Posts from 27th November 2003

Nov 03

KATE RYAN – “Libertine”

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KATE RYAN – “Libertine”

Sometimes the English Channel seems wider than ever. In France a libertine seems to mean “smouldering pop princess with a great line in trancey synth riffs”. In England it means “junkie with a Smiths album”. Actually I like The Libertines. Honestly. But not as much as I like this, which is the kind of thing Kylie should be making (again) (My liking for “Slow” I can see now was based on thinking it quite daring of them to put out the moody third single first until I got that godawful album and realised that “Slow” is the fast one. Anyway if you like Europop you will like “Libertine”, go and download it.)

Particle Physics Explained

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Particle Physics Explained – this also talks about infinity!!

The best contender at the moment is String Theory- which has as the basic unit of physical reality a string vibrating in 9 dimensions.

As you know, the length of any piece of string is always infinite

Aaaaaaaaah. *taps nose* Say No More.

My interest in old adventure fiction

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My interest in old adventure fiction continues to grow with a rediscovery of a pile of John Buchan books I’d been given for Christmas years ago and turned my nose up at. I thought I’d kick off with The Thirty-Nine Steps, but I couldn’t find that one so I nipped into Borders and bought a copy, in an omnibus volume with the much less famous The Power House. The Highlands bits of 39 Steps are a tour de force of course, but in many ways it’s The Power House that’s the more intriguing book.

It hinges formally on an amusing conceit – a thriller whose scope takes in Russia and Central Asia but whose action never leaves Britain and indeed barely strays from the hero’s London flat and dining club. Edward Leithen (later to star in other Buchan novels which I’ve not read) is a delightfully passive hero, wandering half by accident through a particularly nebulous plot. The shadowy and elusive nature of The Power House’s threat is one part of what makes it so interesting – it’s possible until quite near the novel’s climax to believe Leithen is imagining the existence of a conspiracy, and it’s never clear exactly what is being conspired and to what end. The conspiracy, indeed, may be entirely a one-man job, the whim of a particularly philosophical villain. This villain is really the book’s one unforgettable creation, more sinister than fifty German spies, and he seems to have stepped out of a later fictional era entirely, one where evil is all the more pervasive for being almost motiveless. It helps that Buchan can pull of the rare trick of writing high intelligence effectively. Though all naturally ends well, it’s hard not to close the book without a feeling that much remains unresolved.

Like Momus?

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Like Momus? (Shhh NYLPM readers we don’t want you spilling your hot lemon drink in mirth). This pretty little music correlator will dance about and show you what else you might like in a shaking web of connections. Barry White lurks at the far reaches of the map, whereas closest is the All Seeing I. Remember them?? Barely! Marvellous.

Air are cloest to Add N to X for some reason. But they’re NOT like Slowdive!

NOW GO AND BREAK IT’S MIND! As far as pooters have minds. I like to think they do. Don’t you? Yes. HEY I DID NOT TYPE THAT ectect.

More on La Porchetta,

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More on La Porchetta, having dragged more hardy souls to the new one on Exmouth Market a couple of weeks ago. These epicureans are hard to please, so it was nice to see that the food went down pretty well, as did the vase of wine. One of the party complained her absolutely huge chunk of meat was slightly over herbed, but considering that only one of us finished the meal it was pretty fine nosh for the price.

By lord do they need to sort out the decor. I don’t think I have ever been in a restaurant quite so bright and overlit. It was like eating in the Nastro Azzuro advert, thankfully without anyone pouring paint on your head. The huge upended mushrooms which are the light fittings are really rather nice, but having them turned on full is not the best way to display their design. Coupled with the high ceilings which amplify the eating clatter, the whole affair ends up feeling a bit like a works canteen. Maybe the idea is to turnover more customers, or eat into a not dissimilar decored Pizza Express vibe. But this felt all wrong, and is my least favourite of the chain. The Queens’ Square one is only ten minutes walk away.