View of people posing in the interior of the carriageway of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge which spanned the Niagara River connecting New York with Ontario, c. 1860’s. By E. & H. T. Anthony & Company. Animated stereoview.


British English

The British have the most ridiculous words for things. Lorry for truck. Bangers and mash? Is that food or a metal band? Dual carriageway for freeway? So, are there still a lot of carriages over there guys? Vest for undershirt? Rubber for eraser? Jumper for sweater? Bonnet for car hood? How can a hotrodder be tough if his car is wearing a bonnet? Chips for fries. Hmm. Come to think of it they do look more like chips than our chips which you laughably call crisps. Lift for elevator? Wait. Elevate means lift. Lift is just a shorter word. Okay, we’ll give you those last two but don’t let us hear you call baseball rounders. ☺

๑ Samsaran ๑

Faith in humanity restored!!

So my car literally about 2 hours ago decided to break down. It didn’t even give me any warning, driving on a carriageway and it went into limp mode.
I managed to pull over in a lay by with half my car butt sticking out as there was a massive van, lorry thing in front of me.
Naturally I didn’t know what the hell to do!
Plus my phone bill wasn’t paid for as I get paid tomorrow and it got turned off early.

I’m literally sitting there with the hazards light on in tears. No one to call or phone and it’s pitch fucking black outside.

This little old lady in a house right near the lay by came out and offered me to go in her house to use her phone.

So I’m sitting there in some strangers house with two cups of tea, a blanket, some sandwiches and sitting right by the radiator. The old lady explained that her husband died about a year ago and that she lives there on her own, she even offered to make up the ‘spare bedroom’ if I needed a place to stay.

I used her phone, called my boyfriend and got a jump start. We’re now both at home and I can’t thank that lady enough!!!

Some miserable bald headed businessman (yes I could tell he was a businessman by his pristine white tonka truck of a range rover) was right up my arse driving across the back roads coming home. 

Bastard overtook me furiously on the dual carriageway and then proceeded to get stuck right in front of me for the rest of the journey because of the jams eheheheheheheheheheh

Dude, you can ram yourself right into the bumper of my car with your fucking aircraft carrier as much as you like, we all know what you’re compensating for with your huge car.

China Day 11

Rules for driving in China:

1. Use your horn - randomly and frequently.
2. If somebody toots their horn at you, ignore it.
3. If you need to change lanes, pretend to be invisible, then just slide into the lane you want. Don’t worry if there’s a car already in that lane - he will get out of your way, probably. If he toots you, see rule 2.
4. Try to drive on the right, but if it’s more convenient to drive the wrong way up a dual carriageway, then do so. Choose any lane you like (see rule 3 about changing lanes). [We actually DID drive against the traffic on a dual carriageway. It was almost too exciting!].
5. If you are riding a moped, you must carry at least one other person and all their goods/shopping/personal belongings. It is also advisable to carry a small toddler sitting on the handlebars. 6. If you ride a bicycle or moped, drive in any direction and in any position you like on the road. If someone toots you, see rule 2.
7. Pedestrians must wander across the road whilst traffic is in motion. The white lines that separate the lanes provide an invisible force field that will protect you in the event of on-coming traffic. If anyone toots you, see rule 2.
8. At night it is illegal for bicycles, mopeds and motorised rickshaws to use any form of lighting or reflective devices.
9. [This one is the best] Stick religiously to the speed limits and do not get angry at every other idiot on the road who is trying to kill you. Just toot your horn to greet them, or just for fun, or when the mood takes you 😊

Rise of the Super Furry Animals

by Ric Rawlins. London: The Friday Project, 2015; ISBN 9780008105235 pp. 216

TheRise of the Super Furry Animals opens with a tongue-in-cheek account of an early festival appearance by the band.  The success of laddish label-mates, Oasis, had ballooned Creation’s bank account.  The money poured as freely as empty promises made by free market philanthropists to eradicate global poverty.  It allowed for a budget bloated enough to buy the Super Furries a tank with which to gatecrash Eisteddfod festival.  A DJ booth fitted within the tight confines of the metal war animal operated a sound system welded to its armoured shell.  The band toured this Situationist artwork, appropriately dubbed the ‘techno tank’, around the country, blasting deafening dance music at anyone within earshot.  At first, they raised only eyebrows, travelling down a dual carriageway towards Eisteddfod’s glistening fields.  But later, they raised heart rates too, by handing out multi-lingual lyric sheets during their set at this strictly Welsh-language event.

