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March, 2005

  1. Paris, here I come

    March 29, 2005 by dafyd

    Off to Paris tomorrow, to see ma grande-mère. I’m looking forward to it… but I won’t be blogging for a while.

    Unless I find an internet café in Paris – perfectly possible, I suppose (I’ve done it before) – but I don’t won’t to have to drag my mum around while I’m there. We’ll see… if I blog, I blog. Or, as someone once said, “Que sera, sera”. See what I did there? Linked the blogging back into the French. Cunning, n’est-ce pas?

  2. The IMDb Meme

    March 27, 2005 by dafyd

    OK, it may look like I’m being ridiculously unimaginative by just posting memes (it is unimaginative), but seeing as there isn’t a lot going on, I thought I might as well. At least these memes reflect what I’m like – I’m not just posting random ones about what fish I am, or whatever…

    Anyway, this one comes courtesy of Neil Turner:

    The idea is to post a copy of the top 250 films on IMDb and then highlight the ones you have seen. Like Neil, I’ve also italicised those films that I (or my family – let’s face it, they’re mine really) own on DVD or video.


  3. Passing the book baton

    March 26, 2005 by dafyd

    I was passed this book meme by Lemur Girl. I don’t work at Waterstone’s anymore, so this might not be as up-to-date as it would have been six months ago… but let’s see:

    You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

    Hmm… a book to burn. There is so much rubbish being published at the moment that it’s difficult to choose. Anything by Barbara Taylor Bradford? Or, indeed, Barbara Cartland? Or Tess of the D’Urbervilles, for being so ridiculously depressing during A-Level English.

    Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

    Maybe (joke…). Or maybe not.

    The last book you bought is:

    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Read it!

    The last book you read:

    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. Pretentious tosh. I don’t recommend it…

    What are you currently reading?

    Umm – how long have you got? Looking round my room: Schott’s Sporting, Gaming and Idling Miscellany by Ben Schott; Monsieur Pamplemousse Hits the Headlines by Michael Bond (I was attracted by the title – but it’s actually pretty good!); the Sword of Honour trilogy by Evelyn Waugh. I know I should only read one book at a time, but I can’t help it…!

    Five books you would take to a deserted island.

    Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

    • David – I want to know what he reads apart from Gervaise Phinn…
    • Claire – apart from Harry Potter…
    • Bob – what are they reading across the pond…?

  4. But is it art?

    March 24, 2005 by dafyd

    Heh, came across this article today via Kottke and GoogleNews:

    Notorious British graffiti artist Banksy has been decorating New York city galleries with his own distinctive works of art.

    He managed to hang his work next to classic pieces at four of the city’s most esteemed institutions, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.

    The surreptitious installations were stuck to the walls with adhesive, complete with a name plaque and explanation.


    Museum officials said they had found paintings of a woman wearing a gas mask, a colonial-era military officer holding a spray-paint can with anti-war graffiti in the background, a can of Tesco value tomato soup and a glass-encased beetle equipped with fighter jet wings, missiles and a satellite dish.

    (The Scotsman/PA, 24iii5)

    Have a look at the pictures of these four ‘installations’ at Wooster Collective – I love the Andy Warhol-esque Tesco Value Soup Can.

    It turns out that this isn’t Banksy’s first brush with infamy: last year, he installed a gangsta rat in the Natural History Museum in London…

    The graffiti artist Banksy has managed to smuggle in his latest work, a dead rat in a glass-fronted box, into the Natural History Museum where it was exhibited on a wall for several hours.

    Staff did not notice that the rat was out of place amid the museum’s usual fare of dinosaur bones and artefact from the animal kingdom.

    The rat was stuffed and clad in wraparound sunglasses, scaled down to fit the top of its head, a rucksack on its back, and with a microphone in one paw.

    A miniature spraycan sits at the departed rodent’s feet, while above it is sprayed in graffiti-style lettering “our time will come”.

    The piece called “Banksus Militus Ratus” was displayed with a text that said the common sewer rat had some remarkable new characteristics.

    “Attributed to an increase in junk food waste, ambient radiation and hardcore urban rap music these creatures have evolved at an unprecedented rate.”

    It quotes a bogus university professor as saying: “You can laugh now … but one day they may be in charge.”

    (The Guardian, 8v4)

    So – in answer to my question in the title to this post… I have absolutely no idea. But I like it!

    Oh, on a completely different note (hopefully), check out Claire’s new site

  5. What the British do…

    March 23, 2005 by dafyd

    …in their spare time, according to the French:

    Eurostar advert showing streakers on a football field

    Yes. I do that. Every weekend. Obviously.

    (Thanks to Petite for spotting the advert…)

    Looks like I’m going to visit my grandmother in Paris next week – we leave on the Wednesday (the 26th ish) and get back on the Sunday (the 3rd – so Wednesday can’t be the 26th. Oh well. I can’t be bothered to alt-tab into Outlook to check the calendar.)

    Any requests for French delicacies?

    Oh – almost forgot: anyone fancy applying for middle manager positions at MI5?

  6. Spam

    March 20, 2005 by dafyd

    Reconstituted Meat ProductI got a bizarre spam today – one which shows particularly well how clever spammers have become.

    Basically, the message was made up of a couple of HTML tables to split up the key words – which means that many spam filters can’t read them properly.

