Archive for September, 2005

Austria pics

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Here are some random camera-phone pictures from our week in Austria. I’m missing pics of Justin, Monica and Nick, which is really not on purpose. There are many more pictures around the place, so I’ll have to resurrect my photo album fairly soon and put them somewhere proper.

Here’s a few things we got up to:

  • Giving Sylvia a good send off on her way back to Venice.
  • Catching up with Justin and Monica and interrupting their epic European camping tour.
  • Dancing like broken puppets in Nick’s home disco
  • Jumping off a four metre cliff into a freezing alpine lake.
  • Some fairly sedate white water rafting. Monica fell in. No Risk, No Fun!
  • Playing pool in New Amsterdam, Nick’s favourite bar.
  • Bicycling until it hurt, and then for a couple more hours after that.
  • Admiring Nick’s expertly designed minibar and thoroughly testing it for him.

It was a lot of fun. Thanks Nick!

The start of the week was so wet that Ant bought new shoes. His old leaking shoes were ceremonially dumped:

Ant's shoenural

Here’s Sarah holding Harry, the 10-week old trainee guard dog at New Amsterdam:


Here is the Lindwurm, the disturbingly phallic symbol of Klagenfurt:

The Lindwurm! The lindwurm again!

Finally, on our last day the weather cleaned up. We had a brilliant day of rafting, followed by a meal with a sunset view of the Dolomites:

The dolomites

Roll up, roll up, see the fearsome Camel Spider!

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Regarding yesterday’s throwaway Camel Spider link, Adie emailed me this morning to let me know these crazy “bugs as big as your hand” exist in Israel too:

By the way my cousin was in the Israeli army for four
years and told me of these weird half spider half
scorpian things he used to see in the desert in
Israel. Said they scared the crap out of him. No one
would go near it :)

If you want to see one in action, here is a short camel spider video documenting the demise of an unfortunate scorpion.

Update: want one as a pet?

Yat-Kha & Babar Luck @ The Windmill

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Well, nobody else wanted to go, but I still ventured down on my own last night to see Yat-Kha and Babar Luck play at the Windmill in Brixton.


Yat-Kha were incredible. Albert Kuvezin’s Tuvan throat sung vocals are simply stunning, at times I could swear he was singing two notes at once. Having read a little more about that type of singing, it’s now obvious that’s what he was doing.

You’ll get funny looks if you play them to anyone else, but check out these mp3s: Orgasmatron (Motorhead cover) and Kozhamyk.

From Wikipedia: According to Russian critic Artemi Troitsky, “There are two unique voices on Earth right now; they belong to Pavarotti and Kuvezin.”

Babar Luck

Babar Luck is a very entertaining crazy man to watch. He’s at least as much raconteur and shaman as he is a musician. He’d make a good Prime Minister. I’d vote for him.

Mobile Google Maps

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Here’s what I’ve been wanting ever since google maps launched - a version for my phone: Mobile GMaps

Nick’s Bar, Klagenfurt, Austria

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Nick's Bar

We’ll be heading out there for a week of glamour and intrigue on Sunday. I’ll send Paris and Beyonce your regards.

Stig cancelled…

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Apparently, as predicted by Jack, the Stig gig is cancelled owing to a problem with the venue. This makes me unhappy, as I’ll be in Austria when Stig play The Spitz on the 23rd. Hopefully they’ll make it back to London soon.

Anyone up for seeing Yat-Kha play on the 28th in Brixton? They’re odd as hell, featuring a bizarre Siberian style of “throat singing”. The mp3s on their site are really good.


Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

Update: Stig are not playing in Stoke Newington this Saturday night!

Stig flyer!

I’m still hooked on their “Pissed as Art” EP, so I’ll definitely be heading along. What’s more, it looks like they’ve managed to get themselves signed to 10 past 10 records. Expect to see their new “Rum & Brass” album in a record shop near you.

A Baroque Afternoon Off

Friday, September 9th, 2005

Yesterday somebody thoughtfully dug through a nice fat cable and left half our block at Great Titchfield Street without power for most of the day. Once it was clear the power wouldn’t come back on we were set free to find something more interesting to do. Inspired by Half-Cocked Jack Shaftoe’s fictional exploits I set off with Ben and Stephen to climb The Monument.

In The System of the World, the concluding book in Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, Jack contrives to string silk threads between the spires of several churches, Trinity House and the Tower. The threads are used to haul a thick rope, tensioned by a barge in the Thames, from the top of the Monument to the walls of the Tower. At the climax of a deliciously complex plot Jack slides down the rope to make a dramatic entrance to the Tower and corrupt the reputation of Newton’s Royal Mint. It’s an epic set piece and it was fun visiting the location to see the string of churches while it was still fairly fresh in my mind.

We climbed the 311 spiral stairs of the Monument and spent some time peering from the top, then walked along a chain of pubs and churches to the Tower. It was a beautiful clear afternoon and we could see for miles from the top. Obviously a lot has changed since 1714, but here’s what the 2005 view toward the Tower looks like:

The view to the Tower from the Monument

Open Rights Group

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

A site for the gestating Open Rights Group has just launched.

If you like what you see there, consider signing the pledge to fund the fledgling organization.

MPs and puppies and cards, oh my!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

The swizz of the cards

More NO2ID flash activism. Pass it on to your friends.