Tuesday, August 04, 2015

alcoholic architecture

How often has a crowded bar ruined your evening? Wouldn't life be easier if you could just get your kick from the air around you? Bompas & Parr's new "alcoholic architecture" bar in Borough Market allows you to do just that, filtering alcoholic vapour into a small, extremely cloudy room and letting your nasal passages do the rest.
What with this and the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, I think that there may be a whimsical and affected bar-hopping session in my future.

Prodnose: Bompas & Parr's Alcoholic Architecture bar is at 1 Cathedral St, London SE1 9DE.

Monday, August 03, 2015

2lander II

Commit this to memory. If I know Jack it could easily be in the movie round at the Antelope quiz tonight even though it hasn't been released yet.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Effin' 12!

The burglar says that Windows 10's new Edge browser has an F12 emulation mode so we should still be able to run any of our IE optimized products (like the Drumbeat CMS) in it.

Unfortunately this is of merely academic interest to me at the moment as I think have left my Surface Pro behind in Wales and that is the only updated Wintel system in my life as we speak.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The beginning of a beautiful friendship?

The Windows 10 upgrade seemed to go quite smoothly over lunchtime yesterday while I  was at Virgin Active. This post was actually lined up on Friday as I am due to be down in Wales checking on Mum and Dad again this weekend and they remain resolutely off line.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Be still my beating heart

I may try and install it over lunchtime. If it fries my system and you never hear from me again, it has been nice knowing you.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive. ..." And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about 100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?"
Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. "What the hell are you yelling about?" he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. "Never mind," I said. "It's your turn to drive." I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.
Perhaps the greatest pair of opening paragraphs in history. These days you can get the story free (and entirely legitimately) from the Rolling Stone website. I, however, can remember buying it as a Paladin paperback in the Cardiff bookshop Lear's in the late 70s.

That is the same place (now lost to us) where I got my imported Tom Wolfe Bantam paperbacks. They seemed glamorous, I remember, because the odd glossy page of advertisements was bound into them.

It doesn't make sense now, but that is how it felt at the time. (I must have that translated into Latin so I can use it as a motto.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Amazon launched music streaming service in the UK yesterday. It is free to Prime customers like me, so I tried it our last night on the web and the iPAD app. It's OK. I suppose all these Spotify rivals are all pretty much of a muchness. That said, the lack of adverts is a big plus.

I was surprised to find I couldn't seem to access it on the Amazon Fire Stick. Checking the interwebs today suggested that I should. Maybe I am just too dim. I will look again later.

As a vaguely related Amazon aside I have got Miracast working via the Fire Stick to use my TV as an extra Windows 8.1 monitor, but the latency seems to make the mouse unworkable. Chalk more noodling around with little to show for it up to experience.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bear with me

Khabib Nurmagomedov is most known for bringing the high-level wrestling prowess of the Dagestani’s to the UFC’s lightweight division. His grit and grappling game quickly garnered him six wins, most recently defeating Rafael Dos Anjos. It’s been a little over a year since we’ve seen Khabib step into the Octagon, as he was forced to pull out of his May 23rd bout with Donald Cerrone due to injury, but he’s still making headlines in Russia.
He’s also known for an incredible video of him as a child, full-on wrestling a bear. The video speaks to his hard-nosed reputation, and frankly, is downright cute relative to the brutal history of humans boxing these great animals. No other details were known besides the fact that it happened, until now.
Recently, Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, gave an interview to Russian media outlet ToFight.ru where he spoke about being his son’s coach. Abdulmanap is a black belt in Judo and master of Sambo and Freestyle wrestling, and in the interview, it’s clear that his guidance played a major role in the development of MMA champions in the region. He also explained the circumstances behind the famous bear-wrestling video.
“In the west, Khabib’s has an entrenched image of a guy who fought as a child with the bears. For the people from the United States—this is madness. Tell me, was it for fun or part of his training?” the interviewer asked.
“First—a father always wants to check on what his son his capable of. It is a pity that there were no fights more interesting when he was younger. In the end, this was a test of character more than exercise,” he answered.
I know what you are thinking, but where could I even have got a bear when Ben was nine?

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Benevolence Of Sister Mary Ignatius

I am going down to Cardiff again on the weekend to see Mum and Dad. I think it is important that the universe knows I am missing out on on the Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra at the Garage in Highbury on Saturday so to do.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

a film about Haruki Murakami

As his first two "kitchen table" novels are published in English for the first time.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Taking the retromingent

Sir Thomas Browne.
This 17th-century English physician and philosopher, living in provincial isolation from literary London, managed to cultivate the most sonorous organ-voice in the history of English prose. At a time when the prevailing plain style was growing dull and insipid (John Locke is an example), it was Browne who showed the way to new possibilities of Ciceronian splendor. In doing so, he became a prolific contributor of novel words to the English language. Among his 784 credited neologisms are “electricity,”  “hallucination,”  “medical,”  “ferocious,”  “deductive” and “swaggy.” (Other coinages failed to take: like “retromingent,” for urinating backward.)
Good Old Uncle Tom.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town

This quirky drinking den is hidden beneath The Breakfast Club in London. On entering to the Spitalfields branch, you must announce to a member of staff that you'd "like to see the mayor" before being led downstairs through a secret door disguised by a SMEG fridge. Once inside, feast on American-style diner food (we like the pulled pork sliders, £9) and try a Peanut Buttercup (£9), a mixture of chocolate, peanut butterand bourbon.12-16 Artillery Ln, London E1 7LS, 020 7078 9639
It sounds far fetched I know, but the 11 Best Secret Bars in London list attests to it, and there is a website at http://www.themayorofscaredycattown.com.

I am certainly not brave enough to check it out sans backup. One for the bucket list next time my brother John is up in the smoke, perhaps?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Too close to home

British ISIS fighter who posed next to Ed Balls and dreamed of becoming the first Asian Prime Minister 'is killed in drone strike'
  • Reyaad Khan, known as Abu Dujana, left Cardiff to join ISIS in Syria in 2013
  • His death announced on social media by ISIS's other fanatical supporters
  • South Wales Police said today it is aware of the claims he is dead
  • Khan was 'thrilled' when he got to meet Labour Minister Ed Balls in 2009
  • Released sickening video urging Britons to travel to Syria in June last year
According to the Daily Mail, he went to St David’s Catholic sixth-form college. What's that? Four or five hundred yards from the house where we were brought up, and where Mum and Dad still live.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Musical Map: Cities of the World

The most distinctively popular songs in Cardiff GB relative to the rest of the world, for example, are listed here.