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Instant Davids

Grow your best friends from seed

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Cracking the Cheese Genome

Final proof of the existence of cheese

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Comfy Dinners

The only meal you can sleep in

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Oven Chimps

Tasty and nutritious!

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Teaching Carrots to Fly

Adventures in vegetable avionics (external link)

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Did Man Really Go to Belgium?

All that stuff you saw at Mission Control was just for show

02 October 2014

Perpetual Stasis

The idea of a perpetual motion machine has caught the imaginations of inventors throughout history, despite the accepted laws of physics telling us that such a thing is impossible. There have been many who have claimed to have constructed such a device - some have been self-deluding crackpots, others out-and-out fraudsters, but in every case their efforts have ultimately been exposed as failures.

But such a machine, if it were possible, would have a profound impact and it is for this reason that the search goes on, pursued both by professional, fully-funded teams working with the latest equipment and facilities, and by lunatic amateurs pottering away in their garages and garden sheds with bits of string, bicycle wheels and rusty old tins.

Firmly inhabiting this latter category is Herman Gland, who has been working on the problem for more than twenty years. Mr Gland, however, is coming at the matter from a novel direction. He reasons that if it is possible to make a perpetual motion machine - a device which will continue to operate indefinitely without any input of energy - then it follows that it is equally possible to build a perpetual stasis machine - a device which remains static no matter how much energy you put into it.

Gland's initial attempts to build such a machine were understandably basic. He began by nailing a grapefruit to a post, but found that it was ridiculously easy to dislodge. He then tried supergluing a Mars bar to a table leg. This set-up proved slightly more resilient but ultimately no match for the dog, which ate it when Gland popped out to put the kettle on.

Of Gland's early experiments, the most successful was when he left his car parked in a neighbouring alleyway. It stayed there, motionless, for just over eight months before the council finally came to tow it away, which was impressive but still fell some way short of the most commonly accepted definition of 'perpetual'.

In more recent years, Gland has experimented with more sophisticated techniques and has invested in powerful magnets, advanced superconductors and a laser pointer that he bought on eBay. All this was a lot of fun, although essentially pointless.

But now Herman Gland believes that he has accidentally stumbled across the real deal after spotting a broken washing machine dumped in the front garden of the house opposite. The appliance has been there for over a year now, without anyone making any attempt to move it, and Gland firmly believes that it will remain where it is indefinitely.


01 October 2014

Competition Humming

The Fourth International Humming Championship takes place in a field just outside Wigan this weekend and is open to anybody who has a favourite song but doesn't know the words. Two thousand entrants took part in last year's event, simultaneously humming over two thousand different tunes. There were reliable reports that the din could be heard more than thirty miles away.

Organisers are hoping for a better turnout this year. Despite there being no shortage of competitors, there were only twenty spectators last time and many of these were noticeably intimidated at being outnumbered a hundred to one. Additionally, last year's event was augmented by several craft stalls, a raffle and a brass band, and it is believed that these may have been responsible for driving many people away.

Still, the reigning champion, Ian 'Tone Deaf' Crompton, has been very active in encouraging people to come along. "It's a marvellous event," he lies, fondly recalling how he previously romped to victory with his ear-shatteringly hideous rendition of 'Eton Rifles' by The Jam. "I know some people can find humming quite irritating and that the prospect of suffering a couple of thousand folks doing it in unison is only slightly more tolerable than repeatedly slamming you own head in a door, but it's by supporting events such as this that we keep our communities alive. And, on the plus side, the whole thing only last about four and a half minutes, which is barely long enough to ruin your afternoon, let alone scar you for life."


30 September 2014
Pampered Piggies

The ultimate spa day
for pampered piggies

We know that the pig in your life is special. That's why Porkers is more than just a beauty salon. At Porkers, your porcine pet can enjoy a haven of tranquillity in which to relax and unwind from the day-to-day pressures of life in the sty. Set in fifteen acres of stunning countryside, our retreat offers everything your pig could desire to harmonise its inner being, rejuvenate its natural energies and journey along the road to wellbeing.

With luxurious air conditioned rooms, twenty-four hour saunas and en suite mud baths, your pet will think it's died and gone to piggy heaven! There's no pressure, no regime - life is easy at Porkers, where everything is geared to your pig's comfort and enjoyment. Whether it's relaxing in the sun lounge, stretching those tired muscles in the hydrotherapy centre or taking advantage of our premium spray tanning room, Porkers has got everything that the modern executive pig could ever need.

Pig on a sunbed

Ring now for a brochure and get a free spatula!

Porkers

Porkers is a trading style of E.F. Sweeny's Premium Meats Ltd. Quality products from a quality butcher.


29 September 2014

Traffic Watch

Motorists are being warned about the following delays and disruptions to travel today in and around Derbyshire.

  • Traffic is queuing on the southbound carriageway of the M1 between junctions 25 and 24 because of an infestation of Smurfs. The Smurfs were first spotted at 8.30 this morning, since which time they have overturned a Micra, eaten part of the crash barrier and were last seen sacrificing a hedgehog. Drivers are advised to seek an alternative route until the police Anti-Smurf Squad can bring the situation under control.
  • Stanton Road in Ashbourne is blocked at the Cavendish Drive junction by a wall, a couple of raised flowerbeds and an ornamental fountain. Police are warning drivers of the possibility of more spontaneous garden features appearing on roads into the town throughout the morning.
  • Heavy vibes are causing delays on the A52 between Derby and Nottingham. Bad karma is expected to last well into the evening.
  • Traffic at the Little Eaton roundabout on the A38 has started going round the wrong way. This is down to a spontaneous traffic vortex caused by a high pressure front moving down from the north. It should clear by morning, although there is a risk of scattered crashes.
  • The A619 in Chesterfield is closed due to strike action by lampposts. Several traffic bollards have come out in sympathy and are not allowing vehicles to pass.
  • A bad smell is causing traffic to veer off the carriageway on the A57 Snake Pass near Glossop.
  • The A61 has been declared out of bounds and woe betide anyone that gets caught driving on it.
  • Vehicles on the M1 are doing a loop-the-loop near junction 29 after somebody tied the southbound carriageway in a knot. Drivers are advised to put their foot down or seek an alternative route.
  • The A53 has been downgraded to a river. Drivers will need to apply to the Canal and River Trust for a boating licence.
  • There are long tailbacks on Nottingham Road in Mansfield caused by traffic lights shifting into the non-visible part of the spectrum. Police equipped with night vision goggles are assisting motorists until the fault can be rectified.
  • Scared commuters are causing a mass panic on the A514 in Ticknall.
  • Police have advised motorists heading to Dronfield to seek an alternative route. The B6057 has gone soft and traffic is currently backed up while they try to free a lorry that got bogged down at the junction with Lea Road.
  • And finally, police have advised motorists heading to Swadlincote to seek an alternative destination. It's a bog hole.


26 September 2014

Housebreakers Code of Conduct

In response to years of negative criticism, the National Association of Housebreakers, Pickpockets and Miscellaneous Villains has issued a code of conduct. The Association's president, Micky 'Spanners' Johnson believes that this move is long overdue. He hopes that now the code is in place, the public can finally be confident that their homes will be burgled in a competent manner.

"We know that being robbed can be a difficult and stressful time for many people," said Mr Johnson. "And that's made all the worse when whoever has turned you over is clearly some kind of bumbling idiot. People have a right to be burgled to a professional standard by properly trained criminals, and when that doesn't happen it reflects very badly on the rest of us."

All members of the association will be obliged to comply or face financial penalties. The code covers many areas of their work, including health and safety, dispersal of assets and 'grassing to the old bill'. The association has also instigated a formal grievance procedure and members are obliged to leave a leaflet at the scene of the crime with details of how to make a complaint.

"I think it's high time that our industry got its house in order and that the skill and conscientiousness of our members was recognised," Mr Johnson told us. "For too long our good work has been overshadowed by a few bad apples. The fact is, we're not in this business to upset anyone. After all, if my intention in robbing people was to cause as much dismay, grief, anger and despair as I possibly could, then I'd still be in banking."


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Recalled to Life Recalled to Life: The University of the Bleeding Obvious Volume 3

Stuffed with new material and old favourites, Recalled to Life is 280 pages of plumptiousness and very probably exactly what you need to prop up that wonky old table in the kitchen.

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The History of Rock

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Springboard to the Stars

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Teaching Carrots to Fly Links

Archive 1

February 2001
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The Thoroughfare of Success

"Targeted motivational short-term direction objectives..."

Wind Tunnel Technician

"We speak to Maurice Pencil, a wind tunnel technician..."


Random Kevin

"...abuse and ridicule in the comfort of your own home..."

Sofas Are From Mars

"A sofa on the surface of Mars..."

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Animals
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Funky Bumps

EMI have released the world's first CD in Braille. Funky Bumps is a compilation of classic 70's funk, featuring the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes and many others. It can be played just with the fingertips - without the aid of a CD player. Record company spokesman Greg Marsden claimed that this was a major step forward for the recording industry, allowing the blind access to a whole range of music that had previously been unavailable to them. When it was pointed out to Mr Marsden that blind people were perfectly capable of listening to regular CDs just like anybody else, he merely grunted and mumbled something about having to speak to the marketing people in the morning.

Maisy Donnington's Guide to Perking Yourself Up

"You're a miserable old sourpuss..."


Pirates

"Could you support a helpless pirate?"

The Wackiest Person in the UK

"...madcap antics ..."

10 Things You Never Knew About Frogs

"Frogs can jump ten times their own bodyweight..."

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Board Meeting Goldilocks and the Free Bears Death Doom and Disaster Tall Story in a Short Glass Venus by Catapult Barry Buys a Broom

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All material Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2000-2014, and may not be reproduced without the express permission of the author. All characters, companies and organisations are fictitious, and any similarity to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.


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