Welcome to the first real live blog post of Things, formerly only available via email. Things 1 through to 66 will be republished here in blog form on Tuesdays (and in fact Things 1 has been posted already), while new Things will appear when the Things newsletter goes out which is usually on Fridays. If you’re reading this and don’t know about the newsletter, it’s like what you’re about to read but in email form. (And if you prefer that to a blog then I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until I get a proper mailing list set up).
If you’re curious about the name ‘Nothing About Potatoes’ then do check out the very first post.
Now, on with the Things:
Laurence brought this metatrailer to my attention:
Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer
This reminded me of Charlie Brooker’s excellent observations on standard news formats:
Charlie Brooker’s How To Report The News
At about the same time, The Onion came out with it’s own version of the form:
I guess this next video is tenuously linked in that it plays against certain tropes of the genre, but more importantly it’s just a really superb bit of storytelling, reaffirming something I learned from Tim Sheppard’s course: an audience relates to a story through the storyteller, not merely via.
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty
And finally, not even tangentially related, I went to see this at the Barbican and it was fantastically surreal:
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot: Finches playing guitars
[Sadly this video is no longer findable :( – metatim 02/08/15]
You literally walk among a whole flock of finches playing six guitars as well as making noise on cymbals covered in bird feed. It’s free and on until May 23rd, and if you like the idea of it then you will certainly like the reality. Details are here.
YouTube comments are famously crass and immature (although what might be termed a ‘moral majority’ clearly make good use of the thumbs up / down comment rating system) which made the following comment I saw against a trailer for Wolverine all the more heartwarming:
“I watched this movie May 2nd and it was so awesome that I can’t even say how awesome I love all film peace to peace I like Wolverine with his Adamantium Claws so much that I can’t say even how I like the film is awesome and it deserve the best in the world”
(Also, the comments on the first video in this post are actually pretty good)
Last Week’s Puzzle
Last week in the Things newsletter I asked about ways to tell where to stand on a London underground platform such that you will be by the doors of the tube carriage when it pulls up.
My original answer had been to look at the painted line on the edge of the platform and find the patches with additional wear/dirt, caused by a larger number of people walking there as they left the carriage. However, this is rarely obvious enough to spot.
Rob suggested noting where ‘mind the gap’ is written on the platform. This works perfectly at some stations (such as Hammersmith), but these notices don’t seem to be present in the majority of stations so cannot usually be used.
Xuan suggests waiting until the train slows down and then entering the no-man’s land beyond the yellow line and moving along to where you can then tell a door will stop, although he admits this is quite a risky move.
Miranda points out you can reliably predict where the doors will be if you are at either end of the platform, but this isn’t always easy to get to and is often suboptimal for making changes. On that note, Rob was the first to point out the existence of an app to help with exactly that problem: http://www.tubeexits.co.uk/
My preferred solution is simply to use the large signs that say which station you’re at, as these are very often strategically placed where the doors will be for the convenience of those looking out when the train stops. You can go one step further (since judging by where other people tend to stand quite a few others have worked this out) by waiting sixteen square tiles further up or down the platform in order to be by the next set of doors along. Do note, however, that the sign trick does not work in stations where the architecture doesn’t allow free placement of signs, such as Mile End or Gloucester Road, where large pillars dictate the placement opportunities.