Meanwhile In Russia – Parachute Lands You!

This interesting video shows a Russian paratrooper getting taken for a ride by his round parachute. Unlike “square” parachutes, which have brake lines that can deflate the out cells of the canopy, thus making them controllable, the older “round” parachutes have much less control. When you have a slight gust of wind, you can quite literally, be lifted back into the air and slammed back down again with tremendous force.

When I did my training back in Ireland, even though we jumped with square canopies, we were still taught how to do a PLF, or “Parachute Landing Fall”. Essentially you put your legs together, bend your knees and roll when you land. This was the idea in case you flared the canopy too high and hit the ground harder than planned. With a round canopy, there is no real ability to flare, if at all, and so the PLF is the de-rigour way of landing when jumping under these ‘chutes.

But even though the soldier tries to land, the winds gusting upwards, in what looks a little like a micro-burst, literally lift him up off his feet as it catches the canopy and flies him through the air in an almost Mary Poppins-esque dance through the sky, much to the glee of his fellow soldiers happily chuckling in the background. Even his attempts to try and anchor himself proved fruitless as he was dragged for a few hundred metres through the dirt.

As they say, “In Putin’s Russia, parachute lands you!”

Russian Parachute Fail

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

It’s Paddy’s Day today, so I want to wish all my readers a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day, or as Gaeilge, “Lá Shona Fhéile Pádraig duit”.

For all your American’s out there who want to get in on the act and proclaim to everyone how Irish you are, even if your ancestors are really Scandinavian Poles or something else equally Irish, please make sure you DO NOT wish everyone a Happy St. Patty’s Day. This serves to further highlight to the rest of the Irish community, and the world in fact, that you’re a fucking moron, and you’re about as Irish as sushi covered pizza!

Given that this is the day that everyone on the planet is “Irish”, I thought it would be fun to remind us of all the things that make an Irishman who he is. So let’s begin.

IRELAND  – It’s the only place where……..

  • When you were young, you went to bed when Glenroe was over.
  • If you die from alcohol poisoning, you’re considered a lightweight.
  • ‘Fuck off’ means ‘Are you serious?’
  • The person that you insult most is probably your best friend.
  • Saying ‘I will, yeah’ means that you definitely won’t
  • ‘Fuck it, sure it’s grand’ means that you couldn’t be bothered your arse to finish it properly.
  • ‘He’s fond of a drink’ means he suffers from severe life-threatening alcoholism.
  • Saying you’re going for ‘a drink’ means you might not be seen again for 3 days
  • Saying ‘I’m grand’ doesn’t mean you have delusions of grandeur, rather, it means you’re fine/OK.
  • Crisps are called ‘Taytos’ and fizzy drinks are called ‘minerals’.
  • ‘For the craic’ is the best reason or excuse for doing anything, ever.
  • The best cure for a hangover is more drink.
  • The second best cure for a hangover is a full Irish breakfast with rashers, sausages and both black AND white pudding.
  • A rasher is what the rest of the world calls “bacon”.
  • Nobody can go a day without saying ‘Jaysus’.
  • ‘Meeting’ has a double meaning (see the 7th point above).
  • Tea is the solution to every problem.
  • And water is the solution to every GAA injury on the field.
  • ‘I got stuck behind a tractor’ is a perfectly valid reason for being late.
  • We eat Tayto sambos for lunch, and ham sandwiches on the way to Croke Park.
  • You can insert the name of a gardening tool into any sentence and it still makes sense, e.g. ‘I had a rake of drink last night’ or ‘I’ll be out in a minute, I’m just shovelling down me dinner’.
  • GAA is considered religion.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to swig from hip flask during a Rugby match.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to call your mother ‘mammy’ even though you are a fully grown adult.
  • Saying ‘Now we’re sucking diesel’ means that you are happy with the outcome of the situation.
  • Drinking ‘tae’ is everyone’s favourite past time.
  • You’re scared of the wooden spoon.
  • The word ‘like’ goes in every sentence.
  • You can say ‘Any craic’ to a police officer and you won’t get arrested.
  • You never need to study for exams because your Granny lit a candle for you.
  • You thank bus drivers.
  • If you’re not drinking, then you must be on antibiotics.
  • Flat 7UP and/or Lucozade can cure any illness.
  • The first phrase in a new language most Irish children learn when they start school is “An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas”, which is basically asking for permission to go to the toilet.
  • Mothers would usually spout of wisdoms such as ‘If you fall off that wall and break both your legs, don’t come running to me’, or ‘Laughing turns to crying’.

Enjoy your pint, wee glass or your drop of the cratur and celebrate your inner Irishness today.


New Apple MacBook – No USB Ports

Giggles MemeMove over Hitler, there’s a new meme in town, and his rants will have you wetting yourself with laughter. Hot on the tails of the latest Apple Fanboy’s wet dream, the newest edition of the MacBook Air – whose main features include even more thinness (this is getting ridiculous now) and a distinct lack of USB ports (because of this über-thinness) – is this newest addition to the “rant” meme which features Spanish comedian Juan Joya Borja. Known in his native Spain as El Risitas, or “The Giggles”, for his distinctive laugh and long rambling tales, the video adopts the same style as the Hitler rants, where the voice is sub-titled with a funny, made-up story.

In this case, it’s a story about how Sir Jony Ive showed off the latest test model of the MacBook to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, before it was completed. Cook, loving the sleekness and the lack of USB ports hurries it into production and the rest is history.

Shoulders shaking and wiping tears from his eyes, with his thick moustache and screeching laughter, Borja straightens up and slaps a table. “Wait! It gets better!” he cries. “It was so thin the battery wouldn’t fit inside! That’s all our customers need! I got promoted!”

The Hitler Rants, based on the movie Downfall, have become ubiquitous and have derived cult status on the internet. There’s barely a subject or celebrity that hasn’t been referred to or the subject of a Hitler rant. But it looks like there’s a new guy in town.

They Need To Shit Just Like The Rest Of Us

It’s an oft use turn of phrase in Ireland – ‘He shits just like the rest of us’ – meaning that the person in question is no better or worse than the average Joe, and is equally human, with their own misgivings, failures and biological needs, just like the rest of us.

But Italian artist Cristina Guggeri has helped to visualise in her art what some people may have been fomenting in their minds-eye what their world leader might look like when sitting on the “throne”, by conjuring up vivid illustrations of the world’s power elite.

Given that today’s world leaders have a plethora of decisions to reflect upon, making judgements and decisions that could affect the population for decades to come, and that there are only so many hours in the day, combined with their biological human needs, it’s very realistic to believe that some of these images are as close to reality as we shall ever see.

Guggeri set out to remind the rest of us with her series of images called Il Dovere Quotidiano, or “The Daily Duty,” which humanizes some of the world’s most famous leaders by imagining what they might look like when answering the call of nature.

Some of these can be “unseen”, but I really like this tongue-in-cheek humour.

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Virgin Atlantic 2015 Advert – Let It Fly

Virgin Atlantic_4I’ve long been a fan of Virgin Atlantic. From the early days as a scrappy, game changing, market disruptor (buzzword bingo anyone?), to the gradual maturation of a suave and sophisticated airline, bringing back the glamour to the airline industry from the golden era of passenger travel.

And key among that image projection, aside from the stellar service one gets aboard one of their flights, is their TV advertising campaign. Their most memorable advert, celebrating their 25th anniversary, still feels fresh and tongue-in-cheek, with an homage to the 1980’s.

Their 2011 campaign took inspiration from the often artistic James Bond opening credit sequences to dazzle customers with their take on British sophistication. Full of fun, glamour and rife with self-deprecating humour, it’s one of my favourites.

Not to be out-done by their parent, Virgin America got in on the act with an update of the safety demo shown to passengers before take-off. Part “Glee”, part “Got To Dance”, it again exhorts Virgin’s humourous side whilst keeping passengers engaged in the usual boring safety demo. Interestingly, Delta have also more recently rolled out something similar on their flights.

Their 2013 advert once again took inspiration from the movies. This time, it took the form of a Superhero “movie trailer”, which showed off the various skill-sets of their pilots, crew and cabin design team.

Two years later, they’ve launched their newest TV advert for 2015. This time round, it’s focused more on the business traveller. Inviting viewers on a high energy journey which follows a passenger on his way to pitch an idea.

Set to Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’, the film is intended to capture the spirit and vision of Virgin Atlantic as THE airline for people who share a similar “can-do” mindset and inspire those who want to make their ideas happen, whatever those ideas might be.

English actor and award winner Andy Serkis, best known for his Lord of the Rings work, narrates the video.

As is usual for Virgins ads, this one is thick with humour, and shows off the various pre-flight perks Virgin are rightfully proud of. That being said, given the emphasis on the “perks”, it’s clear the audience it’s aimed at is the more discerning and affluent business traveller. That is, after all, where most airlines make their profits, and Virgin is no different……they just have a much better product.

Meanwhile In Russia – Darwinism Alive And Well

The Russian propensity to ignore rules, blatantly disregard for anything to do with health and safety, and a DNA that requires every Russian male to jury-rig anything mechanical in an effort to “improve”, in a Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor-esque way means that there is always something to look forward to from the Russian YouTube archives.

Take for example these two idiots, who decided to fiddle around with their Lada (a weekly chore amongst Russians) and install a home-made gas conversion kit. If you ask me, an LNG kit and a Lada are a lethal combination. [Note to American readers, gas in this case is Liquefied Natural Gas, and not Gasoline (Petrol)].

Imagine their surprise (I’m not really surprised at all) when the thing blew-up on them on the Moscow Automobile Ring Road, or MKAD, taking the entire back half of the chassis away with it.

The two would-be mechanics staggered out onto the highway clutching their hands to their heads. Both later told medics they could hear nothing apart from a permanent ringing sound.

Moscow doctor Leo Konovalov, who treated driver Edgar Maslov, 23, and passenger Gabriel Yermolayev, 48, said: “There was a massive pressure wave in the car caused by the exploding gas. If it was strong enough to send a heavy rubber tyre into the air, then you can imagine what it has done to the men’s eardrums. It is too early yet to see if they will ever hear again, but the prognosis is certainly not good.”

On a more positive note, they’re lucky they didn’t kill or injure any other motorists due to the flying shrapnel from their car.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, Darwinism is still very much alive and well in Mother Russia.

Russia Darwinism

Putin’s Russia – Plane Pushing

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Putinism has taken on a new symbolic twist with these images doing the rounds on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook today.

Passenger’s on a UTair flight from Igarka airport in Russian Siberia, had to get out and push their plane to help it reposition before commencing its departure. In -50C temperatures, they got out and pushed the plane backwards, often joking with each other about pushing it all the way home. 🙂

Putin’s Justice Minister has announced that this exercise will now be introduced into Russian Gulag’s from this winter onwards, and will form part of the “Hard Labour” regimen that convicts incarcerated in Siberian Gulags will undertake as part of their sentencing.

Ryanair have also announced that they are considering adopting this method of passenger power as part of their new cost saving initiatives in 2015. A Ryanair spokesman said that “passenger power is both environmentally friendly, cost effective, and will help ensure that Ryanair can continue to offer the lowest fares to its passengers next year.”