Unreliable and possibly off-topic


Sunday, February 27, 2005

Dumpling recipes

This is the quick house version, made by the British method (suet and self-raising flour) but vegetarianised by veg suet and aromatifised with some herbs. Useful and delicious for one-pot, cold-weather, stodge-based, fill-'em-up cooking.

200 g self-raising flour
100g vegetable suet
20 grinds of sea-salt
20 grinds pepper
Small handful flat-leaf parsley, snipped.

Sift the flour from a height into a large bowl and mix in the suet using your dominant index finger. Add salt, pepper, parsley to the dry mixture. Drizzle a thin stream of water into a well in middle of dry ingredients, incorporating this using the same single-digit mixing technique. Just as for scones, alchemists of the technique recommend minimal handling to retain air pockets in the mixture. When adequately moistened, the mixture should just have formed a ball. Make golfball-sized balls of the mixture (10-12 for this quantity) and let these rest in the fridge for 30 mins (another empirically-untested but alchemical tip).

The stew in which the dumplings are to be boiled/steamed should be slightly more watery than desired, and have reached a stable simmer under a lid before the dumplings are added and the lid replaced. These sink to the bottom of the pan, before rising progressively above the stew surface as cooking proceeds. However, do not lift the lid too often to observe this process, as this will impair the steam-driven rising process.

While claiming no expertise, an impression is gained that the dumplings of Germany, Alto-Adige and central European cuisines are more typically constituted from moistened leftover stale breadcrumbs than flour and fat, making a kind of MittelEurope bubble-and-squeak. It's this base that forms the stuffing for a traditional family Xmas stuffing, which can be usefully adapted to a vegetarian/vegan diet.

Kathie's Ancestral Stuffing, adapted for Nut Roast Balls

One box commercial sage'n'onion stuffing (ingredients breadcrumbs and seasonings)
2 sticks celery, 6 mushrooms, 1 large onion, all small-diced and sweated in veg oil till soft.
Deluxe Nut Roast Balls extras
Handful raw unsalted nuts (hazels, walnuts, brazils, pinenuts are tastiest), dry-roasted till fragrant.
One egg (if wished), beaten

Combine all desired ingredients and drizzle in just sufficient water while stirring with index finger to make mixture form a gloopy ball. Allow it to rest for > 30 mins, as the breadcrumbs will absorb a lot of the free water over this time. Stuff your bird (Kathie's Ancestral Stuffing) or (with the addition of the protein-rich nuts) form the mixture into gorilla-testicle sized balls which can be either boiled in a stew for the steamed dumpling version, or alternatively baked in a moderate oven (gas mark 5) for 40mins, and served with a capsicum-sundried tomato sauce.


God is good

In the beginning the word was God, and the word was good. And God included a species with the common name of badger ferret amongst his good creations later stowed on Noah's Ark.

Still my beating heart, but if my skills allow it, an image will appear below.

of one of the Melogale species, of which three or four exist currently.


Daily Snores

Think of this as Newsnight but without Gavin Esler. Yer news today, here right up-to-date in the 21st century, is that the Pope is sick but still infallible, gay Anglicans are splitters and Saxe-Coburgs don't like each uvver. It's a revelation that church and monarchs can still generate so much pabum, but as usual the Sunday Herald makes something a little more interesting than the usual over these.

The public may also be shocked and dismayed to learn that Army recruits fall after Iraq war when every effort has been made to increase recruitment advertising. Whod've thunk it?

And this as Newsnight review, but without Bonnie Greer.
Pi- exquisite cinematography, mathematical theme and cabalism (not to be confused with cannibalism) too.

Dawn of the Dead- self-consciously formulaic, media-aware remake available on DVD, but much better on the big screen.

Hope to sees-
Beastmaster- apparently a Conan-genre classic featuring a steroid-overblown bodybuilder, a tiger sprayed black to be a black panther, a hawk dyed to resemble and eagle and two telepathic ferrets.
Yes Men- Responsibilities prevented attendance of this weekend's late-nite showing at the local mall (cf Dawn of the Dead).

