Posts Tagged ‘fun’

The E.U is a funny thing. I don’t mean that in an “oh isn’t it funny that Romania and Bulgaria still aren’t full members.” I mean that in a “ha ha, that looks like a ….” way.

Norway remain as non-EU members, sitting happily above Sweden and Finland who are full members. Accordingly, it’s not featured on the map of the EU Europe that graces the Euro coins. Not a problem for them, they have their own currency. But for Sweden and Finland, it makes them the butt of a joke. Well, not the butt exactly…

2 euros

As a regular user of the Euros I was surprised I hadn’t noticed this before. I even had to dig one out of my pocket to check but, sure enough. I have to wonder if this is the real reason Norway haven’t become EU members yet, as it means that Sweden looks like a different kind of member…


Somehow, despite my numerous alerts and scans of the news pages, I’ve only just heard about this. Surely the best news story that has emerged this year.

sega gun hostage

In Brazil late this February, a man named Gustavo (great name) took a woman hostage at gunpoint and held her for a 10 hour hostage-negotiation ordeal with the police after entering the house to recover a R$42 debt.

Only thing is, he did this using a Sega gun. You know the thing everyone used to use on Safari Hunt of Alex Kidd in Miracle World? The very same. To hold a person hostage.

“Stop or I’ll shoot!” And what?? She’ll vanish and enter screen-right again in two seconds?

I’m not sure what’s more amusing – the fact that this guy had the brass jacobs to pull it off in the first place of the fact that it took Brazilian police 10 hours to talk someone using a gaming accessory to let his hostage go.

Seriously: look at it! Does it look remotely real? What kind of guns do they have in Brazil? Maybe they all grew up playing Duck Hunt instead …

Next week:  Xbox controllers become the accessories for kidnap?

This was a shocker, but UK tv channel Gold commissioned a survey that today announced that us “cheery, stuff-upper lip” Brits are in fact the angriest nation in Europe. 

The survey found that, on average, we get angry four times a day while those hot-headed Italians only manage 3.5 bouts of anger. How do you manage half a bout of anger? “What??! Are you… oh, no. It’s ok” ?

The biggest causes for our anger have been labelled as queue jumping, rude service, foreign call centres and traffic jams. Seems perfectly reasonable to get hacked off at that. 36% said that racism and bigotry made them made too. 

The survey was commissioned as part of the channel’s celebration of notorious anger junky Basil Fawlty and head of Gold, Paul Moreton said “we can all relate to a Basil Fawlty type character but there’s something quite endearing about Basil. After all, he is quintessentially British!”

Given the time of Fawlty Towers, I’d love to see how Basil reacted to trying to phone his bank, having found his branch closed, and be put through to a foreign call centre where nobody has that good a grasp of English. 

The survey questioned six thousand adults from Britain, Spain,  Italy, Austria, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Sweeden, Norway, Denmark and, of course, the French.

The French admitted to losing their temper three times a day and claim their biggest annoyance being bad food and restaurant service. I spend a lot of time in Paris and I should add the French to what makes this Brit angry, I find it highly hypocritical for them to complain about restaurant service when they fail to give even basic service anywhere else. Would it kill them to acknowledge a customer once in a while? 

I wonder how angry the Americans get, what hacks off an American?

For a company once so deep in the quagmire of jokes, bad pr and general ugly cars, it’s good to see that Skoda have finally learnt how to sell a new car – stock the display stand with scantily clad women. And a yeti. 


There's a car in there somewhere

There's a car in there somewhere

To me there’s three things of note in this. One, it’s great that the new Skoda see’s them moving into their first 4×4 and taking on the likes of the Ford Kuga, that this company’s time seems to be here is an underdog story to rival Rocky. The second is that the car itself looks very good for its type. The third is that somehow this photo has become victim of a photo-bomber on the big screen.

While I wouldn’t swap my weekend (I spent it in Paris, the city I’m lucky enough to know as my second home) with anything, I do wish I’d been able to attend a treasure hunt that happened this weekend.

I’ve been on precious few treasure hunts (or scavenger hunts, call them what you will) and the last one was about 10 years ago with the Harley Owners Group and involved trying to beat a lot of bikers collecting and guessing clues across Surrey. I was in a car, to clear that up. 

Since then times have, unsurprisingly, changed and it seems treasure hunts have too and now Flickr are part of the fun with Flickr Scavenger Hunts. This weekend there was a second one held by the London Transport Museum. 

I love the sound of these treasure hunts: tearing across London (though not always fun given the engineering works taking place on some lines) finding and taking pictures of the answers to 20 questions and picture clues with extra points given to shots of stuff like fire buckets and timepieces. 

While it’ll obviously be a while before all of the photos are up on their owners’ Flickr accounts I know I’m going to be watching with interest and keeping my online ear out for details of the next one. Sounds like a lot more fun than going around town trying to get a traffic cone, an old house number and a seagull feather (strange memories from my youth, don’t ask). 

With the increasing habit of live blogging and internet broadcasting I do wonder what’s next.

Coming back from holiday and heading to work in the cold and snow is never easy. The last thing you need to find when catching up on your emails is this:


My favourite source of comic glee – Cyanide and Happiness – proclaiming me dead. I was tempted to run this post with the title “Rumours of my death..” but then I realised I’d be stepping on Steve Jobs’ current territory and I love Apple too much to do that. That’s right: I’m a mac trapped in a PC user.

So where have I been? I haven’t been ill, I’ve simply been off exploring the world and, as mentioned before, I try and keep away from the lure of the computer and social media while I’m away. You need to have a life in order to talk about it, right?

Crawling along the main road near my house that leads to a motor way is never fun, even without the snow. Mainly because it’s used by the school run and if I don’t time my departure from home just right, I get stuck in the traffic. Made worse today by an inconsiderate builders merchant and their ridiculous kerbside drop off in a hiab. It’s often while stuck in said traffic that I sit and as all the school children walk past I have to admit, I miss school.

Not so much the early mornings but when the only thing to worry about was getting last week’s geography homework done is surely favourable to worrying about sending off credit card payments on time.

The ‘working’ element of the day was so much better too. While I’m sure I created a stink and bitched about certain subjects, I’d be more than happy to finish up the day at 3;30 now and still have an hour for lunch. There was none of this time management concern either, it was done for us in neat little 50 minute chunks. It’s not like the English teacher burst into the Maths lesson with an urgent requirement for a one-off paragraph on Macbeth.

That’s another thing: teachers. They actually answered questions. Suddenly we’re expected to know the answers and finding them out is a damn site trickier than simply raising a hand and asking “what’s photosynthesis?”

It’s also a little strange that I didn’t appreciate P.E. True, in this weather nobody except complete and utter sadists would love to run around the rugby pitch, but now I actually want exercise and without the structured time-management the shcool timetable offered I have to fit it in around other activities whereas in school it was obligatory. Although I do think the gym with the iPod is preferable to cross-country running in the damp and teachers blowing whistles.

Friends, too. Back in school they were there all day with you and you could easily have a laugh. Now you have to schedule time and arrange meeting up.

Perhaps it’s the effect of winter, but I’m starting to think that certain people were right when they said I’d look back on my school days and miss them. These days there’s more fun involved in school. There’s all these learning academies where they focus more on fun and new technologies, it’s more about media studies, Business and ICT and sports sciences sixth form courses than learning about plant reproduction. Times are changing fast.

I can feel a rant / article coming on. Am I the only one that elements of being at school? Yeah there were some undesirable elements but it seemed like it was a whole lot easier back then.