Pizza or your life.

Frankie Flood a University of Illinois School of Art and Design student produced a number of beautiful but deadly looking pizza-cutters for his MFA Thesis Exhibition[via]

This is my favourite of his works featured.

PLF “Pizza For Life” 2002
Powder coated aluminum, stainless steel, and ball bearings
4″ x 9 1/2″ x 1 1/2″

This one looks like a particularly vicious weapon as used by an assassin in a steampunk novel. Cardinal Chang of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters perhaps.

The Curious Incident of the North Pole

Whilst idly surfing the web one day I discovered that there many more North Poles in the world than I’d thought. Not only do we have the Geographic North Pole, the Magnetic North Pole and the Geomagnetic North Pole, there are also North Poles in both the states of Alaska and New York and curiously a North Pole in the centre of London.

The curious 10 year old boy that lives inside me and loves watching The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures decided to email them to find out why it was called the North Pole station.

North Pole station [Incident:061229-000103]
Could you tell me please why it is called North Pole?

Thanks
Matt Wharton

Dear Mr Wharton

Thank you for your e mail,

The North Pole International Depot in London is so called because the depot is linked by rail to the three main North London termini: Euston, St Pancras and Kings Cross.

Kind Regards

Julian

Billions and Billions

To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of Carl Sagan’s death fans and bloggers are planning a worldwide blog-a-thon, plus the launch of a new site titled Celebrating Sagan.

My own contribution is to reprint this Sagan related urban legend.

Once upon a time, Carl Sagan met the pope (John Paul II) and asked him what he would do if somehow science convincingly and irrefutably disproved the foundations of Christianity. The Pope proceeded to lecture Sagan for about 15 minutes about why this was impossible.

Later, Carl met the Dali Lama and asked him the same question about Buddhism. His reply was that he would immediately tell everybody, because it would mean millions of Buddhists would be living their lives incorrectly.

Also I’d like to add a link to this site which posits that Sagan was the reincarnation of 18th century astronomer David Rittenhouse.

I wonder what Carl Sagan would have thought of that, as a renowned sceptic he would probably have laughed like I did.

Yellowjackets engulf Chevrolet

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that gigantic Yellowjacket nests have started to appear across the southern two-thirds of the US state of Alabama.

Specialists say it could be the result of a mild winter and drought conditions, or multiple queens forcing worker yellow jackets to enlarge their quarters so the queens will be in separate areas. But experts haven’t determined exactly what’s behind the surprisingly large nests.

Auburn University entomologists, who say they’ve never seen the nests so large, have been fielding calls about the huge nests from property owners from Dothan up to Sylacauga and over into west-central Alabama’s Black Belt.

One of the larger nests to have been discovered is one that has engulfed the interior of an abandoned 1955 Chevrolet.

It’s like the start of an awful B-Movie come to life in which animals act outside of their usual behaviour and become a threat to humans. Where’s Samuel L. Jackson when you need him?

Punk sell out?

The Queen of Punk Vivienne Westwood has apparently been awarded a damehood by the Queen of England.

Not really news but it was news to me and I only found out because the fashion designer was appearing on the BBC’s Sunday AM programme to talk about the British human rights and civil liberties organisation Liberty.

It does seem odd to me that a prime exponent of the punk movement should accept such an award from the Queen. It’s not even justifiable in the same way that many people who are considered republicans have accepted similar awards saying that although the award comes from the monarch it is effectively being awarded by the state. Surely as a punk Westwood would be opposed to the Establishment which includes both the monarch and state.

But then she has been to the palace previously to accept her OBE back in 1992 and caused a bit of a stir by not wearing knickers. Is it possible to be an anti-establishment member of the establishment? I think Dame Vivienne Westwood might just be able to pull that paradox off.

Edit: According to the Yahoo News Italia she was made a Dame by the Prince of Wales, oddly it seems to be the only news source that mentions the Prince of Wales other than The Daily Mail and there is no way that I’m linking to that fucking publication especially as they seem obsessed with her lack of knickers.

A House For One Red Paperclip

Kyle MacDonald has succeeded in his quest to exchange via a series of trades one red paperclip for a house. [via]

It’s “official.” I’m going to trade one movie role for one house with the town of Kipling Saskatchewan. But nothing’s official until Dom and I go to Kipling and shake hands with the Mayor. Dom and I will be in Kipling on Wednesday July 12th to shake hands with the mayor of Kipling, Pat Jackson, and Bert Roach, Kipling’s community development officer…and probably a whole bunch of other people as well. Then it’ll be official – without the quotation marks. (Funny enough, I actually held my hands over my head and did those “quotation mark” thingy’s when I typed out the word “official” the first time. Please don’t ask me how I managed to type the word “official” with my hands over my head. Unlike trading one red paperclip for a house, I still have no idea how I did it.) Anyhow, this is gonna be so much fun. We’re going to seal the deal on July 12th – exactly one year to the day I put a picture of one red paperclip on this site.

One of those crazy schemes that the power of the internet enables to become a reality. Even more remarkable is that he has done it in a single year mostly due to the fact that his last two trades have been amazingly fortuitous.

The town of Kipling will give him the house in exchange for a role in the latest Corbin Bernsen movie. There must be some smart cookies on that town council because they are actually getting a great deal in their exchange as they are determined to market this phenomenon to the full extent and the whole town seems to have embraced the idea. They are even going to have an annual Red Paperclip holiday.