Sunday, 22 November 2009

God Live Twitters Creation

Another religion related post today (well, I suppose it is a Sunday…)

Love this live feed excerpt from God’s Twitter during the early stages of creation (well, actually from Melinda Taub at Melinda Forever).

God: Gosh its dark in here. 7 days ago

God: There thats better. 7 days ago

God: Hey guys im finally on twitter! Whats up? 7 days ago

God: guys? 7 days ago

God: oh right. i’m the only thing in existence, haha. 7 days ago

God: shut up i wasnt talking 2 you RT @Satan I TOO EXIST 7 days ago

God: BOOORREEDD with endless void gonna make some stuff 7 days ago

God: Hey look what I did today! Separated the darkness from the light. Universe looks like a black and white cookie. 7 days ago

God: I shall call the light day and the darkness Eileen. 7 days ago

God: Darkness doesnt look like an Eileen. Lets go with night 7 days ago

God: Also i created heaven & earth. 7 days ago

God: also i created apostrophes but im not gonna use them 7 days ago

God: thats enough creating for now. Catch ya tomorrow 7 days ago

God: RT @Satan: WHAT IS “TOMORROW” 7 days ago

God: oh i forgot 2 mention i created time too. Busy day. 7 days ago

God: kind of lame creating 2day. Created a firmament. Not sure what that is 6 days ago

God: OMme so much 2 do 2day you guys! Got to bring 4th land from the waters AND create plants and trees. What should i do first?! 5 days ago

God: should have done land first. plants sank 5 days ago

God: fixed! Trees now ON TOP of land. 5 days ago

God: sorry no tweets yesterday guys. Made the sun moon & stars. turned out 2 be more work than i expected. Theyre bigger than they look. 3 days ago

God: another busy day. Made @beastsofthesea, @birdsoftheair, and best of all: @penguins. Those turned out so well. 3 days ago

God: made some more kinds of penguins. 3 days ago

God: Poll: What else should i make? a. beasts of the land b. creatures in my own image c. more penguins. 2 days ago

God: Answer my poll! 2 days ago

God: maybe it was a mistake to create the internet b4 invention of computers. 2 days ago

God: all right penguins it is. Yay! 2 days ago

God: oops. Penguins don’t like the desert. 2 days ago

God: or Indiana. 2 days ago

God: or the sky. 2 days ago

God: ill try the rainforest. Everything thrives in the rainforest. 2 days ago

God: Not penguins. 2 days ago

God: screw it. Made a bunch of other beasts of the land. Not as awesome as penguins but much less picky. 2 days ago

God: also created fake fossils and planted them in the ground 2 make the earth appear much older than it is. Just a little practical joke. 2 days ago

God: i need more followers. 2 days ago

God: #FollowFriday @adam @eve 2 days ago

God: @adam @eve I am the LORD your God who separated the light from the darkness. You shall have no other God before me for I am the LORD your Go
2 days ago

God: &#$%ing character limits. Point is, yay! I made you! Hi! Do what i say. 2 days ago

God: @adam: such as #noteatingapples. 2 days ago

God: @adam what do u mean why? Because im ur god and i said so. 2 days ago

God: @adam why r u bugging me about this? u can have all the mangoes u want and theyre way better. 2 days ago

God: @adam well youre just going to have to take my word for it. 2 days ago

God: @adam WHAT is ur DAMAGE with this apple thing? Eves not tweeting about apples. Shes just off – um – 2 days ago

God: @eve Hey! 2 days ago

God: @adam @eve: EPIC FAIL at #noteatingapples. Both of u r BANNED 2 days ago

God: so yesterday was really stressful. Im taking a break today. No more tweets til tomorrow. 1 day ago

God: Check it out, baby panda sneezing! http://tr.im/DsZ5 (took a break from my break to create YouTube.) 1 day ago



Pretty funny stuff, huh?

Edit: 12:34 22 November 2009

While we're on a religious theme, check out this hysterical vid for the 'Mass: We Pray' video game…






Sunday, 8 November 2009

Dicking around or desecration?

Figures have been released on the eve of Remembrance Day revealing that war memorials are being desecrated at the rate of more than one a week. There has been a rash of these stories in the news recently, most notably the image of ‘sports tech’ student (*snigger snigger*) Philip Laing relieving himself on a memorial in Sheffield city centre (right). Note to self: join the Facebook group ‘Phil Laing - Scum Of The Earth’ and book a seat on the coach trip to piss on his memorial in 60yrs time.

Again, as I mentioned in an earlier post, why do Brits feel the need to punch themselves in the face repeatedly so often? Can’t we just be proud of ourselves without feeling uncool about it? And why is it that we are proud to be British at sporting events such as the World Cup and The Ashes, but we go around spraying graffiti on the graves of our own British war heroes? WTF?!?!

Here’s an idea: catch the vandals, enlist them in the army and dispatch them immediately to Afghanistan. Hopefully they’ll take the place of some of the real men that we’re losing out there and, to be honest, the UK could do with a chav cull.

Friday, 23 October 2009

The death of Stephen Gately and the rise of public pack mentality

I’ve been biting my tongue since receiving news of Stephen Gately’s death for two reasons. First, I was waiting to see how the media would handle the story. Second, I was waiting to see who would be first to ask a few bloody obvious questions and start the complaints ball rolling. The latter was inevitable, like watching a car crash in slow motion…

Jan Moir’s article on Stephen Gately’s death has attracted 25,000 complaints and counting and she has been vilified for her allegedly homophobic comments, but I detected something much more sinister lurking beneath this whole debate when it hit the headlines earlier this week. Leaving the content of Moir’s article aside (we’ll come to that later) lets start with how the story broke. What really concerned me was the way in which the whole thing kicked off on Twitter. I watched it happen first hand and was amazed at how quickly it spread across the Twitter network. By the time that I had read Charlie Brooker’s first tweet on the subject (which read ‘Jan Moir manages to walk the difficult tightrope between being a bitch and a c**t’ – lovely sensitivity there, Charlie, now what’s that you are saying about causing offence?), clicked the link, read the article and returned to my Twitter page, my news feed was crammed full with fellow twitterers complaining about Moir. Now I’m a fast reader, but that was pretty fast work! Then a number of other celebrities retweeted the link to the article and shortly after, within only minutes, the bandwagon had picked up full steam and was fast rolling out of control. I watched the whole network light up and before long a real sense of pack mentality had set in. Regardless of the article content, the rabid eagerness with which we scrambled to ‘burn the witch’ was pretty scary stuff. Moir herself noticed this, as she pointed out in her subsequent article:

‘Certainly, something terrible went wrong as my column ricocheted through cyberspace, unread by many who complained, yet somehow generally and gleefully accepted into folklore as a homophobic rant. It lit a spark, then a flame and turned into a roaring ball of hate fire, blazing unchecked and unmediated across the internet.’

