Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Society - Mental Illness

Today we got the bad kind of crazy, and the getting-you-more-laid kind of crazy (good/bad interpretation left up to the reader).

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Entertainment - TV vs. Games

To continue our recent focus on the world of games, here is something ripped from today's (well, maybe yesterday's) headlines.

Cross - More voiceovers

Here I was, playing GTA: San Andreas, and I hear a familiar insolent, nasal tone. I IMDB the prime suspect, and it is indeed the man. Here's an interview about it. It's a shame that the material that he's doing is so dean (the game's badly written).

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Cruise - I agree, it *is* nutty

Read here. Also, have a guess who's the owner of his very own sonogram? Now we know that he has at least one electrical device in his house that won't make you mildly addicted to Scientology.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Stories in brief - The Good, The Bad and the Immersive

Cuddles, Cheney and the Chinese Internet, respectively.

Also it appears that maybe Bush wanted to bomb Al-Jazeera, but Tony talked him out of it.

A White House official said: "We are not going to dignify something so outlandish with a response."

I like how the response they've dignified it with is not actually a denial (but I'm getting uncomfortably deep into conspiracy theory territory here). However, Downing St.'s "leaked documents" remark gives, in my mind, the accusation an air of credibility; or am I reading it wrong?


I can see where they're coming from here, but still choose to maintain that this is scientificly useful only in the loosest sense.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Entertainment - Bowie + Caine as competing magicians

+ Jackman + Bale + C. Nolan = sounds intriguing?

Caption Competition

Don't be shy - edit this post for a better caption:

Sunday, November 20, 2005

MediaMew - 'No Logo' We Ain't.

Boys (and anyone else reading this site... aw, who am I kidding? I know there are no double -X-chromosomed Mew-readers),

The next stage of marketing is a logo, that we can put on the site, and on tshirts which we will put on our bodies. Me & the Peg had the idea of Hipster Minotaurs - a cool young man with an animal's head.

But if you could sever one of the heads in this picture, what animal's head would you replace it with?

Let the bumments commence.

World news - Bush

It could happen to anyone really...

Politics/Philosophy/Society - Identity

I quite liked Pullman's contribution here.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Entertainment - Writing in Games

This article (part 1, part 2) by a game writer seems to shed some light on the process; the writer is pretty far down the food chain, and has little control over development direction. Also his/her duties appear to be much more chaotic and "loose" than those of TV- and screenwriters.

Saddam - 1,100 Lawyers Leave Saddam Defense Team

My word, if that's how many left, then what was the starting number?

Entertainment - Jacko Wacko about Wine

Not too sure how the Christians read political motives behind this.

IT - Online life can sure be messed up

#1, #2, and #3

Entertainment - Depp + France = :(

He should come to London instead.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Science/Religion - ID update

An in-depth update on what's happening in the ID world.

World news - Tribute to end Dutch sparrow fury

I don't know really where to begin with this one... Should I do a riff on the bird-domino interaction? Perhaps the Endemol connection? Help me out here people.

Entertainment - It Begins

Slowly but surely, legit online video distribution is taking hold.

Comedy - New projects

Savs, since you're the Mew's comedy and wrestling analyst, I hope that I'm not stepping on your toes with this post...

The UCB's Matt Walsh and the Ali G producer are doing a new show which will involve a group of actors playing spoof TV journalists. Hmm, why does that sound strangely familiar?

Also I think that this internet stand-up idea, if implemented correctly (e.g. along the lines of IFilm), has potential.

Zeitguest: David Cross

As you should know, David Cross did an admirable job of summing up what we all know about Arrested Development's treatment at the hands of Fox. How's he doing in general?
  • Did the funny lines for the soldiers in Halo 2, according to Charlie Brooker in Edge Magazine. The brilliant article in which this nugget was contained featured 7 pages of Simon Pegg, Graham Lineham, our favourite Sith Lord Peter Serafinowicz and CB talking about writing for games. It's sadly not online. [Ah, that's where you're wrong, my friend. Since I'm both cheap and abroad, I hunted around for the article and tracked it down to here - Ed]
  • Wrote a funny article dissing Pitchfork, on Pitchfork.
  • Makes a sub-par appearance in the new Strokes video.
  • Is furry.
I'd say he comes out around +3.

