davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2013-11-21 04:07 pm
Entry tags:

Five Things About Me You Probably Didn't Know

1. I am allergic to penicillin. Wonder drug of the 20th Century, and I broke out in a rash at age 5, and haven't been given it since just in case. Which is a shame, as the banananana medicine I got given when I was a kid for persistent ear infections was really nice, but the version that didn't have penicillin in it was worse than calpol.

2. I have terrible vertigo. I can get all dizzy standing on the ground at the bottom of a staircase. I don't like footbridges much either. And yet I can go up the CN Tower in Toronto and stand on their glass floor quite happily. Its a stability thing I think. At no point did I feel I could topple over the edge to my certain death, but if all I've got is a railing and an edge? No thanks.

3. My favourite film of all time is 2001. I first saw it when I was about 6 and fell in love with it.

4. When I was a teenager I was prescribed Human Growth Hormone. I'm over 5', so it seems to have worked. I did suggest that I should be banned from participating in Standards Day (sports day that everyone had to attend), but this wasn't approved.

5. I paint my toenails. Yeah. I'm something of a goth, so this isn't unexpected I know. Unfortunately I work in a visitor facing role so I can't paint my fingernails. So I wear nailpolish on my toes. Even though I live in DMs (and thick socks at this time of year), so no-one will know.

But I will. Which is, I think, the point.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Liff)
2013-08-29 12:35 am
Entry tags:

Jamie Oliver, poverty, tv shows, and some ill-considered opinions.

 There have been several well-written rants about Jamie Oliver's attempts to drum up an audience for his new programme. There being no such thing as bad publicity, he's decided to do so by offending exactly the groups of people his programme is intended to entertain, educate, and inform.

has already explained the reasons why people might buy ready meals rather than make stuff, far better than I can. I've done the living on minimum wage thing, and it isn't fun. I was lucky in that I had parents I could fall back on if necessary. And, importantly, the only person I had to support was myself. Cooking on a budget of £10 a week is not something I've ever had to do. I couldn't even get a wildcard entry to the All-England Four Yorkshiremen Contest. If I'd had to look after anyone but myself I don't think I'd have coped. I'm amazed anyone can frankly.

The comments on Jennie's article are very interesting and I recommend reading them, as are the ones on Jack Monroe's (although I'd avoid the ones on her Independent one like the plague). I want to like Jamie Oliver. I really do. I think his heart was in the right place when it came to school meals, and I like what I've seen of his style of cooking (measuring? pfft! chuck it in, slosh it about, off you go). Its just that I can't stand his chirpy mockney twattery, and the more he opens his mouth the more like the objectionable brand of Tory he sounds. On the other hand I can make a pretty good guess who Nigella votes for (and I wouldn't be surprised if I was completely wrong), but she makes aspirational food pr0n, rather than being on a mission to save the world from twizzled turkey..

I don't know what kind of programme Jamie has made, and frankly I've been thoroughly put off watching it. Besides the programme that should have been made would be much better anyway. It should probably have been made by the Kamikaze Cookery guys and Jack Monroe.

For most people in London, fresh fruit and veg is readily available pretty cheaply. There are lots of greengrocers that will sell a kilo of slightly wonky peppers for what the supermarkets will charge you for one perfectly formed one, that tastes exactly the same when you cut it up and put it in a stew. If you have a reasonable sized saucepan you can make a decent stew from onions, peppers, whatever seasonings you might have (mustard, chilli sauce, marmite/bovril instead of a stock cube), and a tin of kidney beans, and some tinned tomatoes which won't break the bank, won't take very long, and depending on how many it needs to feed whatevers left can be whacked in the microwave the next day. I haven't costed it up, but per person it'd be under a pound. If you have access to cheap fruit and veg.

For people in this situation, where cheap healthy food is potentially available then "all" one needs to do is help them understand the resources they have available, how best to make use of them, such as the variety of "one pot" recipes, and how to make the best use of tiny kitchens with next to no equipment, and understanding the economics of scratch-made vs ready meals, and when they're a saving and when they're not. Which is something I think not even the sainted Jamie Oliver is equipped to do. Its certainly beyond my ability, and I can't help but feel that for many people its too late. They never learnt to cook, and while it doesn't necessarily have to be difficult, as Jennie so rightly says it takes time and effort to acquire new skills, and time and effort to use them. Which many people regardless of their financial status just don't have.

