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This is a question Ignorance

I once was in a programming class where the task was "build a calculator". A student did one with buttons 1, 2, 3 all the way up to about 25 and then ran out of space on the screen. We've asked this before but liked it so much we're asking again: What's the best example of ignorance you've encountered?

(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 12:30)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Anybody that knows me knows that I have a thing about American tourists....
....I have never, I repeat, NEVER, met an American tourist that I have liked. I have American friends, I know some great American people, but I can't fathom why it is that it's the dumb ones that feel the need to spend six months of their lives on whistle-stop tours of great places without looking into what to expect when they are there. For example, THIS happened to me....

I was in Venice as part of my journey to Athens to see my friends getting married. Now, anybody that has travelled to Venice will probably know that there is a railway station there. It's a terminal type, otherwise the train would run into the sea. There's a long bridge that carries the trains over the water to the city of Venice from the mainland. Venice, as you know, is famous for it's canals. Of course there are canals, the place is built on a series of islands in a large lagoon.

Anyway, I came out of the station and paused on the plaza outside to take in the impressive view, the hustle and bustle of the tourists and to get my bearings before heading off to find a Cornetto salesman and so on. As I was stood there I overheard an angry voice. Now, I am like you when I hear an angry voice - I stop and do that 'nonchalantly listening' thing. It's a habit, probably a bad one, but it's always entertaining. The voice was American and was ranting in words of predominantly 4 letters about his late taxi. It had been booked for him. He was waiting. It should be here. It should be here, waiting for him. He's travelled too far to be f*** messed a motherf**g about by these f***g Italians. He hated the taxi company. He wanted his taxi.

It was glaringly obvious what his error was. I looked at him for a few seconds and I'm sorry to say, assuming you are still reading this, that I got annoyed. How dare he shout these profanities in the most beautiful of cities? I approached him, looking all helpful like, and asked him what was the matter. I knew what the matter was, I just wanted him to tell me to my face.

"I have a taxi booked and it hasn't arrived" (that's the Polite English translation)
"Ah. That's bad. I bet you haven't seen a single taxi go past, either, have you?" I helpfully antagonised.
"No. God-damn (etc) etc"
"You do know you are in Venice, don't you?" I offered him the chance to think. He failed to take it.
"Of course!"
"You do know that Venice is famous for long, wet, streets full of boats?" Sarcasm was setting in. This was building up to something big, thought I. Sod it, we'll never meet again, he can have it from both barrels.
"Of course I do"
"And that there are no cars, whatsoever, in the entire city? Nothing with wheels is of any use?"
"Yes"
"And you are waiting for your taxi? Does it have wheels?
Now, I thought the penny would have dropped at this point. I don't know if it was anger, frustration, my English vocabulary....whatever it was....he didn't get it.
"I booked a taxi for (whatever time it was - may have been 2pm) to be outside this station to take me to my hotel. It isn't here. I will sue/shoot/say God damn again because it isn't here. I'm an American and these God damn people are not treating me right!"
I looked at him like a small child seeing his mother buying sweets in a shop but trying unsuccessfully to hide the fact. I smiled a smug grin that even today I couldn't replicate.
"Your taxi is there....*points to boat labelled "taxi" several feet in front of him*. It has been there all the time. It hasn't got wheels, it would sink. In a city of canals, EVERYTHING is done by boat. Even taxis. Had you read anything about this place, your details on your booking form, even reached back into the farthest recesses of your skull about the one major fact that everybody knows about Venice then you would or should have realised that you were looking for a boat."
*Gobsmackery*
"Do you know why they have this plaza outside the station?" Asked I.
"...no...."bumbled Sir Think-a-not.
"They have this plaza here to stop idiots like you from getting straight off the train and falling straight into the fucking water!"
*walks away in triumph*

Sorry about the length. If I'd have kept the word count closer to his IQ we'd never have got past the subject line....
(, Sun 2 Sep 2012, 19:44, 32 replies)
The words you never say
Not the rude ones, oh no. Everyone says those eventually.

