Monday, 30 April 2007

Links list

Zen is right, it is all about linking. So I've made a links list over there on the side, of people I know and blogs I read. If you feel you should be on there but aren't, let me know. Maybe you're a long-lost cousin, or you're a stranger who wants to give me money or abuse my body. Other than those excuses, I can't think why I would have missed you out.

To all you crazy m*therf**kers

If you think this f*cking post looks bl**dy stupid written with all these c*nt asterisks, you're a pr*ck and a c*cks*cker and you definitely need Uncensor the Internet, a Firefox Greasemonkey add-on that strips them all out and lets you see the words the way the writer would like to have had the guts to write them in the first place.

Actually, that's perhaps not entirely fair, as explained in this interesting post on typographical bleeping, and a fascinating example of 15th century ROT-13. Perhaps covering up the linguistic piano-legs like that is a matter of politeness rather than prudery. Either way, I'm fucking fucked if I would ever use the cunts. Oops, I mean of course c*nts.

See also Tumblr posts here and here.

UPDATE: Apparently it doesn't cover everything. pr*ck, c*cks*cker and bl**dy remain starred. I'm actually starting to prefer them that way. Think of each asterisk as a little anus, and imagine the faces of the people who use them, if they could see what you're seeing.

Where are you?

Check out Statisfy, which maps visitors to your blog on a map of the world, which allows you to zoom right in on map or satellite or both, so you can see the whites of their eyes.

So who do we know who lives near Wichita KS? Apart from Glenn Campbell.

Election results

The Flemish Centre for Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing has lamented the premature revelation of the results of the recent election -- of the Fish of the Year.

The lucky winner's name should have been announced on Thursday, but the hypermarket chain Makro had already published the result in its advertising, and the unwitting announcement made the press.

"A pity," commented Liliane Driesen of the Centre. "All the tension is lost, and it's our own fault. We had actually planned the election for a week earlier. We postponed it at the last moment, but by then the Makro folders had already been printed".

Just in case you're still wondering, or if you had money on the result, the winner of the Fish of the Year election was the skate, a flat fish of which only the so-called wings are eaten, often with capers or with black butter. Belgium fishes 1,757 tonnes of skate a year.

Saturday, 28 April 2007


First read the touching obituary post over at Archer's, then watch this clip of Slava playing Bach -- not a composer he's immediately associated with, but an uplifting extract with which to mark his passing.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Wish you were here

Over at the Telegraph obituaries blog, a simple parlour game:

Name three people you wish hadn't died.

I suppose the idea is to choose for humankind in general, although I chose my Nana. My defence is, she would have sorted you lot out, too. No problem.

Play it among yourselves, in comments. Oh, my other two were Borges and Mozart. For humankind. V. boring.

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Wednesday, 25 April 2007

More food writing

Serendipitously, I happened to come across this passage from Bill Bryson:

The Indians introduced the colonists not only to new foods, but to more interesting ways of preparing them. Succotash, clam chowder, hominy, corn pone, cranberry sauce, johnny cakes, even Boston-baked beans and Brunswick stew were all Indian dishes. In Virginia, it was the Indians, not the white settlers, who invented the Smithfield ham. Even with the constant advice and intervention of the Indians, the Puritans stuck to a diet that was for the most part resolutely bland. Meat and vegetables were boiled without pity, deprived of seasonings, and served lukewarm. Peas, once they got the hang of growing them, were eaten at almost every meal, and often served cold. The principal repast was taken at midday and called dinner. Supper, a word related to soup, was often just that--a little soup with perhaps a piece of bread--and was consumed in the evening shortly before retiring. Lunch was a concept unknown, as was the idea of a snack. To the early colonists, snack meant the bite of a dog.

Which is exactly what one particular snack meant to Chekhov!

Hope I die before I get old

Short shameful mondegreen

Until Sunday, I was sure the last line of Land of Hope and Glory went:

God who made thee mighty, make thee mighty again.
It is, in fact:
God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.
Quite a difference, as I'm sure you'll agree.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

All the news that's too stupid to print

Check out the awesome Google news widget at the foot of the page. You give Google any word or phrase or combination of words, and it finds news items for you so the people who come to your blog have something decent to read. You can change the search terms any time and as often as you like.

This is why I shitcanned Blogsource.

Call that buzz?

On the food blog Serious Eats, some fool called Adam Kuban begins his post thus:

In what's essentially a rehash of a story from late February, the New York Times is reporting that honeybees are vanishing.

So let me get this straight, it might have been of some importance two months ago that the world was on the brink of disaster, but we've all BTDT by now, so tell me something new?

Sorry to stretch the attention span of the food bloggers, but nothing has happened since February to remedy the situation. How shall I put it? The soup was a little salty before, and it's STILL FUCKING SALTY NOW YOU IDIOT.

And the clock is ticking. Snopes have tried to debunk the quote, without success, in which Einstein warned that if the bees were to disappear:

dann hat der Mensch nur noch vier Jahre zu leben; keine Bienen mehr, keine Bestäubung mehr, keine Pflanzen mehr, keine Tiere mehr, keine Menschen mehr.

Four years, roughly translated.

News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying.

I'll have what he's having

So anyway, the whole reason I created a new blog, really, is to bring you this great bit of food writing:

I bought some sausage for the journey in Tyuman, if you can call it a sausage! When you bit into it, the smell was just like going into a stable at the precise moment the coachmen are removing their foot bindings; when I started chewing it, my teeth felt as if they had caught hold of a dog's tail smeared with tar. Ugh! I made two attempts to eat it and then threw it away.

Anton Chekhov, Letter to Alexey Suvorin, in A Journey to the End of the Russian Empire

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Welcome former Grapelings

Welcome to Grapes 2.0, which is exactly the same as Sour Grapes, but with a little less sourness, and a few widgets in the sidebars. The rest is likely to be the same bollocks as always.

But then if that weren't what you were looking for, you wouldn't be reading this. Perhaps you're not. Perhaps you bailed already. Too bad for YOU. Not my loss, YOUR loss.

We're getting off to a good start.

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