Entertainment - Celebrities

Dean-lebrities, more like.
#1 , #2 and #3

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Literature - R & J

... retold using emoticons.

World news - Saudis slated for jailing teacher

Savs, if you ever develop a penchant for mocking Islam, just make sure you don't do it in Saudi.

Music - Last requests

Nothing tops the sheer class of being mourned to the sound of the Eastenders theme tune... I also like how people can't seem to make the distinction between a wedding and a funeral.

I've always toyed with the idea fo bumming out those at my funeral ever further by asking for Smog's Permanent Smile to be played, but now i'm leaning towards Jeff Buckley's Mojo Pin.

[Below is the first attempt to extend the Mew into a 2nd dimension; you should be able to hear a MIDI play in the background. If you hear nothing and you're using Mozilla, try it with IE - Ed]

World news - Taking on sweet, sweet Coke

I wonder what my code for taking a bribe would be; perhaps "a contribution towards my media collection".

Religion - Schism O'Clock

Archbishop Rowan seems to be experiencing with his "primates" what I'm dealing with in my Year 10 Media class. Surely now is the time - for the sake of learnin' them some damn respect - to enforce his own tolerant opinion. But I would say that. I'm a bigot but, y'know, for the left.

TV - Psyche!

I should've known deception on this scale would have a Russian flavor...

Society - Les Cousins Dangereux

George Michael likes the way those Pakistanis think.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Entertainment - Holy Cow!

This speaks for itself.

Comedy - A nice Onion piece

A welcome return to form.

Entertainment - Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in.

I hope that it's better than the dean De Niro's been in recently.

Technology - Keep on Poddin'

I made the decision to request a video pod for Christmas. What swung me? Being told about this site, and imagining the wealth of fun I could enjoy on my little screen.

Entertainment - More Arrested News

An informative (but not particularly encouraging) article here - although the fact that most freshman shows are tanking does offer a glimmer of hope.

Opinion - Arrested Development

For me, reading yesterday's AD announcement triggered the memory of hearing about the late Pope's illness in February or March; this was mostly because both announcements signified the beginning of a drawn-out period of waiting for the final, inevitable news.

In my opinion, the choice of show (reruns) to replace Arrested during sweeps is quite telling. Prison Break (which just happens to be the only new show from this fall season that I've been watching) is actually pretty good, in the poor-man's-24 kind of way. So far, they have been using their centerpiece gimmick to good effect, introduced a couple of interesting characters including a semi-plausible love interest (not the real-prison variety of love interest, thankfully), have managed to keep the preposterousness down to a medium level, and even produced one storyline which had me awaiting the next episode with the same feverish excitement that early season 1 of 24 once generated. Each Prison Break episode is perfectly entertaining in a disposable sort of way; you can sit down in front of the telly, switch the ol' ticker off, and enjoy the ride.

Contrast this with AD; for example, right now as I'm writing this, it's late and I'm tired. Were I lucky enough to have a new AD episode recorded or on TV right now, I wouldn't partake. In my current mental and physical state, it's simply too demanding: I mean that in the good way, that is, I'd still very much enjoy it, I just wouldn't be able to give it the full attention it deserves.

But what if I'm James AverageViewer instead. I've come home from a long day at the office, I just wanna sit down on the couch and chill out for a bit. Since my favourite show Friends finished, I've been looking around for something to replace it, but nothing quite fits the bill (except Joey, to a certain extent). *Click* click*. Oh look, it's that show I've heard about... why is that guy wearing a camera and has a hat with Surrogate written on it? And a guy with a fake hand, what's up with that. Oh, ok we're somewhere else now...Who's Mr.F? This show is *weird*. *Click*.

As it stands, I cannot see how AD could possibly attract new viewers. When new episodes are a month apart, constantly shifting timeslots, and complex storylines and character development abound, newbies simply don't stand a chance. Even word of mouth, that most potent weapon of indie shows, is of limited use. If, for example, I wanted to introduce somebody outside my close friendship circle to 24, the Simpsons or Family Guy, I would just invite them over when I next watch the latest episode. Not so with AD; I feel that the learning curve is too steep to really hook anybody (apart from a very narrow band of the populace) with just one episode. To truly introduce somebody to it, you need to hand them the season 1 box set. It seems to me that 24/simpsons/family guy all encapsulate more of a media-induced 'high' in standalone episodes, and hence have a strong evolutionary advantage in the ratings fight.

Yes, but sir, you may ask, what of the awards and critics? For instance, you may site the fact that the AD season 2 box set has a Metacritic rating of 87, with pretty much only Curb having a higher score. Am I claiming that these professionals are "out of the mainstream"?

Well, my hypothesis is that Mitch has created TV's equivalent of a dog whistle; a show emanating a call that only writers, critics, and media geeks hear. For this group, (which we are part of), TV is more than just a way to relax: it's a livelihood and/or a passionate, borderline-obsessive hobby. We tend to approach viewing more analytically than most and the sheer volume of our consumption is immense. It is only natural that what we crave is different to what the mass market craves.

Sadly (for us), we are few and far between. Regular TV, with its geographical and time restrictions, has no way of unifying us and turning us into a viable market. When television executives realise the power of the long tail (DVD is starting to get there, and eventually online distribution should take off), the AD crowd can coalesce into a revenue stream, but by then the show will have long joined the late Pope at the great transmission tower in the sky. RIP Arrested Development (2003 - 2005/6)

Entertainment - The Daily Show gets Martin

That boy is everywhere these days.

Wrestling - Guerrero Cause of Death Announced.

Heart disease. Caused by years of drug and alcohol abuse.

The official word from Mrs. Latino Heat.

Eddie famously put himself under huge pressure to succeed, suffering (it emerged) a near nervous breakdown during his WWE Championship reign in 2004.

He took it so to heart that profit numbers were down while he was the company's figurehead while, ironically, he was producing the highest quality main-event in-ring action since Shawn Michaels in 1997.

It saddens me so much that the demands of commercial success, above and beyond actual quality, can directly contribute to the death of a man (or, to be fatuous, a Fox-network comedy show).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Comedy - Arrested Fury

Thanks to Gareth for this link in which David Cross, as always, speaks the truth.

Science/Technology - The best of what's new 2005

I'm kinda bummed the Mew didn't make it on there.

World news - The US used chemical weapons in Iraq

Very nasty.

Comedy - Ask Demetri

In this short Q & A, former Late Night writer Demetri Martin hints at what it's like to write for Conan; pretty intense by the sound of it.

Film - More young bucks.

There seems little reason for Hollyw-optimism.

In Pictures - T. Cruise 2004 Interview on The Daily Show

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wrestling - Eddie Guerrero Dead.

Former WWE champion Eddie Guerrero was found dead in his hotel room early this morning; he was 38. The cause of death is still unknown - Eddie had had substance abuse issues in the past which, it seemed, he had conquered.

Storylines on this weeks' Raw and Smackdown shows will be suspended, and tribute matches and comments will be aired. Eddie was, incidentally, due to win the World Championship from Batista at the Smackdown taping this week.

I still find wrestling deaths deeply deeply shocking, since they can - as we see - be extremely sudden, and because we simply follow these men week after week, following the ups and downs of their career and often their personal lives. These ain't just our favourite actors.

I still can't believe he's gone, at the height of his career too. I'll probably post a more detailed column later, but for now I'm just numb.

UK News - Mind games force drivers to slow down

It all sounds a bit dangerous.

Entertainment - The Depp

Nothing new here really, a bit shallow; still, of some interest.

World news - Rob Patterson strikes again

Such a dean.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Comedy - McSweeneys

#5 is golden.

Health - Wrigleys 1 Colgate 0

They already have breakfast sussed, now this, so once they figure out how I could shower orally, the whole morning routine would get so much easier.

Science/Religion - ID musings

I came across an argument for ID that I haven't heard before, on Scott Adams's blog (he of Dilbert fame) :

Here’s where it gets interesting. The Intelligent Design people allege that some experts within each narrow field are NOT convinced that the evidence within their specialty is a slam-dunk support of Darwin. Each branch of science, they say, has pro-Darwinists who acknowledge that while they assume the other branches of science have more solid evidence for Darwinism, their own branch is lacking in that high level of certainty. In other words, the scientists are in a weird peer pressure, herd mentality loop where they think that the other guy must have the “good stuff.”

Is that possible? I have no way of knowing.

But let me give you a little analogy. One time in my corporate career I was assigned to lead a project to build a 10 million dollar technology laboratory. The project was based on the fact that “hundreds of our customers” wanted a place to test our technology before buying our products. I interviewed several managers who told me the same thing. Months into the project, I discovered that there was in fact only one customer who had once asked for that service, and he had been satisfied with another solution. The story of that one customer had been told and retold until everyone believed that someone else had direct knowledge of the hundreds of customers in need. If you guessed that we immediately stopped the project, you’ve never worked in a big company. We just changed our “reasons” and continued until funding got cut for unrelated budget reasons.

(While you may be thinking that I should probably know better than to give my uninformed opinion on this highly complex matter, keep in mind this blog's slogan.)

Here is where I think Scott's analogy (and argument) goes awry. There are two differences between a business project and scientific research, that immediately spring to mind.

Firstly, within a company, there tends to be a great deal of secrecy when it comes to information sharing. Departments tend to limit information only to the relevant people to reduce the risk of it being stolen by rivals or even rival departments within the same company (after all, knowledge is power). On the other hand, academia is completely the opposite: if experiments are not verifiable, then the results are not recognised. Consequently, all the relevant information is available for everybody to analyse for themselves. Scott's scenario would have never occured, had the managers involved hard data on the customers.

Secondly, a business project has a pretty strict grouping (e.g. these 10 people work on the hardware, these 10 people work in sales, etc), and generally as a consequence, specialisation is greater: one group probably doesn't know the details of what the other group is doing. Academia, on the other hand, has no such rigid boundaries. You have plenty of biologists that are involved with chemistry and mathematics, you have plenty of mathematicians and chemists that are interested in biological problems. So you have many cross-discipline people that understand the problems and arguments of both domains, can critically analyse the weaknesses and strengths of each. Considering that they have access to the hard "evidence" and information from both areas, these people should be able to red-flag any "herd mentality" and bridge the misconceptions arising from not being a specialist in one field but not the other.

Besides, I see no problems with starting out with the assumptions that Darwin is right. How a scientist proceeds is that he/she makes some assumptions, builds the model from those assumptions, predicts theoretical results from the model and compares these predicted results with real world results. If the results match up, then the scientist gains confidence, and puts more "trust" in the assumptions. Alternatively, if the results seem off, the scientist reexamines the assumptions, comes up with some new ones, and runs the whole process again. Nobody forces those who are unhappy with Darwin to use his theories; if they can come up with something that yields more accurate predictions, great!

I'd be interested to see more evidence from "pro-Darwinists who acknowledge that while they assume the other branches of science have more solid evidence for Darwinism, their own branch is lacking in that high level of certainty". While they probably wouldn't be able to shatter Darwin's theories completely (those theories have allowed many different research fields to generate very accurate models), they would probably provide modifications and adjustments which "feed back" into the core Darwin stuff: that way everybody is happy.

Wrestling - Captain Changeover

Christian, who turned down a new WWE contract last week, will debut at opposition fed TNA's Pay-Per-View Genesis next Sunday. This editorial from PWInsider's Mike Johnson makes the case that this could be a flood-gate-opener and a true turning point in this decade's wrestling history. Read, sir.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Stick it to her!

Ricky definitely fulfils the "North Devon's finest" requirement, and is close enough to the age bracket; not sure whether he'd be a good influence on the kid though. The "prize" looks a bit like Winslet, in my opinion. Yes?

Politics - Every cloud

has a silver lining. That novel sure sounds wacky.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Music - The new Babyshambles album

... can be heard from tomorrow on the NME website for free. Hey, just noticed how Doherty's belly looks like Jim's. Coincidence?

Music - Hippety hop

Man, whatever the merits of the music may be, I find the culture irredeemably hateful.

Comedy - Female and Funny. No, Really...

Sarah Silverman is a good stand-up in the David Cross vein, and sort of cute in theory. Sample her, a little.

Politics - post-regional elections-mortem

Wow, I'd never have thought Bush might end up being a dead albatross round the neck...

Society - Coke

An interesting article, and not about the sugary kind.

I found the link to the story claiming that almost all notes in London have coke traces, although the conclusion isn't as dramatic as it sounds:
The results do not suggest that most notes are used to snort cocaine; rather that most are contaminated by currency handled by dealers or users.

Society - Research reveals the long and the short of text messaging

Taken from the following article:
Men's texts get longer when addressed to women, and they are more likely to use sarcasm, sexual humour and swearing.
Your task is to write (using no more than 160 characters) a text that fulfils all the above criteria, without resorting to chauvanistic, un-PC insults. You have 3 hours.

"We found that people have very quickly adapted to using mobile phones as a way of managing different aspects of their lives at the same time.

"For example, it has become common to text when you want to keep communication private, especially if you are in a group. An obvious example is that a man is more likely to text than phone his partner when he is out with friends or peers.

"This prevents him by losing face by switching from 'friend' mode to 'partner' mode in front of his peers," he said.
Seriously thou, the friend mode/partner mode duality is obviously quite prevalent in our society, but is it something that can be avoided? I don't want to have modes - I want to have only one "me". Or is there some invisible evolutionary advantage to having them?

Opinion - Losing it

Tuesday's and wednesday's Daily Shows featured two superstar senators: Barack Obama and John McCain.

Both guests had pre-prepared quips, gave several joke answers; McCain talked over Jon a couple of times and played directly to the audience. Normally Jon doesn't mind his fake news authority undermined, and in Obama's case, he laughed along with the crowd - McCain wasn't so lucky though. Yesterday's lead story was Cheney lobbying senators to exempt the CIA from a ban on torture, and understandably, Jon was already seething - McCain's clowning didn't go down well. Later in the interview, Jon also got tetchy after McCain gave him a stock answer about Iraq.

So my thought is: has Jon began to lose his power? Are his methods and sphere of influence too well-known and understood (much like Sasha Baron Cohen's in the UK) for him to get effective interviews? It seems that the politicians are close to learning how to handle him while scoring points with the "stoned slackers". If this has really happened, clearly the onus is on Jon to adapt in turn; I hope that this is within his grasp.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Satire - Why not?

This got a "ho" out of me. Elizabethtown continues to fascinate me as it's at once truly rotten and great.

I bagged the 100th Mew post, Benilov! Yaaarrrggghhh!

[Yes you did, but I got to add this snazzy picture of balloons. Ed]

Science - Fatherhood

So, when all those celebrities talk about how fatherhood has calmed them down, it looks like it probably literally calms them down.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Medicine - Happy marriage 'helps fight flu'

This (combined with this) kinda lends my happy-wife search a degree of urgency.

Music - Should you kids be in school or something?

I was skeptical at first, but after hearing a sample MP3... man, what the hell was I doing at 13?

Science - Why females laugh longer at punchlines

Something to do with their brains, apparently.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Society - Metrolescents

This Observer article's definition of growing up seems to be about eradicating youthful fun; this doesn't sit well with me. Will I be seen as "not having given it up" for going to a Beck concert (if he's still around) in 25 years time?

Entertainment - Arrested Development

I've just stumbled on a treasure trove of AD information in the shape of the Chicago Tribune AD blog. It's a bit of a mixed blessing, combining the good (Mitch interview, healthy DVD sales) with the not so good (the show's still on the bubble).

Entertainment - more Iannucci

on the BBC online website.

Comedy - Our favourite man, again.

I imagine the contract being signed in a special persuade-o-plane....

World news - Confession of teenage poisoner

Hannibal Lecter territory here. Chilling.

Film/Society - Krump

Before today, I'd be hard pressed to find an appropriate context for the phrase "a monthly showdown where the various clown groups could compete for prestige", but here we are. Here's a link to the trailer to see what all the fuss is about.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Wrestling - Feel their love

.. for the spentertainment. It's interesting that they don't have an inside line on the story/costume/roster changes, and have to follow them like the fans do.

TV - Korrupty the Klown

Jake, the motherland is calling... for your favourite show to be banned.

Go get 'em Tony!

Entertainment - Games not just for fun?

A story from the Serious Games Summit 2005.

World news - Cruise ship repels Somali pirates


Comedy - Buxton Blogz

Lovely, beardy Adam Buxton has an entertaining blog with personal tidbits about Iannucci and Linehan...

IT - Selling books by the chapter

Well that's what Amazon wants to do anyway. Perhaps that way we can read just the Tom Cruise chapter of Dianetik without purchasing the rest of the detritus.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Education - New sex education guidelines released

A good idea, if done well, or will kids just not be receptive to it and it'll be a waste of time? I reckon that I would have benefitted from these kinds of classes.

Entertainment - Kong

Why can't I shake the feeling that this will be dean?

Comedy - Upgrade this show to "unmissable".

Just don't do another N. Barley on us, Chris.

Entertainment - On the "Arrested" Set

A tantalising article from the-op with some great trivia and multimedia (and a cut cross-over that you wouldn't want to miss - my only hope is that it's part of the DVD extras).

Entertainment - Guardian Interview with Pete Doherty

Could he be any more drugged-up?

Opinion - Blogging Part 1

To start off with, I must come clean with something. I missed it completely; when blog train sailed into the mainstream in 2004, I was not a passenger on it. Having observered and participated in several forum and chat communities by that point, I felt somewhat disillusioned with the bi-directional aspect of the Web and its unfavourable moron/non-moron ratio. To me, blogging seemed no more than a simpler, quicker mechanism for dumping info-sewage onto the internet.

While The Mew is my first foray into personal blogging, it's not my first piece of web real estate: years and years ago ('98, '99), I had a little free Geocities (later bought out by Yahoo) webspace and some sort of rudimentary page (I cannot remember anything apart from that it housed an MP3 of the first piece of music that I had written, and possibly creative writing from that time). Come to think of it, it's probably still up there somewhere, but I doubt that I shall ever find it again - but at least the message-in-a-bottle romanticism of the situation is there for me to enjoy. More recently, I started the Tallis development blog in order to improve communication within our "company", but that died off quickly after it became clear that the other Tallis members were not really interested. Nonetheless this failure allowed me to familiarise myself with the blog tools (and convince myself of their simplicity and flexibility).

I've since had a change of heart, which has allowed me to jump into the Mew with such vigour. Here is a list of things that I (now) believe blogs have going for them:

  • Many underlying uses:
    • online diary
    • commentary/opinion
    • news aggregation
    • technical tutorials and insights
    • creative writing (McSweeney's is a prime example)

  • Blogs have given people, who would otherwise not dare to dip their toes in the internet waters (such as musicians, celebrities and politicians), a new channel of communication with the outside world.

  • Content and comment finally combined - an evolution from the previous webpage-forum separation. The structureless forum environment seemed to breed off-topic information pollution - something that the comment-story relationship seems to discourage.

  • The community aspect - the comments (over which the blog owner has total control) and trackback system. I recently discovered that a friend from my Australia days maintains a blog; what surprised me was that while it was nothing much fancier than an online diary, almost every post was commented on by a group of about 5-6 people. As it turns out, she had once written some Harry Potter fanfiction and consequently, she was now part of a network of people who actively followed and interacted on each others' blogs.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Philosophy - Q&A

A site where questions are posted and philosophy professors answer them.

Questions like:

World news - stamp swap

Yes, yes, I know, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, etc etc but maaan, are these guys geeks or what... this puts Ben "Fever Pitch" Fallon to shame.

United States - Sing out, you priveleged few.

Want to relive those halcyon 2003-04 days?


