The Snow In The Summer or So-So

10/09/2006 - 10/15/2006

Mon 09 Oct 2006

Last week - an update

Follow-ups to articles from last week. Mrs. Pritchard got a long and carefully considered review from Alex Wilcock of Love and Liberty. I shall probably start to watch the second episode to-morrow, more for a lack of alternative viewing, but reserve the right to turn off part-way through if it doesn't pick itself up.

The New Amsterdam Review of Books has picked up on the slew of tomes about G****e, and has this to say,

The confrontation of founders who wish to do only good with the complex reality of their astonishing commercial achievement is an issue of biblical scope which calls to mind the expulsion, naked and trembling, of our ancestral parents from prelapsarian Eden into a world where choice is obligatory and error inevitable, a blessing and a burden upon themselves and what Milton called, with mixed feelings, their hapless seed.

The Tony Benn of Livejournal was briefly suspended for no adequately explained reason. It's yet another example of the completely amateurish nature of the site's Abusive team, under the misdirection of its own insubstantial careerist, Denise Paolucci.

Points from Jerry Pournelle's latest mail page include a contribution from a former provincial occupation-governor, suggesting that it'll be two generations before the occupation can properly end.

It'll be today's kids with a fond memory of a friendly Marine or Soldier who passes that on to his kids who have will have had the benefit of a freer education and better materialistic opportunities that really makes the area less of a threat to the West.

There's also a remarkable piece offering tentative thoughts about the Arabic culture. Massively politically incorrect, of course, and it may well be factually incorrect. Treat as one person's opinion.

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posted 09 Oct 2006, 18.47 +0100

News
The curious case of the bomb in the garden shed

Mat points out Unity's piece on The Great Pendle Bomb Plot, in which two fundamentalists have been arrested and charged - one had a quantity of chemicals used to make explosives, the other just happened to have a rocket launcher and a bioweapon suit lying around. So how come this hasn't been headline news? Could it be because the people responsible are white fundamentalists, and don't fit in to the media's current obsession with all things islamic? Indeed, het grauniad's chronology of the week doesn't mention the arrests at all.

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posted 09 Oct 2006, 19.20 +0100

Politics
Two Songs a Week 35 - Chick chick chicken

Ten years ago this week, Stephen Jones had his biggest hit. You're gorgeous was released under his Babybird bandname, the second single from their Ugly/Beautiful album. Jones had begun the group as an art project in the early 90s, gaining some exposure on the John Peel show. A perpetual tour in '95 and early '96 raised his profile, enough for Goodnight to scrape a place in the top 30 in early August. The commercial success of Gorgeous - which would hold down a place in the top 30 sales charts into the new year - ensured that the fickle indie fans didn't see him as one of their own any more, while the commercial public took one listen to follow-up singles Candy girl (number 14 in February 1997) and Cornershop (number 37 in May) and said, "No, thank you." Radio 1 put both records onto their A-list, but commercial success eluded the group.

After a limited edition album of offcuts, There's Something Going On was the next proper album, released in 1998, and generating three top 30 hit singles. The band rather drifted away after this, providing only the theme to cookery series The F-word before splitting in 2001. The group recently tried to reform, but had to cancel a string of dates at short notice.

The song itself is, on the surface, a simple love song. Underneath, though, it shows a knowledge of a particularly seedy side of life, where gender politics rule all. It's perhaps more famous as a symbol of autumn 1996 than the quality would merit, and it's as a piece of nostalgia that I offer it for your consideration and review.

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posted 09 Oct 2006, 20.00 +0100

Two Songs a Week

Tue 10 Oct 2006

Unreality television

Gabriel Range's and Simon Finch's third futurementary (a fake documentary set in an alternative future) went out on More 4 last night. It's by far the least credible of the duo's work, and not just because it was interrupted by commercials.

The standard was set by Daniel Percival's and Simon Chinn's Smallpox 2002 (BBC News / Wall to Wall for BBC-2, February 2002), which posited an outbreak of smallpox caused by a lone religious nut. Shown in the climate of fear during early 2002, when a government-sponsored nut was sending packets of anthrax through the post, this was an all-to realistic and disturbing production. (Full plot summary.)

