Friday humour - October 27, 2000

     From Tony at Bluehaze:

        Yo,
    The network's behaving itself today, so the in-tray's nice and full
    again.  I think we'll just work back from the latest ones this week,
    beginning with this shortish one from John Sharples over at the new
    Museum of Victoria, and also forwarded on from that sunny northerly
    humour list up at QCAT:
                            --------------------

                              PHONE CARD OFFER

Telecommunications was never easier!  This is the one the whole family can use,
writes Ron Knowles.

   Dear Subscriber:

Welcome to REITHCard - an exciting new development in telecommunications,
which we are proud to pioneer in co-operation with our venture partners who
have joined us in the vanguard of community service throughout the world.

The REITHCard (Responsibility Excused In The House) is an unprecedented offer
guaranteed to keep you in touch with loved ones, friends and business colleagues
at any time NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE.  But the best feature of REITHCard is the
ENORMOUS SAVINGS it offers subscribers.  So, be sure to take out your REITHCard
opportunity NOW!

Here's how it works:

With your enclosed REITHCard we have allotted you a special four-digit PTPT
(Pity The Poor Taxpayer) number.  By dialling this PTPT number as a prefix
to any number you wish to dial throughout the world, you can talk as long
and as often as you like, and the cost of the call goes on to a special CFPM
(Contempt For Public Money) account.

    And this is how you save:

Say, for instance, you have called a few mates and asked them, just for a lark,
to pick up their axe-handles, put on balaclavas and take their Rottweilers
down to the local docks for a late- night walk.

Or say you are in trouble and you have to call on the Minister for
Schadenfreude, Mr Peter Smugmug, to help dig you out of it with a ringing
declaration of sincere support in Parliament.

Or perhaps, as a public-spirited citizen, you have telephoned a number of
anonymous reports to CentreFink to finger your neighbours as dole bludgers
who are rorting the Commonwealth with false claims.

We make it easy.  You just put all these calls on your REITHCard and simply
forget about them.  And when the time comes to pay the bill, the good old
taxpayer pays it for you.

But better than that, you can pass your PTPT number to your family or even
your friends with the balaclavas and axe-handles and they, too, can make
calls and have them billed to your CFPM account.  You just pay 2 per cent of
the bill.  The rest?  Just forget it.

This offer is limited and conditions apply.  Only those whose lives are governed
by the Prime Minister's parliamentary code of practice and the unexpurgated
scripts of Monty Python's Flying Circus will be considered.

Those who apply within 10 days will also receive, AT NO EXTRA COST, a copy
of one of the following current best-sellers:

    Honest, Guv - I Can't Remember
    A backbencher's memoirs
    Don't Blame Me, Dad Just Can't Help It - by Sophie Gosper
  and
    Altruism in Public Service - by Mal Colston.

Demand is expected to be high.  So fill in the attached form, which exonerates
you from all blame for everything for all time, and send it to:

   Locked Up Bag,

   Soyou Shouldbe,

   Bill Conman,

   Canberra

NB:  Occasionally, well meaning public servants in Telstra who are not "in
     the know" have blundered across CFPM bills and caused some difficulties
     by blurting about them to the wrong people, but don't be concerned by
     this.  We at Telstra are adept in the ways of handling such idiots.
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


          Now for another recent one - this time from David McCallum:
                            --------------------

A cowboy rode into town and stopped at a saloon for a drink.  Unfortunately,
these locals always had a habit of picking on strangers.  When he finished
his drink, he found his horse had been stolen.

He went back into the bar, handily flipped his gun into the air, caught it above
his head without even looking and fired a shot into the ceiling.  "Which one
of you sidewinders stole my horse?" he yelled forcefully.  No one answered.

"Alright - I'm gonna have another beer, and if me horse ain't back outside
by the time I finish, I'm gonna do what I dun in Texas!  And I don't like to
have to do what I dun in Texas!"

Some of the locals shifted restlessly.  The man, true to his word, had another
beer, walked outside, and his horse has been returned to the post.  He saddled
up and started to ride out of town.  The bartender wandered out of the bar
and asked, "Say partner, before you go ... what happened in Texas?"

The cowboy turned back and whispered, "I had to walk home."
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        And then, there was this little collection from Steve Harding ...
                            --------------------

                       MORE OLYMPIC CLASS COMMENTATORS

"The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is
identical" (Murray Walker)

"He's pulling him off!  The Spanish manager is pulling his captain off!"
(Soccer commentator George Hamilton on Spain manager Luis Suarez's
substitution of Butragueno during their world cup qualifier with Ireland
in Seville, 1992)

"The black players at this club lend the side a lot of skill and flair,
but you also need white players in there to balance things up and give the
team some brains and some common sense." (Crystal Palace chairman Ron
Noades, speaking in 1991)

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body" (Winston
Bennett)

"This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria ... I saw her snatch this morning and it
was amazing." (Pat Glenn - Weightlifting commentator)

"This is really a lovely horse, I once rode her mother." (Ted Walsh -
Horse Racing Commentator)

"The racecourse is as level as a billiard ball" (John Francombe)

"There goes Juantorena down the back straight, opening his legs and
showing his class" (David Coleman at The Montreal Olympics)
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


       The other Steve ([redacted], that is) just passed on a copy of this
       supposed memo to Field Engineers of a particular computer company:
                            --------------------

                                MOUSE BALLS

Mouse balls are now available as FRU (Field replacement Unit).  Therefore if
a mouse fails to operate or should it perform erratically, it may need a
ball replacement.

Because of the delicate nature of this procedure, replacement of mouse balls
should only be attempted by properly trained personnel.  Before proceeding,
determine the type of mouse balls by examining the underside of the
mouse.  Domestic balls will be larger and harder than foreign balls.

Ball removal procedures differ depending upon the manufacture of the mouse.
Foreign balls can be replaced using the pop-off method.  Domestic balls are
replaced by using the twist-off method.

Mouse balls are not usually static-sensitive.  However, excessive handling
can result in a sudden discharge.

Upon completion of ball replacement, the mouse may be used immediately.  It
is recommended that each replacer have a pair of spare balls for maintaining
optimum customer satisfaction.

Any customer missing his balls should contact the local personnel in charge
of removing and replacing these necessary items.
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


       Almost to the pictures, but Olivine the Madsen recently passed this
       one on.  After reading it, some of you may remember that the "opposite
       sex" version of this (24th December, 1997) caused a bit of a storm.
       It was the following July that I finally got around to creating the
       "humourites" mail list (prior to that, the Friday humour was being
       sent to the whole site):
                            --------------------

                           MORE FEMALE HARASSMENT!

A man left work one Friday afternoon.  But, being payday, instead of going
home, he stayed out the entire weekend partying with the boys and spending
his entire pay cheque.

When he finally appeared at home on Sunday Night, he was confronted by a very
angry wife and was barraged for nearly two hours with a tirade befitting his
actions.

Finally his wife stopped the nagging and simply said to him. "How would _you_
like it if you didn't see _me_ for two or three days?"

To which he replied. "That'd be fine with me."

Monday went by and he didn't see his wife.

Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with the same results.

Come Thursday, the swelling went down just enough where he could see her a
little out of the corner of his left eye.
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


        Okay - here's a few pics and movies to give your eyeballs (and your
        CPU) something to do.  By the way, if you have any trouble "clicking"
        on these in your mailer (which I believe happens with hotmail), just
        go to the friday humour archive at bluehaze via Netscape, IE, etc and
        click on the appropriate date there Click here
        Anyway - to the little MPEGs first, which as usual are up on Steve
        Harding's server.  And both of these were passed on by the other
        Steve - Mr [redacted]:

     Hmmm, gimme some ...! Click here
     Bang ...!  Click here

        Russell the PCW inserted this little classic into the inflow a cupla
        weeks ago (you'll cack yourself :-)

     Oooh, arrrghh ...  Click here

        Here's the first few from a little collection of adverts/headlines
        passed on by one Timothy:

     Advert #1:  Click here
     Advert #2:  Click here
     Story:  Click here
     Headline:  Click here

        And four stills (with quite a few more to come) that just arrived
        from Steve [redacted]:

     Mooo-o-ooo ... (oh, bloody hell)  Click here
     Custom made:  Click here
     Okay now - smile!  Click here
     What the ...?  Click here

      Finally (Lachlan showed us this last week) another site page translator.
      For example, you can get an interpretation of his home page via:

     (Broken link as of May 14/02) Click here

        or one of our pages ...

     (Broken link as of May 14/02) Click here

        Try your own favourite site (just stick it in after the "?")
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Okay - enough of this nonsense - back to more serious issues.  This is
      another one just in from our US correspondent, one Nestor J Zaluzec:
                            --------------------

    Hot on the heels of the success of the show, "Who Wants to Marry a
    Multi-Millionaire?" we welcome you to "Who Wants to Marry a Software
    Engineer?" Silicon Valley's newest game show.

    Here's your contestant questionnaire ...

1) What quality do you value most in your partner?

    a) A sense of humour

    b) Emotional maturity.

    c) High bandwidth.

2) When you get home at the end of the day, you like to:

    a) Turn on the Silicon Valley Business report, and eat dinner.

    b) Hook up to your ISP, and check out the hit count on your web page.

    c) Recharge your bat phone, laptop, and wireless modem, change batteries
       on your pager, and resynchronise your Palm Pilot and home computer.

3) Your ideal partner is:

    a) Interesting and attractive.

    b) Emotionally mature and understanding.

    c) Extensible and polymorphic.

4) In spiritually difficult times, you often turn to:

    a) Dilbert

    b) Kernighan and Ritchie

    c) comp.lang.c++

5) If you go over to your partner's place and think its a mess, you would:

    a) Complain to him/her, and tell them to tidy up.

    b) Call a maid service.

    c) Make clean

6) What kind of car would you like to buy next, and why?

    a) A BMW, because people will see that I am rich and successful.

    b) A Jeep, because it's youthful, rugged, and won't break down.

    c) A Honda because the engine control computer can be hacked for more
       horsepower.

7) If your partner comes home from work complaining bitterly about his/her
   boss, you will:

    a) Give him/her a hug, pour him/her a drink, and tell him/her you love
       him/her.

    b) Commiserate about how unfair managers can be.

    c) Forge the boss's e-mail address, and subscribe him to 17 pornography
       mailing lists.

8) Name the 4 essential food groups:

    a) Fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy.

    b) Coffee, chocolate, takeout, ice cream.

    c) rec.food.cooking, rec.food.veg, ba.food, alt.food.chocolate

9) You like to travel with your partner because:

    a) You share new experiences together.

    b) You learn about each other in different situations.

    c) You get more use out of your wireless modem.

10) How would you describe your attitude towards religion?

    a) "I'm not particularly religious."

    b) "I believe in emacs, but can use vi."

    c) "I think emacs can be configured as a full IDE."

11) You think a relationship is ready for a permanent commitment because:

    a) You've successfully struggled through several years of good and bad
       times.

    b) You're already living together, so you might as well tie the knot.

    c) You finally got your local network configured just right.

12) If you and your partner got married, you would want to:

    a) Keep your last name.

    b) Change your last name.

    c) Combine your names with a hyphen.

    d) Combine your names with an underscore.

13) You and your partner think it's time to have children when:

    a) Your stock options are vested.

    b) You've agreed on the requirements and design.

    c) You've come up with a good naming convention.

    d) You really understand the use of multiple inheritance.
  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


       And finally for the week, this long and thought provoking non-humour
       piece which Steve Kerrasitis just forwarded over:
                            --------------------

                               THE LUNAR LIE?

Did man really walk on the Moon, or was it the ultimate camera trick, asks
David Milne.

In the early hours of May 16, 1990, after a week spent watching old video
footage of man on the Moon, a thought was turning into an obsession in
the mind of Ralph Rene.  "How can the flag be fluttering," the 47 year old
American kept asking himself, "when there's no wind on the atmosphere free
Moon?"  That moment was to be the beginning of an incredible Space odyssey
for the self-taught engineer from New Jersey.

