Soapbox Speakers

Archive for October, 2019|Monthly archive page

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 13th October.

In News for Speakers' Corner on October 14, 2019 at 11:24 am

“Success is about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is about growing others.”
Jack Welch.

1.  When your scribe walked up alongside the Art Gallery on his way to Speakers’ Corner, a bit before 2pm, he heard yelling. ‘Uh oh,” I thought, ‘Someone’s angry and it sounds like it might lead to violence.’ But when I was closer I recognised the source of the voice: Peter the Younger. Steve Maxwell had with him a huge painting, and on it were remarks about climate change.

Enough said.

Simply, Speakers’ Corner had started a little early. However, without the ‘Speakers’ Corner’ signs about to warn passers-by, it just sounded like an argument getting out of control. But no, it was just Speakers’ Corner.

Which means, of course, that the only difference between grown men yelling at each other, and Speakers’ Corner, are the signs proclaiming that it’s Speakers’ Corner.

Oh dear.

Why can’t we all get along?

2. Today we had fresh, delicious home baked Anzac biscuits (thank you, Aunty), tasty gingerbread (thank you, Ray) and cheesecake (thanks, Mr B,  for not saving me a slice!). We were commemorating/celebrating two things: (1) the fact that Uncle Pete has not smoked for twenty years, and (2) the fact that from today, Mark the Grinner will not be smoking. We applaud them both.

Both men spoke about their choices, and answered questions.

The festivities were interrupted by a kookaburra making a statement about Steve Maxwell’s Eureka flag.

 

Uncle Pete – twenty years cigarette free.

 

Mark the Grinner – twenty minutes cigarette free.

3. Would I lie to you? We played the popular television game and the punters liked it. We’ll be doing it again in future. Bring along a truth about yourself (Mr B will provide the lie) and be part of the action.


4. Mr B presents another
chapter from his book for young people. In this excerpt he suggests we don’t talk like a zombie.

5. Other topics discussed:
– Steve spoke about climate change and how it’s human induced. Peter the Younger finally got fed up and moved elsewhere.

– Ray spent some one-to-one time with a member of God’s flock.

– Helmut spoke softly and patiently to his groundlings about science.

– Mirko proudly explained that if you do a google search for ‘Mirko Terzic inventor’ you will find he is on the first page of google’s rankings! This proves he is finally being taken seriously. Yes, Mirko, well deserved! He even presented us with a laminated print of what he had found on the site: a photo of himself and an impressive list of his achievements. They looked slightly familiar.

– Should we burn the churches? Matthew 6: 5-8 (NIV) from the Bible seems to suggest we should.

– Imagine you’re a tree . . .   Where would you be growing? Who or what waters the tree? Who or what looks after you? . . . .
Can you see why you chose that image?
One brave soul participated, and your scribe wishes Mr B had spent more time with her image because there was more to say. But he seemed distracted by serial pest Michael, and the job was only half done.

– Isaac Asimov wrote one of the most popular science fiction short stories of all time: ‘Nightfall’. Mr B told us the story and made a hash of it.

– Serial pest Michael “kindly” volunteered to speak. So we let him.  Five times he stood on the Ladder of Knowledge and gave us his views. (And five times we all moved rapidly away to somewhere else.) For some reason, we couldn’t persuade him to ascend the Ladder of Knowledge a sixth time.

– Why is Australia like Bus number 2, the Coolibah Queen?

– Mr B gave four tips on how to become a good listener, and seven tips on how to be interesting. Perhaps he should use those tips himself.
One of those tips was: be like Mr Ed, who never spoke unless he had something to say.

Mr Ed was smarter than most of today’s hecklers.

6. This week’s unusual critter from the Unusual Creature Series is the Arctic wolf. These two specimens would chew our Facebook page to pieces if they could.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 6th October.

In News for Speakers' Corner on October 7, 2019 at 11:27 am

“Plagiarism: stealing from one person to feed another. Merely a conduit. Requiring no more talent, and being no more meaningful, than the cable delivering the talent to the TV set.”
Unknown

1. Every year, without fail, Tony Boyce has turned up an hour late the day when Daylight Saving begins. You can set your sundial by it. However, he didn’t turn up at all this time. He is not yet allowed to leave his maximum security aged care home. Your scribe visited him and he says hello to you all. He misses Speakers’ Corner and heckling Helmut.

Don’t count on Tony not coming back sometime, Helmut!

2. Passer-by Jenny Lowe got up to speak.  She spoke about DNA and explained how it was integral to life. She also said it is too complex to have arisen on Earth; it must have come from outer space. That prompted Peter the Younger to ask a question or two.

