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Now scrobbling: Spotify to Last.fm to WordPress

Tuesday 15 September 2015 · permalink

How to show “now playing” (i.e. scrobble); from Spotify in your WordPress blog.

This is quite easy to set up; the detour through Last.fm might not be needed in the future. There’s no plugin for scrobbling directly from Spotify to WordPress yet, so Last.fm serves as a proxy from Spotify to WordPress (but also as a scrobbler for iPod/iTunes to WordPress, so you might want to keep Last.fm running even if there’s a future Spotify/Wordpress plugin).

Update 20150916. Now on 4.3, the Last.fm for WordPress for WP plugin installed through dashboard does no longer work. Experimenting with other plugins.


  • Configure Spotify (Edit/Preferences/Last.fm/Enable scrobbling to last.fm and enter your Last.fm details)
  • Install the Last.fm media player  and keep both Spotify and Last.fm running
  • Install the plugin
  • Configure the plugin in your WordPress blog (Appearance/Widgets)
  • Set up your WordPress template to show the widget in ie the sidebar
  • The played tracks should show up (I use the “Now playing” header)

→ 2 CommentsTags: arts · music

"It Felt Like a Kiss" - Spotify collaborative playlist

Wednesday 29 July 2009 · permalink

Adam Curtis has kindly posted the list of music used in It Felt Like a Kiss, so I have knocked up a Spotify collaborative playlist.

Some of the tracks are not yet in Spotify and in other cases I  have used alternative versions, the most obvious being the "title track" where the The Motels replace The Crystals (Grizzly Bear’s version does not fit).

Update: The film It Felt Like a Kiss is now available from the Beeb.

→ 1 CommentTags: arts · music

Spotify playlist for Stag and Dagger 2009 (collaborative).

Thursday 21 May 2009 · permalink

I’ve whipped up a collaborative Spotify playlist for tomorrow’s happening in London by using the search in Spotify and simply added the top rated track (in some cases I chose another fresh track, ie where the most popular is years old or a cover version). Feel free to modify the playlist (there’s always the risk of duplicate artist names), but please try to limit it to a couple of songs per artist.


I don’t mind if Leeds or Glasgow S&D acts are included in the playlist.

Spotify is now my first choice for checking acts out, I cannot be bothered with the bingo-lights of MySpace anymore. Quite a few of the acts for Stag&Dagger are not in Spotify though (I found around 50 of the ones playing London for the initial list), but it’s so much better than nothing and no one else seem to have bothered.

→ No CommentsTags: arts · music

A better Stag and Dagger London line-up listing (printable and chronological).

Wednesday 20 May 2009 · permalink

I’ve spent the last hour of the day creating a readable listing of the gigs for tomorrow’s London Stag and Dagger event; something the designers of the Stag and Dagger website should have done.

Cal and Hal will be there, hopefully with tickets this time. No time has been spent on research for tomorrow, so only Ungdomskulen stands out as a must (“support your local punks”, “stø dei lokale pønkjarana” as we said back in the day).

The Stag&Dagger website is a study in how not to do usability – nothing is printable, schedules are reverse and there is no easy way to listen to all the acts in one go (a Spotify playlist, a torrent of MP3s, a mix with one-minute samples – anything would have been better than the pop-up windows being used). If you want to pick up your wristband, then head to the Stag and Dagger venues listing to find out where, as the address is not in the FAQ (it is St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JN between 16:00 and 22:00).

Hopefully the schedules below are correct (it’s late, so if there’s an act you are dead set on seeing then please also check with the official listing).


Kicker Conspiracy 19:00 - 19:20 
Everything Everything 19:20 - 19:50 
Kicker Conspiracy 19:50 - 20:15
Teeth!!! (Moshi Moshi) 20:15 - 20:50 
Kicker Conspiracy 20:50 - 21:15 
The Twilight Sad 21:15 - 21:50 
Kicker Conspiracy 21:50 - 22:20 
Dananananaykroyd 22:20 - 23:00


Wolf Gang 19:00 - 19:25
Young & Lost 19:25 - 19:50
Animal Kingdom 19:50 - 20:20
Young & Lost 20:20 - 20:50
ExLovers 20:50 - 21:20 
Young & Lost 21:20 - 21:50
Marina & the Diamonds 21:50 - 22:20 
Young & Lost 22:20 - 22:50
Temper Trap 22:50- 23:30 
Dan Black 00:00 - 00:40

CAFE 1001

Young Turks 19:30 - 20:00
Arch M 20:00 - 20:30 
Young Turks 20:30 - 20:50
Phantom 20:50 - 21:20
Jack Penate DJ set 21:20 - 22:00 
Girls 22:00 - 22:30 
Jack Penate DJ set 22:30 - 23:00
The XX 23:00 - 23:30 
Jack Penate DJ set 23:30 - 00:00


Dawn Chorus 19:00 - 19:30
Me My Head 19:30 - 20:00 
Dawn Chorus 20:00 - 20:30 
Ungdomskulen 20:30 - 21:00 
Dawn Chorus 21:00 - 21:30 
Wild Beasts 21:30 - 22:00 
Devil Made Me Do It 22:00 - 22:45
Cold War Kids 22:45 - 23:30 
Devil Made Me Do It 23:30 - 00:15
Evan Dando 00:15 - 01:00


Marizia 21:00 - 22:00
Bisoux Bisoux 22:00 - 23:00
Thunderheist 23:00 - 23:30 
Naomi// 23:30 - 00:15
Lovefoxxx 00:15 - 01:15 
Isa GT 01:15 - 02:00


Pix DJs 20:00 - 22:00
Flowers of Sulphur 22:00 - 22:30
DJ Elles 22:30 - 23:30


Nik Nik Nik 20:00 - 22:00
Robotnik 22:00 - 23:00
Casper 23:00 - 00:00 
Skull Juice 00:00 - 01:00 


Andrew Weatherall DJ 19:30 - 20:20 
Battant 20:20 - 20:50 
Andrew Weatherall DJ 20:50 - 21:20 
Blue Bambinos 21:20 - 21:50 
Andrew Weatherall DJ 21:50 - 22:20 
Joe Gideon & the Shark 22:30 - 23:10
Andrew Weatherall DJ 23:10 - 23:50 
Micachu & the Shapes 23:50 - 00:30 
Andrew Weatherall DJ 00:30 - 01:00 


Dj Slugz 21:00 - 22:00 
High Rankin 22:00 - 23:00 
Rootsteady 23:00 - 00:00 
Tomb Crew 00:00 - 01:00 
Rusko 01:00 - 02:00 
N-Type 02:00 - 03:00 


Moodie 21:00 - 23:00
Maximillion 23:00 - 00:00
ED-DL 00:00 - 02:00


Captain Magic 20:00 - 22:00
David E. Sugar 22:00 - 22:30 
Firas 22:30 - 23:30
Work It DJs 23:30 - 01:00
Friend DJ (Moshi Moshi) 01:00 - 02:00


The Voluntary Butler Scheme 20:30 - 21:00 
Tara Busch 21:30 - 22:00 
Crystal Fighters 22:30 - 23:00 


Moshi Moshi DJs 20:00 - 20:30
Speech Debelle 20:30 - 21:00 
Moshi Moshi DJs 21:00 - 21:30
Lemonade 21:30 - 22:10 
Moshi Moshi DJs 22:10 - 22:30
White Denim 22:30 - 23:10 
Crispin Dior 23:10 - 23:40
Casio Kids 23:40 - 00:20 
Crispin Dior 00:20 - 01:00


Feeling Gloomy DJs 19:30 - 20:00 
Kristian Marr 20:00 - 20:30 
Black Cab DJs 20:30 - 21:00
Dan Smith 21:00 - 21:30
Feeling Gloomy DJs 21:30 - 22:00
Dan Michaelson & the Coastguards 22:00 - 22:30
Black Cab DJs 22:30 - 23:00
Band of Skulls 23:00 - 23:30 
Black Cab/Feeling Gloomy DJs 23:30 - 00:00


De De Mouse 20:30 - 21:10 
Riddim Saunter 21:40 - 22:20 
Tucker 22:50 - 23:30
80 Kidz 00:00 - 00:40 
My Toys Like Me 01:10 - 02:00 


Samuri FM Djs 20:00 - 22:00
Lukid 22:00 - 23:00
Paul White DJ Set 23:00 - 00:30
2Tall 00:30 - 02:00


Colouring In 20:45 - 21:15 
Idle Lovers 21:45 - 22:15 
Ali Love & Luca 22:30 - 23:30
Retrograde 00:00 - 01:30


Plan B DJs 19:00 - 19:50
The Spolkestra 19:50 - 20:20 
Plan B DJs 20:20 - 20:50
Stranded Planet 20:50 - 21:20 
Plan B DJs 21:20 - 21:50
Navvy 21:50 - 22:20 
Plan B DJs 22:20 - 23:00
Wet Dog 23:00 - 23:45 
Plan B DJs 23:45 - 00:15
Factory Floor 00:15 - 01:00 
Plan B DJs 01:00 - 01:30
Die Die Die 01:30 - 02:00


Silhouette 19:10 - 19:40
Electroacoustic Club DJs 19:40 - 20:00
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson 20:00 - 20:30 
Kruger DJs 20:30 - 21:00
Jesca Hoop 21:00 - 21:30
Kruger DJs 21: 40 - 22:10
Maps 22:10 - 22:40 
Kruger DJs 22:40 - 23:10
Soy Un Caballo 23:10 - 23:40 


Ark People 18:30 - 19:00 
Turbowolf 19:30 - 20:00
Dag Før Dag 20:20 - 20:50   
Wintersleep 21:10 - 21:40 
Cursive 22:00 - 22:40 
Singleton 22:40 - 23:00
Duchess Says 23:00 - 23:40 
Singleton 23:40 - 00:10
Connan Mockasin 00:10 - 00:45 
Singleton 00:45 - 02:00


Skill Wizard DJ 19:00 - 19:20 
Pens 19:20 - 19:50 
Skill Wizard DJ 19:50 - 20:20 
The Virgin Passages 20:20 - 20:50
Skill Wizard DJs 20:50 - 21:20 
Tubelord 21:20 - 21:50 
Sex Beat DJ 21:50 - 22:20
Times New Viking 22:20 - 22:50 
Sex Beat DJ 22:50 - 23:20
Let’s Wrestle 23:20 - 00:00 
Sex Beat DJs 00:00 - 01:00


Monkeysuit DJs 19:00 - 19:45 
Arthur Delaney 19:45 - 20:15 
Monkeysuit DJs 20:15 - 20:35 
Blue Roses 20:35 - 21:15 
Monkeysuit DJs 21:15 - 21:40 
Beth Jeans Houghton 21:40 - 22:10 
Monkeysuit DJs 22:10 - 22:35 
Planet Earth 22:35 - 23:10 
Monster Bobby 23:10 - 23:35
Barringtone 23:35 - 00:10 
Monster Bobby 00:10 - 00:40 
Slow Club 00:40 - 01:00 


Flic DJs 19:45 - 20:15
Paul Marshall 20:15 - 20:45 
Sam McCarthy 21:15 - 21:45 
Magistrates (Dj Set) 21:45 - 23:00
White Denim DJs 23:00 - 00:00  
Trouble Records DJs 00:00 - 1.00 
Flic DJs 1.00 - 2.00


ZNTN 19:00 - 19:30
Plugs 19:30 - 20:00 
ZNTN 20:00 - 20:30
Phantom Band 20:30 - 21:00 
Stopmakingme 21:00 - 21:30 
We Have Band 21:30 - 22:00 
Stopmakingme 22:00 - 22:20 
Filthy Dukes Live 22:20 - 23:00 


Baby Venom 19:10 - 19:30
No Pain In Pop 19:30 - 19:50 
Trailer Trash Tracys 19:50 - 20:10 
No Pain In Pop 20:10 - 20:30
An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump 20:30 - 21:00
No Pain In Pop 21:00 - 21:20
The Mae Shi 21:20 - 22:00 
No Pain In Pop 22:00 - 22:20
Abe Vigoda 22:20 - 23:00 


John Stammers 19:00 - 19:30 
John Fairhurst 19:45 - 20:15 
Dennis Jones 20:30 - 21:00
John Power 21:15 - 21:45

→ No CommentsTags: arts · music

The Camden Crawl that never was.

