Friday humour - March 03, 2000

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

    And time for yet another lot of accumulated nonsense (or wisdom) for those
    of you who can find a bit of time to read it :-)  I must admit that I
    often find myself reading some of these creations and thinking how
    impressive it'd be to create just one such classic and see it sink into
    the popular culture...  Or even sometimes thinking "some people must have
    nothing better to do ..." :-)

    Anyway, t'is indeed the best medicine, and here's the first dose for the
    week, courtesy of TBFXRD herself - Nicki Agron-Olshina (Dave McCallum
    also forwarded a similar version):

                         THE DANGER OF EATING BREAD

A recent newspaper headline read, "Smell of baked bread may be health hazard."
The article went on to describe the dangers of the smell of baking bread.
The main danger, apparently, is that the organic components of this aroma may
break down ozone.

I was horrified.  When are we going to do something about bread-induced global
warming?  Sure, we attack tobacco companies, but when is the government going
to go after Big Bread?  Well, I've done a little research, and what I've
discovered should make anyone think twice ...

                              THE FINDINGS

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread eaters.

2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score
below average on standardised tests.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the
average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were
unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as
typhoid, yellow fever and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of
eating bread.

5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough."  It has been proven that as
little as 100 grams of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse.  The average
person eats more bread than that in one day!

7. Bread has been proven to be addictive.  Subjects deprived of bread and given
only water to eat begged for bread after only two days.

                              PROPOSED RESTRICTIONS

Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant
scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.  In light of these
frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions

1. No sale of bread to minors.

2. No advertising of bread within 1000 feet of a school.

3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we
might associate with bread.

4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colours (which may appeal to
children) may be used to promote bread usage.

5. A $4.2 billion fine on the three biggest bread manufacturers.

       REMEMBER:  "Think globally, act idiotically."

      Many of you will remember Jive (a dialect translator program) from
   several years back.  Over at Boral, we occasionally lightened an afternoon
   by filtering the odd company memo and passing it around.

   Well, James Powell just dicovered a Jive translator on the web.  You can
   go to Click here to try it.  For those of you around

   here, may I recommend selecting Elmer Fudd, Click here
   and then clicking on Who's Who at Minerals ... :-)
                              *    *    *

   Before we return to the ASCII material, you might also like to check
   out a tiny image forwarded on by Steve (LMS) Harding:

       Safe Sex:  Click here

   And, if you have a RealAudio player available:

       Dickens Cider: Click here

    Now for one recently forwarded on by Paul Fazey.  Martha Ruth Hills
    also passed on a similar version for your amusement a while back:

Here are some of the classic questions being asked of the Sydney Olympic
Committee via their Web site - with answers supplied where appropriate:
                           *    *    *

I hear that all Australian women are beautiful.  Is that true and if so, can
you send me pictures of the available ones? (Italy)

I want to go swimming at Bondi Beach on October 20th.  Will I turn blue?
(Germany) (More likely brown, considering the effluent...)

Does it ever get windy in Australia?  I have never seen it rain on TV, so how
do the plants grow? (UK)
(Upwards, out of the ground, like the person who asked this question, who
themselves will need watering if their IQ drops any lower...)

Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
(Depends on how much beer you've consumed...)

Which direction should I drive - Perth to Darwin or Darwin to Perth - to
avoid driving with the sun in my eyes? (Germany)
(Excellent question, considering that the Olympics are being held in

I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks?
(Sure, it's only seven thousand miles, so you'll need to have started about a
year and a half ago to get there in time for this October...)

Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)
(And accomplish what?)

It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for
a stuffed porpoise. (Italy)
(I'm not touching this one...)

My client wants to take a steel pooper-scooper into Australia.  Will you let
her in? (South Africa)
(Why?  We do have toilet paper here...)

Are there any ATMs in Australia?  Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane,
Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)

Where can I learn underwater welding in Australia? (Portugal)

Do the camels in Australia have one hump or two? (UK)

Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
(Why bother?  Use your fingers like the rest of us...)

Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
(No.  Everybody stinks.)

Do tents exist in Australia? (Germany)
(Yes, but only in sporting supply stores, peoples' garages,  and most national
parks ...)

Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
(This HAS to have been asked by a blonde ...)

Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller
than the male population? (Italy)
(Yes.  Gay nightclubs.)

Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
(Yes.  At Christmas.)

Can I drive to the Great Barrier Reef? (Germany)
(Sure, if your vehicle is amphibious.)

Are there killer bees in Australia? (Germany)
(Not yet, but we'll see what we can do when you get here.)

Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
(What's this guy smoking, and where do I get some?)

Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round?
(Another blonde?)

Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake
serum. (USA)
(I love this one.  There are no rattlesnakes in Australia)

Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
(Face North and you should be about right)

Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
(Americans have long had considerable trouble distinguishing between Austria
and Australia.)

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. (USA)

I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth.  Can you tell me
where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
(From Liz Taylor?)

Are there places in Australia where you can make love outdoors? (Italy)
(Yes.  Outdoors.)

I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross.  Can you help? (USA)
(Is her name Huckstedd?  Then see a Mr McPherson.)

What is the meaning of the word "root" in Australia?  (USA)
(Horizontal Tango, Make Love, Sexual intercourse.)

Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
Everywhere, but keep your mouth shut - you are obviously a fool.

      Now for a little something from the list out west ...


Young teen to friend: "I'll never understand girls, even if I should live to
be twenty."
                                *    *    *

Frustrated girl: "And if I turn you down, you'll kill yourself, right ?"
Anxious boy: "Well... that's what I usually do."
                                *    *    *

"Ohhhh Harold." wailed the young miss. "If there was a weather report on your
brain, it would be 'Dense fog, relative stupidity 100%'."
                                *    *    *

As they were parked in front of her house, the young girl told her date, "You
know, we're an awful lot like Romeo and Juliet.  My dad sez he's going to kill
                                *    *    *

A young teen sent his girlfriend a dozen long stemmed roses.  It had the
following note on the attached card: "With all my love, and most of my
                                *    *    *

The Yuppie and Yuppette, ever alert to "appearances", were both very concerned
over the girl their son was dating.
"Son..." the Father began, "I should think you'd be a little more particular
over the company you keep."
"Dad," the boy replied, "If you're talking about Mitzi, I'm sorry but she's
the best girl I can get with the car I have."
                                *    *    *

The scrawny young miss with train-track braces on her teeth and an overly large retainer was hanging near the library's information desk as if she wanted to ask a question, but was afraid to.

Finally, the librarian smiled at the shy lil' girl and said, "Is there something I can help you find ?" "Well..." she blushed. "would you know if you have a current copy of 'Scouting for Boys' ?"
                                *    *    *

Teenage girl to boyfriend: "One would never realise it by dating you, but American teenagers spend over 14 billion dollars a year just on entertainment."
                                *    *    *

In spite of all of today's modern technology, adolescence remains that period
of time in a young man's life where he refuses to believe that some day he'll
be just as dumb as his Father.
                                *    *    *

A woman goes to the doctor.  After examining the woman thoroughly, the doctor
is perplexed.  "I'm not sure what it is," he said. "You either have a bad
cold or you're pregnant."

"Oh," says the woman, "I must be pregnant - I don't know anyone who could have
given me a cold."

       And one from my old Elevator contracting mate, Alf (RJ) Katz (who
       now works just around the corner from here):

                          ACTUAL HIKER COMMENTS

These are actual comments left last year on Forest Service registration sheets
and comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:

"A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles.  Is there a way I
can get reimbursed?  Please call."

"Escalators would help on steep uphill sections."

"Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce
worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness."

"Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands."

"Ban walking sticks in wilderness.  Hikers that use walking sticks are more
likely to chase animals."

"All the mile markers are missing this year."

"Found a smoldering cigarette left by a horse."

"Trails need to be reconstructed.  Please avoid building trails that go uphill."

"Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs.  Please spray the
wilderness to rid the area of these pests."

"Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter."

"Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views
without having to hike to them."

"The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake.  Please
eradicate these annoying animals."

"Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at
night with flashlights."

"Need more signs to keep area pristine."

"A McDonald's would be nice at the trail head."

"The places where trails do not exist are not well marked."

"Too many rocks in the mountains."

      This one from David over at Telstra (an establishment, he assures me,
      that is continuing to go down fast :-)


In an announcement that has stunned the computer industry, Ken Thompson,
Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kerninghan have now admitted that the Unix operating
system and C programming language which they jointly created is an elaborate
April Fools prank kept alive for over 20 years.

Speaking at the recent UnixWorld Software Development Forum, Thompson revealed
the sorry tale:

"In 1969, AT&T had just terminated their work with the GE/Honeywell/AT&T
Multics project.  Brian and I had just started working with an early release
of Pascal from Professor Nichlaus Wirth's ETH labs in Switzerland and we were
impressed with its elegant simplicity and power.  Dennis had just finished
reading 'Bored of the Rings', a hilarious National Lampoon parody of the great
Tolkien 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy.  As a lark, we decided to do parodies of
the Multics environment and Pascal."

"Dennis and I were responsible for the operating environment.  We looked at
Multics and designed the new system to be as complex and cryptic as possible
to maximise casual users' frustration levels - calling it Unix as a parody of
Multics, as well as other more risque allusions."

"Then Dennis and Brian worked on a truly warped version of Pascal, called
'A'.  When we found others were actually trying to create real programs with
A, we quickly added additional cryptic features and evolved into B, BCPL and
finally C."

"We stopped when we got a clean compile on the following syntax:

for(;P("\n"),R-;P("|"))for(e=C;e-;P("_"+(*u++/8)%2))P("| "+(*u/4)%2);

To think that modern programmers would try to use a language that allowed such
a statement was beyond our comprehension!  We actually thought of selling this
to the Soviets to set their computer science progress back 20 or more years.
Imagine our surprise when AT&T and other US corporations actually began trying
to use Unix and C!"

"It has taken them 20 years to develop enough expertise to generate even
marginally useful applications using this 1960's technological parody, but we
are impressed with the tenacity (if not common sense) of the general Unix and C

"In any event, Brian, Dennis and I have been working exclusively in Pascal on
the Apple Macintosh for the past few years and have continued to feel horribly
guilty about the chaos, confusion, and truly bad programming that have
resulted from our silly prank so long ago."

  Major Unix and C vendors and customers, including Sun, HP, IBM, Microsoft
GTE, DEC and NCR have refused comment at this time.  Borland International, a
leading vendor of Pascal and C tools, including the popular Turbo Pascal,
Turbo C and Turbo C++, stated they had suspected this for a number of years
and would continue to enhance their Pascal products and halt further efforts
to develop C.  An IBM spokesman broke into uncontrolled laughter and had to
postpone a hastily convened news conference concerning the fate of the
RS-6000, merely stated that 'VM will be available Real Soon Now'.  In a
cryptic statement, Professor Wirth of the ETH institute and father of the
Pascal, Modula 2 and Oberon structured languages, merely stated that P.T.
Barnum was correct.

In a related late-breaking story, usually reliable sources are stating that a
similar confession may be forthcoming from William Gates concerning the MS-DOS
and Windows operating environments.  And IBM spokesmen have begun denying that
the Virtual Machine (VM) product is an internal prank gone awry.

     Relayed to Systems Programming students by pjrobb/ September, 1998

       This next one was another contribution by Nicki A-O:


Helium was up, feathers were down.

Paper was stationary.

Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light trading.

Knives were up sharply.

Cow steered into a bull market.

Pencils lost a few points.

Hiking equipment was trailing.

Elevators rose, while escalators continued their slow decline.

Weights were up in heavy trading.

Light switches were off.

Mining equipment hit rock bottom.

Diapers remain unchanged.

Shipping lines stayed at an even keel.

The market for raisins dried up.

Coca Cola fizzled.

Caterpiller stock inched up a bit.

Sun peaked at midday.

Balloon prices were inflated.

Scott Tissue touched a new bottom.

And batteries exploded in an attempt to recharge the market.

      And finally for this week - another small piece from out west:



Two friends moved to New York, and because rent was so high, they shared a
studio apartment.  One of the girls was a real party girl and the other
apparently a stay-at-home type.

One Friday evening the party girl headed out for night on the town, and asked
her flatmate to come along.  The girl declined and said she was going to read
and then go to bed early.

The girl had been out at the local bar for a few hours when she remembered she
had forgotten something.  By this time, pretty plastered, she stumbled back to
the apartment and quietly let herself in.  Not wanting to wake her flatmate,
she didn't turn the light on, picked up whatever it was she went back for and
returned to the bar.

When she got home the next morning (tart!), she opened the door to this scene:
Her flatmate's head had been cut off and was lying on the floor.  Scrawled in
her blood on the walls were the words "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the

                             SPANISH LUCK

A Spanish man doing some business in Poland came across an open funeral home
with a casket laid out for viewing.  Bizarrely, he went in but found no one

As he stood there, he felt bad for the dead man, so finally he said a prayer,
and went over and signed his name in the registrar.

A month later he got a call from the dead man's lawyer.  Apparently, the
deceased's will stipulated his multi-million dollar fortune be split evenly
amongst all who attended his wake.  The Spanish businessman had been the only
one who came.
[ End Fri humour ]

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