Friday, September 19, 2014

Funny Friday


The Scots are in the news, so . . .


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"How's the flat you're living in in London, Jock?" asks his mother when he calls home to Aberdeen. 

"It's okay," he replies, "but the woman next door keeps screaming and crying all night and the guy on the other side keeps banging his head on the wall." 

"Never you mind," says his mother, "don't you let them get to you, just ignore them." 

"Aye, that I do," he says, "I just keep playing my bagpipes."

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Jock bought a bottle of fine whiskey but while walking home he fell.

Getting up he felt something wet on his pants.

He looked up at the sky and said, "Lord, please. I beg you, let it be blood!"

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Being from Scotland, I love the summer.

It's my favourite day of the year.

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Jock finds himself in dire trouble. His business has gone into foreclosure and he's in serious financial problems. He's so desperate that he decides to ask God for help. 

"God, please help me. Ah've lost ma wee store and if Ah dinna get some money, Ah'm going to lose my hoose too. Please let me win the lottery!" 

Lottery night! Someone else wins.

Jock prays again. "God, please let me win the lottery! Ah've lost my wee store, ma hoose and Ah'm going to lose ma car as weel!" Lottery night again! Still no luck... Jock prays again.  

"Ah've lost ma business, ma hoose and ma car. Ma bairns are starving. Ah dinna often ask Ye for help and Ah have always been a good servant to Ye. PLEASE just let me win the lottery this one time so Ah can get back on ma feet!"

Suddenly there is a blinding flash as the heavens open and the voice of God Himself thunders:

"Jock at least meet Me half way and buy a ticket!"

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The UK Government has said that Scotland could end up as a Third World country if they vote for independence.

I don't know if things will improve to that extent, but you never know.

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I grew up in Glasgow in the 1970s.

If you want to know what Glasgow was like in the 1970s, go there now.

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A Scots woman goes in a dry cleaning shop and says to the shop owner, "Can I sit down for a wee while, I have a bairn."

The posh shop owner replies, "I'm sorry, we don't repair scorched clothing."

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This Scottish bloke goes on a skiing holiday to Canada. 

After a hard day on the slopes he retires to a bar at the bottom of the mountain.

After about five or six whiskeys, he looks up and notices a stuffed animal with antlers on the wall.

He asks the barman, "What the fuck is that?"

The barman says, "It's a Moose."

The Scottish chap says, "Fuck me! How big are the cats?"

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Alisdair Biggar, a Scotsman, applied to join to the New York City police force. 

The inspector glared at him and asked, 'How would you disperse a large, unruly crowd?'

'Well,' replied Alisdair thoughtfully, 'I'm no too sure how ye do it here in New York, but in Aberdeen we just pass the hat around, and they soon begin to shuffle off.'

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Corn Corner:

Maître d'hôtel: 'Are you here for a special occasion?'

Campbell: 'Aye, we won the third prize in the annual Robert Burns Contest, a haggis dinner for two.'

Maître d'hôtel: 'What were the other prizes?'

Campbell: The second prize was a single haggis dinner, and, if you won the first prize, you didnae have to eat the haggis.'

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pirates for Wayne


Arrrghh, September 19 be International Talk Like a Pirate Day me hearties. Now I know that today is not 19 September but it be close enough, especially since my friend Wayne has been at me to write about pirates. So here ye be, Wayne, an arrrrticle about pirates . . .

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Some facts and trivia about pirates:

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When travelling across the Aegean Sea, Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates. As ransom, the pirates demanded twenty talents. Caesar laughed at them because they didn’t know who he was, and suggested they ask for fifty talents instead. He was held for 38 days during which time he wrote poems and speeches which he read aloud. Those who didn’t appreciate what he was saying he called “illiterate Barbarians.” Laughingly, Caesar threatened to kill them all. After his random came, he was set free. Immediately, he manned numerous vessels, sought after the pirates, and caught them almost immediately. They were all imprisoned and crucified.

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The Jolly Roger flag, with its black background and white skull and crossbones, was designed to be scary. This flag was not used by all pirates, usually it was only flown by those sailing in the Spanish Main.

Pirates believed that wearing pierced earrings would improve their eyesight.

Pirates believed that having women on board their ship was bad luck. They also believed that whistling on a ship would cause the weather to turn stormy (as in ‘to whistle up a storm’).

Pirates would take over island ports and make them a safe haven for pirates.

Almost all pirates stole their ships because they couldn’t buy ships in case they got caught and sent to jail. Once they had taken over a ship they had to convert it for pirate life, this usually meant making more room for sailors to live on board and strengthening the decks to hold the weight of the heavy cannons.

Ships sailing on their own often sailed close to warships or joined other convoys of ships to protect themselves from pirates. Pirates could only attack one ship at a time, so if the sailors traveled in groups there was less chance of their boat being the one that was attacked.

Pirate captains would change out of their expensive, flashy clothes if there was a chance they might be captured. This way they could pretend they where only one of the crew and not somebody important, and hopefully escape.

Although pirates have been around since the 15th century, most pirating happened between 1690 and 1720.

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From: 

1. Pirates rarely buried treasure

Some pirates buried treasure – most notably Captain William Kidd, who was at the time heading to New York to turn himself in and hopefully clear his name – but most never did. There were reasons for this. First of all, most of the loot gathered after a raid or attack was quickly divided up among the crew, who would rather spend it than bury it. Secondly, much of the “treasure” consisted of perishable goods like fabric, cocoa, food or other things that would quickly become ruined if buried. The persistence of this legend is partly due to the popularity of the classic novel “Treasure Island,” which includes a hunt for buried pirate treasure.

2. Their careers didn't last long

Most pirates didn’t last very long. It was a tough line of work: many were killed or injured in battle or in fights amongst themselves, and medical facilities were usually non-existent. Even the most famous pirates, such as Blackbeard or Bartholomew Roberts, only were active in piracy for a couple of years. Roberts, who had a very long and successful career for a pirate, was only active for about three years from 1719 to 1722. 

3. They had rules and regulations 

If all you ever did was watch pirate movies, you’d think that being a pirate was easy: no rules other than to attack rich Spanish galleons, drink rum and swing around in the rigging. In reality, most pirate crews had a code which all members were required to acknowledge or sign. These rules included punishments for lying, stealing or fighting on board (fighting on shore was OK). Pirates took these articles very seriously and punishments could be severe. 

4. They didn't walk the plank

Sorry, but this one is another myth. There are a couple tales of pirates walking the plank well after the “Golden Age” ended, but little evidence to suggest that this was a common punishment before then. Not that pirates didn’t have effective punishments, mind you. Pirates who committed an infraction could be marooned on an island, whipped, or even “keel-hauled,” a vicious punishment in which a pirate was tied to a rope and then thrown overboard: he was then dragged down one side of the ship, under the vessel, over the keel and then back up the other side. This doesn’t sound too bad until you remember that ship bottoms were usually covered with barnacles, often resulting in very serious injuries. 

5. A good pirate ship had good officers 

A pirate ship was more than a boatload of thieves, killers and rascals. A ggood ship was a well-run machine, with officers and a clear division of labor. The captain decided where to go and when, and which enemy ships to attack. He also had absolute command during battle. The quartermaster oversaw the ship’s operation and divided up the loot. There were other positions, including boatswain, carpenter, cooper, gunner and navigator. Success as a pirate ship depended on these men carrying out their tasks efficiently and supervising the men under their command. 

6. The pirates didn't limit themselves to the Caribbean

The Caribbean was a great place for pirates: there was little or no law, there were plenty of uninhabited islands for hideouts, and many merchant vessels passed through. But the pirates of the “Golden Age” did not only work there. Many crossed the ocean to stage raids off the west coast of Africa, including the legendary “Black Bart” Roberts. Others sailed as far as the Indian Ocean to work the shipping lanes of southern Asia: it was in the Indian Ocean that Henry “Long Ben” Avery made one of the biggest scores ever: the rich treasure ship Ganj-i-Sawai. Anne Bonny and Mary Read, who sailed with “Calico Jack” Rackham in 1719, dressed as men and reportedly fought just as well (or better than) their male counterparts. When Rackham and his crew were captured, Bonny and Read announced that they were both pregnant and thus avoided being hanged along with the others. 

8. Piracy was better than the alternatives

Were pirates desperate men who could not find honest work? Not always: many pirates chose the life, and whenever a pirate stopped a merchant ship, it was not uncommon for a handful of merchant crewmen to join the pirates. This was because “honest” work at sea consisted of either merchant or military service, both of which featured abominable conditions. Sailors were underpaid, routinely cheated of their wages, beaten at the slightest provocation and often forced to serve. It should surprise no one that many would willingly choose the more humane and democratic life on board a pirate vessel. 

9. They came from all social classes 

Not all of the Golden Age pirates were uneducated thugs who took up piracy for lack of a better way to make a living. Some of them came from higher social classes as well. William Kidd was a decorated sailor and very wealthy man when he set out in 1696 on a pirate-hunting mission: he turned pirate shortly thereafter. Another example is Major Stede Bonnet, who was a wealthy plantation owner in Barbados before he outfitted a ship and became a pirate in 1717.  Some say he did it to get away from a nagging wife! 

10. Not all pirates were criminals 

Sometimes it depended on your point of view. During wartime, nations would often issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal, which allowed ships to attack enemy ports and vessels. Usually these ships kept the plunder or shared some of it with the government that had issued the letter. These men were called “privateers,” and the most famous examples were Sir Francis Drake and Captain Henry Morgan. These Englishmen never attacked English ships, ports or merchants and were considered great heroes by the common folk of England. The Spanish, however, considered them pirates.


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Some news items this week . . .


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The Colombian Women’s Cycling Team has earned the title of the worst sporting uniform ever. The problem is that the uniform, proudly displayed this week during the Tour of Tuscany, has a flesh coloured band across the middle, which is fine when you stand close to the wearer:


. . . but from a distance there is a different impression:


There are suspicions that it may be a publicity stunt but the internet comments are that even if it is, it is still a big fail.

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And to show that Bytes is a non sexist, politically correct blog, here is the Colombian Men’s Cycling Team uniform:


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Some other uniform fails:

The Australian Swimming Team uniform at this year’s Commonwealth Games drew flak for focus on the groin areas:


This is the uniform of the Seattle Sounders football club:


Australia's Ben Harradine didn't leave much to the imagination in his muscle suit during the men's discus competition at the 2012 Diamond League athletics meet in London in July:


The Stade Francais uniform:


D Wanka is a Peruvian football team, Deportivo Wanka, formed in 1996 and named after the Wanka people who formerly lived in the region:


The 4 man Australian sculls team show their 2012 Olympics gold medals, amongst other things.


The Scottish team uniform at this year’s Commonwealth Games. 


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A tongue was in the news this week, but more of that in a moment.

Some celebrated tongues:





Now meet Nick Stoeberl from California who has secured his place in the 2015 Guinness World Records book for having the longest tongue. It measures 10.1cm from the tip to the middle of the closed top lip.


According to Guinness World Records the average tongue is 10cm long when measured from the oropharynx - the place in the back of the throat where the tongue begins - to the tip. In other words, the part of Stoeberl's tongue that extends beyond the lips is longer than the average person's tongue in its entirety.

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A lifesize bronze statue of Amy Whitehouse has been unveiled Camden, London on what would have been her 31st birthday. It portrays her in high heels and with her trademark beehive hairdo, which has a live red rose. 


According to sculptor Scott Easton the pose was designed to capture her strength but also hint at insecurity. “The hand on the hip, the turn of the head, the grabbing of the skirt, the turned-in foot — these are all small elements that contribute to the personality of the piece.”


A kiss by Amy's dad

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trivia Tuesday


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In 1965, Slumber Party Barbie came with a pink satin pyjama top and bottoms, a pink robe with a sash, pink open-toe heels with blue pompoms, pink curlers, bobby pins and a blue brush and comb. Also included was a set of bathroom scales permanently set to record 110 pounds (50 kilos) and a book entitled “How to Lose Weight” (see pic below). The only advice given was “Don’t eat”.




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When three-letter airport codes became standard, airports that had been using two letters simply added an X.


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During the Cold War, the U.S. considered airdropping enormous condoms labelled "Medium" on the Soviets.

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The most shoplifted food item in the U.S. is candy. In Europe, it's cheese.

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"Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, La Allah Il Allah, La Allah Il Allah U Mohammed Rassul Allah" is heard by more people than any other sound of the human voice. This is the prayer recited by muezzins from each of the four corners of the prayer tower as Moslems all over the world face toward Mecca and kneel at sunset. It means: "God is great. There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God."



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Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Miscellany


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Mea culpa

My apologies for not leaving a message on Friday that I would be away from my computer for a couple of days and that there would be no Bytes over the weekend.


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People From The Past Who Remind Us What "Cool" Really Means! 
Part 2:

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Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his cabinet - 1968. These men knew how to wear a suit.


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Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones) in 1967


If you don't recakll who Olenna Tyrell is in GoT . . .


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Sophia Loren, one of the only actresses to win an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe awards.


A famous quote of hers: "Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got."

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Three boys pose for a camera on the streets of Jamaica


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A man ice skating in a suit (1937)


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The Beatles before they were famous


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A businessman doubling as a graffiti artist


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This is how teenagers dated in the 1950s


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High school fashion feature in Life Magazine (1969)


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Leather clad English rocker girl


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A young Kevin Spacey (1980s)



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Friday, September 12, 2014

Funny Friday




Some Friday Funnies to end the week but be warned, some are risque . . .

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If Scotland gains its independence after the forthcoming referendum, the remainder of the United Kingdom will be known as the "Former United Kingdom" (F U K). 

In a bid to discourage Scots from voting 'yes' in the referendum, the Westminster has now begun to campaign with the slogan: "Vote NO, for F U K's sake"

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After announcing he was getting married, a Scot tells his pal he will be wearing the kilt.  "What's the tartan?" asks his mate.  "She'll be wearing a white dress," he replies.
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Got arrested at the airport last week. Apparently security doesn’t appreciate it when you call “shotgun” before boarding a plane

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A farmer and his daughter were coming back from town with their money from some sales and a large sack of flour when all of a sudden these highway men held them up and robbed them of everything.

A few minutes later the farmer exclaims, "We're ruined, all the money's gone and there's no flour for bread."

Then his daughter says, "No, papa, I hid the money in my U-know-what."

The farmer said, "You're a good girl, but if your mama was here she could have saved the sack of flour as well!"

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Corn Corner:

I needed my piano tuned, but my regular tuner was out so I hired this other guy, John Oppernockety, who tuned it.  A few hours later it went back out  of tune so I called him to please come back and re-tune the piano.  He said "Sorry, friend, but Oppernockety only tunes once". 

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Most Dangerous and Unusual Journeys to School in the World – Part 2


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Crossing a Broken Bridge In The Snow To Get To School In Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China:


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Children Traveling On The Roof Of A Wooden Boat In Pangururan, Indonesia


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School Girls Walking Across A Plank On The Wall Of The 16th Century Galle Fort In Sri Lanka


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Pupils Traveling By Boat in Kerala, India


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Schoolchildren Riding A Horse Cart Back From School In Delhi, India


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Students Crossing Ciherang River On A Makeshift Bamboo Raft, Cilangkap Village, Indonesia


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125-Mile Journey To A Boarding School Through The Mountains, Pili, China


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Pupils Walking On A Tightrope 30 Feet Above A River, Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia



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Elementary School Students Crossing A River On Inflated Tire Tubes, Rizal Province, Philippines



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