So, it seems that Roger Waters (erstwhile of Pink Floyd) has finally taken enough drugs to make pigs fly. Only joking (in case his lawyers are reading this).
It seems that Roger was at the Coachella Festival in California when the giant inflatable pig slipped its moorings and floated off. With true supreme irony, Waters was mid-way through the Pink Floyd classic ‘Pigs on the Wing’ when it gained its freedom.

You can read the article here.

In this week of Champions League and UEFA Cup semis, I found this old picture of Diego Armando Maradona (see below). Sure, he’s not had his troubles to seek. But when he played, he was dynamite. Lionel Messi could be as good a player. As long as he can keep focused on his game, and not be tempted by the trappings of fame.

Barca have just lost to United, so that makes it an all-English final in the Champions League. Chelsea and Liverpool go at it tonight, and then Rangers attempt to make it a British treble as they take on Fiorentina on Thursday for a place in the UEFA Cup final.

The pic of Maradona shows just how awesome he was, as six Belgians look terrified as he faces them up. I love the ‘rabbit in headlights’ expression they all seem to have adopted. This shot was taken during their clash in the 1982 World Cup. And, surprisingly, the Belgians won 1-0. I was pretty young and don’t remember the game, but the Belgians apparently rode their luck to hold on for the win. Argentina still made it through to the second round before losing out to Italy and Brasil (with Italy progressing from the group and going on to lift the trophy).

In the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, however, Diego got his revenge in the semi-finals against Belgium (when they had a pretty good team). He scored an amazing goal where he went past about 5 or 6 Belgians as he went into the box and hammered it past the keeper as he was pushed off-balance. Like I said, dynamite. I’m sure the England fans still won’t have forgiven him for the so-called ‘Hand of God’ goal, but the second goal he scored against England is still one of the best I’ve ever seen.

It arrived yesterday – the fancy all-singing, all-dancing box set version of the new Portishead album. It’s got the album on vinyl, the single on vinyl, the whole lot on limited edition USB stick (see below), and also 5 films they’ve shot on the USB too.
So far I’ve listened to the album twice and it’s sounding good. Portishead albums can take a wee while to get your head into, and this one seems to be the same. It’s hauntingly beautiful, and is very different. There’s almost a machine-like quality to a number of the tracks, in the way they’ve used the percussion to almost grate with the harmony. It’s hugely great and hugely unusual.
Although what else would you expect from such esteemed pioneers of music?

Repelling and Attracting

April 29, 2008

The repelling refers to the two ads you can see below. They’re fantastic ads for an insect repellant spray. Simple, and they use the visual to do all the work.

And the attracting? Well, that appears to be the flat. We’ve had a steady stream of people round to have a look, and we’ve already got a note of interest. Not bad after 5 days. I hope it’s over pretty quickly – keeping the flat clean and tidy isn’t easy with a 4 3/4 year old running the show. Anyways, like I said, so far so good. Let’s hope they continue to arrive like the proverbial flies…

How we see the world.

April 28, 2008

I came across this fantastic map of the world, where the designer has taken the web suffixes and used them to create the map. I think it looks pretty good. Nice and simple.

It reminded me of this fantastic version of the London Underground map (see below). It takes the history of popular music and traces it using a different tube line for each genre. It’s a great conversation (argument?) starter after you’ve had a few beers. Mine sits on the wall in the kitchen, well in view of the dining table, and almost nobody can resist their own little tuppence-worth on who’s there that shouldn’t be and who’s not there that should be. It was done in association with the Guardian newspaper, and you can still buy them at the Transport for London shop. For just £9.95 [here]

music-on-the-tube-map1

And that, in turn, reminded me of the David Shrigley version of the underground map. I reckon he’s got it just about right, based on standards of service.

David Shrigley is an artist who uses minimalist form to get across ideas. They are normally quite obscure ideas, but beautifully executed, from a mind you suspect isn’t entirely sane. I mean that in the nicest possible way – that I doubt he sees the world the same way as most people. You can see a short-film that he and Chris Shepherd made here.

There are a number of collections of his work available, and I guarantee you it’s a lovely way to see the world entirely differently. Go on, have a peek. You might just love what you see.

Space Invaders. You just can’t whack it. Everyone’s played it to death.
But when was the last time you had a go?
Play it online here.

I’ve also been playing Apeiron (which is much like Centipede). It rocks.
It’s a shareware game, so you can use it for 30 days for free. And then it’s only 15 dollars.
Download it. Play it. Get addicted. Buy it. Find it here.

The reason I reckon I like these old games is that you can just spend 10 or 15 minutes playing them. You don’t have to take a sabbatical and retreat inwards for months on end to crack them.
They’re simple shoot ’em ups. Have a bash and then crack on with your day.
The only trouble might be getting the Space Invaders ‘music’ out of your head.

I almost always spend Saturday with my daughter Maisie. Today we did potato printing, made cards for Grumps and Auntie Cath and then went to the National Museum of Scotland. They’re closing a huge part of the museum for 3 years as it undergoes a transformation into a modern interactive offering. So this weekend they’ve gone beyond the call of duty and are having a last big hurrah before they close. Tomorrow (Sunday) is the last time you’ll ever be able to see the fish in the big, shallow tanks that they look so at home in. When the museum re-opens the fish will be gone. (The lady at the museum explained that 60-odd years ago they put the fish tanks in to add moisture to the air to protect the exhibits. Almost the whole of the basement is a filtration tank for the fish ponds. When it re-opens the filtration tank will be another floor for people to enjoy, as modern air conditioning units can add moisture in a more accurate manner and take up a fraction of the space.) I’ve suggested that they have some sort of fish, or I’m sure there will be many unhappy kids. Half the time that’s all Maisie really wants to see. (If your child will miss the fish as much as Maisie, they have huge Koi carp at the Botanics in the hot-house). So we went along to say goodbye to the fish. And Maisie had a ball, drawing and making badges and seeing the Millennium clock doing its stuff. There were things on all day, the highlight of which were the Taiko Japanese Drummers. They made a fair bit of noise, but it was fantastically rhythmic and unusual. This is what Maisie made of it (you can almost see the drummers in the background, one floor below us, but that’s what I get for taking the picture on my soon-to-be-replaced mobile).

Not a big fan of noise, is Maisie. But she loves the museum. So we’d like to say: good luck with the alterations.
It may take three years, but we’ll be back. And we hope that there are some (quiet) fish to welcome us.