## Archive for November, 2012

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The number for today’s Friday Factoid is eleven. If this is your lucky number, date of birth or if you are just interested in random facts, now is your chance to find out some things you probably didn’t know about the number eleven.

Enjoy!

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## The Number Eleven 11

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In religion

• The word “apple” is cited 11 times in the Bible, all in the Old Testament.
• Moses was instructed to make curtains of goats’ hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: “eleven curtains shalt thou make.” ( Exodus 26.7)
• 11 apostles remained with Jesus after the treason and suicide of Apostle Judas:
• After Judas Iscariot was disgraced, the remaining apostles of Jesus were sometimes described as “the Eleven”; this occurred even after Matthias was added to bring the number to 12, as in Acts 2:14.
• Jesus’ parable of the vineyard laborers: And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and says unto them, Why stand you here all the day idle? (Matthew 20.6)
• 11th Book of Enoch describes the Messianic Kingdom.
• 11th Station of the Cross: Crucifixion of Jesus (14 Stations of the Cross, Via Dolorosa)
• 11 is a spiritually significant number in Thelema.

In mathematics

• If a number is divisible by 11, reversing its digits will result in another multiple of 11.
• As long as no two adjacent digits of a number added together exceed 9, then multiplying the number by 11, reversing the digits of the product, and dividing that new number by 11, will yield a number that is the reverse of the original number. (For example: 142,312 x 11 = 1,565,432. 2,345,651 / 11 = 213,241.)
• An 11-sided polygon is called a hendecagon or undecagon.

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In computing

• In Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Konqueror for KDE, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer for Windows, the function key F11 key toggles full screen viewing mode. In Mac OS X, F11 hides all open windows.
• The windowing system for Unix computers is known as X11.
• Computers of the PDP-11 series from Digital Equipment Corporation were informally referred to as “elevens”.

cpu room with DEC PDP-11

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In science

• 11 is the atomic number of sodium.
• 11 is the Atomic Weight of Boron, a black and semi-metallic element, chemically closer to silicon than to aluminium.
• In modern string theory physics, 11 dimensions are proposed to exist in the universe.

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In space

• Apollo 11 was the first manned spacecraft to land on the Moon.

• The approximate periodicity of a sunspot cycle is 11 years.
• Messier object M11, a magnitude 7.0 open cluster in the constellation Scutum, also known as the Wild Duck Cluster.

Messier object M11 – Wild Duck Cluster

• The New General Catalogue object NGC 11, a spiral galaxy in the constellation Andromeda
• The 11th moon of Jupiter is Himalia.

Himalia, the 11th Moon of Jupiter

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In politics

• 11th State to enter the Union is New York (July 26, 1788)
• The 11th President of the United States is James Polk (1795-1849) who served (1845-1849).

James Polk 11th President of the United States of America

• Polk was on the 11¢ stamp issued on September 8, 1938 in the Presidential Series.
• 11¢ stamps of the United States have also featured Presidents, Benjamin Franklin (issued Aug. 9, 1915) and Rutherford B. Hayes (issued Oct. 4, 1922)

11 cent stamps, Franklin, Polk, Hayes

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• The stylized maple leaf on the Flag of Canada has 11 points.

• The Canadian one-dollar coin is a hendecagon, an 11-sided polygon.

• Clocks depicted on Canadian currency, for example the Canadian fifty-dollar bill, show 11:00.

• Eleven denominations of Canadian currency are produced in large quantities.
• Due to Canada’s federal nature, eleven legally distinct Crowns effectively exist in the country, with the Monarch being represented separately in each province, as well as at the federal level.

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In sport

• There are 11 players on a soccer team on the field at a time as well as in a cricket team.
• Also in soccer, a penalty kick is referred to as “Elfmeter” because the penalty spot is approximately 11m (precisely 12 yards) from the goal line.
• Historically, in the Pyramid formation that position names are taken from, a left wing-forward in football wears number 11. In the modern game, especially using the 4-4-2 formation, it is worn by a left-sided midfielder. Less commonly a striker will wear the shirt.
• There are 11 players in a field hockey team. The player wearing 11 will usually play on the left-hand side, as in soccer.
• An American football team also has 11 players on the field at one time during play. 11 is also worn by quarterbacks, kickers, punter and wide receivers in American football’s NFL.
• In rugby union, the starting left wing wears the 11 shirt.
• In cricket, the 11th batsman is usually the weakest batsman, at the end of the tail. He is primarily in the team for his bowling abilities.
• The jersey number 11 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats or other key figures:
• In Major League Baseball: the Chicago White Sox, for Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio ( 2010 and 2011, Aparicio allowed fellow Venezuelan Omar Vizquel to wear the number); the Cincinnati Reds, for Hall of Famer Barry Larkin; the Detroit Tigers, for Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson; the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, for Jim Fregosi (who played for the team in its former incarnations as the Los Angeles Angels and California Angels, and also managed the California Angels); the Pittsburgh Pirates, for Hall of Famer Paul Waner; the San Francisco Giants, for Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell (honoring the number’s retirement when the team was known as the New York Giants); the Seattle Mariners have yet to retire any numbers, but have not issued #11 since the retirement of Edgar Martínez at the end of the 2004 season.

Baseball Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds

• In the NBA: the Detroit Pistons, for Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas; the Sacramento Kings, for Hall of Famer Bob Davies (honoring the number’s retirement when the team was known as the Rochester Royals); the Washington Wizards, for Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes (who played for the team in its past incarnations as the Baltimore, Capital, and Washington Bullets);

Elvin Hayes

• In the NFL: the New York Giants, for Phil Simms.
• In the NHL: the Buffalo Sabres, for Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault; the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers, for Hall of Famer Mark Messier; the St. Louis Blues, for Brian Sutter; the Washington Capitals, for Hall of Famer Mike Gartner.

Oilers and New York Rangers, for Hall of Famer Mark Messier

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In militaria

• World War I ended with an Armistice on November 11, 1918, which went into effect at 11:00 am, the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. Armistice Day is still observed on November 11 of each year, although it is now called Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations and parts of Europe.

• 11 is the number of guns in a gun salute to U.S. Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Brigadier Generals, and to Navy and Coast Guard Rear Admirals Lower Half.
• 11 is the number of General Orders for Sentries in the Marine Corps and United States Navy.

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• USN F11F Tiger
• The Grumman F11F/F-11 Tiger was a single-seat carrier-based United States Navy fighter aircraft in operation during the 1950s and 1960s. Originally designated the F11F Tiger in April 1955 under the pre-1962 Navy designation system, it was redesignated as F-11 Tiger under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system.
• The F11F/F-11 was used by the Blue Angels flight team from 1957 to 1969. Grumman Aircraft Corporation made about 200 Tigers, with last delivered 23 January 1

The Grumman F11F/F-11 Tiger

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• J-11 Chinese Light Fighter Aircraft
• The J-11 designation was originally applied in the design Shenyang Aircraft Factory in response to a 1968 requirement for a replacement PLAAF J-6 (MiG-19 Farmer). Shenyang’s proposal was triggered by a British Spey 512 afterburning turbofan engine and followed a conventional light fighter design, with wings swept back and side of the fuselage assembly entries.
• The J-11 was a sophisticated design for its time, but the British Spey-512 engines proved “difficult” for Communist China to obtain at that time. Shenyang factory was ordered to concentrate their energies in the J-8, and J-11 never went beyond the planning stage.

J-11 Chinese Light Fighter Aircraft

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• The B-11 Gun
• The B-11 gun is designed by the Design Bureau under guidance of B.I. Shavyrin. Its barrel consists of a smooth-bore tube, chamber, breech and breech mechanism. It is fixed on a tripod mount consisting of frame and boom. In firing position, the gun rests on the tripod mount and the wheels are elevated above ground level. The gun is transported by means of a prime-mover.
• The gun can be transported in a truck body together with crew and ammo load. The gun can be also dropped by parachute.

