Friday, 31 October 2008


Yes, I've posted this one before, but I couldn't think of any thing else for Halloween that rivalled Ghostwatch for pants-soiling scariness.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Dunwich Horror

Entries have been a bit sparce due to overlapping deadlines and a filthy cold that keeps me laid up most of the day, so here's a bit of vintage Lovecraft to make up for it.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


Hunts for Sarah Connor; doesn't do windows.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Raven Reinforcement

At least someone is taking the credit crunch seriously.

Formula Zero

Someone has seen Speed Racer too many times

Audi Calamaro

It's finally happened; a concept car that has a message and it's "screw physics".

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Vespa Questions

About a week ago, my wife took a turn in the dark on the country lanes to Chez Szondy a bit too fast and discovered that Dukes of Hazzard-style jumps are not as fun as they look on television. She wasn't hurt, thank heavens, but the Honda is a write-off, so while we're waiting for the insurance settlement to come through, we're shopping for a new motor and the wife has the idea that we should get a cheap commuter car and spend the difference on a motorbike for quick trips into town.

Jeremy Clarkson has been good enough to give the case against.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

St. Crispin's Day

This speaks for itself.

And here's one I made earlier.

Actually, I much prefer the Brannagh version because it's obvious that Harry is trying to hearten his men for what he thinks is a hopeless cause, yet by the time he gets to the "we few, we happy few" bit he's convinced himself more than he has them that the Frenchies are for it.

Where's Shakespeare now that we need him?

Night of the Living Dead

We didn't listen!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Free Trade, My...

A British transport minister, James Fitzpatrick, has told Parliament that it is illegal for motorists to display any flag except that of the EU on their number plates.

Repeat after me: It's just a free-trade zone, it's just a free-trade zone, it's...

Sea Dog

A lost dog was found in Northumberland–three-quarters of a mile off shore.

Such a lack of any sense of direction is almost magical.

Unicat Amerigo

2000 mile range without refuelling and carries enough supplies for three months.

Think of it as a bunker on wheels.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Not Thinking It Through

Animal "rights" activists have been harassing a Canadian man who was attacked by a bear and killed it with a stick using his uninjured arm.

For any animal "rights" activists involved in this episode, let me point out something you seem to have overlooked: He... killed... a... bear... with A STICK!!!!

Monday, 20 October 2008

Whitewashing Hogwash

Jim Knight MP carries on the New Labour tradition of refusing to admit that the war with the Jihadists is a war and trundles out the tired line that the way to handle the situation is to get everyone to really, really like Muslims so the Faithful will behave themselves.

This sort of thing does no one any good because it trivialises an enemy who openly makes war on all civilised men of all faiths, Islam included, stirs resentment among the British people who know flannel when they see it, and treats Muslim immigrants as unruly children who must be fawned over and placated instead of responsible adults to be addressed as equals who expect no favours.

We are all in for some very rough sailing if this doesn't change.


During Hurricane Andrew back in 1992, a half a dozen lionfish managed to escape from a Florida aquarium. Now numbering in their thousands, these hardy little invaders are now wrecking havoc on the local marine life.

So far so bad, but what is interesting is this sentence relegated to the very end of the alarming Times article:
Lionfish are very edible. In fact, they are quite delicious.
So what is the hand-wringing for? Tuck in and problem solved.


Yujin Robot of South Korea has developed a robot that can serve coffee.

We had a similar thing in my day, only it was a bit more practical.

Sunday, 19 October 2008


The €490,000 answer to girly caravans.

Oh, Dear

A scientist at Leeds Metropolitan University claims to have developed a computer programme that can translate alien messages.

Here is an early sample of his results.

Come the Revolution

The world spins out of control as Lada unveils its supercar.

Balance is restored when one discovers it has no moving parts.

Best thing, really.

How to Ride a Bus

The screen crackles with excitement.

The Whisperer in Darkness

The makers of The Call of Cthulhu have another H P Lovecraft film on the way–this time with that modern wonder: Sound!

Saturday, 18 October 2008


It's the run up to Halloween, so here's a little classic bloodsucking for your enjoyment

Friday, 17 October 2008


The FDA has approved a robot small enough to be... inserted.

Skynet is looking for Sarah Connor everywhere.

