Friday, February 26, 2010

On 6Music

Twitter's gone a bit loopy today with the news that the BBC could be axing digital radio station 6Music. Thousands of Tweeters are angry enough to #savebbc6music. Apparently George Lamb, Tom Robinson, Bruce Dickinson, Craig Charles, Dave Pearce, Don Letts, Guy Garvey, Liz Kershaw, Steve Lamacq et al are producing shows in the spirit of John Peel (one good reggae track followed by ten fucking awful indie tracks?) and are doing what the BBC is all about (innovation and education) and not just lining their pockets with licence payers' money by doing bugger all other than making self-love to the sound of their own boring voices and playing generally boring music in a boring vacuum of boringness.

As a middle-aged white man with impeccable music taste you would think 6Music would be aimed at the likes of me but even if I did like 80% of the tracks they played I've got music coming out of my ears here at home and there on the internet.

I don't need self-appointed music experts droning on, advising me on what I should be listening to. I'm old enough to work that out myself.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Media's Perception Of Blogging Is Wrong, So Wrong

I was listening to a discussion on the Guardian Technology podcast yesterday. It was claimed that people are stopping blogging because a blog post takes so much effort from which the blogger obtains so little reward.

Well, I've always found the act of writing on here an enjoyable piece of piss. It doesn't take much effort to type the crap that comes into your head which is what true blogging is all about. If you want to pore over something with a furrowed brow then you should be writing a book, not a blog.

As for the "little reward", what do you expect? It's free to publish, it's free to read. The reward should be in the heads and faces of your readers. The knowing nods, the wry grins, the explosive laughter, the tears of empathy. And then the comments that communicate these emotions across the miles.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Boys Are Back

I am currently listening to Thin Lizzy. It happens at this time of life that songs I never thought of buying in the past suddenly creep up on me and I get a hankering.

One of Lizzy's songs is, of course, Dancing In The Moonlight (not to be confused with the Toploader toss). It contains the following lines.

"Now we go steady to the pictures
I always get chocolate stains on my pants"

The first line is clearly how the young Lynott would have spoken, as in 1960s Ireland teenagers would "go steady", as good young Catholic boys would, and he would have gone to "the pictures", the wonderful traditional description of a cinema for those of us growing up in the British Isles.

When we come to the second line, however, Phil is clearly going for the North American market, unless he actually went on dates in his underwear which would have been an arrestable offence in tight-assed Dublin.


Also of great interest to me is from which confectionery product did Phil's chocolate stains emanate. I have discussed this on Twitter and at home and come up with the following list, in order of probability:-

1. Flake (as suggested by Beth) 27%
2. Chocolate Buttons (as suggested by Betty) 24%
3. A finger of Fudge 21%
4. Curly Wurly 10%
5. Ice Breaker 8%
6. Old Jamaica (we know he had a taste for the hard stuff) 7%
7. Revels 3%

Are there any glaring omissions in the list? If only we could bring Phil back to life for just this one question!

Sunday, February 07, 2010


Imagine you are a nine year old child. You are used to doing homework because that's what nine year old children do nowadays. Your teacher gives you an assignment.

"I want you to draw an A-Z of mathematical shapes, including both 2D and 3D examples."

So you ring up your mum.

"Mum, we've got to draw an A-Z of mathematical shapes, including both 2D and 3D examples."

So your mum says "don't worry, I'll help you".

So your mum boots up the computer and looks on Google for lists of mathematical shapes. She finds some sites such as A to Z Of Maths Is Fun, Wikipedia's List Of Mathematical Shapes, etc, prints off the shapes such as Acute Triangle, Bezier Curve, Circle, Decagon, etc, says "there you are, love," gives you the examples and you sit down and copy them, making sure the shapes have the right number of sides, the correct angles, etc.

Your mum checks you have copied the shapes properly and you are allowed to go to your bedroom to call your friends.