Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

(Image by Beau Bo D’Or)

Who did Dave meet?

Saturday, April 17th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Pisstake of election debate anecdotes from Dave “I met a black man” Cameron.

Trololol cat

Monday, April 5th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A short film about an excellent Gaelic folk artist

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

One of my favourite artists, Julie Fowlis:


Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 | culture | No Comments

Europeana: think culture

Europeana.eu is about ideas and inspiration. It links you to 6 million digital items.
Images – paintings, drawings, maps, photos and pictures of museum objects
Texts – books, newspapers, letters, diaries and archival papers
Sounds – music and spoken word from cylinders, tapes, discs and radio broadcasts
Videos – films, newsreels and TV broadcasts

Some of these are world famous, others are hidden treasures from Europe’s museums and galleries, archives, libraries and audio-visual collections.

Recycling other people’s jokes

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

An ancient Greek goes to a tailor with a torn pair of trousers.
“Eumenides,” he asks?
“I don’t know,” replies the tailor, “Euripides?”

Karl Marx goes to visit his friend Friedrich Engels, they have tea and cake, and Marx excuses himself to use the bathroom. As he flushes the toilet, he hears the unmistakable sound of a string quartet. He shrugs and goes back to Engels.
Over the next few weeks, Marx continues to visit Engels and use his bathroom, and every time he flushes, there’s the sound of a string quartet.
Finally he confronts Engels: “Look Friedrich, every time I flush your toilet, I hear a string quartet, what’s that all about?”
“Oh that,” says Engels, “That’s the violins inherent in the cistern.”

Barbarous and inhuman

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009 | The Day Today | No Comments

Alternative Beijing Olympics logo, by Beau Bo D'Or (click to go to his excellent site)

I realise it’s quite a tall order to completely boycott Chinese products, given that nobody else seems to bloody well make anything these days, but the sheer inhumanity of China’s totalitarian so-called communist1 government requires a response that goes beyond hand-wringing and toothless criticism.

I’ve been trying to avoid Chinese-made products for years, because I don’t want poor quality stuff made by wage-slaves which has been shipped halfway across the world, but in the light of this morning’s execution of a seriously mentally ill man who was duped into smuggling some drugs into the country, I’m going to redouble my efforts not to buy anything made there.

According to Jiang Yu, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, “nobody has the right to speak ill of China’s judicial sovereignty”. Yes they do. You can’t gag people outside your own country, however much you’d like to do so.

As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s no shortage of appalling acts perpetrated by the Chinese authorities (unless you happen to live in China, in which case they’ll make sure you don’t hear about it). Human Rights Watch highlights many such examples:

Twenty years after the army killed untold numbers of unarmed civilians in Beijing and other cities on and around June 3-4, 1989, the Chinese government continues to victimize survivors, victims’ families, and others who challenge the official version of events.

Video featuring commentary by Wang Dan, a student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen protests, and Dr. Sophie Richardson and Carroll Bogert, Human Rights Watch.

  1. eradicating the exploitation of the workforce doesn’t seem to be very high on their list of priorities []

Lovely legs

Saturday, December 26th, 2009 | food | No Comments

I’m a sucker for good octopus, if you’ll pardon the pun, and Pulpo a la Gallega is a supremely easy, wonderfully tasty and very impressive dish – be it as a main course or a starter.

Octopi are fairly difficult to get hold of, at least in my experience in the UK. If you are fortunate enough to live in Spain, you shouldn’t have any problem. Here in Manchester, though, the only place I know where fresh, whole octopus can be bought is the wonderful Bury Market.

So, once you have your octopus, you will need to clean and tenderise it. I just bashed it all over with a rolling pin for 5 minutes, and it turned out OK.

Done that? Good. Now bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. I have heard various people swear by using a copper pot, but I don’t see how that can possibly matter. Once the water is boiling, dip the whole octopus in it three or four times, just enough that the tentacles start to curl.

Now boil the octopus for between 20 and 30 minutes. The bigger the octopus, the more time you’ll need, obviously.

Once this time has elapsed, take the pot off the heat and leave the octopus submerged for a further twenty minutes or so. You can use this time to boil up some spuds – floury or otherwise, the choice is yours.

Once the taties are ready and you’ve cut them into bite sized pieces, remove the octopus from the water and cut the head away from the tentacles. Most people discard the head, as it isn’t used in this recipe as a rule, but it’s less wasteful to keep it and use it in a salad or something the following day. Cut the tentacles into pieces.

It doesn’t say so in any other recipe for this dish that I’ve read, but I tend to flash fry the octopus pieces and the potatoes together for a minute or two, and add some sea salt and a dash of pepper in the process.

Arrange on a plate (a wooden dish is more traditional – I must remember to get some sometime), add parsley and sweet paprika/pimentón to garnish, and enjoy.

2 nanoseconds to liftoff

Saturday, November 7th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Taken near Chatillon-sur-Indre, France, in August.

Dramatic chipmunk

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Getting myself together, slowly but surely. Will blog, but for now, just the funniest 5 second clip I’ve seen in a long while – a dramatic chipmunk:

flaneur AT flanerie.co.uk

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