Friday, 29 July 2011

29/07/11 - EastEnders

Have you noticed that EastEnders isn’t 100% realistic? Astonishing, I know, but some things go on in that fictional square that just don’t ring true. I mean, a whole community of people that don’t own washing machines? A nightclub that seems to open at 5pm every day? A mint Capri 2.8i parked out on the street in East London for that long without getting nicked? It doesn’t add up.
But the really noticeable thing is how much goes unmentioned. EastEnders scriptwriters must have a keyword/topic blacklist to ensure that certain themes or ideas are never, ever alluded to. For example...

Being anywhere other than Albert Square
OK, we’ve fallen at the first hurdle here. They talk about this all the time. But keep an eye on it, you’ll see that every description of the wider world is deliberately vague. If anyone wants to go shopping or to a nightclub other than the one twenty feet from their front door, they always go ‘up west’. This non-specific area of London encompasses everything that isn’t Walford, which is presumably seen by the ‘Enders puppetmasters as a necessary evil to reinforce the community spirit of their little microcosm. We rarely actually get to follow any characters ‘up west’. Did you see the gritty Comic Relief episode where Whitney was being pimped out by a sleazy Northener (who wasn’t from east London, so you knew he was up to no good)? Wasn’t it unsettling to be looking at unfamiliar bits of London?
When people want to go on holiday, they usually go to Southend on the train. (Sorry, Saaaaafend.) We did once get to see Robbie Jackson on a Saaaaafend merry-go-round, but it was a bit weird. If they do ever go abroad – say, Ricky Butcher working in Dubai (Doo-boy) or whichever of the Mitchells went to South Africa (Saaaaaf Africa) – we aren’t allowed to know a single thing about it. Because the world outside Albert Square is rubbish. Frankly, the rest of Walford isn’t really worth talking about; we know there’s a high street, but no fucker goes there.

Stuff that’s on TV
Have a think about the conversations you’ve had today. How many of them have been about watching telly? At least one, right, and maybe a few? I’m sitting here writing about a television programme, which isn’t something an EastEnder would do. Television plays a disproportionately minor role in their lives, which is odd given the show’s viewing figures; you’d think that the BBC would want to promote the watching of TV in an enthusiastic manner to the viewing masses. (But then, of course, a show about people watching TV would be in danger of becoming some kind of spiralling cathode ray vortex, with the people on screen watching a show about people watching telly, who were in turn watching a programme about watching telly, and so on ad infinitum. This raises complex and unanswerable questions about the minute speck of a show at the centre of it all – is it an infinite spiral, or is there some kind of genesis broadcast that spins out the viewing cycle in reverse-chronological order? [I may be over-thinking this.])
Occasionally we do catch a snippet of TV sounds in the background of a scene; we know that Phil Mitchell watches Top Gear, although he does so in the daytime, meaning either that he’s recorded it on his Sky box or he’s watching it on Dave, neither of which are situations that the BBC should be promoting. (I can’t imagine he’s watching it on iPlayer, it just doesn’t seem in keeping with his character.) Dot watches Songs of Praise. Max watches the news. But nobody really settles in for a night of telly when they could be sitting in the pub.

The internet
It’s brilliant how the scriptwriters belligerently continue to isolate their characters within this weird little island of non-connectivity. We occasionally get a whiff of online activity, but only if it’s essential to the plot. Heather’s online dating, for example, was a cleverly-worded saga that was doomed to fail from the beginning, the over-arching implication being that most people today view the internet like they did in the early nineties: with suspicion, as something unnecessary that geeks think is important but is largely of no consequence. They invented some kind of Facebook-without-the-brand-name social network, akin to The IT Crowd’s Friendface, which is used primarily by the teenagers of the show, because everyone knows that social networking is a frivolous thing for kids.

Movies and video games
...are two of the biggest money-spinners in the world. But, like with social networking, the only gamers in EastEnders are children, because older viewers might be confused by the sight of a grown-up choosing to spend their time playing computer games when they could be in the pub. Similarly, movies don’t play a particularly important part in anyone’s lives; the only two occasions when anyone goes to ‘the pictures’ (as it is always called) are on first dates or when they need to get the kids away from some kind of domestic drama. No-one goes to see a movie just because they want to.

