Posts from 6th June 2006

Jun 06

Where have all the funxperiments gone?

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 307 views

There has always been a link between the space race and golf. Perhaps because they both use scientific techniques to do something which up to now has been a bit useless*. So it is good to see that a Russian cosmonaut is going to punt a golf ball into orbit for a few billion miles – possibly taking out the Astra satellite and people watching Soccer AM in the process.

This is a funxperiment. An experiment which does nothing to further the cause of science but is a bit of a giggle. We used to do them at the end of term in Chemistry. Blowing up crucibles, glassblowing and the classic – sodium in the bath. There was science to be learned, but they were genuinely fun to do and we didn’t have to write them up. It is good to see that this funxperiment is actually a stunt for a golf club manufacturer, probably trying to say that their clubs hit further than any others. Of course lack of atmosphere and geostationary** orbit does seem to be cheating, but advertising standards being what they are.

*Yes, yes, I know non-stick frying pans. To which I respond, use enough oil, don’t burn stuff, and then clean it.

**Point made by Alan at the weekend regarding the episode of Doctor Who, with the planet in geostationary orbit around a black hole. Whereabouts in the black hole is the geo to be stationary around?

For The Faint-Hearted

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 674 views

WARNING: The Mega BBQ Burger at the Pakenham Arms is not for you. I’m sorry. That is just the way it is. Perhaps you think the extra large burger, with its onion rings, tomato, cheese and bacon would be just what you need to build up you faint heart into a hearty heart like the big boys who kick sand in your face. But consider why this warning is on the menu. The burger itself might be too big to pick up, or may fall apart in your grasp. Just because you end up eating it with a knife and fork does not mean you are faint hearted, but it shows that even the strongest man may not be able to cope. Perhaps your body will not be able to take the combination of bacon and extra bacon because they ran out of onion rings. Perhaps you would overestimate your capacity and try and eat the Mega BBQ burger in full, and thus spear the top and bottom of your mouth with the stick used to keep it together*.

No, the warning is there for a reason, and that is as much to protect you, as it is to protect the Pakenham from litigation from the faint-hearted’s relatives. You have been warned.

*I have done this elsewhere, not inside my mouth but spearing my nose and chin with a hidden assembly toothpick.

Day 67: India.Arie

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 389 views

Trance-tipping is a sport analogous to cow tipping. You stealthily sneak up to some mong head dancing to a couple of bleeps and a sample of a squealing constipated man, and then up-end the fool on to the sand. They continue to writhe like some upside-down tortoise for hours until the music and drugs go away. I made the music go away. (Trance-DJ-Tiping being the pinnacle of the game).

As much as I was enjoying ruining their single brain-celled fun, it was clear that with only thirteen days to go, I needed to get a move on. So train it was, and as the beautiful and music free countryside whizzed by I reflected on my recent adventures. Perhaps my attempt to go around the world (and to the moon and back) in eighty days was proving nothing, except there were lots of crap records about lots of nice parts of the world. I certainly learned that music can ruin even the most remote of areas, Goa being a perfect example. And that often people take the names of otherwise perfectly nice countries in vain.


Ah, just what the world was waiting for. Another drippy soul singer. Newsweek called Indie Arie, when she emerged from the depths of identikit club sings the “new neo-soulstress”: a phrase which not only misunderstands the use of the prefix neo, but also has no value judgment tied to it whatsoever. She sings soul. Soul is rubbish. She is rubbish.

She didn’t hedge her bets with her first album, Acoustic Soul, which was a collection of dull as dishwater soul records played – wait for it – acoustically. Indeed in her first single she repeats her own name over and over again, just in case we were to forget who was making such a dull racket. She of course won lots of Grammy’s, which might as well be called Granny’s for the relevance tot he actual music scene they hold. A few lazy solipsistic beats and a woman with a voice like your mum reading you a bedtime story (but more soporific) does not a cutting edge make.

But wait. What is that? In her name. A full stop. Surely she was not born with a punctuation mark as a middle name. No India dot Arie’s one claim to be even vaguely modern is the appropriation of some sort of radical punctuation as her middle initial. Its like her name is an e-mail address. Except she doesn’t give us the rest of the address : I suppose that would tip the wink.

By the way. Her new single is called “I Am Not My Hair”. Spotted! Your hair is at least talented.