Saturday, April 28, 2007

Welcome to Planet Earth, the third planet from a star named the Sun. The Earth is shaped like a sphere and composed mostly of rock. Over 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water. The planet has a relatively thin atmosphere composed mostly of nitrogen and oxygen. The above picture of Earth, dubbed Blue Marble, was taken from Apollo 17 in 1972 and features Africa and Antarctica. It is thought to be one of the most widely distributed photographs of any kind. Earth has a single large Moon that is about 1/4 of its diameter and, from the planet's surface, is seen to have almost exactly the same angular size as the Sun. With its abundance of liquid water, Earth supports a large variety of life forms, including potentially intelligent species such as dolphins and humans. Please enjoy your stay on Planet Earth.

Friday, January 12, 2007

So does not posting for ages make me a Clogger? Gah! I posted! Nuts!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Pale Blue Dot

In 1990, NASA commanded the Voyager 1 spacecraft, having completed its primary mission, to turn around to photograph the planets it had visited. NASA ultimately compiled 60 images from this unique event into a mosaic of the Solar System. One image Voyager returned was of Earth, 4 billion miles distant, showing up as a "pale blue dot" in the grainy photo. The minute speck was nearly lost in the glare of the Sun.

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994) is a book by Carl Sagan. It is the sequel to Cosmos and was inspired by the "Pale Blue Dot" photograph, for which Sagan provides a sobering description.

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every 'supreme leader,' every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there -- on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. ... There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."


Saturday, June 03, 2006

I'm just resting my eyes...

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Bauer!

All of these are FACT! Who's Chuck Norris? Of course you realise this probably means the Chuck Norris will have to roundhouse every person who links to this...

And remember... Jack Bauer could get off the Lost island in 24 hours!

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Norris!

Guns don't kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

Chuck Norris Facts!!! Every single one of these is true! FACT!

And remember, crop circles are Chuck Norris' way of telling the world that sometimes corn needs to lie the fuck down.

Friday, December 30, 2005


We went to the Somerset wetlands at Westhay on the 28th to watch the starlings to come home to roost. There is an area where the tourists go but Deacon, my brother-in-law, knew a much better place that was much closer to where they were expected to arrive. They come from all over the south of England and start arriving at about 4pm.

Small flocks fly in from all directions and combine to make a massive swarm estimated at 7 million birds (flock would be understating it) The swarm completely filled the sky over the lakes and after about half an hour of flying around it started to land. Deacon managed to spot the area where the very first Starlings had landed so we made our way over to one of the many hideouts that had been built by the RSPB and the entire swarm landed right in front of us. It was about ten meters away from us in the end and the noise was incredible. The reeds were black where they had settled.

The photos honestly don't do it justice.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

This Is No Case of Petty Right or Wrong

This is no case of petty right or wrong
That politicians or philosophers
Can judge. I hate not Germans, nor grow hot
With love of Englishmen, to please newspapers.
Beside my hate for one fat patriot
My hatred of the Kaiser is love true:–
A kind of god he is, banging a gong.
But I have not to choose between the two,
Or between justice and injustice. Dinned
With war and argument I read no more
Than in the storm smoking along the wind
Athwart the wood. Two witches' cauldrons roar.
From one the weather shall rise clear and gay;
Out of the other an England beautiful
And like her mother that died yesterday.

Little I know or care if, being dull,
I shall miss something that historians
Can rake out of the ashes when perchance
The phoenix broods serene above their ken.
But with the best and meanest Englishmen
I am one in crying, God save England, lest
We lose what never slaves and cattle blessed.
The ages made her that made us from dust:
She is all we know and live by, and we trust
She is good and must endure, loving her so:
And as we love ourselves we hate our foe.

- Edward Thomas
December, 1915

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Blogging = dogging, reckon London cabbies

A Podcast? Yer havin' a laugh

There is some very refreshing news today for those who live outside the rarified atmosphere of the internet world, and indeed for many of us struggling for breath within it - most people don't have a bloody clue what net buzzwords mean but can evidently function perfectly well in society despite this handicap.

Indeed, a survey of taxi drivers, pub landlords and hairdressers ("often seen as barometers of popular trends" according to Reuters, though God alone knows when hairdressers became barometers of anything), by ad outfit DDB London showed that 90 per cent of barometers have not the foggiest idea what a podcast is, and an impressive 70 per cent live in blissful ignorance of blogging.

Better still, many think blogging is the same as dogging - an analysis which finds favour here at Vulture Central.

The barometers did rather better on "happy slapping", although 44 per cent still don't realise that the very fabric of our society is being threatened by young ne'er-do-wells armed with mobile phones.

A shaken DDB London planning director, Sarah Carter, admitted: "Our research not only shows that there is no buzz about blogging and podcasting outside of our media industry bubble, but also that people have no understanding of what the words mean. It's a real wake-up call."

Yes it is, and the moral is this: when speaking to London cabbies, restrict yerself to Her Maj's Queen's English, know what I mean? I'll tell yer something, though, I had that effing Ballmer bloke in the back of the cab last week...

By Lester Haines
Published in The Register: Wednesday 28th September 2005 10:27 GMT

Oh Bugger! I'm in a media marketing industry bubble! Actually, this article cheered me right up and I'm glad that there are still normal people. However, it's rather worrying that there are a higher proportion of normal people because I don't appear to know any of them... I need to get out of IT... I think I'll take up happy slapping.

Monday, September 12, 2005

England regain The Ashes!

And because of all the hype, Flintoff is the new Beckham... God help him...
Erm... actually... DON'T shake it. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Reading Festival

This was the best line-up for a festival I have been to. But apart from the bands, this wasn't probably wasn't the most eventful festival. We had a pretty quiet spot in the Orange camp nothing much really happened on Thursday, Friday and Saturday apart from some intense boozing. "BOLLOCKS!" was back in fashion with a sprinkling of "TIMMEH!" and no "118 118!" Sunday was the usual rip down with the background noise rising to a respectable "aaaaaaaaaaargh!" until about 5am on Monday. Trolley was the flavour this year which involved pushing a trolley really fast and everyone following (it looked fun at the time). It started getting a bit daft when they started pushing the trolleys onto fires... occupants and all. There was also a bit of Emo baiting. Don't quite get that one because as far as I can see, Emo (allegedly uncool) = Goth (now allegedly cool). That piccy is from Saturday when we all hit the maximum average pissedness and Jay had a kip. The furniture has mostly been supplied by concerned passers-by...

Anyhow, this is what I thought of the music...


Goldie Lookin' Chain
Great way to open the festival. The music is irrelevant. They are still funny.

/throws bottle

Graham Coxon
Just like old Blur. You can tell he doesn't enjoy the limelight. Technically, very good.

The Coral
Forgettable but entertaining

Queens of the Stone Age
Awesome Band. Awesome set. Had a good jump around to this. First time I've seen them and they lived up to expectations.

The Killers
Part of the current batch of "bands of the moment". What a pile of utter cack! Dull, Dreary, Lifeless. Their spark will probably die out soon with any luck.

Surprise of the weekend for me. I went into this not knowing what to expect. They appeared on stage and the lead singer looked like a bank manager and the guitarist looked like my old headmistress. The music was amazing and felt that I got where they were coming from. Their set list included the filthy "Debaser" and the angelic "Gigantic" which shows the amazing depth of their tunes and I now understand why they are so important to the landscape of music today. These guys did it years before anyone else did.


Nine Black Alps
Pretty good

Juliette and the Licks
Juliette Lewis' band. You know, the Hollywood actress... Kalifornia... Natural Born Killers... Can't help but think that this is a hobby of hers and that it was all scripted. Kudos if it wasn't. It was entertaining and Juliette was wailing and whirling like a good'un. Not gonna buy any albums if you know what I mean...
NEWSFLASH! - It was too good to be true. She was definitely miming to a tape... At the Leeds festival, she dropped the mic and managed to continue singing... go figure. Silly cow.

Dinosaur Jr
Same as '97. Dull.

The Charlatans
Very cool.

Another of the "bands of the moment". Once they have a few albums under their belt I reckon they'll be really good. The music was tight and the frontman was vocal and got the audience going. This band will get somewhere and are worth keeping an eye on.

Kings of Leon
Another surprise. Never rated them much before now but they were cool. Good solid rock with disturbing Hillbilly tendencies which works well.

Foo Fighters
They didn't split up and I'm so happy that I've finally seen them! Amazing set and Dave was on form. I think I saw his vocal chords shoot into the crowd during Monkey Wrench. And mega bonus, we saw him on the drums again! A lot of the time, when the frontman is talking and bigging up the festival, you automatically think "scripted!" but I got a good vibe from him and thought he was genuine. Dave Grohl is the coolest person in music today... FACT!

Best on stage quote of the weekend - "Glastonbury is for smelly hippies, V is for the clean people, the fucking yuppies. The Reading festival is for dirty fucking rockers who come out to have a good time. Take it from your Uncle Dave I've been looking forward to this for a very long time." - Dave Grohl


Bullet for My Valentine
Another surprise! These guys rocked BIG time. Worth watching out for in the future.

Freaks! Scandinavian deathpunk gods. Also, Gay beyond belief. Eye shadow and navy uniforms. The frontman has a thing for vats of eyeliner and furry sporrans. What Village People would have been if they were metal. I think they only have three songs but they play the chorus in different order each time. It was worth watching though.

Alkaline Trio
I think I liked them. Nothing stuck in my mind about their set. This may be alcohol related but in reality, I don't think so.

Funeral for a Friend
Kerrang's best British band. I really can't see why though.

Iggy and the Stooges

Crap. Had a pizza instead.

Marilyn Manson
Showman! Really enjoyed his set and the visuals were impressive and unsurprisingly spot on with the bands message and intended image. If you strip away the attitude and Marilyn Manson's personality you actually get some really decent tunes.

