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May 11, 2009

They're not all scum

I think the Telegraph, and others, have gone too far with MP’s expenses now.

Yes, some of them are money-grabbing little sh*ts who deserve the marching orders they’ll be given at the next election.

But some of the MPs who’ve had their expenses splashed across the newspapers really have done nothing wrong.

The Daily Mail have the news that Oliver Letwin claimed £2,000 to replace a leaking pipe under his tennis court. His response that:

I was served a statutory notice by the water company to repair the leaking pipe, which runs underneath the tennis court and garden. No improvements were made to the tennis court or garden.”

seems to have been pretty much ignored – the paper’s still run the story and painted him as an expenses cheat in the process.

Another overblown example is the Prime Minister – yes his cleaner seems to be flipping expensive, but suggesting he was siphoning off public money to line his brother’s pockets is pretty close to an outright lie, and yet it’s the impression most people will now have.

I’m not too worried about individual MPs being slandered though – their electorate will see through the media bluster at the next election.

But I think the general ‘they’re all at it’ mood of the press is going to be really damaging. With a change of government more than likely, you’d expect turnout at the next election to be higher than 2001 and 2005.

But if the public think politicians are universally a breed of tight-fisted, public money-stealing good-for-nothings then it wouldn’t surprise me if turnout actually dropped. What, after all, is the point of voting for anyone if every politician is bent?

Gordon Brown’s claim that the system is at fault is nearly half-right, but it takes a certain kind of person to exploit that system.

However, the media’s completely over-the-top wall-to-wall coverage of the 650+ liars, cheats and bastards will do nothing for the public’s faith in democracy. And if that breaks down, we really are screwed.


May 06, 2009

A weird Kind of company, a weird Kind of idea

I’ve already blogged about how silly I find the Amazon Kindle. The fact they’ve brought out a second version today (because the normal one’s too small for newspapers and textbooks) seems to perfectly sum up why paper is best.

But this new release has also got me thinking about Amazon. They’re not really a hardware company. Yes, there’s a lot of hardware behind their website and in their enormous distribution centres. But they don’t really understand how to make and market hardware yet.

The clearest sign of this is the fact that neither the Kindle, Kindle2 or the new Kindle DX are available in the UK, or anywhere outside North America for that matter.

And that’s not just because they haven’t got round to it yet – all three Kindles use EVDO, a wireless modem that’s completely incompatible with phone networks outside the United States. That, to me, is a crazy decision, and makes me think Amazon don’t really know what they’re doing when it comes to selling hardware.


April 30, 2009

2666 reasons to read 2666

2666Not really, that would take forever. Instead, here’s just five reasons to read Roberto Bolano’s book, 2666.

  1. It’s like The Wire. Endlessly complex, multiple sides to every story, characters that are rarely good or bad but usually a bit of both. It’s also in five parts, one of which is about the death of journalism.
  2. It’s not like The Wire. It’s tougher. If you thought the crime rate in Baltimore was bad, wait until you read Part Four of this book. It also makes less sense than The Wire, but if you’re prepared to read a 900-page book, that’s probably not going to bother you much.
  3. It’s unfinished. Roberto Bolano died before he completed the book, so any fault you might find in the book isn’t really his fault.
  4. You’ll struggle to find a critical review.
  5. In fifty years time, people might well ask you if you’ve read this book yet. You might as well get it out of the way while you’re young.

April 28, 2009

Bye Trees!

Media companies love giving you bundles. Bundles of telly, phone calls, broadband etc.

But they’re not very good at realising you’ve got a bundle.

Here’s two envelopes of ‘stuff’ I got from BT this morning…

BT junk mail

One envelope contained a bill for my phone calls (4 pages). The other contained a bill for my TV package I get from them (3 pages).

And both contained the same junk mail. Much of it’s promoting products which I already have.

Couldn’t BT save themselves quite a lot of money by just sending me one bill, in one envelope, containing (if they must) one lot of junk?

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Footnote: BT is one of the contractors working on the NHS’s highly successful new IT system.

Footnote 2: BT’s slogan is, no word of a lie, “Bringing it all together”.


April 23, 2009

From dunce to developer

Bill Thompson is something of a Great Uncle of the world wide web. He’s not the daddy – that’s Tim Berners-Lee. He’s more of a godfather, who Berners-Lee might trust if he had a nasty accident with some html.

In his latest posting on the BBC News | Technology site, he points out one of the many ways in which IT education in Britain is rubbish and how more of us are going to need to at least know about programming and development.

I’ve been writing websites since about 1999. My first was a sort of primitive blog, without comments. I reviewed music, films and games. It had about one reader. Me.

Then in 2001 I created a community website for my home town called Tetbury Online. Miraculously the internet archive has preserved my earliest efforts from 2002 and 2003. The site’s changed cosmetically since, but not a lot. It’s still just a static load of html with some code from Google thrown in to make it seem a little more dynamic.

I was already thinking about it before Bill Thompson’s column came out, but he might have tipped me over the edge: I’m scrapping the whole site and rebuilding it in something a little more Web 2.0.

I’ve chosen Drupal as a content management system as it seems to be well supported, relatively simple and infinitely flexible. Oh, and free. That unfortunately means heaving the whole website to a new hosting company and shared server so that I can install the cms. My old hosting provider didn’t allow databases, which I’ve recently discovered is what makes the internet go round.

Drupal’s based largely on php – a programming language with which I am as familiar with as veganism or Hungarian. But from what I can tell, that shouldn’t matter. Drupal, and other CMS’s, like Joomla are based on a system of menus, buttons, drop-down boxes and remarkably little code. All the hard work goes on under the surface.

The biggest advantage of using a content management system over just html is that for the first time, I’ll be able to let other people fiddle with the site. I’m hoping that local groups will add events, businesses will update their directory listings and employers will post their vacancies. In short, while re-writing the whole site will be a chore, once it’s done I can share the load of updating the site with others.

The new site will also be about six billion percent more dynamic. I can enable comments on any page at the press of a button. No coding. Just a click. I can have every article appear on an RSS feed without having to understand how. And I can create event calendars, audio slideshows, aggregated feeds, and Google Maps in 30 seconds.

It’s an awesome bit of kit – it’s just a shame the barrier to entry (having your own shared server space = £30+ per year) is high enough to put people off having a try.

Hopefully by the summer when the site should go live, I’ll be able to call myself a developer, of sorts. All without learning any code. Now that they should be teaching in schools.


March 12, 2009

What next for Spotify?

I, and I suspect everyone I’ve recommended it to, love Spotify.

It’s ludicrously simple, the adverts are reasonably unobtrusive, and it’s free.

But I can still hear the creaking of the floodgates. Spotify’s a step forward for making everything ‘free’ to the consumer, but I think there’s much more to come.

First up, a simple one: Spoken word. Spotify would be 100% better if it had comedy, drama and classic radio documentaries available. I suspect much of this material hasn’t been released on CD before because it wouldn’t be economic. Now it is. The long tail’s wagging and I hope BBC Worldwide et al will jump on board it soon.

Spotify logoSecond, a new medium altogether: Games. I’ve had a look, and unless I’m mistaken, there’s nowhere to rent PC games online. Even sites like Swapgame and Lovefilm will only let you rent console games. And then they choose to prop up Royal Mail rather than use something more modern like downloads. The idea of spending £35+ on a new game has always baffled me. My attention span isn’t long enough to justify that sort of outlay. And rather than a fee-paying model, why not rent the games out for free in return for some advertising?

Thirdly, a step onto other people’s turf: TV. Project Kangaroo’s skipped off into oblivion, and there’s still a big gap in the market for non-PSB online TV. Some services are on the cusp of getting it right – we have BT Vision and it’s great, if a little expensive. Surely the ad-funded model is the way forward?

The best thing about these ways forward, in my opinion, is that they could bring in much more money than just streaming music. There’s a lot of scepticism that an advert every 20mins will be enough to pay the conservative record companies what they want. Each of these three ideas depend on the support of industries who are likely to be much more open to ‘free’ than the music industry has been.

If I was Spotify, I’d Diversify.

