Sunday, August 31, 2003

turning pages

Just the usual wet Sunday spent turning the pages of the Leonardo Notebook at the British Library. (via Fair and Balanced)

Turning the Pages is an award-winning interactive display system developed by the British Library to increase public access and enjoyment of its treasures.

Visitors can virtually 'turn' the pages of rare books or manuscripts in a highly realistic way, using touch-screen technology and animation. They can zoom in on the high-quality digitised images and read or listen to notes explaining the significance of each page. There are other features specific to the individual books. In the Leonardo Notebook, for example, a mirror button turns the text round so visitors can read his famous mirror handwriting.

Turning the Pages allows many more pages to be viewed and enjoyed than when a single opening is displayed in a glass case. Importantly, neither the original or facsimile are damaged during the process.

The award-winning interactiive display is so novel that it almost competes with the treasures themselves. Boynton can't seem to shake her low library-special-collections self-esteem though, and even virtually worries that she's being too rough with the pages.

Comments: turning pages

The hand that turns the pages of Leonardo's notebook is suitably clad in a white glove.
Posted by Nora at August 31, 2003 06:49 PM

aout 2

Last day of August is suitably aout with wind and rain keeping stir-crazy canines cooped up, and boynton now sporting a suitably twee sporting injury - a paper cut to the thumb from the local library opening-hours card - aout-ee.
It was not a good omen for this minion when she read the first line of her horoscope:There is a small part of your left elbow that is secretly Leo
and there was not much grunt in her secret battle cry either:

Lo! Who is that, rampaging through the tundra! It is Boynton, hands clutching two hardened pitas! She roars mightily:

"I'm going to hack into your brain, and type rm -rf !!"

What is Your Battle Cry? (via bifurcated rivets)

and naturally there is not even the odd inuendo in her search requests to exploit

Comments: aout 2

Yea, verily: Who is that, sprinting out of the icy wasteland! It is Nora, hands clutching a burning branch! And with a cruel roar, her voice cometh:

"In the name of Thor the Mighty, I plunder with reckless abandon!!"
Posted by Nora at August 31, 2003 06:44 PM

verily I covet your battle cry, Nora.
tried to get another for boynton but it kept returning with the pitas.
Posted by boynton at August 31, 2003 10:46 PM

I tried it and got

"You in some shit now, muhfuh! I swear that on this night, you shall dine in hell!"

I'm all class.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at September 1, 2003 10:56 AM

Yea, verily: Who is that, rampaging amidst the freeway! It is Wen, hands clutching two hardened pitas! She roars ominously:

"In the name of Thor the Mighty, I sow darkness and discord until everything has croaked!!"

D'you think this will encourage my daughter to clean up her bluddy bedroom?
Posted by wen at September 1, 2003 10:57 AM

Who is that, sprinting along the desert! It is Gummo Trotsky, hands clutching two hardened pitas! He grunts ominously:

"I'm seriously going to torment you until you turn magenta, and grin like a fucking maniac!!"

Personally, I'm not sure that there's too much to be afraid of when someone threatens to turn you into a grinning magenta maniac. Especially if it's from quasi-coital pleasure.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at September 1, 2003 12:30 PM

I'll swap yous all.
Hell, darkness and discord and quasi-coital magenta mania sure beat my pathetic, alegebraic (vulgar?) cry.
Posted by boynton at September 1, 2003 01:07 PM

Saturday, August 30, 2003

blog games

In addition to kaleidoscope, (which she's finding to be a great content sport for bloggers) boynton's now signed up for blogstop. Addiction issues?
Don't nod.

Comments: blog games

Yet another game to try...
Posted by Bill at August 31, 2003 11:23 PM

Less is so often more...

(Finding It Very Entertaining, Bill)
Posted by boynton at August 31, 2003 11:38 PM

Meetings should be Five Words.

"State of the Union," also...
Posted by Bill at September 1, 2003 06:54 AM

I would second the motion

except I have a dream
Posted by boynton at September 1, 2003 06:58 PM

old slides

The slides are local (scenes from roadside childhoods) and universal.
(Dad's Old Slides via newthings)


as readers may be aware, boynton doesn't care much for the snark - like others she still harbours fonder asscociations of the word. This is an interesting read on the mindset/genre/culture within literary circles. (via fimoculous)
The comments thread provides lively discussion with these from Robert Birnbaum:
We may have entered the era of meta-snark. Saying somebody is full of shit is not snarky. Or claiming that they have heard "an author's last four or five books are not very good." —that is hearsay or as we say in the real world, gossip
I am against the rising tide of snide. Just as I accept the distinction between cynicism and skepticism, I deny the synonimity of clever and snide. Snide is ill spirited and negative. One does not learn anything from it. And learning something, I think, is at the heart of our intentions

If this is indeed officially the era of snark, or as Birnbaum calls it : the cultural moment that invites and on some level glorifies this know-nothingism, boynton will head for the heritage hills and jealously guard her irony. The link to the Heidi Julavintis Believer article is worth following -where the infiltration of snark is seen to have emerged in part as a reaction to false hyperbole - This is wit for wit's sake—or, hostility for hostility's sake. This hostile, knowing, bitter tone of contempt".
boynton shares some of Julavintis misgivings about the spirit of snark, and the desert of meaning that sometimes seems to be at the heart of it.
See also: see Hunting Snark: Heidi Julavits Stomps a Virus

Comments: snark

Posted by Gianna at August 31, 2003 05:51 PM

Posted by boynton at August 31, 2003 06:13 PM

Friday, August 29, 2003

cheap cryptic

Several letters to Bonny were ruined from over the ocean in Florida.(7)

update boynton has rarely tried playing this puzzling sport, though she has often heard her father's recitation of abstract clues. So after counsulting the expert,
he has offered the following example, which he claims is closer to the mark

the initial direction separating the child from his weighty capacity?

Comments: cheap cryptic

I give up!

What is it with fathers?
Posted by wen at September 1, 2003 09:52 AM

Yes he was quite dismissive of my first attempt to "ruin" ... boynton... he thought the literary allusion (see ocean) was superfluous - and the town it referred to was too obscure.

the 2nd was actually a co-effort, he suggested the cryptic logic - (the middle N)- I filled in the dots.

must get around to attempting The Age's puzzle on a regular basis.

Glad your comment gave me an excuse to explain the crytptic, wen, I forgot to embed a link within.
Posted by boynton at September 1, 2003 12:46 PM

one's oddness

Be careful what you wish for... the odd throw-away line may become incorporated. Boynton's casual brag to Mr Wickstein that she was the original odd blogger was actually grounded in a sense that she doesn't fit in within the greater ozpundit blogosphere - the gatekeepers, the cafe chatterers, the football fiskers, the bar-room brawlers or the serial snarkers. Guess she never will.
Not that she's claiming to be original at all - as her loyal readership knows she merely peddles a few well-known genres - namely my dog, my link log, the odd random generator and a few pictures.
It's not even funny.
Obviously though a sense of oddness is quite common amongst the blogging fraternity because Scott's subsequent suggestion of forming an Australian Association of Odd Bloggers has been taken up with enthusiasm. Boynton being predictably odd is half thinking along Groucho's lines:
I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member - one's oddness would seem to prevent the neccessary sense of belonging - but applauds the efforts to try to unify diverse oz bloggers who declare themselves odd and proud of it.
On the other hand, beyond the laudable ring thing, what might such a body achieve?
She hopes serious labour and radical historians and those better versed in the history and ethos of friendly societies will forgive her, but she did a brief google delve of Odd Fellows Associations and found some instructive pages. For instance the IOOF informs us:

Our Vision since founding is:

"To elevate the character of man under the Fatherhood of God and within the brotherhood of man."

Our Mandate since founding is to:

Visit the sick

Relieve the distressed

Educate the orphan

Bury the dead.

