Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Puzzler: Funky Drummer

Last time on The Puzzler I asked which frequently sampled drum break comes from a James Brown song, and is played by Clyde Stubblefield? The answer is Funky Drummer.

Another frequently sampled drum break is known as the Amen Break. You all know it. Here's a video explaining its history.

Here's the next question: Which famous drum loop (or breakbeat) was a sample of the band Graham Central Station (a project of funk legend Larry Graham)?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Phish Out Of Water

My T3 blog at has been locked/deleted by Blogger. I logged in to Blogger to create a ost about the upcoming Tenterden Clean Up Day in April, which is a joint effort between T3 and the Tenterden Town Council.

When I got to my blogs page , I was greeted with this:

Click to enlarge.
"Violating Terms Of Service?" My little community action group's blog? Pourquoi?

So I clicked the Appeal button and almost immediately my gmail inbox received this:

Reviewed and confirmed? In ten seconds flat? I don't think so. And Phishing?

  1. the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers, online.

I don't think so. 

So I immediately started a frantic search for a helpline, a phone number, an email address, anything so that I could communicate with Blogger and tell them they'd made a mistake. But try as I might, my search proved fruitless.

In investigating the Blogger forums it appears there have been a slew of these kinds of deletions on perfectly innocuous blogs recently, enough to make me believe that people are systematically getting their accounts hacked, the phishing thingumabobs placed into the comments sections of the pages and then Google's phishing-detecto-bot picking it up and deleting the entire blog without a word of warning to the blog owner. 

Thanks for nothing, Google. Four and a half years worth of blog posts just gone. Just like that.

Monday, February 15, 2016

This Never Happened

A toy shop, sometime in the late 20th Century.

Door opens. Young person enters.

YOUNG PERSON: Excuse me, do you have 'OPERATION'?

SHOPKEEPER: Why, yes, small person. Here we are. (He produces the game and places it on the counter.)

YP: How much is it?

SK: That'll be ten pounds, please. But don't forget there'll be extras available in a couple of months.

YP: Extras? Cool!

SK: Yeah, there'll be an extra patient to operate on, and custom forceps. 


SK: Yeah, you can pre-order them if you like, for only another £25.

YP: £25? Well, I dunno...

SK: But you can sign up to the special Operation Club Force Z right now when you pre-order and you'll get a special Zombie mode upgrade so you can operate on the Undead...

YP: Sold!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Otis Redding Don't Mess With My Cupid Video]

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Jeff's Holiday Collection

Hi folks!

As many of you may have noticed, I have become heavily into podcasting! it's a lot of fun and allows me to play my favourite music, explore new music and to make something that sounds cool without the need for an engineering degree or years of thankless internships at radio stations. It's that whole punk rock DIY ethic: use whatever is available to you and, in the words of the great Laurie Anderson, "let your tools show you what they can do".

I am also a fanatical Christmas nut: so much so that I've done several holiday-themed shows this year. Here, in one handy compendium, are the links to all of those shows for you to binge-listen to, like an audio equivalent to a box set on Sky.

Into The Unknown's Christmas Cavalcade of Crapola which I pick some of the worst Christmas records available to me, and play them at you.

Into The Unknown - The Festive 28 which I play some classics and some new favourites.

Into The Unknown's Christmas Schmaltz-O-Rama which I get comfy in my high backed leather armchair next to a roaring fire, with a large festive drink in my hand, turn on the stereogram and play a selection of my favourite Xmas tunes, guaranteed to make you feel all misty and wistful and warm and contented. Pull up a La-Z-Boy and chill with Jeff.

Into The Unknown 36 - Christmas Is A Few Sleeps Away which I play more merry ho ho ho and jingle jangle sleigh bell type things.

My Live Xmas Eve Mixlr Broadcast which I play an hour-long mix of holiday treats and nutcrackers.

The Podcast of Jeff! Xmas Pod

...from 2014, a mix of music and holiday readings.

Into The Unknown 37 - The Christmas Leftovers which we play some Christmassy bits, some regular bits, and a couple of New Year's numbers. Happy New Year everyone!

I'd like to invite everyone to listen to these while there's still time, and please, follow me on Podomatic, Mixcloud and Mixlr, and while you're at it, head over to my Podcast Of Jeff pages on Facebook and Twitter!

If you are dead impressed with what you hear and can class yourself as a bona fide fan, then why not buy the (dead cheap) T-shirt?

Only 13 bucks! Cheap!! I'm robbing myself!
Thanks for reading, thanks for listening, and stay tuned - there are more great things to come in the New Year.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Daesh Diet

Must be a 'slow news' day.

So, both The Daily Snail and The Scum newspapers this morning are screaming banner headlines about how the risk of death due to obesity and the risk of death due to terrorism are about equal. (Oh, how they like scaremongering. Gee, thanks, Mr. Murdoch, you enormous tool.)

Er, bullshit?

Even a simple Google search blows that theory out of the water. Last year the amount of terrorism-related fatalities was not quite 38,000. GLOBALLY.

And last year, the amount of obesity-related deaths was 300,000 IN THE U.S. ALONE.

