October 3rd, 2006

krazy koati

My thoughts are bound down in a whirl

I encountered a student on the bus Sunday. This wasn't a campus bus, mind you, but one going downtown. That surprised me; I believe I've never run into any of my students before so far away from campus. Statistically speaking this isn't impossible. While Singapore is a small place, it's still got millions of people, and I've only twice had a class with more than thirty students in it. Also curious to me is that the student didn't get on from any of the campus stops; she boarded about halfway along my ride. Well, that's coincidence for you.

Since that barely counts as eccentric I should point out a recent promotional stunt by SilkAir. They've chartered two SBS Transit buses, dressed them up with the airline's colors and some flanges to suggest wings and a tail fin, and set them on routes about Singapore. The interiors were refurbished to resemble an airline passenger cabin, complete with silk seats, music while boarding, and refreshments for the first forty passengers who board.

Meanwhile, my old-time radio habit continues to surprise. Today I heard an Exploring Tomorrow with host, ``John Campbell Junior.'' That had to be from Astounding, right? So ... why didn't they name the magazine in the introduction or closing? But my copy of the Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio says this 1957-58 series was indeed hosted by the Astounding editor. He didn't sound anything like what I expected, which I realize now was based on Jackie Cooper as Perry White. The story didn't feel very Astounding-esque; it was about a beautiful woman contacted by a man from the far future, himself regarded as quite attractive, and learning at extraordinary length that there have been changes in the standard of human beauty what with the mutations after the atomic wars and the passing centuries. It played as kind of a Terror From The Year 5000 without the whole ``Terror'' angle, or a weak Twilight Zone. It featured an actual Miss United States beauty pageant-winner as the contemporary beauty.

Trivia: In 1415 every house in London by the main thoroughfare was required to put lamps or lights in the evenings from October to February, from dusk till 9:00. Source: London: The Biography, Peter Ackroyd.

Currently Reading: Demon, John Varley.