Sunday, July 4, 2010

Australian Humor...

Well, not really – Snopes says it's fake, and has been rewritten for other countries as well.  But the snide answers are still funny as hell.  Via my faithful reader and mom:
Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow?
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street?
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks?
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia ? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay?
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia?
A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe.
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not...
Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is North in Australia?
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia?
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do...
Q:Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule?
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...
Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia?
A: You are a British politician, right?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round?
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can Dispense rattlesnake serum.
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees.
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia?
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia?
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go?
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

The Ongoing Creation Story...

Via my mom:
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Creme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, "Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14.

So God said, "Try my fresh green salad." And Satan presented Thousand-Island Dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, "I have sent you heart healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them." And Satan brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof.

God then created a light, fluffy white cake, named it "Angel Food Cake," and said, "It is good." Satan then created chocolate cake and named it "Devil's Food."

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose those extra pounds. And Satan gave cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds.

God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's and its 99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said, "You want fries with that?" And Man replied, "Yes! And super size them!" And Satan said, "It is good." And Man went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

Then Satan created HMOs and is now working on OBAMACARE.
The devil you say!

Biggest Flag Evah!

Happy Independence Day!

It's sunny and cool (just 67°F as I write this) here; a simply gorgeous day.  I played the video below just a few minutes ago and greatly enjoyed it; I hope you do as well...

Chaocipher Revealed...

John Byrnes' Chaocipher has long intrigued cryptanalysts, mainly because how it worked was never revealed and nobody could be sure that it was even real.  That has now changed: the entire system is now in the public domain, and it's both real and clever...

What Do You Get...

What do you get when you combine a cell phone with a camera, a few LEDs, and some very clever software?  A biological microscope, that's what.

Aydogan Ozcan's fiendishly ingenious idea is to use the processing power of the computer in modern cell phones to analyze an image taken with special side-lighting to create the equivalent of an expensive microscope for just a few dollars worth of plastic and LEDs.  Bravo!

Cosmic Watercolor...

From the Wide Field Imager at La Silla...

Motivational Posters, Founding Fathers Edition...

A great collection of motivational posters like the one at right, from The Art of Manliness...

The Economic Distortion of Criminalization...

The DEA helped Equador locate and confiscate a 30-foot long submarine in the jungle near the border with Columbia. DEA Andean Regional Director Jay Bergman said in a statement: “The submarine’s nautical range, payload capacity and quantum leap in stealth have raised the stakes for the counter-drug forces and the national security community alike.”

So the drug lords are financing the design and clandestine construction of a sophisticated, high technology, stealth submarine to deliver tons of cocaine to the U.S. market.  That can't be cheap – millions of dollars, certainly.  This only makes economic sense because cocaine is an illegal substance.  Take away the legal issue and transporting cocaine on high-tech submarines would be ridiculous.  It's very reminiscent of what happened during Prohibition – the high-tech of the day was liberally deployed in alcohol smuggling, and on a very similar scale (in economic terms).  The only interesting difference is that the physical volume of modern day illegal substances is much smaller than the physical volume of alcohol.

It's time to reconsider our drug criminalization laws.  Their only real beneficiaries are the drug lords and their submarine designers...

Today We Celebrate...

It's still just us, in the United States.  But maybe someday everyone will be able to celebrate their freedom from tyranny...

Flag for the Fourth...

Via reader Simi L.: