Finally after all these years I've got
the first three
Indiana Jones
films on DVD.

The first and the third were always my
favourites, the second one was a bit
ropey but I'll give it another go.

The Trilogy
boxset also comes with
a fourth disc full of extras.

Here's a couple of interesting facts:
the adventuring archeologist is named
George Lucas' malamute.

He called the character Indiana Smith
but Steven Spielberg preferred Jones.

The hissing sound in the first film when
Indy and Marion are in the temple full
of snakes was created by
Ben Burtt
by squishing his fingers in his
wife's cheese cassarole!

The new film Indiana Jones and
the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
comes out next May.


"Ufo" clouds near
Winnemucca, Nevada.



The Ship Of Fools has come up with
some great pressie ideas for the
The Twelve Days Of Kitschmas.

How about Christ On A Bike, Maria
USB Memory Stick, Hip Flask Bible
or Thongs of Praise?




Officials in northern Sweden have just
given the all-clear for the construction
of the
world's largest elk.

Perched on top of Vithatten mountain, the
45-metre (148 foot) elk will double as a
restaurant and concert hall with seating
for 350. From its antlers, more than
500 metres above sea level, visitors will
be able to enjoy the spectacular
view over the valleys below.

After years of uncertainty, the two county's
involved gave the green light to the project.
It came as something of a shock to
founder Thorbjörn Holmlund.

"This is such unbelievably good news.
My whole body is shaking
with joy," he said.

As the owner of the Svansele wilderness
centre, Holmlund has organized safaris for
visiting tourists hoping to catch a
glimpse of the king of the forest
in its natural habitat.

Though its future was in the balance, the
oversize elk has always had a name: Stoorn,
which translates as 'The Big One'
in the local dialect.

With its front legs in Norrbotten county and
hind quarters in
Västerbotten, Stoorn will be
be positioned to bite on an enormous pine
tree. A lift will transport visitors through
the tree to the creature's mouth.
The reception area will be between
the teeth and the tonsils.

The conference centre will bei
n the
belly of the beast and it will
also hold
up to 350 people. Vistors will be able
to move through the levels using
spiral staircases located
inside the elk's legs.

Construction will begin before the end of
the year and as befits an area in which
forestry is the main industry, the
elk will be built using local wood.

"We have so much to offer up here, with
all our cheeses, the gold of Lapland, and
so much more besides. I think Stoorn
will help us attract lots of international
tourism," said Holmlund.

The cost of building is expected to come in
at around 60 million kronor (£31 million)
and it will be financed entirely
through private investment.

"We have had contributions ranging from
one thousand to four million kronor.
People have really wanted to make
this happen.There have been plenty of
days when I have come close to crying
but today I can do nothing but laugh,"
aid Holmlund.

Watch a tour of the elk



Remember the Giant
microbes toys?

Well if you want to stay in same theme
(twisted and sick but funny) when
buying crimbo presents... how
about road kill toys ?

The first to be launched is Twitch,the
Roadkill Teddy, which comes complete with
opaque plastic body bag to keep the maggots
out and attached to its twitching toe
is an identity bag giving
details of its demise.

Apparently it was "run over over by a milk
float last Thursday, near the Hangar
Lane Giratory system in London."

The toy's innards and blood can
be stuffed in and out of his body.

The toys creators are Compost Communications,
self styled 'toy terrorists'. According to their
website they squash and burn and
bludgeon and maim but are toy
fanatics and love them.

Toy designer Adam Arber, 33, from London,
said: "I got the idea from looking at
my mother-in-law's dog which is quite
ugly and I thought it would make
a great toy. A friend of mine had taken
some pictures of road kill and the
two things gelled into one idea."

He said the toys, which cost £25,
would appeal to people with a sense
of humour and 'probably not
anyone easily upset'.

Other characters will include Grind
the rabbit, Splodge the hedgehog and
Pop the weasel and likely gruesome
scenarios would include death by
being run over by kebab
vans and golf buggies.




