In "Mirrorshards: 100-word stories, a new story every day."

Every day, cycling through London to work, I’d stop at the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens. Sitting halfway up the steps, facing across to the Albert Hall, I’d eat my breakfast. A tin of fruit. Pineapple slices, peach halves, or fruit cocktail. Rain or shine, sometime between eight and ten in the morning, there I’d sit and eat my breakfast. Then it occurred to me. Every day, I’d catch at least one Japanese tourist taking a photograph of me eating my breakfast. But only the Japanese. Which is why I think that I might have my own website in Japan.

In "Phallic bomb shelters of Nazi Germany."

It looks like a penis, and it stops me getting blowed up! Was there nothing those Nazis couldn't achieve?

In "Bobby Fischer's final manoeuvre."


In "Ascii Art Dictionary"

Anyone remember the K5 ASCII Reenactment Players? I miss them. Sadly, it looks like they've been purged from the K5 collective consciousness.

In "In a fit of scientific skepticism, we decided to calculate how unlikely Joltin’ Joe’s achievement really was."

I think that the real life stats for the players are used for the rankings in the computer generated seasons, in roughly the same way that a D&D character is generated. Players have strengths and weaknesses. The computer 'dice' in each simulation then weight the players' skills against a range of random factors. Statistically, the 10,000 iterations should filter out the most bizarre sets of circumstances and the statistical mean should be reasonably close to the observed reality. Initially, I guess, the model would have to be tweaked until the meaty part of the bell curve bore a reasonable similarity to what actually happened. I'm not a statistician. I'm not even good at sums.

In "Eurovision is coming,"

TUM, Dustin the Turkey would disagree.

In "Teaching Crows to do Useful Stuff"

Bird intelligence is worthless if it isn't being used to kill people: pigeon-guided missile.


Can we do 8-track? Either way, I'm in.

In "Top Ten Laughably Bad Tech Ads"

They insulted Ellen Feis and the Commodore 64. This shit is unacceptable. On the other hand, I did get to see Kevin Costner using an Apple Lisa. It's difficult to figure which of them is more obsolete.

In "The Death of Studley"

He put the 'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!' in swingar, baby.

In "The Atlas of the Universe"

I now know more about the universe than any mere mortal has a right to, thanks to Professor Richard Pogge, of Ohio State University. Check out the podcasts: Astronomy 161: An Introduction to Solar System Astronomy. Astronomy 162: Introduction to Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe.

In "Tarred and Feathered."

Since 1964, apparently.

Despite the name, kneecapping didn't usually involve damage to the knees. Can't find a link, but I remember that it used to be quite profitable for the Provos. They'd kneecap the perp, help them apply for the Criminal Compensation that the victim of a crime is entitled to receive, and then take half.

In "Place names of North East England and what they mean."

I was saving this for a post, but what the heck: The Meaning Of Liff, by Douglas Adams.

In "The Return of Butthead the Pygmy Goat"

I used to live in Bushey. End of anecdote.

In "U.S. subpoenas Michael Moore."

There's nothing on this plate but fat and gristle!

In ""They're jealous -- it gives a great shower,""

Salesman: That's the Commando 450, I don't sell that one. What about thi... Kramer: Well that's what we want, the Commando 450. Salesman: Nah, believe me. It's only used in the circus. For elephants.

In "I didn't know he could reach"

London Mirror? Sinead could pound him into the dust. If I learned anything being raised by my extended Irish family, it's that you never mess with an Irish woman. Never.

In "Corporate capitalism sucks."

I miss the days of the command economy. When men were men, and women queued for eight hours for a string bag of potatoes.

In "Curious George: music recommendations by genre: "

It's not my usual taste at all, but I love the prison spirituals that I've downloaded from eMusic. For example, search for Angola Prison Spirituals. Bare, beautiful, music.

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