Posts from 10th August 2005

Aug 05

Real Reason For Discovery Having To Finally Land

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 326 views

NASA only had so much time to play with. Yes there were problems with the Space Shuttle Discovery, and they had to make sure everything was safe. On the other hand, Commander Eileen Collins had run out of hair relaxant and the rest of the crew were worried that her hair might take over the entire spacecraft.

Helmet hair or WHAT!

Book Version of Mercury Prize Is Like A Mercury Prize – For Books

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 886 views

The Booker Prize Long List.

Includes a book which has not been published yet (by Zadie Smith), a few entries from previous winners and this years token folk act: Marina Lewycka – A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

Marina must be pleased just for the nomination as her previous book A Carers Handbook: What To Do And Who To Turn To did not even bother the Orange Prize.

If you are a betting man, what to go for. McEwan will be a hot favourite but won too recently. Ishiguro’s is pretty rubbish (as I shall explain after I have seen the similarly themed Michael Bay film The Island). It has been a while since a woman has won, so maybe one of the Smith girls (though less likely to be Zadie). And even Lewycka has a good chance, its a good, funny book and the last time the Booker chose funny (Vernon God Little) they seemed to get a massive credibility shot in the arm.

I might even try and read a few of these. If anyone has, let us know with a review as we will clearly be pre-empting the Booker here. And possible having a Brown Wedge Prize for the best promotional literature of the year. From Book Blurbs to Backs Of Jam Jars, we want your nominations.

Iran Removes Nuclear Seals

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 233 views

Says the irradiated mammals were plenty of fun to look at, but if that beach ball of uranium were to bounce over the cage, or one of the seals played the wrong tune on its horn, a disaster might occur.

Actually, they don’t say that at all. This is an interesting political story about who gets nuclear energy in this world. You see the waste from nuclear energy, indeed the fuel for nuclear energy, is dangerous stuff. And we don’t want our enemies to have it. However we might want them to have cheap, non-wasteful fuel (and that means they get to sell us more oil too). Of course you can make molotov cocktails with petrol by they aren’t as dangerous as nuclear weapons.

You can’t go back…

Blog 7Post a comment • 255 views

Or can you? Starting this week was a new series of Roobarb.

The original series was in 1975. Very few programmes have waited 30 years to get a new one. This is not a new idea of course, bringing back a favourite of yesteryear chimes nicely for nostalgia hunting parents and adults as well as kids who, one hopes, can appreciate the simpler world. Any let us be fair, Roobarb’s world was a very simple one. A green dog feuding with a purple cat. And some birds laughing. So perhaps it is just as well there has been little media frenzy. Even Five, the people showing the new series (distinguished by being called Roobarb and Custard Too – putting right the inequality felt by the feline member of this double act) seem not all that interested by this original programming. The Five website just has a page where you can download Roobarb or Custard masks. Beware, page may damage eyes.

Roobarb was cheap TV in the seventies, so lord only known how cheap it would be now to make. But as long as the wobbly animation and Richard Briers stupid accents are in place, who cares? I will watch it about as much as I watched the reruns of Roobarb, which is on average once a week when late for work. I don’t need to relive my childhood, but they were funny cartoons. Dog vs cat like rhubarb and custard: a classic combination.

Like a Cat With A Crippled Mouse

TMFDPost a comment • 362 views

You can tell Australia are toying with us. Cricket-wise that is. I am not saying they let us win the second test, that is not in their nature. Nevertheless the nature of that win has not got them running scared. How can I tell that the wind has not been put up the Australian camp? By how much they have been talking about this being an exciting and competitive tournament.

Just listening to Ricky Ponting saying how this kind of game is good for cricket, or Shane Warne talking about giving excitement to the crowd, you can tell they aren’t worried. The bottom line with Australia (and one hopes England too) is win at all costs. No-one has been playing that way though. Yep, there have been tremendous batting and bowling performances, but there have been some pretty fucking lousy ones too. The games have been won mainly on unforced errors (look how long it took England to finally get Australia out when the tail batted sensibly).

Perhaps too much one day cricket has forced England’s blistering pace, and the odds on us seeing a match go all five days are short. Even at the Oval. But frankly the Aussies are nowhere near the ropes. Unless we can injure them all (and that is not a bad game plan eh Jardine?) this will be a hard battle to win. And expect Australia to change tactics, and interview style if they feel riled. But no moans about the final Harmison wicket, even though it was a bit dubious, means that they aren’t fussed. Which is perhaps what we should worry about the most.


Do You SeePost a comment • 279 views

(1 of a series perhaps? is anyone going up this year, or will this just turn into me moaning about the graun?)

Of course, some of us were doing this sort of thing ten years ago at the fringe luvvie, and just because only 19 people came to see us all week (including my co-conspiritor’s girlfriend three times), doesn’t make it any less important. Unfortunately The Stage’s digital archive isn’t fully up and running yet or you could search the late August 95 issues for our less than complimentary (and thoroughly deserved I must say) review. Good to see that Stan’s Café are still knocking about though, I thought they’d given up years ago.

Lyn Gardner is wrong, pompous and hypocritical, to say the least, about though. It’s as though she’s never seen a performance featuring/directed/produced by someone she knows, never accepted a freebie (i’m sure she pays for all her own tickets) and even opines that “at least readers can be assured that [professional critics] are independant”. My mouth was opening and closing but no sound was coming out when I read this last night. This is gatekeeper/rockism 101 isn’t it? Independant of WHAT exactly? Even if “20 Hilarious Skits About Being a Med Student” gets 5 out of 5 from every “reviewer”, people still aren’t going to see it as clearly it will be wank. I know I’m preaching to the converted here, but really, I thought this sort of attitude died out about the same time the spice girls split up…

Culinary Worries

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 230 views

Last night, whilst making an admittedly somewhat unseasonal tea of bangers and mash I seem, without thinking about it, to have made PERFECT MASH!* I am annoyed about this because I have NO IDEA how I did it and thus am unable to recreate it:

1. The potatoes were saved from a bag in which one had, um, well, liquified really, in the bottom, so they weren’t exactly top of the range or fresh as a daisy.

2. There was no butter in the house, so I ended up using a dribble from the bottom of the olive oil bottle (note to self: GO SHOPPING).

3. The potatoes looked a bit dry when I first drained them, so having added a bit of hot water I put a fair old dollop of milk in.

4. As I was tenderly caring for my sossies in a Nigel Slater-esque style, slowly, gently carressing them with a low heat for that unctuous sticky marmite like covering to drip down my throat (oops, sorry, got a bit too Slateresque there) I was paying exactly 0 attention to the pots, beyond turning them up when the sossies were almost done.

*clearly PERFECT MASH is a highly subjective issue, mine was/is lump-free yet quite stiff, milky without being runny, cumulus-like and, unlike certain mashes doesn’t take c. 3 hours to make (heston did a much more complicated version of this on last night’s show, involving cooking the potatoes twice and all sorts of nonsense)