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Sunday, 27 December 2015

Final posting.

This is the traditional bits I've forgotten part, along with all the bits and pieces I've watched on Youtube over the year.

First up missed bits.  TV.

Been a year for disappointing documentaries, the Big Blue live from Monterey Bay was a BBC live thing that looked at whales and seals not doing much.  They had Sea Otters which are cute as buttons, but to be honest if you really want to do this right, have a look at the official MBARI channel on Youtube, the sea isn't home to just large mammals and it gets much weirder the deeper you go.

Ed Stafford into the unknown.
In which the guy who walked the length of the Amazon, looks into anomalous areas on Google Earth and then works out just what is there.  An excellent show, whether its trekking through a miserable Siberian winter to see what would become a meteorite crater or some anomalous lines in Papua New Guinea, its nothing short of amazing.

Some Penguin Documentary with Kate Winslett.

Guy spends a year filming Flightless birds only to have it ruined by some dopey bird in the studio on voice over duties, Kate Winslett I'm looking at you. There are some nice touches to Jean Jacques Perrey on the soundtrack though and we found out that Adellie Penguins are basically Napoleon in bird form, bullying everything in sight. 

Lastly they killed Fatboy off in Eastenders. Its a small mercy I always thought he looked like Howard The Duck made flesh and his hideous rude bwoy act is painful.  So thanks random gangsters for crushing him in a car, that for me made Xmas.

Ads.

Didn't really have room for this in the last post, but Sainsburys have done good, bringing to life everyone's favourite children's character Mog to life (along with very hungry Caterpillar these are the stock books you read as a kid).  Shame though the story its attached to is more for letting people know about checking smoke alarms than a major supermarket. 

House of Fraser is this years Chanel 5 ad but instead of painfully earnest bollocks you have the horrible gangster crap.  Its Hip Hop nonsense, see also the one with Kanye West's rip off of Daft Punk Better Fast Stronger etc etc.

Music.

  I'm With Her Be My Husband.

The only high point of BBC2's Folk Hour is that sometimes you'll come across gems like this instead of real ale twats with fiddles, or CND berks with a grudge because Tories got in.  Nice reminds me a bit of Cassy's Version of Easy Lee, and bit of Cat Power which is always a nice thing.

Little Mix Black Magic.

This sounds like every kids birthday party ever, if for one thing you want to get a party of screaming hyperactive 6 year olds going then this will probably do it.  For anyone else this can fuck right off.

Internets.

YTP of the year is hotly contested but Noisepuppet edges it with his triptych from really terrible films.  A few honourable mentions goes to pthooie and poops4theworld for some great stuff.  Oh and Telstar logistics channel for amazing Michael Rosen YTPMVS his electrofunk rap is the best.

Thunderf00t for simply being Thunderf00t and that.  A few times I've put on his vids and found myself agreeing with them.  Plus there's some really neat science stuff too when he's not on a rant.

Sargon Of Akkad.  A few things I've liked of his but his talk with Erin Pizzey is top notch. Its of course to do with feminism and its 90 minutes long but if you can download and convert into a pod cast then please have a listen, its magic.

A few crossover bits and pieces are for /V the Musical 3 Take On Kaz. One for recycling A-Ha Take On Me and two for making it so catchy you'll want to sing along.  All together now What's His Name.

There are a few more good things here.  WhispersRed Youtube channel for calming me down and getting me to sleep, and Pantou from the paedo Brasseye special alive and well and lurking on the comments section on every kids gymnastics video.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Chrimbo update part 2

Hello loves, today is the music review of the year. Where I rattle through all that I've heard this year and what if anything made my favourites from 2015.  Tune in tomorrow for stuff I've missed such as Kate Winslett penguin adventure.

The good.

Coldplay Adventure of a Lifetime.

No I haven't taken a massive blow to the head involving concussion and that but the latest single Adventure of a Lifetime isn't bad, there's a bit here that could be done on a Roland 303 and yeah Coldplay plus Acid would be nice.  I'm still angry for them ripping off Computer Love though.

Aphex Twin.

Its been a bumper year for fans.  Two mini albums and a whole lot of Soundcloud releases for the classic stuff.  Orphaned Deejay Selek 2006-2008 is a bit hit and miss. Midi Pipe, Umil and Oberheim Blacet 3 are the best from this to be honest.  Much more interested with the Computer Controlled Instruments release as well much more interesting automated machine music.
Sound cloud wise (user 18081971 or whatever) he's been putting out stuff dug out of old tapes from the 90's and such.  Too many great tracks to go into here but if I list a few of my favourites you'll easily track them down.  14 Make a Baby (HAB2 off cut surely), 28 Organ, Early Morning Clissold, Parking Lot, 1 nocares will get you started and a there's a version of Avril 14th with the notes played in reverse order proving that even like this its still a fucking exceptional track.

Trip Records.

Nina Kraviz from Siberia has been putting out some classic techno with the help of some international friends and that.  Best of the lot is Steve Stoll D.U.M.B.O. which is a storming old skool acid techno track the kind you'd find turn up on Djax back in 94. I love it.

Taylor Swift (Bootleg Mashup).
Or rather Porno Swift.  I've done a few bootlegs of her music using classic porn themes only one is released so far,which is Porno Swift Debbie Does Dallas In Style.  Ironically her voice works well with the old boom chicka funk track.  There's also one that utilises Jackie Mittoo's Ghetto Organ and Shake Me Off, which is called Taylor Shakes off the Ghetto Organ.  Face it I monstered her last year due to what she said about 1989 and house, and I''ll say it again here.  If you were a white suburban American kid back in the late 80's then you wouldn't be listening to house you'd be listening to Debbie Gibson or Martika or Madonna when she was good.  You may have been going to the Muzicbox or some other club and that, but you didn't stick with it, which is why you call it EDM now instead of its proper names.

Other stuff that is also not released are John Legend / Squarepusher mash up All of Beepstreet and an Ellie Goulding Love Me Like You Do from fifty shades of BDSM and Billie Jean I Need You. Can remember the acapella of this dominating everything in the mix before I fixed the sound levels.  Pity she won't  do techno as she has a great voice when dubbed over mid 90's euro techno.

Merle Mimi Loves 2 Dance. Christabel Records.
Its Mervyn Sanders from ME and Virgo School Yard fame with a re released version track about his wife that originally came out in 1999 to no fanfare.  But its excellent and reminds me what house is like so its getting some praise here.

DJ Rashad I'm Gone. 
Footwork version of the Gil Scott Heron Junkie anthem Home is Where the Hurt is.  Periodically come back to this and just chill.  He had some talent Rashad but now he's gone.

The Bad and indifferent.

Uptown Fuck Bruno Mars bandit and Mark Up yer Ronson

How I hate this track, its so overplayed, it sounds like a bad version of the Really Wild show theme when they break it down, and Mars is a punchable MJ light. I've been recently getting into the good old funk such as Curtis Mayfield and Marlena Shaw.  So I think I'm getting to know what the good old funk is like and this is not good at all.

Meghan Trainers Some stupid doo wop track.

Another over played piece of garbage and that is always played on the radio and that.  Its dumb and stupid and she slimmed down on this so isn't as fit as she was.  Really does anyone like doo wop at all, I thought it died in the mid 60's.

Adele Hello.

Its dull and worthy but I don't hate this much.  Partly because she can sing but also its dug up a memory of a horrible night on BBC1 with Graham Norton and her sounding like nan from Catherine Tate.  I just wonder who was taking a fucking liberty putting this out I lasted all of 5 minutes before I put her out of her misery and watched something less annoying (Bargain Cunt on Challenge).

There you go I've probably missed loads out and come the middle of 2016 I'll have found me an new favourite track I'd never heard off. I'll just say that David Zowie House Every weekend isn't too bad and if you love your acid then Posthuman are definitely worth a look.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Chrimbo Reviews and the like Part 1

The Television.

You should know the drill by now, we get to review some of the greatest hits of the year on the box and that I've seen and dish out our Miranda awards for the most shite, waste of time there is.

The Good.

Not an awful lot to go on this year but what there is has a mostly supernatural bent to it.

The Enfield Haunting.  Sky One.

An excellent version of the classic poltergeist haunting back in 1977, with the excellent Matthew Macfadyen as Guy Lyon Playfair paranormal investigator and Timothy Spall as Maurice Gross who first logged the case.
There was a bit of carping from the real Guy in Fortean Times after it aired, saying  how they missed some of  the events out and that.  To be fair its probably my pick of the year, its all down to the genuinely grotty 1970's atmosphere it invoked and some excellent acting from both the girls in this.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Sky Atlantic.

A full on expose of Scientology from the people who were ensnared by this vicious and quite loopy cult. The UK arm is located at East Grinstead with satellite offices by Goodge street tube and a big cunting building on the South Bank, but in the US its Clearwater.  Its largely talking heads, but infinitely fascinating, seeing the sheer amount of cash suckered out of those seeking enlightenment and with many archive clips to back it up.
Wisely it shows archive clips of L Ron Hubbard as a deeply unlikeable control freak and nutcase (which he was) and his fantasist writings.  There is a lesser version of this on Channel 5 about escaping both Scientology and the Jehovah's Witnesses that's also worth a look too. 

Jekyll and Hyde.  ITV.

Its really been ITV's year, with the BBC looking increasingly run down, despite their better online prescence (ITV Player can do one) and a flashy new on line store for old beeb clips.  Been enjoying this much more than this seasons Dr. Who, more of which later.   Focusing on the son of Hyde rather than the original it brings the story forward to the 1920's which gives it much  needed atmosphere.  There have been some moans about how its too creepy for kids and I will concede that there is some scenes in this that are pretty near the mark.  Numerous shots of Lord Dance with his transparent skin and later on his mangled corpse are probably not what you want little kids seeing, but older kids and grown ups will certainly lap it up. 

My favourites are two female characters Natalie Gumede as Bella a nightclub owner a sort of proto version of Shirley Bassey with a nice line in attitude and Hils a secretary who just looks the part of twenties jolly hockey sticks.  ITV have spent big on  this and are doing their darndest to reschedule this out of all context and the like.

Finally I think Eastenders have been peeking at my sideboard when doing there nativity, along with shoehorning in some Islam into their version (didn't happen for another 500 years motherfuckers) but they are going on about elves and goblins and lobsters.
Jesus sacrificed to the dark, old, Gods so the sun can rise.
Done that and bought the T. Shirt if you want licensing  I can do unreasonable rates.

Other noted highlights Michelle Dockery on Japan, and the brave, crazy old ladies catching sea snakes with their bare hands in the pitch black from this is definitely worth a mention. 

Unforgotten, with its nice theme tune (reminds me of Himmel by Barbara Morgernstern) and multi threaded storytelling bottoming out with a lame cop out ending.  On a side note can Sanjeev Bhaksar have his own cop show, I don't care if he's cast as an Asian equivalent as Frost, as he was boss in this.

Finally a Kenny Everett documentary on ITV showing what a genius he was, cut up pioneer, wacky comedian, and maverick, still miss you Ken.

Miranda Awards.

Citizen Khan.

Because this is really quite vile. An unfunny sitcom with an Islamic Patriarch in place of the regular white patriarch head of family role.  Some one really should have added some jokes instead of giving us this "wrong on" comedy.  I'm not racist but Goodness Gracious Me did it better, a lot better.

Last nights Mastermind Celebrity edition, complete with a tranny, some black dude, Badly Drawn boy and a useless cunt.   The tranny won, she / he / it had her own sitcom on BBC which was uncomfortable and right on.

Dr Who. Which apart from making Arya Stark immortal and killing off Clara (oh come on its common knowledge) has been running on empty this past season.  The doctor has some stupid sonic shades, a penchant for playing guitar and as a rip off of Sun Wu Kong is trapped inside the war record for 1 billion years.  Its had highlights and that but, to be honest this season has sucked.

Midwinter Of The Spirit.

If you like Christianity and Exorcism then this is pretty much up your alley as its based on some old novels, if you are Atheist like me you'll find this drama grates very soon.  Anna Maxwell is the new vicar at some creepy old village in the country, plagued by a newly dead Jimmy Saville style satanist.  There is the bloke from Shameless as her mentor and lets stop as its bastard awful.  There's some nonsense about reconsecrating a saint before some fortune teller / mad woman brainwashes her daughter and Dead Savilles daughter into killing an altar boy.  Oh and the black bishop is a secret satanist too.

Its bollocks, I would love to see a story about an atheist exorcist who punches ghosts / devils in the face while reciting passages of the God Delusion but apparently there isn't a show in this.


Sunday, 20 December 2015

So this is Christmas (No.1s and No.2s)


Come on you cunts lets ave some afx xmas.
Or more accurately Christmas Songs for the misanthropic or the adventurous.  Rest assured this is done on the fly and is no way an authorised best of list.  In fact its about as good as those bastard awful Listicles you get on Metro or Facebook.  A few of them might be foreign and they'll be full Youtube links for those who want to look further. 

My own criteria are as follows. 

No mention of Christmas, sure I use Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody as a sign that the festive season is on us and The Pogues with Kirsty MaColl's Fairy Tale of New York is a stone cold classic but you'll hear them a dozen times over the course of December which will drive you nuts. So they are out. Along with Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmas time.  They'll be some Beatles though.

No Cliff Richard or X Factor singles.  I'm atheist so the thought of worshiping Jesus' birthday, let alone with some second rate shit is anathema to me, and quite frankly Cliff is shite of the highest magniturd.  Christmas to me is families, presents and quality TV not some co opted Pagan tradition.   Which neatly ties in with X Factor, which has patently destroyed Saturday night TV and the Xmas tradition of the charity single by putting some populist Karaoke bollocks at the top of the charts every fucking year.  Some of the Christmas campaigns against this are quite entertaining though and there is definitely one on the list.

Only Number 1's and Number 2's allowed.  Its a stupid lavatorial joke which equals the quality of the actual Christmas single, only those that made it to either number 1 or 2 are in don't care which country.  Which means you wont get  Altern 8 Activ8 (last years anti X factor campaign Rave Against The Machine) or Happy Cliffmas by Cassetteboy.
Here is a full run down of all UK number ones to date

Here is an unofficial top 10 and that.

Number 10.
Eminem Stan.

A nice cheerful song for you to start it all off.  Stan made it to Number 2 here, kept off the top of the charts by Bob The Builder.  A bitter blow, as I love this Christmas slice of misery.  The loop here is from Dido Here with me which makes it all the more haunting.

Number 9.
Rage Against the Machine Killing In The Name.

I don't like metal and never will but this was such a coup, denying X Factor the Xmas number one that it has to be on the list.  A real fuck you song, gabber heads will of course want to hear Under Control by Masters Of Ceremony which uses a fuckload of samples from this.


Number 8.

Queen Bohemian Rhapsody.

Number one way back in 1975 and this will possibly be the oldest song on the list bar a few things.  A full on joy to listen and a real sing along classic, I've grown to like this over the years.  You may want to listen to Love Kills by Freddie Mercury which has the bonus of  Giorgio Moroder on this as well.

Number 7.

Gary Jules Mad World.

I have a real penchant for sad songs so this is a total shoe in to be here.  From the 2001 film Donnie Darko, its a reworking of an old Tears For Fears song, but much slower and sombre in tenure.  This is my quintessential Xmas number one right here.

Number 6.
Rolf Harris Two Little Boys

It gets worse there's a Gary Glitter song that made it to number 2 as well, mercifully I think Glitter is an utter cunt so he's not going on here.  I've written before about how I've a lot of respect for what Rolf did (apart from molest kids) so I'm glad he made it to an Xmas number 1. Its an unashamed novelty song which makes it part of Christmas, (if you can tab off and listen like I did with Versalife Harness Technology playing at the same time, this makes it triply disturbing). Also Ghetto Rolf Jerome Hill is pretty good too.

Number 5.
Pink Floyd Another Brick In The Wall Part 2.

Oi Glitter leave those kids alone.  I think its time you know to acknowledge how great this is and in light of Rolf above to leave those kids alone.  There is a massive amount of kiddy choir tat (there's no one quite like Grandma I'm looking at you) for Xmas so it's a surprise to see what made it to number one.

Number 4.
The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour EP.
I've selected I Am The Walrus here but there are a few number 1s and 2s to choose from.  You could of had I Feel Fine or I Wanna Hold Your Hand in place of this but for sheer surreality I'm adding I am The Walrus from the Magical Mystery Tour EP as a valiant runner up.

Number 3.
Mike Flowers Pops Wonderwall.

A cover of Oasis that made it to Number 2.  I know its cheesy and stupid but I hate those Manc bastards with all my heart and quite frankly this is the ultimate piss take on the brothers Gallagher.  I suppose they took it with their usual good humour, not they would have bitched and whined like a little girl. 

Number 2.

Candy Dulfer / Dave Stewart Lily Was here
I promised you some foreign stuff and the last two made it to the top of the charts at christmas in the Netherlands in 1989 and 1996 respectively.  No one gives a fuck about the xmas number one outside of the UK, and the USA list is like a who's who of stale white trash and rap.  I would have added wailing care in the community landwhale Mariah Carey's One Sweet day if I didn't think the reggae cover was miles better.   So its this with the bloke out of the Eurythmics and the Orb's remix of this no doubt.  Plus I actually own this physically which is a bonus.

Number 1.
 
Gabbertje Hakkuhbar

Looking for chart info on who came runner up at christmas abroad  is non existent outside the UK, and these were scalped from a long list of yearly no 1 singles. With that there will be no number 2s from the Netherlands (there will be no Zwarte Piet songs either, especially those written by Miss Djax and her partner).  I would have searched for the German equivalent list but would really wouldn't like to see a list of scat porn that would inevitably show up.   So its this at number one.  Don't get miffed if yours didn't make it,  I could have added Like A Virgin By Madonna and there are a few Elvis tracks should have appeared here too. 

Personally Rotterdam Termination Source's Merry X Mess should have shown up but am unsure of its chart position (if any) and maybe Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls which for some reason didn't make it.  Still this is the non christmassy christmas list.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Xmas is coming

Not much doing this week gearing up for Christmas and the like, have all my presents bought and wrapped  and a stupid works night out at the end of the week coming so really not looking forward to that.

Here is a round up of things and a list of stuff to read that will tide you over till I get a lot more time.

How Kenny Loggins Spoiled Christmas.

Mr Biffo The Digitiser Years. Starts at page 10 but with links to the earlier parts and well worth a browse me do.

Tutankhamun Tomb has hidden passages.  In fact I'm reminded of Alan Alford on the great pyramid here that the only way to know what lies within is to smash your way in.

Furthermore I have something that is an idea at the moment a non Christmas, Christmas album and that. Sure everyone loves a bit of Jona Lewie and The Pogues Fairytale of New York but most Christmas No. 1s are not remotely Christmassy at all.  I'll need a bit more time on this but will see if I can drum up a list of Non Christmas Xmas songs.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Masters.

Been watching a lot of snooker this week.  Mostly on Eurosport and the like, its got some weird team up issues as well.  The BBC has the pick of the commentators including John Virgo and the dynamic duo of Ken Doherty and Dennis Taylor which is pretty cool leaving the Eurosport guys with the likes of Neal Foulds and the rather flat team of Ronnie O Sullivan and Jimmy White.  There is something up with the likes of Jimmy though, I keep staring at his head for the strangest reasons, I don't know if its a wig or just a really strange haircut, but his head seems to have his hair drawn on, like someones balanced a wig on a turnip its off putting and utterly hypnotic in equal measures.   Also noticed in the background that they had Citizen Khan on, so it looks like Eurosport is running a naughty step for those who are out of line, can't imagine anyone watching this for fun.

Apart from that we have the first non English final I've ever seen in Snooker, we have Neil Robertson an Aussie playing Liang Wenbo from China which is cool.  I've watched a few matches they've played in and they've been quite fun.  Neil has really been crushing all opposition including beating Mark Selby 6-0 in the semi to set up this meeting. 

All I can say about Liang's matches is this (second video down).  Such exuberance, such passion and bad luck to David Grace on the pink, they were some tough old shots he put out on the green and brown only to lose out on the pink but there you go.  Its a funny old game snooker.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Xmas is coming.

Well the decorations are up at work and fucksgiving* is over for another year which means it must be Christmas soon.  Had my first party of the season held in the carvery way out in the sticks (opposite Polhill in Badgers Mount).  Quite busy there to be honest and at times felt like I should jack it all in and go home, really don't like crowds and social situations much but stuck it out and didn't do too badly in the end.   Top tip get a refillable Pepsi so you can keep coming back and it won't cost you anything to top up, especially good for designated drivers, non drinkers and keeping children hyperactive all night.

Pretty good food and the like we had turkey complete with Yorkshire puddings which aren't traditional but damned tasty, also they had toffee ice cream complete with a big round wafer (a google search tells me its a stroopwafel) which was lovely.  Although I don't much care for toffees as sweets, anything toffee / caramel flavoured gets my seal of approval this includes Dulce de Leche as well.

Next event will be our annual works  trying to drink yourself into a stupor because its xmas and that, I'll think I'll feign Ebola to get out of this as I never really enjoy it as much as other folks do.

*edit forgot to say that fucksgiving is my name for thanksgiving do to the amount of fucks I give about thanksgiving.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Youtube and Junk Tour

Well it looks like Youtube are gearing up for some changes and that.  If you are wondering what I'm on about, I'll explain.  In the week they provided an option to how your subscriptions are laid out, either as a group listing or as it normally is as a list. On the downside they completely removed the ability to see all subscriber activity, which if you are lazy like me allows you to discover some channels worth a damn and see what your "friends" like on YT.   Personally I still would like them to drop Google + their failed Facebook and reinstate the preview system that they used circa 2010 or so.  It allowed you to see the first four pages of videos of a subscribers channel and let you look to see if they were worth subscribing to or not, and was genuinely useful.

Junk Tour Lewisham.

Not much to really add today except quite a bit of rap and Happy Hardcore, including Reacts Hardcore Cheddar compilation for sale along with some more tougher Gabber and non gay hardcore. Lewisham is one of those towns where they have a massive immigrant population, indeed when I was a kid they had large Caribbean community as well as a decent bootsale in the Car Park on a Sunday (long defunct).  On a side note they had a Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service on sale and as I'm a sucker for Ghibli films this had to be bought.  Possibly Phil Hartman's finest hour as he provided the voice for the Disney dub of this, you may remember him as Lionel Hutz or Troy McClure from The Simpsons back when it could do no wrong. Its about 3'' tall and has the proper tags and what looks like a Steiff button on its back complete with tag.  I'll add a picture as its quite cute and all.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Ex Machina

First of all I would like to say a few words about Paris and the recent terrorism atrocity there, Sorry man, we had 7/7 way back so kinda know how it feels.  Stuff will get better and that you just need to pick up where you left off and don't let some  V.A.G.I.S.I.L Islamtard cunts stop you from living your lives.

