Saturday, July 26, 2003

Now I know you like a good drink: who doesn't? [Plus I know you, as visiting this website or having the potential to visit this website allows me to watch your every move. So be careful]. But do you actually know anything about your tipple? In what is likely to be a very short series of posts, I will look at websites that give you all the information you ever needed about particular types of alcoholic beverages, and possibly more. Today, (Mary), I will consider "lager"s. For prepatory research, go to google and type in "lager", before clicking on "I'm Feeling Lucky" [due to the relevant website being the first one that comes up in the search]. Read it, experience it if you're in that mood, and then come back here. If you can't remember all the instructions, I recommend you print this page out, � la Microsoft. (If you don't know what I'm on about, you're not alone. But just this once, I'll explain my 'joke' [which is itself a joke, I know]: go to any Help article in any Microsoft program, and it'll almost invariably ask you to print it out. Are they in cahoots with paper manufacturers? The BBC's "The Office" has a lot to answer for in that case). Done that? Good. Come back tomorrow for an update.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Highly interesting and important survey about young people's [defined as 11-18 year olds] attitude to politics. Oh, I could write so much about it, but I have to watch television sometimes, and now seems like a perfect time to do it as any! Perhaps I'll update this at a future date [aside: yeah right], but in the meantime, please at least read the most interesting statistics found in this report, not least that only about 25% of these youths recognised IDS, as opposed to the 91% who recognised Tony Blair.

Inspired: 2003 Results of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. I don't want to give too much away, as all the information you need is on there; but it does increase my confidence in being able to write a half-decent novel no end, if this is the competition! Adios for now..-os. Or something.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Thanks to the incomparable (in a good way) NTK for the following excellent trick: go to Google's image search, and look for "aging wrestlers". The result (and yes, there is only one result) is hilarious, though probably not in the way she intended.

I went to this site a long time ago, but it's still there in exactly the same format, so I might as well still recommend it. [Thanks to netmag for the link] It's a guide of Britain for Americans, and it's all true. Be sure to visit it before coming to our country: your experience of Britain (ie. London and its suburbs) just wouldn't be the same without having read the guide first!

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

It is a well-known fact that during cocktail parties one will be met with a question probing one's knowledge of literature. For example, that charming brunette you've been flirting with for the last half an hour changes subjects suddenly after yet another amusing tale about corporate bonds, and asks you: "Speaking of low-yield insurance bonds, does that not remind you of the scene in Gulliver's Travels when the Liliputians feel threatened by Gulliver and therefore try to destroy him, which is clearly symbolising the struggle of special interest groups to control society at large?". Now of course, being at this cocktail party, nay!, even having come up to this lady and had a conversation with her clearly implies that you've read Gulliver's Travels. But you knew that, right? Didn't you? Are you a rugby player or a Hollywood superstar? If not, I recommend you find out everything important about every conceivable classic book that could be brought up in conversation, but without actually reading them [that would take too long and would be a waste of your time, unlike reading the blog of a nobody who doesn't have a clue how to chat up ladies]. To start you off: Harry Potter for Beginners [Source: BBC]. Now no-one has in actual fact read more than one of the Harry Potter books (if they say they have, they're lying, and you should perhaps consider doubting their very existence), and most people you'll meet in day-to-day life (and more importantly, at cocktail parties) have not read any of them. But that won't stop them mentioning it to you in casual conversation [especially now that, thank goodness, Big Brother is seen as what it really is: boring, boring, boring (like the Labour Party election campaigns)], so click on the above hyperlink to begin your exploration of what shall henceforth be called Conversation Books, to be strictly defined as "those books that no-one has read but everyone pretends to have read so as to seem clever and therefore sexually attractive". [Contrast this with Mark Twain's definition of classic books: "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read." I'm not a plagiarist, see?]

If I had to choose right now which country I'd like to spend the next year in, I think Sweden would have to be one of the top three choices for me [BBC country profile of Sweden, CIA country profile of Sweden, which curiously disagree of whether it has high unemployment or not]. It is rich but happy, educated and beautiful, peaceful and cultured. Just read the profiles and weep. Even America has a hard job matching up to Sweden. So I say: viva Sweden! Or as the beautiful Swedes themselves would put it: "J�g �lskar Sverige"! [Many thanks to a cute, if functional in its style, English-Swedish-English dictionary, and a certain Swedish person I know who shows what's best about their motherland by being an excellent person] No, I mean it: Sweden is a good country. I know I like Finland too, but after their excellently named female prime minister had to resign due to a corruption scandal, Sweden just does it for me. Also, someone from Sweden has visited this site more often than me over the last few days; whoever they are, this is for them too. In conclusion: The lovely and immensely moving Swedish flag

Saturday, July 05, 2003

I promised to Peter to put up all the links he has sent to me up on this site, and so am now in the process of doing so. Most, if not all, if not none, are very high in the worthy-clickage sense, and are therefore worthy of being clicked on. If anyone manages to click on all of them, they should tell me their name and age, and not only will I put up their name on the superinterweb so they can be rich and famous like me, but I will send them a specially-designed official badge! (Subjects to availibility, which at the moment is non-existent). To sweeten the saccharine pill, I shall provide a picture at the end of it all. Would you like that? I knew you would. Peter's glorious, glorious links The picture: A picture Hope it satisfies like nothing else... Just don't ask me what it means.

You know how in news reports some choice quotes from a Government study are aired, and then the whole thing is forgotten about? Well, I remember being particularly fascinated by a Cabinet Office study of what life satisfaction is and whether the state has any role to play in changing it. The aforementioned "choice quote" in this case is that Brits are just as happy as they were 30 years ago, and therefore [for don't talking heads know everything, after all?] the modern capitalist system is rubbish and we all need to be a community again (notwithstanding the fact we never were a community) and yada yada shmada. Anyway, I found the relevant report, and it's surprisingly interesting to read, if a little dry due to its being sourced from the Civil Service. There's even a historical and philosophical discussion of life satisfaction. Go already! Don't tell me you're so happy you don't need to know what it means?

Now I know I have a reputation for being a bit obsessed by money. Notwithstanding that this alleged quality could one day make me very rich, I decided to put this to the test of Truth (with the British Shield of Justice, as Jonathan Aitken rightly put it (before being sent to prison for lying, fine!)) with this "Bankrate's Financial Literacy Guide: Are you a cheapskate?" quiz. You can probably guess what I got, given that everyone in the world knows me better than myself (I'm so self-conscious I'm self-unconscious): Quote-on-quote [as they say in the dahling USofA] "Now, to your credit, in a time of rampant self-indulgence and instant gratification, you are willing to delay, deny and self-discipline. Kudos on your control. But consider: There is a point of diminishing returns, and you may have passed it several stoplights ago." Hmm. Well, I don't think I'm THAT bad! Just because, yes, I've waited 30minutes to make phone calls so they're off-peak, and even on occasions re-used a stamp doesn't make me a scrooge! I would give Tiny Tim some turkey I would! [And some tennis training if I had the time]. Please: tell me it's not true! I'll do anything! ANYTHING! Except give you money: what do you think I am? A millionaire?

I can't believe this site is free! (Except that I've been to it and I didn't have to pay, so maybe eventually I will believe it). Piven World is a gallery of portraits of famous people by a certain Mr. Hanoch Piven [an Israeli, excellently!]. But wait: these are not just colour-by-number portraits (although that would be impressive...); these are portraits made of "common" objects, such as mops, bulbs and paper clips. They're actually rather good. I've recommended it: what else do you need to get you there? Money, fine, I'll give you money, just go to it already! Good right? Only kidding about the money by the way.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Bored? Then eat insects. Nah, seriously, try this silly game instead. It's nothing to do with insects, honest with my fingers crossed!