Sunday, 27 April 2014

Entertainment stuff from the week 21-27/4/14

Hi Shakespeareans,

This week marked the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth.

He's well known for originating all kinds of words, portmanteaus, and phrases, but because linguists tend to have been fans of Shakey, they have historically started (and stopped) researching the etymologies of words, with Shikespere's works.

This means some of the terms attributed to him have since been found to predate him. Nevertheless, many are still his inventions...

'Grammar Girl: Words Invented by Shakespeare'

'135 Phrases coined by William Shakespeare'

'Shakespeare's 450th Birthday'
What’s Humanism? That’s Humanism!

"Also Happy 450th Birthday to Wilma Shakespeare, I just love 'Rachel the Third!'"

And in celebration of more than 60 years of Attenboroughian wildlife documentary making, some bright sparks at the BBC have self-elected themselves an Attenborough Week.

Well, why not :-)

'YouTubers' Favourite Attenborough Moments - #AttenboroughWeek'

Film review of the week:

'Kermode Uncut: Being Frank'

In a choice between papier mâché heads and fictional arks, i'd go for the wood'n'glue any day.

papier mâché head, i mean :-P

Bobby Llew's going to be doing some of the commentating for the up-coming Formula E racing.

'Formula E TV commentary team'

He's the same guy who presented Scrapheap Challenge for ten years, and has done three seasons of a free online show called Fully Charged, which is all about electric things, with an expectable emphasis on electric cars.

So don't think him any less respectable, when you see this picture of him as Kryten, in Red Dwarf :-P

I am, however, slightly miffed about their exhorting Nikki Shields' scientific credentials. I'm not arguing that she doesn't have them - she has a degree in Biology - but she's as scientifically qualified for this program as all the other car enthusiast presenters. Expertise are non-transferable.

...unless these electric cars are also going to be grown, in a lab, from the interlaced hyphae of a huge fungal network... nah, probably not :-P

In other news:

There is a new world record for highest note whistled, set by a guy from North Carolina. He whistled a B7 (that's 3951 Hz). Jennifer Davies previously held the record for highest whistle, and still holds the record for lowest whistle - F3 (just below middle C).

The history of science is partly a history of brave people putting their health on the line to identify the truth. This guy's decided to, and carried out an experiment in which he, stings his body with bee stings... all over... to see which areas are most sensitive to pain! Admirable, certainly, but still limited by subjective reporting and lack of a control group - it's just him, on his own. But then, how would you get this study past an ethics panel? And that's why the history of science is strewn with histories of people experimenting on themselves. "Taking one for the team", as they say. Better him than me! Oh, btw - he reckons the inside of his nose is more pain-ey than his penis. Well, with a sample size of one, there's little reason to think everyone might be like him... especially those of us who don't have penises, LOL.

Sylvio Berlusconi is due to start community service, in the coming week. He received a 1-year 4-hours-a-week sentence for tax fraud in one of his many companies. It's a light sentence, because the Italian Justice system's lenient to the over-70s (he is 77). Interestingly, the billionaire plutocrat, who is prevaricating through numerous legal battles, including bribery of a judge, and was last year prosecuted for paying to have sex with an underage prostitute, is due to serve his time in a religion run care home. And they, of course, have no track record of perverted sexual abuse of the inmates. Not at all. No way. Na-ah. No surree. Berlusconi should feel right at home!

Both an Australian and an Irish newspaper have got themselves <insert cliche here> this week; with the Australian Financial Review sending an over-underdone draft to the printers, and the Irish Independent including an unsavoury-savoury word combination in its quiz section. What larks! Pill larks.

But that's nothing compared to the hot water this Chinesey-styley food takeaway got into, when it served some noodles with a dead insect in. Dun-dun-durrr. Except it wasn't a dead insect... it was a big bit of burnt onion. Hmmm... i hope they don't lose too much custom over this false alarm. Burden of proof, people. Remember the burden of proof. Don't believe anything until it's been substantiated.

