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Rum Doings Episode 199: We Flooping Love Science

by on Aug.21, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 199th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, we need finally to decide, Lego or Meccano.

Joined by Judge Coxcombe, we take your dilemmas and queries, as well as discuss the Labour leadership race, a conversation you may understand about maths, a plot to be allowed to kill people, and what happens after Twitter?

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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How To Use AdBlock Nicely

by on Aug.20, 2015, under Rants

AdBlock is a useful tool. There are websites that are close to unusable, or even entirely broken, because of their advertising. There are sites that use dirty, underhanded tactics like pop-unders. While clearly the best argument is to say that perhaps one should just not visit such websites at all, it’s obvious that people are going to use AdBlock instead. Denying it is silly. However, by default, AdBlock removes advertising from every site you visit with that browser, no matter how relevant, responsible or reasonable. And when ads don’t load on websites, those sites don’t get money. This means they either eventually wither and die due to lack of funds, or they resort to even more intrusive, gross, unblockable advertising, like paid advertorial disguised as genuine articles, or hollow pieces written purely to stuff with affiliate links. As much as you may not revel in seeing a Taboola list of The Amazing Tricks Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Know, those sites are only there for you to read because those ads are there too.

Default AdBlock causes you to become a smash-and-grab user of the internet. You may be Googling to work out why your boiler isn’t working, find the solution on a super-helpful website you’ll never visit again, and then get on with your hot watery day. But that super-helpful website got nothing from you in return, because the ads they depend on didn’t load. And the couple of banner ads that would have appeared would have made no difference to you at all.

But there is a way to use AdBlock entirely differently, that’s very simple to set up. Instead of blacklisting the entire internet, and perhaps whitelisting (allowing ads on) sites you may one day remember to try to support, you can whitelist the whole web, and blacklist those that offend. Like this:

1) Click on the Adblock logo, and pick “Options”.

2) Select “Customize” from the top row, and then click on “Show ads everywhere except for these domains”.

3) In the options that appear, add at least one website (without the ‘http://’ and the ‘/’ at the end), and then click “OK!”

And you’re done!

Now the whole web is whitelisted apart from that dreadful BigHairyBums.com site with its pop-under auto-playing video ads for hitmen and poison. Although, once again, perhaps consider whether you want to just not visit the website at all. If you want to blacklist something else, you just click on the AdBlock button and choose “Enable AdBlock on this page” to automatically add it to the list.

You’re a much fairer user of the internet now. And you’re helping sites you enjoy, or even sites you flitter past, to stay online.

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Rum Doings Episode 198: Carefully Tussled

by on Aug.12, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 198th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, would it not be easier just to ban people from being between the ages of 18 and 25?

We talk bus museums, zoos, and the damage they do to feet. We discuss politics in Monkey World, the manners of Parisians, and Nick’s adventures in Nice. And we babble about Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, and whether there’s room for a Left wing in monkey politics.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 197: Space Based Cold War

by on Jul.29, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 197th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, isn’t it about time those captors released poor little Maddie?

Sorry. However, in a pleasingly upbeat episode, we discuss an awful lot of space. Going to space, the amount to spend on space, and space fiction. Especially The Martian and Defying Gravity. Of course, things move on to Lord Sewel, and the peculiarity of the story.

John laments how awful is his cat, and then we realise that John’s marriage is in the hands of a fragile china mug.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 196: A Skanky Man

by on Jul.24, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 196th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, isn’t it about time ISIS learned some good fashioned British values?

We talk about lying to your children, the destruction of the BBC, and indeed CBeebies programming. There are thoughts on deficits, John seeks mortgage advice, we ponder Steve Martin, and wonder at the cast of the Cosby Show. And Nick still hasn’t written the Toby song.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 195: Rubbed Away At My Arse Crack

by on Jul.09, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 195th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, has tennis outlived its usefulness?

We discuss our robot overlord future, the horrible Stephen Green, and then dissect Center Parcs. Nick dismisses the Greek, we remember when Richard Herring didn’t shout “AND ER!” after every sentence, and then we start making some very special plans for our 200th episode.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 194: National Cream Tea Day

by on Jun.26, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 194th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, if you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs, are you a member of ISIS?

On National Cream Tea Day we bring you news of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm – a truly barking mad creationist zoo that actually exists. We then discuss the very nature of existence, and then how people pray wrong. We recall the race for the human genome, lament the faults of the wax crayon, and Nick does his amazing impression of John.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 193: Go Back Onto Your Lipid Raft

by on Jun.16, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 193th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, is the Queen turning up for the Magna Carter ceremony a bit as if Jimmy Savile’s ghost turned up for the opening of a new ward at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

We begin discussing the Tim Hunt fiasco, which eventually leads to Nick’s decision to run his own island. We dismiss all allergies, celebrate Giles Brandreth, and attempt to discover the identity of a briefcase carrier.

John regales us with tales of the Saltford fete, we wonder at our ever-aging attractions, and ban nose piercings.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Jurassic World: A Review

by on Jun.11, 2015, under Rants, The Rest

Jurassic World is a truly horrible film. Not simply because it’s badly written, drearily directed, and horribly acted, although it is all those things. But because it’s a joyless void.

Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a splendidly fun movie, for all manner of reasons, but key is that it understands one huge thing: dinosaurs are amazing. Jurassic World begins with the premise that no they’re not, that they’re boring, and that we’re all over them. And sinks deeper into its awe-free mire from there.

The park is open, successful, and packed with tens of thousands of visitors. But, we’re told in the opening breath of the movie, people are over dinosaurs now. They’ve seen them, they’re used to them, they need to create something bigger, scarier, more powerful. In some ways it’s a defiant opening statement for the film to make: we’re going to be so much more than that 22 year old movie (no, it’s really 22 years). It’s a statement that its audience is au fait with dinosaur movies, even bored of them. So you just wait folks, we’ll make something even better.

But huh? When did we stop loving dinosaurs? When did we get cynical about seeing them at the movies? That’s not something anyone’s ever expressed. In fact, the reason people were delighted to hear the franchise was back is because it’s been so long since a film revelled in their majesty. Fourteen years since the entirely forgettable Jurassic Park III came out. Eighteen since Spielberg was at the helm. Sure, we see dragons and magical monsters in every other film, but that extraordinary, breath-taking wonder that was felt the first time you saw the family at the foot of a brontosaurus? The rush of watching the gallimimuses “flocking this way”? The utter terror of the velociraptors in the kitchens? Imagine that, but with 2015′s technology! Imagine the wonder!

Jurassic World is a film with the wonder surgically removed. Every character but for the generic impish child is utterly uninterested. It shows little children bored as they ride around on baby triceratops in petting zoos, parents staring into the middle distance. It’s probably a statement about how we’re all staring at our phones as the world goes by around us, or something. But in a film so empty-headed and blunderingly constructed, such social commentary is wholly out of place. This is a film with open contempt for its audience, snootily condescending of the imagined demand for bigger, scarier dinosaurs. And then is about a bigger, scarier dinosaur, that has apparently had its DNA spliced with nearly every other species of animal on the planet.

The plot is so dumb it feels like lying when trying to explain it. They’ve made this super-dinosaur, bred it to be larger, scarier, more exciting than a T-rex for the jaded fools it imagines are watching, and then almost instantly releases it into the island. But there’s also these velociraptors that Chris Pratt has sort of tamed a bit, and there’s this baddie man who wants to use trained velociraptors in the army… oh God, seriously, this is the story. Meanwhile, two children are posted to the island by their mom, Judy Greer, to spend time with her sister, Aunt Bryce Dallas Howard. Aunt Bryce is IN CHARGE OF RUNNING THE PARK, but Mommy Greer is utterly bemused that she’s not able to drop everything and entertain her children for her for a couple of days. How dare she?! But then wouldn’t you know it, just as things start to go wrong, it’s those two boys alone who are inexplicably in immediate danger. It then slides downhill until the finale that defies all credibility.

What unfurls is drowsily stupid. At no point does anyone make a decision that makes any sense. “Keep everyone trapped on the island with the killer dinosaur, because if we send them home we’ll be closed down!” That’s literally the argument made by one character. And every single moment of peril is caused by people being too hideously brainless to ever just go indoors. No dialogue is worthwhile – there’s not a single line in the entire film that works properly. Jokes repeatedly and awkwardly fall hideously flat, met with complete silence in a packed cinema. Even a conversation between two dinosaurs – no, I wish I were kidding – is over-long and boring.

However, the cynical nastiness of the film is a lot more deeply rooted than just in its sneering plot. It also seems to believe that it needs to be incessantly gruesome to keep us thrilled. Except, it goes so far that any 12 year old watching would experience a few sudden moments of really unpleasant trauma, between extended periods of yawning and asking if it’s over yet. Spielberg expressed dismay at how kids had been upset by a couple of moments in the original Jurassic Park. Jurassic World seems desperate to ensure everyone feels uncomfortable. Spielberg had Martin Ferrero get eaten on the toilet, and Wayne Knight scoffed in a car. Jurassic World slaughters in dozens, with scenes where the dinosaurs extensively torture established, benign characters, before tearing them into pieces. It kills and kills and kills, blood splattering, everyone dying with anguished screams in complete terror. It’s miserable.

When the film ended, I felt a moment of genuine surprise when the director’s name came up. I thought, “Why would you deliberately own up to that?” It’s a film that seemed to hate its own existence, and its audience for wanting to see it. And despite the frenzy of deaths, the ever-so-slightly bigger than a T-rex baddysaurus, and the far greater technical capability, it feels a far smaller film than Spielberg’s original. There’s no sense of scale, no presence, no excitement.

At one point, early on, there’s a moment of wit. In an arena designed to look like the whale show at an aquarium, a monstrous aquatic dinosaur is shown off, leaping out of the water to catch its food, then splashing down and soaking the audience. The food being dangled is a great white shark. It feels like a statement, a bold claim that this will be a disaster film that nonchalantly eats Jaws for breakfast. It proves to be a pivotal moment of arrogance from which it can never recover. (And not least because the clunking rigid rubber head of a dying brontosaurus is less convincing than that ’70s robo-shark.)

Oh, there’s so much more to rant about, so many more abandoned sub-plots, utterly irrelevant characters given extraordinary amounts of screen time… but none of it needs saying after the most key problem: it’s a film that’s bored of dinosaurs. Who the hell is bored of dinosaurs?

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Rum Doings Episode 192: Federal Jewish Of Investigation

by on Jun.04, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 192th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, in light of the Britain’s Got Talent fiasco, should all dogs be put down?

Topics this week include Seppastian Blatter’s evil ways, Nick’s failed attempts to guess newspapers from headlines, and a couple of thoughts on Charles Kennedy. We worry about rollycoasters, explain why Toby is so very, very interesting, and Nick realises that being a Conservative makes you a baddie.

Who is the real idiot when it comes to pooing in your pants? Nick explains John’s outfit of a tracksuit and semen-stained top. And we finish with a superb letter from our listener.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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