Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Latest dancehall craze: Clarks!

Just when you were about to throw away your dog-eared Wallabies this happened ...

Hawt for summer '10: Pineberries

Love the look of stawberries but simply hate the taste? Love the taste of pineapples but hate the (Jason Lee) look? Relax - help is finally at hand.
For the next five weeks, Waitrose are selling pineberries, a white strawberry that tastes of pineapple.
According to the Daily Mail, They were discovered growing wild in South America and rescued from extinction by clever Dutch farmers.
Get your 125g punnet for £2.99 until April 13. They then skyrocket up to £3.99. I have no idea why. Maybe they are ltd ed?

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


I'd put jumping off rocks into water right up there with eating chilli con carne and watching QPR beat Chelsea in my list of most fun things to do on planet Earth.
So, imagine my excitement when I discovered the new 'sport' of coasteering. Born and bred in Wales ...

For more info click here

Giant Isopod: northern Taiwanese delicacy/stuff of nightmares

Ever what happens to a whale when it pops it's clogs? Imagine a 20-foot KFC megabucket landing in central Detroit.
When a whale carcass hits the sea deck, an almighty feeding frenzy starring the most spine-chilling creatures on the planet breaks out.
The scariest monster of the lot has to be the giant Isopods, seen here "like giant marine woodlice a third of a meter long, are ripping into the rotting flesh" ...

According to Gawker, a submersible robot recently returned to the surface with a 2.5 foot long Isopod clinging on. Apparently, Ridley Scott, Spielberg and Cameron are locked in a bidding war for its image rights.
p.s they eat these monsters in northern Taiwan.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Fixed Gear San Fran

I've wanted a fixed gear bike for ages and this vid of a geezer named Massan 'bombing hills in his hometown of San Francisco' has done little to dissuade my enthusiasm. Effortlessly cool ...

Massan for Leader Bike from Dan Arel on Vimeo.

Via Dave's Quality Meats

The Ray Carver look

This month, I've been racing through Raymond Carver's wonderful 'All of Us - The Collected Poems'. It is impossibly well written and very moving. All the poems are so good it is very hard to pick a fave but Jean's TV is a real beaut ...

Jean’s TV

My life’s on an even keel
these days. Though who’s to say
it’ll never waver again?
This morning I recalled
a girlfriend I had, just after
my marriage broke up.
A sweet gvirl named Jean.
In the beginning, she had no idea
how bad things were. It took
a while. But she loved me
a bunch anyway, she said.
And I know that’s true.
She let me stay at her place
where I conducted
the shabby business of my life
over her phone. She bought
my booze, but told me
I wasn’t a drunk
like those others said.
Signed checks for me
and left them on her pillow
when she went off to work.
Gave me a Pendleton jacket
that Christmas, one I still wear.

For my part, I taught her to drink.
And how to fall asleep
with her clothes on.
How to wake up
weeping in the middle of the night.
When I left, she paid two months’
rent for me. And gave me
her black and white TV.

We talked on the phone once,
months later. She was drunk.
And, sure, I was drunk too.
The last thing she said to me was,
Will I ever see my TV again?
I looked around the room
as if the TV might suddenly
appear in its place
on the kitchen chair. Or else
come out of a cupboard
and declare itself. But that TV
had gone down the road
weeks before. The TV Jean gave me.

I didn’t tell her that.
I lied, of course. Soon, I said,
very soon now.
And put down the phone
after, or before, she hung up.
But those sleep-sounding words
of mine making me feel
I’d come to the end of a story.
And now, this one last falsehood
behind me,
I could rest.

I like it so much I want the shirt! I figure his Pendleton Salt Creek shirt is just what Ray would have wore sitting on his porch looking out to sea.

From the trenches of screen addiction

Much has been written of late about the growing number of youngsters apparently hopelessly hooked on the web and/or vidgames. A clinic dealing specifically with 'screen addiction' recently opened in London. As is always the case when a new addiction is reported, there are doubters whose simple prescribed cure is a heavy dose of pull-yourself-together-man.
However, if you need proof of the severely damaging effects of screen addiction then read this illuminating tell-all article charting one writer's slide from functioning adult to Grand Theft Auto and cocaine addict. Chilling stuff.

via Gawker

Onthophagus taurus

It's pretty common knowledge that the cheetah is the fastest animal on earth but do you know which animal is the strongest - the Jeff Capes of the jungle? Perhaps the mule? Or the carthorse? Think smaller. Think dung beetle.
According to researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, the little trooper's strength is off the Richter. They can pull a load 1,141 times its own body weight - the equivalent of an average person pulling six fully laden double decker buses.
I also remember once hearing that beetles can be frozen in ice and trot out alive. The Russian army play drinking games based on this phenom. Every soldier takes a beetle, freezes it in an ice cube and then they wait. Whoever's beetle busts out first dodges the trip to the (submarine) bar. All this leads me to conclude that dung beetles will inherit the Earth. Sorry ants.

Via PA

Monday, 22 March 2010


The South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas is supposedly hip. But it's still in Texas. Which means there are still rednecks. One owns a bar and he wants to make it clear he wants the yellow-bellied blogging liberals to eff off.

