Sunday, 25 August 2013

Entertainment stuff from the period 22/7 - 25/8/13

Hello there, sexy scientists ;-)

Well, i wasn't expecting that! I know the Naked Scientists like to do their science with a pinch of humour, but i've never see them do something like this before!

To Hannah Critchlow (the narrator) -- I like it :o)

'Ravishing Rubber'

'Whimsical Wood'

Hannah's given me hardwood :o)

The whole series is here:

Material Chef - The Naked Scientists

I don't believe it! Sally Le Page has gone all sexy, too! ...although in a slightly different way...

'Shed Science: HOW TO BE SEXY! (using supernormal stimuli)'

The old man in grayscale, at the end, was Michael Flanders, btw - of the comedy satirical duo Flanders & Swann - and the song was called 'The Armadillo' (they were famous for their animal songs). If you're wondering why he's moving weirdly, it's because he caught polio while serving in WWII, so he was paralysed from the waste down, and therefore singing from his chest.

What!? Has the whole of science turned into a pornorama., or something?

'Japanese quail whips up a sperm meringue'

Oh, to be a quail... that lady must have wonderfully delicate hands :-D

'The Curious Sex Lives Of Animals | TNTM Throwback Thursday'

Oh to be a lady tapir! Goodness me! :-o

And just in case you didn't see this, a couple of months ago...

'The tiny insect with the massive sperm'
"THE male produces a single sperm, wraps it in a package, and sticks it on the female's abdomen. It's then up to her to transfer this lone giant sperm into her genital tract. Most insects abandoned this primitive mating system millions of years ago, but it turns out the ground louse, Zorotypus impolitus, has stuck with it... Each [spermatophore] was just 0.1 millimetres across, but the solitary sperm it held was about 3 millimetres long, uncoiled – roughly the same length as the female."
""The sperm is so large, it can fill the space in the female's [genital tract]," [Romano Dallai of the University of Siena in Italy] says. That plugs it up, ensuring no other male can mate with her."

Fascinating, eh!

The Chaser are back!

And so is Hammy the Hamster! This time they're doing their election specials, for everything you might need to know about the Australian Federal Election 2013 :-D

'The Hamster Decides - Episode 1'
{Back back, The Hamster is back :D}

'The Hamster Decides - Episode 2'

'Tony Abbott - Captain Inappropriate'

'Tony Abbott knows his team'

'Tony Abbott and gay marriage satire'

G'd'on'ya Tone. He's got my vote :-D

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

Haha - this is great - i want to learn the violin. No! I want to learn that violin!

'IGUDESMAN & JOO: Give It Up For Mo - from AND NOW MOZART'
A new version of their cover of that famous classic. Utterly wonderful :D

'Viva La Evidence'
Yeah, great song. Great lyrics :-)

'10 Amazing Bets You Will Always Win'
Another dose of merryment from Richard Wiseman

'The final Horrible Histories song'
Noooooo - HH is over! Well, it was horrible... :-P

'An Appeal to Creationists....'
Ah, potholer - your subject matter is so amusing :-D

'Golden Crocoduck 2013 nominee -- Louis Giglio'
"I don't want to go too crazy here..." THAT'S CRAZY ENOUGH FOR ME :D :D :D

'Why do people laugh at creationists? (part 39)'
The much-demanded WDPLAC series returns, to celebrate Thunderf00t's 50,000,000th video view. The subject? Shooting marsupials from a volcano. Oh yeah :-D

A butterfly flying in slow-motion

'Meanwhile, at the NSA'
"What's bugging you?" "It's either the NSA, or GCHQ..."

'The chemical reaction from Hell! (Potassium and conc. sulfuric acid)'

'Material magic: Objects with hidden talents'

'Bad Teeth's Guide To: Grooming Hacks'
"Period arrived suddenly and you haven't got any tampons? Carefully thread some cotton through a wotsit, and you'll be sorted for the rest of the day" :-D

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

Word Of The Week: syzygy -- occlusion involving more than one cosmological object e.g. a planet transiting another planet, while both transiting their star

Nonsensical Politicians' Quote Of The Week: "This will keep happening, unless it stops; and it won't stop until it stops" - Clive Morrison

Headline Of The Week: 'Murderer Ruined My Life'

Expression Of The Week: "in flagrante delicto" -- latin for "in blazing offence" meaning the same as 'caught red-handed' i.e. caught while committing an act

Cocktail Of The Week: Pink Squirrel -- 3 parts creme de noyaux, 3 parts white creme de cacao, 2 parts heavy cream

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

'Upside-Down Ads Reveal The Subtlety Of Depression'
I'm no sure these are very subtle, nor depressive, but they are exceedingly clever!

'Cooking with thermite'
Well, this looks fun!

'Russian Tampax Commercial'

Seven years of blood, LOL. Women are harrrrrrrd :D

Something drove me to enjoy Professor Vivian Alice again. So here he is:
'Prof. Alice on gender'
Isn't Kryten different without his face on! Lady humans just don't know they're born...

'British Whale - England'
This is a song Justin Hawkins wrote as an Association Football World Cup anthem. For some reason, it didn't get picked to be official?!?

Feedback updates:

LAST month we reported on Hugh Lawton's screenshot showing that his download of the MacKeeper programme had reached "4,100% complete" before he got bored with watching it (25 May)
Marc Smith-Evans writes: "I can do better. Hugh hasn't reached half way, but then again, how many per cent would be half way?"
Marc sends us a screenshot of MacKeeper installing on his computer. The screen announces: "Downloading: 9,800% complete."
22 June
Following this issue, an interesting occurrence happened to me, which facilitated my first issue to Feedback. I haven't heard back, but i hear their piling system is getting quite slow, these days. Apparently, the Feedback staff spend most of their time giggling and spilling their coffee. But then, as a recent Ig Nobel prizewinner found, that's hardly a surprise. My submission:

Hello, Feedback
After reading about MacKeeper software's ability to break mathematics, or at least mathematics as we know it (22 June), my copy of windows media player seemed to break time. I notice, however, that its ability to play 136% of the way through a song is nowhere near Marc Smith-Evans' achievement!

READER Martin Couchman bought a new computer hard drive from Amazon in November last year. He sends a photo of the box it arrived in, showing a solid-looking brown cardboard box with a big red label on it saying "Multi item set. Do not open." Martin is now "looking for ways of making use of the contents of the box. Some sort of wireless communication has been suggested to me, but I don't think that'll help."
22 June

IDLY studying a packet of Sainsbury's grissini breadsticks, Chris McManus noted with approval that they were "Torinesi grissini", so presumably from Turin. But the small print on the back says "Produced in Italy (incl. Vatican City)".
"Doesn't that suddenly transform both the Vatican and these humble breadsticks?" Chris observes. "Who would have thought that bakers toil at the back of St Peter's, hand-rolling grissini?" Then: "Are these, perhaps, Holy Grissini?"
Sainsbury's uses the slogan "Taste the Difference". Surely, Chris, we should be able to tell whether the grissini are holy.
29 June

Surely some mistake? A press release from the University of Alberta announces: "U Alberta teams with citizen researchers 370 light years from Earth"
29 June
{I think they mean "Shurely shome mishtake - Ed". The UoA HR department sounds tired and confused, to me :D }

SMARTPHONES are wonderful things. Rowland Coles shortens people's names and uses surname initials when he stores a number on his, adding "m" for mobile and "h" for home number. Stupid phones also allow that Рbut only a smart one announces the caller's shortened name in an authoritative voice that reminds him of a Path̩ newsreel film.
One friend with a second mobile number, tagged "Chris 2m", gets announced as "Chris Two Metres", and the name has stuck in the outside world. Keith Wells's entry, "KW home", comes booming out as "Kilowatt Home". Have any other readers encountered hardware that tries this hard to understand?
29 June

Georgina Seaman sends us a photo, taken on a road near Newbury in the English countryside, of a sign that says: "Access to Wasing's secret walled garden 350 yards"
6 July

SPURRED on by Feedback's reference to announcements by disembodied voices on London's Underground (8 June), Jonathan Singer tells us of one he heard at the city's Victoria main-line station:
"Customers," the voice began ("we were once called 'passengers'," Jonathan laments) "are warned that unofficial pickpockets are operating on the station."
"Does this mean there's a course they can take to legitimise the profession?" Jonathan wonders.
6 July
{Thunderwood College is working on it :-P (Thunderwood might be a spoof, but there are plenty of fake universities that exist to give false legitimacy to... well, criminals)}

CONGRATULATIONS to Ben Buckton for achieving a truly stupendous performance while training for the recent London Revolution cycle ride. His son Sam sends a screen-shot from a smartphone app that records Ben cycling 2.4 kilometres at 882.3 kilometres per hour. Feedback is wondering whether the app would work for buses. Sam is more concerned that the device will be "considered as illegal as performance-enhancing drugs".
6 July
{I wonder... Earth's velocity around the sun is many thousands of kilometres per hour, so maybe Sam's app knows something about spacetime that we don't. A calculable velocity relative to the universe's centre is unknown - perhaps Sam's smartphone is smarter than we appreciate!}

Bob Seymour sends us a picture of a notice on a hydrofoil sailing between Sorrento and Capri. The notice details the "Assistant Procedures for persons of reduced mobility" travelling on the boat. It assures passengers that "the persons with reduced mobility will be received by personnel designed by the master".
6 July
{Brushing theism brusquely to one side; i'm worried that maybe this is a Doctor Who reference, and in fact disabled passengers will be met by a Dalek horde, set on bringing about the end times for humanity... oh, and we've come full circle to theism again. Maybe i should brush more brusquely, next time :P }

Alex Allan sends us a photo of a sign in Western Australia. It reads: "Cottesloe Main Beach. WARNING. Water." Alex feels this "seems somewhat overprotective"
13 July
{It's out there. It's out there somewhere. I know it is. Watching us... waiting... Ready to creep up on us... and make our feet wet! Aaaaaargh......}

THE people who produced the advert for "The Great Courses" that Paul Barker spotted in the Economist magazine would do well to take a course in arithmetic themselves. "Save up to $385," the ad proclaims. A DVD set of 32 lectures on great orchestral works originally cost $519.95 and is now $134.95. "Truly a great deal," says Paul. But a CD set of the same lectures that was originally $359.95 is now on offer at $994.95.
The "saving" of minus $635 is indeed "up to" $385. But is this really what was meant?
13 July
{It's definitely what they meant. It's a business conspiracy -- they've been using the term "up to" all this time so that they can abuse us with a negative discount, like this one! Nah, but seriously, i have noticed posters that advertise that you 'can save more than 26% on tickets'. Can save. Can. Might not. But can. So your saving could be in the range of: less than 26%, to more than 26%. In fact, it could be anything. Clever work, guys :D}

Should this scandal be reported?" frets Mike Byrne. He refers to the blue plastic bin he photographed outside a kindergarten in Limerick, Ireland, labelled "Infant Recycling"
20 July

At his place of work, Stephen Reynolds found a sign informing him: "The toilet is temporally out of order."
Stephen tells us that he and his colleagues spent a long time worrying about what the implications of this might be.
20 July
{A long time? How could they tell? Presumably, they ruminated from outside the toilets...}

The pack of Basics Toilet Rolls that Richard Jowitt bought from Sainsbury's supermarket bore the inscription: "For Everyday Use". Richard wonders if he should buy other toilet tissue for use on special occasions.
27 July

OUR colleague Jeff Hecht forwards "a clever bit of foolishness making its way round the internet". It is an email, supposedly from the US National Security Agency, offering to come to the rescue of those whose hard drive has crashed or whose PC has been stolen.
"Hard drive crash?" the email asks. "PC stolen? No problem! Just call the NSA for a back-up of all your files. Just call 1-Got-Your-Stuff...
"Offer void where prohibited by law, but we don't really care about that part."

AFTER all the spurious claims reported by Feedback, says Ian Cutter, he finds it is refreshing to read what appears on a packet of Strepsil lozenges.
Ian sends us a scan of a packet of orange-flavoured Strepsils purchased in Mentone, Victoria, Australia. At the top it states: "Strepsil lozenges contain an effective combination of two antibacterial agents to help kill the bacteria which can cause sore throats and mouth infections." Lower down, the packet tells us: "The efficacy of an antibacterial agent in lozenges in reducing the severity or duration of throat infections has not been clinically established."
"Now that is real truth in advertising," says Ian.
3 Aug
{Our product's really wonderful. P.S. We're lying!}

Whenever Jeremy Hodge drives round the M25 motorway that encircles London, his Mercedes satnav lets him know if there is traffic congestion "between Reigate and cubic metres".
"I think it means the M3 motorway," he says.
3 Aug

ON THE UK government's public petitions website at, Tom Rogers found a page in the "Rejected Petitions" category that made him smile.
The rejected petition asked the responsible government department – in this case the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons – to "Ban anyone adding a new petition until they have read all the existing ones to check whether or not someone has already posted one on the subject".
Dave Goodwin, the author of this petition, claims to have read through the current list of petitions and found that "there are a great many topics that are repeated, some as many as 8 times – if someone is too lazy to check whether or not their pet topic has already been posted they should be declared too stupid to post their own one..."
Below this complaint, Her Majesty's government offers the following explanation for why Goodwin's petition is in the Rejected section: "There is already an e-petition about this issue."
This must be one of those rare cases in which the government shows it has a sense of humour.

FRIENDS in a medical family in North London tell us how they worried about their cat getting too fat. They tried cutting back on its food, but the cat just kept on getting fatter. What could explain this?
The local pet shop suggested an experiment and sold the family a brightly coloured new collar with the inscribed message: "If you are feeding this cat please phone this telephone number".
The number of people who phoned ran into double digits – enough to make a very fat cat indeed.
10 Aug

IN THE window of a Boots Opticians shop photographed by Andrew Doble in the town of Wokingham in the UK, there is a poster bearing, in very large letters, the words "Eye tests available today*".
But note that asterisk. Tucked away in the bottom corner of the poster, in letters so small they are almost invisible, are the words: "*subject to availability".
10 Aug

READER James Parsons's email from "those nice people at npower" told him: "We're really sorry that you're leaving us. We've now confirmed that your gas will transfer to your new supplier on 1st January 10000 so we'll carry on supplying you until then."
"You can't accuse them of not giving me plenty of notice," James comments.

BEING "somewhat deaf", Ted Webber had the subtitles on for the televised keynote speech at a meeting of the National Press Club of Australia. During her discourse, Suzanne Cory, president of the Australian Academy of Science, referred to Professor Brian Smith as an "Australian Nobel laureate". The subtitles rendered this as "noble lawyer rat".
17 Aug

And that's it for this... month... folks. Hopefully, i'll be able to get back to some form of regularity, in future weeks. [crosses wings] :o)

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