Archive for December, 2006

Cat Deeley: Face of Stilton

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

This is the hot contender for most awesomely unlikely news story of the year.

“Stilton sales are down. This is a problem, people. We’re seen as old, stuffy, too English – people are eating these foreign cheeses. We’re having our asses handed to us by feta, by camembert – even by halloumi, people. We need to do something. And I know just what we can do: Stilton perfume. Am I right? I’m right, aren’t I? Tell me I’m right. But! We need more! Go one step beyond! We need to get sexy, too: We need Cat Deeley. Goddamn I am so good. People, get to it!”


Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

The thing about Norfolk – and most of East Anglia, too – is, right, that nothing ever happens here, for the most part. For years and years on end, the local papers are full of “Cat stuck up tree” and “Cat rescued from tree” and “Old lady has hilarious mishap” type stories. But then every now and again something like these Ipswich murders (okay, not Norfolk, I know) happens and reminds us that whilst big cities like Manchester can breed your everyday muggers and criminals, to breed a proper serial-killer/psychopath you need the kind of years of careful inbreeding and lack of exposure to society that only the empty, boring landscapes East Anglia can provide.

Anyway, it seems I’ve brought a little bit of Manchester with me because as I was crossing the border into Norfolk yesterday, some chavs were stabbing a security guard in HMV in Norwich. Well, I kind of understand; the new Castlefield Mall is an offensively bland piece of nowhere-generica shopping evil and it’s enough to drive anyone insane. Norwich is a lovely city, being gradually spoiled by its transformation into a “fashionable urban centre”, or somesuch.

Anyway, my parents’ village is sufficiently tiny as to only support one serial killer every couple of hundred years (broadly because there’d be no-one left if they came round more often) so I figure I’m probably safe here for the moment. Probably.


Friday, December 15th, 2006

I don’t have to go to work again until next year. I haven’t had more than two days off since Easter. I need a break.


Thursday, December 14th, 2006

With today’s announcement of “Ubuntu Satanic Edition“, which essentially just ordinary plain ol’ Ubuntu except with 5 .pngs with some flames on, a critical point has been reached: that of the number of forks of Ubuntu having equalled the number of all other Linux distributions combined:

If this projected growth continues, there will be more Ubuntu forks than Ubuntu users by summer next year, more forks than computers by next Christmas and in two years’ time, forks of Ubuntu will have replaced hydrogen as the most abundant substance in the universe.

Ubuntu forks include:

  • Kubuntu – Ubuntu with added KDE
  • Edubuntu – Ubuntu with, uh, educational stuff
  • Xubuntu – Ubuntu with Xfce
  • Fluxbuntu – Ubuntu with Fluxbox
  • Scibuntu – Scientific Ubuntu
  • Xevian – Ubuntu with Xfce but in no way like Xubuntu at all
  • Devubuntu – Ubuntu for developers, because apparently you can’t install gcc on normal Ubuntu, or something
  • Ichthux – A “Christian” Ubuntu distribution, presumably for people with a lithp
  • Ubuntu Christian Edition – Go on, guess

It is very important to note that these are all very definitely worthy separate distributions and in no way could most of them be replaced by a single package installed on top of the original Ubuntu. Yes. Uncyclopedia has a more comprehensive list.

Why do we need a moonbase?

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Slate magazine with the astonishing news that NASA don’t have a compelling reason for a moon base.

Well, duh. It’s a moonbase. Like, a base, on the moon. Who needs a goddamned reason? It’s a fucking moon base.

A Wedding

Monday, December 11th, 2006

So, yeah. The Nintendo Wii came out on Friday. I’ve had mine on pre-order at HMV since the day the price was announced, because I was a touch excited about it. Obviously, then, it was slightly annoying that Naomi’s brother decided to get married the day after it was released, in another country, thus ensuring Friday was a breathless rush as I dashed into town, picked up my new baby, dashed home again, picked up Naomi and drove to Liverpool airport having not even had a chance to remove said toy from its packaging.

The wedding was nice, as weddings go – a very good service and a posh (if somewhat cramped) reception. Also, it gave Naomi and I a chance to “preview” our wedding, as the reception was at the same venue as ours will be – although I’m assured we’ll be having considerably fewer people at ours, which is definitely a Good Thing(tm).

Anyway, having firmly established myself as an unsociable alcholic heathen (I don’t like large groups of people – I find those sort of situations extremely stressful and exhausting – so I spent a lot of time hiding in a corner, nursing several large whiskys, and was so tired by the end of the day that I overslept the following morning and missed going to church with Naomi’s family), we flew back to England and some semblance of normality.

So, sunday I finally got to set up my Wii and – once I’d figured out how to get it to talk to my wireless network and apply a system update without locking hard – have a play with Wii Sports and the new Zelda.

Wii Sports is a nice demo of the controller – the games are fairly simple, dumbed down versions of their real-life equivalents, but the controls are, generally, pretty intuitive and easy to pick up. There’s a few annoying quirks – some of the games seem to experience a bit of lag, and some of the gesture recognition is a bit wonky at times: going from backhand to fronthand in tennis sometimes seems to register as playing a shot. However, for the most part it’s a good laugh and a nice introduction to the new controller.

Zelda, on the other hand, is very much a Real Game. Okay, so the graphics aren’t as spangly as stuff you’ll see on the XBox 360, but the art direction is superb and attention to detail is spot-on. The game plays much like any other Zelda – explore, fight baddies, save Hyrule, etc – and in style it’s much closer to Ocarina of Time than any of the others in the series (which isn’t necessarily such a bad thing). The new controller does feel a bit tacked on at times – I’m not so keen on the slash-with-the-remote-to-attack mechanic, although other people seem to like it – but some parts (aiming the slingshot and the fishing minigame) work very well; generally, though, the game is neither spoiled nor made by the controller. I’m only about three hours in, so I can’t comment too much about the story, but so far I’m enjoying it immensely and I can see it eating up a large amount of my Christmas holiday this year.


Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Two work social events: Trip to Jodrell Bank and Trip to Chester Zoo.

Last Town Chorus

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

You probably haven’t heard of the Last Town Chorus. This is evident from the very small number of people who were at their gig tonight. This is also your loss, because you missed an awesome gig by a very special and very unique band. I suggest you wander over to their website and acquaint yourself with them. There’s not many bands as can cover Bowie, not ruin it and bring something new to the table.

Viva Pinata

Monday, December 4th, 2006

So, my pair of “happy” pinatas have just gone into their “pinata house” and done a “romance dance” (which involved breakdancing to something that sounded suspiciously like a porno-funk soundtrack). Now there’s an egg containing a baby pinata in my garden. As a result, I’ve just received an award for being a Pinata Breeder.

Later on, I have to encourage one of my bird-esque pinata to eat one of the worm-esque pinata that I’ve so lovingly caused to be conceived, born and raised to maturity. Can we say “emotional trauma”?

What are kids gonna learn from this? “Life might look pretty, but when it comes down to it, it’s basically just sex and death”?

This game is pretty twisted, right there.

Awesome, though.

Fix You

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

This is astonishingly and unexpectedly moving. If you don’t shed a tear, you may have to consider whether you actually have a soul.