* coming 2015 - possibly.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

A brief update.

Just to say that the ZD blog will be quiet for the next week or two, but there will be a LOT of new content added after that - we're getting it ready for publication right now.

Click Follow (it's on the right) and you'll know when all the exciting new stuff arrives!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

More from Uncle Bellend

Road names that change
So there's a slight bend in the road.  That is not a valid reason to change the name!  We're not in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Pissing Night-time here - no autistic kids are going to lose it just because a road that isn't perfectly straight keeps the same name.  I bet the Royal Mail's behind this - it'll be a union thing - or (more probably) it's due to grafting modern town planning on to medieval settlements. But it's not acceptable in any case.

Church Street and "Church Road", Warsop?  I'm looking right at you. And don't even get me started on King's Parade and "Trumpington St" in Cambridge.  Ridiculous.

Absolutely vile.

"Miscellaneous Musings" by Uncle Bellend

Uncle Bellend is one of Middle Reality's more unstable characters. We occasionally let him out for some fresh air, and recenntly he has had this to say:

Jobs for black men
ZD FOTD: There are two jobs that I've only ever seen black men doing, namely "carwasher" in supermarket car parks and "toilet freshen-up guy" in nightclubs. It's actually illegal* for anybody other than a black man to perform one of these roles. As well as overpriced aftershaves and hair gel, it's customary for the toilet guy to supply you with witticisms, such as a tuneful "fresh-en up, fresh-en up, for punani".
*it's actually not
** This post isn't racist, by the way. Just in case you thought it was. It's not. So that's okay then.
UPDATE: June 2011's new sayings.

I love it that somebody got a job in insurance and now gets paid to pretend to be a meerkat on Twitter! Love it! @Aleksandr_Orlov

Black Eyed Peas: "I travelled across the universe and the other galaxies." Basic astronomy fail right there.

I don't understand why the Childcatcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang loses his disguise as soon as he's caught the kids. Why not stay as a sweet seller? No, just gallop through the streets cackling with 2 screaming children locked in a fucking cage on wheels. WHY?!

Dogs & Lifts
Fact 1: People are famously awkward in lifts: standing in close proximity to a stranger for a period of time too long to stay silent, yet too short to develop a proper conversation, results in embarrassing conversations.
Fact 2: People (especially the British) generally like dogs and will often talk to a stranger's cute dog rather than to said stranger (the same applies to talking to babies). Dogs often provide a talking piece.
Solution: Put toilet-trained dogs in all lifts.

Baby's hair
I hate it when adverts say "for baby", as though it's a unified concept, or there is only one in existence - the Baby, with a capital 'B'. "Shampoo for baby's hair" - no, it's for "a baby's hair", for fuck's sake.

Off of
Scott Mills is to blame for this one. "Heidi off of the Sugababes", "Paul off of Leicester"; no Scott, Heidi is from the Sugababes, and Paul is from Leicester. You can be "off of" a TV show - "Ross off of Friends" - and that's about it. Prick.

Tea Haiku
hot steamish fluid
flushed through leaves in blue teapots
black, milk or lemon.

Coke Zero
Coke Zero is literally that. Zero. Nada. 'Real' Coke has a great taste all of its own – completely different to any other cola – Diet Coke is dishwater, and best avoided, but Zero is like drinking a vacuum. It's not 'nothing' in the way water is - water tastes of something - it literally tastes of nothing.
When it was launched, I instantly preferred it to the diet variety, and decided that no matter how good real Coke tasted, it contained too much sugar. Zero won out, despite not tasting as good. I still think it's far better than Diet Coke, but I've reconsidered my stance in Zero's battle with The Real Thing™: it's not a patch on it. Give me diabetes any day. Put a can of Zero to your lips and you gulp at wet air, and you don't need a can to be able to do that.

Wikipedia Semen
The Google Image search result for "wikipedia wiki" is somewhat unexpected - instead of the wikipedia logo, you get a wikipedia page showing two cartoon women "snowballing" semen between their mouths. Unusual to say the least.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

"She was dead when I got there!"

