Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Come On Nietzsche

Come on Nature by the Proclaimers.

Why did I assume they were saying "Come On Nietzsche"? Would they walk five thousand miles to see some shadows cast on a cave wall? Would they send a letter to America declaring the death of god? The only link between them and the ubermensch is twin studies...

This site is excellent: The Nietzsche Family Circus.

Apologies, I've been in the office too long. Rambling, dangerous rambling again. Home, Dan.

Friday, May 25, 2007


# Being MADE to review Splinter Cell because no one ever wants to review Splinter Cell because Splinter Cell is boring, too hard and rubbish, and only liked by weirdos who pay fat prostitutes to sandpaper their cocks in dungeons at the weekend while they let out the tears of pain away from the wife and kids.

Gary, that needed to be said. Thank you.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tom's GalCiv Game

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PC Gamer Blog: GalCiv 2 War Report: Final Entry - PC Gamer Magazine

GalCiv 2 War Report

My family did the whole Easter thing a week early this year, for reasons that you'd have to be a Francis to ever truly understand, so I had no religious festivals this bank holiday weekend. So I felt I owed it to the risen corpse of Jesus Christ himself to spend the lion's share of it conquering a vast galaxy in my boxer shorts.

If you've ever played a strategy game. Galactic Civilisations is the best Civ game I've ever played and I recommend it to anyone who likes losing days of their life. My friend Tom Francis has written an excellent ramble extolling its virtues; go, read.

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Happy Cheesecake Day

Yes, for Jews all over the world this is Cheesecake day! The day where you're obliged to eat Cheesecake or Blintzes, Shavuot, the festival of, uh, cheese. Wikipedia has this explanation of "the night before the Torah was given, the Jews went to sleep to be well-rested for the big day ahead. However, they failed to rise early, and Moses had to come to wake them up to meet God, Who was already waiting atop the mountain". So they were rewarded with Cheesecake. The Jewish aspect of the monotheist's god is a wonderfully arbitrary chap and the fact that he'll massacre 15,000 people for saying Aaron's a bit greedy about his clothing but doesn't mind his entire nation sleeping in and forgetting about this book he's written , that he'd like them to memorise and study intently every day for eternity.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It’s not complicated, it’s over.

So. Jill split up with me. Here’s how it went.

My friend Chiarina, who I’ve not seen for too many years, had mailed me months ago with a life update, demanding I send one packed with revelations back to her. Being an open sort of person, I was open about nearly all the crap that’s been happening in my life (you need to hold some juice back for the biopic, mhmm?) She recommended, on the basis of what I said about only seeing my girlfriend three times this year and hardly talking, that I leave Jill immediately (and drop out and sleep in a car, but, y’know, I’m working on it.)
Perturbed by this, I wandered over to Facebook and was fiddling around, when I noticed the relationship status options included “it’s complicated”. Feeling that was apropos, I changed it to that from “in a relationship with Jill O’Reilly”. At which point it said “this status update has been sent to Jill O’Reilly for confirmation.” Which scared the shit out of me, but I had other, bigger, things to worry about, so forgot about it.
Until, that is, I was sitting in the BFI on the South Bank and I noticed it has free wireless access. So I dug out my PDA and checked my emails and found, lo and behold, my Facebook message has prompted Jill to end it, albeit in a very sweet way.
So, after a year of bollocksing about, I’m single again. After a month’s hiatus, any offers to set me up with your smelly sister (by which I mean “nun”) will be wholeheartedly considered.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gmail Wipe!

Finally! Google has finally seen fit to introduce the "select all" function to Gmail. I have now marked all of the 25,420 unread messages in my inbox as read. Please don't fill it up as quickly again, chaps.


