#showertune: ‘overkill (acoustic)’ by colin hay

when he’s not too busy being sued by the australian music company that now owns the rights to the girl-guide campfire song Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree he loves nothing more than to strum us a #showertune – yep today it’s the acoustic version of Overkill by Colin Hay


#tarteauxpomme: ten free mac apps worth having

i offered links to some cool free small background apps and addons as part of our #piecesofeight series but now i offer up some of my favourite free fully fledged apps and tools. obviously i’m not going to talk about stuff like Firefox or Thunderbird or OpenOffice because i’m assuming you know about them already…

Onyx: is a powerful system utility which runs several useful maintenance tasks and scripts (i find that regularly repairing system permissions helps to keep my macbook’s startups and shutdowns speedy) cleans various caches and can configure some hidden parameters of Finder Dock and some Apple apps (e.g. changing the default screen capture file type from the somewhat inflexible .PGN to .JPG .JPEG .GIF or several other types) [edit: you do know about cmd+shift+3 for full screen capture and cmd+shift+4 for drag-out-box capture right?].

Dragoman: is a super-handy drag-and-drop file converter than can handle multiple types of images music files archives and text files (see here for complete list of compatible formats). dragoman makes what can otherwise be an awkward and laborious job unbelievably easy.

Img2icns: takes the hassle out of creating mac icons from image files or vice-versa. it is drag-and-drop and supports most popular image formats (including adobe proprietaries).

Cyberduck: got a shout when i was testifying to all the tools that make this blog possible but it’s well worth a second and more detailed mention. it is a 100% guaranteed stress-free ftp client. given that ftp clients take us (further) into geeksville it’s no surprise that some clients seem to have been designed to be as complex as possible so only ‘righteous’ nerds can use them. cyberduck however cuts the insecure crap – everything is laid out simply and works completely intuitively. if you have need of a way of uploading to a website you need look no further.

HandBrake: is a brilliant and widely used free-source multi-platform media converter primarily for encoding DVD video to other popular formats. it is the perfect tool for converting your dvd collection into a format that can go into itunes and onto your ipod.

NameChanger: is – as its name suggests – a batch filename changer. it’s very useful.

VLC: is simply the most versatile and useful media player available for mac – you wouldn’t get better if you paid through the nose. if you haven’t got it – why on earth not?

WineBottler (beta): is a neat app that uses the wine platform to install windows programs on OS X in stand-alone ‘bottles’. as mentioned above i used it to install sopcast which works very well (through VLC).

The Unarchiver: is an open-source unpacking app which handles almost all the formats (.zip .rar .7z .tar .stuffit .cab .msi and many more) and unarchiving operations you will ever need and does a better job with .zip files than the native Archive Utility.

Transmission: is the best native bittorrent client for mac that i’ve found. it’s sleek and easy to use and as fast as anything i’ve used elsewhere.

#showertune: ‘yoshimi battles the pink robots’ by the flaming lips

arrrghh the world is at the mercy of evil pink robots – only one song can save us:

thus today’s #showertune is Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1 by The Flaming Lips


#RIP: Steve Reid

Steve Reid: 29th January 1944 – 13th April 2010

with sadness we note the death of one of percussion’s true geniuses

anima eius et animae omnium fidelium
defunctorum per dei misericordiam
requiescant in pace

during a long and distinguished career, Reid played with the likes of James Brown, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, and Miles Davis. starting out, he had spells drumming for the Apollo Theatre House Band and as a session player for Motown, and then went on to lead the Legendary Master Brotherhood. from 1969-71, he was imprisoned in Lewisberg Federal Penitentiary for refusing to register for the Vietnam draft.


Lions of Juda by Steve Reid

#electionearings: who will win election? vote here

feeling discombobulated by all the spin and celebrity endorsements?

well here at RQT we’re giving you the chance to decide on who you’d like to win this year’s uk general election. you must be over 18 and a uk citizen to vote – votes from people under 18 and interlopers will not be counted but may still be charged. please check with the person who pays your council tax.

the results of the vote will be announced on the 7th may – thereafter you’ll have to lie in whatever bed you’ve made. all day.


#showertune: ‘chicago’ by frank sinatra

today’s #showertune is Chicago by Frank Sinatra

it’s little known that the notorious philanderer vegas-hanger-on roaring soak and world famous blue-eyed friend of the american mafia was also a very passable singer and this is one of his most upbeat and swinging ditties.

i also once also saw a man dance with his wife. small world.


factoid: sinatra’s ‘home town’ was actually hoboken new jersey. i’ve been to new jersey and i’d have said chicago too.


#tirednewsflash: cameron delighted at gay ancestry


David Cameron has answered criticism following his disastrous interview with Gay Times magazine last month by revealing that an exploration of his family tree – apparently undertaken for an upcoming familial celebration – has shown that several of his direct ancestors were gay. “we didn’t go looking for this”, Cameron told Newsnight’s Andi Peters, “i am surprised but delighted to have discovered that we have gays in the family.”

Paul Tall, a spokesperson for the internet company that the conservative führer enlisted to do the research, described how several ‘gay pockets’ made plotting the tree ‘fiendishly complex’. “we usually rely quite a bit on gender to help with the structure of a tree but dave turned out to have such a diverse and interesting heritage that many of the usual assumptions simply had to be thrown out. it took us weeks of work for example to discover that Henry Cameron (1747-1791) and William John Fabio d’Aintry (1777-1811) were in fact lovers and not just ‘uncommone man-freynds’ as they were described in a hertford newspaper in 1789.

what was even more challenging” Tall revealed “was arriving at the conclusion (now verified) that Francis Joshua Portmanteau Cameron (1788-1840) and Charles Ray Pele Mears Darwin Cameron (1790-1804) [Dave’s great great great grandfather and great great great great uncle respectfully] were their natural sons. and that sort of thing happened in a few places.”

“it’s thoroughly appropriate” smugged Cameron “that the next leader of modern britain should have such modern ancestry. i think it’s going to be far harder for people like that sordid magazine to try to make out that i’m against the gays now that it appears that i am in essence one myself. i wonder what Brown’s family tree looks like” he quipped to gathered journalists “straights all the way down i’ll wager. you be the judge.”


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