Wednesday, 31 December 2008


I thought my eyes had gone a bit funny in the desert sun but it turns out that NaBloPoMo = National Blog Posting Month

And January 2009's theme is 'CHANGE'. I reckon I can do that. Watch this space.

Happy New Year (Quietly)

Just about to head off in a big old 4x4 to the Omani desert to set up camp and see in the New Year; however, breaking news suggests that Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum may have other ideas:

Talk is that it will be scaled back to a ban on fireworks and excessive external celebrations, but it's certainly an interesting move, especially if your main source of income is tourism :)

Anyway, hope you have a great time (noisy or quiet) wherever you are - see you in 2009!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Phone Gone

Bah. After over ten years without misplacing a mobile, I have only gone and lost my new SonyEricsson in Dubai. There's a lot of desert to search, but in the meantime, if you sent me a text or voicemail or tried to call in the last week or so, I will have been somewhat 'out of range'. Sorry about that.

Normal service will be resumed when I get back to the office on 5th Jan but in the meantime, Happy New Year for 2009!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Blue Christmas

I've always felt that red and green were the wrong colours to represent the true meaning of Christmas:

Or, if you prefer some context:

Cherry *hic* Mistmas, everyone!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Jack It In

You can see why I may have found this funny:

And on that little amuse bouche, I bid you goodnight; for Mister Father Christmas* flies tonight!

* (c) Freyja Sallie Lightly, 2008 -- she's awfully polite, dontchaknow...

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Not Fab

Fabregas faces four-month lay-off

Merry Sodding Christmas :(

Still, maybe we can pick something up in the January sales...

Friday, 19 December 2008

To Both My Readers


Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practised within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, secular practices of your choice, or with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious/secular traditions at all.

We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009 of the common era, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures, nor without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, IQ, chronological status, mental deficiencies, religious faith, or sexual preference or practices of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are agreeing to these terms:
  • This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal.
  • It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting.
  • It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of thewishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher.
  • This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.
  • All taxes are the responsibility of the wishee, and the decision of a panel of arbitrators is final in the event of a dispute.

And on that note,I have a sleigh to catch; see you in the New Year!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Benny Who?


It's a bit dark, but this makes me smile:

Freyja gets Benny Hillified

(and you too can 'Benny Hillify' any YouTube video here.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Let It Snow

Yeah, silly innit. Never leave me alone with someone else's Javascript and a bottle of Chianti.

Oh, if you are reading this on RSS, that will mean nothing. Try clicking here and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow :)

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Home Alone

It's very, very quiet here.

This year, it is once again time to spend Christmas in Dubai, with Solveig's family. Although very much a Muslim country, the proliferation of western ex-pats and massive shopping malls means that Christmas is a big deal over there. Despite my default setting at this time of year being a Level 37 Scrooge, I do rather enjoy the incongruousness of eating the traditional Christmas roast dinner* outside, near the desert, in 25 degree heat, under a portable gazebo :)

Anyway, the other factor is of course that Dubai is a long way away: five four hour time difference and roughly a seven hour flight. So it's clearly not worth popping over after work on Christmas Eve and buggering off around teatime on Boxing Day. This year, Solveig was understandably keen to get as much time as possible there, with ready access to delighted babysitting grandparents for Theo and energetic older cousins for Freyja (warm weather, good shopping and a heated swimming pool may also have featured in the discussion). I could just about negotiate two weeks off work (as I did the Christmas week graveyard shift last year) but with her on maternity leave, it would be silly not to stretch it for the rest of the family as much as possible.

The long and short of this is that yesterday she loaded up the car with children, luggage, pushchair, travel sweets, magazines, Kendal Mint Cake and a navigator (her excellent sister Angharad, who Freyja adores) as well as printed maps, laptop-based routefinder, sat nav, A-to-Z and mobile phone with me on speed dial. After the first call ("How do I make the water squirt onto the windscreen?") they were off. BA flight 109 from Heathrow T5 to Dubai was waiting. After the traditional crawl round the M25, they arrived at BCP to be told that yes they could park there but the courtesy coach could only take them to Terminal 4, from where they would need to take a regular scheduled London bus to Terminal 5**. Not happy, but what can you do? Anyway, finally the call comes - they're there, checked in, had dinner, kids in pyjamas and waiting to be called for the flight. Phew. And sure enough, woke up this morning (after what can only be described as a three-hour lie-in) to a text message saying that the kids were brilliant on the flight and everyone is smiling and happy in the UAE sunshine.

So I can relax. With TMS commentary of the India test, Arsenal the lunchtime match on the box, a pork pie in the fridge as well as it absolutely chucking it down outside (so I couldn't rake the metric tonne of leaves off the garden, even if I wanted to, which I don't) it's pretty relaxed chez fourstar. I shall miss them all terribly for the next week, but it's good to be able to breathe out once in a while :)

As I said, it's very, very quiet here...

* Which I have just realised, with the arrival of Theo, will be for 11 people this year!

** Having been informed of this by a rather stressed wife I decided to look into it and as far as I can tell it turns out that yes, there is Long Stay parking at the shiny new T5 but it is exclusively run by BAA, is literally TWICE the price of the other operators and they won't let the independents (BCP, Purple, Flyaway, etc) run their courtesy coaches direct to T5. Insert insulting swear word of choice here.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Overheard #62

It's so so true:
This Oyster card holder just smells of privilege and entitlement.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Best. Scam. Ever.

