The Snow In The Summer or So-So

12/11/2006 - 12/17/2006

Mon 11 Dec 2006

Two Songs a Week 51 - Going blind

This entry in Two Songs a Week is a blind entry. I'm not going to say what it is, or write about. Just post the link, and let you judge for yourself.

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posted 11 Dec 2006, 19.02 +0000

Two Songs a Week
Sports Review of the Year

Results from the B.B.C. Sports Review of the Year were as follows:

Bung something to a B.B.C. celebrity - David Walliams, for his cross-channel swim.

Unsung hero - Val Hanover. By definition, this will be someone we've never heard about.

Young personality - Theo Walcott. An absolute shoo-in.

Lifetime achievement - Bjorn Borg, the tennis player. A curious choice, particularly as he retired some time before the end of his career.

Helen Rollason Memorial Award - Paul Hunter, the late snooker player.

Coach of the Year - Daniel Anderson, St Helens rugby.

Overseas personality - Roger Federer, tennis player. Winner of just about everything in sight, including three of the four grands slam. Beat out Tiger Woods, which is surprising, given his pisspoor performance at the Ryder Cup. No mention of the all-conquering Bjørndalen, whose next challenge is to top the biathlon and cross-country skiing worlds at the same time.

Team - St Helens rugby league. Won the domestic grand slam (cup, league, league play-offs). It's a shame that the vote is for a calendar year, as it would be best to measure this team against the Aussie champions before determining its greatness. The runners-up included the European Ryder Cup team - they would have done better had the event been covered on television, instead of just being a radio game, or if the opposition had been able to hit a ball at all. Sussex cricket club finished third, two places lower than their domestic double of league and cup.

Most popular person amongst the television audience - Zara Phillips, beating Darren Clarke and Beth Tweddle. It's hard to see this as anything other than a vote amongst the Sports Review of the Year audience.

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posted 11 Dec 2006, 19.13 +0000

Sport
News on 2

The Pigeon Fanciers' Gazette, or what happens when listeners to I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue take over a newspaper letters page.

The death has been announced of Augusto Pinochet, the erstwhile Chilean dictator. Had he not been kept under house arrest in the UK by ancien interior minister John Straw, Sr. Pinochet could well have stood trial for his crimes against humanity.

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posted 11 Dec 2006, 20.01 +0000

Entertainment

Tue 12 Dec 2006

Watching brief

What's been decent viewing and listening lately, then?

I'm probably the only person who watched it all the way through, but I watched Tripping Over (C5) from start to finish. (Well, apart from the first 30 seconds or so of episode 4, these channels that start early...) A decently-constructed little drama, though I'm still far from convinced about the way the Scouser suddenly turned gay, and then wasn't gay. In the final analysis, the whole Bangkok sub-plot was a complete red herring - it provided a framework for the first episode, and made exponentially-decreasing waves through the rest of the series. Not enough Emily Corrie for my liking, but any Sooz is good Sooz.

Haven't been able to get into Howard Goodall's Theory of Music (C4) one little bit; too much visual nonsense for too little content. This would make a fantastic series of Channel 4 Radio podcasts.

Nor have I been particularly inspired by BBC-4's Sci-Fi Britannia season; it's all been a bit of a B.B.C. cross-promotional opportunity. I'm interested to see their documentary on The Tripods (to air 19 December), and the Beeb's excuse for never bothering to complete the serialisation of the trilogy. To-night's programme on the Abdication Crisis looks interesting, too.

I see that Eurosport is starting to show International Backgammon tournaments. Would anyone - anyone at all - care to show the next World Chess Championship, even in highlight form?

Finally, a nod to Australia's Radio National, which last week broadcast the RTE documentary Millionaire, the story of Roger Dowds's run to £250,000 on Ireland's big quiz show. Showpage is here, and you'll be able to download the show as a podcast until 5 January.

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posted 12 Dec 2006, 19.11 +0000

Television
The condensed review of books - Conrad Black

In the London Review of Books, John Lanchester writes on the downfall of Conrad Black of Crossharbour. He compares the lead players to characters in Coriolanus, suggesting that we cannot feel any sympathy for them. He has a very good point: Black began his career by purchasing half-shares in two small-town weekly newspapers, and restructured their staff so that there was one journalist to two advertising salesmen.

