Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

The species intelligence test

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-11-08

I propose a test for whether a species deserves civil rights:

Have members of the species found farts or fart jokes amusing, or have been observed playing fart/poop practical jokes on their fellows for no other good reason than amusement?

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Posted in Biology and Health, Civil rights, Humor, Philosophy | 8 Comments »

Gubernator Gaffe – Or Goody?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-29

A veto note from the Gubernator, 
replete with a profanity 
not immediately obvious,  
intentional or highly coincidental? 
Enjoy the links below.

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Posted in Humor, Language Use, USA | Leave a Comment »

If climate skeptics were skydivers

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-28

If climate skeptics (and neo-skeptics that advocate polluter protection or no significant action, in other words, those rejecting the precautionary principle) were skydivers… what would they do?

Skeptic skydiving flowchart - only opening parachute after first broken bones detected

Skeptic Skydiving Flowchart

Anybody want to pitch in to give Andrew Bolt a skydiving holiday?

Posted in Environment, Humor | 5 Comments »

Theological analysis – in a tattoo

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-27

Why didn’t I think of that?

Over the fold is a tattoo (via facebook) that shows a smart person has thought a moment about the "Risen Jesus", and made the obvious conclusion.

If you are an easily-offended narrow-minded humorless Xtian… go no further.

But for the rest of you, giggles coming up…(and if you have no graphics, the alt text does the trick just as well)

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Posted in Humor, Theology and Religion | 5 Comments »

Rudd depicted by scientists

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-25

Given the way Rudd’s policy reflects scientific opinion and pre-election promises: C4H4AsH

Rudd as PM

Rudd as PM

See also DOI 10.1002/anie.197204411

Buy CAS 287-77-4.

(Oh, yeah, the position of the "As" in the image is significant!)

Posted in Australia, Environment, Humor, Politics, Science and Tech | 2 Comments »

Nanny state libertarianism

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-21

EU courts and commissions are often the target of those critical of "nanny states", but I expect even the most libertarian types will welcome this discussion from the EU Court of Human Rights about the rights of satirists and the EU’s efforts to try and stop fair satire being attacked by commercial and political interests in courts.

The satirists in the cases mentioned were doing things akin to having an effigy of the feral poodle as, well, a feral poodle, or maybe an image of corpulent bogans over a slogan "the people are bigger at Hungry Jacks".

From the ECHR blog:

Both cases could be laughed off as bizarre instances of the kind of situations that reach Strasbourg.  But equally, they point to a worrying development in various European countries in which commercial or political interests are attacking even the most innocuous expressions." In that respect, it is good that the European Court is taking jokes seriously.

I don’t think this worrying development is something particular to the EU… if it hasn’t started here yet, it soon will, and I hope our courts protect us from the powerful and their well-funded lawyers.

Posted in Civil rights, Europe, Humor, Law | Leave a Comment »

Gone

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-17

Surprise, surprise, surprise.  … or maybe I should say CAN I HAZ THE PAGE BACK COZ IS GON?

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Posted in Humor | Leave a Comment »

Choose your party leader

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-10-12

Given what is common to both KRudd and Hokey, leader or leader-in-waiting-behind-the-pillar-with-the-knife of the major political parties, I thought I’d take a guess (I’d say stab, but that’s Hokey’s current game) at guessing the winners of leadership stoushes for all the parties (between federal and the states, a few to go around).

And the candidates are…

Of course, that’ll change over time… so let me introduce our political leaders in 2030…

Posted in Australia, Humor, Politics | 2 Comments »

Drug test answer – I bought bikkies from a church, officer

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-09-04

Turn about is fair play it seems.

A few years back in Melbourne, a couple of door-to-door salesmen for imaginery friends called an ambulance after being asked into a house, and eating some biscuits proffered by their hosts.  (The symptoms were probably an over-the-top psychological reaction to the buzz.)

Now, from the Centre for Disease Control, in the usually very dry Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, comes a tale of turned tables.

The tables in question being a church-run stall on the footpath selling munchies.

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Posted in Biology and Health, Humor, Law, Society | 1 Comment »

Impersonation

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-08-01

From "The Furious Five" (George Megalogenis in Meganomics 2009-07-28) which asks readers to channel the last 5 PMs as if they were posting to blogs under aliases, if not sock puppets.

So, can you guess the author channelled here?  Feel free to channel any other Oz PM in a comment if you are inspired:

"The Australian electorate must be commended on the store it places on a wide and complex vocabulary, a proxy indicator of erudition if not wisdom, as qualification to inhabit a Canberran house graced last century by my humble self as resident, because the only other differences I can see between the current and previous incumbents are the quantity of hair and the ability to toss a cricket ball to the other end of the pitch."

