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Everything posted by Ben

  1. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, although most of the book feels like a denouement.
  2. They have, my friend, they have. I agree that rambling is a pre-requisite in a good villain, and more particularly so when the villain is not human. The rambling of Mr Tinkles and his slightly cowed hench-cat is one thing that makes Cats and Dogs so good.
  3. I saw some of the Autopsy for Beginners on U.K. TV and quite enjoyed quirky Doc Von Hagen uncoiling small intestines with abandon and nearly slicing off the fingers of his burly assistants. It did a lot to demystify the body. It explained what goes on in the body better than anything I've yet seen. I don't think the intrigue of these exhibits has much to do with a fascination with dead bodies, and is based more in fascination with our own living bodies, what they look like underneath the layers of skin which hide our inner workings from view.
  4. What about Year of the Rabbit? Anybody like that?
  5. Ben

    The Notebook (SPOILERS)

    I was invited to watch this yesterday with my two female housies over pizza and Coke, and enjoyed it against my expectations, much the same as Sweet Home Alabama. SOME SPOILERS - I have a few questions - 1. Do ponds, full of placid ducks and submerged, ossified trees really exist? That's a lovely place. 2. When do people think Allie wrote the notebook, as the inscription says something about "read this to me to bring me back"? 3. Was anybody else reminded of Fifty First Dates in a strange kind of way? 4. To tentatively bring in scripture at this point, could somebody show me passages related to pre/extra-marital sex? I thought Noah looked rather rosy for a dead guy at the end.
  6. A superb question, and one that opens up a lot of discussion. We looked at a condition called blindsight when we were studying the role of consciousness on my Philosophy course. There's some info on it here. It seems that sometimes the condition we know as blindness is not a failing of the eyes to deliver information to our brain, but our brain's failure to deliver that information on to our consciousness. This has interesting implications for studies of epistemology and the role played by our awareness of what we know (consciously) what we believe our senses are telling us in actually being told these things by our senses. I'ld be interested if similar things occured with our other major senses.
  7. This is top of my "to buy" list for this year.
  8. I just read the interview from Interference.com. Did anyone else think they didn't really answer the question about the naming of the album?
  9. The pop idol format doesn't seem to be being used as far as whittling down contestants, mass teenage hysteria and more people voting than at General elections is concerned. (Incidentally, Phil and I both know Suzy Manning who was in the final three of the last Pop Idol in the U.K. Just a little claim to non-fame.) So, do people think this show is a good idea for the Church of England? Edit: Oh and Phil? You...errm... you mis-spelt priest, buddy.
  10. A pretty kooky album. Could just as easily have been named "Jonny loves Pro Tools". It does take the imagination places, Jeffrey, I agree.
  11. Ben

    The Motorcycle Diaries

    But weren't they chased out because Ernesto was getting a little too personal with the mechanic's wife? Although it is ambiguous whether they hated them anyway and had alreadydestroyed the bike's brakes.
  12. More. See what I do for you.
  13. Na, your post before that. I get the oso reference. I DID LATIN. Oh yeah.
  14. Giacometti comes to mind...
  15. They came bearing gifts....has this joke been done already? I'm looking at Alan's second post but can't figure it out. Oh well. I think I've killed the joke. May as well keep on writing.
  16. Ben

    NFL Begins

    Ha! You can expect next to nothing from the papers over here in terms of coverage of games. They'll always squeeze the scores into the small print along with the baseball and polo matches, but apart from that we can expect articles written by journos who are clearly scared to show to the British audience that they actually might like or even know something about the game, and instead go for that cute kind of British oh-I-don't-know-that-much-really-isn't-it-a-funny-world-this-american-football-lark angle. Quite detached stuff. Having said that, the Observer pullout did have an interesting few pages on Eli Manning recently. And you can always expect a page or two on the Superbowl, the tone of the coverage depending very much on how tense or dramatic the game ends up being. If it's tense, the Superbowl is presented as a reflection of America first, football game second. So, the two recent Patriots wins definitely come in this fawning category, whereas Tampa Bay over Oakland didn't really give much fuel for analysis. GO PATRIOTS! And you're not the only one I have spread the bug to...mwahaha!
  17. Ben

    The Motorcycle Diaries

    Just got back from seeing this. It was the first time I've seen an audience in the U.K. applaud at the end of a film. The man calls his wife "Schatzi" which is a term of affection in German. The english equivalent would be something like "darling", "sweetheart" or more literally "treasure". I was interested to see how the film would handle the moments showing the doctor Ernesto gradually turning into the politically minded Che. Some I can think of: his speech on his birthday at the leper colony. the recurring black and white images of the people he meets, grouped together. the various books he can be seen reading. I thought most of these moments settled quite subtly into the proceedings, but his speech just seemed a little separate from the rest of its context. What kept coming to mind were the moments of a similar nature in Attack of the Clones where the film tries to fill us in on the transformation of the unknown boy Anakin into the well-known Darth Vader who can force strangle people. - You're not all-powerful, Ani. - Well I should be! (da-da-daaaaa!) -I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children, too. They're like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals. I HATE THEM. (DA-DA-DAAAAAAAAAA!) The Motorcycle Diaries had the feel of a fictional prequel for real-life. What interests me is that in a lot of the moments in the film, such as the speech and the black and white group images, Ernesto and his changing viewpoint becomes quite threatening. The groups reminded me of photos taken of military units before battles. It did feel at times that Ernesto was turning into as much of a violent sociopath as a cool, poster-ready revolutionary leader.
  18. Ben


    Selma Blair talks about Hellboy 2 and the extended edition of the Hellboy DVD .
  19. Perhaps, but I can remember that i used to shiver on both sides at the same time.
  20. There are moments in music which give me the shivers. One of them is the part of Beautiful Day by U2 just after the line "After the flood, all the colours came out". Now I was listening to this song the other day on headphones, and sure enough I get the shakes. But I noticed that I only shivered on the left side of my body. Today, I got the shivers whilst listening to the powerful instrumental outro of Flow by Spock's Beard. Again, only on my left side. What's wrong with me? Why is this? Or am I normal?
  21. The Beatles - Real Love and Yes it is.
  22. Are you trying to say that a laptop, sampling software and sequencers aren't the instruments which these musicians have spent a long time mastering and coaxing to their limits?
  23. A little. Samples usually only need to be cleared if a recognisable hook, riff or beat is lifted from one song to another. The court in question has ruled that any, any bit of sound which comes from another recording needs to be paid for, no matter how unrecognisable, short or treated it may be.
  24. Ben

    FaveFives: Electronica

    Heh. Venetian Snares usually operates in the region of 210 - 250 bpm.
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