Archives for September 2017

YMUG Newsletter — 2017/09/24

YMUG Newsletter –  2017/09/17

A collection of news and views, rants and raves and some dodgy jokes compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.


Alan Smith ( asked me to pass on the following:

My well-loved Canon printer MG5350 has gone to its last resting place, the council tip, leaving me with 20 cartridges of ink that are NBG to me. They were bought from IJT Direct within the last few months. Any use to anyone, p&p only?


We’ve been told about discounts on some software for members of Mac user groups. Here’s a list of some of the apps included:

Moneyspire, Sparkle, TechTool Pro, 1Password 6, Broom 2, Take Control books, Joe on Tech Guides, Teams ID, EverWeb, various Eltima Software apps, Noteboom tutorials, Prosoft Engineering, Que Publishing products, SlideShark, Opus.

Follow this link to one of my Google Drives for full details: (Don’t worry, you won’t be tainted.)

iOS 11 IS OUT!

On Tuesday (evening for us UKers) iOS 11 was released for the striving masses. I updated my 16 GB iPhone 6 via iTunes as usual.

Here is Ars Technica’s extremely thorough review:

You will notice that Control Center is quite different and customisable.

My iPhone 6 is definitely faster but iPhone 5s aren’t feeling the love.

iOS 11 has introduced a new file format for photos (it will also be supported in macOS High Sierra due out tomorrow). Here’s some info.

HEIF: Here’s What You Need to Know About iOS 11’s JPEG Replacement

Siri can now provide some translations for you.

iOS 11 may be more . . . impactful for iPads than iPhones.

The iOS 11 Dock is much more flexible now on iPads.

And what’s that Files app all about?

Some iOS 11 features you may have missed?

10 New iOS 11 Features You Didn’t Know About

And another list of iOS 11 features.

Turns out that turning off Bluetooth and wi-fi in the new Control Center doesn’t completely turn them off.

A designer takes a long look at iOS 11 and finds it lacking. I quite agree that there are inconsistencies between apps.

Personally I find iOS 11 to be good and bad:

Good in that my phone is running noticeably faster, seems to have a bit more storage space and the battery seems just fine. I really like the built-in document scanner.

Bad in that some of the new versions of standard apps now look a bit more flat and bland (just a matter of taste really) but a couple, like Podcasts have been changed to the point where I’m having to rework my standard operating procedures.

I think though that security issues are important and you are always safer with the latest iOS version.

Lest I forget: watchOS and tvOS have been updated as well.


The A11 chip in the iPhone 8s outperforms the i5s in some Macbooks. Really.

Some non-Apple charging pads for iPhone 8s and iPhone Xs.

5 Wireless Charging Pads for Your iPhone 8 and iPhone X

How does wireless charging work? It’s inductive power transfer! Duh!

9to5Mac likes the iPhone 8 but asks if you should wait for the iPhone X instead?

iPhone 8/Plus Review: With this traditionally beautiful powerhouse, should you really wait for iPhone X?

How physically durable are those iPhone 8s anyway?


Last week I had a moan about the newest version of iTunes, 12.7: it’s missing the iOS app store AND it was unstable for me. Well, it now seems to be behaving on my system and older versions of iTunes have also been stripped of the iOS app store. So . . . you might as well update.

One thing we do all want to know is: how do you add custom ringtones to iTunes 12.7?

There is a way to ‘downgrade’ to iTunes 12.6 but it’s pretty messy.

Safari was updated this last week.

I think I mentioned last week that some companies are really upset with Apple’s decision to increase Safari’s ad-tracking restrictions. But I can’t resist to reference it again! Good for Apple!! This article explains how the new cookie restrictions will work.

I should learn to set Reminders. Maybe next week . . . someone remind me.

macOS: Setting Up Custom Reminders

This is kind of cool: you can now get a software tool that will transcribe audio files. I wonder how it would handle a Scottish accent?


Something that came up in mactalk this last week: how to edit live photos in iOS 11.

Pages, Numbers and Keynote for iOS got updated.

I tell you what: if I needed to get a new iPhone I’d seriously consider getting an iPhone 6s from Apple directly. It’s a great phone and now it’s very affordable.


