Sunday, 31 October 2010

Costly Inking

The colour ink on a DVD package accounts for 90% of its manufacturing cost.

Anti-Heroes

12 Superheroes That Are Actually Assholes
Throughout the history of comic books, there have always been a few concrete truths shared between all graphic novels: where there is good, there is evil; where there is a problem, there is an ongoing effort to find a solution. As with most protagonists, they are not just born for the sake of doing good – rather, trying to find the root of their life’s problem by taking down crime lords that were tied to a rather disturbing incident from their childhood (or something amazingly similar to fit the plotline). What you may not have realized, is that most of these superheroes we looked up to are actually selfish assholes.

The Punisher


Frank Castle, albeit known as an anti-hero, is a vigilante. His ‘save the day’ methods are more than tying burglars to a lamppost and leaving a note for the police – No; they usually involve kidnapping, extortion, and murder. The roots of Punisher’s problems come from the all too typical family getting murdered scenario. After Punisher gets revenge on his family’s killers, he doesn’t just stop there. He wages a full out war on the mob, and frankly any criminal that pisses him off on any given day. Although the Punisher is an asshole, he’s also pretty damn entertaining to watch.

Batman


Bruce Wayne is another shining example of a normal guy (although filthy rich) driven to superhero status after the death of his parents. When he witnessed his parents get murdered, he took an oath to get revenge on not only the person solely responsible for the murder, but criminals in general. Batman is an asshole in both of his personas. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire playboy, with a smart-ass personality. As Batman, he would race down a city street in the Batmobile, endangering people’s lives and blowing up cars with errant use of his car’s weaponry and not even batting an eye about it.

Guy Gardner


Guy Gardner was a core member of Green Lantern’s crew. Following the superhero trend, Guy had family issues. His father was a raging alcoholic that beat Guy, so as a kid he felt the need to excel in school to impress his father and win his approval. After failing to impress his father, Guy decided to be a juvenile delinquent and get a bowl cut. After the teen-angst phase, Guy starts to be a genuinely nice human being. When Justice League International was established, Guy was a founding member – but he was extremely jealous of Batman’s leadership of the group, so he made a dick-move and challenged Batman to a fistfight, during which Batman basically one-punched him just to shut him up. After that, Guy was all about arguing with his fellow JLI mates until one day he quit due to being ‘belittled’ by Superman.

Tony Stark


Tony Stark, aka Iron Man is an asshole in his own right. A natural businessman and capitalist extraordinaire, his ascension from regular billionaire to superhero status was brought on only after being kidnapped and suffering a heart trauma. His captors forced him to build a badass weapon, which turned out to be a suit of armor with some special weaponry. What really makes Tony Stark an admirable asshole is the fact that he has continued to roll out products for profit.

Hancock


John Hancock is a scruffy homeless looking man. A drunk with superpowers that he uses to occasionally rescue people from harm, Hancock is incredibly careless and destructive. Due to his drinking problem, he seems to have trouble getting motivated to do much good for anyone. Throughout the storyline Hancock seems to put forth the effort to improve his public image with the help of a publicist, however he always seems to find himself reverting back to the same old self-destructive bad attitude.

Gambit


Remy LeBeau is a Louisianan with a bad mullet. He harnesses tremendous amounts of energy and channels it into objects, making him quite a versatile weapon. His weapon of choice is playing cards (honestly, who throws cards?) Aside form that, turning against the X-Men crew and being generally delinquent define the latter part of his career made him a real asshole.

Booster Gold


Michael Jon Carter is one of the most ridiculous characters ever created. Known as a showboating glory-hog from the future, his antics usually included staging heroic acts by using his knowledge of the past (or in this case, the present) to obtain fame and notoriety. Also, he wore one of the most outrageous costumes, which kind of put him up as a valid candidate as one of the biggest assholes in the superhero universe.

The Comedian


Edward Morgan Blake was another vigilante that had superhero ambitions. Over the years Blake became quite the patriot and hero to the United States. The Comedian was depicted wearing a leather outfit and a mask over his eyes. What makes the Comedian borderline evil is his willingness to murder anyone he wants with no remorse. Also, he made an attempt to rape Sally Jupiter. Total asshole.

Superman


Superman is nearly invincible. The only thing that can kill him is a special chunk of rock called Kryptonite. So where do we get a chunk of this incredibly powerful rock? We can’t! The planet it comes from is destroyed. Additionally, Superman has some other issues – split personality, girl problems, and lets not forget about the fact that he’s an alien. Superman is not incredibly helpful in society. Some people would argue that he goes way too easy on criminals. For example, Lex Luthor is seemingly able to get out of prison time and time again and Superman does nothing to prevent it.

The Incredible Hulk


Bruce Banner is the Incredible Hulk — a man that will walk into a dangerous situation, “Hulk out” and destroy anything in his wake. His transformation into the Hulk is completely involuntary, so anything that upsets him will make him freak out and go nuts. He gets himself into ridiculous predicaments and causes a great deal of grief to the public, mainly through unnecessary destruction of property.

The Green Lantern


Hal Jordon was quite the character. As the Green Lantern he was a seemingly average superhero, which gave him some points in the good books – up until he became Parallax when he discovered his hometown was destroyed. Parallax, the gigantic alien bug, somehow ended up killing all of the Green Lantern members, as well as any of his remaining friends, which honestly was a real dick-move.

The Suicide Squad


The Suicide Squad consisted of Jess Bright, Dr. Hugh Evans, Rick Flag, Jr., and Karin Grace. They had no super powers whatsoever, which is somewhat troubling from the get-go. The Suicide Squad’s membership was usually a rotating cast of characters, including low-life criminals that would take on missions for the Suicide Squad in exchange for early prison releases. If they were truly superheroes, and not assholes, they wouldn’t accept bribes in exchange for dirty work.

