2 4 / 1 1 / 0 3:
'p o p e s, p e e l i n g a n d d r a g o n f l i e s'

 

the following was written during the horrifically hot summer and only posted when i could finally be arsed...

this weekend i was informed by a friend of mine that he thought of me as a 'people person'. i'll admit i was somewhat taken aback. for years i've considered myself as socially retarded, awkward and above all ill-equipped to convincingly appear interested in the small talk of others. it's not my intention to appear 'cool', superior, or loftily above such trivialities, the fact is i don't do social situations well, or at least i had thought that i didn't. it seems that i'm better at the performance of 'me' that i thought i was, and though i often remain awkward and uncomfortable, i seem to be able to fool those around me into thinking otherwise. i'm still not sure if this is a good thing, or a bad thing.

i have composed and sent off a track for a bizarre compilation cd to be released next year by boyarm (www.boyarm.com) under the title 'il programma di religione'. the theme of the cd is popes of the last 2000 years and every track, of which there will be will be a massive 265, is named after a pope. because of the volume of tracks, each offering is to be no longer than 15 seconds long. i have chosen as my pope st.simplicius. more news as and when...

t.v. news story: in croydon a woman was bludgeoned to death with a length of wood, perhaps a section from a palette. police are asking if anyone has found a piece of wood, perhaps in an alleyway or even a skip. wood? in an alleyway or skip? never happen, not in london. needle / haystack.

another arse-upwards news story: 'ecotricity', a company specialising in renewable energy sources such as wind farms, are planning on building three 85 ft. tall wind turbines in east london. ok, fine, i hear you say, very ecologically sound, no problem there. however, my little tree-hugging friend, these turbines will be used to power the ford plant at dagenham, producing diesel engines for the whole of europe. now i'm no environmentalist but arse / elbow anyone?

http://svt.se/hogafflahage/hogafflaHage_site/Kor/hestekor.html - now that's what i call music. played with it for hours.

the skin on my fingers has begun to peel with the heat, a reaction to temperature i've not heard of, or noticed in myself before. is this the desiccation of old age making itself known?

travelling on a bus down oxford street. glancing out of the window i see something fly by. at first i think it's some litter blown by the wind but when i look it's actually a huge dragonfly, about 4 or 5 inches long -i kid you not, this thing was not indigenous. it flutters around the shoppers before disappearing again. it has to be one of the strangest things i've ever seen.

speaking of which... http://www.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka/saishin-e.html wow. headache anyone?

i think my pc just picked up police radio signal, just a fraction of a word as a siren roared by but still... for a second i thought my computer was finally talking back after me spending so much time calling it a cunt.

too hot to type...

recommended: (audio) 'verder' -cd- by kapotte muziek/ (comestible) peanut butter and marmite on toast/ (visual) ice / (sensorial) any breeze whatsoever

reviled: (audio) weather forecasts / (comestible) bad chicken dansak / (visual) skimpy clothing on the not so skimpily endowed / (sensorial) the smothering heat

"Silent sounds hit emotional chords

Scientists have found a way to add a spine-tingling dimension to modern music. They played an experimental organ pipe too low to be heard and then collected reports of strange reactions - sorrow, coldness, anxiety and shivers down the spine.
They were playing with infrasound, the point at which an instrument resonates at an inaudible frequency. The experiment was conducted during concerts of contemporary music at the Purcell Room in central London.

"Infrasound has been suggested as weaponry because it has potentially negative effects on people as it vibrates the. Some people have suggested the presence of infrasound is causing unusual experiences in sites that are allegedly haunted," said Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at University of Hertfordshire, who will outline the research at the British Association festival.

"Some organ pipes in churches and cathedrals produce infrasound and this could lead to people having very weird experiences within church and attributing it to God. We wanted to try to assess some of these claims."

The guinea pigs were 750 concertgoers who turned up to listen to music by Philip Glass, Pärt, Debussy and more recent composers - including Sarah Angliss, who joined the scientists in devising the experiment. Humans hear at a range of frequencies from 20kilohertz down to 20hertz - lower than a bat's squeak, higher than a whale's rumble. But some organ pipes produce frequencies as low as 16.4 herz.

To test the theory that infrasound could trigger sensations, the researchers worked with physicists to add silent notes to parts of the music. They also handed questionnaires to the concertgoers to see if any unusual sensations coincided with inaudible bass lines.

One of the ghost instrumentalists monitoring the bad vibes was Richard Lord of the National Physical Laboratory. "It was a double blind experiment. I didn't even know, before the concert, which pieces the infrasound was going to be in."

The audience reported 22% more "unusual experiences" during those pieces accompanied by infrasound. They reported "shivering on my wrist, an odd feeling in the stomach, increased heart rate, feeling very anxious, a sudden memory of an emotional loss," said Prof Wiseman.

Natural sources of infrasound - wind, air conditioning systems and traffic for example - could possibly explain why there were persistent reports of hauntings in some buildings. But the environment would affect the attribution, he said.

"If you walked into a modern building and suddenly felt sort of ill but didn't know why, it might be sick building syndrome. If you walk into an old Scottish castle with a reputation, that's a ghost."

-Tim Radford, science editor
Monday September 8, 2003
The Guardian "