Current affairs
They’re a selfish bunch, aren’t they? OK, they talk about macro events and broad-reaching global stuff – the recession, the World Cup, the Olympics – but never anything that’s actually happening in the news. Obviously the nature of how it’s filmed and the delay before broadcast prohibits them from talking about current events with any degree of accuracy, but you’d think some kind of mention of what’s going on in the world outside Walford might provide some essential texture; for a show that’s aimed at the average middle/working class viewer, surely it’d be vital for character development to show them reacting to events that the viewers themselves are aware of or affected by in the wider world? But no, all they give a shit about is what’s happening in Albert Square. Which, far from making them seem normal and real, simply serves to alienate the viewer, showing a cast of characters so self-involved and disinterested in reality that their casual, inherent narcissism borders on arrogance.

Brand names
You’re not allowed to mention brand names on the BBC, obviously. But it does make it all seem incredibly unrealistic, doesn’t it? The most commonly requested drink in The Queen Vic seems to be ‘a pint’. Now, in any real pub, that would definitely lead to at least one follow-up question. If you ask for ‘a pint’ and don’t give any further info, there are a number of different beverages that you could end up with. (This ‘let’s not be too specific about what kind of pint people are drinking’ mentality has definitely gone too far. It certainly wouldn’t be breaking any kind of product placement guidelines for the barman to say ‘Sure, OK - lager, bitter... how about a clue?’, but no – they’ve decided that any beer can be labelled ‘a pint’, and that’s that.)
They do forget this sometimes, however. Coca Cola do very well in the EastEnders script word count, by the constantly referenced mistake of confusing ‘cola’ with ‘Coke’. But the most fun example can be found in the kitchens of Albert Square. Next time you see a kitchen-based scene, keep an eye on the boxes and packets on the counters in the background: the props team go to quite some effort to create unique packaging for recognisable products with made-up branding (Coco Krispies, etc), but they clearly get bored and slip in the odd jar of Horlicks or bottle of Asda tomato ketchup in the hope that the producers won’t notice, which they never do.

People who’ve left the show
If you leave Albert Square, you’re effectively disavowed. Every now and then we’ll hear the name of an ex-character sneaking in, but never with any kind of detail. They might as well be dead. The only time anyone asks about people who’ve gone away is when they’re trying to fill awkward gaps in conversation, or when the scriptwriters have suddenly remembered that the character in question exists (like Shabnam Masood), but they get glossed over quickly enough. The really odd thing is that characters who are supposedly still alive don’t turn up for significant events. Earlier this year, when Kat & Alfie were burying their son (or so they thought), Kat’s sisters, Lynne and Little Moe, and her daughter, Zoe, didn’t bother showing up. Nobody questioned this. Nobody even mentioned it.

This all sounds like I don’t like EastEnders. That’s not the case at all; in fact, I’m slightly addicted to it, it’s brilliant. The aforementioned points merely feed my own pedantry.
...and this will all irritate you immensely now. Next time you watch EastEnders, snippets of this will float across your mind. I’ve broken your fourth wall! I’M IN YOUR BRAIN WHILE YOU WATCH TELEVISION!

Share the Rainbow

Unofficial (obviously) Skittles ad. Charming.

Only Level

This game only has one level.
...or does it?

Click the image to play.

Alan Sugar's Breakdown

He's a deeply unhappy man.

Thank Your Wank

Erm... yeah. Click here.

Planet of the Apes vs. Benny Benassi

Brilliant - it even has a storyline!

Ink On U

This tattoo parlour seems weirdly proud of their, er, somewhat inexpert tattoos. Still, I bet they're cheap. Click here.

Live squid sashimi

Don't watch this if you're squeamish. Seriously.

McBain - The Movie

So, if you stitch together all the McBain clips from various episodes of The Simpsons, it has a coherent story. Who knew?

Gary Neville Carrot


Oh, bless them. Clicky.

I Like Looking Like Other People

Everyone in meeeeeja has the same clothes. Look.

Ninja Empire - Showdown

Now this is how you end a ninja movie.

Friday, 22 July 2011

22/07/11 - Drinking to get drunk

Readers of Cosmopolitan magazine are 87% more likely than the average person to agree with the statement that ‘the point of drinking is to get drunk’.
M’colleague Julia and I give regular new-starter inductions to talk newbies through the various information resources we use, and that statement is something we employ to illustrate what TGI data can tell you. We say it so much that it’s kind of lost all meaning, but it sprung into my mind last weekend when I heard a little story...

