Category Archives: Blog

My blog and occasional comment on current affairs.

Ansel Adams – Photography from the mountains to the sea

I saw this exhibition yesterday at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (London). It was downright awe inspiring. Alongside Cartier Bresson, Adams is probably my favorite photographer in equal first place. I guess I’m a sucker for black and white photos.

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams is best known for his stunningly detailed photographs of American landscapes. In particular Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, Death Valley, and the Californian coast. He does do smaller more intimate pictures but my favorites are his huge and epic pieces. You can see a few at the the bottom of this post but quite frankly, the only way to do justice to his work is to see it on a larger scale. Which means you should go and see this exhibition if you happen to be in London. I have been a fan of Ansel Adams since I was a kid and this is a worthwhile exhibition with a variety of examples of his work – from the small and intimate to the large and epic. There are also a couple of interesting documentaries.

ANSEL ADAMS Photography from the Mountains to the Sea is on at the National Maritime Museum (which is fascinating anyway) from 9th November 2012 to 28th April 2013.

As promised here are some bigger pictures. Imagine them even bigger.

Ansel Adams

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Richard Feynman’s Ode to a Flower

I found this brilliant and touching and admirable. I love the scientific mind, the need to question everything, to test things, to find out what makes them them tick. This is from a BBC interview entitled ‘The Pleasure of Finding Things Out’. Which says it all.

As Feynmam argues here when discussing aesthetics and the beauty of a flower, understanding only adds to our appreciation of our existence and our surroundings. I don’t need a deity to have made everything by magic, I am awestruck by how nature and the universe actually work. I apologise for my serious and philosophical tone but it is 9am on a Sunday, I am up, and people are going to the church 50 feet away. It has made me wax lyrical for some reason. Enjoy.

Happy Christmas from the Word of Ward

There is no justification for this picture but here it is anyway.

Happy Christmas wonderful readers! If you aren’t a Christian, then happy Tuesday! No need to worry really Christmas is hardly a religious thing. Like Easter it is a made up date supposedly celebrating something to do with Jesus but in actuality is a mashup of wacky traditions. You don’t have to be religious to like Santa, Christmas trees, presents, the Easter Bunny, chocolate, and so on. So feel free to go mad.

I was going to write this tomorrow on Christmas day but I have been a good boy this year so I will probably be playing Assassin’s Creed 3 and watching Doctor Who as God intended. I doubt you will read this till at least Boxing Day anyway.

In case you aren’t lucky enough to be a Londoner I found this great time-lapse thing for you to enjoy. Lots of lovely Christmas lights to get you in the mood.

So happy Xmas! Enjoy!

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Another Apocalypse is about to not happen

Sadly we aren’t on the moon any more so this must be in the future.

The Mayans predicted that on the 21st December 2012 the world will come to a grisly end and that a few bored and hungry astronauts will be all that remains of humanity. Except they didn’t. Their calendar actually predicted that humans would go through some kind of change and enter a new phase. Maybe the internet becomes sentient and takes over and things actually turn out a lot better. Who knows. Of course the Mayans also seemed to have thought that their culture would be around to witness this ‘change’ so, like every prophet ever, their prediction is likely to be bollocks.

I am clearly a bit sick but there is definitely something that smacks of schadenfreude when a doomsday group sets a date and waits for the Rapture/inevitable disappointment. I’m talking about the nice ones where everyone dresses up in matching ludicrous outfits and when nothing happens, they either justify it somehow or shrug, blush then slink of home regretting that they sold the cat and TV. I think it is because they often get so public about their delusions and probably end up genuinely scaring some vulnerable people that I enjoy seeing a bit of hubris inaction. Or maybe it is the secret joy akin to seeing someone walking into a lamp post – you wince in sympathy but snigger a little deep down. The suicide cults are thankfully very rare and very sad for most of followers who were just misguided and could probably have done with some genuine help.

I’ve lived through quite a few predicted apocalypses. There was a Nostradamus one when I was at school in the 80s (I think his fans ‘reinterpreted’ it afterward to explain it away. On the 6/6/6 a few people predicted doom based on the arbitrary dating system humans invented after incorrectly working out Jesus’ birthday (it’s actually Spring around 5BC). Last year there was that hilarious Rapture fiasco.

