Tagged with curiosities

Unwritten Rules of Lead and Follow (written for you!)

Being in the unfamiliar surrounds of the northern suburbs of Perth this morning, I asked my mate if he would indulge in doing the Lead and Follow thing… termed today as leady-followy. He happily obliged and despite some minor setbacks, such as losing each other, it helped me get between our multiple destinations with minimum fuss. In so doing, it let me cast my mind to the following 3 central tenets of leading (in my opinion).

1) Never drive at a speed that would necessitate the follower to break the speed limit to stay in contact. While you may be happy with a few demerits and a few less cappuccinos this week, it’s unwise and unfair to expect your follower to do likewise, especially if they get pinged.
2) If you’re going to go for a gap (at a turn-off or roundabout for example), make sure it’s big enough for both cars.
3) If you do lose your follower, pull over and wait for them to catch up.

As an add-on to rules 1 and 2, and an action which may necessitate an invocation of rule 3, do not proceed through an Amber traffic light!

As a follower, you have an obligation to stay reasonably close, take minor risks as payback for having a personalised GPS unit, be aware of what the lead car is doing and, under no circumstances, run up their bum as a result of ineptitude, iphoning, or both 🙂

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Prescient Quote circa 1857

Some thoughts from Alfred Wallace – independent co-founder of the theory of evolution though natural selection – upon seeing some birds of paradise on the Aru islands near New Guinea.

“It seems sad that on the one hand such exquisite creatures should live out their lives and exhibit their charms only in these wild inhospitable regions… while on the other hand, should civilized man ever reach these distant lands, and bring moral, intellectual and physical light into the recesses of these virgin forests, we may be sure he will disturb the nicely-balanced relations of organic and inorganic nature as to cause the disappearances, and finally the extinction, of the very beings whose wonderful structure and beauty he alone is fitted to appreciate.”


Hehe, I’m a pillock…

I can’t find who to attribute it to, but the earliest instance I’ve found is here. As with all things interwebz, it changes according to audience context… but still good for a laugh. (8 Years late)… In that link, it appears the joke had its genesis in 1995, ’91, or earlier!

Queens University researchers have discovered the heaviest element yet known to science: Governmentium.

The new element, Governmentium (symbol=Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called pillocks. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A tiny amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second, to take from 4 days to 4 years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2 to 6 years. It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass. When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium (symbol=Ad), an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many pillocks but twice as many morons.