Archive for March 8th, 2012
The toilet – home to some of humankind’s most intimate moments, and probably one of the last things you’d think you’d find on Google Maps (or think to look for, for that matter), but one might be surprised at just how many random toilets and toilet-related items are lying around on Google Maps. As part of our effort to maintain our highbrow credibility, we’ve collected a few for you here; it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.
Andrew Gardikis is a 17-year-old kid from Quincy with a shaggy mop of dirty blond hair and a long, lanky frame that he’s still growing into. In the video game world, Gardikis is famous for being one of only three people to achieve the so-called “Holy Grail” of gaming records: a perfect speed run on the original Nintendo Super Mario Bros., which means that he finished the game and saved the princess in 5 minutes and 8 seconds. Like a good teenager, he relies on the shrugged-shoulder explanation for many things. “I guess I have pretty good hand-eye coordination,” he says when I ask him how he mastered the best-selling video game of all time. It also may be how he taught himself to juggle seven balls, and how, in a roundabout way, my wife and I this spring found ourselves in a Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, arcade so that she could attempt to break a world record in another of those classic video games, Tetris.
For two years, I’ve been at work on a book about jugglers and the controversial movement to turn a 4,000-year-old performance art into a competitive sport. Part of my reporting involves reading Internet juggling forums, where the art vs. sport topic is endlessly debated. One day, I notice a post in a section reserved for non-juggling related chitchat titled “Super Mario Bros 1.” The poster, “andrewg,” a.k.a. Gardikis, wrote: “my record of 5 minutes and 9 seconds was broken. i’ll tie it eventually. . . ugh. . .” The post included a link to a story on twingalaxies.com – the “Official Electronic Scoreboard” – detailing how a North Carolina man named Scott Kessler had recorded a 5:08, breaking Gardikis’s old record by a second with what was believed to be a mistake-free, unimprovable record. (Gardikis achieved a 5:08 himself soon after.)
As M.I.A.’s middle finger seen ’round the world reminded us last month, television is still a highly regulated medium. But it’s also come a long way since its debut in the 1940s — hell, it wasn’t until the mid-’60s that married couples could be shown sleeping in the same bed. The blog My Retrospace reminds us of those more innocent times with a hilarious magazine photo spread from 1949, which enumerates the many “taboos” on that cool, new invention, the television. Apparently, “too-tight sweaters” and “too-gay drinking” just weren’t OK back then — although, as Retrospace points out, the magazine certainly seems to revel in salaciously depicting those prohibited elements in the name of journalism. Take a peek after the jump, and consider what Jersey Shore might have looked like in those simpler, post-World War II years.
One thing March is famous for, apart from the Ides, is madness. It has been quite fraught here of the last few days. First, on the second a man called around claiming there were some slates missing off my roof. I inspected the roof myself while he waited, and found no such deficiency in slate provision, and on my descension I discovered it was not slates I was lacking but a television, DVD, blue ray and for some reason my pajamas. Having informed the Police of this foul business, I was duly sent a form (well, they claim I have been sent a form but to be honest I have recieved squat diddly from them). My pajamas I will miss, everything else can be replaced, but they were a gift from Chris Timothy and the very same pajamas featured three times in All Creatures. A collectors item for sure. Then on the fifth another man came around to tell me Mark Featherstone at the Bull Theatre was looking for someone for his play ‘Hopeless’. Apparently Featherstone had written the play with me in mind! I rushed around to the Bull stage door, full of adrenaline and enthusisasm, only to find there was no such play ergo no work. With a horrible feeling I rushed back to Islington where I discovered my setee, chair, table and lamps had all gone. what foul trickery does the criminal underworld think it is playing on me? Then, yesterday, the tragic news of Godfrey Bellamy, with whom I had the pleasure of appearing in ‘No No, Not Mr Bellamy’ in the 1970s had passed away during an epic attempt to scale K2 (although only having one arm since appearing in the musical live theatre version of ‘Born Free’ could be seen as something of a handicap. I poo-pooed this news thinking no sooner would I have left the house than Bellamy would be around taking what is left of my possessions – albeit slowly with his one arm – off to the underworld. I flatly refused in my paranoia to believe he was dead and this lead to them taking me to the undertakers and prizing open his coffin to check. Lo and behold, Bellamy. I have to say I have never felt so bad in my life. To doubt someone is dead simply because it may mean saying good by to my Victorian Tea Pot or the sideboard was unforgivable of me. I felt a fraud and a charlatan. I gave a splendid (if I say so myself) impromtu speech at the service 30 minutes later and was consilatory and sympathetic as any funeral goer could be.
I returned home to find they had taken everything but the floorboards. No one saw anything of course, I mean it would be too much to ask that people look out of their windows and see someone carrying doors, light fittings, taps, kitchens and an entire toilet and loading it up in a van. What is the public doing, not looking out of their windows? It’s not like they have much else to do. Theatre is afternoons and evenings, therefore the notion they are too busy to look or even ask a question ‘What is going on outside’ indicates to me they are not the kind of people I would want to watch me play Rattigan.
While I have been typing this I have had Diagnosis Murder on, and horror of horrors, one of the actors has my pajamas on.
Posted By Ed to Mcphereson on 3/08/2012 04:45:00 AM