Boffin Bollocks!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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mad scientist cartoon

I would love to have been a scientist.

Not a real one, I’m not clever enough or dedicated enough for that. Rather, I would have loved to have been one of those idiots who try to make a name for themselves off pronouncements on things about which they know absolutely nothing.

I saw another one of their headline grabbers (that I like to call “boffin bollocks”) recently. The headline went something like “Shock Warning Aliens Are Coming.” And it wasn’t about more Mexicans making their way north across the US border.

It was from NASA’s Chief Scientist, Ellen Stofan, and claimed that first contact with alien life will happen “very soon” – very soon being not tomorrow, but within the next decade or two.

“We know where to look,” she confirmed.

Yes, “UP” would be my non-scientific guess at the best direction.

“We know how to look,” she added.

Again I am forced to agree. Personally I’d use a telescope, and a great big one, but that’s only me!

astronomer cartoon www.davidreneke.com

Ms Stofan was ably backed up by a colleague, John M. Grunsfeld, who came out with good sound bite words and phrases like “solar system”, “galaxy”, “the icy crusts of Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Europa” (my favorite I think) and “the internal water within Saturn’s moon Enceladus”.

Mars and the Martians also got mentioned, but only with suggestions that life may have at one time been present on the planet. H. G. and Orson Wells had beaten them to visits by the ‘real’ Martians many, many years ago.

War of the Worlds

More scientists, this time at the Parkes Observatory in Australia, have been carefully studying peryton-a type of radio signals similar to Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) which are known to come from somewhere else in the galaxy.

For years, they had been puzzled by these brief but intense bursts of radio waves that in some ways appeared to be coming from deep space. There have been dozens of reported perytons, some dating back to the 1990s, and theories about the signals’ origin included ball lightning, aircraft, and components of the telescopes themselves.

Then this year they made a break through. They discovered the source of the rogue signals. They were coming from – no, not somewhere deep in the galaxy – but instead from the microwave oven in the next room.

In what has to be the understatement of the year, Emily Petroff of Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology admitted, “It was quite surprising that it ended up being microwaves.”  I bet it was!

microwave aliens

I must add that I’m a big fan of space exploration, always have been, since I was a kid and was captivated by the television coverage of the Apollo missions. My only regret is that it all takes so very long that I will have gone ‘supernova’ before we see any tangible results of that exploration. There’s never a handy wormhole around when you need one, is there!

I am also a big fan of TV sci-fi series like the Star Treks, the Stargates and so forth, and of movies from ‘War of the Worlds’, thru ‘E.T.’ to ‘Independence Day’ and beyond. But I also have the wit to realize I’m being entertained and these things are not real.

So is there life out there?

I wouldn’t rule the idea out for a second. But what I would rule out is that intelligent life is ever going to be found within our Solar System, maybe not even within our Galaxy. But it could be out there somewhere.

The question we should be asking is, assuming it is benign and not hell bent on conquering all in its path, or maybe viewing us as a culinary delicacy, would that intelligent life really want anything to do with a planet full of people who, for almost their entire existence, seem to want nothing better than to continually wage war on each other?

I think having observed us for a while they would probably pass us by without calling in to say hello.

If I were in their shoes – or space boots – that’s what I would do – and at warp speed too!

alien observers

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General Confusion And Major Disaster.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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British General Election 2015

No, today’s post is not about matters military, although the term ‘SNAFU’ would be rather appropriate.

This one is about the General Election in Britain in May 2015 that will decide who will run the country for the next five years and who will be Prime Minister. This is a crucial election for voters because there is no real front runner. One party is as bad as the other. So a few votes here and there could make a crucial difference. Sounds a bit like Florida!

It may even end up with another coalition government in Britain, although I don’t know if the Conservatives could stomach another five years of being tied to the Liberals – but what am I talking about, of course they could, if it meant clinging on to power.

The election might be even closer than it should be because millions of people may be unable to vote. The secretive Whitehall department of stupid bureaucrats responsible for – wait for the irony, “efficiency” – refused to heed warnings from its own pilot programs that showed it had major problems with data matching.

data matching

It is very similar to the way the nerds at Microsoft didn’t believe their testers when they told them Windows 8 was a pile of doo-doo.

