Thursday, July 29, 2010

riddles .. some are funny.

Taken from The Cornhill Magazine
July, 1891. VOL. XVII.--NO. 101, N.S.
Pages 512 - 522 Original Author - Anon.

A RIDDLE is a general term for any puzzling question. Asking riddles has been from time immemorial a favourite source of social entertainment, and more especially so in the ages before the spread of literary tastes and habits. Every language has probably a word of its own domestic growth for this kind of inquiry, just as 'riddle' is a pure and native English word. But for the varieties of fiddling questions, we do not find that languages have generally provided themselves with any corresponding variety of expiession. The terms enigma, rebus, charade, conundrum, are words of Greek and Latin derivation, and these have become the common property of all literary languages; and there is another term, 'logogriph,' which is used by Ben Jonson, a word made by the French from Greek materials, and signifying word- fishing.

The early riddle exhibits in its composition some of the chief elements of literature. Prominent among these is the anthropo- morphic or personalising tendency of early thought, which makes the riddle appear (in one of its aspects)as akin to the fable. This is well seen in the riddle or apologue of Jotham: 'The trees went to anoint a king over them, and they said unto the Olive tree: Be thou our king ! But the Olive tree answered them: Shall I go and leave my fatness (which God and man honour in me) and go to be puff up above the trees ? Then said the trees unto the Fig tree: Come thou and be king over us ! But the Fig tree said unto them: Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit, and go to be puff up above the trees ? Then said the trees unto the Vine: Come thou and be our king! But the Vine said unto them: Shall I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be puft up above the trees ? Then said all the trees unto the Thorn bush: Come thou and be king over us ! And the Thorn bush said unto the trees: If it be true that ye anoint me to be king over you, then come and put your trust under my shadow; and else let fire go out of the Thorn bush and consume the Cedars of Lebanon.'

At the bottom of this is a perception of analogies in nature; the fruitful source not only of fable, but also of such contiguous varieties as allegory, parable, and poetical similitude. If the analogies perceptible in nature, both animate and inanimate, produced fables, and those riddles that savour of the fable; so also did the same analogies which had been unconsciously reflected and stored up in metaphorical speech afford material for making cunning descriptions of things which should be scrupulously true and yet very hard to divine.

The best established form of riddle is probably the oldest; it is that which we still regard as the most legitimate and the most dignified kind, namely, the enigma. An enigma has been defined as a description which is perfectly true, but couched in metaphorical and recondite language which makes it hard to divine the subject. The following is a true enigma, though a homely example: 'Long legs, crooked thighs, little head, and no eyes.'

For a good enigma we must have a perfectly true description of a thing: every term used must be as scrupulously appropriate as in a logical definition; but it must be so ingeniously phrased and worded that the sense is not obvious, and the interpreter is baffled. There is vast room for the development of skill in this art, to make an enigma such that it shall be not merely obscure, but at the same time stimulating to the curiosity. A further step is to give it the charm of poetic beauty. This is quite germane to the nature of the enigma, which has a natural affinity with the epigrammatic form of poetry.

Samson's riddle was an enigma; so was that of the Sphinx. The two chief elements in the pristine enigma were metaphor and an appearance of incongruity, sometimes amounting to contradiction. The famous riddle of the Sphinx, which was solved by OEdipus, is entirely rooted in metaphor. 'What is that animal which in the morning goes on four feet, at noon goes on two, and in the evening goes on three feet ?' Answer: Man. Here morning, noon, and evening are metaphors of infancy, manhood, and age; also, there is a metaphorical use of the word 'feet,' which is applied in one place to hands used for support, and in another place to a staff used as if it were a third foot. The puzzle in Samson's riddle is the result of incongruity joined with abstract terms:

Out of the eater came forth meat,
And out of the strong came forth sweetness.

In the following ancient Greek riddle there is something of both, but it rests chiefly on metaphor. 'A father had twelve children, and each child had thirty sons and daughters, the sons being white and the daughters black, and one of these died every day, and yet became immortal.'

Planudes, a Greek monk at Constantinople in the fourteenth century, tells wonderful tales in his 'Life of AEsop' about the war of riddles that passed between Lycerus, king of Babylon, and Nectanebo, king of Egypt. The king of Babylon was always winner, because he had AEsop at his court, who was more than a match for the wit of the adversary.

Once, Nectanebo thought he was sure to puzzle the Babylonian, and his question was as follows: 'There is a grand temple which rests upon a single column, which column is encircled by twelve cities; every city has against its walls thirty flying buttresses, and each buttress has two women, one white and one black, that go round about it in turns. Say what that temple is called.' AEsop was equal to the occasion, and he explained it thus: The temple is the world, the column is the year, the twelve cities are the months, the thirty buttresses are the days, the two women are light and darkness.

An enigma of a homely nature, and which is probably of high antiquity, to judge not only by what tradition tells about it, but also by the fact that it is still found in some of the detached and less central parts of Europe, is this: 'What we caught we threw away, what we could not catch we kept.' There is an apocryphal legend that Homer died of vexation because he could not solve this riddle.

Here is a modern setting of the same idea. 'He loves her; she has a repugnance to him, and yet she tries to catch him; and if she succeeds, she will be the death of him.'

There have been epochs at which riddle-making has been more especially in vogue, and such epochs would appear to occur at seasons of fresh intellectual awakening. Such an epoch there was at the first glimmering of new intellectual light in the second half of the seventh century. This was the age of Aldhelm, bishop of Sherborne, the first in the roll of Anglo-Latin poets. He left a considerable number of enigmas in Latin hexameters, and they have been repeatedly printed. Aldhelm died in 709. Before his time there was a collection of Latin riddles that bore the name of Symphosius. Of this work the date is unknown; we only know that Aidhelm used it, and we may infer that it was then a recent product, The riddles of Symphosius were uniform in shape, consisting each of three hexameter lines. The subject of the sixteenth in that collection is the book-moth :--

Litera me pavit, nec quid sit litera novi;
In libris vixi, nec sum studiosior inde;
Exedi Musas, nee adhuc tamen ipse profeci.

