Wednesday, December 17, 2008


A scholarly article on the BBC News site analyses the lyrics to Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and finds that the X-Factor winner's cover version seems to rather incongruously apply a Christmas theme to the Christ-free old testament story.

In fact, Cohen doesn't seem to have committed a decent version of this song to tape; as with a lot his later work, the recordings are crippled by cloth-eared producers. We are left with the Jeff Buckley cover as the finest recorded version, which was used with devastating effect in the The West Wing.

Obviously I forgot to mention the other cover of the Leonard Cohen classic, Alistair Griffin's Mark Viduka song.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mr Merdle

As the BBC's Little Dorrit concludes, so real life mirrors fiction. In Dorrit, Mr Merdle (the man of the age) is an investment banker whose reputation is revered in society. He is patronised by the rich and famous, some of whom invest their entire wealth in his funds. He is ultimately ruined with the loss of all investments, forcing his followers into debtors' prison.

In real-life, banks, pension funds and celebrities have lost vast sums of money in the Merdlesque Bernard Madoff, who is now on his way to the American equivalent of the Marshalsea.


Friday, December 12, 2008


Woolworths is probably going to close. Will we miss it? Well when the news came across the ticker on BBC News 24 the other day, it caused childhood sobbing in our house.

Woolworths has the three magic ingredients; sweets, toys and video games. It's like Zavvi with sweets, or a toy shop with CDs or a sweet shop with toys. You get the drift.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Popular Science

Chipboard furniture from Popular ScienceI followed a Twitter and ended up browsing issues of "Popular Science" from the early 80s. This American publication is very much a man's magazine with tips on how to maintain your outboard motor, build a gazebo and strip down a car engine.

Popular Science Man is supposed to spend as much time in the garage as possible, with a huge range of power tools and gadgets. He has a collection of guns, a chainsaw, a boat, a motor home and a jet ski. He smokes, drinks and likes nothing more than reading about oil, sharpening equipment and motors.

There is a lengthy article on how to build eye-catching furniture from chipboard. (see photo).

But it's the cigarette advertising that really catches the eye.

Smoking and outdoor pursuits make you attractive to girls #1

Smoking and outdoor pursuits make you attractive to girls #2

Smoking makes you attractive to girls

Smoking and outdoor pursuits make you attractive to girls #3

Smoking makes you attractive to girls


Monday, December 08, 2008

Heavy Metal

Virgin Killer - Scorpions Album Cover - Recreated by The ApeIt would seem that Wikipedia has been censored in the UK because their page about the Scorpions 1976 album Virgin Killer reproduces the album artwork, which features underage nudity.

The Internet Watch Foundation asked UK ISPs to block access to the whole "Virgin Killer" Wikipedia page in response to a complaint from the British Public. They looked long and hard at the picture and deemed that it was "potentially illegal". The nice man from Wikipedia was on Radio 4 this morning complaining that
  • the album artwork was also visible on Amazon, eBay and Google Images
  • the whole page is blocked, including the text - why didn't they just block the image?

I don't want the IWF to be shut down The Ape, so I have recreated the image in the Ape house-style and hope that no-one reports me.


It would appear that the IWF have backed down.

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