Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Bert, what utter nonsense!

A thought popped in to my head the other day (Gee Note: Surprised the bejesus out of me let me tell you. I was minding my own business watching a TV show about dogs comically falling over when suddenly, out of the blue, I’m thinking. I almost dropped my custard cream). The thought was that little Davies Jnr will never know what the world was like before the internet.

Now of course you could say that about a lot of things. Like Davies Jnr will never experience the pure brilliance of children’s television show Knightmare, which sadly shuffled off this mortal coil in 1994 (Gee Note: By the way, I know I’ve talked about it on this blog before, but if you’ve never seen an episode of Knightmare then you really do need to hunt one down straight away. Bribe officials and associate with villains if you have to. It’s that important. Sure at a base level it’s just some gameshow where you take four middle-class kids, blindfold one of them, and send him or her off to fight wizards and goblins while the other three watch on CCTV and offer advice. But it’s so much more than that. Firstly - it wasn’t until years later that I worked out that the contestants weren’t really sent to a fantasy world on the back of a dragon, and yet to this day I’m still not entirely sure how it was all put together. Did they use blue screen? Computer generated images? Magic? Seriously, not a clue. Secondly – It’s amazing how many children in the late 80’s/early 90’s had no idea how to spell SHROUD . And thirdly, Hugo Myatt who acted as the presenter/guide was quite frankly incredible. No really. You try saying shit like “Caution team. This wood elf appears to be trying to steal your meat. Maybe you could try giving him something else instead.” while dressed up like ‘Hercules: The Hobo Years’, and you see how easy it is to keep a straight face.) Neither will she know the true horror of hearing your favourite music tape getting mangled in the cassette player, and the frustration of having to spend half an hour delicately winding it back in with a pencil using all the precision of a neurosurgeon.

But with all that said the internet is the big one. Because, even if it’s only on a small scale, the internet has changed our lives. For example, two days ago I had absolutely no idea what I would write for this post (Gee Note: Which, you’re right, wouldn’t exist in the first place without the world wide web. But for arguments sake let’s just say you’ve stumbled across this in a file of papers while burgling my house, you hoodlum you). Partly due to the fact that I haven’t been feeling myself recently and so my daily routine has largely consisted of waking up, watching some telly, feeling a bit woozy, heading back to bed with a good book while waiting for the light headedness to subside, getting back out of bed, watching some telly, feeling a bit woozy, etc, etc. And partly because ever since we won an award for this blog I’ve had the fear put in to me something chronic. Honestly, a blank page on my computer screen used to be my friend. Now I swear I can feel it judging me. C’mon fat boy, it says, type out something interesting. Or funny. Entertain me you chubby idiot. Bet you can’t. Lard arse.

And then salvation arrived from three of the most unlikely sources. The first was from Neil, who sent me a link via Twitter. (Gee Note: I should point out that Neil is the type of person that everyone should want to be when they grow up. Right this very minute he’s actually sprouting a moustache for the month of November in the name of charity. No really. His upper lip is helping to fight cancer. He’s a goddam hero in his own way). As the link states, something odd has happened in the Gobi desert according to Google Maps. Namely these have popped up rather unexpectedly.

Now while to the untrained eye these may look like they were made by gigantic slugs (Gee Note: Which is actually pretty scary when you think about it. It’s only a matter of time before they make it over here. And then what? Do they even make slug pellets that big? The Ministry of Defence should be preparing for this now, before it’s too late.) they actually show what appear to be large structures in the middle of, well, absolutely nowhere. How they got there no one this side of the world seems to know, but theories are sweeping across the internet like Dick Van Dyke with a bad cockney accent. When zooming in to the images there appears to be a collection of burnt out vehicles and tracks from aeroplanes. And so this naturally led to speculation that it was a Chinese missile testing site, located as they are close to the borders of the Xinjiang and Gansu provinces. Which then led to speculation that the Chinese are planning to blow up a major American city for… er… no reason at all. Still it’s astonishing how paranoid some people can be if the Telegraph’s comments section is anything to go by. Other less discussed but just as awesome theories suggest that it was a UFO crash site or, and this is my personal favourite, that it’s the remains of an unknown civilization. Who set fire to trucks for larks I guess. (Gee Note: “And now that the age old ritual of blessing the Sun God has been completed we can finally relax. EVERYONE GRAB A TORCH AND GIVE THAT TOYOTA WHAT FOR!!!”).

