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June 08, 2005

Liver: The Student's Friend

Writing about web page http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-001-02s03lp.html

I wish to write about something close to all our hearts…

I have just finished a delightful meal which was filling, tasty, extremely nutritious, very cheap and easy to cook, yet I'd bet that hardly any of the students here eat it regularly, and there's probably a significant proportion who've never had it.

Liver. It's wonderful. I urge you all to try it.

I had a few slices of lamb's liver, fried with onions and bacon, and supplemented with a dash of red wine. It was gorgeous, and more people should eat it.

Why? Well, it's yummy, for a start. Some people might find it an acquired taste, but I believe it's worth persevering. It's full of vitamins (specifically A and some Bs) and it's a great source of iron. It's extremely cheap. Lamb's liver from Tesco is £2.29/kg, whereas the bog-standard bacon I had with it was £5.92/kg. Liver's cheaper than standard sausages, too. It's terribly simple to cook – all I did was chop it and fry it, and Bob's your uncle.

So, impoverished students looking for cheap food – forget your value products and beans and spaghetti hoops – eat liver!

This Blog was brought to you in association with The Offal Marketing Board.

June 06, 2005

The next Andrew Marr

Writing about web page https://jobs.bbc.co.uk/JobPortal/Search/vacancy.aspx?id=4721

I often have a trawl through the BBC Jobs pages (is there a door ajar I can get my foot in?), and having a quick look today, I came across this job. We all know Andrew Marr was moving on, but it still seems a little bizarre to read the job specification for Political Editor of the BBC.

Anyone fancy a speculative aplication?!

June 01, 2005

Exclusive waterside flats

Ah, so now the dangers of living next to a pond become apparent. Whilst the 2-tier lake at Heronbank/Lakeside can be attractive – a) at night b) if you like brown – and provides a habitat for a variety of water foul, it is not only these aforementioned birds that are producing offspring at the moment.

Last night, my kitchen and room became infested with a multitude of wing-éd beasts. Presumably they don't carry any form of tropical malady, but to be on the safe side (And because they irrate me no end), Caroline and I (Along with our Wind Orchestra guests last night) set to with a rolled up Torygraph – quite possibly the best thing for it.

Now, their bluey-green bodies are smeared across my walls and ceilings – some looking quite spectacular, others looking like scientific specimens, with their legs all neatly arranged for inspection.

Perhaps buying some Raid would be easier…

May 29, 2005

That music thing people keep doing

Total Volume of music files on my computer
(Shurely, "How many CDs do you own?" Ed) I buy CDs and some of my money goes to the artist etc etc. That said, let me go check…. about 2.5Gb. Ooops.

The last CD I bought was
Lost City by an Afro Dub/Jazz group called Soothsayers. I had just seen them this afternoon at the Coventry Jazz Festival (Along with Annie Whitehead, a trombonist, who was absolutely superb)

Song playing right now
Well, having just bought it, it's a track from the above album. So in order to illustrate things a little more, I'll mention that the previous CD in that particular slot in my player was Symponic Poems by Respighi (Pines of Rome etc)

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me
What, only 5? You can even have 8 on Desert Island Discs! That's a thought - DID will become really outdated soon. They'll have to do Desert Island Ipod – which 8 tracks will you download before the ship goes down? Your book might be digitised soon too. Anyway:

1. Piano Quartet No 2 by Gabriel Fauré
Anna Davies mentioned a track that reminded her of a holiday, and this is my holiday piece. I first heard it on R3's Discovering Music, and it enchanted me from the very begining. I quickly purchased it, and off the family went for a lovely holiday in the Pyrénées. Wine, sun, walking, rafting, vineyards, swimming, more wine, concerts, and a splash of wine. And Fauré.

2. En Spectacle by La Bottine Souriante
Ok, so it's not that highbrow or anything, but it reminds me of Ceilidhs, going to see Bottine play, and it's just fun. For those of you who don't know, ie everybody, La Bottine Souriante a folk/jazz band from Québec. Their name means "the laughing boot" and the band is over 30 years old (I don't think it has any original members left anymore). As I said, just a lot of fun, foot-tappingly good stuff.

