Since I mentioned The Bends by Radiohead last week I thought I better clarify a one thing:

I count The Bends as a better album than Nevermind (only just). Nirvana were era defining (and the riff from Smells Like still makes the hairs on my neck stand on end) but in many ways so was The Bends.

Lines like:

“He used to do surgery / For girls in the 80s / But gravity always wins”

Have only become more relevant as the 21st century has ramped up and tv horror shows like Extreme Makeover have sprouted.

So, for reference, my top 10 albums of the 1990s are:

1. The Bends – Radiohead

2. Nevermind – Nirvana

3. Coming Up – Suede

4. Parklife – Blur

5. (What’s the story) Morning Glory – Oasis

6. Second Toughest in the Infants – Underworld

7. Garbage – Garbage

8. Live Thru This – Hole

9. Protection – Massive Attack

10. Everything Must Go – Manic Street Preachers

Not far off the running were Dookie by Green Day , Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette and KE*A*H** by Ministry.

Feel free to disagree / list your choices…

While I do not have the qualifications to argue about climate change, I do know enough about supply and demand in a finite universe to discuss oil.

The world is a finite size, the amount of oil available on the planet is also going to be finite. How ever many billions of barrels there are left, every day there is less – as we are quite literally burning what we have.

At some point we will have less oil left than we have used already – and after more than a century of using oil as fuel, with demand only ever rising, the argument remains about whether we have already reached this point, which is referred to as peak oil.

The issue about reaching this point is that while demand rises the resource becomes more and more scarce. Films like Mad Max 2 show what happens in the world of low oil when people are competing for the resource. The movies always show the most extreme version of a situation, but you get the idea.

As Thom Yorke of Radiohead sang on the track My Iron Lung from their 1994 album The Bends:

“When the power runs out / We’ll just hum”

They walk among us?

November 24, 2010

Saw this and thought I should re-post it!

Big Women – 4OD

November 23, 2010

4OD is probably one of my fav things in the entire world.

Everything Channel 4 (in the UK) has ever made is stored here and is accessible to stream to your PC.

Which is great, as the channel is owned by the government and therefore the citizens of the UK and we can watch what we have already paid for (and paid for again, as unlike the BBC, this channel sells advertising space as well) whenever we like.

As opposed to the BBC iPlayer system which only allows you to view things shown on one of its channels in the last week (or broadcast on its national radio networks). Which is fine for catch up, but not good for discovering hidden gems.

Something I found, watched and enjoyed the other day was Big Women, a four-part series about a woman’s publishing house, set up to promote feminist issues in the 1970s.

Great drama, great cast (including Daniela Nardini – who originally came to my attention in the BBCs amazing This Life series, which I loved watching while living in London while at uni) and a great service from Channel 4.

I found it interesting as drama and as a historical piece about the publishing industry.

National novel writing month

November 18, 2010

Maybe I’m a bit late in sharing this with you, but November is National Novel Writing Month.

Which essentially means there are lots of people out there writing a novel in a month right now.

I may have mentioned before that I have written a novel, and it took longer than a month, so what this event is no easy feat.

Anyone who is able to do it requires determination and would receive my admiration.

So if you are taking part, well done you. If you finish it, I’d love to have a read, if you don’t mind.

If you only just heard about it, and you love writing, why not have a crack next year?

More about those robots

November 16, 2010

The world is changing and what we have seen in sci-fi movies will become reality soon enough.

How many times have we seen on-screen cars which drive themselves?

Well our friends at Google have been experimenting with one on the roads of California.

I have mentioned robots before and how they are set to change our lives for the better – in ways beyond which cars / phones / PCs and the internet have already.

When my solar-powered car will drive me about and I can read or sleep en route I will be a happy man.

Right Google, what about a teleport?

Silence please…

November 11, 2010

… for the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Please remember those who died to ensure the freedoms you are blessed with continue.

The latest Made in Weston Christmas Craft fair is being held on Saturday November 13 at the prestigious Winter Gardens venue on the sea front in Weston-super-Mare from 10am – 5pm.

In Excess of 50 stalls are booked to sell their wares of locally made products.  Among the stalls will be makers of handcrafted cards, original artwork, photography, Christmas decorations, adult’s and children’s jewellery, bags, handmade toiletries, books, homewares such as cushions, culinary delights including seasoning blends, cakes, chutneys and jams.

The event coincides with the re-launch of the revamped Made in Weston website: The site is now ‘live’ and will feature an online shop. Any members interested in stocking their products in the shop should contact Becky or Abbie via email for details.

Event organiser Rebecca Keating said: “The ethos of Made in Weston is to offer quality locally sourced goods wherever possible. This will be our 6th event and each time we are getting more creative local people coming forward with a diverse range of great products.

“If you are looking for quality, locally sourced Christmas presents you should come along to Made in Weston.”

This Made in Weston event follows two previous successful craft fairs this year, one in June at the Winter Gardens and the August on the Italian Gardens in Weston-super-Mare High Street. The summer event raised £520 for the local branch of the RNLI through donations from the public on entry.

Entry is free, although the local branch of the RNLI will be on hand at the door – all donations welcome.

About Made in Weston:

Made in Weston is a craft collective which aims to promote arts and crafts products from Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding northern Somerset area of England.

Reuse of materials in the production of art and craft items is encouraged. A green and local ethos is at the core of everything Made in Weston does.

Members of Made in Weston produce a huge range of arts and crafts including jewellery, cards, candles, homeware and children’s toys.

Because everything is hand-made, Made in Weston prides itself in being able to offer a made to order service that is second to none. If you can imagine a product – we know someone who can make it.

Made in Weston sells products through the website as well as through hosting and attending craft fairs in Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding area.

I am a fan of Doctor Who. It is sci fi, so no real surprise there.

The BBC is giving away PC games featuring the latest Doctor and his assistant Amy Pond.

The games are pretty good fun and can be downloaded for free here.

BBC on robots

November 8, 2010

There is an interesting story on the BBC website about the use of robots.

And a film on the subject as part of this evenings (West) regional Inside Out show at 7.30pm on BBC 1.

Might make interesting viewing if you are interested in either robots or social services.


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