17 strange things that happened in kids’ TV show Rainbow (Mirror Online)

17 strange things that happened in kids’ TV show Rainbow

Ah, Rainbow, the exceptionally vibrant TV show that told amazing stories of a man who for some reason lived with a bear, a pink hippo and a weird zip-mouthed thing. It was all a bit odd if you stopped to think about it – here are 17 particularly strange Rainbow memories we dug out of our brains: And it’s a drawing of a bed.

Neighbours is turning 30: How many of these crazy storylines do you remember? (Mirror Online)

Neighbours is turning 30: How many of these crazy storylines do you remember?

Although Neighbours is supposed to be about an ordinary suburban street, over the last 30 years the soap has featured some of television’s strangest plot devices, from sudden memory loss to surprisingly magic mushrooms. Here are our favourites: After a fall, Queen of Ramsay Street mums and high school principal Susan started to believe that she was 16 years old again.

My Film Reviews Of Films 2014 Edition

I was going to go for a walk and then my mum asked me to take the dog and I didn’t want to because I was worried I would lose the dog or make it die in some way so instead I have decided to review all the films I saw in the cinema except any that I have forgotten.

Saving Mr Banks – this was about Mary Poppins’ dad or something and I think I cried because I was having a DIFFICULT WEEK.

American Hustle – everyone was dumb and/or cross and I didn’t like it.

Gravity – it was funny when George Clooney was Space Jesus.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty – I guess Ben Stiller wanted a holiday and made this pile of shit so other people would pay for it.

12 Years A Slave – it was bad what happened to that guy and it was weird watching in a big room full of other people. Also Benedict Cumberbatch was in it for some reason.

The Railway Man – it was also quite bad what happened to that guy.

Anchorman 2 – this had one funny joke in it but I can’t remember what it was and the rest was appalling and if you liked this you are a bad person.

The Wolf Of Wall Street – this had good bits like when he’s done all drugs and can’t get into his car, but is 7 hours long for some reason and then at the end of the day it’s a real dude who basically got away with it and is still awful?

Inside Llewyn Davis – this gave me a lot of feelings but then I rewatched it and maybe didn’t have as many feelings but I like the song about the astronaut.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – I don’t remember watching this or why I watched it but it had Captain Kirk in it.

Robocop – they should have made the RoboCop remake be a meta-film about a cashgrab RoboCop remake or something. Maybe a stuntman has an accident and they make him into a RoboCop? I don’t know but it would be better than this although it was sort of weird and funny when they took off RoboCop’s body and he was all just lungs in a jar.

The Lego Movie – 1) It had Lego in it. 2) The best Batman film since the 1960s. 3) Grumpy Harrison Ford obviously refused to play Lego Han Solo, what a twat. 4) Just 100%, really.

Her – like Black Mirror would be if Black Mirror was good although I seem to remember some bits were painfully awkward and made me want to shout “DON’T DO THAT” at the man.

A New York Winter’s Tale – Colin Farrell gets a magic horse and tries to use it to steal some silver but instead steals the love of a beautiful daughter but the beautiful daughter has consumption and he tries to kiss it better with magic but it doesn’t work so instead he walks around New York for 100 years until he can kiss an 8 year old’s cancer better? Also Will Smith is in it as the devil. 10/10

Grand Budapest Hotel – I don’t know. Lots of things happened and it looked pretty.

The Zero Theorem – thin residues of leftover Gilliam with the occasional good bit, then it turns out to have been all about those damned money men at the studios messing with my creativity, maaaan! Oh dear.

Captain America – The Winter Soldier – The best bit of this film was when Jenny Agutter started doing kung fu stuff and the worst bit was when it turned out it was Scarlett Johansson in a Jenny Agutter mask. Oh and it was funny when Captain America had that list of modern day things he had to check out like Star Wars and Nirvana and sort of neat that they apparently did a different one of those for every country changing the references. But mostly just some stuff happened.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – more like The Amazing Spider-Man Poo!!!

Frank – this was good but it was weird that he looked like Frank Sidebottom but wasn’t like Frank Sidebottom? IDK why they didn’t make the head square or something. Good song.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past – it had the old X-Men and also the new X-Men in it can you even imagine?

Two Faces Of January – two men want to do a kiss on Kirsten Dunst! Which one is going to do the kissing? Oh no she fell down the stairs!

Edge Of Tomorrow – this was actually GOOD FUN despite marketing that made it look like a boring shootman video game. Sort of like Groundhog Day but instead of fighting his personality Tom Cruise fights aliens *and* his personality. Also he starts off as an arsehole getting his JUST DESSERTS and that is an enjoyable thing to watch happen to Tom Cruise. The ending is sort of stupid but what did you expect?