3. La Scala by Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett, a jazz pianist, has just turned 60. La Scala is a recording of a solo concert (I'll let you guess where) from nearly 10 years ago. It's not as famous as the Koln Concert, but I think it's just as good. The first section last 45 minutes, and is a little less avant garde than the second, shorter part. Tehre's a lovely Over the Rainbow as an encore. It's entirely improvised.

4. Tabula Rasa by Arvo Pärt
Many of you will be familiar with the name, which means "Blank Slate". It's essentially a double violin concerto, but I cannot begin to describe its power and importance, at least to me anyway. I found solace in it throughout 6th form, when I felt miserable for approxiamtely, well, er all of it. The first movement (of 2) doesn't actually stop, it just follows a descending pattern forever, until the violins have to drop out as they can play no lower, then the violas, and so until only the Double Basses are palying, and eventually they too disappear.

5. Alexander Nevsky by Sergei Prokofiev
Of all the concerts I've done at Warwick, this was the most fun. I mentioned it in passing to Colin Touchin, then Director of Music, in my first year, and then in my second year we performed it. Such an exciting piece, and I'm sure Paul would have something to say about the film if you asked him.

So that's that. Must dash, quiz to go to.

May 28, 2005

The RAG Quiz

"Has the RAG Quiz deteriorated in recent months?", is, I'm sure, a question on many of your collective lips. Along with some crumbs, if you're anything like me.

Ever since I took a few of my first-year corridor friends to it, I've gone nearly every week (At least 80%) with a variety of teams. The zenith was undoubtedly when the University Challenge team won about 6 on the trot in a period of such domination that:
a) We were half-heartedly asked to stop coming and
b) I had 17 litres of lager that I'd won. I think my mother still has some, as beacuse I'm not fond of Foster's and Carling, I gave it to her to make Gary Rhodes' lager batter for fish. We were happy with Kudos.

Of course, due to the electability of the quiz master, the quality could change year on year. In this academic year, Neil Faraday produced an excellent quiz, with interesting questions and some innovative rounds. Unfortunately, I beleive the quality has deteriorated with the new regime. Some examples:

A recent question asked "Which Balkan country borders greece to the South and Yugoslavia (Or was it serbia? It doesn't matter) to the North?" We naturally put down the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Unfortunately, the given answer was Albania. Here is a map. Of course the problem here is that both are valid, and this is therefore a poor question (If anything, FYR Macedonia is a "more valid" answer, as the 2 parts of Yugoslavia that Albania borders have semi-autonomous characteristics).

Film rounds usually have links at the end. One recently was "A Bridge Too Far", and my team correctly answered this. However, as the answers were being read I overheard another team comiserating themselves for discounting this fine war film, as it had been a link within the last couple of months. They were correct, it had been.

Music rounds are getting more obscure. I freely acknowledge that "popular" music is not the speciality of myself or my team, and it is usually our poorest round. However, when you look at the the scores, the music round is probably the lowest scoring round, with the majority of teams scoring badly, and only a few – who happen to know and like the particular music being played – doing exceptionally weel compared to the mean.

The accumulator question is an exciting new innovation. However, when there is £24 at stake, innaccurate answers are even more likely to make my blood boil. Recently, the accumulator question was "How many States of the USA end in the letter 'a'?". An excellent question, as virtually nobody will know for sure, but many will be able to make an educated guess. My team vastly underestimated, but when the answer was revealed as 21, I was suspicious. Sure enough, when I checked (with a little more that a minute available) the real answer turned out to be 18.

So, has the quiz lost its way? I don't think it's as good as it could be, but I'll still attend anyway. What do you all think?

Lastly, a little thoguht about what, to my mind, makes a good quiz. I've been to many and written a couple, and here are my thoughts.
I think a good question works on 2 levels. Firstly, there is the actual knowing something. Obviously, if you know the answer it's easy, as Mr Tarrant likes to say. But, more importantly, there's being clever, skillful and logical and being able to work something out.
A question which says "Who did such and such?" is dry and boring, and requires one particular bit of knowledge. If you know it, you know it. If you don't, you sit there, bored. A question along the lines of "Which (nationality) profession (eg scientist) did such and such in (date)?" is far better for a couple of reasons. Somebody with a real general knowledge can have a decent attempt at working it out, as there are several clues. The answer's been narrowed down to a nationality, and a time and a profession. This doesn't have to make the question easy – facts can be easily found to slightly mislead the quizzer but still guide them to the answer. For example, perhaps the subject wasn't best known for that profession, or nationality.
This also cuts out that tedious thinking at the end of a round, when somebody's there trying to remember a particular name or date from just one fact, which, if you haven't remembered already is very difficult. If you have more pieces of the jigsaw, no matter how small, the process becomes a bit easier, and more rewarding and fun.

The actual selection of the question is important too, for the same reasons. Take a recent sport round at the RAG quiz. There were two questions I remember, both of which had people as their answer. One asked you to name a tennis player based on a Wimbledon result a couple of years ago (I forget now, but it was something like losing finalist). That's actually quite tricky for a casual observer, as past final merge into one through the mists of time, years get mixed up etc. Another question was about Rugby Union, and an English hat-trick scorer in a particular World Cup match. A little thought, and you realise that anyone who scores a hat-trick in Rugby Union is most likely one of the back 3, and sure enough the answer was Full-back/Occasional winger Josh Lewsey.
Obviously, neither of these discriminate against those who simply know the answer, but whilst the first may leave those with a general knowledge of tennis scratching their head sifting through a dozen or so successful tennis players, the latter allows those with a true general knowledge to make a decent educated guess at World Cup winning back.

Think for a moment about the questions on University Challenge and Mastermind. They are riddled with sub-clauses and little clues, titbits of information which allow the participant to deduce the answer, or in the case of the former, allow the sharpest and most knowledgable competitors the chance to buzz in extremely quickly. That's why they're the best quiz shows on television.

So, quiz-setters, not just here, but the world over, let's have an end to boring questions with one route in, and better rewards for those who can think about, rather than recite their answers.

Coventry Jazz Festival

Writing about web page http://www.visitcoventry.co.uk/jazz

About time I blogged, I think.

I would like to draw everybody's attention to the Coventry Jazz Festival, which started on thursday and continues until Monday.
So far, it's been excellent. On Thursday afternoon I spent a pleasant afternoon in Priory Place near the Cathedral (Although what isn't near the Cathedral?) listening to the festival launch which featured The Avon Big Band, a local funk/jazz group called One Nation (who were extremely good) and Warwick's own Pretty Small Band. All this whilst drinking Wiessbeer…

Later that evening, it was the turn of EST. EST, or the Esbjorn Svensson Trio are one of the most exciting acts around at the moment, and they gave a typically intense performance at the Belgrade Theatre. Afterwards, Esbjorn himself was kind enough to give me an interview for RaW, and thoroughly lovely he was too.

Yesterday, I breifly checked out local guitarist Simon Hayden at a small bar named the Tin Angel, at the end of the Spon Street. He seemed good, but I had to dash to see Claire Martin, whom I spoke to over a plate of complimentary artists' dinner and a glass… which turned out to be of water, even though she had mentioned having some wine. That was the only disappointment, as her concert, with the Laurence Cottle All Star Big Band, was an absolute smash – the most fun I've had at a concert (on my own) for a while. I then went to the late concert in the Belgrade Theatre's café, which was the Karen Sharp Quintet – also excellent.

I don't think I'm going to go to anything today, as I'm spending time sorting out my recorded material for RaW, and a lttile bored of going to things on my own :-( However, don't let my absence deter you! There's plenty going on today, particularly the main concert which is Jazz Jamaica. Tomorrow's highlight for me is Annie Whitehead (12.30pm Castle Yard), but I've heard lots of good things about Trilok Girtu. I especially recommend him if you usually go to the RAG quiz, as this will increase my chances of winning.

Anyway, to hear my day 1 report/EST interview, tune into "The Eclection on RaW 1251AM this coming Monday at 11pm. Claire Martin will follow next week.

