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A great social document of life in the 1920s.

is it bad of me to think automatically 'Well there are 7 potential Cthulhu rpg characters'...?

Comments are great, especially for the gun geekery
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One of Goya's most famous paintings, The Colossus, might actually be by his assistant, Asensio Julia


And I quote:

"Experts at the Prado started an investigation last year when José Luis DÍez, the gallery’s curator of 19th-century art, suggested that The Colossus was the work of Juliá after a detailed analysis of the picture."

So what, pray tell, did his detailed analysis reveal that led to this conclusion?

"He based his claims on the discovery of the initials A. J. in one corner of the canvas. "

Someone call Lovejoy...

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Jordan hits the gas, originally uploaded by will_plant.

Jordan Turner-Hall speeds past me at the Twickenham Stoop.

Harlequins vs Llanelli Scarlets Saturday 24th January 2009.

The final pool game of the 2008/9 Heineken Cup.

Looks like we get a home draw.

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I know you make your own luck but it does make you wonder when Martin Johnson is actually going to get a break.  (and no not another of these sort of breaks)

Armitage to main squad and Skinner to the Saxons please.

The whole not picking Skinner thing is a mystery given that he captained  the Saxons to Churchill Cup triumph not so long ago and was then dropped without so much as an official comment.
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It sure sounded like a portion of John Williams piece at the inauguration was Sydney Carter's  "Lord of the Dance"

Dance, dance wherever you may be, indeed.

What is interesting is that for a song/hymn considered to be staunchly christian, I seem to remember reading that Carter himself was said he was inspired by a statue of Shiva.

It all fits really.
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seen in Barolo (CN) Italy.

A Smart car with Florentine number plates.

Not so rare you might think?

However this one is covered in real* leather.

Yes, leather, honestly!

* (in a rather fetching gold mock snakeskin / croc too)

Le Baladin

Jan. 2nd, 2009 03:13 pm
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IMG_5017, originally uploaded by will_plant.


Piozzo (CN) Italy

Le Baladin is a wonderful pub/ restaurant / brewery, go out of your way to get there : you may need to book unless you want to hang around outside and look like a bunch of tourists (as we did)

We had the Stinco alla Birra, which was
significantly nicer than it sounds...!

Stinco di maiale brosato con la nostra birra e con marmellata di ciliegie, fruiti de bosci e spezie...

A mouth-wateringly tender slow cooked pork shank in Baladin's own beer, cherry jam, fruits of the forest and spices.... The only drawback - the lack of a draught session beer . The weakest was pushing 5% and the rest were tastily but head-hurtingly over that.

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Just walking to work from Liverpool Street, passing a nightclub with a laminated sign bearing the Metropolitan police coat of arms  and reading 

  "In conjunction with the Metropolitan Police facial recognition technology is in operation in this nightclub."


(this is from memory and I'll get a photo of it next time i go past)
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Stade Francais have never lost a group match in the Heineken Cup. They have now!

At test match levels in pressure and intensity though not perhaps in technical accomplishment.

The vagaries of the fixture list mean that there is  an added frisson : the return leg at the Twickenham Stoop is next saturday.

It should be a cracker.
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"Entitled TH.2058, the artwork - created by French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster - symbolises an apocalyptic vision of London in the future."

G and I went to the Tate last week to see the new main exhibition in the Turbine Hall.

It was interesting but not that interesting. The choice of books left on the bunk-beds for public consumption was extensive and slightly quirky: Ballard's Drowned World was pretty obvious but I wasn't sure how Gibson's Pattern Recognition figured in this post-apocalypse (-tic) reading list.

But overall I thought, blimey this would be a great flash-mob / advertising opportunity for Fallout 3, after all the Turbine Hall is meant to be a refuge after an apocalypse.

I reckon lots of people turning up in blue overalls with the number 13 on the back would make a quite interesting spectacle.

If you were a marketer connected with the game I suppose you could even do it as a best fancy dress compo, but the issue (particularly without official permission) would be the toting of replica firearms in these times of institutionalised fearmongering heightened security...