Spotting a gap in the market, Range and Finch developed ideas further. The Day Britain Stopped (Wall to Wall for BBC-2, May 2003) shows the fragility of the transport network around London, culminating in a mid-air plane collision. There are some jarring points in the production - almost all the action took place in the London area, with only a train crash and a football match outside the M25 environs. The football match - a proposed international on the penultimate Friday in December - showed a distinct lack of attention to detail, not only do international matches almost never take place on Fridays, but there is no longer a December international date. In spite of these little criticisms, and ignoring the presence of many BBC brands in the narrative, it's a perfectly credible programme, pointing out the weaknesses in the UK's lack of capacity, though the impact is dulled by not proposing any solutions. (Extended plot summary | Off The Telly review)

At this point, I must divert the flow and mention - albeit in passing - the game show that grew from this idea. The Bunker: Crisis Command - Could You Ruin The Country? has no finer review than Chris's.

Next off the production line was The Man Who Broke Britain (Wall to Wall for BBC-2, December 2004), telling of a single trader who is taken by surprise when the price of oil doubles overnight. The programme's central point - that personal gain can cause social ruin - remained completely unsupported. It claimed, repeatedly, that derivatives were "weapons of financial destruction" yet proposed its economic ruin from a simple contractual clause. It posited a crash in the economy, but utterly failed to explain how this had come about. Even the inclusion of CNBC's resident eccentric, Bill Hubard, couldn't save the programme from collapsing under its own hubris. (Plot summary from Het Grauniad | Criticism from Bloomberg)

Which brings us to last night's Death of a President (Wall to Wall / Filmfour for More 4, October 2006). Unlike previous Range and Finch work, we have to step into an alternate present, one where Candidate X somehow persuaded people that he, and not John Kerry, had won the 2004 election. Indeed, the programme's counterfactuality appears to date back to 2000, when the same candidate's loss to Al Gore also appears to have been reversed.

For the hard of thinking, the following paragraph contains big, hulking, SPOILERS! Oh.

The drama's plot is thin to the point of being a crochet. In the opening part, the motorcade carrying President X (no, that's never going to sound sensible) comes to a halt when protesters start to stage a sit-down protest. Rather than wait for security to drag the protesters away, surely the first instinct would be to throw the cars into reverse and seek one of the many alternative routes. Back in real life, the Republican shadow government exploits the convenience of not being the real president, preferring to confine protestors many blocks away from its minions. Would the police force of Chicagou, where the drama is set, really act in such an incompetent manner?

After X's assassination, there's a backlash against convenient targets - Syria takes the early rap, then prejudicial remarks from an establishment spokey ensures that a man is convicted of nothing more than fitting a stereotype. Oh, and there's a further restriction of civil liberties passed as a temporary measure, later made permanent - surely this has to rely on a Republican majority in both houses, and that depends on a Democrat president. As in Smallpox 2002, the drama attributes responsibility to a single lone nut - in this case, a Gulf War II: Kuwait soldier, who loses a son in the occupation of Iraq and blames the putatively-ruling Republican junta.

Range and Finch have learned from their previous mistakes - the news channels presented in this piece are clearly fictional, and used only briefly. The pressure on the investigative authorities to deliver a result, even if it's the wrong result, is both credible and familiar from previous botched jobs (another link to the anthrax scare there.)

However, these details can't overcome the sheer implausibility of the plot. It is, I suppose, possible that a government could be so Macchiavelian as to organise the assassination of its own head. But by positing a Republican victory - and appointing Richard Chainey as president would posit the Reps winning in the last two presidential elections - we're asked to take at face value the assumption that the United Stations would allow themselves to be governed by a bunch of despots who would exploit the death of one of their own for political ends.

Most glaringly, there's no mention on how this event affects the 2008 presidential election. Would Mr. Chainey have retained his country's highest office? Would other factors have conspired to see him removed from office? Had the Republicans assumed office by 2004, we can assume that they would actually have implemented their ludicrous don't-tax-but-spend policy, one they propounded from the opposition benches, safe in the knowledge that they would never have to deliver such a recession-inducing disaster. Oh, sorry, basic economics is beyond Range and Finch, as much as it's beyond the Reps. Indeed, would we have seen the usual attempts by defeated Republicans to ignore the popular vote and install their man instead?

Ultimately, this drama takes counterfactualism just one step too far. Replacing Mr. Kerry with the Connecticut drunkard is one leap of faith. Implying that the Republican-written bill against United Stations (the PAT ROT bill, if I remember correctly) managed to get through the legal process is a further leap into the implausible. That fundamental freedoms could be removed by a completely unelected cabal would surely cause riots on the streets that made the fictionalised Chicagou protests look like a cream tea party. The world portrayed here is scary, and scarcely more credible than the clearly-fictionalised universe of 17, where Jim Robinson from Neighbours can (briefly) become the most powerful person on the planet.

That's the level Range and Finch are operating on - internally consistent, superficially plausible, yet just too far removed from reality to make sense.

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posted 10 Oct 2006, 19.58 +0100

Politics| Television

Wed 11 Oct 2006

Writing like an economist

The Economist style guide in a nutshell:

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posted 11 Oct 2006, 19.52 +0100

Blogging| Print

Thu 12 Oct 2006

In memoriam

The death has been announced of Richard Sedgley, a security solution, who was killed following a roadside explosion in Dhi Qar. He was 32.

Richard was in the same teaching class as me for the majority of our time in primary school, and through into middle school. Though the lads of Mrs Thomas's class were so difficult to split that we were all taken into one class at the middle school, I couldn't honestly say that I ever knew Richard all that well. He came across as a beefy lad, but behind the muscle was a definite intellect and respect for learning. Richard was an accomplished player of the French horn, and his swift wit ensured he was never lost for words.

When Mrs. Thomas's class was finally split, on entry to the high school, Richard became very much a face in the crowd. We'd see each other from time to time, and say hello, but that was about the limit of our interaction. I assmue - though I don't even know for sure - that Richard took his GCSE examinations before leaving school. It certainly wasn't a surprise to learn that he had decided to exploit his physical presence.

This news, sadly, is evidence that year head Mrs. Rodgers was right. The Codsall High class of 1990 will never again be gathered in one room.

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posted 12 Oct 2006, 19.08 +0100

Introspective

Fri 13 Oct 2006

A short public service announcement

There now follows a public service announcement for those who still use Six Apart's ad-infested Livejournal and are annoyed at the inordinately long delays when mousing over a user icon.

1. Go here.

2. Remove the tick by Contextual popup.

3. Select Save Changes.

4. That's it.

In their infinite wisdom, the advertisement brokers have decreed that everyone is on a fast connection, is prepared to accept insecure Javascript, and wishes to see all sorts of nonsense about their correspondents and reading list.

Alternatively, and if you're using Firefox, install the No Script extension and block all Javascript from livejournal.com. You will lose absolutely nothing, and gain plenty of time, during which you might wish to seek a better blogging platform.

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posted 13 Oct 2006, 18.59 +0100

Six Apart Is Useless
Two Songs a Week 36 - An Irishman walked into a bar...

Reamonn Garvey, an Irishman in Germany, formed the group that took his name in 1998. Their style is very much in the traditions of both countries - strong lyrics set to a near-classical orchestration. The career highlight is Supergirl, the first single from the band's 2000 debut Tuesday. This year's Wish is the group's fifth album, and I'm picking out the second single Tonight, more for being the current Reamonn single than for any special brilliance. Everything the group does is this good. If you like Silbermond, or the Cranberries, or the Guano Apes, or Juliet Turner, this might be up your street.

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posted 13 Oct 2006, 19.14 +0100

Two Songs a Week

Sat 14 Oct 2006

Make it count

The latest Iraq death count has been published (PDF file). It's 655,000 (σ≈135,000). Good Mathematics, Bad Mathematics suggests that this figure is an excellent upper bound, and is more likely to be closer to the true figure than most other methodologies. We can cite a figure of "over half a million civilian casualties" and (at least so far as methodology is concerned) sleep soundly at night. The innumerate shysters who would suggest a figure barely one-tenth of this are deluded beyond measure. We have written to Rosa Klebb, and will report back.

Dear Mrs. Beckett,

In comments regarding a paper published in The Lancet, you are quoted as saying, The numbers that the Lancet has extrapolated are a substantial leap from other figures.

