Wednesday, December 23, 2009

10 Best Places to be during Christmas

I live in an extremely cosmeticopolitan place with people from many places that don't follow the Christmas fashion who ask me for the best places to go to experience genuine Christmas. Here are the top 10 best places to experience Christmas:

20) Ice Cream Parlour - in colder climates the peak of the cold season tends to appear a few blocks away from Christmas. If they are open, the ice-cream parlour is the best place to be. Experience a melon-apple-chocolate ice-cream fondu to gain the full Christmas experience.

19) Photocopier Parts Replacement Store - in any weather it's the best place to go to experience infestive cheer.

18) Soup Engineering Store - watch true Christmas genius in action at one of the many soup stores. Watch a traditional Father Soup festival only held on Christmas day - has to be seen to be believed.

12) Cheese Replacement Store - an excellent place to understand the meaning of Christmas where the various different parts of the meaning are fused together.

9) Mushroom Grooming Plant - for the more sophisticated a good place to see the evolution of the history of Christmas.

4) Fish Scale Sorting Store - great for the children, a real Christmas wonderland.

50) Escalators - an excellent place to view how Christmas moves and transports itself. Choose a moving one.

23) Iron Gates - these gates have been well known to attract Christmas pieces.

7) Sand Measuring Store - hours of true fun in theses stores where Christmas descends and is slowly extracted.

0) Carton Label Removal Store - unbeatable, sure-fire location to experience, evaluate and digest the Christmas package.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quantum Transport

Have you watched many Sci-Fi movies or series?

Have you wondered what it would be like to be transported in time or space, or both - have your essence beamed somewhere else and reassembled with various fly components?

Well now you can experience it in true, living, multi-dimensional colour!

At a justifiably incredible cost London Trans-port has deployed a number of experimental Quantum Transport devices in London. These devices take on the appearance of the humble Bus (double, or single decker or warpy-bus), but with one (or two) important, significant additions.

These buses obey the Quantum principles:

1) You cannot predict when the bus will arrive with 100% accuracy (according to the quantum principle the prediction should be around 0-0.1% accurate).

2) When the bus does arrive and you embark you cannot predict with 100% accuracy where the bus is going.

3) No two buses can go to the same destination on the same day (violation of this principle can be catastrophic and could very well signal the end of the Universe if violated).

4) You cannot predict with 100% accuracy which bus stop the bus will stop at. Indeed, it can be rather disconcerting if you are standing as the bus driver only knows which bus stop they should stop at according to a complicated algorithm (which, coincidentally does not depend on the number of people waiting at the stop - contrary to a popular myth).

Indeed, if you are fortunate enough to be waiting at a bus-stop you can get an idea as to which bus is Quantum by studying the estimated time indicator, if the bus arrival time differs by the factor (sqrt(1-gamma)exp(-2*pi/sigma)) then it's highly likely the bus is Quantum - of course if the bus doesn't stop then it's definitely Quantum.

London Transport are busy replacing conventional buses as quickly as possible and at great cost so you can experience the wonders of Quantum Transportation.

How to Reduce Plastic Waste

Technologists have noticed a rather large amount of plastic bits and bobs littering all over the place and have come up with a green solution:

1) Identify persistent litter.
2) Spray the litter with a new chemical compound (KFC).
3) This chemical compound attracts green recycling units (namely rats and pigeons) to consume the litter. The chemical compound is so attractive the recycling units consume the litter exclusively until they expire (roughly 1-2 days after first encountering the litter).
4) The plastic fortified, expired recycling units can then be reused as insulated bricks (in the case of the four legged recycling units) or loft, or wall insulation (in the case of the flying recycling units).

The transformation from useless persistent litter into useful, insulated, building material is powering the property building trade and has created a whole recyclable economy ranging from the producers of the chemical compound (KFC, whose by product happens to be a rather attractive and economical after-school-before-dinner snack) through the producers of the green recycling units to the collectors/hunters of the recycling units (in some cases not every recycling unit expires on the prescribed date).

An important by product is a small, but noticable reduction in the amount of CO2 being produced. This has encouraged scientists to research the possibility of encouraging Cows to eat KFC infected litter to further reduce the CO2 production and produce building material for large skyscrapers.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Do We Need our Head?

We all know that science has determined that we are composed of rather a large quantity of water. In fact, over 50% of our weight is water. If we couple that with the additional fact that we only use approximately a small quantity of our brain (roughly 4% or so) we make the astounding discovery: we don't need our heads!

In fact science has determined that since we are predominantly water we can replace our head with a glass of water (spring water is ok, tap water is almost ok if you still have some tap water - Thames Water are busy replacing tap water with rusty brown plastic water or nothing, carbonated water is ok if you're looking for hyperactivity).

Scientists have determined in some cases that replacing whole people with glasses of water has had no noticeable effect. Indeed, the head of a number of Hedge Funds, London Transport and a number of politicians have been replaced by glasses of water without disturbing the efficient workings of those organisations.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Do we need a head?

For many years sociologists have studied the workplace. They have studied every aspect of the workplace; from the placement of wastebins to the quantity of coffee drunk as a function of the paper cups. They have studied all the people that litter the workplace from the humble sales-clincher-person to the mighty tea-person to the exalted biscuit-person. Every aspect has been studied in vomiting detail and published in a large number of obscure journals.

Research has discovered a purpose for all components that go to make-up the workplace. That is all except one. Research has failed to define a purpose for the executive.

Study has discovered an inverse relationship between the health of a company and the number of executives it contains. They have found that executives tend to cluster into a group of about 10-12 forming a 'board-of-directors' and once a company is infested with a board-of-directors there is a rapid decline in motivation, direction, output, standards and general quality of the tea.

Researchers have found close analogy with a parasite which tends to feed off its victims extracting a small slice of the best bits allowing the host to produce more best bits. Although, in the case of the executive a large slice of the best bits are extracted resulting in a barely living host incapable of producing any best bits (scientists have termed this type of parasite as a 'stupid-parasite').

Work is currently underway to understand how a company becomes infested with a board-of-directors or a cluster of executives. Once this is understood it will be possible to create ointments and balms and creams capable of combating an executive infestation. For those infested with executives there is hope...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A New computing paradigM

Do you own a computer? If so then the chances are quite high that you have written in the last few days a Graphical user interface toolkit in C++ (a bit like the C programming language, but with a ++ here and there). The chances are high that as you coded those thousands of lines you thought, "Gee Stan I wish that there were some kinda computing paradigm that would ease the development of this high quality toolkit that I'm developing".

Well, worry no longer.

Scientists have managed to develop and then discover a new computing paradigm that addresses these kinds of thoughts and more. The paradigm goes under the name of the CLOWN paradigm (or CLOWN computing for short) and tests show that it's revolutionising the software industry.

The paradigm is based on a large number of basic points:

1) Code and coder should be able to withstand a sustained 15min Custard Pie unit test (the maxim is "custard pie now, custard pie often").

2) The clown car IDE must be used to ensure code portability (the roof should blow off, windows fall out, and wheels fall off at regular intervals - in keeping with current standard software practices).

3) Evaluate the coder and you have evaluated the code:
3a) How much water can the coders trousers hold?
3b) How far does the coder travel when shot from a cannon?
3c) How many balloons can fit into the coders shirt?

4) Software analysis and design:
4a) How many times is the architect caught out by the pull-the-chair-before-they-sit-down trick?
4b) Does the architect make liberal use of the exploding marker pen?
4c) Does the architect use the electrocuting projector?
4d) Does the architect make exclusive use of mime in the analysis stage?
4e) Does the architect make flowers and snow out of the use case and requirements documents?

5) Project management must ensure that all staff are equipped with exploding laptops or desktops.

6) Project management must ensure red noses, orange, yellow or green hair and extremely large shoes are worn during all stages of the project.

7) Project management must sit in a cold custard bath during project meetings.

Scientists have determined that following these simple guidelines ensures projects are delivered on time and to spec and, as a by product, generate improved respect and admiration from customers.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Who's in charge?

Have you noticed in your dealings with large service industries (such as your utility companies, transport companies, etc) that it's very difficult to determine who's in charge especially when something appears to go wrong?

Well, extensive, laborious research has determined exactly who is in charge of these important service providers. Technically, it's nobody. Well, actually, it's not a person, but a largish white document contained in a buff folder marked 'Important stuff' (usually with a date and an illegible signature). The document itself is roughly, exactly 25 pages long and describes the organizational chart of the company, with a coffee mug stain obscuring the central and higher management. The remaining pages contain information on the processes in the company, well actually it's just the curious phrases TBD and references to other documents that have TBD next to them.

This large document is kept in a grey filing cabinet in the store-room and is referred to in every persons contract under the name 'as-stipulated-in-the-company-policy-handbook-document-TBD-001' (this is in fact the official title of the document, 'Important Stuff' is a higher management term). All matters of importance are referred to the document and it is this document, and this document alone that provides wisdom to the staff to enable them to combat these matters of importance.

That is why when you contact your large service provider of some service you are often told about company policy in vague terms since the staff themselves are not allowed to directly quote from the unseen document as this would almost certainly destroy the wisdom of the document. Indeed, if you lodge a query you may notice that your query is ignored. This is not negligence, this is the document working its wisdom. Study of the document 'as-stipulated-in-the-company-policy-handbook-document-TBD-001' has revealed that queries should be allowed to cluster and mature so that they may find their own wisdom and thus the solution to their own problem (a far more enlightening and rewarding effort).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Am I repeating myself?

You may have noticed that your television broadcasting corporations (technically called circuses or circuii if you want to be strictly correct) appear to repeat a program at a well defined interval. You may be wondering why. Some more cynical people may think that the television broadcasting executives and controllers and directors and organizers (collectively, technically called clowns) are simply trying to save money by 'filling' empty airspace with, well in some cases empty air space, but in others with well meaning docu-type-info-entertainment.

