Monday, 30 September 2013

Bloody Marvellous

12 x pieces of fresh Sushi, with soy sauce and wasabi plus chopsticks for just THB 60- that's £1.20 to you.  Bangkok rocks.

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Sucky Jedis

For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. But they weren't necessarily very bright. Unfortunately, there’s no IQ test needed to become a Jedi Knight, and thus these guardians of peace and justice have brought almost as much war and disorder as they’ve prevented. Here are nine Jedi who should have been held back in the Academy.
1) Qui-Gon Jinn
Do you realize everything that happens in the six Star Wars movies is Qui-Gon Jinn’s fault? Sure, his decision to take Anakin Skywalker out of his life of slavery to train him to become a Jedi is pretty solid, but it’s his decision not to bother to free Anakin’s mother from the exact same slavery that sets up the eminently foreseeable tragedy that followed. And don’t give me that “Qui-Gon tried to save Shmi” crap because one half-hearted attempt to ask Watto if he wanted to gamble for her doesn’t count. Qui-Gon was traveling with a princess — there wasn’tanything he could trade for the mother of the most powerful potential Jedi in the galaxy? Maybe R2-D2? I don’t know what Shmi was doing for Watto, but I sincerely doubt he wouldn’t have preferred an astromech droid. But Qui-Gon didn’t care. And when the Jedi Council told him not to teach the ticking timebomb of midicholrians that was Anakin Skywalker, he told them to fuck off and then pretty much everyone died. Nice going, Qui-Gon.
2) Medd Tendar
Medd Tendar was a Jedi during the New Sith Wars, which you might lead you to believe that he might be slightly equipped to handle a Sith attack, or at least know what they’re capable of. He was not. While trying to mediate a dispute between the Doan royal family and the planet’s striking miners, Tendar sensed a disturbance in the Force but was still completely unable to prevent an assassin called the Huntress from killing all the miners. His more shameful failure was when he confronted the Huntress and used the Force to take her blasters away; the Huntress had overloaded her guns’ power cells, and they blew up in his hands. He may have actually died of embarrassment before he died from the explosion.
3) Obi-Wan Kenobi
I think we can give Obi-Wan a pass for being a shitty teacher to Anakin; I mean, he wasn’t remotely qualified, but Qui-Gon gave him the job anyways, forcing Obi-Wan to promise him as he died. That’s some heavy shit to lay on a Padawan, and you can’t blame Obi-Wan for trying — and failing — to fulfill his insane master’s wishes. But you can blame him for everything he did after the prequels. Call me crazy, but lying to the very last Jedi about his dad seems like a recipe for disaster, and indeed, it nearly was. At the very least, it’s probably information Luke could have used before he went to face Vader in ESB, so he didn’t have a massive emotional breakdown or anything. And why the hell did Obi-Wan allow himself to be cut down by Vader in A New Hope, anyway? Did he really think being a disembodied voice that Luke wasn’t sure was real would be more helpful than staying alive and helping him train? Maybe Obi-Wan was just a shitty teacher, period. And what’s the deal with him not realizing that the “missing” planet in the Jedi library had been erased by somebody? The Jedi kids knew in Attack of the Clones, but it wasn’t the “mind of a child” that was necessary to figure it out, just a mind.
4) Zym
Zym was a Grand Jedi Master back when the Republic was fighting the original Sith Empire, a job the Sith found much, much easier thanks to Zym’s impressive stupidity. When the Sith wanted to sign a peace treaty, Zym fell for it completely, despite the fact that the Sith are, by definition, evil. He told Supreme Chancellor Berooken to stay on Coruscant, which the Sith immediately attacked after Zym left, killing countless Republic leaders. Zym felt absolutely no disturbance in the Force, though, and signed the Sith’s treaty anyways, going so far as to apologize to Darth Barak for one of his Jedi attacking the Sith Lord. Eventually, Zym tried to arrest a guy who was trying to provide vital information for the Republic (namely, proof that Darth Barak was behind several attacks) and got shot. The Republic's future got a little brighter after his passing.
The 9 Least Competent Jedi
5) Yoda
