Thursday, 20 December 2007

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

So, I'm off on holiday until the 2nd of January.

I'll be back in the New Year with reports of further gigs, links and ramblings about binge drinking and whatever. This year has been a bit up and down, but it's ending pretty well. Gigs-wise anyway. Hopefully, the 'Berries can build on their fan base and start playing further and further away. Also Steyr Cricket Club should finally start training in January and I'm oddly looking forward to that.

See you all soon.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Vanilla Pudding News

Over on The BluesBerries MySpace page I've changed the live version of Vanilla Pudding From the Doherty's DownUnder gig one to the Café Adabei one.

I feel it's just a little sharper and, well, my singing's not quite so wobbly.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Faggot Out, Arse Fine

BBC Radio 1 has decided to dub the "faggot" out of The Pogues' Fairytale of New York. Apparently they wish to avoid causing offence.

I'm offended that they think someone could find this offensive. I find it offensive that a song that's been enjoyed in its entirety for 20 years should suddenly be so affronted. Still, if it keeps "faggot" out of the mouthes of children then it's all worth it.

I could have done without the scary picture of MacGowan though.

Monday, 17 December 2007

British Level Irony

From the Daily Express:
An area which was one of the first to model itself as a "safety town" is the most dangerous in the country for accidents, it was revealed.

Slough in Berkshire, which is ringed by traffic lights and speed cameras, topped a most-accident table compiled by Endsleigh Insurance Services.

This being an article in the Express the readers immediately spring to blame, and I quote, "Foreign bloody Johnnies" and their poor understanding of the highway code. I hope at least one of them is being ironic, but it's so hard to tell these days.


IKE 'BEATS' TINA TO DEATH - New York Post headline.

New Poster, Song, Gig Review

This is the poster for the BluesBerries next gig:

We had a very good gig on Saturday at Cafe Adabei in Weyer. You can read a little about it over at the BluesBerries mySpace page and listen to another song, Vanilla Pudding, from our last gig.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Fun & Games With The Mighty Boosh

Quests, minigames and show info. The BBC have set up a Flash thingy to advertise the return of the Boosh. Fun stuff.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

This Really Should Be A Caption Competition

Well, it had to happen. After all those pics of me looking suave or sorta cool I get a pic like this:

I'm obviously surprised by the size of Eamon's pump.

Speaking Of Errors in the Press

Time have an article be Richard Corliss titled Do Film Critics Know Anything? In it he sees to be moaning that when critics give awards to movies they don't just give the awards to films he's heard of, or to those with the biggest box-office.
And it all starts here, with critics fighting over which hardly seen movie they want to call the best of the year.

I'm sure Mr Corliss isn't really that big of an idiot, but he really does seem to be arguing that popular automatically means good. He also seems to be saying that because he hasn't heard of a movie it can't possibly any good. I'm sure there's a latin term for this, but it seems to me that this is an argument from ignorance. Because he can't bring himself to enjoy something with subtitles, he just can't imagine why someone else would.

Streets Of Shame

Regret The Error has just poublished on its site Crunks 2007: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections. A fun whisk through a year's worth of corrections and clarifications from newspapers around the world. Many edge toward hilarity:
In an article in Monday’s newspaper, there may have been a misperception about why a Woodstock man is going to Afghanistan on a voluntary mission. Kevin DeClark is going to Afghanistan to gain life experience to become a police officer when he returns, not to shoot guns and blow things up.

And several are scary, including this correction in the Observer:
We should clarify that the stir-fried morning glory recipe featured in Observer Food Monthly last week uses an edible morning glory Ipomoea aquatica, found in south east Asia and also known as water spinach. This should not to be confused with the UK Ipomoea, also known as morning glory, which is poisonous.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Blonde Moment

Via Robot Wisdom comes a fascinating map of the density, as it were, of blondes in Europe.

Inevitably the Scandinavians have the most per head, but what struck me immediately is something picked up in the notes:
The southern border of the fairer-haired part of Great Britain seems to correspond quite well with the southern border of the Danelaw, which was ruled and settled by the Danish in the early Middle Ages.

Monday, 10 December 2007

The BluesBerries Live!

I've added a new song from the Doherty's Downunder gig to the Myspace page. It's called "My Baby Done Left" and it's a song with lyrics by me and music by Markus.

