28 January 2006

Going Underground blog

One woman's slightly obsessive trawl through everything London Underground-related. Includes nifty photos, that comedy song, a bit of grotty poetry, and much much more...

Going Undergroundblog

[Courtesy of KL. Through this site I also cottoned on to the very nifty London blog, The Londonist, which is well worth a read]

Another ordinary day for Jacko

Jackson seen in female disguise

Pop star Michael Jackson was spotted out shopping in Bahrain wearing traditional women's attire. He was out with his three children when he was seen wearing the veil, abaya and gloves typically worn by conservative Bahraini women.

The children's faces were shrouded by dark scarves.

Jackson has settled in the Persian Gulf since quitting his Neverland ranch in Los Angeles after his acquittal on child molestation charges. His father has said it is unlikely he will return to the US to live.

BBC News, 26 January 2006

23 January 2006

The smallest room with a view

Here's public toilet in Houston, Texas, constructed from one-way glass so you can have a view of the entire street while abluting. How European.

Transparent public toilet

[Courtesy of Louise]

Beating your doormat after 8am is strictly forbidden

So great is the task of rescinding archaic laws that many weird and wonderful examples, however moribund, remain on the statue book. An exhibition opening tomorrow at the Law Society's library in central London underlines how many of them proscribe what would now be regarded as harmless everyday activities.

Not that wearing armour in Parliament could now be regarded as an everyday activity, but Edward I clearly thought it might become so when he banned it by statute in 1279.

More than 2,000 obsolete laws have been repealed since 1965, but the clearout continues to throw out many more, some of which have been around for centuries. There are still more than 4,000 Public and General Acts, 11,000 Local Acts and 13,000 Private Acts, all dating from before 1801, which are technically still in force.

From a statute of 1324, any whale washed up on the United Kingdom coastline has to be offered to the Crown and cannot be disposed of without the consent of the Sovereign. By tradition the head belongs to the King and the tail to his consort "to furnish the Queen's wardrobe with whalebone".

Do not even think about firing a cannon close to a dwelling house; the offence carries a £200 fine under the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act. Under the same Act the fine rises to £2,500 if you "keep or use or act in the management of any house, room, pit or other place for the purpose of fighting or baiting lions, bears or other animals".

And mind you behave when borrowing a book. Betting, gambling, using violent, abusive or obscene language or behaving in a disorderly manner in a library carries a £200 fine under the 1898 Library Offences Act. Drinking and driving was a serious offence, carrying a prison sentence or a £200 fine even in 1872, but the Licensing Act of that year had driving a horse, a cow or a steam engine in mind.

Few Acts have been as catch-all or as draconian as the 1847 Town Police Clauses Act, which threatens a £1,000 fine for hanging washing across the street, beating or shaking carpets, rugs or mats (doormats excepted before 8am), singing profane or obscene songs or ballads or using any profane or obscene language, wantonly discharging firearms, making bonfires, flying kites, sliding on ice or snow, extinguishing any lamp, or wilfully and wantonly disturbing residents by ringing their doorbells.

- The Times, 16 January 2006

16 January 2006

Chris Eubank, international man of mystery

...Despite his quirks, [Chris] Eubank remains one of the most endearing of sports personalities, if a sometimes infuriating one. A call to his mobile recently brought the response: "Hello, Christopher here."

"Hi Chris, where are you?"

"I'm in Europe."

"We're all in Europe, Chris. Whereabouts?"

"I couldn't pothibly thay," he replied. And hung up.

- The Independent (UK) profiles newly-bankrupt English ex-boxer Chris 'Chrith' Eubank, 15 January 2006

[Eubank was also recently voted 2nd-most eccentric person in Britain, after Bjork]

15 January 2006

January website roundup


Highly entertaining journey through the mysterious world of stupid stupid customers. Everyone knows work would be so much easier if there weren't any! The Top 20 is a good place to start (top right).



Kind of like Google Earth, this website lets you zoom in to photoessays all around Brooklyn, New York, to get an idea of what it's really like at street level.


Best of Photojournalism 2005

Another mainly American site, but worthwhile nonetheless. The top photojournalism images of the year are displayed here for your delectation. The one of the kids playing in the fountain is just fantastic.


14 January 2006

Is that an iPod in your pocket or are you just... oh, it is an iPod

The Levi's(r) Brand Launches First iPod Compatible Jeans Worldwide

Press Release by Levi's at 1:01 PM, 13 Jan 2006

The Original Denim Brand Kicks Off The Next Revolution In Digital Music Storage

January 13 2006 - The Levi's(r) brand, the denim authority, is launching a wearable technology revolution with the introduction of new Levi's(r) RedWire(tm) DLX Jeans available worldwide from fall 2006. Designed for both men and women, the jeans seamlessly integrate iPod plug and play technology giving music enthusiasts the most innovative and fashionable way to enjoy music on the go. The jean is designed to be compatible with most iPod systems and features include a special joystick designed into the jeans' watch pocket to enable easy operation of the iPod.


The jean is machine washable once the iPod is removed.

[Courtesy of Junglette. Remember kids, don't put your iPod in the washing machine!]

09 January 2006

The Crown versus Peter Lawrence Buck

Entertaining transcripts from the London trial of REM guitarist Peter Buck in 2001, at which he was charged with offences resulting from a drunken 'air rage' incident. He was later cleared of the charges, convincing the court that he had been a victim of 'non-insane automatism'.

"Although he was not drunk at this stage, at 13:05, according to the doctor, his breath smelt of stale alcohol, his lower coat was covered in dried yoghurt and he had slight nystagmus, which is a rapid oscillation of the eyeball movement, indicative of intoxication, and he had two red bruises on the back of his right hand - no doubt, the Crown would say, as a result perhaps of hitting the wall. Other than that, he was mentally fine, it would appear."

The Smoking Gun

[Courtesy of C4 Miles]

07 January 2006

Just in case you, er, need a spare

The nice folks who think of everything think you should buy their 'Chocolate Clone-a-Willy' set. Just make sure you don't leave it out in the sun. (Which goes for real ones too, I should imagine).

This Ain't No Willie Wonka

[p.s. Is safe for work viewing]