Posts from May 2007

May 07

Finalé, it has happened to me :-(

Proven By Science3 comments • 772 views

I got stung! Only the other week I was recalling the era of decoy mp3s. Now listen carefully children – occasionally, back at the turn of the century, the odd illegal download of a new mp3 would be a decoy, or a loop of the intro. Imagine! You wasted those four hours it took to download that 5MB of mp3. “Oo, that hasn’t happened to me in ages” thought not-at-all-superstitious me.

(Of course I don’t download illegal mp3s, never have, but that explanation hadn’t occurred to me before I sat down to write this on a public website.)

ANYWAY. Telly. An episode of current top dramas – a 24, a Lost – weighs in at 350MB these days. And although you can get a lucky torrent that finishes in 30 mins, it’s usually a few hours even now with the internet running on mega-tubes, or whatever it is.

Now 24 has just had its finale and I JUST FELL FOR A DECOY of sorts. (Not that I actually download illegal telly. I’m just writing an entertaining story for you here.) The file, although the right size, just played a still caption telling me I needed a special player and I should download it now. Obv the player will be full of hideous trojan malware that infects your browser and turns your PC into another zombie in the legion spambot army. They haven’t bothered writing one for the Mac. Obv. So saved.

Anyway, Lost finale tonight…

I WAS A GOBLIN: Worlds In Collusion

FT4 comments • 37,807 views

creation.jpgIn my teens and early twenties I made three sustained attempts to create worlds.

The first two were for AD&D games, the third was for a freeform – i.e. largely ruleless – role-playing campaign. Each of them ran into two basic problems – one in-game, one out-of-game. The in-game issue – we’ll call it the Balance Problem – is that a role-playing world needs to accommodate the kind of adventures players are likely to have: if the characters are powerful enough and the adventures wide enough in scope, it’ll most likely affect the status quo of the gameworld. The out-of-game issue – we’ll call it the Botherd Problem – is that different players will have different levels of commitment to caring about the game world – and almost all of them will care about it less than you.


May 07

ROD STEWART – “You Wear It Well”

FT + Popular29 comments • 9,313 views

#318, 2nd September 1972

“You Wear It Well” reuses a few of the tricks that “Maggie May” employed so well – the eavesdropped lyrics, addressed to an older lover; the doubled drumbeats that keep the track moving – and Martin Quittenton’s songs also share a soft, sunny prettiness that makes a great partner for Rod’s rough but warm vocals. It’s a pleasure to listen to this, but does it have the emotional kick of “Maggie”?


Scare quotes

Proven By Science5 comments • 728 views

“Panorama found that radiation levels from wi-fi in one school was up to three times the level of mobile phone mast radiation.”

A quote from BBC online’s own story on tonight’s Panorama which is headed “Wi-fi health fears are ‘unproven’ “. Marvellous use of scare quotes there. Are the fears proven or not? No they categorically are not. In fact the fears are rubbish.

The basic wrongness of tonight’s show has been picked up by most other news sources covering the story (OK, so I haven’t checked the Daily Mail’s “Blair’s legacy – wifi causes house price plummet” story) with the Guardian finding a physicist who explains about “the so-called inverse square law” which kind of explains why the above quote is missing some important facts. Let’s try that quote again:

“Panorama found that radiation levels from wi-fi ONE METRE AWAY FROM A LAPTOP in one school was up to three times the level of mobile phone mast radiation FROM A MAST ONE HUNDRED METRES AWAY.”

Hang on why “so-called” inverse square law? There’s no need to be so mealy mouthed. The same goes for ‘unproven’ of course, but then the regular cross-promotion that the BBC is doing with Panorama becomes pointless. What do you mean they shouldn’t be doing it anyway?

Of course this total lack of story is exactly why people get their science on this and related stories so wrong. It’s one layer of rubbishness extra on top of publication bias. It’s not even only noticing the positive reports, there are not even positives here. You never hear of a proof that there is no link – only dumb scare stories like this that pop up, get publicity, then are forgotten about except for the nutters with clippings files and selective memories.

May 07

Poptimism – Lesson Thirty Nine

Poptimism Podcast4 comments • 714 views

The Thing – Beenie Man ft Cecile

Boyz – M.I.A.

Grip Like A Vice – The Go! Team

Miss Popularity – Jordan Pruitt

Play Wid Punks – Anthony B

Heavyweight Champion – Reverend and the Makers

Fett – Nachlader

Living On Video – Trans X

Stress – Justice



Blog 7 + FT3 comments • 1,086 views

bush-dixie-chicks.jpgWell, they probably will as a way to destabilise Hillary Clinton’s campaign first for Democratic Nomination and then President. Because Hillary BELIEVES IN DEMOCRACY SO MUCH she is allowing her supporters to pick her running song. Some people, after all, have pooh-poohed her initial choice of Right Here, Right Now by Jesus Jones: on the grounds that it is a Right wing song for a left wing candidate. Such reasoning seems spurious when just a IT’S JESUS JONES SONG surely would suffice, but there you go. D:Ream did not harm New Labour*.


May 07

Last FM profiles

FT1 comment • 561 views

Hi dere FT writers. If you are on Last FM, you can put your id in your profile here and the ‘recently played widget’ appear on your public profile page (that is, the page got to by clicking on your name at the end of a post).

While you do that, why not write the public biog that appears in the sidebar too – add it here.

Peanut Butter (Ice Cream) and Jelly

FT + Pumpkin Publog4 comments • 1,888 views

I had one of those Americans around for dinner last night. A very pleasant chap all told, as was his good lady wife. In an attempt to pander to the guests I decided upon a menu which would reflect all of the nationalities involved. So the menu was thus:
Roast Asparagus with Baked Camembert* (English and French representing the lovely female guests nationality)
Chorizo Stew with Drozi Potatoes (Spanish, which female guest also has roots, and Polish potatoes like me)
And for pudding
Peanut Butter Ice Cream and Jelly (US)


Night At The Museum: Kylie Comes Alive

FT + The Brown Wedge/Post a comment • 1,857 views

kylie.jpgI went to the Lady Museum on Monday. Sorry, the V&A. My parents referred to it as the Lady Museum when, as a child, a trip to South Kensington would inevitably split between me and my Dad heading to the Science Museum and Mum and sister to the V&A. So whilst I have spent quite a lot of time in their archives (Theatre Museum archives, which is all part of the V&A) it had been over twenty years since I had been in the Victoria And Albert Fashion and Design museum. Ostensibly there to see the surrealism exhibit for free (YAY – Cheers Sarah), the fact that the rest was cordoned of made me itch to go back. Skirting the edge of the Cast Courts in an nearly empty museum was really inspiring. I went right home to try and find if I still had my Paddington Bear plaster cast set.


May 07

This Is The Review That Goes Like This

FT + The Brown Wedge3 comments • 1,062 views

spamalot_350×250.jpgWe dine well here in Camelot
We eat ham and jam and spam a lot

In the comments of this piece on This Is England, Emma notes that during a film or a show, if the title of the show is mentioned one should take a drink. Thankfully I had already taken a number of drinks before this moment in Spamalot came up, and so the pain was ameliorated a touch. But MAN ALIVE, this is a bad show.