31 January, 2008

Burger in a Can - What's really inside

Update to my previous post, I've found a forum where someone went and bought, cooked and ate one of those camping cheeseburgers in a can...and I was right, they certainly don't look anything like the picture, but the verdict was amazingly "not too bad"...! The guy even said he might eat one again if it hadn't been so expensive...!

Fink's Links - Weekly Roundup

(Sorry, too many links this week, so a bonus post)...

Sat there bored? Don't know where to go? Well here we go with part two of the week's summary of all that is amusing (one way or another) on the interweb, starting with a nice (theme setting) archive of (often hilarious) "Fail" pictures commonly used as comments on sites like Fark (some well-worn classics, some shiny and new)...I laughed out loud at "I can haz millionaire"...(this one is probably worth bookmarking ;)

A post that is so funny I won't ruin it by saying anything about it's contents...just read it and weep...EPIC FAIL...

Following the FAIL thread (as it's funny), a group of Croatians fall at the first hurdle by forgetting Rule 1 of Innernet 101 (which is, for reference, "Don't believe everything you read on the innernet") when they plotted to get themselves into the Guiness Book of Records under the (obviously well known) "Most amount of people dressed up as Smurfs in one location at any one time" category...a few red (rather than blue) faces there then (even the national press and TV were in attendance)...

An extremely cheap camera tripod that fits easily in your pocket? I am soooo making one of these...quite why you can't buy them for a quid at Jessops I have no idea...(Missed opportunity - FAIL) ;)

A close-up shot of the protesters "Worst Late Western" tickets (Class "Cattle Truck", Fare "Daylight Robbery", Route "Hell & Back" etc.)...First Great Western just left the barriers open in response and quietly admitted there was some "room for improvement"...funny (if serious) stuff...FAIL for First (not suprising), WIN for protestors...

An excellent Wired article regarding the facinating but terribly sad story of two pioneers of AI who both ended up taking their own lives, one of them doing so while blogging from an internet cafe...strange but true...very good read...

Off to Science Daily now for a fantastic article about Indiana's notorious serial killer "The Black Widow", could it be that she didn't die in a house fire a century ago, but faked her death and moved on to kill again? Each step in the re-opened investigation is just deepening the mystery...(would make a great movie if it turns out to be so)...

If you are now feeling far too smug and happy about your lot (after all those FAIL articles), then bring yourself firmly back down to Earth by spending a few minutes watching the thoroghly miserable "World Clock", totting up quite a number of depressing statistics about the globe we inhabit (in real time)...(click the "Now" button to zero the figures and watch them build)...urk...!

Veering into neutral territory now, with 192.com being very busy indeed, buzzing the skies over London with a high-resolution-camera-equipped aeroplane...check out the "Superzoom" on various London landmarks (it lets you reach in almost too close, giving the ability to clearly pick out individual pigeons, should you so desire)...the shadows cast by people walking in Trafalgar Square are particularly interesting...

Thanks to Nikon (although this is actually quite old), meet the Universcale - starting at a million light years (being the extremities of space) through meters, nanometers right down to the Femto-scale (beyond the powers of 'uman-beans to view) and listing all the units of measurement (apart from "miles") inbetween (with interesting facts about each)...just to help you put things into perspective, not quite as good an illustration as Tom Hanks gives you at the Hayden Planetarium show in New York (which manages to make one feel very small indeed), but still pretty good...

Now time for a WIN - Nautical engineering comes full circle, with the staggering discovery that we can help reduce carbon emmissions by augmenting the engines on container vessles with, *gasp*, a SAIL...certainly meritous of inclusion in Metro's "No Sh*t Sherlock", and amazing because the writer seems to think this is some sort of new-fangled modern concept...*slap*... ;)

And *finally* a couple of pictures just to round off with (and lighten the mood), a *perfect* cat photo...(hmmm, hope this doesn't become a running theme!)...and a hermit crab coaxed to live inside a shell made from glass...incredible! :)

Promise I'll stop now, more next week... ;)

LOST - The Answers

Still on the LOST theme (sorry) but found a great (and quite funny) summary article of the 5 questions that most need answering in the series, theories as to the answers and an estimate of the likelyhood of them actually presenting themselves...

It's not too late for you to get Lost too...(if you aren't already watching - DO ;)

30 January, 2008

Lost Season 4 - Episode 1 and 2 review

...see here, looks like the lucky journos got a sneak preview of episode 1 and 2 of season 4...summary?

"Three words for Thursday's first episode: Oh. My. God."
"ABC kindly sent the second episode as well. Three more words: Oh. My. God."
"And there's plenty to shock, that's for sure"
"roller coasters of fast action and revelation"
"Lost continues to be back on track"
"Episode 1 ends too quickly."
"Episode 2 ends too quickly."

Could I be any more excited? Probably not...roll on Thursday! ;)

Preview Vids here and here...

29 January, 2008

Fink's Links - Interweb highlights of the week

Moving back to Blogging roots, I have decided to post a nice list of links, things that have amused me from the world wide interweb, this week I humbly offer you the following titbits -

Japanese Bug Fights - ludicrously cruel, but already done and filmed (so what can one do?), it's a battle royal of insects/arachnids in closed environments, last (thing) standing, some surprising results too...

Double Murderer Arrest Photo - If he was intending to gain a "big up" among the "homes", he was sorely mistaken simply for his charming evening-wear decision, sure that will go down well in the clink... ;)

A reason to frown at cats - Rather spook-worthy, awesome shot...

A hilarious error in a student newspaper - Check the bottom left panel also... ;)

Some poor sod builds a 5000+ piece Lego of the Falcon - in time-lapse (but it still takes ages)...

Someone very drunk in Brighton with a creative brain - Verified original as other pictures have surfaced...awesome shot...

Thank you Germany - A Cheeseburger in a can for backpackers - That lovely fresh garnish in the shots just *can't* manifest itself thusly in reality, can it...? And how does one warm it up at the camp site? Boil in the can?

A normal looking torch that can blast things into oblivion - although the battery only lasts 15 mins...

...and last but not least, a particularly canny wag who has had his assault rifle powder coated pink and spray painted with Hello Kitty... ;)

More next week... ;)

Sculpture in the Workplace - Grenville Davey - Little Emperor

Just took a couple of snaps in the lobby this morning when I got to work, as some rather interesting pieces have been installed (ten in all I think) by Cornish artist "Grenville Davey" (born in Launceston, funily enough), I must say it is nice to get a bit of culture with my commute, even if I don't know a lot about art... ;) -
Grenville Davey #1
- this one particularly caught my eye, entitled "Chess", I was drawn immeditately to the high contrast and then lingered, curious as to why there are three colours of pieces engaged -
Grenville Davey #2
- this one is "Eye/Engine" (see it from another angle in the background of the next shot), it's quite a large piece, I like the muted reflection in the dishes, it made me think of those chinese lion drums (for some reason) even though it more closely resembles a gong arrangement, but judging by the title I have the wrong end of the stick completely ;) -
Grenville Davey #3
- and finally "P's and Q's", which is quite a pleasing piece, if I had more time I might work out what word is being skewered at the bottom, I've seen a picture of it in a rural setting and it actually looked a *lot* more impressive, somehow, a lot of the impact is lost because of the staggeringly imposing surroundings, put it outside in Jubilee Gardens and it would draw a lot more attention I think...

28 January, 2008

Earlswood to London Bridge (Worst case scenario)

When the barriers are closed
So we get to Earlswood (where there are about 3 times more commuters in the ticket office than normal (uh oh)) to see that the next train on the board is the 0713 (delayed by about 40 minutes...groan, remember this is barely two weeks after the last "Commuter Hell"...) due to "adverse track conditions" (it was rather foggy and icy), we watch an extremely delayed Victoria train go past (with hundreds of empty seats) and wait for our normal London Bridge train (which is only delayed by 8 minutes by some miracle) but when it pulls in, despite a mad dash down a few carriages, no seats...it's already full and standing...so Flyingpops walks down inbetween the seats (in the hope someone will get off) and I perch by the door (where I can just about sit/lean on the hand rail, like sort of half a seat), we proceed up the line filling up to *absolutely rammed* by Merstham (where I am cursing myself for not getting my book out of my rucksack, no way to reach it now)...somewhere around Coulsdon I make the terrible mistake of reaching above my head with both hands to stretch a bit and hang on to the rail on the ceiling, and the void left where my arms had been instantly and immovably vanishes, filled by other commuters bags and bodies, leaving me completely stuck and unable to put my arms back down again...the train comes to a halt outside East Croydon (and then just sits there for about 25 minutes with no explanation) leaving me desperately uncomfortably, when we finally pull in (after an announcement that there is some "congestion" in the area...really??) a few people get off and then even *more* cram on (but at least I use the brief respite to firmly lodge my hands by my sides, won't be doing that again!)...anyway, we sit at the platform with the doors opening and closing for (I suppose) another ten minutes until an ominous announcement "Would the guard please contact the driver please", followed shortly after by the guard - "My apologies ladies and gentleman, but due to a broken down train in the Norwood Junction area" (why is it *always* Norwood Junction?) "this train will now be diverted to London Victoria via Clapham Junction"...EH??? This is doubly irritating as we deliberately didn't board the empty Victoria train at Earlswood...grrr...

Thousands of moans, groans and "tuts" later virtually everyone (standing) on the train gets off to try and find an alternative, I manage to re-join Flyingpops who is hastily examining her tube map, and a few minutes later we are off again (slowly), finally pulling into London Victoria at about quarter past nine...crushed Circle line and Jubilee line later (cursing the six minute wait at Westminster having *just* missed an almost empty train) I cram onto another packed carriage to complete my nightmare journey to Canary Wharf, manage (somehow) to come out the wrong exit from the tube and find myself on the wrong side of the park near Waitrose, finally slumping down at my desk exactly one hour after I normally arrive for work...


27 January, 2008

Star Trek - The Adventure - (London 2003)

Set a course around the Sun, (ask Spock to calculate the exact speed and trajectory), in order to slingshot your ship into "Time Warp", destination - the early 21st Century, London - a rather chilly January day in 2003, put on your cloaking device and land somewhere in Hyde Park (near the tube stop would be ideal) although if you scan for temporary structures in the area, there will be a large fairly obvious reading (I'll meet you inside) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #1
Not quite sure what I was expecting, having never been along to anything like this before (Fanboy powers -4) but I think I was excited enough just to get close to all the authentic props and special effect models that had been promised -
Star Trek - The Adventure #2
- we payed a little extra in the entrance hall and loaded up with the audio commentary headsets (you type in the number next to the exhibit and it gives you a little bit of information about what you are looking at, which is quite cool) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #11
- gazed adoringly at the (suprisingly large) ships (if they were for use on the big screen then they were actually enormous and beautifully detailed) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #3
Star Trek - The Adventure #6
Star Trek - The Adventure #8
- (the Borg cube was 1.5 meters per side and looked like it was made from all the bits left over when you finish a model kit) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #18
Star Trek - The Adventure #33
- (this shuttle, from "The Motion Picture" was about 2 feet long) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #35
On to smaller props, all sorts of phasers -
Star Trek - The Adventure #14
- phaser rifles -
Star Trek - The Adventure #30
- a random "Orb of the prophets" (looking not quite so glittery as usual) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #16
- props from Picards desk in "Nemesis" -
Star Trek - The Adventure #19
- Padds through the ages ;) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #28
- Picard's flute from ""The Inner Light" -
Star Trek - The Adventure #32
- assorted Klingon weaponry (including this Bat'leth) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #40
- misc. tricorders and communicators -
Star Trek - The Adventure #38
- on through complete sets (which you could wander around) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #12
- like this reconstruction of the torpedo room -
Star Trek - The Adventure #20
- with Spock's funeral torpedo from "Wrath of Khan" -
Star Trek - The Adventure #13
- a recreation of Quarks bar, complete with Dabo table -
Star Trek - The Adventure #15
- and authentic Cardassian replicator, through *loads* of costumes, it's scary to see how *short* most of the actors actually are (7 of 9 for example) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #17
- a rather tattered Khan -
Star Trek - The Adventure #21
- a few Borg drones (regenerating quietly) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #22
- Spock's "Kolinar" robe -
Star Trek - The Adventure #26
- Commander Worfs rags and sash -
Star Trek - The Adventure #27
- ancient and modern engineering wear -
Star Trek - The Adventure #37
- and then some real suprises! There were actually rides to enjoy! These two Shuttle pod rides were highly agressive flight simulators, taking you from a calm trip around the solar system suddenly through a worm-hole to the middle of a Borg attack! Very cool, you came out legs like jelly and quite breathless -
Star Trek - The Adventure #23
- next the opportunity to be "transported", go and stand in a TNG style transporter room and be "beamed up" by special effects (you got a DVD afterwards) but it was a bit expensive to actually participate) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #24
- then into a very faithful reproduction of "Ten forward" (the event canteen, very clever) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #34
with a choice of various (fully alcoholic) themed drinks like Romulan ale or Klingon Export (I had one of each, they both tasted a bit like London Pride) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #39
- and just when you thought it couldn't get any better, we suddenly came upon a holding area where it became quite apparent that we had not yet even reached "The Adventure" itself(!), we queued with great anticipation until it was our turn, the doors slid open with a convincing hiss and we walked into Engineering (on the NCC-1701D)! It was perfect in every way -
Star Trek - The Adventure #41
- where we witnessed a warp core breach in progress (at this stage the whole floor vibrated like the deck plates were buckling, smoke poured out of the core, alarms sounded) everything was absolutely right, then suddenly, the doors to our left slid open and crew members were yelling "Quick this way, to the bridge!", so everyone hurried down the corridoor, past medical and into a turbo lift -
Star Trek - The Adventure #42
- "Quick this way!" -
Star Trek - The Adventure #43
- into a turbo lift up to the bridge (which is very convincing, apart from the total lack of crew, of course) -
Star Trek - The Adventure #46
Star Trek - The Adventure #45
Star Trek - The Adventure #49
- after fighting off (another) Borg attack, the whole affiar is finished off with a shop (selling all the episodes, toys and other merchandise you could imagine) right down to a super massive tribble (about 5 feet high) if you had a living room large enough to accomodate it!
Star Trek - The Adventure #50
Excellent show, excellent day... ;)

