The Edmondson Blog

Imbibe Two Digits of Ale

For a canis majora like myself, it's a relief that Wikipedia has listed the complete list of International Drinking Rules.


I've made the decision to delete any friends on Facebook who I haven't spoken to for over one year or haven't messaged me. I've currently maxed out at 209 friends, but I'm going to trim that down as 90% of these people I have no interest in exchanging stinkibus bantibus maximus with.

The Third Dimension

This is one of my favourite Simpsons episodes (from Treehouse of Horror VI) and, I think, the only one where the characters are animated by computer. When Homer travels into the third dimension, look out for the equations, which each has significance. At the end of the episode, Homer falls into the real world. Remember this was animated back in 1995 when these kind of effects had never been tried before. Click here to read the story.

M25 or Bust

I had dinner in Konstam on Saturday night, the restaurant which claims to source all its ingredients from within Greater London. I had the luck of visiting the day the owner, Oliver Rowe, was cooking. The kitchen is open plan in the restaurant - always a winner as there's no hiding! The food was superb; my cuttlefish was cooked perfectly, and the pork, sourced from Amersham, melted on the tongue. Our food was complemented by a first class wine from East Sussex. At £35 for three courses and booze, a highly recommended venue (if you can put up with the "Changing Rooms"-style interior and splattering of chavs on adjacent tables.

War Rocket Ajax

A prize for the first person to leave a comment saying which of my top 10 films this reminds me of.

Sad Day

Pop R.I.P.

Blog Value Rockets!

It might be time to quit my job and blog full time!

Moët et Chandon

Although commonly mispronounced "mō-way and shon-don", the correct pronunciation is "mo-wett". Although Claude Moët was born in France in 1683, the surname is actually of Dutch origin, which results in the pronunciation being uncharacteristic of the French language. (In normal French pronunciation a final 't' is silent, however Moët is spelled with a diaeresis over the 'e', which requires the final 't' to be pronounced.)

Hop, Skip, Jump

Crap song; great video. Puts Rocky to shame.

The Same Colour Illusion

Are square A and B the same color? They are. The above illusion, called the same colour illusion, illustrates that purely human observations in science may be ambiguous or inaccurate. Even such a seemingly direct perception as relative colour. Similar illusions exist on the sky, such as the size of the Moon near the horizon, or the apparent shapes of astronomical objects. The advent of automated, reproducible, measuring devices such as CCDs have made science in general and astronomy in particular less prone to, but not free of, human-biased illusions.

First Moon Walk

Once Armstrong and Aldrin were ready to go outside, Eagle was depressurized, the hatch opened and Armstrong made his way down the ladder first. Placing his left foot on the surface at 2:56 UTC 21 July 1969, he spoke the following words:

That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.

It had long been assumed that Armstrong mistakenly had omitted the word "a" from his famous remark ("one small step for a man"), rendering the phrase contradictory, as man in such use is synonymous with mankind. Armstrong, who admits that he often forgot syllables when speaking, is quoted as saying that he "would hope that history would grant me leeway for dropping the syllable and understand that it was certainly intended, even if it wasn't said—although it might actually have been."

It has since been claimed that acoustic analysis of the recording reveals the presence of the missing "a". A digital audio analysis conducted by Peter Shann Ford, an Australia-based computer programmer, claims that Armstrong did, in fact, say "a man", but the "a" was inaudible due to the limitations of communications technology of the time.

Shock Horror!

I went to a community run vegetarian cafe for dinner last night. Bonnington Cafe in Vauxhall is run by a group of locals wanting to try out their cooking on the unsuspecting public. The cafe looks like it's been set up in an ex-greasy spoon and could possibly be run by squatters. I for one felt naked without dreadlocks, tattoos and wispy facial hair. But, I've got to say, the food was very good. At £11 for three courses (it was BYO), it's definitely worth a revisit.

Get Voting!

I've starting a new poll. This month, in honour of the king of entertainment, I'm asking my learned readers what their favourite Disney cartoon is. Are you a classic Cinderella man or more of a Lion King character? Get voting!

The Man of Steel Returns

I've just ordered the 9-disc Christopher Reeve Superman Collection from Amazon. It was on sale for a bargain £19.97. The main reason for this purchase was to experience the completely re-edited Superman II, put together by Richard Donner (director of the original Superman film), who resigned half way through filming, in 2006.

The first two films are absolute classics. The third is a piss take, with Richard Pryor hamming it up to the maximum. The fourth is one of the worst films of all time. Not just the worst Superman film but worst film EVER. It includes a scene of a woman who is flown into space and not at all affected by the lack of oxygen!

I can't wait for a Superman marathon. Email me if you want to be part of it.