"Dead when I got there" - this great phrase was coined by the Romsey boys during a McDonald's therapy visit in 2008. It was inspired by the shocking murder of model Sally Anne Bowman in 2005, in which she was stabbed 7 times as she was raped. So far, so not good. But hilarity ensues when we come to Mark Dixie's defence: Dixie, who was eventually convicted of her murder (with a minimum term of 34 years, among the longest ever imposed upon a single murderer), sought to rely on the previously unknown (and unnamed) “dead when I got there!” defence.

Picture the scene: you have been called as solicitor for the defence.  It's the early hours of the morning, and you've just arrived at the police station to attempt to piece a defence together for this man.  You talk to him, seeking something to work with, an alibi, anything.  It emerges his defence is basically “I came across her dead body and, yeah, I raped her, I'm not ashamed to admit it. But she was dead when I got there, honest!  Not that I killed her.”  You put your head in your hands and weep.

To quote a report of the trial, “[Dixie] admits that he had sex with her corpse but denies killing her. Mark Dixie says he was high and drunk when he found Sally Anne Bowman’s body and took 'advantage of the situation', the prosecutor said today at the Old Bailey, adding, 'That, astonishingly, is his defence.'”  Even the CPS think this defence is fucking hilarious!  I don't know if I'm just hopelessly naïve, but taking advantage of a situation is helping yourself to a mate's drink while he's nipped to the loo, or eating too much at a free buffet.   Raping a dead body, and then giving that as your defence to a murder charge, is so far past the line of “taking advantage of the situation”.

Nevertheless, this brutal crime has given rise to a brilliantly useful phrase.  If your situation is so bad that “I raped her dead body” is the best defence you can possibly come up with, you might as well just throw your hands in the air and say "dead when I got there!". It sums it up perfectly.

For example, Uncle Desh applied the phrase to the Jill Dando case, saying "anyone seen Barry George's story? He claims he couldn't have killed Jill Dando because he was stalking another women at the time. His excuse is up there with 'dead when i got there!'" The phrase also emerged on Robinson College Law Revision Week during a "upa-da-poopa" drinking game, rather bizarrely, where it was used for the 'skip two people' rule (see the video at 2:45).

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

It's the idea that matters, not the artist

The early 2000s saw complete unknowns enjoying their "15 minutes of fame" with the emergence of reality television. The lives of these people were briefly in the media spotlight, despite having contributed nothing of worth.  As we move into the next decade, it's worth noting how measures of fame have changed, especially on the internet.  Web 2.0 first went mainstream in 2006, with content shared and created by ordinary people - people who had previously been end-users only - spreading across the net as sites such as Flickr, Wikipedia and Youtube allowed for rapid dissemination of information like never before.  It's arguable that, as we bid farewell to the 2000s (and ten years of Big Brother), fame is centred not on the individual but rather on content, concepts and memes. 

Ideas now spread virally and are shared through sites such as Hubclub (Facebook), Stumbleupon and Twitter. 76 million people have viewed the Harry Potter Puppet Pals videos on Youtube, yet very few of them will know that it was created by a Neil Cicierega.  Angry Hitler, Lolcats and Chuck Norris facts; millions will be familiar with these memes, but very few will know the creative minds behind them.  Such a situation is unthinkable for the old media of film, television, print and music.  Internet anonymity, both in terms of the creator as a person (worthy of "tabloid interest", so to speak) and the creator as a creator, is perhaps due to the wikiesque volunteering of ideas that is characteristic of the online community.  Contributions are made without any expectation of monetary reward or copyright.   On the internet, it's the idea that matters, not the artist.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Nazi Charities

#nazicharities is currently trending on Twitter.  Here are some of the better suggestions.  Hilarious but oh so wrong:

Nazi charities

Save the Panzer
Charity Zyklonathon
Fuhrers for Jewstice
Aid For Afrikakorps
Hitler Youth Hostel Association
Global Achtung Plan
Help the Aged (into the showers)
Reich For Life
Royal National Socialist Lifeboat Institute
Heil for Heroes
Holocaustes sans frontiere
Wermacht a Wish Foundation
Führer's for Jewstice

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Cheers Rogers!

Rogers n. the act of telling a boring story that's going nowhere; also a name applied to a person with shit chat.

