Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Many Happy Returns Webby!

Posted: May 10, 2014 in bankers, Business, Computers, Current Events
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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World-Wide-Web

The World Wide Web, created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, turned 25 years old this year, 2014.

There has never been anything like it before, certainly not as regards the impact it has made on society and the way we live our lives. Many of those changes are good, many are not so good and a few are downright annoying.

Here’s my take on some of them.

To concentrate on the good parts first, the one thing the www has done, for those who can use it effectively, is to give access to information that was previously only available to the elite few who managed to claw their way into the lofty heights of academia, or who worked in places where information was readily available. Now the same information is accessible at the touch of a button to anyone and everyone with a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Another benefit, in my view anyway, is that is has sent a massive wake-up call to telephone providers world wide, many of whom were fast asleep, content to rake in healthy profits from antiquated systems. No longer do we have to settle for slow and temperamental data transfer lines. Nowadays, particularly in the last few years, people are demanding systems that can cope with download streams in the gigabyte range. If you are old enough to remember the first modems you will know you wasted too much of your life trying to download at 12Kb/sec., sometimes less.

Freedom is also a welcome by-product of the World Wide Web.

The freedom to work in any country in the world, from virtually any country in the world is one big plus – it is for me anyhow. Another one I particularly like is the freedom to watch TV programs that I like, when I like, no longer tied to the schedules of some brainless bean-counter working for a broadcasting company. And the freedom to have your say on things as and when the mood takes you – they call that blogging don’t you know! – is also a great advantage to the ordinary person.

www words

As is the freedom to disseminate information across the globe instantly, as Mr Snowden ably demonstrated, although I would hazard a guess that the powers that be would not agree with me on that one.

Indeed, this is the one aspect of the www that really bothers big brother.

China for example is one country where access is controlled by the state. Coincidentally this year also marks the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, you’ll find articles about that if you do a search, but probably not in China. They get away with it because they are not a democracy and do not pretend to be one.

In other countries, like the good old Land Of The (Not So) Free (Anymore)), the powers still like to con their people into believing that they are living in a democratic nation and that the people have the power to vote for this or that. But think for a moment, when was the last time you got to vote on whether to start a war, or whether to give $billions of your money to the greedy banksters to pay themselves huge bonuses and gamble away the rest?

It is because they need to keep the pretence of democracy going, that they do not yet have the confidence to start overtly censoring the internet. But they do all they can to snoop on what people are reading, or writing, or looking at.

This is where the freedom the www and associated technology provides can also be a negative, when it is used by governments to surveil us and record every piece of data they can. If they were doing this selectively and targeting terrorists and criminals no one would be too worried. But they are doing it to all of us, guilty and innocent alike.

big brother is watching

They are also doing everything they can think of to impose taxes on internet commerce – of course they have to coz they’re stoney broke.

The www has revolutionized business practices and created all sorts of new commerce opportunities, Amazon perhaps being the best example of a company that has gone from nothing to a multi-billion dollar business in just a few years.

Communication and social interaction are also areas where the www has liberated the ordinary person – first with email and more recently with social media. In the near future expect to see social media expanding to become much more than individual platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. We are already seeing many new applications that are allowing people to communicate more widely, more easily and more often.

social media

Another negative is that the World Wide Web has unwittingly facilitated the proliferation of pornography and violence, and is teaching a generation of morons all the wrong things. Things that will ensure they become a burden on society, not an asset.

And it has also opened a whole new environment in which criminals can operate. Millions of dollars are being stolen every day through scams, confidence tricks and outright theft.

You could say (and I frequently do) that people dumb enough to fall for these scams deserve all they get, or all they lose, is perhaps a better way of putting it. You know, the idiots who believe they really have won a lottery they didn’t buy a ticket for, or who think that Dr Umbungo Watanga from Nigeria is being truthful when he tells them that someone they never heard of has left them $25 million and all they need to do is send all their personal details and a few thousand dollars to unlock the fortune that awaits them. There really is one born every minute it seems!

All that said, and twenty-five years on, the www is still in its infancy. We have come a long way in the past 25 years, but we have really only scratched the surface as regards what the web has the potential to do to further improve our daily lives.

Where the vision to develop the www will come from in anyone’s guess. The only thing we know for sure is that the initiative won’t come from governments or their bureaucratic servants, simply because the people we elect to those positions do not have the required intelligence.

So its up to you. If you have any great ideas you want to share, send me an email.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created the World Wide Web.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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100000 page views

I missed marking my first year anniversary of this blog with an appropriate post and then not to be outdone by that, I also managed to miss the second year anniversary too. I guess I had other things on my mind at the time.

However this post marks another significant milestone in my blogging career, if I can call it that, because earlier today the fasab blog managed to push its way through the 100,000 page views threshold. Certainly a lot more than the humble beginnings when literally only a handful of people turned up!

I know it’s not a world shaking internet statistic, not even in the blogsphere either, but for me and this blog I think it is remarkable. Even more so since I have a tendency to sometimes write about people I know, so I can’t really publicize my blog via the usual “friends and family” route.  

Before I started my blog I’d obviously heard about them, but I’d never even read one. I had a bit of time on my hands and I thought I would give it a go. As I’ve probably said before, I wasn’t really into social networking sites like “Myface” or “Spacebook” or whatever, not that there’s anything wrong with them if you like that sort of thing and many people I know do.

But I thought blogging might be my thing.

So I read blogs and I read about blogging and I created my own little niche of “Fighting Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”, which I found I was doing every day anyway, and mixed it with a bit of humor, politics and so forth – and here we are 100,000 views later, and counting.

It has been an interesting time.

Apart from a handful of hopefuls who think they’ll make a fortune out of it, I think most people are like me, blogging for themselves. But it is also very nice and very rewarding when other people stop by to read the posts and even better when they acknowledge them with a “like”, a “follow”, or a “comment”.

I am delighted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has visited the fasab blog and particularly those who have decided to follow whether on WordPress, Tumblr, Pinterest, Twitter, or whatever. Some bloggers and readers, who I like to call my “blog-friends” have become regulars here. I very much appreciate your support. I have tried to reciprocate by visiting your blogs too when time permits.

One or two others  –  who I have no doubt are thoroughly ashamed of themselves :)  –  have fallen by the wayside, but most visitors I do not even know. Which brings me to another thing that I wasn’t expecting, and that was the variety of countries visitors come from. The bulk are from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and India – which is more or less what you could expect for an English language blog. But interestingly there have also been visitors from many other parts of Europe, South and Central America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa too. And all are very welcome.

So what does the future hold for the fasab blog?

I don’t exactly know the answer to that. Probably more puns, and factoids. Maybe a few more quizzes. Definitely the odd rant about things that annoy me (that’s a lot of things, the list grows every day!). But hopefully a lot of humor too.

A smile never does any harm  –  unless some big stupid bloke thinks you’re laughing at him  –  so prepare yourself for more.

My sincere thanks to everyone who has visited and who reads this.

And don’t forget the “Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy!”

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The Sunday Sermon

Bankster pyramid of greed and corruption

They say rats squeal when they are being hunted and nearing capture and they’re right.

None more so at present than the rat banksters and nowhere more so than on Wall Street. If you listen carefully you can hear them squeal even above the noise of the New York traffic.

And the reason for the squealing?

Only that federal authorities are at long last closing in on some of the worst culprits whose greed and contempt for their clients caused the financial crisis we have all be suffering from during the past decade and more.

But before you start clapping the feds on the back, let me say it is too little and too late. None of the banksters are likely to face jail sentences which is what they deserve for their crimes against the people.

Foreclosure-Homes

However, it is something and these days that’s about the best you can hope for.

In terms of the numbers, the banksters are facing fines of something in the region of $63 billion.

Wow, listen to them squeal!

It seems like a lot of money – and it is a lot of money, it could keep all of us blogging away happily for the rest of our lives and then some. But put in the context of what the banksters defrauded their clients out of and what they lost it is just a pittance.

Putting the figures into context, J P Morgan Chase’s $13 billion mortgage settlement in November was probably some kind of record, but they issued more than $460 billion in mortgage securities.

To illustrate it in numbers people can relate to better, that’s like a thief stealing a thousand dollars from you and getting away with it if he paid you back $28.

I bet the amount of the settlement doesn’t seem so big now. Nor is it commensurate with the size of the crime. But that’s what they’ll probably get away with. And they’re not even grateful for this small smack on the wrist, hence all the squealing.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Some blogs meander along trying to be very politically correct. But not here at fasab. Controversial or not, the philosophy here is to tell it as it is.

So to repeat the question in the title…. 

Should we get rid of homos?

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Of course, I’m talking about homographs and homophones – I don’t know what YOU were thinking of?

If you are a regular visitor to this blog you will know that quite often we have a look at amusing misprints or mistakes on signs, classified ads, newspaper headlines, or wherever else they can be found.

Nearly always the problem is peoples’ failure to grasp the intricacies of the English language.

If you are born and bred in an English speaking country then it is relatively easy to grasp the basics of the language, although there is a steady deterioration in some of these, like speleling for example. (That was a deliberate mistake for comic affect by the way.)

So what about the homos then?

For those who haven’t made up their mind yet, a homograph – (also known as a heteronym, but where would have been the fun in that title?) – is a word of the same written form as another but of different meaning and usually different origin.

Sometimes it is pronounced the same as the other word, in which case it is known as a homograph.

homograph definition

Sometimes they are pronounced differently, in which case they are called homophones.

homophone definition

An example of the former is the word “letter” which is pronounced the same whether the meaning is a message written to someone, or to describe a particular member of the alphabet such as ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, etc.

An example of the latter could be the word “lead” which is pronounced differently if it means a metal (“the lead was very heavy”), or to be the front runner of a group of people (“he was in the lead”).

There are a lot more homos around than you might at first think. Here are just a few examples I saw recently. I hope you find them interesting and maybe even begin to realize what a nightmare learning the English language must be for those not immersed in it from a very young age.

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1) The bandage was “wound” around the “wound”.

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2) The farm was used to “produce” “produce”.

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3) The dump was so full that it had to “refuse” more “refuse”.

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4) We must “polish” the “Polish” furniture.

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5) He could “lead” if he would get the “lead” out.

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6) The soldier decided to “desert”  his “dessert” in the “desert”.

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7) Since there is no time like the “present”, he thought it was time to “present” the “present”.

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8) A “bass” was painted on the head of the “bass” drum.

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9) When shot at the “dove”  “dove” into the bushes.

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10) I did not “object” to the “object”.

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11) The insurance was “invalid” for the “invalid”.

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12) There was a “row” among the oarsmen about how to “row”.

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13) They were too “close” to the door to “close” it.

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14) The buck “does” funny things when the “does” are present.

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15) A seamstress and a “sewer” fell down into a “sewer” line.

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16) The farmer used a “sow” to help him “sow” the crop.

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17) The “wind” was too strong to “wind” the sail.

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18) Upon seeing the “tear” in the painting I shed a “tear”.

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19) I had to “subject” the “subject” to a series of tests.

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20) How can I “intimate” this to my most “intimate” friend?

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Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. 

For example, there are no “eggs” in “eggplant”, nor “ham” in “hamburger”.  

There is neither “pine” nor “apple” in “pineapple”.

“English” muffins weren’t invented in “England” nor “French” fries in “France”.

“Sweetmeats” are “sweet” but are candies and not “meats”, whereas “sweetbreads” are neither “sweet” nor “bread”, but in fact meat.

Boxing “rings” are “square” and a “guinea pig” is neither from “Guinea” nor is it a “pig”.

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And why is it that “writers” “write”, but “fingers” don’t “fing”, “grocers” don’t “groce” and “hammers” don’t “ham”?

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If the plural of “tooth” is “teeth”, why isn’t the plural of “booth”, “beeth”? Why one “index”, but two or more “indices”?  Or why do you have one “goose” and two “geese”, and one “moose” but never two “meese”?

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You can make “amends” but what do you do if you have just one thing to amend? Or if you have a bunch of “odds and ends” and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call what’s left?

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If teachers “taught”, why didn’t preachers “praught”?

And if a “vegetarian” eats vegetables, what does a “humanitarian” eat?

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In what other language would people “recite at a play” and “play at a recital”; have “noses” that “run” and “feet” that “smell”; or send a “shipment” by “car” and “cargo” by “ship”?

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How can a “slim chance” and a “fat chance” be the same, while a “wise man” and a “wise guy” are opposites?

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Or why can people like the Amish “raise” a barn, meaning to “erect” a building, whereas everywhere else when we “raise” a building to the ground we mean we “demolish” it?

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You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn “up” as it burns “down”; in which you “fill in” a form by “filling it out”; and in which an alarm goes “off” by going “on”.

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Even when you are standing still you can be part of the human “race” and you can look at the stars which are visible when they are “out”, unlike a light which is invisible when it is “out”.

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Finally, there is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is “UP”.

It’s easy to understand “UP”, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we “wake UP”? At a meeting, why does a topic “come UP”? Why do we “speak UP”?

Or do what I am going to do now, which is to “shut UP”.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s time for a Sunday Sermon!

cartoon-illustration-of-a-spy-wearing-a-hat-and-trenchcoat

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Whether we realize it or like it, the advent of the internet has changed all our lives. From power users like myself to just casual users, things are a lot different from how they used to be.

There are, of course, negatives like the increase of spam, fraud, pornography and so forth, but by and large the impact of the internet has been a positive one.

It has made finding information much quicker and easier.

It has given us better and cheaper communication possibilities such as Skype.

It has revolutionized shopping for millions of people.

And it has spawned new social interaction platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and not forgetting blogging sites such as WordPress, allowing people to find groups and individuals all over the world with similar interests to their own.

But perhaps the greatest thing that the internet has achieved is to give freedom for ordinary people to say what they want to say and have that reach a much bigger audience than would have hitherto been possible without having to spend vast sums of money trying to do it.

Unfortunately, however, that freedom is the one thing that governments cannot tolerate. Hell bent on control, they see the freedom that the internet provides as a threat to their power. And slowly but relentlessly they are chipping away at that freedom.

In China there is no pretense or deceit. The government there controls the internet and that’s just how it is.

However in the West, as they always do, governments create smokescreens to hide their real objectives. They read our private emails and listen to our private phone calls in secret, only reluctantly admitting to it when they are exposed by a whistleblower such as Edward Snowden, last seen leaving Hong Kong and heading for Moscow.

edward-snowden

And even when they are exposed they can’t tell the truth about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Invariably the excuse trotted out is “security issues”, in other words, they are doing what we don’t want them to do and invading our privacy, for our own good! 

If governments expect the people to have confidence in them, then they in turn should show confidence in the people. That means doing their job properly and targeting people and groups that are a possible threat without treating everyone as a potential terrorist.

And it means being honest with their people. 

Will that happen?

Not a chance!

As I said earlier the game isn’t about what is good for the people, the game is about control of the people. And a big part of that control is ensuring that the herd shall not be heard – if they have anything important to say that the government doesn’t want us to know!

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aFrankAngle’s A-to-Z Challenge On Fasab

Posted: May 3, 2013 in Factoids, Humour, Uncategorized, Unusual
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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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My blog friend Frank over at A Frank Angle came up with the idea of doing a post based on an alphabetical listing of a selection of his previous posts. An interesting idea and a good way to introduce more recent readers to some of the things they might otherwise have missed.

Of course, Frank couldn’t leave it at that, so he threw out a challenge for others to try to do the same for their blogs. And guess who couldn’t resist the challenge!

So here you are, for new and long term readers of this blog, a alphabetical journey through some of the files of Fasab!

Enjoy.

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afaa2zbadge

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A is for….

Awkward Moments, (Part One, Part Two and Part Three), a short series of amusing anecdotes of times when things didn’t go quite right.

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B is for….

Banksters, one of my perpetual hate figures and the subject of numerous rants such as this one

Are The Banksters Guilty Of Treason Against The Nation?

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C is for….

Classifieds, a long running series of funny classified ads that turned out rather differently to the original intent, for example Part Three and Part Fourteen

And also for factoids about Chocolate and Coffee which people seemed to enjoy

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D is for….

Dogs. I make no secret of the fact that I am very fond of dogs, and German Shepherds in particular. You won’t get a better or more loyal companion and friend. I’ve done several doggie posts, this one has been the most popular,

Sometimes Dogs Know More Than We Give Them Credit For

And for Dear Abbey, no blog like this would be complete without a few letters from Joe Public seeking advice for some of their most disturbing problems.

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E is for….

Education, the lack of, as evidenced by these student exam answers, Part One and Part Two

And also for Emergency Room, some amusing anecdotes from the medical world.

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F is for….

Facebook, in particular the disastrous launch of the company on to the stock market which inspired the longest alliterated blog post title so far

Furious Flabbergasted Facebook Fools Face Frightening Falls From Fanciful Flagging Financial Flotation Farce

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G is for….

The Great Escape, a short story aout an intrepid group of construction workers held hostage by Saddam Hussein before the outbreak of the first war with Iraq

And also for a Glass Of Milk being raised in tribute to Samuel J Porcello, the man who made Oreos what they are today.

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H is for….

Has to be for The Late Great Mr Harry Meadows, an old fellow whose efforts to spice up life in an English nursing home didn’t quite work out as intended.

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I is for….

I Miss Him, and I Miss Him Two, a nostalgic look back at some of the wonderful statements of President George W Bush.

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J is for….

The Journey, an eight part story of an eventful and amusing journey from Dublin, Ireland to the Caribbean, by way of Miami, Florida. This was one of the first things I wrote for this blog and published before there was much viewing traffic

Dublin Airport,  –   Reconfigured And Stuck,  –   The Three Hour Stopover,  –   What Color Was It?   –  Just A Trip To The Mall,   –  Miami Twice, Lost In That Is,   –  Bags And Bags And Bags Of Bother,  and  Finally, I Made It!

K is for….

Korea, my take on the current posturing and politics concerning North and South Korea,

Is Obama Making A Bad Korea Move?

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L is for….

A Long Love Affair, a short story about my own geeky love affair with computers during the past few decades.

And for Lost In The Fog, a short story about Tommy who managed to get completely lost in the field beside his house.

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M is for….

The MilPost Blog Award, another thing inspired by Frank who was the first blogger to receive this prestigious award only given to those few bloggers who have posted 1,000 times or more on their blog. If you know of anyone who is eligible to receive it please let me know.

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N is for….

Numbers, an on going series of factoids about numbers and their meanings and associations, that has surprised me in the numbers of people viewing them. So far the most popular number is Twenty-Three 23.

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O is for….

One Small Step For Man, a tribute on hearing of the death of Neil Armstrong the first man to set foot on the Moon. There are differing views on how Mr Gorsky fared, but I hope he did okay!

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P is for….

No, you’re all wrong. P is for my loving tribute to the wonderful invention knows as Peanut Butter.

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Q is for….

Quiz Show Answers, a very funny and long running series about the dumb answers given by contestants on various TV and radio quizzes over the years. Like this for example,

It’s Monday And That Means Some More Quiz Show Answers

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R is for….

Revenge Of The First Graders, part of a short series of guess the logo quizzes, apparently kids can recognize about 200 of these by the time they are ready for the first grade!

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S is for….

Stupidity, one of the foundation stones of this blog. No one is immune, especially not politicians and lawyers.

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T is for….

Tarzan and Travel Agents, both of whom made an appearance on the fasab blog.

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U is for….

US Politics And Foreign Policy For Dummies, sometimes it takes a kid to show us how absurd the world of adults really is!

And ‘U’ is for Up, as in People Hardly Ever Look Up, Sometimes They Should!

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V is for….

Versatile Blogger Award. Actually that should be ‘awards’ the first nomination from Alex way back when this blog was barely two months old, and subsequently from Sunny and Wendy. The Fasab blog has also been nominated for the Illuminating Blogger Award (Kenton), Sunshine Award (Wendy again) and the Kreative Blogger Award (Nabdip). My sincere thanks to everyone who though this blog worthy of nomination and I will get round to doing a proper awards page I promise.

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W is for….

Word Play. Yes, you were right, just in the wrong place. I like puns and they feature almost every week somewhere in my blog. So like them, or hate them, or like to hate them, or even hate to like them, you’re sure to find some here.

Why Are Puns So Popular?

Word Play, Bad Jokes, Whatever You Call Them They’re Still Pun To Me

It’s Thursday And That Means Another Excuse For A Few More Bad Jokes

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X is for….

X-rated, a steamy tension filled post about My Morning In Bed With Derek. Read it if you dare!

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Y is for….

Your Country Needs You, a story about a friend’s unusual introduction to the military world.

And You’re Too Stupid To Own A Computer, about pc owners and technical helplines!

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Z is for….

Zero, there are no ‘Z’ posts on this blog, unless the ones that put you to sleep reading them!

I suppose I could have used some of the quiz or puzzle posts, but that’s a bit of a cop out.

I hope this means that Fasab has yet to reach its zenith.

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So that’s it, the Fasab A – Z. Feel free to click any or all of the links that take your fancy, and, as always, enjoy!

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Frank has asked me to remind everyone that no nominations are required to take part in the A2Z challenge, so why not have a go. It’s a bit of work, but fun too, and it gives you the excuse to look over some of your old posts.
The details are on Frank’s blog. To go there, click here!

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No blog post today,

but I would like to take this opportunity

to wish everyone who visits the fasab blog

a very merry Christmas.

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Thank you for your support over the past ten months of blogging 

and especially to all those who follow and comment,

your contributions are very much appreciated. 

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