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…



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.

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:


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!


Britain spent more on bank bailouts last year than they have spent on Science since Jesus.

Yes you read that unnecessarily long headline correctly. How depressing is that? There is something deeply amiss with the world today, although to be fair it has always been pretty fucked. World Wars, the plague, horned helmeted hordes and so on.  These days, most of us are not immediately under threat and we have better means of seeing the world and all its flaws. And seeing how bollocks a lot of it is. We can do all this thanks to science.

Some people – morons or poorly educated mostly – seem to think of science as some kind of elite white jacketed group with their own agenda. Like a political party or all organized religions for example. This is not the case. Anyone can be a scientist and they all disagree, question and compete with each other. You are allowed to question and the consequences won’t be being kicked out of your politcal party or burnt at the stake. Science is simply the quest for knowledge. If you are interested in something you can do a test yourself and then write about it. You. At home right now. If your study is convincing more scientists and interested laymen will try and pick holes in your work. If it’s still sound they might conduct different experiments to see if your theory still holds true.

The only reason why science can be hard to get into is that it usually helps if you know a bit about your topic. A lot of science builds on what went before. It also helps if you learn scientific method so you can conduct a decent experiment. Other than that anyone can go for it and it is a noble pursuit. Read a science magazine they are great.

To be fair the scientific method wasn’t really in action around the time of Jesus. The first 1000 years was a struggle to survive against invasions and famines (although there was a bit of experimenting with farming and fun with fertilizers). Then religion pretty much kept everyone in check and in poverty for half a millennium. Then, thankfully, the renaissance happened and people were allowed to start looking at things that might make life better. I’m just talking the UK here. We started the industrial revolution and invented trains and TVs and computers and the Worldwide Web, for example. Other countries were also inventing things like cars and flying machines. Most of this on very little funding. In Britain the average person’s life and their life expectancy has improved decade after decade and it is nearly all down to science.

So let’s hear it for science. Imagine what we could achieve with a bit more cash. It would be nice if we could invade a few less countries, start a few less government campaigns that haven’t been fully thought through and perhaps persuade bankers that if they donated 10% of their bonuses to the betterment of mankind they may be more popular, and maybe mankind will progress a bit quicker.

Just a thought.

In case you are wondering where I heard the headline first, it was uttered by the always awesome Professor Brian Cox. Thanks to science, you can see it here:

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Max Payne 3 review

Max Payne 3

Max Payne is back and he’s as mental as ever. I loved the first two although they feel like distant memories now. I do still remember certain scenes from them though and that’s impressive given that the second one came out nine years ago and I have already forgotten most of last week. It’s possible that is because I played them both twice as they were so brilliant.

Here’s the plot:

Max Payne is now retired and is drinking all the time in New Jersey. This seems like an admirable way to spend retirement to me but apparently it isn’t good. Max is then persuaded to move to Sao Paolo in Brazil to work as a bodyguard to a rich family. He thinks it will be a breeze – wet nursing some rich types at cocktail parties. Unfortunately for Max (but not for us the player – his godlike controllers), he is massively wrong. Thanks to corruption and dastardly plots and so forth, it turns into a regular killfest. Actually it isn’t that regular, it is a mega ultra uber killefest.

As a huge fan of the franchise, I was worried that they might change things too much. Not that worried though, this is Rockstar we are talking about, those guys and (probably) gals are legends. But gone are the comic book cut-scenes, which is a bit sad as they were quite cool. Also Max is a bit older and chubbier and is now in a sunny, colorful place as opposed to the slightly monochrome world of New York in winter. Consequently it doesn’t feel quite as noir as previous incarnations.

However, James McCaffrey is back as the voice of Payne and he is as cynical and gritty as ever. Although there are no comic book bits, there are some awesome cut scenes. Visually, there are a lot of movie edit effects as used by Tony Scott. Unlike Tony Scott’s more recent output (Domino for example), it isn’t massively overused to the point where you feel dizzy. Just enough to look cool.

