Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Arts and Entertainment => Topic started by: citoyen on October 01, 2010, 05:28:19 pm

Title: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on October 01, 2010, 05:28:19 pm
Bit late, I know, but I only saw this week's edition last night...

There was a question about "road tax" that very pointedly included the fact that VED hasn't been earmarked for road spending for many, many years, which raised a wry smile.

I presume we have our very own yacf quiz compiler to thank for that.  ;D

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Martin on October 01, 2010, 05:36:57 pm
Bit late, I know, but I only saw this week's edition last night...

There was a question about "road tax" that very pointedly included the fact that VED hasn't been earmarked for road spending for many, many years, which raised a wry smile.

I presume we have our very own yacf quiz compiler to thank for that.  ;D

some advert for a car on the wireless referred to it as a Road Fund Licence; Shirley that went out in 1936 but I'm sure RFL is as common as VED in common parlance

do you think if they scrapped the VED and put it on fuel instead we'd get shouted at by motorists "Oi get out of my way you don't buy petrol"?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Rapples on October 01, 2010, 05:48:00 pm
do you think if they scrapped the VED and put it on fuel instead we'd get shouted at by motorists "Oi get out of my way you don't buy petrol"?

to which the correct reply is

"Of course I do, you don't think I'm going to pay the gardener to mow a lawn the size of mine without a tractor do you"

 O:-)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 04, 2010, 01:35:33 pm
do you think if they scrapped the VED and put it on fuel instead we'd get shouted at by motorists "Oi get out of my way you don't buy petrol"?

to which the correct reply is

"Of course I do, you don't think I'm going to pay the gardener to mow a lawn the size of mine without a tractor do you"

 O:-)

Most tractors run on diesel, don't they, Rapples?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Tom B on October 04, 2010, 02:24:51 pm
Quote
I presume we have our very own yacf quiz compiler to thank for that

Well spotted, Citoyen!
We take especial pride in Qs that are unseen signals to those we like or who share our feelings  ;)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Charlotte on October 04, 2010, 02:28:05 pm
Nice one Tom  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Notsototalnewbie on October 04, 2010, 02:31:33 pm
Quote
I presume we have our very own yacf quiz compiler to thank for that

Well spotted, Citoyen!
We take especial pride in Qs that are unseen signals to those we like or who share our feelings  ;)

I saw that one! Thought it had to be something to do with Tom :)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: andygates on October 04, 2010, 02:33:10 pm
It's like coded messages from Osama.   :demon:
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Tom B on October 04, 2010, 05:33:55 pm
Going back a few years, but here's another Q on a similar theme:

“Isn’t that a bit like dealing with the problem of smoking by providing bigger ashtrays?” was a comment on a seven-billion-pound spending decision announced by the government in July 2003. On what was the money to be spent?"
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on October 04, 2010, 05:43:24 pm
Brilliant!  :thumbsup:

I guessed the right answer of course, but I had to look up the quote to find out who said it. Turns out it was in a letter to the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2003/jul/11/guardianletters)! Who'd have thought it?  ;D

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Mr Larrington on October 05, 2010, 10:38:12 am
So where was it last night?

Fucking golf...
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Ian H on October 05, 2010, 02:01:15 pm
You can always hold your own University Challenge competition. Click (http://www.buzzgold.com/quiz-master)




I do have to declare an interest in the company that sells'em.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 05, 2010, 06:47:32 pm
Is there any possible reason why we don't get together and do that? :D
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 05, 2010, 07:32:26 pm
Is there any possible reason why we don't get together and do that? :D

Yes. It would take someone to organise it.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Tourist Tony on October 07, 2010, 02:14:15 pm
Bit late, I know, but I only saw this week's edition last night...

There was a question about "road tax" that very pointedly included the fact that VED hasn't been earmarked for road spending for many, many years, which raised a wry smile.

I presume we have our very own yacf quiz compiler to thank for that.  ;D

some advert for a car on the wireless referred to it as a Road Fund Licence; Shirley that went out in 1936 but I'm sure RFL is as common as VED in common parlance

do you think if they scrapped the VED and put it on fuel instead we'd get shouted at by motorists "Oi get out of my way you don't buy petrol"?
I remember somewhere Transpondian, where they introduced a special local tax on electric vehicles because it was "unfair" that they didn't have to buy petrol etc.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Arch on October 09, 2010, 08:46:53 pm
Year 2000, York team, end nearest to Jeremy Paxman.

That was me, that was!

We got through round one, but were beaten in the 2nd by Balliol, who had a team member who even his team mates referred to as a quiz freak.

The student who organised our entry (I think he was studying Meeja, and wanted it to look good on his CV) was overheard on the supporters minibus saying that we were 'ok, but they're all know-it-alls'.  Which I thought was kinda the point...

To my eternal pride, my first starter for 10 answer was, correctly, Basil Brush.

I still have the 'Archer' acetate from the front of the desk, on my room door.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 11, 2010, 08:21:31 pm
I'm disgusted by the youth of today. Not only do this team not know who invented the bouncing bomb used by the Dambusters in WWII,  but they don't know who sang Temptation.  ::-)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Deano on October 11, 2010, 08:35:43 pm
The Human League wasn't a bad guess, TBF.

It was better than the toff who mistook Underworld for Iggy Pop :facepalm:
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 11, 2010, 08:37:09 pm
The Human League wasn't a bad guess, TBF.


Couldn't have been much closer, in fact...
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 11, 2010, 08:41:58 pm
How can they not know Barnes Wallis though? Is he not general knowledge? Fair enough, I have ex-air force parents who like war films, but still.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 08:42:26 pm
I'm disgusted by the youth of today. Not only do this team not know who invented the bouncing bomb used by the Dambusters in WWII,  but they don't know who sang Temptation.  ::-)

+2

Unforgivable, both.  Parts of our common historical narrative.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Deano on October 11, 2010, 08:44:05 pm
They were a bit crap on the Tube stations too.  Even I got all of those, with pretty much zero knowledge of the different lines (I just remember which stations serve which parts of the country).
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 08:48:12 pm
This may not come as a surprise, but I don't know who sang "Temptation". I tried googling but am none the wiser. Neither Mrs. Wow nor Dez knows.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Karla on October 11, 2010, 08:50:45 pm
Barnes Wallis was a completely obvious answer.  Then again, I have an engineering degree.

Year 2000, York team, end nearest to Jeremy Paxman.

That was me, that was!
You have my newfound respect!  I made the reserve team in 2004 and haven't got as close since then.  

(toddles off to revise general knowledge in the minutes before Spooks starts)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 08:51:19 pm
Dez has found a Youtube rendition. I can honestly say I've never heard it before. Neither has Mrs. Wow. Dez thinks he has. It is, sadly, tuneless and unmemorable.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 08:51:31 pm
I tried googling but am none the wiser

It came up as the second hit when I just googled it.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 08:52:34 pm
I tried googling but am none the wiser

It came up as the second hit when I just googled it.

Is it by a group called Heaven 17? I'd never heard of them either.

Edit: I found more than one song with that title, dating from as long ago as the 1930s.

Dez seems to think it was in the film "Trainspotting", which I've never watched.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: rogerzilla on October 11, 2010, 08:57:44 pm
Temptation is the song that starts "WUUUUUH!", at least in certain mixes.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 11, 2010, 08:59:05 pm
How can they not know Barnes Wallis though? Is he not general knowledge? Fair enough, I have ex-air force parents who like war films, but still.

