11 December 2007

Love is beautiful

Sometimes love is found in the most unlikely places, and it seems that an unusual summer romance is destined to survive the European winter. A black female swan apparently fell in love with a white swan, much bigger than herself. The problem is that this white swan is, in fact, a plastic pedal boat that is used by tourists visiting a lake in the German city of Münster.

As winter approaches, the boat must be taken out of the lake, but its owner decided to keep it close to the real swan, so that the odd couple won't be separated.

Read more about this curious story in this short Newsvine summary. You can also register to leave a comment there.

10 December 2007

Merry Christmas, Mr Bean!

Never let Mr Bean get too close to the Nativity Scene... or go shopping at Harrod's!

24 October 2007

Silly questions... brilliant answers!

sent by Murilo

The following questions about South Africa were posted on a South African Tourism website and were answered by the website owner.

Q: Does it ever get windy in South Africa? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see elephants in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking or sniffing.

Q: I want to walk from Durban to Cape Town - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only two thousand kilometres. Take lots of water.

Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in South Africa? (Sweden)
A: So it's true what they say about Swedes...

Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in South Africa? Can you send me a list of them in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Knysna and Jeffrey's Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?

Q: Can you give me some information about Koala Bear racing in South Africa? (USA)
A: Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific. A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the Koala Bear racing is every Tuesday night in Hillbrow. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is north in South Africa? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get there and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can I bring cutlery into South Africa? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is... oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Hillbrow, straight after the Koala Bear races. Come naked.

Q: Do you have perfume in South Africa? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.

Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in South Africa? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in South Africa where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in South Africa? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.

Q:Are there killer bees in South Africa? (Germany)
A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Cape Town and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter-gatherers. Milk is illegal

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in South Africa who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca, which is where YOU come from. All South African snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets. Good examples of snakes as pets are mambas (both green and black), rinkhals and municipal workers.

Q: I was in South Africa in 1969, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Hillbrow. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

08 September 2007

My brand new bike

sent by Juliano

If you've never ridden a motorcycle before, you'd better be extra careful and start slowly...

22 August 2007

What really moves the arrow!

sent by Cris

Have you ever stopped to think what really makes the arrow move on your monitor when you move the mouse? Well, the Japanese invented a magnifying glass that allows you to see how it all works. Click on this link and, when the page loads, move your mouse, then stop. :-)

12 August 2007

25 signs you are a grown-up

sent by Cris

1. Your potted plants stay alive.
2. Fooling around in a twin-sized bed is absurd.
3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to sleep.
5. You hear your favourite song on an elevator.
6. You carry an umbrella. You watch the Weather Channel.
7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of hook up and break up.
8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 7.
9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as 'dressed up'.
10. You're the one calling the police because those darn kids next door don't know how to turn down the stereo.
11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.

12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's.
15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
16. You no longer take naps from noon to 6 p.m.
17. Dinner and a movie = The whole date instead of the beginning of one.
18. MTV News is no longer your primary source for information.
19. You go to the drugstore for Ibuprofen and antacids, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer 'pretty good stuff.'
21. You actually eat breakfast foods at breakfast time.
22. Grocery lists are longer than macaroni & cheese, diet Pepsi & Ho-Ho's.
23. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again."
24. Over 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
25. You don't drink at home to save money before going to a bar.

03 August 2007

Restroom signs

sent by Aline

The signs speak for themselves! :-)

27 July 2007

If restaurants worked like Microsoft...

sent by Ana

Patron: Waiter!
Waiter: Hi, my name is Bill and I'll be your Support Waiter. What seems to be the problem?
Patron: There's a fly in my soup!
Waiter: Try again, maybe the fly won't be there this time.
Patron: No, it's still there.
Waiter: Maybe it's the way you're using the soup; try eating it with a fork instead.
Patron: Even when I use the for, the fly is stil there.
Waiter: Maybe the soup is incompatible with the bowl; what kind of bowl are you using?
Patron: A SOUP bowl!
Waiter: Hmmm... that should work. Maybe it's a configuration problem; how was the bowl set up?
Patron: You brought it to me on a saucer; what has that got to do with the fly in my soup?
Waiter: Can you remember everything you did before you noticed the fly in your soup?
Patron: I sat down and ordered the Soup of the Day!
Waiter: Have you considered upgrading to the latest Soup of the Day?
Patron: You have more than one Soup of the Day, each day?
Waiter: Yes, the Soup of the Day is changed every hour.

Patron: Well, what's the Soup of the Day now?
Waiter: The current Soup of the Day is tomato.
Patron: Fine. Bring me the tomato soup and the check. I'm running late now.
[Waiter leaves and returns with another bowl of soup and the check]
Waiter: Here you are, sir. The soup and your check.
Patron: This is potato soup.
Waiter: Yes, the tomato soup wasn't ready yet.
Patron: Well, I'm so hungry now, I'll eat anything.
[Waiter leaves]
Patron: Waiter! There's a bug in my soup!

See a funny video about helpdesk in the Middle Ages!

24 July 2007

20 July 2007

A Glossary for Research Reports

Do you need to write or read research reports in English? Here is what they say… and what they really mean!!!

“It has been known that…” - I haven’t bothered to look up the original reference
“… of great theoretical and practical importance” - interesting to me
“While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions…” - the experiments didn’t work out, but I figured I could at least get a publication out of it.
“A fiducial reference line” - a scratch
“… accidentally strained during mounting.” - dropped on the floor
“… handled with extreme care throughout the experiments.” - not dropped on the floor
“Typical results are shown…” - the best results are shown
“Presumably at longer times” - I didn’t take the time to find out
“The agreement with the predicted curve is excellent.” - fair
“Good” - poor
“Satisfactory” - doubtful
“Fair” - imaginary
“… as good as could be expected.” - non-existent
“These results will be reported at a later date.” - I might possibly get round to doing this sometime
“The most reliable values are those of Jones.” - He was my student
“It is suggested / It is believed that…” - I think
“It is generally believed that…” - A couple of other guys think so too
“It is clear that much additional work will be required.” - I don’t understand it before a complete understanding.
“Unfortunately, a quantitative theory to account for these effects has not been formulated.” - Neither does anybody else
“Correct within an order of magnitude.” - wrong
“It is hoped that this work will stimulate further work in the field.” - This paper isn’t very good, but neither are any of the others in this miserable subject
“Thanks are due to Joe Glotz for assistance with experiments and to John Doe for valuable discussions.” - Glotz did the work and Doe explained what it meant

from the book “Random Walks in Science”