How cool are Silo’s credits?

I’ve long been a fan of Hugh Howey‘s Wool series of books (especially the first and third; the second’s a bit weaker); in fact I’ve been enjoying re-reading them as a bedtime story for our eldest!1

Naturally, when I heard that it would become a TV series I was really excited! I’m enjoying the series so far, especially thanks to its epic casting. It diverges a lot from the books – sometimes in ways I love, sometimes in ways that confuse me – but that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to share how cool the opening credits sequence is!

Spoiler warning: even if you’re following the TV series there are likely to be major spoilers below based on my recollection of the books!

Sun shining through yellow clouds.

We open on the sun shining above a thick layer of all-obscuring clouds, tinted sickly yellow like poison gas, then descend into the darkness below. This hints at the uninhabitability of the world above, foreshadows Lukas stargazing through gaps in the clouds2, and foreshadows revelations about the argon gas used to flush the airlocks. The descent feels representative of humanity’s migration from the sunlit surface to the underground silos.

A star-shaped structure seen from above, through thick clouds.

Looking down, we see the silo from above in a desolate landscape, introducing the world and its setting. The area around it is shrouded and hostile, reflecting the residents’ view of the outside world as unsurvivable, but also masking our view of the other nearby silos that we might otherwise be able to see.

Dark circle on a yellow background with random radial spokes.

Descending “into” this representation of the silo, we get a view for only a split second that looks distinctly like the platter and spindle of a magnetic hard disk drive, broken-up as if to represent corruption. This reflects a number of major plot points in the first season relating to the destruction and recovery of secret information from ancient storage devices.

Sepia view "down" into a deep silo, with landings and skywalks visible.

Truly within the silo now, we see the spokes of landings radiating out from the great stairwell. The shape is reminiscient of a cog: a motif we’ll return to later. Humanoid shapes made of light, like you get in a long exposure, move around, giving both the idea of a surveillance state, and setting us up to think of all such “glowing spots” as people (relevant later in the credits).

Spiral, shaking, with illuminated gaseos shapes whipping around it.

A representation of the stairwell itself appears, with a lit gaseous substance whipping up and down it. Given that we’ve just been shown that this kind of “light” represents people, it’s easy to see this as showing us the traffic that grinds up and down the silo, but it also feels like looking at part of a great machine, pumping gas through a condenser: notice that there’s no landings any more: this is all about the never-ending traffic.

Skewed camera angle showing a dark bridge with ghostly gaseous figures crossing.

A landing appears, and the gaseous forms are now more-clearly humanoid, almost as if they’re ghosts (perhaps pointing to the number of generations who’ve lived before, in this place, or else a reference to Juliette’s investigation into the lives of those who lived before her).

A swirling mass of luminescent gas around a central pillar, with a fenced balcony visible.

More swirling gas-people, this time below an empty balconette: perhaps a nod to the source of Juliette’s uncommon name (in the books, it’s taken from Romeo & Juliet, a possibly-illicit copy of which is retained by the silo and performed prior to Juliette’s birth and for at least a short while afterwards: she writes mechanical notes on the back of a playscript), or perhaps a reference to George’s death after “falling” from a balcony.

Blue-white gas wirls around a pillar.

Seen from a different angle, the colour shifts, and the gas/ghosts become white like the argon spray of the airlock. The people are all part of a machine: a machine that sends people outside to clean and die. But more than that, the blue comes to represent a clean/perfect view of what a silo can be: a blueprint representation of the goals of its creators to shape the inhabitants into their vision of the future:

Partial X-ray of a human spine?

We refocus on the shape of the silo itself, but just for a split second the view looks more like an x-ray… of a human spine? As if to remind us that it’s people who upload the system of the silo, just as its concrtete uploads its physical structure. Also a reminder that the silo is treated (by those who manage it, both within and beyond it) as an organic thing that can be nurtured, grown, or if necessary killed.

Bridges seen semi-transparently.

