Friday, 17 September 2010

Sexy Slow Motion

...because everything's sexy in slo-mo.

M thru F

Office-based lols courtesy of the Cheezburger Network - click here.

'Cute girl has a catchy dance'

Samsung remain undisputed champions of viral marketing.

Nu-wave Asteroids

Fancy playing Asteroids in HTML5? Of course you do. Click below.

Protect your unicorn from Dolph Lundgren

Seriously, that motherfucker's crazy. (And very, very old.)

CBBC Broom Cupboard

God, this makes me feel old. Did you know that the BBC have an online Broom Cupboard archive? Click the image below and weep with nostalgia.

Google Instant, Tom Lehrer style

Post-It art

This guy draws sublime little monster scenes on Post-It Notes.
(I'll leave it to your inner psychoanalyst to think about the recurrence of the monsters-creeping-up-on-kids theme.)


Erm... yeah. Click the image for breadfish.

The Pope Song

Been enjoying the Pope's visit? No, neither has Mr Minchin.

The internet c.1981

It's basically the same.

17/09/10 - Adland stereotypes

There are two things you need in order to work in advertising: a public school education and a shitload of money.

This is, of course, not true. Yes, there are elitist cliques who close the doors to the dirty paupers (and like to get together in less-than-salubrious nightspots, to masticate expensive carcasses in a homoerotic fantasy of hedonistic cash-frittering with NO GIRLS ALLOWED), but there are some genuinely nice people too. And some downright boring ones. Hell, it’s a cross-section of society just like any other industry. But inevitably there are certain enduring adland stereotypes. For example…

The very, very young one.
Keen as mustard, the fresh new meat wants to be involved in everything. They’re energetic little whippets who can’t do enough for their colleagues. This is lovely. They take on any project going, they organise extra-curricular events, they’re always standing at the front in staff meetings.
Give them a few months and they’ll realise that they’re the only ones doing seventeen-hour days. They become maudlin. Their gentle little spirits are crushed.

The grizzled veteran.
They’ve been in the industry for years, and they remember when all this was just fields. The halcyon days of five-a-week Champagne lunches and limitless expense accounts may be little more than distant memories, but they still insist on getting cabs everyfuckingwhere and telling you at any given opportunity how they were on a shoot with Twiggy in fucking 1973 and that she was ‘a doll’.

The hipster.
I work in meeeeja in London. I wear a little cardigan and specs with no lenses. I have to lie down to put on my overly tight jeans. I think MGMT are, like, so totally amazing.

The slightly too happy.
Definitely on something. It just isn’t possible to be *that* positive all the time.

The sporty one.
Advertising is the perfect arena for them because they’re really bloody hyperactive. They’re super-efficient, first in, last to leave… but they’re always banging on about ‘the match’ and trying to rope you into running around the park or whatever with them, on a weekday evening of all things. OK, well done on being fit and healthy, your heart will last longer than mine, but I don’t fucking want to play sport with you. You’ll clearly win.

The Porsche 911 driver.
It’s not just an eighties stereotype. There are plenty of 911s in the car park.

The one with the comedy accent.
Because they’re, like, foreign and stuff. They talk different to what we do.
(This isn’t xenophobia because it’s funny.)

The lazy sod.
He likes to create the impression that he’s integral and indispensable, yet he’s actually just sitting there watching movies all day through his big-ass speakers. People think he was let go years ago, but he’s still down there, trust me. And he’s still on the payroll too, I checked.

The flustered one.
They’re extremely busy, that’s obvious. Great at what they do and, quite rightly, rising rapidly through the ranks. But it’s really exhausting talking to them – it’s a scattergun assault of words because they desperately need to be somewhere else. All the time.
Seriously, just sit down for a moment and calm down. Your brain’s going to explode.

The ones who actually run the company.
The receptionist, the cleaners, the guys in the postroom, the baristas, the switchboard operators and the chap who stocks the kitchens with tea and milk hold the place together. The PAs ensure that stuff actually happens. Anything else is a bonus.

The token ethnic.
Actually, everyone in advertising is white, for some reason. Any black or Asian people you happen to meet are merely statistical anomalies.

The Australian.
You always find these, they seem to get everywhere. (Are there more Australians in London than there are in Australia…?)
They have that unnerving quality of seeming to simultaneously love and hate everything, so you can never work out what they’re thinking. This is how they rise to positions of power – no-one else has a fucking clue what they’re talking about, and it’s easier just to let them get on with it.

The ex-porn star.
There are usually quite a few of these. You might find them in art buying, hiding away in HR or even heading up the finance department. Don’t ask them about it, they’ll only deny it.

The miserable bastard.
He loves the fact that he gets to work in a genuinely interesting job, and the money they give him for doing so pays the bills and keeps a roof over his head. Nevertheless, he has the nerve to write regular missives slagging off the industry at large and the company in particular and, worse still, has the audacity to send his tedious blitherings to everyone in the building rather than keeping it all to his bloody self. Unbelievable. Biting the hand that feeds with his pointy, pointy words.

Of course, everyone else is unique. Obviously.

The Bit-52s

This must have taken forever to set up.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Watermelon slingshot

How the fuck has this woman still got a face?!

Crap Graffiti

I love this - graffiti so crap that it's gone full circle into awesomeness. Click here.

Deckchairs: difficult.

Oddly Specific

From the Cheezburger Network - 'the strangely particular website about peculiarly exacting signs'.

Wayne Rooney - animated news

This is amazing, all news broadcasts should be like this.

Tweeting Too Hard

...because for some people, Twitter is just another way of letting everyone know how awesome they are. Click the image.

Being a Dickhead's Cool

It pains me that this is totally spot-on. Hipsters of London, please learn how to be ashamed of yourselves.

Hevad Khan: Bulldozer!

There's nothing like being magnanimous in victory. BULLDOZERRRRRRRRRRRRR!

David Mitchell With Pizza

Baffling meme of the week. Clicky.

Scary CCTV ghost footage

You will not sleep after watching this, guaranteed.

Random Jesus tattoos

Um... yeah. Click here.

Ablisa - X Factor

This is by far the best ever X Factor audition.

What a pair of cunts.

10/09/10 - Skidmarks

Once upon a time, three friends of mine – who, for the purposes of this tale, we shall call Bill, Harry and Gaston - set up an unofficial little business buying and selling cars from auctions. Nothing too ostentatious – a rusty Sierra here, a sleepy Fiesta there – just what little they could afford with their spare pennies, which then got a good clean and sold on eBay for profit. The margins were small, so it was a reasonably successful little sideline.

One day they found themselves at an auction in Enfield, face to face with the most beautiful car they’d ever seen. It was a 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC in full diplomatic spec: black leather with cream piping, fully loaded with every gizmo available in the early seventies and, of course, that juicy 4.5-litre V8. It smelt just like a classic luxury car should, all supple hide and gently patinated walnut. It was on offer with no reserve and nobody was bidding. They couldn’t resist. They snapped it up at an embarrassingly low price.

Unfortunately, after rather a lot of time spent quietly gazing at the slumbering behemoth, they couldn't bring themselves to sell it. It was just too pretty.

It lived in Harry’s parents' garage for a few months, occasionally being admired and stroked, but largely just sitting there on its own in the dark. Then we moved it to my old garage for a while. Then it was stored in Bill’s parents' garage for a few more months, whiling away the days gathering dust and giving the cat somewhere classy to sit.

Eventually it was decided that the best thing to do, sad though it would be, was to bite the bullet and say goodbye to the old girl. After all, everyone was out of pocket and no-one was actually driving the thing. It was just sitting there, expectant and forbidding, like some neglected, bitter fairytale monarch.

So, Bill and I dragged the car out of the garage, gave it the cleaning of its life, then (after a good ten minutes of trying to stop the wayward washer jets from squirting [the reservoir tank is surprisingly large]) took it out for a spin down some country lanes.

It's the closest I've ever come to dying in a car.

As we wound through the country lanes outside Faversham, the throttle unexpectedly jammed itself wide open. 250-odd Teutonic horses rapidly smeared the hedgerows into blurred green spectra. The aged, ineffectual brakes were doing little to slow progress and, horror of horrors, the autobox was somehow stuck in Drive as well. The key couldn't turn in the ignition. It seemed like there was no way to stop the car, bouncing off the rev limiter and screaming at vastly illegal speeds down worryingly narrow lanes. On a straight stretch of road, Bill took off his seatbelt and dove headfirst into the footwell, returning moments later with the accelerator pedal in his hand and a look of utter bafflement on his face. He looked as if he’d had an idea but wasn’t sure what it was, and had been thwarted before finding out.
With a Herculean effort, between us we forced the gearlever into neutral and coasted to a halt, the engine still energetically redlining. Then, in a scene straight from a dodgy b-movie, it slipped itself back into Drive and we pelted down the road again, leaving the longest number-eleven skidmarks you've ever seen.
And then it ran out of fuel.
We gradually rolled to a standstill, coming to rest just before the trees that otherwise would probably have impaled us.

This story is true. And entirely inconsequential.

Friday, 3 September 2010

YouTube in 1985

Super Stacker 2

This is the most addictive game I've played all week. Click the image to have a go.

Cassetteboy vs. Dragons' Den

Perfect in every way.

Ben's Diary

This is lovely - the now-29 year-old Ben is having the diary he wrote as an 11 year-old systematically recorded on this blog by his sneaky little brother. Click here to read all about his love for Tasha (she's 'horny'), his maltreatment at the hands of the bald headed bastard, and how he's 'most certainly playing for Midlands'.

Evisu Defence League

Getting under the skin of what's really important.

Social awkwardness

Click here to see a beautifully observed analysis of 'the four levels of social entrapment'.

Danny and Annie

I'm sorry, I think there's something in my eye.

Tipp-Ex bear viral

A nice little manipulation of YouTube's growing interactivity - click the image to see. (Then try typing the words 'loves', 'soccer', 'drunk' and 'rapes'.)

Kickass Lego

I really want to see this made into a deranged big-budget movie.

