Time Flies By (When You're The Driver Of A Train)

Posted on 13th May 2011

In light of my recent posts, I received the following story from a friend.

Rules Is Rules...

Good news:
It was a normal day in Sharon Springs, Kansas, when a Union Pacific crew boarded a loaded coal train for the long trek to Salina.

Bad news:
Just a few miles into the trip a wheel bearing became overheated and melted, letting a metal support drop down and grind on the rail, creating white hot molten metal droppings spewing down to the rail.

Good news:
A very alert crew noticed smoke about halfway back in the train and immediately stopped the train in compliance with the rules

Bad news:
The train stopped with the hot wheel over a wooden bridge with creosote ties and trusses.

The crew tried to explain this to Union Pacific higher-ups but were instructed not to move the train!

They were informed that Rules prohibited moving the train when a part was found to be defective!


(Don't ever let common sense get in the way of a good Disaster!)

And just in case you thought that wasn't a true story, here it is with pictures!

File Under: humour / trains

Hungry Like The Wolf

Posted on 31st October 2008

For some time now, someone in Messagelabs has been driving to work in their business van. I'm guessing that the van normally only gets used during the evenings and at weekends for local deliveries around Cheltenham and Gloucester. As such during the day it saves buying a car just to commute to work :)

Now driving to work in a van is not that unusual, and the first time I saw the van it just amused me to see that it was a Indian Takeaway van.

However, it was only after I suddenly noticed all the modifications that have been made to the van, that moved me to take some photographs of it. It also gives Poppadoms a bit of advertising, which is essentially what they meant to do with the changes. I have never used the takeaway themselves, so can't endorse the food ... yet, but I'm willing to give them a try if they want to deliver to South Birmingham ;)

What I first spotted was the "No curries kept in this vehicle overnight" sticker on the back of the van, then the contradictory "Curry on board" sign. It was only later I noticed that the model of the van too had been doctored to "Suzuki Curry 1.3". Is that the average grading of the curries on board at any one time? ;)

I known, I know, but sometimes it's just the simple things that amuse me.

File Under: humour

Hanging On The Telephone

Posted on 22nd October 2008

In light of the recent announcement about a device to help avoid silent callers and cold callers to households, it's interesting to note that there is another way to get your own back.

This video was sent to me via Facebook and I haven't laughed to the point of tears in a very long time. Thankfully I wasn't drinking or eating at the time. Watch "The Greatest Prank Call Ever" and you too will be crying with laughter. If I was as quick witted I might give this a try on UK cold callers ... even though we've been signed up for TPS for the last couple of years! Enjoy :)

File Under: humour / phones

I Dream Of Wires

Posted on 16th September 2008

The following has recently entered my inbox; body copied verbatim:

"Your internet access is going to get suspended

The Internet Service Provider Consorcium was made to protect the rights of software authors, artists. We conduct regular wiretapping on our networks, to monitor criminal acts.

We are aware of your illegal activities on the internet wich were originating from

You can check the report of your activities in the past 6 month that we have attached. We strongly advise you to stop your activities regarding the illegal downloading of copyrighted material of your internet access will be suspended.

ICS Monitoring Team"

Those who receive this, and the attached file, may well be duped into believing that they have been caught out and consequently open the attachement to discover they have now install a dubious artifact on their machine. The Winlogon trojan, which is then installed, may not be want you want hanging around on your system.

I did find it amusing that the creators, working with the scare tactics of the major music industry companies I've previously spoken of, have crafted this social engineering attack to dupe unsuspecting recipients. It effectively means, once people do educate their spam filters, that any future emails from music industry henchmen threatening fines, court appearances and cutting your internet will most likely end up being deleted :) 

As a result it may just mean the dubious threats might finally go away. Mind you with the stocks and share around the world looking rather shaky, I can imagine the media moguls have better things to worry about than those downloading dubious files over BitTorrent.

File Under: humour / internet / music / spam

Legend Of Xanadu

Posted on 22nd April 2008

I should have posted this a few weeks ago, when I was too busy to post a diary entry. Maybe I should save it, but then it's always nice to be reminded of the story. I've come across this story several times over the years, and I always enjoy re-reading it.

Mario is currently working for Sun in Manchester, so next time I see Alan Burlison, I must remember to ask him if he knows him. I expect so. Anyway it's a good story and if you haven't read it, do so now. Then think whether you could ever do the same with a Windows system .....

A Legendary Unix Recovery.

File Under: computers / humour

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