Wednesday, 31 August 2016

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Going Down the Tubes

Transport for London (TfL) have unveiled a Tube map with official distances in steps between stations.
TfL said the map was released in order to encourage Londoners to take part in daily exercise and get fit.
What we're all more likely to do with this announcement is sit on our phones scrolling through other Tube maps which have gone some distance to explain parts of London.
So read our collection of them over the years, and then maybe walk to work to make up for it.

1. The Tube map of walking distances in steps:

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said of the newest map from TfL:
We need to make it easier and more enjoyable to walk around London. We all hop on the Tube to take short journeys around central London, whether for work or when we’re out in the evening.
The new steps map will encourage more of us to walk these short journeys instead – it’s good for our health and it will help support London’s small businesses. We’ve made clear our commitment to tackle air pollution and get more walking and cycling in London.

2. The line drawing Tube map:

Complete simplicity.
It probably won't help you with your route much, though.
They were designed by artist and urban planner Neil Freeman, and you can browse them in our quiz about which map belongs to which city.

3. The calorie-burning Tube map:

No prizes for guessing that this one measures how many calories you'll burn walking between stations.
It also shows the relative distance between stops.

4. The Tube map of journeys:

The visual representation, created by Will Gallia, shows 562,145 people moving around the Tube network's 11 lines.
It's based on a sample of Oyster card data during a week in 2009 - each dot on the map represents one journey.

5. The rental Tube map:

Honestly, don't look at it, don't think about it too much.

6. The house prices Tube map:

This one may be even worse.
The map, taken from average local property prices listed on Zoopla in February, shows the extortionate prices of central London property.
It was discovered that Zone 2 is 37 per cent cheaper than Zone 1 on average.
The most affordable stops in Zone 2 are some of those that used to be classed as Zone 3. Prospective buyers pay an average of £313,000 in West Ham, £324,000 in Canning Town and £340,000 in Stratford.

7. The Tube map in metres:

Another release by TfL to encourage people to get people off the seats and on their feet, this map shows the distance in metres as opposed to steps.

8. The Shakespearean Tube map:

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death.
The lines are no longer 'Bakerloo', 'Victoria', or 'Northern', but instead take categories for characters and titles, such as 'Heroines', 'Lovers', 'Fathers and Kings' and 'Modern Adaptations'.


Good Idea

Woman headphones arsehole repellent
After it was discovered that wearing headphones magically deters arseholes, women everywhere have begun purchasing ever more obvious headsets.
Self-proclaimed ‘Dating Expert’ Dan Sausage has been credited with inspiring the rebrand amongst headphone manufacturers after women everywhere took solace in the fact that headphones seem to keep away pricks like him.
Woman Emily Williams told us, “Being hit on by people trained by ‘pick up artists’ is hilarious for most women.
“Do you genuinely think women can’t read what’s posted on the Internet, or that we’re not familiar with ‘negging’, or when you’re desperately trying to ‘demonstrate value’ in your ‘peacock’ shirt?
“All this behaviour does is show us how sad the real you must be to have resorted to following the advice of a prick on the Internet charging $500 to tell you the key to success is ‘be mean to girls to make them like you’.
“It almost makes me feel sorry for you. Almost.
“But some of them are such total arseholes you would rather just avoid the conversation entirely, and thankfully it seems like headphones can keep the worst offenders at bay.
“I just keep them on and shout loudly ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU’ over and over, and they eventually get the message.
“Previously I’ve been a fan of those discrete in-ear buds, but now I’m going for a massive pair of ostentatious over the ear monstrosities. In pink.
“They’re from Bose, and they’re called the Arsehole Repeller X10s.
“Well worth £200 of any woman’s money.”

One for Wifey

There comes a point in the lifespan of your favorite necklace or ring when you look down and realize that it’s not quite the same color it was before. Maybe you’ve worn it every day for years, or maybe it’s August and you’ve been sweating buckets into that discount costume jewelry for days. Whether it’s 24-karat gold or silver-plated nickel, a little elbow grease can restore that like-new luster to your accessories. Here are a few tips to get you started.


For just a few dollars, you can buy a microfiber cloth (like these ones) specifically made to remove tarnish from silver and gold jewelry. It’s pre-treated with a polish, so it cleans and shines far more effectively than your regular eyeglass cleaning cloth. Lighter-colored cloths make seeing your progress easy, because the tarnish and grime comes off in clear lines as you rub, which is good for both knowing when you can stop and feeling super productive about your cleaning regimen. You can use it repeatedly until the whole cloth turns black.


Most jewelry, from delicate stones to cheap costume pieces, can be cleaned with a little gentle soap (jewelers recommend a dish soap like Dawn) and a lot of care. As soon as you’re done, rinse the piece in a bowl or glass of clean water, then lay it out and dry it with a paper towel or cloth, making sure not to catch any errant parts of that dangly necklace or bracelet.


You may think that your fingers can do the job just as well, but a brush will serve you much better. Grab a soft toothbrush and go to work on the tiny crevasses of your necklaces and bracelets. It’s better to buy a new one rather than use an old brush, since residue builds up in the bristles.


While many sites recommend using toothpaste to polish silver, it’s actually pretty abrasive stuff. For that silver-plated $5 necklace, that means the minty paste can damage the top coat of silver and reveal the cheaper metal underneath. Gold and gemstones can also be scratched if you use toothpaste.


Some gemstones are too delicate for those vibrating, ultrasonic cleaning devices, especially organic ones like pearls. Most metal jewelry, however, can be safely stuck in an ultrasonic cleaning machine to knock them clear of dirt. When in doubt, ask the jeweler you bought the item from. If you bought it from the Claire’s at the mall, it’s probably best to avoid the automated cleaning process, though, since the metal plating or finish might be too thin to safely expose to powerful sound waves.

No Way

The British Council of Archaeology has confirmed that today’s discovery of an ancient book in Essex is one of the most significant finds of the Century. The site of the find in Southend has now been taped off while further investigations are carried out. 
Charles Rogers was woken up in his Fairfax Drive home earlier this morning by a loud noise downstairs, and he found the as yet unidentified yellow book of texts and illustrations resting on his doormat. 
Geoffrey Saxon-King is a professor of archaeology at the University of Essex, and he admitted to Southend News Network that he has ‘never been more excited about a find.’
He added: ‘All that we know so far is that the scriptures are embedded on incredibly thin paper, and they seem to be describing a number of different trades from a period of history that we are yet to establish.’
‘We have found similar scriptures in the past that have been a lot thicker in nature. Classified folklore suggests that their size and thickness could be used by early man to take them to the same height as a potential mate.’
‘The earliest versions were also ideal for bludgeoning a man to death. The book we have discovered today would probably be from a later time period when man hunted small insects for prey.’
‘We have heard another tale about this ancient scripture being used to find another ancient scripture detailing how to catch water-based animals for food, but this has never been confirmed officially.’
In a late development, local marketing expert James Googlage has contacted Southend News Network to say that he believes that book is merely a collection of local businesses and tradespeople with their contact details arranged in alphabetical order. 
However, he did concede that his idea may seem a little silly. 

Well Said

He who would travel happily must travel light.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
French writer (1900 - 1944)

The Man on the Street

It's getting quite ugly with the amount of money being splashed around.  I don't like it nor that we are being further dictated to by TV that we have live Premiership games on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday now.  Never mind prawn, this is caviar and it stinks.

Transfer deadline is today and Premier League clubs have already broken all known spending records for this summer's transfer window. Twelve clubs have set new transfer records for single deals, benefiting from the new £5.1 billion television deal.

Spending has already surpassed the previous high of £870 million set last year and it looks to rise further by the end of play tonight.

More at the BBC


The Margherita pizza was named for Margherita of Savoy, Queen consort of Italy from 1878-1900, during the reign of her husband, King Umberto I.

Last Man on Earth

He's not.


Super Humid

Everyone seems to be noticing the extra humidity at the moment.  We are still getting the odd thunderstorms and heavy downpours in the late afternoon but even afterwards, it isn't freshening up all that much.

The best thing to do is stay in your air conditioned pad and watch quality TV all day long.

Made for the 21st Century


Corrupted hard drives that aren't but you spend time "fixing" and you have no idea why they won't run in the first place.

More Jerky

Picked up another load last night but it's not quite as good.  This time Francois has added garlic which is delicious but the chilli is much more noticeable (much hotter than before) and there is barely any salt hit, which is my weak spot.

I'm sure it's a one off and we'll be back to my preferred flavours next week, so no harm done.

Back to the Chemist

We have a superb chemist locally which is so good that it is filled to the rafters with eager customers every day.  It's so full that I hate going in as there are never queues and it's every (wo)man for him/herself.

Having lived off my statin stash brought over by Julie last year from India (I saved about half the cost) since last December, stocks were dwindling and it was time to brave the foray.   This time I was taking a secret weapon though.

I was going into battle with the bowler hat.

And it worked.

I picked the shortest queue and waited quite a while but no one tried to step in and for the first time I can recall, I was seen to promptly.

My order was processed and after shelling out over £200 I left with my order which sees me through into the new year.

Aye, it hurts to lob over a couple of hundred but it works out at around fifty sovs a month, which is more acceptable.  Boy, do I miss the NHS prescriptions.

Bike Browsing

We are aware that buying high end, luxury goods can be quite prohibitive, particularly in the car bike market when you want something a little saucier.

But bike kit sold in the official Kawasaki dealer is much more affordable and you can pick up good quality boots, gloves and jackets for around fifty quid a time.  Double/treble that in the UK.

Even helmets are impossibly cheap if you can do without the all "necessary" labels such as Shoei and Arai.  You can pick up a modern lid with all the features for around sixty to seventy quid.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Best Foot Forward

Some stations are closer than others (Picture: Tfl)

This is the new Transport for London (TfL) underground map that shows how many walking steps there are between stations.   They want to encourage people to walk between stops when the tube network is really busy in zones 1 - 3.

Read more at Metro

My photo

Clever idea, but why has it taken so long?

Awful Beer

Heineken is set to launch its first new product in 20 years in a bid to combat flagging sales and the competition stemming from craft beer.

preview-Heineken29This month sees the Dutch brand launching Heineken 3, a premium mid-strength beer with lower calories and carbs. However, despite its claims to be “more than just another beer,” it would seem that it is, in fact, just another beer.
But as well as being their first new product in 20 years, the company have spent AU$6 million on a huge marketing campaign that will be the warm up act for a potential global push in the near future, according to

“It’s tailored for Australia but it is absolutely important for us globally,” said Heineken Lion Australia marketing manager Alessandro Manunta.
As it stands, Heineken control two per cent of the beer market, while driving 11 per cent of the premium segment, though their new beer comes as beer consumption in Australia scrapes by at its lowest point for 68 years shown data released last year by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
But it’s daytime drinking that Heineken believes it can cash in on.
“In Australia [daytime drinking] accounts for 50 per cent of total beer volumes, which is roughly 850 million litres,” he said. “So the chunk of the pie is really big, and this occasion is dominated by mid-strength, which has about 20 per cent volume share,” Manunta said.
“The objective of Heineken 3 is to attract new consumers into the segment. We asked consumers what they were planning to do this summer.
“Almost 50 per cent said they were planning to spend more time exercising and living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, but at the same time, 70 per cent of the same group were saying this summer they’re planning to drink more alcohol and go out with their friends.”

Speakeo Spanisheo

Because Spanish and English share a lot of words with Latin roots, it's easy to understand Spanish sentences like, "Seattle aprobó un salario mínimo de $15 la hora." But sometimes words with the same origin take a separate path in each language, or words with different origins resemble each other by coincidence. That can mean trouble. You might want to tell someone you don't want to embarrass her and wind up saying, "I don't want to get you pregnant." For your protection, here's a list of Spanish-English "false friends."
The Spanish words in the first column resemble the English ones in the third column, but have different meanings.
Spanish wordEnglish translationEnglish wordSpanish translation
ACTUALcurrent, present-dayACTUALreal, efectivo
AMERICANOperson from North or South AmericaAMERICANestadounidense
ASISTIRto attend, be present at OR to assistASSISTayudar
BILLóN(US) trillion, (UK) billionBILLION (US)mil millones
BIZARROdashing, brave, gallantBIZARREextraño
CASUALIDADcoincidence, chanceCASUALTYvíctima
CHOCARstrike, collideCHOKEahogar
COLEGIOhigh schoolCOLLEGEuniversidad
COMPROMISOobligation, commitmentCOMPROMISEcomponenda
CONDESCENDERto comply, agreeCONDESCENDdignarse
CONSTIPADO (n.)a coldCONSTIPATEDconstipado (adj.)
CONTESTARto answerCONTEST (v.)contender
CORRIENTEMENTEfluently, plainly, flatlyCURRENTLYactualmente
DELITOcrimeDELIGHTdelicia, deleite
DESGRACIAmistake, misfortuneDISGRACEvergüenza
DISGUSTOannoyance, worryDISGUSTasco, repugnancia
DESTITUIDOfired, deprivedDESTITUTEindigente
DORMITORIObedroomDORMITORYresidencia universitaria
EMPRESAbusiness enterprise, companyEMPRESSemperatríz
ENVIARsendENVY (v.)envidiar
ESTRECHARto narrow, bring closer togetherSTRETCHestirar, alargar
ESTIMADOesteemedESTIMATEestimacíon, presupuesto
ÉXITOsuccess, hitEXITsalida
GROSERÍAgrossness, crudenessGROCERYabarrotería, tienda de comestibles
INTRODUCIRinsertINTRODUCE (someone)presentar
MANTELtableclothMANTELmanto, mesilla
MOLESTARbotherMOLESTabusar (sexualmente)
PARADAstop, e.g. bus stopPARADEdesfile
PRETENDERto attempt, to wooPRETENDfingir
REALIZARto come trueREALIZEdarse cuenta
RECORDARto remember, remindRECORDgrabar
SOPORTARtolerate, put up withSUPPORTapoyar
TUNAprickly pearTUNAatún 
VASOdrinking glassVASE jarrón, florero