Archive for the ‘Token Girl’ Category

There Shall Be Books…..

Posted by Crystal On November 7, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

People often ask me my opinion about the future of books and libraries. Given that I work in the industry, I guess that’s a fair question.

It is my belief that libraries will always exist in some way, shape or form.  Libraries aren’t a stuffy repository for old dusty books no one reads any more, they move with the times.  Libraries give people access to free information, and as long as that’s their mandate they will exist just to do that.  Libraries give people access not only to print books, but eBooks & other digital media as well.  Many people also go to the library to use the internet either on terminals provided or to use wifi.  Printed magazines are also still very popular.

The job has changed in the 14 years I have been in the industry.  There are far fewer reference type question and many more technical questions.  I still see as many people come through the doors, they are just using the library in different ways.  In the digital world people are more confident about accessing information for themselves, it is no longer the domain of the librarian to impart the secret wisdom of the Dewey decimal system.

Actually, I see more people using the library for recreation now, rather than research.  The fiction collection is more widely used than the non-fiction section.  The PCs are heavily used, as is the audio visual collection (DVDs & CDs) although, very recently I noticed that there appears to be more DVDs on the shelf than usual.  I wonder if more people are turning to digital downloads (these, at least, wouldn’t be scratched up by careless users).

When people ask if I think books will die out, they of course mean hard-copy books.  I think they will exist for many years to come, but as digital books become more popular we may see less of them.  There are people who will not use eBooks, there are people who will only use eBooks, and there are people like myself who use both.  I do foresee a time in the far off future when people will take for granted that they can access literally thousands of books at the touch of a button, use all the functionality that comes with an eBook as second nature (dictionary, web-links, etc.)  In fact going back to a hard copy book may prove an effort.  But hopefully that lies far, far in the future.

There may be a weird time when hard copy books make a comeback, like vinyl records are now.  It appears that digital music and vinyl records are selling, but CDs aren’t doing so well. And besides, you just can’t beat the smell and feel of a new book. I’m happy to embrace new technology and will often turn to an eBook, but I also have an extensive book collection  and I’m always on the lookout to add to it. So for me, books and the libraries that house them will always have a place and that makes me happy.

Josephine and Men review

Posted by Crystal On August 4, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Josephine and Men

I came across this film while lying on the couch, flipping through the channels, recovering from a nasty bug.  The opening scenes didn’t promise anything great, and coupled with the title, I expected a rather shallow girly film. I was ready to flip the channel, but hesitated during the opening credits when the name ‘William Hartnell’ appeared.  That’s right nerd-folk, the original Doctor! I decided to stick with it, and I’m glad I did.

Rather than a shallow girly film, I discovered a well put together romantic comedy that was a window unto the age it was made.  It turned out to be surprisingly good, at least in my humble opinion.

Made in 1955 it stars Glynis Johns, Jack Buchanan, Donald Sinden and Peter Finch (with William Hartnell).

Glynis Johns puts in a wonderful performance as Josephine, a young lady who seems only to be attracted to men who need her to look after them.   Peter finch is great as a struggling playwright who lives in a run down apartment, that needs coins in a meter to make the electricity work.  I enjoyed listening to him speak and hear traces of an Australian accent coming through.    Donald Sinden plays Alan, Joesephine’s fiancé, that is of course until he introduces her to his down-trodden friend, David (Finch).

The story is told to a bar-keep by Joesephine’s Uncle Charles (Buchanan).   Uncle Charles is my favourite character in the film.  He is eccentric, and looks out for his niece in a most un-obtrusive way.  He is very amusing, and exudes a worldly experience the younger characters do not yet have.

Josephine breaks off her engagement with Alan after meeting David, and declares she is going to marry him.  David doesn’t know this yet, but in the true nature of films it comes true very quickly.  Alan goes on to be very successful in his business, while David struggles on with his plays.  David eventually creates a hit, and becomes quite wealthy himself.

Things take a turn, when Alan shows up at Josephine & David’s country house on the run from the law.  Due to no fault of his own, some dodgy business had gone down and he was sure he’d be sent to prison.  This introduced William Hartnell’s character.  He puts in a great performance as a police inspector.  It’s a relaxed natural performance, and it was great to see him in a roll before Doctor Who.  In fact, it’s the only roll I’ve seen him in other than Doctor Who.

