St. Stupid’s Day

April fool’s day is, it seems, confusing for some. In my morning trawl around the net newswires, I kept seeing comments from people who were unsure as to the veracity of the stories that were being posted online today — and bemoaning the fact that this was how they felt.

It occurred to me that this was actually a Good Thing and that perhaps a campaign should be started to make every day a day when jokes can be played before midday, thus reducing the gullibility quotient of the population in one fell swoop.

Talking of swoops, my favourite prank today has to be the BBC’s flying penguins advert for their iPlayer. I hope they leave it up beyond the next six days.

Monster Potatohead

Another installment of Izzy’s creativity. Last time it was stop-frame animation. This time it consists of taking one of Stephen Appleby’s superb cartoons literally…

What she wanted, though, was to tell some stories about the adventures of Monster Potatohead — or “Bob” as he’s been officially named. Here he is with Izzy and a puppy on a farm in West Bengal, India:

I look forward to the further adventures – perhaps he’ll meet Mighty Mouse in another animated spectacular sometime. Roll on another wet weekend…

The World Will Shake

Safe zone in case of earthquake
Safe zone in case of earthquake

On a recent trip to Peru, I thought it somewhat alarming that every hotel we stayed in had signs just like the one above — but now I know that they were deadly serious. I’d never heard of them until I stumbled upon this BBC report, but kudos to Telecoms Sans Frontieres who do a job that’s often overlooked in the news media’s obsession with more grisly details.

[Update] Createascape wins award

Create a Scape logo

Congratulations to the Create-a-scape team on the announcement of their nomination in this year’s New Statesman New Media Awards. They’ve been selected as finalists in the education category which apparently “go to the body or project that has made the most significant contribution to education through the use of new media technology.”

I worked with them on the support website for the project and through that have read most of the support material for it. I reckon they’d be deserving winners. It’s an excellent and innovative idea and I hope it goes far — good luck folks!

[Update] Create-a-scape went on to win the award last night (24th July 2007).

New Media Awards 2007 Winners


Hiko, the Tongan Art of Juggling

Vava'u (Tonga) girls playing traditional games, perhaps pictured on Malaspina's voyage of 1793Girls playing traditional games in Vava’u, Tonga (mirrored from Wikipedia)

Many years ago when I performed a juggling show round the world, I heard rumours of a South Pacific island where all the women were jugglers of exceptional skill. Initially, I considered the story to be a kind of urban legend amongst the juggling diaspora, but the exoticism and allure of the idea of Pacific islands inhabited by juggling women remained with me.

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