Archive for October, 2010

Film of the Week

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Irregular Features with tags , , , , on October 24, 2010 by awickerman

Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. From the writer who brought you Under Siege and Pretty Woman, proving some people will do almost anything for money. I know I would.

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Unusual Career Options

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , on October 24, 2010 by awickerman

Fed up with your job? Have a long list of obscure qualifications? A gifted linguistic? Then you could apply to be the Academic Assistant Monk to the Abbot. All you require is;

A degree related to Buddhist studies; fluency in English, two South-east Asian languages; two Buddhist canonical languages; and five years of Theravada Buddhist monastic training.

At which point you will be permitted to be a full time unpaid volunteer for the Abbot. I suspect they will not be fighting off applicants, but who knows?

The wonderful world of Mr T

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , , , , on October 22, 2010 by awickerman

For those of you have wondered what Mr T does in between whoring himself out to Snickers and World of Warcraft I can now present the answer;

He’s been making the ineffably pointless Flavor Wave Turbo Oven Platinum. Cynics may scoff that it’s nothing more than a halogen bulb with a fan attached, but to them I say pah! Mr T has managed to invent a new source of power, along with the  conventional(ish) “infrared waves” his marvellous device also uses “halogen heat” which is apparently completely different from infrared. For the revolutionary breakthrough Mr T must surely be in line for a Nobel Prize. That or pitying the fool of an ad man who wrote that tripe, one or other certainly.

Calendars

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Tunnels with tags , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by awickerman

One of the minor foibles of engineering is the insistence of many clients on using different calendars. This has recently been a quite hilarious issue on a job where a large water scheme must cross the railways.

Network Rail use a calendar where weeks start on the personal tax year, the 6th of April, while the Water companies have a ‘water year’ that runs September to September (that way their annual rain data will catch the whole of winter). Of course both organisations also have financial years  that run from the 1st of April, the dates they used when they were still state owned and occasionally throw in references to the actual calendar year.

All this is fine, until someone starts talking about ‘Week 40’ and you have absolutely no idea which of the various calendars they are using.

Fortunately Network Rail have a built-in system to protect from such mistakes; ludicrous delays giving everyone time to think things through carefully. On trying to book some time on track to put in some monitoring our liaison chap was told we could get access “Next August”. “August 2011?” he asked. “August 2012”  came the reply.

A variety of deaths

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Tenuous Link of the Day, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by awickerman

Breaking news from Saudi Arabia by way of Singapore! Why? Why not, that’s why.

As the traditional Islamic death trap the Hajj approaches the Saudi authorities have discovered a new way for vast numbers of pilgrims to get killed; H1N1 bird flu. This is something of a departure from the traditional methods of stampede, fire and heat stroke but will almost certainly be more fatal than usual disease of choice of meningitis.

I do concede H1N1 is a particularly pathetic pandemic, even by the low standards of such minor irritants as SARS, but this the Hajj in Saudi. If anyone can find a way to get vast numbers of people killed it’s them.

Euphemism of the Day #1

Posted in Irregular Features, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , on October 14, 2010 by awickerman

Today’s euphemism is brought to you by the loveable funsters at Volkswagen and is;

Entfeinerungor in English  “derefinement”

Derefinement is the new way of saying decontenting, now that everyone has worked out decontenting means ‘taking out the good bits and making something rubbish’

This is used in a context such as “We are going to derefine Skoda as everyone has worked out they are better and cheaper than the equivalent Volkswagen they are based on”.  So for any Skoda owners who were enjoying the fact the brand has finally emerged as respectable I can only say bad luck, it’s back to the depths for Skoda.

Today’s bonus euphemism is also from VW and describes the situation where instead of sacking someone you wait till they die or retire. In VW speak this is ““die biologische Lösung”, “the biological solution.” Almost as if the company had a shady history in such terminal solutions…..  wait a minute..

Vital Small Print

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Irregular Features, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , on October 12, 2010 by awickerman

The inestimable Long or Short capital has returned with an excellent piece of investment advice;

Let’s read the unabridged portion of that quote (from this article):

Assuming the first few owners don’t die horribly, it also seems like there will be a high likelihood of these vehicles making their way to high-end rental destinations.

I have bolded the important caveat for the benefit of unsophisticated investors, as well as the Japanese. When evaluating a product’s feasibility in the market place, and the returns one hopes to generate from an investment in such a product, it is crucial to ascertain the percentage probability that the first few owners die horribly. I can’t stress enough how bad the first few owners dying horribly would be — I mean it would be horrible to your investment. So try and avoid that.

Admittedly they are talking about the Martin jet-pack (which has no jets and isn’t a pack) but the point still stands.

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