Perhaps we should be teaching this in schools. You could call it "Economics of Household Management, including Essential Practical Skills". Of course there might be a better title out there. With all the money the government has saved by implementing the Bedroom Tax they could provide information packs with important and useful information at the benefit office. If you have to have training or lose your benefits perhaps this should be an option?

Like I said, the recipe idea above works if you can get cheap fresh fruit and veg. Unfortunately having spent my life in an area where they are readily available I don't have a solution for what  to do for people for whom this is a luxury. Which of course would be an ideal hook for episode 2, and might open a serious discussion about food deserts, because that's something that needs to be had. Its all very laudable of me, Jamie, and the rest advocating educating people about how to eat healthily and cheaply but its a waste of time if they can't put it into practice.

And I can't help but feel after all that rambling that nothing will change, that Jamie Oliver's programme will achieve nothing but make the typical victim-blaming Fail readers feel smug, and that I'm no better than the rest of them, because like the young lady in the Pulp song, I'll never really understand either.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2013-08-04 11:08 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Is Salah Al Bander still a member of the Liberal Democrats? Because I think someone needs to have a quiet word with him about "liberalism". Harassing Nahla Mahmoud and her family like this is certainly not "liberal".
davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
2013-05-13 01:31 pm
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Star Trek Into Darkness

So. Star Trek Into Darkness. Was a film. In which things happened.

And I really can't say much more about what happened in it and my reaction to it without spoilers. Although I'll note that it has exactly the same problem as the last Trek film had- it really doesn't spend enough time establishing the character of the villain. He's there as an anatagonist, but you never really get to know his motivations, which is a real shame, because Cumberbatch is a great actor, and is clearly having a great time running, jumping, and shooting guns.

So don't click on the cut unless you've seen it, Or Iron Man 3. Because I'll be spoiling that too.

I mean it )

davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2013-04-15 06:45 pm

Why I hate technology part 32873

So I get back from a lovely holiday to Istanbul and Cappadoccia, with only a minor delay at the airport because my indefinite leave to remain is on a passport I've not seen in 10 years (although my parents do still have it), so of course I'm not on their computer system, and didn't think to take it with me. Fortunately the nice lady allowed me back in the country, but they're very good at making it sound like they're doing you a favour, and its all your fault for not leaving the country often enough, and its your fault for wanting to leave the country. I mean, how dare you have dual nationality, and not go abroad very often...

And I get home and the computer decides it can't find the network its plugged into, even if it will read emails. So a virus search and destroy later I decide to repair windows. Which of course leads to the next clusterfuck. Windows won't accept my activation code. The automated telephone  system doesn't work, none of the supposed work-arounds that relate to IE6 being a pile of crap don't work, nothing. I manage to get through to a technical support bod, who basically says your code has been used on too many computers so its probably counterfeit, report it. Which I'm pretty sure is bollocks because I'm looking at the disc and all the holograms seem absolutely fine. If its a copy, its a really effing good one, and besides I got it from one of the reputable shops in TCR. So I fill out the form anyway, but there's no way they'll send me a replacement disk, because I don't have a receipt for four year-old software.

I have often found that it pays to ask more than once, as the first person you talk to will often be completely wrong. Such as for instance the bizarreness with Natwest and Virgin Media a few years back. The second guy gets me to restart windows, makes no mention of the block on my code, and sees that it doesn't work, so he forwards it to a technical bod. Said technical bod does the logging into your computer thing that they do and finds that its the "System Builder OEM" version, for which he will charge £60 to do anything to. Stuff that I thinks, I can get a copy of Windows 7 for about that (oh, how wrong I was).

So a trip to Tottenham Court Road, where I discover that Micro Anvika have gone down the swanny, and no-one sells Windows 7 other than as the OEM system builder version- which, surprisingly enough I don't want to buy, in case I have the same problems X years down the line. PC World, despite listing it on their website don't sell it anymore. So I'll be picking up a copy in-store having bought it online. And its costs about twice what MS wanted to charge to fix bloody XP. Still, at least I've got something they'll still be supporting this time next year.

