"How many toilets?"

Life Home is currently being beseiged by hundreds of people in flourescent tabards and hundreds of barriers, with a small brigade of portaloos creating a wall nearby. At six am tomorrow, the front entrance to our car park is being blocked off and we'll only be able to leave via the back wall. A Liverpool Half Marathon is back in Sefton Park and the latest organisers, the London Marathon Company have started early. I can look out of the window now and see sponsorship for margarine and sports companies, massive striped tents and big temporary roads on the field made from sheet metal. In the morning we'll have the usual entertainment of watching people parking their cars, and people who've obviously never been to Liverpool before trying to work out which way the roads go around.

Going Awry On the Oscars

"Lisa de Moraes's March 1 column on the Oscar telecast was amusing and informative, but I protest her characterization of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" as "the drivel you're forced to memorize in school."

Links for 2005-03-10 [del.icio.us]

Links for 2005-03-10 [del.icio.us]

  • Marlon Brando is Jor-El in Superman
    "Well yes I know. He was very good in it." "No -- but he's playing Superman's dad in the new version." "But he's dead isn't he?"
  • Final Star Wars Episode III poster
    I'd almost forgotten this was happening...
  • Sir Ian McKellen joins 'Corrie' cast
    Might even watch it.
  • And not even the goody bag goes to ...
    Mike Leigh diaries his Oscar experience. "Why these ridiculous collywobbles? Charlotte says I'm worrying about the speech I won't have to make."
  • Kevin Smith meets Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright.
    Can I be a fly on that wall? Did anyone tape it?
  • 10 Years On, Alanis Unplugs 'Little Pill'
    Accoustic version of the first (and admittedly best) album coming in June. It's been ten years. I'm officialy old.
  • twitchfilm.net: Robert Bresson set (6 DVD's) to be a Pan-Euro release
    A reason for certain people to get a dvd player...
  • Danny Boyle's Alien Love Triangle Has A Distributor and Release Date!
    This one's been knocking around the release schedule longer that 'Prozac Nation' -- it was originally a portmantau movie. Has new footage been shot?
  • Star Trek 35mm Film Clips @ Flickr
    "I bought these film clips from Lincoln Enterprises in the mid 1970's and mounted them onto half frame slides. They are clipped from the rush dailies from the master negatives."
  • Links for 2005-03-09 [del.icio.us]

    Links for 2005-03-09 [del.icio.us]

  • The UK Corral : The Way We Were
    Blistering yet hilarious review of the new 1FM chart show. Don't appear to be playing the chart anymore. That'll get 'em listening.
  • Shakespeare Porn
    "Something is pervy in the state of Denmark."
  • SuicideGirls > Words > Grant Morrison
    The man's probably a genius. Site not safe for work though.
  • The reason that Microsoft have a reputation for being dull ...
    ... is that they ban commercials like this one ...
  • Cold Feet - UK show starring Helen Baxendale (Friends' 'Emily') now on DVD
    One for US readers. Region One release of one of the best UK ensemble shows of the past ten years. Bittersweet comedy. Odd packaging though.
  • Interesting WHEDONesque thread about tv viewing habits in the light of dvd
    Frankly what's the point of killing yourself not to miss things for 26 weeks when you can catch them on dvd. Except for certain show in which main the character no longer wears a scarf.
  • "and the next...>"

    Life The cold's accended but thanks for the thoughts. I'm still in a kind of drifting mode, punctuated as yesterday on the bus by moments of the bizarre (Jeremy Paxman sitting in front of the new Doctor Who logo on Newsnight not withstanding). It's all about waiting for the next thing.

    "My hands got chill blains..."

    The Road To Beijing Laura Balwin has posted her February diary:
    "My word, it was freezing! My hands got chill blains then went numb. We had a quick blast around Portland Harbor before my toe strap elastic came undone during a tacking drill sending me flying out of the boat and plopping me in the icy water. That was it, I had to head home it wasn?t just my feet that were throbbing now but my whole body! "
    Meanwhile, UK Athletics have updated Abi Oyepitan's IAAF ranking on her biography page. As of the 7th March she's gone from 18th to 17th in the rankings. [about]

    "You didn't ring the bell."

    The Buses So I've walked the length of the bus and I'm standing near the door waiting to get off. As the stop approaches, we sail past I look up at the driver, and say as nice as I can.
    "We've gone past the stop."
    "I was I supposed to know you wanted to get off?" He says, "I'm not clarevoyant."
    I think he's going to stop the bus. But no we just keep on going.
    "But I'm standing near the door." I explain.
    "You didn't ring the bell."
    I look at him through the driver's mirror. I look back at the passengers, some of whom are blinking trying to work out what his issue is. Someone smiles sympathetically. I start to wonder. Is this man going to keep manically driving until someone rings the bell?
    So like the dancing monkey that I am, I ring the bell.
    "There ..." he says, and I'm not making this up, "That wasn't too difficult was it?"
    The bus stops at the next stop, five minutes walk away from home. I make show of taking the number of the bus, and say something like sarcey barsteward quietly to myself as I'm getting off.

    [Someone who reads the blog that I've met in the real world mentioned that I seem to have a lot of trouble with buses. This one's for him.]

    'Just follow the day...'

    Life I'm sorry, but I've just got to write about it. I was going to be ironic and write about the Tarkovsky film Mirror which I saw in film class tonight (extraordinary piece, amazing imagery) but with a press launch, teaser trailers all over the schedules and news reports about downloading, there really isn't anything else on my mind.

    Seeing Billie and Chris staring purposefully out from the TARDIS console room in those trailers finally brought home how much the BBC want this to work. With all the BBC Radio Two material and the new website (with the old or 'classic' one hidden just beneath), this isn't the McCoy era of sticking it on and hoping it finds an audience itself. The corporation are actively looking for one itself.

    On The Six O'Clock News tonight, Sophie Raworth said that it was the news that millions of fans had been waiting for (a bit different to the eight thousand The Observer quoted on Sunday) -- and without this sounding like politics, we're going to need them. Seven O'Clock on a Saturday evening is not the cakewalk it might have been in the mid-seventies. It's right up against whatever ITV are knocking out and its been ages since a television drama has been in there.

    What it really needs is the Harry Potter generation, already versed in fantasy to latch onto it. When the show left the air in the late eighties, there wasn't much decent sci-fi knocking around. Star Trek: The Next Generation was your lot (go on argue). A few years later The X-Files appeared and since then the appetite for the genre has grown in the general audience. People are simple more likely to accept the non-realistic now. Plus I don't think the series is entirely unknown to the young audience its aimed at -- the UK Gold repeats have a solid following as do parental video and dvd collections.

    The only thing which can go wrong now is for it to be utterly terrible, a Twin Dilemma instead of a Spearhead From Space. Without watching it now (shan't, won't, can't download) in my heart of hearts I know it won't be. With the talent involved, the cast it's drawn, the sheer love which surrounds it (I heard earlier that Russell T Davies cried when he heard the new version of the theme tune) that come the 26th March I won't be disappointed.

    Links for 2005-03-06 [del.icio.us]

    Links for 2005-03-06 [del.icio.us]

  • Director Kevin Smith does radio.
    Oh for a broadband connection.
  • Crowe Finds Good "Neighbours"
    Russell Crowe has apparently agreed to appear in the 20th anniversary episode. Even though he was only in it for about two seconds. Kylie says no and ...
  • LinkMachineGo: neo-maxi zoom linky reaches fifth year
    Congratulations Darren
  • Diarrhea Dan
    Courtesy of 'Look Around You'. When I was young, all Spectrum games seemed to be like this. But then I had a Commodore 64.
  • History Is Bunk! by Oliver Postgate
    Far from Bagpuss, Postgate sounds off about world events. "It came to pass because President Bush, and indeed his friend and henchman Tony Blair, chose to believe the words that they wanted to believe, not those which were true."
  • Oscar-power: He can move limos
    Another view from the red carpet. Why bother?
  • Introducing Pushkin
    Idle Words about the Russian poet
  • Cough.

    Life Just as I'm getting excited and wanting to go places, the fever descends and I'm sneezing so loudly people are jumping with the surprise. I'm also feeling extraordinarily tired, and my brain is locking up. And there is the indigestion. I don't get sick often, but when I do...

    To Be Counted

    Elsewhere Finally got around to adding a counter to The Hamlet Weblog, which I know is little more than a glorified link blog for now. With time I'm planning on posting reviews and comment, and inviting other people from academia (or more intelligent than me) to post. But I just wanted to see if anyone was visiting.

    This Is How You Remind Me Of Hamlet

    "iTunes was set to random and I'm just lying on the couch re-reading a couple of scenes from Act III. Up pops Nickleback's "This Is How You Remind Me," because while I may have made fun of the band awhile back, I still kinda dig the song. In fact, I've heard it many, many times -- yet tonight the song changed: somehow I heard Hamlet singing the song."

    Why doesn't Hamlet kill his uncle immediately after his father's visitation?

    "Hamlet is a momma's boy. His concern throughout the play is not primarily on avenging his father's murder, but on chastising his beloved mother. From the beginning, Hamlet is more upset about his mother's hasty remarriage than about his father's death. In his first monologue (I . 2 : 129-159), wherein he reveals the cause of his despondency, Hamlet speaks almost exclusively of his mother's crime, famously noting, "frailty, thy name is woman." And when, in response to his father's charge, Hamlet turns his attention to thoughts of revenge, he first exclaims, "O most pernicious woman" before thinking of his uncle (I . 5 : 105). It is his mother's crime that weighs most heavily on his heart."

    Not The Doctor

    I can see a few fans reacting quite harshly to some of Rachel Cooke's comments in her piece in The Observer which is a shame because parts of it really capture what it was like to be watching the series all of those years ago and the shock of re-seeing certain stories in adulthood. What's really interesting is when she says the new series isn't Doctor Who. What I think she means is that it isn't the series she remembers.

    I was always a fan of the series although I began to series start following again in the late nineties after a trip to the exhibition in Llangollen, watching The Keeper of Tracken of all things and picking up an issue of DWM. It was an odd time to start again, and it wasn't because of any particular hype. I was amazed to discover that there was more of the series to be enjoyed than ever before, even though no one I knew seemed to be aware of it.

    For me at least, Doctor Who is no longer just a television series. It's an epic story told across a series of media in a seemingly infinite number of styles. Which is probably why I'm one of the few for whom their favourite was the 8th Doctor. The flexibility of the format isn't just that the hero could turn up anywhere at any time, it's also how the story is going to be experienced, heard, read or watched. It doesn't really have a natural home anymore. Although it began on television, it's just as valid now in prose and sound. Making it all the more exciting.