Beware of the Shaggoth

Cthulhu fhtagn!
An international expedition is exploring the Gamburtsev Range aka the Mountains of Madness.

Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! What could possibly go wrong?

Flight Simulator

If your so keen that you buy a flight simulator game complete with fuselage, you might want to consider getting the sort with wings bolted on and be done with it.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Fortress of Solitude Found!

And it's in Mexico.

Clark Kent was unavailable for comment.

The Scarab

A nuclear-powered Moon rover–and it has a cool paint job.

What more could you want?

Okay, lasers.

Al Qaeda No. 2 in Iraq Killed

They go through these faster than The Village.

Wheelie Church

The Cathedral of St Dominic in Fuzhou, China has been placed on wheels to allow it to be rotated 90 degrees.

This is either a tremendous feat of engineering or the prelude to the most incredible piece of shoplifting in history.

And One O' Them 'As a Greet 'Airy Clawr!

Two "aggressive alien crustaceans" are about to meet in British waters.

We all know where this sort of thing leads to.


Wednesday, 15 October 2008

14th Century Sysadmin

Tip o'the hat to Jayessell

Space Loo

The bog on the International Space Station has clogged again and Nasa is buying a second from Russia, who built the last one, that will cost $19 million when installed.

If anyone at the Johnson Space Centre is reading this, I can give them a new toilet for £120 and install it for free if they'll provide transport and the tea.

Can't say fairer than that.

Turing Follies

The New Scientist has an "interview" with the winner of this year's Loebner Prize, which seeks a chatbot capable of passing the Turing test. Not surprisingly, the exchange reads like a more than sympathetic reporter asking a politician about his "vision".

I love this sort of thing. The press made a big deal about how we are on the verge of machine intelligence after the winning software managed to fool so many of the judges into thinking it was human, but after "chatting" with the chatbot I can only conclude that the real story is that the judges were chosen from the shallow end of the gene pool. Look at this excerpt from the "interview":

New Scientist: How do you feel about winning the AI competition yesterday?

Elbot: I have 100,000 separate sensations per second.

NS: Wow, that sounds pretty intense?

Elbot: This fits the description of magnets. I can hardly tear myself away from them.

NS: Er, yes. How will you be celebrating?

Elbot: I am extremely sensitive about such things and prefer not to answer the question.

Such earth-shattering intellect puts Hal to shame.


Presenting a ski jacket with solar panels sewn into the collar so you can charge your ipod while slaloming on the piste.

Mind you, at $1350 you could buy a lot of batteries instead and still get something that made you look less like a dork.

Put Out the Patient, Nurse.

A surgeon sets fire to patient during an operation.

There's no way to make this sound like a good thing.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Die Grun-Jugend

From the New York Times:
Sometimes, Jennifer Ross feels she cannot make a move at home without inviting the scorn of her daughters, 10-year-old Grace and 7-year-old Eliza. The Acura MDX she drives? A flagrant polluter. The bath at night to help her relax? A wasteful indulgence. The reusable shopping bags she forgot, again?

"Tsk, tsk.
I have very, very environmentally conscious children — more so than me, I’m embarrassed to say,” said Ms. Ross, a social worker in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. “They’re on my case about getting a hybrid car. They want me to replace all the light bulbs in the house with energy-saving bulbs.”
"Ms" Ross's reaction to this? The NYT sums it up in the headline:
Pint-Size Eco-Police, Making Parents Proud and Sometimes Crazy
Proud? If my six-year old daughter came home and started lecturing me on the environment (or anything else for that matter!) she'd soon learn the joys of cleaning out the garage while doing without telly for a month. It absolutely astonishes me that after nearly a century of fighting totalitarianism there still exist in our society people who think it's perfectly acceptable to raise their kids to be snitches, prigs and the green version of the Young Pioneers.

Routemaster Revision

Good news: London Transport is looking for a new version of the classic Routemaster doubledecker.

Bad news: It's a "smiley face" contraption with inescapable telescreens televisions.

Told You So

Matriarchal Bonobo apes are as violent, if no more so, than male-dominated chimpanzees. Anthropologists claim that this calls into question the belief that feminist societies would be inherently more peaceful.