Well, this is totally incorrect!

Scientists have recently conducted research and study into the frequency of repeated programs and have determined that the greater the number of repeats the more advanced the society is. This is because the citizens everyday life is so rich and so full their brains have to reject some information and by constantly repeating programs they can determine just how civilized the society is. By slowly increasing the repeat frequency until they achieve critical complaint mass they can (through complex non-deterministic methods)  determine the civilization status. For example, in the US programs are repeated more than daily, they are quite advanced. In the UK we are approaching daily repeat status (in some cases we are at the sub-daily status).

Only when we reach sub-minute program repeat status where the repeat starts before the original has finished will we have achieved true civilization status. Indeed, by sub-minute repeat status of reality shows will determine we have achieved the new nouveau-classical period.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Canal Origins

It is well known that the first canals appeared in the UK long before any other country. But, only recently has science uncovered exactly why these canals were created. There was conjecture that they were originally built to carry goods. This clearly doesn't hold water as people have been using trucks, shopping trolleys and white vans since prehistory.

The real reason for the invention of the canal was in order to alleviate the massive infestation of bicycles that plagued the UK in the early history. In bygone days artists created bicycles that were built to last. This was a good thing. People used their cycles until they expired (the people that is) and then they were handed down to their offsprings. But, this was at odds with the consumer-based economy that had been introduced in neolithic times. Such an economy relied on constant consumption without reason and the presence of long-lasting indestructible bicycles didn't fit the bill.

There was a need for a mechanism to encourage the destruction of bicycles allowing consumers the ability to buy new bicycles perpetuating the economy.

The governments of the day came up with the fence-less canal. The invention, by the Steam brothers, itself was not enough to improve the economy. Only with the introduction of irresponsible alcohol consumption and poorly lit roads did the scheme finally begin to reap benefits. Since approximately 800AD (late afternoon) the number of irretrievably sunk and broken and rusted bicycles in canals shot up far outstripping production of bicycles necessitating a massive increase in production and also a massive increase in bicycle insurance.
These two single measures have formed the basic cornerstones of modern consumer society and it is for this reason that you can go to any canal and find a myriad of consumer articles within their depths (buildings, financial institutions, hedge funds).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reality or not?

It takes a great deal of knowledge to craft a reality or talent show. A great deal of time goes into creating the correct program, the duration of the events and the precise choreography of the words used by the audience and the eventers. Indeed, nothing is left to chance, even the audience is selected with great care: any person with the large sum of cash needed to procure a seat in the arena is accepted.

It's little wonder that this height of modern engineering has attracted the attention of eminent scientists who have dissected these programulations in order to understand better their purpose.

Their deliberations have unearthed some surprising results: participation (active or passive) in a reality or talent show appears to not activate one cerebral neuron. Not one.
Scientists performed a number of studies in which they replaced living audience members (the passive component) by (a) recently deceased people, (b) insects, (c) vegetables. In all cases no difference in the passive component was detected (the brain patterns were exactly the same for all audience members).

They then replaced the active component (the contestants) by (a) frozen peas, (b) a box of dust, (c) drawing pins. Again, in all cases no difference was detected - although a slight (possibly statistically significant) response to the box of dust was observed, but it's unclear if the response was from the dust itself or the audience (researchers are still studying a much higher statistics sample of dust taking part in a 2 year marathon X factor talent show).

An important result of these recent findings is that frozen peas have now been granted sentient being status which has spurred further research into the social behaviour of frozen peas.

Friday, October 23, 2009

space collapse

If you have wondered what on earth is happening in London I can enlighten you.
You may have noticed that a large number of trenches have reappeared in strategic places. These places are strategic because of the large density of people appearing in those places.

The number of strategic places in London is rather large and can indeed be seen from outer space - as far outer as Jupiter (on a sunny day when the fog has burnt off and there are no smaller planets crashing into it). It is interesting that the trenches resemble an upside down smiley from Jupiter which explains why, when you observe Jupiter, you can see the appearance of smileys and other graffiti on the surface - Saturn has joined in and Neptune appears to be advertising that "Saturn sucks big time" (there is research to understand exactly why).

The reason for the appearance of these trenches is purely down to the density of the people between the hours of 7am-9am being so great that they form a black hole. The trenches are an attempt by the London Councils and Transport for London to introduce distortion effects to minimise the density of the black hole by encouraging people to fall into the hole to reduce the critical mass.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LHC for dummees

I'm a bit of a scientisticcolo and will give a two sentence description of the LHC big guy machine in the International Institute for collisions in Geneva, near France, Europe.

The LHC aims to collide a bunch of left hand and right hand particles together at high speed. What are these particles?

Well, if you take your left shoe (which should be about size 6 red and green patent leather with a rubber sole) then all these particles from the left hand side are equivalent to your left hand shoe.

Now what about these right hand particles?? Well, they are your right shoe (which should be about size 8 exactly orange and blue with yellow all leather upper and downer) that's what these right handed particles are: your right clown shoe.

So, in a nutshell, we're colliding your left hand size 6 clown shoe with your right hand size 8 clown shoe. The result should be equivalent to the birth of the universe or a shoe shop and should explain why there are only left-hand shoes on sale in most shoe shops.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Living Water!

Have you considered just how many sentient species there are in the world? There are people, ants, crispy fried duck, bacteria, plants. Millions of thinking, living, feeling things.

Well scientists have discovered another one to add to the list: water.
By studying spa/spring/mineral water scientists have discovered that mineral water is a social, living being. They have discovered that water enjoys the company of other water and forms a very strong bond between water from the same source.

This astounding conclusion was reached after carefully studying the rate at which water was produced by a well-known spring and the rate at which it was bottled and sold to vegetarians. They deduced that if water was not sentient and always made its way back to its origins in order to be reunited with the other bits of water it had left behind it would have meant that the well-known spring would have dried up 30 years ago.

Thus the water that you consume carefully makes its way back, against great odds, to its source to be reunited and rebottled and reconsumed by another vegetarian.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Tube Design

I don't know if you have noticed. But, during rush hour you will see a few smartly dressed people all congregating in clumps and generally causing increased stress and confusion. Have you seen these people? They're the ones that cut in-front of you and push you into much smaller spaces.

Well, these people have been scientifically designed and placed there by the various transport companies in order to improve your public-transport experience. In addition, the public transport nerve-centre can fine-tune the number of lost, broken, depressed public transport machines to enhance the experience.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What are they?

So, it seems that an fund manager is a person that manages funds. We, well not me because I don't have any (I'm a hedge fund trader - a hedge for short), give these guys our hard earned money and they spend all their time looking in minute detail at the bazillion of stocks (chicken, beef, fish), shares, exotic cocktails, and shoes on offer and invest wisely. They spend their working day working for us and their sleeping nights sleeping for us. They are so smart and they do a good job. The investments, on the whole, tend to have lots of ups and downs. Which is a bit like life - although the investments tend to have catastrophic downs which makes us feel a lot better since our lives aren't that catastrophic.

They tend to approach investment with an avant-guard philosophy. They are daring. Investments in schemes that perhaps yesterday were shunned are now seen as highly lucrative. It's clear to me that Ponzi schemes are now considered highly profitable 'exotics'. Guaranteeing stable returns even in the case of horrible times. Clearly this is the reason why many invested in Mr Madoff's scheme.

Monday, May 25, 2009

MP Hour

Where I come from we're heavily into metrics. This is a good thing. We design metrics for everything: metrics for the number of shoes you're allowed to buy, the number of times you're allowed to oversleep the alarm, the number of left and right shoes you're allowed to buy.

Recently, we have discovered that our Politicians aren't metric. This is bad. We cannot appreciate the work they do if we don't know how well they are doing.

So, our Politicians have hired an external metric consultancy to metricify them. The main problem the consultants faced was exactly what metric to use. Since, nobody, not even the Politicians really knew what they did.

After much study they determined that speaking constituted 98% of the job. They determined that Politics appeared to be a game involving people capable of selecting items of no particular interest and then arguing viciously for many months about them.

Once this discovery was made it was simple to design metrics consisting of the number of words spoken, how long a Politician has been standing on their feet for, the number of uninteresting statements made. Extra points are gained if a Politician makes a definitive conclusion (regardless of the manner or truth).

With this system we have metrics that show us the fantastic amount of work being performed by our Politicians. Other countries would do well to follow our approach. We even have done away with the 1 party system and have gone to leagues. We are very proud that our local Politican's play in the Premier League (missing out on top-spot on goal difference).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Consumerism: how to get out of the current crisis

In a consumer society there is a real danger that once everyone has brought everything they need the eekonomy will freeze and fail.

This is the problem we have at the moment. Everyone has brought everything and there is nothing left to buy.

The only way out of this current consumer crunch is to institute legislation to do the following:

a) Create 2 new teen music-bands with stupid names and songs and generate hysteria about them encouraging an upturn in the number of CDs sold.

b) Institute legislation to change the style of women's clothes every month such that no woman would be seen dead in last months clothes.

b1) Institute legislation forbidding any two women from wearing the same style of clothes within a 50 mile radius.

c) Change the side of the road that people drive on in a country forcing people to buy new cars with the steering wheel on the other side and necessitating workmen to replace road signs.

d) Change the power ratings for all electrical applicances forcing consumers to buy new electronic goods with the correct ratings.

e) Change the national language forcing new books to be printed in the new language, new web-sites to be created etc.

This package should stimulate the economy and encourage consumerism at an increased rate.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Age-old philosophical puzzle solved!

Whilst trawling through innumerable philosophical-science papers I found a paper detailing an
ingenious and logically valid solution to an age-old philosophical problem that I strongly believe should be a good candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize:

Problem: Which came first the chicken or the egg?

The solution relies on recognising that a few years ago, during prehistoric times, ancient-man had an incredibly strong affinity to eggs. They collected eggs of all shapes and sizes. They ate then, used the shells as a form of currency.

Slowly, they realised something was missing. Eggs were ok, but around the middle of the day they wanted something more substantial. So, they invented the chicken. This gave them many more culinary combinations. They could have chicken roast, fried, flayed, egg-stuffed chicken, chicken wrapped in omelette.

The combinations were endless and it took more than 1000 years before they exhausted the combinations and invented the sheep and cow.

The logic of the paper is faultless and clear. I have recommended the paper for publication and would wholeheartedly recommend the paper for the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Finance 101

Do you understand finance?
Do you understand exotic options, hedging and futures?

Me neither. Technically, we call such newbies that don't have an inkling of such matters and have a naive, irresponsible attitude to money, Bankers or Traders or Financial analysts.

Anyway, it's come to my attention that there's a serious lack of understanding of basic finance terminology So, we explain it here (again):

Basic financial planning and investment and trading is EXACTLY like growing mushrooms.There is no analogy. Of course, you're not using mushrooms, that's plain silly, instead you're using coinage of the realm.

Now, for options investment you need to pick 5 locations. Shady ones are good under an Ash or Oak tree cluster and plant brown chestnut mushrooms and all your money in late autumn, just after the third rainfall that's light-to-medium-heavy. They're the best and the ones nearest to oak trees are superb. After about 3 months you should get a nice yield. Due to the monetary-philic processes that are unique to the mushroom species.

For exotic options simply replace the type of mushroom with shitake mushrooms and plant under willow or hazel trees.

Hedging is a lot simpler. Being the most basic and fundamental form of finance there is you need an abundant form of mushroom. Toadstools although technically poisonous are the best mechanism for hedge funds. Take the red spotty ones and plant them along with all your money in roughly 20,000 locations under lime trees. Within roughly 6 months you should have a huge number of red spotty toadstools and a whole load of dead flora and fawna.

For those of a literary nature the exact relationship between the killing you will make and the initial investment is given by:

killing = sqrt(w*d**(1/3))*exp(mp/my)*atan(nf/tf)

w = weight of earth above the mushrooms.
d = distance of mushrooms from base of tree.
mp = number of planted mushrooms.
my = number of yielded mushrooms.
nf = number of flies above the mushrooms.
tf  = total number of flies of that type in existence.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Getting Lost

I tend to stay in a lot of hotels as part of my work. My experiences may help you to significantly improve your experiences.

I'm a delayed airline passenger. That's my job. My job requires me to devise formulae to determine the flight with the highest probability of being delayed. I use a dart-board. After I find a candidate flight I get myself a ticket and take the flight.

More often than not the flight takes off and lands in the wrong place, usually due to chronic shortage of:

(i) direction, usually due to the passengers taking part in the online poll-vote on the best route not
                   being conversant in Geography or the native language.

(ii) ambition, usually due to the poll-vote held being held by passengers being not feeling they were
                    worthy of landing at their destination and opting for a less conspicuous destination usually
                    5 miles from take-off.

As you may know most airlines have been quick to follow up on the success of phone-in reality shows and empowered the passengers, or audience, to take part selecting a variety of things for their journey. They can vote on the flight path, the destination, food, in-flight entertainment and the amount of turbulence they should experience on the flight among other things.

Passengers are expected to phone in on monitored premium-rate, poor-quality lines and vote on a 34 page list of topic. Those passengers that fail to vote are usually forcibly requested to serve as flight attendants.

Once I have arrived where I have not expected to arrive my task is to find myself a hotel and a ticket for the next flight to approximately my destination with maximum helpful destructive interference from the helpful airline ground staff (the level of helplessness that the ground staff exhibit is determined by the on-line airline poll).

The ticket is the easiest part of the operation as the ground-staff simply run the random ticket generator that will generate a ticket to a location weighted by the destinations you have been to.

The hotel is more tricky since the selection algorithm used by the ground staff is based on the GDP of the city you are in as well as the density of hotels and the size of the airport. Contrary to popular belief, the time of your flight does not play a role in the selection of the hotel.

My last expedition resulted my being hoteled in a hotel that was over 300miles from the airport where my next random flight was taking off. But, as luck would have it, 5 minutes from where I actually wanted to go. Rules being rules, I still had to take a taxi, at my own expense, to travel the 300 miles from the hotel to the airport to take my random flight that eventually got me to my destination three days later. But, that's another story. It's worth remembering this point as you could forefit your entitlement to travel by that airline for 5 years if you circumvent the rules.

I arrived at the hotel just after 2am. Just after the hotel night-staff and switched to unhelpful mode. The night-hotelier requested the usual information and after the customary hour-long interrogation gave me the key to my room. The best time to get to a hotel is around 11pm when the night-staff have just started and are releshing the nights entertainment.

The hotelier tested my skill and ingenuity by not telling me the room that my electronic card key fit. He thought a check of the 800 rooms would keep me occuppied until the morning shift started. Being an old hand at the game I knew that my hotel would be in the basement close to the dry-cleaners and the lift.

I then had the standard 30minute exchange with the night-desk to get them to activate my electronc card key and finally entered the room at 4am.

The room smelt of old socks and indeed the floor was littered with them. I found out later that the hotel night-desk had a side-business in selling socks and stole guests socks selling the unwashed items back to  different guests at a premium. Since all the guests in this hotel were in-transit it was a good business.

The aroma made me drowsy and I fell asleep after 10 minutes after asking for the wake-up call approximately 30minutes later which guaranteed that the vindictive night-staff would add at least 2 hours to the time ensuring that I would be able to get a taxi to catch my 8pm flight.

I thwarted the hotel night-staff by not wearing socks and not carrying anything of cleaning value (i.e. toothpaste, shoe-polish, detergent, bleach - standard items carried by all passengers). It's a good idea to bear this in mind when traveling. I had also had the good sense to unhook the lobby curtains for use as a blanket in the spartan room (another trick worth remembering).

Checkout in the brutal morning usually required a complex negotiation of proving that I had not made any use of any of the services offered by the hotel at ridiculous prices. You have to keep your wits about you as these negotiations require knowledge of complex legal presedences dating back 10 years (best to brush up on international hotel-law before you travel). Remember not to take the breakfast or dinner as that's a standard trap where they can sting you for a 2 week all-exclusive holiday package to experience all the delights the hotel has to offer.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Origins of Cheese

I think that it's worth recapping on the origins of cheese to understand some of the modern cheese making processes.

[Apparently, prehistoric person was not a complete vegetarian. That took many years of badly prepared meat dishes and the discovery that raw vegetables that did not need to be massacred in boiling water before vegetarianism evolved as a palatable option (along with the abolition of boiled meat).]

Prehistoric person tried to make the maximum use of the animal they killed. In those days, the cow was a staple of their diet and they ate the meat. Used the skin for clothing and used the cows udders as a fashionable hat to protect them from prehistoric rain.

They soon discovered that the cow produced milk and that this was almost edible. To carry the milk as they moved around (for prehistorians were nomadic and moved from country to country in order to avoid prohibitive prehistoric land taxes) they invented the cows stomach which was a naturally non-porous and, provided they tied one end up, was a very useful bag.

As they moved  around the milk became agitated in the cows stomach and turned into what we now call cheese. They instantly realised the stomach was instrumental in the production of this new delicacy and set about finding more efficient means of making cheese.

As we now know, they discovered that force-feeding a donkey cows milk and then getting the most worthless member of the clan to tether the donkey with a string and then stampede it all over the place holding tightly to the donkey to make sure the precious cheese was not lost. They discovered that about one week of continuous stampeding was needed for a semi-hard cheese and two weeks for a hard cheese. They also found that if they  used old donkeys then more mature cheese was made and young donkeys produced much younger cheese. Once the cheese was made they simply cut the donkey's stomach open and removed the cheese.

This explains why in many organic cheese making houses you can see a large number of people tied to donkeys being dragged all over the place as the stampeding donkeys are making cheese. Clearly, in more modern plants cars are filled with milk and stampeded all over the place to produce much larger volumes of cheese.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mobile Language

Have you ever been abroad?

Me too. But, usually I find that my language doesn't travel well and I cannot understand anything that anybody is saying.

Well scientists have now discovered the reason as to why your language does not travel well when you go abroad.

Years ago, large numbers of them, when there were as many people as live in Iron Age Road, well perhaps not that may, as many as lived in Paleolithic Gardens there were a small number of tribes that moved from Africa all over the place (not too sure why, many conjecture to look for options and hedges).

Each tribe had a big guy in charge who had the sense not to allow them to eat each other, but to eat other things and try not to die too quickly by eating the wrong things (which is another article that scientists have worked on). The big guy was admired by all as is amply shown by the amount of rubbish the followers poured on top of the grave of deceased big guys.

For all their intelligence each big guy had a speech impediment (either from a deformity or from allergies). Since the big guy was a sensitive soul he tended to massacre those that made fun of his ailment. Very quickly, the rest of the tribe figured out it wasn't too wise to poke fun at the leader. So, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they started to speak like him. They too artificially developed a speech impediment and in turn became sensitive to their failing.

Gradually, over time as the tribes prospered countries were formed with people with similar speech impediments.

Scientists have discerned clearly that French originated from a tribal leader with a bunged-up nose and a bit of a lisp. Dutch and Welsh originated from a leader with persistent catarrh. English and German developed from a leader with a pretty nasty sore throat. Italian developed from a leader of a tribe heavily into Karaoke.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Fastest Train in the World

Today I sat on what I believe was the fastest train in the world. Ever.

I got to the station the customary 4 hours before the train was meant to depart. I know most train companies in the UK request their passengers to get to the station at least 6 hours before their train departs in order to get into the swing of things. But, I was in a rush.

For new-comers, UK trains travel with such energy that they operate beyond the Planck-scale which means quantum fluctuations come into effect. Which means, that you need to wait for the departures board to settle (after 30 minutes) and then take the average of all the platforms indicated for your train and go to the average platform number. This is important. I have lost count of the number of people that have complained to the platform staff that the train has not left from the indicated platform. It's clearly stated in the Train manual people, get with the program!

Anyway, I got onto my train on the average platform. The train was much shorter than usual. In fact, there was 1 carriage. I sat on the train and went to sleep, as I usually do. After one hour I woke up and the train was back in the platform that I had departed from!
Since I was going to Glasgow this meant that the train had traveled at more than 1000Km/hr! in order to get me from London to Glasgow and back again! It is clear that I had been to Glasgow since I was sitting on a copy of the Glasgow Herald.

Clearly this train was experimental as there was only one carriage. It was such a smooth journey. The next time I had better sleep for less time as I don't want to miss getting off at Glasgow again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nano Tube

We have another laaarrrge program going on that's not getting any attention ANYWHERE. It's our deployment of little blue plastic tubes under the roads. The company responsible for digging up the roads with minimal coordination and maximal disruption, which necessarily is needed to enable the whole system to be placed in equilibrium and harmony, is called Thames  Water. Which, if you follow the links provided, is actually a revolutionary (in a circular manner) enterprise innovating the use of smaller underground trains!

The first phase is to deploy the tunnels underneath the roads in a harmonic manner. Then the next phase is to install small trains in these small blue tunnels underneath the road. But, how can we fit into the trains in these small blue tubes? Well if you follow the links you will find that the really revolutionary idea from Thames Water is to change change the diet of everyone such that they shrink and can fit into the small trains! Genius! It will sort out the overcrowded trains and also allow the whole system to extend indefinitely.

Ok, at the moment there are a few teething problems: we have an obesity epidemic at the moment, but all that takes is a slight alteration of the formulae and then we will all become nano commuters able to fit into these nano tubes.

We will also reduce our Carbon smudge on the environment.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I have forgotten one of the most basic supermarket theorems:

This week Marmite is on Aisle 3, but next week Marmite will be on Aisle number
maxAisle - (exp(Aisle)-log(staff))/log(week). Other foodstuffs are moved as a attenuated function of the marmite function weighted by the weeks takings (after tax and benefits).

It's worth remembering. Each week I go to the supermarket and each week everything is somewhere else. Sometimes, staple foodstuffs are discontinued in favour of more exotic foods. For example:

Excuse me, where's the bread and milk this week?

They're discontinued this week. We are pushing nightingale's tongue puree and Kangaroo offal bread. Both are superfoods high in important profits for us.

It is worth stocking up on items you desire to hedge against they're becoming extinct at your supermarket. Then you can, as I have seen others often do, setup a little table outside the supermarket and allow fellow shoppers to buy the extinct items from you at index-linked prices.

Or, as a majority of people do, bring your refridgerator and stand outside the supermarket with the door open all day allowing people to buy fresh, frozen items from your refridgerator.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where do the tubes go?

It has come to my attention that a good chunk of the London Underground network does not exist on the weekends. This has been happening for the past 10 years at least. I am slow to recognise things.

So, the question is where do they go? On these weekends when the London Underground is not in London where does it go?

I have done some research and it appears that the London Underground is distributed over Europe. It appears that the Northern Line is deployed to Oslo where more trains run on the weekend and new stations appear. This could explain the abundance of Norwegians at Leicester Square and London Bridge. The Piccadilly Line appears to spend the weekends in Paris which explains the large number of French Players playing for Arsenal and the Circle Line seems to have occurred in Rome because the Italians like to visit many interesting places again and again. The District Line appears in Berlin for obvious reasons. The Central Line in Zurich for obvious reasons too. Other lines appear to oscillate between different countries.

This could explain why the London Underground invariably does not work well on Monday morning as it takes quite a long time to move the underground back again. It could also explain why it costs rather a lot. It's not easy making a mobile undergound system.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Market Style

A puzzle for you. Why do supermarkets EVERYWHERE put the fruit and vegetables (ie soft foodstuffs) as you walk in and the tin cans and bottles of water at the furthest end of the supermarket?

When you come to buy your food you first load up with fruit and vegetables and then put more heavier stuff (like side of cow, 6 2x4 planks of wood, wardrobe) after you have put in the fruit and vegetables.

And, by the time you get to the checkout counter you are trailing a puree of your selection of fruit and vegetables.

This is clearly a clever ploy by the supermarkets to make sure that you go around and buy even more fruit and vegetables to replace the ones you have just pureed.

