Compassion
Nov19

Compassion

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Dance Music Triple
Nov19

Dance Music Triple

This week Spotify shuffled up some tunes for me as part of its regular Discover Weekly and one song in particular just sent shockwaves through my head as it tumbled through the headphones; that was Hey Music Lover by S’Express, a song I’d not heard since it probably charted in the very late 1980s and which I can only assume I didn’t really care for at the time. My music tastes towards the end of college and prior to university were eclectic but dance and pop weren’t really in the mix. However, listening to it again, decades later… The passage of time clearly affects appreciation for things in the old days. Sometimes it’s bad – old wankers and idiots who’ve never studied history (or probably much at all) voting the country back into a poorer, more oppressive era, for instance – but sometimes, like now, it’s wonderful. S’Express led to a bit of a musical journey through other dance and acid and house tracks this week and here are...

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Mangor The Oh-So-Curious Dinosaur
Nov17

Mangor The Oh-So-Curious Dinosaur

In 1959 F.James Bermond – through Jerkin Press in America and Gordon Humley Books in the UK – published the first of seven dinosaur books aimed at the teenage market. Like the other Bermond books Mangor The Oh-So-Curious Dinosaur stands out for its approach to quite adult themes buried under its seemingly innocent adventure personifying beasts from Earth’s distant past. In particular, Mangor The Oh-So-Curious Dinosaur tackles family loss – separation from the herd during a migration – as well as intolerance – bullying from Pterosaurs because of his inability to fly – and the fabric of reality – construction of the quantum portal with the aid of the robots back to the start of the novel. In an interview with The Cleveland Weekly in 1961 when asked why all his books featured benevolent robots tinkering with time Bermond responded by asking why nobody questioned how the dinosaur could...

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Diary Of A Portsmouth Freedom Fighter
Nov17

Diary Of A Portsmouth Freedom Fighter

Day One And there it is. The notification. That cold-blooded figurehead that quietly slithered into the top spot in the country got her way. She wants what a lot of people want; she wants to keep them out and throw some of them already in out too. And she wants to monitor everything. She’s clearly unhinged, totally unsuitable to represent the huge variety of people. A lot of people – stupid people, naturally, because this is my narrative – want what she wants as well, but not the majority, and definitely not the “very clear” majority she insisted and insisted made her Ice Empress of the Free World. Do you want to leave the European Union? That was the question. I don’t remember it asking if we wanted to be led into darkness by an entity crafted from vengeance but there’s always small print somewhere in those documents. In a pie chart you could barely make out the difference that very clear majority of people who could be bothered to vote selected and we’re not supposed to include the non-voters so there you have it. The country barely wanted to be free of beneficial meddling and now we’re getting free. And the people in my city apparently wanted to be free of beneficial meddling too and so I’ve decided I’m going to help them. I love this city and I hate its people. Do you know Portsmouth? It’s a city on an island. Three road routes on and a few foot-bridges plus a rail line. After that the only way on or off is by water. There’s a naval dock and a commercial port but the water’s shallow so the size of vessels is limited. We’ve got some ferry services to the Isle of Wight off the south coast and to Gosport to our west. What I’m trying to say here is that to isolate my city, to free it from any of that horribly useful interference from outside influences, you don’t really need to do much at all. I commute to and from work by car and it takes me on and off the island every single working day. I’ve seen what happens when there’s an accident on one of those three road routes, mostly because it’s almost a daily occurrence. Hell, everyone in Portsmouth has seen what happens. Stationary chaos. Thousands of metal, motorised marvels idling away with increasingly stressed humans idling away inside them. The vehicles start diverting from their preferred route and quickly overload the second route and then the third. Everything slows, even more than normal. Those traffic maps start filling with deepening red....

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The Women Of Kilobaud Computing
Sep26

The Women Of Kilobaud Computing

Computer programming is seen as a mainly male profession which can probably be attributed to the rise in home computers in the early-to-mid 1980s that were then marketed almost exclusively for boys. I can remember lusting after a Sinclair ZX Spectrum as soon as I saw one in operation and I know that all of my male friends ended up getting a computer of some sort within the first few years of that decade; female friends and relations, though… not a clue. However, prior to the most recent 30 year period computer programming was certainly more equal, if not heavily leaning towards women in the industry. To illustrate this – and just because they’re so full of retro gorgeousness I can’t resist them – here are some covers from Kilobaud Microcomputing...

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