Farty's Fortunes

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Reader Survey

Dear Reader,

It has come to my attention that some of my hordes dozens my other fan is having problems with long load times when stalking reading this blog. Being a total blog-whore Ever keen to please my readers, I feel I'm going to lose some both of you if I don't do something about it.

But first I need to determine the scope of the problem. If it's just one reader, screw them, they should get broadband perhaps they can disable images or something. There's nothing pornographic interesting to see here after all.

So what's it like for you? I realise if you're reading this, you've already loaded this page and not clicked away out of boredom, but meh - I gotta seem to make an effort.

Should I use smaller images? How about if I put my blogroll on a separate page, or take the graphics out of it altogether? Lose the wallpaper? Reduce the number of blog entries per page?

Over to you...

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Crisis? What Crisis?

Apparently there's a bit of a kerfuffle going on in the financial markets. In fact, one commentator went so far as to say: "The President isn't working properly." That was me, just now. Dubya seems to think the market isn't working, but from what little I can remember about macroeconomic theory the market, being an emergent property of any politico-economic fiscal system, from simple barter to the London Stock Exchange, is working exactly as you'd expect.

A market is where goods and services are exchanged, and the point where supply meets demand is called the "price". Keep the supply short, by for instance neglecting to build any basic council housing and selling off what there is, while the population climbs inexorably higher, and the demand will skyrocket, sending prices into orbit. People will lie, cheat and lie some more to get a foot on the property ladder: "Oh, yes, we can afford to pay twice our annual salary every month, after all we'll be selling this place for a vast profit in the very near future." "That's no problem, I'll get a vast commission by selling you this highly desirable shoebox. Then I'll run away."

One of the reasons for having a government is to govern people's activities. The clue is in the name. I'd argue that the act of government includes protecting the weak from the strong, the poor from the rich and the stupid from the cunning. In this, the Bush and indeed the Blair/Brown administration have clearly failed.

Now we find poor, homeless people sleeping in the street outside expensive, empty houses. Banks and building societies are collapsing right, left and centre. And as long as Bush and his ilk are prepared to bail them out with taxpayers' money - your money, my money - it will continue to worsen until we suddenly find that overnight the US, the UK and the EU have become third world countries like Zimbabwe and the Sudan.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying we should lynch the ringleaders and torch their homes and possessions, after all how could we even be sure who those millionaires and billionaires are? It would be all too easy to organise a flash-mob in every major city and hunt the fuckers down like animals, but that would be wrong. Fun, but wrong.

Perhaps it would be in their own best interests if the law were to make a lasting example of the financial and political leaders who are ultimately responsible for this mess by jailing them for fraud. Because from where I'm sitting, it looks like they've taken people's money and given them nothing back in return except for broken dreams. And none of your "open prison" crap, I'm sure there's plenty of room to spare in Guantanamo Bay.


Friday, 26 September 2008

Falling With Style

What do you do if your airline goes bust, you don't fancy getting stuck in the Channel Tunnel behind some twat having a barbecue and you're in a hurry to get the fuck out of France?

That's right - you strap a wing to your back and fly across the English Channel in just over ten minutes. If you believe in yourself, the sky's the limit.

Buzz Lightyear

Falling With Style
Fusion Man

Fusion Man

I should send that second picture in to Viz.

Farty's Friday Chart

Prize Pig

I've been sitting on this song for a while, but for some reason this week seemed an appropriate time *cough Palin* to post it.

Given the animal pictured, I can now think of two song titles...but I'm hoping one of them doesn't come to pass.

Name that tune?

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Computer Terms Illustrated #5







Hot Key

Hot Key

404 Page Not Found


Net Filter

Net Filter

Runtime Error

Runtime Error





Super Conductor

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

God Bless America!

In Pittsburgh, there's a new education policy that "sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student can receive". So you could theoretically turn in a test paper for political science that simply says: "Teecher is a twat" and hey presto, you're half-way to a pass mark.

In fact, if your teacher agrees with this hare-brained idea, you might even get a merit for factual accuracy.

FSM save us.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Garden Flowers

These are beautiful flowers. Do you know what they're called?

Monday, 22 September 2008

Merkan-English Dictionary #16. Ish.

M'kay, I've been stealing borrowing words from other blogs for this one, but obviously I had to, because boy, have youse dudes got some crazy ideas about what even the smiplest words mean. Or how to spell them. *cough*


Merkan: i-Phone.

English Scotch: Och-aye phone1.

A bit of background: When I was young, younger than before, we upgraded one of our 370/158s by a whole megabyte. The computer itself was a behemoth to start with, but the extra storage was the size of a large fridge-freezer, took a skilled engineer a whole day to connect up, needed an upgrade to the power supply, cost a fortune to buy and to run, and frequently broke down. But it meant we could play Adventure on night shift.

Little Miss Farty dropped in yesterday to watch the Big Bang and showed us her new och-aye phone. It comes with GPS, touch-sensitive screen, iPod, the current version of the interweb, phone, camera, eight Gigabytes of memory, oh and it's hand-held of course.
"Aye, verry good, but how much did it set ye back?"
"Och, dinnae be silly Pa, it wiz a free upgrade wi' mah contract."

Still needs a power cable ten miles long, I bet. *harrumph*


Merkan: I've been trying to think of a word for two weeks.

English: Fortnight.

Seriously. Why don't you use this word?

English: Autumn.
Ah, a beautiful time of year, when the warm summer sun begins to wane, the leaves turn from green to gold, russet, burnt orange, and deep crimson, then finally to caramel, before they gently swirl to the forest floor, building up a deep carpet for the young and the young-at-heart to kick their way through2. Camp fires in the evenings with the enticing smell of woodsmoke curling up into the deep blue sky. Marshmallows toasting over the embers on sharpened sticks...ok, I'm drooling now.

Merkan: Fall.

Food and Drink

English: Squash.
A delicious drink made from, would you believe, squashed fruit? Basically. But so much more goes into it. A bit like that wardrobe.

Merkan: Coke.
Fact - between them, the Coca-Cola Company and Pepsi, Inc., spend seventeen gazillion dollars a year advertising their respective "products". But if you walk into a corner shop (drugstore? I'll have to do that sometime too) and ask for a Coke, and the guy at the checkout says they've only got Pepsi, the typical response is: "Yeah, whatever."

English: Tea.
A hot beverage made with dried leaves in boiling water. Usually available in about 150 varieties, so that you can pick the one most suitable for the time of day/mood/social occasion/etc. Served with milk and/or sugar. And sometimes lemon. Quick and easy, too, since it takes about ten seconds to boil the water with a 240-volt mains supply.

Merkan: Iced Tea.
Understandable. It takes about a week to boil a kettle in Merka. 120 volts? WTF??? The only thing iced tea is good for is being poured into Boston harbour.

Merkan: Muffins. Mmmm, tasty muffins!

English: Toasted Crumpet. Mmmm, tasty crumpet!
Toasted Crumpet

1 So sue me.
2 Note spelling.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Big Bang

Broomview House, Edinburgh, was demolished today. Little Miss Farty used to live there.

Big Bang

Update: The dust has settled and the barriers have come down. Here's a close-up.


So now you know why they're called "flats". Ho ho ho etc.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Today Be International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Beth Ditto

A vast behind! Arrgh, it be a good day to be out on the ocean waves and that! Unless ye be gettin' seasick easily, ye scurvy landlubbers! Then ye might be better off just knockin' back the grog wi' yer mates, arr!

Here be a good place fer translatin' words, phrases or even yer full blog inter pirate speak: Pirate Speak. And here be the official ITLAPD site.

I be off t' a weddin' today, my niece be gettin' wed t' a landlubber, arr, arr, etc.

I be wonderin' if it be a themed affair? I'd hate to be the only one to show up in top hat and tails at a pirate wedding, they'd keelhaul me fer sure! Arrr!

Pirate Wedding

Be havin' a nice day now, ye hear?

Farty's Friday Chart

Having a lovely time

Even John will know this one.

*Raises a glass*

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

And I'd Have Gotten Away With It Too...

...if it wasn't for those pesky non-existent kids.

How can anyone, even in Glasgow, claim benefits for fourteen children she doesn't have for four years and nobody even bother to check? Grr.

She'd probably be claiming still, except that she "got greedy" and started claiming for phantom disabilities that her phantom kids didn't have.

"Er, hello, is that the Social? Aye, it's Mrs Semple. Again. It's aboot oor wee, er, haud on...Tariq. The poor wee thing's got, let's see, Gulf War Syndrome. How much can we get for that? Pardon? Aye, he's three. Well, Ah suppose he must of caught it from his dad. Along with the mesothelioma, cirrhosis and Madonna's Disease. Making it up, what makes you think I'm making it up? The Internet wouldn't lie to me...would it?"

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Computer Terms Illustrated #4

And still they come...if I'd known there was so much scope, I'd have alphabetised them. Because I'm anal well-organised.



Packet Sniffer

Packet Sniffer

Silicon Architecture

Stoke Penge



Copy Protection

Copy Protection










Anonymous Troll



Talking of organised, I really will update my blogroll really soon. As soon as I see BOSSY's new one (hint).

