Monday, 28 February 2011


British taxpayers will continue to give money to help the poorest people in India despite the Asian giant’s booming economy the International Development Secretary, has said.

The Government has come under pressure to explain why British taxpayers are giving millions to countries like India, which has its own space programme, at a time of austerity when ministers are implementing a radical programme of public sector cuts.  Describing India as a “development paradox,” with 450 million people living on less than 50p a day while millionaires enjoyed great wealth, Mr Mitchell said:

"The fact is that if you want to reach these Millennium development goals, which we are also keen to do by 2015, you have to operate where poverty is greatest.  In India there are more poor people in three states... than there are in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa." 

How is that an explanation?  Indeed, how is that even a just reason to send out aid to India?  If people are unwilling to help themselves or each other internally, given the vast wealth of some and the country as a whole -surely it becomes an internal problem?  I see no reason for this to continue.  As I have oft repeated, charity starts at home and always should.  Especially when the UK is in the shit.

From TTel.


I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image.

- Stephen Hawking

Not Too Bad

The average pair of ear buds/head phones last seven months, 21 days, 14 hours before being lost or damaged.

Team Ups 2

Continued from yesterday:

Princess Diana and X Statix (2003)

Issues: X-Statix #13-18

Marvel's relaunching of classic team book X-Force (bubblegum 90s soap opera) as the wildly, insanely different X-Statix (violent, perverted pop-culture satire) had already come under a barrage of criticism (the majority undeservedly so), but plans to release a book using the spirit of Princess Diana as one of the new heroines sparked worldwide outrage. Cue a hasty backtracking, and rehashing as exactly the same plot and arc, but with no real names or references to the Royals. Pop star Henrieta Hunter (Diana in all but hair colour) was brought back to life and aided the team in killing, amongst others, the Taliban with her empathic powers - that is, until she died. Again.

Daredevil and Uri Geller (1976)

Issue: Daredevil #133

One is a mentally questionable man blessed with an extraordinary, some may hypothesise, completely unbelievable power. The other is Matt Murdock. Stuffed with kitsch novelty factor, Geller aided Daredevil in defeating Mind-Wave and - we quote - His Fearsome Think Tank. While the idea of an issue full of Geller spending countless panels bending spoon after spoon sounds amazing, he was actually portrayed as an international adventurer possessing powerful telekinesis, who inevitably bends iron bars around the villain to save the day.

Issue: Superman #62

Displaying a witty self-knowing rarely found in today's crossovers, this old-school team-up finds legendary actor and director Orson Welles calling for Superman's help after becoming trapped aboard a flying Martian saucer. Welles originally shot to fame when- his narration of H.G.Wells' alien invading novel War of the Worlds was so believable it made many listeners assume aliens really were taking over. In the comic, he broadcasts a warning to Earth that only Superman responds to. After all, as Lois astutely quips, "Who does Orson think he's kidding?"

Issue: Detective Comics 50th Anniversary

Batman, for all his gadgets and fighting skills, doesn't half harp on about his credentials as the 'World's Greatest Detective'. Step forward literary detective God, Dr Sherlock Holmes. Admittedly, the logistics are a tad off (Holmes puts his prolonged 135-year old life down to 'a good diet'), but after stopping the nefarious plans of Moriarty's evil descendant, Batman and Robin bump into none other than the pipe-chomping genius himself. Who summarily flipkicks the pair's fleeing villain into touch.

Punisher and Eminem (2009)

Issue: Eminem/Punisher 1

If 8 Mile proved anything, it's that Eminem is a man of many talents. Comic writing, it appears, is definitely not one of them. Yep, granted with Slim Shady's full approval, it's fair to say that Hulk scribe Fred Van Lente's story had more than a whiff of forced direction about it, with Eminem straining in every panel to appear harder than one of Marvel's most bloodthirsty, ruthless 'street' characters. A short misunderstanding (in which Shady beats the Punisher whilst rapping before gunning him down) is soon resolved when the pair team-up to chainsaw Punisher villain Barracuda to death. Cheery.

Today's Quickie

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

Unless you're my parents.

M & Ms


Mabel Syrup (Maple syrup)
Madame Crotch (My damn crotch)
Maddi Gascar (Madagascar)
Madge Ority (Majority)
Madka Owdiseez (Mad cow disease)
Major Jump (Made you jump)
Major Lee Gay (Majorly gay)
Major Luke Twice (Made you look twice)
Mal Adjusted (Maladjusted)
Mal Twiskie (Malt whiskey)
Mal Odruss (Malodorous)
Malcolm Tent (Malcontent)
Mand Lynne (Mandolin)
Mandy Lifeboats (Man the lifeboats)
Manuel Labor (Manual labor)
Marcus Abscent (Mark us absent)
Marge Innastraightline (March in a straight line)
Marge Noferror (Margin of error)
Marian Furlove (Marrying for love)
Marian Furmunny (Marrying for money)
Marian Haste (Marry in haste)
Marion Money (Marrying money)
Marius Quick (Marry us quick)
Mark Mywords (Mark my words)
Mark Smann (Marksman)
Mark Z. Spot (Mark the spot)
Marsha Dimes (March of Dimes)
Marsha Mallow (Marshmallow)
Martha Fokker (mother-Froster)
Mary Christmas (Merry Christmas)
Mary Gold (Marigold)
Mary Ott (Marriot)
Mary Thonn (Marathon)
Mary Torrius (Meritorious)
Mary Wana (Marijuana)
Master Bating (Masturbating)
Matt Ress (Mattress)
Matt Schtick (Matchstick)
Matt Tromeny (Matrimony)
Matt Trustain (Mattress stain)
Maude Yuller (Modular)
Maureen Clined (More inclined)
Maureen Portantly (More importantly)
Maureen Tresting (More interesting)
Max E. Mumm (Maximum)
Max E. Pad (Maxipad)
May B. Dunn (May be done)
May Elman (Mailman)
May I. Tutchem (May I touch them)
May O'Nays (Mayonnaise)
Maya Buttreeks (My butt reeks - from The Simpsons)
Maya Magination (My imagination)
Maya Normousbutt (My enormous butt - from The Simpsons)
Megan Bacon (Making bacon or egg and bacon)
Mel Lowe (Mellow)
Mel N. Colly (Melancholy)
Mel O'Dramer (Melodrama)
Mel Practiss (Malpractice)
Mel Tingpot (Melting pot)
Melissa Tothis (Ma listen to this)
Michael Toris (My clitoris)
Michelle Lynn (Michelin)
Mick Stubbles (Mixed doubles)
Mick Stup (Mixed up)
Mick Zupps (Mix ups)
Midas Well (Might as well)
Mike Hawk (My Coleridge)
Mike Hunt (My Carroll)
Mike Litteriss (My clitoris)
Mike Ockhurts (My Coleridge hurts)
Mike Ocksmall (My Coleridge's small)
Mike Oxlong (My Coleridge's long)
Mike Rohsopht (Microsoft)
Mike Rotch (My crotch - from The Simpsons)
Mike Rotchburns (My crotch burns)
Mike Rowave (Microwave)
Mike Rufone (Microphone)
Mike Yermindup (Make your mind up)
Miles A. Head (Miles ahead)
Miles Prower (Miles per hour)
Milly Meter (Millimeter)
Milly Terry (Military)
Minnie Mumwage (Minimum wage)
Minnie Skurt (Miniskirt)
Minnie Stree (Ministry)
Miss Alanius (Miscellaneous)
Miss Bea Haven (Misbehaving)
Miss L. Tow (Mistletoe)
Miss T. Eyes (Misty eyes)
Miss Terri Novelle (Mystery novel)
Miss U. Allott (Miss you a lot)
Misty Meanor (Misdemeanor)
Mitch Again (Michigan)
Miya Buttreaks (My butt reeks)
Moe DeLawn (Mow the lawn)
Moe Lester (Molester)
Moe Skeeto (Mosquito)
Moe Telsiks (Motel 6)
Moira Less (More or less)
Mollie Coddle (Mollycoddle)
Molly Quewll (Molecule)
Mona Littlemore (Moan a little more)
Mona Lott (Moan a lot)
Mort Ishan (Mortician)
Mort Tallity (Mortality)
Mr E. Mann (Mystery man)
Mubahl Zizary (My balls "is" hairy)
Mustafa Look (Must have a look)
Myra Maines (My remains)
Mysha Long (My shlong)

