Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Tinkering tubes

It was just a just another day at the movies, and what drops into my lap but an unexpected pneumatic post delivery!

Actually, it wasn't just a normal day, it was the first time my son had been to the cinema. We chose a pretty low-key film, the summer 2021 Buurman en Buurman release, a selection of several 2020 episodes put together. The beautiful stop-motion series is one of my favourite kids series - I can watch these two Czech tinkerers make their amazing contraptions and solutions and mistakes over and over. 

In classic Buurman style, the episode in question (episode 9 in season 10: "Potrubní pošta") involved Pat and Mat (the tinkerers) solving a puzzle - this time how to share tools - only to create all sorts of mayhem in the solution with the answer being a wonderful, there-the-whole time ending: "A je to!".

The tube system is gorgeous, duct tape and all, and will be the envy of anyone contemplating their own home system.

Monica Meijer from Cinemagazine is another fan of the episode - she writes in her review:

Één van de leukste filmpjes is ‘Buizenpost’ waarin de modus operandi van de twee vrienden misschien wel op zijn toppunt is. De klussende buurmannen moeten om de haverklap bij elkaar langskomen voor het lenen van gereedschap en materiaal. Dat moet toch makkelijker kunnen? Het in de basis goede idee wordt echter door hun manier van denken om zeep geholpen, en terwijl aan het eind van het filmpje de oplossing zó voor de hand ligt, zien ze deze niet. Ach, eigenlijk maar goed ook: want door de kromme gedachtegang van Buurman & Buurman zijn we er in ieder geval van verzekerd dat de makers nog genoeg inspiratie hebben voor volgende filmpjes.



Image above used under creative commons from Wikipedia.

Pat & Mat adventures - 009 - Tube post from Rakso 98 Lite on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

wikipedia editing

Last summer I opened up a Wikipedia account and made my first Wiki edits, to the Pneumatic Tube Wikipedia page. 
I am becoming more and more interested in how knowledge is generated in open formats, with increasing frustration of the limited nature of knowledge translation in much of academia. I was also thinking about who and what is written about on the Wikipedia pages, highlighted for example in the Women in Red Project, to write more female histories. And finally, with no travel destinations possible, I was itching to try something new, to learn how to do something I hadn't done before.
So I learned how to navigate the site and added what I found interesting and missing from it - movies, some details of where tubes are currently used, works of literature - and waited. Because that is the think about Wikipedia, it is moderated so closely that not much goes up without some consideration, either by a bot or an editor. I understood a bit about this from an article I wrote with Sally Wyatt and Susan Kelly on the Wikipedia page on schizophrenia, called "Controversy goes online: Schizophrenia genetics on Wikipedia" but it was the first time I was having a go as an editor.

It wasn't long before I saw in the Talk pages (that amazing tab behind any entry, that is definitely worth diving into!), that an editor had taken down most of my edits (redundancy, referring to previous discussions, and stating lack of citation/literature). I am so happy that some stayed however, and that there is some evidence of my contribution, to this collaborative project, on writing about this technology. So I am not deterred, now just need to come back with more references!