This becomes the structure of the silo, but it almost looks architectural: a “clean” look, devoid of people or signs of life, like a blueprint, perhaps foreshadowing Donald’s role in designing the structures that will eventually become the silos. The “space” between the arms is emphasised, showing how the social system that this structure imposes serves to separate and segregate people: classism is a recurring theme in both the books and the TV series, and it eventually becomes apparent that the silos are specifically organised to reduce communication between interdependent groups.

Swirling spiral of gaseous light with a nautillus shell shape at its centre.

Returning to the “populated” silo – swirls of gas spiralling away down (or up: it’s no longer clear!), we catch a glimpse of a nautilus shell at the centre. The nautilus is a “living fossil”, a creature from a bygone era that continues to survive in our modern world, which is an excellent metaphor for the population of the dead world who go on living beneath its surface. The nautilus shell is a recurring image within the TV series: Gloria’s visions of the world that came before see her clutching one and tracing its shape, for example.

A seed in a yellow cloud.

We cut to what appears to be a seed, representing both the eventual conclusion of the story (Juliette, Charlotte and the Silo 18 survivors’ discovery of the cache of supplies that will allow them to begin rebuilding the world) and also the nature of the silo3. The seed we see initially appears to fail and degrade, becoming nothing at all, before eventually growing into the beginnings of a strong new plant. This could represent the eventual and inevitable collapse of silo 18, among others, but the eventual flourishing of those that survive, or on a broader scale the collapse of modern civilization to be replaced by the silos, or even of the silo system to be replaced with that which follows it after the conclusion of the story. Lots of options!

A seedling grows in harsh conditions.

It’s also possibly a reflection of the harsh and opaque eugenics/population control mechanism imposed by the “lottery”, which becomes a major plot point in the TV series much earlier than in the books.

Trees in a yellow fog.

We cut to trees, thriving despite a yellow fog. The sky can’t be seen, which is a reminder that all of humanity’s resources must now be produced underground (trees are especially rare and prized, leading to a shortage of paper4. It seems to be deliberately left unclear whether the trees we see are on the surface before the fall of humanity, on the surface after the fall, or grown underground.

Fruit falling from a tree.

A fruit falls from the tree, which links back to the seed we saw geminate earlier but also seems likely to be a representation of the concept of original sin. The grand idea of the silos was to create a better world on the other side of a man-made catastrophe, but this idea is inherently flawed because the systems that are constructed by the same people who are complicit in the destruction of the world that came before. The structure that’s put in place through the Pact carries the weight of the sins of its creators: even though the inhabitants of silo 1 ultimately intend to destroy themselves, they’re unable to create a new world that is both better than the one that came before and free from their influence: it’s an impossibility.

It’s also possibly a representation of the religious beliefs of some inhabitants that the creators of the silo should be revered as gods. This was a recurring plot point in the books but has been somewhat muted in the TV series so far.

Rotting fruit falls.

The metaphor continues when we see that this falling fruit is already beginning to rot, degrading as it tumbles towards the earth. We don’t see it strike the ground: it almost seems to hover in the air, uncertain and undecided, and reflective of the eventual end when the inhabitants of the silos break free from the shackles of the system that’s been constructed for them and can choose their own destiny. Or perhaps we don’t see the collision simply because the camera continues to fall down into the earth and below the surface again?

Heavy industrial machinery, smoke, and fumes.

This time, wer’e very deep: all the way down in the depths of Mechanical, at the bottom of the silo: home to our heroine and source of many aspects of the story. In the centre, a shaft descends, connecting us back to the “spine” of the silo – the great staircase – but it’s harder to see as a wealth of machinery appears to support it, occluding our view. From down here in Mechanical it appears that the machines keep the silo running, whereas further up it looked like humans pumped through it like blood, which reflects Juliette’s disagreements with many of those up-top about their priorities during her time as Sheriff and, later, as Mayor.

A cloud of steam, some of it with humanoid shapes.

We see a cloud of steam, like that used to drive the generator that brings life to the silo, and for a moment it’s impossible to differentiate it from the cloud of people we saw earlier, rushing up and down the stairs. Look closely at the steam, though, and you’ll see that it too contains the ghosts of people.

Many cogs whirl in a firey light.

Deeper still, the cog motif returns and we’re buried in an impossible number of interconnected gears. The machine that they support is impossible to comprehend from within: How big is it? What is it for? Who made it and why?

A cog crossfades into a top-down view of a spiral staircase.

The final cog mutates into the staircase again, winding away from us and hammering the point home.

A spiral staircase becomes encased in outlines of blue-white light.

The staircase changes again, first becoming an outline of itself (a callback to the “blueprint” design we saw earlier, reminding us that this thing was designed to be like this)…

A double-helix shape cast in light, being made from the alternating-steps of a staircase.

…but this becomes a double-helix, representing the chaos of life. Again, the metaphor is of a perfect idea constructed to achieve a goal, but the unpredictability of humans leads to a different outcome.

The ends of spiraling lights appear to spin around.

Seen from above, the staircase now looks like an enormous clock, a machine of cogs each turning slower than the one beneath, counting down until the end of the silo experiment in accordance with the whim of its creators. Except, of course, if something were to break this machine.

Cross-section of different-sized circular floors with ghostly people moving around.

Seen from the side, the silo is a hive of activity, but the shape the levels form in this depiction are exactly like the rotors of a steam turbine, and this is reflected by an image of steam, almost in the shape of a growing tree – passing behind it in the background. The generator and its rotor blades is a significant early plot point in both the books and the TV series, and the books in particular use engine metaphors to explain Juliette’s interpretation of different situations she finds herself in, even those which are distinctly interpersonal rather than mechanical.

Cog-like shape.

Looking back up the silo, towards the light, we can now see its shape and structure for what it is: just another cog – a part of an even bigger machine that is the whole Operation Fifty silo network. The people are the lifeblood of this machine, but they’re as replaceable and interchangable as any other part.

The word "SILO" in a stab-serif font, black on a yellow background.

Finally, we crossfade to the title, looking like a stencil. Each letter is more-degraded than the one before it, representing the impossibility of building a perfect system.

The credits sequence is less than 90 seconds long, but so much is packed into it. It’s just great.


1 We’re into the final act of Dust now and it’s been amazing to experience the characters – loveable and hateable – of the series.

2 Curiously, in the TV series Lukas is only ever seen stargazing on clear nights, which is one of those confusing choices I mentioned. I suspect it’s for aesthetic reasons and to help add some romance to Juliette and Lukas’s courtship.

3 A silo is, of course, a place to store something valuable through the hard times. This is exactly what the silos in this story are for.

4 The shortage of paper shows up many times in the books but is somewhat glossed-over in the TV series. I’m not sure how they’ll reconcile that with the impact of the discovery of the Legacy, later.

Sun shining through yellow clouds.× A star-shaped structure seen from above, through thick clouds.× Dark circle on a yellow background with random radial spokes.× Sepia view "down" into a deep silo, with landings and skywalks visible.× Spiral, shaking, with illuminated gaseos shapes whipping around it.× Skewed camera angle showing a dark bridge with ghostly gaseous figures crossing.× A swirling mass of luminescent gas around a central pillar, with a fenced balcony visible.× Blue-white gas wirls around a pillar.× Partial X-ray of a human spine?× Bridges seen semi-transparently.× Swirling spiral of gaseous light with a nautillus shell shape at its centre.× A seed in a yellow cloud.× A seedling grows in harsh conditions.× Trees in a yellow fog.× Fruit falling from a tree.× Rotting fruit falls.× Heavy industrial machinery, smoke, and fumes.× A cloud of steam, some of it with humanoid shapes.× Many cogs whirl in a firey light.× A cog crossfades into a top-down view of a spiral staircase.× A spiral staircase becomes encased in outlines of blue-white light.× A double-helix shape cast in light, being made from the alternating-steps of a staircase.× The ends of spiraling lights appear to spin around.× Cross-section of different-sized circular floors with ghostly people moving around.× Cog-like shape.× The word "SILO" in a stab-serif font, black on a yellow background.×

Hot Shots, Part Dream

I’ve a long history of blogging about dreams I’ve had, and though I’ve not done so recently I don’t want you to think it’s because my dreams have gotten any less trippy-as-fuck. Take last night for example…

I plough every penny and spare minute I can into a side-project that in my head at least qualifies as “art”. The result will be fake opening credits animation for the (non-existent) pilot episode of an imagined 80s-style children’s television show. But it gets weirder.

Do you remember Hot Shots!? There’s this scene near the end where Topper Harley, played by Charlie Sheen, returns to the Native American tribe he’s been living with since before the film (in sort of a clash between the “proud warrior race” trope and a parody of Dances With Wolves, which came out the previous year). Returning to his teepee, Topper meets tribal elder Owatonna (Rino Thunder), who asks him about the battle Topper had gone to fight in and, in a callback to an earlier joke, receives the four AA-cell batteries he’d asked Topper to pick up for him “while he was out”.

Still from Hot Shots!. Owatonna, an older Native American man, sits surrounded by animal skins. An English subtitle reads "So, who won?" A Japanese subtitle reads "誰が戦争に勝ったのですか?", which translates as "Who won the war?"
There are very few occasions where a parody film is objectively better than it’s source material, but I maintain that Hot Shots! beats Top Gun hands-down.

I take the dialogue from this scene (which in reality is nonsense, only the subtitles give it any meaning), mangle it slightly, and translate it into Japanese using an automated translation service. I find some Japanese-speaking colleagues to help verify that each line broadly makes sense, at least in isolation.

I commission the soundtrack for my credits sequence. A bit of synth-pop about a minute long. I recruit some voice actors to read each of my Japanese lines, as if they’re characters in an animated kids TV show. I mix it together, putting bits of Japanese dialogue in the right places so that if anybody were to sync-up my soundtrack with the correct scene in Hot Shots!, the Japanese dialogue would closely mirror the conversation that the characters in that film were having. The scene, though, is slow-paced enough that, re-recorded, the voices in my new soundtrack don’t sound like they’re part of the same conversation as one another. This is deliberate.

Meanwhile, I’ve had some artists put together some concept character art for me, based on some descriptions. There’s the usual eclectic mix of characters that you’d expect from 80s cartoons: one character’s a friendly bear-like thing, another’s a cowardly robot, there’s a talking flying unicorn… you know the kind of shit. I give them descriptions, they give me art.

Next, I send the concept art and the soundtrack to an animation team and ask them to produce a credits sequence for it, and I indicate which of the characters depicted should be saying which lines.

Framegrabs from four 80s childrens television programmes showing: marching robots, a cat scratching its ear, a unicorn with a knight's shield behind it, and a pastel-coloured creature using its huge ears to fly.
Identifying the shows I lifted images from to make this sample is left as an exercise for the reader.

Finally, I dump the credits sequence around the Internet, wait a bit, and then start asking on forums “hey, what show is this?” to see what kind of response it gets.

The thing goes viral. It scratches the itch of people who love to try to find the provenance of old TV clips, but of course there’s no payoff because the show doesn’t exist. It doesn’t take too long before somebody translates the dialogue and notices some of the unusual phasing and suggests a connection to Hot Shots! That seems to help date the show as post-1991, but it’s still a mystery. By the time somebody get around to posting a video where the soundtrack overlays the scene from Hot Shots!, conspiracy theories are already all over: the dominant hypothesis is that the clips are from a series of different shows (still to be identified) but only the soundtrack is new… but that still doesn’t answer what the different shows are!

As the phenomenon begins to expand into mainstream media I become aware that even the most meme-averse folks I know are going to hear about it, at some point. And as I ‘m likely to be “found out” as the creator of this weird thing, sooner or later, I decide to come clean about it to people I know sooner, rather than later. I’m hanging out with Ruth and her brothers Robin and Owen and I bring it up:

“Do you remember Hot Shots!? There’s this scene near the end where Topper Harley, played by Charlie Sheen…”, I begin, hoping that the explanation of my process might somehow justify the weird shit I’ve brought to the world. Or at least, that one of this group has already come across this latest Internet trend and will interject and give me an “in”.

Ruth interrupts: “I don’t think I’ve seen Hot Shots!”

“Really?” Realising that this’ll take some background explanation, I begin by referring to Top Gun and the tropes Hot Shots! plays into and work from there.

Some time later, I’m involved with a team who are making a documentary about the whole phenomenon and my part in it. They’re proposing to release a special edition disc with a chapter that uses DVD video’s “multi angle” and “audio format switch” features to allow you to watch your choice of either the scene from Hot Shots! or from my trailer with your choice of either the original audio, my soundtrack, or a commentary by me, but they’re having difficulty negotiating the relevant rights.

After I woke, I tried to tell Ruth about this most-bizarre dream, but soon got stuck in an “am I still dreaming” moment after the following exchange:

“Do you remember Hot Shots!?” I asked.

“I haven’t seen Hot Shots!” she replied.

Maybe I’m still dreaming now.

Still from Hot Shots!. Owatonna, an older Native American man, sits surrounded by animal skins. An English subtitle reads "So, who won?" A Japanese subtitle reads "誰が戦争に勝ったのですか?", which translates as "Who won the war?"× Framegrabs from four 80s childrens television programmes showing: marching robots, a cat scratching its ear, a unicorn with a knight's shield behind it, and a pastel-coloured creature using its huge ears to fly.×

The Perfect Art Heist: Hack the Money, Leave the Painting

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Thieves didn’t even bother with a London art gallery’s Constable landscape—and they still walked away with $3 million.

This comic is perhaps the best way to enjoy this news story, which describes the theft of £2.4 million during an unusual… let’s call it an “art heist”… in 2018. It has many the characteristics of the kind of heist you’re thinking about: the bad guys got the money, and nobody gets to see the art. But there’s a twist: the criminals never came anywhere near the painting.

A View from Hampstead Heath, ca. 1825, by John Constable

This theft was committed entirely in cyberspace: the victim was tricked into wiring the money to pay for the painting into the wrong account. The art buyer claims that he made the payment in good faith, though, and that he’s not culpable because it was the seller’s email that must have been hacked. Until it’s resolved, the painting’s not on display, so not only do the criminals have the cash, the painting isn’t on display.

Anyway; go read the comic if you haven’t already.

The Neighbors’ Window

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This beautifully-shot short film won Best Live Action Short Film at the Oscars last month, and if you haven’t seen it you owe it to yourself to do so. Over the course of 20 artfully-crafted minutes it tells two distinct stories, and before long you realise that what you’re really watching is the third story that emerges, Rubin vase-style, from the mind of the watcher and in the gaps between the two. Official website. Probably NSFW.

Consume less, create more

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Perhaps three people will read this essay, including my parents. Despite that, I feel an immense sense of accomplishment. I’ve been sitting on buses for years, but I have more to show for my last month of bus rides than the rest of that time combined.

Smartphones, I’ve decided, are not evil. This entire essay was composed on an iPhone. What’s evil is passive consumption, in all its forms.

This amazing essay really hammers home a major part of why I blog at all. Creating things on the Web is good. Creating things at all is good.

A side-effect of social media culture (repost, reshare, subscribe, like) is that it’s found perhaps the minimum-effort activity that humans can do that still fulfils our need to feel like we’ve participated in our society. With one tap we can pass on a meme or a funny photo or an outrageous news story. Or we can give a virtual thumbs-up or a heart on a friend’s holiday snaps, representing the entirety of our social interactions with them. We’re encouraged to create the smallest, lightest content possible: forty words into a Tweet, a picture on Instagram that we took seconds ago and might never look at again, on Facebook… whatever Facebook’s for these days. The “new ‘netiquette” is complicated.

I, for one, think it’d be a better world if it saw a greater diversity of online content. Instead of many millions of followers of each of a million content creators, wouldn’t it be nice to see mere thousands of each of billions? I don’t propose to erode the fame of those who’ve achieved Internet celebrity; but I’d love to migrate towards a culture in which we can all better support one another’s drive to create original content online. And do so ourselves.

The best time to write on your blog is… well, let’s be honest, it was a decade ago. But the second best time is right now. Or if you’d rather draw, or sing, or dance, or make puzzles or games or films… do that. The barrier to being a content creator has never been lower: publishing is basically free and virtually any digital medium is accessible from even the simplest of devices. Go make something, and share it with the world.

(with thanks to Jeremy for the reshare)

Passport Photos

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"Passport Photos" photo of a man with a fire next to him.

“Passport Photos” looks at one of the most mundane and unexciting types of photography. Heavily restricted and regulated, the official passport photo requirements include that the subject needs to face the camera straight on, needs a clear background without shadow, no glare on glasses and most importantly; no smile.

It seems almost impossible for any kind of self-expression.

The series tries to challenge these official rules by testing all the things you could be doing while you are taking your official document photo.

I love this weird, wonderful, and truly surreal photography project. Especially in this modern age in which a passport photo does not necessarily involve a photo booth – you’re often permitted now to trim down a conventional photo or even use a born-digital picture snapped from an approved app or via a web application – it’s more-feasible than ever that the cropping of your passport photo does not reflect the reality of the scene around you.

Max’s work takes this well beyond the logical extreme, but there’s a wider message here: a reminder that the way in which any picture is cropped is absolutely an artistic choice which can fundamentally change the message. I remember an amazing illustrative example cropping a photo of some soldiers, in turn inspired I think by a genuine photo from the second world war. Framing and cropping an image is absolutely part of its reinterpretation.

Metropoloid: A Metropolis Remix

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Yaz writes, by way of partial explanation:

You could fit almost the entire history of videogames into the time span covered by the silent film era, yet we consider it a mature medium, rather than one just breaking out of its infancy. Like silent movies, classic games are often incomplete, damaged, or technically limited, but have a beauty all their own. In this spirit, indie game developer Joe Blair and I built Metropoloid, a remix of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis which replaces its famously lost score with that of its contemporaries from the early days of games.

I’ve watched Metropolis a number of times over the decades, in a variety of the stages of its recovery, and I love it. I’ve watched it with a pre-recorded but believed-to-be-faithful soundtrack and I’ve watched it with several diolive accompaniment. But this is the first time I’ve watched it to the soundtrack of classic (and contemporary-retro) videogames: the Metroid, CastlevaniaZeldaMega Man and Final Fantasy series, Doom, Kirby, F-Zero and more. If you’ve got a couple of hours to spare and a love of classic film and classic videogames, then you’re in the slim minority that will get the most out of this fabulous labour of love (which, at the time of my writing, has enjoyed only a few hundred views and a mere 26 “thumbs up”: it certainly deserves a wider audience!).

The International Flag of Planet Earth

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Flag of Planet Earth

Inspirational, well thought-out proposal for a flag for unified, “for Earth” projects. The website is terrible, but the artwork’s great, and it’s always nice to see an artist focus on the idea of “uniting humanity” in spite of our politically-fractured world.

The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

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llustrating long-extinct creatures is difficult, but important work. With no living specimens to observe, it’s up to “paleoartists” who draw, paint, or otherwise illustrate the creatures of prehistory as we think they might’ve been. Their work is the reason that when we talk about velociraptors, stegosaurs, or even woolly mammoths, we have some idea of what they looked like.

