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Bits and pieces… February 23, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Bits and Pieces, Culture.

Let’s start with the news that the Boomtown Rats have reformed in order to play the Isle of Wight festival later this year has not been greeted as an unalloyed good, at least to judge from some of the entertaining comments under this article.

Here’s Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy column with Slate talking about massive stars in the Lobster Nebula. Interesting in itself, but he talks about some stars which are so massive that they’re unable to last for more than a couple of million years. I never knew stars could have such (relatively) brief lives.

Cousin Claudette: Today’s figures for operations in the urban area alone account for the elimination of a total of 2,750 pounds of conventional editions, 836 pounds of first editions, and 17 pounds of manuscripts were also destroyed. Twenty-three anti-social elements were detained, pending re-education.

Rewatched Truffaut’s Farenheit 451 recently, after a gap at least thirty years. I seem to recall the first and only time I saw it was on a small black and white television, so the vivid colours were a bit of a surprise. But it’s an interesting if flawed piece of work. So much to like: the 1960s concrete dystopia, the subtle camera trickiness and nods to surrealism – Truffaut did love winding the film backwards, the flatness of the surfaces, the heightened colours, the prophetic widescreen televisions, and the general dreamlike air – all that and Cyril Cusack as well at his most mercurial. And if Julie Christie and Oskar Werner are emotional ciphers, well perhaps that’s precisely the way it should be in a film that is, in its own way, a love letter to book based fiction. Particular kudos for the initial title sequence which I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

Though no kudos at all for this atrociously inept and misleading trailer.

On a related topic I had to admire the monorail that features prominently in it. This was from the SAFEGE experimental track in France – now long since abandoned. What’s interesting is how relatively few monorails there actually are. Of course way back when that was as much a signifier of the future as space travel, perhaps more so because it seemed so achievable.

On an entirely unrelated topic here’s an infographic on trolls.

And to conclude for the moment… here’s our obligatory Objectivist or libertarian themed link… a reflection on Rand and her – most interesting – editor.


1. ejh - February 23, 2013

I’ve not seen Fahrenheit 451 for years, but I always really liked it. It is really strangely played and directed, but I think that works.


WorldbyStorm - February 23, 2013

Very much so. There’s an hint of Tarkovsky’s Stalker in the closing scenes, but Stalker was near enough 15 years after!

I’ve got to admit that since watching it last weekend it has really stuck with me.


2. rockroots - February 23, 2013

Bizarre hostility to the Rats – I’m not a huge fan but I can’t imagine getting that angry about a band playing a gig. But then I’m probably not as cool as most of those commenters.

“What’s interesting is how relatively few monorails there actually are. Of course way back when that was as much a signifier of the future as space travel, perhaps more so because it seemed so achievable.” – That would make Listowel the beacon of the Space Age then…


WorldbyStorm - February 23, 2013

Or the steam punk age. Cool.


3. dietrofuoritempo - February 23, 2013
4. doctorfive - February 23, 2013

At present, the party whips divide up speaking time, but the rebel Labour TDs now expect to be treated as a quasi-bloc within the Dáil and be granted more of a presence by the ceann comhairle.

In presenting their cause to the ceann comhairle, the precedent of the Democratic Left in the 1990s was used.



WorldbyStorm - February 23, 2013

Hmmm… interesting that it’s those four who are working together. I’d have thought RS was the obvious odd one out, but perhaps not. Odd situation with all of them, but Keaveney in particular inside and outside the party simultaneously.


CL - February 23, 2013

-Mr Nulty said he did not object if the group was dubbed “Real Labour”-
Clearly Gilmore and his supporters are ‘Official Labour’
So the Burton faction is, I suppose, ‘Provisional Labour’


5. crocodileshoes - February 24, 2013

Remember the Leixlip Castle festival riots (around 1980?), when crashers crossed the Liffey and disrupted a bill including, if I recall, XTC? That’s the last time I saw the Rats.


John Cunningham - February 26, 2013

Wondering that there doesn’t seem to be any comment on Italian election here. What would be an equivalent outcome in Ireland? Ming Flanagan as leader of the largest party, with at least one Minger/Mingite returned in every constituency? The psephologists might start working on that one!


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