Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Royal Wedding



Even weirder than the Daily Mail, if such a thing can be imagined.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Year of Lear

The last book I read was Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries by Antony Sher. Currently I am about half way through 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro.

I have found out today that a new version of Lear with Anthony Hopkins is going to on the TV at half past nine on Monday. I definitely need to check that out.

It is a BBC2/Amazon co-production, though I have no idea what that will mean for its release on Prime and/or the iPlayer.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Henry Kissinger on Artificial Intelligence

We must expect AI to make mistakes faster—and of greater magnitude—than humans do.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would ever type the phrase "Henry Kissinger on Artificial Intelligence."

That said, How the Enlightenment Ends is well worth a read.
Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Very English Scandal

Anthony O'Donnell (Icons passim) played Leo Abse (Icons passim) in  the tremendous A Very English Scandal tonight.

Too much perspective.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Destination Wedding



I may be shallow, but this does make me laugh.

Friday, May 18, 2018

AnyPod

I have finally given up on TuneIn, the baked-in skill that Alexa uses for Podcasts, so I am trying out AnyPod.

Very happy with it so far:
AnyPod keeps track of what you've listened to. When you ask for a podcast you’ve heard before, it will play whatever episode you were listening to last time. When playing an episode you’ve heard before, AnyPod will pick up within the episode wherever you left off. (If it’s been awhile since you’ve played a podcast, AnyPod may ask if you want to hear the newest episode. If not, AnyPod will continue playing where you left off before.)

RTFM

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, journalist, novelist, contrarian, man of many verbal tics and white suits, is dead. He was 88... Louis Menand... Dwight Garner... Kurt Anderson.... Laura Miller... The Paris Review... Christian Lorentzen... Paul Elie... Graeme Wood... Christopher Bonanos... Elon Green... Adam Gopnik..
I used to buy Bantam paperback editions of Tom Wolfe from Lear's in the Royal Arcade. It felt incredibly glamorous.

Try 15 Great Articles by Tom Wolfe; classic reads from a journalistic pioneer, all free to read online.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I'm in the dark

JERUSALEM
Describing the terrifying yet valiant experience to his fellow battalion members, Israel Defense Forces soldier Yossi Saadon recounted Tuesday his harrowing, heroic war story of killing an 8-month-old Palestinian child during a violent attack against protesters. “It was a heart-pounding experience—there was smoke and gunfire all around me, and I made a split-second decision to hurl that canister of tear gas at the encroaching infant cradled in her father’s arms,” said Saadon to the group of awed soldiers, describing the chills that went up and down his spine as he realized that all he had was his M16 assault rifle and some tear gas to defend himself against the unarmed Palestinian family standing only dozens of yards away. “I could see the whites of the baby’s eyes and hear her terrifying cries, and I knew it was either her or me. And this wasn’t some newborn infant, you know? This was a baby who could probably sit up independently. I was scared, but I acted quickly to throw that tear gas at her and her older sister. And who knows how many lives I saved when I shot the women trying to help her?” At press time, Saadon’s battalion commander informed him that he was submitting his name for the Medal of Valor, the IDF’s highest honour.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Carillion displayed utter contempt for suppliers – Frank Field

Grauniard
Carillion used suppliers to “prop up a failing business model” and conceal true levels of debt, say MPs investigating the failed government contractor.
The parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of a company that provided a host of vital public services, including catering in schools, prison maintenance and construction of new NHS hospitals will conclude on Wednesday with the publication of the MPs’ final report. It is expected to name and shame those responsible for the failure of the listed company, which had a UK staff of nearly 20,000 when it crashed into administration in January.
In a taste of what is to come, the work and pensions committee chairman, Frank Field, said: “Carillion displayed utter contempt for its suppliers, many of them the small businesses that are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy.
“The company used its suppliers as a line of credit to shore up its fragile balance sheet, then in another of its accounting tricks ‘reclassified’ this borrowing to hide the true extent of its massive debt.”
See Icons passim.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Cardiff Blues


Tonight at 8pm, in the first programme of the new look Blues Show, presenter Cerys Matthews is joined by Sir Tom Jones to chat about their deep, shared love of the blues.

Sir Tom selects some of the tracks which have inspired him over the years and shares stories of singing the blues with Elvis, duetting with Janis Joplin and encountering the blues singers who shaped the way he sings today.

For all that I can't stand Janis Joplin, this will be worth listening to on catch-up when I get back from the quiz.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Be careful what you wish for

During the season I joked that the best possible outcome would be for Cardiff City to be promoted to the Premiership while the Swans were demoted to the Championship. Now it has actually happened I feel strangely flat and sorry for Swansea.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Childish Gambino - This Is America



I think this is great, but I don't know why.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Curve


The completely self-powered, manual WOODWAY Curve Treadmill offers a one-of-a-kind workout experience that requires zero electricity.
I noticed this intriguing piece of kit in the gym this morning and did a minute on it even though it's a resistance rather than cardio day.

I think I will do half an hour on it next time I am in.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

I've done the maths because you are too depressed to

Swansea City are on the brink of relegation from the Premier League after Huddersfield secured their safety with a 1-1 against Chelsea.

The Terriers needed a point to move out of reach of Carlos Carvalhal's side - and achieved that despite Marcos Alonso canceling out Laurent Depoitre's opener.

Huddersfield moved to 37 points with the draw at Stamford Bridge, taking them out of the reach of Swansea's 33.

It means that Swansea can now only catch Southampton on the final day of the season - but an inferior goal difference makes that scenario highly unlikely.

The Saints are three points clear of the Swans - with Mark Hughes' side sitting on 36 points.

It all means that if Swansea City are to stay in the Premier League for next season, they need to beat Stoke on the last day and hope that Southampton fail to move off that 36 points mark.

That would see Carvalhal's side move level with the Saints on points and then it would be down to goal difference.

The Swans have a goal difference of -27, a considerable way off Southampton's -18.

If they were to draw level on points with Southampton on the final weekend, they'd need to overcome a goal difference gap of 9 goals.

While the Saints are playing champions Manchester City, the odds are against the Swans staying up at Southampton's expense.

Though if the Swans beat Stoke 5-0 and Man City beat Southampton 5-0 the sun may come through the clouds.
It may be that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong—but that’s the way to bet. Damon Runyon