Casting Down One's Pod

Hello. This morning you can listen to me talking in an interesting chopped up fashion about music videos on the Guardian podcast, and you can pat yourselves on the back because all your positive thoughtage has worked, and Justine Frischman is now aware of my existence. This means wee are very close to clearing the sample on Boom. Possibly. Hopefully. Rah! I would now like you to turn your energies to my American record company, Interscope, who are being, shall we say, difficult, in some areas. I thank you in advance. Must reads on this foul day of Our Lord, Augyst 2d, 2006:

The Violent Bear It Away "The Age of Nations is over, and many of the most powerful are no longer ruled by forces which safeguard the interests of the state, let alone its citizens. We're entering an extinction boundary, between the reign of high mammals and the return of the jellyfish. What are the politics of jellyfish?"

Amazon rainforest 'could become a desert' "The vast Amazon rainforest is on the brink of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world's climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year. "

A Primeval Tide of Toxins (or - We Have Broken The Sea) "The fireweed began each spring as tufts of hairy growth and spread across the seafloor fast enough to cover a football field in an hour. When fishermen touched it, their skin broke out in searing welts. Their lips blistered and peeled. Their eyes burned and swelled shut. Water that splashed from their nets spread the inflammation to their legs and torsos."

Acid waters, dissolving shellfish "Until now, concern about rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been focused on global warming. But scientists have discovered a second reason to worry: About half of the greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels -- an amount weighing about the same as 140 billion Volkswagen Beetles -- has ultimately ended up in the world's oceans."

How Can We Stand By And Allow This To Go On? by Robert Fisk "I found Nejwah Shalhoub lying in the government hospital in Tyre, her jaw and face bandaged like Robespierre's before his execution. She did not weep, nor did she scream, although the pain was written on her face. Her brother Taisir, who was 46, had been killed. So had her sister Najla. So had her little niece Zeinab, who was just six. "We were in the basement hiding when the bomb exploded at one o'clock in the morning,'' she said. "What in the name of God have we done to deserve this? So many of the dead are children, the old, women. Some of the children were still awake and playing. Why does the world do this to us?""

Hundreds Go Wild In Streets Of Beirut "In Qana, corpses continue to be rescued from rubble. In Beirut, demonstrations condemning Israel's massacre. Demonstrators demand Hizbullah take revenge on Israel, vandalize UN building in city. Men and women shouted and lamented "massacre, massacre!" to the cameras in Qana on Sunday. Hundreds of protestors went wild in the streets of Beirut."

New Maximum-security Jail To Open at Guantanamo Bay "The controversy over the US-run detention centre at Guantanamo Bay is to erupt anew with confirmation by the Pentagon that a new, permanent prison will open in the Cuban enclave in the next few weeks. Camp 6, a state-of-the-art maximum-security jail built by a Halliburton subsidiary, will be able to hold 200 prisoners."

By the way, is it just me, but in the context of an unprecedented "civilian" rage directed in the general area of the murderous rulers of Israel, who for so long have hid behind accusations of anti-Semitism, does this Mel Gibson thing seem a bit convenient?

And my holiday was lush thanks. Awesome food and views and company, boating, swimming in the sea, cricket, Lego. Charlotte and I got lost in the ramblish expanse of a miniature forest, through which we waded like twin Gulliver's. It is nice to have scars. For remembering. We played Articulate - when my little brother Ali turned up yesterday we RINSED the rest of them. Paul was pissed off. Paul and Flan's incredible son Jesse James and I built a Lego spaceship. Jeres drank cider and wore excellent shorts and made Jesse cry by cheating at cricket. I even saw my Mam and Keith for short while. I so want to be on holiday again. Holiday's rule! I haven't had one in years! Babydoll, holla at your boy, we need to go to Cancun!