Iron Maiden
I would never have paid to see Iron Maiden on their own. They are one of those bands that I never really got into. But, as I have found out with a couple of other bands, you really can't judge a band properly until you have them live. I now understand why Iron Maiden is so popular. Their set was made up of tune from their first four albums only. The great thing was that even though the "newest" tune was released in 1983 (!), every one of them was amazing and intense. Iron Maiden are SOOOO good at what they do. Bruce Dickinson is an incredible frontman and I really felt that I was part of something special and even legendary. Here was another person who was talking good things about Reading that I believed. This was real original Hard Rock and made all the others look like copies, even my favourite bands like Metallica and Foo Fighters and absolutely no disrespect is meant in that. Highlights included The Trooper which had Bruce at his patriotic best and Mini Trooper (!), Phantom of the Opera, Run to the Hills and Number of the Beast along with a twenty foot high Eddie with glowing red eyes receiving a brain transplant at the end of the set before the encore. I wish I could tell you the titles of some of the others... albums are now in the post :)

Each of the headliners this year were legendary which is very rare. What a great festival.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Shameless Nostalgia Wallow

The other day I googled ZX Spectrum and found a big pile of screen shots. I made a page for no reason apart from to wallow in nostalgia. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Big Brother is Foul and Unsettling... FACT

Well, it's nearly over and I've managed to not blog a word about it despite being tragically addicted to it. It's been another good year for BB and we are now down to the last four.

It's also been quite funny due to the fact that I've pretty much hated all of the housemates for one reason or another and very few of them have any redeeming features. I know... strange. Still, I found a fantastic article at Guardian Online by Charlie Brooker that, while mostly berating and putting down Big Brother, actually lists many of the reasons I like it. I think he knows why it's popular and realises that it's pretty base television.


The going, going gong show

Charlie Brooker
Saturday August 6, 2005
The Guardian

Foul and unsettling? Yes siree! As per tradition, let's put all human decency to one side, hold a pistol to our collective temple, and celebrate the approaching finale of Big Brother 6 (daily, C4) with a pointless little awards ceremony, coming to you live from an A5 piece of newspaper held in front of your eyes right now.

First up, the prestigious Most Sickening Housemate award, which this year goes to a couple: Maxwell (London's village idiot) and Saskia (burly, wrathful harridan with a face that could advertise war). Their daily routine consisted of bullying, bellowing, cackling at their own dismal non-jokes, glaring, sniping and discussing their imminent ascent to the toppermost peaks of stardom - until the last week, when, faced with eviction, they settled for sulkily rutting like doomed livestock. The latter surely ranks as the least sexy thing ever broadcast on television. I'd get more aroused watching a dog drown in petrol.

Next, it's the Stupidest Single Statement award. This year's show contained dumber utterings than ever before. There was an early classic from Anthony, who, while frolicking semi-naked in the pool, carped, "What's the matter with youse, you're sitting there like you're watching a television show," to a disapproving Science. Sadly, that's ineligible because it was immediately followed by the year's wisest rejoinder (Science: "I am.")

Which means it's a race between Craig's frank admission that "I aren't too familiar with the rules of the English language" and Anthony's claim that he's "more developed than a plant" - both of which are beaten by Saskia's jaw-dropping assertion that the second world war started in 1966.

The award for Most Alarming Behaviour goes, inevitably, to Craig - a high-risk FBI profile made flesh. When he wasn't proclaiming his own brilliance, weeping, masturbating, or shrieking uninformed opinions at a uninterested world, he was mindfucking his beloved Anthony - a man so profoundly thick you could sell him a pair of his own socks for £500, even if he was already wearing them.

Their relationship reached its nadir the night Anthony got paralytic and Craig sensed an opportunity. A bleak farce ensued - Anthony vomiting and crying for his gran, Craig frantically cuddling him while shouting, "I'm your only friend in here." It felt more like an extended outtake from Deliverance than a reality show. How Craig passed the psychological vetting process, and why he wasn't quietly removed from the house and given some gentle guidance, is a deeply worrying mystery.

The Cheated Winner award is a close call between two acquired-taste housemates. Only a heartless warlord couldn't warm to Eugene, a well-meaning human pylon whose ineptitude and timidity meant he was out of his depth from the off. But he's narrowly pipped by Science, a bull-headed, one-man belligerence engine who delighted in provoking Maxwell and Derek to breaking point. For services to torture alone, Science should've won.

Just time for a few parting gongs. The award for Snidest Conniving Prick goes to Derek, a man so devious he probably pisses cobra venom; the Ugliest Body award is split between Sam and Orlaith, for poking their fake, motionless tits in the viewer's face (presumably to attract the sort of person who'd like to screw their way through the plastinated corpses at Professor von Hagens' Bodyworlds exhibition).

Finally, the award for Unprecedented Dignitycide goes to Kinga, who, just when you genuinely believed TV couldn't possibly shock you from your jaded, end-of-the-world ironic detachment bubble, celebrated her second night in the house by masturbating with a wine bottle in the middle of the lawn - an act of such gruesome self-abasement, even the other housemates were appalled. Considering they're the most undignified people in Britain, that's an astounding achievement. Mark my words, we'll be celebrating it on commemorative stamps before the decade's out. Preferably self-adhesive ones.