Monday, May 29, 2006

Evolution is in reverse

Stabbed student was protecting woman

"A student stabbed to death on a train had been carrying out a 'gentlemanly act' when he went to the aid of a passenger in distress, it was revealed yesterday." (Guardian)

Zoz

Friday, May 26, 2006

To myself, aged ten

Would you hear me if I could go back
and be a ghost from the future?
Could I tousle your hair,
enfold you with arms of air?

Did I already, was it me
making the champion marble win,
and turning coals into volcanoes
to entertain your lonely days?

Yes, yes I was already there,
making raindrops bounce for you,
ensuring bumble bees were waiting
on every other patch of clover.

I never told you, you couldn't hear,
but I did everything by magic for you.

Ganache

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Beau geste

Darkbloom

I've caught out half of the staff here moonlighting for another periodical but, just to show I'm not bitter, I'm giving you a link to their little secret website. It hasn't even been updated since 2004, so it must have gone bang.

Red Woodward

Scientific blunder

Britain was once a dangerous place to live

"Stone Age skulls from ancient mortuaries show that [between] 4000 and 3200 B.C., Britons had a 1-in-14 chance of being smashed over the head and those injured had a 1-in-50 chance of dying, a recent study reveals." (National Geographic)

Isn't it obvious that the archaeologists have damaged all the skulls with their little hammers. Have they never heard of Occam's razor? It's surprisingly handy for excavating ancient relics.

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Prof. Kronk

Friday, May 19, 2006

Why?

School gate murder

"Kiyan Prince, 15, was stabbed to death at the gates of his London school in Edgware. He was a regular youth team player at Queens Park Rangers and a keen all-round sportsman." (Skynews)

According to the report, Kiyan was trying to break up a fight and ended up being the victim. He was well-respected at the school.

Zoz

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Science for the Confused - an occasional series

No. 5: DNA as a key not an engine

Intuitively it seems that there is not enough coded information in the human genome to account for the complexity of our bodies. [Insert plausible sounding reference here. Ed] But might there not be enough to account for our variations? We know that there are genes for hair colour, eye colour etc. It is often remarked that we have much more in common than we have different. But this begs the question, variation from what? In this scenario there must be an original pattern, much more complex than the "list of variations", and DNA is like the measurements we give a tailor who then makes a suit to measure. The suit is similar to all other suits, it only varies in respect of the details we gave to the tailor. Creationists would love to argue this if they haven't already, but the real implication is that there is another discovery to be made for which DNA is only the key*.

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Prof. H. Kronk (Science Correspondent)

* See "Comments" below for more. Kronk hypothesizes that the mother serves as the "complex original" template, whose variations are backed out before applying replaced by the variations specified in the new individual's DNA. Ed

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Visiting Mars?

Ridley's "Believe it or not" (No. 1)

click to view

There are 30 hotels listed too.

Next >

Herbert Ridley

How many billion pages?

Unknown Creature

As you can see from the above Google image search and the following text search we discovered the world's one and only individual of this species some time ago. There is really only one name for it: Aphis Willesdensis.

[No research whatsoever went into this article, so please don't rely on it for your doctoral thesis. That is unless your thesis is on the Corrosive Effects of Disinformation on Scientific and Historic Research. Ed]

Monday, May 15, 2006

Actionman is 40

If you must

He's over the hill now.

On this day minus 5 and a different month* (new series)

Place your bets

Malachy Dunhill proves by elliptical logic that supporters of nuclear power are concupiscent hypocrites.

* Today's feature is from September 2003, the month in which the Brent East by-election was contested by Feargal Mooney and seaweed was discovered on Mars.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bluebells in peril



The native English bluebell is an endangered species because the Spanish variety is muscling in and, as you know, Spain is in the EU so there's nothing we can do about it. Herald gardener Ganache* does his bit for conservation by allowing the grounds to grow wild, and every year we have bluebells under the trees. As to whether they are Spanish or English, Ganache's policy is "Don't ask, don't tell." (More about bluebell woods)

* Ganache was also appointed poet in residence recently. See below. Ed

Local resident poet appointed local poet in residence

In a memo issued after last night's final edition, Ed Woodward announces the appointment of Willesden resident poet Ganache as Willesden poet in residence. The Herald wishes to acknowledge the support of Jobcentre Plus in sponsoring this placement.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Dolls' Hospital

There's a dolls' hospital in Dublin
where shellshocked Actionmen rest
and dollies wait for limb transpops.
It's where ragdolls come to get stitches
and bears undergo kiddie dialysis.
Barbie is believed to have botox
privately in the outpatients daycentre,
but Ken won't say. His lips are sealed.
Sindy is terminal in the hospice
watching Sunset Boulevard on a loop.
There's a bench with a plaque dedicated
to the great Robinson Golliwog
(killed by the cruel marmalade trade)
where tin soldiers wear their rusty legs
and music box ballerinas lean
forever akimbo, forever hopeful.
They'll soon be returning to their careers.

Ganache

Next >>

War

An endless armada of ghost white clouds
overtakes me walking north near London.
They are sailing in perfect formation
under the charcoal black water of night.


28/1/03




Writing Home

Ossian

Luck strikes twice



Not only are we in line for a huge compensation payout, but according to this offer received at Herald House today, we may be on the verge of finding out which of our local infants needs to be sacrificed to ward off the evil eye.

Compensation*

Letters

Good Day Dear

I'm happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from South Korea.

You might find it so difficult to remember me. Though, it is indeed, a very long time. On my singular, I am much delighted and privileged to contact you again, after couple of months now.

Presently i'm in Seoul for an investment projects with my own share of the total sum.meanwhile,i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds despite that it failed us some how.now contact my Secretary ,his name is Mr Kennedy Agumefa and his email address is ****@yahoo.fr [You didn't think we were going to cut you in on this deal did you? Ed] ask him to send you the total $500.000.00 in a Certificate Bank Draft which i kept for your compensation for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter.

I appreciated your efforts atthat time very much. so feel free and get in touched with my Mr Kennedy Agumefa and instruct him where to send the amount to you.Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy after all the sufferness at that time. in the moment, i am very busy here because of the investment projects which me and the new partner are having at hand,

Finally, remember that I had forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to receive the draft, so feel free to get in touch with my secretary Mr Kennedy Agumefa and he will send the amount to you without any delay.

Your Sincerely

Mr williams Karls

[sic x 99]

* Excellent. We deserve a bit of luck. The way things are going, we'll soon be rich enough to buy Nigeria, or maybe even takeover the Brent Cross Bugle. Ed

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Old Mavis's almanac

By this time next week, we will either know the date of Tony Blair's resignation or we will have the date of Gordon Brown's resignation.

Mystic Mavis

Friday, May 05, 2006

Blather

I heard Gwyneth Lewis say, in a television interview, that the trick of being a poet was knowing when not to write, when to shut up. There are a lot of people around who seem to think they can write a continuous stream of poetry, but these people are not Dante's or Shakespeare's; they are modern McGonagle's, dressing the banal in florid words. They persist in trying to say ordinary things in an extraordinary way, but isn't poetry just the opposite: extraordinary things said in an ordinary way? Perhaps it's extraordinary things said in an extraordinary way, yes that sounds better. To be prolific to that standard requires something more than pretend genius.

Ossian

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Quote of the...er...day

Boris Johnson To Play For England

'I'm like a greased panther, a coiled spring, all that suppressed kinetic energy. My metatarsals are OK and I'm looking forward to the game.' (Skynews)

He just couldn't bear for anyone else to win the WH quote of the week, having won all of the previous ones.

Implausible names

Tomasz Schafernaker
Everton Fox
Jay Wynne

Recent weathermen on the BBC. Check back for updates.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Latest in series: Quote of the w...um...q...um--year

Blair dismisses nine days of bad headlines

'It should not be nine years or nine days that the prime minster should be worried about - but the fact that his nine lives are almost used up.' (Menzies Campbell, Guardian)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Time is leaking

Time is leaking out of us like blood from the wounded, and with it whatever strength we thought we had. At comically long intervals we remark how time flies. Less of us remains, less and less, till we completely evaporate. The nests we gathered round us will fall to bits and new noises will replace our songs, till everyone who could have remembered our singing is gone as well. And the saddest part of all, we will never get to know what happens to the world, how it all turns out.

Ossian