The world's oldest man dies.

The world's oldest man died today. According to CNN, Fred Hale Sr "was 12 days shy of his 114th birthday. Born December 1, 1890, Hale last month watched his lifelong favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, win the World Series again after 86 years." He was also the Guiness World Record holder for being the oldest driver, still behind the wheel at the age of 108. [via]

Life Props: Gap Bag

Life Props

Gap Bag

I carry my bag everywhere. It's only on very rare occasions I'll go anywhere without it strapped to my back and frankly I can't understand how anyone manages to survive without something to keep their belonging close at all times. It's like a tiny caravan, a way of keeping with me all the comforts that I need to get me through. I'm not quite Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club, but on an average day it contains: a book, my portable cd player, couple of cds, an umbrella, a copy of The Guardian, a bottle of water, camera, film, pen, pad, travel comb, travel toothbrush and toothpaste and spare batteries. In the past I've also carried a jar of coffee, towel (no really), weather mac and jumper.

Of all the bags I've had over the years, this is the one I've loved the most (if it's possible to feel anything for an inanimate object). Over the years I've had everything from a typical sports bag to a cloth ethnicy thing by way of briefly a briefcase. For well over two years I was using one of those school backpacks which WH Smith sell hundreds of. That was mostly fine, but over time the stitches came undone and the light bits of foam which were holding the straps together began to show. I thought I wouldn't ever want anything differentwith its pouch on the front for my cds and adjustable strap. It was my companion in Paris and other places but over time I tested it's limits and eventually it began to feel too small.

So about six months ago I began to actively seek a replacement. I was looking for what I had, but better. I looked online and in place after place, trying new bags on for size to see which fitted. But none of them did. The strap would be too short, or there wouldn't be a pocket. Frequently I'd put those bags back on the shelf or hook and wonder who could find a use for some of them, with their garish colour schemes or pointless pockets.

I eventually met this one in a Gap store of all places. Ironically I was in the middle of reading Naomi Klein's No Logo and even as I swung it over my back for the first time I felt like I was cheating on her somehow, as though she was standing in the doorway of the shop, looking in at me and shouting, 'Am I wasting my breath?' But it was snug, it fitted the contours of my body perfectly and it was just big enough - but not so large everyone who saw me might think I was on my way to meet Sir Edmund for an adventure. As I paid for it Naomi's ghost disappeared in a rationalization - the bag had given a whole group of people at different places in the supply chain a job they might not otherwise have. So long as they were getting paid something that was sort of okay even if it was in a dictatorship. But what isn't made in China anymore?

But this wasn't my bag yet. It wasn't quite right. The cloth hook at the top, the only use for which seemed be to let it hang in the shop was flicking against my ear. So that was sewn down onto the strap. The large metal buckle on that strap was fairly loose and would move a bit as I took the bag on and off which meant the bag itself would fall away from my back. I adjusted it to the length I needed and that was sewn down too. There was also a pouch dangling there for holding a mobile - the phone I had at the time wouldn't fit so that was removed. Some things I couldn't change - it felt weird on my shoulder - but that was understandable because I was used to something else being there. The music pouch on the front with the hole for headphones was perfect for the iPod I don't have but my cd player wouldn't fit in.

I forgave all this because of the size and shape. The old fitted inside the new with bags of room to spare. I was suddenly able to carry magazines around without having to role or bend them. I could go shopping and fit everything on my back leaving my hands free. Whenever I've gone away anywhere it's been my only hand luggage because I can get a change of clothes and everything else in there. It has a weight itself which means it can carry weight. When I'm traveling and tired I rest my head on it and if I need support it'll stop the back pain. If I'm in a tight corner it has an ordinary handle on the side so I can take it off and carry it normally through narrow gaps in shops and on buses.

There will be a time when this bag stops looking so shiny and new when the fact I can't listen to music as I walk around very easily will start to annoy. But at the moment the scuff marks on the Gap logo make it looked lived in rather than old and I can carry my cd player in my hand. Until then, it's carrying my weight.

