If, like me, you’re fascinated with 60s advertising, you should enjoy my new site, Gypsy Creams (after the iconic biscuits of the era), which will be updated reasonably regularly with my thoughts on the huge number of 60s print advertisements in my possession. As these all come from women’s magazines, I may well be tempted to expand my thoughts to the problem pages, which, as you imagine, make very interesting reading.
Feedback, comments and bug reports are all very welcome!
Keeping with the Sixties theme, this gem of a film from the GPO (the General Post Office, forerunner to British Telecommunications, or BT) in 1969 predicts the future of telecommunications in the UK. Leaving aside the videophone, which has still proven problematic (although companies with enough money are benefiting from video conferencing), the ideas in this film have pretty much come to fruition, although maybe not quite in the manner that the GPO was expecting. It’s eight minutes of your time well spent, if only for the absolutely spot-on home-working scenario!
Many thanks to Beelzebub of NOTBBC for pointing me towards the online archive of British Pathe newsreels. These newsreels provided a window on the world from 1896 to 1970, providing cinema-goers with moving picture news of the type that wasn’t common at home until the 1960s. My recommendation for a wry giggle is the Cholmondley-Warneresqe ‘Clubs Galore’, from 1958, which features the King of Soho, Paul Raymond, and a rather cute striptease. Just look at that!
I don't recommend reading that entire comments thread unless you wish to have a brain haemorrhage, but here are a few choice excerpts. Presented without individual commentary, because it would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but...
(oh, and spoilers for Children of Earth, natch)
Well, I can honestly say that I've not heard this many Michael Jackson songs in one day in a long time. It's been years since I was really interested in his music, but his place in my life, as well as many others' lives, is undisputed. I'm genuinely sad at both the manner and the time of his going, because it robs him of the chance to go out on a high and remind people of the talent that lay behind what became a rather tragic life. Thanks to rhodri on Twitter for bringing my attention to what is an extraordinary and very amusing tribute to Michael's best ever work (IMO); the Bollywood version of Thriller. Thanks, Michael.
I suspect I may be behind the crowd here, but I think these cartoons definitely deserve a post, especially as I was introduced to them with the one below. Please vote on June 4th if you can to stop the BNP.
Sorry for another YouTube post, but this is so beautifully edited, I just had to bring attention to it;
This may seem like a silly question, but a fascinating case has occured in the US, where a 14 year old girl has been arrested for possession and distribution of child pornography. The child in question is herself.
Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s on Newgrounds - it’s bloody excellent. I’d still kind of like to see Watchmen Babies in : “V For Vacation!”, mind.
I am addicted to Facebook Scrabble. In fact, it’s pretty much the only thing I do on Facebook, as I’m allergic to proper socialising, and prefer to sit there giggling at CUNT and QUIM.
Earlier today, neuroscientist Baroness Greenfield used her seat in the Lords to mount an attack on “our culture in screen technologies”, claiming that such creations are responsible for a considerable number of social evils, from the risk in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to cancer. It’s tempting to simply dismiss such a view as those of a luddite, but it’s tricky to find a balance to avoid manifesting the supposed faults Greenfield cites.
From the BBC News site today:
“A US teenager killed his mother and wounded his father in revenge after they took away his violent computer game, a judge has ruled.”
The game in question? Nope, not GTA, not Manhunt 2, not even the chain-saw-mungus Gears of War. Nope we’re talking about Halo 3. Seriously…
Oh, it’s easy to see it as a lazy nostalgia piece - “REMEMBER WHEN MOBILE PHONES WERE MASSIVE!!!??!?!” and the like. But what stops it from being just that that it’s simply superbly made - the very opposite of lazy - and there are a few shots in there that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. (The Our Price moment being my favourite.)
But perhaps best of all is the 25th anniversary logo at the end - a beautiful piece of retro design…
The entire first episode of season two. Why? I dunno. Consider it an early xmas gift.
I won’t be able to watch this until after work (how unfair!) but to call me excited about this is a hell of an understatement.
For God’s sake, somewhere on the front page, have in big letters when the next broadcast of the show is. It’s the most important thing people will want to know, and it should be available at a glance - not buried away on a non-obvious page, or - incredibly - nowhere on the site at all.
The current site where this has really pissed me off is with The IT Crowd, but make no mistake - this happens everywhere. Stick it in a box at the top somewhere!
Pretty much all ten of these are worth your time if you haven’t seen them already (for some reason none had even grazed my radar), but my personal favourites are:
Hamster on a Piano, for services to cuteness.
Western Spaghetti, for sheer wilful invention. (Post It note butter!)
And Christian the Lion, for making me want to weep in spite of the X Factor-y music choice.
Why did it take me so long to find a site that combines a love of books with a love of hot girls?
Babes With Books seems to illustrate a fetish I wasn’t even sure existed, though it’s possible the whole thing is tongue in cheek. I didn’t browse much of it but the pictures and movies I did see suggest that this is safe-for-work material.
One video is just a girl pulling books from her shelf and explaining why she loves them. She is pretty, I’ll give you that, but something tells me she’d feel a little uneasy to know that anybody, anywhere was spanking off to her recommendation of Where the Sidewalk Ends.
For instance, how about the site for On The Record, which finished at the end of 2002? You can even still watch the last episode - amazing how easy it is to forget how bad online video was back then…
Someone must be able to beat December 2002 for the oldest abandoned BBC site still online, though. Any takers? Old BBC News pages don’t count, you cheating bastards.
Will people ever learn? I mean, ever?
Unfortunately, this does mean I’m going to have to buy an issue of PC Zone. PC Gamer has long since taken the role of funny yet high quality games journalism from ‘Zone.
I realise I’m a little behind the curve on this one (most gaming sites reported on this about ten million years ago), but if you haven’t already I implore you check out this brilliant re-cutting of the Deus Ex opening cut-scene and mission. If you need some context, then I suggest you watch the original intro first. Either way, the hilarious re-cut version is after the jump…
No, not that. We reported on this when it fucked off, so we may as well tell you now it’s fucked back on again - excellent TV site Off The Telly is back! Actually, it’s been back for a while, in various states of incompleteness - but things have now settled down over there, and it all looks nice and spangly. And hooray for comments, too.
Hooray also for the fact that at least one other person in the world appreciated Lab Rats…
Just a heads up for a new specialist music blog that is already probably the Best I’ve Seen.
It’s Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts, which, as you might guess, is dedicated to the music of Phish. Each post features extended (and quite intelligent) ruminations on the mp3s posted for download. Sometimes you’ll get an entire show, sometimes you’ll get several very different versions of the same song, sometimes you’ll get jam-only edits, and sometimes you’ll get side-projects.
Just…hunh? Again, it shows how one high profile mistake can mean that some readers are simply aching to find another, even at the risk of making themselves look REALLY stupid in the process…
…with the added bonus of it being the funniest thing you’ll see this week.
Joss Whedon's genre-busting internet mini-phenomenon (minomenon?) Dr Horrible's Singalong Blog is back up and available for free!
UPDATE: It's also delightfully imbedded on the official Dr Horrible site.
As people outside the US await an iTunes version, and everyone hangs on for the soundtrack release and then - finally! - the DVD with sung commentary (seriously), it's fantastic to have the whole glorious epic clickable once more. It's occasionally interrupted by adverts - mostly Shrek telling American kids to go get some exercise - but all kudos to the makers for not sticking to their word and holding the show back for months.
So go, sing and quote along. But please don't post any more of your 'much better ideas' for the final act.
There are a great deal of very talented people out there on the 'net, and a great deal of them turn to popular computer games as a means to show us that talent, be it through web comics, machinima or just plain old blogging. Today I'll be pointing you towards one of my favourite talented people, Chris Livingston. A working knowledge of the Half-Life and Elder Scrolls games is desirable to fully enjoy his work, but I'd be interested in how outsiders view his work regardless, so do read on.
Right, firstly, I can't actually link directly to this, because in the BBC website's infinite wisdom, it changes the Feedback page depending on the site based on the referer - so if I directly link to it, it'll go to the normal Feedback page rather than the Doctor Who one. Absolutely abysmal website design.
So, you'll have to go here, and then then click on FAQs at the bottom.
A great shame, although obviously completely understandable. Thanks to everyone there for a great site, that I always enjoyed reading - and let's hope it returns in some form at some point...
I've linked to Reuters' 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' before, and thought this mistake was too amusing not to feature on NTS. What amazes me is that at least one reader thought Reuters would publish this intentionally...
"Customers will not be able to download the comics either, which can only be viewed in a web browser window."
Leaving aside the rather awkward use of the term "web browser window" - IF YOU CAN SEE THE COMIC IN YOUR BROWSER, YOU'VE ALREADY DOWNLOADED IT. I mean, is it really that hard to get this kind of thing right? Saving != Downloading. Come on BBC, sort it out.
