james debate
james debate

Friday, 29 February 2008

Well this is the most pleasantly surprising headline i've ever seen. This time last year scrubs (admittedly a show in decline since it's early years) looked dead in the water. There was plenty of talk about whether or not Zach Braff (JD) would even return the for already penned 7th season. When he did eventually agree to it, it was decided that this would be the final season, and that scrubs would be no more after it, much to everyone's disappointment, if not to everyone's surprise.

Things seemed even more bleak this year with the writer's strike when Scrubs was halted a good few episodes from the end, which hadn't even been scripted yet. There was much discussion about the possibility that the last ever episode may never be aired on tv, despite passionate exhortations from the producers that they would show it online if they had to.

Now however, much to everyone's (everyone who had been in the loop) shock, there seems to be fresh plans on not only finishing this 7th season, but also bringing the show back for an 8th! This however is a slightly stickier deal than it first appears. The deal, agreed only in principle at the time of writing, is with the television network ABC (broadcasters of Lost), as opposed to NBC who have been showing scrubs (as well as classic sitcoms like Seinfeld and Friends) until now. There is little love lost between these networks and it remains to be seen how cleanly the changing of teams will go, if indeed it does go through.
This one wonders if NBC will still market these last episodes of season 7 as the 'final episodes' of scrubs, hurting ABC in the process.

Just a quick update about myself today. First off I am thinking about having a wine and cheese night one of these days. I was intending to have some kind of dinner party with a few people over but I'm having a hard time finding the time to plan this and this way I can make it a bit more focused on my true talents as a wine connoisseur. I will start telling people about it in the coming days so if I haven't spoken to you yet don't feel insulted, and if you feel a yearning for wine and cheese related knowledge ask me about it and so long as I haven't invited too many people you can come for sure.

In other less happy news there's been some talk about someone I had been seeing the last couple of weeks who now I think I'll just be staying friends with and I just wanted to clear this up and say that really nothing big happened, she's just not the right type, and I think I'd be dating her just for the sake of it, as pretty and wonderful as she is, which isn't fair, and not really what I want to be doing right now. To be frank im surprised by the interest this has generated, yes she's pretty but i'm not 14 so I have more crucial things to look for and I was rather under the impression that this was common for those of us who arent in high school :S moving on.

Had some interesting musings whilst looking at the songs charts on itunes. First of all please lets all note Duffy who is currently at number 1 spot, an artist who you will all recall i tipped for great things a couple of months ago in my big new years post. And there, as you can see, another of my predictions has come to pass. I must admit i was pleasantly surprised to see her reach such great success in a world where, quite frankly, most of the top selling songs are from artists with absolutely no talent, here is someone with bags of it, a new dusty springfield, and she's actually being appreciated by the general public. That hasn't happened for a while. (anyone who looks at the song currently in the number two spot will note that perhaps things havent changed so dramatically after all)

So you've been out boozing all night, drunk an outrageously unhealthy mix of liquors and wine and beer and come home exhausted and ready for a night's sleep. Now you will likely have one or two main problems the next day:

1. your stomach will feel like it's angry and exacting its revenge on you
2. your head will feel like it's about to explode

Now there are three key things you need to avoid such a thing, I will tell you what they are first and then explain in more depth.

You will want:

1. water

2. bread

3. vitamin c

Now onto the specifics, where medical science and boozing combine beautifully. Your head will hurt as a result of dehydration, due to ethanol being a potent diuretic (makes you take a wiz), so one good way to avoid this is to
have a glass of water every now and then while you're out, or at least drink a nice pint or two of water when you get home before you go to bed, assuming your stomach can take it by that point, pace yourself if it can't.

