Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Women Are From Venus, Men Are Idiots

A fine research paper brought to us by the BMJ: "Sex Differences in Idiotic Behaviour", an analysis of Darwin Award winners...

To qualify, nominees must improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race using astonishingly stupid methods. Northcutt cites a number of worthy candidates. These include the thief attempting to purloin a steel hawser from a lift shaft, who unbolted the hawser while standing in the lift, which then plummeted to the ground, killing its occupant; the man stealing a ride home by hitching a shopping trolley to the back of a train, only to be dragged two miles to his death before the train was able to stop; and the terrorist who posted a letter bomb with insufficient postage stamps and who, on its return, unthinkingly opened his own letter. 

Never won a Darwin Award myself, but it's on my bucket list.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Mr. Lovenstein

Mr. Lovenstein for all your Christmas Cheer needs.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Jim'll Fix It

Yoicks! I just found two billion pounds and I'm going to give it all to the NHS!

Yoghurty yoghurty! Merkel merkel!

Hope I don't sound too much like Jimmy Savile.

Glurk! I just found two and a half billion pounds and I'm going to give it all to the NHS!

That's more than that other fucker just found!

Turkety turkety! Crimbo crimbo!

Hope I don't sound too much like Jimmy Savile.

Monday, 10 November 2014


The Theatre (left, with the flag) and the Curtain (right), in 1598.

It was dawn on December 28th 1598 and through a great snowstorm that had blown up during the night a group of heavily armed (with "swords, daggers, bills, axes and such like") men, William Shakespeare among them, trudged through Shoreditch to the Theatre at the north-east of Finsbury Fields.

The Theatre, England's first purpose-built theatre, stood on land owned by Giles Allen (brother of a former Lord Mayor), the land being leased by Richard Burbage for the player's company the Chamberlain's Men. Burbage had died, the lease was expiring and Allen was not going to extend it, apparently intending to demolish the Theatre for the salvage value. The place had been vacant for two years and the company had been forced to move to a temporary home in the nearby Curtain.

So that day the Chamberlain's Men stole the Theatre - took the frame apart piece by piece, loaded the timbers onto carts and carried them away.

The next year a long cold spell delayed the completion of new foundations in Bankside, Southwark, on land the Chamberlain's Men had leased for thirty-one years from Sir Nicholas Brend. In late summer the Globe theatre opened for business, Shakespeare's new play Julius Caesar being among the first productions.

The Globe and the Bear Gardens in 1600.

I am not going to go into ecstasies about James Shapiro's book 1599, A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, because I am lazy and dull.

If you have never read anything about Shakespeare, or have read everything except this, read it!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

They Pesky Bugs

Natalie Solent at Samizdata has a mildly disconcerting post about the future of espionage...
Imagine audio and video bugs get better and better. Maybe in the form of tiny physical cameras, maybe as viruses that will eventually succeed in penetrating any computer, phone or similar device, maybe as some kind of broadcast or field.
And what life events will these battalions of spies be watching for? According to Natalie, a rather eccentric selection...
Every time you sang along to your ipod, had sex, mentioned the word “government”.
Your intrepid reporter spent some time yesterday afternoon trying all three at once, leaving a rather alarmed whore in his wake and winding up £50 the poorer (+ £5 for the maid) and none the wiser.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Mysteries of AA-Dimensionality

You are at an Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting and... do service as the Greeter. Only Liam and Steve are in the room when you arrive, 45 minutes early. You make a cup of coffee and go to the only greet everybody as they arrive. One minute before the meeting starts you go back to the room. 
There will be twice as many people in the room as passed you at the entrance. volunteer to do the washing up after the meeting.

There will be twice as many cups to wash up as there were people at the meeting.

Illustration: projection of the Calibai-Yau Manifuld. A mere ten or eleven dimensions and so small that we can never see it. Feh.

Friday, 19 September 2014

That's Nearly Half

Why don't you just fuck off anyway?

You Could Still Fuck Off If You Wanted To

45% is good enough.

Scots Fail to Fuck Off

How come they can't even fuck off?

Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Song of Mehitabel

this is the song of mehitabel
of mehitabel the alley cat
as i wrote you before boss
mehitabel is a believer
in the pythagorean
theory of the transmigration
of the soul and she claims
that formerly her spirit
was incarnated in the body
of cleopatra
that was a long time ago
and one must not be
surprised if mehitabel
has forgotten some of her
more regal manners

i have had my ups and downs
but wotthehell wotthehell
yesterday sceptres and crowns
fried oysters and velvet gowns
and today i herd with bums
but wotthehell wotthehell
i wake the world from sleep
as i caper and sing and leap
when i sing my wild free tune
wotthehell wotthehell
under the blear eyed moon
i am pelted with cast off shoon
but wotthehell wotthehell

do you think that i would change
my present freedom to range
for a castle or moated grange
wotthehell wotthehell
cage me and i d go frantic
my life is so romantic
capricious and corybantic
and i m toujours gai toujours gai

i know that i am bound
for a journey down the sound
in the midst of a refuse mound
but wotthehell wotthehell
oh i should worry and fret
death and i will coquette
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai

i once was an innocent kit
wotthehell wotthehell
with a ribbon my neck to fit
and bells tied onto it
o wotthehell wotthehell
but a maltese cat came by
with a come hither look in his eye
and a song that soared to the sky
and wotthehell wotthehell
and i followed adown the street
the pad of his rhythmical feet
o permit me again to repeat
wotthehell wotthehell

my youth i shall never forget
but there s nothing i really regret
wotthehell wotthehell
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai

the things that i had not ought to
i do because i ve gotto
wotthehell wotthehell
and i end with my favorite motto
toujours gai toujours gai

boss sometimes i think
that our friend mehitabel
is a trifle too gay

Don Marquis
(archy was a cockroach who typed by throwing himself at Don Marquis' typewriter keys one by one, hence the lack of Shift for capitals).