It’s going to get hot!

The big one was Y2K because there was a danger that all computers were going to freak. There was a fascinating article in the New York Times written just before 2000 that listed a lot of these doomsday mentalists. Here are some of my favourites:

Elohim City, Muldrow, Okla. Elohim City is an armed compound guided by Robert Millar, 73, a former Mennonite who based his revelations on an eclectic mix of fundamentalist Christianity, racism, pyramidology and astrology. Millar teaches his followers that the Great Tribulation is upon us and that ”worse is to come”when ”Asiatics” invade America. ”I abhor war,” Millar says, ”but it is a foregone conclusion.” He says he believes that Jesus has been revealing himself for 2,000 years and that disasters will strike, possibly by 2006, at which time the ”wicked will be removed” and Elohim City will enjoy an age of peace.

The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days, Manti, Utah. James Harmston, 58, a former real-estate agent, claims he was ordained by Moses and is, according to his followers, the reincarnation of Joseph Smith, the long-dead 19th-century founder of the Mormon Church. Harmston predicts that a period of violent, apocalyptic turmoil will start within five years. In preparation, he started a Mormon survivalist community in the town of Manti, where some 300 armed, food-storing polygamist followers plan to ride it out. (Harmston denies there are arms and food.) Several former members of the sect are suing Harmston, alleging that he duped them for $250,000, and the church has been excommunicated by Mormon authorities in Salt Lake City for”undue preoccupation with Armageddon.” Harmston says he is planning a countersuit.

Chen Tao, near Buffalo. Previously based in Garland, Tex., Chen Tao entered the national spotlight last winter, when its leader, a Taiwanese emigre named Chen Hon Ming, predicted that God would appear on March 25. Overcoming this setback, he has since moved 80 of his Taiwanese followers to a place just outside Buffalo. Dressed in regulation white smocks and cowboy hats, Chen Tao faithful expect Armageddon to start next month, when China invades Taiwan and precipitates a nuclear holocaust. Eventually a third of the world’s population will die, but God will arrive in a”Godplane” to deliver the sect’s believers from doom.

That’s enough for now I guess. There are loads of these and they are fascinating. The link to the NY Times article (which is fascinating) is: www.nytimes.com/1998/12/27/magazine/apocalypse-now-no-really-now.html?pagewanted=all

You’d better read it quick but we are doomed! From something. At somepoint.

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Moving to Europe

Technically Britain is part of Europe but most Brits feel less European than say, a Frenchman or a German does. Actually, Brits consider themselves to be English/Irish/Scottish/Welsh and then, if pushed, British. We feel as if we happen to live next door to Europe and that it is a handy place for holidays and the occasional war. Most of my readership is now American, so in case you guys haven’t been here, this is what it all looks like:

This is all you really need to know

The great thing these days is that you can hop on a train in the centre of London and a couple of hours later be in Europe. My flat is four tube stops from King’s Cross and the Eurostar, which means I only have to change trains once to get to Paris or even nicer places like Belgium. (I’m not being sarcastic by the way, I massively prefer places like Brussels, Bruges and Ghent to Paris.) Recently Mrs Wordofward and I hopped on this train and, ignoring what I just said in the previos sentence, had dinner in Paris. The next morning, we caught the train to Milan where we had another dinner and saw the Last Supper. Then a train to Florence where we stayed for 5 days (and had lots of meals) and then a final train to Rome where we spent another fews days (including a trip to Pompeii) where I ate my own mass in pizza and drank gallons of Chianti. Italy is superb and lives up to all of its stereotypes. Great food, wine, coffee, art, ruins, women (aesthetically) and organisational chaos. Salute Italia!

My point in mentioning all this is not to boast but to er, um, you know… Alright fuck it, I am boasting. It was a cool trip and it is superb to live next to such a varied continent. Europeans have even gotten together and made their currency easier for us with the Euro. (At least until it all collapses.) In fact we have decided to live there it is so damned fantastic. Our prime candidates right now are Prague, Berlin, or Rome. But anywhere is pretty much an option.