Jenny has written a book, “Are you ready . . .?” and she kindly sold a few of us copies. It might come in handy because in it she reveals the identity of the anti-Christ.

Your scribe was lucky enough to get a copy, but I won’t be revealing the identity of the anti-Christ any time in the near future. You can buy your own copy.

Hint: it’s not Bindi Irwin.

Jenny Lowe and her book, ‘Are you ready . . .?’

 

Bindi Irwin is not the anti-Christ.

3. Philip came again! He is becoming a regular heckler and speaker. He was again persuaded to say a few words on the Ladder of Knowledge, and he had three topics. One was about the brain. ‘Is it simply a communications system that connects each part of the body?’ he wanted to know, ‘like a telephone system?’ (Or something like that, anyway.)

And, Philip explained why autonomous vehicles will allow greater public nudity. And, he suggested that joining the 20 Centimetre Club might become commonplace.

Philip also wanted to know: “Why aren’t fire escapes slippery dips?”

???

??

One very good thing about Philip: he chooses unusual, original topics that attract our interest immediately.

Philip

4. Bertrand’s Box Paradox.
Three boxes, labeled A, B & C. In one box are two gold coins. In another, two silver coins. The third: one gold coin and one silver coin. Jenny is asked to guess which box has the gold and silver coins. Jenny points to box C. What is the chance she is correct? Answer: 1 in 3.

So far, so good.

One coin is taken from box C and it is seen to be a silver coin. It is then put back into the box. Again we ask: “What is the chance that the box contains a gold and silver coin?” (In other words, what is the chance that the other coin is gold?) Is the answer 1 in 3, or 1 in 2? (After all, we can eliminate the box with two gold coins.)

The answer, counter-intuitively, is still 1 in 3.

One way to look at the problem is: “What is the chance that Jenny chose the only box with coins of a different colour?” Obviously the answer would 1 in 3, and just because we happen to see one of the coins doesn’t change anything; it’s still 1 in 3.

But to please the doubters, let’s change the question to the more commonly asked question: “What is the chance the other coin is also silver?” (Again, we can eliminate the box with two gold coins.) Is the answer 1 in 2? 1 in 3? Or 2 in 3?

Again, counter-intuitively the answer is 2 in 3.

Consider: “What is the chance that two coins of the same colour were chosen?” The answer is obviously 2 in 3. And, just because we happen to see one of the coins doesn’t change anything; the answer will still be 2 in 3.

This scribe is obliged to suggest to Mr B that from now on he go easier on his poor befuddled grasshoppers. Again they were hopelessly out of their depth. Not so much for getting the answer wrong, but for having the temerity to suggest that Mr B himself was wrong.

5. Here is another enthralling chapter from Mr B’s book for young people. Is his book a self-help book? No, it’s a pre-self-help book. Its purpose is to help young people become adults who don’t need self-help books.   What presses your button?

6. Mark the Grinner reluctantly got up onto the Ladder of Knowledge and said that nothing had recently ‘pissed him off’, and he had little to talk about. From then on we couldn’t shut him up. He got stuck into university students for not being the activists school children manage to be. He got stuck into fish, for stealing the bait he puts on his hook. He found plenty of things to rant and rave about. From having nothing to complain about, he suddently seemed to have an endless supply. And it was so entertaining!
Throughout the rant, Mark kept imploring Mr B to die, simply because Mr B dared to raise his hand to ask a question. But that’s par for the course, for both of them. Mr B, as usual, refused to oblige.
In this photo Mark’s craziness is apparent.

Mark the Grinner.

7. Other topics discussed:
– Mr B spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of having a one world government. Peter the Younger was sceptical about the advantages, to say the least.
Later, Philip also spoke about the nature of what a one world government might be like.

– Joe asked a question about whether the mind is human, or what is the mind?, or something like that, but Mr B was flummoxed by the question (as is your scribe). It was Mr B’s turn to be out of his depth and he admitted it. He gave a lame answer and moved on.

– Is it a bad sign for someone when he rescues a fruit fly from a bathroom and puts it outside? And opens all his doors to let blowflies escape, instead of swatting them?

– What’s the secret about the almonds next to Tony’s bed?

– Recurring dreams.

– Swedish health care was compared with Chinese health care.

– How did General Custer really die?

8. This week’s unusual creature in our Unusual Critter Series is the Colugo, a close relative of the primates found in South East Asia. This particular one has given our Facebook page five stars.


9. This is getting ridiculous, Mr B. Face facts. She’s not coming back.

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