We were having dinner with some friends, when one of them received a text message from her sister to say that she’d been to a restaurant, but got so drunk beforehand that she hadn’t made it as far as the food ordering stage because she’d fallen asleep on the table. (My friend will undoubtedly be reading this so I’ll make it clear that I’m not judging or taking the piss, but using this incident to bolster a point.) To the outside observer, my friend’s sister, given that this kind of thing happens pretty frequently, may seem like someone who doesn’t know her limits. But I’d suggest, given that I know that she isn’t stupid, that she’s well aware of her own alcohol tolerance but sees moderation as an entirely separate entity to entertainment; in simple terms, she likes to drink to get drunk. And to be fair, we all do that sometimes.

My early teenage encounters with inebriation are well-documented in the JuicyPips archives and don’t need to be reiterated in all their squishy, crimson-cheeked detail here; suffice to say, every booze-related sequence of events taking place approximately between the ages of 13-17 invariably ended with vomit, memory loss and, er, vomit. I grew up in a house where alcohol wasn’t remotely taboo, and it was customary – indeed, enforced – that a little tipple here and there was a normal thing for a well-rounded individual to indulge in; for that reason it wasn’t really the case that as soon as I was sufficiently tall and husky of tone to enter an off-licence without being laughed out, I immediately felt the need to get as slaughtered as physically possible and sleep on the beach. But that kind of thing did often happen anyway. You see, it was very obvious which of my friends hadn’t been raised with the odd glass of wine with dinner, as alcohol was a dangerously exciting new stimulant for them, and if they were going to drink eight cans of Strongbow on the Tankerton slopes then I wanted to join in too. So I was drinking to get drunk, of course, but on a more cerebral and self-aware level, which is obviously better. I was drunk ironically.

Nowadays, the part of my brain that’s slowly grappling with the notion that I might possibly be turning into a grown-up would never, ever agree with the statement that ‘the point of drinking is to get drunk’. It would piss on all the glorious training my palate has enjoyed, with so many wine festivals and vineyards visited in my youth to teach me the difference between good wine and Australian wine (aha, take that, Antipodes! I made a hilarious joke!), and my own endeavours to educate my taste buds in the comparative merits of various single malt whiskies (which I cannot afford to buy myself; said education is purely funded by benevolent drunken acquaintances in fancy bars). And obviously if I’m watching TV of an evening and fancy cracking open a beer, that doesn’t mean I want to get shitfaced. When it gets to point of the evening where my wife’s fallen asleep on the sofa and I feel like playing a bit of Gran Turismo 5, I’ll usually pour myself a whisky-and-coke or two... but that doesn’t mean I feel like getting pissed and having a mental night. It’s just nice to enjoy a drink for its own sake, is it not?
That said, this kind of self-denial and pious pseudo-epicurism can only go so far. Alcohol does funny things to your brain, and that’s an inherent part of its allure. When we go and visit the friends mentioned at the start of this waffle, it’s the done thing for us to turn up with an armful of booze. They’ll have bought some in too. On arrival, they’ll put a gently tinkling g&t in our hands and lead us to their patio, which we all know as The Gin Terrace. Over the course of the evening, we’ll consume an obscene amount of alcohol, talk a load of rubbish (that’s my role in the proceedings, anyway), stay up till the wee hours until the cocktail cabinet is dry, then collapse into a hobo slumber. We’re not actively ‘drinking to get drunk’; we don’t respond to a dinner invitation by saying ‘wahey, let’s get fucking hammered!’, yet it’s fait accompli. Booze is a delicious social lubricant. Drinking to get drunk, although context-bound, is a key part of what the alcohol industry is all about. It’s just whether or not we admit to it, either to one another or ourselves, that dictates our approach to social interaction.

We don’t drink to get drunk. We drink because we like to drink. Whether we’re self-aware enough to acknowledge what will subsequently happen to us is up to the individual... the key divide is which of the two boozy camps you fall into: those who enjoy the drink itself, and those who enjoy the drunkenness. Think of it as Laphroaig vs. Blue WKD. Ultimately, if you knock back enough, they’re both basically the same thing: a ticket to mental oblivion. Do you prefer the journey or the destination?

The correct answer, of course, is ‘both’. Drink something tasty, classy and expensive, then throw up on yourself and fall over. Brilliant.

