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Delta Goodrem has Hodgkin's disease. Get well soon.

100 Scariest Moments
new Channel Four clip and chat show

And while we're at it Silence of the Lamb: The Musical featuring the classic 'Are you about a size 14?'

Billabong Girls because the summer is here.

A musical utopia in Finland. A Monty Python song springs to mind.

A User's Guide to Time Travel, everything Richard E. Grant might need to know.

AOL tries blogging. There really goes the neighbourhood.

Scary. You'll have to clip this link to find out, because I can't even think about it.


Big Brother.

TV For it's first four years on Channel 4, I was a massive fan of Big Brother and unashamed to say so. Then it still retained some vestiges of being a social experiment and while the edited highlights programmes were slowly developing into high impact scream fests, the live feeds, still run on E4, were often fascinating. So I was very pleased when Off The Telly asked me to fill in for usual recapper Matthew for a couple of weeks, the first installment of which is below. I picked an amazing fortnight, in many ways (though admittedly the following doesn't indicate as much) my favourite couple of weeks in the show's history, and the reason I still say BB4 was the best.

Jon Tickle is scrubbing the floor of the kitchen in the Big Brother house. Anyone who had been away on holiday for a few weeks and tuned in could have assumed that a technical fault had led to E4 showing footage from an earlier week. But then Tickle turns looks up into the camera, and nonchalantly says: “Particularly interesting … is Steph’s method of communication …” The Vulcan was back in the house and this time he had license to do all the things he’d wanted to do before. As he couldn’t win he was going to have tremendous fun not trying. And this included breaking the third wall for the first time in series history (barring Chris Eubank’s unsuccessful attempt at doing the same during the first Celebrity Big Brother).

This was the week which would arguably save Big Brother 4, but on the Sunday after the evacuation it certainly didn’t feel that way. Clearly the producers really were trying everything they could to do something memorable this year, to get at least one barnstorming argument out of the group. But it’s abundantly clear that no matter how many surprises they threw at the remaining housemates, nothing was going to change. I was with OTT’s usual BB correspondent Matthew Rudd – the series as it stood was lacking personalities. Gaetano was fun, but he’d only been there for a week. Lisa seemed to have been built in a petrie dish and injected especially for the job, but the virus of boredom eating away at the house was too much and it fought her influence.

The week’s gimmick wasn’t even new. After a live task, someone became the head of the household. It was used before in the first series of Big Brother USA and ultimately failed to increase the ratings. The producer’s fingers were crossed that it might help as the series wound down. In previous years ratings and votes have increased as the tension mounts to see who would win and whether romances would blossom further. In week six, voting hit an all time low, even with the extra day added on because of the evacuation. BB USA eventually resorted to offering suitcases full of cash to the more boring housemates to leave prematurely so that they could inject more life into the house. Were our producers that desperate?

Unfortunately what might have been a monumental change in house politics in previous years petered out rather quickly. Perhaps the execution didn’t help. Whereas in previous weeks, the task had been a genuine game of skill (in a Crystal Maze sort of way), for the second week running the outcome was mostly random. Each house mate selecting for themselves a battery operated toy animal which would take part in a race: Lisa was a dog, Nush a pig, Ray a sheep, Steph an elephant, Scott a rabbit and Cameron a rather limp looking giraffe. As the housemates slipped on their “cute” accompanying supporters t-shirt this felt like perfect fare for a Sunday afternoon. Although worryingly this was supposed to have gone out the night before – perhaps the evacuation had not been such a bad thing after all – an eviction was certainly preferable to this (and the viewers thought so to – Gos saw a greater audience than anyone had seen in weeks – outside of Elstree anyway).

Watching the little mammals trundle up their little holding troughs had a certain excitement quotient if only because part of the viewers’ brain was willing Lisa’s scottie dog to win (livening up the show for the next week at least) or for her to come last (because frankly having her in the house at the end would be a travesty). Digital Spy takes up the commentary: “The race began soon after, with every animal being on almost an even footing until the halfway mark, when Cam’s giraffe began to pull back. It was a tight finish between the pig and sheep, but the sheep just edged it, meaning Ray will be the HoH for the week. Cameron came last, meaning that he’ll miss out on the reward room for the week.”

It was only now that the duties of the head of the household were revealed. Ray would be determining the budget for the week. “I thought they were going to say nominations then,” Scott joked, as Big Brother added in sit-com fashion, “As Head of House, Ray will not be eligible for nomination this week,” BB continued. “As head of house, Ray will nominate three housemates on Monday. These three housemates will face the public vote.” The uniformly emotional Ray nearly burst into tears. He perhaps wouldn’t have been so emotional had he known that he was second favourite to win behind Scott and that it would mean that he was almost guaranteed to be in the final week. One of the real dramas for the week ahead would be whether he would realize that his best friend in the house was his greatest rival and tactically nominate. As usual the mood was broken by Lisa joking. “Give me a chance, I’ve only been here a week.” Not since Glen Hoddle’s statement about the disabled have a few words sealed someone’s fate.

In week six, when asked on RI:SE what he would say to Lisa if he was still in the house, evictee Federico was candid: “I’d tell her to lie down so that I could drop kick her.” Although it isn’t entirely clear what he meant by this, it did underline the general hostility which the new housemate had engendered since her appearance a week ago. As the programme entered week seven, she’d done little to increase her popularity. Suspicion still followed her. Inside the Elstree fortress, the housemates were overly aware that in their midst they had someone who appeared to be an expert in them, who had knowledge of how they were being perceived on the outside world and more importantly who had nominated who. She could actually tell them anything (despite their jokey attempts) but the “subtle” behaviour towards each of them gave them nondescript clues. The acute divide which the producers had been trying to develop for weeks was finally occurring in the house, but it seemed to be between the lifers and the newbie. And this comment didn’t help matters one bit, especially considering she’d said something similar to Steph a few nights before.

Just moments after the live task had drifted by this interpersonal divide become glaringly obvious. Over the following half an hour Steph and Nush stopped at nothing to try and avoid her, leaving room after room as she appeared. They were particularly uncomfortable that Lisa seemed to have started to replicate the clothes they were wearing, something which hadn’t gone unnoticed by Cameron, who on one occasion thought he’d been looking at Nush until the Welsh lass turned around. “It’s like Sleeping with the Enemy, or Single White Female,” Steph said, muddling her film references but making her point abundantly clear. The new woman’s attempts at friendship were weird and driving everyone away. This became more symbolic, later in the evening, as the girl told what she no doubt thought was her best story about being caught half naked by the parents of her boyfriend. Rather than bonding her housemates to her, it just drove them away. As the entire group drifted out of the room, all she could say was “Alright leave me alone then.” The divide would undoubtedly grow if she wasn’t hauled into to see Big Brother and given a warning for trying to influence nominations.

Outside that house, some attention was being paid to the first evictee Anouska. The best housemate Big Brother never had really, was brushed down and flown over the Australia to liven up their show. She entered the house with much fanfare from the press over there, with a mission statement to spice up their house. The tabloids in the UK had been patiently waited for something interesting to write about her, and in their eyes she didn’t disappoint, within days she was walking around topless and flirting with all of the men. Despite all of this the most shocking revelation was that the Oz Davina, actually chatted with the housemates while they were in the house, which somewhat missed the point of the format which is supposed to cold and isolating. The disembodied voice in the diary room should be the only place the housemates can go to vent spleen, and it shouldn’t be that welcoming. Introducing this to next year’s UK show would be a very bad idea.

RI:SE also continued to leech off the show looking for content. The Big Brother Monitor was looking increasing listless and some evictees had become permanent fixtures on the big couch. Tickle had gained his own slot “Tickle TV” where he told viewers what television programmes they should be watching that evening (an improvised and less interesting version of the not so popular “Route to Midnight” slot from The Big Breakfast). For a man who supposedly wasn’t interested in being famous he seemed to be doing an awful lot of television. In Australia, Anouska wasn’t impressed: “He thinks he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread as well … We’ve been doing these interviews since we came out and he’s going to the makeup person ‘Erm, need some makeup over here’; demanding things. Go back to your little office job [Jon] where you shall live and die forever (sic). Destined for life in your little office.” Taking into account the reporter, had the fame gone to Tickle’s head?

