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B-List Archive

March 2005

Postings to the B-List.

Subject: B-List: Misuse of Equipment + February Postings Reprised
Date: Tue, 1 March 2005 10:57:23 PM

A. Misuse of Equipment

1. "Army pilot rap over pizza flight"
   < >
"A lieutenant has been disciplined after using an Army helicopter to deliver
 a pizza to his girlfriend"

2. "Firetruck 'used to fetch pizza'"
   <,10117,12167607-13762,00.html >
"'Apparently the firefighter decided to take the pumper to a pizza shop at
 Maroubra Junction for a bite to eat,' a relieving fire officer said in a
 letter of complaint to Emergency Services Minister"

3. "Memphis firefighters land in hot water"
   < >
"The Memphis Fire Department has reprimanded 19 firefighters for wearing
 department equipment while performing 'unbecoming' acts at a racy fashion
 show benefit"

4. "Man arrested for stealing dad's police cruiser"
   < >
"A police officer's son stole his dad's cruiser in the middle of the night
 and used it to pull over his ex-girlfriend"

5. "Croatian teenager uses his dad's uniform to fine motorists"
   < >
"A Croatian teenager has been arrested after taking his dad's police uniform
 and stop sign and using it to collect fines from motorists"

B. February Postings Reprised

[If At First You Don't Succeed...]
* "Student graduates after 20 years"
   < >
"A law student from La Plata in Argentina has finally graduated after spending
 20 years on a course"
* "Manure pile finally burns out"
   < >
"It took nearly four months, but to the relief of neighbors miles around, a
 burning manure pile has been extinguished"

[Just the Ticket]
* "Car gets over £1K fines in 4 weeks"
   < >
"A car has picked up £1,680 parking tickets in four weeks"

[Love is a Sickness]
* "Farmer kanga-woos wife"
   < >
"'I just thought my wife already has everything a woman can dream about - me,
 of course, and our three daughters, whom I gave her many years ago - so I
 decided to express my everlasting love to her with two wonderful Australian
 kangaroos,' farmer Elmet Erik said just prior to Valentine's Day"

Subject: B-List: Getting Even
Date: Wed, 2 March 2005 10:56:07 PM

1. "Man gets his own back on crayfish"
   < >
"A man got his own back on a crayfish which gripped his penis with its pincers
 by cooking and eating the shellfish"

2. "Businessman on bulldozer levels Colorado town"
   < >
"A disgruntled businessman at the wheel of an armoured bulldozer has gone on
 a rampage through the business district in the ranching Colorado town of
 Granby, demolishing buildings and terrifying residents"

3. "Grumpy pensioner ploughs up football pitch"
   < >
"A pensioner fed up with footballs being kicked into his garden hired a
 tractor and ploughed up the pitch before planting it with wild oats"

4. "Disgruntled employee calls for strippers"
   < >
"The Shanghai Job Placement Center Monday blocked a local real estate company's
 online account after it posted a recruitment ad for female strippers on the
 center's Website last Saturday... The company claims, however, that the ad was
 posted by a recently fired employee"

5. "Lumberjack's revenge"
   < >
"An angry Austrian lumberjack used his chainsaw to reduce his boss's furniture
 to matchsticks"

6. "Ex-wife exacts ebay revenge"
   < >
"[A]fter 17 years of marriage she felt neglected by her husband, who she says
 spent their entire life savings on baseball cards and memorabilia"

7. "Motorist takes revenge on speed camera"
   < >
"A driver caught out by a speed camera pulled over, broke it open and stole
 the film"

Subject: B-List: Mutant (Non-Ninja) Turtles and Other Animals
Date: Thu, 3 March 2005 9:52:50 PM

Blinky has some new friends.  Some items contain images that may freak you

1. "Shell shock at two-headed tortoise"  [England]
   < >
"A two-headed tortoise has come out of its shell in Dorset to find itself
 in the media spotlight"
   "Rare two-headed turtle found"  [USA]
   < >
"Two-headed turtles don't normally live longer than a year. However, the
 family's veterinarian says the turtle is in perfect health and as long as
 he continues to eat, he'll be just fine"

2. "Six-legged frog"
   < >
"A six-legged frog has been found at a restaurant in China"
   "Girls discover deformed frog"  [Minnesota, USA]
   < >
"A group of girls catching baby frogs on a family pond in Minnesota dis-
 covered a leopard frog with 23 toes. The frog also has five legs"
   "5-legged frog finds new home"  [Mississippi, USA]
   < >
"A cat found the amphibian in Kiln, Miss., and brought it to its owner"

3. "Three-eyed, double-mouthed calf in good health"
   < >
"A calf born in an east Texas town, about 60 miles east of Dallas, is
 thriving despite its two mouths and three eyes"

4. "Two-headed lamb born in China"
   < >
"The lamb, one of four born to the same ewe, has four eyes and two mouths"

5. "Rare albino blue crab found"
   < >
"Its shell was translucent enough to watch the water and air sloshing in
 its gills when it was out of the water"

6. "Hen produces spoon-shaped egg"
   < >
"[T]he hen had laid a spoon-shaped egg, 8.5 centimeters long and 35 grammes
 in weight"
   "Perfectly formed egg found inside egg"
   < >
"The smaller egg measures 3cm in length - around a quarter of the size of the
 egg it came in, which also had a yolk"
   "Hen egg found in duck egg"
   < >
"Residents of a Romanian village are baffled after an elderly farmer found a
 hen egg inside a duck egg"

In case you were wondering who Blinky is, here's a picture:
   < >
and here's a profile:
   < >

Subject: B-List: Modern Law Enforcement Techniques
Date: Mon, 7 March 2005 9:25:28 AM

1. "Lamborghini becomes cops' anti-getaway car"
   < >
"If you are thinking about speeding on Italian highways this year, think
 twice: you might find yourself being chased by a Lamborghini"

2. "Police chief's advice: 'Feed stray dogs'"
   < >
"An Indian police chief is asking bank managers to feed stray dogs to
 encourage them to guard their premises"

3. "Cops hatch pizza delivery plot"
   < >
"Police in Portsmouth hope to enlist pizza delivery people and hotel clerks
 to help cut into underage drinking and parents who allow it"

4. "Police hope large moustaches will 'intimidate' criminals"
   < >
"Policemen in central India are growing large moustaches in a bid to join
 an elite force of officers picked to tackle criminals"

5. "Police chief turns to the long arm of the Lord"
   < >
"A police chief has unveiled a new crime-busting tactic - praying"

6. "Police pray for divine intervention"
   < >
"Police chiefs in Bournemouth have asked church leaders to pray for a cut
 in crime"

7. "Holed-up suspect talks to robot for five hours, then gives up"
   < >
"Authorities negotiating the surrender of an armed man who barricaded himself
 in a home used a communications robot to keep up a long conversation before
 the suspect's surrender over the weekend"

8. "Polish police given bonuses to arrest criminals"
   < >
"Polish police officers are to be given a cash bonus for every criminal they

9. "Spider web sought to net bridge jumper"
   < >
"It wants inventors to design and build a gun that can capture would-be
 jumpers in a spider-like web"

10. "Indian village has no need for police"
   < >
"The village council of Rajsamdhiyala, Gujarat, has kept police away by
 evolving a method of fines to keep crime under check"

Subject: B-List: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Date: Mon, 7 March 2005 10:16:42 PM

When testing web forms that I develop I get bored typing in the same old names
etc, so occasionally I look for something new to type.  Last week for some
reason "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" came into my head.  Then it got me
thinking into how the writers of the song (featured in the movie version of
Mary Poppins, but not in any of the books) came up with that word.  Here's
what I found ...

