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

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Marc Almond
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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, February 29, 2008
MP blames quakes on gays ...
An Israeli MP has blamed a spate of earthquakes in the Middle East on gays. Shlomo Benizri, of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Shas party, said the tremors could be stopped by repealing liberal laws on homosexuality. Six earthquakes have struck Israel and neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan in recent months, with two coming last week alone. Israel decriminalised homosexuality in 1988 and has since recognised same-sex marriages. To the outrage of the religious Right, it last week enabled same-sex couples to adopt children. Mr Benizri believes it's no coincidence that the first of the recent quakes hit the country just two days later. "Why do earthquakes happen? One of the reasons is the things to which the Knesset gives legitimacy, to sodomy," he said during a parliamentary debate. "God says you shake your genitals where you are not supposed to and I will shake my world in order to wake you up," he added.
[Thanks Paul]

Thursday, February 28, 2008
The Milk Of Human Kindness...
My Uncle David is on his last legs in hospital so my Auntie Barb has be going to see him every day. She got back Saturday to find her house had been burgled. Everything gone. Nice.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Brain Teaser Answer...
Hope you haven't gone too cross-eyed. It's a head.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Brain Teaser...
What is in the image?

This can take a little time but is a great way to take a break from your screen, or a piece of work. Hold the centre of the printed image right up to your nose. It should be blurry. Focus as though you are looking through the image into the distance. Very slowly move the image away from your face until the two squares above the image turn into three squares. If you see four squares, move the image farther away from your face until you see three squares. If you see one or two squares, start again! When you clearly see three squares, hold the page still, and the hidden image will magically appear. Once you perceive the hidden image and depth, you can look around the entire 3D image. The longer you look, the clearer the illusion becomes. The farther away you hold the page, the deeper it becomes. And your eyes have taken a well earned rest from your screen.

Monday, February 25, 2008
I'm a Mutant...
Originally everyone in the world had brown eyes. Then a mutant appeared and all that changed. All blue-eyed people share one common ancestor. Professor Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Copenhagen team has identified the gene which around 10,000 years ago underwent a genetic mutation in one individual who eventually gave rise to all blue-eyed people. Eiberg discovered that eye colours ranging from brown to green are caused by relatively large differences in the amount of melanin in the iris, controlled by "considerable individual variation" in the area of the DNA responsible for melanin production. However the variation in iris melanin levels across all blue-eyed individuals is very small. From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor. They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA. Eiberg also noted that the blue eyes mutation is neither "positive nor negative", since it doesn't affect chances of survival. He concluded: "It simply shows that nature is constantly shuffling the human genome, creating a genetic cocktail of human chromosomes and trying out different changes as it does so.”

Friday, February 22, 2008
I've just had the annual do-I-really-need-my-car decision today. The MOT renewal was due. It wasn't too bad actually. Just £120. So the tank lives for another year.

Thursday, February 21, 2008
Arsenal 0-0 AC Milan...
Paul and I went to the Emirates Stadium last night to watch Arsenal take on AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League Draw first-leg. Before the game we were considered the underdogs (even by Mr Wenger) but a feisty start gave us hope of victory. Sadly a victory that was not to be. Dispite a forceful first half and dominating the second half we just couldn't seem to get it in the net. To crown the frustration Adebayor's injury time header hit the crossbar. We was robbed. Still, better to have a 0-0 score than 1-1; those away goals are gold dust.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Hampster Davros Dance...
Oh my word. How fab. VampireMonkeyOnSpeed has mashed up an old singing hamster toy and turned it into his very own leader of the Daleks, Davros. Great pix and a cool video.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The Sound Of Music...
Last night Dan, Michael, Norman (for it was his birthday) and I went to see The Sound Of Music at the London Palladium. It was great to meet the boys again after meeting them on Saturday night at Duckie and it was great to go to the show again too. The show has not really tired much as some West End shows can (take note Les Mis) - if anything it has become slicker than when we saw it back in 2006. Great fun.

Monday, February 18, 2008
Up the Oxo...
We British can be very subtle when they're being crude:

Friday, February 15, 2008
La Cage aux Folles...
Last night Stu and I went to see La Cage aux Folles at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

La Cage aux Folles is a musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman. The musical focuses on a gay couple: Georges, the manager of a Saint-Tropez nightclub featuring drag entertainment, and Albin, his star attraction - and the adventures that ensue when Georges' son brings home his fiancé's ultra-conservative parents to meet them. So it's basically drag, drag, drag. And feathers.

The show was great; vocally and visually spot on and very, very funny. We had Philip Quast playing Georges, sadly no Douglas Hodge but equally good Spencer Stafford playing Albin and his alter-ego Zaza and the wonderful Una Stubbs playing Madame Marie Dindon.

Stand out songs were Look Over There, The Best of Times and of course the rousing I Am What I Am. Superb.

Thursday, February 14, 2008
Happy VD...
A little joke for Valentine's Day:

What's black and white and goes to bed hungry?

Heath Ledger's cat.

Brain Teaser Answer...

60 = minutes in an hour

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Brain Teaser...
If 60 = m i a h what are m, i, a and h?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Arsenal 2-0 Blackburn...
I took Tim to the football last night at the Emirates. He was a football match virgin but I think he enjoyed himself. It was a good win putting us five points clear at the top of the league but the scoreline didn't really accurately reflect Arsenal's performance. It was a close run game with fairly equal possession. Still, can't argue with success.

Monday, February 11, 2008
Luca's Birthday...
On Saturday Stu and I had been invited to a number of birthday parties and house warming parties (funny how they all come at once). Eventually we just made it to two. Carl's house-warming in Vauxhall which was fab and then on to help celebrate the lovely Luca's birthday at the Two Brewers. All great fun.

Friday, February 08, 2008
November Bank Holiday...
OK, I'll join the bandwagon:

Number 10 Downing Street has approved a petition that was launched requesting a new public holiday falling on the Monday after Remembrance Sunday in November each year. To be known as the National Remembrance Holiday, it's got three aims:

1. To emphasise the remembrance of those servicemen and women who have given, and continue to give, their lives for Britain

2. To remind people of the importance of protecting our Nation and what it stands for;

3. To break that 3 month period between the August Public Holiday and Christmas when there are currently no long weekends, especially as the UK has fewer public holidays than most European Countries.

If you agree to the idea, please sign up to the petition - it doesn't take long - and it would be great if you were to forward the link to other people as well. If you are not interested, just hit the delete key. This is not just about another bank holiday, but more importantly about having a designated day to remember all those people that sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Brain Teaser Answer...

Face up to reality.

Thursday, February 07, 2008
More Yazoo Live...
It might be of interest for you to know that a 2nd London date has been added to the Yazoo Reconnected tour. 19th June at the Apollo Hammersmith has just gone onsale. Check out:

Brain Teaser...
Name the phrase from this picture clue

Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Pub Quiz…
Last Thursday Stu, Sam, Andrew, Tim and I went to the Hemingford Arms in Islington to have a bash at their pub quiz. It was a fun night and what’s more we won. £40. In fact we won by a long chalk. The exact term they used was “runaway winners”. So we might go back. The questions were fairly straightforward but fun all the same. Examples were: “What three short abbreviations were associated with the Shaun of the Dead?” and “What comes next after: Lamb, Heggert, …?” There were also quite a few picture rounds (what skeleton is this, missing numbers, missing letters and Disney rabbits to identify). All good clean fun. Well, cleanish. Our team name? The Front-bottoms. Quite. More snaps here.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Raw Video: San Diego Mayor Sanders Supports Gay Marriage...
This is really great. Quite moving too. Watch it. I wonder if their daughter saw that coming though?
[Thanks Rich]

Monday, February 04, 2008
Going Down to Liverpool / Hey Jude…
This last weekend just gone Stu and I went to Liverpool for Jude’s Hen Party. It was a weekend of fun and frolics on Merseyside. We had a couple of parties for Jude (dressing her up, embarrassing photos to pin up, and equally embarrassing anecdotes to relate), went out for meals and did the Beatles Magical Mystery Bus Tour (which was high on Beatles ex-homes but low on actual mystery). It was a good warm-up for Jude and Gavin wedding in Belfast in six weeks time. A few sanps below. More here.

I had never been to Liverpool before and not sure I’ll be rushing back. We didn’t have a particularly welcoming experience en route (drunk aggressive git on the train) and the city itself seemed really run down – which is not a first impression helped much by the freezing cold weather, the biting wind, the driving rain and the occasional snow flurry. Maybe the place will look a bit smarter once all the construction work is finished too. It’s pretty much a building site. We saw large sections of the city that were boarded up and had demolition pending orders on them. I guess like any city it no doubt has its share of problems but we felt quite uneasy in the streets near where we were staying. There were seemingly endless rows of lap dancing clubs, strip joints and rowdy pubs.

On the plus side the city does have a lot to offer though by way of tourist attractions; the Albert Dock, the Tate Liverpool, the cathedrals and of course the Beatles. Mind you, the Beatles do get milked in Liverpool quite a lot… what with the Cavern, the Beatles Story Experience, the Beatles tours and the new Beatles Hotel. Still, I suppose it is something Liverpool can be justly proud of. We had fun chatting to the guy who lives in Paul McCartney’s old house. He looks a bit like Macca actually and was really pissed. Ha ha.

It’ll be interesting to see how the tag of European City of Culture affects the place in 2008.

Friday, February 01, 2008
Microsoft wants to purchase Yahoo...
Wow. I didn't see that coming.

Doggie Locksmith...
I discovered my dog has turned into a bit of a locksmith.
I stuck a poker up his arse and he made a bolt for the door.

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