Saturday, 30 June 2012

Bathos, pathos and bogus

'bathos: appearance of the commonplace in elevated matter'
'pathos: a quality in a person or situation that makes you feel sad or sorry for them'

While writing this blog I will surely exhibit bathos many many times. That's an inevitable consequence of being immature and free to do as I wish. I can whistle for three hours on this thing if I want! Not that you could tell.

Meanwhile from the desk of Monty T. Monkey:
'Hello. This week in Mango News, we report that a mango has appeared in the middle of the memorial fountain to Eddie Bear. The mango was delicious.'

On the other hand I hope I never exhibit pathos, which is easily confused with bathos. Neither of these terms is easily confused with 'bogus', but then I digress. Digression is a useful tool when you are attempting to evade the task you have set for yourself. In this case I should be doing thesis work and not blogging so thesis work shall be mixed in.

As the weekend approaches the question arises of what to do? Hmm, Welsh weather continues to be wonderful for my pale skin with it's persistent clouds, murk and coolness but remains unengaging to others. What others? Well, that's a good point too. It'll be swimming followed by a hard burst of nothing at all!

Pathos and bathos are remarkably simple concepts, one designed for men and the other for words. Whereas in a person we see sadness as disappointing in words we see mundanity as the same. Perhaps what we see as pathos really refers to mundanity and its effect. On the other hand, maybe it's all bogus to begin with.

'bogus: not real, although pretending to be real'

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Words, words and more words

Words: Collections of letters grouped together into orders which sound nice. Words can themselves be assembled into sentences, sentences into paragraphs or verses, and paragraphs or verses into prose and poetry. Words are truly wondrous things, encapsulating complex thoughts in little strings of ink on a page, or dots on a screen. Words can uplift, can hurt and can explain. Words are kings.

Words are the basis of my work, and so they should be emphasised from time to time. Multiple projects are ongoing right now, and they're all word based. Thesis corrections: Words. Blog writing: Words. New project reading: Words. Words everywhere. Story writing: Words. Words words words. Everything is words. One such word is 'transducer', the random word of the day!

A transducer is a device that converts energy from one form to another. We are living transducers, that turn stored food energy into motion and thought. Sometimes it seems as if different people have different biases towards thoughts or actions and problems break out. Oh, the irony of the human transducer! Writing a thesis can be a lonely thing and during the dog days of corrections a spot of correct transduction of energy into words would be handy. Perhaps if I pull the purple lever?

<pulls the purple lever>

<two days pass>

Where was I? Oh yes, transducers and theses. Oh, the joy of thesis completion! And job hunting too. Anyone with a handy mathematics postdoctoral opening should point it at me please. Also, the approximate viscosity for granular aggregates within a cone crusher would be useful too.

Life is lonely sometimes but at least we have ice cream and desperation. For the last couple of days work has been done and has been scary. It's possible that the formalities will soon be done and soon it will be DOCTOR Oliver Bain writing here.

Sleepy Oliver.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

June, the Monday of the Months

Hi de hi,

I used to have a Blogger blog, but it was a long time ago. In attempting to revive that blog on many occasions it has become apparent that it needs a theme or purpose or overriding theme. It's all very well to think and write about personal events but that's exhibitionism and awkward to read. Perhaps it is better to come up with a theme that connects to a story you can tell and then intertwine the two.

Having moved country recently and parted some ways it would be natural to be maudlin, but we're not going to do that. Instead we'll talk about Aberystwyth, my undergraduate University and spiritual home. Visiting the place six years after graduation is interesting, as the faculty changes further and further and I get older, older, and yes older. Things to do in Aberystwyth when you're visiting:

- Climb Constitution Hill in early morning and contemplate
- Go to the Arts Centre gift shop on campus
- Wade into the sea
- Visit Devil's Bridge nearby, causing inevitable rain
- Go to the out-of-town Butterfly House
- Throw rocks at my friend Blodyn's house (beware, she's wild)
- Climb the OTHER hill
- Take lots of photos of the sea
- Try to spot Ireland

Ah, it was a wonderful time there. Watching the sea churn in and out on the beach or at the cliff base introduces new timescales into life. These timescales lie between the turning of days and the space of a heartbeat. It's fantastic. No more measuring time in hours but in days of crashes or stones flicked into the sea. Why would anyone not choose to live by the sea? Well, for money and a living. But more people could, and probably will in these times of climate change.

Sometimes when things change you can be upset or sad. Alarmed at the turn your predicted future has taken but perhaps not so much has changed at all. Perhaps the thing you thought had ended is merely resting. Perhaps it's gone forever. You never know, and in this era of global interpersonal integration nothing is as simple as it was. None of us ever knows how we're going to turn out in the rests of our lives. The only crime is to punish ourselves for not living up to some mythical ideal.

Oh, job hunting and trauma is making me melancholy! The DVD themes of the week ahead are 'The Muppet Show', 'Maverick' and 'Contact'. Lots of old-time goodness while hiding from the sun, hiding from the just past birthday and glumming away.

Wistful Oliver.