If you squint for long enough you can see them, dressed in their white lab coats, wafting beakers and bunsen burners around like slices of cheese. Science is in the air, an unmistakable smell that burns and pleases the nostrils in equal measures. There are three factions battling for the lauded position of Kings and Queens of Science. It will be long and it will be bloody. Not everyone will make it through, oh yes, there will be casualties. You best call your loved ones now because you’re definitely going to be late home tonight.
Real science has no place here. That’s a whole different category of its own so it’s staying on the sidelines, cheering on the pretenders and secretly laughing to itself about the whole affair. It’s brought a bag of Haribo and it doesn’t plan on sharing it with anyone else. Behind a veil of thin mist, and a long black trench coat, it nibbles on fried eggs and cola bottles without the surrounding crowd realising what is going on.
So who are these people, these candidates of coercion and comprehension? Pull up a beanie and let’s get started:
We Are Scientists
Not only making a bold claim in their band name alone, ‘We Are Scientists’ are also in the running for best album cover ever for their debut ‘With Love and Squalor’. It’s got so many kitties I lost my shit several times writing this post. So there’s a lot of moxie coming from these Californian power pop masters, the only problem is that none / neither of them are actual scientists. The name was chosen after being mistaken for scientists after taking a rental truck back to the depot. Pop music was never the place a ground for things that made sense. There’s no truth in any of this but, damn, can they write catchy as hell songs.
We Are Science
I actually made a bit of a mistake here. I was under the impression that comedian Marcus Brigstocke had a short-lived science program called ‘We are Science’ which lampooned science for laughs. It was actually called ‘We are History’ and had nothing to do with it so they’re automatically disqualified for not being the thing that I thought it was. Bastards.
Nina and the Neurons
Kids TV can’t keep up anymore which is why the BBC and ITV gave up on it in the afternoons and shoved it onto either early morning slots that nobody knows about or digital channels that you can stream at any hour of the day. When Reuben was small, we would occasionally watch ‘Nina and the Neurons’ because it had bright, colourful graphics and was educational in a non-boring way. It also had, because you cannot get past my troubled history of fancying women on TV, a very attractive host in the guise of Katrina Bryan who, with her Scottish accent and being in front of my eyes, kept my attention. After a very quick check on the good ole’ Google pegs, I cannot see any scientific qualifications to her name. This is further cemented by the fact that she played a pregnant lady in a banned advert for Irn Bru where the dad is slowly coming around to the idea of calling his daughter Fanny by drinking the aforementioned drink. She played a character who was a scientist; good actress, bad science. The only things here are japes and sex appeal.
You know, we don’t give ourselves enough credit. Here we are, each month, slaving away over a hot laptop in the hope of raising a chuckle here and there. We are creating nostalgia. This is a body of work that most people can only dream of. What a load of THINGS we carry on doing. How many humans do you know that can boast about a website, a series of podcasts, half a dozen award-winning albums, a web comic, two children’s book series and more booklets of nonsense than a weekend with Vic Reeves’ eyebrows?
Take a break from all that work. Let’s commend someone who needs commending. Let us chuck out a couple of accolades every now and then to really salute the best of the best. There are award ceremonies for practically everything these days so pull up a chair and we can take a look. This month it is quite clear who the award should go to and that person is…
Congratulations Kevin, you win the ‘There was an Attempt’ award for effort. Having been nosin’ around the website in the back, I could see that a post was started and there was some interesting content. I only wish that you had the time in order to complete it as it would have made a fascinating read. As it happens, I am sure that eventually it will join the ranks of other fully-fledged posts and take it’s place amongst the greatest. Let’s gaze upon this marvel:
Verbatim. Wonderful. It’s a thing of beauty. It needs its own stunning vista and inspirational poster. Although it may sound like the noises you hear in the toilet cubicle next you in the gents, it’s sheer poetry.
Well done Kev and keep up the good work, all of you! Next month you could be in line for something special.
Here’s a challenge that none of us will be able to resist.
You know what to do. You have the words. You can also use any other word you like, as long as the other words are no longer than four letters long. I also choose to permit the words “scintillate”, “bigamy” and “washing machine”.
Early. Bleary-eyed. Rummaging through emails before work and there it is.
Now I have my fair share of luck like everyone else. I’m not swimming in lottery wins yet occasionally the cosmos chucks me a bone and a I manage a few numbers in the Chunderball. It’s a balancing act no doubt due to my years of annoying people and general sanctimonious behaviour. Yes, me. Look at me.
