Category Archives: Random

Yet more randomness

I’m suffering from writers block so in the meantime here is a summary of some of the things I have come across in the last half an hour.

I have just discovered The Dilbert Blog by Scott Adams. Judging by the number of comments on some of the posts it’s rather popular. I already get my daily Dilbert cartoon via my Dashboard, now I can read the blog too. Maybe I should spend more time working and less time reading comics.

Philip Greenspun shares his thoughts on the real reason why Bill Gates is so interested in HIV and Malaria.

There’s a new competition in town, the Blooker Prize, for bloggers who have turned their online journal into books. Seems there’s a market for it. Blogs to books. Rags to riches. Who knows! The BBC has more about it here.

Never mind the bollocks

This afternoon I was reading Richard Branson’s autobiography when I came across an interesting fact about the word “bollocks”. In 1977 when Virgin Music were promoting the Sex Pistol’s album “Never mind the bollocks, here’s the Sex Pistols”, the police arrested the manager of one of Virgin’s stores under the Indecent Advertisements Act of 1889 because the posters displayed in the shop window contained the word “bollocks”. The case went to trial. In preparation for the court case Richard Branson spoke to a linguist, a Professor James Kinsley, to clarify the meaning of the word. Turns out the word “bollocks” is an eighteenth-century nickname for priests. As priests generally seemed to speak such a lot of nonense during their sermons, the word “bollocks” gradually came to mean “rubbish”. The case was subsequently dismissed. So there you go: the word “bollocks” has nothing to do with testicles, it means “rubbish”. So the next time your boss has a crap idea …

Overzealous lover?

Here’s an interesting fact from a book I am reading, Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Questions: the British Army used to put bromide in the soldiers’ tea as a means of curbing their sexual appetite. Apparently, bromide salts were widely used as sedatives in the 19th century too.

In a reference to using bromides to reduce libido the comic Spike Milligan once wrote: ‘I don’t think the bromide had any lasting effect, the only way to stop a British soldier feeling randy is to load bromide into a 300lb shell and fire it at him from the waist down.’