Friday, 26 July 2013

agatha maud news

We'll know more about Agatha Maud by the next Tall Tales on the last Wednesday of September. Yes, TT is moving to Wednesdays. That's life. That's hockey. That's all it is.

Also, Mighty Fin fans, the Fin is afoot. Xmas Carol 2: Boxing Day. Coming to a December near you.

I have real trouble with tabs. I can't keep control of them. Some people say it says something about my working practises. What do they know?

These come from the usual collection of people like Jenny Davidson and Everyone on Twitter:

Ninja suffragettes.

Brazilian battleships. Yes, Brazil had the biggest, baddest battleship in the world in 1910. That's fun, but the really good bit is following the links to the sailors rebellion - a lot of them were (black) indentured slaves and they revolted, and then they behaved and sailed with great discipline to protest against their treatment. Filisberto, the 'Black Admiral' sounds great.

The Potosi episode of 100 Objects was amazing. This is about the language that evolved at the mine.

Gosh. Underwater city.

If you do not find this story about Japan's top marathon runner (and Japan LOVES marathons), a government clerk who refuses sponsorship, endearing, then I don't want to know you.

Katja was Sweden on twitter for a while. Here are some recipes - fish soup! - for your coffee maker. Great pictures.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

winston churchill did what?!

Winston Churchill's second novel, Richard Carvell, sold 2m copies in America and it made him rich. He wrote a few more bestsellers. His early novels were historical, and his later ones were about contemporary society. He stopped in 1919.

His first book for twenty years was published in 1940. It was called The Uncharted Way, it covered his feelings on religion, he didn't publicise it and nobody read it.

Shortly before his death he said: 'It is very difficult now for me to think of myself as a writer of novels, as all that seems to belong to another life.'

There was another Winston Churchill around at the same time. The two of them got on well by all accounts.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

my favourite holiday snap - a minor sort of inspiring photo essay

To repeat: Go to [Redacted].

We did a long walk along the beach one day (two days actually, but it's not relevant to the story). As we returned, the sea idyllic, the beach empty, we saw a great sight. I took a picture.

To contextualise, the view from where I took the picture along the beach was this:
 And the view out towards the sea was this:
 And then there was this pair of guys who had decided to go to the beach, plonk down a couple of chairs and sit steadfastly looking absolutely and directly away from the sea. Maybe how funny this is doesn't translate, but at the time, looking at them, and looking at the great views (see below picture of castle, etc.) they were furiously avoiding, and they just looked so comically anti-fun somehow.
 Also, bonus feature:
You say guillemot. I say guille-NOT!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013


I have decided to turn this into an advice website. My main advice is to go to [Redacted on the advice of people who don't want it to get too busy].

Second, the idea of Eddie Stobart taking over legal aid services has been brilliantly dealt with elsewhere, and elsewhere, and the whole legal aid is blogged about here much more better than I can write today for some reason.

But here is my addition: on the way back from [Redacted] (Go to [Redacted]) I saw some trucks which were part of another Stobart venture, into renewable energy. This made me think about the excellent and depressing recent Guardian feature about how Richard Branson has made a fortune spotting where government is going to hand out subsidies and make ostensibly private ventures essentially risk free.

Basically, it looks like Stobart is spotting the same sort of loopholes. Maybe it's hard to lose money being a private firm being paid by the government. Hence all the private firms paying lobbying money to be allowed to be private firms servicing the government, and all in the name of freedom, people.

(The recent This American Life show When Patents Attack... Part Two! was riveting. It was about hundreds of millions of dollars of ultra-pure wasted money. Also in the name of freedom.)

Thursday, 4 July 2013

why do you bloody well think?

I live in a house with five flats in it. Because I don't really have a job, I do the returning to sender of all the endless letters sent to previous inhabitants.

Yesterday, a letter was redelivered to a guy who lived in Flat 3 before the guys before the guys who live there now.

I had written RETURN TO SENDER on the front.

Underneath this, on redelivery, was the word WHY?

Am I going to have to enter into dialogue with All Aboard or Edgware in Middlesex? What is the etiquette here?

Everyone and their dog knows all about Barbies and their unrealistic measurements, blah blah blah. And yet still I love these pictures of a Barbie looking like a person.

In gay sports news, or olds, do you know about Ernie Griffin, the closeted boxer who fought three huge world title fights with Ernie Paret in the sixties. In the third, Paret taunted him about his sexuality, Griffin was inspired, and the result was that Paret died of injuries received in the ring. In his autobiography, griffin wrote, I killed a man and the world forgave me, yet I loved a man and the world has still never forgiven me. Terence Blanchard, jazz composer, is turning this into an opera.

(There's a South African jazz opera about boxing called King Kong. It's magic.)

There are a hundred different versions of the abandoned places photos, which are astonishing. This is one chosen more or less at random, simply because if I link to it I can finally close the tab and stop gazing at it.