Archive for January, 2004

Dodge ’em

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004

Don’t go look at this ‘ere Dodge game if you:

(a) have work to do;
(b) have a meeting to attend any time today;
(c) value your sanity.

[Thanks a bunch, Mighty Crumb.]

Hot Chocolate

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

I’ve never liked hot chocolate (the drink not the group, I seem to remember having a major crush on Errol Brown for a while back when I was a wee lass) but this recipe (via Ana) had me thinking I might be missing something.

Spanish-Filipino Hot Chocolate

Cacao was imported into the Philippines from Mexico during the Spanish occupation of the islands and turned into a status symbol because it was so difficult to grow. Chinese merchants dominated the trade in cacao, and mixed the chocolate with various other ingredients, such as sugar, peanuts, spices, and even corn. We recommend the use of Mexican chocolate in after dinner-drink since the traditional Filipino tableyas of chocolate are difficult to find in North America. This is chocolate espeso, or thick hot chocolate.

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bricks* Mexican chocolate, such as Ybarra, crushed
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks

In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil and add the chocolate. Stir well until the chocolate is dissolved. In a bowl, beat together the milk and egg yolks. Add this mixture to the chocolate, remove from the heat, and pour into cups.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

* Judging by the quantities of the other ingredients, I’m assuming that this means bars of chocolate in British English – would that be right?

So undignified…

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

but who gives a sh*t – go spank The Shrub!

[Via dotdew.]

Coke, genies and riddles

Tuesday, January 27th, 2004

I think you’ll enjoy this email exchange between David Armstrong (a former English teacher) and Coca Cola. [Via Simon Brunning.]

Which reminds me, I meant to post the Gender Genie (also via Open Bracket). You paste a section of English text, specify whether it’s fiction, non fiction or a blog entry and it will predict the gender of an author. I must admit that I’ve tested it with 6 pieces of text (taken from 4 blogs, 1 academic paper and 1 instruction manual) and all have been wrong*. But maybe you’ll have more luck?

* Sudden thought, maybe the bloggers in question are masking their identify…

Boys’ toys

Monday, January 26th, 2004

A picture that encapsulates, I feel, the very essence of what every man feels is important in this life…

Have you ever seen an iceberg from top to bottom?

Monday, January 26th, 2004

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about icebergs. I haven’t even seen Titanic. But I just received this picture by email.

It was forward by the manager of an offshore drilling platform near St. Johns, Newfoundland:

They actually have to divert the path of these things away from the platform by towing them with ships. In this case the water was calm, the sun was almost directly overhead and the diver was able to get into the water to take the picture. They estimated the weight at 300 million tons.

Suddenly the sinking of the Titanic starts to make more sense.

[Via non blogging Jane.]

UPDATE: It’s all a hoax. Many thanks to David for the tip-off. That’ll teach me to do a bit of research before posting!

Breaking the language barrier

Monday, January 26th, 2004

Starting at the European Parliament in Brussels, BBC Radio 4’s Breaking the Language Barrier is a thirty minute tribute to the skills of the interpreter. James Robins traces the history of interpreting (the first use of simultaneous translation was at the Nurenberg trials in post war Germany), through to the modern day as linguists prepare to increase the number of offical EU languages in daily use from 11 to 20. Unlike machine translation, he found it difficult to find evidence of “changing history” because of an interpreter’s slip. He includes some fascinating anecdotes involving Margaret Thatcher, Jacques Chirac, Mikhail Gorbachev and others, you can hear it at at the BBC website until Saturday (31-1-04). Enjoy.

Sidenote #1: The programme was originally titled Lost in Translation but renamed before transmission. Copyright issues with the film perhaps?

Sidenote #2: According to The Register and the Western Mail, Microsoft is at last about to start selling Welsh language versions of Windows XP and Office. But not everyone is happy

Thanks to Graeme, Neil and everyone who emailed me knowing that I would be interested :-0))

No sex please, we’re “doing the crossword”…

Sunday, January 25th, 2004


Presumably part of The Shrub’s moronic Abstinence program, this site lists 100 Things to Do with Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend… Insead of It. [Thanks to Neil for the link.]

“It” ? What age group is this aimed at? Apart from being patronising, doesn’t it fail miserably? At least 80% of the activities listed lead directly to sex whether you’re a hormally charged teenager, a lust-filled twenty-something or a horny middle-aged– *ahem*.

Here are the suggested alternative activities. I was going to “illustrate” them all but
(a) I have a life and (b) I think you lot can imagine far worse than I’ll link to…

Note: some of these links are NOT WORK SAFE *

1. Go for a bike ride.
2. Go to a high school football game.
3. Put together a puzzle with 1,000 pieces.
4. Go to an amusement park.
5. Hold hands.
6. Play hide-and-seek in a cornfield.
7. Go horseback riding.
8. Go inline skating.
9. Pray together.
10. Do a crossword puzzle.

NYPD Blue *is* back on

Sunday, January 25th, 2004

*Ahem* Contrary to fears expressed earlier in the month, Channel 4 has started showing Series 9 of NYPD Blue. Every Thursday at ten past midnight (and criminally ignored in advertising – have you seen any trailers?) but still. It’s on.

When will Channel 4 realise that they have the best drama series of the past decade languishing in the nether regions of the schedule?

If we got rid of the television today, the only programme I would miss (and probably bribe someone to tape) is NYPD Blue.

I never rarely cry at anything on tv but the final five minutes of last week’s episode (Sipowitz and McDowell at the bar) was one of the most moving pieces of drama I’ve seen in a long time.

Now, how on earth are we going to find time to watch five hours of Series 1 (FX 289) and an hour of Series 9 each week and keep the storylines separate? Heh, I think we’ll manage…

Onspeed update

Saturday, January 24th, 2004

Remember I talked about my brother’s attempts to use Onspeed?

After numerous calls to tech support it seems that the software doesn’t work with IE6 (Internet Explorer) on Windows XP Home. Their “solution” was to configure a dual boot (XP and 2000) and test it on both.

He has uninstalled and requested a refund.

Update 7 February 2004: I just wanted to point out that setting up a dual boot would be no problem but it seems rather a drastic measure. I can’t believe that they would be marketing a product that, quote: “doesn’t work with IE6 + Windows XP“. The UK internet press are all promoting the service and putting the software on cover disks so it must have some merit. Maybe the help desk operator was at fault?

Some forum discussions can be found here and here

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