Posts from 18th November 2009

Nov 09

Robotic Midsomers Murders

Do You See + FT6 comments • 246 views

“Surrogates is not that far off the mark…”

Here is a teaser which tries to convince us that the robot puppet movie Surrogates is in anyway the near future of humanity. The idea that in just ten years nearly the entirety of the North American population will be agoraphobic housebound ninnies strapped into chairs controlling a robot version of them seems to fail the basic rule of science fiction. Namely how did we get there? Well according to the film

Step 1: James Cromwell invents the stem chair which can wirelessly and remotely control and feedback data to a user of a remote robot. It is invented for disabled people.

Step 2: Rich people start getting lifelike surrogates of themselves for a laugh.


Hackney Empire’s New Act of the Year – Audition #4

Do You See + FT + The Brown WedgePost a comment • 421 views

QueenSpeech2 One oddity about this year’s hopefuls* is that not one has done political material. What are the chances? This is a fairly catholic smattering of forty or so comedians from all over the UK (though mainly London) and after a few nights of hearing yet again from the person on stage that he is “quite tall, people always notice that” or indeed “why is my beard ginger”, as was asked last night via the medium of song by a man seated behind a synthesizer (remember, I go to these things so you don’t have to), the total avoidance of such a rich seam of ridiculousness as national politics seems downright bizarre.


THE FT TOP 25 PUBS OF THE 00s No 24: The John Snow, Soho

FT + Proven By Science + Pumpkin Publog18 comments • 1,120 views

I will say not one bad word about Sam Smith’s in this review. Someone else wants to talk around that issue, but safe to say that as someone with a large social group of varying incomes, Sam Smith’s pubs being cheap has always been a factor. The John Snow in Soho is one of those pubs we rarely go to these days (in the area the Shaston Arms or Star And Garter get more visits) but hasn’t really changed, and holds a firm and fond place in our memories. I probably pop in there a couple of times a year and have whiled away a fair few hours with a pint of Hefeweisse reading about the good Dr Snow upstairs.

So things to note. The John Snow is named after John Snow the health campaigner, not the newsreader, which is amusing in itself as John Snow was a confirmed teetotaller*. The pub is near the pump that Snow brought fresh water into Soho thus sorting out the cholera epidemic. This marks it out in Soho already, for an area with a pretty full history an awful lot of the pubs are highly anonymous.