Friday, May 31, 2019

Thought for the Day

Funny Friday


It's been colder than a mother-in-law's kiss out there this week, this is a selfie I just took . . . 

No, not true, but it is time to bring some laughter and warmth into your Friday, so here we go . . . 

On their first date, Joe took Rose to the carnival. When he asked her what she wanted to do first, Rose replied, "Get weighed." 

So Joe took her to the man with the scale who guesses your weight. He looked at Rose and said, "One hundred and twenty pounds." Since Rose weighed in at one seventeen, she collected a prize. 

Next they went on the roller coaster. When the ride was finished, Joe asked Rose what she wanted to do next. "Get weighed," she said. So they went back to the man with the scale, who of course guessed Rose's weight correctly. Leaving without a prize, they went for a ride on the merry-go-round. After they got off, Joe asked Rose what she wanted to do next. "I want to get weighed!" she said again. 

Now Joe began to think this girl was quite strange, and decided to end the evening quickly. He left her at the door with a quick handshake. 

Rose's roommate was waiting up for her return and asked how the evening went. 

"Wousy!" Rose replied. 

Johnny is visiting the zoo with his mother. They go to the elephant exhibit, where a big old bull elephant is taking a leak. Johnny points to the pachyderm's privates and says, "Mommy, what's that?" Mommy, seeing the huge member, turns bright red and says, "Oh, that's nothing. Never mind. Come along now." 

A few weeks later, Johnny is at the zoo with his father. Johnny grabs his dad by the hand, and pulls him over the elephants, saying he has a question. Once there, Johnny points to the elephant's member and says, "Daddy, what's that?" 

Dad replies, "Didn't your mother tell you?" 

"Yes, she told me it was nothing." 

"Well, your mom is spoiled, son." 

Joe has always had an uncontrollable twitch in his left eyelid since young. Fred has a splitting headache and asks Joe to go get some aspirins. Half an hour later Joe comes back with a dozen packets of condoms. 

"I asked you to get me aspirins, not condoms." 

"Yeah, I went to a dozen drug stores, but have you ever tried asking for aspirin with a tic in your eye?" 

Limerick of the week (also from the vault): 

A rabbi from far-off Peru 
Was desperately trying to screw. 
His wife said, “Oy vey! 
If you keep on this way 
The Messiah will come before you.” 

From the vault: 

The Indians asked their Chief in Autumn if the Winter was going to be cold or not. Not really knowing an answer, the chief replies that the Winter was going to be cold and that the members of the village were to collect wood to be prepared. 

Being a good leader, he then went to the next phone booth and called the National Weather Service and asked, "Is this winter to be cold?" The man on the phone responded, "This Winter is going to be quite cold indeed." So the Chief went back to speed up his people to collect even more wood to be prepared. 

A week later he called the National Weather Service again, "Is it going to be a very cold winter?" "Yes", the man replied, "it's going to be a very cold Winter." So the Chief goes back to his people and orders them to go and find every scrap of wood they can find. 

Two weeks later he calls the National Weather Service again: "Are you absolutely sure that the Winter is going to be very cold?" 

"Absolutely," the man replies, "the Indians are collecting wood like crazy!" 



Corn Corner: 

My wife always prefers the stairs, whereas I always like to take the elevator. 
I guess we are raised differently. 

My girlfriend was at court today. She walked over and started giving counsel a lap dance. 
Ended up getting charged for sliding down a barrister. 

My wife is really mad at the fact that I have no sense of direction. So I packed up my stuff and right. 

3 unwritten rules of life... 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Quote for the Day

The KISS Principle and Occam's razor

From the vault (May 22, 2010). . .


The KISS Principle and Occam’s Razor (also written as Ockham's Razor) 


The Kiss Principle refers to the acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid or the more polite version, Keep It Short and Simple. 

There are various explanations as to what the principle actually means, but all have the key message that simplicity should be the goal and that unnecessary complexity should be avoided. 

Others have formulated similar concepts and expressed similar ideas in the past: 

Albert Einstein: 
“Everything should be made as simple as possible but no simpler.” 

Leonardo Da Vinci: 
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” 

Antoine de Saint Exupery: 
"It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away". 

There is a similar, but not equivalent, principle to Kiss known as Occam’s Razor, which is usually summarised as “The simplest explanation is usually the best one.” In medical circles this is sometimes expressed as “If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” 

Just as there are a number of formulations of the Kiss Principle, so there have likewise been numerous formulations and reformulations of Occam’s Razor, including the following: 

"If you have two theories that both explain the observed facts, then you should use the simplest until more evidence comes along" 

"The simplest explanation for some phenomenon is more likely to be accurate than more complicated explanations." 

