It’s a Copout!!

In the spirit of the last post I wrote on our company go-karting trip, let me add another few keywords to describe our outing to Mottram Hall for It’s a Knockout on Wednesday!! It was a great day out, and people who were there will know exactly who/what I’m talking about when I mention…

Whining: this is how most teams expected to win.

Ineptitude: most people displayed it, one person really enjoyed it.

Defeat: medals only went to one team. We came fourth.

Give up: the tug-of-war immediately springs to mind.

Disloyalty: I had to wear a giant costume for the team’s enjoyment.

Teamwork: the perennial buzzword.


This is a tale of a world-changing event that took place not long ago.

Mild-mannered bat Kevin lost his parents to a tragic cave python-related incident outside the opera when he was young. He used to get bullied by all the other bats in his cave. Predation was rife; everyone lived in fear of the cave pythons and those ugly centipede thingies. Kevin left his cave to see the wider cave out there.

One day on his travels Kevin went to a concert where he got bitten by a man called Ozzy Ozbourne. Unfortunately Ozzy was no ordinary human being, but the toxic and radioactive Prince of Darkness. This bite led to Kevin developing strange human powers, like the ability to doodle while on the phone and the ability to vote.

Also he used the technology of hemp fibres to weave himself a protective exoskeleton so he was immune to cave pythons.

He now lives his life in the cave fighting the societal ills of cramped conditions and constant all-pervading smell of methane from the guana.

Note: some details have been changed to preserve the identity of “Kevin”

Next week: Maniron

DVDs Of Olympics Somehow Available On Sidewalk Already

Thanks to The Onion for this!

DVDs Of Olympics Somehow Available On Sidewalk Already

August 7, 2008 | | Onion Sports

Also: Hurdler Overcomes Many Hurdles To Win Hurdle Race

BEIJING—Several hours before the opening ceremony Thursday, ambitious Chinese street vendors obtained bootleg copies of the complete 2008 Beijing Olympics coverage, pressed DVD copies of the footage, and sold DVDs for five to seven dollars apiece from blankets spread out on the sidewalk. “I was really surprised that I was able to get a hold of this so early, especially with all the reports that the Chinese were going to prevent the results from being leaked,” said San Francisco resident Todd Saunders. “The footage was pretty grainy and you could tell they just shot it off of a screen with a camcorder, but for the price I thought it was worth it.” Although Saunders said he was surprised to find himself tearing up while watching the closing ceremony, he admitted that the performance dedicated to the athletes tragically lost to Turkish terrorism on days three through five was quite touching.

Reassuringly weird

This old Stella Artois ad came to my mind recently.

Apparently it is “Buñuel-ian”, so I looked him up.

Read about the director Luis Buñuel; it’s a very interesting write-up.

Ugly child almost ruined Olympics

An ugly child almost ruined the Olympics. OK, the Chinese didn’t let that ugly child appear on stage to sing “Ode to the Motherland” for the Olympics ’cause she was ugly. So finally China is doing what we want it to and emulating ‘Western Culture’ / X Factor.

But seriously, what good does publicising the story do? Every time you repeat the story, or add a link to it in your blog (full story here) you’re only reiterating the fact that a whole lotta people involved in the staging of the Olympics thought that child was ugly. And that must be a lot of people! They must have thought her too ugly to sing a song even though she had the saving grace of being a child, and them are all ugly but no-one says so. I imagine this child must have been exceptionally ugly in that case; one real ugly child.

Well, enough of that ugly child. In other news, the Economist has a graph today that shows how much investment in renewable energy is growing, with annual data 2004-2007. The numbers are roughly 35, 60, 90 and 150 billion USD respectively. I like the fact that interest from the venture capital / private equity sector is also growing correspondingly roughly USD 10 billion in 2007. This is a clear signal that renewable energy is no longer being seen as a charity/no-win affair, solely for governments to pander to. The advent of venture capital means that signs are there is money to be made.

Police bust world ecstasy ring

(Headline of a news report in The Independent.)

I can’t believe it! What rotten party spoilers those police are!!!

Could there be anything more exciting and enthralling than a World Ecstasy Ring?? Ecstatic people across the globe, coming together and holding hands in peace and brotherhood!

What? That kind of ‘ecstasy’?? And that kind of ‘ring’? Oh.

Art imitates life

Ioan sent me a link to The Onion that had me in hysterics today. The headline was “Citing Poor Conditions, China Refuses To Send Delegation To Olympics”.

“I shall regret this for the rest of my life, but I think the current conditions Beijing are currently worse than the ones I encounter in my polluted, petroleum-fume-choked home town,” said Rockets center Yao Ming, easily the team’s most prominent athlete. “Which is Beijing. Things have gotten even worse since I moved.”

Things often really do go full circle. I have been really tired of watching all those “Our foreign correspondent in Beijing”s on the telly, measuring God knows what other sulphite or particulate with a little white plastic electronic gadget.

A little poem, the result of a quick Wikipedia glance:

2008 pollution
2004 construction
2000 Ozzys
1996 Izzy
1994 Barcelona
1992 California

Ursula le Guin – Steph Swainston

Changing Planes – Ursula le Guin. She is an acclaimed sci-fi writer, winner of awards you can find out about on Wikipedia.

The basic premise of the novel is that while waiting to change planes (airplanes) you can change planes (alternative planes). She uses this simple idea to hang together a number of short observation pieces, written in the first person narrative of a visitor to these planes. I prefer hard sci-fi with thick plot and this is poles apart, more sociology than technology. But good.

Went to Central Library yesterday, got myself some new books and music, amongst them the latest by an author who is fast becoming a favourite of mine. Swain Swainston comes from Bradford, and she is the author of books I’ve mentioned earlier in these pages: ‘The Year of Our War’ and ‘No Present like Time’. This new (2007) book is called ‘The Modern World’. Unfortunately the library only had it in hardback, but even though I hate that clumsy format, the writing is still a pleasure. Looking forward to reading it over the Wochend.

As for d music I have “The good, the bad and the Queen” with Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) and Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen. Carrying on the Afrobeat theme I have “Africafunk-Return to the original sound of 1970s funky Africa”
Should be tasty!

ps. I just noticed. Two books reviewed, both by female authors!! My my Naz, how things have changed!