Monday, January 29, 2007

Which science fiction writer are you?

I was hoping for Philip K Dick or HP Lovecraft, but I'm not that interesting.

I am:
William Gibson
The chief instigator of the "cyberpunk" wave of the 1980s, his razzle-dazzle futuristic intrigues were, for a while, the most imitated work in science fiction.

Which science fiction writer are you?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Celine Dion

When the Sun dies and the Earth is cold (or will it be hot?) historians of Coolness will rank all the humans that ever lived. Now like most people I assume that, although I will be below Brian Eno, I will be ahead of Celine Dion. But why do I assume this? Surely Celine is a better singer than me, perhaps it is her choice of material? Anyway watch the video to see what Celine does with an AC/DC song. Just to be clear I think this is a good performance. I still don't like Celine's taste in clothes

Friday, January 19, 2007

Movies 2006

All the movies I saw in 2006, with the ratings I gave them on netflix. Statistics don't lie.

The Bicycle Thief 5.0 Stars
3:10 to Yuma 4.0 Stars
Bullitt 4.0 Stars
District B13 4.0 Stars
Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang: 4.0 Stars
Infernal Affairs 4.0 Stars
Jayne Mansfield Collection: Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? 4.0 Stars
Last Exile: Vol. 1: First Move (I am up to disc 5) 4.0 Stars
Little Miss Sunshine 4.0 Stars
Munich 4.0 Stars
Night Watch 4.0 Stars
Nobody Knows 4.0 Stars
Petulia 4.0 Stars
Pickpocket 4.0 Stars
Point Blank 4.0 Stars
Seven Men from Now 4.0 Stars
The 400 Blows 4.0 Stars
The Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Vol. 1: Disc 1 4.0 Stars
They Were Expendable 4.0 Stars
Thief 4.0 Stars
United 93 4.0 Stars
Will Rogers Collection: Steamboat Round the Bend 4.0 Stars
X2: X-Men United 4.0 Stars
A Prairie Home Companion 3.0 Stars
All or Nothing 3.0 Stars
Battlestar Galactica: The Miniseries 3.0 Stars
Bob Le Flambeur 3.0 Stars
Fullmetal Alchemist: Vol. 1: The Alchemist's Curse 3.0 Stars
Head: The Monkees 3.0 Stars
In a Lonely Place 3.0 Stars
Jay-Z: Fade to Black 3.0 Stars
Le Samourai 3.0 Stars
Nashville 3.0 Stars
Night of the Living Dead 3.0 Stars
Ride the High Country 3.0 Stars
Rush: R30 3.0 Stars
Serenity 3.0 Stars
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe 3.0 Stars
The Clash: Rude Boy 3.0 Stars
Truffaut Shorts: Antoine & Collette/Les Mistons 3.0 Stars
Young Mr. Lincoln 3.0 Stars
Zu Warriors 3.0 Stars
Battlestar Galactica: Season 1: Disc 1 2.0 Stars
DiG! 2.0 Stars
The Old Grey Whistle Test: Vol. 3 2.0 Stars

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Definition of insanity

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Here we see drivers in Portland who keep thinking they can drive on ice.

The economic cost of the war

 a very scary mars bar that is half american and half british

When I was a kid I would sometimes try to understand the cost of something by consdiering how many Mars Bars I could buy with the same amount of money. What could we do with the amount of money we are spending on the war?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ship floating on Sulfur hexafluoride

Running when injured

A few years ago I had a herniated disc in my back. I worked standing up and could only sleep face downwards with the assistance of narcotics. It is strange to attend meetings standing up. My recovery started when I began to run. Read the NYT article about how and when you should exercise when injured.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Joanna Newsom @ Great American Music Hall 19 December 2006

joanna newsom

The first thing is that the audience was excellent: they were very attentive, they listened quietly and they didn’t call out song titles. The place was packed as well with a youngish crowd. I see that Joanna Newsom is playing in London with a full orchestra but for San Francisco there was just a small band performing the Van Dyke Parks bits. The band was OK, except when they tried to play loud and the sound became a mush and tempted me to out my earplugs in. This was a great concert.

What does it mean to play a harp? Apart from Alice Coltrane (not exactly a household name), who plays the harp? Isn’t, say, the piano, a more flexible instrument?

Reasons the harp is not a rock instrument:

  • Cannot pick it up and wave it around
  • Hard to smash
  • Fender do not make harps (yes, I checked)
  • There is no Harp Hero videogame
  • Teachers are not very rock (Joanna thanked her harp teacher who had driven a long way to see the concert).

Reasons Joanna Newsom is a rocker:

  • Has Steve Albini as a producer engineer
  • Has Van Dyke Parks do her arrangements
  • Has a drummer (some of the time)
  • Plays rock venues

Just like on the CD (Ys) the very long songs held my attention all the way through. Live there is the additional amazement at seeing the physical effort involved in singing and playing the harp. If you are hesitating about buying Ys you should go ahead and buy it.

A good place for a dungeon

One of my favourite buildings has been bought by an adult film company. Obviously San Francisco was the right place to build a 200,000 square foot reproduction Moorish Castle. When I moved to SF I asked everyone what it was but nobody knew. I'm glad to see someone has found a use for it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007