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This is a genuine remark made by our Kazakhstani friends about the wild Pelicans living in King’s Park, Perth.
I told our friends that the Pelicans are not palatable because they do not come with wafers.

And, just in, I had to define ‘Pet’ for my ESL class. I settled on

small animal that lives in your house which you don’t eat

On reflection, this does not exclude Cockroach.

Serving up lunch, I heard my wife say this to our children:

Go wash your hands. You’ve been digging in the rat’s grave.

This proves we are normal.

You might also enjoy The Intolerable Ubiquity Of Pencil Sharpenings

Normally a picture tells a thousand words but in this case a thousand pictures tells one word.

Ladies and gentlemen: I give you…


Yes, its a chicken inside a duck inside a turkey.
I can haz TRDUKN fur Crismis ??

Plz ?


* Vegetarians, Fruitarians, Breatharians and Vegans are respectfully informed that the linked images may contain likeness of delicious roasted meat slaughtered poultry dripping with gorgeous fat.


Disclaimer: No chicken products were consumed while actually composing this post.

What I like best about QI, the humorous panel-type television quiz show hosted by Richard Fry is the bizarre scoring system.

First, and I find this pleasingly Kafka-esque, is that the scoring system is never explained. The programme just bowls along, ends suddenly at what appears to be a random juncture and Richard Fry just announces the scores.

And it the scores that really delight me.

Typically the winning score is about four with most runners-up scoring negative. A typical spread might be: winner; four, runners-up; 1, minus two and zero. Brilliant.

The other night the winner scored thirteen with the other contestants tied on minus seven apiece. I find this hysterically funny. Again, in a recent episode the winner managed about fifteen (very high) and the others registered a result asymptotically approaching zero with the ‘house’ permanent contestant Alan Davies coming in with minus one hundered and forty-four, though I doubt that last would have passed the stewards inquiry.

I find these scores somehow typically British in their satirical and self-effacing modesty and hauntingly Pynthonesque in the extreme difficulty it takes to score more than zero.

What do you like about QI ?


Lovers of this post may also enjoy, ‘What I Like Best About Insiders’ and The Intolerable Ubiquity Of Pencil Sharpenings

‘Language is a virus from Outer Space’ – William S. Burroughs

Cosmic dust contains platinum and iridium, in case you should ever need to know. Certain stars are imploding right now, and it looks like rain. I’ll write you again tomorrow. Regards, Gwendolyn (Gwendolyn MacEwen, ‘The Letter’)

So this Christmas I have booked my male in-laws and myself on a Fishing Charter. My brother-in-law, Bruce, asked if I could also book his Dad on the trip. This I did and then sent Bruce a confirmatory email in the imagined style of a Los Angeles Gangsta Rap gang leader:

Hey Bro.
Da Fishkillas da worst gang in da hood round Double 99 has a drive-by planned and we’s welcomin’ your old man Snoop Fishy Fish Killa dats right dose fish with the fake jacks gonna get laid on their backs and I mean real bad.

Approximate Translation:
Bruce’s Dad has also been booked for the fishing charter.

This is how BabelFish saw it when I translated it into German then French then Greek then back to English

Schlechteste Gruppe DA-Fishkillas DA in DA-Haube the worst team DA-Fishkillas in t o n of hood provided that it doubles the 99 that become rond THERE it corrects a opinion d’? a car that passes the dishes and welcomin your old person Schnüffler-fischartigen of fishes Killa dats fishes of dose with that are forged publications of placement that go, that is placed in his backs us receives also I means the bad truth.

– Barra (Floppy Fish Must Die)

I find this screamingly funny. That means I am normal.

It’s always a pleasure to put the boot into New Zealand, so it’s grand to see Sky News Australia giving a cross-Tasman fingers to our cousins in the Woolly Shaky Isles.

Running down the Medal Table in the current Winter Olympics, a graphic was thrown up with Norway, Germany, USA at the top, followed by who knows…Latvia, then skipping to Australia in 18th place with One Gold and One Silver then this entry:

New Zealand 0 0 0

as the super-model newsreader intoned “New Zealand still not yet off the mark.”.

And it’s not as if NZ is short of snow either. Stop admiring the scenery and get mogulling you lazy sods. You’re letting down the Southern Hemisphere…again 😉

“Some men like it, but Cold Mutton has wrecked many happy homes.”

-Blanche Ebbutt, “Don’ts For Wives”, A&C Black Ltd., London, 1913
ISBN: 9780713687903

Season’s Gruntings.

As Christmas roars toward us I am reminded of the cheapest box of Christmas Cards I ever purchased. I am a cheapskate and love digging around for specials of say 800 Christmas cards for $1.50 – that would be ideal. So I buy such a box and start happily posting them off, admiring their awful quality and designs only tangentially related to Christmas, when one stopped me in my tracks.
The design was a bunch of animals playing in a playground sliding down slippery-dips, bouncing on trampolines etc. There was a Walrus, a Penguin, a Bear and maybe a Fish. It was as if a Birthday card for a two-year old had been mislabelled “Merry Christmas”.

Next day the penny dropped. The animals were all the kinds of animals you would find at the North Pole…where Santa lives…so that was the connection to Christmas. It was a generic “things associated with ice” card.

I am looking for this year’s set which I’m told feature Russian Nuclear Powered Submarines surfing through fields of anchovies.

