Week Ending July 27, 2015

Not a lot this week – I’ve added quite a few new entries to the Podcast History and done a little bit more work updating entries in Trade Paperback Timelines.

I realise that this stuff is kind of dry, but it’s what interests me to work on right now, and also, there actually are no new Rock’n’Roll History entries for July – I’ve posted every last one that I know of (which doesn’t rule out me learning about other songs in the future, just that for the moment, the well is dry). There are new entries coming up in August, so that’s something to look forward to. And some point soon, I’m going to be heading back into Crossing Over, with new entries popping up there, too.
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Week Ending July 20, 2015

Weird, huh?

I mean, this Weekly Update immediately follows the last one in the feed. It looks like I’ve done nothing when I’ve literally created hundreds of new posts. But to list them all here would overwhelm this entire page with a long, long list of years. And I don’t want to do that. So instead, what I’ve decided to do is simply to list which podcasts and which periods have had material added to them this week. I realise that it’s not a great solution, but it allows this post to be much, much shorter than would otherwise be the case.
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Week Ending July 13, 2015

So I got impatient this week, and pulled the trigger on something I’ve been working on for a while, launching it even though there’s still lots and lots of work to be done on it. But it was time: The Podcast History of the World‘s hour had come round at last, and it is born. (Messily, like all births.) I’m trying not to spam people with too many new posts to it on any given day, but given that there will be somewhere in the region of 3000 posts all up, I also want to get them up in a reasonable span. Still working on a compromise there, folks.

I’m not going to be ignoring other features of the site (although I’m still wavering on how I want to deal with The Rock’n’Roll History of the World, although I am determined to come to an end of it in the not too distant future.

Also, I’ve been working on the Trade Paperback Timelines, and the main Marvel Universe one is nearly up to date with its reformatting (and with a lot of new volumes added to the more recent pages), but I don’t want to release it until I can put up all the reformatted pages, and I’m currently about 3/4 of the way through 2011. So it’s getting closer, but it’s still a ways off.
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1967 — David Bowie records “The Laughing Gnome”

Bowie himself regards it as one of his worst songs.

He’s not wrong. The Alvin and the Chipmunks high-voices, the tortured puns… it’s just horrible. Except for the music. Musically, it’s one of the strongest pieces of his work to that time. It’s the lyrics that let it down.

However, on the plus side, Bowie performed it for an audition in 1968 and failed to get the part – which meant that he continued to record pop music instead of pursuing a career in cabaret.

Referenced in:
No More Fun — Roger Taylor

1984 — First publication of “The Ballad of Halo Jones”

Originally published in five page installments in “2000AD”, beginning with the July 7, 1984 issue, “The Ballad of Halo Jones” was a serialised story written by Alan Moore and drawn by Ian Gibson. It detailed the life and times of Halo Jones, introduced as an 18 year old living in the 50th century. Across three major arcs (“books”), Jones matured and took on various careers, including stewardess on a space-liner and guerrilla fighter.

But disputes over the ownership of the series saw it discontinued, although Moore and Gibson had planned six more books of the story (telling the complete history of Halo). And because they have been unable to reach an agreement with the owners of the copyrights, Gibson and Moore have been unable to complete the Ballad of Halo Jones, and are likely to remain so.

Referenced in:
Hanging Out With Halo Jones — Transvision Vamp

1965 — Alan Freed dies

Alan Freed was one of the first really famous DJs, and his efforts were instrumental in promoting early rock’n’roll music – indeed, he is widely held to have been the one to coin the phrase “rock’n’roll”.

Freed had become interested in radio while attending college, and spent his military service working as a DJ on Armed Forces Radio. He later worked as a DJ at WKST (New Castle, PA); WKBN (Youngstown, OH); and WAKR (Akron, OH). But his great fame began in 1951, when he began working for WJW (Cleveland, OH), playing rhythm and blues, hot jazz and this strange new dance music that would be called rock’n’roll. Freed nicknamed himself “Moondog” after a jazz instrumental he played as the show’s intro. He later moved to WINS (New York), where his fame grew. Freed appeared in many of the early rock’n’roll films, co-wrote songs (such as “Maybelline” by Chuck Berry)…

…and was eventually ruined when it was revealed that he had taken payola (playing certain songs in exchange for money from record companies).

Freed worked a little after that, but his prestige and status as a tastemaker were destroyed in the scandal. He died of uremia and cirrhosis brought on by alcoholism. Freed was only 43 years old when he died.

Referenced in:
Done Too Soon — Neil Diamond

Period Ending July 6, 2015

That was a much, much longer break than I intended. Things aren’t helped much by the fact that The Rock’n’Roll History of the World is winding down – although there’s still more than two hundred entries to go, they’re spread out over the next six years (assuming I continue to publish each on its correct day). And aside from The Campaign for Symmetrical English, I don’t really have anything daily to do right now on the site, which makes ignoring it that much easier.

I’m thinking I might start doing some of the challenges from the 30 Day Challenge Archive, just to give me something to write about here. I did something like this before, and I really enjoyed it, so there’s that. (Suggestions gladly accepted.)

Anyway, here’s the (embarrassingly small) amount of new stuff I’ve done here since June 16:
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Invented by 12 year old evil genius Oliver Watson (when he was much younger), Lazopril is a drug with a number of effects, including sudden uncontrollable flatulence and a rapid diminution of levels of hostility and motivation in those dosed with it. Watson has equipped his bodyguards with it, and they generally shoot it into those he designates in the form of tiny darts.

Unfortunately for Oliver, Lazopril also delays the beginning of one’s adolescent growth spurt by about three months for each dose – something Oliver only realised after mixing up the early batches without wearing gloves. If you should meet Oliver, do not make jokes about his height.


Accountability is not a major feature of copyright law.

I know this, because within two days – weekend days at that – of me putting up my first creation here, I’ve received a takedown notice for it. Well, maybe.

Because what I’ve actually received is a email mentioning past takedown notices issued by HBO that apparently are related to my content. Which I’m certainly prepared to believe exist. But I don’t get to see them, apparently.

Not only that, but if my content – a shirt reading “You know less the Jon Snow” – is an infringement, I really have to wonder why searching for Jon Snow on RedBubble returns more than 300 other results, all of which apparently do not violate the same copyright, despite using very similar language, the same character name and in many cases, the same font.

I’m going to shut down my Redbubble store and take my business elsewhere.

So Redbubble: ten out of ten for your swift response here.


Winter is here

At least, it is in my part of the world, and with it comes two things: an end to Game of Thrones for the year, and a sudden realisation that I have only one hoodie, which is wearing out day by day.

It’s cold and getting colder, and I have only my wits to keep me warm. So I figure to show those wits on a range of merchandise at Exessentials on RedBubble, and hopefully stay a little warmer. I hope you get a chuckle from my creations :)


Sometimes employed by Larry Wilmore when stories get too hard to believe, Incredulox is an over the counter medication intended to make the implausible go down easy. (Ironically, the drug itself can be hard to swallow.)

The rather clumsy slogan of Incredulox is: “for when you simply cannot believe it, and it’s true, and you still can’t believe it.” This is one of the few run-on sentences ever to actually make it through the approvals process and actually get used as a slogan. The makers of Incredulox appear to have skimped on focus group spending.

The actual effectiveness of Incredulox is unclear, since it appears necessary to take very large doses in some cases.