Posts from March 2010

26
Mar 10

How Buzzwords Work (Maybe)

Proven By Science//5 comments • 578 views

I was lucky enough to attend a fascinating talk hosted by Mark Earls at the RSA last night on “cultural evolution” – using evolutionary theory to examine the mechanics of how stuff spreads through culture. I then came home and found a great Nitsuh Abebe post on my tumblr dashboard about music critic cliches – when and how they’re used.

The link between these two things? One of the most interesting parts of the talk was when Dr Alex Bentley of Durham university showed some analysis of the spread of “buzzwords” in academia – how particular language choices move through a population. He was looking at the change in use of words like “nuanced”, “apropos”, or “agency” as well as more obviously loaded terms like “Marxist” and words like “retarded” (which academics tend to use to mean ‘slowed’). So of course I found this quite exciting, as it seems to me not wholly unlikely that the use of words like “ethereal” or “soundscape” might well spread in similar ways.

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Le Marechal (Cheesy Lover #76)

FT + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 278 views

A raw, hard cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland, bought from Mons.

When I was buying this cheese, I noticed the name of the cheese very prettily raised around the side of the wheel. I didn’t buy anywhere near a large enough wedge to get whole letter, but what I have is a slice of hard, pale yellow cheese, turning translucent towards the edges. The cheese has been rubbed with a twiggy, grassy herbal mixture, which makes the rind a greenish-brown.

The texture’s slightly crumbly, reasonably soft and pliant, and melts happily in my mouth. It’s got some of the sweet nuttiness of a Gruyere, tasting of toasted butter and sweet hazlenuts, as well as a bright yoghurty tang. Some combination of its herbal rubdown and alpine origins give it a lovely floral undertone, and a smidge of the warm, fresh dried-grass aroma of henna.

The rind is chewy, and feels slightly waxy. Despite the grassy covering, it doesn’t taste of very much. It’s not unpleasant to eat, but I’ll not tell anyone off for not eating the best bit if it’s left on the side of their plate.

Pop World Cup 2010: Group F – Italy 1 New Zealand 3

FT/17 comments • 615 views

New Zealand enter this game with their tails up, this group’s only holder of three points after round one. If the Italians play as they did in the last game, they might chew those Kiwi tails right off.

Voting on this match finishes at midnight on the 1st April.

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25
Mar 10

The Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: 18. The AlkoholiKs – Only When I’m Drunk

FTPost a comment • 316 views

The AlkoholiKs – Only When I’m Drunk: A review by Alix

I liked this song in 2003 or sometime in the past when this list was compiled and I was mostly drunk. I do not look back on this period in my life with much fondness or pride (or clarity), and can only apologise to my friends and society in general for suggesting this track as part of the Top 100 Songs (I’m not even sure I did suggest this, almost certainly, I was drunk).

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Alcohol is in its DNA

Pumpkin Publog3 comments • 534 views

Matt tweeted this cheeky little fella a while ago as the worst drink ever:

Alcoholic Spring Water. Are we assuming that some clever account exec noticed that “people like to drink water?” “Water, its the beverage that goes with everything”. Imagine an extra tap in your house, Hot Cold, Bouzy. Move over Mariah Carey and your bath of Evian, I want to have a bath in DNA Alcoholic Spring Water.

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Pop World Cup 2010: Group F – Slovakia 0 Paraguay 3

FT/9 comments • 501 views

This match could be transformative for one of these teams. Slovakia emerged from their first game with nothing, after hoping to win, while Paraguay were utterly befuddled by Italy’s revolutionary tactics in a 0-0 draw which attracted massive press coverage. The question really is who will deal best with the pressure?

Voting on this match finishes at midnight on the 31st March.

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23
Mar 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group E – Cameroon 1 Denmark 1

FT/22 comments • 730 views

A must-win match for Denmark here, although given the popularity of all of the African teams so far, they may be facing an uphill battle against a Cameroon side looking to enhance their chances of getting through to the later stages.

Voting on this match finishes at midnight on the 29th March.

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22
Mar 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group E – Netherlands 2 Japan 0

FT/27 comments • 806 views

Crossing the mid-point of the second group round, if the Netherlands can get a win here a place in the last sixteen is within their grasp whilst Japan will hoping to build on their first game to push it just that little further to secure all three points.

Voting on this match finishes at midnight on the 28th March.

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19
Mar 10

Gaga Fug Yourself

FT13 comments • 3,418 views

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of years you will be aware that Rihanna and Lady Gaga are both popstars who employ stark visual imagery, far more adventurous and individually tailored than their music. On her latest album campaign Rihanna used barbed wire and harsh geometric lines to portray a tough, military image, showing her renewed strength and fortitude following a horrible physical attack by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown. Lady Gaga resets her image dozens of times over the course of a single song, attempting the impossible and the unexpected, her unpredictability expanding on her seemingly random approach to songwriting.

Both are also top seeds in their brackets for Fug Madness, the annual competition run by Go Fug Yourself to find the worst dressed person of the year.

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Shalom Oslo

FT3 comments • 230 views

Whilst Friends of Freaky Trigger are off today placing moneys on horseys, MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, William Hill have given odds for Eurovision 2010. Can you guess where the UK might be placed, given Pete Waterman decided not to bother with the “chorus” this year? Let’s see what happens as the song, um, ‘evolves’ before Oslo. Odds under the jump (h/t Boom Bang A Blog, who is well worth following!)

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