Saturday, 26 December 2015

Santa Themed 'Would You Rather?' Dilemmas

Christms dilemmas with a 'Would You rather?' theme.

I'm a big fan of 'Would You Rather?' dilemmas, so as it's Christmas I thought it would be topical to take a look at a selection of Santa/Christmas related 'Would You Rather?' scenarios.  So put aside reality for a moment and decide what options you would go for if you found yourself with the following hypothetical choices...

Santa or Star Wars?

1) Santa versus Star Wars

The first dilemma offers you the chance to live in one of two fantasy worlds, as you're granted a choice between living in a world where Santa Claus is real*, or living in the Star Wars universe.  They're both appealing options, as free toys for everyone on the nice list (such as myself) would be really cool, but so would going for a ride in the Millenium Falcon.

* Much like our own world where Santa is also real.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Top Selling Toys From Years Gone By (Part 1)

A nostalgic look at popular toys found on lists to Santa in the olden days.

As it's only a few days until Christmas, this week I take a nostalgic trip down memory lane as I look at a selection of toys from years gone by.  I've also included the decade when they were launched, or in some cases the decade when the popularity of the toys in question was at its peak.  However, the popularity of many toys has spanned over generations, so don't be surprised if you associate some of the toys with a different era...

1950s - Play-Doh

Play-Doh, sponsored by Keith Lemon, the 'Fuzzy Pumper'.
Despite its current use as modelling clay, Play-Doh was originally invented as a wallpaper cleaner.  Obviously, it wasn’t called Play-Doh back then, as Play-Doh wouldn’t have been a very appropriate name for a wallpaper cleaner, but it was effectively the same product.  However, as the market for wallpaper cleaner began to dwindle, the company that originally manufactured Play-Doh was heading towards bankruptcy.

Fortunately, Joe McVicker (nephew of the dude who invented Play-Doh), noticed that young kids were using the wallpaper cleaner for modelling purposes and so after a quick change of marketing direction, the wallpaper cleaner was repackaged as ‘Play-Doh’ and sales quickly took off.  Within a few years the company had already racked up millions of dollars’ worth of sales and by 2005 more than two billion cans had been sold!

It just goes to show the importance of marketing and correctly identifying your optimum target audience.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

How Does Santa Spend His Free Time?

Football, hibernation and romance...  Just a few of Santa's lesser known pastimes.

Santa Claus, pictured in his spare time.
If you've ever wondered how Santa Claus spends his free time, then wonder no more!  Photobox recently conducted a survey asking kids aged five to eight to describe what Santa gets up to when he isn't delivering presents, and some of the results were a little surprising.

Here are a few of the things that Santa apparently likes to do in his spare time, according to the creative kids surveyed...

1) Kids apparently believe that Santa's Christmas duties leave him extremely tired out, so to recover he spends all of January asleep next to a cosy fire!

2) Santa regains his energy by February, however, when he spends the entire month writing romantic love letters to Mrs Claus!

3) A quarter of kids think Santa keeps fit by playing football with his elves.  Surprisingly, this isn't quite as ridiculous as it sounds, as there is actually a real football club in Finland called FC Santa Claus!  And as you'd expect, the team wears a red and white football strip!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Santa And The Naughty Elf

A new book by Charles Fudgemuffin's younger brother...

'Santa and the Naughty Elf'
Available for Kindle from Amazon.
I don't usually feature books by other authors on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog, but this week I highlight a new book with a Christmas theme written by my younger brother ... Charles Fudgemuffin, Jr!

The book in question is entitled 'Santa And The Naughty Elf' and as the name suggests it tells the story of a naughty elf whose devious plans could ruin Christmas for everyone!  this is the blurb...

"Santa Claus has gone missing and his replacement, Neville the Naughty Elf, is getting up to all sorts of mischief while Santa is away. In fact if Neville succeeds in his despicable plans, this could turn into the most miserable Christmas ever!

Two of Santa’s loyal elves, Derek Droopy-Ears and Elvis Curly-Toes, are determined to do everything they can to stop Neville from ruining Christmas for everyone, but will they be able to track Santa down before it’s too late? Or will naughty Neville succeed and spoil Christmas for all the nice kids all around the world?"

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Formula 1: How Fast Is It?

How does the speed of a formula 1 car compare with other speeds? A comparison...

A formula 1 car can reach speeds of up to 231.5 mph.
Not this one, though.  This one was stationary
The formula 1 championship comes to an end this weekend, so this week I analyse how the speed of a formula 1 car compares with the speed of a variety of other objects, creatures and events.  As a starting reference point, the maximum speed recorded by a formula 1 car was 231.5 mph set by Juan Pablo Montoya at Monza during the 2005 Italian Grand Prix.

Listed below you can see how Juan Pablo Montoya's feat compares with a variety of other significant speeds.  Here they all are starting with the slowest first...

1) The top speed of the world's fastest snail* = 0.0313 mph

* The speckled garden snail.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Funny Job Application Answers

How Not To Get A Job...

"The successful applicant must be hard working,
good with figures, and of course...
do excellent dinosaur impressions."
At one of my previous jobs my supervisor asked the senior manager, who was a bit of a joker, to have a quick look at her CV to see if he could suggest any improvements.  For a sneaky prank, the senior manager added the following entry to her CV...

Hobbies: Swearing and shoplifting.

Incredibly, some real life job applicants* have actually given answers just as inappropriate, so for this week's blog post I've featured a round-up of unusual answers taken from CVs, job application forms and job interviews...

* Presumably unsuccessful.

1) In one word, summarise your strongest professional attribute:
I'm very good at following instructions.

2) Skills: I can do an excellent triceratops impersonation.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

10 Interesting Chinese Words And Expressions

Vinegar jars, invisible glasses, and flatulent dogs.

From time to time on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I take a look at interesting words found in other languages from around the world, and this week I focus on Chinese.  Please note, I'm not a fluent Chinese speaker, so apologies if I haven't explained any of the above with perfect linguistic clarity, but here are a few Chinese words which I found amusing or interesting...

Dog fart!
Please note, a cuddly toy dog has been used for the purposes of
this photo in order to avoid causing embarrassment to any real dogs.

1) Dog Fart!

In English, if someone was expressing an opinion you disagreed with, you might reply, "Rubbish!" or "Nonsense!" or if you were old-fashioned and slightly posh you might say "Poppycock!"

If you spoke Chinese, however, you might reply 'gǒupì!' (狗屁) which more or less means the same thing as 'Nonsense!' but rather amusingly, it literally translates as 'Dog fart!'

If you want to have hours of amusement at work, then I recommend introducing the expression 'dog fart!' to your office, and I can testify from my own experience that it's guaranteed to produce hours of childish hilarity!

What's that you say?  'Dog fart'?  No, I promise you it's true.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Funny Things Kids Say

Another collection of kid-isms...

Cuddly toys for 'cuddly' parents.
A few months ago I published the short story ‘Small Pots Also Have Ears’ which deals with the subject of kids making unintentionally amusing comments.  Sticking with the same theme, I thought that for this week’s blog post I would feature a collection of amusing comments by kids, taken from facebook and twitter (links to original tweeters provided).  The names have been changed to protect the innocent...

1) Cuddly parents

To start things off, here’s a status posted by a facebook friend with a very diplomatic daughter…

“My 8 year old daughter just said, “You know, some people think they are fat when they are really not ... they are just cuddly.  And you are the second most cuddly person I know!”

Ha, ha! That's the type of compliment that only a kid could get away with.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

The 'Are You Officially Old?' Quiz

"When I was a lad..."

Are you really old, or still quite young?
Find out with this week's quiz.
At the place where I work, we rarely get a chance to chat because we're always so busy all the time doing our work.  However, during one of the rare occasions when we took a brief moment to chat, the conversation got onto the subject of things from the past.

The whole conversation made me feel quite old, so I decided to use the conversation as the theme for this week's blog post, which features a 'true or false' quiz on things from the past which may or may not have existed.  If you're old like me, then you'll know which of the following are true and which are made up, but if you're young then you'll just have to guess.

Anyway, Charles Fudgemufin proudly presents a special quiz called...

The 'Are You Officially Old?' Quiz

Have a read of the following recollections from the olden days and see if you can guess if they are real examples of days gone by, or is it just something I've made up?  If you know the answers, then you're officially old.  If you don't know the answers and you have to guess ... congratulations, you're officially still young!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

"Oops, I've Made A Terrible Error."

Mistakes made in the spotlight...

This week saw the release of an exciting new trailer for the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and advance ticket sales for the new movie were already breaking records within a day of going on sale.  However, despite the massive success of the Star Wars movies, at one stage it looked as if the original film might not even get made.  Incredibly, some movie studios actually turned Star Wars down, but they can console themselves with the fact that they're not the first people, and they won't be the last, to make a big mistake in the spotlight.

Here's a round-up of some notable mistakes over the years...

Characters from Star Wars pictured a long time ago
at a shopping mall far, far away.

1) A long time ago...

When George Lucas first conceived the idea of a Star Wars movie, not all movie studios shared his enthusiasm for the project, and the movie was rejected by Universal and United Artists due to budgetary concerns.

Thankfully, Alan Ladd at 20th Century Fox believed in George Lucas, if not the actual movie, and Star Wars went on to become one of the biggest movie success stories of all time.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Screen Licking Pug

A helpful pug to answer all your questions...

A cute baby pug.
Please note, this pug isn't the actual 'screen licking pug'
and is used purely for illustrative purposes.
The Charles Fudgemuffin blog should perhaps be renamed the 'Charles Pugmuffin' blog, because last week's blog post featured ten cute pug photos to celebrate National Pug Day, and this week's post also has a pug theme to it.

It's an adaptation to a childish facebook prank I previously featured, whereby whenever your friends ask a question on facebook, you simply post a reply claiming that the following link provides a helpful solution to their problem:

However, in actual fact the above 'InfoPage216' link isn't helpful as all, and instead it sneakily redirects them to the 'screen licking pug'.

Here are a few examples to demonstrate...

Saturday, 10 October 2015

National Pug Day

Celebrate the beauty of pugs on Pugtober 15th.

This week sees the world celebrate the cuteness of pugs with National Pug Day, so in honour of this special day, this week the Charles Fudgemuffin blog is dedicated to my parents' adorably cute pugs, Bella and Phoebe...

1) A new arrival to the family

This is Bella the Pug looking adorably cute in her pink bow when she was just a baby puppy.  I showed this photo to a girl I work with and her response was, "Arrr!  I think we should have a 'Bring your parents' dog to work day!'"

Saturday, 3 October 2015

10 Silly Quotes From TV Presenters

Blank cheques, everyday objects and roller-skating pensioners...

An everyday object, apparently.
Previously on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I've featured silly quotes from quiz show contestants and hosts.  This week I expand the net a little further and round-up a selection of silly quotes from TV presenters in general...

1) "Damien Hirst tends to use everyday objects, such as a shark in formaldehyde."
...Fashion Presenter

2) "Kevin Francis can't help being six foot seven.  He was born that way."
...Peter Rhoades-Brown.

3) "I don't normally do requests, unless I'm asked to."
...Richard Whiteley

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Book Reviews (Part 12)

Another batch of book related opinions.

This week I take a look at two books from two of my favourite authors - Alexander McCall Smith and John Grisham - as well as a couple of humorous books...

Morality For Beautiful Girls
by Alexander McCall Smith

Morality For Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith - 4.5 / 5.0

In this the third book in the No.1 Ladies Detetive Agency series Precious Ramotswe deals with the issue of relocating the detective agency to the offices of Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's garage.  She also investigates the out of character behaviour from Rra Matekoni himself, as well as a couple of cases involving an unusual orphan and a potential poisoning.  This is another enjoyable account of Mma Ramotswe's eventful life, and any fans of the first two books will once again appreciate Morality For Beautiful Girls as the format is the same.  The narrative also contains the occasional brief passage which summarises the most significant events of the first two books, so this third book could quite easily be read as a stand-alone book by any new readers.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

10 Real Facts That Sound Made Up

Or rather, nine real facts that sound made up (plus one which actually is made up)...

A tiger (not a real one).
Every now and then on twitter I've tweeted the occasional 'real fact that sounds made up' and so I thought I would compile a few of these facts on my blog.  To make things a bit more interesting though, I've also inserted one 'fact' which actually is made up into the following list, so see if you can guess which one is the imposter among the following 'facts'...

1) American tigers.

There are more tigers in the United States than in the rest of the world combined.

2) Exploding ant heads.

Brunei ants have ants within the colony who can explode their own heads to defend the colony by leaving a sticky glue-like secretion to slow down intruders.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Is A KitKat A Chocolate Bar Or A Biscuit?

A chocolatey investigation into a controversial but important question...

Android KitKat.  Definitely an operating system.
But is it named after a biscuit or a chocolate bar?
At the office where I work we rarely get the chance to chat because we're always so busy working hard at our jobs all the time.  However, during a rare quiet moment the other day we did have a brief chat, and one subject which cropped up was the question, 'Is a KitKat a chocolate bar or a biscuit?'

This produced a heated debate with some voices arguing passionately that a KitKat was categorically a chocolate bar, and other voices confidently declaring that a KitKat was most definitely a biscuit.  In an attempt to resolve the matter, we consulted various sources, including Wikipedia, our manager, and even, but not even the official KitKat website provided a definitive answer.*

So in the end it was decided that the best thing to do was to put it to the vote.  The office vote was too close to call, so I've therefore carried the debate over to the Charles Fudgemuffin blog.  If your mind is already made up on the KitKat debate, then please register your vote at the poll below.  Alternatively, if you'd like to hear a few pro-chocolate bar and pro-biscuit arguments before making your decision, then scroll down the page for a brief summary of some of the arguments put forward during our office discussion.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Modern Swedish Words

Learning a new language is perhaps not as daunting as you might think.

This week I 'blogga' about Swedish words.
The thought of learning a new language can be intimidating, especially to English speakers, as we're traditionally not very good at learning new languages.  However, if you want to learn a foreign language such as Swedish, then although it may seem daunting at first, you can take encouragement from the fact that a lot of modern words are shared between languages.

Technology in particular is one field where Swedish words are very similar to English, as you can see from the following list of Swedish words and their English equivalents...

1) googla ... to google
2) twittra ... to tweet
3) printa ut ... to print out
4) skypa ... to skype
5) facebooka ... to facebook
6) skanna ... to scan
7) blogga ... to blog
8) spotifiera ... to use spotify
9) websajt ... website 
10) logga in ... to log in

And if you want to test how your Swedish skills are progressing, see if you can work out this next one for yourself...

Saturday, 29 August 2015

"Everton are literally a bag of Revels!"

Non-literal use of the word literally.

As time goes by, languages evolve and words which once meant one thing can gradually come to be used to mean something else.  One such word which has changed it's meaning over the years is the word 'literally' ... and now it's official!

A Norwegian woman wearing her birthday suit.
The latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary includes an additional definition which acknowledges that when used informally, 'literally' can be ‘used for emphasis rather than being actually true’ such as ‘we were literally killing ourselves laughing’.

In honour of this linguistic update, I've listed below a few sporting examples which literally conjure up some strange images.  First of all, as you can see from this opening quote, child-birth must be absolute agony for Norwegian woman...

1) “You were up against the Norwegians who are literally born on skis.”
...Kate Silverton

2) “Everton are literally a bag of Revels.”
...Paul Merson

Saturday, 22 August 2015

A 'Would You Rather?' For The World

The pointlessness of violence...

Usually on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I generally just feature daft blog posts about silly subjects.  However, sometimes all the rubbishness in the world can make it hard to be silly, so I thought that this week I would feature a brief excerpt from the 'How To Save The World' books.  The excerpt focuses on a 'Would You Rather?' dilemma and a conversation which sums up the pointlessness of violence.

