Monday, 24 December 2012

Entertainment stuff from the week 17-23/12/12

Oh boy - it's been a quiet week for me.

Not for lack of internet connection, though - i've just not been on, much.

I have, however, put away some time to finish some mini-essays for the new year; which shall, of course, be as non-topical as ever!

And angry, too. I hope :D

Oh, btw - the Winterval warmer's still up:

And i have been to see The Hobbit (Part One - An Unexpected Journey)

It was nice to see Ian Holm reprising as Pod um, i mean, Bilbo Baggins. I'm giving away my age!

As expected, there were plenty of fighty scenes, a surprisingly dumpy-looking Richard Armitage (dumpy for him, but lanky for a dwarf), a confusing presence of Barry Humphries as the Goblin King (Dame Edna Everage), and a surprisingly adept performance by Martin Freeman, as the young Bilbo.

Damn - his name still sounds like a 'marital aid' - will i ever get used to it?

{Marital aid - one of the less popular juice drinks, after brigade (made from pulped sailing ship) and stockade (fizzy gravy browning), but infinitely more popular than colonnade (which i shall not explain!)

Basically - it seems a good film, so far - i won't (yet) call it a classic, like i shall with Skyfall, but i don't expect a complete package from the first part of a trilogy.

Oh, by the way - wasn't Benedict Cumberbatch awesome!

{If you see the film, you'll understand that joke :P }

I have uploaded four old pictures, taken near where i live, to my Tumblr column:

Call me biased, if you like - but i think they're pretty darn good ;)

But oh - if only i had a better camera...

That remark reminds me of a joke, though:

While visiting a friend, who had offered dinner, a photographer was showing off their 'graphs.

"Oh, yes - aren't they good", the host proclaimed, "you must have a wonderful camera".

Later on, after the meal was ate, the photographer retorted:

"Scrumptious food, m'dear - you must have wonderful pots and pans".

It seems logical that i should take some credit for the pictures :D

The Funny Bird Names albums are still up (i intend to do more, with place names, and maybe other topics... but who knows? I certainly don't!)

Here are my most reblogged photos:

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'Ipod in a Nuclear Reactor Beam' - Thunderf00t

'Assumptions' - Richard Wiseman

'Even more bets you will always win' - Richard Wiseman

For the Clue-ers - a 10 minutes of interview with Barry, Graeme, and Tim:

I can't wait for the Winter Special of Clue :)

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: vermicomposting -- composting with worms ('vermis' is latin for 'worm')

Expression Of The Week: "carry a torch for" -- in love with

Etymology Of The Week: oregano -- bright ornament of the mountains

Quote Of The Week: "There are no haunted houses, just haunted people" - Robert Baker

Toothpaste Of The Week: Paul Rivere's All American Toothpaste

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

I see this every time people dance. It's better with the right music, though :D
'Beyonce - Single Ladies - Benny hill version'

I've not even seen this film - but i still find it funny...

A simulation of the collision between the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies, in ~4 billion years' time:
See more, in this NASA Science Cast:

Funny Winterval cartoons:

Jokes to finish with:

With the Holidays upon us I would like to share a personal experience with my family and friends about drinking and driving.

As you may know, some of us have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time, on the way home, after a "social session", out with friends.
Well, two days ago, I was out for an evening with friends and had several cocktails, followed by some rather nice red wine.
Feeling jolly I still had the sense to know that I may be slightly over the limit.
That's when I did something that I've never done before - I took a taxi home.
Sure enough, on the way home, there was a police road block, but since it was a cab they waved it past.
I arrived home safely and without incident.

This was a real surprise, as I had never driven a cab before, I don't know where I got it from, and now that it's in my garage, I don't know what to do with it!