Friday, 12 September 2008

Computer Terms Illustrated #3

Gah, where does this crap come from? I need to update my blogroll, add a tag list, probly change the wallpaper, comment on the news...sigh...one of these days I'll get a round tuit, but not this day.

Mother Bored(sp?)


Feed Burner


Tolkien Ring(sp?)

Tolkien Ring







Zombie Process

Zombie Process



My Space

My Space



Farty's Friday Chart


How many different song titles can you come up with for this?

Thursday, 11 September 2008

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Since I added those new blogs to my reader, it's getting harder and harder to keep up. Despite which, I've had time to notice:

Bottoms up. Councillors in Perth, Scotchland, have proposed that alcoholics should be provided with a drinking den as a means of keeping them off the streets. We have those in Embra - we call them "pubs".

Touched by His Noodly Appendage. Merkan VP candidate Sarah Palin is pro-Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. When asked about her views on whether only evolution should be taught in schools, she allegedly said: "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."

Jesus H. On the subject of holy schemoly, have you seen this?
Jesus H Christ
More Here.

Me, I'm just a lawnmower. According to New Scientist, boffins at the Jet Physics Laboratory have worked out how to recognise a terrorist by the way his shadow moves when he walks. "In tests on footage shot from the sixth floor of a building, [Adrian] Stoica says his software was indeed able to extract useful gait data." This would totally work with satellite photos too. Unless the terrorists only went out at noon, or lived in Britain: you don't get shadows when it's raining.

There's your problem! According to a source quoted on Slashdot, the fine structure constant, which governs nookular decay, may vary with the Earth's distance from the Sun. FSM, I'd hate it for the astrologers to be right all along! "Ah, you took your measurements when Virgo was in the ascendant, but if you'd done it when Mars was aligned with Uranus, you'd have got twice the number of alpha particles emitted." Personally, I don't believe a word of it, but then I'm an Aries and we're naturally sceptical.

What a scream. Have you ever noticed that if you stand in the street and start screaming, people just look at you as if you're some kind of weirdo, but if you do the same thing in a plane, they all want to join in? I'm so going to get hate mail for that one.

Nightmare. I have this recurring nightmare. I'm in bed with Beyoncé on one side of me and Rihanna on the other side. I don't know which way to turn.

Click your heels together. There's no place like

Toot toot!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Nukular Fizzicks Fer Dummy's

Do I have to splain everything? Sigh.

Them scientologists over in Yerp want to find a teensy tiny particle called the Higgs Boson. Hey, there's a dude called Higgs here in Embra, I wonder if he's heard of it? Nah, what are the chances?

Seems the Merkans were too poor to afford both a Space Station and a Particle Smasher, so they abandoned their own little spermint after spending just two billion dollars on it, and concentrated on something that can only be reached by the soon-to-be-decommissioned Space Shuttle and the Dirty Commie Soyuz rockets. I ain't sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Anyways, the science part.

The universe is made up of stuff. Most of that stuff is completely invisible and therefore cannot be seen by astrologers with even the most powerful telescopes, even the one buried underneath the ice at the South Pole. (Hey Cletus, you sure about that part?)

But these boffins always need more money are pretty sure that if they smash some normal stuff together at really high speeds, they'll be able to recreate some of the same exotic stuff that was around at the Big Bang. So they'll be using their LHC machine to run one proton beam clockwise at 99.9999991 percent of the speed of light, and another beam anticlockwise at 99.9999991 percent of the speed of light. Then they'll smash them head-on into each other at - anybody? No? Me neither.

Ok, let's make it really simple.

Atoms are thought to be made up of quarks.



Which are held together by gluons.

Glued On

Glue On

According to String Theory, every particle has a super-partner.



The electron is matched by the selectron, the quark has the squark, the lepton has the slepton etc.

Slept On

Slept on

But none of this splains the existence of Mass.



And without mass there would be no gravity.

No Gravity


So Professor Higgs (anybody remember him?) posited the existence of a field - let's call it the Higgs Field - permeating the entire universe, and as we all know from quantum physics, every field comes with a side order of particles. So the Higgs field imbues matter with mass, and the Higgs Boson, if discovered, will prove this impotent theory.

So far, all that has been tested is that a clockwise beam and an anticlockwise beam of protons can be sent around the loop. Next month the eggheads will make their first attempt to cross the streams.

Crossing the Streams

Crossing the Streams

If it all goes tits-up, the absolute worst that can happen is that the Earth and anything else made of matter or energy, like the universe, will be sucked into a black hole.

Black Hole

Black Hole

And if not, well, there'll be plenty more pretty pictures like this one, so stop whining.

LHC First Beam

LHC Beam 1

Any questions?