The various stomach pains and nausea you may encounter comes from irritation of the stomach lining and the effects on liver metabolism. The break down of ethanol results in an increase in NADH production, which then drives the reaction to convert pyruvate to lactate. This draws pyruvate away from other important processes such as gluconeogenesis, which results in less glucose being supplied to the brain and tissues and can result in hypoglycemia and account for many hangover symptoms. So this can be countered in two effective ways, either by eating before or during your night out to absorb the ethanol and dilute its effect, or having a nice piece of toast or dish of pasta when you get home, works like a charm.  Vitamin C is very useful in speeding up the breakdown of ethanol, and therefore reducing its effect, eating some fruit as early as hours before going out can have a massive effect.

Hope that was helpful, safe drinking from Dr. Debs!

song of the day: "Mr. Understanding" by "Pete & the Pirates"
thing you're going to do today: Go to the Reynolds... nah just kidding who does that anymore with the early closing?
pic of the day:

Wine and Cheese parties
BBC iPlayer

Dinner parties
SkySports.co.uk Tv

Saturday, 23 February 2008

First a little general background about this week: there was a lot of booze. This is RAG week, which anyone will tell you is a magical time when alcohol flows like running urine all in the name of charity. Yesterday in particular was the Circle Line pub crawl, where we start drinking at 11am and keep drinking until after midnight, hitting every stop on the circle line to collect money for charity (and get a drink at every single one of the 27 stops) followed by an after party at the Reynolds for those who manage to get all the way through this ordeal.

As so often seems to happen on nights like these people get drunk enough that they actually come up to me and praise me for my blog, typically people i never even knew were aware of its existence, which frankly makes it all the more enjoyable. A lot of somewhat surprised sounding talk about how open and frank my blog is, but quite frankly that's why it warrants such respect; if i pulled my punches and tiptoed around the issues then this would just be some wussy emo poncey french blog. He did also make me think about something though. He was attempting to read into the ambiguous comments I have made about my personal life to try and guess who I was talking about. I'm quite intrigued people do that, but I suppose that's human nature. For anyone reading this, i'll save you some time, don't bother trying to read into it, i'm quite complicated, and cautious enough not to leave clues that lead you to anything I don't explicitly say, if you think I have it just means you don't know the full story :) Besides if it was that interesting i'd say it here anyway.

That being said I'm going to make another one of these enigmatic comments for you to go nuts over. Even though there is someone i've been seeing a bit the last week or two it's not gotten serious yet, and today i dare say i'm having second thoughts after encountering someone I used to be quite sweet for whilst at lectures. The thing is, there are plenty of girls i've been out with or who people know i've been interested in who are really fun or pretty or just generally lovely in every way, and this girl (who i've mentioned on here before if anyone wants to try and find it and add it all together :P) is no different, but she's just... she's the type of girl who I can't tell why i like her more than other people: she's not prettier, possibly less pretty than many girls i've been with recently, she's not very outgoing and a little withdrawn, and yet... there's something about her, everytime i see her it feels like life is wonderful and sunny and sugary, and her smile instantly cures whatever ails me, its amazing really and i dont fully understand it.

Meanwhile,  the theme of the week seems to be 'big brother is watching you' I won't list all of the examples which come to mind as big brother is definitely watching this blog, but one that I can talk about is the ridiculous notion that the GMC will be looking at the facebook pages of potential medics to see if theyre the 'sort' they want practicing medicine. Absolutely scandalous, and that is why you will no longer find my legendary GKT movie on youtube (it had brought in about 100,000 views just from us medics in the past year!)

have a good weekend everybody!

Anyone who's ever come over for lunch or a snack or a drink or one of my kickass parties will no doubt know that I'm a bit of a connoisseur of the best of the best food and drink. So now, for your pleasure I will give you the top 5 things that you've never heard of before but will be bloody thankful you have once i tell you to go get them.

1. Cusquenas (peruvian export beer) this is simply the king of beers, goes down smooth without tasting diluted, it's like pure mayan gold in a bottle, to the extent that even people who don't like beer try this and bloody love it. It's that good. Buy it now and thank me later, or come over and help yourself to one, you'll love it.