One of my favourite bits of trivia is that Barnes Wallis didn't design the Wellington Bomber. The founders of Heaven 17 were in the Human League though.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 09:00:55 pm
Temptation is the song that starts "WUUUUUH!", at least in certain mixes.

HUUH !

Shurely ?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 09:02:07 pm
Temptation is the song that starts "WUUUUUH!", at least in certain mixes.

HUUH !

Shurely ?

So clearly the youth of today are not alone in not knowing this song. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on October 11, 2010, 09:20:38 pm
It is, sadly, tuneless and unmemorable.

Wow, you've been quite vocal recently about your lack of familiarity with popular culture. I'm beginning to think this must be a smokescreen. You like us to think you spend your evenings working out Difficult Chess Problems, but I'm beginning to suspect you actually pass your time playing your extensive collection of Stock, Aitken & Waterman records while singing along into a hairbrush in front of a mirror, wearing deely boppers and leg warmers.  ;)

I'm completely with Kirst on this one. Knowledge of popular culture is a vital part of a well-rounded personality. Like junk food, it just needs to be balanced with more nourishing fare.

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Arch on October 11, 2010, 09:28:01 pm
How can they not know Barnes Wallis though? Is he not general knowledge? Fair enough, I have ex-air force parents who like war films, but still.

One of my favourite bits of trivia is that Barnes Wallis didn't design the Wellington Bomber.

Although he did design the R100.

The gas bags of which were made of cow's stomachs.

Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 09:38:21 pm
It is, sadly, tuneless and unmemorable.

Wow, you've been quite vocal recently about your lack of familiarity with popular culture. I'm beginning to think this must be a smokescreen. You like us to think you spend your evenings working out Difficult Chess Problems, but I'm beginning to suspect you actually pass your time playing your extensive collection of Stock, Aitken & Waterman records while singing along into a hairbrush in front of a mirror, wearing deely boppers and leg warmers.  ;)

I'm completely with Kirst on this one. Knowledge of popular culture is a vital part of a well-rounded personality. Like junk food, it just needs to be balanced with more nourishing fare.

d.


I think this probably deserves a thread of its own, but I can't be arsed to start one.

You see, I've never been particularly familiar with "popular culture", even when I was of an age when such things seemed to be de rigueur, and it changes so frequently that I don't see how anyone can keep abreast of what's going on and still have time for stuff that's important. That was the point I exchanged with Mike yesterday. If it isn't part of your everyday diet of experiences, no amount of looking it up on Google will make it so. I don't actually know what you have to do to become aware of so much totally unimportant stuff. I can only assume that you have to watch a lot of television (I can't remember when I last turned ours on and it's in a room which seems to be used as extra storage anyway), read trashy papers or listen to radio stations that I never would. I don't buy a paper and if I listen to the radio it's mostly R3 with a bit of R4 and World Service thrown in. My internet tastes are basically this place and a few other cycling related sites, the Grauniad & BBC websites and one or two other current affairs sites.

As I said, life's too short for that sort of stuff. If this song "Temptation" dates from 1980 (I think that's what Dez discovered) and was re-recorded in 1991, then I can quite easily see why someone my age, and presumably students aged about 20, would never have heard of it whereas 30-somethings who no doubt grew up when it was popular are quite familiar with it.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 09:43:30 pm
It's one of the classic songs of the last half-century.  General knowledge - UC asks questions about popular music from much of the 20th century and before, often from decades before the students would have been born.  There was a set of questions tonight about which Beatles albums various tracks were from - and they got them.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 09:47:13 pm
Well, it successfully passed me by.

The Beatles were a household name. I've had to look back in the thread to remember the name of the band we're talking about. Heaven 17. Not exactly the same league.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 11, 2010, 09:49:31 pm
How can they not know Barnes Wallis though? Is he not general knowledge? Fair enough, I have ex-air force parents who like war films, but still.

One of my favourite bits of trivia is that Barnes Wallis didn't design the Wellington Bomber.

Although he did design the R100.

The gas bags of which were made of cow's stomachs.



Built in Howden in Yorkshire of course, which is why there is a pub called the Barnes Wallis next to the railway crossing passed on the LEL. The novelist Nevil Shute also worked on the R100.
Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=53.764492,-0.860496&spn=0,0.031071&t=h&z=15&layer=c&cbll=53.764616,-0.860501&panoid=6PkmPblS7042E6VCw3BnKw&cbp=12,265.16,,1,5.37)

Human League appeared on Granada TV in 1978, featuring the members who would go on to form Heaven 17.

    YouTube
        - The Human League Being Boiled 1978
   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myzrnWbyz1s&feature=related)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 09:50:52 pm
Heaven 17. Not exactly the same league.

Nice pun :)

Not as big as the Beatles, maybe, but the song itself is one of the classics of it's decade.  hell, it even defines that decade.

Their album - Penthouse & Pavement - is a trenchant critique of 80s corporate greed

Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 09:58:07 pm
I had heard of the Human League, but I wouldn't have been able to tell you anything about them beyond the fact that they were a pop group. We had a television in 1978 but it was before the kids came along. I'd imagine I would have been out at the pub most nights.
Heaven 17. Not exactly the same league.

Nice pun :)

Not as big as the Beatles, maybe, but the song itself is one of the classics of it's decade.  hell, it even defines that decade.

Their album - Penthouse & Pavement - is a trenchant critique of 80s corporate greed

Pun unintended. :)

But it's almost as though we occupy different planets. It's impossible for me to accept that something defines a decade in which I was very active and aware and of which I've never heard. I was 26 in 1980.

I've just asked Jan. She's never heard of the album "Penthouse & Pavement" either.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 11, 2010, 09:59:26 pm
Not the same League, though they were in the Human League ;D

Popular culture is part of a rounded general knowledge.  Lack of familiarity puts you at risk of sounding like the stereotype of the High Court Judge.

There is much to value and cherish in our popular cultures - cinematic, musical, literary and televisual.  I admit that I was living in the very centre of new British music of the early 80s, but it seems inconceivable for someone with even the briefest of access (via, say, the reviews in the Guardian) not to have even heard of Heaven 17.

They should be known beyond the realm of electropop, of course.  Firstly, the name is a direct reference to A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, and secondly (and shame on you for not knowing this, Wow) their single (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing was banned by the BBC (well, by some DJs, but it barely got any airplay to speak of) for its overt left-wing lyrics and political nature - a distinction it shares with, for example, Ireland for the Irish by Paul McCartney.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 10:06:22 pm
I just read your last paragraph on Wikipedia.  ;)

Given the sentiments of Heaven 17 and their location, perhaps they were just more prominent where you lived than here? I'm sure that if I'd known about them I'd have been sympathetic.

I don't see why it should be inconceivable to you that I've not heard of them until today. But I still don't see how it's possible to keep up with this sort of stuff and keep abreast of stuff which (I think) is important. I just don't know how people do it.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Adam on October 11, 2010, 10:08:58 pm
I'd say Heaven 17 were one of the defining bands of the 1980's.   And I'm a southerner.

Penthouse and Pavement is a brilliant album, and is just about the only bit of vinyl I've got left (not that I've got anything to play it on though).




Edit:  I had Luxury Gap on tape and wore it out by playing it too much.   :-[
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 10:11:54 pm
I just don't know how people do it.

Osmosis


Quote
Given the sentiments of Heaven 17 and their location, perhaps they were just more prominent where you lived than here?

They were (inter)nationally-famous.  And still are.

edit: cross-post with Adam

I got Penthouse & Pavement on CD this year because I only had it on vinyl

It holds up very well indeed
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 11, 2010, 10:17:17 pm
I just read your last paragraph on Wikipedia.  ;)

Did you?  I din't.

Quote
Given the sentiments of Heaven 17 and their location, perhaps they were just more prominent where you lived than here? I'm sure that if I'd known about them I'd have been sympathetic.

Well yes, that may be the case.  I was in the biz.  But I wouldn't expect you to know about The Mousing Association or They Must Be Russians, or The Enzymes.

On the other hand, I would expect you to know about Ewan MacColl & Kirsty, or Billy Bragg..



Quote
I don't see why it should be inconceivable to you that I've not heard of them until today. But I still don't see how it's possible to keep up with this sort of stuff and keep abreast of stuff which (I think) is important. I just don't know how people do it.

Just keeping eyes, ears & mind open seems to cover it.  I may not like the music, but I am aware of Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith, and Vampire Weekend.  And I'm aware that Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow have got together to make a pretty shoddy record.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 10:19:15 pm
I just don't know how people do it.

Osmosis

Well, I suppose that could account for a certain amount. From 1981-1986 I was the only bloke teaching in a primary school where my contact with colleagues, most of whom I didn't get on with and most of whom would never have been interested in that sort of music either, was limited to school time and a one evening a week session in which three of us would get together to sing mostly ancient music. I may not have heard of Heaven 17 but I did a pretty mean William Byrd!
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Deano on October 11, 2010, 10:20:30 pm
I tried googling but am none the wiser

It came up as the second hit when I just googled it.

Is it by a group called Heaven 17? I'd never heard of them either.

Edit: I found more than one song with that title, dating from as long ago as the 1930s.

Dez seems to think it was in the film "Trainspotting", which I've never watched.

That was the theme of the question - songs which appeared in the movie Trainspotting.  Heaven 17 wasn't my era, but I picked it up through that movie, through my elder sisters' musical tastes, etc.

ISTR John Peel insisting that any band who came in for a session during that era insisted that they covered We Don;t Need That Fascist Groove Thing - so I've never heard the original, but I've heard umpteen cover versions by modish early eighties bands.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 11, 2010, 10:23:02 pm
I didn't know it was in trainspotting, which I didn't watch all of - I thought it was a bit crap (pun intended).

Yet I do know a number of the actors in the film, the name of the author, and a couple of the characters.  And the advertising campaign.

It's all there around us.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Tim Hall on October 11, 2010, 10:25:35 pm
Popular culture, yadda, yadda, Barnes Wallis, yadda, yadda.

Cut to the chase. That young lady in the off the shoulder number. Hmm?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 10:30:39 pm

On the other hand, I would expect you to know about Ewan MacColl & Kirsty, or Billy Bragg..
Yes, heard of them (well, 2 out of 3).


Quote
Quote
I don't see why it should be inconceivable to you that I've not heard of them until today. But I still don't see how it's possible to keep up with this sort of stuff and keep abreast of stuff which (I think) is important. I just don't know how people do it.

Just keeping eyes, ears & mind open seems to cover it.
Sorry, C, that's a dig too far. I object.
Quote
I may not like the music, but I am aware of Lady Gaga, Paloma Faith, and Vampire Weekend.  And I'm aware that Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow have got together to make a pretty shoddy record.

I've heard of the highlighted pair, but could tell you nothing about them other than that they croon.

I'm quite sure I could cite loads of stuff the facts of which I have instantly at my fingertips and of which you, and probably a lot of other people on the forum, know nothing, but I don't claim that your ignorance of what I know is indicative of a lack of a rounded general knowledge. I merely pointed out in response to Kirst's point above that knowledge of one particular song out of the hundreds, if not thousands, which were produced in the 1980s is perhaps not terribly surprising for a group of kids who weren't even born then.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Ham on October 11, 2010, 10:36:01 pm
...
As I said, life's too short for that sort of stuff.
....

I'm afraid I have to take issue with you on that - I reckon life is EXACTLY the right length. Sure, lets enjoy the wealth of knowledge, experience, enjoyment and artistic endeavour that has built up before we arrived on the scene, but dismissing things that are happening while you are still living is to miss out.

At the end of the day, there is no reason that you have to like any particular manifestation, but to wilfully ignore is to miss the lessons of history. We're having the best of all times we are ever going to have right now.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 11, 2010, 10:38:44 pm
I wasn't born in the fifties, but I know a lot of the music.  Same about the forties, and maybe less so the thirties and twenties, but some anyway.

I'm not having a dig.  It's just that general knowledge needs to be general.  I know about Byrd that you mentioned, and I'm aware of Purcell and Tallis from a similar time, though I can't whistle any of their hits.  Still, it's not unreasonable to expect that folk know something about them.

I didn't learn Latin at school.  It wasn't on offer.  But I am unsurprised by questions on Latin or the classics being asked in general knowledge quizzes.  As (generally) a bit of an autodidact, I regard intellectual curiosity as one of our most valuable assets.

I get annoyed by fools on the radio who brag about their lack of knowledge of science & maths, in a way they would never do so about being illiterate.  Similarly, there are those who deride knowledge of literature or art.  We owe it to ourselves to experience all we can, to understand and appreciate it.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 11, 2010, 10:51:05 pm


You see, I've never been particularly familiar with "popular culture", even when I was of an age when such things seemed to be de rigueur, and it changes so frequently that I don't see how anyone can keep abreast of what's going on and still have time for stuff that's important.
Why do you think popular culture isn't important? I think it's as important as any other sort of culture.



I merely pointed out in response to Kirst's point above that knowledge of one particular song out of the hundreds, if not thousands, which were produced in the 1980s is perhaps not terribly surprising for a group of kids who weren't even born then.
I see it as the equivalent of me - born in 1970 - not knowing You've Lost That Loving Feeling, or Dancing In The Street, or Riders On The Storm.

Re the London Underground questions - I don't see those as general knowledge. Unless you're a Londoner and/or a regular Tube traveller, how are you supposed to know them?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 11, 2010, 11:01:12 pm


Re the London Underground questions - I don't see those as general knowledge. Unless you're a Londoner and/or a regular Tube traveller, how are you supposed to know them?

They're in the back of most diaries, people in the past were so bored they stared at these things and picked them up by cultural osmosis, like knowing the locations of the counties of England, Scotland and Wales.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 11:03:12 pm
I didn't watch the programme. I can't comment on the questions other than as discussed above. I don't know what London underground questions were asked, but of course I'd expect a Londoner to stand a much better chance of answering them than someone who rarely / never goes to London.

I think "popular culture" is relatively unimportant, amongst other reasons, because of it ephemeral nature. Is what's currently fashionable in the charts or on the television important? Not really, because it will all have changed in a few months. A lot of it seems to carry as much weight as an advertising jingle.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 11:07:51 pm
I think "popular culture" is relatively unimportant, amongst other reasons, because of it ephemeral nature. Is what's currently fashionable in the charts or on the television important?

Some of it. There are classics of every genre, at every time.  There's a world of difference between knowing about Temptation and some of the ephemera of that time
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 11:09:23 pm
I think "popular culture" is relatively unimportant, amongst other reasons, because of it ephemeral nature. Is what's currently fashionable in the charts or on the television important?

