Satire Private Eye's Colmanballs: “Can you confirm the suicide bomber was amongst the dead?” Newsreader, News 24
Film Scooby-Doo screenwriter James Gunn describes the difficulties in making this new franchise simpathetic to it's origins: "When we started shooting in Australia, Raja and I were told to cut as many Scooby shots as possible to save money. So we went through the script and did this."
People Gina Gershon to appear as the front girl in a music-pic about a struggling punk rock band. She was the best thing in 'Showgirls' and she'll be the stand out in this one I'll be 'Bound'.
Museums Further to yesterday's article (and sort of connected in terms of access to the collections) staff at the British Museum vote for strike action.
Manchester Life It isn't often I can show you where I spent my lunch hour ...

:: how jedi are you? ::
Art I suspect that the commercial wing of the 'British Museum' choked on their crumpet's this morning when they read this article from The Guardian regarding a licensing deal they've hatched to sell reproductions of some the drawings from their collection. The writer picks his way through the wording of the sales blurb breaking down what it actually means in real terms. This may not be the deal that collectors are looking for:
"How much does the punter pay? Not much, if you buy only one image - the cheapest is £106 plus VAT and postage - but rather a lot if you imagine that you are going to start a "collection". Working my way, with some difficulty, through the website, I located 18 prints and put them on a shopping list: by that time I was due to pay a little short of £2,500 plus VAT and postage.

And here is an astonishing figure. The trustees' latest total allocation to the museum's departments for acquisitions is £100,000, of which the prints and drawings people receive £4,000. If the department, for some perverse reason, were to decide to buy all 25 of the hand-pulled lithographic prints, on acid-free deckle-edged conservation paper, in the Atelier 350 British Museum Collection, it would exhaust probably the whole of its acquisitions budget.
I agree that museums have to raise funds somehow and I'm not against the commercialisation of the more popular images, however, their first responsibility must be to educate not to distort or hide the truth in the way which is shown here. [Metafilter thread]
TV South Park's Kenny replacement: Me!

[Cast yourself in South Park at the Planearium]
Clockwatching I'm just keeping a eye on the clock for 10pm. Yes, I'm still watching Big Brother III, dammit! I know they're bunch of feckless idiots. I know it isn't going to get any better. But I've always been a fan of failure and I suppose I'm interested now in the same way that a child is curious to see what happens when they chop the legs off a spider.
Theatre A similar sort of effect to 'TimeCode' is being played out on stage at the Manhatten Theater Club. In Alan Ayckbourn's "House" and "Garden" the same actors are playing same characters at opposite ends of the theatre an when they exit one stage they have to dash across to the other. Like film, the timing is critical as this article from New York Daily explains:
"Any delays, and the actors already on stage "have to come up with their own business when they realize someone's late for an entrance," says Fitzsimmons, who recalls a couple of instances when an actor in "House" killed time by watering indoor plants with a glass of sherry."
I just love that America has embraced Ayckbourn. More tea, vicar?
Film The Region One DVD of Mike Figgis film 'TimeCode' is highly recommended. For those who missed it's tiny run in cinemas, Figgis essentially made four films simultaneously and projected the four of them in each corner of the visible screen, the characters and plotlines cleverly stepping between them all. It's a bewildering experience, but with clever sound mixing, our eyes and ears are drawn to the important character moments and plot points. At special screenings and premieres, Figgis actioned these mixes live, like a DJ gauging which parts of the action the audience were interested in and adjusting the noise accordingly. Cleverly, one of the special features on the DVD replicates this by offering the raw sound of each sector of the screen. It's effectively a cinematic version of the old Atari 2600 cartridges with 54 different games splattered on the side of the box -- that's 54 different versions of the same game. With TimeCode, although the view effect the action, by playing about with the sound mix they can change their experience in hundreds of ways, selecting which aspects of the story they want to concentrate on in that viewing. This has the effect of being able to enjoy the nuances of some of the performances, and some of the genius improvsation. After seeing this you will believe Julian Sands is a great actor. See, it's that element of surprise again ...
Work So I finally handed my notice in at work on Saturday. It was a fantastically liberating experience of course, but I think the one aspect which gave me a lump was that I realised I still had the capacity to surprise people. One poor chap from my work team offered the kind of look as if the whole nature of reality had changed in a matter of seconds. I suppose because I've been there for so long (in my job, a year is very, very long time), I've been given extra responsibilities and people are forever asking me for help. I think management where even expecting me to join their number at some stage. One of those types. For him and a lot of people the fact I'll be going in three weeks time simply doesn't make any sense. Why would I throw in that job with so many prospects? It means starting again elsewhere doesn't it?

But then I tell the reasons. Which creates even more surprises. I've actually been quite secretive in work about my personal life (about as secretive as I am here about work). So when they ask the 'Why?' question, and I fish about for coherent answers...
Me: It's the travelling.
Them: Why were are you from?
Me: Liverpool
Them: That's where you're from orginally.
Me: No that's where I live...
At which point the men (and some of the women) tend to have a look in there eye as though someone has shot a football between their goalposts directly into the back of their net ...
Them: So what are you doing working in Manchester?
I tell them that it was the only job which was available at the time and this seems to calm their nerves. A couple give a vague look of admiration as though I'm actually doing the one thing they're living to do. On or two congratulate me as though it's some great achievement, even more so when I explain that I haven't got anything lined up.

So here I am (almost) looking into the abyss again. I'm alright for now. I've some savings and I'll be busy over July and August moving house and with the Commonwealth Games. This is going to be interesting ...
Update Of my sickness I will quote only this:
Ford: Better get ready for the jump into hyperspace. It's unpleasantly like being drunk.
Arthur: What's so unpleasant about being drunk?
Ford: You ask a glass of water.
TV Still getting over the weekend, but I thought I'd drop this nugget off. Here we have the official website of the American version of 'As If'. Interest abounds. Watch the trailer and marvel at how everything but the actors is exactly the same. Find yourself gasping at getting that same 'wrong Willow' feeling you had after watching the original pilot for Buffy, only this time five times over. Gasp as you realise Emily Corrie is still playing Sooz, only with an American accent. Send any of the main characters an email:
From: Stu (
To: Sooz (

How wierd was that? You decide to up sticks and move to the US and find a bunch of people just like the losers at home you were trying to get away from in the first place...

Maybe things will work out with Jamie this time .... good luck ...

Take care,

This truly is bizarre. I think I need to go and have another lie down ... and I really have sent that email ... here is the return email which I presume was sent automatically:
Hi. I just got my nose pierced today. Figured I needed to balance the 19 holes in each one of my ears. Can't wait to see what Nicki has to say about this. I already prepared a comeback that ought to knock her on her ass. I do hope the boy of my dreams likes it though. I really think he would appreciate this sort of thing even though he may not exactly appreciate me. Who is this you might ask? Well, that's for me to know and you to dream about.

See ya around,

Who wrote that? Have they even seen the show? Unless the character has had a personality transplant she would not say ... "I do hope the boy of my dreams likes it though." ... she'd be more likely to say "If that bugger doesn't appreciate it he can jump in a lake ..." Or something like that ..
The Horror Still here. The entire family has gone down with some wierd virus bug thing which has laid us up right through the bank holiday. I'll write at great length again when we're back up on our feet ...