December 31, 2004

Conversations With Greatness XII

Wowie-zowie! All new! Conversations With Greatness now has its own, hip website, with character bios, fun learning tools, and more! Go to:

I hope everybody has a very happy new year's eve (or, as we say in Scotland, a very happy hogmanay. This is often followed by beer-induced projectile vomiting and/or trying to kiss everybody around you).

I'll be back up to regular posting speed in the next few days.

December 26, 2004

Department of the Bleedin' Obvious, no. 893

Gosh, I wonder why that is?

(Incidentally, the next 'top story' was basically: "Christians celebrate Christmas".)

December 24, 2004

Conversations With Greatness XI

And a very merry Christmas/other religious/secular holiday/non-event to you all!

December 21, 2004

Yet More Superb Jobbery

So, Rumsfeld isn't signing condolence letters, huh? I say give the poor guy a break-- I mean, do you know how many people are dying over there? It would take forever for him to sign them all.

Ah, sarcasm.

December 19, 2004

Taking Liberties

From Netscape News: Nearly Half in US Say Restrict Muslims

A recent survey (with a horribly skewed sample, I can only hope) conducted by Cornell university found that 44% of Americans favoured at least "some" restirictions on the civil liberties of Muslim Americans.

Said a constitutional scholar: "Oh, come on. America has never been the egalitarian nation it claims to be. If you really still believe in that 'all men are created equal' crap, you're stupider than you look."

He then added: "You look really stupid."

In the survey 27% of respondents were in favour of legislation requiring all Muslim American to register where they lived with the federal government. Because if there's one way to build unity, trust and acceptance between a minority group and wider society, it's treating that minority group in the same way that we treat sex offenders.

29% also supported the use of undercover government agents to infilitrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations. I am too shocked to even conceive of a joke about this.

(Thankfully, I took a quick look at the extended version of the report, and it seems as if the poll is probably not statistically significant. The response rate was only 25.7% and the confidence level was not even reported, which suggests that the researchers have no idea what the hell they're doing.)

In other, similarly inexplicable news, Time magazine named President Bush man of the year, for (quote) "reshaping the rules of politics." Oh, that's what the Swift Boat Veterans were doing!

As usual, my being at home adversely affects my internet access, so expect fewer posts than usual for the next 10 days.

December 18, 2004

An 'Air-Raising Experience

Why is it that commercial air travel brings out the bad stand-up comedian in everybody? (Incidentally, I do realize that by even saying that, I am in my own way sounding kind of like a bad stand-up comedian; but in my defense, that's what I sound like most of the time, anyway).

When they were handing out the meal trays during my flight last night, the woman behind me evidently picked up her little bag of cutlery and was bemused by its contents, for she said to her companion:

"Look, why have they replaced the knife with a plastic one, but left everything else metal? I mean, it's ridiculous."

Yeah, what is the deal with that?

"I mean, I could still use this [waving fork around, I imagine] as a weapon, couldn't I?"

Then turning to stewardess:

"I mean, look, I could still kill you with this, couldn't I?"

To which the stewardess responded about as nervously as you'd expect from someone who'd just been asked her opinion on the relative merits of various different tools to be potentially used in carrying out her murder.

And I thought: "Man, what is the deal with this lady?"

And then I decided it was time to go to sleep.

December 17, 2004

Conversations With Greatness X

Later: the red-eye to Edinburgh.

Now: statistics exam (the bell curve tolls for me).

December 16, 2004

Hardcore Nudity!

I've had another couple of referrals in the past few days from people searching for "Colin Farrell's Cock" on Google. So, since I'm the kind of person who doesn't like disappointing others, I went and found a picture of Colin Farrell's cock to post here on my blog:

. . . My God, I crack myself up. And my, but didn't I do a good job matching up the skintones in Photoshop? Hurrah!

It's not going to be any more highbrow tomorrow, folks, I can promise you that much.

December 15, 2004

More from the Dept. of the Bleedin' Obvious

My, but isn't this a great headline?

Reminds me of a story I read a few years ago about an African man who'd gone to his local witch-doctor and asked to be made bulletproof. The witch-doctor mixed up a concoction of some sort which the man was supposed to rub all over his body, every day for two weeks. Having done so, he approached a fellow villager with a rifle and asked him to test if the potion had worked. And there you have it, another thing we can add to that list of cultural universals: men being stupid when confronted with firearms. Somebody should call Steven Pinker.

December 14, 2004

What Are Those Kooky Teens Up To Now?

According to WebMD, they're certainly not having as much sex. A survey conducted by the CDC (gosh, sex is a disease these days!) suggests that teenagers are waiting longer to have sex-- only 30% of 15-17 year-olds admitted to having had sex in the survey (conducted in 2002), compared to 38% for girls and 43% for boys in the mid-90s (the survey neglects to mention, however, that the 90s data comes from 1996, widely regarded as the sexiest year of the decade).

"Boys and girls who had not had sex cited the same main reasons: religion/morals and not wanting to become pregnant or to impregnate a girl."

Worryingly, it was mostly other girls who were worried about impregnating girls.

On the other hand, a different survey suggests that teens are, in fact, cracked-out alcoholics, at least in Britain. Data from the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (or NAMBLA) showed that over a quarter of all British teens had gone on a drinking binge AT LEAST three times in the past MONTH! Fully four tenths of British teens also admitted to having tried illegal drugs.

Now, I'm no prude when it comes to teenage binge-drinking-- oh, the complete lack of coherent memories!-- but three times a month?!?! (Actually, it's another statistical anomaly-- this survey was conducted in 1999, widely regarded as the booziest year of the decade.)

Apologies to Jon Stewart for stealing his NAMBLA joke.

December 12, 2004

Trouble and Stripes

. . . Stupid, stupid pig hunters.

Also from the BBC: Superman has been voted the 'greatest fictional superhero' ever. The title of greatest non-fictional superhero was won by Chuck Norris.

And did anybody else notice with suspicion the fact that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was cleared of charges that he bribed judges... By a panel of three judges? Hmm...

December 10, 2004

Conversations With Greatness IX

See, he really does look like Santa.

December 09, 2004

What's in a Dame?

Dame Judi Dench turns 70 today, and in another few weeks Dame Maggie Smith will do the same. In celebration, the BBC ran an article about the two women. I think you'll be pretty shocked by some of their comparisons.




Actually, that first link might actually be to my parody version. This is the real BBC article.

Silly me.

December 08, 2004

Still Doing a Superb Job

From BBC NEWS | World | Middle East: Troops grill Rumsfeld over Iraq

In a pep talk gone horribly, horribly wrong, beleaguered Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today faced some tough questioning from US troops called up to assist Freedom's march. In an exBostonian satire exclusive, I present here the full transcript of the event...

Rumsfeld: In summary, then, uh, you should, uh, be proud that you will be helping to win the test of wills in Iraq. It's kind of like that 'chicken' game, you know? It's like, how strong is your will? How many things can go wrong in Iraq before you start flinching? You know, it's like . . .

Soldier 1: Sir, why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to uparmour our vehicles?

R: I, uh... what?

S1: Why do we have to scavenge local scrap heaps for armour for our tanks? We don't have proper armoured vehicles to carry with us north.

R: Well, you know... You have to go to war with the army you have, not the army you want. You're thinking of evidence. You go to war with the evidence you want, not the evidence you have. Besides, you can have all the armour in the world on a tank and still be blown up. I mean, it would just be a waste of money to equip you with state of the art technology-- you're probably going to die, anyway. It's sort of like, there are things that we know, and things that we don't know. And things that we know we know, and things...

S1: God, never mind.

R: Any other questions?

Soldier 2: My gun doesn't seem to have a trigger.

R: I'm sorry, that was a statement, not a question. Next!

Soldier 3: What assurances do we have that our tours of duty won't be extended beyond what we've been initially told?

R: Ah, excellent question! Now that Powell's leaving, we're expecting this whole Iraq business to go much more smoothly-- before it was really too many cooks spoiling the broth, you know? But Condie, she's a woman! So we can leave all the cooking to her! Am I right?

S3: Umm...

R: Anyway, you don't have to worry about your tours of duty being extended past four years, because the President aims to have the world completely the way America wants it by the end of his term.

Soldier 4: I voted democrat. Do I still have to fight?

R: Well... We haven't really settled on a policy about this, yet. I mean, we'd be glad to be rid of you, frankly, but at the same time we're not sure we want our war being fought by a bunch of freedom-hating hippies.

S4: Sir, I believe hippies are widely regarded as being in favour of freedom.

R: Oh, don't be ridiculous. I've seen the way they live, locked up in barns with no TV. That's not freedom!

S4: Sir, I think you're thinking of the Amish.

R: Oh, hippies, Amish-- what's the difference? None of them use shower gel.

Solder 5: Sir, I'm a Satan-worshipper. What's the Army's position on that?

R: Oh, the US Army doesn't approve of that at all. You'll be wanting to join the hippie army.

S5: You mean the British army?

R: Oh, hippies, Britons-- what's the difference? None of them brush their teeth.

Nurse: Mr Rumsfeld? It's time for your bath.

R: Ah, wonderful. [To audience:] You guys are all doing a bang-up job. I'll make sure you get the nice, plywood coffins.


Auntie's Headlines

"Come on, Sting, this way to the ecstasy. Yes, Sting, we'll be watching you, too."

Also, a "wood plant"? You mean a tree?

December 07, 2004

Colgate to Cut Jobs, Tooth Decay

From BBC NEWS | Business:

"Toothpaste maker Colgate-Palmolive is to cut 4,440 jobs and shut a third of its 78 factories worldwide in a bid to boost profits."

CEO Reuben Mark brushed off concerns, reminding investors that any good business should replace its staff every three months or so. He added that, although the restructuring would cost the firm in the short-term, long-term they would not suffer a significant floss.

"I'm really eager to get my teeth into this move," continued the CEO. "I'm going to squeeze every last bit of profit out of this company, starting at the bottom and rolling my way up. We're going to make a mint."

Mark's statement was seen as an attempt to plaque-ate worried investors, amidst claims of incisor trading; but the CEO claims the timing of the announcement was completely inci-dental.

Colgate's workers are bracing themselves for the impending lay-offs, sensing the cavity of the situation. Explained one employee: "there's nothing quite as whitening as the thought of losing your job."

And they say that the pun is the lowest form of wit...

December 03, 2004

Conversations With Greatness VIII

Actually, if you look up 'gullible' in the dictionary, there's a picture of Darwin.

Career Advice

From Netscape Men: Top 10 Jobs For Picking Up Women

This is perhaps one of the most vile and offensive 'love advice' articles I have ever read. Read on, if you dare...

"I've compiled a list of the careers that provide the best social perks. Not included are those of divorce lawyer and marriage counselor, since these jobs are in a league of their own for meeting and picking up women."

Christ, are you really that sleazy? Why not throw in 'rape counsellor' and go for the triple-whammy?

So, those top ten jobs:

"Personal Trainer: If you're a trainer at a health club, presumably you're lean and buff, so the ladies will already like what they see . . . Throw in the fact that much of your work involves hands-on training, and you're halfway there."

That's right, guys: the secret to 'picking up' women is just to get a job where you can feel them up without having to worry about any of that fussy 'dinner and a movie' crap.

"Airplane pilot: the ladies love a man in uniform . . ."

Like a janitor!

"Fashion designer: You'll likely be one of the few straight guys in attendance."

And girls love it when you pursue a field you have absolutely no interest in just because you think you might be able to get laid.

"Lifeguard: You get to see [girls] in all their glory, spread out in bikinis and thongs. That way you can check out the merchandise before you decide whether or not to take the plunge."

Listen closely. That sound you hear is Germaine Greer's head exploding.

"Actor: As an actor, you'll spend plenty of time in drama classes and performing in plays with actresses."

Also, as a data analyst, you'll spend plenty of time analyzing data with female data analysts. Think about it.

"Dance instructor: You'll be grinding to the beat up-close, which could lead to plenty of late-night private lessons.

The runner-up is teaching a cooking or wine appreciation class. Your knowledge of high culture will score you instant points with your students, most of whom will be female."

Actually, I suspect that most of your students will be the same idiots who read these articles and are there trying to pick up women.

"Talent scout: Since picking up women is a numbers game, you're bound to end up on the receiving end of some private lingerie modeling shows."

You're BOUND to. It's in the talent scout's contract.

"Doctor: It gives you plenty of face time with single women who may be visiting a sick friend or family member."

They'll be so overcome with grief, they'll let you come all over them! Jesus.

"Bartender: Even a bartender who's not especially cool can still score big points with the ladies, just by serving them some strong cocktails . . . The runner-up jobs are waiter and bouncer -- both also well situated within proximity of plenty of drunk women."

My GOD! It just keeps getting worse and worse! Where are you writing this? Prison?

"Singles resort employee: No need to worry about commitment, either. Just when things are getting serious, the girls are on their way home, making room for a fresh incoming batch of beauties."

Congratulations, you are officially the biggest slimeball in the world.


December 01, 2004

Thinking Outside the Fox

From Netscape News: Artist Eats Fox in Political Protest

"LONDON (Reuters) . . . Performance artist Mark McGowan . . . has eaten a fox, in protest at the public fixation with a government ban on fox hunting.

Why can't British artists actually do some fucking art for a change, huh? What's all this dirty bed, painting with elephant poop, fox-eating garbage?

"Too much attention is paid to fox hunting, he believes. 'One million people marched against fox hunting and another million marched for it. The housing estate where I live is full of crack-heads but no one marches to help them,' he said."

I'm just glad he didn't decide to eat a crack-head. (Also, how the hell does eating a fox help any of those crack-heads in your neighbourhood, jackass?)

Honestly. Why can't these people just write an angry letter to the Guardian, like the rest of the nutjobs do?