Skip to main content

My 2021 awards

For the fourth time in a row, here are my annual awards. I've made a few changes with the categories compared to last year.

Best newly discovered radio show

I caught Covid, despite being fairly careful, and one thing I discovered during my 10 days isolation was this Radio 4 programme: Add to Playlist. Cerys Matthews and Jeffrey Boakye put together a playlist of 5 pieces of music each show, with a snippets of a few others too. Each one is related in some way to the one before - maybe in theme, or mood, or some other way. (The playlist hasn't got as long as The Chain on BBC 6Music (8361 tracks and counting), it might take a while to do that.) The range of is music is pretty wide - from medieval to present day. So you need to be open to listening to new things, but if you are, then you'll probably be intrigued by what they choose.

Best new Superman related TV series

Heroes spoiled pretty much all superhero films or TV series, but there are a couple of characters from my childhood that I still enjoy - Superman and Batman. Superman and Lois is a TV series showing on the BBC set when they get married and have two teenage boys. I'm taking each episode at a time, expecting it to get tedious, like Supergirl or Batgirl did, but I'm 3 or 4 in and so far I'm enjoying it. I get really bored when the superhero has to have a fist fight with their enemy, with whom they are always closely matched. There are a few scenes like that, but plenty of other stuff going on to keep me interested. One of their children has some powers, and they've only just told their boys that their Dad is Superman, so there are lots of interesting plot lines going on around that.

Best First Contact film

Don't we get more than that?

I'm a sucker for films where Aliens make contact with us. Close Encounters is one of my top 10, and so I love anything like that. This 1997 film is adapted from the book by Carl Sagan, who, as I can best work out, is the US, last century equivalent of Brian Cox. As such the science is pretty solid, which means it doesn't annoy me. Jodie Foster is brilliant as ever as the scientist who notices when the aliens first get in touch. Sometimes old films show their age a little too much, but this one doesn't. 

Best advert

Although this has been around for over a year, it seems to have got dusted off for this Christmas. Many ads get very tedious on repeated viewings, but I love the playful dance on this advert, as well as the music. 

Best popular science book

Although I haven't finished it, I'm really enjoying Rutherford and Fry's A complete guide to absolutely everything (abridged edition). I'm a regular listener to their podcast (though I'm nearly 2 years behind). It picks a number of different topics, like "Is anything completely round" and holds them up and examines them. I'd love to sit down with the authors and ask them further questions (and have a bit of a moan about how much space they devoted to bad science). I've just finished the chapter on Time and found it a bit long.


Unknown said…
The best thing about 'Contact' is how faithful it is to the book, which I read first. A sad bit of the story is that the Arecibo Observatory collapsed last year
So it's a bit like watching a movie that has the World Traid centre twin towers in the background. Although thankfully there were no casualties.

I have recently found a cure for insomnia; using headphones (little in-ear ones) and the BBC Sounds app, listening to Radio 4 or 4 extra gets me a good night's sleep. Midnight to 6am on Radio 4 is World Service, and you get the very special bonus of the Shipping forecast 😁

Popular posts from this blog

Follow up to Matt's "Three feelings" post

This is in response to Matt 's post Three feelings I don't have a word for .  (A blog post in response to a blog post. How quaint.) "Imagined vastness" sounds like a very specific instance of the more general "sense of wonder" or sensawunda . For me I get that feeling of imagined vastness when reading Iain M Banks' Culture series. I don't get the Stack Overflow vertigo he talks about, but I do have a feeling of holding something almost physical when I've got something on the clipboard and I haven't pasted it yet. It's similar to the feeling that I (maybe it is just me) get when I know there's a bit of coffee left at the bottom of the cup. Atemporal hotel lobbies is something I can't really relate to. I do have my own unnamed feeling though: Cycling to work It's that moment when I whizz down our sloped drive and start pedalling up to the road. Because I WFH I go out at lunchtime these days, and the feeling just isn't the sa

20 years of blogging: First post

Back in 1999 it mostly cost money to run a blog (from what I can remember). You had to sort out your own hosting. Then Dave Winer  made on offer on his blogging platform  for a 60 day free trial , so I was away. So what was my very first post? What words did I choose to post for all on the internet to see?  23 December 1999 I'm stil trying to decide what to do with this. Click on the skull to add your suggestion. Oh, that's not very good is it. A typo in the second word too. The URL was (I think. Everything I say could be unreliable, because it was a while ago.) I also created an FAQ page that day: Who are the Morriss family? We are just a normal family with a dad who likes exploring the internet. Why don't you have more information? Because I'm not sure want I want to do with this site. I think there are no typos there. The idea was that I would share family news. Come back in January to see what my next

20 years of blogging: fourth post

4/1/2000 Things are moving   We've had the letter from Wycliffe about "raising support".  They want us to aim that 25% of our income comes from other people by the end of a year, and 50% by the end of two years.  Other news: I've officially asked for voluntary redundancy Spoiler: after 4 years of trying I didn't even get to 20%, so I was paid a salary after all.