Well that explains that…

As part of my whole not-swell-up-like-a-walrus-and-die plan I’ve been eating cereal and yogurt for breakfast for the last month or so, as opposed to scarfing down whatever the hell grabs my eye when I stumble to the fridge in the morning. This has been keeping me feeling nice and full until lunch, resulting in much less snacking, but my weight has not changed one wit – which was puzzling.

Until today when I checked up on the nutritional figures for my cereal of choice – Uncle Toby’s Healthwise for Heart Wellbeing.

Looks healthy, doesn't it?
Looks healthy, doesn’t it?

This fine product – approved by the National Heart Foundation no less – turns out to be just over 30% sugar. 30% SUGAR.

So it’s not really surprising that I haven’t loss any weight eating this crap. In fact what’s surprising is that I haven’t gained any weight.

So tonight on the way home I’ll purchase some cereal that isn’t made by Oompa Loompas and then bin the rest of Uncle Toby’s Healthwise for Sugar Barons.


And Here’s Another Thing

In a follow up to yesterday’s surprising Eurovision news, there’s a petition begging TISM to reform and represent Australia in Vienna.

Naturally I have signed it. Can you watch this performance, and dare to claim that TISM would not fit right in in Eurovision?

Of course they couldn’t perform any of their classic tracks, one of the rules being that songs cannot have been commercially released prior to competing, but I’m sure they could whip something appropriate up. In any case a song like I Might be a C**t, But I’m not a F**king C***t would probably give Europe a collective stroke.

We’ll see, we’ll see…

Well, Here’s a Thing

Apparently, in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest and the fact that a lot of Aussies (including myself) watch it, Australia is going to compete in this year’s contest!

We get automatic entry into the final (along with all the usual suspects) and – assuming that they can figure out how to do it in a sensible fashion given the time difference – we’ll get to vote! In the event that we win (not entirely impossible given the huge novelty factor) next year’s contest will be held somewhere in Europe with heavy Australian involvement. It’s also the only way we’ll get to compete in 2016 – if we don’t win then it’s a one-off.

This is going to be interesting…

Of course I can hardly mention this without posting the greatest Eurovision song never to be entered in Eurovision.

They really must lose that sax solo.

Music of the Ghosts

A few hundred years ago – according to legend – an inhabitant of one of the Blasket Islands off the west coast of Ireland heard a strange, eerie tune floating out of the night air. He grabbed his fiddle and tried to imitate it, creating a tune that was eventually named Port na bPúcaí – the music of the Ghosts. And there the tale remained, with the resulting tune becoming part of Ireland’s rich heritage of traditional music.

Until the mid 1990s when musician Ronan Browne was going through some tapes, and to his great surprise heard the opening notes of Port na bPúcaí. What was on those tapes? Recordings of the songs of killer whales, which are well known to swim by the Blasket islands on their migrations.

We can’t ever know for certain that the tale of the composition of Port na bPúcaí is true. But if it is, then think of that islander, out alone at night, hearing the mysterious songs of the whales wash across the island and frantically scribbling down the notes of a tune from another world.


Here’s a riddle -what do you get if you cross the riff from Louie Louie, the verse from Prince’s 1999 and the chorus from from the B52s’ Roam?

You get Transvision Vamp!

This was a big hit back in 1989, probably more from Wendy James jumping around in a skimpy dress than for any musical merit, although I must admit it is rather catchy.

That is all.

Tunnel Dweller

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been spending much of my time wandering the Moscow Metro system.

Not literally of course. I’ve merely been studying the crap out of it in order to produce a (hopefully) really good English Metro 2033 map.

I imagine there are plenty of really good Russian maps, but none of them appear to have been translated. All of the English ones I’ve been able to locate are sub-par at best. This situation could not stand, so I trawled the net for info, spent what seems like hours on Wikipedia and Google Translate, learned to read Cyrillic (sort of), and put together this miracle of rare frickin’ device.

Moscow Metro circa 2033
Behold its Majesty!

I’ve based it on the Metro as it was in 2002, since that’s when the first book was published. The Metro has been expanded since then but I’ve only included new lines and stations only if I can find evidence they’ve been mentioned in the series. Information from the computer games has been included only where it doesn’t conflict with the novels. I scraped together what information I could from the books that haven’t been translated into English and threw in a grid and index to make locating stations easier. Finally I included the original Russian names and various translations in the index, so no matter what version of the books you’re reading you should be able to find the stations you’re looking for.

People on Reddit seem to like it, which is all I can really ask for 🙂

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