Saturday, 28 February 2009

iPhone sudoku grab

A little unsporting perhaps, but it saves all that buggering about and thinking nonsense.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Chin Review #3

It's just a work of skewed brilliance.

Dinosaurs Fucking Robots

Not as base as the title implies, it's actually charmingly philosophical. Click here for more.


MonsterBurger

A heart attack in a box - click here to see it in all its splendour.


Overkill?

This is the coolest sharpening of a pencil I've ever seen. And I don't say that lightly.

26/02/09 - Imagineering

There's a thought that's been troubling me recently. It's a concept that used to preoccupy me greatly when I was at that young age where you find it necessary to analyse and unravel the world around you, and once the thought's in your head it never really leaves. The concept is this: what if I'm really the only one here?

You see, the way we live our lives is entirely grounded in perspective. Some people bluster through life trampling on the people they feel aren't worthy of their tolerance because they just have no interest in third party perspective - they don't care what other people think about them or their actions. Some people are so scared of the reactions and judgements of others that they never dare to leave the house. Most of us float somewhere in the middle, some more self-conscious than others, some a little more boisterous, some just not really thinking about it.
Perspective is an interesting area. Everything about what you see, feel, think and are serves as the base for the texture of your existence, and these criteria seldom change. What you're used to becomes your own personally tailored perception of normality. But how can we really know what other people see as normal, how our peers react to the same stimuli? What if your brother hears everything ever so slightly more loudly than you do? You could go through your whole lives with a rather different feel for sound and have no idea about it, because it's near-impossible to vocalise exactly how loud you're hearing something. The words just don't exist to do so.
What if your eyes have a different physical construct to your neighbours', so that what you perceive as yellow is what your neighbour views as green, and vice versa? You'd never find out that you both see them differently because you apply the same moniker to something that you both see in the same way.
This is the magical ability that words have to control us - the word 'stone', for example, is not a stone. It couldn't be any less of a stone - it's a simple five-lettered noun, a few inky marks on parchment or a cluster of appropriately-placed pixels on a screen. An actual stone will not care if you call it a stone or not. If you were raised to believe that the correct description for a marshmallow was 'stone' then you would not be wrong to label it so. What you're used to is what fundamentally, well, is.

But what if you've constructed all of this yourself? If you take a step further into the hypothetical, beyond the do-I-see-trees-in-a-more-leafy-way-than-anyone-else pondering and into something rather more grandly lonely, you find yourself in quite a disconcerting area. This world could be yours and yours alone. Who is to say whether the people around you actually exist within their own spheres, whether they go about their daily lives with scant thought to the finer points of your existence or they're merely incidental characters in your own personal drama? Try this - wait until you see somebody walking near you, then follow them with your eyes until they are out of sight. Have they actually gone anywhere, or have they simply winked out of existence, waiting for you to allow them to live and breathe again by creating some minor role for them in The Me Show? You can't follow them to check because you'll be forcing them to exist again.
This could, of course, be the ideal answer to the worries of the world. If you needn't worry about the judgement of others then you're free to carry out all of the desires of the heart. Although one could argue that this gives you license to act in a selfishly inconsequential way with no regard for others - it all comes down to your own psyche, really.

Let's say that it's all about you. You created the world and everything in it - you moulded all that you see to fit your brain's perception of the perfect canvas for your life. What does that say about you? If you'd like to pat yourself on the back for a moment, you can luxuriate in the glorious knowledge that your own subconscious planning created sunshine, ice-cream, the Rosetta Stone, Shakespeare, Silverstone, bacon, PG Wodehouse, tortoises, Goodfellas, the Millau viaduct, the Sistine Chapel, Family Guy and sexual intercourse. Conversely, you must also take sole responsibility for AIDS, traffic jams, cancer, Thatcher, bushfires, getting cramp in your calf in the middle of the night, Jim Davidson, sunburn, rape, email spam, mouth ulcers, landmines, terrorism and the Daily Mail. Why did you think all of those things were necessary, what's wrong with you? You could have created a glorious island paradise in which all of the creatures you thought up could gaily frolic and gambol to their heart's content, but no, you'd rather see them die of horrible diseases or get smithereened by car bombs. You sicko.

You can see the trouble I've been having. It's all very well quashing one's insecurities by sidelining everybody in the world as background narrative to one's own life story, but it's not that simple. If you place yourself in the role of Creator, you need to be prepared to accept the consequences of the negatives as well as revelling in the splendour of the positives. If my hypothesis is correct, it's my fault that Flight 1951 crashed in Amsterdam. Baby seals get clubbed to death because of me. I made Hitler invade Poland. The favelas of the world are filled with people that I forced to live there. Jeanne D'Arc was burned at my command. I can only apologise.
Then again... if you don't really exist, I needn't care about your opinion or anybody else's. I might as well take my pants off and punch the queen in the face.

I'll need to have a little think about that.

Speed cooking

l33t BMX skillz0rz

Friday, 20 February 2009

2222 toothpicks

Ladykiller

(Click image to enlarge.)

The force is strong in my pants.

Click here for a list of Star Wars lines that are improved by substituting a random word for 'pants'. For example...

  • I find your lack of pants disturbing.
  • I cannot teach him. The boy has no pants.
  • You are part of the rebel alliance, and a traitor. Take her pants!
  • Curse my metal pants.
  • Judge me by my pants, do you?
  • The emperor asks the impossible. I need more pants.
  • Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's pants, Lord Vader.
  • I used to bullseye womp rats in my pants back home.
  • Put Captain Solo in the cargo pants.
  • I've got a bad feeling in my pants about this.
  • Chewie, jam his pants!
  • Luke, I am your pants.

...and so on.

Apple Shooter

This flash game is so addictive - click here to play.

Marvellous.

Sport comes first

The evils of caffeine

20/02/09 - Unnecessary pedantry

JuicyPips, welcome, blah blah etc.

Sorry, I’m teetering on the brink of rage-induced speechlessness. I just heard a woman chastising her offspring by telling them that she’d ‘Pacifically’ asked them to do something. Isn’t that annoying? I hate stupid people, they ruin the world for the rest of us. You’d have to be some sort of genuine brain-spaz to honestly believe that the words ‘Pacific’ and ‘specific’ were interchangeable, or even remotely similar in meaning. What a berk.