I had originally intended to bore the internet with my holiday snaps but my laptop seems to have thrown a hissy fit and is temporarily out of order. Then, while writing this I thought that although 40% of my readership is American, the rest of you wonderful and attractive people come from all over the planet. Roughly 40% from Europe. This equates to 40,000 hits last month from the Continent alone. With this in mind I have just one question for my European chums. Can any of you give me a job? An average paid writing gig would be fine. Or better still, a high powered art-related job for my talented wife.

Answers on an email: thewordofward@gmail.com

Thank you Europe!

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Florence

Ok. Here’s an attempt to post a picture or two.

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I’m in Florence

I probably won’t be writing much for the next few days as I am in Florence. That’s in Italy, in case you are a tad geographically challenged. If you have never been here before, you should. It’s bloody gorgeous. One of the Assassin’s Creed games was set here and bizarrely, it helped me find my way around. I have had to fight my urges to climb and stab people though.
On the plus side, (the negative being that I won’t be writing much) I will have lots of lovely pictures. I recently bought a new phone – a galaxy note 2 – and the camera is actually better than my camera. Which is a bit odd. If I can work out how to post pictures from it then you will be inundated with holiday snaps. If I can’t then I will gripe about it when I am back in London.

Hong Kong. What’s it like?

Hong Kong

I was born in Hong Kong and lived there until I was 21. It is a superlative place. It is like living about 10 years in the future. Hong Kong is like Blade Runner mixed with Minority Report/5th Element/Coruscant. We are actually thinking about moving back there in a couple of years.

People often ask, ‘What is Hong Kong like?’ They just imagine hordes of people shuffling between glass skyscrapers. Which is actually pretty accurate in the business part of town but it has so much more. I could go on and provide a breathtaking description of the contrasting juxtapositions of colonial and modern, of steel towers and palm trees, of ultra modern living and street markets. But I can’t be bothered. So here is a short video that shows all that instead. It is really worth a watch and brought a nostalgic lump to my throat.

So Long, My Hong Kong from Gregory Kane on Vimeo.

 

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Trying the WordPress app

Forgive this unusual post for not being as astoundingly brilliant or as modestly genius as my usual posts. I am trying an experiment. Now that I have a Galaxy Note 2, with a colossal screen, it is considerably easier to write ‘on the go’. By ‘on the go’ I mean ‘in the park/cafe/pub’.

So essentially, the result of this test could change my life. Possibly for the worst but change is good so screw it.

If you can read this, it worked. If you can see this then my camera posting works.

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That was a photo I just took in my flat. I thought it safer to write this first post at home. That way I can check if this works on my laptop. Also my couch is comfy. Sorry about the mess.

Here is a picture I took from the interweb.

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So here goes. Going to try and publish this. Thanks for your patience!

 

***Well that seemed to work. The only thing to check is how to make the image from the internet bigger. Otherwise it is pub ahoy! I can’t seem to find the funny image again but it was something about the helmets and sunglasses impeding accuracy. It was hilarious!

By way of apology here is a funnier one. It is even apt with my new phone and everything!

Picard never made a bad decision.

 

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Joss Whedon endorses Romney for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse

Rombie for Zombie Apocalypse!

I could make jokes and hedge my position but bollocks to that – I hope Obama wins. Mitt is too weird a name. On top of that, I just don’t like what he seems to be into. But what do I know? I’m a Brit with a website and a mild zombie obsession.

So I will hand it over to a man I hugely respect and admire. Joss Whedon. (I would actually vote for Joss because he might force TV execs to bring back Firefly but that is another issue.) I debated putting this on www.scifiward.com but realized that this is about politics. And the apocalypse. Both of which are real and important and imminent.

So I give you the genius that is Joss Whedon.
http://youtu.be/6TiXUF9xbTo

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iPhone to Android, the big leap.

After 4 years of owning and loving an iPhone, I finally made the big leap to Android. This has caused a weird reaction with some people but some people are idiots.

