Posts from October 2009

Oct 09

Accidental Food Science: What Happens To Quavers

Proven By Science2 comments • 1,109 views

As part of my job, I am the recipient of lost property, contents of unused lockers and the like at a university. These usually sit on a shelf until claimed, however yesterday I was contacted regarding the contents of a locker which the student no longer wanted. “Give the contents away” he said from Dubai. So I went through the books to distribute to new students, and thought I would claim as my payment a packet of Quavers. Lovely, lovely quavers, the cheese corn puff curl which both crunches and is insubstantial. A hard mans Skip, a weak mans crisp. Moreish in all the best ways.

The locker had been in use recently I had assumed by the phonecall, accidentally left full at the end of September. Unfortunately the same could not be said of the Quavers. After eating the first one, I noticed something wasn’t right. Checking ont he packet I discovered the truth. The Quavers had an expiry date of the 30/12/08. They were ten months out of date. So what happens to cheesy Quavers after they have expired?

They taste of Humbol Messerschmitt Grey Enamel Paint. Who knew?*

*Note, I know what this paint tastes like from an accidental brush sucking moment as a child when painting an airfix kit.

The Most Important Game Ever Made #15: Twitch Crit

FT/Post a comment • 259 views

Whoops! The next song on the list isn’t ‘She Loves You’ after all, it’s the far less interesting ‘I Feel Fine’.

Still, it’s a nice rocking groove, as the Ventures here prove.


Oct 09


FT + Popular81 comments • 7,774 views

#559, 16th November 1985, video

It’s our misfortune to happen upon Feargal Sharkey in the least interesting bit of his three-stage career. We knew him once as a leader of post-punk’s emotional shock troops, putting that quaverous Derry voice into the service of everyday lust and laughter. We know him now as an industry spokesman, a general in a long, attritional fight to shore up recorded music as something people want to – or at least have to – pay for.


Oct 09

The Most Important Game Ever Made #14: Georgebot Is Still A Playa

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That’s Nellie McKay’s version of ‘If I Needed Someone’, which by a strange coincidence is what the Beatlebots plough onto in their historic Shea Stadium gig.


Panda Decorum

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It is THE FUTUR. Earth is dying. We found another planet which is very far away. We sent a spaceship full of thousands of sleeping people to that planet to SAVE HUMANITY. Thus goes the plot of about a thousand science fiction books published in the last thirty years. And while some of those books might be ropey hackwork, most of them at least set about their premise as if they were trying to play with items found in the science fiction toybox with gusto. To first contact tstories, alien invasion stories, even Toby Litt’s Journey Into Space had a fun spin on the idea of generation ships. But its not really a plot that movies have played with that much. And one that, post Pandorum, they will probably ignore for another twenty years. Because Pandorum is such a cack handed muddle of a movie that any good will that you have towards it is squandered the moment you realise they used this complex set-up to remake The Descent in space.

So plot points you need to remember while watching Pandorum.
a) Hypersleep makes you temporarily lose your memory. Not about how to operate nuclear reactors, but stuff like your name.
b) Hypersleep can lead to madness called Pandorum. Symptoms of Pandorum include shaky hands, shaky camera and hallucinations that the filmcrew decided to indulge the audience with, without telling them until they want to spring the lame-o twist on us.


Oct 09

JENNIFER RUSH – “The Power Of Love”

FT + Popular56 comments • 6,539 views

#558, 12th October 1985, video

The hovering synths on “The Power Of Love” seem to be coming from somewhere vastly above the listener, like a Star Wars spaceship-overhead shot which goes on and on and on until the scale just defeats you. We’re heading for something – yes, Aldebaran most likely. Or Rigel.


Oct 09

The Most Important Game Ever Made #13: Shake Hands With Nobody

FT/3 comments • 269 views

Hello Beatles! It’s been a while.

So what happened there? Work happened, to put it bluntly – in the midst of a brutal cold that beat my immune system like a gong, I had to write some pretty serious comics (part of which involved creating an alien language from scratch). In the end, I took the week off the Beatles, and from now on I’ll be doing a more realistic production schedule of Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (or at least two out of three) as per Tom’s excellent and timely advice last week on keeping a long-running series going when the enthusiasm starts to run dry.

And what could dry up a man’s enthusiasm faster than the sonic wallpaper that is ‘Eight Days A Week’, our unlucky 13th entry?


Oct 09

The Zombie As Comic Stooge

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In 28 Days Later, Cilian Murphy’s character wakes up 28 days after a localised zombie apocalypse has occurred. He is our viewpoint stranger in a strange land, wandering through a deserted London trying to survive. Perhaps it is telling (though more likely a flaw) that the real bad guys in 28 Days Later are a squad of soldiers who want to rape the women in the gang, it is mans inhumanity to man (woman) writ large. But in 28 Days Later most of the infected kills are due to the lead characters general stupidity. Even with fast zombies, once you follow the basic rules of survival, you should probably be alright. And in 28 Days Later there is the spectre of rescue, the chance that safety exists somewhere else.

Zombieland has a very similar set-up to 28 Days Later, except our hyper neurotic lead has been surviving since day one. And whilst the film wrings plenty of humour out of his rules for survival (32 in full, though we only get to see about ten of them), it becomes clear that any organised person should be able to survive a zombie epidemic. And these are fast zombies too. Indeed the film gets pretty bored with its zombies pretty damn quickly.


Oct 09

MIDGE URE – “If I Was”

Popular55 comments • 5,662 views

#557, 5th October 1985, video

I don’t know what you lot are complaining about sometimes. A number one hitmaker from the 70s returns with a thundering mid-paced synth-rock track in which speculation on alternative existences becomes a tool for considering the metaphysics of love? Frankly, who even needs “Running Up That Hill” at number one when you have “If I Was”?


Tomme Crayeuse (Cheesy Lover #29)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/4 comments • 276 views

Cheese stats: Soft-ish raw cows milk cheese from the alpine patches of Franch
Bought from: Mons

This rind’s ochre, orange and white, bumpy and mottled, with specks of a bright yellow mould. Inside the cheese is a pale cream colour – crumbling slightly towards the centre, moist and squishy further out.

The centre tastes sharp and tart, juicy and rich and full of fruity flavours;  apples and apricots. It’s smooth and creamy, with a buttery texture, and it melts away to nothing in my mouth. Towards the rind it turns mushroomy – still with that creamy richness.  The rind itself has a pungent grassy, earthy tang; straw (like the smell of freshly mixed henna), wet composty earth, and a touch of cowpat. All of it’s suffused with a gentle herbal taste, and the varying flavours and textures work really well together.

Conclusion: I wish I’d bought a bigger wedge of this!