By the end of Day 46 in the Big Brother house, the burden of responsibility had been getting to Ray. After venting spleen about what he thought of Lisa’s comment after he had found out about the nomination twist, he basically said he would be nominating her, with the gestures to match. Drink was involved, but he knew immediately he’d done wrong. However the sight of him slipping into the diary room to be reminded of the rules seemed a bit innocuous considering it had been Lisa’s words which had prompted him in the first place. Why hadn’t she been warned as well for trying to influence the new leader? Only BB knew and Ray was too far gone to point out the inconsistency. He ended the day in bed and in tears. Or as Tickle would comment the following morning, the second best bit of acting he’d seen after Cameron being surprised that he was going to Africa.

The nomination process has never been a completely forgone conclusion. Even in the heady days of the first Big Brother, when Craig, Mel, Darren and Anna glanced at each other furtively before entering the diary room, no one knew who would actually be up. How times change. Even with a single person nominating, everyone knew who Ray would be picking (especially Lisa who heard it in her own head before they were read out). Of course he wouldn’t be tactical and vote for his best mate Scott and he wasn’t going to nominate Nush over Steph. And the only person who wouldn’t have nominated Lisa was going to be Lisa. Funnily enough it genuinely looked as though Ray had put a lot of thought into it and much soul searching. Cameron was worthy of going because he’d already had an exciting time in the house, going to Africa and everything. Steph’s card was marked on Saturday night when she’d hugged Nush and told her that she was really sorry that Gos had gone, the implication being that she would have been happy to get shot of Ray or Nush instead (well she had nominated the Phoebe from Friends of the house …) No soul searching for Lisa. “Where do I begin?” he wondered. Where indeed?

The story for the “edited” highlights shows from that night onwards became the increasing isolation of Lisa. It was difficult not to shout “yes we know!” at the screen. The viewer was getting far too close to the Big Brother experience as each day was frankly beginning to look like all the others. So we had shot after shot of the newcomer on her own. Doing things alone. Reading in bed, sleeping, sitting on the couch, even boozing. Sharp focus on her face as the pasta Bolognese she’d spent five hours cooking was dished out, the disappointment that her housemates were only for God’s sake eating it, plain to see. Nevertheless, at points the housemates were shown displaying a bit of sympathy for her. Cam was seeing something of himself in her, questioning how Christian he was being about it. Ray was identifying with Lisa’s predicament of only being in the house for a week and not being about to make her mark, regretting even taking the comment too seriously. But the more telling moment was later in the Tuesday night programme when Lisa and Steph made an agreement to cook an Indian together the following week (funds permitting). Steph agreed, but she’d obviously twigged that for that to happen, Cam would have to leave on the Friday, at which point she would no doubt be hugging Lisa and telling her that she was sad to see the Scotsman go …

So she continued this self confessed game player, wanting to win, but playing the game extraordinarily badly. On the one hand moaning that she wasn’t getting the full Big Brother experience because she hadn’t got to nominate or take part in any tasks really, but on the other seeming to forget that the public decide, that the public had decided that they liked the current housemates enough to keep them in, and that the best policy would be to keep quiet. As part of the Wednesday night show we were privy to a chat with Big Brother in which she gave the slightly old line that individually they were nice people but get them in a group and they were like a pack of wolves. She was right of course; unknown to her we saw on Sunday night what Ray continued to describe as the “slating”. But the vitriol on display here wasn’t going to help her case at all. Neither was her self affirming statement that she’d been in the house longer than Anouska (Cameron cuttingly reminded her that it was only because she was exempt from nominations the week before). Yes, but Anouska was the only first evictee to make any kind of a mark on her housemates (in week seven of previous BBs can you remember the players even mentioning Sada, Penny, Lynne … does anyone even remember the last two?), and despite the quick eviction a mostly positive attitude from the public.

Lisa might have been a bit more humble if she’d known that the usually correct RI:SE poll had predicted her to leave with 70% of the vote and the bookies were offering odds of 1-15. When your only pundit supporter is Alison from Big Brother 3 trying to be controversial you’re really in trouble. On Big Brother’s Little Brother, Dermot O’Leary was trying to be diplomatic about the onslaught of negativity from guests and callers, most of whom just wanted her to stay for the arguments which might ensue, possibly hoping for a repeat of the barnstormer between Jade, Alex, Johnny and Kate in week nine of the third series. But Lisa is no Jade and O’Leary was looking increasingly nervous at the prospect of having to spend the following week humouring the newbie.

The producers seemed determined to create a romance. Despite some shared duvet action Cameron and Steph seemed to be lacking bite since Africa, as had the audience reaction to it. Some hardliners live in hope, but they really are too different. So rather like Tom and Mel in the first series, every moment Scott and Nush spent together with any kind of personal contact was being offered up as evidence that something was going on between those two. Nush is touching Scott’s hair – better include that. Scott’s wiping Nush down. Nush and Scott with a flag wrapped around them as he attempted to pee. Scott looking on jealously as Nush flirted with Ray (many times). That’ll be in the highlights.

On Wednesday night the formulae was almost right. Housemates + booze = massive arguments and recriminations (well, at least in previous years). This being the love-in that is Big Brother 4, there was a game of truth or dare in which everyone snogged each other. Steph kissing a slightly bemused Cameron in the least sexy kiss of the series – he didn’t want to be there and didn’t wait all that long before dashing to the bedroom to wipe the green make-up from his face, torpedoing any suggestion that they would be the couple of the series. Even Lisa got some action though Channel 4 decided not to show that in the 10pm show. Predictably she was the one who decided she would say her piece, telling the group what she thought of them. But it was very difficult to take her seriously dressed as a leprechaun. “My words were, ‘they don’t want me here any more than they want a hole in their head’. At the end of the day, they’ve been a clique or been close for six weeks. I actually said that I would have a conversation with you in the next couple of days, and I’m doing it now.” She continued with some self awareness of her place in the series (ie, no actual chance of winning) and repeating that she could have screamed and shouted at all of them at one time or another. This might have been the most exciting night of the series, with plenty of water cooler moments, but it felt utterly contrived. It was the summation of the producers’ plans which began with the introduction of the new housemate, but other than the fun of watching people get progressively drunk, it was an utter damp squib. The housemates didn’t argue back. They were too drunk for that. The most Nush could say was “whatever” under her breath when her new best friend Scott was attacked for not being completely welcoming at the start. The highlights show kept cutting back to Cameron reading and dozing in the garden. Had this year’s Big Brother lost its final chance to shine?

The following morning no one could remember any of it. Actually they remembered sections and I was reminded of all times I’ve watched other people drop out of blackouts. Nush was looking utterly embarrassed and going over the implications of what she’d been doing when she left the house. For me this was more entertaining television than the night before. Nush couldn’t get away from Scott and there he was reminding her moment after moment. Steph was in the garden washing their leprechaun costumes. Could Nush put everything she did down to being another species for the night?

Elsewhere tongues were wagging. Eagle eyed viewers had noticed a slight schedule change to the Friday night eviction interview programme had been increased to 50 minutes. For the first time, all of the evicted housemates other than Anouska were crowded onto the RI:SE sofa, even Sissy who had been noticeable by her absence. Since Lisa was a dead cert for the white stairs to the exit, they couldn’t all be in town to welcome out a housemate none of them had met. Anyone with better things to do than watch the slow career decline of Iain Lee found out that everyone was back at the end of Big Brother’s Little Brother. Dermot O’Leary was excited. We were too. What was up?

But this was Lisa’s eviction night. It was characterized that way even before Davina read out the results. On the pre-watershed Friday night show, everyone, including the families were going through the motions. Ananova were reporting that bookies had already begun to pay out as the betting had risen to 1-33. There wasn’t a question. A better punt might have been the margin of the vote. Online and texting revenue boosters had solidly predicted something in the early 70 percents. In the event, a staggering 82.25% (913,164) voted for Lisa, 12.5% (135,025) for Steph and 5.6% (62,067) for Cameron. Someone had finally polarised the nation, and the steady drop in the numbers voting had been curtailed, at least for a week.

The boos which greeted Lisa as she left the house might have been the abiding memory of the night if other events hadn’t taken hold. Justine had been booed because she’d said some nasty things behind people’s backs. Federico had been booed for saying some nasty things about anyone he could think of. Now Lisa was being booed for … being herself. Possibly. It was uncomfortable viewing the evictee stepping down the stairs to be greeted by her family, being treated as though she was the most evil woman alive. Sympathy set in. Yes, she’d been loud. Talked about herself a lot. Been negative about her fellow housemates (although she was arguably provoked into that). But no one deserved this.