So, yeah. Baloney.

But the question that naturally arises from this, of course, is what is the correlation between the two? When did you last see a fat terrorist?

Has this scenario ever cropped up in the mountain hideouts and crummy apartments where (we are led to believe) all terrorists spring from?

"It's no good, Mick.* I can't get my suicide jacket to zip up."

"Well, you keep eating those takeaways and cooking those massive fried breakfasts, you fat bastard. It's no wonder!"

So, next year's alternative diet. Eat like a terrorist and watch those pounds melt away. I can see it now on QVC...

"So, forage for a handful of nuts and berries to make a delicious complement to your daily ration of rice, and watch those pounds melt away! Of course, you will eventually be required to firebomb a branch of Spud-U-Like or strap on a belt fashioned elegantly from plastic explosive and duct tape, and walk into a busy shopping centre and detonate yourself, but that near-feral lifestyle and hipster beard you'll grow mean you are guaranteed to look great and feel fit while doing it!"

*The usage of the name "Mick" in the above scenario is purely coincidental and is not intended to imply that all terrorists are Irish, or indeed male. The name chosen could just as easily have been Barney, Fred, Wilma or even Muammar. We apologise if there are any people out there named Mick who found this article offensive. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015


My daughter Rosie has recently turned three years old, and she is one smart cookie. Anything technological represents no obstacle to Rosie, and on many an occasion we have remarked with wonderment and amazement at her ability to elicit unusual results from the TV or Sky remote simply by touching or throwing it. She'll pick up the remote or even just move it to one side and suddenly we're watching something on the Nigerian channel. She has also mastered Mum's phone upon which she regularly plays with My Talking Angela, a more recent sequel to the games My Talking Ben and My Talking Tom. Not familiar with these games? Look them up, download them, install them on your phone and become hopelessly addicted to feeding, petting washing and putting to bed an animated anthropomorphic cat. You can't do that with Ben, but he's my favourite because of what he does when you ring his phone for him.

However, Rosie has graduated from such things and is now more interested in using Mum's tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

Initially, she was able to play some kid-friendly games and she was happy with that. Recently, however, she has become au fait with the vagaries of YouTube, and has discovered some truly bizarro channels in which grown adults will play with kids' toys on a regular basis while talking in a chirpy annoying Midwestern accent.

What's that ya say? Surely they cannot all be weird? Oh, believe me, once you see them, you will have some headscratching moments of gobsmackedness to come.
Give you an example or two? How did I know you were going to ask that?

Let's start you off gently. Here's an example from the Epic Toy Channel...

Then there's the Engineering Family, who apparently have 500,000 subscribers and over 500m monthly views. And tell me I'm wrong but Mr. Engineer (the dad) sounds a bit like Seth Rogen to me. Like Seth Rogen if he was a strange childcare provider.

The Engineering Family also do quite a lot of videos in which they open Kinder Surprise eggs and find out what toys are in them (impending sarcasm warning!!). And yes, that IS as fascinating as it sounds. However, they are not the only ones that do this.

To me, these things are like watching those awful 'unboxing' videos...

*stifles yawn*

Then Rosie seems to have stumbled upon another weird YouTube phenomenon, the proliferation of "Finger Family" videos. You remember the song from preschool, "Peter Pointer, Peter Pointer, where are you?", which is a knockoff in itself of the old nursery rhyme "Where is Thumbkin?".

Well, these people seem to have taken the concept and made it into Finger Family. Mummy Finger, Daddy Finger, Brother Finger etc. and so on and so forth. There are a bunch of those out there, which is odd, since most kids know where their fingers are and don't need to be told a bunch of times. But some have taken it a step further by adding little finger puppets and/or animations into the videos and turning it into something else entirely. For example, I saw one that was a 'superhero' themed video, so there was Hulk Finger alongside Wolverine Finger and Batman Finger. Here is an example, but proceed with caution - what has been seen cannot be unseen.

She's also become a fan of Teletubbies through YouTube, but seems to enjoy watching foreign versions of it.


and Polish.

Then there is the utterly strange Booya channel. These videos are in a league of their own. They take kids' nursery rhymes and create Halloween-related versions of them.


The problem is, especially in the case above, the rhymes are not there. What I mean by that is that Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed works because 'bed' rhymes with 'bumped his head'. Seriously, does five little zombies jumping on the grave work for you? Because I have a major problem with this sort of thing. America, I am sad to say, does that a lot. There used to be a phenomenon in the 90s when I was working in childcare called Piggyback Songs, where in order to teach the concept you were trying to teach, you'd turn it into a song by writing new lyrics to an older song such as Wheels On The Bus or Old MacDonald and using the theory that kids learn better to music to hope that it works. Trouble is, if a kid hears a tune he is familiar with, he only knows the old words, so putting new words to old tunes does not work.

Sometimes these videos blend together...

..this is all kinds of messed up.

However, with my help, Rosie has become a fan of Veggie Tales. Not the story parts, just Silly Songs With Larry. Here's her favourite...

Larry Rules, OK?
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