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Everything posted by Futtocks

  1. Justin Quirk - Nothin' but a good time: The spectacular rise and fall of Glam Metal. This is a history of one of history's most reviled, noisy, colourful and ephemeral music genres. There's a lot of outrageous stories, some of which are stoopid fun, some of which are disturbing and sordid. The writing is mainly pretty decent, although the fanboy hyperbole clearly ratchets up when the author describes the music of his favourite bands. But that could be said of many music writers covering more "serious" types of music. Odd fact plucked from the pages: Vinnie Vincent, who played for KISS and also fronted one of the poutiest, spiky-guitar-est, big-haired-est, make-up slathered bands in his own right, used to write music for the sitcom 'Happy Days' and the spinoff 'Joanie loves Chachi'. Just like the genre, this book is good fun, right up 'til it all turns bad. Now reading: Geoffrey Household's historical novelisation "The Exploits of Xenophon". Good so far.
  2. When I walk to the supermarket, I cross a bridge over a stream that feeds into the local reservoir. Quite often, you see a heron, but it is usually a fair distance from the bridge. Yesterday, however, he was sunning himself on a branch very close to the road and didn't seem bothered by the attention. I wish I'd had some sort of camera to hand.
  3. Max Magician and the Secret of the Rings (2002) An hilariously wretched rip-off of elements of franchises that were the money-spinners at the time. Max, a young boy who is bullied at school, practises stage magic before being given a book by a mysterious neighbour, and enters a magic kingdom to battle an evil demon ruler. The magic rings are only fitfully significant. In fact, most of the significant action happens without their involvement. Part of the final battle even rips off 'Bedknobs & Broomsticks'. I don't recall a single likeable character in this... thing, which boasts some of the most stilted and amateurish acting you could imagine. The only memorable characters are the obnoxious ones. The talking mouse who makes me want to buy and bait more traps is one. The character Tom T!t Tot (yes, really), who only speaks in (execrable) rhymes is another. The main bad guy's face makeup isn't actually too bad, but he hams his part up to the kind of OTT level that even Gary Oldman would balk at. Some of his henchmen can be seen struggling to keep a straight face during his speeches. Chuck in the members of the Crownsville ren-fest to bulk out the crowd scenes and you have something almost like a movie, without ever being one. They also had the services of a guy who knew a bit of martial arts for precisely one scene. Okay, some of the lighting and cinematography is more competent than the material deserves, but the ADR is extremely hit and miss. So, this is both offensively cynical and risibly incompetent. Pretty entertaining with a few drinks inside you, but otherwise to be given the same wide berth that you would a urine-soaked tramp.
  4. Wales Online don't seem to have an agenda regarding the two codes. Yes, RU gets more coverage, because it is bigger in Wales. But WO will cover Welsh RL stories and not skew them negatively.
  5. Excellent. Maybe it could have gone into more detail about the local leagues, the Foley Shield etc., but there's still a fair amount of information on that. As well as a general history, it also takes time to spotlight particular players or aspects of politics, culture and RL in Queensland, such as racial inclusivity. Most of all, it is very readable and one I will be reading/referring to again in future. PART I: HOW RUGBY LEAGUE EXPLAINS … CITY AND COUNTRY 1 The defeats we suffered: 1974–1980 2 Out of the Hicksville days: 1981–1982 3 The beacon on the hill: 1983–1986 4 A change of culture: 1987–1989 PART II: HOW RUGBY LEAGUE EXPLAINS … QUEENSLAND’S COMING OF AGE 5 The Copernican revolution: 1990–1992 6 On the shell of a mudcrab and the skin of a mango: 1993–1996 7 I’ll miss that feeling: 1997 8 My old Lang Park: 1998–2001 PART III: HOW RUGBY LEAGUE EXPLAINS … RACE AND RECONCILIATION 9 Black and white brothers: 2002–2005 10 A sense of belonging: 2006–2010 11 Heartland: 2011–2014 12 God is a Queenslander: 2015
  6. tosheroon (plural tosheroons) (Britain, archaic slang) A half-crown coin; its value (Britain, obsolete slang) A crown coin; its value
  7. Lured, like I was "lured" to the job centre when I was made redundant. The tragic thing is that, if this had happened the other way round, so many RL fans would be scrambling over each other to be first to criticise such positive spin in the most hyperbolic terms they could manage.