More pictures here (if you like this sort of thing)... ;)

25 January, 2008

South House, South Street, Dorking - View from the Penthouse

Aw...brings back lots of happy memories - this panoramic splice (more great finds from the archive) - living in "The Penthouse" (flats on top of South House in Dorking)...every Friday night was hilarious theatre, we used to crack open a few beers, sit out on the balcony and watch the fun when the pubs kicked out (complete with police breaking up all the fights), during the day it was a succession of people failing to parallel park (often crashing into other vehicles) oblivious to our tears of hilarity and muffled guffaws from above...at parties having paper plane distance competitions (the ultimate goal being to land on the roof of the building opposite) -
View from the penthouse - Splice
- growing the most successful tomato plants in the history of culinary horticulture (imho anyway) as the balcony was the ultimate sun-trap, and relishing the ability to wake up, throw back the curtains in the living room (the whole back wall was glass) and lord it over the Surrey Hills...what a fantastic place to live...not to mention that within 2 minutes walk was Waitrose, a Video/Game hire shop, 2 Curry houses (including the best in Dorking), 2 Chinese restaurants and an off-licence...it was practically perfect...

Of course, when it came time to move to the house, getting all the crap out was a bloody nightmare (4 flights of un-even stairs), those, I *won't* miss (especially dragging the bikes up, or 15 bags of shopping)...but the time living there was priceless...

24 January, 2008

Bug Jam 15 - 2001

Some more really old pics today, still in the 2001 retrospective mood, this time of the first Bug Jam I ever attended (Bug Jam 15), these are actually low-res scans of 35mm prints (so please forgive the poor quality, these being the only pictographic record we have of the event), nice to see that not too much has changed in the intervening years (apart from the billions of new attendees), right down to scans of the ticket and map -
Bug Jam 15 #1
Bug Jam 15 #3
- from before we set off, to the *huge* queue -
Bug Jam 15 #4
- which we now routinely skip by arriving at about seven in the morning -
Bug Jam 15 #9
- and they were still running the jet funny car back then -
Bug Jam 15 #7
Bug Jam 15 #6
- even managed to grab a shot of it zooming past(!) albeit blurrily (but then it is going over 220mph)...
Bug Jam 15 #5
Anyway, this was the famous year that Flyingpops took her life in her hands and actually ran the strip in her 1303S during the "Run What You Brung" (under full race conditions) -
Bug Jam 15 #10
- getting an about average time for the class of vehicle (and an excellent reaction time) -
Bug Jam 15 #2
- I must admit, I thought she was nuts...your insurance is void during the race...and as we were in the queue I was examining some of the other runners, even the door handles had been bored out to reduce weight, and Flyingpops' Bug still had all our camping stuff in the boot! Hehe... ;)
Bug Jam 15 #8