A Message by the Queen

A MESSAGE FROM THE QUEEN

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ”like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.

11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).

12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

13.. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

PS: Only share this with friends who have a good sense of humour (NOT humor)!

Horse’s Ass

This is fascinating.

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US railroads. Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used. Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing. Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts. So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder ‘What horse’s ass came up with it?’, you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses (Two horse’s asses).  Now, the twist to the story:

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRB’s. The SRB’s are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah . The engineers who designed the SRB’s would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRB’s had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRB’s had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds. So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass. And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important? Ancient horse’s asses control almost everything … and curently, as we are sure you have noticed, Horse’s Asses are controlling everything else.

{This piece was contributed by a friend and written by someone I don’t know. I posted it just to share it for the fun of it. Apologies to the author for not asking permission before publishing}

Idiot’s Guide to Email Communications

Email is a very effective mode of communication in this fast paced technological age. It has eliminated highly trained letter drafting professionals and given writing privileges to almost everyone to write in whatever way they can. I would like to share few thoughts of my own on how to write effective emails in a corporate environment and avoid unnecessary clogging of your inbox:

  • You should write an email when it is necessary to write; try first picking up a phone and speaking directly to the person. If email was your sole medium of communication than that phone would not be on your desk. 
  • Never ever reply to an announcement and the worst case scenario would be to reply all. 
  • Actually, you should never press “Reply All”, I would suggest to remove “Reply All” button from the toolbar altogether. 
  • Your email should be addressed “To” only one person, use “CC” or “FYI Forward” later only if your email “concerns” additional people. Try not to put your BOSS in “CC” for every single email you write; and never “CC” your BOSS’s BOSS. Never make use of “BCC” it’s bad, really really bad. 
  • Please DO NOT enable “Delivery” and “Read” Receipt for all your emails, this function is totally useless. If you are too curious, enable this feature for individual email message as necessary. 
  • Write your emails very carefully and sentence them politely so that the recipient is not offended with your casual English. It would be very effective if you can sum up your email in few sentences and to the point. Try not to point fingers or blame your recipient or any third party. 
  • Please try to read every email you get in your inbox, especially the ones addressed to you. If a sender has to call you or walk up to your desk and ask “Did you see my email I just sent?”, then you should not use email altogether. 
  • Internal spam is a big problem, so use your email responsibly and do not send spam to you colleagues. 
  • Using stationary, multi line signatures, bold and colored fonts, embedding pictures in your email etc doesn’t do any good. Try composing your email in “Plain Text” as it would be uniform across email clients and portray a positive and professional image of yourself. 
  • Don’t type in CAPITALS as this is considered to be SHOUTING. This is one of the rudest things you can do.

P.S: You are welcome to forward this message to your team members if you feel like. 🙂

Happy 1234567890 Day!

On Friday February 13 2009, at 3:31 PM (PST) Pacific Standard Time, UNIX time equals exactly 1234567890, and while to some that will mean nothing, to others it’s a geek-worthy event.   

So what is UNIX time? UNIX time is a system that describes points in time, without using leap seconds, by measuring the time elapsed since midnight January 1, 1970 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). You can gain some interesting insight on Wikipedia if you want to learn more about the topic. For example, while UNIX time starts from January 1, 1970, the present form of UTC, which includes leap seconds, did not exist until 1972. The days that passed from 1970 to 1972 make no difference in the current system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_time

If you remember Y2K, then you might know some of the issues UNIX time has faced. The Y2K issue, mirroring the paranoia caused by the LHC experiments, led some people to predict the end of the world. This issue was caused in part by the use of UNIX time stamping. The short story is that UNIX time stamping (time_t) stored dates and times in 32-bit formatting. Thus, the fear in that respect was that since most applications and systems used a two digit format for the year, 2000 would end up as 1900. This led to another issue, Y2K38, ( 2038 ) where some software is predicted to fail because of the 32-bit time_t that is used in UNIX.

Allegedly, on January 19, 2038 clocks will go negative, and report a negative UNIX timestamp. This will revert the date to 1970 instead of 2038. To address this problem, several development languages and systems moved to a 64-bit way of keeping time. Even 64-bit usage comes with problems, but those issues won’t happen until about the same time the sun burns out. In the next 20 years, computers around the world will need to be updated to 64-bit which should give them enough time before the next upgrade is due, 293 billion years down the road.

Another aspect of the 1234567890 event comes from the security sector. There are rumors and conspiracy theories that there are some Malware authors who have allowed rogue software to lay dormant until this date, thus once the time arrives, a massive attack on end users will kick off.

So if you subscribe to the conspiracy, then get those tin foil hats on. If you are a geek, then take a second to cackle like mad, its only once in a lifetime that the time is 1234567890. For the history buffs, the last time something major happened with UNIX time was in 2001-09-09T01:46:40 GMT. On this date, Unix time passed 1,000,000,000 seconds.

Credit Crunch Vs Monkey Crunch


If you have difficulty understanding the current situation world financial, the following should help…

Once upon a time in a village in India  , a man announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10. The villagers seeing there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10, but, as the supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their efforts. The man further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back to their farms. The offer rate increased to $25 and the supply of monkeys became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch it!
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys at $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now act as buyer, on hi s behalf.
In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers:  Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell them to you at $35 and when he returns from the city, you can sell them back to him for $50.
The villagers squeezed together their savings and bought all the monkeys.
Then they never saw the man or his assistant again, only monkeys everywhere!

The English Language

The English Language: Have you ever wondered why foreigners have trouble with the English Language?

Let’s face it. English is a crazy language. There is no egg in the eggplant, no ham in the hamburger, and neither pine nor apple in the pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England. French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted, but if we examine its paradoxes we find that Quicksand takes you down slowly, Boxing rings are square. And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. If writers write, how come fingers don’t fing. If the plural of tooth is teeth. Shouldn’t the plural of booth be beeth, If the teacher taught, Why didn’t the preacher praught. If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Why do people recite at a play, yet play at a recital; Park on driveways and Drive on parkways?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language where a house can burn up as it burns down; And in which you fill in a form by filling it out. And a bell is only heard once it goes! English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (Which of course isn’t a race at all)

That is why when the stars are out they are visible, but when the lights are out they are invisible, and why it is that when I wind up my watch it starts, but when I wind up this observation, it ends.

{This piece was contributed by a friend and written by someone I don’t know. I posted it just to share it for the fun of it. Apologies to the author for not asking permission before publishing}