Monday, January 31, 2011

Neil Gaiman Talks About Buttons

As The Point Of This Fades Out - Browsing Collection

Album Review : Rewind React Remain - Browsing Collection 6*

For Fans Of : Avril Lavigne, Paramore, The Pretty Reckless

Browsing Collection are a Swedish all girl 4 piece, vegetarian straight edge rock band with huge hair, and they rip in to opening track Rejoinder with a riff that is almost old school Maiden in its intensity, if not quite in the delivery.  That fulsome guitar sound crops up again on Peer Pressure which also features a fine, if rather short, solo.

Singer Sara Hjellström sounds slightly under pressure throughout, she needs to relax and try to really sing, perhaps it is the production but her voice sounds slightly thin and doesn't quite blend with the band's otherwise rich sound.

No More is much more in the Avril Lavigne (that's the decent older Avril, not the current shite pop princess stuff) pop rock vein, lighter and punchy.  As The Point Of This Fades Out has a similar power pop feel, but suffers from a clumsy riff in the mid section.  With the riffs and harmonies tightened up, think Wildhearts or My Chemical Romance, these could have been really good songs.

Overall, Browsing Collection seem to be a band with some promise, but they could do with nailing their own style, whether it is to be melodic hard rock or bouncy power pop, but this blend of the two hasn't quite gelled on this EP.

How Formspring works...

4pm, teenage girl posts on Facebook "I'm bored, ask me something on Formspring"

5pm, teenage girl posts on Facebook "Stop bullying me, why are you all so nasty ?"

Formspring - where anyone can be mercilessly bullied by anonymous strangers.

YS, friend of the stars

Marcie Free, singer with Unruly Child, whose new album I reviewed a few posts back, has commented on the review...

"Thank you Yorkshire Soul for such a wonderful review of our new record. I am proud to be a member of such an esteem organization. The Unruly Children Society of the World. It is on their behalf I humbly accept this award. I / We love you all. Thank you. xoxoxoxox"

Right, ok then, rock stars, they're all mad you know.

Worlds Collide - Unruly Child 8*

Walking Yorkshire : Swinsty & Fewston

I have a new walking partner ! Same partner as I have in all nearly all other areas of my life, but as we're both on a bit of a fitness drive, Mrs YS has come out walking with me.  She has made me promise though that we do something nice and flat.

One of my favourite flat walks in the area, and let's face it, in the Dales flat is a rather limited commodity, is the curcuit of Swinsty and Fewston reservoirs in the Washburn Valley.  Around 6.5 miles, pretty much flat all the way around and Meg looking resplendant in her new jacket and Meindl hiking boots.

 It wasn't such a great day for taking pictures, overcast and rather cool with the temperature hoving just around freezing.  Everything seemed still today, as if the Winter chill had made everything too much effort, there was hardly any birdcall in the woods, the sheep on the hills were grazing in silence.  The only thing to make a noise was some poor soul sneezing in a fairly apocalyptic manner, the sound of which carried clear across the reservoir, much to our amusement.

After a couple of night of fairly hard frost both of the reservoirs had frozen, but strangely, while Fewston was frozen along the edges, Swinsty was frozen over in large islands, the gulls here are all perched on the tip of one of the islands.

The name is Smith, and if you're hit, you're dead

Steve Smith is an Earthworm (the derogotary term used by space colonists to describe Earth born humans), in the first Geek War (and that's the bloodthirsty alien race and not games obsessed teenage boys) he led a squad of V.C. space soldiers (or Vacuum Cleaners) into a series of deadly missions, often winning through but at some cost to the unit.

At the start of the second G'egeekajee war, Smith is a janitor in a space station, he is haunted by the ghosts of the soldiers who dies alongside him, Ringer, Loon, Dwarf Star and Hen-Sho appear to him at times of great danger or when Smith is under the most stress.

Smith signs up again for the 2nd war, and leads a squad of new recruits, plus his old buddy Jupe, into space war and then down onto the hostile surface of Charon where they become engaged in a deadly game of hide and seek as they try to get vital information of a new Geek weapon back to Earth.

Steve Smith and The VC's first appeared in 2000AD in 1979, and Smith's style of character was one that would crop up repeatedly in 2000AD, the heroic but slightly damged or haunted alpha male, John 'Giant' Clay from Harlem Heroes, Johnny Alpha the Strontium Dog and even Judge Dredd himself would demonstrate these traits.

The greatest Australian cricket team ever

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 27:  Australian cr...Image by Getty Images via @daylife(Copyright - all Australian newspapers)

Michael Clarke's XI is surely the greatest Australian team of all time, we have seen over the past few weeks how they inflicted defeat after defeat on the all conquering England side, covering themselves in glory as they rack up the runs and demolish wickets.  Nobody can now stand against the powerhouse that is Australian cricket.

(English voice) "What about the Ashes ?"

Aaaargh, don't mention the Ashes ya Pommie bastard...

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Black Spiders - Kiss (Tried To Kill Me)

Album review : Worlds Collide - Unruly Child 8*

For Fans Of : FM, Europe, Journey, Rush

This is my first encounter with Unruly Child, although they have been around for ages and have released a few albums previously, this is their first studio album with the band's original line up for 15 years.

Worlds Collide is one of the most polished and well written melodic rock albums I have heard in ages, nearly every track here speaks volumes about the ability of the band and the high bar they set for themselves.

Opening track Show Me The Money and second track Insane are two of the best on the album, good riffs and Marcie Free's wonderful vocals making for a great start to their comeback.  Marcie Free really has a great voice, and the harmonies throughout the album are beautiful.

Love Is Blind is a song from another time, it sounds like it should have been included on every 'Greatest Rock Ballads' collection you've ever seen, Free's voice clear over the backing harmonies, then a flowing guitar solo.  The middle of the album is filled with gorgeous AOR, then the band pick up the pace a little, Free drops her voice into a slightly more gravelly sounding lower range for the chant of Life Death.

You can't get away from the fact that in the first incarnation of the band Marcie Michelle Free was Mark Edward Free, and she uses her struggle with gender dysphoria for the soaring and stunning closing track You Don't Understand, an elegant, in parts almost ethereal and plaintive, ballad to end the album.

In the 90's, I'm sure that this style of super commercial sounding melodic rock would have sold in vast quantities, today it is likely to appeal to a narrower fan base, but if you appreciate slick and refined rock with truly great vocals then Worlds Collide is an essential purchase.

Book Review : The Great God Pan - Arthur Machen 9*

I have not heard of Welsh author Arthur Machen before, but I am very glad I found this novella at the library for what a wonderful little story this is.  The Great God Pan was the first of Machen's works to be published in 1890.  The blurb on the back had this little anecdote which piqued my imagination "Machen's story was widely denounced for its sexual and horrific content and subsequently sold well."

TGGP is a classic horror story, although if you're going to read it for the sex and horror content, everything is alluded to rather than taking place on page.  At the beginning of the book Dr. Raymond performs an experiment on a young girl that will allow her to see beyond the veil of the mundane world and catch a glimpse of Pan himself, the experiment succeeds, but with unforeseen circumstances and the consequences of the experiment cause terror and death for many innocent people.

Machen's influence on H P Lovecraft (and therefore a whole slew of later horror writers) is obvious, the piercing of the veil which allows the horrors beyond to infect the human mind is one of the great themes of his Cthulu mythos.  The woodland setting and the sense of unease it brings also feel similar to Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood.  Stephen King has said that his is "maybe the best horror story in the English Language," and for such a short book it is a really great read, full of atmosphere and creeping dread.
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Weak science aimed at R1 listeners

This image shows a red wine glass.
Not pizza
 The BBC R1 site has a drinks calculator gadget up at the the moment which contains some pretty weak science amidst its factual content.  The calculator works out your alcohol units, percentage of recommended weekly intake, calories, cost and then pops in a weird equation which claims that the calories are 'the food equivalent of' my case, two large glasses of wine equalling a slice of pizza, an onion bhaji and two jaffa cakes.

The pizza and jaffa cakes of course would be high in fats, probably saturated, would contain protein, a higher carbohydrate level than wine, and with the jaffa cakes, more sugar as well.  What the R1 researchers should have said is that "two large glasses of wine are the calorific equivalent of.....".

Newsbeat's booze calculator

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Dad bands

Coldplay: Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris...Image via Wikipedia
Hi, we're really, really dull

There are two types of bands that I don't like.  The first is merely a vague dislike, accompanied by a sense of disbelief that such an ordinary sounding act has done so well, I still fail to understand the allure of Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2 or Paramore.