Guardians Of The Galaxy – everyone liked this so my controversial opinion is that it wasn’t very good woah. It was too dumb to care about things that weren’t jokes and there weren’t enough jokes in it. But have you heard the soundtrack with the ironic dad music LOL?

22 Jump Street – this wasn’t brilliant but was way better than it had any right to be although not as better than it had any right to be than the first one. But apparently the next one is also going to be Men In Black 4?

Gone Girl – was this meant to be a funny movie because I thought it got pretty funny? Anyway the Gone Girl owned Ben Affleck well done Gone Girl!

Nightcrawler – I think this was meant to be funny and I thought it was funny. Jake Gyllenhall is a weirdo who has learned everything from Wikipedia and internet forums for MBAs and decides to become an ambulance chaser in order to make a lot of money and then he does this because capitalism.

Interstellar – I guess they must have sent this film into a black hole because it seemed like it was 70 hours long!!! Anyway it turns out love is better than gravity, but not as good as gravy and then Matthew McConaughey pulls a face.

Mr Turner – Mr Turner was a DIFFICULT MAN who did paintings and then HE DIED. Bye bye Mr Turner.

The Hobbit The Battle Of Five Armies – a dragon crushes Stephen Fry to death and then there’s 3 hours of other stuff and then Billy Connelly is in it for some reason and then The Hobbit goes home.

The Imitation Game – it was also quite bad what happened to this guy who this time *was* Benedict Cumberbatch.

Oh also I saw The Muppet Christmas Carol at a “sing-along” screening and had emotions. The end.

Why is the House of Commons often so empty, and how angry should we be about it? (UsVsTh3m)

Politics: it’s complicated.

Why is the House of Commons often so empty, and how angry should we be about it?

Since we can now all turn on the telly and watch Parliament whenever we want, there’s even more opportunity to be appalled by our elected representatives! Look how your Govt support families who have children with special needs. This is representational & democratic pic.twitter.com/Qo5jaGqkAg- Kazzia (@KazzJenkins) June 16, 2014 But hold on a second, is this really fair?

Wikipedia: autofellatio selfies and one man’s quest to become the Face of Ambivalence (UsVsTh3m)

A tale of Wikipedia and ego.

Wikipedia: autofellatio selfies and one man’s quest to become the Face of Ambivalence

Whilst most of Wikipedia is dry to the point of appearing to have been written by an alien or sociopathic serial killer, you don’t have to dig very far to find a deep vein of digital lunacy… Particularly entertaining are the discussions surrounding images, especially those concerning human sexuality or anatomy.

30 Things To Do Before You’re 30

Because Jesus Christ I’m not bungee jumping any time in the next 12 hours.

1. Shake Jeremy Beadle by the ‘wrong’ hand.

2. Live in Streatham, twice.

3. Get kicked out of Jongleurs, Portsmouth for having a piss in the corner.

4. Appear in BBC Olive Magazine as Daniel Wilkins, Engineer.

189420_508176500090_2762_n

5. Livetweet a solo marathon of all the Police Academy Films.

6. Wake up walking across Tower Bridge at 5am and immediately call your mum to assure her that you don’t need to borrow money.

7. Drink 6 pints of lager then attempt to interview Stewart Lee before what neither of you knew was going to turn out to be a Fathers4Justice benefit gig.

8. Burn a jacket potato in the microwave.

9. Quote Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan in an email to a girl you’re in (unrequited) love with.

10. Wake up with your postcode written on your hand.

11. Play a hexadecimal in a musical rip-off of Tron.

12. Walk out of a screening of The King’s Speech because you’re so drunk you’re about to start ‘getting republican’.

13. Within 24 hours overhear different people describing you as looking a bit like Paul Merton and a bit like Leonardo DiCaprio.

14. Cry on the phone to HMRC.

15. Go to an 80s party as Winston Smith. No-one gets it.

16. Watch every episode of Stargate SG-1.

17. And Stargate: Atlantis.

18. Unwittingly talk about Saint Etienne in front of a man from Saint Etienne in a way that’s personally mortifying but doesn’t provide a satisfying anecdote.

19. Use the Science Museum’s PA system to pretend to be an alien overlord.

20. Send Alex Hern a DVD of The Beaver.

21. Pass out into the Wandsworth Road and smash one of your teeth out.

22. Fail an audition to be on Pointless.

23. Drunkenly slur Andrew Collins’ own name at him after a radio recording.

24. Be in a naked calendar. With your colleagues.

25. Have a hungover snooze on the company sofa and wake up to the chairman of the board looking at you suspiciously.

26. Leave a party because you think it’s funny that your friends’ creepy next door neighbour wants to ‘draw’ you then bolt once he starts asking you if you like his collection of porcelain elves.

27. Look forward to lottery night because you can earn 30p a go for texting drunk people the numbers.

28. Fail to have finished reading any work of classic literature, though you got to the bit in Ulysses where the man has a shit AND listen to the Classic Serial so you’re totally well-read.

