Archive for August, 2010

Complicated Girls at the Elder Stubbs festival

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

A video of me playing Complicated Gilrs at the Elder Stubbs festival, Oxford, is now available on youtube. You can also watch Snow Falls On Mars.

Perfecting the parapluie

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Silhouette of couple picnicking under umbrella in the rainWhy have there been virtually no serious developments in umbrella design since Totes Inc. brought out their folding model in 1970?

This isn’t going to be one of those blog entries that claim a fabulous new idea in the field of non-wearable rain protection. The fact is, there’s no shortage of ideas. There are thousands of patents on umbrella-related inventions but practically none have ever made it to the high street.

This wouldn’t be so odd if the standard umbrella was an elegant and simple design that worked perfectly. But despite the obvious drawbacks of the standard brolly – drawbacks that become apparrent once rain is combined with all but the lightest of winds, not to mention durability, portability or ease of deployment – the field seems stubbornly resistant to innovation. (more…)

Killer squirrel on the loose

Monday, August 9th, 2010
Killer squirrel with machine gun, wearing military-style beret

A friend of mine is obsessed with killer squirrels. The idea of a marauding squirrel leaping out of the trees to attack unwary passers-by intrigued me so I decided to  write a song about it. You can listen to a newly recorded version on myspace.

It turns out, though, she has more reason to be obsessed than I’d initially thought. Back in 2006 the Metro reported on a squirrel in Florida called Bruce (after Die Hard star Bruce Willis) who carried out a ‘week-long reign of terror which saw him take on three women, a toddler and his father, and several police officers,’ surviving a beating and being pepper-sprayed before he was finally apprehended. (more…)