Year-end clear-out

by ammophila

A reasonably successful Christmas dinner, even though neither Isabelita nor Featherstonehaugh-Cheems were able to be with us. We sent them well-chosen e-insults for not turning up. Louise very kindly supervised the washing up afterwards (done by the rest of us). Karela kindly collected all the bits of paper that came out of the crackers Manos had procured (some printed, badly, but most handwritten, in various hands and on various types and sizes of paper, stained in assorted colours; several of them also with a most curious odour); the messages were these:

Linguistic corner no.46. A politician of conviction is one who does not change his mind even when confronted with overwhelming contrary evidence.

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How odd that just when social progress is demanding ‘quotas for women’, people (often the very same people) want the suppression of the compulsory female quota in marriage.

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One way that they have kept down the figures of civilians killed by drones is by ruling that any adult in a drone-hit area counts as an insurgent. They seem to be missing a trick. They could get the figures down further by ruling that any child over the age of six has been recruited as a child soldier.

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Military communique of the year : ‘We categorically reject the claims that 35 pupils were killed by our forces’ fire. Aerial photographs after the incident showed no signs of any bodies in the school yard. But we shall continue to gather all possible information about the incident as long as it takes until we can prove that all the victims were killed by the insurgents.’

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Given that firms can increase profits hugely by skilful jiggery-pokery with the tax rules of this or that country, one wonders if it would be possible to achieve profits like that by not engaging in any actual activity at all, and purely by manipulation of the tax rules, and how many of them are doing that right now?

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‘from the Rotary Club dinner’

Answering a question about the desire of the pirate princess to marry him, the speaker said ‘If I’d known then what I know now, then I probably would not be alive to know it.’

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Some pundits are trumpeting that the internet has brought the era of ‘zero-middleman’ commerce as if this is the next arriving stage in economic development, but maybe it is going to be elbowed out of the way by robots, computers, and ‘zero-workforce’ commerce.

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A Chinese company has issued a press release claiming that it has built the world’s largest 3-d printer and as a demonstration it will shortly have completed an exact copy of the cave at Lascaux, to be situated in the province of Sze Chuan.

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The twin jaws of totalitarianism are intrusion into private life and government control; have we realised that they’re closing round us already?

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Is there any hope that scientists in genetic engineering could develop a technique which would weed out people with a tendency to eat crisps during concerts of classical music?

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If a presumption of assent to organ donation is established would anyone care to offer a guess on the result if someone manages to combine it with the legal principle of compulsory purchase (or eminent domain)?

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The Oireachtas in Dublin has unanimously condemned a proposal from the EU that the Irish should give up their traditional pastime of lying for amusement, and switch to the average globalised lying practices generally adopted elsewhere, and with particular vigour in western regions.

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(This one handwritten on a sheet of A5 and headed ‘please stop that Nic!!)

As the pandemic of doping in sport is gradually revealed to those who hadn’t realised it had been going on for years, it has been pointed out that the cleanest area appears to have been the Paralympics. It has been suggested that if sport is not going to be largely abandoned (in favour of knitting or amateur air-sea rescue, or whatever next takes the fancy of the masses) it should build as hard as it can on what is so far untainted, and to this end should establish also a series of Psycholympics every four years, open to athletes disadvantaged by their character. (Those imprisoned might be given special temporary release to take part and this might help them to align their behaviour with normal patterns.) It is anticipated, though, that particular care might be needed to avert unwanted public nudity, while those unable to control anger would not be allowed to compete in the hammer or javelin, and extra referees would be needed in the marathon and the 50 km walk to check that competitors were not thumbing lifts or taking short cuts.

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Linguistic corner no.382. A palindrone is a remotely (un)controlled aerial vehicle that bombs the place from which it is launched

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The Organisation for Recording the Bombing of Hospitals acknowledges the accession in 2015 of Ukraine and Saudi Arabia

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To raise yet more money supporting the vital financial sector, the government (‘Which government?’ Don’t fret, it doesn’t matter; they are all going to do it) is going to privatise private names and set up a non-profit organisation which will control the administration of the future system. Individuals will have to bid for the names that they want to use; a tendering system will be used at least initially, though auction may be introduced at a later date. It is not clear whether under current plans individuals who already have a name will be compelled to submit bids if they wish to retain it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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