JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Fun on Friday. Smile :-)

..

 This is funny.

..
Michael Davis Ford’s Theater part 2

Yes that is Ronald and Nancy Reagan in the front row.You know it’s good when you watch it again and it’s still funny. Notice the way Davis keeps setting up the audience to expect one thing, then gives them something else. It’s not just with words — like the sentences that start with cliches, and end in … something else –  he does it with his gestures, his eyes, the props. Again and again. It’s that knack of lining up the whole audience to expect one outcome, then suddenly changing tack, dropping the word, the look, or the bowling ball…

For a comedian, the funniest lines are not usually the most sophisticated jokes (even though it can be quite a sophisticated process to set up a simple punch-line). In the science of jokes, it’s more the speed of the snapback and whether he can take the whole audience with him in the same moment. Being too-tricky means half the crowd would be still wondering what happened. The giggles would never become raucous laughter. It’s a critical mass, a phase shift. He’s got it.

We are, in the end, a gregarious species. We laugh as a group.

He’s still juggling. :D

 

h/t Peggy. Thank you.

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78 comments to Fun on Friday. Smile :-)

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    Roy Hogue

    The best humor is done exactly that way. You have to set up your audience for the punch line. I’ve seen the setup happen at the beginning of the act and the final line near the end, minutes later after you’ve been distracted away from where the comedian started.

    This is great stuff. And a great break from reality.

    Thanks Jo!


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    HELP! HELP! HELP!

    I’M STUCK IN THE SIN BIN FOREVER………………..help me I’m sinking, sinking, sinking.


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    Henry

    That was funny, thanks! As an older American, it was nice to see some of our former (somewhat famous) politicians smiling and laughing, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, Tip O’Neill etc. Ah, the good old days! ;)


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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      After watching it a second time I realized how good it was to see President Reagan’s genuine smile again instead of the almost sneer we see on the current president so much of the time.

      America does not know how far down the wrong road it has gone, much less how to get back.


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    pat

    here’s something else that will make u smile. u need to read it all:

    8 Feb: Guardian: Leo Hickman: BBC exaggerated climate change in David Attenborough’s AfricaDavid Attenborough claims in BBC One’s Africa series that part of the continent has warmed by 3.5C over the past 20 years
    Personally, I find it bizarre – and frustrating – that an otherwise exemplary series, which took years to film, has been tainted – in my mind, at least – by such a sloppy piece of research. Why rely primarily on a seven-year-old report published an NGO? Why not just directly ask climatologists who would have the latest available data to hand? And how did the BBC’s researchers even come across such an obscure fact? You get the sense they simply Googled “Africa temperature rise” and went for the first thing they found.
    First Comment, by Ecodev: The article makes valid points, but surely the benefits of David Attenborough using the chance to communicate the reality and implications of human-induced climate change on BBC1 to a wide audience should be appreciated?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/feb/08/bbc-global-warming-attenborough-africa


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      Ace

      Attenborough (Dave, not his late and luvverly brother Dicky)is one of those people whose entire career and reputation is a complete invention of the BBC. There was even a few years ago a late night ad on BBC TV (I haven’t had TV at all since it went digital, a good break) for its science and history shows which listed “The Greats”…Gallileo, Leonardo, Newton, David Attenborough. No I am not making this up, you couldn’t really could you. I wish I had acopy of it now. It was unbelieveably ridiculous and tells us much about the BBC and its Golden Boy Attenborough.

      Why do I detest David Attenborough?

      Attenborough had the opportunity over half a century of broadcasting to explain…as he tried many, many, many
      times…to explain how evolution works, But so muddled and incompetent at conveying simple ideas clearly is that bumped up ballon of hot air that he actually, repeatedly, infuriatingly, did the very opposite. Time and time again he would abridge the adaptive process by saying something like “…there was more food on land at the time so they evolved legs”. Hence reinforcing the befuddled notion that somehow evolution is directed and willful. In effect, therefore, Attenborough actually helped the renaissance of anti-evolutionary ideas and the idea of “intelligent design”.