Cleaning your Computer Screen

Anyone who's has ever owned an aquarium knows that you have to clean the glass on the inside, sooner or later.

Some people used to do that with a brush that is held to the glass by a magnet on the outside. In that way you can clean the inside glass from the outside by moving the brush up and down the glass with the magnet apparatus.

The same goes for the inside of the monitor screen you are watching right now.

Up until now there was no such cleaner, but thanks to Microsoft there now is.

This will clean your the backside of your monitor screen.

The results are amazing.

My computer screen looks much, much better now. You will be amazed at the difference and how much better and clearer the words appear and how much it lessen the strain on your eyes...

For the best results it is recommended to do a thorough inside cleaning at least once weekly.

Just click here and move your mouse up, down, back and forth...

Hat tip: Puppa

Poll Results

Thanks for everyone's votes on their favourite male and female newsreaders. There were 38 votes for the female readers, 23 for the male.

The far and away winners were the original honey, Moira Stewart, and the double hard bastard Jeremy Paxman.

1 Moira Stuart 47%
2= Emily Maitlis 16%
2= Katie Derham 16%
4= Riz Lateef 5%
4= Sophie Raworth 5%
6= Natasha Kaplinsky 3%
6= Fiona Bruce 3%
6= Kate Silverton 3%
6= Nina Hossain 3%
10= Daisy McAndrew 0%
10= Kirsty Young 0%

1 Jeremy Paxman 26%
2= Huw Edwards 13%
2= Jon Snow 13%
2= George Alagiah 13%
5= Michael Buerk 9%
5= John Humphrys 9%
7= Jeremy Bowen 4%
7= Dermot Murnaghan 4%
7= Krishnan Guru-Murthy 4%
7= John Suchet 4%
11= Darren Jordon 0%
11= Mark Austin 0%
11= Alastair Stewart 0%
11= Alex Thomson 0%

New Poll

I'm going to change the poll tonight, so now's your last time to vote! Make it so.

Back to the Future

A Message from Tootus Maximus

There are very few challenges left in the world that haven’t been done by someone else before. I am certain that what I am about to attempt is indeed one of those rare ‘firsts’.

On Monday, July 16th 2007 I will be competing with 8,000 other cyclists in the Etape du Tour – a real stage of this year’s Tour de France – 199km across the long and winding, steep roads of the Pyrenees. I will be attempting to complete the race in slightly unusual dress, however. The picture attached is a bit of a giveaway. Yes, Tootus Maximus is back and I will be doing it dressed as a Roman gladiator!

I will be cycling with another gladiator buddy, Brutus and the reason for the bizarre costumes is to raise several thousand pounds for our chosen charity - The World Cancer Research Fund.

If you would like to sponsor me (Tootus Maximus) or my man at arms (Brutus) for our efforts please donate at

I will of course be sending regular news and photos of how we get on at the event that we have cunningly called “The GladiaTOUR de France”.

The Wit of the Next London Mayor, Boris Johnson

On using a mobile phone while driving, August 2002
I don't believe that is necessarily any more dangerous than the many other risky things that people do with their free hands while driving - nose-picking, reading the paper, studying the A-Z, beating the children, and so on.

On commuting, 3 July 2003
"I forgot that to rely on a train, in Blair's Britain, is to engage in a crapshoot with the devil."

On the Hutton Report, January 2004
"As snow-jobs go, this beats the Himalayas."

June 2004
"My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive."

On being sacked by Michael Howard, December 2004.
"My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters."

On how to vote, October 2005
"Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3."

On why he was voting for Cameron as leader, October 2005
"I'm backing David Cameron's campaign out of pure, cynical self-interest."

On drugs, October 2005
"I think I was once given cocaine but I sneezed so it didn't go up my nose. In fact, it may have been icing sugar."

On Portsmouth, April 2007
"Too full of drugs, obesity, underachievement and Labour MPs."

Cooney Keatinge Wedding

I've been in Cork for the weekend for Ali and Doug's wedding. The weather just about held off as we arrived at the church in Shanballymore. After the nuptials it was off to Ballygriggan for the mother of all Guinness-based piss ups, as only the Irish can put on. The hospitality, like the food and drink, was overwhelming (the first coach back to the hotel left at 2am!) Sunday included a schoolboy-skill-level football match followed by an awesomely huge spit roast to soak up the booze from the night before, accompanied with more Guinness, or a bloody mary, if that was your poison.

No classic photos, I'm afraid, though you can take a peek here.

Boris for Mayor

I am getting slightly nervous of the prospect of having Boris Johnson run for the office of Mayor of London. Boris is a highly intelligent, charming and amusing operator, though I'm not sure he has the skills to manage one of the most culturally diverse and influential cities in the world.

