Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rock Ness, Loch Ness 2007 lineup announced...

Well, looks like Rock Ness is over two days this year and they've certainly bumped up the number of acts; over 60 this year apparently.

Last year it was a great gig, headlined by Fatboy Slim. I for one was there and it was a great day, I recall there being a wee bit of rain but on the whole a great experience. The only down side was the local transport links which were practically non existent last year and culminated in me and my lovely other half having to walk a fatboy 12 miles back to Inverness after the gig.

I've done some "lets walk home after clubbing" stints in my time but that one took the biscuit. I arrived back in Inverness much like Shackleton might have arrived at the whaling station, bloody exhausted! So, fingers crossed it's all sorted this year (though i'll be amazed if it is..).

The lineup looks pretty good with the Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada on Saturday 9th June and Daft Punk and The Automatic on Sunday 10th June.

Also featuring
2 many djs, Alabama 3, Soulwax Nite Versions, The Cuban Brothers, Erol Alkan, Dub Pistols, Rob da Bank, Caged Baby, The Whip, Drive by Argument and Nathan Detroit...

From a Scottish perspective, the good weather is usually kicking about in June so it's a reasonable bet that it should be ok.

So if you fancy it, tickets go on sale 3rd March, click here for more details...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Banged Up Blogger - Free Abdel Kareem Soliman!

Feel pretty bad for this guy. There you are just expressing your opinions online like we all do and then you're banged up for it!

Insulting the president and Islam? They're pricks, the both of them!

Free Abdel Kareem Soliman! Got to hand it to the guy, he's even managed to break a smile from behind bars...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Well, it was bound to happen at some point....!

It was only a question of time before something like this happened. To tell you the truth i'm surprised it isn't a common occurrence?

Click here to find out more...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Plato's Places to Go No.3 - The Drovers Inn, Loch Lomond, Review

What can I say, if the Drovers Inn is good enough for Terry Nutkins and Rob Roy then it's good enough for anyone...

Sitting at Ardlui at the very top of Loch Lomond, i've never heard a bad word said about the Drovers Inn. The Drovers Inn is certainly dusty, it's old and the rooms could do with some upgrading but I wouldn't change the place for the world.

On a cold winters evening when you're sitting in the Drovers Inn bar next to an open fire and you then have to sneek past a variety of stuffed animals to get to your bed, there's just nothing like it in the world!

Waking up (usually with a bit of a hangover) to the sound of the Drovers Inn geese being fed outside your window is an experience to say the least. A traditional Scottish fry up breakfast later and you can walk up to the Falls of Falloch which is where the Falloch river pours into Loch Lomond. The Falls of Falloch is one of the best places to get pictures in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs national park but it's obviously up against some pretty stiff competition!

Be warned though, the Drovers Inn is a popular place in the summer and you'll be hard pushed to get a room at the weekend without booking well in advance. Even if you don't get a chance to stay there, make sure you pop in for a pint if you get the chance.

Doubles en suite are about £70 a night and there are even modern Jacuzzi rooms across the road from the original Drovers building.

This place is a must, so make sure you go. For more details simply follow this link to the Drovers Inn website

Monday, February 19, 2007

Seen Negs Urban Sports Yet? Big Stranger Rodeo!!

Have you caught Negs Urban Sports on Balls of Steel Yet?

Check out the Negs Urban Sports video for Big Stranger Rodeo below....

For more Balls of Steel videos and Negs Urban Sports events just click on the links!

Plato's Film Quote of the Day No. 2 - Return of the Jedi

"When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not. Hmm?" -Return of the Jedi

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Greater Glasgow Neds go Deer Hunting!!

I must admit that this is one of the most strange and disturbing news stories that i've heard in a while!

Maybe it's time to turn the tables and start the sport of ferral ned hunting. All this talk of the a deer cull certainly makes me think that maybe the cull should be aimed at something else...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 13 - Freefall Records

Well, you've most likely seen skydiver Michael Holmes' brush with death. If not, have a gander at the movie below...


Although Michael fell 12,000ft with a half open parachute, the all time free fall survival record is held by a Serbian woman called Vesna Vuloviç.

In 1972 she was an air stewardess on board a JAT DC-9 travelling from Copenhagen to Zagreb that was blown up by Croatian nationalists over the Czech Republic.

She fell over 33,000ft and landed still strapped to her chair, nestled in the tail cone of the wrecked plane.

Despite having a
fractured skull, brain hemorrhaging, two broken legs, three broken vertebrae, being in a coma for four days and being paralysed from the waist down, she managed to make a considerable recovery and walk again.

Click here to read a full interview with the remarkable lady...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Plato's Film Quote of the Day No. 1 - Annie Hall

“Don't knock masturbation, it's sex with someone I love”. –Annie Hall

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 12 - Valentines Day!!

Happy Valentines Day!

Here are a few Valentines facts for your day...
  1. 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine's Day.
  2. Since AD 496 the feast of St Valentines has been celebrated, some believe to suppress an older pagan fertility festival held on the 15th of February. But the feast was more of a Christian celebration rather than the romantic day we now it as now. The association with romance dates from the middle ages, where most of the legends surrounding St. Valentine were written.
  3. Since the seventeenth century in the UK & France, St. Valentines day has been celebrated in it's more current romantic form. The exchange of small gifts and love notes was widespread. By the end of the eighteenth century printed valentines cards were being produced. It wasn't until 1840 in America that valentines cards were first mass produced by Esther Howland.
  4. Long before St. Valentine lived, February 14th had strong links with fertility. The date traditionally is known for when birds choose their mates.
  5. In Medieval times, girls ate bizarre foods on St Valentine's Day to make them dream of their future spouse.
  6. The first Valentine gift was sent by Duke of Orleans to his wife, after he was captured in 1415.
  7. 73% of Valentine Day flowers are bought by men, whereas women buy only 23% of Valentine flowers.
  8. Around 3% of pet owners prefer to give Valentine gifts to their pets, as they are more grateful than humans!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Top ten wealthiest football clubs by revenue!!

