Archive for the ‘seriously funny’ Category

Farce of the week: prison break out… by courier!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

From the BBC -

A manhunt is under way in western Germany for a convicted drug dealer who escaped by mailing himself out of jail.

The 42-year-old Turkish citizen – who was serving a seven-year sentence – had been making stationery with other prisoners destined for the shops.

At the end of his shift, the inmate climbed into a cardboard box and was taken out of prison by express courier. His whereabouts are still unknown.

The chief warden of the jail told the BBC this was an embarrassing incident.

To say the least.  Priceless.

The Restoration Begins

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

obama by kungfusoi.Uploaded to flickr by kingfusoi

From CNN’s political ticker -

During the long campaign, the timing of Obama’s entrances at rallies was meticulously coordinated – the preliminary orators (usually local government officials and candidates) spoke, the music and its pacing built up with the intention of quickening the pulses of the crowds, and then, at exactly the right moment, Obama, the candidate, would make his entrance.

But by late last night Obama was no longer a candidate, and there was no need to pump up the sense of anticipation, and the evening’s events – the concession call from John McCain, the congratulatory call from President Bush – were being dealt with as they rapidly occurred on a timetable Obama’s staff could not control. So there was some dead time in the park before Obama appeared on the stage.

And the crowd, for just those brief few moments, became all but mute. They weren’t certain what was going to happen next.

What happened next, in the crisp and clear night, was the Obama family suddenly coming into sight. Then, the cheers reached the sky. But in the quiet that preceded…

In that quiet there was the recognition:

Here comes the part of this drama that is unknown and unknowable.

Here – in the days and weeks and years ahead – comes life; here comes events that know no schedule, that can’t be planned, that will appear on no carefully constructed itinerary.

The silence from the crowd was like an intake of breath.

The silence said:

Here we are– we, the people in Grant Park; we, the people of the United States; we, the people of the world. Here we are, and none of us – not even and especially the man on the stage, the man just elected to be the 44th president – can be sure of what lies ahead.

If some in the audience – those of us in the park, and those watching around the world – sensed perhaps the slightest sliver of a subdued tone in Obama’s voice, a perceptible difference in his timbre, if not his words, from how he had sounded on the campaign trail, the shift was understandable.

It may have been his own version – intentional or involuntary – of that sudden silence that fell over the crowd. He can’t be silent, in any sense of that word – he is going to be the president. But during that same span late last night when the audience, in its brief hush, seemed to be acknowledging that everything – everything – had just changed, so, too, Obama appeared to be sending the signal, to the rest of us and maybe to himself, that he was well aware of the change, and was already beginning to deal with it.

He is no longer a candidate seeking something. Last night’s Chicago weather – so warm and inviting for November – was deceptive; it will not be warm here very much longer. Obama, of all people, knows that; he has lived in Chicago long enough to realize that balmy days with winter coming are the most predictable of teases.

The silence of the crowd ended and the roar greeted him, and as he, a man just hired for a new job, looked out at the people and at his city’s glorious skyline, you asked yourself if the thought may have been crossing his mind:

There will, in my life, be other good nights. But none of them will ever be as good as this one.

Shove a piece of the pipeline up your considerable a**, Palin

Thursday, October 30, 2008

- that from a new blog, Margaret and Helen, set up by two octogenarian friends living in different parts of the USA so they could stay in touch. (The pipeline referred to is a $40 billion, Alaskan natural-gas pipeline – about which, surprise surprise, Sarah Palin has been less than economical with the truth.)  The language may be a bit blue – and I may be a bit British for saying so. But this, Helen’s polite request, comes with feeling:

Please take your ridiculous hair, your over lipstick-smacking mouth, your Lenscrafter look smarter glasses and your poorly fitted designer jackets back to Alaska.   And when you get there, shove a piece of the pipeline up your considerable ass.  I’ll be damned if we’ll put our children’s future in your hands.

Helen was taught how to blog by her grandson, and met her friend Margaret sixty years ago in college.  That would have been 1948 – the year President Truman authorised the post-WWII Marshall Plan, the Berlin Blockade and the Cold War began, and the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Sarah.

Via The Daily Dish.

‘Hot drinks all round!’ How to make friends and influence people

Friday, October 24, 2008

From today’s Guardian -

A steaming hot drink may be all it takes to see the world through rose-tinted glasses, psychologists have found.

Holding a warm cup of coffee was enough to make people think strangers were more welcoming and trustworthy, while a cold drink had the opposite effect, a study found.