Bullet time baby! (Thanks www.gamersbliss.com)

One thing that hasn’t changed thankfully, is bullet-time. This was one of the prime things that set the original apart and remains brilliant. If anything, it is even better. Although it was never always the greatest tactic to simply leap through a door, whack on the bullet-time and blow the shit out of everyone, it still remains one of the most fun things to do in any video game.

The gameplay is awesome. Max is easy to control and the adventure and sets are great. It is a very linear game but as a pay-off, some of the set pieces are awesome with sequences better than a lot of movies.

The multiplayer seems fun and has been hailed by some as ‘a game changer’, although people hail things with that epithet way too often for my liking. You can form gangs and even use bullet-time which is pretty mental. I only played a few games of team deathmatch and unlike a lot of other online shooters, I was matched against beginners. Whom I suspect hadn’t just finished the campaign because they were awful. It’s possible I was brilliant but going by early online forays in other games, that seems unlikely.

There are various other modes for replayability such as harder settings and ‘New York Minute’. This latter option was available on the older games as well and is essentially a race against time with bonus points for headshots and general coolness like: hitting bullet-time, leaping off a balcony and killing everyone before you hit the ground.

To conclude: I was a massive Max Payne fan and I still am. The mood may have shifted slightly to a bastard offspring of gritty noir and Tony Scott, but it still works. Above all, it’s fun. The first time you find yourself leaping into the fray, shifting into bullet-time with rounds tracing through the air, you will find yourself grinning. Especially as the final shot in a battle always follows the bullet to its bloody destination. In slow motion. That’s just class.

Two videos for this one because you’ve all been good. First up here is a gameplay trailer which shows you some bullet-time in case you have wasted your life and haven’t played the first two games.

And to conclude, the trailer:


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Gary Oldman campaigns against athletes acting

Someone posted this on Facebook and it made me laugh. In case you haven’t seen it you should, because it’s damned funny. Enjoy.


Comedy films become horror

As editing movies becomes easier there are an increasing number of re-cut films, sequences, and trailers out there on the interweb. Generally this is really annoying. You try and find a trailer for a movie or game on youtube and some pointless dink has make a fake one from old film footage. I assume they are spending hours of their time to satisfy a weird fetish of being hated and disliked on the internet. Maybe it’s cool, maybe they are twats. (I’m trying to sound balanced here, but it is totally the latter.)

So it is refreshing when someone does something clever. According to the blurb, a student decided to do a re-cut of Mrs Doubtfire to turn it into a horror flick for a film project. The result is genius and convincing. I don’t know if the student was the first but there are a lot on youtube now for all sorts of movies. If you fancy an utter waste of time enjoying these, you are in for a treat. Just so you know what I am talking about, here is the trailer:

Going with the comedy to horror theme, here is another good one – Dumb and Dumber:

Willy Wonka had some genuinely scary moments anyway but check this out:

There are others on youtube if you fancy. There are other mix-ups which are mildly funny at first but then peter out: Mary Poppins as a drug dealer, The Shining as a Seinfeld comedy, and so forth. It all depends on how much free time you have I guess. I wish I had more time for my ‘Dancing alien chicks of Star Wars and Star Trek’ video project but lamentably I don’t. Feel free students.

NASA videos Transit Of Venus and it’s astounding

This is great. NASA has released footage from its satellite the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). If you think money spent on space is a waste of time, please go elsewhere. Enjoy.

I turned 40 and have fled to Prague

Yikes! A few days ago, the 31st to be precise, I turned forty. That would officially make me middle aged if it wasn’t for the fact that life expectancy in the West is now over 82 and will be higher by the time I get up to my octogenarian milestone. So I have a couple of years. There’s also the fact that I have known deep down that I will live to 400 at least (I can’t reveal how at this moment but it’s going to happen).

Consequently I’m not too depressed. It did seem a good excuse to flee to the Czech Republic and revel in an orgy of beer for a week however. Or pivo as it’s quaintly known as here. I’ve been to Prague a ton of times over the last 15 years and love it. Not just for some of the best beer in the world either, although that is a plus.

Rybka Cafe

Prague is just so gloriously bohemian and the prefect place to write in. I’m not just saying that as a pretentious prick either – it is actually in Bohemia. It’s ideal for drinking coffee all morning in a cozy cool cafe while scribing, then in the afternoon you can switch to beer. Often in the same place. The beer is legendary, cheap, and so fresh and organic that you can drink buckets of it and if you drink some water before you go to bed you don’t even get a hangover. Unless you match it with an absinthe shot, in which case you may wish for death the next day.


The coffee is good too and the cool coffeeshops nearly always have free wifi. Plus you can smoke (although I am quitting at the end of this holiday). The Czechs do pretty well when it comes to famous writers – not as good as the English or Americans obviously – but Havel, Kundera, Kafka and others are an impressive intellectual group. Like the French and English creative types of yore, they used to enjoy being creative in cafes/bars. The cafes here are superb to write in and have been used by writers for decades. I miss that in England. Since the smoking ban, cafes in London are full of mothers who let their kids run riot while smiling proudly. It’s not good for writing in unless you are writing about a crèche or being irritable. The smoky cafe where intellectuals and students drank coffee and alcohol while discussing Kafka have sadly gone from the Uk.

Anyway, I will stop whinging about Britain. I’m happy. I’m writing and drinking beer in a place called the Rybka cafe and loving it. I’m surrounded scruffy unshaven types drinking wine and ale and chatting about literature and art or tapping on laptops or (in my case) my iPad. The walls are lined with books, art and, a little bit bizarrely, typewriters. Soon we will move to somewhere similar but different.

This is the sort of lifestyle I intend to lead for the next decade. One full of booze, writing, coffee and culture. Also, if this blog entry is anything to go by, a hugely pretentious and up my own ass decade. Prague seems a good place for it.

Or possibly Berlin.

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Skyfall trailer

Bond! James Bond! The new trailer for the much delayed Skyfall is finally with us. I love Bond films and I think that the new batch are great. This one feels like it will be the final part of the Bond trilogy for some reason, even though it shouldn’t be. Bond is immortal after all, he just changes his looks occasionally. Like a mega violent womanizing Doctor Who without the time travel.

Anyway, enough blather. Here’s the Skyfall trailer:

Introducing The Leap.

Why the gloves Tom?

A friend just posted this on Facebook (thanks Tim). Very cool. According to the blurb ‘The Leap’ is more accurate than a mouse. I don’t play many PC (or Apple games) very much any more but I remember the frustration of Quake 3 Arena with a mouse – especially before laser mouses and we had to use stupid ball things. (Plus laser mouses sound cool for some reason.)

Well the future is here my friends and it looks a lot like Minority Report but without  the gloves and the weepy, happy ending. (Especially if you need both hands to scroll through porn sites.)

It looks cool in my opinion. Especially the game bit. All those years practicing shooting with imaginary finger guns are finally going to pay off. (And they said I was a fool!) I assume some kind of weird arm rest would be needed after a while but what the hell. Me want!



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Guinness QR glass

Guinness QR

This is genius/awful. I love Guinness, it’s a tasty pint of health and alcohol. I also love gadgets, so you can see while this really appeals to me. Basically it’s a glass that has a QR code on it that is only visible when filled with ‘the black stuff’. It doesn’t work with normal lagers or other inferior drinks (except stouts obviously).

When I first saw it I immediately thought what an absolutely genius idea. But then I read an article about it on Boing Boing (great site if you don’t know it). Apparently it then: ‘tweets about your pint, updates your facebook status, checks you in via 4 square, downloads coupons and promotions, invites your friends to join, and even launches exclusive Guiness content.’

