Happy birthday/’blogiversary’ (ugh) to Crooked Timber. Probably the only blog where 50+ comment threads are actually worth reading (do the long words keep the wingnuts away?)
Now, who do I have to blow to get on their blogroll? Maybe Backword Dave can tell me…
I utterly doff my cap to this anonymous Essex crook. He wandered into his local Trading Standards Office to say “pssst – anyone interested in some moody DVDs?” The answer was yes, although not quite in the way he expected.
An awesome piece of criminal stupidity, surely to be misquoted, relocated to America, and circulated on annoying group emails until the end of time, civilisation, or both.
One thing that confused me, though: is it considered normal for crooks to go round offices selling dodgy gear? Surely this sort of thing is normally done in dodgy pubs, on eBay and at car boot sales…?
While I’m sure the British Medical Association’s members generally do good for society (except the ones who dispatch senior citizens by morphine injection, etc), its attempts to influence public policy are wrongheaded in the extreme.
Its latest idiocy follows a National Statistics Office poll showed that only 20% of Brits think smoking should be banned in pubs. Another 36% think there should be smoking/non-smoking areas.
If the BMA weren’t evil motherfuckers, they would have react to the survey by saying something like “smoking makes you die horribly. Passive smoking can have a similar effect. People should have the right to choose whether or not they are exposed to cigarette smoke, and we want to ensure that a non-smoking option is always available”.
Instead, they said “What we don’t know is whether people who were surveyed were told designated smoking areas do not work.”
I’m thinking not, since it’s a lie, and also doesn’t anwer the point that the public disagree with the BMA’s silly authoritarian message. Hopefully their propaganda won’t change anyone’s mind going forward…
I’ve got a new post up on Living In Europe. It’s about mobile phones, and my shame disgust at discovering my new phone was being marketed to Americans. Go read….
Incidentally, I wrote the first draft of this post on said phone. Unfortunately, it appears not to support text boxes longer than one paragraph (which is probably good for my ‘talking to people’ versus ‘posting crap on the Internet’ ratio).
It disturbs me that there actually are people around who would score less than five on this incredibly easy homophone quiz. I guess my job and background give me a false perspective on quite how illiterate the average member of the public is…
President Bush was visiting a primary school. One of the classes was in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings.
The teacher asked the president if he would like to lead the discussion on the word “tragedy.” So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a “tragedy.”
One little boy stood up and offered, “If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs him over and kills him, that would be a tragedy.”
“No,” said Bush, “that would be an accident.”
A little girl raised her hand: “If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy.”
“I’m afraid not.” explained the president. “That’s what we would call a great loss.”
The room went silent. No other children volunteered. Bush searched the room.
“Isn’t there someone here who can give me an example of tragedy?”
Finally at the back of the room a small boy raised his hand. In a quiet voice he said: “If Air Force One carrying Mr and Mrs Bush was struck by a “friendly fire” missile and blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy.
“Fantastic!” exclaimed Bush. “That’s right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?”
“Well,” says the boy, “it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”
Virtual Tophet Josephine has created a (nominally) Anglocentric version of the near-infinite list. It still uses the word “fall” to mean “autumn”, although this may just be a nod towards medieval usage. My answers are very much as below…
1. Cats or Dogs Cats
2. Elizabeth Taylor or Richard Burton Burton
3. Royal Opera or ENO Eno and Ferry, early 1970s
4. Ancient or Medieval Ancient
5. Titian or Caravaggio Titian
6. Yeats or Eliot Yeats
7. Bruce Forsyth or Larry Grayson Eek.
8. George or Ringo George
9. To Have and Have Not or Casablanca Casablanca
10. Tracey Emin or Rachel Whiteread Whiteread
11. The Who or the Stones Still Who’s Best
12. Dylan Thomas or Ted Hughes Thomas, obviously
13. Robinson Crusoe or King Solomon’s Mines Mines.
14. Fellini or Begnini Fellini.
15. Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy Tolstoy
16. Oxford or Cambridge Duh.
17. The sixties or the seventies To be culturally elite in: 60s; to be ordinary in: 70s
18. Burger King or MacDonalds BK got it.
19. Jonathan Ross or Angus Deayton Deayton.
20. Peter Mandelson or Alastair Campbell Ugh. Mandy.
21. Verdi or Wagner Verdi
22. Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet Duran.
23. Bill Monroe or Johnny Cash Cash
24. The Iliad or the Odyssey Odyssey, by a wide margin.
25. Hello or Heat Ugh, by a wide margin.
26. London or Paris London, by a near-infinite margin
27. Moscow or California Moscow.
28. Athens or Rome Rome.
29. Red wine or white Still red.
30. Noël Coward or Oscar Wilde Coward.
31. Vanessa Redgrave or Judi Dench Dench.
32. Brown or Blair Brown.
33. British Museum or Natural History Museum Nat Hist every time.
34. More museums: Louvre or Pergamon Louvre
35. Pubs or bars Pubs, a thousand times pubs.
36. Comedy or tragedy Tragicomedy.
37. Fall or spring I though this was supposed to be an Anglicised quiz?
38. Coffee or tea Coffee
39. Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf Woolf.
40. Bull-fighters or gladiators Gladiators; you can’t beat a good Atlas-sphere.
41. Renaissance or Enlightenment Enlightenment.
42. Sunset or sunrise Sunset.
43. Town or Country Town.
44. Mac or PC Symbian
45. Charles or Diana To be alive: Charles
46. Tuscany or Provence Provence.
47. Email or Telephone Email
48. Fruit or Cake Cake.
49. Football or Rugby Football. In the true sense of rugby football, obviously.
50. Dolphins or Tuna To eat: dolphins. To frolic with: tuna
Blood & Treasure has some musings on the unfortunate scally from Stoke who was hanged in Malaysia a few years ago.
I vaguely remember the case. At the time, it seemed like a good argument for bombing the crap out of these animal scum and returning them to some semblance of a justice system (I was a fairly fanatical liberal imperialist in my youth).
Of course, what I didn’t realise at the time was that the only reason most southeast Asian countries have insane and barbaric drugs laws is because the ‘civilised world’ led by America demanded that they Do Something about the Evil Plague they were unleashing on Western Youth. Absent that pressure, the Malays and the Thais really don’t give a fuck if we buy copious quantities of heroin off them and then sell it in Brixton (I suspect they think it’s funny, in fact. I would if I were them…)
The exception is Singapore, which is merely a vile place full of vile facists (in a purely literal, rather than perjorative, sense). The Japanese did a wide variety of terrible things in WWII, but flattening Singapore was one of their more redeeming moves.