Normal service has resumed. Don’t panic.


Taking (pictures of) the Michael

Friday 15th June, BBC4, “Glastonbury After Dark: Glastopia”. I helped film the interview with Michael Evis for Julien Temple‘s documentary. (If it’s wobbly or out of focus, that’s me.)
We used a Canon 550D to film, a Tascam DR-100 for audio and several dozen cows as reflectors.

Old money. Clear as mud.


A reminder of the ultra simple money system we used to use in the UK.
The old coins used in the UK until the decimal system in ’71 were:

The farthing,
half penny,
threpenny bit,
two bob bit,
half crown
and the crown, plus
the ten bob note,
pound note
and five pound note.

1 farthing = a quarter of a penny

2 farthings = 1 halfpenny
2 halfpence = 1 penny (1d)
3 pence = 1 thruppence (3d)
6 pence = 1 sixpence (a ‘tanner’) (6d)
12 pence = 1 shilling (a bob) (1s)
2 shillings = 1 florin ( a ‘two bob bit’) (2s)
2 shillings and 6 pence = 1 half crown (2s 6d)
5 shillings = 1 Crown (5s)
£1 (pound) = 20 shillings
and there was, of course, 240 pennies in 1 pound.
The half-farthing was withdrawn in the late 19th century because of public dislike toward the tiny, pointless coin.
There were, for a time, also:
A groat (4 pennies) or half groat (2 pennies),
a florin (a two shillings or 2 bob or 2 bob bit),
a half-crown ( 2/6d) (2 shillings and 6 pence),
a crown (5/-) (five shillings or 5 bob),
a half-sovereign (ten shillings or 10 bob),
and a half-guinea (10/6d) (10 shillings and 6 pence)
2/6 means two shillings and six pence and is refered to as “half a bob” or “a half crown”. A crown was a five shilling piece or “one bob”. So 2/6 + 2/6 = 5.
The halfpenny piece was pronounced ‘hay-p’ny’.
Two pence was ‘tuppence’.
Three pence was ‘threpence’.
But six pence was ‘a tanner’. (Of course.)
The smallest paper currency was the 10 shilling note.
A guinea was a gold coin worth 21 shillings (or, randomly, slightly more than one pound).
Pennies are abreviated as p but some times you will see them refered to by the abreviation d, for example on old stamps. The d stands for denarius from the latin for penny. So P = D!
As a note of interest pennies (in medieval times) were minted from silver and 240 pennies weighed one pound (1lb) hence the name pound and the expression pound stirling (stirling silver) for the British currency.
The move to decimicialtion was officially in 1971 athough there was a transitional period where both old and new currency systems were used.
Imagine learning that as a kid. How did we ever buy anything?

Thinking of downgrading your iPhone…don’t go for the Galaxy Ace.

Even this would be preferable to a Samsung Galaxy Ace.

A quick word of advice to any iPhone 3G users out there looking to upgrade and save money by getting a Samsung Galaxy Ace because
A) they’re free (iPhones are £300 new)
B) they have unlimited data per month
C) they look sort of like iPhones
D) they were convinced by that old salesman chestnut “I’ve got one myself.”
be aware that using one AFTER owning an iPhone for several years is like downgrading from a BMW to a Smart Car because you think it’ll save money. It will, but at the cost of usability.

I thought the iPhone battery was lousy, but I swear, even when fully charged at midnight and with no programmes left running, the Galaxy Ace will not be alive to wake you up at 8am as an alarm clock. WITH twitter or GPS running in the background, you’ll be woken up by the phone vibrating telling you its run out of battery about 5am (gee thanks, Samsung, what a clever bit of design). How do iphones manage to survive without having programmes running in the background? Think about it, Samsung – the answer is “Very well, thanks.”

Typing on it is like wading through treacle. The full stop button is exactly where the space bar should be so The spell check is worse than schizophrenic, remembering some words and not others and, like an annoying person trying to end every sentence for you, it… tries to end every sentence for you. I’ve switched it off as i was spitting blood. Hence my errors in this post. Which, to be honest, I can’t correct them as there are not enough hours in the day.
The internet browser is horrendous. The address bar and the google search are the same thing which is incredibly awkward.

The speech recognition button is hilarious; asking it to search Google for cohorts, equally displeased with their purchase (“Samsung Galaxy Ace Haters”) meant I was asked “Do you mean Samsung Galaxy Case Peters?”.

Remember, it's free. That's all it's worth. £0.00.

