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Topics - Alan

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TV Live / Bologna...
« on: August 31, 2010, 08:30:40 PM »
Just £90 return for 2 - & it's on my birthday.......unlikely but possible...

World Of TUTS / 21 today....
« on: May 22, 2010, 01:21:39 PM »

World Chat / UK Election - Bragg Vs BNP...
« on: April 20, 2010, 09:21:20 AM »
Strange I've just realised there's not one post on the UK genetral Election on here yet so here's a starter for 10 a video in today's Guardian of Billy Bragg confronting a BNP member in Barking....

Lebanese TV host Ali Hussain Sibat faces execution in Saudi Arabia for sorcery..... A Lebanese television host who was arrested during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and sentenced to death as a sorcerer for making predictions on his TV show could be executed any day, his lawyer and rights groups said yesterday.

The sentence — roughly equivalent to Derren Brown being condemned to death for predicting the National Lottery on Channel 4 — has provoked outrage among human rights groups, who say that the death penalty for witchcraft in the kingdom is not unusual.

Ali Hussain Sibat, 46, a father of five, was arrested in May 2008 by Saudi Arabia’s religious police, the Mutaween, while on a pilgrimage to the country that boasts the holiest shrines in Islam. He was sentenced in November last year in a secret court session in Medina in which he was given no legal counsel. Amnesty International said that the sentence had apparently been handed down because he “gave advice and predictions about the future” on Lebanese television.

Mr Sibat used to make his predictions and give out advice to audience members while hosting a popular call-in show, Sheherazade, which aired on satellite TV across the Middle East. His lawyer, May el-Khansa, said that the entertainer’s legal appeal was rejected but that under Saudi law he could still be pardoned by the governor of the province in which he was judged. Amnesty has appealed to King Abdullah II, the Saudi ruler, as well as Lebanese authorities to push for the ruling to be overturned.

Related Links
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“Ali Hussain Sabat appears to have been convicted solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression,” said Malcolm Smart, head of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa programme. “It is high time the Saudi Arabian Government joined the international trend towards a worldwide moratorium on executions."

Ms el-Khansa said that she had been told by Saudi sources that Mr Sibat would be executed yesterday.

Thursday, the last day of the Saudi week, is a traditional day for beheadings in the kingdom, which observes a very strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law, and condemns to death those found guilty of murder, apostasy, armed robbery, drug trafficking, rape and witchcraft. Amnesty said it also feared that the execution was imminent.

The Lebanonese Ambassador to Riyadh, Marwan Zein, said yesterday that he had not been informed by the Saudi authorities that Mr Sibat was about to be executed. He believed that the case was still being considered by the court.

Mr Sibat was arrested, according to his lawyers, when he was performing the Umra, a minor religious pilgrimage to the holy shrines of Saudi Arabia. While in Medina, he was recognised by members of the religious police — the same force that once prevented schoolgirls escaping a burning school because their heads were uncovered — who had seen his show on television and arrested him in his hotel room.

His interrogators allegedly told him to write down what he did for a living, reassuring him that, if he did so, he would be allowed to go home after a few weeks. This document was presented in court as a confession and used to convict him, Amnesty said.

Scores of people were detained last year for “sorcery” and others have been condemned to die, even though the crime is not defined in the kingdom’s law, Amnesty said. The rights group said that sorcery “has been used to punish people for the legitimate exercise of their human rights, including the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, belief and expression.” The last known execution for sorcery was of a pharmacist who was arrested in May 2007 and accused of having degraded a copy of the Koran.

The kingdom, a close regional ally of the United States and Britain, executed at least 158 people in 2007 and a further 102 in 2008. Last year, a man convicted of raping several young boys and leaving one of his victims to die in the desert was beheaded and his body crucified in public.

- Sadly this is not a late April Fool joke... from today's Times

World Chat / Only One Flavour...
« on: March 29, 2010, 08:04:18 AM »
A glimpse inside the teenage mind has revealed how adolescent insecurity can dictate the pop charts. Brain scans have shown that teenagers’ music choices have less to do with whether they like what they are hearing and more about the horror of failing to conform with their peers.

The study — conducted on teenagers listening to songs on social networking sites such as MySpace — suggests that they will change their minds about music once they realise that the tracks are popular with other people their age.

If their musical preferences do not match those of others, their brains recoil with terror.

“We wanted to know, for example with, when you see a four or five-star rating of something, does that make you like it more?” said Gregory Berns, Chair of Neuroeconomics at Emory Univerity in the US, whose findings were published recently in the journal NeuroImage.

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Youngsters aged 12 to 17 were played a track and asked to rate how much they liked it. After an interval, they were asked to rate it again — after some had seen a popularity rating based on how many times the track had been downloaded.

Without knowledge on whether others liked a song, ratings changed 12 per cent of the time. When they found out that a tune was a hit, however, the subjects changed their ratings 22 per cent of the time, and more than three quarters switched in the direction of the song’s popularity rating. The first time that they heard a song, brain scans revealed, regions associated with reward and pleasure were activated. On the second hearing, those associated with anxiety and pain would light up, suggesting that fear made people change their ratings.

A teenager’s musical preference is big business. According to the BPI, the record industry trade group, about a third of all albums bought are by those aged 12 to 19. In 2008 that amounted to about £78 spent by each buyer.

The findings back up previous research on conformity, which say that there are good reasons why young people have strong sensitivity about the tastes of their peers.

By adapting to social norms, children learn to avoid teasing and rejection. Later in life, the ability to get on with others improves their life chances.

“We can’t deny the fact we care a lot about what people think,” said Dr Berns.

“A lot of people think we are individuals and in democratic societies we have freedom of choice. Actually, we’re slaves to what other people think.”
- From today's imes

World Chat / billy childish
« on: March 23, 2010, 10:01:20 PM »
Really interesting programme on billy childish today - worth checking out on the bbc i-player where it's up for a week.

World Chat / The Wild At Heart Club
« on: March 20, 2010, 11:29:08 AM »
Nice to see the Wild at Heart - and TV Smith as a regular, get a mention in the Guardian today in an article "The insiders' guide to the world's best small music venues":

Sadly no mentions for the Ellen Brewery, Sawyers, the Hull Adelphi.......

Sounds like a good new discussion point - and a poll; Which is the best venue that you've ever seen TV Smith live in?!

TV Songs / CD
« on: March 18, 2010, 03:15:39 PM »
I'm really enjoying this new song:

I think we should petition for TV to be on 'Grumpy Old Men'!

World Chat / Did a thirst for beer spark civilization?
« on: January 16, 2010, 09:46:05 AM »
A thought as we approach 'Earthbound'.....From today's Independent:

Drunkenness, hangovers, and debauchery tend to come to mind when one thinks about alcohol and its effects. But could alcohol also have been a catalyst for human civilization?

According to archaeologist Patrick McGovern this may have been the case when early man decided to start farming. Why humans turned from hunting and gathering to agriculture could be the result of our ancestors’ simple urge for alcoholic beverages.

“Alcohol provided the initial motivation,” said McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. “Then it got going the engine of society.”

As one of the leading experts on the study of ancient alcoholic brews, McGovern has found evidence showing that early man was making the beverage as far back as 9,000 years ago.

His earliest sample, which dates to 7000 BC, includes pottery shards found in a Neolithic village at the Jiahu site in China. By examining the clay shards, McGovern discovered traces of Tartaric acid, a compound found in alcoholic brews.

The makers of this particular ancient beverage would have relied on a more primitive brewing method. Specifically, their teeth and saliva. To allow for fermentation, they would have first chewed on wild rice, turning the starch into malt sugar. This would then be added to a mixture of honey, wild grapes and hawthorn fruit — all ingredients that could be found in their surroundings.

The pottery sherds in China, along with a pattern of ancient brews found in other regions of the world such as Africa and Mexico, have led McGovern to theorize that alcohol had a pivotal role for the development of early man.

Even as our ancestors had no understanding of chemistry at the time, they likely would have discovered how to create alcohol by accident. McGovern said perhaps a sprouted grain that had fermented by falling in a pool of water was picked up and eaten. Once consumed, those drops of alcohol juices would have hit the taster’s brain, causing them to wonder where they could get more.

“A main motivation for settling down and domesticating crops was probably to make an alcoholic beverage of some kind,” McGovern concluded. “People wanted to be closer to their plants so this leads to settlement.”

If this were true, the first farmers would have in fact been real ale brewers. Moreover, alcohol, which is often used to break down barriers between people, would have acted much in the same way it did thousands of years ago.

“Whenever we look at the Neolithic beverages and the domestication of these plants, we find that it was more of an egalitarian effort, with people working together,” McGovern said.

Make Beer Not Bread

But why not make bread instead of beer? McGovern said the latter was simply easier to create. Humans were only just beginning to cultivate plants, meaning that any bread made at the time would have hardly been the edible loafs we see now.

Alcohol also just tasted good, McGovern said. The drink’s more positive psychotropic effects — such as increased cheerfulness and confidence — would have attracted early man to try and consume more.

“I think most people see (this theory) as a very plausible scenario. But we don’t have all the evidence,” McGovern added.

Examining ancient pottery has been McGovern’s main avenue in finding this evidence since it can retain traces of the liquids it once stored. Unfortunately most pottery found in the world only dates back as far as 5,000 to 7,000 BC, he said.

Still, McGovern’s research has revealed new findings about ancient man through the use of biomolecular archaeology, a field he helped pioneer over the last two decades.

“We humans are organic. The clothes we have, the food we eat, all of this is organic,” McGovern said. “But before the last 25 years we didn’t have ways to find out what (ancient human beings) were eating, or what they were using to decorate their clothes with.”

"Alcohol was always present right from the beginning," McGovern said, adding that early man also relied on the beverage for rituals and medicinal purposes. In a new book, titled Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverages, he further the details his research on the history of alcohol brewing.

As for his theory on how alcohol motivated man to adopt agriculture, McGovern said: “I just wanted to put it out there as a worldwide hypothesis. Then over time maybe the different pieces can be put together from across the world.”

