29 May 2006

Don't try this at home, or anywhere else

An eagle-eyed Wellingtonian spots an impressively foolhardy attempt to shorten a motorcyclist's lifespan: his clapped out and unregistered bike is being pulled by a tow-rope (with pics).

Source: Wellingtonista

Measuring the strength of nationalist feeling

Nice to see that the Eurovision Song Contest is more important for national identity than the football World Cup!

'In the run-up to yesterday's vote [for possible secession of Montenegro], relations between Serbia and Montenegro had become so fraught that they were unable to agree on a common entrant for Saturday's Eurovision song contest, and withdrew. However, the republics will field a joint team at the World Cup in Germany next month.'

Source: Guardian, 22 May 2006

[Courtesy of Louise]

It'll never catch on here

The Times reports that 'in a marketing ploy that would have Bridget Jones choking on her chardonnay, a reduced-alcohol white wine is to be aimed at women who find conventional brands too strong'.

Source: The Times, 22 May 2006

Unleash your inner ninja

Students at the University of Canterbury can now join Ninjasoc, the 250-strong club for those who wish to evoke the spirit of the black-clad mystic warriors of the night, according to The Press. This mainly seems to involve tying a jumper around your head and going 'aiieeee!' a lot.

University of Canterbury Students' Association president Warren Poh said Ninjasoc was one of the more unusual social clubs at the university.

"I don't think they are a secret bunch of real ninjas. I think they do stuff that is more ninja-aimed. I don't really know what, but they have had a couple of barbecues. Ninjas have to eat," he said.

Poh said Ninjasoc was welcome to use association facilities if it outgrew its secret headquarters.

Source: The Press, 23 May 2006

27 May 2006

Supposedly piggyback

This statue in a German park is meant to represent two figures engaged in a piggyback ride. You'd be hard pressed to view it without thinking it was depicting something considerably less appropriate...

Source: B3ta

24 May 2006

Museum of bad album covers

If you love music, then you should consider it your duty to expose yourself to the sheer unadulterated naffness of the wonderful collection of the Museum of bad album covers. Here's a special favourite of mine.

18 May 2006

Having trouble sleeping?

Either at home or at your workstation? Then perhaps you need the soothing sounds of Sleep-Aid - and it's fully customisable! Mix up a storm (literally), or a bunch of seagulls in the rain, and the computer-generated tones will lull you into a blissful doze. Is there anything the internet can't do? (Just don't use the 'vibes' slider - instead of inducing sleep it actually makes you really really angry)


Website names for the can't-be-arsed

Rob Manuel thinks naming a new website like Flickr is easy peasy, and he's even willing to teach you how to do it - his name generator makes it so so easy... although I'm not too sure how long something like "ma0r1 partyy" would last.

Source: B3ta

Um... so do I get the job?

Okay, so by now probably everyone in the world has seen this story, but it's still brilliant. The BBC accidentally interviewed a Congolese job applicant live on-air, thinking he was an IT expert.

Business presenter Karen Bowerman, who was to interview the expert, managed to get a message to the editor that the guest "seems not to know too much about the subject". Mr Goma was eventually asked three questions live on air, assuming this was an interview situation.

[Courtesy of Sam]

"Sorceress, you used the space portal to bring us here. Thanks!"

A reviewer casts his eye over the DVD re-release of 'He-Man and the Masters of the Universe', seeing it from a vastly different perspective now he's no longer six years old:

The show, it turns out, is not quite the singular artistic triumph I once thought it was. Its creators seem to have spared every expense. It's a badly animated, low-budget scramble of every sci-fi and fantasy franchise that preceded it—Conan the Barbarian, Star Wars, Star Trek, Superman, even The Jetsons. It's set among craggy gothic castles and dramatic stone arches on a generic action-planet called Eternia; the time frame is a kind of medieval future in which battle axes coexist with freeze rays, video screens, flying Jet Skis, and memory-projectors. Plots usually adhere to the Bond formula: Villains take short breaks from marathon sessions of maniacal laughter to hatch the most transparent evil schemes, which He-Man foils while tossing off bons mots like a drunk uncle ("I guess they just don't make energy bows like they used to," he quips to a flustered Trap-Jaw; "Boy, the things people leave lying around," he says wryly while tossing two stunned Fishmen off-screen). The dialogue is tediously expository, written apparently for viewers who have slept through most of the episode: "Sorceress, you used the space portal to bring us here. Thanks!" or "Hurray! The power of Grayskull brought your memory back!"

And that's even before he gets on to the subject of rampant homoeroticism!

- Sam Anderson on Slate.com

[Courtesy of Louwrens]

Very Friday website roundup

Tales from the Vault: Canadian Pulp Fiction 1940-52

Excellent exhibition of pulp comics from the heyday of the Canadian publishing boom, including titles like Bill Wayne's Western Magazine, College Sports, Dare-Devil Detective Stories, Daring Confessions, Dynamic Action Tales, Stag, Startling Crime Cases and Uncanny Tales...

Tales from the Vault

Martin Waugh's 'Liquid Sculpture'

Beautiful stop-motion photographs of brightly-lit water droplets in action.

Liquid sculpture

List of neologisms on The Simpsons

A not-at-all-nerdy-really but thoroughly entertaining list of words and phrases coined on the world's best animated sitcom. Includes 'cromulent' and 'redorkulated', which no self-respecting 21st-century citizen should be without.

Simpsons neologisms

Small-town misfit

Reports from US police blotters, detailing peculiar minor incidents...

'A man was standing in the middle of the road holding a butcher’s knife in one hand and a dead armadillo in the other in the 12800 block of Peconic Court. He was ordered to drop the knife and the animal and he did. After speaking with him, he said he was not on his medication. When asked if he wanted to hurt himself or others, he said no'

Small-town misfit

Online gamers unmasked

Pictures of online gamers next to their fantasy-world doubles.

Gamers unmasked

First ever use of the words 'Invercargill' and 'best-dressed' in the same sentence

Sartorial splendour solicited

He used to pose an intimidating figure on the rugby field but former Southland, Highlanders and Manu Samoa prop Mike Mika is now turning heads with his threads.

The Invercargill-based solicitor has been voted the best-dressed male lawyer in the country in an NZLawyer magazine contest, heading off competition from northern fashion freaks and metrosexuals.

Soft chocolate brown suit-wearing Dylan Young, of Russell McVeagh, in Auckland, was no match, despite his dark brown Italian boots and peppermint green shirt causing a collective wistful sigh among the ladies on his floor...

- Southland Times, 9 May 2006

Unforeseen export incentives

Excerpt from a question in the House on New Zealand's economic competitiveness:

Dr Don Brash: If, as Dr Cullen claims on the Prime Minister's behalf, she is so unconcerned about New Zealanders moving to Australia for higher after-tax wages, why is her Government today launching an expensive Australian advertising campaign to lure expat Kiwis home?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: We are not in the least saying that we do not want to see New Zealanders coming back to New Zealand, but I was stopped outside and told that Dr Lockwood Smith was chasing people around and finding out they were going to Australia. If Dr Lockwood Smith was chasing me, I would think about going to Australia.

- Hansard, 11 May 2006

Stamping out innovative judicial practices

Filipino judge sacked for consulting trio of mystic dwarves

By Lester Haines
The Register, Friday 5th May 2006 07:02 GMT

A Filipino judge who "claimed he could see into the future and admitted consulting imaginary mystic dwarfs" is asking to be reinstated after getting the boot for incompetence, Reuters reports.

Trial judge Florentino Floro, who held court in Manila, was given his marching orders and slapped with a 40,000 pesos ($780) fine last month following a three-year investigation which found he had "shown bias in a case he was trying and had criticized court procedure".

Rather more seriously, he told investigators that "three mystic dwarfs - Armand, Luis and Angel - helped him carry out healing sessions during breaks in his chambers", which pretty well settled the matter. The Supreme Court's clinic declared that he was suffering from psychosis, although the court stopped short of calling him insane.

Floro has now filed an appeal. "They should not have dismissed me for what I believed," he declared.

[Courtesy of Louwrens]

15 May 2006


This Flash game is mildly low-tech but highly addictive - swing your little robot thing over the nasty spikes, and see how far you can propel him along. After a bit of practice, I managed 1150m. Think it's best to avoid flinging the robot too high, because it's hard to save it from the spikes after a big swing. Give it a go!


13 May 2006

Don Brash's press conference advice

After a sterling press conference performance this week, it was obvious that the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Dr Don Brash, had paid particularly close attention to his National Party briefings, according to these hypothetical transcripts by Scoop's Lyndon Hood.

DB: I shall pretend to be hopelessly confused about everything. That way, even if these accusations gain any traction, they won't pin a thing on me. And I shall pretend not to have any idea what's in the email.

Nat: How could you convince anyone of that?

DB: Hmm. Perhaps I shall fail to bring a copy of it, and - oh this is very droll - ask one of the journalists for a copy. That way, if I have to disavow anything I've said previously, my feigned sudden recollection will be all the more credible. The fools will never suspect anything. Mwa ha ha ha!

Nat: Genius!

DB: What's more, I shall repeatedly make that 'aeh' noise to further disarm their suspicions! Excellent!

- Scoop.co.nz

'Seeing a man with a donkey is attractive for people'

Cheap innuendo aside, Frenchman Frank Baret, who is working as a WOOF (willing workers on organic farms) on Craigmore Station, is planning to walk the South Island with only a donkey for company (and to carry his stuff). One problem: he doesn't have a donkey yet. Which begs the question: how many donkeys are there on TradeMe? (Answer: a few)

- Timaru Herald, 12 May 2006

It pays to remove the leash first

Prince Henrik of Denmark, the husband of the reigning Queen Margrethe, enjoys delicately sliced, lightly fried dog for dinner. Apparently it tastes like rabbit.

This may or may not compromise his position as honorary president of the Danish Dachshund Club.

- The Times, 3 May 2006

08 May 2006

Real estate agents can sugar-coat anything

"A truly wonderful and very well proportioned single parking space offering a sought-after location with a very hard base, superior tarmac-mix and easy access onto and off via the space surrounding it. The space comprises approximately 60% asphalt, 20% concrete and 20% local stone providing a high quality and very hard layer to park your car. £80k. "

- Foxton's London real estate web site, quoted in Private Eye

[Note that £80,000 is about NZ$230,000]

Does it do 'Glory of Love'?

A UK company, seeing a gap in the market for automatic church service music to replace the dwindling numbers of church organists, has produced a karaoke machine called Hymnal Plus.

The 15th century St Mary the Virgin church in Mudford, near Yeovil in Somerset, was one of the first customers. The parish does have an organist, Christine Whitby, but she is in her 80s and sometimes wants a week off.

"It's not about putting organists out of business. It's about giving churches an alternative. I spoke to one church organist from Gloucestershire recently who had been playing the organ for 50 years and was sick to death of it. This takes the pressure off people like that"

Guardian, 27 April 2006