Thursday, 30 October 2008

Radical approach

John Cleese takes a firm line (20 seconds):

"I'll have what she's having"

That single line immortalised Estelle Reiner.

Rat slippers

They're big in Japan.

Old folks ham

At 78, Colin Dexter makes yet another cameo appearance in a TV show derived from his work. But can you remember the previous ones?

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

"He just gave up on society"

Two thousand people call for a plaque in memory of David Mee, who sat in Derby city centre for more than thirty years.


Unnerving British public information films from the Seventies (5 minutes):

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Orwell the blogger

His diaries go online in real-time, exactly seventy years after each entry was written.

(Samuel Pepys got there first though.)

Sealing sewer entrances

We used to; we don't now; but we should.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Strictly Cwmdonkin

Dylan Thomas's childhood home has a makeover, 1914 style.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Seen and not heard

Two Japanese acrobats - one surprisingly youthful - do extraordinary things for Edison in 1904 (2 minutes):

Banned in Hackney

This monster dared to criticise the Olympics.

Friday, 24 October 2008

I Went To A Marvellous Party

…fluted Noel Coward, little dreaming that one day his song would be noisily reworked by The Divine Comedy and given this suitably unhinged retro video (4 minutes):

Best Obama Facts

Walking on water ain't the half of it.

Icelanders aren't terrorists

Yeah, yeah. Who are they kidding?

In other news

The United States will shortly cease to exist. World war will follow. "Billions will die! This time will far exceed even the very worst times in all human history." And you almost didn't hear about it.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Oddest of couples

Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter in a series of Cinzano ads from 1978-83 (3 minutes):


Carmen Callil says a beautiful farewell to the much loved literary agent Pat Kavanagh.

Mess with your mind

Surf the web as it was in January 2001. (Where a page no longer exists, there's often a link to an archived version.)

Real life

If I had children, this is the toy I'd buy them:

Hat tip: Ben Locker

Been playing this constantly

The original recording of "You're No Good" by Dee Dee Warwick, who died on Saturday (2 minutes):

Palin in the Oval Office

An interactive image of my worst nightmare. Fight down the screaming ab-dabs and click on everything in sight.

(Why the burning books? Find out here.)

A decade of splurging

Blogging is ten years old, they say. The Guardian bids us happy birthday, while über-blogger Andrew Sullivan reflects on why he does it. Redress the balance with this no-holds-barred denunciation from 2002.

For the man who has everything

One uninhabitable island. A snip at £75,000+.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Remember, remember

An eight-minute montage from those little scamps at Class War (warning: effing-and-blinding alert!) with Bonfire Night in mind:

Succès d'estime

Few chose to read his books, but was Peter Vansittart daunted?

A volcano surrounded by haddock

Iceland's not what it's cracked up to be, wails The Daily Mash.

Dissing Bluebottle

The head of the Financial Services Authority calls George Osborne a "bloody fool" (allegedly).

Satire that catches the pathos

In the small hours this morning I was highly entertained to discover NEDS Kru featuring The Wee Man - though if you dislike the language and preoccupations of Irvine Welsh they won't be your cup of tea. This is their breakthrough video, "Here You (That'll Be Right)"; this is their boisterous Christmas release; and The Wee Man's MySpace profile is here. I see he plays Edinburgh next week…

Your mum and dad

Was Larkin right? Fifteen authors respond.

What they don't tell you on the White House website

(click on image to enlarge)

Hat tip: The Age of Uncertainty

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Sad Guys on Trading Floors

A photo-blog milks the economic news for laughs.

Immediate friends

The longest post yet to appear on this blog concerned the actor Peter Copley, whose death last week aged 93 elicited this charming obituary from Paul Unwin.

Blackcurrants and steamrollers

The silliest collaborative novel of all time.

What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed


The men of Leith,
they have no teeth,
they all smoke crack cocaine;
they give you a shag
then call you a slag
and never come back again!

© Ginny McKenna 2008.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Two milestones at once

Yesterday Webside Gleanings reached its five hundredth posting, and today is its first anniversary.

Only the Harlem Ramblers can express my feelings (4 minutes):

If you're a lurker - and you're evidently one of many, as my profile has now been viewed 673 times - how about leaving a comment, just to say hi?

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Forbidden fruit

Folies Bergère legend Josephine Baker performs her infamous Banana Dance, circa 1927 (1 minute):

Out-cooled by fifteen-year-olds

They probably read some ultra cool magazine that you can only find in, like, one store in Melbourne and is so cool that you only hear about it through word of mouth, it doesn't actually even have a name, you can't understand what the writers are trying to say and you can't make out what the photographs are about. Sigh.
A tender, appreciative, nostalgic essay provoked by Australia's Port Fairy Folk Festival.

Charcoal Sniper Palin

…is what my name would be if Sarah Palin were my mother, according to the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator.

(Jonathan Raban takes a long, hard look at her here.)

Greatness observed

Thomas Carlyle delicately captures the Duke of Wellington in 1850:
He glided slowly along, slightly saluting this and that other, clear, clean, fresh as this June evening itself, till the silver buckle of his stock vanished into the door of the next room, and I saw him no more.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Bereft of life

John Cleese, Michael Palin and Eric Idle do their stuff at the memorial service for fellow Python Graham Chapman, who died nineteen years ago today (5 minutes):

Corrupting the Antichrist

The artist formerly known as Johnny Rotten makes a "British butter" advert.

This is a stick-up

Not entirely clear what a "memory stick" is, but should you be in need of one, or a "pen drive" for that matter, there is literally (sic) only one place to get it, which is c/o my mate Norrie.

(This has been a party political broadcast on behalf of the "Today Mitchell Street, Tomorrow Ze Vorld!" Party.)

Photo credit: Naked Blog

Friday, 3 October 2008

Good as Gold

In a small way last night was a sad one, as it saw the departure from The Bill of my last remaining favourite character, Inspector Gina Gold, gloriously incarnated for the past six years by Roberta Taylor.

Thank you, ma'am.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Whoops Not In Front Of The Spectre, or It Ain't Half Dead, Mum

Who on earth thought it was a good idea to add jolly sitcom music to a 1913 performance of Hamlet (3 minutes)?

My favourite Tory

If there's a Shaun Bailey interview, it's a good day.

Venerable guffaws

"He says if he concentrates hard enough he can remember
the golden age of the Punch Cartoon."

Punch magazine gasped its last in 2002, but it's still there on the web.

Crazy name, crazy gal!

Meet Topsy Clinch, 91, an active member of the Pickering Flood Defence Group (click on pic to enlarge):

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

That's the spirit

Another image from Married to the Sea.

War of nerves

You want to stay asleep. Cat wants to be fed. Only one can win (90 seconds):

Hat tip: Inveresk Street Ingrate

Afflicted humorists

P J O'Rourke on his cancer, Terry Pratchett on his Alzheimer's.

Stranger than oneself

The world's drunkest house, the black and white twins, a bear who attempted suicide, the ten most shocking things found in people's stomachs - really, why waste your time here when you could be at Oddee?

Obesity and Depression in the Enlightenment

One of the all-time great titles.