Friday, 25 June 2010

cartoon readings

From Private Eye of 11 June:
Man behind stall talking to obviously Robin Hood. Stall banner 'Ye Cheappe Shoppe', stall signs 'half price!', 'cheap brands!'. Stall man saying, 'Actually Robin I've decided to sell to the poor instead. Caption: Lidl John.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

the budget rarely ends with a car chase

Memo to news broadcasters: the Budget rarely ends with a car chase. You probably don't need a fleet of helicopters to cover it.
- a Tweet today by FT journalist Christopher Cook which made me smile.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

june ansible extracts

J. NEIL SCHULMAN, whose 1979 sf novel _Alongside Night_ features 'the collapse of the American economy due to massive government overspending', announced on 21 May that he plans a copyright infringement suit against the US government for stealing his plot points and using them in real life. Co-defendants will include the Federal Reserve Bank, the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, General Motors, and the country of Greece. Sample smoking gun: 'I have Europe issue a common currency in my novel called the "eurofranc" -- the European Union then goes and issues the "euro".' [LP] Is Schulman a little bit, ahem, widdershins; or is this just a tongue-in-cheek publicity ploy?

AS OTHERS SEE US. Restoring the lost footage of _Metropolis_ has also miraculously rescued it from the taint of sf: 'The cumulative result is a version of "Metropolis" whose tone and focus have been changed. "It's no longer a science-fiction film," said Martin Koerber, a German film archivist and historian who supervised the latest restoration and the earlier one in 2001. "The balance of the story has been given back. It's now a film that encompasses many genres, an epic about conflicts that are ages old. The science-fiction disguise is now very, very thin."' (_New York Times_, 4 May, sent by dozens of you) As Andy Sawyer wearily commented, 'That's apart from the futuristic setting, the dystopian cityscapes, the videophones, the vast machines and the robot, I guess.'

THE DEAD PAST II. _50 Years Ago_, Kenneth F. Slater brought good news: 'ORDERS ARE NOW BEING TAKEN by the publishers for Professor J.R.R. Tolkien's promised new work, provisional title, THE SILMARILLION, which recounts the earlier history of The Ring. The publishers still can't give a date or a price for the work, but this acceptance of orders is a step forwards.' Only 17 more years to wait! (_Skyrack_ 20, June 1960)

the only joke michael mcintyre's ever written

Some notes from a Bafta comedy special article in the Radio Times of 5 June.

Michael McIntyre's favourite one-liner: 'The only joke I've ever written - I've got a good car. It gets me from A to B. The only problem is I live in Kew.'

Funniest thing that's ever happened to you. Alexander Armstrong: 'I got chased down a street by a pap who thought I was Paul Burrell. He was snapping away and shouting, "So what have you got to say about the anniversary of Diana's death, Paul?" This was the anniversary of Diana's death, Paul?" This was April so I said, "She died in August, didn't she?" And he was saying, "Oooh, ironic that you of all people can't remember when she died, eh Paul? Eh, eh?"'

What would you never advertise? Charlie Brooker: 'I was asked to take part in a Conservative election broadcast, which means they haven't read anything I've ever written or said. I just said no, but I wished I'd turned up and just been difficult and abusive.'

Sunday, 13 June 2010

north korea's cunning plan fails

"The squad lists that the teams had provided to Fifa by 1 June 2010 are final and can no longer be changed. On the final lists must be no more than 23 players, three of whom shall be goalkeepers. The three players listed as goalkeepers can only play as goalkeepers during the World Cup and cannot play outfield. This will be communicated to the teams in the team arrival meetings and will be enforced on match days" - Fifa tells North Korea that their cunning plan to boost firepower by naming striker Kim Myong-won as a third keeper won't wash. Then again, the Fiver's pretty sure that North Korea doesn't like being told what to do ...
- Guardian Fiver email, Thursday 3 June

Friday, 11 June 2010

optical illusions

Some examples of optical illusions from a Scientific American article of 10 May on that subject.

english sport

A Youtube clip of a Dutch comedy team, Jiskefet, spoofing the sedate and surreal world of English sport.

six degrees of black sabbath

Six Degrees of Black Sabbath is a website which lets you create a path of links from one musical artist to another.

e-mail error ends up on road sign

E-mail error ends up on road sign
When officials asked for the Welsh translation of a road sign, they thought the reply was what they needed. Unfortunately, the e-mail response to Swansea council said in Welsh: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated". So that was what went up under the English version which barred lorries from a road near a supermarket.
The blunder is not the only time Welsh has been translated incorrectly or put in the wrong place:
• Cyclists between Cardiff and Penarth in 2006 were left confused by a bilingual road sign telling them they had problems with an "inflamed bladder".
• In the same year, a sign for pedestrians in Cardiff reading 'Look Right' in English read 'Look Left' in Welsh.
• In 2006, a shared-faith school in Wrexham removed a sign which translated the Welsh for staff as "wooden stave".
• Football fans at a FA Cup tie between Oldham and Chasetown - two English teams - in 2005 were left scratching their heads after a Welsh-language hoarding was put up along the pitch. It should have gone to a match in Merthyr Tydfil.
• People living near an Aberdeenshire building site in 2006 were mystified when a sign apologising for the inconvenience was written in Welsh as well as English.
- BBC, 31 October 2008