I can’t say that this sort of outcry was entirely unexpected because for some time now I have observed a worrying change in public behaviour. It is becoming cool to complain. It almost feels as though the public are trying to trump the number of complaints mustered from the previous mass outrage. But why are we doing this?

There have been several incidents in the entertainment business over the last few years that have attracted a large number of complaints. Take, for example, Jade Goody’s argument with Shilpa Shetty in Big Brother 2007? Hands up all of you who registered a complaint about the treatment of Shilpa on BB8? And how many of you actually watched the entire series of BB8? Now I watched that series (it was a slow summer *ahem*) and way, way before the Jade-Shilpa incident occurred I had made up my mind that Shilpa had a seriously self-righteous princess syndrome thing going on. And who knew that the argument was sparked off by Shilpa’s decision to undercook a chicken? In hindsight, I would have reacted in exactly the same way in the face of any potential food poisoning and ‘don’t you know who I am?’ pomposity regardless of my dinner host’s race, colour or ethnicity...only with a little more decorum and a great deal more vitriol. Many felt the same as the backlash on the BB forums and support for Jade was considerable, with even a few BB related celebs throwing their support behind her. And how many folk who were calling for Jade’s head on a pole after her ‘racist attack’ were fawning over her at her funeral?

And then there was the Brand/Ross/Sachs incident. First we were led to believe that the twosome had taunted a delightful elderly actor whose innocent granddaughter had fallen under the spell of lecherous old Brand. Yes, I thought, Brand and Ross should both be castrated for revealing the gruesome details of this liaison to the woman’s grandfather. And sure enough, the complaints came flooding in. Shortly after the story hit the headlines, a number of comedians on both the TV and radio noticeably toned down their acts, clearly afraid to draw criticism while this vast wave of prudishness was washing through showbiz land. I genuinely thought that I would eventually be reduced to Miss Marple, a pack of cards and a sing-song around the piano for evening entertainment. It then transpired that Sach’s granddaughter was a member of the dance group Satanic Sluts and a number of saucy images of her posing half-naked started to appear in the press. Then rumours began to circulate that Sachs was using the incident to jumpstart his acting career. Sure enough the backlash began, a number of celebs spoke out in defence of Brand and Ross and some of those who complained – and I certainly speak for a large number of people here - felt more thoroughly shafted than anything that Brand was capable of.

Now the complaints are flooding in regarding the ‘homophobic’ content of Jan Moir’s article. Homophobes are a pet hate of mine and I’m more than happy to light my flaming torch and storm the castle when faced with anything even remotely homophobic in the media, but there was one thing in Moir’s article that struck a chord with me. It is a fundamental, albeit regrettable, aspect of our humanity that we like to stick our nose into other people’s business. We like to know why marriages break down, or why someone has been seen leaving someone else’s house in the early hours of the morning. Just consider the media interest currently surrounding the separation of Jordan and Peter Andre. And when a celebrity dies we like to know the cause and circumstances of the death, regardless of whether or not we have any right to pry into the private life of another individual. In this instance a pop star has died suddenly at a young age and I expect that many people, including Gately’s own fans, are curious to discover what exactly happened that night. Yes, people can die suddenly of natural causes at a young age and, having had someone very close to me die unexpectedly in their early-thirties, I can accept this as an entirely credible and acceptable explanation. But there has been such a fluster in the media to sugar-coat the surroundings of Stephen’s death that I must confess that it has raised my eyebrows a little. And now further details of Gately’s death are being made public, it seems that things are not as cut-and-dried that the media would have us believe. Talk of drug use and a stranger accompanying Gately and his partner back to their apartment is surfacing in a number of newspapers. Have the public yet again received an ‘edited’ version of events that serves to fob them off with a nice fairytale ending…?

Whatever events took place that night and whoever was present with the couple may be completely irrelevant to the cause of death and Jan Moir may be entirely wrong to speculate that the cause of Gately’s death was anything ‘unnatural’. Certainly the generalisation that a gay lifestyle = a sleazy, hedonistic lifestyle and ultimately = an early death, is more than offensive in itself. And Moir deserves all the fury that she gets in that respect. But I have spoken to some fellow twitterers recently who are offended at the simple fact that she is casting out wild speculations about his death, regardless of her comments on his sexuality. But aren’t we all guilty of this kind of speculation at some time or other? Just consider the death of Michael Jackson. Rumours were in circulation about the circumstances of his death before his body was even cold, but somehow it was acceptable to ask questions about Jackson’s death. Why is that, I wonder? How about all the conspiracy theories that abounded immediately following Princess Diana’s death? And why is it that if, for example, a member of parliament is found dead in the back of a wardrobe dressed in S&M gear then this usually makes for front page news, with graphic colour photos and a cheeky ‘ooer missus’ headline. Why is that ok, I wonder?

Why is it ok to ask questions about certain celebrities and not others? Are we not allowed to ask questions about Gately’s death because he was in a gay partnership? Is that why? If so, will we all be branded as homophobes for asking questions about celebrities in gay relationships in future? Surely not. We are living in the 21st century, not in the Victorian era! If we are to be encouraged to see no distinction between a homosexual relationship and a heterosexual relationship and treat both partnerships equally, then both must be subjected to the same, albeit often vile and intrusive, treatment by the media. If we want to speculate on the breakdown of a gay marriage or the death of a gay celebrity then we must do so in exactly the same way that we would speculate on the breakdown of a heterosexual marriage or the death of a heterosexual celebrity. Surely treating both relationships differently in the media spotlight is keeping homophobia alive and kicking. And Moir obviously feels the hot breath of the thought police breathing down her neck in this respect:

‘Can it really be that we are becoming a society where no one can dare to question the circumstances or behaviour of a person who happens to be gay without being labelled a homophobe? If so, that is deeply troubling.’

I’m sure that there are many individuals out there in the ‘equality business’ who make a decent living out of drawing up fake battle lines and pointing fingers, but there is no need to keep scratching the scab in order to keep the doctors in business. Yes, any articles written with evidentially homophobic content, if that is how it is rightfully deemed, deserve all the complaints that they receive. But our Lord of the Flies eagerness to bay for blood the very second that a celebrity cries ‘offensive!’ also sends shivers up my spine. We fall for it every time and often without giving the matter any serious thought. It seems that the ‘angry mob’ syndrome is kicking into gear a little too often these days and we need to keep a watchful eye on it…

By the way, if you want a genuine reason to light those flaming torches, take a look at this article on Gately’s death in The Christian Voice. Love thy neighbour…?

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Birmingham Topman CTRL gig and Limited Edition Gallows T-shirt Competition

CALLING ALL MIDLANDS LIVE MUSIC FANS!

