Monday, November 23, 2009

World's Most Boring Film And Annoying Tune

Is this the most boring film ever made? Does it have the most annoying tune ever recorded?

This is like being trapped inside one of Martin Parr's Boring Postcards for what feels like eternity, but is really only two and a half minutes.

The starring station is London Waterloo - see if you can spot Jason Bourne in the crowd. (Hint: He's not there.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Resolution: Four Chain Restaurants I Will Definitely Open Before 2020

Toast Of The Town

Toast! Toast of all kinds, prepared with sensitivity and panache by our highly trained tostadas. With your choice of spreads and toppings, all served in adorable (yet biodegradable) sachets. From two earth pounds per slice.


At Red, all the food is red. Our best sellers are raw beef and wine gums - but only the red ones, of course. Free jam refills.


Recipes curated by the online community. The only rule is that they've got to contain leeks - after that, let your imagination run wild! Warning: Dishes contain leeks.

Flour Of Scotland

Celebrate the very best in Scottish flours at our latest franchise restaurant concept. We've got wholemeal, we've got refined, we've even got lumpy. In fact, we've got rather a lot of lumpy. And to wash your flour down, what could be more appropriate than a fine, aged Scottish gravy?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prime Development Land

I've always loved this picture of a "coastline" on Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. Looking at it again today, I've realised that you can make out the A35 trunk road.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Le Scramble

A planned distribution of envelopes of cash was called off this weekend when 5,000 people showed up in the centre of Paris ready to catch the flying money. I won't mention the name of the company behind the stunt, because they've had enough publicity out of the whole thing, and because you probably wouldn't be able to buy their product or service or whatever it is anyway.

It just seems to me that 5,000 people is a pathetically small turnout for a well publicised cash handout. 200,000 people can squeeze into Trafalgar Square (that was the capacity crowd at 1990's poll tax riot) and they'll do so without any inducements other than a few (fake) lions, a much-reduced flock of (real) pigeons, and a little man standing on the top of a big pole. The riot police still turned out though.

On the other hand, it's good to see that people are still interested in free money. I worry that as society continues to develop in leaps and bounds, we're losing touch with the important things in life, such as acquisition, competition and publicity. Hoorah (or possibly hoopla) for the good people - and police - of Paris for showing us the way. Tehran, please take note.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Virgin Mary Acts Rationally, Claims Bishop

"It doesn't make sense to me that Our Lady, in some way, would tell someone 'I'll see you in Knock on the 5th of December'," Bishop Walsh said, scathingly. "That goes away from the rational."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oddest "Poor Battery Life" Metaphor Ever

"Battery life is the boil on the face of most smart phones, and RIM claims the Bold 9700 will lance that boil in time for the BlackBerry ball."

**Warning: Article headline includes phrase "less big".

Friday, November 06, 2009

Trump Protesters Escalate From Horses' Heads

This is the environmentally sensitive site where Donald Trump plans to build his golf course 'n' apartments complex. Is the dead whale a message to The Donald? I'd like to think so. I know a few fishmongers in Aberdeen who'd slip you a sperm whale under the counter if they knew it was for a good cause.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Signs and Portents

Laist are hot and bothered (actually, they're cool and unruffled) about 90210 featuring an impossible location: two characters meet under a letter of the HOLLYWOOD sign, which is off-limits to the public.

Makes sense, doesn't it? If ordinary folks could clamber up to the sign then there'd be all sorts of shenanigans afoot. Letters would be smashed up and/or stolen. Then all the people who live to the east of the sign would be able to pour through to the west - and, before we knew it, east and west America would be reunified and the capitalist system would be consigned to the trash can of history.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Nightmare Job #439

"Busy surgeon has many great ideas for science fiction, historical fantasy and adventure novels, wants to pay a co-author to actually flesh out the ideas and outlines into complete novels..."

elance (may well require registration)

This busy surgeon is advertising on elance for a ghostwriter, and I'm sure he (it's got to be a he, surely) will get lots of offers. I'd be more interested in writing the story of the busy surgeon who dreams up science fiction, historical fantasy and adventure while he's hacking away in the theatre.

Or perhaps I could pitch an "alternative reality" novel where a writer gets a job as a busy surgeon? I reckon I could "flesh out" as well as the next guy, given the right instruments, and someone to catch me when I faint.

Girls And Corpses Magazine

“I keep a corpse in my car for shoots and stuff,” he said. “You never know when you’ll need one.”

Monday, November 02, 2009

Phrase Of The Day: Wall Wart

The universal charger will likely use half as much energy on standby as conventional chargers, solving the "wall wart" problem.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

How To Start A Review

In a typically cynical insight, the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once observed that romantic love is nothing but a subterfuge by which nature ensures the survival of the human species.

He could hardly have known that a couple of hundred years later, love — or rather, three-minute depictions of how one falls in and out of it — would have become the focus of an enormous industry selling CDs and music downloads.

