Archive for the ‘Trivia’ Category

My elephant came calling ….

December 18, 2022

“Gosh”, I said “You’re heavy”!

I thought I had eaten too much. Heartburn I thought. It had started as just a rumble, just discomfiting enough to make me squirm. I stood up, I sat down, I breathed deep, I breathed fast, I breathed slow but the pressure kept growing. From discomfiture it became severe discomfort and then the crushing pressure reached ginormous proportions. “Hello Mr. Elephant”, I said. “Why are you sitting on my chest?” I do like elephants so I did not want to be rude and scream. I did not like to mention that he was crushing the life out of me. He didn’t look like he was trying to hurt me. In fact he looked quite friendly – even avuncular.

“Gosh”, I said again. “You’re really very, very heavy”! “Am I?” he asked and seemed to float above my chest. “I just came to introduce myself,” he said. “I am your elephant after all”. And then, just like that, the pressure eased. He was no longer on my chest but inside my chest and started pushing out. “Steady on,” I said “I could easily burst. A choice between bursting or being crushed was not very nice” I said. “No, no” said my impossible elephant, “I wouldn’t do that – yet” and he eased himself out of my chest and rested – lightly – outside it again. “You do not seem so heavy now” I murmured. “Of course not” he whispered in my ear. “It isn’t quite time yet. The important thing is that we have been introduced. Now you will recognise me when I come calling”. 

“I am not in any particular hurry” he said, “but remember that I am your very own elephant. And I will be back”.

And then the ambulance came.

A strategy for Wordle 7

May 12, 2022

I am very new to Wordle and only started playing last week. The greatest challenges I found with Wordle 5 and 6 were the use of American spellings and the seemingly arbitrary conjoining of two words to create “words” which I would not consider to be single words.

Wordle 5 and 6 did not seem too taxing and soon got boring. Wordle 7 is now keeping me engaged for longer than 5 or 6 did. The “strategy” I have evolved is to use the same 3 starting words (entirely by trial and error) to cover as many letters of the alphabet as possible. The last 3 attempts seem to then be sufficient to find the hidden word in most cases. But I am still not happy with two word combinations being elevated to be taken as single words. (website, manhole ….). Smacks of cheating.

I only started with Wordle 7 this week. I am sure there must be better words but the three I have ended up using – again by trial and error – are:




So far so good. The success rate has come up to about 75% 95% (and most failures are on my unfamiliarity with American usage and Americanisms).

My three chosen words cover 17 letters. I now need to find three better starting words perhaps covering 18 or 19 letters of the alphabet. 

Australian Border Force displays its arrogance and brainless incompetence – again

January 10, 2022

There is a reality TV show about the Australian Border Force which I sometime come across when I am avoiding commercial breaks on other channels. I am amazed at the unfeeling incompetence on display (but perhaps that is just what counts as “good” TV).

My own experience with the ABF is very limited but even that limited exposure to them has not impressed. They confiscated packets of liquor chocolates and Malaysian nuts that I was carrying. A friend had a packet of cornflakes confiscated.

Their latest escapade with Novak Djokovic only confirms my perception of a an arrogant, bureaucratic gang who have not realised that brains are intended to be used. Of course it does not help with idiot politicians at the helm.

Exterminating The Unvaccinated

January 6, 2022

Italy will now make it mandatory for over 50s to be vaccinated. If it is mandatory I expect that appropriate force will be used. One would expect that a single 20 year old should be able to subdue and jab around fifty 80 year-olds per day. It might take 2 to subdue a 50 year-old.

Macron has been mouthing off (apparently literally) about making life as difficult as possible for the unvaccinated. Sweden has now made it perfectly legal for any establishment to discriminate as desired against those without proof of full vaccination (thought it is unclear if “full” means 2, 3 or 4 shots). The market for fake vaccination certificates has been given a boost and is booming. The Australians have made idiots of themselves with the Novak Djokovic affair. (Of course, Novak has been a little idiotic himself).

It is apparent that, among the politically correct and the unthinking, the unvaccinated are the new scum of the earth – even if vaccinations provide no great protection from being infected by the Omicron variant. I wonder what the hierarchy of incorrectness is?

  1. Unvaccinated, infected are clearly the worst sort.
  2. Unvaccinated, uninfected are somewhat better
  3. Unvaccinated with natural immunity are not to be assumed to exist
  4. Infected though vaccinated
  5. Vaccinated and uninfected have a place reserved in heaven.

It stands to reason that forcible vaccination of the reluctant is preferable to their incarceration. A quick execution would be much cheaper if a little unethical. Deprival of employment is already here for some. Deprival of citizenship has been suggested for others. Maybe they could be branded with a yellow star and used  – forcibly – for the trial of untested vaccines? 