"Is 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' a real word referring to Irish
  < >
An interesting report about the origins of the word, which fortunately clears
the word of any prurient connotations. entry
   < >

Lyrics and music to the song (for those who like that kid of stuff)
   < >

Subject: B-List: Tacky Marketing Gimmicks
Date: Tue, 8 March 2005 11:16:10 PM

Since about half of the members of B-List mailing list are female, and given
that today was International Women's Day, this post could be construed as a
bit provocative.  So to avoid getting flamed, let me say that I think the
businesses featured in these stories are very tacky indeed :)

1. "Waitresses 'dressed' only in body paint"
   < >
"The waitresses are part of an art project by photographer Hube Salamanca
 who received more than 500 requests from women wanting to participate in
 the project"

2. "Restaurant serves sushi in the raw"
   < >
"A US restaurant that boasts a house special of sushi served on a naked
 woman has sparked furious protests by women's groups but eager diners are
 jostling for seats"

3. "Bikini barbers raise temperatures in Warsaw"
   < >
"The city's numerous bikini-wearing female barbers have been ordered by
 health inspectors to obey safety regulations and cover up while on duty"

4. "Women vow to picket topless barber shop"
   < >
"Plans for a topless barber shop has sparked a furore with women's rights
 groups vowing to organise a picket and shame male customer"

5. "Town considers topless coffee shop"  [expired link]
   < >

6. "Workers at this hair salon wear lingerie"  [expired link]
   < >

7. "'Betel nut beauties' given cover up order"
   < >
"Police in the Taiwanese city of Taichung have ordered the city's scantily-
 clad betel nut saleswomen to dress more conservatively to help reduce car

Subject: B-List: Recent Animal Research Findings
Date: Wed, 9 March 2005 11:08:25 PM

1. "Sheep might be dumb ... but they're not stupid"
   <,6903,1431443,00.html >
"Studies show that farmyard animals have a range of emotions and a sharp
 intelligence... The findings ... offer compelling evidence that creatures
 caricatured as mindlessly dumb can feel emotions usually associated with
 humans, such as jealousy, love and loss. Some are crafty enough to hatch
 machiavellian plots worthy of those who stalk the corridors of Whitehall"

2. "Dogs understand language, researchers say"
   < >
"A clever border collie that can fetch at least 200 objects by name may be
 living proof that dogs truly understand human language, German scientists
 have reported"

3. "Psychologists dissect the multiple meanings of meow"  [expired link]
   <,1413,125~1549~1424630,00.html >
"[C]ats may display many alterations of their standard vocalization
 depending on why at that time they want humans' attention"
[most cat-owners wouldn't find this all that surprising]

4. "What's in a quack?"
   < >
"To the untutored ear it might just sound like a load of quacking, but
 British researchers have discovered that the country's ducks - much like
 its people - have distinct regional accents"

5. "Pet behaviour expert invents mood swing 'wagometer'"
   < >
"A dog expert has invented a device which can tell an animal's exact mood
 by measuring the wag of its tail"

6. "Ouch, that hurts: Scientist claims fish do feel pain"
   <,3604,946261,00.html >
"For years anglers have claimed that fish feel no pain when they are hooked.
 But now a new British study appears to provide evidence that fish do suffer"

7. "Sparrows name that tune from song snippets"
   < >
"Baby songbirds can sing a complete melody after hearing only snippets of
 the tune, researchers have found"

Subject: B-List: 3-D Recreations of Computer Games and Famous Art
Date: Fri, 11 March 2005 3:57:40 PM

A. Arcade games, transformed from computer screen to real-life.

1. Tetris Tower
   < >

2. PongMechanik
   < >

3. GPS:Tron
   < >

4. Project Blinkenlights: Arcade Games
   < >
Use your mobile phone to interact with arcade games which are 'screened'
on the windows of buildings

5. Enter the Overlook Hotel
   < >
"A highly detailed 3-D recreation of the Overlook Hotel. You play the part
 of Duke Nukem, U.S. Marines Special Operative, sent in to take care of the

B. Parastone Mouseion collection
   < >
"[T]he designers of the Parastone studios in The Netherlands have brought to
 life famous paintings by lifting images out of the flat surface"

A Selection:
* Hieronymus Bosch
   < >
   < >
* M. C. Escher
   < >
* Salvador Dali
   < >


Subject: B-List: Getting Away With It - Almost
Date: Mon, 14 March 2005 10:30:14 PM

1. "Woman 'spent more than a year in hotel without paying'"
   < >
"Fumi Takemiya clocked up a bill of more than £14,000 during her 379-day
 stay at a hotel in the southwestern city of Usuki"

2. "NYU student slept in the library - full time"
   < >
"A New York University sophomore who says he spent eight months sleeping
 in a library basement because he couldn't afford campus housing has been
 moved to a free dormitory room... Scores of students read about Stanzak's
 daily adventures on his Web journal,, and he became
 something of a campus celebrity"

3. "Zimbabwe female athlete 'was man'"
   < >
"One of Zimbabwe's leading junior athletes, who has won several gold medals
 in women's events, is really a man"

4. "Woman poses as army officer"
   <,5478,9353725%255E1702,00.html >
"A woman posing as a military officer conned her way onto a British airforce
 base and lived there undetected for five months, even running up a large
 bar bill"

5. "Jail for cleaner who set himself up as a dentist"
   < >
"Using the certificate and a forged document from the Vienna Chamber of
 Medical Practitioners, he got a job in a dental practice as a replacement

6. "Bogus doctor jailed for 10 years"
   < >
"He admitted 30 charges, at Middlesex Crown Court, of preparing psychiatric
 reports on hundreds of asylum seekers"

7. "Bogus doctors surgery operated for more than 20 years"
   < >
"Five women including a former primary school teacher and a waitress ran a
 doctors surgery in Switzerland for more than two decades without being

8. "Arrest in bogus worker inquiry"
   < >
"Detectives investigating a series of incidents on Teesside involving a
 bogus social worker have arrested a woman"

Subject: B-List: Major-League Embarrassment
Date: Tue, 15 March 2005 10:32:24 PM

1. "Arm wrestling robots beaten by a teenaged girl"
   < >
"Flesh and bone triumphed in the first ever man-versus-machine battle of
 brawn - an arm wrestling contest between robots and humans in California
 on Monday. The champion, beating all three robotic arms each in matter of
 seconds, was a 17-year-old girl called Panna Felsen, a high school student
 from San Diego, US."

2. "Double dress disaster for celebrities"
   < >
"Popstars reject Javine Hylton and Page Three model Leilani Dowling have
 turned up at a celebrity party looking virtually identical"

3. "Cheerleader accidentally puts 'I' in 'Team'"
   < >
"Brenning was doing her part in her squads famous home court 'go team' cheer
 when she accidentally yelled out the letter 'I' instead of the letter 'A'
 during the ritual cheer spelling of the word 'team'"

4. "Roadworkers tells motorists to mind the BMUP"
   < >
"[T]he painters also put up a sign that read SLOW MEN WORKING"

5. "Seeds of destruction"
   < >
"Road workers trimming weeds north of San Francisco inadvertently cleared
 away some of the world's last wild examples of a rare plant"

6. "Man crashes after receiving safe driving award"
   < >
"A deliveryman crashed his van two hours after his bosses gave him a safe
 driving award"

7. "600 Thai cops fail traffic law test"
   < >
"The police department last month tested 4,475 officers on their knowledge
 of traffic law, and almost one in seven failed to show adequate knowledge"

8. "Swiss conductor misses her own train"
   < >
"'This pretty young lady with curly blonde hair was still carrying her
 machine for selling tickets,' Joel Gillieron told Le Matin. 'In 10 years
 of taxi driving, I've never seen anything like that!'"

9. "Jetliner Making Runway U-Turn Gets Stuck In Mud"  [expired link]
   < >
"An American Airlines jet slid into a muddy field between the two major
 runways when the pilot aborted a U-turn"


I'm going to have to take a short break from posting items to the B-List.
I don't know how long for yet, but I have some things I need to sort out.
If you suffer from withdrawal symptoms, you can always visit the B-List
Archives, featuring all the posts going back almost 5 years:
   < >

Subject: B-List: Geography Gaffes
Date: Mon, 28 March 2005 7:15:28 PM

1. "Britons just can't seem to find 'Chicago,' 'Dallas' on a map"
   < >
"Sixty-five percent of Britons don't know in which US  city the hit musical
 'Chicago' is set in, according to a nationwide survey for an upcoming TV
 quiz show"

2. "Brits welcome Luvania to EU"
   < >
"Almost one in ten Brits thinks that a country called Luvania will be joining
 the EU this weekend, according to a survey carried out by telecoms outfit

3. "Irish EU stamp replaces Crete with Cyprus"
   < >
"A new Irish stamp issued to mark EU enlargement has Cyprus in place of Crete"

4. "Eurocrats leave Wales off EU map"
   < >
"A bureaucratic blunder has left Wales off a map of Europe on the cover of a
 prestigious EU reference book"

5. "Norwegian prince misplaces Portugal"
   < >
"Norway's Crown Prince Haakon caused a stir in his debut as royal host by
 placing Portugal on the Mediterranean Sea in a speech delivered in honor of
 that country's visiting president"

6. "Microsoft pays dear for insults through ignorance"
   <,3604,1285890,00.html >
"[A] colour-coded world map showing time zones ... showed the disputed Jammu-
 Kashmir region as not being in India - an offence under Indian law. The
 mistake led to the whole of the Windows 95 operating system being banned in
 the country"

7. "Typing error causes nuclear scare"
   < >
"The Sudanese government had a nasty shock this week, when it read on a US
 Congress website that the Americans had conducted nuclear tests in the
 country... However, when alarmed Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail
 raised it with US officials in Khartoum, it turned out to be a typing error"

Subject: B-List: Take it Easy
Date: Tue, 29 March 2005 9:56:33 PM

This post celebrates the fifth anniversary of the B-List (thunderous applause
breaks out spontaneously in cyberspace).  I thought for many hours what would
be an appropriate theme for such a momentous occasion, but then realised that
as usual I'm thinking about it too much.  So I decided to literally "take it
easy" (and no, I'm not inspired by that insipid song by The Eagles).

1. "The virtue of idleness"  [originally from The Guardian]
   < >
"It is a sad fact that from early childhood we are tyrannised by the moral
 myth that it is right, proper and good to leap out of bed the moment we wake
 in order to set about some useful work as quickly and cheerfully as possible."
"I would argue not only that early rising is totally unnatural but also that
 lying in bed half awake - sleep researchers call this state 'hypnagogic' - is
 positively beneficial to health and happiness. A good morning doze of half an
 hour or more can, for example, help you to prepare mentally for the problems
 and tasks ahead." [I practice this often myself - that's what the snooze
 button is for :)]
"The lie-in - by which I mean lying in bed awake - is not a selfish indulgence
 but an essential tool for any student of the art of living. As Sherlock Holmes
 knew. Lolling around in his smoking jacket, puffing his pipe, Holmes would sit
 and ponder for hours on a tricky case."
"Idleness as a waste of time is a damaging notion put about by its spiritually
 vacant enemies. Introspection could lead to that terrible thing: a vision of
 the truth, a clear image of the horror of our fractured, dissonant world."
"The intellectual benefits of being ill are demonstrated and reflected upon at
 length by Marcel Proust. Famously chronically ill and frequently bed-bound, he
 had plenty of time to theorise on being ill: 'Infirmity alone makes us notice
 and learn, and enables us to analyse processes which we would otherwise know
 nothing about."
"There are many examples of the creative power of dreams: Kubla Khan came to
 Coleridge in a dream, as did the tune for Yesterday to Paul McCartney. The idea
 for Frankenstein revealed itself to the young Mary Shelley in a waking dream;
 Einstein said that a breakthrough in his theory of relativity had come to him
 in a dream; Descartes had a dream that set him on the path towards his whole
 philosophical system (he said it was 'the most important affair' of his life)."

2. "In praise of clutter"
   < >
"Many companies these days ... run 'clean desk' policies, requiring employees
 to remove all evidence of work from their desks by the end of the day...
 Although office clutter is usually almost entirely work-related, it tends
 nevertheless to be treated as though it consisted of the dirty socks and crisp
 packets of an adolescent. Workers are confused. They know that creating clutter
 is an essential part of the way they work, but they are made to feel guilty
 about it"
[on a slightly related note:]
"Top 11 reasons a messy office is better than a clean one"
   < >

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to leave my messy desk and go lie down on my
bed to listen to some music ("Hot Fuss" by The Killers if you need to know).


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