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* Posts by Graham Marsden

5144 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Video games linked to ADD? Say it ain't ooh butterfly

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Stroop test...

I've done online versions of this test and I find I do best by simply "defocussing" so that I only really notice the colour, rather than the word that appears.

So I'm actually concentrating *less* to do better!

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45th Mersenne prime revealed

Graham Marsden
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@MnM

"The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy says that the odds of being rescued by a passing spacecraft whilst asphyxiating in deep space are approximately 2^267,709 : 1 against.

"By a curious co-incidence this was also the telephone number of an Islington flat where Arthur Dent went to a very good party and met a very nice girl whom he totally failed to get off with...."

(Quoted from memory!)

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Graham Marsden
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Coat

But...

... what about two to the power of two hundred and sixty seven thousand, seven hundred and nine (minus one)?

Or is that just Infinitely Improbable?

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Hubble snaps aftermath of galactic pile-up

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Excuse me $deity...

... but is this your galaxy?

Would you please blow into this bag, Sir.

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Proles told to get online to save economy

Graham Marsden
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Joke

Possible soap opera plot lines...

Ok, how about someone spending the entire episode on hold trying to get through to their ISP's help desk. Will they get through? Dum, dum, dum-dum, da-da-dum...

Or maybe them getting through and then they and the call centre operator trying to convince each other that they're speaking the same language?

Or perhaps them getting a threatening letter from a law firm accusing them of illegally downloading hardcore porn...?

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Olympic builders hit with biometrics - local residents next?

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Of course...

... once these systems are in place, there's a "good" argument for *leaving* them in place to ensure that everyone who visits the Olympics is properly identified. Naturally this will require the system to be extended to the entire population of London and then to anyone who visits London and then...

(I wonder if anyone's thought of the potential terrorist threat of them planting mines in Weymouth or Portland harbours to blow up boats in the sailing events? Oops, maybe I'm giving them ideas...!)

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'Hack Idol' to find top UK cyberwarriors

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Entrapment...?

Hmm, so how many people are going to put their names forward and then find themselves being investigated and arrested for hacking?

Chairman Mao's "Hundred Flowers" campaign comes to mind where dissidents were encouraged to speak out against the Chinese Communist Regime and were then rounded up and sent to "re-education camps"...

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Royal Marines' semi-hovership prototype launched

Graham Marsden
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How about...

...the Fast Track Amphibian?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaGLNcIkSm0

I'd love one of these if they didn't cost about $250,000 at the moment :-(

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Large Hadron boffin arrested on terrorism suspicion

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Not really to do with this story...

... but in one online discussion I was participating in, someone managed to refer to the device in question as the "Large Hardon Collider"...!

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Care assistant sacked over porn shop internship

Graham Marsden
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Thumb Down

Meanwhile...

... here in the UK the Independant Barring Board would be nodding their heads at the sagacity of the Swedish decision since, under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act if you have anything to do with pornography involving "violence against adults" (ie BDSM material that's entirely legal in Sweden) then you're obviously a dangerous individual who cannot be trusted to care for others...

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Coin-sized nuclear isotope battery minted

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

Meanwhile...

... Al Qaeda has put in an order for a few million of these...

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NASA tweaks killer asteroid's trajectory of death

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Four-in-a-million?

Phew, that's ok then.

Of course if it was only one-in-a-million we'd be screwed because we all know that one-in-a-million chances turn up nine times out of ten...

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Who does the helpdesk really help?

Graham Marsden
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Happy

Dogbert had it right...

Caller: "Hello, I..."

Dogbert: "Shut up and reboot."

Caller: "Hey, it work..."

Dogbert "Shut up and hang up.

"Hmm, My average call time is improving."

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Top prices, old shows - the Beeb's iPlayer goes global

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

10 bucks an episode???

Given that you can buy the entire boxed set of Torchwood Series 1 on Amazo brand new for £14.98 *and* keep it and watch it time and time again, I have to ask what planet this guy is living on...!!!

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Microsoft: we make partners' lives too complicated

Graham Marsden
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Dead Vulture

Come on, El Reg...

... we *NEED* that ursine creature defecating in an arboreal environment icon for stories like this!!

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Star-watchers: Famous moon left half-smeared by dirty ring

Graham Marsden
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Coat

So...

... There's no large black monolith on the bright side? (cf the novel of 2001 a Space Odyssey)

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Tories would take an axe to Labour IT policy

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

data sharing should happen not "because it can"...

... but only where it is wholly necessary.

FIne words, but will they keep to them? When "necessary" becomes "necessary to stop terrorism or crime or benefit fraud or uninsured drivers..." they'll be no better than the current idiots.

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Chinese media finger Swedish lesbian enclave

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Is there...

... a Chinese version of Wikipeidia which was the source of this report...?

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Cambridgeshire cops get coy with FOI

Graham Marsden
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Stop

IWF employees receive training in the law from police...

... and are presumed to be at least as competent as most police authorities in determining whether an image is likely to be indecent.

Hmm, so basically "if you think some nonce or kiddy fiddler might possibly get some jollies from looking at this picture, ban it!"

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CCTV website recruits video vigilantes

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

We're fighting crime and terrorism...

... ORLY?

So exactly *how many* CCTV cameras are in "terrorism hotspots"? And if they are, why aren't they being monitored in the first place...?

And how long before someone gets a couple of mates to stage a violent crime in front of a camera (making sure, of course, that the "attacker" can't be identified) and then reports it to scoop the jackpot...?

If you want a picture of the future, imagine watching a CCTV image of a boot stamping on a human face - forever...

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Tories will let voters 'rewrite' legislation online

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

So...

... what we'll get is yet more Tabloid Media inspired legislation as The Stun or the News of the Screws or whoever writes articles exhorting their readers to support their campaign to amend the legislation such that all paedophiles are publicly burned at the stake...

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MoD 'How to stop leaks' guide leaks

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

How to stop leaks...

... Rule 1: Don't leave your fucking laptops on the train!

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PunterNet thanks Harriet for massive upswing

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Harriet gets it wrong, again...

What she should really making the headlines about is her own Government's Police and Crime Bill which, under the guise of "protecting" women, will actually make them *more* vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Whilst the Goverment has rowed back on its plans to criminalise anyone who paid for sex by making it a "strict liabilty" issue, ie if the woman was "controlled for gain" it wouldn't matter if you didn't know that fact, you were still guilty, they still define "control for gain" so badly that anyone working of their own free will would also be caught.

Not only that, but it allows "brothel closure orders" which are effectively defined as "anything the Police think is a brothel" without the need for proof or evidence!

Also, and possibly worst of all the Police will have a financial interest in getting prosecutions under the Proceeds of Crime Act, ie they can sieze money from working women if they think it was obtained illegally!

All this will do is force women who work in the sex industry into greater isolation or into the hands of unscrupulous pimps. meaning that any "protection" this law gives will actually make them *more* vulnerable because the women will not dare to report assaults or other crimes committed against them for fear of being arrested themselves.

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Amazon coughs $150k to student over lost notes

Graham Marsden
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"once a book is downloaded from Amazon you should be able to rely on it not to change."

Damn!

1) Download book from Amazon

2) Amazon screws up and deletes it

3) Profit!

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iPhone developer stamps out calculator profanity

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Numerous studies have proven...

... that pornographic, adult-rated material, when consumed by impressionable kids, can have untoward, sometimes dangerous behavioral consequences on researchers and members of the American Moral Minority who can't believe that you can look at this stuff *without* wanting to do bad things, even though this says more about them than it does about anyone else.

There, finished the sentence correctly for you :-)

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Gov demand for Governator to terminate PunterNet

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Which law are their breaking...?

Oh, that's right, they aren't breaking *any* laws (the women or the PunterNet site)

Still, maybe Harriet Harperson will be able to cobble together some sort of nonsense and force it through Parliament before she and her cronies get the well deserved boot.

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Clown blasts off for ISS

Graham Marsden
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Dead Vulture

But...

... did they make him leave behind the soda-syphon, the bucket full of white-wash (and the other one that's full of confetti) and the modelling balloons?

We need to know these things!

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UK, France mull Photoshop fakery laws

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Dear Politicians...

... have you ever heard of "education"?

PS That's the *proper* sort of education where people learn to *ASK QUESTIONS* instead of just being expected to believe whatever they're told...

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First prison sentence for extreme porn

Graham Marsden
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@King Jack + Alastair McFarlane

The Extreme Pornography sections of Criminal Justice and Immigration Act don't deal with child porn. It's the proposed Coroners and Justice Bill which will make possession of "pornographic" drawings of children illegal when they're the product of nothing more than the artist's imagination (NB there is already an existing law which criminalises drawings copied or traced from *actual* child pornography)

Regarding bestiality images, however, what about Rebecca Loos who was given the job of masturbating a pig on the Channel 5 celebrity reality show "The Farm" and which was broadcast on national TV...?

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Inmate hacker locks down jail computers

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

What next...?

A convicted fraudster and money launderer being asked to help sort out the Prison's budget and wages...??

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Eurocrat demands MP3 player volume limit mandate

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Is this legislating against stupidity?

Or just stupid legislation?

(Is there a difference...?!)

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DVLA pledges investigation over Castrol spy posters

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

DVLA was "urgently investigating"...

... how stupid it is to give this information out to all and sundry...

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Nation's parents prepare to be vetted

Graham Marsden
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Big Brother

Paging the Paedofinder General...!

You're all potential kiddy fiddlers, you just haven't been caught yet!!

PS Wait until the Government's "joined up thinking" gets to the stage of "well, whilst we're vetting them, it would be a good idea to take their fingerprints and DNA and stick them on the database..."

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Home Office makes nice cartoon ID card ad

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

Recognise your employee...?

What about "recognise your employer" or, even better "recognise your MP"? Or how about "recognise your Prime Minister"!

