How to dress for your body type

21 04 2013

dress

how to dress





Medicinal qualities of wine…..

21 04 2013

red wine glasses

Do you have feelings of inadequacy? Do you suffer from shyness? Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. It can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you’re ready and willing to do just about anything.

You will notice the benefits of Cabernet Sauvignon almost immediately and, with a regimen of regular doses, you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had.

Stop hiding and start living.

Cabernet Sauvignon may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use it. However, women who wouldn’t mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include: dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration, loss of motor control, loss of clothing, loss of money, loss of virginity, delusions of grandeur, table dancing, headache, dehydration, dry mouth, and a desire to sing Karaoke and play all-night rounds of Strip Poker, Truth Or Dare, and Naked Twister.

WARNINGS:
* The consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
* The consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
* The consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon may cause you to think you can sing.
* The consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

Please feel free to share this important information with as many as you feel may benefit!

Now, just imagine what you could achieve with a good Shiraz…





Flight safety

5 01 2013


photo credit: licensed under Creative Commons from Beverly & Pack


photo credit: licensed under Creative Commons from Beverly & Pack

One of my favourite books, Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (a trilogy in five parts) has its hero travelling the universe interminably seeking….who knows what. Well he thinks he is seeking the earth in some parallel universe – it has been destroyed in his own universe. Anyway, this is actually beside the point.

Because of his excessive travel and excessive boredom, and because he was trapped on a spaceship which was put in suspended animation while they awaited a delivery of moist towelettes so they could take-off, when his flight is actually involved in an emergency, he is the only one who survives because he is the only one who has actually listened to the safety instructions.

Flying with children who are somewhat nervous brought this to mind. They are the only ones on the flight who listen to the stewards doing the emergency instructions, and are the only ones reading the evacuation and emergency procedures card.

Airline staff are one of those stereotypes that often is the butt of comedy jokes. And none-so-more that the emergency procedures which is, after all, the most distinctive thing about them from the viewpoint of the flying public.

Who has not seen a hilarious skit where the stewards turn the safety presentation into a lesson on bondage? Oh – what? only me? Ah well. It stayed with me.

Australian comedian Adam Hills tells a story about a hostie who had integrated some Auslan sign language (Australian sign language for hearing impaired) into the safety presentation. Only in Australia is there sign language for “Fuck you, Fuck youse all” (youse being plural of you, for those unfamiliar with vernacular bogan). I won’t spoil the joke – it can be viewed here.

However, airlines are starting to get in on the joke. Air New Zealand has released this Hobbit inspired safety video. While it is a hit on Youtube, I presume it is also shown on flights. While the safety details are pretty much the same as any other safety video, one would have to be more concerned about finding an orc, or Gollum sitting alongside or behind you….and there are no suggestions how to deal with unpleasant fellow-passengers. Also notable, two of Tolkien’s grandsons make guest appearances, as does Director Peter Jackson. This isnt Air New Zealand’s first effort – a previous safety video (view here) features stewards and passengers wearing…..body paint!

Of course other airlines have tried to make the safety videos mire interesting, notably….Thomson Airlines (featuring small children, this video from Sri Lankan Airlines is animated, as is this offering from Virgin Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Cebu Pacific’s video featuring a choreographed presentation, which must surely make the routine more entertaining for staff, as well as passengers.

Fly safe!





Funny knock knock jokes – yes, there is such a thing!

22 09 2012

picture licensed under creative commons from fiorinolatino

Children have an instinct for humour. Even small babies laugh at something unexpected, however their organised and word-based humour takes a little while to kick in. But they’re keen. Most children rapidly learn the power that being able to make someone laugh conveys. The ability to inspire humour and a positive mood in another being is a powerful thing.

Part of the process of understanding humour and then being able to replicate it yourself, is the types of humour learned from one’s peers at school. As well as the inevitable and apparently hilarious toilet humour (what do you call hundreds and thousands? Smartie-poos. Hilarious! You said “poo”! And while if you have explain a joke it is no longer funny, for the sake of American readers, translate hundreds and thousands to multi-coloured cake sprinkles, and Smarties to M&Ms.), the somewhat existential chicken-crossing-road jokes, and the pun (what did the chicken say when its mother laid an orange? Look at the orange-mama-laid!), there is the knock-knock joke.

