Posts from June 2006

30
Jun 06

Day 80: International Date Line
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 965 views

Ah the triumphant return. Never mind that since I have been gone miscreants and maladroit troubadours such as Sandi Thom have sprung up. Never mind that the train from Dover to London took almost eight hours. That did not matter. I would make to the Reform Club with hours to spare and finally show that two bit so called poptimist what for. When Ii arrived in at Waterloo I sent Crispian off back to my home to get me a fresh set of clothes and settled in at the Hole In The Wall for a well deserved G&T, English style (ie not enough gin, not cold enough, with a pickled lemon).Crispian returned with a fashionable (80 days ago) off the shoulder number and I jumped in a cab for the last leg of my journey. I had sent a text message to Lord Tooty, Tom Ewing, so I could rub his nose in my victory and accept gratefully the keys to his web empire. How I would gloat in taking over his “Number Ones” blog Popular and illustrating that it is actually all Number Two’s figuratively.

The second best museum in the world…

The Brown Wedge2 comments • 425 views

…is the Sea Findings Museum in Vilchadia, on Kalymnos.* Vilchadia is a ten minute taxi ride from Pothia, the main port of Kalymnos, and it’s very easy to find the Sea Findings Museum because there isn’t anything else there (bar two tavernas, run by the museum curators, and a very nice family beach). The museum’s concept is very simple: it’s a private collection of stuff found in the sea – sponges, amphorae, shells, weird fish, archaelogical knicknacks, an entire Byzantine trading boat…

Ants On Stilts

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 491 views

Cruel experiments on ants in fiction are generally a sign of incipient serial killing.

In REAL LIFE though they are a sign of science fulfilling its noble purpose to push forward the frontiers of knowledge. In this case the question purports to be “How do ants navigate over the ground?” but the true inquiry is revealed by the picture, viz. “What happens if we put some ants on some stilts?”. Witness and marvel.

Scotching Their Chances

TMFDPost a comment • 551 views

Oh dear, poor old Andy Murray. Just by showing his allegiance to Scotland he has suddenly gone and made himself very unpopular with the English. When asked who he would be supporting in the World Cup, the freshfaced Tartan Tenniser joking said “Anyone but England”. Not surprisingly really since he is Scottish and the main way they define themselves sportingly is a virulent anti-Englishness. That is the nature of football support, and certainly the nature of these two countries relationship.

It is still a bit of a pity that his weblog has attracted much abuse from England fans. Not that they can’t wish he would lose, and dream on to the halcyon days of Tiger Tim or even the tennis version of Owen Hargreaves: Greg Rudseski. But remember when he wins that means you can’t claim the British victory.

Actually don’t bother wasting that bit of you brain remembering something so unlikely.

29
Jun 06

Poptimism – Lesson Four

Poptimism PodcastPost a comment • 1,557 views

Tracks:

The Wizzard – Paul Hardcastle

A Public Affair – Jessica Simpson

We Are Your Friends – Justice Vs Simian

MyMyMy – Armand Van Helden (Joy Kitikonti Remix)

Deja Vu – Beyonce (feat. Jay-Z)

I Am A Raver – DJ Rankin

Do It All Night – DJ Pulsa vs DJ XtC

Simplesmente – Bebel Gilberto (Tom Middleton Cosmos Mix)

Fearless Yes: Ageless No

Do You SeePost a comment • 521 views

Jet Li has made his last Martial Arts epic. Whilst I am not here to rag on his acting talents as a surprising number reviewers do, one wonders what the USP of a martial artsless Jet Li will be. So let’s just say that Fearless might be Jet Li’s last big Hong Kong martial arts movie and be done with it. It certainly doesn’t stop Li from throwing his all into this picture. And in its story of an inspirational martial artist whose honour and ability brought pride back to the Chinese, one cannot help seeing a few flattering parallels with Li himself. Apart from his occasional turns as a villain for Hollywood*, his career has been playing gentle battlers.

Hollywood viewers will have missed his breezy comic timing which stems from this good humour, and in Fearless he is much more uncomfortable when his character has to be dislikeable. He might also be uncomfortable in those segments because he is clearly playing himself twenty years younger. And yet he cannot hide his age. We are not talking Jackie Chan “made of leather” yet, but he just doesn’t look in his mid twenties. And nothing is done to age him as he reaches his actual age. Fearless is a pretty good fun biopic, with some excellently staged and crunching fight scenes: but you can see why it might be his last. He isn’t young any more.

*Even in Lethal Weapon 4 you kind of hoped Li would smash Mel Gibson’s face in, just because he has a much better claim of being a Human Lethal Weapon.

DAY 79: The White Cliffs Of Dover
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 612 views

Luckily yesterdays questions were answered quite quickly when Crispian came back from his scouting mission and pointed out we were just outside Marseilles. But I had no time even to slag off the French National Anthem, I needed to hotfoot (NOT HOTSTEP – Ini Kamoze fans) it back to the UK. Well, after a few well placed gin and tonics in the station bar and a long trip on the SNCF to Calais. 

I had considered a trip on the Eurostar, but since my journey to the centre of the earth/Sue Lawley, I had become a touch claustrophobic. Also I remembered as a child enjoying a trip on a ferry (not across the Mersey) with only the decidedly not rhythmic burr of the engine and the sound of vomiting to distract me. Also the ferry had a bar and Duty Free on it, where I loaded Crispian down with all the latest advances in Gin brewing technology. Whilst Beefeaters Crown Jewel seems a step too far, it didn’t stop me loading up on twelve bottles of it, and necking one of them just as the White Cliffs of Dover came into view. Readers: I was home with almost a day to spare! 

28
Jun 06

FSVO Fair!

TMFDPost a comment • 771 views

According to the Official Regulations of the football competition everyone except turkmenistan is watching:

A Fair Play contest will be held during the competition, for which FIFA will draw up special regulations. The FIFA Fair Play Trophy, a fair play medal for each player and official, a diploma and a voucher for USD 50,000 worth of football equipment (to be used for youth development) will go to the team finishing first in the Fair Play
contest.

However, nowhere on the FIFA website can these regulations be found.

According to an article about last year’s Mickey Mouse Confederations Cup:

The FIFA Fair Play trophy is awarded after FIFA’s Technical Study Group calculates a Fair Play assessment score after each match based on an appraisal of the teams’ conduct, positive play, respect towards the opposing team and match officials, behaviour of the team officials, etc, with a deduction resulting from any yellow or red cards received during the match.

But there are no Fair Play assessment scores on the otherwise comprehensive offical match reports and a list of the tasks undertaken by the technical study group (ah, that’s where Roger Milla got to) only mentions “specified criteria” when refering to the Fair Play Trophy, rather than actually, y’know, specifying the criteria.

WHAT IS FIFA TRYING TO HIDE???

(obviously I’m only mentioning this as it is the only thing England might win. According to the stats, only Germany and Spain of the teams in the second round have fewer yellows than us, but we’ve committed fewer fouls… Oh yeah and mainly because of MJ Hibbett and his song ;))

26
Jun 06

Day 78: Lost In France
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY DAYS

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 465 views

Waking up in a hedge is never a pleasant experience. Waking up in a hedge with a turncoat like Crispian De Savary, a man who tried to sell me to the MAN, (or at least THE FRENCH MAN) was intolerable. It took an awful lot of self restraint for me not to batter his head in there and then.

The only thing tat stopped me was the fact that Crispian spoke French. I decided that this skill might be useful for us to find our way in this country where English is the language of pop music and imbeciles. You can see that they may have got that the wrong way round, but their reasoning was sound.

Instead I put a makeshift collar and chain on Crispian and sent him off to discover three things:
a) Where were we
b) how were we going to get to England
c) Where I could get a decent pint of Gin and Tonic (Tanquerry 10 if possible).

23
Jun 06

CHICKEN IS DEAD, LONG LIVE PIG

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 411 views

Fans of Soho have been in black for about a year, mourning the loss of Old Compton Street institution Pollo. Attracted by the red leather booths, keg wine, spectacular ranges of pasta and LEST WE FORGET, a yummy strawberry milkshake, we decided it was Our equivalent of Max’s Kansas City – except we were less glammed up smack addicts who couldn’t play guitar, rather carb-ed up pint seekers who can play “The King of Carrot Flowers” bassline with only a few stops after each note. “Where shall we eat?” was a redundant question, we knew…. we knew

But, there came a time when we had to hold our chins up, and admit Pollo was closed. The premises stayed shut, the interiors sadly darkened and dust gathering where I once ordered Vermouth.

UNTIL NOW. Strolling though Soho, hungry, the “where shall we eat” question ominously overshadowing our amble, we headed for “Ed’s Easy Diner” to try and sate desire for milkshakes (and Ed’s does a smashing milkshake but that’s for another post). Passing Pollo, we did the obligatory *sigh* … GASP!! There was a blue A4 piece of paper stuck to the window… LICENSE PERMISSION! Pollo will soon be, I can reveal….

La Porchetta, Old Compton Street.

I feel let down, and pleased at the same time. The Little Piggy is known throughout London by pizza addicts as good value, scrummy and does the job nicely. But… do we need another one there? Will the Little Piggy BRING SOMETHING or might we just as well have had a Wagamama? It could be worse, much worse. I shouldn’t feel disappointed…

But, I do :(

I guess I’ll have to just go and have a pizza there where it opens, to test the water like :)