Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Latin abuse

I'm not quite sure what to make of this accusation of sexual harassment via Catullus quotation. It does seem pretty clear that the "vos" in question was his unspecified enemies, and didn't refer to the woman who got the e-mail. I hope they've got some good expert witnesses in.

Note to bankers: also steer clear of John Wilmot.

Saturday, 21 November 2009


Matthew Collings is back in School of Saatchi on BBC2 at 9pm on Tuesday [edit: actually Monday, apparently], as one of a panel of judges evaluating the work of new artists. According to the Guide, "Collings in particular is great value explaining the difference between silly tat and actual art".

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Science is cool

It's great that bits of physics are often like things from Sci Fi, but recently it's struck me that bits of prehistoric archaeology are often like things from the genre Fantasy. Take the galloping crocodiles with tusks that used to live in the rivers of the Sahara; or the ancient cold-blooded goat of Majorca, with its tiny brain and eyes.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Good stuff

1) Matthew Collings is on TV tonight, BBC2 8.30pm. He has a beard now.

2) Amazing Nina Simone voice:

3) I shouldn't really post this nice comment about my Kalendars book here, but then I am un(/self-)employed you know, I'm allowed to be a bit self-indulgent. It's from Richard Pfaff's excellent new history of liturgy.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Firefly was just getting into its stride when it was axed, and something really good was lost. Although the film Serenity cleared up some of the open story lines, we will probably never know quite what was up with Shepherd Book. Now it looks like they're killing Dollhouse too. Geeks obviously don't yet rule the world enough.


I've got google wave! Now I can send waves like the people in Firefly.

PS When it crashes you get error messages from the Serenity crew -- it just told me everything's shiny cap'n, which is something Kaylee says. I love the way that geeks run the world now.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Christmas hurray!

The Pet Shop Boys are releasing a Christmas EP, which includes their version of My Girl, which is great.

In other Christmas news I need to find a feminist book for my little god-daughter, whose mother is tired of reading things to her like Rumpelstiltskin, where the king threatens the girl with death for three days in a row before finally asking her to marry him, and she accepts with apparent joy; and The Princess and the Pea, where an idiot prince scours the world for a woman so precious that even when rescued from a storm by kind strangers she still complains that her bed is uncomfortable; and the Little Mermaid (not-Disney version) in which she just suffers herself to death by degrees for love of another idiot prince. I certainly don't mean feminist in an anti-men way, just that I want to find her a book where sex isn't portrayed as a woman's economic asset, and where relationships between men and women might be based on equality and mutual respect. It's a different kind of fairy tale.

What I want for Christmas is a beard from the "I made you a beard" etsy shop. When I got to Palestine, where of course most of the wilderness monasteries don't allow women in, I was very disappointed that you couldn't buy false beards like in The Life of Brian.

I think I've posted this before, but anyway here is the Pet Shop Boys' version of My Girl: