Thursday, June 26, 2008


This is actually a really depressing story. This bloke spent all this time trying to prove something using high brow maths equations and fancy experiments but was wrong - don't know how he was, whether or not the prosecution got in there own, better university-standard physicists etc but he lost. And it's going to cost him £15,000, or £15,060 - actually I imagine they do add the £60 on rather than included it, just to really grind you down, the bastards.

The final quote too from Philip Gwynne seems a bit rich. Speed is only measured by distance over time so the laws of the land are based in physics. Still if you can happily make snide comments as a qualified university lecturer is hit with a £15,000 fine for having the temerity to use his intelligence to try and use the courts to disprove a £60 fine then you've got to be a bit smug haven't you? The message here is, don't try and stand up for yourself.

Why does he need to be fined £15,000? Using legal recourse to try and defend yourself shouldn't mean the risk of incurring huge, unpayable fines should it? It sounds utterly Daily Mail to say but there will be people who commit far worse 'crimes' than this who will end up getting lower fines or token jail time (which is evidently not so bad), while this poor bloke admits he faces bankruptcy. Nice.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back of the Q

A trip to the Q Monthly Music Showcase last night was a nice little perk of work. Martha Wainwright was fantastic and having long been a fan it was great to see her so up close. Support band Lazenby were also highly entertaining and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they became far more well known.

But…like almost every gig these days it was marred by people in the crowd talking, laughing and generally forgetting where they were. Ok so it’s a free event and probably not a rarity for some of the people there last night, but you and your friends can laugh about nothing on your own time. I think when a major artist is on stage playing an intimate gig you should simply just shut up and watch. The odd comment here or there, between songs perhaps, is fine, but not to laugh continually amongst yourselves almost the entire way through.

Rant over, otherwise though top stuff.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Some interesting and innovative reader-suggested mascot suggestions for the 2012 Olympics on the BBC here. Citizen journalism at its finest. Number 3 and 7 are my favourites.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This morning off

That was a short break. One day.

Ever Decreasing Circles

The news that Cheryl Cole is to replace Sharon Osbourne represents yet another milestone on the path of reality TV. Now, wannabe popstars on the X-Factor will be judged by a woman who is sitting there because she was a winner of a popband reality TV show. And the woman she has replaced only became famous because she was in a reality TV documentary. And her husband once ate a BAT! But that's not relevant here.

In a way breeding a microcosm of reality TV talent that judges itself might help to suppress it from the all-consuming monster it once threatened to become – the Lloyd Webber, Summer Strallen TV placement story being the zenith / nadir of this.

And call me shallow but if I am forced to endure these shows by others, which I perennially am, then at least Cheryl is nicer to look at than Sharon, or indeed, Louis Walsh.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Friday, June 06, 2008

Coming up for air

Davina Mccall opened Big Brother Nine with: "Britain's got talent? Yeah right!" Cue out-dated dance tune.*

Well at least they've started the new series with a tone that doesn't even suggest they might shy away from the fact that all they are doing is showcasing another bunch of odd, neurotic, vacuous airheads, desperate for the oxygen of publicity. Boring television that has run its course.

*I only saw it because my housemate was watching it...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Lost and found

Lost season four ended last night and brought to the close another series of outstanding episodes mixing drama, action, mystery, well-rounded, developed characters with extremely good writing and high-quality entertainment. The show now has flash-forwards as well as flashbacks so you know who gets off the island, although in a way, they don’t get off the island, the island just goes from them…but this doesn’t explain half of what the show has now become anyway and it would just be impossible to do so.

The show, admittedly, suffered from a slow first season and the ridiculous amount of adverts that interrupted its showing on Ch4 which has meant it became somewhat sidelined. People still say, who don’t watch it, based on incorrect knowledge, ‘they’re just making it up as they go along’, which is an incredible asinine thing to say – especially given what has happened in the last two seasons.

The rise of DVD boxsets is not a new subject now, but a show like Lost, could, maybe should, become an example of a beneficiary of this. While people may not have the patience to follow it from 2004 -2010 (which expressed like that is rather shocking) there is a chance once the entire show is on DVD and can be watched at the viewers choice it will suddenly find a new, second, audience who ignored it the first time around.

Lost is in many ways like a novel. A long, detailed set up, full of little moments of intrigue and interest, characters developing slowly, revealing their motivations and traits as they go. Now in season four, as the ‘novel’ heads towards a conclusion, large dramatic set pieces are being played out, literary, historical and scientific references are dropped in, and important questions are answered, while still bringing in more and leaving you desperate to see the next instalment.

The Boss is the Man

I went to see Bruce Springsteen on Friday at the Emirates and it was brilliant. Almost two and a half hours long, a fantastic set of the classics, new songs and some unknowns, and the E Street band in amazing form. The energy and enthusiasm from Springsteen was utterly infectious – it’s hard to believe he’s 58. Being three rows from the front made the four hour queue worthwhile.

It made me wonder just who will be doing live music like that in 30 years time. Bruce Springsteen has been going since the 70s, still brings out albums that far surpass much of what comes out by newer bands and can write some of the greatest rock and roll songs ever or subtly touch on major issues without ever sounding sanctimonious.

Somehow I don’t see Razorlight or Coldplay et al. filling stadiums in 30 years time with fans that weren’t even born when they started releasing albums.