Anyone who is asked whether he's been unfairly treated and chooses to quote the French writer, Voltaire ("All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds" - Doctor Pangloss in Candide) is way out of my league. But intelligence alone is not enough to get to grips on a major world city's needs.

Love him or hate him, Ken Livingstone is clear of his goals for the City, setting out his social, environmental and economic aims during his tenure. Even though I work for the Mayor indirectly and don't agree with all his policies, I respect him for his single minded drive in changing London for, what he sees, the better.

I cannot see Boris being able or having the capacity to understand or solve London's problems: the years of underinvestment in infrastructure; the inequality; the environmental concerns. And I think the London public will see this.

He should stick to being a successful MP for Henley. Otherwise, I feel it will end in tears.

Summer Redneck Games

Las week saw the 11th Annual Summer Redneck games in Georgia. I'm very keen to attend next years. Take a look at these pictures to understand why!

Wookie Eye

I've just got a second stye in my eye in two weeks. I looked up the causes on Wikipedia and apparently they occur if you're stressed, have a lack of sleep or an unhealthy lifestyle.

I work 9 to 5. I sleep from midnight to 8am. I have a pretty healthy lifestyle (for example last weekend I was in Vilnius on a stag weekend; got some food from Bombay Bicycle Club on Sunday evening; meal with my housemates in Fortune Chinese Restaurant Monday; bowling - ie. a sport - and a burger on Tuesday; BBQ meat feast and lagers at home Wednesday).

I blame it on the stress of the job.

The Amazing Football Prediction Game

A kind of football "fantasy league" has started at work, involving a few of the characters around me. Don't ask me the details, as football is low down on my list of favourite sports (the list currently has bowling and darts tied at number 1) and I have no idea of decent players. If you're keen to get involved, check out the rules here and let me know.

Norris Strikes Again

Can't decide what to wear?

Concerned that your designer labels may make you a target for street crime?

You need Chuck Norris Action Jeans!

Eastern Block Stag Adventure

Spent last weekend in Vilnius for Hippy's stag weekend. The initial shock of paying for flights and accommodation was soothed when we found out beer was £1 a pint in all ale vending locations. We spent an unhealthy amount of time playing drinking games (including amusing rounds of "I have never"), eating McDonalds, enjoying the company of scantily clad women and paintballing.

Because we're charitable people, Hippy was allowed to wear a box whilst paintballing in his Borat "mankini". The paintballing venue was in a miserable suburb of Vilnius. Note the feral kids climbing over the abandoned carpark behind us.

Bad Day for Virgin

I was very surprised and saddened to see that Virgin has lost its bid to continue running the Cross Country rail franchise to Arriva. Virgin inherited one of the most neglected routes of the old British Railways when it was privatised in 1996. They invested huge amounts of money to replace the creaking rolling stock with shiny new Voyagers. It's been a painful process but there have been some huge improvements.

Now Arriva (who have a pretty chequered history in the rail industry) are taking over and want to reintroduce 30 year old HSTs! This seems like a backward step to me. I've written to the Chief Executive of Arriva, David Martin, to say how disappointed I am they will be reintroducing HSTs rather than investing in new state of the art, clean technology.

Virgin introduced some much needed innovation into the railway industry, including the UKs only tilting trains. They have been given a slap in the face by the Department for Transport. What a way to be rewarded for all their hard work.

Amusing CVs - Part 4

Seen recently:

Extra curricular activities and interests

- Enthusiastic circuit driver and wannabe racing driver
- Extravagant hi-fi
- 20th century modern art

Political Blogging

I keep up to date on government bugger-ups by reading Picking Losers every day. I've just noticed they've got a link to my blog (bottom left) - how nice!

I've also started reading a new blog on the scene, Poliblogs, which posts a neat summary of the stories on all the major political blogs every day. For those of you of a political persuasion, I suggest you take a look.

Boeing 787

The Dreamliner was unveiled in Seattle last night. I read an interesting piece in last week's Economist on the aircraft:

The flight from Shanghai will be landing at Toronto in two hours' time and the cabin crew have switched on dawn. No more rude awakenings from a blast of sunlight as the plastic blinds are yanked up. Over the next 20 minutes light-emitting diodes slowly illuminate the ceiling with a soft blue hue. The large electronically darkened windows also start to brighten.

The passengers have probably slept fairly well too. There is less of that dry, wrung-out feeling often associated with long flights because the air in this plane is less arid and the pressure is higher. The carbon offsets for this trip are also lower because the aircraft is using 20% less fuel than other jets and emitting correspondingly less CO2. Welcome on board the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

With half its primary structure, including the fuselage and wings, made from composites, the 787 is much lighter than any metal aircraft of similar size. That not only saves fuel but allows other improvements. For example, the air is nicer to breathe. Airliners have to be pressurised when flying above 10,000 feet because oxygen levels drop dangerously low. At cruising height, usually around 35,000 feet, cabin pressure in most aircraft is kept at the equivalent of around 8,200 feet (about the same as Mexico City) because maintaining a higher pressure in a conventional aircraft might accelerate metal fatigue. To add to passengers' discomfort, the air is kept as dry as possible because moisture causes metal to corrode. But the 787 is pressurised at the equivalent of 6,000 feet and the air can be kept less dry because the composites are stronger than metal and unaffected by moisture.

Boots Randolph RIP

Saxophonist Boots Randolph, who was best known for playing Benny Hill's signature tune Yakety Sax, has died in the US aged 80.
As a session musician he worked with artists such as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Brenda Lee.
He co-wrote Yakety Sax, which went on to become his biggest solo hit, with guitarist James Rich.
Speaking to the Associated Press in 1990 he said: "Yakety Sax will be my trademark. I'll hang my hat on it. It's kept me alive. Every sax player in the world has tried to play it. Some are good, some are awful."

Steorn Demo Called Off!

Apologies to those of you who got in touch to say you wanted to join me to check out the new perpetual motion machine on display in the City. Due to "technical issues" the demo has been called off! I'll keep an ear to the ground in case the display is reorganised (though I'm not sure we'll ever see it in action!)

IQ Test

Check out this IQ test from the Guardian. My result:

You got 20 questions right out of a possible 25. This gives you a cash/cleverness coefficient of 10.

It's official. Your IQ is significantly more powerful than the average for your salary bracket. Demand a pay rise while you still have your faculties.

Right, where's my manager?

Leave a comment with your result (after finding yourself a job which pays what you deserve).

Hat tip: Pippa

Steorn Demo

Steorn are experiencing some "technical difficulties" with the demo unit (!) but I'm still keen to head along to check it out.

If you're free on Thursday 12th July, join me!

Thank You Tony

I'm sure I can rely on you all to put your name to this letter of thanks to our ex-Prime Minister. Whose chest isn't bursting with pride when seeing such lines as:

In the years since [the Iraq War], I have come to realize that your friendship was with the U.S., and would not be dissipated by a temporary lapse in our voters' judgement. As such, I must now proclaim that, contrary to my previously held views, you are at least half the man that Maggie Thatcher was.

Sound Immersion

Plug in some headphones, click here and listen. Amazing.

WTC Revisited

Spider-Man's original trailer, released in 2001, featured a group of bank robbers on their getaway in a helicopter, which Spider-Man catches in a giant spider-web between the two towers of the World Trade Center. The trailer was pulled after the events of September 11, 2001 attacks. This looks strangely eerie now.

Casino, Sesame St. Mashup

Free Energy!

A company called Steorn is claiming that it has developed free energy technology, or a perpetual motion machine. Such technology would violate the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and the first law of thermodynamics in particular. The company has announced that a public demonstration of the technology is being held in London for the next ten days. It could be worth a visit.


Hat tip: Lal

We Gotta Floater

I went for an hour's session in a float tank last night. It was a whole new surreal experience: I've never felt like I'm floating on air before. Because of the excitement I didn't snooze, but it was unbelievably relaxing and I've already bought a set of three sessions for the future.

I did manage to fart, which propelled me towards the top of the tank and left me with a bump on my head.

Downward Dogs

I had my last yoga session with Lucy on Monday night before she leaves for Canada later this month. It's been a great experience, except I still can't achieve what I set out to do (and I'm not talking about touching my toes). Good Luck in Canada Lucy!

Glasgow Kiss

Hat tip: Buck

The Last Puff

During my tour of ale vending locations yesterday afternoon, it was refreshing not to walk into pubs to have smoke attacking my nostrils. The smoking ban is one piece of legislation I side with the government on.

The Cathedral is on the Other Side of the Square

George Cazenove................Major von Hapen

Stet Fortuna Domus

Got back to London early on Sunday morning for a booze up at the Cross Keys pub in Chelsea with some of the girls from school.

Sarah and Rehan's 5th Wedding Celebration

Down to East Sussex last night to celebrate Sarah and Rehan's wedding. It was great to see the characters from the stag weekend in Scotland again (see posts passim). The weather was dreadful, but that didn't stop the party, which passed so quickly I wasn't ready to retire when the taxi arrived at 12:30. A great evening.

In Uniform

Completely coincidently, Will, myself and Hepburn all turn up in the same clothes for dinner. All in standard issue public school boy attire. Extra points to Will for wearing the Timberland docksiders.

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog