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Top Ten Things Your Dog REALLY Says About “YOU”

Putin Dog

I was the one on the left was running Russia. Little known fact, they both like to go number two in the great outdoors.

Ever wondered what your dog says about you? I haven’t, although I can’t always resist the lure of those click-bait headlines…

1) That you own a dog. Maybe even more than one!

2) That at one point, you could afford a dog. You might be rich!

3) You can continually afford to look after a dog. You are rich!

4) That you like dogs. In particular, your dog. You’re not a complete arsehole!

5) You like dogs more than cats. Most likely.

Dog-owner-1

Not only do these two look alike, they are also both really unimpressed that the human agreed to this.

6) That you enjoy carrying faeces around in a plastic bag. Weirdo.

7) You own one or several leashes, chains and restraints. Kinky.

8) That you’re not allergic to your dog. If you are, bummer. Potentially sneezy.

9) That you enjoy unconditional love. Needy.

10) You are able to walk outside, in most weather. You have a big wardrobe.

dogsownerslook-likedogs-2

Why did these people agree to these photos? Why did they… Just why?

There have been lots of surveys done of people with dogs.

They make vague statistically correlations between types of dogs and the people that own them.

Articles that purport to say something about us, such as this one, get a lot of hits.

News websites, which are businesses that now require internet traffic in order to survive, regularly run variations on this article. Despite their complete lack of relevance to anything, ever.

Check out this article from the Daily Mail back in 2012…

And…surprise surprise…here is almost the same article from The Telegraph in 2014.

dogs-look-like-owners-5

Both of these articles claim that your choice of dog may say essential things about your personality.

Potentially, your choice of dog defines exactly who you are down to your coffee preference, shoe size, and alcoholic drink of choice.

All these things and just about any other single thing that can be used to distinguish people, can also be picked apart to potentially tell you everything about that person.

There might be even some stats or photos or a quote or some crap.

You know what all of it really says about a single person though?

Nothing.

Nothing at all.

Nothing ever.

dogs_cher

I would really like it if you ‘Cher’ed this article…

So why do we keep reading these articles?

The ones about dogs suggest you choose a prospective partner based on the type of dog that they own.

It tells us that people who own Labradors have a big shit fetish, those with Chihuahuas have a small shit fetish, and those with Bulldogs just like rolling around in all the shit.

Also that people with German Shepherds are commitment-phobics, people with Terriers are too possessive and people with large Poodles must have very big bags to carry them around in.

That anyone with a Pug is a fucking idiot.

BRITAIN/

Too many brushes spoil the… I don’t know. Everything?

Okay so that’s all made up, but it’s as accurate as any of the “findings” of those other articles.

So, why do so many of us read these articles at all?

For the same reasons that we read star signs, which by the way have been repeatedly proven to have absolutely no foundation in anything at all ever.

We read it all because we like hearing about ourselves.

We’re obsessed with us.

Dog Owner 3

Finding images to go with this article was maybe too much fun.

Fair enough, I am too. I read the dog article, I’ll admit it. I even tried to attribute the supposed traits to my friends with those dogs and I had a laugh.

We all have fundamental questions about the nature of existence that are beyond our comprehension and understanding to adequately answer.

So as an incredibly poor substitute, we reach for meaning in the most unlikely of places.

This doesn’t upset me.

paris-hilton-460_1000248c

The one on the left is smarter, and better looking.

What upsets me is that someone paid for this research to be done.

That a supposed source of “news” passed it off as “news” and pretended that it had any meaning or relevance to anything at all.

These articles are a joke. Along with the journalists who write them and the sources that publish them.

It’s good to laugh, it makes you a better person.

However, please never look to any of this personality-defining pseudo-science super-crap as anything other than what it is.

Sugary, instant-fix fodder meant to be read, and instantly forgotten.

Ignore if you can, read if you want.

Underdogs-Dogs-Dressed-as-Their-Owners-l

Put any human in a wig, and they’ll look like their dog. Why must we always do it the other way around?

So what then, should we say about a website that publishes an opinion piece that exposes these articles for what they are?

