Britain’s most embarassing place names

You tend to think of the British as a smart, buttoned-up lot. We’re talking about a country with a history of lots of curtsies, foxhunts and tea at high noon. It’s surprising then to learn that the British apparently are not quite so polite when it comes to naming their towns and cities.

Yesterday’s New York Times takes a look at some of the more unintentionally hilarious place names in the United Kingdom, including Crapstone, England; Ugley, Essex; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire and Penistone (it’s pronounced PENNIS-tun, how immature of you) in South Yorkshire. You can’t blame the town founders for their poor naming decisions either – many of the towns were founded (and named) hundreds of years ago. Clearly it was simpler time – a time before the Internet, when adolescents minded their manners and didn’t spend their schooldays passing around links on Digg.

Go check it out. What’s that? You’re too mature for this sort of thing, aren’t you? Skip it if you must, but don’t tell me you don’t read a street name like Tumbledown Dick Road without snickering a little.

[Via Buzzfeed]

Travel Safe and Bulletproof Your Baby

Complaining to your foot-loose-and-fancy-free, childless friends about how much you miss backpacking adventures in tourist-free exotic locales, now that you’re a new parent?

Worried about taking your baby to a Third World country in the middle of a bloody coup?

Worry no longer: bulletproofbaby is here!

Traveling with young children has never been easier with their safety products, including baby camo, bulletproof jackets, and “my first riot helmet.” Of course, no parent should be without the bomb-proof baby blanket, which is “effective against most pipe bombs and hand grenade fragments.”

Yes, it’s all a joke, but when I hear the lengths to which folks go to protect their kids from every imagined harm, it sure is entertaining. Be sure to watch the video of them testing the armoured stroller with automatic weapons.

Friday Funny: BS, or Before Segway

In The Know: Life Before The Segway

Someone told me a while back that the masterful online satire magazine, The Onion was doing video, but I imagined they meant little YouTube clips with dancing animals falling down or, at best, dancers on treadmills falling down.

But, lo, they’ve got a full blown satire show kind of thing going. And since we did a recent post about Segways…in fact, we’ve done a couple over the years, this video just seemed PERFECT for our Friday Funny. Do you remember what life was like BEFORE the Segway changed everything (that was it’s promise, remember?).

Friday Funny: Ah, the French

When it comes to high-brow entertainment, there’s no place than France to get your fill of art-house film and intellectually stimulating enjoyment. I mean, there’s Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.

And who can forget how much the French treasured Jerry Lewis who was, while not French, oh so very funny. And high brow. Well, let’s another name to the list. Herewith, I introduce you to one Joseph Pujol who, according to this site on Human Marvels, became one of the most unique performers ever to grace a stage. What was his secret? Apparently he was a master of flatulence. Yes, Pujol, through a complex mix of self-discipline and body control, was able to create distinct notes with his, well, to use a French term, derriere.

Pujol’s skills are obviously a part of a long lost art-form that we could use in this cynical age…a skill that earned him the title of Fartiste (a term oddly missing from my spell-checker). His, um, passing in 1942 was truly a great loss to the French and, I attest, to global culture as a whole. Let Us Now Praise a Once Famous Man.

Friday Funny (tho late): Cupid

OK, it’s a bit late, in two ways, since it is Saturday, not Friday and we are past V-Day, but this delightful stop-motion video by Corky Quakenbush puts a nice, cop-noir spin on Valentine’s Day, or at least on the topic of love.

I am a huge fan of stop-motion film. I confess I’m a little sad that most animation these days is of the cheap computer-generated variety that, IMHO, is all about language rather than the art of the medium. But that’s a whole essay, and all I’m trying to do here is lighten up your Friday a little bit. So enjoy!.