Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Thought for the Day

Newspaper Headline Fails, Part 1


As readers know, I am a devotee of that wonderful website Bored Panda. 

Here is one of the latest posts from that site with some of the reader comments added: 

40 Of The Worst Newspaper Headlines To Make You Facepalm At The Stupidity - Part 1 


Reader Comments:

So, police don't use ouija boards any more? 

I'm interested in knowing more about the ones that do..πŸ€”πŸ€” 

It’s not unheard of for the cops to arrive at the scene as the victim is dying, and manage to get some kind of statement about who attacked them and why right before they succumb to their injuries. It’s the only situation I can think of that fits—-not very common, but not unheard of. 

Yes, they are strangely silent as they lie there on the morgue slab. 

So some do talk? 

What do you mean, RARELY 



Good thing he/she didn't become an engineer, then... 

Or an accountant. 

Not only is the headline awful but quite sexist too. There are just as many women who are good at math and love it. 

That has to be intentional... 

I'm going to send this to the math teachers in my building - all 3 of whom are female! 

Come on people, math ain't that hard. Now English on the other hand... 

Why does the article state that women are especially confused by math? Was this like two hundred years ago? 



We're doing something right!! 

Really?! I need to start doing it straight away 

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive 

I wonder how they get to that conclusion. The studies, the scientistas involved, the money and the experiments... Oh... The experiments 

ya dont say 

wow for real I had no idea?! 

Are they sure? More study is needed.... 

No shit Sherlock! 

Ha. No wonder I died. 

Really? I thought holding my breath helps me stay alive. Well that explains a lot 

I need to go get me some this Oxygen 

Ya think? What gave ya the first clue??? 

Well, hudda thunk! 



Or maybe even 20. 

really?! teen pregnancy significantly drops of at 25 why not 35! 

:::: facepalm ::::: Are there actual editor's that work at these newspapers or...? 

And pregnancy rates drop off significantly after age 50... 

Mmm, must be that new math. 

I would think it is unlikely - people don't care so much about 'unmarried mothers' these days as most of them are probably in long term relationships and just haven't bothered getting it made official. Either way it's a pretty bad headline! 



Are they Ganja do anything about it? 

When people buy marijuana, do they use money from their joint bank account? 

Not unintentional 

At last the right people will decide Marijuana issues! 

Somehow I doubt decisions will be made. 

Why not reefer to the experts? Weed out the dopes. Let's be blunt about it, said the kettle to the pot. The grass is always greener on the other side, Bud. A cannabis can get us there, but it's chronically late. 

Who is on this committee? Chech and Chong?? 

Actually, that's pure genius. 

This sounds like it was on purpose to be funny 

Ya think....? 



Oh, wow! That must 've been unexpected.. 

No kidding? Who’da thunk it? 

Really ?! In the U.S. as well ?! What is going on ?! 

Federal Agents Raid Drugstore, Find Drugs. 

Were they expecting maybe candy? 

They hoped to find bunnies in gun shop instead? 

I didn't see that coming... 

Wouldn't it have been noteworthy had they NOT found any? 

The dumb is strong with this one 

So THAT'S where the weapons have been hiding!!!! 



It also says Exclusive to all newspapers and asks for contact from people who have seen her in Morocco. What trash-rag is this? 

It's from the British satirical magazine Private Eye. It's a satire on the British press who were running around like headless chickens just printing any old rubbish to fill pages. Many of the papers were utterly pathetic in their response to her death and worthy of far worse than satire. 

I saw her last week in Walmart, reading the National Enquirer. "What, I have how many grandchildren? The Queen is still alive at 93? Charles married who? Who reads this rubbish?" 

The two phone numbers provided are the same, and the last line has plenty of space but cuts off with “(cont....)” anyway. This is the worst! 

I find most people are alive until they die 


This is truly shocking news. To think that Princess Diana was alive and well just hours before her tragic death... makes it all the more tragic I guess. 

I saw her alive but then someone said it was an alien that I saw. Does that count? 

Why weren't we told about this? 



Wow! Jesus has come back! 

Jesus was an amateur compared to this guy! This guy didn't wait for 3 days 

The zombie apocalypse has begun! 

I actually think this one is clever. Likely someone faked his own death and ran away from some commitment like jailtime or child support. I would read the article with a title like that. 

That's probably exactly what they meant. I'm from South Africa where this newspaper is printed and this is quite tame and believable compared to some of the other headlines they use! :) 

I just faced palmed myself! 

John Wick I guess. 

I knew it, I knew there was life after death! 

Can I talk to him? I want to learn that skill. 


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Thought for the Day

Readers Write


From Bruce R: 

G’day Otto  
One day Brett missed is 19/11 – International Men’s Day.  
I know this because I am organising a special Rotary breakfast on the 22nd to celebrate the day (ok, it is not the actual day but it is the right sentiment!).  
Link to website is 
Thanks, Bruce. 


From Robyn T: 
Hi Otto

Loved the Byte on the Oz flag and also reckon your design is a standout winner, given the flag of the Eureka stockade, my former favourite design, has been co opted a number of (sometimes conflicting) interests. My favourite description of the Oz flag which says it all to me is "the British flag at night" attributed to Seinfeild I believe.

The attached image was taken near Taloumbi where I went to capture in paint some of the aftermath of the recent bushfires which ravaged the area. Must be hell trying to outrun a bushfire if you are a tortose.


Robyn T 

Thanks Robyn. 

Not sure if the design Robyn is referring to from the earlier post is this one . . . 

. . . or this one . . . 


From Sue P: 
HI Otto  
I thought the word googly came from the same derivative as googly-eyed which Wiki tells me comes from German 

But either way it seems to be around the 1900s.

How curious!

Kind regards, Sue 

Thanks, Sue 


From Rob T: 
Dear Otto,

The “ O “ as “egg” is also supposed to be the origin (in French - l’oeuf) of “ love “ in tennis. 
Best, Rob
 Thanks, Rob 


From David C B: 
Following on from a couple of cricket trivia items in Friday's Bytes Daily:  
A batsman who gets a duck in both innings is said to have achieved a pair which is short for a pair of spectacles, the origin being obvious.  
And a googly is sometimes called a wrong 'un or a bosie, the latter from the originator's name.

Thanks David,


To finish, some great moments in cricket commentary: 


It’s been very slow and dull day, but it hasn’t been boring. It’s been a good, entertaining day’s cricket. 

- Tony Benneworth from ABC Radio 

“A very small crowd here today. I can count the people on one hand – Can’t be more than 30″ 

– Michael Abrahamson during the India Vs Combined Bowl XI. 

In the back of Hughes’ mind must be the thought that he will dance down the piss and mitch one. 

- Tony Greig, Channel 9 Sydney 

“The team that doesnt win will find itself on the losing side” 

- Neil Johnson. 

“The Port Elizabeth ground is more of a circle than an oval. It is long and square.” 

– Trevor Bailey 

“Yorkshire all out 232, Hutton ill! I’m sorry. Hutton 111.” 

BBC news announcer John Snagge 

“His feet were a long way away from his body!” 

- Ravi Shastri 

Brian Lara has just been hit in the box by a Steve Waugh delivery. David Gower picks up the commentary before the next ball: 

“Brian Lara faces Steve Waugh…one ball left” 

Brian Johnston was a famous cricket commentator and presenter for the BBC. Here are some of his famous gaffes: 

There’s Neil Harvey standing at leg slip with his legs wide apart, waiting for a tickle 

The bowler’s Holding, the batsman’s Willey 

On the first day, Logie decided to chance his arm and it came off. 

Ray Illingworth has just relieved himself at the pavilion end.” 

Welcome to Worcester where you’ve just missed seeing Barry Richards hitting one of Basil D’Oliveira’s balls clean out of the ground. 

Richie Benaud: 

There are a lot of hookers around the world 

That slow motion replay doesn’t show how fast the ball was travelling.”

Monday, November 11, 2019

Thought for the Day

Replies, Responses and Comebacks: 32,33, 34

Announcement #1: 

Readers will note from the above title that this continuing series has been renamed from “Great Replies” to “Replies, Responses and Comebacks”. My reason in doing so is that the term “great” connotes approval whereas some of the replies are cruel (Churchill’s “ugly” response), some are inappropriate and some are historical but not approved. Moreover, responses are not always replies. 

Announcement #2: 

I have been reposting the past replies (which reached Number 31) with the intention of completing the series, up to Number 100.

Today, November 11, is significant for a number of events and I therefore propose to note those events through replies. That, however, presents a problem: how to number those items, out of sequence. I have decided to nonetheless number them 32, 33 and 34. 



At 5:00am on the morning of November 11 an armistice was signed in a railroad car parked in a French forest near the front lines. The occasion was not a surrender, the armistice being an agreement in which both sides agreed to stop fighting, rather than a surrender. For both sides, an armistice was the fastest way to end the war's misery and carnage, Germany being drained and facing certain defeat, the Allies not wanting the cost in lives and resources of invasion. The terms of the agreement called for the cessation of fighting along the entire Western Front to begin at precisely 11:00am that morning. After over four years of bloody conflict, the Great War was at an end. 

Marshall Ferdinand Foch (1851 – 1929), the Supreme Allied Commander during the First World War, primarily wrote the harsh terms imposed on Germany and oversaw the armistice of 11 November.1918. 

Painting depicting the signing of the armistice, Marshall Ferdinand Foch standing behind the table. 

The allied representatives at the signing of the armistice. Ferdinand Foch is second from the right, pictured outside the railway carriage in which it was signed in the forest at Compiegne. 


On 22 June 1940 France surrendered to Germany after German blitzkrieg and occupation, which began on 10 May 1940. 

Hitler demanded that the signing of the surrender take place in the same railway carriage as had been used for the signing of the 1918 armistice, a carriage that had for 22 years been a monument to the defeat of Germany. The signing was attended, for Germany, by Hitler, Hermann Goring, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop and others. 

Hitler sat in the same chair that had been occupied by Marshall Foch in 1918, listened to the preamble of the armistice read out and then disdainfully walked out of the carriage, leaving it to subordinates to accept the surrender. The last sentence of the preamble read “Germany does not have the intention to use the armistice conditions and armistice negotiations as a form of humiliation against such a valiant opponent." 

Joachim von Ribbentrop, Walther von Brauchitsch, Hermann Goring, Rudolf Hess and Adolf Hitler in front of the Armistice carriage. 

BTW, in another example of a military surrender response, witness the following photograph: 

23 It shows a proffered handshake from Japanese Lt. General Torashiro Kawabe being refused by American Col. Sidney Mashbir (who knew Kawabe from before the war) during a Japanese visit to Manila to prepare the details for Japan's surrender ceremony. Col Mashbir is shown motioning by his thumb that Lt General Kawabe needed to move along. In his autobiography, Mashbir explained that he was not permitted to shake hands, and that it would have been rude to point, which ultimately lead to the awkward thumbing motion that was photographed. 



Gough Whitlam, the 21st Prime Minister of Australia, was dismissed by the Queen’s representative, Sir John Kerr, the Governor General, after the Opposition blocked Supply (money to run the country). The Governor General’s secretary, David Smith, read the proclamation dissolving Parliament on the steps of Parliament House on 11 November 1975: 
NOWTHEREFORE, I Sir John Robert Kerr, the Governor-General of Australia, do by this my Proclamation dissolve the Senate and the House of Representatives. Given under my Hand and the Great Seal of Australia on 11 November 1975.

By His Excellency's Command, Malcolm Fraser Prime Minister, John R. Kerr Governor General.

God Save The Queen! 

Whitlam stood fuming next to David Smith as the proclamation was read: 

As soon as the words “God Save the Queen” were uttered, Whitlam took the microphone and spoke: 
Ladies and gentleman (applause and cheering), well may we say God Save the Queen (pause) because nothing will save the Governor-General (applause and cheering).

The proclamation which you have just heard read by the Governor-General’s official secretary was countersigned ‘Malcolm Fraser’ (boos and jeering) who will undoubtedly go down in Australian history from Remembrance Day 1975 as Kerr’s cur.

They won’t silence the outskirts of Parliament House, even if the inside has been silenced for the next few weeks (cheering).

The Governor-General’s proclamation was signed after he already made an appointment to meet the Speaker at a quarter to five.

The House of Representatives had requested the Speaker to give the Governor-General its decision that Mr Fraser did not have the confidence of the House (pause) and that the Governor-General should call me to form the Government. . . (cheers and applause).

Maintain your rage and enthusiasm through the campaign for the election now to be held and until polling day. 



Ned Kelly (1854 - 1880), Australian bushranger (outlaw), was convicted of the murder of a police officer and sentenced to death by the harsh and unlikable Judge Redmond Barry. He had remained at large for 2 years, supported by an extensive network of sympathisers, and is renowned for his last stand with fellow gang members brother Dan Kelly, Steve Hart and Joe Byrne wearing armour made from metal from ploughs. The others were killed in that shootout. 

Ned Kelly, the day before his execution 

When Kelly appeared out of the mist-shrouded bush at Glenrowan, clad in armour, bewildered policemen took him to be a ghost, a bunyip, and "Old Nick himself". 


On the morning of 11 November 1880, just before 10.00am, Kelly was led onto the scaffold. A newspaper illustration of the time showed that scene: 

His last words were “Ah, well, I suppose it has to come to this. Such is life.” 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Quote for the Day


“One small step . . .”

Although Neil Armstrong insisted that his words on stepping foot on the moon in 1969 were "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind", in a transcript of the Apollo 11 moon landing sound recordings he apparently fails to say "a" before "man" and says: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

This was generally considered by many to simply be an error of omission on his part. Armstrong long insisted he did say "a man" but that it was inaudible.

Prior to new evidence supporting his claim, he stated a preference for the "a" to appear in parentheses when the quote is written. The debate continues on the matter, as more recent analysis by linguist John Olsson and author Chris Riley with higher quality recordings indicates that he did not say "a".