One can see how the mandate might have been made for blogging, right down to the bullet points. (the list being the original last word in web style)
Visit the sick The AAOB could organise mass visitations to sick or ailing member bloggers through a pass-round-the-linkage-hat or even by enlisting the support of one of the Tims to send an easy 500 their way. Nothing like a blitz of hits to recharge the batteries. (we would imagine)
Relieving the distressed is similar territory - though perhaps this is conducted in camera - through a buddy system (forgive the americanism). Boynton has often thought of the merits of a comment-buddy (whose only obligation would be to relieve their designated blogger of the distressing (0) with any small comment, on topic or off, extended or simply X - my mark )
A spelling-cop-buddy/fact-check pedant might also be beneficial.
Educate the orphan This might mean either providing formal instruction and help files for newbies, or perhaps, in the future, settlement and counselling for the exes of group blogs who may have decided to go their separate ways.
Or even orphan in the sense of prospective dumpees of servers or ISPs or software wars.
Bury The Dead - in the tradition of this site - this service might provide a more respectful farewell through spontaneous tribute and commemoration activities, eg occasional linkage to the archives or a piss-up in the front bar.
Afterall We're all going to die

Finally boynton has only begun reading the digitised versions of historic Odd Fellow magazines, but on the top of page one of the first of this collection, she found a poem which she has dutifully secularised by substituting B for G...and which may or may not stand as a provisional motto for a conglomerate of odds

Well may the world imagine we are odd -
We love our neighbour and we love our blog

see also:
We Unite to assist each other
secret society and Masonic paraphenalia

on a roll

Our trivia team is on a roll at the moment. After months in the winter wilderness a new outfit made an impressive debut and will now have to synchronise whirling social schedules to sip from the victory cup. (And possibly some more communal mudcake - the proof being somewhere in the pudding)

(pics from the very splendid retro americana via J walk)

(this unsavoury boasting was shamelessly posted to secure some more points)

Thursday, August 28, 2003


Recently in melbourne (motto: "fire"), residents reported an outbreak of labradors. Perhaps you think there are no labradors in melbourne. Perhaps you are an idiot.
As the French say, au contraire (literally: "you suck!"). I have here in my hands a copy of an Associated Press article sent in by alert reader nora, whose name can be rearranged to spell "NAOR", although that is not my main point...

This was boynton's first bash at Auto Dave the automated Dave Berry column generator (Lite). Obviously it pays to watch your input nouns and adjectives.
(via Making Light - Particles)

the truth is- boynton is a sucker for any generator, and this magical slogan generator provides a few narcissistic gems for bloggers.
boynton - a little dab'll do ya, Australians Wouldn't Give A boynton For Anything Else, It Takes A Tough Man To Make A Tender boynton, Because boynton Can't Drive etc, (via J Walk)

For a list of some slogans of a different ilk
Slogans Not Found at a Beachside T-Shirt Concession Stand in the Summer of 2003
-The Guy Who Used to Sit Next to Me in Trigonometry II Is a Very Wealthy Man
-Try Rooting for the Losing Team

(via Brad Zellar Open all night)

and you can listen to Oprah's brand (twice) here (via Anil Dash)

Comments: slogans

Did you see Dave's been listed by "the centre for the easily amused" ?

I want that listing too!
Posted by at August 29, 2003 01:38 PM

and can you let me know when you find a "wen's novel" generator....
Posted by wen at August 29, 2003 01:41 PM

I'll add it to the list, wen.
I'm on the lookout for a few of my own - an oz council grant application generator would be quite handy.
Posted by boynton at August 29, 2003 03:08 PM

Yes - with guaranteed 50 points for each category & clever two page synopsis of as yet unthought of best-selling literary novel .... (hah!)

Was going to suggest creative doctorate/scholarship route - but have a feeling that Miss B would know all about this particular lurk.

Have you considered a serial web-novel, with a comments facility available only to very generous subscribers & an alternative narrative (let me write my story your way!) for premium patrons??

Failing that - garret, hunger, addiction, consumption ... masterpiece!
Posted by wen at August 29, 2003 03:48 PM

Currently trialling all of the last options - save the masterpiece. (The addiction and consumption bit refers of course to blogging)

Seriously - I hadn't thought much about these other possibilities, but they sound quite exciting. Maybe subscription is the elusive way to go - but I would be wary of instituting any hierarchy of readership. Everyone's pretty premium round these parts ;)
On the other hand, perhaps there are some genuine ways to "filter" membership?
I've only written plays to date - but I am enjoying writing "non-dramatically" - whetted the writerly appetite perhaps. Suspect I could only handle writing a fragmented/associative "on line" style novel - who knows.

btw there's one example of an on-line group novel being written at " Exit Stage Left" that Meredith at Invisible Shoebox initiated -

Hmm...Interesting ground...
Posted by boynton at August 29, 2003 04:45 PM

Recently in Toongabbie (motto: "something stinks"), residents reported an outbreak of scandals. Perhaps you think there are no scandals in Toongabbie. Perhaps you are an idiot.
As the French say, au contraire (literally: "that is dead!"). I have here in my hands a copy of an Associated Press article sent in by alert reader boynton, whose name can be rearranged to spell "BYNONOT", although that is not my main point...

Posted by Nora at August 29, 2003 05:10 PM

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

photos of signs

Love this sign
From the "weird, misc" group in photos of signs
There aren't many things I appreciate more than an interesting sign or a unique type sample...
This is another.

via the wonderful, misc iconomy


so boynton and a couple of friends went to Victoria Gardens and took the lift that said: Mars (actually claustrophobic boynton took the stairway to mars) and dodging puddles in the bleak rooftop carpark joined the small crowd gathered around the various clumps of telescopes owned by volunteers who tweaked the settings graciously for each beanie clad punter who wanted to see better. It was a rather miserable affair on such a night - the various volunteers seeking the sustenance of polystyrene hot drinks at their lonely stations. It's been a long three days confessed one young telescope-owner. Friday was the best night.
The biggest queue was for the biggest looking telescope, but boynton sampled a few of the lesser lenses and Mars always looked pretty much the same - a little white moving dot, like spilt liquid, even you might say, a tear drop. It seemed a little odd to take the disembodied view - to peer down into technology, away from the sky. To take the telescope's word for it as you took your bearings again by looking up and seeing that bright yellowish star within the clouds. The view of the city lights to the west, through the naked eye, looked pretty good too. For Earth.

Millions watch Mars... The Age

boynton's first visit to Victoria Gardens

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

nz trivia

Can electric fencing be an effective contraceptive? (answer)

as boynton prepares to rejoin the trivia fold, she found this interesting archived
from lifestyleblock - the information hub for lifestyle farmers in NZ.

she's just not quite sure if studying these particular questions will pay off...
When is a barrow not a wheel barrow
Is a Crossbred Dog-Trial winner eligible for the NZ Sheepdog Stud book?
What was the longest period without rain in the Waikato in June?

Comments: nz trivia

So, was the cow AC or DC?
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at August 26, 2003 01:46 PM

Posted by boynton at August 26, 2003 01:49 PM

sorry - realise that zee was a gratuitous americanism which is a shocking thing for miss b to indulge in. pls forget I ever zed it.
Posted by boynton at August 26, 2003 03:03 PM

Due to an early exposure to Sesame Street I can never remember which way we're meant to say it anyway!
Posted by wen at August 27, 2003 10:26 AM

Got to watch the dude-speak creep, wen.
In any case, this site is an elevator, sidewalk, janitor, vacation, math, sports, buddy, faucet and zee free zone.
we're all cobbers on the information footpath here.
Posted by boynton at August 27, 2003 03:28 PM

Righto, mate.
Posted by wen at August 27, 2003 03:41 PM


walking rogue dog up street, she has almost completed a perfect round of pretending to be canine companion - (as complex as dressage for such a dog) -when she suddenly enters that wolf zone and starts stalking something in the distance, oblivious to all the usual suspects, totally focused on this herd-able object loose on the footpath. Unlike other dogs she shows no embarrassment when she encounters the truth. At least the illusion did not burst but floated happily away, gloating.

Comments: loon

argh! the truth has slipped from our grasp (aka that link appears to be broken). any more clues?
Posted by Gianna at August 27, 2003 01:33 PM

Oh no!!
That link was fine all day yesterday then, bang - the balloon bursts!
That link was actually a picture of a balloon dog - which was a bit of poetic license on my part, Gianna, as I'm not sure if Flo was seeing canine or feline or even bovine (folk-memory) or plain bird in the small balloon bouncing happily along up the street.
Thanks for the alert. I may have to substitute -
fix the link, but break this thread - eh!
Posted by boynton at August 27, 2003 01:45 PM

alas the purple jpg not quite as good as the earlier green model.
Posted by boynton at August 27, 2003 02:03 PM

Posted by Gianna at August 28, 2003 12:23 PM

Monday, August 25, 2003

comic camp

Last week boynton returned to a site she once visited almost daily IRL - the books at the old local Salvos. The word site is probably quite apt because the over-laden tables of uncategorized books made for a browsing experience not dissimilar to surfing the web. Precious children's books nestled with cooking, cultural theory classics with lonely planets, Neil Postman with Women who stay with Men who stray Boynton was hovering for a long time near a man who was squarely staying put over this title, with her eye not on the lofty literature, (as of yore) but the pop culture ephemera. Always a Batman fan - she snapped up The official Batman Batbook by Joel Eisner.

