Thursday, 26 November 2015

Gossip and the Fabrication of Reputation

'Thou art a whore and an arrant whore'

Gossip, whispers, muttering, celebrity tittle matter what the century, the 'la la la I daren't tell but I will' remains the bedrock of human communications. There is necessarily a feminist angle to all this mainly because women seem to bear the brunt of the gossip, as well as being seen as the clucking, busybody types pouring over the latest antics of the rich and famous. Academics can argue the toss over gender politics and the meaning behind historic relevance of women's conversations, but there was something deeply troubling about the reported slander from the 1600s which we heard recited in this lecture. Women can be truly hurtful and vicious.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Being (Digital) Humans

This is strange. I’ve been to many lectures recently but a mild panic about actually having to learn stuff for my skipper exams ensured all my notes have been neglected. The most recent one I attended was part of the Being Human Festival which, as the blurb says, 
Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. From philosophy in pubs, history in coffeehouses, classics on social media and language lessons on street corners – the festival provides new ways to experience how the humanities can inspire and enrich our everyday lives. Being Human demonstrates the strength and diversity of the humanities, and how they can help us to understand ourselves, our relationships with others, and the challenges we face in a changing world.

Being (Digital) Humans and how we experience culture - content and knowledge in the humanities - struck a chord. Like it or not, the connection between the digital and human worlds are increasingly making us into digitally driven humans. The work I've been involved with professionally and academically came together in this evening, and the more the speakers went on, the more I found myself wishing I was involved more directly. There were four varied speakers, Professor Patrik Svensson, Professor Todd Presner, Professor Sally-Jane Norman and Professor Lorna Hughes demonstrated the infinite possibilities when you combine the human and the digital.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Collision regulations – a thrilling guide from #BadSkipper

Exams in a few weeks and luckily collision regulations are something that I can actually sit down and write some sense into. Unlike plotting, vectors, and distance over time, rules I can get my head around and memorise. Well, apart from the lights which are still driving me nuts and make me question why the hell I'm doing this. Remind me, why?!

Some skippers talk of having a ‘right of way’ in a potential collision situation. However the rules do not use this wording but in most cases one craft is the give way craft and the other should stand on. All skippers are required to avoid collisions and cannot claim they had right of way.

Monday, 28 September 2015

The River Effra’s Vanishing Act

"Yes," said Mr. Fawnhope. "There will be verdure, and that, I think, is what my soul craves. I, with my fair Cecilia, to Merton now will go, Where softly flows the Wandle, and daffodils that blow--What an ugly word is Wandlel How displeasing to the ear!"

Whenever anyone mentions vanished London rivers to me, I can't help thinking of Georgette Heyer's 'Grand Sophie' where I first read about the Wandle. So when there was an opportunity to find out about another of South London's rivers, I decided to make like Mr Fawnhope and jump unbidden into a carriage, in search of verdure, watery pleasure and poetry. Even the musical name 'Effra' conjures images of bucolic enjoyment, and according to Mr Ackroyd, 'is named from the celtic word yfrid, or torrent'.