The Hunting of the Snark

29/03/2011

The aliens have littered

Filed under: Snarky — Jeremy Irish @ 21:35
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I went out to the shops last week and saw this object sitting on the busy footpath in front of our house:

A discarded empty crisp pack of Space Raiders

Take us to your litter

As I continued on, three thoughts went through my head.

  1. Ick.
  2. Space Invaders… My wife was just showing me some cookies she’d seen online decorated with a ‘Space Invaders’ theme.
  3. Crisp packs sitting on the ground like this really are space invaders! (Ooh… deep… clever…)

It later turned out that the product is actually called ‘Space Raiders’ rather than ‘Space Invaders’, probably for fairly good reasons. So not quite as clever. Oh, well. Still works.

I decided I would snap a picture, write a post and then pick up that package. Plus a very dead umbrella nearby.

A child's ruined umbrella apparently resembling a frog

Amphibious landing

Plus a glove (or possibly a severed Muppet hand) that had been abandoned in our garden since well before the thaw—seriously, a month at least.

A small, pink, furry, fetid glove

Unrequited glove

At first, I was just going to bin it, because I figured, it’s never been reclaimed, and who would really want the ugly thing back? Then I thought maybe I should ask the neighbours in case it belonged to one of their kids, never mind how ugly it was. Then I thought it must be really un-hygienic as well as ugly, so the best idea was to toss it after all.

So there we go. I was inspired to clear away three pieces of litter. My blog has done its first actual good deed in the world.

– The Snark

Advertisements

27/03/2011

The little-known genius of Microsoft’s grammar check

Filed under: Snarky — Jeremy Irish @ 15:10
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I normally switch off the grammar check feature of Microsoft Word as soon as I possibly can at a new computer, but I hadn’t been aware of its potential as a valuable source of workplace entertainment. Observe:

Screen shot of Microsoft grammar check in an Outlook message

A screen shot showing Microsoft's idea of what my sentence should say; zoom in for the full effect

Yes, this particular pearl of wisdom suggests that I should replace I’m with me’m.

Detail of grammar check suggestion

?!

I really don’t know what else there is to say. Just… wow.

– The Snark

19/03/2011

Disney’s unique perspective

Filed under: Snarky — Jeremy Irish @ 10:42
Tags: , , ,

I wouldn’t be surprised to find a cute animated zebra head on my pillow after posting this, but I’m going to post it anyway.

Look around you and pick up any Disney product. Any DVD, book, licensed toy, key fob, poster, appliance, article of furniture etc. In much of the world, the nearest such object is probably within ten paces.

Now… Turn it around to look at the back, or the bottom, or open it up to look inside, wherever is the least visible—and squint very, very hard. You can always find a copyright notice. And it always looks like this:

© Disney

(Except smaller.)

There’s no date! I started noticing this trend a few years back, when all I wanted to do was find out when a particular movie had been made.

Time was, by neglecting to include a date—never mind refusing to do so—Disney would have been forfeiting their copyright in the US. My personal theory is that the Mouse is forever thumbing his round, black nose at the American system, in revenge for a massive copyright fail early in Walt’s career.

And as usual with Disney, there is the sense of a more sinister aspect lurking in the background, too. Copyright protection is supposed to be limited, particularly with regard to duration. The company is well-known for spearheading campaigns to extend the length of copyright, and it’s perfectly logical to expect them to keep trying that tactic indefinitely. Meanwhile, supposing they do not achieve perpetual ownership, how will you know if something is still protected or not if you don’t know when it was made?

Disney do not draw attention to this practice. They just do it.

(Actually, given viewing statistics, I would be surprised about the zebra head thing. Oh, well.)

The copyright symbol with added Mickey Mouse ears and infinity bowtie.

This superb image is in the public domain!

– The Snark

Blog at WordPress.com.