Just don’t call it grunge: Leeds’ new music scene | Music | The Guardian

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Just don’t call it grunge: Leeds’ new music scene | Music | The Guardian

How to get the best sound from in-ear headphones | The Audiophiliac – CNET News

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How to get the best sound from in-ear headphones | The Audiophiliac - CNET News

Interview With A Squatter: Atom Tom – Londonist: London News, Food, Arts & Events

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Interview With A Squatter: Atom Tom - Londonist: London News, Food, Arts & Events

Flusfeder, Newman and Mittelmark on researching character.

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First David Flufeder on researching fiction

The wisdom about research is that the researching author reads everything he can about the subject, he becomes an expert in the field. And then he unremembers it. It has to be digested, the library knowledge must become almost a part of his lived experience.

The other wisdom is that you never put down everything you know. Just as you know more about your characters than is actually on the page, so that the reader (and the character) draws on hidden worlds of associations and knowledge, you never throw all your research into the book.

and then from a review of How Not to Write a Novel in The Times

While it is your job to know a great deal about your characters, it is seldom necessary to share it all with the reader, and by “seldom”, we mean “never”.

Enforcing strict rules on grammar is counterproductive (Stephen Fry vs Lynne Truss) guardian.co.uk

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Emily Hill: Enforcing strict rules on grammar is counterproductive | (Stephen Fry vs Lynne Truss)| guardian.co.uk

Iceland to join EU?

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That leaves Norway and Liechtenstein as the only non-EU countries in the EEA.

The Original Mad Man, David Ogilvy.

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And like most snobs, Ogilvy loved to name-drop. According to him, one of his friends in Chicago was a former king of Yugoslavia. “If there’s anything David likes, it’s royalty,” said a friend, “and a king is best.” Yet in business he was democratic. When he entered New York advertising circles, he was shocked to find how separate the Jewish community was from the non-Jewish. “I told our small staff that I wasn’t going to play that game. A lot of our clients were Jewish — eg (Helena) Rubinstein (in cosmetics) and later Seagram. And our senior executives were also a mixture.” It didn’t occur to Ogilvy that race or religion should be an issue.

As reflected in the Menken-Draper relationship in Mad Men.

His greatest legacy may have been an approach that assumed the intelligence of the consumer. “The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.” “You would not tell lies to your wife. Don’t tell them to mine.”

The Original Mad Man, David Ogilvy.

Two weeks until the second series of Mad Men on BBC4.

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DDB [Doyle Dane Bernbach] features so often because, in 1962, Bill Bernbach, the founder of that agency, and his British rival, David Ogilvy at Ogilvy & Mather, were moving advertising from a gentlemen’s club into a billion-dollar global industry. Between them, they were effectively creating modern advertising, moving it on from the cheesecake Coca-Cola commercials of the 1950s and into a recognisable version of modern consumer culture. Ogilvy — a former British spy — used his intelligence skills to shape the very idea of brands. After Bernbach’s death in 1982, Harper’s told its readers that he “probably had a greater impact on American culture than any of the distinguished writers and artists who have appeared in the pages of Harper’s during the past 133 years”.

A grower just like The Wire and just like the last time it’s aired first on BBC4 and I wonder if Weiner can keep it up for five series. The Wire could not and I think the second series of Dexter is showing cracks as well.

It’s an unusual thing for a television show to specify the ages of its characters, but you can’t chart someone’s life through an era without that.

In the US maybe, but over here we had Heimat.

Two weeks until the second series of Mad Men on BBC4.

Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Camilo José Cela classics go on sale for €5 in Spanish digital first | Books | guardian.co.uk

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As book prices go, €5 is a bargain almost anywhere. In Spain, where publishers like to keep prices on paperback novels above the €20 level, it is unheard of.Now a ground-breaking deal involving Nobel prize winners such as Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Camilo José Cela has seen an offer of two novels for ¤10 on classics by the authors of One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Hive.There is only one catch: the books do not come on paper, but as digital downloads.An agreement between leer-e, a Spanish book downloading site, and the Spanish-speaking world’s most famous literary agent, Carmen Balcells, allows her select group of authors to sidestep their normal print publishers.

Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Camilo José Cela classics go on sale for €5 in Spanish digital first | Books | guardian.co.uk

Words used in English that I have to look up: Satrap

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First in a series where I simply post words I have to look up. I was going to write “English words”; but looking at this first word I think the headline covers it better - “Words used in English”. So first up is

Satrap

a Persian title that literally means “protector of power”; satraps were essentially administrative governors, ruling a satrapy; some of Alexander the Great’s generals became satraps after Alexander’s death and the dissolution of Alexander’s empire.

as seen in a Sunday Times piece on politician Frank Field

Field’s bête noire is Gordon Brown. He blames the then chancellor and now prime minister for kneecapping his welfare reforms. Blair, having asked Field “to think the unthinkable”, failed to back him against opposition from Blair’s jealous satrap. Blair at that stage, Field says, should have sacked Brown, not just for Field’s sake but to give Blair the opportunity and space to be an uninhibited PM.