Monday 27 April 2009 · permalink

“You’ve got tickets? You are standing in the wrong queue”, said the guard to the people in front of us at the Roundhouse on Friday night. So since we had tickets we were also in the wrong queue. Well at least until Carl discovered he’d left the tickets back home in Croydon. So a trip to north London and 70 odd quid wasted before heading back south of the river without having seen a single band.

All the pre-crawl research  on YouTube, MySpace and Spotify just wasted then, but for the record here are acts we might have seen. Next try the Stag&Dagger.

  • Alessi’s Ark
  • Circlesquare
  • Computers (my first choice along with Datarock and Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
  • Datarock
  • Dinosaur Pile Up
  • Django Django
  • Echo and the Bunnymen
  • Foy Vance
  • Joy Formidable
  • Kasms
  • Kitty, Daisy & Lewis
  • Selfish Cunt
  • Skibunny
  • Skint & Demoralised
  • Virgins
  • Whip
  • XX
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs

→ 2 CommentsTags: arts · music

David Flusfeder now blogging.

Monday 13 April 2009 · permalink

My poker buddy (for lack of a better expression of people you know a bit through playing cards) David Flusfeder has started a blog. David is off to Buenos Aires to play in the Latin America Poker Tour. The blog will hopefully be better than most poker blogs as David is an author who plays cards; not a card player who tries to write.

And David is not the only travelling thanks to PokerStars, Pete Birks is off to Monaco.

→ No CommentsTags: Cat2

Three things that would make me pay for Spotify Premium.

Sunday 15 March 2009 · permalink

  • MP3 support. Simple as that, it would allow me to take the music with me on the road (or in my case the train/tube). It would also make void any worries over the future of the company itself. Spotify could simply disappear (have a look at Music Ally’s list of 200 digital music start-ups or does anyone but me remember eBay’s short-lived music business ?) or have their licences revoked (so we could end up with something like a  YouTube versus UK songwriters clash)
  • DLNA support. This would allow streaming to devices like a Squeezebox/Soundbridge, PS3s/X-boxes and modern TV-sets
  • A cheaper price. £6.99 would be my sweet spot, £9.99 just feels a bit too much. I say this as someone who must have spent £10-15 000 over the years on physical product (roughly an LP or CD a week since 1978). I might have bought my last ever normal CD and it does not even make me feel sad

→ 3 CommentsTags: arts · Cat2 · music

The Spotify A-Z quick CD test, score: 21/26.

Wednesday 11 March 2009 · permalink

First LPs, then CDs. This time I took the last CD for each letter A-Z, stacked them up in front of me a checked if the albums are in Spotify (UK). The only disappointment is that there is no Stina Nordenstam at all in their library. It does not matter for me as I’ve got the full set of of her CDs and Spotify makes up for it with having one of my other favourite Swedish acts Monica Zetterlund well covered.

Even if most of this stuff is fairly mainstream (you will look in vain for any Burial or Holger Czukay albums), I would still say this is quite impressive. Now if I could take the library with me on the road and keep the MP3s (to play on the iPod) then I would not hesitate to shell out for a premium account; but as it is there is too many negatives with Spotify (I’ll come back to that) for me to splash out just yet.

  • Avalanches, Since I Left You: Yes
  • Buzzcocks, In a Different Kitchen: Yes
  • Crowded House, Woodface: Yes
  • Durutti Column, Sporadic Recordings: No, but this is to be expected as this is a limited release
  • Everything But The Girl, Best of (1996 version): Yes
  • Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand: Yes
  • Nanci Griffith, Lone Star State of Mind: Yes
  • Howlin’ Wolf, His Best (1997, Chess version): Yes
  • Chris Isaak, San Francisco Days: Yes
  • Junipher Greene, Friendship: No, re-release of Norway’s first double-LP
  • Josie Kuhn, Parade: Yes
  • Low, Trust: Yes
  • Bob Mould, Modulate: No (but his superior first two solo albums are there)
  • Stina Nordenstam, The World Is Saved: No, the world is doomed
  • Omar, There’s Nothing Like It: Yes
  • Public Enemy, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back: Yes
  • Q – none, first on R is Rain Tree Crow’s Rain Tree Crow: Yes
  • Røyksopp, The Understanding: Yes
  • David Sylvian, Dead Bees On A Cake: Yes
  • Tricky, Maxinquaye: Yes
  • Ultravox!, The Island Years: Yes
  • Suzanne Vega, Suzanne Vega: Yes
  • Mari Wilson, The Rhythm Romance: No (this one is quite rare)
  • Dhafer Youssef, Divine Shadows: No (but ie Malak is there)
  • Monica Zetterlund, Det Fins Dagar: Yes