"Well, I'm sorry, but you just because you *look* like Gordon Brown doesn't prove that you *are* Gordon Brown, so I'm going to have to ask for your ID card and fingerprints before we let you come into the Labour Party Conference..."

PS @AC Monday 28th September 2009 11:41 GMT "Well considering you lot (UK people) voted in Nu Labour to power in the first place..."

I sure as hell didn't vote for this bunch of incompetant, power-hungry, nanny state control-freaks! And, for that matter, 65% of the people of this country didn't vote for them either, yet still they got a "majority"!

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Home Office jumps the gun on DNA research

Graham Marsden
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Stop

'you might as well just stick your finger in the air and think of a number'".

So, just like all other Government statistics, then...

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AI robots to mark exams

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

the system "'understands' the meaning of text much the same as a human,"

Given that many young humans these days can't even *write* coherent text, I'd be very impressed if this actually worked!

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Geordi LaForge video-to-brain rig built at MIT

Graham Marsden
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Coat

"microfabricated polyimide stimulating electrode array with sputtered iridium oxide electrodes"

Can I get fries with that...?

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Panicky Plod apologises to Innocent Terror Techie

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Four years...?

Well at least it was quicker that Turings apology...

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Don't trust Tories on surveillance, say LibDems

Graham Marsden
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At least El Reg is paying attention...

... wheras the rest of the media gets distracted (by accident or intent) with stories about eg whether or not there's enough consultation between the Lib Dem leadership and Conference Members about new policies (as if there was *any* such consultation by Labour and the Tories!)

The BBC, especially, seem to be intent on running negative coverage of the Lib Dems, taking every opportunity to ignore what the Lib Dems want to do in favour of stories of Nick Clegg's "lack of authority" and how "senior MPs" have criticised him for proposing cuts in public spending (even though even Labour now admit that such cuts are going to be needed)

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Environment Agency goes to High Court for right to spy

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

The Environment Agency...

... are a complete bunch of tools.

There, rephrased it correctly!

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FCC boss moves for stiffer net neut rules

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

@edev

The cheque from the ISPs is in the post...

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'Evil' Windows 7 campaign goes global

Graham Marsden
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Headmaster

Please repunctuate your title.

It should be "Evil Windows 7" Campaign, because the current title reads as if it's the "Windows 7 Campaign" that's "evil", rather than Windows 7 itselt being "evil"

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Undead COBOL celebrates (another) 50th birthday

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

If it ain't broke...

... why change it for something that might break and cost you a load of dosh to fix, simply because it's newer or cooler or flashier?

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North Wales Police institute new happiness law

Graham Marsden
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@The BigYin

> There's a simple answer though, don't enter Wales; take your money elsewhere.

Unfortunately if bikers do that, the Police will have won, since they'll have succeeded in driving the bikers out of "their" area.

Not only that, but it will give ammunition to other attempts to "protect" bikers from themselves such as the campaign to ban bikes from the A537 "Cat and Fiddle" ride in the Peak District.

The only way for bikers to win and, indeed, everyone who respects liberties and the rule of law (rather than the "rule of Police State") is to stage *more* of these rides and point out how much time and public money the Police are wasting harassing innocent riders.

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

How do we know it was an undercover firearms vehicle?

Well, because the officer kept repeating this fact!

Perhaps if he hadn't *said* anything about it, his safety would not have been put at risk...?

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Italian Job sat nav driver cops £900 fine

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

This just goes to show...

... that some people are too stupid to be allowed on the road!

The Driving Test should include an IQ test along with reminders that a Sat Nav is an *aid* to driving, not a substitute for using your brains and your eyes.

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Tory surveillance backlash: Worthy, but is it workable?

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

It's a start, but...

... "five principles that the Conservative party intend to apply"

Err, most of those were established as part of the Data Protection Action in 1984!

And, of course, this relies on us being able to *trust* the Tories to actually keep their word when they get into power...

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US researchers demand cell phone safety tax

Graham Marsden
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@ Rob Campbell

> Actually, it isn't the "negative statement" that is the problem it's the "prove" part. We scientists normally never actually prove anything. We may find evidence to support a hypothesis, but proving that there can be no evidence to refute the statement is more difficult. One needs to find just a single example that contradicts a hypothesis to refute it (assuming that one is using sound scientific techniques of course).

Err, Rob, that is "proving" the hypothesis, since "to prove" in this context actually means "to test"!

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Googlebooks crusade captures CAPTCHA king

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

CaPTcHa iS A pITa!

... it's the equivalent of "L33t sp34k" (aka "Moron Text").

I have good visual skils, I am very good at spatial recognition tests, I am reasonably intelligent and can comprehend written language etc.

So why the fuck do I *STILL* have to make repeated attempts to get a web page to agree that I've keyed in one of these bloody things properly?

I fully expect a lot of people to say "sod it, I'll go somewhere else" rather than keep wasting their time being told that they've not typed the munged text correctly.

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Bus driver becomes Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

How about...

... Julius Sad Loser With No Life Jankov?

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