Hard News by Russell Brown


Why call a post "Frivolous Friday" when you have an excuse to use the magnificently comedic word "Toilettenstreich"? Toilettenstreich is the title of
a German capture of a mad Japanese TV show - Google translates it from the German as "Toilet caper". Notice of the clip comes from Paddy Free out of Pitch Black, who has just returned from two very successful gigs in yer actual Japan:

The audiences were, as fabled, extraordinarily enthusiastic, and we can't wait to go back there. The food, the politeness and respect, the whole culture of "just-getting-along" was mind-blowing (along with the experience of discussing our next tour with our Tokyo label boss and tour manager, while sitting around naked in an Onsen - a traditional Japanese public bath house.)

Paddy advises "stick with it to the end - the last prank is really quite surreal!" He also recommends the frankly dangerous Saunastreich.

And truly, the frivolity has flowed like a rapper in response to yesterday's invitation. There's a buttload of it, as Don Brash would doubtless say. Don't feel you have to view it all at once. It would really rock our page stats if you came back daily until you'd done the lot. And be aware that we have special interest frivolities for minorities.

This is, for example, foodie frivolity, in the shape of this page-by-page commentary on a 1950s cookbook, sent in by Emma: "I know that sounds dumb, but my partner and I both laughed til we couldn't breathe," she said. I thought, how funny could that be? Then I laughed out loud as I read the first sentence and I went on to laugh more at this than anything else in today's post. Although I could breathe.

We must also, of course, acknowledge our valued readers in the nerd community. Here's John 'I'm A PC' Hodgman explaining Net neutrality on The Daily Show, in amusing and informative fashion. If you haven't seen Hodgman in the new Apple Computer campaign, you will miss one of the running gags in it.

If you have seen the new Apple campaign, and you'd now like to see some spoofs of it, DJ Matty B recommends this one. In keeping with our diversity policy, there are also are also bi-curious and gay spoofs available.

Before we leave Apple, Steve Vale alerted us to the hot new product in the iPod range: the iPod Flea.

Hadyn of Grabthar's blog recommended the videos of Eugene Mirman: "His Robot and the "Video from the future" are brilliant! But his Sexpert is easily the most hilarious. Also watch the Swift Boat video for recent history laffs." I also liked the 'Pot' video, but perhaps that's just me.

Lemon shared news of this clip, containing: "every F-word from The Big Lebowski edited into a 2:14 segment. Genius. Apparently the 11th highest usage in a movie with #1 being Casino." And also a pretty amazing mash-up of nerd brands Super Friends and Office Space. And finally, this incredible "conversation" between a crazy woman and a telemarketer.

Matt (another one) also got on the mash-up tip, with this Darth Vader recut that uses the voice of James Earl Jones from other movies. Nifty.

I'll let Rob Fletcher explain his swag of YouTube booty:

I agree with you that this week has been particularly grim so here is something that might give you a bit of a giggle. It's Tiny Tim performing "Do You Think I'm Sexy?" It's worth viewing just for his suit alone as well as Johnny Carson's stunned expression at the end (thank Christ he keeps his t-shirt on...).

In a similar but not quite so deranged vein, "Hocus Pocus" by Focus at is worth watching for the performance by Thijs Van Leer in addition to being a brilliant performance of the song.

You might also want to check out the 'dirty dancing' clips from the 60's German space opera 'Raumpatrouille' (there are 3 clips, url for the first of them only). A German friend of mine recalls the series with great fondness. It was their 'Star Trek', although it only ran for 7 episodes.

And finally, something from the late and sorely missed Ivor Cutler.

Of course, there's more to pleasing Friday diversions than toilet capers and mash-ups. Tony Haszard recommends this lovely Flash guide to understanding the 10 spatial dimensions required by string theory. Very cool. Would be totally wicked, like, on LSD.

And Matt Godfrey has a short, funny story:

Funny thing happend when I tried to rip " Best of Wildside" (The compilation with John Toogood on the cover) into iTunes the other day. About 20 seconds into the rip, my PC made a really loud bang. I inspected my computer and all seemed fine. There was no smoke or anything. I looked at iTunes and the CD rip was still going. All was fine. About 5 minutes later after all the tracks had been done, iTunes reported that the CD was imported successfully. No probs I thought. I opened the CD tray and there it was ... my Best of Wildside CD in about a million pieces.

This DRM thing has gotten way out of hand I reckon.

Hiro Protagonist spotted this via Metafilter:

After Bush & Blair had their very public talk, Blair has a chat with Putin...

Blair: Hey, Vladimir,
Putin: Hi, Tony. Did you talk to stupid?
Blair: Yeah. God what a dope.
Putin: What'd he say about Lebanon.
Blair: He's clueless. I just threw some compound sentences at him and he'll do whatever we want. He called Bashir "Bashad".
Putin: Bashad? Christ, what an idiot. Back in KGB we'd shoot someone just for pretending to be that stupid. You know, I've been to that silly ranch of his like four times, and he still calls me "Putin." I don't think he knows my first name.
Blair: Oh God, I hate that place. What is with that smell. It's like leather and old feet. Hey, you know what? After he goes to bed, at like 9:30, let's call his room pretending to be Arafat, and that we want to negotiate a truce with Sharon.
Putin: But Arafat and Sharon are....
Blair: Vladimir, we're talking about George Bush here.

Jack Lambchop recommended his own blog, Meat and Two Veg. Which is quite funny.

Some music: what better news could there be for fans of Van Halen and bluegrass music than a bluegrass tribute to Van Halen? Gareth Davidson says 'Jump' is "definitely the pick."

And, finally, what fit of escapism would be complete without a version of 'Don't Worry, Be Happy'? With a theremin! Shout-outs and kindred can't-bear-to-watch-the-news vibes to LGF Watch.

Anyway, have a nice weekend. I certainly intend to, because it's my birthday on Sunday. For once, I'm behaving like a proper grown-up and going with my darling to Dine by Peter Gordon, where I shall have the pork belly and several glasses of pricey wine. And if the All Blacks do not win well tomorrow evening, I shall take it as a personal affront ...