Voodoo Funk — DJ Frank McGahon’s account of three years of record digging in West Africa

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DJ Frank McGahon’s account of three years of record digging in West Africa
Voodoo Funk

Running the Psion emulator under Wine on the Asus EEE PC.

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Running the Psion emulator under Wine on the Asus EEE PC

YouTube – Sidsel Endresen/Jan Bang

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YouTube - Sidsel Endresen&Jan Bang Punkt Moers Festival 2008

I went to see Sidsel Endresen and Jan Bang at the Linbury Studio Theatre down at the Royal Opera House last week here in London. The show was further-out than I expected. The video is from a show in Moers, but the ROH show seems to have been similar (down to Sidsel’s choice in cosy stagewear).

Sidsel was doing the voices (somewhere between the cut-up stutter of “My Generation”, the noises kids make for fun and a spoken soundtrack of “Twin Peaks”) and Jan Bang balancing on an electronic tightrope trying to match her (looping and beatmatching Sidsel’s voice, sometimes the beats would only be in his own head). I liked it; although some of the songs sounded similar. After stretching herself (and the audience?) with these vocal experiments (with the odd “normal” modern jazz song thrown inbetween) she finished with a wonderful rendition of “Western Wind”.

Shirley windmill iPhone test

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Shirley windmill.

photo

iPhone WordPress test

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iphone post.

WordPress for iPhone › WordPress for iPhone Available Now

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WordPress for iPhone › WordPress for iPhone Available Now

URLinfo beta – Fagan Finder

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URLinfo beta - Fagan Finder

URLinfo is a tool for handling web pages: finding information about it, translating it, finding related pages, etc.

Progarchives – Prog Ultimate Discography, with Free MP3, Videos and Reviews

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Progarchives - Prog Ultimate Discography, with Free MP3, Videos and Reviews

LiquidID: OpenID + Email Aliasing = Less Spam

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An OpenID provider for the people with built in protection
against spam while ensuring delivery of
legitimate email:
LiquidID: OpenID + Email Aliasing = Less Spam

PS3 Backup Utility

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PS3™ | Backup Utility

Original Delia Derbyshire’s tapes found (BBC).

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Original Delia Derbyshire’s tapes found (BBC).

How to create ringtones for the iPhone: Using Vista, XP, or a Mac (iPhonefreak)

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How to create ringtones for the iPhone: Using Vista, XP, or a Mac (iPhonefreak)

WordPress 2.6 ready.

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WordPress › Blog » WordPress 2.6 is here

WordPress for iPhone

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WordPress for iPhone

Squared 5 – MPEG Streamclip video converter for Windows XP/Vista

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Squared 5 - MPEG Streamclip video converter for Windows XP/Vista

Supports both the Topfield REC format and Quicktime.

Esbjörn Svensson RIP

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Esbjörn Svensson obituary (Independent).

Not sure how I missed the sad news, Esbjörn just got to 44 and died in a diving accident.

Architects turning from steel and glass to decorative facades (Telegraph).

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Changes in architecture do not happen overnight, but in recent years it has been possible to discern a major new trend. Buildings with decorative facades, which recall the ornate exteriors of the 19th-century Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements, are becoming increasingly common.

Entire facades are being wrapped in materials evoking anything from seashells to ancient lacework; at night, these are sometimes backlit to theatrical effect in order, as it were, to animate them. Architects are increasingly exploring a building’s potential to have expressive, softer, even human qualities.

Architects turning from steel and glass to decorative facades (Telegraph).

Tags:

Brown blunders in pledge to secure Nigeria oil – Africa, World – The Independent

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Brown blunders in pledge to secure Nigeria oil - Africa, World - The Independent.
Can Gordo really be as daft as launching another war for oil?

Yet another award – but I still can’t read Rushdie (Sexton, Evening Standard)

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When I was a Booker judge myself a few years ago, I had to study his contender, Shalimar the Clown, closely. Did I, on finally giving one of his novels full attention, find myself converted? ‘Fraid not. I slogged through, a militant opponent of every page. I found the overloaded sentences and overbearing manner insufferable. And I didn’t believe a word of it, which never helps.

Now it seems that I have been proved an ass once more, by popular vote, no less. But this Booker of Bookers was an odd affair. A panel of judges first selected a shortlist of six, leaving off such genuinely popular titles as The Life of Pi and The Remains of the Day. Then just that six were put to the vote. Even with online voting and considerable publicity, only 7,800 people bothered to choose the inevitable winner. So, not that popular a vote.