I love this. A scam letter from a scammer promising compensation to anyone who has been scammed by a scam letter from scammers. Recursive goodness all round!
I am listening.
How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family?
Not bad, apart from the incessant internet scams, thanks.
,You may not understand why this mail came to you.
Do tell.
We have been having a meeting for the passed 7 months which ended 2 days ago with the then secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.
Seven months? In a meeting? Imagine the biscuit bill!
This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$ 100,000. This includes every foriegn contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government probelms etc.
Probelms? Would they be troublesome trees? I'm sorry, do continue...
We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.
This is awfully exciting.
You are advised to contact Mr. Jim Ovia of ZENITH BANK NIGERIA PLC, as he is our representative in Nigeria, contact him immediately for your Cheque/ International Bank Draft of USD$ 100,000. This funds are in a Bank Draft for security purpose ok?
Conatct Mr. Jim Ovia immediately for your Cheque:
Conatct Mr. Jim Ovia immediately for your Cheque:
Person to Contact Mr. Jim Ovia
Sorry, who do I contact again?
Email: Phone: +234 7027953108
Gmail. Classy :)
Thanks and God bless you and your family.
They send their best. Especially Theo who says "Thrrrrrpppppp!"
Hoping to hear from you as soon as you cash your Bank Draft.
I shall send you a postcard from my lounger in Bermuda. Might be a bit busy, what with all the other scammees cashing in their $100,000 but we shall do our best.
Mr. Ban Ki Moon
The pleasure was all mine.

Just Put Your Lips Together -- And Blow

This is this killer app that may just force me to buy an iPhone:

Yes, it's an ocarina.
In order to play your Ocarina, you will need to blow into the microphone (you will see a small gold arrow where to blow). The mic is sensitive, so try not to blow very hard (if you are puffing your cheeks, you are blowing too hard).

Rest the iPhone on your ring fingers and thumbs with the headphone jack facing away from you. Use your index and middle fingers to cover the four holes.

To play the highest note, you will need uncover all four holes, but don't drop the iPhone! It may take some time to learn how to balance it, so be patient and remember to play over a cushioned surface.
Let me repeat; it's an ocarina...

Saturday, 6 December 2008


You were amazing.
We'll miss you.
Love from us all.

Make It Expensive

Solveig was going to add this to her Amazon basket; one of the options was somewhat less appealing!

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Overheard #61

It's true, you know:

Everybody likes pork pies, except women.

Friday, 28 November 2008

We're Toast

No, we really are... 

This is quite possibly my favourite thing in the world (this afternoon):
Push-button motorised toaster that puts AFC on both sides of your favourite slice

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

It's Fab

We have a new captain. The man who has been earmarked for the job since the moment he arrived has, due to a bizarre set of circumstances which if they weren't happening to my club would be hilarious, got it:

Goodplaya puts it best, when comparing him to the previous four Arsenal skippers:
To the best of my knowledge, Cesc does not get sent-off twice a season, did not play for Chelsea, is not mad and does not have a drink problem.

I wish him the very best of luck, starting tonight with eight of his first-team players missing for the visit of Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League. Sheesh.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Your Office Needs These

Never let another FAIL or WIN go by unannounced in your world. Get this set of two self-inking stamps, one FAIL and one WIN. FAIL stamp is in bright red, WIN stamp is in black, both print in solid, all-caps Impact font. Both stamps are commercial, office-grade that require no ink pad and are good for hundreds of stampings (go wild!). Stamps print with a BY: and a DATE: field to show just who noticed this FAIL and WIN. Makes a satisfactory "ka-ching" noise when stamped. Each stamp produces an imprint 1.5 inches wide and 0.6 inch tall.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Kung Pong?

This is great:

Quite what it has to do with a mobile phone is somewhat debatable, but still, nice work :)

Overheard #60

Another one from work, I felt it was a bit early in the morning for naval gazing:
"Yes, corporate broking - it's all about the sailors."
In so many ways :)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Polishing Chrome

I have been trying out the Google Chrome browser, because - well, it's shiny. So far, a resounding, if beta, yes. Simple, clean UI incorporating (aka stealing :) the best bits of functionality from Firefox, Opera and IE, it has made me question nearly all the add-ons I have installed in FF3 which seem to only serve to a) slow it down and b) leak memory all over the shop. Chrome is definitely a (qualified - no Mouse Gestures yet?) win.

However, one of the things I do a lot, other than posting drivel on this blog, is send interesting links to other people. Hang on, where is the Menu toolbar? Where is File > Send Link? It's not even a Right-Click option! Don't panic, Captain Mainwaring...

Nice fix. Thank you!

1001 Rules

Great idea. Wish I'd thought of it.

1001 rules for my unborn son

Personal favourites include:
 "94. Don't show off. Impress."
"269. If you've made your point, stop talking."
"165. On a night out with the boys, never be the first to go home."

Wednesday, 19 November 2008


Brilliant idea. Who would have thought it, eh? Fans of your oeuvre might want a place to go to get high-quality versions of your archived work. Amazing. Yes, we might even click a few ads and buy a few DVDs, T-shirts and the like.

Now, if you wouldn't mind going and having a quiet word with the buffoons at the RIAA...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Fifteen Lovejoy

Just heard that utter n*b Tim Lovejoy on 606 complaining about the Arsenal fans starting a Mexican Wave last night:
"...oooh so you're just all concentrating on standing up and sitting down, why aren't you watching the football, thought Arsenal were an attractive side, why aren't you watching them then, it's a disgrace, etc and so on..."
a) Carlos Vela is Mexican.
b) He scored.
c) The Mexican Wave was a tribute to him.
d) Tim Lovejoy is a c*ck.

Nothing further to add.

Oh, I'm sorry, there is -- did Chelsea just get knocked out 5-4 on penalties by Burnley, Tim? Ooooops...

Overheard #59

Not technically an overheard, as I read it. Overread? Anyway, it's too good not to share (and my blog so my rules :)
"Don't flatter youself that munching chicken salad in the Ivy with the cast of Holby City makes you St Francis of Assisi."

Wilshere Class

This is rapidly turning into a football blog. Sorry about that, but the quality of some/most/all of Arsenal's youngsters last night was breathtaking. 

Five English players were in the starting line-up, one of whom was 16-year-old Jack Wilshere who once again impressed. Direct, with poise under pressure, the ability to ride a tackle and a keen eye for a through ball, he provided the eye-of-a-needle pass for Simpson's first goal. As Gunnerblog said,
"Fabio Capello was in the crowd last night, and I doubt it was to watch Titus Bramble."
which made me laugh a lot. 

