Free eBooks from

December 30, 2008 · Posted in foundFings . . . · Comment 

Free eBooks from

Anyone get an eBook for Christmas? I’ve been using a Cybook from Bookeen for about 18 months now but free is free and not to be sneezed at.  Some of these are already available from Project Guttenberg but there are some new books in this list too.

Photographs of Photographers

December 30, 2008 · Posted in foundFings . . . · Comment 

Photographs of Photographers:

I think this pretty much goes to show that photographers are basically nutters (hi Andy 😉

Cookin’ for Christmas

December 25, 2008 · Posted in Cooking · Comment 

I like cooking, and what I like cooking most is large hunks of meat.  Big joints of Pork or Beef are fantastic things to cook when we have friends round and even when there’s just the two of us I’ll get something bigger than needed because it just cooks better.

However Christmas is a little different as it’s traditionally Poultry time.  4 years ago for our first married Christmas I cooked a Goose. I’d never done one before but I figured it can’t be that hard, it’s just a bird.  As it happens there are one or two tricks to getting a Goose right, mainly to ensure that the skin is nice and crispy, but it’s easy enough and we’re having one again this year.

Boxing day this year will be a bit different though.  There’ll be 7 of us for dinner so we’ll obviously need something a little bigger.  I could have just got a large Turkey but I always like to experiment and try new things out. With that in mind I’m building a 4 bird roast.  I’ve done something similar just twice before but with only 2 birds in each.  A Ducken (a Duck with a Chicken inside) and a Phearkey (a Turkey with 2 Pheasants inside). This year I’ll be cooking what we have christened a Duphearkenridge which consists of a Duck (for a nice crispy skin outside) stuffed with a Chicken, a Pheasant and a Partridge.

Each of the two previous times I’ve cooked one of these people ask me how difficult it is.  The answer is that the preparation is more time consuming than difficult.  There are plenty of instructional pages on the Interenet telling you how to debone birds but once you’ve done it you shouldn’t need to look again.  It’s more tricky and a little fiddly than difficult.

You obviously have to be pretty careful with whichever bird is going to be going on the outside as that’s the one that’s got to look good, but life is made somewhat easier as you don’t have to bebone the legs or wings of that one.  The inside birds you can then be a little rougher with a they’re just filling.  You should still get them as whole as possible as it make the rebuild easier, but a few nicks in the skin are fine.

Once it’s all rebuilt you’ve then got to stitch it back together and this is probably where you’ll need some help.  Either that or you’ll need to grow an extra pair of hands.

The actual cooking is then doen to a certain amount of guesswork as you’ve now got a solid lump of meat, rather than a bird with a hollow cavity.  I tend to go off similar cooking times as for joints of Pork but I also use a meat thermometer when cooking these.  The last thing you want to do is cut your magnificant creation in front of your guests only to find out that it’s not done.

A final little tip for the cooking.  As the Duck, in this case, will be exposed to the heat for a lot longer than normal it will have a tendancy to dry out, particularly the lovely crispy skin. The trick here is part way through cooking, lay some streaky bacon over the bird.  This will add some extra fat onto the outside during cooking keeoing things crispy and moist 🙂

More pics of the creation of this years bird can be found here on my Flickr page . . . expect a few more once it’s all cooked and keep your fingers crossed that I get the cooking times right!

Kite Surfer Vs House

December 14, 2008 · Posted in foundFings . . . · Comment 

Kite Surfer Vs House:

I get the feeling that this may be a viral add but it’s funny none the less … possibly noteable for the long warning at the start of the video about not doing stupid things like trying to kite-surf over a house and culminating with the wonderful phrase “if you take chances, at least wear a good video cam!”

The Economic Fiction?

December 14, 2008 · Posted in brain dump . . . · Comment 

Having just read a post about the process of trying to turn the book into a film, I was searching on for ‘Software’ by Rudy Rucker, I guess you can tell from the link that I found it . . . however in the process I came across what I assume is a, somewhat ironically, miscategorised book.

Head over to and search for software in the books section.  Unless something’s changed you to will end up with a list of 103,616 books, most of which are, fairly reasonably, of a technical nature.  Scroll down a little and select the Fiction category (containing a far more reasonable 217 entries).