29. Come to terms with people calling you ‘Harry Potter’ because at this point it’s flattering.

30. Fall down an escalator, followed by the speaker system you were supposed to be looking after.

 

Twitter Alphabet Power Illuminati – inside the world of single-character usernames (UsVsTh3m)

What’s it like to have one of the shortest usernames on Twitter?

Twitter Alphabet Power Illuminati – inside the world of single-character usernames

If you’re going to be a serious player on social media, you need to get in early: at last count over 200 million people have registered Twitter accounts, gobbling up all the most desirable usernames: good luck getting your own name, unless you were christened @dr_horseotron.

Where does Eric Pickles buy his pickles?

This supermarket was destroyed by Cleggmania, yesterday.
This supermarket was destroyed by Cleggmania, yesterday.

The big political question that no-one is willing to talk about is where members of parliament do their shopping. I mean, obviously when they’re in parliament they probably go to that little Tesco Express by Westminster tube station to buy, e.g. a lasagne and a miniature bottle of wine, but what about when they’re at home?

For obvious reasons most MPs don’t publicise the locations of their houses, but the majority of them do have a publicly available address for their constituency office. Almost all of these these are available on the parliament website; about 50 don’t publish one at all so I’ve used either the address of place they most often do their “surgery” events for constituents, or that of their party’s local office, to stand in.

Gathering this data itself was an interesting demonstration of: 1) how difficult some MPs make it for their constituents to get in touch to talk about their concerns (sometimes there’s more information about how to get a tour of the Houses of Parliament), and 2) how bloody awful (and often quite broken) most MPs’ websites are. Anyway, with that in hand we can figure out what their local supermarket situation is.

Average distance between constituency offices and supermarkets

The constituency offices of Conservative Party MPs tend to be the furthest away from supermarkets; on average they have to go almost twice as far as Labour MPs to do their shopping. This is probably illustrative of the fact that Labour tend to do better in urban areas & the Conservatives in rural ones, or maybe it’s because of Global Warming???

We can also see what the closest supermarket chain tends to be for each party’s offices.

conservative labour ld

Interestingly, despite The Co-operative group’s links with the Labour Party (32 of Labour’s MPs are also joint members of the Co-operative political party), Labour constituency offices tend to be closer to Tesco branches, while Co-op branches tend to be the closest supermarkets to Tory & Lib Dem offices.

Lib Dem offices favour Marks & Spencers more than those of other parties, Iceland is a lot more popular with Labour, and no-one much shops at Budgens.

Obviously there are some variables we can’t account for: Chris Kelly, MP for Dudley South, has an office that’s close to a Tesco Express, but maybe he really like Marks and Spencers’ Percy Pigs pig-shaped confectionery items, so makes the 10 km round trip every day to get himself a bag from the Merry Hill store. His terrible website doesn’t mention whether he likes Percy Pigs. Perhaps the government should have a website detailing which MPs like which sweets, to allow the public to get more of an idea about where their representatives do their shopping.

Below you can see the average distance of an MP’s office from each brand’s stores in kilometres, grouped by party. (Based on the closest 40 stores to each office.)

overall

Nick Clegg’s closest store is a Tesco Express at an Esso petrol station, but I reckon he does his mum’s shopping at Londis.

Eric Pickles is closest to an M&S, so that’s probably where he gets his pickles, except on special occasions when he goes to the only slightly further away Iceland to get a mint Viennetta.

I assume I’ll probably have to go on the run now I’ve released all this sensitive government data, but this is bigger than me. People had to know.

(Supermarket data was provided by Chris Zetter, creator of the excellent SuperLocate iOS app. Other supermarkets are available. Here’s a Google Doc of the constituency office data. No accuracy is guaranteed.)

Executive Class

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment is a special sort of scientific test used mainly by people in HR who don’t know anything about science. It’s a bit like horoscopes but with more boxes to tick: you fill in a questionnaire and it tells you about your unique personality that means you think about things, or perhaps have feelings.

For example, one Myers-Briggs Type is ESFP: Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving. (The opposite would be INTJ: Introverted, Intuition, Thinking, Judgement). According to various cheap-looking websites, an ESFP is a performer, someone who loves to be in the centre of attention, who is practical, and lives in the moment. Famous ESFPs supposedly include Bill Clinton, Marilyn Monroe, that dead crocodile hunter, and the Waterloo & City Line.

You might think that Waterloo & City Line couldn’t even have a Myers-Briggs Type, being a tunnel in London with some trains in it, but you’d be wrong. Whilst the normal way to establish a Myers-Briggs Type is get someone to fill in a questionnaire, it’s apparently possible to use a sample of text to analyse the personality of the author. And while the Waterloo & City Line didn’t have much to say for most of its 115 year history, for the last couple of years, it, and all the other London Underground lines, have been tweeting. So I used samples of each line’s tweets to discover what kinds of personalities they have.