(Incidentally, knowing that my aforementioned friend will be reading, some drunken things that happened on Saturday night that I should probably apologise for: slagging off Coldplay so viciously, finishing all the prawn fritters and tequila mayonnaise [seriously, yum], slagging off the Audi Q7 for ages, mocking the contents of your iPod, drinking red wine whilst using your new treadmill. Sorry.)

Napoleon Dynamite - The Animated Series

Brilliant. Fox are making an animated series of Napoleon Dynamite, due to air in 2012, and it features all of the original cast and writers. Should be good.

Rebekah Brooks - Friday

The inevitable Rebekah Brooks/Rebecca Black parody.

Leisure Dive

It's impossible to look at these pictures and not want to find a pool and try it for yourself. Click here.

Harry Potter 1-7: Abridged

Haven't got time to watch all seven Harry Potter movies? Here you go - wipe it all out in two and a half minutes.

Spoiler alert: at the end of the final film, you'll find the twist is that IT WAS ALL WRITTEN FOR CHILDREN.


Nice little typing-based shoot-em-up. Click below to play.

Broments in Love

Who needs girls, eh?

Detroit graffiti

Poor Detroit. A once-great city's decline perfectly encapsulated in the al fresco scrawlings of cretins. Click here for Scott Hocking's photo series.

Double Dream Hands Guy

This is literally the best dancing you'll ever see. Promise.

WWII in colour: London

Some incredible photos from Life of London during WWII, all in rich full-colour. Click here.

Big Blue Ball Machine

This man has a lot of balls.

Friday, 15 July 2011

15/07/11 - Amateur copywriting

I like writing. I do it quite a lot. I’m smiling wryly as I type this in the knowledge that JuicyPips was never meant to be an official part of my job (I mean, why would it be?), yet my belligerence in relentlessly chronicling every abstract thought that pops into my head and emailing it to 400-odd people – then publishing it all online, to be read by literally some people – leads folk to assume that my weekly Friday ramblings constitute ‘work’. A colleague recently referred to me as ‘Chief Morale Officer’, which I receive kindly and choose to interpret as an Arnold Rimmer reference, although it’s overly effusive praise for something that I do simply because I like it. It’s just words, innit? And I enjoy stringing them together, chiefly for my own amusement.
People ask me reasonably frequently why I’m not a copywriter. The obvious answer to this is that I’m a total charlatan; I don’t understand advertising in the slightest, I have no idea what any of my colleagues actually do all day, and sooner or later I will certainly be unmasked, disrobed, dethroned and excommunicated. However, I did once let the overblown praise go to my head sufficiently strongly for me to approach ex-ECD and nicotine enthusiast, Jon Burley, about the possibility of moving into such a role. He appraised me slowly, coldly, with a mixture of distaste and contempt in his eyes, and said ‘no, you don’t have what it takes’. So that was the end of that. I think that might actually have been the only time he ever spoke to me.

Still, sod it, his reign of terror is over. I might as well have a crack at it right now, eh? Teach these trendy student-types a thing or two.
So... Littlewoods might be a good place to start. We made some great ads to elevate them from eighties catalogue bilge to modern fashion halo brand, and they immediately jumped ship (as is my understanding – but, like I say, I know piss all about how advertising works). I reckon they could do with a helping hand now they’re taking it all in-house, so here’s a freebie script, just for them.

[interior; minimalist white room, white furnishings. d.p: Coleen Rooney.]

CR (to empty room): Man, I fuckin’ love clothes, me. But going to a shop to buy them is, like, well borin’. Right?

Empty Room: (contemptuous silence)

CR: Like, me mam used to get our kecks on the tick from the tally man, like. Two quid a week an’ all sorted. That’s why I think Littlewoods are fuckin’ ace.

Empty room: (judgmental silence)

CR: ‘Cos, like, I can buy labels that I’ve heard of, like Ellesse and Fila an’ that, but I don’t have to pay for it all in one go, like. Spreadin’ the cost means it’s basically cheaper, like doin’ your bills on Direct Debit. Innit?

Empty room: (confused silence)

CR: And now I’ve got so many proper lush fuckin’ threads, I don’t know what to do with them all! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
[CR throws cheap, brightly-coloured clothes all over the place.]

Voiceover: Littlewoods – buy your clothes from a catalogue. Because trying them on first would be stupid.

Wow, this is a piece of cake.
Dare I tackle the advertising holy grail, and have a stab at a McDonald’s ad? OK, here goes...

[a rollercoaster, in space. d.p: loads of screaming, happy children.]

Voiceover: Do you ever wonder what’s going on in your children’s heads?

Children: Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Voiceover: They think they’re on a rollercoaster. In space.

Children: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Voiceover: This is down to the quasi-narcotic effects of beef overdose. If you cram your kids’ gullets with enough griddled cow-meat, they’ll start to hallucinate...

Children: Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Voiceover: go on – buy your child
two Quarter-Pounders today. And maybe a Big Mac too. They’ll see the fucking moon.

[interior, McDonald’s restaurant]

Voiceover: See, they weren’t in space after all. That’d be ridiculous. Even the rollercoaster was pie-in-the-sky.
Sorry, that’s a clunky analogy. McDonald’s doesn’t even sell pie. Apart from apple pie, but there’s no beef in that. Well, apart from that one batch that... what? Sorry? Oh, I’m not allowed to mention that.
But you should really take your nippers to Mickey D’s today. Trust me, they’ll have a right laugh. There’s fucking beef everywhere.

[five-note sting]

Brilliant. If I can spin this kind of gold off the cuff, imagine what I could do for this company if I were copywriting full-time! It’s well easy.

The Apprentice - autotuned

This was always bound to happen... and The Poke have done it brilliantly.

Digital planning is easy

Seriously, it requires absolutely no knowledge or effort whatsoever. Click below and see.

10 reasons why we hate Facebook

Tru dat.

Empty Platitudes

People talk a lot of meaningless shit on Twitter, don't they? And here they all are, flashing up in real time as the bilge spews from their minds. Click the image.

The genesis of Family Guy

This makes for quite surreal viewing: Larry & Steve is a kind of latter-day Warner Bros-style of animation, with the voices (indeed, effectively the characters) of Brian & Peter Griffin - you can clearly see how the one morphed into the other.

...and going back a little further, The Life of Larry was Seth MacFarlane's student project that propelled him into the mainstream. Yes, every one of these gags was recycled in Family Guy.

Office Fridges

...are always rank, aren't they? Click here for a catalogue of comestible woe.

iPhone + guitar = lovely

Hiding an iPhone 4 inside your guitar is a brilliant way to capture the wobbly motion of the strings. Behold:

A Bit Broken

The best phrase that you can ever use in a 'for sale' ad is it was in perfect working order before it was broken. This kind of thing happens embarrassingly frequently, and is being methodically catalogued here.

The greatest parkour of all time

Parkour videos are a bit old hat now, aren't they? But wait till you see this one...

Fear & Loathing - the board game

If you enjoyed Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas and fancy making your life more like that of the protagonists, you'll be pleased to learn that the world's most awesome board game can be found here.

Holy (x), Batman!

Jeez, that kid really needed a broader variety of catchphrases.

Ballad of Bob & Sue

Anglia Cancer Network's video for their 'Be Clear on Cancer' campaign, created by Kindred.
It says poo. And boobs. *snigger*

Thursday, 7 July 2011

07/07/11 - Magazine hoarder

I collect magazines. I’m not ashamed of that. But it drives the missus crazy.

It’s not like I’m some geeky magophile (if that’s a thing), hunting down missing issues from worldwide collectors or anything; I’ve only ever approached a collector once, and that was to buy my wife a present for our wedding day – a copy of Wonder Woman from the month she was born. Cute, ain’t I?
No, I just have subscriptions to things and never throw them out.

Well, that’s not strictly true. I used to subscribe to Q, but when I stopped buying it I realised that I was probably never going to read any of them again, so they got recycled; I may well regret this if Jack White or Matt Bellamy suddenly horrifically expire and the issues reviewing their debut releases consequently rocket in value, but there’s only so much room in my house. Issues of Wired tend to end up on eBay, because the subscription cost works out about £2 a mag, yet the eBayers will pay cover price for a used copy - is that odd? It seems odd to me - and the very nature of the subject matter means that it’s almost immediately obsolete (although there is comedy value in reading articles about computers and stuff from ten or twenty years ago, when everything we take for granted now in terms of storage or connectivity seemed laughably pie-in-the-sky). It’s the car magazines that I keep. And I keep them enthusiastically.