      Thats it, Attenborough so reliably, repeatedly and incompetently squandered the opportunity to explain evolution that he actually helped create the mind-set in which anti-evolutionary ideas have flourished.

      He talks posh and carries off the act well, but…

      He’s a dick-head.

      Very BBC.

      Very British.


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      • #
        Mike

        A glorified script reader. His posh voice = authority, thus science is settled.


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      • #
        Bob Malloy

        “not his late and luvverly brother Dicky.” ?????


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      • #
        Backslider

        Here is your chance Ace. How did they get legs?


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          David

          Piece of cake. You go to an appropriate supplier and buy as many prosthetics as you like. Sorry – couldn’t help myself.


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          Ace

          You mean you expect me to do in a comment in a minute what Attenborough failed to do with the audio-visual resources of the BBC in fifty years?

          Actually its not that difficult:

          Randomly occurring genetic defects caused by environmental influencessuch as natural radiation, result in a continual succession of deformities among individuals over the life-span of that (presumably some water-dwelling creature) species over millenia. Some of these random defects are actually an asset. For example flippers that are lacking a joint and lack their typical flexibility can be used by the afflicted individual to drag itself far enough out of the water to snap up that crab thats sitting there, where others of his species cannot reach. Such an accidental asset will help the individual to survive and overall, increase his chances of shags in his life. Over millenia, this tendency for deformed flipper number one to improve shagging rates increases their spawning too and thereby the number of little critters inheriting the same defect. Meanwhile, there are other random defects occurring. Wherever these are beneficially in combination there is a double-plus boost to shagging success and consequent passing on of these useful…the term is “adaptively advantageous” …deformities. Eventually there is a convergence of advantage among those combinations of deformities resembling something we might vaguely recognise as legs. This continues.

          The thing to emphasise is tiny advantages from tiny differences repeated over immense stretches of time. That and shagging. Ultimately it all comes down to shagging. Even plants do a version of it.

          Attenboroughs version: “They needed to get to the crabs on land so they evolved legs”.

          The shagging only lead to crabs later…..much later, often on a Friday.


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            Backslider

            I think that both theories are equally ridiculous. How anybody could possibly believe that the diversity and complexity of life owes itself to “randomly occurring genetic defects” is totally beyond me, no matter how long your “immense stretches of time” are. I think that “immense stretches of the imagination” is more fitting. Total, unscientific humbug without any proof whatsoever.


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            Ace

            Well, Backslider, Im not here to defend Evolution theory even though I do subscribe to it. You can take it or leave it as you wish. I do accept that the scale of events proposed is hard to imagine. I would say there is plenty of evidence or at the very least facts hard to explain other than by evolution (why, for example, do many animals have useless adaptive remnants such as the vestigial legs whales carry inside their body). Whether you believe it or not is besides the point. The point is that even I can do better at explaining the theory in a few minutes without rehearsal than David Attenborough has done in an entire career supposedly devoted to it. Any decent biology teacher can explain the theory better than puffed up wind-bag Attenborough whose employers parade him about like hes some kind of genius.


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            KinkyKeith

            Hi Ace

            All of that was well put and is just core science.

            For Backslider, the fact that there are “randomly occurring genetic defects” is the ONLY reason why we are here now on Earth.

            Whether we like it or not, the environment keeps changing.

            IF our genetics was such that we didn’t change we would go out of business.

            Look at Neanderthal man. The perfect adapttation for the ice age. he could not adapt to the environment closer to the equator and died out 30,000 years back.

            Luckily there was another mutation of the human genome that survived, US.

            Only the adaptive mutations survive the New Climate.

            Just as well our genetics is defective enough to throw up new mutations that occasionally strike the right balance with natures current Environment.

            Not understanding Darwinian evolution theory is no reason to rubbish it because it is fashionable to do that.

            It’s a bit like believing in Intelligent? Design.

            KK


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            Gee Aye

            small correction. Genetic defects are caused by errors introduced during DNA replication. Ionising radiation or interchelating agents, for example, might cause a chemical cahnge that leads to the machinery making the error but it is nonetheless an error of replication.

