Gilbert Gottfried reads 50 Shades of Grey

He really *works* it too.


Celebrating 50 Years of Clockwork Orange

Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess, was published 50 years ago this week. In celebration of this, here is Kingsley Amis' 1962 review of the novel, originally published in the Observer.

BONUS: a link to an online dictionary of the artificial language, Nadsat, used in both the book and movie. (It seems to me the book had a glossary at the back, but I lost my paperback version many, many years ago.)


I belong to Glasgow

An interesting documentary (45 minutes, free online) about "The Firm", AKA the rivalry in Glasgow between Celtic and Rangers, and how sectarian hatred between Dogans and Proddies is all part of the fun.


tilt shift carnaval
Tilt-Shift Rio Carnaval

I am enamoured of tilt-shift photography. Will post my first attempt soon.
In the meantime, Rio Carnaval tilt-shifted.


My favourite Mop-top interviews my favourite soccer player

That's right, the non-idiotic half of Oasis (Noel Gallagher) interviewing man-child Mario Balotelli for the Beeb.

I would embed the video within this post, but those crafty Beeb boffins have figured out how to stop the rest of us from stealing their stuff.


An explanation of certain Toronto street names

For once, BlogTO has an interesting post. It examines the history behind the names of certain Toronto streets.

Adelaide, for example:

Adelaide Street might sound like a polite tip of the hat to our Australian pals, but in reality Toronto had the name first. Named in 1797 for the young Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, later the wife of King William IV, Adelaide Street has been extended several times east and west consuming lesser streets in its path. The capital of South Australia was also named for Princess Adelaide in 1836.

Worth a visit!


Heart of Bitterness hits the big time!

I have been drawn out of semi-retirement by an email I received today from blogger.com entitled "Blogger Blog takedown notification".

It states:

Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog is alleged to infringe upon the copyrights of others. As a result, we have reset the post(s) to \"draft\" status. (If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.) This means your post - and any images, links or other content - is not gone. You may edit the post to remove the offending content and republish, at which point the post in question will be visible to your readers again.

In the post in question, http://palgolak.blogspot.com/2009/05/using-chemicals-to-build-better.html, I had detailed my experiences as I began taking Cypralex™, and I must presume that it was the mention of this brand that drew attention to the posting some two and a half years later.

I had always assumed that I would never be affected by all that DMCA bullshit eminating from the Great Satan, but I guess I was wrong.

Now I am going to have to seriously assess whether I should finally make the jump from blogger.com to http://www.heartofbitterness.com/ on wordpress, a move that has been in the planning stages for almost a year, but which I had been putting off.

Time will tell!


Canada is number one?

By the jesus it doesn't happen often but apparently Canada is number one in something-- in this case branding.

Canada rates high in areas like political freedom (4); tolerance (5); stable legal environment (4); freedom of speech (3); environmental friendliness (7). Overall, its quality of life was ranked at 6, although that was down one notch from last year.

In its report, FutureBrand says Canada “continues to be the strongest country brand despite its lack of leading rankings in any one dimension — proving that consistency is more important than specialty focus.’’


Canada’s No. 1 brand country rating is also a source of pride considering that many iconic country brands are falling, mirroring socio-political and economic fortunes, like the United Kingdom which ranks 13 (down 4), and the United States comes in at 6, having slipped two spots from last year.


Mario Balotelli
New EPL favourite: Mario Balotelli

Joining previous nominees Craig Bellamy and Joey Barton, Mario Balotelli is now my favourite EPL player.

Why? Because he is interesting, that's why.

The Manchester City forward's antics have been rewarded with a new song by the fans, replicated here (courtesy of the Guardian Sportsblog):

Oh Balotelli he's a striker…
He's good at darts/
He's allergic to grass but when he plays/ He's fucking class.
Drives round Moss Side/ with a wallet full of cash
Can't put on his vest/ But when he does he is the best
Goes into schools/ Tells teachers all the rules
Sets fire to his gaff/ With rockets from his bath
Doesn't give a fuck/ Cos he did it for a laugh
Runs back to his house/ For a suitcase full of cash
Oh Balotelli …

Lastly, it is important to note that Mario has a lovely smile when someone finally gets one out of him.


Jonathan Richman
Newest find: Jonathan Richman

Lately, I have been listening to Beat Surrender on BBC Newcastle. They play mostly British artistes, with the odd American thrown in.

The particular Odd American I am writing about today is Jonathan Richman, who first had a hit in 1975 with Road Runner.

He seems to be a contemporary of Tom Waites with a similar sense of humour (titles of his albums include things like I, Jonathan, Jonathan Sings!, and Having a Party with Jonathan Richman) but more of an ear for a tune.

Fun fact: Jonathan played the singing narrator in the cinematic tour-de-force Something About Mary.

Here are links to mp3s of a few examples of Jonathan's œuvre:

Road Runner

Parties in the USA