Archive for February 2013

Headline supersubstance identified as Guillemot Kryptonite

The BBC has granted us a window into another side of the Headline Superheroes with a marvellous exposé. Check out this headline superthing:

Seabird deaths substance 'identified as oil substance'

Thanks for the clarification, Beeb. If only they’d identified that substance as something other than oil substance, that headline might have had some substance. Oh, wait:

Plymouth University said it was a form of polyisobutene (PIB), which was used as a lubricating additive in oils to improve performance.

No words in that sentence are more descriptive than ‘substance’ nor of similar length. Apart from ‘additive’. And ‘lubricant’.

It’s a shame that this event wasn’t live-blogged, so that we could have watched the development of this headline in real time:

  1. Seabird deaths caused by seabird death causer
  2. Seabird deaths caused by unidentified seabird deaths substance
  3. Seabird deaths substance ‘identified’ as ‘substance’
  4. Seabird deaths substance ‘identified as oil substance’
  5. Seabird deaths substance identified as oil substance ‘identified as oil additive’
  6. Seabird deaths substance identified as oil additive identified as polyisobutene
  7. Seabird deaths oil additive lubricant substance ‘identified’ as Richard III

Written by Tom and Statto

February 6, 2013 at 22:27

Shard opens for asinine observations

A Super Star Destroyer in Central London

A Super Star Destroyer in Central London

Sleek, spiky Barad-dûr look-a-like The Shard opened its viewing decks for a look around on February 1st, and the Independent rushed to the top to investigate the effects of being high on a number of individuals.

First up is architect Renzo Piano, whom we have to hope is better at designing buildings than he is at describing them. Piano dubbed the enormous shiny thing ‘magic for a number of reasons’:

First, because it’s in London, second, because it’s so tall, and third, because this building is a part of London. It’s a sense of London. It’s sad when London is sad, it’s joyful when London is brilliant and joyful.

So, to recap: it’s in London, it’s part of London, and it’s tall. That would be deep, if it weren’t so tall, the two other reasons weren’t the same, and if the emotional state of the capital were a) existent, and b) able to be reflected in a massive glass pyramid. But well done all the same.

Piano’s quiet madness was only surpassed by London Mayor Boris Johnson—also magic, being as he is in London, part of London, and adept at spinning tall tales—who had a range of remarks, from the anodyne to the pointless:

I don’t think there’s anything in London like this.

This is the sound of Boris realising that the tallest building in London is, amongst other things, the tallest building in London, quite unlike any of the other, shorter things in London. What further rhetorical flourishes could he have in store for us? Quick, Bozza! Say more things!

It’s the closest thing to being in an airplane and looking down on London. But you can walk around, you’ve got complete stability.

Were you previously baffled by the idea of looking down on a city from a tall building? Fear not; Boris can paint a picture: it’s like being in a plane, except you can walk around, just like you can’t in a plane.

You can see all the bends in the river, you can see my office, you can see Buckingham Palace, you can see the whole thing for 40 miles around.

‘I can see my house from here!’ exclaimed an excited Mr Johnson, dancing a bit like he needed a wee, ‘Wow! I’m Mayor of London! I’m in charge of the whole thing, for 40 miles around! Can you believe that?

‘Well, I am. And I can remind people of my stature by listing my office alongside the Queen’s residence and all the bends in the river. Woo! It’s the river! Look at it, all bending all over the place! This is like the EastEnders title sequence, except I can walk around, and there’s no drum machine. There’s complete stability, and no chance of a shrieking cockney marital breakdown.’

Quite the opposite, in fact; schmaltzy cliché-lover and clichéd lover James Episcopou chose to propose on the 72nd floor of this magical building, because it’s magic, in London, part of London, and yet there isn’t anything in London like it:

Laura means everything to me and I wanted to make her feel on top of the world.

‘I couldn’t propose to her in an airplane because you can’t walk around,’ he told assembled reporters, ‘but I heard that this is the closest thing.’

London was said to be joyful at the news.

Written by Statto and Tom

February 1, 2013 at 19:26

Posted in UK news