Council saves £1m

A giant sundial that was due to be built as a major 147ft (45m) tourist landmark in Derbyshire may now be built in Dorset instead. Work on the “solar pyramid” in Derbyshire was due to begin in Spring 2008 after years of delays, but the designers have now decided to pull out.

The £1.2m structure will be powered by solar cells.  Made of three polished stainless steel towers, it will cast a shadow across a 60-metre base marked out to trace both time and the rotation of the earth.
The main tower will point due south, while the other two will mark sunrise and sunset on the summer solstice.  Buried beneath will be a device which emits a pulse of light to the surface every second.

“Yeah, it’s a fantastic structure but we don’t need it anymore.  The council has bought all their employees a watch and a desk calendar instead,” said Doug Syphon, a spokesman who did not wish to be named.

 “We reckon we’ve saved over a million pounds, and on the strength of that we all get a pay rise. 
That lot in Dorset will probably take it; they’re all a bit soft down there due to the inbreeding.”

“Ee may say thart, but e ‘as no cause te!”  burbled a spokesman from Dorset Council, “Moi sister and aunt says it be wrong to mock us, and she should know!”

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A cigar is never just a cigar

“I had a bad dream last night,” said old Ted, after he’d taken the first long draw on his first pint at the ‘Slug and Philosopher’.
“That must have been a nightmare for you, mate,” I replied.

“You’re bloody hilarious, you are, d’you know that?  You should write one of those bloody stupid blog things!”  He shook his head in disgust.
“Sorry Ted, tell me about your dream.” 
“Well it starts off that I’m driving a train into a tunnel and my wife’s shouting; ‘Drive it, Ted, Drive it’, and then I pop out of the tunnel and we’re in a café in Paris and this French guy offers the wife a cigar and she starts smoking it.”

I sipped on my beer for a bit. 
“What the hell does that mean, clever dick?” said old Ted. 

Wayne was sitting nearby, sharpening his darts and he offered his reply:
“There’s several schools of thought about dreams.  One is that it’s yer brain practising thinking, cleaning out the rubbish, pruning itself.  Like a computer backing up at night.  That’s dreaming as a physiological function, that is.” 

“Annuver group of dudes say that it’s for psychological reasons, like you’re sorting out feelings and stuff you can’t confront in your waking life.  Ye’r Jungians would say that you was trying to work through your every day problems, you know, like your wife wants a holiday in France and you’re worried you can’t afford it because she spends too much on fags, shown as cigars in the dream.”

He moved a bit closer but continued dragging his darts back and forth on his sharpening board.
“Yer Freudians on the other hand, they believe that dreams state a dude’s repressed sexual feelings and would say that the tunnel represents a vagina, the Frenchman indicates a more liberal attitude, and the cigar symbolises a penis.”

Ted spluttered out some beer but Wayne ignored him and kept talking. 

“I however disagree with both the physiological and the psychological schools of thought and tend more towards the theory followed by the Australian Aborigines, which is that your dream state is more real than your waking state.”

 I was interested now, “What do you mean, Wayne?” 

“Remember that I told you that time is like a ball of water and that we only survive as we do because our brains fool us into living our lives as if time’s a straight line?” 
“Yeah, I remember.”

“Every action we take can alter our future and our past and the dark matter that surrounds us is changed in all directions.  That can confuse a brain no end, so whilst you sleep it makes corrections to take account of changes to your past time frame. You choose tea rather than coffee and the book you bought lunchtime has a different ending.  Put on a red tie instead of a blue one and you find that you never fed the cat this morning.  Join the army and you broke your leg as a kid.  The bigger the decision, the bigger the ripples and the more your brain has to correct.  Because yer conscious self can’t handle the ‘big-picture’ it weaves little stories to keep you happy – dreams.”

“Does that answer your question?”  I asked old Ted. 
“My wife would never put one of those things in her mouth!” he replied angrily, “Especially not in a non-smoking area!”

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Perfume review

Quick, get down to the shops!  The new perfumes are out in time for Christmas.

Alex Curran has come up with a perfume which is described as “…an exotic blend of florals and musks.. that not only represents her life in a bottle, but will also appeal to the many legions of OK! Magazine fans out there.”

Miss Curran is the wife of a premiership footballer but somehow she has found the time to participate in advanced chemistry and emerged from her garden shed, with a cute, little smudge of dirt on her nose and an expensive bottle of cheap liquid called Alex in her fist.

“I wanted a perfume that you can put on in the morning and still smell by the end of the day, and I think the mix of the crisp citrus and the long-lasting musks does just that.’

Mmmm…mixed citrus and musk crisps.  Smelly.

The Perfume Shop. Head of Marketing, Julia Bolsom enthused: “This is a really special fragrance that gets to the heart of what celebrity scent is all about – it certainly is a little bit of Alex in a bottle!”

That explains how she produced it so quickly.
I hope there’s enough to go around for those scary Legions, marching together towards an OK tomorrow.  They just need a tiny bit of Alex dabbed onto their shiny, orange necks to make them happy until the next bit of hype comes along.

If my life was represented in a bottle it would be that little Soy sauce with the torn label at the back of the kitchen cupboard, topped up with some John Smith’s extra smooth and a drop of chicken fat.  If you sprayed that on in the morning you’d definitely still smell by the end of the day.  

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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.

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Versions

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).

CD 
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.

SE
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.

GT
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.

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

Ci
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.

SL
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.

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.

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

TDi
Terrifying Driver inside.

TDi Soft top
Terrifying, registered insane, Driver inside.

Sport
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.

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

IS
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.

EVO
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.

IS EVO
See above.  An Insurance Swindle held together with glue.

ZX
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.”

X3
Uses three times as much fuel as necessary, but makes a nice growling noise, especially if you put petrol in the diesel version.

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

                              

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Jargon

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.

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