Blog! what's in rebecca's pocket? has already had a lot of media exposure and with good reason. It's difficult to think of a day when I've visited and not found something interesting. When I first logged on, this was my home page of choice (her counter must have gone through the roof). Since I'm off working on other things tonight (hence the slightly slow blogging) I thought it important to acknowledge a master ... and for those who are already fans ... don't you miss that eye?
Music Even though I'm an obvious media whore now, in the early nineties, many thing spassed me by -- in particular Nirvana's album 'Nevermind' -- which I've finally borrowed from Manchester Library. I missed grunge somewhat, kneeling as I did at the altar of Debbie Gibson at the time. As Henry Kelly said, 'Now you're playing catch up'. I can see why it's one of the seminal rock albums. Although I'll leave the final word to my mother: "It sounds like a tape rewinding.."
TV And so the latest Star Trek series begins ... This review may be from a biased source, but none of the previous shows had anything like the positive notices this thing is getting. Nothing will better the latter seasons of Deep Space Nine surely? More when I've seen the thing (roll on January when it's shown in the UK).
Blog! Julie Andersen's latest post about the special place of her teenagehood, 'The Hill', offers a nostalgia and wistfulness some writers have been trying to create all their careers. I'm reminded of the two places I can always go to if I need to remind myself of everything. The first is at the side of the lake in the park where I live. A friend and I once agreed it would be a 'great place for a shag'. Sadly he was male, so we didn't actaully test the theory. The second place is Birmingham. The whole city. I have never been there and not had a chance to get outside myself -- that something unusual or lovely hasn't happened. Remind me to tell you about sometime...
Film Variety reviews Mike Bassett: England Manager: "Using his salt-of-the-earth Liverpudlian accent to good effect, Tomlinson carries the pic with an impressive re-creation of the real thing that seems at least partly inspired by a famous TV documentary on former England manager Graham Taylor (clearly one of the models for the Bassett composite), though scripters Rob Sprackling and J.R.N. Smith claim their original idea dates back 17 years." Perhaps most intriguing about the review is for a stridently Hollywood paper, there is a pointedly good knowledge of football. I still can't help but reminded of the 'The Mary Whitehouse Experience' sketch about the possible coverage of the World Cup in America ('let's look at some more Sochur').
Verse I'm sure I'm the only person who's noticed the similarities between the lyrics to Nelly Furtado's I'm Like A Bird and Gerard Manley Hopkin's metaphysical The Windhover.
Blog! According to The Blog Twinning Project, my twin is blogjam: /usr/bin/bloke -- which is odd because he seems to be doing things better than I am...
See -- I link to something, then everyone links to it.
Music If there is one thing 'Dawson's Creek' has always had going for it, it's its consistent music quality. As this site, attests, there are very few missteps in terms of the style of the show. The music has become so connected, it's possible to hear a track and immediately think of it as Creek music, even though it maybe difficult to put a finger on why. The new single from 'The Alice Band', "Nothing On But The Radio" is a case in point. Here we have breezy pop, and as soon as the guitars pipe in, and the vocal starts to chat on about naked dancing to music, we can already picture the end of an episode, perhaps with Joey and Jen bonding, even though these girls haven't been anywhere near the show. This is the kind of music which has few fans over here (I bought one of what seemed like five copies at the HMV in Manchester -- not much chance of a hit there then), despite actually being about something more than construction workers. Roll on series five...
History(ish) According to BBC, the conspiracy to steal the famous Bletchly Park Enigma machine was directed by a renegade Timelord: "Initially, Yates denied being involved in the theft, but claimed to be acting for a mysterious criminal genius known only as "The Master". He told detectives he was acting under duress. He said this involved blackmail threats about "misdeeds revolving around horizontal refreshment in Calcutta and Bombay many years ago." Err right...
