Friday, January 28, 2005

The Weasel War Dance

...and other phenomena.

Have you heard of the "Wikipedia"? It's a kind of encyclopaedia on the web, updated and edited by the public. Those unique origins mean that it's got plenty of articles that a normal reference book might have "overlooked". For example, exploding head syndrome, lighting farts, and an evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet.

There's an index of the weirdest ones on this page.

  • Wikipedia: Unusual articles


  • A question of scale

    Last year my employers were ridiculed for sending 500 people to cover the US Elections. But no-one bats an eyelid when tabloids assign 13 separate reporters to the breakup of Brad & Jen Pitt. I love this business.

  • Brad and Jen: a scholarly discussion

  • Touch Me, Touch Me

    Get your stylus out!

    The tactile delights of Nintendo's new double-screen, touch-sensitive, handheld games machine will be available in the UK from March for a measly £100.

    The DS has already outsold Sony's PSP in Japan and America, and Nintendo are shipping an optimistic 650,000 of the machines for the European launch.

    The big question, however, is whether Nintendo will retain the eyebrow-raising US advertising slogan - "Touching Is Good". If so, I nominate Sam Fox to front the campaign.

  • DS on 11 March

  • Engadget: Unpacking the DS

    Labels: , ,

  • Robot Love

    This year's best album review (so far).


    Labels: ,

  • Thursday, January 27, 2005

    And Jeremy pulled off his mask to reveal...

    ...Exactly what it's like to work in a television newsroom.

    Jeremy Paxman has nailed the process of putting together a news programme in an article for the BBC's News website.

    In particular, his description of my job rings true:

    If you want a working definition of a producer's job, it is persuading people to do things they don't want to do. And which are not in their own best interests.

    I might not have risen to the heady heights of working on Newsnight, but the next time someone asks what I do, I'm sending them this article.

  • BBC NEWS:A day in the life of Newsnight


  • Edge Online

    Super-posh games magazine / gamers manifesto / design fetishist's dream, Edge,
    has just relaunched its website. And very nice
    it is too.

    I particularly like the article on the laborious process of taking screenshots in the days before graphics cards.

  • Edge Online

  • Screenshots: The Bad Old Days


  • Do somethin'?

    Is she or isn't she? Never mind the obviously fake 'shopping for baby clothes' stories in the tabloids, is Britney releasing an album this year or not?

    After her new video 'leaked' on the internet, it was released to TV last week. But now her record label say any new material has been postponed until next year.

    Could it have something to do with underwhelming response to the new song, even on rabidly pro-Britney websites?

  • The Music Refuge: Spears album pushed back

  • Watch the "Do Something" video

    Labels: ,

  • Wednesday, January 26, 2005

    (And She Said) Take Me Now

    It's almost a year since the accidental unveiling of Janet Jackson's ladybumps on primetime TV, but America still hasn't got over it.

    Budweiser have pulled an advert parodying the 'wardrobe malfunction', which was due to air during this year's Superbowl, because they're afraid of offending viewers.

    What is the world coming to, etc, etc.

  • Watch the advert

  • USA Today: Budweiser ad pulled

  • The Onion: U.S. Children Still Traumatized One Year After Seeing Partially Exposed Breast On TV

    Labels: , ,

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2005

    It won't do your career any good, dear

    First Tiffany, then Belinda Carlisle, now Debbie Gibson. It seems to have become compulsory for the female solo artists of 1988 to pose nude for Playboy.

    Debbie's photoshoot coincides with a new single which no-one will buy - even if she's on the cover, legs akimbo. I simply don't think that porn = instant record sales. Just ask Madonna.

    Let's hope the trend stops here. Other big female stars of 1988 include Enya, Yazz and (shudder) Eddi Reader.

  • Ananova: Debbie Gibson poses for Playboy

    Labels: , ,

  • Iraq: We will send killer robots

    Are you engaged in a guerilla war in a hostile country? Are your soldiers being killed on a daily basis? Then why not send in KILLER ROBOTS?!

    Yes, the US military is deploying robots armed with machine guns to Iraq. They can climb stairs, so even Doctor Who won't be safe.

    Unless he throws a blanket over the top of it.