It was the usual £10/£5 tickets so myself, Paul, Jenny and PJ joined a full-house Emirates (over 59,000 for a mid-week Carling Cup game?!!) and watched as the little scamps took Wigan to pieces, with Ramsey impressing again in midfield, Djourou a rock in defence and Vela scoring another sublime chip:

A word too for Fabianski who produced a close-range double save of the highest order near the end to deny De Ridder and then Zaki a consolation goal. 

So the quarter-final draw is on Saturday. Who's next for the kids - Spurs again?

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Is It Just Me...

...or does the name of this elevator company have to be a deliberate pun?

(click to enlarge)

No, no, I can wait...

Monday, 10 November 2008

Some People Have Too Much Time On Their Hands

Overheard #58

I forget the context, but we were in Brighton:
"It was like a slightly hoarse goth. Or a slightly goth horse.

Samir We Go Again

What a match.

Two proper footballing sides playing proper football. You can stuff your long throw routines up your arse; that's what this game is all about. Even Fergie admitted afterwards:
"Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say that if you're going to be beaten make sure it is against a team that plays football."
And this is the way to win a match; watch Walcott's run across the edge of the box that drags three players out of position and opens up the gap, Nasri runs into the space, Cesc plays him in, thunderous shot, two-nil:

Of course, the question is still, "What do we do at 0-0 after 85 minutes when the opposition have had nine men behind the ball for the entire game?" but the amount of confidence this win will bring to the dressing room is immense. Love it. Still 6 points off the pace and United have a game in hand, but feels much better to be a Gooner today!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Overheard #57


So I asked her, "How many glowsticks would you need to make a necklace?"

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Friday, 31 October 2008

Overheard #56

All similes, all the time:
I was drawn to it like a moth to a drum solo.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Four Charity

I forgot to say previously that long-time Spuds fan Julian and I have had a small wager over the last few seasons, involving who would finish higher in the league at the end of the season. 

So far, he owes me £40. 

Given the appalling start by his lot this year, I took pity and agreed to bundle the winnings onto last night's match, double or quits again - Arsenal win, £80 to me; Spurs win, debt wiped out.

Of course, it was only a draw! So the money is going to charity (Macmillan Cancer Support, in case you were interested)

See, some good does come out of gambling (we still should have won though....grrrrr)

Four Heavens Sake

Last night I arranged to meet Jason at the East Dulwich Tavern to watch the football, something that happens far too infrequently due to our 'busy social schedules' (him launching record labels; me mostly reading The Gruffalo). Anyway at half-time in a thrilling end-to-end North London derby, I turned to him and said:
"You know what, mate, this could end four-all..."
Guess what.

I wouldn't mind -- it was top quality entertainment -- but we threw away a two-goal lead in the last minute. Super goal from Jenas to make it 4-3 but why, oh why can't we kill a game off? Some of the most talented young players of a generation and they give possession away in their own half, forget to close the opposition down and allow the smallest player on the pitch to sneak in for a rebound off the post. We went to sleep and paid the price. Wenger must be fuming; I know I am.


Wednesday, 29 October 2008

White/Black Swans

Beautiful looking prototype game where you shoot black paintballs to reveal your entirely white surroundings (and vice versa). Watch the demo here:

The Unfinished Swan

(I wonder if the game might end when you run out of paint and are left, wandering alone and snow-blind in a colourless wilderness.)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Overheard #55

This just in by pigeon from our North of England correspondent:
"What's five pounds in Swedish Francs?"

Particle Me Elmo*

Whilst putting Freyja to bed the other evening, we were just getting to the end of The Gruffalo when she suddenly came out with "Do you know what, Daddy, when I grow up, I want to be a particle physicist". OK, she didn't really, but I might have to get her these anyway:

Not bad for a fiver each. Oh, hang on, shocking £/$ exchange rate recalculation coming up, more like £6.50! Personal favourite is the Gluon (closely followed by the ninja-like Neutrinos!)

* oh come on, I thought that was rather good.

Monday, 27 October 2008

On Yer Bike

Say what you like about Clarkson, but he and I are in total agreement about the ridiculous world of the motorbike:

"What I’m trying to say here is that, yes, bikes and cars are both forms of transport, but they have nothing in common. Imagining that you can ride a bike because you can drive a car is like imagining you can swallow-dive off a 90ft cliff because you can play table tennis."

Friday, 24 October 2008

Make It So(ny)

It. Is. Done.

A life-changing event has befallen us. Our inner sanctum will never be the same again. Let us breathe deeply, cast out thoughts of ancient times and reach out -- onwards, upwards to a new beginning. This is Day One, Ground Zero, Point Break, Face Off, Layer Cake, Don't Tell Mom The Babysitters Dead [stop now - Movie Ed.]. It's the launchpad to a better world. To infinity ... and beyond.

Yes, I've got a new phone.

But are you sitting down?

Because it's not a Nokia.

*pause for collective gasp of gathered crowd, smelling salts to be liberally applied, children removed to a safe haven and learnéd philosophers to be consulted as to whether the Earth is still on its axis*

Currently nestled in my slightly-clammy palm is a shiny new SonyEricsson C902. It's lovely. Sleek, understated graphite design. Crisp, clear screen & responsive keypad. Quad-band, 3G HSDPA and Bluetooth. MP3/AAC/FM radio and really impressive sound quality. Clever touchscreen 'hotspot' features for the camera options. Oh, did I mention the camera? 5.0 megapixel -- with a flash. A flash I tell you! On a phone!

But the best bit, the thing that makes me grin like a moron, is how you activate the lens cover. You slide the end of the phone out - like Bond' Minolta spy camera in OHMSS! Look, here in this somewhat OTT promo video:

Yes, yes, I'm sure there'll be a new one out in about, oooh, fifteen minutes that makes mine appear like this, but for the moment I simply don't care. Loyal readers (and anyone unlucky enough to get caught at the bar with me) will know that I have roundly derided Sony for its ongoing proprietary attitude to file formats, memory sticks and the like but I'll forgive them (for a bit, natch) on the back of this shiny little bit of gadgety goodness.

