Monday, 4 February 2013

Entertainment stuff from the week 28/1 - 3/2/13

Hello again, funiculis and funiculas

Barmy news from the week:

'Scientists uncover massive river on Mars'

They took a picture of Mars, in which there is a river-bed, and then coloured the bed in blue, and called it a river. Silly sensationalism, pure and simple.

Then again, when NASA takes pictures of hydrocarbon rivers, on Titan - one of Saturn's moons - and paints them in blue, to look like water: seems the precedent of distortion has been set. C'mon, NASA; i don't want to see more 'dinosaurs in space' stories... as funny as they are ;-)

"Intelligent Advanced Versions of Earth's Dinosaurs May Have Evolved Elsewhere in Universe"

Gah... they found amino acids.... they saw dinosaurs. Anyone thinking of Carl Sagan?

Carl Sagan on superstitious extrapolation: "Observation: you couldn't see a thing; conclusion: dinosaurs"
{Uploaded by me}

Other barmy news: this guy's got a lesson to learn - just 'cos you drive a Merc, doesn't mean you can re-write the rules :-D

"A driver is in for a shock after workers at one of Scotland's busiest railway stations cut up the car park around his vehicle, leaving it on a tiny island of asphalt...
Workers at Edinburgh Waverley blocked off an area of the parking compound on Thursday ready for resurfacing work. But, when they turned up for work in the morning, a Mercedes had parked in the middle of the cordoned-off area. Undeterred, the crew dug up the surface all around the dark blue car."

More wonders of peculiarity from New Scientist's Feedback column are in the non-contemporary section, at the bottom.......

But for now, how about some more 'Missed Hits'?

Honey I Shrunk The Socks

Lady Chatterley's Loofah

Star Wars - The Empire's Cutback

Those Magnificent Men In Their Washing Machines

All Quiet On The Weston Front (Weston)

Guy And Doll

Illegal Immigrant Kane

Hitchcock's 'The Eggs'

Night Of The Living

Not Bothering To Look For Nemo
Not Bothering To Look For Neverland

Not Bothering To Look For Bobby Fischer

Not Bothering To Look For Forrester
Not Bothering To Look For Good Will

A Few Leagues Under The Sea

Sabrina The Teenage Homeopath

The Great Escalope


Medical Student Zhivago
Raging Calf

Advert: Notre Dame Seeks Bellringer

Prince Kong

------------------------------------------------------- contemporary stuff

'The Darkness Promise New Album In 2014'
{On a side note, however - why do i keep reading "Dan Hawkins" as "Dawkins"? Science geek alarm.... :-D}

'Cassetteboy v James May - January Blues | Bad Teeth'
{Don't worry, James - we're in February now}

'Shed Science: Six stories behind animal names'

'The Galaxy DNA Song' By Eric Idle, John Du Prez, and lyrical contributions by Brian Cox.
Eric Idle, on nerdist, about 'The Galaxy DNA Song'

Can you spot the invisible man?

------------------------------------------------------ of the weeks

Un-quotes Of The Week:

Lady Ga Ga: "Just a couple of seconds - i'm getting dressed"

David Attenborough: "Not that one - pass me the BIG gun!"
Michaelangelo: "Really? Wouldn’t you prefer plain white emulsion?"

Word Of The Week: valetudinarian -- someone who is unduly concerned for their health

Expression of The Week: "jiggery-pokery" -- underhand tricks

Etymology Of The Week: trivia -- latin for "three ways"; in medieval latin, refers to the lower division of the Liberal Arts: grammar, rhetoric, and logic.

Crazy-but-serious Article Title Of The Week: 'Nazi Buddhist Deity Is Space Rock' (It had a slightly different title in the paper version)

------------------------------------------------------ non-contemporary stuff

'Captain Butler', on 4oD
This is a comedy programme, from 1997, with 6 episodes, which starred Craig Charles as cap'n Butler.
There will be adverts, but it's worth a watch :)
If you have the sense of humour of a 15-year-old boy, you'll love it.
(Start at the bottom right, and go left, for chronological order)

'Ocean Water Illusion'
In Australia, gravity works differently :-P

'James Randi in Sydney 2000'
The Amazing Randi's so entertaining. If you have an hour and a half, watch this through - it's great fun :)

This is the most painful illusion i've ever seen :-o

But this one's beautiful. Thanks for passing it on, Richard!
See more of the artist's stuff, here:

Heard of Groaning Cheese? Well, you have, now...

Those Feedback excerpts:

THE weather was pleasant when Chris Goddard and his family visited the Center Parcs holiday centre in Elveden Forest, Suffolk, UK, so they purchased ice creams from the boathouse by the lake.
At the bottom of the lengthy receipt for this transaction, along with a sales tax number and the instruction to keep the receipt, was the advice: "A cycle helmet is recommended."
Chris wants to know if any readers are aware of circumstances in which consuming ice cream is rendered less hazardous by wearing a cycle helmet. For example, does eating ice cream make one susceptible to meteorite strikes? If not, what?
15 Sep

A COLOUR photograph sent in by Simon Smallwood features a wall in Witney, Oxfordshire, UK. Inlaid in the wall is what Simon rightly describes as a "beautifully carved sign" made of a material that appears to be stone.
The elegant lettering on the sign, which would have taken a mason several hours to create, reads: "THIS SIGN IS NOT IN USE. By order of the Magistrate. MCMXXXVII."
That's 1937 in today's numerals, so this sign in Witney has been proclaiming its redundancy for the past 75 years - unless, that is, it is a 21st-century work of "art".
15 Sep
{This isn't the same sign, but it does say "sign not in use"}
{The police aren't well known for their intellectual veracity. Here's a BBC report on Hertfordshire Constabulary's money-wasting expertise :-D }

"What are vegetarian meatballs made of? Vegetarians, of course!" This was the response of one reader to our brief note about "vegetarian meatballs in sauce" (18 August). The reader signs himself "Erik Foxcroft (a worried vegetarian)".
15 Sep

On a field trip to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Patrick Kennedy was taken aback to find a menu offering "little squids with potatoes in their jackets"
15 Sep

The Ig Nobel Literature gong honoured bureaucratic skills polished to perfection at the US Government Accountability Office, which in May produced what the Ig Nobel committee describes as "a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports". At only 32 pages, the document is concise by government standards, but we nonetheless dozed off trying to read it.
29 Sep

One of the main courses on offer at a restaurant Jenny Narraway visited in Bilbao, Spain, was "Assorted mixed of Iberians". Jenny, being a vegetarian, chose something else.
6 Oct

TWO readers from the north of England, Mike Mellor and Dave Manford, write independently to tell us about a poster appearing in the windows of branches of the Skipton Building Society. It makes the surprising claim: "Free Will for every Skipton customer, worth up to £180".
"I don't know how they are able to endow their customers with Free Will," says Mike, "or how they can put a value on it. To find that out, the posters instruct me to enquire in the branch, but I'm predestined not to do that."
6 Oct

FINALLY, an Ig Nobel prize that we didn't have space for last week (29 September). The Ig Nobels are supposed to make us laugh, then think: but the medicine prize makes us wince. It honours the efforts of French physician Emmanuel Ben-Soussan, with colleagues Spiros Ladas and George Karamanolis, to prevent explosions of gas in the colon during a colonoscopy.
Hydrogen and methane from gut bacteria reach potentially explosive concentrations in some 40 per cent of patients who have not thoroughly flushed out their colons, they write in the World Journal of Gastroenterology (vol 13, p 5295). The good news is that the gases won't explode unless the colon also contains about 5 per cent oxygen; and normal oxygen concentrations are only 0.1 to 2.3 per cent. The researchers found only 20 explosions reported in the medical literature.
6 Oct

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