Ever wonder what would really happen if you attempted to purchase a product or service by responding to spam emails?
I admit, I've been curious, myself. Not curious enough to overcome my natural caution, mind you, but somebody's gone and done it for us, and documented the process. Interesting stuff.
Here is a one-star review of the first series of Father Ted (so clearly he's reliable). An excerpt:
The jacket containing the FATHER TED DVD claims that it's the "best comedy about three priests on an island". Good heavens, how many can there be? And imagining the plots and quality of the others simply boggles the mind.
Whilst browsing TEH YOUTUBES the other day, I noticed an advert:
I had the fortune to eat a newly-relaunched Wispa today. It was delicious - and also, for people like me who care about this kind of thing, also had beautiful, simple packaging.
See the first match here - the image navigation is just under the large piccy at the top. (I spent ages searching for it, which either means the site is badly designed, or I'm stupid. Or both.)
Inside job? Quite possibly. I suspect someone mischievous at Online got hold of the B3ta submission, couldn't resist including it, and it snowballed from there.
After the horrors inflicted on you all the other day by Phil, I thought it was time to redress the balance with something good from Youtube.
I'm not sure if this is one guy doing everything by himself, or if there are other people involved in the songwriting/video making, but either way, they're excellent. Essentially, they involve taking a famous movie theme, writing lyrics to go with it, and then acting the song out in silly costumes front of a greenscreen backdrop.
Tim and Eric love Shrek 3 so much they made their own set of promotional shorts. Far, far, far drier than their usual comedy, but brilliant nonetheless.
Updated with three more links!
1. Tim and Eric Promote Shrek!
2. Tim Heidecker's Shrek Message:
R2-D2 to become a mailbox in the US. Temporarily, anyway. You have to wonder just how long these things are going to last before some fanboys take the law into their own hands and start stealing them...
Reuters News publish a compliation of the feedback from their online readers every couple of weeks or so called 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly'. Check out the first complaint in this issue.
Go ahead, see if you can make Google laugh.
There's really no value to this device so far as I can tell, but it was fun to plug in different jokes and see what Google finds "funny." For example:
Q: What did the pirate say to Captain Crunch?
A: Arrrrrrr you going to finish that cereal?
Which is, apparently, 89.3617% funny. You can thank my cereal box for that little lump of comic gold.
"Yeah, you wanna taste my discharge?"
Not if you're calling it discharge, no.
Go here to participate in the Moral Sense Test, a project spearheaded by Marc D. Hauser, author of Moral Minds, who is almost single-handedly opening up the field of moral philosophy. To say any more would probably interfere with your honest responses to the questions on the test, so I'll just assure you that Moral Minds is a fascinating read, the test will definitely get you thinking, and that your results will be used for the direct purpose of expanding the field.
"An overweight woman sits looking out over a garden, perhaps contemplating a diet."
Even if you use Windows, it's important for the BBC not to go down the route of creating a service that only Windows-users can use. Not only for the people who don't use Windows, and not only because the BBC shouldn't do anything that ties themselves to Microsoft anyway - but because otherwise, it's locking you in. There might come a day when you might want to change operating systems, to OS X, Linux, or anything else.
I'm a huge fan of the original US ads, so to see these remakes is just really odd. But... well, you couldn't get better casting. It's utterly fantastic. Interestingly, there was talk that the original US ads couldn't be shown in the UK due to rules regarding negative advertising - but these don't seem hugely different. I wonder if they'll make it to broadcast.
I think Chris Waddle's my favourite. Why aye man.
BBC ask at the bottom of the article : Were you at the concert or do you know someone who was? Send us your experiences using the form below.
Mike Edge in Manchester replies : I paid £55 each for 6 tickets, it's a total disgrace. She said she was ill after the first song so she should have given up then rather than give the audience a half hearted 30 minutes.
Thank you for emailing Customer Services Feedback online at Telewest.co.uk. One of our consultants will contact you to confirm receipt of your enquiry within the next 72 hours.
A couple of interesting links for you relating to the BBC News site. Firstly, this lists and gives comparisons to all revisions made to BBC News articles. Have a look through - it's very interesting to see what was changed.
I mean, Jesus.
Okay, The Onion, I know Saturday Night Live has been burgling your jokes off and on for years now, but stealing from The Day Today is no way to even the score.
You be the judge. Coincidence? It's possible, but a piece of me thinks this is just a joke some humorist thought he could lift without getting busted.