"If you have two equally likely solutions to a problem, choose the simplest." 

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct." 

That is not to say that complexity should always be avoided as an explanation. The more complex explanation may actually be the correct one. However, where both a complex solution and a simple solution are possible and reasonable, the simpler one will usually be the correct one. 

Although there is an overlap between the Kiss Principle and Occam’s Razor, they are not the same. The Kiss Principle says to aim for simplicity and avoid complexity; Occam’s Razor says that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. 

Examples where Kiss not used: 

It is easier to show examples where the Kiss Principle has not been applied. 

One example of the opposite of the Kiss Principle are the cartoons of Rube Goldberg (such as the one above). A Rube Goldberg machine is one which performs a very simple task in an over-engineered, complex fashion, usually by a chain of motion events. There are numerous example on YouTube of people who have built Rube Godlberg machines. 

Other examples contrary to Kiss are: 

"instruction creep”:
where instructions increase in number and size over time until they are unmanageable; 

“function creep”:
where an item, process, or procedure designed for a specific purpose ends up serving another purpose for which it was never planned to perform; 

“scope creep”:
where a project’s scope is increased so that more tasks must be completed, without an increase in budget or time; and 

“creeping featurism”:
where systems become more complex over time as more and more features are added to the original device, plan etc. 

(So who works the VCR, DVD etc at your house? And how many functions do you actually use on your mobile phone?) 

Practical applications: 

Some practical applications of the Kiss Principle: 

- Break tasks into smaller tasks and deal with them as smaller ones. 

- Likewise break problems down into smaller problems and address the smaller ones. 

A related aspect: 

There are numerous interviews with the Great Randi on YouTube. Randi is a professional magician who is renowned for debunking paranormal claims and pseudoscience and who came to prominence for exposing spoonbender Uri Geller. He is also a founder of various skeptic associations. 

In one interview I saw, Randi stated as a principle that where two explanations are possible for something, one explanation is consistent with known laws and principles of the universe and the other requires you to suspend belief in those laws and principles, then the former should prevail until the other is proven. Thus when a child wakes and finds presents at the foot of the bed on Christmas Day morning, it could be that they were left by his or her parents during the night or it could be that they were left by Santa Claus. The former explanation should prevail until the later one is proven. Or if someone talks to the dead: either they are con artists (Randi has duplicated all such feats with simple trickery) or they really do talk to the dead. 

To see the memorable clip where Oz Tonight Sow host Don Lane threw a hissy fit with Randi for suggesting that Lane’s favourite, Doris Stokes, didn’t really talk to the dead, click on: 

Another interesting website to visit is that of the Australian Skeptics: 

By the way:
In philosophy, a razor is a principle or rule of thumb that allows one to eliminate ("shave off") unlikely explanations for a phenomenon, or avoid unnecessary actions, or they are guides to explaining things.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Quote for the Day

Green and Gold Malaria

Some dated references and somewhat bogan but I like it . . . .

Green and Gold Malaria

by Rupert McCall

The day would soon arrive when I could not ignore the rash.
I was obviously ill and so I called on Doctor Nash.
This standard consultation would adjudicate my fate.
I walked into his surgery and gave it to him straight:
`Doc, I wonder if you might explain this allergy of mine,
I get these pins and needles running up and down my spine.
From there, across my body, I will suddenly extend -
My neck will feel a shiver and the hairs will stand on end.
And then there is the symptom that only a man can fear -
A choking in the throat, and the crying of a tear.' 
Well, the Doctor scratched his melon with a rather worried look.
His furrowed brow suggested that the news to come was crook.
`What is it Doc?' I motioned. `Have I got a rare disease?
I'm man enough to cop it sweet, so give it to me, please.'
`I'm not too sure,' he answered, in a puzzled kind of way.
`You've got some kind of fever, but it's hard for me to say.
When is it that you feel this most peculiar condition?'
I thought for just a moment, then I gave him my position:
`I get it when I'm standing in an Anzac Day parade,
And I get it when the anthem of our native land is played,
And I get it when Meninga makes a Kiwi-crunching run,
And when Border grits his teeth to score a really gutsy ton.
I got it back in '91 when Farr-Jones held the Cup,
And I got it when Japan was stormed by Better Loosen Up.
I get it when Banjo takes me down the Snowy River,
And Matilda sends me waltzing with a billy-boiling shiver.
It hit me hard when Sydney was awarded the Games,
And I get it when I see our farmers fighting for their names.
It flattened me when Bertrand raised the boxing kangaroo,
And when Perkins smashed the record, well, the rashes were true blue.
So tell me, Doc,' I questioned. `Am I really gonna die?'
He broke into a smile before he looked me in the eye.
As he fumbled with his stethoscope and pushed it out of reach,
He wiped away a tear and then he gave me this stirring speech:
`From the beaches here in Queensland to the sweeping shores of Broome,
On the Harbour banks of Sydney where the waratah's in bloom.
From Uluru at sunset to the Mighty Tasman Sea,
In the Adelaide cathedrals, at the roaring MCG.
From the Great Australian Blight up to the Gulf of Carpentaria,
The medical profession call it "green and gold malaria".
But forget about the text books, son, the truth I shouldn't hide.
The rash that you've contracted here is "good old Aussie pride".
I'm afraid that you were born with it and one thing is for sure -
You'll die with it, young man, because there isn't and cure.'

