Posts from 4th October 2005

Oct 05

It’s Wipeout But REAL

Do You SeePost a comment • 258 views

Rocket Racing League – this is videogames come to life!!OMG except hold on – what’s this –

“Spectators will be able to follow the races by looking at the exhaust plumes in the sky and on hand-held GPS tracking devices.”

This does not actually sound like much of a thrill for the spectators. :(

The authentic voice of the fan

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 433 views

From the Popular mailbag:

” hey honnnnney lantree you was sexxxxxxy back in the 1960s on those drums i liked you so much years later i went and bought myself a set of drums i still think your sexy i don t care how old you are my name is kato s vault to bad your married and have kids baaaaaaby i just want to kissssssss you mmmmmmmmp honnnnnnnney”

Isn’t That The Problem, Not The Solution

Do You SeePost a comment • 873 views

Morgan Freeman (who has never had a love interest in a film) hosts US benefit show Mississisppi Rising. Now lets not get in the realms of PCGM or anything like that, but surely the name of the show, and the assertation that the “Mississsipi will rise again” underlie the whole problem vis a vis flooding. The river rises, your town is under water. Clever ad copy, or PR own goal. You decide.

(Of particualr note is the photo of Lance Bass calling the hurricane devestating. Like the stroke he appears to be having whilst saying it.)

Will the Real Rubettes Please Stand Up

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 496 views

Maybe I am not of the right age range, or the general indifference of the public towards Sugar Baby Love is actually restricted to me. But is there really THAT MUCH money in going on tour as the Rubettes in this day and age? They’re no Bucks Fizz after all.

A Comedy Of Violence

Do You SeePost a comment • 320 views

A History of Violence is a surprisingly funny film. For a melodramatic, tragic and graphic dissection of Hollywood, America and people relationship with violence. Many of the gags are those uneasy black ones, when you see someone’s head blown off surprisingly. But what Cronenberg has done is create a sleekly entertaining movie that uses everything in its arsenal to entertain, and then slightly unsettle.

And what it has is a revelatory turn by William Hurt. There is so much that makes little sense about his Philly gangster, from his Clement Freud beard to his disingenuous grandstanding: that the character convinces. It convinces because there would be no other role for a character so over the top in here. Viggo Mortensen only really has to do one trick, and that is change accents. Maria Bello is yet again impressive as the heart of the film, mirroring our decisions on which person Mortensen is (stone cold killer, dull family man, both?). But William Hurt is a hoot. And Cronenberg knows that funny is the last thing we expect from the final reel of this film.

A lot of reviews have said that as good as A History of Violence is, it feels a bit sketchy, a nit short, a bit off. This is just a recognition that the film is for all its technical sheen, an unsettling film. It asks questions it and we cannot answer. About society, about cinema – yes – more moreover, about ourselves.

As Great As Potato Soup

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 1,871 views

I wuv potatoes. This is a fact that no publog reader can ignore. My favouirte cookbook is In Praise Of The Potato by Lindsey Bareham, and my second favourite is A Celebration Of Soup by – er – Lindsey Bareham (you find a food writer you like and you stick to ’em). So why have I never made Potato Soup before?

I guess because potatoes, as the silent partner in meat and two veg, are considered to be tasteless stodge. Starchy flavour carriers, not actually zingy food in their own right. Yet I have never believe this. In my beloved Malaysian Chicken Curry & Rice from the Hare & Tortoise the best bit is the potato. The chunks of tattie in Scotch Broth make it. And do I really believe the leek is the main player in Vichyssoise?

So last night I pulled out both books for a plain potato soup. Mainly because I did not have much in the cupboard, but Lindsey did me proud. Potato soup is a wonderful thing, and the plainer the better: the potato, and sundry flavours come out. So sweat a small onion in butter for five minutes, chop up your potatoes (about a pound) and let it sweat for about five minutes. At this stage you may add a few extra flavours. I put a clove of garlic in, but next time my Sri Lankan Curry Powder will make an appearance. Herbs would work well. Potatoes, whilst tasting great by themselves, do enhance other flavours. Then add your stock (hello Marigold bouillon) – about a pint and a half. Simmer for ten minutes, blend and you can eat then if you want. Lindsey suggested an egg yolk/cream liaison to add creaminess and I tossed in some frozen peas and grated some Parmesan in. But tasting fresh from the blender, it was already wonderfully creamy.

Adventures in potato soup may well be the theme for the winter ahead…

Gone Mad

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 232 views

The Campaign against Political Correctness: somebody had to start it, the duty has fallen to one Laura Ridgeley, and we should be glad it’s as rubbish as it is. You know what this is going to look like even before you click on it, and in a way it’s heartening to realise that their respect for tradition extends to having a website straight out of a 1998 GeoCities style manual. My favourite section is the “Best Of British” section in which people share stories of other people being kind and helpful to them: even Ms.Ridgeley admits that this has very little to do with “Political Correctness” and uses this section to rail against the wider idea of bureaucracy. I was expecting maybe a section in which members would swap stories of the fun they’ve had being politically incorrect, but no, and unsurprisingly the complaints section is far greater. Anti-PC campaigners just love a good whinge.

But that’s exactly the point, isn’t it? What are the actual benefits of being ‘politically incorrect’? What good does it do any other human being? It boils down to a whole load of people squawking “Don’t make me think about what I do! Don’t you DARE make me feel bad about myself!” TOUGH SHIT: most ‘PC’ is just simple politeness, the wilder examples mostly boiling down to idiotic second-guessing or plain journalistic fiction.


Proven By SciencePost a comment • 473 views

Ah, now this is more like. Whilst chapter eight does not go out and say it directly, it is clear that a chapter called External Intelligence is buttering us up for the first of our master builders: ALIEUMS. As it is, it is a relatively well balanced chapter on SETI, and the kind of arguments for other life in the Universe (reading ahead, this may well run counter to the bits which say life is remarkably unlikely in future chapters).

Anyway, the thrust of this chapter is that SETI is a noble idea, but in searching for a message they are scanning the wrong bit of the electromagnetic spectrum. Or indeed, looking in the wrong place. After all if we have proven that the moon is almost certainly artificial (did we : oh, well) then surely its existence is a message. Maybe a somewhat cryptic message, but any message where cheese is a major component must be coming from a superior intelligence. Unfortunately in their hectoring “never use just good arguments when bad ones suffice too” way, the chapter proves the moon is a message, and furthermore the kind of message it is – having been left 4.6 million years ago for us. Surely the writing is under all the space dust:

1: The moon is designed to be meaningful only to intelligent creatures living on the Earth surface
2: It is designed to be noticed at this particular point in time (give or take a million years) because the moon only behaves in the way it does at this time
3: It appears to be addressed to a species with ten fingers because the ratio relationship of that between the Moon and the Sun is such a round number when expressed in base ten.

(One of these statements is not like the other, one of these statements is out on its own. And this is arguing a lot for a ratio of 400 which would be much more impressive if we used base 20.)

You just sense craziness around the corner.