Print Story Sheffield family in DIY stem cell controversy
By gazbo (Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:19:37 AM EST) Girls Aloud, Amazon, SVG, Sugababes, Tom Waits, Pet Shop Boys, Pun loving Quarans. (all tags)
When you see a headline like that, it's almost worth buying the local newspaper.


Bit of a mixed bag today - let's do some non-directed diarising, including responses to comments that I can't be arsed to find directly!


There is no need to leave the site on my behalf.  I have just posted a diary.

Amazon panic sweeps country!

I bought Girls Aloud's new single Whole Lotta History on Amazon - the song itself is a ballad, and indeed one which I already own because it's on the album.  But the B-side sounds good, so I decided to buy it at the weekend.

When I checked my email today, I saw it recommending Whole Lotta History CD 2 - this surprised me as I thought that's what I had ordered in order to get the B-side rather than the remixes.

Well, after looking it up, it turns out that CD 1 is the one with the B-Side, and I'd just got muddled.  Panic over - I will call Downing street and tell them they can all stand down.


Glad you like the ZZ Top entry, thanks.  I will get round to submitting my Waits entry eventually, I promise.  I fear I may be lynched, though: my first thoughts on hearing "In the neighbourhood" were "Hmm...If this had some synth pads, and sped up a lot, this could be quite Pet Shop Boys".

So that's what I'm aiming for: 80's synth-pop in 3/4 time.


Can't remember in detail what happened in House.  The patient turned out to have Munchhausen's (plus usual House twists), but I don't recall any major changes that will knock-on.  Cuddy had implied to Black Guy (who, if you recall, was put in charge for a few weeks) that he may end up getting the position permanently, but eventually it turned out she was only saying that to stop him quitting.


As I mentioned elsewhere, if you want to do inline SVG in Firefox, it has to be an XML document.  This is suboptimal if your codebase is not XHTML, and furthermore element positioning relies on the behaviour of old-skool HTML rendering.


Went to see them on the opening night of their tour at the City Hall.  They were really good.  Really good.  They even did Run for Cover which is one of my favourite songs of theirs.  Being from the first album (and not being Overload) I'm amazed they performed it - this seemed to go for the rest of the crowd who stood around looking confused, while a select few of us got excited and drunkenly sang along and danced like buffoons.

Girls Aloud 2 - Larry and Richard are back, and this time... they're not fooling around!

Going to see them on May 23rd.  I am really rather excited.

The Games:

I have been persuaded to see it at Ponds Forge tomorrow.  I have no idea why I agreed to go, but a carefully orchestrated drinking session beforehand could make it more passable.

Oh wait, I remember, it's because there were rumours that Carol Decker might be involved (since squashed).  Not Carol Decker, she's not squashed.  Alive, kicking, and serving Captain Archer, if I recall correctly.

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Sheffield family in DIY stem cell controversy | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Whole Lotta History by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:24:17 AM EST
Annoys me that they just release the crap ones from the album, as I then have extra explaining to do to sceptical mates who refuse to believe Girls Aloud are the second coming.

I suppose it's the ballads that sell though. My favourite "It's Magic" would probably bomb.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Indeed by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:33:55 AM EST
I mean - as far as ballads go, it's alright.  But it hardly highlights just how many excitingly different songs they can produce: c.f. Swinging London Town, which could possibly be described as how Prodigy would sound if they stopped playing it safe.

Got to number 6, though, which is a pretty damn good result for the 4th single from an album.  So I guess they knew what they were doing (aside from pissing fans off).

It's Magic is a definite grower.  I can't imagine it doing well as a single at all - it's actually pretty similar to some of the album tracks on Come And Get It.  Co-written by Nicola, don'tchaknow, which is why she does all the vocals.

"Let your body receive / what I can give" <- brilliant line.  Actually, the album is dotted with awesome lyrics, but most of them are only really genius when heard in context (see above).

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
pop hits by lm (4.00 / 3) #7 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:46:29 AM EST
Song quality means nothing. If the label pays enough radio stations to put the song into rotation frequently enough, it will be a hit. The larger part of the record buying public will buy records that they think are hits rather than records that they think are good.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Yep by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #8 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:52:56 AM EST
For a pop group of Girls Aloud's stature the album hasn't done that well commercially, presumably because it's completely bonkers.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
For the record, as I have them to hand: by gazbo (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:03:51 AM EST
Up-to-date sales figures:

Sound Of The Underground: 313,560
What Will The Neighbours Say: 551,397
Chemistry: 306,490

So it's not stacking up to WWtNS (which was, of course, equally awesome) but it's at least gone platinum.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Considering by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #10 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:21:27 AM EST
That it's no-where near the end of its shelf life, seems a bit premature to call it a commercial failure. Maybe the hoped-for sales figures were higher.

Do you have any opinions on the shaky rumours that they may split? I haven't heard anything substantial enough to comment.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I've not heard such things by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #11 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:27:28 AM EST
But it's probably based on Ye Olde Poppe Groupe Formula than anything else: 3 studio albums, 1 greatest hits, then a press conference.

Given the success they're having, and the backing of Xenomania, I think they'd be foolish to split.  Also, given that they've just tried (failed) to make it in Australia...well, it would seem strange to me for the record label to pay for that if they are on the edge of a split.