I'd like to point out that since my cameras both got nicked, I haven't been able to take any photos so I'm resorting to uploading stuff from my mobile phone and thinking *really* hard about the photos I want to take. I'm going to start writing down spots and go back to them when my camera finally arrives.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Film Baton

To quote my pal Pettitt (see, I can still spell it Jimbo) “SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen over 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own facebook account / blog, paste this as a note. Then, put x's next to the films you've seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun.” He got 115, I got 100. I plead books, the internet and computer games as distractions.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
(x) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 9

(x) The Princess Bride
( ) AnchorMan
( ) Napoleon Dynamite
(x) Labyrinth
(x) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
( ) 50 First Dates
( ) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 12

(x) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
(x) Scary Movie 2
(x) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
( ) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 17

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
(x) Harry Potter 5
(x) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
( ) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
(x) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 25

(x) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
( ) The Grinch
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
( ) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
(x) Robots
Total so far: 30

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
( ) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
(x) Deep Impact
(x) KingPin
( ) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
Total so far: 37

( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
(x) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
(x) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
( ) Flubber
Total so far: 41

( ) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
( ) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 43

( ) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
( ) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
Total so far: 44

( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Sleven
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
(x) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 51

(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 55

( ) Best Bet
( ) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 63

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
( ) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
( ) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
( ) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total so far: 70

( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
( ) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf's Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
( ) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 70

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 76

( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
(x) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 77

( ) The Jacket
(x) Kung Fu Hustle
(x) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
Total so far: 83

( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
(x) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
(x) Waterworld
Total so far: 88

(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 90

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x)Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 96

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
( ) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
(x) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
( ) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
Total so far: 100

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You've Changed, Dude

Dan & 1990 Henry J Beans, originally uploaded by Steve Hogarty & Dimitri Kissoff.

Me now and 17 years on.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Spice, originally uploaded by Hot Grill.

An old spice / incense box a couple brought back from the East to a museum in Bournemouth. Click through to see some really interesting materials.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Islington F**k Club

The panelling was quite obviously laid by Jackson Pollock, seemingly randomly accreted in different corners and heights around the oddly columned room that some aspiring architect with a sledgehammer has carved out above the Horseshoe pub in Farringdon. The people were odder still, a collection of people who look like they'd fought tramps for their clothing and lost. (In a nice way. Folk people do everything nicely). The manner that some seemingly random person in the crowd would be called up onto stage, to then sing an amazing song, even gave the place a missionary air.

I'd told my friends I was going to see Martin Carthy, at the Islington Folk Club, but my mumbling had rendered it as the F**k Club, confusing them somewhat about my proclivities; just to emphasise, yes, I like sex, but I'm not the King of the Swingers. Sorry, yes, I was there to see Martin Carthy, father of the British folk scene (though he's getting into grandfather territory these days) and expected him to come on soon after the 7.30 start, but there are no rules about Folk Club. That was evinced by the opening.

First, the Angel Band warmed up. They're a good group of mainly squeezebox players (they had a hurdy-gurdy, which I'd never seen before!) So far, so NFF (Normal For Folk). Then some thin guy at the front started ranting in rhyme, and all the people behind me started singing a kind of slave chorus alongside with him, which was disturbing to say the least. It turned out the madman was the compère, as evinced by him next shouting "and, as always, the Singing Doorman" at which point the oddly dressed buttoned-up psychopath type by the door starts singing with the voice of an angel and the filthy, florid mind of a Vaudevillian.

Then it turns into a church meeting, with the thin madman ruffling the crisp monochrome of his floral silk shirt with every James Brown expostulation, calling on all and sundry to come up, a woman called Rosie, a webmaster who sang a sweet song about a wife running away with the hairies and the hippies (which I reproduce below), lonely cowboy Stanford Stan (or summat), another woman called Rosie, and, only after nearly everybody else in the room had sung, Martin Carthy stopped his supping and started playing - great as always, though he stumbled over his fingers a little.

What always amazes me about traditional folk music, as recovered and recorded by Mr Carthy, is how bleak it is. It's full of murder, death, suicide and incest, an endless angry roar against the injustice of the world. Tonight I heard that King Willy found his mum had bewitched his lady love, so she was nearly dead and unable to give birth, poachers were deported to the colonies for 14 years hard labour, and father-of-six Georgy got sentenced to death for an unnamed crime. The only positive bit is where the impoverished and undertrodden rise up and murder some authority, an aristo or landowner, or buck some law, as in The Devil and The Feathered Wife, where the devil is foiled in his plot to claim the soul of a henpecked farmer by a wise wife who rolls in cowshit and feathers to fool him into thinking she's some fabulous animal. Dumb Devil, but the rural heroes buck authority to keep living in squalor. Woo.

Oh, yes, I came back and found Toby still playing Guitar Hero II at fantastic speeds on expert and was only released from my rabbit-like hypnosis by Vicky staggering in AMAZINGLY DRUNK. I can't believe she was upright. She was like one of those drunks you see in movies or comedy shows, where the brain is completely gone but they're still upright and teetering. Anyway, here's the lyrics to the hippies and the hairies, taken from here. It's not quite what the feller sang tonight (he swapped freezer-o with stere-o) but it gives you the gist of modern folk, ye naysayers, ye harlots of the guitar and the drum.


It was late one night Mr. Jones came home
On the nine forty-seven from Euston O
He was big, he was fat and he wore a bowler hat
And he hated the hippies and the hairies O

As he stopped before his mock Tudor door
He called to his wife I am home dear O
The train was delayed, I'm late I'm afraid
Must have been the hippies and the hairies O

As he stepped inside a note he espied
The au-pair came to greet him O
Saying Madam is not here she has gone I fear
She has gone with the hippies and the hairies O

Go prepare for me the MGB GT
The Roller's not so speedy O
And I shall drive 'till I find her alive
Or dead with the hippies and the hairies O

So he rode North and he rode South
'Till he came to a field near Knebworth O
And there she did stand with a joint in her hand
Getting into Harper with the hairies O

What makes you leave your house and car
Your Habitat kitchen and your freezer O
And the children three, not to mention me
And go with the hippies and the hairies O

Oh what care I for my house and car
My Habitat kitchen and my freezer O
A fuse I've primed and the whole thing's timed
To explode in the middle of the Jimmy Young show

So now I'm free of the Bourgeoisie
And the cosmic twits at the golf club O
So Chorleywood you can stuff for good
I'm spaced with the hippies and the hairies O

Golden Compass Daemon Quiz

This is quite cutesy. What's your demon - there are 70,000 different daemons on the site, apparently, and they morph depending on other people's input on you. At the moment, mine's a Jackal. Please contribute and you'll change it into something else.

Online Review Summary List

I thought I might as well have a list somewhere of all the reviews I've done; I'll update this when new stuff appears online.

PC Format
Hidden & Dangerous 2
Day of Defeat
Evil Genius
EverQuest II
Empire Earth II
Freedom Force Vs The Third Reich
Galactic Civilisations
Guild Wars
Ground Control 2
Homeworld 2
Hidden & Dangerous 2 Sabre Squadron
Hidden & Dangerous 2
Heroes of the Pacific
Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile
Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Knights of Honor
May Payne 2
Medieval Lords
Neverwinter Nights: Premium Modules
Rome: Total War - Alexander
Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion

Rome: Total War
Silent Hunter III
The Lord of The Rings: The Battle For Middle Earth
The Sims 2
UFO: Aftermath
World of Warcraft
Worms 4: Mayhem

Official Xbox 360
Def Jam: Icon
Brian Lara Cricket
Superman Returns
Battlestations: Midway
Shivering Isles
Call of Duty 3
Import Tuner Challenge
Open Season
The Godfather
Ninety Nine Nights
Lego Star Wars II
The Battle For Middle Earth II
Table Tennis
Top Spin 2
Far Cry Instinct Predator
Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

PC Zone
Battlestations Midway
Neverwinter Nights 2
Heroes of Annihilated Empires

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


If MSG is so bad for you, why doesn't everyone in Asia have a headache? | Food monthly | The Observer
The anti-additive movement (check out the excellent and informative www.truthinlabeling.org) admits that 'natural' and 'industrially produced' glutamate are chemically the same, and treated by the body similarly. So why doesn't anyone ever complain of a headache or hyperactivity after a four cheese and tomato pizza (where there's easily as much glutamate as in an MSG-enhanced chicken chow mein)?

I love MSG. I buy it in bags for my friend Neil when he runs out (mainly because I love carrying small bags of white powder around with me), I stuff myself with Chilli Oil until my innards are outards, and I'm so happy to learn it's probably safe. Even if it probably corrodes your nerve endings.

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