Friday, July 20, 2007

Wow. Watch this video of a 3D scanner made out of lego, a bowl of milk and a webcam.


(I wonder if you could do mo-cap with custard.)

Posted by Julian on selectparks.


And now for another very silly but true story about my school days.
As usual names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Storwy



I was 16 years old, in the 6th form and minding my own business in Art class when a girl I didn't really know passed me a note. She said "my brother Chris goes to Dulwell [a private boys' school nearby] and his friend Matt gave this to me to give to you".

What the? So I read the mysterious note and it said something like this:

My friends and I saw you last week when you debated against St. Cuth's [St. Cuthbert's School for Girls] and we were wondering if you'd like to meet us. At Dulwell we run an underground organisation called The Alternative Coffee Club (as a counterpoint to the Official Coffee Club run by the Brothers [Dulwell was a Catholic school and all the teachers were monks, believe it or not]). Perhaps you'd find it interesting?
Matt.


I was interested, in fact I was intrigued and so I rang the phone number on the note and met up with Matt after school one day. I soon met his friends and ended up going out with his friend Tom.

Tom was great and in retrospect I wish I had appreciated him more at the time. He lived with his mother, who was a painter. He was witty, clever, and treated me very well. Being a bit of a galant he bought me flowers, took me to concerts and performed feats of physical prowess to get me things I wanted... I'm afraid I wasn't as nice to him as he deserved.

One day Tom said, in a particularly romantic moment, that he loved me.

Me: "No, you don't."

Tom: "But I do! I really do! Do you think I'm just saying that to get you into bed or something?"

Me: "No not at all. It's just that while you may think you 'love' me, you actually don't. What people call "love" is a simple social construct, and therefore in real terms it doesn't exist."

Tom: "Uh...what?"

Me: "Love doesn't exist. You're simply adopting the idea of 'love' because subconsciously you feel you need to conform to society's expectations."

Tom: "I tell you I love you and this is your response?! Geez..."

And that was that. For the time being, at least.

A week or so later a teacher came to tell us that Dulwell School for Boys had issued an official challenge to the 6th form debating team at our school, Elson Girls' Grammar. The moot was to be “That love is an outdated concept”, and our team was supposed to argue the affirmative, their's the negative.

This was, of course, highly suspicious. As I quickly found out, Tom had recounted our conversation to his friends at Dulwell and it seemed they had decided to send their school debating team over expressly to prove how wrong-headed I was on the subject of Love.

Funnily enough, Tom was on their debating team, and I was on ours. I confronted him about this:

Me: “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to. Did you have to tell your whole school about our private conversations?”

Tom: “Why not? You’re not exactly shy about giving your opinions, are you. Let’s see if you can defend them in front of an audience. I don’t think you can.”

Me: “Hmmmm.”

Tom: “You just wait and see. We’re going to kick your arse.”

Me: “Oh the fuck you are…”

So the day arrived for the Dulwell vs Elson Girls’ Grammar debate. It was staged at lunchtime in the school drama space and for some reason the place was packed out. Girls were sitting on top of girls in great girly piles. The size of the audience may have been due to a reputation for debating theatrics (Kylie, my friend and debater extraordinaire, had a habit of stacking the table with enormous books before a debate and then tossing them one by one across the stage at the opposing team during her speeches), but it had also gotten around that I was going to debate my boyfriend about a personal matter and it was bound to get embarrassing or even ugly.

Well I won’t go into details but despite our team’s best efforts Dulwell won the debate and Tom was awarded Best Speaker. After that I decided that I’d allow him to go on “loving” me if he insisted on maintaining his delusion but that it would take a great deal more than that to change my mind on the question.

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7 Comments:

At 12:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story... but ... you obviously sound much more eloquent and socially aware than this juvenile Tom. After all... raised by monks? Sneaking off to deviant coffee clubs?. Love struck Tom must surely have thought you lost the debate on purpose.

 
At 3:17 am, Blogger Patrick said...

Excellent story (take that anonymous, I one-upped your adjective.)

I told my last girlfriend that I loved her. She said "ok".

 
At 9:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course... surrounding the socio/marxist/structuralist debate concerning the existence of love, lies a more interesting question...

Why would one feel the need to deny the existence of love at all? Surely it takes time to ponder and reach such a position. Why pursue such a line of thought as to reach the conclusion? What is the motivation?

... Was it something about Tom?

 
At 1:16 pm, Blogger Kipper said...

No Tom wasn't juvenile, I think it was my emotional maturity that was lacking there. Still lacking, perhaps.

 
At 11:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are any of us emotionally mature at 16? You're hard on yourself Kipper. Tom probably just understood, accepted and perhaps even appreciated you for who you are.

 
At 11:59 pm, Blogger Kipper said...

Hmmm this is starting to sound suspiciously like someone who knows me...

Come on then, 'fess up!

 
At 4:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did Tom ever manage to change your mind in the end?

 

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