31 March 2007
[Courtesy of Fleur]
- Guardian, 28 March 2007
[Minor milestone ahoy - this is the 500th post to the Very Friday Blog...]
30 March 2007
'WASHINGTON, DC—White House Secret Service Agent Anthony Panucci is being called a hero after intercepting what could have been a critically damaging question aimed directly at President Bush during a press conference in the Rose Garden Tuesday.
According to eyewitnesses, the press conference began with Bush fielding routine questions about March Madness and the dedication of a World War II memorial near his home in Crawford, TX. However, approximately seven minutes into the event, a lone reporter somehow managed to maneuver to the front of the press corps group and fire off a loaded, highly charged question concerning Bush's role in the controversial dismissal of eight federal attorneys last year.
29 March 2007
'This is a personal question, but when you visit a public convenience do you notice who made the ceramic furniture? Does your heart lift when you see "Armitage Shanks" on the cistern? Can you think about anything else for the rest of the day?
Bureaucrats at the cricket World Cup are worried that spectators will leave with only urinals on their mind, which hardly says much for their faith in the quality of the cricket. At grounds across the Caribbean, strips of black tape have appeared across the makers' names on toilets, soap dispensers and hand dryers. Tape has also been put across fax machines, telephones and televisions. There has been so much black tape that one journalist wondered whether it was an odd way of marking the death of Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach.
26 March 2007
25 March 2007
'In Lost in Austen, Amanda, a chardonnay-swigging West London girl, discovers a bonnet-wearing woman in her bathroom who introduces herself as Elizabeth Bennet. Through a series of accidents, Amanda is transported into Regency England, where she arrives at Netherfield Hall and melts in front of Mr Darcy's brooding glare. Miss Bennet, meanwhile, breathes life into the modern girl's useless boyfriend and learns to negotiate the Hammersmith flyover'
- 'Pride and Prejudice is put through time warp', The Times, 23 March 2007
24 March 2007
'All we need to do is click with the right clique and we can finally have a social life that's worthy of us' 'No way - not even with cleavage!' 'I tell you, this year we're going to be popular' '...Yeah?' 'Yeah. Even if it kills us'
(Yeah, I think I must've misheard that bit about cleavage into something far more innocent when I was ten). Good snarly theme tune by The Waitresses too. Pity about poor Johnny Slash (RIP, totally...)
- Youtube: Square Pegs opening credits
- 'Good advice for drunken sportsmen', Guardian, 20 March 2007
- (Not) Craig McMillan's World Cup blog
[Courtesy of FSC]
'About 68 per cent of men want to have group sex in contrast to 36 per cent of women. However, the reality was quite different. Just one in three men have had group sex compared with one in five women'
Quite different? Well, I guess if you forget that one in three is more than one in five.
- NZ Herald, 17 March 2007
[Courtesy of Louwrens]
19 March 2007
A tenant has been asked to leave a flat owned by a Conservative Club after officials learnt he was using it as a venue for wife-swapping parties. The unnamed man came to the attention of the Tories after a couple asked for directions to the flat. The Tories then discovered a website about Club 2000, which is described as a 'dedicated adult club for liberated and broadminded adults'. The flat is in the same building as the Benton Conservative Club, Longbenton, North Tyneside, and is owned by it.
Tory secretary Paul McGivern said: 'The tenant came in with very good references and in many ways has been a model tenant. To be honest, this has been greeted with general hilarity among club members'
- Metro.co.uk, 19 March 2007
YouTube - Joseph : BeatBox de la Nouvelle Star 2007
16 March 2007
'Your master gives me a good account of you,' said the cracked voice of the laird of Smitwood, 'and I would fain hope it true. I wished to interrogate you about - ah, your powers - ah, of cooking pleasing dishes,' and he waved his hand deprecatingly.
'Oh, your honour, I am ready for a'thing,' said Nicol. 'Sheep's heid, singit to a thocht, cockyleeky and a' kind o' soup, mutton in half a dozen different ways, no to speak o' sic trifles as confections. I can cook ye the flesh o' the red deer and the troots frae the burn, forbye haggis and brose, partan pies and rizzard haddies, crappit-heids and scate-rumples, nowt's feet, kebbucks, scadlips, and skink. Then I can wark wi' custocks and carlings, rifarts and syboes, farles, fadges, and bannocks, drammock, brochan, and powsowdie'
'That will do, you may go,' said the old man, rubbing his hands with glee. 'By my word, a genuine Scots gastronome, skilled in the ancient dishes of the land. I anticipate a pleasing time while he bides here'
- From 'John Burnet of Barns' by John Buchan, 1898.
[Crappit-heads and scate-rumples for tea, anyone? Incidentally, Buchan was a highly talented chap. He wrote this swashbuckling adventure tale when he was only 19. He also later went on to write 'The Thirty-Nine Steps', which was filmed three times including, most famously, by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935. In his later years, as the first Baron Tweedsmuir, Buchan became the Governor General of Canada from 1935 until his death in 1940]
14 March 2007
- BMJCareers.com, 13 January 2007
[Naturally, the death of a patient is no laughing matter. I just liked the idea that a foreign student of English might think Shakespeare would assist them in deciphering modern British English]
11 March 2007
The comedian Phil Nichol leads the assault before an enthusiastic crowd at the Ritzy in Brixton, offering front-row prompts that quickly have the audience joining in. "It's payback," one smiling viewer says afterwards, "for all those films that treat the audience like morons".I ask [club co-creator] Joe about the best audience contribution they have had. "It was during Jaws 4 in Winchester," he says. "There's a bit at the end where the shark explodes and the camera cuts to Michael Caine, and someone yelled out, "You're only supposed to blow the bloody jaws off".If you don't get that joke, you're reading the wrong article.