So my guess is no, there'll be no split.  But they are getting towards the end of the typical pop-group shelf-life (though they are most certainly not typical)

If Ashley Cole drags Chezza to some foreign clime where he can kick a pig's bladder for more money and thus breaks them up, I will kill him.

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Same with MathML, AFAIK by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:24:46 AM EST

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
I choose to blame this on open source developers by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:37:16 AM EST
Well, I mean why not?

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
House... by ana (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:30:38 AM EST
It's gotten somewhat better, but at first it was "obscure disease of the week" and "It's not the last 10 minutes yet, this guess is also wrong."

Hugh Laurie, though, Rawr.

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

I only started watching it recently by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:36:19 AM EST
But the sarcastic dark humour is utterly brilliant:

"Wait, so even though he complied with your blackmail, you still sent the photos to his wife?"
"I know - it somehow doesn't seem fair does it?"

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

[ Parent ]
Has it really moved on since then? by 606 (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:52:23 AM EST
I suppose there is some interpersonal drama and such, but I mostly watch it for the dark humour and medical mystery. Sure, it's formulaic, but someone dies in almost every episode of Law & Order as well.

imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
I think it'd be more interesting... by ana (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 06:03:16 AM EST
if I had a much larger knowledge of medicine and obscure diseases, so I could follow the arguments. The interpersonal stuff is typical bullying of younger scientists by the worshipped, omnipotent, senior scientists, which, in my humble opinion, should be stamped out. Students think they have to grow up to be assholes, because their mentors were. It's abusive.

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

[ Parent ]
I guess I see that, by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #14 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 06:54:54 AM EST
but it's the genius level insights that I really like. When, for example, 2 episodes ago (UKian time), Chase was planning to be the fall guy because a patient had come to see him with some stomach pain, and he'd just sent her away, until she came back two hours later with a ruptured ulcer.

Chase was claiming he'd sent her away because he was hung over, but House took him outside the meeting and reminded Chase (although Chase had told no one about it) that it was because he'd been on the phone with his stepmother who'd been telling him his father had died, not because he was hung over.

And then House explained how he knew. All rather good, and stylised, but intriguing. Whether or not it teaches you such psychic tricks is moot, but it's fun.

I agree there's a lot of intimidation, though.

[ Parent ]
I don't know about that by 606 (4.00 / 1) #15 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 07:09:38 AM EST
House is like one of those teachers you love to hate but ultimately respect because he is intelligent. His beligerent attitude somehow fosters strength in his staff. Often when they think House is wrong they seek to prove him wrong, run more tests, work later hours, etc. Occasionally House is wrong and they get a better diagnosis because of it. But usually he's right because he's House. His staff can quit at any time, but they don't. He reminds me of an old chem teacher I had who I thought I hated, yet looking back realized that he taught me more than any other teacher in the school.

There is a lot of stuff in the recent episodes about how House is actually a very unhappy person with a lot of significant problems he's unwilling to face, but it's also mentioned that before even his painful injury he was just as rude and beligerant as he is now.

Not all scientists should strive to be like House, but his attitude rings true with a lot people like Engineers. I'm usually a very polite person who seeks to help people understand things. I usually make people see my way with a sort of Socratic method, but there are times that I wish I could just interrupt a design meeting where the problem is mischaracterized and people are arguing in circles and just say "look, this is the answer. I came up with it hours before this meeting. There it is. Can we get back to work now?"

imagine dancing banana here

[ Parent ]
The kind of thing I object to... by ana (4.00 / 2) #16 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 08:06:33 AM EST
is exemplified by the story of Dirac, giving a lecture, who is stopped by a question from the audience. He does a poor job of explaining himself. "I still don't understand," says the younger physicist.

A pause, with Dirac glaring at the guy. "That's right, you don't," he said, and went on.

The fact that this is told as if it's a good way to act, or the way really smart people act, is just evil.

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

[ Parent ]
see, it would be different by 606 (4.00 / 1) #17 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:51:32 AM EST
if following said question Dirac went on to singlehandedly save a little girl from cardiac arrest with an IV drip of something unpronouncable.

imagine dancing banana here
[ Parent ]
Or rather, by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #18 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:05:58 PM EST
if Dirac suggested that the interruption clearly meant that the person was suffering from an undiagnosed lymph node disorder, and stopped the lecture to give an MRI scan.

[ Parent ]
I like the Feynman quote: by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #19 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:08:14 PM EST
If we can't explain it to a bright freshman, then we don't understand it.
Although he was undoubtedly a smug bastard too.

[ Parent ]
And many bright freshment by ana (4.00 / 2) #20 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:15:57 PM EST
were convinced they were [a] the 2nd smartest person in the world, while listening to Feynman's exceptional lectures; and [b] the stupidest person in the world, for being completely unable to do the homework afterwards.

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

[ Parent ]
Still, beats the other way round. by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #21 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:54:12 PM EST
Feeling lost in the lecture and getting it easily from the book.

<sigh>, to be an academic and for this to be relevant. It's primarily my/no one's fault I didn't steer that course, though. I know little of the bitchy primadonnas ruining your family life as we speak.

[ Parent ]
Sheffield family in DIY stem cell controversy | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback