Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm Spiderman (and 75% catwoman

Just took an online test to find out which superhero I must resemble! Here’s the result:

You are Spider-Man







The Flash






Green Lantern






Wonder Woman


Iron Man


You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Day

The day is overcast, misty, very Irish Christmas day feel to it. Everywhere round here as quiet as a bell, apart from the actual Christchurch bells that rang out for mass a few hours ago. Listened to a few tracks from an album by a young singer songwriter called Fionn Regan. He has a great way with words. Full of that honest intensity that comes with youth. It can sometimes be misguided but it’s also sometimes full of shards of wisdom. As it is in this case. Spend last night watching a Fanny Craddock night on BBC 4! Old footage of her 1970s Christmas cookery shows and an interesting drama in which she was played by Julia Davis. I wallowed in its strangeness and campiness and thought about how far away the 1970s seem. The young Polish people who are renting the apartment next door had a Christmas Eve meal late into the night. In town yesterday I was struck by the variety of nationalities , Chinese, African, Indian, East European – all buying presents and wrapping paper. It was a wonderful sight. Below my window, I watched men walking home with Christmas wrapping paper sticking out of plastic bags. Something tender about it all.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

moving hearts

Putting old records onto my ipod. Strange to listen to them again. Wasn’t sure I wanted “Moving Hearts”, as my own heart (or mind) would be far removed from it now. But as I listen to it , I’m transported back to the 1980s in Dublin. To youth, naivety and all of the longings of one’s twenties and thirties. (Though I never did agree with any of that "irish ways and irish laws" stuff even when I was young.) Still, safe in itunes now, some of the the music is still very moving.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dublin Fog

A cold foggy day in Dublin. Took this picture with my phone. Didn’t really capture what I saw. The 2mp camera of my Sony 990 phone didn’t really capture enough low light detail. Still, it reminds me of those smoggy Dublin 1950s photos. Very Christmassy day in town, fog a good second best to snow.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Radio Times

I bought the Christmas edition of the Radio Times yesterday. I’ve been buying it for years along with the RTE Guide , though in recent years I’ve dropped the Guide realizing at last that I now make little use of either magazine. So I have an important question for you this dark wet morning. What’s the future for “bumper TV guides to your holiday viewing” in the age of utube? They sell in great numbers , but are they now more decoration than practical? Part of that dream that you will batten down the hatches while the snow falls outside and you settle down to watch a “feast of Christmas movies” Movies that you most probably own on DVD anyway. Still, it’s very hard not to pick up the Radio Times with its Christmas cover all aglow with promises. (there is by the way a web site showing all the Christmas covers going back to 1923!

Most TV Guides will probably survive for a good while yet , continuing along the route they have taken, becoming lifestyle magazines. It’s difficult though to see any long term future for the listing function unless they find some way to make it wider and more active, something that is hard to do on the printed page. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing printed web links and not being able to click on them. Anyway, for those of us who came of age in the 1970s and 80s, the glory days of “bumper TV”guides, we will I think continue to buy the Christmas Radio Times , if we haven’t gone abroad for the holiday. But it’s now probably more like a Christmas card from a relative who you feel is getting on a bit now , but who you hope will live for many years yet.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

what came out of the fallout shelter

A very good piece by Bruce Sterling on Wired site about the Web, and the future. I've always been an optimist, and the older I get the more optimistic I get. Which is why I like pieces like this. I especially liked this sentence:
"The Internet, for instance, crawled out of a dank atomic fallout shelter to become the Mardi Gras parade of my generation. It was not a bolt of destructive lightning; it was the sun breaking through the clouds."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Alone this Christmas?

So here's an interesting news item from All HeadlineNews

Dutch Company To Bring Guests To Your Christmas Dinner With DVD

Joanna Wypior - All Headline News Staff

London, England (AHN) - For those that worry they might eat their Christmas dinner alone this year, they now have reason to fear no more. Courtesy of a Dutch art company, a new DVD will allow a lonesome dinner to become one full of holiday fun and good cheer with dinner companions eating, drinking, and engaging in conversation.

The DVD will feature actors reading out different scripts in other for people to pick out which type of people they would want best.

According to Ananova, the producers, the Tilburgs CowBoys and Theater NWE Vorst, said they hoped it would ease the loneliness of single people without families at Christmas.

Producer Chris Gribling says: "The client can watch the DVD while sitting and eating in front of the television."

"The actors can offer him or her a romantic evening or even a good discussion. We have a good variety in the choice of our table companions."

Monday, December 11, 2006

a book is not just for Christmas....

AA Gill’s ramblings and musings are usually the best bits of his Sunday Times restaurant reviews. Yesterday he was writing about the real reason we like to give books as Christmas presents.

“This is the time of year when, traditionally, we indulge in things bookly and literish. We fret the bookmonger’s groaning board like word-starved waifs confronted by a logoscrumptious buffet. And we give books nilly-willy. Books are papery gifts that say lots and lots — much of it stuff that the author never wrote. We give them to people we’re obliged to and secretly hate.

A book says: “I’m cleverer than you.” It says: “You need to read this because you have no conversation and your thoughts are wan, halt things. I’m giving it to you with the thin smile of pitying patronage. And it will be a personal and private recrimination for years to come, because I know you’re cancerous with guilt about all the unconsumed words left on your bedside table.” A book says: “I loved this when I was 13. Now you’re in your late forties, you might be able to appreciate it.” Never for one single, naive moment imagine that a book at Christmas is well meant. Read between the lines, dummy — it’s an ode to snobbery and loathing. " (more here)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Moon Base

Yesterday, it was reported that “The space agency Nasa unveiled plans to build a permanent base on the moon within 20 years that will allow humans to live there. The base will be used as a launching site for missions to Mars, as well as for analysis of the Earth from space.” That’s the most positive public statement I have heard so far this century. Make it so. On more mundane technological matters, my new Sony P990i is giving me a lot of grief, crashing and generally not doing what it should do. Its fine if I just use it for calls and text – but that’s not the point of it! I bought it for the extra functions. I’ll stick with it another few days before thinking of returning it. What kind of phones will they have on the first moon base in twenty years time?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Phone

Not much got done today. Got my new phone, the Sony Ericsson P990i. Bleary eyed reading reviews about it for the past week, a lot of them negative. But it’s the only phone that has everything I need at the moment and doesn’t look like a brick. The problems people are having with it seem to be almost all to do with the software. SE are supposed to be releasing a new software upgrade soon – so I’m banking on that. The look and built of the phone is great and so far I have had no problems with it. Then again, I’ve only had a few hours! The new UiQ software looks very promising, very clean in an OSX sort of way.