Friday, February 22, 2019

Thought for the Day

Funny FridAy


Welcome to another Funny Friday but there is risque content ahead so proceed at yown risk . . . 

A clergyman was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about a dozen boys, all of them between 10 and 12 years of age. 

The group surrounded a dog. Concerned lest the boys were hurting the dog, he went over and asked "What are you doing with that dog?" 

One of the boys replied, "This dog is just an old neighbourhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we've decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog." 

Of course, the Reverend was taken aback. "You boys shouldn't be having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed. He then launched into a ten minute sermon against lying, beginning, "Don't you boys know it's a sin to lie," and ending with, "Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie." 

There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the Reverend was beginning to think he'd gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him the dog." 

The New York City Public Schools have officially declared Hebonics (Jewish English) as a second language. Backers of the move say the city schools are the first in the nation to recognize Hebonics as a valid language and a significant attribute of American culture. According to Howard Schollman, linguistics professor at Brooklyn College and renowned Hebonics scholar, the sentence structure of Hebonics derives from middle and eastern European language patterns, as well as Yiddish. 

Prof. Schollman explains, "In Hebonics, the response to any question is usually another question, plus a complaint, implied or stated. Thus 'How are you?' would be answered, 'How should I be... with my bad feet?'" 

Schollman says that Hebonics is a superb linguistic vehicle for expressing sarcasm or skepticism. An example is the repetition of a word with "sh" or "shm" at the beginning: "Mountains, shmountains. Stay away. You want a nosebleed?" 

Another Hebonics pattern is moving the subject of a sentence to the end, with its pronoun at the beginning: "It's beautiful, that dress." 

Schollman says one also sees the Hebonics verb moved to the end of the sentence. Thus the response to a remark such as "He's slow as a turtle," could be "Turtle, shmurtle! Like a fly in Vaseline he walks." 

Schollman provided the following examples from his best-selling textbook, "Switched-On Hebonics." 

Question: "What time is it?" 
English answer: "Sorry, I don't know." 
Hebonic response: "What am I, a clock?" 

Remark: "I hope things turn out okay." 
English answer: "Thanks." 
Hebonic response: "I should be so lucky!" 

Remark: "Hurry up. Dinner's ready." 
English answer: "Be right there." 
Hebonic response: "Alright already, I'm coming. What's with the 'hurry' business? Is there a fire?" 

Remark: "I like the tie you gave me; I wear it all the time." 
English answer: "Glad you like it." 
Hebonic response: "So what's the matter; you don't like the other ties I gave you?" 

Remark: "Sarah and I are engaged." 
English answer: "Congratulations!" 
Hebonic response: "She could stand to lose a few pounds." 

Question: "Would you like to go riding with us?" 
English answer: "Just say when." 
Hebonic response: "Riding, shmiding! Do I look like a cowboy?" 

To the guest of honor at a birthday party: 
English answer: "Happy birthday." 
Hebonic response: "A year smarter you should become." 

Remark: "It's a beautiful day." 
English answer: "Sure is." 
Hebonic response: "So the sun is out; what else is new?" 

Answering a phone call from a son: 
English answer: "It's been a while since you called." 
Hebonic response: "You didn't wonder if I'm dead already?" 

From the archives . . . 

Saint Peter is watching the gates of Heaven, but he really has to go the bathroom. He asks Jesus to watch the gates for a few minutes, and Jesus agrees. 

As Jesus is standing there, he sees an old man leading a donkey up from Earth to Heaven. He notices the old man has carpenter’s tools with him. When the old man gets to the gates, Jesus asks him to describe his life and explain why he feels he should be admitted into Heaven. 

The man explains, “In English, my name would be Joseph, but I didn’t live in America or England. I lived a modest life, making things out of wood. I’m not remembered very well by most people, but almost everyone has heard of my son. I call him my son, but I was more of a Dad to him, he didn’t really come into this world in the usual way. 

I sent my son out to be among the people of the World. He was ridiculed by many and was even known to associate himself with some pretty unsavoury characters, although he himself tried to be honest and perfect. My single biggest reason for trying to get into Heaven is to be reunited with my son.” 

Jesus is awe-struck by the man’s story. He looks into the old man’s eyes and asks, “Father?” 

The old man’s face brightens; he looks at Jesus, and asks “ Pinocchio?” 

Limerick of the Week . . . 

I have previously posted the below risqué limerick, here it is with my introductory comments 

Whenever I am watching some English show with Kate – Antiques Roadshow, QI, Country House Rescue, Escape to the Country, Restoration Home, Midsomer Murders – and the place name Aberystwith is mentioned, there is something compulsive in me that makes me recite the Aberystwith limerick, no matter how many times she has heard it before. It happened again a few days ago.

There was a young girl of Aberystwyth
Who took grain to the mill to make grist with.
The miller's son, Jack,
Laid her flat on her back,
And united the organs they pissed with. 
My reason in mentioning it is that I came across a variation, which is also quite good: 

A lad and a lass from Aberystwyth 
United the lips that they kystwyth. 
But as they grew older, 
They also grew bolder, 
And played with the things that they pystwyth. 



Corn Corner: 

Moishe lived in a block of apartments thought it was raining and put his head out the window to check. As he did so a glass eye fell into his hand. 

He looked up to see where it came from in time to see a young woman looking down. 

"Is this yours?" he asked. 

She said, "Yes, could you bring it up?" and Moishe agreed. 

On arrival she was profuse in her thanks and offered Moishe a drink. As she was very attractive he agreed. Shortly afterwards she said, "I’m about to have dinner. There’s plenty; would you like to join me?" 

He readily accepted her offer and both enjoyed a lovely meal. 

As the evening was drawing to a close the lady said, "I’ve had a marvelous evening. Would you like to stay the night?" 

Moishe hesitated then said, "Do you act like this with every man you meet?" 

"No," she replied, "Only those who catch my eye."

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Quote for the Day

In the news is speculation that POTUS Trump has grown increasingly disenchanted with Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, who has served as the nation’s top intelligence official for nearly two years. The Pres is said to be frustrated with Coats over what he sees as Coats’ disloyalty in making statements hostile to him. 

Which brings to mind a Presidential quotation I have posted before about loyalty: 

“I don’t want loyalty. I want loyalty! I want him to kiss my ass in Macy’s window at high noon and tell me it smells like roses. I want his pecker in my pocket.” 

President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973) outlines the degree of loyalty he expects from those around him, in the context of discussing a prospective assistant. 

Quoted by D Halberstam in The Best and the Brightest (1972)

I read the news today, oh boy . . .


Lawyers, Laws and Litigants . . . 

Feb 19, 2019 

Man punches his lawyer in the face after being sentenced to 45 years in prison 

41 year old David Chislton made no secret of his feelings towards his own defence coiunsel, 42 year old Aaron Brockler, when Chilslton received a 45 year sentence on Cleveland, Ohio for nearly two dozen charges, including multiple counts of aggravated arson and felonious assault. Standing in front of the judge with Brockler next to him, Chislton punched Brockler in the face with both his handcuffed fists. Wheeled out on a stretcher, Brockler joked with a reporter that ”It was pretty fun.” Strange comment to make but then consider the comment of silver tongued lawyer Michael Goldberg, who was in the courtroom waiting for a trial in an unrelated case to begin and who saw the attack: “It was pretty heinously violent.” This man is wasted in the legal profession, he should be writing plays, novels. 



Feb 20, 2019 

'They want to kick me out': Aboriginal man faces deportation to New Zealand 

Back in 2014 the Australian Government, wooed by that old tart Laura Norder, changed immigration laws to deal with foreign-born persons who commit crimes. Anyone convicted of an offence punishable by at least two years in prison can have their visa cancelled, regardless of whether they were jailed for less time, or not jailed at all. More than 4150 people who have served a jail term of 12-months or more have since been stripped of Australian visas. 

Which is all well and good unless you happen to be Aboriginal man Tim Galvin, who has just completed a prison sentence for burglary. Mr Galvin only learned that he was a New Zealand citizen when his Australian visa was cancelled in 2016, he having been born in New Zealand when his parents were there. He is now held in a detention centre, separated from his wife and kids, having served his prison sentence, whilst the authorities decide whether to deport him. 

According to Galvin: 

“They want to kick me out of my own country. My mum is Aboriginal – she’s from South Australia. All my kids are Aboriginal, my missus is Aboriginal, and they’re trying to send me to a foreign country.” 

It’s not the first time that indigenous people have run foul of the above laws and it’s not the first case of hardship. The source link below has stories of other attempts to deport indigenous persons and hardship examples eg: 

“I'm devastated by this, I'm a proud Australian”: Man locked in detention fears deportation after 44 years living in Australia. 
PNG-born man Edward Nolan has been detained and threatened with deportation pertaining to the 501 Section of the Citizenship Act. 

‘‘They just came and got me’: Man fighting deportation after three decades living in Australia 
Cairns father of two taken from his home to WA detention centre fears he too will be deported. 

‘Where will I go?’: Man fears deportation after 48 years in Australia 
He once held Australian citizenship but has been held in an immigration detention centre for nearly a year. 


February 20, 2019 

Townsville couple wins lawsuit against Retail Food Group over $400,000 Michel’s Patisserie disaster 

A Brisbane court has ruled that franchise giant Retail Food Group misled a Townsend couple who spent more than $200,000 on a failed Michel’s Patisserie store. The court found that RFG made misleading representations about the quality, range and frequency of delivery of products from Brisbane to Townsville. It also found RFG engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by not informing the couple before signing the contract of financial troubles at Brisbane-based bakery supplier Dyson, which went into liquidation shortly before they opened their store in May 2012. 

That meant rather than the 1400km journey from Brisbane, the frozen cakes had to be shipped all the way from Sydney by truck — a journey of more than 2000km — often arriving in poor condition. The court heard how within weeks of the Townsville store opening, Mrs Guirguis noticed the cakes were arriving damaged, defrosted and spoiled. Special order birthday cakes frequently arrived late or not at all. 

How about this: 
The court heard there was “no consistent process” for the delivery of products between Sydney and Townsville and sometimes they were “unloaded and reloaded along the way and there was often more than one transport company involved”.

In one case an entire order had to be thrown out after arriving in a fridge, not a freezer truck. 
The couple were awarded $405,000 damages. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Thought for the Day

I read the news today, oh boy . . .



Words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ banned from school forms in France 

A change to a law in France will see schools unable to refer to a child’s parents as their “mother” or “father” on school documents, instead the titles will be replaced with “parent 1” and “parent 2”. 

The amendment was passed in parliament as part of the country’s Schools of Trust law and aims to reduce the discrimination faced by same-sex parents. 

“To prevent discrimination, school enrolment, class registers, parental authorisations and all other official forms involving children must mention only Parent 1 and Parent 2,” the amendment reads. 

French President Emmanuel Macron’s Republique en Marche party backed the change, with MP Valérie Petit saying this amendment of the wider law recognises “children’s family diversity in administrative forms”. 


Snowna Lisa

Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A Toronto man turned winter weather into high art when he used a shovel to turn his backyard ice rink into a recreation of Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa." Robert Greenfield posted a timelapse video to YouTube showing how he used a shovel after recent heavy snowfall to etch the "Snowna Lisa" into the snow that fell on his backyard ice rink. 

The completed artwork bears a striking resemblance to Leonardo Da Vinci's famous painting, the "Mona Lisa." 

"This is not exactly a masterpiece, but I present the Snowna Lisa! Oh, you think that's bad? Wait till I tell you it should be hanging in the Igloouvre," Greenfield wrote in a Facebook post. 