Translation: I have fed upon literature, yet know not a letter; I have lived among books, and I am none the more studious for it; I have devoured the Muses. yet up to the present time I have made no progress.

Here is one of Aldhelm's upon the Alphabet :--

Nos denae et septem genitae sine voce sorores,
Sex alias nothas non dicimus adnumerandas,
Nascimur ex ferro rursus ferro rnoribundae,
Necnon et volucris penna volitantis ad aethram;
Terni nos fratres incerta matre crearunt;
Qui cupit instanter sitiens audire, docemus,
Tum cite prompta damus rogitanti verba silenter.

Translation: We are seventeen sisters voiceless born; six others, half-sisters, we exclude from our set; children of iron, by iron we die, but children too of the bird's wing that flies so high; three brethren our sires, be our mother as may; if anyone is very eager to hear, we tell him, and quickly give answer without any sound.

That is to say, seventeen consonants and six vowels; made with lion stile and erased with the same, or else made with a bird's quill; whatever the instrument, three fingers are the agents; and we can convey answer without delay even in situations where it would be inconvenient to speak.

A younger contemporary of Aldhelm's was Tatwine, who was educated at St. Augustine's in Canterbury, and who for the last three years of his life (731-734) was Archbishop of Canterbury. He also left riddles in Latin, but they still remain in manuscript among the curiosities and treasures of the Cotton Library, except a few that have been selected for print as specimens. Dean Hook gave three in his 'Archbishops of Canterbury,' and of these three we will select one :--

Angelicas populis epulas dispono frequenter,
Grandisonis aures verbis cava guttufa complent,
Succedit vox sed mihi nulla out lingua loquendi,
Et bino alarum fulci gestamine cernor,
Queis sed abest penitus virtus jam tota volandi,
Dum solus subter constat mihi pes sine passu.

of which the translation, nearly verbal, is as follows :-

Angelic food to folk I oft dispense,
While sounds majestic fill attentive ears,
Yet neither voice have I nor tongue for speech.
In brave equipment of two wings I shine,
But wings withouten any skill to fly:
One foot I have to stand, but not a foot to go.

The answer is, in Latin, 'Recitabulum'; in English, ' An eagle- lectern.'

The fiddling propensities of the seventh and eighth centuries propagated themselves throughout the remainder of the Anglo- Saxon period, and we have a collection of rather more than eighty riddles in English of the period before the Norman Conquest. These are mostly of the enigma type, and nearly all of them are in a poetical form.

The seventeenth century was a great era of riddle-making in France, and there are some considerable publications in French during that century, especially by Abbe Cotin, who is distinguished from the general company of riddle-makers by the fact that he owned the authorship of his enigmas, and, unless he has been maligned, did not spurn the credit of some that were not his. Generally the riddles of this period are without any author's name. The taste spread to England, and Jonathan Swift made some enigmas. Here are two of them :--

I with borrowed silver shine,
What you see is none of mine.
First I show you but a quarter,
Like the bow that guards the Tartar;
Then the half, an.d then the whole,
Ever dancing round the pole;
And true it is, I chiefly owe
My beauty to the shades below.

Answer: The Moon.

I'm up and down and round about,
Yet all the world can't find me out;
Though hundreds have employed their leisure,
They never yet could find my measure.
I'm found in almost every garden,
Nay, in the compass of a farden.
There's neither chariot, coach, nor mill
Can move one inch except I will.

Answer: A Circle.

These are so easy and transparent that their problematical element falls into the shade, and we are not puzzled at all; but we are moved to admire very ingenious descriptions in graceful versification. This is the attribute of the epigram, and if the subjects of these were put at the head instead at the foot, they would pass excellently well in a collection of epigrams.

The same may be said of the following, which is by the poet Cowper, and which calls for no unriddllng :--

I am just two and two, I am warm, I am cold,
And the parent of numbers that cannot be told:
I am lawful, unlawful---a duty, a fault,
I am often sold dear, good for nothing when bought,
An extraordinary boon, and a matter of course,
And yielded with pleasure when taken by force.

Yery different is the following about a bed, which is by C. J. Fox. It exhibits the principle of contradiction and paradox, and is good as an enigma and as an epigram also :-

Formed long ago, yet made to-day,
And most employed when others sleep;
What few would wish to give away,
And none would wish to keep,

I will add two of the paradoxical sort in plain prose :--

    * 'I went to the Crimea, and I stopped. there, and I never went there, and I came back again.'
      Answer: ' A watch.'
    * 'I went to the wood and I got it, and when I had got it I looked for it, and as I could not find it I brought it home in my hand.'
      Answer: 'A prickle.'

The enigma is as capable as the epigram of being made into a beautiful little poem. There are good examples in German by Schfiler, and in English by Praed. The following is one of Praed's, which, not being by any means insoluble, is left to the divination of the reader:

In other days, when hope was bright,
Ye spake to me of love and light,
Of endless Spring and cloudless weather,
And hearts that doted linked together !

But now ye tell another tale:
That life is brief, and beauty frail,
That joy is dead, and fondness blighted,
And hearts that doted disunited.

