Mediated Living-gruppen er jeg nu kendt som 'dogumentary-damen' og muligvis også 'hende med velourseletøjet'.

Det ka være godt eller skidt alt efter smag.

However, efter kun 20 sek. stillede næste firbenede deltager op i køen.

...og sådan blev jeg web 2.0 versionen af det, der i gamle dage hed 'kattedamen'.

onsdag den 26. marts 2008

15.000 henrograhpies og øjne som rosiner

Gosh for en dag...
I mindst 10 timer har jeg siddet og gloet på de billeder, hunden Henry havde taget i påskeferien.

Vel igennem de ca. 5.000 snapshots beslutter jeg mig at samle et udvalg af særligt lækre Henrographies som Familien Regan ka muntre sig med, og ha som minde. Fordi jeg er så pisse flink.

Og nej, min hukommelse er måske ikke ulastelig, men jeg ville tro,at jeg ku huske at ha set granma Regans blodsprængte ben i ubehageligt close-up eller et afslørende portræt af hvad jeg tror er naboens hunds bagende.

Og ja, det viser sig, at Henry, the bloody canine paparazzi, har taget 15.000 (!) fotos over påsken, og at jeg har laaaangt igen med at mærke og klassificere.

Mine hornhinder føles som rosiner nu, men jeg er i mål. Tror jeg. Indtil i morgen, hvor næste firbenede deltager ankommer kl 7.00.

Var i kæledyrsmekkaet 'Petcessories' (sic!) og impulsindkøbe halsbånd og seler til div størrelser pelsdyr. Overvejede kort at købe en spand med levende fårekyllinger, bare fordi man ku. Men jeg tænkte at fire stykker seletøj til kæledyr nok er slemt nok at sætte på sin expense account, og de er alligevel for små til at man ka sætte et kamera på dem, sådan nogle kyllinger.

Godt nok er hele Socio-Digital Systems-gruppen hos de andre -og mere traditionelle- forskergrupper allerede kendt for kun at lave bizarre og ubrugelige gadgets, men efter jeg kom tilbage med hvad der ligner 4 x bondageudstyr i sort velour, og en pose med friske kødben, så tror jeg sgu, de stifter en pris i mit navn.

onsdag den 19. marts 2008

Kyllingekostumets psykologi

Vi var til Quirkology lecture i går i Cambridge.

Og selvom det var virkelig morsomt, og Professor Wiseman fik publikum til at knække sammen af grin flere gange, så er der vel ikke så meget at sige end:

Stol ikke på din hjerne for den lyver omtrent ligeså meget som et sølvbrudepar i parterapi.

Tjek selv Wisemans quirkology hjemmeside, hvor der er mulighed for at deltage i div forsøg.

Hvis du er heldig ligger der også en video med 'Fire Walker' hippier, der får brændt deres fødder fordi -surprise- de ikke har mediteret sig til et kraftfelt af energi, der beskytter deres små pusselanker fra brandsår.

Desværre var historien om kyllingekostumet ikke andet end historien om, hvordan Professor Wiseman havde fået sin phd-studerende (!) til at hoppe i gult plys for at posere til forsiden af en bog. Uagtet at det meste af verden faktisk ikke forstår joken 'why did the chicken cross the road'.

Bagefter røg vi på The Eagle, som er en halv-skoddet men meget gammel pub hvor vi fik faldt over denne plaque.

Jeg er temmelig ligeglad med, hvor DNA-opdagelsen blev annonceret, men jeg finder det fascinerende, at nogen er i stand til at leve af Bangers 'n' mash 6 (!) dage om ugen, som skiltet til højre kraftigt hinter.

torsdag den 13. marts 2008

"I hope you won't be lonely, [insert name], [insert diabolical laughter]"

If you are breaking up with someone-or in the middle of a nasty divorce-consider getting him the cat-one and add a diabolical laughter at the end of the message.

When you are all alone and eating off the floor, a rude message from the one that left you is really going to brighten your day...who came up with that crappy design idea?

It will probably do for lonly people in nursery homes as well.

So, if you are one of those children that never visits your parents at 'Sunflower Hill' or 'Happy Homes', feel free to use the idea.

You can get the bowl at petgadgets.com, I think.

tirsdag den 11. marts 2008

Biomimetic robot lobster performs chemo-orientation. Oh, ya!

