Posts from 9th March 2004

Mar 04

I am not much of a

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 1,185 views

I am not much of a breakfast person but my boyfriend urged me to take up this habit. So I relented. Happily. Breakfast this morning consisted of muesli, extra raisins, dried banana, dried apricots, dried apple rings – yes, yes, I love dried fruits – milk and a dash of maple syrup. Tomorrow might be a winter breakfast: dried figs ‘n’ dates soaked in apple juice for about six hours. Then, in the morning (duh!), heat it up with apple and banana chunks. I might spice it up with some ginger.

Q: What do 76 blowjobs look like?

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 196 views

Q: What do 76 blowjobs look like?

A: A Slowdive EP cover.

Jason Salavon deals in the art of the average – taking a series of images (photos or film stills) and rendering them composite. The results point up the use and futility of the notion of an ‘average’ experience – the average blowjob is reduced to its essentials (a cock; a mouth) but also carries no erotic charge at all, looks nothing like anything we might imagine or fantasise about, looks to be frank somewhat alien.

My favourite piece on Salavon’s site is Playboy: Decades – forty years of erotica condensed into a polite Impressionist essence. The market researcher in me likes these pictures because they take data and tell a story with it – the centerfold woman becoming paler and thinner, diffusing and shrinking as the decades go by.

Almost two years ago

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 383 views

Almost two years ago, publog supremo mr barang and I managed to have a conversation that came, somehow, to the conclusion that MARMITE CHICKEN would be a marvellous thing. In our world this was:
1. Take a whole chicken
2. Slather it in marmite
3. Roast
Reminded of this earlier today, I finally got round to googling (the original conversation having taken place in a remote gite in normandy) and found a whole world of excitement (you have to scroll down the first two, soz like)!! The fact that we are not the culinary mould-breakers we thought is slightly disappointing, but it’s also quite cheering to know that others have realised that these two foodstuffs would go so well together.

Consciousness and quantum physics

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 290 views

Consciousness and quantum physics

There are very few more interesting and dfficult subjects than the nature of mind and consciousness. It doesn’t seem to resemble anything else in the universe. What is it? What is it made of? Is it distinct from physical processes (as in Descartes’ dualism), or is it just what the electrical and chemical activity of the brain feels like from the inside? The latter is my view, and there is more and more scientific evidence showing firm links between activity in areas of the brain and types of thought.

But this leaves some problems. If certain inputs provoke certain processes in the physical brain, which in turn cause certain reactions, where does consciousness fit into this? Some people have suggested it is just an accidental byproduct of brain activity, with no productive role to play – the smoke from an old train, contributing nothing to the actions of the train. Where does consciousness and will come in? Some of the more bonkers thinkers postulate the apparent link between thought and the real world as coincidence, or some trick played by God to fool us into imagining that our thoughts do anything.

One intriguing point at the other end of the bonkers scale (I mean superscientific wildness, not religious) that I’d like to mention goes back to Schrodinger’s Cat, that beautiful illustration of the collapse of quantum wave functions only happening when a conscious observer looks at the result (though even this is an arguable interpretation of this thought experiment). So is the function of consciousness to collapse these things, and give us a universe with a narrative, a single sequence of events? That does seem to offer an evolutionary advantage compared to the unimaginable (though not therefore necessarily untrue) alternative. This might sound bonkers, but it is the view held by some brilliant people, including Roger Penrose (see his book Shadows Of The Mind). He thinks that this may be linked to cytoskeletal microtubules, tiny protein structures in the brain that are at least on the right kind of scale for quantum effects. I should add that I mention this (so far?) poorly founded idea not because I think it is right, but because it strikes me as daring and interesting and original – as I’m not a scientist, this means more to me in many ways than whether it turns out to be true or not.

Do you want to be a star?

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 946 views

Do you want to be a star? Boys 12-19: THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!”

When casting for if…., they ran this ad (January 1968? The source is a bit unclear but round about then) in The Times, the Telegraph and yes, MELODY MAKER!

(Actually they only found one actor this way – he played Peanuts the beanpole boffin – and he wasn’t one of the two boystars that got made, McDowell and Robin Askwith. Anyway, good to see the Maker acknowledged in its right company even back in the 60s!!)