The Night is Alive with the Living Dead! (in Nottingham)

2 November 2008

Anyone wandering around Nottingham (Market Square) between 1600 and 1730 this last Friday would have seen an unusual sight indeed. For those of us who are easily frightened, the sight of over a thousand zombies gathered in one place – and performing coordinated dances no less – might have been a bit much. For some insane reason, Nottingham decided to attempt (successfully) the world record for the greatest number of zombies in one place.

How did that one come about?

Anyway, the make-up and zombie training  were both free; and coupled with two universities full of eager students, we got a considerable crowd (gaggle?) of zombies.

Only one guy in our office took part – gore and everything –  much to the dismay of his manager. Since we are based just off Market Square, the  occasional instructions-cum-screams of the choreographer were hard to ignore. And so I eventually popped down to see what was happening; in time to watch preparations for Thriller – obviously.

Perhaps one day they’ll go for a crowd of Elvises (Elvisi?) or something. Until then I’ll continue to pay my council tax with eager anticipation.

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Doing Nothing (except writing a blog entry)

25 October 2008

I watched the film office space again while sitting on the train between Birmingham and Nottingham for the third time on Thursday. By the third trip, my enthusiasm for train travel was flagging considerably, and it’s a good thing I had my wonderful netbook along with a few films on the hard drive.

I’d forgotten how good that film is (different from The Office, but still funny), and I had to laugh out loud at the following quote:

“Michael, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be”.

I have to agree that the occasional Saturday of doing absolutely nothing is quite nice. But I reckon I’d go crazy if I tried to bum around for more than that. I’d get a hobby or something, I’m sure. I suppose that’s why I’m writing this entry in the first place. Maybe I’ll go chop wood or build a house or something.

PS – ‘Learn to Fly’ by the Foo Fighters is amazing!


If I Were an Evil Overlord

14 September 2008

Right…so you are an Evil Overlord. What should you be doing? Thankfully, you can now learn from the grisly deaths of a few previous ones. How? There exists an amusing list of tips, do’s, and don’ts that I would advise any Evil Overlord (with a trusty Legion of Terror) to consider. I have to say I was impressed. If you aren’t even likely to become an E.O. (not far from CEO, eh?), the list is a good read anyway.

On a similar note, I am of the opinion that there is room for another equally useful list, ‘Lessons Learned from Hollywood’, that should be mandatory reading for all schoolchildren and scriptwriters (tiresome cliches anyone?).

The first few entries would go:

1. Never, ever, go into an abandoned building (especially if the front door is unlocked and slightly ajar).

2. Never split up when exploring a hazardous environment.

3. Always design robots with an easily accessible on/off switch (and prevent the robot from being able to reprogram it).

4. Better yet, don’t make AI at all.

I welcome any suggestions that the reader may have.


Leaflets Anyone? (The A-Z on Leaflet Giving)

14 September 2008

Today at my church (Beeston Free Church), our assistant minister, Craig Langstaff, gave an illustration that I thought very instructional. He outlined how to effectively administer leaflets to passers-by. While highly amusing (and culturally insightful), a quick scan may be quite appropriate given that this week is my university’s mission week, and there will certainly be a lot of leafleting…

The tips are as follows:

  1. You must be absolutely convinced that the leaflet you hold is the most important thing the recipient could read.
  2. As a result of the above, you must be ‘on the front foot’. That is, leaning torward the person, confidently handing them pure gold. Mind you, it is not good to be over-confident, lest they thing you are trying to assault them.
  3. Perfect timing is essential. You cannot offer the leaflet too soon (and they have enough time to think and get flustered), and you cannot be too late (and they have too little time to think).
  4. If you are proffering to a large group (say at a bus stop), it is essential that the first person accepts – in this way the rest of the group is likely to follow suit. Whatever happens, a group of people is likely to follow the first person.
  5. If you find that a number of people have refused a leaflet, you are better off pausing for a bit, until the people passing do not know why you are there. You are thus more likely to give a leaflet, and so to subsequent passers-by.

I can’t wait to put this into practice!

(By the way, the above was used to illustrate an inherent fear that we all have, of being outside the group. We are all sheep at heart!)