Posts from 5th October 2005

Oct 05

And the winner is …

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 1,166 views

2005 Nobel Prize in Physics
2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

I know vitually nothing about organic chemistry, but their work sounds incredibly significant.

I won’t speculate on the politics of Glauber’s physics prize (i.e. why he got recognized instead of other contributors to the quantum theory of light, or why they didn’t award the Prize to three theorists instead of a theorist and two experimentalists) but the work of all three is outstanding, to be sure. I saw a talk by Haensch about a year ago and it was mind-blowing stuff — the most precise measurements ever made. He also talked about his *other* very famous field of expertise — building BEC’s (Bose-Einstein Condensates, for which the Nobel Prize was awarded in 2001) on tiny two-dimensional chips!


The Brown WedgePost a comment • 265 views

RAGS by Mick Lewis, featuring the Third Doctor (BARELY), Jo Grant (when will I learn my lesson?) and the Brigadier…

‘Join the Unwashed… Join the Unforgiving. Join the Ragged, for we are the way’.

PUNK ROCK in entirely NOT being rewritten shockah!! Tony Parsons you may sleep contented in your little bed tonight, a book which started me off with such high hopes has completely failed to reach it’s target. How can a Who book which starts off on the ludicrous premise of thanking the Damned and the Anti-Nowhere League in it’s acknowledgement be ANYTHING ELSE apart from a New Rule of the Ye Old Punxx0r? The old order is swept aside!! Welcome to a brave new world where The Clash are revealed to be Sontarans!! I mean, the fact that the Dammed and the Anti-Nowhere League are as far from my personal definition of punk rock as to be, well, scabrous lepers crawling over the mysterious faces of Easter Island aside, cor!! Got to be ripping stuff, innit?

BOLLOCKS. This book is about as punk rock as the tramps who congregate on the council’s freshly-paced street benches at 09.01 in the morning with their freshly nicked cans of Luny Super already half-consumed. (Actually hem hem). A band of ‘mummers’, which I gather is some 17th century pish, traverse the environs of the South West playing violent and hate-filled gigs that end up in massacres. No-one seems to want to acknowledge the events, and a convoy grows, following the band from horror-filled gig to horror-filled gig. We’ve all attended gigs where we’ve felt like murdering, haven’t we? The farthest I’ve usually got is flinging a manky slice of lemon at ‘pastoral’ milksops The Essex Green once at the Spitz. The book then concentrates on the band’s transportation, a mysterious… cattle truck. Poo ur yes the mystery is STAGGERING don’t you think?

But omg!! What is this?? Who is this person who joined the convoy? A BLONDE lady you say? Who seems a bit posher than the rest of them? Not quite a grubby unwashed punk? Oh, it’s YOU, Jo. How unspeakably tedious. Jo gets carried away with the band’s hate-filled ways, rejects the Doctor and starts smoking joints. Oh, and what of the Doctor? He’s barely mentioned. A few paragraphs of wanking about with the Doctor being stuck in the dimensionally transdescent cattle truck (oh, but of course…) with the poor old white-haired be-caped old codger being menaced by his own Ego/Id, until er… he walks out. Assisted by the Time Lords, we’re meant to think. COP OUT.

Oh, also? If you have to list the Brig as a “companion”, you might as well just admit it. Jo Grant is NOT up to the task of being the only companion of the Doctor. What tasks Jo is exactly capable of is another good question but one for me to address on some kind of freaking mental Doctor Who community on the interweb. Mick Lewis (aka THE ENEMY from now on) is clearly totally gay for Mike Yates and in his spare time no doubt spends an awful lot of time writing Yates/Brigadier mpreg slash on the interweb. In a nice change from the Doctor casually saving the day, I grudgingly grant, it’s jolly nice to see Mike playing a part but it’s still not enough to make up for the WASTE OF MY LIFE that was my reading of this BLOODY BOOK. One of the worst Who books I’ve read – avoid like the UK Subs reunion tour.

I therefore JUDGE THAT this book gets NOTHING OUT OF TEN (nothing like the nihilistic nothingness at the heart of punk rock etc etc YEAH YEAH WHATEVER).

Elephants in Holloway

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 281 views

Thanks to the ease of finding Indie Chicken, it had been a while since I darkened the doors of a proper kebab shop. Bored with endless variations on spicy wings and with an anniversary to observe, we loaded up on Litovel at the Swimmer before popping round the corner to the bright and inviting Crystal Kebabs on Holloway Road. Everything was present and correct: lamb and chicken elephant legs revolving hypnotically, air thick with the promise of meat wrapped in carbs and lots of blokes frantically slicing, grilling, saucing and wrapping behind the counter to feed a hungry post-pub crowd.

I ordered a large lamb doner which came wrapped in a flatbread rather than a pitta. This made for a nicer kebab but presented a new eating challenge: rather than the usual overstuffed pitta balancing act, this version felt slightly too unstable to eat on the move. Instead, we sat down in a civilised manner, unwrapped and attacked them with forks. The meat was excellent, being actual recognisable lamb rather than the mystery substance that constitutes the usual doner. The sauce complemented the filling without being too overpowering and the bread proved a worthy substitute for the pitta, although not quite adequate to soak up the alarming amount of grease.

Lovely stuff then and a welcome change from [insert American state] Fried Chicken. Sadly, consuming the thing in its entirety in the shop robbed me of the Half Eaten Kebab on the Kitchen Worktop in the Morning experience that’s part of the charm of post-pub suppers.

Bastard Bee

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 377 views

Slightly more threatening than beedogs, is Bastard Bee. Unfortunately the exhbition has now finished.

(Link via Sinkah via the charmingly named Artshole website)

Day 48: Pacific State

I Hate Music1 comment • 995 views

Turns out a Mexican Divorce was easier than I expected. A quick trip to the smartest looking man in the Town Hall, an incoherent babble where I pointed at the ring and slapped Crispian around the face, and then all night drinking Tequila in the local bar until the sun came up as the seemed to do it.

“You could post Tequila Sunrise as today’s song,” Crispian said, clearly looking for a whole day in bed to recover from his injuries.
“Whilst I agree that The Eagles were a stain on humanity, I fear we are lagging somewhat behind and to spend a third day in the retrograde step of Mexico when two thirds of the world remains to be traversed would be a serious error. Anyway, I did it last year as part of the Round Of Rubbish.”
“Well I just thought a good days sleep would help after a long night on the tequila.”
“I am fine,” I said striding out on to the beach. “And indeed I should get going now.”

Now a night on tequila is not conducive to rational though which is why a befuddled me found myself alone, out at sea, five hours later on an inflatable mattress. Perhaps a little bit of kip would have helped, and then we would have got on a boat or a plane. Because being alone, with nothing in sight, on a green frog shaped lilo in the middle of the Pacific was a rum cove indeed.

808 STATE: Pacific State

Is 808 State’s Pacific named such because
a) It is peaceful, as in the Latin Pacific
b) Deceptively tumultuous, belying a calm exterior with some of the stormiest sounds ever put on record
c) seemingly endless, dull, wet and potentially dangerous especially to people who have been told it is a UK Dance classic only to discover that it is the sound of foghorns playing a lilting tune over an Oorhythmands rythmn section?

808 State were the archetypal faceless dance band (and for removing their faces I did a couple of years in prison). When they weren’t writing rubbish about oceans, or mispelling geometric shapes, they tried to do complex science experiments with their mat McTunes. A scottish rapulist (imagine) who was also a scientist they collaborated in splitting the atom. Notwithsatnding that Ernest Rutherford had already achieved this some sixty years before, these bedroom boffins (and boffers – let us never forget the place for masturbation in UK house) work night and day. But rather than producing limitless energy for all, or a large explosion which would have happily wiped them off the face of the earth, they just ended up with a record. A record which sampled the Magnificent Seven theme tune on it.

If that’s what they call “Splitting The Atom” then it is unsurprising that Pacific is actually written about Salford duck pond.

A Note On Creaminess

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 348 views

Anyone who read my piece on potato soup (wonderful for breakfast too!) will note a liberalness with words relating to cream. Creaminess is a virtue I admire, mainly because cream is a foodstuff I adore. Now admittedly the creaminess of a potato soup is different to the creaminess of – well – cream. So what am I trying to get at.

Consistency, like single cream, should be perfectly smooth. This is admittedly an upshot of a pretty brutal blender which does not do subtlety. But what it also does is fold a fair bit of air into the liquid, adding a slight double cream thickness. Clearly richness of taste helps, which is why I am not averse to dumping (swirling, but it looks like dumping) cream into the mix. My swirling cream hand needs work, it never looks quite right, but it does add to the flavour.

I also like thin, lumpy soups. I like glutinous soups like Hot and Sour. And sloppy thick messes which are much closer to stews than soups. But creaminess, its a virtue in porridge, its a virtue in soups, it is even a virtue in congee: and THE virtue of cream.

My Dream What I Had About Simon Reynolds (NOT CREEPY honest)

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 330 views

I was standing in the foyer at my work talking to Mr William Bloody Swygart and he said, “Oh, have you heard about Simon Reynolds’ new book?”. I said “No” and he showed me on the Interweb, there was a special site to it linked from Blissblog.

The book was being edited by SR and was called Biology, named after the famous Old Skool Rave party organisation. It was a series of essays exploring the interface between biology and music taste – race, gender, endo/ectomorphs and dancing, the extent to which attractiveness defines taste (music scenes and the idea of “beautiful people”), notions of blindness in blues and rock, plus more general explorations of the theories of evolutionary biology as they might apply to pop! WOW, I thought, this sounds like it’s going to be a great read! I was about to click and read more but then I woke up.

I STILL think this is a great idea for a book, though. Does anything along similar lines actually exist??