Hotel Babylon: Season 4, Episode 5

Hotel Babylon
Season 4, episode 5
Aired: July 24, 2009 on BBC1



Sam has arranged for Meredith Sutton, a team-building expert, to visit the hotel during what is traditionally a slow week. However, unbeknownst to everyone else in the hotel, Juliet has just signed up Babylon to host a convention for the “Captain Stranger Appreciation Society”, a group of fans of a cheesy 1970s sci-fi TV series.

At first, no one seems to take the “team building” exercises very seriously, least of all Juliet. This causes friction between her and Sam, who feels that her flippant attitude about it makes both of them look bad in front of the staff.

Meanwhile, Ben finds a homeless man that’s apparently been living in Hotel Babylon for weeks now. He tries to throw the man out of the hotel, but recognizes his voice: he is apparently Martin Armstrong, a man who once hosted a popular children’s television news show back in the 70s. Ben doesn’t have the heart to throw him out, so he sets him up in a vacant room. Unfortunately, Martin is caught by Juliet, who was exhausted and went to the supposedly vacant room to take a nap. She too almost throws Martin out, but she also recognizes his voice as the “man from the telly”. She “hires” him to record new voice prompts for the hotel’s phone system and elevators, and “pays” him by cleaning him up, buying him a ÂŁ1000 suit, and arranging a job interview with a contact she has.

Continue reading “Hotel Babylon: Season 4, Episode 5”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-26

  • Tom Watson… so close! I'm officially pulling for old people now! #
  • A possible new nickname for me: "Episcopalienated" #
  • WHY oh WHY did I eat four jumbo Scotch eggs for dinner? #
  • @tanithjlb – Awwwww! Cute pic! 🙂 #
  • Hey, Guy Ferry: it's PAPRIKA, not PAPARIKA! Idiot! #
  • Screw you, Susan at Walmart! #
  • Ha-ha! You suck, Gordon Brown! #
  • I ate a steak as big as my head! Lawd, I'm full! #
  • @AveryHutchinson It's just one of life's great mysteries! #

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AMAZING LIVES: Robert Fortune

There’s an old saying that I’ve referenced many times on this site: “the sun never sets on the British Empire”. And, at the turn of the 20th century, it was literally true. Britain’s empire was so vast that the sun was indeed always shining on some piece of land controlled by the British.

But there’s another saying from the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels that’s equally true: “the entire British Empire was built on cups of tea”. And indeed, at the height of the British Empire, one could find Englishmen in cities from Sydney to Calcutta to Johannesburg to London to Kingston to Toronto, all sipping cups of tea as they went about their daily business. And for that, Englishmen could thank a man named Robert Fortune.

It all started in the late 17th century, when the English upper class developed a mania for all things Chinese. Porcelain, silks, lacquered furniture and, above all, tea were so highly coveted by the English gentry that they were snapped up, regardless of price, as quickly as they could be unloaded from ships in London’s dockyards.

But, like so many things in history, there was a problem: the Chinese weren’t interested in any of the goods the English wanted to trade for tea. The Chinese looked down their noses at England’s main export – wool cloth – and aside from a tiny trade in clocks, watches and scientific instruments, the English were stuck paying the Chinese cash for their tea. And the problem with this is that there were only so many silver coins in England, and shipping them halfway around the world to buy tea wasn’t only dangerous and foolhardy, it also caused inflation at home, as the currency supply continually shrank as the demand for tea increased.

But if the Chinese didn’t care for England’s trade goods, they were mad for opium, a product readily available in England’s newest colony, India. So the directors of the East India Company created a “trade triangle”, where English goods were shipped to India and sold, and the proceeds from that sale were used to buy opium, which was then shipped to China where it was exchanged for tea, which was then shipped back to England.

Continue reading “AMAZING LIVES: Robert Fortune”

Futuristic, 100-flavor Coke dispenser tested

Man, I hope this catches on nationwide, because I wanna try this SO BAD!

Those ubiquitous soft-drink dispensers in fast-food restaurants may soon go the way of the portable CD player.

This summer, Coca-Cola is rolling out a new generation of drink dispensers that let customers use a touch screen to choose from more than 100 varieties instead of the usual six or so.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to try Orange Coke, Peach Fanta or Strawberry Sprite — flavors that have never before been sold in the United States — now’s your chance.

The new machines are being test-marketed in San Diego and Atlanta, Coca-Cola’s corporate headquarters.

via Futuristic, 100-flavor Coke dispenser tested.

Quote of the Day

“It seems like most self-proclaimed atheists don’t understand the difference between an atheist and an antitheist. An atheist lives his life without religion. An antitheist lives his life against religion. One is simply a lack of choice. The other is usually accompanied by the same ignorant zealotry found in fundamentalist denominations.”

– Random Internet post

Archbishop Duncan writes a letter

Archbishop Duncan has written an open letter to the Anglican Communion. Read it all here (seriously, read it now). Here’s just one glorious excerpt:

There are times in the history of God’s people when the prevailing values and behaviors of those then in control of rival cities symbolizes a choice to be made by all of God’s people. For Anglicans such a moment has certainly arrived. The cities symbolizing the present choice are Bedford, Texas, and Anaheim, California. In the last month, the contrasting behaviors and values of the religious leaders who met in these two small cities made each a symbol of Anglicanism’s inescapable choice.

God bless you, Archbishop Duncan!

Thanks to Stand Firm for the tip!

Scotch Eggs

Scotch EggScotch eggs are a dish that always looked interesting to me. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen them on a restaurant menu anywhere.

This week I went to the grocery store for a couple of items I needed for dinner. As luck would have it, my local Bi-Lo had a “buy one get one free” deal on breakfast sausage, and I knew that we had a pack of 18 eggs at home. I decided to go for it!

Below is the recipe I used. Let me know what you think!


4-6 hardboiled eggs
1 lb. sausage
2 Tbs. flour
1 egg, beaten
Bread crumbs


1 large pot
2 medium bowls
1 fork or whisk
Several paper plates
A deep fryer, or equivalent

1) Carefully put the eggs in the pot and cover with around 1″ of water. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes.

2) While the eggs are cooking, put the sausage in one of the bowls. Add the flour and mix thoroughly into the sausage (if you’d like to add additional spices to the sausage, this would be the time to do so).

Continue reading “Scotch Eggs”

Episcopalian Idiocy

If you wonder why I consider myself “Anglican” and not “Episcopalian”, look no further than this idiotic post from Dan Thomas Edwards, Bishop of Nevada. Normally quoting a single line from a long post is a sign of weakness on behalf of the quoter. It smacks of taking something out of context, much like how commercials for bad movies only have single word quotes from movie reviews. But this one small quote is all you really need:

The journalists are exclusively interested in our actions dealing with the inclusion of partnered gay and lesbian couples in the life of the Church. We passed two such resolutions. I voted for both of them. Some of you may think we went too far. Others may think we did not go far enough. That is perfectly ok. As Episcopalians, we are free to hold different beliefs about issues of doctrine. [emphasis mine]

No, good sir, we are not. Doctrine is fundamental – that’s why they call it doctrine. I believe the word the good bishop should have used is “adiaphora”, which is something “not regarded as essential to faith, but nevertheless as permissible for Christians or allowed in church” (Wiki). That the bishop of Nevada could be so wrong about something so basic is just mind numbing… or at least it should be. Nothing TEC does surprises me any more.