Some of it. There are classics of every genre, at every time.  There' a world of difference between knowing about Temptation and some of the ephemera of that time

How do you tell the difference?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 11, 2010, 11:10:06 pm
If it looks like this

(http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/252/206262.jpg)

it's shite.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Adrian on October 11, 2010, 11:11:15 pm
I think "popular culture" is relatively unimportant, amongst other reasons, because of it ephemeral nature. Is what's currently fashionable in the charts or on the television important?

Some of it. There are classics of every genre, at every time.  There' a world of difference between knowing about Temptation and some of the ephemera of that time

How do you tell the difference?

You ask a grown up
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 11:12:13 pm
How do you tell the difference?

Same as with any cultural icon - book, film or whatever.  Reputation, persistence, discussion, experience
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 11:14:58 pm
How do you tell the difference?

Same as with any cultural icon - book, film or whatever.  Reputation, persistence, discussion, experience

But if number 4 is absent, it's not possible to indulge in the other three.

Kirst, I don't know who those people are.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 11, 2010, 11:25:21 pm
They're the Reynolds Girls. They had one hit in 1980-something, and it was crap. They're wack.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 11:25:25 pm

But if number 4 is absent, it's not possible to indulge in the other three.


That must be equally true of almost anything
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on October 11, 2010, 11:26:40 pm
They're the Reynolds Girls. They had one hit in 1980-something, and it was crap. They're wack.

I'd rather Jack than Fleetwood Mac

Possibly the musical nadir of the decade, and therefore memorable ;)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 11, 2010, 11:39:58 pm
But Stock Aitken and Waterman were much more part of the cultural mainstream of the 1980s. I quite like them.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 11, 2010, 11:44:54 pm

But if number 4 is absent, it's not possible to indulge in the other three.


That must be equally true of almost anything

Exactly my point. What's the point of having a shallow knowledge of lots of stuff? If my experience is different from someone else's, it doesn't mean my mind is closed (OK, I know that was Clarion's) it just means I was doing other stuff. My experience has told me that, increasingly, watching television is a waste of time because so much of it is crap. I think that's inevitable with pretty well any recorded medium: the Good Stuff gets done first and it becomes impossible to remain original and keep up a high quality.

If Heaven 17's work's value depends on its historical context far more than its musical quality (allowing for the fact that I'd never knowingly heard it before this evening) it sounded pretty unmemorable to me, then it lacks artistic merit. Compare that to Byrd & Tallis, whose stuff is highly unfashionable these days even amongst "classical"music buffs and I reckon you'd really struggle to find any performances outside academic choirs producing obscure recordings. However, they were producing music for years at a time when either could have been executed for their catholicism, and they successfully changed their styles to deal with the prevailing religious opinion. My point is that they did this without sacrificing artistic merit.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Bluebottle on October 11, 2010, 11:48:16 pm
They're the Reynolds Girls. They had one hit in 1980-something, and it was crap. They're wack.

And they ain't never going to be respectable.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: nicknack on October 12, 2010, 12:12:39 am
What's the point of having a shallow knowledge of lots of stuff?

Makes it rather easier to broaden your experience.

Quote
I think that's inevitable with pretty well any recorded medium: the Good Stuff gets done first and it becomes impossible to remain original and keep up a high quality.

I think that is utterly wrong. Are you really trying to say that nothing after, say, 1920 in recorded music was original or of high quality? Or that TV in the 50s contained more original, high quality stuff than now? You must have some very heavily tinted rose spectacles.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 12, 2010, 12:31:33 am
What's the point of having a shallow knowledge of lots of stuff?

Makes it rather easier to broaden your experience.

Not necessarily, and it almost certainly prevents a depth of experience.
Quote

Quote
I think that's inevitable with pretty well any recorded medium: the Good Stuff gets done first and it becomes impossible to remain original and keep up a high quality.

I think that is utterly wrong. Are you really trying to say that nothing after, say, 1920 in recorded music was original or of high quality? Or that TV in the 50s contained more original, high quality stuff than now? You must have some very heavily tinted rose spectacles.

Well, I've stopped watching television because the quality became so dire.

I'd not go back to the '50s, no, because the technology changed so much, but it's very hard to maintain the standards of, for example, comedy when you are constantly being compared to Monty Python, Morecambe & Wise, 2 Ronnies, Fawlty Towers, Tony Hancock...

I think the same is true of music. It's extremely hard for modern musicians to produce stuff to compare to the greats of yesteryear. I include 20th century "classical" music composers here. They experiment, because they have to be different, but someone like Schoenberg, for example, I think was largely wasting his time. On the other hand, is there any artistic merit in trying to copy the style of, say, Beethoven, when it's already been done?

So far as "pop"music is concerned, just like classical stuff, it has to stand the test of time, but that test is a completely different one from what the classical composers had to do. I don't suppose that any of the classical guys anticipated their music outliving them - Bach, for example, produced a monumental amount of stuff, pretty much a composition a week for church services alone. I'm sure he didn't do any of it for posterity. But pop music, almost no matter what its quality, still gets churned out on radio stations simply because they've got a stock of records that need to be played. The bad stuff is hardly given the chance to suffer the death it deserves.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 12, 2010, 08:04:14 am


I think "popular culture" is relatively unimportant, amongst other reasons, because of it ephemeral nature. Is what's currently fashionable in the charts or on the television important? Not really, because it will all have changed in a few months. A lot of it seems to carry as much weight as an advertising jingle.
I don't think temporary equates to unimportant.


I think that's inevitable with pretty well any recorded medium: the Good Stuff gets done first and it becomes impossible to remain original and keep up a high quality.
I absolutely disagree. There is good and bad in every medium at all points in time.


Well, I've stopped watching television because the quality became so dire.
So how do you know it's still bad? There's some utter trash, but there's also some very good stuff. And I don't think there's anything wrong with watching utter trash as long as you realise it's trash.


I think the same is true of music. It's extremely hard for modern musicians to produce stuff to compare to the greats of yesteryear. I include 20th century "classical" music composers here. They experiment, because they have to be different, but someone like Schoenberg, for example, I think was largely wasting his time. On the other hand, is there any artistic merit in trying to copy the style of, say, Beethoven, when it's already been done?

So far as "pop"music is concerned, just like classical stuff, it has to stand the test of time, but that test is a completely different one from what the classical composers had to do. I don't suppose that any of the classical guys anticipated their music outliving them - Bach, for example, produced a monumental amount of stuff, pretty much a composition a week for church services alone. I'm sure he didn't do any of it for posterity. But pop music, almost no matter what its quality, still gets churned out on radio stations simply because they've got a stock of records that need to be played. The bad stuff is hardly given the chance to suffer the death it deserves.

Classical music isn't intrinsically better or worse than pop music, it's just different. And for all we know there were thousands of classical compositions that were lost or destroyed throughout the centuries because nobody wanted to keep hearing it. We just have different technology now which allows the bad stuff to be preserved. But radio stations aren't sitting around thinking "oh no we have to play the really bad stuff because a) it exists and b) there isn't enough good stuff." Most terrible pop is lost in the mists of time and it's the good stuff - Temptation, for example - which is still played decades later. Although Graham Norton does a slot on his R2 show called "I can't believe it's not better" where he plays a really terrible but once really popular record from the past so we can all remember how awful it really was.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: rower40 on October 12, 2010, 08:13:04 am
Popular culture, yadda, yadda, Barnes Wallis, yadda, yadda.