I love the Radio 4 programme The News Quiz and have been subscribing to the BBC Friday Night Comedy podcast (in which it appears) via iTunes for years. If you’re a fan of the show you have probably figured out that the scoring seems a bit wonky: teams get points which you haven’t heard being awarded. It turns out that the actual recording of the show goes on for longer than the 30-minute broadcast and some lovely person at the BBC has decided that they will release extended versions of the episodes in this series. Warning: they’ve left in all the swear words as well.

You can subscribe to it via iTunes by searching for News Quiz Extra. It seems to be released on the Monday following the Friday radio broadcast and the last available episode lasts about 44 minutes.


This one tends to live always just on the severe edge of my consciousness. I’ve linked to one of several fine versions available on YouTube but this particular one is from their live album Waiting for Columbus which, for my money, is one of the greatest live rock albums every recorded.

Little Feat — Dixie Chicken


The HP Z8 is a computer which can be kitted out with 56-cores, 3 TB of RAM and 3 GPUs. Wow. I bet it can heat your home as well.

In 1983 a Soviet nuclear launch warning satellite network thought it detected an attack coming from the US (considering Reagan was President it probably was a real fear). The officer in charge, Stanislav Petrov, figured it was an error and didn’t inform the Kremlin. He may have saved the world from a nuclear war. He died in May and the news is just getting out.

CCleaner is a cache cleaner for Windows; I used to use it a few years ago. Sadly, someone sneaked some malware into a recent build.

Muhammed has made it onto the list of most popular boys names in England and Wales. I bet my name has never been on that list!

I like the idea of a ‘smart’ lock that tells you you left the door open but it would be even slicker if it closed and locked the door for you!!

The Daily Mail got done for misrepresenting some data on climate change but no one really expects them to change their stance.

An electric bus has travelled over 1000 miles on a single charge! Yeah!!

A telemarketer called an elevator emergency phone. I guess they really just do dial every number.

I guess the Boston Red Socks didn’t use an iPhone to steal the hand signals of their opponents; they used a Fitbit.

Maybe social networks aren’t so bad: a particularly dense criminal got caught after posting pictures of his arsenal on Instagram.

I’ll pass on this incense burner in the shape of the RV featured in the television show Breaking Bad. But I wish I had thought of it.

IT EXISTS: A Breaking Bad RV Incense Burner

September 24th is the 267th day of the year and is also National Punctuation Day in the US of A.

Happy Birthday to: mathematician Gerolamo Cardano (b 1501, d 1576); composer Jean-Louis Lully (b 1667, d 1688); politician Horace Walpole (b 1717, d 1797); musician Blind Lemon Jefferson (b 1893, d 1929); author F Scott Fitzgerald (b 1896, d 1940); actor Anthony Newley (b 1931, d 1999); Muppets creator Jim Henson (b 1936, d 1990); photographer (?) Linda McCartney (b 1941, d 1998); actress Harriet Walter (b 1950); footballer Ally McCoist (b 1962).

Rest in peace these folks who died on September 24th: man of many talents Paracelsus (b 1493, d 1541); poet Branwell Bronte (b 1817, d 1848); physicist Hans Geiger (b 1882, d 1945); author Dr Seuss (b 1904, d 1991); founder of The Academy of Ancient Music Christopher Hogwood (b 1941, d 2014).

Some notable events that took place on September 24th: second Council of Nicea (787); Devils Tower in Wyoming becomes the first US National Monument (1906); the Honda Motor Company is founded (1948); CompuServe launches the first consumer internet service (1979); the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty is signed at the UN (1996).


“Loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!”
— Trump tweet

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
— Trump on Kim Jong Un

“I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
— Kim in response

“A madman…”
— Trump

“We can be on stage while I’m home walking the dogs”
— An ABBA band member on their plans to tour as holograms…while still very much alive.

“We have dinosaurs. No contest”
— London’s Natural History Museum, on whether it would win a duel with the city’s Science Museum.

