.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Are you in the Right?

Tee-hee-hee! I love this article!

If you, like me, often find yourself tossing up between what's logical and what's expressive, this is definitely something you need to check out!


Saturday, January 29, 2005

Puzzling over Adaption

As a test run for my now-working DVD drive (yay!), I found myself watching 'Adaption', having no idea what it was about. But even as the ending credits were rolling past, I was still trying to do just that.

Having a look at Charlie Kaufman (the writer)'s other movies, though, I'm not surprised. The two other movies of his that I've seen are 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', and 'Being John Malkovich'. With that in mind, I've come to the conclusion that his screenplays are successful because he artistically confuses the hell out of his audience.

'Eternal Sunshine' deals with a portion of a guy's memory being erased while he is re-living it in reverse. If you're confused by that sentence then I've proved my point.

In 'Being John Malkovich' and 'Adaption', the confusion is supplied by seamlessly blending fantasy with reality. There are places and situations shown that are real, there are those that are realistic representations of actual situations, there are situations that pretend to be realistic representations of actual situations, and pushing further along that line we end up in a world of fantasy - and we can't quite point out where the crossover took place.

How much of John Malkovich, the character, was pulled directly from John Malkovich, the person, and how much was made up? (And what is it like to perform as yourself, or as a realistic version of yourself?)

How much of Adaption actually happened? The screenplay is based upon a book which is based upon an actual person, and the writer of the screenplay, the author of the book, and the actual person are all characters in the movie. How can you tell if the story actually happened, if it is based on reality, or completely made up? At least we can be sure the actors aren't playing themselves (imagine the mess if all three people had been hired to act as themselves!).

All in all, it's a very sneaky way of getting an audience interested in a subject - by making it a challenge to pick apart fact from fiction.

I know I'll be hunting down that book, even if I don't read it!

Meanwhile, I'll also be keeping an eye out for Charlie's other movies.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Home, Away...

The family and I arrived home yesterday, after 8 hours' drive from Caloundra, where we'd been staying on holiday for two weeks. It was a definite relief to find the simple comforts of my former life: my bed, my high-back leather chair, and my computer (and, by god, the window!). Of course, along with these came the other aspects of my life - the unfinished lists, the piles of books in the middle of my floor, the still-broken DVD drive and the stack of school books and other random information which I one day hope to assimilate into a user-friendly virtual database.

I also found six envelopes addressed to me, but one was a mobile phone bill and though it did provide distraction as I tried to figure out who all those numbers represented, the other five envelopes were a little more important.

The first was a letter from QTAC offering me a position in the Bachelor of Microelectronic Engineering at Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Brisbane.
The other four were from Griffith (I had accepted the offer online a few days before), drenching me with deadlines and a fresh wave of panic.

I've been tossing up between Electronics and Creative Arts for most of last year's haze, arguing back and forth about being constructive vs. doing something enjoyable that I have some previous experience in! This struggle is far from over as, from the moment I accepted the offer, I was already searching for the escape routes.

The headline for my headspace after that moment was: "I'm not making it easy for myself". Which I sure as hell am not! Not only will I be moving to a capital city where I know next to no-one, finding my own accomodation and dealing with all the insecurity that throws up, I'll also be taking a course I know nothing about and could absolutely loathe, at a university where I really don't know anyone. Whereas I could have chosen to go to QUT, where I do know a few former schoolmates, doing a course that my cousin is also joining; a course that I will almost definitely enjoy.

The flip side is that I can't write off my future as dismal. I could make many new friends, I could love the electronics course, and if I complete the course I will have the qualifications to join an under-staffed, high-paid industry where I will be doing challenging and productive work.

I also sound like a robot working on designing other robots. I hate that.

But there are escape routes, and I take comfort in that.

I move sometime in February, but I don't yet know where I'm heading. Best-case is probably getting a dorm room on-campus, but as I haven't even received an application form, let alone filled it out, that may not be terribly likely. There are also on-campus flats where I can actually cook my own food, but whether I can stand the same 4-7 people living with me would be the challenge. If it comes down to it, I can take up the spare room in my brother's share house, and hope I can survive him until he goes to Japan in April. I'd also have to learn to be on time for more than once in my life, or I'll be missing the bus.

I'm not suited to diving into uncertainty like this; the chaos in my head means that I need some semblance of stability outside my head in order to function.

But it turns out that stability is not something life advocates.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


Mmm, buzz. I've just finished the Blindex, and am leaving on holidays tomorrow. Woo!

Anyways, a while ago there was a commenter's discussion on 'headworms' - songs and snatches of melody that get stuck in your head. Turns out that BBC has an article on the headworm - or 'earworm' as the Germans call them.

The BBC has some unusually fun and weird stuff at their site. For example, this test measures your level of digust, and draws some interesting conclusions from that. Meanwhile, this test is to do with synaesthesia, when a person can 'taste' a name, or 'see' Thursday.

Anyhow, gotta pack! Be back on the 22nd! Farewell and out.

...Farewell and out!

I said OUT, damn it, OU

Friday, January 07, 2005

Uncertain Intelligence

This test annoyed me to no end. The first question asks you to choose between activities that you enjoyed as a child. I was involved in gymnastics, I learned piano and loved Phantom of the Opera, I loved puzzles, I was reading at a very early age, and I was shy and introspective. Chalk another one up to inconsistency - that's five out of seven or eight options, when I can only pick one! Grr!

But, thanks to careful experimentation, I think it's safe to say that:

Your Dominant Intelligence is Musical Intelligence

Every part of your life has a beat, and you're often tapping your fingers or toes.
You enjoy sounds of all types, but you also find sound can distract you at the wrong time.
You are probably a gifted musician of some sort - even if you haven't realized it.
Also a music lover, you tend to appreciate artists of all kinds.

You would make a great musician, disc jockey, singer, or composer.

(The other answers that cropped up, in order, were Linguistic Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, and Intrapersonal Intelligence.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Baring my...

You Are a Visionary Soul
You are a curious person, always in a state of awareness.
Connected to all things spiritual, you are very connect to your soul.
You are wise and bright: able to reason and be reasonable.
Occasionally, you get quite depressed and have dark feelings.

You have great vision and can be very insightful.
In fact, you are often profound in a way that surprises yourself.
Visionary souls like you can be the best type of friend.
You are intuitive, understanding, sympathetic, and a good healer.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Run Away From The Circus

I have just taken my first glimpse into the world of 'Carnivale' - the fifth episode, ('Babylon') - and I struggle to sort out my thoughts and feelings about the show.

Firstly, don't be lured in by the name - the carnival itself directly clashes with most associations I make with the word - mostly the happier associations. Don't think the Big Top. Think sword-swallowing, fortune-telling, freak shows and carousels.

The cast of characters includes a bearded lady, a man who seems to have scales or something similar on his face, female siamese twins, a midget who seems to run the show, a mentally infant strongman, and a man with a metal leg. You'll have no trouble keeping the characters straight, even though I can't remember any of their names.

The whole episode was dark and gritty. And dirty. The set is of a dull pallette that highlights what colour is left extraordinarily well. In that respect, it reminds me of A Series Of Unfortunate Events, although there is nothing childish and little humorous about this show.

It took me a while to work out that a good part of the show's centre lies in the mystical; the paranormal.The young female fortune-teller has conversations (only audible on her part) with her unmoving, seemingly dead mother.There is a sort of odd-job boy who seems to be having visions, and an old blind man who might also be able to see the future, and is attempting to direct the boy's abilities.And tonight's show turned out to be a ghost story. Or zombie, or whatever.

Another aspect of the show, one which seems like it has nothing to do with the main action, revolves around Justin, a religious man of some kind reading the Bible alone in a ruin of a building. Passages he reads of the Bible seem to mirror events at the Carnivale, but there did not appear to be any connection between the stories except to an outside audience - because they're in the same show.

The show tonight happened to contain full-frontal female nudity, as one of the carnival's dancers listlessly did her stuff. My parents had lost interest in the show long before and had retired to their room, but I could just imagine my little brother coming around the corner for a drink. I switched the TV off at that point and waited thirty seconds or so before turning the TV back on.

It's all despair, despair, despair. There is little sense of closure if any, and things just seem to happen. Characters do things, react to events and to each other, and just keep reacting. That is not traditional storytelling. That is probably considered too realistic for storytelling.

If this is a show you want to watch, don't expect stories with happy endings. But if you like a dark streak in your watching, a heavy dose of realism, and a lot of the 'spiritual', I'd recommend you give it a try. But remember: I warned you.