There are four car magazines that I subscribe to: Evo, Octane, Classic Ford and Retro Cars. There’s also a few years’ worth of Practical Performance Car on a bookshelf somewhere (although I’m afraid to say that the poor quality of the proofreading infuriated me so much that I had to stop reading it – I’m a spectacular pedant when it comes to print media, and their inability to distinguish between ‘concours’ and ‘concourse’ drove me nuts), as well as various random copies of Retro Ford, Classic Cars, Classic & Sports Car, Top Gear and MotorSport. But it’s the big four that I like to hang on to, and they’re slowly filling up the spare room, chronologically ordered in cheap IKEA boxfiles awaiting future thumbing.
Like I said, this really irritates my wife. I’m really only writing this because I know that she’ll read it, and I’d like to head off a potential cull next time we move house.

You see, it makes perfect sense to me to keep them. The cover price of each one is roughly equivalent to that of a cheap paperback book (well, it would be if I bought the magazines in shops), and you wouldn’t just throw out a book after you’d read it, would you? I’m keeping them for reference. Aside from the fact that I like to flick through them while I’m home alone – the stigma already attached to the collection makes me reluctant to read them with company present – they’re also full of interesting titbits that I can cross-reference in my mind and revisit. When we bought our latest car in January (here’s a thing I wrote about it, incidentally), the first port-of-call for research was to find the old Evo road test. As it happens, I don’t have that particular issue, but I could have done. And now I’m waiting for issue no.20 to appear on eBay for the right price...

For a car bore like me, a comprehensive library of unusual motors is a very handy thing to have. Recently, at Motorsport At The Palace, I happened across a mkI Escort, reg. TTN 660M, that I remembered from the cover of the first ever issue of Classic Ford that I bought back in 1999. (I blogged about it here) So from that, and from knowing someone at the excellent Retro Ford who featured the car again recently, I was able to piece together a little history of the car’s life in the intervening years. That’s of no interest whatsoever to anyone but me, but hey, it entertains me.

Let’s say, for instance, that I came across the fabled Panther Six at Goodwood this year, or a DKW GT Malzoni. (I didn’t, but just for example.) I can remember a few details from what I’ve read, but I know that they were both featured in Octane some time last year; after the event, I could cross-reference my photos with my library and make the experience all the richer and more textured. Does this make me a massive car geek? Yes, unquestionably. But I’m not embarrassed by that. I knows what I likes.

There’s a cache of mags hidden away in a secret place; the really important ones. The issue of Classic Ford that has a four-page feature on my old Capri, the Total BMW that extensively features my ’74 BMW 2002, the copies of Retro Cars where I’ve had articles published, even the old FHM where my Capri won, er, the ‘Most Chav Car’ award back in 2004. (It wasn’t a chavvy car by any means; it’s just that FHM’s core demographic are ill-informed cretins, and they have to play to their strengths.) But the thing I’m focusing on is that any one of the other archived magazines could become one of the important ones. What if I win the lottery and buy a Ferrari 288 GTO? That particular one may well have been featured in Evo or Octane at some point, in which case I’d have evidence of a professional write-up of what would be my own car. What if a friend buys a Vauxhall Chevanne with a carbed XE, or a lowlight Morris Minor with a roof-chop and Torque Thrusts? Suppose I learn that my next-door neighbour’s been secretly rebuilding a mkV Cortina Crusader in his garage? I might have a feature on that one somewhere.
If nothing else, it’ll give me something to do when I’m old and there’s no more petrol...

You’ve lost all respect for me now, I’m sure. But I honestly couldn’t give a shit. I mean, when the nuclear apocalypse comes and we’re all sealed into our homes, at least I’m going to have plenty to read. Are you?

Bill Bailey's message to Metallica

History of the Space Shuttle

It's mindblowing that people actually go into space, isn't it? We totally take it for granted. And they've been doing it since The Beatles were in the charts and telly was in black & white. It's staggering.

Click here for some fascinating Space Shuttle history.

Mansour Bahrami

I didn't watch any of Wimbledon. But I would have, if this guy had been there.


Simple but addictive beer/vomit-themed platform game. Click below to play.

June fail

The latest fail compilation from TwisterNederland. Try to make it all the way through without wincing.


Pripyat - the town built for the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear plant - is looking a little overgrown these days. Click below to see.

Martin Gamal's FX showreel

Everything about this is awesome*.

*And by 'awesome', I mean 'staggeringly terrible'.

Fancy business cards

There's a Patrick Bateman-esque thrill to the feel of a really good business card, isn't there? And, as you can see here, there's no need to stick to the traditional cream rectangle.