Web Curios 21/08/15

Web Curios 21/08/15

I'm back! But only briefly! Yeah, sorry about this, turns out August's a bit of a sketchy month when it comes to my ability to imbibe straight from the frothing torrent of the web. I promise you, though, that normal service will be resumed again as of September where I promise to have AT MOST a week off between then and Christmas. 

Sadly, though, this is your last Curios of the month, and probably of the Summer because we all know that September's basically winter and all the fun is OVER. Have you had good Summers? Have you achieved a tan, found love, lost yourself in a field with a whole host of people who are all expressing their unique and creative natures in EXACTLY THE SAME FCUKING WAY AS EVERYONE ELSE ("oh, you're wearing glitter on your face? What a uniquely liberated and free soul YOU must be! What, you work in advertising too? How FUNNY!")? Great, well done, I'm happy for you.

As you may have guessed, I'm not really feeling the cheery preamble bit. Let's get this 'show' on the 'road' - make yourselves comfortable in the back of the Curios charabanc, my lovelies, and please don't try and talk to the driver; you wouldn't want to distract him where we're going, and we're already late, too late, so late, far too late...THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 07/08/15

Web Curios 07/08/15

So lots of stuff happened this week, as per, but what with a really inconvenient IT meltdown over the past 30 minutes and the fact that I have a train to catch I am not going to talk about any of it it (aside from congratulating Friend of Curios Sam Cookney on his newfound viral fame, and suggesting that all of these people find something better to do than complaining about transport on the internet you terrible dullards).

I'm off to go and hang out in a field with a bunch of other generic media wankers - if you're not doing that, why not lie back and let me gently attach the infonozzle to the fresh incision in your sternum and let it all just flow into you like so much nourishing balm; and ignore what it looks like, this sort of gently bruised knowledge-swelling's going to be all the rage in the new information age. HERE IS THE INTERNET YOU DESERVE - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 31/07/15

Web Curios 31/07/15

I had a whole riff worked out here about Lord Sewel and that dentist and the poor lion, but then I realised it wasn't funny, so I binned it. Trust me, you're missing nothing. 

Hold still, keep quiet and take your bloody medicine - it may not cure you, but the foul taste might at least cause you to reflect briefly as to why you need it in the first place. This is Web Curios!  

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Web Curios 24/07/15

Web Curios 24/07/15

A week characterised, tediously, by ACTUAL WORK draws to a close. NO MORE OF THAT, PLEASE - obviously I am ordinarily a man of leisure, lying back on a chaise longue and being fed peeled grapes by a succession of lightly-oiled eunuchs, and as such anything so unspeakably vulgar as actual labour makes my teeth itch rather. I barely had the time to wade through all the webspaff this week, so I hope you're grateful. 

Eh? What was that? The sound of crushing indifference? Oh, suit yourselves. In any case, before I head off to Brighton to catch up with old friends and pretend I'm still young for a couple of days, let me guide you gently and with care to the centre of this week's infolabyrinth - easy to enter, tricky to leave, and oh so full of dead ends and ephemera and the slightly troubling sound, just over there, of something mythical and horned and hungry - this, as ever, is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 17/07/15

Web Curios 17/07/15

SPACE! SPACE! SPACE IS AMAZING! Loads of other important stuff may have occurred this week, but frankly the whole 'pictures from billions of miles away' thing totally eclipses them. WOW. 

Anyway, I am not in London today and therefore have even more incentive to get this copy filed and head out into the great sunshiney outdoors - I hope you get to do so too, in time. First, though, cock your ears - if you listen hard enough you may receive the faintest traces of the sounds of the furthest reaches of in internet; don't worry, webmongs, they're probably not really screams of pain and loneliness and anguish, honest! THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 10/05/15

Web Curios 10/05/15

So, those Greeks, eh? I think if I'd voted 'Oxi' I'd be feeling a touch miffed at what looks a little bit like a capitulation so far, but nonetheless - MORE POWER TO THEM. While we're at it, more power to the tube people too! YEAH! COME ON! TAKE THAT, THE MAN! 