I don’t know if this is true (hopefully it is a zeitgeist joke) but if it is then the idea has been downgraded from genius to ‘leave me the fuck alone’. I recently wrote how annoyed I was that every app or programme wants to ‘share’ everything I do with facebook. Now my beer wants to grass me up. Thanks technology.

(Thanks Boing Boing for the image http://boingboing.net/2012/05/18/hidden-pint-glass-qr-code-is-o.html )

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Google Glass

If you are on the internet enough and are up with your virals and memes you have probably seen this picture already:


Google glass

Apparently this picture appeared in the Google + account of Google VP Sebastian Thrun. Like many of you, I had never heard of him. At first glimpse I was also nonplussed as to why I should care about his photos either.

But if you look at the photo you realise that this couldn’t be taken by normal means. Unless he has strapped a camera to his head and set it on timer, it must mean that Google’s project Glass is almost complete.


In case you think it looks silly, here are the glasses on an attractive woman.

In case you haven’t heard of this before, Google Glass is about to change the world. Apparently. It is the latest augmented reality device. Essentially it’s a pair of glasses that turns your vision into a computer display and camera that overlays stuff you don’t really need to see over your tawdry, old fashioned reality. Let’s face it, your reality probably sucks so why not overlay something to make it more interesting?

I can foresee a few problems with it.

As you can see from the photo above, no matter how attractive and smiley you are, it still looks a bit lame. I suspect it will be worn by the sort of person that thinks a blue-tooth headset looks cool. I love gadgets and these headsets should appeal to me but for some reason I hate them. I have yet to see anyone wearing one that I didn’t think looked a bit like a posing twat. Fortunately, if they live in a city like London, they will get mugged pretty much every day which should remove the smug look from their smarmy self satisfied faces.

Also, a year ago I paid £4000 to get my eyes lasered because I hate wearing glasses, even if it was just a few minutes a day. I will not be wearing glasses now just so that I can do things that my phone does anyway.

On the other hand, it would be pretty cool to have a computer interface in the corner of your eye. You could watch a film or read a book while at work and no one would know. In a boring conversation? Check your facebook or read The Word of Ward. Being shouted at by your girlfriend for not paying enough attention to her? Look at some porn until she’s finished saying whatever the hell it was she was going on about. Genius.

So I guess I’ll just wait for the contact lens version. While I’m waiting, I can amuse myself with my phone – videoing people with Google Glasses walking into lamposts.

Here is a video showing what it will be like to wear them. Keep an eye out for the ‘check in’ bit. You just know this will be a default setting that lets the world know where you are. Good for burglars and bosses. Forget to turn it off and then skive off work and go to the pub and you will lose your possessions and your job in a single outing. Hooray for technology.


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Drenched Britain struggles through drought

I’m currently in the middle of two 80 hour weeks of mostly nightshifts. Normally this would suck as I have to pass lots of happy people drinking outside pubs on my way to work and when I arrive I am filled with envy and hatred for my fellow man. (I pass seven pubs between my house and the station, my area is awesome.) But recently it has been pissing it down every day so I might as well get to my office and get paid to watch TV while drinking free coffee.

In case you didn’t know Britain is currently soaked and damp. It’s pretty famous for the rain at the best of times and the country is truly living up to its reputation. It has apparently been the wettest April on record. There have been well over 100 flood warnings and the news is gleefully full of images of cars driving through deep puddles and people huddled under umbrellas. According to this report there has been a month’s rain in four days:
So far you are probably thinking, ‘So what. You’re British. You chose to live there. Wet weather is hardly news.’ Well you are right. A bit smug and I probably wouldn’t want to hang around with you, but yes, good point.

The reason I am writing this is because we are also officially in a drought. Which I find weird. I like weird so thought I would write/pointlessly complain about it. There have been excuses and tedious people blathering on about reservoirs and thirsty plants but it all seems like bollocks to me. I read that there is a massive problem with the pipes. Apparently they are leaking and lose 1000s of litres of water every day. This seems more plausible than a thirsty tree. If I had waterproofed my house and removed the ceiling I could easily fill it up so why aren’t our reservoirs doing the same? (It’s possible that wasn’t a scientifically accurate comparison.)