Davina was at her most uncomfortable when she sat down for the post-eviction interview. She asked Lisa about the reaction: “To be honest with you, I can still hear it and I expected it … I was put in in the sixth week of a show when everyone had already amalgamated and bonded.” But that described what happened inside the house. Why had the nation turned against her? Nothing in the ensuing interview really gave any clues. She just repeatedly reminded us that she had been herself in there: “I wasn’t gonna change,” Lisa vowed, “That’s how I’d react in the outside world. If they don’t like it, they should behave more like adults.” Perhaps it was because of conditions beyond her control. The public remembered the housemates who had joined the house in later stages in previous series. They had entered with the intention of, for the most part, blending in. The public had wanted someone who would stir things up, yes, but at the same time be as entertaining enough to turn the series around. The general question was “why did they pick her?” and because the producers didn’t provide an answer she was a loser before the end of the first week. And unfortunately although she tried to make her eviction the most memorable by throwing a proposal into the mix, other forces were at work.

Every single previous twist had been signposted at least a day or so in advance by one newspaper or another. We knew about the Africa swap and the new housemate days before they occurred. What made last night so delicious was that no one but the production team really knew anything, or if they did they weren’t telling. As we headed into the break, McCall revealed that indeed almost all of the old housemates were there. Curious. The highlights in the pre-watershed show had been over in minutes, and Lisa’s eviction had been announced 10 minutes early. Curiouser. And then the announcement arrived. As the more imaginative viewer might have guessed, one of the evictees (including Lisa) would be going back in. Except Anouska who was busy in a place were the water goes down the plug hole the other way or Tania who had better things to do.

It looked like posters to the E4 ticker would finally get their wish. Just as it had been a forgone conclusion that Lisa would be leaving, the public reaction to Tickle should have made him the obvious favourite. But had his reputation been tarnished since he’d left the house? Had he said or done anything which would turn the public against him and perhaps make them head towards Gos? Not a jot. 62% of the voters on the night (Lisa was amusingly second, although we haven’t been privy to that percentage) wanted Tickle back in the house. Stepping forward to cheer like he’d scored the winning goal in a cup final, he was already plotting his return.

“You’re going to see a very different Jon Tickle over the next two weeks.” He said as Davina led him back up towards the house, the massive cheers from the crowd (marked contrast from half an hour before). “Do you think you could get Nush and Scott together?” She asked, “Oh I’ve got other plans for them.” He said. Davina pleaded. He said he would see. Tickle was milking the reaction of the crowd, who like me couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Was this part of some great master plan. Had he been evicted early in preparation for this return late in the day? He couldn’t win. He couldn’t be nominated, or nominate. And he couldn’t talk about the outside world. But he was going in until the end with all the knowledge of watching the show from the RI:SE sofa for three weeks, knowing what they thought of him and he was going to have fun. Hopefully the viewer would too.

As the doors opened and he stepped into the house, the reactions of the housemates were golden. Suddenly Cameron had his Africa gleam on. They were all happy to see him, screaming and hugging (especially Nush who seemed to cling onto him for an inordinately long time). He sat them down quickly and told them the rules. He couldn’t tell them how he got there, why he was there. He wouldn’t tell them that he was an official housemate again. It was just that he was there now. Big Brother 4 suddenly had its first cliffhanger, and all that was missing was an overlay with the words “To be continued…” This was going to be good. Very good indeed. And of course, controversial…

Well, yes, quite.  
eBay Custom Made Ghostbusters Suits. He slimed me.
Who It's that time of the month again. And yes, it's another new Doctor, but apparently not a What If? but an officially sanction Ninth Doctor in form of Richard E Grant, for a new animated BBCi story from November. So Marwood will regenerate into Withnail. Paul Cornell is writing (thought you'd given up on The Doctor, Paul ...) and since he's been responsible for writing some of the deeply mainstream Casualty and Born and Bred he's got some clout at Auntie as a dependable quality writer so this could go anywhere. Even BBC Books are interested apparently. Will it lead to something live action? Don't know. But it is a bit exciting, just for being different. Just hopes it's more Shada and less Death Comes To Time. Chin chin.
Film Watching Love Story thirty years after it was fresh and new is a difficult prospect. It’s a film which has been copied, pulled apart and thrown back together in so many different ways and the start of so many filmic clichés that to see it for the first time should be impossible. But it’s enchanting, at least for the first hour. Its stunning to see actually how funny and exciting it is. The dialogue is sparkey, the characters carefully laid out. These aren’t the stereotypical dumb lovers I was expecting. They’re going to Harvard for goodness sake. Ryan O’Neill and Ali McGraw have perfect chemistry. Although the courtship seems swift, it’s utterly believable.