There seemed to be very few cynics at Miley Cyrus's Halloween night concert at Freedom Hall.

(etc etc)

There's Always Someone Worse Off Than Yourself #754

"Today, I'm upcycling a bag of wine corks (compliments of my crafty sister-in-law) into an eco-hip crisscross cork trivet to use on the Thanksgiving table."

Sadly I can't find a nicely laid out page for this story - if you want to make your own cork trivet (which you don't) you'll have to try this rubbish snapshot from the Google cache.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sentence Of The Month

Ms Hadfield - pictured in the festival’s spinning egg, which she described as “like a sensory-deprivation chamber, but friendlier” - said more than 60 volunteers were contributing knitting to cover central Footscray’s trees.

Woman sees Rudolph in pork chop

Of course she does.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Official: Okay To Kill Zombies

'Did you know that the same guy founded Atari (in 1972) and the pizza/video-game chainChuck E. Cheese? Nolan Bushnell was ousted from both companies right before they hit the big time. And now he's writing a science-fiction novel. [...] Bushnell has come out against ultra-violent video games like Grand Theft Auto because it's not constructive or cathartic to portray violence against a cop, sex worker or pimp. But it's okay to show someone killing zombies, because "they're already dead!"'

Amanda Holden In A Jar

This is a very exciting idea from Kenco, the coffee people. Instead of buying an actress, using her up, and then throwing her in the trash so that you can replace her with a fresh one, why not "refill and reuse" the same actress? It's kinder to her, and it's kinder to the planet. Not sure what use it is for Kenco.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Fix... high speed rail

Now that Lord Adonis, the Greek mythical character in charge of British transport policy, has swung his weight behind a high speed train link between London and far-away Birmingham, we can expect work to start any minute, and the new service to be running perfectly by the spring. That's certainly what happened with the wonderful Crossrail project, without which London would have seized up years ago.

But a big problem remains: Where is the line going to go?

I don't think there's much disagreement about the overall answer to this question. Clearly, the most logical place to put the line is on the ground. There's a huge amount of ground stretching between the two cities, and all we need to do is find a continuous, narrow strip of it that doesn't have any houses on it.

However, there's a much better way – a simple solution which is, as temporarily Heathrovian author Alain de Botton might say, “ruddy brilliant”. Instead of finding a new route for the track to be built on, the line's builders can simply lay the rails on the fast lanes of the M40 motorway. Anyone who can prove that they habitually drive along the fast lane at speeds above 90 mph will be offered discount tickets on the new train service, and their cars will be taken away and crushed. This will solve the road traffic capacity issue, while at the same time demonstrating the government's ability to solve problems through sensitive negotiation.

Having studied the route of the M40, I will acknowledge that it does have quite a few curvy bits, and that the high-speediness of the new service may well be compromised in some sections. There's one particularly vicious curve that's almost a right angle, where most drivers need to open their eyes and/or stop eating for at least two minutes as they struggle to keep the car more or less on the tarmac. This sudden diversion in the road was designed to protect some butterflies who would otherwise have been crushed, but it's quite possible that the butterflies have since flown away, meaning that this stretch could now be straightened.

Journey times between London and Birmingham may be reduced by bends in the line, but the delays can be countered by removing “station stops”. Passengers will be treated like mail freight: tossed into large hoppers hanging over the sides of bridges. No one really wants to go to places like Banbury or Bicester anyway, as they're full of lorries, so that will help.

The service can be further improved by removing Shakespeare tourists, who would otherwise need to be thrown out as the train passes Warwick. Given the huge investment made at Stratford station in east London – there are now three hundred platforms, direct links to every European capital and signs in Catalan – it makes sense to shift the Shakespeare industry down there. It's much nearer the Globe, and Harrods.

Finally, the big kitsch statue that greets international travellers at St Pancras sets the keynote for the kind of public art we'll want to see associated with the new high speed line. St Pancras has a couple kissing, so it would be fitting if Birmingham New Street was adorned with a couple breaking up. The man could be throwing the Simply Red CDs at the woman, for example. And the whole thing could be made of leaves.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Brand naming genius

Brewers to the nation Molson Coors - or, as drinkers of a certain age might know them, Bass - are to launch a low-alcohol lager with a bottle size cunningly designed to contain exactly one unit of alcohol. They must be hoping that this gesture will further show their commitment to promoting "sensible drinking" among the lower orders. Why else would they be calling the new brew "C2"? According to the hallowed demographic classification defined by the National Readership Survey (NRS) on behalf of the newspaper industry, C2 means "skilled working class".

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spooked tuna juveniles


If, like me, you've ever despaired at the dearth of stories featuring the phrase "spooked tuna juveniles", your Google-zero-hit-misery days are over! Oceanic Tuna Limited to the rescue!

Right, I'll put the exclamation marks box back now.