Rogers stories are usually long-winded and convoluted, although expert Rogers such as Fi have perfected the art of making even the shortest story boring. Most Rogers stories are forced upon their audiences unprompted, unrequested and unwanted.

Anybody who has been subjected to a Rogers will usually let the teller know they're boring with a well-timed “cheers Rogers”.

A “cheers Rogers” can sometimes be pre-empted by the teller quickly adding a defensive “true story” to the end of the tale. For Fi, the ability to add “true story” to anything she says has proven to be a useful life skill.

This concept was introduced to ZD and Romsey by Uncle Desh in early 2007, and is named after one of his Newcastle friends, Andrew Rogers, who was famed for his terrible chat. It has developed into one of ZD's most successful concepts and has spread from Newcastle to Cambridge, and then to London, Nottingham, Portsmouth, York, Leeds and Whitwellshire.

Notable Rogers: You all know who you are. I can think of at least 6...

Garden Warfare

Garden Warfare (known as "zdlaxdsniping" pre-Romsey) - Awesome fun. First played in November 2007, in the garden at Romsey Terrace, Garden Warfare involved the Legend, Dingly and Caradosh, armed with BB guns and wearing camouflaged clothes, hunting Desh in the dark.  Desh, as a civilian, wore brightly coloured clothing and was armed only with a supersoaker water pistol.  Desh had the advantage that it was easier to wet somebody than hit them with a BB gun, but the gun inflicted A LOT of pain when it did hit.

No footage exists of actual full-on, night-time garden warfare, but these 2 short videos give a general idea:

This college-wide email illustrates the (hilarious) consequences of including non-combatants in Garden Warfare:

From: Dan Southcoat 

To: robinson-undergrads@lists.cam.ac.uk
Date: 14 May 2007 20:38:37 +0100
Subject: Shooting in College

Dear College,

We have received several complaints about the use of a BB Gun in College. It is generally not a good idea to shoot anyone but using random, unsuspecting people for target practice is not only alarming for the person involved but also dangerous.

We know that exams are a stressful time and although shooting people might release some of your tension it doesn't really do that for the other person so please find another way of relieving your exam stress!

Dan and Clare

From the ZD Archives: Rob's List of "Things Stew Hates" - started Michaelmas 2008.

Rob - under my constant supervision, of course - actually archived this list really well. I'm very proud of him.

(Barnaby Mollett - "This list is literally one of my favourite things ever.")

Stew is, by all accounts, a happy and well-balanced guy. He leads a good life. But there are a few things that he dislikes...

Fancy dress
Sitting in the front seat
Bodily Contact (unless leading to sex)
Early Christmas celebrations
Cricket (and the Ashes)
Brick (in Anchorman)
Match of the Day 2
Adrian Chiles
The List itself (This list)
Fire alarms
'Cambridge Christmas'
Hobbs Sports
Mulled wine
Posthumous praise (e.g. John Lennon)
Garden Warfare
Certain football players, incl. Ian Durrant
Lawrence Dallaglio
Nigel Mansell
Certain Robinson people
Baby P inconsistency in the media
Robinson Choir
Royal Bank of Scotland
Real Tennis
Short-sleeved shirts
Cambridge University Football Club
Cambridge University Football Club in Cindies
Rangers FC
Hearts FC
Alan Walbridge's theorising on the free market
Going to the gym
Being forced to buy gym membership for a team for which he doesn't even play
Fi getting him into trouble unwittingly
Macaroni and cheese
Notion of swaps as a match (e.g. Girton Monsters v Tit Hall Honeysuckles)
Grease, Dirty Dancing
'Cambridge' as a concept
The concept of 'Cambridge' as a concept
Concepts as a concept (very abstract)
Having flaws in the List pointed out to him
Ipod (aka Emad Zand), Emad's dress sense, Persian Swedes in general
Wrestling on his bed
*** CENSORED ***
Duck (the meat)
'Girls' Night Out' as a concept
Pets (and animals in general)
Freddy (the feeling's mutual)
Ian touching Stew's neck
Ian trying to be healthy
Ian's "Work to do!"
Ian working when Stew doesn't think Ian has work to do
Ian locking his door and ignoring Stew if Rob isn't in
Scouting for Girls, The Feeling
People not splitting the bill
Next Gen gym tennis shop
Ian's puppy dog face
Bono, Sting, Bob Geldof, Coldplay
Rob taking his railcard
The 4.32pm Victoria to Bognor Regis train
Adverts on the back of newspapers where you expect the sport to be
The Beachboys
The grates on college walkways
People putting inappropriate heavy metal on the jukebox in the bar
Peaches Geldof
Yeoh reading his (supposedly) private messages
The sea
Boys with absolutely no interest in football
Hirst not letting people in his room straightaway
Ian's inconsistent hygiene habits
Sweet machines that give you "about 6 minstrels for 20p"
Robert Peston
ITV News
People who make Stew take a non-neutral POV
New Year resolutions (except for giving up drugs or smoking)
The concept of 'New Year resolutions'
Pink Floyd
Being called 'Stew' rather than 'Stewart'
Being called 'Gimpy' rather than 'Stewart'
Jamie Oliver
People who make a big deal out of being single on Valentine's day
Gypsies (but not in a racist way: Roma are fine, Pikeys are not)
David Pleat and Andy Townsend
Camouflage shorts
People wearing camouflage shorts as 'smart' shorts
People deliberately getting offended by things
Work crises
Ridiculous reactions to the CUSU LGBT news
People being in a relationship with friends on Hubclub
Shia LeBoef

