undyingking: (Default)
Glad to see that this LiveJournal continues to shape opinion, as Simple Minds have clearly been reading it lately: they've just finished a tour of gigs based solely upon their first five albums, and a boxed set of same to accompany.

Bit late to post this, sorry, but you can still catch them at T in the Park this summer…
undyingking: (Default)
Glad to see that this LiveJournal continues to shape opinion, as Simple Minds have clearly been reading it lately: they've just finished a tour of gigs based solely upon their first five albums, and a boxed set of same to accompany.

Bit late to post this, sorry, but you can still catch them at T in the Park this summer…

DNA

Mar. 1st, 2012 02:48 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Went last night to see the play DNA by the Hull Truck company, which a friend's child's partner was acting in (gone are the days when our friends themselves had partners who were struggling newbie actors…). It's touring around, in Oxford tonight and tomorrow I think and then all sorts of other places.

This is quite a well-known play among kids, it turns out, being on the national curriculum. I guess about 80% of the audience were teenagers. I thought it was a very neat production and well acted – although the play itself, while it contains some powerful and in palces funny dialogue and individual scenes are strong, was a bit lacking in overall sense and plausibility in places. You can see how it would be good to teach around… but it's no Lord of the Flies, tbh.

If you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you'll like, I guess is the verdict. We had a good time, anyway.

DNA

Mar. 1st, 2012 02:48 pm
undyingking: (Default)
Went last night to see the play DNA by the Hull Truck company, which a friend's child's partner was acting in (gone are the days when our friends themselves had partners who were struggling newbie actors…). It's touring around, in Oxford tonight and tomorrow I think and then all sorts of other places.

This is quite a well-known play among kids, it turns out, being on the national curriculum. I guess about 80% of the audience were teenagers. I thought it was a very neat production and well acted – although the play itself, while it contains some powerful and in palces funny dialogue and individual scenes are strong, was a bit lacking in overall sense and plausibility in places. You can see how it would be good to teach around… but it's no Lord of the Flies, tbh.

If you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you'll like, I guess is the verdict. We had a good time, anyway.
undyingking: (Default)
How do you pronounce the surname of that artist who liked sunflowers and starry nights? I suspect I say it wrongly… but not sure. Crowdsourcing will have the answer!

[Poll #1820257]

(And did you know he lived at various times in Brixton, Ramsgate and Isleworth? I didn't until recently.)
undyingking: (Default)
How do you pronounce the surname of that artist who liked sunflowers and starry nights? I suspect I say it wrongly… but not sure. Crowdsourcing will have the answer!

[Poll #1820257]

(And did you know he lived at various times in Brixton, Ramsgate and Isleworth? I didn't until recently.)
undyingking: (Default)
Yesterday read a book all the way through, from about 5 to 11 pm with a break for dinner – very unusual for me. The reason being that it was extremely good! The Magicians, by Lev Grossman. I'd seen recommendations from various people, most recently [livejournal.com profile] sturgeonslawyer who prompted me to give it a go (thanks, Dan'l).

The book is a deeply impressive intellectual achievement, and also gripping, funny, moving and thought-provoking. The capsule description (a kid goes to a magical college and thence into a fantasy land) makes it sound derivative of, among other things, Harry Potter and Narnia. But actually it is a thoughtful and insightful commentary on how the subgenres represented by those two series operate, and what they imply. I guess the closest I can come is that it bears the same sort of sideways relationship to them as Rosencrantz and Guidenstern Are Dead does to Hamlet.

But that makes The Magicians sound like a nerdy exercise in alluson-spotting, whereas (although that is true to some extent) it also works very well as an entertaining novel. Grossman really is a very skillful writer. Some of his sentences and images are extremely beautifully formed. And the energy and conciseness of his narrative is admirable – he spirits you along through quick successions of events, covering a lot of story very quickly, but without neglecting his characters' development along the way.

I see there's a sequel: interested to see how that works. The book seems to have said all it needs to in itself, so I'm not sure where he could go next. Anyone read The Magician King?
undyingking: (Default)
Yesterday read a book all the way through, from about 5 to 11 pm with a break for dinner – very unusual for me. The reason being that it was extremely good! The Magicians, by Lev Grossman. I'd seen recommendations from various people, most recently [livejournal.com profile] sturgeonslawyer who prompted me to give it a go (thanks, Dan'l).

The book is a deeply impressive intellectual achievement, and also gripping, funny, moving and thought-provoking. The capsule description (a kid goes to a magical college and thence into a fantasy land) makes it sound derivative of, among other things, Harry Potter and Narnia. But actually it is a thoughtful and insightful commentary on how the subgenres represented by those two series operate, and what they imply. I guess the closest I can come is that it bears the same sort of sideways relationship to them as Rosencrantz and Guidenstern Are Dead does to Hamlet.

But that makes The Magicians sound like a nerdy exercise in alluson-spotting, whereas (although that is true to some extent) it also works very well as an entertaining novel. Grossman really is a very skillful writer. Some of his sentences and images are extremely beautifully formed. And the energy and conciseness of his narrative is admirable – he spirits you along through quick successions of events, covering a lot of story very quickly, but without neglecting his characters' development along the way.