Merry Christmas!

Blokes and Blokettes:

Here are some questions I was asked by a Consulting company for a mid-level programmer’s position for a .NET C# Web Developer role:

1) Can you have Multiple Inheritance in .NET ? Why did the language designers decide to exclude it?

1a) What is Encapsulation ?
Ans: I gave the classic answer which is that Encapsulation is the OO concept that a class contains both all the data it needs plus all the methods it needs to operate on the data. I was stunned to be told I was incorrect. The interviewer went on to describe what I would call ‘aggregation’. See below.

1 b) As to why Multiple Inheritance is not supported in .NET, here is a great answer from a the Microsoft Architect David Chou, .NET and Multiple Inheritance.

The basic answers are:
– .NET is a multi-language platform. Not all languages can be easily tweaked to support Multiple Inheritance.
– It would decrease cross-language library interoperability via the CLS
– Increases language complexity e.g. resolving inheritance ambiguities e.g classic ‘Diamond Problem’
– Complexity reduces readability and maintainability

AND There is no solution provided by Multiple Inheritance that cannot be solved by other means.

2) How can you simulate Multiple Inheritance in .NET?
Ans: By aggregation. Let’s say you wanted to simulate multiple inheritance of classes B and C into a new class A. What you do is instatiate instances of B and C as nested (inner) classes inside A. Now you have access to all of B and C’s members inside A.

The answer I gave was that Multiple Inheritance can be simulated through implenting multiple interfaces, which has been an acceptable answer elsewhere. This interviewer rejected it saying Interafce implementation is an example of polymorphism, not a way to simulate multiple inheritance.

3) What’s an abstract class ? Compare it to an Interface. Why would you implement an abstract class?
Ans: You would implement an abstract class if you wanted to provide a partial implementation of a class, yet leave some details to the final implementer. e.g. Framework classes are often implemented as Abstract Classes.

4) Let’s say you had a Framework Class (source code not available to you) and you wanted to extend it. How would you do it.
Ans: If Sealed class use Method Extensions

5) Building on the above, what if the class was not sealed and you wanted to implement a method which had an identical name to one in the Framework Class. Assume the original method is NOT virtual. What would you do ?
Ans: Use ‘new’ keyword in the method signature.

6) Let’s say you wanted to provide a new implementation of an existing method and the method is virtual. How would you do it.
Ans: Provide new implementation in sub-class using keyword ‘overrides’

7) Can you instatiate a class with some methods abstract ?
Ans: No. A class with any methods abstract must be marked as abstract and cannot be instantiated.

8. Provide the UML for the following scenario. Demonstrate knowledge of UML for class inheritace, interface implementation, aggregation, association.

9) What is the keyword ‘volatile’ used for ? Surely you want the most recent result available to you at all times. Shouldn’t all variables be marked volatile? Why or why not?

10) What is a delegate ? Provide some examples of how they are used.

11) Write the code that would enable you to update all the TextBoxes situated on a Panel with the data from one row of a GridView when that row is clicked.
Ans: Custom Event and Handler

12) Given a class B which inherits from class B, in which order are the constructors executed if you instantiate an instance of Class B using new B() ?
Ans: A constructor is called first then B’s constructor.

13) What is the effect of compilation debug=true in web.config ?
Ans: Generates debug symbols in pdb file, but also, and this is what he was after, it generates one file per class in the Temporary ASP.NET files folder. In a large project this is a huge amount of disk space consumed and can lead to all your disk space being consumed.

14) What is the effect of selecting ‘Debug’ from the Configuration Manager in Visual Studio.
Ans: They said ‘nothing’. I’m going to have to look this up.
Yeah, so what the guy was getting at is that the Configuration Manager has a ‘Debug’ setting by default, but it doesn’t do anything until you activate it by selecting options that are associated with it. One of those options is compilation options, which you can set to ‘debug’. But just selecting Configuration debug from the drop-down menu doesn’t generate pdb symbols automatically. You have to set up the debug configuration to actually do this.

Other things that a Configuration in Visual Studio can do are described in a book extract here . You can target seperate config files for each Configuration, select a build order for your projects, a different start page for your app, exclude and include different projects in your build and so on.

15) What is ViewState ? What can you do about a page that is heavy on View State ?
Ans: View State allows Web Apps to emulate stateful behaviour. It contains the encrypted value of all ASP server controls on the page and their original values. It can be turned off through control attributes and Page Directives. If ViewState is very heavy you may decide to use HTMLControls. These are not server controls and do not contribute to ViewState. You can also use IIS Compression which reduces Request size by 90% or use custom compression on the request i.e. you implement it say using gzip in the Application-level events.

Since I am too much of a scab to pay WordPress for the use of their blogging site, I am restricted to the functionality of their free version, which does not include polls.

So I’m implementing this as a Thread instead.

Poll: What’s Your Favourite Guid ?

A. 8d3de6d8-df22-4e10-8a19-b30aa044265f
B. 22845c1f-0fe0-46dd-a71d-4f47da37bade
C. 1a1ccc5d-50af-4c80-9d9b-e5b89b620264
D. Other (please specify)


Leave a comment with a vote for your favourite Guid. Please also leave a short note explaining why you like that Guid so much.

More Guid Fun

Check out this page! I’m still quivering!