2. I know this is heresy but I am coming round to the view that a lot of middle to late period Radiophonic Workshop stuff is a trifle samey. The sounds are obviously unique to the Workshop but there are a few particular sounds which are used over and over again. Not that it is bad, per se, and obviously gave a particular sound to Britain in a particular era. It would be nice though if the musical soundtracks to current BBC stuff were a little more adventurous.
3. I mentioned Blossom, which starred Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler). Have been watching another episode on Ute Tube. It is like a random soap but with a laugh track added - here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HHlqgG7_Vc
I shall be developing some software that performs simple pattern recognition on DVDs (sound, video and subtitles) and adds a laugh track to them - obviously it doesn't have to be THAT good to be adequate, compare with the laugh track on this episode of Blossom.
4. Have bought and read a couple of detective novels by Nancy Spain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Spain All are out of print. One was printed in the 90s as a 'Lesbian Landmark' but is out of print again. It has an introduction by an academic saying that attempts to get it reprinted by feminist presses had foundered on the depiction of a Jewish character and a black one, I can kind of just about see why, more with the Jewish doctor than the black teacher. The reprinted one has one one star review on Amazon, still there is no accounting for taste, I suppose. I have ordered another three (found the bookshop on Abebooks then found their own website and ordered them from that) - another one has only one copy on Abebooks for 120 pounds, don't think I shall be buying that.
To me they seem much of a piece with Dorothy L Sayers, but I suspect the nature of detective fiction is such that there are thousands of perfectly adequate books now out of print. If they have a flaw it is the whodunnit aspect rather than the writing in general, it could be coincidence but *spoiler* both have a slight rabbit-out-of-hat one of the characters has a mental illness which caused them to commit the crime ending.