'Not sure. Maybe.'

Life The christmas lights are up all over Liverpool City Centre and will be lit on Sunday. This along with Children in Need is another signal towards the closing of the year. My shopping's started in earnest, and it's the usual escape from everything else. I think everyone goes through periods which aren't exception, in which not everything is fabulous but not horrible and for me this is one of those times. I'm OK.

Angry Hippo

Hippopotamuses seem like quiet retiring creatures who like nothing more than relaxing in mud and then having endless baths. In fact, they're one of the greatest man killers on the animal kingdom, second only to lions in their ferocity. Their canine teeth average about at about 50 cms long, and they can use their head as a battering ram which (when they're not fighting other males over women and territory) they use to sink boats or attack humans which are getting too close to them or their young. So whatever you do don't ever look at a hippo in the wrong way.

Links for 2004-11-18 []

Links for 2004-11-18 []

  • Metafilter new user sign-ups are back -- with a donation of $5.00
    Which is fairly reasonable considering how many jams its got me out of over the years ...
  • Dawson's Creek Music Guide -- DVD Release Music Notes
    This show used music to good effect throughout and here is a rundown of what's had to go for the dvd release. It's mostly anything by anyone you've heard of. Paula Cole's even gone from the titles replaced by the Jann Arden track 'Run Like Mad'.
  • Bonanza theme gone too
    In an even wierder move, again because of rights issues, one of the most recognisable themes in tv history has also been replaced by something generic for the dvd. This is also the version showing now on the obviously monikored 'Bonanza' channel on Sky
  • Film of the Day: Sliding Doors (1998)
    One of those sleeper films which everyone has seen, liked but hardly gets mentioned in polite conversation. Sci-fi / fantasy premise handled sensitively.
  • ChicagoLand
    "I was greeted at the door by an elegant, petite Asian woman in a Viking helmet who directed me to my seat and then climbed into a kind of hamper for much of the rest of the evening." Sounds like the kind of place I'd end up in.
  • New Metafilter member Boris Johnson's profile
    Although oddly enough the mostly disgraced ex-Tory front bencher uses the name Sean in his email address. Over a thousand new members since I posted six hours ago that membership was open.
  • Google Scholar ponders Life, The Universe and Everything
    Grippingly the first suggestion is a paper by a computer scientist. "How long?"
  • Blogging hits the "West Wing"
    They sort of missed the point, but it was there. I wonder how long it will be before you can say the W word in a conversation and someone knows what you're talking about.
  • Alanis Morissette also cameoing in Kevin Smith's Degrassi.
    I know the chances are slim that I'd ever see this, but if anyone in the US fancies recording it for me when it's on I'll be happy to pay postage and what not. I have an NTSC compatible video.
  • The Beach


    The Beach
    Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

    Doesn't this look like one of the photos Andie and Gerard cooked up in 'Green Card'? It could be a beach or a Tunisian desert. Where are they going and what are they doing?

    Renaissance man

    The painter and engineer Leonardo Da Vinci was also an expert lute player. He even went as far as creating an instrument made from Silver in the shape of a horse's head. Which really does make him the Renaissance man that all would end up following.

    Links for 2004-11-17 []

    Links for 2004-11-17 []

  • Amazon Jersey
    Playing the game. It's a continental thing.
  • Buying from Amazon Jersey
    The sites own explanatory page. Cleverly it's only activated when the item would be cheaper for the customer if bought from there.
  • The Big Brother Christmas Panto
    "The ex Big Brother housemates, including Jade, Victor and Narinder will star in a modern day adaptation of Cinderella live on E4." With a faux-week of the series in the run up. Luckily, now that we're a Skyless household we won't have to endure this...
  • Life imitates art imitates My So-Called Life
    Suddenly millions of Lifers have Jordan Catallano flashbacks. Yes well alright, it's a slow night. But really Jared Leto. What were you thinking?
  • Film of the Day: Drive (1997)
    Forget the Rush Hour films and enjoy the real deal. Excellent kung-fu road movie with an early appearance from Brittany Murphy.
  • The X-Men Rediscovered
    The old and new of the comics series.
  • 'What are your intentions?'

