Daily Archives: Monday, 25th Jan 2010

Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More

I really should have mentioned this quite lovely album when I got it back in October, but as I simply wasn’t in the posting mood back then, I didn’t. Well, as you may have noticed, I’m back in the posting mood, so here we go. Mumford & Sons are a London band who first caught my ear when I heard Little Lion Man one evening on 6Music. It was one of those songs that immediately lodged itself in my brain, but as I was doing at least one other thing at the time[1], I didn’t catch the announcement of useful little details like artist and title. But it was played quite a few more times over the following days and weeks, and at some point I managed to recall the band name.

And so, when the album came out, I bought it from some download service or other[2], played it a few times and totally fell in love with it. If you’ve been watching the excellent new series of Being Human, you’ll have heard the opening track Sigh No More recently, and it’s a nicely representative track. Instruments are acoustic, and include banjo-like equipment, but please don’t let that put you off, it sounds quite lovely. It’s music that’s full of passion and power, and sounds like they really mean it, and that has to be a Good Thing.

Here’s the video for Little Lion Man, a lovely song with the best use of what I will politely refer to as the F word[3] since ‘Til Tuesday’s quite beautiful Believed You Were Lucky[4]

But there’s much more to love on this album, like Winter Winds, with its regret-filled chorus:

And my head told my heart
“Let love grow”
But my heart told my head
“This time no
This time no”

Wonderful stuff.

[1] Ironing, if memory serves
[2] I generally switch between iTunes, Amazon and 7Digital based on a complicated formula which can be summarised as “who’s cheapest for this one?”
[3] I’ve no idea why I do that when I’m typing. It’s not as if I’m bothered about saying it…
[4] Another band you should all know about, so there.

Weight and Stuff Report – 25 January 2010

Oh good, back down again today after yesterday’s quite alarming rise. Only back to where I was a week ago, but never mind, etc.

I walked to work again this morning, starting the week as I mean to go on, or something like that anyway.

For today’s little something extra, here’s a picture I took last year while waiting for a bus:

The Web

The Web

Raindrops on a spider’s web, taken with the Olympus E-P1 and the 17mm lens. Shame I didn’t have the 5D Mk II and the macro lens, which might have let me get a lot closer to those drops, but I quite like the effect anyway.

New pictures will come soon!

Old Photographs of Newcastle

Newcastle Libraries owns a large collection of old photographs and postcards. Putting these things on display where everyone can see them is a problem for libraries in general – do you put everything on the walls (unlikely, as it would take up more space than is generally available), do you just pick the best or most interesting (a bit subjective), or maybe have show a frequently (or not so frequently) changing display (not so good for occasional visitors)? Or do you do the sensible thing and scan them at reasonably high quality and put the lot on public display on the web?

Newcastle Libraries on Flickr

There are over 6,500 images on show. I’ve barely started looking through them, but I’ve seen a lot of good things already. The images range from old paintings to recent photographs, which taken together, show the changes and development of Newcastle and the surrounding areas over the last few centuries.

It looks like they’ve still got some work to do in adding titles and descriptions to some pictures, but at least by putting them on a public site, visitors can help by adding comments identifying locations and buildings.

If you’re at all interested in local history, or just want to see what places looked like just a few decades ago, this collection is going to make you very happy.

I can see that being a problem…

Leave it to xkcd to point out the flaw in a load of popular stories:

xkcd: Children's Fantasy

xkcd: Children's Fantasy

Click the image to see the whole thing, and make sure you hover your mouse over it to get the extra text.

Done that? Good.

Assuming you came back here after going to xkcd[1], isn’t this entirely right? I mean, if you were called off to a different world where you did all manner of heroic stuff, quite possibly involving mythical creatures and beautiful princes/princesses/whatevers[2], and then had to come back to your regular life and carry on as normal, having to pretend that none of it had happened, because you know that everyone would think you were either making it up or perhaps a wee bit differently sane, wouldn’t it make a complete mess of your life? Unless, of course, you found an outlet and wrote fantasy novels. OK, C S Lewis – we’re on to you now!

[1] And I’ll quite understand if you didn’t, Randall is a lot funnier than I am…
[2] Or whoever you prefer. Could be lovely peasants if you like