Writing in a wordpress blog text box is like pulling your own teeth out with pliars. It simply WON’T allow you to.control where you type, refusing toscroll up or.down smoothly – the keyboard takes up so much room that, with the address bar taking up the top half of the.screen, you’re left with about 15% of the screen to type on, none.of which does what you ask it to. I’ve resorted to typing blogs first in the Memo programme (an idea clearly pinch from the iPhone’s Notes), only to find it has a 1500 character limit per note! (iphone has none.) So I can even badmouth this damned phone without it trying trip me up.

If you have a friend called Zoë or Amelié then get used to calling them by their first name because any use of accents or umlauts means you CAN’T HAVE ANY CONTACTS WITH NAMES TEN CHARACTERS OR LONGER! Also the contacts’ detail screen doesn’t have apace for email addresses. Imagine that in 2011.

Plugging it in to my mac got no results at all. So not only will it not sync to iTunes, but to get things on or off the phone you need to buy a separate SD card reader. After working the first time, my card now refuses to be recognised by the mac, suggesting i format it completely first. Brilliant.

And as an actual phone – isn’t the point of ripping off a design supposed to be keep ideas and claim them as your own? At least with an iPhone, you can hang up.easily with the big red button. If you move away from the phone call mode on the Ace to browse a contact or your calander to make a date, you can’t back to phone mode to hang up! It’s just embarrassing not knowing how to end a call aged 37.

On the plus side, the camera is very good but if the battery is low (which it always is), not only does it refuse to take pictures, it refuses to.even open the camera app. Incredible.

I’ve clearly been.spoiled by the iPhone and now nothing.else will do. If this was Top Gear, I’d be dropping a piano on this toy replica right about now. Thankfully, for a free handset, its worth £65 on Which is £65 toward a new iphone.
The temptation to rename it the Galaxy Arse is just too much to resist.

Let us know if you feel the same way by voting below. Ooh, it’s just like Strictly Ice Singing. Only it won’t cost you £4.99 per minute.

Musik in meiner Freizeit Schlafzimmer

Mary O'Shea. By a mic. Last month.

On 9th of November, in both 2010 and 2011 (oddly), the Rightsmart office echoed to the dulcet aural perfume of Mary O’Shea as she recorded several choral tracks (to a pre-recorded backing piano). All in a bedroom the size of a small car.

But then’s she’s only little. (Although her voice is massive.)

It’s amazing what you can get away with if
a) you can sing,
b) you have a decent microphone and
c) you put a big blanket on the wall to soften the acoustics (and then pile on lots of reverb). Click below to hear an example of what was achieved.

You can hear more samples of Mary’s amazing output by clicking here and even buy a CD of her own compositions.

Somebody sign her to a label! She has more talent in her tiniest burp than the output of all the divas and chavs that have minced in front of Simon Cowell over the last decade. You heard her here first.

Buckules’ Big Beard Bugs Bristol

Maybe this caption shouldn't be living heeeeeeeeeeeere!

“Whatafunnyface, a wuza wuz, lolly bif, Stephen!, I luv you bruv.” They’re not exactly catchphrases but millions of BBC6 Music listeners will know what they mean.

I love Adam and Joe (that’s Buxton and Cornish) – their TV show was an important part of my twenties and rediscovering them on BBC6 Music, their other TV work, movies etc, has been a real joy. Adam’s YouTubery in particular has been a real inspiration, proving it’s ok to post random bolox occasionally without fear it won’t find an audience. So to see “Count Buckules” (a name that my iPhone doesn’t understand and keeps wanting to predictively correct with the word “bukkake”) in the hairy flesh was a treat. His show, Bug, came to Bristol on July 23rd 2011 as part of the Comedy Garden festival – adding to the huge list of Bristol’s great annual gigs such as Bristol Silents, Encounters Film Festival, the Balloon Fiesta and the Great Annual Clockwork Gibbon Race (one of which I’ve just made up, can you guess which?).
I would have loved to have met him and given him the Powerpuff Girls Heroes and Villians CD that I’ve long harboured as my main conversation starter with him, but it can wait until next time.
Random humour makes me laugh more than anything else, especially when it’s so intensely meticulously planned randomness and I encourage anyone into the same to seek out Doctor Buckles (and Commander Cornballs) in their various other occupations or at least visit Adam’s blog (below) and YouTube site for a few dozen belly larfs.

Or watch this classic from 2007

lo-do fo-ho sci-fi fi-co

that’s london forty eight hour science fiction film competition to you.

along with the clever chaps/chapesses at levelfilms in bristol, rightsmart helped make their entry into this year’s competition based on the criteria dished out at 9am on a saturday (a line of dialogue, a prop, a title). the end result, which is really too much solid film idea for just five minutes, can be seen here.

Southern Limit from Level Films on Vimeo.

it’s full on story-wise but, i’ll be honest, it took me a few viewings to fully understand blade runner, as well.