Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yet another must-have art toy ...

I'm a huge fan of Amanda Visell. I love her naive, colourful and hilarious paintings and I really love her limited edition sculptures/ art toys/ call them what you will. Today she releases her latest piece, a 7" tall seahorse with dinky cowboy rider. And I love it. Now where's that credit card ...

See more of her work here and here. To order one of the limited edition (100) seahorses, click here. To buy her wonderful cardboard book Popping through pictures, click here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dear Anonymous

Every single day, usually overnight, I recieve comments for this blog. Often there are just one or two. On average it's around four. On a particularly bad day I can get up to 10. They're all from someone called Anonymous. Some are in oriental pictograms. Some are in Cyrillic script. But most are in English so broken that no amount of grammar glue can fix them. Here's one from last night:

'A likeable noachian majority is the favour of a well-spent youth. Rather than of its bringing wretched and dolour prospects of disintegrate, it would give us hopes of unwavering stripling in a less ill world.'

If you're going to spam me guys, at least take the effort to find out how to say 'Your cock is too small' in readable English.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You are a bunch of Barclays Bankers

How to show your contempt for big business in one easy lesson. (1) Get some stickers printed with the word 'Fuck' in white on a blue background. (2) Find some 'Boris Bikes'. And voila!

I have to say that I do agree with the scheme. But this was too funny not to post. Sorry.

Source: The Wooster Collective

P.s. If you don't know what a 'Boris Bike' is, it's a cycle hire system recently brought to London by its mayor, Boris Johnson. Want to know more or even hire a bike? Read this.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Untooned

Some freakish art there by digital artists using Photoshop to 'untoon' cartoon characters into flesh and blood. This seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment. It's extraordinary work but quite scary. Best practitioner I've found so far is Pixeloo. Here are some of his/her best works:
If you want to see how these guys and gals do it, here's a movie of the Jessica Rabbit pic above being created. It's many hours compressed into around 10 minutes. She's made from other women! here you go:

(With thanks to @davegorman for pointing me in their direction)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pandamonium

Genius. Pure genius. I haven't laughed at a set of ads so much in years. I should just explain that Panda Cheese is a brand, not a provenance! It's from Egypt. It's the supermarket one that gets me every time.

My thanks to chum and QI elf Xander Cansell for making me aware of these. Who knew a panda could look so mean?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Things you didn't know you didn't know

In just a few weeks, you'll be able to get your mitts on The Second Book of General Ignorance from my good chums at QI. And once again, you'll discover that lots of things you thought you knew ... you don't. Things like:

•Octopuses have six legs
•Oranges aren't orange
•Bats aren't blind
•Napoleon wasn't short
•Vikings didn't wear horned helmets
•Diamond isn't the hardest substance
•Bank notes aren't made of paper
•Testosterone doesn't make you aggressive
•Cheese doesn't give you nightmares
•There is no such thing as a fish

The Elves are also releasing a tasty new hardback re-issue of the original Book of General Ignorance with a complimentary new cover by Syd Brak. First published in 2006, the BOGI has been translated into 26 languages and has sold over 1.2 million copies. I'm told it's the 4th bestselling book ever on Amazon; no mean feat when you consider that there are seven Harry Potter books and seemingly no end to Dan Brown's outpourings.

Anyway, that's the plug over. Oh, and there are two annuals this year (see right)!

In honour of the new books, I thought I'd share a couple of things I've found out this past week or so; things I didn't know I didn't know. Let me ask you two questions. I didn't know the answer to either. I do now. Here we go:

1) What's the origin of the word Dad or Daddy?

2) How does a fridge work?

The 'dad' question came up because I just couldn't figure out the etymology. Father, Pater, Papa etc. is easy as they all come directly to us from the Latin. But Dad?

I knew that the Cornish for Dad is Tat and it's Tad in Welsh and Daid in Irish Gaelic but, as very few words from the Celtic languages survive in modern English, I didn't expect that to have any relevance. So I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Dad actually may be Celtic after all.

According to Walter W. Skeat's An Etymology Dictionary of the English Language (1893), it's an ancient Celtic term of endearment as old as the hills, prehistoric even, and may have evolved from a child's instinctive first words. It was used 'by parents addressing their children, by teachers addressing their pupils, and by children addressing their parents.' So, once upon a time, I might have called my kids 'Dad' as a way of calling them 'Dear one'. Extraordinary.

As for the fridge ... hasn't it ever puzzled you how it does what it does? Heaters are easy to understand as friction or flame creates heat. So whether you're rubbing your hands together, building a log fire or agitating molecules in a microwave, it's easy to see where heat comes from. But how do you generate cold? Well, here's the amazing truth ... a fridge works by sucking the heat from the very air itself.

Gas is drawn at low pressure through a line. It is then compressed to a higher pressure and its temperature rises (just like a bicycle pump which gets warmer when you are pumping up a tyre). It is then transferred to a condenser where the heat is removed and the gas begins to condense into a liquid. The heat is released via cooling fins on the back of the fridge unit. The liquid then goes through an expansion device where its pressure is suddenly lowered. As it expands some of the liquid turns very quickly into a vapour. This change of state has a cooling effect. Now the cold vapour and liquid are able to cool the air in the cabinet of the refrigerator through an evaporator. The liquid absorbs the warmth from the air inside the refrigerator and turns back into a low temperature gas, at low pressure. It now starts its journey again through the compressor. Yes, that's right, your fridge is a heat eater.

It's good to know what you didn't know you didn't know, isn't it?

Or don't you know?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Shameless Pluggage

I hate doing this sort of thing but baby needs shoes and dogs need diced horse in a can.

New T shirt designs now up on Redbubble.