30 July 2010

Friday Joke - Which Airline?

A young man overhears a women at a party say that she is a flight attendant. So he decides to have a go at picking her up by identifying the airline she flies for, thereby impressing her with his knowledge of the World of commercial travel.

He leans across to her and says the British Airlines motto ‘Come fly the friendly skys’. The woman looks at him blankly. He retreats and thinks up another line.

He leans forward again and delivers the Air France motto ‘Winning the hearts of the world’. Again she just stares at him with a slightly puzzled look on her face.

Undeterred, he tries again, this time saying the Malaysian Airlines
motto: ‘Going beyond expectations’.

The woman looks at him sternly and says ‘What the fu # k do you want?’
‘Ah!’ he says, with a smile on his face...

‘Delta Airlines’.

29 July 2010

A game of life and death

The score has been stable at 1 all for a couple of weeks. Early in the summer season I had been able to intervene in her deadly plan and pull off a point, but she quickly countered and equalized. Since then this deadly game has been fairly quiet with little activity. That was until last night...

I could tell by the noises that she was making that another round of the game was about to start. I was sat at the table, quietly working on a student’s thesis when she came in making those sounds. I jumped up and caught her off guard. I had been ignoring her for much of the evening trying to get the work finished and she wasn't expecting any attention.

I moved quickly and got her by the scruff of the neck, she tried to escape but was too slow. Once I had her, she relaxed and didn't fight me, she has speed and I have strength, normally its an even match, but this time I was quicker. I carefully extracted the bird from her jaws.

It was a small grey tit. It did not move and I thought at first it was dead, but then it shuddered. It's head was twisted around through 180 degrees and even though it was still alive, I assumed it was not long for the World. She ran around, anxiously trying to figure where her hapless pray and suddenly disappeared to. I tried to ignore her.

I decided that the bird was probably too far gone and I headed outside to finish it off with a spade. I awkwardly slide open the patio door, with the bird cradled in one hand and the cat frantically running around my feet, stepped out into the cool night air. Once outside the bird, perhaps predicting its coming demise started to come back to life. Its head was still at a strange angle but it started to struggle and even tried to fly. I decided that maybe it wasn't beyond hope and took it back inside.

I found an old wooden wine cask, still packed with balls of newspaper. I positioned the bird comfortably in the corner, added a shallow bowl of water and some dried fruit. All the time it just watched me, while I made it a temporary home. Did it know it was safe or was it just a hapless spectator to the game. I put the lid on the box and headed to bed figuring that I would check it in the morning. I wrote a note to myself saying BIRD in big red letters and left it on the table, so I wouldn't forget in the morning.

Next morning, I did forget, at least until I saw the note. Then I eagerly headed to the box and opened it. The bird was peacefully asleep but woke up and immediately flew out of the box. I was ecstatic, another victory in the battle for the lives of the small animals in my garden. My joy at seeing my patient recover was quickly over come by the reality that I now had a small bird to catch in my living room and I was, as always already late for work.

The problem was solved by a large bang as the hapless bird hit the window hard and dropped to the floor where it lay motionless. Bugger! Maybe I had added the point to my score too early. I picked it up and after a few seconds it started to come round. It was only stunned. Happy that she was not around, I took it outside where it tried to fly but went in a circle and crashed again. Maybe it was injured beyond my meager abilities. Bugger!

I was late for work so I decided that there was nothing to be lost by a few more hours in the box so I picked it up and put it back in its temporary home before heading to work.

When I got back in the evening I was more prepared. I checked that she was not around and took the box outside on to the terrace where I carefully opened it. The bird immediately looked around and then seeing an escape, quickly flew off. This time the flight was straight and true with no windows to hit. Now I could celebrate, I felt good, I had another small victory and what's more I was back in the lead. The score was now 2-1! Yes!

I packed up the box, and threw out some of the bird stained newspaper. I walked around the corner to the bin to dispose of the paper when I spotted it, there in the middle of the path was a dead mouse. Laid out, carefully positioned in the very centre of my way. No doubt how it got there or where it had come from. The score was again level, at 2-2.

Thursday Fashion - Beach wear Japanese style

Thursday fashion is back to take you to beach in the land of the rising sun.

You can tell it's "fashion" because it fits the definition of "lots of stupid people, all dressing in an outlandish manner because everyone else is"

It is also truly disturbing and rather unpleasant...

28 July 2010


Four different Welsh friends independently sent me this weeks movie. Check it out here.

It's utter class and actually made we feel a bit homesick for South Wales, its worth following the lyrics they are funny as fuck, mun! Tidy like.

Then I watched this which reminded me that soon I will be moving to Scotland


26 July 2010

Summer is here (at last)

After a fairly shitte start to the summer (the wettest July on record), things suddenly got better on Thursday when the sun came out. So since then I have:

1. Been to see Muse, supported by the White Lies. I had heard very good things about Muse live and was really looking forward to it. In the end it was OK, the rest of the crowd were going mental so maybe it was just me. It was good but probably not quite what I was expecting. The White Lies were excellent again. Went drinking afterwards and ran into all sorts of folk in town which made me realise it's a long time since I properly went out. A good night.

First of all a bit of White Lies

And then some Muse, the crowd are loving it!

2. Saturday, I pottered about and continued the ongoing saga of my patio building. Great to just hang out at the lair with nothing to do.

3. Saturday evening I went to visit some friends who live in the "highest house in Bergen" right up on the hillside 160 steps from the highest point that you can drive. Very pleasent evening with a barbi whilst watching the sunset set across the city and Askøy. There are few places in the World that are better than Bergen when the weather is like this.

Sunset dinner on the side of Sandviks Fjell above Bergen with Askøy in the distance

Andreas and Stefi on the balcony

4. Sunday I went for a kayak trip with Sandy. We were out for about 4 hours from Glasvær in the south of Sotra. Perfect paddling conditions to tour in and out of all the little islands. Reasonable swell in the open ocean which was just big enough to be fun. A very nice afteroon out.

Sandy Paddling near Glesvær
Yes summer in western Norway is great, shame its so short.

22 July 2010

Friday Joke - Some Darwin Awards

Everyone knows what a Darwin Award is, here are some that I had not previously seen...

NOMINEE No.1: [San Jose Mercury News] An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former girlfriend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.

NOMINEE No.2 [Kalamazoo Gazette] James Burns, 34, of Alamo,Mich., was killed in March as he was trying to repair what. police described as a "farm-type truck." Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Bums hung underneath so that he could asthe source of a troubling noise. Burns' clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found Burns "wrapped in the drive shaft."

NOMINEE No.3 [Hickory Daily Record] Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, N.C., when, awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson. 38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.

NOMINEE No.4 [UIPI, Toronto] Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto Skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the building's windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously had conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police reports. Peter Lawyers, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of the best and brightest" members of the 200-man association.

NOMINEE No.5 [Bloomburg News Service] A terrible diet and room with no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who was killed by his own gas. There was no mark on his body but autopsy showed large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage(and a couple of other things). It was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed. Had he been outside or had his windows been opened, it wouldn't have been fatal. But the man was shut, up in his, near airtight bedroom. According to the article, "He was a big man with a huge capacity for creating "this deadly gas." Three of the rescuers got sick and one was hospitalized.

NOMINEE No..6 [The News of the Weird.] Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the Weird posthumously. He had spent several years awaiting South Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. Whilst sitting on a metal toilet in his cell and attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

NOMINEE NO.7["The. Indianapolis Star"] A cigarette lighter may have triggered fatal explosion - Dunkirk, Indiana. A Jay County man using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzle loader was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriffs investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents' rural Dunkirk home about 11:30 p.m. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a 54-caliber muzzle loader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.

NOMINEE No.8 lAP, St. Louis] Robert Puelo, 32, was apparently being disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened to call police, Puelo grabbed a hot dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walked out without paying for it. Police found him unconscious in front of the store; paramedics removed the six-inch wiener from his throat, where it had choked him to death.

NOMINEE No.9 [Unknown] To poacher Marino Malerba, who shot a stag standing above him on an overhanging rock-and was killed instantly when it fell on him.

NOMINEE No.10 [Associated Press, Kincaid] Blasting Cap Explodes in Man's Mouth at Party. A man at a party popped a blasting cap into his mouth and bit down, triggering an explosion that blew off his lips, teeth, and tougue state police said Wednesday. Jerry Stromyer, 24, of Kincaid, bit the blasting cap as a prank during a party late Tuesday night, said Cpl. M.D.Payne. Another man had it in an aquarium hooked to a battery, and was trying to explode it," Payne said. "It wouldn't go off and this guy said, 'I'II show you how to set it off."

Geek Day - optical illusions

This guy has the most amazing optical illusions
Check out this and this and even this

In fact just go and watch all the movies on his youtube channel

21 July 2010

Wednesday Movie

Bit rushed this week, but here is a movie I found a while back on UK climbing

It shows the insatiable Tim Emmett doing what he does best in Pembroke.
I used to know him a while back and he really is as enthusiastic and nice as he seems. A really top guy.

Its also interesting to note the vast improvment in the quality of climbing movies in the last 5 or so years. Hard Grit set the scene and they just keep getting better.

