Sunday, December 31, 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sing your life

Want to know what was #1 in the hit parade the day you were born? Satisfy your curiosity here.

Looking at my results, I wonder if perhaps music is not destiny. In the month of my birth, the three top hits were, in chronological order, Ticket To Ride by The Beatles, King Of The Road by Roger Miller, and Where Are You Now? by Jackie Trent. Eight countries later, I’m hoping that that gypsy curse has just about worn off.

On the other hand, one more year and my theme tune would’ve been Pretty Flamingo by Manfred Mann. I’m pretty sure I dodged a bullet there…

So, what's the soundtrack to your life?

I'm a man of means by no means...
King of the Road.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Intelligence Oversight

We all rest a little easier in our beds, as the Democrats unveil the new leadership of the Congressional Intelligence Committee.

In the space of a few minutes, Chairperson Silvestre Reyes managed to describe Al Qaeda as a Shia organisation, and Iran as a Sunni state, before admitting that he had no idea what Hizbollah was or where it was based.

Other concepts Democrats find it hard to distinguish between include “right” and “wrong”, “mine” and “yours”, and most recently “victory” and “surrender”.

Not that the Republicans did much better. To quote the woman in charge of CIA spy recruitment: “The Sunni are more radical than the Shia. Or vice versa.”

What is it with Americans and abroad? I know many of them don’t have passports, but then again, when you live in a country as big as the US, there’s not much reason to leave. Just about any combination of climate and dusky-maiden skin-tone is available right here. Even so, surely they should be able to find a couple of dozen people out of their whole political class who know more about the world than what they’ve gleaned off of a handful of Snapple Facts?

Let’s hope these knuckleheads do a little background reading before they re-open for business in January.

Sylvestre Reyes displays his unrivalled grasp of foreign affairs, yesterday. Is that your final answer?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Not half bad

Ave atque vale, then, Leslie Lynch King, Jr, 38th President of the United States.

"Damn it, I don't need the polls to tell me whether I'm right or wrong."

He's the first president I was ever really conscious of, and even then only because he was always in the news tripping over things. Now we come to consider his life, too late we realize that he probably deserved a lot better. But there's a lot of people like that, especially among the klutzy ones.

So take a minute for those folks in your life - the cack-handed and the bad-haired, the clumsy and the dull - who are plodding along, getting the job done all the same. We rely on them to be there when we need them, but might never think to thank them.

For Gerald R Ford, give them a smile today...

Gerald R Ford and friend, yesterday. RIP.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

All work and no play

The Harvard Business Review indulges in a little schadenfreude, reporting that individuals in "extreme jobs" rake in the cash but only at the expense of their sex lives.

They define extreme jobs as entailing work weeks of 60 hours or more. 46 per cent of the corporate carnivores surveyed said that their jobs interfere with "having a strong relationship with my spouse/partner", with 50% having an unsatisfying sex life. The other 50% were presumably jumping their secretaries.

Excuse me while I unpack my violin. By that logic, I reckon I’m underpaid by a factor of ten. Tough line of reasoning to work into one's annual performance review, tho'…

Big big salary, teeny-weeny penis.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas to you all

…and God bless us, every one.

Note: anyone offended by overt references to Christianity please proceed in an orderly fashion to this designated safe zone.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ivan’s Site of the Week

This week’s winner is Hong Kong Subtitles, a list of (allegedly) real English subtitles to movies shown in Hong Kong.

Greetings, large black person. Let us not forget to form a team up together and go into the country to inflict the pain of our karate feets on some ass of the giant lizard person.
The bullets inside are very hot. Why do I feel so cold?
I am damn unsatisfied to be killed in this way.
Fatty, you with your thick face have hurt my instep.
I got knife scars more than the number of your leg's hair!
Yah-hah, evil spider woman! I have captured you by the short rabbits and can now deliver you violently to your gynecologist for a thorough examination.

Anyone know what the short rabbits are? Do guys have them too? Perhaps we should be getting these films on cable over here, on the Discovery Channel if nowhere else…

A Hong Kong movie star, yesterday. Short rabbits a speciality.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No such thing as a free lunch?

One in 20 Latinos in the US regularly goes hungry complains the Hispanic civil rights group the National Council of La Raza.

OK, fine. While we’re at it, the National Bakers’ Union is complaining that its members don’t get enough blow jobs. And your point is…? Who are those universally well-fed lawyers going to sue? And on what grounds? Call a charity, or call Welfare, but for God’s sake don’t call a lawyer.

Civil rights are about not getting robbed or threatened by the State, thrown into gaol without due process, or kidnapped and murdered by corrupt cops, all of which are daily events south of the Rio Grande. Civil rights are about equality before the law. What civil rights are emphatically not about is equality of life.

Martin Luther King demanded, among other things, the right to be served at segregated lunch counters. I don’t recall him arguing the inalienable right to Japanese sweet potato and chestnut gratin once he got there. You got what was on the menu, if you could pay for it. Same goes for Manolo and friends. You don’t work, you don’t eat. You don’t like it, you go home and ask your own government to feed you. Let us know how that works out for you…

God knows, it’s not as if Whitey has a secret stash of super-healthy eating tips. They’re mostly so fat and wheezy that those lean illegals will outlive them anyway.

Tallahassee, 1956. Another lunch counter sit-in ends in defeat, as for the third day running José steals everybody else’s fries…

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Top tips

Champagne corks are popping among the genital mutilation community, for the US National Institutes (sic) of Health has publicly recommended circumcision as a prophylactic against HIV infection.

No matter that the test was conducted in environments where cultural factors (ie, a tendency on the part of local males to knob anything that moves regardless of age, gender, consent or species) skews both the prevalence of the virus and the virulence with which it transmits itself. Apparently the best way to marginally cut infection rates in one of several transmission vectors for a rare disease that very few Americans will ever even be exposed to is to have all male children undergo a painful, unnecessary and desensitising surgery.

Sewing your eyelids shut is also an excellent prophylactic against snow blindness, but I don’t see the US National Institutes of Health handing out the surgical staples. Could this perhaps have something to do with the bizarre American fetish for circumcision? You betcha.

The voice of reason is nowhere to be found, but the WHO accidentally manages an approximation to it in its rather defensive response:

Dr Kevin De Cock, director of the HIV/Aids department of the World Health Organization told the BBC the results were a "significant scientific advance" but were not a magic bullet and would never replace existing prevention strategies.

Which is true so far as it goes, but is really just code for “Cut off as many of your dicks as you like – just keep our salaries coming”. By the way, if ever a name was destiny for its bearer, Dr De Cock’s is it…

One wonders where it will all end. Today your foreskin, tomorrow this? We’re on a slippery slope, my friends…

Whip 'em out, lads. One hundred and fifty million Americans can’t be wrong.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Welcome to Self-Awareness Corner

A serial incompetent and nepotist who repeatedly turned a blind eye to genocide in Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur chides the US for its unilateralism.

"No nation can make itself secure by seeking supremacy over others" intoned the shameless fraud, pissing on the memory of Harry S Truman by daring to show his face at the latter’s Presidential Library in Missouri instead of being run out of town on a rail.

Sadly, as the audience was 100% Democrats, BBC reporters, and other assorted traitors to human freedom, no-one thought to hold a whip round and buy him a ticket to Beijing, so he could deliver the same message regarding Taiwan and Tibet, or to Teheran, to give the mullahs a piece of his mind re Lebanon.

Kofi Annan was born in Ghana in 1938, and is still not dead.

Kofi Annan and friends, yesterday. One can’t exactly call his retirement “well-earnt”, but on the other hand the rest of the world certainly deserves a break from him and his leechlike cronies.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ivan’s Christmas Shopping Special

Geeks! For the lady in your life*…

This Christmas, why not get her Eau de Worf, by L’Oréal?

Eau de Worf – because all other perfumes are weak

* You know – that buck-toothed lab assistant you never have the nerve to ask out, or the chick in the coffee shop who always stares right through you.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ivan’s Site of the Week

This week’s winner is The James Bond Dossier - all you need to know about what makes Bond Bond, and where to buy it.

Girls, if you’re still not sure what to get the man in your life for Christmas, well, chances are you’ll find something here to earn you the ultimate accolade – the unsolicited back-rub. Happy hunting…

The Smith & Wesson Hammerless Centennial Airweight .38, yesterday – as used by our James in Dr No. Hint hint.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Diana of the Effusions

Princes plan tribute to Diana” the Telegraph announces breathlessly.

Oh, thank God. For a moment there I thought the world was about to forget that saintly and exceptional woman.

Not for her just the traditional church service. Only a massive concert in Wembley Stadium will do for someone like Diana, who overcame crippling social advantages and embarrassingly large subsidies of everyone else’s taxes to become the world’s premier clothes horse.

“We want it to represent exactly what our mother would have wanted, how she was and all that sort of thing” explains William, with the articulacy that only the finest pedigree and years of intensive and privileged schooling can produce.

“We hope to commemorate and celebrate our mother’s life, as it’s been 10 years since she died, with a memorial service on August 31 in London” he continues, his brother squatting beside him poking a termite mound with a stick, “and then a concert, a tribute concert, celebrating her life on July 1 on her birthday.”

One’s Royal grasp on the workings of the calendar seems a little shaky there, but go easy on the poor kid, now. He’s just lost his mother after all. Or at least very likely just noticed. Maybe they switched nannies on him or something.

Building on this tremendous success, the brothers plan to follow up with a Concert for Pinochet, celebrating the life and achievements of Chile’s veteran military strongman, who died last week at the tragically late age of 91.