Yet another award - but I still can’t read Rushdie (Sexton, Evening Standard)

Some free iPhone apps (Greg’s Tumblelog)

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Some free iPhone apps (Greg’s Tumblelog)

Listening Posts Top 10 Hottest Music Sites (Wired)

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Listening Posts Top 10 Hottest Music Sites (Wired)

Nudge — important concept; but dull read (Times).

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It has come because of the failure of two older ideas. The first was post-war, top-down, bureaucratic paternalism - still, bizarrely, kept alive, if only just, by Gordon Brown’s wretched regime. This depended on the economics of John Maynard Keynes and assumed that, ultimately, clever people in the government knew best. The second was neo-liberalism, the cult of the free market that, under Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, became the orthodoxy of the West. This depended on the economics of Milton Friedman and assumed that, ultimately, people, through the workings of the market, knew best. Both had their successes and both failed. With Nudge, Thaler and Sunstein have written the textbook of the Third Way.

This third way precisely splits the difference. They call it libertarian paternalism. This means there should always be freedom of choice but there should also be nudges in the direction of doing the right thing.

But it’s interesting stuff, you might think. Unfortunately, if you read the book you will change your mind. Although snappily packaged with its one-word title to get into the same market sector as Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, it is a very, very dull read, a dogged march through social policies with boring lists of what nudges should be imposed and how.

Nudge — important concept; but dull read (Times).

The Wire, The Shield and Dexter: America’s national theatre – Times

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Freed from the demands of advertising and the moral and marketing qualms of the networks, content is once again king, and the result is some of the best storytelling of our time.

The Wire, The Shield and Dexter: America’s national theatre - Times

Waldemar Januszczak on Wyndham Lewis’ self-portrait (Times)

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Thus we begin here with Mr Wyndham Lewis as a Tyro, his outrageous and hilarious self-portrait from 1920, in which he paints himself as a grinning, vorticist Lucifer. “Tyros” were what he called those deluded optimists of the postwar years who greeted the arrival of peace with broad smiles on their faces. At the back of his mind is the advice given by officers to soldiers in the trenches: grin and bear it. Lewis, who served in the war and became a lifelong appeaser as a result, shows himself sporting an insanely toothy rictus. The sharp, vorticist angles from which his head is constructed turn him into a kind of grinning human bayonet that thrusts itself into the face of 1920s Britain. It is a portrayal soaked with bitterness and malice.

Quote by Quote Details: Oscar Wilde: Anyone who lives within… – The Quotations Page

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Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

Oscar Wilde: Anyone who lives within… - The Quotations Page

Word has it the English language is set to pass the one-million mark – Scotsman

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The English language – spoken by more than one billion people worldwide – will celebrate its one millionth word within a year, linguistic experts have revealed.
A new word is created every 98 minutes and the current number of official words stands at 995,844 with experts predicting the millionth word to arrive on 29 April, 2009.

Word has it the English language is set to pass the one-million mark - Scotsman

Hunting for oil in Britain’s gardens and estates – Times.

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At least 144 production wells and 157 exploration wells have so far been sunk across a region of southern England between Dorset and Kent. One expert reckons there could be 200m barrels of oil under this stretch worth approximately £14.5 billion at current prices. There are no gushers, as in Hollywood films, because the oil is not under pressure.

Such is the need to boost supplies that the government has this summer approved a record 97 licences to 54 applicants to explore for gas and oil on land. Five years ago there were only eight applications involving six companies. There is even a licence to sink wells in Wells in Somerset.

Star Energy, one of the leading onshore operators, is applying to Guildford council this week to erect a 95ft high rig to drill for gas on the Albury Park estate owned by the Duke of Northumberland.

Hunting for oil in Britain’s gardens and estates - Times.

Why small prizes make it easier to win (FT).

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Just as with Yerkes’ and Dodson’s rats, the participants were offered low, medium and high incentives. Some of the participants stood to win up to a day’s income, others about two weeks’ income, and those with most to gain could, in theory, have scooped about six months’ income. But they didn’t: instead, they choked under the pressure.Those on low or medium incentives managed to win just over 35 per cent of the available money, while those on the highest incentives cracked, winning less than 20 per cent. (If hell was designed by behavioural economists, sinners would be forced to play Simon for their souls.)

Not sure about FT’s headline — but apply to poker: bet big to put on maximum pressure.
Why small prizes make it easier to win (FT.com)

Roman Abramovich admits paying out billions on political favours – Times Online

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“In return for the defendant agreeing to provide Mr
Berezovsky with funds he required in connection with the cash flow of [his
TV company] ORT, Mr Berezovsky agreed he would use his personal and
political influence to support the project and assist in the passage of the
necessary legislative steps leading to the creation of Sibneft.”

Or to put it bluntly, Roman confirmed (allegedly) confirmed corrupt.
Roman Abramovich admits paying out billions on political favours - Times Online.

G8 summit: solution to Africa’s problems no longer just a matter of aid – Times Online

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But Chinese deals with African governments do more than just build railways.
They come without strings – no awkward demands about good governance, of the
kind that the World Bank or Western governments try to attach to aid. They
may even bring the bonus of China’s help in keeping other countries’
criticism at bay in the UN Security Council, as Zimbabwe and Sudan found
until recently. Most of all, it gives African governments a sense of an
alternative suitor in any deals with the West.

That is not to say that everything has gone badly. There is widespread praise for many local education projects, and for aid-backed assaults on particular diseases, such as the World Health Organisation’s near-miss in eradicating polio. There is, too, for efforts by Bill Gates’s foundation to tackle Aids and HIV (although some say that it diverts attention and cash from other causes).

G8 summit: solution to Africa’s problems no longer just a matter of aid - Times Online

Only one drugged East German got caught (Times).

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Despite more than 10,000 athletes being systematically doped by the East
German regime over a 20-year period, only one athlete was caught by sport’s
antidrugs authorities. This happened at the European Cup in 1977, when Ilona
Slupianek, a shot putter from the Berlin Dynamo Club, was stripped of her
gold medal after testing positive for steroids.

Only one drugged East German got caught (Times).

The race debate: nothing to do with race | Kenan Malik – Times Online

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Such genetic differences are, however, not the same as racial differences. Race divides human beings into a small set of discrete groups, defined usually by skin colour, appearance or descent. Each race is seen as possessing a fixed set of traits and abilities and the differences between these groups is regarded as the defining feature of humanity. Yet none of these ideas make scientific sense.

But if the idea of race doesn’t make scientific sense, why have scientists suddenly become so keen to talk about racial categories? They haven’t. What they have done is become much more adept at defining genetic differences between populations.

The race debate: nothing to do with race | Kenan Malik - Times Online

Lost Metropolis footage could finally make sense of Lang’s sprawling classic | Film | guardian.co.uk

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The discovery of key scenes from Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent sci-fi epic Metropolis is fascinating. Half-an-hour of running time, fully one-fifth of the original movie, was for decades considered hopelessly lost. Now the complete film can be viewed for the first time in 80 years - the first time, in fact, since it was premiered in Weimar Berlin, hissed at by the press, and ignominiously chopped down for foreign distribution. But will the missing 30 minutes “explain” this sprawling and operatic movie? Or just make it more baroque, more mysterious, and more mad than ever?
Lost Metropolis footage could finally make sense of Lang’s sprawling classic | Film | guardian.co.uk

Price of restaurant grease has risen tenfold over the past five years (Times).

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The price of restaurant grease has risen more than tenfold over the past five
years, driven by soaring demand for homemade biodiesel and high petrol
prices.

The price of waste cooking oil reached £550 per tonne this month, according to
Keith Coldrick, the managing director of Pelican Food Services, one of
Britain’s most established waste oil collection companies. That compares
with about £50 per tonne in 2003.

Price of restaurant grease has risen tenfold over the past five years (Times).

Shed of the Year 2008 finalists (shedblog.co.uk).

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Shed of the Year 2008 finalists (shedblog.co.uk).

Giles Coren gives Cha Cha Moon a kicking (2/10 restaurant review, Times).

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XO Cheung Fun (rice noodle cannelloni) didn’t specify the filling, so I asked
the waiter what it was. Unfortunately, he said, there was no cheung fun of
any kind, nor any beancurd roll, both having been removed from the menu
personally by Alan Yau on grounds of “quality control” – which is odd,
because on that basis he should have taken everything else off the menu too.

Giles Coren gives Cha Cha Moon a kicking (2/10 restaurant review, Times).

Fine watches might be a good long-time investment (Guardian).

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Fine watches might be a good long-time investment (Guardian).

Omega Vintage Store, Burlington Arcade, London.

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Omega Vintage Store, Burlington Arcade, London.

Games industry now four times as big as music as Space Invaders celebrate 30 years(Times Online)

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The Mario games alone have sold nearly 300
million copies, and in a recent report, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated
that the global sales of video games will be worth $68.3 billion in 2012, up
from $41.9 billion in 2007. For comparison, music industry sales were worth
$11.5 billion last year. And it all started with Space Invaders.

Games industry now four times as big as music as Space Invaders celebrate 30 years(Times Online)

London Lit Plus | July 5th-19th 2008.

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open literary festival
London Lit Plus | July 5th-19th 2008, an open literary festival.
Walks, Stuckist poetry and more.