Saturday, March 31, 2012

What Did Rick Santorum Almost Say in Janesville? March 27, 2012

Does Santorum call Barack Obama a nigger ? Or am I just hearing things ?

Stupid Ilkley People

I had gone to Golden Butts Recycling centre, my car filled with half a dozen bin bags of cans and plastic bottles and as I was unloading my car a black 4WD pulls up and a lady gets out with a carrier bag.  The lady stopped to read the instructions on the side of the plastics container, which clearly states "No yoghurt pots" and then proceeded to  post dozens of yoghurt pots into the skip. Stupid.

Just as stupid is the lady I once saw there pulling up in her Toyota Landcruiser Planetdestroyer, who then got a single empty bottle of Ty Nant from the boot to recycle.  1 trip to recycling centre in giant petrol guzzling 4WD to recycle a single bottle = stupid.

While I am having a general rant about the people who live in my town, how about Mums driving their children to school.  I often hear people say that the roads are far busier than they used to be and that consequently it isn't as safe as it used to be for children to walk to school.  Well, if you stand at the Dalesway traffic lights in a morning as all the Ilkley kids are being driven to school you will be able to see for yourself why the roads are so dangerous - it's Ilkley Mums talking on their hand held mobile phones while driving through town with a car load of kids.  Seriously folks, who can afford a Lexus RX450 but cannot afford a hands free kit to go with it ?

Hot Rock Folk Chicks - Katriona Gilmore

For your delectation this morning, the lovely and incredibly talented musician and singer Katriona Gilmore.  One half of Gilmore-Roberts, part of The Albion Band, seems to be able to play about 20 different instruments, hands out chocolate cake at gigs.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Units Of Alcohol

Units of alcohol

Bottle (75cl) of wine - 10 units
Small (125ml) glass of wine - 1.5 units
Standard (175ml) glass of wine - 2.1 units
Large (250ml) glass of wine - 3 units
Pint of weaker (3.6%) beer - 2 units
Pint of stronger (5.2%) beer - 3 units
Bottle (330ml) of beer - 1.7 units
Can (440ml) of beer - 2 units
Alcopop bottle (275ml) - 1.5 units
Small (25ml) shot of spirits - 1 unit
Large (35ml) shot of spirits - 1.4 units
Source: NHS

Does this make sense ? Although the NHS have noted differences in beer strengths, they have not flagged up any difference in the abv of wine.

Melvyn Bragg Attacks Dawkins' View Of Faith

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

'The Arts' Are Almost Complete, On To 'Material Culture'

It doesn't seem long since I started the OU module AA100 The Arts Past And Present, but suddenly the end is in sight. I have an essay to hand in next week on the role of the chorus in Greek theatre, then a reflection piece on my studying, and lastly the End of Module Assignment on either pilgrimage as tourism or seaside codes of behaviour.

I have signed up for a summer course in order to keep my fees at the old, or transitional, level as opposed to the two and half times rise in fees that new OU students will have to pay.  It will be another level 1one course for 30 points which will leave me with an awkward 105 points of the 120 I need to pass year one.  Due to the availability of courses I may well have to do 135 points at level one now.

The next module I have chosen is A151 - Making sense of things: an introduction to material culture.  This is
a brand new module so this summer's students will be the first group to study it. It sounds really interesting.

"Book 1: Approaches

The first book emphasises key skills applicable across the humanities, and key concepts which you will apply through the course. You will explore the origins of the ‘idea’ of material culture and approaches to describing, classifying and interpreting objects, drawing on the disciplines of archaeology, history, anthropology and ancient history. The first chapter introduces the key concepts of ‘object biography’ and the ‘life cycle of things’, by considering how late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century museums attempted to order and classify objects from across time and space. Chapter Two develops skills of close observation and description, considering different ways of writing about objects. Chapter Three broadens out to consider ways in which the historic, social and physical (or archaeological) context of objects can aid in interpreting them, focusing on the House of Menander at Pompeii as a case study. The final chapter focuses on classification, with reference to the study of ancient Athenian vases.