Tags:

Patrick Barkham: The strange tale of the MP and the grime star | Music | The Guardian

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Patrick Barkham: The strange tale of the MP and the grime star | Music | The Guardian

Richard Johnson on entering TV quiz shows.

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I started with Runway, a daytime show on ITV. It wasn’t exactly Mastermind, and I figured they wouldn’t pick me if I was a smart alec. So I got a few questions wrong on the application form, and I said I read the Daily Mail. I went on to win a travel iron and a hairdryer.

This is quoted from an article titled “Brains of Britain” in Esquire (Feb 2009).

Environment Agency criticises fine after Thames Water poisoned river Wandle | Environment | guardian.co.uk

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Eventually the chlorine spread 3 miles downstream, and the Environment Agency and local volunteers took three days to clear two tonnes of dead fish from the river. The results of two decades of “painstaking” restoration to turn the chalk stream into a popular fishery were “wiped out” in one day, said the agency.

Thames Water was also ordered to pay £21,335 towards the clean-up and investigation, after pleading guilty to the incident. The company had already offered to donate £500,000 over five years to local angling and restoration groups.

This is peanuts to pay for a grave mistake Thames Water itself called “juvenile”.

Environment Agency criticises fine after Thames Water poisoned river Wandle| Environment | guardian.co.uk

Turritopsis nutricula: the world’s only ‘immortal’ creature – Times Online

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Turritopsis nutricula may be the world’s only “immortal” creature.

Jellyfish usually die after propagating but Turritopsis reverts to a sexually immature stage after reaching adulthood and is capable of rejuvenating itself.

The 4-5mm diameter creature, technically known as a hydrozoan, is the only known animal that is capable of reverting to its juvenile polyp state.

Theoretically, this cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal.

Turritopsis nutricula: the world’s only ‘immortal’ creature - Times Online

French left pioneers a radical new tactic: the picnic protest | World news | The Observer

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French left pioneers a radical new tactic: the picnic protest
Activists take food off the shelves and invite shoppers to dine with them to highlight the plight of ‘Generation Y’.

French left pioneers a radical new tactic: the picnic protest | World news | The Observer

Zsa Zsa Gabor on housekeeping.

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I’m an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house.

Zsa Zsa Gabor on housekeeping.

Aldi trainee graduates get £40,000 plus Audi.

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Aldi trainee graduates get £40,000 plus Audi

Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : Hotmail Now Does POP3

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Steve Clayton: Geek In Disguise : Hotmail Now Does POP3

LTM Recordings label homepage

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LTM Recordings label homepage

The Sound-Sweep and Drummond.

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The first question from journalist Martin Conrads about J.G. Ballard’s short story The Sound-Sweep put [Bill] Drummond immediately on the defensive (”I don’ know it”), where he stayed for the next half an hour deftly deflecting all questions with charm if not aplomb.

… and here’s the irony. I’ve ploughing my way through the Complete Short Stories, so I do know The Sound-Sweep (about a sound-janitor, sweeping up the sounds of the past and trying to help a faded opera-star). I did have to look up Bill Drummond though (of KLF fame).

Ballardian » Sonic boom

BPI hit back at claims music piracy is ‘like stealing soap from a hotel room’ | News | NME.COM

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BPI hit back at claims music piracy is ‘like stealing soap from a hotel room’ | News | NME.COM

H.O.R.S.E warm-up event at International on 23 Feb 2009.

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The HORSE Rehearsal is on Monday 23rd Feb and is a £50 Freezeout. This takes the place of the usual ROE tournament.

Monday 23rd February @ 8pm
£50 HORSE
8k chips and 20 min clock
“Masters Horse Rehearsal”

Announcement in Gutshot forums of HORSE tournament

Mexican ‘Stew Maker’ dissolved 300 drug war victims in acid – Times Online

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The job of Santiago Meza López was to dispose of the enemies of a notorious drug baron by dissolving them in tubs of acid. Over several years he claims to have “disappeared” 300 enemies of Teodoro García Semental, a former henchman for one of the largest cartels in Mexico and now in a bloody struggle for supremacy over the trade.
Mexican ‘Stew Maker’ dissolved 300 drug war victims in acid - Times Online

Franz Ferdinand@HMV

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Franz Ferdinand@HMV on TwitPic

Dinner with Birks, Ward, Young and O’Leary (Pete Birks’ blog)

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Dinner with Birks, Ward, Young and O’Leary (Pete Birks’ blog)

Poker finances 2009, update 26 Jan.

