Posts from 30th October 2003

Oct 03

The Hits

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 453 views

The Hits, one of the only two digital video channels I get, is a year old. It’s my favourite on the rather weak basis that it seems a bit less likely to play horrid rock/indie tunes than the other one. The vids are chosen by viewer voting, and they’ve just announced their ten most requested videos of this first year. I’m not sure what it tells us, but I was surprised at some omissions – no Justin, no Darkness, no Sugababes, no 50 Cent, no Busted, no Junior Senior, no Electric Six. Anyway:
10. Girls Aloud – Sound Of The Underground
9. Eminem – Lose Yourself
8. Beyonce ftr Jay-Z – Crazy In Love
7. Evanescence – Bring Me To Life
6. Room 5 & Oliver Cheatham – Make Luv
5. Blu Cantrell & Sean Paul – Breathe
4. TATU – All The Things She Said
3. Gareth Gates & the Kumars – Spirit In The Sky
2. R Kelly – Ignition (Remix)
1. Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love?

I’m very surprised at the #3 particularly. I don’t think the chart suggests that the quality of the video is a huge factor, since for me only #4 and #8 probably stand out in that regard. I guess these channels are used by most people (including me) more as background, like music radio, than something to sit and give your full attention to.

I’m not sure if I should be posting this on

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 1,395 views

I’m not sure if I should be posting this on Proven By Science or the publog, but since we haven’t had a beer story for a while, let’s put it here. What is this beautiful, albeit eighties fractal-esque, picture of. I’ll tell you, it’s Newcastle Brown Ale under a microscope. Interested to see what other beers look like in the same conditions? Well the good, if possibly bored, people of Florida State University have a website of beers around the world under a microscope.

And if you don’t like beer they do cocktails too

XX/XY is a fine little indie relationship drama.

Do You SeePost a comment • 315 views

XX/XY is a fine little indie relationship drama. No great shakes in a lot of areas: it privileges its female characters over its male character to an amusing degree since he is both likeable and impressively gormless. The very premise of the film though, that an early doors threesome may throw seeds of disarray into your relationship, is not really the line followed through in the film.

The most striking scene in the film though is the transitional sequence between 93 and now (that now might not work so well in fifteen years time). We fade out on a droopy mustachioed Mark Ruffalo as king idiot being arrested by traffic cops – to a much more Gap attired, clean shaven version. Enjoying a coffee, he is identified by a passerby as a director of, well very little fame indeed. Usefully it shoehorns who he is, the moustache was a lot of his original look. However the kid admits to having seen Ruffalo’s film, and thinking it sucked. And asked for his money back. It is a cute scene which means absolutely nothing in the scheme of the film, but plays well to anyone who has sat through a crap film. For all his whinging about the distributors and exhibitors, he shells out the twenty bucks. How much money would I have now if I could do the same, Mr David Mackenzie.


Pumpkin Publog13 comments • 1,866 views

INVALID FOOD: looking for classic vegetarian recipes for the poorly, after my kneejerk suggestion of Chicken Broth had been spurned, I reached for my trusty Mrs Beeton, who is always sensible on such matters. Three quarters of her standbys are also meat-based broths, of course, but I’ll skip these for now. The section starts arcanely: To Make Arrowroot – as it’s “flavourless and insipid”, Mrs B advises you add sugar and sherry. Barley Gruel seemed too spartan even to countenance (despite the suggestion that you add port wine and sugar). What about Nutritious Coffee? This is really just coffee with milk, but “may be made still more nutrious by the addition of an egg well beaten, and put into the coffee cup”. Er, OK. Egg wine: ingredients, 1 egg, 1 tablespoonful and half glass of cold water, 1 glass of sherry, sugar and grated nutmeg to taste,” bearing in mind that “when the egg is not warmed, the mixture will be found easier of digestion , but it is not so pleasant a drink.” Urgently on, casting only a swift glance at Invalid’s Jelly, which requires “12 shanks of mutton”, to Nourishing Lemonade: boiling water, four lemons plus rinds, loaf of sugar, half a pint of sherry, FOUR EGGS!!

