Links for 2004-09-25 []

Links for 2004-09-25 []

  • Murdered Hong Kong dealer’s daughter vows to carry on business
    Compelling story of how someone can pick up the pieces and carry on
  • Unfortunately named authors
    b3ta again does something which makes you wonder -- "Why didn't I think of that?"
  • IMAX Film Festival 2004
    10am - 10pm. I would want to stay all day. The world would probably seem very small afterwards.
  • Film of the Day: Belle Epoque (1992)
    The spirit of Chaucer lives on in Spanish farce.
  • Acorn User
    Waves of nostalgia for the type-in listings section of old.
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 (R2) in October
  • Star Wars Galaxies coder offers forceful expression
    Spoof or interesting way to hand in your P45? You decide. I really should stop reading's rss feed. Profanity assured.
  • 'I was randy for martyrdom'
    Fabulously barmy interview with Tom Baker. Don't forget he's appearing in 'Monarch of the Glen' on BBC One from Sunday.
  • 'We're all living in a ...'

    Film Prozac Nation, the adaptation of Elizabeth Wurtzel's novel is finally getting a release, straight to Region One dvd:
    "Q. When will Prozac Nation be released on DVD? - M.B.

    A., a Web site that keeps track of the home video release dates of movies, says that Prozac Nation will probably be released in January 2005, but an exact date has not been announced. The movie has been announced for theatrical release and then delayed several times, and now appears be going straight to video. It features Christina Ricci as Elizabeth Wurtzel, a music critic for The New Yorker who wrote a memoir about her struggle with clinical depression."
    Still no news as to whether it's actually good enough to turn into a cult classic. But at least we'll be able to see it.

    All Quiet on the Beijing front

    The Road To Beijing In case you're wondering about the lack of posts on this feature, its simply because everything's gone quiet. News has stopped filtering through -- the athletics seems to be the only ongoing season. Everything else seems have been timed to end with The Olympics. In fact I haven't heard much of anything about anyone other than Abi. But I assume in the new year things will start anew.

    'My bad. Sorry.'

    Commerce I fell foul of Boots new meal deal pricing policy at lunch time. In the good old days, a sandwich, packet of crisps and massive bottle of water came to £2.50. In the new age that'll be £2.39 or £2.99 depending on the sandwich you choose. And you distinguish this by the small round 'meal deal' circle on the packet. In the fevered free for all of the scrum in front of the freezer I read this as green for cheap, red for robbery. So I picked some Coronation Chicken sandwiches, the water and the potato snacks and headed for the counter ... the rest of the story writes itself as I quibbled of the price only to be proven wrong by the accuracy of someone doing their job properly and a till which can scan and tell the price of something. Lunch should not be this kind of adventure. But the butties are still selling -- the fridges are always empty at the end of the day when I pass through for more water. Where else could a price rise of fifty pence actually not lead to a near riot?

    'You're a feisty little one ...'

    Film How can you set about reviewing the one trilogy of films which has been reviewed the most and in its latest incarnation has engaged more comment than ever before. I could present my argument as to why it's not so bad that Greedo shoots first; or that the new dialogue given to the Emperor strengthens Darth Vader's part; or that in fact the Ewoks aren't the worse thing that happened to cinema and are in fact a very good expression of Milton's pastoral themes. I could say all thsoe things. I'd planned to say those things in a much longer review. But what I really want to say is:

    Thanks George. That's great.

    Links for 2004-09-24 []

    Links for 2004-09-24 []

  • Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men #1 online
    The link is about halfway down the page...
  • BBC collective covers the Liverpool Biennial 04
    This thing is like the preverbial elephant -- people keep finding some other way of looking at it
  • I am not a hipster,
    Are you?
  • Star Wars: Empire of Dreams review from Wired.
    This dvd documentary is fine to a point. But it skims over Empire and Jedi to a certain extent and as the review says disolves into some repetative rah-rah about Lucas. But that's fine. Because it's great.
  • Film of the Day: Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. (1992)
    Features an extraordinarily empowering scene where the check out girl main character says some not very nice things to a nasty customer.
  • The Last Starfighter: The Musical?
    'Greetings Starfighter!' Interestingly they're keeping it 'in period' and setting it in 1983
  • Planet Magrathea News Page
    For all your h2g2 news
  • "Life? Don't talk to me about life..."

    h2g2 The first thing which strikes anyone listing to the new Tertiary Phase of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the continuity of characterisation after all these years. Any actor returning to a part twenty years after they last played them would be forgiven for sounding, wrong or forced to some extent. But from Simon Jones as Arthur waking in a cave through Stephen Moore's Marvin desperation at being harranged by a mattress and stuck in the mud it's as though Douglas had returned a year later to put this together. The only obvious loss is Peter Jones as The Book, although William Franklyn is a perfect replacement bringing a slight different vibe to the guide which is still hilariously incongruous.

