Stuff that pops into my head. Innit.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Paul the Psychic Octopus

Paul, an octopus who lives in an aquarium in Oberhausen, has been red hot in the world cup prediction stakes-succesfully getting the results of all of Germany's matches so far correct, and now he's predicted that they'll beat Argentina as well. That's one confident cephalopod.

more here

Here's Paul yesterday, after a trip to the racecourse

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The final ignominy.

So, the England football team tamely surrender to arch enemy Germany, and trapse back to their hotel in disgrace, no doubt  looking forward to a "warm" reception on their return home.
As if their meek acceptance of the defeat wasn't galling enough for them -and indeed the rest of the country south of the border- to bear, what happens when they get back to their hotel? They get robbed, that's what.
Well, a couple of them, maybe.

"Police spokeswoman Junior Metsi said cash was taken – about £500 – but the thieves seemed most interested in souvenirs, such as a United States shirt an England player received in the customary post-match trade. A medal awarded by Fifa and underwear also disappeared during a spree which police say began on 21 June.
 The thefts were not reported to police until Saturday. Metsi said police solved the case within a day, searching the homes of staff at the hotel near Rustenburg, northwest of Johannesburg.
"Everything that was stolen was recovered and they (the thieves presumably, rather than Gerrard and Co-although given Captain Forehead's performance during the event, that would probably go down a storm) are now behind bars," she said.
On Sunday, a special World Cup court convicted five hotel workers of the thefts. They were sentenced to three years in prison and fined 6,000 rand (£524). Metsi would not name the players from whom items were stolen.

3 Years! Imagine doing 3 years in a South African jail for stealing a pair of Wayne Rooney's jockeys. Fuck that. Talk about harsh sentencing.

Things I want.

I haven't done one of these for a while, but I thought this was worthy of a mention.
It's a duffle bag. Not just any old duffle bag though, this one is made of carbon fibre and is very, very cool.

More about it here

Monday, 28 June 2010

top 10 albums you might not know.

No.7  Kyuss - Welcome to Sky Valley.

Formed in the late 1980s in Palm Desert, California, Kyuss was composed of four friends in high school who continued making a mark on music even after their band split in 1995. Without a doubt, the most notable of the band’s former members is Josh Homme, going on to mainstream (ish) success with Queens of the Stone Age, it seems every undertaking following his first band’s demise has turned to gold with Homme’s touch.
From the fertile musical bed Kyuss was tilling, several musical projects have sprouted forth from the efforts of the former band mates — Queens of the Stone Age, Slo Burn, Hermano, Unida, Mondo Generator, Brant Bjork & the Bros, etc. The list continues to grow, but even more numerous are the copycats that attempted to fill the void Kyuss left behind in the genre they helped create.
Kyuss has used Sky Valley to paint aural landscapes that, for me, somehow bring to mind the California desert from whence they came, but don’t think the musical ideas they’ve brought to the table for our ears to feast upon are as barren as the land they call home. Seemingly, their sparse surroundings have allowed their minds to wander into exciting new territory, although I suspect "substances" may have been involved, but hey, who cares?
From the contemplative meanderings of “Space Cadet” to the crushing grooves of “Gardenia,” Kyuss reveals all sides of their musical psyche, and just as diverse as the sounds of the songs is the subject matter found within the lyrics. In the tunes I mentioned previously, the first is about waiting for psychotropic drugs to kick in, while the other is about the spirit of desert rock and the generator parties Kyuss was known to have had in the middle of the desert. The powerful, pounding percussion in the intro of “Demon Cleaner” gives way to a song about brushing teeth (seriously).
To sum it all up, I have to say this is honestly one of my favorite albums. People new to Kyuss may have a hard time getting used to their unique sound, but if you like rock, and in particular the drone-y sound of early Black Sabbath iand are looking to expand your horizons, this one is definitely worth checking out.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Best newspaper headline ever.

That is unbeatable, frankly.

The IT Crowd

Tonight sees the return of probably my favourite British comedy series since Black Books -coincidentally done by the same team, led by Graham Linehan- and I can hardly wait.
To give you a flavour of what it's like, here's their take on those piracy warnings you get at the start of your DVD's.

However, the real stars are Douglas-the boss- and Moss, one of the uber nerds stuck in the basement. Look at this.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

World goes mad. Official

Some of you might remember Pantera, the seminal metal band from Texas who shot to (relative) fame when they released Cowboys From Hell in 1989, and gained even more notoriety when former guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot onstage in 2004.

