* Posts by Michael H.F. Wilkinson

2757 posts • joined 24 Apr 2007

How Groucho Marx lost his voice and found his funny bone

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

Only a genius can come up with stuff like that. I just love his off-the-wall humour

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Hawking hologram comforts One Direction fans with Zayny parallel universe claim

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

It is of course possible to create your own custom universe in your office, so you can research stories in the daytime, and still go to parties in the evening.

Where I read that? Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy of course

OK, so I would like one universe to go, with extra Ford Prefect and Zaphod Beeblebrox, but hold the One Direction, Justin Bieber, and the entire Kardashian clan

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China tackles vital strippers-at-funeral problem

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

I have to wonder

whether the old man wouldn't have preferred to have been presented with six erotic dancers before his death.

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SEX: Naughty female stegosauruses offered it on a PLATE

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Every schoolboy's favourite dino?

Stegosaurus is OK, but I was much more a T. rex or Ankylosaurus fan as a kid (and I still haven't grown up according to my missus)

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Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Ah, the old Olivetti's. My physical scars have healed by now. I would much more prefer to take an axe to them and "give them a reprogramming they will never forget" to paraphrase Ford Prefect's words to Eddy, the shipboard computer.

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: I think that may invalidate his warranty...

When he fired his first shot, did he get a message:

Windows has detected new hardware:

9mm Hi-point compatibe bullet

Please wait until proper drivers have been installed

Sorry, just couldn't resist, I'll get me coat

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Don't shoot the Messenger: NASA's suicide probe to punch hole in Mercury

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

"its final contribution to the scientific canon"

most fittingly will be

KABOOM!!

Sorry, couldn't resist.

When it goes, I will raise a glass to this plucky Messenger's contribution to science (and also to all those engineers and scientists who made it possible.

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Nvidia's GTX 900 cards lock out open-source Linux devs yet again

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: firmware

Yep, must agree there. I am quite pragmatic when it comes to software, we have some CUDA stuff running here so nVidia is needed. I used to download the nVidia propriatary drivers, but I have run into two instances where they borked the system. Scrapping the nVidia stuff and switching to nouveau sorted it, and let me keep some older hardware alive. If nVidia ships working stuff I will happily install it again, but not before I am sure it won't bork my system again.

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NASA probe sent to faraway planet finds DWARF world instead: Pics

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Re: Plutopalooza

Certainly worthy cause for a party. My son was really chuffed to hear the flyby is on his birthday. I will certainly raise a glass to both occasions

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Rand Paul puts Hillary Clinton's hard drive on sale

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

"Does the world want a president who is unaware of the passing of IDE and the ascent of SATA?"

Well, the more serious issue is: Does the world want a president who wants to be president, as it is a well-known and much lamented fact that those people who most want to rule people are ipso facto those least suited for the job.

The one with the cassette tapes of the Hitchikers Guide radio play in the pocket please

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Indian cops spice up protests with pepper spray-armed DRONES

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

I just have to ask

It being India, is the pepper spray Vindaloo flavour?

I'll get my coat. The one with the menu of the Indian takeaway in the pocket, please

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ALIENS ARE COMING: Chief NASA boffin in shock warning

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

And slood? Have you taught them about slood yet?

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Sir

Fusion? Why not skip fusion and get into bistromathics directly

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: Actually....

Hey, did you also hitch a ride with a teaser?

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Operation Redstone: Microsoft preps double Windows update in 2016

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Windows-as-a-Service

I must say I will not use Windows as a service should it materialize. I was considering buying Photoshop, but the new CC versions with their rental model really don't appeal to me. I can understand renting storage space, paying monthly for a mobile phone subscription, but not my software. A key reason is that I want to decide when and indeed if I want to upgrade software. The "as a service" model will almost certainly foist stuff on me that I neither want nor need.

Others may of course have different ideas, but I like to have more control over the software on my machine than most, perhaps

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Bone-tastic boffins' breakthrough BRINGS BACK BRONTOSAURUS

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Everything I need to know about this subject came from The Flintstones...

I don't know, both have their merits. Whereas Brontosaurus burgers are perfect for your barbecue, Apatosaurus apetizers can be very tasty, especially with a strong wasabi dip.

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Aw, snap! How huge HTML links can crash Chrome tabs in one click

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Version 42?

Scans the skies for Vogon constructor fleets, just in case

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It's the FALKLANDS SYNDROME! Fukushima MELTDOWN to cause '10,000 Chernobyls' in South Atlantic

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Nice!

put a smile on my face this special day. Muons used to penetrate concrete was pushing it, however. mu neutrinos combined with the (relatively nearby) Super Kamiokande neutrino detector might have been a nice touch.

Still, full points for a funny story

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ESA reveals Rosetta's snaps of MARS and EARTH

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Nice pictures

But what is missing in the picture of Earth is a little arrow saying "You are here" for that total perspective vortex effect. You would also need to extrapolate the current state of the entire universe from a small piece of fairy cake, for the full effect, of course.

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Cross-dressing blokes storm NSA HQ: One shot dead, one hurt

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Maybe these guys were desperate for an award

Darwin award, that is.

One at least deserves a nomination now

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Ding Dong, ALIENS CALLING

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
Silver badge

Alternatively

Hook up the logic circuits of a Bambleweeny 57 submeson brain to an atomic vector plotter suspended in a strong Brownian motion generator (say a cup of hot tea), feed it the improbability for an infinite improbability drive, and away you go. No more mucking about in hyperspace.

Unless you want to deal with Bistromathics, of course

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Alien

And if all that fails

just reverse the polarity of the neutron flux!

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Encryption is the REAL threat – Head Europlod

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Joke

Re: While we're at it...

Superb idea: I see a new role for Brian Blessed giving masterclasses: ARE YE DEEEEEFFFF!!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Black Helicopters

Re: Headache eh?

It will get worse. They should take a paracetamol, and have a little lie down.

What I do not get is that they complain about encryption provided by technology firms, whereas I can happily send one-time-pad encrypted messages through open channels without anybody being able to crack them. The only problem is getting the pad to my intended receiver (not too hard really). The "algorithm" is extremely simple, all you need is to do bitwise XOR with a stream of random bits (easily obtained from any natural noise source).

There are many less strong ways of sending encrypted data through open channels in such a way that it isn't even readily visible (steganography). Thus, if bad guys want to encrypt stuff, they can already do that. Given that fact: what do they really lose if they are no longer able to view everybody's mail? The ability to leer at somebody's selfies?

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EMC and Cloudera withdraw from Indiana big data event

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Re: Well that does it. I'm not going to Indiana either.

I might have expressed that a bit more succinctly, but I do agree that allowing people to discriminate based on their religious beliefs is plain wrong. It could readily be argued that this is unconstitutional. After all, it didn't say: "all men are created equal, but some more equal than others" last time I looked

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UN inflicts 10,000 flat pack IKEA shelters on Iraq - WITHOUT TOOLS

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Thumb Up

Nice one IKEA

Really good idea.

The only thing that could go wrong now is if they give it one of their silly names, like BØNK Shelter, or so ;-)

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BOFH: Never mind that old brick, look at this ink-stained BEAUTY

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Pint

Brilliant, nice end of the week story

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Amazon cloud threatens to SMASH the fundamental laws of PHYSICS

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Black Helicopters

Re: So encrypted files are forbidden?

Off course, if your encryption is REALLY good, they won't know it's there

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Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Like the screen and format, but need CUDA

The older 13" Macbook were equipped with an nVidia graphics card, and as such offered support for code our students develop in CUDA, and had sufficient graphics grunt for 3D visualization code we develop. The later ones don't. Real shame, because I hate lugging a 15" along for conferences. As my code is OS agnostic, I was seriously considering the older MacBook, but I will have to pass this one for lack of video grunt.

I recently got a quote in the same price range from a Dutch company for a 13.3" at 2560x1600 resolution, Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, one 1TB HDD, + one 256GB SSD, and Geforce 860 (or so) graphics card. Weight 1.9 kg, so a bit heavier (and a bit bulkier to allow for cooling). The cost (with OS, you can also order it without) was just a shade under a MacBook pro 13.

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Google throws a 180 on its plans for Dart language

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: Can't resist a joke.

Alternatively, if the last dart hit Otto von Chriek as he was passing by it would be

"ONE UNDEAD AND EIGHTY!!!!"

Mine is the one with "The Truth" in the pocket

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Chipzilla spawns 60-core, six-teraflop Xeon Phi MONSTER CHIP

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

NICE!

I wouldn't mind a box or two of those beasts. And, no, I will not run Crysis on it. Instead I will be processing giga to terapixel images on it

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Marathon race ace FOUND ON MARS – NASA boffins overjoyed

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

"New MARS record", or alternatively "new new-world record"

Great achievement, by any name

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SCARESTEROID of the week to miss Earth on Friday

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: The UNIVERSE will end on Friday

And of course, a Vogon constructor fleet is due coming Thursday (never could get the hang of Thursdays)

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

The UNIVERSE will end on Friday

To be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexplicable

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ROBOT INVASION has already STARTED in HIPSTERLAND

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coat

Re: Homing from Work

Such people are anti-Sams: You CANNOT read "Where's my cow?" like that! The hippopotamus sounds just don't sound right through the audio system. A propper HRUUGH should rattle the windows.

Mine's the one with "Thud" in the pocket

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Interesting invention, which opens up many possibilities

Just add one BOFH or PFY, and for preference: Duck tape

The engineering solution to EVERYTHING

(OK, adding a beefed-up cattle prod could also add fun)

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Google Glass NOT DEAD. We're just making it 'ready' says chief

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: It's not dead, it's resting!

Pushing up the daisies! Gone to meet its maker! it is an ex-glass!

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Boffins FOAMING over a Nickel's worth of hydrogen

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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As I read it it is a catalyst and electrode in one. The catalyst lowers the potential barrier for the electrolysis reaction, lowering the pwoer needed for the reaction

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Curiosity rover's broken arm heals, exploration-as-normal resumes

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Here I am, brain the size of a planet and all they ask me is to drill a hole in a rock

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Sir Terry remembered: Dickens' fire, Tolkien's imagination, and the wit of Wodehouse

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: "Anthill inside"

Got that t-shirt, will wear it with more pride. It generally takes my CS students a little while to realise I am not wearing a T-shirt with an Intel ad.

What I will miss most about Terry Pratchett is the warmth and love of humanity with all its shortcomings that oozes from all his work. The one thing that really offended him is "treating people like things". He was a wonderful man with an unparallelled talent

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Rosetta probe to try contact with Philae lander on Thursday

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Fingers crossed!

I really hope the probe wakes up from its hybernation without issues. I cannot help wondering if, when it wakes up, Philae will say:

"I have worked out that if I stick my left arm in my right ear, I can electrocute myself ..., terminally"

or alternatively

"I think you ought to know I am feeling very depressed"

Or simply:

"It's c c cold"

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Super SSD tech: Fancy a bonkers 8TB all-flash PC?

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Coffee/keyboard

No, that's not tea on the keyboard

Just some drool, that's all

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Shove off, ugly folk, says site for people who love themselves

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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The shallow end of the gene pool

Even by the standards of the general internet, this is an extreme load of vacuous twaddle. I would not want to spend any time in the presence of said Tawnie, let alone in the confined spaces of an elevator, where the stench of her (no doubt liberally applied) perfume would probably trigger an allergic attack. Besides, to paraphrase the immortal words of Marvin the Paranoid Android: "I get a headache trying to think down to their level"

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'Hi, I'm from Microsoft and I am GOING TO KILL YOU'

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Megaphone

It just struck me

No need for technology, I will just pass the caller to "my boss", and then do one of my celebrated Brian Blessed impersonations. Did one on holidays in the Alps recently, and had my kids in stitches.

ARE YE DEEEEEEAAAAAF!!!

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: Just waiting

Very much like the "remark" tool the BOFH taught novice computer users about years back. Easily invoked using the usual UNIX abbreviation "rm"

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Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Mushroom

I got one too, once or twice

I really, really really would like that remote BOFH-enhanced cattleprod functionality on the phone going.

Them: <indian accent> Hello mr. Wilkinson, I am calling from Microsoft Tech Support

</indian accent>

Me: Hello, you may call me Simon

Them: <indian accent> Sir, your computer >>KZZEERT<<

</indian accent>

Alternatively, I would like to wire a fax machine, enhanced to 120dB volume, to answer their questions

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Lost WHITE CITY of the MONKEY GOD found after 500 years

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: They dared to defile the White City of the Monkey God?

Yeah, but don't forget the Monkey God's Mum (MGM). She is going to go ON and ON and ON to the poor Monkey God:

MGM: "See! I TOLD you to keep your forest tidy! You are ALWAYS losing things in it!"

Monkey God: "But, mum, I ..."

MGM: "I mean, HOW can you lose an entire CITY! This never would have happened to your cousin Kevin!"

Monkey God: "But mum, ..."

MGM: "Just think of what your dad will say when he comes home, and he hears humans have found it for you"

Monkey God: "Yes, but mum, ..."

MGM: "And I bet you haven't said thank you to those nice men from the SAS and National Geographic for finding your city again"

Monkey God: "But,..."

MGM: "Now go to your room and tidy THAT, or it's no human sacrifices for you for the next 500 years!"

Monkey God: "Yes, mum. Alright, mum"

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HTC One M9 hands on: Like a smart M8 in a sharp suit

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Nice

Like my M8, will keep it for a while yet, but I like the fact that I can get something very much like it for a while yet,

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RIP Leonard Nimoy: He lived long and prospered

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Re: Getting OLD !!

I know the feeling. Take comfort in the fact that getting old means you are certainly succeeding in the first half of "Live long and prosper", so keep up the good work, and prosper

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El Reg chefs whip up Post-Pub Noshographic

Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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Happy

Re: BESSHHT GRAPH IN THE WORLD!!

I see! it is a descriptive graph rather than prescriptive. And exactly because the near terminally inebriated cannot read it, they will follow it

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