The scene features Eric and Zanya, and takes place on the distant alien planet of Fem.  Eric mentions the troubles between the Femlings and the Fyralings, but the sentiments are true wherever you live...

      “I’ve got a ‘Would You Rather?’ for you.  Would you rather let yourself be full of hate and devote your entire life to nurturing that hate and letting it fester away inside you…”  Eric paused for effect.  “...or would you rather just party it up every night having loads of fun and just not bother with all that hate rubbish?”

Saturday, 15 August 2015

A Level Results Day

Identity theft, large pizzas and dubious hearing...

This week thousands of teenagers around the country received their A level results, so I thought this would be an appropriate time to feature a collection of jokes on the theme of education.  However, the first two statements actually have an element of truth to them...

If you look closely, you can see the marine biology
student's grades just below sea level.
1) What the teacher says: "Your homework tonight is to read pages 17-25."
What I hear: "No homework tonight!"

2) What the teacher says: "Your homework should be 4-6 pages long."
What I hear: "Your homework should be 4 pages long."

3) Why did the marine biology student drown?
His grades were below C level.

4) I was too nervous to open my A level results, so I asked my Geordie mate to read them out for me.  I don't know if I got As or Es!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Silly Statuses

When links aren't quite what they seem.

A photo link from one of my recent silly statuses.
Anyone who follows me on facebook or twitter may have noticed that I'm often in a silly mood, so over the last few months I've been posting the occasional silly status.

Each of the following statuses makes a supposedly sensible claim, and is accompanied by a link providing further information.  However, when you click the link you discover that although the original claims are true, they're nevertheless not always quite what you might expect...

1) First up is a status which will appeal to internet users looking for a foolproof method to get free wifi.  However, it involves dubious methods ... or does it?

"A clever wifi hack that lets you use any password protected wifi connection:"

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Funny Google Predictions Quiz

Killer apples, pregnant men and bra wearing sons...

The world.
Find out how to save it with Google search.
One clever feature of Google Search is that Google learns from previous searches, and then uses this information to create its 'auto-complete' feature.  This means that when you start typing a search term, Google will offer predictive suggestions of what it thinks you're about to type.

For example, if you type 'How To Save The', Google will offer predictive suggestions such as:

How To Save The World
How To Save The Rainforest
How To Save The Environment

Most of the time the auto-complete predictions are quite logical.  However, on a few occasions they can be quite unexpectedly bizarre, so this week I've decided to highlight a few of these surprising Google suggestions in the form of a quiz.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Book Reviews (Part 11)

It's time for another round-up of book reviews...

This week I take a look at a selection of comedy and thriller books...

The Awkward Detective: The Bone Donor
by Wright Forbucks

The Awkward Detective: The Bone Donor by Wright Forbucks - 4.8 / 5.0

The Awkward Detective: The Bone Donor tells the story of Jason Mashburn who falls for Molly Wilson, a girl who suffers from a rare blood disease.  On learning of Molly's condition, Jason decides he is prepared to do whatever it takes to save the girl of his dreams.  However, being a Wright Forbucks novel, there are several clever and unexpected twists along the way.  The ending in particular was very well written, bringing together the various plot threads and answering all of my questions, and also answering a few questions I didn't realise need answered!  Wright Forbucks is one of my favourite authors and this is another highly original and unique tale featuring his dark offbeat sense of humour.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

A Few Creative And Innovative Crowdfunding Projects

Fresh air, water melons, and pay to not play...

Crowdfunding websites like kickstarter are all about encouraging creativity and originality, and some really cool ideas have been brought to life through the crowdfunding business model.  However, there have also been a few unusual projects, and this week I take a look at some of those 'less conventional' projects...

1) Fresh Air

Fresh air ... now available in a bottle.
Just to prove that there are people out there who will literally buy anything, crowdfunding website indiegogo featured a project from a company which planned to sell bottled air!

The blurb reads...

"Have you ever roamed an Irish mountain, or indeed dreamed of roaming one or sat by the Irish sea as the waves lapped gently over your frozen toes?  We've bottled the essence that makes these experiences so unique.  Fresh Irish Air."

I visited Ireland a few years ago and I have to say the Irish countryside air was lovely and fresh, so if you were going to sell bottled air then Irish air is the perfect choice.  However, I don't think it was quite that amazing that I would pay money for it.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Prank Facebook Hacking

"Hello everyone.  I am about to learn a hard lesson today.  I am about to learn not to leave my facebook account logged in at work..."

That was a friend's status on facebook a few weeks ago, and it's also the theme for today's blog post.  I should first of all clarify that Charles Fudgemuffin in no way condones prank facebook hacking, but if you do find yourself with access to a friend's facebook account and you decide to post an embarrassing prank fake status, then the following examples may provide inspiration for ideas.

A loving husband makes a generous promise to his wife
... or does he?
First of all, here's a standard classic hack...

1) "Best piece of advice you'll ever get...  Listen to your wife.  She knows best!"

Hmm, I wonder who could have been behind this status?

And a variation on the same theme...

2) "Well today I am going to take my wife shopping and buy her lots of nice things."

Strangely, the husband in question must have then had second thoughts because he replied to his own status with the comment:

I am soooo not!"

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Every Second Counts

At the third stroke, the time will be 11:59 and 60 seconds precisely... 