He started investigating the Apollo Moon landings, scouring every NASA film,
photo and report with a growing sense of wonder, until finally reaching
an awesome conclusion: America had never put a man on the Moon.  The giant
leap for mankind was fake.  It is of course the conspiracy theory to end all
conspiracy theories.  But Rene has now put all his findings into a startling
book entitled NASA Mooned America.  Published by himself, it's being sold by
mail order - and is a compelling read.

The story lifts off in 1961 with Russia firing Yuri Gagarin into space, leaving
a panicked America trailing in the space race.  At an emergency meeting of
Congress, President Kennedy proposed the ultimate face saver, put a man on
the Moon.  With an impassioned speech he secured the plan an unbelievable 40
billion dollars.

And so, says Rene (and a growing number of astro-physicists are beginning
to agree with him), the great Moon hoax was born.  Between 1969 and 1972,
seven Apollo ships headed to the Moon.  Six claim to have made it, with the
ill fated Apollo 13 - whose oxygen tanks apparently exploded halfway - being
the only casualties.  But with the exception of the known rocks, which could
have been easily mocked up in a lab, the photographs and film footage are the
only proof that the Eagle ever landed.  And Rene believes they're fake.  For
a start, he says, the TV footage was hopeless.

The world tuned in to watch what looked like two blurred white ghosts gambol
through rocks and dust.  Part of the reason for the low quality was that,
strangely, NASA provided no direct link up.  So networks actually had to film
"man's greatest achievement" from a TV screen in Houston -a deliberate ploy,
says Rene, so that nobody could properly examine it.

By contrast, the still photos were stunning.  Yet that's just the problem.
The astronauts took thousands of pictures, each one perfectly exposed and
sharply focused.  Not one was badly composed or even blurred.  As Rene points
out, that's not all:

  *  The cameras had no white meters or view ponders.  So the astronauts
     achieved this feat without being able to see what they were doing.

  *  There film stock was unaffected by the intense peaks and powerful
     cosmic radiation on the Moon, conditions that should have made it useless.

  *  They managed to adjust their cameras, change film and swap filters in
     pressurised clubs.  It should have been almost impossible without the use
     of their fingers.  Award winning British photographer David Persey is
     convinced the pictures are fake.  His astonishing findings are explained
     alongside the pictures on these pages, but the basic points are:

  *  The shadows could only have been created with multiple light sources and,
     in particular, powerful spotlights.  But the only light source on the
     Moon was the sun.

  *  The American flag and the words "United States" are always brightly lit,
     even when everything around is in shadow.

  *  Not one still picture matches the film footage, yet NASA claims both were
     shot at the same time.

  *  The pictures are so perfect each one would have taken a slick advertising
     agency hours to put them together.  But the astronauts managed
     it repeatedly.

David Persey believes the mistakes were deliberate, left there by "whistle
blowers", who were keen for the truth to one day get out.  If Persey is right
and the pictures are fake, then we've only NASA's word that man ever went to
the Moon.  And, asks Rene, why would anyone fake pictures of an event that
actually happened?

The questions don't stop there.  Outer space is awash with deadly radiation that
emanates from solar flares firing out from the sun.  Standard astronauts orbiting
Earth in near space, like those who recently fixed the Hubble telescope,
are protected by the Earth's Van Allen belt.  But the Moon is to 240,000
miles distant, way outside this safe band.  And, during the Apollo flights,
astronomical data shows there were no less than 1,485 such flares.

John Mauldin, a physicist who works for NASA, once said shielding at least
two meters thick would be needed.  Yet the walls of the Lunar Landers, which
took astronauts from the spaceship to the moons surface were, said NASA,
"about the thickness of heavy duty aluminum foil".  How could that stop this
deadly radiation?

And if the astronauts were protected by their space suits, why didn't rescue
workers use such protective gear at the Chernobyl meltdown, which released only
a fraction of the dose astronauts would encounter?  Not one Apollo astronaut
ever contracted cancer - not even the Apollo 16 crew who were on their way
to the Moon when a big flare started.  "They should have been fried," says Rene.

Furthermore, every Apollo mission before number 11 (the first to the Moon)
was plagued with around 20,000 defects a-piece.

Yet, with the exception of Apollo 13, NASA claims there wasn't one major
technical problem on any of their Moon missions.  Just one effect could have
blown the whole thing. "The odds against these are so unlikely that God must
have been the co-pilot," says Rene.

