Wednesday, December 31, 2008

London-Lincoln-London 31-12-08

London to Lincoln
Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground
It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M.
Lucky Number - Lene Lovich
Somebody To Love - Boogie Pimps
Sitting Down Here - Lene Marlin
Go West - Village People
Ice Ice Baby Vs the Real Slim Shady - Eminem & Vanilla Ice
Something Good '08 (Radio Edit) - Utah Saints
Cynical Girl - Marshall Crenshaw
Amateur Hour - Sparks
Solid Gone - Madness
What A Mouth (What A North And South) - Tommy Steele
Is That How You Get Off? - Big Yoga Muffin
Come On Over Baby (Video Edit) - Christina Aguilera
If I had a million dollars - Barenaked Ladies
I Can't Give You Anything But My Love - Stylistics
But You're So Beautiful - Future Bible Heroes
Your Woman - White Town
Jackson - Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra
Reggae Merengue - Tommy Mccook & the Supersonics
Tandem - Halcali
(Is This The Way To) Amarillo (blippy version) - Tony Christie
Rent Boys - Kick Down The Door
I Believe In A Thing Called Love - The Darkness
Stuck On You - Elvis Presley
There's a Kind Of Hush - Herman's Hermits
United States Of Whatever - Liam Lynch
Along Came Jones - Ray Stevens
The Edge Of Heaven - Wham!
That's When The Music Takes Me - Neil Sedaka
I Gave You My Heart (Didn't I) - Hot Chocolate
Robot - The Futureheads
Tears Of A Clown - English Beat
I'm On Standby - Grandaddy
Statue of Liberty - XTC
Girls With Guitars - Wynonna Judd
Little Red Corvette - Prince
Think (Freedom) - Aretha Franklin
Kelly's Heroes - Black Grape
Get It On - Turbonegro
To Earth With Love - Gay Dad
Rip It Up - Orange Juice
The Boys of Summer - DJ Sammy
Breathe In - Frou Frou
Get Ready (Here I Come) - The Temptations
Tragedy - Bee Gees
Gee, Officer Krupkie! - Leonard Bernstein
This Is the Truth - Lazyboy (Lazy B)
I Only Wanna Be With You - Hootie and the Blowfish

Lincoln to London
Where Would We Be Now - Good Charlotte
Jesus - Queen
Strange Days - The Doors
Road Rage - Catatonia
Everybody Loves a Loser - Morcheeba
Underwear - Pulp
Say It to Me Now - Lisa Stansfield
Fat Babies - Lyle Lovett
Here She Comes - Low Millions
Back In The UK - Scooter
You're The First, The Last, My Everything - Barry White
Luminol - Ryan Adams
The Execution Of All Things - Rilo Kiley
My Friend Christian - Gemma Hayes
Imidawaren - Tinariwen
It's Not A Song - Amy Grant
Phantasmagoria In Two (live) - Tim Buckley
Suspended Animation - After The Fire
I Told Him That My Dog Wouldn't Run - Patty Larkin
I Wish It Would Rain - Wreckless Eric
Master And Everyone - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Stay Close - The Blue Nile
Everything Happens - Fred Neil
Di Black Petty Booshwah - Linton Kwesi Johnson
Ourselves to Know - Warren Zevon
I'm Blessed - Brendan Benson
Neon Shuffle - XTC
Rachael - Buffalo Tom
Show Me the Way (live) - Peter Frampton
Make Me Feel Again - Edwyn Collins
Unlovable - The Smiths
Crazy - Patsy Cline
Bigger Splash - Deaf School
What You Need - Pooka
Psychotic Reaction - Count Five
Get Smart - Cinerama
Imagination - Alice Peacock
Mockingbird - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Reason to Cry - Lucinda Williams
This Is My Song - Engelbert Humperdinck
Just Look What You've Done - Brenda Holloway
Expecting - The White Stripes
Snow - Emiliana Torrini
Evil Woman - Electric Light Orchestra

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

London-Somerset-London, 27/29-12-08

London to Somerset
Live Your Life (feat. Rihanna) - T.I.
Sorry I Haven't A Clue - Humphrey Littleton & guests
Mary's Boy Child - Boney M
Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town - Bruce Springsteen
There's A Hole In My Bucket - Harry Belafonte & Ertha Kitt
Little Yellow Spider - Devendra Banhart
Heliopolis by night - Aberfeldy
Quicksand - La Roux
The '59 Sound - The Gaslight Anthem
Cover of the Rolling Stone - Dr. Hook
Alisha Rules The World - Alisha's Attic
Wired For Sound - Cliff Richard
Christmas Is Coming - John Denver & The Muppets
Baby I Don't Care (sped up) - Transvision Vamp
2000 Miles - Pretenders
Pin - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Another Way to Die - Jack White & Alicia Keys
Hungry Like The Wolf - Reel Big Fish
Mambo italiano - Alma Cogan
Merry Christmas - The Ramones
Wombling Merry Christmas - The Wombles
You Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
Girls & Boys - Good Charlotte
Dance Wiv Me (feat. Calvin Harris & Chrome) - Dizzee Rascal
Goodnight Goodnight - Hot Hot Heat
Monster - The Automatic
Six white boomers - Rolf Harris
Zambesi - Piranhas
Baby I Know - The Rubettes
Dog Days Are Over - Florence & The Machine
Dragostea Din Tei (Rock Version) - Audiosmog
Don't Let Me Get Me - P!nk (Pink)
Dominik's E-Zone Mix - DJ Dragostea
Every Other Time (Radio Edit) - LFO
Sheila (Radio Edit) - Jamie T
iPod Xmas - Hello Saferide
Oi To The World - The Vandals
Frankie - Sister Sledge
Stay Positive - The Hold Steady
Lost+ (feat. Jay-Z) - Coldplay
All Alone On Christmas - Darlene Love
Just a Gigolo - I Ain't Got Nobody - Louis Prima
All The Things She Said - Tatu (t.A.T.u.)

Somerset to London
Animaniacs theme - Animaniacs
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Black Kids
Poison - Alice Cooper
You Give a Little Love - Silvery
Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty
Sorry I Haven't A Clue - Humphrey Littleton & guests
Too good to be forgotten - Amazulu
Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
Oh Lori - Alessi Brothers
Teenage Rampage - Sweet
Gasoline - The Airborne Toxic Event
She's So High - Tal Bachman
Digital Love - Daft Punk
Me, Doctor - Monty Python
It's Getting Better - Mama Cass Elliot
Shake Some Action - Flaming Groovies
Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - PM Dawn
I Want To Be Your Boyfriend - Rubinoos
Is This Christmas? (Radio Edit) - The Wombats
Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep - Middle of the Road
Come back my love - The Darts
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
3 Little Words (audio) - FrankMusik
Yes Sir I Can Boogie - Baccara
Centerfold - J. Geils Band
Rasputin - Boney M
Lonely Pup (In A Christmas Shop) - Adam Faith
Call it Love - Poco
Washing Song - Varttina
Smooth Criminal - Alien Ant Farm
Metarie - Brendan Benson
Don't Stop The Carnival - Alan Price
Do You Want To - Franz Ferdinand
I Can't Help Falling In Love With You - Hi-Standard
Chug A Lug - Jawbone
Walking around in women's underwear - Weird Al Yankovic
Crash - The Primitives
Sunshine, Lollipops, Rainbows - Lesley Gore
The Brangelina Baby - Andy Bowers
Swinging On a Star - Little Eva & Big Dee Irwin
I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked - Ida Maria
Baby, It's Cold Outside - Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews
The Promise - Girls Aloud
This Is Not Who We Were - Mull Historical Society
Go Daddy-O - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett
Holiday - Green Day
(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice - Amen Corner
The Reason - Hoobastank
Run Run Run - Phoenix
Pull It to Pieces - Elektralow
Bang Bang - B.A. Robertson
Standing On My Own Again - Graham Coxon
Lip Up Fatty - Bad Manners
Only This Moment (Radio Edit) - Royksopp
Spinnin' Around - Jump 5

Saturday, December 27, 2008

London-Lincoln-London 26-12-08

London to Lincoln
17 - Kings Of Leon
Wildfire - The Langley Schools Music Project
X&Y - Coldplay
Don't Give Up - Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush
I've Been Kicked Around - E
Any Major Dude Will Tell You - Wilco & Billy Bragg
Don't You Leave Me Here - Big Joe Williams
How You Want It Done - Big Bill Broonzy
Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine - The Killers
Fixin’ To Die Blues - Bukka White
Fear And Love - Morcheeba
Not Tonight - Tegan and Sara
Smart Dogs - Kula Shaker
Unleash the Fury - Yngwie Malmsteen
Behind A Painted Smile - The Isley Brothers
Trouble Me (live) - 10,000 Maniacs
Man In Motion - John Parr
Honeysuckle Sweet - Jessi Alexander
You And Me And The Moon - The Magnetic Fields
All That I'm Good For - Hem
A Ladder To The Stars - Grand Drive
Lonesome And Dry As A Bone - Ricky Skaggs And Kentucky Thunder
I Love The Life I Live - Georgie Fame
Jesus Was Way Cool - King Missile
It Ain't Me Babe - Johnny Cash
My Old Man's A Dustman - Lonnie Donegan
Positive Tension - Bloc Party
After All You've Done For Me - Bill Mallonee
Vermillion - Mercury Rev
The Frog Princess - The Divine Comedy
Back In The Circus - Jonatha Brooke
Brompton Oratory - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
We Better Talk This Over - Bob Dylan
I Found Someone - Cher
A Single Wish - This Mortal Coil
Airborne - Cinerama
Just Like Jesse James - Cher
Working Girls - Pernice Brothers
Three Days - Pat Green
Stop and Go - Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell
Harp In My Heart - Kevin Prosch
Silver Pistol - Brinsley Schwarz
Personal Column - Jake Thackray
Whoopin' The Blues - Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

Lincoln to London
3 Little Words - FrankMusik
Silver Star - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
I Want You Back - Jackson 5
Doctorin' the House - Coldcut Featuring Yazz & The Plastic Population
Nellie the elephant - Toy Dolls
I'm A Sucker For Your Love - Teena Marie
Scheme Eugene - Red Light Company
Tiger - ABBA
Together In Electric Dreams - Human League
Human - The Killers
A-Punk - Vampire Weekend
Someday - The Strokes
Time to Pretend (single version) - MGMT
You Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth - Meat Loaf
Have Yourself A Bitter Little Christmas - David Ford
Milk and Toast and Honey - Roxette
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - The Crystals
7 Things - Miley Cyrus
Every Morning - Sugar Ray
Dragostea Din Tei (Original Romanian Version) - O-ZONE
We're All Going to Die - Malcolm Middleton
Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End) - The Darkness
Let It All Blow (Single Version) - Dazz Band
Sleigh Ride - The Ronettes
Star Wars Cantina - Richard Cheese
I Don't Believe In Miracles - Colin Blunstone
Moving to New York - The Wombats
I'm Gettin' Nuttin' For Christmas - Stan Freberg
(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear - Blondie
Walkie Talkie Man - Steriogram
The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) - Nat 'King' Cole
Fairytale Of New York - Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl
Live Is Life - Opus
Under the Sea - The Little Mermaid
I Wanna Be Like You - Louis Prima, Phil Harris & Bruce Reitherman
Walk Idiot Walk - The Hives
Paul Revere and the Raiders - Him or Me
My Delirium - Ladyhawke
This Is a Call - Foo Fighters
One Thing - Elbow

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Cry of a Tiny Babe

Mary grows a child without the help of a man.
Joseph gets upset because he doesn’t understand.
Angel comes to Joseph in a powerful dream,
says, “God did this and you’re part of his scheme”.

Joseph comes to Mary with his hat in his hand, says,
“Forgive me, I thought you’d been with some other man”.
She says, “What if I had been? But I wasn’t anyway,
and guess what, I felt the baby kick today”.

Like a stone on the surface of a still river,
driving the ripples on forever.
Redemption rips through the surface of time,
in the cry of a tiny babe.

The child is born in the fulness of time.
Three wise astrologers take note of the signs.
Come to pay their respects to the fragile little king,
get pretty close to wrecking everything.