Bakerloo Line ESTJ
Central Line ESTJ
Circle Line ESTP
District Line ESTJ
Hammersmith & City Line ESTP
Jubilee Line ESTJ
Metropolitan Line ESTP
Northern Line ESTJ
Piccadilly Line ESTP
Victoria Line ESTJ
Waterloo & City Line ESFP

The poor old Waterloo & City Line is the odd line out, every other line is either ESTJ  (The Doer) or ESTP (The Guardian).

Maybe there is something to all this Myers-Briggs stuff, because I took a look at how often the different lines talk to (or at least, mention) each other on Twitter:

Diagram showing how often tube lines tweet at each other
Lines tweeting on the horizontal, lines being tweeted at on the vertical. Samples of around ~3200 tweets per line.

The Waterloo & City Line is by far the least popular. The other lines just aren’t interested in it. But why is it so different?

The line opened in 1898, built by the London and South Western Railway because commuters discovered that after going to all the effort of getting to London, it was a bit of a pain in the arse to get to where they actually worked in the City. It’s the only London Underground line that’s completely underground (taking trains on and off the line used to be done using a hydraulic lift, nowadays they use a crane), but for a long time it wasn’t really a London Underground line at all. It doesn’t even appear on Harry Beck’s 1933 tube map, despite pre-dating it by over 30 years.

The original Harry Beck tube map

That it opened as an independent railway line isn’t unusual among the older London Underground Lines, but what is unusual is that it was still operated by Network SouthEast as a National Rail line until 1994, when it was decided to correct the anomaly before rail privatisation took place (for arcane contractual reasons London Underground bought it for a pound).

1987 tube map
The 1987 tube map does include the W&C, but it’s marked as a National Rail service.

Once integrated into the tube network proper the line was given the exciting colour of turquoise, all the good colours having already been used up. At least it’s better than what the Jubilee Line has been known to claim is “silver”. Chinny reckon.

So maybe that long isolation from the “proper” underground lines has taken its toll, marked the Waterloo & City out as different. The sad thing is, it seems like it’s trying to be chatty and approachable; while it is the line that tweets the least, if we look at how much each line tweets given the number of stations on it, or the total line length, the Waterloo & City has them all beat hands down. It’s also the least egotistical line, mentioning itself less than any of the others.

Tweets per day
Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 13-26-38

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 13-26-18

If we look at the words it uses the most, we can see while it’s pretty work-focussed, it is a fan of Easter and the Paralympics.

Word Cloud

Perhaps it’s the case that we can’t learn absolutely everything about a thing by analysing its Twitter account. Perhaps. So I took my 2nd ever trip on the Waterloo & City Line, making the journey in the order the name suggests. That I’ve only used it twice in 10 years might not be not that uncommon, as trips on it account for less than 1% of Underground journeys.

But for what it is, it’s hard to fault: at around 9 minutes (including getting to the platforms) it’s still the fastest way of making the journey between Waterloo & Bank,  if you don’t fancy cycling really fast or taking a helicopter.

The simple route maps could almost be a very dry joke.

Waterloo & City Line Map

The line’s name was even more descriptive when it was opened, as until 1940 the terminus in the City was actually called City.

For some reason every single advert displayed in the carriage was for a special brand of Beats by Dre headphones aimed at executives. Not even one for that hair clinic.

Executive Beats By Dre

Because I’ve opted out of the system of “having a job/any money/not sometimes idly wondering what the best sort of cardboard box to sleep in might be” I took my trip on a weekday afternoon and got a carriage to myself, which is good because people might have thought I was a bit of a weirdo for attempting to enjoy the ambience/taking photos of Beats by Dr Dre adverts.Empty train

At the other end I walked up what as far as I can tell is the tunnel that gave the line the nickname “The Drain”. I have never heard anyone actually call the Waterloo & City Line “The Drain” but it says they do in about 4 different books so it must be true. Anyway, I guess this tunnel is a bit like a drain, if drains had lights and steps? I’m not going to call the Waterloo & City Line “The Drain”.

The Drain

To be honest, I didn’t learn anything interesting about the Waterloo & City Line from this journey. And those tweets are probably just written by someone in an office. None of this amounts to anything more than a desperate attempt to find meaning in the void. Which is a bit like a Myers-Brigg Type Indicator test, if you think about it. If you think about it a bit more it isn’t that much like it, but there you go.

If you want to travel on the Waterloo & City Line, in exciting news from September 16th it will run until midnight every day except Sunday, on which it will still be closed for the blessing of the trains.

If you want to build your own Waterloo & City Line, there’s a book in Guildhall Library which is mostly really boring minutes from engineering committee meetings but does have some exciting fold-out diagrams.

Diagrams