→ No CommentsTags: arts · Cat2 · music

The Spotify A-Z quick vinyl test, score: 10/26

Tuesday 10 March 2009 · permalink

I thought I’d spend half an hour to do a quick check of Spotify versus some of my old vinyl. From my crates I simply picked up the first LP for each letter in the alphabet and then checked it against the Spotify library.

Pretty much all of LPs are from the late 70s/early 80s and as expected there’s solid bulk of synth-pop, post-punk , a whiff of prog (Gabriel, Nelson, Mackay) and a few Scandinavian acts. I used to buy a record a week or so for years and turned to CDs in the mid-80s (first CD: The best of Ennio Morricone, 1984). No attempt was made to hide uncool records, so yeah — I do own Sade’s debut (who can forget that Face cover) and blues-rock.

Just browsing through the list and looking at the side links in Spotify I am pleased to see that they host the early Ultravox! records (with extra tracks, I never bothered to rebuy them on CD) and also records I never owned but probably should (Cristina’s debut [really? It sounds like Baccara. Ed]).

Ten out of 27 is not too bad, but I am not ready to throw out the vinyl just yet.

  • ABC - The lexicon of love: Yes
  • Babij Jar - Stalingrad: No, Norwegian punk/postpunk
  • Cabaret Voltaire - The Crackdown: Yes
  • Dalek I Love You- compass kum’pass: No, English synth-pop
  • Echo and the Bunnymen - Porcupine: Yes
  • Fabulous Thunderbirds - Butt Rockin’: No, although there’s plenty other by the band
  • Peter Gabriel - II (aka Scratch): No
  • Paul Haig - Rhytm of Life: No
  • Iggy Pop - Lust for Life: Yes, the insurance salesman is here
  • Michael Jackson - Off the Wall: Yes
  • Kai Martin&Stick - Simmarna: No, Swedish post-punk/new-romantic
  • Langsomt Mot Nord - (self titled debut): No, Norwegian folk/rock/tronica
  • Andy Mackay - Resolving Contradictions: No, Roxy sax-man not listed
  • Bill Nelson - Northern Dream: No, some Nelson is in there; but not his debut
  • Only Ones - (self titled debut): Yes
  • Pale Fountains - Pacific Street: Yes
  • Q - none, last on P is Jimmy Pursey’s Imagination Camouflage: No
  • Raga Rockers - Forbudte Følelser: No
  • Sade - Diamond Life: Yes
  • Yukihiro Takahashi - What, Me Worry?: No
  • Ultravox! - (self titled debut): Yes
  • Alan Vega - Collision Drive: No
  • Waitresses - Wasn’t tomorrow Wonderful No, (but - there’s load of Ze samplers)
  • X - Ain’t Love Grand: No
  • Yachts - Without Radar: No
  • Z - none, so last in the last crate is Young Marble Giant’s Collossal Youth: Yes

→ No CommentsTags: arts · music

First episode of “Red Riding” disappoints.

Monday 9 March 2009 · permalink

The series have been widely praised by TV critics and on the web, but I found the first episode lacking. I liked the dreamlike quality of the filming and the good acting, but this whole local-Mr-Big plot was just over the top: a man gets away with child murders for years (even having an ongoing affair with one of the killed children’s mothers), maiming, he has the police force and the press in his pocket, there’s a slightly upsetting swan motif, there are hints of Abu Ghraib in a police interrogation scene and so on.
So good but not quite living up the hype.

→ 1 CommentTags: Cat2

Tumblelog redesign.

Monday 19 January 2009 · permalink

tlog.halvorsen.org redesign

I’ve spent a few hours of my weekend getting the tumblelog more to my liking. Getting there. When I am done there the intention is to suck out all the old mini-posts on this site and leave this as a site for longer post only.

→ No CommentsTags: Cat2

Mathew Gibson’s site is up.

Sunday 11 January 2009 · permalink

Boxes painting by Mathew Gibson

I’ve spent some time over Christmas helping artist and my on-off poker-buddy Mathew Gibson to get his website up.

Mat’s site is using WordPress, the Elegant Grunge theme and a few plugins like Lightbox.

I did also help (on a very small scale), to finally (?) bring David Flusfeder’s site up.

→ No CommentsTags: Cat2

WordPress categories and tags are lost.

Sunday 11 January 2009 · permalink

This is what happens when you move the focus to your tumblelog for too long, your main site gets neglected and then when you next look at it is all screwed up. It seems like I’ve lost my carefully structured categories somewhere along the way (and this site has been upgraded gradually) — and I am not alone. As I haven’t imported all the old Blosxom posts (yet) I am not sure what do — start from scratch or try and import the old Blosxom posts again to regenerate the categories. We will see; for now I have just given the categories generic names so at least I can get some idea of what they are (ie arts/music should probably be the largest one). As for tags, they are a waste time of anyways, so no chance of wasting even more time on trying to get them back.

Note to self, back up and sanity your sites once a month.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Cat5

Blogariddims at the end point. Episode 50 - Terminus.

Sunday 5 October 2008 · permalink

blogariddims 50 gallery

Download Blogariddims 50, 67:58 minutes MP3@192Kbs, 107MB

The Blogariddims project has come to an end with this special 50th terminus-mix. It has seven-minute contributions from many of the 20 or so DJs, mixers and bloggers that have participated over the series (a meta-mix?).

This is the blurb for part nine of the mix. DJ Flack’s contribution to Blogariddims 50 follows my effort and you might have arrived here from Heatwave’s bit.

I’ve gone back to some of the English postpunk of my youth. Not the chopped-guitar postpunk that is so popular today (ie Bloc Party, Young Knives); but music with a softer focus (apologies for the softcore picture). Some might not even call this postpunk, but both John Foxx (Ultravox!) and Vini Reilly (Ed Banger and the Nosebleeds) came from a punk background. Virginia Astley could never be described as punk (her early outfit The Ravishing Beauties sound a lot like her solo-music) —- but she, along with John, Vini and several others (like Young Marble Giants, Marine Girls, Eyeless in Gaza, David Sylvian) arrived at a similar place at around the same time.

A place where people are sleeping in their gardens, waking up listening to church and cow bells on a Sunday morning, listening to Mozart with the windows open (well Vini Reilly anyways judging my the cover of his debut). A place where music is slower, sparser and gentler than the flag-waving stuff that came from their one-letter one-digit contemporaries at the other side of the Irish Sea.

My segment in Blogariddims 50 is a tribute to those who made this music. The true new romantics.

Thanks to Droid for setting this all up and for inviting me in the first place.

Tracklisting. A Garden Faded.

Sources are mostly digital since some of my pictured vinyl had faults.

  • A summer long since gone (excerpt) - Virginia Astley
  • The Garden (digital source) - John Foxx
  • Sketch for summer (excerpt)- Durutti Column
  • Faded with the Sun - Fieldtripq (soundbed throughout)
  • Vondelpark Crossing - Peet Sneekes (field recording, soundtransit.nl)
  • Windebells in Koiwa - Frederik Froument (field recording, soundtransit.nl)

My other Blogariddims mixes.

→ 1 CommentTags: arts · Cat2 · music

Announcing tlog.halvorsen.org - my new tumblelog.

Sunday 1 June 2008 · permalink

To kickstart my online presence after a prolonged break I have set up a tumblelog at tlog.halvorsen.org. All short posts like links, quotes, YouTube videos etc will be posted there. The main blog will continue to be here at www.halvorsen.org and I plan to restore the bulk of the longer pieces I’ve written over the next week or so as well as getting the Acecast podcasts up and running again before the autumn [Ever the optimist. Ed].

→ No CommentsTags: Cat2

Will Robson on ultralight hiking (The Times).

Monday 14 April 2008 · Will Robson on ultralight hiking (The Times).">permalink

Ultralighters choose thin layers of man-made fibre for clothing; never cotton, which never dries. Talking of which, there’s nothing worse than chafing and now that rugby players wear Lycra under shorts, it’s acceptable to admit that wearing them on long hikes is essential.