• Colt 1911
• Designed by John Browning, the M1911 Colt is arguably the most well known pistol in the world. It is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated handgun chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It  served as the standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985 and was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
• The M1911 is still carried by some U.S. forces. Its formal designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911 for the original Model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911A1 for the M1911A1, adopted in 1924.
• In total, the United States procured around 2.7 million M1911 and M1911A1 pistols in military contracts during its service life. The M1911 was replaced by the M9 pistol as the standard U.S. sidearm in the early 1990s, but due to its popularity among users, it has not been completely phased out. Modern M1911 variants are still in use by some units within the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.
• Many military and law enforcement organizations in the United States and other countries continue to use (often modified) M1911A1 pistols including Marine Corps Special Operations Command, Los Angeles Police Department S.W.A.T. and L.A.P.D. S.I.S., the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, F.B.I. regional S.W.A.T. teams, and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta (Delta Force). The Tacoma, Washington Police Department selected the Kimber Pro Carry II or Pro Carry II HD as optional, department supplied weapons available to its officers

Colt 1911

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• Sig Sauer M11-A1
• Two of the most watched shows on television are NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. The 2nd spinoff show, NCIS: LA features covert NCIS agents based out of Los Angeles investigating things that have nothing to do with NCIS and regularly getting into gunfights and leaving bodies all over LA. And each week, they’re correctly depicted using the Sig Sauer M11, the standard issue pistol for NCIS, Army CID, and a number of other special units of the US military.
• The Sig Sauer M11-A1 is a commercially available version of the military sidearm; upgrading the slide to stainless steel and adding Sig’s excellent Short Reset Trigger. The Sig M11-A1 comes standard with three 15-round magazines, and SigLite night sights.

Sig Sauer M11-A1

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• Smith & Wesson Model 11 .38 Pistol
• The American Smith & Wesson .38 Model 11 Revolver was supplied to British Commonwealth countries 1950s – 1970s for Police use. A standard 6-shot hand ejector with 4” barrel, ‘Mod 11’ marking and flared chequered walnut grips.

Smith-and-Wesson-Model-11

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• In music, movies and television
• The interval of an octave and a fourth is an 11th.
• A complete 11th chord has almost every note of a diatonic scale.
• The number of thumb keys on a bassoon, not counting the whisper key. (A few bassoons have a 12th thumb key.)
• In Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, there are 11 consecutive repetitions of the same chord.
• In Tool’s song Jimmy, and in Negativland’s song Time Zones the number 11 is heard numerous times in the lyrics.
• “Eleven pipers piping” is the gift on the 11th day of Christmas in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas”
• The Eleven is a song by The Grateful Dead.
• Eleven Records is the record label of Jason Webley, and many of Webley’s works feature the number 11.
• Three films, Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), have each won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture of their respective years.

ben hur action shot

• Ocean’s Eleven is the name of two American films.
• The Eleventh Commandment is a feature length film by Allied Pictures Corp. (1933) adapted from the story The Pillory by Brandon Fleming.
• The Eleventh Commandment (1962) is a science fiction novel by Lester del Rey (USA). In a heavily overpopulated future, the Roman Catholic Church continues to encourage people to be fruitful and multiply. But there is a scientific reason behind this apparent madness.
• The number of incarnations of The Doctor in BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who is 11, as of 2012. (William Hartnell; Patrick Troughton; Jon Pertwee; Tom Baker; Peter Davison; Colin Baker; Sylvester McCoy; Paul McGann; Christopher Eccleston; David Tennant and Matt Smith)

The 11 actors who have played ‘The Doctor’

Other stuff

• Cities located at 11o longitude: Munich, Germany; Monrovia, Liberia
• Cities located at 11o latitude: Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Baranquilla, Colombia
• The eleventh hour means the last possible moment to take care of something, and often implies a situation of urgent danger or emergency (see Doomsday clock).
• 11 days were lost when the British imposed the Gregorian calendar in 1752, decreeing that the day following September 2 be called September 14.
• “Elevenses” is a tea or coffee taken at midmorning and often accompanied by a snack (British custom).
• The number 11 bus is a low-cost way of sightseeing in London
• In the game of blackjack, an Ace can be counted as either one or 11, whichever is more advantageous for the player.

• 11 is the number of the French department Aude.
• 11 is the channel assignment of GMA News TV in the Philippines (formerly ZOE-TV 11). Both owned by ZOE Broadcasting Network and GMA Network.
• The Roman numeral for 11 is XI.
• Steel wedding anniversary celebrates 11 years of marriage.
• K is the 11th letter of the English alphabet .
• Kaph is the 11th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and means “grasping hand”, with a numeric value of 20.
• Lambda is the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet, meaning service, with numeric value of 30
• In Astrology, Aquarius is the 11th astrological sign of the Zodiac.
• The dog is the 11th sign of the Chinese Animal Zodiac based on the lunar year. Dog-year people are honest, intelligent, and straightforward, with a deep sense of loyalty and justice. The previous dog year was Feb. 10, 1994 to Jan. 30, 1995. The next lunar dog year is Jan. 29, 2006 to Feb. 17, 2007. People born in the dog year include Voltaire, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, Chou En-lai, Sophia Loren, Elvis Presley, and Bill Clinton.
• The Cologne coat of arms depicts the two-headed Imperial eagle holding sword and sceptre. The escutcheon (shield) shows three crowns (relics of the Three Magi kept in the Cologne Cathedral). The 11 black flames stand for the Patron Saint Ursula protecting the 11,000 virgins. Hans Memling (1440-1494) painted “Saint Ursula and the Holy Virgins” (1489) on wood at Saint Ursula Shrine in Bruges. Memling reduced the 11,000 virgins to a more manageable 11.
• German Rhineland carnival season begins on 11.11 at 11:11 A.M. in Cologne.

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9 / 11

• The twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City looked like the number 11.
• It was 110 stories tall, rising 1353 feet and was the tallest building in the world, until surpassed by Chicago’s Sears Tower (1450 feet).
• WTC was built in 1966-1977 by Minoru Yamasaki.

• American Airlines Flight 11 was a passenger flight which was hijacked by five al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001, as part of the September 11 attacks. They deliberately crashed it into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing all 87 people aboard plus the hijackers, and an unconfirmed number in the building’s impact zone. The aircraft involved, a Boeing 767-223ER, was flying American Airlines’ daily scheduled morning transcontinental service from Logan International Airport, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles, California.
• The second aircraft, a United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767–222, scheduled to fly from Logan International Airport, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles International Airport, in Los Angeles, California, hit the South Tower at 09.03.

• After the World Trade Center was demolished by terrorist attack on 9/11/2001, ceremonies were held on subsequent 9/11 dates near the site showing “Tribute in Light”— twin beams of light that resemble the number 11 projected to the sky.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A few more bad jokes wrapped up as puns. I am slightly amazed, but also pleased, that the puns have been received so well by most readers. So it wasn’t only me!

Enjoy.

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Lightning sometimes shocks people because it just doesn’t know how to conduct itself.

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When the cannibal showed up late to the luncheon, they gave him the cold shoulder.

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The experienced carpenter really nailed it, but the new guy screwed everything up.

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The one who invented the door knocker got a No-bell prize.

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Greengrocers earn a meager celery, come home beet and just want to read the pepper, take a leek, turnip the covers endive into bed.

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A noun and a verb were dating but they broke up because the noun was too possessive.

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I didn’t want to buy leather shoes, but eventually I was suede.

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For plumbers, a flush beats a full house.

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A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

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I just got my permit to harvest shrimp in the Antarctic. Now I have a licence to Krill.

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I don’t think I need a spine. It’s holding me back.

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What did the triangle say to the circle? You’re so pointless.

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Old colanders never die, they just can’t take the strain anymore.

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I probably have blind spots, but I don’t see them.

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After winter, the trees are relieved.

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Calves take well to bottle feeding because one nipple is as good as an udder.

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The shareholders of a compass manufacturer were concerned that the company wasn’t heading in the right direction.

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I’m bad at math, so the equation 2n+2n is 4n to me.

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The lights were too bright at the Chinese restaurant so the manager decided to dim sum.

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The proctologist reassured the patient that his condition could be rectified.

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## Scared Of This, Scared Of That, Scared Of The Other Thing Too, Phobias part two

Posted: November 28, 2012 in comedy, Humour, Phobias, Uncategorized, Unusual
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Last week was the first installment in the list of phobias that afflict some unfortunate people. I think everyone, including me, was shocked both at the number of phobias and at the wide range of otherwise ‘normal’ things that people have developed an irrational and heightened fear of.

These lists may seem long, but they are actually my edited version of the information I have researched, so count yourselves lucky on that score!

In the ‘B’ list there are the more understandable or perhaps excusable things like Bacillophobia (fear of microbes) or Bacteriophobia (fear of bacteria), and in the ‘C’ list things like Cholerophobia (fear of anger or the fear of cholera) or Claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces), but apart from those it just gets silly. See for yourself.

Here’s the list:

Ballistophobia ……….. fear of missiles or bullets.

Bolshephobia ……….. fear of Bolsheviks.

Barophobia ……….. fear of gravity.

Basophobia or Basiphobia ……….. inability to stand or fear of walking or falling.

Bathmophobia ……….. fear of stairs or steep slopes.

Bathophobia ……….. fear of depth.

Batophobia ……….. fear of heights or being close to high buildings.

Batrachophobia ………. fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc.

Belonephobia ……….. fear of pins and needles. (Aichmophobia)

Bibliophobia ……….. fear of books.

Blennophobia ……….. fear of slime.

Bogyphobia ……….. fear of bogeys or the bogeyman.

Botanophobia ……….. fear of plants.

Bromidrosiphobia or Bromidrophobia ……….. fear of body smells.

Brontophobia ……….. fear of thunder and lightning.

Cacophobia ……….. fear of ugliness.

Cainophobia or Cainotophobia ……….. fear of newness, novelty.

Caligynephobia ……….. fear of beautiful women.

Carnophobia ……….. fear of meat.

Catagelophobia ……….. fear of being ridiculed.

Catapedaphobia ……….. fear of jumping from high and low places.

Cathisophobia ……….. fear of sitting.

Catoptrophobia ……….. fear of mirrors.

Cenophobia or Centophobia ……….. fear of new things or ideas.

Ceraunophobia or Keraunophobia ……….. fear of thunder and lightning. (Astraphobia, Astrapophobia)

Chaetophobia ……….. fear of hair.

Cheimaphobia or Cheimatophobia ……….. fear of cold. (Frigophobia, Psychophobia)

Chemophobia ……….. fear of chemicals or working with chemicals.

Cherophobia ……….. fear of gaiety.

Chiclephobia ……….. fear of chewing gum

Chionophobia ……….. fear of snow.

Chiraptophobia ……….. fear of being touched.

Chirophobia ……….. fear of hands.

Chiroptophobia ……….. fear of bats.

Chorophobia ……….. fear of dancing.

Chrometophobia or Chrematophobia ……….. fear of money.

Chromophobia or Chromatophobia ……….. fear of colors.

Chronophobia ……….. fear of time.

Chronomentrophobia ……….. fear of clocks.

Cibophobia ……….. fear of food. (Sitophobia, Sitiophobia)

Cleithrophobia or Cleisiophobia ……….. fear of being locked in an enclosed place.

Cleptophobia ………. fear of stealing.

Climacophobia ……….. fear of stairs, climbing, or of falling downstairs.

Clinophobia ……….. fear of going to bed.

Clithrophobia or Cleithrophobia ……….. fear of being enclosed.

Cnidophobia ……….. fear of stings.

Cometophobia ……….. fear of comets.

Coimetrophobia ……….. fear of cemeteries.

Coitophobia ……….. fear of coitus.