Lanchester recounts the strange circumstances of Black's takeover of the Daily Telegraph, conveniently not disclosing his limited cash flow, or the promise he had recently given to be squeaky clean in his business practices. No, he gave then-owner Michael Berry some money for a part-stake, with a promise from Mr. Berry that Black would have first refusal on any more shares that came up for sale, and a further purchase would grant him outright control of the paper.

By purchasing the journal on the cheap, and taking advantage of Rupert Murdoch's battle with the print unions, Black was able to turn the Telegraph into a cash machine very quickly. Though the paper improved markedly, its editorial line became vitriolic in its anti-European stance. Lanchester argues that Black's Telegraph lost the inclusive "One Nation" wing of the Conservative party. I'm not sure about that; the 1983 and (especially) 1987 intakes were vigorously right-wing, wanting to out-Thatcherite Thatcher. It is certain, though, that the Telegraph's continued denigration of John Major's attempts to be more cuddly, and its support for unelectable numpties (Iain Duncan Smith, anyone?) harmed the Conservative party beyond measure.

Lanchester also points out that Conrad Black relied on libel laws to surpress criticism. Our libel laws are so biased that they encourage an over-confidence in the rich men who rely on them, he argues. But his main conclusion is that Black was seduced by the idea that he could magic a few noughts onto the end of his worth, and though he only had the income of a millionaire, he acted like a billionaire. In that, Black is like many people from less wealthy backgrounds, having a four-figure income, but spending as if they had ten times the amount.

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posted 12 Dec 2006, 20.03 +0000

Intellectual

Wed 13 Dec 2006

A mix CD

For those who are interested in such things, I've put together a mix CD under the title of This Is Your Land. Reviewing the tracklist might provide a moment's entertainment for the terminally bored.

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posted 13 Dec 2006, 18.50 +0000

Entertainment
I predict ... the end of the year!

Mystic Mug writes: Hullo! Seven cup replays last night, and the situation was as follows. If exactly two matches go to extra time, or exactly one was resolved by kicks from the penalty mark, Mr. Weaver would score 10 points for a spot-on prediction and leapfrog Mr. Mel for the victory. Any other result - fewer extensions, or more - would leave Mr. Mel ahead.

On the night, Millwall and Bradford didn't trouble the scorers during normal time, but were split during the extra half-hour. Torquay took advantage of an injury to a Leyton Orient defender to score their second goal of a 2:1 win nine minutes from time, and that was as close as we got to a second match into extra time.

So Mr. Mel wins this year's jackpot prize of £4.08, with Mr. Weaver coming just a couple of points behind. The final results are published, and show that Mr. Pokery's late charge has put him into third place.

This Mug is off to save the world from the perils of rushing into things without adequate foresight, but will return for a special sporting contest later in 2007. Toodles!

Mystic Mug

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posted 13 Dec 2006, 19.34 +0000

Intellectual
It's Pottymouth Season!

The annual Le Web conference has been hi-jacked by politicans seeking election. Both Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP) and François Bayrou (UDF) gave tedious speeches that were roundly condemned by attendees. Ben Metcalfe, who became our hero last year after being told by the obnoxious Mena Trott that he was a fucking arsehole, has more on the conference.

One critical blogger, Sam Sethi, was graced by a response from Loïc Lemur, Six Apart's head of insults European operations. We reprint M. Lemur's comment in full:

Sam. There is no word to qualify you and this post. You are just an asshole.

Someone has since deleted this comment from Mr. Sethi's post, we found it here. Mr. Sethi has now been resigned from Tech Crunch.

This, people, is the highly professional calibre of employee that you are funding. Your Livejournal subscription, your Vox posts, all are going to employ people who do nothing more than call names at those who speak their mind.

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posted 13 Dec 2006, 20.18 +0000

Six Apart Is Useless

Thu 14 Dec 2006

Two Songs a Week 52 - Up, up, and away

In the late 1960s, Howard Blake was an exceptionally successful composer of light music. We're talking really, really successful. Writing every piece of music in a commercial break successful. Inevitably, this came at severe damage to his soul, and Blake found he had to decamp to Cornwall to sort his head out. I couldn't carry on writing junk any more. I had to find my own voice and write music that meant something, even if it only meant something to me.

One of his ideas was a symphony on the theme of innocence, which began with a six-note figure, but petered out after a few bars, and remained in a notebook for something over fifteen years.