Cut to the chase. That young lady in the off the shoulder number. Hmm?
+1.
They'll be back for another round in the playoff for highest-scoring losing teams.

I didn't listen to any of the questions.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Ian H on October 12, 2010, 08:19:53 am
...It's extremely hard for modern musicians to produce stuff to compare to the greats of yesteryear...

This must be true because people have been saying it for hundreds of years.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on October 12, 2010, 08:47:20 am
Pop culture reference: the young lady in the off-the-shoulder number reminded me very much of Emma Thompson in The Young Ones.

Wow, I'm sorry - what was meant as a light-hearted dig seems to have led to a full-on character assassination. That wasn't my intent. Clarion's point about sounding like a high court judge is a good one, but I tend to agree that there's more to life than being able to answer questions on University Challenge. Good general knowledge is an indicator of a rounded personality but not the only one.

I tend to come unstuck on the science questions myself, though I was pleased with myself for getting two out of the three questions on primordial numbers despite not knowing what a primordial is (there was enough information in the question to be able to work it out). On the whole, I think the questions are very well balanced - that's what makes UC so enjoyable.

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: nicknack on October 12, 2010, 08:54:38 am
Wot Kirst said+
What's the point of having a shallow knowledge of lots of stuff?

Makes it rather easier to broaden your experience.

Not necessarily, and it almost certainly prevents a depth of experience.

That's just insulting.

Quote
I think the same is true of music. It's extremely hard for modern musicians to produce stuff to compare to the greats of yesteryear. I include 20th century "classical" music composers here. They experiment, because they have to be different, but someone like Schoenberg, for example, I think was largely wasting his time. On the other hand, is there any artistic merit in trying to copy the style of, say, Beethoven, when it's already been done?

It always was hard to produce 'great' music. Doesn't mean to say it can't be done now. Schoenberg wasting his time by merely experimenting? What the heck do you think Beethoven was doing?
Anyway, we're all entitled to our own opinions. I think music got boring after Bach and didn't start getting interesting again until the 20th Century. The Romantics? Utterly tedious boring shite. :)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 09:18:25 am
Y'see, I'm different.  I don't like the baroque stuff - too many notes ;) - but I do like some 19th Century music.  Particularly Beethoven, but also some Mahler and even Wagner.  And there was another composer whose work I once heard and was completely blown away by, but I can't remember his name now :-[

Stravinsky and Sibelius are my favourite composers - both very different, but both prepared to experiment with sound, and capable of creating deeply moving pieces.

If they had thought there was nothing more to achieve after Beethoven (and I could see how that might have seemed the case at the time), then we would never have had Firebird, the Swan of Tuonela, Finlandia, or Le Sacre de Printemps.

Now, do I say that Heaven 17 can stand comparison with these composers?  Well, yes, I do.  As can Leadbelly, Lennon & McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, Bernard Bonvoisin, KT Tunstall and many others.

As with music, so with literature.  Can there be a greater piece than Notes from Underground, or a more complete novel than The Brothers Karamazov?  Maybe so, but they would not have been written if Les Miserables had been regarded as the pinnacle.  And that would not have been created if Hugo had decided Don Quixote had encapsulated all that could be said.

And yet it goes on.  The Trial, Portrait of the Artist, Our Lady Of The Flowers, The Famished Road.

There is so much to human experience that there is always something more to say until we are dead.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 12, 2010, 09:19:50 am
Pop culture reference: the young lady in the off-the-shoulder number reminded me very much of Emma Thompson in The Young Ones.

Wow, I'm sorry - what was meant as a light-hearted dig seems to have led to a full-on character assassination. That wasn't my intent. Clarion's point about sounding like a high court judge is a good one, but I tend to agree that there's more to life than being able to answer questions on University Challenge. Good general knowledge is an indicator of a rounded personality but not the only one.

I tend to come unstuck on the science questions myself, though I was pleased with myself for getting two out of the three questions on primordial numbers despite not knowing what a primordial is (there was enough information in the question to be able to work it out). On the whole, I think the questions are very well balanced - that's what makes UC so enjoyable.

d.

That's OK. I didn't take it as anything more.
Wot Kirst said+
What's the point of having a shallow knowledge of lots of stuff?

Makes it rather easier to broaden your experience.

Not necessarily, and it almost certainly prevents a depth of experience.

That's just insulting.

But no more insulting than telling me I had a closed mind? I know you didn't say that, but it was a development of the same point.

Quote
Quote
I think the same is true of music. It's extremely hard for modern musicians to produce stuff to compare to the greats of yesteryear. I include 20th century "classical" music composers here. They experiment, because they have to be different, but someone like Schoenberg, for example, I think was largely wasting his time. On the other hand, is there any artistic merit in trying to copy the style of, say, Beethoven, when it's already been done?

It always was hard to produce 'great' music. Doesn't mean to say it can't be done now. Schoenberg wasting his time by merely experimenting? What the heck do you think Beethoven was doing?
Anyway, we're all entitled to our own opinions. I think music got boring after Bach and didn't start getting interesting again until the 20th Century. The Romantics? Utterly tedious boring shite. :)

Oh, of course Beethoven was experimenting. It's just that his experiments produced great music. With the benefit of hindsight I think that Schoenberg's experiments in music can be demonstrated not to have done. Some of this is merely down to personal taste, but artists of all types take a place in history and it's this context which often makes their work important.

Which takes us back to Kirst's post above. I ran the two questions past my daughter (first class degree in history) this morning and she couldn't answer either. When I mentioned the name Barnes Wallace she'd never heard of him. Her reaction was interesting:

"Does it fucking matter? It's just like cocky dads on open night. They are always trying to catch me out with questions like 'When was the Battle of Waterloo?' to which I reply 'Does it matter?' I really struggle to remember dates but I understand events and causes. The battle of Waterloo, and the unemployment amongst returning soldiers, had a profound effect on subsequent governments and led to widening the number of people who were allowed to vote. That's what matters."

When I mentioned that Heaven 17's music was banned by the BBC because of its anti-Thatcher content, she conceded "OK, perhaps that's important."

She went on: "This is a very blokish view of knowledge, the knowing of names and dates. It really pisses me off when we go to a pub quiz because people do well because they can memorise isolated facts. Knowing a few dates in history is far less important than understanding historical causes. This is when Ben (her husband) says to me 'Ellen, it's a pub quiz, not a 2000 word essay.'"

We agreed that Ben would certainly know the answers to the two questions concerned. We had a small wager on whether her younger brother would - I said he would.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Rhys W on October 12, 2010, 09:23:55 am
It was Barnes Wallis wasn't it?

Everybody knows that!  ;D
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Jaded on October 12, 2010, 09:25:24 am
The battle of Waterloo? Was that during the miners strike?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 09:33:04 am
A battle?  At Waterloo? :o

Was it between pedestrians and RLJing cyclists?  I'd not be surprised...
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Thor on October 12, 2010, 09:34:52 am
This is a very blokish view of knowledge, the knowing of names and dates. It really pisses me off when we go to a pub quiz because people do well because they can memorise isolated facts. Knowing a few dates in history is far less important than understanding historical causes.

IIRC, women are known to be better wine tasters than men, in general - they have a better appreciation of the flavours.  However far more men are Masters of Wine, because men have a better recollection of the facts and minutiae.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: HTFB on October 12, 2010, 09:56:54 am

Well, I've stopped watching television because the quality became so dire.

I'd not go back to the '50s, no, because the technology changed so much, but it's very hard to maintain the standards of, for example, comedy when you are constantly being compared to Monty Python, Morecambe & Wise, 2 Ronnies, Fawlty Towers, Tony Hancock...

[...]

So far as "pop"music is concerned, just like classical stuff, it has to stand the test of time,
[my emphasis]

Fairly recently I found an edition of the Radio Times lying around at my parents'. It had photos from Charles & Diana's wedding, which must have been why it was kept at first, and had then been used for packing china or something.

Almost all the TV back then, just as now, was dire. The "standards" of comedy weren't all being shown at once, and a lot of stuff was shown whose names would ring a bell if you saw them, giving a faint sense of relief that you don't have to watch it again.

I'd certainly choose a contemporary week's programming over that, if I were confined to bed and unable to read; especially since with Freeview you have a fair proportion of the better stuff from the last fifty years on continuous repeat.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 12, 2010, 09:58:07 am
The four most played artists on BBC Radio and TV this week are Cee-Lo, Labrinth, Magnetic Man and Kanye West. I for one know little about contemporary popular culture, beyond knowing that Anne Widdicombe is on Strictly Come Dancing, having witnessed her performance in the Culag Hotel Lochinver in the company of some heavily intoxicated Breton trawlermen. Debating the relative merits of Heaven 17 and Thomas Tallis never came up.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 10:04:15 am
I agree that the categorisation and labelling things is a very male view of knowledge.  And I'd struggle to name the English monarchs, though I'd make a decent stab at it.

I'd also agree that what matters is the flow of history, of causation - how the Black Death caused the end of feudalism and the Peasants Revolt; how the enclosures led to the Civil War, and, yes, how the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars led to Peterloo, and ultimately (is anything ultimately?) to Chartism etc.

But to understand these things, you would need to know a little bit of the hooks to peg the picture to.  You;d need to know the context and what else was happening.

And all culture has a historical/geographical context.  

Heaven 17's  Fascist Groove Thing is much more significant when you remember the context - that the NF had been on the rise (and on the march) in the late 70s.  The unpleasant attitudes expressed by musicians had sparked off Rock Against Racism, an offshoot of the Anti-Nazi League.  Thatcher's election in 1979 had been partly on the back of out-racisting the NF and cutting away their platform.  The Tories had introduced the Nationality Act, and were working on more measures.

Blair Peach's murder by the SPG, and the abuse of the Sus law (see Not! sketch on Constable Savage) led to a feeling that the state apparatus was being used to create a authoritarian far right-wing state, coming to a head in the summer of 1981, where part of the country was celebrating the royal wedding, and many others were reacting against heavy-handed (and racist) Policing in Handsworth, Brixton, St Pauls, Moss Side, Toxteth etc.

That's the background to a single rejecting the right-wing violence of such as the British Movement, Combat 18 and the fragmenting NF (soon to reform around the BNP), and the music of Oi, as well as the creepy obsession with Nazi imagery flirted with by, among others, David Bowie, new romantics. and other pioneers of electronica.

That song was an expression of the two former Human League members' belief in the possibility of founding a more progressive identity in the renewed modernism of the styles and the times.

And it was banned by the state broadcaster.  Well, not banned.  They didn't really do that, but it never made the playlist of a heavily playlist-oriented station when some DJs with allegedly dodgy politics disapproved.

But besides all that, that song, and Temptation, which broke boundaries in its own way, are musical classics in their own right, and stand the test of time.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 12, 2010, 10:22:00 am
The alternative view is that the arrival of North Sea Oil enabled governments to address some of the structural problems of the British economy, leading to a period of high unemployment, which was sustained socially by a relatively lax benefit regime. This enabled artistic youngsters to lead a bohemian lifestyle unencumbered by the need to conform to a 9 to 5 lifestyle. The result was an explosion of creativity in the late 70s and early 80s. In this analysis the pivotal record is 'Wham Rap', which also presages a more inclusive society in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation.

    YouTube
      - Broadcast Yourself.
   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKFEX0HwfYc&ob=av2e)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 10:22:51 am
That might be an interpretation, too.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 12, 2010, 01:31:33 pm
Quote from: My son Graham
The first was a chap with a very British name which I can't remember. Wikipedia says: Barnes Wallace. Second - no idea, the 80s were a pretty terrible decade for music. Don't even know what that song sounds like off the top of my head.
Graham, aged 26, Politics student (BA, MA, studying for PhD), keyboard player in a band, knows far more about music over the last 50 years than is the average.

I reckon last night's students may not be too bad after all.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 01:34:41 pm
You might think a keyboard player would know more about electro pioneers.  I think that the Human League was one of the very first bands playing entirely synthesised music.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on October 12, 2010, 01:36:41 pm
One thing no-one has mentioned yet: it was a cracking contest last night. And what's more, if that Canadian chap - who at one point seemed to forget which quiz he was in - hadn't kept buzzing in with the wrong answer, his team probably would have won.

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 12, 2010, 01:37:47 pm
You might think a keyboard player would know more about electro pioneers.  I think that the Human League was one of the very first bands playing entirely synthesised music.

On the other hand, a totally non-random sample of people who were born in / grew up in the 80s but are thoroughly politically and very culturally aware haven't heard of Heaven 17 either. Just perhaps you are overestimating their importance?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Eccentrica Gallumbits on October 12, 2010, 01:40:29 pm
The battle of Waterloo? Was that during the miners strike?
No, it was the 1973 Eurovision song contest.


Which takes us back to Kirst's post above. I ran the two questions past my daughter (first class degree in history) this morning and she couldn't answer either. When I mentioned the name Barnes Wallace she'd never heard of him. Her reaction was interesting:

"Does it fucking matter? It's just like cocky dads on open night. They are always trying to catch me out with questions like 'When was the Battle of Waterloo?' to which I reply 'Does it matter?' I really struggle to remember dates but I understand events and causes. The battle of Waterloo, and the unemployment amongst returning soldiers, had a profound effect on subsequent governments and led to widening the number of people who were allowed to vote. That's what matters."
I don't think I said it mattered - although I do think it right that his contribution to the war effort is remembered and respected. I was expressing light-hearted surprise that contestants on University Challenge, who are generally regarded as having good general knowledge, didn't know he invented the bouncing bomb. Whether it "matters" that they know or not, I remain surprised they didn't.

I can't accept that anyone who doesn't know Temptation could be said to know far more than average about music over the last 50 years, especially as it was re-released a few years ago. It's a very well known song.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Manotea on October 12, 2010, 01:43:45 pm
FWIW there was a whole genre of bands from the 70/80s that I simply CNBA with, incl: Heaven 17, The Smiths, The Cure, Joy Division. Teardrop Explodes, Echo and the Bunneymen, OMD, etc.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 12, 2010, 01:46:11 pm
You might think a keyboard player would know more about electro pioneers.  I think that the Human League was one of the very first bands playing entirely synthesised music.
Tonto's Expanding Head Band were probably the first such band. Working with Stevie Wonder they pioneered electronics in mainstream music.

    YouTube
      - Broadcast Yourself.
   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuaSzFf7yq0&feature=fvw)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: HTFB on October 12, 2010, 01:48:38 pm
Barnes Wallis gets a blue plaque on the New Cross Road a block or so from New Cross Gate station, opposite the bus garage.

It's a part of the world that would convince anyone of the desirability of the radical application of high explosives.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Manotea on October 12, 2010, 01:49:41 pm
You might think a keyboard player would know more about electro pioneers.  I think that the Human League was one of the very first bands playing entirely synthesised music.

They played my Uni when they were still an 'experimental' band (Being Boiled, anyone? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1sij3BYpqo&feature=related)). They wanted to play recordings of their music as a soundtrack to projected images. It was explained to them in words of one syllable that that was not what students considered 'a live performance'.

Edit: Me and my pals used to play Autobahn in the music room at lunchtimes when I was in the Sixth Form, circa '76. The only vaguely decent stereo system we had access to.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: RJ on October 12, 2010, 01:51:26 pm
You might think a keyboard player would know more about electro pioneers.  I think that the Human League was one of the very first bands playing entirely synthesised music.

Tangerine Dream?  Kraftwerk?  Both pre-dated post-punk/late-1970s-early-1980s British electronica by a fair bit, as I remember.

Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on October 12, 2010, 01:52:41 pm
Barnes Wallis gets a blue plaque on the New Cross Road a block or so from New Cross Gate station, opposite the bus garage.

It's a part of the world that would convince anyone of the desirability of the radical application of high explosives.

The bouncing bomb was tested off the coast of Herne Bay. Many have suggested it should have been tested on the coast of Herne Bay.

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Tim Hall on October 12, 2010, 01:56:51 pm
You might think a keyboard player would know more about electro pioneers.  I think that the Human League was one of the very first bands playing entirely synthesised music.

They played my Uni when they were still an experimental 'band' (Being Boiled, anyone? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1sij3BYpqo&feature=related)). They wanted to play recordings of their music as a soundtrack to projected images. It was explained to them in words of one syllable that that was not what students considered 'a live performance'.

I saw them do that at, umm, The Hammersmith Palais and The Lyceum. Support included Spizz Energy, Wall of Voodoo, The Mekons.  Brilliant. Just brilliant. Then Martin Rushent took over their production and it all went downhill.

eeh, those were the days. 'course the real reason, in Clarion's eyes, that they and Heaven 17 are the pinnacle of western civilisation is that they come from Sheffield, which my correspondents tell me is in a county to the north of where I am at the moment.     
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: nicknack on October 12, 2010, 02:01:29 pm
Barnes Wallis gets a blue plaque on the New Cross Road a block or so from New Cross Gate station, opposite the bus garage.

It's a part of the world that would convince anyone of the desirability of the radical application of high explosives.

The bouncing bomb was tested off the coast of Herne Bay. Many have suggested it should have been tested on the coast of Herne Bay.

d.


No. About 16 miles WNW would have been preferable. Still waiting for the Richard Montgomery... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Richard_Montgomery)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 02:17:21 pm
'course the real reason, in Clarion's eyes, that they and Heaven 17 are the pinnacle of western civilisation is that they come from Sheffield, which my correspondents tell me is in a county to the north of where I am at the moment.     

That's unfair!

OK, so I do like Pulp, Heaven 17, The Enzymes, Reverend & The Makers, Richard Hawley, Moloko (another Clockwork Orange ref), Hula, Comsat Angels, Haze, Hi'n'Dri, Arctic Monkeys, Def Leppard and a bit of Cabaret Voltaire.

But I don't much care for Phil Oakey.  He was a vain prat. ;D
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 12, 2010, 02:23:31 pm
You might think a keyboard player would know more about electro pioneers.  I think that the Human League was one of the very first bands playing entirely synthesised music.

Tangerine Dream?  Kraftwerk?  Both pre-dated post-punk/late-1970s-early-1980s British electronica by a fair bit, as I remember.



The 70s groups were using analogue instruments and tape with reliance on sequencers, hence the  repetitive overlapping rythyms. When digital techniques came in there was a shift to sampled sounds and the trademark orchestral stabs of Trevor Horn. Tracks could be assembled in a non-linear way, much like film, that complimented the video revolution and was encouraged by MTV.
A video such as  'Don't you want me baby' makes this change explicit.

    YouTube
      - Broadcast Yourself.
   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arUqoKjU3D4)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Jaded on October 12, 2010, 02:26:44 pm

But I don't much care for Phil Oakey.  He was a vain prat. ;D

He had nice hair though.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 02:30:10 pm
Which side?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: redshift on October 12, 2010, 02:31:30 pm
You might think a keyboard player would know more about electro pioneers.  I think that the Human League was one of the very first bands playing entirely synthesised music.

Tangerine Dream?  Kraftwerk?  Both pre-dated post-punk/late-1970s-early-1980s British electronica by a fair bit, as I remember.



TD were never truly fully synthesised, and were more in the zone occupied by NEU! and Can.  Konrad Plank from NEU! later worked with Ultravox.  Kraftwerk had patents on their transducers, and eventually sacked the drummer for 'moving about too much.' *  They all owed lots to Musique Concrète in the sense of 'music from sounds' as opposed to just notes.  We could use that to lead into Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire, The Radiophonic Workshop and the Doctor Who? theme.  Jean Michel Jarre (who is excellent as a live performer BTW) also worked in experimental Musique Concrète in the 60's.  I saw a documentary during which JMJ said 'watching somebody stand behind a laptop for two hours isn't very sexy...' and having seen Kraftwerk, I can only agree.

I'm only a keyboard player in the sense of dabbling, but I know quite a bit about the history of electronic music, mostly by osmosis over the years.  I'd suggest that 'lack of interest' in your chosen field might be a disadvantage.  Having said that, I can also say without a doubt that not knowing about what's on TV isn't a barrier to working in that field - but that's because I need to know about technology, rather than production ideas.  I'm not sure where I'd stand on popular culture:  Like the stuff in the gutter, I'd probably prefer not to.


*This may be slightly exaggerated for comic effect.   ;D
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 02:35:09 pm
You remind me that we can bring together the strands of 'serious' music and the strand that leads to Heaven 17, and, beyond, to Wow's son, in the eccentric figure of Karlheinz Stockhausen.  I remember recording the performance of 'Donnerstag' aus 'Licht' off the radio, and wondering whether 'Licht' would ever be completed.

I lost the cassette at a venue where I once played it as ambient music for a theatre piece.  Sabotage is not implausible.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: bikenerd on October 12, 2010, 04:40:23 pm
Also - Walter / Wendy Carlos' first album was a collection of Bach played on a synthesizer in 1968.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Arch on October 12, 2010, 04:58:31 pm
Good general knowledge is an indicator of a rounded personality but not the only one.

And not always. The Balliol team who beat us had a guy in it who was lightning quick on the buzzer, and was then able to come up with the answer in the time it took for the voice to say "Smartarse, Balliol".  The rest of his team said he was an utter geek, who sat and read dictionaries in the union bar and were actually a bit scathing about him. Brilliant in a quiz team, but no good as a mate.

Having the knowledge is one thing, understanding how it all fits together is perhaps the more important thing.



Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: clarion on October 12, 2010, 05:01:22 pm
But quizzes are quizzes, and not debating fora.  There is something about the setting which means you need to be able to access disaparate trivia in a concise format.  RBQ is the only format where I think a more discursive format is preferred.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Arch on October 12, 2010, 05:11:12 pm

Built in Howden in Yorkshire of course, which is why there is a pub called the Barnes Wallis next to the railway crossing passed on the LEL.


Where the airship sheds used to be is now a golf club. I was taken on a ride near there once, and shown, in the verge opposite, a big metal ring bolted into the ground which was apparently used to tether the 'ships.

