September 30, 2002

Those who dare

The resident spider tribe is getting more daring. Time was they'd try and run when you swiped at them with the TV guide. I'd be happy if they just took the hint and moved on. But no. Last night the same spider (and I know it was the same one because it had a limp) attempted to cross the no-mans land that is the living room floor. As soon as I saw it I lobbed a coaster at it, and it scutttled back underneath the sofa.

Now, most spiders can just stay still for hours, sometimes days. You have to admire their patience. But not this one, oh no. This one made for the fireplace on no less than four occasions before I decided to get up and dispatch it with a coffee mug, which was only just big enough, I might add.

It freaks me out, man. I keep seeing little movements in the corner of my eye. If I were a paranoid man, I'd swear they were watching me.

September 29, 2002

Parental Advisory: Bad, bad, evil, nasty films

The British Board of Film Classifcation has decided to give Red Dragon, the new 'Silence of the Lambs' prequel, a 15 certificate in the UK. Hmm.

They started small, didn't they? First Lord of the Rings then Spiderman, both with those little disclaimers at the bottom so they could scrape lower certificates than they might otherwise have gotten. But quite how they're going to pass this one off I don't know, especially as it got an 'R' rating in the states.

Warning: Contains violence, grisly images, language, some nudity and sexuality

But Mums: it's ok, so long as you're there to hold their hand.

September 28, 2002


Stu has just found him self a shocking job selling electricity ('shocking'...gettit? oh, I kill myself...), and he's leaving the Island for pastures new TOMORROW! I'd like to take the opportunity to publicly wish him the best of luck in his newest venture. I'm sure he'll make as big an impression on Bristol as he did on Warwick.

Unusual suspects

According to the bbc, the extinction of natural blondes (due sometime in the next 200 years) is partially attributable to Anne Widdecombe. This is because women with dyed blonde hair are more attractive than natural blondes, and men choose them as partners. Hell of an example to pick!

September 26, 2002

Spontaneous, inexplicable foot trauma

Most times injuries are normally at least partly your own fault. When you sprain your ankle jumping over a puddle while drunk, or break your wrist falling off a pogo stick you really shouldn't have been on, it's easy to accept that you brought it on yourself. What do you mean, 'I've never been on a pogo stick'? Was that just me then? Oh...

But my foot has been absolutely killing me for the last three days, and I have no idea how or when I managed to hurt it. I woke up on Tuesday thinking that I must have slept on it again, and that it'd be better by lunch time. But it wasn't. It still hurts. And it's getting worse. Grrrrr.

I just don't want to see the doctor. Last time I went to casualty I could hardly walk, but they had no problem with letting me walk to the ex-ray department and back unassisted. Without any shoes. It took nearly ten minutes to traverse the corridor. I say 'traverse' because the term 'walk' could not be applied to my strange and slightly crab-like hobbling motion. Maybe doctors just like to hurt you more when you have minor injuries, so you know when you're really in pain? It's all for our own good. Honest.

September 25, 2002

Strike one

This is what I thought lie in store for me today. Frighteningly, I didn't run into a single traffic jam during my half day trip to London, despite it being the first of the planned tube strike days. I guess I was one of the (very few) lucky ones.

September 24, 2002

Domains ex-directory?

It's very, very good to see Demon acting in it's customers best interests by seeking legal clarification on nominet's proposal to publish uk domain registrant's addresses in the new WHOIS directory. Would love to see more ISPs doing this (like mine). You get all sorts of freaky weirdos on the internet.

September 22, 2002

Religious updates, part 2

I'm not going to claim to have found this link myself, but I'm posting it here 'cos it might help anyone baffled by the confusing and often scary choice of religions out there.

Give Belief-O-Matic a try, and find out which which faith (or absence thereof) is right for you. Maybe. Apparently I'm 68% Neo-Pagan. Bull pants: I still say I'm a Jedi Knight.

Build a better Bon Jovi album

This is the way that the music industry should be combatting digital piracy. The new Bon Jovi album has a key code inside the packaging that allows the owner to access to special features and offers via the Bon Jovi website. And while this doesn't exactly blow my skirt up, I'm sure that it'll give the fans a reason to go out and buy another Bon Jovi CD.

I like that this actually adds value to the product, rather than adding more hi-tech restrictions on CDs like trying to stop people playing (and hence copying) them on PC, which has proven a big failure with consumers. In addition, this method doesn't provide enough incentive to crackers, monetary or otherwise, to break the codes on albums.

So we could start getting more for our money than just 12 tracks from now on? The only catch is that we all have to listen to Bon Jovi.

September 21, 2002

'Bunny boiling for the Dawson's Creek generation'

Filmfour summarises Swimfan.

Why can't I coin stuff like that?

Laundry day

I've left my fair share of stuff in my pockets when I was my jeans, and most of it dies. Odd bits like small change and rubber bands generally fend quite well for itself, but the important stuff (paper money, pieces of paper with girls phone numbers, stuff like that) just don't have a hope. Even at 40 degrees.

So you can image my surprise when I was unravelling a sheet to hang it on the line and what should tumble out but a slightly dented and noticably warm can of Red Bull. How the hell does a can that normally bursts if it so much as tumbles from your rucksack survive an hour spinning at 1000rpm?

There could well be lucritive applications for a container for a carbonated beverage that can withstand such conditions, but in order to get conclusive proof of the can's resilience I'll have to repeat the experiment when I wash the whites later. Is this really an acceptable risk?

September 16, 2002

Eight legged freaks

Ok, this is getting beyond a joke. Ever since I moved in to this house I've had an above average number of spiders making themselves known, and generally I just ignore them until they get too big and refuse to move out. Then I have to evict them (grown up arachnids should really have their own place). But they're getting a bit too big for their own good lately. The other day one had made itself quite at home in my laundry, and I mean that in the literal sense - it had built itself quite nice little residence for itself.

