There are just too many things wrong with this story and the way it has been reported for me to even begin...
Extremely tedious observations.

I've been listening to some mp3s (all taken from recordings that I own, before RIAA tries to sue me and my grandmother). I have approximately 400 of them, all in a big directory, and for variety, I use the "randomize order" function in Winamp to create an arbitrary permutation. It seemed like one song was going on for a long time, so I looked up to see what was going on. It turns out that the random ordering had put "The Saga Begins" by Weird Al next to "American Pie" by DonMcLean. What are the chances of that, then?

Well, about 1 in 200. And the probability of something like that happening are considerably lower, seeing as I also have:

a) A couple of rips of singles which have two or three remixes of the same song
b) A couple of duplicates due to differing naming conventions
c) About ten different versions of Hit Me Baby, One More Time

So there's bound to be a few coincidences along the way (or, with high probability...)

Putting all your music on a couple of DVD+Rs, though, that's really cool. Which reminds me...

Punchlines to jokes

Some punchlines to jokes involving animals. Supply your own feeds...

...but a talking frog -- that's really cool!

Here's that sick squid I owe you

Oh no, not quail again.

I'm a prawn again, Christian!

More fantastic science facts from those zany folks at the New Yorker:

"The letters 'H', 'L', 'I', and 'C' were sequentially projected in white against a black background in groups of ten. He scanned each group and was asked to identify the letters in order. The likelihood that he could do this by guessing was one in forty. Nine out of ten time, he scanned the sequence correctly."

Look, it's an easy mistake to make... 4 to the 10, 4 times 10... that's almost the same, isn't it?


I'm about to have a bath with Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant! This thanks to my local mall, which was having a sale of celebriducks of basketball players - these set me back all of 62c each in some bizarre multiple discounting event. Which just goes to verify my contention that there is a price for most things such that if they are below that price, I will buy them, even if I don't really need them [although in this case, I didn't have any rubber ducks before now]. You may try to express the previous sentence in First Order Predicate Logic if you so desire (FOPL, pronounced 'fopple'). Incidentally, Kobe squeaks if you squeeze his stomach, a fact that may be of use to the prosecution team, I don't know.

On the bus, I came up with some crap paypal jokes.

Q: Why do Paypal never make any mistakes?
A: Because of Paypal Infallibility

Q: What do you call a load of rubbish written about Paypal?
A: Paypal Bull.

and so on. You can go on for ages like this.

It's exactly eight years since I first went to University, which makes me feel very old and very nostalgic at the same time.


Good news everyone. AOL Time Warner Brothers (now simply known as "Oops") have obligigly provided me with a new free CD offering a million hours free on their network. This provides the opportunity to laugh at the surreal imagery conjured up by the passwords they list:

PING-SWAN: Which is a cruel trick to play if you ask me. Reminds me of The Story of Ping actually, which is famous for the reviews it has got on Amazon.

Actually, it also has the unintentionally hilarious review: "To avoid a little spank on the back...Ping...gets in what could be serious trouble. This is NOT a book about capital punishment: The spank is NOT a punishment; it's a reminder to Ping that you need to pay attention to what's going on around you and to try as hard as you can to do your best..." Remind me not to allow this reviewer to administer discipline to any children that I might be in posession of in the future.

Secondly, JADE-EXAM. Which is either a careful examination of a precious stone, or something that the Big Brother gynaecologist hoped that he would never have to do.


Words of the day:

pottery: small and mostly inconsequential acts, such as picking stuff up and moving it, or arranging files on a computer, which give the person doing them a small amount of satisfaction. Derived from "pottering about"

bibliotheism: belief system in which believers are convinces that they are characters in a novel. Consequently, they believe that many outside events are the works of an all-powerful and inscrutable author. They are wont to speculate on the exact genre of the novel they are in (comic, dramatic, romantic or satiric). Certain bibliotheists go further to speculate on the existence of critics who may analyze the plotting and characterization of the Author, probably negatively.

Also, people who eat meat for breakfast are weird. I know that it's surely far more natural to have meat than pieces of puffed cereals fashioned into the vague shape of cartoon characters, but I just think that these freaks who pile on great lumps of ham and sausage meat for breakfast are crazy. Is that so wrong?


My recent confusion about the meaning of the term "shorty" is not just mine, it would seem (thanks to Nick for this link). The term seems to have been in vogue for the last few years, but has only recently bubbled up into the sphere of popular culture that I monitor assiduously. Helpfully, its meanings seem to include separately: (i) Woman (ii) Man (iii) Child, which seems to have everything covered. With some websearching, the main meanings are (in decreasing order of popularity) Girlfriend; attractive woman; any woman; boyfriend; young child; short person; anyone at all. Well, at least it's all people (like Soylent Green).

Through all this confusion, there is of course but one definitive source, and that is of course Jonathan's TEEN LINGO dictionary (I think it came up on NTK or the reg a while ago, by the way), which has all the words the kids are using down the local clubs (youth clubs, that is). If, like me, you are a pastor with responsibility for keeping up with the younger elements, then this guide is absolutely invaluable for translating their slang ridden vocab into more understandable language. Finally cleared up the meaning of "hood rat" from 'I Wish' by Skee-lo for me after all these years, which was a blessing (hey, Skee-lo, if you do get the hood rats, well, that's better than nothing, surely?). Not to be confused with rugrats, of course.

Discovered in the course of researching this article - a new version of googlefight: NTK fight!
Klingon vs Jedi (the nerdy sci-fi references seem to be appropriate for NTK, y'see).
There was a tedious hidden camera show on the flight back yesterday, called "Just for Laughs -- the Gags" [this was the original canadian version, not the equally make UK remake, fact fans]. I was spared having to listen to it since I was sitting in a seat where the headset thingy was working (this presumably is what you get for trying to get the cheapest seat -- I'd say that airplane audio systems I've encountered have a failure rate of approximation 30% based on the flights I've taken). This didn't stop me seeing the really quite dull 'gags' and unfortunately I did have to listen to some cretin a few rows forward finding the whole thing hilarious.

In some ways I'd actually quite like to be the victim of one of these pranks, since then I could take great delight in getting angry with the unimaginative toads who put these things together, refuse to give my permission for the thing to be shown, and maybe even threaten legal action. There were quite a few set-ups in the show that I saw that seemed distinctly dodgy (a taxi with a back seat which threw the passengers around the cab? I would be wanting recompense for the danger that would put me in).

That gave me an idea for a sketch which, since I'm not currently engaged in scripting comedy sketch shows, you are welcome to use for yourself. Some particulalrly lame gag is played on a member of the public. Then the presenter walks on, and points out the hidden camera. The victim flies into a rage, screaming and shouting "how dare you do this to me?" and so on, for a couple of minutes. Then a second presenter walks on, explains to the victim that it was just a set up, and that the hidden camera show was just a fake, and then points out the second hidden camera. The member of the public pauses, then falls about laughing about he had been taken in and thought that it really was a hidden camera show playing a trick on him.

I find this hilarious, but in the same way that a large fraction of the dim-witted populace seems to find humour in hidden camera shows, I suspect that an equally large fraction would find the above unamusing. Perhaps it is. I refer the interested reader to the relevant sketch from "Not the Nine O'Clock News" parodying Game for a Laugh.
Um, some quick Viz-style top tips before I drag myself out of some jet-lag squared malaise and try to face the world, or at least New Jersey.

Top Tip 1
Spendthrifts, too cheap to pay for museum entrance? Then why not pay a visit to the museum shop (usually not something you have to pay for entry to). You can browse through the postcards and posters of all the artworks inside without having to pay a penny. Thus you get to see all the same art without any of the expense. Plus they're all in one place instead of making you traipse around interminable corridors, and you get to see the fanciest architecture (the entry hall) of the museum.

Top Tip 2
Spendthrifts (again), want a nice holiday but still want to save on paying for entry to castles, museums, palaces etc.? Then why not visit somewhere that you've been before. As you walk around the streets of the city, then all the happy memories of your previous trip will come flooding back, reminding you of all the fancy buildings and sights, without actually having to lay out to see them.


No one else on SNAFU seems to be updating much, so some stuff thats been buzzing round my head for the last couple of days all the way from .hu

50 Cent Off

Was hanging round JFK waiting for my flight, when what I can only describe as an entourage went past: a bunch of guys, a couple of cops, and a general flutter of interest from the nearby passengers. I asked one of the security people what was going on as they suspiciously eyed my trainers (which are falling to bits and so have big holes in them, although that just makes it more diffuicult to hide bombs in them, since they'd just fall out). Turns out it was famous wrapper, 50 Cent. You know, he of "Go shorty, it's your birthday, gonna party like it's your birthday'. A bit mean not to party like it's someone's birthday when it is, unless the whole song is about an elaborate scam to take advantage of free drinks offers when it's someone's birthday, but usually they ask for some ID for that, but anyway...

(my brother assures me that "shorty" is now a general term of affection for any woman or specifically a girlfriend, but I'd like to see the etymology of that one).

Anyway, he seemed to get through the metal detectors all right, so I guess he wasn't packing a weapon. (Um, although if you do want to take a gun with you to an airport, apparently it is all right if you are "packing it" in your suitcase. Apparently that's all right. Odd). He does have something of a reputation for getting into a strop and shooting people or getting shot at. Perhaps he should change his name to reflect this, to something like Temper Cent.

Speaking of which, it turns out that 50 Cent is the going rate for spending a penny in the Eurozone, or Amsterdam at least. You may ask why I was in Amsterdam when I was supposed to be getting a direct flight to Hungary, and in fact a similar question was going through my mind at the time. Turns out that Malev Airlines cancelled my flight (here's a tip, kids: never trust any organisation which begins with the prefix "Mal-"), and didn't bother to tell anyone. So they took my fancy, secure ticket, filled out a bit of paper by hand, and sent me via Amsterdam on KLM. Very weird.

In some sense this worked out in my favour, since I've been to Budapest before, whereas I've not seen any of Amsterdam, so I got to spend a full afternoon there wondering around the city looking at the canals before heading back to catch the connecting flight in the evening. Still a very weird experience to be a tourist in a city you had no idea about visiting 12 hours before hand. It was also the first time I got to spend Euros, despite the fact that they've been out for ages (almost two years, I thought it was longer but that was just Euro credit cards and bank accounts and stuff). I felt very European for the day, but I think what that means is just that most of the signs were in English, and everyone spoke English, so I didn't have to worry about the language. Which makes things a lot easier as a tourist.

It being Amsterdam, I had to make sure I visited one of their notorious coffeeshops, although generally that stuff makes me feel nauseous and unwell, so I had a cup of tea instead. No idea why, since they both have caffeine in, but for some reason coffee affects me much more. I also saw only one hen party, looking distinctly quiet as they floated down the river. This I suppose is the advantage of visiting on Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday night.

I finally got to Budapest, gave my talk yesterday, and have spent most of the rest of the time feeling generally jet-lagged and tired. I'm not going to make too much effort to adjust, since I'll be flying back on Friday, provided the airline doesn't screw up again and the impending hurricane has cleared out of the way. I once thought about what it would be like to be continually travelling, since they feed you on flights, and you can get some sleep on planes and in airports. I think basically it would be pretty awful, and you'd end up in some bizarre sleep deprived semi-conscious state the whole time.

But anyway, I should go -- I'm typing this in an internet cafe, which seem to be very popular round here, and my time is almost up. The prices are pretty reasonable though. In fact, the whole time I've been here writing this, and it's only cost me the equivalent of 50 cents. Speaking of which...


Am off to Hungary for a week, hence the gap in service will be because of physical distance from convenient internet rather than continual and insistent laziness or death.

I'm not normally one for reposting links seen on other people's blogs, but I was quite taken with this effort to do one of those photo mosaics of George Bush using pictures of rectums (recta?) . Partly I liked it because I think there's some kind of subtle hidden message here (haven't quite worked it out yet), but mostly because you have to have some respect for the poor individual who must have spent hours sifting through the internet and cutting and pasting pictures of bottoms to the correct dimensions. More power to your, er, elbow, sir.


Things that are slightly annoying but not very:

Holding the lift for someone, when it turns out that they only want to go up one floor.

Look, if you take the lift to go up (or worse, down) one floor, then you are incredibly lazy. Unless you are on your feet the whole day, roaming from floor to floor in order to keep society functioning as we know it, then you don't need to use the lift to go one floor. You could use the stairs (the one over there, right next to the lift), it would be quicker and you'd even get a bit of exercise.

I personally don't think you should use the lift for going down fewer than a couple of floors, but I think that's more of a personal preference thing.

See also: driving to the park so that you can go for a walk; running machines and exercise bikes; drive-thru fast food restaurants; the United States of America.
I watched Starship Troopers again this week. This is about the third or fourth time I've seen it, and the depth of the satire becomes more apparent with every viewing. Let me briefly summarize the storyline:

Two cultures, both of which do not really understand the other, stand opposed. Then an act of terrorism by one side, launching a large object from the sky to cause much death and destruction causes the other side to launch into a permanent state of war. A drastically right wing, pro-military goverment is in power, and will not rest until the other side is completely annihiliated. They launch an all-out attack on the on the homeland of the other culture, a mostly barren-looking desert wasteland. However, they underestimate the determination and size of the enemies army, and are beaten back despite posessing superior weaponry and technology. The climax of the film is an attack on the base of the enemy leader in an attempt to capture him, through the maze of underground tunnels in which the warriors are hiding.

What's particularly noticeable about this film is that by the end, Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, and he's never going to escape that tag) is essentially dressed as a gestapo officer, and the uniforms of other characters are pretty much those of nazi stormtroopers. The message of director Paul Verhoven couldn't really be much clearer. Yet still there are people who don't get what this film is about. But then, there are people who think that the Matrix is a deep and insightful film raising significant philosophical issues, so what can you do?


I seem to be suffering from a form of blogstipation: I sit down at the keyboard and strain and strain, but nothing comes out. Don't worry, it probably won't last long. I'm sure that quite soon I'll feel a sudden quickening, and have to rush here in order to let loose a solid stream of... consciousness. Or something.

Anyway, new lolly stick joke. And I got this one before sucking it off, although it's still rubbish.

When do you have feet on your face?
When they're crow's feet.

Which is not so much a joke, more of a crossword clue. Other acceptable answers would have been, "When you are involved in a brawl with a bunch of semi-professional sports players in a large town in the Midlands after kicking out time on a Friday night", and "When you have some feet on your face".


In the course of talking about their son, accused of creating a variant of the blaster worm which infected a couple of thousand computers, his parents were quoted as saying:

"My son is not brilliant; he's not a genius," Rita Parson said. "Anyone that has any computer knowledge could have done what Jeff did. It doesn't take a level of genius to do this."

Oh, well that's all right then. Good thing he's not a genius. Because if he was, well, then they should lock him up and throw away the key. But if anybody could have done it, then it can't be a crime, can it?


Hi, I have been receiving emails saying that I'm contributing to the "moral decay of society" by writing this tedious W E B L O G. That may be, but I feel Strongly that you have a right to benefit from this hard-to-find information. So I am giving you one last chance to read the Boring W E B L O G! With this powerful W E B L O G, you will be able to investigate your friends, enemies and lovers in just minutes using the Internet by going to google and typing their names in. You can track down old flames from college, or you can dig up some dirt on your boss to make sure you get that next promotion via his embarassing usenet posts! Why are they so upset? Because this W E B L O G gives you freedom on an irregular basis when I remember to update it. And you can't buy freedom at your local Walmart (although you can buy poptarts). You will have the freedom to avoid creditors, judgments, lawsuits, IRS taxcollectors, criminal indictments, your greedy ex-wife or ex-husband, and much more! No, really.