When I got this thing in the post
today I thought the bank had
sent me a calculator as
a Xmas present.

Turns out it's a new on-line banking
security measure that was actually
introduced in April but since I never
received the introduction letter
I didn't know anything about it.

At first glance I thought "oh no this is
going to be a nightmare" but having
used it once already it's actually
quite straight forward.

And if it makes banking
on-line safer then great!



Remember Andrex, the little
piggy found in a lorry?

Well I'm pleased to report that he is recovering
well and animal-lovers are queuing up to give
the piglet a home as he recovers from his
ordeal by scoffing bowls of Weetabix.

The three-week-old creature was rescued
by RSPCA workers after he was found in
a Tesco lorry packed full of toilet rolls.

RSPCA staff at Radcliffe-on-Trent
Animal Shelter have been flooded
with calls from people eager
to give him a home.

Supervisor Rowena Hammond said:
"He's eating very well. He's been drinking
milk but has now moved on to solids.

He got quite grumpy this morning
because I tried to feed him milk from
the bottle, but he thought he was grown
up and wanted to drink it from a bowl."

She added: "He really loves
Weetabix with his milk."

Andrex is currently being housed in his own
pen in the centre.
Ms Hammond added
that the winning applicant will have
to wait another three weeks before
taking Andrex home- because Defra's
foot and mouth regulations mean he
has to remain at the centre for 28 days.

Another staff member said: "We've had
lots of people ringing up to give him
a home but they are going to be vetted
It'll mean he won't be turned
into sausages and bacon."

Staff still do not know how he got into
the Tesco lorry and suspect it was a cruel
A Tesco spokesman said the
supermarket has launched an
investigation into the matter and
would take "appropriate steps".


If you've visited London in the past
eight years, you've probably heard

Emma Clarke's dulcet tones.

She's the voiceover artist who recorded
the public announcements for the
London Underground advising you
which station you're at and to "Mind
the gap between the train and the
platform" plus"Stand clear
of the closing doors".

But now the "voice of the Tube" has been
sacked for "slagging off" her employers.

Ms Clarke, 36, posted spoof announcements
on her website and said she did not use
it anymore because it was "dreadful".

Ms Clarke, of Altrincham, Cheshire,
said: "It was just a bit of a laugh."

LU said it would not be offering her
further work but Ms Clarke said she
had been “wildly misquoted”.

Dan Hodges, a spokesman for the Underground,
said yesterday that Ms. Clarke wasn't sacked
because of the spoofs. "Some of the
announcements are actually quite
amusing," he said.

"But specifically it's because she was
quoted as saying, 'I don't use the
Tube myself, it's dreadful.' "

She explained: “What I actually said
was that travelling in a Tube train would
be dreadful for me, listening to my own
voice and seeing the haunted faces of
commuters being subjected to me
telling them to ‘mind the gap’."

"I would find it quite an uncomfortable
experience in the same way that when
I call a company when I’m their on hold
voice and it’s me saying - please
press 2 for accounts - it’s a
creepy experience to be honest.”


A pig called Babe is living a charmed life
on a private island in the

The eight year old tame wild boar
spends his days strolling on the beach,
wimming in the sea, eating hot
dogs and drinking beer.

Babe lives on the remote island with its
only two inhabitants, videographer Luke
Abbott and his partner Mona Wiethuchter.

He spends his nights in the bush with his
fellow wild boar but leaves them each
morning for his laid back beach life.

Mr Abbott, 23, who has lived on the
island for nine years, said: "We were
curious to see if we could tame this boar
when he was just a day old. Ever
since he was hand fed, he has
been remarkably tame."

Miss Wiethuchter, 28, said: "We have to
keep an eye on his weight with the beer
and hot dogs. About two years ago he
was carrying too much weight so we
had to start jogging up and down the
beach with him so he would lose
weight; he now looks a lot trimmer."

"He loves his daily routine - and he
sticks to it rigidly. He comes down to
the beach in the morning and starts
off with a hot dog, then it's off to the sea
where he has a good long swim.
He likes that as it really
cools him down."

"Then he comes out of the water and
has a beer. We only allow him one
a day as if he has any more,
he can get a bit feisty."

"Then he goes and has a snooze on the
beach and we usually give his coat
a bit of a brush then too,
which he loves."




A British survey has found "nincompoop"
to be the nation's favorite word of
the 16,500 entries in the
Cambridge Dictionary.

The survey of more than 2,000 Britons
found 13 percent of respondents chose
"nincompoop" - which likely derived
from the Latin "non compos mentis,"
means someone not of a sound
mind - as their favorite
sounding English word.

The poll, commissioned by Ubisoft,
makers of the language computer game
"My Word Search," found "love" was
the second most popular word among
those polled and "mum" was third.

"The results demonstrate our passion
for language and the sentiment we
attach to words such as love and mum,"
Ubisoft spokesman Mike Masuku said.
"It also highlights how narrow most
people's vocabulary has become."






Britain will not be taking part in this year's
Santa Olympics after award-winning Father
Christmas Ron Horniblew pulled out
because his wife was ill.

Santa Ron (above), who has defended
Britain's honour in the last three
Santa Olympic Games to return with
gold and bronze medals, said his
tickets were paid for when he got the
news from doctors that his wife
would not be able to travel.

Despite an appeal to fellow Santas
he was unable to find a replacement.

He said: "Nobody was prepared to
make the flight to Sweden followed by
the 17 hour train journey northwards
Gallivare in Swedish Lapland
for the Santa Olympics."

He added: "I was of course really
disappointed that no British Santa
wanted to take up the mantle, and
the organisers were too. They begged
me to try and find one but
I didn't have any luck."

Santas from Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg,
Holland, Finland, Poland and Estonia will be
competing in the annual games which include
a reindeer race, a kick-sledding race,
chimney climbing and porridge eating.


The birch next door looks amazing
today against the piercing blue sky.



It's the start of the Xmas bazaar at the
Finnish church tonight so I went to
KB from work and we headed
down to Rotherhithe
for our annual
goodie stock-up session.

It wasn't as busy as last year which was
a nice surprise as usually the queue to
the till takes an hour! It's best to go
there right in the beginning, by the
weekend it's going to be bedlam.

Here's a photo of a gorgeous
flower arrangement at KB's office.




Macaque monkeys relax in the hot springs
Jigokudani-Onsen (Hell Valley)
in Jigokudani, Japan.

Photo by Koichi Kamoshida


Well done Oliver! A blind dog that
was dumped when he was just
five-months-old has been
voted the nation's
RSPCA Dog of the Year.

Bullmastiff Oliver was thrown out by an
unscrupulous breeder as a puppy because
he had an eye infection.

He was found by a dog warden before
Christmas 2005, but despite urgent
veterinary treatment lost his sight,
with one eye having to be removed.

But Oliver, now two, has found a new
life with owner Julie Harkness, from
Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland.

She read his distressing story in the
local paper and immediately offered
to give Oliver a chance of
happiness and a home.

Oliver has overcome his disability and
even has a special artificial implant in
his one remaining eye to give him
a normal appearance, even
though he cannot actually
see through it.

Ms Harkness, 38, said: "I can't believe
that Oliver has won the competition.
He's a true inspiration and clearly the
rest of the country think he is too.
We're so proud of him.
Oliver has been
through so much but he's made such
good progress that we forget he's
blind. No matter how down we
might feel Oliver always
lifts our spirits."

RSPCA chief vet Mark Evans, added:
"Oliver's had such a tough start to life,
but despite everything he's
now such a happy dog."

Readers of a national newspaper voted
for Oliver, who was up against five other
rescued dogs from around the country.
Oliver will receive a host of prizes,
including a year's supply of dog food.


A piglet nicknamed Andrex is recovering
after being found in the back of a lorry
full of toilet paper at a supermarket.

The animal, thought to be two or
three weeks old, was discovered in
a delivery at a Tesco store
Ilkeston, Derbyshire.

Staff wrapped the piglet in a
duvet and called the

He was taken to an animal shelter in
Radcliffe-on-Trent, outside Nottingham,
suffering from cuts and bruises to his snout.

"We will now care for him until he is fit
enough to be found a permanent home,"
said Ella Herring, the shelter's
deputy manager.

Tesco said store workers were unsure
of how the piglet came to be on the lorry,
but thought it may have been a prank.

"Staff are used to dealing with the
unexpected, but little Andrex's arrival
was a shock," a Tesco spokesman said.
"They took it in their stride, wrapping
him up straightaway in a duvet in the
manager's office and calling the
RSPCA for advice and help."

UPDATE 27.11.2007

Andrex is recovering well
and he loves weetabix!


As I'm just about to dye my roots
this made me chuckle.

Blonde women really do make men
lose their heads, according to scientists.

Tests showed that men performed
worse after they were shown pictures
of fair-haired women, most likely
because they believed they were
dealing with someone less intelligent.



Is what my good friend Sanna wrote
as the inscription in a book she
sent me for my birthday.

It takes a certain kind of sense of humour
to like or even understand the
works Max Cannon (below),
the creator of
Red Meat.

I found it hilarious. Just my kind of thing.
Dark and twisted with just the right
amount of evil. My favourite charcater
Bug Eyed Earl (below)

An interview with Max



Cute alert!

This baby
woolly monkey is just five days old.
He was born at
Monkey World in Dorset
but is being brought up by staff there
because he was unable to
feed from his mum.

He needs to be fed every two hours,
a bit like a human baby. It's hoped he
will be introduced to his real family
when he's a bit older. For the time
being he's happy being looked after
by his foster mum Alison.


Police at a north London railway station
have got mice running scared
- after recruiting a 13-year-old cat.

Tizer was adopted by British Transport Police
(BTP) from the
Cats Protection charity in
September and inducted into the force
as an honorary constable.

In his role as the Chief Mouser Pc Tizer
walks around
King's Cross rail station
(below) to keep it rodent-free.

He has unfettered access to all
areas and shares an office
with a senior officer.

Insp Roy Sloane, who enlisted the tabby,
said: "Pc Tizer is already an essential
member of the team.
Since we got him we
haven't seen any mice in the building
at all... Prior to his arrival we were
spending a fortune on pest control
and it wasn't really working."

Insp Sloane said he visited the charity's
adoption centre in north London with
the aim of finding a cat to clean
up the station's rodent problem.

He met Tizer, who arrived at the
centre in August after his owner died.

Insp Sloane, who shares his office with
Pc Tizer, added that his feline colleague
helps other officers "de-stress" and
has given a boost to the force's morale.

"Everyone is always asking after him,
and he is probably the most popular
member of staff," he said.

Cats Protection Adoption Centre acting
deputy manager Alex Davies said:
"He loves being around people, and
likes nothing more than playing
fetch with his toy spider."


You've got your basic swim styles:
breastroke, butterfly and...
apparently squirrel.

Tourists on board a pleasure boat
in the
Lake District could not believe
their eyes when they spotted a red
squirrel in the middle of

The mammals can swim, but they find
it very strenuous, and have been known
to drown in water troughs.

But this determined squirrel had swum
300 yards (274m) - or about the length
of six swimming pools - from the shore.

Passengers lowered a rope to the
mammal and it climbed on board and
hitched a lift back to shore.

Robert Benson, chairman of the Penrith
and District Red Squirrel Group, said:
"I've been involved with the
of red squirrels for 15 years
and I know
they can swim,
but I have never seen it.

"This squirrel was swimming strongly
and had its tail coiled on its back so
it didn't look bedraggled or as if it
was struggling.
I've never seen
anything like it before."

Once ashore the squirrel ran along
a fence and disappeared, apparently
none the worse for its dip.



This morning dawned bright and
cold so we had our first
frost of the year.

Please click on the image
to view a larger version.

To view invidual larger
photos please visit