However, Nikon stopped supporting their film scanners back when Vista came out, and don't have a driver for 64-bit OS's, or indeed any version of Windows after Vista. Their proposed solution is to fork out another £80-£100 for third party software. Which is pretty bloody stupid really. Especially when it turns out that there's at least two free work-arounds that exist, one of which certainly means you can use their own software, and Epson are still supporting my flatbed that's about the same age.

Its almost enough to make me give up and run Linux. Except I'd almost always be getting it to pretend to be windows. Which rather defeats the object...
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Liff)
2013-02-05 07:02 pm
Entry tags:

The Marriage (Same-Sex) Act debate

Its been a slow day at work, so I've been watching the Grauniad's feed of the debate in the House of Commons. Mainly because I heard Charles Moore on the Today programme being mind-bogglingly stupid, and I had to check that he wasn't just a complete idiot they'd dragged off the street, and those opposing the bill actually had some sensible reasons for opposing the bill.

Apparently for Charles marriage is all about shagging and having kids. So anyone who can't have kids, or doesn't want them shouldn't be married. Nor should people who don't like sex be allowed to get married. Except they should because it would be "open to the possibility", but same-sex marriage isn't. Unless of course the woman has had a hysterectomy, so that argument doesn't work either. I do see his point that marriage these days may be more about the wedding than the actual relationship. But that says far more about the willingness of individuals to enter into agreements without due consideration than it does about what shape genitals they have. In which case Las Vegas has probably done more to harm the institution of marriage than the homosexuals will.

So far I've been disappointed.

"Sir Tony Gale: There is a way forward. It has been suggested but it has been ignored. I do not subscribe to it myself but I recognise the merit in the argument, and that is this; if the government is serious about this, take it away, abolish the civil partnerships bill, abolish civil marriage, and create a civil union bill that applies to all people, irrespective of their sexuality or their relationships, and that means brother and brothers, sisters and sisters and brothers and sisters as well. That would be a way forward. This is not."

I've thought for a long time that it would be a good idea for some sort of civil union that allows two people in a mutually caring relationship to form some sort of legal partnership, so that, for instance, they can defer paying inheritance tax, so one doesn't lose the house they were living in when the other dies, such as in the recent case of the two unmarried sisters who lost their appeal to the European Court. Should they be exempt from inheritance tax? Perhaps not, but I see no reason why, as long-term mutual dependents, they shouldn't be able to defer payment."The absence of ... a legally binding agreement between the applicants renders their relationship of cohabitation, despite its long duration, fundamentally different to that of a married or civil partnership couple," I am not aware of any legally binding agreement the two women could have entered into.

Sadly I suspect this is not what Sir Tony had in mind.

"Craig Whittaker, a Conservative, said it would be better for the government to create a new category of marriage called state marriage. That could replace civil partnerships, and it would allow gay people to be married without undermining religious marriage"

Given that the CofE and the Anglican Church in Wales are expressly forbidden from marrying same sex couples and no religious institution or minister has to marry a same-sex couple if they don't want to, then I'd say that's not far off what we've got. We just haven't given them the same names. Alternatively, perhaps we should have state and religious marriages, and only state ones confer the legal benefits. Allegedly this is the situation in France. Again, I don't quite think that's what he was getting at.

Nadine Dorries continues to be an utterly vile and completely clueless individual.

"This bill in no way makes a requirement of faithfulness from same-sex couples. In fact, it does the opposite. In a heterosexual marriage a couple can divorce for adultery, and adultery is if you have sex with a member of the opposite sex. In a heterosexual marriage a couple vow to forsake all others ... A gay couple have no obligation to make that vow because they do not have to forsake all others because they cannot divorce for adultery. There is no requirement of faithfulness. And if there is no requirement of faithfulness, what is a marriage? "

I'm pretty sure a heterosexual couple don't have to vow to forsake all others if they don't want to. Plenty of people are in open marriages, and of course because adultery is defined as having sex with a member of the opposite sex that you aren't married to you can't sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery if your husband leaves you for another man. So its a pretty restrictive requirement of faithfulness, even if only the straights can get married isn't it? Of course most sensible people would be suing on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. But then Mad Nad hasn't made a career out of being sensible. I was hoping that someone would have tabled an amendment to redefine adultery so that it does apply to people sleeping with members of the same sex, which would handily shut these people up, but that doesn't seem to have happened.

