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A guide to pets, written from the helpful perspective of somebody who, er, hasn’t had that many
Human beings are – and I’m happy to be corrected if you know any different – the only animals that keep other animals for amusement and companionship. Whether they’re fluffy, scaly, feathery or slimy, pet ownership is something that almost everybody either does now or has done in the past.
But if you’re new to the game, how do you choose which kind of animal would be right for you? Well, count yourselves lucky, for here is a handy guide to pets, written from the helpful perspective of somebody who, er, hasn’t had that many and doesn’t know much about them.
Cats

In general, you’re either a cat person or a dog person. Some people are both, a few are neither. Me, I’m firmly in the cat camp. Fluffy little scamps, they can be incredibly affectionate when the mood takes them. Nuzzly, cute little fluffy-wuffies.
They’re little bastards too, obviously. Aloof, judgmental creatures – you never really own a cat, you just give it somewhere to eat and sleep before it wanders off into the neighbourhood to get up to things you’ll never find out about. They treat you with utter disdain until they want something. Every now and then they might curl up on your lap and purr in a heartwarming way, but they’re probably just building up to giving you a good old poking with their claws when you realise they’ve given you two dead legs and you try to get up (or maybe that was just my grandma’s cat).
It’s no wonder they own the internet. They cannot be argued with.
Dogs

I’m not so sure about dogs. It’d be enormously controversial to be so bold as to say I don’t like dogs, because dog owners can be quite militant about that kind of thing.
They’ll take it as a personal slight, like you’ve just insulted one of their children. Mind you, some dog owners seem to think their dogs are their children. Is there anything more gross than seeing somebody kiss their dog on the lips, or let it lick their face?
Don’t get me wrong, there are dogs I’ve got on with in the past. My uncle’s Labrador is quite sweet (is it a Labrador? Christ, I’ve no idea). Another uncle has a little yappy dog that’s friendly enough. They’re not all bad. Once you get to know them, they can be rather likeable.
But still. If I knew more about dogs I’d be able to be more specific, but there are some kinds of dog that really let everyone know they live with a person, even when they’re nowhere nearby. Some people just smell like dog, don’t they?
Also, dogs are bloody needy. A cat will look after itself. A dog always wants your approval. “Look, look at this random object I’ve brought you!” Oh, sod off. Slobbery airheads.
Hamsters

I used to have a hamster when I was about five or six. The only memories I have of it are the time we had to move the cage because it was too close to the curtains and it chewed a big hole, and the time it escaped its cage, got under the floorboards and ate through all the wiring. So my analysis would be: they eat stuff. Stuff they shouldn’t.
I don’t know a whole lot about domestic rodents, to be honest. If you put a hamster, a gerbil and a guinea pig in front of me I reckon I could have a game stab at guessing which was which, but I wouldn’t be totally confident.
There are two main reasons to buy such a creature: firstly, they look hilarious running around in their wheels. Secondly, they’re a good way to teach a young child about the concept of death and grief. Because they don’t live very long.
Fish

Ah yes, I can get on board with fish. Great pets. But they take a bit of looking after.
When we were kids, my dad acquired a great big fish tank along with a heater and various other bits of aquatic bric-a-brac, and filled it with tropical fish. I loved it – neon tetras shoal, guppies are born folded in half, Siamese fighting fish chew each other’s tails, golden gouramis think they own the place, kuhli loaches keep the plants clean… fascinating creatures. Don’t buy any angel fish though, they’re evil little fuckers. They just eat all the other fish.
I got a bit carried away, and insisted on having a goldfish bowl in my bedroom. I wasn’t as good at looking after fish as my dad was. I learnt some valuable lessons: if you overfill the bowl, you’ll come home from school to find it devoid of fish – they’ll be on the floor, dead. If you leave the bowl on the windowsill in summer, they’ll boil to death. If you don’t clean the bowl regularly, your room will smell like bad drains. The key to proper fish maintenance is this: just don’t be a dick. Clean ‘em out occasionally, yeah? And don’t overfeed them either, they’ll eat themselves to death like that fat dude in Se7en.
Birds

Birds are cool. My first pet – I think – was a canary called Custard. This really helps me out when people say “hey, what’s your porn name? It’s the name of your first pet, then the first street you lived on”. Which gives me Custard Devil. Well, Devil’s Lane was the first street I actually remember living on; otherwise I’d be Custard Rainbow, having lived on Rainbow Avenue as a baby. Either way, it’s a movie worth watching.
I digress. My sister had a grey budgie called Levi as a teenager, and he was a brilliant little chap. They’re friendly, very pretty, and flap about the place like lunatics. 
They do tend to shit everywhere though. Watch out for that.
Rabbits

Aw, I’d love a rabbit one day. We like to take our daughter to the pet shop – or “the cheap zoo”, as we call it – and the rabbits are always the highlight, she loves them. Their motorised noses are hilarious. Everything they do looks cute, little flolloping guys cuddling up and chewing on carrots.
A friend of mine had a house rabbit when we were younger, and it was the softest thing in the world. You could stroke it for hours. Although it did have an unfortunate habit of shitting out maggots, and then it died. Bit nasty. But hey, it probably wasn’t doing it on purpose.
Tigers

Fucking hell, don’t get a tiger. They’re too big.
Degus

Another small rodent in the hamster confusion, but I know what a degu is because they have them in the cheap zoo. The principle reason for buying one of these would be that they’re hilariously dirty little bastards. Last time we were in there, one of them was fellating itself.
This’d be the ideal pet for someone who smokes a lot of weed.
Chickens

My parents have chickens, and so does my sister. If you’ve got a big enough garden, they’re a pretty good idea – they’ll eat all your kitchen waste, and give you limitless eggs in return!
…although I don’t particularly like eggs. And I live in London, so am gardenless. You can’t really keep chickens in a flat, I don’t think, so I’m out.
Monkeys

This is probably illegal. Remember Marcel, the monkey from Friends? That taught us all two valuable lessons: 1) that monkeys can be taught to be slaves/butlers, to a degree, and 2) they’ll ultimately get taken away by the authorities and you might get arrested.
Funny how Marcel never flung his shit about the place, isn’t it? I bet that’s a hazard of simian curation.
-
…and that’s all the pets (I don’t want to get into reptiles, they look like old men trapped in little scaly bodies. Creepy). Key take-out from all this, I reckon, is that you should get some fish, but you might also like to get a rabbit, and get a cat to look after it.
Or whatever, I dunno.
JuicyPips, direct from the mind of @denialvibes, is published weekly.

A guide to pets, written from the helpful perspective of somebody who, er, hasn’t had that many

Human beings are – and I’m happy to be corrected if you know any different – the only animals that keep other animals for amusement and companionship. Whether they’re fluffy, scaly, feathery or slimy, pet ownership is something that almost everybody either does now or has done in the past.

But if you’re new to the game, how do you choose which kind of animal would be right for you? Well, count yourselves lucky, for here is a handy guide to pets, written from the helpful perspective of somebody who, er, hasn’t had that many and doesn’t know much about them.

Cats

In general, you’re either a cat person or a dog person. Some people are both, a few are neither. Me, I’m firmly in the cat camp. Fluffy little scamps, they can be incredibly affectionate when the mood takes them. Nuzzly, cute little fluffy-wuffies.

They’re little bastards too, obviously. Aloof, judgmental creatures – you never really own a cat, you just give it somewhere to eat and sleep before it wanders off into the neighbourhood to get up to things you’ll never find out about. They treat you with utter disdain until they want something. Every now and then they might curl up on your lap and purr in a heartwarming way, but they’re probably just building up to giving you a good old poking with their claws when you realise they’ve given you two dead legs and you try to get up (or maybe that was just my grandma’s cat).

It’s no wonder they own the internet. They cannot be argued with.

Dogs

I’m not so sure about dogs. It’d be enormously controversial to be so bold as to say I don’t like dogs, because dog owners can be quite militant about that kind of thing.

They’ll take it as a personal slight, like you’ve just insulted one of their children. Mind you, some dog owners seem to think their dogs are their children. Is there anything more gross than seeing somebody kiss their dog on the lips, or let it lick their face?

Don’t get me wrong, there are dogs I’ve got on with in the past. My uncle’s Labrador is quite sweet (is it a Labrador? Christ, I’ve no idea). Another uncle has a little yappy dog that’s friendly enough. They’re not all bad. Once you get to know them, they can be rather likeable.

But still. If I knew more about dogs I’d be able to be more specific, but there are some kinds of dog that really let everyone know they live with a person, even when they’re nowhere nearby. Some people just smell like dog, don’t they?

Also, dogs are bloody needy. A cat will look after itself. A dog always wants your approval. “Look, look at this random object I’ve brought you!” Oh, sod off. Slobbery airheads.

Hamsters

I used to have a hamster when I was about five or six. The only memories I have of it are the time we had to move the cage because it was too close to the curtains and it chewed a big hole, and the time it escaped its cage, got under the floorboards and ate through all the wiring. So my analysis would be: they eat stuff. Stuff they shouldn’t.

I don’t know a whole lot about domestic rodents, to be honest. If you put a hamster, a gerbil and a guinea pig in front of me I reckon I could have a game stab at guessing which was which, but I wouldn’t be totally confident.

There are two main reasons to buy such a creature: firstly, they look hilarious running around in their wheels. Secondly, they’re a good way to teach a young child about the concept of death and grief. Because they don’t live very long.

Fish

Ah yes, I can get on board with fish. Great pets. But they take a bit of looking after.

When we were kids, my dad acquired a great big fish tank along with a heater and various other bits of aquatic bric-a-brac, and filled it with tropical fish. I loved it – neon tetras shoal, guppies are born folded in half, Siamese fighting fish chew each other’s tails, golden gouramis think they own the place, kuhli loaches keep the plants clean… fascinating creatures. Don’t buy any angel fish though, they’re evil little fuckers. They just eat all the other fish.

I got a bit carried away, and insisted on having a goldfish bowl in my bedroom. I wasn’t as good at looking after fish as my dad was. I learnt some valuable lessons: if you overfill the bowl, you’ll come home from school to find it devoid of fish – they’ll be on the floor, dead. If you leave the bowl on the windowsill in summer, they’ll boil to death. If you don’t clean the bowl regularly, your room will smell like bad drains. The key to proper fish maintenance is this: just don’t be a dick. Clean ‘em out occasionally, yeah? And don’t overfeed them either, they’ll eat themselves to death like that fat dude in Se7en.

Birds

Birds are cool. My first pet – I think – was a canary called Custard. This really helps me out when people say “hey, what’s your porn name? It’s the name of your first pet, then the first street you lived on”. Which gives me Custard Devil. Well, Devil’s Lane was the first street I actually remember living on; otherwise I’d be Custard Rainbow, having lived on Rainbow Avenue as a baby. Either way, it’s a movie worth watching.

I digress. My sister had a grey budgie called Levi as a teenager, and he was a brilliant little chap. They’re friendly, very pretty, and flap about the place like lunatics. 

They do tend to shit everywhere though. Watch out for that.

Rabbits

Aw, I’d love a rabbit one day. We like to take our daughter to the pet shop – or “the cheap zoo”, as we call it – and the rabbits are always the highlight, she loves them. Their motorised noses are hilarious. Everything they do looks cute, little flolloping guys cuddling up and chewing on carrots.

A friend of mine had a house rabbit when we were younger, and it was the softest thing in the world. You could stroke it for hours. Although it did have an unfortunate habit of shitting out maggots, and then it died. Bit nasty. But hey, it probably wasn’t doing it on purpose.

Tigers

Fucking hell, don’t get a tiger. They’re too big.

Degus

Another small rodent in the hamster confusion, but I know what a degu is because they have them in the cheap zoo. The principle reason for buying one of these would be that they’re hilariously dirty little bastards. Last time we were in there, one of them was fellating itself.

This’d be the ideal pet for someone who smokes a lot of weed.

Chickens

My parents have chickens, and so does my sister. If you’ve got a big enough garden, they’re a pretty good idea – they’ll eat all your kitchen waste, and give you limitless eggs in return!

…although I don’t particularly like eggs. And I live in London, so am gardenless. You can’t really keep chickens in a flat, I don’t think, so I’m out.

Monkeys

This is probably illegal. Remember Marcel, the monkey from Friends? That taught us all two valuable lessons: 1) that monkeys can be taught to be slaves/butlers, to a degree, and 2) they’ll ultimately get taken away by the authorities and you might get arrested.

Funny how Marcel never flung his shit about the place, isn’t it? I bet that’s a hazard of simian curation.

-

…and that’s all the pets (I don’t want to get into reptiles, they look like old men trapped in little scaly bodies. Creepy). Key take-out from all this, I reckon, is that you should get some fish, but you might also like to get a rabbit, and get a cat to look after it.

Or whatever, I dunno.

JuicyPips, direct from the mind of @denialvibes, is published weekly.

Notes

Oculas

The recent acquisition of Oculus by Facebook sparked many debates on the future of both companies and the intentions of the Social Media network, who only a month ago was announcing the $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp messenger.

Outraged gamers and developers voiced concerns about the future of the Oculus and it’s innovative virtual reality headgear, questioning what Zuckerberg’s enterprise could bring to the platform and why the market leader didn’t carry on riding the wave of growth without external intervention.

Although the technology behind the flagship Oculus Rift has proven exciting for the future of virtual reality devices, the history of the concept has a history of failure, stretching decades, perhaps this is the reason the California-based tech visionaries (excuse the pun) took the decision to look up the food chain for a helping hand.

Check out this wonderful, not exactly timeless 1985 feature on the development of the VR headset. When three decades later the market remains small, is a money-splashing tech giant going to be the push that VR needs to finally make this ageing dream a reality?

@Mingard is a regular contributor to Found Things.

Notes

Silicon Valley’s youth problem
In start-up land, the young barely talk to the old (and vice versa). That makes for a lot of cool apps. But great technology? Not so much.
Full article on the New York Times.

Silicon Valley’s youth problem

In start-up land, the young barely talk to the old (and vice versa). That makes for a lot of cool apps. But great technology? Not so much.

Full article on the New York Times.

1 Notes

Google unveils Android Wear and Motorola the Moto 360
Motorola Mobility is trying to bring the sexy back to wearables with the Moto 360. And you know what? It looks pretty cool.
Motorola confirmed in a blog post Tuesday that it will join the ranks of hardware partners who have lined up to use Google’s Android Wear, a modified operating system designed for wearables. The company had previously disclosed at a press conference in Mobile World Congress that it had plans to build a smartwatch.
That watch is the Moto 360, which the company said would launch in the summer, starting in the US. Motorola only offered a small glimpse, but the device looks like an actual timepiece. The company bragged that it would use a round face and premium materials.

"The wristwatch has been through several evolutions since it first became a popular fashion accessory more than a 100 years ago," the company said in the post. "Our vision for Moto 360 was to celebrate that history as we re-imagined the wristwatch for the future."

Motorola said that you would be able to get alerts on emails, missed calls, and calendar appointments with the twist of the wrist. Like other devices running on Android Wear, it responds to the “Ok Google” command.
Check it -

More on Motorola.

Google unveils Android Wear and Motorola the Moto 360

Motorola Mobility is trying to bring the sexy back to wearables with the Moto 360. And you know what? It looks pretty cool.

Motorola confirmed in a blog post Tuesday that it will join the ranks of hardware partners who have lined up to use Google’s Android Wear, a modified operating system designed for wearables. The company had previously disclosed at a press conference in Mobile World Congress that it had plans to build a smartwatch.

That watch is the Moto 360, which the company said would launch in the summer, starting in the US. Motorola only offered a small glimpse, but the device looks like an actual timepiece. The company bragged that it would use a round face and premium materials.