            To backslider. The fact that you claim, rhetorically, that you can’t believe something or that other could believe it, is not an argument. Show us some refutation and you’ll get me on board for debate.


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            Backslider

            It’s “core science”. It’s a “fact”. Did you forget to mention “the consensus is” and “the science is settled”?

            Where have I heard all of this before? :)


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            Ace

            Kinky…I already have two real-world friends called Keith but your moniker forces me to wonder, are you anything like as kinky as them?

            I didnt do Neanderthals inarchaeology and Im no biologist but I dont buy environmental change as their downfall. It seems from the evidence of TV documentaries they left in their wake that they were either slaughtered by Homo-Sapiens, inter-bred with us or were simply pushed out of the good pitches. I think probably a combination of all three. Although according to Philip Jose Farmer there was still one living on a junk yard somewhere in the near future who provided a convenient pretext for writing lurid sex scenes.

            Gee Aye, whilst I subscribe to evolution (and I hope my off the cuff secondary-school attempt at “explaining” it passed muster…just as a rhetorical exercise)you do have to admit that Backslider does have a point in his last comment.

            There are differences between evolution and AGW though. Principally that evolution predicts what should be discovered in the biological record and these predictions have so far been found correct. That makes it genuinely scientific and a contrast to AGW.


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            Ace

            …strictly speaking, I don’t mean AGW but the die-hard proponents of it.


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            Gee Aye

            Ace… Evolution by natural selection or any other area of science or human endeavour cannoty be invalidated because of another thing being invaldiated and “sounding like” something. It is not an argument it is an assertion without data.


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            Backslider

            Ace. You will find that there are a great many creationists scientists, brilliant people, who cannot get published in mainstream journals because of their beliefs (many even if they are not writing creationist!).

            The simple fact is that the science between evolution and creationism is not settled. Both sides have impressive arguments.

            I am not a scientist, so I just rely on reason.


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            Ace

            Gee Aye…I didnt say I agreed with him. I said he has a point. I also pointed out where the analogy between evolution and AGW zealotry fell down. If you just shout at him then in effect you kind of prove his point!


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            KinkyKeith

            Yes Ace

            I agree with all that about the big N.

            They were an unusual group and as you say were not able to compete with homo Sapiens sapiens.

            Their physiology; big brains, big noses, squat shape etc ideally suited them to ice age life.

            Maybe, some of them are still here.

            Spooky.

            ps. If you were a scientist you might revise the comment about creationism.

            Creationism belongs in the deep south and in the Philosophy Departments of some Universities,

            as punishment for having bred and nurtured Global Warming addicts.

            KK


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            Roy Hogue

            Far be it from me to try to defend or shoot down evolution. No way will I go there!

            The question for me is not, how did life get from where it started to where it is today? The question isn’t even, how did it get started? The question is, WHY DID IT GET STARTED?

            Have a go at that one folks. See what you can come up with for a reason that we all exist. :-)

            I think the rest might follow a lot easier if you can answer that one first. And I don’t know; I have no hidden agenda; so it’s an honest question. Put science to work on it.


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            KinkyKeith

            Hi Roy

            I think your question ” WHY DID IT GET STARTED?” is the big unanswerable and may contain or initiate a discussion about God.

            This probably is not a scientific question because there is no science on this and so it’s a free for all.

            Who wants to claim it: Philosophy or Theology?

            KK :)


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            Backslider

            I also pointed out where the analogy between evolution and AGW zealotry fell down.

            No. Your point was not at all about the zealotry, which between the two is essentially identical.


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            Backslider

            “Evolution at work” – http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/animals/mutant-cane-toads-invade-gladstone-20130211-2e83z.html

            I think one of the many difficult questions is: Symmetry? Think about it.


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            KK,

            I haven’t even a little tingle of interest in debate about religion or philosophy. But I don’t believe there have been very many of us since the beginning of humans who have not wondered in some form or another, what does my life mean? Are we simply little blobs of incredible cosmic good luck crawling around randomly on a piece of rock that just by more good luck happens to be very hospitable to us? Or is there more to it?

            Ask yourself why there should be anything at all. Why should there be so much as a single one of the least complicated subatomic particle, much less this marvelous universe all around us? Someone mentioned the complexity of a single celled organism; but what about the complexity of just a single hydrogen atom? No one can even begin to explain how that works or why it’s here.

            Earth clearly started out completely incapable of supporting any kind of life. Yet it just as clearly started moving inexorably toward the point where it could. And then life appears. It keeps going way beyond that until we appear. Do you not realize the incredible odds against that — that is, incredible unless the universe has that plan, that capability built into it from the start?

            Give that a little thought. Unless you can argue that the laws of physics are being made up as the universe goes along (and you can’t), then you must realize that the ability to move from where things got started to where we are today must have been built in from the word go. And that is solid evidence of purpose my friend. I just don’t know what that purpose is.

            This isn’t religion at all, it’s each child growing up and trying to figure out who and what he is; only the species is what’s growing up and asking the question. Don’t you want to know the answer? I do.

            Call it what you will but “why” is by far the more important question than “how”.


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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            PS:

            Maybe it’s time for science to claim the “why” question. We may never know the answer. But the question has gnawed away at the human race since we took our first breath. And I don’t think it should be dismissed just because it looks tough. :-)


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            Roy Hogue

            I guess I might as well add this, which is what I see when I do as I always try to do, look at the total picture available to me.

            I see something that I can only explain (in any terms) if it was created deliberately for some reason, billions of years ago as far as science can tell, in a more primitive form than it exists today and then progressed according to a very specific plan until it reached the point where we are today. This is what the total picture is if you look at it with an open mind. The end result so far is us — smart enough to ask questions but not yet wise enough to answer them.

            Let’s put it in terms of an analogy: if you took a big handful of sand and tossed it up in the air you wouldn’t expect anything to come of it except all that sand would fall to the ground and there it would sit. It would still be just sand. All you would have done is dispersed it around a bit. If you wanted anything more to come of it you’d be out of luck. But according to good evidence, something took a big handful of something and threw it out into emptiness and it didn’t just disperse around a bit, it started to morph steadily into something else until, billions of years later, here we are.

            That stirs both my curiosity and my emotions no end.

            Guys, I have no quarrel with evolution or creationism. I don’t think either one has a lock on all the facts. Both have questionable aspects. There’s simply a lot of information we don’t see. And for that reason my quarrel with both camps is the die-hard demand by some in those camps that I must believe only what they want me to believe. To this I object strenuously. It represents a mind just as closed to learning as the die-hard AGW alarmist.

            Is there a God? I don’t know. But there could be. Could I be totally wrong? Sure. And I don’t like it that science won’t address the “why” of it because that’s the one question we most desperately need answered.


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            KinkyKeith

            Hi Roy

            Of course I want to know the answer and spent a lot of time last year searching.

            I was made aware that the big Bang theory, which I had a reasonably good handle on, was now considered to be a “Mistake”.

            Apparently there never was a big bang.

            So I went looking for the new concept and became enmeshed in stuff like string theory and other, way out, poorly defined ideas that were just waffle without any real substance.

            That’s why I said that there is nothing yet available in science to allow an explanation for how or when the universes originated.

            If you can’t describe the start, it’s a bit more difficult to try and establish a “Why” for that start.

            Of course I would be very happy to have science attempt to explain the Why but before you can do that you need to be clear on what actually happened to begin with.

            It’s a mystery; maybe I was just overwhelmed and gave up too soon.

            Maybe the String theory people DO actually understand the physical implications of their ideas,

            but at the moment they can’t explain it to me.

            I guess what I’m saying is that it’s hard to get to the Why if you don’t know the How.

            KK :)


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            Roy Hogue

            KK,

            I understand the difficulty. As I said, we may never know the answer.

            Believe me I do not want to be anyone’s critic in the matter. But you can’t ever get to the answer if you start out believing you can’t.

            I’ve enjoyed the debate by the way. :-)


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            Roy Hogue

            You’re the third or fourth one to tell me the big bang has fallen into disrepute. I guess I’ll have to bone up on what’s going on.


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            KinkyKeith

            Hi Roy,

            As far as I can put things together, in relation to the Big bang, the astronomers are now moving away from the idea of a definite start point to examining what appears to be an ongoing process in the fabric of the Universe.

            It’s been a year since I tried to look at this stuff but the impression remains that they think the idea of a starting point over 14 billion years ago, is now obsolete.

            This means that the Universe just continues with no start or finish but just a constant regeneration ( and possibly dissolution; maybe down black holes) from events in the background or fabric of the universe.

            The main point seems to be that they are looking at what happens locally in the regeneration process. How is matter created out of nothing?

            They suggest that what we assumed was nothing ie the gaps in space; is now a gel or material which can distort to create matter.

            Too deep for me.

            At least I could understand and relate to the big bang.

            KK :)


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      wayne, s. Job

      One has to look at this stuff from first principals, that the universe seems to be ordered from chaos, that the various elements and their combinations with anomalies that seem to have only one purpose, to support life. That the orderly assembly of DNA from soup seems to be constant would tend to make one think that a very clever system was arranged that could put forth an infinite range of possibilities that through accident and incident could evolve into an infinite range of critters. Thus my take would be that both sides of the argument are some what right, it is not beyond the range of possibilities that they are both wrong and some thing far beyond our ken is at work.


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    handjive

    Quadrant, 7/2/13:

    ❝ Many Australians now find their homes uninsurable against flood or bushfire.

    The moan has already gone up that insuring houses in flood plains like Bundaberg on the Burnett River will now cost $1800 a month.

    But where did the money go that should have been spent on dams and levees?

    And who was responsible for the campaigns that stopped them from being built?

    Because the country has entered an imagined phase of idyllic existence, in the false belief of sufficient wealth to indulge in proclaiming national parks that can’t be maintained;
    * elevating the well-being of newts and dandelions above that of its citizens;
    * squandering billions on education and health policies whose only effect is to inflate federal bureaucracies;
    * genuflecting to the false idols of climate science;
    * pandering to the clamours for special payments from every section of the community that claims itself disabled, disadvantaged or discriminated against. ❞

    So much common sense in so few words.

    So, who to vote for in the 2013 election?

    Which political party will heed the warning about the obvious “false belief of sufficient wealth”?

    A vote for GreenLaboUr is a vote more of all of the above. Wasted money on an industrial scale.
    NBN, NDIS, Gonski, failed MRRT, Dept. of Climate Change. Climate Commision. Budget blues.
    Plus some so many more.

    And, this MY disappointment in Abbott.

    The Abbott LNP, if genuinely concerned about Australia, would identify & stop the waste.

    Starting with the fraud of CAGW. But the slush funds for the climate fraud parasites will continue under Abbott.

    The genuflecting to the false idols of climate science will continue under Abbott.

    The Australian voting system is a preferential system.
    A vote for a “smaller” party means an eventual vote for someone else. Usually one of the 2 major parties.

    But none of the above deserve any votes if they continue their traitorous support for the UN-IPCC agenda 21 trojan horse called Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.


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    jorgekafkazar

    Thanks, Jo, I needed that.


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    Backslider

    Nice to see genuine humour for a change. Today’s comedians who rely so much on trash could learn a thing or two.


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    handjive

    Here is something someone might think is funny.

    Joe Romm, claiming that global warming is causing the freezing blizzard this week on east coast of America, has this post, with a comment in comment section:

    Joe Romm says:
    February 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    “When I write something incorrect, let me know.”

    So I did.

    I commented with these two links & comment, plus original comment above:

    “Australia is the canary in the coal mine for climate-driven desertification, writes Joseph Romm from ‘Climate Progress,’ 2 Feb 2009.

    27 April 2012
    Offical: Australia drought free

    In the cricket vernacular of Oz: Howzat!
    .

    Naturally, it has been censored.

    That’s not funny, “hah hah.”
    That’s funny, “heh heh.”


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      David

      Definitely OUT mate. But given his type he has probably gone to the Third Umpire – a bit like watching a replay hoping for a different result.


