Saturday, January 31, 2009

5 simple pleasures

1. Smoothing foil wrappers until wrinkle-free
2. Peeling off a beer bottle label in one piece
3. The smell of freshly brewed coffee
4. Putting on a new pair of socks
5. Waking up on Saturday morning

Friday, January 30, 2009


Digmo reports: [edited]

Paparazzi is a great tool for making handouts [from long web site] pages.

Using the software is very easy. Load up Paparazzi and type the URL you want to capture. Hit the capture button. Click the ‘Save Image As’ button at the bottom of the interface to save the screen shot.

Paparazzi offers a range of screen resolution and capture sizes and can save the file in a variety of image format and sizes.

It is a great bit of freeware and is still available for download at

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sony Bravia ZX1

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

The Sony Bravia ZX1 measures 9.9mm at its slimmest point and combines a 1080p resolution with three screen size options: 42in, 46in and 52in. Its CD-case thickness was by using side-mounted LCDs instead of a traditional backlighting arrangement.

While its 100Hz refresh rate may not be the fastest currently available, the ZX1’s “Bravia 1080 Wireless” technology allows the TV to communicate wirelessly with an adaptor unit packing three HDMI ports.

Elsewhere on the set, you’ll find the PlayStation 3-style XMB user interface for on-screen menu navigation, and a USB port for importing still snaps that can be viewed in “Picture Frame Mode”.

Sony hasn’t announced a launch date for the ZX1, but prices will start at £2290 when it arrives.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Picasa for Mac

Google has just released their latest beta of Picasa for Mac OSX. Google's claims for the software is that it will help you:

- Manage your photos in one place, and find photos you forgot you had

- Eliminate scratches & blemishes, fix red-eye, crop...

- Turn photos into movies, collages, slideshows...

- Upload to Picasa Web Albums to share with friends, family & the world

If your system meets the following requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.9+, Intel CPU, 256MB RAM and 100MB available hard disk space, then it is worth a download.

If you're skeptical, have a look at the YouTube demo.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

150 years of Big Ben

The Times reports: [edited]

When the great bell that bears the name Big Ben was first tested it cracked, and had to be broken up and recast.

Within a few months of being installed, the new bell cracked as well. The second time the damage was not too bad, and, since being patched up and turned a quarter-turn, the bell has given all but uninterrupted service.

Three times a week – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – the clock is wound up by hand, a process that takes more than an hour because it is not possible to wind while it is chiming.

When it is going a bit fast or a bit slow (which it generally is) a mechanic places or removes a (pre-decimal) penny from the pendulum. Adding one speeds up the clock by two-fifths of a second a day.

Mr McCann, who rejoices in the title of 'Keeper of the Great Clock', gives a slightly embarrassed laugh when he is asked how he checks Big Ben. The answer is that he rings up the speaking clock. He does so from the phone in the clock room at five to the hour precisely, starting a stopwatch on the third pip, and then goes up the belfry to see when the hammer on Big Ben strikes the hour.

When the clock was commissioned as part of the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster after the fire of 1834, the Office of Works called for, “a noble clock, indeed a king of clocks, the biggest the world has ever seen, within sight and sound of the throbbing heart of London”.

The Astronomer Royal also insisted on one that would be accurate to within a second, which was a tall order for such a huge [clock] which would be constantly exposed to the elements. Most clockmakers thought that it was impossible.

The man who proved otherwise was not even a professional clockmaker. Edmund Beckett Denison was a leading barrister and gifted amateur horologist who got himself involved in the selection of the final design, by the clockmaker Edward Dent.

Denison made many revisions to Dent’s original drawing, but his greatest contribution was to design a means of ensuring that the pendulum was separated from the movement of the hands, so that it was not affected by the weather. His ground-breaking invention, which is called a double three-legged gravity escapement, is the reason that Big Ben keeps such good time.

Denison made enemies wherever he went and, in the row over who was to blame for the cracked bell, fought and lost two libel actions. In one he was found to have befriended one of the technicians at the foundry that made the bell, got him drunk and bullied him into giving false testimony that the fault had been because of poor workmanship.

Big Ben is not immune to failure. Over the years it has been stopped by snow, mechanical failure and builders who have left paint pots where they shouldn’t; on one occasion it was slowed down by a flock of starlings settling on the minute hand.

- Big Ben weighs 13.5 tonnes (30,000lbs)

- The clock was first started on May 31, 1859.

- The BBC first broadcast the chimes on December 31, 1923

- The chimes are based on Handel’s Messiah, a phrase from the aria 'I Know that My Redeemer Liveth'. They were set to verse and the words inscribed on a plaque in the clock room, 'All through this hour Lord be my Guide That by Thy Power No foot shall slide'.

- When a bomb destroyed the Commons chamber in 1941, glass was blown out of the south dial but the clock kept going

Monday, January 26, 2009


Spotify [no, really, Ed.] is...

"a new way to enjoy music. Simply download and install, before you know it you’ll be singing along to the genre, artist or song of your choice. With Spotify you are never far away from the song you want.

"There are no restrictions in terms of what you can listen to or when. Forget about the hassle of waiting for files to download and fill up your hard drive before you get round to organising them. Spotify is instant, fun and simple.

"Because music is social, Spotify allows you to share songs and playlists with friends, and even work together on collaborative playlists, Friday afternoon in the office might never be the same again! We’re music lovers like everyone else.

"We want to connect millions of people with their favorite [sic, Ed.] songs by creating a product that people love to use. We respect creativity and believe in fairly compensating artists for their work. We’ve cleared the rights to use the music you’ll listen to in Spotify."

- - - - -

Brett's 2p'orth:
It is in beta at the moment... my first impressions are that it is fast and comprehensive, with a pop emphasis. The sound quality is extremely compressed... fine for laptop speakers, but lacks headroom when put through decent speakers.

Thanks to Teifion for my invite.


Baraka is an Arabic word, variously translated as 'blessing', 'good luck' and 'essence of life'.

Ron Fricke's film 'Baraka' is 90 narrative-free minutes of beautifully filmed images, accompanied by a sparse 'world music' soundtrack.

Filmed in 1992 on six continents in 24 countries including Tanzania, China, Brazil, Japan, Nepal, the U.S. and Europ, the theme is this planet's diversity and beauty, complemented and contrasted with how animals and humans co-exist and affect it.

Comparisons with Godfrey Reggio's 1983 film, Koyaanisqatsi are inevitable, but it is an altogether more uplifting film. The connections that it makes are intriguing, and (on the whole) unforced and sympathetic. The shots where the camera hovers over people's faces are especially uncomfortable and fascinating.

Fricke says that Baraka was intended to be "a journey of rediscovery that plunges into nature, into history, into the human spirit and finally into the realm of the infinite." I think he achieved his goal.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fast & Furious

'The Fast and the Furious' (2001) was a stupid, brilliant movie. If you enjoy fast cars, you've probably watched it.

'2 Fast 2 Furious' (2003) was more than OK, but Vin Diesel's absence was conspicuous.

'The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift' (2006) wasn't as bad as I feared... it even had a cameo appearance by Mr Diesel. But it didn't have the chemistry of the original movie.

'Fast & Furious' (2009) is ticking all the right boxes, with Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster reprising their roles in the original movie.

The 'Theatrical Trailer' is available to view/download.

Spending priorities

The New York Times reports: [edited]

When you have some extra cash padding your wallet, do you reach for the latest jeans or the sleekest new music player? Much of that decision, it seems, depends on where you live.

If you live in Greece, Italy or Egypt, you'll probably choose textiles over technology. Greeks spend almost 13 times more money on clothing as they do on electronics.

"Italians and other Europeans love fashion; the greatest designs in the world come from those regions," said Todd D. Slater, a retail analyst for Lazard Capital Markets in New York.

If you live in Australia or Taiwan, you might be more tempted by a new laptop computer or flat-screen television. Australians spend only 1.4 times more cash on clothes than they do on consumer electronics.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Inauguration of President Barack Obama

The Big Picture has assembled an excellent gallery of images from around the world.

SLR-like 'super zoom' cameras review

Digitial Photography Review have published a detailed group review of 7 of the latest 'super-zoom' all-in-one, not-so-compact digital cameras.