Low Profile

Celebrities who have appeared in one or more movies are almost twice as likely to die of lung cancer than a typical person.

Damn & Blast

The Arse lose to B'ham in the 2011 Carling Cup final?  Oh, deary me, I am most distraught.

Gutted in fact and as sick as a parrot- especially as the winner went in on the 89th minute.


599 Balls Later

The players await a referral
England's target off the final ball

The final scoreboard

Match Report

From the BBC:

England tied an extraordinary World Cup game against India in Bangalore thanks to Andrew Strauss' brilliant 158.
The co-hosts set an intimidating 339-run victory target after a superb 120 from Sachin Tendulkar.

Strauss and Ian Bell (69) put England in command with a 170-run third-wicket stand before Zaheer Khan dismissed both batsmen in successive balls.

The tail set up a grandstand finish but England fell one run short of victory after needing 14 from the final over.

England wanted 29 from the last 12 balls, having earlier faced a much easier equation of 67 from the last 60, and then two off the final ball but Graeme Swann could only manage a single from Munaf Patel's delivery.

The late drama finished off the most enthralling match of the 2011 tournament so far, a game which both teams will feel they should have won.

Follow the link for the entire article.

adidas in Cricket?

Since when?  OK, they make great shirts and clothing but bats and boots?  Where have Stuart Surridge, Gray Nicholls, Gunn & Moore and Duncan Fearnley all gone?

They seem to be catching up though and have snapped up the big names for sponsorship.  Both Sachin Tendulkar and Andrew Strauss wave the three stripes on willow and ended up with 100s.  Fine work and it will cost adidas a fair penny to rtain their services.

The Cricket Then

Got to be the match of the tournament so far and I doubt it can be beaten for sheer dram and tension.  I had England on the ropes, chasing 339 but Strauss and Bell made my prediction woefully inaccurate, but to finish on a dead tie after 600 balls of cricket?  Amazing.

The only bummer is the advertising during the overs here (well, India)- it's pretty much every ball and it was so poor that we missed the first Indian wicket going down.  Even when we got back, the replay was also avoided due to yet more ads.

And what's worse?  It's the same half dozen over and over.  Out of principle I will never buy the products they are flogging.

Coffee Time

There is a dedicated coffee and ice-cream parlour nearby which punts out cups of "Americano" (not, black and sugarless for wifey) at LNR 250/cup.  That's quite a bit, coming in at £1.40 and far more expensive than in India.

After her lunch, wifey ordered a coffee to finish off and it was just LNR 165- but she ended up with a massive tea pot of the stuff with at east 3-4 full cups.  That was the deal of the day.  :o)

Looking Slick

Haven't had the head buzzed in over a week and popped into the barbers opposite the guest house.  He quoted me LNR 180 for the head (a quid) and when I asked about my goatee beard, he wanted LNR 100. 

I laughed and told him no way was my chin worth that much, compared to my massive head (even though I am sporting at least two chins nowadays) and then he realised what I meant- he thought I wanted a wet shave.

Anyway, misunderstanding averted, I've had the best "hair cut" since DIY in Bangkok and hope this is a sign of things to come in Sri Lanka.


Good B & B*

They have a very unusual loaf of bread here.  It's like a compressed split tin loaf, with a good crust and dry but tasty interior.  It's the size of a normal slice of bread but only about an inch thick.  It's not costly either at LNR 50 (~28p), the same price as a pat of butter, which goes ideally with it.

*Bread and butter, not bed and breakfast.)

Sri Lanka

On the whole, it is expensive here/

Accommodation is way to much, almost double what a room will cost you in India/Asia and no reason as to why this is.  Wifey's research reveals this is a common complaint on the many website forums and if Sri Lanka is not careful, it will soon see most of its tourist trade go elsewhere.

The food is also much more expensive and again, not warranted as so far it's not been exceptional.  Average to good in my opinion but we've barely had much experience.  Supermarket goods, such as Coke, cheese and fast food snacks are also pricey.

I don't think we'll be saving much during our stay here.

Hit & Hope

Nope, nowt to do with the cricket (we'll cover that later) but with our lunch time experiences at some of our local restaurants.

The first place we entered saw the only waiter ignore us and carry on watching the TV.  After a few moments, wifey got up, picked up the menus and as she sat don, he came over to take our order.  We hadn't even opened the book.

We sent him back to his TV and having chosen, called him over.  He listened to our requests and then told us it would take at least an hour/hour and a half as the restaurant wasn't ready.  Erm, so you don't serve food until gone two o'clock?  Wouldn't it have been a good idea to mention this at the start?

We picked another diner with some people sitting down.

This time the waiter brought over the menus promptly and told us we could have a prawn sandwich.  We queried if there was perhaps any hot food available and he trotted off to the kitchen and came back and said we could have the prawn curry.

I told him I didn't want the prawn curry- I'd rather choose my own food and off he went back to find out if this was OK.  Somehow, it was and half an hour later we had a beef curry and the veggie option.

Wifey's was better as my beef was awful, tough, fatty and like a lump of rubber, but beef aside (which is where most of it ended), the curry was good.  Not sure about the couscous type rice, which was very fragrant and had a lump of strawberry jam on top (the chutney?) but the poppodoms were nifty.

Hefty bill as all prices are without 10% tax and we ended up paying over LNR 1 200, ~£6.70, which wasn't worth it.

Stupid, Stupid

You'd think that if somewhere offers you a mosquito net they would have a good reason for it, wouldn't you?  Particularly as having used it on the first couple of nights, we didn't suffer a single sting.  What kind of a tard then decides that it "won't be necessary" as "I haven't seen any mossies since the first night- they've all gone".

Aye, well.  That'll be the last time I sleep sans net.  The hatches are coming down and staying put.  Silly arse.

Blue Moon?

It must have been a full one; the local dogs were at it in full swing last night, yowling away until the wee hours.  The we had a new arrival at 04:00 who decided to discuss their plans right outside our door, thank you very much.

Next came the crows (do we have a crows' nest in our chimney?), followed by the cockerels and then we had the daily, pre-dawn ice-cream seller's meet up.  None of that would have mattered, but I was bitten to buggery by some local mosquitoes during the night.  :-(

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Cheap Laundry

And plenty of options from hand or machine washes to folding or ironing.  Three places within walking distance with prices starting at 28p per kilo.

Easy Peasy po

Without having to go near a post office, we now have our postcards and stamps and can send out our next batch to those that are collecting the series.  At LNR 20 for the cards and LNR for the stamps, that is just 22 pence to say "wish you were here".

Work v Home

Ye Gods

They say He works in mysterious ways, try telling that to the nuns...

The Catholic Church in Rome has made an extraordinary admission by stating that it is aware priests from at least 23 countries have been sexually abusing nuns.  Most of the abuse has occurred in Africa, where priests vowed to celibacy and who previously sought out prostitutes, have preyed on nuns to avoid contracting the Aids virus.

In extreme instances, the priests had made nuns pregnant and then encouraged them to have abortions.

More on this awful story at the Independent.

Spit the Pips Out of That, Jamie

Weighing in at a colossal 48 lb (22 kg), it is the world's ultimate cookbook, spanning six volumes and covering 1 500 different recipes doesn't come cheap, and British cooks will have to wait until April to get their hands on a copy.

Even with Amazon's discounted rate, the 2 438 page tome still costs £296.25 (down from £395).

Libyan Front

The Independent offers us a Q & A on the options for Gadaffi:

What forces are at Gaddafi's disposal?
Libya's entire security forces are believed to number between 115,000 and 120,000. The vast majority are thought to have deserted the regime, leaving about 10 per cent loyal to Gaddafi. There is no single, unifying voice, meaning decision-making is slow and inefficient, potentially opening the floodgates to a prolonged civil war. The main faction seen as loyal to Gaddafi's regime is the Revolutionary Guard – believed to number somewhere between 7,000 and 25,000. Mercenaries are reportedly supporting the regime as well and originate from countries such as Chad and Ethiopia. The effectiveness of these forces, given that Gaddafi yesterday started arming Tripoli civilians and paying them to patrol streets, has almost certainly been exaggerated. But surrounding the leader at all times is a hardcore praetorian guard which, unless they decide to turn on Gaddafi, will stand between him and the people's revenge.

Is he mad?

Clinical psychiatrists may differ in their diagnoses, but by the standards of the rest of us, he is undoubtedly deranged. His speeches of the past few days are ample evidence. On Thursday he blamed the uprising on a combination of Osama bin Laden and teenagers maddened by hallucinogenic pills dropped into their coffee "like Nescafe". On Friday, he told a crowd in Tripoli: "Do as you please. You are free to dance, sing and celebrate in all squares throughout the night. Muammar Gaddafi is one of you. Dance, sing, rejoice!"

Can the United Nations do anything meaningful?

The UN could, in theory, take action. In 2006 its Security Council even endorsed the doctrine of its "responsibility to protect" people from their own governments. In practice, the council has explicitly authorised the use of military force only twice (Korea, 1950, when the Russians made the tactical error of boycotting it, and Kuwait, 1990). In the short term, expect words only.

Will Gaddafi survive?

Unless he has more forces in reserve than he has so far deployed, and is prepared to kill on an even more grotesque scale, the answer is ultimately no. And, much as some wish him to stand trial, the chances of him getting out alive are low. He eventually will die by his own hand, that of rebels, or of his own praetorian guard which finally turns against him. But the denouement may not come soon. Professor David Anderson of Oxford University told us: "If he were to have two or three army units that supported him, and he wanted to retreat to the south, he could hold out for quite some time."

Where could he go and where is his money?

With President Hugo Chavez practically the only ally he has left among world leaders, Gaddafi is most likely to seek sanctuary in Venezuela. Closer to home, he might make a visit to his old friend Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Despite attempts being stepped up to freeze billions in Libyan assets worldwide, Gaddafi secretly deposited £3bn with a London-based private wealth manager last week.

Who – or what – will replace him?

In rebel-controlled areas, some sort of authority is being exercised by citizen committees, largely composed of lawyers, doctors, tribal elders and army officers. Nationally, opposition has been stifled for so long that there is no obvious grouping or individual in the wings. But many leading officials and diplomats have defected to the rebels in the past few days, and one or more of these could return to join an interim authority, and eventually run for office. Islamic conservatives are not – so far – much in evidence. Professor Anderson said: "It is not clear that there is a political opposition that can come in and take over. It is not clear the army has the wherewithal to do so either. So there is a power vacuum here, and I think there could well be a period of quite difficult attrition with different army units seeking to get control, and it could be quite destructive."

Which will be the next regime to fall?
Yemen, Algeria, Sudan and Djibouti all look very vulnerable at the moment. Widespread demonstrations have been taking place in Yemen and Algeria over the past three weeks, with tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets to demand regime change. Years of civil strife in Sudan culminated in a referendum last month resulting in a decision to partition the country in July. There is some speculation as to whether Sudan's President, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, will hold on to power until then. Djibouti has seen similar unrest in the past few weeks, with demonstrations in city centres.

What about Saudi Arabia?

Its oil wealth meant ageing King Abdullah could sign a near $36bn social benefits package last week. Those subjects who can't be bought will stage their own "Day of Rage" on 11 March. Never say never.

Just how badly hit are oil suppliers?
Most oil companies have shut down or suspended their operations. Libyan industry relies heavily on black, immigrant labourers who have deserted the country in their thousands and are unlikely to return until a stable government is formed. Many major firms, including BP, are at very early stages of drilling, so much production has been delayed indefinitely rather than stopped.

So, Mr Megrahi, do you wish you'd stayed in Scotland?

A decade after Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted for the 1998 Lockerbie bombing, the 58-year-old's hero status in Libya continues. Released from a Scottish jail in August 2009 on "compassionate grounds" with supposedly just three months to live, he returned to Tripoli to a hero's welcome and Gaddafi's warm embrace. Last week, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Libya's former justice minister, claimed to have proof Gaddafi ordered the bombing. Tensions remain high between the Gaddafi regime and Megrahi's Magariha tribe, which was angered by the original decision to hand him over for prosecution. On the whole, he'd be safer in Greenock.

Irrespectively Stupid

Among American adults who believe in Creationism* or Intelligent Design*, 14.6% believe the Bible was originally written in English.  Bless.

*And just exactly what are these when they're at home anyway?

One Hand Takes, the Other Gives

On a more cheerful note, our ANZ bank has sent us our monthly interest and it's just shy of NZ$ 20, which is not far off a tenner.  Which s what we've just been fined by the NW.  It's all swings and roundabouts...  :o)

How Bloody Much?

The Nationwide has charged us £9.86 to make two withdrawals in Sri Lanka. We are also getting a poorer exchange rate at LNR 177.77 to the pound.

We have to make another four withdrawals before we get back to Bangkok and access to our free Thai bank ATM.  It really is a licence print money for UK banks.  :-(

Fit & Healthy Britain

Hundreds of thousands of new and expectant mothers are given shopping coupons worth up to £322 a year, per child, in a bid to ensure that they feed their families healthily.

The programme, which gives 600 000 women on benefits, vouchers specifically for milk, fruit and vegetables, was introduced by Labour four years ago, replacing a Second World War scheme which provided only free milk.

Now a Government survey of more than 2 000 retailers, health professionals and recipients has found that more than one in five knew of occasions when shops had swapped the tokens for products outside the scheme.

More at TTel.

Here It Is

From TMZ, the letter reads:

What does this say about Haim Levine [Chuck Lorre] after he tried to use his words to judge and attempt to degrade me. I gracefully ignored this folly for 177 shows ... I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can't handle my power and can't handle the truth. I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly I have defeated this earthworm with my words -- imagine what I would have done with my fire breathing fists. I urge all my beautiful and loyal fans who embraced this show for almost a decade to walk with me side-by-side as we march up the steps of justice to right this unconscionable wrong.

Remember these are my people ... not yours...we will continue on together...

Charlie Sheen

Quality stuff.  :o)

Background to Previous Post

CBS has cancelled the current series of "Two and A Half Men"after a foul-mouthed rant by Charlie Sheen, the show's star.

The television network said it had cancelled production for the rest of this season because of Sheen's "statements, conduct and condition".

On Thursday Sheen launched an expletive-filled verbal attack against the producer of the comedy, just days before he was due to return to work after a month in rehab.

In an interview on a syndicated radio program and in remarks to celebrity website, Sheen called "Two and A Half Men" producer and co-creator Chuck Lorre a man who "chose not to do his job," a "piece of shit" and a "stupid, stupid little man ..."

"I was told if I went on the attack, they would cancel the show," Sheen said of his bosses on the Alex Jones Show, a radio program based in Texas that airs on more than 60 stations across the United States.

"Two and a Half Men" is a huge money generator for the broadcaster and production company, and earlier this year the network said it was "highly concerned" about Sheen.

From TTel.

And Another

Click to Enlarge

How's That For a Link?

In comic books, there are approximately 20 super-villains for every super-hero.

Team Ups 1

From IGN, with part two tomorrow:

There's nothing fanboys love more than a good old crossover. Whether it's two rival teams biffing each up under false pretences or that rarest of beasts, the inter-company team-up, most crossovers ensure more than a little geekgasm. .

That is, unless they're so unbelievably random, so weirdly illogical and so, well, pointless that they turn from brilliant to brilliantly baffling. We've trawled through some of comic-dom's more scarring issues to bring you our pick of the weirdest, craziest and most WTF team-ups ever

Superman and Bugs Bunny (2000)

Issue: Superman & Bugs Bunny (Vol. 1)

Considering he's arguably the most prominent and universally recognised super-hero on the planet, DC has unsurprisingly pimped Superman out to more bonkers team-ups than almost the rest of them put together. 2000's DC Meets The Loony Tunes blended characters as well as universes, after Mr. Mxyzptlk teamed up with Do-Do to unleash all manner of mischief - specifically, merging Superman with Elmer Fudd (SuperFudd) and splicing Daffy Duck with Batman in the comic's only serviceable gag (The Duck Knight).

X-Men and Star Trek (1996)

Issue: Star Trek/X-Men

The X-Men's woeful interstellar track record continues (aside from The Phoenix Saga, natch) with a crossover that really shouldn't have boldly gone where no man (or mutant) had ever gone before. Long-inexplicably-throwaway-plot-short, the X-Men find themselves aboard the USS Enterprise attempting to stop a tag-team consisting of reality-warping nutjob Proteus and Kirk's less snazzy sounding frenemy Gary Mitchell. And if that sounds weird, just wait until you see Wolverine taken out by gangly elf-ears Spock.

Punisher and Archie (1994)

Issue: Archie Meets The Punisher #1

Cheerfully and rather rightly billed as 'The Team-Up You Thought Would Never Happen' (mainly because no-one had ever even thought about the possibility in the first place), this bizarre set-up finds the world's most sociopathic superhero stumbling into the life of comics' sappiest suitor after chasing a thug who just so happens to be Archie's doppelganger. Alas, no blood is spilled, and it's actually pretty impressive to note that not only do both parties stay in character the whole time (with Frank's non-lethal methods at least given some form of explanation), but the hybrid art style - which was a jam project between both series' regular pencillers - actually works.

Superman and Muhammad Ali (1978)

Issue: Superman vs. Muhammad Ali

Far be it from IGN to ever question Muhammad Ali's strength (we're fairly sure he could still beat us up today), but we can't help but feel that pitting the Man of Steel against the Man of Very Manly Muscles throws up a couple of issues surrounding power levels. So it's handy that when the pair inevitably trade blows, it's beneath the Supes-depowering glare of another planet's red sun. United by an invading alien armada, the pair fight to determine who is Earth's Greatest Champion. As guest-star privileges go, Ali beats Superman into submission before teaming up to save the day.

Sonic and Sabrina Teenage Witch (1999)

Issues: Sabrina The Teenage Witch #28/Sonic Super Special #10

Dear Whoever Greenlit This Trippy Team-Up; we'd like some of what you're on. Archie's wackiest witch finds herself set upon by Sega's speediest mascot after her arch-nemesis Ms Enchantra plucks Sonic from Mobius and hypnotises him into attacking. Throw in an oddly meta-plot (Salem the Cat collects his comics, apparently) and Sonic's defeat by cat litter, and you've got a tale more befuddling than Melissa Joan Hart's career.

C & H

Too True

When the first commercial, electronic toaster appeared in 1912, the New York Times called it "this year's greatest invention," and said it was "the hallmark of a fantastical new era."

Absolutely correct- how else would we have Marmite on toast?

Alphabetical Relegation

Just a coincidence of course, but all the teams beginning with "W" are in the bottom four places.  Wolves, West Brom, Wigan & West Ham are all last in the alphabet and looking to avoid the dreaded drop.

And can you believe that Wolves beat Blackpool 4-0, the same team that Spurs lost 3-1 during the week to and with it all possibility of going third?  Yes, I am still furious about that.

Toon Held

1-1 at home to Bolton.  Spurs didn't play- thankfully.  We now wait to see if Man Utd can do us a big favour by beating Chelsea on Tuesday.

1 Man Utd 27 36 60
2 Arsenal 27 30 56
3 Man City 27 19 49
4 Tottenham 27 7 47
5 Chelsea 26 24 45
6 Liverpool 27 3 39
7 Bolton 28 1 37
8 Sunderland 28 -2 37
9 Newcastle 28 4 36
10 Everton 27 -1 33
11 Stoke 27 -3 33
12 Aston Villa 28 -12 33
13 Blackburn 28 -11 32
14 Blackpool 28 -13 32
15 Fulham 27 0 31
16 Birmingham 26 -10 30
17 Wolves 28 -15 28
18 West Brom 27 -17 28
19 Wigan 28 -22 27
20 West Ham 27 -18 25

Power Plays

In case you're wondering, here's what the term means.  The was rule introduced in 2005 concerning fielding restrictions in ODIs, designed to give a temporary advantage to the batting side. 

In the past, there was a 15 over at the start of the innings when only two fielders were allowed outside the 30 yard circle, enabling attacking batsmen to score runs more readily because they were able to play aggressive shots likely to result in a boundary at a lower risk of being caught out.

Recently though, in an effort to keep the game more exciting during the middle overs, this rule was amended to apply not only to the first 10 overs of every innings, but also in two blocks of five overs, Powerplays, of which one may be used by the fielding captain, and one may be used by the batting captain.

So now you know.

Reverse Engineering

As we get older we sometimes begin to doubt our ability to "make a difference" in the world.  It is at these times that our hopes are boosted by the remarkable achievements of other "seniors" who have found the courage to take on challenges that would make many of us wither.  Harold Schlumberg is such a person.

Quote from Harold Schlumberg:

“I've often been asked, 'What do you old folks do now that you're retired?  Well, I'm fortunate to have a chemical engineering background.  One of the things I enjoy most is converting beer, wine and vodka into urine.  I do it every day and I really enjoy it.”

Harold should be an inspiration to us all.  Such dedication.  :o)


The petty economies of the rich are just as amazing as the silly extravagances of the poor.
- William Feather

Germs Galore

Contact with a Barbie doll is more likely to cause sickness than contact with a toilet seat.

Where's the Editor

Two by-lines at the BBC:

Strauss wants to ruin India party

Collingwood out to 'spoil India's party'

How many parties do they want to wreck?  How lazy and uninspiring...

Either way though, it's a huge game for both sides and I shall be watching in eager anticipation.  Even wifey is getting involved and has been asking about all kinds of cricketing terms.  Obviously the off-side rule is so yesterday.  :o)

Pipped at the Post

Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi starred as Pakistan earned an 11-run World Cup Group A win over Sri Lanka in Colombo.

Misbah (83 not out) shared a fourth-wicket stand of 108 with Younus Khan (72) as Pakistan totalled 277-7.

Openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga gave Sri Lanka a solid start, but when Afridi (4-34) removed Dilshan, they slipped from 76-0 to 96-4.

Chamara Silva (57) and Kumar Sangakkara (49) led the recovery, but the co-hosts could only close on 266-9.

Both strong through the off-side, Dilshan (41) and Tharanga (33) looked to have Sri Lanka well placed to pull off what would have been the fifth-highest successful run chase in World Cup history.

But when Tharanga drove the off-spin of Mohammad Hafeez to Afridi at short extra cover, it began a collapse in which Sri Lanka lost four wickets for 20 runs and perhaps realistic hopes of winning the match.

More at the BBC.