As you will have seen from the paper itself, the researchers performed a random sample. This is a statistically valid method of gathering data. It is used to compile the domestic unemployment figures and to conduct the crime survey. Mortality rates gathered by this method in Darfur has been accepted by your department without question.

The figures presented in The Lancet are not extrapolations: they are scientifically valid best estimates. A previous survey by the same method produced results consistent with other researchers.

Could you please explain the scientific argument you have with this report.

Yours sincerely,
Weaver

In an unrelated GMBM comment, Quitter posits five planks of a denialist argument:

Denialist arguments are contructed from
1) Conspiracy theories,
2) selectivity (quote-mining, magnifying doubt or only looking at one paper, or one result in the face of all other data),
3) fake experts,
4) impossible expectations of proof (also known as moving goalposts or magnifying doubt) and
5) logical fallacies (red herrings, argument from analogy etc.).

In this example, the denialists are clearly guilty of a type-4 error - The Lancet's report is only accurate to within a quarter of a million either way, and the innumerates are using this as an excuse to deny the paper as a wild guess. Their own guesses combine a type-2 error (only looking at the data they see, not seeking it out) and type-3 (yes, I'm calling the denialists out for having statisticians who are prepared to fib.)

Other commentators: Juan Cole | Media lens (2)

Mister Blair has turned about-face after the British commander in Iraq intimated that his troops are causing unrest, not reducing turbulence. Richard Dannatt has been making his reports, but they have been ignored by Mister Blair until Mr. Dannatt spoke to a national publication. The place in the denialist typography is an exercise for the reader.

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posted 14 Oct 2006, 10.18 +0100

Intellectual
Choir of the Year

In the beginning, there was the Scala choir, a 60-strong female vocal ensemble who combined classical works with modern repertoire. Taste-makers across Europe picked up on the unusual combination and careful production, and the group is now promoting its fifth album in as many years. I've not (yet) heard the work, but I'm particularly looking forward to their interpretation of Every day I love you less and less.

Though the UK's alternative music station Xfm has given some time to Scala, the pop-classical station has preferred to bark up an inferior tree. Libera, a dozen boy sopranos, did have the advantage of getting in first, their debut album emerged in 1999. This year's release is their fifth, but third in consecutive years. Their work is primarily hymns and other uplifting music, set to an annoying drum beat and cheesy backing. It's karaoke choiring, and two albums was more than enough for anyone.

Last year, the Cantamus Girls' Choir appeared on the scene. We tried to visit their website, but it was broken, which is rather apt. The group is a third-rate copy of Scala, performing modern repertoire in a choral setting. Where Scala treads lightly, bringing out hitherto unseen facets of the songs, the CGC goes in with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It's as if they were a 50-piece rock band. The Cantamus Girls' Choir should not be confused with Cantamus, a travelling choir based in the Home Counties.

To-day's Universal Daily Registertab reports that the bottom is not in sight: Simon Cowell is wading in. His group, six young choiristers, is called Angelis, and they threaten to do for choirs what G4 has done for light opera. (For those fortunates who haven't had to listen to Classic FM lately, G4 has done for light opera. Finis.) According to the UDRtab, "The Angelis repertoire includes modern arrangements of traditional hymns, [...] and updated versions of pieces previously sung by Enya and Eva Cassidy."

And there's more: there's also going to be a group called All Angels, threatening to do "classical, choral, opera and pop". The UDR also threatens us with a Welsh male-voice choir, which would at least make a change.

In addition to their superior talent and better arrangement, there's a technical reason why Scala wipes the floor, at least with Libera and the CGC. Scala's albums have been produced as classical pieces, with the bare minimum of audio processing. The loud bits sound loud, and the quiet bits do actually sound quiet. The other albums have been worked on by the pop sections, and the over-use of audio compression forms a wearying wall of sound - there are no quiet bits, for everything is louder than everything else. Mr. Cowell's track record with G4 suggests that he'll allow the same failure here.

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posted 14 Oct 2006, 11.05 +0100

Culture
Swingometer and Westminster week

After the confusion of conference season, it's back to normal service on the by-election front. There were 47 local council by-elections in the thirteen weeks to last Thursday, and here are the net transfers:

Lab --> Con = +7.40%
LD  --> Con = +1.28%
LD  --> Lab = -6.12%

Compared with last month, the LD-Con transfer has dropped by about 0.6%, indicating that six in a thousand LD voters have returned from the Conservative fold. The transfer from Lab to LD has increased by roughly the same amount. Translating that movement into Westminster seats gives us these ranges:

Con 308 - 316
Lab 222 - 243
LD   69 - 79

No overall majority

In parliament this week:

* Stephen Ladyman (Lab, Transport) compared drivers jumping level crossings to them jumping a red light.

* A proposal for motorcyclists to have their headlights on all day was defeated.

* "Does the hon. Gentleman ever think that the reason why Ministers take such a view about criminal law is that they have not briefed themselves about the facts?" Simon Hughes (Southwark and Bermondsey; LD) secured an adjournment debate on the independence of the judiciary.

Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside; Labour) - "Is the hon. Gentleman seriously comparing Israel's defending itself to the genocide of the holocaust and the Nazis?"

Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight; Conservative) - "What a stupid intervention. If the hon. Lady was a little more careful in the way in which she listened to other hon. Members instead of parading her prejudices, she would have heard what I said, which was that Israel attacked fleeing civilians."

Insult of the week: Theresa May (Maidenhead; Conservative).

When will the Government put before the House the money resolution needed to pay for the office of the Deputy Prime Minister? Questions from my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) have shown that, while the Deputy Prime Minister may not have a job, he does have 18 staff and will cost the taxpayer £2 million a year. I would have said that that was money for old rope, but I think that a piece of old rope would be more useful than the Deputy Prime Minister.

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posted 14 Oct 2006, 18.43 +0100

Politics

Sun 15 Oct 2006

News in brief this week

Whitehorse The governing Yukon Party retained power in Tuesday's territorial election, securing an absolute majority of the eighteen seats. The party will continue its programme of meaningless soundbites for every news broadcast. |CBC|

London Kiran Desai won this year's Booker prize, for The Inheritance of Loss. Miss Desai's book tells of an Indian judge, his grand-daughter, and his cook's son. |BBC|

Oslo The Nobel peace prize has been awarded to Muhammed Yunus and his Grameen Bank, for promoting the development of microcredit. A worthy cause, but surely this should have been honoured by the Swedish Bank prize for economic achievement, if at all.

Stockholm The Swedish Bank prize for economic achievement has gone to Edmund Phelps, for his work in developing the theory of a "natural rate" of unemployment. Mr. Phelps' analysis may have worked for the economic climate of the 1960s, clearly inspired the Howe recession of the early 1980s. Phelps and his followers have consistently failed to address the mechanism by which the natural rate so clearly changes, and - though not yet taught as an example of economic modelling gone wrong - his theories have fallen into disuse. Until this week, the last time they were cited was Mr. Major's intimation that there was an "acceptable" rate of unemployment to bring down inflation. |Dean Baker|

Paris The French international television news channel will be called «France 24». It will transmit the same programmes in French and English, and is scheduled to begin transmissions (initially to Europe, Africa, and the Near East) on 6 December. Amongst other distribution media, the channel will be available online and via Astra II (28°E). |Tout au sujet de ce que vous n'êtes pas censé savoir|

Other people wrote...

Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles Overgrown Path points out that both G****e and Youtube have based their entire business models on systematically breaching everyone's copyright and moral rights.

London Mark Thomas makes 21 protests in one day.

Birmingham McDonald's axe man caught on CCTV. This is not a reference to someone being fired, but is a reference to someone who robbed a store. It wins our inaugral Weakest Headline of the Week Award.

Cabinet split over new rights for gays, says the Obs. After much preening, plans to improve the lot of homosexuals have been run into the ground by R. Kelly (Lab, minorities) and Mister Blair (Lab, leader).

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posted 15 Oct 2006, 13.29 +0100

News
Veil or No Veil

The chattering classes have spent much of the week talking about whether moslem women should wear a veil to cover their faces. My view is that no, they should not. I hold this view not from any disrespect for the islamic faith, but because the veil is worn because women wish to hide themselves from men. It implicitly portrays women as irresistably tempting, and men as irreducible sexists. The latter view, at least, is offensive.

