Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wit in action..

Well, I have this addiction of reading fortune cookies for hours. And I do not even know if I have stated this before on the blog, so readers, if you have heard from me about fortune cookies before, do pardon me. Anyhow, yesterday I landed on some cookies that I would want to be on record. And as arrogant as this might sound, I really do not expect you to find them to be worthy of anything - these ones are purely for me to keep reading over and over and over again and keep smiling. If you do so too, cool enough!

Here goes:

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If an S and an I and an O and a U
With an X at the end spell Su;
And an E and a Y and an E spell I,
Pray what is a speller to do?
Then, if also an S and an I and a G
And an HED spell side,
There's nothing much left for a speller to do
But to go commit siouxeyesighed.
-- Charles Follen Adams, "An Orthographic Lament"
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When the Apple IIc was introduced, the informative copy led off with a couple of asterisked sentences:

It weighs less than 8 pounds.*
And costs less than $1,300.**

In tiny type were these "fuller explanations":

* Don't asterisks make you suspicious as all get out? Well, all this means is that the IIc alone weights 7.5 pounds. The power pack, monitor, an extra disk drive, a printer and several bricks will make the IIc weigh more. Our lawyers were concerned that you might not be able to figure this out for yourself.

** The FTC is concerned about price fixing. You can pay more if you really want to. Or less.
-- Forbes
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No part of this message may reproduce, store itself in a retrieval system, or transmit disease, in any form, without the permissiveness of the author.
-- Chris Shaw
--- snip ---

--- snip ---
A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.
A firefly is not a fly, but a beetle.
A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.
A black panther is really a leopard that has a solid black coat rather then a spotted one.
Peanuts are not really nuts. The majority of nuts grow on trees while peanuts grow underground. They are classified as a legume -- part of the pea family.
A cucumber is not a vegetable but a fruit.
--- snip ---

--- snip ---
There's a thrill in store for all for we're about to toast
The corporation that we represent.
We're here to cheer each pioneer and also proudly boast,
Of that man of men our sterling president
The name of T.J. Watson means
A courage none can stem
And we feel honored to be here to toast the IBM.
-- Ever Onward, from the 1940 IBM Songbook
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If you like the fortune program, why not support it now with your contribution of a pithy fortunes, clean or obscene? We cannot continue without your support. Less than 14% of all fortune users are contributors. That means that 86% of you are getting a free ride. We can't go on like this much longer. Federal cutbacks mean less money for fortunes, and unless user contributions increase to make up the difference, the fortune program will have to shut down between midnight and 8 a.m. Don't let this happen. Mail your fortunes right now to "fortune". Just type in your favorite pithy saying. Do it now before you forget. Our target is 300 new fortunes by the end of the week. Don't miss out. All fortunes will be acknowledged. If you contribute 30 fortunes or more, you will receive a free subscription to "The Fortune Hunter", our monthly program guide. If you contribute 50 or more, you will receive a free "Fortune Hunter" coffee mug ....
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An airplane pilot got engaged to two very pretty women at the same time. One was named Edith; the other named Kate. They met, discovered they had the same fiancee, and told him. "Get out of our lives you rascal. We'll teach you that you can't have your Kate and Edith too."
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Anyone who says he can see through women is missing a lot.
-- Groucho Marx
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These made me stop looking for more :)

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Kiss your keyboard goodbye!
* Stop searching forever. Happiness is unattainable.
--- snip ---

Monday, July 10, 2006

Zidane: I tried to use my head but-t..

The name is Zidane, Zinedine Zidane.

DISCLAIMER: I too am a true admirer of Zidane's footballing skills. What he has done in the past 12 years for international football cannot be overshadowed by whatever happened in the 111th minute of the Italy vs France final match on 9th July 2006. Well, but neither does his stature permit his (re)action in the final against Italy. In fact, FIFA should soon be handing out an interesting 'penalty' to Zidane. Let's wait and watch till he enjoys the consolation - the 'golden ball' award. After all, if he couldn't bring home the World Cup for France, then..

Zinedine YZ (Yazid Zidane) indeed behaved like one. Don't worry if you did not understand what the previous statement meant, it's exclusively for those who understand Marathi well. While a lot has been and will be said about the (in)famous red card incident, this post just focusses on "what mattered" and "what did not matter" because of Zizou's head butt.

Horacio Elizondo, the match referee, would consider himself lucky. I mean, it's the second consecutive knockout match in this World Cup where he has handed out a red card (the previous one ended up in Wayne Rooney being sent out in the Quarter Finals against Portugal). It's the first time in FIFA World Cup history that someone has stood in as a referee in the opening match as well as the final match! Elizondo also awarded a horrendous penalty kick in the 7th minute of the final match, and the one who scored that penalty (our old Zizou), was told to leave the ground in the 111th minute. Well well, statisticians please note!

And as I promised, here is what matters and what doesn't (because of Zizou's head-butting):

5 things that matter:
  • Zidane wasn't even allowed to show his face at the 2006 World Cup presentation ceremony, despite being the French team's captain (Barthez wore the captain's arm band at the presentation)
  • Zidane rued what he did only seconds later - the momentary reaction to whatever was exchanged between him and Materazzi, followed with Zidane leaving the ground in tears
  • Zidane would surely feel frustrated everytime he recalls this incident, for the rest of his life, because he has no more role to play in international football
  • There would be immense pressure on Zidane (as well as the Italian Marco Materazzi) to disclose the exact words that were exchanged between the two
  • The same people who have hailed Zidane to super stardom will most certainly recall this incident everytime when they talk about Zidane
5 things that DO NOT matter:
  • Given the fact that only 9 minutes of play on the field was left, it made no difference whatsoever to the French team to have been playing with 10 men against Italy's 11
  • Zidane not being one of the penalty takers in the shoot out that ensued 9 minutes after him (Zidane) being sent off
  • Zidane wouldn't have to worry about being banned for any number of matches in the future, he is (supposedly) retiring anyways
  • Whatever sum of money he would have to pay as fine wouldn't make a wee bit of difference to the bank balance of someone like Zidane
  • Reading this post :-)
Argentina will wait till 2010 to lift the trophy. Are you wondering how Argentina came into the picture out of the blue? Of course, out of the (dark) blue!