- The Berglas Effect, the greatest and unexplainedest card trick of all time — the comments speculate that he has 52 pre-shuffled decks with a card in each position; perhaps they’re on to something
- The London Blossom Garden
- Uberduck.ai — finally, you can get a synthetic Jeremy Clarkson to cuss your friends out
- Topotijdreis — compare survey maps of the Netherlands from 1815 to the present day [NL]
- Similarly, the National Library of Scotland lets you compare satellite photos, modern-day maps, and old Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain
- Down the Youtube rabbit hole:
Anyway. I was going to write up a full post about a recent jaunt to Lady Waterford Hall, but my memory is awful and i’m not sure that it would be very interesting. Instead, here are some photos from the trip:
(If you’d like to visit, admission is free with a suggested donation of £3, and the place is wheelchair-accessible.)
It’s one in the morning and we just got done with watching the Eurovision. I’m still processing all of that, so this post isn’t the most structured thing in the universe, but here’s what i thought of it:
- Justice for James!! That man was just happy to be here and they gave him zero points. Criminal!!
- (Can we not just force Dua Lipa to do it next year?)
- My top six, in rough 1–6 order: Ukraine, Iceland, Bulgaria, Norway, Russia, San Marino. (“Comedy value” is a factor on the score card…)
- I really must add “the voting spokesperson sings” to the drinking game next year…
- Also: “Previous Eurovision winner appears” and “ludicrous musical instruments”?
- On that note about the score card — the score card we use for our annual Eurovision party has five categories:
- The song itself (out of 20)
- Vocals (out of 10)
- Visuals, staging, and dress (out of 10)
- Je ne sais quoi (out of 10) — basically a measure of charisma, or how much you can tell they’re just happy to be there
- Comedy value (out of 10)
- My highest- and lowest-scoring this year were Ukraine (with 51 out of 60) and Germany (with negative 14 out of 60), respectively. Yes negative values are allowed if they’re bad enough
- Apparently some family friends have included “sex factor” on their scorecards. Might consider adding that for next year…
- Notes on the individual entries:
- Cyprus: “Mum can we have Lady Gaga?” “We have Lady Gaga at home”
- Israel: We decided that, yes, “what are they wearing” also includes “what are they hair-ing”
- Russia: That dress!
- Malta: “We have Lizzo at home”
- Portugal: Nice and understated, by Eurovision standards
- United Kingdom: Good heavens, we sent one that wasn’t shit!
- Greece: Wow this must have looked awkward in the arena
- Moldova: Made us seasick. The entire watch party was also in agreement that the backup dancers looked like Agent Smith from a poorly produced porn parody of The Matrix
- Germany: In the “notes” section i just have “why” written in giant letters
- Finland: Kidz Bop Linkin Park
- Lithuania: It felt like that guy was trying to flirt with the entire arena and i was very uncomfortable
- Ukraine: She looked a bit like she would try to poison you with a potion of frog’s legs
- France: Go back to 1930, this is Eurovision
- San Marino: Flo Rida definitely 100% knows where he is and is not confused at all
- The interval act wasn’t horribly boring this time! That’s an achievement!
- The audience were so nice this time around. Cheering for Iceland when they couldn’t make it, then for the UK when they got nul points
- Oh and apparently Italy did a cheeky line of coke in the green roomα and then sang the version of their song with swears in in the reprise when they won? Legends
- The Crossrail omnishambles: “There were times when there was no design for anyone to work from.”
- “Oerknal: now that’s clear language”: an appreciation of the disappearing scientific words of Dutch [NL]α
- The Netherlands could become the second country where you can be legally unreachable in your free timeβ [NL]
- A third thumb, controlled by pressure sensors in the foot: okay, now where do i buy one of these?
- The North Paw: an ankle bracelet that vibrates to tell you which way is north. Intriguing, but no longer in stock — and wearing it would probably make you look like you’re meant to be on house arrest
- River Runner: Click to drop a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous United States and watch where it ends up — absolutely entrancing, nine-year-old me would have loved this
Australia was robbed
Eurovision is coming up soon! The international camp-off disguised as a very serious musical competition took a sabbatical in 2020, no thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but now that it’s back, it’s time for the annual tradition of encouraging our nation’s alcoholism by writing up a drinking game. (If, like me, you’re not overly fond of the golden drink, feel free to substitute alcohol with something equally sickening like chocolate milk. And if you are, please drink responsibly.)
One sip ☝️
- Drink to forget the pain of a boring ballad
- One of the presenters makes a joke that falls flat
- Someone mentions the coronavirus
- CrAzY DaNcInG!
- Phoning in the set design by just using shapes
- Singing in their country’s native language
- “Ethnic” instruments
- Smoke machine, wind machine, or dry ice
- Rainbow flag
- Key change
- Oh my god, what are they wearing?
- Yes, yes, that’s nice, just give us the scores already
- “Hello? Is this thing on? Can you hear us?”
- A country gives douze points to one of its neighbours
- If you guess the country’s douze points right, everyone else drinks.
Two sips ✌️
- Something has obviously had to be curtailed or cut back due to the coronavirus
- Someone makes a joke about the coronavirus that falls flat
- Metal, punk, or some other unexpectedly hardcore genre
- Singing in another language… which isn’t their country’s native language
- A great visualisation, ruined by not standing in the right place
- Singer from another country
- Costume change
- A technical fault occurs
- Someone cries
- Graham gets the outcome of the country’s voting right
- The UK gets 12 points (this will never happen, but a man can dream)
Down your glass! 🍺
- Pyrotechnics set fire to something
- Someone jumps on stage during a performance
I thought i might as well use the ability to schedule posts in the future to my advantage, so here are some anagrams for you to unscramble. Maybe this’ll keep you all occupied for a few minutes. Some of these are, of course, (much) easier than others.
- was sane
- her bud, gin
- scowl at net
- them can rest
- dry loon nerd
- “avowed”, ibid.
- an uncurled cane
- rude ferry medic
- tomgirls join a rebel
- waning site
- trumpland VIII
- communal-era men
- zen heal: be quiet
- jibe: “rotten Eden bishop!”
- elect me at lent
- the great ram chart
- a gold delivery god
- branch met an evil “hail!” ruler
- anarchy in the Lords? all bonny
Answers on a postcard in the comments, please.
Testing, testing… If this goes through, this should be my first successful blog post made from my phone.
Ah, i see you made it over. Welcome, one and all, to the new, improved, Press-tastic The Garden! After months of having to toil away at arcane computer code and consoles for the old version, i’ve coughed up the money for a real web host, freeing me to use the much more user-friendly WordPress.
The new home is a little rough around the edges in some places; as a novice, i wasn’t able to fully replicate everything. I think, though, that the missing pieces are more than made up for by what’s new: you can now natively search through the archive of posts, i can post shorter postsα without having to go through so much faff, and most importantly, we now have comments!
So, with pride, here is the first dump of links of the new blog:
- Churchill sings the best of Queen
- Ben Perkins, teenage blacksmith
- Fifty beautiful photos of Earth from the Apollo programme, restored to their full glory
- Coke and Mentos bottle hits cameraman — this one’s a vintage, from 2012
- Randomly discover cool links with Stumbled — if you remember StumbledUpon, it’s like that
And allow me to finally say: Leave your thoughts in the comments below! (Or don’t. I’m not your mum.)