This month British punk rockers Gallows will be taking the reigns of Topman CTRL and they have hand picked a line-up of hot new bands for the CTRL live gig, taking place on 29th October at the Flapper in Birmingham. Gallows have gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the most vital and exciting bands in the UK and the notoriously outspoken band released their second album, ‘Grey Britain’, earlier this year.

Headlining the gig at the Flapper in Birmingham are NME Future 50 stars, Invasion, an electrifying combination of killer, heavy rock and belting, soulful vocals with a pinch of shamanistic dressing up and a rumoured perspex guitar (!) thrown into the mix. Warming up the crowd on the night will be Soni-Quella, who describe themselves as ‘alternative bi-polar experi-metal’ and sound a little like controllers Gallows themselves, and Shapes, a fiery blend of raging vocals and instrumental noise who have developed a big international following in just over a year of existence.

More info on the featured bands and further details of the event can be found at the Topman CTRL Myspace page.

The Geek Muse is hoping to catch up with some of the bands playing the CTRL Live gig and also speak to Gallows on their current US tour, so watch this space for interviews!


COMPETITION TIME! WIN A LIMITED EDITION GALLOWS T-SHIRT


To celebrate Gallows taking over Topman CTRL in October, Lags from Gallows has designed a strictly limited edition t-shirt (and I mean seriously limited – there are less than fifty in existence in the world and they will not be available in the shops!).

The Geek Muse is giving one lucky fan the chance to win one of these limited edition Gallows t-shirts. To enter simply email your name, address, email and size you require, with Gallows Competition as your subject line to thegeekmuse@gmail.com

Entries close at midnight on Friday 31st October. One winner will be selected entirely at random and contacted via email. This competition is open to UK residents only.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Santa Claus is coming (a little too early) to town

Who - WHO - suddenly decided that we are in the Christmas season?! Last night I saw two Christmas adverts on TV – one for furniture and one for air freshener – both with animated snowmen, Christmas jingles and the whole ‘Santa Claus is coming to town!’ jolly vibe. And today I’ve just returned from a shopping trip that can only be described as ‘festive’; mountains of stolen, mulled wine and boxes of shortbreads wrapped in tinsel in the supermarket, woolly coats and thick tights in various ‘winter’ colours in the clothes shop and packs of Christmas cards stacked to the rafters in the window of the newsagents. Even the chemist is selling Rudolph and Father Christmas shaped bottles of bath oil.

Now I love Christmas as much as the next person, but it’s still early October! Did I miss the global decision to upgrade Christmas ahead of Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night on the calendar? And, most importantly, are we all in a hurry to dig out our old, drab and over-sized jumpers again? My summer wardrobe has had nowhere near the airing that it deserves and I am clinging to the desperate hope that we can still wring a few more warm days out of 2009. But it seems that God is on the side of the early-Crimbo brigade too. A number of friends have commented that this week has been cold, dark and… well… Christmassy. Last night I flicked the house lights on at 6pm because it was way too dark to see anything in my front room and I confess that I have switched the heating on three times this week. I’m even considering recovering several pairs of leather and suede boots from atop of the wardrobe to ensure that my toes will be toasty when I pop out to the shops.

If marketing-land has decided that it is now officially Christmas-time and God thinks that it’s right about time for winter, then I might as well resign myself to it. They probably have some kind of Faustian deal going on between them anyway. Maybe I would be more inclined to accept that Summer 2009 is over if it had lasted just that little bit longer, but it feels as though we are seeing less and less of the sun each year. In fact, if summer-time is to be limited to two weeks in mid-August in future, then please point me in the direction of how to get this global-warming scenario off the ground. I might invest in a huge, gas guzzling 4x4 and install a smoke belching coal fire just to give it a shove in the right direction. Parched land and arid deserts all year round? I’ll take a dozen please!

Merry Christmas all... *sigh*

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

It’s not fair and it’s really not ok: Lily and the file sharers

My Twitter feed has been snarled up recently by a huge influx of propaganda, self pity and false rebellion from one person in particular. Lily Allen. She has been spouting nonsense about file sharing for an insufferable amount of time now, so yesterday I did the decent thing and ‘unfollowed’ her. Boy oh boy is my life peaceful now…

I’m not inclined to go into the pros and cons of file sharing, but let me give my credentials to ‘cast the first stone’. No I don’t share tracks over the Internet, but I’ve borrowed albums made by previously unknown bands from friends and grown to become huge fans of that band, subsequently spending big money on merchandise and tickets to live gigs. Would I have taken a punt on buying a random album from an unknown band? No. Is the band financially better off since I borrowed that album (which I have since bought a bloody expensive limited edition version of)? Yes. More exposure = more fans = greater income. So where’s the problem, Lily?

What is frustrating about this whole issue is that it is not the up-and-coming amateur bands that are making all the noise about this, it’s the mega bucks earning chart-toppers that are throwing all their toys out the pram. And we all know what happens to greedy children, don’t we? First off, there was Metallica. Their vitriol directed towards file sharers was not what I expected from a hard-living, f**k the system, rebellious rock band. The second that their hard veneer split in half to reveal an unpleasant side to the band, my Black album was firmly slung to the back of a drawer.

Now it’s Lily Allen on a one-woman vendetta, enlisting major bands to support her war against the file-sharers. I could cope with the ‘I’m fat’ Myspace thing (everyone has a self-esteem wobble now and then) but, to top it all off, now it’s the ‘I’m quitting music forever’ line. It smacks of the ugly kid at school who threatens to kill himself so that all the girls will tell him that he’s handsome. Please Lily! You are teetering precariously on the spoilt wingey brat precipice already. For God’s sake don’t wrap the rope round your neck and kick the stool out too!!

And not only is she throwing her own weight behind this campaign, but she’s dragging a number of decent bands down with her. I really hope that none of my favourite bands sign on the dotted line…I would hate to view them in an unfavourable light just because of one little girl’s weekend project…(on that point, please don’t do it MUSE. I love your music and I would hate to reconsider…)

Still, at least while she’s on Twitter she’s not in the studio producing god-awful albums…*pats her on head*…


Thanks to fellow blogger Gamma Goblin at Riemanns Cut for the link to the Open Letter to Lily vid below…

Friday, 2 October 2009

Flipping the (curse)bird

Yes, yes, I know it’s not big and it’s not clever….

If you ever find yourself sat at computer on a Friday afternoon, feeling a little downcast and waiting for the weekend to kick in, then cheer yourself up with Cursebird!

Cursebird is a ‘real-time feed of people swearing on Twitter’. It not only displays a live feed of tweets sent by irate tweeters but also rates the frequency of swear words used. There are some absolute comedy gems on there that are guaranteed to raise a snigger in even the most po-faced party-pooper.

(Interestingly, according to the site I ‘swear like Eric Cartman’ and rank 905, 760th worldwide on frequency of swearing. That’s pretty respectable. Mother would be proud…)

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

His Holy Noodleness and the rise of Pastafarianism

And just when I thought this whole ‘religion’ concept couldn’t get any weirder (see 'Jediism vs Tesco' post below) this just fell into my lap…

According to The Metro, Bryan Killian, a student in North Carolina, has been suspended from school for turning up dressed as a pirate. The student claims that he is a follower of the Pastafarian religion and the pirate costume is part of his religious dress.

Pastafarians worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster (above right), believe that pirates are divine beings and the worldwide decline in the pirate population has directly contributed to global warming.

Fantastic! Where do I sign?

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Jedi Knight banned from Tesco store

Daniel Jones, the 23-year-old founder of the Church of Jediism, was ejected from a Tesco store in Bangor, North Wales, for wearing his Jedi hood while shopping for his lunch. Tesco staff believed that wearing the hood posed a security risk and therefore asked him to leave the store.

Daniel told The Sun:

‘I told them it was a requirement of my religion but they just sniggered and ordered me to leave. I walked past a Muslim lady in a veil. Surely the same rules should apply to everyone. It was discrimination. I was really upset. Nobody should be treated like that. I’ll advise worshippers to boycott Tesco if it happens again.’

Although the story raises a smile, I detect a semi-serious issue boiling under here and this has come to the fore in various discussions relating to this incident. Religious equality laws have been tightened to almost choking point these days and religious equality, by its very definition, dictates that all religions must be treated fairly and with equal respect. No matter how daft it may look and how much it makes you snigger, the chosen dress of one religious group cannot be ridiculed while another religion’s dress requirement is respected. The Church of Jediism does sound rather amusing at first, but it has 500,000 followers worldwide (!) and, as a theologian, I’ve certainly encountered a number of religions in my time that are by far much more bizarre. So who is to say which religions are legitimate and which ones are unfounded? I suspect that the whole argument boils down to the fact that most folk aren’t afraid of Jedis. On the lighter side, in response to Daniel’s complaint, a Tesco spokeswoman said:

‘Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood. If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.’

Good to see that supermarket staff have both a keen sense of humour and an in-depth knowledge of Star Wars geek-dom!

Gollum creature stoned to death in Panama

What a headline! A group of teenagers encountered this strange creature on Saturday 12th September at a lake in Cerro Azul, Panama. It (allegedly) emerged from a cave behind a waterfall and ran towards them as if to attack them. Being typically brave teenagers, they grabbed the nearest rocks that came to hand and stoned it to death ‘in order to defend themselves’ (that’s funny, UK teenagers use the same defence in order to ‘protect themselves’ from local pensioners in their own homes…). They killed it and threw it back into the lake, but clearly not before taking a set of photographs to flog to the local newspaper.


When the teenagers returned to the scene later with their parents in tow, they found the carcass washed up on the shore and picked apart by buzzards. (Wow, I thought the whole ‘circling buzzards’ scenario only happened to bad guys left in the desert to die in cowboy movies!?)


The general consensus from zoological sources is that the decomposing carcass resembles a three-toed sloth and therefore the creature may have been an unfortunate sloth that was suffering from a hair-loss condition such as alopecia. Not exactly The Creature from the Black Lagoon then. And, all things considered, a slightly embarrassing and spineless reaction there, lads…

The locals described the creature to the local Panama news as like ‘Gollum from the Lord of the Rings’ so many of the subsequent reports are taking the Gollum angle on the strange creature. Well, I guess even fantasy characters need to take a holiday sometime. Perhaps the teenagers didn’t notice the short folk with very hairy feet cowering in fear higher up on the rocks. But seriously, the whole thing sounds very, very unlikely indeed...
...Gollum looks more like an Ayia Napa guy to me…;)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Jimmy Carr, sore nerves and the sound of one hand clapping

Last night I took a trip to the Symphony Hall in Birmingham to see Jimmy Carr on tour. It was my first ‘night out’ since my accident and thankfully my neon pink arm cast has been replaced by a Keith Lemon-esque wrist guard. No-one wants to sit near the front at a comedy gig with a huge pink flashing beacon attached to their arm that subconsciously screams ‘rip the piss out of me!!’ each time the comic glances in your general direction…

Jimmy came across as a genuinely nice guy so it was pretty difficult to be offended by him, although he gave it a damned good try (besides, my offence tolerance ceiling is pretty high…). But there was, however, one thing that embarrassed me right at the opener and made me cringe throughout the show. One hand out of action = no means by which to clap. It wasn’t until Jimmy stepped out on stage that I realised I couldn’t applaud! So I spent the entirety of the show with my hands firmly on my lap, looking as though a) I wasn’t impressed by his efforts, b) I was very offended and showing my indignation, c) I was exceptionally naïve and didn’t understand the jokes or d) I had fallen asleep. I was so conscious about it that during the interval I found myself flailing my largely numb arm around wildly so that the audience members nearby would notice my wrist restraint and bendy fingers when leaving for a beer at the bar or a loo break (women’s toilets, incidentally, are the worst place to visit with damaged elbow nerves!!).

Aside from developing an neurotic clapping complex, the night was very enjoyable and I hope Jimmy and my fellow audience members accept my excuse for not ‘participating in the full experience’ :D I bashed my elbow numerous times throughout the night, but what the hell - it was an excellent show and well worth the permanent nerve damage…

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The best bed-time teddy ever

Oh how how how much do I wish I had one of these cute fellas during my recent unscheduled hospital stay?!



RIKEN’s RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance) robotic bear was designed to help lift patients out of wheelchairs and hospital beds. Now the medical uses of this robo-bear are very admirable and all that paff, but how handy would this cutesy contraption be on those evenings when you’ve crashed out in front of the TV watching a late night film, then woken up in the early hours of the morning and decided to sleep on the couch because you’re just too tired to make it up the stairs to bed? How great would it be to program one of these guys to carry you to bed as soon as the credits roll! Or – let’s face it – you’ve arrived home late, a little pissed, collapsed in the hallway and painfully attempting to drag your sorry ass up the stairs. RIBA greets you in the doorway, carries you up the stairs and lays you (albeit very slowly) in a nice warm bed!

I suggest a little tinkering about with the whole ‘mechanics of walking up stairs’ problem (maybe speak to the Daleks about that one) and the RIBA could be a student/alcoholic’s best friend….

(On the darker side of things, wouldn’t these just make for THE most hilarious robot army?!)

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Calling in

Apologies for the long delay since my last post, but I am still in a full arm cast for the fifth week and typing with my left hand is becoming very tiresome (especially after answering all the emails starting ‘OMG what did you do??’. Hurrah for cut-and-paste, that’s all I can say…). The arm is healing nicely, but I have numbness and little movement in my four and fifth fingers which has resulted in a condition known as Ulnar claw. The doctors warn me that I might never regain full use of these fingers, which is devastating news to a Grade 8 pianist, but if I bend and stretch them regularly then it is hoped that they will recover soon. It’s still early days.

On the plus side, last week the hospital fitted me with a neon pink, fibreglass arm cast! This seemed like a fantastic choice of colour at first, but when out-and-about in public I soon realised that the pink ‘aura’ drew a great deal of attention. I looked like a Barbie police dog trainer. So, taking inspiration from cast design companies such as Casttoo and Broken Beauties, I sent my spies off to find a large size fake tattoo sleeve and now I have Japanese koi carp swimming along my arm. Cool!

But dumb accidents aside, there is so much blogging that I have missed over the last month; the final of Big Brother 10 and Derren Brown’s Lottery prediction, to name but the frivolous! Normal service will resume shortly, I promise. Now if only I can get this damn pinky to bend…

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Thank the Lord for morphine

I did something really, really stupid on Wednesday afternoon. I fell over. Well, I didn’t just fall over. I shattered all the bones in my lower right arm.

My cat was looking a little poorly so I went to the back door to let her out, turned in the porch, tripped over the massive step on the new door that I’ve had fitted and fell into the front room. (Skip the next two lines if you’re squeamish!). I lay on the floor looking at my arm and it was twisted out at a really weird angle. It was ‘bendy’ to say the least and I was bleeding all over the carpet where the bone had come through (sorry, I did warn you!!). Open fracture. I was lying on the floor for an hour before the ambulance arrived. They took me to hospital and pumped me full of morphine and gas and air (woohoo!). The x-ray showed that I had shattered both bones completely and a hand specialist was needed, so I had a four hour operation on Thursday morning to insert two large steel plates into my arm to hold it together.

I’m now home with my arm in a massive sling and I have to keep it elevated as much as possible. Three fingers work fine but two are numb, so I have physio work to do with them. The stitches and bandages come off 3rd Sept.

So the downside is that all partying is postponed until September, but on the upside I now have more metal in my arm than the Terminator. Hey that’s a point, maybe it’s time I gave up my job and became a superhero… :)

EDIT: For all you pain ghouls/medics out there, there is the extent of the injury. Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

A 'tuneful' tribute to the Last Tommy

Kudos to Radiohead for releasing “Harry Patch (In memory of)”, a tribute track in honour of the last known British World War I veteran who died on 25th July at the age of 111. And extra kudos to them for donating the proceeds of the downloadable track to the British Legion (go to the Radiohead website to download it for £1).

The British have developed a nasty habit of apologising for our heroes rather than giving them the recognition and support that they deserve, so it’s about time we felt proud of ourselves for once. And it’s unusual for a rock group to ‘put themselves out there’ on this. Most popular artists prefer to back f**king pointless third-world charities for the sake of shallow appearances rather than a genuine commitment to a cause. And if you’re elderly and UK-based then you are effectively invisible. So ‘Bravo!’, Thom Yorke, good on you.

NB: Shame about the actual track, though. Radiohead have produced some fantastic music and the lyrics certainly lend themselves to the ‘desolate and bleak’ approach, but I’m pretty sure that the music at Harry’s funeral tomorrow will be much more inspiring…and much less whiny and repetitive. 10/10 for sentiment and effort, but 3/10 for harmony and tunefulness…still, it’s the thought that counts…

Thursday, 30 July 2009

‘Help, I’m a zombie!’ or ‘It’s not me, it’s my nondominant temporoparietal cortex…’

Vampires have porphyria disease, werewolves have rabies and now it seems that zombies now have a certified syndrome to excuse their antisocial behaviour…

Cotard’s Syndrome or Walking Corpse Syndrome is a mental disorder in which the patient suffers from delusions that he or she has lost vital body organs, limbs, blood, or even their living soul. There are a number of psychiatric reports and news items on the internet that describe the Cotard’s Syndrome patient’s decent into the world of the undead, some of which are highly reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.

In extreme cases, individuals believe that they have died and claim that they can smell their own rotting flesh and feel worms crawling under their skin. Sufferers can feel immortal and may test their own mortality by attempting suicide.

Unfortunately, to my disappointment, I discovered that symptoms do not include groaning, stiff and straight arms, rolling eyeballs, a staggered walk and a desire to eat brains. Have these psychiatrists ever seen a George A. Romero flick?! Bah.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Let them eat sprinkles

Tomorrow I turn one year older! Adult birthdays are a mixed blessing; it’s great to be able to pop a bottle of celebratory wine and get steadily sloshed over the course of the day, but part of me still misses the good old cake, jelly and ice-cream sugar-fests from my childhood. Fortunately, a number of my friends and family have quite a sweet tooth too and so a birthday cake is always on the cards.

There are some amazing cake creations on the Internet; ranging from the most beautiful sugarcraft designs to the downright bizarre. But my favourites are the ‘mistake cakes’, the unintentional balls-ups that are sent-out by dozy bakers who mishear orders or have a momentary brain lapse when holding the piping bag. So, to celebrate my step nearer to senility, here are three of my favourites…


The first cake was ordered online and the printing process was automated. Here’s what happens if you don’t double check your order before hitting the ‘submit’ button...



When this office group ordered a cake for their manager’s birthday, they handed over a USB drive containing a photograph of their boss playing golf that was to feature on the top of the cake. Unfortunately when they came to collect it…



This cake was ordered over the phone from a Walmart store in the US. The instructions were simple: write: "Best Wishes Suzanne" and underneath that write "We Will Miss You"…



And you’ve got to admire good old-fashioned honesty…

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Acceptable in the 80s?

I took my saxophone out of its case this morning for the first time in years and discovered a shocking amount of mould growing on the reed. I swear there is enough bacteria on the mouthpiece to keep our biochemists in business for the next twenty years. It’s certainly not going anywhere near my mouth. So I spent the last hour trawling though the net looking for saxophone reed stockists and, as usual, got distracted…this time by a very amusing site called The 80s Sax Solo Grading System.

For fans of 80s music, this wonderful cheese-fest of a website is a must-see. The author has taken a number of well-known 80s saxophone solos, sorted them into categories such as ‘mood breaker’, ‘blaring’, ‘too long’ etc and graded them on their overall quality. He describes his system as follows:

‘I realized about 5 years ago that at some point in the 80s, lots of the popular music started incorporating saxophone solos into their songs. Some of them are fine, but most of them are ridiculous to have in the songs…I have attempted to separate the quality and appropriateness of the solos from what I think of the song as a whole (I still really like most of these songs, even the ones with low grades).’

Sounds like a serious analysis of 80s music, right? But take a look, it’s very funny and how many other grading systems have ‘spaz’ as a classification? Now I’m inspired to buy a new reed for my sax, dig out those dusty 80s compilation albums and take the neighbours on a journey back in time…Baker Street, here I come!

(Ok, ok, Baker Street was released in 1978, don’t write in!)

Friday, 3 July 2009

A 20p coin-undrum

A dozy/senior moment at the Royal Mint has led to a number of 20p pieces being produced without a date stamp. One batch of between 50,000 and 200,000 coins has been produced with a new, jazzy back but an old front, which means that there is no date on the coin whatsoever.

And guess who just found one a brand new, shiny one in her purse?


Normal dated coin on left, undated rare coin on right



Now here’s my dilemma. These coins are going on Ebay from anywhere between £300 - £5000, so I could a) put it on Ebay and make a quick buck, or b) keep the coin somewhere safe for a few years and then sell it when these coins are rarer (i.e. when a few numpties have dropped theirs down a drain/spent it accidentally/swallowed it/shoved it up their nose when drunk).


What would you do?


(Bear in mind that my coin comes with a faint air of Chanel and a sheer layer of perfumed dusting powder…which makes it MUCH more desirable *giggles*…)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Boyling point

So Susan Boyle is in a clinic recovering from the stresses and strains of the pressures of sudden fame. Who knew, eh?

Surely anyone who appears on reality TV must realise by now that there is a limited popularity window of about a month before the inevitable backlash begins. First it’s cool to like them, then it becomes decidedly un-cool to like them (simply because everyone else thinks it’s cool to like them) and then it becomes cool to hate them. It’s the way we function as a society. Some folk survive the backlash and grow to become (albeit minor) celebrities, but the safeguard used by most of them to weather the criticism is exactly what Britain’s Got Talent was looking for; talent.

Yes, Susan Boyle had zillions of hits on Youtube, but let’s admit it – no-one was watching it because she was particularly stunning to look at or she had an exceptionally jaw-dropping voice. They were watching it because she is a funny little Scottish woman who everyone can have a good laugh at and who can carry a note (but, to be honest, not any better than the next funny little Scottish woman). It was a freak-show from the second she stepped on stage and nothing more. If the public had admitted this, called a spade a spade and not made such a big deal out of her ‘talent’ (yes, I’m talking to you America) then the media hype would not have reached fever pitch and Susan would have shuffled back up to Scotland a very happy and contended lady, maybe with a record deal with an Easy Listening label in her back pocket. But no, we had to harp on about what a fantastic singer she is (even though she can seemingly sing only one song…), grind the media engine and wait for the inevitable crash into a treatment centre.

So now, as a direct result of Susan’s treatment, government ministers are calling for tighter regulations to protect ‘vulnerable reality television contestants’. Hmmm, what exactly do we mean by the word ‘vulnerable’ here? Are we making a comment on an individual’s mental state before they enter into the competition? If so, will TV producers be forced to exclude someone from appearing on a reality TV show if they are deemed to be mentally unstable? Surely that would be a red rag to the equality brigade. Who exactly is going to carry out a thorough assessment of each participant in a show as large as Britain’s Got Talent? And what other groups should we exclude from participating in the event that they might become a danger to themselves? (how about the fire-eaters?! hehe). I suspect that restrictions will be heaped upon reality TV as a result of this and eventually regulations will spiral to the point that it will become impracticable to produce these shows anymore. But maybe that’s the fundamental idea.

What viewers of reality TV must realise is that by complaining about the treatment of individuals like Susan Boyle they are pressing the big red self-destruct button. The truth is that the British public love watching unstable people on TV. I’m no psychiatrist but I could tell that Susan was a little ‘unsteady’ as soon as I saw her and I didn’t watch the program to hear her sing, I watched to see what she was going to do and say next. It's cruel, but true. And the same applies to other reality TV shows. Take, for example, the tenth series of Big Brother that starts tomorrow night. Should we insist that everyone who enters the Big Brother house is completely sane and ‘normal’ in every sense of the word? Good God, that would make for uber-boring TV! Maybe before we all start calling for heads to roll for the treatment of Susan Boyle, we should consider this fact. Odd folk make for great entertainment. And we all love a great breakdown, especially if it’s on live TV.

So when the television schedules have been decimated due to tighter regulations introduced in response to the many complaints to OFCOM about the unfair treatment of these individuals and you’re sat in your house bored out of your brains with only the National Geographic and QVC channels on the TV, your iPod, a good book and a pack of card, don’t say I didn’t tell you so. Still, at least we won’t be fixed to the TV screen. I’d break out the monopoly board right now if I were you…

Friday, 8 May 2009

Hot patootie, bless my soul!


I was way too young when I watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, I owe all my favourite, personal idiosyncrasies to it. At an age when a little girl should be obsessed with ponies and princess dresses, I was obsessed with stockings, rock ‘n’ roll and gothic glamour. My primary male role-model, aside from my father, was a flamboyant, stiletto-wearing transvestite from Trannsexual, Transylvania. Never did me any harm.

So I was horrified to learn today that MTV are planning a remake. And not only a remake, but they intend to ADD SONGS!! WHAAAT?!?

Jesus Christ people, do you realise what you’re messing with?? Are MTV aware that they are shatting all over their own deep-pile office carpet?? Does the word ‘cult’ mean nothing to these so-called à la mode cultural commentators? Or is this final confirmation that the MTV offices are populated with no-brainer, ditzy teens who are desperately seeking to conform the entire world to a glossy High School Musical en masse zombie-mind orgy??

There is an online petition Stop the Remake that is collecting names against the RHPS remake…for the sake of every sacred cult film in movie history, go add yourself to it!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

TechnoPop!

If you ever required proof that music + random mechanical parts + geek intuition = GENIUS! then here, m’laud, is the evidence…

It all began with The Imperial March from Star Wars played on various pieces of computer hardware. For example, a floppy disk…



…and a hard-disk drive…


…then the geek musicians discovered the lyrical qualities of the HP Scanner…


..and this has resulted in the monumental orchestral cacophony that is Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody played on an Atari 800XL, a Texas Instruments TI-99/4a, an 8 Inch Floppy Disk, a 3.5 inch Harddrive and HP ScanJet 3C…



Geek musicians, I salute you!! I'm off to set fire to the piano
and dig my old Spectrum out of the loft.....

Monday, 20 April 2009

Kit Kat Christ


A reader of the Dutch website Nu.nl discovered this choccy embodiment of Jesus in his Kit Kat on Good Friday.

What's next? Mary in a Mars bar?

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Label Lover

Ok, hands up if you choose your wine for the evening based on font type, print colour and cutest indigenous creature on the wine label?

Really...? Huh, I didn’t realise you were that shallow…!

I have at least one good friend who would balk and suffocate himself violently at the thought of anyone picking a wine based on the label alone, but I must admit, some of these label designers certainly earn their crust. Gerri L Elder at WebUrbanist is showcasing ‘61 exceptionally creative wine labels’, some of which are functional, stylish or downright hysterical. My favs are below, but I’m sure there are other crackers in circulation…








Gotta admire the honesty of this one...


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Twittering under the Influence


Drunk texting is embarrassing. Drunk dialling is even worse. Even drunk emailing can induce awkward squirming at work the next morning. But who knew that drunk twittering would eclipse them all?

Thanks to Twitter's messaging system, not only is your drunken message destined solely for a best mate/ex-partner/boss/random stranger’s email or mobile inbox, now all your friends and acquaintances….no wait…the entire world!…can giggle collectively at your late night intoxicated attempt to type a coherent sentence, or shake their head at your need to inform the world of your recent conquest in the local pub or admire the numerous photos of your newly acquired traffic cone collection. Shame on you! I’ve only committed one or two T.U.Is (to my knowledge) and when re-read in the sober light of morning I’ve been pleased to see that they have been fairly innocuous, but recently I’ve had cause to cringe at one or two misguided late night twitters from friends.

Now…Google mail has Mail Goggles, Virgin Mobile has a drunk dial prevention option, the iPhone has the Bad Decision Blocker app and even LG attemped to solve the problem with their LP4100 Sobriety Phone which not only had a number lock-out system but even came with a built-in breathalyser! There are many other apps and systems to combat drunk dialling/emailing, but what about drunk twittering prevention?

There are, of course, benefits to be had for the sober parties involved….it would be cruel to suggest that anyone who is mean, nasty or even in the slightest bit annoying should be encouraged to remain within the close vicinity of a computer when in a slightly inebriated state for purposes of revenge. Or even to suggest that friends of celebrities should get them utterly rat-arsed, sit them at a computer and thereby negate the need for tabloid journalism. Just a thought.

Recharging my Bojis

I woke up this morning to a monumental thunderstorm. Not the standard flash-and-rumble type of storm, just a continual rumble as though something large and heavy was being dragged up my street. Hardly any rain either, which is weird. Now it’s pitch dark and the constant rumbling is interspersed with bright flashes of lightning just like there is a bank of paparazzi in my bedroom. Creepy, huh?

Most sane people would snuggle back under their warm duvets and wait for the storm to pass, particularly as it’s still holiday time and there is no need to dash off to work. But my first thought was to grab my dressing gown and run out into the garden. No, I haven’t lost my mind. I wanted to take my Boji stones out into the garden to get them recharged. Hmmm, then again, maybe I have lost my mind…

I bought my two Boji stones when I was about 12 years old. At the time I was heavily into crystals, herbs and numerous other New Age faff and a large hippy-type woman sold them to me at a craft fair. She told me that the stones possessed a powerful electromagnetic energy and as a result they had strong healing properties. They also have a gender! The larger smooth stones are female and the smaller, chunkier stones are male. Here are mine (Fred and Wilma):



There are a number of superstitious stories surrounding the stones and various websites offer advice on how to take care of them. The aforementioned hippy woman suggested that I keep them together, put them in water once in a while to allow them to drink(!) and their energies can be recharged by putting them on the ground during a thunderstorm.

These days the Boji stones collect dust on a shelf, but I still rush out to stick them in the middle of the garden whenever there is a thunderstorm. I’m not sure why I still do this. Who says superstition is dead?

Friday, 10 April 2009

Jesus, Judas...and Jimi Hendrix?


Happy Easter everyone! It’s that time of year once again when we spend quality time with our families and celebrate that day when Jesus took some time off work and…ummm…ate chocolate eggs and blessed the chicks and bunnies...

Rather appropriately for the season, Jeremy Baker at Popped Culture has posted a comprehensive list of 101 parodies of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. There’s quite an extensive selection, ranging from Popeye to Lego and Star Wars to the Simpsons. Who knew geeks could be so inventive? I’ve included a few tasters below, but check out the gallery for the full list.

Happy Jesus egg day!





Thursday, 9 April 2009

Cutesy-coo

Last night I dropped in on old school friend and found that she has a new kitten. I’m not normally a ‘cutesy-awwww-bless’ kind of girl but do I have a soft spot for cats, so for the duration of the evening I was reduced to a simpering fool, babbling baby talk to the tiny ball of fluff that was attempting to gnaw through to my knuckle bones. At first I thought that, as a woman, I was predisposed to find small, young creatures cute, but it transpires that the men of her household are equally as captivated with the new arrival. So no oestrogen influence there then.

A great deal of research has been carried out into what exactly we classify as ‘cute’ and the most infamous study of ‘cuteness’ is Stephen Jay Gould’s "A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse" which tracks the gradual development of Mickey Mouse into an infantile looking character and explains why humans feel affection for animals and people with juvenile features. It seems that certain identifiable personality traits and physical features elicit the ‘awww cute’ response, as Wikipedia (yes, yes I know…but it actually comes through on this one!) concisely sums up:

‘Cuteness is usually characterized by (though not limited to) some combination of infant-like physical traits, especially small body size with a disproportionately large head, large eyes, a pleasantly fair, though not necessarily small nose, dimples, and round and softer body features. Infantile personality traits, such as playfulness, fragility, helplessness, curiosity, innocence, affectionate behavior and a need to be nurtured are also generally considered cute.’

Now potentially, in light of this research, you might think (and I’m speaking to the girls here) that if you have a large head, big eyes, a small nose and possess all these characteristics then you have found the blueprint for success when it comes to attracting guys. But here’s why a woman in possession of these ‘cute’ characteristics would make for a psycho girlfriend/partner:

Playful = will flirt with other men
Fragile = will moan when breaks a nail
Helpless = too feeble to open jars or carry heavy objects
Curious = nosy
Innocent = frigid
Affectionate = stifling and needy, will demand cuddles
Needs to be nurtured = very dependant, unwilling to get a job


So, y’see, cute doesn’t carry well into the ‘human genre’. Best stick with kittens.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Who’s watching the Watchmen audience?

KMTR reported yesterday that a man has shot himself during a screening of the film Watchmen. This is how Slashfilm reported it:

‘A 24-year-old man shot and killed himself at the Regal Cinemas in Eugene, Oregon during a late night screening of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. According to KMTR, there were about 10 other people in the theater at the time. The yet-to-be-named man was seated in the back corner of the theater. Police were called after patrons heard a loud “popping sound” behind them, and reported it to the theater managers. The screening was stopped and ticket purchases were refunded.’

Now that’s one pretty harsh film critic. I appreciate that 160mins can be tiring, but that’s quite an extreme reaction (mind you, I’m sure that one or two guys who have been forced to sit through slushy rom-coms have tried sawing at their wrists with the ice-cream stick before now…)

And I love how the additional piece about ticket refunds is added at the bottom as though a) that somehow makes it all better and b) the cinema-goers were solely concerned with getting their money back, while stepping over the puddle of blood at the back of the auditorium. Still, there’s nothing like a bit of realism to add to the cinema experience…

Monday, 6 April 2009

A first Greek TwEpic

Below is a Twitter version of Homer’s Odyssey by Eric Alt found on Holy Taco. Oh if only all Greek epics were available in 140 character max bites! I’m waiting for the inevitable spin-offs; Shakespeare? Dostoevsky? Hebrew Bible? Come on folks!

