Could you spare just three doubloons a day?
Have you seen these stolen roads?
Bigger, Better, Faster, Now!
Relax with Chickens
Putting your mind at rest
July's Stuff and Nonsense is out, featuring the best comedy, satire, cartoonery and comment from 49 different sites.
A new startup company is hoping to corner the burgeoning amateur wizard market with a new range of disposable wands. This is not the first time that disposable wands have been made available but previously the range of spells they were capable of casting was really quite limited.
President of the Mystic Circle, The Great Magnifico the All Powerful (aka Colin Smith), was sceptical about the new project. "They've been tried before," he said. "There was a company back in the eighties who launched something similar but they were a poor substitute for a proper professional wand. They might be okay for kids trying out some dodgy card trick, but that's about the limit. You wouldn't be able to use one to turn yourself invisible, levitate a bus or saw a lady in half."
Nevertheless, the company is confident that there will be demand for a single-use, all-purpose wand that can be discarded once the spell has been cast. It aims to offer them in packs of five, although plans to have them in stores by the end of the year now look uncertain. Concerns about health and safety have been raised following a number of accidents during development, including one incident in which a test conjuror accidentally snapped one of the wands mid-spell and managed to turned himself into an alpaca.
Coming soon to a TV station near you
An international agreement between major communications providers has agreed a timescale for the introduction of metric phone numbers. Although these have been used in a small number of proprietary internal switchboards, only imperial numbers are currently issued to users by telecommunication companies. To date there have been no major problems with this system, but as equipment is upgraded and fibre optics replace traditional cabling, there is a greater likelihood of incompatibility.
There is also another pressing reason for the change. The current range of imperial phone numbers is limited and as the telecommunications market grows it will soon outstrip demand. Metric numbers have a far greater range as they are able to accommodate a decimal point, and there is even a possibility that negative phone numbers could be used.
However, the changes will inevitably be met with resistance and some members of the public have already made their feelings known. "I don't hold with it," said one angry British Telecom customer when we phoned and pestered him. "All my life I've been ringing up numbers in feet and inches. Now all of a sudden I've got to start using kilograms and litres and goodness knows what. Well, I think it's disgusting and I'm not going to do it. This is worse than when the weather went decimal."
Police forces in the UK are reporting a significant increase in detection rates after turning to social media in order to catch criminals. Last year, a pilot project by Cambridgeshire Constabulary experimented with friending suspected offenders on Facebook, successfully managing to track down a number of wanted felons from pictures of their pets.
The project has now been expanded across the country as senior officials have realised that it is both cheaper and safer for surveillance officers to follow people on Twitter rather than in real life. Not only that, but there are rumours that Google Plus is developing a function that will enable law enforcement agents to arrest people online, while Pinterest is experimenting with software that claims it can reliably extract a confession.
Inevitably, the move towards virtual policing is attracting its critics, but proponents of the new measures are keen to highlight success stories. For example, there was a great deal of press coverage when the Serious Crime Squad cracked a major international counterfeiting ring after connecting with the ringleaders on LinkedIn. But this news was soon eclipsed by an even bigger breakthrough: namely, the arrest of a wanted post office robber who was finally discovered after hiding out - completely unnoticed - on MySpace for the last ten years.
See the full list
Nuns don't grow on trees
With Derek the Fact Crab
A boon to the chair industry
Adventures in marketing
Keyreading for beginners
Stealing horses to order
"Torching the National Gallery..."
"A brutal and vicious game..."
Scientists have finally discovered the highest known number. Boffins working in a top secret atomic research centre hidden beneath the Atlas mountains have been steadily counting upwards since 1966, and recently announced that they reached the number one thousand, nine hundred and sixty-five, before they were unable to go any further. They have therefore concluded that this must be the largest number that physics will allow... Oh, hang on... 1966...
"It's always best to rest against something solid, such as a small horse..."
"How close a Gentleman should get to a Lady..."
"Frogs can jump ten times their own bodyweight..."
"You're a miserable old sourpuss..."more...
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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.
Find out more here.
of the Bleeding Obvious
All material Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2000-2015, 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.