As anyone who has been subjected to endless knock-knock jokes by a small child or three knows, knock-knock jokes are not funny. They usually turn around some sort of pun and while I love puns, knock-knock jokes seem to have managed to harness every non-funny pun in the universe with which to torment me. And it would seem impossible to say just one knock-knock joke. They seem to come in packs of between twenty and a hundred. I suspect knock-knock jokes are behind many a minor car accident as a parent has been driven to distraction.

However, I have come across two funny knock knock jokes, and in the interest of balance and making things right in the universe, pun-wise, I present them here for your entertainment and delectation…..

1. A basic understanding of trekkie-dom is required for this one.: Vulcans doing knock Knock jokes.

“Knock knock.”

“I do not understand.”

“Just say ‘who’s there.'”

“But I already know your identity.”

“Yes, but it’s for the joke.”

“This is a joke?”

“You better believe it, brother.”

***

“Knock knock.”

“This is illogical.”

“Knock knock.”

” … ”

“Knock knock.”

“Very well. Who is there?”

“Orange.”

“The Terran fruit or the pigment?”

“It doesn’t matter. Either one.”

“Then I choose Earth’s pithy citrus.”

“…You know what? NEVER MIND.”

…..

“I do not ‘get it.'”

2. I admit this one is probably funny if you are a bit of a grammar-nazi.

Knock Knock

Who’s there?

To

To who?

To whom.





Uncharacteristically, a lesson from the bible…….

16 06 2012





Travel places to avoid

30 04 2012

Some people collect countries like scalps. And not every country has the same value. The more touristy, the less value. The more perceived danger, the more value. Even if you missed the “danger” period by a decade or more. And so I claim Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa – more exotic and exciting than England, New Zealand, Singapore (but no less enjoyable). We did manage to time our visit to Egypt six months after the hand grenade attack on the tourist bus outside the Cairo Museum, and six months before the machine-gun attack on the tomb of Hat-sep-Chut (which I know I have misspelled). The most exciting thing that occurred while we were in Egypt was the 18-year-old armed youth on National Service as tourist police who tried to pick me up in the Cairo Museum (“Come with me and I’ll show you the Tomb of Ramses II” – an original line, if nothing else.) The fact that I was walking with my boyfriend seemed to be irrelevant. (NB: Tourist Police are supposed to guard the tourists – most of them seemed to be 18, carrying loaded weapons and on National Service. Their impressions of western women – and I generalise here – seemed to be somewhat jaundiced. While as Australians, we were somewhat nervous being watched and guarded by armed guards, the South Africans we were travelling with were relieved and said they would be much less comfortable of the guards had not been there.)

The following picture was sent to me at work. I can’t quite work out the “logic” or criteria for allocating each cause of death to each country, but I note that China does not feature as having a notable cause of death. Perhaps the source of their longevity? Not sure the same can be said for much of Central Africa, which also appears not to have any specific notable deaths. And in sheer numbers, shark attacks really do not feature that highly in Australia, despite what we might tell tourists. (Diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and cancer feature more highly, as in many western countries, including England, another notable left off the list.)

And seriously – death by lawnmower in the US? Is that not an episode of Six Feet Under?

Like some more Australian KULCHA (culture) abroad? Try Australians abroad.





And today’s bizarre social media news……

9 02 2012

I haven’t done a social media news round-up for a while, but today seems to have thrown up a couple of bizarre stories.  Stories worth commenting on for their improbability…..

1.  Salem Witch-Hunt comes to a high-school courtesy of YouTube.   This might be a stretch for you, but when I read about the bizarre illness allegedly being spread amongst teenage girls at an American high School – an illness that has symptoms such as tics and spasms – I thought of Tituba and her nice Puritan girls throwing fits in the Salem Courtroom and accusing the gentlefolk of witchcraft.  Ergo (some may say), the internet is of the devil.

OK, a stretch too far perhaps.  But here is the actual story:  LeRoy High School in New York has had an epidemic of teenage girls coming down with strange Tourette’s-like symptoms – twitching, tics and uncontrolled verbal outbursts.  Being teenage girls and particularly now that the media is interested, they have been posting videos of their symptoms online.  Extensive environmental testing has demonstrated no neuro-active toxins in the environment that might be causing such symptoms, so experts have diagnosed conversion disorder – the modern term for mass hysteria. And now there is potential for an epidemic as the symptomology spreads via social networking. Yes, that’s right – a real life computer virus. (You knew that pun was coming, didn’t you?)

