June 04, 2005

What a Carve up!

Title:
What a Carve Up! (Penguin Street Art)
Author:
Jonathan Coe
ISBN:
0140294562
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
I bought this for £3 at Fopp in Manchester shortly before boarding a train back to Coventry so as to have something to read on the journey. I picked it mainly because of the cover, though the price certainly helped.
I don't generally like books without a ploy synopsis, as I feel £7 (typical paperback price) is a lot of money to spend on something I might not like, but for £3 I was willing to give this book a go.
And I am pleased I did. It is brilliant. It is well written, tells an interesting (if strange) story, that is well constructed (if complex), and has just enough humour.
It tells the story of the Winshaw family, from around 1960 through to 1990 (with not a lot of focus on the bits in the middle), following a number of members of the family, as well as their biographer (Michael Owen) who is much more involved with the family than he is aware. It is in the most general sense a murder-mystery, but with much more focus on the characters' lives in general, rather than over a short period of time. The way the plot is structured appears at first to be erratic and complicated, but it is really quite clever, and well linked together. With the backdrop of British politics, both in the 60s and the late 80s (both involving turmoil in Iraq, as it happens), the story is not exactly realistic, but it is believable. If that makes any sense at all.
I am now quite inspired to find another book by Jonathan Coe; if anyone wishes, they can buy this one off me for the princely sum of £2.

February 20, 2005

A Puzzle

Writing about web page http://crux.baker.edu/cdavis09/roses.html

I was shown this today by a friend, and thought it quite interesting and blog-worthy, which my life generally isn't. While not wanting to brag, I got 'it' straight away, but then the comment further down the page of "smarter people take longer to get it" made me a little less proud. I'm generally quite good at puzzles though, so I think my brain might just be twisted enough to see strange things easily.
Another friend I showed this too had seen it before, so sorry if anyone else thinks it's old, but I'd never come across it.
Please don't give the solution away, the only hint I'll give is that a bit of lateral thinking is needed.

January 04, 2005

The 'Careers Service Seminar Room'?

Am I correct in thinking this is somewhere in the Learning Grid?

December 08, 2004

Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake

Title:
Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Don't worry, I'm not going to review every CD in my collection (today, at least) but another of the CDs I bought today deserves a special mention. Originally released in 1968 (so the cover tells me), I would think it was one of the first concept-albums (pardon my ignorance, but the only other "oldie" I'm aware of is Sgt. Pepper…?). Except it's not entirely so. The first six songs (Side A on old media I guess) are "normal" songs, including the fairly well-known Lazy Sunday, but songs 7 through 12 are interspersed with (fairly lengthy) speaking in a Clockwork Orange-esque cockney voice, telling the story of "Happiness Stan" looking for half of the moon with the help of a talking fly. Quite.
Probably not for everyone, and I can imagine the talking becoming a little annoying perhaps, although the strangeness of the speech should mean it'll be a lot of listens just to interpret the speaker.

December 04, 2004

Cadfael

Anyone with ITV3 may have noticed that Saturday afternoons mean Cadfael. For anyone who has never heard of this wondefulness, it is a TV program (based on a series of books) about a monk, who solves murders (not to be confused with the TV series entitled "Monk", which isn't anything to do with monks at all). It's set in 13th Century Shrewsbury (well, medieval anyway) and stars Derek Jacobi as the title-role, and is well worth watching if you have nothing better to do.
The point of this entry, though, was to highlight just one line from today's episode, at which I laughed an awful lot:
Imagine the scene, Cadfael has just found a dead body, with an arrow protruding from the guy's chest, when one of his monk-friends says to the villagers (paraphrasing…):
"See, this is what happens to those who don't follow God's wishes, he will smite you down from heaven"
to which Cadfael responds, without even a moment's hesitation

"This arrow didn't come from heaven, just look at the angle".

Pure brilliance from the writing-team if ever I saw it, and Jacobi executed the line wonderously. And everyone should tune in next week, in fact this program alone is a reason to get Freeview, if strange films about love and dogs in mexico (Amorres Perros, ob BBC4 last night) weren't enough of an incentive.


December 01, 2004

A week of Nothing

Just to gloat a little, I have absolutely nothing to do for the rest of the week.
My group handed in our report on tuesday, even though it's not due in til friday- go us!
No more lectures (for modules that are worth attending, anyway…), and after the meeting this afternoon Jigsaw is done for this term as well…apart from having to find someone to do 1st-aid training, but that's not really work.
I do have 3 essay/report-type things due in after the holidays, which I might start tomorrow…but no pressure there yet…so all is good.

November 27, 2004

Ramblings

Writing about Radio killed the blog star from Dan Lawrence's Blog

Nothing really to do with the reference, but it needs seeing. So read it people- Dan is a nice person.

Anyway, long time (again) since my last visit to these shores of blogland, I can't remember what I've done since then: been to wetherspoons for curry a few times, been to a monday-night colly for the first time, and been involved with volunteering to name but a few things, but now as term ends I don't have much to look forward to. Going to Wing Wah (chinese buffer in Tile-Hill) on thursday as a christmas-meal with lots of people, might be going ice-skating tomorrow, who knows, but then boringness over christmas hols when everyone has gone home, then I'll go home and have nothing to do for a few weeks before home-people get back from uni, and then will probably just go out to the same boring pub as always. There's not even the Mooney Suzuki gig(s) (I was going to see them at the colly in cov, and then maybe again in Manc when I went home) as they cancelled. But there is the Futureheads gig on the first monday after term finishes, which should be excellent.
Then I'm going to see them (again!), with Bloc Party (again!), the Kaiser Chiefs, and The Killers (again!) as they're all doing the NME tour in january. £17 for four bands, each of which I'd pay at least a tenner to see individually. Bargain.
I should be finishing off my progress report now, it's nearly done but not quite and I want to hand it in tomorrow [plug]when I go in to uni to do the radio show[/plug], and I might be going to a party soon. Bus to leam is at 9:15, so I should decide soon. I'm sure it will be fun, but I'm just really lethargic and apathetic at the moment- no will to do or care about anything (especially work).
hmm…
reading back over this, I realise just how random and disorganised my writing is. This is why you should always plan essays children, or you'll end up writing like me
Think that's all.


October 11, 2004

And one more…

I really hope that Friday's Crash wasn't a sign of things to come. Having a band play for 30mins is a good idea; having 2 bands, playing for (what seemed…) around 2hrs doesn't leave a lot of time for having fun.
Maybe if I'd liked either of the bands it would have been better, but I didn't, and so it was bad.
Anyway, life moves on…
Work on my 3rd year project is going well, my specification is now complete (I must remember to hand in a paper-copy though…) and I'm starting to research into ants, graphics and general AI.
If anyone knows anything about the Business-Strategy of Severn Trent Water, feel free to leave comments as I have to do some kind of Scenario-planning excercise, with them as "my" company. Which should be fun.
Only 9 days left until I'm off to see Bloc Party in Birmingham- I've only heard one single (Little Thoughts) and it's B-sides but I'm quite excited by them.

October 04, 2004

My Next Entry…

Right then.
After reading things on here for a few days, thought I'd put in another appearance. Went to a rather good party in Leamington on Saturday, came (with my team) 13th in the quiz last night due to our complete lack of Geographical knowledge, and am just about to put in a Tesco-online order with my housemates (4 delivery is cheaper than 4 return bus tickets to Sainsburys/Tesco, and it's a lot less hassle!) so I will actually have some food. I ate a kind of sausage stew with mashed potato and stuffing tonight- which was an interesting combination to say the least.
I think I'd probably been to see Chikinki/Pink Grease when I made my first post, but forgot to comment. They were both pretty awesome. Pink Grease singer was a great frontman (and the bassist got naked, which is always nice…(!)) and Chikinki were as impressive as I remember from when I saw them at the colli last year.
I went to see my Project supervisor today, and all is looking well for my army of little ants, before going to my only lecture which wasn't especially exciting but a pretty easy start to the week.
That's enough now, need to order food…

September 29, 2004

My New Blog

Hi to anyone who may be reading this, this is my Blog. If/when I think of anything to write, I will do so. But I doubt that will be very often, I just thought it might be useful to sign up.
Bye.

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