The second type though are the 'Dad bands', these are the sort of acts that appear slightly edgy, almost as if they walked past Slash in a hotel corridor and caught a whiff of real rock and roll.  They appear on the fringes of the rock scene, but always tainted by the allure of pop and indie.  Their fans tend to be people whose interest in music halted at when they left university, when it became just too much trouble to seek out anything new and different.  They are safe as houses, performing to big seated arenas, they use guitars just enough not be labelled a pop band yet they cannot pull out a big enough riff ever to be really called rock.  You know who they are, Oasis, James, U2 (again), Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Keane, Radiohead.

The thing is about rock music, it's supposed to be edgy, it's meant to excite you and upset your parents, if you're at a U2 performance (and please don't called U2 shows gigs) and everyone else in your row is a 45 year old marketing manager from Cheshire who drove to the arena in his BMW X3, then  you are doing it wrong.  Look also at the cost of your concert ticket, is it £7 to see three bands in the upstairs room of a backstreet city pub, or is it £138 to further line the pockets of Queen's multi-millionaire poodle haired Brian May.  If it is the latter, then again you are doing it wrong.

At what point did the thrill of the new, or even just the thrill of the interesting, die in some people.  When did it all become just too much effort, yes there was a point in your life Status Quo were still a proper hard rock band and hairy men in denim jackets headbanged at the front, but go to Quo now and it's like a Saga night out, comfy seats, organised sing-a-longs and people drinking decaffeinated lattes in the bar.  Don't you remember what it was like when the band were on the up, when it was all fresh and viscerally thrilling ? Yes ? Well there are new bands that will give you that same buzz.

Just for research purposes, I'm listening to a bit of Coldplay while I'm writing this and oh deary me, it's so bloody dreary.  Sad young man wails tunelessly over jingly guitars as he waits his turn in the queue for Dignitas, how the bloody hell can you excited over this crap ? It's absolutely bloody dreadful, Chris Martin makes Ian Curtis sound like Ken Dodd.

U2 - boring, Oasis - boring and derivative, Snow Patrol - snore, James - turn up the volume and not only will your Mum not complain, she'll sing along, Keane - I actually own a Keane album, was I drunk ? Depressed ? Deaf ?

I'm sorry, I was going to write a bit more, but I have to get back to some decent music, Radiohead have just come on and I'm losing the will to ......
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Tour de France winner gets 12 month ban

Alberto Contador at the team presentation of t...Image via Wikipedia
Alberto Contador at the 2010 TdF team presentation
Saxo Bank-Sungard's team leader and winner of the 2010 Tour de France, Alberto Contador, has been given a 12 month ban by the Spanish cycling federation for testing positive for a controlled substance.

Do read this in depth article by Tim Liew on the Contador scandal

I am a fairly recent convert to the thrills and spills of the marathon cycle races, and I am aware as a fan that there is a widely held public belief that many, if not most, of the tour cyclists take performance enhancing drugs. A title of any sort, in any sport, won with the benefit of illegal enhancement tarnishes not only the character of the sportsman involved, but damages the reputation of the sport as a whole.

I really enjoy the Tour, and I want to believe that these fantastic athletes are drugs free, clean and noble competitors.  The Tour de France, as with all major sporting events, carries with it the promise of glory, fame and fortune for the winner, and the chance to take an edge on your competitors over the gruelling 3,000+ k race is obviously still tempting for some riders.

Is Contador the only leading rider to be using controlled substances, either in race or more likely in out of season training as Tim Liew suggests ? It seems unlikely.  What a shame though that the greatest of the long distance sporting events has once again been sullied in this manner.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

i-Phone autocorrect lolz

More at Damn You Autocorrect.

(Thanks to Penny for this link)

Holocaust Memorial Day

AuschwitzBirkenau-1Image by toddreynolds via FlickrLest we forget.

"Dates to Remember 27/01/1945: Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Soviet soldiers liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau on 27 January 1945. They found several thousand emaciated survivors and the smouldering remains of the gas chambers and crematoria – the Nazi attempt to destroy evidence of their Crimes Against Humanity. Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest Nazi killing camp, where approximately 1.1 million men, women and children were murdered.

Auschwitz-Birkenau has become a symbol of the horror of industrialised murder, and what can happen when hatred is left unchecked.

Today, we commemorate HMD on the anniversary of the liberation of the camp. We can all use HMD as a time to reflect on where we are now. We remember the victims of Nazi persecution and murder, and those killed in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. " from the HMD website.

Holocaust archive at the BBC

Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
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I can walk

Back thigh muscles of the gluteal and posterio...Image via WikipediaWhich slightly surprises me.  After yesterday's huge run I thought I was going to be crippled today, I have some slight aches in my thighs, and the tendon pain in my left knee that has bothered me after every run this year is not present this morning.

Yesterday's slog was just under 11 miles, I didn't set off thinking I was going to do that distance, in my head I had decided that 8 miles would be a good target.  It was a cold still day, perfect for running or hiking and as I pottered up and down the lanes around Denton I just kept on going.  I must admit though that the last couple of miles were really hard work, I really had to push myself to keep going.

I had it in mind that before I went to South Africa, I would try a half marathon distance.  I didn't achieve that because I pulled something in the back of my left thigh when I was running up to White Wells which stopped my training dead for a couple of weeks, I only managed some very small runs in the whole of December.  The leg seems to be fine now though, I still have a slight pain in my right calf, but that can't be much to worry about if I can run over 10 miles on it without it flaring up.

My target then, a half marathon which I'll try to make time for before we go to Lanzarote in February.  I just need a few more training runs beforehand to keep improving my fitness level and build on my stamina.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Do you have a singer in your family ?

Click the pic to enlarge.

Ripon Cathedral are holding voice trials for the Cathedral Choir on Sat 5th February, successful boys will be awarded a scholarship to the excellent Ripon City Cathedral Choir School.  Girls are also required.

If this doesn't shame you into exercising...

Look North last night carried the story of John Hodgson from Armley in Leeds, who, at age of 100 years, still regularly attends his local gym and can row 2000 metres.  John is also the World Champion Indoor Rower, indeed, he is the only man left in his age group, he only took up competative rowing at the age of 89.

John Hodgson on Look North

John Hodgson in the Rowing Hall of Fame

I was only planning on a short run this morning, but with images of the centurion athlete fresh in my mind, I pushed myself to just shy of 11 miles.

Yorkshire Soul staggers, sweats and gasps to 10.6 miles

I don't know yet whether I'm actually going to be able to walk tomorrow, but meanwhile, John Hodgson, I take my hat off to you sir, you're a real Yorkshire hero and a great inspiration.
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Making bread

1.4 kilo strong white flour
3 lvl teaspoon salt
2 sachets dried yeast
3 tablespoon oil
900ml of warm water
3 teaspoon sugar

Makes roughly 30 dinner rolls or three decent sized loaves.

I know that's a bit of an industrial scale recipe, but you can scale it down.

Mix the flour, salt and dried yeast together.

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water, it needs to be warm and not too hot, too hot will kill the yeast.

Add the oil to the flour, pour in the water/sugar and mix, we use machine mixer to do this, but you can do it by hand.  If the resulting dough seems a little dry and flaky, add a little more water, the dough needs to be smooth and pliable.

Kneed the dough, the more kneading it gets the better structure the bread will have.  For dinner rolls 2-3 minutes will do, for loaves I'd do it for a bit longer.

Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl and cover, clingfilm works fine.  Allow the bread to rise/prove in a warm room for at least an hour and a half, it needs to roughly double in size.  When it has doubled, knock it back and knead it again for a couple of minutes, then shape and bake.  The rolls in the picture were brushed with beaten egg and sprinkled with poppy seeds.

Rolls take about 14 mins at Gas 5/190 degrees C, loaves about 25 mins.  Turn the baking tray halfway through cooking to get a nice even bake.

The lights are on....

Well, the lights are on in Hecate Alice, whereas The Lurker looks like he's just had a lobotomy, if I were her I'd get off Dad's lap before he starts drooling too much, this is what a life of supporting Sheff Wed does to you...

Book Review : Breathless - Dean Koontz 6*

Breathless is the 352nd Koontz has written featuring a single, dog owning man with unusual skills or powers, who meets a pretty, single woman with issues, together they discover something is not right with the world and have to go on the run.

Quite often in my book reviews I have complained about the length of a novel, pointing out that to make more readable it could have been severely pruned (Harry Potter pt.7), or even remained in the author's word processor and never published (Twilight).  Breathless however reads like the opening chapters of an epic length Stephen King novel, and when the revelation comes after just over 300 pages, it is a poor dues ex machina ending.

I enjoyed some of the characters and the sub plots within the novel, Tom Bigger seemed a little like the Trashcan Man in King's The Stand but on the whole this isn't a satisfying read, Koontz hasn't stretched himself with this novel.  Koontz churns out novels with such frequency that you might assume he writes in his sleep, and Breathless reads as if he has.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Unruly Child - Very First Time (Official video)

At the bookshop

This re-organisation of Bliar's autobiography has happened at a number of bookshops across the UK. (pic from The Real Art Of Protest on Facebook).