Away ! Ye grieve and ye rejoice
In one unfelt, unfeeling voice;
And ye, like every friend below,
Are hollow in your joy and woe:

After the enigma we must consider the rebus. This term is simply the ablative plural of the Latin res, and signifies 'by things,' and its first application was to the putting of pictures for words or syllables. This first kind of rebus was known to the ancients, as may be seen in a paper by Addison in 'The Spectator" No. 59. In rebuses alphabetic writing and picture-writing are often combined, as in an example quoted by Addison in the same paper, and as in the following from Fuller, which I quote after Webster :--

' He [John Moreton] had a fair library rebused with More in text and a Tun under it.'

When the Scythians were invaded by Cyrus, they sent him a messenger bearing arrows and a rat and a frog, which was a way of saying by lesson-objects that unless he could hide in a hole of the earth like a rat, or in water like a frog, he would not escape their arrows.

In its secondary sense the rebus is a sort o[ riddle in which the subject, or rather its name, is indicated by reference to objects either of experience or of history. Here follows a rebus by Vanessa (Miss Vanomrigh) on the name 'Jonathan Swift,' in which indications are given to guide the inquirer to the first syllable of Jo-seph, and then to the name of the prophet Nathan, and thirdly to the adjective 'swift' :-

Cut the name of the man who his mistress denied,
And let the first of it be only applied
To join with the prophet who David did chide;
Then say what a horse is that runs very fast,
And that which deserves to be first put the last;
Spell all then, and put them together, to find
The name and the virtues of him I designed.
Like the patriarch in Egypt, he's versed in the state;
Like the prophet in Jewry, he's free with the great;
Like a racer he flies, to succour with speed,
When his friends want his aid or desert is in need.

The next form of riddle is the charade, which has a character that contrasts with the enigma; for while the enigma has its roots in the first primeval efforts of poetry and rhetoric, the charade is a product of the age of literary education, and it sayours of the three R's. The subject is no longer a work of nature, but some element of grammar. The charade turns upon the letters or syllables composing a word; less often, but some- times, on the words composing a phrase. The charade on the cod (to be quoted presently) turns on the three letters C, O, D.

There is a weekly contemporary which not only furnishes its readers with a periodical supply of charades, but also offers them subsfantial prizes for the solution. The following is a specimen of its craft in riddllng, and for the solution we must refer our readers to the oracle itself, namely, 'The Magazine of Short Stories,' No. 130.

My First is made by City men--how very reprehensible I
Self-interest is the only plea that renders it defensible;
'Tis sometimes in the meadows seen--phenomenon botanical,
Not caused by feet of little folk, but growth that's cryptogamical.
My Second is remarkable, his character's so various,
He may be good, or bad, or weak, or timid, temerarious;
The crowning glory of a tree--mechanical or musical,
Or literary, legal--but undoubtedly political.
My Whole--supposed to be the first--pre-eminence detestable--
More often in the background lurks--that fact is incontestable:
In insurrections, mutinies, and mischief he's conspicuous,
Yet oftentimes, we know, contrives to make himself ridiculous.

There is a more elevated kind of charade, a cross between the charade and the enigma, which deals with grammatical elements like the charade, but describes with the seriousness of the enigma. Among charades of this secondary type we may group Canning's famous riddle on Cares :--

A noun there is of plural number,
Foe to peace and tranquil slumber;
Now any other noun you take,
By adding s you plural make,
But if you add an s to this
Strange is the metamorphosis:
Plural is plural now no more,
And sweet what bitter was before.

And even a punning one like the following: 'What is that which sweetens the cup of life, but which, if it loses one lefter, embitters it ?' Answer :--Hope and Hop.

The most eminent example of this species (or sub-species)is the beautiful riddle on the letter H, which was long attributed to Lord Byron, but is now known to have been written by Miss Catherine Fanshawe :--

'Twas whispered in heaven, 'twas mutter'd in hell
And echo caught faintly the sound as it fell;
On the confines of earth 'twas permitted to rest,
And the depths of the ocean its presence confest;
'Twill be found in the sphere when 'tis riven asunder,
Be seen in the lightning and heard in the thunder.
'Twas allotted to man with his earliest breath,
It assists at his birth and attends him in death,
Presides o'er his happiness, honour, and health,
Is the prop of his house and the end of his wealth;
In the heaps of the miser is hoarded with care,
But is sure to be lost in his prodigal heir.
It begins every hope, every wish it must bound,
It prays with the hermit, with monarchs is crowned;
Without it the soldier, the sailor may roam,
But woe to the wretch who dispels it from home.
In the whisper of conscience 'tis sure to be found,
Nor e'er in the whirlwind of passion is drown'd;
'Twill soften the heart, but, though deaf to the ear,
It will make it acutely and instantly hear;
But in short, let it rest like a delicate flower.
Oh ! breathe on it softly, it dies in an hour.

With these must be clanned the charade on the Cod, wrongly attributed to Macaulay, of which mention has been made above.

Cut off my head, and singular I act,
Cut off my tail, and plural I appear;
Cut off my head and tail, and, wondrous fact,
Although my middle's left, there's nothing there.
What is my head ? A sounding sea;
Brhat is my tail ? A flowing river;
'Mid ocean's depths I fearless stray,
Parent of softest sounds, yet mute for ever.

Here follows a charade which is fitted to serve for transition to the next species of riddle :-

My first denotes company;
My second shuns company;
My third summons company;
My whole amuses company.

The conundrum is the sort of riddle which is at present most in favour with young wits. It is a verbal puzzle, and the answer turns upon a pun, and, as Charles Lamb has said of puns in general, its excellence is in proportion to its absurdity.

A prevalent form of the conundrum is that which demands a resemblance or dissimilarity between two things that are incapable of comparison; the answer must therefore be based upon a play of words. But the conundrum is very miscellaneous.


   1. 'Why is a naughty boy like a postage stamp ?'
      Answer: 'Because you lick him and stick him in a corner.' (This provoked a counterpart.)

   2. 'What is the difference between a naughty boy and a postage stamp ?'
      Answer: 'The one you lick with a stick and the other you stick with a lick.'

   3. 'How do you know that birds in their little nests agree ?'
      Answer: 'Because else they would fall out.'

   4. 'Who gains most at a coronation, the king or his people ?'
      Answer: 'The king gains a crown, the people a sovereign.'

   5. 'What is the difference between a lady and her mirror ?'
      Answer: 'One speaks without reflecting, the other reflects with- out speaking.'

   6. 'When is it right to take any one in ?'
      Answer: 'When it rains.'

   7. 'Why is the figure nine like a peacock ?'
      Answer: 'Be- cause it is nothing without its tail.'

The origin of the name conundrum is obscure, but it seems to have been a slang word of the bogus Latin sort; and Skeat thinks that it may have been suggested by the Latin gerund conandum, to try.

This comprehensive term covers a variety of absurd questions and answers. There is a funny old book, printed in 1511, by Wynkyn de Worde, with the title, 'Demands Joyous,' that is to say, Merry Questions. Many of them are not calculated to be found out. Thus:

    * 'What is that which never was and never will be ? '
      Answer: 'A mouse's nest in a cat's ear.'

As the riddle usually turns upon metaphorical expression, and every kind of rhetorical figure, we naturally come to it with minds prepared to thread the labyrinth of verbal intricacies and subtle analogies. And out of this rises a new opportunity for the cunning questioner.

A secondary type of riddle is generated by taking advantage of the general impression, that the terms of the question will be ingenious and recondite and far-fetched. If every term of the question is plain, literal, and used in the properest sense, the guesser will be thrown off the scent, and will be hunting far afield while the game crouches at his door. Of this artless kind of artifice there are examples both enigmatic and charadish; here is one of the enigma type, which has before now mystified a whole circle of attentive riddle-lovers :-

Made in London, sold in York,
Put in a bottle, and called a cork.

The next is of the charade type, and it has a pecullar interest for me, because a friend of mine, with whom I discoursed of riddles, propounded it to me, with a little bit of his own personal experience which took my fancy. This riddle (he said) was long ago proposed to him by a friend who could say the riddle but did not know the answer, and perhaps this condition made it take the deeper root in my friend's unsatisfied mind; and some years after- wards he recalled it to mind, and at the same time the answer flashed across him. The riddle is as follows :-

In my first my second sate;
My third and fourth I ate.

The result is often so different from what is expected, that although it may be true, and even very true, yet it produces the effect of a sheer 'sell.' 'Maria said to John, My father is your father, and my mother is your mother, and yet we are not brother and sister. What was Maria ?' Answer: 'Ma-ri-a[r] was a liar.'

Among the literal sort are these:

    * 'Why do ducks go under water ?'
      Answer: 'For divers reasons.'

This riddle was a novelty about the year 1845, and it soon provoked this counterpart, by no means equal in quality:

    * 'Why do they come up again?'
      Answer: 'For sundry reasons.'

    * 'Where is happiness always to be found ?'
      Answer: "In the dictionary.'

    * 'What is that which is often found where it is not?'
      Answer: 'Fault.'

    * 'What fish has its eyes nearest together ?'
      Answer: 'The smallest.'

    * 'When does a man sneeze thrice ?'
      Answer: 'When he can't help it.'

    * 'Which is the largest room in the world ?'
      Answer: 'The room for improvement.'

It is not an accident that times of literary revival have been prolific in riddles. For it may be said generally that the powers of language which are exercised in riddle-making are the selfsame powers that are exercised in the art of literature, only that in making riddles those powers are drawn upon more continuously which in general literature are exercised with less intensity and effort. Metaphors, secondary meanings, adroit groupings which alter significations, all the powers that make words elastic, these are the faculties by which language is rendered plastic for the writer, and these are they that are brought into action by the riddle-maker with a more laboured accumulation of efteels. With the progressive development of speech these powers increase, and there probably never was time or place in which the materials for riddles were so abundant as at the present time in the area that is covered by the English language.

A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Riddles are of two types: enigmas, which are problems generally expressed in metaphorical or allegorical language that require ingenuity and careful thinking for their solution, and conundrums, which are questions relying for their effects on punning in either the question or the answer.

    When is a door not a door?

        When it's ajar (a jar).

    What's black and white and red (read) all over?

        A newspaper.

    What's brown and sounds like a bell?


(Repeated in an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus)

    What's brown and sticky?

        A stick.

    Why is six afraid of seven?

        Because seven ate (eight) nine.

    What is yours but your friend uses more than you do?

        Your name.

These riddles are now mostly children's humour and games rather than literary compositions.

Some riddles are composed of foreign words and play on similar sounds, as in:

    There were two cats, 1 2 3 cat and un deux trois cat, they had a swimming race from England to France. Who won?

        1 2 3 Cat because Un deux trois quatre cinq (un deux trois cat sank)

The previous plays on the fact that the French words for 4 and 5 are pronounced similar to the English words "Cat"and "Sank", hence the pun being the cat sank while also counting to 5 in French.

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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, July 29, 2010 0 comments

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Commuter Pain Index - finnaly another human index

IBM Global Commuter Pain Study Reveals Traffic Crisis in Key International Cities

-- 8,192 motorists in 20 cities on six continents surveyed
-- Overall, traffic has gotten worse in the past three years

Armonk, NY - 30 Jun 2010: -- Moscow copes with the two-and-a-half hour traffic jam
-- Despite congestion, Beijing drivers report improvement in traffic
-- Houston, New York and Los Angeles fare well, relatively speaking

The daily commute in some of the world's most economically important international cities is longer and more grueling than before imagined, reflecting the failure of transportation infrastructure to keep pace with economic activity, according to IBM's (NYSE: IBM) first global Commuter Pain study released today.