[see also: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=630811951000 - "...A relaxing punt down the river to Grantchester is livened up by Stew's morbid phobia of water, swans, ducks, pondweed, trees... pretty much everything you find in, on or near a river, making punting a particularly stupid choice of a day out for this gimpy Scotsman...."]

Stew likes:
Chinese girls with boyfriends
Influencing people's music tastes
Mini Christmas trees
Hirst's black and blue Ladpants
Making up facts about camping equipment he's trying to sell
Spanish football stadiums
Sam Allardyce
Jelly Beans

Ian hates:
Stew's poor quality paper
Stew saying 'huh?'
Stew coming into Ian's room and talking to him
Stew thinking everything is 'the funniest thing ever!'
People who think Stew is funny: he's just not
Stew having no concept of time or distance

Ian likes:
Stew's 'raagh' sick noise
Gleaning from Stew's notes

Nizzle v. Dingly

35 Romsey present a clash of the titans...


We've often chided Dingly for being a poor man's Nizzle - Value Nizzle, or bargain basement Dove, if you will. They both sail, both are pretty posh, both ski and both have very funny friends. But after Dingly questioned whether he really was the inferior of the two, we decided to put them head to head in an empirical test. ZD statisticians have toiled on this for literally minutes, and we welcome your feedback and votes.

'LAD?': (Nizzle) Lad Lad v. (Dingly) Fat Lad
MATES: Lads Lads Lads. and the Girls. v. 35 Romsey, Mem, Steve, Stoker, Bounds. Leroy. Tit Hall: Zoe, Fari, Farfs, Dave Lock.
ACTIVITIES: Sailing, tripping Cairns up skiing, rugby, being a Lad. v. "Sailing", "off-piste" skiing, Halo 3, bonsai tree maintenance, Tithalling, pretentious jazz.
CLOTHES: Lad Casual - Lad Pants, rugby attire, Jack Wills v. Wolfmajor civvies - Teatowel scarf, Gaming slippers, burglar gear, moose.
QUOTES: "Corlett!", "Rush, Rush, get a photo, Rush", "shagging", "Lads - no, not you" (to Ian and Rob) v. "Mem, I specifically asked for chicken breast", "It's changed since then!", "I really don't have time for this, bye", "The council will pay", "Vodka revs mate"... ... ...
ACADEMIA: Land Ec., coming into the law library to look for Grush v. Made-up dissertations on T-cells, pretending to work in the library
SMUGNESS Nizzle sneer - standing over Dingly in an intimidating manner in the TV room before stroking his face v. Smug knob nod, Von Wirstisms, Silent Expert Noise
GIRLS: He's a Lad - "shagging" v. Tithalling
ACCOMMODATION: sofa, Legacy Landing, unlocked doors v. entertainment suite: Blu Ray player, coffee maker, Penn Plaza, bonsai trees

It's too close to call...