Fast forward to 1982, and the London studios of TVC. Blake, by now a successful orchestral composer, is having a look at an early cut of an animated story based on a Raymond Briggs story. That is where the innocence symphony came to life. The six-note figure became the opening of Walking in the air, the remaining half-hour is drawn out from the same well, and the animation - The Snowman is as much a fixture of the yuletide schedule as anything can be.

The show features a recording by Peter Auty, a chorister at St Paul's cathedral. The best-known version is by his Welsh counterpart Aled Jones, a top-five hit in 1985. There are also versions by female sopranos, including everyone's third-favourite Finns, Nightwish.

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posted 14 Dec 2006, 18.54 +0000

Two Songs a Week
Mourir demain: Le Meur

A follow-up to yesterday's post about Six Apart being a bunch of pottymouths. The story has reached the ivory towers at Het Grauniad, where they're concentrating on the dismissal of Sam Sethi and closure of Techcrunch UK. Het Graun's original piece did not mention Loïc asshole Lemeur's employer once; could this be because Six Apart also supplies the newspreap's webties comment system? Could this latter fact be why we will never use said newspreap's webties comment system?

We note that the politicians who spoke at the conference were Shimon Peres (Israel, centre-right), M. Bayrou (France, centre-right), and M. Sarkozy (France, right-wing). There was no platform for Mme. Royal or any other left-of-centre speaker. What does this tell us about Six Apart's politics? In particular, this provides more ammunition for claims that they're closeted Corporatists, in favour of invading Iraq, killing innocents, abandoning democracy, supporting the military junta, and fleecing the many for the benefit of the few.

Or is it, as many voices suggest, more to do with M. Lemeur's ambition to achieve elected office himself, and beat Iain Dale as the first professional blogger in the corridors of power? Tom Raferty says this in so few words. Nicole Simon says that she's betrayed, this event has been hijacked to be a pit stop of the french presidential election campaign, and accuses M. Lemeur of selling out European bloggers for a cheap headline. Even the Torygraph is wondering, Why are we here?, and goes on to call M Sarkozy's appearance the equivalent of a pop-up advertisement. Shane Richmond, a hundred thank yous, I shall be using that image for at least the next four-and-a-half months.

For those of you who like nothing more than to cut-n-paste graphics into your blogs, here's a graphic to cut-n-paste into your blog.

LLM
Recommandé par des Influenceurs.

In rough translation, it says,

I want to be the voice of the internet user - Loïk Le Meur, in le Parisien, 9 December 2006.
My vote, you see, is up to me, no room for error.
Le Meur cannot steal my voice; I affirm with my click.

What would be really, really good is for this to be shrunk into the 100x100x40K limits for a Livejournal icon, so that the resistance can display it as their default. Just imagine, searching for France and not only coming up with fifty identical icons, but coming up with fifty identical icons railing against Six Apart's employee in France. The fucking arsehole would tear her hair out.

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posted 14 Dec 2006, 19.57 +0000

Blogging| Six Apart Is Useless

Sat 16 Dec 2006

Card or No Card

One of m'learned friends points out a way to game a data-mining exercise by entering at a quiet period of the day. An obvious idea, at least for those who apply more than about three brain cells to the concept, but seeing as how that qualification excludes 83% of all people with this particular data-mining card, a viable option.

A brief public service announcement: if you receive an email offering you a £60 voucher for sending the email on, ignore it. It's a hoax.

But let me break the first rule of blogging, actually do some research, and present a potted history of the card.

The data-mining concept with electronically-stored points began in the late 1980s, with the invention of Free Airmiles, a method of earning discounted (or free) airline travel by spending money on other things. Other airlines swiftly introduced their own data-mining programmes, offering similar rewards.

The first supermarket to offer a data-mining card was Superquinn, an Irish chain. The concept spread across the Irish Sea, with Tesco launching its programme in February 1995. There were strict restrictions - the scheme didn't count any transaction of less than £10, and points expired after just three months. However, there was a wide range of Bonus Points available, to people who puchased additional items.

Of course there were apparent miscalculations. Phil Calcott profited from one such gaffe. He was a Worcester man who, in early 1997, spotted that he could buy bananas at 39p per pound, and receive bonuses worth 42p per pound. He gave away his produce, rather than selling them on for 10p per pound, to quadruple his profit. A spokestrolley said on 14 January 1997, The offer is not a mistake. We have been more generous than usual with this one, but we are pleased with how it has gone - and it still has almost a week to run.

Or the tale of Ben and Annabelle Reddick, who had enough points for a flight to Edinburgh, but wanted to take their three children. Mr. Reddick popped into a shop in Chippenham, and bought £160 in pasta - that was enough to pay for the trip in Free Airmiles. We saved about £70 on the fares, he told the Daily Hell in June 1997. Some of the pasta was sold at a car boot sale.

The company's traditional rival, JSainsbury, piloted its own data-mining card in selected large stores during 1995. The final launch, in June 1996, removed the expiry date, and reduced the minimum transaction to £2.50. It also allowed vouchers to be used in other places - pubs, cinemas, even exchanged for Free Airmiles. The cards were reissued in 1999, in what JSainsbury called the largest plastic print run ever; the scheme was merged into a multi-retailer concept in 2002.

Third-placed player Safeway had brought out its card during October 1995, and made moves to convert it into a fully-fledged payment card. This never took off; neither did Safeway's attempt to get customers to do their own bar-code scanning. The programme was more trouble than it was worth, and was axed during 2000.

Asda never really bothered with a data-mining card, running a limited scheme in 19 stores; this was axed in 1999, just days after the company was bought by Wall Mart. Northern rival Morrison's had run a pilot project during 1996 and 1997, but decided against a roll-out to all its stores. Waitrose, of course, wouldn't be seen dead with this sort of nonsense. The scheme spread elsewhere on the High-street - noiseagent W.H. Smith launched its card with great fanfare in 1997, and discontinued its card with much less fanfare at some point around 2003. Chemist Boots continues to offer a 4% rebate.

The grand-daddy of all these schemes is the Co-operative Group's dividend payment. These days, it's administered electronically, and is based on spending in Co-op stores, but also attracting bonuses for loans, savings, or taking out insurance with the group. The dividend is paid in cash, at around 1% of spending, or 0.1% interest.

Is it worth the reader's while having a collection of these cards? With a few exceptions, the dividend is little more than 1%; it is alleged that there are offers sent directly to the homes of data-minees, but I only have a single source who has received such offers.

Do remember that the main point of these projects is to build up a profile of an individual customer, so that they might be enticed to spend more than they otherwise would. Each reader will need to weigh up their personal priorities - saving a couple of pence in the pound, or protecting their privacy.

Full disclosure: this website has precisely one data-mining card, the 1996-issue Midday With Mair Loyalty Card. Somewhere, we've still got its prime benefit, the useful supply of Free Air.

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posted 16 Dec 2006, 10.49 +0000

Intellectual
Nol way!

So, I was brushing up on Nolwenn Leroy ahead of her appearance on TV5's Acoustic programme this week-end. Winner of France's Star Academy 2 in 2002, trained for part of her life in Africa, second album, should be a good show. Oh, and listening to Leroy's music helps prevent falls, according to a research project in Dallas. Old people in nursing homes are less prone to falls if they listen to ten minutes of music per day, and the work of Nolwenn Leroy is better for the balance than a diet of Mozart.

You see, you just don't get this effect from winners of X-FACTOR. They all make people fall over, if not from sleep, then from a rush to get to the loudspeaker and turn them off.

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posted 16 Dec 2006, 16.55 +0000

Intellectual

Sun 17 Dec 2006

News of the week

DEN HAAG: Parliament in the Netherlands has formally censured the immigration minister, Rita Verdonk. Mrs. Verdonk had declined to implement a motion from the new Parliament, insisting upon a suspension of deportation proceedings against 26,000 illegal immigrants. The motion is specifically targetted at Mrs. Verdonk, who is an object of opprobrium for many on the left. If her party leader is to be believed, Mrs. Verdonk's resignation would cause the liberal-right VVD to withdraw from coalition talks, making a rainbow-left coalition - and the consequent removal of prime minister Peter Balkandervalk - more likely. (BBC)

COLUMNIST: Mark Steel is unhappy that Zara Philips won the B.B.C.'s vote. They voted for her because she's 11th in line to the throne. They'd have voted for the Queen if she'd been nominated for beating Prince Philip at snap. Then these idiots would have justified it, saying, "She held her nerve wonderfully to shout first on the two sevens when there was a big pile during the crucial second leg."

GENIUS: Tim Hunkin on polonium. That's in the sense of Secret Life of Machines presenter discusses highly volatile radioactive element.

