Crowd Control

I was reflecting on the stuff so far on my way in and I suddenly remembered something I noticed from the Coventry game last week. We sit 1 block away from the main “choir” and just before they start a chant, there’s a lone voice who starts it off and normally gets about half way thru the first line before everyone else joins in. I remembered at the time thinking how it was a bit like Pele and the ferryman controlling it all and still being part of it.


Thought I ought to blog this as it’s a good example of what I hope to do


$brillig and $toves{slithy};
for $gyre ( @wabe ) {} for $gimble ( @wabe ) {}
map { s/^.*$/mimsy/g } @borogoves
and $mome{raths} = outgrabe;

if(my $son = fork) { warn “Beware the Jabberwock!”;
jaws && bite, claws && catch;
warn “Beware the Jubjub bird” and $shun,
$Bandersnatch{frumious} == 1; }else{

$_{hand} = \$sword{vorpal};
seek FOE, $manxome, (4_294_967_296 * time);
sleep ($tree{Tumtum} = $_);
while (study) { stand }

while (study($uffish)) { $_{stand} == 1; }
unless ($Jabberwock = fork) { $Jabberwock{eyes} = flame,
$Jabberwock{movement} = wiffle, $Jabberwock{location} = $wood{tulgey}
while ($coming=1) { burble }}

(1, 2), (1, 2) and through and through;
$sword{vorpal}{blade} = snicker-snack;
(kill 9, $Jabberwock), $head = (chop $Jabberwock);
sub{ return $_, $head }; }

tell $son, “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?”.
“Come to my arms, my beamish boy! “.
“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! “,
$_{joy} = chortle if $son;

$brillig and $toves{slithy};
for $gyre ( @wabe ) {} for $gimble ( @wabe ) {}
map { s/^.*$/mimsy/g } @borogoves
and $mome{raths} = outgrabe;

It’s a game of 2 verses

Just spent the last couple of hours trawling Google looking for poems about football that I could use. I thought maybe John Cooper Clark or Attila the Stockbroker might have one or two but although they mention it, there’s nothing about a specific match or part of one. I’m sure I’ve seen John Cooper Clark do one – I think a visit to Waterstones might be called for.

Sing when your winning

Argyle have got Coventry tonight which is live on Sky but as well as encouraging them, I shall be researching the chants and in particular the ones that get “sung” at each set of fans. It’s hard work this module. But I also found this site – – which lists chants for all English teams. Some seem a bit contrived but all the old favourites are there.

Some Space ideas

Went thru’ what I’ve done so far with Chris yesterday and how I’m not sure what the end product will be or about. The certainties are that the “thing” it’s about will also be reflected in the action and maybe visuals when the code is executed (as my diagram below tries to show :)). I did like the idea of obfuscating code into a picture but that’s way down the list at the mo. Chris mentioned football chants, they are a kinda poetry and, if you’ve not listened to them, they are quite well structured with the player’s name and tune being intricately linked. Also, what is interesting about them is if one set of fans have a chant and the opposing fans have a similar one to the same tune, they’ll compete and try to out do them. Maybe I could have 2 programs, passing messages to each other like opposing fans. Now there’s a thought!!

Diagram showing how the subject and code are linked

Coding poems

So I’ve been researching the programming languages used to write poems and there haven’t been as many as I first thought – or maybe I’m not entering the right terms into Google. Perl is favourite, Actionscript seems to be a close 2nd and I’ve even found one written in C. There’s also these written in Javascript but some of them look like cheats to me. I did find quite an interesting paper called Programming as Poetry which compares the linguistic similarities between the act of programming and the act of writing poetry.

I also found obfuscated code turned into pictures. You can see them here.

Quite a small update

Chris had a chat with us today about how this term would pan out. We’ve got some guest lecturers coming in to discuss their work and stuff and we would be meeting him once a fortnight to go thru’ our progress. I’m still not quite sure what my end product will be. A Perl poem looks the most likely but I keep coming back to the idea of doing something OO related then I could release the ‘verbs’ so that other people could use them. I think I need to have a bit of a blitz on descriptive code (not sure what it’s really called but that’ll do for now) and see what other languages have also been used.


OMG!! I’ve just discovered a guy who spent the last 10 years writing a book which covers my theory of using code to map your actions except he proposes using code for everything. Stephen Wolfram sounds like the boffin’s boffin. He had his first paper published at 15 and did his Ph.D in theoretical physics at 20. Anyway, the book he wrote is A New Kind of Science and in it he suggests that everything we do can be broken down into small, simple programs. I’ve only quickly skimmed the online version but it does appear to add some weight to my idea. Good job I haven’t finished my presentation yet then.

Space progress

So I’ve been researching code poetry. A lot of it seems to be in Perl which I haven’t touched in years. There are some really nice examples around though. The rewrite of Jabberwocky is quite cool. If you run it it spawns off 3 processes, each one being triggered by the 3 characters of the poem – how good is that!! The name Sharon Hopkins keeps popping up so she needs further investigation. An example of one of her poems can be seen here.

Thing is, I’m not sure if I want to write poetry. My original thoughts behind usng code was descriptive so I’m more inclined to write some sort of narrative but I do like the Jabberwocky thing of it “doing something”. As Pele and the ferryman were both part of the things they were controlling I think it’s important that the “program” describes “the thing” as well as producing something else, maybe some visuals, maybe spawned processes. I guess once I know what I’m doing it’ll all fall neatly into place….well, that’s the theory anyway.

Bit more coding

I’ve been thinking more about breaking things down into code and I keep coming back to conditional statements. “If-then-else” seems to cover loads of real world stuff – if in middle of guitar solo doing a very high note then arch back, if late for an appointment then blame it on the traffic. So I think I ought to be able to break a space down into code; conditional statements, functions, loops maybe even a bit of OOP if I’m feeling particularly brave. Let’s see what Chris thinks tomorrow.