Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oddest Book Title of the Year

The Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year

1978: Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice (University of Tokyo Press)
1979: The Madam as Entrepreneur: Career Management in House Prostitution (Transaction Press)
1980: The Joy of Chickens (Prentice Hall)
1981: Last Chance at Love: Terminal Romances
1982: Population and Other Problems (China National Publications)
1983: The Theory of Lengthwise Rolling (MIR)
1984: The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today (Constable)
1985: Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Power: How to Increase the Other 90% of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breasts (Westwood Publishing Co)
1986: Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality (Brunner/Mazel)
1987: No Award
1988: Versailles: The View From Sweden University of Chicago Press)
1989: How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art (Ten Speed Press)
1990: Lesbian Sadomasochism Safety Manual (Lace Publications)
1991: No Award
1992: How to Avoid Huge Ships (Cornwell Maritime Press)
1993: American Bottom Archaeology (University of Illinois Press)
1994: Highlights in the History of Concrete (British Cement Association)
1995: Reusing Old Graves (Shaw & Son)
1996: Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers (Hellenic Philatelic Society)
1997: The Joy of Sex: Pocket Edition (Mitchell Beazley)
1998: Development in Dairy Cow Breeding and Management: and New Opportunities to Widen the Uses of Straw (Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust)
1999: Weeds in a Changing World (British Crop Protection Council)
2000: High Performance Stiffened Structures (Professional Engineering Publishing)
2001: Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service (Butterworths)
2002: Living With Crazy Buttocks (Kaz Cooke - Penguin)
2003: The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories (Kensington Publishing)
2004: Bombproof Your Horse (J A Allen)
2005: People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It (Gary Leon Hill - Red Wheel/Weiser Books)
2006: The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification (Harry N Abrams)
2007: If You Want Closure In Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs (Simon & Schuster US)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

These have probably been posted everywhere but they are quite amusing... More here.

1. Chuck Norris secretly sleeps with every woman in the world once a month. They bleed for a week as a result.

2. Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.

3. The quickest way to a man's heart is with Chuck Norris's fist.

4. Chuck Norris is the only person on the planet that can kick you in the back of the face.

5. Death once had a near-Chuck-Norris experience.

6. Bill Gates lives in constant fear that Chuck Norris' PC will crash.

7. Chuck Norris can strangle you with a cordless phone.

8. Chuck Norris can have both feet on the ground and kick ass at the same time.

9. Chuck Norris can build a snowman out of rain.

10. Chuck Norris plays Russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver... and wins.

11. Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a fucking Jeep.

12. Chuck Norris eats the core of an apple first.

13. Chuck Norris can drown a fish.

14. When Chuck Norris enters a room, he doesn't turn the lights on, he turns the dark

15. Chuck Norris can play the violin with a piano

16. The only time Chuck Norris was wrong was when he thought he had made a mistake.

17. In 1991, Chuck Norris shot a 14 on an 18 hole golf course, falling short of his personal best by 2 strokes.

18. The saddest moment for a child is not when he learns Santa Claus isn't real, it's when he learns Chuck Norris is.

19. Chuck Norris is the only person that can punch a Cyclops between the eye.

20. Most men are okay with their wives fantasizing about Chuck Norris during sex, because they are doing the same thing.

21. the theory of evolution is bogus, its just a list of animals chuck norris allows to live

22. when chuck norris does a push up he doesn’t push himself up, he pushes the world down

23. There were no giraffes until Chuck Norris uppercutted a horse

24. In the first Jurassic Park movie, the Tyrannosaurus Rex wasn't chasing the jeep. Chuck Norris was chasing the Tyrannosaurus AND the jeep

25. Chuck Norris has never been accused of murder for the simple fact that his roundhouse kicks are recognized world-wide as "acts of God."

