Monthly Archives: January 2013

More random fun, “geeky” stuff about calculator spelling

So many fascinating facts about calculator spelling.

In a previous post I wrote about how I hadn’t thought about calculator spelling since the 1970s – until this week when I was trying to “entertain” my son who was starting at a new school.

calculator-spelling-2

I started doing some “research” on the phenomenon of calculator spelling and found out all sorts of amazing, random facts – well random at least!

The Hollies released an album called 5317704.

i73377cip1m

To those fluent in the language of calculator spelling – that is of course HOLLIES upside down!

I even found out about a Nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot who has a song called 80085.

220px-MCFrontalot_PAX04

I will definitely have to check him out – sounds interesting to me –but then again I also like calculator spelling.

There are similar “Nerd” gags in shows like Big Bang Theory where Raj’s favourite number is 5318008.

BIg Bang Theory

Anyway, I was interested to find out this stuff. It’s funny how a silly memory can take you on a journey to find out other stuff.

Must go now – and discover more about MC Frontalot and the genre called Nerdcore!

Here’s a clip if you are interested:

Also: there are so many other cultural references about calculator spelling on that font of knowledge: wikipeda:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beghilos

…and here’s my first post about Calculator spelling:

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/do-you-remember-calculator-spelling-making-upside-down-words-from-numbers/

So who is writing this and why is he so keen on retro?

Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti and I love retro or vintage (if you prefer to call it that!)

fandauots.001

I now work in an often serious job – helping people with serious communication tasks and challenges – and I’ve found  you can connect with people from all different parts of the world and in different parts of businesses through the power of COMMON experiences and the power of RETRO.

TB NASA story

I’ve connected with:

– super-smart computer and engineering types through mutual memories of Star Wars and model planes and rocketships

– top female execs through a common love of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet

– serious senior army officers and former officers through a common love of Airfix models, toy soldiers, and even 80s drum kit sounds

-a very senior and clean-cut Singaporean exec who turned out to be a massive fan of punk, the Sex Pistols and The Clash from his days studying in the UK.

This responsible and mature exec’s  passion for and knowledge of “punk” caught me by surprise!

He became so engaged, enthused and  full of youthful energy in the session. (You just can’t tell people by their appearance. The more senior people get in organisations the more conservative and alike they all look!)

IO + toy soldiers

(My son loves my collection of toy soldiers – glad I kept them!)

Discussing common retro passions can help create commonality, make training more enjoyable, and connect with the human side of people.

Common passions (especially for retro)  builds credibility and connection.

Lots of my presentation and communication heroes like Guy Kawasaki and Garr Reynolds reveal their retro passions – especially for Star Wars. And they both have a habit of quoting from movies and 80s songs!

My point is  – RETRO is not just about the past and childish passions. RETRO can help you connect and forge FUTURE relationships. RETRO is so powerful.

I’m a very active blogger and the things that get the biggest response are usually about “little things” that bring back strong and positive memories.

orange-ps

If you ever need any communication help, I can help you harness your creativity and hook attention with lots of tips from everyday life for  boosting creativity and hooking attention in everyday situations.

I can also help you improve your presentations and business writing.

I can share with you practical and easy-to-apply tips I’ve gathered over many years working as a:

  • TV journalist
  • political speechwriter
  • lawyer
  • blogger
  • musician and performer
  • coach and trainer in persuasionpositive messagespresenting and better e-mail and business writing.

I’m also a very busy dad and husband juggling my work and travel with family life and our two wonderful kids – Orlando and Cleo.

You can contact me on tonybiancotti@ozemail.com.au    or on Linked In or Facebook. Tony is of course short for Anthony .

 

Do you remember “calculator spelling” – making upside-down words from numbers?

I hadn’t done this silly juvenile thing for years – but I was trying to help my 8-year-old son Orlando settle into  his new school. To take his mind off his shyness I showed him something that was “cool” when I was a kid – calculator spelling.

You should have seen the big smile beam across his face! I showed him 0.7734.

0.7734 – on calculator displays looks like HELLO.

calculator-spelling-2

O T leaning tower

Then of course there were all the silly  and juvenile schoolboy type words like 8008 and 58008 and 55378008!

 As I said – this hadn’t crossed my mind in ages – calculator spelling that is  – not 58008!

Slide1

Trying to be a “Cool Dad” – Here’s  how uncool dad looked back in the 70s when long hair and calculator spelling were popular. I loved those days of the old schoolyard!

Orlando loves hearing stories about the “olden days”!

Did you ever do “naughty” calculator spelling like this?

calculator-spelling-boobless-55378008

Ohhh we were so cheeky at high school!

I discovered on the internet that there are so many references to the phenomenon of calculator spelling and so many pop cultural references (especially on shows with “nerd”-type characters – BIg Bang Theory etc). Even Metal bands and also The Hollies use calculator spelling!

I was also amused to find out it even has a technical term:  beghilos Z

Why beghilos Z?

– because those are the letter characters you can make with upside down numbers.

beghilos

And you can make different words in different languages. Apparently it is an international phenomenon.

Who woulda thought!

I’ll share more  about the pop cultural significance of calculator spelling in Part Deux!

So who is writing this and why is he so keen on retro?

Hi, I’m Tony Biancotti and I love retro or vintage (if you prefer to call it that!)

fandauots.001

I now work in an often serious job – helping people with serious communication tasks and challenges – and I’ve found  you can connect with people from all different parts of the world and in different parts of businesses through the power of COMMON experiences and the power of RETRO.

TB NASA story

I’ve connected with:

– super-smart computer and engineering types through mutual memories of Star Wars and model planes and rocketships

– top female execs through a common love of Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet

– serious senior army officers and former officers through a common love of Airfix models, toy soldiers, and even 80s drum kit sounds

-a very senior and clean-cut Singaporean exec who turned out to be a massive fan of punk, the Sex Pistols and The Clash from his days studying in the UK.

This responsible and mature exec’s  passion for and knowledge of “punk” caught me by surprise!

He became so engaged, enthused and  full of youthful energy in the session. (You just can’t tell people by their appearance. The more senior people get in organisations the more conservative and alike they all look!)

IO + toy soldiers

(My son loves my collection of toy soldiers – glad I kept them!)

Discussing common retro passions can help create commonality, make training more enjoyable, and connect with the human side of people.

Common passions (especially for retro)  builds credibility and connection.

Lots of my presentation and communication heroes like Guy Kawasaki and Garr Reynolds reveal their retro passions – especially for Star Wars. And they both have a habit of quoting from movies and 80s songs!

My point is  – RETRO is not just about the past and childish passions. RETRO can help you connect and forge FUTURE relationships. RETRO is so powerful.

I’m a very active blogger and the things that get the biggest response are usually about “little things” that bring back strong and positive memories.

orange-ps

If you ever need any communication help, I can help you harness your creativity and hook attention with lots of tips from everyday life for  boosting creativity and hooking attention in everyday situations.

I can also help you improve your presentations and business writing.

I can share with you practical and easy-to-apply tips I’ve gathered over many years working as a:

  • TV journalist
  • political speechwriter
  • lawyer
  • blogger
  • musician and performer
  • coach and trainer in persuasionpositive messagespresenting and better e-mail and business writing.

I’m also a very busy dad and husband juggling my work and travel with family life and our two wonderful kids – Orlando and Cleo.

You can contact me on tonybiancotti@ozemail.com.au    or on Linked In or Facebook. Tony is of course short for Anthony .

 

Do you love the “warmth” of wood and timber?

Do you love the warmth and “individuality” of wood and timber?

fishing-lodge-vintage-wood-sign-550x550

Do YOU love the “look” of wood –  especially the “worn” and weathered look. How does this timber look make you feel? What does it remind you of?

I love old wooden jetties and  wooden signs in country towns, and old wooden farmhouses! The smell of woodsmoke! The individuality of the “imperfections” in timber.

Don’t get me started talking about timber!

When I think of timber – I think fishing lodges and  ski chalets. I think of pancakes and flapjacks smothered in maple syrup. Maybe some bacon! Then again, I’m usually thinking of pancakes and maple syrup!

Even on my MacBook, I tend to try to recreate the warmth of wood when I create a notebook look when I write.

I love how you can change the type of wood on your “desk” in the notebook “view”. I think it’s interesting how the design helps you even choose your look and feel  from cool and efficient metal to warm and old-school wood.

desk timber look

Looking back at lots photos from my days on TV travel shows, I would often take snaps of the warm wooden rooms – especially the wooden chalet look at Zermatt in Switzerland (that’s the Matterhorn out the window)

Slide2

Slide1

…and the wooden fishing lodge feel of places like London Lakes in Tasmania.

london lakes

My brother, Chris, is a carpenter and builder and I love to talk “timber” with him – and he loves (and knows) his timber!

We both love timber – but he is the Biancotti boy who can actually make timber stuff. I just admire it!

Here you can see the Biancotti boys on old wooden skimboards – and how one of us got to pursue a job working with wood!

Slide1

Chris chose to work with timber  – because of  the warmth and the craftsmanship – and he specialises in wooden decks and fences.

Speaking of fences – I always loved wooden fences – especially that white picket fence look.

How about you?

white picket fences

Maybe I’d seen too many American movies or TV shows. I loved how the picket fences create “boundaries” – but still seemed to be warm and “organic” and natural  and even beautiful.

I even “study”  and admire all the different wooden fence shape types.

wooden fences

If I’m honest, my interest in wooden fences  probably stems back to my making paddle-pop stick forts!

I know there are advantages to those big metal fences you often see in the suburbs –  more security, privacy, and probably easier maintenance – but personally I always preferred wooden fences.

colourbond fences

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, maybe I’ve seen too many movies and am too impressionable – but I just love timber.

The more I think about it – I reckon Disney shows and Daniel Boone probably had a lot to do with it.

daniel boone

I reckon there’s a whole generation out there with a love of timber. My American friend – movie and Facebook exec Chris Adams  – has told me how he absolutely loved Lincoln Logs – apparently very big in the US, but not so  big in Australia.

LL Frontier Cabinv2

I even like lingering around hardware stores where they have timber. The smell or different woods! I love visiting Scandinavian countries because of their love of different woods – and of course their wooden saunas!

I’m from North Queensland and one of the things I really enjoyed about moving south and travelling to cooler climes  on work assignments (and vacations) was being able to wear lumberjack shirts and visit timber and stone ski chalets and fishing lodges.

Slide4

Mmmmm – lumberjack shirts, pancakes and maple syrup and wooden lodges. Maybe, I should take a trip to Canada!

How do these coffee and chocolate colours make you feel?

coffee sign

Do you love chocolate? Do you crave coffee?

Do these colours make you think of chocolate or coffee?

I find my eye is naturally drawn to these colours. I even stop in my tracks and take photos of signs with these colours.

I even buy things based on colour – like these journals.  They came in all sorts of different colours – but I bought the coffee/chocolate coloured ones – a dark one and a lighter “milkier” one.

coffee - colours

Now I’m a “bloke” – so I don’t know if I am using the right  colour descriptions – I find these colours remind me of both chocolate and coffee!

max brenner

Mmmm  chocolate! (said in Homer Simpson voice)

One of my favourite social media heroes is Chris Brogan – and he also seems to love these coffee colours and he is always writing about coffee (and other drinks he happens to be enjoying)

chris brogan site colour

Just look at the colour palette of his site!

You’ll also note the coffee cup icon where you sign up for his newsletter – where he wants you to take action. When you type in your name – your name appears in rich coffee colours.

Chris could have just used standard colours – but no! – the background is like a milky coffee and some of the text is in a darker coffee colour. Compare  Chris’s site to the coffee sign at the start of this post – repeated here…

coffee sign

Once again – I believe the colours of the sign and the coffee cup image  helps prompt the desired action – to buy a coffee! Colours can be shortcuts to emotions and powerful memories.

I am in no way connected with Chris Brogan – other than being an avid student of his engaging, easy-going style.

