Nothing very interesting to say today, so it's time for another barrel-bottom-scraping, Pick of the Search Queries!

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard... but my milkshake explanation is no longer bringing all the search queries to this page. Milkshake queries have been trailing of dramatically in the last couple of weeks, so that the mega Milkshake totaliser is standing resolutely at 949. So, not much prospect of reaching 1000 any time soon, which is a bit sad. Hey everybody, just for a laugh type "milkshake explanation metaphor" into your favourite search engine and try to get here with that as your referrer... or alternatively, don't bother.

Still, the weird, perverted and kinky continue to get their kicks from this web page. For a second time, someone got here by looking for "Miss Piggy Wardrobe Jackson", which still creates more questions than it answers. Likewise, the persistent (but misspelt) who searched for 'Dervla Kerwin' on Monday morning, Monday afternoon, and Tuesday morning, before seemingly getting frustrated and started searching for Dervla Kerwin Naked on Tuesday afternoon. Try "A Time to Dance", that would be your best bet, although I don't know if that's out on DVD yet.

The person looking for "base jumping blogs". I dunno. Are you for people who blog while they are base jumping? Seems like a bit of a tall order to me. And the person who looked for "+fiona +nude +shrek +sex": you are one sick puppy. Despite the fact that this page is ranked third for this query. I don't know whether I want to be higher or lower for this. Also, this query came from Google Switzerland, so it had better not be anything to do with Dr Danny. Get back to your silicon wafers (still cannot say this without thinking of Mr Creosote, but there you go).

Lastly, "scissor truss pics". I don't know, and I don't want to know.

Hang a left on hanger lane.


I was making a cup of yesterday, but instead of boiling water, I accidentally poured in decaf coffee. It took me a little while to notice this problem, and overall I don't really recommend the combination.

I meant to mention this ages ago, but I've been thinking about dirty pictures recently. This is inspired by the film of the book of the painting, "Girl With a Pearl Earring". Apparently I'm not the only one who always thinks "Girl With a Pearl Necklace" (Angel did too, as did all these people. [mildly nsfw if people can read what's on your screen. But then, so is this probably]. Which made me wonder, what other famous paintings should have rude remakes? At this point I should probably come up with a list of suggestions, but i can't really think of any good ones (I'm afraid I rejected the Boner Lisa already). So instead I thought I'd mention it up here and get one of the Dr Nicks or some of the other readers to email some ideas in, and I'll post them here later. How does that sound? (nb. any jokes about 'Constable' will probably be ignored).

By the way, did I mention that a google image search for NSFW is NSFW -- even if you have safe search turned on full?


In our continuing series of people who have too much spare time, a detailed academic study of Lemmings [pdf, 700k].


New Jersey 08904

Back on the couch, all relaxed after spending a pleasant hour or so rebooting this machine repeatedly to get the wireless access to work again. There's a network cable lying at the foot of my couch, the other end of which goes directly to the router, but that's not the point. Probably. Anyway, apart from that it's been a mostly restful day, and so a good time to give a quick summary of who's been trying to kill me lately.

  • Hotels Try To Kill Me
    I was staying in a Hilton (of course, not the Paris Hilton) for a couple of nights at someone else's great expense. I had forgotten quite how nasty hotels can be. Rather than let you breathe the natural, fine air of Cleveland, they insist on passing every molecule of air through some nasty air conditioning system. Air conditioning is my enemy: it makes my lungs hurt, it makes me cough, it makes my throat go all dry, and it makes it difficult for me to sleep. Well, I had enough difficulty sleeping anyway because of the pillows. I like thin pillows. This aligns my spine nicely, and lets me rest comfortably. The pillows in this hotel were about six inches thick, even when you try to crush them down. This meant that sleeping on them bent my neck at an unfamiliar angle and made it crackle sinisterly. The alternative, of no pillow at all, felt just as bad, since it made about the same angle in the opposite direction. Also the TV was rubbish. Good thing I was hardly there for any time at all.

