All entries for August 2005

August 31, 2005

Leeds for your needs: Leeds Festival 2005

Saturday

This was the best day for the main stage with Queens of the Stone Age and the Killers on in the evening. However there was plenty of time to kill until then. Half an hour of this was dealt with by having to queue to get into the main arena at the start of the day. Or rather having to shuffle along at approximately zero miles per hour. It would be quite impossible to go so slowly if there wasn’t a wall of people also going at approximately zero miles an hour directly in front of you. Naturally there are always a few bright sparks who have figured out what would help, yelling “Get a f**king move on!” expecting it to improve their position by a few metres just because they’ve got a big gob. Genius. I don’t know why more people haven’t got that one sussed; I thought we were all stood around just to piss everyone off.

The upshot of this merriment meant we missed about ninety percent of Goldie Lookin’ Chain. As it happens we’d seen them when they played last year so it wasn’t such a big disappointment as it would have been. We did manage to catch a new song with the lyrics “If you leave me now can I f**k your sister?” As ever GLC hit the nail on its lyrical head, pity we didn’t see more of the set.

Next was another trip to the comedy tent to see Hugh Lennon and Hypno-dog. Before anyone gets carried away I’ll bring down your expectations of Hypno-dog. I was really excited about the prospect of a hypnotic dog but all that happened was the hypnotist, that is the man hypnotist not the canine one, hypnotised the people on stage to sleep when they looked in the dog’s eyes – I did warn you that you shouldn’t get carried away. The show was mildly interesting featuring some excellent ballet dancing and people thinking they were the Spice Girls, but I find hypnosis seriously creepy – I’d never want for someone to be able control me to their will. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll have to read the NME to remind me of which bands I enjoyed at the festival.

There was a bit of gap until the Subways were on in the NME tent so I (my friends weren’t interested in the Subways) wandered to the main stage and saw a very small portion of Graham Coxon: his left arm. No I jest! I mean I only caught a few songs. As an Oasis fan I’m not allowed to say anything nice about Blur or anyone who’s been in Blur so he was really terrible.

The people we were camped with decided to nickname me Coxon on account of “looking like him”, rather more accurately it was because I wear glasses and have dark hair. I’ve had this all my life, being compared to David Baddiel and even Adrian Mole – a character from a non-picture book.

The Subways were worth watching, not least because the bassist is really fit. Musically they’re fairly competent and blasted through their big songs Oh Yeah and Rock n Roll Queen. The singer even showed off his climbing skills by clambering to the top of the speakers and playing a guitar solo. I thought all that movement was a little over the top for a mid-afternoon slot. Now if they’d put a pole on stage for bassist Charlotte to dance around, that I could have understood.

The typical festivalgoer, students, was reflected in the number of university hoodies on show. Every other person seemed to be wearing one emblazoned with “Sheffield Hallam”. I may have noticed them more because that’s where I’ll be next year doing a PGCE but I’m convinced there were more there than you would have expected, or maybe I kept seeing the same person over and over.

After a quick trip back to the campsite for a beer or two it was back out to watch the Coral. I’m not a huge fan even if this was the third time I’d seen them play, indeed it was the second time in less than two months. I find them the sort of band that’s kind of just there – they won’t blow your socks off but they’re not so offensive as to have you running away from the stage screaming “I can’t take it anymore!”

Next was Queens of the Stone Age, or rather Josh Homme and some nobodies. We went reasonably far forward, though kept a sensible distance to the inevitable carnage at the front. Even if technically they’re not the same band as they were it was still a good show. Josh Homme is a great front man but not the sort of person you’d want to spill beer over, though I guess that’s what makes him such a great front man.

The Killers followed to complete a main stage three-in-a-row. This was one of the main reasons for buying my ticket yet I couldn’t get all that excited about it now they were here. I’d convinced myself that they were going to let me down so didn’t want to get my hopes up. I needn’t have worried as they put on a good performance, unfortunately we’d moved a long way back after Queens of the Stone Age so the sound wasn’t as good as it might have been.

There was no way on earth I was going to stick around and watch the Pixies, even if the NME were making out their slot to be the best reason for going to the festival. The irony is that in avoiding them we went to watch Kasabian in the NME tent. As we expected they were bloody fantastic. We were only at the back but the crowd was crazy for it. They sounded incredible in the tent, added to that there was the sense of sticking two fingers up at the (trying to be) in-crowd watching the Pixies by snubbing the main stage. It was the highlight of the weekend so far.