There are so many ways Chris engages – his writing style, his friendly design etc – and I’ll share my analysis of those “techniques” in other more-business-related posts. For, now I’m just talking about colours – colours you can almost taste!

If you are interested in finding our more about Chris Brogan and engaging for business – I’ll put an link at the end of this post.

If you are just interested in colour – I’ll link to a previous post about the Groovy “Brady Bunch” orange colour and how it attracts many people who grew up watching the Brady Bunch and surrounded by that groovy colour!

My theory is that we associate colours with experiences and memories. Coffee and chocolate colours can remind you of coffee and chocolate tastes.  My coffee/chocolate coloured notebooks are so delicious to look at – it’s a pleasure to use them.

I find dark coffee is stimulating – lighter coffees are more comforting and mellow.

Both colours:

  • attract my eye
  • prompt positive taste and flavour memories, and
  • make me feel good!

This positive sensation often transfers to what is presented to me in those colours.

Anyway, as promised.

1. Here’s a link to the post about that groovy “Brady Bunch” orange colour!

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/the-colour-orange-what-memories-do-you-get-from-this-colour-orange/

https://sentimentalasanything.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/the-colour-orange-what-memories-do-you-get-from-this-colour-orange/

2. Here’s a link to Chris Brogan’s site.

http://www.chrisbrogan.com

What memories do you get from this groovy “Brady Bunch” colour orange?

How does this colour orange make you feel?

70s kithen wall paper

Brady-Kitchen5

orange PS

For me – this colour orange always makes me feel happy and it brings back warm memories – usually to do with kitchens and food – orange and brown biscuit barrels (cookie jars – if you are from the US!) and Arnotts biscuits with orange cream centres!

orange barrel

brown kitchen034

This was not my mum’s  kitchen – but I recall  our kitchen having orange cupboards with brown
“handles” – a bit like the Brady Bunch kitchen –  but without Alice!

brady-bunch-kitchen-xl

When I’d scour markets and vintage stores I’d often buy cool orange retro items – including an orange biscuit barrel and my treasured orange “Marlin” Yachtee shirt (seen at start of post!)

Slide1

This photo (sent by a friend) of an orange typewriter  really caught my eye – because I  love old typewriters AND that colour orange –  I don’t just dig this…I double-dig it!

Monique and the kids and I went on a beach vacation and I was delighted to see the rented house was full of orange kitchen items. The owners must be catering for people of my vintage with a love of retro!

orange house

orange retro kitchenwares

I recently found out why I associate this colour with happy memories. I was looking though old photo albums with my folks and found  lots of photos with orange, orange…(the t-shirts, my dad’s hat – an even the car in the background)

warm orange memories 2

and even some more orange…

warm orange memories

Don’t get me wrong  I don’t just have an ORANGE crush – Lime green was a big part of my life too – lime green bean bag, lime green lamp (correct me if my colour description is not accurate – many guys aren’t as accurate with colour descriptions).

green stool

I imagine different generations would have special colours that bring back memories. Please let me know if you have “meaningful” colours other than orange!

What did you wear at the beach or pool before the rash vest?

What did you wear at the beach or pool – before rash vests?

Did you just go without any “extra covering”?

I found an old beach fun photo of my brother and me skimboarding and wearing  “pre-rashie” protection organised by our mother – good old white Bonds singlets.

before rashies

At least she could have put is in worker blue singlets to look more macho! Not just little white singlets!

Just joking mum – it was probably a good idea at the time.

But  – How uncool!

What did YOU wear at the beach or pool?

Noosa rashie

I remember surfing (or at least trying to surf) in the 80s and usually going without a rashie – maybe an old T-shirt if you were out there for a while.

Slide1

When you are a parent – you are constantly covering up your kids with sun protective clothing.

]O rashie 2

I just wish I had cool Ben 10 style rashies (like my son has) back when I was a kid.

O+C rashies

I wonder if there are adult-size Star Wars rashies for BIG KIDS?

Now – rashies are everywhere – except on some British tourists who end up looking like lobsters!