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P.S. This article hints at Spotify trying to get on mobile devices. If I were working for Google, I’d be pushing Android to get exclusivity on it – it’d make the Apple. fall from its tree and splatter all over Cupertino.


March 09, 2009

Beating the recession with a bit of gardening

Successional sowing of cress, grown in the lid of a tupperware boxPerhaps the greatest rip-offs in our supermarkets come from salad. At the moment (admittedly out of season), 100g of rocket salad will cost you anything from £1.20 upwards, and that’s on special offer. Not only is 100g almost always too much for what you need, it’ll normally go off within 48 hours.

Spinach is another rip-off. £1.24 or so for a bag of the stuff.

Well, I reckon you can grow the stuff, nearly all year round, for perhaps just 10% of the price you’d pay in the supermarkets.

First of all, you don’t need a garden to grow your own salad. In fact, all you need is a windowsill, and some seeds. They’re normally about £1.50 for a pack that will last you at least a year, assuming normal usage. But Lidl and Aldi are getting into the budget gardening business at the moment. A pack of seeds there cost between 29p and 49p, and they don’t seem very inferior to me.

Next, you need some eggboxes or used toilet rolls (the cardboard bit, naturally). Cost = nothing.

You will need some kind of compost. I’ve tried stealing topsoil from public places before, and it just doesn’t work. A bag of the stuff can be had for about £1.99.

Micro-rocket! Great in sandwiches.Plant the seeds in the compost, itself shoved in the eggboxes or toilet rolls. Then stick them on a windowsill which gets some sun.

You’re unlikely to get huge great clumps of herbs and salads, but the smaller leaves you’ll get will be full of flavour. Rocket, spinach, chinese cabbage (like lettuce), parsley and of course that childhood classic, cress, all seem to be winners, and I’ve been harvesting them since early February.

The best thing about all of these herbs and salads is the use-by date. There isn’t one. Kept cool enough, they won’t really go off until you pull them out of the soil.

The key to growing your own salad is what the seed packets call ‘successional sowing’. Basically, a few weeks after planting your first batch, plant some more. By the time you’ve eaten your first bits you’ll then have some more ready for you.

So, salad all year round. Very little cost. And an end to 48 hour use-by dates.

And you don’t even need a garden.


February 25, 2009

Less is more?

Amazon don’t seem to have noticed the campaign for less packaging in consumer products. This is the Kindle2 – their electronic reader thing that I’ve already said I don’t see the point of.

The Amazon Kindle2 - image from Engadget

It comes with a monumental amount of packaging, none of which seems to have a practical use, and little of which is likely to be recyclable.

I know this product’s probably saving a few trees that would otherwise have been turned into books, but this is just silly.

[More pictures of the packaging from Engadget]


February 24, 2009

Jack Bauer – A shadow of his former kick–ass self

Oh Jack Bauer, how much I loved you in the old days when you were blonde and had a daughter that kissed you goodnight and a wife who wasn’t, you know, dead.

Jack Bauer. Half the man he used to be.

I started watching Season 1 of ‘24’ again yesterday. The wave of nostalgia emanating from the TV screen was awe-inspiring. Remember the days of Standard Definition? Of dodgy sound editing? Of bad haircuts?

Remember when 24 was actually good?

The experience was depressing. Because it made me remember just how face-crunchingly abysmal 24 has become. We’re now on Season 7, and the show should be on a life-support machine.

Every plot twist is recycled from an earlier season. Even characters Just. Won’t. DIE. and keep making miraculous returns, presumably to cut down on the need for casting directors.

But worst of all, the show just doesn’t know where it’s going, what it’s doing or what it’s about.

Villains come and go faster than Jack can say ‘sonofabitch’. Their dastardly plan changes from one minute to the next. Civilians die in their hundreds and the fictional CNN seems to forget about it ten minutes later. And Jack has to defeat his arch enemy Every Fricking Hour just to keep the audience happy.

Well I’m not an American simpleton with a thirst for blood and a desire for Jack to win every round.

There is literally a scene in the first episode of that first season when a character tells Jack exactly what will happen for the whole season. Terrorists will try and kill a Presidential Candidate. That’s it.

Now, the writers would be hard pressed to sustain an idea that simple for ten minutes, let alone 24 hours.

In Season 1, Jack had a team. Yes, two of them were moles, but he had relationships with people. Now he is, to quote Judi Dench’s M, a “blunt instrument”.

24 was revolutionary, and not just because of the way it was told in real-time. It led to hundreds of drama serials which rejected the traditional one-episode, one-story format of CSI, ER and Law & Order. Lost and Prison Break were just two of the more successful attempts to tell one story across six months of television.

And it was also the show that gave us hacksaw decapitations.

24’s not just a lurking shadow of its former self.

It’s as blunt as a spoon.


February 23, 2009

A prediction

I’m kicking myself a little for not blogging my predictions for last night’s Oscars. Or the Baftas before that.

Because I got it dead right. Not only did I know Slumdog would win best film – I blogged it so on January 16th – but last night I also decided (in my head) the film would win eight awards.

Which it did.

So here’s another prediction, one that I’m not so keen to make.

On January 31st I suggested to a friend that Man United had peaked too early in the season and would suffer a big dip in form before the prizes are given out in the early summer. I was heartily laughed at. Well, I think the dip starts tomorrow against Inter Milan.

I hope I’m only good at predicting film award ceremonies.


February 12, 2009

How 12500 new British jobs is actually just 500.

Much of the media seemed to fall for the Department for Transport’s PR this morning.

‘Super express’ trains contract gives boost to British jobs said the Guardian.

The Daily Mail said: Government buys British for intercity train fleet

The Telegraph seemed to fall hook, line and sinker: Next generation of Intercity trains to be built in Britain they said.

The only trouble is, none of those headlines appear to be entirely accurate.

They all stemmed from the DfT’s confident announcement that ‘This will create or safeguard some 12,500 manufacturing jobs in these regions [of the UK].’

But as the day’s gone on, that number’s begun to look like a big ball of spin.

The 12,500 appears to include maintenance workers, who could hardly have found their jobs offshored! “Safeguarding”, here, seems like an exaggeration.

Hitachi, part of the winning consortium, issued a UK press release that goes along with the DfT’s version of events. But they also issued a global press release, which has a different version.

Rather than 12,500 manufacturing jobs, as stated by the DfT, Hitachi promise their shareholders the deal will “secure up to 12,500 direct and indirect jobs in the local supply and services industry and local supporting communities.” It doesn’t say create, and doesn’t say manufacturing. “Local supporting communities” could mean Joyce who works in the nearby corner shop.

What’s more, it appears the trains will be designed and, largely, constructed in Japan. Only the final assembly and some basic manufacturing will be done in Britain.

Transport Briefing says just 500 manufacturing jobs will be created here in Britain. I’ll repeat that again: Five Hundred.

It appears that of the Department for Transport’s headline figure, just 2.5% are new jobs.

Why does all of this matter? Well, there was another bid for the £7.5bn tender from Bombardier, who are based in Derby and would have designed and constructed the trains in Britain.

I’m not a protectionist, but the spin coming out of the DfT today has been particularly effective, and particularly deceitful. Slowly the media’s realising they’ve been had.

Edit: The BBC just beat me to it on the spin story.


February 11, 2009

And right on cue…

...Twitter breaks down.

Let’s hope some of that $20m investment they’ve just had is used to buy some hardware.


February 09, 2009

What's wrong with a book?

I don’t get the Amazon Kindle.

Someone basically saw the iPod and thought “Yeah, we’ll do that but with books”.

And that was probably as much thought as went into it.

The device – and it’s newly announced successor the Kindle2 – is jaw-droppingly expensive. $359, or £240. For something that replicates, albeit badly, the idea of a book.

Don’t forget that unless you’re going to commit to a life of nothing-but-Dickens, you’ll still have to pay another £5 for every book you want to read on it. And that’s before we get to the device’s USP, newspapers and blogs. They also cost money to read (up to £7 a month), even though they’re available online completely free.

Some of the technology is very clever – the so-called ‘e-ink’ is impressive and it does look more like reading a book than your typical computer screen. And yes, you can store billions of words all on one little chip.

But then some of it is awful. It’s got a wholly unnecessary keyboard. It has an operating system that takes up more than 600Mb (for a book!). And it tries really hard to make you hate it by banning RSS feeds.

The Kindle completely kills the idea of what a book is all about. Books can be shared, given pride of place on a bookshelf, passed down to future generations, and loved.

The iPod made music portable. The Kindle is just making books look like even better value.


February 07, 2009

Today's players are defecating on cricket's history

First it was the pedalo.

Then it was the awful Stanford Cup.

Then Pietersen/Moores, soon to be made into a film starring Michael Sheen.

Now it’s the Indian Premier League.

English cricket’s gone bad.

If you didn’t see this week’s auction of players, have a look. It makes the money-grabbing antics of football look perfectly reasonable. There’s something quite wrong about players being fought over by rich benefactors in the lovechild of a Christie’s selling room and a press conference.

And as for the suggestion that players should somehow share the cash with their poor colleagues back in Blighty? Pffff… Ha…! No chance. These selfish players and their WAGS need the money for more holidays. Although, of course, cricket is just one long holiday already. When did the England team last play a league match in England?

Football gets criticised for being ostentatious, overblown and ruined by commercialism. But at least it started in the boardroom.

Cricket’s new obsession with money is being driven almost solely by the players.


January 28, 2009

Obama copying Brown's economic plan?

Writing about web page http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/27/AR2009012700457.html

This article in the Washington Post (signup required) might provide some rare good news for Gordon Brown.

The U.S. Treasury is planning to help America’s banks in much the same way as Gordon Brown has in the UK.

On the table are several approaches, which officials have begun to experiment with on a smaller scale. One would give the firms a federal guarantee protecting them against losses on assets that are backed by failing mortgages and other troubled loans. Another would set up new government institutions to buy these toxic assets. A third would inject more money into financial firms in exchange for ownership stakes, perhaps ending with nationalization in all but name.

Pretty much entirely the British plan then, and the piece also goes on to say how the whole project will rely on ‘trial and error’ and ‘a combination of initiatives’.

For the ‘Saviour of the World’ (© All Media Outlets) to be considering exactly what Gordon Brown has been often criticised for will surely give the PM something to smile about.

He might be under fire for having caused the problem, but if Obama’s economic team is in complete agreement about how to fix it, Gordon Brown might just come out of this with his head held high.

Either that or the UK and US are both doomed.


October 01, 2006

Day 2 – falling at creative hurdles

I wake up to my alarm: Radio4. Eyes still closed and I’m already breaking the rules. Later sleepily climbing into the shower to the tune of Radio1 is cheeky too – my shower radio is fiddly to tune to anything, so I just leave it on Radio1, even when I don’t particularly like what’s on. Excuses Excuses. Ah I’m such a maverick (!)

As well as changing my newspaper reading habits for a month, I’m meant to change my radio listening habits too. My first thought was a stubborn, “but I DO change my radio listening habits, and on a daily basis at that.” Read: I listen to the same selection of stations in the same situations every day.

At some point during the morning, I slink off to the newsagents for the weekend edition of The Guardian…as usual. What can I say; I’m a sucker for the supplements.

So far so unadventurous. But I’m positively champing at the bit to say “yes” to something I want to say “no” to. Honest! Sadly noone asks me anything that I can even say “alright then” to, all day.

But then I take a closer look at my invite to a posh awards ceremony next week – I’ve been pondering about whether to RSVP, because I don’t appear to have a plus one and I’m terrified of flying solo in any social situation. Let alone one taking place at a glitzy Mayfair hotel.

I reluctantly tick the “I will attend” box and send it off in its smart, high quality envelope. Too late to change my mind now! Now to be creative with my wardrobe to produce a suitably black-tie outfit, what with a lack of funds to buy anything new nor any time to go home to get my posh frock.

I’ve sort of worked out something smart to wear, but aside from the fact that I don’t know if the skirt will still fit my bigger-than-when-I-bought-it bum, maybe I should do something I haven’t done for about 3 years – borrow some clothes off someone else. I don’t know if I know anyone near enough the same size as me, but it’s a whole new, previously unconsidered possiblity for the moment.

Then I spend some of the rest of the day wandering around (the same old part of) town with my (best, most familiar) friend and also pondering how to tackle my other creative challenges.

As a token gesture, I start blogging again (let’s see if it lasts) and change the look of it to one I wouldn’t normally choose (all green – ick).

More about my other creative challenges tomorrow, but in the meanwhile, even having the tasks put before you brings about a new awareness. The kind of things that you’re conscious of, but you instead choose ignorant bliss. Some examples: subconscious habit-forming; fear of the blurry outer edges of your social comfort zone; knowing your limits…and setting them in concrete, never to be disturbed.


No mean feet

They’re on holiday.

Meanwhile, I’m attempting a mean feat.

I’m meant to be all creatively open (that’s open to creativity, to you) for the next month.

I accepted The Challenge willingly and only moments later was trying to wriggle my way out of it. This strikes me as a simple and uncreative process – all I have to do is not do it. Unless I’m going to behave myself and think in an unusual manner…maybe I could padlock all my creative tasks together and run away? No?? Oh.

But seriously, there’s something terrifying about breaking out of routines that you didn’t even count as mundane daily rituals…

Day 1

Case in point: I sit in Pret before work, reading my book (Atonement at the moment) and drinking tea. I ALWAYS do this at some point towards the end of the week, so can’t legitimately count it as taking a different route to work. Yes it’s a different route to the one I usually take, but it’s a weekly habit.

Bugger.

I’m sitting in the same seat I always sit in, in the same Pret I always sit in, doing the same thing (drinking tea and reading). I haven’t made any groundbreaking progress, but then it is only 8.30 in the morning on day 1.

Then 5 minutes later I suddenly realise that I’ve occasionally been peering out the corner of my eye at the newspaper rack, lying in wait for The Guardian. Perhaps my chosen seat is subconsciously my favourite because they get delivered on to that counter every morning?

This is shocking paper-stalking behaviour, but is rewarded when the day’s papers get dumped to the left of my cup of tea and before I even know what I’m doing, I’ve got my nose in the G2 and have pinned Films&Music under my cup of tea, just in case any paper thief passes by.

More reading and people-watching later, I take my usual route from Pret to work, where I make tea and do usual morning things.

Noone asks me anything I want to say no to until the end of the day…when I say no. But I said no to something I felt I ought to say yes to, which is far more unlike me – does it count?

Surely I can just start on the creative trail tomorrow…


August 14, 2006

what

dang, people are still blogging on here. what to tell? have a video ipod now, have lost soul to daily downloads of zefrank's the show and repeated destruction of others' cd collections, can't even half fill the shiny little bugger. will stuff it – possibly – within the year.

hoping for the return of the moment.

working in a bookshop. enjoying the fleeting feeling of four figures in the bank. getting an ISA and all grown up, it seems.

getting free.

bye, warwick. see you occasionally at parties where we will get drunk and gush.


June 21, 2006

it's almost that time

i feel like my degree–time has just slipped away. i'm glad to see it go, and there are few precious things i'll miss.

tomorrow is results.

while i ponder that, ponder this. i'm tempted, if only to give something back to a man who provided a lot of my saturday morning entertainment when i was younger. also i like stupid t–shirts.

josie long, a lovely stand–up, did a whole routine about small things that are good. cynics breed cynics. like josie says, what are they waiting for, a prize? to get to heaven and have god give them a trophy for Not Enjoying Anything? fuck cynics, they can kiss my hole (asshole).

it is time for joy and small things that are good.


June 18, 2006

So many days go by…

And my blog doesn't even get a look in.

I've been suffering from writer's block somewhat. Not just blog wise, but just generally. Then I think of ideas…but somehow can't bring myself to write them. I think I've got The Fear of some sort. As if I'm convinced that I can't write particularly well anymore, but I'm damned if I'm going to just do it and find out.

I think part of it is due to the feeling of being in limbo. No matter what you're doing (out and about, or having a nap just for the sake of it), the gap between jobs conjures a feeling of being suspended in time. Weeks go slowly, somehow simultaneously flashing by and all of a sudden you haven't had a 'proper' job for 3 months.

How did that happen?

I've written another review for BBC music, this time of Keane - Under The Iron Sea but it reads badly, as sub–editing removed both the flow and the intention of the thing. As proven by the third public comment.

So does this mean that it's a good or a bad CD? I wish reviewers would just give it to us straight rather than generate this pretentious waffle!

Well said, Harri! It was much clearer before the subbing. But that's the way the editing hierarchy works. There has to be a process, so you can't really knock it's existence.

On the jobs front: I worked at Sugar rivals, Bliss, for two weeks while their editorial assistant was on hols, and have had two interviews. I've got another one coming up early next week, but there's no writing whatsoever.

One of them would've provided a job…but they weren't allowed to hire, and haven't had the verdict on the second one yet. Not hopeful though, as it was a BBC interview and this knowledge apparently flattened my brain. I didn't talk rubbish, but I certainly didn't sell myself well enough, or show how much useful prep I'd done.

I keep thinking of opinion based things to write on here…but keep getting struck by The Fear. I'll make more of an effort next week and see how I get on.

Until then pop–pickers…or something.


June 07, 2006

we're having a MASSIVE PARTY

in order to celebrate the end of our degrees and alan/118's birthday and the launch of the frankly remarkable 118TAXI service, come to kelsey's on the 22nd and party down with us. there will be mirth.

118 TAXI Launch & Garrec double birthday
Tagline:
House of Mirth after–party
Host:
Flynn, Garrec, Wallace
Type:
Party – Night of Mayhem

Time and Place

Start Time:
Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 8:00pm
End Time:
Friday, June 23, 2006 at 4:00am
Venue:
Kelseys, then house party
Street:
27 Clapham Terrace
City:
Leamington Spa, England


May 30, 2006

Attention Finalists

I've been asked to get together a group of finalists to go on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire on Friday morning to talk about graduating (or not).

You get free breakfast and the chance to moan about the action short of a strike to a large audience of radio listeners. The flipside is you'll need to be in Coventry by 8.45am – which for Leam–dwellers like myself means being at Leam station shortly after 8am.

Drop me an email if you're interested!


May 29, 2006

RaW's latest sensation

Last week's edition was the biggest show on RaW all week, nay all term, and this week James and Adam's Adventures in Radiophonic Wonderland will be even better…

– Our search for Ken Ilworth turns ugly

– An interview with Britain's least predictable new band, Guillemots

– A debut of Homeless Al's Campus Campout

– More Pester Power and Cola Shaker

– Liz from Ofcom

– Voiceover Man

– And something intriguing involving the Da Vinci Code and Kat Stark

Plus much more, live on RaW from 5–7pm (you can listen on 1251am or anywhere with a computer at radio.warwick.ac.uk). And if you miss it or want to catch up on last week's podcast sensation on you PC or mp3 player head over to James and Adam's After Show Pod Party


May 23, 2006

I woz ere

The new Sugar site is up. It makes me proud to know that I helped plan it in the ideas stage. Then the Deputy Ed worked her arse off to make it all actually happen.

The Celeb Snogathon game is addictive. Go and play! Hilariously Pete Doherty is the minger. For all you ladies out there, it's also quite fun trying out different clothes on the model. And, of course, making your own Woman style cover (it's all in the coverlines don'tcha know).

Go and play! I won't tell anyone…


May 22, 2006

Recent reviews

I've done three reviews recently which I forgot to link to, and unlike thisisfakediy, these ones are still there. Yay!

There's Pixar

From Toy Story to Bug's Life, Monsters Inc, The Incredibles and the soon–to–be released Cars, a new exhibition lays bare each small, painstaking step involved in creating the animation company's uncannily lifelike characters.

Then a combined review of Carling Live 24 and Camden Crawl

One dodgy sandwich and two crème eggs later, we've split ranks: two of us to board a Thames boat housing a dishy C4 presenter and Boy Kill Boy, and two of us to infiltrate the Islington Academy crowd for Dirty Pretty Things.

And, the most recent, of The Raconteurs' new album, Broken Boy Soliders

Standing quite apart from the strict minimalism associated with The White Stripes, this debut is contentedly uninhibited.