August 30, 2005

Fest is Best: Leeds 2005

Thursday

Last year we made the grave error of setting off for the Festival after lunch. This resulted in waiting for four hours in traffic queues usually reserved for smartly dressed business people commuting in busy city centres, not scruffy students/miscellaneous misfits sauntering along in what would be quiet city suburbs. Not to be caught out again we were off by 9am. On the approach to the junction off the M1 were braced ourselves for the sight of a long line of traffic, but to our immense relief found none. We continued on the same roads that a year ago had been so full with ease. It was a huge shock to the system and a hushed awe set upon us out of fear of jinxing it. This worked and we were in the car park before midday.

We set off to find base-camp: my friend Chris ringing up our camp-mates to try and find it with no success. However as is often the case in such scenarios we bumped into them purely by chance – it’s amazing how this happens at festivals. It’s as though there’s some sort of psychic connection brought about by the music.

No sooner had we put up the tent than Leeds treated us to extreme weather conditions, Glastonbury may have been all but washed out, but did they have hail? It may have been a festival – such events aren’t subject to the normal weather climate, almost anything goes – but ice falling from the sky during August came as a surprise.

We went for a wander around the festival site to check out the lay of the land. Naturally it looked the same as it had done the previous year. On this wander came an example of utter stupidity: people asking me for directions. I don’t understand why but you could put a hundred people with maps stood next to an information desk and a lost person would still ask me, possibly staring at my feet wondering why one hundred people with maps need to be stood by an information desk, for directions. I must look like the sort of person who knows where they’re going. Members of the University of Warwick Orienteering Club will tell you that this is emphatically not the case. In this case the directions I needed to give were simply “keep going and you’ll find it”, which I always find by far the easiest to give. I do wish people wouldn’t ask me as I always worry I’ve sent them to some frightening place like Baghdad, Mordor, or in this case: the centre of Leeds. I do like to help though – I don’t smoke but I’m sorely tempted to start carrying round a lighter just so when someone goes “Got a light mate?” I can go “Yes!” and make myself useful.

Friday

I woke up typically early and seeing as lie-ins in tents aren't half as much fun as their bed equivalent I got up and went for a walk around the site. As always with festivals there were lots of people about – though it was impossible to tell whether they were up late or up early. I walked past the Samaritans tent and was asked how I was. This is all well and good, you'd hope the samaritans wouldn't tell people passing by the go fuck themselves, but it made me a little paranoid that anyone might think that I'd have a less than acceptable well being. As an aside when i first went to Leeds in 2000 I got dumped during the festival so if anyone had asked me how I was I'd probably have broken down in tears.

Friday was the "rock" day on the main stage, ergo an opportunity to spend some time in the NME and comedy tents. The first bands we saw were The Rakes and Sons and Daughters. Unfortunately both were very poor so halfway through Sons and Daughters we went and plonked ourselves down in the comedy tent. As luck would have it we managed to catch the exceptionally funny Reginald D. Hunter.

Then it was back to the NME tent to watch Maximo Park - a band I'd heard very little of but was impressed by. Well, thank goodness for that. I like comedy (why wouldn't I?) but I didn't want to have to keep plodding into the comedy tent every five minutes because the bands were so bad. Apply Some Pressure naturally was a real highlight, possible because it was one of the few songs I'd heard but was performed nicely.

A quick trip back to the tent to cook some, soon to be rather black, sausages on a disposable barbecue was followed by a deliberate and unusually planned outing back to the comedy tent to see Toby Foster – Les from Les Alanos on Phoenix Nights – ripping into the police, southerners and had the audience been different I presume students would have been next on the list. It was fantastic! It's horrible but there's nothing funnier than hearing a good slagging off, especially with such well chosen subjects.

We wandered across to the main stage and caught the end of Marilyn Manson. Unfortunately it was only the end of the set and not of the band itself – it brought back memories of 50 cent from last year, a combination of bemusement and general what-the-hell?

The headliners were Iron Maiden which meant my appeals to watch the Futureheads fell on death ears. Unpertubred I went to see them on my own. It was a great show, much better than Maiden of course. During Hounds of Love they split the crowd down the middle for the "oh, oh-oh" and "oh! oh! oh!" bits at the start. Unfortunately I couldn't actually see the band so had no idea which side I was on, neither it appeared did anyone around me.

After the Futureheads I found myself at something of a loose end. Next up on the NME tent was Bloc Party – a band that I find incredibly dull. On the other hand we were camped near the fairground so perhaps something so completely mind numbing might help compensate for the terrible wailing of mixed up crazy frog gibberish being blasted out and help me get some sleep. On the Carling Stage was Echo and the Bunnymen, of whom my knowledge is limited to knowing that they once did a song with Liam Gallagher on the backing vocals. Though his contribution was only singing “Yeah, yeah, yeah” a few times.

In the end I opted to watch the rest of Iron Maiden on the main stage. Well, it would be foolish to not at least check them out. I proved my rock and roll credentials by standing at the back with a nice warm cup of tea trying my best not to shiver in the kind of cold that can only be found out of the crowd at open air concerts. The band didn’t particularly amaze me though I could appreciate that they were probably quite good if you like that sort of thing. I don’t much go in for gigs with giant devil/monster puppets. As it happens I was once accused of looking like I was an Iron Maiden fan. I can only presume the accuser was blind seeing as a typical Iron Maiden fan is fat with long greasy hair and a menacing miserable expression on their face, compared with my scrawny frame, short well kept hair and permanent slightly nervous grin. I left before the end in order to avoid the dull trudge out of the arena in the huge crowd.


August 24, 2005

Formula Blog: Round 14 – Turkish Grand Prix

10pts Robert Doornbos: He finished ahead of the two Jordans, which for Alonso would be like beating the McLarens. And, there aren't any cars four seconds slower thant he Jordans to push them out of the way.

8pts Jenson Button: A huge mess in qualifying, even if he was in good company. He made up for it in the race by making lots of great overtaking moves which seemed to put him in the company of… pretty much just himself. It was interesting to hear that he'd wanted Barrichello as a team mate, which is a bit of a backhanded compliment as surely it means Button reckons he can trounce him.

6pts Christian Klien: Red Bull might be on to something. Last year Christian Klien did a steady but unspectacular job. But this year with the constant threat of losing his seat he's driven like a man on fire, or at least one stood next to a radiator.

5pts Kimi Raikkonen: Extra credit to Raikkonen for ignorng the press accusations of him having a bit of nudge, nudge, wink, wink with another woman. Who really cares? And quite why he'd want to do that is beyond me anyway. He's married to a former Miss Scandanavia. Without using frightening genetic modifications how exactly is he going to improve on that?

4pts Fernando Alonso: I'm not sure if anyone else noticed it, but Jim Rosenthal refered to him as "World Champion Fernando Alonso", maybe he'd picked up Bernie Ecclestone's clipboard instead of his own by mistake.

3pts David Coulthard: It all looked so simple.

2pts Giancarlo Fisichella: On the front row for the first time since Australia. It took a lot of effort too… from the other drivers; making sure they went off perhaps out of sympathy.

1pt Narain Karthikeyan: Unlike his team mate he managed to last the whole raace without shunting off one of the leaders.

-1pt Juan Pablo Montoya: So close to a McLaren one-two, yet so far.

-2pts Mark Webber: It's all well and good complaining about Schumacher turning in on him but he was a lap down. Anyone would think he did it on purpose to try to get out of having to drive the Williams any further.

-3pts Felipe Massa: "I did the race simulation on my PlayStation and I won! And I did on the difficult level, against all the other championship runners." Er, right, if only life were a computer game eh, Felipe. I nominate Minardi as Spyro the Dragon for Doornbos's brake fire and Ralf Schumacher as Super Mario for the astonishing amount of coins he collects.

-4pts Takuma Sato: Oh no! As if his qualifying lap wasn't bad enough, he even screwed up on his in-lap.

-5pts Ralf Schumacher: I should have known it. I sing his praises after a strong drive in Hungary, then what? It must have been difficult for Ralf to finish quite so low in the order.

-6pts Michael Schumacher: By his own admission the highlight of his weekend was gaining places over retirees for his qualifying slot. You can't really argue with that.

-8pts Jacques Villeneuve: Dear, oh dear Jacques. When Sauber signed him they must have hoped Felipe Massa would be able to learn from a World Champion team mate, unfortunately as Jacques' qualifying spins shows it must have worked the other way round. Respect to Villeneuve for talking up Massa – at least his record of getting along with colleagues has improved this year – though given how the young Brazilian has shown him the way he'd be a bit stupid to mouth of about him being slow.

-10pts Tiago Monteiro: All the Minardi and Jordan drivers really need to do is to not hit anybody when being lapped. If they can't even manage that then I don't see why the bother.

Standings
39pts Kimi Raikkonen
35pts Nick Heidfeld
34pts Mark Webber
32pts David Coulthard
31pts Fernando Alonso
27pts Christian Klien
23pts Christijan Albers
22pts Giancarlo Fisichella
18pts Jarno Trulli
15pts Michael Schumacher
15pts Jenson Button
14pts Robert Doornbos
10pts Juan Pablo Montoya
10pts Narain Karthikeyan
9pts Felipe Massa
9pts Pedro de la Rosa
6pts Patrick Friesacher
5pts Takuma Sato
2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi
-3pts Rubens Barrichello
-6pts Tiago Monteiro
-7pts Ralf Schumacher
-42pts Jacques Villeneuve

Contructors

10pts McLaren: All credit to Ron Dennis for the diplomacy after the race, refusing to criticise Montoya. Imagine if Montoya had done that at Williams, you'd have heard Patrick Head screaming all the way from Turkey.

8pts Red Bull: Okay so they were out early in qualifying so had a dirty track, blah blah blah. But at least by going out early they managed to avoid the infectious cloud of craziness that fflicted the later runners, avoid a bit of confusion at the start come through and take a few points. Easy.

6pts Minardi: You have to laugh sometimes. There Robert Doornbos is, pulling into the pitlane during qualifying with rear brakes aflame. The marshalls rush out and spray CO~2~ to put them out. And which sponsor do we see adorning the Minardi rear wing? Why, it's www.CO2tv.com !

4pts Renault: They're sneaking towards the world championship so you have to give them some credit.

2pts Toyota: Another decent points finish – they're still too dull though. They don't have the sparkle of Jordan sticking it to the "big four" in the late nineties or Renault challenging Ferrari, McLaren and Williams in 2003 or BAR last year. Anyone would think Toyota made exceedingly bland cars or something, I just don't see how else you'd explain it.

-1pt BAR: Was this the deal that Nick Fry was offering Williams? "I'll only get Sato out of the way if you let us keep Button"

-2pts Sauber: A "typical" Sauber performance in Turkey as I can barely remember what happened to them.

-3pts Ferrari: "Definitely there was no light. It was very dark." So said Jean Todt about the metaphorical light at the end of the Ferrari tunnel that seemed to disappear in Turkey. I don't imagine Vodaphone liked that one much, was the Ferrari principal suggesting that their reception is particularly bad when going under tunnels. Tut tut.

-6pts Jordan: Properly beaten by Minardi at last, that new car can't some soon enough. Trouble is, that's been the situation since about May.

-10pts Williams: It really is a desperate situation when they can't even make wheel rimes that'll take tyres for more than ten laps at a time. And we all thought the rest of the car was bad.

Standings
51pts Red Bull
49pts Minardi
45pts McLaren
43pts Renault
33pts Toyota
19pts Sauber
18pts BAR
-9pts Ferrari
-18pts Williams
-19pts Jordan


August 20, 2005

Bob the Builder – Can We Fix It?

This song means so much to me because it reminds me of a special time in my life. I can really relate to what Bob was singing about; I think we'd get on well if we met.

The song is much deeper than most people realise. I think the building and fixing in the song is actually a metaphor for how we live our lives. Especially the part where Bob sings: "Building and fixing till it's as good as new". To me this means rebuilding ourselves and our lives after things go wrong.

The chorus is so anthemic too. I love the positivity of "Yes we can!" It's the kind of spirit that lifts the soul. When I'm about to do something really important like being a pretentious show off I'll listen to this song before to motivate and inspire myself. I challenge anybody to not be inspired by such lyrical genius as "We can tackle any situation. Look out 'cause here we come".

