The Nutlog

The Nutlog Archive

31st October
A couple of links just for Hallowe'en...
Omen in the Bone. Spooky tales.
The Original Great Pumpkin Hunt.

Working from home again today - major flooding. I've been trapped indoors all day. The houses are untouched due to some serious strategic sandbagging, but the main road looks like a tributary of the local river. Just starting to recede now. (I took some photos when I was able to get out - will upload them at some stage for the curious).

BBC - 'Genetic 'Adam never met Eve'.'

30th October
World Wide Ouija.
Squeezeboxes on the Silver Screen - accordions on film.

The Payphone Project. Everything you could ever want to know. Thanks to The Age's weblog.

Due to the worst storms in Britain for over a decade, I'm working from home today. Feel free to drop me a line if you are in the mood.

29th October
The Skeptic's Annotated Bible. Via Cloud 9, a weblog that is both pleasant and pleasing.

I'm borrowing Borrowed Blogs, cos I think it's fab. It makes me laugh, in a good way.

Sumo on my mind. The joys of sumo wrestling. Via Alt-Log.

Japan Times - 'The painting of Zen: Seeing the funny side of it all.'

Discovery - 'Spooky space clouds shock scientists.' 'The orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory discovered that the Perseus A Cluster had a Halloween secret that it had been hiding from radio and visible light telescopes. In X-rays the gigantic nebulous expanse of hot gases bears a remarkable resemblance to a grinning skull. '

The Cockney Internet.
Molecules with silly or unusual names.

28th October
Dumb? Are you? The Guardian's British cultural literacy quiz. Apparently, a lot of young adults didn't do very well on this... I managed 37 out of 38 (I didn't know who Anthea Turner's husband was). See how you do. Thanks, Not So Soft.

Robert, the Sexy Orange Monkey. With pictures!
Sushi Fortune Telling.
Wreck of the Week.

The Ninja Hypothesis - 'a tentative assumption, stating that any sample of enterta inment could be improved by the inclusion, or addition, of one o r more ninja, made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences. .' All this and case studies too!

Register - 'Europe to investigate legality of RIP.' 'Britain's big brother email snooping law - RIP - could be in breach of European privacy legislation.'
'The legality of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act is currently being investigated by the European Commission on four separate counts, according to information released today.'

27th October
Cabin Pressure. Entertaining UK weblog about corporate misery, among other things. For a friend who just got made redundant ;). Thanks, Linkmachinego.

Daily Telegraph - 'Birds dream up their new tunes.' 'Songbirds dream up new tunes in their sleep, a team of scientists has found.'
'The American team says the sleeping birds rehearse patterns of brain activity to become pitch perfect and try out new melodic variations. Researchers often study the way young songbirds pick up a tune from adults to provide insights into how humans learn speech.'
(This is wonderful if it's true).

SatireWire - 'Internet company hires employee.'

Reuters - 'French clerics crusade against Halloween.'

The BBC on cars that run on compressed air and the possible introduction of air-powered cars in Mexico City, which really needs them, believe me. They look pretty groovy too.

Sunday Times - 'Found: a document signed by Cleopatra.' Thanks, Robot Wisdom.

A few old-ish gems from the Onion, which I've been browsing today :-
'US populace lurches methodically through the motions for yet another day.'
'Aliens demand more positive portrayal in the media.'
'Marxist student has capitalist parents.'

This is Awful...Try It. A weblog from Mississippi with a focus on pop culture and things British. It's fab, try it. ;)

According to the Moscow Times, a group of Russian legislators has offered to help monitor the US elections for wrongdoing. Meanwhile, according to the Onion, Russia's closest friends are prepared to stage a military intervention, in Russia's best interests of course.

26th October
Do some good - visit the Child Survival Site and the Breast Cancer Site, the new sister sites to the Hunger Site.

Reuters - 'Hero dog prevents suicide.' Purzel, a shaggy mongrel with, helped to save a suicidal psychiatric patient when police discovered that she was a dog lover. He was chosen for the task because he had the cutest face out of all the residents of the nearby dogs' home. He has been awarded a special bone for his trouble.

Onion - 'School 'fine', US teens report.'
Modern Humorist - 'The real-life worst-case scenario survival handbook.' How to survive karaoke parties and haggis, among other things.

Sun - 'HRH practises her scales with big Billy Bass.' Britain's best-selling tabloid claims that the Queen has a singing rubber fish. Good for her.

New Guardian quiz - 'Do you know your Bushisms?' To my dismay, I scored 10 out of 10. See how you get on.

Products of the Apocalypse. I'm stunned.

Register - 'Teleworkers' dream village goes bust.' 'Britain's first village designed for people embracing the concept of teleworking has been put in receivership because almost after a third of the homes remain unsold. '

Daily Telegraph - 'Why beautiful people create an ugly mood.' Well, it shouldn't really come as too much of a surprise.

BBC - 'Mini-Pluto spotted orbiting the Sun.' 'Astronomers have discovered the largest object orbiting the Sun since they found Pluto in 1930. '
'About a quarter of the size of Pluto, it is the second largest so-called minor planet, or asteroid, to be spotted. '
2000 EB 173 (as it is known until they can agree on a proper name) orbits the Sun every 240 years.
The story is also covered in New Scientist.

CNN - 'Astronomers discover four new moons orbiting Saturn.'

The BBC website has put up a fun list of quotes from Sir Edward Heath, the curmudgeonly former British Conservative Prime Minister has announces his retirement from politics at the next general election, after half a century in Parliament. Tony Benn, the veteran lefty (formerly known as Viscount Stansgate - he gave his title up for socialism) is also due to retire. Despite their wildly varying views, these two had principles, and depth, and were interesting characters too. It occurs to me that Benn and Heath were probably in Parliament before a number of Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet ministers were even born. Whatever happened to tribal elders, or even politicians with experience of a life outside politics? How are legislators who don't have life experience outside party politics going to be able to identify with and represent ordinary people?

25th October
Be good and send someone a Zen card.

BBC - 'Giant storms collide on Jupiter.'
BBC - 'Storm hits Nessie 'fishing' plan.' 'A man who plans to hook a piece of the Loch Ness monster has caused waves of discontent among Nessie fans and animal-lovers. '
Reuters - 'Judge shuts down vote-buying web site.'
BBC - 'Pakistan murder linked to mummy.'
Register - US National Security Agency (NSA) badly crippled.'

24th October
Henry Miller is in my bathtub. What a great name for a weblog!

If you click on the pink ribbon banner at, US$1 will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

BBC - 'Hunt for golf-course kangaroo.' Reports of a six foot kangaroo in south London!
BBC - 'New view of giant Martian volcano.'
Moscow Times - 'A refuge from 'Paradise'.' I find this fascinating - a story about the lives of North Korean migrants in the Russian Far East.
Moscow Times - '120 years of clowning around.' Story about the 120-year old Nikulin Circus.
Discovery - 'Sumerian cemetery largest ever.'
Discovery - 'Fungus annihilates locust plagues.'

Classic Japanese cartoons. Via GMT+9.

Congratulations to Yutaka Okada, the Japanese economist who is the new world Monopoly champion.

New Scientist speculates as to whether it is possible to predict outbreaks of Ebola by watching the weather.

23rd October
Bill and Ben (the flowerpot men) are to make a comeback, even shinier than the original. Translations of the flobbalobbalob language are promised, and Little Weed is to adopt the role of earth-mother, with a vocabulary of more than one word.

Chuckle over some US Presidential haiku.

Malaysiakini is an interesting read for people interested in south-east Asia (as I am) - an independent online news publication from Malaysia which raises controversial subjects (e.g. corruption, labour, women's rights). Malaysia has fairly strict censorship laws for traditional media, but apparently not the Internet (yet). The Committee to Protect Journalists has just given its editor, Steven Gan, its annual International Press Freedom Award, along with awards to journalists from Bosnia, Iran and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

22nd October
Two websites with interesting perspectives on the Middle East crisis - New Israel Fund, MidEastLog.

The Internet Centre for Sand. Don't miss the Sandcastle Gallery.

The Museum of Dirt. It's all about dirty pictures, I guess ;). Suitable for all ages.

Fermat's Last Theorem poetry.

Reuters - 'Pakistan police raid finds crowned ancient mummy.'

UPI - 'Icelandic glacier in rapid breakup.'

BBC - 'Who killed Lumumba?' Patrice Lumumba was the first (and only elected) Prime Minister of Congo, murdered in mysterious circumstances in 1961. This programme alleges foreign involvement in the coup, which eventually led to the rise of President Mobutu. The producer of the programme, by the way, was held prisoner for three days in Kinshasa before being thrown out of the country.

21st October
The Chairman Smiles. Posters from Cuba.

The Big Issue Cape Town - a street paper from South Africa, with an interesting website.

All the Bard's Spleens. A page all about Shakespeare's use of the word 'spleen'...

BBC - 'Japan-Euro rail link proposed.' 'Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has proposed building the world's longest undersea tunnel to extend the Trans-Siberian railway to Japan, officials said. '

I finally got my act together and scanned a few (four, to be precise) of the photos from my Tokyo trip in June. If you wish, you can look at them here.