These are not the small things that you placate your mother or girlfriend by dispatching with a lethal slipper-to-the-head either: these are beasties. I opened my eyes this morning to find one sitting happily on the covers staring at me, and I tell you: it had longer facial hair than I had, and I hadn't shaved all weekend. Quite what it thought it was going to achieve spinning a web on my duvet I don't know. Good thing I woke up: I might have wound up as breakfast.

September 15, 2002

Updating religiously

It's good that Stuey is 'resolving to keep this blog a little more religiously, hopefully every week', and so I think I'll make the same sort of pledge. I say 'sort of' because I like to be a bit more frequent as well as regular (too much fibre maybe?) so I propose this: In honour of it being Sunday I shall spend a little time trying to find God on the Internet, and let you guys know how I do.

This week, 'I don't blame video games when my children start shooting each other.'

And remember, it's not blasphemous if it's funny, OK?

So that's where my licence fees go...

Microsoft spends six months tracing the origins of the first smiley. According to one of their research drones, it was posted on a bulletin board at (gasp) Carnegie Mellon Uni in 1982 (from Ananova).

Carnegie Mellon, early eighties? Nah, Professor B couldn't have had a hand in this, could he? Nice to know, though, that Microsoft are keeping it real. Pehaps we can get some bugs fixed at some point as well?

September 14, 2002

Buried treasure

Spent the morning trying to apply some sort of order to the pit of chaos that is my desk, in doing so re-descovering some cool albums that have been hiding in rehab having been played almost to death. Latest find is The Cardigans 'Gran Turismo'. Well, I liked it, anyway.

September 12, 2002

Hey, relax guy!

You know, maybe Matt Stone and Trey Parker weren't that far off with their comic depiction of Saddam Hussein. According to this, that cheeky Iraqi dictator enjoys listening to Frank Sinatra and "sometimes donned a cowboy hat, sipped whiskey on the rocks and puffed on a cigar" whilst watching torture videos.

My favorite quote from that article has to be he "thinks all the time he is sick".

I know Terrance. I know...

September 10, 2002


A group of slightly twisted artists have decided on behalf of this websever that existence is futile, and rigged it to control a crusher inside which it now sits. At 1900hrs GMT on Thursday it will activate the crusher, destroying itself in the name of art (link from found blog).

Whilst being funny, you first have to question their artistic motives? Is it an inventive attempt at creatativity through destruction, making something thought provoking out of the ruins of something else. Or is it a demonstration against the way that more and more people find it necessary to express themselves through brute force and devastation?

And secondly, why the hell didn't I think of this first? Genius. Sheer Genius.

September 09, 2002

Scary Times

Disturbing day for news today, what with the foiled hijack attempts and the escalating tension between America and Iraq. one thing I was glad about though: The government made a particularly wise call when they chose to bail out British energy, rather than let them struggle to keep the lights on for the country using fourty-two gerbils, a wheel and a dynamo. Seems like a bit of a no-brainer though, really:

"Minister, we need 410 million or we'll have to turn off a nuclear power plant tomorrow."

"Really? You can do that safely?"


"Oh, I see. Carolyn, fetch the chequebook..."


More disturbing was the news that, following a spectacular rise in profitability, the comapany that brought us Basil Brush has annonced it's intention to revive a veritable morgue of old shows. As well as new runs of the psychotic fox, the're also doing a new spin off series starring (get this) Jess (of "...and his black and white cat" fame) and a new cartoon featuring Barbie.

They'll be doing re-runs of Rainbow next.

September 08, 2002

Immortality for fun and profit

The news this week that the Chinese government have deemed google unfit for domestic consumption, partly because it allows users to access pages that have been cached in it's servers, even if the site has been taken down or is blocked made me realise how the 'net has the potential to make any of our words immortal. Until today, you could still see my old site on bt's servers through google.

So now we know that the medium that allows us to 'live' forever allows us to capitalise on our eternal soul by selling it. You can always buy another one later...

And if the threat of eternal damnation bothers you that much, you can always lease it temporarily.

September 07, 2002

Policemen with small arms

There's always been a lot of debate around whether British police should carry guns. Personally, I don't really know what to think. I mean, normally aremed police are something of a novely: you only ever see them on when you're on holiday, at the airport or visiting something with politicians in it.

But when you come home from work and my housemate told me that the police were arresting someone at the end of our street just before I home from work, I got a bit worried. I mean, it's not like there's anything that important or valuable around here. Don't tell me traffice police are riding round with shotguns in the boots of their big white Volvo estates?

I hope it was the guy that almost ran me over yesterday morning. I'm sure he was speeding.

September 04, 2002

Pressure: A good thing?

Today I ran into a white van (actually, it almost ran into me) whose bonnet was dominated my the words 'This vehicle is powered by LPG'. It's good to know the thing that's about to pancake you isn't killing the planet.

LPG, as I understand it, is a gas by-product of oil refining that becomes liquid when pressurised and is particularly good for powering cars. and because it's a byproduct it saves us using more oil than we need and its cheaper. Which got me thinking about other liquids that might have gas by-products...

What about liquified beer gas (LBG)? It would cost less than a pound a pint, you wouldn't have to go to the bathroom as it becomes gas again at atmospheric pressure, and you could dispense it from five or six feet away, so we never have to actually get to the bar again.

ON the downside, you'd belch all evening as it evaporates, you could only drink half a pint before you feel bloated and you'd probably have beer breath for a week after a night out..

Back to the drawing board.