A Christmas Correspondence:

Dear Santa,
How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year.
I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone 4 for Christmas. I hope you remember that come Christmas Day.
Merry Christmas,
Timmy Jones 

Dear Timmy,
Thank you for your letter. Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them.
Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn't want you to get fat.
Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I'll bring you something you can go outside and play with.
Merry Christmas,
Santa Claus 

Mr. Claus,
Seeing that I have fulfilled the "naughty vs. nice" contract, set by you I might add, I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for.
I certainly wouldn't want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation.
Also, don't you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite?
Tim Jones 

Mr. Jones,
While I have acknowledged you have met the "nice" criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided.
Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right.
Please know, however, that my attorneys have been on retainer ever since the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court.
Additionally, the exercise I eluded to will not only improve your health, but also improve you social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days.
Very Truly Yours,
S Claus 

Now look here Fat Man,
I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it. I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this.
Now you just be disrespecting me. I'm about to tweet my boys and we're gonna be waiting for your fat ass and I'm taking my game console, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want.

Listen Pizza Face,
Seriously??? You think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny g-banger wannabe?
"He sees you when you're sleeping; He knows when you're awake". Sound familiar, genius?
You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal.
I got your shit wired, Jack.
I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you'd throw up your Totino's pizza roll all over the carpet of your mom's basement.
You're not getting what you asked for, but I'm still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in your ass and then walk it dry.
Chew on that, Petunia.
S Clizzy 

Dear Santa,
Bring me whatever you see fit. I'll appreciate anything.

That's what I thought, you little bastard!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Entertainment stuff from the week 10-16/12/12

Merry Winterval, everyone! [he says in his best Hubert J Farnsworth impression - which is pretty damn good, actually]

I have published the special Winterval thing that i promised last week:
{Despite all the hell blogspot was giving me (the formatting was all over the place!)}

And i've tried to make it frivolous... kind of :D

I hope it comes across, that way.

The last episode of Series 58 of ISIHAC airs tomorrow (Monday), but there will be a Winter special the week after.

See this picture, presumably taken on the day of recording:
{Yes - that is Stephen Fry, in the middle, and an even bigger star - Colin Sell, on the right!} ;-)

The Clue team seem to have been doing their research, as well! They've come up with a whole new caseload of Missed Hits. Read the goss', here, exclusively* to Tapejara:
* "exclusively", in journalism, means "common knowledge"

Alice In Sunderland

Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Commerce

Quantum Of Sausage

One Foot In The Gravy

Withnail And Hammer

Fifty Shades Of Beige

The Devil Wears Primark

Some further discoveries:

'Breaking Glass' and 'Gone With The Wind' have been combined to make a film called 'Geez, Will Somebody Open A Window?'

'Raging Bull' and 'Poor Cow' have come together to make a load of bullocks

'Raging Bull' and 'Scandal Sheet' have resulted in 'Raging Scandal'

'Two Mules For Sister Sara' is due to be remade under the title 'Fair Swap'

I happened to discover that they were going to call the first sequel to 'Jaws', 'Stumps', but thought the joke rather macabre, and so retracted it.

'Carry On Up The Khyber' and 'Gandhi' almost got merged, under the title 'Back Passage To India' but they had second thoughts about that one, too. What a shame, LOL


Some foody ones, now {they've made me quit hungry, actually}:

'Some Like It Hot', 'Mean Streets', and 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold' have been combined to make 'A Hot Mince Pie' {nice and seasonal}

'Wind In The Willows' and 'The Black Hole' have been made into a Toad In The Hole

'Porky's' + 'The Exorcist' have become 'Bacon and Eggs'

'Porky's' + '
The Exorcist' + 'Freud' + 'The Breadwinner' + 'The Wild Bunch' have become 'Bacon and eggs with fried bread and lots of tomato sauce'

Right, that's it - i'm off for a snack. Luckily, i wrote this lot, earlier... ;-)

I've been seeing quite a lot of stuff about dogs that can drive, lately.

Well, it started off as "dogs that can drive", and then became "dogs that are learning to drive" -- there's a big difference!