2. Manchego (spanish cheese) for anyone who likes to eat a bit of cheese every now and then, or keep some on hand for making sandwiches, cooking with pasta etc, this is THE shit. It has a dry mellow consistency much like pecorino cheese, but with an extra sweet tang to it, and as far as cheese goes, it's perfection.

3. Pavés (french chocolate) this is one of the most decadent things you will ever eat, and can only be bought in Paris is a specific shop on the rue université (ask and ye shall receive the full name) This is a box of deliciously hedonistic chocolate, richer than bill gates and darker than the night itself, the chocolate is divided into 1cm cubed cubes of soft, melt in your mouth chocolate that you eat with a tiny stick that comes with each box... just for extra pretensiousness

4. Billecart-Salmon (champagne) simply the best, get the rosé it's magical

5. Grape Juice (juice) those of you who know me know I have been a big fan of grape juice for many a year, and let me tell you, never underestimate the value of having a good simple, tasty juice to wash things down with; when you don't want something strong or when water just won't do

song of the day: "3s & 7s" by "Queens of the Stoneage"
thing you're going to do today: Get off the Couch and do something, its Saturday!
pic of the day:

Ashes to Ashes episode 2
Futurama (go watch it again i bet you forgot how good it was)

Ashes to Ashes episode 3
Skins (don't bother, it's still complete crap)

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Well the first two months of 2008 have come and gone and two of my big tips for this year have gone with them, but how have they fared with people's high expectations?

I gather those of you who read my blog roundups have been surprised to see Ashes to Ashes in the 'not' section of my 'hot and not' roundup, so I will clarify. First of all Ashes to Ashes is a very different show to Life on Mars, despite the similarities. While Life on Mars was very reminiscent of the Sweeney and similar shows, Ashes to Ashes is more like Miami Vice. This is no bad thing, in fact the wonderfully kitsch 80s-ness and much more likehearted feel to the show is very entertaining when you get used to it, it's just not what you expect when you first watch it. At first I was slightly disappointed by the very obnoxious and annoying lead, as well as the diluted slightly cartoonlike approach taken to Gene Hunt, the main draw of the show.

Upon reflection, and watching the much stronger second episode (featuring a very impressive 8 licensed songs- many of which are very good) I do appreciate this show it is still better than 99.99% of other tv shows, but it is not as good as Life on Mars, and the storytelling mechanic they're using with the main character is a bit misguided and jarring, but can be forgiven. If you watched Life on Mars give it a look in, I think you'll grow to like it.

Now on to Cloverfield, the brainchild of Lost creator JJ Abrams. I saw this on opening night a few weeks ago and let me tell you, I was pretty psyched about this movie. I am of the opinion that right now everything JJ Abrams touches turns to gold, and not only did this live up to that expectation, it exceeded it. 

This movie was even better than I thought it would be. I expected a decently imagined monster movie, presented from a uniquely original perpective and carried off with well engineered suspense and excitement. What I got was an experience. A naturalistic and realistic (as much as possible) account of what a monster attack on New York would be like, or any attack for that matter - one can draw parallels between this movie and 9/11 in much the same way one can draw them between Godzilla and Hiroshima, indeed some scenes in this movie look like they could have been taken straight from 9/11 footage. This immediate sensory experience is topped by a rich backstory, much more so than is apparent when you're first watching it, and much of which is simply alluded to in the film - the origins of the monster for example are never revealed although there are allusions to the answer in the movie, though for absolute details one must look elsewhere (there is an origins manga released in japan revealing said details, and a sequel/prequel movie planned). But none of this would come off so well if not for the brilliant story telling, inventively told with 'flashbacks' as it were, much in the vein of Lost. In short: Do not underestimate this movie, it is an unmissable experience, and go see it in the cinema, you owe that to yourself.

I'm sure i'm not the only one who sees them all the time in the media, but latey there are one or two idiots who every time i hear from them I can not believe the high positions they hold in this industry. So without further ado I present to you Idiots in the World of Football.

Specifically I feel moved to comment on two men in particular. Both idiots for different reasons: one for being a bigoted mussolini-esque windbag and the other just for being a nonce. I speak of course of Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, and Mark 'Lawro' Lawrenson of the BBC.

Let us begin with Blatter. Aside from the basic accusations of corruption as well as incompetent mishandling of a player dying during a match and absurd sexist remarks, this is a man who's racism diffuses through every decision he makes. 

An outspoken critic of the English and English football, he was a major proponent in the movement to ban English teams from European competition. His comments on English teams and managers range from the idiotic comments on how the premiership is 'bad for football' to his most recent outburst on how 'abusive' the english proposal to play games abroad is. Let's just be clear, I hate this proposal, i think it is preposterous and completely skews the integrity of the league, but at the same time it's impossible to listen to Blatter's reasoning for his views without rolling one's eyes a little bit. The truth is that he would love the German league to be played abroad, just that nobody cares about it. What really grates though is this brilliant idea that because of said proposal England shouldn't be given the world cup in 2018... riiiight... i fail to see the link and i'm sure i'm not the only one. The whole thing smacks of opportunism. Blatter was aching to find a reason to put England's world cup bid in doubt and this was it.

What is really amazing is how this man has managed to keep this position throughout all the controversy and criticism. It can surely be seen as a sign of the outdated archaic organisation and management of FIFA and its affairs that this behaviour is tolerated. Just as the G14 has disbanded and the old establishments come crashing down around it, the calls keep coming in for the heads of the English FA, but first we must surely call for a much needed shakeup of FIFA, and for this old dinosaur to pack it in and move on.

On  a lighter note we come to Lawro. He is simply awful, an annoying and foolish commentator who knows bafflingly little about football for such a legendary player, as anyone who's ever heard him commentate a match can attest to. He reminds me of a parrott, who's been trained to speak and will just pipe up with random comments regardless of their meaning or appropriateness. I don't think quoting him here would do justice to his hilarious comments, but let's just say there are a few facebook groups dedicated to them.

I think the only reason the BBC keep him on staff is that there must be a lot of fans who relish the opportunity to tune into a match just to slag off his ineptitude.

Have a good weekend everybody

song of the day: "Kaleidoscope" by "Kate Havnevik"
thing you're going to do today: Watch match of the day and laugh at liverpool
pic of the day:

Ashes to Ashes episode 2
No more WGA strike

Ashes to Ashes episode 1
Repeating myself

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

It's been an interesting few weeks for anyone following the US election primaries. I got my vote in to New York and helped ignite what has become the Obama revolution. That this relatively young man, a fresh breath of competent air in the bloated windbag that is American Government, has suddenly risen to prominence when no one thought he'd be competing with Clinton a few months ago just goes to show that the system works, and that the little people can make a difference. There is a change coming about in America, and it will result in a government that doesn't run the country based on the bible, that doesn't lie to the general public and use fear to control the masses! The leader will not be someone who is full of crap and resorts to low smear tactics (unless hillary wins, in which case it will be) this election is showing the power of appealing to young idealistic voters who want to be taken seriously again on the world stage, instead of being the butt of every other country's jokes.

Obama has now taken the lead, and if all goes well, he could win the nomination. It is an exciting time to be involved in politics. Even if you have to put up the odd ignorant naysayer who judges a candidate without even knowing the facts. Who criticises a man with competence and integrity just because he hasn't held a position that deem to be 'experienced' enough. He was a state senator for 15 years before he was elected to the senate, and has done a lot of good work in that time, all of which, on top of the specifics of his philosophy are plainly available for all who care to actually look into it. That is a lot of experience, even if it's not as much as some of the less competent candidates, you can't go putting a minimum level of experience on this job beyond what's already in place: Obama has got as much experience as anyone his age, if that's not enough then the minimum age for president would be higher than 35.

His opponent Clinton has taken a bit of a low road in recent times following her poor run of form. Every day now she releases another snipe or attack in the media. I have a high opinion of the American voters (on the democratic side anyway) and I'm sure they'll see how this is a clear sign of desperation. Specifically now she criticizes the fact that Obama won't debate with her prior to the wisconsin primary. Seemingly a valid point, it completely sidesteps the fact that he has two debates planned already post wisconsin, and the only reason she wants more and more debates is because her campaign is out of money, and quite frankly she has no means to campaign otherwise, whereas the Obama fundraising campaign is going strong due to the passion and commitment of his supporters. Of the three remaining (likely) candidates I think she is the least likable by quite a distance, and after her husband's similar comments lost her south carolina, I would be wary of putting her foot in her mouth. Giuliani and Romney employed similar tactics and they are both out of the race now. Let's see if she does any better...

On the other side Huckabee is a depressing notion, an evangelical religious president... even worse than bush... god can you imagine. If he were president then i tell you, we would be no worse than the other side, than the fundamentalist muslims in this world that are so chastised for their extremeness. Mccain is a decent guy, one of the few candidates who is not completely fake and full of it, and also an American hero, for what that's worth. With him though, he is quite old, he isn't the freshest of faces in the system and there is the worry really that he is too far embedded in said system for him to really bring about any change. He is a safe option, but in this world today that doesn't seem enough. Drastic changes are needed to repair the country, its foreign relationships and general image in the world that has taken such a pounding the past 8 years.

One thing we can all agree on, thank god that 8 years is done with now, shame on all of you who forced it upon us by voting for Bush/rigging the elections.

To begin with, a little follow up to last week's top videogame characters post. I received a lot of emails about other suggestions (newsflash guys thats what the comments are for, starting a discussion, so lets use them) And I would be remiss if I didn't mention some of the better suggestions: captain flacon, serious sam and Luigi could easily have made my list on another day.

So how am I doing then? I don't write about myself as much as I used to, and I haven't posted anything for a while now. The short answer is that things are... interesting, hectic and complicated as always. I could just say everything's great, and for the most part that would be true, but let's face it that would be a far less interesting way to start a blog entry.
This week I have jetted off to Boston randomly to see my brother, and in the process of doing so I came upon three major epiphanies: weekend vacations are a life saver; the apple air is freakishly thin, like annorexic underwear model thin, and just as sexy; and guitar hero is quite possibly the best videogame i've played in a long time for many many reasons, a few of which I will now briefly touch on.
The game itself i fun and addictive, with varying levels of challenge. The soundtrack is great, particularly this last one, which is chock full of classic rock tunes, and slipknot. The guitar peripheral that comes with the game is very well made, it feels right, and is much better than any of the similar guitar controllers that have been made in the past, on top of which they are heavily customisable. Soon you will be able to buy different shape guitars, change faceplates, add stickers and whatnot. So let's all grab an axe and rock out, I have a feeling this will be the bane of my revision period.

In other news, it's amazing how every time i get dinner with someone it becomes such a hot topic, even when I don't mention it on this journal, I still get people finding out somehow through a series of chinese whispers and suddenly everyone wants the primo details. Clearly word gets around, and there's only one or two people I tell so it's not hard to guess who's using me as gossip fodder.
So yes I do have plans for tomorrow night but it's nothing to get too excited about just yet, let's just see how it goes. I know I've probably said this far too many times this term but she has potential ;)

Happy Valentine's day,
Be well.

song of the day"Clap" by "The Myrmidons"
thing you're going to do today: go play/buy guitar hero, then come over and rock out with me
pic of the day:

Saving the world with your guitar
Life on Mars (still)
No more WGA strike

Saving the world with a gun
Ashes to Ashes (sadly)
Fading memories of WGA strike

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