So, I joined another political pressure group

CAMRA, or, The Campaign For Real Ale.

I have been involved with pubs all my life.  My parents took the Red Lion at Burley-In-Wharfedale when I was two years old, and we lived there for over twenty years.  As soon as I was old enough, or at least old enough looking to get served, I started going to other pubs.  I've passed through the teenage stage of drinking any old crap and now as an adult I drink proper beer, real ale.  I have a slight preference for the new breed of light bitters, but on a cold winter's night I am quite happy to down a few pints of dark mild or smokey stout.  Beer is wonderful and British pubs are wonderful, there is nothing quite like them in any other part of the world, nobody quite emulates the feel of a traditional British drinking house.

Since the Conservative Government brought in the Beer Orders in 1989 there has been a steady decline in Britain's pub trade.  In many towns villages now there are boarded up dilapidated buildings that used to be happy thriving community hubs.

The giant Pubco's with their feudal business practises are as much to blame as the short sighted law change that allowed these sprawling empires to develop.  I have lost count of the number of pubs in Yorkshire, standing empty, that have one of Enterprise Inns advertising hoardings nailed to them.  "Would you like to run your own pub ?" they ask, well perhaps I would, but I'm not such a damn fool that I'd sign a contract with your lot, or with Punch Taverns.  If you examined just how these huge PubCo's work, you might almost believe that their object is make a few months or years rent by forcing tenants into bankruptcy, then leave the building empty until the planning officers agree to a change of use, then sell it on as housing / shops / Indian restaurants.

I have heard numerous tales of financial horror from people who have singed up to be tenants of the PubCo's, exorbitant rents which are increased whenever you have a sales spurt, flat refusals by the building owners to do anything about upkeep, decoration or repair, and the appalling practise that forces landlords to buy their beer from the PubCo's at a higher price than they could get it from the brewery.  When my Dad was a landlord for Tetley's, the brewery had an interest in selling beer, they wanted happy tenants who would work hard.  Rents were set at such a rate that a good landlord could make a good living for himself, and the brewery were happy because they were receiving rent and selling ale.  Of course they sold us down the river on out sales and when they began changing the tenancy agreements my parents decided it was time to retire from the pub trade, but there was a time when landlords and breweries worked together for mostly mutual benefit.

We are very lucky in Ilkley to have one of Market Town Taverns pubs, the rather wonderful Bar T'at, part of a small (14 pubs) chain based in West Yorkshire.  The Riverside Hotel also carries two real ales, and I sometimes pop in for a proper pint at The Midland and The Taps, as far as I can remember The Dalesway and The Albert also sell proper beer.  JJ's in its previous incarnation as Escape/Hide only sold hideous extra cold plastic bitter, and I haven't been in The Station for years.  When I was a young man though we had such a broad range of places to drink which have all vanished from the Ilkley scene, The Wharfedale Gate, Wharfe Cottage, Honest Lawyer (which went through various incarnations), The Crescent, Lister's Arms.  Slightly before my time there were also the Troutbeck Hotel and the Stony Lea.  The most recent casualty in Ilkley is the Rose & Crown, where I spent many happy nights at the rock nights back in the late 80's/early 90's, and is now a part time nightclub.

On a related note, I sometimes go to gigs in Leeds / Bradford and I find it very sad, and short sighted, that the Student Union bars (and some of the pubs close to the universities) do not serve proper beer, perhaps there is another avenue that CAMRA can pursue.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Album review : Sons Of The North - Black Spiders 10*

For Fans Of : AC/DC, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Orange Goblin

I have been following Sheffield's Black Spiders since their support slot on The Wildhearts tour a couple of years ago, since then they have toured a lot and put out 3 EP's.  Sons Of The North is their full length debut album, it features new versions of Stay Down from the Cinco Hombres EP, Just Like A Woman from No Goats In The Omen and St. Peter from the EP of the same name, then seven entirely new tracks.

From start to finish this is a truly exceptional rock/metal album, it slams you off your your feet with the thunderous Stay Down, shakes you down your marrow throughout the album and leaves you excited and breathless when the last huge chord of What Good's A Rock Without A Roll ? dies away.  If you have not heard Black Spiders yet, their sound is like an upbeat Black Sabbath with a splash more exuberance and joy of life.