The side bar has a slight updating with some excellent writing from the Males Of Games blog.  Its a critical look at the rise of Feminism in gaming and reminds me of Sargon Of Akkads channel on Youtube (similar content and the like).  If you are a Gamergater or just impartial like myself then please check it out.

Finally we lost Warren Mitchell, A.K.A Alf Garnett.  Til Death Us Do Part and In Sickness and In Health both class sitcoms and to be honest a satire on racism that went over the heads of many who took it to heart much to writer Johnny Speights dismay.  Will probably look up some stuff on Youtube later as they are still funny.

Ex Machina.

Finally got round to seeing this seeing as its Children in  Need or as its know in our house as quick turn over to ITV before Pudsey spots us.  I'll not spoil the film or give away the ending but I will say this its got some of the best music I've heard in a film in ages so much so that I'm going to track down the OST its that good.

The film stars a guy called Caleb who wins a lottery at his place of work (he has a boring office job as a programmer or coder as we must call it now) to become a guinea pig for an A.I project out in the middle of nowhere.  Dropped off by chopper he is given a key card to a hi tech log cabin in the woods and is met by reclusive programming genius Nathan who gives him the tour of the place telling him some rooms are off limits and what he will be doing there.  Essentially there to test his A.I (called Ava) a robot woman created in his lab, he has a one to one meeting with her and gradually begins a relationship with her.  The power cuts that the building is plagued with are caused by her and in the one to one sessions she confides in him when the power is down that Nathan is not what he seems.  Things become fraught when he sides with her instead of Nathan, and his servant a mute Japanese girl called Kyoko and things go from bad to worse...

Caleb.

Initially I thought his character reminded me of erstwhile CBBC anchor Andy Crane who used to do the broom cupboard. Took me to the near end of the film to work out who he reminded me of  Trip from indie game Facade.  He has that same look and manner if you've ever seen it in action, and I suggest you do. Even more spooky is  that Ava does look a bit like Grace in this as well with her short cropped hair. 

Nathan.

Reclusive programmer at the quite obviously not Google, Bluebook search engine (possibly named after the UFO project Bluebook of the same name.) indeed this is what he based Ava's A.I on.  Almost permanently pissed due to the whopping amounts of alcohol he drinks in the film.  A key plot piece takes place when he gets absolutely paralytic and Caleb steals his passkey.  Not the most sympathetic of characters, he does have a few redeeming qualities.

Ava.

A robotic A.I life form who gradually earns the trust of Caleb and that. Possessing a devastating intellect and and composed of parts composed in Nathans lab she is the Android host of his A.I software.  I've said in passing that she reminds me of Grace from facade and that's due to her short hair.  She does get longer hair at the end as like I said she is an Android, so its essentially a wig she wears.  I can't really talk about her personality without spoiling the ending, she does spark up a relationship with Caleb which turns romantic and they talk about dates and such its not a rom com or a chick flick as there is still awkwardness in there.

Kyoko.

Essentially Nathans servant she does menial chores around the house and is implied to have a sexual relationship with Nathan although not really his girlfriend.  She doesn't speak and you can kinda guess what she is if you think about it, and what Nathan actually does seeing as he built Ava in a lab below ground.

Music.

This is what I really wanted to talk about as its the first time I've ever seen a film with a totally dark Ambient soundtrack.   The film score is by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury and is totally good, there are some external tunes such as a bit of OMD or Oliver Cheatam when Nathan and Kyoko are dancing in a room, but forget that.  It reminds me of Aphex Twin SAW 2 in places and with some of the harder minimal techno pieces almost like Plastikman or Surgeon (Anthony Child) in places, in fact I had to wait to the credits rolled to see if they were on the sound track but wasn't. Like I said this is something special and is definitely on my favourite list of films.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Bad luck and trouble and Bros.

We have been unlucky of late, not only a few things not turning out well, a found Xbox 360 turning out to have about a billion faults (to be fair its an Xbox 360 and a launch model at that as far as I'm concerned they're all fucked) and a loss of a bag this weekend while out record hunting containing some great stuff from Sounds Of The Universe Records.

Will have to look to see if there are tracks/ downloads for Jared Wilson Ghost Miners 2 and Patrick Cowley's Muscle Up a compilation of tracks from Fox Videos gay porno series.  Juno has snips of 6+7 and Youtube has 8 + 9.  Muscle up may be more problematic as they say nowadays though there should be more stuff coming out as its recently released. 

Pretty sure I lost it either in the arcade on Wardour street or the Japan Center its the only two places I really set my bags down. The time I realised it had gone was on the tube and couldn't really go back to check which was a cunt and a half. 

On the other hand I have a few oddities from Camden such as some old obscure techno (mainly Cari Lekebusch) and 18 minutes of Bros.  Yes Bros.

Matt and Luke Goss were the equivalent of One Direction for 80's kids although slightly less punchable then Harry Styles and co, they were still not the wisest thing for a boy to like.  So why did I pick this up, first of all of all the records I have of this they seem to be single sided and this has music on both sides so a bit of detective work is required, oh and Shep Pettibone is on edit duties so this shouldn't be too harsh on the old ears. 

Sort of remember Bros fans had this thing of putting Grolsch bottle tops on their shoes a bit pointless but there you go, incidentally they are now film stars and have a residency in Vegas which is nice.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Maths stuff.

Been watching Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish on Dave.  Its either that or bastard Casualty and to be honest its no contest at all.  Its a good poke at modern life, and this week was about market research in all its glory, if you can find clips of this, the segment on YouGov is a real eye opener.  Its got me thinking about some maths based stuff (yes America it has an S at the end unlike Lego which doesn't) and a few ads and things. Oh and you'll also learn some stuff about how to do base maths but not division as I can't divide.

The first up is various beauty product ads, if you note the small print on the bottom of them, they give trial sizes (which are often small) expressed as a percentage of people taking part.  Take for instance some junk from L'Oreal, a new Jizz facial cream with new amino acid a (it doesn't exist of course), they'll give the trial size, lets say 186 women and a percentage, oh put it at 86% of those that were happy with it.  

Now of course on TV that stuff is blink and miss it gone but we have numbers written down so we can work it out.  Warning for those maths averse its going to get a lot harder, you will want a pencil and paper at hand to work stuff out, hopefully you'll learn stuff.  I had to work this out for myself though some was taught at school.

10% of 186 is 18.6 (top tip. to find 10 percent of anything follow these rules.  
 How to find 10% of anything.
If it ends in anything other than a 0 put a dot between the last two digits.
If it ends in a 0 simply remove the end 0 to find 10% of everything.
Oh and if  your number is just a single digit put 0. in front of it. this should get you 10% of anything.

You can then multiply 18.6 by 8 to get this
18.6
x8
-----
148.8
-----
10x8= 80 Start with the largest first this is the 1 that makes up 18 as you can see its really a 10.
8x8= 64 Next start with the next largest.
0.6 x8 = 4.8 finally the lowest if its a number like this you can use normal multiplication 6x8 and add a dot between the 4 and the 8 to get the right result.
Finally with all the results in you can add them together.

