Saturday, January 6, 2007

Twelfth Night

It sounds more magical to me than Hallowe'en, as if the witches, goblins and trolls would frolic more supernaturally tonight than in October. And it has a magical f.

My magical f for the day, perhaps unpredictably, is family. Now there's magic and mystery, chemicals and craziness for you. I've been enjoying the calm of G's house this weekend, very quietly, in the hope that rest of my life won't notice.

After hearing of it through a friend at Christmas, G has bought a new game called 20Q. It's a small purple plastic ball with some kind of electrickery inside it. You think of something. An apple, a dragonfly, a monkey, whatever. Then the ball asks you 20 questions. Then it tells you your word. And it almost always does. My friend said that her one didn't get France. Last night, it didn't get skirt (that's not a crime-noir euphemism). I'm fascinated by it and have no idea how it works.

I think pixies do it.

You don't have to buy your own, if you're interested. This realworld version of the game is based on an original artificial intelligence game of the same name - try it and let me know how you do. Great for when the boss isn't looking - not you, Chief. I am always working hard at my computer and never faff away my/your time skating around frivolous websites. Obviously.

I like the 20Q website, at first glance. You can choose to play the British game (our portable one is American - it guessed sidewalk for pavement) and then you can choose to play some of the 'younger' games, that are still learning, according to the website. I'm guessing that the AI programmes kind of evolve with each game, and at the time of writing, over 47 million games of 20Q have been played online. It may be addictive. I might see if it can guess Twelfth Night.

Which, incidentally, is today's Read of the Day - and yes, you can start with the film if you want to. I can feel virtuous about it, because we studied it at college. I can read it all over again in style now, because Pids and Nikki bought me the complete works for Christmas - a beautiful, huge, heavy edition that only needs to acquire some dust before reaching perfection. If it's any incentive, TN contains some great Shakespeare moments that may tempt you.

If you can't face Twelfth Night, can I recommend She's The Man, starring Amanda Bynes, which is loosely based on TN and had me and my sister and I giggling on the flight to the States last summer.

Three Great Twelfth Night moments

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Love sought is good, but giv'n unsought is better.

Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage.

And it's got Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in it - what more do you want?

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