Music - Can you say "sellout"?

From Lesslie-endorsed obscuros to corporate whores in 3 years...

Comedy - Who is the best at funny?

The Kaufmannys.

"The official criteria for judging the contest, in fact, break things down mathematically: 60 percent based on originality and courage, 40 percent on humor."

Jimmy Fallon need not apply.

Entertainment - Surely the strangest female lead/male lead/script triple in recent Hollywood history?

Check out the bottom news in brief story (I suppose that both leads have done period dramas before, so it ain't that peculiar)... also the new Le Blanc project sounds exactly like something Joey would endorse.

Society - Wal-mart accused of piracy

I have to side with Wal-mart on this one, simply on the grounds of technological implausibility.

World news - Palestinians hit by sonic boom air raids

Sometimes it seems to me that the Israelis just haven't got their hearts set on the whole peace and harmony thing...

Film - Is there no end to his talents?

Eremite and opsimath Stephen Fry reveals another string to his awesome linguistic bow....

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Politics - Spin

It's interesting that both the British and the U.S. governments have been accused of manipulating the media in the last 2 days (British link, US link, Jon video link).

Entertainment - Cruise donates £2m to Scientology

I cannot figure out whether it's another 2 mil on top of the 1 mil that he gave before, or all in total. That smile gives me the willies (and not in a good way).

Entertainment - A Daily Show fansite

Some decent Jon stuff (videos, articles, transcripts) on this fansite.

World news - CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons

This is scary scary shit. The total unaccountablility..

Entertainment - Star Wars overview

A somewhat Liptonesque analysis of the Star Wars films from Slate, in my opinion. Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Entertainment - Armando Iannucci to become an Oxford don

Wow! Sweet! And he's going to be doing 4 lectures in Oxford on the state of British comedy ( on 24 January 2005, 31 January 2005, 7 February 2005, and 14 February 2005); here's a quote from the OU website:

Discussing the theme of his lecture series, which will be given in Oxford during January and February 2006, Armando said: 'If British TV has a heritage, then comedy is its most precious commodity. Most people's lists of the best television from the past forty years invariably have great moments of comedy at the top. Today, though, British Television Comedy is at a crossroads. Just as it get more daring and varied in format and technique, and just as audiences get more and more sophisticated in the breadth of comedy they're willing to watch, viewing figures for comedy shows are in decline. Less comedy is being made for the mass audience channels BBC1 and ITV, while the commissioning of comedy shows is increasingly in the hands of TV professionals from outside comedy production, under pressure from advertisers and schedulers not to take risks. And reality TV has recently shown that mass audiences can be won over by programmes far cheaper to make than the average comedy show. Over the next five years, TV comedy has the chance either to reclaim the mass-appeal, large viewing-figure slots that were previously theirs by right, or become a fragmented web of innovative, interesting but niche programmes. These lectures will outline precisely how British TV comedy arrived at this crossroads, and the possible routes it can take.'

Wrestling/Weak Puns - Do you see?

Only Show is big enough to wear an entire wrestling ring...

Wrestling - Christian quits, Stone Cold quits, Vince screwed.

With the interactive 'you choose the matches' PPV Taboo Tuesday tonight, 3 participants have suddenly quit WWE.

Torrie Wilson will be missed only sporadically, but Savs-lookalike Christian refused to sign his latest contract. He's been deaned around by Vince alot and this might be a good step for him; he can go to TNA - the new big opposition to WWE - and get a push hopefully to the top.

Stone Cold's walkout was more petulant - he was booked in a street fight against idiot commentator The Coach which, PWInsider reports, Vince was going to have end in a screwjob loss when musclebound Olympic failure Mark Henry would intervene. Stone Cold, having none of this, took his Duff Zeroes and left.

Hopefully this gives Vince a kick up the heinie and challenges him to elevate some new men (not named Cena).

Sport - World Cup shuns Bavarian dance

45 seconds just ain't enough. Oh no, my neighbours are going to be mad about this for months!

World news - Knife-wielding woman, 80, tried to rob bank

Imagine Benny Hill music playing in the background as this episode is playing out...