Blog October 2008 - AndyPryke.com
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Friday 31st October 2008

Eastside at Halloween

Wandered down to the (newish) Eastside Projects Space when I took part in a interesting space-age maze installation which involved wearing a helmets which made you look like an alien. All the participants had cameras - either in the helmet, on in their "ray-gun" which also featured a screen which you could flick between the views from different cameras - quite dis-orienting, but fun!

Then I wandered round to Ikon Eastside's black and white themed party, where I saw (I think) the Velvet Underground and Nico recreated on xylophones, as well as some very funky projections and lights and a real party atmosphere.

Friday 24th October 2008

The Next Dumb Creationist Argument

The latest creationist argument, courtesy of New Scientist

"The mind is immaterial - you cannot touch it with your finger, the brain however is rather squishy. Scientific evidence shows that the immaterial mind can change the material brain (e.g. neuron firing). Therefore it must be magic."

Similarly, I cannot touch Microsoft Word - it is immaterial, but I have no problem believing it can influence the voltage at particular points in my PC. Does this mean Bill Gates is a Wizard?

Where's the problem? Grrr...

All Aboard the Atheist Bus

Launched on Tuesday at Midnight, the Atheist Bus Appeal reached it's target for donations by 10am! It's now clocked up nearly 20 times that, in thousands of donations averaging 15.

Hopefully, it will help counteract some of the ads you see for fake philosophy courses and Alpha course brainwashing.

Atheist Bus Ad - There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.
Atheist Bus Ad - There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

Personally, I'd have preferred "There are no gods", as referring to them in the singular seems to be raising monotheistic religions to some sort of privileged position. Then again, at least you can hear Thor...

Fri 17th October 2008

Obama Doing Stand-up

Barack Obama and John McCain both appeared at the Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, where they swapped their normal political speeches for stand up comedy. The BBC has 3 minutes of the highlights of Obama and once you've seen that you might want to have a look at the 10 minute version on YouTube . You can also see the John McCain ( 1 min - BBC) and (9 Min - YouTube) - he's good but not quite as funny as Barack "Steve" Obama.

Incidentally, google currently gives "about 2,100 hits" for "Barack Steve Obama" (), I can see this rising rapidly!

Burn After Reading

The Electric was packed for this 8pm screening of the latest Coen Brother's movie. I'd heard mixed reviews on Radio 4 earlier in the week, but I liked it. It mixes genre's - romantic comedy, "goonie" comedy, love triangles, spy, thriller - and the characters would each be at home in one or two of these. However, they're all in the same world, and their lives are criss-crossing with each other. It reminded me of Shakespeare's "problem plays" which are hard to pigeon hole as "comedy" or "tragedy" - the problem is all in the categorisation and not in the work itself. Anyway, it was funny and suspenseful, and seemed like a little slice of life, so I'd recommend it.

Weds 15th October 2008

Upcoming: Mon 20th Oct - Can Britain run on green energy?

I saw Neil Crumpton speak about a month ago, outlining his scheme for 100% green energy for the UK (i.e. not just the electricity). He was a great speaker, so, through Friends of the Earth Birmingham I've invited him to come speak here.

It's taking place at Carrs Lane Church Centre which is opposite Moor St Station, just along from Selfridges (map ).

There's also be a chance to find out what's happening about the future of energy in Birmingham (from me!)

It's this coming Monday (20th October) from 7pm for a 7:30 start, and it's free. Invite your friends.

Download a poster to print (word, 39Kb)

Thursday 9th October 2008

Richard Herring

Part of the Birmingham Comedy Festival, which I have neglected this year. I booked this well in advance, as I was pretty sure it would sell out.

His show this year is "The Headmaster's Son" - all about his youth at school near Cheddar Gorge and was a good as you'd expect (i.e. very good). He seems like a nice guy too. He's also got DVD of some of his previous shows, so I managed to pick up Someone Like Yoghurt which I've seen live, and also The Twelve Tasks of Hercules which I haven't!

Do go see him if you get the chance, you can find a list of upcoming gigs at RichardHerring.com along with his blog , which he's written every single day since November 2002! Unlike me, whose posts seem to be getting sparser!

Friday 3rd October 2008

The Corner Shop

The Corner Shop by Foursight Theatre is set in a variety of shops at a variety of times, including a Persian owned newsagents in the 1980's, a Jamaican food store in the 1970's, an English owned general store in the 1960's and a new Polish shop in the current day. There's also a fantastically decorated sweetshop - like something from a fairy tale, and we get to visit the living rooms of several of the owners. The audience follows the performance around a variety of shops, street and rooms, constructed at The Public in West Brom.

I really enjoyed this performance, which gave an insight into the lives behind the corner shop.

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