Sorry, Nokia, but just so you know where I am -- I'm out. It's been fun. But my head has been turned by the dark side, mwahahahahaha.

Right, who shall I call?

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Straight To Hull

Whether you are a believer or not, you have to admit this is rather good:

The Atheist Bus Campaign launches today, Tuesday October 21 2008. With your support, we hope to raise £5,500 to run 30 buses across the capital for four weeks with the slogan: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life."
Original target = £5,500.

Currently (8:29am, 22 Oct 08) = £51,480 (and counting!!!)

Monday, 20 October 2008

Yes You Can

This is quite a cool online generator thingy:

Soft Drink Can Generator
Soda. Pop. Coke. Whatever you choose to call it, welcome to the Soft Drink Can Generator, where you can create your own brand of carbonated sugar water. Enter some text, choose an emblem, pick your colors and patterns, and click the 'Go' button. A soft drink can will be generated for you. Collect 'em, trade 'em, put 'em on your website, or e-mail 'em to your friends.
OK, "trade 'em" may be pushing it but it's quite fun. I've gone for a kind of 'knock-off slightly-murky ginger-esque beer' look for mine. Oh, and an added bonus pun for those that know me:

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Rhapsody In Blue And White Stripes

Another fantastic Danny Baker moment - a version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody with every word replaced by a footballer's name. Why? Just because. Listen:

Update: since I bothered to edit the MP3 down, there is now a YouTube version with video and everything:

All together now "Cousins Sealey Mathers ... Pugh Geeeeee".

Brilliant. People are staring at me in the office, chuckling like a simpleton.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

At De End Of Der Day

This guy is hilarious, I really like 'Squeaky' Stevie G and the fact that it's apparently been recorded in Lidl:

Actually, Lidl sounds like it should be a Scouse dialect; perhaps a particularly obscure one from the less-leafy bits of Toxteth.
Eh, what's up with 'im? Calm down, he's just talking that Lidl (and that).

Monday, 13 October 2008

Overheard #54

Ah, religion.

"I think my mother thought she could pray it out of me..."

Monday, 6 October 2008

Overheard #53

So we're quite busy at work:
Yes, I had a look this morning at a time before I'd finished doing it yesterday.

Electronic Explorations FTW strikes again - just stumbled across this weekly podcast from Rob Booth (ex-R1 Breezeblock) with guest appearances from various luminaries of dubstep, minimal electronica & techno:

Electronic Explorations

Very much enjoying Week 021 (Bitesize Beats & 2562) at the moment. And if all that meant nothing whatsoever to you, you're almost certainly saner than me. Carry on.

Dream Caused By The Flight Of A Bee Around A Lollipop?

I do love Danny Baker and catching up with his recent 606 podcast, hidden within a discussion about the wearing of an old Sheffield Wednesday shirt abroad, I was utterly astonished to find out that Salvador Dali designed the Chupa Chups logo:

Actually, so was Danny; he still wasn't buying it at the end of the show. Have a listen:


Friday, 3 October 2008

Joke In 'Ere

You couldn't make it up. I do have a small soft spot for Newcastle; whilst at University there, I spent some very happy afternoons in The Strawberry public house, (sadly no longer) right in the shadow of St James's Park. But this is madness:

Well done Joe, way to go mate. Keep the press on your side and you may have had a slim chance. But you've utterly screwed it. If there's anyone that bears a grudge more than policemen and judges, it's journalists.

The Black & White circus continues...

Thursday, 2 October 2008

State Of Things

Following a random workplace discussion about potatoes*, I have recently discovered that Iowa's nickname is the Hawkeye State.

I had no idea they were so into their cricket; perhaps a potential venue for a GRACC tour?


* marginally less depressing than the FTSE at the moment...

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Overheard #52

I forget which of my field operatives reported this, but thanks!

Scene 1. A high-street shop: interior, daytime

"So what is it we've come in here for that we don't want?"

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Tiger Tiger

It must be dreadfully boring to support a team that wins all the time

Wednesday : The Joy Of Six (Arsenal 6 - 0 Sheff Utd)

Saturday : Straight To Hull (Arsenal 1 - 2 Hull City)

Hopefully we're getting this out of our system early in the season, but it's still infuriating to say the least. Where was the passion, the drive, the energy shown by our 19-year olds in midweek? Ah yes, they are all still striving to make a name for themselves, presumably paid a reasonable (but not ridiculous) salary whilst hoping to emulate their seniors and play at the highest level. Our first team looked bereft of ideas, possibly assuming Hull were just there to have a nice day out and try the famous balti pies. Well wake up, Gunners, it's no good battling to draws and even victories against the other members of the so-called Top Four, if we throw away any advantage by stumbling to defeat against the likes of Fulham and Hull.

Personally, I think Chelsea are nailed on for the title this year, given the money they have spent and the players they have brought in (imagine Deco alongside Fabregas in our midfield!) but whilst I agree 100% with Wenger's stubborn refusal to get into the big boys money pissing competition and instead try to organically grow the team from seed wherever possible, it still has to generate points on the board at some stage. Buying trophies is no fun, but winning them still is. Come on you Reds, sort it out...

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Era We Go Again

Barney Ronay on Arsenal's U-11s:

Very funny :)

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Utter Kaos

Almost worth getting a Nintendo DS for this little beauty:

Game review: Korg DS-10
"...a perfect reconstruction of the Korg MS-10 - an analogue, monophonic synthesizer that has had rave reviews ever since it arrived in 1978. The DS-10 is slightly better than the MS-10: while it faithfully recreates the former's sound, it has a Kaos Pad interface which the MS-10 lacked. As well as a virtual keyboard and sequencers galore, it has knob-and-pinboard patch panels for tweaking synth and even drum sounds to near-destruction."

Monday, 22 September 2008

Overheard #51

I was about to say that:

Of course, in Brazilian logic contradictions are not necessarily false.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Aphex Twin Girl

I'm sure this is all over the intertubes, but it's very cool (and just the sort of thing I'd like to try with Freyja, if I ever get any free time whatsoever again :)

Monday, 15 September 2008


Christmas is coming (via engadget)...

