Friday Fun with furry things

As I predicted last week, thanks to the theme of this week’s Great British Bake Off quarter final, I have been craving biscuits. (Specifically gingerbread, which is oddly hard to find in shops at the moment – unless the entire capital was suffering the same craving.) It has therefore made me happy that two items in today’s Fun are cookie related…

Firstly, a delightful set of Dr Seuss – Star Wars mash ups:

Talking of furry things with cookies, you can never have enough of Cookie Monster. Especially when he’s doing a parody of Call Me Maybe:

Which leads me nicely to another YouTube treat, also involving characters from the Jim Henson workshop. Ben Folds Five and the Fraggles anyone? Yes, I thought so…

Whilst we’re talking song parodies and hairy creatures, regular blog readers will be familiar with my love of Josh Groban. Honestly, the man can do nothing wrong in my eyes. At the recent Emmy’s he did a fabulous job of paying (mock) tribute to comedian Jimmy Kimmel via a parody of One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful. [Incidentally, I actually think that’s one of the best pop songs ever. Can’t stand the band itself, but the lyrics are incredibly empowering and I do like to dance around the lounge to it.] 
Finally, something genuinely furry and a little bit more intellectual. Have you ever encountered Henri, le Chat Noir? A delightful creature who continually seems to be fighting ennui in a typically French and feline fashion, it’s not your average cat YouTube video, but a step above the usual fodder. Below is the first of three gems:

Friday Fun with drama, merchandise a puberty party…

It’s a truly random assortment for you this morning – no logic holds them together, other than that they amused me, but that’s good enough – surely?

First of all, something that is simple, yet awesome. If you watched the second episode of Sarah Millican’s new BBC show last week, you would’ve seen Simon Callow reading the words of I Will Survive to dramatic effect, which was utterly delightful. I was therefore pleased to discover something of a similar vein a few days later. People, I offer you a dramatic reading of Sexy and I Know It:

Secondly, something for the girls. Thanks to the ever amusing STFU Parents Twitter feed, I discovered the existence of a company that provides ‘menarche party’ kits. In case the terminology confuses you, that’s a party to celebrate girls getting their first period, or to educate girls about periods. Yes, it’s a nobel idea, but a themed party with plates, cups, banners and games? Surely that’s too much?

The party pack includes what you see above, as well as directions for a couple of games. ‘Pin the Ovaries’ is probably fairly logical (do you place them in the fallopian tubes perhaps?), but what on earth is the ‘Puberty Marshmallow Game’?? I guess it could simply be a version of fluffy bunnies, but what’s the connection to puberty? I’m almost tempted to buy a party kit, just to sate my curiosity!

Finally, something for Star Wars geeks – unless they’ve stopped reading thanks to the period references. While George Lucas may be trying to squeeze every last cent from the franchise, it seems there are spin off products that he’s not willing to endorse. Thing is, I think a Han Solo popsicle mould would’ve been a genius idea! Not to mention Princess Leia headphones…

The fun may not be connected by anything other than its shared ridiculousness, but it certainly is fun.

Further Friday Fun of an a cappella nature

Discovered on Tuesday, via a colleague’s hysterical laughter, is a video gem that is doubly fun because it includes comedy outtakes that are longer than the original feature. My colleague was whooping, shrieking and nearly crying with laughter, so of course I had to ask what she was watching. Soon I was shrieking too and let me tell you, such noises echo when you emit them in the balcony of a Georgian church. It’s good – really good – though you might not expect something entitled ‘a capella dubstep’ to be that funny:

Turns out Tuesday wasn’t the first time my colleague had seen this beauty – it’s so good that the funny just keeps giving!

If that’s a little too crazy for you, or you want something calmer as you get your breath back, how about some lovely Peter Hollens? A friend of the Swingle Singers (and previously featured in Friday Fun), this is actually less calm (and certainly an assault on the eyes given the amount of neon clothing featured) than I may have initially suggested, but it’s definitely fun…

Any friend of the Swingles is a friend of mine… [Incidentally, they have a gig in London next month – anyone want to join me?] In fact, another musical gem is their performance as backing vocalists for Labrinth & Tinie Tempah on Radio 1’s Live Lounge yesterday:

[Ok, yes, I may still have a teeny-tiny Swingle crush…]

Earlier this week the Swingles also posted a special ‘Welcome Back’ video for troops returning from Afghanistan (including one of the Swingles’ brothers) which I only just got round to watching as I wrote this post. It’s rather lovely and also includes a brief glimpse of a couple of friends from church, which is always slightly exciting. (In fact, the presence of my wise friend’s husband Juan would suggest it was recorded in their studio which I’d have visited a couple of weeks ago were it not for a small car versus motorbike incident that wise friend got us involved in…)

If none of that musical fun floats your boat, how about a complete tangent and some photos of dogs in Star Wars costumes? It made me giggle heartily, and long to own a dog that agrees to dressing up. Megan the Labrador has sadly always considered herself above such things – she removes the bow I place on her every Christmas with enormous haste. Spoilsport.

Dress down Friday

Friday’s the day when dressing down in the office becomes appropriate. (Actually, in certain areas of my office every day is a dress down day.) It’s the one day of the week when I feel that wearing jeans is ok – more than ok, as it’s essentially my floor’s end of the week uniform.

The problem with jeans is that they can be uncomfortable – you know how it is when they’ve just been washed and haven’t stretched out again? They’re absolutely the worst thing to take a nap in, or wear after a big meal. But fear not, some bright spark has come up with the solution: Pajama Jeans.

Oh yes, they look like jeans and fit like jeans but are lined with ‘dormisoft’ fabric to make them feel like PJs. [Incidentally, you’ve got to love the person who made up a word based on Latin origins – dormio = to sleep – thus ‘dormisoft’ means they must be soft enough to sleep in. Presumably this also makes it look terribly scientific.] Don’t believe me? Check out this infomercial and I’m sure you’ll be convinced:

This week it irks me that I’ve had a full five day week while in America they had yet another public holiday [at this moment, please ignore the fact that I had the day off on Wednesday to shop]. Presidents Day seems to be an odd holiday, but I’m probably just a jealous Brit who loathes the fact that we have many dark weeks with no public holidays from January 2nd until whenever Easter falls – and this year it’s falling rather late for my liking. Anywho, I did derive some amusement from the holiday because someone out there decided to order the 43 Presidents in order of hotness. (Before anyone comments that there were 44 Presidents, actually there weren’t – the numbers just got messed up because Grover Cleveland was President for two non-consecutive terms.)

I love a good list and I’m a big fan of American history/politics (at one point I could list a significant number of them in order, it’s not a great party trick), so this was an intriguing read. For a start, #1 is neither of the Presidents that you might expect it to be and George W. Bush is ranked ridiculously high (within the top 10 in fact). Definitely worth a perusal.

You know who came in at #9 on that list? Reagan. And what controversial defence policy was he responsible for? The Strategic Defense Initiative – otherwise known as Star Wars, which enables me to link (albeit tenuously) to a fabulous video…

Star Wars fans, have you ever wondered how you might explain the world of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker to your offspring? I mean, it’s a pretty big deal – some might say it’s practically a religion. Fortunately, some American dads have pondered this question and these are their thoughts:

(By the way, whatever your feelings for Star Wars, that video’s worth watching just for a cute teeny-tiny baby sporting a knitted Yoda hat!)

Finally, it simply wouldn’t be Friday without some amusing animals. This week I offer you Hats for Cats.

Post-Election Friday Fun

Today’s post has NOTHING to do with politics, except that this morning people may be in need of more fun than usual – either because they’re over-tired and hungover from staying up to watch the results come in, or because they’re disappointed in the overall result. [Actually, as things currently stand isn’t everyone disappointed, except possibly the Greens?]

This week’s fun relates to two specific, yet utterly separate events.

1. Star Wars Day
As I’m still comparatively young in my Star Wars life (it’s only been 5 years since I was first inducted, though I had a pretty thorough education at that point) and not a geek, I find the whole May 4th thing somewhat bizarre. In the remote possibility that someone reading this doesn’t understand the connection, that particular date has a resonance with a famous line – thus ‘May the force be with you’ becomes ‘May the 4th be with you’. Oh, the hilarity. One geek friend happens to have their birthday that day and even has a t-shirt to go with it – loser.

Anyway, two amusing results of this calendar coincidence. Firstly, an absolutely fabulous interpretation of the trilogy (the original trilogy obviously, as it’s infinitely superior) in just two minutes via the medium of Lego:

Secondly, an amusing Physics Fail that will only amuse you if you have an element of both physics and Star Wars knowledge.

2. Getting myself stuck in a ticket barrier – again.
On Wednesday morning I got stuck in the barriers at Baker Street again. This seems to happen to me on a semi-regular basis and I have no idea why. If I’ve got headphones in I make a point of looking at the light to check it’s gone green after I’ve swiped my oyster (as I can’t hear the beep). Perhaps it’s just the stupidity of the people just ahead of me who don’t realise their own card hasn’t worked and instead go through on my swipe. Either way it’s both painful and embarrassing.

This latest incident was made all the worse thanks to the TfL employee I turned to for help. Before rescuing me from the barrier (I was literally between the gates, it hurt) she yelled after the woman just ahead of me who was already disappearing up the steps. Apparently she wanted to check what was wrong with her card… Eventually she set me free, checked my oyster, let me through and began a lecture on how to use the ticket barriers. At this point I was feeling very foolish and wanted to get to work so I laughed off the lecture in a ‘I know how to use the barriers, I’m just a clumsy idiot who gets it wrong sometimes’ way and walked off. Then I realised the woman was now hurling abuse at me insisting that “with that attitude I won’t let you through next time”. Great – an immense sense of humour failure there and further public humiliation for me. I scuttled up the steps feeling like a very small child.

In response to briefly telling this story on Twitter, a friend sent me a link to a list of oyster card codes (the numbers that appear on the gate’s screen when you swipe). This is really only going to amuse die-hard TfL geeks, but I was greatly cheered. Personal favourites include #33 ‘illogical interchange through gates’ and #41 ‘zig zag through gates’ – fabulous.

One final piece of TfL amusement is this map – the London underground in anagrams. I’m a big fan of alternative tube maps and anagrams, so this is perfection. Some of the anagrams are terribly appropriate – Blood Rending (London Bridge) and Written Mess (Westminster) – love it.