diamond geezer

 Wednesday, April 09, 2003

A selection of entries from h2g2

Life
A Postman's Guide to Letterboxes: "Letter boxes. A hole in the door. 'What could be simpler?' you think. However, if you have to push things through them all day to earn your money, you soon will learn that there are many different types, or 'breeds' of letter boxes, each as dangerous as the last."
Games to Play In a Queue at a Supermarket Checkout: "Having finally trundled around the supermarket, gone through the arduous process of trying to find the best checkout, one finally joins the chosen queue, then waits... and waits... and waits."
Great Ways to Spend a Sunday: "Ah, Sundays. A day so lazy even God himself used it for a well-earned rest. What kind of activities make for a great Sunday (well, other than that activity - we're talking about stuff all the family can do!)?"
Staple Removers: "A staple remover is a device used for removing staples originally implanted by staplers or similar contraptions. The origin of the staple remover is, by necessity, an offshoot of the development of the stapler, resulting from a need to remove staples that have been inserted in error, for whatever reason."
Good Put-downs: "Ever found yourself replaying a past argument in your mind and thinking 'That's what I should have said!' The French have a phrase for it - l'Esprit d'escalier - 'the spirit that passes on the staircase'."

The Universe
The East End of London: "All Londoners have a different idea of where the East End is, so let's start by being clear. To the west, the border is the City of London, to the south the River Thames, to the east the A102M motorway and the River Lea and to the north, Victoria Park and Hackney Road." Phew, just made it!
Driving Etiquette - USA: "Driving in Texas is simple. There are two speeds - stop, and goveryfast. Goveryfast should be reached as soon as possible, which means that everyone floors the gas pedal when the lights turn green."
Central Place Theory as a Measurement of Beach Popularity: "It must be recognised that certain factors can skew the nice geometric shapes generated by the theory. Rocks, tides, topless girls, hunky lifeguards and noisy children will all have their effect. These can be noted and computer models used to correct for them."
The Circle Line: "Simultaneously the most infuriating and the most important line in the London Underground system, the Circle Line has been, and continues to be, the commuter's best tool for getting around the dark intricacies of Zone 1."
Earth: "Mostly harmless."

and Everything
Jack the Ripper - Anonymous Murderer: "Under cover of darkness, anonymity was assured. There were no street lights in those days, merely gas lamps which were lit manually sometimes well after darkness had fallen. The fog, which descended regularly, assisted any visitors to the district in becoming almost invisible."
Advertising - the Creative Process: "Despite the disastrous state of the marketing services industry at the moment, there still remains something of an aura of mystery around advertising agencies. Although different agencies may vary their approach to certain elements of the process, this is the accepted and acknowledged way of doing things."
What it Was Like in the 1980s: "More than just a collection of dates, the 1980s were a time of discovery, innovation, tragedy and creativity. Everyone was a lot younger in the '80s. Especially me."
Paradoxes: "A paradox is an assertion that is essentially self-contradictory, though based on a valid deduction from acceptable premises. What this means, more or less, is that there is some logical problem going on; either the deduction isn't really valid, or the premises aren't really acceptable. Alternately, the premises and the deduction are fine, and the universe really is self-contradictory."
Online Friends: "The lack of face-to-face interaction in online and other types of distant friendships creates a number of complications that would not otherwise exist. Despite that fact, or perhaps because of it, the type of relationships that are formed in the virtual environment are every bit as real and involved as those of the pre-Internet era."


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