2014 — 17 May: Saturday

I fear I was sadly defeated1 by the two remaining DVDs that arrived on Wednesday. "happy happy" must be some new Norwegian meaning of the word, and "Ruby Sparks" was neither "charming" nor "inspirational". I'm becoming positively jaded, it seems.

I was more amused...

... however, by this review of a couple of books of somewhat uncritical prediction of where social technologies may be taking us. Not least because it's (currently) to be published tomorrow. Thinks: I must stop thinking that "printed" means "published". Source and snippet:

While each of us can still choose not to be on Facebook, have a credit history or build a presence online, can we really afford not to do any of those things today? It was acceptable not to have a cellphone when most people didn't have them; today, when almost everybody does and when our phone habits can even be used to assess whether we qualify for a loan, such acts of refusal border on the impossible.

Evgeny Morozov in NYT

Without Brian's cellphone the other day a trio of elderly ramblers on an innocent bluebell-hunting expotition would have been unable to pay the carpark "system" at a remote National Trust grove near Hooksway and could have faced a £50 fine. "Social physics" indeed. What's the modern world coming to? Grumble, mutter.

Can one trust "the cloud" yet? (Link.)

Having taken the...

... emergency measures needed to attenuate the persistently-recurring echo in Mother Hubbard's cupboard I now have just enough pre-breakfast time left to enjoy this piece of nonsense...


... following the unedifying tale of the young gentleman who voided his bladder into a water reservoir.

I have honed...

... my crockpottery techniques over the past six years or more to the point where the whole preparation process is a mere 30 minutes or so. Now that's the kind of cooking I can live with.

I have also honed...

... my "snaffle radio programmes digitally from the BBC" techniques — rather more recently — to the point where I have now amassed a reasonable library of listening for that proverbial rainy day.2 Here's the little aide-memoire checklist I keep on my desk:

Regular listening

No point in paying the licence fee without getting any benefit from it, is there? My current listening, right now, being last Sunday's "There is nothing new under the sun" by orchestral conductor Charles Hazlewood on BBC 6Music. (Must remember to snaffle part two tomorrow, of course.) [Pause] He's just asserted that playing a performance of Terry Riley's amazing 1964 piece "In C" is a bit like climbing inside a giant Lava lamp!


Given yesterday evening's...

... dismal double bill of attempted DVD entertainment, I must now pin my hopes on this trio of new arrivals. Still, at least I know two of them...

Next films

Indeed, "The Player" may well be my favourite3 Altman film. (This is an imported Blu-ray.) It's a bit worrying though — and more than a tad ironic given Winston Smith's day job — to learn, of Michael Radford's "1984", that Every effort has been made to restore the original audio track to the highest level of fidelity with modern mastering techniques. The film's only 30 years old, after all.

I mentioned...

... the absurdly beautiful actress Christine Horne a while back. She has a rôle in "Margarita"; something I only noticed when attempting to find a profile for that title in DVD Profiler. She's updated her photo on IMDB:

Christine Horne

Still gorgeous.

I'm so out of touch

Here's me thinking Data Execution Prevention was a Good Thing. I can still turn it on or off within Win8.1Pro Update 1, under System Properties => Performance Options, but the Microsoft link offered for "How does it work?" asserts "This content is no longer available". Nor does a search turn up anything that looks useful. On the other hand, BlackBeast's i7 2600K supports hardware-based DEP so I'm probably OK.

If I believe...

... Linda Grant, Tom Stoppard's only novel Lord Malquist and Mr Moon "was the literary equivalent of the Wonderbra for intellectually pretentious students of the 70s." Sadly, however — although, like her, I have a copy of the first paperback edition of it... "which nobody but me has ever heard of" (she adds) — I've never managed to finish it. But then, nor am I sure I'd recognise a Wonderbra. (Link.)



1  Something that has happened more than once in the past.
2  A faintly-boggling 74 days and 12 hours collected so far.
3  Certainly its seemingly-effortless opening tracking shot (a deliberate 'tribute' to the one in Orson Welles' A Touch of Evil) takes the biscuit. (I've just timed it at nearly 8.5 minutes.) It's also notable for the way in which Greta Scacchi keeps her clothes on :-)