Unfortunately we find ourselves surrounded by morons, idiots, plebs and ignorami that butcher and pulverise our beloved mother tongue with their basic misunderstandings, their demonstrations of laissez-faire don’t-give-a-tossedness towards the logical and etymological threads that stretch from the words we share today through the annals of history. I suppose I’m fundamentally positing the concept that thick people shouldn’t be allowed to speak, but even if we were to cut out their tongues, they’d still have computers and mobile phones with which to annoy and perplex us all.
Take text-speak (alright, txtspk if you must) as an example. This irritating behaviour sums up perfectly the educational malaise of a braindead generation. It made a degree of sense in the early days of mobile phones, with their text message character limits and suchlike, to occasionally substitute a ‘to’ with a ‘2’ or a ‘for’ with a ‘4’ – in the context it was acceptable. However, as the technology has developed the alphanumeric abbreviations have become entirely redundant, yet still thickos relentlessly force them upon us. How much time do you honestly save in the construction of a text message if you deliberately spell everything incorrectly? I make a point of ignoring any such messages and deleting the people in question from my address book. I have no desire to associate with such dullards.
As for using txtspk in emails, this is wholly unforgivable and should be punishable by the removal of fingertips. It just makes you look like a moron. And don’t get me started on people who relentlessly smear ‘lol’ all over their communications. The only purpose ‘lol’ serves is to highlight to anybody who may read it that the author is a retard.

There are many common mistakes that really get on my nerves, as I’m sure they do yours. In a spirit of Meldrewesque miserablism I’ve decided to compile a short list of stupidity, for no other reason than to vent a bit of steamy ire. Feel free to add your own. (Or judge me harshly for my intolerance, whatever you feel comfortable with.)

Lose/loose.
You see this all the time. The first one is to be used when you misplace something. The second one is for when something’s a bit baggy. They cannot be used in place of one another, no matter how relentlessly you pursue the concept. It’s just wrong.

Your/you’re.
Another one that a lot of people don’t seem to get. The simple premise is that the apostrophe indicates the melding of two words, hence ‘you’re’ is a contraction of ‘you are’. I used to take great pride in mocking my peers for this at school. When they scrawled ‘your bent’ on my general book, I would respond with ‘my bent what?’. Precocious asininity, perhaps, but I had the moral upper hand.
And no friends.

To / too.
Seriously, what’s so hard about this? ‘To’ means ‘to’. Of course you know what ‘to’ means, you use it all the bloody time. But why do people find it so hard to cope with adding an extra ‘o’ when they’re implying excess? ‘Too clever’ means ‘more clever than is necessary or expected’. ‘To clever’ means ‘I’ve unsuccessfully attempted to turn an adjective into a verb and you’re right to mock me for it’.

There/their/they’re.
I can sort of understand where people go wrong with this, but only if those people are eight years old or under. Come on, it’s obvious when you think about it. Remember that apostrophe we discussed? When you see it in ‘they’re’ it means ‘they are’. ‘They’re stupid’ means ‘they are stupid’. ‘There stupid’ means nothing, nor does ‘their stupid’ unless you’re going on to say ‘their stupid brains prevent correct spelling’ or somesuch. ‘There’ is pretty malleable – use it as your default unless you wish to use the possessive pronoun of ‘they’ (‘their stupid brains…’). Job done.

Haven’t/have’nt.
See what’s happened in the second one? That apostrophe is in totally the wrong place. This demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of why it’s there – it indicates, in that case, the missing letter (i.e. the ‘o’ of ‘not’.)
But let’s not get hung up on apostrophes, we’ll lose the afternoon arguing over the difference between ‘it’s’ and ‘its’ and their respective applications… and life’s too short for that sort of business.

Posterity/prosperity.
Much like the Pacific/specific issue, these are entirely different words that are often substituted for one another. If, say, you wish to keep an item for future generations to admire, you are keeping it for posterity. To claim that you are ‘keeping it for prosperity’ is gibberish.

Bought/brought.
You have to be a complete asshat to confuse these two, yet it happens annoyingly frequently. ‘Bought’ comes from ‘to buy’, while ‘brought’ has its roots in ‘to bring’. Saying that you ‘brought something from the shop’ may be technically true in that you conveyed it from that point, but it certainly does not suggest that you purchased it there.

‘At the end of the day’. This isn’t a grammatical error - more of a warning. If you hear someone using this phrase, there’s an excellent chance that they’re really stupid. The more times they say it, the thicker they are.

We are, of course, wading against a tide of vacuous incompetence here – the idiots always win. Case in point: according to the OED, ‘dice’ can now be used in the singular form. You can still say ‘a die’ if you’re not stupid, but you can't mock people for saying ‘a dice’, because – officially speaking – it’s no longer solely a plural.

Honestly. I can only apologise to our forefathers for the disservice our lazy generation has done to a formerly great language.


(That’s ‘formerly’, mind. Not ‘formally’.)

Thursday, 19 February 2009

RollerCoaster Tycoon Massacre

RollerCoaster Tycoon is a theme-park based game. Basically, you have to build lots of different rides well enough for them not to crash or kill the cheery fairground patrons.

...or you can do it the fun way, like this:

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Cliché-tastic pondlife

movieletterswitch

Hours of fun to be had here.




Tomacco!!

I love the new Simpsons opening sequence - if you're a geek like me you'll enjoy the countless memes from the past 429 episodes that are woven into the revamp. You might have to watch it a couple of times though...

Do not post pictures of this sign on the internet.

So, what's this all about then?





















Give up? It's just clever bit of geeky marketing. Behold.

'Men being squashed'...

...is the imaginative title of a Japanese book featuring, er, photos of men having their faces squashed between women's thighs. It's unusual. Take a look here.


Run! Zombies!

Friday, 13 February 2009

Where dreams become heart attacks



'That's my penis.'

Oops.

fmylife.com

Think your life sucks? This is the place for you.

Bus slogan generator

This rules - click here and try it for yourself.

What the fuck...

...is this old woman banging on about?


13/02/09 - St. Valentine's Day Pips

So, it only seems appropriate this week to say something about St. Valentine’s Day. It’s a peculiar time of year that ensures previously happy people suddenly find themselves in a state of panic, followed by nerves and then ultimately trouble and chastisement, while unhappy singletons get to question their social interaction skills and feel really bad about their self-perceived shortcomings.

Nobody wants to be single in February. The echoing, cacophonous silence as dozens of cheerfully pink cards fail to tumble through the letterbox serves to reinforce the lack of any sort of self-worth on the part of the losers in question. (This isn’t a term of abuse, it’s just natural to group these people together as life’s downtrodden underachievers.) Is it because you haven’t managed to shake off those extra pounds you piled on over Christmas? Perhaps it’s your irritating voice? Maybe your rampant halitosis, clearly evident to everyone but yourself, is the key to your loneliness? Maybe you’re just really tedious company? There’s got to be some reason why you’ve entirely failed to maintain any kind of emotional bond with another human. I mean, come on, statistically that’s a really quite phenomenal achievement. There are loads of people in the world, there must be one person somewhere who’s willing to stroke you for five minutes and whisper sweet and momentarily warming lies into your ear…?

For those sickening folk who get ultralovey-dovey at this time of year it is, of course, far worse. The first hurdle is trying not to irritate everyone around you. There’s nothing more nauseating than seeing love close-up, with all the fluffy pinky bunny-ness that goes on, shnookemy-wookemying into a gooey plasticine smear of retch-inducing displays of fabricated corporate-led ‘emotion’. Bleurgh. If you get up to this sort of behaviour in front of people, they’re bound to react badly. You might find that heart-emblazoned fluffy elephant rammed inconceivably deeply where only your friendly local proctologist dares to slide a slippery finger.
The more significant danger by far is that of judging the expectations of your loved one. This applies both to what they’re expecting to receive and what they’ve got for you. It may be, in your partner’s eyes, entirely reasonable for them to buy you some lovely embroidered crimson socks while you’re obliged, at the very least, to whisk them to Rome for candlelight bruschetta in the shadow of the Colosseum. How can you possibly tell? What if they hate Valentine’s Day and haven’t got you a single thing while you’ve spent two months’ wages on a Tiffany necklace? What if you thought a bunch of flowers and a trip to the movies was acceptable while they saw fit to present you with the keys to gleaming new Bentley Continental? Bloody hell, it’s a minefield.

Basically, February 14th benefits Clinton's Cards, restaurateurs and florists, while everyone else is left to flounder in an ocean of faeces. So what's the answer? Simple: take a lesson from history. All of the following happened on St Valentine's Day - the bombing of Dresden, the declaration of the Polish-Soviet War, the Stardust Disaster, the St Valentine's Day Massacre, Rafik Hariri's assassination, the Long March 3 Disaster, Captain Cook's murder... see where this is going? Violence is the answer. History instructs you to get out there and fuck shit up.

You have your instructions. Now go forth and multiply... then divide with lethal force. Do it.

'They have the authority to carry out enquiries...'

Frighteningly real

iPhone 4-track recorder

As iPhone apps become increasingly convoluted and outlandish, here's a cool new one that might actually be useful as well as fun. Behold - the iPhone 4-track recorder.

Bongs, virginity, etc

You can buy anything on eBay, right?
Well... not quite anything. Click here.

Traditional Scottish beats

Monday, 9 February 2009

Tweets

Charlie Brooker succinctly sums up what Twitter is all about - click here.

'I've learned nothing and neither have you. But it's passed some time. And that's Twitter all over.'

Evil rodents

Wisdom from bathroom graffiti

Crotchy Crotchington

This is pretty amusing.

Good God, this kid can scream.

fnar

Some recent naughtiness from Sickipedia:

I've got my first Gamblers Anonymous meeting tomorrow. I rang them today to check the time.
It's fucking ten to one.

My wife told me that since she got pregnant, she worries that I will not fancy her anymore because she is getting fat. She worries that I will leave her and go off with someone younger and slimmer.She asked me what my biggest fear was.
"Bears," I told her.

I found out why Toblerone is triangular today.
So it fits in the box.

What's the difference between your mum and a bag of apples?
Your mum's a slag.

I got kicked out of the local hospital last night. Bloody unfair. They shouldn't have signs up saying 'Stroke patients here'.

I was watching Supersize Vs Superskinny and decided I am going to become anorexic. An expert said, "1 in 10 people with anorexia die."
A 90% chance of immortality is good enough for me.

Killing Time

CakeWrecks

Love cake? Love weirdness? Look no further...

Bangladesh brickies

Impressive stuff.


GraphJam stuff

A few GraphJam's recent highlights.



Armstrong & Miller

Quite simply, nail on head. Genius.

Japanese potty training

This is... weird.

Headset Hotties

Because for every fetish there is ample visual sustenance. Click here to see.


We love Snuff Box.

Boyfriend? Fuck you.

05/02/09 - Musical snobbery

Today we're going to think about music.
I don't know about you, but when I was a little kiddie I always tried to listen to something entirely otherwhere from what the rest of the children liked. This wasn't an early effort to be cool, and I was certainly no musical prodigy or visionary, I just didn't like the other kids very much. I'd never do anything so pretentious today, of course - everyone's tastes differ and you'd be an idiot to listen to anything for any other reason than actually liking it (I had a friend who got very into hip-hop when he was at uni despite having slagged it off for years previously - why? Because all of his mates liked it. Wholly unnecessary), but in hindsight I was totally right to do so at the time. Let me check the fountain of questionable 'fact' at Wikipedia and see what was big when I was 10...

Right, so we had Nirvana's 'Nevermind', Lemonheads' 'It's A Shame About Ray' and Ned's Atomic Dustbin's 'Are You Normal?', which is pretty much where I wanted to be. (I wasn't that insightful at the age of 10 of course, I had to discover those retrospectively.) The biggest singles of that year were Snap's 'Rhythm Is A Dancer', Whitney Houston's 'I Will Always Love You' and Boyz II Men's 'End Of The Road', which were all shit. I learnt very early on that the public were stupid and they'd buy any old tripe as long as it had been forced into their brains hard enough by incessant radio play. What did I do? Oh, I was a strange child. I developed a deep love of eighties hair metal through listening to my dad's old Great White LPs, then grew unhealthily enamoured with Poison. When I was at primary school I thought they were the best thing ever. (And to be fair, 'Native Tongue' is still a pretty good album.)

You can't go to secondary school with a love of poodlerock though. You'd be eaten alive. The next logical step, naturally, was to get into Guns N' Roses. And boy did I. I was obsessed to the point that I'd wear my GN'R jacket to school instead of my blazer (quite the little rebel) - I even created Guns N' Roses mixtapes that were parent-friendly, with all the sweariest songs removed in case they asked to hear any particular album. I sewed walkman speakers into my satchel so that I could play 'Appetite For Destruction' on the train home. (You know how annoying it is when kids play tinny music on their mobiles on public transport? Yeah, I was a decade and a half ahead of them...) It was the perfect fit. Chubby unpopular kids need angry music to luxuriate in, it helps to focus the rage against their foes.
What was big while I was screaming along to 'Use Your Illusion II'? Christ, it was Kris Kross, Boy George, Gabrielle, Culture Beat and TLC. Those other kids were so clueless.

But where do you go after the rage subsides? Why, indie music of course! I don't think any of my old schoolfriends remember my angry days, because from the age of fifteen onwards I was Mr Indie. Every penny I had was spent on Longpigs EPs from Japan, first-pressing Menswear singles, Marion vinyl from Germany... it was an all-consuming obsession. Do you remember what you were listening to in 1997? Do you still have those records now? Have a think about it.
I kept them. Every single one. My vast collection of Bluetones CDs is unrivalled. Surely no-one in the UK can have as comprehensive a Mansun collection as I. (Oh, I loved Mansun. [Still do, actually.] I went backstage at the Margate Winter Gardens when I was sixteen and was embarrassingly starstuck. Couldn't think of a thing to say.) To ensure I still kept my rock edge, I was an avid collector of Terrorvision releases too. Promos, bootleg live albums, my cup ranneth over with them. Oh, and Green Day too - I'll never stop loving them.
...and all the while, my peers were bouncing around to the painful inanities of Hanson, Puff Daddy, Aqua, Spice Girls and Savage Garden, for shame.

So roundabout now you're probably feeling empathy to one or other of these two camps; either agreeing that I was right (if so, thanks) or cursing my name for daring to disparage your beloved vacuous empty pop music. (I will never apologise for this. I despise 'pop music'. Forget what the Beatles did to the phrase itself - its modern usage to denote any mass-produced over-polished meaningless dirge that may find itself in the charts is a strong metaphor for the general couldn'tgiveafuckedness of modern society. It makes me queasy.)
I can tell you're begging to discover in which direction my affections turned after this. Well, here we go...

Students, as we all know, like to herald the move from home as a sea-change in sensibilities. And goodness, was I ever into punk when I was at uni. I devoured the works of the Buzzcocks, X-Ray Spex, The Adverts, Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Blondie, The Stooges - suddenly the music I loved had context and history. I'd done it the wrong way round, damn it, but it was obvious that Mansun came from Magazine, that Green Day came from Stiff Little Fingers... the pieces slid into place. I also gloried in mocking people for thinking that the Sex Pistols (reasonably alright as they may have been) were the be all and end all of punk, rather than just a grotesque pastiche of a glorious genre. Self-righteous, moi? Damn right I was.

On re-reading the above, there are a few obvious conclusions to draw.
1: I don't belong in clubs. As anyone who's been to a nightclub with me will attest, I'm a pretty shocking dancer because I can't lose myself in the music like everyone else there. I just stand there silently judging the ineffable shitness of it all.
2: It is, of course, entirely possible to love and hate the same band. Look at U2, for example - 'The Joshua Tree' is a great album ('Bullet The Blue Sky' in particular), but everything they've done this century is really annoying. Or The Killers - when I first heard 'Somebody Told Me' five years ago on MTV2 I was captivated, but there's a lot of crap on that first album and the second one is awful. (And have you heard them live? The studio is very kind to Brandon Flowers. The man cannot sing!)
3: Pop music sucks. Hard.
4: Don't ask me to talk about music. I just bang on for hours.

Oh right, you didn't ask.

30/01/09 - High 'n' mighty

Oh, hi. I see you’re reading JuicyPips. Good choice.
Um... I wrote this week's intro yesterday when I was all grumpy. Sorry. Feel free to skip over it.

You know, I very nearly didn’t bother writing JuicyPips at all. For why, you may ask, for why? Oh, it’s all the complaints. Four separate people complained about JuicyPips this week. Four. It disheartened me greatly. It takes me ages you see, and to have a third of the entire readership (approximately, I’m guessing) finding themselves in some state of antigruntlement leads me to suspect that perhaps it isn’t worth the risk any more. Perhaps it would be best for you all if this tired old ‘Friday email’ concept was put out of its misery, left to grow old in the dribbly and urine-soaked indignity of the Lotus Notes retirement home for the terminally bewildered.

But then I had a thought. And that thought was ‘fuck it’. There’s way too much negativity in the world today (a point I believe I made last week, actually [oh Christ, people will complain about that too…]), so rather than kill off this crumbly old collection of peculiar ideas, quasi-amusing YouTube videos and unnecessary opinions, I thought I’d just make it really preachy and unamusing this week. Life’s too short for the bitterness, you see. Behold, some happiness.

Important point number one: you’re bloody lucky to be here.
This is, somewhat unfortunately, a point that you generally only hear emanating from the lips of either an angered schoolteacher or an unwashed hippy with a name like Mulch or Zygote who makes their own tunics from Hessian, but it is an important one.
Your dad met your mum at exactly the right time. Every decision they made led, directly or otherwise, to your creation. They got it on at just the right moment. When your pater unleashed his mighty hordes of sticky swimmers, you found yourself racing against 50 million competitors… and you won. That’s a magnificent achievement, well done! Your egg-seeking skills are superb. Your folks looked after you, together or otherwise, to a sufficient standard to ensure that you became a reasonably healthy and well-nourished specimen, able to function as a useful, active, objective and unique member of society. You haven’t been killed by the myriad diseases, lunatics and natural accidents that stalk the land like some mighty tripod of perennial worry. You’re able to get up in the morning to a life of comparative plenty, with all the fresh water you can drink, a strong healthcare network, a fair and equal justice system… it goes on. Just count your blessings once in a while, that’s all.

Important point number two: you only get to do this once.
There’s nothing worse than misunderstanding the work-to-live/live-to-work divide. Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely admirable to be passionate about your job and to put your back into it – from street-sweeper to Prime Minister, there’s great dignity in being good at what you do. However, we haven’t spent half a million years evolving from primordial slime so that you can spend your Sunday afternoons coming up with witty slogans to sell baked beans to students. Get out once in a while, enjoy yourself. There’s so much to see. You could spend every minute of every day looking at a different part of the world and you’d still barely scratch the surface. Always wanted to visit Easter Island? Go there, then. Don’t visit enough museums? Make it a new hobby. Want to travel around Asia? Give up your job, sell your possessions and jump on a plane. Fancy getting into horse racing? Get a loan and buy a horse. What’s stopping you?
Imagine time as a straight line. Fit everything that’s ever happened in the history of the universe and that will ever happen onto that line. Now look at yourself within all that activity. Insignificant, eh?Your time on earth is but a brief sneeze in the grand scheme of things. Stop being so damned miserable and have some fun. After you die, no-one will want to talk about the tedious arse who spent all their time by their computer in the dark and loved to give checkout girls a hard time for scanning their shopping too slowly. Happiness will enrich you. Don’t waste your life. Those fifty million sperm might be waiting for you at the end and they’ll be pissed off if you screwed it all up.

I did have loads of other points to make here, but all this saccharine high-horse airy-fairy spiritual cobblers is starting to make me feel more than a little queasy. I’m a massive hypocrite, you see. I know I’m lucky to be alive in a time of security and plenty. I know there’s a whole world out there to see. I know I’m fortunate not to have lived through a world war. But I’m still wasting my life watching telly and drinking too much.
See, the natural response to the above preaching is to say ‘if I want to drink a whole bottle of Kentucky bourbon while working through a Futurama box-set, then why the hell shouldn’t I?’, and this is a fair point. We can’t all be significant. If we all did something interesting with our lives and made deep and lasting impacts upon the world, we’d just be making the history lessons of tomorrow unbearably complicated. Future generations would resent us for our industriousness, for setting the bar that little bit too high.

Maybe I’m just turning into an old grouch. OK, ignore what I said and get on with your lives.

23/01/09 - Arsing around

Happy Pipsday y’all. Welcome to JuicyPips.

Last week’s anti-football tirade went down surprisingly well… aside from the footie fanbois who took it all personally (although their opinions are largely inconsequential, so sod it), it seems you all love a bit of negativity. And I said that this week I’d call the ‘Pips ‘why I hate cyclists’. Well, I’m not gonna. No. There’s been far too much anger floating about the place recently, I don’t want to add to it by launching into a lengthy and malicious rant about how cyclists are a shower of lycra-clad twats who think the Highway Code doesn’t apply to them, how they ignore traffic lights and then complain when people beep at them, how they ride on the pavements and scream at you to get out of the way even though they have no right to be there, how they always ride in the bus lane on Wandsworth Bridge even though there’s a perfectly good cycle lane right next to it, how they pay no tax to be on the road but still think they own it… it would be counter-productive of me to do so. I’m saying nothing.

Come on, this is a week for cheeriness, for rejoicing! There’s a man with a brain in the White House. Verne Troyer hoodwinked the nation by making everyone think he was cute, then molested a baby doll. Guantanamo is closing. Friday Night with Jonathan Ross is back on the telly. Heath Ledger’s been nominated for a posthumous Oscar. See? Reasons to be cheerful all round.With this in mind, we’ve been mucking about in the office with the aim of having a bit of fun for zero expenditure. In times of austerity it’s important to keep a handle on activities that are both fun and cheap, so here’s what we’ve been doing…

Tinkering with computers
People get really confused when their computers do unexpected things. This is exactly the sort of weakness that should be preyed upon. Wait until two nearby adjacent-sitting colleagues are both elsewhere, then swap over their keyboard cables so they’re plugged into each others computers (keeping the keyboards themselves in the same place, obviously). If this works serendipitously, they’ll both arrive back and get typing simultaneously. Then they’ll get really confused, call IT and swear a lot. Obviously this doesn’t work that often, so you have to do it a lot. We lost a day doing this but damn it, it was worth it.
(Not exciting enough for you? Alright, try setting fire to your colleagues' computers. That'll satisfy your carnage-lust, you lunatic.)

Car park japery
There’s a classic trick in The Simpsons where Bart and Milhouse repaint all of the parking bay lines in the faculty car park ever so slightly closer together, so the teachers are trapped in their cars. We like this idea very much. We went down to the KV car park to have a go but it seemed like a hell of a lot of work, so instead we got busy with the hammers – smashing this, smashing that, letting out involuntary yelps and cries of ‘you rich bastards! I can’t afford a Porsche, you scum!’. It’s a brilliant way to spread good cheer, we had a really fun time.

Surprise kisses
Everyone loves a bit of affection. We’ve been hiding behind pillars and pouncing on passers-by lips-first. We assume the screams are due to the surprising nature of our tenderness, rather than what has subsequently been referred to as ‘numerous violations’. Remember – you’re not breaking the law if you shout ‘surprise!’ first. Probably.

Lavatory sabotage
You know the classic cling-film-on-the-toilet gag? Great if they’re standing up, even better if they’re sitting down…
Well, we took it to the next level. Two of the toilets in the building are wired to a not insignificant explosive charge. We’re surprised not have heard them go off already, actually – beware, it could be you!

Damaging reputations
It's worrying how careless people are with information in this place. If you were feeling particularly mischievous you could cause a lot of damage. Yes, we were feeling mischievous. Yes, we did bad things. Very few people lock their PCs when they're away from their desks, for example. The opportunities here are limitless. You can begin with something innocuous like, say, changing their Facebook status ('James Barnes is a Tassimo fraudster', 'Harry Dromey is having an affair with his own father' etc), then move onto bigger fish. Frank, if you're wondering why men keep trying to cyber you, you should probably check your outbox. Or maybe you're enjoying the attention?

Getting really drunk
Looking for a way to make the weekend arrive a little quicker? Why not try getting monumentally pissed at your desk and seeing how long it is before anybody notices? We've been experimenting with this, but Kasia always rumbles us pretty quickly. After all, nobody likes a handbag full of sick.

Arguing
We love arguing - it doesn't cost a penny and you get to shout a bit. Currently ruffling feathers in the planning department is the inevitable return of the great JB debate: who's the best JB - James Bond, Jack Bauer or Jason Bourne? Strong cases for all three, but surely Bond has to take it on heritage alone, no? Although Jason Bourne is all kinds of awesome. But Jack Bauer never needs to sleep, which makes him superhuman... oh, it's a toughie.
Racist? Sexist? Daily Mail reader? These all make good arguments too.

...and so on.Tune in next week for... oh, I dunno, more random shit.

16/01/09 - Why I hate football

Good day to you, and welcome to a fascinatingly controversial JuicyPips. This week’s emission is entitled ‘why I hate football’.
Controversial, he says? Why certainly. ZOMG, he’s a boy, but he doesn’t like football, how can he explain this…? Well, allow me to elaborate with a series of increasingly spurious and convoluted explanations.

1) Professional footballers are a bunch of whining nancy boys.
Unquestionably the best thing about watching a football match on TV is watching a bit of rugby first. This throws the pathetic softness (or, as is more usually the case, the inherent dishonesty) of the modern footballer into gloriously sharp focus. A slight tap on the ankle and you get five or six impromptu forward rolls, followed by all of his team-mates holding up their hands in a pseudo-disgusted ‘ref, I can’t believe you haven’t stopped the game for this massive travesty of justice’ manner while the “injured” whelp rolls about on the floor in apparently the worst pain that any human has ever suffered. Oh, he’s crying a bit. Oh no, they have to stretcher him off. I hope he’s alright. Oh yes, he’s running back on to the fucking pitch as if he’s totally forgotten what happened (which, to be honest, he probably has). Still, at least he won the free kick. That was lucky.
All the while, the broken and bleeding rugby players are pointing at them and sniggering.

2) Professional footballers are very, very stupid.
There have been a vast – almost immeasurable – number of footballists over the years, and there are only two that have ever demonstrated even the slightest fraying threads of intelligence: Gary Lineker and Thierry Henry. And even then, one’s a serial adulterer and the other’s French. The rest of them are, to a man, the sort of insufferable dribbling dullards that, had they not figured out how to kick a reasonably small ball into a very large net, would ensure a healthy oversupply of offal processors, trainer-stitchers and despicable junkie dole scum. David Beckham is reportedly charging £450k for interviews at the moment, an offer which no network has bothered to take him up on (with one US anchorman being quoted as saying ‘paying $10,000 every time he might mumble ‘you know’ is not one of the wisest investments’). Footballers exist within a world of clichés. They can’t get out a sentence without somewhere shoehorning in an ‘at the end of the day’ or a 'd'you know what I mean?' - they have an uncanny ability to avoid answering any given question by just stringing a load of random words together, regularly interspersed with the phrase 'y'know'. It would be very cunning if they were actually doing it deliberately.

3) Football fans are tedious and moronic.
There are few things more irritating than realising mid-pint that the pub you're in is full of football bores. The average football fan on a non-match day is little more than a wet sack of unnecessary stats from bygone teams that nobody could ever possibly care about. (Incidentally, what's the deal with people who say that 'Liverpool have always been good at corners' or 'Norwich have always been shite at saving penalties' or whatever - you can't draw these kind of historical parallels, you idiots. Twenty years ago it was a load of entirely different players being managed by somebody else. It's not the same team.) What's most annoying is that football bores always make one of two assumptions: either that you know what they're talking about (seen the episode of the I.T. Crowd where they were learning football jargon for the pub? That kind of thing) or that you're in some way interested. They always ask you what team you support, then get all offended when you tell them that you couldn't give a toss about any of it.Match days, however, turn Mr Football Bore into Mr Mindless Thug. Football fans are, without exception, violent and scary. I've only been to one actual game (Fulham v Spurs about five years ago, terrifying), but I've seen I.D. and that documentary where Paul Kenyon went undercover with the Chelsea Headhunters. Football fans like nothing better than punching the shit out of each other - fact.I used to live next to Fratton Park. Whenever Southampton were visiting they'd close off all the local streets and there'd be policemen with dogs everywhere. Is this what your grandparents fought for?

4) Footballers buy cars they don't deserve.
Did you see what Cristiano Ronaldo did to his Ferrari 599GTB recently? He'd only had it two days and he managed to crash it into the wall of a tunnel while he was driving in a straight line. Twat. A couple of hours later he was on his way to training in his Bentley, the smug bastard.Oh yes, poor Bentley. A brand with a rich and glorious heritage with has been systematically invalidated and diluted by the fact that the first thing a footballer does when he starts earning big money is to go out and by a Continental GT. It's a crying shame.

5) Footballers have no taste.
This is a huge essay in itself, but we don't have time. Just go to Google and type in 'Phil Neville's house'.

6) Professional footballers are all criminals.
It's a sliding scale from manslaughter, rape, through racism, past drink driving and down to parking violations, but every professional footballer is guilty of something. They generally get away with it though, because they're rich and famous. But hey - that's just real life.

7) Football is gayer than Top Gun.
Not that there's anything wrong with gayism - it's just the fact that the hordes of tattooed skinhead louts who follow the game with tremendous homoerotic tenacity refuse to admit that they're all as gay as the first day of spring. Name me any other activity that involves a large group of sweating drunken men watching another group of equally sweaty men in little shorts that wouldn't be viewed as 'well bent, innit' by said first group.
Have you seen the way the 'fans' treat Sol Campbell? It's the ultimate barefaced ignorant self-denial. Face it - if you enjoy watching football, it's because you're a great big steaming queen.

...and so forth. Next week: Why I hate cyclists.

09/01/09 - Happy New Year!

A very happy new year to you, and welcome to the first JuicyPips of 2009.

It is, of course, traditional to make resolutions at new year (hence them being known as ‘new year’s resolutions’), but to be honest I can’t think of any. Last year I set myself three: to drive the Nurburgring, to visit my grandma more often, to get thin and healthy. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. Resolution one – a 13m40s lap in a fully-laden Volvo 240, thankyouverymuch. Resolution two – I sort of had to go there a lot anyway because my kit car was in her garage, so no effort required really. Resolution three – quickly stopped giving a toss about this one. If James Corden and Seth Rogen taught us anything in 2008, it’s that being two burgers away from a coronary is no bad thing. So sod it. I might be on the verge of death, but at least I’m enjoying myself.

Still, I can’t decide what targets to set for MMIX. Maybe if we take a look at some upcoming events and milestones then resolutions will naturally slot into place? Let’s see…

January 26th
a.k.a. Double Whammy Day. Not only will there be a solar eclipse (don’t get too excited about it, Britain probably won’t be in the zone of totality), but possession of ‘extreme pornography’ will become illegal in the UK. If you want that kind of thing then you’ll have to go to an internet café and look at necrobabes or hangingbitches while nobody’s looking. (Seriously, don’t Google those here, you’ll get fired.)

February 12th
Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial. He was born in a log cabin in Kentucky, married the daughter of a slave-owner, became president, freed the slaves, then got shot in a theatre. He also had a great collection of hats. John Wilkes Booth is worthy of remembrance for orchestrating the coolest assassination ever – having shot Lincoln at point-blank range with a Deringer, he got stab-happy with the other people in the box, jumped down onto the stage (breaking his leg in the process but barely noticing), shouted ‘Sic temper tyrannis!’ and ran away. Genius. He must have put a lot of thought into it.

February 12th (again)
Darwin Day – the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. There will be a big party at the Natural History Museum, presumably so lots of logically-minded people can get together and make snide remarks about the naivety of Christians.

March 29th
The Formula One season begins. Honda aren’t involved, team budgets are capped and the FIA are being really funny about engine development, so it might be a bit shit. Still, Prodrive could be debuting, David Coulthard’s finally given up and the teams are allowed to use slicks again, so it might not be all bad.

May 16th
The Eurovision final will be held in Moscow. This could introduce an exciting element of danger. Aside from the usual irritating bubblegum Europop fluff and ‘hilarious’ constant repetition of the phrase ‘nil points’ by anybody who watches it, we have the added bonus (well, the only bonus) that Vladimir Putin may have strategically positioned snipers throughout the stadium to eliminate the despicable western pop pixies. We can only hope. That psycho bastard has to be good for something.