Another point about this song is the subliminal communist messages: "Working together, they get the job done" is actually a modern take on "workers of the world unite". The bit about the "sun goes down" is about the impending fall of capitalism.

This really was Bob's finest hour, a few months after this came the scandal involving Bob and that servant girl and later his problems with drink. At the time when this was released though, Bob was a true superstar and hero.

Bob the Builder - Can We Fix It?

Take your places
Can we fix it?
Yes we can

Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder
(Yes we can)

Scoot, muck and Dizzy
And Roly too
Lofty and Wendy
Join the crew
Bob and the gang
have so much fun
Working together
They get the job done

Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder
(Yes we can)
Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder
(Yes we can)

Time to get busy
Such a lot to do
Building and fixing
'Til it's good as new
Bob and the gang
They can really be found
Working all day
'Til the sun goes down

Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder
(Yes we can)
Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder
(Yes we can)

Wow!

Oh dear,
Can you fix it?
Right, left a bit, right a little
Okay, break down
We can tackle any situation
Look out 'cause here we come

Can we dig it? Yes
Can we build it? Yes
Can we fix it? Yes

Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder
(Yes we can)
Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder
(Yes we can)

Digging and fixing
Having so much fun
Working together
They get the job done

Can we dig it? Yes
Can we build it? Yes
Can we fix it? Yes
Bob the Builder
Bob the Builder
All together now

Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob!
Fantastic! Yes, Yes, we can
Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder

Bob the Builder
(Can we fix it?)
Bob the Builder
(Yes we can)

We'd better get some work done


August 18, 2005

Gosh, the moon looks awful big tonight…

Last night I looked out of the window and the moon looked massive on the horizon. Is this because of some kind of "Honey I blew up the kid" mischief or does it like to sneak up on us to remind us that it's there?

You may have guessed that it's neither of these – though the moon does have an elliptic orbit.

Previously a popular held belief was that dense air near the ground refracts the light from the moon acting as a magnifying glass. Scientists since have dismissed this as utter bollocks – in a manner of speaking.

To see that the moon in fact stays the same size wherever in the sky it is measure it. The best way is to roll up a newspaper and stick it against your eye like a telescope. Tighten it so the moon fits just inside and sellotape it in place. Whenever you look at the moon through the paper, it will fit snugly inside.

Okay, so it's an optical illusion of some form, but what's going on? Some of the supposed best explanations on the internet are written by very clever and smug scientists who are intent on making sure everyone who stumbles across their work realises how very clever and smug they are. Unfortunately this has two effects: firstly, it's extremely boring. And secondly, it doesn't make any sense. Unless you yourself happen to be a very clever and smug scientist.

This is the basics though:

The Ponzo Illusion . Viewers of such TV programs as How 2? will be familiar with this sort of trick. There's a school of thought that suggests the moon's size appears larger because of houses and trees acting as the lines. It's a neat explanation but it falls short. People in aeroplanes observe the same trick with the moon and as a rule they don't have many houses or trees to gauge the moon against.

The flattened sky . The thinking here is that we perceive the sky to be dome shaped. So we expect objects on the horizon to be further away – in the case of things in the sky such as birds or planes they actually are. So we expect a moon on the horizon the be (significantly) further away than one in the sky above us. This leads our minds to compensate so we perceive the moon to be bigger. This is neat and tidy, but the big brains prefer a similar but slightly more technical explanation…

Oculomotor Micropsia and Oculomotor Macropsia, which to my immense disappointment are not spells performed by Harry Potter. When we look at a moon in the sky we have no other objects to gauge it's distance. It may aswell be a few metres away, which our silly little human brains believe it is. This is where oculomotor micropsia sets in, making the moon look smaller. When the moon is on the horizon we can tell it's further away by gauging it against trees and houses. Because of this we have oculomotor macropsia and we perceive it to be larger.

Quite a lot of gobbledy gook I'm sure you'll agree, personally I'm quite happy with looking up at the sky and thinking "oo, pretty".


August 14, 2005

Big Bother is over

Follow-up to Big Bother from Bloggle

Big Bother finished on Friday and was won by Sid, a shark from the waters of Australia. His main tactic was eating the other contestants, including: an iguana, a chimpanzee and George – a plumber from Dudley.

"It wasn't a deliberate ploy to eat the other contestants" said Sid before he attacked Dermot O'Leary – leaving him just alive but in great pain – "but you know how it is."

Fascist propaganda paper, the Mail on Sunday, has called for the show to be banned after housemate Edith, a rhinocerous, impaled James the gardener on her horn live on Channel 4. The Big Bother housemates responded personally saying the paper is just jealous, the Mail on Sunday escalated by telling the contestants to go f**k themselves. "We already did" came the reply.

One of the tasks the housemates had to take was a general knowledge quiz. Surprisingly none of the human contestants even featured in the top three, scoring below a squirrel, a tortoise and half a Subway sandwich. In all fairness there were still two meatballs left in the sandwich.

Frustrated by a slump in viewing figures Channel 4 executives announced that next year's series will feature more tits. Rumours that this means another celebrity series have yet to be confirmed.

In other news Sid the shark has been signed up by ITV to present a new show for Saturday nights called "Celebrity Sharks eating your eyes".


August 11, 2005

How to be a Great Blogger

Surprise, surprise, I don't actually know how to be a great blogger. Do you really think I'd have written entries such as this if I did?

In a fit of boredom I – typically behind the times – ended up stumbling across the Guardian's 2003 Best British Blog Awards . The categories were:

  • Best Design
  • Best use of Photography
  • Under 18s
  • Best Specialist
  • Best Written

So how can we, Warwick Bloggers, go on to be great bloggers?

Design

I think winning a best design award might be a little tricky here as there's not any room for creativity. As someone who breaks in to a cold sweat every time my computer asks me anything more complicated than if I want to log-off or shut-down I'm most grateful for this.

I'm not sure what makes a blog well designed anyway, they all look the same to me. Perhaps they're like babies, only their parents can tell the difference between their own blog and somebody else's.

Best use of Photography

This is one for the "arty" bloggers out there, though make sure the file's not too big. There's plenty of Kodak moments on Warwick Blogs, but I'm not sure that's what's meant by good photography, being something more like this sort of thing rather than this sort of thing. Though there a few proper photographers out there, such as Steve Rumsby and… and… I'm sure there's plenty more.

Under 18s

I find it hard to envisage anyone on Warwick Blogs winning this category without cheating so let's move swiftly on.

Specialists

In a way all Warwick Blogs are specialist by virtue of being related to the University of Warwick, but as a subject goes it's pretty dull. One of the blogs mentioned in the article is about travelling on the London Underground even if it didn't actually win, so perhaps there's potential for an X12 specialist blog.

The winner of the category was someone posting The Diary of Samuel Pepys over the course of ten years. Which if you're of a certain intellectual bent you might consider clever and artistic, but as I am not I'd call it a bit of a cop out. We've all been there: Blogger's cramp. If you've got it pre-written by someone else it's easy to get around. In all fairness, what the heck do I know though, so if someone has a copy of Anne Frank's diary to hand you might be onto a winner.

Best Written

This is one that's got to open to everyone. At least, everyone who can type coherent sentence. usrs of txtspk might b best 2 frgt bout it. The winner was belle de jour – the diary of a London call girl. Let's face it, that's a bit grittier than anything likely to be seen on Warwick Blogs. Warwick Blogs are written by either bratty students or people who work in a university – a place full of bratty students.

Less gritty, but probably still beyond Warwick Blogs reach was Call Centre Confidential . I've taken a quick look and anecdotally it's much funnier than any of us here could hope to achieve, making me think of The Office at a first glance.

You won't need telling that there are well written Warwick Blogs though. By default I'd rate anyone on my favourites as being worth reading (duh!) To pick some out I'd say Fluffy Pink Shit by Elizabeth Jenner is especially well written and humourous, and of course, as everyone knows, the bloggiest blog has to be Sam Hates... .

Conclusions

To summarise the above, to be a Great Blogger, you need to:

  • Make your blog look pretty, I'm going out on a limb here, but the "glassdog" theme is unlikely to do you any favours.
  • Blog on a specific theme, flitting from one topic to another doesn't seem to win awards.
  • Be from London! With blogging, as with just about everything else, the rest of us may as well not exist.
  • Have an interesting job or lifestyle or…
  • Have a boring job or lifestyle but use it for humour.

