Thursday, December 23, 2004
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Over at NOTBBC, there's a 'fascinating' discussion on food that has it's name printed on it (so that you don't forget what you're eating). It shows how slowly my day is going when I've spent the best part of an hour trying to think of new examples.
By the way, I wouldn't advise you to type "M and Ms" into google's image search while you're at work.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
Her secret weapon? Partner Jermaine Dupri, of Usher and TLC fame, is in charge of the project. As a fan, I hope it works... but I've never been to keen on Dupri's remixes of Jackson's work. Fingers crossed.
Monday, December 20, 2004
"Santa has never been fired upon accidentally as an intruder", the press release reassures us. Plenty of other useful information follows - from the speed of Santa's sliegh (nine Riendeer power) to what's under his red coat (a stomach that helps fight the effects of gravity).
You. Could. Not. Make. This. Up.
(The pictures are getting worse today, don't you think)
They've discovered that the mighty percussion giant was originally made from donkey's jawbones. Hence my hastily rendered artist's impression.
Never again will I slap without shuddering.
Friday, December 17, 2004
Pop fans shouldn't be too downhearted, however, as the BBC handily points out that the band will continue to be remembered for their "quirky wigs".
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
But look a little bit closer, and you'll find that more people went to see Prince in 2004 than any other artist. A total of 1.5million went to the "Musicology" tour. The difference being he decided not to fleece his fans for £150 a ticket. Fingers crossed, he's bringing the show to Europe in 2005.
More info over at gamesarefun, where you'll find a proper video of this animation I knocked up earlier.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Quite distressingly, it now seems that there is a website dedicated to SMs past and present. And it has photos of all the training courses that took place at the BBC's nuclear bunkers in Wood Norton.
All of which begs the question - what was I thinking when I bought that shirt?
The Spice Girls loving ode to their mothers is the odd one out in an era where the main themes in pop are domestic abuse, broken homes, and violence. So, when Eminem sings "I just found out my mom does more dope than I do" is that a good thing or not? Why not read an unbelievably heavyweight essay from Stanford University's "Policy Review" to find out?
What's the best way to record a handclap? According to this discussion on Tapeop.com, "pull up your pant leg and use both hands to smack the sides of your leg". If that stings too much, dig out a Roland TR-808 drum machine for the best synthesised handslap this side of an S&M fetish party.
Monday, December 13, 2004
The site also has a fantastic pictorial history of recordable media - from the Edison tin-foil cylinder to Tivo. You have to put up with everything being cross-referenced with SelectaVision, but it's worth a look.
Friday, December 10, 2004
How irritating is it to listen in to half of someone's mobile phone conversation on the bus / in the office / at a restaurant / in the middle of the movie? I frequently have to work through 15-minute phone calls about stripped pine flooring, as one of my colleagues berates his builders in exhausting detail. Luckily, design website coudal.com have come to my rescue, with some very polite business cards I can hand out next time there's a floorboard crisis.
Thursday, December 9, 2004
Notoriously, the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object you can see when looking down at earth from outer space. But that's only true if you're orbiting around the planet. If you go a bit further out, there is no sign of human life on this planet at all.
Wednesday, December 8, 2004
It might as well ask "Are you Ellen from Ellen?" half the time, but it'll keep you away from work for ten minutes.
Good to see Basement Jaxx, Franz Ferdinand and Joss Stone getting recognized, though.
Tuesday, December 7, 2004
China's politicians are getting interactive - as the country becomes one of the fastest growing internet markets.
Their foreign minister recently took part in an online chat where he was told, in so many words, that his face was scaring young children.
His response was "My mother would not agree with this view." But it's not his mother who'll have been taking note... All online activity in China is subject to government surveillance, according to the New York Times.
Monday, December 6, 2004
As if to prove this, some of my colleagues at the BBC News website have been publishing accounts of daily life from people living in Iraq. It really gives a flavour of how people on all sides view the current trials and tribulations of the country. Indeed, some of it is strangely reminiscent of growing up in Belfast during 'the troubles' - although they're not eating quite so many potatoes.
Back in the 60s when Ringo sang off-key (i.e. most of the time) poor old George Martin had to patiently rewind the tape and get him to sing the song again. In the late 70's, Kate Bush came up with the technique of splicing together different vocal takes to achieve the ultimate performance on each song. Nowadays, they just get a computer to sing in key for you. Maybe I should take up that boyband career after all...
Thursday, December 2, 2004
Why does Home Secretary David Blunkett's bit on the side, Kimberly Quinn, look so surprised all the time? Perhaps she has spotted a tiny sparrow?
Remember playing 20 Questions at school?
In this fascinating test of human reasoning, you had to guess an object by asking no more than twenty questions . Each question had to be answered with a "yes" or a "no".
Now, using the full resources of today's advanced computer technology, you can play 20 questions on the web. Go to http://c10.20q.net/btest and find out if you can outwit your PC.
And don't forget to play exactly the same way you did at school - by making all your answers swear words.