Saturday, February 03, 2007

Everlasting, like the sun

I've just watched "Do You Want To Live Forever", the documentary about Aubrey, and it was brilliant. I've heard and read about his theories at length before, but it's always a lot of fun to see him talking about them, with the beard and hair and a glass of beer on the go ("I have the genes that mean I like beer, and drinking it in the morning isn't a problem. I mean, it's ten in the morning, this is my third pint, and that's fine for me..."), and with a very convincing kind of passion for the subject. Jay Olshansky claimed in the documentary that Aubrey is full of bitterness and hate towards the scientific community, which is a wildly inaccurate thing to say - I've never known anyone less hateful, he does everything with a sense of just having fun with it.

Am I convinced by the arguments that we could eradicate the aging process with just a bit of work? Yes. Not from any kind of scientific understanding, but just because I like to believe we live in the kind of world where Aubrey's right. If I had money, I would gladly invest it in SENS research, or bump up the Methuselah Mouse prize fund, or whatever, and I hope it all comes to fruition, just so I can say I knew about it before it was cool. Even before meeting Aubrey, I generally approached life from the point of view that I was going to live forever, so it's quite nice to know I was right all along.

Meanwhile, I notice tonight that seem to also have a different approach to time - they've just sent me an email saying:

"Dear Customer,

We wanted to give you an update on the status of your order

We are sorry to report that the following items have been delayed.

Antonia Forest (Author) "Falconer's Lure"

Our current estimate is that it will take an additional 4-6 weeks to
obtain these items for you.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes."

This, I might point out, is a book I ordered for a Christmas present for my mother, BEFORE Christmas, and this is the first I've heard that it hasn't been delivered yet. (Yes, if I spoke to my mother occasionally, I might have learned as much by now, but that's not the point.) I don't know, what is the world coming to?

Still, to look on the bright side, at least I didn't go to the football like I was thinking of doing yesterday. We got thrashed six-nil. At home. To Grimsby.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It's grim up north

Boston Utd are at home to Grimsby tomorrow, in yet another crucial relegation six-pointer. There's a whole gaggle of six teams fighting it out for the next-to-bottom spot, and most of the others have got home games against mid-table opposition tomorrow, so a win for Boston is absolutely vital. I'm not sure whether or not to go and see it - Boston-Grimsby games are always fun, since Grimsby are the dirtiest team in the league, they're local rivals and games are always more like a punch-up in the mud than a classic football match.

Alternatively, I might stay at home and do memory practice. I did an hour numbers today, trying out that thing where I link the last image from one group to the first of the next, like I do with spoken numbers. It's slower, so I only went through the 2340 digits three-and-a-bit times instead of four or five, but the recall was better, and I ended up with a score of 1800, which is more than acceptable, especially since I'm pretty sure I could do better than that with a bit more practice.

I'm not sure whether to try doing that in hour cards or half-hour binary, but I think I probably won't. Hour numbers was the only one where I was getting to the limit of what I wanted to try to memorise before half way through the memorising time, and just revising it for the rest of the time. Which I don't think is an effective way to do things, but trying to memorise more than ten journeys doesn't really work for me either. Still, it was quite exciting.

There's also a big long documentary on ITV tomorrow night about Aubrey and his life-extension stuff, which I'm sure will be fun to watch. I'd probably miss the start if I went to the football. Plus if I stayed at home I could hoover the place and pick up some of the filth, you know, seeing as I've got guests on Monday.

Wow, that's weird. I've just noticed that there's a series called "After You've Gone", starring Nicholas Lyndhurst, on BBC1 on Friday nights nowadays. I assume it's a sitcom of some kind. Tonight's is episode 4, but it's the first time I've noticed that it exists. And I normally make a point of checking out new sitcoms, even BBC1 ones, in case they're good. I need to be more observant.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Beauty school dropout

I'm watching Grease on Sky again tonight. Last time I mentioned this in my blog I was emailing a TV producer about a documentary about memory stuff - this time I've got two of them on the go. The one I've been talking about for a while that looks like being fun, and another guy who just emailed me the other day to ask about things. I'm practically a superstar. In terms of fame, I must be at least on the level of the guy who played Eugene.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Reactor engaged, traction locked, all go!