Included in the memorabilia, anecdotes and trivia was this account by one of the writers, Ellis St Joseph.
'My experience with 'Batman' was a very strange one. I loved doing it, but when I came into it, it was in its second year, and its ratings were falling off. I knew why- it was very clear to me - but it wasn't to them, because I believe they were so into it. There is a delicate balance bewteen comic or camp and suspense, and if you listen to the critics too much about the camp, you become totally comic and lose suspense. I think kids as well as grown-ups want a litlle suspense along with the comedy, but they had lost it. So, I set about creating something that would restore the feeling of suspense and even increase, if possible, the comedic elements.."

Getting this critical balance right, and then holding it is indeed the crucial factor.
Boynton can think of a few comedy shows that have sadly devolved into camp by their second or third series. It is rare for them to be able to regain the lost
cred, or comic suspense - as Elllis suggests.
This rare tonal balance is just as important and just as elusive in the theatre - boynton has often watched as the fine line is walked, sometimes trampled, sometimes waltzed.

(footnote: more on the fate of Eliis' episode The Sandman Cometh here)

shark net

Thought The Shark Net was fabulous TV. Everything came together - writing, direction, casting. The universality of the story worked because of the authenticity and complexity of the local. It was so clearly Perth early 60's - an otherness of geography, light, social scale - but there were resonances everywhere in the layered imagery and dialogue.
In this long (46 min) but lively ABC Perth radio interview, the book's author Robert Drewe claims that the story of the serial killings that terrorized the city has become one of Western Australia's Central myths - almost like Kelly. Drewe joins Producer Sue Taylor, and Tony Cooke - son of the convicted killer, Eric Cooke - for a discussion that looks at both the techie questions of the series and also the social context - and the talk back callers confirm this sense of parochial myth - everyone has a story, and the story as a cultural catalyst.

Maxine McKew Lunch with Robert Drewe
what makes The Shark Net such a singular effort is Drewe's marriage of the ordinary and the positively gothic

The novel was adapted by Ian David. (Police crop, Blue Murder) Interesting transcript here of an earlier talk - mainly discussing the docu-drama form, but containing some good general observations on writing...
Since after-dinner chat became de rigeur in the odd cave in the South of France, those who peddle ideas and words, even pictures and music, have a contract with society, I believe. They're given a licence to journey into strange territories, and they're expected to be honest in their dealings and report back with due care and reverence to their experiences. They represent all of us in that collective dreaming pool, the human condition. If a writer can't, or won't take responsibility for being a diligent scout, then I believe society should strip him or her of their prizemoney and keyboard, and ignore their protestations until they day they pass on...
As a writer with this form of drama I am obsessed with irony. Apart from structure, it's the main creative contribution I make, it's my fingerprint. I try to suffuse my stories with irony like waves through marble cake. I try to look at things as though there is another opinion and another impression to be gained...

...Irony is a way to make comment while sticking to the facts. People always say what they don't mean. Intentionally or unintentionally, irony is revealing. Corporations and governments have elevated irony to an art-form, and to what they say is always what they don't mean...
Irony is everywhere

Comments: shark net

Damn - I missed it. Will have to keep a list of 'things to watch' somewhere obvious & stop falling asleep at ridiculous times.

Met Robert Drewe (briefly) a few years ago at a talk he gave here - asked him a really, really stupid question which ( thankfully) has been completely excised from my memory-zone, & which he very politely - er - was unable to answer.

The Ian David talk interesting - would have to agree that fiction easier, but not quite sure what he's saying about irony. Suffusing your stories with irony like waves through a marble cake is a rather yummy image though!
Posted by wen at August 26, 2003 08:56 AM

Stories like the Shark Net are what David Marr is missing or misunderstanding or ignoring when he calls on Aust. writers not to write about the "ordinary". Finding the extra-ordinary in the ordinary can be far more compelling (and instructive, if that's your thing). What if Alice Munro moved into the 'big world' - unthinkable!

Thankyou Miss Boynton for this opportunity to vent.
Posted by wen at August 26, 2003 09:02 AM

As an former Perthian, I agree the visuals were very reminiscent of Perth in an earlier age, but strangely I'd never heard of the serial killer myth.
Posted by Tony.T at August 26, 2003 10:15 AM

wen - sometimes dumb questions are good in such forums - better than the dreaded 'what does (the novel/play/poem) mean?'
I think David is talking about using irony in the political doco-drama context - as a way to expose the gap. It's a greatly abused and appropriated word, and it's prob less ironic than moronic for me to have put those 2 links together. But I think the Shark Net was really helped by having this gritty edge. Too often the tendency has been to go into whimsical overdrive with the surreal moments of a novel - gothic becomes grotesque, or worse, 'suburban quirky' - but David's restraint meant the ordinary did indeed become extra-ordinary. And as with that line of comedy and camp, I think it helps to play 'weird' as straight as possible - to keep the magic credible - lest it turn EZ lazy quirky.

Tony - there were things that were also reminiscent of "bygone" melb - (or even "present in certain pockets" melb). My nostalgic rush at the retro was tempered though by the story.
The light seemed different, very WA.
Interesting that you had not heard of the 'episode'- perhaps sometimes like the Beaumonts it's always there under the surface, and it takes a novel or a film to get people talking.

Posted by boynton at August 26, 2003 12:06 PM

If you or any of your readers want to learn the full story of our serial killer Eric Edgar Cooke, read my book Broken Lives, published by Hardie Grant. It tells it all - and succeeded in exonerating John Button who was convicted of one of Cooke's murders, and a second one is going through the appeal court in Perth now.
Posted by estelle blackburn at September 4, 2003 05:44 PM

Sunday, August 24, 2003

pidge take 2

Your a Lab - Once was WOLF

Your a Labrador I'm afraid. Your an old slipper, a soft touch, a clumsy dumb dag. Your a dome-headed double-coated wolf-descendent domestic round hound. Your not really hip. Rarely dysplatic - fairly static, often eats plastic. Your kind to your significant others but are sometimes lazy. Your not currently stylish. Because your not regarded as feisty you may be overlooked by those wanting a guard dog, your more a failed guide dog. But maybe one day tuesday who knows you will be well fed by those who like the folk memory of a childhood fido, a kindly shadow, a swinging gait, a gentle wag.

What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

(blame kaleidoscope... nb: all yours strictly sic )

Comments: pidge take 2

Nice photo of your crazy dog, Boynton.
Posted by Nora at August 24, 2003 04:58 PM

Yes - Doug as a 4 y old
Once was Devilishly Handsome.
Now is silly distinguished
Posted by boynton at August 24, 2003 05:51 PM

Ouch. That misspelling is beautifully done!
Posted by joh at August 24, 2003 09:12 PM

your too kind, joh.
tho' I have noticed that this seems to be special quiz-dialect?
Posted by boynton at August 24, 2003 10:36 PM

Saturday, August 23, 2003

misc writing.234

in lieu of categories and with titles mandatory boynton has started recycling. These are a few writerly links from some great literary blogs..

Creative Computing: Where poetry and programming make a new art
...(Montfort) cites the French literary group Oulipo as influential in this, saying, “Creating art under severe constraint is liberating. When you restrict yourself to writing in certain unusual ways, for instance, you allow yourself to discover things about language and about your topic that you otherwise would not.” And that applies whether the medium is as old as the alphabet or as new as the newest programming language.
(via Jerz's Literacy weblog)

One of the world's most influential thinkers has died. Saint Louis University professor and internationally renowned scholar Walter J. Ong, S.J., died August 12. He was 90...
Ong authored numerous books, including the widely circulated "Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word," published in 1982 and translated into a dozen languages
. (more)
(via Jocalo)

First Lines of Picture Books
- some of boynton's many favourites...
I have nothing to do," said Walter Possum.
"Oh, it's fun to play on a sunshiny day," I said to myself as I went on my way.
A is for apple. Everyone knows that.

(via eeksy-peeksy)

Who's afraid of Sylvia Plath? John Brownlow's story of the screenwriting process is a good chronicle of the craft, and the art of compromise
The brief was tough: write a romantic Hollywood drama about mental instability and one of the most controversial literary marriages ever. But when John Brownlow's first draft got the green light, his problems were only beginning. Here he tells a true story of crashing egos, crazy deadlines and booze-fuelled, red-eyed nights working out how poets talk
(via twists and turns)

Comments: misc writing.234

Mr. Griggs worked at the old post office. He was pretty old himself. But not as old as Mrs. Griggs, who worked at the new post office.
Posted by .es at August 24, 2003 02:07 AM

One day Jill came home and Fletcher wasn't there

This way or that way?

