Saturday, December 15, 2007

Be silly!

I can't help noticing that when I posted a blog entry about global warming, I got three more or less entirely serious comments in response, discussing the extent to which my energy-saving lightbulb would contribute to the crisis. And yesterday when I posted one of my occasional can't-think-of-anything-to-write-about pieces of nonsense (and not even a particularly good one, at that), someone commended it as 'rather imaginative'.

Really, I'm starting to worry that people are taking this blog seriously. So I command everyone who comments on this one to say something completely stupid and not even remotely serious, just to restore Zoomy's Thing's reputation as a totally pointless waste of everyone's time.

Also, you all need to watch Damekko Doubutsu, one of the strangest and funniest Japanese cartoons I've ever seen, about a forest populated by useless animals.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Coventry Ikea

The Ikea store in Coventry is larger than most, being a vast underground complex spanning the whole of the city and parts of the surrounding countryside, plus a small, cramped tunnel leading all the way to Belfast. The complex was built as a result of a mix-up on the part of the architects who redesigned the town hall after the Gulf War - their blueprints got mixed up with a picture one of them had drawn of a revolutionary new hamster habitat he was planning to build. It would have been a terrible hamster habitat, being several hundred square miles of empty cavern, but it made a passable Ikea once a few shelves and tills had been fitted and the hamsters that had quickly colonised the place had been put to work providing electricity by running around on little treadmills.

The real problem with the store is that although it is located directly underneath the car park in Coventry, it is only accessible by means of the small, cramped tunnel from Belfast, there being no other access point. Customers are therefore faced with difficulty in leaving the store with their purchases and staff, given the difficulty of entering and leaving the store, spend their entire lives in the gloomy caverns and have evolved, over the course of the three years the store has been open, into a race of mole-like beings, two feet tall, with no eyes and worm-like appendages that sometimes alarm small children.

On the other hand, it's better than the Tesco in Coventry, which has slippery floors.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Blue Peter-related remarks

After tonight, I won't mention Blue Peter again, I promise. But I thought I really should say a public thanks to the boy who reassured me that I'm like a million times better than all of them put together, after my rather unimpressive memory performance. If only I could remember his name...

I'm also told, by an unreliable maternal source, that the first proper sentence I ever said was "It was Goldie's birthday and all the dogs came to his party!", so possibly if not for Blue Peter I would never have learned to talk and this blog would consist of disjointed incoherent childish babbling. Oh, wait, that's all it does consist of...

Also, and this isn't really anything to do with Blue Peter at all, have they stopped making Drifters? The chocolate bar, not the vagabonds. It's my choccie of choice and there aren't any in the shops any more!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Here's one I prepared earlier

To be fair, I did tell them I'm not particularly good at memorising names.

Actually that's not being fair at all - while the names-and-presents thing was the Blue Peter team's idea, and they couldn't be talked out of it, it was me who suggested throwing in birthdays as well. The idea was that by adding something numerical to the mix, I could turn it into a challenge that not just anybody could do, while still being confident that it was still eminently doable for a half-competent memory expert like me. And in all honesty, it really shouldn't have been any problem - I attribute my spectacular failure to excitement and unpreparedness, never having done anything remotely like that before and having to take a guess at what would be the best strategy. And having the numbers come up of the few kids who I couldn't remember - I would have been fine with most of the others. And getting the first one wrong really annoyed me, because I did know him - Harold was the littlest one of the thirty and the thought of him playing for Chelsea was a funny mental image that should have stuck in my brain but somehow didn't when I was put on the spot.

But still, it wasn't about succeeding in the challenge or providing watchable entertainment for the nation's youth, it was about going on Blue Peter, meeting the presenters (Zoe and Andy are exactly the same off-camera as on, I'm pleased to report - I've always been worried that Blue Peter presenters are nasty, cynical grown-ups who swear and watch pornography when they're not on air, but in fact they're fantastic people. Although Andy had to be reminded not to say "I'm knackered" like he did in rehearsal after playing on that groovy electronic floor game thing), meeting the pets (as well as Socks sitting on my lap, Mabel decided she liked the taste of my shoes), getting the badge (still haven't lost it again) and having fun! And I certainly achieved that. Too bad nobody's going to want me on any future TV shows after that shambolic performance, but never mind. I was getting tired of celebrity status, anyway.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Up for the Cup

As part of this memory demonstration we're going to do in the unis, in the spirit of memorising something more, well, memorable than numbers and cards, I volunteered to memorise all the FA Cup Final results. Which is easy enough, but proved unexpectedly complicated when it came to finding out what all the results were in the first place. Most reputable internet sources say that the Wanderers beat Oxford University 2-0 in the final in 1877, but Wikipedia (and the various websites who steal their information from Wikipedia), give the score as 2-1, with an Arthur Kinnaird own goal for Oxford.

I wondered whether this was one of those falsehoods people put on Wiki to discredit someone - a great-grandson of someone Kinnaird fouled a century ago, possibly - but no, it seems the 2-1 result is correct, and the other websites share a mistaken source. I checked with the FA website and a real book (because if they put it in a real book, it must be true. Even the real books that just steal their information from Wikipedia).

I'd still like to be absolutely certain, though. Has anyone got a time machine I could borrow? And the price of a ticket to the cup final in money minted at some point before 1877? I'll bring you back a programme and half a 130-year-old meat pie.

Monday, December 10, 2007

When you do nothing all day...

... it's really hard to think of something to write about in the evening. Well, tomorrow I'm going to get off my lazy backside (metaphorically but not literally), sit down and work on my book and our upcoming university memory demonstrations. No, really, I am, because I've planned out tonight what I'm going to do, and writing it in this blog makes it official, so I can't not do anything tomorrow now without being some kind of public liar.

Who knows, I might even find something to blog about tomorrow, too.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Global warming? Yeah, that's my fault. Sorry.

I switched to energy-saving light bulbs a couple of years ago, but the bulb went in my living room last week and I dug up an old non-energy-saving lightbulb to replace it until I could get a new one. And since then I've never remembered to buy a new one while I was in town. So I'm hoping that by writing about it at unnecessary length in my blog tonight, it will stick in my memory a bit better and I'll be able to get back to making an infinitesimally greater contribution to saving energy, and thus saving the entire world from flooding and sunburn.