I did not know this. I did not know that El Bulli shuts down for six months of the year while the team of bizarrely gifted and quite mad chefs led by Ferran Adrià works on the magic they are going to plate in the next season. I've just checked their website and it's true.
I can't quite imagine any other restaurant being able to shut down until 2012 and still be in business come 2013, but this is a restaurant that views food as a form of avant garde art and some things are more important than making a buck. Not that it doesn't make a buck. It does.
Anyhoo, there's a new doc out called El Bulli: Food in Progress (trailer below) and I really badly want to see it because I'm a massive food ponce. Anyone knows where it's on, I'm there.
As proprietary hunks of largely redundant, resource-hogging, eyeball-gougingly fucking terrible software go, I thought it was probably an even race between AOL, Norton, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft. But no. Apple couldn't even let them have that.
How can a company that manufactures such pretty hardware force you interface with it through the software equivalent of dangling your balls in blender with only two buttons, marked 'ON' and 'ON'? Not only is iTunes ugly and slow and glitchy and tediously arcane, but it compounds its ugly, slow, arcane tedium-inducing horror by forcing you to go through an 18 gigabyte software refresh every time you have the temerity to attempt an interface between your mobile phone and your computer.
Not only that but, as I have just discovered, the latest suicide-inducing 'upgrade', which seems to impart no discernible benefit whatsoever, has the handy side-effect of deleting your most frequently used phone profile and trashing the backups into the bargain. Now I'm left with a 450MB (yes - incredible!) jettisoned software version in the recycle bin and no way of rolling it back to salvage the aforementioned profile unless I buy a Mac and get someone with a PhD in fucking astrophysics to attempt to retrieve it.
I cannot even begin to express how much I hate iTunes. God rot the bastards.
In case you didn't know, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a Japanese fashion model and now bona fide pop star, following the release of her intergalactic megahit PonPonPon. Sure, the song has all the merit of a filler from the Sportacus singalong album and, hey, she might be famous purely for her hengao (strange face), but she gives some mean advice about false eyelashes ("What I’m wearing are tareme no basabasa [large, drooping artificial eyelashes] and they make my eyes look doll-like. So I recommend dolly fashion").
There's no denying she's a fabulous role model for the up-and-coming generation of young ladies seeking to make their way in the world.
Incredibly, PonPonPon has already topped the iTunes charts in Belgium and Finland, perhaps because once it gets into your head it may only be possible to get it out again with surgery. The video is certainly worth a watch. If anyone can explain it to me, you're on more drugs than the director.
If you haven't seen Bill before, you're missing a treat. Imagine one of the diseased, pig-fucking rednecks from Deliverance came up with a ventroliquist act where the dummy has the dress sense of a tax accountant and the human sensibilities of a plate of whale blubber. You're ballpark.
Here's Bill explaining by means of some excruciating stupid 'logic' why the Norway massacre scumbag Anders Breivik couldn't possibly be a Christian, despite the fact that he's repeatedly said he is one. It beggars belief how they given a woodentop like this airtime.
Pioneer 10, launched in 1972, and Pioneer 11, launched a year later, were originally designed to study Saturn and Jupiter. They have long since passed the two gas giants and become the first man-made objects to leave our solar system.
Radio contact has been lost, but know where they are, and where they are isn't where they should be. According to calculations based on Newton's Laws, they are drifting ever-so-imperceptibly off course. This meant one of two things - either there was a flaw in the spacecraft, or Newton had got something wrong.
Since the Pioneer Anomaly was first identified in the early Eighties, space wonks have been working furiously to figure out what the problem is. They have pored over the numbers, taken the Voyager's design to bits and pulled together all the data they can find (including the very earliest flight logs, which were printed out on paper and left in a stairwell, where they were rescued hours before they were due to go in a skip).
They quickly established that the Voyager craft were off course because they were slowing down too fast. They were meant to slow down anyway, due to the gravitational effect of the Sun, but there was something else putting the brakes on. Then some bright spark noticed that the rate of deceleration was exponential and matched the decay rate of plutonium-238.
This is significant, because plutonium powers both Voyagers. Science wonks now believe that a heat differential of as little as 5% between the front and rear of the craft would be enough to produce the observed deviation. I know it's been bothering you and wanted to be the first to put your mind at rest.
Obviously by 'infographic' I meant 'cartoon'. But when I visualise browsers as people - come on, we all do it! - this is how I see them. Except IE is loads, loads more hateable. Hateable like you want to stab it. Repeatedly. In the face. With a harpoon. That's been dipped in shit. And arsenic.
Awana Diab scored this rather nifty penalty as the UAE romped to victory against Lebanon. I couldn't hit an open goal mouth if the keeper was in the stands and I was shooting from the goal line, so that fact that he does it backwards is unspeakably impressive.
All well and good, but Diab has since been taken apart in the press for being 'disrespectful' to his opponents. I'm sorry, but is the same game where in between shagging octagenarian prostitutes, grown men bellow phlegm and venom into the faces of the officials and roll around on the floor like a man with an arse full of Deep Heat in an attempt to get their opponents falsely booked?
What Diab did looked all the world to me like a display of skill and daring that was designed to entertain. Football really does need to look to its priorities.
If you are remotely squeamish, don't even think about looking at this. The only reason I blogged it is because I ...errr... 'enjoyed' something very similar when living in Japan. My charming Japanese hosts laughed their arses off. And then I ate it.
Well, here we are at the Thousand Zen mark. I wasn't going to make anything of it, but it has been suggested that I ought to at least acknowledge that I've been flooding your browsers, Facebooks and Twitters with this garbage for a good while now, and perhaps apologise for it.
Otter Zen started out as something else and ended up as this - a catalogue of whatever it is that happens to have crawled into my consciousness and stayed there long enough for me to want to beat it back out again with a stick.
Of the thousand posts, there are 18 about dogs, 42 about dictators, ten that are very rude about Osama bin Laden and 93 containing the word 'fuck'. Passing obsessions include hacking, Wikileaks, the Pope, North Korea, tattoos, Rube Goldberg machines and the Arab Spring. Enduring obsessions include Japan, data visualisation, radical Islam, bad science, swearing, graffiti art and the Internet. Hitler gets more mentions than Jesus, TED talks get more mentions than Star Wars and Boz the Dog gets more mentions than Barack Obama.
There are 3,178 labels (meticulously listed and linked below) amongst which are 'ha ha ha die you bastard die die die', 'horrific joyless totalitarian entertainment', 'horse fanny' and 'A Sophisticated Bear with a Moustache Rides Abraham Lincoln with Laser Eyes into Glorious Battle'. I cannot explain most of them and I clearly do not know how to use labels properly.
The most popular post ever is one about the French protesting the burqa ban. It features a photo of scantily clad girls in bikinis. Some things about the web are constant. Of the more than 300 embedded videos, only eleven are lolcats. I still don't have any readers in South Dakota.
The Definitive Clickable Tag List
(If you persevere right to the bottom, there's a video of a dancing otter)