In Order

The 1991 classic, Silence of the Lambs has been named the best cult film of all timeSimon Pegg's 2007 comedy Hot Fuzz came in second place ahead of the 1980s hit Ferris Bueller's Day Off in third.

The Godfather trilogy was at number four with war time classic The Great Escape and sci-fi spectacular Bladerunner coming joint fifth.  Other top cult movies included, The Shining, the Alien Trilogy and Psycho

All good choices bar Bueller's Day Off- vastly over rated and average at best.

Stocking Filler


275x250.jpg Most people are happy playing racing games on a PS3 or Xbox 360, but others may want something special- like a £120 000 simulator.  A professional racing simulator used by Formula One teams is now being made available in time for Christmas, for hard-core gamers with a big budget.

The Hexatech is an interactive motion-based racing simulator which makers Cruden say offers full motion and realistic g-Force simulation.  It includes three 42 inch screens and allows users to race Formula One, NASCAR and rally cars.
 
But where are the big guns and flashing lights?
 
From Newslite.

Blue Peter Worries

Toilet roll makers say they're set to revolutionise your bathroom with the launch of the world's first tubeless rolls of toilet paper.

The firm behind Andrex have announced what it says is the world’s first toilet paper roll without a tube and will go on sale in the US.  It's claimed doing away with the cardboard tube, which has been the central fixture of rolled toilet paper for more than 100 years, will massively reduce paper waste.

I'm sorry, "massively reduce paper waste"- are they having a laugh?  Isn't that exactly what bog roll is all about anyway?  :o)

Big Cheese

YOUR boss is exploring the uncharted regions of dickishness, according to new research.

As executive pay rose by 55% while your's absolutely did not, experts said that no matter how chummy your boss may try to be with you today, you must at no point forget that he is an absolute fucking dick.

To measure the extent of your boss's dickishness the Institute for Studies has devised a simple, three-point checklist:
  • He may say that business leaders need to be 'properly motivated' - dick.
  • He may argue that there is a 'highly competitive market for executive talent' - dick.
  • Or he may even claim that by paying himself so much he is 'lighting a fire under your ambition' - piece-of-shit bastard fucking DICK.
Professor Henry Brubaker said: "There are two ways of dealing with this. You can either bite your tongue, keep your head down and let the bitterness and resentment poison your beautiful heart, or you can walk up to him, say 'hi' in a friendly, cheerful voice and then kick him as hard as you can right in the fucking nuts.

"All you need to do then is toss your security pass at the front desk and walk to the pub with your head held high, your conscience as clear as an Alpine stream and a magnificent spring in your now legendary step.

"And of course there is no possibility of you getting arrested because your colleagues should at least have the courage to tell the police they didn't see a goddamn thing.

"You can then proceed to get riotously shitfaced without it costing you a penny because everyone in the world who is not a FUKCING DICK will be desperate to buy you the double of your choice - absolutely 100% cast-iron guaranteed."

He added: "And as for mortgages and shit - heroes don't care about money."

DMash.

Well, I've Had My Breakfast...

10 Most Brutal Execution Methods of Ancient Civilisation
From here:  Environmental Graffiti.

Crucifixion_of_Peter 
Photo: Panairjdde

Hold your breath. You are about to witness some very severe historical penalties. Though our ancient cultures were said to be very civilized, there is evidence of their having used a wide variety of hideous torture methods throughout history to end the lives of criminals and traitors. 

10. Death by Boiling Excecution of Goemon Ishikawa, death by boiling 
Photo: unknown

Can you imagine boiling someone alive in large pot? Though not common, this was an unusually cruel method of execution. There is plenty of evidence that it was practiced throughout human history. Archeologists have found human bones in cooking pots and hearths in China which were found to be around 500,000 years old.

In England in the 1500s this was the legal method of punishment. The victim was immersed in boiling water, oil or tar until dead. Imagine the fear the prisoner felt when they were taken to this deadly big pot to suffer their horrible fate

9. Crucifixion
Devotional crucifixion in San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines, easter 2006 

Crucifixion was among the most gruesome and painful of ancient execution methods and was practiced from about the 6th century BC until the 4th century AD, mainly among the Seleucids, Carthaginians, Persians and Romans. The condemned person was tied (or nailed) to a large wooden cross and left to hang till dead. Their dead body was then left on display as a warning. Sometimes, the victim was ordered to carry their own crossbeam – which weighed about 75-125 pounds (35-60 kg) – on their shoulders to the place of execution. Not only this, but to humiliate them, they were ordered to be hung up naked.

There is evidence of a practice much like crucifixion having taken place during World War I and II. A punishment known as ‘Field Punishment Number One' was very similar – although it involved the victim being flogged rather than executed. In the British Army, especially during World War I, soldiers were punished for crimes such as refusal of orders and disobedience.

Nowadays, versions of crucifixion are practiced as a devotional ceremony in some part of New Mexico and the Philippines. Though the church greatly discourages this practice, followers of Jesus still imitate the suffering of Christ by being 'crucified' for a limited time on Good Friday. It has been seen in the town of Iztapalapa, just outside Mexico City, and also in San Pedro Cutud, during the ‘Passion Week Celebration’ of 2007.

8. Flaying
Flaying of St Bartholomew 

In this author's opinion, this was the most uncivilized method of torture and punishment practiced during the Middle Ages. Brutal to the bone, it involved removing the skin from the body of a still living prisoner.

Flaying was an ancient practice, inflicted on criminals, captured soldiers and 'witches' around a thousand years ago in places such as the Middle East and Africa. The victim was flayed alive as part of a public execution, after which the skin was nailed to the wall as a warning, so that others would heed the lesson and never ever dare to defy the law.