Blackpool: shit

Moment of genius at 1:55.


Well, this is the most loserish thing you'll do today. It's a live online race with strangers to see who can type the fastest. Click the image to have a go, you square.

The Allergy

...because smoking turns those around you into Asian-American men.

The Little Red Plane

A lovely bit of knitting.

03/09/10 - Death from above, death from below!

The Sword of Damocles hangs perilously over the human race. This is readily apparent on a personal level – you could get hit by a bus next time you cross the road, someone could release ricin into your office ventilation system, you could choke on your lunch. But one person’s untimely demise is peanuts in relation to the eradication of the entire human race… and there are two very real ways in which that could happen at any moment, and totally without warning. Quake in your boots as we investigate the twin terrors of DEATH FROM ABOVE and DEATH FROM BELOW!

We’ll start with the latter, and the very obvious point that we live on quite a volatile planet. The centre of the earth has lots of molten rock in it; it’s not always that close to the surface, but it’s definitely there. (The Earth’s crust is to the planet, in depth, approximately what the skin is to an apple. It’s about 45km thick, on average.) In general it’s something to be thankful for rather than feared – after all, the core’s gaseous outpourings are what make life on the surface possible, and prevent cosmic rays entering the atmosphere at a level that would otherwise instantly kill us all. It also enables the ineffably useful process of plate tectonics which constantly rumples and re-orders the topography of the planet – without this, Earth would be perfectly smooth and all of it would be four kilometres underwater.
However, this molten rock is out to get us. There are a huge amount of volcanoes in the world (thousands upon thousands of them), and the scariest magma hotspot is Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (which is so massive, it’s also in Montana & Idaho). The park contains various entertaining geysers, mud pots and the like, but the whole area is actually a caldera; that is, an area of collapsed land from a huge former eruption. Yellowstone is a supervolcano waiting to erupt. The fun part is that there’s absolutely no pattern to its activity – any minor or major escape of gas or lava can’t be tracked to a routine. It’s all totally random.
Yellowstone erupted two million years ago with sufficient force to cover the equivalent of the whole of New York State with 20 metres of ash. That’s rather a lot. And it’s gone off quite a few times since.
Earth’s last supervolcano eruption happened 74,000 years ago in northern Sumatra. The blast was followed by six years of ‘volcanic winter’ – a period during which plants were simply unable to grow. Imagine the effects that this would have on the human race – as well as having no food to eat, the drinking water would become an undrinkable grey sludge. We would soon perish. Of course, it’d probably be the blast itself that would kill most people – everyone within a thousand kilometres would be wiped out pretty much instantly, while the eruption would set off a chain of echo-volcanoes across the planet. When Yellowstone blows, it’s taking humanity with it.
Like I say, there’s no pattern to its behaviour. However, on average it erupts about once every 600,000 years. Its last blast was 630,000 years ago. It could go off at any moment. This is terrifying for two reasons: firstly, we’d have absolutely no warning that it was going to happen. Secondly, there would be bugger all we could do about it anyway.

Even scarier is the threat of sudden death from above.

Manson, Iowa, is an interesting place. Like much of Iowa, it’s totally flat. However, it was discovered in the early fifties that beneath the topsoil is a crater three miles deep and twenty miles across – a hole in the ground that could contain the Grand Canyon many times over. What could cause such a big hole? Simple. Asteroid impact. A huge piece of rock came screaming in from space and smashed a colossal crater into Iowa.
Do you know how many asteroids there are whizzing around our solar system? No, nobody does exactly. But it’s estimated to be around a billion. And quite a few of these are big enough to imperil civilisation; even scarier than that is that there are two or three near-misses with asteroids of this scale every week. Any one of these, if they were to hit us, would probably kill everyone. As with Yellowstone, there would no warning and nothing that could be done to prevent it.
How would it kill us? Well, the asteroid itself would vaporise before technically making impact, but the compressed air between it and the Earth’s surface (picture a rock five miles across travelling hundreds of times faster than a bullet) would heat to something like ten times the temperature of the surface of the sun – compressed air heats very effectively – meaning that everything in its path would also vaporise. Every living thing for hundreds of kilometres around that hadn’t been killed by the heat would be crushed by the thousands of tons of superheated rock that would blast out of the crater. Within minutes, the ensuing shockwave would flatten everything for thousands of miles. Next would come a global chain of earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Clouds of burning rock would pelt every metre of the planet’s surface, setting the world on fire. Ionic disturbances would knock out all means of communication, so even if there was a safe place to run to (which there wouldn’t be), you’d have no way of knowing. The ash cloud would blot out the sun for years, meaning that anyone who was lucky enough to survive would soon die of starvation or malnutrition.
To reiterate the scariest point: this could happen at any moment. It might not happen for hundreds of thousands of years, but it could happen tonight. Impacts on the scale of Manson happen, on average, about once every million years. And that one occurred 2.5 million years ago.

So, might as well go out and enjoy yourself, eh? We could all be killed in the most horrifically painful way imaginable tomorrow.

Muslim Experiment

Some Americans are nice. Some are really fucking stupid.