I'm afraid this post is just going to be a giant linksplooge, sorry.
Firstly this song by elbow, it's a freakin' masterpiece. Sit down, turn it up, and listen to the words intently. It's one of the most evocative pieces of poetry I've encountered in ages - and one that I think everyone can identify with. Hard. I had to go and sit down in a corner and stare into space for a while after hearing it, my dad linked it to me after having the exact same reaction.
On a completely different--but no less awesome--note* have a watch of this, very short video by Adam Buxton. It made me laugh until my face hurt. Adam Buxton is very cool in general, but especially when combined with Joe Cornish. The show they do on sixmusic is a good example, it's so funny I actually get up early on saturdays to listen to it.
From now on I'm afraid it's just pure dorky links.
When I'm at work i have a slight tendency to go off on tangents -- my job often requires me to look things up on the internet, and the first port of call is often wiki (usually for the websites and books cited). Unfortunately it is notoriously easy for the curious to get distracted by odd lines of thought and end up somewhere a long way from what you were supposed to be writing about.
Yesterday, for example, I looked up the film How the West Was Won for some basic information about who made it. I noticed that the screenshots of the film had funny join lines, which led me to the article about the interesting tehnological dead-end that was the Cinerama process. From there I got to a stub article about the Cooper Cinerama cinema -- which took me off wiki for a while -- and then on to the most interesting thing, and the reason for the preceeding string of tedious links: Googie Architecture.
I'd never realised that the style of wonderful roadside weirdness that you get out west had a name. Although I have to say that I much prefer the alternative name given to it by another architect: "Raygun Gothic". Just looking at those buildings makes me want to drive a large car with fins, and eat greasy food in neon lit diners.
The other interesting thing I came accross whilst doing some work related wikisurfing was the very good article on Yakima Canutt. I'd always sort of wondered how exactly the professional stuntman came into being-- just where on earth did hollywood find people who were willing to injure themselves for money, but sufficiently skilled not to die? Ah. The rodeo, of course. He lived an interesting life, certainly an impressive live for a man who never bothered to go to middle school.
But yes, if you've not heard it before listen to the Elbow Song.
*The ability to type an en dash without fucking around with unicode is the most compelling reason I've yet encountered for getting a Mac, double hyphens just don't cut it.