Sunday, 27 May 2007

*hits cough button* "Yeah, right."

"The climax of the Cannes Film Festival looms, as the jury prepares to announce the winner of this year's Palme d'Or. The international jury, led by British director Stephen Frears, will choose from a shortlist of 22 films. A thriller from US film-makers Joel and Ethan Coen and a Romanian film about abortion are among the favourites.
In contrast to last year, which saw Ken Loach's The Wind That Shakes the Barley take the top prize, no British films featured in this year's competition. "

from the BBC's website,

A British film? I don't think so.

Admittedly, it was not an exclusively Irish production; lists the studio as '20th Century Fox Home Entertainment', a Yanqui company, though, not British.

So it seems the distinction is a geographical one: when Irish films or actors win awards, they become British. What next? I imagine whatever medals Ireland wins in the 2008 Olympics will just be quietly tagged on to the British tally.
In the words of Samuel L. Jackson, during his interview with Kate Thornton,
"You see that’s your problem right there. You British keep claiming people that don’t belong to you. We had that problem here in America too, it was called slavery. "

/end rant.

[Incidentally, the title is a reference to a radio broadcast during the Suez Canal incident, when the BBC were charged with informing the public that Britain and France were entering the conflict as 'peacekeepers'. The newsreader hit the 'cough' button, to mute his transmission while he expressed his incredulity to his fellow presenters, but the button didn't function, and that comment went out live on air. What larks, eh? what larks.]

Friday, 25 May 2007

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Pretty-Picture friday [belated]: one of the world's more recent geological additions [Azores]

A volvano formed in the 1950s off Faial, in the Azores.
[Photo taken by the eminent Professor Paul Hart]

Friday, 11 May 2007

Pretty-Picture Friday: Azorean Lake

[Photo taken by the eminent Professor Paul Hart]

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Kickback ©

If, like many people, you find yourself bored on the train, and disillusioned with the on-board magazine, advertising snacks and extraneous luxury goods, you can try an ingenius game I devised, Kickback ©:
Try to kick the backrest in front of you as many times as you can in a 10-minute interval, without being chastised by its occupant; then try to beat that score. If they hit you, the timer resets. If they change seat, try to follow. Double points are awarded for subsequent kicks.

An alternative to Kickback © is 'Antimacassar Bandit' ©:
Participants operate in teams, starting at opposite ends of the train, and work progressively through the carriages, trying to 'confiscate' as many antimacassars as possible, whilst avoiding detection by the train company's staff. Posing as ticket inspectors can be an effective way of achieving this; participants can patiently inform the passengers that they didn't specifically express their desire for an antimacassar, when purchasing the ticket. Standard antimacassar-tax is 45p. Those who refuse the surcharge, forfeit their headrest-cover; all perfectly reasonable. At the end of the game [read: train journey], both teams simultaneously present all the captured antimacassars to the independent adjudicator: the ticket inspector, and then run away. He / She determines the winning team by deciding who to chase after. Successful prosecutions against you, by the train companies, are taken as marks of distinction.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Thursday, 3 May 2007

[insert title here]

Lately, I've been somewhat absent, as is evidenced by the temporal spacing between the below posts. I've been cooerced into saying something, but i'm currently absorbed in a wonderful book detailing, among other things, the behaviour of such well-known philanthropists as Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Stalin. Unless my audience of 1.5 is composed largely of those who wish to emulate these characters, I doubt any summary on my part would be appreciated.
Rather, I can post an extract from another of my recent academic endeavours - a week-long foray in Devon, stalking animals and recording their behaviour:

Rabbit paused, looking around as if reflecting on the futility of its existence, and the lack of cerebral stimulation in its environment. It then cast a forlorn look at me, as if to suggest that the same insight could extend to myself. It then scratched itself and re-commenced chewing on grass.