Friday, 30 July 2010

Crazy Horses

They're New Zealand's latest and greatest gang. Click here for the best website you'll see this week.

Here's a taste of what you'll find inside...



Morons With Signs

Click here for a cavalcade of hilarious cretins.







TransFUNmate

Quite weird. Clever though.

Soviet Tetris

A history of the Soviet Union, set to the soundtrack of Tetris. Well, why not?

Rotate and Roll

Yet another addictive game here - click the image to play.

The Weakest Link

...is a terrible program. But sometimes stuff like this happens. (And this did genuinely happen, promise.)

Parkour with ladders

...because sometimes leaping off buildings just isn't dangerous enough.

Celestial Soul Portraits

This is the most mental thing I've seen in ages. Click here.

Gaydar

Mila's Daydreams

Such a cute idea. Click here.





Your mother's got the itch

This is the best 'your mum' line ever.

The Empire Brokeback

Star Wars robots are gay. In other news, apparently Top Gun's a bit gay too...

30/07/10 - Monticello

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s vision of Palladian perfection, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site… but it took a long time for its potential to be realised.

The name is Italian for ‘little mountain’, referring to the position of the house – 850 feet up in the Southwest Mountains of Virginia. This, for a start, was a pretty bold idea on Jefferson’s part; work started on the house in 1768 – an era not famed for its abundance of powered transport, earth-moving equipment, sophisticated plumbing or anything else that might make an elevated dwelling a sensible prospect.
Jefferson was a keen proponent of the architectural principles laid out by Andrea Palladio in his 1570 reference book ‘I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura’, and centred Monticello’s design around said principles. This was an ambitious thing to do on the frontier of a fledgling nation, where even a modest and humble building would present enormous difficulties due to the fundamental lack of infrastructure. Perhaps his view was that if he was going to have a hard time building a house, he may as well have a hard time building a really impressive house.

The trouble with Jefferson was that he was always changing his mind. When he went off to serve as Minister of the United States to France for a few years, he returned to Monticello keen to remodel the place based on European stylistic traits he’d admired while he’d been away. Work began on a giant octagonal dome, a mezzanine bedroom, a mirroring of rooms that effectively doubled the size of the house… his spending was uncontrollable, but his vision was clear, if changeable. Unfortunately for Jefferson, the scale of the project and the constant about-turns meant that he effectively lived on a building site for fifty years. He never saw the house finished. In the autumn of his life, he found himself commissioning repairs to the earlier parts of the build at the same time as forging ahead with fresh developments. Monticello is a masterpiece of precision engineering (with dimensions bizarrely stipulated to millionths of an inch, even though there were no means to actually measure materials in such a way in the eighteenth century), but an over-ambitious project for someone who, let’s not forget, spent the decades he owned the Virginia site being President and travelling the globe, amongst other pursuits. He was constantly busy and innovated on an Edison-like scale – as well as firing his own bricks in home-made kilns, he devised a spherical sundial, dumb-waiters embedded in fireplaces, double-doors that simultaneously opened by only pushing either one of them, indoor conveniences… the house wasn’t just big, it was clever. But it was also perennially incomplete, with guests entering across wooden boards over trenches and suchlike. By the time of his death in 1826, he had an expensively unfinished property and debts of over $100,000.

Unable to afford to maintain Monticello, let alone finish it, Jefferson’s daughter put the house on the market for $70,000. Nobody was interested. Eventually, after much consternation and desperation, it was sold to a silk farmer for $7000; the silk farm subsequently failed, the owner emigrated and the house was left in ruin. In 1836 the derelict structure was bought for $2500 by a Jewish naval officer, who made the house weatherproof and serviceable, and it remained in his family for ninety years. In 1923 it was sold to the newly formed Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation for $500,000, who were able to finally give the project the funding and effort it deserved. Using Jefferson’s fastidiously maintained diaries and notebooks, they realised his dream of Virginian-Palladian nirvana, finishing the work in 1954.

There’s no moral or point to me telling you this. I just thought it was interesting.
Also, I didn't have time to put any thought into JuicyPips this week, so I largely just cribbed it from Bill Bryson's new book 'At Home: A Short History of Private Life'. Buy it here, it's fascinating.

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Unrehearsed Voice Over Artist

IQ Ball

The most brilliantly addictive game I've played in ages - click the image to have a go.

20 parrot tricks in 2 minutes

Quite simply, the greatest parrot the world has ever seen.

Filthy Fan Fiction

Hilariously filthy - click here.

Study like a scholar, scholar

Nice little Old Spice parody.

The Perrier Mansion

A brilliant (and slightly filthy) little thing by Perrier - I won't spoil the surprise, but basically Dita von Teese wants to be your friend. Click below.

Maori's Morning

Mystery news lurker

This man is incredible - wherever there's a news camera, there he is ready to casually hang about in the background. Genuinely impressive. Click here for the full story.









cows & cows & cows

& cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows & cows...

Wikipedia Game

This is fun, but can be annoyingly tricky. You start on one Wikipedia page and have to get to a specified other only by clicking links in the article. Click below to have a go.

Facepark

Nice little viral idea from Diesel, unfortunately populated by loads of agonising hipster cunts.

Found shopping lists

...some slightly more mental than others. Click here.

Epic dog training

Now that is one obedient dog...

How to make McDonald's chips

You can't beat McDonald's French fries. But what if you're too poor to go to Mickey D's? What if you can't be arsed? Well then, just make your own! Click the image to see how.

Eat like snake!

Mel Gibson Adventure

Click the image to spend a little time in Mel Gibson's freaky shoes.

Long Live Alex

This is, quite simply, the best world record attempt by anyone, anywhere, ever. He's doing pretty bloody well so far. Click here.

Cat Face 21

Cat Face goes on holiday. Lucky Cat Face.

Vintage sexism

Some classic misogyny here.





How not to park a jet-ski

You can see what they were trying to do... but it's a fine line between win and fail.

23/07/10 - English student

One thing you learn from inducting a seemingly constant stream of new starters is this: there is no one subject you need to read at university in order to get into advertising. And you don’t have to be an Oxbridge alumnus either – in fact you don’t need to have even been to university at all. The industry will embrace any old riff-raff with open arms.

I studied English Literature at the University of Portsmouth (an upgraded poly, as anyone from Southampton will gleefully point out), a course which didn’t even mention marketing once in any context, and there’s no reason why it should have. A fundamental lack of knowledge coupled with a total paucity of experience, yet I’ve been here four-and-a-half years. Admittedly I have no idea what I’m doing, or what anyone else is doing for that matter, but they keep paying me so I keep showing up.

Choosing to study English Literature was by far and away the most sensible decision of my youth. I’m a naturally lazy beast, unwilling to rise early from bed, inattentive and lethargic in the mornings and basically disinclined to listen to other people unless I really feel like it. From this point of view, a subject that offers a mere five or six hours of lectures a week is ideal. Even better if they’re all timetabled to be in the afternoons.

I used to live with a pharmacologist at uni. He’d be in lectures (or putting lipstick on bears, or whatever it is these scientists do) from 9am-5pm five days a week. Sometimes he’d go in on Saturdays too. That’s hardly embracing the student lifestyle, now is it? You should have seen the grimace of irritation on his face when he got home in the evening and I still hadn’t bothered to get up. It was glorious.

We were as smug as anything, me and my Eng-Lit buddies. A couple of hours here, a couple of hours there, no real pressure… and no exams. The whole shebang was coursework-based, meaning you had plenty of time to come up with an essay on whatever it was you were discussing at the time without the Sword of Damocles hanging over your head, waiting to strike you down in an exam hall at some indeterminate point in the future. Times were good.
You’d see maths students struggling with weighty textbooks, ‘sport science’ types rah-rahing around in their crest-emblazoned hockey jerseys, scientists in labcoats looking flustered (and, frequently, a little singed), law students having had no sleep for weeks carting around fluttering leaves of legal documentation and leather-bound tomes that stretched their arms like taffy. We’d breeze in at 4pm clutching a biro and a copy of Jorge Luis Borges’ ‘Labyrinths’ or the collected works of William Carlos Williams, having got out of bed twenty minutes before. A few minutes of discussion, a brief clandestine snooze, maybe a quick glance at Sterne’s ‘Tristram Shandy’, then off to the pub to erase from the brain the handful of facts that we’d managed to retain.

The second and third years of the course were even better, as they offered opportunities to read non-lit units. In one semester, if fuzzy memory serves correctly, I was studying ‘German Expressionist Cinema’, ‘Renaissance Art’ and ‘Hollywood: 1945-present’, or something like that. So it was just watching movies and ambling around art galleries.
My final dissertation ended up being on the ridiculously serpentine subject of ‘the influence of music and television on the movies of Hollywood’, which is clearly an impossibly massive subject that cannot possibly be tackled by somebody who’s only awake for six hours of the day, five of which are spent drinking snakebite & black. It was quite basic, as it had to be given the constraints of the word count, but it was plenty of fun researching it – every time I watched a film, bought a new CD or just spent the evening watching shit telly I felt that I was working. Which, in effect, I was.

So I ended up getting a degree at the end of all this, standing slightly unsteadily on the stage of the Portsmouth Guildhall (I’d been in the pub that morning for an eye-opener or two), my oblivious family applauding with pride all the work they assumed I’d put in to get there. I’d spent three years drinking, sleeping and playing Gran Turismo, and I was given a certificate for it. A certificate that helped me get jobs without anyone asking what I’d actually done to ‘earn’ it.



Which just goes to show what a ridiculous load of old nonsense university is. I loved every minute, it was brilliant.
(…although perhaps if I’d studied a proper subject and done some work, my career might be going a little better. Best not to think about it, really.)

Jared Allen: King of the mullet

This guy is incredible.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Subway Star Wars

Those cheeky pranksters at Improv Everywhere involve themselves in some more public transport-based japery.

Dear Blank, Please Blank

Frivolous, silly and largely pointless. Just like all the best bits of the internet. Click here.













Richard Herring - Noah's Ark

Some classic Herring. For more info on his work, click here.

You, your kids & your Johnson

Quite simply, the best advert ever made.

Real Dolls

Some excellent photographs giving a creepy look inside a sex-doll factory - click here.



Ninja Say What?!

You can't say that. That's our word.

Twilight for guys

Twilight is fucking shit. But here's a version the chaps can get interested in...

Order of the Bellend

My favourite news story of this week by miles.

Click to enlarge.

Super Mario Bros - augmented reality

This must have taken absolutely ages.

Super Mario Bros. from Andreas Heikaus on Vimeo.

Ocular clusterfuck

Step one: click image below
Step two: buy new eyes

Subverted street signs

A selection of amusingly vandalised signs here.





The world's stupidest woman

...talks to Ian Collins on Talksport. Staggering.



My forehead stings from the constant facepalming.

Big Bang Big Boom

A massive new piece from Blu. He has a) a lot of talent, b) quite an active imagination and c) a lot of time on his hands.

BIG BANG BIG BOOM - the new wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

16/07/10 - Why England didn't win the World Cup

I don’t think anyone was particularly surprised that England didn’t win the World Cup. The last time they won was 1966, of course, but to talk about it in those terms is rather fatuous because it wasn’t the same team… all the players were different, as was the management structure. And also, if we’d played the ’66 team in this year’s World Cup, we as a nation would have been judged very harshly by the rest of the world (and rightly so) for filling the pitch with coffins and confused geriatrics. Entertaining in a macabre way, yes, but not a formula for success.

This kind of talk goes on a lot in football circles. To pluck an example randomly from the air, look at Liverpool F.C. – they won the FA Cup in 2001 and 2006. But the team consisted of entirely different players, aside from two of them, so it can hardly be viewed as a reflection of form for that particular squad, can it? Or look at West Ham – when they won the FA Cup in 1975, you can be sure that the fans were saying ‘brilliant, we hadn’t won since 1964’. It doesn’t make sense. It’s a different team that is anchored in nothing more than geography and nomenclature.
(And of course, this brings us to the other great crime of the football fan – the over-zealous use of the word ‘we’. ‘We beat Man City last night’. Did you? You mean you were actually there on the pitch helping out? You, personally? Oh right, you mean you watched it happen. You’ve never met any of the players and you have no financial stake in their success. You just want to sound like you’re involved. Sheesh.)

Pedantry aside, how come the 2010 England squad turned out to be so embarrassingly awful? Well, let’s take a look at some of the players and see if we can get to the bottom of this…

Ashley Cole
He married Cheryl Tweedy in 2006, and they nearly divorced in 2008 after the tabloids found out that he’d had affairs with three other women. He denied it, but after the many, many women he’s knocked round with came out of the woodwork in 2010 Cheryl did the sensible thing and left him.
In 2009 he was held for swearing at a policeman outside a nightclub. (Have you ever done that? I haven’t.)
In the same year he was convicted for driving at 103mph in a 50mph zone. Now, I’ve bent a speed limit or two in my time, but doubling the limit in a 50-zone is just stupid. Still, he got his licence back after four months because he’s famous.