Every second counts.
If you think last Tuesday seemed to drag and felt like a long day ... you were right!  That's because the International Earth Rotation And Reference Systems Service (IERS) added an extra second to Tuesday.  This additional second is known as a 'leap second' and is kind of like a leap year only a lot shorter.

To explain the reasoning behind leap seconds, without getting too scientific, the speed of Earth's rotation varies by tiny amounts due to geological occurrences, as well as the pull of the Moon and the Sun, so the leap second is basically a way of ensuring our calendar remains precisely accurate.

You may think, "It's only a second!  What's the big deal about a second?" but in actual fact a surprisingly high amount of activity can take place in a single second.

For example, every second...

1) ...the Earth orbits 18.5 miles around the Sun!

2) ...the Solar System travels 155 miles around the galactic centre of the Milky Way!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Supermarket Signs, Labels And Vouchers

Poor maths and poor geography...

On the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I've previously featured amusing signs from around the world, and this week's blog post is a slight variation on that theme.  Pictured below are photos of supermarket signs, labels and vouchers...

1) What a bargain!

First up, here's a great deal at my local supermarket...

A brilliant offer for stupid people!

One pizza for £1.50, or 2 for £8!

Wow! What a bargain!  I think I'll buy, er ... one.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Giving Excellent Stuff The Credit It Deserves (Part 3)

Some people are very hard to please...

Previously on the Charles Fudgemufin blog, I've highlighted a selection of gushingly enthusiastic music reviews with confusingly stingy ratings.  It's not just music reviewers who give harsh review ratings, so this week I've decided to look at a few similarly stingy reviews focusing on TV shows, movies, and first of all books...

1) Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Withering Tights: "The most hilarious book ever!"
3 / 5
I'm a big fan of Louise Rennison's 'Angus' books, so I was interested to read this extremely enthusiastic review of her new 'Tallulah Casey' book...

"...this book is insane.  It could have easily killed me with its hilarity, and to be entirely honest it might just be the most hilarious, most ridiculous book I've ever read.  I wish I read this when I was younger - I'd have loved it!  Or could have easily killed me then.  It's just too funny!  3/5"

So just to recap, the 'most hilarious book' you've ever read...
...3 out of 5?

A book so funny it could have killed you...
...3 out of 5?

A book which is so amazingly hilariously funny it has the potential to kill, and yet you give it only 3 out of 5?  Seriously!?  3 out of 5!?


Saturday, 13 June 2015

10 Funny Quiz Show Answers (Part 3)

"Sorry, you've failed the audition for Mastermind."

London: Famous for Big Ben, Downing Street,
and of course ... pasta.
As I've highlighted before on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog, contestants on quiz shows have come up with some very silly answers over the years.   Here's another collection of silly answers from quiz show contestants who most definitely weren't appearing on Mastermind...

1) Name something London is famous for.
Answer:  Pasta

2) Name something a blind man might use.
Answer:  A sword

3) Which letter of the alphabet sounds exactly the same as the term for a female sheep?
Answer:  Baa!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Scientists As Comedians: Stephen Hawking

Time, the universe and parked cars...

This week's blog post focuses on Stephen Hawking,
author of 'A Brief History Of Time'.
A few weeks ago I featured a collection of quotes from Albert Einstein which showed that as well as being a scientific genius, Einstein perhaps also fancied himself as a bit of a comedian.

Einstein isn't the only scientist with a sense of humour, and another scientist known to make the occasional amusing remark is Stephen Hawking.  Some of his quotes might not read that funny, but when you listen to Stephen actually saying them, his robotic straight laced voice only adds to the humour...

1) The end of the world

When giving a lecture in Japan, Stephen was asked not to mention the end of the universe in case it affected the Japanese stock market.  This was his response:

"I don't know if or when the universe will end, but for those of you who are nervous about your investments, I think it's a bit early to sell."

Saturday, 30 May 2015

How To Advertise Your Book Or Blog For Free With Project Wonderful

A step by step guide to free advertising on Project Wonderful.

My 'True Or False' rectangle advert on Project Wonderful.
One problem that all indie authors face, and many traditionally published authors as well, is how to get your book discovered by new readers.  One of the easiest ways to publicise your book is with advertising, but the problem is that most indie authors generally don't have a large advertising budget.  However, with Project Wonderful a lack of advertising budget isn't a problem, as their advertising rates start at free!

You might think that free advertising would mean your adverts get only a tiny number of views on rarely visited blogs, but at the time of writing I've been using Project Wonderful for less than a week, and my ads have aleady had over 50,000 views!  Obviously you have to be realistic about your expectations - a website with millions of daily views isn't going to be available for free - but so far I've found that even if you allocate only a few minutes each day to posting your ads, the results can be impressive.

Here's a step by step guide on how to advertise your book or blog for free using Project Wonderful...

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Funny Football Quotes (Part 6)

Nicknames, famous sayings and big furry heads...

Today's official attendance: 1
(Figures compiled by Paul Merson).
To round the football season off on a humorous note, here's a selection of funny football quotes from players, managers, pundits, and even one quote from a mascot...

1) “There’s only one person gets you sacked, and that’s the fans.”
...Paul Merson

2) "I have to be careful what I say about the ref.  He was absolutely appalling!" 
...Neil Lennon taking great care not to say anything bad about the ref.