Posted in Australia, Humor, Politics | 1 Comment »

Uncyclopedia: Your faves?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-07-09

Uncyclopedia logo: a squished version of Wikipedia logo

For relief from the continuing series of posts on use and rights of Public Service Information in Victoria, it’s time to ask readers about their favorite Uncyclopedia article, in the same vein as the question about your favorite xkcd, and a post that morphed into a thread on your favorite Tom Lehrer.

(For those who are unaware, Uncyclopedia is a spoof of wikipedia, with pages varying in quality, but the best are almost believable until you read carefully.  Either that… or they are all too true, as you can see by comparing Bogan on wikipedia with Bogan on uncyclopedia).

Perhaps my favorite is the one on Murphy’s law application for antigravitatory cats which involves sticking buttered toast (butter up) on the back of a cat.

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Posted in Humor, Reader Poll | 15 Comments »

Worst Oz international lefty blog ideas ever?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-06-18

…Perhaps, and it’s mine – indeed this very post.

This comment by Greego (a regular at the Australian Libertarian Society blog) to my post "Worst Oz libertarian blog idea ever" (2009-06-17), itself in response to this ALS blog post got me thinking…

If a central plank generally attributed to states (law enforcement) can be essentially a competitive industry (with presumably different prices offered by different suppliers for different services), then why not open the rest to competition?

(It might be difficult to get parties in a dispute agreeing on the judge, however!  And who says politicians can’t be bought?)

Why not even let people choose the nation-state they want citizenship in?  Change their brand loyalties without friction as service offeerings change? After all, in a globalized market, with states seen as service providers, why shouldn’t this service be subject to competition and GATT?  The geographic restraint of trade is ridiculous and totally against free-market principles.

Meanwhile, think of the advantages.  States can get taxes from people according to their service offerings.  The more efficient the state, the more citizens (sorry, customers) they will attract.

On top of this, warfare between states (sorry, service providers) that destroys infrastructure is almost inconceivable.  There’s an efficiency gain straight away!

Besides, I can’t wait to watch what happens in those states that ultra-capitalists join: no rules… no taxes… no state.

Further, why should there be any barriers to new entries into the market?

Oh dear, does this libertarian train of thought lead to virtual distributed communes?

The only real problem with this system is the difficulty of finding place to train your national sports teams.  Bummer – there’s the showstopper.

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Posted in Civil rights, Humor, International, Politics, Society | 6 Comments »

Best scientific paper title of the year?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-06-14

C.P. Snow would giggle and be pleased.  OK, he might groan as well.

Subtitled "Continuous Melatonin Treatment Maintains Youthful Rhythmic Activity in Aging Crocidura russula" is a paper on how melatonin (which among other things, is very involved in body clocks) affects a small mammal that looks a bit like a mouse.

The title (and link) over the fold (so you can think about it for a minute and take a guess).

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Posted in Biology and Health, Humor, Language Use | 1 Comment »

Peerless Prank

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-06-12

It’s a little too striking to merely share in Ecletica, so worth mentioning here.

"Spoof paper accepted by ‘peer-reviewed’ journal" (2009-06-11, New Scientist) gives some details about Philip Davis (assisted by a member of the New Eng J Med publishing team), who had a computer-generated "research" paper accepted for publication (providing $800 was deposited in a middle-eastern tax haven by the author).

It’s also worth looking at the software used to generate the bogus paper.  Simply go to the main page of SCIgen at MIT, enter between one and five author names, push a button, and voila!  (Source code available, along with lots of other samples – including acceptances!)

I’m unsure whether Bentham Science Publishers should be labelled mere scammers or scientific fraud.  (I regard scientific fraud as an evil attack on the foundations of rational society, but then I got caught in the backwash of the scandal about my then-dean Michael Briggs, and my favorite lecturer who did a lot of the legwork exposing him suffered tremendously.  If there’s a heaven, Jill Blunk is there with a bench of the spiffiest research kit, a top-of-the-range stereo belting out opera, with an exercise bike to use when she reads journals.)

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Posted in Ethics, Humor, Information Management, Science and Tech | 2 Comments »

If Moses had a mobile phone…

Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-06-04

Hat-tipping McSweeney’s:

…and the following lines are hardly less open to misinterpretation than the standard version.

  1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
  2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
  3. no omg’s
  4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
  5. pos ok – ur m&d r cool
  6. dnt kill ppl
  7. :-X only w/ m8
  8. dnt steal
  9. dnt lie re: bf
  10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.
ttyl, JHWH.
ps. wwjd?

Posted in Humor, Language Use, Theology and Religion | 1 Comment »

 
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