But since all we have to go on are fossils, deciding how a dinosaur would have looked is as much art as it is science. And there’s at least one paleoartist who thinks we might be getting things wrong…

seriously, the guy has a point

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I got metaphorically spanked a couple of days ago. Folks have been talking about the Fearless Girl statue ever since it was dropped in Manhattan’s Financial District some five weeks ago. I have occasionally added a comment or two to some of the online discussions about the statue.

"Fearless girl" statue

Work Calendar [NSFW?]

In my office at the Bodleian, we’ve got a calendar on which employees mark their annual leave. The theme of the calendar is supposed to be paintings inspired by flowers… but – and maybe it’s just my dirty mind – this month’s image seems just a little bit saucy:

Our calendar this month. That's supposed to be a flower, is it?
Our calendar this month. That’s supposed to be a flower, is it?

Click to embiggen. It can’t be just me that sees… it… right?

Our calendar this month. That's supposed to be a flower, is it?×

The Shark

This morning, I left Earth to go to nearby Headington. This trip was primarily to put money into the back, register with a GP, and get some keys cut for the new lock in the garage door. However, I also took the excuse to re-assemble my bike since the move and get out and about because it occured to me that, through working from home (as I now do), I hadn’t actually been outside at all in several days, and I’d be at risk of some kind of cabin fever if I didn’t get some sunlight once in a while.

Headington’s perfectly nice, and an easy 10-minute cycle away from Earth: there’s an uphill section which I was ashamed to see other cyclists pushing their bikes up, but having spent the last ten years in a hilly Welsh town, there was no such nonesense from me. It’s nice to be living somewhere with cycle lanes pretty much everywhere, and motorists who pay attention to the bicycles that weave amongst them: having cycled along the unlit A44 at night and narrowly avoided being cut down by the speeding lorries that frequent that road, it’s a relief to be somewhere where cyclists are better-protected.

While running my various errands, I also took the time to visit the Headington Shark.

Yes, I now live a short walk away from one of Britain’s most unusual art pieces: a 25-foot fibreglass shark stuck head-first through the roof of a small terraced house in Oxfordshire. It’s supposed to be some kind of protest against nuclear proliferation, and it first appeared on the 41st anniversary of the atomic boming of Nagasaki, but I’m not sure that I “get it”. It is kind-of awesome, though.

In other news: this weekend Ruth, JTA and I will attempt to go to Jen & Nick’s wedding, in Belfast. I say “attempt” because we’ve not had a lot of luck with weddings, recently. Last year, Ruth managed to upset the bride at a wedding that she and I went to. Then, this year, the three of us failed to get to Andy & Siân‘s wedding when we had a series of car-related problems, and then the bride and groom didn’t make it to Adam & Emma’s wedding reception, after they got stuck in the USA when an inconsiderate volcano caused their flight to be cancelled. We’re hopeful that we’re not going to bring our string of bad luck to this wedding, too!


Silliest Thing I’ve Seen All Week

As this hilarious BBC news story tells it, an artist came home to his Liverpool house to find that:

(a) A criminal had broken in to his home.
(b) Mistaking a piece of his artwork as a human head in a jar, the criminal turned himself in to the police to tell them about it. He also confessed all of his crimes to his mother.
(c) The police broke down the door and raided the house, and found that the contents of the jar were merely formaldehyde and a mask made from rashers of bacon.

I laughed.

Now I’m going home. I’m not feeling top-form today.

Cool Thing Of The Day

Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #49:

Tear apart a pile of stolen computer keyboards to make a cool name plaque for your door, with real pressable buttons for each letter of your name, and not-pressable ones that say Enter, and Compose Character, and Do, and Lock, and, my favourite of all, stolen from an old dumb terminal, Rub Out. Also Blu Tack on some old network cards and a circuitbord. My room here is really starting to become a home…

The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.