Monday, March 30, 2009

A Moon

These are three views of my new favourite lampshade.

This is a mural of a sleeping siren.


After six months, and days spent traipsing from one office to the next, I finally have a N.I.E. (Número de Identificación Extranjero), and can get medical cover, have a bank account etcetera. I'm a real boy!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I've been away in Oxford, and when I've been here in Madrid my camera hasn't, and when my camera has I've forgotten to plug in the cable, and a load of other boring logistical things, but now I and my camera and the cable are all in the same place, so here are some photos from the Great Blizzard® of February 2009.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Duck Has Come Home To Roost

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Russia is a Strange Place

Frame 1. Kapow!
Frame 2. 'And so we meet, Adolf...'
Frame 3. 'You!'
Frame 4. 'I offered you friendship, but you preferred to start a war. Now I have come to destroy you.'
Frame 5. 'Caucasian Untermensch! Now I am at the height of my powers!'
Frame 6. 'Is that all you can do?'
There's more, if you really want to see it, here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Better Than 'The Bat'"

But how could it be better than The Bat, which looks just fine to me?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Clever Monkey

Here's the basic story, and here is the original article.

This is the summary. Zoo keepers at Furuvik Zoo in Sweden have discovered that a chimpanzee which annoyed visitors by throwing stones at them was in fact making a coherent and thought-through plan for the future: they found lots of piles of stones on the creature's island, and then observed the animal gathering stones so that it would have ammunition when the visitors it wanted to frighten away turned up. This proves that chimpanzees have the capacity, previously thought to be only human, to plan for the future. This story pleased me.

Then the aftermath: in order to calm the chimpanzee down and stop it throwing rocks at people, they cut its balls off. This doesn't please me so much.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Go here. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


Barreleye is the common name for the fish which make up the Opisthoproctidae. They are deep-sea predators (living at about 700m), distinguished by (urgh) having transparent heads. Of course, when they are brought to the surface, their fragile heads explode. Here are some pictures of a barreleye in its normal habitat.

Soviet Cavemen

He has a doctor's note to say he is unfit for work.

'Why did you bring me this fur? Nobody's wearing stripes this year. Get me something in checks!'

Shockin'ly Spaiked O'er Smot

The newspaper story is here, the advertising bumf is here. It's a bit of a 'Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis' moment (the full text of Cope's poem is hidden somewhere in the link given), but there's a deal of pleasure in repeating Shockin'ly Spaiked O'er Smot to oneself in occasional dreamy moments.