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Very Inspiring Blogger Award – The tenuous ten…

Once again Diary of an Internet Nobody has been honoured with an award.
I’m pleased to report that I’ve been chosen to receive the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, for “Keeping the blogosphere a beautiful place”, by Globe Runner over at Journey Around The Globe and as usual the accolade comes with a set of rules.

As anyone who reads this rambling stream of semi-consciousness regularly will know, I’m not a great one for rules, so I will be following my usual meandering path through the blogs that I’m nominating.
However, should any of my nominees wish to stick to a more conventional route, here are those rules in full:
1) Credit and link back to the blog that nominated you.
2) Post the award picture and list the rules.
3) Share seven random facts about yourself.
4) Nominate 15 other blogs to receive the award.
5) Permanently display the award on your blog and follow the person who nominated you. (optional)

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Well that’s 1) and 2) taken care of.
I shall be nominating ten blogs for the award, my randomness will be supplied by a musical accompaniment (in the style of The Tenuous Lynx) and I shall proudly display the virtual plaque on my awards page.

So without further ado, let’s move onto my first nomination;
(please check out the blogs and their musical partners via the links provided)

Why Evolution Is True is a fascinating blog that covers, amongst other things, scientific theories and discussion on both evolution and creationism. Well worth a visit, whichever side of the theological divide you fall on.
I chose to accompany this first nominee with a classic, gonzo video offering from the era of grunge:

Jam is a condiment similar to marmalade.
A marmalade tom is a cat with orange fur.
Otherwise known as ginger.
Connecting us to the next nomination, an eclectic and sometimes surprising photo-blog, including links to the inventive “52 rolls” project, Gingerlea Photography and I’m linking Fresh Ginger’s blog to a song from one of my favourite albums:

If you had a spirit wife, you may feel the need for some spiritual guidance.
For which you might turn to a monk.
And who’d have thought it but nominee three is Culture Monk, Kenneth Justice’s musings on life, coffee and the occasional foolishness of humanity.
His hand-picked tune is this non-PC slice of ’70s post-ironic pub rock:

The same phrase could be used to describe many of the photos taken by my next nominated blogger, because of the sometimes bizarre appearance and abundance of legs displayed by some of the subjects featured on Ron Scuberdiver’s Wild Life.
A vibrant, colourful and fascinating travel, photography and wildlife blog, check out Ron’s world if you enjoy being transported to exotic places.
I’d like to pair Rob with a true original, formerly plain old David Jones but now known across the universe by many names, including The Thin White Duke and Ziggy Stardust:

Unless I’m misinformed, the wild teenage life of someone in “sixth grade” is still yet to come, and yet my next nominee is only twelve years old.
Kiran Hiremath writes The Ink Stain, a mixture of personal journal, thoughts on life and beautifully written fiction with a maturity that belies the author’s age.
In an interesting juxtaposition, I’m accompanying his nomination with a new-age, psychedelic dance/trance/soul/a cappella number with a suitably trippy video.
You’re welcome.

Aya was the Akkadian goddess of love and my sixth choice of blogger to receive the award is Tim Love and his View Of The World.
If you want passionate writing that will touch your heart, from a writer with heart and a touch of passion, do yourself a favour and visit Tim’s blog.
The link to his tune is I think, self explanatory:

Samba is a musical style, and music requires notes.
Which connects us rather nicely to Notes Dropped In The Well, the new blog from my friend Lisa.
But before you start mumbling about favouritism and the like, let me say that her beautifully descriptive prose has been inspiring me on her Facebook feed for long enough to easily qualify her for a mention. I’m not going to quibble about where I read her work, I’m just glad more people will be able to enjoy it.
And her musical notes are dropped into a more magical portal:

To wish someone well at the end of a letter, you may write “Yours Sincerely“, which by crazy coincidence is the title of the blog from Monique Le Roux which is getting my next nomination.
I first encountered Monique when she asked for blogging tips and I rather embarrassingly told her that I thought she was a spammer with an outrageously over the top, fake French name.
Fortunately her sense of humour matches the tone of her quirky, optimistic and thoughtful blog and she saw the funny side in the end.
I’m hoping that humour will extend to forgiving me for thinking up her music link before I checked the relevant spelling:

Bulletproof is the name of a movie, which I’m sure my penultimate nominee has an opinion on, given that she is an accomplished film reviewer, as well as a journalist, travel writer and photographer.
Charlie Derry is a prolific blogger and one of the most consistently accurate movie reviewers I’ve read.
I have also greatly enjoyed her travel writing, especially her recent odyssey around Scandinavia, a journey that was accompanied by some stunning photos.
And from Charlie Derry we go to Derry, Northern Ireland, for her tenuous tune, a classic slice of ’70s punk-pop and John Peel’s all-time favourite record:

Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey is very vocal and opinionated on the matter of musicians’ rights, campaigning for better royalties and tighter copyright controls for artists’ work.
Another Opinionated Man is my final choice for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
His is an inspiring story in itself and you should check out some HarsH ReaLiTy for yourselves for blogging advice, plenty of opinions, poetry and more.
Bringing us to the final musical morsel in this tangled trail of tangents, a glacial slab of icy, swirling synths:

Thanks again to Globe Runner for nominating me, I hope you found something new and interesting to entertain you amongst the nominees here, and I hope you got at least one “Ooh, I haven’t heard this for ages” moment from the tenuously linked tunes too.

