The 5 greatest inventions ever

I thought I’d examine the world of human invention because I’m frequently awed and mystified by the entire process of invention.  That human beings can produce things like the laptop that I’m writing this on is nothing less than magical to me.  In 1899, Charles H Duell, the Commissioner of the US Patent Office declared

Everything that can be invented has been invented.

This was four years before the first powered flight, seventy years before we put a man on the moon and ninety years before the invention of the world wide web.  It’s a good thing old Charles H got it so wrong.

Some inventions have changed the way the human race exists in the world.  Take the contraceptive pill, the car, in-vitro fertilisation and the nuclear bomb.  Well not literally of course, but these things in their own way changed mankind.  For better or worse, only history will tell.

But there are some inventions that are an ultimate good and that bring nothing but happiness to all who use them.  There is absolutely no downside to them, just pure, unadulterated joy. I’ve tested some pretty nifty inventions and picked the five absolute greatest ones ever. Continue reading

On the buses

I’m back in work, which is all very lovely, but it’s highlighted one of the more questionable aspects of my personality.  I get rather excitable over things that I really shouldn’t.  I’ll give you an example.  I received an email today from a supplier telling me that we can expect a secure email integration in the next couple of weeks.

Exciting?  Hardly.  And yet I made a little squealy noise and actually clapped my hands together like I was trying to bring Tinkerbell back to life.”I do believe in fairies!  I do! I do!”

It got worse.  On my way home I went to my usual bus stop only to discover that it has been replaced with a brand spanking new state-of-the-art bus stop.  WITH A SEAT!  A nice seat, too.  One that you can sit on, quite comfortably, with all your paraphenalia for a good 5 minutes.  I could scarcely contain my glee. Continue reading

You are awful, but I like you.

While I am mostly a horrible film snob, there are some films that I really, really like but really, really shouldn’t if I want to maintain my film snob credentials.  So while I’ll always refer to Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain and I’ll always prefer the original European versions of The Vanishing and Funny Games, I also secretly love these offerings.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

From the 1970s newsreader names to the all-star newsroom crews street battle – “Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident” – the ridiculousness of this film knows no bounds.  And yet it is endlessly quotable and always, always funny.

Continue reading

“You’re next!”

A guy I know who’s been single for many years following his second divorce has recently fallen in love.  He’s like a giddy teenager and has started telling people they may need to buy a big hat.  It’s lovely to see.  It really is.

It’s also been very unfortunate for me.  This is because it’s prompted people to start looking at me with a knowing look  and saying, “Oooh, you’re next!” as if there’s a conveyor belt of older, single people that I’m on and I’m next to be processed. Continue reading

Competitive mothers

The fire tetrahedron, chromatography and other things a 7 year-old should know all about

I have a child who’s currently in Year 5, which means it’s that time of year when I have to start trawling around prospective high schools for my darling offspring.

It’s been a few years since I went though this with child no. 1 and I had almost forgotten one of the most amusing/infuriating things about doing the schools open evening circuit – the competitive mother. Continue reading

Concert couple creatures…with two heads

Have you seen one?  One of those couples who go to concerts together?  I’m not talking about couples who’ve been together since the 80s and go off together to smoke a fat one and watch the British Pink Floyd while the mother-in-law takes care of the kids for the weekend.  Nope.  I’m talking about something which appears to be a relatively recent phenomenon – the concert couple.

This pair are usually in their late 30s, early 40s and give the appearance of having met somewhere around six months ago on eHarmony or match.com.  Possibly having found true love the second time round, they’ve regressed to teenager-dom in the level of their public displays of affection. Continue reading