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      Roy Hogue

      Guilt by assumption:

      Like a baseball player on steroids, our climate system is breaking records at an unnatural pace. And like a baseball player on steroids, it’s the wrong question to ask whether a given home run is “caused” by steroids. As Trenberth wrote in his must-read analaysis, “How To Relate Climate Extremes to Climate Change,” the “answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be.”

      When confronted with this how do you win? Too bad our climate system has always been breaking records at an “unnatural” pace.

      They remind me of teenage boys with hormones starting to kick in — always thinking they’re the first one in the history of the world to discover girls (swap the genders and it’s the same problem). You all know exactly the attitude I’m talking about. It’s forgivable in the teenager. But in adults…?

      I have some good news for you Mr. Romm. You didn’t just discover “record breaking” weather events. So please get over it before you overheat. Life will be much easier on a more even keel.


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      Streetcred

      … they’re envious of the UL-MO’s flash new super computer. My advice to BoM is stop bitching about your funding and stick your head out of the window, observe the clouds, measure the pressure, etc., like the ‘Old Skool” weather guy did and make your forecasts from what you observe in Nature. Listen to the information coming in from outlying amateur meteorologists, they’re experiencing their local conditions first hand, not from the comfort of an air-conditioned office hundreds of kilometres away.

      When you can start to demonstrate an acceptable level of skill then we’ll talk about your funding … and don’t forget, there at commercial weather forecasters out there doing it better for a lot cheaper … you’re not indispensable as your ‘comrades’ in the Public Service thought they were.


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    KR

    I’ve seen his routine several times – and he’s just excellent. I like the “The razor sharp bowling ball – especially dangerous because you can’t see where the edges are” variation.


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    Say, while we’re having a chuckle, here’s something with a touch of humour about umm, Global Warming.

    It’s from Alan Caruba, an independent blogger from New Jersey. He was badly impacted by Sandy, not with respect to actual damage, but he was without power for ten days, as were most parts of N.J.

    There’s a major snowstorm brewing in the North East this weekend, (similar I suppose to Snowmageddon from a a year or so back) and Alan posted a small cartoon with a short succinct comment at the following link.

    Snowstorm Preparation Tips

    Tony.


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      Dave

      .
      Thumbs up “One”,

      It is Saturday – correct. You should work for BOM.

      Saturday in Scandinavian countries,is called lördag, “lørdag,” or laurdag, the name being derived from the old word laugr/laug meaning bath, thus Lördag equates to bath-day. This is due to the Viking practice of bathing on Saturdays.

      I would join you, but I can’t afford the water bill due to no more dams being built.


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      Joe V.

      In the north east corner of Slovenia is a town of about 12,000 people delightlfully named, Saturday Market.

      Whereas Vikings had baths ?
      To wash of all that blood & sweat I suppose.


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    Jaymez

    Some Climate change comedy for readers:

    In advertising: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Z0S9yRTyw

    In songs which make sense! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJUFTm6cJXM

    In politics, (Language warning) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI_ecafEF6c

    In bedtime stories: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkPQU3UDBM0

    Hide The decline 11 – The sequel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yrd3HYU80Dk

    And in song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCqmZZKhFqg

    I can’t understand why our government didn’t go with this solution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzE3qcWhNDE


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    Joe V.

    You can tell the warmmongering is finished, when sceptics are taking weekends of, for bathing and the like.


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    Rod

    Excellent amazing skill and good humour all round. Reagan was actually quite smart and funny. He was funny in “Kings Row”.


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    You couldn’t make this up – University of East Anglia in the news again criticizing David Attenborough for ignoring “gay” animals on his BBC programme by another taxpayer funded leftie.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276012/Sir-David-Attenborough-gets-mauling-academic–hes-ignoring-gay-animals-BBC-nature-documentaries.html#axzz2KVAOopGg
    charges against Attenborough


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    Roy Hogue

    For those interested: Ronald Reagan on what America is all about — a rebuttal to the Obama attitude now engulfing us.

    This obviously had to have been made before Obama came into the public eye. But he could have been addressing Obama directly at any function you would care to name. It’s a marvelous dressing down without even a hint of animosity or anger. Reagan could deal with anyone without making him an enemy. I wish we had more men of his caliber.


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