Some excerpts from the conclusion:

Joint winners: Canon SX10 IS and Panasonic FZ28

"...both offer reliable point and shoot image quality as well as comprehensive manual controls and both offer fast, responsive handling and logical user interfaces.

The Canon SX10 IS has the slight edge in image quality (especially at lower ISO settings), has the longest zoom range and by far the best viewfinder in the group, plus a list of features as long as your arm (including flash hot shoe and an articulated screen) and - unlike some of its predecessors - it is very keenly priced. But it's a big hulking beast of a camera that's getting close to entry-level DSLR size and weight."

"The Panasonic FZ28 feels less bulky, and though it lacks the Canon's style, it also feels a lot more user friendly (especially for the less experienced user). The larger screen, raw mode, clever AF tracking and HD movie capture are all welcome, and the high ISO performance is a lot better than we've seen in previous models (and noticeably better than most of the cameras in this group)."

"Ultimately the appeal of the FZ28 is that it is a small, light, reliable camera with a huge zoom that offers excellent image quality and is easy and fun to use."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Persepolis is probably the most 'adult' animated film I have ever watched. Based on Iranian expatriate Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis (The Greek name for Tehran) graphic novel series, it recounts her life up to 1994, when she left Iran to live in France.

Persepolis is an account of what is going on in contemporary Iran, through the eyes of Marjane, the daughter of a wealthy, liberal Iranian family. It is by turns quirky, funny, educational, insightful, moving and heartbreaking.

Persepolis is remarkably even-handed in its handling of its complex and discomforting material. And while it offers no easy answers or happy endings, you will leave this film moved and enriched.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama's inaugral address highlights...

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and co-operation he has shown throughout this transition.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.

Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.

Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered.

Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.

Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and travelled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and ploughed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished.

But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.

We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.

We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.

And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill.

Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan.

With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers.

We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.

It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.

It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have travelled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river.

The capital was abandoned.

The enemy was advancing.

The snow was stained with blood.

At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."


In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come.

Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you.

God bless you.

And God bless the United States of America.

Guerrilla Photoshop

A subway poster in Berlin featuring Britney Spears, Leona Lewis and Christina Aguilera has been 'defaced' to mimic a Photoshop window.

Visit the Flickr site for more pictures.

Thanks to Aaron for the heads-up

Instant bike lane

GOOD reports: [edited]

As we look for ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and find viable transportation alternatives to the internal combustion engine, many urbanites are turning to that staple of bipedal locomotion: the humble bicycle.

While ridership is increasing every year, bicycle safety remains a huge issue: in 2007 [in the US, Ed], 43,000 people were injured in bike accidents, resulting in 698 deaths. Though many cities are getting serious about making bike-friendly infrastructure changes, installing bike lanes is a costly proposition with a glacial pace of implementation.

Enter LightLane, a safety concept from the clever designers at Altitude, Inc. The system projects a virtual bike lane using lasers on the ground around the cyclists, providing drivers with a recognizable boundary they can easily avoid.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Babylon A.D.

- Visuals: think 'Bladerunner created using 2007 CGI technologies'
- Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, Gérard Depardieu
- Action: Snowmobiles outrunning missile-firing drone jetfighters...

- Forumlaic/derivative concepts
- Shambolic, unfollowable plot
- Indecipherable, unsatisfying conclusion

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Don't say 'Fish', say 'Sea Kittens'

PETA reports: [edited]

People don't seem to like fish. They're slithery and slimy, and they have eyes on either side of their pointy little heads — which is weird, to say the least. Plus, the small ones nibble at your feet when you're swimming, and the big ones — well, the big ones will bite your face off if Jaws is anything to go by.

Of course, if you look at it another way, what all this really means is that fish need to fire their PR guy—stat. Whoever was in charge of creating a positive image for fish needs to go right back to working on the Britney Spears account and leave our scaly little friends alone.

You've done enough damage, buddy. We've got it from here. And we're going to start by retiring the old name for good. When your name can also be used as a verb that means driving a hook through your head, it's time for a serious image makeover. And who could possibly want to put a hook through a sea kitten?

via kottke

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Microsoft Songsmith Advertisement

I implore you to devote 4 minutes and 17 seconds of your life to bask in this ad's jaw-dropping awfulness.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Palm Pre

It won't be released until the middle of 2009 but having just watched the hour-long CES presentation I think it could provide healthy competition to iPhone's hegemony.

It has taken many of the iPhone's best features, and added a superb 'cards' interface, a 'proper' keyboard and an excellent 'wireless' inductive charging system.

It will be fascinating to see whether Apple decides to react preemptively with new products in the months before its release.

Visit the Palm Pre site for more information.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SDXC cards

The SD Association reports: [edited]

The next-generation SDXC (eXtended Capacity) memory card specification, pending release in Q1 2009, dramatically improves consumers’ digital lifestyles [??!!, Ed] by increasing storage capacity from 32 GB up to 2 TB and increasing SD interface read/write speeds up to 104 MB per second in 2009 with a road map to 300 MB per second.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2009 Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss

Jalopnik reports: [edited]

Based on the SLR Roadster, the Stirling Moss features carbon fiber bodywork wrapping an SLR722-supplied 650-hp supercharged 5.5-liter V8 mated to a five-speed auto. As with the SLR722, the Stirling Moss can reach a top speed of 217 mph and will reach 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

The roofless Stirling Moss features smaller swing-doors with a two-piece tonneau cover that can cover either the entire cockpit or just the passenger side. A retractable air brake, like the one on the Veyron, automatically deploys during hard braking from speeds above 75mph.

The 2009 Mercedes McLaren SLR Stirling Moss is limited to 75 units. The cost of entry into this exclusive club will run you just north of $1,100,000.

Click here for video of the advert.

Click here for a clip of Stirling Moss and English journalist Denis Jenkinson's iconic 1955 Mille Miglia victory, where they averaged a record 97.9 mph over 1000 miles of switchback mountain roads via the Vatican City and Florence and over Italian countryside in a car shod with skinny, non-radial tyres and taking only two pit stops totaling one minute and 28 seconds.

Kids of today... pah!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

iPhoto '09

If you want to see how Apple gets things right, take a few minutes to watch hairy-armed John's iPhoto '09 Guided Tour.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Panasonic DMC-LX3, first thoughts

My Big Christmas Present To Myself (BCPTM™) this year was Panasonic's top-of-the-range compact. Having read various reviews, and downloaded and examined many sample images, I decided that it was worth trading my TZ3's huge zoom range for the LX3's promise of better quality pictures.

Having spent Christmas with my new toy, these are my impressions:

- Image quality is superb, less noise, more dynamic range
- The f2.0 aperture allows 'blurry backgrounds'
- Aperture, shutter and manual control options
- Superb macro ability
- Very fast response times
- RAW capability

- I miss the zoom range of the TZ3
- Actually bulkier to carry than the TZ3
- It has a lens cap you have to remove by hand!
- Images get VERY noisy above IS0 800

Sunday, January 11, 2009

London-Lincoln-London 11-01-09

London to Lincoln
Alright, Alright, Alright - Mungo Jerry
Making The Most - Dodgy
Invisible Touch - Genesis
Dogs and babies - Steven Wright
Have You Got It In You? - Imogen Heap
Free - Estelle
Heart of Glass - Lunachicks
Anything - Leona Naess
Girl - Destiny's Child
Down By The Station - The Four Preps
Jesusland - Ben Folds
Care Of Cell 44 - The Zombies
Sailor Neptune & Sailor Uranus - Vanessa Mae
Clocks - Coldplay
Slayers-Theme - Slayers
Great Pretender - Del Vikings
Just Like Eddie - Heinz
God Put A Smile - Mark Ronson
Jimmy Jimmy - Undertones
I Like To Move It In Our House - Madness vs Reel 2 Real
Prince Harry - Soho Dolls
Tritsch Tratsch polka yodel - Mary Schneider
Back for Me - Candee Jay
Return To Innocence - Enigma
Androgyny - Garbage
Hooked On A Feeling - B.J.Thomas
She's So Square - XTC
Loneliness Shines - Malcolm Middleton
(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight - Cutting Crew
If You're Tarzan, I'm Jane - Martika
Baby Elephant Walk - Henry Mancini and his Orchestra
Right Here Right Now - Jesus Jones
Death Bed - Alkaline Trio
Wig-Wam Bam - Sweet
Let's Groove - Earth Wind & Fire
There She Goes - The La's
Giving You Up - Kylie Minogue
Short People - Randy Newman
Cruel Summer - Ace of Base
Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage
Do I Worry? - The Ink Spots
Nutrocker - B. Bumble And The Stingers
Staying Out For The Summer - Dodgy
South Of The Border - Herb Alpert
Get-A-Way (Airplay Mix) - Maxx
Stop! In The Name Of Love - Diana Ross & the Supremes
Love from outer space - Tahiti 80

