Archive for September, 2007

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Secret war
“every programme had government censors sitting in the control room. We were getting raw sound feeds of the footage from the Falklands and it was pretty ghastly stuff. There was massive loss of life. The guys would put red pencil through the scripts – they’d tell us to cut things out.”

Interesting revelation of how the radio news was censored by the government during the Falklands War. I wonder if this is still going on with present conflicts?

The twilight zone

Monday, September 24th, 2007

If it’s not early morning vortexes sucking my rooftiles, it’s death by self inflicted sleep deprivation. We live in dangerous times.
Have you ever heard of anyone being killed by Radio 4?

Viking, North Utsire, South Utsire, Forties, Cromarty

A new source of health paranoia comes with the revelation that I’m slowly doing myself in by listening to the shipping forecast as I drift into the land of nod of an evening.

Forth, Tyne, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight, Humber, Thames

“At increased risk of cardiovascular banjaxation” because I’m getting less sleep than I should.

Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth, Biscay, Trafalgar, FitzRoy

I keep forgetting to turn it off before I lose consciousness and then getting woken up at some ungodly hour by John Humphrys siphoning the lifeblood from some hapless politico.

Sole, Lundy, Fastnet, Irish Sea, Shannon, Rockall, Malin, Hebrides

The other week I got shocked to my senses by clanging church bells at 5am. It really is not a good idea. I should know better.

Bailey, Fair Isle, Faeroes, Southeast Iceland, Early Grave

Unfortunately named heads of software development at One Laptop per Child: no 1
Walter Bender

The mystical fascination with the Shipping Forecast discussed.
The latest forecast.
Listen (real audio link).

Sunday scratchings

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Unfortunately named potential Prime Ministers of Japan: no 1
Mr Fukuda

Never knew that
Sarah Smith, Channel 4 news presenter, is the daughter of former Labour leader John Smith.

You know you’re addicted to gardening when:
You find yourself watering plants outside in the middle of a downpour; in case they won’t get a good enough soaking.

Different or the same?
1. Treble or triple?
2. e-mail or email?
3. Mormon or Moron?

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

Picture the scene:
Yesterday morning 10am
Nearly ten weeks have elapsed since last I had to deal with Mrs Minger. I have terminated our arrangement; my services to her have ceased; she no longer features in my schedule; my ‘Mrs Minger’ file has been filed for the last time under ‘incinerate’; the ‘Mrs Minger’ entry in the Outlook contacts folder has been moved to ‘trash’ where it rightly belongs; the complimentary Mingerbrochure, Mingermousepad and Mingerstickyuppysuppository dispenser have all been sold on ebay, the proceeds donated to Dyeaid for the Ginger Ones.

Picture the scene:
Yesterday morning 10.01am. The phone rings.
drD: Hello?
voice: Oh hello, is drDAssociate there please?
drD: No, I’m sorry he’s not here at the moment. Can I take a message?
voice: Er, who’s speaking please?
drD: This is drD.
voice (gushing): Oh hello drD! (annoying girlie giggle (she is 40+)) It’s Molly Minger here. I haven’t seen you for ages! (annoying girlie giggle, annoying girlie giggle, annoying girlie giggle).
drD (thinking of ways to send power surge down phoneline): No, you haven’t.
15 seconds of silence
Mrs Minger: Are you still there drD? (annoying girlie giggle).
drD (using specially adapted brightnbreezyfuckoffnow voice): Yes I’m still here!
Mrs Minger: Oh, er, I was hoping to catch drDAssociate to talk about my new Mingerproject, do you know where he is?
drD (lying): No, sorry I have no idea.
Mrs Minger: Oh (annoying girlie giggle), I’ll try a bit later on then. (annoying girlie giggle)
drD (using specially adapted ForGawdsSakeWillYeNoGetTaeFuck? voice:) OK then.
Mrs Minger: Bye for now! (annoying girlie giggle)
drD: Bye.

Picture the scene:
Yesterday morning 10.03am.
Tap tap tap
drD: Hello, is that BT callblocker?

“What better way to secure a contract than over a steaming penis fondue.”
Not suitable for vegetarians – or anyone for that matter.

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Between 1991 and 1994 the Italian government commissioned an extensive photographic survey to record every detail of The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Anyone would think that they were worried about it falling down. By 1990 the degree of tilt had reached 5.5 degrees. This exceeded the predicted inclination of collapse. They’ve spent about 200 million quid reducing the tilt since then and appear to have succeeded in stabilising the structure by selectively removing soil from underneath it thus causing it to sink, in a controlled way, back from the brink. Numerous tourists have assisted in holding the tower up during work in progress.

The 6440 photographs taken during the survey have been indexed and assembled with a fiendish navigation system so that you can now visually crawl all over the tower, layer by layer, column by column. It’s rather wonderful but I suspect not as wonderful as the real thing. I really must go and see it sometime soon.

The Leaning Tower of Pizza 1
The Leaning Tower of Pizza 2
The Leaning Tower of Kings Lynn
The Leaning Tower of Illinois
On this day

Only the good…

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

The woman that brought us Elderflower eye gel is no more. And I am saddened. When all was said and done she made a difference and didn’t hurt too many people with her capitalist endeavours. She tried to do things differently and succeeded to an extent. Granted, she sold out to a bunny burning petrochemical giant for massive wonga but, after all, she was a capitalist and that is what they do. People who go against the grain are attractive and having a semblance of sanity when it comes to matters of ecological balance and sustainability has to be good. [ Yes, I used to get my shampoo bottles refilled ]. To die suddenly was shocking. She caught the world by surprise. She was a Dame.

Tea’d off
You’re working with a new group of people. You’re friendly to all and make them tea on the first meeting and the second meeting. The third meeting you’re a little late, the tea is already made but none of them offer you one. The same thing happens on the fourth meeting. What would you do?

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Flush n go
You happen to meet a long time work friend whilst using a public loo one day. After a brief, manly, exchange of meaningless bilge whilst keeping your gaze straight ahead, your friend leaves. You note, with a frisson of disgust, that he has not washed his hands. A week later he emails you to invite you to dinner with some other mates. He’ll be cooking. What would you do?

New on the school curriculum this week, emotional intelligence lessons. Psychopathic chavs and Vicky Pollard clones will be taught to get in touch with their inner gooey bits. Sensing a need to neutralise the growing tendency for teenagers to maim and slaughter one another on the flimsiest of pretexts, HM Gov will be promoting ‘soft skills’ in the classroom. This, of course, marks a dangerous departure from centuries of Britishness. Our Empire, now reduced to a traffic island outside Basingstoke, was founded on the granite upper lips of generations past. Not for them screaming tantrums and hooped earrings on daytime TV; no Sir. Tweed trousers with serviceable belts and sensible shoes have given way to sloppy synthetic knickerbockers or ‘trackies’ worn to expose the buttocks to all and sundry. Nasty plastic plimsolls sold for extortionate costs complete the ‘modern look’. Equipped for slouching around the town, abusing their elders and betters, that’s all they are good for. I’d give them ‘feelings’ alright. Spunk, gumption and sound thrashings are what is required. Never mind classes in touchy feeliness, it’s time to bring back regular humiliation in History, emotional abuse in English, Saturday morning detentions for slovenliness and compulsory rugger for delinquent toddlers. Let’s nip this in the bud now or we’ll all be sobbing into our cruelty free cappuccinos before we know it.

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

What would you do?
Picture the scene. You’re cycling along the suburban cycleway parallel to the road which runs past the school. You turn the corner and you notice a car rounding the roundabout. The driver, a young attractive woman, has a mobile phone to her ear. She drives off and you lose sight of her car. You cycle on. Ten minutes later you reach a commotion in the road by the school with police redirecting cars around a road traffic accident. You notice that one of the cars involved is that of the young woman who had been talking on the phone. What would you do?


Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

I’ve been unbelievably slack in posting. Having to confess I’ve been v.busy but also demotivated for a number of reasons. ‘What is the point?’, ‘Why bother?’ etc etc. What to do eh?

Running rings round uranus.

Brand free
“Shopping for locally produced, small-scale produce remains a constant struggle in Britain, but the hollow dazzle of the High Street has been replaced by something infinitely more satisfying. I know my local shopkeepers by name. There being little alternatives to branded ready meals and processed food, I have lost almost a stone in weight simply from eating all natural produce. Spending less money overall, my bank balance is back in the black.”
Interesting experience in trying to live a year ‘brand free’. However it’s somewhat undermined by the fact he started off by having a huge bonfire of all his possessions and is now trying to flog his book. Yawn.

Txt < £ If you, like me, aren't tied into a mobile phone contract with inclusive texts you might be interested to know that 18185 have a facility to send SMS texts from your PC to virtually anywhere in the world for 1p. It’s pay as you go and you can use it for sending the same text to multiple numbers simultaneously. Melikey muchly. [ If you want the recipe for making it look as though the texts come from your mobile – just ask nicely… ]

Unfortunately named directors of stem cell biology laboratories: no 1
Dr Minger