When I first bought the iPhone 3G it was a shiny thing of wondrous joy. There was nothing close to it on the market and I knew I’d never be bored again. It could do so much! I could text more easily, write emails, listen to music, watch TV, read the news in a field, look at porn on a bus, play games on the tube, and, and stuff. I could even make phone calls with it if I really had to, although I increasingly despise the phone as a means of verbal communication.

My iPhone died slowly

Cut to 5 months ago. My iPhone started behaving weirdly. It would turn off whenever I tried to access the internet or play a game. The battery seemed to be sucked dry in literally 20 seconds or less. Being Apple of course, I couldn’t open it up to chuck in a new battery because Apple innards are practically hallowed ground. Should I get an iPhone 4S? It was still the best, most reliable phone around and it even talked to you in a sexy voice.

But on the internet rumours were being whispered about the iPhone 5. It was going to be amazing. Some said it would have liquid metal, or could replace your credit card, or see in the dark, or give you x-ray vision with an ‘attractive lady only’ setting. It might even let you watch 3D porn on a bus! It was going to be astounding.

I decided to wait it out. It would be worth it. iPhone. 3D porn. Bus.

iPhone 6. This joke was old in about an hour, so sorry...

So I waited for the iPhone and… it was a bit longer… and a bit quicker… and er… it has new earphones… er… Quite frankly it was the same. Even the advertising is struggling to think of a positive. Remember iPhone ads a couple of years ago? It was amazing what you could do with the round cornered rectangle of joy that was the iPhone 4. Now? A guy showing how the phone is the perfect size for his hand is the main advert. Really? A five foot tall woman or 6’4 man might have different sized digits. Perhaps a few choice of handset sizes would sort that problem out but no. Apple knows best. Your hand is the one at fault you midget/giant you.

Androids are smarter

Consequently I now have an Android. It is bigger than an iPhone which is great because I am 6’1 and slightly bigger hands than the average human. It also is easier to write emails and texts and check the news and watch or read things. I have to say it has been quite a liberating experience. I can just chuck films and music on my phone with having to have an Apple program ‘syncing’ it for me. I can take the back off and replace the battery or insert an SD card with 64gig memory. Life just feels freer than it did under Apple’s strict rules.

I mentioned this switch to people and some were happy because “iDrone’s are shit”. Others were shocked: “Sorry but iPhones are best, androids don’t last.” Reactions have been surprisingly polar.

I don’t really care. There are pluses and minuses with both. I was just a bit shocked by the vehemence with which some people defend a brand. There are just gadgets. At present the best tablet is the iPad and the best phone is the Samsung Galaxy 3/Note 2. I’m just going by things like functionality, speed, cost, memory, battery, user friendliness, ability to watch porn on buses, and so forth. A bigger screen is better for what people spend most of their time doing these days which is using their phone as a mini computer. It is more important than thumb length. If you want to own a smaller phone that makes phone calls buy an old one – the batteries last 5 days and they are robust and cheap.

So if you’re a huge fan of Apple or Android, I don’t care. All that matters is that my new phone fucking rocks. It is an Android. My next phone might be anything. Balls to brand loyalty.

Here is a great clip from Futurama in case you just got bored. It also explains where I first thought of watching porn on a bus. It happens to looks better on a big screen if you’re viewing this on your phone. Just saying. Enjoy!
http://youtu.be/EaHUpWuqNHY

 

 

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Thai Modern Art arrives in London

London is one of the world’s great art centres. Lots of art fans are currently descending on the city from all over the globe to take part in or see the colossal Frieze art fair. This is a great event but visitors should know that there is a lot more to see. Most of London’s established art scene is in the West, North or middle of the city but huge amounts of exciting new stuff is coming out of the East. An area of hip and trendy struggling artists, writers, musicians and unemployed.

In the depths of East London there is a mini hub for all this emerging art called Vyner street. The first Thursday of every month there is a bit of a party with the collection of galleries that line the street opening late to admit lots of excited and slightly inebriated art fans. It’s good fun and cultural to boot.

