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Showing posts from 2005

April Devere: Think Outside The Box

(Note: This is a preview version. I'm currently writing a series of longer stories about the daughter of April Devere, and sidetracked into a couple of short stories about April herself, of which this is the first. It will eventually move onto a more permanent website, but for now, those very few reading this get a sneaky first read. Some of the speech may look a bit odd - for translated speech I'm using the typographical conventions of the language concerned, which in this case is Polish. Speech in Polish is bracketed by double-quotes like English, but the opening quotes are at the baseline of the text. Hopefully this should be fairly obvious in the text).

I checked the corridor before I made my break for it - at least, that's what I told everyone afterwards. The simple truth of the matter is that after the fact it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference whether I checked it or not. I braced myself against the door and launched out into the corridor, and half a se…

Talk Is Cheap: Average Statistical Band

Introduction

Many years ago, the combined lights of maths and physics were brought to bear on music, with the result that we can now draw diagrams of the vibrations in a string and relate these diagrams to the sounds that we hear while listening to heavy metal guitar solos. Since then, these sciences have been very light in their involvement. Physics has at least proved a rich source of lyrics for They Might Be Giants, but what of maths? Has the science of numbers shot its load, musically speaking? Or does it still have something to offer? Is it time, indeed, for a comeback for this venerable institution, complete with tour shirts and sold-out stadiums?

Since the old days, sad to say, one thing has become more important in music than anything else: it is, of course, no longer about experimentation, about soundscapes and art and expression. No. These days, it's the money. A band doesn't need to know their arias from their allegros to be successful - they just have to be able to f…

Talk Is Cheap: On Religion

If you are religious one of the important things today, so it seems, is living your religion in your everyday life. Jewish folks want kosher meals in the staff canteen. Muslims want religious law in the bedroom. Christians want god-centered relationships, god-centered teaching and god-centered milk chocolates.

I'd like to tell you about how I live my day religiously. At eight twenty six this morning, I honoured the spirit Stay-In-Bed-Five-More-Minutes. The ceremony is simple - the supplicant looks at his mobile phone, which he has carefully placed on the floor at the head end of his duvet. Reassured that there is still some more time before eight thirty, he closes his eyes and lowers his head to the pillow again. It is a slightly moving ceremony. The less moving it is, the better.

Let me explain - I am an Inanimist. I believe that the world around us is inhabited by many spirits: the spirits of sessility, the ghosts of forsaken opportunities, the sylphs of idle moments. A thousand b…

Urge To Kill Rising: ...and Fading at the Cinema

This weekend I went to see "Curse of the Were-Rabbit" with Mrs. Kludge, my mother, and my sister's family. I thought it was pretty good, although what's with the current trend of Helena Bonham-Carter only appearing in voice form?

Inevitably, there were adverts. There are now five sets of adverts you'll see at any cinema if you turn up early enough.

First, you'll see the static adverts that the cinema displays while people are coming in and sitting down - you know, the "5 minutes from this theatre" style of advert - although these ads seem to be more for technical colleges than Indian restaurants nowadays.

Next we have the advert for the cinema itself. In some way, these adverts are the most enraging - I don't know about you, but I don't need an advert to get to come to a cinema I'm already sitting in. Nothing that I want to do that can be achieved by simply sitting on my arse needs advertising. I don't see adverts for air, for instance,…

Urge To Kill Rising: Ecomagination

At GE, we've discovered an inexhaustible resource. A resource that we believe could help solve the problems of an energy hungry world. It's called imagination, or rather ecomagination.

I don't know, it seems to me that GE's marketing block have already pretty much exhausted their imaginations - sorry, their ecomaginations - if this is the best they can come up with. What makes this particularly odd is that it's in The Economist. I'm not entirely sure who it is that GE are advertising to. If I can just play with my Venn diagrams for a bit here, the demographic appears to be the union of the following sets:

Those who read The EconomistThose who care about the environmentThose unable to distinguish made-up words from genuine feeling and innovationI'm fairly sure that that limits the potential audience somewhat.

Urge To Kill Rising: Lynx

I have, for many years, used Lynx deodorant. Today, as my current aerosol ran out, I remembered that I made myself a promise a few weeks ago - a promise to never ever buy anything from Lynx ever again.

This might actually require no action on my part. I'm a thirty-something man, and like many thirty-something men it is difficult for people outside my immediate family to work out what I might possibly want as a birthday present. So I end up with toiletries, which for men means gift-packs of shower-gel and deodorant. Given their position as brand-leaders in Britain, I am pretty much guaranteed to get given at least one more can of Lynx deodorant before I die.

...unless I'm quick about it.

The reason is adverts. Now, I'll happily admit that there are a handful of adverts around at any given time that are actually bearable in some way - either they're actually funny, or actually clever, or (rarely) actually informative. But by and large, I hate adverts. I hate the fact that t…