    As an adaptation the series has its work cut out. It's source, Life, The Universe and Everything was not Adam's favourite. Based on material from a Doctor Who film script which never got off the ground, he rewrote most of it once because it was too dark. It's also quite plot driven, so it's quite a surprise that the first episode takes its time re-introducing the characters and what they've been up to. There are also some cunning digressions -- five minutes are spent on a character who doesn't appear again. But even for someone who's read the book a couple of times there were many hilarious moments. It's a rewrite but the sensibility is all present and correct. It's a homage but perfectly so. Well done to Dirk Maggs and everyone at Above the Title for creating what so far is a worthy successor.

    Links for 2004-09-23 []

    Links for 2004-09-23 []

  • Liverpool online series: critical editions of French texts
    "This Web site, from the University of Liverpool, makes available online the full-text of a series of critical editions and/or translations of French texts."
  • Stephen Fry interviewed by The Onion A.V. Club
    Probably one of the best interviews I've read by him and them. It covers 'Bright Young Things' a lot since it's only just getting a release over there and I can perfectly understand the ending now. If you've haven't seen it you really should.
  • The Joy of Ceefax
    Have you ever tried watching football live of Ceefax? It's a very zen experience ...
  • A letter to Liz Phair ...
    "I’m not sure if I can do this anymore. I’ve spent the last year defending you from all the naysayers who said you were a washed out sell out...."
  • Spare some change?
    "You know that if the Republicans were owned by Coca-Cola, the Democrats would be owned by Pepsi. More and more the issues are not important, but who has a better tag line."
  • Film of the Day: Can't Hardly Wait (1998)
    Not quite as you'd as it could be, but still features an utterly gonzo performance from Seth Green and a host of blink and you'll miss them pre-fame-cameos.
  • "Well fuck you. Oh wait. Everyone already did."
    Emma Kennedy doesn't take the loss of Belle ge Jour very well ...
  • "How's that for a slice of fried gold?"
    Suw Charman on the importance of not rushing into things like film scripts
  • WinAmp Plug-In: Time Restore & Autoplay v1.8
    Amongst other things plays a random track from the loaded playlist at start-up.
  • Clerks 2: The Passion of the Clerks
    "The still don't like you..." URL all registered and waiting for content
  • Liverpool Biennial Blog 2004

    Blog! Ian Jackson is writing a really neat blog about the Liverpool Biennial. You might laugh at this post about The Conversation Centre, but that's what I called it when I worked there. [via]

    "Anywhere around here doing a Jazz night?"

    Cardiff You'd think based on previous posts that I'm a bit obsessed with maps and signage. I suppose I am. We live in a time when get from place to place as quickly as possible is a priority. It's also pretty important even in leisure time so that you can get as much done in the little time that you're allowed. Once I'd found the information centre in Cardiff, I set about trying to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of the day and that evening. I had visions of find a concert with some star who doesn't come within a hairs breath of Liverpool. Not that night. I could see Jerome from Robson & Jerome playing Tommy Cooper in 'Jus Like That' if I wanted to, but something told me I was best going to the cinema. Which is what I'd end up doing and I'll talk about some other time. What about after. I glanced across the flyer boards. There were Ghost Tours, but not on that night. Tuesday seems not to be a golden night in Cardiff. My eyes eventually found their way to a flyer for a Jazz Cafe and that night there was a Trad Jazz band from Cardiff playing -- so the night could end to a Woody Allen accompanyment.

    I asked the counter man who'd agreed with me about the signs in Cardiff about it. He said it would be a good night, that I should make it, pulled out a map and set about descibing where it was. Now remember by this point I was pretty hot and very bothered, but through my stinging sweat filled eyes it looked like the place was basically around the block. I thanked him for his help and left, deciding to do Cardiff Castle (again some other time). On my way to the cinema later, I passed a Cafe Cuba with an A-board outside advertising Salsa lessons (not with these feet) and World Music later on. Which gave me another more attractive choice. So I resloved to return there first after the film, see if anything was happening and if not visit the Jazz Club. Insert Fast Show reference here.

    After the film, I staggered back to the city centre. The cinema had been far further away than I thought and after all the walking I'd done during the day my legs were pretty tired. What I should have done is cut my losses, gone back to my hotel room and tucked myself in to watch NY-LON. Instead I decided to follow the plan. I dragged myself up to the Cafe Cuba. The Salsa classes were still going on but turned out to be glorified line dancing and there was no where for a live band to go. So I realised I would be going Jazz. So I start walking again. For a bit.

    Then I realise I can't remember what the map looked like or were the Jazz was. I tried to visualise the map in my head but it came out all smugged -- all I could remember was that it was on roughly the same block as the Information Centre. By now my feet and legs seemed to know no fear. There was pain, lots of pain, but they'd come to an agreement to take me were I wanted to go.