See the YouTube clip by clicking on: 


Dead US mayor makes it through to final round in election 

14 February 2019 

One of the candidates to be the mayor of a US city has made it to the final round of an election - even though he died in December. In a three-horse primary in Edmond, Oklahoma, Charles Lamb finished second behind Dan O'Neil, who described it as "sort of awkward".

Mr Lamb, who had been mayor since October 2011, put his name forward for re-election before he died. When he passed away, it was too late to remove his name from the ballot or to add anyone else. 

Were he to win on 2 April, a mayor would be appointed by Edmond City Council. 

sky news


Airport in Rome closes temporarily as experts remove WWII era bombs 

7 February 2019 

An airport in Rome has been temporarily closed after the discovery of German bombs from the Second World War era. 

Italy's Defence Ministry said army experts worked to safely remove the bombs from Ciampino airport. 

The three bombs weighed around 150kg (330lbs) in total - including 75kg (165lbs) of gunpowder. 

They were discovered during maintenance work on the tarmac on Thursday, according to airport operator Aeroporti di Roma. 

Passengers were evacuated from the airport following the discovery, with many claiming on social media that they had not been told what was going on. 

Sky news 

The Army works on the discovered bombs.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Thought for the Day

Mending Wall, a poem by Robert Frost


From the archives, since there is so much talk of walls . . .

There have been famous walls throughout history, designed to keep people in, or keep people out, or both: the walls of Jericho, the Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall, the Berlin Wall, Israel’s West Bank Wall . . . 

One of the early poems of Robert Frost (1874-1963) is called “Mending Wall” and was published in 1914.

The narrator of the poem describes how each year in Spring he and his neighbor meet to walk the wall separating their properties to inspect and make repairs. The speaker sees no reason for a wall when there is no stock to be confined, when there are only apple and pine trees, but his neighbour simply replies “Good fences make good neighbors”. 

Some interesting images and themes:

Each Spring they repair the wall from damage caused by hunters and nature. The wall keeps falling, they keep putting the rocks back, much like Sisyphus, the mythological figure who was condemned to push a boulder to the top of a high hill, only to have it roll down each time he gets it to the top, and force him to do it all again.

The speaker envisages two types of people: wall builders and wall breakers, those who want walls and the barriers they create and those who feel that such barriers should be assessed in terms of need: 
“… I’d ask to know 
What I was walling in or walling out, 
And to whom I was like to give offense.”

Yet it is the speaker who initiates the contact each Spring, acknowledging that the speaker may well feel that the wall makes good neighbors.

On a broader symbolic level, the wall represents order out of chaos, boundaries, orderliness.

Mending Wall

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
‘Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say ‘Elves’ to him,
But it’s not elves exactly, and I’d rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.'

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Quote for the Day

A repost but worth another . . .

Bytes Bits

Random items from all over . . . 

Ghost apples: 

I recently posted pics of the effects of the polar vortex that hit the Midwest US a short time ago. Another phenomenon of the polar vortex has now become apparent, that of ghost apples. The apples on the trees became covered in ice but, because apples have a lower freezing point than water due to their high acid content, the apples themselves didn’t freeze solid. As the weather warmed again, the apples inside the ice turned to mush. In most cases the apple – both ice and mush – fell off the trees but in some cases the mush dropped out of the ice leaving the ghost apple on the tree. 

Source: Bored panda 


Junk Olympic medals: 

Organisers of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo have advised that all medals to be awarded will be made from recycled electronic waste, including discarded smartphones, digital cameras and other handheld games and laptops. 

According to the organising committee, municipal authorities had already collected 47,488 tons of junked devices by November, roughly 19 months after the project was launched with targets of 30.3kg of gold, 4,100kg of silver and 2,700kg of bronze. Officials say that the goal for bronze was reached in June, while more than 90% of the gold and 85% of the silver has been collected., it being estimated that the remaining amounts of metal required to manufacture all Olympic and Paralympic medals can be extracted from the devices already donated. 

The designs for the Tokyo 2020 medals will be unveiled later this year. 

Source: The Guardian 


Halo Effect v Horn Effect: 

The Halo Effect is the phenomenon whereby we assume that because people are good at doing A they will be good at doing B, C and D. The reverse is the Horn Effect, because they are bad at doing A they will be bad at doing B, C and D. The phrase was first coined by Edward Thorndike, a psychologist who used it in a study published in 1920 to describe the way that commanding officers rated their soldiers. He found that officers usually judged their men as being either good right across the board or bad. There was little mixing of traits; few people were said to be good in one respect but bad in another. 

Later work on the Halo Effect suggested that it was highly influenced by first impressions. If we see a person first in a good light, it is difficult subsequently to darken that light. The old adage that “first impressions count” seems to be true. This is used by advertisers who pay heroic actors and beautiful actresses to promote products about which they have absolutely no expertise. We think positively about the actor because he played a hero, or the actress because she was made up to look incredibly beautiful, and assume that they therefore have deep knowledge about car engines or anti-wrinkle cream. 

It is also particularly important in the educational and judicial systems. 

Source: The Economist 


Dallas City Council Votes to Remove Massive Confederate War Memorial 

There have been previous Bytes posts about the push to remove insensitive public memorials, especially those in the US which honour Confederate leaders and are seen as supportive of slavery, and those in Australia which are perceived as symbolic of mistreatment of indigenous persons. 

Dallas City Council has now voted 11-4 to remove and store a large-scale Civil War memorial. The monument features a 20 metre / 65-foot-tall obelisk at its centre topped with a Confederate soldier. Flanking the obelisk at its corners are life-size statues of Confederate States of America Generals Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Albert Sidney Johnston and CSA President Jefferson Davis. The Confederate War Memorial was erected by the Dallas chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and moved to its present location across the street from City Hall in Pioneer Cemetery due to construction of a freeway, 

According to the Mayor Casey Thomas, “We have to acknowledge the sins of the past, and what kind of Dallas do we want going forward. Today is not unfinished business. It’s finishing the business that we started.” 

Source: Smithsonian online magazine 


Mars Opportunity Rover - designed for 90 days, lasted 14 years 

NASA has called an end to Opportunity Rover's Mars mission after months of failed attempts to revive the machine after a massive dust storm in mid-2018 blotted out its solar panels destroying its ability to communicate with Earth. Designed to last 90 Martian days and to travel 1,000 metres (1,100 yards), Opportunity surpassed expectations by working for nearly 15 years and travelling more than 45 kilometres (28 miles). 
From the day Opportunity landed, a team of mission engineers, rover drivers and scientists on Earth collaborated to overcome challenges and get the rover from one geologic site on Mars to the next. They plotted workable avenues over rugged terrain so that the 384-pound (174-kilogram) Martian explorer could maneuver around and, at times, over rocks and boulders, climb gravel-strewn slopes as steep as 32-degrees (an off-Earth record), probe crater floors, summit hills and traverse possible dry riverbeds. Its final venture brought it to the western limb of Perseverance Valley.  
“I cannot think of a more appropriate place for Opportunity to endure on the surface of Mars than one called Perseverance Valley,” said Michael Watkins, director of JPL. “The records, discoveries and sheer tenacity of this intrepid little rover is testament to the ingenuity, dedication, and perseverance of the people who built and guided her.”

– NASA Press Release, February 13, 2019
Source: Twisted Sifter 

Some pics of Mars from Opportunity Rover: 

Uzbekistani artist Rostislav Shekhovtsov was so moved by the rover's finale that he created a digital painting to honour Oppy, as I was affectionately known. The work shows two astronauts in the future finding the dust-covered rover on Mars, the artist believing that one day astronauts will travel to Mars and will bring Opportunity rover back with them, The painting is captioned “It’s time to go home, Oppy.”

And some other pics . . .

What was really hapenning on Mars