I see there's a sequel: interested to see how that works. The book seems to have said all it needs to in itself, so I'm not sure where he could go next. Anyone read The Magician King?
undyingking: (Default)
??
The button linked to an url on http://www.harpmakers.co.uk/ (safe to visit afaics, but not illuminating).




Have your message included in
Sir Jimmy Savile's book of condolences

A memorial and book of condolence to the late Sir Jimmy Savile has been set up in SAVILES hall opposite the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. If you are unable to visit but wish to leave a message of condolence you can get your message included through our exclusive condolences portal.

Leave your message
of condolence

"Sir Jimmy was a great friend and a driving force for us and we want to pay tribute to the man. He was a legend – an extraordinary larger than life character," said James Vincent, Managing Director of Royal Armouries International.

"We share the grief of his passing and hope his loyal local fans will appreciate this as a fitting place in which to honour his memory and lay any flowers or mementoes."

undyingking: (Default)
??
The button linked to an url on http://www.harpmakers.co.uk/ (safe to visit afaics, but not illuminating).




Have your message included in
Sir Jimmy Savile's book of condolences

A memorial and book of condolence to the late Sir Jimmy Savile has been set up in SAVILES hall opposite the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. If you are unable to visit but wish to leave a message of condolence you can get your message included through our exclusive condolences portal.

Leave your message
of condolence

"Sir Jimmy was a great friend and a driving force for us and we want to pay tribute to the man. He was a legend – an extraordinary larger than life character," said James Vincent, Managing Director of Royal Armouries International.

"We share the grief of his passing and hope his loyal local fans will appreciate this as a fitting place in which to honour his memory and lay any flowers or mementoes."

Pingback!

Nov. 3rd, 2011 03:13 pm
undyingking: (Default)
How exciting: I just got a comment from [livejournal.com profile] pingback_bot, on this post. I had not been aware of the existence of such a bot before, but it seems a good idea. Explanation here.

(Well, it was exciting to me. But I dare say some of you have known about it for years, and had thousands such comments?)

Pingback!

Nov. 3rd, 2011 03:13 pm
undyingking: (Default)
How exciting: I just got a comment from [livejournal.com profile] pingback_bot, on this post. I had not been aware of the existence of such a bot before, but it seems a good idea. Explanation here.

(Well, it was exciting to me. But I dare say some of you have known about it for years, and had thousands such comments?)
undyingking: (Default)
Hello [undyingking],

Maybe you have heard about BitCoin.

I want to inform you that Bitcoins now is not completely virtual and you can buy physical Bitcoins.

We make coins from metal, electroplated with real gold. Each coin contains redeemable bitcoin private key protected by hologram sticker.

If you interested, please, visit my shop: [website redacted].

Or you can write me email: [email address redacted].

Regards,
[name redacted]

You have to love the optimistic mind that would come up with a daft scam idea like this. I wonder how many takers they got.
undyingking: (Default)
Hello [undyingking],

Maybe you have heard about BitCoin.

I want to inform you that Bitcoins now is not completely virtual and you can buy physical Bitcoins.

We make coins from metal, electroplated with real gold. Each coin contains redeemable bitcoin private key protected by hologram sticker.

If you interested, please, visit my shop: [website redacted].

Or you can write me email: [email address redacted].

Regards,
[name redacted]

You have to love the optimistic mind that would come up with a daft scam idea like this. I wonder how many takers they got.
undyingking: (Default)
At the pictures the other night, saw a trailer for new film Anonymous, in which the Earl of Oxford writes Shakespeare's plays.

The conspiracy theory that the plays were written by someone other than Shakespeare (who in this version was just an actor) is of very long standing. There are a number of other candidates suggested, but the overall gist is the same: 'the man from Stratford's' contribution to the oeuvre (sonnets and other verse as well as the plays) was nil or negligible.

It seems to me that this theory or set of theories, which I used to think of as being the realm of fringe loonery, has recently gained a bit of currency. What better way to find out than with an LJ poll?

[Poll #1787472]

Discussion )

(The post title is a call-back to this post of a while back.)
undyingking: (Default)
At the pictures the other night, saw a trailer for new film Anonymous, in which the Earl of Oxford writes Shakespeare's plays.

The conspiracy theory that the plays were written by someone other than Shakespeare (who in this version was just an actor) is of very long standing. There are a number of other candidates suggested, but the overall gist is the same: 'the man from Stratford's' contribution to the oeuvre (sonnets and other verse as well as the plays) was nil or negligible.

It seems to me that this theory or set of theories, which I used to think of as being the realm of fringe loonery, has recently gained a bit of currency. What better way to find out than with an LJ poll?

[Poll #1787472]

Discussion )

(The post title is a call-back to this post of a while back.)
undyingking: (Default)
Heard recently that the govt is going ahead with bringing in a subsidy for domestic solar hot water systems, whereby you get paid 18p or so per kWh of heat that you generate (as well as saving off your gas bill, of course).

It's estimated that a typical 20-tube installation on a south-facing roof will pull down somewhere around £400-500 for you per year through this subsidy: not bad.

There is a snag, though, which is that the subsidy isn't payable for installations on houses with combi boilers: only for those with the more traditional cylinder-plus-boiler setup. Not because there is any technical drawback to using solar-heated feed to a combi, or efficiency penalty, or anything like that: that's not an issue. It's simply a policy decision.

This is probably a bit galling for anyone who thought they were being nice and eco-friendly by installing a combi boiler, as previous govts persistently urged us all to do. But fair enough, maybe they are thinking that encouraging solar adaptation of older boiler systems is going to clean up more of the low-hanging carbon-emission fruit.

But this is where the title of this post comes in. It'll cost you about £3000 (say) to rip out your lovely efficient new combi boiler and replace it with a cylinder-plus-boiler system. With the subsidy guaranteed to rise with inflation for 20 years, you'd repay that and be quids in before too long.

Hmm.
undyingking: (Default)
Heard recently that the govt is going ahead with bringing in a subsidy for domestic solar hot water systems, whereby you get paid 18p or so per kWh of heat that you generate (as well as saving off your gas bill, of course).

It's estimated that a typical 20-tube installation on a south-facing roof will pull down somewhere around £400-500 for you per year through this subsidy: not bad.

There is a snag, though, which is that the subsidy isn't payable for installations on houses with combi boilers: only for those with the more traditional cylinder-plus-boiler setup. Not because there is any technical drawback to using solar-heated feed to a combi, or efficiency penalty, or anything like that: that's not an issue. It's simply a policy decision.

This is probably a bit galling for anyone who thought they were being nice and eco-friendly by installing a combi boiler, as previous govts persistently urged us all to do. But fair enough, maybe they are thinking that encouraging solar adaptation of older boiler systems is going to clean up more of the low-hanging carbon-emission fruit.

But this is where the title of this post comes in. It'll cost you about £3000 (say) to rip out your lovely efficient new combi boiler and replace it with a cylinder-plus-boiler system. With the subsidy guaranteed to rise with inflation for 20 years, you'd repay that and be quids in before too long.

Hmm.

Dale Farm

Sep. 14th, 2011 11:15 am
undyingking: (Default)
The eviction of the Travellers at Dale Farm is fairly local to me, so it's been on our news pretty much every day for the last however long.

One curious aspect of the coverage, though, is that I don't think I've once heard a TV reporter point out that the land actually belongs to the Travellers themselves: they are being evicted from their own land, which they bought some time before settling it. Whether deliberately or not, the impression has firmly been given that they are squatting/trespassing there – which is quite untrue.

(Was that a surprise to you? If so, that supports my point.)

Given that it's their land, the issue at hand is that they are using it for residential purposes without having planning permission for the change of use. This planning permission would be denied, because the land is in the green belt. But don't think that means it's leafy verdant lungs of the countryside: it was a disused scrapyard when they bought it. It would be hard to argue that using it for residence purposes is any kind of degradation. Planning premission has been granted retrospectively, or the breach tolerated, in any number of such cases – that didn't involve Travellers.

It seems to me that the council are pushing the issue (at considerable expense) not for any practical reason, but because they think kicking Travellers out will play well with the Basildon electorate. And they are probably right.

(Interestingly, if the govt's current plans go through, there will be an enforced predisposition in favour of housing development, even on green belt land. I assume the Travellers could then apply anew for planning permission, and would have to be granted it. That would render this exercise an even more absurd waste of money.)

Dale Farm

Sep. 14th, 2011 11:15 am
undyingking: (Default)
The eviction of the Travellers at Dale Farm is fairly local to me, so it's been on our news pretty much every day for the last however long.

One curious aspect of the coverage, though, is that I don't think I've once heard a TV reporter point out that the land actually belongs to the Travellers themselves: they are being evicted from their own land, which they bought some time before settling it. Whether deliberately or not, the impression has firmly been given that they are squatting/trespassing there – which is quite untrue.

(Was that a surprise to you? If so, that supports my point.)

Given that it's their land, the issue at hand is that they are using it for residential purposes without having planning permission for the change of use. This planning permission would be denied, because the land is in the green belt. But don't think that means it's leafy verdant lungs of the countryside: it was a disused scrapyard when they bought it. It would be hard to argue that using it for residence purposes is any kind of degradation. Planning premission has been granted retrospectively, or the breach tolerated, in any number of such cases – that didn't involve Travellers.

It seems to me that the council are pushing the issue (at considerable expense) not for any practical reason, but because they think kicking Travellers out will play well with the Basildon electorate. And they are probably right.

(Interestingly, if the govt's current plans go through, there will be an enforced predisposition in favour of housing development, even on green belt land. I assume the Travellers could then apply anew for planning permission, and would have to be granted it. That would render this exercise an even more absurd waste of money.)

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