Posts from 13th February 2004

Feb 04

Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 1,859 views

Teaching The Indie Kids To Dance Again is a new MP3 blog. A noble aim I’m sure – I recommend “Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey” by Modern Romance. Anyway it seems to specialise in ‘punk-funk’ so check it out if you like that, or if you just enjoy squandering other people’s bandwidth.

Is greyhound racing a sport?

TMFD1 comment • 1,165 views

Is greyhound racing a sport? Well it is a battle to determine physical perfection, which might be one of the definitions. However do the dogs really know that they ae racing, do they know that their job is to beat the other dogs, and more importantly do they enjoy it. It is a trained response of course, and the dogs probably enjoy it as much as they would enjoy doing anything that garners them praise in the long run (must be difficult to know how to chastize a loser, without unPavlovianing his reaction to the race).

The real reason greyhound racing is a sport is because you can bet on it. Perhaps even more than horse racing, the number of random factors which stack up against the following of the form allows one to feel you can master a system, without it being a foregone conclusion. So its a sport, but you won’t see it in the Olympics. Which is a pity, because along with the meta-olympics and the supalympics, the animapymics is exactly what Sky Sports has been waiting for.

On the train to Victoria

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 296 views

On the train to Victoria in the twilight on Saturday, it was a pleasure as always to see the crumbling shell of Battersea Power Station. It’s beautiful, overgrown and full of debris. My friend Kirsti had been raving about it and how much she loves ruins in general.

The dreadful state of the landmark BPS is so completely of human making that it’s tempting to see the place, so picturesque and prominent, as London’s greatest folly. It seems appropriate that a London folly (an urban sublime) should be on such a grand scale and have the sleek lines of the machine age rather than crumbling Victorian gothic.

It seems they have a masterplan for the power station (I had terrible fear of Duran Duran splinter groups when clicking on that link), a brave new world for the old dear, theatres and flats and so on. Good luck to them. I guess.

Big Ron places the blame…

TMFDPost a comment • 335 views

Big Ron places the blame for Manchester United’s current defensive woes on the gap where Rio Ferdinand once stood. It seems fair enough, but the piece of this article which jumped out at me was Ron outlining his doubts about Wes Brown.

‘He’s not a muck and nettles player’ is a genius, iambic turn of phrase and, although the argument smacks of a ‘he hasn’t paid his dues’ attitude which I’d find tiresome elsewhere, it sums up very nicely the frustration I feel when players seem unwilling to get stuck in.

‘Get stuck in” there I go reverting to footballing clich’. It’s so easy to do, and Atkinson seems very often to sidestep that by inventing new pseudo-clich’s, phrases which (perhaps) originate in the Ron mind but which have the ring of the 1950s training ground. Sometimes I think Ron takes more pleasure in the language surrounding the game than he does in the game itself. Sometimes I hope I’m right.

In the pub last night,

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 329 views

In the pub last night, wistfully looking at the big screen knowing that 24 was on Sky and this could be a method through which I could see it. It did not happen of course. Which made me think about the use of said big screens. Its all sport, sport, sport. Now I like a bit of sport, and it fits nicely in the pub. You don’t have to listen too hard, you can drift in and out of it, but you can get a bit of communal atmosphere going. But what else could they show on these screens?

Usually we get MTV or VH-1. Which is fine, if distracting (though nowhere near as bad as a TV showing MTV and playing its juker at the same time.) When VH-1 did its top 100 videos it was fine for a bit of punditry. But it still lacks imagination. What you need is something that works as communal viewing, but doe s not need to be concentrated on. In the 15 screened Windmill, myself and other publoggers scurried on 9/11 knowing that we would get beaucoup du news. But you rarely get news on these screens.

The vaguely lamented Jailhouse on Holloway Road had a barman who was innovative. Sunday evenings he used to show the new Simpsons double bill between 6-7pm, and give away free doughnuts for the hour. It worked quite well, though it was not idea for concentrating on some of the finer dialogue based gags. Over the road, but a few years later, The Head was easily persuaded to drop its big screen for that evenings Big Brother. BB was perfect in pub TV, and I was always surprised no-one else did it. Indeed apart from this pocket of ground breaking usages on the Holloway Road, there really isn’t any play with what could be done with the TV in pubs. Perhaps 24 would not be ideal, though it seems to tick a fair few boxes in my experience of communal viewing. Perhaps pub Sky only has the channels between 400-500 to play with?

RSS wars

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 311 views

RSS wars
“The alternative–still in search of a name after being known variously as “Atom,” “Echo” and “Pie”–would closely follow RSS technically but have different specifications.”

Last week I switched FT’s syndication feed to Blogger’s own “Atom” format little realising the small part this plays in a bizarre war between Dave Winer (Mister RSS) and the rest of the world’s attempt to make an open standards version of syndication feeds. Dave appears to be convinced that his home brew invention (the RS is for “really simple”) is being complexified so that consultants can line their pockets. So possibly the links on the home page are no longer technically RSS, but I expect the name will stick nonetheless.

Also, also, PIE! PIE! I reckon every PBSer would rather have PIE than ATOM even though ATOM is a proper science word and everything.