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Chris H

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Chris H last won the day on April 27

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About Chris H

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  • Birthday 08/11/1960

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  1. Much as it pains me to become involved with streaming services, my latest album is now available on Spotify. It'll be up on iTunes and Amazon Music in the not too distant future as well. As always, it's available on Bandcamp, where you can also read the lyrics and good stuff like that. https://headfirstonly.bandcamp.com/album/beyond
  2. I am currently reading: Embers of War by Gareth Powell. I understand Remote's reaction to the Trouble Dog books, but I enjoy them a lot. Like Banks, his characters often operate in moral grey areas. There are some interesting creations too: I've heard Gareth read scenes featuring Nod the Engineer which are particularly funny. Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber. A meditation on whether or not most of the work that people do these days is meaningful or not, concluding that it is not. The book comes complete with a taxonomy of different categories of meaningless jobs. I can only read it in short bursts, because the illustrative stories and examples gathered from messages to the author on Twitter and elsewhere following the publication of his original essay end up making me furiously, blisteringly angry. You need to read this one, so we can do something about fixing the things that Graeber is writing about. Psychogeography by Merlin Coverley. Reads like a sixth-former's essay and manages to make the Dadaists and Situationists sound dull. Seriously, this reads like someone who has never read an academic paper trying to write an academic paper. If this was a Wikipedia page, it would be plastered with [citation needed] flags. Widow Basquiat by Jennifer Clement. A memoir of the implosion of a significant talent and an examination of our self-destructive urges. A record of a time that is as far away from us now as the 1930s were from the Beatles, which is a very sobering thought. Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott. Very entertaining gothic weirdness along the lines of Hope Mirrlee's Lud-in-the-Mist, but about two hundred pages too long. When I finally got to the end of the book and found the story would be continued in the next volume, I concluded that it would have to go on without me... The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. The story of the cholera outbreak that took place in London in 1854, told in forensic and gruesome detail. The invention of cities helped human beings to live successfully at population densities that the planet had never seen before, but all those bodies provided an environment for diseases to proliferate in ways that had previously been impossible. This is a record of the replacement of one scientific paradigm (the miasmic theory of disease) with another, and how the evidence was compiled to discredit the old theory and support the new. It was also a pivotal point in the development of data mapping. Time to Think by Nancy Kline. Starts off as your typical "help your business grow" text focusing on how giving people your full attention when they talk, and not interrupting them, enables them to think more deeply and become more creative. Gradually gets more and more out there until by the end Kline appears to claim (and this is not an exaggeration) that her approach can cure cancer. So, yeah.
  3. According to Formula 1's own website, a modern racing car can generate 3.5g of downforce (3.5 times its own weight), which means that if the car's going fast enough through a tunnel, it could theoretically drive upside down: https://www.formula1.com/en/championship/inside-f1/understanding-f1-racing/Aerodynamics.html There have been complaints from race circuits that F1 cars leave ruts in the asphalt, like heavy goods vehicles do on freeways.
  4. It's called a splitter. They're designed to reduce the amount of air flowing under the car at higher speeds (by diverting most of it upwards, or to the side). This improves downforce, stops the steering getting too light at speed. And the number of cars I see on the roads over here with broken ones flapping about under the car is ridiculous.
  5. Fans of progressive rock might want to make sure that they reserve a copy of issue 98 of "Prog" magazine, out on May 3rd. For, like, reasons.
  6. Switched over to a Lexus hybrid this week. 60 mpg, up from the 44 mpg I was getting with the last car. All the bells and whistles. And because it's a 2015 model, road tax is £0.00.
  7. After completely rewriting the lyrics I'm kinda pleased with this. https://headfirstonly.bandcamp.com/track/off-the-edge
  8. I missed Incredibles 2 when it hit the cinemas, but now it's gained a digital release, I watched it last night. Spotted the villain almost immediately, but it was a fun watch. The sequence with Jack-Jack and a garden interloper was by far the highlight: Tex Avery levels of comedic mayhem. As if Brad Bird had looked at Scrat's appearances in the Ice Age movies and decided to show how they ought to have been done. Plus Isabella Rossellini!
  9. Warner Bros have brought out a new release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, mastered from the original 65mm negative and scanned in 4K and this time they *didn't* throw lots of sharpening, colour grading and other post-processing at it. The result is spectacularly good - it's the film as I remember seeing it in my childhood. You can no longer see the brush marks on the front projection screen that were present in just about every shot in the "The Dawn Of Man" sequence in the earlier release. The film positively *glows* with the numinous. There are no new extras, but you get all the special features from earlier discs.
  10. Whoa, those have been massively embiggened! The preview had them actual size and side by side, which was my intent. Is there any way to stop the OTT enlargement here?
  11. Thanks for the kind words, folks. I seem to have settled on a robots theme in the last few days...
  12. I'm doing Inktober for the first time. The challenge is to create one ink drawing every day for the month of October and post the results on social media. My efforts are appearing on Twitter (where I'm @headfirstonly). This is my favourite so far.
  13. I've successfully completed the "fifty songs in ninety days" challenge for the sixth year running - in fact my song tally is currently 53. You can stream all of the many and varied compositions I've created this summer from the Fifty/Ninety site: http://fiftyninety.fawmers.org/user/headfirstonly If you've ever thought about creating a song, even if you only write lyrics, I can't recommend Fifty/Ninety and its sister event FAWM (which runs each February) too highly. FAWMers are highly supportive people and taking part is huge fun.
  14. Heard from friends this morning that Manilla Road's Mark "The Shark" Shelton was taken ill after last night's gig and has died. Sad news.
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