Friday, October 25, 2013
Comic Cuts - 25 October 2013
So... I figured out that the stomach problems I was having wasn't irritable bowel but must have been – must be, as it hasn't quite cleared up – a pulled muscle. I eased back on the exercise I was doing and things have been slowly improving. I'm still on a mixture of walking and using an ancient exercise bike and still burning up roughly 2,000 calories a week above what I used to burn sitting around all day in front of the computer. I haven't weighed myself for a month, so it'll be interesting to see if the bike has made any difference. I might be able to find out in a couple of weeks.
If Lucy Porter still hasn't found her place by the end of her tour, maybe she'll consider Colchester. We're not like the rest of Essex. (That should be the town's motto!)
So now I have to walk twice the distance to catch a bus back to Wivenhoe from Colchester. It's not a major problem, although I did notice the other day that they've stuck in another bus stop about thirty yards further down the road from the original (still active). Quite how this is meant to help I don't know because there's not enough room to get a car or bus around the parked bus if it stops.
Of being interested, that's what. Ince asserts that we should never lose interest even if what you're doing seems mundane because that's how things are discovered. Twenty years ago, Richard Feynman spent a happy day snapping uncooked spaghetti and counting the pieces because he noticed that, when bent out of shape, spaghetti doesn't just snap into two pieces, as you would expect, but fragments into three, four or more pieces.
Richard Feynman is one of Ince's heroes: he helped develop the atomic bomb during WWII and helped develop our understanding of quantum physics. Here's his page on Wikipedia where I've just learned that he didn't speak until the age of three. "Why speak now, son?" his parents asked. "Because until now the wheels on the bus would have gone round and round as you described..." replied Feynman. . . no he didn't, it's a joke about Germans adapted for physicists.
Ince's jokes about physicists are better, I promise. He has energy and enthusiasm and a set of slides to present, some of which he has to dash through to fit the show into the allotted time (and it was still a long show). Like the PowerPoint presentation, the subject matter jumps around as each slide sends him off on a topic, whether it is Charles Darwin or naked mole rats. Ince's 5-year-old son, Archie, is a running, and I should say legitimate, meme throughout the show as Ince compare's his own reactions to Archie's. Anecdotes are accompanied by impersonations of Feynman, Mr Magoo, Brian Cox and others, a bit of shouting and a lot of passion. One of the strength's of the show is that Ince throws complex ideas into the mix without feeling the need for complex explanations. The ideas can be marveled at for what they are. I suspect that Robin Ince spends a lot of time marveling at things and we should all be grateful that he tours around the country letting us all have a glimpse at them.
Well, that was a chatty column. We should have a book review tomorrow and we're back with those Magnificent Men and Their Flying (Saucer) Machines next week.