And, you have to first checkout because the supermarket one-way system will not allow you to go back and replace your puree. You have to first checkout. Which in itself is an interesting process. The checkout person is usually autistic and doesn't like any form of social interaction. Then you stand at the end of the conveyor belt with bags ready to catch the items as they are slung as rapidly as possible down the conveyor belt. Hopefully, you will be able to stuff everything into your bags as they arrive otherwise you risk the wrath of the autistic checkout person who will glare at you as you incompetently pack your food as quickly as possible.

I must get my supermarket to repeal the one way system and the overtaking on both sides (which is extremely dangerous).

Market Value

I, like you, shop for my food. I go to these biiig supermarkets where you can buy all the food that you want and more, much more! They sell everything knives, bandages, TVs.

I think, but am not certain, that you can buy shopping trolleys. Well, you put a pound or Euro into this little lock thing which, I believe, means you've brought the trolly. And, if you don't like it you can put it back where you got it from and get your pound or euro back. Heck you can even buy the checkout machine! I saw one at the Tate recently.

I believe that their ethos is that anything in the store is for sale. So, it should be possible to go in and buy one of those machines that they use to cut cured meat and take it home and use it to cut thin slices of wood for making veneers.

Anyway, these supermarkets are biiig business. They are constantly going out on our behalf to make sure that we are getting the best possible deals ever. They do these complex calculations and predictions and compare with other supermarkets. They are justly proud of their work and the fact that they are giving us value for money. I for one am very proud of my local supermarket.

But, I am puzzled. They do all these complex calculations. But, everytime I go into my local supermarket I don't see any charts or documentation on the studies. I have not seen any lectures on the studies. But, maybe I'm not looking hard enough or maybe they are only on Thursdays when it's late night shopping. Maybe they have lectures or talks on the analysis at your local supermarket.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

public phones

Have you heard of these small tiny little phones?
They are small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.
They can fit inside your pocket, or handbag.
They are innocuous and discrete.

Except when you use them. Then they turn you into the most obvious person in your surroundings. Especially when you talk with a loud voice and exclaim and ask questions ensuring that all around you hear only half of the conversation.

Well, here's a suggestion. Try the following dialogue. It will not fail to impress your surrounders and elevate your status with all those in ear-shot:


What's the status?

That much down?

Ok. Don't worry. Here's what we do. Buy half an M of Jelly Beans and three quarters of an M of Jelly Babies. Sharpish!

Put 100 of each in you mouth and chomp like crazy. Are the numbers on the ticker going up?

Ok. Now select out all the green ones and throw them away. They're only for a bull market.

Chomp another 100 mixed.

Are the numbers going up now?

Ok. Excellent! Sell on 80.

No problem. Citibank don't need to thank me just doing my job.

You'll instill confidence in the market and single-handedly inspire others to go out and buy like crazy. Happy days will be here again!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

You've got to laugh

Markus did not believe in anything. He did not believe in God, in evolution or even in himself.

Markus was a trader in Explosive a company based in the City of London the financial centre of the known world (apart, of course from all those other financial centres outside of the City of London).

Markus was a very good trader he had managed to convince people he could make them money at short notice and had indeed done so. At the same time he had managed to ruin a respectable number of businesses in the process by dumping shares in their company and buying them back at a lower rate.

Markus was now having a little bit of a problem. He had brought an enormous number of shares in Explosive, in fact he had brought all the shares, apart from those that he held, and had short sold them making a handsome profit for himself and his backers. Unfortunately, he had managed to lower the price of shares to the point where the entire company was just about worth the price of a large plaice and chips from Hans Fish Bar.

Nobody at Explosive liked to be compared to plaice and chips and potential investors were also not keen on plaice and chips (or rather would wish to actually get plaice and chips for the price of plaice and chips) and future sources of revenue began to dry up making the company even less attractive as NOBODY, but NOBODY wants to invest in dried up plaice and chips.

In order to hide his mistake Markus used his profits to buy shares in the Office of Fair Trading a company that speculated on whether companies were behaving themselves or not. An excellent company where you could buy options on whether your company was behaving itself or not. Markus managed to buy enough shares to then dump them via his amazing short-selling technique and make an even more incredible profit which he used to buy more shares in Explosive at a more inflated price making it more attractive than plaice and chips.

Unfortunately, the Office of Fair Trading became worth less than a regular portion of chips and a pickled egg. Lucretius a high-flying trader at the Office of Fair Trading did not like chips and pickled eggs and decided to do something about it. Namely, by buying shares in another large company and short-selling to gain enough profits to buy shares in the Office of Fair Trading at inflated prices.

It was due to the selfless efforts of Markus and Lucretius and others and their dislike of certain combinations of fish and chips that the great depression of 2000s happened. It was only during 2011 due to the superhuman efforts of a handful of fish bars and their incredible batter that confidence in all combinations of fish and chips was restored and the economy picked up and the wheels of high finance began to grind smoothly as before.