Friday, June 29, 2007

Lazy Friday night post alert

Both of these are via b3ta.

First up, here's a goat that seems to get a kick out of being electrocuted:


Second, a YouTube video that you should click on the "more" button at the right of. It's a singing lightning bolt!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Goodbye, Hello


So Tony is gone. It's been an interminably long time coming, but today Blair stood down. Unfortunately for him, Iraq will probably be his legacy in the short to mid-term. Many people will also add cash for honours and the outbreak of spin to their conclusion that Blair was a failure (or worse). Whilst I was against the invasion of Iraq from the start, and don't think much of many of his foreign policies, I am a lot less critical of his domestic record. To put it simply, Britain is a better place to live (maybe even much better) than it was 10 years ago. Standards of living are higher, we have a national minimum wage, the NHS is in better shape (with, admittedly, a long way to go), we seem to be more tolerant, and you can eat a peanut Kit-Kat Chunky. I would rather have had Blair than any of the alternatives: Major, Hague, IDS, Howard, or Cameron. That lot are simply not Prime Ministerial quality. So, Tony, thanks and goodbye; I will forever be grateful for your invention of the Kit-Kat Peanut Butter.

And now we have Gordon. I wonder how long it will be into his tenure before people realise how much Blair brought to the table in terms of charisma? But politics is not all about personality: policy must be a little to do with it. Brown is talking the talk on what he intends to do in office: I wonder if he is going for a glorious 6-month blitz followed by an election? I reckon a lot of people like what he is saying, and he could be very successful if he pulls it off. He says that he always tells the truth: will he follow through? There has been talk of cross-party representation in the Cabinet. This would be healthy, and I hope that he does it. So step up and prove yourself, Gordon. Maybe by inventing a delicious chocolate bar.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Timmy!


So, it's that time of year again. Middle-class people sit in the rain and shout "come on Tim!" non-stop for 3 hours. This can mean only one thing: Wimbledon is here. I always cringe when there is a crowd shot and you see the otherwise normal people (not really - we know that they're all freaks with huge pin-badge collections - but it helps add colour to my pointless chat) going truly nuts for a soppy 32-year-old who is, comparatively, not that good at tennis. I thought that, now Andy Murray has risen to prominence, we would be free of "Henmania", but due to the Scot's injury Tiger Tim is our only hope. I feel sorry for the guy: it must be truly difficult to constantly fail to meet the expectations of a baying mob of idiots. His match has just been called off for the night with him on the brink of heroic defeat. For all our sakes, I hope that he is put out of his misery quickly tomorrow.

Some justice in America at last! That idiot judge who was suing a dry-cleaner for $54 million for losing his trousers has lost his case. Selfish, greedy people like that who exploit the edges of the law make a mockery of the beliefs that our societies (be that British, American, or human) are founded upon. The world has become a far worse place with the sense of entitlement that seems to have exploded in the last few years. You can't always have it your way; the customer is not always right; you can't get a table beacause it is Friday night and you have walked into a restaurant at 8pm; and you can't have $54 million because somebody lost your fucking trousers. Get a grip people: stop thinking that the world revolves around you, and take a look at the lives of the 6 billion people worse off than you. Doesn't life look good now?

I've just noticed that I am being grumpy and boring in equal measure tonight, so I'll end on this transcript, which I missed first time round. Racist, sexist, all-round-idiot (writing about the Ipswich prostitute murders, he described as "no great loss" the deaths of "disgusting, drug-addled street whores") Richard Littlejohn gets taken apart by writer Will Self live on the radio. Here's my favorite Littlejohn moment, where Michael Winner calls him a cunt on his chat show:

Music videos 42

Now I remember why this set of posts hit a dead end. Numbers 18 and 17 are pretty disappointing and, frankly, not worthy. Here they are anyway: R.E.M's cod-surrealism and Smashing Pumpkin's cod-nostalgia. There's better to come very soon.

18 Smashing Pumpkins: “1979”


17 R.E.M: “Losing My Religion”

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Bocaine

It's Friday night and I'm tired and off for a beer with Mark, so I am just going to do one lazy post. It's a a good'un though: Bowie and Cher embark on a clearly-drug-fueled medley of madness and utter ridiculousness. Terrible and brilliant, and I've never seen anything quite like it.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Holidays are over

So my holiday season is over. I've been on and off (mostly on) holiday since the start of the month, hence the lack of posts. I'm back now, and I'll try and do a post a day. That will allow me to finally get to the end of those pesky music videos.

