September 12, 2020

Well, this year I said to myself (after checking out the amazing winning thesis by Min Loo from 2017) that I would try for the Three Minute Thesis Competition. I didn’t expect to win for my university! “The 3MT is a professional and engaging international competition. It challenges PhD students to present their research in language appropriate to an intelligent but non-specialist audience in the space of three minutes. The competition is based on the premise that the capacity to… Read more

September 6, 2020

Nyles and Sarah (SNL’s Andy Samberg and HIMYM’s Cristin Milioti) are having one of those days. At least they are until around about five minutes into the movie… when you realise that Nyles has been having one of those days for quite some time now. I was recently discussing with my partner how it was unlikely we’ll see the musical Groundhog Day in this current year (and maybe for the foreseeable future), and it led to a discussion of this… Read more

August 30, 2020

It’s always a good idea to watch films involving wild theories involving time with a bunch of computer scientists. At least for the parts where you turn to them and go ‘So… am I missing something, or was that as confusing for you as it was for me?” Confusing or not, I’ve greatly enjoyed all of Christopher Nolan’s films and Tenet is no exception. While I’m avoiding spoilers, it’s certainly one of those movies where it pays off to pay… Read more

August 16, 2020

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August 16, 2020

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August 14, 2020

There is much to love about this, but you should at least watch from the 8 minute mark, a song about Stonehenge. Read more

August 14, 2020

Continuing my adventures into ‘everything that is sound immersive cool’ and headphone-theatre, here’s my thoughts on something new in terms of at-home entertainment, which also includes a little ‘paranormal’ flavour. In his book Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama, Verma suggests that we should use the term “audioposition” rather than “vantage point” to describe the experience of listening to the radio. “Listeners do not just ‘have’ a point of audition; they are ‘positioned’ by audio composition and… Read more

August 7, 2020

After watching the Umbrella Academy Season 1, I have to admit that I started the show because of Ellen Page and Robert Sheehan – and then stuck around because the ensemble cast (particularly the minor characters Hazel and Cha-Cha, played by Cameron Britton and Mary J. Blige).  This delightful montage appeared last month:  Season Two arrived in August and was everything I hoped for. After the Hargreeves siblings are tossed through time into Dallas during the 60s (and not even the… Read more

July 31, 2020

As they did on other border stations, spooks rivalled singing cowboys as mail pullers at XEPN. Also called radio astrologers and psychologists, these performers were vaudeville mentalists of the airwaves, players in the show business tradition from which Norman Baker had emerged. They answered listeners’ questions on any subject, pitched a variety of exotic products, and predicted the futures of radio fans. …On the other hand, many people enjoyed the mentalists’ programs. “Border radio in the old days was very… Read more

July 20, 2020

Just to commemorate the day, here’s something from the album The Race for Space, that I used to play on RTRFM now and then. The Race for Space is the second studio album by British alternative group Public Service Broadcasting. Working with sound samples from the British Film Institute, the album relives the story of the American and Soviet space race from 1957–1972. This song, “Go!” is specifically about the Apollo 11 landing. Read more

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