Friday Fun with the entire universe

Something mind-blowing with which to kick off Friday Fun today. Ever wondered how the various elements of the universe compare in terms of size? From a teeny-tiny neutron, to a double decker bus, to the Milky Way? Wonder no more and simply engross yourself in this awesome website

My mind was officially blown for some time after playing with this. Utterly amazing! 
The kind of person who can create something like that is probably someone with a touch of OCD in their life. In fact, I’m of the opinion that all the best people are a tad OCD – I freely admit that it exists in my world in terms of book organisation, symmetry, labelling and general organisation. Last Sunday at the birthday party, I was responsible for checking decorations were straight because it bothered me in the same way as it would bother the birthday girl – OCD is genetic. Perhaps you think you have no OCD tendencies at all? Well, try looking at these ’19 images that will drive your OCD self insane’ and see if you cringe… (I’m already upset by the lack of a round number!) 

You know what really upsets me? The fact that you can’t do proper symmetry with Stickle Bricks – it bothered me all the way through my years of working with under-6’s at church. With Lego you can, but Stickle Bricks? No. Thus, picture #6 really struck a chord:

Finally, a little something to calm you down – after all, there’s nothing as calming as a good power ballad is there? How about a parodied power ballad about bacon? You might dislike Celine Dion with a passion (I have to say, I don’t – I may own multiple albums of hers…) but you probably rather like bacon, or like it enough to watch some of The Power of Bacon. Genius.

Friday Fun returns!

Morning! It’s been many, many weeks in absentium, but today Friday Fun returns. I’m already realising that a working life that does not involve being tethered to a desk 5 days out of 7 has a negative impact upon the amount of fun that one encounters online, but we’ll see how we progress…

Firstly, cunningly related to my new line of work, a video that’s been doing the Facebook rounds since its appearance at the end of last month. Entitled ‘Wrong Worship’, this is a truly excellent parody of how not to sing/write worship songs. The fact that even my High Church sister found it hilarious says a lot…

Of course, it really wouldn’t be Friday Fun without some brilliant TfL geekery. Firstly, some die-hard geekery: did you know that it’s possible to catch westbound Circle Line trains from the same platform as eastbound District Line trains at Tower Hill? [Well, you would if you followed me on Twitter last night…] Plus, as I was told in reply to aforementioned tweet, you can also get a northbound Victoria Line train from Euston to King’s Cross and a northbound Victoria Line train from King’s Cross to Euston. I’m convinced TfL’s sense of direction may be lacking…

But the true TfL geekery (for which I have the lovely Becki to thank) is a site which maps fictional tube stations. It’s basically geekery squared – it includes, for example Vauxhall Cross station from Die Another Day; Crouch End station from Shaun of the Dead [deleted scenes only!]; plus assorted old films, soap operas (Sun Hill and Walford East of course feature) – someone had a lot of time on their hands! But their effort is much appreciated and will be enjoyed by many a lover of TfL, spurious facts and useless trivia.

Oh, and in case you thought it couldn’t get much better, the same people have gathered together links to all the alternative tube maps they could lay their hands on – hours of geographical joy, right there! I particularly enjoyed their own ‘uncluttered’ version (below), one indicating how much of the network is underground (not much really) and the anagrammed version (which I may, or may not, have mentioned before). How very clever.

There, hopefully that’s enough fun to sate you for the weekend ahead. If not, I do apologise and will try harder next week – after all, none of this week’s content was derived from The Hairpin, which is quite an unusual occurrence.

Wizard Friday Fun

Today is an auspicious day.

Today, the final curtain will fall on a saga that has kept me occupied for a good many hours over the last 11 years. 
Today, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is officially released (henceforth known as HP7b) and I, for once, will see it the very day it opens. 
The media is full of Harry Potter retrospectives at the moment – and with good reason. The final instalment of an eight film franchise is a momentous occasion. Yes, not all the films are superb, but, as a general rule they do the books good service – especially Prisoner of Azkaban (the discerning Potter fan’s favourite book and film). The first film came out during my final year of university and now I’m on the cusp of another big change. To this day, parts of Hogwarts are still the room where I had choir rehearsals as a teenager and I will forever be indebted to Alan Rickman for making Snape a much more bearable character to read as the later books were published. [Coincidentally, right at this moment my parents are on holiday in Alnwick – location of Alnwick Castle, the main set used for Hogwarts. Wonder if they’ve realised?] 
Anyway, for those of you that consider this an important event, I have some fun for you. Those that couldn’t give a toss about Harry Potter can come back next week – I make no apologies for what I like… 
Firstly, a fantastically creative interpretation of all the films, via cartoon. The Summharry parody comic by Lucy Kinisley is utter genius and you’ll have to follow that link to see the full beauty of it. One cartoon for each film now turned into one massive cartoon covering all eight of them. The comedic detail is fabulous! 
Continuing the spoof theme and returning to my favourite blog written by a bookseller, Jen Campbell (of ‘weird things customers say in bookshops’ fame) has written some seriously fabulous spoofs. Yes they’re long, but to anyone who knows the books in a certain amount of detail, they’re hilarious. Books 1-4 have been done so far, and if this extract from the opening chapter of Harry Potter and the Cup of Pretty Blue Flames is anything to go by, they’re well worth reading:

Chapter One: Some dude called Frank

JK Rowling: Once upon a time there was an old man who lived in a house…
Readers: WTF Jo, where’s Harry?
JK Rowling: Shut up, I am SETTING the SCENE.
Readers: Oh. Well get on with it then.
Frank: PESKY KIDS.
Nagini: Hissssssssssss.
Frank: You’re not a pesky kid.
Voldemort: So, David Tennant, what will you bring to the story?
David Tennant: An amazing cool leather jacket.
Voldemort: Fabulous. Fashion is my number one priority right now.
Nagini: Hisssssssssss.
Voldemort: Ooo, Nagini says that lunch is standing just outside the door.
Wormtail: Oh, fabulous, I was getting rather peckish. AVADA KEDAVRA.
Something I didn’t think I’d manage to include in this week’s fun was my traditional standby of comedy a cappella YouTube video, but, remarkably you can get a Harry Potter themed one of those too – superb! This is Overboard Vocals (friends of the ever-wonderful Swingle Singers) performing Hedwig’s Theme, complete with wigs…

Yes, I realise that you’ll now have quite an irritating piece of music going round your head for the rest of the day – but imagine what it’s like working in a bookshop on a Harry Potter release day and hearing nothing but that for many, many hours from very early in the morning. I have no sympathy.

Back to dear Alan Rickman. So Snape is perhaps not a role in which I’m able to swoon over him as I would in Truly, Madly, Deeply or that Texas video that I love, but he is utterly fabulous and thank goodness JK Rowling was able to persuade him to take the part. I love him even more ever since I read the letter he wrote to fans, published in Empire Magazine in April:

Finally, just in case you need a reminder of what’s happened in the last films, here’s a handy round-up of all that has gone before:

And with that, I’m off to enjoy a screening of HP7b in a classy cinema (which serves booze), with good company and no children. Awesome!

Friday Fun with goats, stoats and parodies

Firstly for today’s fun I need to tie up a couple of loose-ends from last week’s foolish fun. Rachel sent me a link to the Daily Mail’s [shudder] fool – extreme dog grooming. Really rather fabulous, yet worrying as it may give dog owners some ideas…

Several people were amused by SE1’s Boris Bike Statue fool, it was certainly a terrifying prospect – even more terrifying now that it appears it might actually be happening, albeit in a different location (the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square). Really? Is this necessary? I’m all for the bikes, but this is taking things a little too far.

In other news, a recently discovered gem is My High School Boyfriend Was Gay. This would be ridiculously apt for me, were it not for the fact that I went to an all-girls school and had no boyfriends, but applies to an unhealthy majority of my crushes.

Like that discovery, the next one should have featured last week, but was displaced by the fools. It’s now two weeks since the Boat Race, but these still amuse me. It seems there are now fringe events attached to this sporting institution – an Oxford & Cambridge Goat Race and Oxford & Cambridge Stoat Race. Personally, I think the goats looked far more interesting than the rowers.

It really wouldn’t be a classic Friday Fun without any musical entertainment, so I’m grateful (in a way) for this turning up on Twitter this morning. Unless you’ve lived under a rock recently, you will probably have come across Rebecca Black’s nauseating Friday, which contains lyrics that are so stupidly inane and obvious that it would make John Lennon turn in his grave. [‘Yesterday was Thursday, Today is Friday…Tomorrow is Saturday, And Sunday comes afterwards…’] You might think that things couldn’t get worse than this, but you’d be wrong.
A parody of such a song is a great idea – take the mick out of something that’s utter dross – but this is an altogether different kind of parody, a Christian parody

So it’s not all about Friday, it’s Sunday – of course. Lyrics include such gems as:
“Can’t forget my Bible, God is my friend.”
“Worshipping, worshipping, worshipping – yay!” 
“Fun, fun, church can be fun, you know that it is.” 
“…looking forward to communion.” [Well, who doesn’t?]
“We so excited, we so excited, we know Jesus is alive today.” 
God help us – quite literally.

Finally, a regular Friday cupcake update. I’ve come across an American blogger blogging about cupcakes in London – an excellent place for tips on where to find good (and bad) ones as well as recipes. It had me drooling over my keyboard yesterday. Oh, and she’s made a map of cupcake places in the capital – genius woman!

Parodied and Candied Friday Fun

My first piece of fun for you this morning will only be fun if…
(a) You’re Christian/have some appreciation of the faith
(b) Are familiar with Sir Mix-a-lot’s classic track Baby Got Back
(c) Aren’t my friend on Facebook, as I already shared this there

I love a good parody and this is excellent – the true sign of quality is in the details. This contains so much that’s true that it’s genuinely awesome, while at the same time cringeworthy. Favourite lines include:
“Bless me, bless me, teach me about John Wesley”
“Ladies? Ladies? You wanna save people from Hades?”

Oh, and the fact that koinonia gets a mention, along with Bill Hybels and it’s mention that “if you’re Catholic there’s even more” [books in the Bible that is]. Fabulously it also disses paperback Bibles, which is one of my mother’s biggest bugbears about ‘evangelicals’ (as a result I have a large paperback NRSV which is her favourite translation but in my binding of choice…).

After that, you made need something calming and sweet – how about a silent video showing you how to make sweets that look like sushi? Sounds bizarre I know (and, as I hate fish I don’t usually go near sushi) but it’s strangely hypnotic. I also love that only in Japan would you get sweets that are this complicated – here ours are of a far more immediate nature. Even those hideous candy burgers only require the minimum of assembly.

I don’t know a lot about sushi, but I do know that the detail is incredible! I want one…