I mean the ones that there's no normal reason to say. The words you can define perfectly well, but never tried pronouncing.

A professional meeting, aged 27, was NOT the best place to find out that 'Antelope' does NOT rhyme with 'Penelope'. But everyone else had a damn good laugh.
(, Mon 3 Sep 2012, 20:12, 11 replies)
Marriage Boxes
(Slight repost)

My brother's getting married later this year. They've been planning the wedding for a few years. My brother is 6'4", his fiance is about 3'9".

I told his fiance that there are special 'marriage boxes' which are designed for the, uh, shorter lady, so that when there's that photo of their first married kiss, it doesn't look awkward. These are beautifully designed boxes which fit in with your marriage decor, etc.

She looked them up on Amazon- and there were none! "Oh dear, they must have sold out," said I, and offered to make her one with a shoebox and some acrylic paints.

She only realised she was being wound up a few months later, when I asked her if she wanted me to tape some decorated pringles tubes onto her shoes for the first dance...
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 13:25, Reply)
Americans....
As an American, I often wonder what the hell is wrong with us. On one hand, we've got Neil Armstrong, top-tier universities, a history of astoundingly awesome R&D (Edison, Bell Labs, Xerox Park, MIT), and, in many areas of the country, extraordinarily good primary and secondary educational programs. I would also submit that we are exceptionally good at making movies that have very little redeeming social value other than the enjoyment inherent in extraordinarily impressive explosions.

On the other hand, we've got elected officials who want Bible-based Creationist nonsense taught in schools, a good chunk of the country believes anthropogenic climate change is a hoax, a man running for office who said ON A LIVE BROADCAST that he believed women's bodies had ways to "shut down" conception after a rape, and my latest favorite: At the Republican National Convention, their keynote speaker was an elderly actor yelling at an empty chair.

Really, I don't have any excuses for the baffling ignorance of a distressingly large proportion of Americans. Clearly we don't all have tuna for brains or we never would have been able to infect large swathes of the globe with Mickey Mouse, Coca-Cola, and Ford automobiles, but we're really not doing ourselves any favors in the global prestige business with these sorts of shenanigans.

I used to get upset when I read things about dumb American tourists. Now I just want to know the best way to appear to be Canadian next time I travel abroad.
(, Sun 2 Sep 2012, 0:26, 7 replies)
Basic of cooking ignorance
My friend Helen never really got the concept of cooking or anything related to cooking, preferring McDonalds take-aways as often as she could. When she moved into a new house with her boyfriend we were surprised to be invited to a dinner-party at their place, where she announced she would be cooking 8 of us a scrumptious meal. We were duly given a menu advising us of the delights we were about to experience.

Prawn cocktail followed by Roast Chicken, Chips and Peas - Nothing spectacular but knowing her culinary expertise it was a bold adventure. It was clear she hadn't even started cooking anything yet and was on her 3rd or 4th glass of wine to boot.

"Erm, Helen, shouldn't you put the chicken in?" my girlfriend suggested.
"Oh, do you think so?" and off she went to put it in the oven

And the party continued.

"What time are the starters?" someone else enquired as the night went on.
"I'll go and get the prawns out of the freezer." - Riiiiight.

After some hasty microwaving we all politely ate our slightly crunchy, yet warm, prawn offering.
The night progressed, more wine was imbibed.

"Have you put the chips on yet?"
"Oh, no! I'll go do that now. The fryer has been on all night so it'll be nice and hot.

After a few moments one of our friends came back pissing herself laughing, describing a scene that she could only relate to us as,"Chip Darts" - Because the fat was hot and spitty lovely Helen was standing in the middle of the kitchen and throwing the chipped potatoes into the pan one by one.
When the chips were about done our hostess announced that everything was nearly ready, all she had to do was carve the chicken after asking me to take it out of the oven for her.
In the middle of the roasting tin was the most anaemic looking roast chicken I've ever seen.

"Helen, did you baste the chicken at all?"
"What's basting?"
"You know, putting a bit of oil on it. Helen, did you remove the bag of giblets at all?"
"What are giblets?" - Still inside was a shrivelled bag of innards.