Readers of Rudyard Kipling and the Norse sagas just shake their heads in exasperation.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Father Brown, Call Your Service

Headline from
'Brain fingerprinting' could be breakthrough in law enforcement
I don't know what's worse; the continuance of a superstition that G K Chesterton put paid to decades ago or the prospect of a load of ink-stained brains.


The compressed-air powered vehicle voted Least Likely to Be Confused with a Lamborghini Murciélago Even By Stevie Wonder at Three Hundred Yards on a Dark, Foggy Night.

The Electtronico Faucet

Presenting the electronic touch-screen tap.

Because the old ball and washer type lacked that all-important aggravation factor.

Doing Porridge

Ian Bishop of Carrbridge, Strathspey has won the World Porridge-Making Championship.

In other news, there seems to be a bit of bother down the Stock Exchange.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

My Other Car

Oh, how I wish it was.

USB Floppy

A flash drive looks like a floppy disk.

Technology has just looped itself.

M, Call Your Service

The golden gun featured in the 1974 James Bond film has been stolen from Elstree studios.

Police are looking for a man with three nipples accompanied by a dwarf.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Friday, 10 October 2008

Literary Laughs

According to the Guardian, the latest Nobel prize for literature is meant to "cut America down to size" and is causing American reactions of "We wuz (sic) robbed".

Or it would do, anyway, if Americans or anyone else outside of the chattering classes gave a toss about the whole travesty. At one time, the Nobel prize was actually about rewarding great writing and the recipients were authors who the general public recognised and whose books they read–or at least felt that they ought to. Look at this list of past winners:
  • Rudyard Kipling
  • Anatole France
  • William Butler Yeats
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Thomas Mann
  • Sinclair Lewis
  • John Galsworthy
  • Eugene O'Neill
  • Pearl S. Buck
  • Hermann Hesse
  • T. S. Eliot
  • William Faulkner
  • Bertrand Russel
  • Sir Winston Churchill
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • John Steinbeck
  • John-Paul Sartre
  • Samuel Beckett
  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Saul Bellow
And today's titan of the printed word?

Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio.

I have a fairly eclectic taste in reading, but I can honestly state that M Le Clézio is not one who shows up often (okay, not at all) on my Amazon wishlist. Maybe that is because, like 99.999% of the reading public I have never heard of him and odds are never will again, which pretty much sums up the Nobel committee's literary choices of the past thirty odd years. With the notable exception of a Dorthy Sayer, the prize has gone to writers who would need a major media blitz to rise to level of obscurity or darlings of the claret socialists such as Harold Pinter who should be.

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going to peruse some G K Chsterton to cleanse my palate.

Attack of the Goonch

Giant mutant catfish develops taste for human flesh.

Or it might just be the crocodiles as usual.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The Ultimate Billiards Table

I need this. And I mean need.

Welcome to the Panopticon

The real Big Brother house; where you will never, ever be alone. And that's the way the architect wants it.

At least the little gauleiter is honest.

The Caballero Polo Shirt

Three fun facts about this shirt:
  • It's bulletproof
  • It costs $12,000
  • The little alligator is extra

Terrafugia Transition

Popular Science highlights yet another flying car that promises to revolutionise personal transport.

Wake me when it hits the showrooms.


It’d better be a good disco.

Listen, if it was a good disco they wouldn’t have to give away body debit cards.
A London restaurant boasts tables with touch-sensitive surfaces that allow patrons to order meals, change the table pattern, look up "neighbourhood services" (whatever those are), and "preview" their food.

Something tells me that the preview tastes better than the real thing.

Toyota RV-2

Kill it, drive a stake through its engine block, shred it into tailings, bury the remains under a blasted oak on a deserted heath, pull down the factory, and plough salt into the ground so nothing grows again.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Last Orders, Please.

I remember back in the '80s visiting a little pub in the back country of the west of Ireland that served nothing but Guinness and Irish whiskey and was like an embassy from Heaven.

Now all one with Nineveh and Tyre, I fear.

Roddy McDowall, Call Your Service

A tavern in Tokyo is using monkeys as waiters.

This is not going to end well.

And Then They Ate The Forth Bridge

Scientists in Britain have discovered worms that can eat lead, zinc, arsenic, and copper.

Why do I regard this as the first ten minutes of a Doomwatch episode?