2010 — 19 April: Monday

Having very much enjoyed both Short Bus and the extras on the DVD, I left Mike about to catch up with Atonement, heading for home in time to hear one of the Ian Carr tribute concerts. I also noticed the bit of crescent moon that's still visible has a reddish tinge, presumably some faint evidence of that volcano.


I'm all in favour...

... of intelligence, and design. It's the combination that is worrisome. In other contexts, this headline would be potentially amusing:

Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab for Harassing and Demoting Supporter of Intelligent Design

PR Newswire

It's 08:50, sunny but cooler (so far) than yesterday. Before the pleasure of a jolly jaunt comes the business of some supplies shopping (if I want to eat tonight, that is). Who, by the way, decides to turn immoderate ex-archbishops into bigoted lords? (Just asking.) Couldn't be god, could it? I love the idea of measuring the half-life of a moderate religion as it inevitably decays into a more toxic fundamentalist isotope. (Source.)

Don'tcha just love...

... a good literary spat? I know I do. This one has the hallmarks of a classic. A husband, a wife, and the anonymity offered by Amazon UK. Glorious! (Source.)

There's an interesting "water use" calculator on this BBC page. I shall stick to tea over coffee! Mind you, there are puzzling discrepancies between the text and the visuals... Beef and Jeans, for example. (Does UNESCO ever get things wrong, I wonder?)

My late wife, the squirrel...

I believe I may have mentioned Christa's squirrel-like tendencies. It occurs to me that, if I've accessed little or nothing from her voluminous household filing system in (let's face it) two and a half years, the chances are rising that it will be safe to transport rather a lot more stuff to our local tip. Clearing out her study was one of the tasks she was herself engaged in (in mild preparations for retirement) back in mid-2007, of course. As for her wardrobes, she ordered me (quite unsentimentally) to bundle all her clothes into black plastic bags and either bin them or take them to a charity shop. She would, she said, have no further use for them :-)

I have so far done neither, which will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. But it's called "Spring cleaning" for a reason...

Would you like to have...

... "Goldman Sachs" on your resumé? Probably not, after reading this well-argued demolition job. Source and snippet:

The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who's Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone

It would seem McKinsey is now (slightly) further down the great global pecking list of hate!

Further possible evidence...

... of that unpronounceable (Eyjafjallajökull?) volcano may have been offered by the fact that the Isle of Wight was completely invisible from the beach at Bournemouth 90 minutes or so ago. Similar evidence of my development into a full-fledged grump may have been offered by the fact that I couldn't find a second book (in WH Smith) to qualify for their "Buy one, get one half-price" offer. So I put Nick Hornby's "Juliet, naked" back down.

Chipping away...

One of my (multitude of) low-priority background tasks is working gently through my DVD collection, taking note of the as-yet-unseen backlog. Memory joggers helping me in this self-imposed ordeal enjoyable task are a) the scans I've made of the cover artwork, and b) the information in the extremely useful IMDB. While I was in no doubt at all that I'd watched the sublime Daryl Hannah in "The clan of the cave bear"1 I still looked up this film as its cover notes left me wondering exactly how early this film was. (It was 1986.) The user review I saw had a paragraph that made me laugh:

Some critics scoff at the primitive community portrayed here, but it in fact is very accurate. In the DVD commentary we learn that much of the design for this film came from watching a few crude videotapes that were actually made by the Cro-Magnons during that prehistoric period and were discovered, well-preserved, in far northern sub-freezing caves in the 1960s. Not surprisingly, they were in the Beta format.

TxMike from Houston in IMDB

It's 18:09 and my tum suggests I feed it. Now. [Pause] When I were a lad... Cox's orange pippins had rattly pips, rough skin, and a delicious flavour that could take the top of your head off. Today's batch still rattles, but has smooth skin and hardly any flavour at all. Grrr. Not impressed.

Somewhat later (23:17) I've given up on "Brüno" and "The Bucket List" and am just about to try "Not here to be loved" — all courtesy of Brian. Junior's just phoned to say he and/or Peter's g/f may pop in at the weekend. I had the temerity to ask about the new, higher-speed router he's supposed to be installing to help me exploit the new, higher-speed broadband access that Zen (my ISP) has implemented at my local exchange. Fingers crossed.



1  Based on the excellent Jean Auel books that my friend Kate H introduced me to in the mid-1980s (and which are, unbelievably, often banned in the more repressive parts of the Benighted States for carrying a message very clearly at odds with — shall we say? — fundamentalist beliefs of those who deny the possibility of human evolution)