Once the edible parts of the meal were consumed we sat back to play some parlour game which resulted in the hostess having a blazing argument with her boyfriend. Shortly followed by the unholiest sound of shattering glass.
Rushing to the kitchen we were greeted with the sight of the glass cover that folds down over the gas rings shattered into a thousand hot melty globs all over the kitchen.

"Helen, Did you turn the rings off before shutting the canopy?"

My best mate Dave who hated this woman and was only there out of politeness was heard to whimper,"Please kill me now."
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 14:48, 9 replies)
Wireless Printer
A few years ago my fiancée lived in a bedsit. The couple who owned the house were a nice bunch. Early 30s, a little vacant but the perfect kind of people to share your personal space with.

I was visiting my fiancée over the weekend and we needed to print off a couple of forms from her laptop. We asked the lady if they had a printer spare, after it was dug out from some hiding place she explained "It's a wireless printer, but we could never really get it to work properly".

I thought I would have a go at it anyway, so took the box back to the room, opened it up and searched for the power cable. I went back, asked if she knew where the power cable was..

"Oh no, its wireless" she says.
(After a brief confused pause) "Oh of course, sorry, forgot you mentioned that" I reply. Beginning to sense that this wasn't going well.

I thought I would give her the benefit of the doubt and looked to see if there was a battery compartment like some of the old school tape decks used to have with the massive D sized batteries. The search was in vain. I did find a small toggle that would allow it to connect to a wireless network, but the big plug socket in the back that was obviously missing a cable was the clincher.

I checked inside the compartment... no ink cartridge either.

So I handed it back, "I couldn't get it to work either!". "Oh well, thanks for trying" She replied. I walked back into my fiancées room, she turned to me and said...

"You know what she does for a living? She works for the council on the I.T. Department"
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 12:22, 1 reply)
"Repeat after me; Cats Chase Mice"
"Kets chess maise" the blonde repeated, eyes rolled up in concentration.

It was the final session in a long line of pronunciation exercises I'd been doing with a foreign corporation; trying to give each of its staff individual training to improve their phone skills. This last session focused on stress, where you give a bit more power to the important words (verbs and nouns) and less power to the weaker words like pronouns and articles (of, in, a, the), so that you don't rattle off your sentences like a machine gun.

"Once again, Cats Chase Mice"

She puffed out her cheeks, rolled her eyes and forced out "Caahts Chayss Myss"

"Better. Now try this: The Cats Have Chased The Mice".

"THEE KETS HHHEFF CHAISSED THEE MAISS"

"hmmm. Remember, these little words need to be softer. Lets try a little trick".

I pick up a pen and hold it like a conductor, and invite her to do the same thing. Tapping gently on the desk, we make a little rhythm. The trick is to tap the strong words, dee-DUM dee-DUM dee-DUM, like a heartbeat, three taps in six words. "ThuCATS uvCHASED thuMICE. ThuCATS uvCHASED thuMICE." Feel free to try it yourself, dear reader.

The blonde picked up her pen, and bent her hole body over to stare at the sentence printed on the paper in front of her.

"ThuKETS HHHEFFF... ThuKETS... THEEKETSuv... TheMAISS... OH!!!"

The pen flew threw the air, followed by a string of Polish expletives. "It's too deeficult!" she wailed. "How am I supposed to move my mouth and my hand at the same time?"
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:59, 12 replies)
Me, unfortunately
I was watching some kind of equestrian event during the paralympics a couple of days ago, and my first thought was "Oh, they've even got disabled horses"

Then I realised it was dressage.
(, Tue 4 Sep 2012, 12:57, 1 reply)
Stupid Stupid Stupid
Gorgeous Newfoundland barmaid that for some reason found herself working in a small NE Scottish town (go figure!!), would always find time to stop and chat while I supped my pint.
Turns out she had two tickets to see Sheryl Crow in concert in Glasgow, she couldn't go as her BFF had pulled out. I had not long moved to Glasgow, nice little flat by the Clyde (I was up visiting family at this time).
She offered both tickets to me, like a fecking fool I bought both, not even registering the look of disgust on her face after all her subliminal suggesting (low cut top, big boobs, pouty lips, you know the thing).
Only realised once I was walking back home to the parents. Dad offered his fatherly sentiments - "You really are a twat".
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 19:32, 2 replies)
There should be a separate US category of ignorance.
Where to start? From a very well educated, intelligent and eloquent American friend I worked alongside in Japan, nearly 20 years ago now.