On the whole, the film is not deep by any means, but it has strong performances and the story is entertaining enough to keep you watching.  The cinematography is also good.  I loved seeing all the ‘olden days’ stuff.

Well worth a watch on a cold Sunday while recovering from a bug.

3 Lukes

On This Day in Nerd Culture…..

Posted by Crystal On July 11, 2011 ADD COMMENTS

On this day, July 11, in 1969 David Bowie released his epic song Space Oddity. It was released to coincide with the Apollo 11 moon landings and the BBC even featured it in its coverage of the moon landings.

Being a mega space nerd for as long as I can remember, I have always loved this song. It appealed to me on multiple levels over time. As a young girl it was because it was a story all about space. I could picture Major Tom in my head sitting in his capsule, waiting to take off. I loved how it told a story of a space man. He seemed sad, but also happy to be floating around in space.

In my teen years, I appreciated it for it’s psychedelic beauty and imagery.

I was always getting something different out of it every time I heard it. The music alone, even without the lyrics, takes you on a journey.

Over time it’s become one of my all time favourites.

My love of space and science fiction is what drew me to the song (That and it sounds just brilliant!) so it was interesting to note that the song was apparently partly inspired by Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. And, to draw out the science fiction connection, Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, grew up to direct Moon. A movie I enjoyed immensely.

And so here at nerdculturepodcast, we salute you David Bowie, and your magnificent song Space Oddity.

Confessions of a Words With Friends Addict

Posted by Crystal On May 21, 2011 1 COMMENT

I really should be getting stuck into the next book we’re looking at on the Podcast but, instead I find myself drawn to my iPhone to check on my Words With Friends games.  I only intend to take a minute or two to check, but then I find myself trying to puzzle out a word that will fit on the board for maximum points and far more than two minutes have passed.

Words With Friends is a Scrabble-like game app for the iPhone by Zynga.  I currently have 7 games on the go. I’d rate my skill level as average, as I win slightly more than I lose, but there is one person I’ve never beaten (and am currently being thrashed by more than 100 points!), and one I beat only rarely.

It’s funny how I seem to get great scoring words in the games with the people who are closer to my playing level, and not so much with those who are far more advanced.  For example in some of the games against the more advanced players I’ll be stuck with all vowels or all consonants.  But maybe I just notice that more because I’m losing.

The game does let you have some bizarre words.  I have been thrashed by words I have never heard of before, and I’m sure aren’t able to be used in a sentence.  Still, it’s fun and gives an added dimension to the game if you know you may be able to fluke a cool high scoring word.

The game does have a tendency to freeze very occasionally.  It usually repairs itself, however on one memorable occasion I was just about to beat one of my tougher opponents when the game chucked a wobbly and crashed only for us to lose our game completely!  The funny thing is a few days later the game appeared in our game over list saying that my opponent had resigned (he hadn’t) and where there usually is a grey tile this one has a bright red tile with a NO symbol on it!

Overall I give Words with Friends 4 Lukes

Horror….It’s not my thing

Posted by Crystal On May 10, 2011 4 COMMENTS

I absolutely loathe Horror – movies or novels.

When I was younger it was purely because I didn’t enjoy the sensation of being scared. I couldn’t (and still can’t) see how pants-wettingly scared = fun. My older sister told me about the movie ‘Poltergeist’ when I was quite small, and for months I couldn’t look at my wardrobe when I went to bed. I still haven’t seen the movie, and never intend to.

I still don’t enjoy being scared, but with older eyes I have become more desensitised. I can watch a horror or thriller without nightmares that night, but I still don’t enjoy it and will avoid it wherever possible. Apart from not enjoying fear, what I mostly hate about horror is that many Horror films now seem to have a very thin plot that is designed to thread together scenes of terror and gore. Some of these films are so bad, that it’s actually fun to make fun of them with friends.

Although, I’m sure there are stories out there I may enjoy if I gave them a chance. One of my favourite Doctor Who episodes is Blink, one of the most creepy ever. That episode, while I was creeped out, had me more engrossed in the story because the story was the focus and not the creepiness factor. I also admire the artistic quality of the film Let Me In, but I hated the story.

I guess to sum up, I’d have to say I don’t like watching gore for gore’s sake. Give me a fine story that I’ll be interested in, and I may give your Horror movie a go.