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  1.  (10478.1)
    Bring us your ontological queries. Bring us your relationship problems and the courage to be laughed at. Bring us your need to know that word, y’know the one, it’s on the tip of your tongue, what the fuck is that word, oh god oh god.
    Bring us your yearning for solutions to mathematical dilemmas, beer-related uncertainties, genitalia-piercing indecision and demands for perspective. Bring us embarrassing questions regarding the removal of blunt objects from nether regions – it’s for a friend, honest – and bring us probing global challenges about How Those Other Guys Live.

    Bring us research enquiries, cultural quandaries, opinion-baiting on relevant world events and Shit You’ve Always Wondered About.

    Ask Whitechapel – anything.

    And Whitechapellers? Be a brick and answer back, eh?


    When posing a question, be sure and include a representative #hashtag. When answering a question, head your answer with the same tag.

    An example:

    Q. What is the true nature of the threat posed by the #UrethralAttackMaggots?

    A. #UrethralAttackMaggots.
    Horror, horror, only horror, pure horror, unmitigated horror, constant and endless horror, for those who Fail To Follow Instructions.
  2.  (10478.2)

    Yes, it's an "identify that vaguely remembered book" request - oh joy.

    Recently a picture book from my childhood popped back into my head. The art was done in a really distinctive style - densely detailed, two dimensional black ink. The characters were oval shaped creatures with what looked like fronds of leaves for hands and feet, and similar frond poking from the top of their heads. I can't remember much of the plot except that in the last part of the book hundreds of dragons that were sleeping underground woke up and were released.

    Yes, that's bloody vague, but Whitechapel is my last hope since neither my parents or brother have any memory of it, and web searches have proved futile. If it wasn't for the fact that I remember the art style so vividly I'd worry that I made the whole thing up.
  3.  (10478.3)
    yet another "identify that vaguely remembered book" request


    A novel. British. Probably published late 90's. The author picture is of a bald guy in a leather jacket. Set in london, this secret group of toffs like beating up the plebs, and they arrange an annual fox hunt where they chase a guy to death across london. Sorta like that bit in The Invisibles. Set over one night. The guy has some friends help him including a rasta and a drag performer.

    *spoiler* he survives, kills the head toff and takes over the secret society.

    Not a life changing book, but it was fun, and I love stories that are "being chased across a city at night and shit happens" like The Warriors, but I can't remember the title or author and it's been bugging me for years now.
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2012
    Seeing these questions reminded me of something vaguely remembered from my youth. There was a music video on MTV (US, in the 90s at some point, probably early 90s), and all I remember is the singer being buried a few inches underground and the camera showing him in profile... there may have been bugs involved, but that also may be a product of my shitty memory. I only saw a minute of it because it creeped me out so much that I made my mom change the channel.

    I keep thinking of trying to figure out what it was (and I certainly hope it actually does exist, and I'm not just remembering a dream), but don't know where to start.
  4.  (10478.5)

    I know exactly that book, but also can't recall the title or author. On the plus side I borrowed it from my brother, and he'll be sure to enlighten me as soon as he can be bothered to answer the phone. Stand by!

    (I thought for a long time it was by Poppy Z Brite, but apparently it's not)
      CommentAuthorIan Mayor
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2012

    There was a video doing the rounds online of game played between two or more people that was kind of a cross between musical statues and fight choreography.

    On either a rythmn or a 'clap' (I forget) each player would move into a different stance, trying to get a 'hit' on the other player(s). I recall the 'game' had a published rule system, which appeared on a website that inlcuded other games.

    If anyone can point me at this I'd be very grateful.
  5.  (10478.7)
    Very Very Cheeky Ask...

    I'm doing This. Getting a bit stuck/bored/losingconfidence and need a kick up the backside/support/help.

    So, um, anyone?
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2012
    @britt - #creepymusicvideo:

    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2012

    For learning to pierce, do you mean actually becoming a body piercer, or less serious? Because I've done play piercing and it's actually quite easy, if you want to do that. Here is a picture of me with my needles in (though all you can see are the hubs), I did it myself. I can give you all kinds of advice and keeping your environment clean and making sure you're minimizing all risks, if this is something you're interested in to knock that off your list. You do still have to make sure you're piercing properly (making sure you get the right needles, knowing the anatomy of a needle, knowing where to and where not to pierce, etc. etc.), but it's less serious than everything you'd have to go through to become a professional body piercer.

    I also saw pole dancing on there. Go for it! I took a couple classes once and it's actually a lot of fun, and an AMAZING workout. If you can get a friend to go with you, even better.
    • CommentTimeFeb 9th 2012
    256: That's it! Thanks!

    Ugh, that is a creepy video.
  6.  (10478.11)
    Argos: Originally I wanted to learn, properly. But I'm going to need to be satisfied with play piercing I think - the one place I found that I could learn with made one of those 'dodgy' offers that I was *not* going to entertain... (heck I got through music as a teen without the casting couch, I don't think that piercing really needs that particular experience!) I've done a little play piercing years ago so its not totally alien... lol Will be 'interesting' finding someone to play though ... 0-0 at the ribboning - I'd *really* like a corset piercing and some photos but I'm not exactly surrounded with people who would go there so

    I've got off backside having gone 'argh help' and am booked in on a burlesque day, a comedy day and have decided on an instrument (Theremin). Doing to grit teeth and buy a charity shop wedding dress and attack it with procion dye, as 'ball gowns' seem to have become cocktail dresses... The Ideal with that particular thing though would be to have a hurtle through central london and *lots* of photos... and a ruined dress at the end of it rofl - should feed nicely into the whole 'a portrait a week thing' as well. On which note - if anyone is vaguely nearby and want a model for an exchange of time/shots, please yell :-)
  7.  (10478.12)

    Finally got in touch with my brother.... and he has no idea what I'm talking about. Which is insane because I KNOW he lent me the bloody book.

    I'll see if I can prompt his memory :(
  8.  (10478.13)

    Oh well, my uncle lent it to me, but I havent seen him for a couple of years now.
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2012

    The last PC I bought was in 2004. I've been scraping by with RAM additions, external HDDs, and latterly straight borrowing friends' laptops, but it's time to bite the bullet and invest in a new desktop. I'm not asking for advice on specs (yet) but for starters, does anyone have recent experience (good or bad) of computer retailers in the UK?
  9.  (10478.15)
    You definitely want a PC? Otherwise I'd say Apple (yes I'm biased as DP works for them, but I've used/owned them since my student days :-) only recently junked my oldest machine) for all sorts of reasons unless you plan to cook your own (also own cook-your-own computers as well, but not in daily use anymore since I got an air for christmas...)
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2012

    I don't have any specific advice for UK purchases (never been there, actually), but I thought I'd throw out a few general thoughts on computer purchasing.

    What sort of computer you want (and by this, I mostly mean Mac or PC, as once you have picked that the rest is largely cost/vs power choice) depends on a number of things: task, overall level of computer competency, time, and money.

    Task: This one is pretty simple. If you want to play a lot of games (social/facebook games don't count for this), go PC. Otherwise, I'd say go Mac in this category. Compatibility isn't really an issue these days, other than in gaming, and I think the OSX is vastly superior to Windows 7.

    Competency: The Mac OS provides a much better experience for someone who isn't that great with computers, but other than that the two are largely similar. As a note, you can save a few hundred dollars by going linux, but that comes with a very hefty "advanced users only" warning.

    Time: This one is actually pretty important. You can save a large amount of money if you have a significant amount of time to research the possibilities. Buying Mac comes with a very large price markup compared to equivalent hardware running Windows, but they can guarantee that everything works well out of the box. If you are limited on time, this can sometimes be worth it (be warned: the amount of time needed to properly research all of the Windows options is significant). HP, Asus, and the like, will also have a markup (though not as big). If you feel confident enough (and have a significant of time) there are a bunch of retailers that will allow you to hand pick all of your parts and then build it for you. Or, for the cheapest amount (and an evening of what I consider fun, though most people disagree) you can even assemble a computer yourself, though much like linux this also carries a hefty "advanced users only" warning. (It's actually not that hard to do. Just read the manuals and maybe watch some youtube video tutorials).

    Cost: Mac is going to cost more. Period. But it also requires the least amount of thought put in to it, and how much that trade-off is worth really depends on you.

    Where to buy: If you decide on Mac, you are going to probably need to go through an Apple store. If you decide to go for Windows, I'd start with websites like Amazon and Newegg (the former has a UK branch, though the latter does not), as they have great breakdowns on features and give a good baseline for what prices you should be expecting.

    You could also try finding a smaller local computer store run by actual techies (avoid places like Best Buy like the plague). You can generally pick them out by the boxes of computer hardware in the windows. Ask them for advice; if they are proper techies, they will find every excuse to talk shop with you, and can be great sources of information.
  10.  (10478.17)

    I've always found Maplins to be reasonably competent - unlike, say, PC World, their staff tend to spend their time helping you buy a computer that will do what you want, rather than trying to upsell you Norton Anti-Virus and various other bits of software where there are better and cheaper (often free) alternatives.

    As a note, you can save a few hundred dollars by going linux, but that comes with a very hefty "advanced users only" warning.

    Not so much these days - compiling from source and working at the command line are now only done by choice - most Linux distros have easy-to-use GUIs that allow you to download and install software (from trustworthy repositories) at the push of a button, and changing config settings is also done through a GUI, much like the Windows Control Panel.

    Over the past few years there has been a lot of work done by various parties in making various Linux distros easy to use and prettier to look at - Ubuntu/Kubuntu are very good for people not wishing to do any advanced geekery on a desktop/laptop, and obviously Linux-based distros such as Android are now very common on smartphones and tablets.

    The major saving on Linux is not the OS itself, but rather the other software - 99.9% of it is all free, and so the savings can run into thousands of dollars/pounds in the long run.

    But if you're used to Windows or Mac and don't want to change, then stick to what you like.
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2012

    I'm a big Linux proponent, so I won't try to argue too hard against it. Ubuntu and the like have certainly made major strides, but I still find it's pretty easy for a new user to fuck everything to all buggery. The free software is a huge bonus, though be wary of incompatibility issues (things like LibreOffice can read and write .doc files, but there's generally something messed up in the formatting every time you do).

    Overall, I still stand by my stance of "advanced users only", but advanced as in "I don't mind relying on wikis and forums to get my computer working" rather than "I know how to compile the OS from scratch". I certainly wouldn't recommend Linux to my stepfather, who only barely knows the difference between a folder and a file.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2012
    A mate of mine had two Acer laptops in quick succession, both of which died just after the guarantees ran out, one quite spectacularly with much smoke.

    I had a Dell desktop that lasted more than six years with no hardware problems, though their customer service when I ordered it was vile. I got my new machine, a Lenovo laptop, from Amazon. I haven't had it for long enough to judge its reliability, it works, nothing's broken off or packed up and it seems to be quite well built. Had to pick it up from the carrier's depot though as I was out when they tried to deliver it (better than asking for redelivery, trust me, that's when stuff gets kicked about or lost).

    Other than that, good luck and happy hunting!
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2012 edited
    New question #DEBUNKING/SKEPTICS resources

    I'm hoping that you guys can point me in the right direction to help tool me up for the next round of my banter/debate/heated argument with one of my regulars here at the coffeeshop.

    I've always enjoyed a good conspiracy theory since discovering Robert Anton Wilson at an early age.
    At the same time I've always been careful to grade them on a scale of likelihood; with 0 being for the 'lizard people rule us', bat-shit crazy kind of ideas and 100 for things like the 'CIA moving Nazi's and transporting drugs' stuff that is really just the dirty business of politics and money and how the world works.

    I've always found them to be enjoyable mental exercises much in the same way I enjoy the construction of a decent science fiction universe- it appeals to the part of me that enjoys a good story.

    I have a friend and regular in the coffeeshop who is something of a conspiracy nut. Funnily enough his name, "Crazy White Sean" perhaps provides some kind of clue here.
    He has a certain notoriety within the freakshow scene which I'm sure google could show you more of if you're curious. ANyway I digress....

    Our latest disagreement came the other day when he came out with a fully held belief that Bill and Melinda Gates are the evil masterminds behind a plot to sterilize most of the planet using GM crops.
    Now this, for me, sits right on the batshit crazy end of the scale and I had to say so.

    Calling on logic in a disagreement such as this is often a huge waste of time but I did my best.
    He's now gone off, promising to return with his lists of interweb references by way of proof of what he's saying.

    While I'm doubting that anything he's going to show me will serve to convince me,I could perhaps use some interweb ammo of my own to back me up in the next round of banging my head against a brick wall.
    I'm sure that whitechapel has pointed me towards some good websites for those of a skeptical mindset before, any chance of a nudge in the right direction?
    thanks in advance..