Elsewhere On a happier note (because let's face it how could I end today's blog on that last post?) I've finally had by first mention within a post at MetaTalk. Miguel seemed to be under the impression I posted that article at that erotica discussion group -- but as I point out in the thread it's merely a via. But even under those circumstances it's a very nice thing to find someone else who reads these lines. I wonder who else is?
Ugh! Police search Vancouver-area pig farm in case of 50 missing women Sometimes a headline tells the whole story. One section of the article is particularly affecting: "A woman whose friend disappeared in 1989 said she heard about the search and decided to have a look. Dawn Sangret said she and her friend Elaine Dumba came to British Columbia from Regina around 1965. "I'm not really into hearing that she's maybe under one of those mounds," she said, looking at the large gravel hill on the property."
Sport Cam someone explain to me why this fabulous photo of Anna Kournikova accompanies an article from the website of a women's magazine? Which market is Lucre trying to sell to?
News Man detained on US flight -- a Uruguayan national tried to take over a United Airlines plane. The comparative reporting of this story is marked by one little detail. In the BBC story he was merely 'overpowered' by a fire axe. But according to Channel 4 News tonight, the Captain hit the intruder over the head with it...ouch...
Valentine's Day
Sally: You're wrong.
Harry: I'm not wrong, he wants...
Sally: You're wrong.
Harry: ...he wants her to leave that's why he puts her on the plane.
Sally: I don't think she wants to stay.
Harry: Of course she wants to stay. Wouldn't you rather be with Humphrey Bogart than the other guy?
Sally: I don't want to spend the rest of my life in Casablanca married to a man who runs a bar. I probably sound very snobbish to you but I don't.
Harry: You'd rather be in a passionless marriage.
Sally: And be the first lady of Czechoslovakia.
Harry: Then live with the man you've had the greatest sex of you life with, and just because he owns a bar and that is all he does.
Sally: Yes. And so had any woman in her right mind, woman are very practical, even Ingrid Bergman which is why she gets on the plane at the end of the movie.
Photography Dennis Drenner's Afghan Refugees. Sometimes my glib remarks seem pointless. Just click on.
Music The Voyager probe featured Mozart and Adolph Hitler. The Beagle 2 probe, due to (crash) land on Mars soon will feature a version of the Doctor Who theme remixed by Blur. According to Alex James, the bassist it's a "kind of like a musical cave painting, a ponderous, clear tune." It's based loosely on a mathematical sequence with elements of the Who theme-tune."
Museums The art gallery where I used to work, the Walker has re-opened after a £4.3 million refurbishment. I was sad to leave while the work was still continuing (I hate to leave any party in the middle) but speaking to some old colleagues I hear that things are better than ever within the display areas. I think I'm going to go back in a few weeks, once things have been worked in a bit. The opening exhibition is a retrospective of the work of George Romney the 18th century portraitist. [related]
Net There is a time when I would have thought the idea of a Star Trek themed browser was the coolest thing in the world. Then I sat through seven seasons of 'Voyager' and the fight's been knocked out of me.
Pop Can someone explain to me this man's continued success? Surely this was the last thing the pop charts needed. At least you can dance to the Pink track...
Journalism With so many news websites looking for faster ways to scoop their competitors it was only a matter of time before real people would be replaced by algorithmic systems. The Online Journalism Review profiles 'Newsblaster': "The computer, a natural language processing algorithm, uses artificial intelligence techniques to cull through news reports published online, sort them, and summarize them. It does not simply lift sentences to use as the summary. Instead, Newsblaster uses natural language processing techniques to read what is written in published news reports." Will this mean a return to dispassionate reporting?
Art Channel 4 are currently running some terribly worthy documentaries about Andy Warhol. They are pretty much wasting their time when they could be showing these pictionary drawings instead. [from 0 comments
Film Todd Solondz' 'Welcome to the Dollshouse' krept upon me from knowhere and meant I couldn't look at hollywood teen films quite the same again. I've been slight worried about seeing his work since but reading Rhonda Lieberman's piece from ARTFORUM it sounds like I've nothing to be afraid of: "Easy to read as a response to critics who have dissed Solondz's work as mean-spirited and/or cynical, Storytelling takes on those who fret about the artist's worthy intentions, and contends that all stories exploit their subjects?intentionally or not. With a song in my heart, I met with the Jersey-bred Yalie behind this world of predators, saps, and sappy predators."
Blog! It's time for me to let you into a secret. Before I took my full time job I used to write television scripts. I had one great idea for a series which I was working on right up until some paid me for losing twelve hours of my life per day. I even sent my scripts to some people in the industry whose work I admire and generally got quite positive replies -- but there was one from someone who shall remain nameless which slayed me. Far from pointing out where I could improve my work, she simply told me how I would never make it in the business.

Which is why I can empathise with Karen from Starry Eyes, a musician who recently got some feedback from someone in the business: "(He wasn't negative) about me, but about the industry, and how limited my chances really are of making it and that you have to be 18 with a 22 inch waist for them to even care what you look like, etc., etc. I can get downtrodden very easily. I can also pick myself back up rather well, but this really hit me. Then I started wondering if I was ever going to really get anywhere with any of the stuff that I'm doing: music, the book, poetry, jewelry. I start wondering why I can't be the kind of person who is happy enough as an accountant or a designer or a salesperson. Why do I always choose the goals with the biggest odds?"

Because I suspect some of us like a challenge. But also it gives us something to work towards. And the greater the goal, the better the success feels when we get there. Accept the helpful opinions, ignore the rest. As Karen says, "Screw everybody else's opinion." Yep. Pretty much.
TV Somewhere along the line I stopped watching television. Or actually I watch a lot of television but not just to watch. I watch only particular programmes. But looking back over the past week, the only shows I can remember making a date for were Buffy (of course) and the music comedy quiz 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' -- everything else has passed me by. The only other times I watch are in the moments when I wake up and let the news headlines at seven in the morning wash over me, a bit of Mtv during breakfast (followed by the opening for the day of BBC Knowledge when the repeating fire ring turns into something -- I'll miss that when BBC4 starts) and BBC News 24 during dinner (wondering why all of the young female newsreaders have taken their fashion tips from Muira Stewart circa 1991).

There is a perfect rationale for all of this. Documentaries have become increasingly simplistic and 'accessable' to the point that I don't feel like I'm learning anything (even Horizon is heading in the direction -- they're doing 'alternate realities' next week -- dread to think how that'll turn out). With soap operas taking up all of the pre-watershead half our slots before the watershed, there are no short series dramas before nine o'clock -- why does drama have to be on after ten at night? Why does it have to be a cop show, medical show or about relationships?

So I find myself increasingly watching video and DVD. It's limiting I know -- there isn't as much scope for surprise because I'm selecting what I'm going to see -- there isn't room to turn over and find some interesting programme I missed during my glance at the schedules...but people don't select the next book they're going to read this way so I suppose I should be content with that.