3) "Don't ask me what a typical Brazilian is because I don't know what a typical Brazilian is.  But Romario was a typical Brazilian."
...Sir Bobby Robson

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Small Pots Also Have Ears

A free short story from Charles Fudgemuffin

The 'peacocking' marketing strategy.
Thumbnails are very small on Amazon and
other ebook sites, so I've therefore gone for
a garishly colourful cover to attract attention.
I’ve mentioned before on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog that a cool Swedish saying I like is the expression ‘Small Pots Also Have Ears’.  In case you’re wondering, it basically means that children listen in to adult conversations and take in more than you realise.

Most parents can probably relate to the saying, and in fact I like it so much that I used it as the theme for a short story I’ve recently published called … ‘Small Pots Also Have Ears’!  In keeping with the Swedish saying, it deals with the theme of kids listening in to their parents’ conversations and then perhaps not being quite as discrete about things as their parents would have liked!

It’s only a very short read consisting of three short chapters, and a typical reader will probably read it in no more than ten to fifteen minutes.  You can currently download it for free from iBooks, Kobo, B&N, Payhip, Smashwords or by direct download.  You can also read it online at Wattpad.

It’s a stand alone story, so you can dive straight in and you don’t have to have read any previous books prior to reading ‘Small Pots Also Have Ears’.  However, anyone who has read the ‘How To Save The World’ books may recognise the characters of Jake, Jake’s mam, Jake’s dad and Auntie Charine who appeared very briefly (blink and you’d miss them) in the final book of the series, ‘In The End, No-One Can Escape Justice’.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Book Reviews (Part 10)

It's time for another batch of book reviews...

This week I take a look at a selection of books with the varied themes of genocide, teenage school life, revenge and philosophy...

Sudan by Ninie Hammon

Sudan by Ninie Hammon - 4.8 / 5.0

Sudan by Ninie Hammon deals with the government organised genocide in Sudan, so as you'd expect given the subject matter it's pretty heavy reading at times and doesn't pull any punches.  It's a fictional story, but all of the horrific events described in the book are based on actual atrocities that have taken place in Sudan.  Author Ninie Hammon doesn't sugar coat things, so the powerful writing will pull on your heart-strings at times, but Sudan is a brilliant book and an important book that deserves and needs to be read by a bigger audience.  If it was produced in a way which captured the emotion of the book, then Sudan would also make a very powerful movie or TV series.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

The Star Wars Pants Game Quiz

"I find your lack of pants disturbing."

Yoda joins in with the Star Wars pants game.
In honour of Star Wars Day (May the 4th), I thought it would be topical to feature a Star Wars themed blog post this week.

One amusingly daft Star Wars game which I find entertaining is the Star Wars Pants Game, whereby you substitute one word from a Star Wars quote with the word 'pants'.

Featured below is a 'Pants Game' quiz to test Star Wars fans' knowledge of memorable Star Wars quotes, so take a look at the following quotes and see if you can guess the correct word or phrase to restore the quote to its original non-pantsified form.

1) "Pants matter(s) not.  Judge me by my pants, do you?" ...Yoda

a) Size
b) Traditional grammar structure
c) Fozzie Bear impressions

Saturday, 25 April 2015

When Science Fiction Becomes Science Fact!

A prank that came true...

Kinetic Capture Insoles.
A genuine real photo with no photoshopping whatsoever. #NotReally
As well as the Charles Fudgemuffin blog, I also run a spoof technology blog called Tomorrow's Technology Today, and one story which appeared on the blog back in 2012 was a feature on Kinetic Capture™ Insoles; running shoe insoles that store the kinetic energy as you run and then use this power to charge up your iPhone.

Of course the insoles were entirely fictitious, but some people were fooled by the article, with one person commenting, "I love this technology!! Great article and test.  What is the lifespan of these insoles?"  As already mentioned, sadly, I can't comment on their lifespan, as the insoles aren't real and are  totally fictitious...

...or are they?

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Trivial 999 Emergency Calls

Or for the benefit of US readers, trivial 911 emergency calls.

The 999 emergency phone number saves many lives every year, but unfortunately not everyone uses the service responsibly.  For example, the Welsh Ambulance Service recently reported that they received 31,219 non-urgent calls in the last twelve months.

"What is the nature of your emergency..."
To highlight how irresponsible some people are, I've featured below a few examples of some of these non-urgent calls* which illustrate that in some cases people have phoned 999 for the most ridiculous reasons.

* These are taken from genuine calls received by various emergency services around the UK and the rest of world.

To turn things into a bit of a quiz though, I've also included one fake emergency call which I just made up, so have a read of the following trivial emergency calls and then scroll down the page to see if you can guess which one was the red herring...

Saturday, 11 April 2015

10 Cool Internet Easter Eggs (Part 5)

Another batch of hidden internet surprises...

Real life Easter eggs...  Almost as cool as internet Easter eggs!
As an annual event I like to feature a selection of cool hidden Easter eggs found on the internet, and this year's round-up includes Easter eggs with themes such as monkeys, farts and a dastardly 'crime' captured on Google maps...

1) "Beam me up, Scotty!"

In previous round-ups I've featured a number of Star Wars related Easter eggs, but just so Star Trek fans don't feel left out, this first hidden Easter egg found on YouTube features a Star Trek theme.  It relates to the original series of Star Trek featuring characters such as Spock, Captain Kirk and Scotty, so younger readers may not understand it, but to unlock it simply go to YouTube and type 'Beam me up, Scotty!' into the YouTube search engine, and watch what happens to the videos brought up in the search results:
Beam me up, Scotty!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

7 April Fools' Day Pranks (2015 Edition)

A few of this year's spoof April Fool's Day stories...

Last week I featured a spoof story involving a petty politician, and this week the internet was full of spoof stories, as Wednesday was April Fool's Day.  Here are some of the April Fool's Day pranks that various companies, organisations and websites posted on the internet...


"Anything dogs can do, cats can do better..."
First up is an interesting new scheme launched by the Royal National Institute Of Blind People ... CATNAV!  RNIB help many blind and partially sighted people with their trained guide dogs, and they now plan to expand by training cats to act as 'guide cats'.

An early pilot of the scheme suggests that CATNAV will be ideal for any blind or partially sighted people who want to climb trees or hide under cars.

RNIB introduces CATNAV

Saturday, 28 March 2015

If You Think Our Politicians Are Bad...

...then consider yourself lucky you don't live on the island Geojis Seom!

Drivers of red cars got on the wrong side
of Sijang Sasohan, Mayor of Geojis Seom.
It seems that nowadays politicians are forever in the news for things like false expenses claims and other assorted inappropriate behaviour, but they don't generally stoop to the level of childish pettiness shown by one politician who didn't take too kindly to a light-hearted newspaper report poking fun at him.

The mayor of Geojis Seom* has made the news before (admittedly, more so in Asia than in the rest of the world) due to some of his strange decisions as leader of the island prinicipality, but his most recent behaviour has to be his most petty decision yet.

* The disputed island territory a few hundred miles north east of Korea which several countries lay claim to.

Sijang got notably upset earlier this year at an official government press conference when he launched a tirade of abuse against the daily newspaper Jalang Simin (Proud Citizen).  Jalang Simin published a light-hearted report mocking drivers of green cars, and as Sijang himself drives a green car it seems he didn't take too kindly to the article.  In a subsequent fit of rage, Sijang tracked down the perhaps ill-advised journalist who wrote the article, discovered he drove a red car and then quickly introduced a new law giving green cars priority over red cars on all public roads.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

True Or False: A Few Quotes

A part fiction, part non-fiction book by Charles Fudgemuffin

True Or False by Charles Fudgemuffin
'True Or False: A Light-Hearted Collection Of Facts And Bluffs' by Charles Fudgemuffin is now available from Amazon, so to celebrate here are a few quotes from various reviews about the book which have so far been quite positive:

"True Or False by Charles Fudgemuffin will be remembered as one of the classic books of all time."
...The Basingstoke Literary Review

"This book will change the world and help create a better future for our children."
...Guru Pashnad Ravesh Sumali

Scroll down the page for more review quotes...

Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Wisdom Of Albert Einstein

Happy birthday, Albert!

Albert Einstein, maker of dubious claims regarding fish.
It's Albert Einstein's birthday today, so in honour of his genius here's a nugget of wisdom from the great man himself:

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Well first of all, Albert, in that case the fish would be right because fish are stupid.  And secondly, if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it won’t think it's stupid at all, because fish lack the necessary level of intelligence to be aware that they are being judged.

So whatever you think of it, the fish would live its whole life thinking typical fish-like thoughts such as, ‘Oh, there’s that nasty big fish again.  I’d better swim away before it eats me,’ and stuff like that.  It certainly won't be thinking, ‘Oh, no!  That dude thinks I’m stupid cos I can’t climb trees.  Gosh, he’s really undermined my self-confidence with his hurtful remarks.’

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Cool Sayings From Around The World

Wisdom from the four corners of the planet.

Previously on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog, I've focused on cool sayings from places like Sweden and Korea.  This week I expand the net wider and feature a selection of cool quotes from all around the world...

An elephant, best eaten by the whole village,
according to the African saying.

1) "The best way to eat an elephant is to invite the whole village along."

As you can probably work out, this is an African saying* and it's promoting the merits of teamwork.  It basically means it's a lot easier to succeed when you work together than when you work on your own.

* You don't get many elephants in England.

2) "A Raisin In A Sausage."

This is a Norwegian expression which refers to a nice surprise in something which was already enjoyable.  Although it's not an exact match, the closest English expression would probably be 'the icing on the cake' which for the benefit of any Norwegian readers loosely translates as 'a raisin in a sausage.'  It basically means 'the best part of something which was already excellent.'

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Quotes About Reading For World Book Day

Or to be more precise ... quotes about reading, books and writing.

Books, the inspiration for many quotes.
In the words of Homer Simpson...

Homer:  “Marge, I’m bored.”
Marge:  “Why don’t you read something?”
Homer:  “Because I’m trying to reduce my boredom.”

I used to share Homer Simpson's attitude when I was a young kid, but thankfully as I got older I discovered just how brilliant books can be.

This coming Thursday is officially World Book Day so in honour of World Book Day, here's a round-up of famous quotes about books and reading...

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Book Reviews (Part 9)

More book reviews

It's been several months since I last reported on some of the books I've been reading, so here's another batch of reviews...