The warmth of a drink also influenced whether people were more likely to be selfish or give to others, researchers report in the journal Science. A team led by John Bargh at the University of Colorado set about testing whether hot and iced drinks influenced perceptions of others after noting how frequently “warm” and “cold” are used to describe personalities.

In one test, 41 volunteers were asked to hold a cup of coffee while they took an escalator to a fourth-floor lab. Once there, they were asked to read about a fictional character and give their impression of them. The test was then repeated using an iced coffee drink.

The psychologists found the volunteers perceived the fictional strangers as significantly warmer characters after holding the hot drink.

‘The Vet who did not Vet’

Friday, October 24, 2008

The number of high quality, innovative, non-Campaign, campaigning videos that have been produced and shared on the www is astounding.

And on this basis alone, Obama wins.

Exquisite? ‘Wake Up, Freak Out, Then Get a Grip’

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I watched this thanks to Ray Ison, and was mightily impressed with the quality of the animation and the sound effects.

I found myself wanting more!  I’d love to see the team that created this apply their talents to lots more stuff.  It strikes me this medium can work incredibly well as a storytelling and educational vehicle. Very nice song at the end.

Now for my critique.  On the whole, the narrative was cogent, but the intense relaying of scientific information seemed to cater more for a science-literate audience.  I felt the scripting and narration left quite a lot to be desired.  The narrator skipped quickly between concepts, leaving non-scientists like myself befuddled and breathless, and needing to rewind the animation to work out what was being discussed and to catch up.  It seriously denigrated my experience of what could be a stunning project.  I dearly wanted a simpler script and much, much clearer transitions between each science-spiel segment.  And less jargon. (Interestingly, the animation’s creator conceived the animation as an old-fashioned piece of unilateral communication.)

I’m curious what you think and how you feel about it.  Comments and insights welcome.

The biggest joke in US politics

Monday, September 15, 2008

From the Sunday Times -

[…] we have the now mountain of lies that follow Palin everywhere she goes, lies she keeps repeating as if they are not subject to factual scrutiny. In her first interview she said it was common for vice-presidential candidates never to have met a single foreign leader. Untrue. Every living vice-presidential candidate has met some foreign leaders before being picked.

She said she did not deny that climate change was man-made. But she has clearly stated that on the record. A year ago she said: “I’m not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist, blaming the changes in our climate on human activity.”

She keeps repeating as a defining political motif that she said: “Thanks, but no thanks for the Bridge to Nowhere.” But we now know that she originally lobbied for the bridge in Alaska paid for by federal funds. And she never returned the money. And she even wore a “Nowhere, Alaska” sweatshirt to push back against the McCains of this world who derided the bridge as a pointless boondoggle.

She says she’s against pork-barrel spending, and this was partly why McCain picked her. McCain’s signature issue, after all, is his disdain of pork. Here’s one of McCain’s oldest jokes: “We’re not going to spend $3m of your tax dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana,” he said earlier this year, citing Montana’s request for federal money to study the endangered grizzly bear. “I don’t know if it was a paternity issue or criminal, but it was a waste of money.”

Here’s what Politico.com revealed about Palin’s time as Alaska governor: “According to a ‘summary of requests for federal appropriations’ posted to her budget office’s website earlier this year, Palin requested millions of federal dollars for everything from improving recreational halibut fishing to studying the mating habits of crabs and the DNA of harbour seals.”

She boasts that she secured a new oil pipeline for Alaska, but closer inspection finds that nothing has even begun to be built, and that the state may end up owing billions if the pipeline is never constructed.

She says she’s a fiscal conservative, but as mayor she increased her tiny town’s debt service by 69%. When she took office, the town of Wasilla had no long-term debt. By the time her term was over, the debt amounted to $3,000 per citizen.

She is the biggest joke to be put on a ticket in national politics. The most accurate thing said about her in the past two weeks was said on the day she was picked. It was said by Alaska’s Republican state senate president, Lyda Green: “She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice-president or president? Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?”

If America won’t see raw talent, Barack, then… what?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I challenge you to watch the clip below and make a persuasive case as to why that guy is not the best candidate for the presidency in American politics today.  His fire is rising – unsurprising given the excrement that’s being gathered and flung his way.

Maybe his whole enterprise is equivalent to casting pearls before swine. In which case, what are his options?  Maybe he should stop wasting his time, leave America to the dogs, and head up the one consituency that is positively gasping for his leadership – namely, everywhere else.  Next stop, the UN?  I would be intrigued as to what he would do next – should, God forbid, he lose this election.

Brilliant – Barack get’s rolled in the right place

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

- the Replubican Convention. Enjoy!


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