Fine Art Is a copy still of the same value if it's been created by an artist of similar stature? The Canadian National Post reports that the Van Gogh sunflowers sold to a Japanese company in 1987 may actually have been a version painted by his friend Gaugin. This somewhat points up the lottery of placing a value on art. Why should ugly minor works by so-called great artists be work more than beautiful pieces by so-called minor artists? [via ArtsJournal]
Commuter Life The man wanting to buy a ticket looked up at the apologetic face of the guard. "I'm sorry", she said, "I can't sell you a ticket this morning. I picked up the wrong machine -- the older machine." A pause. The man looks testy. "The was a fatality on this line of Friday and it's at the back of my mind. So I picked up the wrong machine. I'm sorry." In that moment, he understood. We all understood.
People This article from Rolling Stone points up the dichotomy that the casts of some of America's sit-coms and dramas are the highest paid enetertainers, and yet they are entirely unable to open a film. Everyone in 'Friends' has released a film at one time or other, but none have had the ability to bring in the public solely on their appearance. Aniston in particular is quite a gifted comediene -- certainly of the whole cast her's has been the most consistent performance (even the great Lisa Kudrow can't attest to that). But in film it's been trip, misstep, trip. Why? Perhaps George Costanza was right in that episode of 'Seinfeld' -- 'What's the point in paying for what you can get for free?' Which might account for George Clooney's success -- not on TV anymore so the girls have got to get him somewhere...

Blog! Sometimes weblogs are just FUN -- and so to France where we find 'mybluehouse' daily offering something to make you smile. Broadly. Thanks for cheering me up Becky!
BooksAre You Dave Gorman?’ offers much greater depth than the television version of events. Rather like the diaries Michael Palin kept of his travels, here we see the cracks filled in, the moments which could not possibly expressed within the comedy series. Part way through the first chapter it becomes clear that is not the story of Dave Gorman at all, but his best friend Danny Wallace, the man who proposed the bet in the first place. It’s about their friendship and keeping it together by impossible odds; his battle to keep within the spirit of a true Britishness which he has been brought up on. His loyalty to his friend is tested by a new ‘character’, his girlfriend Hanne (pronounced Hannah). She is the Norwegian balance the story needs to stop the story flying off completely into eccentricity, forever questioning her boyfriend about the validity of disappearing off to New York at a moments notice, and why a journey like this needs to be taken if the costs financially and emotionally are so extreme.

The book is separated into two voices. In bold we have Dave, whose words are a development of the television script – many of the same jokes appear the striking feature being that he seemed to think that the whole affair was pure sanity. In light is Danny, perhaps the greater writer, his journalistic experience to the fore, painting Dave as a much curiouser man. In some places, it may have been nice to have Hanne’s voice in there as well – at times she is quite a distant figure, her actual feelings about the endevour not entirely clear. Interjections from her, far away from the main story may a slowed the pace and added an extra layer of context.

But I don’t want to criticise what is a great book, certainly ripe for a screen adaptation (I favour John Cusak for Dave, Matthew Broderick for Danny, Joey Lauren Adams for Hanne). This is one of the compulsive stories that you wish would not end and at the end you wish they would go off and find fifty-four Danny Wallaces…it seems only fair… [Interview via Waterstones]
Blog! I'm coming to the conclusion that all profressions are represented by weblogs. Even world famous authors like Neil Gaiman have them, and like the rest of us, he's just finding his way home. If only other celebrities kept them, we wouldn't have to make-do with hearsay. Neil's blog has been particular good in the past few days as his site tries to come to terms with an attack of the Nimdas -- I a feeling this is going the effect everyone eventually ...
Opinion The Sunday Post's usually mild mannered reporting has been overtaken by a mood of danger. Terrorists — are you listening . . . puts into words what many of us are thinking -- and without the cautiousness of London journalists: "Your goal was to divide us. You made us stronger. You brought us together. We are truly indivisible. United we stand, with liberty and justice for all. Even you. Be aware of the FBI. See them track your every move. Watch your back. Our armed forces are on your trail. Attention, terrorists . . . observe. Stop running for just a moment. Listen and look and smell and hear and feel. You must. But then resume running. You have the United States of America on your heels!"
Archaeology The Dead Sea Scrolls too fragile to travel. Oh really ... there has always been a debate within museum circles about the viability of moving objects for exhibition and whether the risks involved outweigh the educational value. To move the scrolls for an exhibition at the olympics is surely for entertainment not education. Doesn't seem like a fair risk to me -- and surely they need the context of the original setting...
Theatre 'The Frieze' reviews Jeremy Deller's
The Battle of Orgreave
. One of the pivotal moments of the 1984/85 miner's strike was re-enacted in the style of medieval re-enactments. A heritage day out and social commentary all in one: "Any rail passengers staring out of the window as they sped through south Yorkshire on June 17th would have had the double-take of their lives: 800 or so miners and policemen, in period jeans and uniforms, could be seen slogging it out in a field as if no one had bothered telling them the miners' strike of 1984-5 had long been called off."
Radio Danny Baker is broadcasting again -- on the not at all nation BBC London Live. Aha -- but it's broadcast on the web -- between 8am and 11am on a Saturday, while I'm on my way to work. Denied, I feel...
Blog! Despite being royally flamed by her in this Mefi thread (she was probably right, I was stereotyping), it's difficult to continue without acknowledging linuxkitty's weblog. Her fan club at Yahoo has over a hundred and sixty members? Why? perhaps it's posts like this which excudes how we all feel about our parents sometimes. Oh and this which made my hair stand on end...
TV US attacks in West Wing storyline -- at a time when the US entertainment arts when actively ignoring world events, it's not surprising that the current second best programme on TV (behind Buffy, obviously) should be confronting this issue head on. It is difficult to see how as such an event within the fictional realm of the series would more than likely cast a show. Dream sequence anyone?
Time stopped.
Or so it seemed.
For him, floating in the void, nothing worse could happen.
The loneliness wan't like anything he had experienced before in his life -- perhaps, he thought, to anyone in anylife.
After all - he was the first to get into this situation, he supposed.
Strangely, he didn't feel the terror he should have experienced in expectation.
He felt oddly optimistic that something eas going to happen.
Time went by.
He tried to remember how he had found himself in this situation.
He found it impossible.
He began to spin.
He didn't know why he was spinning.
As he spun, he tried to use the inertia to move even quicker forward.
He succeeded.
The problem was he wasn't going anywhere.
He didn't care.
Fashion Marks & Spencer's new print campaign featuring a stunning model in langarie revisits the wonderbra 'Hello Boys' series of the early 90s. But you get the feeling they'll need more than this to turn around the fortunes (especially in the present economic climate. The article talks up the hiring of George Davis to revamp (yet again) their range. Bet they wish he didn't make it sound like charity work: "When I got the call from M&S, I realised it had been in my pores all my life. Also, they were getting so much stick. It was a feeling of 'Let's try and help M&S, it's part of our culture'."
Blog! As you all know, any weblog with a title like utopia with cheese will find it's way here eventually. But I'm not shallow, I won't just include it for that. I'll include it for insights like this: "I'm still unable to work or do anything constructive for more than a few minutes at a time. This'll mark probably the sixth business day in a row that I have stared at CGI code for a few hours, yet done nothing useful. I am going to have a lot to answer for when this catches up with me. But I can't help it. My brain will. not. cooperate. When I get to the computer every day I have the same peculiar combination: A pounding heart and a brain that just is too tired to deal with any of it."
Nature Rescued swans fly to new home: "(A) family of swans evacuated from Edinburgh Park after one was killed in a turf war with a rival is set to be released back into the wild. The female mate of a bird dubbed Narcissus - who was attacked and killed by a rival swan while teaching his six offspring to fly - and her cygnets will be set free at Cramond on Monday."
Net The Brains Trust watches the Internet reach the parts other global information sources cannot reach...
Music I will say one thing about 'America: A Tribute To Heroes'. What was Natalie Imbruglia doing singing backing vocals for U2?