"Oh my goodness!"

Life I was nearly knocked over this morning.

Close to work there's a box junction with a zebra crossing on each side. It was raining so I had my hood up, I was listening to Rachel Maddow's podcast and looking up the lights were red, the man was green so I began walking.

Not out of nowhere, because it never is, it's always from somewhere, I felt something graze my chest and an explanation, "Oh my goodness!"

Turning, I saw a cyclist racing forward down the road. He turned his head and gave me a dirty look before continuing his way.

The anxiety descended once I'd reached the other side of the road. Before then I might have shouted after him, "The lights were red, ." Before that I probably gave him the automatic British apology.

There's no doubt in my mind I was in the right.  He'd run the light, unlike the many cars stacked up at the junction.  The lights were red, the man was green.

Plus he wasn't wearing a helmet, or any kind of protection, just jeans and a pullover and with that velocity, in the reality were he did crash into me, a serious injury probably ensued.  Except in the reality where miraculously no injury occurred because there are infinite realities and every possibility imaginable.

In this reality, I'm sure that he was litigating all of this himself and the reasons I was in the wrong.  I didn't look left and right before I crossing, not paying attention to where I was walking, neither of which I deny not that either should have mattered given that he was the one who ran the red light.

But I did love that his key expression of surprise was "Oh my goodness!"  Having attempted quite unsuccessfully not to swear lately, he at least has my admiration for that.

By the time I reached work, my anxiety had mellowed again, which isn't to say I didn't relish telling the first work colleagues I saw about all of the above.

“I cannot tell you how ashamed I am”

About Yes. Indeed. You have me Clickhole:
“I cannot tell you how ashamed I am,” Tafferty wrote in the latest entry on his blog, The Tafferty Take, where he writes about a variety of subjects for an audience consisting of mostly friends and family. “People were counting on me to inform them about my favourite hiking trails in the area and how Liz is doing at her new job, and I let them down. There is no excuse for what I’ve done.”
As you will have noticed I've managed to post every day since Saturday.  I'll beat this yet [via].

Sunday Girl.

TV As you will have heard, Doctor Who is shifting to Sunday nights this year, beginning on the 7th October, in about a month. Let's talk about the Pros and Cons.


- Avoids the Strictly Come Dancing vortex of variable time slots as the dance contest contracts, five or ten minutes for each contestant who leaves in a given week, so Jodie's first year won't have to cope with being broadcast perilously close to the watershed as happened in Pete's opening season.

- People are more likely to be watching television on a Sunday night. Between Countryfile, the Antiques Roadshow and the 9pm drama slot, Sunday night has become a big ratings evening which also gives Doctor Who a much better chance of retaining the same weekly timeslot, 7pm with any luck, so people will know where to look.

- It's as brave a move as introducing Who to Saturdays back in 2005.  For a while that heralded other dramas in the same timeslot, Robin Hood and Merlin of a similar ilk, although it's been somewhat marooned since then.  Shifting to Sunday brings back an early evening drama timeslot which hasn't been in place for ages.


- Doctor Who has been Saturday night for so many years that it might be tricky for some people to adjust.  I mean apart from when it was mid-week during the Davison years when it actually received some of its highest ratings. Oh.

- We usually have a roast on a Sunday night.  No roasts for ten weeks if I want to keep with the transmission time.

- Having to write the reviews on a Sunday night.  My Sunday night reviews are almost always rubbish.

So really there isn't a downside to this.  Shrug.  Now can we please have a timeslot?

Things We Lost In The Fire.