Anyway if you want to watch Tim cranking hard and taking big whippers at Pembroke, check it out here.

16 July 2010

More old jokes

Its Friday and I am a bit snowed under, here is an oldie that always makes me laugh. And it's not rude of sexist. This version was sent to me by my Bro

Dave disappeared for a year. When he returned to work and his boss asked where he had been, he claimed to have been around the World meeting everyone. "Everyone?" said his boss, "what all 6 billion people in the World?"
"Yep", said Dave "I know everyone there is to know. Just name someone, anyone, and I know them."
So his boss tries to call his bluff, "OK, Dave, how about Tom Cruise?"
"No drama's boss, Tom and I are old friends, and I can prove it."
So Dave and his boss fly out to Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise's door and Tom Cruise shouts, "Dave! What's happenin?!? Great to see you! Come on in for a beer!"
Although impressed, Dave's boss is still sceptical. After they leave Cruise's house, he tells Dave that he thinks him knowing Cruise was just lucky.
"No, no, just name anyone else," Dave says.
"President Obama," his boss quickly retorts.
"Yup," Dave says, "Old buddies, let's fly out to Washington."
And off they go. At the White House, Obama spots Dave on the tour and motions him and his boss over, saying,
"Dave, what a surprise, I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come on in and let's have a cup of coffee first and catch up."
Well, the boss is very shaken by now but still not totally convinced. After they leave the White House grounds he expresses his doubts to Dave, who again implores him to name anyone else.
"The pope," his boss replies.
"Sure!" says Dave. "My folks are from Europe, and I've known the Pope a long time." So off they fly to Rome. Dave and his boss are assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Dave says, "This will never work. I can't catch the Pope's eye among all these people. Tell you what, I know all the guards so let me just go upstairs and I'll come out on the balcony with the Pope." And he disappears into the crowd headed toward the Vatican. Sure enough, half an hour later Dave emerges with the Pope on the balcony but by the time Dave returns, he finds that his boss has had a heart attack and is surrounded by paramedics. Working his way to his boss' side, Dave asks him, "What happened?"
His boss looks up and says, "I was doing fine until you and the Pope came out on the balcony and the man next to me said, "Who the f*#k's that on the balcony in the white gown with Dave?

15 July 2010

Geek day - the Earth's water

I remember when I was at school and I saw an image of the World with no oceans. I was blown away by it. You could see the mid-ocean ridges, cut by transform faults, the shelf, the slope, the oceanic trenches - it brought plate tectonics to life.

Now such images are common, you can even see the bathymetry on GoogleEarth, which is awesome, but we have become used to seeing it and the impact is less, although I can still spend hours wandering the global

Then I found the image below and it showed the volume of all the Earth's water relative to the volume of the planet - and its tiny! Makes you think about the size of the Earth and how thin a layer, even the deepest oceans actually make.

14 July 2010

Wednesday Movie - Oil disasters

Oil disasters like the on going BP shambles in the Gulf of Mexico are nothing new. Pushing the limits of technology will occasionally lead to tragedy, especially if people are keen to cut corners and save money.

This weeks Wednesday Movie is one of the more strange oil industry accidents. The movie tells the story of a Texaco well that was drilled off a barge in a swamp in Louisiana and hit a working salt mine. First there is a rumble, then the entire lake drains down the borehole into the cavern, followed by the drill barge and several other boats.

Amazingly no-one died!

The short version is here and a longer version is here.

09 July 2010

Friday Joke - a couple of oldies

One day Mr. Smith, the president of a large corporation, called his vice-president, Dave, into his office and said, "We're making some cutbacks, so either Jack or Barbara will have to be laid off." Dave looked at Mr. Smith and said, "Barbara is my best worker, but Jack has a wife and three kids. I don't know whom to fire."

The next morning Dave waited for his employees to arrive. Barbara was the first to come in, so Dave said, "Barbara, I've got a problem. You see, I've got to lay you or Jack off and I don't know what to do?" Barbara replied, "You'd better jack off. I've got a headache."


A kindergarten teacher one day is trying to explain to her class the definition of the word "definitely" to them. To make sure the students have a good understanding of the word, she asks them to use it in a sentence. The first student raised his hand and said "The sky is definitely blue". The teacher said, "Well, that isn't entirely correct, because sometimes it's gray and cloudy".

Next kid says, "Grass is definitely green." The teacher again replies "If grass doesn't get enough water it turns brown, so that isn't really correct either."

Another kid raises his hand and asks the teacher "Do farts have lumps?" The teacher looked at him and said "No...and I don't see what that has to do with the class discussion."

The kids replies, "Well miss in that case I definitely just shat my pants."

