Archive for January 17th, 2006

Things it takes most of us 50 years to learn

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

From today’s email:

  1. The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it.
  2. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight-saving time.
  3. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.
  4. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.
  5. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is: age 11.
  6. There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.”
  7. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
  8. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be “meetings.”
  9. The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
  10. If there really is a God who created the entire universe with all of its glories, and he decides to deliver a message to humanity, he will NOT use as his messenger a person on cable TV with a bad hairstyle or in some cases, really bad make-up too.
  11. You should not confuse your career with your life.
  12. A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter/janitor, is not a nice person.
  13. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
  14. When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
  15. Your true friends love you, anyway.
  16. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

Currant affairs

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

So I’m sitting at work eating some raisins and a conversation has just sprung up between me and Catherine, my colleague, concerning the difference between raisins, sultanas and currants. (Ah the life of an academic – no philosophical problem too weighty).

After much discussion (we had a similar debate over nuts last week, after my claim that most ‘nuts’ are not in fact nuts, proved right thanks to Wikipedia) we concluded by using the built-in dictionary widget on my Mac.

Apparently a raisin is a dried grape (knew that) while a sultana is a seedless raisin (didn’t know that – presumably they mean dried seedless grape and not a raisin they’ve gone to the trouble of taking the seed from) and a currant is a dried seedless grape of a specific variety. (One web site I found says sultanas come from the Sultana grape but I suspect the generic description is the more reflective of reality).

So that settled that. Next question: who first decided that they should try to eat a dried up grape? I mean, if I had some grapes and they dried up and shrivelled, the last thing I’d be tempted to do is pop one in my mouth. I’d go ‘urgh, a dried-up grape!’ and throw it out. Just goes to show, waste not, want not. Heaven knows what new varieties of food are lurking at the back of my fridge – or even under the cooker…

Parrot squawks on woman’s affair

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

From today’s news – you’ve got to laugh

A parrot owner was alerted to his girlfriend’s infidelity when his talkative pet let the cat out of the bag by squawking “I love you Gary”.
Suzy Collins had been meeting ex-work colleague “Gary” for four months in the Leeds flat she shared with her partner Chris Taylor, according to reports.

Mr Taylor apparently became suspicious after Ziggy croaked “Hiya Gary” when Ms Collins answered her mobile phone.

The parrot also made smooching sounds whenever the name Gary was said on TV.

Mr Taylor, 30, a computer programmer, confronted the woman he had lived with for a year who admitted the affair and moved out, several newspapers reported.

He also gave up his eight-year-old African Grey parrot after the bird continued to call out Gary’s name and refused to stop squawking the phrases in his ex-girlfriend’s voice.

“I wasn’t sorry to see the back of Suzy after what she did, but it really broke my heart to let Ziggy go,” he said.

“I love him to bits and I really miss having him around, but it was torture hearing him repeat that name over and over again.”

Ms Collins, 25, said: “I’m not proud of what I did but I’m sure Chris would be the first to admit we were having problems.”

Ziggy – named after David Bowie’s former alter ego Ziggy Stardust – has now found a new home through the offices of a local parrot dealer.