Read more in Huffington Post. There’s even a video / slide show section at the bottom where you can test your psychological resilience and/or come down with the plague yourself. You have been warned and no liability is accepted by this blogger for the link!

(For more info on this story see Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”.)

2. Putting censorship to the test. Twitter’s recent announcement that it would with-hold content in some countries in compliance with local laws is to be put to the test by Brazil. Thank-you, contestant Number One. Brazil is using the relatively minor issue of speed-cameras and roadblocks as its test case, suing Twitter for users publicising locations of these devices to alert other road users. (Gee, cos then they might slow down and not get booked for speeding – wait, isn’t the point of it to stop people speeding? Hasn’t the Twitter message just achieved that? And if it is only for a short while and on that road – it is arguable that the speed traps have a similar effect as well, except for lightening your wallet at the same time).

Anyway, the relevance of this article comes back to the Middle East uprisings in Spring of 2011. If Twitter decides it will comply with local laws, then it is arguable that the dictators of an oppressed country will simply make a law saying that social media cannot carry information against the government – and hey presto, the end of any uprising. This comes back to my previous posting Shades of Grey for Social Media. Whether you are a “good guy” is a matter of perspective, and while you may be in favour of people slowing down on the roads (and I am) and support police enforcement of such road rules (and I am), censorship is a slippery slope.

Twitter has now said it will comply only if it believes the requests are “valid and applicable” – both a very powerful and vulnerable position to put themselves in, and one that Brazil apparently wants to challenge. Twitter’s postings on this subject are here: Tweets must flow

3. News to Sheldon Cooper: Mathematics does not hold all the answers. A study into the algorithms used by online dating services has found (shock, horror) that you are as likely to find love in a bar as you are through their websites. While the websites do at least provide you with links to people who have declared themselves available and interested, and geographically appropriate, the comparing of various interests and similarities cannot determine if the sparks will fly and true love will strike. So the Big Bang Theory’s example where they linked Sheldon up with the delectable and bizarrely appropriate Amy, is a fluke – or as Sheldon would say, “what people who don’t understand random numbers would call a coincidence.” Indeed.

Of course that is assuming that it is true love that you are seeking on these websites. (It was true love you were looking for, wasn’t it???) But then if you just want a hook-up maybe the bar is as good for that as well. Probably quicker, anyway. The article is here and will be published in an upcoming edition of Psychological Science in the Public Interest.

There are a few others in today’s bumper crop:

– something about a social network called Path(who?) accidentally uploading people’s entire address books without consent thereby ensuring that I won’t be using them anytime soon. They have fixed it, by the way. (Can anyone tell me if I am missing anything at Path? Other than privacy invasions?)

– And another one about BBC News, CNN and SkyNews grappling with how to deal with Twitter coming out of their newsrooms. They want it to go first on their website for their audiences, then onto Twitter for the rest of the unwashed masses. Oh wait – perhaps “their audience” and “Twitter followers” (aka UWM) are the same people? A watching brief, I suspect.

And finally, an article about Pinterest adding tracking codes to certain pins so they can report back to interested users (aka commercial interests) on activity and earn….money. While it perhaps would have been nice for Pinterest to disclose it was doing such a thing, I think those who have had a look at Pinterest will have spotted that amongst the very many “community” pins, there are certainly some linking back to commercial sites. So the idea that Pinterest might want to (let’s use that horrible made-up word) MONETIZE their site really shouldn’t be a shocker. As the site remains free to use, the bills have to be paid somewhere. I for one am not really bothered.

And I am very disappointed that WordPress did not pick up the word “Monetize” in spellcheck.





New Year’s resolutions – the jokes begin

1 01 2012

So it’s New Year’s Day, I have had my regular joke with friends in Europe and the US (I kindly let them know that the world didn’t end at midnight). So far I have been active on the New Year’s resolution list (although I am still assembling the actions for the “plan” – a phase I expect to continue for most of the year). And the New Year’s Resolutions cartoons have started coming in……. so here are a few of the better ones, courtesy Facebook / Mud Map. Keep ’em coming!

I think this next one is my favourite….although quite why it has talking dogs is not explained….

