Judgement day – delayed

The launch of the UK’s Skynet 5B military communications satellite from French Guiana has been delayed.

“We tried to understand what’s going on in the electronic equipment but unfortunately we did not succeed,” explained Jean-Yves Le Gall from Arianespace, the company which runs the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

Hold on a minute, wasn’t Skynet the name of the computer-based defence system, created in a temporal paradox using the ‘terminator chip’ which shortly after it became sentient decided to exterminate mankind?
No, don’t worry thinking about it – Yes, it was. 
I hope they know what they’re doing.

“There are a series of umbilical connections and we communicate with 5B night and day. We’re doing final battery charging, making sure it is optimised for launch,” a spokesman told BBC News.

Shit, it runs on batteries, probably a C type or maybe two AAs.  That explains why they’re having trouble getting it to fly; I think the Americans use petrol or something.

“The team will be monitoring the charge on the lithium ion battery, and checking it is on external power. Once we’ve got a resumed launch time, we will go with our standard test sequence,” he told BBC News.

Oh, I was wrong, obviously it would be silly to use an AA battery.  They’re using one of those lithium ones like you put in your camera.

Skynet 5b?  More like Skynot 2B.


Posted in Unlikely Reviews | Leave a comment


Many people wonder what the little suffixes attached to car names mean e.g. ‘BMW SE’ must mean something. 
BMW is obviously Big Motor Wagon, everybody knows that, but what does that SE signify?

Here is a short guide to help you through this potential MF, (Mine Field).

Compact Driver.  If you see anyone taller than about 5’6″ climbing out of one of these, you can bet they have a bad back and probably a temper to match.

Solar Energy.  These cars are powered by the sun and once dusk falls they stagger to a halt.  They are seldom stolen as most car crime happens at night.

Gran Tourismo.  Named after the Playstation game in which you drive as fast as you can and push other cars off the road.  One of my mates once lapped the Monte Carlo circuit in 1minute 40seconds, which is better than he did on the Playstation.

Gran Loser.  The driver can’t afford the GT.

Crazy Italian.  Will suddenly start driving on the right-hand side of the road.  The driver cannot control this and their subsequent panic stricken arm movements only serve to increase the appearance that an Italian is driving.

Strung Low.  This refers to the chasis, but funnily enough, also to the driver’s trousers, which you will notice as they emerge from the car.  Women drivers will usually expose just a bit more thong than you need to see, and men a bit more M&S Y-Front.

The side door swings up and open so that the little helmeted driver can pop out.

Numbers, eg 304, 507. 
These numbers represent the driver’s IQ multiplied by the number of previous models of the car that the manufacturers scrapped for safety reasons.

Tiny Tackle.  Driven by men trying to compensate for something.  The female version also exists, but you can work that one out for yourself.

Terrifying Driver inside.

TDi Soft top
Terrifying, registered insane, Driver inside.

The Australian model, usually with a soft top so the inmates can shout amusing comments at the Sheilas.  Conveniently, this also means that you can chuck stuff in at them.  Cups of hot coffee, ice creams, stuff like that.

A car with a fixed roof and a sloping back.  The Quasimodo of cars.  Comes with a bell instead of a horn.   

Insurance Swindle.  This car is actually parts of several cars, which explains its ugly appearance.  Usually glued together but sometimes an attractive crochet or cross-stitch is used which can increase the value by several pounds.

This car is mainly held together with that smelly glue that you can’t get off your fingers.  You shouldn’t drive in weather that is wet or hot in case everything starts falling apart.

See above.  An Insurance Swindle held together with glue.

Zulu Xray.  Driven by those who like to pretend they are in the SAS or Marines.

“I’m just taking Zulu Xray to GPS point 256.12 and will rendezvous with Team Alpha at approximately 18:00 hours.  Over and out.” 
“Yes, don’t forget the milk and cheese spread, will you dear?”

“You’re supposed to say ‘Over’!  Over.” 
“Oh, sorry dear.  Over over.”

Uses three times as much fuel as necessary, but makes a nice growling noise, especially if you put petrol in the diesel version.

Got To Overtake.  “No sorry, I just have to, it’s not me it’s the car doing it.  Bye!”


Posted in Unlikely Reviews | Leave a comment


Office workers are baffled by computer jargon and make serious business blunders because they see ‘IT speak’ as a foreign language, a survey has revealed.

Among office workers 26% aren’t sure what a firewall does and therefore have been tempted to turn it off and a massive 61% believed that a megabyte is some sort of a cheeseburger.

