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The English are so weird


I have posted about flower festivals before, where the members of a parish church fill the church with flower arrangements. Different people do different arrangements all around a single theme.

This sounds lovely, if you’ve never seen it. In practice, specific arrangements often include brain hurty items like plastic dinosaurs, old shoes or decapitated Barbie dolls.

I have no idea how this got started or what the point is, other than to spruce the place up and draw visitors. There’s usually a program (thank god for the program, or half the arrangements wouldn’t make any sense at all) and someone playing the organ and they sell you a cup of tea and a piece of cake. It is both civilized and grotesque.

We went to one this weekend that took it a step further and eliminated the flowers. The whole inside of the church was covered in…hats. Just hats. With labels.

Ladies’ hats, military helmets, Boy Scout berets, chainmail coifs, this here sombrero (there were two, actually).

I described this to a group of my neighbors and they were like, “oh, well yeah. That’s a little weird.” Then I told them that this same church last year featured wedding dresses of the parishioner and they were all, like, “oh, hey, our church did that!”

My life is a Monty Python sketch.

August 4, 2015 — 9:36 pm
Comments: 6

How do you say, “godammit, kitty!” in ancient Croatian?


Paw prints found on a 15th Century Croatian manuscript. Also Roman roof tiles in Gloucester. And Roman mortar in York. And in Leicester.

In the Netherlands, they convinced themselves that animal prints in floor and roof tiles were lucky and every home must have at least one. I suspect that’s a case of potters making the best of all those godammit, kitty! tiles.

But my favorite is this German manuscript from 1420, left oddly incomplete on one page. Scribbled on the blank part are accusatory pointing fingers, a sketch of a cat and the inscription

Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others [other cats] too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.

August 3, 2015 — 9:14 pm
Comments: 10

Dead Pool Round 76: Dog Dayz Edition

So they finally let the poor kid go. The commenter Formerly Known as Skeptic wins dick with Bobbi Kristina Brown. A short, sad story and not much good to come of it.

Except, you know, Skeptic won dick.

Okay, you ready?

0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar. Also, please don’t kill anybody. Plus (Pupster’s Rule) no picking someone who’s only famous for being the oldest person alive.

1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).

2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.

3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.

4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay? Also, make sure you have a correct spelling of your choice somewhere in your comment. These threads get longish and I use search to figure out if we have a winner.

5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.

6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.

7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you’ve won before, send me your address again. I don’t keep good records.

8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.

The winner, if the winner chooses to entrust me with a mailing address, will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original drawing on paper suffused with elephant shit particles. Because I’m fresh out of fairy shit particles.

July 31, 2015 — 6:00 pm
Comments: 105

compare and contrast


It’s an armadillo, haterz. It won first prize in the “named animal made out of vegetables” category, so there.

The Summer fete season is at its peak. I haven’t posted much from our adventures because it’s all the same every year. That’s the pleasure of it: it’s all the same every year. I get the feeling it has been the same going back decades. With a few minor changes, centuries.

Contrast this with the news. About two thousand migrants a night are still storming the Channel Tunnel. Some make it through. There are supposedly women and children in the camps in Calais, but all we see are strong, young men, swarming over fences and onto goods lorries.

Oh. Excuse me. David Cameron has been slapped for using the word “swarm” — it’s dehumanizing, apparently. The UN has told us to shut up and take our fair share of Syrians, Afghanis, Libyans, Gambians, Kosovars. It’s worth asking what our fair share is, and why.

An awful lot of the people I know here are reflexively liberal (that’s what having a huge monopolistic state media will do for you), but I don’t know anyone who isn’t horrified by this scene. There’s an instinctive understanding that the world of armadillos made out of squashes is not compatible with…that.

‘Member, Dead Pool Tomorrow. 6 WBT. Be here or be somewhere else; I’m not the boss of you.

July 30, 2015 — 9:51 pm
Comments: 12

That cat is so happy


From an illuminated manuscript of Jean Tinctor’s Invectives contre la secte de vauderie. “Vauderie” being an old French word for sorcery. This is Satan inviting his disciples to lick the cat’s butthole.


This is from a series of Medieval manuscripts showing cats licking their assholes. My old friend iamfelix sent me the link, which she said turned up in Iowahawk’s Twitter feed.

July 29, 2015 — 9:52 pm
Comments: 14

Now THAT’s how you Photoshop


I’ve seen bits of this guy’s work around, but I never bothered to look him up until today. His name is Erik Johansson. He’s a Swedish photographer who works in Berlin.

There’s no modeling or 3D, it’s all multiple of his own photographs artfully cut together. There are thousands of people out there bashing photos together, badly. This guy is really good.

Go look.

July 28, 2015 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 4

Bohemia, yo


This happy chappy is Daniel Vávra, a Czech video game developer. Long story short, he had an idea for a videogame, tried to get funding, was told all anybody wants is puzzles to play on iPhones, took his idea to Kickstarter. He was trying to get half a million to start, he got nearly $2.5 million to date (he has another corporate backer, as well – it’s a big team and a long lead time).

The game looks gorgeous. It’s set in a meticulously recreated 15th century Bohemia. They’ve consulted historians and architects, rotoscoped sword fighters, bought topo maps of the area, really trying to nail the era down as fully and accurately as they can. No magic (their slogan is “dungeons, no dragons”). You have to eat and sleep and make homemade medicines.

It’s called Kingdom Come: Redemption. I know most of you aren’t gamers, and I don’t usually recommend early access, but these guys are the real deal. They’re professionals and they’ve hit all their deadlines. The game is currently in early alpha (they’re calling it “technical alpha”; they’re mostly looking for basic playability glitches. Flying horses and chickens that walk through walls). Due out for reals in a year.

The t-shirt? Vávra is under heavy fire because there aren’t any people of color in the game. In 15th C Bohemia. He doesn’t seem too bothered.

Don’t think this is a bit of SJW fluff. This is a thing now. The Witcher — a popular series of games based on Slavic myth — has been dinged recently because everybody in it is Slavic.

And some silly grad student at the University of Leeds has written a paper — or put together a presentation, it’s not clear — on how ‘medievally-themed video games are a space where whiteness can be anchored, in a “happy history” where a world is free of multiculturalism and white guilt’.

Unfortunately for her, she picked the worst possible game to illustrate this. Skyrim is a great game in a fantasy medieval Nordic setting, but it’s completely multicultural and, at times, annoyingly preachy and 21st C about it. Her research seems to have been entirely interrogating players without investigating the game at all.

May Talos smite her in the ass for it.

Oh, yeah: the commenter Formerly known as Skeptic has won the dick with Bobbi Kristina Brown. They finally unplugged the poor kid and let her go. See you back here on Friday for Dead Pool Round 76.

July 27, 2015 — 9:39 pm
Comments: 19

Got this badass coming up the Channel


England top left, France bottom right, we’re somewhere under those big black blobs in the middle. Thunder, wind, the whole schtick. A lifetime’s worth of rain in ten minutes, or however it was the Mail drama’d it up.

I shall wish you a good weekend and sign off, I think. Good weekend!

July 24, 2015 — 8:44 pm
Comments: 7

Big bird


Artist unknown. I did try.

An emu shut down the A21 in Sedlescombe today. They got it penned in a field, but they still haven’t found who it belongs to.

Used to be a flock near us, now gone. I wonder if whoever it was sold it on.

Anyhoo, the article makes a remark about Rob Hull. He was a British comedian of the Seventies who…had an emu. You kind of have to see it.

Here he explains how to groom an emu. Here’s something a bit more camp, if you like that. British talk show host Michael Parkinson once bitterly remarked that, for all his long career, he would mostly be remembered being knocked out of his chair by emu.

Fun fact: later in life, Hull came to resent emu bitterly. Because that’s what people who perform with dummies always do.

In 1999, Hull climbed up on the roof to adjust his TV aerial, slipped and fell through a greenhouse and died. He was survived by emu.

July 23, 2015 — 10:36 pm
Comments: 6

Can I just get the t-shirt?


I was banging around the web today — following a link that led to a link that led to another link, deeper and deeper into the forest — when I was startled to find myself invited to join the Knights Templar.

“Oooooo!” went the little rogue braincell that plays Skyrim and yearns to LARP.

They’re vague about who they are and what they’re doing. The news on site is topically British, but the domain was registered out of Arizona. They’re equally vague on what they want to do, though it’s obviously pro-Christian and anti-Islam. It’s £60 British or $90 Murican, which seems steep for something I don’t know what the hell it is all about.

I poked around a little. According to the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH), there are 1,700 groups calling themselves Templars. Which they are perfectly entitled to do. This includes the branch of the Masons that is explicitly Christian.

So, is this one a genuine grassroots movement of some kind or an opportunistic scam? Who knows. Love their t-shirts, though.

July 22, 2015 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 11