May 10, 2005

On Eddie Mair

Writing about web page http://www.radioawards.org/winners05/win05.htm

I swore to myself I wouldn't blog when I got back, and just produce an OHT for my GCSE class tomorrow, but I couldn't resist.
Tonight, the Radio 4 broadcaster Eddie Mair won the Sony Gold Award for News Journalist of the Year. And quite rightly.
Nearly everything he says or does is radio at its finest. He perfectly balances serious discussion and detailed questioning with sharp wit and intellectual refinement.
Today, on PM, Radio 4's afternoon news programme, he introduced the main stroy with this line (or somethig similar):
"Tonight, the knives are out for Mr Blair…." A standard phrase, you think, and then:
"...But some MPs come out to praise him" (Cue Jack Straw calling him a genius)
At once, Mair sets out the story – The labour party is divided over Blair – whilst subtly alluding to Julius Ceasar. Simple, subtle and intellectual.

At times, he's just downright silly/cheeky/funny whilst fronting one of the flagship R4 programmes. A couple of weeks ago, he signed off from Friday's programme thus:
"Dan Damon will be here tomorrow at 5…
…Assuming there's any news"

May 09, 2005

Tonight's Ministerial appointments

So, Tony Blair announced his final cabinet appointments tonight. There are 2 things I'd like to comment on.
Firstly, I see despite only hanging onto his seat, Leamington and Warwick MP James Plaskitt has secured a position as Parliamentary Secretary in the Department of Work and Pensions.
Secondly, what do people think of the appointment of an unelected policy advisor as a Minister, by virtue of a swift appointment to the Lords?

The Eclection

Writing about web page http://www.radio.warwick.ac.uk/show&showid=10

Hello Bloggers.
Anyone who regularly reads my blog is probably lying, as I don't seem to update it much. I may redress this later in the term, but for the time being, with nothing much better to do, I shall plug my radio show.
The eclection primarily features jazz, world and folk music. Quite often there will also be the odd (And I mean odd) piece of "classical" music as well, the sort of thing we don't usually play on RaW Classics (Wednesday 7pm).
If anyone does listen either tonight or in the future, please email the show, just to say hi – It can get very lonely sometimes (This, though, is usually remedied by popping to Top B for a bit), and I'd like to know somebody's listening.

Here's an example playlist (tonight's actually):
Eliza Carthy & The Ratcatchers – Scan Tester's Country Stepdance/Lemmy Brazil's No2
David Krakauer – Dusky Bulgar
Miles Davis – Concerto De Aranjuez
Kathryn Williams – Swimmer
Keith Jarrett – Book of Ways 12
David Krakauer – Waiting for Julian/Sirba
Grier Tviett – Selction from Suite 1 of "A Hundred Hardanger Tunes" – RSNO cond Bjarte Engeset
La Bottine Souriante – A Travers La Vitre

If any of that takes your fancy, tune in at 11pm to 1251AM on campus, or listen online at www.radio.warwick.ac.uk

Also, support your local radio station by voting for us (In various categories) at www.webradioawards.com. Ta.

Oh, and the picture will be changed soon. And I HADN'T just killed anyone.

April 25, 2005

On the multitude glories of BBC Radio 4

I've been getting complaints that I haven't blogged in some months. I think I probably don't actually think that much which limits my potential output. Maybe I could start putting up playlists from my RaW shows to up the blog rate, but for now I shall praise the best radio station in the country (And, given the generally held assumption that Britain is best {See Flanders and Swann, and um, UKIP}, possibly the world).

Today, whilst driving back to campus from teaching practice, I heard a short 15-minute programme about roadsigns. I'm such a R4 fanatic to know this was in fact a repeat, but I hadn't heard it the first time round, so I was grateful for the chance. And it was brilliant. Nowhere else in the British media could you find an interesting story from such an apparently mundane subject; I don't believe it could be done as well, or indeed would be done at all.
In the series, the presenter looks at various aspects of driving that we perhaps forget. No doubt there will the be well-known story of cats eyes at some point – note I've left out an apostrophe, as I don't know where it goes. Do we have multiple cats helping road safety by having their occular organs ripped from their heads, or is it one GM eye-regeneration cat? Where was I?