Our house was full of secrets.
Posted by boynton at August 24, 2003 10:47 AM

Friday, August 22, 2003


after the bumpers not dodgems trip a bit of racing that boynton can handle. Not.
(via newthings)

Comments: zoom

Not quite the same as Grand Tourismo, you know, boynton. I suspect you don't own a Playstation somehow.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 23, 2003 07:34 AM

You're right, and never have done ;)
I like this though.
Posted by boynton at August 23, 2003 11:44 AM

blog style

one out of the box

Comments: blog style

Blogging a la minimalist?
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 23, 2003 07:36 AM

always wanted to go minimalist ie "Here" or "Good", but as with home furnishing, I let clutter get the better of me.
If you hold the mouse over the title all may be
Hoping it was a 'neat' way to highlight a post which inspires me.
Posted by boynton at August 23, 2003 11:42 AM

I did - nifty!
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 24, 2003 01:40 AM


following up a recent discussion about bumpers cars, boynton started searching for some pictures of the kind of cars not dodgems she remembered.
It was not an auspcious start.
After so many googlepages of bumpers not dodgems, this picture was about the closest she could find but it's still NQR. These cars might match the scale but not the style of the Luna Park models. Calling all cars for memories.
On the other hand, dodgems not bumpers can be impressive - especially when they're buffalo cat cow mouse and up for sale.

The good thing about the web is that even when you don't find what you're looking for, the red herrings are diverting. There were more bumpers at this site - but they were dodgems not bumpers and they were scale models to build. You can build your own model amusement park. When boynton last looked at the world of miniature enthusiasts, she read of the theory that by minatiaturizing we make the world seem safer. Alas, some of the mini amusement rides seem as dangerous as their larger bretheren. For example the rating for the roller coaster:
Problems with this ride. Coaster operates for a few loops around the track, then track needs adjustment. This causes the cars to jump the track. Very finicky!
Like-wise the dreaded ghost train:
A good looking ride, but with a few problems... Driving chain occasionaly becomes stuck
miss boynton maintains a healthy mistrust of amusment rides on any scale.

Comments: bumper

Yes. The bumpers had a big battery in the boot. Foot on pedal - go - foot off pedal - stop. Like a dodgem without the sparks. Rode around on a smooth polished concrete oval surface.
Posted by Nora at August 22, 2003 04:57 PM

Well, I'm definitely not letting Leslie read this page. I'll never get her on another coaster, even the apparently sedate ones.
Posted by Loren at August 22, 2003 05:11 PM

Nora: glad you confirmed my memory of LP. Was beginning to think I had imagined these cars?
And isn't that "Go/stop" automatic transmission? ...I wish.

Loren, let Leslie read this page. On behalf of the meek and sedate coaster chickens everywhere ;)
Posted by boynton at August 22, 2003 09:23 PM

I used to be a devotee of these rides, but as I'm now older, I'd prefer not to be shaken up or tossed about.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 23, 2003 01:09 AM

very wise, Scott.
actually though, if anything I'm the reverse
Posted by boynton at August 23, 2003 05:43 PM

Yes, it usually works out that way you know.

Me Olsen (Keeping up Apperances)
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 24, 2003 01:41 AM

10 things

ten things boynton has learnt this week:

Delphinidae are dolphins and not flowers

of course it was Socrates

a given date

St Kilda football club was formed in 1873

5 odd heads in a trivia team are better than two

Geraldton is windy

application is the word

Mars will next week pass closer to Earth than at any time in the past 57,000 years and one of the world's best viewing point is in the Australian bush.

The way it may end

X is expecting

(for kaliedoscope)

Comments: 10 things

Geraldton's windy alright! I've got a friend who went windsurfing there in 1987 and got blown out to sea and had to spend about five hours paddling back with the sail furled. He was buggered when he got in. Ha Ha. Did I laugh! I still do.
Posted by Pithy at August 22, 2003 01:33 PM

Maybe he was aiming for Heard Island
Posted by boynton at August 22, 2003 01:43 PM

Thursday, August 21, 2003

black beauty

as an update to the bicycle horse, Black Beauty and Black Beauty.

Last from the BB catalog at the marvellous bicycle via .s .

bike whisperer

in a nostalgic mood and around about the Unusual Museums of the Internet, boynton remembered that as a child she would often endow her bicycle as a horse. She dreamt of owning a chestnut, agisting it on the pipe-line, (as people did) but instead rode a beloved hand-me-down malvern star. Sometimes as a horse.
She once wrote a poem containing the lines:
tethering our malvern stars
outside milk bars

This is one of the few vintage malvern star images - (from morwell 1945 via korea) - with the nice line for spins during leisure hours

more nostalgia here at the British Lawnmower Museum Gallery: Allow Nora our Tour Guide To show you round.

Comments: bike whisperer

Methinks you may be feeling a tad ? And I see that in the lawnmower gallery they have just the car for me: , finally, I meet my rapid transit.

Excellent finds, all 'round.
Posted by .es at August 21, 2003 03:16 PM

Oh what sport! I've only just checked out ONE link on ONE link so far at Nostalgia - but the pictures of saddles are wonderful. Many thanks.

And that car is a find! It's Mine!
I think I once thought that driving a car could be fun. I imagined vehicles like this.
Best driving experience I ever had was in the old Bumper cars at Luna Park - that is, the most confident I ever felt behind a wheel!

(ps - The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: Female!)
Posted by boynton at August 21, 2003 03:29 PM

My God- I did exactly the same thing with my Malvern Star too...
Posted by mcb at August 21, 2003 04:02 PM

They were good sound horses weren't they, mcb.
Posted by boynton at August 21, 2003 04:06 PM

I'm glad someone else has memories of bumper cars being fun. I went on a bumper car ride at the local show recently (with 10 year old daughter) and it was not the remembered experience! The cars bumped and jerked and crunched and crashed, but never actually seemed to drive - I'm sure they did when I was a kid .... am I right, or should I just book myself into a museum?
Posted by wen at August 21, 2003 06:19 PM

I don't know how the modern ones compare - all I remember is a very pleasant experience when I was about 8 or 9 driving at Luna Park with my oldest sister. They did drive, I'm sure.
Perhaps the scale suits kids better - or perhpas the style was better then?
I preferred them to the dodgems, because I didn't like the sparks! (I was a rather sensitive child)
Interesting ground, wen, and prompts me to do some research.
Posted by boynton at August 21, 2003 06:26 PM

Oh - I think I've confused bumper cars with dodgems - these ones definitely had sparks. Maybe they don't make bumper cars anymore.

Not sensitive, Boynton, sensible.
Posted by wen at August 21, 2003 06:35 PM

Well bumpers certainly spoiled me for driving anyway, wen. Where else can you slowly trundle around in vintage vehicles and bump others almost with affection and definitely with impunity?
Posted by boynton at August 21, 2003 06:50 PM

I did try affectionately bumping (more of a pat, really) a telegraph pole with a vintage volvo once....

The pole was quite unscathed.
Posted by wen at August 21, 2003 08:00 PM

Yes I bumped a window with an old Valiant on my L plates. My reversing has never been very friendly

(btw The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: Female!)

Sexist git ;)
Posted by boynton at August 21, 2003 11:31 PM

I think my namesake advocates the self starter. In this Nora's experience the mower never does - or only after she's achieved mower-rage induced apoplexy. Not a good look.
Posted by Nora at August 21, 2003 11:41 PM


yesterday boynton confirmed her theory about this suburb being a little warped
(temporally). The cream brick in weak blue winter sunshine , the empty streets with slow moving traffic, the man at the bus stop who chatted in an old dialect before chirping: here it is- right on time, as the bus pulled up, and nodded farewell before alighting. A sort of time travel. As she descended down the boulevard, the city suddenly rose like a panoramic postcard, and over the bridge it was straight back into full on grunge, with cartoon factory roofs, bits of public domestic and raging roads. Even though she misses the street fest, she's developing a bit of a taste for backwater - where the op shop women mutter low: I always keep an eye on any penguins coming long as the wild nostalgia is never noted on sales boards.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

gender genie

boynton ran some posts through this gender genie and found out she was in fact female. (via Anil's links)

Comments: gender genie

I tried it with a post of mine that had some large quotes from another man. Gender Genie decided we were both female.
Posted by James Russell at August 20, 2003 04:40 PM

well I should confess that it was the link-less "writing" posts that were female.
a couple of the short link-heavy posts were deemed male. Guess they may have some tweaking to do?
Posted by boynton at August 20, 2003 04:46 PM

always a relief to have it confirmed.
I'm off to check too.
Posted by mcb at August 20, 2003 05:07 PM

Well, I'm a bloke.
It's my muscular prose I guess.

