Thursday, 5 October 2006

The World Wide Web. Good, isn't it?

I haven't felt too inspired to write much of late, undoubtedly to the relief of anyone who has ever read this blog before. I have spent a lot of time on the Internet though, and have stumbled across some sites that I would like to refer you to. These are they:
  • - Frank lives near Toronto and works as a web developer. So far, so un-noteworthy. However, he is also passionate about music and writes this site to demonstrate that passion, reviewing new releases and gigs, and sharing his thoughts on all things guitar-based indie-shaped. Best of all is his "MP3 of the Week" page, which features an artist covering another artist. As an example of Frank's fine taste, just the other week he was offering Billy Bragg covering Bob Dylan in downloadable form. I'm not sure of the legality of this page, but Frank cheerily offers to take down any MP3 that offends the copyright holder, which is nice. Anyway, Frank has good musical taste, in my view, and his site can only enrich your musical life. Go and visit it.... now! Well, after you've finished reading this, at least...
  •'s FAQ - Oxford are world-renowned for their dictionaries, many of which are very expensive... so it's nice of them to publish these FAQ free to all and sundry. Uncertain on the use of apostrophe-S? Not sure when to use "fewer" or "less"? Want to know what comes after once, twice, thrice? All these questions and more are answered in clear, yet detailed, fashion. Seeing how the English language is increasingly distorted and misused all around us, this linguistic reference makes salient and informative reading. As the Reader's Digest says, "it pays to enrich your word power."
  • PeopleSketch - poor old Talk Talk. Their recent "free broadband for ever" promo has backfired spectacularly, as they simply cannot meet the demand. Forget that then, and remember instead their TV advertisements that showed aerial shots of people making shapes by standing in patterns. You know, phones, smiley faces, that kind of thing. Well now you can do it for yourself, courtesy of PeopleSketch - you simply doodle a line drawing of whatever you like (try to keep it clean, people) and then watch as scurrying people fly on to your screen and map out your artwork in human form. I can't explain it any better than that, so just take a look for yourself if you want to know more. No, it's not going to change the world. But it is a clever site... and an excellent way of killing time during your lunch-break.
  • The Telegraph PM - fancy a free daily newspaper? And a quality one at that? Every day at 4pm (UK time), the Daily Telegraph makes a ten page version of itself available for download as a PDF file, for reading on-screen or printing off and reading on the way home from work. News, sport, business, TV listings, puzzles... all you need is PDF-reading software like Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit. Highly recommended.

Monday, 2 October 2006

As seen on TV the street!

The Mystery Machine, apparently
Childhood memories of watching Scooby Doo came flooding back to me recently when I stumbled upon The Mystery Machine, parked, would you believe, outside my local Volkswagen dealership. After a quick check to make sure Old Man Withers wasn't loitering amongst the used Golfs and Passats, ready to mistake me for a meddling kid at the drop of a hat, I had a closer look and secured photographic evidence (left). Sadly, there was no sign of Daphne either though... maybe she was off exploring an abandoned funfair or haunted mine somewhere...

But really, who would have thought that Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Velma and Fred did all their crime-fighting, ghost-busting and scooby-snack consumption in a VW Transporter Trendline? Yikes indeed.