Did You Know? – It’s Another Fact Filled Tuesday.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A curious mixture of facts today, or maybe they’re always hat way?

Anyway, I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

But whatever conclusion you come to I hope you enjoy.

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did you know2

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As with many things, Penicillin was discovered accidently

when Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming came back from vacation

and noticed that his bacteria were all being killed off by a strange fungus.

Alexander_Fleming

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Every two minutes, we take as many photos

as all of humanity took during the 1800s.

Smile please!

taking-picture-photographer

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If you think no one cares if you’re alive,

try leaving some debts unpaid.

debts unpaid

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In 1942 Dr. Harry Coover found that a substance he created,

cyanoacrylate, was a failure.

It stuck to everything it touched just a little too well.

So he invented Super Glue.

Dr. Harry Coover superglued

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When Warner Brothers formed,

the Ottoman Empire was still in being.

warner brothers logo

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John Pemberton didn’t start out wanting to be a successful businessman.

He just wanted to cure headaches.

His recipes consisted of two things – coca leaves and cola nuts.

When his lab assistant accidentally mixed the two with carbonated water

Coke was born.

John Pemberton coca cola

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The oldest living person’s birth

is closer to the signing of the US Constitution

than present day.

signing of the US Constitution

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John Tyler, America’s 10th President,

has two living grandchildren.

Tylers-Son-and-Grandsons

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The last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series,

women were not allowed to vote.

(Sorry for reminding you Cubs fans.)

Chicago Cubs

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If it weren’t for the last minute

nothing would ever get done.

last-minut

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While building an ocillator to record heart beat sounds in animals

at Cornell University Wilson Greatbatch accidentally grabbed the wrong transistor.

After switching on the device he found it to have

a very familiar rhythmic pulsing sound, very similar to a human heart.

So now we have Pacemakers!

GREATBACH-obit-articleInline

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Basque, a language spoken in the

mountains between France and Spain

is the only European language

not related to any other known language.

Basque

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President Kennedy was the fastest

random speaker in the world

with upwards of 350 words per minute.

President Kennedy

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Sometimes your mouth is like a zipper,

by the time you realize it’s open

it has already embarrassed you.

zipper

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The bagpipe was originally made

from the whole skin of a dead sheep.

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They Say Pride Goes Before A Fall

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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So, if pride goes before a fall, what goes before a CRASH?

Well, in terms of the pathetic Obamacare web site, the usual form of words from the Obama Administration is

“…the site was fully-functioning for a “vast majority” of users.”

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CRASH!

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It happened again last week, early Friday afternoon in fact, as millions of Americans tried to get insurance coverage before the deadline.

I don’t know where they got the information that the site was functioning for the “vast majority of users”.

Well, I do actually. It was a lie. Another one.

In fact the healthcare.gov is not fully-functioning for anyone. On the positive side I suppose you could say that everyone has an equal chance of not being able to use the web site, but that is small comfort to those trying to do so.

And this is just the latest CRASH of many. Last November there was another major one. They “fixed” it, except of course they didn’t, they just got it working for a while, until it toppled over again.

Left in the hands of idiot bureaucrats who clearly have no idea what they are doing, no system can work efficiently. They choose bad designers, who use bad code, produce a bad product, and then are amazed and surprised when it doesn’t work.

There are tens of thousands of commercial web sites, like Google, Amazon, Ebay, Microsoft, even Wikipedia, that take much higher traffic every day without crashing – and they’ve been doing it for years.

Yet the bureaucratic bunglers can’t get their web site working for more than a few weeks at a time.

About all they got right was the timing of the CRASH.

No, wait, they even got that wrong, because the whole debacle happened less than two hours before President Obama had a scheduled press conference, helping to push his approval rating more and more in the negative direction.

But fear not, as millions of his citizens now find themselves stressed and worrying because they have no insurance – due to no fault of their own –  their leader will have a solution.

I don’t know what it is, but the odds are in favor of another vacation, possibly in Hawaii – but definitely fully insured!

President Obama Vacations In Hawaii

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“I Think” Said The Sweet Potato, “Therefore I Yam”

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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The clue is in the title.

We’re playing with words again.

Yes, it’s pun day.

Enjoy!

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rofl

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I had no idea there were so many different types of sandpaper.

Luckily the guy in the shop gave me a rough guide.

sandpaper

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My grandfather tried to start his own company building airplanes.

But he couldn’t get it off the ground.

airplane

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I’ve just started time travelling with an old friend of mine.

We go back a long way.

time-travel-institute

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I used to have a job drilling for oil.