"[...] the Internet is a machine for copying things cheaply, quickly, and with as little control as possible, while copyright is the right to control who gets to make copies, so these two abstractions seem destined for a fatal collision, right? Wrong." - How the Internet Broke
The trailer for Wannabes is now on YouTube! Well, I say "now", it's been there for two months, but I've not noticed it before. It's an interactive online soap thing, that I worked on briefly back in March. You can even see my arm and hair in the trailer.
This is brilliant.
I currently have it set to update every one minute, sans clouds. It looks superb.
Well, there's no nudity or overt sexuality allowed on YouTube, I'll remind you all of that before I go any further...but there is a site that'll point you toward the closest things. It's basically just a collection of drunks, teasers and dancers, but I'm sure at least one of you (John) will find this (John) very handy (John).
It's called TubeHos. Crack wise about the spelling in your own time. For now, watch them swivel to shitty techno.
Continuing the BBC's excellent tendancy to publish out of print Doctor Who New Adventure books online and for free, we now have this.
Nightshade is one of the earlier New Adventures books and written by that fine fellow Mark Gatiss, who's gone and wroted 'The Unquiet Dead' and 'The Idiot's Lantern' for the new series.
So, why not fill in the long and miserable wait for Torchwood with a bit of a good ol' fashioned New Adventures goodness.
And yeah, I know these are linked to everywhere on the net now, but I didn't want you to miss them.
I also feel I should make some serious remark about the privacy concerns here, but I'm too busy laughing. And crying.
This is really, really good. I hope it gets picked up for a series.
Searching for reviews of Follow That Bird I was sidetracked into the Amazon listing for Kermit's Swamp Years. I've never heard of this film but, for the most part, the reviews were good.
Remember this article? Well, take a look at this, written by... actually, someone should invent a word meaning "forum acquaintance".
Look for the free samples, or see YouTube. I'm pretty tempted to sign up, though...
We truly are living in a strange world if a fictional tale of two perfectly legal 16-year-olds can cause a fuss.
Hope it's back soon, as it's one of the best things bbc.co.uk have ever done.
Well, that explains that one, then (and yes, "WOT NO OTT?" is a better headline than I used).
For those of you who may have been wondering why one of the internet's only half-decent telly review sites hasn't posted anything new for a month, it's because Graham Kibble-White's had his computer nicked and so can't actually get on the site (save for the Blog) at all. Oh dear.
Courtesy of The Times, Baddiel and Skinner will be doing free podcasts throughout the World Cup! Anyone who saw Fantasy Football League in the BBC glory days will surely agree that David and Frank talking about football can be bloody hilarious. Those who saw the most recent ITV series in 2004 might disagree, but I'm still optimistic for these podcasts.
Sorry BBC News, but this isn't new. Admittedly Yahoo! are overhauling My Yahoo!, and putting it as their front page (from the looks of things) rather than something you click through to, but it's been in existence as an option with the various customisable boxes and things since long before Google created the "personalised homepage". I know, 'cos I've used it. It wasn't very good, but it was there.
This phrase was actually used in the otherwise-quite-good-fun Machine Men: Time Shift yesterday.
How the bleeding cunting hell does the internet make people isolated? Clue: my girlfriend of four years sleeping in the room next door is someone I met on the net. It brings people together - not isolates them.
Watch out especially for the adult channels from 63 onwards. Although the quality is to say the least variable. Some of it's fine, but others... well, call me old-fashioned, but I like women to look like they're enjoying sex. And preferably not choking, either.
A word of warning: this post is not for the squeamish. If you're feeling particularly delicate at the moment, don't read the rest of this. Look, I'll even make it easy for you - just don't click on the link below if you want something fun to read. Go and read my Knightmare article instead.
This was announced way back last week, but I just thought I'd mention it - I'm going to have a go at this.
My darling girlfriend Tanya had a conversation with someone at work today about blogs. Her colleague asked her why they were called blogs, and she informed him that it was a contraction of "weblog".
He then asked why they weren't just called "wogs".
From a post on NOTBBC:
Just made for fun, apparently. Lovely stuff. Luff.
Not every black woman is a "ho".
Neither are they all from the "ghetto".
And they're certainly not "chocolate bitches".
Well, this is the first I've heard about this:
An extended advert dressed up as editorial, there. Not that this is rare - the media is filled with similar articles giving the latest "interesting" survey on something or other.
Is there any possible chance that newspapers and websites could actually decide to have some integrity and not collude with it?