7. Disembowelment
woodblock print of warrior about to perform seppuku 

Disembowelment was among the most severe forms of punishments ever heard of or seen. This method was used to punish thieves and those accused of adultery. Some or all the vital organs were removed one by one from the body, mainly from the abdomen. Sources say it was practiced in England, the Netherlands, Belgium and in Japan.

In Japan, it was a ritualized suicide method for Samurai, referred as “seppuku”, in which two cuts across the abdomen were made. In another version, a fine cut was made in the victim’s gut, leaving him to catch an infection.

Also, in later medieval times, the torture was performed using small starving animals such as mice, which led to the victim’s death. Imagine the agonizing pain the prisoner must have felt when their 6-meter-long intestines were slowly eaten by the starving mice.

6. Breaking Wheel
Breaking Wheel Punishment 
Photo: Tasja

The breaking wheel, also known as the ‘Catherine wheel’, was a medieval execution device. It was used during the Middle Ages and was still in use in the 19th century. It originated in Ancient Greece and from there spread through other countries such as France, Russia, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Sweden.

A wooden wheel was used to stretch the victim out, with their limbs extended along its many spokes. Then a hammer or a large iron bar was applied to the limb through the gap to break all its bones. This process was repeated with every limb, leaving the victim alive but in pieces.

Sometimes the executioner was ordered to strike on the stomach and chest, a practice known as the ‘blow of mercy’. The number of blows was specified in the court sentence. If mercy was shown, after two to three blows the victim was strangled. In severe cases, the victim would be cudgeled ‘bottom-up’ starting with the legs, while those who had committed lesser offenses were beaten 'top-down' starting with the throat. When the execution was complete, the criminal’s head was often placed on a spike for exhibition and the shattered limbs were left for birds to eat. Imagine the pain and suffering involved in this cruel execution method.

5. Impalement
Judean Impalement 

We all know about piercing the nose, ear or naval as a beautification procedure – but what about being pierced with a long stake? This was among the the most revolting of punishments ever imagined and practiced by humans. It was a favorite of the Romans, Chinese, Greeks and the Turks. It was also practiced in Asia and in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Though rarely practiced, impalement was truly horrifying. The victim was pierced through the rectum, through the vagina, through the side or even through the mouth, causing deep bleeding and painful wounds. They were then dropped into their own grave. The victim endured a long period of continued suffering before their death. Sometimes, before execution, the victim was asked to dig their own grave too. What suffering the victim had to endure with the stake penetrating their groin during those agonizing hours (or days) before death. 

4. Crushing
Execution by elephant 
Photo: MilkyWei

This forceful execution method was used in the common law legal system. It has an extensive history, with several varying methods used through time. One of them was ‘Crushing by Elephants', which was used throughout south and south-east Asia for over 4,000 years. Sources say it was also used by Romans as well as by the Nguyen Dynasty in Vietnam.

In another method, the victim was pressed with extremely large and heavy stones laid upon their chest, causing suffocation and then death. Though these forms of execution are no longer sanctioned by any governing body, the fact remains that it was incredibly unkind to let someone die, crushed or suffocated beneath rocks or the strong legs of a giant creature. 

3. Death by Burning Jan_Hus_at_the_Stake 
Photo: Taragui

We may love to eat roasted potatoes, roasted chicken and roasted beets – but what about a roasted human? Many of us cannot even imagine seeing a human burning alive. So imagine the cruelty of this wild and evil execution procedure. In days gone by, some criminals were burned alive for whatever heinous act they committed.

The progress of the fire would burn the calves, thighs, hands, stomach, breasts and upper chest before reaching the face. It was extremely painful, although sometimes the person died from carbon monoxide poisoning before the fire even touched their calves. Pitch was also applied to the prisoner’s body, which helped the fire to burn quicker and make the process faster.

There is evidence of enemies being burned alive in Rome, in Akragas in Sicily, in England, and in some part of North America too. Among the best known individuals executed by this brutal method were St. Joan of Arc (1431), Patrick Hamilton (1528), Thomas Cranmer (1556) and the Old Believer leader Avvakum (1682).

The most recent record is of ‘Jesse Washington’, whose execution is internationally remembered as 'The Waco Horror'. Washington was found guilty of raping and murdering a white woman and was only 17 when he was tortured and burned alive in front of a cheering crowd of 16,000. What could be a more brutish and wild punishment than this?

2. Sawing
sawing in two 

You can grasp what this execution procedure was about by its name. It involved hanging the helpless condemned person upside down and then slicing them down the middle, starting at the groin. It was a gross procedure to say the least... Bleeding severely but still alive and conscious – the thought alone is enough to make you throw up. As the condemned was hanged upside down, their brain received enough blood supply, so they remained alive in spite of the pain and severe bleeding. This method was used in Europe, under the Roman Empire and also in some parts of Asia. According to some religious histories, the prophet Isaiah was executed in this manner. The figure above shows the painful death of a delinquent.

1. Slow Slicing
Lingchi torture in Beijing around 1910 

Another vicious punishment method involved slicing the prisoner very slowly. Around 900 AD it was a common execution method in China, until its abolition. There it was known as ‘Ling Chi’, which means ‘The Lingering Death’ or ‘Death By a Thousand Cuts'. The idea behind the method was to humiliate the victim with a slow and painful execution and then for the punishment to continue even after after death.

The condemned person was killed using a knife. Methodically, over an extended period of time, parts of the body were removed. This was a public execution method used to threaten people. Sometimes opium was also administered to prevent fainting or as an act of mercy. Because of the severity of the punishment, it could not last longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

Kung Fu Panda, Er, Bear

funny [Gif]

Aye, It's Grim

Here's the uphill battle Bielefeld face:

2. Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 10 +14 26
2 10 +7 23
3 9 +12 21
4 10 +6 19
5 10 +3 18
6 10 +5 16
7 9 +4 16
8 9 -1 14
9 9 +3 13
10 9 +1 13
11 9 -1 13
12 10 -2 10
13 9 -3 10
14 10 -5 9
15 10 -12 8
16 9 -10 6
17 10 -10 4
18 10 -11 4

Shrimpers Win

Blimey, that's unusual.  Oh hang, they lost 1-0 (Bury) again, my bad...

And Bielefeld crash 1-2 at home to Union Berlin.  I fear we may even get relegated from the Bundes Liga entirely this season.  :-(

Team P GD PTS

1 Chesterfield 14 12 29
2 Port Vale 14 11 28
3 Bury 14 10 28
4 Shrewsbury 14 8 24
5 Rotherham 14 6 23
6 Wycombe 14 6 22
7 Cheltenham 14 -3 21
8 Torquay 14 5 20
9 Crewe 14 11 19
10 Stevenage 14 3 19
11 Aldershot 14 -3 18
12 Macclesfield 14 -4 18
13 Burton Albion 14 3 17
14 Oxford Utd 14 0 17
15 Southend 14 -2 17
16 Bradford 14 -3 17
17 Accrington 14 1 16
18 Gillingham 14 -3 15
19 Stockport 14 -9 15
20 Morecambe 14 -10 14
21 Northampton 14 -8 13
22 Lincoln City 14 -8 13
23 Hereford 14 -10 13
24 Barnet 14 -13 12

Stop Your Whinging

Fugly Redknapp after Nani slotted into an empty net when Spurs keeper, Heurelho Gomes, had rolled the ball out to take a free-kick which he thought had been given for handball.

"The whole thing was a farce.  It was handball. Nani put his hand on it and dragged it down.  Mark Clattenburg is a top referee but he has had a nightmare with that." 

Sorry?  Basic schoolboy rules, play to the whistle.  If our idiot keeper had done so none of this would have happened, so blame him.  And it makes no odds anyway, we were still 1-0 down.  Take it like a man and stop crying like a little girl.

Line Up in Estoril

Newly crowned MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo earned pole position for today's Portuguese MotoGP after heavy rain led to qualifying being abandoned.  The starting grids in Estoril will be based on the combined practice times.

MotoGP starting grid (based on combined practice times):

1 Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Yamaha) 1min 48.522sec
2 Nicky Hayden (USA/Ducati) 0.135sec
3 Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.361
4 Casey Stoner (AUS/Ducati) 0.539
5 Ben Spies (USA/Yamaha) 1.199
6 Marco Melandri (ITA/Honda) 1.262
7 Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Honda) 1.485
8 Randy De Puniet (FRA/Honda) 1.521
9 Colin Edwards (USA/Yamaha) 1.791
10 Marco Simoncelli (ITA/Honda) 1.978

What a Meal

Not having eaten much throughout the day (like stuck ona bus for seven hours) we were just a touch famished on arriving at Siem.  We checked in, unpacked and found a super little place close by that did a whole range of dishes.

Wifey had Khmer sour soup with rice and veggies and I chose pork and mushroom in oyster sauce with rice and a salad.

Both of us ploughed through brimming plates in minutes and nearly took the pattern off- it was the best meal we'd had in ages, not including the curry in PP.  It was better than that though in terms of price.  We coughed a mere $6 for the entire bill.

But Still 5th- For Now

And we have Newcastle taking on their rivals, Sunderland, today which we will go out to watch.  We've found a bar/diner that is chucking out draught beer at 50 cents a glass.  That's cheaper than a Coke!


Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 10 24 25
2 Arsenal 10 12 20
3 Man Utd 10 10 20
4 Man City 10 3 17
5 Tottenham 10 1 15
6 West Brom 9 -2 15
7 Everton 10 2 13
8 Fulham 10 1 12
9 Sunderland 9 1 12
10 Bolton 9 0 12
11 Newcastle 9 1 11
12 Aston Villa 9 -4 11
13 Birmingham 9 -2 10
14 Stoke 10 -4 10
15 Blackpool 9 -7 10
16 Wigan 10 -11 10
17 Blackburn 10 -3 9
18 Liverpool 9 -5 9
19 Wolves 10 -6 9
20 West Ham 10 -11 6

Like There Was Ever Doubt?

From the BBC:


Nani scored a controversial second goal as Manchester United continued their fine record against Tottenham.

Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes rolled the ball out for a free-kick after Nani had clearly handled the ball but the United player had not been penalised.

Nani then struck the ball into an empty net, much to the Spurs players' fury.
Nemanja Vidic had earlier headed home a free-kick from Nani, who also hit the woodwork, as United extended their unbeaten run against Spurs to 26 games.

Tottenham's last win at Old Trafford remains the 1-0 victory in December 1989, when Gary Lineker struck the winner.

Spurs, who stay fifth in the table but are now 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, have not kept a clean sheet in the league since the opening day of the season.

And, even more worryingly, the influential Rafael Van der Vaart limped off with a tight hamstring in the latter stages.

But there was plenty to encourage manager Harry Redknapp as he tries to mould a team capable of challenging for the title.

Tottenham did play plenty of attractive football - with Van der Vaart striking the woodwork - and more than matched United for long periods of the contest.

The home team have been wasteful at times this season, dropping six points from winning positions, including a 2-2 draw against West Brom after leading 2-0.

But after Nani's controversial goal was allowed to stand by referee Mark Clattenburg in the final minutes, United were able to close out the game with relative ease and remain third in the table, five points behind Chelsea.

United might have taken the lead inside two minutes when a crisp long-range strike from Ji-Sung Park smashed into the base of the post with Gomes well beaten.

Tottenham responded and Van der Vaart, who frequently dropped deep and found space in dangerous areas, crashed his thunderous left-foot strike against the United woodwork after eight minutes.

