Possibly the best reaction to that video I have ever seen. Yeah, you know the one. The one with the music. Yes, that one. I think it's just that the guy is having his 'fro done with his crew.
Yes, yes, as usual I'm a week late on this one. A Royal guardsman has clipped a tourist round the back of the head who was imitating and irritating him. To be honest, I think the tourist deserved it.
As an interesting aside, I was watching QI the other day and discovered that the you can tell the members of the Guards apart by the buttons: "Evenly spaced buttons mean that they are in the Grenadier Guards. When the buttons are in pairs, they are in the Coldstream Guards. Threes represent the Scots Guards, fours the Irish Guards and fives the Welsh Guards." That means our man is in the Scots guards, but I'm not sure- it's hard to count buttons from a low quality still!
Oh, and sad news to match my bleak mood- Kai Laddiman went down in a closely fought battle yesterday to Nick Wainwright 91-94. The killer blow was struck when the scores were 59-60 by Nick, who whipped out a 9 of DEUTERONS. That is an outrageous word. In the end Kai lost 91-94, but he did have the honour of getting the conundrum of TRACKSUIT. Adieu!
'Kai looking forlorn'
A while ago I shared my idea for 'Mar-Butter'. Well, today I contacted Marmite to see what they think:
Dear Marmite People,
I love Marmite, but I notice in the mornings when I spread it on my toast that either I get butter in the marmite pot or marmite on the butter pat. In addition, having to spread two things on the toast both weakens it twice as much, sometimes making holes, and allows it to cool down. Have you ever considered making 'Mar-Butter'? This could come in different strengths to suit all tastes. I have conducted trials and I think it would work. It certainly doesn't go off any quicker than normal butter. I know some people like the marbling effect of marmite on toast, so you could eventually do 'Mar-Butter Swirls', or something to that effect. You could also do 'Mar-Butter' spreadable, or some kind of healthy version (using a sunflower spread, but in my opinion it doesn't taste the same). I think this idea will speed up the toast making process of many people, in addition to creating less washing up! Please let me know what you think. Thank you!
P.S. I did consider other names, but ‘Butt-Mite’ didn’t have the same ring to it.
I eagerly await their reply!
- 1 millimetre (mm)- 0.013157 cf
- 1 centimetre (cm)- 0.13157 cf
- 1 metre (m)- 13.157 cf
- 1 kilometre (km)- 13157 cf
- 1 inch (in)- 0.33421 cf
- 1 foot (ft)- 4.0105 cf
- 1 yard (yd)- 12.032 cf
- 1 mile- 21176 cf
These are some sweet shoes. Created in collaboration with Hong Kong based designers Clot, this pair of Air Force 1s is my favourite from the 1World collection so far. The shoe celebrates Chinese New Year, hence the red (which symbolises prosperity). The outer layer is made from traditional brocade and can be removed to reveal a brown leather layer underneath lasered with Clot's trademark graphics. It also comes in a Chinese candy box (sweets are given at New Year).
I'm salivating a little bit. OK, a lot. Shame they're only available in China, and cost about £250!
The Parajet Sky Car. Quite remarkable- it's like a dune buggy with a parachute and a massive fan on the back. The makers are setting out on an expedition from France to Timbuktoo (it was going to be London but they couldn't get the aviation permits). The facts:
A top speed of 110 kmph
A range of 300 km.
A cruising altitude of 2000 – 3000 ft
A maximum altitude of 15,000 ft.
Rear wheel drive
Acceleration from 0-100 kmph in 4.5 seconds
A top speed of 180 kmph
A range of 400 km.
So yesterday I watched the first episode with Jeff Stelling and Rachel Riley (miaow!). It was ok, but they were quite formal- the relaxed attitude of Richard/Des/Des and Carol had gone. I put it down to the studio change. Gone is the living room chic of the previous set to be replaced by... a really blue one. Not sure I like it that much. Rachel Riley is a good replacement for Carol, though. Definitely a new 'thinking man's crumpet'. I forgive her mistake (see below)! She looked quite nervous. Oh, and can somebody tell Jeff to stop with the football analogies?
I've stumbled across this amazing website which lets you play realistic versions of TV game shows for free. I like playing Countdown the most. My favourite moment, which I only just missed screen-shotting, was when Susie Dent found a 9- horniness. The automatic Carol casually remarks, "Susie, showing us how it's done there!" Classic. The downsides are that the numbers rounds are frustratingly hard to type in even if you get it really quickly, and the adverts are quite annoying. But other than that, it's good fun.
So in my spare time I'm a medical student and the other day I was writing an essay on beauty and came across something freaky. Check this out.
In introduction, the Ancient Greeks had a concept that beauty arises from ‘kosmos’, which means ‘ordered structure’. Pythagoras, a mathematician, is believed to have been the first to apply the concept of ‘kosmos’ to the universe (this is the etymology of the words ‘cosmos’ and ‘cosmetic’). He is also often attributed with the discovery of phi, a ‘divine ratio’ found throughout nature (such as in spiral shells, a tiger's face and moth wings- check this site out for more examples).
Stephen Marquardt, a retired American maxillofacial surgeon, has done research into phi with regard to human attractiveness. He found that phi, also known as the ‘golden ratio’ of 1:1.618, occurred “in the faces of attractive people much more often than in the faces of less attractive individuals.” Eventually, he managed to create a ‘golden decagon’ from which a facial map, the ‘golden mask’, was extracted. This is meant to be the perfect face. I've cribbed all the illustrations which show how the 'golden decagon' was created and the extracted 'golden mask' (the originals are on his website, 'Beauty Analysis').
Now here is the freaky bit. The ‘golden decagon’ fits perfectly over a cross section of a DNA molecule- this suggests that we're built aiming for a structure based on the 'golden ratio' of phi. Here's the image (again cribbed):
(For those interested, here's a referrence to an interview Marquardt did: Marquardt SR, Dr. Stephen R. Marquardt on the Golden Decagon and human facial beauty. Interview by Dr. Gottlieb, Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, 2002; Vol. 36 (6), pages 339-347.)
You've gotta love that hat! (Via)
... and reverse order can be found here- seems fairly conclusive. I don't know what half of them mean.
On another note, on the bus yesterday I noted that a combination of the chain names McDonald's and Burger King contains all the vowels exactly once. Yep, I was fairly bored.
So today I foraged down to a recently reviewed branch of 'Little Chef' in the Popham Services off the A303 for lunch. The reason? This was the branch that Heston Blumenthal has revamped in an effort to save the ailing national chain. When one thinks of Heston, the first thing that comes to mind is molecular gastronomy; snail porridge, eggs and bacon ice cream, flaming sorbets, that sort of thing. I was most intrigued as to what he'd do to this traditional motoring institution.
The answer is, he's kept it very simple, and very good. All the food we ate was perfectly done; tasty, not greasy, and unadventurous. Which is exactly what you want from a Little Chef.
The spit roasted chicken I ate was tender and juicy, with a delicious barbecued edge on it. This was also detectable in the gravy; I suspect it contained smoke flavouring. Very good! A special on that day was a belly pork and tomato salad. This was my favourite dish- the belly pork was beautifully sweet, complimenting the tomatoes and contrasting with the salad dressing perfectly. Finally, the infamous 'All New Olympic Breakfast', as it was billed- fantastic. The bangers were good quality and the bacon had a sweetness to it. You can see in the photo that the eggs are just right and the toast wasn't burnt to a cinder. And the black pudding was well good!
This is not to say that the Heston-isms were completely undetectable. For instance, he's revived braised ox cheeks and mash, and my trifle was served with pots of toppings, including popping candy. (As an aside, after I finished the trifle I put the entire dish of popping candy on my tongue- I can confirm that it really is extremely effervescent.) A really nice touch was that we were all given mini packs of jelly beans with the bill- it wasn't too expensive (£40 for 3) but it made it all the sweeter.
The restaurant itself has been revamped. One could faintly detect the smell of coffee in the toilets, which also had handy snippets of food knowledge on tiles in the walls. For example, meat is more tender when carved against the grain as then, when it is eaten, you bite with the fibres, and salt is more effective than sugar at alleviating bitterness. One thing annoyed me- sensors dotted above the urinal kept playing 'food glorious food' at me. I can only hope these weren't present in the actual toilets.
Weirdly, I suspect the clientele went there specifically for the restaurant. It seemed only one table had chanced upon it. I overheard the server at the next table mention that someone had tried to book for 45- they don't take bookings but had recommended a time for them to arrive so they could be accomodated. The servers were friendly like that. A very good restaurant- one can only hope that this goes nationwide.
Overall, it's good, simple food cooked very well. I recommend!
"I've just got some basic bits of kit that we use so, freeze dryer, a vacuum oven, distillator, rotary evaporator, I've got a computer system for analysing aroma compounds..." says Heston Blumenthal, after arriving in what can only be the time machine from 'Back to the Future' wearing a 'silk all-in-one that NASA developed'. What an awesome advert for the Great British Food Fight.
A rather brilliant blog set up to promote the author's book. However, he has started solving the Telegraph cryptic crossword every day, and posting answers with explanations. This is awesome- I've been trying to teach myself how to solve this particular crossword for absolutely ages now, and seeing as I don't know anyone else who religiously does it it's been hard. I need a mentor! Well, I'm most pleased.Oh, I'd say the answer is 'fight' as a crossword is an argument, but I'm not sure.