Monthly Archives: February 2009

Random cultural observation

oslo-operahouse-jens-passot

Came across this – The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet Oslo.. and I thought Covent Garden looked good…

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£3 at 18/1

Last night I went to the Emirates to watch Arsenal play Roma. It was the first game that I’ve enjoyed in ages. We played really well and the crowd were up for it. For extra satisfaction, I also won £50 having placed £3 on Van Persie to score first and Arsenal to win 1-0. Mind you, we should have won about 3-0 and put the tie to bed. I was very torn in the last 20 minutes of the game – I am desperate for us to go through and as such we will probably need more than one goal. Having said that, I would have taken one nil before the game so it is a good result…and £50 is a nice little earner for doing absolutely nothing…

 

I was trying to think what the term is for when you cover off negative outcomes with financial compensation – where you bet on the opposition to win…so the worst outcome is you make some money and the best is that your team wins the game etc…

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Suffering Social Symptoms

A brain expert called Lady Greenfield (professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln college, Oxford, and director of the Royal Institution) has suggested that “Social network sites risk infantilising the mid-21st century mind, leaving it characterised by short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity”

I’m not sure is this is the first time that she has looked at the media landscape that surrounds us – but surely she doesn’t see this as a new development.  Throughout the history of time, these symptoms have affected people regardless of one too many tweet or poke.  I can see her point and I’m sure that the use of SMS and even email to an extent has had an effect on writing skills – but I’d be more inclined to look at the benefits of communication and of maintaining a dialogue – no matter how that dialogue is maintained.

Anyway, isn’t what is being communicated more important than how it is communicated. Structurally magazines like ‘hello’ and ‘grazia’ offer cohesive narrative, but the content is complete shite…

Greenfield warned: “It is hard to see how living this way on a daily basis will not result in brains, or rather minds, different from those of previous generations. We know that the human brain is exquisitely sensitive to the outside world.”

Seems like a classic case of nature and nurture. Our environment will always shape us but to see only the negatives of social networking doesn’t seem to be that openminded.  And isn’t the process of brains and minds differing from those of previous generations called ‘evolution’?

‘intellectual blitzkrieg’

I saw a great term today… ‘intellectual blitzkrieg’

It was used to describe the University Challenge winner Gail Trimble. The term just conjures up some great imagery. Dropping ‘bombs’ would be a term more commonly used for a rapper or something. The idea of her firing out answer after answer like missiles to destroy an opponent is a fantastic thought. Less fantastic is the thought of seeing her naked as she revealed that she had been approached by a lads’ mag to take part in a “tasteful photoshoot”.

I just fail to see how that could be of any interest to anyone .  Having said that, people seem to find stories about Jade Goody dying interesting so what do I know. God, I’ve had enough of the whole Jade Goody thing . I empathise with her wanting to give her children the best possible opportunity but the whole affair is incredibly unedifying. Somehow things always seem this way when Max Clifford is involved. The way that this guy leeches on to the dregs of society makes me feel physically sick. Perhaps far more worrying is that Daily Mail reading  Middle England can’t get enough of it…