Archive for the 'Humour' Category

Taxonomists – an endangered species?

Keith July 9th, 2007

The headline certainly caught my eye, but this article is more about marine Biologists than Librarians or Knowledge Managers… See the article in The Age. 

Oh, and the dentist quip?  Yes, my dentist did actually walk through the waiting room with a ladder while I was waiting for my appointment.  It caused me to wonder what was going on – but it turned out that he was just replacing a light globe.

You know it’s going to be a bad day…

Keith July 3rd, 2007

… when your dentist walks through the waiting room carrying a ladder.

Flame Warriors

Keith June 13th, 2007

Every met any interesting characters online?

Thanks to Patrick Lambe for sending me the link to this site…

Get used to the 21st century!

Keith June 8th, 2007

They crowd your email inbox all the time – the jokes, funny pictures or links to YouTube videos.  You also get the hoaxes – the fake virus warnings, Nigerian scams, edited pictures and phoney videos.

If something looks real, but turns out to be fake, is it any less funny?  A video that did the rounds late last year raised another question – when is a fake not a fake?

It looks like a TV news item.  Bart Sweeney, a journalist with an American accent, introduces us to “This edition of Spotlight on the World” from Copenhagen.  He refers to the Danes’ “tolerant and casual attitude toward just about everything”.  However, Bart tells us, they are becoming less tolerant of speeding motorists. 

He then shows us an innovative solution being taken to address this issue: “speed control bikini bandits”.  These young women do “whatever it takes so that motorists pay more attention to the speed limit.” 

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Translating humour

Keith June 6th, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to the office…

I was in Sydney two weeks ago, conducting job interviews at our Pitt St office.  As I walked in on the Friday morning, I couldn’t help noticing the woman just ahead of me.  Calf-length black boots, tight jeans, tight black top, long, straight black hair.    She was walking toward the same lift bank that I was heading for, and two other guys were going the same way.

A lift opened, and the four of us walked in.  So far as I could tell, we were all mutual strangers.  The lift started up on its express run to level 22.

One of the other guys turned to the woman and asked cheekily, “Where can I get a pair of boots like that?”

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Reflections on family

Keith March 29th, 2007

“Everyone has a family – even if they are only fictional.”

- Renée

My Generation

Keith March 19th, 2007

British Prime Minister Tony Blair told a self-deprecating anecdote about himself at the Davos Economic Forum.  He had decided to overcome his own computer phobia and enrolled for an IT course in his constituency’s community centre.  At the final examination, he asked a nervous young man next to him if he was so tense because he was next to the PM.  “No,” replied the youth, “I’m tense because I can do this stuff and I’m unemployed; you can’t do it, and you are Prime Minister”.

What makes you digitally literate?  Is it just the generation you were born into?  I’m convinced that it is not that simple.  The quote above is from Patrick Lambe’s book The Blind Tour Guide: Surviving and Prospering in the New Economy.  You can also read the relevant article on Patrick’s site.

In this article, Patrick provides a list of characteristics of the “Net generation” worker, and contrasts these with the pre-Net generation manager.  I find it intriguing to try to place myself on this table.  I am convinced that it is not as simple as physical age.  I can see parts of my world view on both sides.

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Telling stories

Keith January 17th, 2007

The original title at the top of this blog was: “It’d take a lot of it to make a man laugh.”  Why?  Of course, there is a story behind it… 

I heard it from my father many years ago, when I was a child, living on a sheep station near the town of Birregurra in western Victoria.  He relayed this story from his boss – Charlie, the property owner - who was a participant.

It was 15 August 1945.  Everyone in the town was celebrating V-J day – victory over Japan, and the end of World War II.  People were driving up and down the main street, making lots of noise.  Most likely a fair amount of alcohol was also being consumed! A man named Mark Ward, in the transport business, was riding on the bonnet of one of his own trucks.  The driver stopped suddenly, catapulting his passenger forward.  As he slid forward, one leg caught on the front bumper of the car, resulting in a very nasty compound fracture.

When visiting him in hospital later, Charlie commented to Mark, “God, it must have hurt!”  Mark replied, “Well, it would take a bloody lot of it to make a man laugh!”  

This has always seemed to me to be a quintessential example of Australian humour.  Our traditional humour is black, self-deprecating and sarcastic.  Maybe this has been shaped by the harshness of our environment or by the convict origin of European Australia just over 200 years ago.  It is a strong part of our culture.  This is a country where our most holy national holiday (ANZAC Day) is a celebration of a famous military defeat (at Gallipoli).

Stories can convey so much information, often in a few words.  In this example, a brief narrative can say so much more about culture than reams of written analysis.

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