Several years after NASA claimed its first Moon landing, Buzz Aldrin "the
second man on the Moon" - was asked at a banquet what it felt like to step on
to the lunar surface.  Aldrin staggered to his feet and left the room crying
uncontrollably.  It would not be the last time he did this. "It strikes me
he's suffering from trying to live out a very big lie," says Rene.  Aldrin
may also fear for his life.

Virgil Grissom, a NASA astronaut who baited the Apollo program, was due to pilot
Apollo1 as part of the landings build up.  In January 1967, he hung a lemon on
his Apollo capsule (in the US, unroadworthy cars are called lemons)and told
his wife Betty: "if there is ever a serious accident in the space program,
it's likely to be me."  Nobody knows what fuelled his fears, but by the
end of the month he and his two co-pilots were dead, burnt to death during
a test run when their capsule, pumped full of high pressure pure oxygen,
exploded.  Scientists couldn't believe NASA's carelessness even chemistry
students in high school know high pressure oxygen is extremely explosive.

In fact, before the first manned Apollo fight even cleared the launch pad,
a total of 11 would-be astronauts were dead.  Apart from the three who were
incinerated, seven died in plane crashes and one in a car smash.  Now this
is a spectacular accident rate. "One wonders if these 'accidents' weren't
NASA's way of correcting mistakes," says Rene.  "Of saying that some of these
men didn't have the sort of 'right stuff' they were looking for."  NASA won't
respond to any of these claims, their press office will only say that the
Moon landings happened and the pictures are real.

But a NASA public affairs officer called Julian Scheer once delighted 200 guests
at a private party with footage of astronauts apparently on a landscape.  It
had been made on a mission film set and was identical to what NASA claimed
was they real lunar landscape.

"The purpose of this film," Scheer told the enthralled group, "is to indicate
that you really can fake things on the ground, almost to the point of
deception."  He then invited his audience to "come to your own decision about
whether or not man actually did walk on the Moon".

A sudden attack of honesty?  You bet, says Rene, who claims the only real
thing about the Apollo missions were the lift offs.

The astronauts simply have to be on board, he says, in case the rocket
exploded. "It was the easiest way to ensure NASA wasn't left with three
astronauts who ought to be dead," he claims, adding that they came down a
day or so later, out of the public eye (global surveillance wasn't what it
is now) and into the safe hands of NASA officials, who whisked them off to
prepare for the big day a week later.

And now NASA is planning another giant step - project Outreach, a trillion
dollar manned mission to Mars. "Think what they'll be able to mock up with
today's computer graphics," says Rene chillingly.  "Special effects was in
its infancy in the 60s.  This time round we'll have no way of determining
the truth."

  Space oddities:

  *    Apollo 14 astronaut Allen Shepard played golf on the Moon.  In front of
       a worldwide TV audience, Mission Control teased him about slicing the
       ball to the right.  Yet a slice is caused by uneven airflow over the
       ball.  The Moon has no atmosphere and no air.

  *    A camera panned upwards to catch Apollo 16's Lunar Lander lifting off
       the Moon.  Who did the filming?

  *    One NASA picture from Apollo 11 is looking up at Neil Armstrong about to
       take his giant step for mankind.  The photographer must have been lying
       on the planet surface.  If Armstrong was the first man on the Moon,
       then who took the shot?

  *    The pressure inside a space suit was greater than inside a football.
       The astronauts should have been puffed out like the Michelin Man,
       but were seen freely bending their joints.

  *    The Moon landings took place during the Cold War.  Why didn't America
       make a signal on the moon that could be seen from earth?  The PR would
       have been phenomenal and it could have been easily done with magnesium
       flares.

  *    Text from pictures in the article.  Only two men walked on the Moon
       during the Apollo 12 mission.  Yet the astronaut reflected in the visor
       has no camera.  Who took the shot?

  *    The flags shadow goes behind the rock so doesn't match the dark line in
       the foreground, which looks like a line cord.  So the shadow to the lower
       right of the spaceman must be the flag.  Where is his shadow?  And why
       is the flag fluttering?
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[ End Friday humour ]



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