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'Tis another cygnusfap-style ten-pointer - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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June 4th, 2003


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02:42 am - 'Tis another cygnusfap-style ten-pointer
1. Interesting footnote to be announced at 8:10am in Britain tomorrow, the city to be named European Capital of Culture for 2008. The idea is that between 2005 and 2019, each country of the EU (...so quite possibly between 2005 and 2029 in practice, or maybe longer) in turn will nominate one of its cities to be European Capital of Culture for that year; the UK gets its year in 2008 and names the lucky city tomorrow. There's no actual money involved for winning, but pots of publicity and a big tourism boost for 2008. We're down to the last six cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Oxford and Newcastle-Gateshead. The last of these is 40 miles north of here, the others are all 100+ miles away, so I'm hoping for a (relatively) home win.

The local branch of the BBC claim that Independent research has shown that European Capital of Culture 2008 would boost tourism to the North East and bring in four million additional overnight visitors, a £1.2 billion income boost to the region creating 24,000 jobs. I reckon there's a few misplaced zeroes there, but it'd still be nice. Blue Square closed their book a few days back but made Newcastle-Gateshead 6/5 favourite, with Liverpool 11/4, Birmingham 4/1, Cardiff 7s and both Bristol and Oxford 10s against. (Mmm... a 123% book. Nice, nice.) How'way the lads!

2. Talking of betting, you can get 8/1 against New York hosting the 2012 Olympics with Billy Hill. (Paris 5/2, London 7/4 - though Laddies put London 3/1 against and agree with the consensus of Paris' favouritism.) Can't find any odds quoted against Vancouver winning the Winter Olympics in 2010, but I'd be very surprised if North America got neither 2010 nor 2012. (There's always Toronto 2012, though...)

3. The European Chess Championships are in progress now. England have sent three Grandmaster representatives, Luke McShane (once a prodigy, now making steady progress towards the world top 100, will be at university with cygnusfap next year - Cyg, there's a drink in it if you can get him onto LJ), Stuart Conquest and Peter Wells. McShane has gone D-W-D-W so far, which isn't so bad, and Conquest did get a draw against 2700+ Vassily Ivanchuk in round one before crashing and burning. Wells started by castling queenside (not actually starting with that as his first move, which would be illegal; he scored 0-0-0 in his first three games) and has much to do. McShane will also be playing in the Greenland Open 2003, which I only mention because it's in the town of Qaqortoq. That's not a town name, it's a "splodge your fingers on the keyboard to generate an alien name" name.

4. Still no results from the World Puzzle Championship qualifying test. Keep plugging away, lads.

5. Uncle Roy is only around you Londoners until Saturday. Haste ye down to the Institute of Contemporary Arts for the mixed-reality game of your life, maybe.

6. There was a Scavenger hunt in West Bromwich last weekend which I helpfully didn't tell you about because I'm saving the story up so I can tell you about the one in Coventry next weekend instead. The West Brom one was won by the team of bloggin' Labour MP Tom Watson, who writes about the experience in his blog. He also writes about being guest of honour at the opening of a new Indian restaurant. Who was compere for the evening's entertainments? One David St. John, last seen irritating the good parishoners of ukgameshows. Bad luck, Tom. I regard it as karma coming round for slagging off the Liberal Democrats and Proportional Representation so much.

7.
dancingrain 110%
griffen 106%
cygnusfap 102%
v_vconservative 102%
dr4b 102%
ericklendl 99%
tall_man 98%
unanon 98%
ari_o 98%
ealuscerwen 98%
fivemack 97%
starwheel 95%
fick_l_rene 95%
xnera 95%
sofie_elisabeth 95%
zorac 95%
lnr 94%
songmonk 93%
"...skip a few..."
trigaria 58%
anatsuno 58%
brakusjs 58%
How compatible with me are YOU?


What a result!

7b. dancingrain demonstrates 110% good taste in Flash animations, as well as compatibility, by pointing to Tom Lehrer's The Elements: the movie. Best Flash fun for months.

7c. I tend not to do many LJ questionnaires, but dancingrain also points to this very interesting initiative: add the question of your choice to the next questionnaire to do the rounds. Some very interesting ones lined up already.

8. Two days before the launch of Order of the Phoenix, the BBC will broadcast cruiserweight interviewer Jeremy Paxman grilling J. K. Rowling. Fingers crossed he will ask "Did you threaten to overrule the publisher by writing Harry/Draco?" fourteen times in a row.

Actually, I dare say that I'll tape the interview but not watch it until after I've read the book. Paxo sez "As well as dropping some clues about what will happen in the Order of the Phoenix...", so here's another occasion for the spoilerphiles to annoy the spoilerphobes. The usual threats apply.

9. I have observed an interesting trend in Middlesbrough pertaining to cherished car number plates recently. There's a tendency in Middlesbrough whereby if you want a particular plate but find it's unavailable, taken or way too expensive, just add a few to the number and hope people work out the reference. Examples: B 18 GUN, clearly numbered 2 too high, plus K 5 NKY, which is 4 out.

10. Lastly, I'll be in Oxford from Thursday 12th June to Sunday 15th June. Would any of you fine burghers be kind enough to offer me accommodation on the night of Thursday 12th to Friday 13th in return for food? *realises significance of date, hears thunder rumble, watches lightning flash* Floor space alone would be perfectly lovely.
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
Current Music: antimony arsenic aluminium selenium hydrogen helium nitrogen

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:expetesso
Date:June 3rd, 2003 07:35 pm (UTC)
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1. The Capital of Culture sounds like a rather interesting idea. I'm assuming the "culture" that would be paned during each year would be a combination of national and local, thus the intrigue/campaigning? over cities. I'm assuming there could be a great deal of competition from year to year to see which nation makes the best showing? (Or perhaps that's simply my American "pride in all things" coming to the fore.)

