Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 29. Day 88. Drip fed

Drip, drip, drip. The information fell in drops. Each drop seemingly unconnected in time to the last or the next but together they filled the bucket. But like drips in a bucket it takes quite some time before the drops have very much impact and then is comes like a flood. Splendour at Metro Arts tonight was like that. This is the story of four women - the wife of a dictator, her friend, a foreign journalist and an interpreter - together in a house as  civil war approaches the door. The story is played out in fragments - like a disjointed memory. Imagine four witnesses to a traumatic event - each remembering different aspects from their own perspectives. Like a detective you pull the story together in your head. Memory is like that, not entirely reliable and certainly not objective especially when people don't mean what they say or say what they mean. But truth is a casualty in war and it is not straight forward. This is 90 minutes of pretty heavy-going stuff. The warning says "coarse language, loud sound effects, themes of suicide and depression, graphic descriptions of war and smoking on stage".

 It should also warn you that it is powerful and will haunt you for a long time. It raises as many questions as it answers and the answers it does suggest are not pretty. Drip, drip, drip. 
Splendour continues at Metro Arts until April 8
 Four stars.
Our podcast is here

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 28. Day 87. Fashionably late

Generally I look the other way and try to act incredibly busy when people try to thrust brochures in my hand. But there's no need to be stupid about it. So there I was with a group of students in a news meeting when this bloke looking far too stylish for a university walked by. He was handing out brochures for a Fashion Society event - of course he was. And he didn't even look hot given the hideous heat of the day. He later explained that the fabric was far cooler than wool blend but even so. The students sniffed something worth pursuing so off they went and interviewed Cameron Arnold. This young man may be the head of the QUT Fashion Society but his study area is not fashion. He's area of expertise is Economics and Finance- and speaking like a stylist. The passion for clothing was remarkable. Given he had a big event to get to tonight he was remarkably generous with his time. He was probably really organised. But then again if he was late he would be fashionably late ....

Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27. Day 86. The naked truth

 Apparently I am weird. Okay, the apparently is redundant in that sentence. Not once but twice today people questioned my decision to want to take photos of my own body bits. And this is in a world were naked selfies and sexting are a thing. All I was taking photos of was a needle in my arm extracting a bit of blood. The pathologist said she'd worked in the business for 17 years and never had anyone take a photo before. Well I take photos to document my day and that was a "highlight" of the morning. The afternoon's highlight was a pedicure. After five days of World Science Festival work a little reward was called for. The feet seemed like a good place to start. It wasn't much but the little things make a difference. I'm weird like that.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

March 26. Day 85. Passing the acid test

There is something deeply ironic that I have spent the past five days at a World Science Festival. Oh yes, science runs in my family. My parents - a dentist and a physiotherapist - produced a microbiologist, a sports physiologist and a science teacher. And me. The science gene didn't so much skip a generation as skip one individual. By rights I should be covering WTF, the World Theatre Festival. This is much more my thing. Almost all of the love of the theatre in the gene pool landed right with me. Indeed when discussing My Fair Lady last week my brother said he'd rather pour acid in his eyes than see it. By way of clarification, just in case there had been any misunderstanding,  he said it would be sulphuric acid. He is a scientist after all. It's not that I'm disinterested in science, it's just that I'm not that good at it. And like most mere mortals I tend to gravitate away from things I find too hard and towards things I like. Which in a way is the point of the World Science Festival. As well as discussing the big issues it's about getting to kids before they have decided science is hard and reminding them that science is everywhere and it's fun. Only if you are very bad at it does it involve sulphuric acid in your eyes....

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 25. Day 84. Froth and bubbles

Size isn't everything, or so they say. But there are exceptions to every rule and in some things bigger is most assuredly better. These things include bubbles. Bubbles might just be nothing much more than soap and water - a combination children generally find rather toxic - but bubbles provide almost endless fascination. And when the bubble is big enough to engulf your whole body or durable enough to hold in the palm of your hand, well that's just magic. The thing is, however, that these bubbles were at the World Science Festival not the World Magic Festival so while it may all seem quite magical there are solid scientific principles at play. Don't ask me to explain the principles, I'm the only member of my family without a science-based degree. I know they exist I just have more of an interest in the people who make them and the people who play with them than the science behind it. That put me in a bit of a minority at a science festival. You should have seen the reception given to celebrity scientist Dr Karl. It was of rock star proportions. But this no celebrity behaving badly. Anyone who invites kids to make bunny ears behind his head deserves respect - and a big fat bubble.

Friday, March 24, 2017

March 24. Day 83. Explosive fun

You have to laugh. The day started with watching things being blown up and ended with a comedy debate. Yeah it's all funny until someone gets hurt. Okay the only thing really getting hurt at the moment is the recommended dietary intake and hours of sleep.  I suppose I could have gone home and crashed on the couch after a looonnnggg work week supervising students at The World Science Festival but a girl's gotta have fun. And a comedy debate seemed like just the right distraction. And I learned a lot. Honesty is not the best policy, at least that's what the audience decided. Funnily enough that's not what I heard which goes something like honesty might be the best policy but insanity is the best defence. Which probably proves I'm insane, honestly.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23. Day 82. Hatching an idea

Feathers, fur or fins. It doesn't really seem to matter. Our appetite for baby animals shows no limit. One of the things he organisers of the second World Science Festival in Brisbane tried to do was ensure it was different from the first. That meant all new speakers, all new displays, all new special attractions. But there's no need to be silly about it. Some times if you are on to a good thing stick to it. Baby turtles hatching are 100% in that category. They may have been at the festival last year too but did that stop the crowds from queueing up around the museum building to get a look? No it did not. The baby turtles remain cute and the crowds seek them out. And the cameras (including our own QUT News crew) follow the crowds. Not having baby turtles at the festival would be like not having the animal nursery at the Ekka. You might find something else to put in its place but it wouldn't be the same.