Judging by this video, and others (official ones) i think they don't have any clue what they're actually doing (i.e. driving) -- the dog seems to be responding to very specific commands, only turns one way, doesn't change gear, and doesn't even keep on the road! ...not promising.

It might give the impression of 'driving' but i really don't think it understands the connection between its actions and what happens to the car... then again, i'm not sure some humans understand that.

"Take me to the pharmacy, Rover" is not a command we should be expecting a response from, any time soon!

------------------------------------------------------ contemporary stuff

'Decay: The LHC Zombie Film' (1h16m)
A zombie film; filmed, produced, acted, by PhD students, working at the LHC, CERN.
The acting's wooden (they are amateurs, after all) but it runs like a parody of zombie films, so it doesn't really matter :)

A parody exposé, for Damian Lewis' stuntman, in Homeland
{from the new Bad Teeth channel - a collaboration involving CassetteBoy}

In remembrance of Patrick Moore, the 700th (and special) edition of 'The Sky At Night' (hosted by Brian May's YouTube channel)
Part 1:
Part 2:

Pareidolic bottle - not from Richard Wiseman [shock] - from Rhys Morgan's tumblr

An instant haircut, from Richard Wiseman:

This is a fantastic display of sleight of hand, by Yann Frisch!

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Word Of The Week: effulgent -- shining brightly; radiant; emanating joy or goodness

Expression Of The Week: "on its uppers" -- worn out; approaching its demise

Etymology Of The Week: manky -- through polari, from the latin for 'deficient' [1] [2]
Quote Of The Week: "My role, if I have one, is to try and urge others to do things which I could never do myself. Whether or not I have succeeded must be left for others to judge" - Patrick Moore

Mis-quoted Quote Of The Week: "Houston, we've had a problem" - Jim Lovell

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

A woman decides she wants to feel what 100 kph, on the roof of a car, feels like! Those crazy Poles...

Do you have a photographic memory? Test:
(I failed miserably - i could barely do the first one!)

Either they are massive tables and chairs, or the horses are tiny!

'Melted Snowman' water bottle labels :D

'How academics call something boring' :D

I admit that i don't go out much, but this does happen to me :D

This nyctimene tube-nosed fruit bat does not look like a real animal!

A slightly weird campaign ad, from the Male Cancer Awareness Campaign:

A tool catalogue for the guy who has everything, and still wants more:

An image of the Earth, with its ups and downs exaggerated, to reveal its lumpy, potato-like oblate-spheroid shape: has been selling ad space on the heads of bald men, in the Austin area...

'Spend the Night in a Giant Anus'
Actually, it's not an anus - it's a rectum (or colon) - the anus is just the ring around the hole :-P

'The Perfect Guide To Holiday Etiquette'
Warning: This is not what you'll expect :D

This one's just for you. Yes, you, and you alone <3
I Drew You A Picture

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Merry Winterval, Everyone! (Not 'Christmas' Though - Bah Humbug!)

Date Started: 21/10/12
Date Completed: 2/12/12
Date First Published:15/12/12

With a title like that, i suppose you think you can see what’s coming, don’t you  - an angry antitheist rant about Christmas, written by a snarky, snide non-believer; stealing presents from children, mistletoe from torch-carrying teens, mulled wine from middle-aged women, and...

punching grannies in the face.

...OK, i ran out of ideas.

But no! This shall not be so.

I shall not spoil your Christmas,
I shall not spoil your Winterval,
This time of year’s an isthmus,
A pecuniary interval,
Connecting frozen wintry winds,
To thawing springtime sunshine,
So revel in those awful jokes,
And down your glass of mulled wine.

Eek – that almost scanned. [1]

But at least it’s reminded me to get my poetic licence renewed :-P

It does ‘get my goat’ though – the way Christianity stamps all over everyone’s winter nosh-up. At least, where i live, it's Christianity that does.

Link for better image 

That is what it is, after all – a time of year when we get together with our friends and relatives (if we’re fortunate, those categories might overlap!) for a nosh-up.