What is my point? Do I have a journalist angle? Nope. I’m British (mostly-ish) and we love to bitch about the weather. Consequently it was hard to resist a whinge about the worst drought in decades while having one of the wettest Aprils on record. It’s a genetic thing. Bloody weather.



Facebook – why do your apps need my details? Why!?

Stop spying on me!

I get a lot of requests on facebook to join groups, play games, take part in a quiz or do something else that will literally waste my life. I nearly always turn these down as I am happy to waste my time playing proper high quality games, or going down the pub with friends, or watching inane violent movies, or gambling on Mexican midget wrestling. I know how to live. I do occasionally enjoy reading articles though and some of my friends are surprisingly interesting in their reading preferences.

The other day, I saw an intriguing looking item that someone had read in the Guardian. It was probably about why the Daily Mail is awful or something, I forget. So I clicked on the link and it said I needed a Guardian app for some reason. (I know, I know, another option was to copy and paste the title into google but the article wasn’t worth the effort.)

Why? Apps are great on phones as they give you a little picture that takes you to a handy programme. Why the balls do I have to install an app to read an article on bastard facebook? I then got annoyed and a little worried. I could read the article but they wanted:

My basic information – which could mean anything.

My email address – why?

My location – piss off, you might burgle me.

My birthday – seriously, why? My birthday? To read an article?

In the end I thought, fuck you Guardian, I’ll read the Mail instead, take that hippies. Except links to the Mail’s site of right wing doom or Yahoo or pretty much anyone else all want the same info. It just seems nosy and intrusive. If I want to do a quiz that tells me what flavour ice cream I am, why do I have to submit the details of all my friends and where I was born or my religion or pant size? It feels as if all major internet sites are currently competing to steal my identity.

Which they will then hand to Facebook.

Who will note it in my timeline.

I know I’m jumping on the bandwagon a bit as more and more people are writing about how facebook shares your data and fucks your privacy. I’m also not naive enough to think that my personal data isn’t already in the hands of a ton of people but I still find it annoying. Twitter and facebook are always trying to find out where I am and I am always telling them to piss off.

I joined Netflix recently and forgot to unclick some box or other and now it’s telling everyone on facebook what I’m watching. I love Netflix and will write about it at some point but publishing what I watch only benefits their advertising, it does nothing for me.

Goodreads and spotify do the same unless you turn off the option. As does my kindle whenever I finish a book. I love technology. I love that by paying a small fee I can effectively carry thousands of films, books, and music wherever I go and access them on shiny little devices but am getting increasingly annoyed with being asked to share it on facebook. Or even worse – sharing it automatically on facebook unless I opt to turn it off which is usually what happens.

The irony is, the moment I finish this rant I will post it on facebook. The difference is that I will have chosen to do so. So there.

Thewordofward, London.

Reading: Leviathon Wakes, Book One of the Expanse by James Corey. (Tremendously exciting space romp.)

Listening to: Led Zeppelin II (Zeppelin rules!)

Just watched: episode 11, 1st series of 24. (Never watched it before. Tremondously exciting Kiefer Sutherland romp.)

Last meal: Spicy noodles. (Tremendously exciting rumblings now happening in my stomach.(

Next bowel movement: 8:15 – 8:25am 21/04/12 (Hopefully not too exciting. Depends on the noodles.)

I hope this enriches your life.



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Belgium and excitement

I know you are probably thinking that I’m going to mock Belgium and call it dull. Well I’m not. I really like Belgium and have been to Ghent and Bruge half a dozen times and loved them – so there. Even Brussels is good as there is nothing to see but they have 8 billion types of beer. (That figure was a guess but it’s probably close.) They also invented fries which was pretty decent of them.

The reason I am talking about Belgium is just a waffling introduction to a viral video. It is pretty cool. Enjoy.