TrekStor: USBeer*

* and if it isn't called USBeer, it really ought to be...

French Orelsan

J'aime ceci beaucoup:

Anyone who can rhyme "tetes des jeunes" with "Playstation" is OK in my book :)

Tanks On The Lawn

Nicely measured response from Goonerboy post the Abu Dhabi takeover at Man City (and their subsequent backtracking once they realised the true sorry state of the club, post-Frank)

Goonerboy: Enough is Enough

Personally I think it's gone too far to come back, the sport has already lost any connection to its local roots. How long before we have a summer all-star tournament sponsored by global billionaires with teams bidding for the services of international players competing for untold millions in prize money.

Couldn't happen? Look at cricket. The Indian Premier League? Stanford 20/20? Sorry football, you're next.

Thursday, 11 September 2008


Hat-trick for young Mr Walcott last night against Croatia (1, 2, 3 via 101 Great Goals)!!

* and that one IS mine!

Girl Turk*

Remember the fuss about Girl Talk's "Feed The Animals" album? Andy Baio at decided to compile the metadata for the various (264!) samples included in all 14 tracks, using Amazon's Mechanical Turk (on-demand scalable workforce) service.

And then made some rather nice graphical charts. I like it a lot.

* I cannot claim this one, for shame!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

What Shutter Speed Would You Need In A Black Hole?

From some almost scientific prodding of my left knee, it appears they haven't brought about the end of the world (yet) so here are some (30) rather nice snaps of the thing they're all calling the Armageddon Machine Large Hadron Collider, located somewhere under most of Geneva:

Pretty, isn't it?

(via Neatorama)

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

What A Brick

This is quite charming. Only took two days, apparently:

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Chrome Plated

As kottke says, people have been speculating about this for over 7 years:

Google Chrome
"All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser.

What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build.

On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn't the browser that matters. It's only a tool to run the important stuff -- the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go."

This is going to be worth a look :)

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Overheard #50

A suitable way to bring up the half-century...
"If I'm honest, I really don't think we should be encouraging people to take short trading positions on our cricket club Christmas dinner..."

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Frok Hedanls

We've all seen the research that says:
It deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae and you can sitll raed it.
Well now you can test it on the interwebs:

Reading Test

Strangely compelling...

As Broad As Its Long

My Man Stu(TM) does it again

South Africa 83 all out (Broad 5-23, Flintoff 3-29)
England 85 for 0 (Prior 45)

Whilst admiring the young paceman's achievement, I was struck by the similarity of the following two pictures:

Oh, come on, let a chap have his day :))

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Ken Lee

OK, I give up, failblog wins:

Tulibu dibu douchoo? Gesundheit!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Are We Charlton In Disguise?

This is what an Arsenal shirt should look like:

This is what our current home shirt looks like:

And this is what a Charlton shirt looks like:

And this is today's result:

Draw your own conclusions, I'm too furious.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Nix Mux

That didn't last long:
"Muxtape will be unavailable for a brief period while we sort out a problem with the RIAA. "
Nicely underplayed...


Change those default router passwords, kids:

* this is funny to about three people :)

Monday, 18 August 2008

Devon Knows

A funny thing happened last Wednesday. I took the wicket of an England international cricketer. Clean bowled, middle stump, for a duck, at The Oval. Now before you start going through the bins to see what kind of absinthe I was on the night before, gentle reader, please carry on...

Ollie, one of the fine members of the Gentleman's Relish Amateur Cricket Club, won a prize draw to play in an invitational Twenty20 sponsored by Betfair. After we'd all stopped jumping up and down, details emerged that we were to play a representative team from that esteemed organ [insert your own joke here] The Sun, who were raising money for a war veterans charity. Each team was to be captained by an ex-England international; in our case, the very talented (6-60 against the Aussies) but sadly underused Dean Headley and for the Currant Bun, one Devon Malcolm, conquerer of the Saffers at the Oval with 9-57 in 1994.

Now a full report will be posted shortly on the GRACC site but it was a fantastic match, with two remarkably similar innings - early wickets, middle order taking back control, the extras mounting up before a flurry of runs and wickets again at the tail.

Even though we narrowly lost (by just 2 runs!) we had a brilliant day, the highlights being Dave ripping the heart out of their top order with 4 for 15, Damien's massive six into the stands and, without getting too carried away, the most amazing, astonishing, absolutely astounding moment of my cricketing career - bowling ex-England international fast bowling legend Devon Malcolm for 0. Inswinging yorker, beat the bat, right through the gate, timber everywhere. What's that you say? Yes, yes - but where are the photos*?

Oh, go on then...

* And huge thanks to Katie's dad, Gus, for the snaps; talk about shot(s) of a lifetime!

Friday, 15 August 2008



Although when I think about it, there do seem to be less language nerds around than there used to be.


Just A Blip?

Ian Tait over at crackunit thinks this might just be the best thing ever:

As he says:
It’s like the best bits of, twitter, and muxtape all rolled into one. And it plays nicely with all the web stuff it ought to.
Agreed - get up and join at once. Just do. See you over there...

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Overheard #49

I'm still trying to work out the logic on this one:
It still would have been after you'd left, even if you'd left later, which you didn't.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Kith And Kinder

Brooker spot on again - couldn't agree more, as I believe I said (perhaps with a shade less acerbity) here earlier in the year:

Mollycoddled prisoners

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Morning Has Bacon

Saw this and thought of winjer:

Wake 'n' Bacon

When's yer birfday again?

Smelly Bears Seen Exiting Woods

Following on from this and this, come the (renegade) masters of the bleedin' obvious with this:

You. Don't. Say.

However, this line from the wonderfully titled Barry Slotnick (happy days at school, Barry?) I think tilts it inadvertently more towards Greg Gillis (but then again I never did finish that law degree):
“What you can’t do is substitute someone else’s creativity for your own.”
No, that would be stealing. But there is a long history of putting bits and pieces and sounds together and calling it musique concrete, no? So who decides how much is a substantial part and how much is just a relatively insignificant bit of a larger work - that has to be the courts. This could get interesting, if someone really wants to challenge him. It's not just one (highly recognisable) sample looped over and over whilst MC Thingummy does his schtick over the top - this is possibly a new genre.

Of course, if they have any brains left up their noses, they will simply do the sensible thing and clamour like mad to be part of his next compilation - think of the publicity, dudes...


Winning Post(er)

Now I am no film buff (or even fully-clothed) but this quiz from Empire is rather fun, being much better for those of us who have seen an awful lot of posters but, frankly, a pitiful number of films:

"Can you guess the movie from just one letter of the poster?"

No cheating!*

Go on, reveal your score in the comments (and Alex, I expect absolutely 100% from you and Nick or there may be mocking...)

* by clicking on the letter which pops up the answer - anyway, as if you would... cheat... in an online quiz... I mean, really... tsk... etc...

Sunday, 3 August 2008

En Vacances

Currently, here at Lascombe (just outside Cahors in southern France) the temperature is a blistering 34C (93F in old money) and the sky looks like an Yves Klein canvas:

Now some of you will be thinking, "Yeah, right, he's just put a bit of Yves Klein canvas up, the cheating monkey" so here is the same shot with a bit of foliage in it, innit:

It's bloody hot :)

Friday, 25 July 2008

Diplo v Santogold FTW

Awesome - the blogs are all over this like a nasty nylon rash and the full mix is available here but you should really really REALLY just pre-order the CD on Amazon:


1. Dub Selection Intro
2. 3-6 Mafia - Late Night (Unstoppable Mix)
3. Santogold - Shuv It (Disco D Blend)
4. Santogold - I’m A Lady (Diplo Mix Ft Amanda Blank)
5. Sir Mixalot - Posse On Broadway
6. Santogold - Lights Out (Diplo’s Panda Bear Mix)
7. Aretha Franklin - Save Me
8. Devo - Be Stiff
9. B52’s - Mesopotamia
10. Gerri And The Holograms - Gerri And The Holograms
11. Santogold - Anne (Switch Mix)
12. Santogold - LES Artistes (XXXchange Mix Ft Movado)
13. Cutty Ranks - Dutty Six Pack
14. Santogold - Find A Way (Graeme & Switch Mix Ft Kid Cudi)/ Lunar Camel
15. Richie Spice x Ratatat - Marijuana
16. Desmond Dekker - Shanty Town
17. Santogold - Guns Of Brooklyn
18. Dixie Cups - Iko Iko
19. Tony Matterhorn - Big Belly Guns
20. Santogold - Get It Up (Radioclit mix Ft MIA & Gorilla Zoe)
21. Mark Ronson In Studio
22. Trouble Andrew - Run - Hide
23. Sister Nancy - Pigeon Rock
24. Nora Dean - Barbwire
25. Shinehead - Know How Fe Chat
26. Clash - Ghetto Defendant
27. Warrior Queen - Check It
28. Santogold x Benga - Unstoppable / Night Dub
29. Shawty Lo x Skream - They Know / Stagger
30. Santogold - Creator (Mumdance Mix ft Jammer, Badness, Chronik Rage, Slikman & Tempz)
31. Xray / Turbulence Duplate (Starstruck Diplo Mix)
32. Barrington Levy - Send A Moses
33. Prince Jazzbo - Ital Corner
34. Santogold - Icarus
35. Santogold x Diplo - Right Brigade (hidden track)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Saturday's Alright For Breakfast

Last Saturday, we suddenly had a free weekend so Solveig decided to get her hair done in East Dulwich. We piled into the dark-green-medium-sized-middle-aged-French-family-car and thought we might take in some breakfast on the way. Due to some serious faffing (me) in Ed, it turned out that we didn't have very much time in the end and in a bit of a panic we stumbled through the doors of what I initially thought was just a wine shop but which turned out to be attached to a really fantastic little café called Green & Blue on Lordship Lane.

Solveig shot off to her appointment and I settled in with a really great coffee and some warm ham & cheese croissants (although I want to go back and try the home-made baked beans on rye bread which I jealously watched being taken to another table). Freyja was very happy with her cloudy apple juice and scoffed all the 'hom' in sight...

...and Theo was impeccably behaved as usual:

Up to the park at Goose Green next for some running and sliding and climbing and rocking and swinging...
...where I noticed the Carhartt-clad Dulwich dads were out in force (eight of them - I rather got the feeling they're turfed out on a Saturday morning and told not to come back until Football Focus is on). Quality time indeed - added to which, Solveig came back with a great new haircut and we bought fantastic food (lamb rolls, sweet potato pies, harissa & bean salad) from the Northcross Road street market for an al fresco lunch back home in the garden:


I realise I don't often post about family things (Solveig does it so much better!) but this was just so very nice indeed :)

Overheard #48

Nice comeback.
"Your input would be appreciated."
"Well, I've heard better chat-up lines but...."

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Purl Pot?

Jaw droppingly, er, jaw dropping:

I really did like the comment from the Jewish Network though:
"You would hope people would have more sense than to take a cuddly Hitler into work."
Er, yes. Yes, you probably would. Wouldn't you? Yes.

(thanks, Urban Woo)

Monday, 21 July 2008

Coming In Your Ears

No, not Chorley FM but 96.2 The Revolution, the line-up of which looks like a Who's Who of Madchester let loose on the airwaves. Coherence apparently optional :)

Listen live now >>> 96.2 The Rev Live

Overheard #47

Coo, it's been a while; I don't have an excuse (my ears have been at the dry cleaners?)

" they need to go up to the Fifth Floor for a scope around."
"Scope around?"
"Scope around!"
"Scope up, scope up and get down..."
You had to be there. No, you really did.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Watch Girl Talk

After offmessage posted about the brilliant Girl Talk mashup album, 'Feed The Animals' (well worth checking out if you can still find it) there are now video versions of a couple of sections of it which have popped up on YouTube:

Very nicely done, sir.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Comma Have A Go

This made me chuckle; perhaps I have found my superhero character of the future?