Online security expert Brian Krebs says he has figured out one way hackers were able to break into the Equifax consumer credit reporting bureau; hackers stole detailed personal financial information on 143 million Americans. How? Equifax’s online security sucked. Even well after Equifax revealed the breach, which they delayed for six weeks while company insiders sold millions in Equifax stock before its price was whacked by the news, Krebs found that the company’s Argentina operation still had significant issues: their system there “was wide open, protected by perhaps the most easy-to-guess password combination ever,” Krebs said: “admin” for the user name, and “admin” for the password. Once in, he was able to see every employee’s personal password in plain text, and he could see that every one of the passwords was the same as the employee’s login name, which was their surname, or their first initial and surname. Equifax only took that system offline after Krebs told them about it. The issue “was not in any way connected to the cyber-security event that occurred in the United States,” an Equifax spokeswoman declared, adding, “we will continue to test and improve all security measures in the region.” (RC/BBC)

Kimberley Paige Barnette, 53, is running for mayor in Charlotte, N.C. Several people are not pleased with her campaign. “She’s using the race card,” opponent Gary Dunn said. Barnette spelled out her qualifications in a Facebook post: “VOTE FOR ME! REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.” During a debate, Barnette was asked for her plan to help Charlotte’s lower-income residents. “I don’t think we should encourage more lower-income people to [come to] Charlotte,” she said. “We should attract higher-income people.” After a public uproar over her Facebook post, she made a new post: “There is a group called Congressional Black Caucus. I’m sorry if I described myself as white and it offended others.” (MS/Charlotte Observer, WJZY Charlotte)

Some quotes from participants in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing

Rev Richard Coles

“There’s a dog collar being pimped apparently, we’re quite excited about that.”
“I was preaching quite a fierce sermon recently and a piece of glitter fell out of my hair.”
“I’m going to need a miracle. It’s ‘let us spray’ at the moment.”
“I’m going to have to launch myself across a dance floor, which I haven’t done since Ibiza in 1990. And it wasn’t pretty then, believe me.”
“I’m very happy to volunteer to dance with Aljaz anywhere, any place, any time.”

Ruth Langsford

Asked if she would wear skimpy outfits: “I’ll only be getting my kit off privately in the spray tan booth.”
On the show’s costumes: “It’s amazing, they gave me a waist – I hadn’t seen that waist for a long time.”

Debbie McGee

On doing ballet dancing in the past: “Strictly has changed over the years. At the beginning it really was that you didn’t have any training. Lots of people have done it now who have. I did train as a ballet dancer over 30 years ago. But it’s like if you were at school and really good at high jump, and 35 years later you’re asked to enter a competition and you’ve got to do long jump.”

Susan Calman

On having a moment with professional Gorka: “When I walked into the dressing rooms, one of the male dancers, I’m not going to say who – Gorka – had his top off. And I’ve actively avoided any contact with the male species for my entire life. And I went…. ‘he’s beautiful!'”

Jonnie Peacock

On seeing Davood at a costume fitting: “I got to stare at this lovely man’s derriere in a pair of tight Latin trousers – there’s not many better sights.”

Brian Conley

On only getting two tickets for friends and family per show: “I’m selling mine on eBay – 10 grand each. I want to stay in the show so I could make 20 grand a week.”

Some Johnny Carson jokes:

Last night, it was so cold, the flashers in New York were only describing themselves.

You get the feeling that Dan Quayle’s golf bag doesn’t have a full set of irons?

Some sad news from Australia… the inventor of the boomerang grenade died today.

Democracy means that anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn’t grow up can be vice president.

There is a power struggle going on between President Reagan’s advisers. Moe and Curly are out. Larry is still in.

Nancy Reagan fell down and broke her hair.

That would have been a great ticket, Reagan and Ford. An actor and a stuntman.

Did you know Richard Nixon is the only president whose formal portrait was painted by a police sketch artist?

Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.

The Hollywood tradition I like best is called “sucking up to the stars.”

Ronald Reagan just signed the new tax law. But I think he was in Hollywood too long. He signed it, ‘Best wishes, Ronald Reagan.’

The difference between divorce and legal separation is that a legal separation gives a husband time to hide his money.

If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.

If variety is the spice of life, marriage is the big can of leftover Spam.

A woman is helping her husband instal his computer. She says it will ask him for a password so he should make one up.

Being a bit of a He man, he winks at his wife and says “penis”. He enters the password and presses the ‘submit’ button.

His wife bursts into hysterical laughter…….

The computer responded: “Too short, entry refused.”

Some great one-liners:

Tim Vine – “ – that’s a site for sore eyes”

Joan Rivers – “All my mother told me about sex was that the man goes on top and the woman on the bottom. For three years my husband and I slept in bunk beds.”

Woody Allen – “Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go it’s pretty damn good.”

Ken Dodd – “I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it.”

Bob Monkhouse – “I want to die like my father, peacefully in his sleep, not screaming and terrified, like his passengers.”

Jo Brand – “The way to a man’s heart is through his hanky pocket with a breadknife.”