    I found the centre a lot more easily than I had the last time. It was closed. I tried to see the Jazz flyer though the windows, but they had a jaunty yet annoying frosting to them, blanking out anything inside. It seemed like a good idea, since it looked from my memory that it was on the same block to walk around and hopefully bump into it. I went from corner to corner but there was nothing other than a slightly annoying looking wine bar with arrogant blue neon lighting. Widening the search I went into the cafe district. Like a Dickensian homeless urchin I passed warm restaurants filled with people all having fun. Now and then I dodged into admittedly empty pubs and asked if they knew if there was a Jazz night on. No one knew anything or if they did wanted to keep it quite lest a potential client for their wares disappeared into the night.

    But I was disappearing into the night. A determination had set in. Even as minutes turned into half hours, as time marched on I knew I had to find the place. I had a vision in my head of what my only night in Cardiff would be like, all music and drinking and it was going to happen if I spent all night doing it.

    Then I gave up.

    I was sleepy and I could almost see the comfy bed at the hotel lying at the door waiting for my return. But I had to have one drink so I sloped into a place called 'Is it?' which was an odd question just waiting for someone to write 'I don't bloody know...' on the fascade. It had big couchs which I hoped I could disappear into, my creeping uncalled for depression and all. Here began the second most depressing beer of my life. The place was empty except for three people sitting in the window, out for a drink after work, glasses piled up. I sat on the couch behind and poured my Budvar into a glass. As I supped my way through I listened to the three friends talking. About work. I'm on holiday goddamit. Can't you people talk about something else? But their chatter was relentless, metaphorically pulling apart the office photocopyer and work colleagues with equal abandon as though Office Space had never happened. Eventually my beer disappeared and I left, ready for the long depressing walk back to the hotel.

    Then I turned a corner and found the Cafe Jazz. Painted in cream all over it shone like a beacon in the darkness. It was ten o'clock. I'd been looking for it for an hour and a half. I was late but here it was. I had to go in. Two enthusiasts on the door seemed suprised to see me. I looked across to the stage and it looked like the band were packing up.
    "I'm not too late am I?" My voice was thick with desperation.
    "Oh no -- the next set starts in a minute. That's be two quid since it's so late" My mind imagined an emphasis on those last few words.
    I stepped through the cafe which was quieter than I imagined. It seemed new but was filled with people of an older generation, regulars. The few youngsters dotted about were family of the band. I sat at the bar, just as I imagined I would, and ordered a beer. The band began to play. And everything was perfect.

    I stayed for half an hour. I still had to find the hotel and get a decent night's sleep. But the music was everything I imagined it would be, all bombast woodwind and deep gravelly voices. The only irritation was that the crowd didn't pay them much mind -- they chatted all the way through everything, as though the men in the straw hats with instruments in the corner were just a human jukebox. But they didn't seem to care -- the playing was the thing. As I left at 10:30, the enthusiasts who'd taken money said in that asking manner: "Going already?"
    "Got to sleep.." I answered. The door clattered on my way out.

    Liverpool Biennial Map Key

    Art Anyone who's had a chance to visit anything at the Liverpool Biennial will have possibly encountered one of their little orange booklets which tells the visitor what's on and where. It includes a map of Liverpool with the numbers marking were all the venues are and these match numbers next to the name of the places and exhibitions in the rest of the booklet. So all you have to do it look through the booklet and when you see something interesing, look for the number on the map and there you are.

    Which is fine to a point. The problems occur if you try and work backwards. For example, you're at the FACT Centre and you want to see what else is on in the area. You find that gallery on the map but all you can see around it are a cluster of numbers. So you pick a number then go off flicking through the pages looking for it. The booklet mostly split into two sections -- the orange for the international section of the Biennial and light blue for independent, and the venue addresses and descriptions are all sort of mixed in together so other than looking across every single page it can me quite a messy prospect finding anything.

    I certainly found it intensely frustrating and time consuming on the opening day and eventually led me to just doing the main venues because it was easier (I'm not the only one -- I met a couple of people at the smaller venues I did manage to get who had just followed the map and ended up in some places which took ages to walk to and didn't turn out to be that interesting or open yet). All of this could have been solved if the publishers had included a quick reference key to which venues the numbers corresponded to, with page numbers so that the 'user' could just flick over and find out what's there.

    I want to spend a few more days enjoying the independant section and mopping up the smaller venues, so to make it easier I've written myself a key which I've inserted into the booklet so when I'm on the street again trying to find anything I'll have more of an idea of where I'm going and what I'm doing. It's the simplest of things, but it has meant I've been able to do things like work out very fast what exhibitions are on close to work which I can visit in my lunch hour. I'm assuming I'm not the only person who would find this useful so I've included some links below in various formats so you can download and print a copy for yourself. I'm using the foldable version because it inserts neatly into the booklet but I've also included a clean version in Word and text if you want to try something else with it like print it up on a t-shirt (which could make you very popular and get you lots of attention).

