Author Archives: Pedant

How to Convince People the Earth’s Flat

Apparently, we can be blinded by “science” if “science” throws some diagrams, graphs or charts in with the information being peddled. This probably isn’t surprising, if you stop to think about it. In fact, the degree of surprise decreases with the amount of time you think about it, as shown in this graph. This really is a thing, according to… Read more »

Odd-shaped Balls

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News report: Football ground street signs are wrong, says fan Folks in the UK were berating the people in charge of road signs last year for their depiction of a football (that’s the round one that people actually kick with their feet) on signs pointing to football (soccer) grounds. At the heart of the matter is the geometric impossibility of… Read more »

Digging Holes for Democracy

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News headline: More people in the USA are killed by lawnmowers than by terrorists. The following are excerpts from a transcript of a speech (to be) given by future USA President Derek Benditt on New Year’s Day 2049, the eight thousandth day of his presidency. Benditt was (or more correctly, will be) a product of the Social Media age, where… Read more »

Stella & Guy Have Dinner

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(The story so far… Stella is a contestant in a “Miss Sea Star Canada” pageant, and during a pre-competition visit to the ladies’ room, the suckers on her very realistic starfish costume got her stuck to the wall. Guy, a security officer and her knight in shining armour, rescued her by releasing her limb by limb from her costume. By… Read more »

Sea Star Stuck in a Stall

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(This piece was inspired by my discovery that there is such a thing as a Miss Mermaid competition (national and international), and by the statement in this article that most girls growing up want to be a mermaid.) “Can I get a hand in here?” Stella’s voice reverberated around the performers’ washroom in the theatre. She listened. Other than the… Read more »

Beheading to Death as a Past Time

News item: “Saudi Arabia is to behead a… man to death…” News item: “Shopping is one of our most traditional past times” I spotted both the above two editing fails on the same day. At the time, I thought of ranting about poor editorial standards, but thought better of it. I think the following script, which was inspired by my… Read more »

Beware—Distracted Bagpipe Player

Headline: Driver caught practising bagpipes at wheel I’ve never hidden my feelings about bagpipes. My heart bursts at the sight and sound of a lone piper playing on a heather-carpeted ben across the glen from my vantage point. That solitary figure seems to magnify the sense of space; isolation; desolation. And the sound—it’s so mournful, and evocative of the Scottish… Read more »

Reddy Mc Redface

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The “XXXy McXXXFace” meme/fad seems to have gained a life of its own and spread to places one would never have expected it to. For many, the most famous example is “Boaty McBoatFace”, a suggestion made for the name of a polar research vessel in the UK. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find references to, for example, “Hooty… Read more »

Squished Earth

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News Item: Why do people still think the Earth is flat? Why indeed? I watched the video embedded in the above article, and tried really, really hard to take at face value what was being said. One gentleman pointed out that man hasn’t yet drilled more than eight miles into the ground (I haven’t verified that) so there’s no knowledge… Read more »

Catching the Espresso Bus

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Headline: London Buses to Be Powered by Coffee Needless to say, this was a clickbait headline—coffee’s far too valuable a commodity to waste on powering transportation. But apparently, the new biofuel will be a blend of oils extracted from the coffee grounds and diesel. I’m not sure if this is an attempt to be innovative in the use of waste,… Read more »