Do you like riffs ? Of course you do, and SOTN is jam packed with them, by the powers of all things heavy, this band can create a truly huge sound, just listen to Blood Of The Kings open up with that infectious riff, I defy you not to headbang to this, the song then slows down in to a more Sabbath-esque mode before launching into another huge riff driven chorus.  Shout-a-long choruses ? You got 'em, the call and response of 'Eat thunder, shit lightning' on the final track is awesome, if you have a voice left after bellowing along to Mans Ruin, Medusa's Eyes and St. Peter.

It might sound as if Black Spiders are pushing the whole serious metal thing too far, but they demonstrate a sense of humour on the admirably silly KISS Tried To Kill Me, daft lyrics but its hooky chorus will draw you in and you'll be blaming Gene for attempted murder in no time.

On first listen I wasn't sure whether the cleaned up versions of some of the old EP tracks were an improvement, but repeated listens are convincing me that Black Spiders have made all the right choices with the production of this album.  On the issue of the star rating, SOTN is really, really good, it might even be great, to give it a perfect 10* rating would elevate it to the ranks of the albums I never tire of listening to, Metallica's Master Of Puppets, Marillion's Misplaced Childhood and Murder Ballads by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.  Is Sons Of The North truly good enough to be reckoned alongside albums like those, go on, I'll stick my neck out, it might just be.

This is a barrage of riffs, an uproarious and exhilarating collection of songs which should be pride of place in any rock fans collection, heavy enough to satisfy, melodic enough to sing to, a truly exceptional debut album from a forward looking British rock band with a classic sound.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eve space security levels

Eve annual update

So this year we got a new character picture generation thingy, and the Sansha Incursion, aargh, spiky spaceships, run away !

For China, it's out with the old...

and in with the new....

I seem to have become Severius Snape, I also failed to get China to look directly at the camera, doh.

Book review : Hey Diddle Diddle - Sam Foster 4*

I am quite interested in the etymology of words and phrases, and so was quite looking to this short work on the etymology of our best known nursery rhymes.  This book though is a bit of a let down, far too many of the entries contain no definite explanation and instead go for less convincing 'it might be that' or 'some people believe that...' stories that offer no real conclusion.

The book also smacks of too much internet research where the author even writes "it was claimed by the website Snopes that....", well, if that is an internet claim, and you are an expert on nursery rhymes, did you not conduct some more in depth research into the subject than a cursory glance of an urban legends website ?

The book is harmless enough for a quick read, but I would not recommend it as an authoritative explanation of rhymes.

A song for a Sunday

Bloody Sunday, and we're talking Northern Ireland's finest punks not the Republic's most boring corporate rock act, don't relax, let Stiff Little Fingers fill you with some passion and ire...

Take a look around you all is dead
A good look around makes me see red
What have they done to us
Taken all the fun from us
We might as well stay all day in bed

Of course we're right
you know we're right
it's worse than Monday
yes of course we're right
and you know we're right

there's nothing to do on Bloody Sunday
They say the day of rest
ought to be Sunday best
but they do what they can
to make it Sunday worst
the week is weak enough

without a non day

Status fail

One of my friends decided to write his own facebook status along the lines of those pointless 'cancer survivors / our brave soldiers' things that keep popping up, anyway, his great idea was to post this...

Out of interest I asked him if that had actually worked, and his wife replied...

"No it didn't and it probaly hurt him more then it helped he's grounded"

Ha ha, sorry mate, you've been pwned.

Butter or guns, coppers or books ?

As the hangover from Nu-Labour's spending binge begins to bite, we are all realising just how much the spending cuts are going to affect all of us.  Although my local library at Ilkley has not appeared on any closure list as yet, I have been in the renew my membership and borrow some books.  It's ages since I have been to the library, I didn't even realise they stocked graphic novels.

Some protests against library closures, at places like New Mill, have found that there is a fourfold increase in the number of people willing to sign a petition to protest against a library closure as opposed to the amount of regular users the library actually has.  Critics of the protests point out the very low borrowing rates in the same library (2.8 books annually per head of the adult population) and say that if people actually used their libraries they would have a much better chance of keeping them open.

Ilkley library seemed well used when I was in on Wednesday morning, a group of children were listening to stories in the children's section, another small room was being set up for a craft session, and there were about a dozen people in the main library, reading newspapers and books, browsing or using the internet.