Here are the ten wealthiest football clubs by revenue!

The figures below take into account income from ticket sales, merchandising and broadcasting contracts but do not include transfer revenues and does not calculate profitability.

1)Real Madrid: £202m
2)Barcelona: £179.1m
3)Juventus: £173.7m
4)Man Utd: £167.8m
5)AC Milan: £165m
6)Chelsea: £152.8m
7)Inter Milan: £142.8m
8)Bayern Munich: £141.5m
9)Arsenal: £133m
10)Liverpool: £121.7m
Source: Deloitte: 2005/6

Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - more like songcrapper!

Right, the tag line is "It's fun, it's easy, it's helpful"!

In short, IT'S NOT! And why is that woman holding the keyboard in the palm of her hand?? Who does that???

The guys in my office have been trying for a while now and so far songcrapper has only managed to recognise the Star Spangled Banner...

Give the old songtapper a blast and by all means let me know how you get on...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Plato's Places to Go No.2 - Dunure Village and Castle

If you're ever in Ayrshire in Scotland, make sure you have a stop of at the village of Dunure. It's a great little place just a ten to fifteen minute drive south of Ayr.

I must confess that there's not really much to it. Dunure is a traditional fishing village and it's current form dates back to the early 1800s. It has a small, stone walled harbour (with three swans in residence who aren't afraid to have a swim out to sea), a few little streets, some houses (as you would expect) and a nice little Inn called.... the Dunure Inn of course!

It may be small but it's perfectly formed and it even has a castle, called.... wait for it..... Dunure Castle! The castle is now a ruin but you're perfectly free to pick through the interesting shell at your own leisure. I always think that places like Dunure Castle have a more historic feel than their Edinburgh or Stirling counterparts as you become quickly aware on visiting the big two that a lot of the sites were rebuilt in recent times. When you're standing in the ruins of Dunure Castle, watching the sun slide down the side of Ailsa Craig and into the water beyond, you get a nice warm feeling despite the rather fresh sea breeze. It's just an experience that Stirling & Edinburgh can't offer.

Dunure Castle itself, stands on the edge of a cliff and dates back to before the 13th century. It was originally the seat of the Kennedys of Carrick who were eventually bestowed with the Earldom of Cassillis. The 4th Earl entertained Mary, Queen of Scots in the castle between the 4th and 7th of August 1563.

In 1570 the 4th Earl also took it upon himself to roast the Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey until he transferred some of the Abbey's lands across to him. The poor bloke reportedly took two turns of the spit before yielding. Not to worry though, the Commendator lived to a ripe old age regardless and the 4th Earl died a few years later when his horse fell on him.

So, the short and tall of it is to get Dunure if you get the chance...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Interesting Fact of the Day! No. 11 - Some facts about being left-handed

Here are some facts about being left-handed....

1. Being left handed seems to be a bit of a dodgy thing in Japan. Researchers have found that less than 2% of people in Japan admit to being left handed, when the world average is 10%. Traditionally a man could reject his prospective wife on the grounds of her being left handed. It was said that left handers wouldn't be able to master japanese script! 2. A study by NARTH (this is, wait for it.... the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality!) in Canada found that 31% of male homosexuals are more likely to be left handed than heterosexuals, while lesbians are 91% more likely to be left handed as heterosexual women.

3. Using a standard keyboard, and typing with both hands, the number of words in English that are typed solely with the left hand is 1,447. Only 187 words are typed solely with the right hand. Apparently the longest English word written only with the left hand is "stewardesses".

4. If you're a left hander, you're more likely to excel at tennis, baseball, swimming and fencing!

5. One in four Apollo astronaughts were left handed. This is 250% more than normal level.
6. Here's a list of some famous left handers from all walks of life:

Billy the Kid Jack the Ripper Napoleon Alexander the Great Julius Caesar Nelson Winston Churchill Bill Clinton George Bush (senior) John F Kennedy Fidel Castro Joan of Arc
Paul McCartney
Jimi Hendrix
Leonardo da Vinci
Bill Gates
Henry Ford
Gary Oldman
Bruce Willis
Robert Redford...

7. Ciotóg is an Irish
word used to describe left-handed people, which also means 'strange person'

It is argued that Napoleon's left-handedness contributed to traffic flowing on the right side of the road in post-revolutionary France. The reasoning behind this evolution stems from Napoleon having to fight in wars with his sword in his left hand and that he reportedly converted his army to fight the same way. This would have entailed the French cavalry of the day to approach opponents from their right.

A profound Arab stigma against left-handedness dates to a pre-industrial period when paper was extremely rare and (in desert regions) water was too precious to be used for hand-washing. Because it was necessary to use one hand for wiping oneself after defecation, and because it was impossible to cleanse this hand thoroughly, the hand used for this task (traditionally, the left hand) was deemed unfit to be used for any other activity, especially as most Arabs of that time lacked eating utensils, and so they ate with their fingers (of the right hand) from communal dishes, while keeping the left hand entirely concealed at mealtime. To this day, it is widely regarded as taboo in Arab culture to handle food with the left hand. Offering one's left hand for a handshake greeting, or even waving it in greeting without touching, would be considered a serious personal insult in Arab society. Somewhat left-handers are also persecuted in the Arab World due to this taboo.

10. In the UK around 11% of men and women aged 15-24 are now left-handed, compared to just 3% in the 55-64 age group!