Monday, February 28, 2011

A Contradiction in Broome

I went to Broome over the weekend. It was an interesting place, although not much is open during wet season. What is fascinating is how embedded the town's pearling history, even its contradictions, is in everything you see.

Monday, February 21, 2011

L'enfant en dérive, or Baby-led Psychogeography.

I've been doing some research on psychogeography recently. Psychogeography is mainly associated with the left radical Lettrist and Situationist International groups in the middle of the last century, although it has enjoyed something of a renaissance since the 90s, often stripped of explicitly artistic or political pretensions. By and large psychogeography refers to the practice of exploring and analysing the city in unusual ways, for example by directing an almost scientifically interpretive zeal towards the back alleys and edges of the city, or navigating with the use of an outdated or altered map.The best-known psychogeographic technique is the dérive, or drifting, which sees practitioners wandering around the city without a predetermined plan, going where impulse takes them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Blanket/Punching Dilemma: On Rape and Mommy Blogs

I am currently consumed with gendered rage. Perhaps you too have been bewildered about the rape and assault of the journalist Lara Logan in Egypt. Perhaps you have felt pommeled by the same message coming across any kind of writing about sexual assault. There's the classic "She should have been more careful." The Julian Assange- business gives life to the always charming "Was it 'rape' or was it rape-rape?" There are the speculations over someone's sexual history, attractiveness, motives. A victim's motives. It really does make me rather sick.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Trouble With Fruit

In anticipation of a delightfully productive and not at all technologically challenged weekend for everyone who has a deadline (or six) on the horizon...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crowdsource-a-Mole: Adventures in Digital Archives

The Finnish National Library, like many other libraries, museums and archives around the world, is working to digitise some of their collections to make them more accessible and easily searchable. The trouble is that having a human being manually translate documents into a digital format would take a phenomenally long time, whereas computers and scanners don't have the capacity to evaluate whether what they have reproduced digitally makes sense. The vast digital collection therefore includes mistakes and anomalies, and fixing them can be time-consuming.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

What's in a name, Severus Kalkaros?

I've just read Pollomuhku ja Posityyhtynen, written by the Finnish translator of the Harry Potter books Jaana Kapari-Jatta. In it Kapari-Jatta talks about the process of translating the novels, the complexities of finding suitable translations for Rowling's neologisms, decisions about which names to translate and hoping that a particular judgement call on a translation doesn't destroy crucial hints or plot developments in subsequent books.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It is a truth universally acknowledged...

I'm in a bit of a Jane Austeny-sort of mood at the moment. I recently indulged in the BBC's 1995 Pride and Prejudice, and got stuck. Austen and Wodehouse do the same thing to me: I just wish I could talk like that, that as a society we could still get away with it. I'm doing my small part, though. I make a point of being extremely vexed every now and then.