Oh yes, the programme. Well, it had lots of fascinating interviews and explored the time around when we built our first motorways, and the government decided we needed a complete overhaul of our signage. One of the designers spoke about the colours they used (The now familiar blue, green and white) and drawing the images on warning signs. Much was made of the man at work who seems to be opening an umbrella. It was expertly made, with little intrusion of a narrator, rather letting the skillfully interviewed experts tell you the story. This is quite ironic, as there's an awful lot of narration on TV documentaries, yet this aural medium managed to do without it to a large extent.

Other highlights today included Today. The 8.10 interview was with Jack Straw, who was grilled, pan-fried, roasted, crucified, cut into shreds and boiled down to a thick paste and then spat out by Jon Humphreys. His pathetic avoidance of the questions was literally shouted down in a way even the God Paxman wouldn't dare resort to. It was exciting stuff, and my grip on the steering wheel tightened and tightened in frustration and anger at the Labour parliamentary candidate (and Foreign Secretary) in question. That, though, is a whole other blog…

January 13, 2005

On Mark Butcher

Is time up for Mark Butcher?
His two Test Matches against South Africa produced one decent score (in the First Test) from 4 innings. His most notable other innings was his 13 from 70 balls. The pressure must have been on, you'd think to be forced down to a strike rate of only 24. Well, er no. England were on a roll after Strauss and Trescothick had put on 272 for the first wicket. Admittedly his innings lasted overnight, but if digging in was required, see Thorpe in that innings, who also scored a century.
In short, his form wasn't very impressive before he was injured, much like last summer.
Robert Key, whilst not the most proficient of batsmen, is producing the goods. Admittedly he had a duck in the last test, but then made a gritty 41 when England were on the rack in Cape Town, and is, as I write, approaching a century in J'burg.

Is there a way back for Butcher? There are many pros and cons. Key would be considered very unlucky to be dropped again come summer, for a potentially misfiring Butcher. But, generally speaking, many would say that Butcher is naturally a better batsman. one also need to remember that whilst Key is vulnerable to the short ball, Butcher appears vulnerable to injuries. It seems to me that Butcher is becomming increasingly reliant on that innings against Australia a few years ago to maintain his fragile reputation.

Even if Key fails to impress, who's in South Africa to take his spot? Ian Bell, who has been on the fringes of the side for about a year now. He even bowls a bit (Which Butcher used to do). He's surely going to be fancied for the Bangladesh series that preceeds the Ashes, and if he does well there…

Much as I like him, I don't think there will be many games left for Mark Butcher. When and if he gets back into the England side, he will have to cement his place immediately, otherwise he'll have to go back to Surrey and be outplayed by Mark Ramprakash…

On Prince Harry's fancy dress.

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4170623.stm

Storm in a teacup, surely.

Prince Harry was photographed at a fancy dress party dressed as a Nazi. As far as I'm aware that doesn't mean he is a Nazi, nor condones what they did. But apparently, according to Doug Henderson MP (And I pity anyone from Newcastle who is unfortunate enough to have such an idiot as an MP) this means he is "not suitable" for Sandhurst. Quite why, I'm not sure.

Personally, I think it was a very clever take on the party's theme, which was "Colonial and Native". Turn up as the latter, and he'd have surely be lambasted for racism and not being aware of other cultures. Dress as the former, and he'd be condemmed for condoning Britain's Imperial past – about which one could write lines such as "the trappings of a genocidal dictatorship" as appeared in Today's Jewish Chronicle.
Perhaps Mr Henderson thinks that sort of costume is more befitting a British officer.

Take this picture:

He's surely not suitable to be on our screens.
What's that you say, he's not really a Nazi? Just dressing up? Oh, my mistake…

January 06, 2005

On the passing of Humphrey Carpenter

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/oxfordshire/4147389.stm

I learnt of Mr Carpenter's death yesterday whilst listening to Radio 3's In Tune, of which he was a former presenter. I haven't been a Radio 3 listener for long enough to remember him on that particular show, but I shall certainly miss his soothing, friendly yet slightly mischievous vioce on Radios 3 and 4. It was the latter that he had worked for most in recent years, presenting a programme called Brief Lives, which was essentially a biography/obiturary programme, a medium to which he was particularly suited as he had written several.

On Radio 3 he established In Tune, the "drivetime" show on the network, and created the sort of relaxed but knowledgable atmosphere I can only dream of when presenting on RaW (Wednesday 7pm and Monday 11pm, if you're interested). The programme has gone from strength to strength in the same vien with its current presenters. In fact Sean Rafferty seems to me a bit like an Irish version of Carpenter. He also pioneered Night Waves, a nightly Arts programme, which is so unashamedly high-brow it could hardly be made anywhere but on the BBC.

The amusing thing was, when looking for his obituary on the BBC website, I struggled to find it, as its title referred to the writer of the Mr Majeika children's stories. I confess I didn't know this, but did know he edited the Oxford companion to Children's Literature. He was also a talented musician ona variety of instruments. So, an exceptional broadcaster, writer and musician, knowledgable in all areas of the arts, and indeed religion (His father was Bishop of Oxford) – a polymath if ever there was one.

I have considered attempting getting into radio, and as I mentioned above, present on RaW. If I could ever be like Humphrey Carpenter, I would be happy, and need go no further. The loss to British radio to my mind is as big as when John Peel died. He may not have been as well known, but there are some people will miss him terribly. I am one.

Times Biography

On the naming of Children

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4148335.stm

Today (Or rather, as I'm up quite late, yesterday) the list of the most popular names given to new-born babies was released. The big noise was that the UK has a Muslim population significant enough to get Mohammed into the top 20. But this is not what I want to talk about.

The top boys' name is Jack, as it has been for several years. Among the top 10 for girls is Katie.
I think names are very important. They give a first impression. There are certain names that might be considered "lower class", and thus if you heard that name you would expect the bearer to be from that stratum of society. Similarly, there are "upper class" or "posh" names.
Names can be more subtle, and some names have a variety of shortenings. Each of these, and their spellings give different effects. For example, a former girlfriend of mine was called Nicola. She went by the name Nicky, but not Nikki. It is therefore quite useful to have name which can be shortened, as you can then use your name in different ways to give a different impression. Many people know me as Andy, but if I generally call myself Andrew, and certainly would do for say, a job application.
However, the thousands of people called Jack and Katie don't have this option, and are stuck with one name. I reckon this is largely because people these days don't realise "Jack" is a diminutive of "John". I say give your children a full name. They can become a Jack later if they wish.
The BBC has a picture series of famous Jacks. The first, Jack Nicholson, was born John. Jack Charlton was originally Jackie. Jack Straw's first two names are Jack John, which is a little unusual, but he could get away with being John if he wanted. Jack Kerouac's real name was Jean-Louis. Jack Lemmon's given name was John. Jack White is really a John. Jack Black's real name is, apparently, Thomas. That's at least 7/10 (Not including Mr Straw, and I couldn't find out about Jack Dee) who aren't actually Jack. You see my point – all these new Jacks can never be John. The same goes for Katie – and Katherine is such a beautiful name, too.

Diminutives aside, counting Jack as John, 7 from the top 10 male names are biblical (If anyone knows a bibilical Oliver or William, let me know). That's pretty good going for traditional names. So if all these biblical names are good enough, what's wrong with John? And whatever happened to Andrew, anyway?

One last musing – Nathan has survived as a name, Solomon less so admittedly, but even so – where are all the Zadoks?!

January 04, 2005

On Sportsmanship

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/4130167.stm

I watched Manchester United play Tottenham Hotspur this evening, the latter having been the recipient of my support for well over 10 years. To summarise the match: Man U were dominant in midfield, but without Rooney and RVN were unable to create too many decent chances (Also thanks to MoM Ledly King). When they did, Paul Robinson was equal to the challenge. Spurs created a few half-chances but never really threatened, except in the last 20 minutes when the game became a little more free-flowing. 1–0 to either side looked increasingly likely.

Then there was the incident, which some commentators have called the worst "decision" in Premiership history. Roy Carroll came out of the area to clear (poorly), then retreated hastily. Meanwhile, the ball came off a few players and ended up with Pedro Mendes around the half way line on the Spurs right. He hit it first time, attempting to lob Carroll. Nice idea, but it appeared the Ulsterman was back on his line and in no trouble.

However, a fleeting glance off the ball meant he dropped it, spooning it across the goal line. With a horrified look that matched those on the faces of the United supporters behind him, he turned, and despairingly scooped it out of the net after it had bounced a yard over the line. he gets up, and to his surprise he sees that paly has continued. Old Trafford was in uproar, as was The Bar.

Now, the referee and his assistant were clearly incompetent. It has been claimed that the assistant was too far away from play, but from the replays it is apparent that he was clearly at least in line with the penalty area. For the distance the ball went over, that was close enough. Either he gave up watching, thinking Carroll had it, or he's biased. Either way, he shouldn't be officiating.

Roy Carroll, on the other hand, knew. He knew it was a goal. He knew that there was no getting around it afterwards with the replays etc. Surely he should have done something about it, made it obvious it was a goal? Did he? No, he just carried on. He implicitly lied to the ref, to the rest of the team, to Tottenham, and to both sets of fans. It defrauded Spurs of 2 points, which come May could mean a significant loss of revenue (It's £500,000 per league place, let alone any European ramifications). It brought the game into disrepute. In short, he should be severely punished, and I hope he gets what he deserves.

However, he could have saved himself the outrage of a nation of fans, the shame of being a cheat and any disciplinary measures by being a sportsman. What's happened to Sportsmanship? Even in one of the most gentlemanly sports there is, cricket, many batsmen stand their ground when they know they've got an edge, putting the umpire under greater pressure. Today Boeta Dippenaar got a huge edge which carried to a slip – not the wicketkeeper, a slip – and he was given not out. Besides the incompetent umpiring from Daryl Harper, he could have walked off the field. I'd like to think I would have.

How can we respect sportsmen, who earn the adulation of millions, when they're nothing but cheats?

November 16, 2004

Matalan, thy name i's useles's

My girlfriend's mother purchased a pack of Christmas cards from the aforementioned budget store, and very pretty they were too. However, they bore the inscription (In attractive gold lettering):

"Seasons Greeting's"

I ask you.

How illiterate can you get? Perhaps they should write for the Boar.

November 13, 2004

The West Wing

I forgot to mention that I am greatly annoyed by the 6th series of The West Wing.

There may be spoilers ahead….

It seems that aside from doing nasty things to principle characters (heart attack in the woods, with no Secret Service to be seen – and then have a bit a few episodes later showing thelarge extent of secret service protection for this particular role), the producers seem to have decided that inexplicably chopping off a year was a good idea.
I watched episode 4 last night and there was an extremely clumsy reference to the Midterms, which supposedly have already happened. John Wells et al clearly are bored with the current format, and want to turn this into an election year with several candidates and allow the programme to continue after a Bartlett presidency. Josh clearly saw the "Real Thing" with Santos, like he did in Nashua all those years ago.

To continue the show is one thing, but why cut a year out? And why in such a clumsy way? And why does Toby mention "6 years" in the fake resignation if the midterms were last year? It's got to be at least 6 and a half. And where did the year or so go? Somewhere in season 5, I guess. But before all mentions of the CODEL, but after any timed references to the kidnapping, and the Christmas episode.

And what is Will still there for? He works for the VPOTUS, not the President.

Grrrrrr. Rant over.


Nobody saw it. Not that it was any good.

But nobody saw it, nonetheless.

I guess this was due to a large influx of posts from someone who simply put up midi files of dubious quality for no apparent reason, and my first blog entry dropped off the bottom of the new list like a water off a duck's back.

Anyway, I thought I would post something today as I won't be around for the weekend and thus unable to post. First item on today's agenda is a certain high-profile football match. And my eyeball hurts.
That is all.