There are a series of cartoons similar to this next one, doing the rounds.

and reiterating that you can’t change others, you can only change yourself….

…and for those of a paranoid frame of mind, if someone is suddenly nice to you….

This next one isn’t actually a joke, but it is interesting to see the number of New year’s resolutions and the content….Numbers 3, 4, 5 and 9, 10, 11 seem very do-able, for instance….

PS – if you want to get these sorts of cartoons directly, subscribe on Facebook to George Takei, I Love to laugh and FB~ Troublemakers. The last one does have some offensive content, so have a look and see if it is for you before you subscribe.





Stalker-net part II

8 10 2011

In this strange world of both increased and almost paranoid privacy, and the open sharing of all manner of things online, the concept of stalker-net is one I have visited in the past. The context then was the check-in feature of Facebook which fulfills the following three useful functions:

1. Alerts potential robbers to when you are not home

UPDATE 5/11/11: See here for a great infographic about burglers using social media to identify when people aren’t home.

2. Alerts potential stalkers to your current location (and who you are with)

3. For check-ins at home (in bed, eating breakfast etc – we’ve all seen them), alerts potential stalkers to your home address, when you are actually there, and helpfully, provides a little map.

OK – so maybe my paranoia is slightly higher than most, since a really large number of my friends seem to use this function and to my knowledge (and I guess to their knowledge) none of them has been broken into or is being stalked.

I can’t say the new Facebook “subscribe” option made me feel any better about controlling what information I have out there – but then I can’t seem to get LinkedIn to let me block certain people from viewing my account either. Not that there is anything on there that is incorrect or in any way damaging, I just find it creepy that I have a couple of lurkers who refuse to make contact but check out my profile regularly. Yes, paranoia again.

So thanks to Saucy Social Media for the following graphic, which combines three of my major interests – social media, psychology and humour.

And you know what they say – the best jokes contain that grain of truth. I do not however suggest you use this as a diagnostic tool.

If you liked this post you might also like When PR gets it wrong – or click on the “sign me up” button to get emailed updates.





Roaring….with laughter

15 07 2011

I am told I have a loud laugh. When I go on holidays, that is what the office notices – it’s suddenly quiet. (I like to flatter myself that they miss other things as well, but somehow this is what is commented on.)

I laugh at lots of things. Often, I laugh at myself. I laugh at my reactions to various things that happen around the office – “wins”, setbacks, frustrations, mistakes and miscommunications. I laugh if something is amusing. I laugh if something takes me by surprise. I laugh in staff meetings when we report back on some of the funny things that happen in our workdays, some of the strange problems I get to deal with (currently I have a sunken boat I need to get raised – so far out of my prior field experience, it seems bizarre to contemplate). I laugh at the differences in perceptions between myself and others – we all come from our own point of view and the difference between those perspectives is often enormous.

All in all, humour works very well for me. I hope the office understands that they can talk to me about pretty much anything. If I explode it will be with laughter, and then we can sit down and work our way through the problem. Laughter is the best medicine, as they say.

I now have a PA who (as well as having an excellent can-do attitude and being very talented) has a very loud laugh and laughs often. We have become a very noisy end of the office. I don’t think that is a bad thing. The sound of laughter, even if you aren’t in on the joke, sets a pleasant tone, cutting through tensions and underlining that you can enjoy your time at work, even when you are under pressure. People want to be here and they want to work here. Why would you want to work somewhere where everyone is miserable?

We use humour in our staff newsletters. As well as valuing incidental humour such as in staff profiles (which they write themselves), we also have jokes and brain-teasers interspersed with the more serious aspects of the newsletter. Hopefully that not only sets the tone for the entire newsletter, but keeps people reading.

I should be clear that none of the laughter is mean. We aren’t laughing at others, and we have an appropriate seriousness with the sad and bad things we sometimes have to deal with in the human services field. We occasionally laugh at our reaction to others and to events, but not at people, clients or staff. The laughter is underpinned by a compassionate view of the world.

And so a study from the University of Kent that found that positive reframing using humour also had beneficial effects on satisfaction comes as no surprise. Positive morale is good for developing a self-motivated cohesive team. But it is also a quality issue. Positive morale is linked to good judgement – decision making.

So maybe one of the most important things I can do at work is develop a positive team morale. As well as making it a more pleasant place for staff, it is so much more enjoyable for me to go to work there as well.