Saturday, 31 December 2016

Things That Happen Every Second (Part 2)

Make the most of every second ... now with free bonus second!

This year, New Year's Eve will last slightly longer than a normal New Year's Eve, because the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service have decided that this New Year's Eve will include an extra 'leap second'.  This is because geological and climatic factors mean the Earth's rotational speed varies by microscopic amounts, so to keep things precise, an extra second is added to the clock every now and again.

If you're thinking of discovering time travel, think again!
It may seem a bit OCD to worry about miniscule changes of only a second, especially when dealing with an object as big as the Earth, but in actual fact a second can be a very significant period of time.  A lot can happen in a second, as you can see from the following list of facts.

Every second...

1) ...49,515 Google searches are made.

2) ...0.29 Google searches are made for...
'Star Wars'

3) ...0.0000076 Google searches are made for...
'Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel'

Saturday, 24 December 2016

How To Say 'Merry Christmas' In Other Languages

...and a bonne année.

This is how you say 'Merry Christmas' in English.
One of the things I love to do is go travelling, and as I come from England and I don't like being cold, I therefore usually plan my travels to coincide with the English winter.  This means that I'm often away backpacking for Christmas, and as you get to meet other backpackers from around the world it means that you often learn how to say Merry Christmas in various other languages.

So in the spirit of worldwide festivities, here is how to say Merry Christmas in various languages from around the world, starting with a familiar sounding version from Japan...

Japanese - meri kurisumasu

Saturday, 17 December 2016

10 Christmas Themed Jokes (Part 2)

Festive vampires, anatine Santas, and bald men.

Merry Christmas!
To help everyone get in the mood for Christmas, here's another round-up of Christmas themed jokes.

Be warned though, that some of these jokes are quite cheesy...

1) What's the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the standard alphabet?
The Christmas alphabet only has 25 letters because it has no L (Noel).

2) What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck?
A Christmas quacker.

3) Why does Santa have three gardens?
So he can 'Hoe, hoe, hoe!'

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Is Santa Claus Real?

Let's ask Siri...

As anyone who's read 'Santa and the Naughty Elf' by my younger brother, Charles Fudgemuffin, Jr, will know, Santa Claus is very real indeed.  But what does Siri have to say on the matter?  I asked Siri for her opinion on whether Santa Claus is real or not, and as you can see below, she had quite a bit to say on the subject.  We also chatted about a few other Christmas related subjects, so here are a few quotes from our conversation.

1) "Is Santa Claus real?"

First up I asked Siri a question that everyone wonders at one point in their life...

"Hey Siri, is Santa Claus real?"

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Top Selling Toys From Years Gone By (Part 2)

It's only a few weeks until Christmas, so that means it's time for part two of my nostalgic trip down memory lane as I look at more toys found on lists to Santa from years gone by.  Once again, I've included the decade when the toys were first released, or the decade when they first achieved popularity, but of course the best toys are timeless, so don't be surprised if you associate some of these toys with a different era...

1950s - Slinky

Loved by kids around the world for its period of oscillation,
according to Wikipedia.
The simplicity of the Slinky toy made it a hit through the generations, and it's still going strong today.  In fact incredibly, over a billion Slinkys have been sold worldwide since it was first invented!  I could list any number of interesting facts about Slinky, but here's one from Wikipedia':

Due to the forces of gravity, a Slinky bunches up at the bottom because:

    p(n) = L(n-1)^2

Fascinating!  And did you know that the period of oscillation of a dangling slinky is:

    T = 2/pi/sqrt{/frac{m}{k}}

Wow!  Amazing!  Although to be honest, that one was fairly obvious, so it probably didn't need pointed out.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Book Reviews (Part 16)

Books by Douglas Adams, Stieg Larsson, David Nicholls and Håkan Nesser.

It's time for another batch of book reviews as Charles Fudgemuffin offers his opinion on books from the genres of humour, mystery and suspense, romantic comedy, and crime...

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
by Douglas Adams

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams – 4.5 / 5.0

I’m a big fan of Douglas Adams so I was pleased to discover within a few pages that Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency has that unmistakable unique Douglas Adams sense of brilliant weirdness about it.  Although primarily a comedy book, it also features the sort of imaginatively creative off-the-wall science fiction ideas which Douglas Adams crams into all of his novels.  Although Dirk Gently is maybe not quite in the very same league as The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy books, this is nevertheless still a very enjoyable book so if you’re a fan of ‘Hitchhikers’ then it’s a pretty much safe bet that you will also love this book.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Creative Labelling

Surprising ingredients and percentages.

Previously on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I've taken a look at silly slogans, and supermarket signs, labels and vouchers, and this week's blog post has a very loosely related theme, as I look at some creatively labelled food products.

'Strawberry and beetroot.'
The clue is in the name ... or is it?

1) Strawberry And Beetroot

First up is a 'strawberry and beetroot smooshy snack' which I have to say was delicious, but what would you guess was the main ingredient in this strawberry and beetroot smoothie?  Strawberries perhaps?  Maybe beetroot?  See if you can guess from the multiple choice list of options below...

A) Strawberries
B) Beetroot
C) Organic apples
D) Other stuff

That's right!  As you'd expect from a strawberry and beetroot smoothie, the main ingredient was of course organic apples, making up 70% of the ingredients!

To be fair, it did also include organic strawberries (20%) and organic beetroot (5%), as well as organic raspberries (5%), but 'strawberry and beetroot' does seem a bit of a strange choice of name for a drink containing 70% organic apples.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Crime Doesn't Pay: A Collection Of Crime Themed Short Stories

A new book from Charles Fudgemuffin

'Crime Doesn't Pay'
Sound advice.
It's been almost a year since I published my last book 'Santa and the Naughty Elf'*, but my next book is finally ready for publication.

* Strictly speaking, 'Santa And The Naughty Elf' is by Charles Fudgemuffin’s younger brother, Charles Fudgemuffin, Jr, but his writing style is curiously similar to Charles senior.  Hmm…

The book in question is 'Crime Doesn't Pay' and it's a collection of crime themed light-hearted short stories.  This is the list of short stories which are included:

1) Is A KitKat A Chocolate Bar Or A Biscuit?

2) Walk Again

3) The Cashier Who Didn’t Work Saturdays

4) True Freedom

5) The Puppet Master

6) The Absence Of Fear

7) Wagon Wheels, Star Wars Memorabilia And The Nice Ham

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Funny Things Kids Say (Part 3)

Hair transplants, dinosaurs, and tennis goggles.

Dinosaur, pictured on his wedding day...
(See below.)
My previous blog posts on the theme of 'funny things kids say' always seem to get a lot of page views, so here's another round-up of 'kidisms'.  The following are taken from real life, twitter and facebook, with twitter links included where appropriate, and to start things off here's one example where kids take things literally...

1) Hair today, gone tomorrow

Here's one from the paper...

Daughter: "Mammy, why have I got brown hair and you've got blonde hair?"
Mother: "It's cos you got your hair from your dad."
Daughter: "Oh, so that's why he's bald!"

Saturday, 29 October 2016

10 Real Facts That Sound Made Up (Part 2)

Or strictly speaking, nine real facts that sound made-up and one that actually is made up.

Back from the dead.
A Dagenham & Deadbridge fan.
This week's blog post features another round-up of strange sounding facts, but once again I've included one fake 'fact' in the list.  See if you can guess which one it is...

1) Premature condolences

Back in 1993, non-league football side Congleton Town FC were forced to cancel a minute’s silence to mourn the death of the club’s oldest fan ... when the allegedly dead fan walked into the ground!

2) "Hmm, how much wrapping paper do I need?"

In the early days of the US Parcel Post Service, at least two children were sent by post.  This prompted the Postmaster General to issue a regulation making the sending of children in the mail illegal.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Choosing A Book Cover For 'Crime Doesn't Pay'

In a few weeks time* I'll be releasing 'Crime Doesn't Pay' (a collection of crime themed short stories), so this week I'd like to ask for help in choosing a book cover.

* Update: 'Crime Doesn't Pay' is now available for kindle from Amazon.

To keep with the crime theme, when designing the book cover I've firstly written the title 'Crime Doesn't Pay' in the style of a ransom note.  Based on this theme I've then narrowed it down to a choice of three designs, and to help me decide I've created a poll.

If anyone could spare the time to check out the three designs below and then vote for their preference I would greatly appreciate it.

The first design uses a few blood splatters...

Saturday, 15 October 2016

National Pug Day (Part 2)

Ice cream, mischief and snuggly pugs.

Last year on National Pug Day I featured a few photos of my parents' mischievous pugs, Bella and Phoebe.  It was a very popular post, so there must be lots of pug lovers out there (just like me), so as today is National Pug Day here are a few more photos of Bella and Phoebe...

1) The happiest day of Bella's life!

This was one of the happiest day of Bella's life.  The day she discovered the fridge!

"Wow! Look at all the goodies in here!"

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Higher Or Lower Quiz

Germs, volcanic lava and Lego!

This week the Charles Fudgemuffin blog features a higher or lower quiz covering a variety of random topics.  For each question see if you can guess which of the two choices is the highest, but bear in mind that some of the answers perhaps aren't quite what you would expect...

1) Bacteria at work

One of the most germ-free places in the house, apparently.
If you were to examine a square inch on a typical toilet seat and compare it with a square inch on a typical work desk, which would have the most germs?

a) Toilet seat
b) Work desk

Surprisingly, a toilet seat is vastly more hygienic than a workdesk.  A square inch would typically contain a mere 50 microbes on a toilet seat, compared with a massive 10 million microbes on a workdesk!