Read Will Robinson’s advice on hiking in the UK before heading out as well though,

I have hiked and camped in the Loch Hourn region of northwest Scotland, and trainers, a poncho and the shelter of a nylon sheet are not appropriate for this wet and windy region. Boots, lightweight full waterproofs and a tent are required to hike in comfort and safety.

→ No CommentsTags: Cat4

Blackjack is not poker, The Times gets the wrong game.

Saturday 12 April 2008 · permalink

Kate Bosworth in 21

Kevin Maher blunders badly in today’s Times two-star verdict on the movie 21. Under the headline Not just a poker face he writes,

Unfortunately, for large chunks of the Spacey poker drama 21 the scenes are all about what the scenes are about - ie playing poker.

Unfortunately for Maher the film is not about poker, but blackjack. This is rather like reviewing a movie about rugby; thinking it being about football.

The editor must have told him though, the online version of Maher’s review on 21 has the right game.

→ No CommentsTags: Catk · Catl

London cyclists using helm-mounted cameras to catch bad car drivers.

Sunday 2 March 2008 · London cyclists using helm-mounted cameras to catch bad car drivers.">permalink

From the Evening Standard,

London cyclists are investing in helmet-mounted cameras to record their daily commute, so they have video evidence against careless drivers if they are knocked off and hurt.

→ 1 CommentTags: Cat2

Tags: Cat2

Good U2-hating piece from John Patterson (Guardian).

Sunday 24 February 2008 · Good U2-hating piece from John Patterson (Guardian).">permalink

From last week, but worth the read (even if John seems to like two other pet hates of mine —- The Stones and old Zimmerframe himself).

If you’re like me, and you hate U2 more than Satan, Hitler and Walt Disney combined, then the imminent arrival in cinemas of U2 3D offers another chance to ponder why millions of people worldwide should be in thrall to the band’s blandly hectoring strain of bombastic stadium-rock, or to muse on why anyone would ever need to hear Sunday Bloody Sunday again.

They wag their collective finger at tyrants and evil corporate bastards all the livelong day (though creditable politics don’t improve their music one iota), and trot out all their stale old hits, each about as musically distinguished as the average Level 42 album, and still the punters will pay good money for the experience - and in 3D! What has the rockumentary come to?

The silly season is not over. Paul Morley put U2 3D as recommended viewing in last week’s Observer.

→ No CommentsTags: arts · music

Exactitudes, photos of people who dress the same without realising it.

Sunday 24 February 2008 · permalink

Some of the photographs can be seen at Selfridges in London until late April 2008. Telegraph article on the Exactitudes (exactidudes?) exhibition.

Tags: arts

The Rhône is toxic (Guardian).

Sunday 24 February 2008 · permalink

The poisoning was not uncovered by the state but by Giroud, who sells his catch to African, Asian and eastern European immigrants in the local markets of Lyon’s grey suburbs and old industrial heartlands. Giroud, 35, is the only commercial fisherman on the Grand Large in Décines, bringing in 10 tonnes a year and selling it himself. …

Then in 2004 birds started dying around the Grand Large. Tests showed it was avian botulism. “Although there was no effect on my fish, customers who had seen dead birds were wary,” said Giroud. “Off my own back, just to reassure them, I sent my perfect-looking fish to the lab. I expected excellent results.”

But the tests found a different, murkier poison - the fish contained PCBs between 10 and 12 times the legal safety limit. Fish from the Grand Large was banned at the end of 2005 and similar bans have progressively spread to other areas.

Tags: Cat2

Zorbing near Croydon (adrenalinemunky).

Sunday 24 February 2008 · permalink

Rolling down that hill (in a transparent inflated ball).

Tags: Cat4 · Cat5

SXSW 2008 torrent of free legal music.

Sunday 24 February 2008 · SXSW 2008 torrent of free legal music.">permalink

This time around the SXSW music torrent has been created by Greg Hewgill (thanks). I have no idea why SXSW itself did not bother. Not all torrents are evil and I wonder how UK ISPs will deal with legal torrents like these in the future.

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Old School Music for your breakbeat/house/techno mixes.

Saturday 23 February 2008 · permalink

Listening to some old 12”s found in the basement.

Tags: arts · music