Posted by wen at August 20, 2003 08:27 PM

Seems to think I'm of the fairer persuasion. Thank goodness for that!
Posted by .es at August 21, 2003 11:27 AM

Yes indeed .es.
Still with 42% accuracy, the gender genie needs a bit of radium methinks.

I just ran my first comment through it.
"The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: Male!"
What is male about it? I was once told by a dramturg not to begin sentences with "well" - and I suspected this was because it was, as wen (wences-lass?) might say, non-muscular.

Posted by boynton at August 21, 2003 11:40 AM

You just brought to my attention a new bit about this which I enjoy: The excitement with which it presents itself. "Male!" "Female!" Yes, very good little Genie-Friend!
Posted by at August 21, 2003 01:58 PM

That was me, sorry.
Posted by .es at August 21, 2003 01:59 PM

I noticed that ! .es. Maybe that is the key to the magic.
I submitted both your comments to the GG and he declared them to be ... Female!
and he thinks this last passage is... Male!

a new trick: try to write a sentence for a specific outcome - and see what he thinks. My experiments have shown that every word and every stray ellipse seems to count... (Female!)
Posted by boynton at August 21, 2003 02:32 PM

local rules

Slowdown, wisdom comes through WALKING, talking and listening.

One of the "Rules for Local Distinctiveness" at Common Ground (via Interconnected)

also here Losing Your Place
Local distinctiveness is essentially about places and our relationship with them. It is as much about the commonplace as about the rare, about the everyday as much as the endangered, and about the ordinary as much as the spectacular...
The forces of homogenisation rob us of visible and invisible things which have meaning to us, they devalue our longitudinal wisdom and erase the fragments from which to piece together the stories of nature and history through which our humanity is fed. They stunt our sensibilities and starve our imagination.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

will u still need me?

This site is certified 64% GOOD by the Gematriculator

(via the presurfer)

Comments: will u still need me?

Hmm - your goodness went up (to 78%) by posting this.
Posted by Ole at August 20, 2003 04:55 AM

Yes Ole, I noticed that shortly after posting - but was locked into my title ;)

Instant redemption. They get you in.

It will be interesting to see how the next run of posts will affect my rating.
Posted by boynton at August 20, 2003 08:27 AM

50/50 me. Tee Hee.
Posted by Pithy at August 22, 2003 01:34 PM

No - that can't possibly be right - unless evil is the new cordial ;)
Posted by boynton at August 22, 2003 02:11 PM

health physics

The "Radium Dance" was written by Jean Schwartz for the Broadway musical "Piff! Paff! Pouf!"
(from the Health Physics Historical Instrumentation Museum Collection via Speckled Paint)

see also some spam c 1930 for Weak Discouraged Men!

Comments: health physics

Piff! Paff! Pouf! The noise emitted after a radium suppository - WHOOF! Played the "Radium Dance"...Schwartz has a gift...
Posted by Nora at August 19, 2003 10:58 PM

cheers, Nora, suspect my gematriculator rating has just dropped.
(Unless "suppository" bumps up the "seven" count)
Posted by boynton at August 19, 2003 11:01 PM


Why did Max become eloquent over a zany gift like jodhpurs? has quickly become boynton's favourite sentence. She has mused over the panagram, meditatively repeating it within the koan zone of pre sleep.

Why did Max become eloquent over a zany gift like jodhpurs? etc.

Sometimes you take things to google in an act of faith -and failing that magic: there'll be some unconscious connection out there known only to google. One of the pages it returned was this who where family history page with unsolved mysteries within photographs. If you scroll down you'll see that the photo of a Young man in jodhpurs & Dot with curly locks. May 19, 1918 has now been solved. But boynton was so taken by the first image that she forgot about Max. We think that's Lell on the left. The next, we don't know... Boynton has always had a soft spot for these unknowns, unidentifieds, friends in group photographs, the hostages of gatherings, imposters at picnics, undercover footballers, wedding spies. The anonymous possess such narrative power. It diminishes with every unearthed detail.

Meanwhile : why did Max ...?

Comments: max

Why did ...

Because he's kinky! Simple when you know how, Miss b!
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 20, 2003 12:48 AM

Ah, Mr W... The kinky aspect was not completely missed by miss b. (And she even saw some kinkylinks to zany kinkyland from "jodphurs" that she chose not to pursue - even in the name of narrative mystery.)
Posted by boynton at August 20, 2003 01:01 AM

A spiffing sentence, I'll allow. Although my favourite remains, "Jack, you have debauched my sloth." (*HMS Surprise*)
Posted by Rob Schaap at August 20, 2003 09:36 PM

I have just added yours to the inventory, Rob.
(and the Suprise itself)
For some reason it reminds me of a Shakesperian quote one of my sisters was quite fond of:
"thou hast comforted me marvellous much." Juliet
(in the "not" sense of course)
Posted by boynton at August 21, 2003 11:49 AM

Monday, August 18, 2003

poetic dog

Poetry Dog Tags (via bifurcated rivets)
Imagine someone walked up to you and handed you a tin filled with two-hundred and fifty metal dog tags each baring a single word (along with a chain to string them on) and said to you, "You have a voice, so wear it!" Ginger Rudolph

Although she likes the idea of an assemblage of clinking metal words to wear, when she saw Poetry Dog Tags bonyton had been thinking less imaginatively or more literally. She thought it would be lines to your dog, a bit of doggerel to supplement the vital statistics of name and telephone number.
Eg Doug - good for a hug ....Bronte - no relation to Emily....Flo - Just say No... etc. We'll work on the idea further.

Comments: poetic dog

Abby - cloudy-eyed ugly
Posted by Nora at August 18, 2003 05:18 PM

But if ever she should wander, Nora, her tag should contain useful geographical info. eg
"Lights on.
Nobody Home"
Posted by boynton at August 18, 2003 05:30 PM

lazy dog

with just five minutes to go boynton quickly claims an extra kaleidoscopic prize

She could have just tried to include a readymade in the everyday bloggage.

Jacqueline was vexed by the folks who got the money prizes
Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs
Why did Max become eloquent over a zany gift like jodhpurs?

Comments: lazy dog

Gaudy sexpots have bored few jazzmen lately.
Posted by Nora at August 18, 2003 05:20 PM

speak for yourself ;)
Posted by boynton at August 18, 2003 05:31 PM

funny films

Reader's Digest The 104 Funniest Films Ever (via J Walk)
boynton is glad to see some of her faves up there - thin man, holiday, hulot, strangelove, producers... but would like to put in a bid for The Palm Beach Story
(and not just because of Joel Mcrea - Boynton's object of desire in Our Little Girl)
This summary was found at another cinematic cluster 100 great films
See also an excerpt from TPBS at the official Preston Sturges site

Comments: funny films

No A Private Function?
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at August 18, 2003 02:54 PM

No... 106 and 'rising'
Posted by boynton at August 18, 2003 03:03 PM

No Ladykillers. No sign of The Wrong Box. So the list has a couple more to go. Shame it's also only geared to features, else Laurel and Hardy's classic shorts The Music Box and Big Business would have to be there too, as would Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr.

Is there any rationale for such an odd number as 104?
Posted by James Russell at August 18, 2003 06:52 PM

Can see no rationale. Suspect it's funny.
I nominated The PBS as a nominal gesture, really, there are so many others off the list - including shorts. Perhaps the magic number can accomodate fractions - and the list will swell to, say, 135.73?
Posted by boynton at August 18, 2003 07:03 PM

No What's Up Doc?
Posted by Nora at August 18, 2003 10:47 PM

Nor Doc in the house/clover/sea Nora.
No (James Robertson) Justice

and no Zelig.
Posted by boynton at August 18, 2003 10:59 PM

Saturday, August 16, 2003


after the googling, the real mcCoy: a wonderful poetic post on the NY blackout by Nada Gordon at ululations (via fait accompli)
My feet are holding out fine (OK I'm still in the present here, let's keep it the present then) and so is my energy except that I'm starting to get that feeling of my head being a bit swirly. It's hot and so crowded and I have no details. Is this terrorism?

plath engineering

Actually that fruitless pursuit of the Plath quote turned up a strange page. This
fill-in-the-gap style search site promises articles on sylvia plath on famous television shows, sylvia plath on the anatomy of human beings, current events: sylvia plath on what is happening in the world and Miscellaneous sylvia plath sylvia plath that don't fit into any other categories. Alas, the searches prove fairly elusive. But boynton found Sylvia Plath Engineering so intriguing and poetic a concept that she thought the only thing for it was a Googlepoem. Here are some edited couplets freshly compiled:

plath sylvia plath on engineering
engineering, accounting, working

Nonfiction Technical Romance Sports
the engineering part poets

own sketches the: Cognitive
by Sylvia Plath. - - "You leave

to express deep emotions toward
Lilacs Last in the Dooryard

engineering. A Marriage of True
and as scaffolds for tissue


Fragments - from Floyd recommends The Sun magazine. From the about page:
The Sun isn't "literary" or "political" or "spiritual" in the usual sense. It begins where those labels end, which is where life gets interesting. Each month, in essays, stories, interviews, and poetry, people write in The Sun of their struggle to understand their lives, often baring themselves with surprising intimacy.