The World According To Humphrey by Betty G.Birney

The World According To Humphrey by Betty G. Birney - 4.9 / 5.0

The World According To Humphrey is told through the eyes of Humphrey the Hamster, the classroom pet of room 26.  The kids take it in turns to look after Humphrey for the weekend, and on his travels Humphrey gets up to all sorts of interesting adventures, and manages to help the children's families solve a few problems along the way.  It's a book intended for children, but it's written in a lovely heart-warming style, and Humphrey is such a likeable little character that you can't help but enjoy his adventures, however old you are.  I loved it and I suspect that many adults who still have a fun side to them will also love this book, as it's written in such a magical way.  Highly recommended for kids of all ages!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Romantic Trivia For Valentine's Day

A collection of random topical information at this romantic time of year.

Romantic trivia for Valentine's Day
As it's Valentine's Day today, I thought this week I would feature a round up of random miscellaneous trivia appropriate for this romantic time of year.  But remember, like Eric (the main character in my 'How To Save The World' books), I'm also useless at giving romance tips and advice, so take anything I say here with a pinch of salt...

1) The Best Way To Describe Yourself

According to a survey by the eHarmony dating website, if you're a dude and you want to be successful in love then the best words to use to describe yourself are, 'ambitious', 'physically fit' and rather surprisingly 'perceptive'?  I never would have guessed that women look at a man and think, "Phwoar!  He looks perceptive!" but apparently according to this survey that's what they do.

If you're a woman and you want to be successful in love then the best words to describe yourself are 'thoughtful', 'sweet' and again 'ambitious'.  These are all admirable qualities, but I was surprised that according to the survey apparently men aren't as shallow as I would have guessed.  I have to admit that I've never heard a dude ever comment, "Phwoar!  She looks thoughtful!" but apparently according to this survey that's the way men think.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Charity Fundraising Websites...

...and charity fund-taking websites.

Fundraising websites ... taking their cut.
Usually on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I like to feature daft subjects and as a general rule I prefer to avoid discussing serious subjects.  However, this week I've decided to break with tradition and cover a serious subject which really annoys me, and that subject is the fees charged by charity fundraising websites...

There's been a lot of coverage in the media of the Alan Barnes fund which was set up by Katie Cutler after Alan was the victim of a cowardly attack outside his own home.  The attack left Alan too scared to return to his home, so the £330,135 raised will be able to buy Alan a new house where he won't feel frightened.

Katie has now set up another fund to raise money for Kacie Martin who is a two year old girl with the severest form of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Kacie's is a heart-breaking story, but if she can get a special wheelchair which costs £27,000 then this will help improve her quality of life.

They're both excellent causes and the funds have highlighted that there are a lot of very generous people in the world.

However, after doing a little research into websites like Go Fund Me (the website which hosts the fundraising pages of Alan and Kacie), I couldn't help but feel more than a little angry.

Here are some figures...

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The Fire Hoop: Win Or Fail?

Drunken backpackers risking life and limb in the pursuit of entertainment.

A brave/foolish backpacker throws himself through the fire hoop.
I've previously featured the fire skipping rope on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog, but the fire skipping rope isn't the only fire related nightly entertainment in Thailand.  The beach bars and clubs in Koh Phangan are obsessed with fire and also have fire jugglers, fire limbo, the fire hoop, and other fire related activities.

This week I've decided to focus on the fire hoop, and below is a video featuring drunken backpackers attempting to bravely/foolishly leap through a hoop of flames.  However, rather than just editing together a compilation of people jumping through the fire hoop, the video instead takes the form of a quiz.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Promotional Flyers For Advertising Your Book

'Real life' can sometimes be just as effective as the internet for promoting a book...

Flyers for book promotion.
A while back I reported on how one of my best sales periods for my book 'How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy' came after I created some promotional flyers to advertise my book, and then distributed them to party-loving backpackers at the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan (when I wasn't partying myself, that is).

My original flyer creations were fairly amateur efforts and weren't going to win any awards for graphic design, but they got the job done and helped gain me a few extra sales in the week that followed that Full Moon Party.

Since then I've designed more eye-catching flyers and used them on a few occasions with successful results.  As you can see from the photo above, this time I went for colour flyers and for the design I basically just used the front cover of the book, then added a short text explanation to inform people where they can download the book.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Funny Amazon Reviews

Tongue in cheek reviews found online...

Internet reviews are a great way of praising excellent products or warning of less than great customer service.  Sometimes though, as well as being informative, many reviews are also entertaining.  Here's a round-up of a few reviews found on Amazon which made me chuckle...

1) What a bargain!

Unfortunately I don't own an 85" TV so I had to
make do with this photo of an 18" TV instead.
First up is a review of a top of the range cutting edge 85" Samsung TV.  Yes, that's right ... an 85 inch screen!  As you'd expect for such a large TV, the price is also quite large, and the TV clocks in at a few dollars under forty grand!  ($39,997.99 to be precise.)  It's a great TV, but at such an exhorbitant price there may be financial implications for anyone buying one, as highlighted by this first review:

"This TV is fan freaking tastic!!!!  We are now living in the box it came in but even that is roomy and quite comfy!!!!"

Perhaps the first reviewer should have paid attention to the wise words of the following helpful reviewer who travelled back from the future to leave some very useful advice:

"I am coming back from the future to write this review, and to let everyone know you can buy this TV for $699 in 2015.  It still looks great though."

I suspect the bit about travelling from the future may actually be made up, but I wouldn't be surprised if the 2015 price turned out to be true.

About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.