Monday, April 30, 2007

Road at funny angle

Huge leaping flames from an exploding gasoline tanker melted the steel underbelly of a highway overpass in the East Bay's MacArthur Maze early this morning, causing it to collapse onto the roadway below and virtually ensuring major traffic problems for weeks to come.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Golden Compass / Northern Lights movie

It's hard to believe that such a subtle book will make a good movie, but who knows? At least they have cute materials to fill up my blog. And, oh dear, they seem to be having trouble deciding who the director is.

You can see Myles' daemon here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kevin Keegan, Emlyn Hughes and Margaret Thatcher

Kevin Keegan and Emlyn Hughes cosying up to Thatcher on the Downing Street steps

A story in the Grauniad mentions a famous photo of Kevin Keegan and Emlyn Hughes cosying up to Thatcher on the Downing Street steps. It would seem important that such an important image be preserved for future generations.

While talking about football I must mention that I am reading the excellent book The Damned Utd by David Peace. Recommended for all those who hated the Leeds team of the 70s.

Updated: found a screenshot from ITN:

Kevin Keegan and Emlyn Hughes cosying up to Thatcher on the Downing Street steps

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sneaky Pschological tricks

Read The Decoy Effect, or How to Win an Election at the Washington Post. This is clever stuff. Perhaps the French have it right with their presidential electoral system which always has a runoff between the top two candidates.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Read a Doctor Who script

The BBC has made a Doctor Who script available online. Nowadays we get everything, DVD features, Doctor Who Confidential, is there no mystery left? It is fascinating to read a script. I loved Adventures in the Screen Trade. Here is the worst scene of the series so far:

...what did you do?

Increased the radiation by 5000%. Killed him dead.

But.. isn't that gonna kill you?

Naah, it's only Rontgen radiation, we used to play with Rontgen bricks in the nursery. It's safe for you to come out, I've absorbed it all.

Martha steps out, still staring, as the Doctor begins to shake and shudder, a little twitching dance -

...all I need to do is expel it, say, if I concentrate and shift the radiation out of my body and into one spot - say, my left shoe -

And his little dance is focusing on his left foot -

Ooh! Ah! There we go, easy does it! Out, out, out, ooh, that itches, ow, ouch, hold on

And he whips off his shoe (and sock, all in one), shoves it in a yellow-plastic lined waste/sharps bin


You're completely mad.

You're right, I look daft with one shoe.

And he whips off his right shoe & sock, bins them.

Barefoot on the Moon!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

How to build a cathedral, part 1

Cathedral of Christ the Light March 2006

The Cathedral of Christ the Light is being constructed right beside where I work in Oakland. Above you can see the crypt being built in March 2006.

Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland, California  April 2006

The above picture shows what will be the ground floor as of April 2006. Below, in February 2007, the basic concrete structure is complete (I think). Above this there will be a soaring wood and glass top part. Next time we'll see why they are building that scaffolding in the middle.

Christ the Light Cathedral in Oakland, California,  February 2007

Dance from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

There's an anime called The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (I haven't seen it) and in the closing credits there's a dance, which you can see above. Now lots of people have learned to do the dance in real life and of course they like to to take videos of themselves doing it:

Some are in YouTube's classic 'in my bedroom' style:

And then there is the flashmob group, here broken up by the Police:

Now, what should I do for Halloween this year?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Ronaldo song

He plays on the leeeft, he plays on the r-i-i-ight! That boy Ronaldo, makes England look SHITE!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Neil Aspinall

The song in the video is Thou Shalt always Kill by Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. Some of the lyrics are:

The Beatles - Were just a band.
Led Zepplin - Just a band.
The Beach Boys - Just a band.
The Sex Pistols - Just a band.
The Clash - Just a band.
Crass - Just a band.
Minor Threat - Just a band.
The Cure - Just a band.
The Smiths - Just a band.
Nirvana - Just a band.
The Pixies - Just a band.
Oasis - Just a band.
Radiohead - Just a band.

Well I agree with that, except possibly the first two. That's why is it is so interesting that Neil Aspinall is to leave his job as COO of Apple (the company that controls The Beatles' music). Will we now see a proper Beatles reisuue programme?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Gossip / Yo Majesty / Dolorata @ Bottom of the Hill, 6 April 2007

Dolorata have a metal sound. They also have a skunk-haired second guitarist, a solid drummer who’s not afraid to play the cowbell, a violinist with mad staring eyes dressed like Patti Smith on the cover of Horses, a rock solid bass player in a very non rock’n’roll skirt, and a leader/singer/guitarist with a great scream. I liked it when all three guitarist lined up in a classic hard rock pose. This band made me smile.

Yo Majesty (above) are a trio of rappers who hit the somewhat rockist Bottom of the Hill like a bucket of espresso. They were shouting and swearing and removing bits of clothing. They were pretty upset that everyone wasn’t dancing more but eventually some sort of equilibrium was reached. The show eventually peters out after some sort of hardware problem which involved a laptop. Although Yo Majesty are a rap group this was one of the most punk shows I have seen in a long time.

The Gossip have a format a bit like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs: charismatic singer + inventive guitarist + excellent drummer = rock. Beth Ditto mixes powerful vocals with funny stories told in a curious little girl from Arkansas voice. For their super hit Standing In The Way Of Control she invades the crowd and the place was in tumult. Guitarist Brace Paine has some very unusual poses but provides enough guitar for several bands. Great band, nice show.


The PC is dead! Now you can even edit photos in your browser.

Friday, April 06, 2007

OOIOO @ The Independent, 26 March 2007

I am going out tonight to see a band and I don’t want to wimp out. By writing here I commit myself to my many readers to do this. Before I can go out though I have to report on my last gig. I already mentioned OOIOO and I went to the them at The Independent which is a little club shaped like a box. At first I was really confused by the audience who looked and smelled nice and were very polite. Everyone was young and they were trying to card me until I waved my grey hair about. Then I realized that the gig was promoted by KUSF and all the nice people were students. Is this the College Radio that we heard so much about in the 80s?

OOIOO were good but somehow disappointing. They have added a drummer for the tour and I was hoping for an onslaught of Bow Wow Wow like noise. Basically I was hoping to see Yoshimi’s other band, The Boredoms. Instead I got the feeling that the music was weighted more towards composition rather than improvisation. I got that feeling like I get with Frank Zappa, that there is a joke somewhere that I am not in on. The other band I thought of was late King Crimson, when they got all cerebral.

The best bits were when Yoshimi played trumpet (a bit like Ornette Coleman does) and what looked like a stylophone. I enjoyed some proggy unison playing they did. But alas the best thing about the show was being pleased to be home in bed at a reasonable time.