It was boring.

oil rig

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I had to start singing when I realized I didn’t have

enough money to get into the public toilets.

I was busking for a piss.

busker

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Every summer, my dad would take me to the beach,

put me in a chest and bury me in the sand.

Treasured memories.

boy with treasure map

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I’m having difficulty creating saline water.

I can’t work out if salt is part of the problem or part of the solution.

eureka-lab-cartoon

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I only got it two weeks and already my

Chinese sound system is broken.

So stereotypical.

sound system

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You know you’re in red neck territory when the

girls think Timberland is a theme park for lumberjacks.

wacky-races-06

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You know what seems odd to me?

Numbers that aren’t divisible by two.

Numbers-5-17-11-color

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I heard that Rapunzel used to be a real party animal.

She was always letting her hair down.

rapunzel__rapunzel__let_down_your_hair__by_miamidoll-d59m7pi

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After a hard day at work I thought it would be funny

to give my boss a big pat on the back.

That was my last day working on his farm.

cartoon-cow-pat-fly-buffet

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As I sat down to dinner with Gaius Marius, Julius Caesar

and my wife, she rolled her eyes and said

“No, I said I wanted more ROMANCE in our relationship”.

Romans at dinner

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I drink so much my liver is more like a dier.

Most Funny Drunk Animals (5)

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Monk: “What porn is acceptable?”

Archbishop: “Nun.”

catholiccartoonblog-pope-abuse-scandal-press-kick-me

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The banker said he could offer me a credit card with no interest.

I said, “Then why are you doing it?”

credit card cartoon2

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I got sacked from NASA for falling asleep on the rocket.

It completely ruined the salad at their summer barbecue.

rocket-salad-denna-jones-flickr

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Once on vacation my friend fell over a pyramid and hurt his mouth.

Egypt his tooth.

pyramids-of-egypt-cartoonpyramids-by-alexei-talimonov-media-culture-cartoon-toonpool-vrthbium

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The duck said to the bartender,

‘put it on my bill.’

looney-tunes-520-2

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I was in a Chinese restaurant last night and I asked

the waiter if there were any Chinese Jews.

He walked off then came back a while later and said,

“No we only have apple juice, lemon juice or orange juice.”

chinese restaurant

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Expect The Worst, It’s Quiz Show Answers Monday!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another foray into the hidden shallows of the human mind as shown by the answers some hapless contestants have given on television and radio quiz shows.

Marvel at the stupidity.

And enjoy!

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Q: Name something you might buy that could turn out to be phony        

A: A Horse

panto horse

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Q: Name something that dries up as it gets old  

A: Water

dry water.

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Q: The one thing that the people living near you have that you want        

A: A beautiful wife

neighborhood watch.

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Q: Name something most women wouldn’t be caught leaving the house without  

A: A Tampon

tampons-cartoon.

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Q: Name a body part that gets bigger as people get older         

A: Penis

BeavisButtheadWashington.

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Q: Name a foreign country people vacation in where it would be easy to pack on 10 pounds.      

A: Paris

french fries.

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Q: Which one of the seven dwarfs you most often feel like        

A: Weepy

A: Drowsy

A: Grouchy

The Seven Dwarfs.

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Q: Name a question you hate when people ask it to you 

A: “Are those real?”

Are Those Real?.

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Q: The hardest position to play on a baseball team        

A: Quarterback

baseball-face-cartoon-ball.

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Q: Name a city in the state of Georgia   

A: Alabama

georgia_alabama.

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Q: An excuse you use when stopped for speeding        

A: “I was drinking”

speeding.

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Q: Name something newlyweds share    

A: Underwear    

his n hers underwear.

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Q: Name something you would buy in a stationery store 

A: Water

stationery store1111

Q: Name a question that a gentleman would never ask a lady on a first date       

A: “What color underwear do you wear?”

first date.

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Q: Name a fruit beginning with the letter A         

A: Orange

cartoon-orange.

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‘A Sad Ray Gun, Man’

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

‘A Sad Ray Gun, Man’

Did you get it?

Yes. its ‘Anagram Sunday’.

Enjoy.

