Archive for the 'Humour' Category

Chicken chicken

Keith July 23rd, 2008

This is not one of the presentations from KM Australia…

(Thanks, Nerida!)

Zigging and tagging

Keith July 22nd, 2008

“It has always surprised me how little attention philosophers have paid to humour, since it is a more significant process of mind than reason. Reason can only sort out perceptions, but the humor process is involved in changing them.”
- Edward de Bono

The last presentation at KM Australia last night was from Gene Smith. This was one of my favourite types of presentation – wide-ranging, interesting, mind-expanding and minimal text on the slides.

The main topic was the future of information architecture. Among other things, Gene talked about the following:

  • Twitter search – compared to Google, this adds the power of mining conversations, as well as content.
  • Microformats – DOPPLR uses microformats to import your Twitter contacts. (Guess I’d better try this…)
  • Somebody during the afternoon – I think it was Gene – mentioned the Semantic Web in the same category as time machines: “not practical”.
  • Tagging – particularly social tagging (delicious, etc). He also mentioned ZigTag, which offers “tagging with semantic context.”

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Subversion is in the eye of the beholder

Keith July 18th, 2008

“… officials held a press conference to alert law enforcement officials of a dangerous new hallucinogen…”

Problem solving

Keith June 26th, 2008

“It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problem just with potatoes.”
 - Douglas Adams

Where Underpants Come From

Keith June 19th, 2008

Just heard an interesting interview on the radio.  The subject was Joe Bennett, who has recently published a book called: Where Underpants Come From.  You can read more about the book in an article in New Zealand’s Dominion Post

Apparently, Bennett looked at the “Made in China” tag in his new undergarments one day, and decided to find out more.  This led him on a rather strange journey to China, and into Chinese history.

The thing that caught my attention was a story he told of one incident during the journey. 

As I remember the story, he was eating in a small restaurant in a lane-way in a Chinese city.  He was the only tourist in the restaurant, among 30 or 40 Chinese customers. The others in the restaurant fairly quickly noticed his entire lack of ability to eat with chopsticks.  He was “spreading food all over the restaurant, and not eating anything”.  Everyone was very good-natured about it, and some began to laugh at his predicament.  He laughed with them.  One came over and gave him instructions on eating with chopsticks.

By the end of the meal, even though he spoke almost no Chinese, and the other diners little English, they were all laughing and joking together. When he left the restaurant, everyone said goodbye to him.  The waitress even followed him out onto the street to return his tip.

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“OUGH” (A fonetic fansy)

Keith March 11th, 2008

The baker man was kneading dough
And whistling softly, sweet and lough.

Yet ever and anon he’d cough
As though his head were coming ough!

“My word!” sad he, “but this is rough;
This flour is simply awful stough!”

He punched and thumped it through and through,
As all good bakers always dough!

“I’d sooner drive,” said he, “a plough
Than be a baker, anyhough!”

Thus spake the baker kneading dough;
But don’t let on I told you sough!

W. T. Goodge (1862-1909)

(Copied from a book of Australian poetry of uncertain vintage.  All spelling as per original.)

The Story of Sorry

Keith February 14th, 2008

Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generations yesterday was profound, and very moving.  I think it was also notable that the centrepiece of it was a story.  Just one story, of a single person’s experiences.  Yet this was a powerful way of making the speech something more than platitudes.  It showed a willingness to listen, and to attempt to understand, the experiences inflicted upon our indigenous people by authorities until as recently as the early 1970s.

The speech was attended by all but one of the five living former Australian Prime Ministers.

———————-

The Games was a satirical program shown on ABC TV in Australia in two series in 1998 and 2000.  It was written by John Clarke, Ross Stevenson and others.  Episode 3 of Series 2 (3 July 2000) was significant in that it included the following “Apology from John Howard”. 

While the program was satirical, this particular speech was in its own way moving, and almost as profound.  It was read by the Australian actor John Howard, and can currently be seen on YouTube here.  A full copy of the episode script is here

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Quote of the month

Keith February 1st, 2008

Well, the holiday is over – back in the office again this week.  Now that I am climbing out of the email deluge, time to start posting here again too!

My friends at Anecdote have found another blogging app on Facebook – “Blog Friends”.  Seems to offer some different features to “My Blogs“.  Also seems to be a bit buggy…

And here’s a nice quote:

“Si hoc legere scis, nimium eruditionis habes.”

:-)

Season’s Greetings to all!

Keith December 28th, 2007

Thank you all for your support over this year, and all the best for the season – however you celebrate it!

Bailey minding the Christmas Tree

Laugh, eat, drink…

Keith December 17th, 2007

… certainly sounds like the right thing to do at this time of year!  As per an earlier post here, the VPS-CIN ran a Christmas Celebration last Thursday, featuring Humour Australia.  You can read more about what happened on the CIN site. 

Since I attended this session, Troy Swindells-Grose of Humour Australia left some interesting comments on my earlier post.

It was a great session.  Like a lot of these things, it strongly reinforced a lot of what I already knew, and added in some new ideas as well.  I was reminded of one of my favourite quotes:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
 - Mahatma Gandhi

Of course, there is another great Gandhi quote:

Reporter: “Mr Gandhi, what do you think of Western civilisation?”
Mahatma Gandhi: “I think it would be a good idea.”

I was interested to hear about the existence of “laughter clubs” – groups of people that just get together and laugh!  A great way to release endorphins.  During the session, Troy referred instead to “dolphins”, and how when you laugh they swim around and tickle the pleasure centres of your brain…

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