Friday, January 30, 2004

Genius Michael Robinson Small Talk
Former Brighton and Liverpool footballer Michael Robinson is now Spain's biggest Football presenter - he's got a lot to say - most of it controversial - who's he talking about here? "...his left foot's only a seven out of 10, his right's a four, he can't head it and he's slow. He has no overriding ability whatsoever." - Real Madrid's Raúl, of course! - imagine if he was on T.V. here instead of Lineker or Des Lynam - Fantastico!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Ah, The lovely Debra Winger
Helping Sight Savers International in Kenya. She was blind for a year, you know.

Red Rain
Whale explodes in Taiwanese city
"A dead sperm whale has exploded while being delivered to a research centre near the southwestern city of Tainan
A marine biologist blamed the explosion on pressure from gases building up in the mammal as it began to decompose.
Several parked cars and pedestrians got covered in blood when it exploded".

We just have to put up with snow - god knows what would happen to the trains if they had to cope with exploding whales.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Near Death Radio Experience
Tonight on Radio 4, 8.30pm, there's a documentary on 'near-death experience'.
"Recent studies have shown that one in 10 people who have had a cardiac arrest report an near-death experience "
Most people accept that these people are experiencing something - it's just a case of figuring out if it's a natural brain function or the start of the trip to the next place. Fascinating stuff.

Result Prediction Results
Well, I'd say I was pretty much spot on there - except the actual scores and most of the results.

One thing I did correctly predict (although I failed to write it down) was that Chelsea would get Arsenal in the next round - typical!

Friday, January 23, 2004

F.A. Cup 4th Round
Chelsea visit Scarborough tomorrow in the fourth round of the F.A. Cup. This is just the sort of game that Chelsea used to struggle in. Scarborough actually beat Chelsea in the League Cup in 1989.

so, taking that into consideration, plus cold and wet weather, non-league players psyched-up for the biggest game of their careers, a noisy partisan crowd in a small ground and Chelsea's millionaires over-confidence - I predict a score-line of Scarborough 0 Chelsea 6.

Well there wouldn't be much point of me saying anything else would there? not much at stake if I say, 'Chelsea will shade a tough game against gritty opponents 2-1'. And if I just wait 'til tomorrow afternoon and say, 'yeah i reckoned we'd win easily', where's the fun in that?

So, six-nil it is, with a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink hat-trick.
Well done boys, a very professional result.

For friends and fellow bloggers my (rubbish) predictions for your teams are...

Wolves 2-2 West Ham
Liverpool 1-2 Newcastle
Nottm Forest 0-7 Sheff Utd (unlucky Tonino!)
Northampton 2-2 Man Utd
Birmingham 4-1 Wimbledon
Man City 4-4 Tottenham

Nothing too controversial there I think.

BTW. Win or lose, Scarborough should make £500,000 out of the game, plus Abramovich's gift of £25,000. They expect that to fund them for 2 years. Imagine if they get a draw, beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge then get Manchester United in the next round - they could buy Scottie Parker!

The Return Tonino Grande
Blimey, Tonino's back, and he's very excited - "Ok then, here she is from behind. A perfectly formed rear; a mechanical Kylie or J-Lo, gently teasing you. Just showing you enough cheek to tip your imagination into over-drive."

Cool Bloggers
I guess that one of the main points of blogs is linking to sites that you like - so it's odd I haven't added these two excellent weblogs to my links before, as I always enjoy reading them. Matt's planet: maffydoo and Ben's Silent Words Speak Loudest.
You probably know them, but if not, make sure you visit.

Flash Tube
While checking a London Underground route this evening, I came across this nice flash version of the tube map in 1933, 2004 and a geographically correct version with a street map superimposed over the top. Nice work!

Pop Genius
"I'm just a shy and retreating kind of person. Sometimes I get in a real talkative mood - but not very often. I get off on hearing other people's voices. I like voices: they're my favourite things on records"
The fantastic Brian Wilson, interveiwed in The Guardian. I need to get tickets!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

"The World's Most Dangerous Geek"
Excellent article about Justin Frankel, the inventer of Nullsoft, Winamp and Gnutella in Rolling Stone. - from Jim and Slashdot

Spalding Gray
Sorry to hear via parallax view that actor/writer/performer, Spalding Gray, is still missing.
I remember seeing the film of his brilliant monologue, "Swimming to Cambodia". He's been suffering from depression. I hope he turns up ok.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Cot Death
Civil cot deaths review urged
You don't have to be a parent to feel the terrible injustice that seems to have been done to the thousands of parents who have lost children to cot death and then been accused and sometimes convicted of murder. Many have also had other children taken into care.
The whole thing is a nightmare.
I remember when my kids were tiny, getting up in the night to check they were still breathing - they seem to do that thing on purpose where they don't appear to breath for about a minute - just to make you feel bad about getting annoyed when they won't go to sleep - before happily snoring on.
Nothing is going to console the parents who have lost babies, but it would be a start if the ones who have had children taken into care, as a result of authorities suspecting them of being in danger, have their children returned as soon as possible.

Friday, January 16, 2004

A Treat For Music Lovers
Radio 3 tonight broadcasts a rare performance of John Cage's 'seminal' piece 4'33 which does not contain a single note.
Radio 3 is to broadcast the entire composition live, even having to switch off its emergency system which cuts in when there is apparent silence.
The performance by The BBC Symphony Orchestra takes place on Friday night at London's Barbican Centre.
Cage's reasoning for composing 4'33" was to demonstrate that "wherever we are what we hear mostly is noise".
Don't worry if you hear someone snoring - it's all part and parcel of the piece.
I have to say, I think it's one of Cage's better works.
There was a chap on the radio this morning getting very excited about it as he had never heard it performed by a complete orchestra before - he'd only heard the piano version!
Make sure you tune in early.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Trigger Happy
Dom Jolly seems to have fallen out of favour these days. Is he yesterday's Ricky Gervais?
I saw Dom filming an hilarious sketch at Canary Wharf tube station yesterday morning.
Well, it'll probably seem funny on telly with some indie music over it and a fat bloke in the background trying not to look straight into the camera.

Chelsea Old and New
I Watched Match of the Day last night to see Chelsea beat Watford 4-0. Chelsea weren't great but scored some classy goals and it was nice to see Damian Duff back from injury.
I hope they don't buy Louis Saha from Fulham - he certainly isn't as good as the players we already have. Hasselbaink, Crespo, Mutu, Gudjohnsen, even Mikael Forssell out on loan at Birmingham is a better bet.
If we're going to buy a striker, it has to be someone of the calibre of Christian Vieri - he may be getting on a bit but he's proved over the years that he can score anywhere he plays.

Watching the other main game, Leicester against Manchester City brought back memories of Chelsea of old, as Frank Sinclair made a series of howlers that eventually gifted the game to Man City.
I still have a bit of a soft spot for Chelsea old boy, Sinclair.
He's one of those players that most clubs have who make you wonder how he can possibly make a living playing football professionally, let alone at a high level, for years and years.
Whenever Frank was playing for Chelsea, he made me nervous. He was, like Chelsea, unpredictable. An excellent header of the ball, he was just as likely to blast the ball past his own goalie as clear it out to safety.
Over the years I've felt this way about many Chelsea defenders - Joey Jones, Graham Wilkins, Bernard Lambourde (to name 3 at random). It's always amazing that some other sucker is prepared to take them off your hands.
Seeing Frank play for Leicester last night it reminded me more of just of how far Chelsea have moved on than seeing the millionaires on display at Stamford Bridge.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Bizarre BBC Graphic Fun
Someone at the Beeb had fun making this graphic (bottom of page) demonstrating Dr Shipman's killing spree over the years - can't help feeling they should have made the dots red though.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

German Police Investigate Potato Computer Scam
Strangeness from Germany... cheers Jim!

Monday, January 12, 2004

Leicester City 0 Chelsea 4
It was nice to see a return to winning ways for Chelsea. Despite spending £100m in the summer, they started with 9 players from the pre-Russian Billionaire era.
Leicester may not be the greatest test, but they are the sort of team that Chelsea have so often under-performed against.
Hopefully that's the rocky patch over with and Chelsea will get back to the kind of consistency they showed earlier in the season.
I don't believe they'll finish above Arsenal or Manchester United, but I'll be happy with 3rd and a Champions League semi-final.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Beautiful and Compulsive
Open the pod door, HalIf you were not lucky enough to get a set of Geomag for Christmas, do yourself a favour and buy some now.
Like many of the best toys, it's incredibly simple. "Spheres - made from nickel-plated steel and 12.7mm in diameter, plastic bars - 27mm long and 7.4mm in diameter, comprising of two permanent magnets at each end connected by a steel pin" - that's it!
Endless hours of fun building 3D shapes - buy some now, as much as you can afford, you'll thank me later, honestly.

Unusual Universe
More strangeness from user error.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The Future of Politics (or possibily not)
Next month sees the launch of a unique new political party. A party with no policies, no ideology and, initially at least, no leader. [Link from BBC]
*** Insert your own joke easy target here ***
Your Party aims to break the mould of British politics by being the first party "directly controlled by the citizens".
Rather than a founding principle or set of beliefs, it will start with a blank piece of paper.
The idea is to canvass opinions and ideas from hundreds of online "participants", before formulating a set of policies to put to the electorate.

The people behind the party claim their motives are altruistic.
The idea grew out of a disillusionment with mainstream politics, and a desire "to do some good, to make a difference". They also insist that Your Party is not a slave to any existing political ideology.
It's often said (surely not just by me) that the people who would make the best politicians aren't interested in doing the job. We end up with a lot of hacks who are doing the job for their own ends rather than for the good of us all. Not surprising obviously.
"This country is full of people who want to do something but don't know how, or are disillusioned with conventional politics. We want to reach people like that and help them do something about it."
It's a nice idea, can it work? well it's worth a try isn't it?
Phil Noble, a veteran of online politics in the US does not rate its chances.
"I think they are going about it the wrong way. I think you have to decide what you are going to do and use the internet as a tool to achieve it."

Well that seems to make sense - maybe Your Party will live long enough to evolve into something useful.