Wednesday, 6 February 2008


The talk went pretty well in the end I think. I was a little rushed for time in the last third of it, and if I could go back I would make some changes to how it all flowed, but for the most part I was happy with how it went, and my friend (who invited me to give the talk) thinks that it went over well.

I was filmed while I was doing it, as they want to produce a DVD of all of the talks to the school maths club this year, so in a couple of months time I could have my own little memento of the occasion!

The thing that was a real drain was the travel; First Class on a Virgin Pendolino train is nice, people bringing you food and drink, decent sized seats, a paper to read - it's just great. But I worked out this morning that I was at the school for a little under two and a half hours yesterday, and in total I was travelling for the best part of eleven hours. Long, long day. Got some work done on the train on the way down, but on the return journey I was just too tired. Ended up reading my Lonely Planet USA guide for a while, and doing all of the puzzles in The Times (I say with all modesty, that even tired I still rock at puzzles...) while listening to Sufjan Stevens.

Cloverfield was good: I thought it was a genuinely original take on the monster movie, cleverly told, excellent effects. The decision to film it and present it as though it was camcorder footage was great, it really added something to the feeling that you were there: a story like this centred around just average people would have been interesting, but then to literally see it all, the confusion and the chaos, from their perspective was a good move on the part of the filmmakers.

More soon, I read a bizarre little story in The Times yesterday that I want to share, and also I have a question to ask of our American readers...

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