  8. Never mind that; is a tosheroon a crown or a half-crown?
  9. The Beeb has upped the quality and quantity of RL coverage over the last decade or so.
  10. And, Uate's okay-ish stint at Huddersfield aside, just Fijians who played in the ARL/NRL?
  11. How are supposed to keep the dastardly Johnny Foreigner on the back foot if we make things easily understandable? You'll be banning us from spelling the word "fish" G.H.O.T.I. next!
  12. My dad has an old gramophone, which he modified with an electric motor and a triple-size horn (the latter he made himself from chickenwire and papier mache). There was a period of several years when he couldn't use it, 'til we moved house and discovered an old bloke in the nearest village who actually still made the required wooden needles (cherrywood, apparently). It actually sounds pretty impressive. But a modern turntable that can do 78rpm and fitted with a proper mono stylus can sound startlingly good with a clean shellac disc... at a price. Whether it is worth the investment is up to you. There'll always be some background noise, which will have been cleaned up on most digital re-issues.
  13. Just make things more complicated, some US measures share names with Imperial, but are actually different. The US gallon is about 20% smaller than the Imperial one. Then, if you cook, US recipes use the "cup" measurement a lot, which has to be converted differently for liquids and solids.
  14. Britain's a real mongrel with weights and measures. We never fully abandoned imperial when we officially went over to metric, but we never fully went metric either (miles being the most obvious example).
  15. Ig Nobel Prize winners. Especially the detail of the 2020 Peace Prize, jointly awarded to India and Pakistan.
  16. There are some inexperienced names in that list, including Sivo. They are still developing, as is Melbourne's Isaac Lumelume (who I assume is being groomed as Vuni's replacement). Eto Nabuli went back to RU after a pretty short stint. Nadruku was a sensation in his time, and not the giant blockbusting type of winger we often associate with the Islanders these days.
  17. There was a crossword clue about a 22-yard vendor, where the answer was "chain store". A chain being that length, or a tenth of a furlong. I had to explain to a young and thoroughly metric Aussie colleague that this was the measurement of a cricket pitch. I felt like Catweazle!
  18. Castleford - Mike McMeeken Catalans - Remi Casti Huddersfield - James Gavet Hull FC - Bureta Faraimo Hull KR - Harvey Livett Leeds - Brad Dwyer Salford - Niall Evalds St Helens - Jonny Lomax Wakefield - Tom Johnstone Warrington - Stefan Ratchford
  19. To be fair, few if any St Helens coaches have managed to get the team up for the WCC over the years.
  20. Well, exactly. But every year, social media gets clogged with people who need to be outraged that someone hasn't won the main award, despite not being eligible. This is the thoughtless sentimental incontinence that rules many people's thinking in the current day.
  21. Thank you. Your 100% meaningless analogy has restored my faith in the desperation of some people to wring the tiniest drops of mean-spirited sourness from any given situation.
  22. Please let's not hijack an existing award for on-field excellence for emotional reasons. For one thing, it'll provoke a seriously unedifying squabble between the people who want Mose Masoe to win and the ones who want Rob Burrow to win. For another thing, the award is for the players' player of the year, not for the most inspirational life story of the year. And for another, it'll mean that the award no longer has its original identity, so another will have to be created for the purpose, thus devaluing the association with Steve Prescott. This is just like the annual social media outrage that the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year trophy hasn't been given to the person with the saddest personal story. Create an "Inspiration" trophy to celebrate people like Mose or Rob instead. Name it after them, even. But neither qualify for the MoS and giving it to them would probably embarrass them more than anything. And set a precedent so that the best player of the season would never ever receive the MoS title ever again.
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