"WTF is he on about now?"

I'll tell you what I'm on about, the drummer from Pantera -Dimebags brother, Vinnie- has released a cookbook. Yes, a cookbook.

"The heavy metal drummer will share his favourite recipes with fans in ‘Drumming Up An Appetite With Vinnie Paul’.
The proud Texan boasts the book will be packed with tips and advice about how to perfect simple dishes from his home state.
He said, "I love cooking fajitas and it's not a difficult thing to do, but a lot of people burn the chicken."
And he'll even reveal all about his favourite dish. "I take fresh jalapenos (peppers), put cream cheese on them, maybe a little fajita seasoning, cheddar cheese on top and the key ingredient, which I learned in Australia, is barbecue sauce. Don't put hot sauce on it, just a little barbecue sauce on them. Put them on the grill."
Paul was encouraged to do more with his culinary skills by friends who regularly attend his parties"

What's next, Gardening with Jimmy Page, or Corey Taylor's Barbecue Bible?

Here's Vinnie yesterday, shortly after whipping up a Broccoli and Cheese Souffle 

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Not just any old poo you understand, but the poo of a Sperm Whale. Apparently each of these giant beasts erm...."releases" 50 tons of iron rich faeces into the ocean every year.
"So what?" I can hear you saying, "for god's sake, now he's talking about whale poo". be quiet at the back there and I'll explain.
The whale poo is used as food by tiny marine plants which, it appears, counteract the modern day's most notorious and publicised evil. No, not Jamie Redknapp, not this time, it's carbon dioxide.
What the unwitting beasts are doing is reducing their carbon footprint, and for a creature wihout feet, that's pretty impressive.

Full story here.

A Sperm whale yesterday, shortly after doing a poo.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

top 10 albums you might not know.

No.8. Scatter the Crow - Slaves to Gravity.

Before I start to tell you why you'll like this, do me a favour first. Listen to the music without watching the vids or looking at pictures of the band, ok?

Coming from London, Slaves to Gravity have a couple of things in their favour stright away.
1. A really cool name.
2. A frontman wih an old school name (Tommy Gleeson) and the attitude to match.

Coinsidering that this is STG's debut album, it's frankly astonishing. When I first heard this (my daughter was listening to them), I thought it was an old Soundgarden song that I either wasn't familiar with, (unlikely, given my love of all things grungy) or had simply forgotten about (far more likely, I regularly forget how old I am for example). At points during "Scatter......" Gleeson does sound virtually identical to Cornell in his prime-think Spoonman rather than Billy Jean (shudder)-and there aren't many more flattering comparisons than that that I could make.

Summing it up, this is an album that could easily fit into any of the grunge giants back catalogue and not be out of place, but it goes beyond plagiarism and is easily in the top10 british rock albums released in what the Daily Mail excruciatingly refers to as the "noughties".

If you liked Soundgarden, Pearl Jam or just grunge in general, give it a go.

Monday, 21 June 2010

A couple of quick updates

First of all, here's a new pic of my grandaughter, Hope. I defy anyone not to tell me she's uber cute.

See how she used to look, here .

Secondly, a super dangerous, only owned by thugs, devil dog update. Here's Chi with her best friend, our cat Patton.

Pretty scary, huh?

Sunday, 20 June 2010

X-Ray Pin-Up Calendar

It seems a strange time to release a calendar, i.e. halfway through the year, but this is no ordinary calendar.
It's slightly weird, but quite cool at the same time. I like it a lot.

More here

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Saturday morning quiz.

Q. Something goes badly wrong. Whose fault is it?

Is it:

a. The FOREIGNER who is a natural born FOREIGN winner, who will go down as one of the greatest FOREIGN managers of all time, and who has won major trophies with pretty much every FOREIGN club he has managed, but who is FOREIGN to the ENGLISH game.

b. The ENGLISH players who have consistently underperformed for ENGLAND and who lack the basic ability to pass the ball to another ENGLISHMAN, but who are ENGLISH and always give 7,000,000 per cent for ENGLAND.

So, guess who's getting blamed for England being a bit poo.

Fabio Capello yesterday, just after spotting some ENGLISH journalists in the crowd.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Bad choice of font of the week

In the first of a very short series, cop a load of this.