Click to enlarge

More of the same at the rut.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Tellier What

When we used to live in Hong Kong, I distinctly remember my father bringing home some cassettes of Jean Michel Jarre (I initially thought it was The Concerts In China but that wasn't until 1981 so it must have been something else - Equinoxe?). Whatever you think of his concerts (and looking back with the jaundiced eye of a some-time electronic artist, they were perhaps rather pompous) with his banks of massive synths and radical laser shows, it fair blew the mind of this 8-year old boy and I was definitely hooked on all forms of electronica from then on.

Anyway, thirty-odd years later, recently perusing one of the many (27 and counting) MP3 blogs in my RSS reader, I came across a remix of a Sebastian Tellier* track (the ridiculously titled 'Sexual Sportswear') which took me right back to those early days of JMJ discovery:

What do you reckon, Dad, have things come full circle?

* Yes, the very chap that represented France in the Eurovision Song Contest this year. He came 18th; the UK came joint last with Germany and Poland. No, my pleasure...

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Movies By Fax

Nice take on the MPAA et al and their pursuit of alleged copyright infringers:

Cory Doctorow: Getting tough on copyright enforcers

Monday, 30 June 2008

In, Out, Zoom It All About

So upgrading to Firefox 3, then. Very nice, lots of spiffy features, faster page load times, better rendering, etc. The world and his wife have blogged about it, no need to say any more here - but wait!

Something is not quite right. Why does the...when I...what the? Could they possibly have reversed the directions of the handy Ctrl+ScrollWheel zoom in/out feature?


And that does not bode well for the muscle memory of long-term users of the aforementioned feature like what I am. Still, about:config to the rescue; make the following change (default value is 1):
mousewheel.withcontrolkey.numlines = -1
More riveting debate on this issue here: Mozilla Bug #141476

I am in total agreement with the last commenter:
Pulling the mousewheel DOWN is like PULLING the page toward you. Pushing the mousewheel UP is like PUSHING the page away from you. Think of how a fishing reel or a pulley works.
Er, yes. Carry on :)

Thursday, 26 June 2008

All Seeing iPlayer

I really love the BBC iPlayer; knocks Channel 4's feeble IE6+7 only(!) VOD thing into a cocked hat - and so it should: licence fee money, public responsibility, blah blah blah. However, I see they are about to launch an updated version with combined TV/Radio, easier to navigate user console, ability to resume playback later, a series link style function on your personalised homepage, RSS feeds allowing for mashup potential (yeah!) and a 25% bigger screen. More details:

BBC Internet Blog: iPlayer 2.0

Anyone want to buy a telly? :)

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Give It Some Tap

Bloody hell, what were they bowling at him, meat pies?

Awesome Napier shatters records
"Graham Napier rewrote the record books by hitting the most sixes in a Twenty20 innings on his way to the highest individual score in the Twenty20 Cup. The Essex batsman hit 16 sixes as he blazed his way to an astonishing 152 not out off just 58 deliveries."
GRACC members take note for our Inaugural International Twenty20 Challenge on Saturday...

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Zattoo Much For You?

Telly being hogged by kids addicted to Boogie Beebies and 64 Zoo Lane? No bother, just install Zattoo and enjoy live streaming terrestrial channels on your PC. Apparently, due a copyright loophole, this is a legal P2P service (albeit in a grey area to do with the uninterrupted re-transmission of 'public service' broadcasting) and it works incredibly well:

Bring on the French Grand Prix at lunchtime (I'll be in the garden...)

UPDATE: screenshot from Ubuntu about 5 mins ago with Zattoo in action alongside Firefox and IRC (yes, I got madwifi for Atheros working eventually):

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Block The Doors*

Oooh, this is just the greatesty thing:

With 'minifigs'...

* and hope they don't have blasters...

Friday, 13 June 2008

Blistering Paste Of Change

Back in the long distant past, possibly some time just after Mafeking was relieved, we bought two rolls of rather nice Laura Ashley wallpaper to cover up the hideous peach abomination left in our bedroom by the clearly colour- and taste-blind previous owners.

Due to a not inconsiderable (and, in my view, perfectly justified) fear of making a complete and utter balls of it, these rolls of doom have laid (lain? lied? layeth?) under the bed for months, taunting me from their prone position in the shadows into questioning my very existence as husband, father, son and life member of 'the mens' club. Finally, I could take no more and called my Dad on the electric telling-phone:
Me: "Excuse me, oh good and great Pater of mine, how tricky is that wallpapering thing like what I have heard so much about, then?"

Dad: "Pfft, nothing to it. You remember I once papered the walls and ceiling of the house in Deramore Drive in York with hessian...??"
Pausing only to painfully recall what it was like to be a nine year old boy living inside what was to all intents and purposes a semi-detached coconut, I invited him to come down from t'Dales and pass on the requisite dad-skills. Ten days and one quick trip to Wickes later ("What do you mean you don't own a pasting table?!"), we were all set.

I can happily admit here in this very public forum that measuring, cutting and pasting that first piece of very expensive paper took me nearly an hour. An HOUR. I've never been so nervous in all my life* - especially as it turned out we were on the absolute limit of drops-per-roll for the size of wall and could not afford even a single torn piece (the event of which would mean having to down tools and head for the nearest Laura Ashley in a desperate attempt to find a roll with the right batch number - not fun).

Gradually, despite the best efforts of the somewhat wonky Victorian bedroom walls and ceiling (cue much "Oh, thou wantest a right angle Squire Blythe? Ho ho, that's a good 'un, did you hear that, stap me vitals" etc and so on) I just about got into a rhythm - measure drop, measure paper, measure paper again, cut paper, paste paper, paste wall, hang, slide, match, brush (top > sides > bottom), brush excess out, trim ends, sponge wall, drink tea - and roughly half the job was done in not much over two hours. I was actually starting (almost) to enjoy it when suddenly...
Me: " what do I do about these here electrical sockets and that?"

