This is worrying. You can now buy an instant army of fake online commenters to sway any public argument your way. Continue reading
Monthly Archives: February 2011
Eskimos and Inuit are reputed to have many/seven/50/100 different words for snow. Though it may be a tundric myth. (And anyway, don’t we have snow, blizzard, sleet & slush – OK that’s only four, and I’m not sure about the last two.)
But anywhere with an unusually high number of different words detailing aspects of a phenomenon interests me. It evokes poetic lists. Like these from Belfast poet Michael Longley – The Ice-Cream Man.
Rum and raisin, vanilla, butterscotch, walnut, peach:
You would rhyme off the flavours. That was before
They murdered the ice-cream man on the Lisburn Road
And you bought carnations to lay outside his shop.
I named for you all the wild flowers of the Burren
I had seen in one day: thyme, valerian, loosestrife,
Meadowsweet, tway blade, crowfoot, ling, angelica,
Herb robert, marjoram, cow parsley, sundew, vetch,
Mountain avens, wood sage, ragged robin, stitchwort,
Yarrow, lady’s bedstraw, bindweed, bog pimpernel.
You can listen Continue reading
Ever tried this? Grass jelly drink.
As you see, it comes in cans. I tried it for the first time in a Malaysian basement canteen. Maybe I should have heeded the handwritten sign on the door which said Only Malaysians Admitted. Once inside though, they were a friendly bunch and the food was good.
But the grass jelly drink… Ugh. Unpleasant slightly disturbing liquid – little taste, just mild anxiety. The diced green jelly lurks at the bottom of the can like freshwater crocs in a flooded Queensland town. The sensation as they slip down your throat, or more likely get stuck in your teeth, is not nauseating. No, it’s not as bad as that. It couldn’t be a bush tucker challenge on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. But you do wonder as you screw up your face and carry on determinedly, whether it’s worth it?
The answer by the way is – No.
Still, at least it’s not Continue reading
Trish Keenan died last month. She was the singer from UK electronic band band Broadcast.
My mate Mark introduced me to their music.
Their song Come On Let’s Go offers a wealth of good advice for social occasions:
1. You won’t find it by yourself – you’re gonna need some help.
2. Stop looking for answers in everyone’s face.
3. (At a busy loud party.) What’s the point in wasting time on people that you’ll never know. Come on let’s go.
Just listening again to the lyrics, like many Van Morrison love songs, you could imagine that they’re addressed to God.
And speaking of looking for answers in other people’s faces…
Here’s a face in a million. It’s made from almost 10,000 pieces of toast. A back-breakingly prepared birthday surprise which is apparently recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, (beating the previous record-holding school in the Netherlands).
Laura Hadland from Leicester decided to mark her mother-in-law Sandra Whitfield’s 50th birthday with this toast mosaic.
It took 600 loaves of bread, 50 people, 128.05 square metres, 9,852 slices of toast (dark, medium & light) and seven hours of toasting and sticking down.
The birthday girl’s verdict? “I love toast, but it was a massive shock seeing my face made out of it.” (You can get the full story Pick Me Up Magazine – essential reading.)
I hope the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the IMF and World Bank, and all you other financial institutions around the planet are keeping a sneaky eye on this blog. Because this could be the way out of recession. I should warn you that it involves front fastening magnetic bras. And jugs. But don’t go jumping to conclusions too quickly… Continue reading