Sunday, February 25, 2007


I'm all preregistered. Now to decide whether I actually want to go.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Penny Arcade! - The Home Of The Gods, Part One

The thing that really gets me with this whole thing is that the kid knows full well that by equating what he’s done to a video game, that he will generate controversy and media coverage. It makes me sick that the media is jumping all over this, because that is exactly the result that he wants.

Kids kill a guy, blame it on violent video games. Penny Arcade's Gabe says it's nothing to do with games, it's the parents to blame. Turns out one of the (step)parents is reading, writes in saying the kid "just makes my blood boil" and that he was evil from the off, but intelligent/psychopathic enough to hide it from the authorities. Born psychopaths - what do you do? (again, I'm reminded and terrified of my manipulative and psychopathic uncle and cousin.)

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Guilty Pleasures of Literary Greats

Via Boing Boing. Groucho's obsession with Shakespeare and Nabokov's concerns over (the American) Dennis the Menace's bastardy cracked me right up.

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Amazing Musical Hoax

"Last week, a critic at the Gramophone magazine got surprise when he put a Hatto recording of Lizt's 12 Transcendental Studies into his computer. The iTunes player identified the disc as being recorded by another pianist, Lászlo Simon. He dug out the Simon album and found it sounded exactly the same as the Hatto one.

iTunes had stumbled on a hoax. To identify albums it calculates a 'discid' from the duration of the tracks and then connects to the Compact Disc Database online. The Gramophone critic tried another disc - Hatto playing Rachmaninov - and again iTunes identified it as belonging to someone else. Again, the named recording - by Yefim Bronfman - sounded no different.

Gramophone decided to go to expert audio company Pristine Audio. Their detailed webpage on the Hatto case shows what they found, and lets you listen to the evidence. Examinations of the waveforms of Hatto recordings confirmed what iTunes had suggested. Many are direct copies of other pianist's work - some are tweaked versions where a recording has simply been slowed down."

The question is: did Joyce Hatto ever really exist? Or was she a classical Milli Vanilli?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pancake Day

Ugh. Remind me never to eat part-cooked, part-burnt, but definitely inedible batter again. Even with lemon juice and salt.

It just smelt so tasty!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

New Layout

Thought I'd update the layout on this thing, after five years. Whaddya think?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Shit on a Stick

It is now 1 a.m. Last night at eight of the clock I got back from working late at the office, to find my brother dave, now 25, lying in bed very ill. Putting the kettle on for some soup, I immediately scraped together some cash to get him some drugs, and went back out of the flat to get the lift to the ground floor. As I pressed the button for the lift, the power behind me in the flat died and everything kinda groaned to a halt. The life immediately popped up an error message - luckily I'd not got in there five seconds earlier else I would have been stuck for three hours. I checked the trip switches in our flat - nothing had tripped. Moping around our floor, I found that our neighbours had power but no water - it's powered by the electric pumps on our side of the building. No power meant no water and no heating and it got cold quickly. Going further down I found that the entire side of our building was dead. I went down to the bottom floor and went into the "Danger No Entry Death" room to find a bunch of anciently smashed electricity boxes and piled metal. I went back up to my flat, grabbed my tealights and distributed them to everyone on my side of the building. Then I went out and got my brother some lemsip powder. I met an old resident leaving who explained this happens "every time it rains heavily and they know all about it - there's one landlord who won't let the others do anything about it though." My fingers have acquired a grasping, flexing itch for the throat of this person. Two hours later the lights came back on. The water is still off as is the heating but now I can sleep, so I do. I shower at work.

Tonight I got back to find that the man upstairs had turned his taps on when the water went off and forgotten to turn them off again before going out. The water from his flat was leaking down through our mains power box into our storage cupboard. Again we are without mains power (though the plug sockets are working, perversely) and have several hundred damp items scattered throughout the flat now. I am very, very annoyed.

I Wish They'd Fix Our Flats

This windowframe is an example of how our building is maintained. It is a veritable deathtrap - amazingly bad walls, sewage pipes that lead nowhere, electricity connected by the medium of loose cables dangling through hacked holes in the ceiling/floor.

EDIT: Woke up this morning to find the power had gone completely again, so no shower for me before popping out to view houses. Hurrah!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Help Wonted

Right. Looks like I'll need a friend with a driving license to help me move at least once on the 18th March. Any volunteers?

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Baronet £$£

I'm a bit bemused about this Lordship scandal. Granted, giving the money to T.Blair so he can buy himself houses, or to his party so they can buy votes, is somewhat corrupt, but we mustn't forget that certain titles were created for this purpose. The baronets were created in 1611 by James I, desperate for funds, who ennobled 200 gentlemen in return for hard cash for three years. Notably, this money went straight to the government.

I do not think that people in the Oldene Timese were nobler, more sensible or more morally upright than us; however, I do think they can provide useful examples of alternative living that can inspire us. I'd suggest that if the rich want to pay money to the government in return for titles, let them. Let them buy baronetcies straight from the Exchequer. The more money they give, the better title they get - though they should be excluded from sitting in the house of Lords. Higher-up titles can be hereditary or not; hereditary titles should require an inflation-adjusted yearly payment in perpetuity. Just don't let them give the money to the parties and make sure that the money is put into a closed fnnd that can't be accessed for five years, so another election has passed before the money can be used. This is to stop them giving money to help balance the accounts of their favoured party when in government.

Secondly, isn't it funny that these rich people spend so much time and money avoiding giving the country their taxes by dodges and canny accountancy then end up giving it to the parties? It's kinda foul.

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello 1-3

Absolutely gorgeous cut-out animation.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Marxist Party

Top Marx
The rules were simple. A party, David's birthday, where you're obliged to come as Groucho Marx, or Karl Marx if you'd never heard of Groucho (Phyllis Stein's, the lot of you.) These three won easily though with their tribute to the Duck Soup mirror scene, here available by the miracle of You Tube. Huzzah!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Relevant To The Centre's Holding.

The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Ah, my favourite piece of poetry. Wonder why I like it so? I tink it's the lack of definite description and the leaving of linking of items to the mind of the observor, I tink. A great piece of abstract art. By this Yeats feller I believe.

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