Archive for the ‘Fun and Humour’ category

What Did Mark Twain Say About These?

September 9, 2007

Samuel L. Clemens, or better known as Mark Twain, has been one of my favorite writers ever since I was in primary school. Amongst some of his most popular works are The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I immensely loved the adventures of these two buddies for their encounters. The stories brought me into a world of extraordinary boyhood.

Other enjoyable works of his included A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Prince and the Pauper, A Tramp Abroad and many more.

In addition, Mark Twain is well known and quoted for his refined sense of wit and satire, often poking fun at the establishment or a roast at the state of affairs. They are also thought-provoking, leaving me to ponder about his wisdom and my reconciliation with the ways of the world.

Here’s what Mark Twain said about these…

about Achievement

When we do not know a person–and also when we do–we have to judge his size by the size and nature of his achievements, as compared with the achievements of others in his special line of business–there is no other way.
– in Christian Science

about Leadership
A statesman gains little by the arbitrary exercise of ironclad authority upon all occasions that offer, for this wounds the just pride of his subordinates, and thus tends to undermine his strength. A little concession, now and then, where it can do no harm is the wiser policy.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

about Life

Meantime I have made more than 40 sea voyages & numerous land trips, & have gone clear around the globe once. This seems a hard fate. No, not seems–it was a hard fate. I made all those journeys because I could not help myself–made them with rebellion in my heart, & bitterness. Human life is maliciously planned with one principal object in view: to make you do all the different kinds of things you particularly don’t want to do.
– Notes added in April, 1909 to Letter to W. D. Howells of 11/17/1878

We recognize that there are no trivial occurrences in life if we get the right focus on them.
Mark Twain’s Autobiography

Only he who has seen better days and lives to see better days again knows their full value.
– Notebook, 1902

There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.
– “The Refuge of the Derelicts” – 1905

Each person is born to one possession which outvalues all his others- his last breath.
Following the Equator, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar

about Teaching

To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler–and less trouble.
– Doctor Van Dyke speech, 1906

about Dreams

A dream that comes only once is oftenest only an idle accident, and hasn’t any message, but the recurrent dream is quite another matter–oftener than not it has come on business.
– “Three Thousand Years Among the Microbes”

about Patience

All good things arrive unto them that wait–and don’t die in the meantime.
– Letter to Orion and Jane Clemens, 4/3/1889

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I hope these words of his gave you as much insights as it has benefited me.

Be well, Learn well, Excel well.

More Variations of Murphy’s Law And Why Things KEEP Going Wrong…

September 2, 2007

Ever wonder how things continuously turn out wrong? Perhaps these variations of Murphy’s Law can give us some answers…

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Epstein’s Law:
If you think the problem is bad now, just wait until we’ve solved it.

Ettorre’s Observation:
The other line moves faster.

Corollary: Don’t try to change lines. The other line — the one you were in originally — will then move faster.

Commentaries

Hill’s Commentaries on Murphy’s Laws
1. If we lose much by having things go wrong, take all possible care.
2. If we have nothing to lose by change, relax.
3. If we have everything to gain by change, relax.
4. If it doesn’t matter, it does not matter.

O’Toole’s Commentary
Murphy was an optimist.

NBC’s Addendum to Murphy’s Law
You never run out of things that can go wrong.

Mencken’s Metalaw:
For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is always wrong.

Miller’s Law:
You can’t tell how deep a puddle is until you step into it.

Evvie Nef’s Law:
There is a solution to every problem; the only difficulty is finding it.

The Obvious Law:
Actually, it only SEEMS as though you mustn’t be deceived by appearances.

Parson’s Laws:
1. If you break a cup or plate, it will not be the one that was already chipped or cracked.
2. A place you want to get to is always just off the edge of the map you happen to have handy.
3. A meeting lasts at least 1 1/2 hours however short the agenda.

Here’s A Visit To Murphy’s Laws And How Everything Goes Wrong

September 1, 2007

More than a decade ago, I was writing and contributing to my school’s newsletter. Over a series of issues, I published some of my collection of Murphy’s Laws and its other variations.

I’ve always enjoyed reading about such “laws”. Contemplating on them afterwards is mandatory. Despite its occasional quirky and cynical nature, it always bring a smile or a smirk to my face.

Now it’s time dig out those yellowed pieces of paper and transfer some of them online. I have selected a handful out of the thousands of laws I have on hand. It’s my hope that they entertain you as much as they have amused me. More so, they might also lead to you consider the state of living our lives.

Remember, if anything will go wrong, it will. 🙂

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Murphy’s Law

* If anything can go wrong, it will.

* If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.

* If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the first one to go wrong.

* Corollary: If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.* If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

* Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.

* Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

* Nothing is as easy as it looks.

* Everything takes longer than you think.

* If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.

* It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

* Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.

* Every solution breeds new problems.

Addition to Murphy’s Laws
* In nature, nothing is ever right. Therefore, if everything is going right … something is wrong.

Cheop’s Law
* Nothing ever gets build on schedule or within budget.

Rule of Accuracy
* When working toward the solution of a problem, it always helps if you know the answer.

Pudder’s Laws
* Anything that begins well ends badly.

* Anything that begins badly ends worse.

Gumperson’s Law
* The probability of anything happening is in inverse ratio to its desirability.

Finagle’s Fourth Law
* Once a job is fooled up, anything done to improve it will only make it worse.

Murphy’s Law of Thermodynamics
* Things get worse under pressure.

Quantization Revision of Murphy’s Laws
* Everything goes wrong all at once.

Murphy’s Constant
* Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value

The Murphy Philosophy
* Smile . . . tomorrow will be worse. 8)

What Humor Really Is

August 22, 2007

In our daily communication and speaking, we encounter humor. That sudden chuckle or a burst of laughter. It never fails to lighten up our day.

It can be a very solemn occasion, but that mere utter of a witty word or punchy phrase changes the entire mood. In fact, humor is still a “mystical” study that even till now, scholars of communication still are unable to fully understand how certain could really lead to such a reaction that we term humor. People know how to use it, but when it comes to narrating how humor works, your definition is as good as mine.

Perhaps humor is that vagueness in words or body language that leads to another possible interpretation and potential misunderstanding. Or maybe its that sudden twist that trigger a reminder of things we are familiar with. Some say that if you can truly explain humor, it wouldn’t be humor any more. So much for clarified ambiguity. 😀

No matter what, you can be sure of one thing. Humor do mean something. If a person can laugh, smile and giggle , it must mean something.

Humor is really a connection with your audience.

If you can make them laughter, you have connected with them. They have accepted you as their own and have accepted your invitation to step into your world. The universe that you have created… in your speeches and presentations.

In general terms, the creation of humor may be intentional or unintentional. Both say something about your speech and your personality.

1)  If the humor you related was funny and you got arousing laughter, then it is intentional. You have, hence, crafted your speech well.

2)  If the humor was unintentional, off-the-cuff, and you truly know you did not expect it, then it is your charisma and personality that helped you.

3)  If the audience started to react the way you want, then it means you have build enough rapport in your speeches. You have just earned the right to influence your audience with your sincerity and truthfulness. That is some character indeed. The audience’s trust and willingness to do as you told reflect your level of positive rapport.

The next time you hear a laughter or a chuckle or two, immediately study how did you managed to create that segment of humor. Discover the magic of the mystery and the key to breaking down the walls of indifference.

Humor is really your connection with people. Really… It’s no joke.

The Wit And Wisdom Of Winston Churchill

August 6, 2007

Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was known for his quick wittiness and spirited replies to those who were against him or dare to mock him.

As the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War 2, he was known for his strong stand-up to the invaders. As a politician and strategist, he was revered. And as an orator, he sparkled and shone. Churchill was oft quoted, never equaled.

Here are some of his words, peppered with his usual dose of direct satire, cynicism and humor, yet lend some profound lessons:

* “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”

* “We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm.”

* “History will bear me out, particularly as I shall write that history myself.”

* “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

* “Everyone has his day, and some days last longer than others.”

* “Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.”

* “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

* “My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.”

* “Any man under thirty who is not a liberal has no heart, and any man over thirty who is not a conservative has no brains.”

* “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

Beg Your Pardon?? (Things You Thought You’ll Never Hear From Footballers)

August 5, 2007

Everybody makes some speech bloopers now and then. It just happens. You can call and attribute them as slips of tongue, a lack of concentration, panicky emotions, warped logic or distracted thoughts. Whatever the reasons and rationales are, bloopers make communication an interesting and fun topic to examine and apply.

One thing to note, most of the time, these comments are unintentional and are usually not consciously known to the speaker… until pointed out.

What we can do instead is to learn from these and do our best to say it in a way that make sense. It takes practice no doubt. But it’s always useful for you and I to learn better ways to make speeches and comments.

In this article about Communication Oops and Bloopers: A Light-Hearted Look at How Not to Say It, I came across a report on comments made by some footballers. They brought a chuckle to me and personal learning, so I decided to share some of these remarks with you.

For those linguistically-inclined and the football enthusiasts, you may want to spot where the twists lie.

