Saturday, March 31, 2012


When train announcements say "Please mind the gap between the train and the platform", the words "gap", "train", and "platform" are all the same in Welsh. I can practically speak the language already!

Anyway, it was the Welsh Memory Championship today, and to prove how very out of practice I am, it's given me a headache. Memory competitions don't normally do that (they just make me sleep for a week afterwards), so I obviously need more training. I'll write about it tomorrow, but big thanks to Dai, Phil and Nathalie for running a fantastic event!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Can I urge everyone to visit It's the language-learning site cultivated (there's a plant theme to it) by Ed Cooke, the memory master who unlike some memory masters I could name has done something useful with the principles and created an excellent website! I've been using it today to relearn all those Chinese characters I learned last year and forgot about, but you can learn pretty much any language ever invented on there if you really want to.

Learn Esperanto (which is probably available on there, although I haven't checked). I firmly believe that everyone should learn Esperanto, and I fully intend to learn it myself one of these decades.

Also, I have to report that my diet, scoff, chomp, isn't going quite as well, munch, as it might. I haven't got the willpower. I have got a big tube of Pringles and a bottle of cherry coke. What's a memory master to do?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I'll admit, I quite enjoyed being filmed extensively in Spain the other week. It made me think that I could enjoy a life of being told what to say and do repeatedly. So much so, that I feel the need to get it out of my system by finding something fun on the StarNow website - full of people looking for actors to star in short films, usually with terms along the lines of 'no pay, but it'll look great on your portfolio'. I've been offered a couple of memory-themed things in the past on the promise that it'll be great exposure for me, by people who really don't know me at all. I'll happily work for nothing, people, but please be up-front about it rather than trying to pass it off as a bad thing.

But doing some 'proper' acting would really help with my life's ambition of being an evil scientist in a Japanese monster movie. Or possibly even my other life's ambition of starring in Doctor Who. Actually, there's a student movie in Derby that wants someone to play the Doctor, I definitely should do that!

In other news, I'm on a diet again, officially, starting today. I can feel the weight coming off already. I haven't had a single drop of cherry coke all day!

And in other other news, I think next month I'll do more reviews of DC Comics' New 52 - with six of the 52 reaching their final issues in April, and doubtless another wave of cancellations and new launches to come as soon as the latest batch has had a moment to find its feet, it seems a good time to look retrospectively back on them. Or maybe I'll focus my attention on Marvel Comics instead, which is still focusing on an annual 'event' and launches it next month - Avengers v X-Men. The prequel that came out today has a really very nice Avengers story (and it's not often I say that about anything written by Brian Bendis), but a not-very-good-at-all X-Men story, so my hopes for the big event aren't high...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Legal highs without catnip

I'm really mildly freaked out by these adverts for something you plug in the wall to make your cat more calm and well-adjusted. They started out as Bonfire Night things, but now they're all-year-round behaviour-modification devices. There's just something really totally wrong about the idea, and if I ever own pets, I'll make a point of not buying the things.

Not that I'm going to buy them now because I haven't got pets, you understand. That would be silly, and besides, they probably affect humans too and gradually kill your brain. It's a conspiracy.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm in heaven when you smile

I've been singing "Jackie Wilson Said" to myself all day since I heard that Jocky Wilson had died.

Also, it's the day the clocks go forward, so I reset the clock in my living room to show the correct time for the moment - it gradually gains time, so it was ten minutes fast until I fixed it. It's a pretty terrible clock, all in all - I bought it to be an alarm clock but it's much too quiet to wake me up, and also it doesn't keep time at all accurately (I didn't think digital clocks were supposed to do that, but this one does). But its great advantage is that it lights up in pretty colours when you press it, so who cares about these minor problems?