24 Hour Liscensing

There's much brew-ha-ha about 24 Hour Liscensing. I'm not sure what to make of it all, there seems to be strong feelings on both sides of the debate.

Take for instance this quote I read by a scientist studying drinking:

It is my honest opinion that 24 hour liscensing will turn our young people into ogres.

When the scientist was accused of using inflammatory metaphors, he responded with "who said anything about metaphors? In Shrek they try to make out that princess Fiona was under a curse. In actual fact she was a binge drinker. They removed those scenes from the film because drinks companies who supply actors with booze for their drink problems were worried it might harm their profits."

The other side is just as barmy if you ask me. Alcoholics Unanymous have this view:

Twentyfour hour drinking is still too restrictive. Twentyfour hours just isn't long enough for a good piss up. So what we propose is building pubs and bars on Mars, they have twenty five hour days up there. That extra hour makes all the difference.

Naturally the forces of reaction have their views, usually available to be read in the Daily Mail. Judge O. L. D'Fart had this to say:

If I want to go to a friends house for dinner, have a couple of sherries before dinner and maybe a couple of G&Ts and then a few bottles of wine with the meal and then follow it up with a couple of rounds of brandy, then drive home, then that doesn't hurt anybody. But when these young people go to bars and get lashed on lager and alco-pops then that's a different matter.

This is the view of a priest:

Sure, we drink at the church, but a couple of bottles of wine never hurt anyone. Well, except for Pablo, the little boy I er… rescued from Brazil. A crate of wine fell on his head and killed him. Most unfortunate. When these young people go out and get plastered they don't know what they're doing. I don't know what it is with the youth of today. I saw a young couple walking down the street holding hands. In broad daylight. I couldn't believe it. This sort of debauchery is bringing the country down.

The student population is also getting in on the act:

Oh we're all for it, but we're not like those Faliraki types. They're just louts. When we get drunk and mess about it's just hi-jinx, there's a subtle but important difference.

With all the conflicting views trying to figure it out is a minefield. I give the debate 3 stars. The Daily Mail plays the role of the nasty old baddie really well, but the liberals come across as a bit wooly and unconvincing.


August 10, 2005

Guide to going to a football match

Most bloggers are far too middle class to ever go to anything so common as a football match, but should you do so here are some points to bear in mind:

1. The referee is always a "w&!£er". Only this insult will ever do. He is not a tw@t or a k%"b. He is a w&!£er. Every decision he makes is wrong. You know this even when you're fifty times further away from the incident than him.

2. Don't be confused by the crowd asking "Who are you?" This is not an attempt to ascertain who the opposition team is. They already know. It is intended to belittle them, suggesting that they barely register on your radar.

3. Don't worry about what noise to make if your team scores a goal. Scientists have tried for years to understand what people shout when their team scores but have had no success. Nobody knows. It isn't "Goal!" or "Yes! We've scored!" If you ask a football fan (Don't try one of the ones wearing a cap. They will probably be working class, *gasp*) they won't be able to tell you either.

4. The offside rule is thus: when the opposition team gets too near your goal, they are are offside. When your team gets near the opposition goal they are onside. Assistant referees or linesmen/lineswomen (they're the ones who run up and down the lines) who don't enforce this rule are also "w&!£ers".

5. When you hear a crowd of Hull City fans shouting that they are "by far the greatest team the world has ever seen", don't answer in a pub quiz that the team who has won the most league titles is Hull. It is just a chant used as an attempt at bravado.

6. If you're six years old and about to go to a football match, don't.

7. You know more about football tactics than your team's manager. Don't be fooled by his decades of experience.

8. If you want to buy a match day programme you need to take out a small personal loan beforehand.


August 09, 2005

Bloggle is here!

Follow-up to Bloggle! from Bloggle

The rules are:

  • Make a word from the grid using adjacent (including diagonally adjacent) letters.
  • Each cube can only be used once.
  • For each grid come up with one word.
  • Slang, Proper Nouns etc… are all allowed.
  • The words don't even need to be English!
  • The length of the word is the number of points you get.

Bonus Points on offer:

  • x3 Finding a blogger's name.
  • x2 Finding an insulting word.

Grid 1

Grid 2

Grid 3


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