The bureaucrats first of all created new legal requirements for voter registration requiring them to verify information that was previously taken on trust.

The only thing is, about five and a half million voters went missing from the Electoral Register. The tests they carried out told them this was likely to happen, but they didn’t listen. Bureaucrats never do until it is too late.

According to government sources, “The digital service allows anyone to register to vote online, from any device connected to the web. It’s incredibly quick and simple – it takes less than five minutes.”

They forgot to add the crucial line that – it doesn’t work.

The problems became apparent as soon as the web service went live. The Electoral Register was a lot shorter than it had been. Not only that but strange things also began to happen.

cartoon boy

For example, a five-year-old boy in Crewe had been given the vote – but he couldn’t get off the Electoral Register, because he was not able to produce his National Insurance number, which of course he didn’t have – because he was only five. Duhh!!!

In another case a woman, who had been an eligible voter on the Electoral Roll for twenty years, failed to get on to the new one because her National Insurance number was in her maiden name which did not match with her married name which the system insisted she use now.

The whole thing has turned into a government-created mess. People are now filling in the registration form thinking that means they are registered to vote, but actually they haven’t. All they have managed to do is submit an application to register to vote.

It’s bit like filling in a form so that you are eligible to fill in a form. A bureaucrat’s dream!

So it’s looking like general confusion and major disaster for the election. Just more proof that government bureaucrats and computer systems just don’t belong together.

bureaucrats and computer systems

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April Fools Day, So Let’s Have A Look At Some Fools!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s April Fool’s Day and what more appropriate post than to have our final look (for now) at the fools who need warning labels on everything and the fools who write the warnings.

Enjoy the stupidity.

warning exp

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“Remove the plastic wrapper.”

The first instruction on a

bag of microwave popcorn;

BUT to see the instructions,

one first has to remove the plastic

wrapper and unfold the pouch.

 popcornbag

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“Take one capsule by mouth

three times daily until gone.”

On a box of pills.

 box of pills

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“Open packet. Eat contents.”

Instructions on a packet of airline peanuts.

 packet of airline peanuts

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“Remove wrapper,

open mouth,

insert muffin,

eat.”

Instructions on the packaging

for a muffin at a 7-11.

 packaging for a muffin

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“Use like regular soap.”

On a bar of Dial soap.

 bar of Dial soap

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“Instructions: usage known.”

Instructions on a can of black pepper.

 black pepper

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“Serving suggestion: Defrost.”

On a Swann frozen dinner.

 swan-to-go

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“Simply pour the biscuits into a bowl and

allow the cat to eat when it wants.”

On a bag of cat biscuits.

 bag of cat biscuits

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“In order to get out of car,

open door, get out, lock doors,

and then close doors.”

In a car manual.

 car manual

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“The appliance is switched on by setting

the on/off switch to the ‘on’ position.”

Instructions for an espresso kettle.

 Bialetti - moka pot 10

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More Stupid Signs By Stupid People For Stupid People.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Catering for the lowest common denominator in intelligence can be very frustrating for the rest of us.

But apparently stupidity has reached levels today where stupid people will hurt themselves with things that shouldn’t hurt them, if they had the wit to understand what they were and how use them properly.

Personally I think there is some merit in letting them get on with it and perhaps thereby gradually eliminating chronic stupidity from the gene pool.

In the meantime all we can do is cringe and laugh.

Here are some more.

Enjoy.

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stupidity is contageous sign

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“Not to be used as a personal flotation device.”

On a 6 x 10 inch inflatable picture frame.

 inflatable picture frame

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“Do not put in mouth.”

On a box of bottle rockets.

 bottle rockets

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“Remove plastic before eating.”

On the wrapper of a Fruit Roll-Up snack.

 Fruit Roll-Up snack

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“Not dishwasher safe.”

On a remote control for a TV.

 remote control for a TV

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“For lifting purposes only.”

On the box for a car jack.

 car jack

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“Do not put lit candles on phone.”

On the instructions for a cordless phone.

 lit candles

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“Warning! This is not underwear!

Do not attempt to put in pants.”

On the packaging for a wristwatch.

 packaging for a wristwatch

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“Safe for use around pets.”

On a box of Arm & Hammer Cat Litter.

 Arm & Hammer Cat Litter

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“No stopping or standing.”

A sign at bus stops everywhere.

 No stopping or standing

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“Do not sit under coconut trees.”

A sign on a coconut palm in a

West Palm Beach park circa 1950.

 Do not sit under coconut trees

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“These rows reserved for parents with children.”

A sign in a church.

 parents with children

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“All cups leaving this store, whether

full or empty, must be paid for.”

A sign in a Cumberland Farms

in Hillsboro, New Hampshire.

 cups

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Warning: Stupidity Ahead!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Take heed of that warning in the title.

There is stupidity ahead and lots of it.

The stupid signs by stupid people for stupid people continues.

Enjoy (and maybe cringe a little).

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may contain nuts

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“May be harmful if swallowed.”

On a shipment of hammers.

 shipment of hammers

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“Using Ingenio cookware to destroy your

old pots may void your warranty.”

A printed message that appears in a television

advertisement when the presenter demonstrates

how strong the cookware is by using it to

beat up and destroy a regular frying pan.

 Ingenio cookware

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“Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand.”

In the manual for a Swedish chainsaw.

 Swedish chainsaw

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“Do not dangle the mouse by its cable

or throw the mouse at co-workers.”

 ……from a manual for an SGI computer.

 cat and mouse

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“Warning: May contain nuts.”

On a package of peanuts.

 may contain nuts 2

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“Do not eat.”

On a slip of paper in a stereo box,

referring to the styrofoam packing.

(Maybe this one is not so daft, I once

saw someone trying to eat this stuff!)

 styrofoam

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“Do not eat if seal is missing.”

On said seal.

 Do not eat if seal is missing

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“Access hole only —

not intended for use in lifting box.”

On the sides of a shipping carton,

just above cut-out openings which one

would assume were handholds.

 box with hand holes

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“Warning: May cause drowsiness.”

On a bottle of Nytol, a brand of sleeping pills.

 Nytol

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“Warning: Misuse may cause injury or death.”

Stamped on the metal barrel of a .22 calibre rifle.

 .22 calibre rifle

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“Do not use orally after using rectally.”

In the instructions for an electric thermometer.

 electric thermometer

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“Turn off motor before using this product.”

On the packaging for a chain saw file,

used to sharpen the cutting teeth on the chain.

 chain saw file

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Pandering To The Stupidest – The Warning Signs Continue.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Pandering to the stupidest people in society has become the norm.

All that does is drag everyone closer to their level of stupidity, but apparently the equally stupid people in charge think that’s the way it has to be.

They’ve even managed to get stupid people to write the stupid signs for the other stupid people.

Sound like a conspiracy to me, except they’re not smart enough for that.

Anyway, enough of my rant.

Just enjoy.

no stupid people beyond this point

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“Do not iron clothes on body.”

On packaging for a Rowenta iron.

 Rowenta iron

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“Do not drive car or operate machinery.”

On Boot’s children’s cough medicine.

 Boot's children's cough medicine

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“For indoor or outdoor use only.”

On a string of Christmas lights.

 string of Christmas lights

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“Wearing of this garment

does not enable you to fly.”

On a child sized Superman costume.

 child sized Superman costume

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“This door is alarmed from 7:00pm – 7:00am.”

On a hospital’s outside access door.

 hospital's outside access door

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“Beware!

To touch these wires is instant death.

Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted.”

On a sign at a railroad station.

 To touch these wires is instant death

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“Warning:

do not use if you have prostate problems.”

On a box of Midol PMS relief tablets.

 Midol PMS relief tablets

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“Product will be hot after heating.”

On a supermarket dessert box.

 supermarket dessert box

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“Do not turn upside down.”

On the bottom of a supermarket dessert box.

 Do not turn upside down

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“Do not light in face.

Do not expose to flame.”

On a lighter.

 a lighter

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“Choking hazard:

This toy is a small ball.”

On the label for a cheap rubber ball toy.

 cheap rubber ball toy

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“Not for human consumption.”

On a package of dice.

package of dice

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