Raging Against the World

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Monthly Archives: October 2010

Other Voices


(Scroll down if you came here looking for the QR Code blog)

I just had the weirdest dream.

There was a group of us in a recording studio doing a Live broadcast of a radio play.  For some reason I was playing the role of James Robertson-Justice, playing a character and I was floundering badly with a very long speech.  My accent wavered horribly in-and-out, so badly as to be totally obvious.  So badly that at one point i could feel I had no faith or support from my fellow artistes. 

I had been preceded in the dialogue by an actress equally unable to do a passable facsimile of two famous female voices.

It was just the two of us ‘doing voices’ in this straight drama, but the whole thing was careering badly all over the place.  Eventually, less than 30 minutes into this live 2hr broadcast I stopped midway through this unviable dialogue, saying “it’s no good, I can’t do this” bringing the whole production to a violent halt with no support from the wholly absent Producer.  I could picture a tiny swathe of listeners across the land boggling at this sudden jolting halt as I continued voicing the ridiculousness of even attempting a 2hr live broadcast with Voices.  What were my employers Thinking?!!

I’d never even stated I could do a James Robertson-Justice voice.  Sure, I could, but only a few brief sentences, this thing was paragraphs of difficult hard-to-say dialogue.  I was uncomfortably aware that in order to  avoid a monotone that I would need to use inflection of my voice and this was what was dragging me out of the accent despite my attempts to remain there.

As the play ended horribly I was being harangued by another castmember, Harry Enfield, who too was ‘doing a voice’, but just the one and not of anybody recogniseable.  He had it easy.  He was known for his ability to do people, having had years on Spitting Image as well as playing many unique voices throughout his television career.

He refused to admit that it was an impossibly difficult bit of wordage despite me challenging him to try it himself.  It was obvious he knew I was right but he was not going to admit it!

My fellow castmembers were individually arguing loudly (not as a group rounding on one member) and eventually after a protracted shouting match… I woke up.


It’s the Future!

The chances are, you came here today (25th October 2010) via my Twitter avatar.  I have just stumbled across another person on twitter using a QR Code so had to investigate.

“What’s a QR code?” you say?

Well, this is…


Essentially it’s a glorified barcode.  Only it works much better than a barcode.  It scans in an instant, and you don’t need to keep wiggling the scanner to get it to read.

I first noticed one on a bottle of Pepsi Max but not knowing what it was called I couldn’t google it.  Eventually I came across the name, thought “oh, it’s just a different barcode” and thought no more about it.

And then today I saw @NewCurator retweeted on Twitter.  I saw the image and couldn’t resist running my iPhone’s “ScanLife” app over it to see what it was an image of.

Boy was I surprised.  The iPhone successfully scanned it and took me to his/her webpage!  Astonishing!  So of course I googled to see how I could make my own QR code and came across Kaywa.  And I was again blown away.  You can create a QR code of any text, URL or… PHONE NUMBER.  If you try to create a QR code of your own telephone number and scan it, your iPhone (other models of mobile phone are available) will call that number.  You read that right.

Instantly my mind reeled with the possibilities.  QR codes as avatars, t-shirts, badges… hell, I want my QR code on a business card.  Just scan it with your phone and call me instantly.  How cool is that?

But there’s other possibilities.  Check this out:


Make your own business cards.  Make badges, make t-shirts.  Hell, have it put on your mug at work!

It’s the future.  And it works.

Shame on you, America.

It took 3 days for me even to hear of this.  It wasn’t on Twitter or anywhere on the BBC News website (it still isn’t).

America always triumphantly proclaims itself to be the best country in the world, usually through ignorance of other countries.  But I can assure you this would never happen in the UK and I’m sure people who can speak for other countries would state the case there too.

This is absolutely appalling.  Go to this webpage and when you’ve read it, play the video.  If you don’t well up, you’re not human.  (And are therefore qualified to work for the Obion County Fire Department).