QOTD 14 April 2011 – Rachel Cooke meets the word ‘animatronic’

“I’ve been told it’s animatronic; I don’t know what that means. I think it’s robotic.”
– Rachel Cooke on Front Row, BBC Radio 4


My cat has fat tabs – these cats have wings

Sometimes, you fall off a productivity cliff and spend all evening reading about black-eyed kids, the STS-103 photographs and winged cats. We have indisputable proof of cats with wings, and if there is anyone qualified to tell you more about them, it’s cryptozoologist Karl Shuker. Here are the fruits of the “winged cats” tag on his blog:


winged cat




Ken Clarke and political nap betting

Budget 2011: George Osborne laughs off Ken Clarke ‘nap’

Ken Clarke napping

Just resting his eyes

Here is what I love about this story:

“Ladbrokes paid out to someone who bet it might happen.”

And here’s an obligatory Eric Pickles joke: Ken Clarke wasn’t napping, he just went into stasis to survive the orbital journey around Eric Pickles.



Quote of the Day 13 March 2011

“This appeased the god and enabled us to collect shrimp!”

PFK link


Immobilize your forehead for cheap – UK Frownies alternative

MAY 2015 UPDATE: I’ll leave this post here for reasons of historical accuracy, but I’m older and wiser and I use Frownies every night now. Yep, every single night I stick a beige triangle on my head. I recommend them. Also, I’m still alive. OK, read on:

You may or may not be aware of Frownies, overpriced face-rigidizers that are supposed to help keep wrinkles at bay by acting as removable paper Botox. Meant to be worn at night and/or when no one’s looking, they seem to be especially useful for the “elevens” (frown lines between the eyebrows). They are basically pieces of adhesive brown paper that you stick onto your face:

Frownies in action

Frownies in action

The reviewers on MUA have figured out that some brands of surgical tape work just as well and are considerably cheaper, but a lot of these reviews are US-based and I’ve not seen any UK alternatives suggested (although it’s been a while since I looked into this momentous issue, so, you know, my bad if the landscape has changed). My 11s have decided to arrive early and with a vengeance, so I’ve tried out a few different surgical tapes on this side of the pond and this is what I’ve found:

Boots own brand
Little to no immobilizing effect – too pliable.

Tesco own brand
Better, but some evidence of nocturnal frown activity visible upon waking.

3M Micropore Surgical Tape
Winner! No furrows to be seen in the A.M. As with Frownies, they’ll show up again to some extent later in the day, but I’ve found that with consistent taping mine have become much less noticeable even by the end of the day.

3M Micropore Surgical Tape

This is a good thing for me. It’s not just vanity (although it is partly that) – the rest of my face still looks mostly twenty-something, which it is, and I don’t want people to think I’m frowning at them all the time when they see incongruous 11s.

In the end, though, we are talking about putting tape on one’s face. So if this has been of interest to you, get to taping, but then go out and achieve world peace.

Speaking of which, I should note that I’m not in any way affiliated with 3M and I really hope they’re not some village-destroying, tax-evading evil entity.


Quote of the day 12 Feb 2011

“Providentially [sic – comma] children seldom number piracy among their experiences even in Eastern waters.”

Samples from the Bookshelf: A Book of Prose and Verse Designed to make the Reader “Ask for More”, assembled by Richard Wilson

EDIT 3 March 2011: And then this happened:



The BK Broiler of Wisdom has come to me in a vision

Last night I had a dream in which I knew I was dreaming but I didn’t know how to wake up. Nearly-lucid dreaming, or just a dream about dreaming and not knowing how to wake up?

During this dream I thought that maybe if I acted unusually in order to disrupt the flow of normal life going on around me (the settings were a Burger King, a charity shop and the innards of some kind of sports stadium), I might be able to stop the process and wake up. But I didn’t take action because I was so enmeshed in the dream that I was afraid of looking silly to those around me. Even though I was fairly sure none of it was real. How lame is that?!

Pretty lame. But I do it in real life. Most of us do. A lot of the stuff we think matters – like the possibility of complete strangers judging us – doesn’t matter. Not even in Burger King.


Just resting there, honestly

My husband and I were talking about finances a few days ago and the stars aligned in such a way that I was able to ask, “So…what you’re saying is that the money was just resting in your account.”


I don’t know if “cool” is the right word

Quote from TV at 3:27am –

“I think it’s cool for pets to be in wheelchairs.”

It is probably time to go to bed.