Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How to turn down a Bond movie

"At the last minute, I looked over the edge of the cliff and got back into my Prius."

- Film director Roger Michell explaining how he turned down the next Bond film (#22), as reported in Screen International, 15 August 2006 (subscription required).


"At the last minute, I floored the accelerator of my Aston Martin and sailed over the cliff."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Two movie kitchens to die for

1: Check out the Smeg gear in The Hours. You'll need to block out Meryl Streep, who does a quantity of blubbing in front of the cabinets, but the design comes through well enough. Compare with Virginia Woolf's ropey old kitchen in the same movie. No wonder she got depressed.

2: Daniel Auteuil also succumbs to a flood of tears in his nicely appointed galley-style kitchen in Hidden (Cache). The action on the under-counter fridge door looks like it could use a little attention. But, strangely, none of the characters in the film mentions this. That's just one of the many conundra in this intriguing fillum, soon to be remade with Al Pacino and Meryl Streep.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Latest Hollywood Remakes

New versions of several classic movies have been announced by metaproduction company Stasis. The films are being sponsored by commercial organisations and each will feature prominent product placements.

The full slate is:

Silence of the Lamps
Snickers Man
The No Study Required Graduate
Retailers of the Lost Ark
Five Easy PCs
The Usual Specs
Clothes Encounters of the Third Kind

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Virtual Samosas

They're tasty, they're crunchy, they're spicey - they're the finger-food you can eat even if you haven't got any fingers (because, for example, you have already eaten them).

Virtual Samosas are made from 100% organic bits. The angles of each tastetastic triangle have been certified to add up to 180 degrees.

Virtual Samosas are now available wherever you see this invisible sign:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Alter Ego Surfing

"Recent crime rate statistics that indicate a 6.6 percent increase in the crime rate in Okeechobee County also has caused Sheriff Paul May’s blood pressure to go up."

Okeechobee News, 23 July 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006


My paranoia about proximity detectors is here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dream Product Pitch

"It's motivation - in a bottle."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

My phone was an extra in...

... Taggart (July 7th or 14th, I forget which). I can't remember anything about the plot. Taggart is a very talky show, isn't it? They're always blathering.

... The Beat That My Heart Skipped (De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté). Unlikely pianist with implausible friends.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Star Secrets: Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt saves the saline solution that comes with disposable contact lenses and returns it to the ocean. It's the star's way of countering the lowering of sea levels associated with global warming.

He's also been known to good-naturedly bully fellow actors into donating their own saline solution - and even tears - to the project. Pitt insists that a distinctive plastic water butt is placed outside his trailer on set, so that cast and crew can donate their brine.

Meanwhile Pitt's Ocean's Whatever screenmate George Clooney is telling everyone who'll listen that Brad's barking up the wrong tree. According to Clooney, sea levels will rise as climate change melts the polar ice caps.

Clooney has told close associates that Pitt has miscalculated the effects of evaporation and failed to appreciate the totality of the water cycle.

Brad Pitt was not available for comment.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Fruit Fries

Fruit Fries - the delicious new snack everyone is talking about... with their mouths full! Full of the crunchy, nutricious, golden-fried fruit pieces that everyone is talking about.

Fruit Fries are available in three handy take-anywhere pouches: small, tiny and microscopic.

Try a bag today! Try another bag tomorrow. Just keep trying them. (It helps if you keep your hand over your mouth.)

Nutritional Information: Fruit Fries do not contain fruit. Ingredients: water, dust, wild starch. Not recommended as part of a human diet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Who Is The World's Largest Sheriff?

The big news in the world of electronic canned meat is the junkworld debut of the World's Largest Sheriff. The so-far anonymous gargantuan law-maker has wires abuzz around the globe.

Theories are starting to emerge as to his - or her - identity. Some "internetters" believe the star in question is pinned to the chest of none other than Quentile Scarmover, previously the world's largest caretaker at Pittsburgh Seaworld. Others maintain that the giant sherriff is actually a newly formed volcano.

According to her - or his - agent, the World's Largest Sheriff is considering several offers for the rights to her - oh, alright, his - life story.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Misheard at Waterloo

"Passengers are reminded that bison may not be carried on this service."

