Monday

A twgpt tn dap

a twist too far
i was reading a plot summary of 'the force unleashed' on wookiepaedia. it wasn't given in much detail, so i found the biography of galen 'starkiller' marek, which gives the plot in it's entirety, since he is born and dies within the confines of the story (and yet somehow i just know they'll find room somewhere for yet another spin-off). since it was written as a book and game together, the plot follows a repetitive pattern of arriving on planet, wiping out hundreds of enemies, defeating special tough enemy, repeat. but i persevered because it was supposed to contain revelations about the original films.
now, how can there be anything left to reveal about the first star wars film? it's three decades since they retconned the first scene into the first meeting of a father and daughter. we need a new word; one that reflects a newly invented revelation. retvelation? so they found some space where they could fit more facts in, as they do, and crammed away.
so, spoiler warning: darth vader created the rebellion to distract the emperor from his plot to take the galactic throne with malek - the son he never had - well he did, but that's beside the point - by his side. quite why the sith bother with these apprentices is beyond me, you train someone for twenty years, telling them explicitly to betray you.. paradox ensues.. images of kato.. but anyway, i thought that was quite a cool little twist in the star wars cannon, which didn't affect the characters too much. but! then we find out that that was just what the emperor wanted malek to think, and actually that whole plot was a trick by the emperor to get all his enemies in the same place so he could capture them all; then malek somehow lets them get away and sacrifices himself for the good of the rebellion.
turned out vader was following old palpatations orders all along. you know what? I liked the first twist better. like the wicker man: we tricked you here as our sacrifice (good twist); everything you've seen and heard has been an act to make you walk into our trap (bad twist). the second, bad, 'everything was a setup' twist totally undermines the whole plot of the piece. It makes you wonder why you paid any attention in the first place. the prisoner, all those years ago, played with the 'everything was a setup' plot, by having number 6 continually trying to get deeper than the setup only to find more - except in one episode, where the seeds of suspicion sown by such elaborate plots meant the downfall of a band of rebels, who couldn't believe they'd actually found other real people - unless all that was an unclaimed setup itself. the genius of the prisoner is you never find out how deep the conspiracy goes. or what it is or who or what it is hiding. actually there's more genius to it than that but it's irrelevant to this post.
so yeah.
plus eurogamer gave the game an extra point, on the open value of being a star wars game, which is rubbish.

Friday

Wells

It just occurred to me, the other day, how amazing wells are. I think i always just used to think of them as some sort of large underground bucket, that only held as much water as their volume. Out of the blue, it struck me that they're actually mining the aquifer - the level of water in the well is the same as the level of water in the rock (it might take a while to trickle back in after you take some out though). That's a lot of water. I can honestly say i have a newfound respect for wells.
Btw, if you're wondering why i'm started using capitals, it's cause i'm doing this on my phone and it automatically does it.

Monday

Hey

What weighs more - a tonne of bricks or a tonne of nothing?

Welfare to work

my week at kids' city was great, overall. Those are long days, when you're looking after kids full time. Often not looking after them like you probably think i mean it; it's a combination of looking out for them, and playing with them; at no point should they have felt looked after. So it was half fun and half - like watching a slow documentary about childhood. when i say 'fun', even then i was constantly looking over my shoulder and struggling not to let any particular kids monopolise my time. It's a playscheme, not a pastoral system, although i was often called upon to adjudicate petty squabbles, and the lack of resources made for some schneider-esque deviations from the week's schedule; 'thursday: tents and dens. We have no tents or construction materials. Free play!' the two activities i lead - a treasure hunt and a 'science experiment' involving lemons and red cabbages - were both very well recieved, and though the kids didn't quite grasp 'hydrogen potential' they were amazed by the liquid changing colour before their eyes. I could go on for ages and should have liveblogged it. But time marches on.
So how did it all feel? By the end of the week, i was taking a whole lot less jam from the kids. Although some of the permanent staff didn't seem to have a quiet mode - raising their voices seemed to be their mode of operation, only leading to such tones becoming ever less effective in the ensuing arms race - i don't think i was worn down into aggression with the kids, instead i'd built up the confidence needed to speak to them with authority, or even ignore the trouble makers telling on each other. Well okay, part of it was savvy, part of it may have been being sick of them whining, but they need to make you sick of them, so that they can make you make them sort it out themselves, right? It's a survival strategy.
Halfway through the week i found out i'd got into east london uni for the teaching course which was awesome.
Ok, that's enough of that. Next: my 'week' at barclays bank..