Wednesday, June 02, 2004

In order to break the "I must only do random, yet factually correct and interesting posts" perception, I'm going to launch into trashy internet faddiness. Otherwise known as doing stupid tests.

Ever heard of light pollution, you'll?Take the quiz: "Which American City Are You?"
Las Vegas
You Shine bright and partake in all the vices. You'd rather burn out then fade away.

Um, right. Though strangely I've also got the same score for Seattle. Given the choice I'd go for the rainy one. Yes, I am a snob.

Batteries not includedYou're a Speak & Spell!!
You nerd, you. Just because you were disguised as a toy doesn't mean you weren't educational, you sneaky bastard.
What childhood toy from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Once again with the Umming. Although in this case it's probably because about the only toy from that period which I can remember is an Etch-a-sketch.

And why am I the same as Mr Armstrong of GfB fame?

Most desperate search of the day: how did barn owl disappear. Barn owls have disappeared? Since when? And what's this got to do with me? And then I notice the page starts on result 801 [out of 807]. Frankly there's committed and there's needs to be committed.

As for why they disappeared; A. apparently they were a recent introduction to the Americas, therefore had a purely opportunistic existence, hence encountering problems when the opportunities fade due to natural flux. B. Probably suffered from habitat change, through either greater intensity of farming, or adoption more environmental aware techniques, boosting natural competition [the latter in America? Well it might happen]. C. Probably suffered from some residual bioaccumulation thing. For example the population of red kites [1] fell because bioaccumulation of some pesticide disrupted calcium deposition in eggshells [2], thus causing eggs to be easily damaged, reducing successful reproduction.

[1] As in the raptors, not as in colourful childhood wind-blown toys, or possibly sails.
[2] You may want to check the details in that - might have been the protein structure within the eggs.

God, my brother believes in brinkmanship. Just got an email from him saying he's not moving after all. Which given the lease ends pretty soon, and he's been failing to find anywhere else, and doesn't have the time to look, is just as well. Does this mean the landlord bought my brother's reasoning? Which consisted of: We [the remaining flatmate and he] can't afford to rent this 3 bedroom flat between two, and we doubt we'll be able to get another person in to rent the smallest room. The landlord should be up quite a bit already on this property, as it's not through an estate agent, it hasn't been standing empty, and he hasn't had nightmare tenants, all of which he should have budgeted for. Therefore, to save the landlord the cost of lost earnings trying to sort another set of tenants, or loss through agency fees, my brother started renegotiating.

And was bloody well successful. How? This isn't the type of thing we're good at [don't ask "what is?"].

Now all they need to do is figure out how to get the non-paying girlfriend of the flatmate who moved out [thus precipitating the need to rearrange who lives where], to, um, move out. The irony being, the flatmate who moved out, moved out because he and his girlfriend wanted to live together on their own. And so promptly decided they needed to spend time apart.

Apparently my brother and the remaining flatmate are considering acting as if they still have to move out, so she thinks she's got no choice (well she hasn't, but with her, it's best to be on the safe side).

Other people's lives are much too funny.

Except when they're made up lives, and are in films that aren't all that good. Did you know there is actually a bad Bond film? [Bank Holiday Monday, donc Bond on ITV, do try to keep up]. Starring a man who cannot move or sound like the traditional Bond, a bond girl who seems to prefer the villain to bond, a producer so unsure of the actor playing Bond that there are continual references to previous Bond films (including shots in the opening titles, which seem to scream "it's still Bond (just about)"), and a plot and narrative structure that doesn't flow, and doesn't sit with the rest of Bond films [he even gets married].

I am of course referring to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Which curiously also has Joanna Lumley as not quite a Bond girl.

According to the IMDB it also has one of the worst taglines I've ever heard: Far up! Far out! Far more! James Bond 007 is back!

It lacks the wit, or at least lewd comedy, of most other Bond films. It doesn't seem to carry off the action bits that well. The plot relies on previous films, which seems to pull the film away from actually doing anything. It's all just some aimless tedium. That and people pretending to ski.

Though it does have the added advantage of allowing me to get Louis Armstrong's "We have all the time in the world" stuck in my head whilst swimming [and so letting bubbles out in time with when the strings kick in].

Other stuff I've noticed from watching too much television (well flicking aimlessly through the channels):
- Continuing the swimming theme: that ad for Ibiza Gold [dance music CD]. Features girl swimming languidly underwater. Except she swims as if she were a prototype NASA exploration vehicle clambering over rocks. Very disjointed and uncoordinated, with a dreadful screw-kick. Obviously a warning about the perils of excessive dance music.
- British American Racing, Formula 1. Or BARf1 according to the advert on the side of one of their cars. Now I've got visions of a vomit trail illustrating the streamlining of the cars. [This assumes you know the word barf means to vomit].
- ITV News featuring a dramatisation in which Osama bin Laden has overthrown the House of Saud to take control of Saudi Arabia in 2005. In the corner of the screen is the label "Reconstruction". Nice one guys. (And now I know why I normally don't bother watching it).

From flicking through random radio stations:
- I must be getting old. I can now identify who the latest silly pop groups are ripping off, or trying to be. First we have the appallingly named "V" [3] with the equally daftly named song "Blood, sweat and tears" [4]. Hands up if you find yourself singing Faith by George Michael (or possibly Limp Bizkit). And I'm going carefully going to gloss over the implications of subconsciously singing George Michael songs.

[3] So is that pronounced Vee or five? Well someone else already used the latter name [remember them? Probably best not]. So it's Vee then? What's that mean? Very? Very what? And, eh bah gum, thou munst have been right thoughtful whenst thou seekt a distinct name[5]. Because unless they happen to be owned by Vivendi Universal [stock code = V, 6], Google is never going to find them on the name alone. "V band" brings up EM spectrum stuff.

[4] No relation of the Levellers' version.

[5] I have no idea where that bit of dialect came from, and I can only apologise.

[6] Having found the website [not worth finding]: yep they are owned by Universal. Does this mean somewhere out there is a band called EMI.L?

- Another copycat band: the equally poorly named 411 [apparently it's the American number for directory enquiries, and because it's American it's obviously much cooler than being called 192 or 118 ***. Quite what this has to do with music I haven't figured out yet]. Who obviously waited till All Saints had broken up completely before launching. Google's not being favourable, so if you want to check for yourselves, then make your own way there.

It's quite surprising that music companies aren't selecting names that are distinctive enough to stand out on the internet. If it's not in the top 10 of Google, then most pre-pubescents will skip onto trying something else. Which sooner or later is going to be a competing band. Bad name therefore equals poor levels of interaction, therefore lower sales. Is this why intentional misspellings became popular? Though of course they require people to know how to spell it (assumes visual not auditory interaction, but then MTV and ilk are common, and radio is declining).

So brands need to be distinctive and intuitive. Compounding words is one easy way of doing this [though I'm not sure how many of these are intentional]: Coldplay, Radiohead, Starsailor are all pretty much unique combinations. Sidesalad is less good. Moonlight is really not going to work. This also avoids the alternative results gained by searching for "cold play" etc.

It's either that or using pre-existing obscure words, Stereophonics for example. Although having a band called Phosophorylation might be a little problematic.

Admittedly according to these rules there should be bands called eMurgenC [0], Spunkster [200], Blogwright [2], Plethorajack [0], and Amphioxus [13,800]. The numbers in squarebrackets [539] denote the current number of results on Google.

But at least I wouldn't call a band "Meanwhile, back in Communist Russia".

I think I ought to stop now, before I become the Bedlam-bound car-naming monster in Monkey Dust.


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