Museums The Atlantic offers examples of the artifacts which will have been destroyed in the fire at the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. It's heartbreaking:
"The museum also was home to an irreplaceable collection of pterosaurs—flying reptiles that soared over the dinosaurs’ heads. Brazil was something of a “heaven for pterosaurs,” and the discovery of spectacular creatures like Tapejara, Tupandactylus, and Tupuxuara, with their marvelously complete skeletons and improbably ornate crests, helped to reshape our understanding of these animals. “We may have lost dozens of the best preserved pterosaurs in the world,” said paleontologist Mark Witton. “There really is no collection comparable ... We find them elsewhere in the world, but the quality of the Brazilian material is remarkable.”"
The effect the destruction of this number of holotypes to research and history is incalculable.  What this underscores for me is how we much we still treat the museums of the world as independent bodies at the mercy of their own governments rather than as one entire global collection. 

If the Brazillian government were unwilling to fund the site properly it should have been the responsibility of other museums with larger pockets and philanthropists to carry out the necessary work in order to prevent this kind of tragedy.

The Such Stuff Podcast.

Shakespeare Shakespeare's Globe has launched a fortnightly podcast about his works and how they're tackling the plays with behind the scenes interviews around various themes. This isn't a side project - its being produced in conjunction with Globe Education and artistic director Michelle Terry is participating. Here's the first episode synopsis:
Episode 1: The Missing Women
In the first ever episode of Such Stuff we’ll be asking: why is it so important to reclaim the untold stories of women from history?

Emilia Bassano was a poet, writer, feminist and contemporary of Shakespeare, and until recently, her contribution to the literary canon was largely forgotten. Now she is the subject of a new play, Emilia, and the Emilias that appear throughout Shakespeare’s work have underpinned the entire summer season.

Is she the dark lady of the sonnets? Was she the inspiration for the Emilias in Othello and The Winter’s Tale? We explore what we do and don’t know about the real Emilia Bassano with Research Fellow Dr Will Tosh and go behind the scenes with writer Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and director Nicole Charles on new play Emilia, which takes an imaginative leap from the evidence of her life and tells an extraordinary story.

We’ll also be taking a look at imbalances off of our stages, and speaking to Emma Caplan of Band of Mothers about the missing women in our workforces.

And finally, Kate Pankhurst, author of bestselling Fantastically Great Women Who Made History, chats to us about why young children - girls and boys! - need more stories of women from history.
There's a genuine sense now that the Globe has regained its sense of purpose and returned to its earlier mission statements.

It's Good To Talk.

Life Back in February 2009, when Twitter was civil, everyone pretty much agreed on things and people actually didn't mind meeting each other in public, the first Twestival was organised at the Leaf Cafe on Parliament Street in Liverpool. I posted a full report back then and the key theme was that, with the exception of people who came as a group of work colleagues, it was an opportunity for a group of near total strangers to natter awkwardly with each other and perhaps make some friends.  What made all this easier was that we had a commonality, a social network, which meant we at least had an opening topic.

The Guardian reports that in Vienna and some other places, events are being organised in which the only commonality seems to be that they're all human beings. Coffeehouse Conversations, which sounds like a mid-noughties PBS podcast, offers the chance for a group of locals and some "outsiders" (holiday makers and the like) to meet and have intimate conversations for two hours in the hopes of fostering understanding between people from different backgrounds:
"Since March 2013 Quinn has hosted a monthly meetup at a coffeehouse in the city, pairing residents and outsiders for an evening of traditional food, drink and challenging one-on-one conversation. The premise is like speed dating, except participants spend the whole two hours with the same person, forcing them to push past small talk, and there’s no explicit matchmaking intent – though, Quinn says, it has resulted in three marriages."
What attracts me to this model is that the conversations are between two people. I'm impossibly bad in group situations, usually quiet and watching rather than participating. I much prefer one-to-one situations, especially when there isn't an motive other than to just talk. 


TV "I'm in my wedding dress. It doesn't have pockets. Who has pockets? Have you ever seen a bride with pockets? When I went to my fitting at Chez Alison, the one thing I forgot to say is give me pockets!" -- Donna Noble, "Doctor Who: The Runaway Bride

This seems immensely practical, especially since it gives you somewhere to put your hands, keep some tissues, hand wipes or even a phone, which is what the Doctor's asking her about when she gives him this rant.