Scientists have connected the brains of a pair of animals and allowed them to share sensory information in a major step towards what the researchers call the world’s first “organic computer”.
There were moments in Sunday’s latest episode of Being Human where I foolishly thought things might actually turn out all right. Despite the reappearance of insane vampire Crumb and the magnificent, Satanic Captain Hatch this episode had all the hallmarks of being a little frothy, a romp, before it no doubt all gets rather serious in the next two weeks. After all, what could be lighter than naive Tom McNair teaching an emotionally stunted werewolf how to function in the world?
The episode opens by introducing us to said werewolf chap, Bobby, played with child-like innocence by Ricky Grover. He is revealed as an inmate of Rook’s government department, occupying a basement in the facility where they inter various nasties. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts this department is now closing for good and the lights are being turned off even as they speak. Rook explains to the reluctant Bobby that they simply can’t look after him any more. However, Rook knows someone who can. Someone with the right experience…
This spectacular interview on LBC between James O’Brien and IDS on the subject of workfare and today’s employment figures is worthy of its own post. Cheer yourself up for fifteen minutes and listen to a man who clearly loves the sound of his own voice, if not the truth…
The Work and Pensions Secretary has welcomed a fall in unemployment, which now stands at 362,000 in the capital and 2.5million across the UK.
It means the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance has fallen to a near two-year low.
But during an explosive interview with LBC 97.3’s James O’Brien, Mr Duncan-Smith was questioned about the reliability of the figures and the effectiveness of government policy for getting more people back to work.
Today’s important stories, brought to you by that bastion of quality journalism, the Daily Mail!
First up, Brooker was right!
- ‘When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting’: Controversial app that updates your Twitter feed from beyond the grave
Next up, a square gets his head expanded:
- I tried to leap out of the window after my drink was spiked with LSD, says Ben Fogle: Castaway star tells Mail his astonishing story
(LSD does not work like that.)
Spontaneous Human Combustion makes a comeback!
- Man, 65, believed to have died from spontaneous combustion after a pile of charred remains is found and no trace of fire source or other damage
Meanwhile, people still insist on travelling to ludicrously authoritarian states built on modern slavery:
- ‘We were tortured in Dubai desert:’ British tourists arrested for possession of cannabis could face death penalty after being ‘beaten up and given electric shocks by police’
Just don’t fucking go there, man!
Now, in a wonderful follow-up to the Guardian story I posted the other day…
- U.S. Air Force developing terrifying swarms of tiny unmanned drones that can hover, crawl and even kill targets
- Is this the world’s first pornography? The incredibly explicit images carved in north-west China 4,000 years ago
I dunno about you but I’m chubbing up already. Phwoar!
Right, I’m off to scrub away the filth…
Toby Whithouse’s supernatural drama Being Human continues to go from strength to strength, a fact made all the more galling with the knowledge that this is the final series.
It’s been described as the ‘British Buffy’ and while such a comparison might seem trite in many ways its rather apt. In particular, whereas Buffy specialised in huge displays of emotion and quite literal world-ending drama, Being Human is at its best when keeping things low-key, domestic, claustrophobic and horrific. Buffy plays with supernatural tropes but is fundamentally a superhero series; there may be tragedy along the way but the bad guys will get beaten. Being Human is a little less optimistic. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of horror in Buffy, but Being Human can go a little further and there’s little that can match the grisly, bloody, bone-snapping nastiness of the Box Tunnel Massacre, or indeed any other time the vampires get fang-happy. When people die in Being Human it always feels visceral and nauseating and close-up.
That prick Duncan Smith continues to talk rubbish…
The work and pensions secretary has criticised people “who think they’re too good” to stack supermarket shelves on back-to-work government schemes.
On the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Iain Duncan Smith suggested that many “smart people” overlooked the importance of effective shelf-stacking.
“Effective shelf-stacking”? “Effective shelf-stacking?” Spoken like a man who’s never had to stack a shelf in his entire sodding life. Get out.
Meanwhile, supporters of Workfare (or “stupid people”) overlook the importance of not subsidising the wage bill of a fucking private company! One last quote jumps out…
“Let me remind you that [former Tesco chief executive] Terry Leahy started his life stacking shelves.”
Yes, Ian. I imagine he was paid an actual wage, as well!
In more cheerful news, scientists reveal the secrets of mind-control by remote-controlling beetles and rats…
Why make tiny flying drones when you can fly real insects by remote-control? It could lead to a neuroscience revolution, explains Emily Anthes in an excerpt from her new book Frankenstein’s Cat
Personally I think all this is fascinating, and I eagerly await the first human trials. However, for those of you with a tendency to worry, our Chief Scientist has these words of comfort:
Maharbiz bristles at the most sinister suggestions, at the media coverage that suggests his beetles are the product of, as he puts it, “some evil government conspiracy”. His beetles haven’t been sent out into the field yet – they still need some refinement before they’re ready for deployment – but if and when they are, Maharbiz says he expects his bugs to be used abroad, in routine military operations, but not to track US citizens.
Anyway, that seems to be about it for today. Because, you know, it’s Sunday and nothing ever happens on a Sunday. Not even getting dressed. Plus, I’ve just lost interest. Maybe I’ll fill out my JSA form instead…
Yes. That will make me feel better.
Ah, a first post on a fresh new blog! So much glorious white space just begging to be filled in with…well, that’s the question, isn’t it? Just what sort of utter nonsense am I going to fill these pages with? The question excites me as much as it no doubt horrifies yourself, dear reader, so allow me to allay those fears and whet your appetites by explaining just what this tawdry little section of the world wide web is for.
Expect links to the unexpected! Strange news from the darkest corners of the globe! Cutting-edge science! Controversial comedy! Fine literature! Music to melt even the hardest of hearts! Incisive commentary from the finest minds in British journalism!*
Or maybe it’ll just be stupid pictures like this:
So who knows, eh? How thrilling!
*You must have realised I was bullshitting by this point.