Archive for May, 2006

Trainwreck TV

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

I was going to write a post about X Factor: Battle of the Stars which took trainwreck TV to a level that Big Brother can only dream of. But there’s not much to say, if you saw it you know what I mean — if you didn’t then I doubt I can describe it adequately. All I’ll add is that I was glad I was watching a recording and had a Fast Forward button …

So, instead of that post, you get a Big Brother prediction.

Overall Winner: Nikki. Yes. Really. Not saying that’s who I’d like to win, but it’s what’ll happen. Just wait and see.

SpaceDog has spoken.

Old dog, new dog, brown dog, blue dog.

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Visited the folks last weekend, in part to meet their new puppy.

Brown Dog

Roger, old dog, very good at lying around, gazing out the window and hording his toys where pups can’t reach them.

Blue Dog

Blue, new dog, very good at running around at top speed, barking at squeaky things and licking the floor.

So dark the con of man …

Friday, May 26th, 2006

I went to see The Da Vinci Code a few nights back and, since everyone and their dog is talking about it and Da Vinci related nonsense (hell there’s even a diet fad), I’m going to indulge myself with a bit of a review. So, beware some spoilers for the film and book after the jump. For those not jumping, I’d recommend seeing it if you have time to kill, just don’t expect too much.

Handful of Salt ?

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Coming back from lunch I pass a man running up the stair of our building. Nothing unusual about that, except he appeared to have a fair quantity of salt cradled in the palm of his hand. I’ve been unable to come up with the sort of scenario that would involve having to transfer so much salt up the stairs where you wouldn’t just grab whatever the salt was it, or at least a glass or something to hold it in.

Maybe it wasn’t salt, but sugar. Perhaps he’d popped into the other office under the pretence of “borrowing a cup of sugar” so he could meet the girl of his dreams, but was out-foxed when they didn’t have any spare cups, thinking on his feet he carried the sugar away in his hands to keep up the deception …

Or maybe not.

Browsing …

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

Looking at the website for the Leith Festival I was bothered, again, by the state of listings sites. I gave up trying to find interesting stuff on that website. You can display all the events on a single page but it’s hard to read and impossible to browse it like I wanted. It only took ten minutes flicking through the good old-fashioned paper brochure for the festival, a little folded A5 booklet — 30 pages at most, to find a set of events that I’ll probably end up going to.

I had this problem during the festival season last year and I expect it’ll be as bad this year, although the problem isn’t just with the festival sites. All I want from a listings website is the ability to really browse to see what’s going on. I find this impossible on most sites, I’ll try and outline the issues I normally have:

Dining in darkness, revisited …

Thursday, May 18th, 2006

Quick update to the pitch black restaurant that I mentioned earlier. Fraser from blogjam went there and has a review up on his site:

Dans Le Noir is a truly interesting experience in sensory deprivation, but the grub is underwhelming and bland. The restaurant would probably argue that because you’re denied sight, your other senses compensate and you appreciate the food in new and pleasurable ways, but this simply isn’t true: your senses are jumping all over the place, trying to adjust to an environment they’ve not experienced before, and it becomes altogether impossible to concentrate on the flavour.

It’s well worth hoping over to read the full review, even if just for the pictures. I’m a bit disappointed but not terribly surprised, the place really said ‘gimmick’ to me and I wasn’t sure the food would live up to the promise. Chances are I’ll still go try it out if I find myself with a free night in London.

And since this is a food related post I can’t resist throwing in these plates. (Via An Obsession with Food.)

Few Wednesday Links …

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

So, this dude has the idea that he’ll trade One Red Paperclip for various bigger and better things until he manages to swap up to a house. It’s the sort of mad idea that people have, only this dude builds a website, a cult internet following and ends up on TV in Japan and on stage with Alice Cooper. That’s all kinds of crazy right there, good for him.

Google continues to expanded it’s set online organisation tools with the addition of Google Notebook. This is something I’ve been looking for, currently I have a few never-sent e-mails in my GMail account that act as an online notebook/todo list. Sadly Google Notebook feels quick clunky at the moment, but it’s fairly new so I hope that improves. Now just integrate that, Calendar, and Bookmarks into GMail so I can switch between them without feeling like I’m switching to another app, and so I can search across all the information in one go. Google’ll even help if you want to create your own web apps with the release of Google Web Toolkit, I’ll hopefully have some time to look at it and see what it can do over the next few weeks.

Howstuffworks jumps on the Da Vinci Code bandwagon with a refreshing look at How The Da Vinci Code Doesn’t Work.(Via

Finally, thanks to Defamer, I give you Ceiling Cat.

Mistaken Identity

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Somebody at the BBC probably feels quite stupid. Apparently they interviewed a taxi driver thinking he was an expert on internet music downloads. From the article:

Not only that, but the stocky black man with the strong French accent bore little resemblance to the picture on the expert’s website, which showed a slim white man with blue eyes and blond hair.

… and a bit later …

According to Mr Kewney, the stage manager said: “To be honest, I did think it couldn’t be you. I mean, I’ve seen your picture on your website, and he didn’t look like you.

I wrote this yesterday but never got round to posting it, since then the BBC have embraced their screw up and were running a fairly long piece on BBC News 24 this morning, interviewing both the real expert and the other dude. Kudos to them for being good sports about it. Here’s the online version of the story.

And Bonus Nonsense, photoshopped comic book covers over at Something Awful.

Flash of the headlights to Londonist for the BBC link and The Woolamaloo Gazette for the Something Awful link.

That nutjob again …

Monday, May 15th, 2006

Despite saying that I’d not shell out for another Tom Cruise movie I went to see MI:III at the weekend. Again no real review here other than to say it’s a decent film, has some very nice bits in it and then general pace of the film make it feel way shorter than it’s two hour running time, which is a good thing. I think I preferred it to the other MI films and it does seem to echo the series a bit more, although I recall the series being a lot more inventive than we’ve seen in the films.

One problem was that when I watched it I saw Tom Cruise, not Ethan Hunt, not even Tom Cruise playing Ethan Hunt, I saw Tom Cruise: Nutjob. I recently watched Collateral and didn’t have the same problem, dunno if he’s got worse or it’s just my preconceptions kicking in. I’m guess other people have similar problems since it did quite poorly at the box office. Still, it’s well worth going to see, and I expect it’s going to be easily the best of the ‘big three’ films out in May, since I’m not fussed for The Da Vinci Code and X-Men 3 is getting lukewarm reviews.

Robots again …

Friday, May 12th, 2006

Did I not tell them to create the friendly fluffy robots? Not the malfunction and take over the world type? I did? So why are there now robot cockroaches?

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.