    Life This column about the horror which greeted Judy Hibson when she visited the house her student daughter had decided to rent brought back memories. My own experiences of multiple occupancy can be found here, but something I hadn't remember until today was the initial stages of the house search in my third year. I'd decided that after the horror of the second year I wasn't going to be taken in by the A4 photocopy with the rip-off numbers at the bottom and go directly to the accomodation place and pick something off a landlord card mostly at random.

    I was at the office as it opened and started browsing, and within about ten minutes there were five of us in there all looking at single rooms and bedsits. So someone (I forget who although knowing me it was probably me) suggested that the five of us could team up and get somewhere together. Everyone was oddly enthusiastic about this suggestion even though we were total strangers. The sound of history was repeating because again as there I was with four girls. This time though, they seemed quite down to earth and well, normal. Also I was the only third year -- the rest were freshers and second years looking for their first house out of halls. I suppose I liked the idea of taking them under my wing.

    We'd introduced ourselves by then and started to scour the cards on the walls for a house in an area which was convenient for all our individual colleges. Which is the other reason it felt right -- we'd collectively worked this out very easily and everyone was happy. It was going to be a laugh.

    I'd found a card with what seemed like nice place which was five minutes away from class when I became uncomfortably aware of a woman standing on my shoulder. I turned around and she'd obviously been trying to work out how to attract my attention.

    "Stuart is it?" She asked.
    "That's me. Yes." I said, my mind trying to focus.

    I looked the woman up and down. She was an even bigger stranger than my new housemates and yet she knew my name. It was intriguing. The best description I have is that she looked like someone's mother.

    "I'm Julie's Mother."
    "Oh. Hello. Yes." I said enthusiastically as I tried to remember which one Julie was.

    At this moment I looked over her shoulder and across the office and realised that in my rush to find housemates I hadn't noticed that their parents were with them milling about. I suddenly felt slightly intimidated.

    "We've been talking..." When she then this I knew it wasn't going to go well.
    "And we thought it would be best if Julie lived in an all girl's house."
    "It's her first year, you see."

    I looked over at the girl I thought was Julie. She was doing a good job of looking away without trying to look like she was looking away. My fast friend was running away very quickly. Julie's mother fixed me with a look. it said: "We don't trust you." and "What the hell do you want with our daughter."

    "Ok." I finished and she walked away.

    As I looked at the others it had become abundantly clear that the group would be sharing a house together. I just wouldn't be with them...

    Buckingham Palace (?)


    Buckingham Palace (?)
    Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

    As far as I can tell there aren't any other photos of London in the collection of slides. Which makes this deeply incongruous. Who goes sightseeing in London and only takes one photo, and this photo in particular? Again with the wierd framing, although it's neat that she probably didn't want to stand too close so as not to disturb the man. Now follow the eye line of the woman on the far right. It's the uniform presumably.

    Temperature Drop

    By the year 2020, Britain will start to experience winters similar to those found in present day Siberia. Because of this a catastrophic war could break out as people scrabble about for an increasingly limited supply of fresh water, food and energy.

