Friday, 30 July 2010

I'm just taking a break...

...from playing bass guitar. We've a series of gigs over the next couple of months, and more in the pipeline, so I've been practicing a lot over the last few days. Right now my fingers hurt so I'm typing gently.

Got to get my stamina (staying power?) up to scratch, the last thing I want is for my hands to cramp up on stage. I don't use a plectrum, just my digits, and some songs are a relentless top-speed thrash! I love it but the 6 fingers I use to play (4 left hand, 2 right) are growing thick calluses. Not like the old days when I had to trim my finger-ends with a razor blade, but enough so I notice a diminished sense of touch. It's strange what we do to ourselves for fun!

What am I learning? I'll post them here, mainly for myself so I can easily fire them up and play along. This is why my fingers hurt:

Joey Ramone - What A Wonderful World

Quiet Riot - Cum On Feel The Noize

Bad Company "Can't Get Enough" Live 1974
Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 25 July 2010

A thought for a Sunday

"Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake."

Christopher Hitchens (b. 1949) Grow into these trousers... >>

Friday, 23 July 2010

I can say no more... than this...

"Offensive Ideas" - Campaign for Free Expression PSA #1
Grow into these trousers... >>

When words are not as they seem

I had half forgotten the poignancy and comic genius of Ivor Cutler until I caught a repeat on the radio (thanks to the excellent BBC Radio 7).

I am at a loss as to which YouTube clips to post so search here and watch them all. You will be much enlightened!

Ivor Cutler [Shoplifters]
Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Just for a chuckle

For the first time in weeks the weather total crap today. It's damp, cool and windy so I'm staying indoors.

Here's a cartoon that raised a smile - click through for the punchline.

Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Thinking of Debbie Harry

Here's a couple of old tunes.

This first one I would really like a shot at playing (band members? What you think?)

Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone (Orignal Video)

The second I know our lead singer has mentioned. I find it a bit creepy/spooky/stalkey but it is a good song. It's featured in a half decent movie (Coyote Ugly) and was the theme tune to Sugar Rush, a UK comedy about a young girl discovering her innate feelings for a same-sex relationship. That sounds serious but it was well written and quite funny, so if you ever get a chance to see 'Sugar Rush' do so! Anyway...

Blondie: One Way or Another w/ subtitles
Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

"I don't mind if my skull ends up on a shelf as long as it's got my name on it".

Debbie Harry (b. 1945) Grow into these trousers... >>

Friday, 16 July 2010

Another great animation

This is very clever. The artist, in time-lapse, captures the words from an inspiring (though I could/would call it obvious) lecture in economics and management. Exploring the fact that 'carrots and sticks' is not the way to productivity or a happy workforce.

I know nothing about the artist/animator, the lecturer or the parent organisation: the RSA or Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

But it's bluddy clever!

RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

Via Grrlscientist. Grow into these trousers... >>

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Not much provokes me...

But this does.

I find all religion to be a trivial, disgusting or violent parody of reality; but too often these days those people who carry this cultural disease cause harm to the non-infected.

It seems that a young air traffic controller (a good profession which implies a certain level of intelligence), who came from a Moslem background in the Maldives, was driven to suicide after being rejected by his society, friends and family for coming out as an atheist.

His name was Ismail Mohamed Didi and he was just 25 years old. It is alleged that "Ismail had refused to follow religious sermons". In emails Ismail said “[I] foolishly admitted my stance on religion” to workmates, and then:

“A lot of my close friends and girlfriend have been prohibited from seeing me by their parents. I have even received a couple of anonymous phone calls threatening violence if I do not repent and start practising Islam”

But he was true to what he felt:

“I cannot bring myself to pretend to be I am something I am not, as I am a staunch believer in human rights. I am afraid for my life here and know no one inside the country who can help me.”

If there were a God and prayer worked, this young man would have mine tonight.

Sources: The Freethinker and Minivan News Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Summer is still winning

I'm still enjoying the long, lazy summer days… If anyone has emailed me and not had a reply, sorry; I will get round to it. 'Till then here are a few things I could have posted about but didn't.

For those with an interest in religion, Philip A. Harland (Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Ancient History at York University, Toronto) has a podcast giving a historical context to The New Testament based on his course lectures. His blog is Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean or you can start with Podcast series 1: Paul and his communities.

Uzza's Notes has a list of Rape Prevention Tips along with the current humorous deconstruction of the Gospel of Matthew.

The first images from yesterday's flyby of asteroid 21 Lutetia by the Rosetta probe are on The Planetary Society Blog. Can't wait to see the hi-res colour!

Finally there's a new piece of wall art with an evolutionary theme:

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU [9:55]

OK, I’m off to band practice. Have fun! Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest".

Confucius (551 BCE – 479 BCE) Grow into these trousers... >>

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Postcard from the outside

Just a quick note to let everyone know why things have gone a bit quiet. It's the weather! The sunny days and long warm evenings make me want to be outside all the time.

The first tomatoes are ripe, peppers and beans are swelling and my onions are starting to look more like vegetables and less like long grass. Sadly the little wrens seem to have given up, don't know why but I doubt they could have raised a brood in less than a month and I haven't seen or heard them for about a week. The bumblebees however are thriving and we have found two more hives in the garden so I'm happy about that.

There's a blackbird's nest nearby, their song is wonderful to hear, and after sunset bats occasionally flit past. I'm not sure what species they are but I guess Pipistrelles as they are the most common. In the east Mars and Saturn dominate the night sky, the orange-redness of Mars is unmistakable and breathtaking.

A couple of nights ago I came home late from band practice and went to sit outside with a beer and unwind. All of a sudden a young hedgehog strolled past just a couple of feet away. It must have come from the front of the house and through the car port, heading straight for the compost heap where I lost it in the shadows. I only saw it briefly but I could hear it rummaging for ages afterwards. I'm hoping to see it again if this becomes part of its nightly foraging run.

It's a great summer so far, long may it continue. Grow into these trousers... >>

A thought for a Sunday

"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books".

John Lubbock (1834 – 1913) Grow into these trousers... >>