For a week the Measurement Shop went mobile and settled down in Thomas Tallis school in South East London where the performers from tangled feet got together with the students from the school to generate, create and explore the idea of measurement in all it’s forms.
This combined mission was aimed at helping to establish The Measurement Shop, a pop up theatrical experiment by encouraging the school community to reflect on why measuring is so important in our daily lives and why some things are almost impossible to measure.
A short video of the week long residency can be found at the Tallistube Channel (or see it below).
The Japanese space programme screens candidates by using extreme origami. Potential astronauts have to make 1,000 paper cranes to see how they deal with pressure and monotony. (Mary Roach – “Packing for Mars”)
The highest score in Space Invaders(Arcade Style) is 55,160 by Donald Hayes (USA) on the 7 Jun 2003. (Guiness Book of Records, Gamers Guide)
The most popular lottery numbers in the UK Lotto are:
The most expensive house in the world is Updown Court which is thought to be worth £70 Million. It is 25 miles outside London and is owned by multi-billionaire crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The heaviest baby ever born was to Canadian Anna Bates in 1879. She gave birth to a boy weighing 23 pounds, 12 ounces and was 30 inches long. He died just 11 hours later. (Guinness Book Of Records)
5 cups of tea
read 3 plays
sent 23 emails
eaten 2 crumpets
spoken on the phone for 41 minutes
on 2 different calls
I have thought about death twice
I have out on 3 different outfits
I have gone to the toilet 5 times (= cups of tea!) AND
only done 4 things on my to-do list
Been thinking a lot about the idea of a Hope-o-meter – as suggested by John Nicholls at Thomas Tallis School. Really inspired to work out the formula of how we measure hope… can we make an equation which something along the lines of positive energy + good cup of tea x sun temperature + good nights sleep – danger – doubt = hope??
The term “slum,” probably originating from an old English or German word meaning a poorly drained or muddy place, was applied to housing in the early Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom before the railways were in place, when canals transported heavy goods along the length and breadth of the country. During Britain’s rapid industrialization, most factories were built beside canals, the main channel for transporting coal for their steam engines and other inputs of production.
Poor workers, migrating to cities for factory jobs, could ill aff ord to walk long distances to and from their places of work. Before electric trams, other forms of transport were expensive. So workers settled close to factories. Cheap housing grew around these factories in low-lying, poorly drained areas. Housing was overcrowded.
Sanitation was inadequate and in most cases nonexistent. And air quality was poor, with soot and other pollutants. Sickness was commonplace. Diarrhea, typhus, respiratory diseases, measles, and scarlet fever cut the life expectancy of those born in cities by 12 years compared with those born in rural areas. The growing public health hazards in Britain’s urban slums exacted a terrible health toll that eventually reached out beyond the working class, finally motivating strong political action. But rather than attempting to stop more workers from coming, or clearing out these areas of disease and poverty, the government in the 1870s passed legislation for strict building regulations, prescribing the dimensions of streets and houses, and making it mandatory that all dwellings be connected to newly built sewerage systems. Major municipal investments in water works, sewage facilities, and public health dramatically reduced mortality in Britain’s cities between 1874 and 1907.
Despite atrocious and filthy conditions, millions of migrants keep leaving rural areas for the teeming economic opportunity off ered in the cities of poor and middle-income countries. Even though health hazards and mortality rates are far worse in the shanties around many cities in Africa, people there are trading, working, and sending large sums of money home.
The challenge facing policy makers today is similar to that faced by the Victorians in London: how to nurture these agglomerations with functional land markets, better transport, and public health infrastructure to capture the benefi ts of economic growth.
Sources: Satterthwaite and others 2007; Crafts 2008; The Economist 2007a.
Online dating site OKCupid took 7000 photos of members and analyzed various parameters to extract data about such things as profile image context, smiling or not smiling faces, clothes etc.
With over 4.7 million people visting a dating site at least once in the last year (January 2009) there is a lot of money involved for the site owners and a lot of potential for everlasting companionship for the users (in January 2009 there were estimated to be 15 million people who were single).
So, what works if you join a dating site?
OKCupid’s data shows that the context of your profile picture could be important when it comes to getting contact from other members.
Then, of course, should you smile in your photo or not?
I asked three members of my family and one friend how they would measure happiness, success and other similar concepts.
My mother (a Swedish teacher) pointed to the scale we have in our language for measuring these things: for example, you can rate happiness on a scale of ‘contented’, ‘happy’, ‘ecstatic’ and words in between, and most people would be able to tell you immediately where they’d place themselves on such a scale. Success, she said, is something you can only measure by reflecting yourself in the perceived success of others (so you can’t be successful unless there is someone less successful than you, whereas you could consider yourself happy even if everyone was happy).
My aunt (a nurse) suggested that happiness and (more specifically) health is something you can only really measure by eliminating the alternatives: for example, you can ask someone if they’re in pain, if they suffer symptoms of discomfort etc., and then deduce from this if they’re happy or healthy. Happiness, in this view, is merely a measure of the lack of unhappiness.
My dad (a musician and writer of Zen literature and poetry) said that you cannot measure any of these concepts, since they are all inventions of the human mind, and any attempt to do so is futile. In fact, the process of attempting to measure something such as ‘contentment’ is a sure way of reducing your level of contentment. The reason we do try to construct false scales of happiness etc. is that as a species we are uncomfortable about living in the moment and accepting that the world around us is essentially transitory and lacks absolute values.
My friend (an unemployed physics graduate) told me he’d rate happiness on a scale of 1-10, or as a percentage, where “50% happy” is a benchmark state where “It doesn’t so much matter if I die tomorrow”. Success, he says, is inseparable from “success at”; that is to say, you can’t call yourself generally successful, you’d have to list the things you’re successful at and the things you’re not, and compare the lists.
In linguistics, the Gunning fog index is a test designed to measure the readability of a sample of English writing. The resulting number is an indication of the number of years of formal education that a person requires in order to understand the text on a first reading. That is, if a passage has a fog index of 12, it has the reading level of a U.S. high school senior. The test was developed by Robert Gunning, an American businessman, in 1952.
The fog index is generally used by people who want their writing to be read easily by a large segment of the population. Texts that are designed for a wide audience generally require a fog index of less than 12. Texts that require a close-to-universal understanding generally require an index of less than 8.
The Gunning fog index can be calculated with the following algorithm:
Take a full passage that is around 100 words (do not omit any sentences).
Find the average sentence length (divide the number of words by the number of sentences).
Count words with three or more syllables (complex words), not including proper nouns (for example, Djibouti), familiar jargon or compound words, or common suffixes such as -es, -ed, or -ing as a syllable.
Add the average sentence length and the percentage of complex words (ex., +13.37%, not simply + 0.1337)
Multiply the result by 0.4
The complete formula is as follows:
While the index is a good indication of reading difficulty, it still has limitations. Not all multisyllabic words are difficult. For example, the word “asparagus” is generally not considered to be a difficult word, even though it has four syllables.
The Measurement Shop is tangled feet’s latest interactive performance, currently in development.
Our vision is to create a durational piece of performance that can happen in an empty shop anywhere in the UK, which will be free and open for the public to come in and creatively discuss how we measure things, and which will respond afresh to each new environment.
Read more by clicking About on the top menu.