Journalism worth checking, in the gonzoid school

Postscript: Nascent Observer blog features chips (they eat them), blogs as punk (may the saints and Mother Mary help me in my hour of need) and leftism as Harry's Hellhole.

It occurs that ObserverBlog fails to recognise that these are s'posed to be made in your own time, and bosses needn't own your thoughts. As yet.

The Ramones were an experienced, symbol-wise band who achieved a crossover market covering diparate nihilstic tendencies in punk and heavy-metal movements. Quite commercial latterly, especially the Phil Spector end. The End of the Century film had me laughing out loud in a silent audience. Joey didn't take full part, but Johnny was a class act.

Could Bonnie Greer review this please?

Addendum- Sau reports evidence that HST (age 65 or 67 years [see Tomb passim]), Gonzoid and Doctor, shot himself during a phone call with his wife (age 32) of 2 years' standing. If so, he's back in my doghouse for bad behaviour. What did I expect?


Honey badgers

On a day when the BBC websites' top news is a sick Pope and an Anglican split, honey badgers don't come close for off-topic.

Your honey badger (as Dead Men Left will know) is a mustelid, but probably no more closely related to your British brock than a gorilla is to a marmoset.

Note an appearance of a skunk/anteater/possum cross, with shovelling forelimbs and a rough insect-repellant coat. Although not related to any but the former of these, the honey badger shares a niche and feeding habit with these suggestive of convergent adaptation.

To be recommended is the BBC's video of their series Weird Nature featuring some wonderful footage explaining the interdependence of honeybees, the honeyguide bird, honey badgers and Koi-San people during the tracking and plundering of Kalahari hoves..

Honey badgers display an extreme form of sexual dimorphism even among Mustelidae, with males double females' weight, and unlike its European namesake, males lead largely solitary adult lives. Females employ highly altricial rearing habits, raising small litters of just one or 2 kits who remain with their mother for at least 14 months.

An excellent resource on Mellivora capensis highlights the lack of phylogenetic relationships between several species called badgers. This has been a habit of first-world naturalists or colonists 'discovering' co-adapted but distinct species during their travels. Many US birds have little phylogenetic relationships to the Eurasian namesakes, and the same confusion is found for marine creatures.

*Exclusive- the existence of a Chinese ferret badger just has become known to me. Must learn more...

*Killer language fact- 'Weird' disobeys the 'i before e' rule. New mnemonic proposed is:
'I' be fore 'e' except after 'c'
But weird is weird as weird can be


Saturday, February 26, 2005

Health News

An epidemiological study of post-natal depression finds no change in risks after caesarean section, now representing 22% of deliveries. Its author Prof Murphy explains rising rates of caesareans thus- "Big babies get stuck and fat women do not labour as well". A woman after my own heart.

Fact is, the interviewing journo was prolly doing that thing they do of repeatedly asking for meanings in layperson's language. Anything reduced far enough will sound dumb, but I know what the Prof meant.

Additionally, and with no disrespect to the Prof, it occurs that Dundonian women probably have more important reasons to be depressed than a caesarean.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Domestification III

Ferrets receive my deepest admiration, existing as they do at a line where animal domestication meets animal torture. US pet ferrets are a case in point.

American ferrets have an increased incidence of a complex of middle-life disorders, (specifically insulinomas, adrenal and metabolic diseases). The practices of Marshall Farms, the major breeder and supplier of ferrets to franchised US pet supermarkets, highlight encroaching issues in animal ethics (admittedly not my strong point).

MF ferrets are conceived and born under 'forced' photoperiodicity-controlled, battery-like conditions. Kits are either castrated and stripped of anal glands or spayed at 6 weeks, tattooed with the blue MF earmark and shipped off to PetUniverses all over the continent. Ferret experts acknowledge that cancer rates are elevated in US compared to European ferrets, but studies show no difference in cancer-proneness in US MF ferrets and non-MF ferrets. Instead, speculation is centred on generalised environmental influences such as diet, photoperiod and early neutering, each of which could contribute to the peculiarily endocrinological pattern of US ferret morbidity.

What fact is clear, and neglected, is that your average pet ferret in the US has a lowered life expectancy and greater chance of chronic ill-health. Whether this is primarily or synergistically related to genetic predispositions or inappropriate management, something is going pear-shaped in ferret-world. My money would ride on over-implementation of market-forces and proximal thinking, when sale aspects of cute, colourful, submissive ferret lines are bred without long-term assessments of their wider fitness. Early castration (@6 wks instead of 6m) gets my side-bet as a cause of ferret ill-health. It's carried out not just to improve customer satisfaction (by removing troublesome smells and aggressive behaviour) but also to monopolise and restrict reproduction so that the copyrighted-protected MF ferret product remains exclusive. However, in limitation/segregation of reproduction, amongst the most ethically troublesome aspects of ferret-keeping, MF practices represent an extreme but not discontinuous trend of centuries-old ferret domestification practices. This image from MF sums up their marketing values.

Although widespread for domesticates, it's the control of reproduction which bothers most- a conditional right compatible with quality-of-life, and extended to a wider section of food-intended domesticates (esp. females eg cows, sows, mares, hens) and commensuralists/pets (dogs. cats) than to the modern ferret product. What offends most in reproductive control is a repudiation of commensuralism, and that short-term and immediate commercial concerns blinds to the essential human-ferret commensuralism, which can and is being abused. These themes run through animal domestication ethics, all of which rely, without basis, upon human goodwill to promote the well-being of domesticates. Humans aren't too good at that, especially where capitalism's concerned.


Wednesday, February 23, 2005


(Abridged from ML OT forum)

Social insects- ants, bees, wasps, even butterflies- represent an understudied realm of biosocial reality and possibility, with certain key interesting features: flexible, self-organising embryological, ontological, reproductive and behavioural repertoires, networked sensory and perceptual communications and emergent social properties.

It's too big and beautiful to easily condense, but life cycles of social insects and their colonies in all their diversity raise and speak to key questions about genetic determinism, heirarchy, and bio-social levels of organisation/action. Individual ants develop to fulfill roles determined by colony dynamics, which are not (as has been historically/semiotically superimposed) under direction of the 'queen'. The anthropocentric concept of 'the individual' is strained and transformed by the unfamiliar kinships of hymenopterid colonies, and by role-transitions during ants' lifespans. Current knowledge gives only hints of the complexities and interactions that occur during networked communication and behavioural accomodation of individuals and classes within hymenopterid colonies.

One of the most interesting questions raised by the ethology of ants is the biological level at which selection is operating. Mendel and Dawkins place this firmly with the genome of an individual, but this polarisation becomes less meaningful when acknowledging epigenetic influences on embryology and ontogeny, non-diploid patterns of reproduction and the usefulness of 'colony', 'society' or 'species' as useful and augmented concepts. This biological observation, without intending reductionism, has ramifications for a political, complex, anthropocentric world too. How can we be 'individual' when our very cells are symbiotic assemblages? Meme and kinship webs continue to obscure further what is individual in our social species. Hoping 'Multitude' (Negri and Hardt), should I understand it, could amplify some of these themes.

Ant titbits:
Six living ant colonies here
A south-migrating swarm of monarch butterflies here
Report of synchronised mating flight of Falsius niger (common black garden ant), 28/7/04 here

Hymenoptera-relevant books:
1. Ants at Work: How an Insect Society is Organized. Deborah M. Gordon, Michelle Schwengel. Short, accessible and wondrous exposition of self-organisation
2. The Ants. Bert Holldobler, EO Wilson. The bible.
3. The Forgotten Pollinators. Stephen L. Buchmann, Gary Paul Nabhan. Commensuralism between insects/birds and flora.
4. The Fabulous Insects. Charles Neider (ed). Archaic, 'Boy's Own' naturalist adventures.