Edwin van der Sar turned 40 on Friday but there was nothing wrong with his reflexes as he stopped a powerful strike from Luka Modric, while Van der Vaart missed with another effort from distance.

Robbie Keane made his second Premier League start of the season for Spurs as Peter Crouch dropped to the bench, and with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon out wide, the visiting team were extremely mobile across their front line.

However, for all their attractive attacking football, Tottenham often lacked a killer final ball, while United did occasionally prise open their opponents' defence.

Park shot wide after cutting inside, Rafael da Silva ended a surging run with a poor finish, and Gomes kept out a low strike from former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, who has now gone six games without scoring.

But for all that there was to admire from both sides, the opening goal came via Vidic's thudding header after Spurs completely failed to pick up the defender as Nani swung in a free-kick from a wide area.

Bale had a relatively quiet match but did catch the eye with one electric run into the United area 10 minutes after the restart before shooting narrowly wide.

Spurs continued to create some promising positions but it was becoming increasingly evident that they were missing the extra option that a target man would provide, and Roman Pavlyuchenko replaced Keane after 61 minutes.

The substitute struck the side netting from 20 yards and Van der Sar denied Van der Vaart as the London side continued to press.

Javier Hernandez went close for United, while Nani thought he should have been awarded a penalty seconds before he scored his controversial goal.

The Portugal international fell in the box and appealed for a spot-kick but, despite clearly handling the ball as he went down, he was not penalised by Clattenburg.

Gomes obviously thought differently and rolled the ball out as though his team had been given a free-kick, and he was punished when Nani slotted the ball home as the bewildered Spurs keeper looked on.

Arguments ensued, first between the United players and the assistant referee when it appeared he had ruled out the goal, and then between the Tottenham players and Clattenburg when the referee overruled his colleague.

Play eventually resumed, but with only six minutes remaining there was too little time for Tottenham to recover a two-goal deficit.

Don't Talk About the Football

The Arse v West Ham were on live last night and I happened to see my favourite enemy jam a win in the dying minutes of the game.  Next on live were Spurs against Man Utd but I was too tired to see the game and have just found out we lost 2-0.

It's expected; the last time we won Lineker was playing and that was back in 1989 (we haven't won in 26 matches) but I hear we literally gave them a goal.  Report to follow.

Throught The Looking Glass

The average female looks at herself in a mirror 9.2 minutes per day.  The average male looks at himself in a mirror 1.4 minutes per day.

Happy Hallowe'en

Good Breakfast

As with any new place, and purely in the pursuit of obtaining as much info about a place as possible to offer a comprehensive review, I took breakfast today.  I was also starving.

Good choices from toast and jam, to eggs any style on request to hot local dishes (three, rice, noodles and soup), plus cereals and fruit and any other standard items you can think of.  Very nice, bright and airy dining room and very pleasant staff.

I doubt it will be a regular affair but I enjoyed it today.

This is Scary

We have managed to get a large discount on our room due to our length of stay and another couple of reasons but part of the deal is that we had to pay for the entire stay in advance, once we were happy with our room.

This we did and we gave the money (in dollars) to the receptionist who is a lovely chap and speaks good English.  As he was carefully counting the stash of cash he said that what we were paying him for our three week stay, it would take him one whole year to earn.

It doesn't take much to be reminded of the differences in life in some countries and even less to be instantly humbled.  We are so, so fortunate and never take it for granted.

City River Hotel

After the recent experience in PP, this is a proper hotel and very nice it is too.

We have a huge room with a double and single bed, bath and shower and all the facilities we need to enjoy our three week stay here.  Good air con, 80 odd TV channels, cable and wi-fi internet connection (100 and 54 Mbps receptively, none of this 11 rubbish) and lots of storage space for our half dozen items.

This is luxury.  :o)

Quite a Bus Journey Though

We were quoted a five hour trip but even our pals at the travel agent knew that was optimistic.  From experience we thought six hours, but in the end it turned out to be seven.

The journey itself was comfortable with loads of leg room (long recline too) with air con and on-bus vids (Mr Bones must be the silliest filum ever and yet everyone, including me, laughed out loud in places), we even had an on-board bog, but it seemed to last forever.

I suspect the driver must have been new as he barely found the accelerator and was as timid as grandma when it came to overtaking.  I lost count of the number of coaches that sailed past with ease and when push bikes took us up the inside, well, that said it all.

I think we'll find another company for the return leg.

However, we had a free pick and the despite having to wait an extra hour, our man was happy and smiling and took us directly to the hotel without fuss.  Good service.

Happy at Hallowe'en

We're now at our new hotel and absolutely love it. Best night's kip we've had in ages and all is well again.  :o)

Saturday, 30 October 2010

So Long PP, Hello Siem Reap

We're just off to catch our bus to haul up to Siem and expect we'll be on the road for a good six hours.

We should be back on line at some point tomorrow- after we've had a right good lie in.

Yes, But We Still Love It

Not A Good Sporting Idea

While sports are, thankfully, accessible to the masses, that isn't to say that all sports should be touched by the cold, dead hand of the lowest common denominator. I like my athletes to be God-like and my fans to be chubby, thank you very much. However, it's only natural that fans want to keep getting closer and closer to the fantasy of being a professional athlete, and the avenues which they use to do so are often pretty strange. Executive horseshoes? Binocular-shaped whiskey vessels? H.L. Mencken once said that no one ever went broke underestimating the American public. If that's the case, then the guys that invented these things are giving Nelson Rockefeller a run for his money.