  • Aeroplanes try to kill me
    Newark and Cleveland are both Continental hubs, and there are direct flights between them which take under two hours. Why the only flights available went through baltimore, I do not no. I have nothing against Baltimore, but on the other hand there is very little to recommend it. One leg of the journey was on a Continental Express plane. I have been on roomier National Express Coaches. This plane packs 50 people in a total area about the same size as my front room, in rows of 3. Naturally, these have both heating and air conditioning. I think Steven Wright once did a routine about putting a humidifier and a dehumidifier in the same room and letting them battle it out: this must be official policy on most airlines now, since they both heat and chill the same air, probably just to ensure that all the captive airborne germs get a good chance to circulate. The most frustrating thing about these short little hops is that the "flying time" has built in half an hour of arsing about on the ground. The timing of the flight from Newark to Baltimore was over an hour, but the time in the air was about 30 minutes. The rest seemed to involve dicking about and driving right the way round the airport to get to the runway.

  • The TSA tries to kill me
    The Transportation Secuirty Administration are the nice people who stand between me and the departure lounge. I like to travel light. I also like to bring everything with me as hand luggage, since I've looked out the window of a plane as they load the luggage and seen how well they handle the checked baggage. Plus, provided I don't have to submit my fingers and retinas to the BCIS on arrival, it means that I can get going quicker at the other end. The downside of this is the wonderful new paranoid security checking. Essentially, to get through the x-ray machines you have to unpack half your luggage, remove the contents of your pockets, take your shoes off, and waddle through the metal detector, then stand gloomily at the end of a conveyor belt to collect your positions and your dignity, which has to be scanned by a bored minimum wage worker for any signs of Anti-Americanism. At the time I throught the whole Richard Reid affair was somewhat silly: he seemed sufficiently incompetent to have posed no real threat to anyone. Now, everytime I have to travel cross country, I curse his name for causing me and countless other travellers inconvenience and delays at the terminal.
    So, any potential comedy terrorists or other trouble makers, here's an idea for you: if you want to piss off the American nation even further, then why not try sneaking through the security cordon with a pound of semtex in your underwear? You'll get caught and deported to Guantanamo Bay without trial, of course, but you'll go with the knowledge that from that day forth until the end of time, every person taking a flight anywhere in the world will have to strip down to their kecks in front of a line of fellow travellers before being allowed to proceed. And that could be more subversive and disruptive than any serious attempt to attack the country.

I could go on with my list of people and things that have tried to kill me lately, but I think that will do for now. Instead, I'll just note the following:

There's a lot of talk here about gay marriage, and some amount of controversy surrounding it. According to a recent poll, 51% of people in California are opposed to gay marriage. But let's put this in context: in another poll, 54% of people are opposed to Janet Jackson's right breast, and a further 18% actually think it is illegal. I personally have nothing against Ms Jackson's breasts (although I wouldn't mind... yes, ok). So, this is a country where same sex unions are about as divisive as a couple of tits on TV (and goodness knows, it's not like there's any real shortage of tits on TV). I'm making no further comment on this point for now, except to say that I wish that the policy on not showing any tits on telly was also applied to not showing any Bush either.


Cleveland Heights 44106

Most hotel rooms now come with wireless internet.

My 4 year old laptop (that's about 60 in human years) has a wireless network card.

The only hitch in the plan is that right now I don't have anything interesting to say right now.

Except that there is nothing on TV.


From our "some people have too much spare time" department

I'm just about to head off to Cleveland, OH. "Oh Cleveland, My Cleveland!". So expect a fondly nostalgic posting at some point after I return. Meantime, feast your eyes upon:

I saw the Sign!

If the phrase "I Love Horses" does not mean anything to you, then neither will the following. But given the near universality of this minor web-phenomenon / bandwagon, I wondered what I would do if I could be bothered to download an illegal copy of Photoshop. The answer of course would be "Oi Love Arses (best of all the orifices)". Much to my dismay, I could only find one reference to this on b3ta: Arse! (NSFW if you aren't allowed to look at pictures of arses where you work). Even more disturbingly, when I googled for the phrase I Love Arses I only got one hit (and a few more if I switch safe search off), vs 18,000 for "I Love Horses". What's up with that then?


From our circular reasoning department comes news that the famous Snickers chocolate bar has launched a new version of the bar called (drum roll)... Snickers Marathon.

Coming soon: Starburst launch special edition "Opal Fruits" flavours, Zif floorcleaner launches special Zif-Jif, and Network Rail changes its name to British Railtrack. Or something.


There's been a lot of muttering in the last few weeks about a parody of Google called Booble. It's supposed to be a search engine for "Adult Content". Quite why this particular site has attracted google's ire given the vast number of other rip-offs out there is not entirely clear. On the site in question, there's an account of the ongoing legal battle between the two, which begins with a message from Google complaining that Booble have ripped off their "look and feel".

In this circumstance, it might seem that "look and feel" is not the best choice of wording...
You have to admire the persistence of the person who found this website with the query "Miss Piggy Wardrobe Malfunction" on google, and then five hours later, came here again this time via Yahoo. At least, I assume that it's the same person. The possibility that there is more than one person out there who has a fetish for candid snaps of Miss Piggy is too disturbing.


I knows it's in NTK, but I did like this story from the bbc.

"This happens when people are desperate." Well, quite.
Movie tongue twisters

50 First Dates vs Fifty-first state.

Repeat until you fall over.


Because I'm not in the mood for writing words today, we will have some pictures from my private collection. Here are some pictures I took last year. I try not to leave the house, so I take pictures with my browser. Here was the front page of the guardian on a sunday in october that got me very excited:

Wow! Frank Kermode's Scariest Movies! That's gonna be good!

Oh. Only Mark Kermode. Never mind then.


Warning: contents of this post should be of interest to approximately one other person on the planet.

I was re-viewing the classic Dr Who episode, Remembrance of the Daleks (which I found reassuring, since there were several carefully crafted references that I simply didn't get), and one thing stuck out at me. One of the minor characters spends the whole wearing a scarf that looks oddly familiar. Here's a picture:

Some careful researching (OK, very little, thanks to the efforts of Robin Walker [yes -- he of UK cable modem guide fame), it is easily identified on this chart as the official scarf of Girton College, Cambridge. Which I think makes some sense, since the story was set in 1963, when Girton was one of the few female Cambridge Colleges.

This is of absolutely no bearing on anything whatsoever.

Except, perhaps, to point out that Dr. Who appears to exhibit a strong Cambridge bias, especially because of the Douglas Adams connections. Anyone care to disagree? Thought not.

Talking of which, I recently received a package through the post, which included the instructions "Pull tab to open". And I thought to myself, "blimey, that was difficult enough when I was there...".


Right, quick for a quick blogstyle rant of "10 Things that are wrong with my local supermarket". Feel free to skip this one.

1. People standing outside asking me to donate money to causes that I think should actively be stopped.

2. Shrink wrapped fruit and veg in quantities greater than I want to use. And apples so shiny they must have been polished.

3. Never seeming to have the size and type of milk that I want, thus forcing me either to compromise or go to another shop on the way home.

4. Not selling any alcohol, thus enforcing a trip to the drug store that does sell alcohol. This is also related to the fact that my credit card sent me an annual statement with all the different purchases carefully separated out into different headings. Because I buy booze and food from different shops, this allows me to work out quite how much I spent on getting drunk over the last year, and it's a lot.

5. Putting special "half price offers" on things that I want to buy. This is because they completely sell out of the thing that I was prepared to pay full price for, and so I can't buy them at all.

6. Not selling the range of instant meals available in Britain for 99p or 5 for 4 quid. Instead I have to pay $4 for crappy instant lasagne. They have no instant curries! And the crisps are rubbish (but improving).

