Posts from 6th October 2003

Oct 03


Proven By SciencePost a comment • 928 views

DRINK IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE: go on, it’s an experiment you can do in the pub!

I drank far too much

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 360 views

I drank far too much in the Horse and Groom last Wednesday, and when I went to bed the room was gently spinning around me. I noticed that it was spinning anticlockwise, and I wondered if I could make it go the other way; for a while I thought I could, but then I realised that it was still going anticlockwise and I’d just been confusing myself. This sparked the question – does the room always spin anticlockwise when you’re drunk? Conversations with fellow drinkers have suggested that it might do (evidence of staring at clock faces was cited), but there’s clearly a need for further study here. Who’s game?


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 322 views


Tonights s.h.o.p.p.i.n.g ( in order of scannage).

1. Carton of TROPICANA (no bits) – the time has come where economy juice makes my mouth wince. It is a TRAITOR!
2. Fresh basil
3. Fresh mint (mmmmmmmm-INTAY!)
4. Organic parmiaggio reggiannnioiiiaj ggio oh sod it PARMESAN CHEESE. This, which is entirely FLABBERGASTING upon looking at the recipt, cost me ‘4.71 and shall only be used when making pasta with caviar and TRUFFLES or something.
5. C&B B/PACK SML CHUN… what the nuts is this?? Oh I think it’s my small bottle of PICKLE. Nummy bloody nummy.
6. Organic lemongs
7. Fresh thyme
8. BALSAMIC VINEGAR!!! What an utter ponce! I spent rather a long time in front of the poncey vinegar section. Cor this one is cheaper but you get less than you do in the big one so it’s probably better anyway but it LOOKS cheap well perhaps that is coz it doesn’t need to put on airs and graces OR perhaps Sarah it’s just cheap oh dear my big fat arse is blocking the aisle, choose CHOOSE oh sod it I’ll get the one I remember lurking around Rick and Katie’s old gaff.
9. Country Lifer BURRER (unsalted)
10. Honey and ginger shower gel (I am not sure whether to wash in it or eat it on toast)
11. Safeways equivalent of Finest/Best/Taste The Difference choc and ginger cookies
12. Jacobs Herb crackers. This is only to try and make up for not being able to find herby matzo crackers ANYWHERE.
13. Walkers ludicrous oven roasted chicken and thyme flavour crisps in special offer with,….
14. You all knew it, Walkers Slow Roasted Lamb and Mint flavour crisps.

Although seeing #s 13 and 14 I don’t know why I bothered getting any food as obv they are an entire self contained meal in their own write.

I don’t know if it is cheating to ask this here

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 231 views

I don’t know if it is cheating to ask this here, but the memory was prompted by Geeta’s keynote article talking about the deadening vanilla teaching of science in schools. My chemistry teacher once threw me out of a class – he was talking of allotropes of sulphur, rings of eight molecules breaking into chains of eight, and asked what we thought happened next, and I squawked “Pieces of eight!” in a parrot voice at the back. Anyway, another time he was explaining how the nature of the bonds between the hydrogen atoms and the oxygen atom in a water molecule explained why ice at some temperatures was less dense than liquid water (most substances are less dense as liquids than solids) and I wondered if ammonia, which had superficially (at least) similar bonding demonstrated the same property. Emails via the link provided below…

(While I am reacting to Geeta’s piece, it’s worth emphasising that the failures and errors are often the very stuff of new ideas and territories, or at least good clues as to what to do next. I particularly enjoyed reading about a scientist who was producing computer models for evolutionary strategies and patterns in simple sets of populations (limited to grass, rabbits, foxes for instance) and realised that there was something wrong with his models when the system kept insisting that there was a negative number of rabbits present, a concept I find intriguing.)

The Observer Sport Monthly

TMFDPost a comment • 615 views

The Observer Sport Monthly ran what I thought was a rather mean-spirited article about Glenn Hoddle which rehearsed all the familiar Hoddle issues we’ve read so much about: distant, arrogant, obsessed with his own legend. And so on.

I’m not sure the article contained any new angles on Glenn’s pain, such as it is, which seems a shame. It seemed more interested in rehashing established wisdoms, with perhaps a little frisson of kicking a man while he’s down. You have to take your hat off to a line like this, though: ‘He seems so preoccupied with sixth senses that he can’t use the other five to see what is happening in front of him.’

What really caught my eye was this: ‘Brian Clough once said that it took ‘moral courage to play the way Hoddle does”. Attaching moral weight to aesthetic choices is at best dumb and at worst positively evil. Go and look the words ‘degenerate’ and ‘football’ up on a search engine: chances are the words ‘long ball’ won’t be far away.

6.15 I hang up.

Do You SeePost a comment • 93 views

6.15 I hang up.

On NTL, no, I

Do You SeePost a comment • 363 views

On NTL, no, I don’t see.

5.53pm. I am on the phone. I’ve been on the phone for 40 minutes. You see, I’ve started on the loooooong road to getting NTL to install loads and loads of telly in my flat. Now I knew that both NTL and Telewest were bad at customer service, and have had my problems with Telewest in the past, but NTL are incredibly poor before I’ve even started! They manage to rub your face in how bad they are while you wait the 40 minutes to get through to the “pre-installation line” with a constant loop of how great it is to be signed up to NTL. “THAT WOULD BE SMASHING, JUST ANSWER THE PHONE AND I’LL PAY YOU LOTS OF MONEY FOR THIS SERVICE, JUST PLEASE… GOD… ANSWER THE FUCKING PHONE. anyone.”

And the reason I’m trying to get through is that after many previous calls (to arrange someone to come out for a site check, to remind them that someone was going to come out and where were they, to remind them that the person who came out said it was an easy job and would someone like to come and install it now) the last guy was quite certain I’d signed up for the expensive phone options and was convinced I couldn’t have the cheap one anyway. Which is worrying as they processed my bank details aaaages ago. No problem there. Now if only they’d provide a service that they could actually charge me for.

Apologies. I shouldn’t be blogging this here, I should be on NTHell, which is actually owned by NTL in an attempt to get customer feedback, but it is way too scary. It reveals all the other lovely things I can look forward to ONCE THEY GIVE ME ANY BLOODY SERVICE AT ALL.

Sorry about all those caps. I’m calmer now. But they still haven’t answered. 6.03 pm

The Map Room

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 331 views

The Map Room: this is the kind of thing that makes people love the Interweb. The Map Room is “a blog about maps” and lives precisely up to the title – a feast of map-related links of every imaginable kind. Three links in a row illustrate the magnificence of this project – a map of where in the US people say “soda” and where people say “pop”; a map showing air traffic routes on the day of the WTC attacks; and a map of Doctor Doom’s Latveria!!. Has my fingers twitching for hex paper.

Thanks to my job

TMFDPost a comment • 180 views

Thanks to my job I’ve had some heavy-duty exposure to the Manchester United marketing machine recently – a John Simm-voiced video profile of their youth academy focusing specifically on skills development.

It was rich with the kind of decorative footballing froth (entirely devastating when deployed by the Red Devils, of course) that catches Tim H’s ire below. One hilarious sequence had Cristiano Ronaldo displaying his outrageous ball control for the assembled awestruck kiddies, all manic jabbing legs, like Twyla Tharp plugging a bag of locusts into the mains in an effort to incarnate speed metal. Never has so much F been D’d.

Roy and Rio were terribly good with the youngsters, while Ruud Boy emerged as the transcendentalist of the squad ‘ slipping into heavy-lidded reverie as he described last season’s rampaging solo goal vs Fulham; to score at Old Trafford was an “explosion inside you, and outside you too.”

Ole Gunnar played up to his cutie-pie image, as prepubescent as the children he was coaching, with an anecdote ‘ “I used to have, before, crisps. Now they measure all your body fats. And I’ve stopped that.” Aw, bless.

Oh, and Mr Beckham wasn’t mentioned once ‘ erased from history.


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 661 views

WALKERS SENSATIONS: I was upbraided for not including Walkers Sensations in my very-brief history of crisps. I had a slight distrust of these crisps: they are unquestionably a premium brand, and in my experience premium brands of entirely non-premium items tend to be a waste of time. I still have a slight distrust of them ‘ this is because they are clearly the product of magic or an alien science, or else Willy Wonka is working for Walkers.

Sensations give a radical kicking to the crisp paradigm thus: the taste you get in your mouth is the same as the flavour description. This is unheard of, given that previous generations of crisps have been unable to get something as simple as salt and vinegar tasting of salt and vinegar. Whereas the Sensations crisp coolly tackles Lamb and Mint and it is like a meal in your mouth ‘ the soft subtleties of lamb, the familiar brashness of mint, the honest wholesome potato base. Num num. My only concern is that Sensations will herald a new age of crisp-making that will drive out the old super-fake flavourings like boring ‘realistic’ graphics have driven out shitey cartoon graphics in most PlayStation games. Surely there is room for both!