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January 3rd

On this day in 1596, while working for the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro, Leondardo da Vinci, the famous painter, scientist type thing, engineer, and maker up of stuff, apparently failed when he was testing one of his flying machine inventions.

Shit flying machine that kills chickens. Probably

None of us are sure exactly which one it was, all we know is that it crashed and killed the chicken he had dressed up as its pilot. Many have posited that the crash may have been due to the inefficiency of the chicken, who was known to be a rather pure pilot. However, it has also been suggested that he was shit at making wings so even if he’d had a cleverer animal flying the plane it would have crashed.  All we do know for sure is that after it crashed, Ludovico laughed at him and told him he’d be better of getting back to doing a bit of painting for a while and that Leonardo, in a huff, decided to show everyone that he knew from a really good painting idea, so he went back to his Last Supper, and instead of using fresco, which would have insured that it lasted well and didn’t go all mouldy and flaky, he used tempera over a ground of gesso, which ensured that the painting, which was pretty damn fine would go mouldy and flaky within one hundred years.

The above proves that da Vinci was a right git when he was laughed at and would happily cut off his nose to spite his face when it came to getting his revenge. It should be noted, that he never actually cut off his nose to spite his face; he wasn’t that much of an idiot.

This is a rather short entry for today as despite the fact that da Vinci could be a bit of a git, we’re all mostly agreed that he was a big old genius and we don’t really want to take up too much space taking the piss out of him as that would be unfair. Sort of, anyway. So in order to make up the space, it should also be noted that on this day in 1962 Pope John XXIII excommunicated Fidel Castro.

Castro had suppressed Catholic institutions in Cuba and naturally enough the pope wasn’t happy about it. Upon hearing what had happened, Fidel is alleged to have picked up his wife’s handbag, held it up against his chest made an “Oooh” noise and then said “Get him!” referring of course to the rather angry pope. In other words: Fidel Castro was not bothered.

To be fair to the pope, he was never going to be happy about having Catholicism dissed. To be fair to Fidel Castro he despised the

Fidel joking with David Essex about how shit the Pope is.

Catholic church for using parts of the bible to make out that it was fine for them to expect women to be beneath men in all things and get pregnant all the time if they weren’t pure enough to keep their lady gardens to themselves and never let a man put his winky up it. He also had an issue with the way that the Catholic Church pretty much sat back and watched Africans getting screwed by the Western World and there basic “Shut up moaning about being poor, it means that you’ll go to heaven and be happy and not have to bend over a bit to walk up a Camel’s arse. Or something.”

Anyway! Excommunicating someone who doesn’t give a flying act of martial ghastliness about your Church is a bit of a waste of time and ends up making you look a bit of an idiot. So, in this particular game of political tennis the score was Pope John XXIII 15 – Fidel Castro 40.

Today was the birthday of J.R.R. Tolkien.

He was born in 1892 in Orange Free State, which is now called the Free State Province and part of South Africa. Apparently when he was still a wee thing he was bitten by a baboon spider, which later biographers got quite excited about and were all “Ooh, it probably had an effect on what he wrote about!” He said he had no memory of it at all and as he didn’t write books about spiders that looked like monkeys with big red arses, I’d say that this story is of no use at all other than the fact that a baboon spider sounds well weird . I haven’t bothered to look at a photo of one as it would almost certainly ruin what it looks like in my imagination ( a three-foot tall spider with an actual baboon face and a big red arse. If it doesn’t look like that, I do not want to know).

Hobbits go to Hollywood. Shove them up your arse.

Anyway, la, la. Anyone who knows me reasonably well, knows one thing about me. I fucking hate the books what Tolkien wrote. A lot. I also hate being told that if I just give The Lord of the Rings trilogy a chance, I’ll really love it and it will change my life and blah, etc. It won’t. I am not a 15 year old boy whose only sexual experience is a few wet dreams and wanking  into a sock in my bedroom while thinking of Lorraine Kelly spanking me. I did try to read The Hobbit when I was about 12 and it was shit and full of stupid people with big hairy feet who lived in stupid Hobbity houses and were annoying. Now, if you like these books and the films and all of that stuff, fair play to you. I’m glad that someone gets pleasure out of – what appears to me to be – this pile of wrongness, but I am not of your number and nor do I ever wish to be.

Obviously, Tolkien was quite clever and did language type stuff and made up Hobbit language like some fucking Star Trek geek who makes up a language for the big foreheaded creatures to speak (please to note, I probably do know the name of the big foreheaded creatures, but since getting minor brain damage last year, a lot of words escape me. There name does and frankly I can’t be arsed to look it up. So sue me.) and he went on to live to quite an old age, dying in 1973 with lots of boys crying and stuff because he was like the best author ever. NO HE WAS NOT.

Happy birthday, John Ronald. Btw, if, per chance, there is a heaven and you’re already there and I end up there in a few years time, please do not come up to me and speak to me as a smack in your face will probably upset you and then St Peter will make me embroider flowers on heavenly hosts for half of eternity to make up for my boldness. Thanks.

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Apropos of nothing

I like to look at my site stats. It’s not a needy thing, I’d hate you to think that, it’s more of a triumphal review of how terribly popular I am. <Ahem>

Anyway, for those who don’t know, you get all sorts of info from your stats. Number of views, what pages have been looked at links that have been clicked, referrers (like Facebook, Twitter and various other sites) and search engine terms that have brought people to the site.

The last is the most, er, interesting. There are always odd little search terms. Yesterday for example there was “Magic roundabout meringue”. No idea what it was about, nor indeed how it brought anyone to my blog. I don’t recall talking about Dougal, Florence, Brian, Ermintrude, et al, or about meringues, but anyway …

A really good artist's impression of what it might have looked like if the conspiracy theory was real

So far today there is only one search engine term which has tickled me far more than any of the more surreal ones: “Where was Ethel during Robert Kennedy’s assassination?” Now, as someone who asks all sorts of questions about history, it’s not that it’s an unreasonable question, but each time I look at it, I think “You think she did it, don’t you? You think that she was secreted in one of the ovens in the Ambassador Hotel in LA and jumped out and shot him when everyone else was distracted by Shere Khan Sirhan Sirhan!” Ethel of the multiple and continuous pregnancies, had enough of her husband doing it with other laydeez, getting all popular and constantly getting her up the duff and so she got in touch with the quasi murderous Christian Palestinian tiger and came up with a cunning assassination plan. Or maybe she was just with him at the hotel and trying to get help when he was shot.  I am mostly convinced that this, rather than the oven plan is what happened that night.

Of course, the person who was wondering about it, may just wanted to know more about Ethel and how bad it must have been for her that night. As such, I feel I should apologise for them landing upon a page where all that was said about Ethel was that she was pregnant almost continuously for the whole of her marriage. But, then again, I got another view out of it, so what do I have to apologise for!

And la! As I said, this was apropos of nothing at all, just a momentary insight into the strange place I call my mind.


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