Book 2: Contexts

The second book emphasises the critical significance which an understanding of material culture has played in our developing understanding of history. You will look at the way scholars have used the study of objects and their contexts to shed light on a specific period of European history, from about 1200 to 1700. In particular, the focus is on the place of objects in the wider culture of the age and how they illuminate our understanding of religious and intellectual developments during the Reformation and Renaissance. In the first two chapters, you will study the central role that sacred objects played in the everyday lives of Europe’s Catholic population and the extreme reaction to them in Protestant circles, culminating in the mass destruction of much of the material culture of the medieval past during the Reformation. In the final two chapters, you will examine how technical developments in creating objects encouraged new ways of thinking about and understanding the world. This will be through case studies concerned with the origins of the printed book and the preparation of anatomical specimens.

Book 3: Afterlives

The unifying theme of the final book is the afterlives of objects, by which we mean what happens to objects when they acquire new uses or meanings. You will examine what happens to objects when they move from one social and historical context to another, and therefore the changes in the way these objects are understood. You will explore specific questions of power, ‘commodification’, memory and ownership and more general questions of change and transformation. Chapters One and Two examine religious and secular ‘relics’ and their contagious power; what happens when religious objects are transformed by global tourism; and whether tourism diminishes the ‘sacredness’ or ‘authenticity’ of such objects. Chapter Three explores issues of memory and absence with reference to Holocaust museums. In Chapter Four you will consider philosophical issues surrounding the ownership and display of objects. In particular, moral issues that arise in relation to objects removed from their place of origin, and in relation to bodies and parts of bodies collected by museums."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hot Rock Chicks - Grog

The strangely monikered Grog from London metal outfit Die So Fluid.  Ooh, more than a hint of Siouxsie Sioux. It's safe to say that I'll be down the front at Hard Rock Hell VI when DSF are on stage.

Hot Rock Chicks - Lzzy Hale

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I'm just having a play with Audioboo.  This is a site where you can record, via a phone app, your own messages / poetry / podcasts etc. and upload them to the internetz.

Here is my first effort, reading out one of my shortest poems On That Day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eye Candy (For The Ladies)

Ok, so I post quite a lot along the lines of Hot Rock Chicks and Olympic Babes, so how about some sizzling hot literary eye candy for the ladies.  May I present the red hot Russian dramatist and author Anton Chekov...

Anton says he creates a submerged life in the text, he's a friend of Leo Tolstoy and has his own dacha.
He's also unfortunately most definitely dead (1860-1904)

Monday, March 12, 2012


"the awareness of American college students is NOT a necessary condition for conflict resolution in Africa". -  BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding responding to the Kony 2012 campaign. 

Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

KONY 2012

Stop/Kill Joseph Kony

By joining the Kony 2012 campaign I accept that I am pressing for a military solution to end the appalling problem of Kony and the LRA. I accept that people will be killed in the attempt to 'arrest' Kony and that many of these people, due to the nature of the LRA, will be children.

I am not donating any money to the pressure group Invisible Children. There seems to be an amount of controversy over the group's finances "Last year, the organisation spent $8,676,614. Only 32% went to direct services, with much of the rest going to staff salaries, travel and transport, and film production.”

This figure compares very favourably to the charity ONE set up by multi-millionaire Bono "The non-profit organisation set up by the U2 front man received almost £9.6million in donations in 2008 but handed out only £118,000 to good causes (1.2 per cent). The figures published by the New York Post also show that £5.1million went towards paying salaries." - Daily Mail 23 Sept 2010.

Stop Kony - yes, arrest Kony - if we can but its more likely he'll go down fighting in a bloody slaughter. Even Bob Geldof once said that the only solution to Kony was probably to have him killed.

Trouble No One About Their Religion

"Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours." - Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief who tried to unite the tribes to counter the growing threat of the USA.

Friday, March 09, 2012

British Olympic Babes 2012

I know, the blog stays dormant for ages, then all I can think to do is post pictures of pretty girls. Anyway,
this is Hannah Mills, who along with her partner Saskia Clark will be representing TeamGB
at this summer's Olympics in a boat of some sort.

Do excuse the pun, but I'm right our of my depth when it comes to boats, I think the two ladies will
be crewing a 470 class, whatever that may be.  Good luck girls, do win a medal, and, if you get chance,
see if you can get Seb Coe to just lighten up a little.

Anna Torv's Fringe

The rather lovely Anna Torv who plays Olivia Dunham in the sci-fi series Fringe.