Tuesday 25 August 2009

Wishing for subtitles

Today is Tuesday.

I’m starting to wonder if I will begin every post like this, this week. Is it a countdown to the weekend? Quite possibly, as I’ve got a nice long one ahead with lots of fun things planned. I’m off to a festival with SuperCathyFragileMystic courtesy of Superdrug, and then possibly on to a carnival with London Aunt!

There may also be a tracksuit party in there somewhere, the dress code of which I am slightly in denial about. I haven’t worn a tracksuit since, well, since I had to at school, and even then I looked on the wrong side of geeky and chunky all in one go.

Anyway, first of all, I’ve got a whole four days of the week left to go and somehow, it seems wrong to be wishing it all away.

But it got me thinking about the origin of the weekend. Where did the idea come from? And which mean guy decided it should only be two days long?

A quick glance at Wikipedia told me that Weekend is a term referring to a two traditionally non-working days in a seven-day week, and then gave me a whole load of song titles with the word weekend in.



Clicking on seven-day week got me to a new page. Here, I was informed that the seven-day week is used in most countries. It didn’t give me the origin of the weekend, but it did tell me that:

1 week = 7 days = 168 hours = 10,080 minutes = 604,800 minutes – except at daylight saving and leap seconds…

Eh? Leap seconds…

Damn, this Wikipedia is like the Pied bloomin‘ Piper of Hamelin – I can’t stop following it.

So, a leap seconds is a positive or negative one-second adjustment to Coordinated Universal Time…


And that’s enough learning for today.

Isn’t it amazing though how modern technology allows us to instantly find things out? Debate in the pub over something? Google it from your phone and settle the argument.

I remember the days when my school desk contained a dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, calculator and encyclopedia. Now you can use them all from your phone or laptop, all in one go if you really want to.

It’s quite mind blowing to think that 15 years ago, mobiles were a relatively rare thing in people’s lives and school essays were still hand written on sheets of lined A4 paper.

But now I get to my old bug bear, the thing that I regularly moan about here… why is technology for deaf people not leaping and bounding its way to being ultra convenient? Why isn’t every movie at the cinema accessible? Why isn’t every programme on every TV channel subtitled? I turned on Fiver the other day, one of Channel 5’s digital channels and the programme showing wasn’t subtitled.

I spoke to Girl Who Can’t Help But Knit, who works in theatre, and she helped me to understand why not many plays are subtitled. A lot of work and money goes in to sorting this out – script changes and last minute alterations mean that many, many man hours are spent making sure the subtitles flow perfectly with the play. And having seen two things with subtitles, that were impeccable in every way, I can now appreciate that it’s not as simple as just typing out the script and pressing play. She also said that quite often, there’ll be no deaf people in the audience making use of the Stagetext and then it really is a waste of money.

It’s kind of a catch-22 I guess. One night of subtitles – what’s the chance of every deaf person who wants to see that production being free? But two nights of subtitles? That’s twice the cost and still no one might show up.

I’m not quite sure I know what the answer to this is really. I’m off to have a think.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did U get on with ur thoughts about subtitles - Where have I been! I have just on this special 9/9/9 o a day discovered you blogs (omg N its not long after 9.09pm!!!)- I have so much catchin up to do - I luv this particular blog I relate completely, and I agree and understand about the cost of subtitling - BUT surely like U say, with technology how it is, surely there must be 'something' that can help speed up the process and cut a few costs?!
So nice to have found Ur blogs I'm open mouthed N subscribed ;D now have U a blog on palantypists....kinda relates d'ya think?

ooh have2 have google account I do but cant remem atm - will sort 2moro N Hasta La Vista DG from Loops x

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