Tuesday, 27 January 2009

This is important

There was a BBC report of someone failing a drugs test because it picked up traces of opiates from their fondness for poppy seed bagels.
If you are going to go for a job where you are going to have a urine test don't eat poppy seed bagels. Could be a cure for a headache or pain in the b*t though... which you might get from daft questions at the interview.
Bagels is one reason for going to New York. Are there others?
I’m getting to rather like NPR (US National Public Radio) although the news is extremely limited. I like the way the elderly news reader sometimes falters, it is delightfully human. It is also so quaint how he reads the ‘sponsorship messages’ and sounds so serious over the financial market reports: it sounds so 1950s. I like the music they play every now and again, it is really pleasant. There was an item about a teenager running a campaign against ‘cussing’. I realise that I have not picked up a signal from a past era that has bounced off Alpha Centuri because they were talking about ‘modern’ things like working out traffic conditions by monitoring how many mobile phones are on the move – scary stuff.
Here in Indonesia we will survive when the electricity goes. Government offices use typewriters – huge old fashioned ones just like my mother used to use – and make copies using carbon paper. It is wonderful! When the rest of the world suffers from a huge electromagnetic pulse from a passing asteroid or India and Pakistan throwing nuclear firecrackers at each other and all the west's data are wiped out here we will still be able to keep going on tilly lamps, typewriters and pin-hole cameras. I understand that radios (and TVs) with thermionic valves resist electromagnetic pulse destruction too. Let’s stock up on old technology! Next on the shopping list are valve radios, Brownie cameras and wind-up gramophones. There are always tilly lamps and candles in the shops and huge vats at home for storing emergency water rations.

Wednesday. 28 January 2009
From AF

I have an instamatic that is purely mechanical. Hurrah. I used it for years and years.
Of course in Italy the electricity and the water go quite frequently so everyone has candles and bottles of stored water. I used to love blackouts because they were so much more atmospheric, with the candles.
 I'm afraid that I'm not much of an enthusiast of modernity just for modernity's sake. Things have to have something to recommend them other than merely being modern.
 I love telling stories by the fireplace and I HATE it when kids can't entertain themselves because their game boys or x boxes are broken. I used to make my own fun!