We’ll get to Yoda’s problems in the prequels below, but let’s just focus on his action in The Empire Strikes Back. Okay, so Luke arrives, and Yoda acts like a demented garden gnome — unorthodox, but certainly a way to get a measure of Luke as a potential Jedi student. But then Yoda decides not to teach Luke because he’s too headstrong. And then he decides not to teach Luke because he’s too old. Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were trying to end the Sith from ruling the Galactic Empire here; I didn’t know there was an age limit to do so. By all means, call in some younger candidates for the job! It’s not like Luke is the last potential Jedi in the universe or anything OH WAIT YES HE IS. I assume Yoda wasn’t really going to let the galaxy suffer fascist oppression for the next few centuries because of an antiquated age limit, but the fact he even pretended to is idiotic.
6) Elora Sund
This Sallustan Jedi was part of a large group of Padawans who had lost their masters during the Clone Wars. Perhaps this is why she didn’t know not to establish a telepathic link with her fellow Padawan Tae Diath, because when he was killed in battle, the psychic backlash killed her too. It’s kind of impressive that during a war that encompassed most of the galaxy and after surviving countless battles she died because she had a crush on someone, but it’s also very, very stupid.
7) Luke Skywalker
Even moreso than Obi-Wan, Luke had a terrible teacher, so it’s no wonder that he was one of the weakest of all Jedi even by the time of his final duel with Vader — no super-running, no super-jumping, just mild telekinesis, mostly to pick up his lightsaber from across the room or impress small teddy bear people. But quitting his training to try to save his friends wasn’t a dumb decision, just an emotional one, and honestly, it’s one of the reasons Luke is probably a better, kinder Jedi than the assholes who came before him. But that doesn’t mean Luke is the brightest Kaiburr crystal in the lightaber, either. Remember his plan to free Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt? Send Lando in undercover. Send C-3PO and R2-D2 in as gifts. Give a captured Chewbacca to Jabba as another gift. Send in Leia in disguise to free Han. Send in himself to get captured… and then kill everybody at their public execution. If the plan was just to kill everybody anyways, did everybody need to get captured first? And if Leia hadmanaged to free Han, what the hell were they going to do about Chewbacca and the droids? There had to be a less complicated way to stage this rescue mission.
8) Atris
Like way too many Jedi before (and after) her, Atris saw the world entirely in black and white, or rather light and dark. When her hero Meetra Surak joined the rogue knights Revan and Malak during the Mandalorian Wars, she was so dumbfounded she sat out the war rather than do anything helpful. That dumbfoundedness turned to bitterness against anyone even remotely Sith-like, and the paranoid Atris held a secret council on Miraluka to draw out any potential threats. It worked in the sense a threat was drawn out, but it was less effective in that the threat — Darth Nihilus — killed almost everyone on the planet, including the Jedi. Atris survived, becoming even bitterer, and researching Sith until she became one herself, which is akin to reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and becoming a Nazi without noticing.
The 9 Least Competent Jedi23SEXPAND
9) Everyone on the Jedi High Council During the Prequels
The Jedi have faced many threats over the millennia, from Sith, to Mandalorians, to more Sith. But no one Jedi High Council managed to let the Republic get more fucked up than Yoda, Mace Windu, Saesee Tinn, and the other Jedi during the prequel trilogy. Failing to notice the return of the Sith? Check. Allowing the Separatist movement to start? Check. Refusing to train the most powerful potential Jedi in millennia? Check. Missing the creation of a giant clone army? Check. Constantly shitting on the overemotional teenaged version of the most powerful potential Jedi in millennia thus ensuring he has every reason to hate Jedi? Big check. Allowing the galaxy to erupt in civil war? Check. And most importantly, never noticing that the most powerful Sith in the galaxy has been sitting like three blocks away for almost a decade? Check and mate. The Jedi High Council of the prequels managed to get every single thing they did wrong, thus ensuring the rise of the Empire and every death that occurred in all six Star Wars movies. No wonder Luke didn’t listen to you on Dagobah, Yoda. Sure, you can lift an X-Wing out of a swamp, but at least Luke can recognize a bad guy when he sees him.



