Rick Hurst Web Developer in Bristol, UK


simulating compressed web video

I was struck by an idea this lunchtime, whilst attempting to watch a "video choice" (choice? since when – i’d much rather read about it) video on the bbc news site allegedly about a farmer who has struck oil in Hampshire. I realised that I have thought of the perfect way to simulate the experience of watching one of these highly compressed postage stamp size videos.

For the experiment you will need:-

  • 3 or 4 marbles
  • plastic toy telescope
  • cheap cider (preferably "white lightning")
  • an assistant

First, share the bottle of cider – don’t worry if you can’t finish it, a couple of hearty swigs should have your senses suitably distorted. Then, your assistant should put the marbles in their mouth and start talking – it doesn’t matter what they say, just as long as they can produce an incomprehensible mono type of sound. Finally, look through the wrong end of the telescope and start wandering round.

You can vary the distance between you and your assistant, just as long as they are in earshot. You might want to approach passers by to get some more people in shot, just for authenticity. Reassure anybody you do approach that their face is completely indistinguishable from anybody elses.

If you can understand what the f**k is going on then the simulation has failed – try drinking more cider.