Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Half a million views on Flickr in one day

I don't often check my Flickr photo stats, but I happened to the other week and found a massive spike in the number of views. Normally I get around 100-200 views a day, but on that particular day I got 569,829. My theory is that they came from this post on Viralnova about money trees. I reckon that somehow embedding the pictures on that web page caused the view count to go up. It's interesting that as well as the two money tree pictures the ones near it in the photo stream also got a lot of views. I couldn't find anyone else reporting that they've had a similar big jump, so I put this post out there in case someone knows just why the pageviews did go up.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The intersection of two major parts of British SF - Douglas Adams and Doctor Who

I didn't realise until I came across this book that Douglas Adams had written Doctor Who episodes. So what was the intersection of these two major parts of British SF like? Douglas had already written an episode called City of Death (note requires Real Player - actually it doesn't require it, but I just wanted to say such an anachronistic thing). Then he was commissioned to write six episodes. They got abandoned after three because of a strike. What Gareth Roberts has done here is write a novel based on all he could get hold of with those scripts.

Unfortunately I found that the combination was lesser than the sum of its parts. It's well written, but not as brilliant as I might have hoped. The story is quite slow, but not tedious and the ending doesn't disappoint. Maybe just for fans only.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Would I have been a mod or rocker?

Why am I even wondering about this?

Let's start back when I was a young teenager in the late 70s. There were four music papers around then: (from memory) Melody Maker, Sounds, Record Mirror and the NME. A friend of mine subscribed to Record Mirror. On the letters page there was discussion about mods and rockers; this was the first time I'd heard the terms. I didn't know anyone who would fall in either camp, but being rural Lincolnshire this isn't a surprise. Another friend was embarrassed to discover that his dad used to be a Teddy Boy. Although his dad was middle-aged then, I did the maths and it was entirely plausible that he was a teenager at the right time.

The music I listened to and liked around then was the Specials and Madness, and not Shakin Stevens. If someone had made me choose then I would have said Mod.

When we moved to our current house and I was no longer able to walk to work, as I had done for almost all of my previous working life up that point, I got a 30cc scooter. I could ride it on a normal drivers license, after I took the CBT. After 3 years I upgraded to a 125cc motorbike and took my full bike test. As well as being more (but not very) powerful I preferred the riding position on the motorbike (though I once did carry two dwarf apple trees on the scooter). So if someone had made me choose because of transport criteria I would have said Rocker.

Then we move onto the Olympics and The Who playing at the closing ceremony. I knew My Generation of course, but I'd never really heard Baba O'Reilly. One of the band members was on Top Gear a few years ago too and they played "Who are you", which I'd never really heard. Even though my musical tastes went back to music released before I became a teenager, like Genesis and early ELO, I'd never really come across The Who. Finally I played them on Spotify shuffle a few days ago and came across "I can see for miles", which I knew but didn't realise was them. I really like all these tracks. So if I had to choose in the 60s I would have said Mod.

One of the differences between the two tribes was their dress. I'm not that smart, and I have been known to wear more denim in the past than I do now, so it would have to be Rocker.

So two all, what's going to decide it?