Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Careless clairvoyance

Fresh from our Spot The Irony dept.

British psychic Derek Acorah had to cancel two evening shows due to "unforseen television commitments".

Darn Affirmative Action! Why shouldn't they be allowed to employ a psychic receptionist?


Monday, April 20, 2009

Sporting parents. They're the worst

So we finally agreed to let Sammy boy play an actual sport instead of just experimenting with several until he was old enough to decide which one he liked (i.e., around 35).

It's not that we wanted him to lead a sheltered life, or were worried that he would pick up bad, aggressive, competitive habits.

And it's not that we were dubious about his chosen sport, AFL- what with the fact that 500,000 other children from the area play it. I can readily admit that AFL is a good game, a fast-moving powerful clash of skills. It's the millions of barbarians who yell at their TV's over it and refuse to talk about anything else which is occasionally annoying.

That was it right there- the main reason we've been baulking on poor Sam was that we didn't want to become sporting parents.

But we finally relented and took Sam to the local mini league, the only outlet for his 3 million daily kilowatts of boyish energy. He was slotted into the Lara Panthers for his first game. They were playing the "Devils"- another annoying irony considering we had to miss church for all of this. The Devils, it seemed, were a bunch of overly skilled little ferrets who had been playing for a while. Sam, and all of his teammates, were the exact opposite.

So when the Devils kicked several dozen goals to the Panthers' zero in the first quarter we feared Sam would find it all a bore and become demotivated. Or worse. But the whole mismatch seemed to drive the little Panthers harder and by the final quarter they were peppering the goals with varying accuracy. Including our little panther, Sammy boy, having been thrust into full forward since Q2, grabbing his moment of glory and putting one through for six points.

By which time I'd fist-pumped the sky at least three times, audibly cursed an umpire's decision twice and jumped when Sammy kicked his goal. I am now a sporting parent.

But it's not about me. My little guy plays footy now.

first the attempted smother

then the big moment

...then the acting like maybe someone else should have kicked it..


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Facebook: Stop now while you still can...

Sharon reckons I'm spending too much time on facebook.

She's absolutely right, but it could always be worse. I have been given permission to use the details of a good friend who has sunk into the lowest depths of facebook addiction and wants his case to be highlighted to warn others.

I did promise to change his name, however, so we will simply refer to him as "Mr. S. Anderson".

A true barometer of the degree to which facebookery has ruined one's life, is the number of pointless facebook "fun" quiz's one takes part in.

So far,, Mr S. Anderson has partaken in the following banal facebook quizzery.

- The "What's your Bible IQ" quiz
- IQ Test
- Brain game
- The Ultimate Grammar Quiz
- The "What's your inner nationality?" quiz
- The "What's your five favourite breakfast cereals of all time?" quiz (he picked Cocoa-pops three times)
- The "what type of chicken are you?" quiz
- The "which Harry Potter character are you?" quiz
- "Are you smarter than a 5th-Grader?"
- "Where should you be living?" (His answer was San Fransisco. Hmmm. Big hmmmmm...)

Folks, I realised something was wrong after doing the "Which 'Scrubs' character are you?" test, and I stopped immediately. Keep David in your prayers.

(I was JD if anyone wants to know).


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I missed April fool's day!

I did consider sending out an email announcing that we were moving back to Adelaide, but figured it would be cruel (in so many different ways).

To atone for this, here's a selection of April 1st 2009 pranks. I got them from an international source, with an unsurprisingly large number of them being from Australia:

UK's famous daily The Guardian announced it would become "the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter, the sensationally popular social networking service that has transformed online communication". Those goofs at Archie McPhees describe Twitter as "It's like a giant party where nobody can say more than 140 characters at a time". Twitter is like Facebook and MySpace, but more current. For now.

The Guardian also revealed an ongoing project to rewrite its entire news archive in the form of "tweets" (Twitter's style of text messages). Examples included:
"1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!"; "OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see for more"; and "JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?"

Buckingham Palace as a holiday rental

Website posted the following listing for Buckingham Palace on its site:
This stunning accommodation offers deluxe living in the heart of England's capital city. A gated property with secure parking and armed guards.. Exquisitely furnished with many priceless antiques, royal collections and rare artifacts. 400 people work at the Palace to cater to your every need, including domestic servants, chefs, footmen, cleaners, plumbers, gardeners, chauffeurs, electricians, and two people who look after the 300 clocks.
...and a throne room which is an unusual but popular additional feature.
The owners do reside in the property but are discreet and are available should you require any assistance. They also own other properties throughout the United Kingdom. Please contact them for further details.

It includes "guestbook" testimonials from Tony and Cherie Blair and George Bush and advises people withn allergies that there are corgis.

World's longest National Anthem

UK Tabloid The Sun revealed that during the qualifying match against Ukraine, fans would have to stand for the world's longest national anthem, the six-and-a-half minute version of Oi Ukrainy. Fans caught sitting down during the anthem would be ejected from Wembley stadium. The anthem would be sung by the folk star Furstov Aprylova (think about it). Apparently the anthem's closing line contains a dig at their former rulers: "Kiev, Kiev — there is no such thing as a Chicken Moscow". Yummy!

Aussie Rules G-ball

Google Australia announced it had partnered with the Australian rules football league to develop the G-ball, which contains inbuilt GPS and motion sensor systems to monitor the location, force and torque of each kick. The data is interpreted by a new curvilenear parabolic approximation algorithm. Google can provide users - from amateurs to professional players - with detailed online kicking tips, style suggestions and tutorials based on their gBall kicking data.

Geelong could have done with that in September last year.

Silent Crisps

The Daily Mail revealed that Walkers Crisps had designed noise-free crisps, to be marketed as "Ready Silent Cri-sshhp." They would allow people to "eat loud snacks in the cinema without disturbing the person next to you." The crisp was said to have "the same flavour and crunchiness, except it comes already crushed."

But would the salt and vinegar ones still get you high when you inhale them?

GM and Chrysler ordered out of NASCAR

According to Car and Driver magazine, president Obama ordered that "GM and Chrysler must cease participation in NASCAR at the end of the 2009 season if they hope to receive any additional financial aid from the government. .. corporations must demonstrate they will spend it wisely. Racing has been said to improve on-road technology, but frankly, NASCAR almost flaunts its standing among the lowest-tech forms of motorsport..."

Obama telling the private sector what to do? NASCAR being the lowest-tech form of Motorsport? That one sure had me going...

Free Childcare at Political Offices

An advertisement that appeared on page five of the Australian newspaper claimed that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had volunteered the use of the electorate offices as a child-minding service: "Each MP's electorate office will today be accepting newborns for a free child minding service. This is another example of Labor's commitment to working families."

Personally I think the kiddies would be safer at an ABC Learning centre, even if they do occasionally get locked in overnight.

On March 31 a mannequin was found chained to the doors of a Bank of America branch in Boston. The mannequin wore a sign, "The real dummies evict people & fund climate chaos." A group calling itself Mannequins for Climate Justice took responsibility, saying it was getting a head start on Fossil Fools Day, an initiative to use April 1st as a day to mock and resist the fossil fuel industry.

Mannequins don't have brains. Methinks this creative prank may have backfired.

Yahoo! unveiled an "ideological search engine". Users could select between the Democratic and Republican ideology. Democratic results displayed in blue. Republican in red.

Apparently the White House was excited and asked for the algorithm, but didn't mention why.

Other pearls include $99 flights to Mars (savings of over $3 trillion- "at this price, you can't afford NOT to go!!"), an invisible car, and Turtle Wax made from free-range Turtles. All this and more at the Museum of Hoaxes.

..until next year, then.