According to Dr Gerba, "It's (toilet seat) one of the cleanest things you'll run across in terms of micro-organisms.  It's our gold standard.  There are not many things cleaner than a toilet seat when it comes to germs."

That may be true, but I still wouldn't fancy doing my work on a toilet seat!

a) Toilet seat - 50 microbes
b) Work desk - 10 million microbes - Most germs

Disclaimer: Despite the low germ count, Charles Fudgemuffin does not recommend eating your dinner off your toilet seat!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The World According To The Man In The Pub 2

Dubious Pub Facts

Can a gecko support its entire body weight with only one toe?
I'm a fan of weird trivia and I also like 'true or false' quizzes, so a book which instantly appealed to me was 'The World According To The Man In The Pub 2' by Robert Anwood.  It's full of interesting claims which are often reported by pub patrons as facts.  In some cases the claims are indeed true, but in other cases the claims are as ridiculous as they sound.

The pub facts are grouped together into various categories, such as science, sports and showbiz, and to give you an idea of what to expect, here's a brief sample of the type of facts and misfacts found in the book.  See if you can guess which of the following pub facts are true, and which are fictitious...

1) A gecko's skin is so sticky that it can support its entire body weight clinging upside down to the ceiling by only one toe.
True or false?

Saturday, 24 September 2016

A Brilliant Offer On The High Street!

...but always read the small print.

Magazines are excluded from the offer.
The other day I received a discount voucher for a special offer on the high street which was so good I just had to share it with other shoppers.  The offer is available at WHSmith and the voucher gives you a generous 20% off every time you shop throughout the store.  They even underlined the words 'every time' on the voucher to highlight just how great the offer is.

However, before you get too excited, I should probably mention that as with many offers, there are one or two exclusions mentioned in the small print, namely:

"Excludes Newspapers, Magazines & Bookazines and all Post Office products."

Oh, well.  That's not too bad, I suppose.  There are still plenty of other products you can buy to get the 20% discount.

Or are there?  When you read further into the small print you also discover a few more exclusions, namely:

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Random Thoughts (Part 2)

Liars, undead pianists and unattainable body images.

An invisible piano player.
This week the Charles Fudgemuffin once again features a collection of random thoughts which have nothing in common with each other, other than their unconnected randomness...

1) The musical undead

If you photoshopped pianos out of photos, all pianists would look like they were doing a zombie impression.

2) The force of magnetism

When I first discovered that 'the force' could move objects in Star Wars it was an awe-inspiring jaw-droppingly impressive 'Wow!' moment, even though it's not real.  And yet as a child, when I first witnessed real life magnetism pulling metal through the air towards a magnet I just accepted it without question.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

"Oops, I've Made Another Terrible Error!"

Mistakes made under the spotlight (part 2).

Previously on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I've taken a look at high profile mistakes made in the world of movies, books, music and sport.  Here are a few more examples of notable mistakes throughout history, this time from the world of science and technology, starting with an example which highlights the importance of being ambitious and dreaming big...

Tonight's official party attendance: 5
Figures courtesy of Thomas J. Watson.

1) Dream Big

Back in 1943 Thomas J. Watson, the former chairman of IBM, thought he was being extremely ambitious when he revealed he had big expansion plans for his computer company.  He famously predicted...

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

As it turned out, Thomas was slightly out with his prediction.  In fact as of today there are estimated to be more than two billion computers in use in the world!  Given his inaccuracy with figures, I wonder if Thomas would like to lend me a fiver?

It just goes to show how reality can sometimes massively exceed expectations, so if you're going to dream, then you might as well dream big.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

10 Nerd Jokes (Part 4)

Atoms, sheep, and mathematically flawed promises.

Three sheep.
Or if you round up to the nearest hundred, one hundred sheep.
Before I get to this week's round-up of nerd jokes, I'll start things off with a promise from Bill Clinton which I think he might struggle to achieve...

1) "Every American should have above average income, and my Administration is going to see they get it."
...Bill Clinton

2) I wanted to marry my English teacher when she got out of prison, but unfortunately you can't end a sentence with a proposition.

3) After working in the farmer's field one day, a sheepdog reported back to the farmer...

Sheepdog: "That's me finished for the day. All 100 sheep are in the sheep pen."
Farmer: "100 sheep?  But I only have 98 sheep."
Sheepdog: "Yeah, but I rounded them up."

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Book Reviews (Part 15)

Books by Alexander McCall Smith, Louise Wener, Louise Rennison and Lawrence Hill.

Charles Fudgemuffin, author of the critically acclaimed 'Remember to put the bins out' note*, reviews a selection of books from the genres of light humour, general fiction, comedy and historical fiction.

