Tag Archives: Nice Things

The Velvet Hearts: Into the World

At last. The Velvet Hearts debut album, Into the World, has just been released. It’s currently available exclusively from CDBaby. It is the best of times, and the worst of times, to be trying to build a career as a musician. The online revolution is both generous in its audience and stingy in its fiscal reward; so getting to the point of releasing an album is no small feat. They’re regularly gigging, and their live shows are very good, so if you can catch them, do so. Continue reading

The Velvet Hearts – A Gourmet Feast

When, by chance, we saw The Velvet Hearts at The Edge a couple of months ago, we were left with the overriding impression that this was a band who had taken a step beyond the norm and were producing something really rather special. We saw them a second time at the sunny Portsmouth Bandstand, and were again impressed, not just by how well the sound translated from the tiny Edge venue, but also by the way the band handled (and revelled in) a stage invasion by a dozen primary school kids, without missing a beat – in terms of stage rapport, think of Barenaked ladies and you’re getting the picture, they enjoy what they do, and it’s infectious. Continue reading

Viva Voce

In Britain, the process of finishing a PhD involves the submission of a written thesis, followed by an oral examination called a viva voce (the literal Latin translation is “live voice”). The “viva”, as it’s commonly known, is an in-depth discussion into all aspects of the thesis which typically lasts between 90 and 180 minutes. It is conducted by a specially convened examination board, with both internal and external examiners, who typically have have four weeks to digest the thesis beforehand. In the viva, the PhD candidate must defend their thesis: if the defence is successful, the candidate is awarded the degree Continue reading

Teabags and Sugar

When making a pot of tea, I tend to add teabags and sugar at the same time; once the tea has brewed, I give it a stir, remove the teabags, add milk, and then with the aid of a knitted tea-cosy I get several hot mugs of tea in succession and can keep working without the need to return to the kitchen.

However, when I do return to the kitchen a recurring question bounces around my head: how much sugar is absorbed by the teabag before it is removed from the pot? i.e. exactly how much is the taste affected and how much energy is lost? Continue reading