Importing a few posts from Hubclub Notes...

Shouldn't laugh, but...

"On March 28, 2008, Wired News reported that "Internet griefers"—a makeshift term for people who cause grief—assaulted an epilepsy support forum run by the Epilepsy Foundation of America.JavaScript code and flashing computer animations were posted with the intention of triggering migraine headaches and seizures in photosensitive and pattern-sensitive epileptics.According to Wired News, circumstantial evidence suggested that the attack was perpetrated by Anonymous users, with the initial attack posts on the epilepsy forum blaming eBaum's World. Members of the epilepsy forum claimed they had found a thread in which the attack was being planned at 7chan.org, an imageboard that has been described as a stronghold for Anonymous. The thread, like all old threads eventually do on these types of imageboards, has since cycled to deletion.

RealTechNews reported that the forum at the United Kingdom–based National Society for Epilepsy was also subjected to an identical attack. It stated that "apparent members of Anonymous" had denied responsibility for both attacks and posted that it had been the Church of Scientology who carried them out."



RollonFriday.com  - Judge rules sexual harassment "gallant"

A Russian judge has ruled that sexual harassment in the workplace is necessary to continue the human race.

A twenty two year old advertising executive had brought a claim of sexual harassment against her forty seven year old boss. She alleged that she had been locked out of her office after refusing to have sex with him and that he would ask female colleagues to signal "with their eyes that they desperately wanted to be laid on the boardroom table".

The judge dismissed the case stating that what the employee had seen as harassment was in fact just gallant behaviour. In his ruling the judge told the court that "without sexual harassment we would have no children" and dismissed the case as an overreaction on the woman's part.

Only two women in Russia have won a sexual harassment case since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

ZD's Guide to E5 and the Credit Crisis

Not to be confused with Renaissance Hitler, who lived in Room E5 in Robinson College in 2008-09.

  • E5 invented short selling (or rather discovered it)
  • E5 did the motion capture work for Pro Evo
  • E5 caused the Credit Crunch
  • E5 is in hiding with Jonathan from Spotify and the Frosties Kid
Think he sounds like an interesting character? Read on...

Who was the most hated man in the world last year?
Bin Laden? Mostly forgotten...
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Not even close...
CBBC's Ade Adepitan, MBE? - Well, I don't like him...

Nope, this dubious honour goes to a angry, bald Scotsman whom the Financial Services Authority named as “the individual at the heart of the economic meltdown”.

[[Photograph of E5 removed at the insistence of his legal team.]]

E5, also known as E6, “Stew's dad” and “the bastard who lost my money”, is widely acknowledged to have caused the global financial crisis in 2007.

E5 graduated from the University of Life in 1980 and immediately entered the Icelandic financial sector (whilst also doing a bit on the side as a bailiff). Starting work as a lowly desk clerk, E5 had his breakthrough: looking through some old documents during a mundane night at the office, he discovered 'short selling' hidden down the back of an old filing cabinet. A meteoric rise to banking stardom soon followed. E5 is also renowned for his motion capture work on Konami's series of “Pro Evolution Soccer” games.

It is believed that E5's nickname dates from this time at Konami. When the famed Romsey FC team were being developed by coders from “team E”, one generic player was left unfinished in the team, and this bald, nondescript character bore a startling resemblance to the man who to become E5. His shirt number was 5, his team was known as E, and the name stuck. Working on Pro Evo was a happy time for E5. Not only did he help launch one of the most popular football games of all time, but he also masterminded a lucrative array of so-called “urban sports”, with such titles as Derivatives Dash, Urban Bear Market, Sim Shortselling and Knock-and-go-round-the-Back 2:Modern Warfare.

However, everything began to go sour for E5 in 2007. The year started comfortably, with E5's routine shortselling and repossessing work going well: in March, he told a reporter that breaking and entering
as a bailiff had "never been more fun". It was during this period that he received an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary: “E5'ed, verb, to be evicted or to have one's house repossessed”. One notable example of E5's success in 2007 was the eviction of a cell of Greek fascists from L staircase, Robinson College, Cambridge during May Week; a significant cache of arms was seized.