Dad: "You cut like what is called an 'ole in it, son"

Me: "I do ... WTF?"
In fact, despite the nervous wielding of extremely sharp scissors (thanks, Wickes!) this was not as bad as it sounded and, whilst remembering we had absolutely no slack on spare paper, I papered right over the socket (that felt insane) then cut an 'X' to feed the socket through, and trimmed the triangular bits once it was tucked behind. Screw the socket back on et voilá! Perfection (steady on now - Bravado Ed.)

And suddenly, if suddenly can be applied to what was for some parties a slightly sticky three-hour tea drinking marathon, we were at the last drop:

More observant readers will have noted the casual stance adopted above - perhaps as if one were leaning on a lamp-post at the corner of the street until a certain little lady comes by, rather than desperately pushing a particularly stubborn air bubble to the side of the wall for the umpteeenth time.

Still. It is done. And if anyone is still reading after this incredibly boring and self-indulgent post (is there any other kind of blog?) then here is the wall as it currently looks:

But wait - there is a faint purpose to this nonsense. Yes, with this Sunday being 'Father's Day' (and you can put that apostrophe where the hell you please, my fellow pedant-o-bots) I would finally like to propose a toast:

Thanks Dad, for putting up with my cack-handed DIY skills and general procrastination for some 37.5 years. Here's to you. Cheers!!

* perhaps apart from my Grade 8 flute exam, opening the batting on the 1990 Old Woodleighans XI tour of Durham** and a Lewisham midwife handing me a very tiny Freyja.

** I got a third-ball duck, since you ask.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Overheard #46

Tales from the bleeding edge of nu meejah:
"He is basically the world's most unanimated Flash developer."

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Twitter And Bisted

How very true:

(click to enlarge)

Copper Load Of That

Very nicely done:

"This is Police Constable Brian Plectrum. He is the world's largest policeman. He is 66 feet tall. PC Plectrum often stands in the centre of London looking out for criminals. Sometimes a police helicopter will arrive to deliver sandwiches and wave hello."

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Overheard #45

What goes in Vegas, stays in Vegas:
"So Mindy? If I'm standing, I'm drinking..."

Monday, 2 June 2008

Preparing The Desktop

So I have taken the plunge and got a new laptop, an Asus X51RL. Decent spec for a nice price, top job, well done

Anyway, it comes with Windows Vista, so in the interests of science and fair investigation, I have unboxed and fired it up (don't worry, the Ubuntu disc is standing by...)

At present, I have been bewitched by the following helpful messages, for literally minutes at a time:
Vista is checking your computer to determine its capabilities
Preparing your personalised desktop - please wait...
Vista needs your permission to continue*
Your computer must be restarted now
Configuring updates...
This is a pre-installed operating system! What happened to open the box, detect the nearest wireless network and off you go? It does seem to be a bit of a Vistastrophe so far...

So far, Vista looks very pretty (having seemingly nicked as much of the eye candy as possible from Mac OS-X and Google Desktop) but as for getting anything done? I'll tell you later. Much later. Perhaps "Windows Vista: Ultimate Paranoia (Are You Sure?) Edition (Y/N?)" might be the next version. I eventually had to fire up the Eee to write this post :)

* oh, this one has got very annoying already...


Much as I would like 'friv' to become the insult of choice for a new generation ("Oh, you complete and utter friv, Fortesque-Smythe") it also happens to be a portal to just about every excellent Flash game released on t'internet:


There goes the afternoon...

Friday, 30 May 2008

Overheard #44

An impromptu sports day, possibly on the South Coast:
"Come on fatty, hurry up and start jumping!"

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Dandy Racquetball

"Scoring is bourgeouis." But watch this anyway:

Robert Newman's History of Oil

It may be 45'23" but blimey...

Monday, 26 May 2008

Overheard #43

OK, so this was 'overheard' off The Apprentice (S4:E9), but it was just too good:
"It's quite an emotive piece, which you can't replicate when you're in a people carrier."

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Square Arrow Triangle Dance*

So I stumbled across the AMVI theory via Neatorama and it seemed like an interesting idea:

AMVI: Associative Musical Visual Intelligence

"Associative Musical Visual Intelligence is a type of intelligence that's difficult enough to define, let alone test. Many creative people can associate across sensory domains: they "hear" hints of shapes and can "taste" the essense of colors. At its most extreme this phenomenon is called syntesthesia. However, I believe that creative people subconsciously employ elements of syntesthesia every day when attempting to think of things in new ways. This test attempts to measure one's ability to associate musical phrases with abstract shapes and symbols."

So I take the test (disclosure: I do have A level music and Grade 8 flute but at the time of the test I had also sunk a couple of fairly large gins) and get 95% (19 out of 20) which is :

Maybe I'm wasted in investment banking. At the very least, I should pick up the saxophone again :)

* this will mean nothing unless you take the test - in fact, I'd be interested in your scores -> comments please!

Skinny Latte Anyone?

The perfectly pleasant Michael, who runs the Costa stand next to Citypoint, has suddenly got a lot to live up to:

(Insert your own gags about lightly steamed milk; I've got Eurovision to watch...)

Friday, 23 May 2008

Ding Dang Dung


It seems to be time for the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest already. Since the success of the magnificently inappropriate Lordi in 2006 and bespectacled radical Flump Marija Serifovic in 2007, I have absolutely no idea who might win. To be fair, neither do I give a flying muskrat. What I do know is that they will be hard pushed to scale the dizzying heights of Teach-in from the Netherlands in 1975. Now I'm pretty sure they weren't miming, coz that ain't allowed, so the sync on the video must be terrible. Anyway, enjoy:

Despite the fact that the start of the middle eight is a dead ringer for the Grandstand theme, get a load of the pianist's trouser/boot combo as well as the fact that the guitarist on the right is clearly about 8'3" and wouldn't have been out of place in the aforementioned Lordi. Genius. Altogether now:

"Ding-a-dong every hour,
When you pick a flower,
Even when your lover is gone gone gone..."

Awesome. Especially the face on the xylophonist* at the end.

* I imagine it might be some sort of vibraphone but 'xylophonist' was too good to resist. How many times a year do you get to put that in a blog post, eh?