Remember, it’s OK to laugh at ourselves. Life’s already serious. 🙂

*  “Home advantage gives you an advantage.” — Bobby Robson

*  “If Glen Hoddle said one word to his team at half-time, it was concentration and focus.” — Ron Atkinson

*  “I’d like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona” — Mark Draper (note: Barcelona is a Spanish football club)

*  “If history is going to repeat itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again.” — Terry Venables

*  “I always used to put my right boot on first, and then obviously my right sock.” — Barry Venison

*  “I couldn’t settle in Italy – it was like living in a foreign country. “– Ian Rush on why he failed at Juventus

*  “What I said to them at half-time would be unprintable on the radio.” — Gerry Francis

*  “I would not be bothered if we lost every game, as long as we won the league.” — Mark Viduka

*  “I’ve had 14 bookings this season – 8 of which were my fault, but 7 of which were disputable.” — Paul Gascoigne

*  “Germany are a very difficult team to play – they had 11 internationals out there today.” — Steve Lomas from Northern Ireland on why Germany won his team.

*  “Wayne Rooney can go all the way to the top if he keeps his head firmly on the ground.” — David Unsworth

*  “When you’re 4-0 up, you should never lose 7-1.” — Laurie McMenemy

*  “The 33- or 34-year-olds will be 36 or 37 by the time the next World Cup comes around, if they’re not careful.” — Kevin Keegan

The Top Ironies And Contradictions In Our Life

August 3, 2007

Life is full of interesting happenings and ironies. The contradictions between our intention and what we actually do can often differ. The dilemma is usually left unresolved, leaving the ironies to occur again and again…

Here are some of the top ironies and contradictions that occur in our life:

(Disclaimer: you may, of course, disagree with any of them.) 

1.  We want everything but are not prepared to give anything to get those things.

2.  We have a lot to say but seldom communicate.

3.  We want friends but we seldom catch up.

4.  We plan our holidays in detail but seldom plan our life in detail.

5.  We often say that we have no time but we seldom manage time.

6 .  We are often busy but seldom see ourselves getting anywhere in life.

7.  We go to great lengths to save a cent but seldom hesitate to spend a dollar.

8.  We say that we want peace but we go to war.

9.  We say that we want love but what we say end up offending others.

10. We say that we want to be constructive in comments but often end up complaining and criticizing.

11.  We say that we want to help each other but end up gossiping about others.

12.  We say that we want to be happy but we seldom smile.

13. We want a smooth sailing life but often end up complicating things.

14.  We exhaust our health to create wealth then use up our wealth to find back our health.

15.  We keep insisting that we want to excel but seldom take the actions to excel.

It is now a good time to ask yourself if your own life is full of ironies or are you now already on the path to your life’s direction and destiny.

The Most Ironic And Funniest Thing About Laughing It Off

July 30, 2007

(This is controversial. Read only if you are ready…)

Everybody wants fun in their life. From time to time, you want to take things easy and with a pinch of salt. But… somebody had to pour cold shower and remind you to… Be serious!!!

D you know what the funniest thing about laughing it off is?

To really laugh it off, you have to actually ignore how serious things are.

No Joke.

You have to actually ‘look down’ on certain issues that are socially and culturally seen as important.

In short, when the situation is serious, terrible or even fatal, you have to shrug it off and laugh about it. A discarding of importance and prominence.

When you look at an upcoming examination, you go, “Ha, ha, ha! Yeahhh, it’s great to go for exams! It’s no big deal.”

When you open your eyes and realize it’s a working Monday, you jump up with excitement and exclaim, “Cool! I’m going to work. I can’t wait to get to work. Yippeee!”

And when you meet strangers on the street, you flash your most brilliant and charming smile, saying, “Hi, Good morning and a beautiful day to you!”

Weird… some might utter to themselves. Why go all that length to act “abnormal”? Must be crazy to even suggest doing this… No way I’m gonna do this. No way at all…

YET, the most ironic thing is that… you actually perform better after you laugh it off!

It takes the pressure and stress off you. Your body and mind become focused on just the task and activity at hand. It forgets to add negativity onto you. Because laughing it off is designed to be positive.

(* And the reason why you feel that it’s weird, abnormal or crazy to do this? That’s because you allow a social constraints and culture to determine your internal emotion and response.)

So can you laugh it off? Really, truly laugh it off?

Shake away the social conventions, and laugh it off?

Failure, rejection and defeat are now easier to bear. Guess what? When you can truly laugh it off, friends get attracted to you. And they go through the situation with you. Cool, isn’t it?

When you can TRULY laugh it off, you become the one in control of your life. You are now The Master of how you affect situations, not how situations affect you.

A final thought:

Look at life squarely in the eye. And laugh it off! 😀