bits and bats and sticks and stones and pics and pomes

The Science of Attraction

Hey, don’t slag us off if we fail to find your mate.
It’s complicated setting up an online date.
Though the algorithm’s perfect, you are not.
You think you’re pretty cool, but he’s not so hot.

We try to match your neurochemistry
align your psychometric similarity
adjust our information by the dyadic scale. 
It's a hell of a surprise if all that should fail.

When push comes to shove, will he be the one
who can make you laugh? Will he turn you on?
Will he light your fire, or rub your sacred itch? 
Don't even think to blame us, life's a perfect bitch.

Written Feb 3 2008 for a Valentine Challenge. Edited since. Try it as a rap?



enthralling, addictive

reflect, shuffle, calculate

brings out the beast



Nov 15 2007

Musing on -ing

The ing-thing

hinges on

a string of







I am watching












yet charming

and now.


I don't like using a lot of present participles, especially as adjectives, so I thought I'd walk some around for a change.

What's in a picture?

The photo from an angle, the forehead large, he must be brainy, no smile, but a hint of superior lip-curl.
He looks up, as though just fresh from a serious thought session and about to deliver a weighty, well-reasoned verdict. His eyes bore into you – “Trust me, I know best” is their message – ignore me at your peril. He exudes authority, and the belief that he is the only one who has found the truth, so far.
Mike Rutherford, AOL’s pro-motoring guru, the Jeremy Clarkson of AOL, without the scruff tough image.  His brief is to be an apologist for the car, and to rail against public transport. I wonder who pays his fees.

The other one looks tired, world-weary.  His hand supports his head, and manages to push his eyes into a caricatured look of pleading.  He looks as though he’s been up all night and needs to go to his bed. I almost go and grab a blanket for him, before I make a hot cocoa, and bid him sleep tight.  This is the picture AOL puts with an article asking readers to vote – would Gordon Brown make a good PM?  Now, apart from my opinion that he’s been in the rain-shadow of Tony Blair for far too long, this makes me unwilling to say, sure, I’d support him. What a contrast with all those images of Blair, running up steps, dashing around, looking vigorous.

Another day, there’s a picture of just pubescent girls in school uniform, seen from behind, approaching a school gate.  Skirts showing thighs catch the eye, and lead the imagination to higher things.  Next to this we have an article deploring paedophilia.  Mixed messages? Just a bit.

Or the day civil partnerships became legal in Britain, a picture of two very stereotypical butch lesbians.  Draw your own conclusions on where AOL thinks its subscribers stand.

And when it comes to advertising cars, what do we get?  Half dressed models draped over the bonnet.  But, hey what’s wrong with using sexy pictures of women?  They give pleasure to men, and sell stuff – stuff that will make men think they’ll get the girl, or make women think they’ll look like her.  They may make a few (ugly?) women feel inferior and unattractive, but they’ll just have to make more effort. Tough – life just isn’t fair.

Avatars on web forums

Do you use an avatar?  You know, the little picture that you choose to represent you online on a site you use regularly.


Do you choose ironic, post-modern, nothing like how you perceive yourself, or hope others perceive you?  Cop-out, shrieks my mind.  I know I don’t see irony without clues.  I think we take the first message, especially with something so small. Active or passive, human or other? Are we hiding or revealing ourselves, or even revealing ourselves by the fact that we’re hiding and how we’re hiding.


Before I disappear up my own proverbial, there seem to be several distinct types.

Sometimes people post a genuine photograph of themselves.  Face on, passport style? Not many of those. 


Most photographs are there to make a statement – “I am clever”  (the ones with a quizzical sideways glance, or those where the subject is busy doing something else) or  “I am sexy” (either upfront, or vulnerable and shy) or “I am arty”  (gallery type photos, from odd angles) seem to be the most common.


What does it mean when a woman uses the picture of a man, or a man uses a female avatar?


Other people use cartoons, as if to say, “Don’t take me too seriously, I am not a threat, I am a nice person, with a sense of humour.”


Some choose  a picture of someone they admire – a comedian, a serious writer, a film star maybe.  I can’t quite work out whether the person wants to be their hero, or wants other people to assume the hero has some kind of magical link with them.


And then there is the object avatar. Is the colour significant?  Is a green person more peaceful than a red one? Is a flower friendlier than guns?


Finally, do those who have no avatar have no personality they wish to project?  Are they frightened of exposing themselves inadvertently?  Are they the puritans of the cyber-world?  “Judge me on my words alone.”   Or Luddites who refuse to define themselves by appearances, in spite of all the scientific evidence that we judge others largely on first impressions? 

Which "a" word?

I used to consuse avatars with atavisms - earthly impersonations of Hindu gods with throwbacks to a previous generation, or reappearance of recessive characteristics.  Recessive in the sense that they haven't been around for generations. I found that word in some French novel/ book I read when I was about twenty. Ho hum. To be investigated further.

Perfect moments?

Don’t suggest that a moment so perfect

can be spoiled by just one careless word.

As if anything ever were perfect,

Believe me, the notion’s absurd.


Happiness chooses its own time;

it can hardly be conjured or tamed.

When it arrives I’ll be there – I’m

For seizing it – I’ll not be shamed.


Have to admit, the last two lines aren't "perfect".

The shamed means the moment won't be spoiled by other things.