June 6th-13th
The World Air Games will be held in Turin. It’s sort of like an aerial version of the Olympics, with balloons, hang-gliders, microlights and parachutes. It’s much more interesting to watch than the Olympics as there’s a very real chance that several people will fall to extremely messy deaths from great heights. Now that’s good television.

Summer, sometime
They’re switching the Large Hadron Collider back on. It was really boring and anticlimactic last time they did it, but at least it’s another sleepless night wondering whether we’ll all be sucked into a black hole in Geneva.

September (ish)
The Burj Dubai will be completed. It’s a skyscraper that’s cost over US$4bn and, once finished, will be 818m tall. That’s really, really tall. It’s being built by migrant workers from India and Pakistan who earn approximately US$4/day – scandalous, no? If you boycott the opening of one colossal skyscraper in 2009, make it this one.

December (ish)
The Oasis of the Seas will be completed – it will be the world’s largest passenger vessel, carrying 5400 people. It’s being built using ‘theme park planning’, meaning that it’ll have various different neighbourhoods. It has a proper park with lawns, a bar (named the Rising Tide) that moves up and down between three different floors, casinos, museums, comedy clubs and jazz cafés. It’s astonishing… but I’d recommend counting the lifeboats before you get on. Haven’t you seen Titanic? You might end up having to drown Leonardo DiCaprio. Actually, that’s win-win.

Nope, still can’t think of anything. Ah well, maybe next year…

18/12/2008 - Christmas Special

Afternoon all.
Yes, for the second week running you're getting JuicyPips on a Thursday. There are a number of reasons for this, but it's largely down to the fact that Nick Morrell kept forcing me to drink tequila last night and this is the easiest 'work' I can find to do today. Most importantly, though, Ben and I will be in the studio tomorrow (keep your eyes peeled for something exciting that we're making with the living legend that is Ian Robinson) and I'm not in next week, so by default this becomes the JuicyPips Christmas special. Hooray!

So, let's take a little JuicyPips-style look at some interesting things about the yuletide season...

Unpleasant foliage
Christmas is the time of year for celebrating rubbish plants. Take the Christmas tree - yes, they smell yummy and give your living room a cosy aura of festivity, but they are vicious little bastards. From the moment you tear your hands to shreds lifting it into the trolley at Homebase to the day you have to clean up all the dropped needles, they're seriously out to get you. Decorating them is an agonising ordeal, brushing against them leaves you with tiger-claw scratches, and you really don't want to drunkenly fall onto one. Trust me.
Holly's an interesting one too. Most things your mind associates with holly - Hollywood, Hollyoaks, Holly Valance - are friendly and whimsical, but the genus ilex aquifolium is another pointy festive menace. The leaves are unnecessarily hard and sharp and the berries are unpalatable. I don't know what people see in it.
And mistletoe... well, mistletoe's just horrid. It is a parasite - you've seen how it dwells in other trees, rather than having the common decency to create its own abode - and, again, will make your tummy go all squirty if you eat it.Poinsettias? Yes, they're very pretty, but they're poisonous too. And if you get their sap in your eye you'll go blind. How festive.

Awesome Christmas telly
It's nice just to sit around and do nothing at xmas. If your family's anything like mine you'll be stuffed with grub and in a boozy fug by early afternoon, so all you can do is collapse in a comfy armchair and drift in and out of consciousness in front of the wellybox. Brilliantly, Christmas is the best possible time of year to do this. There's a canon of movies you can always expect to see that are on every year, yet you always need to watch because otherwise it just wouldn't be a proper Christmas: The Great Escape, The Italian Job, The Snowman, all of the Wallace & Gromit films, Elf, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, It's A Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Santa Claus: The Movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas... there's also the countless Christmas specials from the likes of QI, Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, well, any panel show really. Very easy viewing.
Of course, the days of the annual Only Fools And Horses special are long gone (they got a bit questionable towards the end, the one where they became millionaires was just about bearable, the one after that was despicably terrible), but you can rely on the Beeb and UK Gold (or whatever it's called this week) to repeat the really good epsiodes from the early days. Remember the one with the jolly boys outing? That was the best one. And the one with the chandeliers. Hilarious.

Eating and drinking way too much
Speaks for itself really.
Oh, and it's the only time of year that you can legitimately enjoy a Baileys without looking like a twat.

Seeing your parents
This may not apply to all of you, but I'd guess at least some of you, like me, don't really see the folks that often. Rejoice, then, for you get to spend a few days with them cooking for you and providing a constant stream of diverse and refreshing beverages. You get a strong opportunity to convince them that you're actually doing something with your life (I'm currently trying to convince mine that I've got a proper respectable job, rather than letting them find out the truth that I apparently get paid to send out this kind of weird shite every week), and in return they give you presents! How magical is that? You even get a stocking stuffed with lovely yuletide treats. They think you believe in Santa. In a way, you sort of do.

The Queen's speech
Let's be honest, nobody really gives a tinker's cuss what the old bag's banging on about, but you have to watch the Queen's speech. You just do. We have a theory in my family that my grandmother and the Queen may have been switched at birth - they're the same age, they look vaguely similar, they're both as bonkers as a satchel of woodpeckers - and this theory is exacerbated by the fact that granny always insists that everybody stands while we watch the speech. (This is principally why we don't invite her over any more. Sod that.)

Bizarre puddings
Now I want you to think about the following question very carefully. If it was, say, July or August and you were having dinner in a restaurant, would you actually choose to have a mince pie or a Christmas pudding for dessert (setting aside their festive associations)? No, of course you wouldn't. Because they're not very nice. The whole plant thing we looked at earlier seems to extend to puddings as well - why can't we have Christmas jelly or yuletide Angel Delight? Screw it, that's what I'm doing this year. Ooh, or some lovely mistletoe pannacotta. (Oh wait, no, you can't eat mistletoe can you? Well, obviously you can, but it comes out again really quickly and brings everything else in your gut with it. Yeurch.)

There you go, that's basically all there is to Christmas. Anything else that happens can be counted as a bonus.

05/12/08 - Andrew Edwards special

Those of you who were at the NABS quiz last week may remember that our skipper, Mr Andrew Edwards, pledged a generous £220 in the auction to choose the theme of JuicyPips for two weeks. I spoke to Andrew after said auction to determine what his first chosen theme would be and, as far as I can remember, it was ‘Andrew Edwards’. To be honest, I’d had quite a lot of that dodgy Bulmers, but I’m pretty sure he chose himself as the subject matter so that’s what it will be.
So, Andrew Edwards. Let’s get inside the man in charge. Not literally, of course… ask Paul, it’s all sticky.He’s so much more than just ‘the 4th floor gnome’ (don’t sack me Andy, I read that on the toilet wall) – he has a fascinating back-story. Allow me to elaborate.

Born in 1951 to a poker dealer and a randy holidaying Southern senator, Andrew entered this world in the back of a crumbling '39 Pontiac DeLuxe in the ill-lit parking lot behind a Las Vegas canoodle bar. From an early age he was encouraged to distract rubes in seedy casinos while his mother turned the cards, scurrilously squeezing every last cent from the patrons of the grimiest joints on the strip. Their backhanded shenanigans were calculated to ensure little Andrew’s future would be entirely separate from the neon chill of the Arizona desert: a few short years of casino tomfoolery to fund a clear and direct ascent into the upper echelons of the social strata. And by gum, it worked. As he celebrated his sixteenth birthday, his cunning and wily mother cracked open the voluminous piggy bank to see just what kind of future they could buy him. Oh, but they were accomplished swindlers! The moneybox contained over $4m in unmarked non-sequential bills. Their time had come...
Posing as a couple (which, during the cold Nevada nights of yore, hadn't actually been that far from the truth), they hopped on a Pan-Am flight to Paris to begin their extravagant European adventure. Buying their way into high society, they acquired a striking and fabulously-furnished apartment on the Champs-Elysees and young Andrew found his way into the Sorbonne, where he studied Mythology and Fictional Warcraft under some highly questionable entrance documentation. While Old Mother Edwards led a social whirlwind through Montmartre and courted Serge Gainsbourg, the lavishly hirsute young Andrew grew increasingly disenchanted with the vacuous nature of high Parisian society. Becoming ever more reclusive and distanced from his acquaintances, he sought solace in the fleeting embraces of the ladies of the Bois de Boulogne, his Caravelle saturated with the stench of temporary love.
Things needed to change.
At 3am on the morning of his 22nd birthday, he awoke with a start. Voices in his head guided him to Charles de Gaulle airport. With no control over his movements, he allowed spirits to guide him to the Qantas desk and on to the next available flight to Melbourne. As the sensation drained back into his weary body somewhere over the Philippines, he vowed to renounce all possessions and live the life of a hermit. Forget the trappings of the twentieth century - a lifetime of brash pseudo-glamour had left him cold. He edged into the Boeing's tiny bathroom and hacked all of the hair from his head with his nail scissors. Nevermore would the Edwards scalp feel warmth.
The events of the next 34 years are largely unknown. Beyond dwelling in a makeshift teepee and dining exclusively on roadkill, the details of his existence are sketchy at best. The final chapter in the wilderness saga occurred last year, when Andy inexplicably popped up in West London, his head bereft of hair but with a voluminous straggly beard, a colourful odour and a .44 in his hand. Storming into the offices of a well-known international advertising agency, he insisted that he be installed in the top-dog seat. Fortunately for our protagonist, he chose to stage his coup on a Friday afternoon, when no-one was really that interested in stopping him.
...and you know what? I think he's still up there.

28/11/08 - Chinese Democracy

So, the new Guns N’ Roses album was released on Monday. For those of you who’ve been anticipating it, you’ll know how arduous the wait has been. For those that don’t, well, we’ve been waiting a long time for Chinese Democracy. Their last studio album (“The Spaghetti Incident?” - speechmarks included) was released in 1993. That’s ages ago.
Is it any good? Well, listen to it and judge for yourself. (The answer is yes - yes, it is very good.) It’s arguable whether or not it’s actually true GN’R in spirit though; Slash left the band in ’96, Matt and Duff walked soon after… it’s basically an Axl Rose project with allstar session musicians. But let’s not allow that to kill the glorious memory of just how awesome Guns N’ Roses were. Here’s some facts.

Estranged. This track appears on Use Your Illusion II and is a masterpiece of flittering tempos and sublime guitarsmithery. A big song deserves a big video, so Estranged saw Axl being pursued by a SWAT team, leaping from an oil tanker and being rescued by dolphins. The budget for the video? $8.5 million dollars.

Three interesting facts about bassist Duff McKagan: 1) His drunkenly profane acceptance speech (along with Slash) at the 1990 American Music Awards is the reason that live broadcasts are now usually transmitted with a delay. 2) He was one of the last people to see Kurt Cobain alive. 3) In 1994 his pancreas exploded.

The band set up their own record label to release their first EP. The label was called Uzi Suicide, which is very cool.

Axl Rose (real name William Bruce Rose Jr) once earned a living smoking cigarettes for $8/hour for scientific research.

The original cover for debut album Appetite For Destruction featured a robot rapist, a semi-naked female victim at his feet, about to be attacked by a huge creature with blades for teeth. Unsurprisingly, many shops refused to stock it, so the artwork was changed.The album went on to go 18x platinum, selling 28 million copies.

Slash is the best guitarist since Hendrix. Fact.

A Geffen A&R man, having seen GN’R play in 1985, told other talent scouts that ‘they suck’ in order to secure the band for his label. Axl demanded (and received) a $75,000 advance before revealing that he’d promised to sign to Chrysalis if their A&R girl would walk naked down Sunset Strip.

Charges were filed against Axl for inciting a riot in St. Louis during the Use Your Illusion tour – he dove into the crowd to take a camera from a fan, slammed his microphone onto the stage (which many people present mistook for a gunshot) and stormed offstage. The crowd rioted and dozens were injured. The band blamed poor security for the incident. As a result, the message ‘Fuck you, St. Louis’ can be found in the ‘thank you’ section of Use Your Illusion II’s liner notes.

Look At Your Game Girl, the bonus track on “The Spaghetti Incident?”, was written by Charles Manson.

Various bands cited as key GN’R influences: Hanoi Rocks, AC/DC, Queen, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, Rose Tattoo, New York Dolls.

Guns N’ Roses has had 21 members in total. Axl is the only constant.

Drummer Matt Sorum has an ear for the eclectic – he’s recorded with Duran Duran’s John Taylor, Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones, and drummed on the theme music to the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers movie.

Velvet Revolver, featuring Slash, Duff & Matt, auditioned for a lead singer on the VH1 show ‘Inside Out: The Rise of Velvet Revolver’ – luminaries from the full rock spectrum auditioned, including Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row) and Mike Patton (ex-Faith No More), but the job went to Scott Weiland (ex-Stone Temple Pilots). He’s since left after a massive disagreement but hey, that’s rock n’ roll.

Dr. Pepper offered a free can to everyone in the USA in the event that Chinese Democracy was released in 2008. They honoured the deal with a 24-hour coupon campaign.
***edit***...or maybe they didn't: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7751919.stm

Get all over it here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1_E2Ch2Las4