The bio-duck has finally been identified. Akin to the Chinese takeaway insect, it is in fact, not a duck. The noises sound a bit like ducks quacking, but are actually produced by Minke Whales, in the oceans of the Far Southisphere. You can bet the UFOlogists won't stand down, however! The true culprit was found, when tags were attached to Minke Whales, who then produced the sounds, at depth. Information from their tags should tell us more about how Minkes behave, and how their deep-ocean environments are changing as part of the global anthropogenic climatic changes that have been advancing for the last century. You can hear the sound, in the audio file, embedded into this article:

Here's a story with a whole host of moronic headlines.'s being 'Mantis shrimp stronger than airplanes' My imagination jumps with joy, as it conceives that particular fight scene! Mantis shrimp attack and kill their prey using incredibly powerful punches of their forelegs, which end in immensely tough clubs. They have to survive accelerations faster than a bullet from a gun, which are so fast that the water around the club boils! The aeronautical researchers who are not responsible for the awful headlines, were studying the physical structure of the shrimps' clubs. When they translated the shape into the materials in aeroplanes, they found they were much more resilient to damage. And that is how 'Mantis shrimp club structure-based technology can make aeroplanes stronger and safer' would be a better title.

Researchers at Harvard have discoverd a new shape - a hemihelix. It's not a double helix - it's a duo of intertwined helices that reverse direction of rotation, periodically. This means each turns right-handedly for a bit, and then left-handedly for a bit, and then repeats. My minds in a wangle, trying to conceive the shapes, so just follow the link and look at the pictures (they did their experiments with elastic bands) to see what a hemihelix looks like:

Did you know fish can shout? Well, apparently they can. Fish usually make make very quiet and low pitch sounds, that travel much better through water and so can still be heard, so we can't usually hear them in air. But this research has found that, in areas where anthropogenic noise pollution from boats and traffic on bridges drowns them out, blacktail shiners simply raise their voices to shout over it! So there you go - not all seemingly absurd titles are actually devoid of sense :-D

Drones to the rescue! Drone technology has, for the first time, made it feasible to save the majority of fawns that are at risk of being minced by combine harvesters. Deer typically place their young, vulnerable progeny in long grass, to conceal them from predators. But in these places, they are also invisible to the drivers of combine harvesters and even experienced wildlife trackers. From the air, however, they can be seen, and their cute young faces spared.

Speaking of cute young faces: a baby deer-mouse has been birthed at a nature park in Spain, increasing the european population of deer-mouses (deer-mice?) to 43. It weighed 100 grammes at birth - about the same as 20 sheets of A4 paper - and will weigh 2 Kg as an adult. Its species is threatened with extinction, in its wild home of Southeast Asia. Follow the link for pictures. And set your faces to "awwww".

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

'Invisible Metal (better than transparent Aluminium!)'


'Richard Herring's Meaning of Life - Episode 2 - The Paranormal'
With added Richard Wiseman. Oh yeah :-D

'"Which Buzzfeed Quiz Junkie Are You?" Tales Of Mere Existence'
This is the best tale of mere existence for some time :o)

'Where 26 asteroids recently hit Earth'

'Darcy Oake's jaw-dropping dove illusions | Britain's Got Talent 2014'
This is what Britain has to do to get talent, apparently - import a guy from Canada, for the day. Great sleight of hand, though :-D

'Portable toilet spotted travelling down street'
It can travel through space; but can it travel through time?

'Mý á Mývatni - Midges on lake Mývatn'

'True Beauty'

The aesthetic insecurity industry has inherited religion's tactic of telling everyone they're stinking, filthy sinners and they're all damned to ugliness... but that they have the cure for the bullshit made-up crime. And so: Da-daa! Hugely-overpriced moisturiser/soap/whatever. You might be worth it, but they're not.

Prince George meets his first member of the unwashed public - the young Duchess of Stratford <s>

'Bad Grades'

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

Word Of The Week: plangorous -- expressive of loud lamentation - a wailing

Etymology Of The Week: avail -- a use, help, or benefit; from latin 'valere' meaning 'of worth'; a common etymology with 'valency' (in chemistry) and 'valiant'/'valour' ('brave'/'strong')

Quote Of The Week: "When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government" - Mark Zuckerberg, apparently realising that the nefarious nature of secretive surveillance can go both ways, in a blog post in which he says he contacted US president Barack Obama to complain about the National Security Agency's invasion of Facebook's IT systems

Fact Of The Week: In the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church, St Christopher has often been shown in icons as having the head of a dog, because of a mix-up between the Latin for 'from Canaan' and 'canine'

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

From the Mikey Bolts YouTube channel:

'Pitbull ft. Ke$ha - "TIMBER" (Sung in FAMILY GUY Voices)'

'Jason Derulo "TALK DIRTY" (Family Guy Version)'

'My Stewie Impression! (Family Guy)'

'15 Family Guy Impressions in 50 Seconds'

'Annoying Stewie'

'The wild abandoned railway in the centre of Paris'

'Möbius Ship'

'Spanish Translation'


'Wig and Penis pub sign removed'

'Underground, Overground, Wombling Free'

Richard Wiseman on twitter:

"My mum..."

"Love how people use..."

"In NYC..."

"So, lets get these curtains open..."

"Here's me with..."

"The literacy levels..."

"When I was at school..."

'Museum of Sex or Maths?'

And now, let the madness of tumblr unleash!!!

'Thank You Central'
Automatic name truncations FTW :-D

'That time Matt Damon was on Arthur'

'My dog looks like she's a floating head'

'blueberry muffin dog'


'The Complete Guide To Being Australian'


'One of the many pieces of evidence in the case against companies using Twitter'

'How did you do in P.E. today?'

'real life tattoos'

'When she realised...'

'I'd like to order...'

'Going down in the haunted house'

'Charismatic training dummies'

'have you ever tried to do art and you just'

Poor old Stevie G, trying to do art :-D

'How to draw corgis'
That's the dog - not the miniature cars, or the electricians :-P


'disabled devil'



'Jesus vision'

'when panorama photos go wrong'

'...has left the group...'

'Japanese binocular soccer'

'making breakfast'

'Ken reveals a secret'

'That's nice'

'Cher on twitter?'

'100% qualified doctor's advice'

'College Rules'

'Portable Masturbation Hut'

'wee wee wee'
Richard Dawkins is amazing. But i already say "w w w" instead of "double-u double-u double-u" :o)

'Killed by my cat..."

'Kum & Go'

'Insert Bill'
So this is why Bill Stickers is going to be prosecuted :-D

'That dog got rhythm'

'Dr. Jessen'

And a romantic one to finish...

'Ikea Monkey'


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Entertainment stuff from the week 14-20/4/14

Greetings saviours,

There might not be any magic ones in the sky, but we can always be there/here for each other. [awwwws]

As Easter comes around again, it's time to remember the origins of this seasonal festival... pagan rites!!!

Feasting, dancing naked, saving people from virginity, etc etc etc.

Such a shame the Xtians try to ruin it with their 'Good God, you're telling me a man on a cross, who's slowly dying of shock and blood loss, can somehow be construed as a symbol of love, peace and salvation, just because it's Friday?'

...which they abbreviate to 'Good Friday' for pragmatism's sake :-P

Actually, it's probably just called 'Good Friday' because it's 'holy' which makes it 'good'... apparently.

'Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?'

The BBC says it, so it must be true.

But nothing of importance in the modern ritual has anything to do with Xtianity.

We all know how our Modern Easter really began, right?

And this is what's so important about that magical event:

'Gooey Goodness: Inside Cadbury's Creme Egg Factory'

Oh yes, yes - cremey eggy is is so yummy in my tummy! Why i haven't i bought any of these yet? :-D

A lesson in probability, and not-magicality:

'Every Day This Week Can Be Written The Same Forwards & Backwards'

Dates for every day last week could be seen as palindromic, meaning they read the same backwards as forwards.

E.g. 12321 can be written backwards and it's still 12321

Is this exceptionally weird? Well, no, not really. As the article explains.

Numerology is a weird superstition, but still derived from people's basic over-willingness to see patterns in things, when they're not really there. Like seeing the face of a fictional half-deity you've never met in a slice of toast, for example.

Ripley's has more interesting stuff about the rituals of this time of year:

'The Weirdest Easters'

I've been watching a lot of Jonathan Creek, recently. If you don't know the show, it's about a guy who's a magician's assistant, and solves crimes in his spare time.

Anyone in the world of 'magic' will know who this guy is; and anyone in the world of Rationalism will, too:

'James Randi: An Honest Liar' (trailer)

It should be good fun. I want to see it :-D

"Has John Le Carre done any funny books?", twitter has asked, this week.

It seems he has:

I would like to add:

The Secret Of Scott Pilgrim

Relativity Friends (a Physics-centred favourite of mine)

A Small Town In Vatican City

A Delicate Tooth

The Spy Who Came Into Some Gold (not a blue movie - a gold movie :-P )

A Burger Of Quality

How'zat? :-P

In other news:

Statewide laws controlling nude sunbathing in Bavaria expired last autumn. This means people in Munich are now free to go completely naked, in six of the city's areas. The h2g2 explains the cultural context of nudity in Munich:
I like their style - i could never get the hang of pulling t-shirts over my wings, anyway :-P Notice, however, how the Media have been reporting it as a recent change - the story stopped being 'News' 6 months ago. But, what the hell. Any excuse to show a bum in national newspaper, haha :-D

Having been prompted by a 10-year-old girl who wrote to them to complain about slow shoppers, a shopping centre in Sheffield, UK, has put 'overtaking lanes' in their store. Of course, they're exploiting this for the publicity, as much as possible, by uttering gushing praise for the girl's suggestion. But i'm wondering whether this could really work, judging by the pictures. Will half the store lose out from being on the 'fast lane' side?

What was that mysterious black ring over Leamington Spa? Well, to me it was obviously a vortex ring, produced by shaped detonation. The first link provides all the nonsense explanations; the second, a video, and the true one - it's a practice 'fire effect' (because the word firework's taken) for a show at nearby Warwick Castle.

A hedgefund manager has been caught fare-dodging, on his commute to and from London. In fact, he did it serially, so that he has now been forced to pay back £42550 + £450 legal costs! It just goes to show that, beyond a living wage, income is all relative - this guy must get tens of millions every year, for arbitrarily selecting metaphorical horses to put money on, but he still bothers to dodge train fares! Mitchell & Webb had a good laugh at Futures Traders, on their 'Sound' some years ago:

A Buddhist monk, in Taiwan, who is compelled by Buddhist doctrine to be vegetarian, has 'succombed to temptation' and ... shoplifted some beef jerky from a convenience store. So, because the mind-numbingly impractical dogmas of religion don't allow the occasional consumption of something tasty, people are forcefully nudged toward committing crimes of heresy, hypocrisy, and, to enhance the bargain, theft! Interestingly, meat consumption, around the world, is increasing more and more, as people can afford it. Something tells me ideological vegetarians are fighting the tide! Scientific dietary advise is still to eat a balanced diet - that means a small amount of meat and dairy, but not none at all.

None of those ^ stories were April Fools jokes. This one, however is. 'Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he's from the future' "Countries do not exist where I am from. The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I'm here to stop it ever happening." :-D

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

'Blue Eggs?! Bite Sci-zed'

'Why is Winter Coming (Game of Thrones) - Deep Sky Videos'

'Digital mirror reveals internal organs'
To use the 'mirror' the participant has to have already undergone a PET, X-Ray, and MRI scan, so that although it isn't a real-time projection, it is your own body contents staring back at you! Freaky stuff :o)

'First Time Sexual Experiences In Animated Gifs'
Whew, there are some hardcore... metaphors... in this video :-P

'Le Serveur (Greg Romano)'

Please note that this is not an instructional video for how to make a marmite sandwich. As you would expect, considering the vast difference in nature of the product, the preparation process is immensely different too :-P

Well, wadd'ya know? You wait half a year for another comic horoscope, and then two come along at once :-D

'Richard Saunders - Dr. Duarf Ekaf's Horoscope (April 2014)' (my upload)

'Psychic Vera's Horoscope for April 2014' (my upload)

'Sniper Pug'

'Friend Zone'

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

Word Of The Week: vexillology -- the scientific study of the history, symbolism and usage of flags or, by extension, any interest in flags in general

Expression Of The Week: 'bitchy resting face' -- a face that unfortunately exhibits a frown, even when that person does not feel hostile in any way

Etymology Of The Week: portmanteau -- meaning 'a combination of two or more words or morphemes' is a prtmanteau of the words 'porter' (to carry) and 'manteau' (coat) from French; not to be confused with the definition of the word in French, where 'porte-manteau' simply means 'coat rack'

Quote Of The Week: "I took an oath to support the Constitution, and I felt the Constitution was violated on a massive scale" - Edward Snowden, the whistleblower on NSA snooping, speaking via live video link at the SXSW festival in Austin

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

'Creaciones de Gilbert Legrand (10 imágenes)'

'The sound of a moth'

Forget the sound of music - this is the sound of moth.

From the 'LaurBubble' YouTube channel:

'Your Smell..'

'It's Official'

'On Hold'

From the 'The Kloons' YouTube channel:

'Sandwich Storm'

'Dubstick Chapstep'

'Priceless Possessions'

'The Kloons Brainstorm'

'Did You Just Check Her Out? ( Why men look at other women)'

'Chinese Delivery'

'Minimally Impressive Psychic'

'Yoga Thoughts - What You're Really Thinking During Yoga'

'Body Shots'

'Google House View (beta)'

'The Director'

'Save a Dog'
{Isn't it interesting, that in the real world, people are less morally assertive about inaction than action}

'The Bro Zone'

'Alpha Males'

'The Mindblower'

'Laid Off'

'Switching Bodies - Episode 1'

'Gay Marijuana'
What about bisexual barbiturates?

'Pussy Water - banned cologne commercial'