Recent Posts

27 January 2011

The Cut

When I was first elected as a
councillor in Cambridge - many years ago,
I went to a budget survey meeting
with the public in a local shopping
centre which the then Labour council had

I was handed a form which gave a list
of spending areas for the budget
debate. It said:

Please tick all those areas where
you would like to see more spending.

I am a small state Conservative in
some ways, and I found many items on
which I wanted to spend more. I was
terribly aware of what went on in
my ward - the lack of provision for young
people, the need to do more in many
areas - and I wanted to tick
many boxes.

However, the Labour council had
sensibly included a proviso,
which said:

All we ask is that for every
box you tick to give more money,
you identify another
item on which you want to spend

Extract from a speech by MP Graham Stuart given in the House of Commons on the 19th January 2011. Submitted by Marika Rose.

25 January 2011

Human scale

Houses are mostly arranged in
‘blocks’, with boundary walls
to streets, lanes and courts.

There are no large front gardens,
and the heights of the houses vary.
The resulting width of the streets

is narrower – though the ratio of
building height to street width is
not much different than elsewhere.

More in keeping with traditional
towns and villages of the area.
More in keeping with a human scale.

Taken from a UK property developer's design specification document. Submitted by Mark Antony Owen.

20 January 2011

What did you talk about?

Early ambitions to work in the arts,
old cinemas, theatres and pubs,
home ownership,
Eddie Izzard’s theory on cat psychology;

Cubism, Aperol, synaesthesia,
the size of Yorkshire, Venice,
Harry Potter, Peggy Guggenheim,
marathon training, Glasgow, siblings,
sleeper trains, bleak landscapes,
the attentiveness of the staff,

plus sailing stories, basking sharks
and how ‘Jaws’ has traumatised
us both for life.

We had a lot in common.

Taken from a Guardian interview with a couple who had been on a blind date, 8th January 2010. Submitted by Rishi Dastidar.

18 January 2011

The Mystery of Pittkapples Stone

Mrs. Gordon of Coneregie lies close
to the north dyke near the middle.
Miss Nans Leslie of Pittkapple
lies below Pittkapples stone.

Mr. George Mereson lies
at the south dyke at Mr Reid's head.
Mr. Reid lies at the south side
of Pitfodle's stone next to the dyke.

Mrs. Ann Allan or Cambell, wife
of ––– Allan, of the Coast Guard Station, Cove,
was buried second grave,
south of Bishop Grant's grave.

Mr. John Goodsman, lies in the north
side of Isobel Gordon, close by her.
Mrs. Rankin lies at the head
of Bishop Grant's, below a stone.

Bishop Grant lies in the middle
of west end of the Pittkapples stone.
For Pittkapples stone read Pittfodle's.
Miss Wishart lies near the stone in the middle of it.

Mr. Alexander McNab was buried
in the Snow Churchyard with his daughter
in the grave next to Bishop Grant's
stone on the north side.

James, infant son of Capt. Kyle,
was buried in the Snow Churchyard
in the grave betwixt Pitfodles
and Mr. Massie's stone.

A child of Mr. McDonald lies
in the grave next to the north dyke
opposite Miss Rankin's gravestone.
Bishop Geddes lies in Bishop Grant's grave.

Miss Margaret Cruickshank lies
in the north side of Pittfodle's stone
close by it. Mrs. Gordon,
his sister lies in his grave.

18th and 19th Century burial records for Snow Churchyard, Aberdeen. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

13 January 2011


He LOVE printer.
He SCARED clingfilm.

A friend's twitter update about her cat, Ftse, on 13th January 2010. Submitted by Marika Rose.

11 January 2011

This is the cow

This is the cow. She must be milked every morning so that she will produce milk and the milk must be boiled in order to be mixed with coffee to make coffee and milk.
–Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 'One Hundred Years of Solitude'

The cow is a successful animal.
Also he is quadrupud, and because
he is female, he give milk, but will do
when he is got child. He is same like God,
sacred to Hindus and useful to man.
But he has got four legs together.
Two are forward and two are afterwards.

His motion is slow only because he
is of asitudinious species.
Also his other motion is useful
to trees, plants as well as making flat cakes
in hand and drying in the sun. Cow is
the only animal that extricates
his feeding after eating. Then afterwards
she chew with his teeth whom are situated
in the inside of the mouth. He is
incessantly in the meadows in the grass.

His only attacking and defending
organ is the horn, specially so when
he is got child. This is done by knowing
his head whereby he causes the weapons
to be paralleled to the ground of earth
and instantly proceed with velocity

He has got tails also, but not
like similar animals. It has hairs
on the other end of the other side.
This is done to frighten away the flies
which alight on his cohoa body
whereupon he gives hit with it.

The palms
of his feet are soft unto the touch. So
the grasses head is not crushed. At night time
have poses by looking down on the ground
and he shouts his eyes like his relatives,
the horse does not do so. This is the cow.

From a supposedly genuine essay on the subject of 'the cow', written by a student for the Indian Civil Services Exam. Undated. A few minor words have been removed to maintain the natural decasyllabic rhythm: so (from line 3); much (10); the (22); great (23). Submitted by Gabriel Smy.

06 January 2011

Case History 5.1

The paramedics will be arriving
In four minutes
With a 34 year old patient who has
A blood pressure
Of 80 millimetre of mercury
And a stab wound to the back,
between the shoulder blades.

What form of shock might this patient be
suffering from:

Haemorrhagic shock?
Pump failure due to pericardial tamponade?
Pump failure due to tension pneumothorax?
Neurogenic shock due to spinal cord transection?

All are possible.

What action may be necessary?

Case history taken from CCrISP (Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient), 2003, submitted by Jim.

04 January 2011

Keep It Pimpin'

Get more serious about my money
and future. Treat this pimpin like its
a business only except their best.
Take care my bitches more better.

The other ways to work my hoes
internet, int. feature dancers, int. stuff.
Discover hoes from all over
Jail house, small cities, nationwide got hoes
that are waiting to be discovered.

Stay in high pursuit
looking for a prostitute
Don't never get too comfortable
or lazy in my position.

Maintain and campaign everything I do
or buy make sure it's a campaign tool
Make my word is my bond keep it pimpin!
Attend the Players Ball in Vegas
Cross country pimpin!
Establish my name internationally

Take my game to the next level
from the concrete streets,
to the executive suites
Pimp or die;
mack or cry
play to win
and plan to the end

Set up a international operation
have five hoes on every continent,
make every hoe take a vow to hoeing!

Purse first, ass last!
If I'm gonna take a chance,
then I'm gonna take the hoes money in advance!

Put my city on the map and establish my own player
Stack money to the ceiling safety deposit box.
Cash cars buy alot good cash cars that way
I will always have cars if something goes bad

Minimumize my budget cash cars, houses.
Keep a good photographer
split second video/kings flea market.
Get in touch with big Al out of Florida.

The business plan of a pimp presented by US prosecutors in Oakland, from Youth Radio, via kottke. The several parentheses have been italicised instead and basic punctuation added where not in the original. Submitted by Gabriel Smy.