Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Guitar Vaults: Dweezil Zappa Speaks

This is a good idea. Register your treasured guitar in order to make it more difficult for thieves to profit from their crimes. The Guitar Vaults

PS. I like the use of the name 'David Noodler' as the sample member.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

As You Like It

Another works outing for Xorg Inter-Galactic and Associates t'other day, to The Globe Theatre for their 'touring' production of As You Like It by  William Shakespeare.
A very entertaining show indeed, which takes Shakespeare's comedy featuring one of El Bardo's favourite comedic devices, cross-dressing and hidden identity, and makes the play even more confusing by having the actors play more than one character, as well as against gender. The most extreme example being the Duke who besides playing his brother, also played Audrey the shepherdess as a pantomime dame. Most confusing, however, was changing the gender of Jacques to female, particularly as it wasn't clear how that character fitted into the overall scheme of things. No doubt if you are a Shakespearean scholar none of this would be be bothersome.
Any road up, as I usually find with Shakespeare plays, after about fifteen minutes or so I became acclimatised to the language and begin to follow what's going on. The same happened with the multi-character gender-swapping and before long I figured it out. Except for the Jacques character who didn't seem to be part of the plot, but just generally interjected with miserableness. Subsequent research explained that in Shakespeare's time it was common to have a 'melancholy fool' as a contrast to the 'jester' character (named Touchstone in As You Like It). So there you go, M'Lud.
Full marks to the actors who worked their socks of not just as actors but also as musicians and singers. They kept up the pace, and threw in bits of slapstick and occasional taunts to the audience.The production made good use of a minimal set and it is refreshing to see a show which does not rely on special effects, dry ice and flying laser-induced pigs.
The Globe itself is a remarkable achievement - they really have tried to make it as authentic as possible whilst keeping to modern toilet standards and fire precautions.

iPhone 5: The Competition

Apple's latest attempt to dominate the mobile telephone market seems to have fallen flat, in a sorry repeat of their previous efforts that resemble week-old spinach more than the claimed technological breakthrough. A mere 1,297 queued up at the Apple Shop in Regent Street, only to be disappointed by the mish-mash of out-dated applications and inaccurate mapping information. "No matter how you spell it," said one miserable chump who had been camping around outside the store all night, "it all adds up to one big 'Duh!'"
Meanwhile, the latest innovation from Xorg Inter-Galactic was being demonstrated on the streets of New York, America. The xPhone29 outstrips all its rivals in terms of price, reliability and portability. Available now at all good stores where quality is the watchword.

(Pretty ladies in fur coats not included)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Books: Tom Holt

The story so far: Kevin Briggs has been turned into a chicken as part of a series of apparently random events involving a dry cleaners' shop, conveyancing lawyers, second-rate musicians, his neighbour's fridge and a pencil-sharpener. He finds himself talking to a hen, after having successfully confused and thus avoided fighting another cockerel.

The hen came a little closer and lowered her voice. "You know what a joke is," she said. "You know because you're..."
Instinctively he knew he didn't want to hear. He threw his head back and crowed until he thought his lungs would burst. But the hen just stood there.
"All right," she said, "try this. Which came first the chicken or the..."
He turned to run as though all the foxes in the world were crowding in on him. Then he stopped. "Egg, he said. "The chicken of the egg."
Slowly the hen nodded. "And the answer is?"
The word came from deep inside him somewhere, a place he didn't know existed. "Neither," he said.
"What did come first?"
"Transdimensional phase shift location," he replied, and the words squeezed out of him like (say) a square egg. "Setting up a differential feedback loop which in turn triggers a fundamental temporal paradox sequence, giving rise to what we subjectively term reality." (Holt, 2011, page 139)

Holt T., Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages, 2011, One Reluctant Lemming Company Ltd., Orbit, Little, Brown Book Group, London.