Greetings on Dies Natalis Solis Invicti

December 25, 2021

This post is from 10 years ago – but it will do for 2021

It is the 25th of December of the year 2011 2021 of the Gregorian Calendar and it is the anniversary of the day of the birth of the Invincible Sun (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti).

More correctly, of course it is the presumed date of the birth of the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. This revolution would have existed even when the Earth was just an amorphous conglomeration of gas and particles orbiting the Sun and still waiting to coalesce as the Earth. Since the seasonal celebrations could never be suppressed, it is the date which was hijacked as the day of the birth of Christ (first recorded in 354AD), some 1,657 years ago. But Natalis Solis Invicti goes back much longer than that. And to the best of our knowledge that was about 4,540,000,000 (±1%) years ago.


And while the celebrations around the world at this dark time of the year remain of vital importance in the human calendar, its relevance as the birthday of Christ has become largely meaningless. It is the celebration of renewal, of the beginning of a new year, of the coming lengthening of the days after the winter solstice which pre-dates Christian tradition and will continue long after its inevitable extinction. It is the certainty of belief that the earth will continue to revolve around the Sun and all that follows from that which lifts the human spirit.


Here the sun rises today at 08:48 and sets at 15:05 – a day-length of just over 6 hours. But the days are getting longer and already by next Saturday the day at this latitude will be 6 minutes longer. Over the next 200 days the length of each day will increase by an average of more than 3 minutes each day and by high summer the length of the day will be around 17 hours. And it is the affirmation of this renewal, this anticipation of what is to come and the reconfirmation of “certain” belief in Sol Invictus which lifts my spirit.


And so my greetings to all on this day to celebrate the day of the birth of the Invincible Sun.

Why we need stupid people

November 10, 2021

Feeling a little irritated today.

I find I have been irritated before

Stupid is as stupid does.


Trivia I cannot forget

July 31, 2021

I was going through my hard disk and deleting a mass of useless and temporary files which were cluttering up my computer and slowing it down. Of particular concern was the accumulated rubbish. I was quite ashamed of the atrocious quality of many of the video and image files that were stored for no good reason.

If only, I thought, I could clean out my mind and delete all the rubbish stored there for no good reason. It always amazes me that stuff I have no use for, and which has no redeeming features, is stored permanently in my memory whereas important and useful stuff I would like to remember is stored nowhere. 

Just during the time it has taken to write this, the following indelible trivia rises, unbidden, unforgettable, into the forefront of my memory:

  1. A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  2. If a woodchuck could chuck wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could, and would, chuck wood.
  3. Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble. Fillet of a fenny snake, In the caldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
  4. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep,
  5. Double double toil and trouble but which witch is which?
  6. 1729 is the smallest number which can be the sum of two different cubes in two different ways – 10 and 9 and 12 and 1.
  7. To be, or not to be not, are pretty much the same.
  8. The boy stood on the burning deck, and perished like an idiot.

The longer I sit here, the more trivia bubbles up. But I cannot recall my children’s telephone numbers. Of course I don’t need to – but I cannot if I try. 

When it comes to deleting memories I certainly have no free will.

Statistical trivia if you are 70+

June 2, 2021

Triggered by somebody I know turning 70 today.

  • You are one of around 500 million people today who are over 70.
  • You were one of just 2.5 billion when you were born but are one of 7.5 billion today (therefore 3 times less important?).
  • However, you are also one of the Elders of the World and among the 7% of the world population over 70 (15% in Sweden, 14% in the US, 8% in China and 4% in India).
  • Globally the over 70s (7%) own about 40% of the world’s household wealth. (For reference, Bill Gates is not yet 70).
  • You are 4 times more likely to own your own home than the average adult.
  • It is more likely that your medical costs exceed what you spend on your car.
  • You are among the safest drivers on the roads but renting a car gets more difficult.
  • At an airport you are 10 times less likely to be profiled as dangerous.
  • You know what a slide rule was used for, can remember receiving a telegram and can recognise a telex machine.
  • The American Civil war was to you as World War 1 is to someone born today. 
  • Somebody who was 70 when you were born had lived through 2 World Wars.
  • 70 years before you were born there were no aircraft, no radios, no refrigerators, no X-ray machines, no steam turbines, no automobiles, no diesel engines and no zippers. But the telephone had been invented (just).

Thank goodness for global warming!

January 30, 2021

It’s 0800 on 30th January 2021. 

Vaccination trivia

December 22, 2020

It’s trivia because Halal, Kosher, Vegan and Vegetarian are high principles based on low reasoning and spurious logic.

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