The Feastingonroadkill family are going for this years annual holiday - au bord de la mer in sunny Nice.
I confidently expect to be watching from the balcony as Audrey Hepburn lookalikes on mopeds, having just carried out audacious jewel robberies, are pursued by world weary Flics resembling Jean Paul Belmondo.
We can but hope. More to follow in a week or so. In the meantime, enjoy the 21st century, it’s later than you think…
See post below. Me, I quite rated the book. I’ve also worked with Demos in the past (on trust in public services), and do quite like them.
I’m even more impressed now, by their ability to piss off politicians: from here
”How galling it was for Glasgow’s civic leaders to spend perfectly good council taxpayers’ money on a report about the future of the city and last week be told conclusions they do not want to hear.
Melissa Mean, of Demos, the think tank which carried out the survey, said: “In terms of new ideas to sustain the urban renaissance, our cities are running on empty. The cultural arms race of mainstream regeneration policy has become formulaic and is delivering diminishing returns for people and places. When every city has commissioned a celebrity architect and pedestrianised a cultural quarter, our cities are at risk of all becoming the same.”
Ms Mean referred to “the growing imagination deficit holding back UK cities”. She was not talking just about our dear green place. But the remarks were made in the context of a report called The Dreaming City: Glasgow 2020 and the power of mass imagination. (There may have been a wee hint in the title of what the city fathers could have expected.)
Ms Mean claimed city officialdom had a blinkered vision constructed of buzz phrases such as “step change and transformation”, “world-class city”, “opportunity and choice”, “one voice, one vision”, which were alien to the population at large.
What Ms Mean said was: “Told in jargon-laden language by a spidery organogram of organisations in a web of strategy documents and conference speeches, the official future is a set of implicit assumptions which constrain a city’s parameters for innovation and decision-making.” Which is niftily jargonesque in its own right. “
”Surgeons have hit out at a Merseyside radio station for offering breast augmentation as a competition prize. A total of 40 women entered Juice FM’s phone-in contest to win the enhancement operation valued at about £4,000.
However, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has condemned the competition saying it was “dangerous and highly unethical”. A station spokeswoman said finalists had been psychologically tested to ensure suitability for surgery.”
”A teenager was taken to hospital after overdosing on espresso coffee.
Jasmine Willis, 17, developed a fever and began hyperventilating after drinking seven double espressos while working at her family’s sandwich shop. The student, of Stanley, County Durham, was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, where doctors confirmed she had overdosed on caffeine.
She has since made a full recovery and is now warning others about the dangers of excessive coffee drinking. Ms Willis, who had thought the coffees were single measures, said the effects were so severe that she began laughing and crying for no reason while serving customers at the shop.”
“…the swinging, pervasive confidence of that generation unsettled vulnerable host societies in the same way as have western consumerism, television and tourism. In a rapidly changing world, local people who wish to preserve their identity must now retreat into insular communities, even turn against the invaders, whether they wear bell bottoms, DKNY or combat fatigues.”—Al Qaida: All the fault of Hippies? From here
“Pop culture used to be like LSD – different, eye-opening and reasonably dangerous. It’s now like crack – isolating, wasteful and with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.”—Peter Saville. From ICon Magazine’s ‘50 Manifestos for modern architecture.’
“My wife’s at far greater risk being a civilian in Washington DC than an average civilian in Iraq.”—'You Really Can't Make This Stuff Up' dept: continued. Wisdom courtesy of Senator Steve King (Rep. Iowa)
“I always think that what Richard Boon and Howard Devoto did bringing the Sex Pistols to Manchester on June 4th  was the same thing as the Germans putting Lenin into a cattle cart and sending the railway train into Russia. They sent this firebrand, this spark to fuck up the Russians, which of course it did. It caused a revolution.”—Tony Wilson. Music and Cities visionary. RIP
This from the US Naval War College here. Sums it up pretty succinctly.
”Imagine a great metropolis covering hundreds of square miles. Once a vital component in a national economy, this sprawling urban environment is now a vast collection of blighted buildings, an immense petri dish of both ancient and new diseases, a territory where the rule of law has long been replaced by near anarchy in which the only security available is that which is attained through brute power.
Such cities have been routinely imagined in apocalyptic movies and in certain science-fiction genres, where they are often portrayed as gigantic versions of T. S. Eliot’s Rat’s Alley. Yet this city would still be globally connected. It would possess at least a modicum of commercial linkages, and some of its inhabitants would have access to the world’s most modern communication and computing technologies. It would, in effect, be a feral city.”
How many protesters in the streets does it take to bring an authoritarian government down? What is more conducive to a democratic revolution’s success: the support of the majority or the decisive actions of a minority? Can an active but small group achieve change even if their support by the “passive” majority is very low? And - vice-versa - can a government stay in power even if a majority of the population is against it?