Milton Jones – “I was mugged by a man on crutches, wearing camouflage. Ha ha, I thought, you can hide but you can’t run.”

Ross Noble – “How come Miss Universe is only ever won by people from Earth?”

Jimmy Carr – “A lady with a clipboard stopped me in the street the other day. She said, ‘Can you spare a few minutes for cancer research?’ I said, ‘Alright, but we won’t get much done.”

Sarah Millican – “I saw a pair of knickers today – on the front it said, ‘I would do anything for love’ and on the back it said ‘but I won’t do that.'”

Tommy Cooper – “Police arrested two kids yesterday. One was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other one off.”

Jack Whitehall – “I’m sure wherever my father is, he’s looking down on us. He’s not dead, just very condescending.”

Some Red Skelton jokes:

All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner.

I’m nuts and I know it. But so long as I make ’em laugh, they ain’t going to lock me up.

Congress: Bingo with billions.

She ran after the garbage truck, yelling, ‘Am I too late for the garbage?’ The driver said, ‘No, jump in!’

I married Miss Right. I just didn’t know her first name was Always.

A fellow told me he was going to hang-glider school. He said, ‘I’ve been going for three months.’ I said, ‘How many successful jumps do you need to make before you graduate?’ He said, ‘All of them.’

Exercise? I get in on the golf course. When I see my friends collapse, I run for the paramedics.

She has an electric blender, electric toaster and electric bread maker. She said, “There are too many gadgets and no place to sit down!” So I bought her an electric chair.

I haven’t spoken to my wife in 18 months I don’t like to interrupt her.

My wife told me the car wasn’t running well because there was water in the carburetor. I asked where the car was. She told me, ‘In the lake.’

I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our anniversary. ‘Somewhere I haven’t been in a long time!’ she said. So I suggested the kitchen.

Remember: Marriage is the number one cause of divorce.

Heard about the young deaf boy who used sign language? One day he told his mother a dirty joke and she washed his hands out with soap.


Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford:

Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady:

with help from: Anzir Boodoo and Tim Pinder.

Items for the newsletter . . . reviews, rants, raves, revelations and reflections to: Jerad Zimmermann, your participatory social mores editor:

Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest. And jokes.

Join mactalk – YMUG’s official email list discussion group.

You’ll get approximately 5 or 6 emails a day and can have ‘instant’ discussions on Mac related issues.  And other stuff, we’re flexible. By the way, if you’d rather have fewer emails there is a ‘digest’ version which concatenates all the daily emails into one.

To subscribe (FREE) to the group, send a blank email to: and then confirm membership when you receive an automated reply from the group,

If you have any difficulty, please contact Tony Crockford, he’s very nice, smart too.  And I happen to know he has excellent taste in music. –

YMUG Newsletter — 2017/09/17

YMUG Newsletter –  2017/09/17

A collection of news and views, rants and raves and some dodgy jokes compiled by Jerad Zimmermann, Esq.


Sorry for not being able to put out a newsletter last week. Saturday the pain from my ‘procedure’ was so intense I really couldn’t concentrate; I even thought I might have to go to A&E. Imagine someone dropped a bowling ball on your naked foot, that kind of pain but continuing for hours. Fortunately it began to abate. Monday morning I was feeling a lot better. The pain has largely vanished but there is still some swelling. The real annoyance is not being able to get around owning to these incredible lumps of plastic (orthopaedic shoes) I’m supposed to wear for the next month or more. No driving (okay by me), no cycling, it’s hard to even walk much. Stairs are a major chore. Hopefully it will all be worth it. I am about half-way through my Columbo boxed set of DVDs.

Anyway, it’s good to be back with y’all! Now, on with the show, er . . . news!!


On Tuesday Apple had one of its big product announcement events in their new Steve Jobs Theater.

iPhone 8 and 8 plus:

The iPhone 8 and 8 plus come with iOS 11 installed, have a new cpu chip, dual back camera on the 8 plus, glass back and can be charged wirelessly. Ars Technica likes it.

Oddly enough, Apple’s wireless chargers won’t be ready ’til next year. Until then lucky owners will have to rely on chargers made by other companies.

Here’s some chargers that will work.

Here’s a list of comparisons between the iPhone 8 and the 8 plus.

In case you’re wondering if the iPhone 8 is much of an improvement over an iPhone 7 here’s some info:

Intrigued? Here’s some of the iPhone 8 contracts being offered by UK companies.