I noticed in HMV today that Thundercats is finally out on DVD! The first 33 episodes, anyway, which is a good start. I never really understood why it wasn't released a few years ago when 80s cartoon nostalgia was really, really big. Everything else was. And Thundercats was the BEST of the half-hour-toy-advert cartoons that made my childhood so special - yes, better than Transformers, better than He-Man, the whole lot of them. Nothing could beat Thundercats.

I've already got all of these episodes on video, taped off the TV when they were first shown (except "Pumm-Ra", when we had the video set to the wrong channel and taped the snooker on BBC2 instead, and "Spitting Image", where the tape ran out half way through, but I've got those on the commercial VHS release - luckily, they were not only two of the handful of episodes that were released on video, but they were both on the same tape!), but I might buy the DVD anyway, just to show support for Thundercats in general. Thundercats Hoooooooo!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Derby day

I was in the town centre yesterday when a man asked me if I knew how to get to the Wardwick. "What's a Wardwick when it's at home?" I thought to myself, and apologised for not being able to help him. I went on my way, turned a corner, looked up and saw a sign saying "WARDWICK". The following thoughts then went through my head:

"Oh, this is a Wardwick? I always thought this road was called 'That street with the library and the Cats Protection League shop and all the old buildings'. I could never get the hang of street names that don't say 'street' or 'road' or 'boulevard' or anything like that after them. Oh, and the guy who asked me the way wandered off in the other direction. I feel all guilty now. No, it's okay, assuming he asked someone else (and you'd think he would have done, unless I'm the only approachable-looking person in town today), he could just have gone the other way around and got to this road from the other end. Oh heck, that means he might be walking towards me right now, ON the Wardwick, not five minutes after I told him I don't know where it is! He'll think I knew all along and just sent him in the wrong direction as a cruel joke! I'd better hide. But if I hide in the library or the Cats Protection League shop or one of the other grotty shops down here, that might turn out to be where he was going, and it will look ten times worse! He'll probably call the police and everything."

In the end I decided to just keep walking on my way, and I didn't bump into him, nor did I get arrested. Hopefully he found whatever he was looking for, despite my hindrance.

There's also a TV show on tonight about one of the few things Derby's famous for - sumo wrestling! Yes, it's a little-known fact that the British Sumo Federation is based in Derby. Makes me wonder if I should try to organise the British othello championships alongside one of their events - "the two most popular Japan-originating pastimes in Derby, together on the same day!" Hey, they have chess boxing, why don't we have sumo othello!

Another hit Derby-connected documentary of the future is taking shape - James Kemp and I are being filmed here next Monday talking memory for this latest project. This leaves me with the dilemma of whether I should clean up my flat a bit before the squalor is captured for posterity, or whether the cheerful clutter will just make me look loveably eccentric on camera. I'm inclining towards the latter, because it means I don't have to do any tidying.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Learning Japanese, I think I'm learning Japanese

I dug out my old Teach Yourself Japanese course today and refreshed my memory of the first couple of chapters. I've started to learn the language a few times in the past, and always got stuck when I got to verbs and gave up. This time, I fully intend to become a master of the tongue, able to chat fluently with Hideshi Tamenori or Rumiko Takahashi or Usagi Yojimbo, should they happen to come round for tea. I expect to be talking like a native by tomorrow lunchtime, teatime at the latest.

I feel I should point out that I've also done a huge amount of memory training (I'm really getting somewhere with the spoken numbers now) and writing of Cambridge Memory Championship website today. Having weekend non-memory-stuff breaks is definitely a good idea. But then if I get so used to the idea of not memorising things at weekends, I might not be able to do it at competitions, which are invariably weekend events! Maybe I'll have a weekend in the middle of the week. Or just do what I want, when I want, like I always do.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

It was Sunday, what a black day

I was thinking of having an image. Or a different image, anyway. Rather than being the one with the hat and the strange clothes, I thought it would be cool to be the one with the hat and the all-black clothes, or the one with the hat and the 18th-century period costume, you know the kind of thing. That way it will be easier to become a major TV star, because everyone will remember me after the first time they see me perform.

Or I could become a nudist.