Sunday, 22 February 2004

Whistle Down The Wind


Choking back the Roger Water's line* I took Jo and a friend to see Whistle Down the Wind at the Hippodrome last night. Not my cup of tea really, but at least Jim Steinman's music balanced out Lloyd Webers more sugary moments. Good production and staging it can't be denied though.

*It's A Miracle:

We cower in our shelters
With our hands over our ears
Lloyd-Webber's awful stuff
Runs for years and years and years
An earthquake hits the theatre
But the operetta lingers
Then the piano lids comes down
And break his fucking fingers
It's a miracle

***Imported from old blog***

Saturday, 21 February 2004

Sunshine in the Lakes


For the second year in a row we had cracking weather up in the Lakes. We stayed at the Cavendish Arms, a 450 yr old inn in Cartmel - a very picturesque village and a great place to stay. Our only real walk was up on to Pike O' Blisco, but the view from the top was superb, hardly a cloud in the sky and uninterrupted views of the Langdale Pikes, Hellvellyn and Skiddaw. Here's hoping for the same next year!

***Imported from old blog***

Jennifer Government

Max Barry's Jennifer Government *****


Stunning book. Best described as a cross between 24 and Pattern Recognition. According to Max's site it's even optioned to Hollywood - and will probably be the only film ever with negative product placement. Somehow I don't see the Nike name surviving.

By the way there's a cracking mock Palmer Whitehouse page on the 24 web site.


***Imported from old blog***

Brian Wilson is God (Part 2)


Just realised where I should have been last night - on the Brian Wilson Message Board. Brian played SMiLE for the first time last night in London and everyone was set there on the board waiting for the first report to be posted. Since it came in it's been an orgy of praise for the performance, an orgy that's still going on. At least I've got my ticket to see him when he comes up to Brum next week.

***Imported from old blog***

Friday, 20 February 2004

Wearable Electronics

Infineon Technologies have just launched a Wearable Electronics range. Controls are fed through to touch pads on the jacket sleeve (or hidden in a pocket flap), and a wiring loom routes control and audio. As well as the "hip" clothing examples they also show normal business suits and work uniforms (eg nurses).


The first commercial item being O'Nellls The Hub snowboard jacket, MP3 player and Bluetooth hub. No idea of cost yet!

***Imported from old blog***

Wednesday, 11 February 2004

WiFi In London

Good article in The Register about the practical side of WiFi availability in London. Not dissimilar to my own trek around Brum in September. Must get one of the Kensington/Smart ID detectors.

***Imported from old blog***

Monday, 9 February 2004


Poul Anderson's Brainwave ***1/2

Very 1950s, echoes of Midwich Cuckoos and even EE Doc Smith. The earth emerges from a field which has supressed intelligence for millions of years. Not only does human IQ jump to the 500s, but apes start talking and farm animals get too smart to be kept on the farm. On other worlds intelligence developed to a "just copes" level. On earth it developed to the same level, but with the field removed it leaps beyond anything else around. The "new humans" escape into space, leaving the earth to the (ex) morons, to find new challenges.

***Imported from old blog***

Sunday, 1 February 2004



Fightbox is an interesting concept on the BBC at the moment. You create a 3D fighting avatar on the web site, battle others on the web, and then the top players get through to the televised show. The show has an arena, surrounded by a live audience, the players controlling the avatars from "pods" and the avatars visibly fighting in the arena. Now barring the invention of decent large scale holographic project the audience are either watching an empty arena or some big screen projects to keep them interested. The players appear to have a very crude 3D display on their monitors to work from, and the close ups of their faces in play look not at all like people really playing a game.

So not totally convincing, and Robot Wars definitely has a grittier feel, but a sign of things to come.......

***Imported from old blog***