I don’t know. Someone else can write a piece about that.

However, my girlfriend owns a Chihuahua that I regularly walk for her, I pick up its shit, and I really don’t mind, even though I never thought I’d own an animal and have always detested small dogs.

So I’m obviously a lost cause.

doglooklikedogowner4

Child abuse? Dog abuse? Adorable abuse! (Sorry, I’ve lost it.)

This article first appeared on The Big Smoke:

http://thebigsmoke.com.au/2014/11/20/top-ten-things-dog-really-says/

 

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy performances, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com


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APEC = “A” “P”retty “E”mpty “C”ommitment (That goes for G20 too)

G20 Handshake You're doing it wrong

Yes they are all technically ‘shaking hands’. However, they’re doing it wrong. World leaders, you’re so embarrassing!

So APEC and the G20 are done.

From the photos it seemed like one big conference to find the world’s most awkward handshake, where the protestors were all extremely polite, well-organised, heavily armed and dressed as police.

Really, what did the G20 achieve?

Nothing.

What happened at APEC?

Not much.

The USA and China did sign a deal on climate change. The US pledged to get its carbon emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. China agreed to peak its carbon emissions by 2030. This agreement didn’t have much to do with either G20 or APEC, and seemed to be announced only because both leaders happened to be shaking hands at the time.

Probably a bet to see who could hold their breath longer, once they ventured out into the Beijing air.

Or lack of it.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe

The look that says, “I’d rather be drinking my own piss instead of shaking your hand”. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

So a whole bunch of world leaders went to APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) then almost the same group kicked on to the afterparty at the G20 in Brisbane. It’s called the “G20″ because you need to have downed at least twenty gin and tonics just to get into the door. Beer bongs are so G8.

They’ve all now left, and apart from exhausting Brisbane’s prostitutes (allegedly…), stressing out hotel staff and causing countless police and security staff to sweat boredom for up-teen hours, what was achieved?

Nothing.

Like I already said.

Well there was a list of stuff they decided, but made no actual commitments to any of it, or explained how even the smallest assertion might be achieved.

Let’s quickly go through some of the highlights from their “action plan”…

LIFT GDPThe G20 nations committed to lifting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by two percent by 2018, adding more than US$2 trillion to the global economy.

This is like me saying, “I can definitely afford that new car, as next year I’m going to make $30,000 more than this year. So give me the keys please.”

Sales-guy: “How exactly? Like, what’s your plan?”

We both look awkwardly at the ground, until I leave.

G20 - Koalas

The only thing shaking in this picture is these koalas. With fear and shame. Why them? They did nothing to deserve this.

INFRASTRUCTURECreate a “Global Infrastructure Initiative” to lift investment, and match investors with projects, with a hub based in Sydney.

Businessman one: “I’m going to open an office in Sydney to do business and create investment.”

Businessman two: “Is that right? What sort of business exactly?”

Businessman one: “You know, business business. The real business.”

Business man two: “Sounds solid.”

PARTICIPATIONReduce the gap between men and women in the workforce by 25 percent by 2025.

Woman one: “Did you see that? More women in the workforce. Hooray!”

Woman two: “That’s great! So where are they going to list the opportunities?”

Woman one: “I think if you keep asking questions like that, the whole system might crumble.”

Woman two: “Really? So let’s keep asking.”

Handshake - PM Stephen Harper and Vladimir Putin

Canadian PM Stephen Harper tells Russian Prez Vladimir Putin to get out of the Ukraine with the most violent action known to any Canadian – the terrifying “tummy rub”.

POVERTYMore food and jobs

Australia: “Did anyone invite any of the poor countries?”

Indonesia: “We’re over here.”

Australia: “Damn. Luckily, nobody cares. That’s why the media completely ignored you.”

FINANCIAL SYSTEMSStop them being so dodgy

USA: “Stockmarket reform. Who’s in?”

All other countries explode into laughter. Germany actually blows champagne through her nose, causing everyone to laugh even harder.

German Chancellor Angel Merkel Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel around a research facility run in collaboration with the Germans, that the Australian Liberal Government has just stopped funding. Notice his hands doing the ‘awkward shake’.

EBOLA – Stop its spread

Australia: “What’s Ebola?”

USA: “It’s this disease in Africa.”

Australia: “What’s Africa?”

Italy: “A war-torn and impoverished continent that produces a constant stream of refugees in dire need, who we welcome with a humanitarian immigration program.”

Australia: “I don’t like Africa.”

Handshake - Threesome

The threesome that only Tony wanted, where Abbott’s the meat in his favourite sandwich. He’s our Prime Minister people. That single fact makes me doubt evolution.

ENERGYImprove energy efficiency, support effective action on climate change

Britain: “I can’t see anything. Why is it so dark in here?”

Australia: “We’re trying to save power.”

Britain: “By turning off the lights?”

Australia: “Have you got a better idea?”

Britain: “Here’s a document with hundreds of them.”

Australia: “I can’t see it. The lights are off. Ha!”

Britain turns on the lights. The G20 countries notice Russia hiding in the corner. All the G20 countries cast a nasty look in Russia’s direction, which he ignores, and goes back to cyber-bullying the Ukraine.

THANKS and GOODBYE

Australia: “Thanks for coming everyone. Enjoy your souvenir koala, and please remember don’t sign anything unless it’s so general that no real action will be happen on anything ever. On a side note, how bad are Australians for wanting free healthcare and an environment? So selfish. See you next year.”

 

This article first appeared on The Big Smoke:

http://thebigsmoke.com.au/2014/11/18/apec-pretty-empty-commitment-goes-g20/

 

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy performances, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

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The biggest deal made at APEC and the G20

us-china-climate-deal-videoSixteenByNine1050

“I bet I can hold my breath longer than you out there,” says the US President. The Chinese President replies, “I was born here, I’ve been training for this my whole life.”

Put a whole bunch of the most powerful people in the same room for a few days in a row, and you’d expect a whole lot of big deals to get done.

Right?

No. Wrong. Very, very wrong.

The biggest deal of APEC and the G20 actually didn’t happen at either. Which is curious.

The USA and China signed a deal on climate change. The US pledged to get its carbon emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. China agreed to peak its carbon emissions by 2030.

This agreement didn’t have much to do with either conference, and seemed to be announced just after APEC in Beijing only because both leaders happened to be shaking hands at the time, and had run out of things to talk about. After they’d made a bet to see who could hold their breath longer, once they ventured out into the Beijing air. Or lack of it.

Beijing during APEC. The population of the city was transfixed on the sky the entire time thinking, "There's actually sky. WOW."

Beijing during APEC. The population of the city was transfixed on the sky the entire time thinking, “There’s actually sky. WOW.”

China did cut emissions for the duration of APEC making the air breathable, but in a massive smoke bomb to the face of its population, air quality is now back to normal. Or sub-sub-normal, almost solid, lung-blocking, post-apocalyptical clouds of poisonous doom. Well that was the weather forecast for the rest of the week anyway, I haven’t seen what’s on for the weekend.

Beijing Pollution

The combination of fog and Lord of the Rings dragon Smaug combine every day to cover the city in ‘smog’. Pictured here is a smoker. Notice that in Beijing, you don’t even need cigarettes.

This climate agreement is a big deal. Finally the two biggest polluters have admitted that there’s a problem. Which they now won’t do anything about for over a decade. The US and China are drug addicts who’ve finally taken ownership of their addiction, started attending the meetings and have committed to quitting in ten to fifteen years. It’s the same system that worked wonders for members of the ’27 Club’.

27 Club

All these people will always be cooler than me. As they lived and died in a time when the earth is several degrees cooler than it is right now.

At least China and the US are doing something about Climate Change. In order to meet these targets, both countries will have to start making changes now. Which they’ve already done, meaning that this agreement is less of a ‘right this going to be hard work but we’re committed’ and more of a ‘this was happening anyway so sure I’ll shake your hand and sign that, no problem’.

It’s a fantastic first step, and if the climate continues to crumble anywhere near the rate predicted by science, it’s a first step that will quickly turn into a lot of hurried steps, and finally a run. As we collectively realise it was nowhere near enough, and much more needs to be done. Then it’ll be whoops oh no there’s no point running anywhere we’re all starving and dying.

Oh and there’s Australia standing over to one side going, ‘Gee it’s bloody hot today. What’s that about?’

2060-2069wOceanLabels

Science. Red means bad. I am a touch sceptical, however, of a scientist who chooses to focus on ‘2060 to 2069′. This person’s mind might not be completely on this job…

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy performances, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

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Is the US Presidential turkey pardon a big load of baloney?

Bush Turkey Pardon

One of the extremely rare birds to have ever gone anywhere near this Bush. Certainly not worth one in the hand.

Every year the US President pardons a turkey.

Quite an honour, which may be more useful if bestowed on a person.

I’m sure plenty would agree to dress up as a turkey, and even behave like a turkey, in order to avoid ruining the spirit of the day.

It’s also pretty hard not to forgive someone dressed in a turkey suit, pecking at the ground and squawking. Give it a go yourself, next time you forget to tip someone, arrive late to pick up the kids from school, or rob a bank.

Bill_Clinton_turkey_pardon

Clinton had no problem with the birds.

So this presidential turkey pardon has only been regular thing since 1989.

That’s right, 1989.

Meaning it’s not even as old as Indiana Jones, Ghost Busters or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Thanksgiving in the USA goes right back to around 1621, but the turkey pardon itself is not even as old as The Princess Bride and The Terminator. (80s movies are the best.)

A turkey was first presented to President Harry Truman in 1947, however no records mention a pardon. Indeed, there’s evidence that he actually ate it.

A president eating a turkey? Outrageous! That’s not what they’re for! Why wasn’t he impeached?

president-obama-pardons-turkey

Obama officially thanks his last remaining White House ally.

Eisenhower ate the birds presented to him as well.

Kennedy apparently spared a turkey on Nov 18, 1963, just four days before his assassination. The bird was wearing a sign that read, ‘Good Eatin’ Mr President’ and weighed fifty-five pounds, a size which apparently made the president uncomfortable.

This makes perfect sense, especially considering Kennedy’s motto was, ‘no fat chicks’.

Bird Chillin

The first president to officially pardon a turkey was Reagan in 1987, who at the time was being questioned over whether or not he would pardon Oliver North for has involvement in the Iran-Contra affair.

In order to distract everyone’s attention, he pardoned a turkey instead. It worked too. Nobody noticed that the bird was not Ollie North, proving again Reagan’s superior acting abilities, and his lesser known powers as an improv comedy genius.

In 1988 Reagan didn’t pardon a turkey, because that year, North had forgotten to organise a secret war.

Then in 1989 George Bush senior made it a regular thing.

For many years the pardoned turkeys were then sent to Frying Pan Park in Fairfax County, Virginia. Probably the best name for any park ever, especially if the turkey’s eventual resting place was a cemetery known ‘The Fire’.

Meaning the turkeys go straight from ‘Frying Pan’ and into ‘The Fire’. Puns are the best.

lost-my-leg-0L35

The turkeys selected for a presidential pardon are actually a special breed.

Eighty are randomly selected at birth from thousands, and trained to handle flash photography, loud noises and large crowds. Making them a Kardashian with wings.

This field of eighty is then reduced down to twenty, with the final two selected by White House staff. They’re renowned for their abilities to pick a turkey. Which explains the secret service.

Two turkeys are currently selected and pardoned each year, in case the first choice turkey becomes unavailable. This is not due to media commitments, or a career on Fox News, but a nice way of saying that one of them might die.

The turkeys up for a pardon fed on the same grain-heavy diet of fortified corn and soybeans as the turkeys raised for slaughter, as it increases their size.

With this diet comes many health problems, and the turkeys frequently die within a year of being pardoned, if they survive that long.

Which makes it less of a ‘pardon’ and more a refusal to give the bird the assisted benevolent suicide that it craves.

Turkey Meme 3

A number of US states have similar turkey-pardoning events, because they lack creativity and can’t think of anything more exciting to do.