Ok, time to pick up the goodie bag and face the paparazzi…

[Thank you to Jeremy, “happiness engineer” on the WordPress support forum, for helping to sort out my problem with embedding video]

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Elevenses with Tina…

Welcome to the second to last but one post in this list of 13 pop culture and news highlights (in no particular order) of 2013(ish) brought to you each day via a tortuous route through seemingly unconnected reference points.
Tenuous lynx, if you will.

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Yes, you.

Today, the eleventh outing for Tina (formerly The Internet Nobody Awards, for any late arrivals) and her feline friend, takes us to something a little more cerebral, with some science facts instead of just science fiction.

But you’ll still get two nostalgic ’80s hit singles, one a Texan beardy rocker and the other a Brit synth-pop classic, and a full movie thrown in for good measure.

Yesterday we left poor old Brad Pitt battling zombies in World War Z, pronounced “zee”, as it’s an American film, so let’s start off with a song;

TV Dinners was a hit for impressively hirsute boogie-woogie good ol’ boys ZZ Top, accompanied by this early claymation video.

Whereas an example of the British pronunciation would be Peter Greenaway’s surreal black comedy, A Zed and Two Noughts.
Greenaway also directed a top British cast, including Joan Plowright and Bernard Hill, in another of his trademark darkly humorous tales, and you can watch “Drowning by numbers” in full right here.
By contrast, in 1980 techie geek UK synthesiser popsters New Musik made the charts with this catchy school disco favourite.

Living by Numbers is taken from New Musik’s album From A to B, possibly inspired by the quote;
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere” 
Albert Einstein.
Arguably the twentieth century’s greatest scientific mind, Einstein proposed the Special Theory of Relativity, which was instrumental in our understanding of how the universe works.

All of which can only mean that my choice for scientific breakthrough of the year, and possibly the century so far, is one that increases that understanding, the discovery of the Higgs boson or “God particle” by British professor Peter Higgs and his French counterpart, François Englert.
So in tribute to their towering intellect and dogged perseverance – even Stephen Hawking bet against them finding it, and lost $100 – here’s a fascinating documentary about their search for that elusive building block of the cosmos.

See, educational too.
Until tomorrow…

 
 

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The perception collective…

Some of the best sci-fi creations of recent years are The Borg, those cold and emotionless, humourless, part man, part machine assimilation addicts from Star Trek : The Next Generation.

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“A man walks into a bar..AND IS ASSIMILATED!!     Damn, I did it again”

And despite their deplorable lack of compassion, inability to tell a good joke and unimaginative fashion sense, they do have one thing in common with their human counterparts, albeit rather overdeveloped.

The hive mind.

Now, you may not think that you’re part of a gestalt collective with a communal consciousness, but there have been some very interesting studies conducted which seem to suggest otherwise.
In 1991 in California, a computer scientist carried out an experiment involving a movie theatre audience, a vintage video game called Pong, and some coloured paddles.

The audience were not given instructions or told what was going to happen, or what the small paddles they found on their seats were for.
The paddles were red on one side and green on the other, and with the use of hidden cameras and computers, could be used to control the moving bats on the movie screen.
One colour being shown by more than half of a given section of the audience would cause a bat to move upwards and the other would make it go down.

The audience were given a few minutes to see if they could work out what effect the paddles had on a cloud of coloured dots projected on the screen before the Pong screen appeared.

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Before Call of Duty there was…. Pong.

To get the bats on the screen to successfully keep up a rally, the audience would have to collectively (and instantaneously) decide what proportion of paddles on their side of the auditorium showed each colour, to ensure the bat would rise or fall the correct distance in order to intercept the moving ball.

Sounds impossible doesn’t it?

A load of strangers with no clue what they’re doing there, no way to communicate with each other in time to pass multiple instructions, and no practice.

Well just watch the amazing short clip, via the link below, to see just how wrong that assumption is.

             WATCH VIDEO

Isn’t that incredible?
Who’d have thought all those naked people would have turned up…

(… right, that should take care of those people who can’t be bothered to click on a three minute link)

How does that work then?
Collective consciousness does seem like a tempting explanation doesn’t it?

And that isn’t the only example of how a large group of people in collaboration can get better results than individuals working alone.

How about the study, made by Francis Galton, of the spectators at a county fair in the 19th century.
Galton established that when nearly 800 people attempted to guess the weight of a 1900lb prize ox at the show, even though the individual guesses ranged from vastly overweight to ridiculously light, the average of all the recorded guesses was only 1lb out.
This principal also works with crowd estimates of numbers, time and distance, and although it doesn’t have quite the same dramatic impact as the Loren Carpenter Pong experiment, with a little forward planning, crowds could possibly use their collective perception to predict all sorts of outcomes, from lottery results to poker hands.

It makes me wonder whether the great hive mind might not be the pool of inspiration that we all dip into from time to time, fishing for ideas.
And as I mentioned in my last post, it may explain why some of us come up with the same ideas simultaneously.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it…

 
8 Comments

Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Blogging, Computers, Science

 

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