'Christmas’ is a time when we cajole each other to ‘put aside our differences’, and be merry, and friendly, and stuff our faces with food until we can’t get out of our chairs.

With stockings burning over the fireplace, sweet chestnuts earnestly prepared for utter neglect, incense killing off the asthmatics, and the turkey waiting to kill off the diabetics.

And then we go back to hating each other, with renewed vigour, on Boxing Day.

Some of us even suspend our guilt about poverty and starvation in the poorer parts of the world, so that we can divest in this annoyingly commercial and starkly-opposing-to-starvation-ary ritual.

What role does Christianity, or any Religion, for that matter, really play, in any of this?

Winter fests are not peculiar to any one Religion – all those that do seem to have bastardized the secular nosh-up, in order to do some ‘festive’ indoctrination.

The Xmas ethic: be merry, be cheerful, be friendly, be good to all, abandon prejudice... and do some weird culty shit involving cannibalised babies.

(That’s what communion/mass is, btw – where Christians get together, to eat and drink their saviour’s flesh and blood – the sweet baby Jesus, as he incarnates at Christmas time).

Supposedly, this weird, culty, baby-eating horrorshow is the whole point of Christmas! Even in regions distant from the Middle-East, where it actually originated. Like Nuneaton. Or Cairns, in tropical North-East Australia!

It’s Christmas...

Christ’s Mass...

Stands to reason, doesn’t it!

All those trees with tinsel on them; all those cards; all the presents, the food, the wine; all of that. It’s all peripheral to the ingestion of the cadaver, symbolic or otherwise [2], of a 2000-year-old half-dead half-deity.


And no word ever changed meaning over time. Not the nice ones, anyway.
(There is a point to the hyperlinks, by the way) [nudge nudge]

Ugh - let’s be honest with ourselves - it’s all nonsense.

While some deem it appropriate to add weird Religious rituals to the events of this time of year – or any time of year, for that matter! – it is not intrinsic to the occasion that any be conducted, at all, whatsoever.

The whole utility of a winter festival – a winterval, if you will – is that it gives people something to look forward to, as the light dims, the trees die back, and everyone slowly gets depressed (whether clinically or not). Then, after the festival, everyone knows the light’s coming back, and Spring is on its way. Oh, jubilation!

Link for better image 

If you locate your festival over the winter solstice, then you have something to look forward to until it comes; something to enjoy when it’s there; and something else to look forward to, when it’s gone.


This makes it really silly for people in the Southern Hemisphere to celebrate Christmas/Saturnalia/Winterval, on the same date that people in the Northern Hemisphere do.

For people in the Southisphere, the weather brightens until the fest, and then everything gets worse again for 6 months – it bunches all the optimism up into Spring and early Summer. Now what’s the point in that?!

A winter Winterval would work well for them – a summer Christmas does not.

Let’s not get carried away, here, though. We mustn’t forget the true spirit of Christmas/Saturnalia/Winterval. Which is....

Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money Money

I draw reference to a man who is surely one of the great, secular prophets of our time: Tom Lehrer

A Christmas Carol (live)

“God rest ye, merry merchants, May ye make the yuletide pay”

This sentiment is echoed by a very similar [3] musical act - Bad News - in the 1980s
Cashing In On Christmas

“Cashing in on Christmas, Hear those cash tills ring, Jingle bells make money, Everybody sing”

While we engage in a pre-festive frenzy, a kind of social cleansing comes into play – those who are too poor, or too weak, to avoid and/or survive the crowds, get trampled underfoot, and so we are freed from their burdensome presence... like a hedgehog under the wheels of a juggernaut.

OK, bad example... or maybe not.

Like ‘they’ say: ‘tis the season to get trampled

But what are we to call this Christmas/Saturnalia/Winterval/Yuletide affair? (We seem to be accruing names ‘like billy-o’ here.)

