Tag Archives: Windows

Concerned Clowns Call For End To Copycat Crime wave

Britain’s clowns fear their good name has been tarnished after police forces around the country revealed incidents of people in costume scaring members of the public.

The copycat craze – believed to have been started by a man known on Facebook as the Northampton Clown – involves people dressing as clowns to surprise passers-by in public places.

Several police forces have issued warnings after reported sightings and now details released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed the extent of the trend.

These include reports to Derbyshire police of a clown carrying a knife and incidents in South Yorkshire of a clown staring through the windows of people’s homes. Those two forces recorded 29 and 28 clown-related incidents respectively.

Tony Eldridge, secretary of Clowns International which represents the entertainers in Britain, said the situation had escalated beyond harmless fun. 

Eldridge, whose clown name is Bluebottle, said: “This is doing clowning no favours and is harming society.

“The people behind it might see it as a bit of a laugh, but for the victims it can be a horrible experience.

“The fear of clowns – coulrophobia – is a real thing and some people will react very badly to this. Not to mention people who are elderly or vulnerable.

“This has nothing to do with clowning, it’s a small group of people with stupid views and it spoils the fun for everybody else.”

Most legitimate entertainers followed a code of clown conduct which included not wearing their costume in public, he said.

“We have to reclaim clowning as a positive thing which brings happiness.”

The trend first emerged when the Northampton Clown rose to prominence over the summer, gaining nearly 200,000 “likes” on Facebook.

The person responsible posts photos of himself in public places. He most recently uploaded a photo taken outside a brewery in the town on 13 December.

He defended his behaviour, writing on Facebook: “Yes, there have been copycats, but that’s not me.”

The craze has spread with police in Lancashire reassuring the public after speculation about sightings involving a Stephen King-style clown.

A force spokesman said: “We have had no first-hand reports of any incidents of violence or intimidation.”

Last month Norfolk Police told members of the public to ignore clowns in the street after a number of sightings around King’s Lynn.

These included a person in a “full clown outfit” with a red suit and red hair chasing members of the public.
Superintendent Carl Edwards said no one had been injured or assaulted.

Dressing as a clown was not illegal, he said, but the force would offer those behind the make-up “strong words of advice”.

Sally Beadle, also known as Crazy Bananas, works as a clown in the King’s Lynn area.

She knows somebody who was chased by a clown in Downham Market, Norfolk, and said they were left shaken by the experience.

“Before this happened I would pop into the petrol station in costume on my way to a job but now I can’t do that,” she said. “Even my own children who grew up around clowns have been scared by this.

“It’s more than just a job, it’s something we love, but people’s reaction to us has changed – I was getting messages on Facebook asking if I was responsible for scaring people.

“This is my business and I don’t like frightening people.”

Responding to the freedom of information request, South Wales police confirmed it had received a report of somebody acting suspiciously while wearing a clown mask.

Derbyshire police received 29 reports of clown sightings after social media claims that a man in the Nottingham area was dressing up and carrying balloons and a knife.

One report read: “Caller scared as someone had tried to get in to their house – posted on Facebook that a clown had been going around village trying door handles.”

Another said: “Caller reported having received numerous calls from concerned parents about a clown going up to the windows of houses brandishing a gun and knife frightening the residents.”

South Yorkshire police recorded 28 incidents involving people dressed as clowns.

These included a clown standing in a park, jumping out at somebody in the street and staring through the window of a house.

Other police forces also recorded incidents involving people dressed as clowns, although not all were linked to the craze.

Sussex police received reports of three incidents involving the characters, including a speeding offence involving a motorcyclist in full clown costume.

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i2sm – Create Music From Photos, Paintings, Etc…

 

 

 

As I’ve mentioned the i2sm programme a few times – mainly in conjunction with Spirit Of Place recordings, see the Frankenstein Sound Lab category – it  occurs to me that some of you might like to know more about it.

Basically, what it does is take an image and turns the colours therein into sound. If you’re a musician, especially if you have an interest in randomly generated music, you’ll probably already see the possibilities. Even if you’re not, there’s plenty of scope for fun.

It uses MIDI to produce the sounds, and files can be saved. There are various settings that can be played around with , and there is a user’s manual on their website. Some MIDI voices are more realistic than others, of course, but finding something that works is all part of the fun for me.

Of course, the very randomness that I find appealing also means that you are just as likely to get your fair share of discordant  hoots and sqwarks, but you can always edit these out if they offend –  I use Audacity. And if you make your own samples, the potential is immense.

Here’s the official description from the i2sm website:

There are millions of possible colors on most computers. The main thing i2sm does is translate those millions of colors into 128 possible notes. While this seems like an awful lot of data is sort of blurred, i2sm is capable of making some interesting songs.

Images on computer screens are composed of dots of light called pixels. When i2sm begins analyzing an image, it starts at the coordinates specified in the StartX and StartY boxes. From that point it spirals out in a clockwise spiral analyzing pixels as it goes. It analyzes the hue (color), the saturation (intensity) and the brightness of each pixel then i2sm translates that information into a note and adds it to the song file. Once its done the analysis phase it saves a temporary copy of the song file then loads Windows Media Player to play back the song. Simple eh?

Bad news [for some…] – it’s only available for Windows
Good news [for Windows users…] – it’s free !

http://i2sm.numberware.net

As previouly noted, I’m currently using the programme to create the Spirit Of Place project, but  have also used it to produce a number of other pieces. Here’s a couple of examples-

 

 

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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