26. Chuck Norris once got into a fight with a one-armed Ninja. Seeing that he had an unfair advantage, Chuck Norris ripped both of his arms off and one of his legs. He then roundhouse-kicked the ninja in the head, killing him instantly, and proceeded to sow his limbs back on using only a rusty tent spike and bailing wire

27. Chuck Norris needs a monkeywrench and a blowtorch to masturbate.

28. God said: "Let there be light," Chuck Norris said: "Say please!"

29. There is no chin behind Chuck`s beard. Only another fist.

30. Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

31. There is no 'ctrl' button on Chuck Norris's computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.

32. Every time Chuck Norris listens to a song, Apple pays him 99 cents

33. Leading hand sanitizers claim they can kill 99.9 percent of germs. Chuck Norris can kill 100 percent of whatever the fuck he wants.

34. Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.

35. Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.

36. Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

37. Chuck Norris puts the "laughter" in "manslaughter".

38. Chuck Norris doesn't cheat death. He wins fair and square.

39. When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

40. Once a cobra bit Chuck Norris' leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.

41. Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting implies the possibility of
failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.

42. Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

43. Chuck Norris' dog is trained to pick up his own poop because Chuck Norris will not take shit from anyone.

44. Chuck Norris doesn't have hair on his testicles, because hair does not grow on steel.

45. Chuck Norris was once charged with three attempted murdered in Boulder County, but the Judge quickly dropped the charges because Chuck Norris does not "attempt" murder.

46. The reason newborn babies cry is because they know they have just entered a world with Chuck Norris.

47. Chuck Norris has to maintain a concealed weapon license in all 50 states in order to legally wear pants.

48. Chuck Norris once had a heart attack; his heart lost.

49. A Handicap parking sign does not signify that this spot is for handicapped people. It is actually in fact a warning, that the spot belongs to Chuck Norris and that you will be handicapped if you park there.

50. The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Garfield - Garfield

What a great idea! Remove the main character from a comic strip and show what's left.

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

See Garfield minus Garfield.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Removed from reality

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality." - Pablo Picasso.

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." - Albert Einstein.

"Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence." - Norman Podhoretz.

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. " - Joseph Chilton Pearce.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact they're kind of scary. I've wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus and a clown killed my dad.
-Jack Hanley

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Housing market decline

The housing market is looking a bit bleak at the moment. An interesting site to read is which is trying to counteract the overexcited spin of the financial analysts. These are the weasels who obviously are going to make less money if the market goes down. It's interesting to see on the HPC site the only people predicting the market will go up are the people who will make money from it going up. All the economic pundits and research institutes are predicting falls. This essay is very interesting.

The spokesman from the Nationwide was amusing yesterday morning on 5 live. He was trying to paint a rosy picture of things and yet the tone of his voice suggested that even he didn't believe what he was saying! There are amusing asides to the coming pain but it will be good for younger people in the end. The Property Snake (opposite of propery ladder!) shows falling prices in most places and long house sale durations.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Meaty Montage

Organic objects have some interesting patterns and textures, especially when you kill them and cut them up! Victoria Reynolds, an artist from California has painted various cuts of meat.

I like the way they fit with the ornate frames that some of them sit in. It's an interesting and quite compatible marriage: baroque framing of marbled meat.

Have a look at the other artists at the Richard Heller Gallery. Brendan Monroe has some nice work.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Acute viral nasopharyngitis... aaarrrrggghhhhh!

Well, since I seem to have a nasty cold (acute viral nasopharyngitis!) I thought I'd read about what causes them and how I can avoid them in the future. Amazingly there seem to be whole websites dedicated to the common cold!

Interestingly a cold isn't necessarily a sign that you are worn down. It just seems that once the cold is in your nose you are f*cked. So it would seem that you have to plug your nostrils. So I thought that might be a way to make a quick buck but it seems like someone has thought of this already.

Alternatively it seems just washing your hands a lot could reduce the changes of getting it, especially if you use a keyboard.

I think this girl might still get a cold, and she definitely needs to wash her hands.

The symptoms of a cold are like mild influenza. The virus enters through the nasopharynx. This probably accounts for the reason I couldn't swallow this morning and sounded like Marlon Brando, without the need for cotton balls. - Interestingly Marlon Brando becomes "becomes very cross if he does not have enough vigorous physical activity". Wow, he must have been one angry butterball at the end.

In summary, to avoid a cold: Don't put your keyboard up your nose.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Where there is a willy, there is a way

The Nintendo Wii allows you to make your own characters faces. This is a fun addition to console ownership and allows you to play as yourself, or an alter ego, whilst bowling, or playing tennis, etc. Nintendo have tried to make everything family friendly, but it's funny how inventive some people can be.

It's strange but this is almost a lesson in design. The best designers work within the constraints they are given and are creative with it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Browser Review

I've been using Firefox 2 at home for sometime now, and Internet Explorer 7 at work. Internet Explorer 6 was very lacking in usability features, like tabbed browsing. IE 7 seems to add a lot of functionality and is surprisingly useful and responsive for something from the Microsoft stable. I suppose competition from Mozilla spurred them on. Hooray for choice and competition.

Firefox 2, out of the box has memory issues though when you leaving running or use it for a long time. It has great functionality, but eats RAM, and can become quite sluggish on a laptop. This can be relieved, but I thought I'd try another option, Opera.

My initial response was very enthusiastic. It's a small install and uses less memory than the other browsers. It's the browser that is used on the Wii console. However, after using it for some time, what I don't like is the plug-in support, called "widgets" in Opera. These don't seem to be dockable, like a lot of the Firefox plug-ins. Instead they can live on your desktop and you can access them when the browser in minimised. But why would you want to do this?

Plug-ins are important because they let you add extensions like toolbars, i.e. so you don't have to go via a web page to get to your links. There are lots of other useful integrated plug-ins as well which block adverts etc. The Opera widgets don't seem as integrated with the browser, which is disappointing.

I'm settling on Firefox 3, which is beta 2 at the moment. It seems a lot more responsive than Firefox 2 and they have supposedly fixed the memory leak issues. Not all sites work with beta 3 yet, e.g. Yahoo Mail, the new flashy version. And not all the add-ons have been ported from version 2, but it definitely looks like the most promising browser out there at the moment as IE 7 doesn't have anywhere near the community support that Firefox has.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On Blogging

Blogging is quite odd. It's quite therapeutic, but at the same time you wonder who is reading. Whatever you write is open to millions, probably billions of people. Not that that many people are likely to read it, but they have the option to.

To sway an audience, you must watch them as you speak. -- C. Kent Wright

Perhaps the style of writing is influenced by how many you intend to reach. Sensationalist tabloid newspapers subscribe to hyperbole and gossip to extend their readership.

I'm not sure I want popular opinion on my side. I've noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts. -- Bethania McKenstry

But isn't blogging more of a personal thing?

I write because I'm afraid to say some things out loud. -- Real Live Preacher, Real Live Preacher weblog

Like a diary? Except, things you'd to say someone you met in the street; or, more extreme because you'll never meet them? I suppose it's also nice, and sometimes we take for granted that not everyone can publish their thoughts and opinions.

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular. -- Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. (1900 - 1965), Speech in Detroit, 7 Oct. 1952

There does seem to be an awful lot of stream-of-consciousness babble in some blogs.

When ideas fail, words come in very handy. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

Well, it's an interesting medium. And without the help of filters and search engines it would all become overwhelmingly meaningless. Perhaps it's just a case of patience!

Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together. -- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sweet Jesus, Linux is enough to give you a nosebleed

Linux seems to be getting more and more press. A lot of people have got fed up with Windows over the years and maybe don't want to pay for the Vista upgrade, or maybe just want to try something different.

A Mac, you need the hardware; it's good, and if you consider the price against the performance and all the software bundled, and the quality of it all, it's not that expensive. Is Vista worth the extra cash? It has the security flaws of the previous version and needs higher spec hardware to get the same results! So, Linux, you think... hey, that's free, I can get better performance out the Windows PC I have now!

Now a few years back it was just for geeks. There was all kinds of voodoo you had to do to get it working, so that made the choice easy: Windows. Okay, Windows 95 wasn't perfect but it was accessible. Linux was too hard to use back then without growing a hobbit beard, wearing a cardigan and socks and sandals. But now there are dozens of different versions of Linux, and lot of effort has been put into usability. But that's where the problem starts; we're spoilt for choice; nosebleed number one.

All these distributions come about because people have different ideologies, motives (or axes to grind) about Linux. Some want a raw, text based low resource version, like Slackware, where you have to know how it works. And some want easy to use versions, perhaps with commercial support, in case you stuck or want to buy services, like Red Hat and Xandros. And then there are the philanthropic versions, like Ubuntu. The idea here is to stick to the values of free software.

So, Ubuntu, I'll give that a whirl. It's getting some good press. There we go decision made. Except it isn't, ha, oh no. There are multiple versions of Ubuntu to choose from! Nosebleed two, cardigan ruined. To be fair it's easy to choose here because they are packaged with specific uses in mind. I decided to go with the "desktop" version (version 7.10 at the time of writing).

Well, at least the experience of installing is okay. After some fannying around with partitions and boot programs and graphics card drivers we get the thing working. This was certainly a more pleasant experience than with Red Hat linux a few years back. I won't into the different versions of Debian that Ubuntu is based on or I'll run out of blood before the end of this. And now we're up and running.

The desktop environment isn't that different from Windows. If you want it to be more like Windows you can always use Kubuntu. Yes, that was another option; sandals and socks stained now. This provides a more glossy user interface experience and a whole load of free applications. Strangely these work under both Ubuntu and Kubuntu, the difference is just that some people decided to do it a different way.

What a shame there have been so many ideological differences whilst Linux and it's software was developed. Just imagine how far ahead of Windows it could be right now. All those thousands, probably millions of hours of duplicate effort and refusal to compromise principles. Unfortunately end users just want things that work and don't care about principles, well not much for development ones and open source anyway. Uncle Bill doesn't really need to attack Linux because for a lot of the time it's been it's own worst enemy!

Well, here's to hoping that Ubuntu and a friendlier, more end-user centric development philosophy gives us end users more choice. And try Ubuntu (or Kubuntu if you like flash GUIs) out, you'll probably like it. You can always download it and run the Live CD (i.e. it runs off the installation CD and you don't have to install anything). If you need more info, read:

Google Reader, yay!

I've been using Google Reader as a news aggregator recently. It's great! Not only is the presentation style good, the response time is good and its very well organised, thought out and easy to use. I was previously using Great News (on Windows); it's quite low on resources and hides in the system the tray. Previous to that I was using RSS Bandit (for the amusing name as much as anything), but uses a lot of resources, probably because its written in C# or something. Still shouldn't complain too much about free software, as it is, after all free effort by someone.

One of the other reasons that it's great is by virtual of it being a web application. I'm writing this on a newly installed version of Ubuntu that I'm trying out, so I don't need to worry about cross platform problems. As virtualisation becomes more and more prevalent we'll all be looking for cross platform, portable solutions.

Google are busy providing a whole framework for your online presence on the web. You can get a blog ( like this one), e-mail, news, etc and tag items to tie it all together. Quite impressive and even more impressive that it's all free, well apart from all the adverts.

You can see my shared news items. And also subscribe to a feed of them, in your reader!

I think I've ignored the whole "Google Applications"/Web 2.0 stuff until now as a lot of it is just unusable fluff. But, all of a sudden it's here (not in beta), working and pretty good. Try it out, you'll need a Google account and then you can get access to Google Mail which is equally good for doing your email and subscribing to mailing lists. For the while though I'm sticking with my Yahoo mail account because that is also excellent, free, and I haven't quite gotten over the concept of someone wanting to archive all your personal mail.