Anzac Day march

Mal Meninga

Alan Border

Nick Farr-Jones

Better Loosen Up wins Japan Cup

A B (Banjo) Patterson, The Man From Snowy River

Waltzing Matilda

Opening ceremony, Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, Cathy Freeman

John Bertrand and Alan Bond with trhe America's Cup

Kieran Perkins

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Thought for the Day

Restoration Fails, continued




Berlusconi’s fantasy: 

In 2010, workers installed statues of Mars and Venus (circa 175 AD) in front of the residence of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The statues had been found with missing body parts. 

Berlusconi ordered them to be restored. It turned out okay, but art critics did not appreciate the Prime Minister’s impulse. It is believed that remodeling monuments however one pleases is akin to vandalism because we do not know how the figures looked originally. After this criticism, Mars and Venus were returned to their initial state. 

A lightened painting: 

The Virgin and Child with St. Anne by Leonardo da Vinci was restored and came out much lighter. If earlier it was cloudy dark shades that prevailed, now the painting is dominated by bright colors, as if the action takes place on a sunny day. According to experts, this is contrary to da Vinci’s vision. 

Some experts of the Louvre Committee even quit their jobs in protest against such a restoration. But is the work of restorers really so bad? 

Unrecognisable Lenin: 

Every city in Russia has a Lenin statue. But the one in Krasnodar Krai was unlucky. After the restoration, it acquired a disproportionately long hand and someone else’s face. 

It turns out the monument had such a look for a long time, but the photos did not circulate until 2016. The story even appeared on central television, after which the leader of the world proletariat got a makeover. 

The Great Wall of China: 

The Great Wall of China is the largest architectural monument on Earth, and, unfortunately, it is also slowly decaying. 

Several years ago, restorers unsuccessfully reconstructed one of the most beautiful sections of the 780-meter-long wall, simply covering it with a layer of concrete. 

The case is currently being investigated, and the rest of the wall will be restored more carefully. 

The Castle of Matrera: 

The reconstruction of the ancient fortress of Matrera in Spain was very controversial: the tower began to look too modern. It turned out that the restorer, Carlos Quevado, wanted to make it clear which parts of the fortress are new and which ones are ancient. 

By the way, Architizer, an authoritative community of architects, took the side of Quevado. But the locals still weren’t happy. 

Tutankhamun’s beard: 

In 2014, an employee of the Cairo Museum dropped a 30-pound (10 kg) golden mask of Tutankhamun, and the beard broke off from the relic. Instead of going to the professionals, the woman turned to her husband, a restorer. 

He stuck the beard back on with superglue. What’s more, he chose the wrong angle. At the same time, he stained Tutankhamun’s chin with glue and decided to scrape it off, making scratches. Fortunately, the mask has recently been restored properly. 

A baby with someone else’s head: 

The sculpture of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus in Sudbury, Canada, once suffered at the hands of vandals: the baby’s head was chipped off and stolen. 

Artist Heather Wise volunteered to make a new head, but the result of her work looked more than strange and provoked discontent among the locals. 

But in the end, Heather’s actions played a positive role: the man who stole the real head got embarrassed and brought it back. The sculpture was restored. 

Bonus item: 

Remember how in part 1 of this series there was a story of the elderly parishioner who sought to remedy her Spanish church’s deteriorating fresco of Jesus wearing the crown of thorns? The work was called Ecco Homo, “behold the man”, the Latin words used by Pilate to present a scourged Jesus to a hostile crowd. After the old lady’s attempt at restoration it was dubbed Ecco Mono, “behold the monkey”. 

A new restoration fail in Spain is drawing comparisons with Ecco Mono. Instead of hiring an expert, a church hired a local art teacher to restore a carved-wood sculpture of Saint George. 


Housed at the Church of San Miguel de Estella in Navarre, Spain, the sculpture shows a typical depiction of Saint George on horseback clad in armor and fighting a dragon. The sculpture was commissioned to be restored by the Parish priest of the church and was carried out by the local teacher. Unfortunately, the 500-year-old artwork now resembles something out of a Disney cartoon: The uniformity of the paint distribution has left Saint George with a pink face, beady eyes, and a garish red and gray suit of armor. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Quote for the Day

People are crazy and times are strange

I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

- Bob Dylan

lyric from "Things have Changed"

Readers Write


From Leo M, in response to the post about Jacinda and the Silo: 

Hi Otto, 

A powerful Byte. 

I had read about the Princess Mary one. 

My recollection is that she was wearing the hijab because she was in a mosque. 

I think that should have been explained that she just was not wearing it as a political stunt. 

I also feel that what has upset the people is the use of Arabic on the Silo. I would have gone with just "Peace" and/or "love each other". 

What does it actually mean? 


Thanks, Leo. 

The writing shows the Arabic word for “Peace”. 


From Wayne B in response to the tattoo art: 

The art is amazing and the quote of the is the best way to look at life. Well done Otto 


Thanks, Wayne. 

The quote Wayne is referring to is: 


From Kerrie B in response to the post on Why Women Live Longer Than Men: 

How many were Darwin award recipients? 



Thanks, Kerrie 

Sample pic from that post:


From Tobye P in respect of the post about the naming of Baby Sussex, aka Archie: 

This is hilarious, in the US the name Archie either brings to mind the comic book characters, Archie and Jughead, or Archie Bunker from the TV show-neither are especially admirable characters. 

There are so few Archie’s in the US I have personally never met or spoken to one-and I’m in a business where I hear a lot of names every day. I don’t know of any British ones, although the name may be more popular there…this is supposed to be a “bridge” name that is “unusual” and “unifies the US and UK”? Uh-they don’t need an excuse, if they want to give their kid an unusual name fine, I’m just thankful that it’s not “Blue” or “Zero” or something really weird-that’s hard on a kid. 

I wish them all the best! 

Hope things are going well for you and yours, Otto! 

Regards, Tobye 


Thanks, Tobye 

The Archies referred to by Tobye: 

In Oz, we have another noted Archie but spelt as Archy, the Bald Archy, an art competition that is a a parody of the prestigious Archibald portariture prize.  The Baldy Archy usually includes cartoons or humorous works making fun of Australian celebrities. It is judged by Maude, a cockatoo. 

It began in 1994 and is now a popular event presented in Sydney, Melbourne and other locations. 

Some winners: 

2019: Geoffrey” by Simon Schneider 

2018: James Brennan – “Anh Can Do” 

2017: James Brennan – “Pocket Rocket” 

2016: “NOTHING TO SAY” by Pat Hudson 

From Graham E, in response to the post showing emages from bygone years of bullock trains: 

Hi Mr O, 

Loved the story about bullock trains but you didn’t mention the most famous bullock, Sandra: 

in her most famous role “Steed” 


Mr G. 


Thanks, Mr G. 

Also from Graham G: 

Hi Mr O, 

Here is something for you to muse over. . . . . 

A colourful makeover in the town of Kampung Pelangi in Randusari, Indonesia, is bringing in tourists in droves – and it's all for a great cause. The town, originally called Kampung Wonosari, is home to 223 houses which have all recently been painted a minimum of three bright colours and decked out with murals. Local structures like bridges have also received special treatment. All this colour has been provided thanks to funding from the government, who were hoping to boost the tourism to the area. 

It's certainly working, Instagram is filled with pictures of travellers in front of the colourful buildings and giant murals. The Indonesian Builders Association in Semarang provided the paint and workers for the project, which was completed last month. The residents of Kampung Pelangi are using the increased interest in their brightly coloured town to boost their local economy, by selling food and souvenirs to tourists. The project is going to extend across another hundred or so houses and also includes other important projects like clearing and cleaning the local river. 


Thanks, Graham. 

And still more from Graham G: 

Hi Mr O, 

Have you seen these works by Dutch artist Jan Is De Man ? 


Thanks, Graham.

Jan Is De Man is a Dutch street artist noted for his murals. 

De Man was recently asked by the owners of a building in Utrecht, the Netherlands, who are friends of his, to create a mural on the side of it. De Man took on the challenge and added a little community spirit to it by asking the local residents to suggest book titles to be featured in the piece. Anything was acceptable, except for religious or political works.

(Note the title of the orange book in the middle .. . philosophy?)