Friday, 19 March 2010


You used to tune in at certain times to hear the news. Now it is in-you-face 24 hours a day. But who wants or needs that much nooze? Hotel lobbies. And monitors on those robotic trains that spend their whole adult lives ferrying people with lots of bags between terminals at airports.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Passport to the World

One day at school a mother came to speak to us about the danger of cults. Her message was straight from the heart. She'd lost her little one to the clutches of a cult who demanded their new member divorce her fam and friends. The warning was simple: steer clear of cults beacuse they steal all your pocket money and are really hard to get out of. She banged on about de-programming.
I've never joined a cult. Or so I thought. Until I was given a sub to National Geographic as a birthday present. I enjoyed my sub. I read some great stories (esp. the one about the monks of Mount Atmos). But when it came to renewing I decided I could just do without getting National Geographic. Fine, right?
No. They are furious and they want me back bad. They write me enough letters a week to start a large bonfire. Their desperate pleas are making me feel a little awkward. Take today's scary opener:
Dear (cult) Member,
Did you know your membership expired from last month's issue? You are about to lose your passport to the world ... unless you act immediately!
Something makes me feel I'm being stopped at the door of the world's greatest club. I'm scrambling for my wallet. Should I re-up or lose my 'passport to the world'?

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

5 Minute Major

Ice hockey is nuts. It's dangerous enough ice skating but they insist on trying to push each other over in a really rough, mean way. For example, check out this clip of North Dakota junior (and psychopath) Matt Frattin 'tackling' Minnesota's Kevin Wehrs. Get some!


Regular ArchBlog readers will know that clubbing Mecca Cyberdog is a real fave of mine. So, imagine my excitement when I got an email from the Camden HQ saying they'd just dropped some new styles. The pick of the bunch has to be the super-practical Star Sailor Fleece. It ticks all the boxes. Oversized hood. Boob-tube cut. Perfect for slouching at home or wearing under (or over?) a suit for smart.

Big Ambition

An American lady named Donna is past the point of no return and she doesn't care. At 43 stone (and counting) she is the world's fattest mother. But that hasn't sated her whopping appetite for world records. Donna's plan is to double her weight to 70 stone and nail the title of fattest woman on the planet. This involves clearing 12,000 calories a day or $750 of groceries a week. I dread to think what that means in real food terms. As is almost always the case in these cases, her hubbie is a mere slip of a thing, weighing in at 150 pounds. He is what they call in the XXXL community an enabler or chubby chaser. The bills are taken care of by proceeds from a website where enthusiasts can log on and watch her eat (herself to death). Some thoughtful fans send her protein shakes to 'help' .

Photo credit: James Ambler / Barcroft USA

Monday, 15 March 2010

Cheating dogfaces (Crufts 2010)

Dog owners descending on Birmingham's NEC for Crufts 2010 are a bag of nerves.
While their high grade pooches are groomed and trained to near-perfection there's one thing owners can't guarantee: ceaseless good behaviour.
That's because however many hours a day a pug or staffie spends playing the violin and listening to The Archers, a tiny part of its wild animal DNA remains hard-wired to running amok with the pack.
As a result, owners can never be 110% certain that their prize fighter might not lay a huge turd on the podium or sniff another dog's arsehole. This reality has led some truly desperate owners to sneakily graft their dog's head onto their bodies. It's a control thing.

Photo credit: AP

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Vulva Original

Firstly, the disclaimer. My name is Archie Charles Thomas and I am not a pervert.
However, what I bring you here is the stuff of perverts.
I've agonised for some time as to whether my band of readers are ready for this exciting 'news'. After some introspection, I've decided you need to know ...

A German company has made a historic breakthrough.
They've successfully farmed 'the vaginal scent of a beautiful woman' and distilled it into a phial. Basically, they've collected a few shots of real woman nectar, added preservation agents and bottled it. It's selling like hot cakes. According to them.
Like Coca-Cola, they won't say how they make their product but, in their website blurb, they do reveal it's been a long, hard journey to reach this pervert's Graceland:
"After years of cost-intensive research by a pan-European team of scientists, attempts have been successful at capturing the arousing, milky aroma in a exclusive glass phial"
If it's not a perfume - they insist repeatedly it isn't - then what's the point I hear you ask? Well, the idea is men (and a select sub-set of experimental women) apply a few droplets to the back of their hand to assist in what they dub self-stimulation AKA wanking. "The sense of smell then stimulates the cinematic visions of the imagination."
The roll-on product offers punters the exclusive oppo to "breathe in and enjoy, anytime, anywhere, the intimate scent of an irresistable woman." Good in Helmand. Less good in Waitrose.
Not satisfied with the breakthough success of Vulva Original there are plans to release more niche products. Namely, Vulva Eighteen and Vulva Exotic. Stay classy.

Interested parties should follow their nose to

From there do check out the impossibly creepy Vulva Maniac animated video

Via J. Woss

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Joan Holloway doll

Having just raced through series 1 and 2 of Mad Men, I'm thrilled to hear toy manufacturers Mattel are releasing Barbie dolls of Alpha male adman Don Draper, his supremely gullible wife Betty, Don's hard-drinking pal Roger Sterling and delightful office manager Joan Holloway, who incidentally, smashed the granny out of the competition in the Oscars red carpet glamour shitfight.
The dolls will be available from July at specialist shops and at and

Via New York Times

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Marmite Jesus

Every Sunday a dwindling fraternity of generally nice people gather in churches across the world to share their faith and, in the higher end establishments, a few biccies washed down with Maxwell House. The friendly banter often turns to the well-worn subject of 'do you reckon Jesus will ever come back down to Earth and reveal himself to us?' Understandably, the prospect excites believers no end. Some start thinking about on their own. At home. During the week. It can get out of hand.
These people want it to happen so bad they make it happen. I think this phenom is called a self-fulfulling prophecy.
Here's an example. This week, Gareth and Claire Allen of Ystrad, Rhondda, Wales, are convinced they have discovered Jesus staring back at them from the underside of their jar of Marmite. The South Wales Echo got hold of the revelation and now BBC News are all over the story. Do you think this actually is Jesus or are you more convinced by Kit Kat Jesus?

Just Love Safe condoms

Over in Paris the fashionista mob are knocking back cappuchs at fashion week and pronouncing the death of celebrity. That's nice.
But back here in Blighty slebs still rule the roost. Their word fucking goes. You hear?
So when sensational pop outfit JLS (short for Jack the Lad Swing) joked around in the Sun about a potential collabo with latex overlords Durex (ha, ha, ha!) it only went and came true.
Immediately, Durex's vice-President of celebrity endorsement, London, got on the blower to the JLS boys. Now we are all counting down the days until we can buy Just Love Safe condoms in bulk. Most excitingly, there's an outside chance the condoms will be colour-coded to match the band's different signature colours. Pass us an blue Aston will you love!
BTW, the first three letters of the words Just Love Safe - that's J, L and S - spell, you guessed it, JLS. Sneaky but smart Durex!
Photo credit:

How a story is made

In the run-up to a General Election, newspapermen like nothing more than a scoop that discredits the bozo they're not backing for #10.
For instance, witness how Tory-leaning papers bullied every last boring detail out of the Brown bullygate 'scandal' - a classic example of pressmen storming up the teacup.
The red top's insatiable appetite for tittle-tattle which might bend voter's minds means they are wide open for a planted story.
Check out how, in 1992, Chris Morris transformed a "small undiscovered fact" (that, incidentally he'd made up) into a "burning news issue" with just a few phonecalls to the news desk.

Via Heydon

Friday, 5 March 2010

Brother Sharp, the handsome (Chinese) vagabond

Each morning, fashionistas spend four and a half hours getting ready. Just ask Gok Wan. They toss and turn all night trying to predict next season's killer look. They scour look books 'til they get paper cuts. They poison their peers just to get those elusive front-row runway seats.
But it's all to no avail. The huge effort to look good, and on-fashion, usually spawns horrific results. Just ask Gok Wan.
And the real sickener for dedicated fashion monsters is that it's the people not trying one iota who look by far the best.
Take Brother Sharp. He's homeless and smokes like a chimney. He's also the biggest thing to hit China since rice. That's because a few snaps taken of the dapper chap shuffling around his home city of Ningbo have spread like wildfire on the net and seen him hailed as the most handsome and fashionable man in Asia. He is lauded for his shabby chic style - the tousled hair, the effortless layering. Women want him ie
That frowning look…
Ai yo! My little heart!
Really so handsome!

And men want to be him.

Via The Independent

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Gas mask to go

I love this ltd ed backpack from the wonderfully named Farm Tactics firm. It's made of vintage materials and based on a 1960's U.S. Army satchel designed for carrying gas masks. Unfortunately, it only seems to be available from Union Made in San Fran.
Via Hypebeast

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Mostly gravity

Ever wondered what happened to that wierd kid in the village who never wanted to come out and play? You know the one who looked like he'd never seen a ray of sunlight.
Well, it turns out he started making music videos. They are better than anything you've ever achieved. He even has fans who live on a mezzanine level in his office and cheer his every move.

Via Dearlove AKA London Apprentice

Monday, 1 March 2010

Rapid weight gain programme

Fed up with the diet you half-started in January?
Need to quickly reverse all the good work so you don't fit into your jeans again?

Stop stressing and chug a few of these bad boys down you. You'll be back fat soon as you can say liquid nutella - are they trying to kill us?
Via Live Wide blog

Louis Spence: all-rounder

Not only does this guy know Vicky Becks but he also cleans loos. Now that's versatility

I'm not coming down (ever)

All children who are not raised in the Amazon dream of growing up to live in a treehouse. Usually, the childish dream peters out around the same time teens break out in spots. But the fantasy does not die on the vine for everyone.
Check out Robert Harvey Oshatz's pimped-out treehouse in Portland. It's not clear in the piccies (more here), but I bet Bobbie has a fridge full of chunky monkey Ben and Jerrys in there and a place to store all of his He-Man action figures. The lucky bastard.

Via Cool Hunting