Stronger and stabler

BBC: Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government

An agreement has been reached which will see the Democratic Unionist Party back Theresa May’s minority government.
The deal, which comes two weeks after the election resulted in a hung Parliament, will see the 10 DUP MPs back the Tories in key Commons votes.
There will be £1bn extra for Northern Ireland over the next two years.

One-billion pounds for 10 DUP votes. That's a mere £100-million per unspeakable DUP MP.

The Brussels Brexit negotiators must be shitting bricks.

Actually, I think Theresa May might have played a blinder here: when you haven't a leg to stand on, acting insane is probably your best strategy for getting people to fall for your bluffs: she might actually be that crazy.

The SATSASTSM button

I think we can all agree, home entertainment has improved dramatically in recent years. Not only do we no longer have to wait at least five bloody years to be able to buy our own personal copies of the latest films, but we can now watch them on high-definition, wide-screen tellies. Indeed, those of us with more than two ears can enjoy these films in multi-speaker surround-sound. And there's even microwaveable popcorn. What's not to like? (Apart from microwaveable popcorn, I mean.)

But I'm beginning to think we might be taking this ‘home cinema’ concept a bit too far. Nowadays, presumably to add to the authentic cinematic experience, we are expected to sit through half an hour of advertisements and trailers before the main feature begins.

Which is why I have just invented the SATSASTSM button. It looks like this:

SATSASTSM

The SATSASTSM button—or, to give it its full name, the Skip All The Shite And Show The Sodding Movie button—is a special button on your remote control that, as the name implies, skips all the shite and shows you the sodding movie straight away. How brilliantly simple is that? I'm frankly amazed nobody has thought of this before.

There aren't actually any remote controls featuring a SATSASTSM button at the moment, but, for the benefit of all movie buffs out there, I hereby waive all rights to my invention and make it freely available to any and all manufacturers wishing to avail themselves of such an essential killer feature.

You can thank me later.

Dogs’ sneezes

Did you ever wonder why dogs sneeze when they’re excited? They usually sneeze more than once. Dogs are a highly olfactory species: perhaps it has something to do with clearing their noses in readiness for whatever exciting thing they think is about to happen. A Pavlovian reflex of the nose. (Whoever knew Pavlovian reflexes also worked on dogs!)

I wonder if wolves do the same thing. It would seem strange if they didn’t. I find it hard to believe sneezing in excitement is something dogs have picked up since we domesticated them, so it stands to reason wolves should too. On the other paw, sneezing in the excitement of the chase would seem a major disadvantage for wolves: it would be bound to lose them the odd caribou or two.

Mysteries like dogs’ sneezes make life worth living.

Strong and stable

With a mentally ill narcicist in the White House, and a politically moribund, morally bankrupt Brexit appeaser in Number 10, where on Earth is one to turn for strong, stable leadership?

Oh, hang on a second…

BBC: Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solís swallows wasp

Gets my vote.

Cunning linguistics

From a conversation with Jen this morning:

R: Did you know the correct English plural for the word dwarf is dwarfs with an F?
J: Not …V-E-S, then?
R: No—although, when he was writing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien, as an expert in linguistics, decided the word would be far more common in Middle Earth, so would have been corrupted through everyday usage. So he made a point of spelling the plural …V-E-S.
J: I dare say, after working that out, writing the rest of the book will have been a cinch.

Somebody buy the BBC a thesaurus

BBC (30-May-2017): Manuel Noriega, Panama ex-strongman, dies at 83

General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the former military leader of Panama, has died aged 83, officials have announced.

…Although he was never elected to office, Noriega became the de facto leader of Panama, serving a six-year tenure as military governor in the 1980s.

…But the US tired of his increasingly repressive role internally in Panama, and there were indications he was selling his services to other intelligence bodies, not to mention drug-trafficking organisations.

I'm pretty sure the word so steadfastly failing to trip off the BBC's tongue is ‘dictator’.

Millie

Jen and I are looking after Stense's dog, Millie, for a couple of months. She's been with us for a week so far, and I've been sending Stense daily photos of her pooch to reassure her that I haven't been doing anything characteristically irresponsible, such as feeding Millie the rest of Daisy-May.

Anyway, yesterday I decided to send Stense a video update, to show her how Millie's getting on. And as a new video constitutes new content, I thought maybe I should post it here too: