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(I know, I know, but it's the way we diarylanders have done it for generations.)

2006-01-06 19:39


A graphic in the Intergalactic Lobster Alpha Tango Express-Herald-Pilot-Echo-Tribune informs us that Mexico has a higher percentage (24.2%) of obese adults than dear old Blighty (22.4).

Come on, Blighty! Eat some nice snacks and stay out of the gym!

2006-01-06 14:57

Charles "Loser" Kennedy goes International!

It is Charles "Loser" Kennedy, the man who led Britain's negligible Liberal Democrats to their most recent election underachievement:

Doch jetzt gestand der Chef der drittstrksten Partei des Landes: Ja, ich war ein Trinker!

Schon seit Jahren wurde ber ein Alkoholproblem Kennedys spekuliert. Auffllig oft und gerne nahm der Schotte ein Glas Scotch zu sich. Aber der Poliitker leugnete immer wieder, schtig zu sein.

Jetzt die Alkohol-Beichte: "In den vergangenen 18 Monaten habe ich mein Alkoholproblem akzeptiert und versucht, es zu bewltigen."

Bizarrely, we haven't seen this story in the international press except in Bild. The long-standing vacancy for an opposition party to Tony "Baloney" Blair's New Labour has since, in any case, been filled by the Tories who have at last managed to elect a leader with appeal to persons who are under 70 and who do not smell of wee.

For the full tact, the Scotsman:

Mr Kennedy, who yesterday called an immediate leadership election to let party members decide on his future, today claimed he had been "overwhelmed" by messages of support.

But reports claimed as many as 16 of the party's 23-strong frontbench team wanted him to go.

We couldn't care less either way and in this we reflect, for once, the mood of the nation.


2006-01-06 12:19

Bierless in Ensched

It is Grolsch - the Archduke of Biers! - vs. Ahold's Albert Hein chain of un-super Supermarkts:

Grolsch is no longer supplying Albert Heijn stores, after the two failed to reach agreement on how much the retailer should pay for its beer.

Grolsch said "extreme price competition" among supermarkets was hurting business in its home market.

Go, Grolschzilla, go! (We dislike AH without even having ever visited one. Although if it comes to that, we'd be happy enough with Lidl's randomest Reinheidsgebot, but don't tell the Dutchpersons.)

[Initial lead from our Zweetie, dank je]


2006-01-06 10:33

Being boring 'bout 'bladets (II)

The new design of Le Monde is absolutely gorgeous. Matthew Carter's Fenway font - originally designed for Sports Illustrated is exceptionally beautiful, and the design is open, light and vair vair inviting.

There must be something about Berliners - the new Grauniad is the prettiest paper in EnglandandWales, too, and its Grauniad Egyptian Text is vair nice too.

Bonus: An International Lobster Police Times-Patrol Charley Alpha Bravo Mirror Express Monitor ("International Herald Tribune") article on the Dutch 'bladet scene on the occasion of De Telegraaaaaf's 100th birthday. (Featuring analysis from a Mr Krant!)

During the 1970s the company moved from its cramped headquarters in the center of Amsterdam to a 500 million guilder complex west of the city. Hundreds of trucks take the four nightly print runs to distribution points, where an army of 10,000 hand carriers takes over. Thus, Telegraaf subscribers find the paper in their mailboxes at the crack of dawn. Only 20 percent of the press run is sold at news stands. As many as 100,000 copies follow subscribers to their European vacation destinations.

(This subscription model is the norm in the Netherlands, of course. And, quite if not entirely coincidentally, also in Chermany, wherever that is.)


2006-01-05 16:42

Belgium, man! Belgium!

When reading, as we like to do, Le Soir online it is disconcerting to miss-parse "Brussels" as the metonym for the EU that it is elsewhere and realise on the second pass that they really meant Brussels.

Also, we learned just recently that Le Soir has gone Berliner since we last saw a copy. We're now if anything even sorrier we never get a chance to buy it.


2006-01-05 12:28

Bier and prinsesses - T(2)GTtTGT!

Budweiser inexplicably bills itself as the king of biers. Hoppning-sponsor Warsteiner bills itself as "Eine Knigin undter den Bieren" - a queen amongst biers (although not on their wretched Flashed-up site).

But what we, for one, yearn for is of course a prinsess among biers. Anyone seen such a something?