E5's downfall began with the collapse of the French banking giant BNP Paribas, an event for which he has (unfairly) attracted much of the blame. However, the subsequent destruction of the Icelandic economy, and the resultant catastrophic problems for the entire global market, can be solely attributed to E5.

Rather than deal with the mess he had created, E5 took the Scottish approach and 'legged it'. An intercepted text to his son admitted his guilt: “I know it's all down to me, word is out” (2nd May 2009). He is currently under investigation by a wide array of prosecutors, financial regulators and private detectives, and is believed to be in hiding in a house owned by his brother-in-law Fred Goodwin, who agreed to take some of the blame for E5. The McAlpine family, noted construction magnates, are also rumoured to know his whereabouts, and have come under extreme pressure for information from those who seek E5, loyal fans and sworn enemies alike.

For some, his heroic shortselling and Pro Evo defensive work have defined their lives; for others, suffering under the recession, he serves as a hated figurehead for FASCIST 'fat cat' bankers living off bailout cash provided by the hard-working taxpayer. The 2009 G20 meeting was renamed the E5 Summit in his honour, and Robert Peston even referred to E5 as a “pretentious twat who wasn't that good at football and is even worse at banking”. The government-owned UK Super Financial Investments Wing Ltd, the world's largest bank, was established solely to deal with the mess left behind by E5 and Goodwin. Further controversy was also created by a recent Daily Mail article, in which it was alleged that E5's involvement with the 'cash-for-peerages' saga could not be ruled out.

A breakthrough came in early 2009, when it was discovered that E5 had been deceiving authorities and hiding under the ingenious false name of 'E6'. Evidence emerged that E5 was staying at a safehouse along with Charlie Sabine, Jonathan from Spotify and the kid from the Frosties advert.

ZD Reporter Tom Hirst stumbled across the house a few months later, only to find the Frosties kid having committed suicide and Howard from the Halifax moving in, apparently due to E5's devious plotting with the Lloyds TSB horse to pin the recession on him.
Good riddance.
Since E5 was named a 'person of interest' by the authorities, the detailed scrutiny of his life has revealed a number of financial irregularities. Forensic investigations into E5's personal accounts have revealed significant, regular transfers of money to a Singaporean national bank account. One theorist has proposed that this may be linked to his son's failed extra-marital relationship with the wife of current Singaporean president, Yi-xun Tan,
The President of Singapore (right), pictured with a balloon wearing a hat (left).
and that E5 may not be the monster the media has portrayed him to be; instead, he may just be a desperate, loving father doing what he can for his unplanned offspring (Zand; 2008).

E5 is rumoured to be the guest speaker at ZD's 9th birthday celebrations on 5th December 2009.

Further reading:
Zand, E-made, "Fat Cat or Lad Dad? Shortselling in the Home" (2008)
ZD Financial Studies Journal 243.

Notable relations:
Lord Boredom – E5's son
G5, notable shoddy architect – E5's father-in-law, Boredom's grandad
Fred Goodwin, disgraced former Chief Executive of RBS – E5's brother-in-law
Lionel, Dingly's mum – E5's mistress

Napoleon Dynamite Drinking Game

Requires: A copy of Napoleon Dynamite; Beverages

Rules - Drink every time:

1. Napoleon says “God/Gosh”, “Flip”, "Flipping", “Yessss”, "Large talons" or “Heck yes!"

2. Napoleon sighs

3. Uncle Rico discusses the past, throws something or gets something thrown at him

4. Napoleon is shown drawing, or any of his drawings are shown onscreen

5. Somebody in the room is compared to one of the characters (x2 if it's Lord Boredom being compared)

6. Rex says “Forget about it”

7. Don pulls the Snarr Face (see here for a video illustrating this - update: this video has been removed by YouTube. We'll try to re-add it ASAP.)

8. Napoleon runs or dances

9. When Napoleon tilts his head back and drinks, you down your drink

If you want to play the Ultimate Rules...

10. Drink every time Napoleon talks with his eyes closed.

Become a fan of this game on facebook.

The above rules were created by the Romsey boys - www.zduk.co.uk.
I originally posted it on the ZDpedia here.

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