It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Physicist in funny jokes shock

If you've heard about that Large Hadron Collider at Geneva that's getting switched on this summer but have no idea what it's all about, then take 15 minutes to watch this. The concepts are mind-blowingly exciting, and the scientist is a real charmer.


The CD player in my car is buggered and I can't afford to get it fixed right now, so I've been listening a lot to ABC Sydney (UK readers: think a lightweight Radio 4 meets local radio). I've been getting irrationally irate at some of the verbal tics that every interviewee seems to have.

The tendency to say "absolutely" instead of, say, "yes" has been around for a while now, but it seems to me to be getting worse. People use it when the word has no meaning whatsoever, which irks me greatly.

"So the coach has chosen player x over player y for the big match?"
"Absolutely, Adam."

The new one is the habit of beginning the response to any question by saying "look" followed by a slight pause. I first noticed the habit in my father-in-law, though I doubt that it originates with him. It's probably just a way of playing for time while formulating a coherent answer, but it's ubiquitous now.

Today I heard my first "Look...absolutely". It didn't take me long to formulate my brief, monosyllabic response.

Life. Don't talk to me about life.

It's been a strange week. Poor wee B2 has had an ear infection which hasn't helped his mood or his sleeping. This in turn has tended to set off B1, who has been playing up a bit and wailing loudly to create a perfect storm of atonal shrieking whenever they have both been going at the same time. Stressful.

To top it off, we got broken into a couple of days ago. It was that horrible thing where M arrived home with B2 and went upstairs and was slightly puzzled to hear the front door open and shut. She didn't meet the intruder(s?) but it was evident that they were in the house at the same time as her and the baby, which understandably freaked her out a bit. On the other hand, we are glad that the thief/thieves left when they did - the only important thing they nabbed was the jewellery case and thus the engagement ring. All told, it could have been worse.

On the plus side, I'm flexing tomorrow. As in having a day off, rather than doing myself a potential muscle injury. A restful weekend at Avoca may be the presription.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Q Station and Vale Humph

A big weekend all round started on Friday with the opening (at last!) of the Q Station, a fabulous redevelopment of the old Quarantine Station at Sydney's North Head. M's dad Max has been heading the project for about 15 years, so the opening day was a huge event for the family. There were a few teething problems, but the site itself is fabulous and the restaurant by the beach seemed to draw a lot of trade from passing kayakers. Photos on the Flickr site.

Lots of socialising rounded out a fun weekend, marred only by the sad death of Humphrey Lyttelton, of the immortal radio comedy quiz I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. If you've never heard the show, there is a classic episode available on the BBC website at the moment. "Name That Barcode" is fantastic.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Straddling 2 continents as we so effortlessly do, M&I are sometimes a bit behind when it comes to pop culture. Therefore we are several years late with our recent discovery the BBC comedy The Mighty Boosh is a work of comedic genius. We've been catching up thanks to the miracle of DVD.

My favourite joke last night involved a man being attacked by a yeti whilst his friends dashed to the rescue in a van driven by a magazine-delivery ninja, when the gorilla in the back seat shouts "speed camera!". On second thoughts, perhaps you need to check it out for yourself.

You can get a flavour of it here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Titillation from speculation - nice one, Lou

Another ABC piece!

This one's about the Marilyn sex tape non-story.

Not my best, probably because it's the first one that was suggested by Unleashed rather than by me. It was quite hard to write, finding the right level of tabloid-ness without being cheap. The "twist" came to light about an hour before it was published, leading to a hasty re-write which is actually a lot better than the original.

Monday, April 14, 2008

B-Boy Moves

In the movies, a child's first word, or first step, or first whatever is always a clearly identifiable moment, generally accompanied by heartwarming music and parental tears. In fact, there is normally something of a transitionary period between, say, baby's first gurgle and baby's first unambiguous "mama". Strange dribbly "mmm" noises, possible burps and so on.

On Saturday, we saw what we think was Barnaby's first crawl. that is to say, he drew one knee up underneath his body, then the other, and then he propelled himself forward across the kitchen floor.

He then performed a similar set of actions in reverse, ending up back where he began. Hey, it's a start. A start to having to worry about his whereabouts whenever we turn our backs too, but that's just part of the fun.

Friday, April 11, 2008

I've Been Running Around Like A Chicken With It's Head Cut Off

Not content with grabbing tix for the peerless Flaming Lips and the mighty Wiggles, today we snagged 3 more exciting events, all in London in July.

July 8th: The new play by Michael "second only to Stoppard" Frayn at the National Theatre, starring all-time hero Roger Allam

July 9th: The swoonsome Magnetic Fields at a fancy concert hall

July 19th: Middleton's Jacobean gorefest The Revenger's Tragedy, also at the National. "Attend me, I am past my depth in lust/And I must swim or drown." Heh.

London types: try and bag tix if you can, and we'll see you there.

How I'm feeling right now:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog

Hope you like the new tagline. Ten points if you can tell me where I got from.

Why the internet is brilliant

Photos of traffic cones with apposite Shakespearean quotations attached.

Genius or idiocy? Or both?

Any which way, it gives me an excuse to take photos of random cones next time I pass any.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Flaming Wiggles

A pleasantly low-key weekend which gave us 2 gigs to look forward to. First up, M got tix to take the Bs to see the mighty Wiggles. B1 is very excited indeed, as am I about the other tix we picked up: The Flaming Lips in London this July. They are the best live band I've ever seen. Wahey!

And here they both are:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

God Bless Auntie

Gotta love Radio 4. I have just discovered that the BBC website hosts an utterly revelatory archive of In Our Time - essentially Melvyn Bragg and three other eggheads discussing matters of scientific, cultural or historic interest for 45 minutes.

It's genuinely mind-expanding stuff. This week I've listened to particularly fascinating episodes on The Nicene Creed, The Fisher King and The Social Contract.

As recommended as recommended could be.

Obligations and sleep deprivations

Another quiet weekend at Avoca but I can barely remember it thanks to a severe lack of meaningful rest in the past 3 weeks scrambling my neurones. Honestly, I haven't been able to sleep, largely due to a bout of utterly unjustified melancholic self-absorbtion keeping me awake at night. Sometimes a mixture of homesickness, watching sad movies and existential terror at the vacuity of it all doesn't lend itself to a good night's kip.

On the good side, I'm feeling a lot better now.

On the bad side, I will be out late tonight, up early tomorrow, and out late again tomorrow night. When Jesus and Mary Chain are in town, Arsenal are playing Liverpool in the European cup (5.45 am kick-off) and my film course reach the end of 1977, one is frankly obliged not to sleep, I feel.

I sense a lazy weekend ahead.