Sunday, April 26, 2009

On the Biggest Gap in the English Language


Feminists over recent years have successfully destroyed a vitally important part of the English language, and offered no replacement. English no longer has a gender-neutral singular reference pronoun. Until a few years ago, this role was taken up the word ‘he’, as in “Anyone can do what he wants.” Now, the meaning of ‘he’ has been limited to male only. The need to constantly replace ‘he’ with the extremely clumsy ‘he or she’ led to the use of the multiple reference, but gender-neutral pronoun ‘they’.

However, this is not technically correct, as the statement “Anyone can do what they want” implies multiple subjects. This would lead to the more important singular generalization pronouns ‘anyone’, ‘everybody’ and ‘someone’, amongst others, to become multiple generalization pronouns. This means that anyone who asks for something would in fact be several people asking for lots of that thing, and life would suddenly get a lot more confusing.

It is so much simpler if singular and plural are kept separate, and a new gender-neutral singular reference pronoun is introduced. I propose the phrase ‘gender-neutral singular reference’ to prevent further confusion. As in “Anyone can do what gender-neutral singular reference wants.” That is perfectly clear and will not offend anyone.
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On an Army of Mud-Coated Chimpanzees


It is important to emphasize the fact that this army consists of chimpanzees. Not monkeys, as many people seem to believe. Chimpanzees are far more effective. They are bigger and stronger, listen to what you are saying, and don’t try steal your biscuits. But that's not important, even though I did introduce it as so. The important thing is that they need to be rolled through mud first. Rolled through as thoroughly as possible.

The mud covering is for camouflage, and it is one of the best there is. Think about it. You have absolutely no chance of identifying a mud covered chimpanzee in an army of mud covered chimpanzees. They will be invisible… Those South American countries won’t even know what has hit them until it’s too late. And even then, they will only understand half of it.

Because if they can’t spot an entire army of mud-covered chimpanzees, then what chance do they stand of seeing the three tortoises that sneak in from the side. Midget tortoises armed with balls of socks and slices of moldy cheese. They will have lost before the battle even begins.
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On a Cautionary Note


“Warning: Do not insert pen cap in mouth. It may obstruct breathing if swallowed.” So be careful in future...
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On the Flaw in the Democratic Process


Put in its simplest form, democracy means that the majority gets to choose who leads everyone. In principle, this is a brilliant idea. Most people get what they want, and so they should theoretically be happy. The one assumption that gets made here is that everybody knows what they want, and that getting what they want is all that is needed to make them happy.

The flaw is that democracy means that the political fate of everyone is in the hands of the majority. If the majority knows anything about politics, then why is politics taught only at universities, and not in primary schools?
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Sunday, April 19, 2009

On Boring Breakfasts


I know that breakfast is (allegedly) the most important meal of the day, but I have come to the point where I no longer feel the need to eat breakfast. The problem is that I eat the same thing for breakfast every single day, and I’m really bored of it. I’ve tried alternating a few things, but when you look at it, all breakfasts are the same. It’s all either cereals or porridge, since I really don’t have the time to fry bacon and eggs. All porridges are the same, and cereals always go soggy, and after that, they always taste the same. Coco Pops are awesome for the first month or so, but after that, they're just soggy Rice Crispies in overly sweet slightly chocolate flavoured milk. The problem is that if I skip breakfast, I start really craving lunch at nine 'o clock.

(On a side note: The argument for breakfast being important is that it is necessary to fill up after 12 hours or so of no food. My philosophy is that it is probably better to fill up at dinner time, since you know your next meal is going to be a long way away. It all depends on whether you are the type to make sure there is enough petrol for the trip, or the type who is happy to push the car the last few kilometers to the petrol station to fill up.)

The whole issue got me wondering how animals manage. My dog gets fed exactly the same thing every day, twice a day, and has been for years. No wonder she ignores the food in her bowl and waits at the dinner table for our leftovers.

In an even worse situation are cows, which can only eat the leaves of grass. And pandas, who can only the shoots of certain species of bamboo plants. I really need to introduce them to steak and potato.

If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On Reflections


From and early age, we are all raised to believe that mirrors switch left and right. Then, later on in life, you are trying to flatten a stubborn hair that refuses to stay down. You stand in front of the mirror, raise your hand to your head, and then check the location of your hand relative to the hair. In the mirror, you note that the hair is to the right of your hand, so you need to move your hand to the right. However, because of all of the brainwashing you have had to undergo, your mind is convinced that the mirror is switching left and right. You send the signal to your hand to move toward the hair, but somewhere along the way, the signal is switched and your hand moves left – away from the hair.

If only people hadn’t lied to you for you're whole life.