Because the governing body of the Holy Land
is that of Herod – a paranoid man –
who when he hears there’s a baby born King of the Jews
sends death squads to kill all male children under two.

But that same bright angel warns the parents in a dream
and they head out for the border and get away clean.


There are others who know about this miracle birth,
the humblest of people catch a glimpse of their worth.
For it isn’t to the palace that the Christ child comes,
but to shepherds and street-people, hookers and bums.

And the message is clear, if you have ears to hear,
that forgiveness is given for your guilt and your fear.
It’s a Christmas gift that you don’t have to buy,
there’s a future shining in a baby’s eyes.


Cry of a Tiny Babe – Bruce Cockburn

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Timorous Beasties reports: [edited]

La Bibliochaise Home is water varnished in black and white as standard (other colours available). Room for 5 meters of books. £3,900.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

60,000 piece Lego Star Wars Diorama

Gizmodo reports: [edited]

Not only is this Lego Star Wars diorama of the ice world Hoth fun to look at, it's got some gadgety goodness inside too. Oh, and footprints. Tons of tiny minifig footprints.

The 5′ x 10′ diorama is comprised of 60,000 Lego bricks. It cost creator Mark Borlase about $3,000 and four years of construction time to complete.

There's also the 50 LED lights that illuminate the Echo Base hangar and bacta tank with a soothing blue. Motorized AT-AT winches and a fully operational hanger door top off this gorgeous pile of eye candy.

Visit brickplumber's flickr pages for more images.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Best enthusiast digital compact

Digital Photography Review have produced a detailed review of 7 compact cameras aimed at people who would rather be using a DSLR, but don't want to carry around 10kg of kit with them.

Excerpts follow:

"Highly Recommended: Panasonic TZ5 and Canon PowerShot SX110 IS"

"The TZ5 is our favorite because it offers a proper wideangle, a better screen and slightly better high ISO performance, but the SX110 has better manual control and considerably more telephoto pulling power."

"Overall winner: Panasonic LX3"

"Panasonic has produced a camera aimed at photographers... instead of going for the easy option of adding even more megapixels and beefing up the other headline specs, the designers concentrated on the things that actually matter to a photographer."

"We get a fast zoom with a real wideangle, a superb screen and excellent image quality, including high ISO performance puts most competitors to shame. It's small enough to carry anywhere, fast and subtle enough for street photography and good enough to produce a decent 8x10 without the need to use raw."

"Of course it's not perfect; the controls are pretty fiddly and there's no telephoto to speak of. If you want more SLR like controls and a longer zoom - and don't mind the bulk - go for the Canon G10, [but] for a carry anywhere 'walk around' camera I'd go for the LX3 every time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wii sales soar

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

Wii shipments in the US totalled 2.04 million in November, according to the market bean-counting firm, NPD. The nearest competitor for the month was Microsoft's Xbox 360, with shipments of 836,000 units. Sony's Playstation 3 trailed far behind in November with only 378,000 units shipped.

For portable consoles, the Nintendo DS shipped 1.57 million units, marking the second-highest total of game console shipments for a non-December month. The Sony PSP moved 421,000 units in November.

The Wii outdid shipments of the Xbox 360, PSP, Playstation 3, and Playstation 2 combined.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BBC iPlayer now available for OS X and Linux

BBC reports: [edited]

Try out the new BBC iPlayer Desktop. Downloading allows you to enjoy your favourite BBC programmes without being connected to the Internet.

Mobile phone for less than 3 quid

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

Don’t want to cough-up an arm and a leg for the iPhone 3G? Then get down to Carphone Warehouse, where you can pick up a Motorola handset for less than the price of a pint.

The W180 costs £2.89, although you do have buy a £10 airtime voucher.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

If you've enjoyed the X-Men franchise so far this trailer of the 'prequel' is worth a watch.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Premium compact camera group test

Digital Photography Review have published an extensive comparison review of 6 high-end compact cameras.

Excerpts from the conclusion follow:

"Highly Recommended: Canon SD880 IS (Ixus 870 IS)"

"Canon makes compact cameras that do exactly what they should; take good pictures in a range of conditions with the minimum of fuss. The SD880 IS was the nicest camera in the group to use, has a sensible range of features and produces some of the best results. It has more than a dash of style, is fast and responsive and small enough to carry with you anywhere you go."