    Download the Foldable Liverpool Biennial Map Key as a Microsoft Word file
    Download the Foldable Liverpool Biennial Map Key as an Adobe Acrobat file

    Download the Standard Liverpool Biennial Map Key as a text document
    Download the Standard Liverpool Biennial Map Key as a Microsoft Word file
    Download the Standard Liverpool Biennial Map Key as an Adobe Acrobat file

    Here also is the key inline so you can see what I mean...

    Liverpool Biennial Map Key

    Map no : Location (page no)

    1 : The Walker Art Gallery (5, 34)
    2 : Lime Street Station (8)
    3 : BBC Big Screen (8)
    4 : FACT Centre (8, 38)
    5 : Biennal Centre (8)
    6 : Liverpool Community College (9)
    7 : Open Eye Gallery (9)
    8 : Bluecoart Arts Centre (9)
    9 : Church Alley (9)
    10 : Canning Place (9)
    11 : Merseyside Maritime Museum (9)
    12 : Albert Dock (10)
    13 : Tate Liverpool (10)
    14 : Museum of Liverpool Life (10, 33)
    15 : Pier Head (10)
    16 : The Port of Liverpool Building (10)
    17 : Wood Street (11)
    18 : Liverpool Town Hall (11)
    19 : Bispham House (11)
    20 : The Palm House (11, 42)
    21 : Independent District, Church Shed (21, 32)
    22 : Canning Island (33)
    23 : 12 Princes Dock (33)
    24 : Quaker Meeting House (33)
    25 : Boodle & Dunthorne (34)
    26 : Conservation Centre (34)
    27 : 26-33 Old Haymarket (34)
    28 : County Sessions House (35)
    29 : Mariott Hotel (35)
    30 : Central Hall (35)
    31 : Egg Space (35)
    32 : Quiggins Gallery (36)
    33 : Gostin House (36)
    34 : St Petersberg Russian Restaurant (36)
    35 : Metropole (36)
    36 : Arena Gallery (36)
    37 : Hoarding (37)
    38 : The Kit (37)
    39 : St Peter's Church (37)
    40 : Static (37)
    41 : Anglican Cathedral (38)
    42 : St Bride's Church (39)
    43 : John Moore's University Gallery (39)
    44 : Blackburn House (40)
    45 : Unity Theatre (40)
    46 : The University of Liverpool Art Gallery (41)
    47 : The University of Liverpool Senate House (41)
    48 : Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre (41)
    49 : Everyman Bistro (41)
    50 : The Metropolitan Cathedral (41)
    51 : The Cornerstone Gallery (42)
    52 : L.issue Gallery @ The Urban Coffee Lounge (42)
    53 : Sheil Park (42)
    54 : Between the towerblocks of Lymecroft, Rydecroft and Dovercroft and Dealcroft (42)
    55 : Wolstenholme Square, off Seel Street (24)

    Links for 2004-09-22 []

    Links for 2004-09-22 []

  • Nellie McKay is actually 22.
    Still a fantastic album all the same. And no one held this sort of thing against The Spice Girls.
  • GenieCorp (TM) | WE ADD SPLICE TO LIFE (TM)
    I received a message out of the blue from Aurelio O'Brien pointing me towards this website publicising his new novel 'Eve'. I'm not sure if I'm the only person to get the email but I thought I'd give it a shout out anyway because its colourfully unusual.
  • Fashion faux pas
    Wierd attitude to administration at London Fashion Week.
  • Liverpool Biennial Blog 2004
    Just an excellent idea. I think I'll go and post it to the main weblog as well ...
  • Marvellous mods
    Alex Krotoski goes Boing Boing over PC case mods. Is there nothing a PC can't look like now?
  • Film of the Day: George of the Jungle (1997)
    It features and ape called Ape. Voiced by John Cleese.
  • More evidence of a Google browser (
    It'll have to be really special to beat Firefox. But knowing Google ....
  • US Government Domain Names
    No I notice. Now that would have been embarassing
  • Speke, Liverpool @ Wiki
    I used to live there you know ...
  • Life In The Present
    ... a virtual art gallery blog
  • "May the force go with you..."

    Film Watching the Star Wars DVD boxset. May take a few years. See you in 2006.

    Links for 2004-09-20 []

    Links for 2004-09-20 []

  • Douze Lunes
    .. is a French weblogger who links to me. Merci.
  • Finally, the Wait is Over!
    Hang on -- that was I was going to say ...
  • TV host rapped for sexual slogan
    "Morning Wood" I don't see the innuendo there ... oh ... oh my ...