Antastic links:

Haplodiploid reproduction:

The synchronised mating flights of winged male and female black ants on 28th July 2004 was stupendous- the pure biomass alone was spectacular. Colonies all over central Scotland had somehow tacitly agreed to release flying gametes on the same day, so that Arthur's Seat was literally swarmed and crawling with bloated flapping ants. The mating flight might be earlier this year, but this time an Ant Farm is standing ready for a captured fertilised queen to colonise.


BBC gets with the program

Purty good prog last night on Beeb 2's 'Natural World'- 'Killer Ants'. The voiceover was just as crappy as the title, but fabulous footage of Eciton army ants in eastern Africa included. The massive mandibles of soldier Eciton remain locked in death, are thus are used as organic stitches for lacerations in local medicine.

It's repeated on Sunday, when I will discover just which of the ex-Tomorrow's World presenters (Michael Burke, Raymond Thingy) supplied the lame voiceover for the program. I feel a letter to the miscreant coming on...


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Carrot and mooli salad

1 mooli
3 carrots
Rice vinegar
Sesame seeds

Peel and grate the tubers, then sprinkle with 1-2 tbs shoyu and leave in a colander to leach out moisture for 30 mins. Gently squeeze out grated veg when you transfer to serving bowl, then mix with big handful chopped coriander leaf. Dress with 2-3 tbs rice vinegar and toasted seeds.

Very good for you. Sweet, crunchy and tasty, and optionally nippy with the addition of chopped pickled chillis.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Old bloke tops self

Innocently popped into Smiley Brothers for sugar, and saw the sidebar of the early edition of the Evening Snores- Hunter S Thompson, the stupid bugger, has shot himself at his ranch. He always liked guns too much. Maybe it felt good going out holding hands with a friend, as it were, but his selfishness shines out. Gunshot suicide makes the worst mess imaginable, and the old bastard left this to be discovered by his son. I am glad he was not my dad, but Fear and Loathing was for some years in the Top 10 novels list. I can't find my yellowed, much-thumbed and cracked-spine copy either in the 'modern classics' or 'drugs n sex' bookshelves, but its first line-

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.

still quickens the heartrate in a sympathomimetic adrenochrome surge.

Barstow is a god-forsaken town in the Mohave Desert between California and Nevada, housing a military base and not much else. You wouldn't want to go there. My step-niece's Lindsey's insane mother moved her there for 4 awful weeks last year, after falling for a dashing helicopter pilot in the US army.

Jon Ronson speculates that Gonzo was ill. He'd had spinal surgery twice in recent years according to other obits. If so, I forgive him.


Best and worst of Prague

Best has to be kings of Bohemia, such as Rudolf II and Josef II. The eccentric (read barking) Rudolf amassed a collection of curiosities and patronised astrologers, mystics and alchemists, including Edward Kelley and John Dee. Josef II established a haven/ghetto for Jews (known as Josefov) by the banks of the Vltava.

The name Prague is derived from a proto-Slavic word for 'threshold', while Bohemia is named for the Celtic tribe that settled there, the Boyars. Czech is a bloody difficult language possessing a near-impossible consonant sound (r with a hook) that is voiced with jaws together but teeth bared in a snarl while the tongue is fluttered against the teeth. You have to think the sound 'd' while you do it, and blow quote hard to get the tongue-trill. My two-word Czech vocabulary is basic (prosim- please) and abstruse (holub- bogey).

Drank coffee at the table next to Vaclev (c with a hook, making it say 's') Havel in a art deco cafe, sitting underneath Manet's portrait of the absinthe drinker, the Green Fairy.

Worst is the Prague beggar's stance, kneeling on the snow with head down and cup extended in outstretched hands, or (worse still) prostrate in prayer, still extending the McDonald's cup. Medieval, penitent, flagellant and repellant- the observer doesn't know whether to be more disgusted with the beggar or themself.

There are no Starbucks in Prague, yet, or black people (except touristi)...


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Things to worry about

Why suffer free-floating anxiety when it can attached to real stuff like this.

Plutonium 'missing' at Sellafield

Enough plutonium to make seven nuclear bombs is unaccounted for in the records of Sellafield power station, British Nuclear Group is expected to announce. The Times claims an annual audit due to be published later will show that 30kg of plutonium is classified as "material unaccounted for" during 2004. A BBC correspondent expected British Nuclear Fuels to admit a "paper loss". And the Department of Trade and Industry said the audit "does not represent any material going missing".

Despite poo-pooing of its toxicity, heavy metals like plutonium are not what you want settling on your radishes, and the isotopic mixture produced by reactors is six times more radioactive than its commonest isotope, Pu239.


Domestification II

Where and how did radishes arise? While enjoying one of these little darlings last week, I started wondering about this and decided for fun to make some best guesses based on what little I know of the domestification and spread of starchy food plants (e.g. sweet potatoes, maize, manioc etc) from Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, Colin Tudge's So Shall We Reap and that newly discovered treasure, Stephen Mithen's After the Ice.

Your radish is tuberous, and a first guess was to bunch it with carrots, turnip, beets or parsnip which share crunchy, sweet taproots. Its name would comes from a central European root word radizh, reflecting origins in the biodiverse mediterranean environment and adoption by settlers of the valleys of the Caucasus, whence it spread westward to become salad radish and horseradish, and eastward where it developed into the pale giant radishes like the Indian subcontinent's mooli and Japan's daikon. It's a reasonable guess that it will have reached northern Europe with the Romans (like many other plants and animals).

The truth was stranger than the guesses. Your radish is a cultivar of Raphanus sativus and a closely related thus to brassicas such as broccoli, kale and watercress. Such Cruciferae also include turnips and beets as speculated, but the carrot/parsnip connection is not borne out, as should've been guessed by the non-radishy lacy foliage of Umberelliferae. The etymology of radish is attributed to Latin radix, and not a Slavic or Turkic root, although ancestral forms may have arisen up to 3,000 years ago either in China or the Caucasus. Radishes were known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but apparently did not reach the British Isles until the 16th century.

Radish sculpture festivals feature in Oaxaca and China- think about that next time your enjoying a crunchy, spicy little tastebomb,


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Optical illusion

Thanks to 12 yr old Joe, who brought this captivating optical illusion to my attention.


Note to self

Lenin's Tomb strayed this afternoon into badger and penis territory.

Must go to local zoology dept library to pick up this paper (excerpt below) from the Journal of Mammalogy on mustelid baculums.

From the ancestral condition, it is possible to derive forms with a more
complicated head that has projections and openings (e.g., melines,
Eira barbara, Galictis, Gulo gulo, Martes) or spoon-shaped and cup-shaped processes (e.g., Ictonyx, Mellivora capensis). Another evolutionary trajectory
involves the distal tip of the baculum becoming hook-shaped and the urethral
groove well developed (e.g.,
Mustela, Vormela peregusna).

Tomcats AFAIK don't have baculums, but as in mustelids brutal mating seems required to induce ovulation and thus conception. Toms have backward pointing barbs on their penis, which like a mustelid baculum are probably important in inducing ovulation.

PS Googling 'animal penis' is not a sensitive or specific search unless seeking zoophiliac porn

Erratum- Turns out tomcats do have baculums, like most mammals inc. non-human primates, and that this unarticulated bone, suspended like the laryngeal hyoid bone from ligaments, is a component of the ancestral mammal skeleton.


Monday, February 14, 2005


... a theme running through the biological wash, spin and dry cycles recently.

