My name is Vega

Suzanne Vega is probably best known for Luka which was her most successful composition. However I have a special preference for Tom’s Diner.

The diner in question actually exists, but is called Tom’s Restaurant and is located in New York City. It has also featured in the American sitcom Seinfeld.

I open
Up the paper
There’s a story
Of an actor

Who had died
While he was drinking
It was no one
I had heard of

Apparently these lyrics were used to date the composition of the song pretty accurately to 18 November 1981. The death was that of actor William Holden who suffered a fall after drinking excessively. Strange though that Vega had never heard of him prior to that.

Another interesting snippet about Tom’s Diner is that it was used by Karlheinz Brandenburg to develop the MP3 audio compression technique. Vega has since informally been known as the “Mother of the MP3.”

Heatmaps to give a f@@k about

Fuck you!

A common enough phrase. But would you care how often it was being said? Would you actually keep count?

Seems a company called Vertaline did just that. They tracked tweets from 100’s of locations across the USA containing the phrase “fuck you,” over a 10-day period in July this year, and created a heatmap that recorded its distribution.

And the results?

New York City and Los Angeles take a bow. It seems you do indeed give a fuck about the usage of flowery language.

However this doesn’t mean shit according to the article from where I got this crap, because the heat signatures correlate with high population densities in those areas, and hence does not make for a very scientific evaluation.

Now after reading this, I wondered how this use of heatmaps could be put to use right here in South Africa. Since we’re all pretty much fucked under the current government, I wondered if Vertaline could find another way to use heatmaps that would amuse us, and keep us busy until our turn comes to bend over.

What if they could creat heatmaps that measured levels of bigotry and sophistry. We could then have hours of fun as we uncover the gatherings off our politicians, and posh meeting venues they favour. No points for figuring out which political party is raising the most “heat” – we all know don’t we; we’re just curious about how much more than the others. Naturally, Parliament would have to be excluded; we all know what a hothouse of “fuck the people,”  that place is.

Would you be interested in my fairly brilliant idea? Do you actually give a fuck?