This is a shockingly poor font choice, no matter how accurate it may be.

top 10 albums you might not know.

No.9. Nearly God - Tricky

Tricky is quoted as saying Nearly God consists of incomplete demos of material left over from the Maxinquaye (his previous album) sessions. I'm not sure what plans he had for their completion but I doubt very much he could have improved on the overall claustrophobic, ominous atmosphere. Rather than the songs themselves (if they can be ever termed such) Nearly God's strength lies in the paucity and nerviness of the arrangements. It would make fabulous background music to a horror movie. The beats are genuinely menacing and portentous. They feel dirty and contaminated as if the studio equipment they've been recorded on has been lying in a festering cellar for decades. It's an odd album, as it plays more as a mood piece than anything resembling pop (which it absolutely is not), but is almost always completely engrossing; its hard not to get sucked into these long and mysterious haunts. Few album's I know of, if any, really sound like Nearly God, and that's a good thing since I see few artists being able to pull it off. This music is for close and quiet listening and requires a lot from the listener to get the most out of it. Tricky falls on his face a few times, and comes up just short a few more, but many of these "demos" sound completely unique and offer a mood that's really unrivaled in terms of dark atmosphere. I'm sure Nearly God will be freaking folks out for years, since Maxinquaye will rightful inspire curiosity in listeners, ands that's a great thing, the album's at it's best when it's freaking the crap out of you.

I absolutely love this album, it's in my top 5 of all time. have a listen -or a few- and see if it's in yours too.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

I fucking despair

I really do. News has reached me (hey, I'm old and therefore allowed to be slow) of Tesco's new singing World Cup sandwich. No, you didn't misread that, a singing sandwich. Why the blue fuck would anyone want their lunch to sing to them?  The ingredients for this extraordinary culinary adventure don't make good reading either, as they include jalapeno chicken, tabasco sauce, wasabi paste and sharp English mustard.I think they've missed a trick there, no napalm, no ghost chillis? Just wait 4 years.

Here's the baritone baguette in all it's ........ahem, "glory"

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

top 10 albums you might not know.

No.10. Razorblade Suitcase - Bush

Because it has a slightly darker tone than Bush's previous album, Sixteen Stone which was full of grungy Nirvana-esque radio friendly tunes and sold in its millions, on sales figures alone Razorblade Suitcase was considered a relative failure -despite it hitting the no.1 spot on both sides of the Atlantic- and it wasn't exactly a critical success either, with frontman Gavin Rossdale being virtually accused of plagiarising Cobain.'s by far my favourite Bush album, and I think it's one of the finest of the whole grunge era. Ok, they're not from Seattle, and Gavin is a bit of an upper class ponce, but Bush could really rock when they wanted to, and they're sadly missed-well, by me at least.

Here's a couple of the finer moments from the album -if you like this style of music I suggest you acquire it from your usual outlet, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Joining the armed forces.

Let me start this off by telling you that the stuff I'm going to be saying in this post doesn't apply in every case, so don't get offended/upset or declare a Fatwah please. Or do, it's up to you.

Right, where to begin.....? I know, the whole "heroes" thing that's applied to servicemen.

Heroes. It's an evocative word isn't it? It (for me at least) conjures up images of the charge of the light brigade, Rourkes Drift, Ned Kelly........that sort of thing - people being a bit steely in the face of insurmountable odds, being unflappable in the face of certain death. If we move this onto our modern soldiers, does this situation ever really occur anymore? If it does, it's certainly never reported in the media here - so I shall assume it doesn't.
So then, with our modern forces generally stationed in and at war with countries whose residents are usually armed with nothing more dangerous than a kebab in a warm pitta bread and a pointy stick, the "hero" thing doesn't really work for me - and from my point of view is more appropriately applied to the woefully overmatched forces we're fighting against.

"But they're protecting us." Protecting us from what, exactly? Iraq and Afghanistan have never declared war on us. When they do, protect us then.
"They're fighting for our freedom." I was free before they went. I will be free when they return. Thanks for that.

The conclusion to this missive is that my feelings on the matter are this. If you have any alternative to joining the armed forces as a career, choose the alternative. There's no glory or heroism in fighting opposing forces that are no possible threat.

I expect to cop some flak for this, but that's the way it is I guess.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Germany 4-0 Australia.

Well that sucked. Australia were totally outclassed, outplayed and, even more worryingly, outfought by a far superior outfit. The first two were mistakes by Schwarzer, but it made no real difference to the outcome-and neither did the sending off of Cahill. Oh well, we'll just have to beat Ghana and Serbia.

And yes, I do realise this may be karma giving me a quick jab to the ribs after laughing at England for not beating the Yanks

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Somethings wrong here

BP is getting charged $69m for the cleanup of its oil spill, which is fair enough becaiuse they are responsible for a bit of a mess. Meanwhile, frankly crap filesharing service Limewire is getting sued for $1bn. Because intellectual property is worth more than the planet, right?

Friday, 11 June 2010

Music Time.

To help me drown out that fart-a-like South African horn, have this.

Great song.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Salma Hayek

She might be gorgeous, but she doesn't like snakes. I'm the other way round.

Full Story here


Photographer Jan Smith has captured a collection of abandoned ships on shores throughout the world, still and lifeless and very, very cool and beautiful. These are stunning.

More here

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Fox hunting

A few days ago, there were reports of a fox entering a house in southeast London and attacking twin baby girls whilst they slept. Awful, I can't imagine what the parents must be going through-here's a link to the story for some more detail for you to read.

My problem here is this - the pro bloodsports metalists seem to have decided that this single incident is enough reason to repeal the ban on fox hunting. No right minded individual (or me) would argue against the fact that we need to control the population of foxes, however what we do object to is foxes -or any creature for that matter- being hunted down by red coated buffoons on horseback, blowing horns and leading a pack of beagles to chase the fox to the point of exhaustion before being ripped to shreds. Oh, and they then smear fox blood on the faces of hunt "virgins". Nice.

Here's some foxhunters yesterday, shortly after killing something furry.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Does the name of this unassuming Indian city ring any bells? It should. 26 years ago toxic gasses leaked from a pesticide plant there, killing a conservatively estimated 20,000 and directly affecting another 100,000 through gas-related diseases.
In the past few days, the trial of seven Indian employees of the company responsible has reached it's conclusion.
The 7 concerned -it was due to be eight, but the trial took so long, one of the accused died of natural causes during the proceedings- were each sentenced to........2 years in jail.  This didn't go down well with the locals apparently, and it's not surprising really, is it? I wouldn't be pleased either.

There was an old joke out at around the time of the Bhopal disaster "Who's killed more Indians than general Custer?"
"Union Carbide"
Tasteless isn't it? But so are the sentences given out to the people responsible. And the fine of $11,000 to the company itself.....That's 55cents per death. Not even I can make a joke out of that.


Gesundheit. Have any of you heard these things, the sort of homemade trumpet/horn things the South Africans insist on blowing all the fucking time during a football match? No, allow me to share the joy........

"They're fun" says Mrs Rascal. "Fun?" I'd rather somersault off the Eiffel Tower into a saucer of broken glass and radioactive scorpions than have that noise assaulting my ears. Is it too late to ban these things - because if it is, I might as well move to Paris now.

Monday, 7 June 2010

The Spartan daybed

You just might want to spend the whole summer in this beauty (You might - if I tried it I'd either die of hypothermia or drown). There's nothing spartan about the Spartan Daybed from Restoration Hardware, it's perfect for an afternoon of lazy indulgence. The daybed designed by Neoteric Luxury has a steel frame wrapped in handwoven all-weather wicker that lets in the breezes while offering a little bit of filtered sun protection. A 5-inch thick bed cushion is sold separately.

I'll buy one after I've won the lottery and moved to Tahiti. How much? Yours for $6,000.
More here

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Favela Painting

If you look under the category "things I want" on my blog, you'll find a number of very cool things that, given a lottery win, I'd like to own. However, whilst not something you would or indeed could want to own, this might be the coolest thing of all, and on a number of levels. It doesexactly what it says on the tin, but it's so much more than you'd think. Basically, what happened was that a couple of Dutch artists went to one Of Rio's worst areas with the idea of giving the locals something they could be proud of-a symbol for them to be proud of-and it was something they really needed (along with money, health care, human rights and a a whole bunch of other stuff millions of Brazilians are routinely denied).

Anyway, enough waffle look at the pics.