For more info, check out the club's website.
10 March 2007
- A study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has warned that the British economy could lose 270 million pounds over the next two months, due to World Cup absenteeism (Source: Cricinfo)
09 March 2007
08 March 2007
So... anyone know any medical students with access to surgical equipment and a pet-shop owner?
- NZ Herald, 9 March 2007
And of course, they're quite right about the soothing effect of porcelain deer statues. Go out and buy some for your home and office right now.
- Your Studio and You (Google Video)
- Nora the piano-playing cat (YouTube)
- BBC News image
Ancient Chinese swords, despite the legendary sharpness proved by their ability to puree a passing butterfly, rarely make contact with swordsmen, or swordswomen, in such a way that the victim loses a limb or even a little finger. Two opposing swordsmen or swordswomen - let's just call them swordspersons - will emerge untouched from a 15 minute stretch of virtuoso choreography, a pas de deux for interlocking whirlwinds.
If, after all that spinning, diving, somersaulting and grimacing, a sword strikes home, it makes only a small neat puncture which in no way lessens the loser's capacity to speak that special dialogue from the Orient that actually sounds more Chinese after it has been dubbed into English.
"Your skills are great," says Falling Snow.
"Your sword was quick," says Rising Cloud.
"Your quest is finished," says Passing Wind'
- Clive James, BBC column, 23 February 2007
07 March 2007
An insightful discourse on the art of management:
'...like many people who are instinctively bad at something, the Archchancellor prided himself on how good at it he was. Ridcully was to management what King Herod was to the Bethlehem Playgroup Association. His mental approach to it could be visualised as a sort of business flowchart with, at the top, a circle entitled 'Me, who does the telling' and, connected below it by a line, a large circle entitled 'Everyone else'.
Until now this had worked quite well, because, although Ridcully was an impossible manager, the University was impossible to manage and so everything worked seamlessly. And it would have continued to do so if he hadn't suddenly started to see the point in preparing career development packages and, worst of all, job descriptions. As the Lecturer in Recent Runes put it: 'He called me in and asked me what I did, exactly. Have you ever heard of such a thing? What sort of question is that? This is a university!'
- From 'The Last Continent' by Terry Pratchett, 1998
[The Archchancellor had been inspired to carry out his fit of hands-on mangement by a tome entitled 'How to Dynamically Manage People for Dynamic Results in a Caring Empowering Way in Quite a Short Time Dynamically']
Research suggests children who dress up as superheroes are likely to be more adventurous in their play but tend to overestimate their ability and get hurt. Several of those injured were hurt while trying to fly. While risk-taking and adventure were an important part of growing up, parents needed to make sure they kept a close eye on their children, the British research, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood journal, said.
While the sandwich is being marketed generally, John O'Reilly, chief marketing officer for KFC, said the sandwich should prove especially popular on Fridays, when Catholics traditionally don't eat meat in the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday.
[The kid] suffered burns and spent three days in Rotorua Hospital and nine more days off school recovering after the blast in his uninsured $3000 vehicle. The doors blew out and the windows shattered - the windscreen was found metres away down the driveway of his home.
06 March 2007
04 March 2007
- Contra Costa Times, 4 March 2007
The English had great difficulty in communicating with the Indians: [ship captain Arthur] Barlowe managed to discover that [a] tribal elder was called Granganimeo and was more than a little proud of himself when he learned the name of the surrounding countryside, Wingandacoa. This was put into all the official paperwork and it was some months before the English realised that this unpronounceable word - which the Indians kept repeating to Barlowe - actually meant 'you've got nice clothes'.
Never use semi-colons. What are they good for? What are you supposed to do with them? You're reading along, and then suddenly, there it is. What does it mean? All semi-colons do is suggest you've been to college.
03 March 2007
LOS ANGELES—Performer Justin Timberlake, whose hit albums include Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds, was crowned the de facto "King of Pop" Monday by recording-industry executives and millions of fans unable to think of anyone else to bestow the title upon. Music industry observers said Timberlake was virtually the only candidate for the title since wildly popular singers such as Jessica Simpson and Shakira cannot technically be called "king."
- The Onion
[Courtesy of KL]
The 52-year-old said she did it for her 45-year-old husband who is fighting a brain tumour.
Did her husband have to listen to it? After 1000 songs, perhaps the brain tumour didn't seem like much of a problem.
- BBC News, 15 February 2007
[If she sang the five minutes and 54 seconds of Bohemian Rhapsody non-stop for the entire time, she would have sung it 608 times. That's an awful lot of Bismillahs and Mamma Mias]
Taupo District Council Turangi/Tongariro area manager John Campbell yesterday cheekily fingered global warming as the reason for the shark's presence in the town. "With global warming there's high tides and they've found sharks in Lake Taupo," he alleged.
- NZ Herald, 15 February 2007
[Courtesy of Alex R]
Extra points for those who can identify the artiste who sang the above lyrics...