Letter From Yale by Helena Echlin (via newthings)
Included in Helena Echlin's observations is the corporate culture of the university
Grooming oneself into a marketable academic is now the thing – forget about the pursuit of truth and beauty
and also the loss of pleasure in reading in this academic industry
No one has mentioned enjoying a book. Analysis is practised completely free of evaluation. Manifestly, analysis is more important than the texts themselves...
Echlin also reflects on that old dilemma: Literature v Writing.
Boynton was reminded of Sylvia Plath's experience of trying to balance teaching and writing. This is somewhere in the Journals c 1957, but alas, boynton hasn't beeen able to track down the exact passage of text . Another quote from her journals is along the same lines - of wanting to be the subject of academic inquiry, rather than student.
It is sad to be able only to mouth other poets. I want someone to mouth me." (source)

Comments: reads

"I want someone to mouth me"

Pardon me for giggling, but these literary allusions crack me up sometimes.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 17, 2003 10:21 PM

Yeth - even though it's Plath, Mith Boynton is slightly blushing now at posting such an allusion. Can you believe she didn't see it until now!
Posted by boynton at August 17, 2003 11:19 PM

Bit of an oral girl, Sylvia - what with the cheek biting incident 'n all. Suspect she really wanted to be bit.
Posted by wen at August 18, 2003 01:40 PM

Yes the cheek biting incident has always troubled me, Wen. Still - it's all fodder for famous poetry I suppose.
Posted by boynton at August 18, 2003 01:58 PM

Friday, August 15, 2003


As Above links to a Guardian article about the ubiquitous universal Nokia ringtone... and a midi file of its musical source. Boynton (who owns no mobile, downloads no weekly ringtone but knows her nokias alas) was so fascinated that the guitar version is now stuck, imbedded in her head. She'll be off learning the tabs soon.

Comments: ringtone

Just now made the switch back to Nokia. Love that tone!
Posted by Nora at August 16, 2003 06:29 PM

Maybe the default tone is the least obnoxious birdsong going? ie No choice. Better than that bad 'good vibrations' I linked to the other day.
At least I can put the Nokia waltz in context now.
(I just wish I could get it out of the context of my head!)
Posted by boynton at August 16, 2003 07:44 PM

best teapot

Isn't this the best teapot around?

via Making Light Particles, which features a few sample pages.

boynton also likes the toaster, the computer (perfect for bloggers ) and the Rayburn stove - although if her mother had a teapot like this, it would be camouflaged, it would blend so well into the background, the teapot would never be found.
She also likes the cake, but she'll take the caravan.

Comments: best teapot

What about us coffeedrinkers?
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 16, 2003 01:25 AM

You'll just have to make coffee with the Birko.
You'll find it up in the cupboard inside the caravan. Don't steal it.
Posted by boynton at August 16, 2003 12:17 PM

"sniff" and instant coffee too, I notice...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 16, 2003 11:53 PM

don't knock the Pablo.
Posted by boynton at August 17, 2003 12:20 AM

You dine well in Far Kew, I see...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 17, 2003 10:17 PM

we try to live up to our name.

Posted by boynton at August 17, 2003 11:49 PM


well the worm did not do its worst after all but seems to have passed us by. It was perhaps unfortunate that boynton caught the tail end of the computer talk-back segment on 774 yesterday, which like any DIY diagnostics forum, is fodder for fear. (for those of us with the worry gene anyway)

And...Speckled Paint is back. And boynton is already pinching a link

Mom-prepared lunches from vintage lunchbox ads


What's Your (Linguistic) Function?

Actually boynton was not really phatic. She was emotive. But the other game demands a subversion of this type, and this literary quiz seemd rather well suited to poetic interpretation. The context bubble graphic came close, but a bottlenose dolphin will win every time.
(via Cassie Lewis via fait accompli)

Thursday, August 14, 2003

worst case

don't know if we'll be game to switch on the PC tomorrow, and may instead have a mini-hiatus while the worm does its worst. So just in case, boynton's probably over-blogging today.
The worst case scenario site (via J walk) is a scary site for neurotics. All these new cases to prepare for.
Boynton once flicked through the print version of Dating and Sex Survival (see the Scenario Archives) at the local op shop referred to yesterday. She had a read before placing it back on the table where it was swooped upon and snapped up by a man who dispatched it forthwith to the sales counter. (Maybe he was an axe-murderer.) It is amusing to read the strategies for How to Escape from a Bad Date Boynton is always looking for escape routes under any circumstances, but would be reluctant to go for the "fake an emergency" plan. Too schooled in impro, where big is often best, the credibilty of her heightened scenario might be strained. Better to go for the challenging change of appearance strategy.
(Maybe the knitted vending machine (via Gianna) would be useful in these circumstances, to blend into the background.)


boynton sees that she has been hovering around bees - one of the current kaliedoscope tasks - without even trying. Synchronicity. For instance, the Basho haiku that Robert Hughes referred to ( with a slightly different spin):

How reluctantly
the bee emerges from deep
within the peony

You can see this illustrated with a photo here

And then over at the aptly named about as funny as income tax boynton chanced on the sound that a Hawaiian male bee makes on the point of - bee ecstasy.

Then, again by chance, another quote suddenly darted out:
a bee sleeps in the thicket of my heart: Gide . (via here via Wood s lot).
Almost a swarm.

To add to these wild bees that flew in by themselves, boynton went looking for some links.
A Taste of American Beekeeping History has some great photos of old equipment and clothing.
Though modern protective clothing is just as fascinating. (eg Love this confidence boosting apiary wear.)
The Life of the Bee By Maurice Maeterlink. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1914, described here on the Catalogue page
Not a formal manual of beekeeping, but an interesting lyrical and poetical discourse on the reality of being a bee, with musings on the nature of their civilization, character and behaviours

update: another chance bee just flew in ...scary. (see also paintings. Bunnies and bees)

Comments: beeness

That haiku syllable count's got me worried...
how do you pronounce pe-o-ny?
Posted by Nora at August 14, 2003 03:36 PM

This is almost uncanny. I've been doing quite a bit of research on bees lately--specifically the bumbling sort--and was thinking of them as I stopped by for a visit. I have to say, you're the bee's knees.
Posted by .es at August 14, 2003 03:54 PM

Nora. I'm never the best at syllable-watch in haiku, but that's as was translated. It may have something to do with that controversy about the way "peony" is pronounced? Fred at Fragments had a good post on this once. I believe some people pronounce the O.

and .es, thanks. I've often had that sort of uncanny thing happen.Maybee this beeness is a bit of a zeitgest?
Posted by boynton at August 14, 2003 04:01 PM

I have a print of that Ryden bee sitting framed on my desk right here.
Posted by .es at August 16, 2003 10:22 AM

The narrative builds...
It was its flight around the screen that really got me. It's a beautiful specimen.
Posted by boynton at August 16, 2003 12:12 PM

Wednesday, August 13, 2003


better catch Hitch's birthday - marked by google (which is sort of like a universal billboard or cyberspace blimp)
photographs of Hitchcock at work (via Incoming Signals)

Earlier boynton had enjoyed viewing the titles of both Psycho and North By Northwest (and hearing Herrmann) at this Saul Bass site.
This was found by Meredith and is part of an interesting post on Movie Titles.

mind reading

Nora just sent boynton this mind-reading link.
(More amazing to boynton is that at the time she was surfing in vain for such a diversionary thing to post.)

