It's coming... o v e r y o u r h e a d . . .

Crawling through technology, life and love

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Pool Paradise - GC on Wii

Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry

All 24 25 Tintin books

Bits and Bobs:
Wish List
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Minipops Quiz

Sites I like:
Marc Almond
Top 40 Singles
The Register
Recent GBlogs
Arsenal FC

Some blogs I enjoy:
troubled diva

Books recently read:
Time Out Guide to Havana (and Cuba)
And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks - William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
At My Mother's Knee ... and Other Low Joints: The Autobiography - Paul O'Grady
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
My Booky Wook - Russell Brand
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
Then We Come To The End - Joshua Ferris
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas
I Never Knew That About London - Christopher Winn
The Arsenal Miscellany - Adam Gold
Young Hearts Run Free: The Real Story of the 1970s - Dave Haslam
Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
Veronika Decides To Die - Paulo Coelho
Time Out Guide - Amsterdam
Lillian's Story - Kate Grenville
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Schott's Original Miscellany - Ben Schott
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
A Gay History Of Britain - Matt Cook
Time Out Guide to Madrid
Time Out Guide to New York
Kingdom Come - J. G. Ballard
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
Mutants - Aramand Marie Leroi
A Young Man's Passage - Julian Clary
Growing Pains - Billie Piper
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
Highbury: The Story of Arsenal N.5 - Jon Spurling
Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett
Affinity - Sarah Waters
Lighthousekeeping - Jeanette Winterson
Tipping The Velvet - Sarah Waters
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Of Human Bondage - W Somerset Maugham
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Lucky Man - Michael J Fox
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
The Pedant's Revolt - Andrea Barham
The Republic Of Trees - Sam Taylor
Written On tbe Body - Jeanette Winterson
Untold Stories - Alan Bennett
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
Read All About It - Max Clifford
The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst
Thursbitch - Alan Garner
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
Staying Alive - Matt Beaumont
The Bookseller Of Kabul - Asne Seierstad
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J K Rowling
A Short History Of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Count Karlstein - Philip Pullman
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Spell - Alan Hollinghurst
The Double Life Of Daniel Glick - Maurice Caldera
The Smoking Diaries - Simon Gray
Straight- Boy George
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Deception Point - Dan Brown
The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Sydney - Time Out Guide
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Eleanor Rigby - Douglas Coupland
The Scarecrow and His Servant - Philip Pullman
Tha Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Planet Simpson - Chris Turner
The Line Of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
Barcelona - Time Out Guide
The Closed Circle - Jonathan Coe
The Clerkenwell Tales - Peter Ackroyd
Copenhagen - TimeOut Guide
The Butterfly Tattoo - Philip Pullman
The Broken Bridge - Philip Pullman
In Search of the Pleasure Palace - Marc Almond
Brick Lane - Monica Ali
Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr
You Shall Know Our Velocity - Dave Eggers
Touching The Void - Joe Simpson
Life Of Pi - Yann Martel
Istanbul - Time Out Guide
Millennium People - J G Ballard
The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down - Jesse Browner
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Our Man In Havana - Graham Greene
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman
Doran - Will Self
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
the book, the film, the t-shirt - matt beaumont
High Society - Ben Elton
Man And Wife - Tony Parsons
I Was A Rat - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix - J R Rowling
Great Apes - Will Self
Barrel Fever - David Sedaris
Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawkes
Close Range - Annie Proux
The Third Way - Anthony Giddens
dot.con - John Cassidy
The Salmon of Doubt - Douglas Adams
One Hit Wonderland - Tony Hawkes
The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Cloud Sketcher - Richard Rayner
Keane: the Autobiography - Roy Keane
A Wasteland of Strangers - Bill Pronzini
The English - Jeremy Paxman
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Toby Young
Dead Famous - Ben Elton
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman (again)
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Bear and The Dragon - Tom Clancy
101 Reykjavik - Hallgrimur Helgason
Forward The Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Carter Beats The Devil - Glen David Gold
The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Tiger In The Well - Philip Pullman
The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
Generation X - Douglas Copeland
Perfume - Patrick Suskind
All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland
The Shadow In The North - Phillip Pullman
No Logon - Naomi Klein
The Dirt - Motley Crue
Miss Wyoming - Douglas Coupland
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman
The Ruby in the Smoke - Phillip Pullman
The Sandman - Miles Gibson
Blood and Gold: The Vampire Marius - Anne Rice
The Actrocity Exhibition - J G Ballard
Shameless - Paul Burston
Sing Out! - Boze Hadleigh
Brilliant Orange - David Winner
New Boy - William Sutcliffe
London - Peter Ackroyd
Wonder Boys - Michael Chabon
One For My Baby - Tony Parsons
How To Be Good - Nick Hornby
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Lust - Geoff Ryman
Tulip Fever - Deborah Moggach
Dead Souls - Ian Rankin
The House Of Sleep - Jonathan Coe
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
What a carve up! - Jonathan Coe
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Heartwood - James Lee Burke
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Man and Boy - Tony Parsons
The Map Of Love - Ahdaf Soueif
e - Matt Beaumont
The e Before Christmas - Matt Beaumont