Bugs & Tips / Censorshit!
« on: November 30, 2009, 09:26:10 AM »
Jock is being censored from our site; "it says I've posted already and am posting too quickly after my last post, so I'm blocked somehow"

Freedom for the Leven One!

World Chat / Halloween Observance
« on: October 29, 2009, 04:57:00 PM »
A letter in yesterday's New York Daily News that I thought DJ Rockula would enjoy and be keen to follow....

Brooklyn: The pagan feast of Halloween is foreign to Christian tradition. It has its origins in the Celtic New Year, which celebrated the return of the spirits of the dead to their homes. Those who observe Halloween - though they're probably ignorant of what they're doing and why - are, in reality, celebrating death, the Devil and hell.

This is totally contrary to the meaning of this season's Christian festivities. On Nov. 1, Christians celebrate belief in the Communion of saints. On Nov. 2, we visit cemeteries as a religious and profoundly human gesture inspired by the hope of the Resurrection.

I encourage Christians to celebrate these days with renewed faith as a response to the real concerns of mankind. Also, as an alternative to Halloween, I suggest that parents not allow their children to go trick-or-treating, but instead attend costume parties dressed as biblical figures.

Tim Storey

Read more:

World Chat / Possible Warm Up Act for TV at next Earthbound?
« on: October 24, 2009, 12:28:09 PM »
From today's Times:

"George W. Bush set to become motivational speaker"
- Tim Reid in Washington

He left office with the US embroiled in two wars, a Great Recession and with his approval rating a toxic 22 per cent. So the next stage in his career is obvious. George W Bush — who last year inspired millions of people to vote Democrat — is about to become a highly-paid motivational speaker.

On Monday the former Republican President will appear as the headline speaker on the popular Get Motivated seminar programme, which describes itself as an “action-packed, fun-filled, explosive, exciting, inspiring, skill-building business event that is world famous for its mega-watt superstar speakers and spectacular stage production.” He will appear again in San Antonio in December.

The Forth Worth event, in Mr Bush’s home state of Texas, will also feature Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York Mayor, and Rick Belluzzo, a former Microsoft executive.

The Get Motivated programme has been a huge business success, but the appearance of Mr Bush at a seminar about, among other things, “How to Master the Art of Effective Leadership” has produced guffaws.

“Only the BEST of the BEST appear on our stage!” declares the Get Motivated website. Monday’s event will be a “motivational mega-show that packs more inspirational firepower than a stick of dynamite!”

Yet, Mr Bush will probably have the last laugh: he is being paid a reported $100,000 (£61,200) for each appearance. His wife, Laura, is also speaking for Get Motivated at other events, meaning the former First Couple could have banked $500,000 by the end of the year.

Some analysts believe that the speaking engagements are part of Mr Bush’s ongoing drive, quietly overseen by Karl Rove, his former chief adviser, to shape his legacy.

Mr Bush is planning a book on his presidency, in addition to building a presidential library. Appearing on stage with winners and success stories is “an introduction to the George W Bush legacy project,” says Wayne Slater, a veteran Texan journalist who has written about Mr Bush since he was the state’s governor.

Get Motivated point out that every president since Ronald Reagan has appeared at their events. David Sherzer, Mr Bush’s spokesman, said that he will reflect on his presidency, including the lessons that he has learnt from his accomplishments, as well as his setbacks. He will also share his thoughts on decision-making and managing complex organisations.

“It’s a great opportunity for him to talk to a group of risk-takers and entrepreneurs,” Mr Sherzer said. “This is a neat venue. It’s close to home so he’s really looking forward to it.”

Tamara Lowe, the executive vice-president of Get Motivated, offers this advice on her blog for speakers: “It is a sin to bore people with a presentation ... Add humour to your presentations. Study stand-up comedy. Move around on stage but don’t pace back and forth like a caged animal.”

What George said

“In terms of the economy — look, I inherited a recession, I am ending on a recession”

— Washington, January 12, 2009

“I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office”

— Washington, May 12, 2008

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we”

— Washington, August 5, 2004

“The CIA laid out several scenarios and said life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better, and they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like”

— New York, September 21, 2004

“I’m the master of low expectations”

— On Air Force One, June 4, 2003

“There's no cave deep enough for America, or dark enough to hide”

— Oklahoma, August 29, 2002

“I know the human being and fish can co-exist peacefully”

— Michigan, September 29, 2000

“Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream”

— Wisconsin, October 18, 2000

Bugs & Tips / TV on the move...
« on: September 30, 2009, 09:22:22 AM »
I have finally taken the plunge and got a 'Blackberry'-style of phone and so I can receive my e-mails when out-and-about and I notice that notifications from TV do not have a highlighted link (other notifications I receive do) and so it is not straight forward to link to the web chat - can a built in high-lighted link for yuppies be added?! Like garlic bread it's the future!

TV Live / Brazil
« on: September 27, 2009, 08:25:54 PM »
Going by this picture from myspace looks like TV made it over to Brazil....

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