Two Nations Divided by a Common Language

Dara Ó Briain recently posted this video on Twitter to show just how different the Irish and British are in spite of a couple of centuries of speaking the same language.

In the early days of living together, I asked Ang to put the messages in the press.  While simultaneously trying to figure out when I’d installed a device for receiving emails into an iron and dialling NHS Direct to get an ambulance sent out she didn’t realise that her first forays into Hiberno-English were occurring.  Nowadays things are regularly grand in our house – to be sure things are rarely things any more, but yokes – and the expletive of choice is feck.

In return I’ve started saying “Ta ra!” and Tidy, which sound quite daft in a Dublin accent.

At least I didn’t mention the Immersion.

It’s Christmas in Heaven


It’s September and you’re displaying Advent calendars.

Really Morrison’s?

It’s September.

Advent. Calendars.


Giving the Schafernaker

Ben and Tom had the idea of getting the phrase giving the Schafernaker into common usage, just like the Santorum (NSFW) and lifting your luggage (NSFHypocrites).

Next time you’re cut up on the motorway, pushed about on the Tube, or just plain fed up with the world consider giving the Schafernaker.

Due to engineering works Platform 9 3/4 is closed


Today’s commute was slightly more exciting this morning due to filming of the final scenes of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II.  Network Rail staff were less amused as commuters blocked up platform 3 trying to get photos for their children.  ‘Course I only took this for Ang’s sake.

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Gangsta for life

Big Read

Reading listImage by jakebouma via Flickr

How many of the BBC Big Read books have you read?

Look at the list and put an ‘x’ after those you have read.

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien X
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible X
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell X

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman X
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens X

11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien X

17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams X

26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll X

30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis X

34 Emma – Jane Austen

35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis X

37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini X
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

41 Animal Farm – George Orwell X

42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown X

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44 A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving

45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

52 Dune – Frank Herbert X

53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley X

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon X

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold X

65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens X

72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson X

75 Ulysses – James Joyce

76 The Inferno – Dante X
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal – Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80 Possession – AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens X

82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker X

84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White X

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom X

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan X

90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton X

91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas X

98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Ronald Dahl X

100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

(via My Own Little Region of Space)

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ISTJ – The Duty Fulfillers

ISTJ Myers Briggs typeVia Metafilter, Typealyzer reckons the Myers-Briggs type of my writing appears to be INTJ:

The responsible and hardworking type. They are especially attuned to the details of life and are careful about getting the facts right. Conservative by nature they are often reluctant to take any risks whatsoever.

The Duty Fulfillers are happy to be let alone and to be able to work int heir own pace. They know what they have to do and how to do it.

Oddly enough, I usually test as INTP.

Saturday Night at the Movies

The IMDb logo.Image via WikipediaJason Kottke links to Film Addict which takes a list of the 250 top-rated films on IMDB and scores you on how many you’ve seen. My score is 47.6%, what’s yours?

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The world’s in a state of chassis Juno

Tiger mothA couple of nights ago we were settling down for the night when this thing on the left started dive bombing the bed. With no clue as to how an insect managed to survive this long into the winter or even that night, when the outside temperature was a couple of degrees below freezing we assumed that it came back with us from a week’s holiday in Malta. Turns out it was a Peacock Butterfly and was probably asleep in a cupboard somewhere but thought it was spring when the heating came on.

I’m nervous about what else might be lying dormant…

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Yeah boyee

From our US correspondent:

So, in a bar in Millbrae (town next to SFO) a visiting drunk
guy (DG) was waxing lyrical about the fact Obama will be the democratic
choice. Conversation with drunk local guy (DLG) went like this:

DG: This is just what America needs!

DLG: I hear ya bro
DG: To have a black president will be momentous, unreal!

DLG: Sho’ fuckin will! Imagine that motherf*cker gettin’ all up on that
podium with the clocks and shit screaming “Yeaaaah Boyeee!”
DG: That’s exactly the crap we need to get away from

DLG: Whatever dude, “Yeeah

DG: There really isn’t a need to do that

DLG: Flavor Flav
in da HOUSE!

DG: Fuck you

Rest of bar: desperately trying not to titter

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