"Stewart Jackson, the Conservative MP for Peterborough, said he was opposed to the bill. And he said he objected to David Lammy implying that those opposed to gay marriage were similar to those who opposed civil rights for blacks in America in the 1950s."

Poor little mite. Did the nasty opposition MP hurt your feelings? Tough. Because the people who are opposing this bill are similar to those who opposed the Civil Rights movement. Specifically the ones who wanted to keep the miscegenation laws.

"David Burrowes, the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate, said the bill was about redefining marriage. It was a redefinition that downgraded marriage, he said.
He said he had been subject to death threats because of his stance on this. MPs who oppose the bill have been called homophobes, Nazis or bigots, he said."

I deplore the death threats, but the description of MPs opposing the bill as homophobes and bigots is perfectly accurate. Also, I'm pretty sure we started downgrading marriage when we allowed people to get divorced, stopped putting people to death for adultery, stopped thinking of women as property, that sort of thing.

"Matthew Offord, the Conservative MP for Hendon, said all previous attempts to allow gay marriage have led to marriage being defined. He suggested that this could lead to marriage being redefined to include polygamy. In the Netherlands three-way relationships were now acknowledged under cohabitation agreements, he said."
And what's so bad about that pray Matthew?
davegodfrey: Coelacanth (Science)
2012-10-16 07:07 pm

Ada Lovelace Day

Other than the first one, (in March 2009) where I discussed the deeply awesome Dorothy Hodgkin, I've utterly failed to do anything about Ada Lovelace Day. Mostly because at least initially it tended towards the technology, engineering, and computing side, and I'm a blue-skies scientist type.

When I was growing up there were two people presenting programmes about astronomy on the TV (somehow I managed to miss out on Carl Sagan)- Patrick Moore, and Heather Couper.

So I'd like to raise a glass to Carolin Crawford. Gresham Professor of Astronomy, (a post Heather Couper once held) and a regular on the BBC's In Our Time, which you can download for free. (Such as this episode on asteroids, with Monica Grady).

Being the Gresham Professor of Astronomy, she presents public lectures, such as this one about Saturn-

davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
2012-09-13 08:30 pm
Entry tags:

Dreading Dredd

So, Dredd. Was not dreadful. Which, given its much (and by and large justifiably) maligned predecessor was all I was hoping for when I heard about it. If its basically the same film and Karl Urban is humble enough, and familiar enough with the source material not to show his face, then that would have been good enough for me.

However, having read feedback by 2000AD fans I was expecting something very good. It did not disappoint. Is it better than The Avengers? Its a lot less fun, certainly. But then living in MegaCity One is not supposed to be fun. Being Iron Man is clearly supposed to be fun, hell even being the Hulk isn't too bad. However no-one really wants to be Judge Dredd, and anyone who does, probably shouldn't be allowed anything sharper than a spoon. It's a pretty humourless film (there aren't even any District 9-esque death-by-cow moments to lighten the mood), but its not po-faced. It isn't funny, because life in a city of 800 million people in an area about the size of Scotland on the edge of complete anarchy isn't going to be "funny".

Its a much smaller film than its predecessor. We don't see the Cursed Earth other than in brief shots topping and tailing the film. As I haven't seen The Raid don't want to draw too many comparisons, but the plot is largely the same- I'd also compare it to Die Hard for obvious reasons. I definitely missed the sale that the Stallone version went for- but as with so many comic book adaptations that haven't worked it tried to cram too much in. In Judge Dredd, the Angel Gang, ABC warriors, and Dredd's origins, are all picked up, toyed with, and dispensed with after five minutes or so. It gives you the feeling of a large world, but everything's disjointed and spread thinly. Dredd doesn't even try this. We get the feeling of a wider world, but its very self-contained- almost too self contained. I'm sure there are a fair few shout-outs that the 2000AD readers will pick up on, but are lost on me. And I don't honestly mind. It feels like a short, one-shot story, rather than a story arc. And I have no problem with that, whatsoever. Its certainly preferable to watching it done badly. If this is the start of a franchise, or given what HBO has shown you can do with TV series, essentially a pilot with a cinema release, then I'll be more than happy.

The acting is definitely better- when Karl Urban says that he is the law he's asserting control. Stallone was whining like a petulant child. He's also got a much more expressive chin than Sly, which helps, because he doesn't take his helmet off. Those of us who have seen Game of Thrones know that Lena Headley can do scheming very well, and in a contest between Cersei Lannister and Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal, I honestly don't know who would win. Olivia Thirlby as Anderson gets lots to do, at no point does she seem like a damsel in distress, which more than most women in action films get.

I want to describe it as beautiful but I can't. Because its ugly, dirty and noisy. Just like MegaCity One is supposed to be. MegaCity One in the Stallone version wasn't spotless, but it didn't look much worse than many cities today. This MegaCity? It really is a dystopian hell-hole.

The SloMo scenes are very well shot, and work well in 3D, with one or two exceptions, where it really looks like the front of the scene is a 2D shot pasted in front of a backdrop, like those paper model theatres. However this is the first film I've seen in 3D (there's only two places in London that are showing it in Glorious Two Dimensions) so I honestly don't know if that's a criticism of the 3D-ing in this particular film, or a problem with 3D in general.

There's a completely callous disregard for human life, and a civilian bodycount probably in the hundreds- something, again, completely absent in Stallone's version. I hope it does well, because not only does it mean we'll get sequels (and they've hinted they'd like to do the Dark Judges, or Judge Tyrannosaurus, which could be really good), but it shows there's a market for properly dystopian sci-fi, which I've always had a soft spot for, ever since Robocop.

Thinking about how well the team handled this very massive, deep, and rather British dystopian future, I'd like to see what they can do with that other vast and complex crapsack world, we created- Warhammer 40K.

So yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you haven't seen it, do so.
davegodfrey: Hello Cthulhu! (Cthulhu!)
2012-07-15 11:48 pm
Entry tags:

Let the Horror Begin...


I've been meaning to post this since I saw the first images of the two rugose and blasphemous idols referred to as "mascots", but I have only recently recovered sufficiently from the searing terror of having glimpsed that solitary loathsome eye staring, unblinking at me through the dread portal opened by my foolish reading of certain portions of the Necronomicon...

Seriously, if they're not eldritch horrors then what are they?
davegodfrey: Coelacanth (Science)
2012-06-22 09:12 pm
Entry tags:

Science. Its a girls thing. But only if its pink.

As usual the world has shown its knack for horrific timing. A day after the death of Caroline John who played one of the few Doctor Who companions who could match him in a battle of wits, and who I'm sure did much to inspire many women scientists (and indeed women generally) who saw that yes, you can be whatever you put your mind to even if you're "just a woman" we have this from the EU.

Here's the teaser trailer.

Are you done with the vomit bucket yet?

To be fair, the profile videos are pretty good- here's Joanna Zmurko, a Polish student working for a PhD in Virology in Belgium:-

She makes a pretty good case for why science is so cool. "On Friday I didn't know what the function of a certain gene was, but on Monday I did". That one sentence will do more to inspire young women to go into science as a career, than any number of flashy ads with pouts, lipstick, high heels and short skirts.

Naturally enough twitter has completely exploded against this #sciencegirlsthing, and the alternative #realwomenscientists is doing very nicely. Rarely has the "can we make maths pink?" joke felt more like reality.

If you want to inspire women to be scientists tell them the story of Vera Rubin, who had to meet her prospective PhD supervisors in the departmental lobby because women weren't allowed inside the offices, and provided the evidence that convinced people that Dark Matter exists.

How about Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, who showed that the sun was made of hydrogen, and said:

"The reward of the young scientist is the emotional thrill of being the first person in the history of the world to see something or to understand something. ... The reward of the old scientist is the sense of having seen a vague sketch grow into a masterly landscape."

You want inspirational women scientists- Caroline Herschel, sister of the more famous William (who discovered Uranus), was a first-rate astronomer, and was the first woman awarded the Royal Astronomical Society's Gold Medal (the second? Vera Rubin). Or Margaret Burbidge, coauthor of the B2FH theory, that still explains how the elements up to iron are made, and is an ardent feminist who turned down the Annie Jump Cannon (another female astronomer) Prize because it was only given to women.

And that's just four of the astronomers I could name off the top of my head. You want biologists? Barbara Hastings, Dorothea Bate, Miriam Rothschild, Mary Lyon. We have Florence Nightingale to thank for the pie chart- I'd argue that was a far more important contribution to medicine than being "the lady with the lamp".

But no. We have high heels, lipstick, and pouting. Its enough to make you give up and become a hairdresser...
davegodfrey: Marvin: ...and me with a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side... (Marvin)
2012-05-09 11:01 pm
Entry tags:

Arthur Guinness vs. a Penguin

I've written about Brewdog before- they make rather nice beers, many of which are ridiculously strong, and don't particularly appeal to me for that reason- but they're a good example of the kind of craft brewery that's been thriving, and have very definitely got their marketing strategy right. Grab headlines with limited edition runs of "the world's strongest beer" (well, its really a freeze-distilled spirit, but who's counting), and back this up with a range of rather more sensible quality beers. Good for them. They've recently opened a bar down in Camden, and very nice it is too- it sells pretty much the whole of their range, and I ought to visit again.

As a relatively small concern with a handful of pubs you wouldn't think that the big pubco's would be that scared of them would you? After all, Diageo make Guinness which sells something like 1.5 billion pints a year worldwide. Brewdog's total output is about six hundred times less. They own seven pubs. Diageo own, well probably none actually, I don't think they have a subsidiary pubco, although I'm sure they used to- but then again they don't need to- their products are available in almost every bar in the UK. Talisker, Gordon's, Pimm's, Jose Cuervo, they have their fingers in a lot of pies.

So do they really have anything to fear from Brewdog? Really?

Seems like they do. At the British Institute of Innkeeping Scotland Awards, Brewdog had heard through the grapevine, that they might do rather well in a particular category.- Bar Operator of the Year- voted for by an independent panel. Sadly they didn't win. Oh well, these things happen, better luck next time and all that..

However, the winners refused to accept the award. Because someone had already engraved "Brewdog" on it.


Turns out that some Diageo reps strongarmed the BII into changing the winner at the last minute, stating that they'd refuse to sponsor the awards ever again if Brewdog won.

You may as well go here and read Brewdog's account of the evening, and the aftermath. I don't have much more to add other than "Jesus Christ!"

I'm not sure what explanation there is for Diageo's admitted "serious misjudgement". I don't know what was being served at the dinner, but not even Brewdog advise drinking a bottle of Tactical Nuclear Penguin in one go.

davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2012-03-10 12:32 pm
Entry tags:

That Doctor Who vs Sherlock Meme.

Via [personal profile] magister 

1 Sherlock or Doctor Who?

One of them's been going for nearly 50 years, with hundreds of hours of stuff, and one's been going two years and has six episodes. While I'm the worst Doctor Who episodes are awful (although there's usually something to redeem them- I'm still waiting for [personal profile] miss_s_b  and [personal profile] magister 's review of Horns of the Nimon for example), its really no contest is it?

Unless of course we count some of the previous versions of Holmes perhaps?

2 Moriarty or the Master?

The Master. Shooting yourself to allegedly ensure your nemesis gets offed is stupid. Plus, beard of evil.

3 Benedict or Martin?

Benedict is pretty good. I do like his voice, but Martin's very good too. Having never seen The Office I'm not biased against him in that way.

I too, will have to cheat, and go for the late, great Clive Merrison. Or Edward Hardwicke.

4 Favourite Doctor Who companion?

I do like Amy rather a lot. But she is a tall, willowy redhead, so I think we can see why that is. Liz Shaw is ruddy marvellous. I shall cheat horribly and say The Brigadier, although I note you say "companion" rather than character. Why the hate for Duggan?

5 Favourite Doctor.

I really like Sylvester McCoy's chessmaster style, plans within plans, etc. ColinB is the first Doctor I saw, and everyone has a soft spot for their first. Matt Smith is really, really good though.

6 Favorite Sherlock character.

Molly Hooper. No contest.

7 Favourite Sherlock episode

Probably the first one. That or A Scandal in Belgravia apart from the last five minutes.

