The best voicemail message ever

This is the funniest and best thing you will hear on the Internet this week. 

Our hero is just your average guy, late for work, leaving an apologetic voicemail message for his boss. Until one car crashes into another car in front of him and his message turns into the best blow-by-blow commentary ever delivered.

Key words: old ladies, pepper spray, bible, beat-down, badam badam!

Seriously, get comfortable. You need three minutes and nobody around who is going to mind you laughing and possibly crying hysterically.

Good Internet, good boy.

Some facts, as best as I can gather:

  • This happened in 2005
  • The recording gets recirculated on radio and the Internet every few years
  • The message is real, the details of the incident are unconfirmed
  • I first heard this recording this week at http://95rockfm.com
  • Thanks to @tidman for sharing

Jokes from The Fringe at Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, despite it feeling like the words aren’t quite in the right order.

It’s bigger than the Edinburgh International Festival (from which it was spawned) whichever way you look at it: acts, attendance, duration and Wikipedia page.

Edinburgh fringe festival act performs on the Royal Mile
The Fringe features acts of all sorts, from theatre to music and dance, but more than anything else it’s a showcase and springboard for comedy acts. So much so that in 2012 about 36% of the shows were jokers.

They can’t all be funny, there just aren’t enough good jokes to go around. And The Fringe recognises this by putting together its list of the worst jokes of the year. I won’t name and shame the people responsible, but The Telegraph did if you really need to know.

  • I thought ex-pats were people who used to be called Pat.
  • My wife said to me, “Do you fancy going gay clubbing?” I said, “No, it sounds violent”.
  • I once did a gig in a zoo. I got babooned off.
  • I want to talk about something that’s close to my heart. My lungs.
  • I’m married with kids. I don’t need to look good, I just need to look better than the prospect of single parentdom.

So it’s a good thing The Fringe also picks and publishes its best jokes of the year. You’d think. Here are the best five, from fifth to first.

  • I can give you the cause of anaphylactic shock in a nutshell.
  • My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an Italian island. I said to him, “Don’t be Sicily.”
  • I’m in a same-sex marriage… The sex is always the same.
  • I used to work in a shoe-recycling shop. It was sole-destroying.

And the best joke from The Fringe at Edinburgh, as decided by TV channel Dave’s judges:

  • I heard a rumour that Cadbury is bringing out an oriental chocolate bar. Could be a Chinese Wispa.

Rob Auton
As with a lot of things, and I’m sure you’d agree, I feel like I could do better. Not least of all because I can’t stand the idea of losing at anything to a guy who looks like this. So here it is, my own best made-up joke, for public scrutiny.

  • I didn’t get my chest waxed in the end because apparently it hurts worse than childbirth. No thanks, I cried like a baby when I was born.

Thank you, thank you very much. I’m here all week. See you in Edinburgh next year.

Mark Wahlberg’s movie poster gun habit

I saw the poster for Mark Wahlberg’s latest movie, 2 Guns. Not surprisingly, he’s holding one of them. But it made me think how often I see Mark Wahlberg holding a gun in movie posters, because it seemed like a lot. So I asked IMDB, because they would know.

Here are the last eight movie posters that Mark Wahlberg has been on. I count five guns.

I’m no psychologist, no movie guy, no marketing hotshot. I just thought it was interesting.

(But if you can find a way to bet on whether Mark Wahlberg will be holding a gun in his next movie poster, I suggest you do it.)

From balloons to space, via solar-powered planes

I like the idea of green technology and saving the planet by being clever. I like electric cars and the idea that we might figure out a way to make renewable energy a competitively-priced alternative to fossil fuels.

So when I see a headline like “Solar-powered plane flying across US“, I click on it.

solar impulse

That’s Solar Impulse, the solar-powered plane that has recently flown from San Francisco to New York using only the power of the sun. It’s cooler than the other side of the pillow.

But a commercial roll-out is a long way off yet, given that the aircraft carries one person and has a top speed of about 50 mph. But as long as the plane and its journeys are making people think and talk about solar power then the mission has been a success.

About the pilots

One of the pilots of Solar Impulse is Bertrand Piccard. He’s one of the last real explorers of this day and age and adventure certainly runs in his family.

He himself was the first man to fly around the world non-stop in a balloon; his father Jacques was the first man to take a submarine to the bottom of the Mariana Trench; his grandfather Auguste was the first man to see the curvature of the earth (from a high-altitude balloon); and of course his great-great-great-grandson Jean-Luc is the captain of the Starship Enterprise.

piccard

How many hot dogs can you eat in 10 minutes?

Winning Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is as good as it gets for any competitive eating athlete. It’s the World Cup, the Super Bowl, the Olympic final. And this year Joey Chestnut ate 69 frankfurters (and buns) in 10 minutes to become the champ.

I know this because I was browsing the Huffington Post’s weird news section – there’s some seriously weird sh1t on there, it’s worth a look when you’re done here – and I was curious enough to click.

hotdogs

So I read the article, and I watched the video. And I was disgusted. But then I read the comments – and normally I have very strict rules about not reading the comments – and I learned a few things.

Like, competitors aren’t allowed to throw up within an hour of finishing the competition. This isn’t just an eating contest, it’s a digesting contest too.

“How is Mr. Chestnut’s cholesterol and blood pressure?” “Blood pressure ain’t the problem… How is his bung hole pressure?”

“That makes me wonder what goes on with them for the next 24 to 36 hours. If the contestants are smart, they’ll take laxatives before and after the competition…”

“Dear Huffpo, Please do not pretend to be shocked by the comments when you publish a story about a wiener eating contest and put ’69’ in the heading…”

“USA! USA! USA!”

“It’s a good thing homeless people who cannot afford food to eat don’t have computers and the Internet. They would probably be P1SSED if they were to read this!”

This is the world we live in. Treasure it.

The most corrupt countries in the world

Look away, Africa, because eight of the 10 most corrupt countries in the world are in you.

Transparency International has a thing called a Global Corruption Barometer, and the 2013 edition asked a simple question to about 1000 people in 107 countries, to get a very basic idea of corruption levels and perceptions around the world.

corruption

The question was ‘Have you paid a bribe?’ And the list of countries with the highest percentage of people that said ‘Yes’ looks like this.

Country % Yes
Sierra Leone 84%
Liberia 75%
Yemen 74%
Kenya 70%
Cameroon 62%
Libya 62%
Mozambique 62%
Zimbabwe 62%
Uganda 61%
Cambodia 57%

Obviously this is an incredibly basic assessment, but it’s interesting and worthwhile nonetheless. And it’s probably not too dissimilar to the most comprehensive corruption survey you could conduct.

In fact, here is a comprehensive corruption report from 2012. And indeed nine of our terrible 10 are in the bottom quarter – only Liberia seems to have been treated unfairly by the have you / haven’t you survey.

At the other end of the moral scale there’s less regional dominance, with representatives from Asia, Europe, Australasia, South America and North America all reporting 3% or lower. I’m afraid it doesn’t look good, Africa, it doesn’t look good.

The world average is 27% and you can find your country here if you’re curious. Or leave your country and Yes / No in the comments and I’ll look it up for you. Me? South Africa, and No.