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Today's lesson: Chivalry is an outdated concept, it is a stupid French idea.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'Chivalry is an outdated concept.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