Friday Fun with Ikea and God

After a bit of an absence, Friday Fun is back and with it, an eclectic range of weird and wonderful things to make the last working day of the week a brighter place.

To start, here’s the obligatory London Transport reference. Some clever person has put together an animation that allows you to switch between the London Underground map of today; what it looks like in ‘real’ geography; and Beck’s original design. You can happily spend several minutes clicking between the three.

Real underground map

The reason so many people are obsessed with this map is simply because it’s a fabulous piece of design. It’s simple, colourful, clear and helps you get where you need to go. Talking of simple and lovely design, I’ve recently discovered The Minimum Bible – who have designed a cover for each of the books of the Bible, both Old and New. It’s clever stuff, after all, what should the cover of the book in which God created the world look like? Or one that’s about the end of days?

GenesisRevelationLove this symmetry between Genesis & Revelation. 

Talking of diagrams and God, may many blessings fall upon the clever and funny people at Theologygrams! Handy venn diagrams, pie charts, and graphs illustrating various theological arguments. Thanks to my many weeks of angst over a 5,000 word exegesis of Galatians earlier this year, this depiction of Paul’s ‘wrath-o-meter’ caused me to chuckle:


My father, the systematic theologian and Barth fan, will appreciate these:



Moving on from theology and on to more sensible, weekend activities – specifically, heading to Ikea and the movies. In fact, why not combine them? Current box office #1 Gravity is a little intense, as is a Saturday or Sunday spent in the environs of Swedish furniture. Thus, some clever person has thought to combine them:

Finally, everyone loves a Friday quiz and what better than a game of Ikea or Death? Is the Scandinavian sounding word an item in the Ikea catalogue or a death metal band? Try your luck… (I scored a fairly respectable 14/20, which owes more to my studious memorisation of Ikea furniture names than my knowledge of obscure and weird looking bands.)


Friday Fun with a bang. A big bang.

There was much cause for celebration last night as E4 viewers finally had some new The Big Bang Theory episodes added to the endless rotation that’s on multiple times a day. Perhaps in honour of this, CBS yesterday released a YouTube video of the cast and crew flashmobbing, mid-filming. It’s short, it’s filmed from a slightly odd angle, but it is delightful and has been played multiple times already today. You’ll need to watch it a few times if only to track what the different characters do. (Pay particular attention to Sheldon and watch it right through to the very end.)

As it’s Friday, perhaps you have plans for tonight? Perhaps you’re hoping to meet someone who might want to see again, even date perhaps? If so, I recommend watching the video below and then ensuring you DO NOT replicate it in any way…

I love the Date My Mate concept. I also love that the guy in the video is married to a trainee vicar.

Perhaps you prefer to spend your Fridays improving your mind? Fear not, I have a fun way in which you can do that too. I wouldn’t usually choose to watch a science programme on TV, however, this 3:45 animation of the basic laws of physics (narrated by Dara O Briain) is a joy to watch:

Quizes are also excellent educational fun for the end of the week. Well, they can be, it completely depends upon the topic of the quiz. An excellent (pointless) minute of distraction can be found in this ‘Is this burger from Burger King or McDonald’s’ quiz – which, if anything, demonstrates just how gross junk food can be.

Finally, something that combines several classic elements of Friday Fun: Lego, animation and comedy music. Perhaps this is a particularly niche childhood memory, but when I was young, one of the few tapes that regularly got played in the car (as opposed to listening to cricket matches or Radio 3) was a selection of Flanders & Swann classics. Follow that link to learn more, but basically, they created comic songs of an ilk that only British men in the 1950’s and 1960’s could. This is a Lego interpretation of one of those songs – The Gas Man Cometh:

Etiquette is fun and so are children

It’s rare that I’d include something for Friday Fun that’s basically an advert for an opera. Call me uncultured, but I’m really not a massive fan of it. That’s not to say I don’t go (I have a good friend who’s an opera singer and I go faithfully when I’m able), it’s just that given the choice between an evening at Glynebourne and a night at Wicked, well – you know where I’d be. But this little gem is less about the opera and more about how we live our online lives these days:

[If you’re thinking what I was thinking at the end of that video, his name’s Jolyon Rubinstein and he’s on Twitter.]

That gem arrived in my inbox on Monday morning, thanks to a friend who’s giving a talk on intimacy at New Wine next week. Last week he’d asked me if I knew any examples of ridiculous Facebook or Twitter updates where people over-shared. No idea why he thought to ask me…

I could think of a few examples – a friend who had recently shared a rather detailed story of her baby’s birth; a couple who gave each other sex toys via some random Facebook virtual gift service; someone who celebrated their boyfriend’s divorce – I could go on. However, what I sent him instead, was something I’ve been thinking of sharing on here for a while, but needed to be done in a sensitive way.

STFU Parents is a brilliant site. Less crass than Damn You, Auto Correct! and the like, its author actually thinks carefully about the submissions she posts and writes (often hilarious) commentary to go alongside them. The premise is simple: do you have friends who overshare about their children and make everything – even things you post that have nothing to do with children – about their children? If so, this is the place to share such things.

We all have such friends, to a greater or lesser extent (see the birth example I gave above) but honestly, some of the stuff on the site is beyond belief. I’ve been sitting on this for months [i.e. even before it appeared on The Hairpin, Annabelle…] because I didn’t want to offend friends who have children. I like seeing updates about funny things babies and toddlers do, I’m happy to read endless updates about sick children who need prayer, I love a cute photo as much as the next single, female 20 something…but sometimes it just goes a little far. However, I don’t think I’ve ever had a friend post a photo of their child next to a stuffed coyote

Then there’s ‘Mommyjacking’, where Mom’s hijack a non-child related status to make it all about their child (e.g. this innocent post about an incompetent HR department which suddenly becomes a breastfeeding tutorial). Actually, hijacking statuses (statii?) is generally inappropriate – you respond to the content of the post, it’s not a place for a general catch up – am I alone in this? What about photos involving faeces? Just wrong, plain wrong, but so many people share them.

If you have children, or like me, are very young at heart, then you should appreciate the final component of today’s fun: a quiz. Who doesn’t like quizzes? This week the Guardian challenges you on your knowledge of schools in children’s books. I’m loathe to admit that I only got 6/10, but my knowledge of later Jaqueline Wilson is patchy; I’ve not read/watched Charlie & Lola; and I made a tragic Famous Five error…

Quizzy Friday

Friday is meant for quizzes – they are the quintessential Friday distraction. Whose office doesn’t have a “who can get 7/7 in the BBC News quizcompetition every Friday? [Oh wait, mine hasn’t had one in about two years, very sad times.] It’s a great distraction, along with the BBC World News Quiz – both good for killing around 10 minutes of a seemingly interminable last day of the week.

Having spent last night indulging in one of my favourite past times – competitive, team-based quizzing – I thought I’d use today as an opportunity to share some of the best (or at least most diverting) quizzes that the internet has shared with the world this week. (Sadly, unlike last night’s fun, I can’t provide wine, amusing Madonna videos or downright dirty behaviour with a cupcake, but I think you’ll still derive some enjoyment…)

If you’ve done the two BBC quizzes and long for something a little more literary and intellectual, try the Guardian’s quiz on banned books in honour of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week. I had a sinking feeling that I wasn’t doing too well at it, but I’m glad I persevered because the insult the results threw me had me laughing out loud.

Or, perhaps if you’re of a more religious bent (or even if you’re not) you might be interested in the US Religious Knowledge quiz that did the rounds of Twitter and Facebook earlier in the week. Potentially an interesting piece of research, given as it shows that in America, non-Christians scored highest, this is a quiz on all major religions where your results are then compared to research’s sample. The researcher in me liked this a lot and is already ruminating on what differences a British study along the same lines would have.

Finally, if you prefer your quizzes to be of a more shout-out-loud variety, make sure you watch this week’s University Challenge (still available on the iPlayer) and play along with the teams. [That’s not a nerdy thing to do, surely? I mean, it must be perfectly normal to keep track of your own score?]

This particular episode is a show down between geeky Scientists (Imperial College) and fancy Artists (University of the Arts, London) and is immensely entertaining. I am in no way biased in this opinion given that I’m friends with the captain of the UAL team – honest! Such was its entertainment value that it caused ‘University Challenge’ to trend on Twitter on Monday evening, though most of the comments were directed to the contestants’ fashion sense and my friend’s headband rather than their intellectual prowess. You know something’s not quite right with the world when Gok Wan starts tweeting about the clothes on University Challenge…

Frozen Friday Fun

The bonus of two major holidays falling on Fridays (and thus scuppering Friday fun blogging) is that it means I’ve got lots of nice/interesting/faintly amusing things saved up for you… (I say ‘lots of’, that might be a slight exaggeration.)

Starting from this afternoon, I will be engaged in my own (or rather, my friends’ own) brand of wholesome fun. It’s Girls Weekend #3, we think we’re all going to make it through the snow, and have a whole host of entertainment planned. Tomorrow we’re doing Christmas again – who wouldn’t want another Christmas dinner just 2 weeks after the last one?

It’s also been my responsibility to generate some very exciting/pathetic (delete as applicable) amusement in the form of a quiz. It includes two picture rounds, one of which relates to the Clutterbuck International Nativity Collection (in my defence, this wasn’t my idea, it was requested). There’s a missing lyrics from musicals round and a Buzzcocks-style intros round – if this concept is lost on you, check out this clip of Amy Winehouse’s attempt and one of my favourite moments of the last season in which Michael Ball & Phil Jupitus camp it up, Hairspray style (at at about 6mins in – confession, I thought this was the intros round, it wasn’t, it was next lines, but it’s too good not to share!) Oh, and there’s one more round – all about me and my sister. Again, this isn’t simply narcissism, last year’s quiz writer had a round about her. I’ve tried it out on my mother and she got one question wrong, so it may be tricky…

Anyway, I digress – why boast about the fun I’ll be having when I’ve not given you anything fun (aside from two comedy clips). Having two weeks off work gave me an excellent opportunity to read tons of mindless stuff online, discovering new blogs which will keep me entertained whilst chained to my computer for the next few months.

First off, The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” quotation marks. It seems to be mostly an American issue, with signage including spurious and utterly out of place “” – you see it from time to time on Cake Wrecks too. Here’s an example:

Secondly, a blog of passive aggressive notes. I’m a big fan of passive aggression, as I’m a coward when it comes to confrontation. Being quite a fan of written communication (and having lived with a passive aggressive note leaver at university – on purple post-its!) this is quite the diverting blog. It’s not just the notes, it’s the stories that go with them and the responses – like this one, about a supposed peeping tom…

It’s still frozen round here, so why bother trying to go out and do anything (unless you’re a girl coming on the Girls Weekend Away) – just sit at home, read amusing blogs and watch random youtube clips. That’s a fun weekend, right?