Here’s a great little article I spotted on BoingBoing (a great site, full of interesting and unusual items, visit them here).
It’s a lovely little twist on the idea of what we go to a zoo for. Whoever has come up with this delightful idea has placed a placard outside the cafeteria. It talks about the humans inside the cafe as if they were exhibits at the zoo.
The copy is superb and reads exactly like the copy on a regular placard, which would talk about one of the animals in the zoo’s collection.
It is headed ‘Human’ with the latin ‘Homo sapiens’ underneath.
It then goes on to talk about the lifecycle of the average human. From the fact that we are one of the world’s most widespread species, to our gestation period and our behavioural patterns throughout our lives.
I particularly like the section on teenagers: “In adolescence, the offspring adopt a more nocturnal lifestyle and engage in ritualized activities of drinking fermented liquids and dancing to rhythmical sounds, which scientists believe may help them to find a mate.”
I’ve included an enlarged image of the placard so you can read the copy and enjoy its humour for yourself. Click here for an enlarged image.

Homo sapiens: the latest Bristol Zoo exhibit

Homo sapiens: the latest Bristol Zoo exhibit

I should point out that this is someone’s idea of a joke, and is not an official new exhibit from the zoo. It is, however, in Bristol the home of Banksy (click here to visit Banksy’s site).
To me it doesn’t feel like a real Banksy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very clever idea that is well executed. I just think that Banksy’s ideas tend to be more visual, rather than just relying on words to communicate the idea. But I could be wrong.
So next time you visit the zoo, be warned. The rest of the visitors could be paying close attention to you.

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After all the problems in the world economy I love stories like this one where a five-year old parrot, called Strawberry, has beaten traders while playing the stock market. There were 10 human traders and one parrot playing as part of an experiment. Only two of the humans managed to beat the parrot. Which seems to prove what a gamble the stock market is.
What’s absolutley hilarious is that the general manger of the investment company carrying out the experiment held up the results as proof (they honestly used that word) that long-term investments are safe.

Who's a smart investor then?

Who's a smart investor then?

You can read more about Strawberry’s exploits here.

As amusing as it is, I make a genuine point about the stock market just being, at best, an educated guess. Both gamblers in a bookies and traders of stocks study the form. Both think that they can read the conditions better than other people. And both are addicted to the buzz of winning. But you can’t win all the time.
And when the stock markets drive much of the rest of the economy, we’re all at the mercy of these flutter merchants.
Still, nice to know that these companies could save themselves billions a year in bonuses by building and aviary and employing a few parrots.

What’s to say?
He’s been and gone, yet still I find myself in hysterics often when I see him. The daft thing is that he doesn’t have to be doing anything. Just existing is enough to have me in stitches. He’s either a bit of an idiot, or a complete comedy genius who should start touring.
I know that people will argue that you can’t become the President of the US of A if you’re not smart. But I’d argue that it is possible, and as evidence I’d present George W. I don’t want to get too political and bring down the wrath of bloggers in the States, so I’ll just point out that his family is pretty well connected and there were more than a few unanswered questions from Florida when he was initially elected. And the coincidence of his brother, Jeb, being Governor of Florida at the time. And his dad having previously having been President. All merely coincidences.
His ability to confuse himself is superb. And the faces he pulls once he finds himself in a hole are legendary. There are just so many examples to choose from. Like the time when Bush was struggling during a debate with Al Gore. He looked into camera and told the watching nation that ‘the US could not elect a man who sends “mexed missages”.’ Pure comedy gold.

Here’s another moment of genius where he’s in China and is a little peeved at the pesky journalists for asking him questions. The rotters. So he decides to leave. But which one is the real door. I love his face once he’s tried pushing and pulling both doors he initially tries and realizes that he’s stuffed. All that’s missing is a little soft shoe shuffle and jazz hands.

And here are some brilliant tongue twisters, spoonerisms and just plain old-fashioned stupidity from the former leader of the free world.

“They misunderestimated me.”
November 6, 2000 in Bentonville, Arkansas

“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
August 5, 2004

“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”
January 11, 2000

“We cannot let terrorists hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile.”
2000 in Des Moines, Iowa

“Will the highways on the Internet become more few?”
Concord, New Hampshire, January 29, 2000

And a few that aren’t dated, but are still his own special brand of genius.

“The illiteracy level of our children are appalling”

“One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is ‘to be prepared’.”

“I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.”

“We’re going to have the best educated American people in the world.”

“I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.”

And here’s what initially reminded me of George, and led me to write this blog. This image is from when Pope John Paul II had just died and his body was lying in state in St Peter’s Basilica and people were paying tribute to the pontiff.
For me it sums up George W in just four simple words.

The genius of George W

The genius of George W

The phenomenon that is Usain Bolt has excelled his own exceedingly high standards. Last week at the World Athletic Championships in Berlin he smashed the 100 metres world record, with the new record now standing at 9.58 seconds. It seems almost unfair on the other athletes. They’re running personal bests and getting nowhere near Usain. At least this time he didn’t slow down after 90 metres, as he did when he last smashed the world record.

Taking it in his stride

Taking it in his stride

He talked down his own chances in the 200 metres. He told how he’d been involved in a car accident in Jamaica and hadn’t really trained for a month as he prepared for the World Championships.
He started the race like a rocket and just kept going. He hammered everyone else, and once again set a new world record. This time he clocked 19.19 seconds. Which is just staggering.
See him destroy the field in the 100 metres here.
And then watch him get past everyone before he’s even come off the bend in the 200 metres here.
And he seems like a really nice bloke as well. In any interviews he seems humble and grounded and not a compete moron who’s self-centred and aloof. Unlike several thousand footballers I could mention.
He’s still a young man, so I reckon the world record will continue to tumble over the coming years.
He reckons he can run the 100 in 9.4 seconds. It would be a brave (or stupid) man to bet against him achieving it. I’ll be cheering him along and enjoying the excitement he brings to each race he enters.
One thing is for certain. This is one lightning bolt that will definitely strike more than once.