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Friday, April 29, 2005
From the makers of Minipops we bring you... Minipoofs. Created for VH1's Big Gay May Day this coming Monday. How many can you get?
[Thanks Kevin]

Carlos Adolfo Dominguez's Boobies...
I want to go to the discoteque. To see boobies. Apparently. Joke? I think so.
[Thanks Rog]

Thursday, April 28, 2005
Happy Birthday to David...
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday, dear David
Happy Birthday to you

The Musical Box...
Last Saturday Paul and I went to the Royal Albert Hall to see a band called The Musical Box faithfully recreate a 1975 tour that Genesis did of their concept album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

And what a show! Amazing music, fanatastic(al) costumes, great special effects and that sort of buzz you get from an audience of obsessive fans watching their dream concert.

The show was painstaking researched to be a note for note duplicate of the original 100 date world tour that ended shortly before the departure of Peter Gabriel from the band. In fact the show has been endorsed by Gabriel himself, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford.

TLLDOB was the final album of a very creative period for Genesis when they produced (to my mind) four fantatsic albums: Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England By The Pound and The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.

Let's Prog!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Tube Map 2016...
What will the London tube map look like in 2016? Well, here's the plan. I do like the idea of the East London Line being extended to Highbury & Islington though.

Sony PSP UK release slips to September...
Looks like the Sony PSP release date has slipped again. It's now coming 1st Septemeber.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The Germans...
Last night they had one of favourite Simpsons episode on Channel Four - Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk. It's the one where Mr Burns sells the nuclear power plant to a German company only to buy it back later at half the price. During the rather one-sided buy-back negotiations Mr Burns comes out with... this amusing tirade.

Rent A German...
What else but... Rent A German.
You can select the German of your choice for an exclusive lifetime experience: Imagine to appear with your German at parties, family events, or just hang out with them at the local shopping center. No matter which occasion you choose, you will surely impress your environment by presenting an original German.

Monday, April 25, 2005
New Features For Google UK ...
Google have launched a couple of new features for the UK audience.

Firstly we have Google Maps UK which as well as letting you zero in on just about any part of the UK also allows you to do local searches for stuff within that mapped area. So you might home in on home, as it were, and then search for say, pizza or pub.

The other thing that Google has launched in the UK is the ability to Google search using SMS. What you do is:

1. Enter your query as a text message. See some sample queries.
2. Send the message to the shortcode 64664 (6GOOG on most phones).
3. Receive a text message (or messages) with your results, usually within a minute. Results may be labeled as "1/3", "2/3", etc.
4. To get Google SMS help info sent directly to your phone, text 'help' to 64664.

I've tried it only once but it does seem to work quite well.

Friday, April 22, 2005
Should the Tube run later?...
The proposal would see last trains leaving central London around 1.30am rather than the current 12.30am. In order to maintain the Tube’s engineering hours, essential for safety checks and maintenance, the Tube would also start an hour later on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The last chance to have your say is today.

Pills, Pills, Pills...
I'm not in work today - it happens to be my day off. So I'm having a lie-in watching the news and necking pills down like there's no tomorrow. So far I've wolfed down 1 x Zinc, 1 x Cod Liver Oil, 1 x St John's Wort, 1 x Amoxycillin and 3 x Nurofen. Needless to say I'm rattling like a tic-tac box.

Islington's Technology Mile...
I was walking down Upper Street last night and hey presto! my phone beeped with a new Wi-Fi (802.11b) internet access connection. It's called StreetNet and it's free! Dontcha just love Islington Council? They're calling it the 'Technology Mile'. The biggest free Wi-Fi network in the UK. Despite not being offically launched until Tuesday - it's being widely reported. And here. And indeed here. Now I know where my council tax is going!

Thursday, April 21, 2005
Medical Advice...
For those of you with a nervous disposition please look away now.

I've got a chest infection. How do I know? Well, maybe it's the wheezing and coughing that kept me awake all night. Maybe it's tightening of the chest and the difficulty in breathing that every few minutes erupts into spluttering fits. Or maybe it's the large green chunks of phlegm that I've been coughing up. (Sorry for that mental image, I did warn you!)

So what am I to do? I normally seek some sort of advice from friends or family because I'm not a very good decision maker when ill. I normally just end up feeling sorry for myself rather than actually doing something about it.

So let's talk options people:
- Go home from work early and go to bed (yes I did come in)?
- Try and see a doctor (probably won't be able to see me in a while so what's the point)?
- Grin and bear it because if I ignore it it'll clear up all by itself eventually?

UPDATE: Booked appointment at doctor (amazingly I got an appointment just 1 hour after I called so been and come back now) I'm now the proud owner of 21 x Amoxycillin capsules 500mg - amazingly it DOESNT say avoid alcohol. Yay!

Book Of The Year...
Ian'll be pleased. His favourite book won. Not.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Happy = healthy: It's official...
It may seem pretty obvious, but scientists have confirmed that happy, smiley people are generally healthier and less at risk from dropping down dead than their miserable counterparts.

Sony PSP UK release slips to August?... still lists the UK debut of the Sony PlayStation as 24 June 2005, but that date was called into question today. If High Street retailer Dixons' PSP pre-order service is anything to go by, the eagerly anticipated handheld console will not appear here until August. The Dixons service, launched today, is offering up to two PSPs per person for £179 each. The pre-order page on the company's web site lists 1 August 2005 as the "estimated" release date.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
All About My Mother..
This just in from the lovely Darren:


Creative Archive Licence...
The Creative Archive Licence has moved a step closer with the official launching of the scheme. The idea behind the Creative Archive will be to allow free access to thousands of clips from public service radio and TV programmes via the internet. The stated aim is that "the public will be able to 'own' a copy of the clips and use them for their own creations".

The Creative Archive Licence rules:
- No commercial use
- Share alike
- Give Credit
- No endorsement
- UK only

So far the backers are: BBC, Channel 4, British Film Institute and Open University. It remains to be seen whether there will be actually anything worth having through the scheme but I think it's a step in the right direction.

Monday, April 18, 2005
Top Of The Pops...
So the new download-friendly Official Singles Chart is upon us: not only shop sales but internet downloads are included in the chart from last week.

This of course distorts the shop-only chart a bit. Well, in some cases, a lot.

According to the BBC: The biggest winners were Damon Albarn's cartoon dance group Gorillaz, whose song Feel Good Inc shot up 175 places thanks to download sales. BBC Radio 1 chart hosts JK and Joel said the group used "guerrilla tactics" to boost their position. "Gorillaz have exploited a loophole in the new chart rules that says as long as you physically release a single in the shop, your download will count towards your chart position," they said. Gorillaz released a limited edition of just 300 copies of Feel Good Inc to shops. Feel Good Inc is at 22, compared with 197 in the shop-only chart.

I'm not complaining mind you. I like the Gorillaz. But what if it'd been Crazy Frog or worse?

Friday, April 15, 2005
Kath and Kim are on the Beeb...
Kath and Kim are finally, finally, finally making it onto the Beeb. BBC2 will be airing the first episode on Thursday 12th May at 10pm. Yay! Get you rack-off lamb ready, hornbags!
[Thanks Jennifer]

Worst film, ever!...
What is the worst film you have ever seen? I bet there's some tough competition for that particular prize, huh? Well, I have another candidate for you.

Last night Paul and I thought we'd go and a see a 'cheer ourselves up film' at the local Vue. We fancied a fell-good film. A comedy. But what to see? We plumped for something with a bit of a pedigree. We'd secretly liked the first one. Maybe the sequel would bring a giggle and a laugh. You can't go wrong with sequels, right? They stick to the same formula. But what's wrong with that? You know what you're getting. At least we wouldn't be wasting out money.

How wrong we were.

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous was the worst film I have ever seen.

Unlike the first one is was an utter, utter turkey. Trade description's should be called: nothing in the title was correct! It was certainly a miss, rarely congenial, barely armed and never fabulous. Worst of all it committed the gravest sin of any comedy. It just wasn't funny. 115 minutes of painful product placing torture.

My three word review: Avoid, avoid, avoid.

Thursday, April 14, 2005
Lazy Searching...
Try some lazy searching at Yagoohoogle.

Coldplay X&Y...
On 6th June Coldplay will release their third studio album, X&Y. To help the hype marketing campaign on the album's front cover will feature colour-coded blocks which combine to reveal a secret code in the hopes that it will pique the interest of fans all over the world as they try to find the hidden meaning behind the eye-catching design. Any ideas anyone?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Kath and Kim are Toast...
Kath and Kim stars Jane Turner and Gina Riley are coming to London. Yay! They'll be appearing at the Toast Australia event on Clapham Common on 12th June 2005.

Broadband for under a tenner at UK Online...
UK Online has slashed the cost of its unbundled broadband service. It's offering an entry-level 512k service for just £9.99 (compared to £19.99 a month for the same speed via BT) because it's using a cheaper alternative to BT Wholesale (which provides the vast majority of DSL in the UK). Its also has a 2Mb service that costs just £19.99 a month (compared to £29.99 a month via BT) and its 8Mb service is now only £29.99 a month. BT has yet to launch an 8Mb service.

At home I currently have a couple of broadband service contracts - a 512k ADSL one from Demon which I've had since the earliest trials in the UK and a more recent Bulldog SDSL 2Mb line that gets used as my main channel to and from the wibbly-wide-web. I'm now seriously thinking of ditching both to get a UK Online 8Mb one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Bluetooth Personal Wine Management System...
Prize for most useful (?) Bluetooth gadget of the week must go to this little hoo-ha.

Ever felt you've just got so much wine you can't keep track of it all? No? You mean you dink it straight away? Well if you don't and you do happen to feel intimidated by the sheer volume of high-priced booze in your cellar / cupboard / box in the corner, then the Intelliscanner Wine Collector it just what you need. It provides a wireless solution via Bluetooth. By connecting to an Internet database of barcodes, the Intelliscanner will provide all the important information a wine buff might need, such as the name, region, winery, variety, type, age, and colour (although if you didn't already know that...) Perhaps the £160 it costs for the Bluetooth version would be better spent buying even more wine and all other information could be garnered by, oh say, drinking the stuff; although there is a wired compromise which costs a lot less at £100.

Monday, April 11, 2005
The Five Stages Of Grief...
Mark and I have split after 13 years together. I don't intend to write much about it but thought you'd better know. It's not a secret.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a pioneering author of On Death and Dying and many other books. During her work with terminally ill patients in the 1960's, she identified the now-famous five stages of grief. These five stages have since been applied to a number of other situations that involve bad news including job loss, medical diagnosis and the end of long-term personal relationships.

Stage 1 - Denial/Fear

Stage 2 - Anger

Stage 3 - Bargaining

Stage 4 - Depression

Stage 5 - Acceptance

All complete mumbo jumbo, of course. Never heard such rot.

That'll be Stage 1 then.

Friday, April 08, 2005
Oz Pictures...

[Click for bigger version]

Thursday, April 07, 2005
Brain Teasers : The Answers...

1. If there are 173 entrants there are 172 losers. Each loser only loses once - the answer is therefore 172!

2. Silence

Small world...
Well, knock me down with a feather boa. Scissor Sisters' keyboard player, JJ Garden, is Graeme Garden's son. Yes, that Graeme Garden - the one from The Goodies. Small world, huh?
(That's JJ in the background below)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Brain Teasers...

1. You are organising a singles tennis knockout tournament in which there are 173 entrants. How can you simply calculate the number of matches you will need to arrange in total, counting every round?

2. What do you break by saying its name?

Pope Idol...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Lucky Engineer...

Bigger Gmail...
Google is doubling the size of mailboxes for its email subscribers to try and regain the initiative against Yahoo - which announced last week it is matching Google's 1GB storage shortly.

Google's email subscribers will now get 2GB free storage and the firm will continue to add more capacity over time apparently. Cool.

Monday, April 04, 2005
Ceefax TV...
Ceefax is the BBC's teletext service. And lets you search the pages from the Interweb. Cool. Not that the BBC is particularly happy about it though...

Soft Sell...
Yay! Soft Cell are doing a gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire in July!

Only they're not.

Theatre Of Marc Almond: "It has come to our attention that tickets are on sale for a Soft Cell concert at Shepherds Bush Empire on 21 July. This concert is NOT happening. As Marc is still recovering from his injuries he can only return to performing when his doctors give him the all clear. Marc's management agreed to the show in principal and would suggest it to Marc depending on his doctors reports. As Marc has not recovered enough he is unable to return to performing for the foreseeable future and will be unable to take on a Soft Cell style show for at least 18 months. The show was shelved and no contracts have been signed but the ticket agencies have decided to sell tickets anyway. If you have already brought tickets please get a refund as they have been sold under false pretences."

TicketWeb: "TicketWeb regrets to announce that due to unforeseen circumstances the Soft Cell gig scheduled for Shepherds Bush Empire on 21st July 2005 has been cancelled. TicketWeb apologises for any inconvenience caused."

Friday, April 01, 2005
Make Poverty History...
You may have noticed my Make Poverty History armband.
[Thanks Bryan]

Brain Teasers : The Answers...

1. Orange, Purple and Month (but it sounds like you guys are coming up with some others too!)

2. 3.25 gallons

Listen Again...
The BBC Radio Player (radio on demand) was launched back in January of this year and has become wildly successful. It allows you to listen to BBC Radio programs live or indeed anytime up to a week after initial broadcast. It'll be the forerunner to the BBC Internet Player and the Creative Archive which will allow us to time-shifted TV and archive TV.

The current Top 10 Online BBC Radio Shows are:
01 The Archers (Radio 4)
02 Chris Moyles (Radio 1)
03 Essential Mix (Radio 1)
04 The Essential Selection (Radio 1)
05 Dance Anthems (Radio 1)
06 Official Chart Show (Radio 1)
07 Just A Minute (Radio 4)
08 The News Quiz (Radio 4)
09 Zane Lowe (Radio 1)
10 Jonathan Ross (Radio 2)

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