A further 23% are not sure whether to upload or download – requiring further contact with the IT department for an explanation.
“I like to explain things personally to the younger secretaries in the peace and quiet of the Server Room,” said IT administrator Chip Qubit.  “I often find that I can upload much faster if I think of Angelina Jolie.”

Office administration worker Chloe Oldfield, 27, from Llandudno, admits her grasp of IT is very limited, but doesn’t feel she ought to know more.
“They might as well be speaking Welsh to me because I haven’t got a clue. Normally when the technical support people come to fix my computer I just disappear and make a cup of tea, if I can get Chip to switch on that water boiling thing for me.”

‘But I don’t feel I should know more – that is their job. If we did it all ourselves they would be out of a job.”

Yes, you’ve seen through their scheme now Chloe.

And it isn’t just the older generation who feel out of the loop – 54% of office workers under 30 have made a blunder because of confusion over the meaning of IT jargon.
“What the hell does ‘out of the loop’ mean?” said one respondent, “Why can’t you just use existing, normal words instead of trying to be clever and making stuff up?”

Asked for his comments, a senior robot for Microsoft said:
“Do your SLA’s specify stringent RTO’s and RPO’s?  How about near-instant access to critical applications?”

Yeah, ok, so I copied that last bit from a letter I got this morning.

Posted in Unlikely Reviews | Leave a comment

Orange. The new Brown.

There are so many orange coloured people about now.
I think it started out as a quick way of getting a suntan that went wrong, but now it’s become a new label of celebrity. 
Like torn jeans.  Marilyn Monroe wouldn’t have worn torn jeans, only poor people did that.  And then, a few years ago, some skinny model somewhere wore them and appeared in ‘Hello, Look at Me!” magazine and now all the fashion followers wear torn jeans.

In “OK, So I’m Great!” magazine there are scores of young, silicone enhanced, orange women.  They are smiling through bloated lips and hanging off the pinstripe-suited arms of confused looking footballers. 
Orange skin = Celebrity life style.  That’s good enough for Josephine Public, we don’t have to worry about the suntan thing anymore, we can skip that and go straight to the orange.

And as for wrinkles, moles and grey hair!  Who needs those?

Well, they are nature’s brass rubbing of your existence.  They are the map of your life drawn in flesh.

When you step through the golden gates of whichever particular heaven you believe in, all your false dyes will wash away.  Colour-blind angels will run their hands over your body to read your life, as if they are reading Braille. Don’t confuse them by filling in your lines and cracks, and by sanding down your bumps and imperfections. Be proud of your scars and the badges of your age.

Why should you be ashamed when compared to the young?

“Hey, you sad youngsters! Look what I’ve carried and how far I’ve come!”

“P*ss off you old git!” they will no doubt reply.


Posted in Unlikely Reviews | Leave a comment

Losing it

A woman’s body shape may influence how good her memory is, according to US researchers.  Although carrying excess weight anywhere appears to impair older women’s brains, carrying it on the hips may make matters worse, they say.

I know it’s true.  Yesterday the wife was working her way through a large packet of chocolate buttons whilst watching ‘Big Brother’ on the TV.
”I thought you were supposed to be on a diet.”
”I forgot,” she mumbled.
Seizing my chance I drew her attention to the US research about fat old women becoming mentally impaired, especially those women with big hips. 
She said that she’d forgotten how sensitive I could be.

Then she forgot to make my dinner.

Later she forgot I was in the bathroom and turned off the light.
In the dark I stepped on the soap, fell out of the bath and, on the way down, caught my wedding tackle on the taps.

When I asked the wife what she was laughing about she said it was a joke she’d been told on her wedding day.

Those US researchers are clever bastards.

Posted in News Around | Tagged | Leave a comment

R U Txtng at me?

Britons are now sending more than one billion text messages per week according to the latest figures from the Mobile Data Association (MDA).

Some 4.825bn texts were sent in September 2007, equivalent to 4,000 every second.
“It has exceeded our forecasts quite significantly,” said Mike Short, head of the MDA.

“BCZ PPL ALWYS MSG, O2 & Vfone R LOL” said a media expert, “IMO PPL TXT MSG B COS THY R 2 BLUD E LZY”.

I’ve only ever received one text.  It was from the wife:


I walked home as quickly as I could and flung open the front door, only to be handed the washing basket so that I could hang out the washing. 

I don’t bother with a mobile ‘phone at all now.

Posted in News Around | Leave a comment