    But the interesting bit was that at the bottom of the email, in very small print, was the following:

    I… I can’t read, sir. I… I didn’t know. But is he mad, to leave his post at such a time? Blood was amaz Who is there? The voice was Miss Bishop’s, a little tremulous, Jeremy looked at the burly planter out of sullen, almost defiant Better wait, Hayton, in case his lordship should turn violent, couch. had summed him up, convicted him and sentenced him in that one But James adhered to it. It was – apart from the indirect profit Blood would have intervened at that, but Lord Julian forestalled for my safety. An English ship! he cried. I’ve been at my work in the town, he answered. Mrs. Patch has figures to make sure that all was correct to the last peso. A was harsh as a file. He writhed as he spoke, and for an instant line of Horace – a poet for whose work he had early conceived an

    Basically, a garbled version of Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini (I found after Googling a few of the terms). Anyone know why the spam contained that? I have absolutely no clue. Must be a reason, though…

  7. Home!

    March 19, 2005 by dafyd

    So… home for the holidays. But I do have a fair few things to do over the next five (yes, count them – five!) weeks…

    I’m redeveloping a site for the mum of one of my old school friends… shouldn’t take too long, but I still need to do it sooner rather than later.

    I think I said I’d have a look at someone’s computer, after they destroyed their USB ports over Christmas – can’t remember, though, so I’ll need to check that out.

    No doubt there are plenty of other things that I said I’d do, but right now, I can’t remember. I’m sure I will eventually, though.

    Then, of course, I have revision to do. I’ll have exams in four modules when we get back to Durham… which should be fun.

    Also an essay to write – which shouldn’t take long, but I don’t want to put it off until the day we go back… “How useful is 1798 as a date for the starting point of an account of modern Middle Eastern history?” – any ideas? Any French readers should know the importance of 1798… prizes to the first person to tell me why it is considered a “starting point [for] modern Middle Eastern history” (use the comments – there’s a clue hidden in that last sentence…)

    And finally, I want to go to Alton Towers to try out their new roller coaster. Have to find time to do that.

  8. Star Wars Episode 3

    March 16, 2005 by dafyd

    Ooh – another pretty trailer! This is the full trailer that was broadcast last week during the OC. Looks fantastic – Mr Lucas better not let me down… JJ will be pleased to note the presence of Mace Windu.

    And a rather retro-looking poster:

    Star Wars Episode 3 poster

    Roll on May 19th!

  9. 5 things

    March 15, 2005 by dafyd

    Rob, LemurGirl and Jim have all done it. I suppose I might as well… (I’m desperately avoiding doing these essays that are due in for Friday).

    Anyway – 5 things that I have on my desk that I can’t work without.

    Well, first off – here’s a photo of my immaculately neat and tidy desk:

    My Desk

    1. My computer! Pretty obvious, I suppose. I’ll lump the monitor, keyboard and mouse all together here. My super-duper new mouse is pretty cool – it’s a Microsoft Optical Wireless jobby – gadgets!

    2. Post-it notes on monitor. Very important! Brilliant as Outlook is for managing tasks, nothing beats small neon-coloured sticky notes for reminding you to do things. That said, most of the notes on my monitor have been there for a while…

    3. Photos. There are several on my desk – some that have disappeared behind/under things. Yes, I’m probably the only Old Nottinghamian sad enough to have a picture of Chris P on my desk*. There’s also Tom and me on Nemesis, and the Castle Freshers Photo. And others.

    4. Food! And water. I can’t work without a bottle of water. In the Jelly Beans jar at the moment are Mini Eggs… but Minstrels work just as well.

    5. iPod, Speakers, other audio stuff. Writing essays or otherwise working requires a soundtrack. I don’t really care what – but I can’t stand the noise of a keyboard on its own.

    Incidentally, the bear is wearing a University College hoody, and the party hat on his head is left over from the Birthday Party.

    And the mess on the desk is only because I’m in the middle of so many things at the same time. I’m usually very tidy. Honest.**

    So – what 5 things can’t you live without on your desk? Answers in the comments, or in your own blog (if you have one – trackback to me so I know you’ve posted!)…

    *It’s not just Krusty the Headmaster. It’s also got the rest of my family on – from Founder’s Day in Year 7.

    **Gary Martin once said that I was the most ridiculously well-organised person he knew. And Gary never makes stuff up. So it must be true***.

    ***For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of Gary’s company, he is an English teacher at NHS who comes out with the most incredible bullshit. For example, apparently he once sailed around the world single-handedly on a boat called the Miss Levi****.

    ****Actually, we think this one may very well be true. He’s written a book too.

  10. Turns out I’m a dice…

    March 15, 2005 by dafyd

    And a boring one at that…

    You are a good old-fashioned six-sided cube, otherwise known as a d6. Others know you to be plain, predictable, conservative, average, ordinary, and downright boring. You prefer to describe yourself as dependable, honest, practical and trustworthy. People usually know what to expect from you, since you rarely hold any surprises. You hate to make decisions, and if forced to decide, you’ll always fall back on how it was done in the past. You always order the same thing at your favorite restaurant, and your jokes, while funny, are never too offensive. It seems that you are well liked, but maybe that’s simply because there’s nothing to hate.

    I am a d6

    Take the quiz at

    Hah, Rob – there is a d6…