Saturday, November 24, 2012

The long history of New Media (anyone for a pamphlet?)

Welcome back to the Lily Pad folks. Pull up a comfy chair, sit down, pop your feet up and settle back for a small history lesson about pamphlets.

From the 1500s to the early twentieth century, pamphlets were a common way for people to share their opinions. Pamphlets were short, quickly-created publications that had a distinct aim. They related to something of common, current interest such as politics, religion, personal issues, famous people or literature. They often used satire and were frequently controversial, even slanderous. They were designed to be read by the masses.

Someone who created and distributed these pamphlets was known as a pamphleteer. Pamphlets were around before either books or newspapers.
A Pamphleteer getting his pamph on. Nice tights.
Image from
In 1518 Martin Luther* – a German religious pamphleteer – was surprised to find a private publication he’d written had been translated, copied and widely circulated by some of his friends. It soon spread through Europe. Imagine his even greater surprise when this “95 Theses” became the basis of the Protestant Reformation of the Roman Catholic Church.

Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the church.
This is a myth.
He sent it to them via homing pigeon or bicycle courier or something.
Never let the truth get in the way of a good
"nailing his protest to the door of the church" story.
Image from

In 1776 a pamphleteer called Thomas Paine** anonymously published a pamphlet called “Common Sense”. It would become the rallying call for the American War of Independence as it was copied and handed out across the country.

Feeling edumacated?

Now, go back to the top of this page and read it again:
  • Replace the word pamphlet with blog.
  • Replace the word pamphleteer with blogger.
  • Replace the word copied with shared.
New Media? Really?

Read any good pamphlets lately?

* Yes I know Martin Luther was many things besides being a pamphleteer. Shhhh!

** See above *. Insert "Thomas Paine" where you see "Martin Luther".



Friday, November 16, 2012

Conversations with my brain: Tarsiers on crack

Honestly Orificer I had no idea someone had spiked my cicada with crack.
Image by Mike Belleme

Me:        "Tarsiers are SO CUTE."
Brain:     "They look like they're on speed. Or crack. Or like someone is shoving something unpleasant up a delicate orifice that only the most intimate and trusted of Tarsier partners would normally see."
Me:        "They do look a bit surprised."
Brain:     "I'm not surprised they look surprised. You'd be surprised too."
Me:        "Tarsiers are gorgeous little carnivorous primates. They eat insects mainly but also birds, snakes etc. They're nocturnal."
Brain:     "If I looked like a mouse on PCP who had just received an unexpected anal incumberance I'd only come out in public at night too."
Me:        sigh
Brain:     "What?"
Me:        "I'm trying to educate us here and all you can do is bring it down to... arse jokes."
Brain:     "Yes."
Me:        "Why? Why do you have to do that?"
Brain:     "Because that's why you keep me around. And also because: arse."
Me:        "Actually I keep you around because it’d be inconvenient if you weren’t here. What with all that keeping me alive, making sure I breathe and don’t die stuff. And that was an utterly crap answer."
Brain:     "My job here is done."
Me:        "Did you know that each of the Tarsier's eyes are as big as its brain? What would you do if it was the same for us?"
Brain:     "I'd tell you to stay indoors during the day like the Tarsier does."
Me:        "Oh, ARSEBISCUITS!"
Brain:     "Arsebiscuits the unexpectedly rear-ended Tarsier on drugs. Nice."
Me:        Slams head down on desk.
Brain:     "Ouch."
ERMAHGERD! A tiny carnivorous primate!
Image from here.

Do you and your brain get along?

P.S. If you want to learn about Tarsiers, go
here for some more serious information...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Buy Kerri Sackville! (and feed an orphan)

Ever wanted Kerri Sackville?


And now you can have her.*

Well you can have two of her books anyway, personally signed by her own fair hand INCLUDING A PERSONALISED MESSAGE. Yes, I'll even post them overseas!

These are the books:

Actually it's the uber exotic UK printing which has a different cover.
But the insides are the same. 
You just have to promise to read it in a posh British accent.

See above. Same deal. 
This time though you have to read it in an authentic 
Arfa Daley Eastenders-style Cockney accent. Awright guv?

You can find the talented Kerri herself here.

All you have to do to get these snazbig items sent to you via Express Post is to hand over your hard-earned moolah.

But it's not quite that simple!

Did you know that Cate Bolt saves the lives of orphans and the elderly every day in Indonesia?

Seriously. Amazing. Shit.

She set up and runs Foundation 18 without any help. The orphanage is funded through donations and through the foundation's Etsy shop.

Unfortunately Cate is unwell at the moment and this means that she can't be as active in fundraising as she normally would be.

So now you have a chance to bid to get your hands on a copy of each of Kerri's terrific books - along with KERRI's autograph. All proceeds will be donated to Foundation 18's efforts supporting orphans and the elderly in Indonesia.

A big smoochy snoggy thank you to the gorgeous Kerri Sackville for agreeing to sign her life away be part of this event.

How to bid

  1. Bidding for each book starts at $20, which is approximately RRP. So now we get to find out how much Kerri Sackville's autograph is really worth!
  2. To bid, send me an email here with your name, which book you're bidding on, and the highest amount you're prepared to pay. YOU ONLY GET TO BID ONCE per book so make it count!
  3. Yes you can bid on both books at once.
  4. No you don't have to bid on both. If not bidding on both please specify which book you want.
  5. That's it.
Bidding starts as soon as this blog post appears and finishes at midnight on Tuesday 20 November.

If you win, you get the book, including a personalised message and autograph from the author herself.

Here's the fine print:

  • It would be really helpful if you had a PayPal account (if you don't, and you REALLY want to bid, talk to me, we will work it out).
  • Highest bidder for each book will be notified by Sunday 2 December.
  • The book(s) will be posted to you after payment has been received.
  • Your name and details will be announced on this blog after the auction has finished (unless you want to be anonymous).
  • Bidding is silent and will run on an honour system. If you bid but don't pay, I will hunt you down. (Actually, you'll just be disqualified and the next highest bidder will get the book).
  • Nobody associated with Five Frogs Blog will make a cent out of the auction. All proceeds will go to Foundation 18.

Those links again:

What are you waiting for?

*Not really. Well maybe you can but you need to contact her directly for that. I'll pimp her signature for charity but... umm... you know. Even sweary frogs have limits. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'll shut up now.

**This may be a lie. I don't know Santa personally. But I can guarantee at least one of you will get A GREAT BOOK BY KERRI SACKVILLE.

UPDATED: Congratulations to Mark F from New York for his winning bid. $150 has now been donated.

Thanks everyone for bidding and spreading the word. Special thanks to gorgeous Kerri for playing along.

Don't forget you can still donate using the links above!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I believe in fairies (and Royal Commissions)

I believe in fairies.

I want you to believe in fairies, so I want to employ a large group of men to tell you why you should believe in fairies too.

If you don't believe in fairies, I'll judge you and attack your lack of fairy belief. I can do that, because I believe in fairies.

Don't attack my belief in fairies though. That's not on. That's oppression.

Countries will go to war over whether fairies are real, or unicorns are real. Many millions will die.

I want others who believe in fairies to allow my employees unrestricted access to their children. When this goes horribly wrong, I'll make sure my employees avoid the law, because my organisation will be bigger and more important than justice. My organisation will provide a hotline to the Big Fairy In The Sky. So I can close my heart to the screams and crying of those kids. Because I believe in fairies.

I want to run an organisation that doesn't have to report crimes and pays no tax. And when my organisation gets into trouble, I'm going to bleat that all the OTHER people are doing things wrong and THEY should be getting into trouble TOO. So there, nyerrrr. Because I believe in fairies.

What? I can't create an organisation based on a fairy tale and then expect to be above both criminal and taxation law?

Damn. Looks like I believe in the wrong fairies.

Do you believe in Royal Commissions?

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Zone of Repugnance - you're soaking in it

I really love youse giiiizzzze. Yes, I'm talking to you. My loyal and varied readers. This is a small lily pad that hasn't been floating long, doesn't have that many of you but WOW what great folk you are. I have a rowdy, sweary, (frequently) ovary-carrying (if not using) community on here. You comment regularly, engage on Twitter and Facebook and you spread the good word about the bad frog.


But I'm curious.

What do you get from this lily pad?

After all, it's brought you this:

And this:

And a bit of this:

It also had to audacity to throw this at you:

Note: These spectacular boobs are not mine.
(More's the pity)

With a side-order of this:

And then there was nasal tufftage bloopers:

There's a concept in natural sciences called the Zone of Repugnance. This is the area in and immediately around a grazing animal's faeces.

YES! I'm talking shit again.

And toilets, officially, since a horse's bog is sometimes... a bog. More often a field or paddock.

Stay with me.

Animals won't eat in that zone. Yes, a horse is often seen stepping on tippy-hoof around a pile of its own dung to avoid accidentally eating any of it.

You haven't seen that? You need to hang around paddocks more.

There is ONE organism, though, that positively thrives in the Zone of Repugnance.

There's a saprobe fungus that grows really quickly in horse manure. That's the only place it grows. It doesn't mind that it gets shit thrown at it, or that its environment is a bit smelly and often questionable. It loves that shit. 

Still with me?

While other less courageous readers are carefully grazing around the edges of the Blogosphere, you giiiiiiiizzzzze are my saprobe fungus, living in my blog's Zone of Repugnance. You thrive on the stuff I throw out there and I LOVE YOU FOR IT.

And now, assuming I haven't scared you all away by calling you all shit-eating fungi...

Why do you read my blog?
No, really.
I neeeeeed to knoooooooow!