RAILWAYS: The new train timetable is available as a large number of PDF files. (Backup) Readers will need to know over which bit of track they want to travel, then download the table(s) required. In other rail news, Sea Containers has been fired from its running of the East Coast franchise (table 26). The sensible approach would be to re-nationalise the company; this is not going to happen, thanks to Labour's mania for privatisation.

LONDON: John Prescott, the professional croquet player, has recorded 2771 visits to his website since late August. In the month of November alone, this site recorded 7892 visits.

DOWNING-STREET: We are seen as a shambles, according to a memorandum. The prochain ancien prime minister's office says that the next election is Mr. Cameron's to lose, and Labour's only hope is to elect one of its young turks rather than the old Mr. Brown. The denial from Downing-street is rather interesting, as it says only that the memorandum did not originate from them, raising the prospect that it's a genuine memorandum, leaked on purpose, to stop Mr. Brown. (18DS)

IPSWICH: Five people have been abducted and killed over the past few weeks; all worked in the sex trade. To-day's Observer suggests that Tony Blair bears responsibility for their deaths, as he personally vetoed plans to allow sex workers to work indoors. Fear of bad newspaper headlines for a few weeks has led to five people being killed. Glad you can have that on your conscience, Mr. B. (HG)

KHATMANDU: The ruling coalition and Maoist rebels have agreed an interim constitution for Nepal. The period of direct rule by King Gyanendra will end in approximately six months, and a full constitution will then be proclaimed. (AJ)

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posted 17 Dec 2006, 11.46 +0000

News
Charts in week 50

Another week, another new number one in Germany. Well, an old one back, as Silbermond climb past Take That. Nelly Furtado is in at 2, Sarah Connor's The best side of life enters at 6, and Shakira, Die Toggo 5, Sasha, and Sido all enter the top 20. Just outside are Milk And Honey (ESC:IL-78) and Wham! (the annual surge for Last Christmas). In Sweden, Emilia is back, with Var minut a new entry at 2. Mia Gundersen's Jordanbarnas fremtid is the new leader in Norway.

Readers planning on travelling across the Channel should take precautions, as France is in the grip of a national outbreak of Tat. The disease is characterised by a compulsion to buy rubbish records. How else does one explain the top-20 presence of Bebe Lilly (baby Lilly), Titou le Lapinou (Titou the rabbit), Pigloo (a penguin), The Annoying Thing (frog), Pinocchio (animated wood), and Ilona Mitrecey (performing six-year-old.) The best antidote is believed to be a diet of chanson, so play Tina Arena every hour.

North Europe's Top Twenty

 20  6 Feeling - Love it when you call
 19 re Faf Larange - Pas de temps
*18 18 Fratellis - Whistle to the choir
 17 13 Muse - Starlight
 16 19 Pink - You and your hand
 15 11 Nadiya - Amies ennemies
 14  5 Depeche Mode - Martyr
*13 16 Faudel - Mon pays
*12 15 Fatal Bazooka - Fous ta cagoule
 11  7 U2 / Green Dull - The saints are coming
*10 re Myslowitz - Nocnym prciogien uzdo konca suiatzon
  9  8 Justin Numberwang - My love
* 8 14 Silbermond - Das beste
* 7 10 Akon - Smack that
* 6 12 Snow Patrol - Chasing cars
  5  3 Seizure Sisters - I don't feel like dancing
  4  2 Clitring Aguilera - Hurt
  3  4 Razorlight - America
  2  1 Take That - Patience
* 1  9 Nelly Furtado - All good things

No new entries, so a couple of persistent little numbers return to the top 20, and others reach new peaks. Nelly Furtado has the new number one, her third of the year, and she's now spent four months atop this chart during 2006.

Three weeks to go until the physical-only restriction is abolished, and all sales count towards the singles chart. It can't come soon enough, as two records from this week's top ten - a 1994 release from Mariah Cantsing, and a June song from Snow Patrol - are removed from the list for no real reason. It's believed that another half-dozen records should also be charting, but aren't.

Take That has the number one single for a fourth week, but Cliff Dick has the highest new entry at 2; Twenty-first century christmas is his highest-placed single since 1999's The millennium prayer topped for three weeks. The flip side is a blatant copyright grab - his debut single, Move it, comes out of copyright in just over two years, and he'll take the royalties while he can. Gwen Stiffany, somehow, makes 3. Cascada's cover of Savage Garden equals the success of the original, by making number 4. Of course, if it's really to be as successful, it'll need to hang around the top 10 for the next two months, and be played so often that we're all heartily sick of it. Chris Cornedbeef makes 7, Nelly lands at 8, and the Pogues return to number 10.

Tatwatch: Jordan and Peter Andrex are 12 (combined IQ), The Annoying Thing is 16 (pounds for the downloadable ringtone, not including replacement phone), Little Chris is 17 (years). Early favourites for next week's number one (excluding X-Fools) El Chombo fall well short, anchoring this week's top 20. Let's be thankful for small mercies, Ricky Tomlinson's failed comedy song (it's not funny) only makes 25 on full release.

Reality star watch: Andy Abraham makes 18 with a tune that might yet become a festive classic. Lemar it ain't. Matt Willis - riding the Ich bin ein Star wave, makes 19. Surprising to see Lily Allen miss the 20, and Slade slip one.

Shakira's new release, Illegal, creeps in at 34, suggesting that she's not going to enjoy ten million years in the top five this time out. A shame. Ruth Kelly takes time off from the oh-so-taxing job of being better at whatever it is he does than John Prescott did to cut a disk with Snoop Doggy Dogg. Like everything else Ruth Kelly does, it's rubbish, and he really should concentrate harder on his forthcoming GCsSE.

The new Seizure Sisters single falls 19-42 in its second week; only Morrissey's fall (16-74) eclipses this failure, and we rather expect Mozza to fall faster than a lead weight. Razorlight, James Morrison, and the Council Estate Slappers enter the top 50 on downloads; a Queen remix is 63 before release. Five old singles re-enter the top 75 in the bottom dozen places, including two Lily Allen tracks.

No significant moves on the album chart, Take That remain at number 1 from Oasis and Pestside. There are climbs for Take That's 1996 singles collection, Amy Whinehouse, and hits from Lionel Richtea, Gloria Estefan

Here's the good stuff on the singles listing:

10 23 Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
  - Fairytale of New Amsterdam
11  5 Nelly Furtado - All good things
18 NE Andy Abrahams - December brings me back to you
19 68 Matt Willis - Don't let it go to waste
21 53 Lily Allen - Littlest things ^^
22 13 Razorlight - America
23 22 Slade - Merry xmas everybody
31 14 Fratellis - Whistle for the choir
32 24 My Chemical Romance
  - Welcome to the black parade
34 NE Shakira - Illegal **
37 32 Feeling - Love it when you call
44 29 Muse - Knights of Cydonia
46 NE Razorlight - Fall to pieces **
47 35 Killers - Bones
49 37 Shakira - Hips don't lie
54 42 Lemar - Someone should tell you
56 45 High School Musical OCR
  - We're all in this together
58 46 High School Musical OCR - Breaking free
59 48 Damien Rice - 9 crimes
65 57 Panic At The Disco
  - I write sins not tragedies
66 60 Pink - You and your hand
68 re Lily Allen - Smile
70 re Lily Allen - LDN
73 55 Pink - Nobody knows
74 16 Morrisey - I just want to see the boy happy
75 re Razorlight - In the morning

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posted 17 Dec 2006, 19.05 +0000

Entertainment
Weather in week 50

Another week of strong southerly winds ensured well-above average temperatures, and significant rainfall. A front passed at 7pm on Friday, causing temperatures at Birmingham airport to drop from 11°C at 18.50 to 6°C at 19.20. Since then, it's been noticeably colder.

11 Mo rain o/n, drizzle    5/12, 9.5
12 Tu clear, rain pm       3/ 8,11.0
13 We cloud, wind late     8/12
14 Th wind, cloud         11/12
15 Fr cloud               10/11
16 Sa rain o/n, sun        2/ 7,10.0
17 Su sun                  3/ 8

December has already had above average rainfall - 70mm, compared to the usual 62.5mm. It's the fourth wetter-than-average month in a row. 17 degree heating days this week, the winter's total now 109, compared with 202/808, and 160/677½ in the past two winters.

High pressure will persist over the UK until mid-week, bringing calm and somewhat drier conditions than we've been used to recently. As the high retreats to the continent from Thursday, wind and rain will spread from the north and west; quite how far this weather spreads remains to be seen, so do wrap up.

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posted 17 Dec 2006, 19.22 +0000

Weather

older writing... write to