This story is one among many embellished by Ric Rawlins for the benefit of eliciting unreserved humour in the mind of the reader.  As suggested by the title, the book’s principal focus is the band’s formative years.  At times resembling a deck of Top Trumps, Rawlin’s biography economically traverses through early childhood experiences and moments when various Furry members were exposed to pop music’s infectious tendencies.  Gruff Rhys’s halcyon days as pirate radio disc jockey get a mention here, as do Rhys Ifan’s comedic antics in Ffa Coffi Pawb (an early incarnation of SFA, to which the actor contributed his vocal talents).  Later we learn about SFA’s plans to convert an aircraft carrier into an international sonic island, their paramilitary excursions deep into the Colombian jungle and hedonistic continental parties with pot messiah Howard Marks.

Generous amounts of space are dedicated to SFA’s recording process and this insightful tactic is probably the highlight of the work.  If you’ve ever wondered how the Super Furry Animals arrived at their sound, wonder no longer: it is all down to clever sampling, open-minded producers, knowing your sequencers and, lest we forget, a knack for songwriting, of course.  

The book is printed on recycled stock and is vaguely reminiscent of those trashy novels by R. L. Stine that primed kids for the ghastly horror movies of their teens and even less sophisticated door-stop literature by the likes of Stephen King.  The sleeve is designed by Pete Fowler (Furry illustrator extraordinaire and the man responsible for many-an-iconic record cover).  It echoes the group’s hallucinogenic music, while plainly making evident their fascination with the development of telecommunications.  Along with Rawlin’s nimble prose, Fowler’s jacket helps to paint a colourful image of subversive pop agents on their ascent to fame.  

Ric Rawlins first met the band while they were recording Dark Days/Light Years (2009) in Cardiff and since then, has colluded with the group to construct a history that is ‘closer to what happened than what actually happened.’  By their own admission, the Super Furry Animals assimilated ideas of ‘myth and duality’ inherent in Japanese culture, combining them with subversive energies prevalent in their Welsh origins.  In many respects, this makes for a memoir that is more faithful to memory than history.  Despite the fact that The Rise of the Super Furry Animals is scant on detail, especially towards the end (barely twenty pages are dedicated to the Sony/Rough Trade years), it provides an amusing and (mis)informative read.  Pick it up on a sunny morning in place of a Saturday cartoon marathon and have a blast until tea time.  

Ilia Rogatchevski
Pending publication for Joyzine.

New W/Africa Railway Network Underway

New W/Africa Railway Network Underway

On the dual carriageway linking the main airport to downtown Niamey, the capital of Niger, workers are busy digging trenches in the middle of the island separating the lanes, and laying tracks where rows of lampposts once stood. They are racing against the clock to build a thousand-kilometre stretch of a regional network that will connect Niamey to the West African seaport of Cotonou, Benin. The…

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Hired a bicycle today and, armed with three different maps, set off to explore the ancient temples dotted around the town. Bar spinning class, I ain’t rode a bike in years and, consequently, was an absolute menace on it. Managed to end up on what I can only assume was a dual carriageway (can you tell I don’t drive??). I also failed miserably in finding the first stop: Tourist Information.

i feel really bad b/c jay was out of sight before i crashed so they came back looking for me  about 10 minutes later and saw from the other side of the duel carriageway. Like he wouldn’t have been able to have seen if i was okay or not, he  would’ve just seen the car smashed up. he was probably worried, idk tho