08 July 2010

Geek Day - If they are watching us, then they are watching this

Given that electromagnetic energy travels at the speed of light, any extra terrestrial life tuning into our TV and radio transmissions will be limited by distance from the Earth to what they will see. The further away, the older the broadcasts.

The following shows what our extra-terrestrial neighbours are currently watching

It's probably not too surprising that they haven't bothered getting in touch...

07 July 2010

Highest Point in Norway

I always figured it is rude to live in a country and not climb it's highest mountain. So last weekend was my birthday and we headed up the the Jotenheim with the goal of walking up Galdhøpiggen which at 2469 m is not only the highest point in Norway but the whole of northern Europe - woooo!

Katharine arrived late-ish Friday evening and we drove part way and camped. Then drove the rest of the way to Spiterstulen and met Sandy and Helen. Set up the tent and went for a walk up the valley in some very spectacular scenery before cooking some dinner. Next day the weather was fine so we set off to climb the mountain. It's not at all technical but it's a fairly long hike with about 1400 m of ascent. The last half is across snow fields. Note to self - don't wear light-weight walking boots in the snow!

Great views from the top and well worth the trudge. There is something special abut being on the highest point that you can see and especially when that is somewhere as impressive as the Jotenheim. The summit cafe is a little off putting, but at least there is no train ferrying fat people to the top like on Snowdon and it was nice to get out of the wind. Slogged down, cooked food and then it started to rain! All in all - pretty lucky with the weather. Drove back the next day - Norway is a freakin big country, driving anywhere takes ages!

Definitly worth the trip. The mountain can also be climbed from the other side which involves a glacier crossing, which sounds exciting but the reality is hundreds of tourists paying guides lots of money to rope them into big long chains. It looked horrible. I would highly suggest the longer, less crowded route from Spiterstulen.

Photos to follow

Wednesday Movie - Base jumping with a difference

This is awesome...
A beautiful piece of footage - Enjoy

06 July 2010

On this day in history...

Thirty years ago Marty McFly climbed into a pimped up Delorean and set the time machine to travel to...


So where is my flying skateboard?

02 July 2010

Friday Joke - Atheist Humour

The weekend is here again! It's been a pretty busy week which included my birthday.
Off to the Jotenheim this weekend to bag the highest peak in Norway...
In the meantime here is some atheist humour for the weekend (all stolen from here)

One day the zoo-keeper noticed that the orangutan was reading two books - the Bible and Darwin's Origin of Species.
Surprised, he asked the ape, "Why are you reading both those books?"
"Well," said the orangutan, "I just wanted to know if I was my brother's keeper or my keeper's brother."

An atheist buys an ancient lamp at an auction, takes it home, and begins to polish it. Suddenly, a genie appears, and says, “I’ll grant you three wishes, Master.” The atheist says, “I wish I could believe in you.” The genie snaps his fingers, and suddenly the atheist believes in him. The atheist says, “Wow. I wish all atheists would believe this.” The genie snaps his fingers again, and suddenly atheists all over the world begin to believe in genies. “What about your third wish?” asks the genie. “Well,” says the atheist, “I wish for a billion dollars.” The genie snaps his fingers for a third time, but nothing happens. “What’s wrong?” asks the atheist. The genie shrugs and says, “Just because you believe in me, doesn’t necessarily mean that I really exist.”
A Christian, a Jew, and an atheist are standing in line to be executed during the French Revolution. The christian is first, and he lays down on the guillotine. Before the executioner pulls the lever he shouts, "My god will save me!".

The lever is pulled, and the blade swooshes down, stopping just short of his neck. The executioner, believing a miracle of god has occurred, figures he can't kill this man, as so sets him free.

The Jew lays down on the guillotine. Like the christian, he shouts, "My god will save me!".

The lever is pulled, the blade falls, and once again it stops just short of his neck. The executioner, again, believes god is on this man's side, and lets him go.

Finally, the atheist lays down on the guillotine. He shakes his head and examines the guillotine. After a while he finds a small stone wedged in the gears, and says to the executioner,

"It's nothing to do with any God, this is your problem..."

The moral?

There's a time and a place for skepticism.

01 July 2010


Have you ever wondered what was on the otherside of the World. Not just generally but specifically on the other side from where you are in a straight line through the centre of the Earth. That point is called your "antipode" and is the origin of the word "antipodes" when refering to Australia and New Zealand.

There are plenty of maps that allow you to see your antipode displayed graphically, I like the one below. I think it's interesting to note how little overlap there is between the continents. The antipode for most of the land masses is in the ocean. So the answer to the question above is probably "sea".

And if you want a more high tech approach you can use the link below to work it out more accurately