IBM surveyed 8,192 motorists in 20 cities on six continents, the majority of whom say that traffic has gotten worse in the past three years. The congestion in many of today's developing cities is a relatively recent phenomenon, having paralleled the rapid economic growth of those cities during the past decade or two. By contrast, the traffic in places like New York, Los Angeles or London has developed gradually over many decades, giving officials more time and resources to address the problem.  

Rather Be Working

For example, the middle class in China is growing rapidly, with the number of new cars registered in Beijing in the first four months of 2010 rising 23.8% to 248,000, according to the Beijing municipal taxation office. Beijing's total investments in its subway system are projected to be more than 331.2 billion yuan by 2015 as the city expands the system to more than double its current size, according to Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co., Ltd.  The city plans to invest 80 billion yuan in 2010 in building its transportation infrastructure.

The study did offer a number of bright spots. Forty eight percent of drivers surveyed in Beijing reported that traffic has improved in the past three years – the high for the survey – reflecting substantial initiatives to improve the transportation network in that city.  In addition, the commute for drivers in Stockholm, Sweden seems to be, if not pleasant, then largely pain-free. Only 14% of Stockholm drivers surveyed said that roadway traffic negatively affected work or school performance.

Overall, though, the study paints a picture of metropolitan-area commuters in many cities struggling to get to and from work each day. For example, 57% of all respondents say that roadway traffic has negatively affected their health, but that percentage is 96% in New Delhi and 95% in Beijing.

Similarly, 29% overall say that roadway traffic has negatively affected work or school performance, but that percentage rises to 84% in Beijing, 62% in New Delhi, and 56% in Mexico City.

Moscow was notable for the duration of its traffic jams. Drivers there reported an average delay of two-and-a-half hours when asked to report the length of the worst traffic jam they experienced in the past three years.

IBM Commuter Pain Index

IBM compiled the results of the survey into an Index that ranks the emotional and economic toll of commuting in each city on a scale of one to 100, with 100 being the most onerous. The Index reveals a tremendous disparity in the pain of the daily commute from city to city. Stockholm had the least painful commute of the cities studied, followed by Melbourne and Houston (which tied) and New York City. Here's how the cities stack up:

Commuter Pain Index

The index is comprised of 10 issues: 1) commuting time, 2) time stuck in traffic, agreement that: 3) price of gas is already too high, 4) traffic has gotten worse, 5) start-stop traffic is a problem, 6) driving causes stress, 7) driving causes anger, 8) traffic affects work, 9) traffic so bad driving stopped, and 10) decided not to make trip due to traffic. The cities scored as follows: Beijing: 99, Mexico City: 99, Johannesburg: 97, Moscow: 84, New Delhi: 81, Sao Paolo: 75, Milan: 52, Buenos Aires: 50, Madrid: 48, London: 36, Paris: 36, Toronto: 32, Amsterdam: 25, Los Angeles: 25, Berlin: 24, Montreal: 23, New York: 19, Houston: 17, Melbourne: 17, Stockholm: 15.

"Traditional solutions -- building more roads -- will not be enough to overcome the growth of traffic in these rapidly developing cities, so multiple solutions need to be deployed simultaneously to avoid a failure of the transportation networks," said Naveen Lamba, IBM's global industry lead for intelligent transportation. "New techniques are required that empower transportation officials to better understand and proactively manage the flow of traffic."

IBM Global Commuter Pain Survey – Major Findings

Analysis of the survey results indicated a number of key findings related to how traffic impacts commuters:

The Commuter Pain Survey was conducted by IBM to better understand consumer thinking toward traffic congestion as the issue reaches crisis proportions nationwide and higher levels of auto emissions stir environmental concerns. These events are impacting communities around the world, where governments, citizens and private sector organizations are looking beyond traditional remedies like additional roads and greater access to public transportation to reverse the negative impacts of increased road congestion.

This year marks the first global Commuter Pain survey. IBM previously conducted the Commuter Pain survey in the United States in 2008 and 2009.

IBM is actively working in the area of Smarter Transportation using a worldwide team of scientists, industry experts and IT services professionals to research, test and deploy new traffic information management capabilities in cities around the world. Findings from the Commuter Pain Survey will be used to assess citizen concerns about traffic and commuter issues; expand solutions like automated tolling, real-time traffic prediction, congestion charging, and intelligent route planning; and serve as a basis for pioneering innovative new approaches to traffic mitigation.

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posted by u2r2h at Thursday, July 22, 2010 0 comments

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2050 x-plane Airbus concept aircraft MD12 A380

The Airbus Concept Plane represents an engineer's dream about what an aircraft could look like in the long term future.

It's not a real aircraft and all the technologies it features, though feasible, are not likely to come together in the same manner. Here we are stretching our imagination and thinking beyond our usual boundaries.

With the Airbus Concept Plane we want to stimulate young people from all over the world to engage with us so that we can continue to share the benefits of air transport while also looking after the environment.

Further future-gazing by Airbus shows blueprints for radical aircraft interiors. In 'The Future by Airbus' the company talks of morphing seats made from ecological, self-cleaning materials, which change shape for a snug fit; walls that become see-through at the touch of a button, affording 360 degree views of the world below; and holographic projections of virtual decors, allowing travelers to transform their private cabin into an office, bedroom or Zen garden!

'Green' energy sources like fuel cells, solar panels or even our own body heat might provide energy for powering some systems on tomorrow's aircraft. As aeronautics engineers continue to use nature as a source of inspiration, some of these aircraft may even fly in formation like birds to reduce drag, fuel burn and therefore emissions.