"The wristwatch has been through several evolutions since it first became a popular fashion accessory more than a 100 years ago," the company said in the post. "Our vision for Moto 360 was to celebrate that history as we re-imagined the wristwatch for the future."

Motorola said that you would be able to get alerts on emails, missed calls, and calendar appointments with the twist of the wrist. Like other devices running on Android Wear, it responds to the “Ok Google” command.

Check it -

More on Motorola.

2 Notes

Rubiks cube + Lego + smartphone + brains

What happens when one of the most popular and timeless puzzles that the 1980’s bestowed upon us, a world famous 65 year old children’s toy and a smartphone meet the hands of a couple of british engineers.

That’s right, you get the Cubestormer III

What the latest version of Cubestormer does in nothing short of remarkable. Solving a Rubik’s cube in 3.253 seconds, this smartphone powered intricate Lego contraption gains it’s creators David Gilday (@DavidGilday) and Mike Dobson a refreshed position in the guinness book of records.

The pair of engineers used the latest Lego Mindstorm motors, along with a custom made phone app to beat their previous record of 5.352 seconds set by the Cubestormer II back in 2011. The human record still stands at  5.55 seconds and unfortunately for mankind, the pair  who both dabble in robotics in their spare time, are already planning a Cubestormer IV.

@Mingard is a regular contributor to Found Things.

1 Notes

Song meanings
The internet, it’s a truism to say, is studded with hilarious buffoonery.
I was recently doing a little recreational Googling to find some lyrics, as one does, as it had occurred to me that I’d never actually worked out what was being said in a particular song, and this Googling led me into a comically dumb corner of the web: lyrics meaning sites.
The song in question was Placebo’s ‘36 Degrees’. I was listening to their first album the other day, and it reminded me of the many conversations that took place at school back in the nineties around what on earth Brian Molko was singing in the chorus.
This was pre-Google, pre-smartphone, it was all just teenage guesswork. So having listened to the track countless times over the years I’d never known what the lyric was - but it’s 2014 now, we live in a shiny digital future, and such questions can be answered in seconds.
I looked it up, and it turns out that the lyric in question was “Someone tried to do me ache”. No wonder we didn’t guess it, that’s a really weird thing to say. Here, take a listen, see if you could have got it.
Anyway, being a fastidious kind of soul, I looked on quite a few lyrics sites to see if they were all in agreement, and in doing so happened across songmeanings.com.
Now, this isn’t a site that scientifically analyses song lyrics. They don’t employ a panel of linguists and poets to pick apart the nuances, imagery, construct and references that are inextricably intertwined within any given song’s lyrics. No, it’s basically just that same conversation that me and my teenage chums were having back in the nineties – this is a site full of unfounded guesses by uninformed kids.
And so it was that I found myself scrolling through a hilariously shit series of interpretations of ‘36 Degrees’, increasingly amused by the idiocy of it all.
For example -

"I read somewhere that 36 degrees is the temperature that your body drops to if you have drunk way too much.”
“Actually, I believe the 36 degrees refers to a 36 degree angle because he has his shoulders touching his toes and he is bent back with his knees being the centre point.”

And my favourite of all -

“Supposedly this song is about the perfect temperature to have sex at.”

I mean, come on. What a bunch of fucking clowns.
The last one there was presumably written by someone who’s never attempted to have sex at 36 degrees Celsius (or indeed at all, ever, probably), or they’d know that the first thing you’d do would be to find an air-conditioned room. ”Supposedly”? Supposedly according to whom?
This stupid guesswork amused me greatly. So I plugged a few more songs in to see what the berks of songmeanings.com had to offer…
1. David Bowie – ‘Space Oddity’


“To everyone who said that this is a response to the Apollo 13 film with Tom Hanks, it is simply not because Space Oddity was written in 1969, whereas the film was made in 1995.”

There is much confusion on the site – some people think that ‘Space Oddity’ references the Apollo 13 space mission; this is unlikely, given that it happened a year after the song was released, but they don’t let anything as frivolous as a fact get in the way of arguing their point.
This has naturally evolved into some people thinking that the song was a response to the movie Apollo 13, which came out an impressive 26 years after the song did.
Cue much facepalming.
Also, this is insightful -

“It’s obviously one giant metaphor.”

Great, cheers for that.
2. Eminem – ‘Stan’


“I don’t think anyone should get offended by the way Stan killed his girlfriend.”

Blimey. That misses the point somewhat. I’d suggest that perhaps the offensive shockingness of the subject material is what gives the song its power. But maybe there’s something deeper afoot?

“Stan could be a combination of the word stalker and fan. Stalker + Fan = Stan.”

Ah, thanks professor. Tricky concept you’ve formulated there, I appreciate the detailed explanation. Anything more from the community?

"I LOVE THIS SONG! it’s so deep and makes me think about things… That’s all i can really say about the song… But i love it, and i love you, Eminem! (Marry Me, Please!)”

