Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Deadline expired? Use the coolest excuse: The squirrel ate my internet.

Writers, great news if you're late for a deadline again and the axe is about to fall; there's a new hi-tec version of the "my dog ate my homework" excuse: The squirrel ate my internet.

In order to employ this excuse convincingly, however, it will first be necessary to do a little research, a link to which your reliable friend Oscar will provide, care of Andrew Blum and TED Talks. First perhaps I should explain my own interest.

Before becoming a writer, I spent a large chunk of my life as an electrician, a trade which is about as down to earth as a job can get. I don't mind if you snort at what seems like an electrical pun there, because it's not simply a metaphor. My job, whilst often technical, did sometimes involve grunt work like digging up the ground or hacking channels in walls to install cabling for services in factories, offices and homes.

The internet arrived late in my electrician life, rapidly becoming an essential adjunct to my job. But there was little time or need to consider how it worked or where it "was".  The internet was simply a magical facility connected in some mysterious way with the World Wide Web created by a great wizard called Tim Berners-Lee.

Until today I sublimated my inner electrician's curiosity and allowed the pragmatic writer in me to accept the magic at face value. I talked about my online work being in cyberspace, or, more recently, in the cloud without the slightest idea of where the internet "was".

Today though I discovered the amusing and enlightening TED talk by Andrew Blum, entitled; What is the internet, really? and my long standing and embarrassing ignorance ended. 

Enjoy a few entertaining and informative minutes with Andrew Blum and you will feel empowered to employ the coolest excuse with confidence.