Recent presidential speeches have mentioned that the tradition dates date to Truman and even Abraham Lincoln pardoning his son’s pet turkey, however there’s no evidence of either.

There is plenty of evidence, however, that Lincoln was an utter legend, so he might’ve done it.

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy performances, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

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Facebook is terrible for serious relationships, and great for crap ones, otherwise known as ‘backburners’. Here’s why!

Backburner

This backburner is literally on fire. That’s exciting.

Sometimes you read a wonderful bit of research that proves something about the world you suspected was true, and not only does it confirm a belief, but also provides fodder for pub arguments, as well as making you a better person.

All thanks to Facebook. Not really.

So Julie Beck over at The Atlantic wrote this cracking article about why Facebook is terrible for serious relationships, and great for crap ones.

She’s referring to those people you might meet, get their number while out, maybe even go on a few dates. It never goes anywhere, but when you’re single, you keep checking in with them.

It’s defined in the article as a “backburner” relationship.

peter-berner

This is comedian Peter Berner, who used to host a show called ‘Backberner’. It was amazing. He has nothing to do with this article.

Sometimes people are guilty of this while in relationships, which I say is a big no-no. Going outside of a relationship to have an emotional need met is an act of betrayal, made even easier by Facebook, but I’m getting off-topic.

In essence, the article says that it’s easier than ever to string people along.

We do this because when single it feels nice to have romantic attention and options. It’s also nice when there are problems in a relationship but again, it’s a no-no. Stop. Doing. It.

So stringing people along for a bit of amorous fawning is certainly not a new phenomenon, it’s just made a lot easier by the myriad number of easily accessible options we have to be in touch with each other.

Before we had all these options, people would drift out of our lives so much more easily. Moving to a different street, war, the plague, a new email address, etc.

Black Plague

The Black Plague. Bad for relationships, but it would’ve been a great time to buy a first home. Also from this picture, it seems that people preferred single colour garments.

In the olden days, we also had to do more to keep in touch with them, and that corresponding effort required a certain level of interest. A phone call, a letter, an organised meeting. All more meaningful than a Facebook message, and previously these were the only options.

It probably explains why people used to get married after a lingering glance at a societal ball, or after an erection inspired by brushing past someone in a doorway.

Erection Church

The only type of erection that’s appropriate in a church doorway.

More options means more choice, which I think is a good thing.

Problems arise when you know that someone isn’t the right person for you “but, what’s the harm in saying ‘hi’, ya’ know?”

You’re keeping them around because it’s easy, and it’s more fun than not getting any attention.

Maybe if this is a person that you’re attracted to, but the timing isn’t right, there’s good reason for a “backburner” relationship. Keeping in touch until you’re both ready to have a crack at it.

pic_backburner

This is a type of flamethrower called a ‘backburner’. It’s something to do with some computer game or some such. If you already knew that, it’s doubtful that anything in this article has any relevance to you.

In the majority of cases though, these are horrible things.

They give you a false sense of your own importance. It’s like a scab you continually pick at, keeping it open instead of letting it heal and disappear.

Love hurts. It causes wounds that need to heal, and a scar is much better than a scab.

If you really liked this person that you’ve got on the backburner, why aren’t you having a crack at it? If you don’t have a solid answer to that question, then you’re not being fair to the person that’s on the backburner, or to yourself.

If you are interested, and there’s no reason apart from your own fear, then have a crack. Why not?

If you’re stringing the person along for that self-esteem boost that comes with romantic attention, even when it’s not reciprocated by you, then time to let the person go.

I’m not perfect. I’ve done this myself, but I certainly don’t do it anymore.

Relationships are hard. Love hurts. Nobody’s perfect, but nobody should ever stop trying to be better. Fuck I don’t know.

This article first appeared on The Big Smoke:

http://thebigsmoke.com.au/2014/11/15/relationships-facebook-putting-others-on-backburner/

Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian

Follow me on Twitter: @xaviertoby

Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/xaviertoby

Buy my first book (read a bit for free):

http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/mining-my-own-business

For speaking engagements, comedy performances, writing assignments and all other enquires: me@xaviertoby.com

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