The drinking straw was invented in 1886.

Happy Memories

Currywurst und pommes with a huge slab of May and a beer.  How can this not be the perfect meal?  Great scran from Mainz.

Sounds Painful

The practice of purposefully inserting objects into urethras, called Sounding, isn't as rare as you might think. However, these amazing images by photographer Tyler Jordan of unexpected stuff removed from patients are surely going to impress you.

According to the artist, he was invited to photographically document some items for an urologist who was about to retire. It was later explained that these items were things purposefully inserted into urethras . The proposition was too good to pass up.

 Safety Pin, Needle, Thread, and Various Metal Hooks

Safety Pin, Needle, Thread, and Various Metal Hooks
The material to be photographed was distributed among twelve to fourteen jars filled with items, each with a date of extraction. Every jar contained at least two items, and sometimes there were up to eight or so. (Photo)

 Razor Blade Bent at One End

Razor Blade Bent at One End
While there were several patients from whom these items were removed, most of them came from just one man. 

 Power Screwdriver Bit, Needle, Thread, and Christmas Tree Lights

Power Screwdriver Bit, Needle, Thread, and Christmas Tree Lights
While the behavior known as Sounding isn't totally rare, what set this person apart from others was that he was intent on self-mutilation. Rather than insertion for pleasure, this man customized the items he inserted for the sole purpose of destroying his organ; he used a clear tube with a nail driven into it diagonally to create a reversed barb, a large set of tweezers, and a razor blade that was bent at one corner. (Photo)

 Rough-Textured Metal Rod

Rough-Textured Metal Rod
All of the jars with items retrieved from this man were from a period of about four years, which would place him in the clinic for surgery every couple of months or so. His habitual mutilation was so constant that there came a point when there was nothing left to save, so his penis had to be removed. However, this didn't stop him. Months later he returned with items stuck in the area where his penis once was. 

 Thick Speaker Wire

Thick Speaker Wire

 Tip of a Syringe and a Metal Rod

Tip of a Syringe and a Metal Rod

 Tube with bent needle along with various wires and rods

Tube with bent needle along with various wires and rods

 Various Needles, Pins, and Rods

Various Needles, Pins, and Rods

 Sharp Broken Glass Rods

Sharp Broken Glass Rods


Because Life's Too Short


The Official Dilbert Website featuring Scott Adams Dilbert strips, animations and more

Letters of Note

Since 1968, at which point she and her best friend famously sought out and made a plaster cast of Jimi Hendrix's penis, legendary groupie Cynthia Albritton (a.k.a. Cynthia Plaster Caster) has been immortalising rock stars' members — and, since 2000, breasts — in plaster for the world to see; and quite successfully too, as evidenced by the exhibitionsdocumentary filmtribute songs, and upcoming autobiography that have followed.

In 1965, three years before getting the first yes from Hendrix, Cynthia wrote the following admiring letter to Keith Richards in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to introduce herself. It was reprinted in Stanley Booth's book, The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones.

NSFW links: A trip to Cynthia's website is advised, but not to those currently at work; also, Jimi Hendrix's cast can be seen, and bought, here.

(Source: The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones, via Ben Moss; Image: Keith and Mick in 1971, via.)

August 2, 1965

Dear Keith,

We watched you on the TV the other night and the first thing that grabbed our eyes was your lovely Hampton Wick. After that we did little besides studying it. We're not kidding; you've got a very fine tool, as a friend of ours puts it. From the way your pants project themselves at the zipper, we figure you've got a beauty of a rig. Sometimes we hoped you'd whip it out or something, but they don't have TV cameras that could focus on anything that large, do they? Hey, tell Mick he doesn't have to worry about the size of his either; we noticed that already (well, who could help but?). Our favorite names for you are Keith the Giant Meat and Hampton Mick.

Keith, we're serious; we judge boys primarily by their Hamptons because they're so exciting to look at and contribute so much to a healthy relationship. We can hardly wait till you come into town in November, maybe then we can find out more about what's inside your pants.

We hope you don't think we ought to receive head treatment or be put away before we attack men or something. We hope you sympathize with us and agree that sex should be openly appreciated just like all other works of beauty and ingenuity. We like to say that we really think while other people just sit there all cringed and inhibited inside, afraid they'd offended someone if the told them something complimentary about their Hamptons or, as in your case, their shoulder boulders.

Would you like to write us back and confirm our beliefs about your Hampton Wick? Would you say, aside all the humility, that it is as spectacular as your pants have lead us to believe? Do you always wear your rig on the right side because you're right handed or doesn't it make any difference? What is the first thing YOU look for in GIRLS?

If you're interested, drop by awhile, why don't you, when you're in Chicago or give us a ring. We're both 18 and like to wear tight-fitting sweaters. We think a girl should wear things tight on top to please a boy, and that a boy should do the same at the bottom to please us.

So please don't forget to answer us. And keep pleasing us by wearing those pants good and tight.

Reach us at:

Cynthia Plastercaster
Chicago, Ill.

Fairy Tales

Today I found out that Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disney Land are modeled after Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle.
Each castle was also inspired by several other castles, including Fontainebleau and Versailles, but with Neuschwanstein’s dainty turrets and romantic views, it’s easy to see how one castle could take the credit for such iconic masterpieces.
While today castles are generally used as elaborate mansions or tourist attractions, the original purpose of castles was, of course, to provide a defensive fortification against attack rather than a vast home that a prince could give his princess. Older castles are typically blocky-looking, with thick curtain walls and rectangular, crenelated towers. There had to be as few openings as possible in case of attack, so windows were kept at a minimum. With only practical furnishings and a few tapestries for decoration, it wasn’t exactly something out of Cinderella.
Neuschwanstein Castle, though, was built in a style called “castle romanticism”, or “Romanesque” (though it also contains elements of neo-Gothic architecture). It is located near the village of Hohenschwangu in southwest Bavaria, Germany. It was commissioned by King Ludwig II in the mid-1800s. The king had lost his powers as a sovereign ruler after losing a war with Prussia, and supposedly wanted to design castles and palaces to make a kingdom where he could reign supreme—an idea so romantic Disney himself might have written it.
The castle was built on the ruins of Hohenschwangu Castle and overlooked two lakes and the village. Situated on top of a hill, Neuschwanstein was not positioned for defensive purposes but because King Ludwig liked the view. He wrote to Richard Wagner, a man he admired, saying, “It is my intention to rebuild the old castle…in the authentic style of the old German knights’ castles.” He went on to add that “the location is one of the most beautiful to be found, holy and approachable” and equated the “lofty heights” of the new castle with that of Heaven.
Like the older, more practical castles, Neuschwanstein does have a prominent rectangular tower, but it also boasts several cylindrical towers that are also featured on Cinderella’s Castle. The exterior is peppered with windows, turrets, and decorative chimneys, and the courtyard even boasts several frescoes. Decorations like these would not have been practical in an older castle, but provided inspiration for a fantasy castle like Cinderella’s which was more suited for a “happily ever after” than holding a defensive position.
The interior of the castle is a monument to the courtly love found in fairy tales, featuring lofted ceilings dripping with chandeliers, colorful walls depicting tapestries of dragons and damsels in distress, and rich furnishings making the castle a work of art. King Ludwig had a personal hand in the design, which can be described as a theatrical setting. One of the designers, Christian Jank, drew inspiration for the castle from his time as a scenic painter.
Ironically, despite commissioning and designing the fairy tale castle that would later serve as inspiration for Cinderella’s Castle, King Ludwig II did not have his fairy tale ending. Ludwig II was also known as “the mad king.” He ascended the throne at the young age of eighteen and admitted to himself, “I became king much too early. I had not learned enough.” He surrounded himself with theatre and romantic literature, and he tended to isolate himself—it was even said that he slept during the day and spent most of his time awake during the night.
On June 10, 1886, a government commission arrived at Neuschwanstein in order to deliver the official order to depose the king. The king had sent his country into financial decline because of the building of his fairy-tale castles and had considered getting rid of his council and replacing them with fresh faces. He would not listen to a word his advisers said about finances. The commission took him into custody and declared him insane, though he was never examined. Because of his eccentric behavior and a brother who was insane, it was easy to declare that madness ran in the family, whether he was actually crazy or not.
Three days later, the newly uncrowned Ludwig took a walk with one of the doctors responsible for declaring him insane, Dr. Bernhard von Gudden. No attendants followed them, and they were last seen around 6:30 pm in the evening. When they hadn’t returned by 8:00, a search was conducted. Three hours later, the bodies of both Ludwig and von Gudden were found in a lake nearby. Strangulation marks on von Gudden’s body suggested that Ludwig had killed him before likely killing himself. Official reports stated that Ludwig had died by drowning, but an absence of water in his lungs and his reputation as a strong swimmer suggest suicide instead.
Ludwig never lived to see Neuschwanstein Castle completed, a feat that happened six years after his death. He had resided in the unfinished castle, but only for 172 days in total.
Needless to say, Ludwig did not get to live happily ever after in Neuschwanstein, but he left behind the architectural design for Disney’s Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to have theirs.
    Bonus Facts:
    • It’s no wonder Ludwig II had an interest in building castles; his paternal grandfather, Ludwig I, was largely responsible for rebuilding Munich.
    • After his death, Ludwig’s heart was removed and placed in the Chapel of Mercy beside his father’s and grandfathers as part of a Bavarian tradition.
    • The “completed” Neuschwanstein Castle is actually unfinished. Only about fifteen rooms are furnished and fully decorated.
    • Neuschwanstein was intended as the king’s private residence, but it was opened to the public on August 1, 1886, just a month and a half after the Ludwig’s death.
    • Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany and has had over 50 million visitors.
    • The name “Neuschwanstein” literally means “New Swan Stone” but was only called Neuschwanstein after the king’s death. Ludwig called it “New Hohenschwangau Castle.”
    • Neuschwanstein Castle replaced the ruins of Hohenschwangau Castle, while the new Hohenschwangau Castle sits on the ruins of Schwanstein Castle. The two places have confusingly swapped names.
    • The castle was used as a temporary storage place for archivalia during World War II, after the facilities at Munich had been bombed.
    • A meteorite that fell in 2002 near Hohenshwangau was named “Neuschwanstein” after the castle.

    Baftas 2013

    Leading actor

    Winner: Ben Whishaw – Richard II (The Hollow Crown)
    Derek Jacobi – Last Tango In Halifax
    Sean Bean – Accused (Tracie's Story)
    Toby Jones – The Girl

    Leading actress

    Winner: Sheridan Smith – Mrs Biggs
    Anne Reid – Last Tango In Halifax
    Rebecca Hall – Parade's End
    Sienna Miller – The Girl

    Supporting actor

    Winner: Simon Russell Beale – Henry IV Part 2 (The Hollow Crown)
    Peter Capaldi – The Hour
    Stephen Graham – Accused (Tracie's Story)
    Harry Lloyd – The Fear

    Supporting actress

    Winner: Olivia Colman – Accused (Mo's Story)
    Anastasia Hille – The Fear
    Imelda Staunton – The Girl
    Sarah Lancashire – Last Tango In Halifax

    Performance in an entertainment programme

    Winner: Alan Carr for Alan Carr: Chatty Man
    Graham Norton for The Graham Norton Show
    Ant and Dec for I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!
    Sarah Millican for The Sarah Millican Show

    Female performance in a comedy programme

    Winner: Olivia Colman for Twenty Twelve
    Jessica Hynes for Twenty Twelve
    Julia Davis for Hunderby
    Miranda Hart for Miranda

    Male performance in a comedy programme

    Winner: Steve Coogan for Welcome To The Places Of My Life
    Greg Davies for Cuckoo
    Hugh Bonneville for Twenty Twelve
    Peter Capaldi for The Thick of It

    Single drama

    Winner: Murder
    The Girl
    Richard II (Hollow Crown)


    Winner: Room At The Top
    Mrs Biggs
    Parade's End

    Drama series

    Winner: Last Tango In Halifax
    Ripper Street
    Scott And Bailey

    Soap and continuing drama

    Winner: EastEnders
    Coronation Street


    Winner: Girls
    The Bridge
    Game Of Thrones

    Factual series

    Winner: Our War
    24 Hours In A&E
    Great Ormond Street
    Make Bradford British

    Specialist factual

    Winner: All In The Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry
    The Plane Crash
    The Plot to Bring Down Britain's Planes
    The Secret History Of Our Streets

    Single documentary

    Winner: 7/7: One Day In London
    Baka: A Cry From The Rainforest
    Lucian Freud: Painted Life
    Nina Conti – A Ventriloquist's Story: Her Master's Voice


    Winner: The Great British Bake Off
    Bank of Dave
    Grand Designs
    Paul O'Grady: For the Love Of Dogs

    Reality and constructed factual

    Winner: Made In Chelsea
    The Audience
    I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!
    The Young Apprentice

    Current affairs

    Winner: The Shame Of The Catholic Church (This World)
    Britain's Hidden Housing Crisis (Panorama Special)
    The Other Side Of Jimmy Savile (Exposure)
    What Killed Arafat? (Al Jazeera Investigates)

    News coverage

    Winner: Hillsborough – The Truth At Last (Granada Reports)
    BBC News At Ten: Syria
    Channel 4 News: Battle for Homs

    Sport and live event

    Winner: The London 2012 Paralympic Games
    The London 2012 Olympics: Super Saturday
    The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony: Isle Of Wonder
    Wimbledon 2012 – Men's Final

    Entertainment programme

    Winner: The Graham Norton Show
    Dynamo Magician Impossible
    Have I Got News For You
    A League Of Their Own

    Comedy programme

    Winner: The Revolution Will Be Televised
    Cardinal Burns
    Mr Stink
    Welcome To The Places Of My Life


    Winner: Twenty Twelve
    The Thick Of It

    Radio Times audience award (voted for by members of the public)

    Winner: Game of Thrones
    Call The Midwife
    The Great British Bake Off
    The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony
    Strictly Come Dancing

    Special award

    Clare Balding

    Bafta fellowship

    Michael Palin