Airbus A380 Superjumbo

Emirates Airline, owned by the government of Dubai, will make the first commercial flight of Airbus A380 Superjumbo aircraft to Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada, on June 1, 2009.

The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine airliner  manufactured by the European corporation Airbus, a subsidiary of EADS. The largest passenger airliner in the world, the A380 made its maiden flight on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse, France, and made its first commercial flight on 25 October 2007 from Singapore  to Sydney with Singapore Airlines. The aircraft was known as the Airbus A3XX during much of its development phase, but the nickname Superjumbo  has since become associated with it.

The A380's upper deck extends along the entire length of the fuselage, and its width is equivalent to that of a widebody aircraft. This allows for an A380-800's cabin with 5,146 square feet (478.1 m2) of floor space; 49% more floor space than the next-largest airliner, the Boeing 747-400 with 3,453 square feet (320.8 m2), and provides seating for 525 people in a typical three-class configuration or up to 853 people in all-economy class configurations. The postponed freighter version, the A380-800F, is offered as one of the largest freight aircraft, with a payload capacity exceeded only by the Antonov An-225.[3] The A380-800 has a design range of 15,200 km (8,200 nmi), sufficient to fly from New York to Hong Kong for example, and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (about 900 km/h or 560 mph at cruising altitude).

National origin     Multi-national
Manufacturer     Airbus
First flight     27 April 2005
Introduced     25 October 2007 with Singapore Airlines
Status     In production
Primary users     Singapore Airlines Emirates Qantas  Air France
Produced     2004–present
Number built     47 (as of 16 July 2010)[1]
Unit cost     US$ 317.2–337.5 million

McDonnell-Douglas MD-12

General characteristics

    * Capacity: 606 passengers
    * Length: 240 ft (73 m)
    * Wingspan: 255 ft 0 in (77.7 m)
    * Height: 100 ft ( 30.48 m ) ()
    * Max takeoff weight: 1,214,800 lb (552,182 kg)
    * Powerplant: 4× high-bypass turbofan engines, 70,000 lbf (310 kN) each


    * Range: 9,086 miles (14,538 km)

The Boeing  NLA, or New Large Airplane, was a 1990s concept for an all-new airliner in the 500+ seat market. Somewhat larger than the 747, this aircraft was similar in concept to the McDonnell Douglas MD-12 and later Airbus A380. In 1993, Boeing chose not to pursue development of this concept, focusing instead on updates to the 747.

A380 heavy

The Airbus A380 superjumbo is so quiet it's stopping pilots from sleeping during rest breaks on long-haul flights, according to reports.

Flight International says Emirates pilots have complained that the lack of engine noise is preventing them from sleeping in the crew rest area.

The constant buzz of engine noise usually drowns out the sounds of passengers, but pilots says they are being kept awake by crying babies, flushing toilets and call bells.

The Airbus A380 glass cockpit featuring "pull out keyboards and 2 wide computer screen on the sides for pilots...
Onboard Airport Navigation System (OANS)  Airport Mapping Database (AMDB)  The Head-Up Display (HUD) is making its first appearance on an A380 aircraft with the entry into service of the A380 with Air France, the first airline to select the Thales HUD (in dual configuration) for this aircraft type. The European Aviation Safety Agency certified the Thales HUD on the A380 in both single (left seat only) and dual (left and right seats) configurations. Other Thales A380 HUD customers include China Southern Airlines and Korean Air.

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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, July 20, 2010 0 comments

Friday, July 09, 2010

SOCCER FINAL Octopus vs Parrot!!!
Germany bare breasted girly fans


PAUL . 1) SPAIN 2) NL 3) Germany 4) Uruguay
MANI 2) Netherlands 2) Spain

Its Paul the Octopus vs Mani the Parakeet; Will it be Spain or Netherlands!

Paul the Octopus and Mani the Parakeet

New Delhi: Paul the Octopus is really getting some cult following after his 100 percent correct prediction on the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

But he might soon have a challenger from Mani the Parakeet from Singapore who incidentally have predicted all the quaterfinal ties of the world cup and Spain's semi-final victory over Germany.

And the competition hots up between the two with Paul the Octopus picking Spain as the winner and Mani the Parakeet choosing the Netherlands as the new World Champion.

The Psychic Paul the Octopus resides in a German aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany have gained some enemies with most calling for his death after the German's defeat to Spain in the semi-final.

But its a total contrast for Mani the Parakeet from Singapore who belong's to a roadside astrologer Muniyappa, an Indian origin, and the parrot's prediction have helped in Muniyappa's business to flourish.

But fans will be hoping the prediction will not take centre stage when the two best sides meet in the final with everything at stake on Sunday for the biggest prize in world football.

Feathered competition from Singapore for oracular Octopus

Prophets parrot versus oracle-Paul Krake

In Holland, the parrot would at least have many friends - the feathered oracle prophesied saying: The Dutch are world champions! The Octopus looks very differently from Oberhausen - Spain's. So far the visionary capabilities of both animals to be excellent - both in Oberhausen and in Singapore we had never been wrong.

"Cursed is the Octopus"

The second animal oracle must bring World Cup particularly

David Spiegelhalter to despair. is Professor of Probability, Cambridge University Paul's prophecies have coped very difficult: "This squid is about to destroy my life's work," complains the British statistics expert. The hit rate of the octopus is inexplicable to him - so much happiness could not have! In future, the students will probably argue with each of his lectures: "OK, Professor. But how do you explain then the octopus?" And so now even a parrot.

Is the future in the flesh or in Card picking?

