Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Things I've Learnt From AQA 63336 - Part 1

I have an amazing secret... actually, I have two. But the one I can reveal right now is that I'm a researcher for the SMS text service AQA 63336. They're lovely folk who will answer any question you ask - simple as that. You can even try them for free here.

Anyway, as well as research for them I also regularly use them to further my own knowledge - usually during drunken nights out... thanks to their new AQA Club service I can now access every question I've ever asked. So, here's some things AQA have taught me:

Q.(20/04/07) How do you get rid of hic-cups?
A.To get rid of the hiccups, drink slowly out of the back of a glass (bend over double) or blow slowly into a paper bag and inhale slowly a few times.
Q.(06/04/07) Can a drinking straw be used to pierce human skin? (As seen in Doctor Who last week.. I'm not actually intending to obviously!)
A.A standard drinking straw doesn't have the strength to penetrate human skin. It would crumple. Marvin C Stone patented the drinking straw in 1888.
Q.(05/04/07) What are baby rats called?
A.A baby rat is called a 'pup'. A male rat is called a 'buck' and a female rat is called a 'doe'. Two rats can parent 15,000 rats in less than a year.
Q.(07/03/07) Which costs the Royal Mint more to produce - a »1 coin or a »5 note?
A.It costs the Royal Mint £1.50 to make a pound coin. The pound coin is 70% Copper, 24.5% Zinc and 5.5% Nickel. Costs for £5 notes are not revealed.
Q.(06/02/07) Who would win in a battle between yoda and godzilla?
A.AQA thinks that in a fight between Yoda & Godzilla, Yoda would win. He may be small and green but his mastery of Jedi skills would see him through.
Q.(06/02/07) Who would have won in a fight between muhammed ali and mike tyson?
A.AQA thinks that Muhammad Ali would beat Mike Tyson in a fight, if both were in their prime, due to his superior mental stamina, guile and ability.
Q.(21/12/06) Why is boxing day called boxing day?
A.The name Boxing Day dates back to medieval times, when alms boxes were placed at the back of churches and distributed to the poor after Christmas.
Q.(25/03/06) In battlestar galactica (the new version) is Dr Baltar a cylon?
A."Baltar" was the human involved with the "Cylons" in the original "Battlestar Galactica". "Dr Gaius Baltar" is the more modern version, not as evil.
Q.(25/03/06) Does size matter?
A.Penis size doesn't matter. Skill as a lover and satisfying women has little to do with penis length. It ain't what you got, it's what you do with it.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Spectre Psychology

Have you ever spent a night in a haunted house?

I’ve spent the last two weeks in a charming cornish farmhouse, miles from anywhere deep in the countryside.

It was a truly rustic building with sloping, creaky floors and doors that were anything but rectangular. Also, being 6 foot meant I’d developed a hunched back and sore head from avoiding all the low ceilings. Not to worry though, I was on holiday and wanted to do nothing – literally.

The bed was cosy, but you know how it is sleeping in a strange environment – it’s never the same as your actual bed and it led to waking up more that I normally do in the course of a usual night. Often in those times of waking I’d hear a few bangs from somewhere within the house. Nothing sinister, probably the dog stirring or someone else banging their head on the toilet door.

I didn’t think much of it until well into the second week when we discovered, and read the visitor book. All fairly normal apart from one entry:

"Lovely holiday though I do feel sorry for my friends staying in room 3. On the Thursday night they awoke to find a blurry figure of a man with a pitchfork opening their wardrobe. He disappeared but not before opening and closing the main door too. This happened again on the Friday – both times at around 3am."

And yes, guess who was sleeping in room 3 this time. So that night I went to bed and low and behold had a less well-settled night. Of course it was utter nonsense, one paragraph in a visitor book but it played at the back of my mind. We hadn’t seen any evidence of a haunting, though there was the occasional banging which could have been anything.

Nothing happened in the remaining nights but it goes to show that suggestion is a powerful thing.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Originally uploaded by smeg_head
It's odd that the destruction of a building can evoke feelings of sadness. It's just a building, bricks an mortar. It has no soul.

Oh but that building contains memories, those memories are its soul.

Memories of playing in the funhouse aged 8. Memories of riding the dodgems with a hangover after a friends wedding. Memories of running around it like a loon trying to find clues on a charity Jailbreak.

When I saw the news the other week I was devestated for Weston. The effect the destruction of the pier will have on the town is huge - it's the heart and soul of the community.

RIP Grand Pier, I just hope that your future isn't as glum as that of Brighton's East Pier.