  • BBC: US plans 'robot troops' for Iraq


  • 1.5 Gentlemen of Verona

    Were Shakespeare's plays ever performed in their entirety by his contemporaries? A new book suggests that his scripts represent a 'director's cut', if you will, and were never intended to be staged as written.

  • The Shakespeare Company: Reviewed by Ron Rosenbaum


  • Lauryn Hill: Free At Last reports that Lauryn Hill has been collaborating with Kanye West on some new tracks. Perhaps there will be a sequel to 1999's "Miseducation of..." after all.

    Lauryn must be in a forgiving mood at the moment. The collaboration comes only a year after she stopped West from sampling her vocals on "All Falls Down". There are even signs that she's relenting in her feud with Wyclef, which has kept the Fugees from reforming for the past seven years.

    What a beautiful tale of human forgiveness. I'm welling up.

  • MTV: Kanye West Collaborating With Lauryn Hill

    Labels: , ,

  • It's getting silly now

    Good grief! The latest in a long line of useless ipod accessories is an idog.

    Apparently, you plug your ipod into its leg and the sound comes out through a speaker. Then the LEDs on its face light up to 'express emotion'. Just like a real dog, then.

    Just avoid songs like "Play Dead", "Roll Over Beethoven", and the soundtrack to "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"

  • OnRobo: idog

    Labels: ,

  • Monday, January 24, 2005

    A few things

    1)Are these the goodies that See-arr-ah is keeping locked in her jar?

    2) The big muppet is, as usual, Robbie Williams.

    3) Kylie has done a theme tune for the new Magic Roundabout film.
    Hear it here. It's not nearly as bad as you'd imagine.

  • The Magic Roundabout"

    Labels: , ,

  • Goody Goody Gumdrops (save me when my bum pops)

    Well, we're only two weeks late, but Elvis is no longer number one. Thank you, God.

    Incidentally, Ciara (for it is she) pronounces her name "see-arr-ah"; which is just plain wrong.

    I'm also shocked to disover that I'd misheard her song completely.

    She does not, apparently, sing:
    "You're looking for my titties - well keep looking coz they stay in the bra".

    Shame, really.

  • The Official UK Top 40

  • Ciara

    Labels: ,

  • Shocked

    Poor Pete Waterman. Not only have his last two projects flopped like a wet sock, but now his former protegeés are turning on him.

    First out of the gate is Kylie - who's taking him to court in Australia for non-payment of royalties.

    Couldn't they have sorted this out over a nice cup of tea? Tsk.

  • Kylie Minogue sues record producer

    Labels: ,

  • Girls. On bikes.

    The new Girls Aloud video is out, and it is this: brilliant.

    I'm not sure I need to say any more, but there's a great guide to the main points (Nadine shakes her boobs, Cheryl gets a tattoo) over on

    Meanwhile, The Sunday Times has made the first move towards mainstream acceptance of the GA, with an article in its influential Style magazine.

    However, the author spends far too much time apologising for the band being "the last word in common".

    Isn't that kind of the point?

  • Girls Aloud - Wake Me Up

  • Sunday Times: Girls Aloud - The Common Touch

    Labels: ,

  • Saturday, January 22, 2005

    Environment watch

    You can just picture the meeting at Sainsury's HQ. One executive suggests an airtight seal to keep pre-packaged grapes fresh. Another argues that the bags should have holes to make it easier to carry. Each option negates the other.

    A fight ensues; a carton of yoghurt is temporarily unbalanced and spills onto the carpet; a tiny amount of blood is shed during an incident with a nectar card; a janitor is called.

    Later that day, compromise is reached. The bag will have both the freshness seal and the holes for convenient lifting. And some weird perforations in the bottom, which nobody remembers suggesting.

    How dramatic.


    Friday, January 21, 2005

    Never leave the sofa again!

    This sheep is looking so excited because Telewest have announced that they're launching a rival to Sky+ later this year.

    First impressions suggest their system will be broadly similar to Sky's, but with the crippling handicap of Telewest's crash-tastic programme guide.

    On the plus side, you'll be able to record two separate channels while watching a third. So subscribers to E4 should be able to record all 7,00,028 episodes of Friends in the space of a week. Nice.

  • Telewest Press Release

  • A life where TiVo has always existed (you may need to scroll down)
  • Labels:

    Good intentions

    Do you, like me, have a pile of ten books you are definitely going to read, as soon as you get the time? If so, you're in good company - Nick Hornby has devoted a new book to the topic.

    I probably won't get round to reading it, but here's a review.

  • Hornby's love of reading, flair for writing


  • Thursday, January 20, 2005

    Load ""

    What is it with Grand Theft Auto? I had to spend half an hour last night swimming underwater and resurfacing, in order to build up my character's lung capacity. Where exactly is the fun in that?

    A miner being chased by toilets in a cave. A farmer collecting eggs from giant frankenstein ostriches. Now, that's what games should be about...

    And you can even play them at work in your spare time on the internet. Eat that, Sony.

  • Play Manic Miner online

  • Play Chuckie Egg online

  • Labels:

    The first must-buy DVD of 2005

    Lubrication's what you need...

    Despite having almost no news value, there's a half-page article in today's Independent extolling the virtues of WD-40.

    The miracle lubricant, developed for NASA, has over 2000 uses, according to it's inventors. Amongst these: loosening zippers and removing pythons from car engines.

    For me, however, the most important use is cleaning the grooves on old vinyl records. It gets rid of background noise and jumping, you see.

    Here endeth nerds corner for Thursday 20th January.

  • Independent: WD-40 - the scourge of snakes


  • Wednesday, January 19, 2005

    Picture special #1

    Kimberley Girls Aloud is electrocuted by a Van Der Graaf Generator! (I thought they banned these from classrooms years ago?).

    The GA dropped in on Blue Coat school in Oldham as part of some Radio 1 stunt. Top marks to the frankly petrified child who had to endure JK&Joel shouting their 'witty banter' at her face.

  • Girls Aloud in Oldham

    Labels: ,

  • Picture special #2

    Cameron Diaz is to marry Justin Timberlake while wearing a native American dress and moccasins.

    It's a slight change from her cowboy outift in Charlie's Angels, but sure to please Justin's deviant fantasies.

    Ride 'em, as they say, cowboy.

  • Contact Music: Diaz's dress

    Labels: ,

  • Nik will talk about his career at length

    Imagine having a bona-fide star round to your house for dinner. How would you dress? What would you cook? Would they snog your mum?

    Well, it'll never happen. But thanks to super new service Supper With The Stars you can dine with a d-list washed up has been.

    Why not invite over cuddly 80s pop loser Nik Kershaw who will "talk about his career at length" (unless you poison him with nuts)?

    Keith Harris turns out to be a big spoilsport, however. He stipulates that he "likes to appear on his own". So you'll get better value-for-money from Limahl who "will also take part in after dinner party games".

    The mind boggles.

  • Supper With The Stars

    Labels: ,

  • Busted: Now it gets ugly

    It doesn't take a genius to work out that the majority of Fightstar's audience are really hardcore Busted fans. Sadly, Charlie has the IQ of a demented mole, so it must have taken him by surprise when the fans turned on him at Fightstar's first gig since the Busted split.

    Projectiles were thrown, one hit Charlie on the head. It may or may not have been a rubber duck.

  • LAUNCH: Charlie attacked onstage

    Labels: ,

  • Sunday, January 16, 2005


    Damn, shit, fuck, bugger, balls.

  • Radio One: Official Top 40

    Labels: , ,

  • Friday, January 14, 2005

    Who will look after my bees?

    Oi! My mate Andrew has just had his first photo-essay published on the BBC News Website.

    It is very good and you should read it.

  • In pictures: Leaving Bolivia


  • Happy New Year!

    May I be among the last to wish you Happy New Year for 2005.

    I may be only two weeks late, but I've just come across a very cool 3D panoramic picture of Times Square at the stroke of midnight. I recommend looking straight up to see the sky obliterated by confetti. If only everyone had enjoyed the moment instead of being glued to their mobile phones...

  • Times Square New Years Eve 2004


  • Thursday, January 13, 2005

    ipod envy

    An antidote to all the media hyperbole over the new ipod.

  • The Apple Store Of The Future

    Labels: , ,

  • Bad TV

    Great news!! Grubby sensationalist tabloid TV stations BSkyB and E! Entertainment are joining forces to make daily dramatisations of Michael Jackson's court case.

    Using court transcripts, they'll make a half-hour programme featuring key moments from the trial every night.

    No-one has announced cast details yet, but surely they can't pass up the chance to put Lenny Henry back in his leather trousers and spider-web codpiece?

  • LAUNCH: Jacko case on TV

    Labels: ,

  • Elvis update

    Elvis is still on course to have the 1000th UK number one single. You have only three days left to stop this travesty. The credit for this momentous piece of chart history must not go to a fat dead man and a greasy accountant in EMI's marketing department.

    That is all.

    Labels: , ,

    Wednesday, January 12, 2005

    War: The User's Guide

    If you were a soldier who'd just been sent to Iraq and you were feeling out of your depth, who would you ask for advice?

    How about a website? The latest edition of the New Yorker profiles where US soldiers trade tips on how to survive their tour of duty. Sample advice includes "you might be able to get away with a Playboy or two as long as you’re not stupid about it".

  • The New Yorker: What The Generals Don't Know


  • Tuesday, January 11, 2005

    Write the theme tune, sing the theme tune

    Advertising jingles are a dying breed according to the Boston Globe.

    Using quotes from ad agencies and jingle-writers, they present a well-argued case. But they've missed an important point: most high-profile companies still use specially-comissioned music. I bet you can hum all of these; I'm Loving It, Always Cutting Prices, Always Coca-Cola, I'd Rather Have A Bowl of Coco Pops (which is constantly updated with new lyrics that never quite scan).

    And while they're correct that pop music has replaced jingles to an extent, they forget that some 'artists' are actually jingle-writers who happen to put out albums. Moby, Air, Basment Jaxx: I'm talking to you.

  • The irresistible, singable, stick-in-your-mindable jingle is dead


  • Monday, January 10, 2005

    Elvis must be stopped

    Elvis went to number one yesterday with a re-release of "Jailhouse Rock". For the next three million weeks, RCA will release an Elvis single every Monday with the hope of a massive run at the top of the charts.

    This is clearly evil of the highest order. An even bigger gimmick than Pop Idol (and potentially more destructive to the music industry). Even worse - if Elvis reaches number one this week, he'll have the 1000th UK number one single. Therefore, we've all got a human duty to buy something, anything, else.

    Unfortunately, there's nothing particularly good in the shops today. The best chance we have is to buy the new Killers single (you know, the one that Radio 1 have been playing to death since November). Go to HMV, where you can get three copies for a fiver.

    This sick filth must be stopped.

  • HMV: Buy the Killers

  • BBC NEWS: Elvis regains top chart position

    Labels: , ,

  • Don't be so dirty

    Is your monitor covered in fingerprints, soot and fish-finger remnants? Now you can get it cleaned over the internet at



  • Thursday, January 6, 2005

    Performance Anxiety

    European artists are all but being banned from touring in the US, according to an article in today's Independent.

    The article suggests this is all due to tightened security post-September 11. But I bet they're just trying to make sure Craig David never comes back.

  • Story link


  • Tuesday, January 4, 2005


    Disney's "long-lost" film "Song Of The South" might be granted a DVD release after all, according to

    The film's been out of the public eye since its last cinema outing in 1986. The reason? It's an old film (1946) and the black characters are seen happily working in plantation fields and spending all their spare time singing gospel songs.

    That said, it also shows black and white children playing together in 20 years before the Voting Rights Act gave blacks the right to vote in the Southern states.

    So, should it get a release? Would the inevitable audience of children have a sophisticated enough understanding of the context of the film? Who am I asking?

  • IGN: Will Song of the South Be Heard?

  • Song Of The South fan site


  • McPrison Happy Meal

    Residents of Baytown, Texas, have been collecting Beanie Babies for Iraq. The toys will be put into goodie bags and given to children visiting relatives in Iraq's prisons.

    But how long will it be before a kid starts shopping his relatives to the military police in return for a cuddly gorilla?

    PS: Happy New Year!!!

  • The Baytown Sun


  • Newer Posts ::: Older Posts

    © 2014 Discopop Directory | Contact | Go to the homepage