Hang on, The Man, what was that? You're going to toss us some scraps from the table of your largesse in order to give us the illusion of social progress whilst at the same time absolutely removing the existing basis whereby those scraps might actually be meaningful, like a vengeful king cutting off someone's lips and legs and then suggesting that they can go free if they can run through the streets of town whilst playing the trumpet (an actual prize to the first person who can tell me who / where I have lifted that from)? Oh, ok, GREAT, that makes it all ok then!

There's been just TOO MUCH to get exercised about this week, webmongs, so in the main I've not really bothered. I suggest you stop caring about everything too, and instead just spend the rest of the day clicking at the below links like some sort of labrat hitting the sugar pellet pleasure switch - and don't worry about the white-coated functionary approaching with the scalpel, it's probably going to be FINE. This is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 03/07/15

Web Curios 03/07/15

Gah, I am LATE. I made a fatal (not obviously fatal at all, sorry) error last night in going to my part-time employer's summer party last night after a trip to the theatre (to see this, which if you're at a loose end tonight or tomorrow I can heartily recommend FWIW) and I got a slightly later night than planned and now I'm all late and I am meant to be meeting someone for lunch and OH GOD IT'S HARD SOMETIMES, WEBMONGS. 

Anyway, you don't care about that (and readership figures suggest you don't care about this either, so screw the lot of you) - you only tolerate me for my links. So plug your noses and plaster the scented handkerchief over your faces, webmongs, as we prepare once more to take a tour through the slightly less well-lit corners of the internet, where you're never more than three clicks away from something genuinely disturbing and the stuff you can half-see moving in the shadows just looks broken - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 26/06/15

Web Curios 26/06/15

Wow, holidays are GREAT! I went here, in case any of you care and want a top-quality airbnb recommendation. Now, though, the beach and the heat are but fading memories, and I'm once again confronted with the harsh reality of my glaring insignificance in the grand scheme of things, a reality only amplified at this time of year when once again I am unaccountably not on Marty's yacht in Southern France or backstage in Somerset. 

Yes, that's right, it's late June which means that even fewer of you than usual will be failing to get to the end - or, let's be honest, even the beginning - of Web Curios, what with you variously being septum-deep in glassine bags of lignocaine and baby laxative in either Glastonbury or Cannes. To those of you who remain, though, I offer a salute and a tribute - the following rubbish is ALL FOR YOU! Huddle round, you few remaining wretches, and attach yourselves to my withered webdugs - SUCK THE SUSTENANCE FROM MY INFOTEATS! 

*ahem*

This is Web Curios.   

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Web Curios 12/06/15

Web Curios 12/06/15

Stuff may well have been happening this week, webmongs, but I get on a plane to go and visit the mothercountry in about 3 hours and so frankly I am about as inclined to comment on it as you are to read my eventual comment. So it goes, we'll save the pithy analysis for next time (or, perhaps, never). 

So while I bash this top bit out with even less care and attention than I normally lavish on it (clue: literally none at all, even on a good day), let me simultaneously bid you adieu until 26 June, at which point I will return refreshed and renewed and probably all cheerful and stuff. As of the now, though, the newsletter is done, the 'comedy' out of office message is troubling my temporary paymasters' HR department, and I am OFF -  make yourselves at home in my absence webmongs, mi casa es su casa...ignore the strange noises and the troubling smells, and don't, whatever you do, open that door...this is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 05/06/15

Web Curios 05/06/15

Not really sure why, but large swathes of this week have felt pretty much exactly like this. Anyone out there able to empathise? Hm, no, thought not. 

Anyway, more sadness EVERWHERE this week, but at least that fat Swiss man fell on his sword (can we all stop talking about it now, please, it's VERY boring) so that probably makes it all ok. The best thing I did this week was going to see Death of a Salesman, which if you can snag tickets I would unreservedly recommend (although it did turn me into a right emo sadfag by the end, so caveat emptor and all that). 

The worst thing, obviously, was wasting somewhere in the region of 20+ hours of my still reasonably young life trawling what at times really did feel like ALL OF THE INTERNET, just for you. Oh, which reminds me, if you like this sort of stuff then can I heartily recommend the occasional newsletter Essential Ephemera by the (presumably, although I never have and possibly never will meet her) lovely Lauren Epstein? It's excellent, and I have been meaning to plug it for weeks but keep forgetting - if you do TV-type stuff you really should subscribe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Right, altruistic plug done and dusted it's time to once again get back to the real task at hand, of feeding you information. Tip your heads back and open WIDE as I prepare to vomit the partially-digested stream of infopuke straight down your e-gullets; it's chunky, but you won't choke (probably). This, my dear webmongs, is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 29/05/15

Web Curios 29/05/15

THIS WAS MEANT TO BE THE SUMMER! Jesus, this would never have happened under a marginally more left-wing Government. Hey ho, I suppose I should be grateful - weather such as this tends to nudge my readership even higher into the two-figure stratosphere than usual.

Anyway, the big news story of the week (or at least the big news story for people who can afford themselves the luxury of quibbling about whether a news story is the biggest of the week or not) is so tedious as to render me almost completely without comment (other than to suggest that the holier-than-thou attitudes of certain sponsors is VERY FUNNY INDEED. You, er, didn't seem to care at all about where all your tens of millions went up 'til this week, did you VISA, you dreadful sh1tbags you? Despite the persistent stench of corruption and greed which has been hovering around that particular corner of Switzerland for YEARS. FUNNY THAT). 

So I'm going to ignore that this week, and instead dedicate this week's outpourings to the man standing next to me on the 155 last night at around 750pm who was very loudly discussing his purchase of (and I quote) "1k of ket, 1k of mephedrone, 1.5ks of gear and 1000 pills". Shout out that man for his CRAZY WEEKEND PLANS. And now, webmongs, come with me into the corner where we'll quickly palm something offered to us by the suspiciously bug-eyed wrongman - is it an upper? Is it a downer? Either way, what comes next will leave you feeling dry-mouthed, uncertain and very, very alone. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 22/05/15

Web Curios 22/05/15

It still all feels quite unreal, doesn't it, this post-electoral landscape, like everyone's just sort of playing at politics and at any moment they're going to turn round and say 'aha! fooled you! we're going to have the proper election now, you can ignore all the made-up stuff that we've put you through for the past 3 months'. Except obviously that's not actually going to happen - this is REAL LIFE, or at the very least a pretty convincing holographic representation thereof, and those lizards at the top of the pile are the ones that WE CHOSE. Crivens.

Anyway, it's been a long week and a longer morning (not technically possible, fine, but that's what it FEELS like) - my preamble therefore is going to be limited to seriously recommending that you check out The Angry Brigade at the Bush Theatre as it's an excellent production, and also that you try and check out Back Down at the Roundhouse if you're at a loose end between now and Sunday as it's also GREAT. That's it. No more. Tonight I'm going to go out and celebrate Fat Bob getting a new job - well done, Fat Bob - by listening to Nils Frahm; tomorrow will doubtless be characterised by a crushing comedown and a sense of almost overwhelming existential bleakness, which by uncanny coincidence is exactly the sort of feelings you can experience for yourselves RIGHT NOW by fully immersing yourself in the rapdily coagulating pool of freshly harvested webspaff that is this week's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 15/05/15

Web Curios 15/05/15

Well, so that happened. This time last week I was just about clambering out of bed, too scared to read the news which would only serve to confirm what I was told (and failed to believe) at 1030pm and then for the subsequent 6 hours on TV. It made me feel like this, in case anyone cares

Anyway, however annoyed you might be that not everyone agrees with your way of how the country should be run - how dare people exercise their democratic right in the wrong way?! - it's OVER. Just be grateful that you don't have to go through the whole sorry experience again in 4 months' time (as you scrape together the pennies to feed the electricity meter and contemplate another week of eating solely at Wetherspoons, inbetween zero-hours shifts cleaning the increasingly poorly-cut cocaine from the desks of the day-traders and asset managers welcome to the futurezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz). Yes, it's time to put all that politicospaff behind us and go back to what we all do best - living life in the third person, fixing that shiny smile into a camera-ready pout and presenting an unrealistic and unrealisable version of ourselves to the world whilst inside we cry and cry and cry and cry. Once again webmongs, I'm here to provide you with your (almost) weekly dose of web-based SOMA, helping you forget the past and ignore the future and to live only and ever in the ephemeral glow of the digipresent - SWALLOW IT DOWN AND WAIT FOR IT TO TAKE EFFECT. This is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 01/05/15

Web Curios 01/05/15

And now, the end is near - chin up, webmongs, only a week of this to go (followed by the inevitable horse-trading and crushing realisation that regardless of what you voted for you will, at the end of it all, get what you're bloody well given and like it, sonny)!

I jest, of course, I jest - three cheers for representative democracy, or at least the simulacrum of it we're presented with every 5 years. I don't know about you, but I am VERY ready for this all to be done - perhaps next time around we can just stick the two main candidates in a ring and charge £100 for people to watch on pay-per-view, thus solving the problem of getting a definitive result AND potentially sorting out the whole 'austerity' thing in one fell swoop (NB - obviously I am not a political satirist and should shut up about this sort of stuff, but if you want to see someone getting truly schooled whilst horrendously out of their depth on this sort of thing then can I just recommend you check out Jolyon "I SPEAK FOR THE YOUTH!" Rubinstein getting massacred on This Week last night? Good).

Anyway, Web Curios will be taking next week off due to the fact that I intend to spend next Thursday night / Friday morning shouting at the television, as befits a failed journalist (Web Curios TRUFACT - I worked on the Election Night Broadcast for BBC R4/5 in 2001, and was in the studio with James Naughtie et al all night. Personal highlight was Neil Kinnock, who was there to comment on STUFF, witnessing Peter Mandelson's infamous "I'm a fighter, not a quitter!" speech; Kinnock, who it's fair to say was pretty shtfaced by this point and had his feet up on the mixing desk, offered one, single off-mike comment - "Oh Peter, you effete cnut". Poetry). In the meantime though, webmongs, grasp the Chalice of Internet with both hands and steel yourself to drain it in one long draught - but take care, and try and filter it through your teeth a bit, as it's full of suspiciously organic material. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 24/04/15

Web Curios 24/04/15

FINALLY the election comes to life! Finally some SEXY HEADLINES! It's what we've been waiting for - it's almsot as if the press have blown this #cameronette vs #milifandom thing out of all reasonable proportion because even they couldn't face another week of deathly dull non-reportage of non-policies delivered by non-personalities. Heaven forfend!

Anyway, in a week which has seen some incredible new lows in terms of cheap political pointscoring - really, Ed? Migrant deaths? - let's gloss over all that rubbish and instead focus on....well...not the good stuff so much as just the stuff. Come, Webmongs, and kneel in front of the overflowing content-trough; poise your porcine snouts above the overflowing, neverending conveyorbelt of freshly processed infoslurry, and gorge yourselves on my pre-chewed digicud; and don't worry about the gagging and retching, it's perfectly natural. Welcome, one and all, to WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 17/04/15

Web Curios 17/04/15

So the main news this week is that all the political parties published their manifestos and Buzzfeed didn't, despite my having CONFIDENTLY predicted this for the past 3 years, turn each of them into a gif-filled explosion of cat-based humour called a 'Manifesticle'. THANKS FOR NOTHING, BUZZFEED. Way to make me look like a dick. On the offchance that any staffers there read this, though, there's still time to use this GEM.

Otherwise it's all been fairly bleak and miserable as is standard in the modern world - anyone notice that it's been over a year now since #bringbackourgirls singularly failed to bring back anyone's girls? Obviously though that sort of stuff pales into insignificance when compared to the amount of column inches it's necessary to spaff on the fact that there's a new film trailer out. Obviously. 

Well, sod it all to buggery. The sun is shining, it's Friday afternoon and I get to forget about all this internet crap for the next 36 hours or so. I LIVE FOR THESE 36 HOURS OF FREEDOM. So while I go off and gambol in the sunshine, webmongs, you 'amuse' yourselves with this lovingly prepared selection of links, all of whom want YOUR clicks - choose carefully, and remember that whatever you end up selecting will make little or no difference to the general course of your life, because we live in a largely deterministic universe in which free will and individual agency are largely mythical constructs. HAPPY WEEKENDS!

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Web Curios 10/04/15

Web Curios 10/04/15

JUST LIKE JESUS I RISE FROM THE (ALMOST) DEAD (and, just like Jesus, only about a dozen or so people care when it actually happens)! That's RIGHT, Webmongs! There has been a stay of execution and Imperica is, for the moment, SAVED! Sincere thanks to all of you who bothered to say nice things and pledge cold, hard cash to keep this particular rickety ship afloat for a little while longer. You are all VERY KIND. 

Anyway, enough of the gratitude - as ever, I am expressing my near-boundless love for you all via the medium of about 150-odd links of varying quality, haphazardly 'curated' over the course of the next 6,000 words or so, Which, frankly, if you've ever experienced any of the other ways in which I occasionally express my love, you should be grateful for. 

Anyway, webmongs, let us roll back the stone and peer outside the cave once again, as with newly-refreshed limbs we prepare to leave the security of the tomb for the uncertainty of the potentially hostile territories beyond. Watch out for snakes and mountain lions (I confess that my knowledge of Judean fauna circa 33AD is pretty sketchy, so just go with me on this one) - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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In conversation with... Warren Ellis

In conversation with... Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis probably doesn't need an introduction. However, for the purposes of tidy article formatting, here goes: award-winning graphic novel writer; author of bestsellers Gun Machine and Crooked Little Vein; writer of Red, which became a film in 2013; of Iron Man: Extremis, which became the film Iron Man 3; currently working with Jerry Bruckheimer on a graphic novel adaptation for Fox; and so on. This intro could end up being longer than the actual conversation, so let's get to it and start with the Internet of Things.

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Web Curios 27/03/15

Web Curios 27/03/15

Last night the nation watched RAPT as a man shouted at two other men - THIS IS THE VALUE OF TELEVISED POLITICS. I didn't, though - I was at the theatre watching this instead, which is only on for two more nights but which any and all of you should make time to see as it is genuinely astounding. 

BUT! You don't come here for the theatrical recommendations and 'satire'! You come here for LINKS TO OTHER STUFF! Well, sadly, you may have to stop doing that - we're coming to the end of Imperica's attempt to raise funds and it's looking A BIT HAIRY. Ah well, we've had a time (an actual, real prize to the first person to place that reference). At the very least this is the last Curios until after Easter - what remains to be seen is whether we too will rise, Jesus-like, from the TOMB OF PENURY, or whether none of you buggers will help us roll the metaphorical stone back. 

So on that note, if this does turn out to be the final one of these things, then let me just say - it's been a PLEASURE.  I kiss all of your faces. Especially YOU. 

So, then, webmongs. This is WEB CURIOS!

(Oh, and just so's you know, there's an actual photograph of a penis in here this week (but it's a friendly, non-sexual penis, and it's right at the bottom, and it's all arty and stuff, so shouldn't cause too many issues). Thought I should let you know, though.)

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Web Curios 20/03/15

Web Curios 20/03/15

So last Friday I was in a GREAT mood and then I heard about the Battersea Arts Centre and it rather ruined it - BAC is an awesome venue, it supports some of my favourite artists, and if you can spare £10 for its renovation after the fire that would be ACE, thanks. And while you're feeling generous, you know, there's still time to SAVE IMPERICA, though not actually that long. I feel like Canute. 

By way of exchange for your generosity, let me offer YOU - yes, YOU, noone else, only YOU - the finest selection of this week's 'hand-foraged' (picked up off the dark corners of the web's floor and basically nicked off other people who got there first), 'artisanal' (literally no idea in this context, sorry), 'eclectic' (incompetently arranged) and, occasionally, 'challenging' (bongo and death) snippets from the web. Let me be your Maitre D, webmongs, as you prepare to tuck into this week's splendidly tasty selection of WEB CURIOS! (NB - we do not care about your allergies)

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