A handy comparison table of all the iPhone 8 deals available from UK networks

iPhone X: (oohs and aahs from the crowd)

Here’s another list of some of the new features:

Ars Technica’s opinion:

No home button! It’s all gestures from now on. Sigh. Oh and Face ID. Which brings up some privacy and security issues. One US Senator has brought up the privacy issues in congress

Famously, during the presentation, Face ID failed to recognise the presenter, Craig Federighi, and he had to enter his pass code. Apple’s explanation is that several people handled the phone before the show and it tried to identified them as Craig which it failed to do. After a number of failures it requires a pass code.

Face ID will only store one face at a time. It’s supposed to work with sunglasses or if you’ve grown a beard. It’s infrared you know.

Apple Watch 3:

If you get an Apple Watch 3 you can get its own cell connection so no need to have an iPhone as a relay. But it will only work in one country.

Ars Technica’s thoughts.

Apple TV 4K:


You might have missed Apple’s update to iTunes and this time there is something significant: the new version no longer has an iOS app store. This will affect the way many of us acquire and update apps on our iOS devices. In the future you will only be able to find, download and update iOS apps via the App Store app on the device. I’m a bit miffed at this: I frequently read about an app I’d like to try on a website and am able to get it via iTunes but now I’ll have to grab an iOS device and download it. A newly acquired iOS app will still download to all your linked iOS devices (verified) so that is good. I just wish Apple had a Mac app that could access the iOS app store. Maybe if enough of us complain? Anyway, it’s one update you might want to forgo although, I assume, the app store will probably become non-viable on older versions of iTunes eventually.

Additionally, I have been having lots of problems with this new iTunes: my computer has spontaneously rebooted twice while using the app while syncing podcasts with my iPhone. This means iTunes thinks it has copied them to my iPhone but it hasn’t. Then I’ve had to go through each podcast that didn’t get transferred, toggled it off, sync, toggle it on and sync again. It’s bad enough that I wish I hadn’t updated.

If, like me, you have updated to the app-less iTunes here’s a guide for dealing with apps:

Apple is trying to restrict cookies in Safari (thank you Apple!) and guess what? Advertisers do not like it. “Apple’s unilateral and heavy-handed approach is bad for consumer choice and bad for the ad-supported online content and services consumers love. Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful. Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice.”

Apple’s response in full:

Apple responds to ad group’s criticism of Safari cookie blocking

(Personal note: I hate advertising and wish it would all go away so anytime Apple makes it easier for me to avoid being targeted I am all for it!)

By the way, macOS High Sierra will be released on September 25th.

Apple to release macOS High Sierra on September 25

And here’s the bottom-line on APFS, the new Apple file system.

Avira has introduced a free security suite for Mac users. I’m going to give it a try. It has a free VPN; I’ve just set my location to Austria. Which means I can’t use BBC iPlayer on its website. Maybe Austria is not the best choice . . .

(Oh dear, Avira’s VPN locked up and I had to reboot my machine. I’ll experiment further but not right now. The anti-virus bit seems okay.)

How to use Siri to identify a song. I might try this . . . guess I’ll have to turn on Siri.

If you’re using Office 2011 for Macs then you’re going to have some trouble with macOS High Sierra. In fact, you might have problems with Office 2016. Me, I’m an Office 365 subscriber so I should be okay . . . should be . . .

Office for Mac 2011 not supported on High Sierra, may be problems with 2016 apps

Bloc 2 is a website building app for Macs that requires no coding ability!

Trello can help you handle a complex series of tasks. It’s a project tracker . . . I guess. At least it’s free.

Do we need another Mac word processor? Probably not BUT here’s Mellel anyway. One feature it has that sounds interesting is setting it up to convert a whole document from American to British English.

Logitech has introduced a new trackball/mouse device which I’d love to have . . . too bad it costs $99.

Google has promised to stop scanning emails to help with its ad targeting. But for how long?


iOS 11 will be released on September 19th after many beta releases for testers and developers. I’ll install it as soon as I can and report any issues or problems on mactalk.

Here’s a guide to which devices will be able to experience the splendour of iOS 11 on Tuesday the 19th.

Here are the devices that will (and won’t) be updated to iOS 11 on September 19

Minor fuss of the week: Except for personal photos who really wants a fancy wallpaper on their iPhone? Let alone some of these:

A video review of some writing apps for iOS devices including the one I use, Scrivener.