The second came from Jenny, again via Twitter. (Gee Note: By the way Jenny is a tremendously talented artist who, thankfully, was too happy at the time to notice that I was Best Man at her wedding. Otherwise she probably wouldn’t be speaking to me). Jenny had stumbled across a fascinating paper published by the Feinberg School of Medicine in 2008 which went a little bit like this.


We have seen a number of individuals who received blood-type tattoos on the left side of the chest as schoolchildren in northwest Indiana during the 1950s. 


To investigate the history of blood-type tattooing.


Historical research was conducted using newspaper and journal articles found in medical libraries, online archives, American Medical Association archives, Chicago Historical Society records, local medical society documents, in addition to personal interviews.


Blood-type tattoos were used during the Cold War to enable rapid transfusions as part of a "walking blood bank" in case of atomic attack…

And that was the bit where I lost my mind.

Walking blood banks? Walking blood banks?!?! Are you f***ing kidding me?? Who in their right mind looks at the potential problems of an atomic fallout and goes “Look we're all going to be shuffling around without legs and with seven eyes but if we tattoo some children and then steal their blood when the time is right we might just make it through this”? I mean it’s this type of stuff that leads to Batman swooping in to a room and beating up a bunch of dudes wearing white coats. “I understand that we’re all concerned about the Red Menace, but using children as IV stands is wrong Doctor Strange” KER-POW. And having dealt with that he'd zip-line away, walk in to a bar in the shady part of Gotham City, and punch a communist right in the face. Because he’s Batman. And that’s how he rolls.

But just as I was geared up to a write a post about how stuff like marking children with needles and ink in the 1950’s helps fuel modern day conspiracy theories such as 9/11 being an inside job, or even the Gobi desert being a launch pad for a potential Chinese hostile take over of America (Gee Note: Although really it’s not highly likely is it? I mean since the global economic crisis China pretty much owns The States anyway), something legitimately jaw dropping caught my eye thanks to the online edition of The Daily Fail Mail.

No it wasn’t the Liz Jones article about how she stole – quite literally - sperm from her previous boyfriends without their knowledge, or how she pulled out of this years’ I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here because “I knew I couldn’t do it. Not only would I not eat an insect, I would not put one under stress either – not for any amount of cash. I’m not religious, but I admire those who adhere to Jainism: they even wear masks to avoid inhaling a bug by mistake. They are my kind of people. Higher Beings. And most definitely not celebrities.” (Gee Note: Yes. You read that right. She just called herself a Higher Being. Without even a trace amount of irony. And that’s the reason she didn’t head out to the jungle. Not because the realisation dawned on her that for histrionic nutjobs like herself “I’m a celeb” is a legendary career killer. Amazing). Nay dear reader, in fact it was something even more bizarre than that.

Meet Marta Yegorovnam. Ms Yegorovnam lives in Petrozavodsk. Now in 1977 a very famous UFO known as the Petrozavodsk jellyfish made headline news around the world when it was spotted zooming around and having a jolly good time above the western Russian city, so the area is not unaccustomed to alien related malarkey. As such the idea that a UFO actually crashed outside Marta’s summer house a couple years ago isn’t all that shocking. What is shocking is that she went outside, rummaged about in the rubble, found a dead alien, and took it back home and stuck it in the fridge. Right next to the bacon and the eggs no doubt (Gee Note: You know, just like Jeffrey Dahmer would have done). And then she kept it there for two years, until some men rocked up at her front door claiming to be from the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences and confiscated it. Here’s the DUN DUN DUNNNN bit though. Karelian Research Centre has, wait for it, no record of the body and claims not to have even heard of Marta Yegorovnam before. Thankfully Marta took some pics of Jack McMartian before he disappeared. Wanna see ‘em?

(Gee Note: Hey, I’m pretty sure I dated that girl for a while back in the late ‘90s. I kid, obviously. I couldn’t buy a date in the late ‘90s).

Now ignoring the bleedingly f***ing obvious question of “WHY WOULD YOU KEEP A FREAKIN’ DEAD ALIEN IN THE FRIDGE FOR TWO YEARS??????” it’s pretty difficult to take this story at face value (Gee Note: No. I know. I totally believed in it as well. In fact I went out and bought myself another fridge just in case a UFO crashes in my back garden. Now I’ll have to use it for beer or something. Grrr. So annoying). The reason? Well according to the Mail they got the story from the “Unexplained Mysteries website”. Presumably they mean this one. Which is great. It’s a fine site. But they themselves got the story from this website here, who claim they were sent one of the images three years ago before the others appeared on a Russian blog earlier that week. So if I’ve followed the trail correctly then the source for this news story is a blog who got it from a blog who got it from another unnamed blog written in a foreign language. Which, I don’t know, doesn’t strike me as all that convincing in regards to its authenticity.

Now the earliest post regarding this is dated November 9 2011. However, this video was posted on the November 5 2011 on YouTube with the following description.

Watch the video in full! After a description will be clean images without the text! Pensioner from Petrozavodsk, Russia, kept the alien UFO pilot in the fridge! November 3, 2011. It turns out that she had a couple of years stored in a refrigerator, frozen corpse of his apartment pilot UFOs, alien! As we told Grandma about two years ago, serene autumn night, she found in the yard of his suburban home in the village Mashezero strange Aliens, which came from the intolerable heat, lay crumpled next to a pile of metal. Shortly before it was heard a terrible roar and rumble. The creature was growing about 40 - 50 inches, with a big head, big mouth, big eyes. Clothing on that creature looked like a jumpsuit.

However, as we reported today in the Karelian Academy of Sciences, is no alien in their study does not and can not be. It seems that the famous story is repeated with a stranger Alexis, who took care of mentally incompetent grandmother from the Siberian village and then the mummy which had disappeared somewhere. Fortunately, still managed to make a couple of shots of the creature. For the first time in Karelia, we publish sensational pictures strange creature, which mysteriously fell to the pensioner from Petrozavodsk and as mysteriously disappeared. This may sound crazy, but an alien corpse was kept in a plastic bag about 2 years.

You get all that? Because, I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea what the hell this person is talking about? Who's Alexis? What does any of this have to do with their mentally incompetent grandmother? I haven’t been this confused since that episode of Lost where it turns out that God did it (Gee Note: While never actually explaining what “it” was. Lost was bullshit is what I’m saying here).

So yeah. Whatever this is, I’m convinced it’s not a real story. No one has managed to come up with a quote from Marta Yegorovnam herself. The photos don’t look particularly convincing (Gee Note: Unless you're a fan of the relatively unknown "rotten watermelons from space" theory). And I can’t find any reports of a major UFO sighting in Petrozavodsk in the past three years, especially when you consider it was alleged to have hurtled in to the ground engulfed in a big ball of flames.

Still thank God for the internet right? Because if it didn’t exist then The Daily Mail might be forced to print some actual news. Or more columns written by Liz Jones.

Which, and I think we can all agree on this, would be pretty horrible.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Kent, your nostrils are flaring...

Let’s face it. Times. They be tough. So tough in fact that the top story on the BBC website today is about how everyone is flat broke, and we’re all probably going to have sell our spare internal organs to sailors on the docks until we’re 85 just to make ends meet. In fact not a day goes by without a stark reminder that we live in a world where spare cash is scarce and the cost of living is ever increasing. (Gee Note: Today’s lesson was provided by the local supermarket, where I found myself shouting things like “£1.60!!! For some butter?? I could buy a goddam cow for that much!!”. In the end The Future Ex-Mrs. Davies had to leave me in the video game aisle because A) You can’t really buy a cow for £1.60 and B) the shelf stackers were starting to look at me funny).