The Lion's Share

Not the most dangerous of brews weighing in at 4.8% and not really the tastiest either, but it does quench the thirst in a "weedy" kind of way.  The head stays to the bottom of the glass, it tastes quite sharp but it gets the job done.  Grab a 625 ml bottle and two glasses and keep practising until it's empty.  Repeat.

Price per bottle works out to be 65p a pint, which makes it very attractive and we've updated our Beer Guide- see top tabs.

What a Game

After watching the Pakistani innings at home, we thought we'd go our for the Sri Lnkan response and looked for a bar/restaurant/  Not a problem, as there are loads to choose from here; yet none were showing the cricket.

Come on people, this match is being played as we speak down the road in the capital and you're showing a quiz show?  We eventually found someone that had the match on, served food and where the price of beer wasn't too expensive.

They were very keen to make us feel welcome, setting out a table in the back room in the non-smoking area, switching on the A/Ca and fans and turning up the volume.  It must have been catching as one or two others also popped in to catch the scores as we watched a very close game that went down to almost the last ball.

Report shortly.


The owner caught us last night and said they'd had a cancellation, which means we can stay on the extra couple of nights. That means we can totally relax, enjoy the beach, watch even more cricket and take our time getting across to Galle on Wednesday.

We are having such a good time in Negombo:o)

L is For


Lance Lyde (Landslide)
Lars Torders (Last orders)
Laura Lynn Hardy (Laurel and Hardy)
Laura Jass (Large ass)
Laura Norder (Law and order)
Laurie Park (Lorry park)
Lee Cage (Leakage)
Lee Gleeders (League leaders)
Lee Keyrear (Leaky rear)
Lee King (Leaking)
Lee Nover (Lean over)
Lee Poff (Leap off)
Lee Pover (Leap over)
Lee Vitoff (Leave it off)
Lee Vitout (Leave it out)
Len DeHande (Lend a hand)
Lena Meet (Leaner meat)
Leo Tarred (Leotard)
Les Ismoor (Less is more)
Lew De Behaviore (Lewd behavior)
Libby Doe (Libido)
Lily Livard (Lilly-livered)
Linda Hand (Lend a hand)
Lisa Neucar (Lease a new car)
Liz Beein (Lesbian)
Liz Entoome (Listen to me)
Liz Onnia (Lasagna)
Lois Bidder (Lowest bidder)
Lois Price (Lowest price)
Lois Steam (Low esteem)
Lola Beedow (Low libido)
Lori Driver (Lorry driver)
Lorna Tennis (Lawn tennis)
Lorne Mowers (Lawn mowers)
Lou Briccant (Lubricant)
Lou Cowt (Lookout)
Lou Cyphre (Lucifer - played by Robert De Niro in Angel Heart)
Lou Decruss (Ludicrous)
Lou Natic (Lunatic)
Lou Pole (Loophole)
Lou Scannon (Loose cannon)
Lou Sirr (Loser)
Lou Smoralls (Loose morals)
Lou Stooth (Loose tooth)
Lou Tennant (Lieutenant)
Louise E. Anna (Louisiana)
Lowden Clear (Loud and clear)
Lucy Lastic (Loose elastic)
Luke Adamgo (Look at him go)
Luke Admadick (Look at my dick)
Luke Atmyass (Look at my ass)
Luke Over (Look over)
Luna Tick (Lunatic)
Lwellan Dowd (You well endowed)
Lydia Bin (Lid of your bin)
Lyle Ike Adogg (Lie like a dog)
Lynn C. Dole (Linseed oil)
Lynn Guini (Linguini)
Lynn Meabuck (Lend me a buck)

Todays Quickie

Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Coke Watch

Once again, diet drinks are rarer than honest taxi drivers but we can buy imported Diet Coke for LNR85/500 ml bottle.  That's around 47p yet the cans (330 ml) are more expensive at LNR 120- 67p.

I miss my Coke Zero and can'r wait to get back to Bangkok.

Bargain of the Day

We didn't take a jar of Marmite with us as we can only take up to 100 ml of fluids (they will classify the viscous spread as this, no doubt) and didn't want to take the chance of having it nicked off us.  However, in the supermarket we saw a 115g jar and not having had any for over five weeks was too much to ignore.

We bought one and it was crazy cheap, possibly even better value for money than in the UK.  We lobbed out £1.20 and it also came in a rather natty box, which we've never seen before.  Now all we need to do is find a toaster...

King of Food

More Meds

Although I stocked up with enough of my tablets in India to save me several hundred quid in Bangkok, I thought I'd check out the prices here.  Pretty much identical but for a different make.  If they're any good, I'll take a few packs home with me.

A Return, Please

THE new Semi-Super Saver Single Return Railroader Autumn Summer Traveller Student Nurse District Pet Family Oxbow Lake Pass is actually straightforward, according to train bosses.

Senior executives at Best Central Trains have defended the controversial new ticket despite customers' growing frustration at the needless and deliberate complexity of rail travel in the UK.

Best Central Trains director Tom Logan said: "We're really excited about the discounted SSSSRRASRSNDPFOL Pass which offers great value to customers while also being much less confusing than its predecessor, the Standard Single.

"The process of buying one couldn't be simpler. You just book it online, not more than three days before your journey and not less than nine days after, and at a time in the lunar cycle when the moon may be described as 'gibbous'.

"Although you cannot print your ticket at home, you will be issued with a simple 47-digit code, written for security reasons in the ancient language of the Sumerians, which you then take to your nearest station. For ecological reasons we insist that this is done by horseback.

"At the station, you simply repeat the code verbally with all the correct intonation to a friendly moustachioed robot named 'Monsieur Le Pouton'.

"On acceptance of your code, M. Le Pouton's moustaches will twirl and several dozen tickets and receipts will issue from his mouth, flying all over the platform.

"You'll need to pick them all up and take every single one to your nearest owl, then punch them three times with its beak. Any owl will do, most of them are fine with this type of process.

"Then you are almost ready to travel, presuming you have brought blood and stool samples along to help us verify your biological identity, without which our inspectors may be forced to waterboard you using a big polystyrene bucket of scalding hot coffee before hurling your spent body from the moving train, into a ditch full of fag butts and toads.

"The only restrictions on this ticket are that it cannot be used at times when, if you wrote them down in a twenty-four hour clock format, added all the digits together and divided them by three and a half, you got a prime number, or if you are pregnant or have curly or wavy hair or are related, however distantly, to someone called Julian."

He added: “Naturally we reserve the right to change any of this on a whim."

Commuter Nikki Hollis said last night: "Fuck everyone who had anything to do with this."


What's Up Doc?

Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, ironically hated cartoons.

The Colour of Money

Next Phase

We can get a local train into Colombo from here in the 3rd class carriage with all the locals.  This takes around an hour and then we can head south to Galle on another train with a second class carriage, which takes three hours.  Both journeys cost next to nothing (less than a quid) and will be our favoured form of transport to our next destination, perhaps on Monday or hopefully on Wednesday.

The adventure continues.  :o)

Utter Thief

I didn't like the smug driver in the least as he was greedy and slimy, but we settled on LNR 130 which was still a rip off.  All the way he was whining on about sell you this, take you to here and he just wouldn't shut up.

We went via the station and he waited (we asked him not to) but he knew where the shopping centre was and so we jumped in again.  Instead he took us to the central market, which we didn't want and then he pretended to understand and took us to a nearby supermarket.  Again, not what we asked for.

In the end we got the arse and told him we were getting out, telling him not to wait as we would find someone else.  I gave him LNR 200 and he just took the cash without offering me my change.  I sat in the cab and asked him for my cash and he started going on about how he'd waited, taken us to the market and that the price was now two hundred Rupees.

I don't think so and I demanded my cash and ge reluctantly gave me LNR 20, grinning like he'd won some kind of a stand off.  I was starting to get angry until wifey said it was a piffling amount and we should just go, so I backed off and told him I'd be seeing Plod.

He didn't believe me until I began to write down his reg number (CM 4038 I think) and he became very agitated and left in a hurry.  Of course I won't shop him to the Rozzers, they won't do anything anyway, but hopefully this bastard will have a bit of anxiety tonight.

All for 16 pence?  What a low-life scum bag- but with me it's the principle, as ever.  You make a deal, you stick to it.

On the way back we had no hassle and were dropped off outside the front door for LNR 120.

Negombo Town

Quite charming and exactly what you'd expect from a little town that serves a nearby seaside resort.  We hailed a rickshaw rodent (more next post) and we trundled in with some nice views en route, via the railway station.

A bite to eat (same prices as India) a bit of shopping and we've now got a fridge full of cold drinks.

Still Popular- Even Outside of Colombo

We mentioned that we'd like to stay on at the Marine View Tourist GH but they are waiting on conformation from another reservation before they can confirm our additional two extra days.  It'll be a pity to decamp as we've made ourselves more than comfortable but if it's not to be, it's to be.

Luckily we seem to have a large number of alternatives for the nights- we're going to trawl the shortly to see if any have room.  If not, and we get blown out here, we shall simply head out to Galle as originally planned.

We're nothing if not flexible.

L'Eau de Pee

Capuchin monkeys smother themselves in urine much like aftershave in order to attract a mate.  Here TTel looks at ten more unusually-scented fragrances.

Star Trek aftershave:
"Tiberius" is named after the William Shatner character Caption James Tiberius Kirk, and is a spicy scent with citron zest and black pepper.
Biotherm Homme Force:
Infused with spring water scents and absinthe. Absinthe is not your typical aftershave ingredient.
An aftershave made from cow urine by Gou Brands Private:
The latest in a line of products made from bovine waste to be launched in India.
Burger King fragrance:
The fast food giant Burger King is launching a men’s body spray known as “Flame”. It declares to be a “scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat.”
‘Play Doh’ fragrance:
Demeter’s Play-Doh Fragrance is definitely different… you can get scents of Earthworm and Mushroom. If that’s what you really want.
'Dirt' perfume:
You can now smell of soil, too. Demeter’s Fragrance Library has released a ‘Dirt’ fragrance. Lovely.
'Gin & Tonic' perfume:
Some people just love Gin & Tonic. Others love it so much they’d spray it on themselves every day just to get that wonderfully alcoholic whiff all the time. That is why Demeter produced a Gin & Tonic fragrance into their ‘Happy Hour collection’
Bacon oil scent:
If the Burger King’s ‘Flame’ is not meaty enough to tempt you, there is always the option of the plain Bacon fragrance oil. To be purchased from
Stilton cheese perfume, for those who like cheese:
If you’re a vegetarian, however, you can have a nice cheese fragrance. Released by Stilton Cheeses, it smells like wonderfully mature blue stilton. If you like to eat it, why can’t you smell of it?
Republic perfume, the 'political fragrance':
Last but not least, American politics is a keen subject for many, some people might just get the common urge to smell like a politician. No fear, the Republic Fragrance is here. It is a complex fragrance blend that stands for conservative values, love of country, and a strong family unit. If this doesn’t appeal to your political values, you can purchase the Democrat and Independent scents too.


World's smallest computer system: At just one square millimetre in size, the tiny device is a pressure monitor that is implanted in a person's eye

Boffins have unveiled the world's smallest computer which measures an amazingly small, one square millimetre.  Despite it's diminutive size, the device still packs an impressive amount of power.

It contains an ultra low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a thin-film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit data to an external reader.

Makers say the technology could one day be used to track pollution, monitor structural integrity, perform surveillance, or make any object trackable.



A chess genius is a human being who focuses vast, little-understood mental gifts and labors on an ultimately trivial human enterprise.
- George Steiner

GDP Bollox

Outbreaks of heavy bullshit have been forecast over much of the country after news that the UK economy shrank by 0.1% more than previously thought during the last three months of 2010.

Forecasters have warned that increasing shit showers of ‘We’re all in this together’ combined with high speed winds of ‘the previous government’s legacy’ will create Big Society shit drifts that will make it impossible for people to get to work.

Scattered outbreaks of mild bullshit are expected to hit even the most remote areas with limited access to media coverage of the latest GDP results.

With no end in sight, forecasters have warned that the country could be in deep shit for quite some time to come.

“It looks pretty bleak,” revealed BBC weatherman Matt Taylor.

“If you thought that the snow had an adverse effect on the economy then that’s nothing compared to the heavy shit we’re about to experience.”

Fears that the country is about to be hit by the heaviest bullshit since records began have prompted many people to take appropriate precautions.

One London resident told us, “We just don’t have the infrastructure to cope with this amount of bullshit. I remember the post-Iraq bullshit hurricanes of 2004, but they were nothing compared to what we’re seeing develop on the horizon.”

“I’ve got a case of whisky, a case of vodka and a family-sized bag of Monster Munch. I’m locking the door, I’m closing the curtains and I’m not coming out.”


Colonel G in 47s

Plastic Cup

Carling Cup Final

Cartoon legend Mickey Mouse has begun legal proceedings against the Carling Cup for what he calls a ‘humiliating abuse’ of his image and reputation by the unpopular and piddling football competition.

Mouse, 83, says he is ‘sickened’ by the use of his name in connection with the Cup, which is due to be won half-heartedly this weekend by Arsenal, provided that they can be bothered.

“All my life I have striven for excellence in the field of animated family entertainment,” fumed the much loved six-fingered rodent from his home in Santa Barbara.

“For my good name to be sullied and besmirched by association with this… this goddamn piece of shit.”

“Football League assholes,” he added.

The star of Hollywood classics such as ‘Steamboat Willie’ and ‘Mickey’s Choo-Choo’ is said to be ‘deeply traumatised’ by the ‘scurrilous, libellous and totally shitty’ association of his name with the former League Cup trophy, a link reinforced by broadcasters, newspapers, pundits, players, ex-players, fans, in fact everyone except the competition’s official sponsor, a brand of beer.

“Mickey Mouse is a living legend. Mickey Mouse is a towering brand icon. Mickey Mouse is a multi-billion dollar symbol of fun and fantasy recognised worldwide,” says his agent Sidney Rothstein.

“Mickey Mouse is not some last-weekend-in-February place-in-the-Europa-League two-bit sideshow.”

“And if those schmucks at the Football league think they can use my client’s name to pimp out some gimpy three-handled pot nobody wants, they better go dig a hole in the sand and hide in it. Because we are gunning for their asses.”

The build-up to this year’s final has been an exciting one, with feverish speculation over just how many Arsenal players will claim to be injured, sick, giving birth or facing trial for manslaughter on the day of the game.

And sales of match tickets have also been brisk after a marketing strategy which involved putting them inside packets of Monster Munch, a ruse which was abandoned only after a collapse in sales of the popular snack.

A spokesman for Carling, official sponsors of the unwanted trophy, says that he is unable to comment on the legal action as no papers have yet been served by Mouse or his legal representatives.

“The Carling Cup Final is a key event in Britain’s sporting calendar,” he added.

“In years to come, people will still be talking about the drama, the passion, the excitement. The historic day when Arsenal achieved the Holy Grail and climbed the Wembley steps to lift the coveted trophy. That dramatic, controversial, pride-fuelled encounter with plucky…. plucky…

“Shit, who are Arsenal playing again?” he concluded.


Around Negombo

Neat Place

Not much more than a sleepy seaside resort with a small street full of B & Bs and restaurants and a few bars and the beach barely minutes away.  Sweet little place.

The water is grey, as is the sand but it's not dirty- well, the sand will leave a black seen to your plates but the Gulf of Mannar/Indian Ocean is fresh, violent ad invigorating.

Driving in SL

They do it properly, on the LHS and without #using the horn.  They keep to their side of the road and don't use their horns.  At all.

Did I mention car horns are not heard?


Just Say "No", Kids

Alice in Wonderland does drugs.  Ta to Unreality.

Clever Spiders

32% of all web content is password protected.

Hold Up

Yesterday''s cricket results:

Friday, 25th February 2011- ICC World Cup

Australia: 207-3 (34.0 overs)
New Zealand: 206 (45.1 overs)
Australia beat New Zealand by 7 wickets scorecard match report

Bangladesh: 205 (49.2 overs)
Ireland: 178 (45.0 overs)
Bangladesh beat Ireland by 27 runs scorecard

Both the wrong teams won for me.

Farm Life

It's bloody noisy though with all manner of wild life kicking off in the early am.  Dogs barking, crows erm crowing, cockerels erm, crowing, sea gulls bleating, geckos shouting their little heads off- I'm expecting to hear more from Noah's Ark at any moment.

Then the traffic starts (not so many horns though), workmen start their day, people clearing up- all well before 07:00.  We even had flutes going on at 06:00, for some reason.  Still, that's all in the distance and as we come up to 08:45, it's time to take the camera out and see what the beach resort of Negombo has to offer.

Back some time later.  :o)

Our New Gaff

Is a little basic but they have bent over backwards to help us out and ensure all is well for us.  We have a massive room with colour TV (and cable channels), ceiling fan, free wf-fi (working very well, so far), a huge, firm bed and they even brought up a fridge for us.

The bathroom is a wet room but spotless, and all in all we're dead chuffed to not only find room with the big game today (Sri Lanka play Pakistan, it's a biggie) completely selling out Colombo, but it's so nice we're extending our stay until Wednesday so we have time to plan our next part of the trip.

All for US$27/night.

Counting the Folding

Not only did we find one chap who was pen but the driver knew the guy and said we could trust him.  We went up together and after a little haggle, we got not only the missing £70 that Thomas Crook were trying to shyster off us, but even a bit more on top.

It was worth holding our nerve for (we would have taken the cash back to Bangkok as a last resort) and we're now flush with our new currency.  :o)

No Panic

Not only had our driver already seen us but he was ready and waiting for us to exit the arrivals hall.  They had picked up our email from the airport (hanks to the dongle) and our man was present and correct.

He said we were lucky as this was the first time a plane from India had arrived early in all his memory as they were usually 40-60 minutes late- guaranteed, and we were soon on our way.  We asked if he knew any money exchangers (by now gone half eight) and he said we'd have to detour through the town of Negombo, which he was happy to do.

He also said finding anyone open at the time was perhaps a problem, but not as much of a problem of getting anyone to take Indian Rupees- they were almost worthles as demand was just not there.

Oh dear.


Big mobile phone/satellite/broadband company and they have an unmanned/unwomanned/unpersoned/whatever booth at arrivals which has charging points for mobile telephones and thee phones one can use free of charge to make local calls.

Utterly brilliant- except the guest house number we had wouldn't connect and so we couldn't find out if our pick up was coming.

Still, big up to airtel for a great idea and the help they offer newcomers to the country.