Twekesbury and the Mosquito Teenage Repellent

Tewkesbury in Englandshire is just the sort of place English towns ought to be like. A large abbey, genuine tudor houses that look like they’re about to fall down any minute, no discernable sight of industry save for an early 19th century flower mill still in heavy use, a marina filled with very expensive looking boats and even the rough parts of town look like suburban bliss. They also have more St George’s crosses flying than I’ve ever seen before.

Like all small towns it has groups of teenagers, but these are not the schemies I lived with in Bridge of Allan, here they sit around making polite conversation about Proust. However the owner of the video shop thinks that teenagers have no business being out and about socialising and should be at home playing computer games or something so has installed a Mosquito teenage repellent device which emits a loud high pitched sound on the edge of human hearing, teenagers can hear the unpleasant noise it makes but most adults can not. Except me. I find it very depressing that people think it’s acceptable to create a public nuisance and harrass innocent people just because they are teenagers. Which is what I told her, she didn’t have much of an argument in reply and it was turned off this time but if she turns it back on I’ll report her to the polis.

Science, Magic and Mass

I went to some more lectures in the Science Festival. The first was about the psychology of magic and showed some of the tricks used by magicians to deceive us. Most interesting was a video where we were told to count the number of times the basket ball was passed between players. On second viewing though the surprising thing was a man in a gorilla suit walking through the middle of the players without anyone noticing. Then we went to a talk about the supercomputers run at Edinburgh university. These machines not only cost a lot but also use fantastic amounts of electricity to run and almost as much to keep cool, a lot of supercomputers now are using more slower lower powered chips since that keeps the electricity usage more reasonable. Finally I went to a talk on tall buildings and how they are made, mildly interesting but didn’t help me understand much about how they stay upright. Between talks Beth invited me to go to Catholic Mass, this was about the most scary event of my life. Four men stand at the front saying meaningless stuff while everyone else chants back at them, they all just know what to chant back. This is a fantastic waste of time and money, I would have hoped that these four people who get paid full time saleries to say a quarter of a mass each a day could be better put to use on pretty much anything else.

Adam Hart Davis at the Edinburgh Science Festival

Sadly some people I know read OK magazine and watch soap operas and enjoy similar such low entertainment. These people sometimes laugh at my naivety of not knowing random famous people like Joan Collins. I’ve been asked who my preferred type of celebrity is but generally I’d say I don’t have one until I noticed that Adam Hart Davis was speaking at the Science Festival. He’s cool because he rides a pink bicycles and does interesting TV programmes like Local Heroes. His talk was slightly disapointing in that it wasn’t about anything much, he gave something of his background and TV career then showed some interesting science themed photography he has done answered some questions then went to sign copies of the book he was pimping. Also he had no bicycles. But he’s still cool.