Mass borrow protest in Isle of Wight

West Yorkshire PoliceImage via WikipediaThe Yorkshire Post reported yesterday that up to 700 police officers could be cut from the West Yorkshire force by 2012, with another 1300 support jobs going as well.  Police forces lend officers to other forces when there are major events, and 2012 is of course the Olympics.  West Yorkshire Police have indicated that the main areas in which they will cut serving officers will be road traffic, CCTV, intelligence and major crime investigations.

So, the future for West Yorkshire seems to be lower education and higher crime, great, just great, well done Nu-Labour, what a legacy you have left us.
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

The North West Frontier

Farokh Engineer batting for India

Cedric Rhodes, chairman of Lancashire, had seen on the news that there were growing hostilities between India and Pakistan, with this in mind he turned to their overseas player Farokh Engineer and said :

"Is there any likelihood of you having to return home and fight for your country ?"

Farokh replied "Only if the fighting reaches my village, then I will have to go and protect my wife and children."

"And where is your village ?" asked the chairman.


(From David Lloyd's book G'Day ya Pommie b.....!)
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I'm a huge metal fan

A song for a Saturday

It has to be John Peel favourites The Undertones and When Saturday Comes...

Hear your mother on the telephone
Partying people happy people home
Everywhere there's sceptic magazines
Shooting different colour jelly beans

Anyday of the week - when Saturday comes
Anyday of the week - she's almost gone
Hiding pictures of her takeaway
Only laughing on a Saturday
Tomorrow's Sunday - special radio
Warning her the dangers long ago

Anyday of the week...

Such an independent girl
Think you've got what it takes
If you won't sit down next to me
Girl that's my mistake

Teenage bop form a nervous holiday
Attracting lips form a hidden stowaway
Telegram go gos got to yesterday
Shocking tears will never go away

Anyday of the week...

Friday, January 21, 2011

A song for a Friday

Megadeth's epic Good Mourning / Black Friday...

Good Mourning.

Hey, I don't feel so good
Something's not right,
Something's coming over me
What the fuck is this?

Killer, intruder, homicidal man.
If you see me coming, run as fast as you can.
A blood thirsty demon who's stalking the street.
I hack up my victims like pieces of meat.
Blood thirsty demon, sinister fiend,
Bludgeonous slaughters, my evil deeds.

My hammer's a cold piece of blood-lethal steel.
I grin while you writhe with the pain that I deal.
Swinging the hammer, I hack through their heads,
Deviant defilers, you're next to be dead.
I unleash my hammer with sadistic intent.
Pounding, surrounding, slamming through your head. Yeah!

Their bodies convulse, in agony, and, pain.
I mangle their faces, till no features remain.
A blade for the butchering, I cut them to shreds.
First take out the organs, then cut off the head.
The remains of flesh now sop under my feet.
One more bloody massacre, the murders' complete.
I seek to dismember, a sadist fiend.
And, blood baths are my way of getting clean.
I lurk in the alleys, wait for the kill.
I have no remorse for the blood that I spill
A merciless butcher who lives underground.
I'm out to destroy you and ,I will, cut you down.
I see you, and, I'm waiting ,for Black Friday.

Killer, intruder, homicidal man.
If you see me coming, run as fast as you can.
A blood thirsty demon who's stalking the street.
I hack up my victims like pieces of meat.
I lurk in the alleys, wait for the kill.
I have no remorse for the blood that I spill
A merciless butcher who lives underground.
I'm out to destroy you and ,I will, cut you down.

It's Black Friday, paint the devil on the wall

You know when people say they are fans of 80's music ? Well I'm a fan of 80's music, its just that for me and a load of other noisy bastards, the 80's were Megadeth and Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer, Def Leppard, Ozzy, Motley Crue and G 'n R. My guitar gods > your cheesy pop bands.

The Lurkers true colours ?

Ey up Lurker, whose car is this ?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Beast of Addingham Moor

This looks rather good, I have not seen it with my own eyes but you can read the story over at the Ilkley Gusset.

A song for a Thursday

Thursday's Child by David Bowie.