Comments: mind reading

Has anyone explained how this works to you? i.e. the maths involved? I have to admit, this really confused me the first time...
Posted by joh at August 13, 2003 05:11 PM

I was trying to work it out with my dodgy year 11 maths, Joh, then advanced the theory: must be magic .
Posted by boynton at August 13, 2003 05:17 PM

actually I've just had it explained to me.
the mystical ball has been demystified.
Now it's just graphics.
to misquote Alice: who cares for you! You're nothing but a pack of cards!
Posted by boynton at August 13, 2003 05:33 PM

Well, if it's on-line mind-reading magic you want:

click on the "A puzzling thing" button.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at August 13, 2003 05:54 PM

Pretty good Gummo, for a pack of cards ;)

I thought the old Fido one that I linked to once was quite good too - more mysterious numbers
Posted by boynton at August 13, 2003 06:23 PM

Quite good.

Now I'll have to track down that book of self-working magic tricks to see how it's done.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at August 13, 2003 06:42 PM

please explain!!!
Posted by wen at August 14, 2003 01:56 PM

oh - its ok - worked it out myself.
How disappointing.
Posted by wen at August 14, 2003 02:00 PM

exactly what I thought - sometimes you just don't want to see the wires.
Posted by boynton at August 14, 2003 02:05 PM

It was wrong. I was thinking of saxty-tree.
Posted by Tony.T at August 14, 2003 11:29 PM

"exactly what I thought - sometimes you just don't want to see the wires."

Personally I enjoy it more, knowing that the wires are there. As a former amatuer conjuror in my youth, I like seeing people perform the tricks I always aspired to learn with a lot more artistry than I ever managed.
Posted by Gummo Trotsky at August 15, 2003 05:21 PM

Illusion in the Performing Arts is a different er...kettle of fish, perhaps, Gummo?
of course we don't approve of hidden wires there anymore ;)
But I'm still slightly awestruck (is that "a dummy") when it comes to this machine. Simple interactive tricks just get me in.

Posted by boynton at August 15, 2003 05:33 PM

cyber fling

UF study : Online dating virtually irresistible to some married folks (via Looking on)

Busted By A Blog Online Journal Reveals Relationship Infidelity
(via Jerz's Literacy Weblog)

Loss of e-mail 'worse than divorce' (via Living Room)

Comments: cyber fling

I don't know if I could live without reading blogs for a week, but I wouldn't really miss email. I really don't need a larger penis or a Nigerian scam thanks...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 14, 2003 12:25 AM

A week?
I was off to the internet cafe after 2 hours!

Funny that this article has a business focus, and yet it uses a domestic disaster as yardstick.
Could be: 'loss of blogging worse than getting sacked"
Posted by boynton at August 14, 2003 12:42 AM

And I know of at least one blogger fired for blogging at work, and another threatened with the sack for blogging about work.

Blogging is much more a career threat then a threat to the family. A good proportion of bloggers are single, anyway.
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 15, 2003 04:15 AM

shame the first two were not the same blogger, then at least there could be revenge of the blog.

according to the 2nd article, the sport can threaten some couples, (but only if it they are also heavily into role play games) ;)

and I read a good summation of the last article here last night:
"Techies say that a week without e-mail is more stressful than moving house...or getting divorced. (which is probably why they end up getting divorced)."

and a bad proportion of bloggers are single too.
(or is that a good proportion of bad bloggers?)
Posted by boynton at August 15, 2003 12:19 PM

Who are the bad bloggers? I'd hate to cast apersions... (alright I can't spell. Just shoot me!)

I'm at that stage now where I'd rather be reading blogs then dating, in any event. Maybe these people that are getting broken up would rather be reading blogs too?
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 16, 2003 01:24 AM

Sorry - as a single bad blogger, of course miss b was only referring to herself.
Posted by boynton at August 16, 2003 12:15 PM

No way, come and tell Uncle Scotty all. Who are these bad bloggers? Uncle Scotty knows Miss b. is an excellent blogger...
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 16, 2003 11:55 PM

Nah - even though my Z list of bloggers might cause "a swarm of traffic" to my site/your domain, Uncle, ;) I'm not going there.
You know one could have just as easily said "the *odd* blogger..."
(and I am without a doubt the odd blogger - or a member of the odd bloggers assoc.)
Posted by boynton at August 17, 2003 12:19 AM

There's something to be said for that.

The Australian Association of Odd Bloggers.

Let's form one!
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 17, 2003 10:19 PM

You're on.
A division of UT perhaps?
like the ubersporting-oddblog-pundit?
or the uber-odder-sportingpundit?
oder-uber for short.
Posted by boynton at August 17, 2003 11:43 PM

No, I'm thinking it's got to be more inclusive. James Russell is definately odd, but not sure about the guys at Troppo Armadillo.

I'm going to state my membership in the new blog design.

It states.

"The owner of this blog is a RWDB, and a member of the VRWC, the Australian Association of Odd Bloggers, and the Adelaide Football Club."

I think that is a fair warning to give!
Posted by Scott Wickstein at August 20, 2003 12:51 AM

naturally I'm with you on the 3rd.

The last should definitely warn them off.
Posted by boynton at August 20, 2003 08:18 AM

2nd hand

boynton was indulging in a quick bit of retail therapy up at St Vincent's when she overheard a whisper of a rumour behind the counter
"Apparently the Salvos are thinking of privatising their op shops"
A hush, boynton hovers near the encased teaspoons.
"They can't do that?!"
"They're the salvos. They can do whatever they like."

Much muttering followed along with the disclaimer that it was heard second hand on the radio and they were waiting for confirmation.
(as boynton hovered near the confirmation material)

Boynton hasn't found any evidence herself, but such a move wouldn't surprise her. She has seen the old local gradually transform from cavernous, eclectic, chaotic treasure-trove where things were often unmarked and prices negotiable, to a kind of chain-store. Cleaner, slicker, centralised but a bit soul-less. They already seem privatised enough.
But the ultimate in privatised is probably the garage sale - and this was one factor cited recently by a Board member in the harsh commercial decision to close down a small, long running op shop that was once a haunt of boynton and family.
The local paper ran the story Fury at op shop closure plan
"It's surprising to see the affluence of homes that have garage sales...but that's the way our social fabric's working, so a lot of our material's being diverted...he said many other small shops faced similar financial problems."
Progress Leader 28/7/03

Comments: 2nd hand

I once worked at a Salvos op shop. It was the lowest point in my life. If privatisation ultimately led to the vanishing of Salvos op shops from the face of the earth, I would not be sad to see them go.
Posted by James Russell at August 13, 2003 11:05 PM

No - that really "would" be the end of civilisation as we know it. Unthinkable.
But I've seen some things and heard some stories from Salvo workers I've befriended over the years to suggest your experience is not unique, James.
There's a high turnover of staff and - it would seem - staff morale, so it largely depends on the current regime as to the mood of the store.
(btw - this would seem to add another dimension to the link you posted recently about the uxb scare in an op shop ;) )
Posted by boynton at August 13, 2003 11:35 PM

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

strange church

boynton continued her walking tour of the neighbourhood last night with the rogue bluey obediently at side, again seeing examples of modernist, albeit modest, domestic architecture in this small uncool,well-preserved pocket. We headed down a wide empty vista with bare well-behaved trees and hints of spring and rounded the corner, and suddenly saw one of those bold churches that sprang up throughout the suburbs in the sixties. A bit like this - only rounder. There must have been some happy coincidence of post-war cash flow and boomer demographics and modernism, because all denominations seemed to swap the basic chapel for the new geometrical walled-glass auditorium in the international style. The old building was often retained as adjoining hall. There were a few around that took abstraction to higher degrees, and boynton wonders about the fate of these spacious, oddly-shaped places in the days when churches are having to rationalise their property and divest assets.

The Roots of Modernist Church Architecture
At first this rejection of tradition took the form of subtracting or abstracting traditional motifs in buildings. Later, inspired by non-objective painting and sculpture, Modernist architecture sought to end the distinctions between floor and ceiling, interior and exterior, window and wall, and sacred and profane, which architecture has historically gloried in.

Dysfunctional Architecture
Dysfunctional church architecture has its taproot, not in a poorly chosen architect, cantankerous committee, too little money, or anemic project management. Rather, dysfunctional church architecture often has its source in weak or unclarified answers to the questions that determine a church's destiny

The real find for boynton in all this was this excellent site Modern In Melbourne - Architecture 1930-35. The Modern Strands survey contains many local examples. To be explored.


it was one thing to watch Robert Hughes' thinking out loud about Goya last night:
Contemplating Goya's famously explicit nude Naked Maja, for example, Hughes makes proper tribute to its aesthetic qualities before quickly cutting to the chase. What the painting really provokes is "unmitigated lust" and the desire to "hop in there like a bee hopping into a peony and have a wonderful afternoon".
A particulary delicious metaphor.
"Well, I'm afraid it's a steal from a 17th-century Japanese haiku by Basho. Something like: 'Into a peony creeps a bee. Ecstasy.' "

Visceral or not - there was something bordering on the sleaze here. Maybe art is essentially sleazy, who knows. However boynton had to leave the room and do the dishes when it got onto bullfighting, and those who might oppose it being labelled "self-appointed humanitarians" Hughes obviously endorses this ecstasy or death in the afternoon, but here is a self-appointed humanitarian link that gives a counter view.

Comments: bull

AND he endorsed "fox hunting" in the same breath as bullfighting! Like:
"I'm a man who stands by his 'bloodsports' - as well as having a soft underbelly..."
Posted by Nora at August 12, 2003 05:33 PM

Wonder what his take is on bear and/or bull baiting? Lucky no 'crazy genius' mythologized these and other sports I guess.
Posted by boynton at August 12, 2003 07:03 PM

What did you make of the war images?

Do you think that Goya is an exception to the Susan Sontag's charge in her Regarding the Pain of Others (see junk for code) that:

tormented mutilated bodies arouse a prurient interest;

images that display the violation of an attractive body are, to a certain degree, pornographic.

I would be interested in a response as I'm struggling with this on my ongoing commentary on Sontag's book at junk for code. I've got a bit stuck.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at August 12, 2003 07:09 PM

I'm of the opinion that anything can at any time be considered pornographic by anyone, depending upon their particular turn of mind. Whether Goya's [i]Desastres[/i] constitute something pornographic is, therefore, probably in the eye of the beholder.

boynton, I'm with you on the sleaze factor. I was watching that documentary too and was rather stunned by the scene with the nude maja. I mean, if Hughes has some fantasy about fucking the girl, that's up to him. I'm just not sure I want to hear about it in an arts documentary like that. I tend to agree also with whoever said on Critical Mass afterwards that the film was more about Hughes than Goya. All critical work is about the critic as much as the thing being critiqued, of course, but this definitely had more of Hughes in it than old Francisco.
Posted by James Russell at August 12, 2003 07:48 PM

Obviously those italics tags are completely wrong. Must remember: square brackets only on UBB-powered message boards, not people's comments boxes...
Posted by James Russell at August 12, 2003 07:52 PM

Gary - Goya's war images still shock. It is the human scale and drama in the tableau that makes the horror seem raw, the choreography of the close up. Hughes was able to reveal the inherent despair of the images too. He said something like - "I can't look without wanting to weep."
Sometimes to be party to such raw pain does create that ambivalnece of voyeurism.
I saw your post today, Gary, and recoiled slightly myself at the complicity of the gaze - rubber-necking hell. But the discussion of the general brutality of war is compelling.
btw "This Public Address" has recently been posting on some related themes.

James - it was almost satire - wasn't it? - but it didn't work on that level either. It was a bit like - you know, the death of "civilisation" (in the Kenneth Clarke sense of the word") to see Hughes suddenly channel Pete and Dud.
Ogling is never good TV.
And sorry about the lack of html. Still haven't enabled it. Was worried about being hacked!
(Now I'd welcome such interest.)
Posted by boynton at August 12, 2003 09:51 PM

Monday, August 11, 2003

flo count

just checking the stats, boynton had one of those weird moments when external reality seems to morph to reflect the subjective chaos. The Google Ad on the right of the site meter screen was for another free stats service called Flow Counter. Boynton had only just done a quick search this site for Flo - fearing (correctly) that the Flo count is disproportionately high.
This crazy, alien, striped, e-less, ACD wolf is everywhere.
(of course, it could also be that a search for flo also returns flower)

There is no logic there.


As usual boynton may have taken a bit of p license in that description of local suburban stonework - calling it Castlemaine Slate. Gratuitous reference to central victoria. Of course it may well be, but then it may also be just your standard sandstone, or freestone etc. This is a picture of Castlemaine slate, used in a cairn Sculpture located on Herring Island. (see artworks for more details, as well as other interesting framed pages.)
There are also some images within this essay New Stone Age by Kevin Murray (Duldig Memorial Lecture, 1995.) Murray looks at the langauge and meaning of stone, and the way a reverance for endurance and commemoration has given way to a postmodern suspicion
Think of the contrast between strolling down the aisle of supermarket and walking along a cemetery path. On the one side, we have shelves of future litter, and on the other past memories.
Perhaps though, he concludes, the electronic immaterialism of the digital age will also be a prelude to a kind of return to earth, wood, and stone.

Comments: stone

WTF is "freestone"? BTW how come those cairns always look like giant pine cones?
Posted by Nora at August 11, 2003 10:30 PM

er yes I use the word poetically again I suspect, Nora. Don't know why such a word would suddenly sneak in to such a sober post. An Imposter.

And who knows - maybe the cairns look like that because of the bairns?
Posted by boynton at August 11, 2003 10:47 PM

Sunday, August 10, 2003


shortly after posting the purple (daisy) post - boynton found out that purple is now the web's favourite colour. (via About as funny as income tax)


perfect winter's day here in x.
boynton read the on-line headline: Europe swelters - after we melburnians had endured a very chilly August night.
"There's snow!", she had said to a friend as they ventured out to polar Coles, a speech bubble of condensation.
"Somewhere" she replied confidently " there's bound to be snow somewhere."
Earlier she had caught the perfect crisp half hour on sunset on foot, walking one-on-one with the problem dog. It was along a road she hadn't ever walked, and she was thinking of the book Outside Lies Magic, (recommended by Pica in a comment at Fragments-from Floyd.)

It is true, walking pace allows closer vision of the familiar everyday landscape that gets condensed by car travel, where houses are rolling data along the road. On foot each fence that usually flashes by is distinctive. But the zoom-in also allows a zooming out. Boynton saw the kilometre-long strip of post-war houses collectively forming a sort of remnant suburb. A sub-suburb, a substation of lost suburbia. In the early 70's the Freeway sliced through the topography - and it is probably their close proximity that rendered them undesirable enough to survive the various booms and blitzes of dual occupancy and development. Their double-glazed, first-floor terraces overlook the freeway and were themselves overlooked. So it is a little pocket of cream brick featurism and bold fifties futurism and places that look like 60's beach-houses - with towels draped over the railings - fronting the sea of traffic. And Castlemaine slate and 60's style stone-work, and rockeries along concealed driveways into carports built for teenagers. And at one high point boynton saw the old pockets join up as the seam of freeway dipped below the sightlines - and the forties time-warped cypruses and white wooden seat of a chopped park seamlessly flowed into the golf courses with their own museum landscapes.
The air was so perfectly crisp after the showers had eased that boynton was almost struck by a perennial, a purple daisy in the rockery that is never picked out from behind a windscreen at 50 kph. The groundcover was so generous, boynton was tempted to take one home - according to this its essence is Light Heartedness - joy and laughter. Or alternatively according to this - Allows one to accept compliments about physical appearance. Of course the two are complementary - such compliments can only be accepted with laughter. So boynton had better pinch one next time she walks by.

Comments: locale

Far Too Hot.

Today England had its hottest day ever.

I'm not impressed.

Wish it were Autumn.
Posted by joh at August 11, 2003 02:14 AM

I just heard about that - near 40? That just seems too strange.
We scored 44.something last January but IMHO once it hits 40, any extra degrees become theoretical. You just stay inside and wait for Autumn.
Btw - country Victoria recorded temperatures of -5
the other night. That's cold.
Posted by boynton at August 11, 2003 11:40 AM

I dream of -5.

I fondly remember one summer in Norway where it generally reached -5 at night...

Preferred that to this 38C weather.

It would not be so bad if the British believed in Air Conditioning. (Unfortunately, it is still a novelty, and is not found in our homes, public transport or cars, and is only found in *very* modern offices.)

I'm a spring / autumn person myself. 10-14C and I can wander around (bare-armed) exclaiming about how lovely and warm it is...

Hope you get snow. Snow is great!
Posted by joh at August 11, 2003 11:00 PM

I'm a spring/autumn person too, joh, but that =
18 - 27.8 ! 10 - 14 is Winter in Melbourne! (the other states sneer about it) and there is actually a lot of snow up at the resorts, but we haven't had our hour of snow in the metro area yet.
I sympathise though - I think it's relative. I was in England once when it was 28,and it seemed stifling! I hate the heat - and am quite enjoying this cold snap.
Posted by boynton at August 11, 2003 11:32 PM