I do have one issue. O’Neill finds out about McGraw’s illness. Not the illness, but the unanswered questions. O’Neill has gone in to see his doctor to find out why they can’t have kids. The doctor tells him it’s because his wife is very sick and she’s going to die. But that when he goes home he’s to treat his wife as normal. In other words, don’t tell your wife she’s going to die because it’s going to upset her. Is that any way to practice medicine? Imagine if that was the rule of e.r. Wife to Carter: What’s wrong with me? Carter: Hold on, I’m off to tell your husband, we wouldn’t want to upset you would we? It’s utterly distracting. And at no point do we find out what’s up with her. In Forrest Gump, Gump hears that Jenny is ill and that she doesn’t know what it is. It works because we have the hindsight to know it’s probably Aids. This isn’t happening in Love Story, some kind of rare blood disorder apparently. Unless I’ve missed the point.

Although this was perceived as a major studio release at the time, (by a Paramount in trouble) the budget was only $2 million. Which sounds like a lot, but when you consider that the larger releases subsisted on $10 million, it’s a pittance. Which explains the independent look of the thing. All of the tricks that Kevin Smith et al would employ later are right in here. There is a scene towards the end were the lovers enjoy a hot chocolate in a café overlooking an ice rink; there isn’t an establishing shot of the café, we assume because the director Arthur Hiller wanted to keep the intimacy of the doomed lovers. Actually it’s because he couldn’t afford to build a set, so he put up a table and two chairs and filmed a two-shot them looking at each other instead. It’s about the lovers and their place in space and it works.

The ending really is sad as hell. But for some reason I didn’t cry like everyone else. I love the characters and it is sad that she dies. But I think because I knew it’s going to happen from the beginning an inbuilt defense mechanism had already kicked in. But I’ve heard that in stories such as this it isn’t about the ending it’s about the journey, and that’s the part that I really cherish.
The Internet is shit. Based on this argument I'm finding it hard to disagree.
Theatre You might remember this review I posted last week. Because I've always been a fan of balanced reporting I thought I would off this email I received in response:
"Just to let you know I and several members of my family went to see 99 Heyworth Street on the 28th June and we enjoyed every minute. I must admit the sound system wasn't very good but the actors proved that they were talented as it didn't let it bother them. As with everthing people have to moan at any little thing but I want the cast to know that we travelled home to wigan with our minds taken back 50 odd years, thanks to them for that."
And thanks to Jeanette Potter for that rebuke. As I wrote back to her I posted the review not as a slight to the play (I never like to criticise things I haven't seen) but because of the extreme tone of the writing.
Marriage You'll eventually end up marrying someone exactly like you. Poor woman.
Film An Alien V directed by James Cameron featuring Arnie in a crossover with The Terminator series. Nope, still July 9th not April 1st. Why not just throw a predator, Judge Dredd and Batman for a total adaptation of the increasingly confusing comic books?
Shakespeare I was debunking the other week the idea that Shakespeare would be writing soap opera had he been around today. But I was in the mood to do the leg work and speculate on what he would be doing. Step forward The Denver Post, who say some very interesting things. But the idea that he'd be a rap artist is for show surely?
Film Free preview voucher for Legally Blonde 2 at a UGC cinema maybe near you. Help yourself.
Communications I don't tend to buy new technology because it's there. What I mean to say is I'll use the same thing for years until it stops working before I replace it, even if there are better models doing the job better. My mobile phone was an old model when I bought it and it's looking increasingly ancient. It has an ariel for goodness sake. It has a small memory. But I love it for those reasons. Like an old mini, it fits my personality somehow. I can use it to call people, they answer and we can have a conversation. Works for me.

But I know that some people have to have the new thing so I'm not at all suprised at this story from Wired. The crux of the matter is that when users upgrade they're being asked to drop their old phone in a 'recycling' bin. The general feeling is that it's helping the environment, the 'r' word engendering a 'green' message. What is actually happening is that the phones are reconditioned then sold on mass into the third world. The companies spearheading the system suggest that this is a good thing because it means that it's getting people connected, giving them a way of communication. But what it actually means is that phones which have already had an innings are being flogged even more so their secondary shelf life will be shorter and the net result will be a refuse issue in another country which will then have the problems of disposal which we have suddenly dodged.

This is not good. I'm closet luddite really. Although technology has connected us all and let's me communicate with you now, it's also the cause of an even greater divide between the so-called first and third worlds. They after all are always getting our cast off technology, not the other way around. I would love for an African company to jump up and bite Ericsson or Intel and beat them at their own game. But in the current climate or situation this isn't going to happen. All I want is balance really.
Sport I was entirely disenaged by Wimbledon this year. I just could stand the idea of actually watching Henman lose in the quarter finals again and the Williams sisters playing each other again. This puts things in perspective: "Put it this way: The next time you get tired of Venus and Serena, consider this. There were 128 episodes of Dawson's Creek. There have been 22 James Bond movies, 15 Mark Wahlberg movies, 13 original Weird Al Yankovic albums. There have been 10 Friday the 13th movies, the eighth Halloween comes out Saturday and there have been seven Nightmares on Elm Street. There have been five Rockys and four Jaws. For goodness sakes, Cats played for 18 years on Broadway."This is going to be a long haul ...
Theatre The most startling and certainly the worst piece of theatre I ever saw was during my time with The Studio Theatre in Leeds. I was volunteer front of house which meant on the nights I was working I got to see the show for free. Mostly it was experimental, a lot of the time it was crap, but it gave me a chance to see why the really good theatre deserves it's reputation. On one particular night I really had no idea what to expect. The show began in darkness. I was sitting on the end, and were I was sitting wasn't completely black. Drum beats started and I felt draft as two figure skipped by me. As the stood on the 'stage' the audience could just about make out their silhoettes.

They were naked. We could see they were naked because we couldn't see the rumple of clothes. But we sat patiently for the 'surprise'.

Lights up. Suprise. They are naked. It's a woman and a man entirely excited about being on stage. An excitement which was being made by a single part of his body, which seemed to be making the point very well. It's at times like that you wish you have a hat.

Why were they naked? Still can't say. But we sat there, in silence as they threw their bodies about the stage for twenty minutes, then spending the next twenty putting their clothes back on. What an entirely unerrotic experience. This may have been the idea, but to pardon the expression it wasn't entirely explicit.

Now Broadway are having a similar experience every night of the week. [NY Times reg required]
Music So Solid Crew yes. But The Polyphonic Spree?
Shakespeare Whhen is a national landmark, not etc etc etc...
"Mary Arden's House, the attraction that drew millions of Shakespeare fans from across the globe, is not really Arden's house at all. Dr. Nat Alcock, a Warwickshire historian, has discovered deeds and church records proving Shakespeare's mother actually grew up on Glebe Farm, a property situated a short distance from the cottage traditionally recognized as being the childhood home of Mary Arden."
Do you think I could get away with saying Lennon grew up in my flat and try selling some tickets?
CPU How many of us, sitting in our office have seen the monitor, seen the window, and wondered what would happen. But how many of us have actually gone throught with it?
Weather It was actually so hot today my brain stopped working completely on several occasions.
Site News The archives have finally reappered, so new readers can finally find out what happened last July and up until January this year (although they're still a bit flakey, you might need to reload here and there). I've spent the day pottering about, watching this, and working on my new project, which will be revealed at the end of the week. Hint: I won't be posting anything here about Big Brother because of it.
Food I'm off to have breakfast.
Commerce This might not be enforcable, but I said that about the minimum wage:
"The party?s policy forum is proposing that virtually all workers would have their hours capped at 48 a week with no exceptions, and legal responsibility for enforcing the new rule would pass to employers. But the move has infuriated the business community, which warned the UK?s competitiveness would be seriously damaged as a result.
Yes, but won't we all be happier. Although it has to be said that I haven't been doing that much of late with my free time, I value that more than any possible overtime pay. But there will be some who work the long hours because they need the money, and they're going to be hit very hard. Also, how does it effect professions were there isn't a clock on/off, such as journalism or the police?