Friday, October 30, 2015

The Adamite mystery

Researchers create blackest material ever made (—A team of researchers at King Abdulla University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia has made the blackest material ever created by human beings.
It doesn't say in the story, but the blackest material ever made has an Antipodean link: it came from the fibres of the clothes of our very own Phillip Adams.

It has long been known that the monochromatic vests of the mellifluous radio presenter and newspaper writer suck all light, heat, and hope into their gravitational vortex. They are woven together from the finest strands made out of the sorrows of true devotees to the Socialist cause, and have been studied for years by scientists as one of the great wonders of nature. Astrophysicists have expressed especial interest in the inklike nature of Adams' clothing, as they seem to display a rare local case of the galactic phenomena known as 'Black Holes'; however, it is feared that if anyone got too close to them, they might go beyond the Event Horizon and be sucked into their naked singularity, and no-one wants that. It is rumoured that this is how Harold Holt got lost.

At any rate, Adams' stygian garments are a true wonder of nature and a site of national beauty, right up there with that big hole in the ground they made a horror film about once, and the medium-sized rock where that film about the schoolgirls disappearing happened, and that largish-sized desert in the middle of it all where those two explorers died. Advance Australia Obsidian!

Do not look into his eyes, or all is lost.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hi-tech home employment

In my house, I have two cardboard boxes in two separate rooms. Occasionally, I will scribble something on a piece of paper and put it in one box. Then, I will rush into the other room, take a piece of paper out of the second box, and scribble the same thing on that.

I like to call these boxes my Faux Machines.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The adventures of Frau Umlaut and the bad case of diaresis

It's the first night of German language classes, and we are all about to learn the two principal grammatical cases of the language, the Awkward, and the Incorrect. The basic set up is this: a bunch of students sit in the room and wonder who the hell everyone else is and why are they here again; and then they get up and attempt to communicate this to one another in a language that nobody understands at all.

There is a teacher who, for the purposes of this blog post, I will call Frau Umlaut. Her part is simple: she just stands up there and introduces the topic for the day in the aforementioned language, which, as also aforementioned, nobody understands. Sometimes she compliments or criticises students in the same language, but how could we tell which is which? And there is a football (why a football?) which we all toss around in a big circle, and take turns introducing ourselves while we hold it. Hello, I am called good! My name is Melbourne, and I live in Tim! And you?

That was three weeks ago. (See? in the past but I was talking in the present tense - I totally do know grammar!). But by far my favourite moment in German classes happened two weeks ago, when, at the end of another exercise in the Awkward and Incorrect cases, another student who I'll call Ess-Tset and I passed accidentally into the third important German case - Just Plain Confused. After exchanging as much irrelevant and pointless information we could in a language neither of us really could understand, Ess-Tset cast around for the right words: "Many bitte!" Which translates to: "Much please!" Though, thinking about it at the time, I realised the German word for thanks had gone right out of my mind, too. (Danke. It's Danke.)

Now, if you'll excuse me - I have a bad case of diaeresis and I have to go to the toilet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Lines written after seeing a headline in a local newspaper

Action group wants facts! 
Facts group wants action. 
Faction calls for tax. 
Group wants satisfaction. 

Action Faction acts. 
Hot Faction-Faction action! 
Who wants action facts? 
The Faction-Faction-Faction. 

Action group wants fiction! 
Faction acts on group. 
Group wants facts on faction. 
Faction head goes floop

Sunday, October 11, 2015

An essay demonstrating that cake is better than biscuits

Cake is better than biscuits. I maintain this, having had extensive experience eating both cake and biscuits, singly and alongside one another for comparative effect. Despite the obvious truth of this maxim, it is but poorly understood in Society At Large. In what follows, I wish to offer a small corrective to this vast general ignorance, in the form of an extensive essay to demonstrate the verifiable and undeniable nature of the proposition that 'cake is better than biscuits'. I will do so PHYSICALLY, taking into account all the dimensions and durations and capacities and velocities and what not; I will do so SYMBOLOGICALLY, with reference to star charts and gematria and so on; and I will do so SUBJECTIVELY, drawing on my own extensive experience. You're welcome.

The superiority of cake over biscuits is clearly demonstrable when we consider that a cake is typically far larger than a biscuit. We may consider its heft, and we may contemplate its satisfying weight, as we hold it in our hand prior to eating it. Such consideration excites the desire and thus, when we actually do eat cake, our pleasure is all the greater. Of course, we may consider a biscuit in the same way too, but there is much less of it for us to appreciate, and therefore, the appreciation when it goes into our mouth is much less.

Biscuits, of course, ought to be appreciated not as one phenomenon, but en masse; here, however, they present us with another difficulty. Though we may have many biscuits, they all taste the same. Cake, however, is a much more variable phenomenon: one rarely has two cakes the same in the house. Therefore, though there are less cakes, typically, than biscuits, they regularly excite the palate with a wide array of flavours, and impress us with their differential nature.

Also, cakes are soft and cuddly, whereas biscuits are much harder and less susceptible to cuddling.*

Cake, unlike biscuits, is typically round. Biscuits often aspire to a round shape but have this Platonic roundness regularly interfered by crumbly bits and splodges and the like, as they are not often made in a mould. Cakes, as they more closely approximate the geometric symbol of perfection, are clearly better than biscuits in this respect.

It is also obvious that cake is the crowning glory of many parties; whereas no party yet concluded with the triumphant and grandiose arrival of a plateful of biscuits. As the saying goes, the cherry on top of the table with the icing on top of it is the cake, and that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Cake is also a greater phenomenon than biscuits for a very simple, undeniable reason: I am eating cake right now, and not biscuits. It is a truth universally acknowledged that the cake of Right Now is better than the biscuits of Whenever The Hell I'm Going To Make Them Next. As this is so obvious and undeniable, no further argument need be entered into here.

In conclusion, cake is better than something something something OM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.

*Not that one regularly cuddles cakes or biscuits, but this ought to be set down here as a favour to those who are considering cuddling various items of food. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

How to debate hypothetical vegans

Earlier today, down at the shops, just as I was simultaneously buying an ice cream (Cornetto, thanks for asking) and planning a daredevil escape from the environmentalists walking up and down the street carrying clipboards (crossing the road while they were looking the other way), a devious plan struck me.

The plan was this: I would buy one of the environmentalists - an ice cream.

No no, hear me out! The conversation, as I imagined it in my head, would take place something like this:

ENVIRONMENTALIST: Hi, can I speak to you for just a min.... 

TIM: Would you like an ice cream? 

A devastating counter-attack, I think you'll agree. Of course, being environmentalists, I realised as I thought about this stratagem, they would probably have to say...

ENVIRONMENTALIST: Oh no thanks, I'm vegan. But how lovely of you to ask! 


Brilliant, c'est non? But things were about to get very hairy, I realised, in this hypothetical situation:

ENVIRONMENTALIST: Great anyway so on this pamphlet I have here....

But don't worry! My defence is rock solid!


But then, as I was thinking about this pleasing scenario, it suddenly struck me that maybe my planning and scheming was all wrong. What if the environmentalist actually did want the ice cream? And stood there - eating it - in front of me?** True - they wouldn't be able to talk to me anymore about whatever it is they were talking about. But they would be eating my ice cream!

Outwitted by hypothetical non-vegan environmentalists. Well, that was a first.

So in the end I just bought one fucking ice cream and nicked across the fucking road while they were looking the other way.

*cf Psalm 23, v. 5: "Thou preparedest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.... my cup runneth over". 
**Psalm 23, v. 5 again! 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sunday poem

Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league backwards,
Boldly they rode and well
Out of the jaws of hell,
Stormed back from shot and shell,
Floundered and blundered,
Ours not to do or - no,
Maybe we will not go,
See you - next year or so,
Rode the five hundred. 

- from the Discharge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Lines about the Grand Final that don't go anywhere in particular...

It's AFL Grand Final time and I haven't been this excited since Phar Lap won the Ashes against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

But we'll get to Tiddlywinks in a moment.

Football! The game that turns the champions into men! Or occasionally women, depending on their gender preferences.

The three stages of football: someone's going to win! Someone's winning! Someone has won!

(But lining up for a big kick - do footballers ever get an itchy nose?)

The end (told you I wasn't going anywhere in particular).
Email: timhtrain - at -

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