Brooke links to this article about children’s author Lemony Snicket. I did actually know who he was because I first came across Daniel Handler playing accordion at the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs recital and only then discovered his alter ego, via House of Tomorrow. His website is great fun, and features an mp3 of a track Stephin Merritt composed for one of the books. I haven’t read any of the books but I do find them rather more tempting than Harry Potter.
Blimey CUR is getting serious. There seems to be a real chance that from October it will be broadcating on real radio to the whole of Cambridge, rather than the ramshackle internet arrangement at the moment. So the committee are really emphasising that this term is a trial run when they need to get the programming to a high quality, and actually schedule it properly instead of just having a bunch of random shows. We were also given a dire warning to avoid mentioning the election without scrupulous precautions to maintain neutrality. I’ve also just become college rep, so I have to write an article about all this stuff for the college magazine soon.

My show is going to be called What’s In The Box? (partly so I can cannibalise this design for the website) and I’ll find out soon what my slot is – it will be during a week day though, so I can commute from the Physics lab. I’m doing it on my own for the first time, which I have mixed feelings about. It’ll be nice to have complete control over the output but I’ll miss the opportunity to hear the music that my co-hosts have chosen. I’ll probably invite various friends along as guests though.
Last term I was invited to join the committee of the Pembroke Leavers Group, the basic aim of which was to persuade people at Pembroke who are graduating this year to pledge at least Ł10 towards college ‘hardship funds’ for students who have financial problems. I always felt that immediately after graduation was the wrong time to ask people to give yet more money to college, and it was quite clear that the rather cynical intent was to get people ‘in the habit’ of donating, so after some deliberation I decided to turn down the offer – especially after talking to the odious Fellow for Development. And now I feel vindicated – for some reason I wasn’t removed from their mailing list and today I received an invitation to a black tie dinner in a college function room for the whole committee, and apparently there will also be a champagne garden party for all those who gave money. On one hand they claim they are going to be desperately starved of cash now that governement funding has been reduced, and on the other hand they carry on with the same brazen extravagance as usual. Cambridge does annoy me sometimes.They must be, they must be, they can’t not be” says Meg and so begins our blogmeet experience. I don’t know quite what made Tom and I such obvious bloggers, but we soon settled into our new surnames, “Who are you?”, “I’m Martin… qwertyuiop”, “Ah yes, the unpronounceable one” – just like Freshers’ Week all over again. Sadly people were already leaving by the time I stopped feeling scared (aided by the vodka jellies – who did buy those?), and the moment we’d occupied an entire floor of the Rat & Parrot a bomb scare forced us out on to the streets, but it was still a fun night. I almost became a victim of my generosity on the way back though, when I handed my one day travelcard to someone outside King’s Cross before Tom pointed out that it was my ticket back to Cambridge too – thankfully they didn’t check it on the train. Anyway, nice to put faces to names, and there are several blogs I’ll have to check out and add to the sidebar in due course Fascinating article about god, religion and the brain (via Wherever You Are).

Reminds me how I find hardline atheism (see Richard Dawkins) just as irritating as fundamental religion: “”The real common denominator here is brain activity, not anything else,” says Ron Barrier, a spokesman for American Atheists based in Cranford, New Jersey. “There is nothing to indicate that this is externally imposed or that you are somehow tapping into a divine entity.”” But surely you might as well say the only way we perceive anything is through brain activity and there’s nothing to indicate it’s really there. Grr.

Personally I don’t believe in an ‘external’ god, but if through believing (either in a god or in something spiritual beyond science) somebody’s behaviour and life is altered then I don’t see how that can be distinguished from ‘god’ acting on them. Hmm, I can’t quite find the words to explain this, but the article fits in quite nicely with it.So, this is the 100th post to qwertyuiop, and has it been worth doing? From my point of view, I think it has – I’ve never kept a diary and it’s quite nice to have a record of what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been interested in. From anyone else’s point of view, it’s hard to tell really – some people seem to read this and enjoy it, so that’s nice – I even had a random ICQ from a Danish bloke informing me of a spelling mistake today…

There are problems though. It’s becoming increasingly hard to find interesting new links, probably because I now do most of my browsing through other blogs – and blogging about blogs seems a rather fruitless activity (argh, now I’m blogging about blogging about blogs). But it’s been nice to discover so many excellent sites, particularly through GBlogs, and some sense of a community.

I also envisaged I’d write about music a lot more than I have, but for some reason I find it much harder to write about than film or books. I think it’s partly because I listen to CDs over and over again, whereas with a film which I’ll only see once it’s easier just to record an immediate impression. And also I know a lot more about music than other media, so I tend to get bogged down in context – writing about what something sounds like rather than how it affects me.

Someone finding the site via a Google search for ‘Martin Griffiths Cambridge’ today also made me think. I feel a bit stranger about people I vaguely know coming across this rather than complete strangers, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing anything particularly personal.

So all things consdidered, although I really don’t have the time to carry on doing this, I probably will anyway…
Saw Bridget Jones’ Diary last night. It made me laugh a lot, no more than that, but that was all I wanted out of it really. Renee Zellweger’s accent gets very annoying though.

The website for Mark and Lard’s show on Radio 1 has changed since I last looked at it. It’s a bit of a Flash monstrosity, but does feature the very addictive One Man and His Frog game.

I got myself listed on the Ageless blog index thing. The little screen shots look nice, as do the ones on this excellent blog – read the Netscape rant. I’m currently the very last blogger to be born in the 1970’s which is kind of niceDamn, the online version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is addictive (if you can bear the horrid full-screen adverts that keep appearing). Even worse than the pub game, as you don’t even have to stump up 50p a game. Sadly though, I can now confirm that you get absolutely nothing for reaching Ł1m on it.