Blog! Worth visiting, simply for the title, Barbra Streisand gives one hell of a nose job.
Titlebar No Prize to anyone who can tell me where the new image is from...
Words 'It's a palindrome.' 'It can't be a palindrome -- the palindrome of Bolton is Notlob.' "You are a palindromic child. Even before you were a tot playing with your sis and pup, you were the offspring of mom (a mama) and pop (a papa) or dad (a da da). And you are a special palindromic offspring because you are living in the fourth palindromic year of the past eleven. You remember 1991, and MIM and MM — possible Roman numeral representations of 1999 and 2000 and the last time that Arabic or Roman palindromic years will ever again occur consecutively. And now you've arrived at 2002." The Vocabula Review goes round in spelling circles.
Museums My friend Chris once visited the Louvre. He sort of like art, but I asked him what it was like. 'Very busy.' He said. I could imagine, having been to exhibitions at the London galleries. 'Very big.' he added. I could imagine that as well, and wondered how a collection that large could be catalogued. Simple. It isn't: "Those security staff that are on duty are more of a liability than an asset, the report says: a security guard was sacked when a Corot painting was stolen in 1998, but it took him more than two years to return his keys and move out of the rent-free flat the museum had given him. Nor, if a work does get stolen, is the Louvre necessarily likely to know about it. It has still not got around to making a complete inventory of them." Scary.
Home Karen, someone I met on the train said something which resonated last night. She said that when she finishes her University course, she wanted to move to the North West permanently, Manchester probably because she ‘felt at home, more at home in fact than were I’m from originally’. She said she didn’t feel homesick when she began her university course because everything felt right.

I was terribly homesick when I went to university. I cried almost solidly for two weeks, and my mum is particularly haunted still by one phone call which made her drop everything and come and see me in Leeds. At the time I knew I wasn’t homesick for Liverpool. Although I like Liverpool I don’t think I’ve ever been love with it – it’s a scary place to go out in at night alone. I decided I was homesick for the creature comforts – having people to talk to who understood me and who I could relate to.

But rationalising now, think about what Karen said, I feel as though I wasn’t actually feeling homesick – what I was really feeling was a lack of security. The inability to look around and be in place or situation I can completely trust. Which somewhat twists the concept of home. Home in these circumstances – it becomes the way you feel in a circumstance, be it snuggling with your honey or watching a movie at a particular cinema. So while I feel something every morning when I go to work, something which feels like homesickness, it’s actually because I’m going to a place I don’t feel complete in. And the fact that Karen felt that completeness when she stood in the square near Manchester University proves how personal I thing this is. Home for me then, at the moment, is when I step though my front door at seven-thirty every night and know for at least the next twelve hours I’m completely safe.
Interlude Just a quick hello, to ask you for your patience for a few days while I take a break from the keyboard. I've a few things to sort out within and without. The usual advice -- visit some of the links elsewhere on this page and if you haven't already go take a peak at the other place. Rest assured I'll be back. Oh yes I'll be back...
The Trains Even when I left my mobile phone on board, I didn't resort to this: "The passenger hung on for hundreds of yards until the carriage screeched to a halt when he was noticed. The man, in his early 20s, walked back into the carriage before being confronted by an angry guard. It emerged that he had left his coat on a seat."

Film On Meeting the 100% Perfect Girl [@ ALWAYSi]


Enough said today I feel....
Music What to do if you're a reasonably popular R&B artist with a small following but whose following is largely due to a successful sit-com. You take a break, re-group and try again. But wait Alicia Keys as established herself in your absense and taken over your territory. Oh no! How could this happen. Oh best make a video then: "Maybe that's why the video for "What About Us" is so disappointing. The growing up angle looks so, well, counterfeit. When she spends a short minute on a little platform with two mostly naked men in collars and leashes, they're painted black, she's wearing red and doing the foxy hip-sway. In Making the Video, Meyers explains, "She's looking like a bad motherf$@%$*$! Oops!" The Viacom bleep patrol grabs up this cuss word, but you know what's up: Brandy looks crazy-mean and vengeful, and sexy too, sexy like a motherf$@%$*$. Yet the men-with-collars idea isn't really so vengeful. It even looks a little silly." That'll do it...
Books A true picture of the benefits of human cloning are not being debated properly because they are being obscured by the literary referencing of Dr Leon Kass, a bioethecist who has the ear of George Bush Jr. according to The New Yorker: "Kass's vision is dismally remote from what actually goes on in the nation's laboratories. There are no wild-eyed wizards with perfection potions. Instead, medical scientists stare at diseases against which frustratingly little progress has been made, despite years of dedicated research. While Kass conjures a world of lab-bred James Bonds, two hundred thousand Americans live with spinal-cord injuries, a million and a half have Parkinson's, and four million have Alzheimer's."
Sex Idling in WH Smith's I've always thought of Marie Clare as a pussycat in the girly mag trade. But here it is reviewing sex toys: "About twice a month, my company sends me an unmarked package filled with sex gadgets. Like any job, I schedule time for my projects in a date book: "4 to 5 p.m., play with jelly dildo; 9 to 10 p.m., try out new glow-in-the-dark condom." Luckily, I have a very understanding boyfriend who usually "assists" me with my research." Abruptly, Spock raised an eyebrow. Kirk wondered what that expression meant. "My boyfriend loves what I do. We've been together three years, and our sex life has never been better. But don't get me wrong: It is work. Sometimes, our marathon sex sessions feel like we're just punching the clock — one toy down, four more to go. And sometimes, testing so many products can get tiring." Does Steve Jobs know that they're modelling sex toys after the i-mac?
Blog! I got 44 hits yesterday. I have regular readers. Which is why (on a smaller scale) Dawn's lifeuncommon post the other day has some resonance: "Ever since the lomolog was on MSN I've found it extremely hard to write here. Every word feels forced and contrived. It's just like back in English class in the 5th grade. Mrs. Culken would give us a writing assignment and I would panic knowing that she would soon be reading with red pen in hand every word I had sloppily thrown together for her." She's been nominated for a Bloggie and now feels the pressure to perform. All can say is -- relax. Just keep doing all the wonderful things you do and everything will be fine. Believe me if I was entirely proud of all my posts I wouldn't keep writing this thing so much.
Nothing Happens Saturday was all but simply a bore. Nothing happened but going to the library. I got 'Sam's System', a book about a boy called Sam. He was allways asking questions. So his dad got him a computer. The story was about what he did. The next book was called Computers. The book was about computers. Just computers. The last book making the most of your acorn magazine. It told you about how to programme a computer. Next day I played scrabble with mum and dad. Dad won! Then Auntie Sue came for a knatter. We had spookety bolinasy for tea.

[The eleven-year-old version of me was an early starter in computers apparently. I suspect this when I found out I would never at all get on in sports.]
Games Console gamers sick of playing American and Japanese games can seeth no longer. Welsh software company 'Jester Interactive' have licensed twenty classic old games and are beginning the tide with a GameBoy Advance version of 'Manic Miner' ... durr-durr-durr-da-da dee-da-dee-da ... it may not all be good news though ... there will be tinkering ... "Good gameplay is something that never dates, and we are looking forward to reinventing the likes of Manic Miner for today's games players." Leave my Willie alone!
Film There are some films which for one reason or another I find impossible to review, films which I could intellectualise all about for hours if I wanted to, but which in the end boil down to the moment when I left the cinema. In the case of ‘Vanilla Sky’ I still find myself, some three hours after leaving the cinema. Go see it now.

[with this warning – forget you have seen any of the following as you’ll realise you’ve seen this film before: Total Recall, It’s A Wonderful Life, Wings of Desire, Open Your Eyes, Fight Club, the Star Trek episode ‘Frames of Mind’, much of Quantum Leap, Jacob’s Ladder, The Matrix, A Life Less Ordinary, The Game, AI (although that last one shouldn’t be too hard)]
Elsewhere Things that change after University [mefi thread] [via websiteless Chris]