It's a 12-bar blues with a bouncy surf-y groove and a particularly good guitar solo from Markus. As well as a tiny bit of craziness from myself. It's not quite our live sound as the guitars are a bit low in the mix, but it's a fine document of what I remember as a great evening. So, please, go and listen and, if moved to do so, let me know what you think.

Ads Glamourise Whatever They Are Advertising

Really, though, it's what they are there for, just like it's impossible to make an anti-war film that can't be misinterpreted by some pro-war faction or other, ads that tell you something is bad tend to make that thing look good, at least for some people. I've mentioned before that I enjoy a couple of drink driving ads just because of the sudden and visceral violence of them. The BBC have noticed something similar with those "drink responsibly" ads:
Some anti-drinking advertising campaigns may backfire by inadvertently glamorising the habit, say researchers.
The study, led by the University of Bath, said focusing on idiotic behaviour carried out when drunk may be "catastrophically misconceived".

As these reports tend to be, it's a study in obviousness and misplaced shock. They've discovered that embarrassing behaviour, rather than providing later mortification, is in fact a rich source of pub-friendly anecdotes. Turning the tales from examples of your own uselessness in to fables of your ability to laugh at yourself and have a good time. Or, as the BBC have it:
Frank Soodeen, of the charity Alcohol Concern, said: "Binge drinking is often treated as nothing more than a source of amusing anecdotes."

Who knew? Well, just about anybody who's ever talked to a group of lads (or lasses, indeed) in a pub after a night out.

Friday, 7 December 2007

An Almost Meta-post - A Short List of Lists

The Morning News recently linked to a couple of top tens. Both of them made me smile.

First came ten bathroom placards for the uncommonly stupid. There actually some good advice here. The first pic might need a little punctuation, but it's definately on message, where as the poster that states "If at first you don't succeed... Keep flushing!" ought to be made in to one of those motivational posters.

The second list was 10 Most Bizarre Scientific Papers, now these things are either silly or prurient, and this list manages a bit of both — "Rectal Foreign Bodies: Case Reports and a Comprehensive Review of the World's Literature", indeed. It also has a few gems in it. The infographic for "Pressures Produced When Penguins Poo -- Calculations on Avian Defecation" alone makes it worth linking to.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

It Explains Many Things

Americans believe in pretty much everything claim some Aussies. OK, they're backed up by a survey from Harris Online and everything seems to be gods, ghosts and the paranormal, with less belief going round for "Darwin's theory of evolution".

That last one's pretty loaded, though, isn't it? How did the questioning go?

"Hey, do you believe in God?"
"Every day is a miracle"
"Darwin's theory of evolution?"
"Evolution is well established, but I have problems with certain aspects of Darwin's theory in particular."
"So you don't believe Darwin's theory?"
"Well Darwin got a couple of things wrong."
"That's no to Darwin, then"

Triumph of Wil

After what seems like ages, several months anyway, Wil Wheaton has reviewed another Star Trek: TNG episode. This time it's Datalore:
And Picard, the captain who recognized Wesley's intellect and promoted him to acting ensign, responds with three words that follow me to this day: "Shut up, Wesley!"

Trekkies around the country gasp in delight as an episode that was veering into 'The Last Outpost' territory suddenly has redeeming value. Basement printing presses, silk screens, and button-makers go into over drive as entrepreneurial fans do what they do best. The convention market is flooded with the resulting merchandise, and children are still attending college today from the sales.

You can feel his pain.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Prior Promise of Future Delights

Apparently the Doherty's gig was recorded for posterity and just to embarrass me with how bad my banter was.

Actually, I've heard some of it and, though self-praise is no praise, I was happily surprised with how relaxed my between song patter was. And quite a lot of the singing stands up, too.

Now I'm just trying to decide which tracks to put on Myspace, so keep an eye on here and there.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Everything Gives You Cancer

When you're a woman, anyways, according to research published in the Torygraph:
Research has shown that acrylamide [the suspected cancer causing agent] is found in cooked foods such as bread, breakfast cereals, coffee and also meat and potatoes which had been fried, baked, roasted, grilled or barbecued.

"Best just nibble on a raw carrot, really" nobody insensitively added.