Friday, July 14, 2006

Put your kgwonlee to good use

"Deerges Baesd On Yuor Kgwonlee", promises an exciting new email...

Assuming I've got some kgwonlee - and I'll need to check the cupboards - I'm not sure I really need any more deerges. The last litter of deerges I had became infested with mites and I had to burn them all, then flush the ash down the lav.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Three more tracks from my fantasy remix album

4: Disastermovie - All One Word

5: Type A Horse - Garden Killing Tree Hugger

6: The Scallops - Out Of My Box

Monday, July 10, 2006

Cheap Flights Bonanza

Paper Planes
Originally uploaded by pilchard77.

Planes stacked up in the smog-heavy skies over Heathrow this morning.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Modern Mottoes: War Chic

Dolce et Gabbana pro patria mori.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I take my revenge on all the inkjet printers in my grubby past here.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Small Intestine Investor

The latest edition of Small Intestine Investor magazine (sadly not available on any web) has a fascinating article about stocks in spamming companies.

Not only are savvy investors piling into companies that send out emails telling people to invest in penny stocks, there are even new portfolio investment vehicles that let you take a position in "the spam of the spam".

This one really is a winer.

Next month Small Intestine Investor announces the recipient of its annual "Canned Meat Festival" award, rumored to be going to the team of junk mail junkies responsible for last winter's classic "This o\/er the counter sock is undre my radar NAME HERE" missive.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Line for found poem

With one hand they cover up the sky.

from China (BBC2)

Friday, June 30, 2006

World Cup Live Scones

Have you enjoyed getting live scones from the World Cup direct to your desktop PC, mobile phone or set-top fish tank?

If so, you may want to sign up for our new online Wimbledon strawberries! These delicious e-strawberries will be available for download soon.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pity Mr Sprüngli

The wonder chocolate known universally as Lindt is, to be strictly accurate, actually made by Lindt & Sprüngli. So who was Mr Sprüngli?

It seems that Rudolf Sprüngli got into the choc business first in Zurich, his family later taking over the factory of Rodolphe Lindt in Berne. (There was a later bust-up, with an illegal Lindt company trading on its own until it was "liquidated" in 1928.) But hey - you can catch up with the rest of Lindt's history at its informative website. Key quotes include:

"Between 1920 and 1945 the firm had to face almost unimaginable challenges"

"After the war, demand exploded first within the home market and later abroad"


"Due to the meteoric growth of the Lindt Group of companies, the Group’s structure was redesigned and a Kilchberg-based holding company was formed in 1994 whereby all the companies became wholly-owned subsidiaries of 'Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG'. The former parent and manufactoring company in Kilchberg thus was renamed 'Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli (Schweiz) AG'"

Interestingly, Rudolf-with-an-eff was clean-shaven, while Rudolphe-with-a-pee-aitch had a moustache.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Job Ad Jargon

Here's the first part of my handy guide to job ad jargon. I hope you find it useful!

"You are a highly motivated self-starter": We have no idea what this role entails.

"£ NEG": Negligible payment

"Must have XML/UML": ... and believe that they are the same thing.

"Some travel required": We have no offices.

"A fantastic opportunity to move to the next level": ...downwards.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Goodbye, Long Falcon


Private detective Bertie Simms is hired to drop a small rock from the roof of the Bradbury building. When it lands on the head of LAPD commissioner Prescott Lamplighter, Simms realizes he has been framed for the murder of Gnat "Gnegligible" Smolfins, a suburban hoodlum who controls the olive oil supply from the Owens Valley. On the run from the cops, the feds and the fops, Simms seeks refuge in a Santa Monica church. There he discovers a Nazi-backed plot to drill into the sea bed beneath the pier, drain the ocean and sell the new real estate to people from the mid-west.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Interstitial Power

Scientists have discovered a means of harnessing the power latent in interstitial ads - the blink-and-you-miss-'em commercials that savvy website operators use to snare twenty-first century eyeballs.

Each blipvert releases a tiny amount of energy that is usually lost to the environment, thus contributing to global warming. But by inserting a tiny gold wire in each web page, and linking the wires up to a sophisticated global network, scientists at MIT have managed to aggregate the wasted power and direct it to the benefit of human kind.