7. Having a policy of trying to get 20 items per minute swiped at the checkout. Thus, they end up throwing my food down the conveyor as fast as possible, and it doesn't get done any quicker because you need an extra five minutes at the end to sort out the mess that they've made.

8. Employing some idiot to stand at the end of the checkout and shovel my stuff into plastic bags without asking me. This is bad because : I brought my own bag that is better to carry and less wasteful. I don't want you to put my shopping into thirteen bags when I can fit it easily into one rucksack. When you pack my shopping, you seem to delight in putting the softest stuff at the bottom. I feel really awkward when someone else packs up my shopping, but now you make me feel even more awkward when I have to ask someone *not* to pack up my shopping.

9. The crappy electronic payment system. I *know* how to use it, you don't have to tell me to press enter or worse still, lean over and press enter for me. It's just that I like to know how much money is being deducted from my account before I agree to the transaction. On several occasions I have been overcharged because something got swiped twice when you were in such a rush to get all my shopping done at 20 items per minute.

10. People standing asking me for money on the way out as well.


Subsequent to the person who came here with "Lampost Worrying", someone actually expended vital seconds of their life in emailing to tell me that "Tepid Lampost" is a googlewhack for this page. Which is somewhat odd, since when I ran the search, I found another site with it on. And anyway, lampost is a mis-spelling, it should be lamppost. I will insist to the end that my spelling it as 'lampost' is deliberate, like when you refer to hampsters and skellingtons. People who say "Dalmations", on the other hand, must die. Now.

On internet search engine related matters, thanks to my mud flats correspondent from flat as a pancake East Anglia for pointing out the increasingly odd ad-links in the box that shows up at the top of this page without me asking it to. As of the previous update, it was linking to Talking George Bush Doll and Talking Presidents. Before that, it was pointing people in the direction of George Bush and His Family Paper Dolls, which is a pretty radical claim if true. Of course, mentioning this here will probably do nothing but make this worse.

The Milkshake totaliser is currently standing at 916. Keep those idiotic milkshake related queries pouring in, folks, and we'll see if we can clear 1000 by the end of the month...


Some exciting news that adds further credence to those who claim that this is really a blog after all. I went to visit a well known internet technology company yesterday afternoon. I was going to tell you all about it, but when I got there I had to sign a very hefty NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement, for those not in the know; NTBCW [Not To Be Confused With] NWA). So comprehensive were the restrictions that I signed up to that I'm not even sure that I can even tell you that I signed an NDA without violating it.

So, for the sake of simplicity, let's suppose that this company specialises in helping people find particular pieces of information buried deep within the writings of top russian authors -- let's call them Gogol.com -- and they have branches opening around the world. Anyway, the New York office is not as full of cool stuff as the West Coast branch is supposed to be. They do have some pretty decorations, and lava-lamps on the corner of cubicle. And bean bags. I walked out of there with a free t-shirt, which puts me in an exclusive club with along with about a million other people.

Getting back I listened to an album by Bomb The Bass and was a little startled to hear the lyrics "Bug Powder Dust and Mugwump Jism". You probably have to be me for that to make any sense.


Emendation to yesterday's entry: for 'births, marriages and deaths', you may read "dropping sprogs, swapping snogs and popping clogs". And I think that's very clever.

The big news here in America today is of course that some partial nudity was shown on national television. This is all the fault of that young rapscallion, from 'N-S*n#y@c, "Justin Timberlake [tore] off part of Janet Jackson's costume, exposing her right breast". [Advance crap pun warning: you may wish to prepare yourself for a crap pun]. He appeared somewhat contrite afterwards, blaming the whole thing on a "wardrobe malfunction". [Crap pun imminent] Poor boy, he seemed so embarassed. [All together now...] I bet he felt a right tit.

No one seems to have mentioned that there was also an actual real streaker at the game. But they aren't famous, so they aren't important.

I should point out that I didn't actually watch any of this. Couldn't be bothered. Easier just to watch the Daily Show deconstruction of the events.