8 Favourite Doctor Who story.

The Daemons, City of Death, Talons of Weng Chiang, Terror of the Zygons, Black Orchid, Genesis of the Daleks, Battlefield, The Doctor's WIfe, Horns of the Nimon ("My dreams of conquest!!!!). List subject to change depending on random factors, such as what I had for lunch, and which random epsiode I last watched.

9 Favourite Doctor Who monster.

This is really difficult. Possibly the Vervoids, because even seeing clips of Day of the Triffids fucking terrified me at around that time. Other monsters have better characterisation, look better, and have had much better stories. But very few have ever really scared me.

10 Least favourite Sherlock character.


11 Least favourite Doctor Who character.

10. Gods Tennant annoyed me by the end of his run.

12 The Doctor or Sherlock.

The Doctor.

13 Rose Tyler or Amy Pond

Amy. If Rose had left at the end of Tennant's first season I'd probably still like her. 

14 Least favourite companion.

Mel. Sorry, I really don't like Bonnie Langford.

15 Thoughts of Mycroft/Lestrade.

I like both of them, but as noted elsewhere, Mycroft is played by Mark Gatiss. Rupert Graves is a damned fine actor however.

16 What do you think of Molly Hooper?

Awesome in a glass, especially after that last episode.

17 Do you believe in Sherlock Holmes?

About as much as I "believe" in The Doctor, HAL 9000, or Cthulhu.

18 10th Doctor or 11th?

11th. No contest.

19 9th Doctor or 10th?

9th I liked 10's slighty silly schtick, (but then I was always a fan of Tom Baker's swivel-eyed loon) but by the end of his run (and Tom's) it had become annoying. Plus the whole "lonely god" crap was, well, crap.

20 11th Doctor or 9th?

11th. I just think he's a better actor.

21 Thoughts on Johnlock?

I have no idea what this means. I hope to stay that way.

22 Sherlock or Doctor Who cast?

Which era of Who?

23 Favourite Sherlock actor

Clive Merrison. Although Nigel Bruce was a brilliant comic performance, he's not Watson..

24 Favourite Doctor Who actor?

Silly Answer: Graham Crowden ("Lord Niiiimon???)
Sensible Answer: Matt Smith. Answer subject to change at short notice.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2012-03-07 06:59 pm
Entry tags:

Weighty issues The Fail thinks are important for feminism..

Via the F-word, and [personal profile] miss_s_b I bring you the important things that the Daily Fail thinks are important. And perhaps. in the context of a wider discussion about bodily autonomy, freedom of choice, the way people use language, and suchlike they are. However I don't think the Mail will be much interested in this wider discussion.

Can you vajazzle and be a feminist?

Well I can't, what with not having a va to jazzle. Isn't one of the things about feminism the fact that its your body so you get to decide what happens to it?

Is it sexist to call a woman "love" or "dear"?

In certain parts of the UK, and for a certain generation its the norm. Of course it depends on how you say it. A cheery "what can I get you love"? Is not sexist, is not being said in a derogatory manner, and nor is it intended to be anything than a cheery greeting. An annoyed "I don't care, love, you ain't coming in" probably is being said in a manner to belittle the woman its being said to.

Does Katie Price let women down?

All the fucking time. You phone her up because your car's broken down, and if you've got testicles she's over in a shot. If you haven't she takes ages, never brings the right tools, and complains her sat-nav was playing up. (Look its the best I could come up with. Jennie's already used the valve joke).

Should women take their husband's name when they get married?

Only if its awesome.

Is Rihanna a feminist icon?

I suppose so. Is it feminist to forgive, and remain friends with someone who physically abused you? I have no idea. But its certainly human.

Who should pay the bill on a date?

Whoever can afford to. Splitting the bill equally for the first couple of dates, or taking it in turns might not be a bad idea. If you're arguing about the bill on the first date the chances of their being a second don't sound too likely.

Is stripping an acceptable career choice?

Don't see why not. I won't be going to the show, but if you enjoy it, its not my place to stop you.

What feminist issues do you think are more important than any of the ones asked about above?