80
64 +
  4.8 to get 148.8

Incidentally the way I add is no different except you should be looking for things to make 10 naturally. If you have a few numbers such as 8, 3, 7 and 2 you would add the 8 and 2 and 7 and 3 together to make 20.  In that case where there is no natural split you can make 10 out the 8 and 6 by taking 2 off the 6 and adding it to the 8 leaving 4 to add making it 14.

Now with 80% worked out you can find  out the remaining 6% by breaking that 186 into a 1% chunk and you do that the same way you did 10% except you place the decimal point behind the first number, in this case behind the 1 like this. 1.86.  If its a single digit you  put 00. in front of it.

You can multiply 1.86 by 6 to get this.
1.86
x6
 11.16
Which breaks down from the front like so.
6
4.80  remember that it'll need a decimal between the 4 and 8 here
0.36  this one requires a 0. in front of it to make it work.

Finally you can add together 148.8 and 11.16 to make 159.96.
which adds together like this.

148.8
  11.16
--------
159.96
--------
As you can see (and what those with calculators have worked out 5 paragraphs back) that it doesn't break down to a perfect number and in this case the ad would round it up to the nearest whole number.  So the tag line would be: 86% of 180 women tested 160 liked new L'Oreal Jizz facial to the other.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Round Up again.

Eastenders has been fucking weird of late, they have a big storyline about Lucy Beale being killed by her little brother Bobby that is dull as fuck.  But on the other hand they have resurrected Kathy Beale from the dead for some weird reason.  Possibly getting Gillian Taylforth back was seen as a coup but like everything else with E.E. its been done before.  They bought back Dirty Den, Lazarus stylee, only for him to die again thanks to off screen shenanigans, but for full on body horror there's a strange cross dressing sub plot. 

Its all a bit Twin Peaks as the guy runs the funeral parlour and must be 60 at least, they've teased the secret that he's a lumberjack Tranny for a while but now we see the full body horror of it.  A monster in a blonde fright wig and make up, kinda like a hippy take on Julian Clary, or his taller blonder sister. 

I suppose its a big issue thing with them, complete with poxy phone line if you've been affected with this storyline cock and bull. Me I kept singing the Lumberjack song all the way through and laughing my ass off.

Oblivion.

Been revisiting Tamriel this past few days and found that my saves have been deleted, so decided to start all over again, will probably disable the water textures as its a known problem for it crashing the game. I have an onboard graphics card and can't be arsed to upgrade as I don't have time to game anymore (I know there's steam now but PC gaming used to be all FPS and stuff not what I was into).  Had Sean Bean (brother Martin) as an escort which was nice as well.

Scan of the week Returns.

Crazy times.
 Found this while raking through an old copy of Dragon magazine.  I'm pretty sure the dog is MacRuff a badly drawn cartoon Bloodhound, seriously he doesn't have any eyes in that pic.  We never had anything like this in the UK and its only Simpsons references and other stuff that I sorta know who he is.  Closest we got were stickers say I've met the Met, whenever the cops would come to school to talk about stranger danger and the like.  Incidentally looking on Wikipedia it seems that Mac Ruffs voice actor was arrested for drugs and firearms offences?.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Playbubblun.

We have a few bits and pieces that are strangely connected to each other in this round up so without further ado I'll begin.

Bubble Bobble Stuff.

If you've been browsing the front page we've added a link to Shinju Forest that should hopefully workForgot all about Kimimi's work on obscure games and this takes the cake for great new stuff.  Epoch are releasing some old coin ops in LCD game format and some of the first games are Fantasy Zone from Sega and Bubble Bobble from Taito.  Not quite sure how this is going to work in reality but the link above will let you see a brief clip with the iconic music and some gameplay which is cool.

Even better is a strange cheat mode that was uncovered in the X68000 version that will let you play a super tough version of the game but reskinned to look like odd shoot 'em up Syvalion.  Haven't actually got this to work in X68K highspeed yet (and there isn't really any updated X68000 emulators apart from MESS / MAME). Which is a shame as I always considered it to be Japans answer to the Amiga.

More info on the X68000 here

Playbore

I'm not kidding its fucking tedious.

If you haven't already heard, Playboy (the worlds dullest sex mag) is cutting out the nudes as, I quote, the world and his dog can see nudity and more online for free. The current owners want to turn it into a joyless version of Maxim but with "quality writing".

When growing up this was the one magazine that you didn't want to find under the hedge shredded up, as it was 95% article and very little tit and bum, and what you did see tended to be a lot blonde and very much silicone packed.  Can remember one especially grim issue with Sandra Bernhard from Hudson Hawk posing nude.

A shame as I always wanted to see a magazine like Loaded, do a Playboy and go the other way and show full nudity, especially if its 90's Loaded with Howard Hughes and the original prototype TV go home from Charlie Brooker.  They had some great writing then and some funny cartoons from Modern toss, Playboy never made me laugh.  Ever.

Put it this way if Playboy was a:
*game magazine they'd be the modern incarnation of Edge.
* rock 'n Roll they'd be Coldplay.
* sitcom they'd be Miranda.
* DJ they would be David Guetta
*football team they would be West brom.
*food it would be brown bread.

You get the idea.

As you've already had the glamour shots (see picture) I'll leave you with some quality articles to read.

The rise of anti Semitism in the left.
Van Nuys porn capital of the world.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Robot life.

Brief update before the main show, I went out to Wem ber ley {Wembley}for a look around the town and that, they have a charity shop dedicated to the local library which was cool and a not very visible tube / train station which took ages to find (clue its next to T am Pax (TK Maxx)).
 Apart from some old Private Eye flexidiscs (shurely shome mistake) and an old copy of Dragon Magazine, that's about it for purchases. 

Antivaxxers: or as I call them disease carriers

Robot Life

Don't normally go into depth about me in posts, but I've been meaning to make a few "autism awareness" posters for quite sometime.  There is a small bit in today's Liz Jones column about how I feel (the PS bit at the end not the bit about renting), she's deaf and has some OCD issues and is a weirdo vegan but here is spot on about disability and that.  To paraphrase a lot of people in Autism group think autism and related Aspergers Spectrum Disorders are some sort of wonderful things and that their lives under autism are all roses and that if they are cured they will have nothing to live for.  I don't think like that.  Far from it. 

I can barely talk and think most days, that's why I call it my robot life, this time of year I find the light to bright and certain sounds like storms and motorbikes are far too loud, but generally I am not one of those people who meltdown at the drop of a hat.  I do however crave routine both offline and on.  So far I'm a typical "aspie" though the word to me is facile and stupid, its a word made up for us.  Autist is far better for me or even sperg which is at least honest and isn't offensive to me, maybe some could reclaim it Icespergers anyone.

Aspergers to me its an everyday slap in the face on how I'm not like regular folk.  I wont celebrate this, I wont celebrate Neurodiversity either or any of the other positivm shit the others put out. If you have a problem you get it fixed, though god knows what it would take to get a cure. 

Put it bluntly, your brain on Aspergers is like one of those pirate products from china.  Badly manufactured and a shoddy knock off a regular products, with bits routed here and there.  Nothing much works and what does is often a lot strange.  The only positives for me I can think of is Hyperlexia, that is being able to read at a stupidly young age and that isn't saying much.  

Blarrgh.
 Its horrible posters like this one that make me shiver.  Its differences that make us targets, alienate us and indeed make life a bit more unbearable.  Of course we don't know how to play by the rules, no one tells us but to be honest, thats how life is, and there's no real getting away from that.  If your smart enough to know how bad it can be (and yes there are downsides to it) then this is more of an accurate poster.

But only sometimes.



Sunday, 4 October 2015

Update stuff.

Been an odd couple of days really.  First of all the virus I thought my PC had turned out to be a false positive brought on by misidentifying some Delphi programs.  Its all moot now as its been quarantined.