Given Pinochet’s long-standing association with football stadiums, the Princes have decided to book Wembley for an extra night and run both parties together. Tho’ obviously the Pinochet event will offer less in the way of music, inclining more towards the mass torture and extra-judicial execution of left-wing activists.

“Harry’s already picked out his costume, haven’t you Harry?” adds William, smiling indulgently as his brother swings idly from a nearby chandelier peeling a valet with his feet.

Of course, nothing comes easy to two such troubled youngsters, and here too there are obstacles to overcome. “The servants tell me that no-one in the Labour Party qualifies as left-wing any more, so we’ll probably have to settle for George Galloway, and make up the numbers with some Lib Dems…”

Sadly, General Pinochet’s family have already declined their invitations. “My father was a notorious fascist who for nearly twenty years held our beloved Chile in his mailed fist, murdering thousands to maintain his bloodthirsty rule” explains his daughter in a prepared statement. “He certainly would not wish to be associated with anything so indefensible as hereditary monarchy…”

William and Harry, yesterday. “We’re Royals, you know. It’s not as if we have anything else we should be doing.”

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

A new diaspora emerges, as the Institute for Public Policy Research announces the results of their survey into the distribution of ex-pat Britons.

Fully 10% of the population has shaken the dust of Blighty from their sandals and lit out for greener pastures. The IPPR offers no analysis as to why, although many might suspect that the existence of bodies like the IPPR, who track people for the sole purpose of finding new ways to tax and meddle with them, might have some bearing on the matter.

Not the least surprising aspect of their findings is that there are more Brits in Spain than in the United States. Of course, many would counter that it’s easier to get into the Spain than the United States. You’d think they might have considered that fact a little more carefully before moving there, but it’s too late now. It’s paella and property scams for life now for those knuckleheads.

A comparative study of the Irish revealed huge concentrations in New York’s Police Department, Chicago’s Fire Department and Boston’s bar staff. Strange that the sea-divided Gael can arrest criminals, put out fires and spend twelve hours in a bar without getting drunk, while their stay-at-home cousins lay waste to entire neighbourhoods on a nightly basis. Is this evidence for natural selection? That Darwin bloke might be onto something after all…

Warning – here be Brits…

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Food for Thought

Margaret Thatcher once observed that the facts of life usually turn out to be conservative. Perhaps, then, we should not be surprised to learn that charitable impulses do to.

Puts me in mind of one of my favourite jokes:

One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week”. The florist is pleased and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open there is a thank you card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.” The cop is happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a thank you card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later a Republican comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.” The Republican is very happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open, there is a thank you card and a dozen different books such as “How to Improve Your Business” and “Becoming More Successful.”

Then a Democrat comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.” The Democrat is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Democrats lined up waiting for a free haircut.

It’s practically libellous, of course. Who ever heard of a Democrat offering to pay their bill?

Charity in action, yesterday. Obviously not as caring as taxing everyone else and then hiring a huge well-paid staff to hand out the few remaining crumbs. I mean, where’re the votes in that?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Small but perfectly formed

Indian men have complained that standard condoms are "too big" for them, bless.

You know, just because the silly fish jumps right into the barrel, we don’t have to shoot it…

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ivan’s Site of the Week

This week’s winner is World War I – in colour!.

It really is jarring to see some of these images, in such sharp colour – it makes it somehow all too painfully recent. Fortunately they are pretty much all of French troops, so no-one’s doing anything gory or distressing, like actually fighting or anything…

WWI, yesterday. I could’ve sworn I went to school with that guy on the far right.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Creeping horror disturbs my rest, as whenever I try to migrate to the new blogger beta it tells me I can’t do it. Anyone know what’s going on there? I’m beginning to feel put upon. Maybe I’ve been blacklisted?

See? This is what happens when you guys keep rabbiting on about certain religious minorities in the comments…

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Idiot Savant

My employer, Virtucon (An Evil Corporation™) is seeking to tap the creativity of humble peons like myself, by encouraging us to share new product ideas on an internal Wiki. “Do You Have the Next Billion Dollar Business Idea?” asks the lead article on the company intranet, breathlessly.

Curiously it omits the obvious follow-up, “If so, are you retarded enough to hand it over to us for free?”

What kind of morons do they take us for? They hired us specifically for our low cunning and total lack of scruples. Anyone actually coughing up a freebie on this site would be sacked on the spot for breach of contract. Oh no, I’m not falling for that one again…

Employee of the Month and friend, yesterday.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ivan’s Sunday Quiz

Are you autistic? Anyone who’s ever found themselves painstakingly rearranging their sock drawer by shades of grey has asked themselves that question at some time or another. Well, end am-I-an-ubernerd uncertainty once and for all!

Take the test here, courtesy of Wired Magazine, a publication that obviously knows its readership all too well.

Note that the theoretical basis of this test is the work of Simon Baron-Cohen, brother of the more famous Sacha. No prizes for guessing where he acquired his abiding interest in abnormal psychology…

(My score was 18, by the way)

All this, and good with numbers too.