Monday, 21 May 2007


Stewart Home gave me one of his Necrocards at the Retelling Tales postgraduate conference at the University of Stirling this weekend. He was the final plenary speaker. I thought it was rather funny and have put it in my wallet next to my real Donor Card.

Update: for more on this, read Stuart Candy's post on his blog, the sceptical futuryst.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

What a waste!

"From the Zero Waste point of view, a society in which a person drops a sandwich wrapper in the street would be as unthinkable as one where a person in the street pulled down their pants and shat."

This is from a boggling article in the London Review of Books by Andrew O'Hagan on "The Things We Throw Away", the story of what happens to our waste.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Husbands and Wives (1992) - ickleReview (DVD)

Woody Allen film in which one married couple (Sydney Pollack and Judy Davis) tell their friends (Woody Allen and Mia Farrow) they're breaking up. A series of affairs follows, including Liam Neeson. There's neurosis and psycho therapy. Woody's character, married to Farrow, seduces one of his young female students (Juliette Lewis). Davis plays some brilliant hysterical scenes, a jealous wife to Pollack, who knocks up his socially inferior aerobics instructor (Lysette Anthony).

What distinguishes it is the hand-held style in which it is shot. Usually Allen's films are smooth and elegant. This one is edgy and makes you nervous just by watching it. Although a little obvious, it does convey the unsteady state of mind of the characters; it does feel a little rough and a few of the cuts are sloppy. Allen also reverts to semi-documentary mode as the characters narrate their own plot and become retrospective talking heads, like in When Harry Met Sally... (1989).

The funniest bits are the mild arguments between Allen and Farrow, whose relationship has cooled off, especially since their friends' break-up has made them more self-conscious. There's a brilliant anti-climax to a sex scene when Allen tells Farrow to go and put her diaphragm on.

Nugget: reliable entertainment, but not one of my all-time Woody favourites.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Jimmy Carr jokes

Until last week, I wouldn't have said I liked Jimmy Carr (smarmy persona, presents 8 out of 10 Cats and innumerable top 50/top 100 countdown shows), although he can make me laugh sometimes, e.g.

"Throwing acid is some people's eyes."

"The male gypsy moth can smell the female gypsy moth up to seven miles away - and that fact also works if you remove the word moth."

(Thanks to Sarah for telling me.)