Sitting there proudly at the top of the list, with the default sorting of ‘by relevance’ is The Ultimate Technical Trading Software: In Search of the Holy Grail . . . erm, what? It does feel about right though.  The economy is currently in a state of meltdown due in part to people using software to predict the movement of the markets in order to make more cash . . . then other people using different software to predict the behaviour of the first software and the people using it.  Then still more people using software to predit the behavior of the software that’s predicting the behaviour of the software that’s predicting the behaviour of the markets (I think that was right).

At some point people started making money off the behaviour of the software rather than on the behaviour and all of a sudden our financial system is down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass and we are just creating money out of thin air. At some point of course someone took a trick from the The Emperors New Clothes and said “He’s naked!” . . . end result, global recession . . . ho hum 😉

The Day the Earth Stood Still Takes a Tumble

December 13, 2008 · Posted in foundFings . . . · Comment 

The Day the Earth Stood Still Takes a Tumble:

oh thank goodness … The Day the Earth Stood Still is a classic 1950’s alien invasion film. It’s been referenced in films as diverse as Evil Dead III, Toy Story and Tron.

It’s an Alien invasion film but it’s really about, as a lot of films at the time were, nuclear war.  In short, one alien ship lands, one man and one robot appear (OK, it’s the 1950’2 and they were doing things on the cheap) and there’s a lot of commentary about how the general population of this planet are trying to f@&k each other over.

For a society that believes it is alone in the universe, a single shil, a single person and a single robot is such a fundamental shift in their world prespective they can’t cope …

Now, 57 years on from that film the new release of the film apparently (and I will freely admit at this point I’ve only see a couple of clips, reviews and trailers) needs one man, one ship, multiple GIANT HUGE SPHERES all over the world and some weird robotic bee things?!?

The nuclear war possible threatening othe planets thing has been throw away and replaced by an environmental theme , , , is it just me or does that feel a good 10 or more years late??

It’s a shame because it’a another crap film for Keanu Reeves … he was good in Bill & Ted (both of them, because, wtf), I liked him in Johnny Mnemonic. Point Break totally rocks, Men In Black, the first Matrix film is Uber cool and Constantine is pretty damn good too.  The common theme running through all these films is that Keanu Reeves plays Keanu Reeves … don’t believe me, check out Dangerous Liasons, Dracula or Much Ado About Nothing (another film I actually quite like).

Anyhoo, back to tthe point.  Yet another travesty, yet another film that didn’t need remaking just because it was in black and white of doesn’t have computer animation in it … leave these films alone and come up with an original idea for a change!!!

As a hint to the future if you want to piss me off some more please have a go at Fantastic Voyage, Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Citizen kane!!!!!

The Stories Behind Hollywood Studio Logos

December 11, 2008 · Posted in foundFings . . . · Comment 

The Stories Behind Hollywood Studio Logos:

Have you ever wondered why film companies have the logo they do? No, neither had I until I saw a link to a page telling me about them … check it out, it’s kinda interesting 🙂

Top 10 Incredible Food Facts

December 8, 2008 · Posted in foundFings . . . · Comment 

Top 10 Incredible Food Facts:

More interesting foody facts (actually the first lot from last year) mentioning amongst other things that “The FDA allows an average of 30 or more insect fragments and one or more rodent hairs per 100 grams of peanut butter” … eewwwwwwwwww!

Another 10 Fascinating Food Facts

December 8, 2008 · Posted in foundFings . . . · Comment 

Another 10 Fascinating Food Facts:

Onions taste the same as Apples, Bananas have large hard seeds, Ketchup was originally a fish sauce and 7-up used to contain Lithium – the drug commonly prescribed now to sufferers of bi-polar disorder.

If you go to pub quiz’s this page could just win for you one of these weeks 🙂

‘Time-bending drug’ for jet lag

December 2, 2008 · Posted in foundFings . . . · Comment 

‘Time-bending drug’ for jet lag:

I know a couple of people who are going to be interested in this, none of whom spend a lot of time travelling.  One is a friend with a dodgy internal body clock and the other is theWife who sufferes from having to sleep next to someone who ‘allegedly ’ snores!

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