Five Pints 14 1

Music

"To call it Punk Rock is rather like describing Dostoevsky as a short-story writer"

A review of Television’s Marquee Moon by Nick Kent from the NME from 1977.

“…an album for everyone whatever their musical creeds and/or quirks…This music is passionate, full-blooded, dazzlingly well crafted, brilliantly conceived and totally accessible to anyone who has been yearning for a band with the vision to break on through into new dimensions of sonic overdrive and the sheer ability to back it up…"

One of my enduringly favourite pieces of music. Seeing them live last year was a joy and far exceeded the expectations one might have of a 70’s rock and roll band who might be on a superannuation tour.

Scients

In the Smithsonian Mag they give you Five Reasons Why You Should Probably Stop Using Antibacterial Soap. Apparently the US Food and Drug Administration claims antibacterial products are no more effective than soap and water, and could be dangerous.

evidence that children with prolonged exposure to triclosan have a higher chance of developing allergies, including peanut allergies and hay fever. Scientists speculate that this could be a result of reduced exposure to bacteria, which could be necessary for proper immune system functioning and development.

We use this stuff in our home, for the convenience as much as anything. Mind you if we decide to stop I wouldn’t miss the piles of it all over the sink from the litres used each time small children wash their hands.

Freedom of Information

Irish website The Story recently described how modernising legislation would Kill Freedom of Information in Ireland.

if passed, amendments to the FOI Bill 2013 proposed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (mean) Freedom of Information is dead.

TheStory.ie will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified and probably illegal FOI fee regime. We will not pay for information that the public already pays for. We will not support a system that perpetuates an outrageous infringement of citizen rights. The legislation was gutted in 2003 and it is being gutted again. More generally the number of requests from journalists from all news organisations in Ireland will fall as a result of these amendments, and the resulting efforts to shine a light on the administration of the State will certainly deteriorate. And secrecy will prevail.

The more politicians and the establishment lock information down, the more it makes some people curious to find out why. And yet, the politicians never learn in their quest for the perfect bureaucracy.

Technology

In light of the news that Neil Young’s Pono Kickstarter is more than fully funded, here’s a recent piece questioning its point.

Most instruments do not output such frequencies, and almost no microphones, speakers or headphones work significantly above the normal human audio range either.

I love Neil Young, but despite the Kickstarter success, I think he’s wasting his time with his Happy Cow device.

Football

Sure I’m dyed the red of Kenny Dalglish’s shirt since the time I saw him score the winner in the European Cup Final to bring old big ears home for the second year running, but this great piece about the challenges in a relationship across the Liverpool Everton divide from the website associated with one of my favourite podcasts is The Anfield Wrap, is great stuff for any football fan.

Warning, Don’t read if you happen to be married to a Liverpool fan

…and support Everton.


PostScript: I share a lot of links on twitter, but as with much to do with that platform, most of them get lost in the stream. I’ve experimented, with some IFTTT related disasters, using tumblr as a clearing house for more easy access. Shamelessly inspired by the recent launch of 5at5daily by Stilgherrian, I’ve decided to resurrect Franksting’s Five Pints to try and pick the best of these links and publish them here for posterity.

No White Cliffs of Dover from PJ Harvey at the State Theatre

It’s not often I sit down to a rock and roll concert, but this week at the State Theatre in Sydney, we were obliged to do so for PJ Harvey’s Sydney Festival gig.

And, surprisingly, it worked. The muted, awkward, whoops and lack of desire to shake ones booty to the passionate tunes and pounding rhythms from Let England Shake was not just because the resident jobsworths would’ve swooped on us like a Cinema usher protecting a young couples virtue in 1963. The extraordinary lyrics, much heard this past year, in this new setting helped too.

Resplendent in robes, bodice and horns, Ms Harvey and her complement played with our emotions throughout, providing an excellent – yet not exactly mirrored – rendition of one of last years most celebrated albums. Yet another magnum opus from an artist who I think has previously presented at least three.

Moistening of the eyes was even encountered at the opening to Bitter Branches, On Battleship Hill, and In the Dark Places, but this wasn’t a sad concert. The triumphant nature of musical accompaniment provided an impressive counterpoint to the emotionally challenging lyrics.

One of the thoughts which came to me toward the end, especially as they will no doubt soon start preparing for the 100th anniversary of the butchery which influenced many of the songs, is Let England Shake should become required listening before the commemorations which will soon arrive. Remember what happened and why it happened that way, not what they would like you to believe about their wars.

As in Hanging in the Wire, there was no White Cliffs of Dover and nothing from perhaps her previous most commercial tome – despite one of the few contributions from the floor looking for some good fortune. But this was an uplifting concert all the same, and for someone who rarely gets to enough live music these days a more than fitting way to start 2012.

Keep it up Polly Jean, those who continually push the boundaries should always be celebrated. I’m already looking forward to the next time you visit Sydney.

The iPad by John Gruber

The iPad

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Back in December, here’s how I concluded my piece on what I expected from Apple’s then-still-unannounced tablet:

If you’re thinking The Tablet is just a big iPhone, or just Apple’s take on the e-reader, or just a media player, or just anything, I say you’re thinking too small — the equivalent of thinking that the iPhone was going to be just a click wheel iPod that made phone calls. I think The Tablet is nothing short of Apple’s reconception of personal computing.

After the iPad was announced, I got two types of emails from readers. The first group saying they were disappointed, because they had been hoping I was right that The Tablet would be Apple’s reconception of personal computing.

The second group wrote to tell me how excited they were because I was right that The Tablet would be Apple’s reconception of personal computing.

Count me in with the second group. Apple hasn’t thought of everything with iPad, but what they’ve thought about, they’ve thought about very deeply. I got mine Saturday morning, and I’ve been using it since — or at least as often as I could get it away from my son. Here are my thoughts.

Its nice to read a review which is positive without gushing and critical without being ‘ha ha I told you so’. The more I read the more I want one. But I don’t need one now, and anyway, my Birthday isn’t for 6 weeks