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Archive for the ‘Strange But True’


Candid Camera Conformity 0

Posted on April 10, 2011 by noncon
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I love this Candid Camera video that demonstrates how impressionable we are, and how we will conform to stop looking foolish. And yet most of the comments on YouTube for this video are from people claiming they themselves would not succumb to this sort of peer pressure. Most are wrong. No matter how rebellious people think they are, there will be many social areas in which they will want to fit right in, because they are scared of others thinking they are stupid or ignorant. Marketing experts know this only too well, because if people were not this insecure, advertising would never work, and companies wouldn’t spend billions on it every years.

Enjoy.

Gold, Swimming Pools and Prof Brian Cox 1

Posted on March 16, 2011 by noncon
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So Brian Cox (that’s PROF Brian Cox, not Brian Cox the actor) says all the gold ever mined in the world wouldn’t fill three Olympic sized swimming pools. At first, that seemed unbelieveable, but when you think about it, olympic sized swimming pools are bloody huge!

But some people will just tweet the first thing that pops into their heads and say someone’s talking rubbish, without checking the facts first:

burt_dawg: @ProfBrianCox all the gold ever being mined fitting into 3 swimming pools is surely rubbish?! how do you explain wedding rings/gold bars!

ProfBrianCox: @burt_dawg Why not look it up rather than simply express an opinion – how about Google?

Also, when you think about it; most stuff made out of gold is tiny.

If you were to melt it all, it would be tinier still.

Most gold is not pure gold, which is determined by how many carrots, sorry carats.

Wonder how many carrots would fit into three olympic sized swimming pools? And what would the difference be if you were to grate or mash the carrots, then condense them with three giant condensers?….

Accidents Don’t Exist According to UK Police 1

Posted on November 25, 2010 by noncon
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A few years ago, the British police decided to change the term RTA (Road Traffic Accident) to RTC (Road Traffic Collision).

 

accidentTwo characters on this police forum discussing this topic both feel that the police were right to drop the word accident, including the guy who left the last comment, saying;

“Neither of your scenarios were accidents as there were reasons for both incidents.”

Well, sorry to break it to you, but there is a reason for everything, so you are actually saying there is no such thing as an accident. Yes, there is a reason for every single thing that happens in the universe. Just because you don’t know the reason, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

“My kids are naughty for no reason” – No, they’re unhappy and need positive attention.

“He gets angry for no reason” – No, he has depression or autistic spectrum disorder (includes dyslexia).

“What Causes Bruising for No Reason?” – An oxymoron if ever there was one. If there’s a cause, then there’s a reason.

“He shot the real estate agent for no reason” -  Another oxymoron ;-)

“The car in front careered out of control for no reason” – The car in front is a Toyota (with a dodgy computer, that was eventually recalled after several people died).

An Accident does NOT imply that no-one was to blame. An accident means that its cause was not deliberate. Most accidents are someone’s fault.

“My three year old daughter had an accident” – Your fault. You never took her to the loo.

“He broke a glass vase by accident” – His fault. He was carrying too many boxes and couldn’t see where he was going. Also Mother’s fault for putting the expensive vase where it could be knocked over.

“We’re not covered for accidental damage” – Your fault. You got the cheapest roofer in the yellow pages, resulting in roof slates falling on your car.

 

So folks, you can go ahead and scrub the word Accident from your dictionary, because according to “Sub-seven” (is that his IQ?), for something to be an accident, it has to have happened for no reason at all.

What is more likely to be the actual reason the police dropped the word “accident”, is that nowadays there are a lot more deliberate road collisions, so of course they are not accidents. They are criminal acts designed to claim thousands on the other driver’s insurance. And as it is not always obvious straight away which are the genuine accidents and which are the deliberate collisions, they are all now refered to as “collisions”.

Either that is what Sub-seven meant and he didn’t explain it properly, or he doesn’t understand why they dropped the word “accident” himself.

 

No Bored Singers Allowed! 0

Posted on April 04, 2010 by noncon
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More interesting observations on Musicians-in-your-city.co.uk/mids/agbs.cfm?land=uk. This site gets better!

On its T&C it requires vocalists to sing down the phone to give a sample of their voices BUT states:

“Singers and vocalists who record unmotivated/bored voice samples shall also face deactivation of their account.”

Wouldn’t that exclude an awful lot of commercially successful singers whose deliberate style is such? Every indie band I can think of sounds bored. That’s the style. God, almost every 80s artist sounded bored as hell. Depeche Mode, The Pet Shop Boys, The Smiths, Japan, The Cure, Pulp, and David Bowie (to name but a few) certainly wouldn’t be allowed to register on this site!

Isn’t it also subjective whether someone is unmotivated or bored-sounding?

And why would they care whether someone does sound bored when singing? Are they assuming that these people are just ringing up for a laugh? You have to pay to join, so that doesn’t make sense.

What if an indie band are looking for a bored sounding singer?

I think this is a ridiculous rule. The site is based in Germany despite having sister sites worldwide. Well it couldn’t be British, could it, with a rule like that?

X Factor’s Sacrificial Lambs 1

Posted on November 02, 2009 by noncon
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X Factor's Little Lambs John and Edward

X Factor's Little Lambs John and Edward

When I first heard that Louie invited John and Edward to be part of the live shows, I was perplexed as they clearly cannot sing, and their choreography timing is atrocious – they’re more dyspraxic than I am!

But then I remembered what I was told by someone who worked in television when Same Difference were in a similar position as John and Edward today. The only aim of the show is to make money. Advertising revenue only goes so far and the money to be made from the act who actually wins cannot be determined beforehand. But the phone lines are what shows like this are all about.

What better way to explode the number of phone calls the show will get from the public, than to throw in an untalented act to cause anger and controversy among the public?

John and Edward were specifically chosen for their ability to divide the nation. They had everything that a Sacrificial Lamb act needs:

1. For a start, not only can they not sing in tune, but they have very little strength in their voices (which if they cannot sing in tune, is a great blessing).

2. They were also twin brothers, which is seen as both cutesy and annoyingly sad and embarrassing, depending on your views.

3. They are young and naive, and don’t know they are untalented – perfect! The show can take the piss as much as they like, and the boys won’t even know!

4. They are also good looking enough to ensure thousands of teenage girls will be running up mum and dad’s phone bills.

So Simon Cowell and Louie Walsh agree beforehand that if such an act comes along, “grab em quick so we can clean up!” They must have thought it was Christmas when John and Edward came along and ticked all the boxes.

So with the twins’ only talent for frightening and angering people, the stage is set. Because there are so many more talented people in the competition, the family and supporters of the acts that really do have talent are incensed more and more each week that the boys stay in the competition. And they do everything in their power to get as many people to vote for their loved ones and try to give the twins the boot.

Several exceptionally talented acts have already been victims of this cruel TV practice including the brilliant Rachel Adedeji. But as they went out due to not enough public votes, it’s not a case of a potential winner losing out to this practice – unless they actually win!

The thing that confirmed this theory for me was last week when it was Big Band week. Louie could so easily have given the boys a classic big band song and got the lads to dress up smart and just stand and sing, but no. The boys are now a circus act, so the more vomit inducing colorful dancers there are, the better. The more dancing the twins have to do the better – they’ll be even more out of breath and the poor singing will be even worse. Also the less serious the song the better. ‘She Bangs’ by Ricky Martin was the perfect song to maximize ridicule for the Grimes brothers.

I actually wonder if the female judges are even in on this conspiracy. Dannii shakes her head in despair before remembering to continue the diplomatic charade. Cheryl in particular seems to genuinely believe that Louie is in love with Jedward as they are now known. Then again, Simon will probably have instructed the judges all to act their socks off when commenting on John and Edward’s performances. But comments like “Out of all the acts, yours is the one I most look forward to” tells me Cheryl’s no actress.

I doubt the Grimes can win, but what do I know? Is it possible that the Sacrificial Lambs could sacrifice the integrity of The X Factor itself and actually win? It would be horrific, but kind of a strange karma for the show to have its plan backfire.

Incorrect Shaving Myth 0

Posted on October 23, 2009 by noncon
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shaving-myth

I heard that old overused myth again the other day about hair growing back thicker if you shave. A woman told her twelve year old daughter she should not shave her legs because the hairs will grow back as thick as her father’s beard.

It was the first time I had met this woman and she was in front of her whole family, so I didn’t correct her (I would have done a few years ago when I was a bigger nonconformist). But if a person, male or female, shaves any part of their body; legs, face, anywhere; the only thing that will happen is that the new hairs will grow back with a blunt end instead of a fine tapered end.

Shaving never causes hairs to grow back thicker for as long as you live. Here’s a few more incorrect myths including that one.

Here’s a shaving fact that isn’t a myth: A money saving tip (or should that be money shaving tip?) would be to ditch your overpriced shaving foam or shaving cream. Use hair conditioner instead – all it has to do is soften the hair and skin, and hair conditioner does that perfectly well, at a fraction of the price.

3D images – Wrong Left and Right 0

Posted on September 30, 2009 by noncon
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It’s only 3D when it’s the RIGHT way round!

Over at THIS site, these two pics have been put side by side with the Right pic on the left and the Left pic on the right.

But people are still claiming they can see it in 3D!

How could I tell? After struggling to see it immediately, I suspected something was wrong. Then I noticed that the gap that appears orange between the stairs on the right and the stairs underneath is wider on the right. It should be wider on the left where your left eye is further away from it.

This staircase is actually the perfect subject for a stereo photo too as it has both near and far away things in the frame. I’m all for nonconformism, but I’m afraid with 3D it won’t work unless you conform – so 3D images need to be the right Left and Right!

This is how it should look. Just relax your eyes and line up the two images until, instead of seeing two images, you see three. The middle one will be in 3D:

001Left 001Right

Article Jibberish Autospam 0

Posted on September 30, 2009 by noncon
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I’m aware of automatic article generating tools that rewrite articles and exist in order to prevent being penalized by the search engines for duplicate content, in the case of submitting the articles to many sites (or to change stolen articles). And after seeing some of the results that these tools produce, I’m not in favor of any of them, even if I were to use them ethically.

I’ve stumbled upon several low quality sites that are spewing out this crap, but most were in the day that you could make one-page jibberish sites and earn a small fortune just from people clicking on the ads. I even found an awful, jibberish site by a highly respected marketing guru (although I’ve since learned of this person’s feet of clay) who claimed (when looking for a great vacation destination), “…you can’t go past London” - (you can’t beat London).

A quick “phrase match” search to see if the site still exists, tells me it doesn’t, but proves that the person wasn’t the only one using that same crap article generator tool.

Today I got a very long spam comment on this blog ( I have to install Akismet – I just haven’t got my API key yet) and apart from the huge list of medication I was kindly provided with, the article has to be seen to be believed. Not only has it clearly been through one of these incompetent  ‘word machines’, but I’m not convinced the original author even knows the English language.

If you’re not familiar with these types of articles, they work (or not) by a thesaurus tool replacing certain words for alternative words that are supposed to mean the same thing. But as we all know, the English language ain’t that simple, is it? For example; I’m guessing that “go danger medical notice” should actually read:  “seek urgent medical attention”.

Here’s an edited version of the article:

Obtain [PRODUCT NAME REMOVED] positively as it was prescribed also in behalf of you. Do not steal it in larger doses or looking for longer than recommended close your doctor.

Pocket each dispense with a full glassware of water.

[PRODUCT NAME REMOVED] can be captivated with or without food.

[PRODUCT NAME REMOVED] is normally bewitched not when needed, yon 60 minutes ahead sex activity. The medication can escape effect an erection when genital stimulation occurs. An erection determination not chance very recently by bewitching a pill. Flow your doctor’s instructions.

Do not terminate [PRODUCT NAME REMOVED] more than once a day. Countenance 24 hours to pass between doses. Phone your doctor or go danger medical notice if your erection is exacting or lasts longer than 4 hours. A prolonged erection (priapism) can check compensation the penis. Keep [PRODUCT NAME REMOVED] at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Who’d Be A Celebrity? 0

Posted on September 28, 2009 by noncon
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It only occurred to me today that bad press isn’t the only downside to fame. You and I can choose to go to a funeral, or choose not to. But if you’re a celebrity, you get a truck load of grief (pun intended) if you don’t go to an old colleague’s funeral, even if there is a legitimate reason for not going.

Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor and Madonna were all heavily criticized for not going to Michael Jackson’s memorial service. In fact I read about this type of criticism all the time. There’s always someone whinging about who’s snubbed whose funeral.

Peter O’Toole is the latest victim of this phenomenon, as he didn’t go to the funeral of Keith Waterhouse. He says it was a private funeral, and that he is going to the memorial service. Read more Here.

How many people do we meet over a lifetime? And the older we all get (if we’re lucky and outlive our peers), the more funerals we find ourselves going to.

Celebrities almost certainly meet a lot more people than the rest of us. I mean, think about it – if someone of O’Toole’s age and status were to pay their respects to everyone they ever worked with, they’d have to be at a funeral every single week!

Whether there’s a legitimate reason or not, it’s no-one else’s business which funerals they go to. The average funeral attendee hasn’t spoken to the deceased for years anyway. Showing your love and respect to a person during their lifetime should be more important than turning up out of obligation once they’re dead.

Mac The Hamster Cage 0

Posted on September 19, 2009 by noncon
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imachamstercageDon’t use a mouse with your computer – use a hamster!

A great way to monitor a hamster would be to house it inside a monitor. In this case, an old iMac. Ebay user ak_drummer wants $350 for this glued together contraption, but whether anyone wants to pay that much is another matter.

It’s not got an awful lot of room has it? To me that’s like a human permanently living in one of those two berth 8ft caravans. A novel idea, but I hope no-one actually buys it. The guy should keep it for his own hamster just to vacation in occasionally. What do you think?

Big Spiders 4

Posted on August 29, 2009 by noncon
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BigSpider

The other day my heart nearly stopped. I’m not usually scared of spiders, but this one was a huge spider (for round here anyway) – it was easily 7 – 10cm in diameter (including legs), and it moved very fast too.

The spider unnerved me as it was on the wall next to my bed when I first saw it. I did not fancy my chances of not having a heart attack, should it decide to use any part of my body as terrain while I slept, so I decided to remove it from my flat. I had no intention of killing it, so I captured it by putting a container over it, while placing a post card underneath. I found an empty sugar jar and was able to photograph it before taking it outside and releasing it in the woods.

No doubt people in other countries will think it laughable that a three inch spider is such an unusual sight, but here in the UK it’s not so common indoors (apart from the Daddy Longlegs). The spider’s legs by the way are not yellow or green – they are reflecting the yellow of the tape measure in the photo.

Large spiders fascinate me. I’m sure small spiders would too, but we can see the anatomy much better on larger ones, so I can never resist photographing interesting looking spiders. Here is another spider I saw a few weeks ago. It was smaller in total size, but had a larger body than the one that wanted to live with me. It was approximately 4cm long (including legs).

I haven’t been able to find out what type of spider either one is. But if anyone knows I’d love to hear from you. Just click on the speech bubble at the top to leave a comment, thanks.

OrangeSpider

Dragon Not Naturally Singing 0

Posted on August 24, 2009 by noncon
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Ever used Dragon Naturally Speaking for dictating your muses and turning them into text?

I wondered how well it would take to singing, after it spewed out some gobbledegook after I started singing, forgetting I still had my mike on. Answer: not very well.

Well that’s not entirely fair. It seems to like mod and new-wave better than warbling ballads.
Or rather; words, as opposed to noises!

emot5Here are a few examples of genuine Dragon penmanship, when suffering a duet with yours truly:




“Down in the Chew Station at midnight all will will don’t want to go down this in no will will”
=
Down in the Tube Station at midnight oh ooh ooh ooh ooh oh
Don’t want to go down in the Tube Station at midnight oh ooh ooh ooooh ooh

Down in the Tube Station – The Jam
4/10
Not bad. I probably did sing ‘Chew’ in the haste of the song.




“Here in my car I feel safest of I can knock on my door is it the young and well in in car has been good and”
=
Here in my car I feel safest of all, I can lock all my doors. It’s the only way to live in cars – da da da da.

Cars – Gary Numan
4/10
“Da da da da” sounds like “been good and”? Well it got the first eight words correct! Perhaps I overdid it when trying to sing the synth part.




“and now a knee and I will live alone will win easily in the”
=
And I-ee-I will always love you-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh

I will always love you – Whitney Houston
1/10
I think there’s a freudian message in there somewhere – “…I will live alone will win easily…”
Does that mean people who live alone win arguments easily?




We wrongly they are mainly is moving Echo submarine and there has been re-and in the Ryanair is a fair submarine compares with… (Dragon gave up processing further)
=
We all live in yellow a submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine…

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles
2/10
“Ryanair is a fair submarine”, eh? – better tell them they’re in the wrong business.




Yes, I realize I’m giving my age away with these songs – I’ll throw Lilly Allen into the Dragon mix next time. That’ll be nice for her.





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