But the turbine hall full of people dressed as Vault-dwellers and all of the bunk beds filled would look great.
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from an interview in the New York Times dated 3rd October 2008


“I know about interrogation,” he said, alluding to his days as a British spy in the 1950s. “I’ve done interrogations, and I can tell you this: By extracting information under torture, you make a fool of yourself. You obtain information that isn’t true. You receive names of people who are supposedly guilty and aren’t. You land yourself with a wild goose chase, and you miss what is being handed to you on a plate, and that is the possibility of bonding with someone and engaging with them and talking to them reasonably.”
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An arty one from yesterday's game at the Twickenham Stoop.

Harlequins 42 - 21 Ulster.

6 tries to 3

Danny Care, Ugo Monye and Tom Williams had really good games.

Skinner, Easter and Robshaw ruled the breakdown. The referee's interpretation in this area upset the Ulster coach Matt Williams, but from where I was sitting Ulster were off their feet at most rucks and seemingly had little interest in rolling away from tackles.

Though Matt Williams quote after the game was a classic!:

"Officiating is just so difficult at this moment but you have to be very careful what you say as a coach. It is just totally inconsistent.
We will put in a report. I don't talk to referees. It's like complaining to your mother-in-law about your wife. It doesn't get you too far.."

Although the result was out of reach of Ulster with 15 mins left in the game their determination to attempt to get the bonus point for the 4th try kept it interesting right until the final whistle.

A good result for Quins, the return at Ravenhill will be a sterner test. Next Heineken fixture: the aristos of Stade Francais.

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Frog in Iron Plate, originally uploaded by will_plant.

Sounds like an esoteric chinese martial arts technique...!

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So at what point would a fiction editor have said, "Preposterously implausible especially in Tonbridge"?
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The headline is "Gates pledges weapons, aid for Kosovo security force"

Now this is Robert Gates US Defence Scretary, but it did make me imagine how much of a "James Bond" world it would be if it had been Bill...
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Pirate for PM

Bringing Mandy back was a coup that set back the media in total surprise. I am not sure this is a good move in the long term, but given Gordon's position is there actually a long term at stake anyway?

It was interesting seeing the PoD (Prince of Darkness) on a Sunday politics show, after the Tory PR machine was briefing that he'd been "dripping poison" about Brown into George Osborne's ear over lunch.

When challenged on this there was a brief pause and a half smile from Mandy (which had a shake of the head, Children, children / dealing with amateurs vibe to it) and a declaration that "we'd talked as much about his colleagues as mine".

However I think there is one PR move that Gordon Brown has in his locker, particularly in these times of economic crisis:

Start wearing an eye-patch, a big black eye-patch.

A mean mother of an eye-patch.

Maybe leather or carbon fibre.

Or leather AND carbon fibre.

{this is assuming the defence budget cannot stretch to a cool bionic eye}

I'm thinking Snake Plissken, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas in The Vikings, Jack Palance in Hawk the Slayer, lots of movie pirates, Dangermouse...

These guys got things done.

It would allow Brown to turn a perceived weakness in our image obsessed age i.e. the fact that he has a glass eye into a source of strength.

It would add to his impact at the next G8, UN, or EU meeting.
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I'm going through some books to add to Amazon marketplace. ( Cash flow improvement mode is currently switched on...)

I decided to list my copy of "Bruce Schneier's Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World"


This reminded me of a rather ironic incident to do with this book. I bought it in a charity shop and half way through reading it I got to the point where the original purchaser had given up.

How did I know where they'd stopped reading?

I found their bookmark.

Can you guess what was being used as a bookmark?

Ironically, given that the original purchaser must have been motivated by an interest in computer security enough to shell out £22.95, it was the original Waterstones Reading till receipt showing the Card Number, Issue Number and Expiry Date of the piece of plastic used to buy it!


Talk about missing the point.
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Harlequins vs London Irish at the Twickenham Stoop, Guinness Premiership Round 4, Saturday 27th September 2008


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May 2009

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