The problem is that most people genuinely believe that the mirror does switch reality around. I find this really strange because practically everyone looks at a mirror more than once or twice a day. It’s extremely disconcerting that so few people have noticed that if you raise your right arm, the reflection in the mirror also raises the arm on the right. It is such a simple concept, and I have no idea why so many people don’t understand it.

Did it never occur to them to wonder why it did not switch the top and bottom as well?
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On the Generally Inconsiderate Behaviour of Birds


It’s probably not intentional, and possibly because they go to the trees to do it, and because the shade tends to be under trees, rather than out in the sun. Whatever their excuse, it still annoys me that birds always have to drop their loads on the shady part of the bench, which is exactly where I want to sit.

They really should think about others before they just go. Maybe I should try dropping my load in the trees where they want to sit. Perhaps that will show them how it feels and convince them to find a toilet like the rest of us.

If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On Non-Persons


Some people try to argue that there is no such thing as a stereotype, and so many try so hard not to fit into any, but these are the ones who fall into the most obvious stereotypes of all. The truth is that there are only a handful of personalities out there, and everyone falls into some stereotype category. Even me, although I don’t really try fit into them.

Over the Easter weekend, I went on holiday to Durban with some friends. While there, I saw a remote controlled car in a shop - it came fully equipped with light and music system.

There are so many people out there who fit into stereotypes so well that they make me wonder if they are capable of individual thought. Their actions become so predictable and stupid, that I begin to doubt if even they know the logic driving their behaviour. Honestly, people like that really seem to be more like potato than people. Except that I like potato, and I usually don't like people like that.
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On Religion


Which was always going to be one of my banned topics. One of my mottos in life is to avoid religion and politics where ever possible. However, there are times when these things cannot be avoided and need to be faced head on. I recently read an article entitled

“Force is strong for Jedi police". Apparently, in 2001, 390 000 people in England and Wales listed Jedi as their religion. Personally, I prefer to list Potato as my religion.
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On Learning to Use Technology: Part III


I have made a couple of comments in the past about people who have GPS systems in their cars, yet still get hopelessly lost. I would like to point out that at that point, I had absolutely no experience with using a GPS. With a very good sense of direction, and the ability to read a map, I have never had any need for one. Last week, however, I had my first GPS experience. When the road forked, the GPS did not say which road to take until after the fork. This was just a minor inconvenience. So was the fact that it tells you to turn right when there is a concrete barrier and buildings in that direction. What was a problem is the fact that it had no clue where it was or where it was going. Instead of giving directions, it felt the need to constantly remind everyone that its signal was too low. The first time it did this, it was overcast, so it could be forgiven for not being able to reach the satellite network. The rest of the time, it was sunny and still had no idea where it was. However, it still had the cheek to shout out directions to some place 30 km from our actual destination.

Anyone who has to deal with a GPS on a regular basis has my deepest sympathy...
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On Unexpected Consequences


I was eating in a restaurant one night. (A slightly relevant side note: this was a really good restaurant - the type that remembers that I ordered two drinks, and makes the basting for the steak from red wine. They now also serve haloumi as a starter, which makes it the perfect restaurant in my books.) The restaurant has a nice indoor section with a fibreglass roof. In the centre of the floor, and growing up through a hole in the roof, there is a massive tree (which is probably half a century older than the restaurant itself). I have no idea what type of tree it is, but it is covered in fairly large, and very sharp thorns. I could see that they were very sharp without getting up from my table ten metres away.

Someone at another table (in his defence, he had possibly had a few drinks) stood up, walked over the tree and put his hand on it to test if the thorns were sharp. His yelp caught the attention of the whole restaurant, and I still can't help wondering what he expected to happen.

If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On Trolleys


Mainly shopping trolleys, since that’s the sort of trolley I have the most experience with, but the rules seem to apply to all trolleys. It seems that there must be some sort of law specifying a maximum level of coordination between the wheels. I can imagine some clause stating that:

"No more than three wheels may point in the same direction at one time, excepting when:
  • the trolley only has three wheels, in which case, only two may point in the same direction,
  • at least one of the wheels is in a completely uncontrolled oscillatory mode,
  • one wheel is not in contact with the ground, or
  • the driver of the trolley has absolutely no control."

Whatever the law states, it seems to be really well enforced. Although I have never seen anyone actually issuing fines for a straight trolley, I have also never encountered a trolley that breaks this law.

If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On Google Searches: Part II


Bad grammar really annoys me sometimes. Recently, someone Googled "what does giant rabbits eat", which for some reason, returned this blog as number two on the list. The worst thing is that he was from the United Kingdom - the supposed home of the English language.