I've been that way a few times, and never found it again from my bike - maybe I'll have to walk the verge and trip over it. Or it's been removed.

Also, extra trivia, in the graveyard of Howden Minster is a headstone done with that laser etching style, featuring three motifs - a gun, a pigeon, and a bike.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Arch on October 12, 2010, 05:17:40 pm
But quizzes are quizzes, and not debating fora.  There is something about the setting which means you need to be able to access disaparate trivia in a concise format.  RBQ is the only format where I think a more discursive format is preferred.

Oh yes, certainly. But I was just making the point that having the knowledge doesn't always make you a rounded personality. I like RBQ, because even if you don't know all the answers, you can usually get some, as it unfolds.

One of my proudest moments was so damn nearly winning a game of Trivial Pursuits, where the others were playing in teams of two, and I was playing alone. It came down to the last question in the middle between me and one team, and they chose a football question, guaranteed to have me beat.

Ok, half the other people were Canadian, and one Polish, so British popular culture was on my side, but I was very pleased to have put up such a good fight.  I'm not sure that makes me a rounded personality, or just a competitive git with a grudge against one of my opponents...
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on October 12, 2010, 05:57:27 pm
Can there be a greater piece than Notes from Underground, or a more complete novel than The Brothers Karamazov?  Maybe so, but they would not have been written if Les Miserables had been regarded as the pinnacle.
And thank goodness people carry on trying! Dostoevsky was a great writer - probably my favourite overall - but I'd hate it if all novels were as gloomy and laden with significance.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on October 12, 2010, 06:06:35 pm
But quizzes are quizzes, and not debating fora.  There is something about the setting which means you need to be able to access disaparate trivia in a concise format.  RBQ is the only format where I think a more discursive format is preferred.

Oh yes, certainly. But I was just making the point that having the knowledge doesn't always make you a rounded personality. I like RBQ, because even if you don't know all the answers, you can usually get some, as it unfolds.

I have, on rare occasions, sat watching UC and scored more points than both teams put together. OK, of course I have the chance to answer all their follow-up questions as well as starters. I don't consider that this sort of geekery contributes much at all to a well-rounded personality.

Also, in another life I used to be included in quiz teams especially for my near-encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure cricket records (the late lamented Bill Frindall wasn't the only Bearded Wonder). However, Brian Lara came along and broke nearly all the batting records and my capacity to commit useless facts to memory has declined greatly with age.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: mattc on October 12, 2010, 06:51:58 pm
Good general knowledge is an indicator of a rounded personality but not the only one.
I don't think that holds up much. I suppose it indicates you are not obsessed with one area of life to the exclusion of wider society, so that's good.

But more likely it just shows you remember facts well. Or waste a lot of time learning the stuff in those pub quiz books! Neither indicate a 'rounded personality'.

A better indicator would be an interest in a variety of things, rather than being dismissive of things you know nothing about.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Jaded on October 12, 2010, 07:01:09 pm
I think that's complete nonsense.








 ;)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on October 12, 2010, 07:15:34 pm
Knowledge is a funny thing, I reckon you need a peg to hang new stuff onto and that if you don't constantly rummage around in your store of information those pegs are not available. Not only do you forget stuff you knew, but you have less links to retrieve other facts. It's no earthly use to know who was the female presenter on Blue Peter before Valerie Singleton, but forgetting it is an early warning that your capacity to access things you did once know is on the wane.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: mattc on October 12, 2010, 08:02:25 pm
Knowledge is a funny thing, I reckon you need a peg to hang new stuff onto and that if you don't constantly rummage around in your store of information those pegs are not available. Not only do you forget stuff you knew, but you have less links to retrieve other facts. It's no earthly use to know who was the female presenter on Blue Peter before Valerie Singleton, but forgetting it is an early warning that your capacity to access things you did once know is on the wane.
I believe that fits perfectly with the research in the area wot I has studied skimmed.

(Except that I'm not sure what new stuff would be easier to learn due to having a good recollection of Blue Peter presenters).
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Mr Larrington on October 13, 2010, 12:09:15 pm
FWIW there was a whole genre of bands from the 70/80s that I simply CNBA with, incl: Heaven 17, The Smiths, The Cure, Joy Division. Teardrop Explodes, Echo and the Bunneymen, OMD, etc.

+1.  The original Human Leg were interesting but after they underwent binary fission their various members fell off my radar quicker than a Super Etendard encountering a Sea Harrier.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Ham on October 13, 2010, 12:28:18 pm
I'm with Homer Simpson on this

Quote

But every time I learn something new, it pushes out something old!

Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on January 24, 2011, 08:28:59 pm
Good grief! That was close!
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: her_welshness on January 25, 2011, 04:19:26 pm
Good grief! That was close!

Come on Sheffield!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Riggers on January 25, 2011, 04:25:06 pm
It was an absolute corker wasn't it!
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 26, 2011, 10:32:35 am
I bet that bloke from Footlights College, Oxbridge who got the last Q wrong is now and forever treated like a right tool.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on January 26, 2011, 10:44:45 am
Crikey. That was close. And in a high-scoring game.

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: her_welshness on February 14, 2011, 08:18:42 pm
F*ck. Christs Cambridge are being bitch-slapped  :o I have never seen an opening like that before!
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on February 14, 2011, 08:42:26 pm
Well, if you will go on telly looking like a total tit (yes, I mean you, Walmswell).

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: border-rider on February 14, 2011, 09:34:52 pm
was he the twat in a hat ? There's a time and place for a hat like that, and it's on a middle-aged chap in  sunny place, outdoors.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Wowbagger on February 14, 2011, 10:05:08 pm
More to the point, how much effort does someone from the London Borough of Newham have to make to cultivate an accent like that?
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Karla on February 14, 2011, 10:10:34 pm
I played some of the people on the Magdalen team a couple of weeks ago in a different contest (the NAQT).  We got similarly hammered, so it made me feel a lot better to watch them against Christ's.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: citoyen on February 14, 2011, 10:30:02 pm
was he the twat in a hat ? There's a time and place for a hat like that, and it's on a middle-aged chap in  sunny place, outdoors.

Yes. Exactly. The phrase "trying too hard" springs to mind.

d.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Deano on February 14, 2011, 10:59:54 pm
Well, if you will go on telly looking like a total tit (yes, I mean you, Walmswell).

d.

Aye.  I took one look and wondered what he'd think of himself looking back in twenty years' time.  Or even a month's time.

I enjoyed the "named winds" question.  A bit of local (ish) knowledge came in useful there.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Exit Stage Left on February 14, 2011, 11:28:44 pm
Well, if you will go on telly looking like a total tit (yes, I mean you, Walmswell).

d.

Aye.  I took one look and wondered what he'd think of himself looking back in twenty years' time.  Or even a month's time.

I enjoyed the "named winds" question.  A bit of local (ish) knowledge came in useful there.

There's a song about that.

    YouTube
        - Helm Blues
   (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEc5ccBZ1bA)
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Deano on February 14, 2011, 11:38:36 pm
Wow.  That certainly showcases the Cumbrian accent.
Title: Re: University Challenge
Post by: Nuncio on July 07, 2014, 09:50:50 pm
There was the first of a two-parter on tonight, presumably leading in to the next series.  It followed some of the potential teams, and how various institutions go about selecting those teams. The final selection is by the production company based on test results and an (informal) interview.  The test involved writing answers to recorded questions read out by 'our questions editor, Tom'.  I wonder if that was our very own Tom B.