April Fools

Apr. 1st, 2005 09:20 am
Two fantastic Google April Fools today:

(1) http://www.google.co.uk/googlegulp/ by Google themselves, and
(2) http://www.undergoos.com by parties unnamed.

Update: thanks to Rowan for spotting a typo in the first address, now sorted.
"Dear Sir/Madam

My congratulations to you on getting a yacht to leave the UK on 28th
November 2004, sail 27,354 miles around the world and arrive back 72 days
later. Could you please let me know when the kitchen I ordered 96 days ago
will be arriving from your warehouse 13 miles away?

Yours Sincerely,
John Roberts"
Should anyone I know be in need of an excellent media lawyer, a friend of mine for whose excellence I can very much vouch is about to leave her current company for the wonderful world of freelance. Feel free to drop me a note here or by email if you happen to have a need for a freelance media lawyer.
This is the funniest thing I happen to be thinking about right now:

After every flight, Quantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet,"
which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft.
The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the
form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight.
Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are
some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Quantas' pilots and the
solutions recorded by maintenance engineers.
By the way, Quantas is the only major airline that has never had an
accident.

P= The problem logged by the pilot.)
S= The solution and action taken by mechanics.)

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're for.

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget
I did Terrie's meme and got

"Comedy for you is when a person is kept in the most discomfort for the longest period of time. This means practical jokes, pranks, and sticking a hair up a sleeping person's nose so he slaps himself awake."

I laughed and laughed. Now I've got to find a sleeping person and some hair.
Did I mention that I'd won a will? Well, I did. Here: http://www.buglear-bate.co.uk/page3.htm

You could too. Try out their simple caption competition!
Against the slight chance that any of you are as backward as me when it comes to technology...today I finally got Mozilla Firefox working as my primary browser. It is so much better than IE that, if you haven't already, you should too. http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/
Genuine Reuters headline today:

"Blair see more "consensual" Bush."
"Garden State", which I saw with Rick and Terrie and Lani and Benares yesterday, was so good that Lani came out of it bemoaning how awful it was but then, on being reminded of what actually happened during the course of the film, rejoicing at what a splendid cinematic treat we'd just enjoyed. It is, one would have to conclude, *surprisingly* good. The wirter/director, whose first film this presumably is, makes the schoolboy error of trying to cram what he fondly imagines is the ten minutes of wisdom he's picked up during his life into the last ten minutes of the film, but so long as you can forgive so commonplace a mistake it's pretty well flawless. Sweet, funny, quirky, full of Natalie Portman (who, it transpires, can act a bit as well as look cute). Hurrah!
Interfax, a Russian news agency which probably Rick and almost certainly no-one else has heard of (minor Russian Reuters/bloomberg competitor) is headed by a man called Mikhail Komissar. Best. Name. Ever. It's just so *Russian*. I wish I'd thought of it before his parents, who clearly wasted it just giving it to some guy to use as his name.
Having read Dave Gorman's Googlewhack thingy I was finally drawn into Googlewhacking. It's a stupid game, I got "counterfactual spokeshaves" in less than two minutes, and now I've written it down here I've presumably killed it as a Googlewhack forever (as soon as the Google spider finds this version in the coming days and weeks). Indeed, I found a few word combinations that didn't return any results at all first so I suppose I could write one of them down here and thus maintain the net number of Googlewhacks in the world, so long as no-one copied this page (which seems unlikely). But I really don't care enough about such a silly game to bother.
This excellent Wired article about the difficulties of remembering not to use a joystick when walking back into the real world after an extended Xbox session rather tickled me. http://www.wired.com/news/games/0,2101,66225,00.html?tw=rss.TOP

I really have, on at least one occasion I can clearly remember, gone shopping after a lengthy Doom sesh and found myself ducking when spying a configuration of walls and doors and galleries in the shopping centre that, in the game, would have obviously hidden a fireballing imp.
The House of Flying Daggers is a big bag of wank. If you're thinking of going to see it, watch Hero or Crouching Tiger instead, even if you've already seen them before. Watching Hero twice is better than watching Hero once and tHoFD once.

My fence fell down on Saturday morning. 70 mph winds! Fuck me! And it was up to 90 in the north. Armada Storms ahoy (for Perter F Hamilton fans)?

Weekend: spacked with bots Friday; spacked with uni mates (in Fuel! We really went) and Luke Saturday; spacked with Pixies Sunday. All great fun.
You'll be aware, of course, of the controversy surrounding the BBC's screening of Jerry Springer The Opera. In today's Telegraph, it amused me therefore to see:

"Stewart Lee, one of the creators of Jerry Springer - the Opera, says the show has 7,549 fewer swear words than people say."

Apparently the majority of the "fuck"s and "cunt"s are sung by a 40-strong chorus and the expletives have simply been multiplied by 40 to reach the figure of 8,000 that is being bandied about. Having seen the show live, I'm very much inclined to agree. They do swear a lot, but most of the truly impressive profanity is indeed sung in chorus.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel cannot sue a website that published a photo of him with two women above a caption reading "You're never too old to be a pimp," a U.S. appeals court has ruled.

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=internetNews&storyID=7236078§ion=news&src=rss/uk/internetNews
So...yesterday, Rickday! We ate a little food and then we drank all the Pinot Grigio we could find. Hurrah! Well done Rick for turning 29 so entertainingly!
See the adverts on the tube for the film "Closer"?

"Film of the year", says one of the reviews.

Damning with faint praise, says I.
"Join the Beauty Debate", invite the Dove ads. I very much think I will.

So, beauty. An exceptional, repeat *exceptional* state of aesthetic appeal.

It's all jolly nice for people to have a positive self-image, it's all all jolly nice for even average-looking, ugly, deformed or generally physically *unexceptional* people to have a positive self-image. Good for them. It doesn't, however, mean that absolutely everybody and absolutely every sodding thing is "beautiful". Just because that's what we currently happen to be fixated on as a measure of (frankly, almost exclusivley female) worth and just because everyone thinks the best solution to the problem is declare that everyone is beautiful in an "eye-of-the-beholder" wishy-washy cop out doesn't make it so.

Look at the Dove posters. Those people are probably jolly nice people and I hope that they think well of themselves. I hope their loved ones think well of them. But to declare that they're all beautiful in the pursuit of this hope is fatuous and robs the word of all meaning. Natalie Portman is berautiful. Keira Knightly is beautiful. Randomly-selected wrinkly nonagenarians, average-looking 40-year-olds and freckly teenagers are beautiful only if you stretch the word beyond any utility at all.
Those who know her will be happy to know that I have confirmation Sonia (Randhawa) is unaffected by the current SE Asian tragedy.

2005

Jan. 1st, 2005 08:52 pm
Ah, another lovely year to play with. 2004 was the year of the endless summer and botboating and W and hooting into the night and proper non-wanking-for-pennies jobs and oh...such fun. I wonder what - except for three lovely summer weddings, a trip to the oldest inn in the country (ergo the world), Dimitri's 30th in Greece, lunch at the Ritz, Alderney castlefun and infinite drunken London fun with the world's finest collection of whimsical alcoholics - 2005 will bring me to enjoy? I've already had one lovely party, beaten Lani at pool three times, bemoaned the state of my head and eaten a sumptuous steak and stilton dinner in Ilkely.* Can't wait to see what's next.

*At the Bat'at. Thanks to Baz (not to be confused with other Baz, the cunt) for introducing me to such a splendid place.
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