The last week was a long-long-weekend In the Lake District. My folks are there for a couple of weeks, so my brother and I joined them for a bit. England, even the very north, is very different to Scotland: I know it's a cliche, but Cumbria really is very quaint. I'm familiar with the area after spending almost 6 weeks there making a geological map (as part of my degree), so it was nice to return. Every village there seems to have a nice old pub and an excellent baker. The region seems very proud of its produce, with all the pubs and restaurants serving delicious local dishes. Happily for me, sticky toffee pudding (invented in the area) was abundant and wonderful. Whilst we did manage to climb a hill, the focus seemed to be food: for a gourmet/gourmand like me, it was an excellent few days. It seemed like the whole break was a succession of meals, pubs, farm shops, and afternoon teas. Yum. And we were there whilst the Westmoreland Food Lovers Festival took place, from which I brought back a load of nice eats. King among them was confit duck, which I had not eaten before. Yesterday I cooked it, and it absolutely blew me away: instantly one of my favourite foods ever. You could call it love at first bite...

A highlight of the trip was noticing this excellently-named vicar at a church we walked past. Gay Pye. Gay. Pie. The comedy writes itself.


And so to the Faroes. Simon and Niall covered this in great depth, and far more eloquently than I ever could, so I will not bleat on too much. The country was an unexpected delight. Friendly locals, wonderful scenery, international football, puffins, and pretty good beer all made for a fine time. I did not expect to go half-way to Iceland and end up with sun-burn, but I'm such a pasty white-boy that the first day of sunshine completely enreddened me. I'm taking the copyright on that word, by the way. The whole place was like an amplified version of the North-West of Scotland: windswept, pretty, desolate, full of interesting weather, and expensive. For a nation with the same population as any of the suburbs in the city that I live in, they were doing a pretty fine job of surviving. Everyone seemed to have a nice house, living standards seemed universally high, and even the local youth did not seem as annoying as the neds of Scotland. Transportation had obviously been heavily invested in and was an example to most other countries; the free buses in the main town, Torshavn, were a boon to us. The locals were very friendly and welcoming, and a perfect example of the benefits of being Scottish and traveling: your reputation precedes you, and pretty much however you behave you will be perceived as a funny, happy drunk.

The football was good fun too, and the 2 matches that we attended were certainly a contrast. The Italy match was played in Torshavn in what can only be described as shitty weather. 30 (30!) Italian fans turned up to watch their team cruise to an unconvincing victory against a spirited opposition. The Italian fans had literally no impact on the town at all.

Match-day for the Scotland game was everything that the Italy game wasn't: boisterous, fun, loud, and lively. The Tartan Army, and many local fans, boarded a specially-laid-on ferry to take us to the famous ground-on-a-hill in Toftir. Here's (ta-da!) my first YouTube video, in which you can see the fans waiting on the car deck to disembark and make our way to the stadium. The quality is not great, but I was only pissing around with my phone.


Once inside the ground, after a walk up the aforementioned hill, the atmosphere was really good. Unusually, there was no segregation of the fans, which meant that there was a nice party atmosphere. Scotland won, but the Faroes played well enough to not go home disappointed. And I give full respect to the Faroese number 9, who beat us to the pub in Torshavn and was already well into his first pint when we arrived.

So, the Lakes: good, the Faroes: good. Back to work: not so good. Midsummer's day and, whilst it's nice and light, Aberdeen has spent most of the day in foggy gloom. Where are you, summer?

That'll do for today. To finish off, here's an excellent story about an Australian man stabbed during a "masturbation marathon".

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wallop

How did Robert Kubica manage to get out of yesterday's crash with only a sprained ankle? Amazing.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pics

Faroyar

It took a lot longer to process and upload my photos (over 200 made the cut) than I expected, so I'll hold off on my thoughts on the Faroes until later in the week. The photos can be found in my Faroes set on flickr, along with bonus pictures of Puffy the stuffed puffin:

Puffy

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Back

We're back from the lovely Faroe Islands, which I will post about over the weekend. I'll try to sort through the load of photos that I took and get them on flickr as well.

The most important news is that my international animal smuggling operation was successful, and so Puffy the stuffed Puffin will now take pride of place in my living room.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Olym-pics

The London Olympics have revealed the official logo of the games, and boy is it pish:

It looks like it has been created a group of people striving to be "street" whilst actually being high up in their ivory towers as far away from the street as possible.

I have created an alternative logo which also embodies the spirit of the games, and reaches out to the youth:

I did think about adding MUTHAFUKA! in at the end, but that may have damaged their precious brand.

Oh, and the Faroe Islands are lovely, thanks for asking. Everything is at least twice as expensive as at home, and everything is on a hill (meaning that actual exersise is necessary), but apart from that it seems very nice. I have also found a reason not to eat whale meat: the one place offering it was charging £22 for the privilege. My natural stinginess will rule that one out. On a brighter note, stuffed puffins seem readily available.

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