1. He showed me a photo of his family on their farm. His father can be seen sitting on a yellow and green vehicle and he says, "Oh he's pop sitting on his John Deere" then he has to clarify: "you know, a 'tractor' [falters...looks sheepish and apologetic]...I'm sorry. You do know about tractors don't you? I don't know if you have mechanised agriculture in Europe.' [Note: not just England or the UK. No! Not one country in the whole of Europe has thought to drag a plough behind a machine rather than a horse or a cow in the 100 years of internal combustion!)

2. Same chap. There is a big park in Tokyo called Yoyogi park. He told everyone that it was named after Yogi bear, the American cartoon creation. I wonder who could have put that idea in his head?

3. Different American in Tokyo, a high school teacher. It was in the middle of US presidential elections. A group of expats are talking about who is going to win. The teacher asks another girl who she's going to vote for. Other girl explains that she's Canadian so won't be voting and carries on the conversation. But wait, this gets the back up of the high school teacher who launches into the, if-you-don't-vote-you're-a-disgrace-to-democracy argument. The Canadian stops her short and explains that, sorry, she is Canadian so won't be voting. To which the reply from said teacher: "But he's your president too!"

4. Different US bloke (first one nice, this one a twunt). Finished in top 10% of his Harvard law school. Just arrived in Japan and is having beginners Japanses lessons. He lives in a place called, for the sake of argument, Chiba, pronounced, CHEEBA. He pronounces it KEEBA. Expats native level Japanese speaker picks him up on it and correct him (attendant Japanese would not do that as it's too rude). No. He insists it is called KEEBA. Another polite suggestion that he checks with his teacher. We all know where he lives so there is no doubt about it. Nope. This guy has been in the country for 3 weeks now and so knows what's what so he collars a nearby Japanese chap and ask whether he lives in KEEBA or CHEEBA. Japanese chap says clearly that the place he lives in is pronounced CHEEBA. American tells the 40 year old, native Japanese chap (who is himself a Harvard graduate and fluent in several languages), "You're wrong. It's pronounced KEEBA. You're wrong."

5. Heard a radio snippet from US astronaut from the 1960s. He was recently doing a talk to US high school students and was introduced by the high school teacher as a veteran of World War Eleven.

6. Oh and the journalist who said that Stephen Hawking would not be alive today if he lived in England and had to rely on the NHS for treatment : www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/12/stephen-hawking-enters-us_n_257343.html
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 14:46, 12 replies)
xyandz has just reminded me...
The wife an I had recently been the theatre to watch a performace of Ninteen Eighty-Four. When we went to the inlaws for sunday lunch the next day the next day, we were telling them how much we'd enjoyed it. My step-sister-in-laws briefly looked up from texting and actively ignoring her toddler and said "So was it about the whole year or something that happened that year?". My father-in-law laughed and said "no, it's based on the book! Big Brother and all that!"
Well, her eyes lit up and, with an amazed look oon her face, she blurted out: "was Davina there? Which year's contestants did they have?"

But then, this is the girl who has uttered such gems as:
*(when interupting a conversation about Liverpool FC's lack of success that season [could have been any season, really]) "how do you know about football? You go to plays and watch ballet and stuff" - clearly the two are mutually exclusive in her mind.
*"Why did you go on holiday to a city? What did you do there? Just look at buildings and stuff? Was there a pool?"
*"Why is my credit card bill going up every month? I'mm paying the minimum off every time" ... a little while later... "What's APR?" ... a little while later... "What's interest?"
*When we'd just bought a house "You spent two hundred and fifty thousand pounds on a house?!? Is it a mansion? Is it, like, 10 bedrooms?" ...a little while later... "is that how much a house costs, then? I thought they were about £20,000. How long did it take you to save that much up?" ...a little while later... "what's a mortgage?" ... a little while later... "So does the council pay the mortgage on my house?"
(, Mon 3 Sep 2012, 9:59, 6 replies)
Harbour front, St Ives, Cornwall.
Standing looking south at Gwithian Beach, I heard an American tourist loudly say "Gee, I never knew France was so close to England!"
No, love. You're on the wrong side of the country, facing the wrong direction, and if you turn slowly to your right and follow the land, the place you're looking at is actually connected to the place you're standing.
Still, good effort.
(, Sat 1 Sep 2012, 19:56, Reply)
A pregnant work colleague asked if I want to feel her baby...
It seems that she meant externally.
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 14:28, 3 replies)
Here is in no particular order my top 10
- Religion. Before science, OK, people needed a reason for why things happened. Now Creationists have to come up with "well God buried the dinosaurs to test our faith". WTF !!! If there is a God or Gods - where is the smiting, eh ?

- Pseudo-religious bullshit as in the dread phrase "put it out into the Universe and it will happen". Yeah, sure it will. I blame Noel Edmunds.

- Noel Edmunds and that dreadful pick a box programme. FFS there is no science involved ! It's chance, pure and simple ! See also - which lottery balls come out, which brings me onto...

- The National Lottery. It's a tax on poor bastards who use it as a way of dreaming that life will change. It won't. "If my numbers come up" - yes, well, carry on dreaming sucker, your money is just being used to provide services that should be state funded.

- Psychics. Should just be shot, every last fucking one of them, preying on poor credulous fools who haven't got "closure" after someone's died. They're dead, they can't talk to you any more.

- Homoeopathy. "Water has a memory". Fine, I'll just replace my SSD with a bowl of water then.

- "Lucky" numbers, colours, days and so forth, rabbit's feet, St Christopher medals and all the rest of it. Damn sure there are many such "lucky" emblems still attached to corpses on WW1 battlefields. It sure worked for them.

- The Daily Mail.

- Conspiracy theories. Apart from the Bilderberg group, these are all rubbish. Sure, the Americans are clever enough to bomb themselves and not a word of this ever got out.

- The "War on Terror". Sure, let's have a war AGAINST A FUCKING EMOTION. See also "The War on Drugs", another long-term 'war' that's really working well. Has no-one ever read George Orwell ?
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 12:33, 19 replies)
Another case of advanced daftness as opposed to ignorance…

Last weekend I attended a bit of a family reunion with some relatives from Oz. We all went out for a meal and eventually found ourselves enjoying a drink and glancing over menus as and you do.

As everyone made their meal choices, my mum just couldn’t decide and I asked her what the problem was:

“I don’t know whether or not I should go for the ‘Brewer’s Chicken’ – have you had that before?” she declared worriedly. I looked at the menu description: ‘Strips of tender chicken breast topped with crispy bacon and Cheddar, on a barbecue & beer sauce. Served with chips and salad’.

“I haven’t had it before but it sounds ok” I replied. “What’s the problem?”.

“Ooh, well I’m not sure how much beer will be in it. Besides, I’m also driving...” she answered with a concerned frown.

Fighting the urge to facepalm hard, I tried to reassure her. “That won’t be a problem” I said.

However, after careful deliberation, she eventually decided that it wasn’t worth taking the chance so she opted for the ‘safe option’ instead…

The Steak and Ale pie.


Ye.fucking.gods
(, Tue 4 Sep 2012, 14:14, 3 replies)
I did work a while ago alongside a highly trained, academically brilliant engineer at an automotive development facility
He complained that he couldn't establish diagnostic communication with the Automatic Transmission control unit over the multiplexed internal control area network bus system. All the proto fleet needed an auto 'box update and he couldn't go home until it was done.

On pointing out that the car he was sat in had a manual gear lever he got quite stroppy and listed his entire CV as to why it was the fault of the prototypers, the workshop technicians, the integration engineers, the tea ladies....everyone but him. Why oh why was the instrument cluster chock full of blinking information lamps, warning messages about broken systems and and strident bing-bong indicator chimes? Ah.

In trying to 'fix' the problems he'd altered the car's configuration file, in effect its BIOS, to try and force the car to believe that it was a Automatic when it....just plain wasn't. So didn't actually have an Auto gearbox control unit on account not having an auto gearbox.

Nevertheless, he proceeded thus- hamfistedly changing settings and options 'just in case' and hitting the 'program' button, altering the car's idea of what it should be and what it should have. Click click click, just like a hijacked web browser user trying frantically to close all the windows down.

When I retrieved the central config settings it was not really surprising that it was upset- it had been 'told' that it was an auto-box 12+6 cylinder petrol-diesel with supercharger AND a turbo with both 2- and 4-wheel drive, in the body of a Ford Focus, left hand drive to be sold in Australia. In the words of hackneyed old Sci-Fi stories about defeating maniacal deadly robots with their own logic, the car was sobbing and rocking itself into inactivity while chanting the metallic monotone mantra 'DOES NOT COMPUTE!' to itself.

But, you know, self belief above all else (including common sense) is very important to some people....
(, Mon 3 Sep 2012, 20:01, 1 reply)
Waste of atoms window cleaner
Last year I made the mistake of engaging my window cleaner in conversation. It was the weekend when the clocks go back and I mentioned this. His statement still staggers me. In all sincerity he said "I'm always amazed how the sun knows to come out an hour early".

I made my excuses and ran inside so that he couldn't see me crying with laughter.
(, Sat 1 Sep 2012, 12:24, 1 reply)
Hyde Park
This is a story of my dad's and features one of his work colleagues - Enzo.

The wavy lines on this one are even longer than usual - we're talking about 45 years ago here and dad & Enzo shared an office. Now Enzo was, apparently, a very nice guy, but extremely Italian and had not really acclimatised to living in the UK yet. One day, he came into the office and announced:

"I wanna buy a sho'gun.
"Where cann'I buy a sho'gun?"

Dad, being aware of Enzo's somewhat eccentric (by English standards) nature, enquired as to why he might want to buy a shot-gun.

"I went't Lond'n at'te wikend" quoth he. "I gonna go back n'xt wik an' shoot'a big white bir's in Hyde P'rk!"

And so it turned out that Enzo in his innocent, Italian, shootyness wanted to buy a shot-gun so that he could nip up to Hyde park on the train an fill his freezer with the Queen's best white swans. Eventually he was persuaded that the Queen took rather a dim view of this type of thing and that perhaps he really didn't need to be parading round with a shot-gun all that much but it was a pretty close thing for the swans there, for a while.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 17:40, Reply)
A Pearoast Of A Pearoast
So this will be the third time I've told this story on here....



At one company I worked at there was a huge, high-profile, project that involved employing dozens of programmers from an out-sourcing company. Well, I say programmers but I actually mean people-pulled-off-the-street-and-poured-into-suits. To my jaundiced eye these "programmers" seemed to have very little programming skills and a breath-taking lack of knowledge of IT in general. So it was up to me to educate them.

"Hey Legless" squeaked one of the masses "What does TCP/IP actually stand for?"

Bear in mind that this was a web project they were working on. A web programmer didn't know what the very bones of the Internet stood for.

"That'll be Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Pixies" I lied smoothly.

He looked suspicious.

"Internet Pixies" he asked looking puzzeled

"Yup. You see the fathers of the Internet were a bunch of hippies so would name things out of Tolkien or from Dungeons And Dragons. I mean, you've heard of Unix Daemons? - Systems processes on Unix boxes? Well the Pixies carry the messages to the Daemons. It all makes a kind of weird sense when you think about it"

I was warming to my theme now.

"Then there's a bunch of other Pixies on the internet. Your dial up modem uses PPP doesn't it?"

He nodded.

"Well that's Pixie to Pixie Protocol. Then there's your mail - POP3. That's Post Office Pixie. I could go on but that's the meat of it. Pixies run the Internet."


He was nodding now and smiling.

"You know, it does all make sense. Can't wait to tell the other guys about this. We've been wondering about it for a while." says Mr Gullible.

And off he trotted.

Cheers
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 11:00, 4 replies)
Audiophiles
There is no limit to the ignorance of people who, it seems, can be persuaded that speaker cables work better in one direction than the other, and that power leads give better sound quality when run in.

A friend of mine proudly told me that he'd just spent a few hundred ona connecting lead which was ... shock! ... Oxygen Free High Conductivity Copper. Wow. He was a little disappointed when I, doing research in copper conductors at the time, pointed out that OFHC copper is used to make all electrical conductors.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 7:24, 22 replies)
Wilful ignorance
There's nothing necessarily wrong with genuine, innocent ignorance. Not everyone can know everything, and I for one find joy in finding out something that I didn't know previously. Every day really is a school day.

Wilful ignorance, on the other hand, does my fucking head in. Wearing your lack of knowledge about anything of any worth like a badge of honour makes you a cunt. Denying yourself the pleasure of knowing things doesn't make you some kind of tough guy, it makes you an ignorant prick.

What especially burns my cockles is when you meet some ignoramus and put them right on something, or even just mention something that they're too fucking self-centred to have found out about, and then they make out as though you're pulling their leg, or even worse, as though you're thick for believing such things. YES, BEES AND ANTS ARE SPECIALISED FORMS OF WASPS. Why would I make that up? Why in fact would I make that up to tell YOU, you prick? You're a piece of shit. I wouldn't waste my time on making something up to tell you. If someone tells me something and I don't believe it, or I've never heard it, I sometimes take the effort to go and verify the claim. It's not hard. CUNTS.

... sorry, I seem to have gone on something of a rant there.
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 20:22, 8 replies)
I once had to explain
that canals weren't just naturally straight rivers. Same person thought that:

- The World is exactly 2012 years old
- Gordon Brown was the last member of the SNP to be British PM ('Well, he's Scottish, so he wouldn't be a member of Labour')
- England invented the flag. No one else had flags before England. Everyone just copied the idea.
- The London Underground was built in the 80s. Before then, people had to get buses or walk, but it didn't matter so much because London was a quarter of it's present size (and there's absolutely no point saying it is from the 19th century as they didn't have trains back then)
- Paris is the UK's official second city
- Peter Andre is the UK's wealthiest man
- If a plane flew into a cloud too quickly, it would be like hitting a brick wall, which is why Concorde was dangerous
- it is illegal for an employer to sack any employee unless they have been convicted of a criminal offence
- John Lennon is the only surviving member of the Who (yes, you read that right)
(, Thu 30 Aug 2012, 12:45, 6 replies)
It's a cow
Moons ago, we took my mother back to the village of her birth in the highlands of bonny Scotland. It was her 50th Birthday so we booked into a fairly swanky hotel near Loch Ness.

It was my first time north of the border and I was somewhat startled to see an enormous ginger bull roaming the hotel grounds, mere yards from the entrance.

Being a new Dad, I was concerned for the wellbeing of my child so wandered up to the hotel reception to point this out. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Excuse me, there's a large bull loose on the grounds.
Them: I don't see a bull sir.
Me: It's there, that great big ginger thing with horns.
Them: Do you mean the cow sir?
Me (looking around perplexed): No, the bull
Them: I can only see a cow sir, it's of no danger
Me: I can't see any bloody cows...
Them: .....

Retreating to the hotel room, I hastily do a wiki search:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_cattle

How was I to know that highland cattle are known locally as cows? Begs the question, what do they call the traditional black and white variety?
(, Mon 3 Sep 2012, 16:59, 13 replies)
I met an australian girl a while back
when I was out with a bunch of freinds who was hot, but astonishingly ignorant. After a few drinks somehow the conversation turned to Hitler, and she said that she was always really upset that Jesus just sat back and did nothing about it.
Asked to explain her reasoning, she informed us that since Jesus looked about forty when he featured in a film she had seen which was made in the '60s, then he must have been about twenty at the start of WW2. She found it astonishing that the son of god must have implicitly supported the Nazi party.
Open mouths. What do you do? We agreed out of politeness, snuck out in ones and twos for fags and pissed ourselves.
(, Sat 1 Sep 2012, 16:45, 2 replies)
Here's one about my own ignorance
Years ago, in what seems like a another lifetime, I was a young geo working in the goldfields of western australia. I applied for a high profile job at a huge goldmine, one I thought I hadn't a chance of getting. I knew a package called Minemap reasonably well, but had found out from a friend they used Micromine, which I'd never used. I found a manual about Micromine, and on my CV I listed that I was expert with all the functions, including some fairly advanced ones. To my suprise, I was offered the job and accepted. I boned up what I could on Micromine, difficult without being able to use it, and quit pot for a month to pass my pre-employment drug test.
On my first day of work, the chief geologist took me around to meet all my coworkers. Every one of them said the same thing: "Oh, you're the Micromine wizard. We've been desperate for you to start."
The next morning, I was sat at my new desk in front of a computer with the boss and two other geos waiting expectantly behind me.
I stared at the screen. It was a Unix terminal with a command promt. I'd never fucking used Unix and must of missed that part in the manual that said it was a fucking Unix based program.
The silence continued for a while before I turned and said, "So how do you turn it on, then?"
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 19:08, 6 replies)
I recently spent three years in Indonesia.
Everyone believes that swimming and playing basketball make you taller. No amount of explaining the difference between correlation and causation can dissuade them from this. Then one day a student brought in his school biology text book to prove it to me, and indeed, that is exactly what it said. Nice one, Indonesian ministry of education.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 18:55, Reply)
Flight Attendants

A good friend of mine is an airline pilot, and he always has great stories about his conversations with the sky waitresses (excuse me, "flight attendants") at work. Two of my favorites:

Story 1:

One of his usual routes is Los Angeles to San Francisco and back, up and down the California coast in the US. One one flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco, a flight attendant points out the window on the left side of the plane and asks, "What is that huge body of water out there?"

"That's the Pacific Ocean."

Later that day, they both worked the same return flight, San Francisco to Los Angeles. The same flight attendant points out the window on the right side of the plane and asks, "What is that huge body of water out there?

"I told you this morning, that's the Pacific Ocean"

"...No, that can't be right; the Pacific Ocean is on the LEFT side of the plane!"

Story 2:

In the middle of nowhere in the desert Southwest region of the US there exists a large crater, caused long ago by a meteor strike. It's now one of those "wonders of nature" tourist attractions, with an access road leading to it, and a smaller road around the perimeter so that tourists can drive around and look down into it.

"What's that large crater down there?"
"That was caused by a meteor strike."
"...Wow, they were really lucky! Look how close it came to that road!"
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 14:06, 2 replies)
Computer stories seem popular.
I have heard a couple of versions of this, but the most recent was from my brother who works on a huge network for a big publishing group.

They recently started migrating everything to 'the cloud', which included moving from Exchange servers to web based mail.

All users are told as from Monday, they will be accessing mails differently. No need to do anything, all mailboxes will be backed up and migrated. Lovely.

Big cheese calls him up on Monday morning. "All my emails have gone".

"Um, ok. I can see your mailbox. Everything was moved, what exactly is it you're missing?"

"All the ones I archived. There are thousands of them, 6 years worth"

"Archived? What do you mean?"

"After I read them, I hit delete, and they all go to the 'deleted items' folder. I keep them all there so I know which ones I have dealt with".

"Um, I have some bad news then".
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 12:50, 7 replies)

I was sitting at work cleaning my Android phone screen, when the old woman beside me anounced her son had one of those type phones.

Me "What sort is it"

Old Woman "Don't know, but it has a button that makes a dog come out and lick the screen clean"

Me "It won't actually clean the sceen"

Old Woman "Well not on the outside"

Nice to know they've invented an app to clean the inside of your phone.
(, Fri 31 Aug 2012, 10:16, 5 replies)

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