Friday 5: Awesome subscription-free writing apps for iOS [Video]

How to compress videos on your iPhone or iPad using Video Compressor which is free.

Naughty baseball players, stealing their opponents hand-signals with an Apple Watch.

Oh dear, some apps on Google Play charged users for fake services without the users’ knowledge.

If you’d like to read a 245-paragraph review of Android 8.0 today is your lucky day!


If you’ve heard about the hacking problem with Equifax here’s some info:

The Equifax Breach: What You Should Know

There’s a 250-metre long ‘fatberg’ in a London sewer. And someone has to get rid of it. In case you thought your job was rubbish.

Thinking of moving? Someplace warmer? Like Surrey? Now the most expensive region in the UK for buying beer.

The police are using dogs that can sniff out hidden USB drives.

An air freshener and a lighter caused a car to explode in Southend.

During hurricane Irma the Tesla motor company remotely modified some of their vehicles in the Florida region so they would cut into what is normally battery reserve so the owners could get out of the area.

Proof that we are in the ‘end times’: British warships will soon have Siri-like voice controls.

(I used to work for a US military contractor whose remit was to QA software on Trident submarine trainers. Assuming the software on the actual ships goes through a similar validation procedure . . . I’m glad I’m not in the Navy.)

The authorities in California have decided to ban drone deliveries of legal marijuana. Gee, I wonder what they’re worried about?

Love these iOS-controlled lawnmowers, but if I had $3000 to buy one I’d probably already have hired a gardener.

Husqvarna Automower: the iOS controlled mower that cuts your lawn so you don’t have to [Video]

I’m not a big Elon Musk fan but he has a sense of humour good enough to allow a two minute compilation of Space X’s failures to be released.

Okay, when I lived in America I did follow American Football. But since when is it popular enough over here to have a BBC weekly roundup programme?

Anyone want a ‘Handmaid’ Mermaid Blanket? Lots of colours are available.

Handmaid Mermaid Blanket

September 17th is the 260th day of the year and is also Operation Market Garden Anniversary in the Netherlands.

Happy Birthday to: mathematician Bernhard Riemann (b 1826, d 1866 . . . wow, didn’t realise he died so young); outlaw Billy the Kid (b 1859, d 1881); author of more than 600 books John Creasy MBE (b 1908, d 1973); one of my favourite authors Mary Stewart (b 1916, d 2014); singer Hank Williams (b 1923, d 1953); the lovely Roddy McDowall (b 1928, d 1998); race car driver Stirling Moss (b 1929); astronaut Edgar Mitchell (b 1930, d 2016); actress Anne Bancroft (b 1931, d 2005); tennis player Maureen Connolly (b 1934, d 1969); author Ken Kesey (b 1935, d 2001); mountaineer Reinhold Messner (b 1944); actor John Ritter (b 1948, d 2003); lead singer of The Tubes Fee Waybill (b 1950); actress Cassandra ‘Elvira, Mistress of the Dark’ Peterson (b 1951); race driver Damon Hill (b 1960); director Baz Luhrmann (b 1962); snooker player Ken Doherty (b 1969).

Rest in peace these folks who died on September 17th: Hildegard of Bingen (b 1098, d 1179, not a bad run for those days); composer Franz Xaver Sussmayr (b 1766, d 1803); slave Dred Scott (b 1795, d 1858); fashion designer Laura Ashley (b 1925, d 1985); pool player Willie Mosconi (b 1913, d 1993); philosopher Karl Popper (b 1902, d 1994); US Vice President Spiro Agnew (b 1918, d 1996); actor Red Skelton (b 1913, d 1997).

Some notable events that took place on September 17th: Boston, Massachusetts is founded (1630); the US Constitution is approved (1787); abolitionist Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery (1849); Joshua Norton declares himself Norton 1, Emperor of the United States (1859); the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American military history (1962); Lt Thomas Selfridge becomes the world’s first airplane fatality when the Wright Flyer piloted by Orville Wright crashes (1908); Lord of the Flies is published (1954); the Camp David Accords are signed by Israel and Egypt (1978); the 1988 Summer Olympics begin in Seoul (1988); the New York Stock Exchange reopens after the 9/11 attacks (2001).


“Aristotle, Archimedes, Galileo, Tesla, Faraday, Newton, Pasteur, Einstein, and Edison. Among the greatest scientists in world history. What do they all have in common? Not a single one of them ever wrote about man-made climate change.”
— radio host Mark Levin

“I don’t believe Hurricane Harvey is God’s punishment for Houston electing a lesbian mayor. But that is more credible than ‘climate change.'”
— Ann Coulter

“I would say it’s humility. With the gravity and responsibility of being President of the United States and commander-in-chief of our armed forces, sir, I would say that with that gravity and responsibility have come a great deal of humility…There’s a great deal of humility there.”
— Kellyanne Conway, asked by Pat Robertson what Trump characteristic stands out in her mind

“Before long, Black Lives Matter will join forces with ISIS to bring down our legal constituted republic. You heard it here first.”
— 2015 tweet by Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr., who until recently has been under consideration for a post in the Trump Administration

“It looks like it could be something that will be not good.”
— Trump on Hurricane Irma

“We are building our future with American hands, American labor, American iron, aluminum and steel. Happy Labor Day!”
— Trump tweet, accompanied by photo in which the First Lady is wearing a dress by a Greek designer that was made in Italy with French materials

“Alone in your room and want company? RENT-A-FISH”
— A service offered at a Belgian hotel

“Quiet neighbors”
— A for-sale sign on a Michigan home. It’s next to a cemetery.

When you’re deep asleep and not dreaming, where the [heck] are you? There’s total blackness, it’s nothing, right? So I’m hoping that’s what death is, that it’s all gonna go. I don’t want to deal with any consciousness afterward.
— Harry Dean Stanton

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 26, allegedly planned a one-man terrorist attack on Windsor Castle in England. He used his GPS to navigate to the castle, but didn’t quite get the destination entered correctly: it brought him to the Windsor Castle Pub, less than a mile away from his intended target. Once he realised his mistake, Chowdhury headed instead to Buckingham Palace in London, an hour and a half away — which took him right past Windsor Castle. At Buckingham, he got out of the car and allegedly attempted to attack people with a four-foot-long samurai sword. Officers tackled him, and Chowdhury was charged with one count of “preparing to commit an act or acts of terrorism.” Police were able to collect evidence of Chowdhury’s travels using his dashcam and navigation unit — installed in his car because he’s an Uber driver. (MS/London Telegraph)

Liam Smith, a postgrad student at England’s University of Bristol, says his first date with a woman he met on Tinder went well. After dinner, they went to his flat “for a bottle of wine and a film.” She needed to use the loo, and afterward it “would not flush,” she told him. The “panicked” woman fished her poop out of the bowl, wrapped it in tissue, and threw it out the window — except that the window doesn’t actually go outside, so the smelly package was in the wall. After confessing what happened to Smith, the unnamed woman — who he described as an “amateur gymnast” — “climbed in head first after her own turd,” he said. After she got it, they realised she was stuck upside-down in the window. After 15 minutes of failing to get her out, Smith called Avon Fire and Rescue service to help, and documented the rescue with pictures. The fiasco came to light when Smith posted a plea on GoFundMe to fund replacing the window firefighters destroyed to get her out. “I’m not complaining,” Smith said, as “they did what they had to do.” The appeal went viral, bringing in 14 times his 200 pound (US$265) goal. Smith promised to split the excess funds between two charities: one that builds flush toilets in developing countries, and the firefighters’ charity for “the brave men and women who risk their lives for us.” (RC/BBC)

(I heard about the above story on a US news programme and now I’ve seen some of the pictures. It really happened.)

(From a Quora thread)

There’s an old joke in my country (Romania) about the people in a certain part of our country, Oltenia. Oltenians live in poorer conditions compared to other parts of the country and aren’t so technologically advanced, so inevitably jokes in the spectrum of Stone Age Oltenians had to come up.

Q: What did Oltenians do when they saw the first airplane flying?

A: They went to the mountains to look for its nest.

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to ‘put your twopence in’… but it’s only a ‘penny for your thoughts’? Where’s that extra penny going to?

Once you’re in Heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we worked out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they ‘slept like a baby’ when babies wake up like every two hours?

If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

Why are you IN a movie but you’re ON TV?

Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They’re going to see you naked anyway.

Why is ‘bra’ singular and ‘panties’ plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

If the professor on Gilligan’s Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can’t he mend a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME stuff, why didn’t he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Did you ever notice that, when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out of the window?

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on ‘insufficient funds’ when they know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why do they use sterilised needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Why is it that no matter what colour bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not in a sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialised?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead flies get into those enclosed light fixtures?

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that’s falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

Yearly Dementia Test!

It’s that time of year for us to take our annual senior citizen test. Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it’s important to keep mentally alert. If you don’t use it, you lose it! Below is a very private way to gauge how your memory compares to the last test. Some may think it is too easy but the ones with memory problems may have difficulty.

OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.

  1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: ‘bread.’ If you said ‘toast’ give up now and do something else. Try not to hurt yourself.

  1. Say ‘silk’ five times. Now spell ‘silk.’ What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said ‘milk,’ don’t attempt the next question. Your brain is over-stressed and may even overheat. Content yourself with reading more appropriate literature such as Auto World.

  1. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a green house made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass.

If you said ‘green bricks,’ why are you still reading these???

  1. Without using a calculator – You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales.

In London, 17 people get on the bus. In Reading, 6 people get off the bus and 9 people get on. In Swindon, 2 people get off and 4 get on. In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on. In Swansea, 3 people get off and 5people get on. In Carmathen, 6 people get off and 3 get on.

You then arrive at Milford Haven… Without scrolling back to review, how old is the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud! Don’t you remember your own age… It was YOU driving the bus!

Why teachers drink:

The following questions were set in last year’s GED examination These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds) ……. and they WILL breed.

Q. Name the four seasons. A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink. A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists.

Q. How is dew formed? A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

Q. What causes the tides in the oceans? A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight.

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on? A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed.

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections? A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids? A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs

Q.. What happens to your body as you age? A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty? A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes? A. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination? A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour? A. Keep it in the cow

Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorised? (e.g. The abdomen) A. The body is consisted into 3 parts – the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels : A, E, I,O,U..

Q. What is the fibula? A. A small lie

Q. What does ‘varicose’ mean? A. Nearby

A man sees a sign outside a house – ‘Talking Dog For Sale.’ He rings the bell, the owner appears and tells him the dog can be viewed in the back garden.

The man sees a very nice looking Labrador Retriever sitting there.

“Do you really talk?” he asks the dog.

“Yes,” the Labrador replies.

After recovering from the shock of hearing the dog talk, the man asks, “So, tell me your story.”

The Labrador looks up and says, “Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I was sold to the SAS. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one imagined that a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at Heathrow Airport to do some undercover security work, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded several medals. Then I got married, had a few puppies, and now I’ve just retired.”

The man is amazed. He goes back into the house and asks the owner how much he wants for the dog.

“Ten quid,” the owner says.

“£10! But your dog is absolutely amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheaply?”

“Because he’s a lying bastard, he’s never been out of the garden.”

An elderly couple were having dinner one evening when the husband reached across the table, took his wife’s hand in his and said, “Martha, soon we will be married 50 years, and there’s something I have to know. In all of these 50 years, have you ever been unfaithful to me?”

Martha replied, “Well Henry, I have to be honest with you. Yes, I’ve been unfaithful to you on three occasions during these 50 years, but always for a good reason.

Henry was obviously hurt by his wife’s confession, but said, “I never suspected. Can you tell me what you mean by ‘good reasons?’

Martha said, “The first time was shortly after we were married, and we were about to lose our little house because we couldn’t pay the mortgage. Do you remember that evening I went to see the banker and the next day he notified you that the loan would be extended?”

Henry recalled the visit to the banker and said, “I can forgive you for that. You saved our home, but what about the second time?”

Martha asked, “Do you remember when you were so sick, but we didn’t have the money to pay for the heart surgery you needed? Well, I went to see your doctor one night and, if you recall, he did the surgery at no charge.”

“I recall that,” said Henry. “And you did it to save my life, so of course I can forgive you for that. Now tell me about the third time.”

“All right,” Martha said. “So do you remember when you ran for president of your golf club, and you needed 53 more votes?”


Chief Bottle Washer and television reviewer — Tony Crockford:

Head of Department of Redundancy Department — Chris Brady:

with help from: Anzir Boodoo and Tim Pinder.

Items for the newsletter . . . reviews, rants, raves, revelations and reflections to: Jerad Zimmermann, your participatory social mores editor:

Thanks to Ian Thomas, Martin Pickering and Brendan Rowland who send me items of interest. And jokes.

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