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Humour

Start the day with xkcd

Friday, 23 November, 2018

Along with porridge, a guaranteed way to brighten the dullest, grimmest morning is xkcd. Should some of your mornings be dull or grim, that is. This is a typically quirky xkcd reminder that human spaceflight is older than many people think.

xkcd


H&M presents the Mark Zuckerberg collection

Friday, 1 April, 2016 0 Comments

For the day that’s in it, “The Collection Pack” consists of seven basic grey t-shirts + one pair of basic jeans. “One less thing to think about in the morning.” #MARKFORHM

H&M for Mark


Journalist of the day: Kenneth Williams

Thursday, 10 April, 2014 0 Comments

The English actor and comedian Kenneth Williams was one of the main characters in the popular Carry On films. He lived alone and had few friends apart from his mother, and no significant romantic relationships, but his journals contain references to homosexual liaisons, which he describes as “traditional matters.” His last words in his diary were “Oh, what’s the bloody point?” The cause of death was an overdose of barbiturates.

10 April 1966: “Michael C. [Codron] told me this story about Lady Dorothy Macmillan saying to Mme. de Gaulle at the Elysée Palace. ‘Now that your husband has achieved so much, is there any particular wish, any desire you have for the future?’ and Madame replied, ‘Yes — a penis.’ Whereupon Gen. de Gaulle leaned over and said, ‘No, my dear, in English it is pronounced Happiness.'” Kenneth Williams (1926 — 1988)

Tomorrow, here, we end our week of journal entries with one that documents what happened when Lenin spent a night beside his mother-in-law’s death bed.


Vladimir Putin’s favourite joke

Wednesday, 19 March, 2014 0 Comments

No, it’s not the one about Obama sending Biden to Poland yesterday, although that has generated its own share of mirth. Despite what his numerous critics insist, Putin does have an impish wit and while it’s not very comical to be on the receiving end of his barbs, as the family of Alexander Litvinenko knows full well, there’s a lot to be learned from what Russia’s latest “strong man” finds amusing. Here goes with his favourite joke:

In the bitter cold of the Russian winter, during a wild storm and with darkness falling, a peasant is wandering home to his humble village. Suddenly, he stops as he sees an exotic bird on the ground, nearly dead from hypothermia and hunger. So, he picks it up and warms it with his breath. The bird revives and the peasant is left wondering what to do next as he cannot afford to feed it. At this very moment a herd of cows appears out of the driving snow and one of them drops a large dollop of shit as it passes by. Knowing that if he puts the bird in the steaming substance, it might live until morning and then fly to a milder climate, the peasant does this and trudges towards home.

Shortly afterwards, however, another peasant comes along and hears the bird chirping happily in its warm surroundings. He picks up the bird, breaks its neck and takes it home for supper.

Putin, convulsed with laughter by this stage, tells his terrified audiences that the joke offers three vital lessons for life:

1. Do not believe that everyone who drops you in the shit is your enemy.
2. Do not believe that everyone who gets you out of the shit is your friend.
3. Whenever you are in the shit, keep quiet about it.

It’s doubtful if he told this joke to Hillary Clinton during the ill-advised “reset.” Wonder if he’d tell it to Mitt Romney, though? He’s a realist, after all.


The Daily Mail does not cause or prevent cancer

Thursday, 9 January, 2014 0 Comments

Cabbage prevents cancer, but cakes cause cancer. And are you aware that vitamins both cause and prevent cancer? Well, that’s what the Daily Mail says, and Paul Battley has now taken on the task of trying to make sense of the paper’s unending effort to classify cancer-causing/preventing stuff with Kill or cure? It was Ben Goldacre who inspired him to undertake this vital public service when he informed us seven years ago that, “The Daily Mail, as you know, is engaged in a philosophical project of mythic proportions: for many years now it has diligently been sifting through all the inanimate objects in the world, soberly dividing them into the ones which either cause — or cure — cancer.”

Kill or sure?

With tongue in cheek, Battley says that, “In order to make sense of this vast resource of clinical information, I’ve scraped the Daily Mail website for articles mentioning cancer.” The results are, er, enlightening. As we can see, many things cause cancer and many others prevent it. In some cases, they do both. Well, according to the Daily Mail.

Daily Mail cancer


Brilliant!

Wednesday, 17 July, 2013 0 Comments

Matt

The great Matt is a daily pleasure. Hat tip for the link: Sister Ann.


Sexy dictator satire produces red faces at the People’s Daily

Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 0 Comments

“No doubt, few would seriously describe Kim Jong-Un as sexy, much less as the world’s sexiest man. Nor would many people equate People’s Daily with sexiness. But if there’s one place in the world willing — or, at least, desiring — to believe that a foreign publication would praise him in such a way, it’s […]

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Throwing up in Dublin

Thursday, 18 October, 2012 0 Comments

“I became subsequently addicted to brown stout in bottle, a drink which still remains the one that I prefer the most despite the painful and blinding fits of vomiting which a plurality of bottles has often induced in me.” At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O’Brien (1911 — 1966) The year 1939 saw the outbreak of the Second […]

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Political satire: EU wins Nobel Peace Prize

Friday, 12 October, 2012

“Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” Tom Lehrer That was 1973. Today, the Nobel prize committee went one better and gave what some call “its most prestigious prize” to the European Union. Less than pleased is Constantin Gurdgiev, who says that the EU worked its way towards the […]

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Karl reMarks about Fisk and Friedman

Friday, 24 August, 2012

In times of trouble and strife, one turns for light relief to the great Karl reMarks. This week has been brightened by the superb “Robert Fisk: Reporting from Syria ‘with sensational quotes in the headline’“. Background: The fanatical idiotarian Robert Fisk is employed by the likes of The Independent and Raidió Teilifís Éireann to channel […]

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Gay rich and Rich gay

Monday, 21 May, 2012

What became England’s most popular musical of the 18th century, “The Beggar’s Opera“, was written by John Gay and produced by John Rich. The success of their long-running co-operation was said at the time to have made “Gay rich and Rich gay“. With its nursery-rhyme structure, the “How D’You Do” song from “The Beggar’s Opera” […]

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