Posts from 8th June 2004

8
Jun 04

Sick Transit – Glorious Tuesday

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 262 views

Sick Transit – Glorious Tuesday
I suppose we really should mention this today – if only to make up for the sight of Brian May on our TVs again. So here’s some history in a link to the Armagh Observatory’s Transit of Venus Exhibition. Nice stuff on Cook’s Tahiti voyage and Charles Mason’s notebook.

Top Five things in Science – Ever

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Top Five things in Science – Ever
“The Comedy Research Project aims to prove the hypothesis that science can be funny.”
A little late, as it’s a show tonight at PBS fave* The DANA Centre, but it’s on the 15th and 22nd too.

* fave, but still not made it to any event yet. maybe next week. no promises like

LARGEST PRIME NUMBER DISCOVERED

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LARGEST PRIME NUMBER DISCOVERED

Oh, BBC website, how you love your splashy headlines. As any fule no (even those of us who lack a concept of infinity) that there is no largest prime number. But what has been found is the largest Mersenne Prime SO FAR.

What is much more interesting in the story is the name of the project looking for them. The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search. So therefore GIMPS for short. Ah, how we laughed.

ROY ORBISON – “Only The Lonely”

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#108, 22nd October 1960

A to-and-fro between the depthlessly woeful Orbison and his soothing backing singers, “Only The Lonely” is almost scotched by the fashionable pizzicatos of the string arrangement, which taunt Roy while everything else in the song hugs him. Thankfully they don’t get too much eartime, and Orbison’s progress towards a kind of salvation (“Maybe another romance? It’s the chance you have to take… if you’re lonely.”) continues. Just as well since by that time you’re rooting for the big softy.

Japanese Story is the wittiest and most original romantic comedy I have seen in an absolute age.

Do You SeePost a comment • 1,854 views

Japanese Story is the wittiest and most original romantic comedy I have seen in an absolute age. Not only does its opposites attract storyline actually work for the first time in years, but coupled with the beautiful background that is the Australian outback strengthens the happiness which is eventually shown by the main couple. Toni Collette anchors the film perfectly, her no-nonsense geologist obviously annoyed at chaparoning her Japanese client. The little reminders that the outback is a dangerous place contrast nicely with the equally unexpected places you find love this is the film to see this summer for romantics.

And trust me, this is the only way a responsible film review should talk about this movie for at least the next two months.

house makeover progs

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 508 views

house makeover progs seem caught between the conformist-aspirational (= how much can i calculatedly add on before selling it), and a my-dear-such-plebs fey aestheticism which is a lot past its sell-by (= when they put oscar in jug)

i haven’t been to the archigram show at the design museum yet, but sorting through at the promo jpegs at work made me think that there’s actually a lot of clever pretext use could be made of this whole sector of television*

my high-concept pitch = combines CHANGING ROOMS and ROBOT WARS, to build yr own Tracy Island out of the junk ppl leave on street corners and in skips!!

*(i’m not much of a fan of flog it! etc BUT watch any of those antiques shows for a while and you will glean intriguing cultural snippets, as experts clash w.amateur collectors…)

Traffic generation stunts

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Traffic generation stunts
Eminem moon mooning mooned arse trouser

The publog hardkore went on a little trawl of estate pubs off the New Kent Road last Friday

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 239 views

The publog hardkore went on a little trawl of estate pubs off the New Kent Road last Friday, partially to prove our hardness but mainly to prove that you didn’t need to be hard to go to pubs off the New Kent Road. On this final point we were proved thoroughly correct. The pubs may have looked a bit stark from the outside, some of them were a wee bit stark on the inside truth be told – but they were all very friendly.

One thing is clear though, none of them were loved by brewery or owners enough to have had more than perfunctory refurbishments. It is of course impossible to tell the age of a pubs interior, especially as the heritage interior industry cranks out “old pubs” by the minute (Hello Nicholson’s pubs). But most of these pubs were in building no older than the forties and the interiors may well have remained much the same since.

Take the Beehive, just off the bit where the New Kent Road turns into a swooping flyover. We got there about half ten and grooved to the seemingly unloved DJ*. We got chatting to the bloke next to us who seemed to continue a good natured war against the barstaff who never served him his bacardi and coke when he wanted it (how hard can a pub be when a regular can drink B&C?) A later entry will certainly discuss the unheard of individual urinal flushes and drain cages in the pub, but the publog eyes drift first behind the bar. Pride of place, by the tapes and old tape player is a mirror. But not any mirror. A mirror of George and Andy, one tipping a hat the other winking in the etched red and black. It was a Wham! mirror.

We are not in irony country here. There is no reason to have a mirror of Wham! behind your bar unless someone who works there likes Wham!. Or at least liked them twenty years ago and it has not moved since. The Wham! mirror was one of the many wonders we saw last Friday (the one man private party in the Hand In Hand, the archeology of stereo-systems both spring to mind).

And Fancyapint say there is only ONE pub in the proximity of Elephant and Castle Tube. And that pub is The George – in Borough. To shame FAP. We offer ourselves up as estate pub correspondents forthwith.

*I grooved. I am not sure if Tim would appreciate having the grooving appellation attached to him.

Kellner with tips on finding a pub

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 156 views

Kellner with tips on finding a pub to watch England play (from The Guardian).

Hard to disagree with any of the points but the sneery / false-cheery tone makes me suspect that Kellner is exactly the sort of fellow I’d leave my hard-won seating to avoid. He’s right that if you can find a decent, uncrowded boozer you have got yourself a result before the game’s kicked off. Guaranteeing decent and quiet is quite another matter.

The great unspoken is that, for this tournament at least, there’s rarely a need to go to the pub to watch the game: only occasionally will cruel scheduling and dwindling annual leave conspire to force you to watch somewhere near work.

So, home or pub? It can be a tight decision: the sweaty sociability of the pub against the comfort of the home; the expense of pub boozing against the (relative) economy of kicking back with a few cheap cans from the off-licence; the potential for boozer bellicosity or lonely domestic anti-climax. Sometimes, fifty people bellowing in triumph at a telly is the last thing in the world you want. Sometimes it’s perfect, but increasingly I feel such perfection dwells only in the knockout stages. The joy of a tournament is letting the excitement build, after all.

parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus

TMFDPost a comment • 168 views

parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus

bah this tale is all tease and deferred delivery (note however how mountainspeak has shifted from the lofty excelsior sublime of mallory’s time – where climbers were trying to waft themselves above the corporeal* – to presentday grisly countersublime, xtreme-CSI bodycount, prurient speculation, the rubbish of future forensic discussion strewn all over the upper slopes)

*(literally in the case of a 30s climber called wilson, who fasted to death in his tent at about this height, intending to summit by out-of-body experience) (of course possibly he succeeded, but by alpine club rules this doesn’t count)