Let X be the number of “dissidents”, and Y the number of “activists’. Ymax is the maximum amount of activists with a constant X. Then
where A is the positive constant of the size, thousands of people/%.
Let Ymin be the minimal amount of activists that can be mobilised. Then
Ymin=B*(X-XO) if X>XO (2)
where XO is the number of X after which activists mobilise spontaneously even in the absence of organisation from the opposition. B is the positive constant of the size, thousands of people/%.
The amount of pressure on the government can be calculated by the following formula:
- where C and D are the positive constants of the size, thousands of people/% and F is an unlimited value.
Let Fmin be the minimal level of pressure on the government that it can sustain. Then we can see the “revolution line” from the function (3) as the derivative of X and Y
Y=(Fmin/D) -(C/D)*X (4)
If the points X and Y emerge above the revolution line, than the revolution will succeed; if below, it will fail.
The combination of dependencies (1), (2), and (4) gives us a graphic model of revolutions (see picture 1).
The left bottom square limited by the line OX and lines Y=A*X, Y=B*(X-XO) and Y=(Fmin/D) - (C/D)*X is the area of the revolution failure. In any amount of value of X and Y the pressure will not be sufficient enough to cause governmental defeat.
The right top square denoted by Y=A*X, Y= B*(X-X0) и Y=(Fmin/D) - (C/D)*Х is the area of revolution’s success.
If the level of mass support for the opposition is low X
If the mass support for the opposition exceeds the critical point X>X2=(Fmin+B*D*X0)/(C+B*D) (the point where Ymin= B*(X-X0) and Y=(Fmin/D) - (C/D)*X) cross, then the government has no chances to hold on.
The interval (X1, X2) is the area for political struggle. It is up to the opposition in this case to try and create popular pressure on the government so that its level of pressure exceeds the critical point. If they do not manage to do so, the revolution fails even if it did have chances of success.”
"Dangogi, meaning “sweat meat”, is the term used for dog meat in Korea. Dangogi-jang or Boshintang, also known as Dog Soup, is controversial, but the North Korean’s state media has been calling it a prized delicacy essential to coping with the summer heat.
“These days workers sweating to taste boshintang can be witnessed in any Dangogi houses and traditional restaurants in the capital of Pyongyang,” the agency said.”
The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff. Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision.
It’s just a means to an end. We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.
I mean, get out there — communicate. Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.
”—Sir Elton John. You really, really can’t make this stuff up…
”Caffeine may help older women ward off mental decline, research suggests. French researchers compared women aged 65 and older who drank more than three cups of coffee per day with those who drank one cup or less per day.
Those who drank more caffeine showed less decline in memory tests over a four year period. The study, published in the journal Neurology, raises the possibility that caffeine may even protect against the development of dementia.”
”Police chiefs in the Thai capital, Bangkok, have come up with a new way of punishing officers who break the rules - an eye-catching Hello Kitty armband. The armband is large, bright pink and has a Hello Kitty motif with two hearts embroidered on it.
From today, officers who are late, park in the wrong place or commit other minor transgressions will have to wear it for several days. The armband is designed to shame the wearer, police officials said. “This is to help build discipline. We should not let small offences go unnoticed,” Police Colonel Pongpat Chayapan told Reuters news agency. “Guilty officers will be made to wear the armbands in the office for a few days, with instructions not to disclosetheir offences. Let people guess what they have done,” he said."
Not the full time score - but promising. From here
”Illegal music downloading is at an all-time high and set to rise further, according to a report out today that urges the record industry to make legal buying easier and cheaper.
Although social networking sites are boosting interest in music that translates into sales, a growing band of consumers are unconcerned about being prosecuted for illegal downloads, according to Entertainment Media Research.
Its fourth annual Digital Music Survey, a poll of 1,700 people, suggests illegal music buying is widespread, with 43% claiming that they are illegally downloading tracks, rising from 36% last year and 40% in 2005. This year only 33% cited the risk of being prosecuted as a deterrent against unauthorised downloading, compared with 42% in 2006.”
“One can decide that the principal role of knowledge is as an indispensable element in the functioning of society, and act in accordance with that decision, only if one has already decided that society is a giant machine”—Jean-Francois Lyotard
”A group of teenagers, en route to attend a rock concert, lose their way when their car runs out of fuel in the dead of night. They find themselves in an unfamiliar rural backwater where they are confronted by flesh-eating zombies and a psychotic cannibalistic killer dressed in a sheet. It could be the plot to a thousand Hollywood horror films but while these teenagers may dress, talk and smoke dope like young Americans they are in fact young Pakistanis, and the film - Zibahkhana or Hell’s Ground - is the first modern horror film to be filmed in Pakistan
Filmed in and around Islamabad, Zibahkhana manages to include Pakistani rock music, hijras - transvestite eunuchs common in the subcontinent - as well as some pointed social criticism of contemporary Pakistani society. And a serial killer dressed in a burqua.”