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August 2nd 2008
In the last few entries I've covered Harry Potter, the Bible and the Mr. Men. While I'm on the subject of great books, I may as well move into the realms of the stage by discussing Shakespeare - regular readers will know he crops up from time to time, either when I'm extolling the virtues of his tragedies, or criticising his feeble 'comedies'. Today I'm going to hove into pedantry of a sort, by listing as many oft-misquoted Shakespeare lines as I can - debating whether to give you the correct version or the misquoted version, I've decided to try both. When I first ran through this without checking, I made a few errors in the 'correct' version, which I've now done my best to remove. If there are any outstanding (however you define that) errors, I hope you'll forgive me - or, indeed, correct me. My feedback attempts on this site and its predecessors have never been very successful, but I always welcome comments (well, usually) so feel free to use the contact link above to add new Shakespeare misquotes, tell me I'm wasting my Saturday afternoon, or whatever else. Here goes:

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet [I've sure I've seen 'word' instead of 'name'...]

Not all that glitters is gold
All that glisters is not gold

Alas, poor Yorick; I knew him well
Alas, poor Yorick; I knew him, Horatio

In one foul swoop
In one fell swoop (not sure how common a misconception this is, but I've heard it said)

Lead on, Macduff
Lay on, Macduff

Methinks the lady doth protest too much
The lady doth protest too much, methinks

I can't think of any more for the time being, though I'm sure there are plenty. I haven't included those two badly misunderstood lines, "Now is the winter of our discontent" (which actually continues "made glorious Summer by this son of York") and "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?". I won't even mention by brother (first class degree in English from Oxford) who repeatedly (OK, twice) insisted that it was Lady Macbeth who said "Is this a dagger I see before me, the handle toward my hand?"
While I'm musing on common misquotes, I hope you know that Robert Burns wrote "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley". Crazy Welsh. Yes, a further misconception is that he was Scottish (note to self - check this).

August 3rd 2008
Today, for the first time, I put on a CD knowing that I was about to write a diary entry and thus was about to let you know what I'm listening to. So I chose the best one in my collection. In other news, I've been reading a bit about The Dark Knight (y'know, the new Batman film) in today's Sunday Times, specifically that people can't quite believe it's a 12A, due to scary violence. And I have to say that I agree - it should definitely be a 15, and it's only pressure from Warner Bros to widen a lucrative market that's resulted in the BBFC giving it the lower rating. While the film could be a lot nastier - though the Joker wields his knife often, it is always offscreen - but there is one particular scene near the beginning, involving a pencil, which no child should ever see. I don't want to describe the scene, since it will scare Simon, but it is disturbingly brilliant - or, perhaps more accurately, both disturbing and brilliant - and I find myself torn between shuddering and awe (apparently when Seth saw it, there was a ripple of applause). Nevertheless, that scene alone should crank the rating to 15, and implied slashings don't help (someone in the paper was claiming that this glorifies knife crime, though I feel this was just an attempt to meld two topical stories together).
The certificate aside, I have to say that I was disappointed by the film; not because it was bad, but because the hype was so high. Yes, Heath Ledger is very good (especially compared with the last film in which I saw him, 10 Things I Hate About You), but the film suffers to a certain degree from the same plot-overloading that killed Spider-Man 3 and critically wounded Hancock. Batman Begins was an excellent, psychological film that suffered a little bit from silliness - this film is flawed in a different way, and is probably about as good as its predecessor.
Before I pronounce final judgment (a judgment that, I'm sure, Chris Nolan is waiting for on tenterhooks), I'm going to see it again on Wednesday. I will add that, despite the outpouring towards Katie Holmes' 'non-performance' in Batman Begins, I feel she did at least as good a job as Maggie Gyllenhaal, who never really settled into her character. Let's be a bit nicer to Mrs. Cruise, eh?

August 6th 2008
It's depressing to get to the age of 22 and realise that your greatest achievement is already behind you. I find myself in that situation - I speak of the 'newspaper article' we were asked to make in year 8 history, documenting the demise of Henry VIII. One of my subheadings, concerning his sickness, was 'Henry v.ill'. Like Orson Welles, everything to come will be but a footnote to my life.
I feel I have to tell you that I didn't watch all of Coyote Ugly, just half an hour. Or maybe an hour.
In other news, I spent the first couple of days of this week at a tutorial for CT3 (Probability & Mathematical Statistics, or something along those lines), which was very encouraging, since I felt comfortable with pretty much everything. Normally at these tutorials I start off thinking that I know nothing, and come away believing that I might be able to do it OK after all - so to find myself on top of things from the start is very pleasant. Not sure I'm going to be so lucky with CT6 (Statistical Methods) coming up next week... but being in London will mean I get to see Ahmad, Rob, Tom & Ross, hopefully.
I'm considering a 'You said' addendum to past entries if I continue to get feedback in a quantity worth using - I realise that today's entry isn't exactly bursting at the seams with controversy, but that won't always be the case, and it would be nice to do if it could work.

August 13th 2008
This is a quick - as in five minute - entry to say hi before I head up to London tonight. Towards the end of last week Rich came to stay for a couple of days, which was great - as well as seeing Rich & reminiscing, I also experienced, for the first time, Nandos and The Prestige. The latter is a film starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, the former is a chicken-serving joint. The reason I'm heading to the Big Smoke tonight is that I have a tutorial on Thu & Fri, and am staying over at Tom's... there are also tentative plans to meet up with more or less everyone I know in London. Except those who flew out to Hong Kong in the recent past (yes, Jason, I'm talking to you). I'll fill you in if I do anything exciting, like meet Boris Johnson.

August 21st 2008
There seems to be a prevailing view that Dick van Dyke’s Cock-er-ney accent in Mary Poppins was in some way inauthentic. I would like, wholeheartedly, to contradict this view, and place in its stead the thought that he was absolutely spot-on – not only that, but his performance was Oscar-worthy, and it’s a travesty that he’s not on the fourth plinth.
Speaking of which, I was in Trafalgar Square only last weekend, enjoying a trip to London that passed off pretty successfully – I managed to meet up with almost everyone I had intended to (missed out on one or two, but had Rob and Victor instead), and had a great time with the likes of Tom, Steve, Rob, Jimmy, Beth (Jimmy’s girlfriend… awww…), Kat (Tom’s girlfriend… awww…) etc. There was a slight initial hitch, as Tom hadn’t realised I was intending to stay for four nights, and had arranged to be away for all of Saturday – I later checked email communication, and realised I hadn’t told him how long I was hoping to stay for, so he’s won that one. Also, watching House at his place enticed me to buy series 1-3, which is irrelevant but may interest someone. Hugh Laurie, perhaps, or Jesse Spencer.
Anyways, on Wednesday I helped Tom create a Chicken Tikka Massala, which came off very nicely in the end (if not especially Massala-like), despite my encouragement – I think Kat was impressed by his manly culinary skills, though it could just have been his hair. Rob took me to Covent Gardens to see lacklustre street performers - although the guy who could throw a playing card on a roof was pretty impressive – and then we swung past Buckingham Palace for me to boo and him to spout patriotic nonsense and outdated royalistic rhetoric. Sorry, Rob. Steve, James, Beth and I went to the same pub we'd gone to (with Jason instead of Beth) back in our New Year-ish meet-up, and this time round Jimmy tried to overcome the London Burger, which consists of (among other things) three 8oz burgers. To put that in perspective, a quarter-pounder is (unsurprisingly) 4oz, so James was eating the equivalent of six quarter-pounders, or a pound and a half of beef. Actually, Steve and I helped him out a bit, though I'd just had a double burger - merely one pound of beef - so was in no fit state to carry the chap. All in all a good trip.
I don't think I've properly mentioned my other recent meet-up, in which Rich (hey, that rhymes) came to visit for a couple of days - that was a good time too, even if I get confused when my worlds collide in such a manner, so I'd like to thank him for that. Though he doesn't read this, so I'll have a job. Maybe Ant can pass it on... speaking of which ("But, dash it, I can't see the seams!") Warwick's smallest-headed PGCE student has returned to these shores, so welcome back Ant. And forgive me for the small-head gibe. Again.
In other news, I'm off to Momentum this afternoon, and must get back to study beforehand. Keep rocking.
what was I listening to?
Essentials - Ellis Paul
what was I reading?
William Wilberforce - William Hague
what was I watching?
Amazing Grace
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