John Terry
Be very careful around this one - he will shag your wife. Even if you’re really good mates. So much for being the Daddies Sauce 2009 ‘Dad of the Year’.
He was also fined in 2001 for drunkenly harassing American tourists directly after the September 11th attacks. Classy.

Steven Gerrard
Stevie G seems like such a nice guy, doesn’t he? That must be why Alex Curran’s sticking with him, despite the fact that he (allegedly) had an affair with a 16 year-old girl recently who is now bearing his child. Maybe he just needed to vent a bit of frustration after being charged in 2008 for assault, actual bodily harm and affray for beating up a DJ in a bar.

Ledley King
King was all over the papers in May 2009 when he was arrested for assault and ABH outside a London nightclub. He called the bouncer a ‘fat paki’, used the immortal line ‘don’t you know who I am?’, urinated on the pavement in front of everyone queuing to get in, called the manager a ‘balding white cunt’, then started punching people. Nice. ‘I earn £80,000 a week,’ he quipped, ‘and you’re nothing in your £10-an-hour job.’

Frank Lampard
Lampard appeared in a sex tape with Rio Ferdinand and Kieron Dyer ten years ago. Has he grown up any in the mean time? Well, in 2001 he was fined along with John Terry for the aforementioned post-September 11th incident. In 2008 he signed a £39.2m five-year contract with Chelsea – what did he do to celebrate? Abandoned his fiancĂ©e and daughters for another woman.

Wayne Rooney
He solicited sex from an elderly prostitute in 2004. His defence? ‘I was young and stupid.’ And now, what, you’re fucking mastermind?

Emile Heskey
Heskey left the mother of his first three children to run off with a lap-dancer. Not outright, of course – he shagged her on the quiet for two years before abandoning his family.
For a forward, he really doesn’t score that many goals either.

Glen Johnson
In possibly the most embarrassing footballer-related crime of recent years, Glen Johnson received an £80 fine in 2007 for stealing a toilet seat from B&Q in Dartford.
He also forgot his passport when Chelsea were travelling to play Barcelona in a Champions League game, causing him to miss the match. (The photos from 3am that morning of him off his tits in a nightclub were apparently ‘unrelated’.)

Jamie Carragher
If you were playing in the FA Cup and a spectator threw a coin at you, would you throw it back into the crowd? Jamie Carragher would.
He was also charged for an assault outside a school in ’08 (although apparently professional footballers have to have an assault charge on their record – it’s just what they do).
And here’s a charming extract from Carra’s autobiography, describing a deliberate assault on team-mate Rigobert Song that he seems weirdly proud of: "Song walked on to the training pitch with a smile on his face. He was limping off it with a grimace an hour later. The first chance I got, I did him. Never have I hunted down a 50–50 tackle with greater appetite. 'You're not fucking laughing now, are you, you soft cunt?' I said as he hobbled away."

So, in conclusion… they’re all quite stupid, lacking the social skills to operate as part of a team or, indeed, as members of society in general. They are, to a man, perfect examples of what happens when you throw loads of money at thick people, nurturing their gurning petulance rather than punishing them for their idiocy. They will never grow up.

But what do I know? Football’s not really my strong point.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Baby dos & don'ts

Some sterling advice here.





100 greatest movie insults

Brace yourself - this will be the greatest ten minutes of your life. (Well, of your day.)

Your Freedumb

It was inevitable, really. The launch of Clegg's YourFreedom initiative encouraged all of the illiterate, ill-informed nutters to wriggle out of the woodwork on the basis that they thought their rubbish opinions were worthy. Some of the more hilarious efforts are collated on YourFreedumb - click here.





Lego Street Shootout

Awkward Pauses

It's a simple premise - pause a YouTube video to freeze the protagonist in an unfortunate pose. That's it. Click here.





A day in the life of an AT-AT

Erotic Falconry

...is the best name for a website that I can think of. And it exists! Click here.





Ricky Gervais sings Elmo a lullaby

Musical rings

Click the image for some plinky-plunky relaxation.

Anthropomorphisised Ikea lamps

U900 - Twist & Shout

These cute little characters are going to be massive, trust me.

Awkward Family Pet Photos

People with pets are all mental. Every single one of them. Don't believe me? Click here.