Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Rolling Stones and pain

So I was thinking techno, but my heart was rock and roll. I was reading this article in Guardian about pain killers. There are a number orf interesting or amusing things about the article. I was impressed that an addict used a digital camera to watch their parent open a safe where the pain killers were stored. Also I didn't realize that people stole pain killers at parties. I was finally impressed that a person had a safe installed in himself for his pills -- very Philip K. Dick.

What does pain killers remind you of. It reminds me of the following Rolling Stones song. A policeman  came into school to play us  this song, so wouldn't take LSD and go insane. I am actually depressed that the Stones are still giging. Theye were viewed as old and not so interesting in the 1980s. Did punk not happen?

I like this song though.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rites of spring versus Extrawelt

I am trying my best to love techno, but it is so hard. I was trying too get into this electronic music business. One of the bands playing at the void festival on New Years eve is extrawelt. I do actually like their sound, because it is a sound. Anyway you have to love a band that has a song called "Dark side of my room."

However, I was reading the Guardian and they had a review of a release by a band called rites of spring.  Man that guitar sound draws me in. Having said that I have no idea what emo hard core punk is. Thanks wikipedia, so emo punk is like the Smiths played in a fast hard core manner.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Into the void with Monika Kruse

Do you think I am cool. I have not really enjoyed the last few new years eves. Even on  holiday last year, I didn't manage to stay up to till 12:00. This year I noticed that there was an electronic music festival on 31st December. The festival is called void.

Umm,  my knowledge of electronic music stops at Tangerine Dream, but there is month, Looking at the ine up, there is Monika Kruse

I am not sure about Monika, but will listen more.
Hopefully there will be beer there, rather than bottles of nasty water. Perhaps I will turn into a cool techno dude and pull some e-chick. Or more likely, someone will call me grandad. I am not sure I will be there at the end at 6:00.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spying on myself with a security camera

So my dream has come true. I now own a security camera. I can access the pictures shown on the camera from my phone. Unfortunately all it shows is me looking at my phone. I then start to get paranoid that hackers can hack into the camera and spy on me.

What exciting things would they see -- mostly just me scratching myself in the lower areas, and an old man reading a kindle.

I would be good if I could control it more remotely, such as being able  to turn it off and on.
Now I want one for my office.....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Feet of clay

I have so much to do, but I just had a major apathy day. I been feeling depressed, so to cheer my self up I decided to read Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchet. I am not a obsessive fan of the Disc wold novels. I have listened to some great radio adaptions on the BBC. I always though his work was too funny to be take too seriously, but then I read the review of his work in the New Statesman,

The feet of clay was a great funny book, but it was fairly clever politically.
My main trouble with Pratchett is the long white beard.I fucking hate hippies.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scott Walker

What the hell happened to my musical tastes. I love the records that Scott Walker made in the 60s.
It is just so lush and cool.

But why then I am so excited by his new experimental work?

The new stuff is much stranger and weirder. The track below takess a while to get going . This is what happens when you listen to the freakzone every week.

On thoughts of suicide

I am feeling really tired and stressed at the moment. What really is the point of it all? One time I visited Las Vagas with a couple. ON the way we stopped at a huge dam. My friend was very excited to look down, but I was starting to freak out. I kept thinking about throwing myself down. I admit this is a bit weird. There was a philosopher in Ancient Greece who threw himself into a Volcano, because he thought he was a God. In fact I have read The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus, but I was too stupid to understand the arguments for and against suicide

By the magic of the internet I think that the Dam was the Hoover Dam. Doesn't the picture of the Dam make you too want to throw yourself off it?

Don't worry dear reader I have taken steps to cheer my self up. I have purchased Feet Of Clay by Terry Pratchett. That should put a smile on my face -- when I actually get time to read it. If that doesn't help I cam watch this video and think how selfish Phil Ochs was when he left America early and didn't defend it against the rot of Regan.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Why I hate facebook

Some people say I will never use Facebook, I just don't see the point. Then they also worry that their children will undesratnd computer better then them.

Personally, I don't see using Facebook as a big deal, but I have found that I now hate it. There is a certain voyeurism in watching facebook record other peoples lives on Facebook.   Every daya I log onto Facebook to see what "my friends" are doing. At first it was fun to see what other people are doing and eating, but after a while I started to think that everyone else is enjoying themselves more than  me. I wish they would stop posting pictures of all the tasty food they are eating.

What is my life: a can of beans or a plate of mince. Occasionally something different happens to me and I make a post to facebook. I then wait to see if people like my post. Mostly they don't.

I should spend more time in the real world of course. So that is why I have purchased a security camera, and I will move my voyeurism offline.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Alice's restaurant

I saw on the Iplayer that there was a documentary about the song: Alice's Restaurant's by Arlo Gutherie. When I was living in Lexington Kentucky I did go and see Arlo play a set at a Movie Theatre. I enjoyed the gig. He was very funny. I could only remember the chorus of the song, that you "you can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant."

From  the documentary I found that out that it is a tradition to hear the song at Thanksgiving. I didn't realize the song was political.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My career in biology is over before it even started!

Last I dreamed that I was making some biology experiments. I put some big virus in a Perri dish. I covered the Perri dish with some cling film. I knew it was dangerous, but I didn't secure the top very well.  Also there was a criminal locked in the room.

Later I came back into the room. The criminal was gone. The contents of the Perri dish were all of the window. The virus was free. Somehow I knew that the virus had talked to the criminal. The virus infected two people who came into the room and turned them into zombies. Somehow I wasn't too worried.

What does it all mean? Well I am starting to look for jobs outside academic physics. It looks as though my subconscious is telling me not to work in the field of biology.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sherlock Holmes and the case of the stressed Craig

I am trying to do things for a deadline on Friday. This is making me stressed out. I can't read novels or stories. When I am at home, I just watch youtube after lunch while I try to digest the food. I have been watching a lot of old black and white Sherlock Holmes films. Some of the films were made during the second world war, so tend to have some propaganda at the end of the film. Still it is good fun.


Hangover blues

Sometime ago a person I worked with told me that "nobody tells you but hangovers get worse as you go beyond 30."  I was older than 30 then, so I didn't really believe him.

I remember that Richard Burton (the actor) said in an interview that one day he got up and was complaining that he felt terrible. His friends told him, that is a hangover and thank god you finally had one, because you are drinking too much. This happened when he was fairly old and he had the reputation of being a big drinker.

Somehow my hangovers are getting worse, even though I am not drinking a huge amount (OK but more than 2 cans of beer though). It used to be that I would begin to feel better again in the afternoon, but now I feel bad throughout the day.

Perhaps ironically, I didn't drink anything last night and went to sleep early. I work up about 4am and started worrying about work, so I didn't sleep well. As I result I feel like shit.

I am a heavy footed Ninja

On Tuesday I walked into a little kiosk to buy some beer and bread rolls. The woman was shocked and surprised to see me enter the door. I don't think that they get so many customers, but still it was a shop.
It was also a bit difficult because she didn't speak any English. I didn't feel like apologizing much.

A similar thing happened to me when I visited Liverpool one time. I was staying in a pub (it had rooms rather than I passed out). After breakfast I went downstairs to the door. The Polish woman who had made breakfast was standing by the door to the street. I just said "excuse me" because she was standing in the door. She turned around with a shocked look on her face and she said "why are you doing this to me?"

I don't think I walk particularly quietly. I am more like an elephant going clump clump as I limp around, but apparently I am quiet enough to sneak up on women working in pubs or shops.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I didn't like the Prometheus film

So I watched the film Prometheus over the weekend via Itunes. I was aware that I should be excited by the film, because it was a prequel to the Alien films. However I found the first half so boring that I nearly  didn't watch the second half. They try to do some philosophy, but it is done in such a cartoon manner that the words are wasted. There were some good set pieces, but they didn't link with other scenes.

It could have been a much better film if the writing was a bit tighter. The film looked so beautiful in parts and that made my fear for the plot. I have read that Ridley Scott has an opinion about whether Decker in the film Blade Runner is an Android. This is such an uninteresting question that obsess film nerds and the fact that he doesn't know, or even cares about it, tells me he should not be trying to make a philosophical film.

Weekend blues (I hate XML)

This is what I spent the weekend producing.

What is annoying is that I didn't write the code, I was just trying to get it to compile. I thought at some stage the problem was with XML files, but in the end the errors were mine and due to my inexperience in the programming language I was working with. Still I hate XML!

Silence in the city

I like to walk to work, because half the route is through a forest. This is relaxing, even with the millions of dogs and their owners. Last week I came out of the forest  to a little roundabout, with a kiosk on my left. Normally it is not very busy, but last week, one day as I came out of the forest, there was absolute silence. Then I heard two crows squawk their evil song. As I walked further down the road the normal sound of the city returned.

There are too many crows around here.

Julian Cope introduces me to Cold Sun

Julian Cope was a guest on the freakzone radio show  this week. He was talking about his new book:

The book is a collection of review written by Julian about various underground bands. I assume most of the bands are really obscure, but that is more a reflection about the tastes of a modern world. Normally I would complain that there is no kindle edition, but Julian would just say: "hey Craig you just don't get it man. Spend some time offline."

One of the bands he played was Cold Sun and the track was Fall. The sound of Cold Sun totally blew me away, There is a long, but forgotten,  history of cold sun in a blog post.

Did Julian really end his piece with a phrase about "the utter simplicity of beer." Thanks Julian.

I have this dream though. I am organising a big national music festival. I ask Julian Cope to organize a small tent with underground bands. He does this, but fro some reason the tabloid press start a witch hunt against him. He also blows his budget. To get revenge,. mostly for spending so much money, I force him to record a pop record again, perhaps with someone like Adel. It is weird how the mind works.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

ORCA versus ORAC. Why Romney lost.

So Mitt Romney was the candidate with business experience. However President Obama has a much better IT strategy which helped to get the vote out.

There is an interesting piece about orca -- the Republican system for getting the vote out. It seems that Romney's experience didn't translate into good management of IT resources. My guess is that his real business experience was in shutting down companies and firing people to keep the shareholders happy.

Frankly. orca is a stupid name for an IT system. For f*cks sake why did they chose such a moronic name. I for one would be confused with ORAC the computer in the Blake's 7 TV series. I would forever be typing in the wrong name. I would have started a campaign to rename ORCA with ORAC. The Republicans would be even more divided. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

2012 elections for US presidency -- my final thoughts

So the elections for the Americam president are finally over. I was worried that Romney might win, but then I found that the Republicans were talking up Romney's chances up. The better pollsters were more accurate.
However I still remember the election victory of John Major in the UK in 1992. Before hand all the polls claimed that labour would win. In fact the conservatives remained in power. I think the problem was that people just lied to the pollsters. My mum came into my bedroom, the day after the election. She said "the Tories have won. There is nothing you can do about it." I wasn't sure what she was expecting me to do.

Perhaps I am vindictive, but it is fun to watch videos of the losers. It does also explain why they lost.

Spying on Hannu J. Rajaniemi.

I was reading an old copy of Physics World. There was a short feature about the author Hannu J. Rajaniemi. who wrote the Quantum Thief. I was interested to read that he was a PhD student at Edinburgh studying string theory. I had a quick look at a database to see what he did and found.

It looks as though I was stalking him ,but it is standard to look at a person's publications, if they work in the field of particle physics. One publication with one citation is not so good, but then he has written two novels, which is two more than me.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


Last night I went with some people at work to see skyfall -- the latest Bond movie. The film was in English, but with German subtitles. There were a lot of explosions and the acting was good.

I really enjoyed it. I want to see it again, but I can wait until it comes out on DVD.


Saturday, November 03, 2012

More on swearing on German

Yesterday I tried to ask a native German speaker about why to say Fuck off in German is "Verpiss dich" I was mostly confused as to why the friendly dich form was used rather than sich. I didn't explain my confusion very well so the person I asked couldn't help me.

After reading the forum post on swearing in German I now understand. There is a form of you (du), which is only meant to used between friends, or with an adult to a child. For strangers I should use the sie form. So it is more rude to say Verpiss dich than Verpiss sich.

Well I am glad that I understand that.