Consecotaleophobia ……….. fear of chopsticks

Contreltophobia ……….. fear of sexual abuse.

Coprastasophobia ……….. fear of constipation.

Coprophobia ……….. fear of feces.

Coulrophobia ……….. fear of clowns.

Cremnophobia ……….. fear of precipices.

Cryophobia ……….. fear of extreme cold, ice or frost.

Cryptophobia ……….. fear of things that are hidden

Crystallophobia ……….. fear of crystals or glass.

Cyberphobia ……….. fear of computers or working on a computer.

Cyclophobia ……….. fear of bicycles.

Cymophobia or Kymophobia ……….. fear of waves or wave like motions.

Cynophobia ……….. fear of dogs or rabies.

Cyprinophobia ……….. fear of prostitutes or venereal disease.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s Tuesday and time for a few more of those questions that we would like to know the answers to had we had the presence of mind to ask them in the first place.

The last one is my favorite.

Enjoy.

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Is there not a better name for the third hand on the watch than calling it the second hand?

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If you are asked to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and your the main witness, what if you say “no”?

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How does a Real Estate company sell its office without causing confusion?

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Why is it that rain drops but snow falls?

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Is it rude for a deaf person to talk (sign) with their mouth full of food?

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Why isn’t there a special name for the tops of your feet?

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If milk goes bad if not refrigerated, does it go bad if the cow isn’t refrigerated?

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Why is a boxing ring square?

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When it rains, why don’t sheep shrink?

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Why do they report power outages on TV?

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Why do we put suits in a garment bag and put garments in a suitcase?

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Do Chinese people get English sayings tattooed on their bodies?

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Do glow-in-the-dark objects stop glowing when somebody turns the lights on?

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Why do they call them apartments when they are all stuck together?

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Why is it so hard to remember how to spell MNEMONIC?

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If you keep trying to prove Murphy’s Law, will something keep going wrong?

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How do you throw away a garbage can?

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Why are there five syllables in the word monosyllabic ?

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Is it possible to be totally partial?

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Who decided what order to put the alphabet in?

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Hi folks, just a little additional blog post for today. I don’t do this very often, only when I come across something that isn’t really substantial enough for a full post, but which I nevertheless find amusing.

So here is a short video of hos they saw the recent US Presidential Election in Taiwan.

Pity it hadn’t really been like this.

Enjoy!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The elections are over, much to the relief of many of us, but unfortunately the politicians are still there. I have frequently criticized these idiots for making a monumental mess of things and for squandering billions of dollars on the most insanely stupid debacles and catastrophes. And I will probably do so again.

However, it is always a good idea or policy to be able to back up what you say with some facts, so rather than run to my own defense which is usually what happens, this time I am going to let some of the politicians prove beyond any and all reasonable doubt that my opinion of them is well justified.

So here we have a selection of quotations from some fairly famous politicians in which they condemn themselves to the dustbin of stupidity.

Enjoy.

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Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States:

“Politics gives guys so much power that they tend to behave badly around women. And I hope I never get into that.”

This from a congressional candidate in Texas:

“That scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I’m just the one to do it.”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California Governor talking about his views on the economy:

“The public doesn’t care about figures.”

Jacques le Blanc, French ambassador on nuclear weapons:

“I do not like this word ‘bomb.’ It is not a bomb. It is a device that is exploding.”

Aggie Pate, at a non-denominational mayor’s breakfast, Fort Worth, Texas:

“I didn’t know Onward Christian Soldiers was a Christian song.”

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California Senator Barbara Boxer:

“Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.”

Ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia, Frank Rizzo:

“The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It’s only the people who make them unsafe.”

Congressman Everett Dirksen:

“A billion here, a billion there, sooner or later it adds up to real money.”

Former U.S. President, Richard Nixon:

H. Ross Perot, major Texas businessman and former presidential candidate:

“This planet is our home. If we destroy the planet, we’ve destroyed our home, so it is fundamentally important.”

Arizona Governor Wesley Bolin:

“We’d like to avoid problems, because when we have problems, we can have troubles.”

George Wallace 1968 presidential campaign:

“I’ve read about foreign policy and studied, I now know the number of continents.”

Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States:

“The world is more like it is now then it ever has before.”

Fred Heineman, former Republican representative from North Carolina:

“When I see someone who is making anywhere from \$300,000 to \$750,000 a year, that’s middle class.”

“A proof is a proof. What kind of proof? It’s a proof. A proof is proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it is proven.”

Imelda Marcos, former First Lady and a political figure in the Philippines:

“I get so tired listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there, it’s so petty.”

Bob Dole, Republican presidential candidate:

“The internet is a great way to get on the net.”

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Al Gore, former U.S. vice president:

“We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur.”

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Former California Governor Gray Davis, during the recall campaign:

“My vision is to make the most diverse state on earth, and we have people from every planet on the earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every, of people from every planet, of every country on earth.”

Charles De Gaulle, former French President:

“China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.”

President Clinton, denying that he had sexually harassed Kathleen Willey:

“I would never approach a small-breasted woman.”

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Here is installment four of the classified ads. The place where Joe Public gets a chance to show off his or her marketing skills to the world at large.

I’m sure a lot of these were read and reread and drafted and redrafted a number of time to create the perfection that they clearly are.

And I’ve included a nice romantic one at the end for all you ladies.

Enjoy.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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They call it Black Friday nowadays. It could just as easily have been Red Friday or Purple Friday or Green Friday or Any-Color-You-Like Friday. But the marketing men called it Black Friday and we’re stuck with it.

This is the day when people queue up for hours in the hope of getting something they don’t really need at a discount price they can’t really afford. And sometimes they lose their minds and fight and trample on each other for the dubious privilege.

Ah, the dumbing down of the dumb and the dumber!

When I say dumb and dumber don’t just think I am talking about the uneducated. Not in the least. Some of those for whom schooling was anathema have a lot more street savvy than most, something they have learned in what is sometimes known as the school of hard knocks – in other words, life!

I have learned that idiots come in all shapes and sizes and with all forms of learning and skills. There are smart football players and there are dumb ones. There are smart doctors and there are dumb ones. There are even smart academics and there are the well educated fools who may be exam passing machines but who haven’t the common sense to go to the local store and buy a loaf of bread.

A friend of mine, let’s call him Fred, was a guy like that. He had degrees by the yard, undergraduate, master’s degrees and even a PhD. I suppose I should have called him Dr Fred.

Academically he was brilliant. And a great teacher of academic subjects. He traveled the world and lectured in various schools and colleges to great acclaim.

But Fred hadn’t the common sense of a gnat when it came to commerce. All his life he bought things far too dear but always thought that he had bought them cheap. He was a car salesman’s dream customer, manna from heaven for a realtor, and bread and butter – and chocolate cake with icing – for any shopkeeper selling computing or electronic gear.

The reason Fred comes to mind today is that he was also one of the idiots who would queue up half the night for a sale bargain, particularly where rare books were concerned. Fred was an avid collector.

Every year our local University bookstore held a one day sale where most of their books were discounted by at least 10 or 20 percent, but where one in particular was discounted by a massive amount, at least by half and sometimes by even more.

One year Fred spotted a book he had been after that was in the sale. It had been reduced from \$500 to little over \$100 and Fred was determined to have it.

So he spent the night and day before the sale getting as much sleep as he could. Then he made a flask of coffee and a few sandwiches, got a sleeping bag and set off confidently about 3 am in the morning to go to the bookstore to camp out until it opened.

When he got to the store there was no one around, in fact nothing at all on the street, except for a large cardboard box sitting at the entrance to the shop. Fred quickly surmised that it was extra stock that had been delivered after hours for the sale.

He rolled out his sleeping bag, climbed inside it and settled down for the night. It was about this time of the year and cold, but not freezing or anything too extreme. He was comfortable enough.

The time passed slowly as it usually does at night when you aren’t able to get to sleep or when you are nervously anticipating some event that will happen in the morning. Four o’clock and five o’clock came and went, and at around six o’clock Fred ate his sandwiches and drank his coffee. He was very content. Just another couple of hours to go and the book would be his.

By seven-thirty it was just beginning to get light. Traffic had started to move along the main streets as people began to make their way to work. The side street where the bookshop was however was still deserted, apart from Fred and the big cardboard box.

And then about ten minutes before eight the staff of the bookstore started to arrive. They smiled at Fred as they walked past and opened the door of the store. They switched the lights on and closed the doors again. Fred knew that they would open them again soon, when they had got themselves organized. Just a few more minutes he thought. Fred stood up and rolled up his sleeping bag, ready to enter the store.

That was when he heard the alarm. It wasn’t very loud and at first Fred thought it was coming from another street nearby. It wasn’t. Then he thought it was coming from inside the bookstore, possibly part of their security system. But it wasn’t that either. And then, before he could think up any other possibilities the alarm stopped just as suddenly as it had started.

Then to Fred’s complete and utter amazement the flaps of the cardboard box flew open and a head came out. It was a young man and as he got to his feet and stretched his arms he looked over at Fred and said, “Morning. You here for the book sale too?”

It was a classic ‘WTF’ moment. But Fred was having trouble grasping what had just happened and he couldn’t get any words from his brain to his lips. So he just stood there, mouth slightly open, trying desperately to piece together what was happening in front of him.

“I’ve done this before,” the young man said cheerfully to Fred. “Best place to be on a cold night is inside a cardboard box. Those old homeless guys know a thing or two I can tell you.”

This time words started to come to Fred. “Were you… did you… have you been… were you in that thing all night?” he eventually spluttered the question out.

“Sure thing,” the young man replied. “Had to get that first edition of..” and he named the book that Fred had his heart set on. “There’s only the one copy, you know.”

Fred did know, boy did he know. But it never occurred to him that someone else might know the value of the book or that they might want it too. It never occurred to him to look at the cardboard box, even though he had been there beside it for most of the night. And it certainly never occurred to him that there might be somebody inside it!

“FFS!” Fred exclaimed, more to himself than anyone else. He didn’t say another word after that. He didn’t go into the bookstore either. He turned and walked away, still not entirely sure, I think, what had just happened.

As for me, you wont get me near a shop tomorrow, bargains or not. If you are going shopping then good luck, this might be what you are letting yourself in for.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Well it’s Thursday again BUT it’s also Thanksgiving Day so perhaps some people will have a lot better things to do than read my blog today.

Whatever you are doing and wherever you are doing it, have a great and a lovely celebration whether you are with family, friends or just on your own.

For those who do care to take a few minutes to check out this blog, particularly for those in other countries who may not be celebrating on this particular day here is another selection of the bad jokes we like to call puns.

I just had to post this today because tomorrow I’ll probably be doing cold turkey.

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I used to be a banker but I lost interest

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How do you make antifreeze? Steal her blanket.

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Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

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He wears glasses during math because it improves division.

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A bacteria walked into a bar and the bartender said, ‘We don’t serve bacteria in this place.’

The bacteria said, ‘But I work here, I’m staph.’

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He has been a jogger for three years running.

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In a recession, the most secure job is garbage-man. Business is always picking up.

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Do optometrists live long because they dilate?

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I once heard a joke about amnesia, but I forgot how it goes.

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I just got of these new reversible jackets? I’m excited to see how it turns out.

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John Deere’s manure spreader is the only equipment the company won’t stand behind.

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Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda? He was lucky it was a soft drink.

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I’m not a big fan of archery. It has too many strings attached and lots of drawbacks.

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I was going to buy a book on phobias, but I was afraid it wouldn’t help me.

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Why did the capacitor kiss the diode? He just couldn’t resistor.

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A rule of grammar: double negatives are a no-no.

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Is the patron saint of poverty St. Nickeless.

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My new theory on inertia doesn’t seem to be gaining momentum.

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I relish the fact that you’ve mustard the strength to ketchup to me.

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Weight loss mantra? Fat chants!

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