* Other less notable works include the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall Smith

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate by Alexander McCall-Smith - 4.2 / 5.0

Nothing much seemed to happen in the first couple of chapters of Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, but once it got going I found myself really looking forward to my daily reading sessions.  Isobel Dalhousie meets a heart transplant patient who believes his new heart has brought with it memories of its previous owner, and Isobel's curious nature means she can't help herself from investigating further.  I have to admit I found the ending slightly disappointing, but overall this was an enjoyable book with some interesting ideas.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

A Question For Fans Of The Great British Bake Off

Charlotte Fudgemuffin (Charles' sister) revealed as new X Factor judge.
Although I'm not personally a fan, reality TV shows attract some very dedicated fans, so it's perhaps not surprising therefore that fans of reality TV shows often get quite passionate about the singers, dancers, models, cooks and other contestants that they feel most deserve to win their particular favourite show.

Now I can understand for example when fans of X Factor or American Idol have passionate opinions and strongly want a particular singer to win.  You listen to them sing, then vote for the best singer or performer, so I can understand comments like, "She's an excellent singer!  Did you hear her sing 'Who Let The Dogs Out?'  It was beautiful!' and it makes sense that you would favour one contestant over the others.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Funny Football Quotes (Part 8)

More silly comments from the world of football.

Football. The inspiration for many silly quotes.
Another season of football starts today, so as has become traditional on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog, here's another batch of funny football quotes from players, managers and pundits.

1) “There was nothing wrong with his timing. He was just a bit late.”
…Mark Bright

2) “Hodge scored for Forest after 22 seconds … totally against the run of play!”
…Peter Lorenzo

3) “I don't want to be playing in the Under 21s forever.”
…David Bentley

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Cool Sayings From Around The World (Part 2)

Camels, cucumbers and combs.

A camel can't see its own hump, but it can see
its own tongue, as demonstrated by this rude camel.
Previously on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I've featured a round-up of five 'Cool Sayings From Around The World'.  However, after doing some research, it's come to light that the world in fact contains more than five cool sayings, so here are another five...

1) "A camel cannot see its own hump."

This is an old African saying which is basically a way of saying we can see the faults in others, but not our own faults.

I can totally agree with this, because I know quite a few people with loads of faults who are always criticising others ... unless myself. #irony

I don't know of an English saying with the exact same meaning, but I suppose a vaguely related expression would be, 'The pot calling the kettle black.'

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Weird Facebook Likes (Part 5)

Friends ... or enemies?

It's been several months now since facebook introduced 'reactions' to give users more options for responding to their friends posts, but some people are still using the good old 'like' button ... sometimes for the most inappropriate statuses.

Here's another round-up of weird facebook likes, starting with that popular source of good news, a car crash...

"I've just smashed my car into a bus stop."
7 friends like this.

1) "Anyone else forget how to drive when there is a bus stop about????"

7 friends like this.

The status was accompanied by the photo shown to the right to illustrate the damage to their car.  I think I must be missing something here, because I can't quite grasp how your friend smashing their car up is something you would like.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Funny Holiday Complaints

Holidays gone 'wrong'.

Life is better in flip flops...
...but not for some 'unfortunate' holiday makers.
The summer holiday season is now well and truly upon us, and I've been lucky enough to enjoy many brilliant holidays and travel experiences, but not everyone has been so lucky.

Here are some amusing complaints raised by some 'unfortunate' holiday makers...

1) "It was hotter in Britain than where we went. That's not fair!"
...I have to admit, I would find that annoying as well.

2) “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It only took the Americans three hours to get home.”
...Yeah, it's so annoying when travel companies abide by the the laws of physics.

3) “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Ebook Publishers: A Comparison

The pros and cons of various ebook sellers when self publishing your book.

My 'How To Save The World' books are now available from various ebook publishers, so I thought I would write a post describing my experience with each of the ebook stores I self-published with.  Some of the following points are straight forward facts, e.g. 'Smashwords let you generate coupons for discounts and promotions on your books.'  That's a fact.  Other points though, are my opinion, so in the interests of fairness this article should be read with that in mind.

Here are the pros and cons that I experienced with each ebook publisher.

Kindle Direct Publishing:

Kindle Direct Publishing is the self-publishing service for authors who wish to publish their books via Amazon. 

Amazon Kindling.
1) Amazon have a large chunk of the ebook market, so offer a bigger potential for sales.  As a rough guideline, a figure of around 65% market share is quoted by most ebook market analysis websites.

2) Before finalising publication, you can download a preview file of your book which you can view with the Kindle Previewer tool, or on your tablet if you have the Kindle app.

3) If you enroll your book in KDP Select, i.e. make it exclusive to Amazon, you can offer your book for free five days per quarter.  If you only have one book this isn't really a great sales strategy nowadays (the benefits of free promotions aren't what they used to be), but if you have a series of books then a free introductory book can lead to increased sales of the subsequent books in the series.

4) Amazon Prime members can borrow one book per month for free.  If you enrol your book in KDP Select then your book is eligible to be borrowed, and each borrow earns you a small payment.

5) If you choose to get paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) then Amazon have no payment threshold*, so you don't have to wait for your royalties to build up before getting paid.

* This applies to UK and US authors, but check Amazon's terms and conditions if you're based elsewhere in the world.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Who Will Win The Euro 2016 Final?

Let's ask Siri...

According to wikipedia, Siri is 'an intelligent personal assistant who answers questions and makes recommendations', so out of curiosity I decided to ask Siri who would win the Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal.  Siri had a quite a bit to say on the subject, so here are some of her quotes...

"Hey Siri, who will win Euro 2016?"

Siri started by showing her sense of humour...

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Silly Slogans

...and meaningless marketing speak.

This week's blog post is dedicated to the increasingly common trend of using silly, meaningless or misplaced slogans to advertise a product.  First up is a rather dubious tagline from The Jeremy Kyle Show...

Friendship and love...
...but what TV show could we be talking about?

1) The TV show of friendship and love ... allegedly.

Viewers of daytime UK telly may have noticed the perhaps controversial slogan for The Jeremy Kyle Show...

"Bringing people together."

Bringing people together!?!?  The Jeremy Kyle Show?  Have they ever seen Jeremy Kyle?

If the slogan was, "Bringing people together ... so they can have a big massive fight," then perhaps I could agree, but describing The Jeremy Kyle Show with the slogan, "Bringing people together," is like describing Jose Mourinho as 'The Humble One'.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

10 Music Jokes For National Music Day

Cover bands, sopranos and alligator costumes.

Or rather, headphones.
But I'm using the headphones as a representation of music.
In honour of National Music Day (celebrated on June 21st), this week I've collected a round-up of music themed jokes...

1) What did say when he went to the dentist?
"I got a filling."

2) Dear R.E.M.

240 Mhz.

Yours sincerely,


3) My mate asked me if Oasis were my favourite band.
I said maybe.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Controversial Questions

The nation Votes...

Mmm, cakes!
Er, I mean ... biscuits.
In the office where I work there's been a lot discussion this week about a controversial subject which has gripped the nation.  Not Brexit, obviously - we're all sick of the increasingly ridiculous scaremongering claims by both sides in that debate - no, this is a far more controversial subject than whether the UK should remain in the EU.  The question which has divided our office is...

'Is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake?'

The discussion produced some very strongly argued responses, with some people getting very emotional indeed.  However, the controversy didn't end there, and our office debate also covered a variety of other controversial subjects, such as...

'Do you eat soup or drink soup?'

And finally...

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Commas Are Important

"Let's eat, guys!" has a very different meaning to, "Let's eat guys!"

Here are a few more examples which demonstrate the importance of commas....

1) "Cooking her family and her dog."

First up, here's a headline on the cover of Tails magazine, a magazine for dog lovers, which would definitely benefit from a comma...

Saturday, 4 June 2016

10 Funny Quiz Show Answers (Part 4)

Not a picture of a carnivore,
according to one quiz show contestant.

Dodgy pickles, hovering reptiles and extra-terrestrials...

I'm not particularly a massive fan of quiz shows, but I do enjoy it when contestants give silly answers.  So here's another batch of amusingly foolish answers provided by quiz show contestants...

1) Was the Tyrannosaurus Rex a carnivore or a herbivore?
Answer: No, it was a dinosaur.

2) Name three places you can apply cream.
Answer: Er ... Doncaster, Swindon and Leeds.

3) Name a food you can eat without chewing.
Answer: Chips.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Bets More Likely Than Leicester Winning The Premier League

If at the start of the Premier League season, someone had told you that Chelsea would fail to defend their title, and on the day when the new champions were officially confirmed, Chelsea fans would be chanting the name of the new champions, it would have seemed unbelievable.

And yet, as has been well reported, Leicester City went on to become the 2015-16 Premier League champions, despite being initially priced at an incredible 5000-1!  To put that into perspective, here are a selection of other bets which were judged more likely to happen than Leicester winning the Premier League...

25-1 – Alien life to be proven to exist by the end of 2016
100-1 – Bruce Forsyth to be the next Doctor Who
175-1 – Prince Harry to marry Cheryl Cole
200-1 – David Beckham to be the next James Bond

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Funny Football Quotes (Part 7)

Another batch of silly football quotes to celebrate the end of the season.

"Hooray!" The crowd celebrates the news that more funny
football quotes are to appear on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog.
Last weekend saw the end of arguably the most incredible season in the history of English football, so this week the Charles Fudgemuffin blog has a football theme, as I take a look at another selection of funny football quotes from footballers, managers and pundits, starting with an insightful piece of analysis from Phil Thompson...

1) “West Brom have won a few late points.  Do those points help or hinder them?  I think they help them.”
…Phil Thompson

2) “It's Ipswich 0 Liverpool 2, and if that's the way the score stays then you've got to fancy Liverpool to win.”
…Peter Jones

3) “The one thing that Cristiano Ronaldo has is pace, quick feet and a great eye for goal.”
…Chris Waddle (I think that's three things, Chris)

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Koh Phangan: A Silly 'True Or False' Quiz

Stranger than fiction...

The tropical island of Koh Phangan.  It's okay, I suppose.
As anyone who's read 'True Or False: A Light-Hearted Collection Of 100 Facts And Bluffs' will know, I love 'true or false' quizzes.  I also love travelling, so this week I've combined the two and compiled a 'true or false' quiz based on my recent holiday.  However, this quiz doesn't follow the standard format of...

'True Or False: Ulaanbaatar is the capital of Mongolia?'

Instead, this is a daft 'true or false' quiz about a few random insignificant things which happened while I was on holiday on Koh Phangan (the inspiration for Ko Pagna in the 'How To Save The World' books).

None of the following events are world-shatteringly exciting, in fact they're all really minor incidents, but I found them a little weird, so have a read of the following happenings and see if you can guess which ones really happened and which are stories I've just made up.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Silly Job Titles (Part 2)

Long winded waffle in place of a simple description.

A cover up?
Or 'Responsible discretion in the national interest..."
One of my favourite examples of official mumbo jumbo jargon, was in an old episode of the classic sitcom 'Yes, Prime Minister' when Sir Humphrey Appleby was describing a cover up.  However, being a stereotypical civil servant, he didn't simply call it a cover up, and instead he referred to it as:

"Reponsible discretion exercised in the national interest to prevent unnecessary disclosure of eminently justifiable procedures in which untimely revelation would severely impair public confidence."

Or to put it simply ... a cover up!

More recently, the practise of using long winded mumbo jumbo to describe simple terms seems to have spread to the naming of job titles, and I featured a few of these silly job titles in a previous blog post.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Star Wars Jokes (Part 2)

Darth Tater

Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Darth Vader take the spotlight.

This Wednesday is officially Star Wars Day (May 4th), so in honour of a galaxy far far away, this week the Charles Darth Fudgemuffin blog features a round-up of Star Wars jokes...

1) What Did Darth Vader say when the music shop didn't have his favourite George Michael CD in stock?
"I find your lack of 'Faith' disturbing."

2) Why is Yoda rubbish at telling jokes?
Says the punch line first, he does.

3) Why was Luke Skywalker a bad doctor?
The boy had no patients.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Book Reviews (Part 14)

Non-Fiction, Comedy, Action and Sci-Fi

It's time for another round-up of book reviews and this week I take a look at books from the genres of non-fiction, comedy, action and sci-fi.

A Brief History Of Time by Steohen Hawking

A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawking - 4.4 / 5.0

I found some parts of A Brief History Of Time fascinating, but on occasions there were a few sections that were a little less interesting.  The enjoyable chapters were the sections where you could quickly read through it and the science was all fairly straight forward and easy to take in, but there were also other more complicated chapters involving less conventional scenarios (in terms of everyday life), and this was when you had to concentrate a bit more and it felt more like doing homework.  To be fair though, I suppose you can't really blame the author for the rules of science!  Given the subject matter Stephen Hawking has done an accomplished job of making such an educational subject as interesting as possible.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Funny Things Kids Say (Part 2)

Compliments, giraffes, and inappropriate honesty...

More amusing comments by kids to bring
a smile to a green teddy bear's face.
Here are a few more funny kids' comments from facebook, twitter, and real life with credit/links to the original tweeters (just for the ones from twitter, not for the ones from real life).  Once again, the names have been changed to protect the 'innocent'.

1) Truthful youth or youthful truth?

An adult would probably get criticised for making this first comment, but a 5 year old kid can get away with it...

"Daughter: 'Boys are dumber than girls. Everyone knows it!'
Parent: 'That's sexist.'
Daughter: 'Does sexist mean true?'"

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Most Popular Dog Names

The most popular dog name is Bella, which is also
the name of one of my parents' dogs (pictured above).
Bella by name and Bella by nature.

Goodbye to Fido, Rover and... Sigmund?

If you're a pet lover from the US then this coming Monday you get to celebrate National Pet Day!  Or if you're from the UK then you get a full month to celebrate pets, as the entire month of April is National Pet Month!

UK pet lovers even get a couple of bonus days in May, as rather greedily, National Pet Month runs from 1st April to 2nd May!

On the theme of pets, MoneySuperMarket recently compiled a chart of the most popular dog names in the UK based on over 165,000 names submitted for pet insurance quotes, and the results were as follows...

Saturday, 2 April 2016

April Fools Day Pranks (2016 Edition)

A selection of spoofs and tricks from April Fools' Day...

As usual, with yesterday being April Fools' Day, the internet was full of fake stories.  Here are just a few of them...

1) Japanese keyboards

Kids born in English speaking countries are lucky that we only have 26 letters to learn.  However, in Japan there are about 50,000 kanji characters, and between 2,000 to 3,000 of these are in common use!  So as you can imagine learning to type in Japanese must be quite a task, as you can see by this Japanese keyboard...

Saturday, 26 March 2016

10 Cool Internet Easter Eggs (Part 6)

Bruce Wayne's alter ego, junk food, and Antipodean chauffeured penguins

It's that time of year once again when I take a look at a selection of Easter eggs and hidden features found on various websites around the internet...

1) Hidden Dinosaur Game in Google Chrome

Google have included a hidden Dinosaur game in Google Chrome.
Google have definitely got a sense of fun because they've created a lot of hidden internet Easter eggs over the years.  It should come as little surprise then to learn that they've also included a hidden Easter egg in Google Chrome.

If you attempt to access a webpage while offline you'll receive the message, "Google Chrome can't display the webpage because your computer isn't connected to the internet," and this message will be accompanied by a stick figure dinosaur.  If you then press 'space' a game will commence where you control the dinosaur and have to jump over cacti and other obstacles to aim for the hightest score possible.

If you use Google Chrome then give it a try, but read the rest of this blog post first, as you need to be offline for the game to work!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Smiley Faces In Things

"A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear."

One word which I recently discovered and which I really like is the word 'pareidolia'.  It sounds like some weird medical condition, but in actual fact pareidolia is simply the phenomenon of seeing faces (or other items) in everyday objects and patterns.  I've decided to make pareidolia the theme for this week's blog post, and as tomorrow is International Day Of Happiness I thought it would be appropriate to combine the two and feature a selection of happy smiley faces found in everyday objects!

1) Smiley face beer!

First up is a smiley face which randomly appeared in the froth on a pint of lager.  Appropriately enough, the smiley face actually even looks a little bit tipsy, or perhaps that's just pareidolia playing tricks with my brain.

Smiley face beer.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Murray Walker Quotes (Part 2)

A collection of 'Murrayisms' as a tribute to a formula 1 commentating legend.

'If' is F1 spelt backwards...
Next weekend sees the start of a new formula 1 season, so to celebrate here's another round-up of classic quotes from the former voice of formula 1 and one of my all-time favourite sports commentators, Murray Walker.

1) "This is an interesting circuit because it has inclines, and not just up but down as well!"
...Unless describing the Penrose stairs, you would generally expect this to be the case.

2) "I make no apologies for their absence.  I'm sorry they're not here."

3) "Andrea de Cesaris, the man who has won more Grand Prix than anyone else without actually winning one of them."

Saturday, 5 March 2016

An Idiot Abroad Quotes

The logic and wisdom of Karl Pilkington.

"Wow!  Look at that old ice!"
From time to time on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I feature book reviews, and one book which I thoroughly enjoyed was An Idiot Abroad 2 by Karl Pilkington.  The sense of humour will probably appeal to some people more than others, so rather than review the book, I thought I would sum it up with a selection of quotes which illustrate the logic and wisdom of Karl Pilkington…

Street entertainers...
1) "I’ve always found it odd how tourists take photographs of mime artists. Everyone looks like a mime in a photo."

2) “He was telling me that some of these glaciers are millions of years old, but I can’t get excited about old ice. Ice is ice. You never see someone on Antiques Roadshow turning up with a block of ice for a reason.”

3) “I can’t imagine if the question on Family Fortunes was ‘What would you like to do before you die?’ that ‘Touch some old ice’ would be a top answer.”

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Nature vs Technology: A 'Higher Or Lower' Quiz

Technology takes on nature in a series of head-to-head battles.

This week I pit nature against technology in a 'higher or lower' comparison.  Round one is a battle of temperatures.

In the red corner...  The sun's core.
And in the blue corner...  The Large Hadron Collider

Round 1) Temperature

The Large Hadron Collider, pictured yesterday,
One of the earliest scentific facts I remember being aware of is that the Sun is extremely hot indeed.  I remember in a child-like way thinking, 'You definitely wouldn't want to touch it!'

However, another scientific fact I learnt a bit later on is that sub-atomic shenanigans can also produce extremely high temperatures.  Scientists are always firing atoms and stuff at each other inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), so how does the Sun's temperature compare with some of the experiments at the LHC?

Which is the hottest?  The Sun's core, or the hottest temperature recorded at the LHC?

a) The Sun's core
b) Hottest temperature recorded at the Large Hadron Collider

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Random Thoughts

Time travel, farts, and badly named TV shows.

The planet Saturn ... still officially a planet.
Photo copyright of NASA. Used by kind permission.
This week the Charles Fudgemuffin blog features a random selection of thoughts and questions which don't really fit a standard theme, so I've collected them together in a list of random thoughts...

1) Planetary destruction

Twenty years ago, if someone had told you that in the year 2016 there would only be 8 planets, you would have assumed one of the planets was going to dramatically explode or disintegrate.

2) Weird security measures

Why do I have to prove who I am when I want to pay my bills over the phone?  Do strangers ring up to pay my bills? And if so, why don't they let them?

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Science Of Attraction

Love is in the air ... if the statistics are right.