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I’ll try update this as we go along. The round of each (Pot-Limit Omaha and No-Limit Hold’em) at The International on Mondays is my choice competetion for the short term.

As of Monday 26 Jan 2009.

  • Live Tournaments. Winnings: £585. Entrance fees: £195. Tips: £35. Overall: +£355
  • Live Cash. £0
  • Online. £0.
  • Bottom line: +£355

International result, first poker comp of the year and I split with Mat.

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Key hands:

I make two pair on the turn in a pot where Rod had raised preflop with AAxx. He bets the K high flop, third guy in the pots passes and I make two pair with my AKJx.

I am put all-in in a blind vs blind battle on a KQx flop in Hold’Em. I dwell and finally call with my K3. The small blind holds the same hand so I survive.

I manage to check raise a Hold’Em player on a flop of T9x, two diamonds. He holds JJxx (no draws) and I hold KT8x (two diamonds). I hit the flush, but could also have hit two pairs or a straight backdoor.

  • Hal Halvorsen £585
  • Mat Gibson £585
  • Shaun Western £293
  • Dan Do £215
  • Rod Davis £156
  • Ewan Hardie £117

International result, first poker comp of the year and I split with Mat.

Native slumming (Douglas Coupland term)

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I am quite sure that Coupland used the term “native slumming” as well in Generation X, although Google only return three hits. Native slumming is when you pretend to be a local; not just the tourist you actually are.

Historical Slumming – Generation X Dictionary

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The act of visiting locations such as diners, smokestack industrial sites, rural villages — locations where time appears to have been frozen many years back — so as to experience relief when one returns back to “the present.”

Historical Slumming - Generation X Dictionary

Slum tours: a day trip too far? (The Observer 7 May 2006).

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Slum tours: a day trip too far? (The Observer 7 May 2006)

Amazon’s bestselling album of 2008 was available as a free download | Music | guardian.co.uk

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Trent Reznor’s Ghosts I-IV topped Amazon’s list of 2008 sellers
Amazon’s bestselling album of 2008 was available as a free download | Music | guardian.co.uk

I’ve lined up a couple of tracks from Trent Reznor’s Ghosts I-IV for Acecast.

Blog: The Monochrome Set – Remembering the band that history forgot | Music | guardian.co.uk

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Blog: The Monochrome Set - Remembering the band that history forgot | Music | guardian.co.uk

Not quite forgotten and not truly great either. A good band (just like ie The Comsat Angels).

Featured Windows Download: Disk Investigator Examines Raw Hard Drive Data

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Featured Windows Download: Disk Investigator Examines Raw Hard Drive Data

iTunes Store: App Store Browses the iTunes Store Without iTunes

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iTunes Store: App Store Browses the iTunes Store Without iTunes

Paul’s SXSW Artist Catalog

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Paul’s SXSW Artist Catalog

is a directory of artists that will be attending this year’s SXSW Music Festival. It includes information the artist, including a brief artist bio, links to listen to the artist, links to see the artist’s videos, links to see the artist’s photos and Last.fm social tags that have been applied to the artist. You can browse the artists in alphabetical order, by popularity by tag, or via a map.

I have no intention of ever going to this festival. I’ve been listening to the SXSW free torrent every year and it’s 95% pap (Sandi Thom anyone?). I can see Paul’s site being of help, but for me it makes more sense to download the torrent and make up my own mind (it normally takes me a full month of listening and rating the torrent).

Paul’s SXSW Artist Catalog

David Allen Company :: David Allen Collection :: David Allen

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David Allen Company :: David Allen Collection :: David Allen “Runway” Set

As seen in the Lifehacking Movie. Decent design, but a tad too expensive for what it is?

Preparing for Magazine gig

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Preparing for Magazine gig
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Arshavin, not talking about it

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Arshavin, not talking about it

Novelist Charlotte Roche talks to Decca Aitkenhead about Arse-shaving

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Another way of reading it could be as an allegory about the self-destructive consequences of women’s obsession with shaving. Roche agrees that everything goes wrong for Helen because she tries to shave her own anus. But why, if Helen is so liberated, does she shave at all?

Novelist Charlotte Roche talks to Decca Aitkenhead about arse-shaving | Books | The Guardian

New phrase to look out for: “peak ecological water” – Times Online

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“Once we begin appropriating more than ‘peak ecological water’ then ecological disruptions exceed the human benefit obtained,” Dr Gleick said. Defined this way, many regions of the world had passed that peak and were using more water than the system could sustain.

New phrase to look out for: “peak ecological water”