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‘rescued’

secured

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘mother-in-law’

woman hitler

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘David Letterman’

nerd amid late tv

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘snooze alarms’

alas no more z’s

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘To cast pearls before swine’

One’s labor is perfect waste

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘Vacation Times’

I’m Not as Active

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘The Hilton’

Hint: Hotel

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘Payment received’

Every cent paid me

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘Postmaster’

Stamp Store

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘School master’

The classroom

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘The Hurricanes’

These churn air

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘Waitress’

A stew, Sir?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘certainly not’

can’t rely on it

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘Emperor Octavian’

Captain over Rome

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘a perfectionist’

I often practice

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘A shoplifter’

has to pilfer

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘asteroid threats’

disaster to earth

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘Breasts’

Bra sets

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘Contradiction’

Accord not in it

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

‘I think therefore I am’

I fear to think I’m here

 

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Fasab’s Eleven – Danny Ocean Eat Your Heart Out

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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When I was putting together yesterday’s post about crooks who had either been smart enough to get away with it or police who had been too dumb to catch them, the name Danny Ocean cropped up in relation to a heist in Belgium.

That put me in mind of the very popular movie remake of Ocean’s Eleven starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, et al.

Ocean's Eleven
Ocean’s Eleven

The Clooney version of Ocean’s Eleven was a good piece of work. (We’ll not talk so much about the sequels!) Without spoiling the whole thing for those who haven’t yet seen the movie, basically the plot is to simultaneously steal $150 million from the Bellagio, Mirage and MGM Grand casinos in Las Vegas, all belonging to ruthless entrepreneur Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia). The money is being held in a state-of-the-art safe seventy yards underneath the Las Vegas Strip, with loads of hi-tech surveillance, laser beams, motion detectors and alarm systems to protect it.

Clooney/Ocean puts together a team of experienced professionals, proficient in skills from magic, pickpocteting, pyrotechnics, a card sharp, an electronics and surveillance expert and even a Chinese acrobat! 

The movie is full of special effects and great looking sets with hosts of electronic gadgets that are there to prevent people stealing the casino’s money, and loads of other gadgets that Ocean and his crew have assembled to defeat the former.

Even getting into the surveillance and restricted areas of the casinos is a huge problem that takes sophisticated planning and equipment and well worked plot lines.

casino security
casino security

But that’s Hollywood.

This blog is about reality.

I have spent quite a bit of time in Vegas, mostly on business but I enjoy playing in the casinos too.I even ended up in Federal Court there on one occasion, but that’s a story for another day. Suffice to say here that I like the place and the buzz that it has. Perhaps living there all the time would get to you, but for a visit I highly recommend it (take some money with you though!).

It just so happened that I was in Las Vegas about the time the Ocean’s Eleven movie was doing the rounds, probably 2002. One evening I found myself standing outside the Bellagio watching the fountain show (a great spectacle, see video) and of course my thoughts turned to the movie and all that had transpired. In my mind’s eye I could see Danny Ocean and the others in this very same place. It was a pleasant evening.

Me, Danny and the crew outside the Bellagio
Me, Danny and the crew outside the Bellagio

Within a couple of days of that, however, I discovered that my cell phone was missing. Had I mislaid it, had I dropped it, had it fallen out of my pocket in a restaurant or taxi, or had I had my pocket picked by one of Danny Ocean’s men? I thought the possibility of the latter was highly unlikely so I put it down to my own carelessness.

I was staying in one of the casino hotels, I won’t say which one, because I am sure things have changed a lot in the intervening ten years. But after checking my room for the phone I decided the next best thing to do was to ask the security guys in the hotel in the unlikely event that someone had found it and handed it in. It wasn’t an expensive phone, so I wasn’t too bothered, but one feels obliged to go through the motions when something like that happens.

So I made my way down to the casino on the ground floor and found one of the security guys. He pointed me in the direction of what I presumed was his superior and he in turn pointed me towards a rather non-descript single door on the other side of the casino floor.

After a long walk, circumnavigating numerous roulette and blackjack tables, I got to the door and pressed a buzzer on the intercom affair. To my surprise no one answered, but the door simply clicked open. I wasn’t sure what I should do, but always ready for an adventure I opened the door and went inside.

Man, talk about a disappointment. My crest was fallen on several levels!

Rather than being pleased with myself at the ease with which I had been able to dismantle the multi-million dollar security, I was actually disappointed that it hadn’t been a lot more difficult. I can talk my way (or blag, some people have said) into most places if I choose to do so, and I had been rehearsing various things that I was going to say when questioned. But here I was right in the heart of the casino surveillance system and no one had even spoken to me let alone challenge why I was there.

I was disappointed also by what I saw. Sure there were loads of cctv screens all showing different parts of the casino, different gambling tables and all that sort of thing. And a few obligatory computers. But it wasn’t like the movies. The equipment was clearly not new and the décor left a lot to be desired too, not quite tatty but showing a few years of wear and tear.

I wandered around for a minute or so taking it all in. If Ocean had picked me for his crew I would have had everyone tied up and the place taken over by now, I thought. But then the movie would have been about fifteen minutes long and very little tension and excitement (and box office takings) would have been generated.

Then one of the security guys detected my presence. He didn’t speak, just gave me one of those “Where the f*** did you come from?” looks.

I too was silent, I knew what he wasn’t saying, so I put my right hand inside my jacket and went for my silenced 9mm Walther PPK in its concealed shoulder holster. Well, no, not quite. I just retrieved my room keycard and ID which I thought might be required when everyone came to their senses.

It was. And I explained why I was there and who had sent me. After their initial surprise the guys in the security room were very friendly, but no phone had been handed in and they didn’t hold out much hope of me ever seeing it again, so after a bit of conversation I bid them farewell. I think it took longer to get me buzzed out than buzzed in, but hey that’s life.

Later that evening I again found myself leaning up against the front wall at the Bellagio watching the fountains. But this time Danny and the crew weren’t there, not even in my head. After what had happened earlier, it just wasn’t the same. It hasn’t been ever since!

Just me this time
Just me this time

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Ocean’s eleven trailer

End sequence

 

Video taken from Paris Casino’s Eiffel Tower Observation Point, on March 11,2007

Remembering The Warmness Of The Day

A little change of pace again today.

When I was a kid I loved going to the beach (still do actually).

Every summer, or what passed for a summer, in those days we lived very much up north, there was always great anticipation about an imminent trip to see the sea. First, however, there was the tedious part, the journey there. When you are a kid things like that seem to take forever, but the excitement kept us all going and eventually we were within sight of the beach.

Finding somewhere to park was the next problem. It seemed everybody had the same idea as us. But we always found a spot and quickly gathered up all our beach gear and headed as fast as we could towards the salty fresh air and the inviting water.

While Mom and Dad took care of all the important stuff like organizing towels, seats, even a big umbrella for a bit of shade, we stripped down to our swimwear and ran as fast as we could towards the sea. (I keep calling it the “sea”, but actually it was the Atlantic Ocean.)

Each year we did the same thing, and each year we learned nothing from the year before.

On we galloped into the water and approximately 1.25 seconds after that we remembered.

The cold.

Sooooooo cold.

The water that looked so inviting was so very, very cold.

For an old person the shock might well have been too much for the system. But when you are young you tend to shrug off these minor discomforts. We were at the beach, and we were in the sea. That’s all that mattered.

After a while it didn’t feel so cold. Our feet and legs had grown accustomed to the temperature. Actually our feet and legs were probably numb by this time and would not have felt it if we had been standing in boiling water either.

And then just as we were starting to enjoy the whole experience, in would come a big wave and it would splash all over our upper bodies which had not been in the water yet and had not been given the chance to go completely numb.

It was always a “WTF” moment, even in the days when we didn’t know what “WTF” meant!

But there was nothing else available so we were none the wiser and made the best of it. There were also a few laughs too.

A friend, George, was always good for one or two. George fancied himself as a bit of an underwater expert and he always had a face mask and snorkel with him. Trouble was when George launched himself for an underwater expedition only his head ever went under the water. Most of the rest of him was in the fresh air. He must have had great natural buoyancy.

That was funny enough, but then someone (yes, sometimes me) would push the little ball thingumy into the snorkel pipe which soon provoked a serious amount of splashing and gasping for air as George’s head resurfaced. He was never very pleased, but the rest of us cracked up.

Then there was usually some unfortunate kid whose granny had bought him (or maybe even made) his swimming trunks. On dry land and even going into the water these were fine and looked quite normal, but coming out to go back up to the beach was quite another thing. You see the material they were made of often as not was water absorbent and these poor souls lumbered their way out of the ocean with a crotch full of icy water dragging between their knees. They must have weighed a ton and it’s a miracle they stayed on at all. It was so funny and I daren’t say what names we called them. Kids can be so cruel.

That was the “refreshing dip” over. We spent the next hour or two on the beach, first getting dried and then lying in the sun thawing out. Then it was off to get something to eat and on to the amusement park to go on a few rides there and spend more pennies in the various slot machines and games.

When it was time to leave both us and our money supply were exhausted. The trip home was a lot shorter, mainly because we slept most of the way. But the day had been good. Enjoyed by all. And the memories were selective. We’d do it again, soon, but we would never remember the coldness of the water, just the warmness of the day.