A public demonstration of the new technology showed 98 million separate "browsing instantiations" generating a respectable 1.2 volts for a duration of eight seconds, and lighting a small flashlight bulb.

The latest subliminal ads for a well-known restaurant chain are the first commercials to come pre-laced with the energy-collecting wires. It's claimed the new worldwide "I'm shovin' it" campaign will directly offset the environmental impact of 17 trillion fries.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Uninflected Rage of Davina Belpaese

A new print of Wim Flinsky's arthouse classic was unveiled today at the prestigious Balhambra cinemateque in south London.

The new print was made possible by a cash injection from the UK National Lottery, with matching funds supplied by EuroKultur.

Film buffs are now launching a new appeal, aimed at raising enough to thread the new print onto the Balhambra's projector.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mr Thoughtful

International Trusted Rug Convention Signed

Leaders of the free world met in Geneva today to ratify the Convention on Trusted Rugs following five years of often bitter acrimony, horsetrading and deceit.

The convention ensures that, for the first time in history, every rug woven in any of the signatory countries is produced without recourse to violence.

A new logo was also unveiled. Rug users will be able to check qualifying floorcoverings for the distinctive "bee and nut" logo before finalising their purchase transactions.

The world leaders, assembled for the traditional end-of-conference group karaoke session, refused to comment on rumors that non-compliant rugs will now be withdrawn from all horizontal surfaces found to be harboring them.

"We will not be pulling any rugs," said Fredonian premier Tony Blair. "We'd have to raise tacks first."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


A new, softer and more caring approach to management is quickly gaining ground amongst alternative business gurus. Owing more to family favorite Nanny McPhee than traditional business thinkers such as Pad Mai Fee, the fresh science of nanagement promises to raise productivity and put a smile back on the teary faces of today's information workers.

Nanagement practitioners work one-on-one with employees to help them reach the so-called "nanny state" - a blissed-out yet totally focused "zone" of "natural effectiveness" and "quotation marks". Trainees learn how to trigger the state themselves, using simple everyday objects such as blankets and rice pudding.

Studies emerging from a poorly lagged thinktank suggest that nanagement may be more effective in alleviating unhappiness, uncertainty and boredom than more mainstream solutions such as medication, cognitive behavioral therapy and threats.

However, not everyone is convinced at the rise and rise of nanagement. A school of dissidents calling themselves "Theory Eggs Over Why" are pushing an alternative approach known simply as nagging.

"We find that nagging is just as effective as nannying in controlled tests," said a spokesperson for the group. "Our new, lightweight, n-agile (TM) method makes nagging accessible to everyone who wants to give it a whirl in the workplace."

Meanwhile, holistic consultants are working on a high-level portable synthesis of the competing methods, currently dubbed no-no-nano-nagile-nanagement.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Can't Pathe - a company with an illustrious history - come up with anything better than its current ident? It looks like it's made out of cardboard and wire coat hangers. No expense spent, and all that.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Alternative Headline Generation Exercise

First, this wonderful story of a food technology breakthrough, with the title bestowed by Political Gateway. Then, we'll see if we can come up with any alternative headlines...


Lawn-mowing accident leads to new pizza

DES MOINES, Iowa, June 13 (UPI) -- In a strange turn of events, a Des Moines, Iowa, radio personality reportedly has invented no-dough pizzas, an idea spawned from a lawn-mowing accident.

The Des Moines Register said WHO's Van Harden came up with the idea of making his pizza crusts from a cheese base after losing his desire for bread.

Two years ago, Harden got one of his feet stuck in a lawn mower and after his hospital stay he found himself without an appetite for bread, the newspaper said.

The Register said Harden's change in appetite may somehow have been due to difficulties doctors ran into when attempting to wake him from anesthesia after his surgery.
"The doctors can't explain it," Harden told the Register.

Two Hy-Vee stores in Des Moines sold 221 of his new pizzas with their cheese-based crust over the weekend, with the product soon making its way into a dozen other Iowa stores.

The 12-inch pies cost $8 apiece and have been described as perfect for individuals who are gluten intolerant or on Atkins diets, the Register said.

Political Gateway's "Jockstrip" column, 14 June 2006.


Suggested alternatives:

Des Moines Man Loses Desire

Link Between Lawnmower Accidents And Innovation Proven

Doctors Puzzle Over Post Traumatic Dough Aversion

"Radio Personality" Syndrome Untreatable Say Iowa Doctors

...actually, the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Crook-eating Car

"Within the next month, Prince George’s police plan to start using 'bait cars' — ordinary-looking vehicles that entice thieves to break in and then hold them captive inside."
The Gazette, Maryland, 25 May 2006

My advice to would-be car thieves is to look carefully through the driver's side window. Is there a great big shiny hook sticking up through the upholstery? Then maybe you want to think about moving on.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Big Idea: SpareChangeSat

Human beings in western nations each drop an average of two pennies on the ground every day of the year. But only 50% of people stoop to pick up their fallen change. That means that in the UK alone, some sixty million pence, or £600,000, is lost to the nation's gutters every twenty four hours. To put that in perspective, it's enough to fund three hospital beds (with sheets) or one royal yacht (without sheets).

Most of the world's lost change remains inaccessible to even the most modern technology. Global companies with the engineering muscle to find oil in the unlikeliest places are defeated by the change exploitation problem, throwing their hands up in defeat and avoiding direct eye contact.

That's where SpareChangeSat comes in. A network of satellites engirdling the globe use pin-sharp optical imaging and shape recognition algorithms to spot coins on the surface of the earth, "tag" them, and alert subscribers to their locations. For a small annual fee (which works out at about £5 per day), customers can receive text messages to their mobile phones telling them where the nearest penny is to be found. It's then a question of "first come, first served".

The company behind SpareChangeSat, Sequinator Industries of Lidchester, UK, has vowed to donate a proportion of operating profits to the funding of a gigantic polysterene cup to be placed at the mouth of the Thames. This monument to inward investment is intended to show a more flexible attitude to European business, balancing the much-loved Land's End "Open Legs" statue facing America.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Google Buys Famed London Street

The web's premier search engine - and world's grooviest brand - today announced its long-awaited transition to the physical world with the purchase of a street in central London. Goodge Street will be renamed Google Street in a typically low-key ceremony on July 1st.

"Goodge already contains 83 per cent of the letters it needs to become Google," said a company spokesperson. "We share so much DNA with Goodge Street that it's hard not to believe we are already related somewhere along the line."

Commentators are confused about the search king's surprise move, citing "poor fit" between the online behemoth's world-straddling operations and the west end artery. But storeowners along the popular boulevard are already equipping their windows with hyperlinks ahead of the formal rebranding.

"This shows that London is a truly global city that exists in cyberspace as well as in my mind," said mayor Ken Livingstone.

Rumors that eBay is poised to buy the nearby British Museum were dismissed by company officers today. "We already own all the world's oceans," said a spokesperson, "and we're still digesting them."

Monday, June 12, 2006

How Quotations Evolve

I would say to Radio 1, “Do you realise some of the stuff you play on Saturday nights encourages people to carry guns and knives?”
- David "Dave" Cameron, Conservative Party leader, June 2006.

I would say to Radio 1, “Do you realise some of the tracks you air on Saturday nights encourage people to wear platform soles?”
- Edward "Ted" Heath, Conservative Party leader, May 1974

I would say to the Light Programme, “Do you realise some of the tunes played by your bands on Saturday nights encourage people to believe in a future of unrestrained consumerism, at a time when all our sinews are required in the rebuilding of our once great country?"
- Anthony "Tone-Def" Eden, Conservative Party leader, January 1956

I think your new semaphore service is the best thing since the Corn Laws. Well done, that man!
- Robert "Copper" Peel, Conservative Party leader, November 1836

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Damp Squid... our latest loveable character concept especially crafted for kids from age zero to one hundred. Everyone who encounters him falls in love with his curmudgeonly wisdom and wet-look skin.

The Damp Squid's launch adventure sees him helping a swimmer in difficulties while learning about "peak oil" from a passing geologist. Charming illustrations - rendered in authentic squid ink - make the story one to treasure.

This perfect-bound, print-on-demand, straight-to-bargain-bin classic is now available at your nearest recycling centre.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Big Idea: Toast of the Town

This is the take-out restaurant format that's set to revolutionise the world of portable grilled meal solutions. And you can be a part of it.

The concept is: toast. White toast, brown toast, toast with hen's feet. Buttered toast. Toast with eight types of jam, toast with eight types of honey, toast with eight types of marmalade.

Skinny toast. Toast with crusts on the side. Toast with tea. (There's no coffee. Frankly, the world is awash with coffee.)

If you're British, you live on toast. If you could have a toaster on your desk at work, you'd have one. (Perhaps you do? Crumbs.)

But there's nowhere you can get a quick slice on the hoof. Until now! Until legions of entrepreneurs sign up as franchisees of Toast of the Town and spread our crunchy revolution across the world.

What you get for your initial £5,000 investment:

- a four-slot Dualit toaster
- 600 loaves of sliced bread (mixed varieties)
- a stylish Toast of the Town window decal
- complementary admission to our annual Intervention Butter Mountain indoor ski day (bring the kids! And a butter knife.)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Money Saving Tip

Catch one of the foxes living under your shed and make it into soap. If your neighbours have lavender growing in their garden, this can be used to scent the soap. Best to do all of this while the kids are at school and not on a day when the social workers are visiting.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Big Idea: Happy Meals for Adults

Why should kids have all the fun? Savvy restaurants with a real passion for customer service and a commitment to "eye-poppin valu" are starting to develop meal ranges that pack more than just a calorific punch. Don't be surprised if the next time you order up your favorite meal option, a little plastic Bill Murray figurine, looking a little pissed off, drops in your lap.

2003 arthouse smash Lost In Translation is the first entertainment property to inspire a happy-meal-type tie-in at British chain restaurant Wee Chef. The movie, which follows the hilarious adventures of a mismatched American couple in Tokyo, is highly regarded by the coveted ABC1 demographic who traditionally feel excluded from the Wee Chef offer.

The new LIT meal is being tested in the Spalding, Trowbridge and Kendal areas over the next three months. Early signs are that the idea is striking a chord with upscale buyers, who are being drawn to Wee Chef outlets by the lifesize cardboard cut-outs of Scarlett Johanson's lower lip.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Big Idea: The Grand Metropolitan Sun Pipe

The sun pipe is the modern version of the skylight. It's basically a tube with a mirrored inside surface. You poke one end through the roof and the other end through a ceiling. The ceiling end has a diffuser on it. As the tube is flexible, you can now bring daylight into an area that has no direct access to the sun.

But the sun pipe people need to think big. We really need one over London. Something a couple of miles wide, moored to (say) the Gherkin, would provide guaranteed, full-spectrum daylight to the City, Docklands and much of the West End. It would of course need to be quite a tall pipe, in order to break through the cloud cover.

I'm not entirely sure what effect the Grand Metropolitan Sun Pipe would have on local weather conditions. I imagine that clouds cosying up to the exterior surface of the pipe might well turn to moisture, creating a near-constant run-off down the structure. This valuable resource could be harvested at the base, or even bottled and sold to gullible tourists.

Is this the great engineering project we're looking for, now that the Channel Tunnel is such a rip-snorting success, our high-speed trains thread the countryside and our new generation of NHS IT systems is revolutionising healthcare? Yes! Obviously.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Truncated Quotes

Those who cannot remember the past are conned.
- George Santa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Truncated Quotes

Nothing succeeds like suck.
- Alexandre Dum

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Truncated Quotes

Beauty is in the eye of the bee.
- Plat

Saturday, May 20, 2006


up. Maybe
we'll have to shoot it out
with the patrol guards.
However, unconscious
on the sidewalk
and Redrick chased
the other three
for four white bouncing lips
and his green-smeared sweaty cheek.
Then the lightning

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Three Tracks From My Fantasy Remix Album

1: John Essential - Flame-Fitted Moth

2: Acrylic Carrier - You Are My Clonus

3: Fixamatosis - How Much Did They Pay You, Steven

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Definition of "meme"

Sometimes erroneously attributed to author Richard Dawkins, the word "meme" is actually a simple concatenation of "me-me".

The term is used to describe how ideas are spread on the web largely by people who have very little to say, but crave attention.

The ideas in this blog are a key example.