Of particular interest is an exhibition of Thai modern art called Origin-Originality at Forty7 Gallery, 47 Mowlem Street (Off Vyner St). You don’t get much Thai modern art in the West, so this is an ideal opportunity to see some and buy some. It will be worth millions soon. One of the artists has already featured in a Christie’s Auction, so you’d better get in quick as Southeastern Asian art is very ‘in’ right now. This exhibition looks great, the art is intriguing and the whole thing is on from the 4th-14th October. It is curated by the superb Nim Niyomsin. If you are here for the Frieze art fair or just like art generally, you should check the area out. It’s where it’s at.

Here is a link that will tell you all you need to know about the background to the exhibition, the artists involved, and where all the excitement will be happening. http://www.origin-originality.blogspot.co.uk/ There is also info at the bottom of this page.

Here is some of the art:

Maitree Siriboon

Peerawayt Krasaesom

Tatiya Udomsawat

Here are some details:

Public Opening: Thursday 4th October 2012 (First Thursday), 6-10pm
Exhibition Runs: 4th -14th October 2012
Opening Hours: Mon-Tue: By appointment, Wed-Sun: 11am-6pm
More information please contact:
Nim Niyomsin
[+44] 07999 064254

Forty7 Gallery
47 Mowlem Street (Off Vyner St) London E2 9HE,http://www.forty7gallery.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

About First Thursdays and the area including Gallery Forty7:

http://www.firstthursdays.co.uk/galleries/forty7-gallery-7coco

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Flight of the Conchords charity video

I love Flight of the Conchords. My wife stumbled on their TV show one night and then persuaded me to watch an episode and I was hooked. If you don’t know it, you definitely should. They are a couple of New Zealanders that started by doing comedy songs – a genre that is usually pretty bollocks but not in this case. The Flight of the Conchords began as a comedy radio show on the BBC and then the genius that is HBO turned that into a TV show in America. The music is brilliant and the sitcom was hilarious. Sadly they have not been on our screens for ages.

Until now! … You probably saw that coming. They have released a new clip and a new song for red nose day and it is as good as ever. If you don’t like this, you are without a soul. Come back Flight of the Conchords!

Oh yes, and support red nose day if you live in a country generous enough to have one. Or at least one that can spare the cash.

In case you want more Flight of the Conchords stuff, or are curious about them, here you go. Man, I’m nice. Here is them on stage at some American show.

Here is their homage to Bowie. Alright man!
http://youtu.be/g8f_XCH3zmM
 

 

Jupiter saves Earth again

Object hits Jupiter

I’m sorry if you find this boring but I find it incredible and it is my website. I love space related stuff as it is all so damned epic. Things are ridiculously huge or far or heavy. Jupiter, for example, is absolutely fucking massive. It has twice the mass of all the other planets combined. It is this mass that has saved the Earth about a million times (just a personal estimate based on nothing).

Well, as the above picture shows, that figure is now roughly one million and one. The other day an amateur astronomer was filming Jupiter for some reason. He happened to catch the above explosion as it twatted into the huge gas giant. If that had hit the Earth you would be reading this in the afterlife (they must have internet in Heaven but there will be a lot more blocked sites than Hell).

This is the Earth compared to Jupiter:

Earth and Jupiter compared

So we would be doomed. So I just wanted to say, thank you Jupiter.

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Mars Curiosity Descent Video

This is astounding. I seem to be posting a lot of videos recently but I can’t help it as people making awe inspiring clips. And this is one of the best ones. This video is made by a lot of very clever people who are advancing our civilisation and should be applauded from every rooftop.

I hope deep down that the more the Mars rover explores, the more humanity’s collective brain will look out to the stars and will focus less inwardly on all the petty squabbles, greed, politics, conspiracy theories and all the other shite that makes mankind a less impressive species. This video is of the Mars Curiosity landing on Mars and looking around for the first time. The final bit is a picture that someone made up of a composite of reflections of the Rover’s face. So you can see what it looked like. For some reason I was reminded a bit of Wall-E crossed with Short Circuit’s Number 5.

Imagine parachuting onto the surface of Mars. Now press play…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Esj5juUzhpU&feature=player_embedded

 

 

Bond versus Bond

As I am currently going through a Bond theme right now, I thought I might as well include this clip. It’s pretty cool. I’m impressed that Sky is launching a Bond channel although after the first week what are they going to play? Is it just going to be a permanent loop of all the Bonds? Actually that would be good. Bond rules. Enjoy.
http://youtu.be/m2FAWb5Lch8
 

Skyfall – the new trailer

Bond is back! I got excited just typing that. Skyfall is the latest Daniel Craig outing, and it looks damned awesome. I love a good Bond film and am thoroughly enjoying this new ‘reimagining’ of him as a character.

If you are a regular reader it may not come as a surprise that I enjoy films that are chock full of hot women, exotic travel, gadgets, guns and explosions as these feature highly in my everyday life. Apart from the explosions and guns sadly, as they are frowned upon in ‘politically-correct-gone-mad’ London. I have fired a few guns though – we shot a lot of them at school and a few years ago I fired a huge selection in the jungles of Vietnam (as a tourist, not a ex-vet on a flashback). I also enjoy a fireworks display. Plus, when I was a teenager some mates and I put some cans of deoderant in the school bonfire which then exploded and my Tshirt caught fire. So I’m pretty close to Bond’s lifestyle.

Anyway, enough of my exciting life. Here’s Mr Bond:
http://youtu.be/1G-ZPhcELUk

 

The Mars Rover

A photo from Mars.

This is a picture of Mars. Mars! How awesome is that? This was taken by the Mars Rover – a 10 foot nuclear powered robot that is wandering around the red planet doing scientific analysis with the aid of lasers that shoot from its eyes. The picture was beamed across the vast vacuum of space back to NASA who then put it on their website which I then accessed at home on my shiny laptop through the genius of the internet and a wireless network.

There are times when humanity makes me despair (see buying magic on eBay). But there are times when we rule. Like now. I feel so proud of my fellow humans.

I really hate people who think it is all a waste of money. These small minded bores think that the money should be spent on hospitals to make everyone live longer on this already crowded planet. They believe that we should risk having humanity wiped out by a disaster because funds could go elsewhere. Basically these collections of human-shaped yawns are of the opinion that we shouldn’t reach for the stars and dream big planetary spanning dreams. We should just stay here, use up all the resources and die out. Of course the people who think we shouldn’t expand into space won’t be around when the remnants of humanity struggle Mad Max-style over a piece of boiled rat and some car fuel. It will be their kiddywink’s kiddywinks.

Essentially, if you don’t want to go to space you want your children’s children to suffer a slow and agonizing death. You are dooming your ancestors. You’re obviously a wanker and probably don’t have any friends.

Conversely, if you want to go into space and expand humanity then you are awesome and probably fun to be around. Hooray for you!

Ok, sorry, went a bit off topic there. I basically just wanted to share this photo because it is incredible and inspiring. As you can probably tell, I hope you share this sense of wonder. Go humans!

Even cooler: 360 degrees of Mars.

 

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Buying magic on eBay

There are times when I despair.

I once knew a guy in Thailand who sold ‘erectile dysfunction’ pills on the internet. They were just salt pills. He offered a money back guarantee and always honoured it. It just rarely happened that someone would contact him and ask for their money back as it was both a pittance and embarassing. Frequently the opposite happened – people wrote to him and thanked him for returning their ‘mojo’. Clearly it was all placebo but placebos, as any scientist will tell you, are fascinatingly effective. (Honestly, they work really well and no one knows why.) Was that morally wrong of him? People got to have sex after all. He now lives in a huge house by the beach with millions in the bank. Prick.

Buy me a beer or the bunny gets it.

Then there was the guy who threatened to kill a bunny if he didn’t get a certain amount of cash. Ok, it all turned out to be a joke but the site got loads of hits and probably generated cash. And the bunny lived! (For a bit. Probably.)

In fact there are a million ways people are making money off the internet in slightly dubious ways. African nobility want to hide millions in your account! You have won some prize or other but you need to pay a processing fee! A major social media website is going public and having an IPO that will make you rich if you buy shares! And so on.

I despair because I can never think of these ideas. I guess I’m not devious enough. Consequently I’m at work right now earning millions of pounds a year less than I should. Like a sucker.

The latest money spinner that passed me by is selling magic spells, hoaxes, wishes, and pointy hats on eBay. I just saw this on Boing Boing and there is only two weeks left until this magical bonanza ends.

I’m serious by the way. People are selling magic on eBay. I’m not knocking white magic or Wiccans or the Dark Side as such, I just don’t believe you can buy magic on eBay. Gandalf must be turning in his grave. Here are some examples (thanks Boing Boing):

How can these not work? Just look at the pictures!

On the British eBay I found a money spell described as:

‘Powerful £ MONEY SPELL £ for Success Prosperity Luck Good Fortune Wealth

UKs No.1 Powerful Money/Lucky Spell – Guaranteed’

Yes. Guaranteed. Although if I was cynical I might want to enquire as to how much it will cost to get back your hard earned £2.99.

I even found a book of all the spells from the Necronomicon. A book mentioned in lots of horror films but actually originated in the FICTIONAL tales of H.P. Lovecraft.

Sadly this bizarre earner is coming to an end. eBay has cried ‘Expeliamus!’ to the whole lot. This is from CNN:

‘Beginning in September, the site is banning the sale of “advice, spells, curses, hexing, conjuring, magic, prayers, blessing services, magic potions, [and] healing sessions,” according to a policy update.

The company is also eliminating its category listings for psychic readings and tarot card sessions.

Has anyone actually been buying magic on eBay? It seems so: The site’s “spells and potions” category currently has more than 6,000 active listings and happy feedback from quite a few satisfied buyers.

“Best spell caster on Ebay,” one customer wrote after a recent purchase.

“Wonderful post-spells communication!” another raved. “We bought 4 spells! Highly Recommend!”‘

 

I repeat, I despair.

On an unrelated note, this website might go public and sell shares. Although it is yours for a million pounds if you want to buy it now. Let me know. I have Paypal and Western Union accounts. Thanks.

 

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The Olympics are here

The Olympics are currently in full swing here in London town. Lots of Londoners, myself included, were originally against them. We weren’t asked if we wanted the games but we were expected to pay for them. It felt a bit like being mugged but without getting the chance to run for it or telling the culprit to piss off. Not only that, but getting around our own city to do (admittedly pointless stupid) things like work, was predicted to be a nightmare. Then there were the security problems, the missiles on roofs, anger over Olympic lanes, and sponsors behaving mean and spiteful to pretty much everyone.

Fickle bastard that I am, I’m alright with it all now. If you didn’t enjoy Danny Boyle’s superb opening ceremony you must be a pretty joyless individual. Sure some bits were better than others (the weird music text story for example wasn’t my thing), but generally speaking it was all fun, rousing stuff. Quirky is probably the word. It had Bond, Bean, and the Queen. Surely you must like one of them.

I’m not normally into sport, but the brief glimpses I’ve had of the games (between pointless work and epic train trips) have been great. The joy of the Olympics is that alongside main sports like tennis and football, you might find yourself inexplicably absorbed by something random – women’s archery or  women’s pole vaulting or women’s beach volleyball or something. (They were just random examples you understand.) I’m sure these sports are on at other times but because it is the Olympics, it now has some kind of meaning or purpose to it all. If you live in London you are frequently bumping into events and can have a quick cheer. It makes life here about 10% more exciting.

It would be nice if the sponsors chilled out a bit though. Stop patrolling the streets looking for anyone heinously supporting the games with five round objects suspiciously overlapping, and just let people have fun. I’m a bit nervous just talking about them, they might burn down my website.

Transport has been a bit worse but it is so awful usually, most Londoners are coping quite well. The trains have all worked at the weekends which actually makes for an improvement.

I guess we shall see if the Olympics actually does make a profit. The organisers (or possibly the government, I wasn’t paying attention) reckon we might make a profit of £2 billion. Hopefully this will mean the mascots knocking on doors and giving everyone in London a couple of hundred quid each. Or at least a 6 pack. Most of us are easily bribed.

So go Olympics! We’ve paid and sufferend already, so we might as well enjoy it. To celebrate this, here is a funny sketch about the Olympics. It’s funny, quirky, a bit weird, and British. Go Monty Python!
http://youtu.be/dmyz_f8Sx14