The cricketing term 'out for a duck' is used when a batman is out without scoring any runs.

It refers to the zero on the scoreboard being similar to a duck's egg and was first used in 1867, in G. H. Selkirk's Guide to Cricket Grounds:

"If he makes one run he has 'broken his duck's egg'."

H H Stephenson.

The Maginot Line:

To defend against any future assault by a resurgent Germany, in the 1930s France erected a network of forts, obstacles and weapon installations along the German frontier. Named the Maginot Line after French Minister of War AndrΓ© Maginot, it was thought that the line would stall Germany which would then be involved in a 2 front war with France and its then ally Russia.

The ammunitions entrance to Ouvrage Schoenenbourg along the Maginot Line in Alsace.

Constructed on the French side of its borders with Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Luxembourg, the line did not extend to the English Channel due to the then alliance with Belgium. When the Second World War began in the West on May 10, 1940, Belgium had become a neutral nation in an effort along with the Netherlands, to appease Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. The French believed that the Ardennes region in the north, weak point in the line, did not need to be reinforced because the region, with its rough terrain, would be an unlikely invasion route of German forces; if it were traversed, it would be done at a slow rate that would allow the French time to bring up reserves and counterattack.

The German Army exploited this weak point in the French defensive front with a rapid advance through the forest, encircling much of the Allied forces and resulting in a sizable force being evacuated at Dunkirk (26 May-June 4,19540). leaving the forces to the south unable to mount an effective resistance to the German invasion of France.

The line has since become a metaphor for expensive efforts that offer a false sense of security.


A hat trick is the fact of achieving a positive feat three times in a game. 

English cricketer HH Stephenson was the first cricketer to be awarded a hat for taking three wickets in consecutive balls, the origin of the hat-trick. He performed the feat in 1858. A collection was held for Stephenson (as was customary for outstanding feats by professionals) and he was presented with a cap or hat bought with the proceeds.

The term was eventually adopted by many other sports including hockey, soccer, water polo, and team handball.


World’s largest gun:

In the late 1930s Hitler gave orders for a gun to be developed to destroy the main forts on the Maginot Line, "a gun able to pierce a metre of steel, seven metres of concrete, or thirty meters of dense earth."

German armaments manufacturer Krupp complied, creating the Gustav Gun, named in honour of family patriarch Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach. The biggest gun ever built, it was mounted on a railway carriage, stood 4 stories tall and required a 500-man crew.

Adolf Hitler (second from right) and Albert Speer (right) in front of the 800mm gustav railway gun in the year 1943

Gustav was not ready for action when the Battle of France began,  In any case, as noted above, the Wehrmacht's Blitzkrieg offensive through Belgium rapidly outflanked and isolated the Maginot Line's static defences, eventually forcing the French to surrender.

Gustav was later deployed in the Soviet Union during the Battle of Sevastopol, part of Operation Barbarossa, where, among other things, it destroyed a munitions depot located roughly 30 m (98 ft) below ground level.

In all, the Gustav fired 300 shells on Sevastopol, and another 30 during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. It was never used again. It was captured by U.S. troops and cut up for scrap. A duplicate gun, named for the chief engineer's wife, Dora, saw action only briefly and was destroyed to prevent its capture by the Russian army.


A googly is a deceptive spinning delivery by a wrist spin bowler which spins the opposite direction to the stock delivery. For a right-hander bowler and a right-handed batsman, a googly will turn from the off side to the leg side. It was developed by Bosanquet around 1900. 

The origin of the word is unknown.

Not every Model T was black:

It is a myth that all of the Model T Fords were black.

In his 1922 book My Life and Work, Ford described his policy as “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants, so long as it is black.”

The Ford Motor Company used 30 different types of black paint for different parts of the car’s exterior but when the Model T first came on the market, customers could get almost any common colour except for black. Blue, grey, green, and red were all available, but not black.

The first black Model T didn’t roll off the assembly line until five years later. Towards the end of the Model T’s life, six new colors were introduced, from Royal Maroon to Phoenix Brown to Highland Green. In between there was over a decade of black Model T’s.

1925 Model T

1911 Ford Model T Torpedo Runabout

1920 Touring

1915 Model T Runabout

1911 Model T Ruanbout

1919 Runabout

Although it has been said that Henry Ford elected to stay with only black paint because it dried faster, it is more likely that black paint was cheap and durable, and that making only one color of car was cheaper.

BTW, why a Model T? 
Ford started with the Model A in 1903. There was then the B, C, F, K, N, R & S. The missing letters were experimental or never got off the drawing board. When Ford ceased building The Model T they felt the company was entering a new era and started again with the Model A.