Ok, nok har jeg endnu ikke fostret nogen banebrydende forskningside, men jeg har laert tre vigtige ting idag:

Ting 1:
Hvis du gik rundt og troede, at dyrerobotter primaert var orienteret mod traditionelle kaeledyr som Sonys AIBO eller Shibatas PARO ja, saa tog du fejl. Ligesom jeg, indtil for faa timer siden.

Jeg har nemlig fundet nervepirrende litteratur om....hummer robotter (hummerbotter?).

Tjek bare sexede titler som: "Biomimetic robot lobster performs chemo-orientation in turbulence using a pair of spatially separated sensors: Progress and challenges".

Wow! Fjern prompte jeres elendige Boerge Mogensen coffee table books, og goer plads for Grasso et al...

Ting 2:
At Microsoft afholder konferencer om computerspil er vel naeppe en overraskelse. Men at de afholder dem paa laekre krydstogtskibe, der pendul-sejler mellem Miami og Mexico, er dagens interessante og positive indlaering.

At en ven vaelger at dele sine cocktail 'n' cruise-oplevelser med mig, balancerer knivskarpt mellem betaenksomt og belemrende.

Men at jeg ikke var inviteret er fuldstaendig....a-...a-...arrg!

Ting 3:
Andre forskningsgrene er ogsaa vilde med kyllinger!
Laes bare denne beskrivelse af en 'Evening Science Lecture', som jeg bare maa se i naeste uge:

Quirkology: Weird pyschology.
For over twenty years, Professor Richard Wiseman has examined the quirky science of everyday life. He has spent nights in alledgedly haunted houses, conducted clandestine experiments in over 30 countries, and dressed up as a giant chicken.

...dressed up as a giant chicken!

Jeg er virkelig speandt paa om dette paa nogen maade er relateret til Wiseman's forskning, for det fremgaar aerligt talt ikke saerligt tydeligt af teksten....

søndag den 9. marts 2008

What black hours we have spent: Field work fra St John's College Kapel

Free at last!

Hele eftermiddagen er gået med at dalre rundt med hænderne i lommen, Harry Potter-lydbog i ørerne og blikket indstillet på mos, rust, krakeleret maling, pigstensbelægninger osv. Så zen som jeg nu engang kan blive.

Cambridge har utallige skilte med 'private', 'don't enter', 'closed for the public', og de taler virkeligt til min nysgerrighed. Nu har jeg flere trespasses på samvittigheden, end smeden har lasagnemiddage. Og dette eventyr gik faktisk rigtig godt lige indtil.....

...jeg fistrede rundt backstage hos St. John's College, og pludselig hørte orgelmusik tæt på. Og mens jeg prøver at lirke sidedøren til kapellet op, bliver den åbnet indefra af kirkens kappeklædte posse. Venligt presser de en kopi af 'Meditation on the Passion of Christ' ned i hånden på mig, mens de viser mig ind.

Og der står jeg så, i en setting jeg ikke kender. I dette kapel sidder man overfor hinanden, og flere af bænkene har borde med læselamper, og der er et meget seriøst look to it all. Jeg ved ikke om jeg skal sætte mig i højre eller venstre side, om de fine sæder i udskåret ædeltræ er out of bounce for sådan een som mig, eller hvad jeg i det hele taget formodes at foretage mig.

Jeg har ingen anelse om hvad der skal foregå - orgelmusikken brager, og folk ser henførte ud. Folk, der har sorte kapper på, bemærker jeg pludseligt. Folk, som har lagt ansigtet i de rette folder. Folk med røgelseskar, der får stedet til at lugte som formningslokalet på Egedalsskolen i 80'erne. Er det asbest eller modellervoks, de brænder af?

Og så er der altså mig, med min Harry Potter lydbog, guldvanter og alt for megen make-up. Ligner en transvestit til et enkebal.

Her begynder jeg så at nærgranske pamfletten, for også at se ud som om, jeg hører til. I bagklogskabens lys er det jo ret lamt, men hvad skal man gøre?

Een ting er sevet ind på nuværende tidspunkt: det er ikke fri filmforevisning af 'The Passion of the Christ', jeg er kommet til.

Jeg bladrer i mit lilla hæfte, som viser sig at være programmet. 6 duplex-printede A4-sider i hippielilla. I kid you not! Og det er ikke drejebogen til en sommerfest, kan jeg fortælle.

'I wake and feel the feel of dark, not day. What hours, O what black hours we have spent...'

Sådan fortsætter vi 6 livsglade sider, før vi slutter med 'Dead and Buried' af Elizabeth Rooney.

Selv for en gammel goth-fan som mig, er det for meget. Jeg beslutter at forlade festlighederne. Men se, her er det, at kirkens folk ka lære Hells Angels noget. Stedet er satme bedre bevogtget end et danskerdiskotek på Strøget. Bortset fra, at her er det svært at komme ud, hvis man ikke er een af 'the guys'.

Paterfætrene stiller sig simpelthen op foran udgangen, og prøver med deres fordømmende øjne at guilt-trippe mig til at gå ned på min plads (ok, det er måske bare min fantasi). Og ligesom provinsens stationscenterbander har de en forkærlighed for XXL-kostumer, så man ka ikke engang udse sig den, der er lettest at vælte, og ta stikkeren.

Anyways, de lader mig slippe. Måske fordi jeg selv er iført lang sort kjole og kappeagtig vinterfrakke. Og så -oh, ve!- har jeg satme glemt mine vanter inde på pøbelrækken. Jeg står mindst 1 minut og overvejer, hvor glad jeg egentlig er for de vanter, inden jeg må dukke nakken og snige mig ind til endnu en runde orgelfaciliteret weltsmertz.

Jeg er ikke for fin til at dele oplevelsen: Tjek deres webcast her.

lørdag den 8. marts 2008

March 8. -Women in the combat zone

8. marts -her sidder man saa og plejer sin karriere ved at vaere den eneste paa kontoret. Det er altsaa ikke fordi jeg er saerlig produktiv eller martyr-agtig, men mit vaerelse er temmelig koldt og skrivebordet beregnet til dvaerge...

I droemme klaekkede jeg en ide til et 1st-person shooter-spil med feministiske og koenspolitiske undertoner. Meget 'in the spirit of the day' maa man sige... Tidligere har jeg leget med spil-ideer som 'HooverHero' og dagligvareindkoebstraeningssoftwaren (puha - det blir svaert at laese uden danske bogstaver) 'Goddammit, WeAlsoNeedRealGroceries AndNotJustWineAndSnacks - Hero'.

Ingen af dem har dog vundet gehoer hos den spilproducerende del af befolkningen. Endnu. Jeg forventer selvfoelgelig at WIFT tager det paa sine skuldre at udbedre dette macho-tyrani paa computerspilsomraadet.

Maaske skulle jeg hellere bruge min energi paa at udtaenke noget brugbart. Jeg har vaeret en uge hos MS Research, og har endnu ikke taenkt een eneste original tanke. I stedet har jeg fundet det mest vidunderlige mosaiksoftware at lege med. I imorgen -naar bogkapitlet forhaabentlig er vaek fra mit skrivebord- vil jeg derfor drage i felten og indsamle fotos til mit nye mosaikbibliotek.

Det vedhaeftede foto bestaar af diverse mystiske billeder jeg havde liggende -zoomer man ind vil man finde en del billeder af en klaedeligt beruset Mama paa sin polterabend, en noegen julegris (naaja, det er de vel oftest), Kraftwerk covers og saa videre.

Det er ikke helt optimalt, at der flere steder sniger sig nogle 'out of context-billeder' ind (som fx. posters fra Dallas, og ligegyldige S/H piktogrammer, som jeg ikke forstaar hvorfor jeg har) og derfor giver det mening at opbygge et personligt billedbibliotek saadan at jeg i fremtiden ka skabe mosaikker der bestaar af tiles med relevans for hovedmotivet.

Det er selvfoelgelig ikke saerligt originalt, og det hjaelper ikke meneskeheden taettere paa a world of eternal bliss, men det er nu en meget hyggelig maade at browse i sine personlige fotos paa. Og vi skal vel ikke vaere cutting edge hele bloody tiden.

Jeg tror jeg er ved at varme op til en ide...
Maaske kunne jeg bygge et system, der tog input fra en hel families sense-cams og realtime-loadede dem til et display i hjemmet, som arrangerede dagens billeder i nye/ smukke/ overraskende/ provokerende mosaikker. I princippet ku man vel goere det samme med lyd? Altsaa, kreere en musikalsk mosaic ved hjaelp af lydbidder fra familiens hverdag. Ooh, so very ambient and awarenessy.

Hmm, det maa jeg lige ruge paa.....Jeg ka godt lide ideen om musikmosaik, men spoergsmaalet er selvfoelgelig om jeg ka faa nogen til at bygge det til mig. Det er en hel ny maade at dele sit liv paa som traditionel social software ikke rigtig rammer....hmm.

Men HooverHero ville selvfoelgelig heller ikke vaere daarlig...

onsdag den 5. marts 2008

Mister Lee med sensorjakke, blinklys og guldfiske-interpretator

Puha, saadan en 7-19 arbejdsdag ka sgu goere een helt stolt, naar man ikke har magtet at arbejde mere end tre sammenhaengende timer pr dag de sidste par aar.

Bogkapitlet er ved at tage form, og ka forhaabentlig skibes ud af mit liv om en uge eller to. Saa mangler jeg bare afhandlingen, inden jeg for alvor kan koncentrere mig om at kreere eet eller andet device indefor omraadet 'Augmented Human Pet Interaction'.

Hmm....jeg taenker 'Poultry Internet' moeder 'Metazoa Ludens' moeder 'Mister Lee's CatCam' moeder 'SNIF' krydret med ALT hvad man ka finde hos Ars Electronica. Mangler bare lige at faa krogen i nogle dygtige programmoerer, for den slags kan jeg nok ikke bygge med pap og kartoffeltryk.

Selvom jeg er en sand virtuos i genren.

Heldigvis er jeg ikke en hel ueffen sweet talker heller, saa jeg er stadig optimist (det er min trejde dag).

Jeg taenker at spoerge min ny buddy Tuck, om jeg maa arve nogle af de programmoerer som han har haft held til at charmere.

Om en halv time drager slavegalejen ned til byen for at indtage et rigtigt middagsmaaltid, og sikkert fortsaette gaarsdagens hede debat om positivisters ret til at udtale sig om noget som helst. Overhovedet. Cobbers er delt i lige dele HCI-folk (mit hold) og code freaks, med en administrationsmedarbejder i den lokale kirke og en jura-phd paa baenken. De holder sig klogeligt i ro.

Men saa skulle man altsaa ha sin foerste encounter med det beroemte engelske cuisine.... Maa nok hellere luske ud i chokoladeboksen og hamstre lidt kalorier i tilfaelde af.....ja, det siger vel sig selv.

mandag den 3. marts 2008

Vi har en chokoladeskuffe på kontoret! Hvor cool er det lige?

Hvilken dejlig dag.

Frokost på Bill Gates regning (og det manglede da også bare når han nu er trådt ned og interns ikke længere bliver inviteret til barbeque i casa del Bill) og opdagelsen af chokoladeskuffen (oh, ja!) i kontorets køkken.

Nu vil jeg sove med Harry Potter-oplæsning i høretelefonerne. Kun for at overdøve elradiatorenes klikken, selvfølgelig. Ikke fordi jeg er into børnelitteratur.

søndag den 2. marts 2008

Hvordan personaliserer man et pulterkammer?

Så var man endelig fremme.

Efter en halv dags transport var jeg nu landet i The Cobbers. Her er vi nemlig for fine til at bruge husnumre, så alle husene her i Hellerup-kolonien har navne ala Swan House og White Manor. Stilet. Rigtig stilet.

Bare ikke så pisse brugbart i en taxa, vel? Og det var vel derfor vi andre gik over til husnumre. Undtaget i Syrien selvfølgelig, hvor jeg husker at man skulle beskrive sin adresse, fordi de heller ikke gad det med numre eller vejnavne dér.

Husker svagt taxasamtale: 'Vores hus ligger i retning af den moske, der ligner et Mickey Mouse-hoved, men så skal vi til venstre inden det store dadeltræ'. Uforståelig reply fra chauffør, der måske ikke blev lykkelig over sammenligningen mellem hans tempel og symbolet for Det Store Onde. Jeg var sgu også blevet sur.

Men tilbage til Hellerup-sceneriet: Alt synes meget velhavende og designermøbelindrettet, altså lige med undtagen af The Cobbers, der mest ligner at refugium for enlige mænd (hvilket sikkert er ubehageligt tæt på sandheden, når det kommer til stykket).

Dave, som lukkede mig ind vidste for eksempel ikke, om der var en støvsuger i residensen (jeg ved, at de edderkopper har brugt timer på at arrangere en baldakin af tråd over min seng, men det skal fandeme ned, ligesom det i skufferne og det på knagerækken).
'I've only been here for 14 days', forklarede han. Og så kan man jo godt forstå, at han ikke har haft tid til at få brug for en støvsuger.

Efter to timers jagt i nabolaget har jeg nu fyldt mit lidet sexede pulterkammer-style værelse med et hav af blomstergrene, der overdøver lugten af el-radiator. Judith har sikkert udvalgt husets fineste og mest flæsebesatte polycrome sengetøj i dagens anledning, men for at skåne mine øjne og nerver, har jeg pænt gemt det væk i bunden af skabet. Jeg tør altså ikke lukke øjnene i et rum med storblomstrede flæser i støvet lavendel og gammelrosa. Sæt det synker ind i huden? Eller i hjernen mens jeg sover?

Så nu sidder jeg så her ved computeren og indtager et aftensmåltid bestående af en rulle polo-pastiller, mens jeg nyder radiatorens tikken og vaskemaskinens buldren i mit nye hvide, spindelvævsfri og blomsterduftende hjem. Selv en storblomstret skriggul take-away i Bollywoodtema, havde alligevel vakt jubel lige nu. Bare den var lokal. Og åben.

Jeg håber satanedemig at MSR har tænkt sig at byde på morgenmad. Må hellere huske at pakke cigaretter og neglelakfjerner ned i håndtasken, så jeg har eet eller andet at støtte mig til, indtil seniorforskeren er nødt til at invitere mig på frokost.

...jeg har selvfølgelig også en halv pose Fisherman's Friend, der vel egl godt ku gøre det ud for et let morgenmåltid, hvis jeg lægger dem i blød nu...

fredag den 29. februar 2008

Rock on, Sister!

'Velkommen hjem, Der er friskpresset appelsinjuice i køleskabet , og jeg har bagt vafler til dig.
Jeg kommer meget fuld hjem engang i nat,

[note ved siden af stor buket hvide tulipaner, klokken 20:15]

En velkomstbesked, der med tusind længder overgår den, der ventede på indersiden af døren til dametoilettet i Cape Town Airport. I København reklamerer de bare for ligegyldige konsumprodukter.

Cape Town bød - udover uendeligt mange taxature fordi man ikke må gå nogen steder efter mørkets frembrud - på en behagelig overraskelse: Jeg har fundet min 'thing'.

Det er lissom ikke nok at publicere hvis ingen alligevel kan huske een. Det har andre forskere forlængst fundet ud af (og har iført sig lange dreadlocks, inliners, kæmpehatte, fjollede kælenavne osv. blot for at blive husket og genkendt).

Men nu har jeg altså funder min 'thing': Bizarre smykker.

Bare for lige at gi en følelse af hvad vi taler om, er her et Citat fra Cape Town Airport:
'Is that your wedding ring, mam? Eez cool - hee hee - looks like a cake [bladrer i pas uden rigtigt at kigge] - hee - there's one too [peger på min anden hånd] nice - hee-hee [meget store, hvide tænder]. You fine: Rock on sister!'
[og med disse ord fik jeg så det eftertragtede stempel i passet]

Aldrig har jeg fået så megen positiv opmærksomhed fra det x-kromosomede køn [det fortjener i sig selv et udråbstegn!, for det er vist ikke noget vi er særligt berømte for]. Og aldrig er jeg blevet så mistænkelig over midaldrene mænds interesse for moderne skandinavisk smykkekunst.

Men, hvis det er det der skal til for at blive beundret af kyllingesensorjakkedrengene fra MXR, så fint med mig. Jeg overvejer bare hvor mange ekstravagante smykker jeg skal iføre mig for at få dem til at give tech-backing til de kommende måneders vanvittige Human Pet Interaction project hos MS.

[hmm, kan man se at det er en kylling i rød boa-jakke der vises på powerpointen? Well, det er det!]

Jeg mener, jeg kan jo sagtens sidde og surfe underlige kæledyrsgadgets og udtænke halvuduelige ideer, men jeg kan jo ikke bygge noget. Gad vide om de ved det hos MS? Og gad vide om jeg må få en af deres minions fra cellerne under kontoret for at lappe på det faktum?

Rock on, Sister!

[men husk lige at kigge under bilen inden du rocker, man ved aldrig hvad der ligger og lurer under den]