Friday, September 07, 2007

It Is A Truth Universally Acknowledged, That A Single Man In Possession Of Stray Thoughts, Must Be In Want Of A Wife*

1. I've recently discovered, and thoroughly like, Word Magazine. Each issue has a free CD, but that doesn't mean it's all music - there are features on film, TV and books, and I like the general approach they take. Well worth your time and money, and their free weekly podcast is a lot of fun too (have a look for it on iTunes).

2. Speaking of things musical, is it just me, or does Robyn (with that song about - and possibly even titled - 'Every Heartbeat') sound a lot like Kate Bush?

3. And speaking even more of musical things, I note that once again whoever's doing the incidental music for X-Factor appears to be doing so by breaking into my home at night and using my CDs as the source material. Granted, that mainly involves the CDs by Craig Armstrong and Rob Dougan, but still…

4. Had another eye test (post-laser surgery) this morning, and my vision is better than 20-20. Am vaguely disappointed that the improvement hasn't led me to develop X-ray vision and the like, but I guess that's only fair as it wasn't covered by the paperwork.

5. The London Tube strike this week, since you ask, did affect me (and my beloved) a bit, though it could have been worse. One trick which many people seem to miss is that there are boats which run east and west along the Thames, and which you can pay to travel on. Not exactly the vaporetti of Venice, granted, but beats a crowded bus or train. But shh, don't tell anyone I suggested it.

6. I've never had a go on one of the current trend of 'Brain Training' devices, but I'm moderately sceptical; the whole idea of 'brain age' sounds a bit arbitrary to me, and if the idea is to try to get as low an age (that is, a low-number score) as possible, won't that mean that you're looking to emulate an age at which you had fewer pathways connecting the bits of the brain, and therefore are less able to recall items or make connections? I think they've made a boo-boo on the scoring system here. I wouldn't want to get a really 'good' (that is, low) score and then be told that I have the brain agility of someone who toddles around with a nappyful of excreta.

7. I firmly believe that the current elevation of Elton John to 'national treasure' status is a ghastly misjudgement, perhaps brought about by his eyebrow-waggling antics as he sang doggerel at the funeral of the Princess of Wales. I feel he is a man of limited talent, who seem to have released an appalling number of 'best of' albums, and that the way he's currently venerated is an embarrassment. Given this, I'm sure you can imagine that I find this very, very funny indeed.

8. I don't know if you use iTunes v7, but the User Agreement for it (and don't ask how I know this, but it's true) states in section 8 that 'Licensee also agrees that Licensee will not use the Apple Software for … the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, [sic that comma] missiles, or chemical or biological weapons". Maybe I'm just a negative type, but it seems to me that if you're involved in that kind of thing, you're probably not too worried about Apple setting their lawyers on you.

*I've found one, thanks. And she's fab.

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