Secondly those rogues at Applian are still in business and still pumping out freecorder updates. Of course like every rogue trader its not called freecorder now but Replay Media Catcher Oh and its also paid for software now instead of free costing £30 (about $50 us or 40 Useless for Europeans).  As a side note I noted something called flvsrvc.exe in process hacker while browsing my start up directory, its not malicious but would definitely be classed as a PUP as its virtually impossible to remove. Guess what its leftovers from Freecorder.

Judging by the smug responses here, it seems that they know all about it and yes I would call it a virus or worse, in fact a lot of people would say that if you are going to drop £30 on shite to record stuff (especially audio) on the web then do us a favour and get an external soundcard and audacity and look for a guide to set up stereo mix options as they often nerf the channels on internal cards.

Also as a side note we have a couple of cool programs for Android (also ios for Apple wankers).

First up is NHK clock which really should be your standard Android system clock, is a nice looking version of an onscreen clock that used to be on NHK.  Browsing through there are versions for Vista and Mac as well as an actual wall clock for 10,584円 (£60 plus shipping) in light blue and wood grain.  The app is free and has a (loud) time signal on the hour.

Finally Terra Battle has updated to finally let me register and play and its a really nice strategy rpg. Done by Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker studios its like a board game, in execution, you move pieces once per turn and if they flank an enemy then they battle doing damage. You'll need a wifi connection as its one of those server based free to play buggers, but its not to heavy on the microtransactions and is of a real nice quality.


Thursday, 1 October 2015

Get I Player notes.

This is just a few lines here about using Get iPlayer. More as an aide memoire than anything else, if anyone else finds it useful then good for you, if not then this one from squarepenguin is good, also you can grab the program from their home page.

For those of you who don't know what get iPlayer is, its a BBC iPlayer programme recorder, for the mighty, blighty only TV catch up service from the BBC.  Iplayer lets you watch pitch shifted programming from the main BBC networks along with radio programmes (say if you want to nab a comedy show from Radio  4 or some bollocks from 1Xtra).  You can download them for a month and then they vanish, but due to insane copy restrictions (and it being a flash file and that) its never really playable in any program other than Windows Media Player. Get iPlayer lets you permanently keep them. 

Previously I've used their web PVR program to snag various bits and pieces for various Youtube bits such as YTP and spoofs, but previously its been a bit flaky so I've had to do it the old fashioned way in Get iPlayer itself.

I mean old fashioned too, its command line only, Linux bastards are of course right at home here (where everyday is 1992) but for the rest of us who DOS is a foreign country then this is a bit weird.

1. When it starts you'll see a stream of stuff pop up before it stops.  We are going to use Eastenders here as our bait and what you'll need to do is search for stuff so in the prompt, hit space and put.

 get_iplayer "EastEnders"
you'll see a bunch of matches with a number next to them what you will need to do now is type this number into get iplayer in form of the below command.  In this case we'll download Monday's episode which is 518 which will look like this.

get_iplayer --get 518

It will then download it to a folder on your desktop for keeps and stuff.

There are a load of other ways to do this according to squarepenguins guide but this I find is the easiest way of doing it.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Raptors and Roundups.

Been a bit crazy this week, with a few trips out and some Vita news for all you rom botherers out there, 
oh and the Prime Minister allegedly sticking his knob in a dead pigs mouth as part of a university club initiation ceremony we have to grab our Lolz where we can get it.

Unexpected Find.!
First up some odd nature bits and pieces.  We took a trip down the Thames path at Woolwich today, the last time I did so I was sure I saw a Kingfisher in flight and didn't think anything would top this, or so I thought.  That is until halfway through my walk I saw this.

Peregrine Falcon.
Yeah that is a dead Peregrine Falcon, right there on the pathway leading down to Thamesmead, I didn't know that they were actually present in the area only that they are protected and rare in the UK. Looking on line there are reports of nests in Greenwich and Lewisham complete with chicks which is good to see. I initially thought it was a Sparrowhawk though my mind was screaming that this is a Peregrine.  It certainly made my trip out although really wished it had been alive rather than dead.

Vita Breakthrough.
Really enjoying this breakthrough on Wololo.net.  Seems some guys have been poking through some files dumped out via hacking into the Vita's Mail app.  Seems you can dump out files up to a certain size for analysing, you can only dump files lower than 2 Meg at the moment or go 7 Directories in but its a start and what has been found has been actually quite interesting. 

What has been found so far from this is:
* A whitelist of all games that run on Playstation TV.
* Switch PSN account.
* Read, write and delete from memory card (UX0)
* Cartridge dumping and back up installation.

As you can see its a major deal already, you can dump cards from the vita and put roms for back up whether this extends to PSN downloads is anyones guess so far but, like I said this is getting interesting.
Better explanation here, or if you wish to keep, fully up to date, follow Major_tom's twitter here.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Fully xxxpanded

Kicked out a particularly nasty virus this past couple of days.  Win.32 Banker according to Avast, did a boot time scan to root it out and a follow up scan to see if everything was caught.  Been having unexplained crashes for a while and blamed it on a windows update going rogue, everything would be fine until it wasn't and would freeze you out so the only thing to do was unplug and reboot, I'm pretty sure it was downloading random apk. files that got me this as well.  Which brings us onto our main story.

We grabbed a little Micro SD card from the floor of one of the blocks at work, its got a few nice things including some porno (hint we never find porn,) and a few tracks by some grime artists. The pron ain't all that, think more hard faced teens rather than amateur stuff and a lot of screen grabs including stuff from adultwork. 

The main odd thing I've come across is an APK. file for xxxpanded.tv one of the innumerable shake and grind channels from the upper reaches of Sky's channel guide.  You know the deal, they play some decent music and have the roughest slags available, shake their ass live, you never see any gash, and once in a while they'll be a half way decent girl on without tattoos or that heavily made up.  It isn't that erotic and quite frankly does nothing for me, so was quite surprised to see that there was a download of this in the download folder.

What it does.
From what I could tell from Bluestacks not much, at least it worked (Terra Battle and Puzzle and Dragons of which I've downloaded a few times now have never worked).  It gives you a list of phone lines to the girls online and a chance to look at their profile and hear an audio message or see a seawater quality clip of them try to act sexy through all the artifacts onscreen.  I wouldn't recommend opening up Audacity, selecting stereo mix from the drop down list and clicking record before you play the clip.  and I especially wouldn't recommend exporting the clip to use as free samples.  I suppose if you wanted to try it out on your phone you could actually dial the number and waste a bunch of money on some sex line but seeing as its going nowhere near my phone and as far as I can tell Bluestacks doesn't let you ring anyone its pretty much redundant.

Apart from that it did fuck all else, no live streams like on their site or TV schedule with the same 4 manky brasses.

 In fact if you are going to go anywhere near teh pron, then I would suggest this course of action.
Get antivirus up to date.
Same with any anti malware.
Add Noscript and an ad block to any browser you use 
They'll whinge like fuck when you visit but you can add just enough stuff so it'll play without you being bothered by ads and stuff.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Devon Stuff

We are back from Devon now, I didn't update while I was out there as to be honest phone reception was patchy at best.  They had Wifi in the main building but it was slow and apart from check selected websites and Facebook thats all you could do.

Pretty ain't it.
Stayed in a chalet outside of Ilfracombe on the North Devon Coast, a reasonably nice place but had a purgatory version of Freeview where you can only get the 5 main channels and their digital off shoots, kinda wished they had something non BBC to watch, especially as their news is dire, highlight was seeing them interview ancient apocalypse author Graham Hancock on breakfast telly.   The lowlights are many but largely biased immigration reporting is probably the worst I've seen.  This includes, hand wringing, a charity song, some more hand wringing and nary a dissenting voice about the logistics of  housing 30,000 extra blokes and its largely blokes from the line up I saw.

Apart from the TV, and the nice weather which was out of my hands, our resort wasn't bad. It had a clubhouse / pub / reception area,  that hosted an arcade, a few slots as well as a stage area which had some pretty young ladies dancing with a giant rabbit whenever we popped in for dinner.

Not a great shot.
They also did a quiz (would have aced it if I'd of taken part) that in true Dale Winton fashion the host was several shades thicker than the audience.  She pronounced the Suez canal as the Seuss canal which gave a wonderful image of it being built by the Cat in The Hat. Also didn't know that lignite referred to wood.
Our arcade was quite nice actually, nothing for me ironically, but there were a few interesting cabs to look at, including a big rocketship ride with a built in screen, and a few old Sega cabs, apart for an obligatory House of the Dead included a Dinosaur King and a Love and Berry in shin high cabinets.  Kicking myself that it was always too busy to grab a photo of these.  Also it seems that Archer Maclean's Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker is now a quiz game.  Didn't actually get to play this either but it was part of a quiz terminal along with a few other pub staples and that.

Ilfracombe is nice, with a few good gardens and an impressive Strawberry Tree in the car park and a strange theatre with its reactor like acoustic domes.  They had a good line up of shops including an independent record shop and a few general store type things, the harbour had a sculpture of a vivisected pregnant woman by Damien Hirst, but the natural landscape with much more stunning (see top picture).  If you are into geology then there is some pretty cool looking rock strata out there which makes for excellent photos. Also a nice local museum, we like a nice museum.

Barnstaple, is the archetypal big town, nicely laid out and can recommend the Pannier Center, a covered market in the heart of town for antique stuff (wednesdays) and general market stuff (every other day).  Plenty of charity shops and free disabled parking made me quite impressed with it.

pannier center.

Lynton and Lynmouth.

Little town / village further along the coast with a working funicular railway that transports you up and down the cliff edge between the two towns.  Lots of poky shops and steep walks down to places here, so not really those who can't walk far.  Also dogs, loads and loads of dogs, dogs in shops, dogs on the street and dogs on the cliff railway, if you like dogs then there are plenty here for you.

Where's my lead go?
Combe Martin. Boasts the longest high street in the UK, 90 percent of this is made up of houses with the odd shop thrown in along its length, there are more down by the beach but not much.  Quite picturesque.
Diddly Dogber.

That is all.

They sound cool but are probably a rock band.


Friday, 4 September 2015

Stasis of heaven.

Another Hiatus coming, which is why you have a Friday post instead of a Sunday one.  Surfing on anything less than a full size screen is pretty painful for me so you wont see me for some time.  I'll leave you with a few things to chew over.

As a godless soulless robot, I've read many tracts trying to tell me the wonders of gods plan and that and have come across some pretty fucked up stuff in my time.  Today I've found what could be the worst thing ever, it wasn't unreadable or hectoring as usual, far from it it actually was quite readable for once, it failed in its point entirely.

The pamphlet itself was trying to tell me the wonders of heaven and god's word, how they are unchanging and so wonderful and it just clicked with me, it described gods plan as a kind of autism.  Unchanging, relying on stupid rituals, and indifferent to those around us (you may think your prayers are answered but god doesn't do jack.)

The wonders of heaven are never really explained properly, just an eternal lifetime with god full on bliss, you know like in the Matrix before Morpheus offers the red pill to Keanu Reeves so he comes to his senses, and just like in the Matrix there really is no spoon (heaven). As an autistic it actually fills me with dread that heaven is basically an extension of my life, isolating, bound by ritual I can't explain and stultifying.  They have a saying that gods word is the same then as it is now, and that's not a good thing.

We update science books with new knowledge when our old ways are found to be incorrect, we don't update our Bibles or Korans when these are found to be deficient. The original analogy of heaven being the same is based on a faded seaside resort (kinda like Frinton on sea), that seems preserved in aspic rather than admit anything modern.  Its the place that still has Golliwoggs, because they're traditional, regardless of any ethnic sensitivity and its a place where nothing ever moves, grows or progresses.  The original tract was quite adamant about this was a bad thing that life was impermanent, rather than a good thing.

Another thing it touched on was dealing with hell, what kind of crime demands you that you suffer for all eternity, even the worst criminal doesn't deserve this, what kind of god would let someone suffer like that. It makes no sense, the punishment fits the crime, there's no chance for any recidivism upon the part of the perpetrator, apart from a mealy mouthed, well you should have accepted Jesus in life.  Of course my real bugbear with the whole thing is forgiveness, you can accept Jesus and go to heaven when you die regardless of your actions.  Kill a bunch of people, accept Christ in jail, bingo you've got a ticket to heaven, god doesn't care that you are still a murderer, only that its been forgiven.

It really makes me sick to hear this all the time.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Uptown fucked

Manga shop hiding in plain sight
We decided to do something crazy and get a cheap wireless router, and look around uptown while I'm at it.  Duly done its decided to knacker my entire network so that only my phones work now.  It's stuck on not recognising anything so this seems to be me fucked.  On the other hand I seem to be getting the hang of the maze we call Soho, with me finally getting my bearings and finding not just the new arcade but the manga shop as well.  There were a few other things that caught my eye too.

They had a hairdressers in Lexington Street that had a working SNES in the window (running Mario Kart) and some dummy heads made up to look like Princess Peach, Toad and Mario.
Fucking hell its expensive too.

Finally grabbed the new Aphex Twin Ep, Midi Pipe etc etc is probably the best track there with Oberheim Blacet a close second.

Edit. I've done a system restore and fixed some links now everything is working

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Dasylirion

This is a bit of a post script to the Agave reports I did earlier.  This is currently putting up a flower spike in Kew's Princess of Wales glasshouse so much so that they had to remove the roof panel to let it out.  It first came to my attention on Kew's own webpage, along with bits and pieces via Facebook as well that their Titan Arum was in bud as well.  Decided on a field trip down there, armed with the big phone to see if I could spot them and of course grab photos.  One out of two wasn't bad, didn't see the Titan Arum but the Dasylirion was a great spot. Also saw a few other things in flower such as a Dyckia and a Grey Squirrel that got trapped in a bin which was great fun.

Dasylirion Flower Spike
Dasylirion  Main Body
Top of the flower spike
   Its a native of the Southern U.S and Mexico where it seems to have a long tradition of being used for making alcoholic drinks and as a fire making instrument (indeed I first saw this through a Ray Mears trek in the Sonora, on TV).  It doesn't really flower in the UK as its not really grown much (probably being due to it not being cold hardy and also massive size) and its rare to see it bloom, I'll try and add links when its fully in bloom and I remember.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Stuff missing from Android.

Or stuff that they should bundle in with Android but don't.  If you are lucky enough to have an Android phone / tablet that isn't overburdened with bloatware you'll know how basic and spartan the actual Android experience is.  If you've ever used Chrome from Google then you'll probably have the same stuff, a few basic things like G Mail, Youtube, Translate, Google Drive and the much loathed and widely shunned Google plus. Add in a link to the Appstore, plus the usual camera, phone / text apps and whatever your manufacturer deems is essential but isn't, and that is it.

Of course its up to you to add more relevant stuff but coming from a blackbastard (berry honestly its that horrible) and iThing environment, its surprising how little there is on there.  So here is a few things they should bundle with the stock android experience in no particular order.

Total Commander.

Available for the PC as well, this is a file manager and so much more.  If you have files on an SD Card and want to transfer them over (such as APK. files) or wish to play music without bothering with Google music you can.  Of course it does much more than that but this is what I use it for. You can poke through your file system and manage files on your system, something sorely missing from the main android experience. So many uses and such fun to do.

Amazon Appstore.

My blackbastard never had access to this only blackbastard world, but if you ever had a Kindle later blackbastard phone or Fire phone / Stick this is what you use to buy and manage apps.  For some reason Google have banned it (i'm guessing competition) but its pretty easy to install and that.  You'll need an Amazon account to make use of this but its easy to make and they regularly have free app days so you can get a lot of free stuff you'd normally pay for.

Adblock Plus.

Ever tried to surf the web with a billion ads, they add nothing to the whole surfing experience and can be actively dangerous.  I've used an adblocker for ages back in dial up days when pages would load quicker with less stuff to render and later on to block ads from Youtube and the web.  I don't have this on my phone yet but there will come a time when I will add it such is its usefulness.  Said to block ads in games as well but don't know if it does.

An Antivirus Suite.

Something that isn't actually banned but with android malware and stuff being widespread I would consider this being something they should have added. I know its just like PC stuff where you get a hideous Norton or McAfee antivirus that is a cunt to uninstall, but android is so much more insecure than the other networks that I consider a good antivirus protection a right not an option.

I'll consider some stuff that should be on iPhone for a later blog entry (I'm running an iPhone 4 so these may have been fixed but I doubt it).

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Agave reporting and worse.

This was going to be a nice little post about some stuff iTunes does that Google Play doesn't as well as further differences, but then something came up to do that.  (short version you can download programs from the app store on PC and sync them to your phone, tab, ipod thus saving data).

It's a big cactus rant coming up so be warned.  There are two stories doing the rounds at the moment both have succumbed to ill informed journalism of the highest order.

The first is a few months old now but I bookmarked it because I knew I'd have a use for it.

Somerset Pensioner pricks hand on Pachypodium spines and suffers quite a bit of discomfort.

Actually quite a lot to be honest reading the article again and if you know your succulents, which this is, you'll know that its a Pachypodium Lamerei also known as a Madagascar Palm.  Its a member of the Apocynaceae rather than the Palmaceae, definitely not a cactus of any shape or form.  Oleander and Desert Rose are also part of that family which are also massively toxic too.  My only consolation to the old lady involved is that if she ever wants it repotted again, is to take a long strip of newspaper and wrap it round the plant as a collar, and grab both free ends, so you can manipulate it that way.

Predictably it didn't get reported anywhere quite as good as this in the national press.  The Daily Mail where I read this first, adds a couple of bizarre things about it being a dangerous alien species and linking it to the Giant Hogweed allergy outbreak which it is neither.  There is also a bit about giving it away which doesn't appear in the main story which is a shame as it has the most wonderful white flowers.

Pachypodium Lamerei Flower.

I wasn't quite expecting the next story, but its also fits in with the general non fact checking and sloppy reporting when it comes to succulents and such.


The main story concerns the flowering of an Agave Americana at the Italianate Greenhouse in Ramsgate, and really impressive it is too, with a good 2 meters or so poking out of the roof hatch. 

For some reason its been labelled as rare, which it isn't, there's millions of them dotted about the Mediterranean, and the Canary Islands and its often seen on clifftops and at the side of the various Autopistas going to the resorts.  Put it this way I always seem to get a picture of them either in flower or showing some imposing leaves in every holiday I've been on.   Its uncommon  to see them flower here but isn't unheard of and apart from the Edinburgh Botanic gardens, there are many documented cases of them flowering here in the UK.   

Looking through back issues of the Cactusworld journal I've come across several news articles about people flowering their Agaves, including a Victoria Reginae up in Grimsby and an Agave Salmiana flowering for the third time down in Devon (of course from different offsets). Its uncommon but not unheard of and in both cases the plants where around the 45 to 50 year old mark, nowhere near a century, which is about the age of the plant in Ramsgate.  

 The main press have reported this variously there is a quite frankly, marvelous piece in the Daily Telegraph which gives you some facts about the park and Agaves as well.  The Mail expands on this but makes a few errors about it being rare and cold vulnerable, (its not just doesn't like the wet like all succulents) apart from that its redeemed by the comments which are genuinely interesting for once.  

I'll add a few things which was cool that may happen to their specimen that I've seen in the wild.  It may attract ants, as Agave Nectar is used as a poncey sugar substitute, I saw this in Menorca, with quite a column going up and down the main flower spike.  It may offset from the flowers itself, I managed to bring home an offset that I knocked off myself from one such holiday, and finally it maybe used as a mooring stake for a small boat, which is what I saw in Corfu. 

Sunday, 2 August 2015

More on Phones.

For some reason I've managed to go from having a phone that wasn't my own to owning two phones in the space of a week.  I found lying around on the grass, an iphone 4 and while its hardly cutting edge, talking it over with the guys at work (who showed us how to do stuff) it seems that its still pretty good and also gives me a crucial snapshot into the Apple way of doing things.

Stuff I like so far is that whoever owned it before had the decency to get it unlocked to any network and this is how it should be for all phones, not dependent on one carrier.  Also its pretty intuitive on how to do stuff, with a big physical button to go exit programs and that, and after a bit of a struggle got myself an "app store"  login.  Finally the little tray that your sim card sits in and is accessible with a pin, is part of the overall good design work Apple stuff generally has.

Then the downsides kick in, you have to partner up a credit / debit card if you want to download anything.  I haven't found a way for it just to accept iTunes vouchers only and decline the rest or just install whatever the apple equivalent of APKs are, at least Google let you install stuff from other sources which is pretty cool.  If they let you divest all payment to iTunes cards only it would to be honest, cut out some of the horror stories of paying thousands for items in F2P bollocks like Candy Crush.

Even worse, some stuff are of course verboten on Apples draconian walled garden.  Doing a search for emulation stuff brought up a few links to a few other app stores like Cydia and another one which seems to be just for Emulation stuff.  Largely its those dodgy Movie HD type streaming stuff, anything torrent related and emulation, especially if it allows you to supply your own roms.

Finally you don't get any SD card support so you can't expand storage from what your phone has.  There are ways around this of course such as using Dropbox or any other online file locker to keep hold of content.  Plus as its synced to your PC, it cuts out Apple's horrific iTunes software (less so on mac).  Also battery life is of course appalling with it literally ticking down every minute you're on line so certain games that rely on a server connection are pretty much out.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Blackberry Requiem.

We have a new phone, a lovely Moto G from Motorola, we haven't set it up yet but here's hoping it wont disappoint, it really needs me to set up WiFi again for all sorts of reasons so more news when I do so.

My old work phone took a fatal hit to the screen, midweek, and is now semi operational.  The blackbastard as I affectionately called it wasn't entirely terrible, it was just an unsupported nightmare. with nothing of any value on the BBM store (little free and no emulators, remember this is a classic Blackberry not the new APK compatible phone its become now). It did do some things nice, such as physical controls and erm... that's it.  But its negatives outweigh the positives. Vastly.

I'm currently using my bosses old phone a touch screen Blackberry Curve, the version where they gut the entire physical keyboard and try to kid us that its an improvement.  Its not of course, its a plastic shelled abomination masquerading as a smartphone, with a screen the size of a postage stamp and the same horrible onscreen keyboard that is a nightmare to use.  I've never used a physical keyboard Blackberry phone, but I would imagine that the keyboard there would be a vast improvement over what we have in both the Curve and Torch models.

Its said that work is upgrading us to iPhones sometime in the near future but as I hate the entire Apple ethos (and more pertinently used iTunes) I don't see myself going ahead.