But, what the hell – as long as we don’t use “Christmas”, we’ll piss off the likes of the Daily Express and the Daily Mail, and that’s got to count for something!

The one they seem to dislike most is ‘Winterval’, which is the one that makes most sense:

- Christmas starts on the 25th of December [4], whereas the partying that we actually do clearly starts before this date and ends on the 25th. Boxing Day is the day after Christmas, for most people.

- Saturnalia is a Roman festival, and you probably won’t want to do the Roman stuff, any more than the Christian stuff. (I’m hedging my bets, there, i think <s>)

- Yuletide’s a pagan festival, and you might not want to do that, either. But at least it’s geared around a one-day thing. And it comes from Germany. And who doesn’t like the Germans?

- The term ‘Winterval’ is thereby most appropriate for describing the winter festival – or winterval, if you like. Have i said that clause before?? :-P

There must be better names, however. Let’s have a go at thinking some up...

The primary gifting period

The annual givathon

Turkeygeddon (and yes – we do only love them for their huge breasts)

Sprout apocalypse

Stocking stuffing season


Mulled wine fest

The egg nogalypse

The period of plum pudding procurement

The mirthful period of pine tree genocide (poor things)

Not-quite-the-winter-solstice-anymore day [5]

(Send your votes, on the back of a postcard, to PO Box h0-h0-h0, St. Saint-Street St., Lapland)

Oh, wait, hang on –- i’m getting carried away!

If we change the name of ‘Christmas’, then we’ll have to change the lyrics to all those songs:

White Winterval – Bing Crosby

Rockin’ Round The Winterval Tree – Brenda Lee

All I Want For Winterval Is You – Mariah Carey

Blue Winterval – Elvis Presley

I Wish It Could Be Winterval Every Day – Wizzard

Lonely This Winterval – Mud

Have Yourself A Merry Little Winterval – Frank Sinatra

Happy Winterval (War Is Over) – John Lennon

Do They Know It’s Winterval? – Band Aid

Wonderful Wintervaltime – Paul McCartney (a tongue-twister!)

Winterval Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness

Then again, maybe we don’t – it was never sensical when it was called 'Christmas'; so why need it be, as Winterval?
“Nothing is more artistic, to the people of Christmasland, than a painting of a reindeer, flying over a static robin. They send these pictures to each other, on little pieces of card. They look at them, and think; “Ah, yes – a typical scene”.” 

And here is an example of that very scene 

So, what have we learned, with this mini-expedition, my little elves?

- Atheists don’t want to spoil the fun

- Christmas might be Christian, but the thing people actually do (and call “Christmas”) is not

- People in the Southisphere would be wiser to have a Winterval in their own winter

- Your Winterval doesn’t have to be capitalist, but prepare to get trampled if it is

- ‘Winterval’ describes the thing that people actually do, better than ‘Christmas’ does

- All those songs and things do not have to be post-edited, to fit

- All those things we do don’t make sense, but what the hell, pass us the mulled wine... 


Tapejara, 2012


[1] Inspired by Dr. Seuss

[2] Catholic Christian dogma says that the wafer and wine transubstantiate into the actual flesh of that same 2000-year-old half-dead half-deity (he must be running out, by now). Protestant Christian dogma, however, rejects this magical nonsense, and instead embraces the hypocritical nonsense of literally ingesting something that is only the metaphorical body and blood of the little JC! Which one’s barmier? I’m still undecided.

[3] They’re similar in that both acts employed words and music :-P

[4] Christmas Day is the “first day of Christmas”, as mentioned in the song, which clashes with the way ‘Christmas’ is celebrated, around the world. Christmas Day is conventionally treated as the climax of Christmas, and hence the last – not the first.

[5] The winter solstice (in the Northisphere) used to date to the 25th of December, but due to variances in the Earth’s axial tilt, it currently dates to the 21st of December. This is why various Wintervals locate over the 25th, and not the 21st, which would make most photo-calendrical sense in the context of what i said earlier.