It is quite interesting that he focuses on giant rabbits, since this actually seems to be quite a popular search topic. One in particular simply asked Google "do giant rabbits actually exist"? The fact that this blog was Google's best answer just goes to show that the internet does not have the answer to every question. Or perhaps it does, but so many people think of Google as some person who knows everything, who sits in front of a computer all the time and lists out web sites containing the answers to any question you might care to ask. The truth is that Google only knows what I tell it (or what people like me tell it), and if I lie to Google, then Google will lie to the world.

To answer the questions people might have about giant rabbits, they do exist. And they eat exactly what any other rabbits eat - grass, leaves and rabbit pellets - just in larger quantities than a conventional rabbit.

Breeds of giant rabbit recognised by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (ARBA) include the Checkered Giant, the Giant Chinchilla, the Flemish Giant, and German Grey Rabbits. There is also a British Giant, however ARBA does not accept this as a genuine rabbit breed because it is uncommon in the US. And of course, anything that is uncommon in America is uncommon full stop.

Another search was "sheep and pig can be together" written all in capitals. A rather bold statement, and I don't think its true. I don't think that sheep are aggressive towards pigs, however sheep evolved on rocky mountains and open fields - while pigs evolved in dense forests. The two would never encounter each other in the wild, and would therefore have no need to be together in captivity. Anyway, sheep need lots of space with soft ground with lots of lush grass, while pigs prefer close surroundings and ground from which dust can easily be kicked up. There is no problem with keeping them together, but one of them would definitely not be happy. Why would you want to keep them together anyway?
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On the Invention and Discovery of Bread: Part II


Walking through a shopping centre the other day, I saw an advertising display for a new product. It consisted of a tower of crates containing loaves of bread. Attached was a sign saying "Classic White Bread: Try me, I'm new."
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Sunday, April 5, 2009

On Monkey Stealing


It’s not very nice. In fact, if I had a monkey and it was stolen, then I’d be really fed up.

Apart from not being nice, it’s also quite dangerous, really stupid and completely pointless - all necessary requirements for fun. I’ve never actually stolen a monkey, but then again, the opportunity has never presented itself. I have no idea what I’d actually do with a stolen monkey… I’d probably have to take it back the next day.

(Another Google inspired post – my sincere apologies to the poor guy whose monkey was stolen, if that’s why he was searching for it. If he was a prospective monkey thief, then shame on him.)
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On the Invention and Discovery of Bread


Because, of course, invention and discovery are two distinctly different ideas. It does not matter what order they take place in, but both must take place for anything to be useful. In the case of bread, I am absolutely certain that it was invented before it was discovered. Some things can be discovered long before they are invented. In fact, most things are. Aeroplanes, for example, had existed in people’s imaginations for possibly thousands of years before they were actually built. Bread did not.

For someone in that age, when no one even understood simple concepts like wheels, and when no one had yet thought of sharpening rocks (you had to find one that was already sharp), to have thought up bread would have been completely amazing. Have you ever looked at a field of grain and thought, “These are quite tasteless, but if I picked just the seeds of several thousand of these plants; then crushed them really fine, mixed them with just the right amount of water, and then put it just the right distance away from the glowing embers of a dead fires, and then kept those embers at exactly the right temperature for the right amount of time; then I would have the perfect thing to put my lunch between so that I can hold it together more easily.” It would require unbelievable genius to make this leap. It is far more likely that someone just happened to mix in the right amount of water to make dough, and then forgot it by a dying fire for a while.

The only conceivable scenario that I could think of that would lead to us eating bread is that the accidental baker’s child picked up the forgotten loaf, and began to eat it. It must have been his son, because boy’s are more likely to actually eat something they found lying on the floor (girls just chew things), and he must have been four or older, because a younger child would not have indicated to the parent that it actually tasted good. The parent would then have tasted a small piece; decided that it tasted bland, and decided that that evening’s dinner should be served on it. Of course, any four year old boy given a slice of bread with something on would fold it in half, thereby inventing the sandwich.
If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



On Pointless Promises


Do you know what's really funny? Really funny jokes. Or they would be really funny, if someone could be bothered to tell them, or if someone didn't spoil the joke. The worst possible scenario is when someone spends five minutes telling a joke, and then ends it off with the words "... I can't remember the punch line, but I promise you, it was really funny."

Is this a promise that needs to be made? It doesn't matter at all whether or not the punch line was funny, because I'm not going to hear it. If we could get the same enjoyment out of just knowing a joke was funny there would be no need for anyone to ever tell any jokes.

Have you heard the one about the amoeba, the chimpanzee and the algae covered shoelace? I’ve never actually heard it, but I promise you, it’s really funny.

If you enjoyed this post, then don't forget to like, tweet, +1, or upvote on reddit. If you have any questions, comments or complaints, post them using the form below.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .