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Sofas are from Mars...

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24 March 2015

Announcing the iSpong

It was with great excitement that Apple announced the impending launch of its new iSpong. We caught up with Ken Probably who spared us a few moments of his valuable time to answer some of the burning questions that technophiles the world over are dying to ask.

So, tell us, what exactly can the iSpong do?

Well, everything that a regular spong can do, of course, but with internet connectivity and full data backup. We're really excited about the whole project.

What advantages will it have over traditional spongs?

Oh this is really exciting. It can be linked to your phone or to your computer at home and give real-time feedback. This is something that has never been done before and we think that it has real potential for totally changing the way that people spong in the future.

This isn't the first time someone has tried to improve on traditional manual spongs. How will this device be different?

Previous electronic spongs were cumbersome, unwieldy and prone to go off unexpectedly. The iSpong has solved many of these problems. It's smaller, it's sleeker and it has a little blue flashing light at the end.

Who is your target audience? Is it aimed at hardcore spongophiles?

We're thinking, initially, of traditional early adopters - those same people who were quick to get on board with the iTwunt and the iFlob. But we hope to create a groundswell of interest and reach people who may never previously have considered owning a spong of any sort.

Do you expect to meet with any resistance from the sponging community?

We hope they will see that the iSpong compliments their regular sponging activities rather than competing. But while we can see the iSpong being used as a training or demonstration aid in professional sponging, I can't imagine it replacing the traditional competition spongs made from walnut, granite or lard.

It was recently rumoured that Microsoft are in the process of developing a Windows Spong. Do you see this as being a serious competitor for your product?

Well, I can't really comment on what they may or may not be doing. Ultimately, of course, any kind of competition is good for the market. But I can't really comment. Anyway, I gather they've had some trouble with the operating system. But, as I say, I can't really comment.

So you see the iSpong being an important brand for you going forward?

We think it has that potential, yes. In fact, we're in the early stages of planning iSpong2, which will have advanced GPS capabilities and an extra cup holder.

That's great. So finally - probably the most important question - will it be available in any other colours?

Yes. Yes it will.

Grateful thanks to Ken Probably for answering our questions, and for the loan of the trousers.

iSpong


12 March 2015

Bean Legacy

Movie fans set the internet ablaze yesterday when it was announced that Christian Bale is to play the eponymous hero in the new Mr Bean reboot. Bean Legacy will start shooting next month and promises to take the franchise in a new and exciting direction. "This is something that I've wanted to do for some time," said director Quentin Parks. "I grew up watching Mr Bean as a kid, but I always thought that there was a darkness lurking behind that gawky, clumsy exterior. You realise that what you're watching is a wounded and damaged soul that can only really find peace by venting his frustration in fighting crime and wreaking vengeance on those who sought to destroy him."

The new Bean promises to be very different to Rowan Atkinson's comic original. Gone are the tweedy suits, the battered teddy bear and the clapped out Mini. Instead, Bean will have moulded Kevlar body armour, a secret lair packed with surveillance equipment and a specially designed 'Beanmobile'.

Meanwhile, Bale is eagerly anticipating bringing his interpretation to the screen. "Yeah, this character Bean," he told us. "I think I understand the guy. We've talked about it a lot. We've workshopped it. And yeah - I totally get him. He's a loner. He feels that society has passed him by. But there's something that drives him - I don't know what you'd call it. A sense of justice, maybe. An anger that needs to be quenched. Whatever. I just totally know that he is he kind of guy who spends his nights stalking the lawless street of Gotham - or wherever - protecting the weak and helpless, taking down the bad guys. No question."

The movie is expected to hit cinemas next summer and pundits are already debating how it will perform against next year's other big hitter Teletubbies: Rise of the Machines.

 

Christian Bale as Mr Bean

 


10 March 2015

The Art of Backpedalling

Government Minister Rick Boils has been forced to apologise for suggesting that using unemployed people as ballast for the new HS2 project was 'inhuman'. HS2, or High Speed 2, is the name given to a new high speed rail connection between London and somewhere grim and rainy in the north. With a planned completion date of the second Wednesday in June, 2032, the scheme is a major undertaking and it had been suggested that using unemployed people as ballast on the trackbed would be one way of keeping down the costs.

Reaction to the idea has been mixed, ranging from cautious expressions of interest and enquiries about pension packages, to wholehearted enthusiasm for the opportunity of involvement in such an exciting and progressive enhancement to the country's transport infrastructure.

Unions, on the other hand, have slammed the scheme, claiming that being ground up into small lumps and strewn along a hundred miles of railway line is both an appalling waste of skilled workers and a contravention of the Working Time Directive.

Mr Boils initially appeared to support this view and was reported to have denounced the idea, although it appears that he has now changed his mind. "Using unemployed workers is an essential part of our reforms to end the something for nothing culture," the spineless time-server said in his most recent statement, which he was at pains to stress was not made as a result of being told to keep his fat mouth shut and stay on message by party bosses. "I am a strong supporter of the scheme in both in principle and practice. Those who can work should work. And those who can lie down in the middle of a railway track and let trains run over them should stop being so selfish and be grateful that've finally found a vocation that gets them out into the open air."

 


05 March 2015

Golden Plinth

Next week... ooh, let's say Tuesday... Naples plays host to the 40th Annual Awards for Excellence in Television and Film. Otherwise known as 'The Plinthies', the event is one of the most hotly anticipated in the industry and is so called because winners take home a Golden Plinth. Originally the organisers gave out statuettes but in 1979 these were stolen on the night before the ceremony. All that the thief left behind were the wooden plinths that they stood on, so it was decided to spray them gold and give them out instead - the thinking being that if two great sporting nations can fight tooth and nail over the possession of a burnt cricket bail, then some unbearably pretentious actor will be more than happy with a small disc of wood covered in shiny paint. This reasoning proved correct and the tradition of handing out a Golden Plinth continues to this day.

Despite the underwhelming character of the trophy, the real prize is to be recognised in one of the most prestigious and highly-regarded occasions of its kind. The awards typically eschew the glitz and glamour of other, more frivolous, ceremonies and instead celebrate genuine technical and artistic merit. Nominees for a Golden Plinth have demonstrated a mastery of their art, showing that hard work and a willingness to innovate can set them above their peers and push forward the boundaries of the medium. For this reason, there is a great deal of speculation about the possible winners and, although organisers have remained tight lipped, this year there is a strong suspicion that the award for Best Tits will go to Gwyneth Paltrow.

 


28 February 2015

See the Pyramids across the Thames

The British Museum is pleased to announce that this summer visitors will be able to view one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as it plays host to the Great Pyramid of Giza. This is the first time that Egyptian authorities have loaned out any of its pyramids, although Disneyland Paris did borrow the Sphinx for six months back in 1998.

Members of the public will be able to explore many of the hidden chambers for themselves and museum guides will be on hand to explain how the pyramid was constructed, provide details about some of the extraordinary treasures found within and help visitors avoid the fiendish death traps that were built into the structure. There will also be plenty to occupy the children, with interactive displays, costumed re-enactments and a big slide from the top.

pyramid

 


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The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2015

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The History of Rock

Yeti Makeover

Courtesy of the ladies of Melton Mowbray

Fish Olympics

The XII Fish Olympiad

What Do Your Keys Say About You?

Keyreading for beginners

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More Pigs

According to Walter Fitzalan, a strange bloke from Chester, the powers that be are blind to the possibilities of firing pigs from catapults. "I can't believe they have overlooked this matter for so long," he says. "The pig may be a lumbering, graceless brute on the ground, but in the air they are lithe and elegant creatures, capable of displaying balletic poise and breathtaking self-control. I am dismayed that the relevant authorities have not acted upon this matter already."

Pirates

"Could you support a helpless pirate?"


Wensleydale

"The caverns were closed to the public for their annual hosing down..."

Fatquake

"The world's fattest man suffered a fatal earthquake in the early hours of the morning..."

Caught in the Act

"The police haven't always taken such a proactive approach to enlistment..."

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Board Meeting Goldilocks and the Free Bears Death Doom and Disaster Tall Story in a Short Glass Venus by Catapult Barry Buys a Broom

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Stuffed with new material and old favourites, Recalled to Life is 280 pages of plumptiousness and very probably exactly what you need to prop up that wonky old table in the kitchen.

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Kicking and Screaming

Prologue: Peanuts

You Don't Have to be Mad to Work Here...

Machiavelli Management Solutions

The Bleeding Obvious

Exploding Dogs

Baby's First Swear

Scrufty's Magic Juju Shop

Pigmongering

Empire of the Flowers

Scumm

Mrs Wilberforce and the River

Epilogue: Persons Unknown




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All material Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2000-2015, and may not be reproduced without the express permission of the author. All characters, companies and organisations are fictitious, and any similarity to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.


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