Five For Friday – 26th April 2013


Hello folks, and welcome back to the Friday Fives. This week I am preparing myself for the Meursault gig up at the Liquid Rooms this evening by clearing my inbox out a bit, getting a haircut and generally taking things a little easy. I will be a world of postal pain as of Sunday, so a clear evening with no obligations is hugely welcome. And to enhance that relaxed sense of comfort even more, here is some random shit I found on the internet this week. Please do add your random shit in the comments, because random shit is what Friday afternoon on the internet is for.

1. Don’t Forget: Lifeboats Tomorrow

Sorry, I know this only applies to Edinburgh people, but please do remember to come down to Stockbridge to help us collect for the Lifeboats tomorrow. All it takes is the gumption to shake a tin for an hour or so out and around Stockbridge, and then we will ply you with wine and roast lamb in the evening by way of thanks.  Mrs. Toad has even promised to bake, so don’t say we aren’t doing our best to make it worth your while. If you’re coming down, anytime between about 10am and 5pm would be splendid, so just get in touch and let us know what you reckon you can do.

2. Song of the Week: Dutch by Still Caves

The above song is released by Still Caves on a new Glasgow label called Electric Co. They have all sorts to stream on their Bandcamp page, and are already working with the very-much-Toad-approved New Fabian Society. The whole label looks really interesting, they are into some great stuff, and are very much worth an exploration.  Latest release Dream & Machine by SunDogs is also excellent, if totally different from NFS and the tune above. Good stuff, nice to see someone else releasing the kind of stuff I’m really into.

3. Fifty Years of Mental Genius From Lambourghini

See that ludicrous picture at the top of the page? Yep, for young men of a certain age that 80s Countach rendering was an image so imprinted on our minds that even now, in all its ludicrous glory, it still brings back warm feelings of nostaligia. I may never have had stonewash jeans or Bon Jovi hair, but that car was the only thing which ever made me slightly envious of some of those who did – the type who could drive around in one of those patently ridiculous and yet utterly brilliant road beasts. I’m not much of a petrol-head, but as a kid I was fascinated by cars, and still am, to a small extent. I was also always on the side of Lambourghini in the 80s Lambourghini vs. Ferrari debate, mostly because the Countach beat seven shades of shit out of the Testarossa – its Ferrari counterpart.

Anyhow, the third link this week is to a slideshow of fifty years of Lambourghini, and for all they have some truly awe-inspiring machines in their past (and present), Jesus fucking Christ they have some godawful ones as well!

4. Happy End series, by Dietmar Eckell

happy end

For someone who is rather afraid of flying, I don’t know if I should find these photos reassuring or disturbing. They’re an amazing series though, from a photographer called Dietmar Eckell, and they are all of aeroplane crashes from which everyone walked away safely. If you are of the paranoid persuasion you will notice very few modern jetliners in the series, which presumably hit the ground to hard and too fast to make survival all that feasible, but nevertheless, some of these landings are in hugely improbable places. The one in the picture above, for example – how the fuck did the trees and rocks not utterly fucking obliterate that poor fucker?

5. How to Be Happy, the Harvard Way

Well, not exactly, but a team at Harvard have spent the last 75 years (yes, seriously, 75) studying what makes people happy, “measuring an astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits—from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum”—in an effort to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.” Yes, hanging length of the scrotum. Lucky, lucky researchers! Anyhow, the whole article is massively interesting to read, and includes such tidbits as “Ageing liberals have more sex” (Yay!) and “Men who had poor childhood relationships with their mothers were much more likely to develop dementia when old”, which sounds like a paraphrasing of ‘your mum will drive you round the fucking bend’, to me.

You can read the article linked above for a rough outline of the findings – neatly summarised as “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points … to a straightforward five-word conclusion: ‘Happiness is love. Full stop.’ ” – or buy the book from Amazon, and I think I might do the latter. It sounds fascinating. Apart from the bit about drinking too much being bad for you, which I personally resent.

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