Sunday, 30 June 2013

Lost Voices

(the squeamish might want to avoid this half of the post)

I was thinking of this room the entire time. 
So, this week I did something I've never done before.  I underwent surgery.  Having never really gone through the process of being cut up by the NHS, I thought things would be a lot more complex than they actually were - turn up at a set time, throw some details at a computer and go find a waiting room.  Then a person calls your name, you go into another waiting room, then another person calls your name, and you finally go into a small room with a chair and who I assumed were two friendly looking medical types, are ushered into said chair and talked at for a few minutes.  A consent form is signed, and then the surgeon asks "Have you got any questions?".  "Is this real?" I muttered inaudibly, as the transition from watching Judge Judy on TV while waiting, to being in a room reminiscent to one from the opening of Half Life Two had caught me slightly off guard.  What I should have asked is: "What are your names?", as I'm pretty sure  the two strangers who proceeded to operate never really identified themselves. 

The procedure itself was nothing major or serious, but it did involve three injections of a local anaesthetic.  I'm sitting there, with one half of my tongue being held in place by the assistant, and a big needle coming towards the other side, and the surgeon suggests "you can close your eyes, if you want".  I opted to stare at the massive needle that inflicted an almost disappointingly small amount of pain.

A few minutes later the inability to feel anything kicks in, and then everything becomes a bit routine.
I just sit there and watch, detached, as tongue holding, scalpel cutting, blood flowing,  gauze soaking and four stitches (the surgeon seemed to be enjoying his needlecraft a little too much) all floated past.

Ten minutes later, everything was finished, and I walked out fine.  Done. Nothing to worry about.  May as well go into work.  An hour later, on a bus five minutes away from work, the anaesthetic wore off.


Now, if I'd thought for a second about what had happened in the hospital, it was obvious that it was going to hurt...
I'm now recovering at my parents.  They live near a field.
Needless to say, I've since spent quite a while living with a very sensitive, slowly shrinking, golf-ball in my mouth.  This has meant no talking, no solid foods, and some rather interesting shopping receipts.
In retrospect, I should have bought soup, lots of soup.
A while ago I started watching The Voice UK, Season 2.  It finished last week, and the obvious winner didn't win!  This is probably more a statement of the kind of person likely to phone in to vote for a TV singing competition than it is about any level of talent.  Regardless, I am somewhat irritated by this obvious miscarriage of justice, and am therefore resolved to never watch another season of The Voice UK again.

Having said that, since The Voice has ended I have been watching quite a few of Leah's performance videos on YouTube.  One striking thing about her videos is the rather high number of views that they have, and watching the numbers change between my ridiculous number of repeat plays of "I Will Survive" showed what I was doing was insignificant compared to the rest of the internet.  One wonders if these is the same for all of the show's finalists.

So, for a bit of fun, during a (quite literally thanks to my oral incapacitation) quiet afternoon I decided to spend some time messing about and looking into this.  A nice excuse to do some programming with a couple of web technologies that I'd been meaning to play with.

So, below is a screenshot (click to go to the real thing) of what I came up with.  For each of the four artists, you have their performances (roughly in order), and the number of views on their respective YouTube videos as of 12:00 today.    

Click to see the web-version
My conclusion: people who watch YouTube videos don't like making phone calls.