I’m your what the what now? This email sat in my inbox is telling me I’m a winner. It is praising me for winning more than anyone else. I am a winner. I have won a VIP trip for two adults to attend the UEFA Champions League Final Madrid 2019. I would rather stick my eye sockets in a paste of pepper and lemon juice than have anything to do with fucking football but even so, it does come with hotel accommodation and a £250.00 prepaid card so I can stick twos up at the final and go off to get hammered in some squalid Spanish bar, where the locals can pick my pocket when I am stumbling back to my hotel room around 7pm or however long it takes for me to get wasted these days.
This is pushed to one side by my acute distinct overwhelming sense of pessimism. “What do you think you’re doing? You actually believe you’ve won a competition? When did you enter this competition”
“I… I erm I don’t er… I didn’t?”
“Well done, genius! You didn’t. Why on earth would you have entered a competition to win tickets to the UEFA Champions League Final? It’s clearly a sham. It’s a fake. They’re trying to scam your sorry ass for a quick buck.”
Having checked the details, even though it looked like a genuine email I was inclined to agree with my pessimism that it was some hoodlums attempting swindle the last few pennies from my account. Like with all great phishing scandals, I sent a message to Zavvi saying that I had received an email that looked about as legitimate as a Smidge Manly Coco Loco advertisement from Spain, and asked them to verify if this was the case. I received a response a few hours later, two responses in fact. It seems as though a lot of people had received the same email I had because the first reply was a mass-produced email from Zavvi apologising for their error. This was further confirmed by the poor customer service adviser who had to message me back to say that I had not won the tickets, as well as several tweets from people on Twitter who had gone through the same highs and lows as I had.
So in one sense I have missed out on the chance of flying to Spain to live out a brief fantasy of downing alcohol in a foreign country. On the other hand though I have avoided a poxy holiday based around a shit game of football.
It’s been a long time coming and the tension is almost too much to bear. A couple of months ago, we asked the Beans Massive to tell us what a Llandudno seagull was thinking back in May 2017 when he was photographed thusly.
It’s taken a while to select a winner, principally because of the difficulty of locating this exact seagull and then establishing a way of communicating a question about its internal thought processes from nearly two years ago that it could understand, and then interpreting its answer. It has also proven a bit tricky to get it to select a prize.
There’s been huge excitement across the Beans Network since the Seagull Competition was launched, and rightly so. Collating the entries, producing a shortlist and selecting a winner has taken a bit longer than expected, because of the difficulties of tracking down the exact seagull that was photographed in Llandudno in 2017 and then getting it to pay some attention to the competition entries.
Right now we have the seagull tagged, and all the entries laid out neatly on the pier, and we’re waiting for it to fly back down to a bag of chips we’ve enticingly dumped on the floor so we can get it to pick a winner.
These two giants of the rapping world have been teasing this for the last couple of weeks and the hype has reached unobtainable levels. Ian “Flashback” McBugle and Sheriff Rockingham aka Chris Marshall, both ex members of pioneering genre-bending super group ‘The Rapples’, are gearing up for what is expected to be THE rap battle of the week, maybe even the day.
If you’ve been monitoring their comments you’ll know the frenzy that surrounds this encounter. Tickets have been sold out for ages but you lucky, lucky people get to hear the whole thing as it happens right here on Beans FM.
Both competitors are still at the top of their. Sheriff Rockingham has been flexing his vocal muscles on a recent jaunt abroad, amazing the locals with his keen observations and spilt-second timing. Flashback, however, has been trawling the mean streets of the North East, picking lyrical fights with pensioners trying to buy stamps at the post office.
Take a seat, ladies and gentlemen, this is going to be a bumpy ride. Over to you, boys…
He’s perched on a lamp post on Llandudno pier, gazing out to sea. Down below, fat tourists wander around with sticky donuts and runny ice cream, but from his vantage point, the sound of waddling morons dies away. He hears the wind whipping at his sleek feathers and the call of the other gulls circling above. He sees the sun glimmering from the rolling peaks of the slate grey Irish Sea. He is deep in existential contemplation.
The question is, what is he contemplating?
That important question is not just about probing the philosophical leanings of a Welsh sea bird. It’s also your route to a big, big prize, which may or may not be fish-based.
If you think you know the answer, and you’d like to be in with a chance of winning the Luxury Mystery Prize that might have been selected by a seagull, then leave your answer, answers or both in the comments below.