Friday, April 18, 2014

Storytelling in 2014

Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales in the end part of the 14th century. The stories (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at an inn on their return.

Storytelling is a way of sharing and interpreting experiences and are universal, insofar as they involve the sames basic tenets - hero + goal - baddie = story.

English: The Boyhood of Raleigh, 1871
English: The Boyhood of Raleigh, 1871 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sketch of "The Story of the Bunyip",...
Sketch of "The Story of the Bunyip", an Aborigine telling the story to two European children (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Wikipedia;
Human knowledge is based on stories and the human brain consists of cognitive machinery necessary to understand, remember, and tell stories. Humans are storytelling organisms that both individually and socially, lead storied lives. Stories mirror human thought as humans think in narrative structures and most often remember facts in story form. Facts can be understood as smaller versions of a larger story, thus storytelling can supplement analytical thinking. Because storytelling requires auditory and visual senses from listeners, one can learn to organize their mental representation of a story, recognize structure of language, and express his or her thoughts.
So there you go. Man was made for stories, and stories were made for man.

But where does this leave us in 2014 when technology means that we can be told stories 24/7? Well, StoryCorps has come up with a great way of combining oral storytelling and video imaging. And I think it hits the nail right on the head;

Why there have only been 370,000 views at the time of this going live, I do not know, but what a story and what a great vehicle for telling it.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Playing Catch Up

Since I last blogged a few fun things have happened:

Pomplamoose released their interpretation of James Brown's 'I Feel Good', which is pretty awesome, with an even more stunning video.

My favourite April Fool's joke did the rounds - and with 26 million views, I guess I'm not alone in liking it!


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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The 1st of April, part 3

So far we have seen Airbnb create an offshoot - Aibrb, seen the Queen rock-climbing the White Cliffs of Dover, and we have 'The Others', what else is happening today, the 1st of April:

1. What happens if Scotland secedes from the UK

2. As a result of regulatory pressure, the Choir of King's College Cambridge is to stop using boy trebles, it was announced today.

The high voices in the choir have been provided by boys for more than five centuries. In future, high vocal parts will be performed by altos breathing helium.

3. Who will replace The Queen on the pound coin if Scotland secedes?

4.  Tech site Pocket-lint have clearly given some thought to the biggest problem with Google Glass - it just makes you look daft. With merely a tinge of creepiness, they announce the Google Glass Solo, all the fun of Google Glass, but in a monocle.

5.Piers Morgan is to take up a media-consulting role for the Liberal Democrats ahead of the next general election, according to a senior party figure.

6. Huffington Post UK's 2014 April Fools' joke is an apocalyptic, frighteningly possible vision of the Lib Dems' future.

7. Square eggs being laid in Suffolk

8. Golden eggs laid in Devon

9. And Amazon, oh Amazon, when it turned out that the drone delivery dream had died, you came up with this, the newer, older Kindle.


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The 1st of April

As its the 1st of April, here is the funniest April Fool's joke I could find.

Airbnb Presents: Airbrb

Well done Airbnb. 

Airbnb logo
Airbnb logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Now Why Didn't Anyone Think of That Before?

In the past I have waxed poetic about Sugru and how it is changing the world, one small step at a time. In the post I mentioned how, and showed the video of, an electric wheelchair being personalised for a young lady with an atrophic disease.

Taking that concept a step back, an ingenious Professor, James Galloway of the University of Delaware, has come up with a cheap and cheerful way to help all manner of disabled children, around the world:

Props to this man - and feel free to spread the word.

Hopefully we can help change kids lives for the better.


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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Colourful Semitism

Antisemitism is on the rise. Whether it is from the rocks and firebombs thrown in the Caucuses, the salutes of French comedians and soccer players or the ink from newspapers, it is all against the Jews.

Image of New Statesman Cover from wikipedia co...
Image of New Statesman Cover from wikipedia commons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No-one is surprised. There are no cries of 'leave the Jews alone'. I've written about it before here and here. That's fine. That's why Israel exists, you know like all other religions have their own country because they've been the recipients of hatred so much, like the Christians who have....sorry. The Muslims have...

Anyhoo, I was reading a few articles about the rise of antisemitism from such august bodies as The Guardian, The BBC, The New Statesman, The Jerusalem Post and of course, The Times of Israel and realized that if only the Jews had followed the more colorful of their ancestors, maybe the hatred wouldn't be so fanatical?

Over at Buzzfeed they have some great photographs of Russia in the early 20th Century from the Library of Congress, and I found this amazing image that would have made antisemitism nothing if not more colourful!


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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

101 Kinds of 'Wow' - Zach Galifianakis

Way back in December 2013 I wrote a little piece about giving His Majesty the Justin of Bieber some respect for interviewing with Zach Galifianakis. I had no idea that this charming individual was taken so seriously as to have politicians come to his studio and his 2 ferns.

And yet, here is the most powerful man in the world. In between 2 ferns.

Yeah, it blew my mind too.


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