2. *headdesks* For someone living in a major gambling capital of Northeastern America, I have no concept of "odds." Any tips for easy understanding thereof? (Keep in mind that I'm heartily stupid at numbers...) As for the Olympics of 2012 -- yes please New York! (Afore-mentioned pride aside) I'd love to actually be able to attend for a few days.

3. Yet another reminder to pull out my old chess board and strategy books before school in the fall, when I will be living with a chessman.

7. You sheep, you.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 3rd, 2003 07:55 pm (UTC)
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First off, my AIM is untrue this evening; I keep getting "The AIM service cannot be reached" during the "Verifying name and password" stage when it tries to sign on. Would you be so kind as to hie thee to the nearest Y!M, please? (You'll see my Y! ID there very shortly.)

1) Not actually all that sure, really. Glasgow was the City of Culture in, I think, 1990 or 1992, but I'm not sure what cultural events took place there at the time.

It would seem unlikely that many people at all would travel afar to compare the different cities' cultural years, or that people could attend sufficiently many of the year's events in order to properly judge the range of activities available over the 12 months and so compare the different years to one another. There may well be competition in this way, but very few are in a position to follow it.

2) It's not so much a subject given to easy explanations in the width of a reply box.

However, by way of comparison, 6/5 is "slightly less likely than tossing a coin and it landing as a head"; 11/4 is "about as likely as a child about which you know nothing having been born at the weekend"; 4/1 is "about as likely as your next banknote's serial number ending in a 0 or a 1"; 7/1 is "about as likely as tossing three coins and them all landing as tails"; 10/1 is "slightly less likely than taking a m&m from a bag and finding it to be blue".

7) Baaaaaa! :-)
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From:zorac
Date:June 4th, 2003 01:13 am (UTC)
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1. Liverpool won. "Bah, humbug" says the Oxford Resident.

8. Hmmm. I suspect that 'Grilling' many be something of an overstatement. Besides, my opinion of Pacman dropped considerably after his fluffy bunny interview of Bill Gates - surely and interviewee begging to be grilled. Agreed on taping it for viewing after the book, tho'
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From:ringbark
Date:June 4th, 2003 03:32 am (UTC)
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Speaking as an exiled Scouser, I'm pleased to hear it. It's about time the place got some _good_ publicity.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 4th, 2003 09:58 am (UTC)
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It's probably the percentage play in terms of attracting visitors from the rest of the English-speaking world, at the very least. I do hope it doesn't turn into a Beatles-only fest. By the sounds of things, it won't, but it'll have much to do to overcome the prejudices that it will.

More about the announcement here, if you like.
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From:brigbother
Date:June 4th, 2003 02:26 am (UTC)
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Who was compere for the evening's entertainments? One David St. John, last seen irritating the good parishoners of ukgameshows. Bad luck, Tom. I regard it as karma coming round for slagging off the Liberal Democrats and Proportional Representation so much.
[User Picture]
From:brigbother
Date:June 4th, 2003 02:30 am (UTC)
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Bloody Netscape 4.7.

Anyway, rest of message follows:

Crikey, it wasn't just me then?

Although being a moderator and impartial and things, I feel dirty saying that. But there you go.

Although I can talk, obviously.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 4th, 2003 01:11 pm (UTC)
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I suspect there were few there who he didn't irritate with his egregious formatting and his unfunny, occasionally-borderline-homophobic jokes. Maybe we should have just tossed him for those; we didn't, though I at least thought about it.

The annoying thing is that I think he set the tone and the level of at least some people's conversations. Hey ho. Not a problem now.

Partially enough,
Chris
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From:brigbother
Date:June 4th, 2003 03:59 pm (UTC)
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I suspect there were few there who he didn't irritate with his egregious formatting and his unfunny, occasionally-borderline-homophobic jokes. Maybe we should have just tossed him for those; we didn't, though I at least thought about it.

He's of a certain generation and I can understand that. Didn't make him any more funny though. I was more aggravated by the same twenty page rant that would come up whenever reality TV came up, but there you go.

The annoying thing is that I think he set the tone and the level of at least some people's conversations. Hey ho. Not a problem now.

On my way back home from the pub this evening, I thought to myself that I'm in danger of becoming a bit like Jeremy Clarkson in more ways than one...

Although I can't drive, obviously.

I'd be lying if I said that I've never scoured a few media pages for a tenuous gameshow story just so I stick it on the end of a message with a largely unrelated joke in it. Which is naughty really. But it does at least provide something on topic.

Still, at least JC is quite funny even if I don't always agree with him. In my opinion, anyway.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 4th, 2003 06:54 pm (UTC)
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Clarkson is a prime quality bozo, but despite - because of? - being so wildly politically incorrect, he certainly is a very entertaining writer indeed so long as you don't take him even slightly seriously. I like lasultrix's theory that there is more to his ongoing double-act in the Sunday Times with A A Gill than meets the eye.

Digitiser to Jeremy Clarkson. Where next, Mr. G?
From:cygnusfap
Date:June 4th, 2003 03:46 am (UTC)
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8. I may tape this as well, as there may be spoilers.

10. Would love to offer some, but I'm worried that if the porters find out they'll make things difficult for Saturday. Wibble. Try Olympia, perhaps?
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:June 4th, 2003 01:17 pm (UTC)
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8. It's a safe bet that there will be spoilers. :-) (Let's just hope they don't print them in the Radiotimes or somewhere.)

10. Worry not - I am not out of ideas yet. *waggles eyebrows*

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