More here

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Puppy update

She's now just about 3 months old and weighs about 6 kg - I think she's going to be a big one when she's fully grown, which is still over two years away. Also for what the Daily Mail (boo, hiss) routinely refer to as a "Devil Dog" she's remarkably (but unsurprisingly) placid and friendly. I mean, do devil dogs like their tummys being rubbed? Are devil dogs scared of cars, cats, birds, moths, spiders and erm, an umbrella? Who knows, but I'd guess not, because Lucifer would look a bit silly with his Hellhounds trying to lick people to death, so I reckon the worlds worst newspaper is talking (printing?) bullshit again.

Here's Satan's beast yesterday, shortly after killing some children.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Huang Jianxiang

Although this sounds like something I'd eat with noodles, it is in fact the name of a Chinese sports commentator.Why am I blogging about a Chinese sports commentator? Good question. well, this commentator is a bit special, to say the least. Here's his rant from the 2006 World Cup, when Italy were up against the country of my birth, Australia.

Huang's rant

"Penalty! Penalty! Penalty! Grosso's done it! Grosso's done it! Don't give the Australians any chance."
"The great Italian left back! He succeeded in the glorious traditions of Italy! Facchetti, Cabrini and Maldini, their souls are infused in him at this moment! Grosso represents the long history and traditions of Italian soccer; he's not fighting alone at this moment! He's not alone!!"
"Totti, Totti is facing the spot kick. He is facing the expectations from Italian soccer fans all over the world."
"Schwarzer has saved two spot kicks in the World Cup qualifying tournaments, both of these were during the playoffs of the world cup qualification. Totti should have known this. Will he still be able to face the man in front of him with a smile? How about his expression after 10 seconds?"
"Goooooal! Game over! Italy win! Beat the Socceroos! They do not fall in front of Hiddink again! Italy the great! Italian left back the great! Long live Italy! Happy birthday to Maldini!! Forza Italia!!"
"He didn't let the Italians down. This penalty kick was an absolute one-off! Absolute one-off! Italy have made the final eight!"
"The victory belongs to Italy, to Grosso, to Cannavaro, to Zambrotta, to Buffon, to Maldini, to everyone who loves Italian soccer!!"
"The Socceroos might regret, Hiddink! He played too conservatively and too calmly with one more player (than Italy) in the second half, he lost all his courage. Faced with the long history and traditions of Italian soccer, he didn't attack as fiercely as he did in the group matches. He finally reaped fruits which he had sown! They should go home. They don't need to go as far away as Australia as most of them are living in Europe. Farewell!"

Magnificent. Although I wouldn't have been that pleased if I'd heard it at the time, as I was in a bit of a sulk anyway.
Oh, in the last week this guy has been appearing dressed as an American Indian- close enough to a zulu eh?
What a star.

10 things that can cause the universe to explode

10. Forcing an anteater to eat an omelette.
9.   Being really damn angry on a carousel.
8.   Talking to your cat whilst on the toilet.
7.   Frowning at a baby koala for 12 straight hours.
6.   Jamie Redknapp
5.   Sitting on a table and eating from a chair.
4.   Strapping rollerblades to a python.
3.   Mowing the lawn naked apart from a pair of sunglasses.
2.   Getting a shopping trolley where all 4 wheels go in the same direction at the same time.
1.   Finding a Kinder Surprise with nothing inside

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Music Time.

The Craziness of Diego Maradona, part 4526

Rumour has it that Ariel Garce was called up for the World Cup because coach Diego Maradona had a dream that Argentina won the tournament, and Garce was the only player he could remember. Anyone that Maradona witlessly picks ahead of  Javier Zanetti should be banned from the World Cup, especially when the selection is based on Dieguito’s hallucinations.  I once dreamt that George Bush stole my cheese toasties, but you don’t see me flying over to the States to thump him do you…....Actually, that's not the worst idea I've ever had.

Cheap alcohol ban.

Plans are afoot in Britain for a ban on the major supermarkets here to do away with the ridiculously cheap beer and booze deals they currently offer. To be frank, this doesn't really affect me as I hardly drink any more, but alcohol abuse is a big problem in the UK especially amongst the young, whose idea of a nice time seems to be to drink as much strangely coloured and terribly sweet cheap drink as they can before they either pass out or get arrested. Call me old fashioned (or just old if you want, I'm used to it) but there's more to life than getting so off your face you can't remember what you did every weekend.

PS. As an example of what the supermarkets here are offering, you can buy 45 big cans of lager for £20 in Asda. Shocking. Why the fuck does anyone need 45 cans of lager?