    Links for 2004-11-16 []

    Links for 2004-11-16 []

  • Sashinka wavers
    Take your time. We love what you do, but only do it if you need to.
    Where former Pythons go to entertain.
  • Quentin Tarantino Official Website Previews
    So alright is that really the QT? Well, whoever it is has just posted a preview of the concept images of an official website created by a company in Canada which looks legit...
  • A Third "Toy Story" film planned
    And going into production *without* Pixar. It's going to be horrible. We all know it's going to be horrible.
  • Film of the Day: Godzilla (1998)
    Not as bad as everyone says it is. No really. Listen ...
  • ITV3 to air European Film Awards
    Which is interesting considering I haven't seen any evidence they're planning to show any European films...
  • Apparently the new Do They Know Its Christmas? isn't very good.
    Although it can't be as bad a Band Aid II's version (which doesn't appear a b-side on the new release for some reason).
  • New 'I'm A Celeb' lineup finally confirmed
    It's a little glimpse into hell. At least if Brian Harvey loses the plot again he can go and ask Huggy Bear what to do next like they always used to on 'Starsky and Hutch'.
  • Degrassi Junior High 1st Season on Region One dvd
    What can I say but .... "What can I say? I just have a thing about girls who say aboot." -- Banky, 'Chasing Amy'
  • Live Aid

    At the Live Aid concert at Wembley in 1984, concert goers had a very portable solution to water movements. Empty water and soda bottles were filled up over the course of the day and in some sections passed along the line to waiting bins to be taken to be disposed of.

    Links for 2004-11-15 []

    Links for 2004-11-15 []

  • The Bloggers Should Be TIME's People of the Year
    Although I suspect hell will freeze over first because it'll mean paper journalists acknowledging that people on the internet are as valid.
  • Blogging the Band Aid recording
    This is either going to be very good or very wrong. Remember Bad Aid II? (which didn't benefit from being produced by S/A/W ...)
  • Vienna Before Sunrise
    "... a travel article that takes the reader around Vienna in the footsteps of Celine and Jesse with special reference to the hidden corners of the city." (via The Julie Delpy Tribute Site)
  • Guide to OAR
    "Just as you wouldn't cut up the Mona Lisa to fit a handy, too-small frame, or slice off the tops of your novels in order to fit them in a bookshelf, you shouldn't tolerate mutilated works of motion picture art just to fit them in your TV."
  • It's the same old song, but with new stars - and a bit less chaos
    Band Aid III recording in retrospective
  • The United Cities of America
  • Doctor Who News Page RSS feed
    Finally. For news about the new series and the old school. Just about essential for anyone with even a passing interest.
  • Film of the Day: Chariots of Fire (1981)
    Nice one Colin Welland. There English were coming, but it took a few years and only in American productions. It's interesting how well the film hasn't dated all that much, except for the music. The electronic orchestration does it no favours.
  • Shell shock at two-headed tortoise
    "A two-headed tortoise has come out of its shell in Dorset to find itself in the media spotlight."
  • Hurry Up and Watch: DVDs Time Out
    Suddenly find myself not entirely against DVDs with brief lives if its a means of distributing new films on an actual release date, so long as the disposal issue is sorted out. Seems like a good way for smaller films to get an audience.
  • Neil Perryman from Tachyon TV as Doctor Who writer
    Neil has a short story in a Big Finish Christmas anthology which also features such luminaries as Paul Cornell, Terrance Dicks, Marc Platt and Steve Lyons. Names which'll mean nothing to anyone who isn't a fan.
  • The Paris Review Interviews
    One chat at a time...
  • Wheel reflections


    Wheel reflections
    Originally uploaded by feelinglistless.

    This is probably the best picture in the collection and even here the otherworldliness endures. It's the certainly one of the few pictures in which the photographer seemed to know what they were doing and is it possible the only image we have of whoever that was?

    221b Baker Street

    In the Sherlock Holmes stories, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the detective lives at 221b Baker Street. There is a branch of the Abbey National there now, and the bank now employs someone whose only job is to replay to all the fan mail which is sent there from around the world.

    'So I'd like my 11 points please.'