Statistical analysis of behaviour is just about the polar opposite of romance and spontaneity, but that hasn't stopped numerous scientists from analysing every aspect of love, romance and relationships.

Here are a few of their findings...

1) Fear increases attractiveness

A Valentine's Day card optimised for effective results.
This first scientific investigation was carried out on the Capilano Suspension Bridge (a wobbly, creaky bridge which can be quite nerve-wracking on a windy day), and was designed to investigate the effect of fear on a person's tendency to feel attraction.

An attractive woman approached single young men on the bridge under the pretence of asking them to assist in a psychology experiment.  However, the real experiment came after the test, when the woman gave the men her phone number and invited them to call her if they wanted to know more about her research.

13 out of 20 men later called her, although obviously they were more interested in the attractive woman than her research.  The experiment was then repeated in a safe environment (on a park bench) and this time only 7 out of 23 men called her; a drop from 65% down to 30%, suggesting a strong link between increased fear and increased attraction.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

How To Spot Fake Goods In Thailand

Fake bags, fake socks, and even fake shops!

As well as writing, one of my other favourite hobbies is travelling, especially to the tropical islands of Thailand, where you can find some incredible bargains in the street markets, with designer t-shirts, sportswear and other goods available for bargain prices which seem almost too good to be true.

And of course that's because they are too good to be true.  If it seems too cheap to be genuine, then that's generally because it is.  However, even without the tell tale sign of a cheap price, there are a few giveaway signs which can help you spot whether an item is fake or genuine, and I've highlighted a few examples below...

1) Open from 7am in the morning until...

As you can see from this first photo, sometimes it's not just items of clothing which are faked.  Sometimes it's the entire shop!

7 Elephant.  Open from 7 am in the morning until elephant pm at night.

At first glance everything appears to be perfectly above board with this 7-11 logo, but on closer inspection you may notice a very subtle mistake that the copyright infringer made when copying the 7-11 shop logo...

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Five Stupid Sayings (Part 3)

Insect anatomy, poor Geography and unusual precipitation...

Previously on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog I've taken a look at various silly sayings found in the English language.  There are many more stupid Engish sayings though, so here are five more...

"Look at the knees on that bee! Wow! Amazing!"

1) The bee's knees

This is a weird English saying which refers to something which is excellent or outstanding.  However, if you ask me, knees aren't particularly impressive, and if I was to be impressed by a pair of knees then I very much doubt that they would belong to a bee!

There are various theories on how this saying originated, but the most plausible is that the saying originated as 'the be all and end all'.  This was then shortened to 'the Bs and Es', and if you say this really fast it sounds a bit like 'the bee's knees'.

So it's not as stupid as it sounds after all!  Although, admittedly it's still quite stupid.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Trivial 999 Emergency Calls (Part 2)

...or trivial 911 calls, as they're known in the US.

"Yes, I have a bacon related emergency..."
As I've mentioned before on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog, some misguided people seem to regard the 999 emergency helpline as a general helpdesk for any random trivial query.

To highlight this problem, the Metropolitan Police recently published a list of some of the stupidest most time-wasting 999 calls they received during 2015. All of the following were genuine 'emergency' calls as reported by the Metropolitan police...

1) Emergency bacon

A hungry dude rang 999 at 4am on a Saturday morning to ask, "Where's the best place to get a bacon sandwich?"

2) "Help, I'm being arrested!"

One woman rang 999 to report that there were men in her house trying to kidnap her.  The men were actually police officers who were there to arrest her.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

A Clever New System For Any High-Tech Modern Office...

An illustration of why some top bosses should listen to their junior staff.

This article gives credit to a brilliant system found in some offices...
I hope this week I don't sound like a technophobic old fogey going on about how great things were in the olden days, because I'm a big fan of modern technology and I totally appreciate the benefits that computers and electronic stuff bring to the world.  However, a recent incident at work highlighted that sometimes it's possible to make the mistake of 'technologising' things just for the sake of it.

To set the scene, at the company where I work we have a computerised 'work allocation system' whereby whenever you take a phone call, you take the details and then log into the system to allocate the task to the person who does that particular job.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Book Reviews (Part 13)

Time for another round-up of book reviews.

This week I take a look at books from the genres of crime, humour, crime (again) and non-fiction...

Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus

Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus - 4.5 / 5.0

Snow White Must Die is a crime mystery which focuses on events in a small German village after Tobias Sartorius is released from jail having served a ten year sentence for the double murder of two former girlfriends.  There are a lot of plot threads and puzzles to work out, but it all fits together very well and comes across as very plausible, and author Nele Neuhaus provides a well presented ending.  Also, the story focuses more on the mystery behind the crimes, rather than the grisly details, which is what I personally prefer.  One small criticism is that I would perhaps have preferred to see some clues or insights into what actually happened provided a little sooner, but all in all this was an enjoyable crime mystery and I'll definitely be loooking out for future translations of Nele Neuhaus' work.

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.