This Domestification's cut out'n'keep article features Nature's report of foxes domesticated over a 42 yr breeding programme.

They're undeniably cute,

and of course so because that's half the mechanism of their domestication. Domesticated associate animals tend to neotony (babyness), a splendid term from SJ Gould's essay converting facial proportions, such as forehead/midface/jaw ratios and eye size, into a kind of cuteness index illustrated by cartoon characters. Knowing him, SJG probably also commented on extended juvenile behaviour in domesticated associates, including playfulness, social responsiveness and curiosity.

Dogs, cats (those again) and ferrets are domesticated and neotonised versions of respective lupine, feline and mustelid antecedents- all optional or obligate carnivores, and the costliest for humans to feed.

There being no such thing as a free lunch, these companion animals must have earned their keep through a share of co-operative hunting efforts, and perhaps gotten through lean times by mimicking cute baby features and behaviours, cueing familial-type responses and eliciting care-giving by humans. It's probably fair to speculate that dogs might've gained the edge in success (numbers 'owned') because of their social forbears, pre-adapted for communication and reception. By contrast, the precursors of domestic cats and ferrets, the (feline) desert cat and the (mustelid) polecat respectively, are solitary in adulthood except during the mating season, when their social graces leave something to be desired. According to the blessed James, who should know, the hob's brutality with teeth and baculum is necessary to trigger ovulation in the jill.

Endocrine and reproductive functions in ferrets have been segregated and intervened upon even more than those of cats and dogs. 'Whole' hobs are smelly and traditionally kept in isolation as liners and studs, while castrated or vasectomised males can mix with jills in the ferret court. Jills once in season maintain oestrus for up to 6 months if not mated, and perish eventually from immunological failure. In the event that a jill isn't selected as a dam, Blessed James lays out the ferret-keeper's options that oestrus can be permanently prevented by surgical ovarohysterectomy (spaying) or temporarily delayed by hormone injection or being served by a potent but infertile vasectomised male (hoblet). An absence of vets experienced in abdominal surgery, of synthesised progesterones or hypodermic syringes means that home vasectomies for hobs were a likely practice adopted sometime between ferrets' first description (c 6th C BC) and a European dissemination via the same Roman and Norman waves which brought rabbit farming.

Ferrets and cat populations have perhaps also suffered by inter-species competition for overlapping niches as rodent hunters. Cats, adapted to pest control for the domestic setting, have capitalised on urbanisation better than ferrets, specialised for flushing rabbits, could manage. The esteemed ferret expert James McKay (Complete Guide to Ferrets) adds as another putative contributant to the rise of the feline in a decline of cat-fear with waning of the witch crazes, c 17th C.

Just so's you know cute is not what its about, future installments here on Domestification could well (but may not) include non-fuzzy organisms....

Crunchy, nippy, bitesize and blushing, but where and when did it arise?

Bread, beer and cheese
*inc free pullout* Naked yeasts-first domesticates?

Ever get the feeling your home, bed, skin and very insides are crawling with bugs? Well, it was true, and also an inevitability given-
human placement high in the food chain
group-based social structure
hotspots in population density
cultural microclimates from clothing, shelter and fire
proximity to herded domesticated animals

Domestification Futures
Dwarf badgers (atypically social mustelid) for pets
Decerebrate chicken meat cultures (Atwood- Oryx and Crake)
Enclosure of shoreline kelp forests (powerful convertors to biomass) for shellfish farming


Blogs- do's and don'ts II

An expert blogger in the Indie or Grauniad advises newbies against cat stuff, but he is sooo wrong. That's a rule needing broken right now, so no one gets the wrong idea. Furthermore, badgers, ants, ferrets and juvenalia may intrude without notice or warning.


Blogs- do's and don'ts

I like these, and anyone who sez different are anti-semenites.
Lenin's Tomb

While this almhouse for the retired supercilious
Harry's Hellhole
seldom fails to amaze, amuse or piss me off.

Debogolised 16.2.05


Friday, February 11, 2005


This kind of thing can be too fun and frankly indulgent.


Ionetics, should it take form, could include material of a mundane, perverse, obstruse or subversive nature. It doesn't have a purpose or structure as yet, and no guarantees of consistency, focus or force are provided. It might include some dumbed-down personal or public politics, human sciences, popular culture and whatever books or other media flow through and out. Hard to know yet, except that it's likely to be off-topic- the first principle.

Ernst Mayr, a mathematical biologist, died last week at 100, as did John Maynard Smith in April last year. Mayr's major contribution was to establish a fuzzy working definition of species determined by reproductive compatability, and to outline that isolation (from geographical, ecological or behavioural sources) accelerates reproductive and genetic drift. JMS, an aeronautical engineer by training, became interested especially in later work with internal selective pressures operating within and between sexes, populations and species, and in game theory. Since sexual reproduction, symbiosis, commensuralism and parasitism are prevalent lifestyles on the planet, playing Fox and Geese and Go with JMS takes on more pertinence. Thanks JMS, and you too Ernst.

Animal factoid of the day-
Ferret colour can be tortoiseshell (tri-coloured) like domestic cats, and the trait is inherited through a similar sex-linked pattern, also expressed only in females.

Until services are resumed, eye-candy as a testcard. Get wavy, Dave and Sadie.


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Told you- brute force often works

That's 1-0 for me over the PC. Next challenge will be graphic/layout formatting, which could be *the* new interior decorating craze.

Dream Sequence
Yet another wage to find- that for web designer- on top of a payroll already swelled by modern needs Chez Ion. Standing costs for any self-respecting household have to cover not just the minimal live-in butler, housekeeper, cook and coterie of maids, but also the services as required of life coach, personal trainer, pool cleaner, interior designer, landscape gardener, feng shui-ist and astrologer. And you simply *can't* get the same loyalty from these fickle contractors in this day and age. Frank Faw *knew* my Mercury was becoming retrograde, yet still skipped off for some tansy-scented, Daniel O'Donnell retreat with that mother of his who pretends to be crumbling when every vertebrae are reinforced with carbon-tempered steel. Faw of all people should know how this could affect someone with a highly-strung horoscope.

Lens is wiped clean of vaseline and refocused. Bridget O'Reilly's optical waves resolve into a Lichtenstein blow-up comic frame of a high-contrast mid-face shot, eyes blindfolded, nose polka-dotted with digitised shading and a mouth wrenched open and hatched black in raw pain. Lens zooms slowly deeper into the mouth until the screen is black.


Crank up the amps to 11...

...A proven effective remedy when technical ability fails. In other words, read the fucking manual, or else you could end up with text reading like Burchill's voice sounds- a polystyrene squeak.

So abracadabra, alakazaam...
Let there be the word, and the first word shall be the Ramonas
Let there be the light, and the first light shall be Emma



Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Testing 1 2 3

Ummm... is the mike on?
Is this mike working, like?
(crash of electric guitar chords with eardrum-perforating feedback)

Uh... right- the mike's on. Cool...

Let's hear it for... all grrrl cover band... the.... Ramonas!
with good songs for stupid dumbfuck times.

.....1, 2, 3, 4!

The Ramonas thrashed through a fabulous best of, powered by a banging rhythm section from Margie Ramona. Covers faithfully rendered included the elegiac lyricism of Blitzkrieg Bop , those evergreen allusions to Freaks in Pinhead, the unforgettable Suzy Is A Headbanger... And who amongst us toothless oldies could fail to tap a foot to the immortal Beat On The Brat.

That last top pop pick is dedicated to the kiddies, bless their still-beating hearts... (smiles and winks).

If this transmits, I could be back with further gems of wisdom. But only if I can figure out how to embed a picture link, and even then almost certainly unreliably. You can depend on that.