27 July 2011

Biscuits in zero-G

NiceCupOfTeaAndASitDown.com sensibly notes that space travellers would do better to take new-fangled biscuit spread, rather than bourbons or custard creams, into any sort of zero-gravity scenario. It's the crumbs you see. Big, floaty lumps of biscuit spread will cause less havoc.

"Belgian biscuit baker Lotus well known for their Caramelised Biscuits and Speculoos has found a way of turning biscuits into a spread. This seems to be grinding them up with some vegetable oil, sugar and emulsifier much in the way peanuts might find themselves ending up in peanut butter. The upshot of this is that it tastes almost exactly like Speculoos, just as peanut butter tastes just like peanuts.
"Beyond breakfast I can see this new technology being put to use in two important areas. The first as a new form of biscuit adhesive for making advanced types of birthday cakes. In fact I reckon you could pull off a half decent Jabba the Hut's sail barge sticking on the window shutters with a jar of this stuff. The second and perhaps more obvious use is in the manned exploration of Mars. Biscuit crumbs in zero G during the 3 year round trip could prove quite a problem scuppering the no doubt endless opportunities for a nice float around and a cup of tea presented by 18 months in space."

6 July 2011

Podcasts I will keep on paying for

A shout out for two awesome, life-enriching podcasts that I have supported in the last 12 months:

This American Life with Ira Glass: Sublime examples of storytelling. Will teach any writer a thing or two.

Filmspotting with Adam Kempenaar and Matty "Ballgame" Robinson: Best. Film critiques. Ever. What's that you say about Mark Kermode? I don't even care.

(no, no, no)
Both are free but collect listener donations. Both are so good that I will gladly keep putting my hand in my pocket for them. I barely watch TV any more (why bother when faced with this?) so radio and podcasts are my main entertainment media besides music.

BUT. Is this any kind of a business model for publishers of new media? What if even the best-loved productions can't survive on listener/reader donations? Okay, so This American Life has other sources of funding, but ultimately, it will have to start charging if its listeners don't keep on paying. Filmspotting say they only just cover their expenses.

What if all the podcasts in the world just stop? It keeps me up at night. It really does.