I began to wonder if the great housemaker’s technique with the under-the-weather was to threaten them with food so scary that they began say (in tiny frail voices) “You know what, Isabella my dear, I think I’m feeling a little better!” Two recipes remain: Toast-and-Water (ingredients – a slice of bread, one quart of boiling water) and (and here you grasp why Britain once commanded three-quarters of the globe’s land surface) Toast Sandwiches: “put a very thin piece of cold toast between two slices of thin bread-and-butter… ”

Danny talks about the reshowing of the drama section of Look And Read

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 193 views

Danny talks about the reshowing of the drama section of Look And Read on the CBBC channel on appropriately titled Do You See? I am lucky enough to still have the tie-in booklet (ie the bit we were supposed to READ) of The Boy From Space. A shoddy 48 page pamphlet printed with a two colour cover (those exciting, schoolyard bully favourites black and blue). Richard Carpenter, the author, was therefore responsible for the worst nightmares I had as a child, though in this format it is hard to believe my existential night terrors.

My fear was directed towards the villain of the piece, The Thin Grey Man, who drifted around the first five episodes standing in the distance in a flasher mac and looking sinister. However in Chapter Six (Where Is Tom) the Thin Grey Man confronts the Boy From Space (Peep-Peep, called so because he speaks funny) and kindly adult Mr Bunting.

“The thin man pointed the gun at them and they had to walk away from the cars. Then the thin man turned and pointed his gun at Tom’s car. There was a strange humming sound and it slowly melted away. Then he pointed at Mr Bunting’s car and made that melt, too.”

The televisiual presentation of this is not as big budget as the text suggests. Melting was beyong the Schools TV budget, instead we got a red light and the car vanishing. It was around about this point that I came to terms with the idea of not existing. Combined with a thoroughly creapy man in a stranger danger mac, it contributed to the odd sleepless night. That and the creapy old lady I had to take cans to in the Harvest Festival and who moaned at me because she didn’t like sweetcorn.

Anyway, the Boy From Space is pretty rubbish, both as literature and television. Proof of this comes from the climatic twist. Peep-Peep seems to be able to read, albeit by use of a mirror, which finally gives the kids a realisation that they can talk in mirror writing. The justification for this, I shall now repeat verbatim…(Feel free to scoff).

“‘How did they learn to write?’ I aksed
Peep-peep’s father had been showing Mr Bunting something. When Mr Bunting came back to us he was laughing. He held up a big plastic bag.
‘They’ve been on Earth before,’ he said. ‘They must have found this bag with writing on if.’
‘That’s mirror-writing,’ said Dan. ‘We don’t write like that.’
‘No, Dan,’ said Mr Binting. ‘The bag is inside out.’ He turned it the right way round. ‘ You see?’
Now we could read the writing on the bag.
‘Danger, keep away from children.’ There was a lot more writing on the bag.
‘That’s how they leanred to write,’ said Mr Bunting.
He turned the bag inside out again. ‘But they learnt like this, back to front.’
We all laughed. “

Too fucking right we laughed….

Steve is OTM about player’s ignorance of the laws of the game;

TMFDPost a comment • 288 views

Steve is OTM about player’s ignorance of the laws of the game; Lou Macari was interviewed outside Old Trafford last night in connection with Rio Ferdinand being charged and said that some blame must be attached to the FA’s drug testers for not making sure he stayed around for the test. He appears to have no understanding of the rules governing the FAs testing regime. And why should he? Unlike any other punter who spouted total ill-informed garbage, he will sadly be asked back, because as far as sports coverage is concerned, the aim is have controversialists and / or well known figures. The veracity of their statements and their understanding of what they speak about is an irrelevance. This means we vary between the Macari still rubbish, or the bland cliche ridden banalities of ex-players, who subscribe to the omerta which pervades the game.

This basically operates along the lines of – you’re no longer on active service within football, but you still earn you living by way of it and earn a corn occassionally from commenting. The rules of both silence about what went on in your day, about what you know about what’s going on today and the rule that says that you must at all costs steer well clear of topics that might open up debates that challenge the fundamental orthodoxies of the game.

You see it still with commentators saying that someone shouldn’t have been booked / penalised as there was no intent in the tackle; it just went wrong, as opposed to being a cynical attempt to bring down a player. Never mind that intent was removed from the laws of the game in 1993 eh?

PS – Here’s a list of revisions to the laws of the game which includes the one about penalties right near the bottom.