2006-01-05 10:21

Everyone, all of the time pleasure incapacity

Mary had a little pie
And it was very yummy
She ate it up and gave me none -
This pie is zero-summy!

It is the Cherman skihoppning team. Unlike the Norwegish, they have not even had a belated triumph; their 'bladets are correspondingly underwhelmed:

Wieder Total-Absturz!
Ist der Trainer an allem schuld?

Yet again Total-Absturz!
Is the trainer an allem guilty?

(We are contemplating a quantitative index of tabloidicity, calculated on the basis of the ratio of discussion of sportning events as a whole to that of the national team/star. By this metric Bild, we can assure you, is very very very very very tabloid indeed.)


2006-01-04 17:00


1. Hoppity hopp!

It is the belatedly triumphant Norwegish hoppning team!

Lars Bystl tok sin frste seier i verdenscupen da han vant i Innsbruck. Og p pallen fikk han besk av Bjrn Einar Romren.

Lars Bystl took his first victory in the worldcup when he won in Innsbridge. And he was joined on the podium by Bjrn Einar Romren.


2. Hello Dolly!

It is the very delicious Dolly from Underware. We think this could very easily be this year's essay font. (And not just this year's, at that.)

[Thanks to Maus for the tip-off]

3. Further proof

That Dutch is entirely unlike Cherman, especially in sentence structure:

Prinses Mxima heeft haar rechtszaak tegen Priv, dat had gemeld dat ze een kindermeisje had geslagen, gewonnen.

Prinsess Mxima has her lawsuit against [the trashbladet] Priv, which had claimed that she a kindermeisje had struck, won.

(A kindermeisje is a childgirl or nanny. Probably.)

[Thanks to our zweetie for this one]


2006-01-04 13:25


You don't have to be, Varied Reader. It is to the rescue with a jolly nice live scoreboard.

(They think it's called Skispringen, but they after all only Cherman.)


2006-01-04 12:19

Another year, another rebrandning

Long-suffering readers will recall that we used Palatino for our University of Openness essays last year and were looking to upgrade this time out. But we have a problem: we don't think our excellence, extensive though it certainly is, really merits the use of Sabons and Caslons and such fancinesses, and we'd rather use something a bit less presumptious.

In which spirit, we very much fancy Le Monde Courrier:

Le Monde Courrier attempts to re-establish a style halfway between writing and printing. It returns the informal character of "typewritten" fonts to letters and suit well all bad conditions printings, such faxes and low printer resolutions.

Any thoughts or (especially) suggestions along similar lines vair vair welcome, for sure.


2006-01-03 16:01

Zwedish, slightly sociolinguistique

It is "Oh so" sa Linderborg, leftiste extraordinaire, on a book on Zwedish sociolinguistiques:

Men, som frfattarna ppekar, r det inte skert att den som talar "fint" vinner strst respekt. Deras utmrkta exempel r systrarna Bernadotte. Victoria talar en okonstlad stockholmska som vcker folkets krlek. Madeleines sprk, dremot, har alla idiomatiska knnetecken fr den exkluderande verklassvenskan.

But, as the authors point out, it isn't certain that those who talk "posh" earn the greatest respect. Their exemplary example is the Bernadotte [prinsesses]. Victoria speaks an artless Stockholmese which awakens the people's love. Madeleines speech, however, has all the idiomatic symptoms of the exclusive upper class.

"'Posh' Prinsess Lacks Common Touch, Leftiste Claims (cont. p.3)", isn't it?


2006-01-03 12:22

Gekookt ei med soldaatjes

Would you believe there are Yoorpean lands so backwards they do not even know that "soldiers" are toasts cut into strips for your many boiled-egg in-dippnings? Well there are.

Incidentally, when boiling eggs count three (3) minutes from a rolling boil in a small pan heated from cold. Substituting a large pan and they get overdone, or the first bubbles and they are vair runny. That is all.


2006-01-03 10:15

Oh very drole, Unconscious

In our somewhat troubled sleep it came to pass that a mighty beepning was unleashed and we looked around a room rather fuller than usual of mobile phones to find out which one was perpetrating it. Eventually, we discovered (in our dream) that it had been an alarm clock, but we also discovered (ibid) that the many clocks shared no consensus as to the time.

We discovered, of course, somewhat later in the waking world, that we had thus slept through our alarm.


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