Bat for Lashes – Daniel

March 29, 2009

South Africa’s finest, 6000, recently pointed me (and the other readers of his admirable blog) in the direction of Bat for Lashes (aka Natasha Khan). This track is her new single, which is highly redolent of Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac.

Enjoy.


Daniel Hannan defenestrates Gordon Brown

March 26, 2009

I’m sure everyone has seen this, but if I didn’t post it I’d feel I was missing out on something!


Hungry Caterpillar

March 20, 2009

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The unmissable Paul Waugh in the Evening Standard has also noted that Google are today paying tribute to Eric Carle’s wonderful childrens book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It’s the 40th Anniversary of the book’s publication. I’m pretty sure I was read it as a small boy (It’s my 36th birthday today!) and it’s certainly been enjoyed by Miss Fleet and Rothmans (1 tomorrow!)


Be Careful Online

March 19, 2009

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From EatLiver


Watchmen

March 19, 2009

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Mrs Fleet and I had our first visit to the cinema since the birth of Rothmans yesterday. We went to see Watchmen, the movie adaptation of the most important graphic novel ever written. I first read the graphic novel years back and had been looking forward to seeing the film (with some trepidation) for ages. Alan Moore, the creator and writer of the graphic novel, has disowned it as he has all of movie adaptations of his work, so I don’t suppose we shall ever know how he feels about it, but I was seriously impressed. (I’m going to try to keep the below as spoiler free as possible, but if you have a violent aversion to being spoiled and haven’t seen the movie or read the graphic novel it might be best to stop here.)

Watchmen is set in an alternative 1985, where Richard Nixon is in the middle of his third presidency and the world stands at the brink of nuclear war. The Keene Act has outlawed costumed vigilantes, and Dr Manhatten, the only one among them with genuinely super powers and a one man ultimate deterrent who won the Vietnam war for the US, is working with Adrian Veidt (the former Ozymandias) on an answer to the world’s energy problems. Someone has murdered The Comedian, another ex-Watchman, and Rorschach (an extraordinary performance by Jackie Earle Haley) tries to bring together his old comrades (Veidt, Manhatten, Laurie Juspeczyk  (Silk Spectre) Dr Manhatten’s increasingly disillusioned lover, and Dan Driberg, the second Nite Owl, to find out who killed him and why.

It’s an extraordinarily dark, extremely violent and more than slightly disturbing film which more than earns its 18 certificate, in which there is no black and white, only shades of grey – no heroes, no villains. The Comedian is a vicious, quasi-fascistic thug. Rorschach is alienated from society and sees good and evil in absolute terms, refusing to compromise. Ozymandias has become a chiily, arrogant billionaire industrialist, while Driberg is impotent, tired and overweight, living in the shadowy brownstown left to him by his wealthy, disappointed Father, his Nite Owl equipment moldering in the basement. Manhatten, a physicist turned into a near-God by a laboratory accident, is drifting away from his humanity as Laurie Juspeczyk drifts away from him.

It’s a long film at 160 minutes, and it won’t appeal to everyone, but I’d highly recommend it as an attempt to cut to the core of the ‘superhero’ mythos, asking what kind of people might actually have become masked heroes, and finding that the answer is inadequates, exhibitionists and borderline psychopaths. Who watches the watchmen indeed?

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Pink Sky, Hyde Park

March 18, 2009

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Very Cool Robot

March 15, 2009

From the superb Geek Dad blog at Wired, comes this video of an excellent Sudoku solving Lego robot. Marvellous, isn’t it!