9. Folding Bike w Briefcase Holder

bikoffbike1-thumb-550xauto-48626-300x265

 
Any athletic device that’s engineered to hold a briefcase is not just ill-advised, but just plain awful. The marriage between sports and day-to-day life is not one made in heaven; one of the reasons people like sports so much is the escapist quality. Once you compromise that with something mundane as a briefcase holder, you might actually have a practical solution on your hands for urban commuters, but on some love, it can’t help but seem like you’re cheapening everything the Tour de France stands for.

8. Nerf Turbo

FF9_1a

 
Not everyone can throw a football. If everyone could, Sunday afternoons would be a lot less interesting. However, the good people at Nerf thought that football should be more like, I don’t know, communist Russia, where everyone gets the same treatment regardless of skill or ability. The aerodynamic football appeared to be the solution that would turn pointdexter into John Elway. I use “appear” because the spiral design didn’t seem to work very well, and the engineers seemed to forget that it’s kind of tricky to put too much force into something that weighs about 4 ounces. Let’s leave football to the guys that can toss the heavy ball.

7. Snowball Launcher

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Pity the child that makes this purchase with delusions of walking out onto the playground on a cold winter's morn to wreak havoc on the children that for long have tormented him. He would load snowballs into the contraption and, like a jai ali hero, wing them at the ones that have made his life hell, restoring his dignity and name with each mighty toss. Or he gets pelted by snowballs while trying to load this monstrosity, all the while getting heckled by children who are actually able to throw a snowball without bleeding-edge technology. Whoops.

6. Table Tennis Trainer

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This could also very easily be known as the "loneliness acknowledger." For the gentleman who is extremely passionate about ping-pong but has difficulty finding another human being to interact with (Which, let's face it, is probably every person that is passionate about ping-pong). With this product comes the image of some poor man sobbing, gently returning serves all over his parent's basement. If that isn't bad enough, then comes to mind the image of the poor bastard shagging his balls, looking for them under bumper pool tables and boxes of photographs that commemorate the person's graduation from Carnegie Mellon University. Heartbreaking.

5. Executive Horseshoe Set

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God bless Sky Mall. Finally, we can cross the country at near-sonic speeds while buying some of the stupidest shit known to man. They finally combined two concepts that could not be more antithetical to each other. Horseshoes and the notion of an "executive." The only executive decision a horseshoe player has ever made is "should I vomit in the bushes or on my shoes?" so forgive us for not putting too much stock in the definition of "executive" laid out by a firm that also sells Harry Potter chess sets and fake magic wands. Did this come about because some branding intern at Sky Mall was mocked because of the shoddy quality of their horseshoe set? Did some bad ass whose father is a senator cruise up with a shinier horseshoe set and steal his girl. In my mind, yes. That's exactly what happened. But never again. May your song never die, Sky Mall.

4. Laser-Guided Pool Cue

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Wow. Apparently they couldn't make signs that said "Hu$tle Me!" fast enough, so they went with the laser-guided pool cue to supplement their growing line of suckers' purchases. The ideal weapon for those that want to play billiards but don't know exactly how to determine a straight line. A fool and their money are soon parted. If you can't tell if you're straight or not in the five inches between the tip of the cue and the cue ball, you're using this device wrong. Turn it around so the laser shines right in your eye. It will hurt, but trust me, it will be worth it. Then, using all your might, jam the pool cue through your eye, rooting it into your skull. Of course, if you bought this device, you will probably miss and end up clipping yourself in the forehead, so just keep practicing until you get it right.

3. Binoculars Flask

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For the NASCAR fan in all of us, this is the alcoholic season ticket holder's wet dream. Finally you can smuggle in booze under the guise of having worse sight than Mr. Magoo. Gold. I understand that this device will probably enable you to negotiate security and get your precious, precious booze to your seat, but what then? Are you supposed to believe that both security and fans will turn a blind eye to the insane person sucking on their binoculars? I have to believe that security no matter how piss-poor they are, have been briefed on the whole "binocular-flask" charade. The only thing worse than having a crippling alcohol addiction that makes you hide your booze in innocuous items is getting caught doing so in front of hundreds of people at security.

2. Jumping Boots

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Were you a world-class track runner that lost both feet in a horrible farm accident? If you answered "yes" to the previous question, then you are allowed to purchase these strange, strange boots mockery-free. If you answered "no" to the previous question, go outside and get some activity if you would like to jump higher. I can't imagine a world in which this company doesn't get hit with horrible, horrible law suits on an hourly basis from the families of children who were wearing these in subway stations or perhaps at Sea World. There must be a waiver that negligent parents must sign holding harmless the makers of these bipedal death traps. Also, if you're 6' 4" and live in a pre-war apartment, you should not buy these. You will hurt your head with alarming frequency.

1. Razor Scooter

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Dignity not included. While, thankfully, it never beccame the phenomenon that it promised to be 10 years ago, we can safely call our dodging the Razor Scooter craze a "near miss" and hopefully learn from our mistakes. The device was built for children, clearly, but that didn't stop the (shudder) "young at heart" from jumping on this bandwagon whole-hog. The next thing you know, "creative firms" like dot-com startups and advertising agencies were touting executives that zipped around their office on tiny, tiny scooters, presumably flaunting their sense of whimsy, but realistically just looking like jackasses. The fad may have passed, but like so many horrible horrible plagues on society, there is a "push down, pop up" effect that indicates something is lurking in the depths to take its place. I'm praying it's not those Skecher roller-skate shoes.

From Total Pro Sports.

Good Looking Notes

US bills do not have to be pristine or spanking new as per Myanmar and Vietnam.  They are far more lenient in Cambodia and will accept older notes and also marked bills- ink stamps and writing. At least, we've not had any problems so far and the money we've had out of the ATMs have been decidedly second hand.

The local currency is the Riel and there are approximately 4 300 of them to the US dollar.  No coins, just notes and that gets me to thinking.  How can they make a phone call from a public telephone box, I wonder?

Time's Up

We tried out the hotel bar last night (happy hour beer was $0.75) and found it to be very pleasant, if overpopulated by westerners.  A good mix from Australia, Germany, England, France and Spain, none were your back packer set/but all were enjoying themselves.

We had a few local beers and were also given complimentary nuts and spring rolls which were unexpected but a nice surprise- as was being licked out at 22:30.  No kidding, even for residents it was "time gentlemen, please" and withn half an hour the entire bar was closed and in darkness.

How very British.

Cleffer, Innit?

The average person overestimates their IQ by 21 points.

I am so screwed,,,

Crazy Bank Charges

It's not just the ANZ that charges $4 per withdrawal, all the banks do.  We've just coughed up sixteen dollars in fees, well over a tenner.  :-(

ATM Problem Solved

The difficulty we experienced yesterday was not down to the Nationwide we believe, rather the ANZ bank.  As with our bank in the UK, we have to allow a period of 24 hours in between withdrawals but what we forgot is that this is for the time zone the bank is from, not local time.

New Zealand is another four hours ahead of us and so we had in fact withdrawn our cash after midnight on 28th October (so the 29th in Kiwi country) meaning we had to wait until today to have another go.

Instead we used another local bank and it all worked fine.

Clucking Chickens

Each and every time you set foot outside the hotel or a restaurant or shop, you will be greeted by a never ending chorus of "hello sir, tuk-tuk?"  It doesn't matter that it's seven in the morning or eleven o'clock at night, they still repeat this stupid question.  E-v-e-r-y t-i-m-e.

It's the same when looking at a menu, immediately you stop there will be someone standing in front of you telling you how good the food is or turning the pages for you,

Stop this at once- nothing will make me walk away quicker.

Quote/Unquote

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.
 
- Rex Stout 

Double Take

We really do see some very unusual things on our travels.  Just outside the curry house yesterday, a mother was washing her baby- in a flower pot on the pavement.  To shower him off, she simply used a garden hose.  :o)

So Long, Cruel World

UGO looks at some not-so-pleasant ways to kark it.


Tycho Brahe
Credit: Wikipedia
17

Burst Bladder

The worst deaths are, of course, the ones that could have been avoided. Take the case of 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The man responsible for the most accurate celestial measurements thus taken was at a dinner party when he discovered that he'd drank too much wine. Unfortunately, back in the day it was considered rude to excuse yourself in mixed company to drain the main vein. So Tycho sat, legs crossed, and held in an ocean of piss unti pop! His bladder burst, leaking toxins into his body. Eleven days later he was dead. Lesson learned: don't piss around with piss.

Buried By Trash
Credit: New York Times
16

Suffocated By Trash

So of course I love Hoarders - it's the best show about people you'd never want to meet since Friends. But, to be frank, the trash-loving loons on that show don't have squat on legendary packrats the Collyer brothers. In their uptown 5th Avenue house, the two bros collected newspapers, books, furniture and more, refusing anybody entrance to their treasure house of trash. In 1947, the cops got tipped off to a funky smell and found both Collyers buried under literally 100 tons of trash.

Ford Robot
Credit: Ford Motor Company
15

Punched By Robot

Okay, it's a given that eventually robots are going to kill all of us, Isaac Asmiov be damned, but the robot-human war has already begun. In January of 1979, first blood was drawn at a Ford assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. A worker named Robert Williams climbed up on a rack to retrieve a part when the parts-retrieval robot, enraged at this meatsack's defilement of his workplace, punched him in the head and killed him instantly. After the plant had closed, all of the other robots gave it a high five.

Big Daddy
Credit: Obsessed With Wrestling
14

Crushed By A Giant Stomach

So we all know professional wrestling is fake, right? I don't have to hold your hand here? That's what makes this next death so horrible. Morbidly obese British wrestler "Big Daddy" Crabtree was finishing up an undistinguished match with "King Kong" Kirk. After delivering his patented belly splash, Big Daddy noted that Kong was turning a sickly green color. Kirk was rushed to the hospital but was dead before he got there, given a heart attack by the thunderous pressure of Big Daddy's massive gut.

Windshield Crash
Credit: Sony Pictures
13

Stuck In A Windshield

So dying from being hit by a car sucks, no denying - but this particular automotive fatality takes it to a whole 'nother level.
In 2001, homeless Texan Gregory Biggs was struck by a car driven by drunk Chawnte Dawn Mallard. Biggs found himself lodged in her windshield, severely injured but not dead. So what did Mallard do? Drove home with the guy still stuck in the glass, parked in her garage and let him die, coming out from time to time to apologize for hitting him. He eventually croaked of his injuries and Mallard got put in jail for 50 years.

World Sauna Championship
Credit: World Sauna Championship
12

Steamed Alive

Of all the dumb sporting events I've heard of in my life, few top the World Sauna Championships, held annually since 1999 in Heinola, Finland. Men and women compete to see how long they can sit in a blazing hot sauna, with the thickest-skinned taking the crown.  Unfortunately, sitting in very hot rooms full of steam is how we cook lobsters, so it was only a matter of time before a human bit it too.
In 2010, Russian finalist Vladimir Ladyzhensky passed out after six minutes in the box at 230 degrees Farenheit and was rushed to the hospital but died in the ambulance. The other competitor who was in with him was put in a coma for two months with burns over 70% of his body. Sounds fun!

Sky Cutter
Credit: Red Rocket Hobbies
11

Flying Lawnmower Attack

This next one is the stuff of horror movies - at a Jets halftime show in 1979, the entertainment was provided by a group of oddly-shaped remote control flying machines. Hey, I've heard weirder. But for 20 year old John Bowen, it would be his last halftime. A 40-pound remote controlled aircraft shaped like a lawnmower (okay, I haven't heard weirder) rocketed into the stands, mowing down Bowen and his neighbor like so much summer turf. He died four days later of his injuries.

Berzerk
Credit: Stern Electronics
10

Video Game Fatality

When people try to say video games are bad for you, I usually scoff. But you know what? At least one person has been sent to Valhalla by a video game. In 1981, 19 year old Jeff Dailey racked up a score of 16,660 points on the arcade classic Berzerk and promptly fell dead of a heart attack.
Could it have something to do with the Number of the Beast in the middle of his score, or could Jeff just not hang with Evil Otto? Without a Ouija board, there's no way to tell.

Grimm Love
Credit: Senator Entertainment Co
9

Cannibalized Voluntarily

It's one thing to have the flesh of your body eaten against your will - that could happen to anyone. But it's quite another to answer a personal ad from a dude who wants to eat your flesh.
Bernd-Jurgen Brandes, a poor dumb German, answered a classified ad taken out by Arwin Meiwes that basically said "I want to kill and eat you." The pair met up and, lo and behold, Meiwes killed and ate him. The sad story inspired a Rammstein song - what a horrible eulogy.

Lava Lamp
Credit: Google Store
8

Lava Lamp Explosion

Sometimes you can't help but wonder just what the hell people think they're doing with their lives. Take the case of Kent, Washington's Phillip Quinn. Young Mr. Quinn was engaged in a bizarre experiment at his home one day when he placed his trusty lava lamp atop the burner of his stove and turned on the heat, to... I dunno, cure cancer or something. Maybe he was trying to get superpowers. But all that happened was the lava lamp exploded, sending a shard of glass right through his heart and killing him. Groovy.

Kenneth Pinyan
Credit: THINKFilm
7

Boned By A Horse

Here's a very disturbing tale of a dude going to great lengths to get his jollies.
Kenneth "Mr. Hands" Pinyan was a dude in Enumclaw, Washington who really like the horses. So much so that he'd sneak out to a farm at night and ... get it on with horses. Let that sink in a bit. Unfortunately, during one of his trysts with Mr. Ed, he found himself with a perforated colon and ended up kicking off. Naturally, he refused to go to the hospital out of shame and ended up croaking, leading to a major investigation of him and his gross friends.

Chicken Bone Nose Job
Credit: Asymmetric.net
6

Chicken Bone Nose Job

We all have something we don't like about ourselves - I wish my penis were a little smaller and not quite so perfectly formed, for instance - but it takes a special soul to perform ad hoc plastic surgery on themselves to rectify those flaws.
One such special soul was Jason Burton, a British lad tired of being teased about his gnarly nose. So what did Jason do? He read some medical texts and hunkered down to perform an at-home rhinoplasty, using a chisel to remove his cartilage and a piece of chicken bone to replace it. You can figure it out from here: massive infection, death.

Choking On A Hot Dog
Credit: Wikipedia
5

Choking On A Hot Dog

So your name is Robert Puleo and you've got your drink on. What to do but get rowdy in your local 7-11? But when St. Louis resident Puleo was informed that he had to stop the shenanigans or the cops woud be called, Rob made the last mistake of his life.
In an act of defiance, he grabbed a hot dog out of the heating rack, stuffed it in his mouth and walked out the door, where he promptly collapsed. Paramedics on the scene attempted to remove the illicit weiner, but it had already blocked his airway and killed him. Crime doesn't pay!

Rattlesnake Catch
Credit: Wikipedia
4

Rattlesnake Catch

I know things can get boring down in Alabama, but really there's no excuse for this. In 1995 good ol' boy Joe Buddy Caine and his friend got boozed up and decided to invent a new game - rattlesnake tossing. Finding one of the poisonous beasts, they picked it up and started throwing it back and forth at each other. If you think the snake wrote a letter to the ASPCA, you'd be wrong. It bit the crap out of both of these rednecks. You'd think that after one person got bit, they'd stop with the snake throwing, but, like I said, Alabama.
Joe Buddy died of the venom, but his pal survived.

Segway Suicide
Credit: Segway.com
3

Segway Suicide

What's worse than being seen riding a Segway? Owning the company. What's worse than that? Dying on board your miracle machine. The two-wheeled scooter invented by Dean Kamen was supposed to be the most important invention of the 21st century but turned out to just be a way for fat people to get around Las Vegas.
When British businessman Jim Haselden bought the company from Kamen, it was a mystery. Even more of a mystery: why Haselden would ride his Segway off a cliff near his estate. I guess the shame was just too great.
Exploding Barrel
Credit: ChemistryToday.com
2

Barrel Ride To Hell

Thrills: we seek them. But sometimes the quest for adventure can go too far, like when poor dumb Travis Rilat and Tyson Perez decided to experiment with a flaming barrel ride of thrills.
The pair poured four gallons of methanol alcohol into a 55-gallon bucket, climbed on top and lit it, and, using their physics lessons learned from Wile E. Coyote hoped for a blast of flame to shoot out the back and take them on a ride around the parking lot. But exposives don't work that way, and the barrel blew up beneath them, killing Perez and brutally burning Rilat.
Susan Cabot
Credit: Wikipedia
1

Head Bashed In By A Midget

So what do you think is the grisliest celebrity death of all time? My vote goes to starlet Susan Cabot, a gorgeous brunette who got her start in Westerns before ending her career with Roger Corman's The Wasp Woman. This is complicated, so let's go.
Cabot bangs King Hussein of Jordan and gets pregnant with a kid, who is born a midget. Twenty-three years later the cops get a call from the midget who says a "tall Latino dressed like a Japanese Ninja" had broken in and attacked him and his mother. The midget had a tiny scratch on his arm, but Susan's head was caved in. Of course, the midget did it, but seriously: what a way to go.