Real Goths

…and we’re not talking about the sad, trendy youngins who look sad, feel sad and listen to sad music.  No, we’re talking about the people (of all ages) who are inspired by the gothic novel form, as seen in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  And where else can one indulge one’s inner Goth than in the town which inspired it all?

When it comes to dressing up in costumes, I’m all for it.  Many’s a costume party I’ve attended wearing Viking dress (complete with battle-ax and horned helmet), or a Roman toga, or a Fifties-era outfit, or a French military uniform from World War I (to name but a few of the personas I’ve adopted).

My rule of thumb:  when it’s a party, it’s fine.  When it becomes your lifestyle, then it’s fucking pathetic.

News Roundup

Wherein I summarize the news of the recent past.  (Warning:  I’m in an irreverent mood today…)

1) TV presenter gives up booze — and becomes the world’s most boring woman.  (Caution:  link contains Piers Morgan.)

2) Gang-rape victim reports crime, gets raped again by a cop — guess it just wasn’t her day, was it?  (Come on:  it happened in Pakistan, that bastion of civilization where all women are revered.)

3) Dallas gang beats up trannie — guess the race of the attackers… nope, ’twasn’t Muzzies; not this time, anyway.

4) Notre Dame Cathedral destroyed by fire — I guess the BVM was busy doing something else at the time, huh?  (I warned ya.)

5) Rich farts in CT can’t sell their houses at inflated prices — ‘cos all the would-be buyers have fled to low-tax states already.

6) Naked stabber killed by security guard — wait, McDonald’s has security guards now?  Oh yeah… southern California.  Never mind.  And finally, from the Department of Good News:

7) Hollywood sees revenues plummet — see pic above.

U.S. Not There

Here’s a list of the world’s major international airports, voted on and ranked by over thirteen million travelers on a combination of (among others) amenities, cleanliness, shopping, ease of movement, and passenger treatment:

1. Singapore Changi Airport
2. Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
3. Incheon International Airport
4. Hamad International Airport (Doha)
5. Hong Kong International Airport
6. Central Japan International Airport
*7. Munich Airport
*8. London Heathrow Airport
9. Narita International Airport
*10. Zurich Airport

11. Kansai
*12. Frankfurt
13. Taiwan Taoyuan
*14. Amsterdam Schiphol
15. Copenhagen
16. Shanghai Hongqiao
*17. Vancouver
18. Brisbane
*19. Vienna
20. Helsinki-Vantaa

21. Sydney
*22. Cape Town
23. Melbourne
24. Dubai
25. Cologne / Bonn
26. London City
27. Auckland
28. Hamburg
*29. Durban
*30. Paris Charles De Gaulle

31. Dusseldorf
*32. Denver
*33. Johannesburg
34. Seoul Gimpo
35. Madrid Barajas
*36. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson
*37. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky
*38. Houston George Bush
39. Guangzhou
40. Jakarta

41. Haikou Meilan
42. Athens
43. Barcelona
44. Xi’an
45. Gold Coast
46. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
47. Lima
*48. San Francisco
49. Quito
50. Toronto Pearson

51. Christchurch
52. Perth
53. Bogota
54. Kuala Lumpur
*55. London Gatwick
*56. Dallas/Fort Worth
*57. Seattle-Tacoma
58. Baku
59. Delhi
*60. Lisbon
61. Muscat
*62. Montréal
63. Moscow Sheremetyevo
64. Mumbai
65. Shenzhen
66. Hyderabad
67. Fukuoka
68. Guayaquil
*69. Bangalore
70. Oslo
*71. Los Angeles
72. Beijing Capital
73. Stockholm Arlanda
*74. New York JFK
75. Chengdu
76. Adelaide
*77. Minneapolis St.Paul
*78. Phoenix
79. Porto
80. Moscow Domodedovo
*81. Boston Logan
*82. Rome Fiumicino
83. Malta
84. Dublin
*85. Houston Hobby
86. Hanoi Noi Bai
87. Abu Dhabi
88. Bahrain
89. Budapest
90. Halifax
91. Warsaw
*92. Detroit Metropolitan
*93. Nice
94. Mauritius
95. Luxembourg
*96. Chicago O’Hare
97. Prague
98. Birmingham
99. Changsha
100. Billund

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards (and asterisks indicate that I’ve been through them myself, some admittedly a while back)

Some comments:

  1. I’m told that anyone who has been through the top 10 airports with any frequency (e.g. Mr. Free Market) will be unsurprised by those rankings. I’m only surprised by Munich’s #7 ranking — I found it quite ordinary, but it’s been over a decade since I was there so maybe it’s improved.
  2. Excluding JFK, most of the U.S. “international” airports aren’t really that — they handle way more domestic- than international flights, so they’re light on amenities and shopping (compared to Heathrow and Singapore, for example, where international flights comprise probably 90% of the total and long waits for connecting flights are the norm).
  3. The numbers are not weighted by airport size or traffic, which is why some of the Third World airports (e.g. India’s) are ranked where they are.
  4. I’m amazed that JFK is ranked as high as it is.  For all its pretensions to being a world-class city, New York’s Kennedy and LaGuardia are Third World airports — in fact, they’re worse than that — and not one person I’ve ever spoken to (including New Yorkers) has ever taken issue with me on that comment.
  5. Unless Bangalore has been rebuilt since I’ve been there, I cannot believe its ranking.  Ditto Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo, which is a nightmare, and Charles De Gaulle in Paris.  All of these have set some kind of record for staff indifference to passengers’ needs.

The World’s Luckiest Man

This is one-time supermodel (and still-gorgeous) Helena Christensen, from Denmark:

…and this is one-time model and current actress Diane Kruger, from Germany:

So the question of the day is:  Apart from modelling, what do these two examples of extreme pulchritude have in common?

Answer:  Both women have had children fathered by Norman Reedus.

Let that sink in for a moment… and for the math geeks among you, here’s the diagram:

Still in math mode:  Q.E.D.

Train Smash Time!

Yes, as promised a couple weeks back, it’s time for this website’s annual face-first plunge into the trough of Train Smash Women at the Aintree races over in Liverpool, Britishland, which started today.  And how better to begin, than with these creatures:

How about a group pic:

…and all these pics were taken before  the pubs opened.  And then they did:

All that said, it was a little windy:

…and rainy (because duh, Liverpool):

But why should I have all the fun to myself?  Hie thee hence to the today’s report, and enjoy the sights.  Just remember: tomorrow (I think) is Ladies Day.

I can’t wait.