Archive for November, 2013

When the Posters Become the Post-It

You rent a room by the week.
You want to make it unique.
How do you make it ‘home’ when changes won’t fly?
Non-permanently! Non-permanently! Non-permanent-L-Y.

(to be sung to the tune of ‘L-Y‘ by Tom Lehrer)

In my continuing quest to get to visit and eventually rent an apartment in Wiener-Neustadt without being sufficiently good at speaking German on the telephone, I am currently in a short-term apartment in a building that is under construction. I actually pay by the month rather than by the week, but… well, my poetic license is in storage in Geneva at the moment [as is my heart], but I assure you I have one. Anyway, in my continuing quest to forget that I’m somewhat homeless in a town with terrible public transport, a couple of weeks ago I travelled around Europe visiting friends and going to concerts by Marian Call and Scott Barkan (who have one more show in London today, which still has room for you) and Bettens (whose tour is over for now.) It was most excellent; I saw Marian at house concerts in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and also at CERN and my favourite venue on land (not counting places such as CERN which derive most of their awesomeness from things other than being music venues) in Trogen.

For the sake of making the temporary home look more like a home and less like temporary, I planned to pick up some posters that I’d got for free from the esa tent at the CERN open days and left with a friend in Geneva. Unfortunately they only made it halfway back before I accidentally left them in a train station. But no matter! The Marian Call tour is part of her postcard tour, so at each of the concerts I picked up a postcard from a stranger at a previous concert, and wrote one to a different stranger. Since I know many of her fans from JoCo Cruise Crazy, at least one of them wasn’t even from a stranger, and I know that one of the postcards I wrote went to someone I know as well. It’s pretty neat receiving postcards from friends when you don’t have a mailing address. I also had some esa postcards (some of which I donated to the postcard tour) which I got from the same place as the posters.

Back in Wiener-Neustadt, I bought some poster strips to stick the postcards on the walls, and, on impulse, some felts and some Post-It notes of various shapes and colours. When I got home-ish I made this poem on the wall next to my pillow, using the words on two of the postcards and the shapes of the Post-Its:

Good morning, Moon, wake up⇧ The clouds will soon break up⇧ Take heart♥ from mottled sky⛅ it's there➮ you've got to fly.

In case you’re not sure which bits to read, or have trouble reading the small text, it goes like this:

Good morning, Moon,
wake up⇧
The clouds will soon
break up⇧
Take heart♥ from
mottled sky⛅
it’s there➮ you’ve
got to fly.

[spaceship drawn in the style of Marian Call]🚀

The next day I got to thinking about how I should do certain things as often as possible, such as attempt to contact someone about an apartment, write something, or look for a job in a city where I could more easily get an apartment. I could show my progress on this with Post-Its too; an arrow for each thing I should do, pointed down if I still need to do it, and up if I’ve done it. When all the arrows were pointing up, I’d add a heart and then turn them back down again. Eventually I’d have a life bar of all the hearts I’d earned, and also probably an apartment and a billion-dollar book deal I could work on from home. Sounds encouraging, right? But then I figured out how to cheat:

Konami code in arrow-shaped Post-Its, with 30 heart Post-Its below

So much for that.

Still in the video game spirit, the next night I made this level of some kind of platformer:

A platformer game in Post-Its, with moving clouds and some hearts to collect

with Le Petit Prince on a rocket-powered asteroid as the protagonist:


If you’re wondering why there are craters on the asteroid, it’s because that’s no asteroid; it’s a Moon space station. I originally just wanted some kind of round character on the arrow, something that wouldn’t need to change if you turned the arrow in a different direction to make it go right or jump. I decided on the Moon, since we already said good morning to it in the original Post-It poem. Of course, the Moon needed a rocket or it’d just orbit. In any case those had better be some pretty thick clouds to hold it up. So I added the rocket, but then it just looked like a ball with a rocket attached. I added craters, and it looked like a ball with circles on it and a rocket attached. Finally I realised the only way to make it look like a celestial body was to put a little prince on it. I think I’ve only read snippets of that story, but I promise I will read the whole thing soon.

The goal in this level is to collect the hearts and reach the exit. The ‘EXIT (TO SPACE)’ heart is over the place you have to push to open the wardrobe door.

Exit to Space

The door goes to space.

Space Portal

Space is full of wondrous things.


 Space and time are part of the same continuum, so space contains several scenes and characters from the xkcd Time comic.


Space is a place of great serenity, and not-so-great drawings of Serenity. Space makes you realise just how small our world really is. Space is watching you. Space close-ups

You are watching space. RosettaSpace will have more things in it just as soon as I get around to launching them. In the mean time, make up your own stories about what might happen if the assorted spaceships or asteroids or planets meet, and who might live on the lower planet, and what Rosetta has seen from the observatory.

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