All of them?

davegodfrey: Hello Cthulhu! (Cthuhlu!)
2012-03-01 10:44 pm

A statement of intent

I am now gradually moving over more and more to DW. Officially. Most of the people on LJ I follow either already blog here, don't blog on LJ much any more, so the fact that I don't have a paid account over there is now a pain as I can't subscribe to the RSS unless someone's already set up a feed for me.

So yeah, hello Dreamwidth.

Don't expect me to actually write anything here for the next six months though...
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2011-11-17 09:36 pm

(no subject)

Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] jim_24601!
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2011-11-08 08:00 pm

RIP Mr Grumpy.

I keep fish. Until today I had three weather loaches, Sixteen White Cloud Mountain Minnows, and a male and two female American-Flag Fish. So called because the males look like the American Flag. They're mostly vegetarian, and the males especially, are renowned for being belligerent arseholes. Compatible tankmates should be "robust enough to survive or fast enough to escape" They get to two-and-a-half inches long (the females are a little smaller). And they look like this:

I say, until today, because today I found "Mr Grumpy" tangled up in some thread I'd used to attach moss to a piece of wood. The thread had been wrapped around the wood, and a piece of rootlet, and he'd got in between it, probably to munch on a bit of algae (Like most fish they're perpetually hungry, but apparently are a little calmer if they've got something to snack on throughout the day. The stereotypes just keep building up don't they? Its most unfair) he'd got trapped, and suffocated.


Mr Grumpy. c2010- 7th November 2011. Leaves behind two female companions, but no children.
davegodfrey: Coelacanth (Science)
2011-08-23 10:54 pm

The Vega Science Trust

Readers may have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for science communication. When its done well its beautiful to watch. Some scientists have a real flair for presentation (admittedly some don't- being an educator is hard.) But I haven't met a scientist yet who hasn't enjoyed talking to people about the research they do and why they do it.

Its one of the reasons I love UCL's "Lunch Hour Lectures" series (available on YouTube), the NHM's "Nature Live" programme of short talks,(which sadly aren't made available on the web these days), and the RI Christmas Lectures for the younger viewers.

The Vega Science Trust has put a whole load of science videos up on the web. There's lectures from the RI by Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, about how weird pulsars are (complete with the sort of demonstrations I recall from the RI Christmas Lectures of my youth), Richard Feynmann giving the Douglas Robb Lectures at the University of Auckland, and interviews with all sorts of Nobel Laureates and other scientists.

TV? Who needs one.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2011-08-15 09:25 pm

(no subject)

And the one band I forgot to mention in that big post-o'-doom were one of the most entertaining ones. Alternative Carpark's acoustic set, was definitely one of the most entertaining gigs I've seen, even though I missed the beginning. I like the Jagermeister Stage a lot. I hope these guys come back to London sometime soon.

Fortunately LoungeBarAlton has posted pretty much their entire set on youtube, in glorious technicolour, with no wobbly bits, or tinny sound either.

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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2011-08-15 05:06 pm


Finally made it, after repeatedly kicking myself for missing it year after year, missing bands I still want to see, like Sonata Arctica, Children of Bodom, Korpiklaani, Carcass, Moonspell, Turisas, Iced Earth, Alestorm, and so on...

And it was worth it.

Day 1... )

Day 2... )

Day 3... )

Going again? Oh hells yes.
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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
2011-08-08 10:44 pm

Breaking Radio Silence

I think this remarkable woman nails pretty much everything I have to say about the riots in London. (Click on the link for the video LJ doesn't want to embed it I'm afraid).

The Met Police and the IPCC clearly could have handled relations with the family of Mark Duggan much better. They have every right to feel upset, angry, and to demand answers. You'd have thought that the Met should have learnt that lesson after the Jean Charles De Menezes clusterfuck. Burning down your neighbour's livelihood and home and looting a friend's workplace doesn't solve anything. It only makes things worse.

Equally however I want to understand why all these people are rioting and looting. And I think Hannah Nicklin pretty much nails it in this post.

People will get hurt. Houses and goods and livelihoods will be broken. People will be jailed, mothers will lose their sons and police officers’ families won’t sleep, wondering if they’ll take another brick or bottle to the face.

And a thousand more things I couldn’t possibly really understand.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try.

A broken society is built on the failure of imagination of both government and people.

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