Lincoln to London
Sing To Me - She Swings, She Sways
Waiting for the Miracle - Leonard Cohen
Life - Desree
Afterlife - Todd Rundgren
Made Of Gold - Jonatha Brooke & The Story
The Whole Night Sky - Bruce Cockburn
Couldn't Cause Harm - Beth Orton
The Skins - Scissor Sisters
He was a friend of mine - Dave Van Ronk
Darkness - Human League
Shook Me All Night Long - Hayseed Dixie
Flesh And Blood - Johnny Cash
Grand Coulee Dam - Ramblin' Jack Elliot
LA To The Left - Lyle Lovett
House of the Rising Sun - Nina Simone
Fallen (live, acoustic) - Sarah McLachlan
Stumbling Through The Dark - The Jayhawks
Stephanie Says - The Velvet Underground
Insane - Texas
Forever Young (fast) - Bob Dylan/The Band
Proposal - Stina Nordenstam
MC5 - Helen Love
God's Home Movie - Horse
Bring Down The Birds - Herbie Hancock
Fais Do Do - Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell
Wheel Inside The Wheel - Mary Gauthier
Cannibals Hymn - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds
In My Room - The Beach Boys
Not Alone Any More - Traveling Wilburys
What Am I Doing Hangin' Around - The Monkees
Satellite Of Love - Lou Reed
Hope, Faith And Love - Steve Forbert
Sweet Sadie the Savior - Blood, Sweat & Tears
Halloween - Ryan Adams
I Need Nothing Else - Sophie B. Hawkins
Satisfied - hal
Twenty Tiny Fingers - Alma Cogan
Last Night - Traveling Wilburys
She Gives Me Religion - Van Morrison
Chris Michaels - The Fiery Furnaces

Saturday, January 10, 2009

London-Lincoln-London 10-01-09

London to Lincoln
Meddle - Little Boots
Ritmo De Las Almas - Norton Buffalo & Roy Rogers
Shout - The Isley Brothers
Give Me A Reason - Madness
Perfectly Good Guitar - John Hiatt
The Maker - Martha Wainwright
Do You Know The Way To San José - Dionne Warwick
Dancing In The Shadows - After The Fire
I Drove All Night (Radio Mix) - Celine Dion
Out Of Control - U2
Barefootin' - Robert Parker
Stranded - Van Morrison
Little Lies - Fleetwood Mac
Good As Gold (Stupid as Mud) - The Beautiful South
Help Me To Make It (Power Of A Woman's Love) - Eddie Hinton
Lying In The Arms Of Mary - Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
A Song For Natalia - Kevin Prosch & The Black Peppercorns
Bigot's Graveyard - Chip Taylor
Little Pink Stars - Radish
So Lonely - The Police
How Do You Keep Love Alive - Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Wonderful - Jump 5
Absolute Beginners - David Bowie
Gulf Coast Highway - Nanci Griffith
One Day When God Begs My Forgiveness - Songdog
Sunny Sunday - Leona Naess
Wishing on a star - Rose Royce
Yesterday - Dandy
Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves - Cher
Princess Of The Street - Stranglers
Nashville Parent - Lambchop
The Man From Galilee - The Greencards
Nashville (live) - David Mead
Hey Jude (Instrumental) - The Dynamites
Prayer Without Words - Mary Gauthier
Buckle Up & Join In Lad (The Long Decline) - Alternative TV
Rush, Rush - Paula Abdul
Baby, You're My Light - Richard Hawley
Neighborhood Bully - Bob Dylan
Ignorance Is The Enemy - Rodney Crowell
Desire - U2

Lincoln to London
The Winner Takes It All - ABBA
Disturbia - Rihanna
Sweet As neurotic indieboys [trans x v moldy peaches v chicks on speed v bloodhound gang v goldene zitronen] - Eve Massacre
Do You Know (I Go Crazy) - Angel City Ft. Lara McAllen
Automatic Lover - Dee D Jackson
Little Green Bag - George Baker Selection
Unbelieveable - Brie Larson
Little Miss Can't Be Wrong - Spin Doctors
Here I Go Again ('87 Remix) - Whitesnake
Knowing Me, Knowing You - Wondermints
Ride A White Swan - T.Rex
Reptilia - The Strokes
Be A Pest (Edit) - Animaniacs
Flash Bang Wallop - Tommy Steele
I Want To Break Free - Queen
Show Me the Way (live) - Peter Frampton
Girls Girls Girls - Sailor
Captain Of Your Ship - Reparata And The Delrons
Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) - Frank Wilson
I Just Can't Wait To Be King - Jason Weaver
Sex On Fire - Kings Of Leon
I Will Survive - The Puppini Sisters
I Wanna Be Loved By You - Betty Boop (Helen Kane)
Total Eclipse Of The Heart - Bonnie Tyler
In The Name Of The Father - Black Grape
I Found Someone - Cher
Barbie Girl (Neem een ander in de maling) - Ome Henk
Sing Me Spanish Techno - The New Pornographers
Man In Motion - John Parr
Just Like Jesse James - Cher
Reasons Not To Be An Idiot - Frank Turner
E=MC2 - Big Audio Dynamite
No Milk Today - Herman's Hermits
How You Remind Me - Nickelback
My Prerogative - Bobby Brown
Country House - Blur
Something Good '08 (Radio Edit) - Utah Saints
The Tide Is High (Lasgo Remix) - Atomic Kitten
Death (single) - White Lies
I Am The Beat - The Look
Crawl - Kings Of Leon
Domino - Van Morrison
The Jean Genie - David Bowie
No Tikkle - Elephant Man

Friday, January 09, 2009

Samsung debut projector phone at CES

Engadget reports: [edited]

Samsung [were] displaying two prototypes of their upcoming MBP200 pico projector.

The Digital Experience room was rather well lit, not ideal conditions for a wee projector, but it threw a respectably bright image on a screen about three feet away.

Not much bigger than a cell phone, the MBP200 sports an integrated 480 x 320 projector plus a 2.2-inch, 320 x 240 LCD for when you feel like being a little more private.

It plays videos, music, and even office productivity files directly from a microSD slot, meaning, in theory, you can do your entire presentation with one device. It all sounds and looks fantastic, the only thing missing being an anticipated price or release date more specific than 'this year'.

Watchmen journal

A new Watchmen teaser has been released. I can't decide whether it is beautifully considered or completely up its own bottom.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Vaio P

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

Say hello to the Vaio P, a 640g mini laptop with a surprisingly better-than-netbook spec. Said 8in LED-backlit display, for instance, has a glossy coating and a 1600 x 768 resolution [!!? Ed].

The P has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board and also packs in HSDPA 3G on some models. There's 2GB of memory built in, a 128GB SSD and a "1.6GHz CPU" - though Sony didn't say what kind of 1.6GHz CPU it is, Atom or Core 2. We can confirm it's an Intel part. Graphics come courtesy of the Intel chipset.

The P runs Windows Vista - though there's a fast-boot UI based on the PlayStation 3's XMB interface for quick-access to the net.

Sony claimed the unit features up to four hours of battery life with the bundled standard battery. There's a GPS pick-up, a headphone jack and a pair of USB 2 ports. The P also has a proprietary I/O port.

The Vaio P will retail in the US for $900 (£595/€660). It goes on sale in the UK and Europe in February, but this month in the US.

Introducing Billington's Blog

According to his employer's web site:

"Prior to joining LICC in November 2007, Antony taught Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology at London School of Theology for sixteen years. As Head of Faculty, his role is to contribute to, and develop, the biblical and theological breadth and depth of the LICC faculty and our ongoing work with Christians, churches, and church leaders."

According to me, he is my best friend, and someone who not only reads more than anyone I know, but has the ability to analyse, understand, compare and contrast the information he assimilates and communicate it to lesser mortals in an understandable, appopriate and non-patronising style.

He has recently started a blog. If you're looking for pictures, humour and one-paragraph answers to all world problems you're better off going somewhere else. But if you are in the market for succinct summaries of seminal works (with an emphasis on Christian theology) past and present, it is worth adding to your RSS feed.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Macintosh Bargain Box

For £149 Apple are offering the Mac Box Set, which includes:

Mac OS X Leopard

iLife 09 (inc. iPhoto 09, iMovie 09, GarageBand 09, iWeb 09 & iDVD)

iWork ’09 (inc. Pages 09, Numbers 09 & Keynote 09)

To put that into perspective, a one-machine copy of Windows Vista (Home Premium Edition) costs £149, without any extra applications.

And the real kicker is that the Mac Box Set allows you to legally install Leopard and all the applications onto five different computers.

Bravo Apple!

New Year Resolutions 2009

1. Get building work done on house
2. Clear out clothes/junk from house
3. Improve handwriting
4. Work on 'inhabiting space' concept
5. Stop biting nails/fingers
6. Watch or dispose of the unwatched DVDs in my collection
7. No alcohol from 1 March to 31 May
8. Run 4 miles in under 31 minutes
9. Book Wildwind dinghy sailing holiday
10. Read through Bible
11. Work on '66 Books' blog
12. Learn how to use FontLab
13. Create a typeface
14. Scan 365 photographs
15. Book lessons with a Pilates instructor
16. Design & produce Christmas card
17. Host Wednesday film nites
18. Monthly ‘pizza nite’ with Antony & Emma
19. Sort broadband/computer for mum and dad

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

At LAST!!!

A 17" MacBook Pro was announced today. With a 1920 x 1200 pixel MATTE screen option. Hurrah!

Oh, and there are new versions of iWork and iLife, loads of whizzy new features... and DRM-free music on iTunes... and the ability to buy/download songs to your iPhone...

But did I mention the 17" MACBOOK PRO... WITH A MATTE SCREEN...

For more information visit

New Year Resolutions 2008 review

So 2008 has flown past, and the last year of the noughties has arrived.

Last year's resolutions were...

1. Develop my blog with more 'free-thinking' pieces
2. Sort out plans and finance for my house
3. Stop biting nails/fingers
4. Continue to develop core strength
5. Six-pack by summer
6. Add 1 inch to biceps
7. Address lower-back assymetry
8. Improve running time on 4 mile course by 2 minutes
9. Learn how to use DreamWeaver CS3
10. Learn how to use imposition software
11. Develop my photography, produce 12 printed pieces
12. Read through Bible in a year, straight through style
13. Begin to prepare 'Bible-in-a-year' blog
14. Design a typeface
15. Read at least one novel
16. Practice guitar for 20 minutes, 3 times per week
17. Write at least one song
18. Develop T-shirt design/production ideas
19. Design & produce a Christmas card


1, yep...
2. plans yes, finance, not yet
3. better, but not there yet
4, yep
5 close
6-10, yep
11, developed, but only 5 printed pieces
12, yep
13-14, nope
15, yep
16-17, nope
18-19, yep

Now to finalise 2009's goals...

Monday, January 05, 2009


I spent the first Saturday of 2009 working on my goals for the new year. One of them is to watch all the unwatched DVDs in my collection, or throw them away/pass them on to someone else.

So, as I grilled a couple of pork chops for lunch I browsed my DVD racks for something that fitted the bill. One of the only ones without subtitles (subtitles are a pain when you're eating) was Casablanca.

During its 102 minutes, I realised why it regularly features in the top 10 films ever made. The acting is sometimes corny. The characters are often stereotypical, cartoonish even. But the story is so elemental, so universal and captivating that you are soon a part of its narrative, laughing, crying and empathising with all of the characters involved.

Ingrid Bergman is by far the best actor, complex, vulnerable and luminously beautiful as the damaged, infatuated and conflicted idealist.

If you haven't seen it yet, or haven't watched it in a while, I would urge you to spend an hour and a half in its company.

Friday, January 02, 2009

100 Classic Books for the Nintendo DS reports: [edited]

100 Classic Book Collection turns your Nintendo DS into a portable library containing must-read novels from iconic authors such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and many more.

Hold the DS like a book and use the touch screen to turn the pages. 100 Classic Book Collection provides search methods to help you find a book that suits your mood and the amount of time you have to read.

With a Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, you can go online from your DS and download 10 additional books as well as rank your favourite titles.

Library includes:

Louisa May Alcott: Little Women
Jane Austen: Emma
Jane Austen: Mansfield Park
Jane Austen: Persuasion
Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility
Harriet Beecher: Stowe Uncle Tom's Cabin
R.D. Blackmore: Lorna Doone
Anne Bronte: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte: The Professor
Charlotte Bronte: Shirley
Charlotte Bronte: Villette
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights
John Bunyan: The Pilgrim's Progress
Frances Burnett: Little Lord Fauntleroy
Frances Burnett: The Secret Garden
Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking-Glass
Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone
Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White
Carlo Collodi: The Adventures of Pinocchio
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Conrad: Lord Jim
Susan Coolidge: What Katy Did
James Fenimore Cooper: Last of the Mohicans
Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe
Charles Dickens: Barnaby Rudge
Charles Dickens: Bleak House
Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens: David Copperfield
Charles Dickens: Dombey and Son
Charles Dickens: Great Expectations
Charles Dickens: Hard Times
Charles Dickens: Martin Chuzzlewit
Charles Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby
Charles Dickens: The Old Curiosity Shop
Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens: The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities
Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas: The Three Musketeers
George Eliot: Adam Bede
George Eliot: Middlemarch
George Eliot: The Mill on the Floss
Henry Rider Haggard: King Solomon's Mines
Thomas Hardy: Far From The Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge
Thomas Hardy: Tess of The D'Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy: Under the Greenwood Tree
Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
Victor Hugo: The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Victor Hugo: Les Miserables
Washington Irving: The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon
Charles Kingsley: Westward Ho!
D.H. Lawrence: Sons And Lovers
Gaston Leroux: The Phantom of the Opera
Jack London: The Call of the Wild
Jack London: White Fang
Herman Melville: Moby Dick
Edgar Allen Poe: Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Sir Walter Scott: Ivanhoe
Sir Walter Scott: Rob Roy
Sir Walter Scott: Waverley
Anna Sewell: Black Beauty
William Shakespeare: All's Well That Ends Well
William Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra
William Shakespeare: As You Like It
William Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors
William Shakespeare: Hamlet
William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare: King Henry the Fifth
William Shakespeare: King Lear
William Shakespeare: King Richard the Third
William Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost
William Shakespeare: Macbeth
William Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice
William Shakespeare: A Midsummer-Night's Dream
William Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing
William Shakespeare: Othello, the Moor of Venice
William Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew
William Shakespeare: The Tempest
William Shakespeare: Timon of Athens
William Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus
William Shakespeare: Twelfth Night
William Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale
Robert Louis Stevenson: Kidnapped
Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson: Treasure Island
Jonathan Swift: Gulliver's Travels
William Thackeray: Vanity Fair
Anthony Trollope: Barchester Towers
Mark Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain: Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Jules Verne: Round the World in Eighty Days
Jules Verne: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Oscar Wilde: The Importance of Being Earnest
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Thursday, January 01, 2009

LG-GD910 watch phone

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

LG Electronics has lately been trumpeting its plans to debut a 3G wristwatch phone with a touch screen technology at the Consumer Electronics show in January.

The LG-GD910 watch phone is expected to first be punted in Europe next year, although an exact release date has yet to be determined.

LG's upcoming handset wristset will sport a 1.43-inch (3.63-cm) screen used as a keypad for making calls or fiddling with high speed internet. It will also have a camera and speaker built in for video calls and still shots.

Other features include MP3 playback, Bluetooth, text-to-speech commands and speaker phone.