Friday humour - August 27, 1998

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

We'll start off this week's collection with another of those that somehow
sank to the bottom of the pile.  Martha Hills forwarded it on back in

                            Twenty Factoids

1.  A mathematical curiosity: 111,111,111 multiplied by 111,111,111
    comes out to: 12,345,678,987,654,321

2.  If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in
    the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in
    the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if
    the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural

3.  No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and

4.  Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people
    without killing them used to burn their houses down - hence the
    expression "to get fired."

5.  Canada is an Indian word meaning "Big Village".

6. "I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

7.  The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the
    South Pacific.  When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50
    caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being
    loaded into the fuselage.  If the pilots fired all their ammo at a
    target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

8.  The most common name in the world is Mohammed.

9.  The international telephone dialing code for Antarctica is 672.

10. The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.

11. Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots.

12. Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in
    Sweden.  The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5pm.
    All traffic stopped as people switched sides.  This time and day were
    chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would have gotten up in the
    morning and been too sleepy to realise that *this* was the day of the

13. The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II
    killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

14. More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes.

15. The term, "It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye" is from
    Ancient Rome.  The only rule during wrestling matches was, "No eye
    gouging." Everything else was allowed, but the only way to be
    disqualified was to poke someone's eye out.

16. A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.

17. The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

18. The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which
    stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your

19. An ostrich's eye is bigger that its brain.

20. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is thirteen seconds.

     So, there you go.  Spout those off at your next social get-together,
     and no doubt you'll get some really "interesting" looks.

     Now it's time for a quick one from Lachlan over in good ol' England

Ralph was driving home one evening when he suddenly realises that it's
his daughter's birthday and he hasn't bought her a present.  He drives to
the mall, runs to the toy store and says to the shop assistant, "How much
is that Barbie in the window?"

In a condescending manner, she says "Which Barbie?"  She then continues,
"We have Barbie Goes to the Gym for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Ball for
$19.95, Barbie Goes Shopping for $19.95, Barbie Goes to the Beach for
$19.95, Barbie Goes Nightclubbing for $19.95, and Divorced Barbie for

Ralph asks, "Why is the Divorced Barbie $265.00 when all the others are
only $19.95?"

"That should be obvious" the sales lady says. "Divorced Barbie comes with
Ken's house, Ken's car, Ken's boat, Ken's furniture..."

      Next one's even shorter - it was passed on quite separately by
      David 'Fifi' McCallum and Sally Johnson.  David's covering comment
      was: "I thought that the following might be put into the Friday
      Humour barrel labelled "Completely Politically-Incorrect jokes Never
      to be Released".  [ Ed: Well, too bad - it's been released ]

Yesterday scientists revealed that beer contains small traces of female
hormones.  To prove their theory, the scientists fed 100 men 12 pints of
beer and observed that 100% of them gained weight, talked excessively
without making sense, became emotional, and couldn't drive.

No further testing is planned.

     Now another one from the ol' list out west ...

A man walks into confessional and says, "Forgive me Father for I have

The priest replies, "What is it that brings you here?" "Well father, I
used the F-word over the weekend."

"Oh, is that all?  Say five Hail Marys and may the Lord be with you."

The man replies, "But I really need to talk about it."

"Let's have it then," the priest says as he leans back on the hard wooden

"You see Father, I was playing golf this weekend, and on the first tee, I
was lining up my drive and proceeded to hit a horrendous slice into the

"And that's when you cursed aloud?" the Father queried.

"No, not yet.  As luck would have it, I found my ball and had a clear shot
to the green from a nice lie; when all of a sudden, a squirrel scampered
out of some bushes, picked up my ball by its teeth and darted up a tree."

"That must have been when you cursed?"

"No, because just as the squirrel had climbed to the top of the tree, a
bird swooped out of the skies and grabbed the squirrel with its talons.
The bird flew out of the trees and back out over the green.  Then, the
squirrel dropped my ball from its mouth, landing 5 inches from the cup!"

"And that's when you cursed aloud," the priest said assuredly.

"No, no.."

The Priest interjected, "Don't tell me you missed the fucking putt!"

    Before I forget - this is one that Vanessa (Julian's wife) just
    passed on.  It works in Word 7 (may work in Word 6 too - haven't
    tried it):

     Follow these instructions.  DON'T QUESTION ME - JUST DO IT!!!

1) Open a new document in MS Word

2) From the Tools Menu, select 'language' - 'set language'

3) Choose English (United States)

4) In the document, type 'I'd like to see Bill Gates dead'

5) Highlight the sentence, and consult the thesaurus under

     One wonders if anyone's got the boot over that one yet ...?

     And another very short one passed on by Howard Allingham - this is
     actually a recent contribution to CSIRO-FORUM:

From: Robert Dobson <>
Subject: MANUfesto '98

-This information is IN-CONFIDENCE and is intended for CSIRO personnel only-
-Before transmitting messages, staff should ensure that transmissions do  -
-not breach the Chief Executive's direction of 30/11/95, "Communication    -
-Instructions". See Click here    -

I read the draft program of the "MANUfesto '98 Conference and Exhibition"
circulated to csiro-all & did not see a lot to interest the "bench"
scientist.  I presume the unabbreviated title is MANURE-festo? (that
excites the imagination of agriculturalist, coprologists, parasitologist...)

     Now for something a little more substantial, from Nicki Agron-Olshina.
     By the way - if your mailer is set up for anything other than a fixed
     spacing font (such as Courier), this will look like a real load of ...

                              Bowel Movements

        Taoism        |     Confucianism      |          Buddhism
Shit happens.         | Confucius says, "Shit |If shit happens, it isn't
                      | Happens."             |really shit.
          Zen         |       Hinduism        |           Mormon
 * Shit is, and is    |                       |
   not.               |                       |
 * What is the sound  | This shit happened    |This shit is going to
   of shit            | before.               |happen again.
   happening?         |                       |
         Islam        |       Calvinism       |        Catholicism
                      |                       |   * Shit happens because
If shit happens, it is| Shit happens because  |     you are bad.
the will of Allah.    | you don't work hard   |   * If shit happens, you
                      | enough.               |     deserve it
     Protestantism    |        Judaism        |          Stoicism
Let this shit happen  | Why does this shit    |
to someone else.      | always happen to us?  |This shit is good for me.
   Christian Science  | Seventh Day Adventist |          Hedonism
Shit is only in your  |                       |There isn't anything like
imagination.          | No shit on Saturdays. |a good shit happening.
        Moonies       |     Hare Krishna      |       Rastafarianism
Only happy shit       | Shit happens rama     |
happens.              | rama.                 | Let's smoke this shit.
       Davidians      | Church of Scientology |           Shinto
                      |   * Of course, GOD    |
                      |     created this      |
Let's shoot and burn  |     shit.             |
our own shit.         |   * If shit happens,  | Chop the shit.
                      |     see "Dianetics"   |
                      |     p.157             |
    Eastern Russian   |                       |
       Orthodox       |       Agnostic        |          Shaolin
Holy shit (no more    |                       | Destroy bad shits with
communism!)           | Not sure about shit.  | Kung Fu.
    Existentialism    |        Atheism        |        Presbyterian
   * What is shit,    |                       |
     anyway?          |                       |
   * Shit doesn't     |  What shit?           | This shit was bound to
     happen, shit IS  |                       | happen
     Episcopalian     |       Methodist       |   Congregationalist and
                      |                       |         Unitarian
It's not so bad if    |It's not so bad if     |Shit that happens to one
shit happens, as long |shit happens, as long  |person is just as good
as you serve the right|as you serve grape     |as shit that happens to
wine with it          |juice with it          |all other
       Lutheran       |    Fundamentalism     |          Nihilism
                      |If shit happens, you   |
If shit happens, don't|will go to hell,       |
talk about it         |unless you are born    |No shit
                      |again (Amen!)          |
      Creationism     |   Secular Humanism    |     Christian Science
God made all shit     |Shit evolves           |When shit happens, don't
        Quakers       |     Unitarianism      |         Utopianism
Let us not fight over |Come let us reason     |
this shit             |together about this    |This shit does not stink
                      |shit                   |
       Darwinism      |      Capitalism       |         Communism
This shit was once    |                       |
food                  |That's my shit         |It's everybody's shit
       Feminism       |      Chauvanism       |       Commercialism
                      |We may be shit, but    |
Men are shit          |you can't live without |Let's package this shit
                      |us...                  |
     Impressionism    |        Idolism        |          Satanism
>From a distance, this |                       |
shit looks like a     |Let's bronze this shit |SNEPPAH TIHS
garden                |                       |
       Stoicism       |    Zoroastrianism     |         Practical
This shit is good for |Shit happens half of   |Deal with shit one day at
me                    |the time               |a time
  Jehovah's Witnesses |                       |
Knock Knock.  Shit    |                       |
happens               |                       |

      This next little one did turn on the list from out west, but it was
      also forwarded on by Tom Burns a short while back:

Three friends die in a car crash.  They go to Heaven for their orientation.

They are all asked, "When the funeral service is held, and you're lying
there in your coffin with your friends and family mourning your loss,
what would you like to hear them say about you?"

The first guy says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great
doctor of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband
and school teacher who made a huge difference in our children of

The last guy replies, "I would like to hear them say: " ... OH, MY GOD -

      Should really finish now, but there's an interesting (and rather
      worrying) story that was just forwarded on by David at Telstra
      (ex Elevators colleague).  It concerns the "year 2000" problem.

      Not really humour (unless you possibly class it as black humour):

Source:  Forbes
 Click here

By Adam L. Penenberg

Russia is so cash-strapped that it hasn't paid its troops in three
months.  Its military computer infrastructure is decaying and its command
and control structure is in disarray.  Its nuclear forces are on
hair-trigger alert and to top it off there is palpable fear that the
Year 2000 problem--also called the "Y2K problem" or "millennium
bug"--could cause the nation's early warning system to malfunction,
which might lead to a nuclear accident.

Such is the sorry state of Mother Russia, which, like its military
computer network, is having trouble making the transition from 1900 to
2000.  The Pentagon is so concerned about the potential impact of this
computer glitch to end all glitches on its former Cold War foe that it
recently proposed sharing early warning information.

"If the Russians go blank on Jan. 1, in the year 2000, they're going to
be sitting right next to Americans who are looking at their systems and
saying, 'Don't worry, you can look at ours,'" says Deputy Secretary of
Defence John Hamre.  That is, the honourable Hamre forgot to add, if
Russia accepts America's help.

It is almost beyond comprehension that something that is little more
than a data entry problem--to save space, standard coding practice of
the past relied on two digits instead of four to represent years--could
bring about a taste of doomsday to a nation whose nuclear record
includes Chernobyl.

The big fear is that Y2K could cause Russia's early warning system to go
on the fritz, leaving the nation blind as the clock ticks over to 2000.
In fact, most experts agree that this is likely.  But there are even
more dire possibilities.  The bug could lead Russia's military computers
to spew bad data--"garbage in, garbage out"--tricking it into thinking
it is under attack.  The worst case scenario: the unintended launch of a
nuclear missile, although this is only a remote possibility, since it
would require multiple failures.

"Russia is extremely vulnerable to the Year 2000 problem and an
accidental launch is possible," says Sergey Fradkov, a partner and chief
technical officer for Wall Street software and database developer
Unif/X.  Because Fradkov was once assigned to the former Soviet
Republic's satellite control service, he has first-hand knowledge of its
military computer system.

"If the date is used somewhere to track an incoming missile and the date
shifts to 0000000 for a brief moment, there is a division by zero--an
extremely high value--that fools the system into thinking there is a
high probability of an attack in progress," Fradkov says. "This error in
calculation might cause the computer to identify the blip on the screen
as a rocket."

This problem is not limited to Russia.  After the former Soviet Union
went toes up, it held a military fire sale.  This means the millennial
problems that plague the Soviet system have been inherited by China and
North Korea, both of which bought up much of the hardware on the cheap,
as well as by Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, former Soviet Republics
with nuclear missiles stowed within their borders.  The nuclear
inventories of India and Pakistan--new kids on the nuclear block--are
less vulnerable to Y2K, since their software is more up-to-date.

The U.S military, itself behind schedule, has budgeted almost $2 billion
to repair 1,200 networks and replace an additional 800 out of 3,000
mission-critical systems.  The U.S has fixed about 1,000 systems
already--while Russia has barely begun to confront the problem, much
less locate the necessary funds.  In fact, its existing budget provides
only 10% of the money it requires just to keep its computer network up
and running, let alone addressing the added costs of responding to the
millennium bug.

"If the shortage of funds persists," promises Russia's Defence Minister,
Igor Rodionov, "Russia may soon approach a threshold beyond which its
missiles and nuclear systems become uncontrollable."

The clock is ticking.  There are only 16 months left to the year 2000.
[ End Fri humour ]

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