Thursday, 28 February 2008

Simply Everyone's Linking To ...

Garfield Minus Garfield. Which is probably best described by it's own blurb:
Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life?

I'm sure this has been around before, but it's popped up and made a splash again. The thing is that the blurb is true. Garfield sans Garfield seems edgy and often disturbing and the strips are much more compelling than the original.

Credit Where It Is Due

The photo below was taken by Robert Unterfurtner, official photographer of The BluesBerries. I should have mentioned it at the time, he's a great snapper and always manages to make less of my chins.

Robert doesn't have a website, so I can't direct you to it. But if you're in the Steyr area and need quality photos for whatever reason, please, look him up.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Moody Blues Photo

Click, as they say, to enlarge!

That Review Finally...

OK, so grumbling was heard about technical problems and there was perhaps slightly too much faffing around with levels and distortion and things like that.

My voice, it's said, was a little too loud in the first half. There's at least one person who doesn't find that a problem.

Especially as my singing was a strong as it's ever been at the Adabei gig, and I have the CD to prove it (I also have photos, these shall be appearing on the web pretty soon).

Yes, there a still niggles, I sometimes try things that don't quite work and my timing on intros can be suspect —there are plenty of rough edges, but I'm not sure everything should be smooth— but as a whole we played well and sounded pretty tight. There were some great solos and very effective rhythm sectioning.

It's not always good to keep on going forward if you are facing in the wrong direction, but the BluesBerries in my biased opinion are marching happily in exactly the right direction. Every time we play, something that was wrong gets corrected, something was merely ok gets better. I'm not claiming we are the finished polished product, yet, but the prototype as it is now is looking none too shabby.

Ashcroft Right

Verve were correct the drugs don't work just a Placebo. No word as yet as to whether Dodgy drugs cause Catatonia. Pulp and Blur are awaiting obvious puns.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

New Poster

This is for Doherty's St. Patrick's Mini-Fest, I think you can see what I tried here:

Monday, 18 February 2008


I don't really know the issues or personalities involved in John Scazi's rant about the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I do, however, find his description of one of the people most damning:
[H]e’s the sort of person who is under the impression that passive-aggressive lashing out can be hidden or mitigated with a smiley-face emoticon at the end of a sentence.

As a bonus, it turns some thing I've been describing as "unskilled and unaware of it" actually has a name, it's the Dunning-Kruger effect. I shall be shamelessly dropping this at any available opportunity in the future.

Loving The Illegal Alien

I completely agree with this review over at the Onion's AV Club and I'm not afraid to admit it.

10 Ways We Get the Odds Wrong

From Psychology Today, via 3QD, comes an interesting list of how me estimate risk and how we tend to get it wrong. It's the sort of thing you come across a lot when reading Pop-Sci books, but it's always nice to have it put so concisely. The ten ways are:

I. We Fear Snakes, Not Cars
Risk and emotion are inseparable.

II. We Fear Spectacular, Unlikely Events
Fear skews risk analysis in predictable ways.

III. We Fear Cancer But Not Heart Disease
We underestimate threats that creep up on us.

IV. No Pesticide in My Backyard—Unless I Put it There
We prefer that which (we think) we can control.

V. We Speed Up When We Put Our Seat belts On
We substitute one risk for another.

VI. Teens May Think Too Much About Risk—And Not Feel Enough
Why using your cortex isn't always smart.

VII. Why Young Men Will Never Get Good Rates on Car Insurance
The "risk thermostat" varies widely.

VIII. We Worry About Teen Marijuana Use, But Not About Teen Sports
Risk arguments cannot be divorced from values.

IX. We Love Sunlight But Fear Nuclear Power
Why "natural" risks are easier to accept.

X. We Should Fear Fear Itself
Why worrying about risk is itself risky.

Friday, 15 February 2008


Via Boing Boing Gadgets comes a list of proposed Star Wars Tie-ins that never left the drawing board. With some you can see why. The Cloud City lamp looks good, but would probably been expensive and the Death Star dartboard seems to be reaching just a little too far.

I can't believe, however, that they passed this one up:

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

British Place Names

I was just clearing out my dead links and I came across and article called List of generic forms in British place names. I probably archived the link to prove some argument or another at a later date, but as it is it's still fascinating on its own. Especially if you want to separate your Latin, Old English, Viking, Cornish, Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Pictish placenames.

Also worth checking out, if etymology is your thing, is the list of country name etymologies.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey

Via Robot Wisdom come a page of travel-time maps. These are so intriguing that I was only mildy disappointed that they weren't "time-travel maps" as I'd first read it.

Essentially they are maps coloured by how long it takes to travel to somewhere from a fixed point. For instance the first map shows how long it takes to get from Cambridge Station to every other station in the UK, starting at seven o'clock on a weekday morning.

Useful to some, though not greatly surprising. More interesting is the comparison of car travel times to rail travel times starting from Cambridge, which, more than anything, shows how inaccessible some places are by train.

My favourite is the one based on tube travel times in London:

It makes London look like it being attacked by some sort of Whovian blobby mass, and who can resist that as an image?

Scary Pic

The headline "Six injured after dramatic bridge smash rips roof off double-decker bus" only half prepares you for the picture. It's not bloody at all, it's just all the questions it brings up, like "how fast was the driver going?", "didn't he know how tall the bus was?" and "how long did it take him to realise the 'terrible crunching sound' was comming from upstairs?"

Via Fark.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Gangster Nicknames: The Origins

Have you ever wondered how mob guys get those colourful nicknames like "the Nose" or "the Hat" or have you always figured that, though the occassional one might have a story behind it, most are pretty obvious? Well an article in the NY Post, How Mobster Nicnames Get 'Made' shows that those in the latter camp were pretty much on the money. It took four writers to find a handful of "funniest" including:
"Tommy Sneakers." He "likes sneakers"
"Bobby the Jew." He's not Jewish. But he "looks like a Jew"

The rest are equally "funny".

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Wildest Imagination Not That Wild

Sky isn't the most trusted of news sources, so this should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, and you can't tell how Firefighter Dan French intoned the following quote, but, in the interests of humour, I'm assuming it was straight:
"It's beyond my wildest imagination why someone would keep handcuffs in their bedroom!"

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


One cynic once presented his favourite magic trick, "Read an American newspaper" he said and "see the rest of the world disappear". I'm not sure how true that is and how being an American newspaper makes it any truer than for, say, The Daily Mail or The Sun.

Anyway, I was reminded of the quote when a link on Robot Wisdom sent me to the Texting Term of the Day Blog. Reading it, I could feel my vocabulary drain away.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Simply Everyone's Linking To ...

... Cheeseburger In A Can.

British History Is Morally Ambiguous

Apparently history teachers, and their pupils, have noticed that the history of Britain isn't all purity and light. This is in reaction to both Gordon Brown and David Cameron calling for a history curriculum that fosters attachment and loyalty to Britain.

As tends to be the case in this issue the normal suspects are trotted out: the slave trade, imperialism and 20th century wars.

The history, then, of the British ruling classes is indeed one of moral ambiguity, if not, on occasion, downright immorality . In the same way the London is not England, the ruling classes are not Britain and their history is only part of it.

I'm not saying that the normal working man didn't play his part in any of the above, but I doubt very much that any of my ancestors were ever in the market for slaves or made money out of trading them. Something I suspect is true for most people I know. As slavery happened at a time when suffrage was far from universal, I'm not entirely sure the whole country should held accountable for it. History does indeed keep repeating itself the whole nation being asked to make up for the mistakes of the rich few, time and again.