Right. OK, thanks.
3. Blur – ‘Song 2’

It’s worth remembering, before you read the following analysis, that ‘Song 2’ was a deliberately frivolous and shallow track, intended to parody and lampoon the American rock - and, more specifically, grunge - scene of the era.
It is purposefully devoid of deep meaning. But check out this guy’s attempt -

“I always thought the song was about fear of flying. Perhaps it’s him telling about the first time he flew on an airplane. Every noise and every bump is terrifying: ‘I got my head checked, By a jumbo jet, It wasn’t easy, But nothing is, No’ I think the next bit is him hearing the engins and feeling the terror (pins and needles) of something happening. Who knows maybe he was on a plane that had engin trouble (heavy metal) when he was younger: ‘When I feel heavy metal, And I’m pins and I’m needles’. The next bit he’s telling himself that everythings going to be alright and talking to the person in the neighboring seat to help keep calm: ‘Well I lie and I’m easy, All of the time but I’m never sure When I need you, Pleased to meet you’ I think the ‘I got my head done when I was young’ means that the whole thing is past tense and just him remembering it or telling a friend what happened. Ultimately the, ‘Woo hoo’ is just the terror he feels every time the plane bumps and jostles. It also is probably exilerating to know he survived and to think back on it.”

Come on. If you haven’t got a clue, you shouldn’t just guess. You’ve taken a cheery little throwaway song and turned into some kind of shit sixth form poetry there.
4. Kelis – ‘Milkshake’

Picture the furrowed brow of the person writing this one, deep in concentration, perhaps with their tongue poking slightly out of the corner of their mouth -

“Taken on a literal sense, this song generally means a woman who is “yummy”, like a milkshake, it taste good and brings you pleasure when you are enjoying it. On a more context level, it could mean that milkshake is using the body to tease the boys and they like it, so she flaunts it.”

Good-o. Thanks for giving it to us on a ”context level”, that was starting to get quite cerebral.
5. The Beatles – ‘I Am The Walrus’

This should be an open-and-shut case.
The genesis of this song is that John Lennon had received a letter from a fan, a schoolchild, telling him that their English teacher was analysing Beatles lyrics in lessons.
So Lennon set out to craft the most befuddling, random set of lyrics he could, designed specifically to be impossible to analyse for deeper meaning.
Because there was no deeper meaning. As such, presumably the folk of songmeanings.com will be aware of this, and there will be just one entry that explains the situation, right? I imagine they hold the song up as a sort of icon of impenetrable wordsmithery, the yin to their very yang?
Let’s see…

“I heard that there is a British- (or something) folktale that when you see a walrus it is the ghost of someone who recently died.”
"Everyone in their lifetime is at one point the walrus, the eggman, and even.. the goo goo goo joob. so i suppose the walrus is the leader, the eggman is the follower, and the goo goo goo joob is just undecided. this song holds all the answers.
“


“The first part, ” I am he…” has four pronouns, and four lines. There were four Beatles. They are the “pigs from a gun”, since everywhere they went they had to run, or fly to, since Beatlemania was in full effect. A cornflake is a very fragile thing, and sitting on it would cause it to break. Fame is very fragile, and one false move could make or break your career. The next part refers to the various media events the Beatles were always a part of, like TV, radio, etc. Since they were first a “boyband”, their sponsers always wanted them to be cheery and fun. John was not one to smile, hence the”face grown long”, and would have a fake grin when asked to smile…”

Oh dear. That last one goes on like that for some time.
6. Spice Girls – ‘Spice Up Your Life’

Sometimes the sheer depth of analysis within songmeanings.com becomes quite post-modern, entirely transcending conventional critiques to enter a whole other realm of literary wisdom -

"I LOVE THE sPICE gIELS THEY ROCK i’M 15”
"YOUR A FAG
“


“shut the hhhhhhhhello up you are just a freakin queer”


“Ya’ll both suck cock-a-dooodle-dooo! wuhahahahahahaha!”

Deep.
7. Lady Gaga – ‘Poker Face’


“Maybe it has to do with blowjobs. Poke her face”

Actually, yes, that’s probably correct.
-
I could go on all day. Why not have a go yourself? It’s really annoying and you’ll wish you hadn’t.
JuicyPips, direct from the mind of @denialvibes, is published weekly.

Song meanings

The internet, it’s a truism to say, is studded with hilarious buffoonery.

I was recently doing a little recreational Googling to find some lyrics, as one does, as it had occurred to me that I’d never actually worked out what was being said in a particular song, and this Googling led me into a comically dumb corner of the web: lyrics meaning sites.

The song in question was Placebo’s ‘36 Degrees’. I was listening to their first album the other day, and it reminded me of the many conversations that took place at school back in the nineties around what on earth Brian Molko was singing in the chorus.

This was pre-Google, pre-smartphone, it was all just teenage guesswork. So having listened to the track countless times over the years I’d never known what the lyric was - but it’s 2014 now, we live in a shiny digital future, and such questions can be answered in seconds.

I looked it up, and it turns out that the lyric in question was “Someone tried to do me ache”. No wonder we didn’t guess it, that’s a really weird thing to say. Here, take a listen, see if you could have got it.

Anyway, being a fastidious kind of soul, I looked on quite a few lyrics sites to see if they were all in agreement, and in doing so happened across songmeanings.com.

Now, this isn’t a site that scientifically analyses song lyrics. They don’t employ a panel of linguists and poets to pick apart the nuances, imagery, construct and references that are inextricably intertwined within any given song’s lyrics. No, it’s basically just that same conversation that me and my teenage chums were having back in the nineties – this is a site full of unfounded guesses by uninformed kids.

And so it was that I found myself scrolling through a hilariously shit series of interpretations of ‘36 Degrees’, increasingly amused by the idiocy of it all.