    Life There are certain times when you wonder to what limits you can consciously and rightly be an asshole in particular situations. Those moments when it's the difference between being polite and being a doormat. I'm in Boots at lunchtime buying my meal deal. I hand over the points card, the assistant puts it through. I pay for lunch and walk away. I check the bill to see how many points I'm up to and I notice that the card hasn't been updated and that the eleven earned haven't gone on. My mind makes those split second rationalisations. Well it's eleven points. That eleven pence. That means I could have gone anywhere for my lunch. Is it worth going back. Well, it's the principal. Oh gahd.

    I queue up again (it's not that long -- if it had been long I really would not have bothered). I go the next assistant.

    "The points didn't go on." I'm expecting that she'll just drop them back on. She looks at the receipt.
    "It's not validated. I can't put then on."

    It's at this stage the asshole equation comes into play. I'm going to have to argue. Is it worth arguing for eleven pence? Is it the principal of the thing or do I not want to be a doormat? And if it is the principal have I turned a corner and turned into some moaning old bloke? Does it matter? I take a deep breath. I don't raise my voice.

    "But you see gave her my card. She scanned it. I paid for lunch and the points haven't gone on. I'd like my eleven points, please."
    She turns to her colleague.
    "What can I do about this?"
    "You'll have to speak to [insert Manager's name]."

    The assistant doesn't make eye contact. She gets up and walks away to the other end of the shop. I'm still standing at the till, and the same questions keep drifting through my mind. Was it worth arguing over eleven pence? Was it the principal of the thing or did I not want to be a doormat? And if it was the principal have I turned a corner and turned into some moaning old bloke. Have I in fact become the asshole customer I've always despised? The assistant returns with a key, which puts in the side of the till and turns. She puts my card in, scans my receipt, the points go on and she thanks me for my time.

    Of course in retrospect, this whole situation probably created more angst for than it did for her. It probably happens all the time and now and then someone does stand their ground, which is why in fact they can still add those points even if the receipt isn't validated. But I'm still asking myself the question. What kind of a person am I that with everything that's happening in the world that I'd stand my ground over eleven points on a Boots Advantage card. How low can I go?

    Talk about turning a corner...

    Links for 2004-11-13 []

    Links for 2004-11-13 []

  • Lisa Loeb's 'Stay' Lyrics
  • Fast Forward 2005
    "The future is something to get excited about again. Here's our look at the surprising people, ideas, and trends that will change how we work and live in 2005."
  • Film of the day: Ten (2002)
    Fairly exciting piece of film making although it seemed to find the conversations between mother and son more interesting than anything else which made for repetative viewing.
  • Blogs are evil. Really evil. Really, really evil.
    As Suw says: "My personal flabber feels currently like it’s been taken out back and beaten senseless with a cricket bat."
  • First trailer for 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' released
    Features the only music something like this can. Soundtrack is worryingly like 'Men In Black' though. Nice everything else.
  • How It Works...The Computer
    "This book was published in 1971, and the revised edition was published in 1979."
  • ... err ... err ... no ... now ...

    Politics Reaction to Boris Johnson's sacking at his own website. Backhanded compliments all round:
    "Girl at the Spectator Eh personaly I don't expect our MP to be perfect, Who wants a prim and propper pric for a MP, no one if they require sensible politics thats for sure. Maybe I am a little off course but I would vote for a person like Jefrey Archer in preference to Tony Blair any day. But whatever you do Boris don't upset the Yanks, George may dream up something they ask Tony to send you to the US of A pronto."

    "They've done you a favour, old man. Quite why you've been sacked - certainly in terms of PR - I have no idea. I mean, yes, you're a bumbling oaf, but you're a likeable bumbling oaf, and certainly more likeable than the rest of the Tories, even if that doesn't say much. I don't agree with your politics in the slightest, and I also don't agree with a lot of your non-political decisions, but the party is insane to get rid of the only Conservative MP that anyone actually likes, and our democracy will suffer as a result."

    "People don't mind when politicians have affairs. But they hate it when hosts of 'Have I Got News For You' having affairs."
    More comments to come throughout the day probably ... err ... err ... no ... now ...