"Overall winner: Fujifilm F100fd"

"the F100fd isn't a camera you'll fall for immediately; it's not very pretty, the user interface is dated and it lacks the tactile appeal of the more designed cameras in the group."

"But where it matters - taking pictures - the F100fd shines, especially at higher ISO settings. If you ever shoot in less than perfect light the F100fd is just that bit better than anything else in this sector of the market."

"The F100fd did well in every one of our tests, whether shooting in broad daylight, in the studio or in a dimly lit bar. It's fast, reliable and has the best zoom range of any camera here. That it's also one of the cheapest is merely the icing on the cake; add it all together and you've got a winner - even if it is by the smallest of margins."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tardigrades update...

Back in October 2007, I blogged on an experiment involving putting tardigrades into space.

I've only just noticed that the results are in. Here are a few excerpts:

"...many of the tardigrades survived the trip in space, and a few of them became the first animals to return alive after exposure to both space vacuum and solar radiation."

"...the space vacuum and cosmic radiation did not affect their survival or reproduction at all. This was true for both Richtersius coronifer and Milnesium tardigradum. What this means is that these animals can either protect their cells from expected damage of the extremely dehydration impact of space vacuum, or that they can repair the damage."

"...our experiment gives rise to more questions than answers. How could these animals stand the extreme dehydration by space vacuum (at a pressure in the range of 0.00001 Pa compared to 100 000 Pa on Earth)? How could some of the tardigrades survive a dose of UV-A and UV-B of over 7000 kJ/sqm and still produce offspring? What molecular mechanisms are behind these remarkable achievements?..."

Friday, December 12, 2008

West Wing... if you haven't bought it yet... why?

I blogged on this series in 2007. In the light of Obama's success, the series is even more signficant. has made the complete series available for £48.91, that is a mere 32p per episode.

If you haven't seen it yet, or know someone who hasn't, treat yourself/them.

Nikon D3x

Just in case the D3 wasn't quite expensive enough for you, Nikon has released the D3x.

With an imaging sensor endowed with double the number of photosites of the D3, the 24.5 megapixel D3x includes similar features such as a 3.0", 920,000 dot LCD monitor with Live View, 51-point autofocus, EXPEED image processing and HDMI output.

To keep up with the demands of stock photography the camera produces 50MB 14-bit RAW files that can be processed to produce 140MB TIFFs. It also supports Nikon’s wireless system and is compatible with Nikon’s new GP-1 GPS.

A snip at £5,500, body only.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Terminator Salvation

Looks like more of the same 'messing with your head dodgy time travel plot twists' (MWYHDTTPT™).

Plus, for better or worse, two Christian Bale's for the price of one.

Latest trailer available here.

Ultra Compact Camera group test

Digital Photography Review has published an extensive review of 9 ultra-compact digital cameras.

Conclusions include:

"When it comes to the finish line picking a winner for this group was surprisingly difficult, with few models doing everything well and few doing anything particularly badly."

"Of the really, really slim cameras the Casio S10, which everyone fell for as soon as it came out of the box, was the most disappointing from an image quality point of view, whereas the Sony T700 went some way to justifying its high price by being not only the coolest kid on the block but also putting in a surprisingly good showing in all our tests."

"An honorable mention must go to the Nikon Coolpix S210, far and away the cheapest camera in the group but one of the slimmest, and producing images that, whilst not the best here, are far from being the worst."

"The best all round camera in this group - in terms of image quality, handling and performance - was the Canon SD790 IS, especially at lower ISO settings, where it easily matches high end compacts aimed at enthusiast users."

"The FX37 is a far more interesting proposition, and though it can't match the SD790's resolution or sharpness, it shares many of its qualities; natural colors, reliable exposure and focus, responsive operation and a simple, logical control system."

"But it's more pocketable, has some very neat features and offers a considerably more versatile zoom range (covering 25-125mm), which gives you real wideangle capabilities without sacrificing the short telephoto that is so useful for head and shoulders portraits."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gmail adds 'Tasks' option

Gmail Blog reports: [edited]

People use Gmail to get stuff done, so we've added a lightweight way to keep track of what you need to do, right from within Gmail.

Take entering a new task: just click in an empty part of your list and start typing. No buttons to click and it's saved automatically. Hit Return and you've got a new task right there.

You can also easily convert emails into tasks: select one or more messages and go to More Actions > Add to Tasks.

We put your tasks in the same kind of window as chats, so they're visible while you're scanning your inbox, reading mail, or searching (and in Settings, too!). Just pop your list out into a new window to use Tasks outside of Gmail.

To enable Tasks, go to Settings, click the Labs tab (or just click here if you're signed in). Select "Enable" next to "Tasks" and then click "Save Changes" at the bottom. Then, after Gmail refreshes, on the left under the "Contacts" link, you'll see a "Tasks" link. Just click it to get started.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Amazon MP3 - now in the UK

I'm not sure when this happened, but Amazon are now offering their DRM-free MP3 download service to people in the UK. And with latest releases being available for as little as £3.00 an album or 59p a track, I will be visiting it regularly.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

In Bruges

If you've read this blog for more than a year, and generally don't hate it, and are over 16 years of age, then you owe yourself to watch this film. It is the best film I have watched all year.

A review can't do it justice. You really do have to watch it.

Colin 'Eyebrows' Farrell is as good as he has ever been since Phone Booth... (I can't help but wonder whether he intentionally imitates Matt Leblanc's 'Joey' character).

Brendan Gleeson is simply awesome as the world-weary hit-man.

Clémence Poésy is a marvellously sexy, gullible, ingenué, and Ralph Fiennes is superb as the nasty but honourable gangster.

Throw in (sorry) a cocaine addict dwarf (no, not Peter Dinklage like I thought he was, but another perpendicularly challenged actor called Jordan Prentice... yep, start the 'they all look alike' politically-correct discussions here...) and you have a film that will have you laughing, gasping, crying, gasping, sobbing...

Buy it, rent it, borrow it... you'll end up buying it.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Hard facts

Tom's Hardware has published a detailed report on his visit to Seagate's Northern Ireland-based factory.

His read/write head statistics make fascinating reading:

With a width of less than a hundred nanometers and a thickness of about ten, it flies above the platter at a speed of up to 15,000 RPM, at a height that’s the equivalent of 40 atoms.

If the read/write head were a Boeing 747, and the hard-disk platter were the surface of the Earth, the head would fly at Mach 800, at less than one centimeter from the ground, and count every blade of grass in Ireland, making fewer than 10 unrecoverable errors.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wireless iPod concept

Isamu Sanada has produced a very elegant Bluetooth stereo iPod shuffle concept. In my fantasy world, Mr Ives is on the phone to him/her right now discussing design rights.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Best budget compact

Digital Photography Review have published a pre-Christmas sub-$150 compact shoot-out.

The Sony Cyber-Shot W120 wins for looks, ease-of-use and size...

"The W120 produced consistently well exposed shots with good color, focus and sharpness... it is fast and responsive, even in low light. Throw in the slightly wider angle 4x zoom and image stabilization and stylish metal body and you've got the perfect pocket camera."

While the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ8 gets best overall camera for its...

"surprisingly good image quality with a comprehensive feature set - including full photographic control, effective lens-based image stabilization and a versatile 32-160mm zoom lens."

They're both available for under £100 in the UK, and considerably cheaper in the US.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cavendish suffers a Wii accident

Yahoo! reports: [edited]

Mark Cavendish regularly puts his body on the line in the name of elite road racing, but the British cyclist came a cropper in the sanctity of his living room earlier this month.

The two-times Madison world champion, who won four stages of this year's Tour de France, was playing a snowboarding game on his Nintendo Wii when he slipped from the board and injured a calf muscle.

Kung Fu Panda - Prepare for awesomenessness

I came to this film with trepidation. I left it wondering if I had watched a better animated film for a long, long time.

Jack Black is perfect as the likeable, clumsy but, erm, tenacious Panda, Po.

The cast is littered with great voices, including Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane, Jackie Chan and Lucy Liu. The animation is top-notch, moving seamlessly between the stylised beauty of Mulan (an under-estimated Disney classic) to Matrix-like bullet-time slo-mo.

Kung Fu Panda is respectful to the martial arts genre, while keeping it kid-friendly. It has some incredible 3D fight scenes, with the close attention to the physics of the action making the preposterous stunts almost believable.

The attention to detail is meticulous. The music and sound-effects are superb (the dynamic range was too great for my Linn Keilidh's tweeters, causing alarming crackle and pop noises). And the story is stuffed full of 'heart', you find yourself caring about the characters in a way that only the best of animated films manage to do.

And it is better for what it lacks. There are no DreamWorks in-jokes, no reference to other related movies and very little double-entendre or crude humour.

Borrow or rent it to make sure, but odds are that you will be buying it for your collection soon after you've watched it.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Now that's what I call getting old!

I purchased a copy of the first issue of 'Now That's What I Call Music' in 1983. It was intended as a 'one-off' release (it didn't have a number or even an exclamation mark after its title) and I knew every one of the songs on it.

You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins
Is There Something I Should Know - Duran Duran
Red Red Wine - UB40
Only For Love - Limahl
Temptation - Heaven 17
Give It Up - KC & The Sunshine Band
Double Dutch - Malcolm McLaren
Total Eclipse Of The Heart - Bonnie Tyler
Karma Chameleon - Culture Club
Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
Too Shy - Kajagoogoo
Down Under - Men At Work
Moonlight Shadow - Mike Oldfield
(Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew - Rock Steady Crew
Baby Jane - Rod Stewart
Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home) - Paul Young
Candy Girl - New Edition
Big Apple (Metro Mix) - Kajagoogoo
Let's Stay Together - Tina Turner
(Keep Feeling) Fascination - The Human League
New Song - Howard Jones
Please Don't Make Me Cry - UB40
Tonight I Celebrate My Love - Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson
They Don't Know - Tracey Ullman
Kissing With Confidence - Will Powers
That's All - Genesis
Love Cats - The Cure
Waterfront (Union Jack Remix) - Simple Minds
The Sun And The Rain - Madness
Victims - Culture Club

25 years later, 'Now That's What I Call Music 71!' has been released.

1. Girls Aloud - The Promise
2. Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl
3. P!nk - So What
4. Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire
5. Kid Rock - All Summer Long
6. Rihanna - Disturbia
7. Ne-Yo - Miss Independent
8. The Pussycat Dolls - When I Grow Up
9. Madcon - Beggin'
10. Chris Brown - Forever
11. Jennifer Hudson -Spotlight
12. James Morrison - You Make It Real
13. Will Young - Changes
14. Jordin Sparks - Tattoo
15. Geraldine - The Winners Song
16. Sugababes - Girls
17. The Saturdays - Up
18. Boyzone - Love You Anyway
19. Katy Perry - Hot N Cold
20. Sash! feat. Stunt - Raindrops (Encore Une Fois)
21. Basshunter - Angel In The Night
22. Eric Prydz - Pjanoo
23. Steve Mac - Paddy's Revenge

Disc: 2
1. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
2. The Script - The Man Who Can't Be Moved
3. Razorlight - Wire To Wire
4. Noah And The Whale - 5 Years Time
5. Iglu & Hartly - In This City
6. The Ting Tings - Shut Up And Let Me Go
7. Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat
8. Snow Patrol - Take Back The City
9. The Verve - Love Is Noise
10. Guru Josh Project - Infinity 2008 (Klaas Vocal Edit)
11. Christian Falk feat. Robyn - Dream On
12. Duffy - Stepping Stone
13. Flobots - Handlebars
14. Keane - Spiralling
15. McFly - Lies
16. Alphabeat - Boyfriend
17. Biffy Clyro - Mountains
18. Ida Maria - I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked
19. Little Jackie - The World Should Revolve Around Me
20. Gym Class Heroes feat. The-Dream - Cookie Jar
21. Taio Cruz - She's Like A Star
22. Platnum - Love Shy (Thinking About You)

I recognise 11 of its 45 tracks.