Prince: I am music

Prince or Symbol or The man who hates the Internets, in an interview with The Guardian. And despite (or maybe because of) the fact that he’s quite probably very insane, it’s an interesting read:

Sometimes he seems a little too fond of boundaries. “It’s fun being in Islamic countries, to know there’s only one religion. There’s order. You wear a burqa. There’s no choice. People are happy with that.” But what about women who are unhappy about having to wearing burqas? “There are people who are unhappy with everything,” he says shruggingly. “There’s a dark side to everything.”

Noting my unconvinced expression, he tries to clarify, but gives up with a sigh. “I don’t want to get up on a soapbox. My view of the world, you can debate that for ever. But I’m a musician. That’s what I do. And I also am music. Come to the show for that.”

Glastonbury drug test – rather not

Glastonbury, biggest music festival of the British Isles, is going down this weekend. Analytical toxicologists had asked if they could test the festival’s waste for legal highs and illicit drugs. Festival manager Michael Eavis declined, as writes The Guardian.

If he hadn’t declined, here’s how they would have done it:

All the festival sewage gets tipped into a huge container and then fed out slowly into the local sewage works over the next few weeks. This gives the toxicologists the opportunity to sample the “wastewater” without having to tackle the problem of sampling the output of thousands of onsite portable toilets. It also ensures the process is totally anonymous.

“We can only do it if there is a central sewage system,” said Ramsey, who carried out a similar project at a festival in Antwerp. “The joy of Glastonbury is that they have their own plumbing.”

I for one would have liked to see the results.

X-Men First Class: D- for historical accuracy

The Guardian has a fun piece up about the historical accuracy of X-Men: First Class, which came out a couple of weeks ago:

His telepathic sidekick, Emma Frost (January Jones), kitted out in space-age white plastic minidresses anachronistically based on André Courrèges and Paco Rabanne designs from 1964, lures an American general into his lair. “I hear you blocked the proposition to reposition Jupiter missiles in Turkey,” Shaw says.

“You reposition missiles in Turkey, or anywhere that close to Russia, and you’re looking at war,” stutters the general. “Nuclear war.”

In reality, the US did position Jupiter missiles in Turkey, though not at the behest of an evil mutant supervillain – unless that’s how you’d describe the Pentagon.

The Guardian on Thomas Vinterberg (and what he’s up to now)

You might have heard about what Lars von Trier did while in Cannes (and his subsequent being banned for said doings). But ever wondered what happened to Thomas Vinterberg, the man behind the much heralded “Festen” and von Trier’s partner in crime when it came to Scandinavian Dogme95 films? Well, the Guardian has a nice piece up where they examine what exactly happened to him and why:

After five years spent alternately locked up at Zentropa and “celebrating himself” around the world, Vinterberg’s next film at last emerged. Titled It’s All About Love, it featured bemused duo Joaquin Phoenix and Clare Danes in a story of apocalyptic omens and ice skating shot through with whimsy, romance and attempted profundity. Informed by its director’s desire to get as far away from the strictures of Dogme as possible, it was a loopy, candy-floss folly that looked lovely even as it boggled the mind. Professionally it was, of course, a disaster – if not quite career suicide, then certainly a messy cry for help.

Searching for Bobby Fischer

The Guardian has a great piece on Bobby Fischer, chess genius and mysterious man about world:

For the last four decades of his life, that’s what people did with Fischer – they looked for him. Fans, journalists, biographers, friends, they all tried to find this mythical creature, either in person or in that fabulous abstract realm that he continued to haunt: chess. He had ventured deep into the alternate world of this most intellectually demanding of games, a daunting contest of infinite possibilities, and succeeded in becoming world champion. Like some chequerboard version of Conrad’s Kurtz, the experience seemed to leave him in a state of dread. Then he vanished.

In case you are that way, yes, Malcolm Gladwell is mentioned as well.

From biggest donor to biggest recipient

The Guardian takes a look at how people are coping with the enormous clean-up efforts after the Japanese Tsunami:

It is a phenomenal engineering and waste management challenge. The government estimates it will take three years to deal with the 25m tonnes of debris, which will have to be scrapped, burnt or recycled. This includes at least 16 towns, 95,000 buildings, 23 railway stations and hundreds of kilometres of roads, railway tracks and sea walls.

The World Bank estimates the cost at $235bn (£144bn), making it the world’s most expensive disaster. With charity pouring in from overseas, EU diplomats believe Japan – formerly the world’s biggest donor – may become the world’s biggest aid recipient this year.