For example -

"I read somewhere that 36 degrees is the temperature that your body drops to if you have drunk way too much.

Actually, I believe the 36 degrees refers to a 36 degree angle because he has his shoulders touching his toes and he is bent back with his knees being the centre point.

And my favourite of all -

Supposedly this song is about the perfect temperature to have sex at.

I mean, come on. What a bunch of fucking clowns.

The last one there was presumably written by someone who’s never attempted to have sex at 36 degrees Celsius (or indeed at all, ever, probably), or they’d know that the first thing you’d do would be to find an air-conditioned room. Supposedly? Supposedly according to whom?

This stupid guesswork amused me greatly. So I plugged a few more songs in to see what the berks of songmeanings.com had to offer…

1. David Bowie – ‘Space Oddity’

To everyone who said that this is a response to the Apollo 13 film with Tom Hanks, it is simply not because Space Oddity was written in 1969, whereas the film was made in 1995.

There is much confusion on the site – some people think that ‘Space Oddity’ references the Apollo 13 space mission; this is unlikely, given that it happened a year after the song was released, but they don’t let anything as frivolous as a fact get in the way of arguing their point.

This has naturally evolved into some people thinking that the song was a response to the movie Apollo 13, which came out an impressive 26 years after the song did.

Cue much facepalming.

Also, this is insightful -

It’s obviously one giant metaphor.

Great, cheers for that.

2. Eminem – ‘Stan’

I don’t think anyone should get offended by the way Stan killed his girlfriend.

Blimey. That misses the point somewhat. I’d suggest that perhaps the offensive shockingness of the subject material is what gives the song its power. But maybe there’s something deeper afoot?

Stan could be a combination of the word stalker and fan. Stalker + Fan = Stan.

Ah, thanks professor. Tricky concept you’ve formulated there, I appreciate the detailed explanation. Anything more from the community?

"I LOVE THIS SONG! it’s so deep and makes me think about things… That’s all i can really say about the song… But i love it, and i love you, Eminem! (Marry Me, Please!)

Right. OK, thanks.

3. Blur – ‘Song 2’

It’s worth remembering, before you read the following analysis, that ‘Song 2’ was a deliberately frivolous and shallow track, intended to parody and lampoon the American rock - and, more specifically, grunge - scene of the era.

It is purposefully devoid of deep meaning. But check out this guy’s attempt -

I always thought the song was about fear of flying. Perhaps it’s him telling about the first time he flew on an airplane. Every noise and every bump is terrifying: ‘I got my head checked, By a jumbo jet, It wasn’t easy, But nothing is, No’ I think the next bit is him hearing the engins and feeling the terror (pins and needles) of something happening. Who knows maybe he was on a plane that had engin trouble (heavy metal) when he was younger: ‘When I feel heavy metal, And I’m pins and I’m needles’. The next bit he’s telling himself that everythings going to be alright and talking to the person in the neighboring seat to help keep calm: ‘Well I lie and I’m easy, All of the time but I’m never sure When I need you, Pleased to meet you’ I think the ‘I got my head done when I was young’ means that the whole thing is past tense and just him remembering it or telling a friend what happened. Ultimately the, ‘Woo hoo’ is just the terror he feels every time the plane bumps and jostles. It also is probably exilerating to know he survived and to think back on it.

Come on. If you haven’t got a clue, you shouldn’t just guess. You’ve taken a cheery little throwaway song and turned into some kind of shit sixth form poetry there.

4. Kelis – ‘Milkshake’

Picture the furrowed brow of the person writing this one, deep in concentration, perhaps with their tongue poking slightly out of the corner of their mouth -

Taken on a literal sense, this song generally means a woman who is “yummy”, like a milkshake, it taste good and brings you pleasure when you are enjoying it. On a more context level, it could mean that milkshake is using the body to tease the boys and they like it, so she flaunts it.

Good-o. Thanks for giving it to us on a context level, that was starting to get quite cerebral.

5. The Beatles – ‘I Am The Walrus’

This should be an open-and-shut case.

The genesis of this song is that John Lennon had received a letter from a fan, a schoolchild, telling him that their English teacher was analysing Beatles lyrics in lessons.

So Lennon set out to craft the most befuddling, random set of lyrics he could, designed specifically to be impossible to analyse for deeper meaning.

Because there was no deeper meaning. As such, presumably the folk of songmeanings.com will be aware of this, and there will be just one entry that explains the situation, right? I imagine they hold the song up as a sort of icon of impenetrable wordsmithery, the yin to their very yang?

Let’s see…

I heard that there is a British- (or something) folktale that when you see a walrus it is the ghost of someone who recently died.

"Everyone in their lifetime is at one point the walrus, the eggman, and even.. the goo goo goo joob. so i suppose the walrus is the leader, the eggman is the follower, and the goo goo goo joob is just undecided. this song holds all the answers.
The first part, ” I am he…” has four pronouns, and four lines. There were four Beatles. They are the “pigs from a gun”, since everywhere they went they had to run, or fly to, since Beatlemania was in full effect. A cornflake is a very fragile thing, and sitting on it would cause it to break. Fame is very fragile, and one false move could make or break your career. The next part refers to the various media events the Beatles were always a part of, like TV, radio, etc. Since they were first a “boyband”, their sponsers always wanted them to be cheery and fun. John was not one to smile, hence the”face grown long”, and would have a fake grin when asked to smile…

Oh dear. That last one goes on like that for some time.

6. Spice Girls – ‘Spice Up Your Life’

Sometimes the sheer depth of analysis within songmeanings.com becomes quite post-modern, entirely transcending conventional critiques to enter a whole other realm of literary wisdom -

"I LOVE THE sPICE gIELS THEY ROCK i’M 15

"YOUR A FAG
shut the hhhhhhhhello up you are just a freakin queer
Ya’ll both suck cock-a-dooodle-dooo! wuhahahahahahaha!

Deep.

7. Lady Gaga – ‘Poker Face’

Maybe it has to do with blowjobs. Poke her face

Actually, yes, that’s probably correct.

-

I could go on all day. Why not have a go yourself? It’s really annoying and you’ll wish you hadn’t.

JuicyPips, direct from the mind of @denialvibes, is published weekly.

2 Notes

Kissing sailor dies
There have been many iconic images from WWII, some capturing the unimaginable triumphs that gave us hope, and others, the tremendous losses that tarnished the world in its darkest hour.
A particular image however, takes us to the moment the war ended and the reaction one emotional young man has. The beautiful photograph captures Glenn McDuffie, an 18 year old soldier who, on exiting New York subway station and hearing the news grabs a young nurse for this spectacular kiss.
The photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt never asked for the names of the two embracing service workers and the identities remained unknown until 1980, when now deceased Los Angeles schoolteacher Edith Shain reached out to Life magazine as the unidentified nurse.
Many soldiers came forward but it wasn’t until 2007 that a forensic specialist confirmed McDuffies account.
86 year old semi-professional basketball player and long serving mail carrier Glenn McDuffie will be buried at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
@Mingard is a regular contributor to Found Things.

Kissing sailor dies

There have been many iconic images from WWII, some capturing the unimaginable triumphs that gave us hope, and others, the tremendous losses that tarnished the world in its darkest hour.

A particular image however, takes us to the moment the war ended and the reaction one emotional young man has. The beautiful photograph captures Glenn McDuffie, an 18 year old soldier who, on exiting New York subway station and hearing the news grabs a young nurse for this spectacular kiss.

The photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt never asked for the names of the two embracing service workers and the identities remained unknown until 1980, when now deceased Los Angeles schoolteacher Edith Shain reached out to Life magazine as the unidentified nurse.

Many soldiers came forward but it wasn’t until 2007 that a forensic specialist confirmed McDuffies account.

86 year old semi-professional basketball player and long serving mail carrier Glenn McDuffie will be buried at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

@Mingard is a regular contributor to Found Things.

1 Notes

The era of Facebook is an anomaly
Speaking to The Verge, author and Microsoft Researcher Danah Boyd put into words a feeling that many of us have had about social networking for a while: “The era of Facebook is an anomaly”.

"The idea of everybody going to one site is just weird. Give me one other part of history where everybody shows up to the same social space.
"Fragmentation is a more natural state of being. Is your social dynamic interest-driven or is it friendship-driven? Are you going there because there’s this place where other folks are really into anime, or is this the place you’re going because it’s where your pals from school are hanging out?
"That first [question] is a driving function."

With luck this idea will continue to propagate. It’s odd that our social  identities are locked into certain domains. Imagine not being able call users on other mobile networks. Why do we allow this in social?

The era of Facebook is an anomaly

Speaking to The Verge, author and Microsoft Researcher Danah Boyd put into words a feeling that many of us have had about social networking for a while: “The era of Facebook is an anomaly”.

"The idea of everybody going to one site is just weird. Give me one other part of history where everybody shows up to the same social space.

"Fragmentation is a more natural state of being. Is your social dynamic interest-driven or is it friendship-driven? Are you going there because there’s this place where other folks are really into anime, or is this the place you’re going because it’s where your pals from school are hanging out?

"That first [question] is a driving function."

With luck this idea will continue to propagate. It’s odd that our social  identities are locked into certain domains. Imagine not being able call users on other mobile networks. Why do we allow this in social?

1 Notes

Tony Benn 1925 – 2014: a politician who actually believed in people
The former Labour Cabinet Minister, author and long-serving MP Tony Benn has passed away today, aged 88.
Mary Wakefield interviewed Benn about the financial crisis and the basic decency at the heart of all human beings in 2009, for The Spectator. It’s well worth a read.
The BBC has a look back at his life in pictures.
What a sad day.

Tony Benn 1925 – 2014: a politician who actually believed in people

The former Labour Cabinet Minister, author and long-serving MP Tony Benn has passed away today, aged 88.

Mary Wakefield interviewed Benn about the financial crisis and the basic decency at the heart of all human beings in 2009, for The Spectator. It’s well worth a read.

The BBC has a look back at his life in pictures.

What a sad day.

Notes

Transforming Formula One: 2014 rules explained

This new video from Red Bull sees Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel explain the 2014 Formula 1 regulations – which are arguably the most complex the sport has ever seen.

At the start, thousands of car parts simultaneously assemble around Ricciardo to form the RB10. As he races to catch up Vettel in his RB9, the World Champion’s car becomes transparent while travelling at full speed, sequencing through the changes to the car to meet 2014’s regulations.

As well as providing information on the technical changes for 2014, the clip also presents a unique view of the technology at work inside this year’s F1 cars.