The row was sparked by John Straw (Lab, Lord Privy Seal) who wrote last week that he would prefer if his constituents were to remove the veil when meeting with him. Though he didn't say it in that article, it has been previously reported that Mr. Straw suffers from tinnitus, and would occasionally find it helpful to read the lips of a speaker.

As ever, the radical islamists wasted no opportunity to exploit their myth that the west wished to do away with their religion. Just when the wonder was coming to the end of its alloted nine days, up popped another tale.

Aishah Azmi was a teaching assistant in Dewsbury, West Riding. She was suspended from her job after declining to take off her veil while in class. Her work was teaching the English language to young children for whom it was a second language. The case was heard by a tribunal in September, with a decision expected towards the end of this month.

Pre-empting the tribunal's decision, the case appeared in the Daily Tabloid on Friday. Miss Azmi spoke on the Home Service's Toady programme on Saturday, and came off second-best in a conversation with Ed Stourton. Miss Azmi said that she would regularly remove her veil while in the classroom, but would not do so while there was a male in the room.

Further pre-empting the tribunal's decision is Phil Woollas (Lab, race and faith), who has so little confidence in the already-heard independent review that he wants Miss Azmi sacked now. Mr. Woollas has now poisoned the well of justice, and he should personally stand the cost of any appeal. David Davis (C, interior) has also waded into the fray, though his piece is long on rhetoric and short on policy.

|Julaybib (2) (3)|

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posted 15 Oct 2006, 13.40 +0100

Politics
Music in week 41

Very little happening this week; FAF Larage moves to the top in France, where a children's reggae version of Ça plane pour moi makes the top 20. Roxette return, One wish lands at number 2 in their native Sweden. Three re-entries for Kashmir in the Danish top 20, but nothing can budge Trine Dyrholm from the top spot.

North Europe's Top Twenty

 20 20 Stacey Ferguson - London bridge
 19 18 Kooks - She moves in her own way
 18 16 Evanescence - Call me when you're sober
*17 NE Cassie - Me and you
 16 13 Pink - You and your hand
 15  9 Robbie Williams - Rudebox
*14 14 Killers - When you were young
 13 15 Basshunter - Boten Anna
 12  8 Nelly Furtado - Maneater
 11  6 Shakira - Hips don't lie
 10 11 Cascada - Everytime we touch
  9  2 Lemar - It's not that easy
* 8 10 Fratellis - Chelsea digger
  7  7 Muse - Starlight
* 6 12 Bob Sinclar - Rock this party
* 5 NE Razorlight - America
  4  3 Justin Numberwang - Hairyback
* 3  4 Lily Allen - LDN
* 2  5 Seizure Sisters - I don't feel like dancing
* 1  1 Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous

Cassie is a Yankee soft-soul singer. Razorlight, British number one, see last week.

Another week, another new number one. Razorlight's turn at the top is restricted to a single week, making way for My Chemical Romance to take a surprise chart-topper. The band only hit the top 40 in summer last year, and then barely scraping places in the top 20. However, Welcome to the black parade turns from near-vaudeville into a stomping rock number and back again. It's not on the same level as Bohemian rhapsody, but the song bears far more analysis than the faceless dance acts that ruled the roost a few years ago.

It's also worth noting that 2006 has already been a fantastic year for alternative music. The Chemicals and Razorlight join Lily Allen, Orson, and the Arctic Monkeys on the playlists of any decent rock station; by my reckoning, we have to go back to 1999 (Fatboy Slim, Offspring, Kravitz, Oizo, Luhrmann) to record as many as five alternative toppers. We should also note that their 23-1 climb is the fastest since the introduction of pre-release downloads some months ago, and is only beaten by three records from more sane times.

Highest new entry honours go to Beatfreaks, who mash up MC Hammer's You can't touch this with Rick James' Superfreak, then wonder why the song hasn't changed at all. It's in at 7. James Morrison (downloads) churns out more acoustic numptiness at 20. Hot Chip were favoured by many to be huge, but number 27 on second release confirms Over and over is only ever going to be a minor hit. Single number three, and already Corinne Bailey Rae is stuck at number 32. Where's me dumper? Chutzpah awards to Ordinary Boys (downloads), who take a pop at people who exploit their fifteen minutes of fame by, for instance, going on a shit reality tv show and snogging up with someone in a slightly more famous band. Placebo and Badly Drawn Boy play to their traditional strengths in the bottom ten - it's remarkable how old both groups' biggest hits are.

Two fantastic songs just miss the top 40. At 42 it's the third time of asking for Iris, the Goo Goo Dolls classic that was massacred by an Irish pub singer a month or so ago. The physical re-issue means it'll chart for at least another year. One place lower is Meat Loaf and Marion Raven's remake of It's all coming back to me now, originally recorded by the Jim Steinmann sideproject Pandora's Box in 1989, but better known as a hit for Céline Dion exactly ten years ago. Jamie T and Lloyd Banks also chart on downloads. Less success for Luther Vandross (50). It's disaster for the Blazing Squad - four years ago, they topped the chart first week out, this week they make number 54. With an anvil.

On the albums listing, the Killers remain at the top for a second week, holding off the resurgent Seizure Sisters. Thrash metallers Trivium have the highest new entry at 7, with the hits of Luther Vandross and Connie Fisher (the winner of a recent casting show) into the top 20. Sting, Milburn, Chris de Burgh (gh) and Lloyd Banks are the curious quartet entering between 21 and 40. Lower down, entries from Diana Krall, the Goo Goo Dolls, Chamillionaire, Ray Lamontagne, and Albert Hammond Junior probably won't see much cross-over success.

Here's the good stuff on the singles listing:

 1 23 My Chemical Romance ^^
  - Welcome to the black parade
 2  1 Razorlight - America
 6  8 Little Chris - Checking it out
 8  6 Killers - When you were young
11  7 Lily Allen - LDN
12 11 Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous
13 13 Shakira - Hips don't lie
16 10 Evanescence - Call me when you're sober
17 14 High School Musical OCR - Breaking free
19 18 Fratellis - Chelsea dagger
23 19 Pink - You and your hand
25 21 Feeling - Never be lonely
26 22 Lemar - It's not that easy
27 51 Hot Chip - Over and over ^^
31 24 Bedouin Soundclash
  - When the night feels my song
33 30 Muse - Starlight
35 NE Placebo - Meds
37 37 Kooks - She moves in her own way
38 NE Badly Drawn Boy
  - Nothing's going to change your mind
42 NE Goo Goo Dolls - Iris / Stay with you **
43 NE Meat Loaf and Marion Raven
  - It's all coming back to me now
45 34 Lily Allen - Smile
51 32 Nerina Pallot - Sophia
52 52 Pink - Who knew?
53 48 Kasabian - Empire
58 46 OK Go - Here it goes again
59 53 Lostprophets - A town called hypocrisy
60 40 Trivium - Anthem
67 62 Kooks - Naive
70 54 Arctic Monkeys
  - Leave before the lights come on
71 61 Feeling - Fill my little world

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posted 15 Oct 2006, 19.24 +0100

Entertainment
Weather in week 41

Humidity was the watchword this week, somewhat surprisingly. After fronts crossed on Monday, we were left in some stagnant air, with such wind as there was coming up from the south. At this time of year, that brings lots of moisture, and as pressure grew and winds dropped, fog was the inevitable result. The deep depression we saw for the end of the week turned out not to be so deep, and deflected to the north.

09 Mo rain to sun         14/17, 7.0
10 Tu fog to sun, humid   11/19
11 We thunder showers     15/17,13.5
12 Th bright               6/16
13 Fr fog to sun           7/16
14 Sa mist to sun          9/16
15 Su cloud to sun        12/xx

48.5mm of rain so far this month, by far the majority of the month's average of 58mm. Neither degree-hearing nor degree-cooling days this week.

The UK sits in a col for Monday, probably bringing another quiet day. After that, things become a bit of a mess - there's a blocking high over eastern Europe, another forming over Greenland, and an area of low pressure trying to form between Ireland and Spain. That'll bring southerly winds and some showers to most parts, though winds will be from the cooler east in northern districts. It's not clear where the front dividing the two air masses will be, so do wrap up.

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posted 15 Oct 2006, 19.33 +0100

Weather

older writing... write to