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There's a $1.5bn plan to bring wind energy from Wyoming to California, via pumping air into a specially-built salt cave, and letting it out as needed.

It's a wonderful, baroquely over-the-top scheme. And, as BDLGblog says, it all feels like something out of a steampunk Aeneid:


The restless regions of the storms she sought,
Where, in a spacious cave of living stone,
The tyrant Aeolus, from his airy throne,
With pow'r imperial curbs the struggling winds,
And sounding tempests in dark prisons binds.
This way and that th' impatient captives tend,
And, pressing for release, the mountains rend.
High in his hall th' undaunted monarch stands,
And shakes his scepter, and their rage commands;
Which did he not, their unresisted sway
Would sweep the world before them in their way;
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Bonkers Victorian inventions, including:
  • A steel collar, to protect against garrotting
  • A mechanical leech, in case there's a shortage of real leeches
  • A corset with built-in inflatable boobs
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I love it when political manouvering becomes full-on Machiavellian. This (if true) is a beautifully contorted dodge from Kremlin strategist Vladislav Surkov, protecting his own position:

At one point he began to fear that success would be his undoing: there was speculation that he had presidential ambitions, a dangerous rumour, especially in political circles, and he immediately leaked the fact of his Chechen father, which he had previously kept secret, in order to rule himself out of higher office, or so it’s said. It was his way of saying ‘I know my place.’
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Oh, the ways I find to faff in my lunch-break. Today, translations of Mullet; apparently every country wants to blame them on foreigners and/or sportsmen. So Sweden (similar to Norway and Canada) has the lovely-sounding Hockeyfrilla ("Hockey hair"). The Danes ("Svenskerhår) blame it on the Swedes. Poland goes all the way with Czeski piłkarz ("Czech footballer") -- sports and abroad all in one.

All this from reading the blog of Amelia Andersdotter, who managed to win an election with the slogan "Vote for me because I know a lot about European cooperation, or because I have a mullet".

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The internet is poisoned. In my lunch break I started reading a blog on (er, mostly) Chinese politics, and within 5 minutes was confronted with slash involving David Miliband and a stegosaurus.

[no link, because it wasn't very good porn. I hope in the fullness of time somebody will do better, and occupy that particular niche in triumph]

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It's not so surprising that lobbyists are offering to demonize Occupy Wall Street for money. That's their job, after all: latch on to whatever is happening, and demand cash to support or hinder or manipulate it.

What's sweet is how fixated they are on finding some rich central backer pulling the strings. Maybe it's Soros? After all, these people wouldn't do anything unless they were being paid for it:


"It will be vital,” the memo says, “to understand who is funding it and what their backgrounds and motives are. If we can show that they have the same cynical motivation as a political opponent it will undermine their credibility in a profound way.”

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People, I lack music.

My office in Berlin was in a bar, above rehearsal rooms, with an electro-heavy playlist constantly on the stereo. There was enough music around that I didn't need to find my own. So, aside from the odd medicinal piece for a particular mood, I just soaked up whatever was in the air already.

My current office is more mundane: choose headphones, or choose silence. I can't just sink into the emotional rhythm of other people's music, so I need to create my own or let the entire day be identical.
Still, I'm not really asking for music recommendations. I really want to find music journalists. Or music blogers, music essayists, whatever. I may draw the line at twitter. Suggestions?
Ones I already like:

  • Simon Reynolds (despite his habit of concealing his articles across a dozen half-forgotten blogs)

  • Velvet Coalmine


  • K-punk,
    Splintering Bone Ashes, and the rest of the hauntology crowd. Though they're more philosophy than music, and in any case seem mostly to have given up the ghost.

  • Sasha Frere-Jones (though I wish he were a bit less tastefully even-handed)

  • um...there most be some more? Right?
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Reminder that today is my belated housewarming, and my housemate's birthday party. Location is 8A cheshire road, london n22 8JJ. Turn up any time from early evening -- with friends/partners/etc as you see fit.

Should you need it, my phone number is 07935 589442

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Practical advice time, folks: how do I find interesting films showing in London cinemas?

I'm particularly interested in older and moderately obscure films -- the kind that will turn up over the course of a year, but that I'll miss unless I inhale a listings magazine every week.

Does there exist a website that can take a wish-list of films, and email me whenever one of them is on in London? That seems like such an obvious and potentially-profitable concept that somebody must already have built it, but I can't find it.

Relatedly, does anybody want to come see some films with me?

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George Osborne supposedly used to regularly snort cocaine with a sex worker. Andy Coulson's NotW was on hand to damp down the story, hacking the escort's phone, attacking her personally, and printing an editorial sympathetic to Osborne. Hypocritical Tory saved by friends in high places, what's new?

But what I love is how in the midst of all this, she still manages to put the boot into Hague:

At the time [Osborne] was working for William Hague. I remember that vividly because he called William Hague insipid and I didn't know what the word meant. I do now.

[FWIW I find Hague much less insipid than the average politician, and in fact the current cabinet show up just how insipid the New Labour minsters were. Osborne, by contrast, has no redeeming features I've yet been able to find]

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