Who? Jewel, the singer-songwriter.
Why? More than any of them, Jewel breaths an intimacy that suggests that in all the world, she’s singing to you. Just you. Like some private concert in a basement bar, the only other audience a bored waitress leaning on the bar reading a newspaper. I try to buy one album a week, and listen to it to death during my train journey back and forth from work. I listened to Jewel’s new album ‘This Way’ for two solid weeks – after a rough day of people shouting down the telephone at me, it felt like somewhere I could cradle away, hide from the ugly noise of the world. I only stopped the ritual when the tracks began to become too familiar – so that when I hear it again, tonight, then, it would seem as new.
first appeared October 2001; finally

Who? Richard Nixon, ex-president of the United States.
Why? I had just seen the teen/consipracy film 'Dick' with Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams. It's a spin on 'All The President's Men' in which two young girls are the Deep Throat supplying information to Woodward and Bernstein. It's a slow burning film, combining the subtle with the broad with a fantastic final shot almost worth the admission fee/rental charge. Also this photo seems to encapsulate Nixon's entire run in the White House in one image -- 'Why can I never get anything right?'
first appeared October 2001; finally

What? This is one of Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema's (1836-1912) more chaste works.
Why? I was casting about for something subtle for my title bar, and decided this evoked what I was trying to do with the weblog -- which was a bit high minded because I stray closer to pop culture than anything else. I was going to make this the permanent bar, but I think it stayed for all of three days. So here it is permamently. Notice the blogtitle in the top left hand corner. Just looks wrong.
first appeared October 2001; finally
Blog! Well actually, many of them. The 'Heart My Domains' webring is a mess of bizarre writing and site design. All the things you might expect are there ... anime sites (creepy), people who've given up on the point of a blog (personal writing about life's narrative) and are simply posting web quizzes. Links to things which have been linked to a hundred times -- 'I've just found this site called Google, it's really cool...' that sort of thing....
Books PopCult presents Unnecessary GuideBooks For Complete Idiots I'm not sure I entirely agree with some of these choices. There must be a definite need for a Voodoo guide for idiots -- I know I can't ever get it right. I mean which way up are you supposed to hold the effigy?
TV Off The Telly has had a re-design. It's clearer and feels more accessable -- in the old site the writing felt hidden away, now everthing is grouped together logically and links are explained giving more of a magazine feel. The new issue can even be downloaded in Abode format for reading off-line.

Particularlty good this issue, is a return to TV Hell, the original BBC2 theme night, to confirm everything learned then and examine how things have changed. Not much to be honest:

"In other examples, Sharron Davies must rank as the very worst of the many useless Big Breakfast presenters - her role on the programme effectively consisting of sitting in a chair and reading out a list of what was coming up later. Meanwhile it may be surprising to suggest that Richard Littlejohn was ever "much-missed", but when fronting Channel 4's Wanted (1996-97) he was, by all accounts, a good host of this often confusing format. His replacement was former MTV presenter Ray Cokes - once ubiquitous in "next big thing" lists - who proved to be an almost unmitigated disaster, managing to be both out of his depth and hugely smug."

Digital television is littered with these horrific flubs -- Boy George is apparently perfect as a celebrity interviewer seemingly because he wears a strange hat and who else are you going to get to present a panel game about students but the exc-eed-ingly prec-ise enun-ciator Richard Bacon? And don't even get me started with E4...
The Trains So here we are again. Two sets of employees with fairly legitimate reasons for striking bringing a section of the country to its knees (which is a cliche I always like using). I'll report back again as to what happens. To all those with cars, all I can say is Grrrr ...
Buffy never really got over the loss of Oz. Yes, he didn't actually do much but stand around in the back looking intense, but he was a much need male for Xander to bounce. The actually stories behind by Seth Green left the show are shrouded in mysteriouso stuff and this piece from E! doesn't make you any the wiser, because no one asks the question. Instead we have fruitless machinations about 'Rat Race'. Shame -- doesn't say he wouldn't not ever go back if it made sense, so you never know ...
Photography Visitors to ZoneZero have decided that film has some life left in it, and I find it hard to disagree, despite Pedro Meyer's predictions:

"This last year digital cameras have outsold for the first time ever, film-based cameras. The turf for film based cameras that used to be still photography, has now also been invaded by digital video cameras, which double up as still cameras while allowing us to make video as well."

This supposes two things. Firstly that people have happily abandoned the trip to the developing shop as a waste of time and money and don't like the idea of a photo album any more; and secondly that we've all got the technology to cope with a the newer ranges of digital cameras and store the images at a high enough resolution for reproduction in some other format. In the media perhaps, but domestically I'm not so sure. Is the statistic being inflated by the number of digi-cams given away free with computers, many of which sit in their boxes unused after the initial novelty?
That Day April Fool's Day actually seemd quite subdued this year, perhaps because of state of national mouring. Although pretty successful from this end. The full process of the sting is posted here, but in brief. The Guardian posted this fabulous parody of their own interviews, with a meeting with a fictional it-girl, Harmony Cousins. To add plausability, a colour photo accompanied the article of someone who looks suspiciously like Fiona Apple. It's an intriquate little thing, which is entirely plausable in comparison to similar pieces about people like Rachel Weisz and Renee Zellwegger:

"Indeed, over the several days that Cousins and I spent together at the Palace, she never lost this electric charisma: whether walking across the lobby to an elevator, hurrying down a corridor to her room, or pointing me out to the concierge, clearly anxious - though I couldn't quite catch their conversation - to ensure that the hotel treated her journalistic companion with the same starstruck courtesy that they extended to her."

So good was the piece that I posted it to Metafilter, but at the last minute I decided to pretend she was real in in the post, even Googling her name looking for a suitable (alright only) reference to her. I suppose I hoped that others would also buy it and pretend the girl was not fiction. I didn't think it would go this far:

"My sister moved in the same circles as Cousins for a few months in 2000 (more like her boyfriend moved in those circles--my sister tagged along). She said that Cousins' charisma was remarkable, but that she was always sort of walking a line between genius and madness. Apparently, she had a habit of finishing her sentences with nonsense syllables. Weird shit."

Or that it would spawn a Metatalk thread, which proved that not everyone was in on the joke ...
Travels With Matsui
'Soak Up The Sun' Sheryl Crow
What? I've had on my wall since university a poster of Sheryl Crow I bought at a college sale. She's very young, perhaps it was taken at the time of her first album (not the one which was released, the one before), and in her summery dress and she actually looks like Tori Amos. She's up there now looking nothing like the singer who's on her fifth (sixth) album. She's one of the few musicians for whom I would buy anything they release as soon as it appearded (Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple amongth the others). She's one of the few who's songs I can sing loud and in tune ... this is her first single for some time, from her album 'C'mon, 'c'mon' (loves the greatest thing we've had ... ooh sorry .. that was Blur).
First impressions? Sounds at first like the opening bars of the theme to the film 'WarGames' (Greetings Professor Falcon) before slipping into something a bit more traditional. This synthesises everything she's learnt from Eric Clapton and The Dixie Chicks and produces something much more accessible. Oh and the singer looks fanastic on the cover in that T-shirt. Just perfect for the 'How old d'ya think she is?' quiz...
Moved? Like any great music I suppose, this sounds like I've been listening to it for years (Pulp and REM have that style as well). In fact it sounds like it could slot happily onto 'Tuesday Night Music Club'.
Lasting impressions Once it slots into the album, I'm going to be singing this for years. As always with Sheryl, the chorus is incredibly catchy, although I'm not sure it's getting the radio play (please prove me wrong someone).
Keep, sell, dump? I tend to keep singles anyway so not much of a choice. The non-album tracks are equally resonant, although for some reason they sound a lot like Jewel -- which is odd as Jewel is sound increasingly like Crow. So keep and recommend. Especially since I invested in CDs 1 & 2.
That Day
Chris: Have you looked at your website?
Stu: What?
Chris: Have you looked at you website?
Stu: No I never look at it. I just write it.
Chris: Well you'd better go and look at it...
Stu: Why?
Chris: Something wierd's gone on. There is this strange writing on there...
Anthger day another password stolen. What shal i do here? damn, this huy's webflog sucs more than most -- and he gies away for easter? and peoepl read thsi stuff? sex! *//tiaafj//*