The methods of the two animal soothsayers are certainly very similar. The Octopus Paul must decide between two containers of flesh - one per team. Paul must then choose according to taste or perhaps just for inspiration - it wins the men, whose flesh he preferred. In Singapore, it is on the other hand, map reading, rather, on Kartenpicken. The bird will be presented to two cards - with the flags of the incoming Nations. Mani then picks out one and for the country whose flag was chosen, is the victory secure. According to Mani.

Animals to the final showdown

Of all the animal to the final World Cup predictions differ from each other now. Parrot Mani drew the Dutch map. The flesh of the Spanish team, however, was more like Paul's taste. On Sunday will be seen, then, who is the real World Cup oracle - and who only pure tip-lucky. This animal can Professor David Spiegelberg then give his students at least as an counter-example - when they come to speak in his lectures at the World Cup oracle

Paul, the Octopus has been in the news more than anyone. Everyone is talking about Psychic Oracle Octopus Paul Allen. Paul predictions have been one hundred percent correct and have a record now in predicting the matches in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2010.

German Psychic Octopus became a celebrity overnight with his predictions. He has a rival at hand now, Singapore’s Mani; the Parakeet. Like Octopus Paul, Mani too has been correct in his predictions for all the quarter-final ties and the Spain-Germany semi-final.

Psychic Oracle Octopus Paul Allen has his pick for the FIFA final – Spain whereas; the psychic parakeet has picked up Netherlands as 2010 winner.

Paul picked out a mussel from the tank with the Spanish flag, ignoring the tank that had the Dutch flag, shown live on a TV show all over Europe. As per the psychic Octopus, Spain will be FIFA World Cup 2010 champions and regarding the place 3 and 4, Paul Allen, the Octopus has predicted that Germany will beat Uruguay to take the 3rd place.

Mani, a 13-year-old parakeet, picks up a card with the flag of the Netherlands in Singapore's Little India neighbourhood on Friday.

A crowd of football fans lean forward as Mani, Singapore’s World Cup-forecasting parakeet, creeps out of his small wooden cage and chooses between two white cards - one hiding the flag of the Netherlands, the other Spain.

If the bird’s many new believers are right, Holland will win its first World Cup championship on Sunday. Mani grabbed a card in his beak on Friday and flipped it over to reveal the Dutch flag.

The 13-year-old parakeet has become a local celebrity after its owner, M. Muniyappan, claimed Mani accurately forecast the World Cup’s four quarterfinal games and Spain’s semifinal victory over Germany.

“He’s a special bird,” Muniyappan said.

Mani joins Paul the octopus, who has correctly predicted the winner of every World Cup match played by Germany, as overnight stars as interest in football’s biggest tournament peaks and gamblers look for any edge to pick winners.

Muniyappan, an 80-year-old fortuneteller, said Mani has helped him predict the future for five years at a table in front of a restaurant in the Little India neighbourhood, but this year’s World Cup is the first time the parakeet has attempted to forecast the outcome of sports competitions.

“People usually want help picking the lottery numbers, or when to get married,” said Muniyappan, who was born in India and moved to Singapore in 1953. “Then gamblers started asking about the World Cup.”

Muniyappan said about 30 people a day now pay for his psychic powers, up from about 10 a day before Mani shot to fame.

Keywords: 2010 FIFA World Cup Public understanding of uncertainty and risk, Bayesian methods, biostatistics, performance assessment

This is how Mani, the Parakeet works:

M Muniyappan, the owner of Mani, puts two cards in front of Mani. These cards are printed with the flags of two countries. Mani turns to the card of the country which he think is going to win.

It seems FIFA final is between German Paul and Singapore’s Mani. Lets wait and watch whose prediction gets it right.

Mani, a 13-year-old parakeet, being coaxed to make a prediction in Singapore's Little India neighborhood, Friday July 9, 2010. Mani's owner, fortune-teller M. Muniyappan, claims the bird accurately predicted the winner of the tournament's four quarterfinal games and Spain's victory in its semifinal match.… Read more »
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posted by u2r2h at Friday, July 09, 2010 2 comments

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Orgasm Jesus Foreskin

Another myth (one that has persisted since it was proposed by Sigmund Freud) is that women can have two different kinds of orgasms: clitoral and vaginal.

Clitoral orgasms, which supposedly result from direct clitoral stimulation, were thought to be less mature and less satisfying than vaginal ones,  which supposedly occur only during sexual intercourse.

Master and Johnson showed conclusively that, even though they may be produced or perceived differently, from a physiological perspective all orgasms are alike and involve both the clitoris and the vagina.

An orgasm is a emotional and psychological pleasure that is caused by prolonged sexual stimulation. Women can have two different types of orgasms, vaginal and clitoral. Orgasms by clitoral stimulation is the most
 common. Many women can't have vaginal orgasms. Oddly enough, there are many women who don't have orgasms at all. Have you ever read about women faking it? Don't laugh, because many women do. As I was doing my research I was blown away by reading that many women don't have orgasms. Some women think they may have one from time to time but aren't completely sure. When a woman has a combined orgasm from both vaginal and clitoral it is called blended orgasm. Blended orgasms don't happen very often. The clitoral orgasm takes place when the clitoris is massaged slowly and is well lubricated. Vaginal orgasms is caused from the pressure being applied to the G-spot. This happens usually when the tip of your partner's penis touches it. The G-spot is on the anterior wall of the vagina, about two inches from the opening. There is a big difference between the way these two orgasms feel. That is because the major nerve connected to the clitoris is different from the one connected to the G spot. All women are capable of having orgasms, even multiple orgasms, unless you have a medical problem that prevents you from having them. Most women don't know their bodies well enough to have orgasms.

Ladies learn your bodies and learn how it reacts to certain things so you can have mind blowing orgasms. There are some factors that cause women to have orgasms. For you to get the most out of your sexual encounter you need to free your mind from stress, tension, and any problems you may have. You can't give your full attention to what's going on if you have loads of stuff on your mind.

Therefore having an orgasm is impossible. If you wait longer than two days to have another sexual encounter it will be harder for you to be aroused and you are less likely to have an orgasm. However, if you do have sex again before the two day period is up you can get emotionally involved in the sexual encounter much easily. This is because your body is still warmed up emotionally and physically. Take time to learn your body, what it likes, how it likes things, and so on. You need to feel comfortable with yourself to get the most out of your sexual encounters. Some women are very self conscious of their body and that puts a real strain on your pleasure. Try taking a hot bath and relaxing while thinking about your man. Also try reading a romantic novel or watching a movie to relax you and get you focused on your partner. Sometimes us ladies just need to block everything out and the only way to do that is to focus on something sexual. Men often feel that they are not enough for us, that they alone can't turn us on and in some cases that is true, But in most cases it is not. A woman's body reacts totally different from a man's body. Therefore we need extra help from time to time to get aroused. Women often worry about the bills, the kids, work, and their financial situation which is the main reason we have trouble focusing on our sex life. That is where the psychological part comes in. When we are psychologically stressed we can't focus on our lover. Those of you who have never experienced an orgasm, don't lose hope. Your time will come.

Effects of male circumcision on female arousal and orgasm

While vaginal dryness is considered an indicator for female sexual arousal disorder,1,2 male circumcision may exacerbate female vaginal dryness during intercourse.3 O'Hara and O'Hara reported that women who had experienced coitus with both intact and circumcised men preferred intact partners by a ratio of 8.6 to one.4 Most women (85.5%) in that survey reported that they were more likely to experience orgasm with a genitally intact partner: 'They [surveyed women] were also more likely to report that vaginal secretions lessened as coitus progressed with their circumcised partners (16.75, 6.88–40.77).'4

Presence of the movable foreskin makes a difference in foreplay, being more arousing to the female.4 Women reported they were about twice as likely to experience orgasm if the male partner had a foreskin.4 The impact of male circumcision on vaginal dryness during coitus required further investigation.
We conducted a survey of 35 female sexual partners aged 18 to 69 years who had experienced sexual intercourse with both circumcised and genitally intact men.
Participants completed a 35-item sexual awareness survey. Women reported they were significantly more likely to have experienced vaginal dryness during intercourse with circumcised than with genitally intact men χ2 (df = 1, n = 20) = 5.0, p <0.05.5
Women who preferred a circumcised male sexual partner averaged 27.3 years of age (SD = 8.2), while those whose stated preference was for a genitally intact partner had a mean age of 36.4 years (SD = 13.7). Thus, the role of the male foreskin in preventing loss of vaginal lubrication during intercourse may become more discernible with increasing age among women. We reported:
'During intercourse, the skin of an intact penis slides up and down the shaft, stimulating the glans and the nerves of the inner and outer foreskin. On the outstroke, the glans is partially or completely engulfed by the foreskin with more skin remaining inside the vagina than is the case with the circumcised penis. This 'valve' mechanism is thought to retain the natural lubrication provided by the female because the bunched up skin acts to block the lubrication escaping from the vagina, which results in dryness.'5
Our work, which supports the hypothesis of Warren and Bigelow3 and the findings of O'Hara and O'Hara4 about the role of the male prepuce during coitus is fully reported in Denniston et al.5
Research generally has not considered possible adverse effects of male circumcision upon female sexual arousal and response. While Moynihan reported that vibratory thresholds, blood flow and hormone levels were studied,1 there was no mention of circumcision status of the male partner. Likewise, Leiblum failed to control for male circumcision status.2 In light of published findings,4,5 this is a serious methodological omission.
Most likely, reported vaginal dryness and the related clinical designation 'female arousal disorder' is but a normal female response to coitus with a man with an iatrogenically deficient penis.5
It is imperative that future studies of female arousal disorder record and control the circumcision status of male sexual partners.
Gillian A Bensley
Gregory J Boyle
Department of Psychology
Bond University, QLD, Australia

  1. Moynihan R. The making of a disease: female sexual dysfunction. BMJ 2003;326:45–7.
  2. Leiblum SR. Arousal disorders in women: complaints and complexities. Med J Aust 2003;178:638–40.
  3. Warren J, Bigelow J. The case against circumcision. Br J Sex Med 1994;Sept/Oct:6–8.
  4. O'Hara K, O'Hara J. The effect of male circumcision on the sexual enjoyment of the female partner. BJU Int 1999;83 Suppl 1:79–84.
  5. Bensley GA, Boyle GJ. Physical, sexual, and psychological effects of male infant circumcision: an exploratory survey. In: Denniston GC, Hodges FM, Milos MF, editors. Understanding circumcision: a multi-disciplinary approach to a multi-dimensional problem. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers; 2001. p. 207–39.

was presented in the temple.

Jesus' Four Foreskins

According to the Bible, Jesus was circumcised, in keeping with Jewish law ("On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived" – Luke 2:21).

The specter of a Jesus foreskin was too much for the Christians to resist: the monks of Charroux were the first to claim to have it, and who, as a proof of its genuineness, declared that it yielded drops of blood [Calvin's Tracts, Vol. 1, pp. 296-304].

Actually, Jesus must have had a couple of penises, for his foreskin has been claimed by several churches, who coyly call it the "holy prepuce", including a church at Coulombs, France, the Church of St. John in Rome, and the Church of Puy in Velay! [John P. Wilder: The Other Side of Rome, Grand Rapids, 1959, p. 54].

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, July 04, 2010 1 comments