Calling all London tourists — Peter Pan, Sherlock Holmes and Queen Victoria want to have a word with you.
A new interactive arts project is giving a voice to dozens of statues of historical and fictional characters in London, allowing them to tell their stories and entertain curious visitors and weary commuters as they pass by.
To get an instant “call” from one of the statues — say from one depicting Isaac Newton at the British Library — people can swipe their smartphones on a plaque to scan a digital code, or type in a Web address. They can then listen to a monologue from the character, played by actors including Patrick Stewart and Hugh Bonneville, famous from the British TV series Downton Abbey.
In total, 35 statues in London and Manchester are featured. The choices are eclectic — along with Holmes, who laments the absence of Dr Watson by his side at Baker Street station, there is author Samuel Johnson’s cat Hodge and an unnamed couple on a bench. Some educate with a bit of history, but most come with a healthy dose of humor.
Queen Victoria’s starts, “Thank you for calling me on this strange machine. I have become very bored sitting here all day holding an extremely heavy scepter and orb.”
Taiwan has recently been hit by a succession of cold spells. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Health Promotion Administration (HPA) has issued a special reminder for scooter and motorcycle riders to beware of strong winds that could cause their body temperature to drop too fast, and to take precautions against the cold. People should memorize the warning signs of heart disease and stroke, and anyone who suffers from facial drooping, arm weakness or speech difficulties should promptly be taken for medical treatment. All parts of Taiwan have been experiencing cold weather under the influence of a strong continental cold
B: I envy your friend. I’d love to work from home. A: He doesn’t mind not being able to meet his colleagues face to face every day. Still, even he occasionally misses the office buzz and ability to socialize. His wife finds the situation more difficult, though. B: Why? She doesn’t like him hanging around the house all day? A: No, she has a job, too, with many international clients, and she’s used to traveling overseas on a regular basis. She’s finding the situation a bit disorientating. B: 我好羨慕你朋友喔，我很想在家工作。 A: 不能每天跟同事見面，他並不介意。可是他偶爾還是會想念辦公室充滿活力的氣氛，可以跟大家社交。可是現在這種情況對他太太來說比較難熬。 B: 為甚麼？他太太不喜歡他一天到晚都在家晃來晃去？ A: 不是，他太太自己也有工作，而且有很多國際客戶，以前常常出國。現在這種情況讓她覺得有點無所適從。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English
I certainly won’t miss the commute! (5/5) 我對通勤是絕對不會想念的！（五） A: With global telecommunications, wireless connectivity and the death of the office, it will be possible to work from anywhere. B: So you think you could just take off to a beach or a beautiful, sun-soaked spot in an idyllic part of the world and do your work from there? A: If we could do it, many others could, too. There wouldn’t be an idyllic place left on Earth. They’d all be crowded with people shouting into their mobile devices or tapping away on their keyboards. A: 有了全球電信系統、無線網路，再加上辦公室的消失，以後要在哪裡工作都可以。 B: 所以你想這樣就可以到海邊，或者世界上某個詩情畫意、陽光普照的地方去，在那裡工作？ A: 如果我們可以這樣，很多人也可以呀！這樣地球上就不會有什麼詩情畫意的地方了。因為這些地方都會擠滿人，大家都大聲講手機，或是在鍵盤上劈哩啪啦打字。 （Paul Cooper, Taipei Times／台北時報林俐凱譯） English 英文:
I certainly won’t miss the commute! (4/5) 我對通勤是絕對不會想念的！（四） B: Urban planners are going to have to massively rethink how cities are designed. Business districts will go out of the window. Office buildings will have to be repurposed. Commuter routes will become a thing of the past. A: They will be able to make open, green spaces for people to work in, which will be easier now with all this wireless connectivity. It’s going to be great! B: Careful what you wish for. We might not be tethered to the office, but we’ll still be tied to our mobile devices. We’ll still need to be contactable 24/7, slaves