As such there’s a new craze that’s sweeping the media. Newspapers and television shows are now filled with opinion pieces teaching their audience about the virtues of recycling old junk and turning it in to something useful. Presenter Kirstie Allsopp has recently launched a new programme on Channel 4 entitled Kirstie’s Handmade Britain, in which she tours the country showing how easy it is to make a hat out of an old Listerine bottle. And while all that’s going on, in the print world glossy magazines such as Pick Me Up! are offering readers a princely £25 to submit their money saving tips, offering such insights as “Re-use old net curtains to clean work surfaces” and “Instead of buying expensive wrapping paper, use pages of the kids comics instead” (Gee Note: Although, just so you know, if you come anywhere near my comic collection with a pair of scissors I WILL F***ING CUT YOU. I’m tough but fair).

It appears though that some folks may be taking the advice of using everyday objects for other purposes a little bit too far. People like Paul Moran for example.

Moran, a 30 year old native of Northern Ireland, was jailed last week for 3 months after a hearing at Enniskillen Magistrates Court. His honour Judge McFarland also ordered that Paul be placed on licence for a further twelve months upon his release. Now, technically Moran had plead guilty to arson and to endangering the lives of others after accidentally setting fire to his block of flats and causing an estimated £3000 worth of damage. But the reason the fire started in the first place was because Moran was attempting a spot of good ol’ fashioned Alchemy. Or the practice of turning items that aren’t gold in to… er… gold.

(Gee Note: Actually, before I get emails from a group of angry cloak wearing people who would probably not think twice about calling upon the Gods to curse my crops, alchemy is a philosophical tradition that deals with various different subjects. It is a lot more complex than just creating gold out of thin air. So, there we go. No need to slit that goat's throat at all now is there?).

Traditionally alchemists believe that creating a Philosopher’s Stone and then using it will somehow change base metals like lead in to precious ones. (Gee Note: You know like those toy cars that would change colour when you rubbed them with warm water. Hot Wheels I think they were called. They were pretty great to be fair. I should get me some more of those). Moran on the other hand took the novel step of skipping that bit all together and tried to create bullions without a Harry Potter prop or any lead to convert in the first place.

Instead Paul went all Rumpelstiltskin with an electric heater and…


His own faeces.

Now I’m no expert in this or any other field but I think I can see what went wrong here. You see when you heat up poo it doesn’t turn in to gold (Gee Note: Amazing right? With knowledge like this I should totally be on QI or something). Instead it just kind of melts a bit. And then probably smells quite frightful. Point is cooking turds in some ghetto level meth lab doesn’t make you rich. Or, I guess, get you many dates either.

The amazing thing about all this is that Moran could have avoided Richard Bransoning his block of flats by simply fishing around online. For on the world wide web there are more than enough crackpots concerned citizens offering advice on various ways to do alchemy related things. Hell videos such as this one even give you step by step instructions on how to make the “Elixir of life” which promises to help you levitate. Oh and walk on water. “Because” says the video’s description, “it is flowing so much light within you, you literally do not attract gravity” (Gee Note: Sure. Because that’s exactly how physics works. Anyone can float around like a freakin’ helium balloon as long as they drink some fizzy stuff first. Einstein wrote a paper on it once. He called it “The theory of special relativity in relation to being able to fly and shit”).

(Gee Note: By the way is it just me or does that guy sound like he’s doing the voice over for a blue movie, rather than a ‘how to make a potion that will give you woovy bezerk super powers’ video? “Yes. And then you dip it in to the bubbles. Nice and slow. Yeah. That’s it. Right there. Oh yeah baby.” It’s a bit creepy really.)

Another excellent resource for all things alchemy based is the “Cosmic Awareness Channellings” website. Which also has a step by step guide on creating a Philosopher’s Stone. What’s that? You want to read it?

Well ok. I mean if you insist.

This Awareness indicates that the First Matter for alchemist normally referred to as water, is that element known as urine. This Awareness indicates that the urine is taken at the time of the spring or fall, at the eclipse of the moon. This is often referred to in alchemy as the “Slaying of Diana,” Diana being the Goddess of the Moon. (Gee Note: Urine you say? Huh. Well no wonder it didn’t work. I’ve been using faeces this whole time. Tsk. It's so simple now you've explained it).

This Awareness indicates that this is to be put into a cornerless jug, in other words a jug that is bulbous in shape, without any corners, so that the urine can flow without being caught in any corners. (Gee Note: Because liquids often get stuck in corners. That’s totally how physics works. Einstein wrote a paper on it once. He called it “The Theory of special relativity in relation to liquids getting stuck in corners and f***ing shit up”. It’s one of his less well known works).

The bulbous bottle with the urine in it is kept at room temperature approximately 80 degrees, or 75 degrees, relatively warm, during that 40 days. After the 40 days, it may be capped with a cork, to continue fermentation. (Gee Note: You might also want to place it somewhere high up. Because I’m guessing that should you spill it, 39 day old wee would be nightmare to get out of the carpet).

The fermentation that occurs during the first 40 days requires that you have it somewhere that can allow for the odor to escape without offending others. (Gee Note: In other words don’t serve lemon snow cones to your guests while your urine is fermenting on the dining table. Might cause a scene).

This Awareness suggests that this may be in a garage or room or shed, someplace where it can be kept warm, such as in a bucket of sand that is on a hot water tank or some place that keeps the temperature up. A light bulb in a box, after the sand has been heated may keep the box warm enough and may keep the bulb bottle warm enough (Gee Note: Basically treat your piss like you would a tortoise. Maybe try feeding it some lettuce and giving it a name. “Splashy” perhaps. Or “Chester Wingnip Jnr”. Something like that).

This Awareness indicates that after the 40 days, the substance is corked, the cork put in and sealed with wax, dripping wax around the cork so that no air can enter or leave. (Gee Note: Why do you start your paragraphs with “This Awareness”? Is it some kind of narcissistic, referring to oneself in the third person, type of deal? If so why call yourself “This Awareness”? If it was me I’d pick something better. Like “Daddy McAwesome”. Daddy McAwesome doesn’t stand for that. Daddy McAwesome thinks you’re crazy. Daddy McAwesome will meet you for drinks later cutie, but only after Daddy McAwesome has finished saving the universe from evil space lizards).

This Awareness indicates that the temperature remains warm, but below body temperature, and time passes. After several months you will see a rainbow-like oil on top. This is referred to in the alchemical symbolism as the “Eagle’s Wing.” It is colorful in that the oil, when light strikes it, causes a rainbow effect so that there are colorful reflections on the oil that surfaces or floats to the top of the mixture. (Gee Note: Aww. It almost sounds quite pretty. If you forget for a moment that we’re TALKING ABOUT URINE HERE.)

This Awareness indicates during this time, the substance grows dark, almost black, and the Eagle’s Wing, or the oil floating on top becomes more vivid. This Awareness indicates that as the year comes to a close, the oil begins to turn red in color, a more reddish color, and eventually, near the end of the year, it should become more or less dried out as a whitish colored powder. (Gee Note: White powder? Hmm. Whatever you do keep it away from Charlie Sheen. He’s likely to snort the whole lot before attempting to mount a slot machine in Las Vegas thinking it’s a willing mate. A year’s worth of hard work cultivating your own pee undone by horny lunatic Topper Harley. Heart breaking stuff).

This Awareness indicates that the white powder is the Philosopher’s Stone, which then can become a product for creating more Philosopher’s Stone by adding more urine and simply allowing it to ferment and evaporate. Once the Philosopher’s Stone is developed, it serves as a kind of powder that can be put into the melted lead and its presence then turns that lead into gold. This Awareness indicates that entities playing with alchemy need to be extremely spiritual and avoid the greed aspects. It can turn against you. (Gee Note: Of course. It goes without saying really. I mean when I think of keeping a jar of human waste in a cupboard for a year the three words that spring to mind are “closer to God”).

So there you go. If you are determined to turn something ordinary in to gold, then there’s no need to go the faecal/electric heater route. Just follow the above instructions and you’ll be rolling around in Russian supermodels in no time. And as an added bonus you can be just as skeevy with human waste products as you want to be.

Just, try not to set fire to anything.

Wales Blog Awards 2011