Banana-cide


I opened my handbag this morning to find that my banana had impaled itself on a propelling pencil. Now my mobile, purse and other handbag paraphernalia smell of banana guts. R.I.P. lunchtime banana.

Edit: maybe I should donate the remains to Amy Winehouse, who according to NME has taken up smoking banana skins (WTF?)

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Can You Hear Me Dear?


According to textuality.org, Orange has shown that older people are more likely to use text messaging on their mobile phones with younger users preferring to use mobile IM services such as AIM and MSN Messenger. It looks as though text messaging is hearing the distant call of the death knell, but this evening I was reminded why this may not be a bad thing, particularly with more *ahem* elderly phone users.

This afternoon I received a classic text from my mum. A quick bit of background; we went shopping together this evening and she sent me a text this morning to let me know what time she was calling round to pick me up. This was the text message:

What vine in gym bay pick u up aunt 4 x

Now I studied Greek, Hebrew and ancient palaeography back in my student days so I like to think that my interpretational skills are pretty good, but I’m stumped by this one. She later told me that it means ‘What time…(?)in the gym…will pick you up at 4pm x’ and explained that she wasn’t wearing her glasses, although the truth was revealed by her subsequent question “what do you mean by ‘predictive text’?”

BTW: above right; not actual picture of my mother (just in case she ever figures out the Internet…)

Richard Dawkins: God Deluded or Just Deluded?


I’ve reserved judgment about Professor Richard Dawkins, the author of The God Delusion, for some time now. Today he’s gone and made headlines again by calling the Pope ‘stupid, ignorant or dim’. Way to pick a fight!!

Now I’m indifferent and ‘live and let live’ when it comes to religion in general, but the preachy in-your-face type of religious fanatics really piss me off (y’know, the ones who tell you that you’re all going to burn in hell unless you pray to their particular ‘imaginary friend’, as Jimmy Carr would call it). But ardent atheists like Dawkins also seriously piss me off. I’ve tried to ignore the fact that he can look exceptionally creepy at times (nothing that a good stylist couldn’t put right) and the fact that he occasionally slips into a school-boy ‘so there!’ kind of aggressive attitude, but when I have seen him speak he is prone to slip into the same glassy-eyed zombie rant that he criticises the religious fanatics for being so partial to. What’s that saying about black kettles and accusatory pots?

Same old same old, I’m afraid. Turn it in.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Desperate-ish Housewives


I amused myself for ten minutes this afternoon with the ‘Test for Husbands and Wives’, a psychometric test designed as a ‘blueprint for happiness’ in the 1930s by Dr. George W. Crane.

The test is simple; you gain points for positive behaviour such as ‘laugh’s at husband’s jokes and his clowning’ and lose points for obvious failings such as ‘flirting with other men’ and ‘smokes, drinks, gambles, or uses dope’ (incidentally, these are questions to the wives, there is a separate set of questions for husbands). Some questions are hilarious - and what’s wrong with red nail varnish anyway?!?

You can find a copy of the test online here. For those who are interested, I come in at an ‘average’ 48. Judging by the questions, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing…or a bad thing…?

Anyhoo, must go and find my feather-duster…are my stocking seams straight?

Friday, 27 March 2009

Hasta la vista, Beethoven

I just got told off by J. S. Bach for not spending enough time practising the piano. Boy oh boy these dead composers can be slave drivers sometimes…



(Thanks to my highly-talented photographer friend Paul for sending this xx)

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Things that I have learned from my friends' mistakes #43

Today's lesson: Never drink cider before having a tattoo.

Alcohol is a blood thinner and it can all get very, VERY messy (as my friend discovered this afternoon...oops!)

String Finger Blues


I’ve been suffering badly from ‘string finger’ for a few days now. Earlier this week I plugged my electric violin into the massive amp in my bedroom (yes, I have various amps in my bedroom, doesn’t every girl?) and spent a few hours fiddling with levels and recording some improvised pieces for students. Since then, the fingers of my left hand look like I’ve gripped a hot griddle pan and the deep grooves sting like buggery in the shower. Even simple tasks like typing feels pretty damned weird.

Even though my fingertips have hardened over time, I still get ‘string finger’ after playing a long session on the violin or guitar and I’ve tried various methods to avoid it. Gloves, hand cream…I’ve even experimented with false skin that you paint on the end of your fingertips like clear nail polish (it’s fantastic for freaking the neighbourhood kids out by appearing to peel the skin off your fingers. Gross out stuff, but pretty cool!).

But it seems that some musicians suffer far worse than my little problem. A forum that I came across entitled ‘When Instruments Attack!’ made me laugh out loud. Prize for best post goes to: ‘Please do explain how playing the banjo leads to flatulence’.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The perils of podcasting

Last week I was interviewed for my friend Richard’s podcast. It was my first experience of podcasting and I was very excited, although a bit nervous that I might turn into a gibbering goon when confronted with a microphone. History had warned me that this might be the case. I’ve always found recording music to be a tricky business and my brain invariably turns to mush the second that the record button is pressed…

So I had done my research, I was dressed smartly (yes, I know it’s not a visual medium, but it does influence my state of mind!) and I had spent the morning fine tuning my ‘academic self’ (she’s like me only a bit anal when it comes to dates and statistics).

What could go wrong?

Unfortunately, what I hadn’t quite counted on was ‘the giggles’. I thought that ‘the giggles’ was an affliction limited to quiet school assemblies and when being told off by your parents for attempting to drown your brother, but apparently it’s a latent sleeper in adults, just waiting to burst out at the most inappropriate time. Luckily it was Richard, the podcast host, who kicked it off, dissolving into hysterical laughter whenever he pressed the record button. This inevitably sparked off my fit of the giggles and we sat sniggering like two naughty schoolchildren for ten minutes or so before our first good take.

Then after ‘the giggles’ came ‘the erms’ (I didn’t realise that I say ‘erm’ so much in one sentence!) and eventually a general cacophony of noise descended upon us. Squeaky chairs, coughing, rumbling stomachs; everything and anything that could possibly either embarrass me or trigger off the giggles once again.

An hour or so later and we were finished. Apparently I sound quite posh which is a shocker, so I’m hoping that Richard can edit in an accent. Glaswegian maybe, or Welsh. South African would be amusing. God forbid that anyone might be listening to the content…

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Day of the Triffids

One last thing before I finish my weekend...

As I've been writing at my computer this evening I've had a distinctly creepy feeling that something or someone is watching me. And now I've discovered the source. My pot plant. My pot plant is staring at me. See for yourself...



Freaky huh? ;)