All of my life I've tried so hard
Doing my best with what I had
Nothing much happened all the same
Something about me stood apart
A whisper of hope that seemed to fail
Maybe I'm born right out of my time
Breaking my life in two


Throw me tomorrow
Now that I've really got a chance
Throw me tomorrow
Everything's falling into place
Throw me tomorrow
Seeing my past to let it go
Throw me tomorrow
Only for you I don't regret
That I was Thursday's child

Monday Tuesday Wednesday born I was
Monday Tuesday Wednesday born I was
Thursday's child

Sometimes I cried my heart to sleep
Shuffling days and lonesome nights
Sometimes my courage fell to my feet

Lucky old sun is in my sky
Nothing prepared me for your smile
Lighting the darkness of my soul
Innocence in your arms

The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be

Don't go to the seaside, Cthulhu Gull has risen !

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Not all Muslims are terrorists


Really, there is no but.  Except, when I'm out and about on the internet, taunting stupid people like EDL members and other scumbags who inhabit the darker fringes of the net, this particularly stupid phrase keeps on cropping up.  'Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.'

Well, if you believe that then you have to bury your head in the sand, quite deeply, as there are numerous other nut jobs with a gun and an attitude who most certainly are not Muslim.

Joseph Kony, terrorist, and a Christian

Take the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, the daily atrocities committed by Joseph Kony's army of military lunatics are largely ignored in the Western media because they happen to poor black people in Africa, were they happening to middle class white people in America or the UK then I guarantee that they would be public enemy No.1  The LRA employ tactics that would make hardened Al-Qaeda operatives cringe, survivors of the terrible LRA raids have said that captured children are gang raped and have been forced to bite their friends to death.  The LRA brutalise children in order to turn them into efficient, soul damaged soldiers.  Across the areas where the LRA operate, tens of thousands of children (the 'night commuters') makes long hikes every night to sleep in the relative safety of the larger towns, then repeating the hikes to spend the daytime with their families.  Kony's terror army has been quieter than normal in 2010, but his Christian army is still out there.

Other Christian terror groups include the Real IRA, who have committed murder and planted bombs in the last couple of years in Northern Ireland, alongside a host of other para-military terror groups in the province who still hold quantities of weapons and ammunition. In India, the National Liberation Front of Tripura is listed as one of the world's most active terror groups, and again, they're Christians.

A number of terror groups around the world have strong links to organised drugs production and trafficking, they include the notorious FARC in Columbia, PCP-SL in Peru, and the growing problem with drugs cartels in Mexico where terror style attacks are being used against anyone who may stand in the way of the drug barons, the police, army, politicians and their families, other drugs groups, and innocent people who are killed as a warning to others not to give information on the cartels to the authorities.

The USA has seen lone terrorists like the Unibomber, and more organised groups willing to use terror tactics in their opposition to abortion and animal research.  Animal rights protest groups in the UK have also been seen employ tactics which are very close to those employed by more traditional terror groups.

There are state sponsored terror groups such as the War Veterans loyal to Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and the death squads that operated in Chechnya on orders from Russia. Spain still suffers acts of murder and bombings from the Basque separatists ETA and the Galician separatists Resistência Galega. In Sri Lanka the Tamil Tigers practised terror and ethnic cleansing as part of their campaign of separatism, and similar groups are operating in Sikh India, the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Turkey, Corsica and many other countries.

So, apart from the groups that I have mentioned, and the dozens more that exist around the world, then all terrorists are Muslims.  I am not blind to the threat posed by Muslim terror groups, to our way of life in the West it is the most real and present threat of terror that there is, it is an evil that must be opposed, but claims that only Muslims are terrorists are factually incorrect and must also be challenged.

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So are you prepared for the floods Australia ? Swimming trunks, life jacket, inflatable sex doll ?

I thought this was just a made up status on Lamebook, but many Australian newspapers, such as the The Age, are reporting it as true. Very nearly a Darwin Award for this couple I think.

My name is Durham Red, blood red

Durham Red first appeared in the series Strontium Dog in 2000AD, she isn't a vampire in the classic horror novel sense, but rather a human mutant blessed with beauty, speed, strength and a real lust for blood.

Durham liked Johnny Alpha, the lead character in Strontium Dog, but she did not always prove to be a trsutworthy sidekick for him, her all consuming blood lust and love of fighting and violence sometimes created unnescary trouble.

The artwork for Durham Red was a wonderful thing for a teenage boy, in fact it's still pretty wonderful for a mid 40's bloke.  Durham was a gorgeous redhead with big breasts and a prediliction for skin tight rubber costumes, I mean, who wouldn't risk a kiss ?

Beachfront houses in Mossel Bay, SA


This delightful young lady, and I have no idea which character she is dressed as, is Jessica Nigri, whom I gather is a professional cos-player.