Awesome stuff.

2 Notes

As the Web turns 25, Sir Tim Berners-Lee calls for a web Magna Carta
Happy belated birthday to the world wide web.
Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s “Information Management: A Proposal”, containing the ideas that led to the World Wide Web.
From its humble beginnings as a way to store linked documents at CERN to… well, you’re reading this now.

"In the following quarter-century, the Web has changed the world in ways that I never could have imagined.
"There have been many exciting advances. It has generated billions of dollars in economic growth, turned data into the gold of the 21st century, unleashed innovation in education and healthcare, whittled away geographic and social boundaries, revolutionised the media, and forced a reinvention of politics in many countries by enabling constant two-way dialogue between the rulers and the ruled.
"It’s time for us to make a big communal decision.
“In front of us are two roads - which way are we going to go? Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control - more and more surveillance? Or are we going to set up a bunch of values? Are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it’s so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?”
- Tim Berners-Lee
How has the rise of the web affected your life?

As the Web turns 25, Sir Tim Berners-Lee calls for a web Magna Carta

Happy belated birthday to the world wide web.

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s “Information Management: A Proposal”, containing the ideas that led to the World Wide Web.

From its humble beginnings as a way to store linked documents at CERN to… well, you’re reading this now.

"In the following quarter-century, the Web has changed the world in ways that I never could have imagined.

"There have been many exciting advances. It has generated billions of dollars in economic growth, turned data into the gold of the 21st century, unleashed innovation in education and healthcare, whittled away geographic and social boundaries, revolutionised the media, and forced a reinvention of politics in many countries by enabling constant two-way dialogue between the rulers and the ruled.

"It’s time for us to make a big communal decision.

“In front of us are two roads - which way are we going to go? Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control - more and more surveillance? Or are we going to set up a bunch of values? Are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it’s so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?”
- Tim Berners-Lee

How has the rise of the web affected your life?

Notes

Young people are angry and leaving TV in droves
Vice chief executive Shane Smith on video journalism, North Korea – and why he won’t be taken over by a big rival.
One to read.

Young people are angry and leaving TV in droves

Vice chief executive Shane Smith on video journalism, North Korea – and why he won’t be taken over by a big rival.

One to read.

1 Notes

The cinema at the end of the world

Check this abandoned outdoor movie theatre in the Sinai desert, nestled at the foot of a desert mountain range. It’s a peculiar sight, out of place and somewhat out of time: hundreds of seats for an outdoor movie theatre.

Estonian photographer Kaupo Kikkas recently visited the desolate location and brought back these amazing shots of a decaying dream.

Apparently the theatre was built in the recent past by a man from France with considerable means. Tonnes of old seats and a generator were hauled in from Cairo, along with a giant screen that looked like the sail of a ship.

Everything was set for opening night, with one small problem. Kikkas says the locals weren’t particularly keen on the whole idea and decided to discreetly sabotage the generator, meaning that not a single movie was ever screened.

So here it sits, a random movie theatre  in the middle of a desert that was never used.

And you can see it on Google Maps.

10 Notes

Divers’ paradise

A Chinese city, left to ruin after a dam flooded the valley it lay in, has become a paradise for divers.

The ancient city of Shi Cheng, known as the Lion City because it was surrounded by the five Lion Mountains, was founded over 1,300 years ago. It vanished more than half a century ago to make way for a new hydroelectric power station and a man-made lake.

The once bustling city is now between 85 and 131 feet underwater.

An artist's impression of the town as it once was

But Qiu Feng, a local official in charge of tourism, decided to see what remained of the city under the deep waters.

"We were lucky. As soon as we dived into the lake, we found the outside wall of the town and even picked up a brick to prove it"

The town is in remarkable conditions, with wooden beams and stairs still remaining.

Now a film crew has been on site to record the preservation of the lost ruins.

@paulrgn is a regular contributor to Found Things.

3 Notes

Face painting taken to another level
You’re probably wondering what is so impressive about someone covering his face in paint.
All is not as it seems. You might not think it when looking at the first few of these pictures, but what you’re looking at is actually one of the most incredible things we’ve seen in a long time.




Yep, those previous pictures were not photos of a man with paint on his face, but they were actually incredible hyperrealistic oil paintings (of a man with paint on his face).
This is the work of Spanish painter Eloy Morales. Eloy is one of the best hyperrealistic painters in the world. Not only are his paintings photographic in quality, but they possess a vibrancy and life that tricks the viewer into thinking they are actually looking at photographs.
Here’s a video of Morales explaining his art -

You can see more on the artists site.
@ColonyClive is a regular contributor to Found Things.

Face painting taken to another level

You’re probably wondering what is so impressive about someone covering his face in paint.

All is not as it seems. You might not think it when looking at the first few of these pictures, but what you’re looking at is actually one of the most incredible things we’ve seen in a long time.

Yep, those previous pictures were not photos of a man with paint on his face, but they were actually incredible hyperrealistic oil paintings (of a man with paint on his face).

This is the work of Spanish painter Eloy Morales. Eloy is one of the best hyperrealistic painters in the world. Not only are his paintings photographic in quality, but they possess a vibrancy and life that tricks the viewer into thinking they are actually looking at photographs.

Here’s a video of Morales explaining his art -

You can see more on the artists site.

@ColonyClive is a regular contributor to Found Things.