How to Waste Time

OK, I have finally returned from the biggest waste of 3 days in my (admittedly quite short) life, so thought this would be a good time to put up a post about time wasting- I hope you enjoy it.
Wasting time an art form that the world is beginning to embrace, but which many perpetrators require some help with for maximum effectiveness. The problem comes from an inability to fully understand the problem at hand, and a similar inability to strike the fine balance required. The thing is, time wasting is not as simple as not being productive, for this is not necessarily wasteful- a businessman, for instance, who comes home after two weeks’ frantic effort to strike a deal and immediately sits down, exhausted in front of Skyrim, is not wasting time. Rather,, he is recharging, better enabling him to work productively in the future, and for this reason neither sleep or rest can be quantified as wastes of time on their own. A time-waste should ideally be counter-productive, but this is not at all obligatory for a successful operation- the only requirement for a successful time waste in this regard is that the effort, time and headaches inputted should far exceed the value of the output. However, this in and of itself is not quite enough, because just as important as outcome to a time wasting exercise is delivery. A time waste in which the participant fully knows their exercise is pointless is not a true time waste- an exercise like that is either involuntary and enforced, in which case it comes under the realm of punishment and is an entirely different kettle of fish, or is voluntary, in which case it may either be vindictive or therapeutic- both purposeful activities. No, a true waste of time should largely keep the participant of the activity unaware as to the wastefulness of the activity. There are two main ways of achieving this- either the classic ‘reveal’ in which it is suddenly shown that the sixth month project you have been working on is for a now-obsolete piece of equipment the moment you hand the report in, or a sort of gradual deceivement process. This latter option is far more subtle and can be harder to achieve, but requires no effort on the part of the applier of the time waste if properly set up, as it is propagated by the participant. The trick is to get the participant working flat out to get the project done, conducting page after page of research and tests. All these are ostensibly ‘useful’ and ‘valuable information’ that are ‘vital to include in a report to show proper consideration has been given’, and indeed this is basically true. But, in reality, the progress posed by such activities is infinitesimally minute, and by conducting them one is merely adding, almost unnecessarily, to a workload- this can be a particularly successful trick, as it gets a group of people working at full speed through all these pointless tasks, deceiving themselves that they have a purpose, and yet when their time is up a mountain of work still remains. Even better, if this effect has been more ‘suggested’ than made obligatory, one cannot be held accountable for the time wasting of the participants, leaving them feeling worthless and stupid- the ideal goal for all seeking to waste a person’s time. To conclude, therefore a successful time waste should simply have an appallingly bad input-output ratio, which can be achieved either by subsequently revealing the pointlessness of a task (decreasing the output value), or by ensuring the work is all incredibly stressful, tiresome and largely pointless (increasing the input value). So next time you’re wasting someone’s time, just think- why don’t I just shoot myself, and make the world a better place.

Really should have planned this better…

Normally I have neither the time nor (in all honesty) the inclination to put up posts on consecutive days, and this is going to become even less of  a trend and more of a rule when the holidays end next week. But my scheduling forces me to change this today- I am away from both home and my computer for the next 4 days and will not be able to post, and while I don’t quite feel obliged to make posts regularly (especially when I take a look at the graph showing the number of visitors I get), I have been brought up with a crippling devotion to good manners, so feel obliged to at least let any meagre following I have know why my random ramblings have disappeared for a week. Unfortunately, said manners also mean that I feel obliged to actually post something here rather than just make excuses, so here is a completely unrelated post about trains.


Willkommen, 2012…

Hello and happy New Year to whoever may or may not be reading this- for those who are not, please consult reality and try again. I was considering taking this opportunity to look forward and pontificate on what the new year may bring, but I eventually decided that since I don’t have a sodding clue what interesting stuff’s going to happen (bar the Olympics, which everyone knows about already), I have decided instead to give you a list of random facts to give some new stuff to confuse people with in 2012 conversations*. Read and enjoy:

The only sound Seahorses make is a small clicking or popping sound during feeding or courtship

Krispy Kreme make five million doughnuts a day

There were no red colored M&Ms from 1976 to 1987

In Belgium, there is a museum that is just for strawberries

Tomatoes were once referred to as “love apples.” This is because their was a superstition that people would fall in love by eating them

Over 90% of diseases are caused or complicated by stress

An average person uses the toilet 2500 times a year

Approximately 97.35618329% of all statistics are made up

Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined

Pentagon estimates their computer network is hacked about 250,000 times annually

Marilyn Monroe had six toes

On a Canadian two dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag

Most heart attacks occur between the hours of 8 and 9 am

There is a town in Norway called “Hell”

The electric chair was invented by a dentist

The word “nerd” was first coined by Dr. Suess in the book “If I Ran to the Zoo.”

For every human in the world there are one million ants

After being picked an orange cannot ripen

There are more pigs than humans in Denmark

Hockey pucks were originally made from frozen cow dung

Karate actually originated in India, but was developed further in China

A group of tigers is called a streak

The average ear grows 0.01 inches in length every year

The same careers advisor dismissed both Mark Knopfler and Alan Shearer’s ambitions (to be a musician and footballer respectively), saying to Knopfler “you’ll never get anywhere playing that kind of stuff”. Shearer broke the world record in transfer fees when he signed for Newcastle, and Knopfler went on to make over £50 million and played at Live Aid

The most exclusive aftershave in the world is named after a Welsh winger and rugby captain

A bank in Paraguay was once held up by two sets of bank robbers simultaneously

A South Korean woman failed her driving test 959 times, and when she finally passed was given a car worth nearly $17,000 by Hyundai, as well as an advertising deal

The biggest defeat in a game of football is held by a team from Madagascar, who lost 149-0 in a match in October 2002

In a 2008 council election in North Dakota, absolutely nobody voted, not even the candidates

A news reporter in Swaziland once spent a month delivering reports from a broom cupboard whilst pretending to be in Baghdad

Elvis Presley once came third in an Elvis Presley impersonator contest in Tennessee

A South African effort to promote condom usage, that included the distribution of a free government condom, ended in failure when it was noticed that the condoms had been stapled to the packaging, puncturing two holes in each of them in the process

*I make no claim to have sourced any of these- the first half come from a friend who used to post these things on Facebook, and the second half are from one of my favourite books- The Ultimate Book of Heroic Failures by Stephen Pile. The ones I have done are just the easiest to paraphrase from the first two chapters- if you want a good source of laughs for the upcoming year, buy yourself a copy and enjoy the rest