If English Were Phonetically Consistent

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said that English is a frustrating, nonsensical language where rules matter until they don’t and that it could seriously due with some consistency. But what if we actually had some of that consistency?

English would sound like it, German and Swedish had a drunken, baby makin’ 3-way, apparently.

Maybe we should just leave things as they are.

Yes, Things Have Been Quiet, But That’s Only Because We Were Off Learning That Siri Existed 30 Years Ago

Well hello there!

Yes, both we and the site do, in fact, still exist. Things have just been quiet the last little bit because it’s summer and that tends to be how things roll around here regardless of intent. Usually you all have the same idea as us, but for some reason numbers haven’t fallen off of nearly the cliff this go round that they generally do this time of year. I can’t decide whether to credit that to the list or if the lesson is that we can abandon you more often without having to care.

It’s been a good summer, for the most part. Some relaxing, some time with family, some time with friends, some music on our own porch and elsewhere, some relaxing after the friends and music because we’re starting to get too old for this shit and some other, less fun real life stuff that I won’t get into right now.

I can’t promise that we’re back up to speed starting now since it is, after all, still summertime, but in almost 15 years there has yet to be a month in the archives with 0 posts in it, so I had to come up with something since that’s a thing I’m strangely proud of.

So to keep the streak alive and also because it’s good, please enjoy this video demonstration of Siri…the 1980s edition.

As a blind guy I’ve heard a lot of awful computerized voices and have gotten pretty used to them out of necessity, but this one is so over the top awful that even I can’t make some of it out. The only thing I got out of the Nirvana’s first album question was 1967, and I don’t even know where to start on the coolest German song bit. But there’s some nice dumb subtle comedy here when you can understand it and they absolutely nailed the hokey old school presentation, so nice job.

Happy 29th Birthday, CBC Newsworld!

It’s hard to remember a time before CBC Newsworld, or CBC News Network as we know it now. For years it’s been the first place I turn when I hear about the sort of breaking news that gives me an urge to follow it nonstop, because it’s one of the very few television news outlets that doesn’t leave me feeling either totally gross or less informed than I was when I started.

But for a little while in the 1980s, it sometimes felt like it might not happen. Between carriage disputes, court challenges and mandated changes to how it had to operate, getting it up and running was anything but smooth sailing. But on July 31st, 1989, nearly two years after its license was granted, it finally did get up and running, and this is what it looked like.

Just try getting that bumper music out of your head, I dare you.

Here’s more from the CBC Archives.

When viewers first tuned in to CBC Newsworld on July 31, 1989, they saw a slew of technical hiccups. Satellites lost their signals, audio crackled in and out, and hosts clumsily stumbled through their first demanding day.
That applied only to those who could actually get the channel. Due to a disagreement with cable companies in Nova Scotia, Alberta and Quebec, Newsworld wasn’t universally available.

But, for the first time in this country, Canadians had their own dedicated 24-hour news channel. Designed for on-the-go viewers, Newsworld offered frequent news updates and magazine-style programming. The network had an exhilarating if imperfect debut, as shown in this local Halifax television report.

Newsworld debuted at 6 a.m. on Day 1 with a taped recording of the national anthem and prepared speeches by CBC president Pierre Juneau, CBC TV vice president Denis Harvey, information programming chief Trina McQueen and Newsworld chief Joan Donaldson.

CBC Newsworld’s first year of programming included a current events program titled Canada Live, the cross-country news program This Country, Newsworld Morning, Business World and Fashion File.

The English Language Used To Be Even More Complicated

Did you know that the alphabet used to contain at least ten more letters than it does now? Me neither.

I knew about the long S although my brain started to short circuit a bit when he got into explaining its usage rules, but the rest of these were new to me. And try as I might, I doubt I’ll ever be able to stop pronouncing it “yee” just because it sounds so neat.

Oh, and if we ever start dropping letters again, let me be the first to say C ya later. I’ve never been able to think of a thing that C does that can’t be accomplished with either S or K.

Why Would He Be Stopping During A Chase…Oh. Wait

I can’t get this to embed, so you’re going to have to go here to watch it. Either that or you can wait for it to show up on all of the blooper reels, because it’s totally going to.

A high-speed chase in California’s Inland Empire has been going on for over two hours as of this writing, and while it’s a dangerous situation for everyone involved, it was a bit embarrassing for the local news anchors, as everyone – including the helicopter camera operator – lost sight of the black Toyota Camry that was actually involved in the chase, and instead focused on a black Chevrolet Impala that was nearby that was just going about its business.

The actual culprit and his passenger were eventually apprehended without incident. Whether the fellow at the store found everything he was looking for is unknown.

So Here’s A Ridiculous Round Of Family Feud

Name a word that follows the word pork seems like a pretty simple question. I thought of a good half dozen answers right away when I heard it. Not everyone is me, apparently.

The woman who spells loin lion and whatever the hell a pork tease is supposed to be (pretty sure we all have the same idea here) aren’t my favourite part. You’ll know what is when you see it. It’s one of the stupider things you’ll hear come out of an adult, but there’s definitely a sort of 5-year-old logic to it that I think we can all understand. I will say though that if buddy couldn’t resist saying it as a joke even though it burned a strike, he’s a fucking genius.

Make America Grate Again


I’m not sure how many of you are old enough to remember that time when a kid had to teach Vice President Dan Quayle how to spell potato correctly, but the world went pretty nuts over it for a while. If only the world knew what was to come.

Now that what was to come is here and making things like the potatoe episode seem downright quaint by comparison, what would happen if a similar situation ever played itself out? Would the kids still be smarter than the politicians? Is our children learning? Let’s find out.

I think we might be ok.

I Want To Eat AT Wendy’s Right Now In Spite Of The Fact That This Is How They Train People

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this load of Wendy’s employee training videos I’m about to drop on you, but I do have to ask: Do restaurants still make these things? If yes, how does anyone ever learn to do anything correctly?

Oh. Right. Never mind.

Yes, that was partly a shot at some of the terrible service I’ve been on the wrong end of in my day, but also a genuine question. I’m sure on some level they’re instructional and that eventually you’ll find yourself singing about where to put your lemon, but how long does that take? How many times do you have to watch one of these before it stops being ridiculous and starts being helpful? And how long does it take to go from helpful to haunting your thoughts whether you’re sleeping or awake?

Alright, let’s learn how to make and serve some stuff!

First up, cold drinks in what sounds like the style of a rapped Paula Abdul tune.

It’s just good sense to follow that up with hot drinks. I can’t pick out who specifically they had in mind stylistically here, because for a while in the 80s this is what everything sounded like.

We need to give those drinks something to wash down, so why not some chili or maybe a kids’ meal? I didn’t realize Wendy’s had chili way back in whatever decade this song is meant to represent. I don’t remember having a chili at Wendy’s until the late 90s, but Google is giving me the sense that they’ve always had it.

And of course nothing is more important than your grill skills. So important are they that this one’s a 2-parter. And my god, what a 2-parter it is. There’s a bad Robert Palmer impression, Dave Thomas showing up to repeatedly pronounce the word fashioned in a distracting way that he either coached out of his voice later or that I’ve totally forgotten, some acting straight out of every educational film you’ve ever seen and the obligatory rappin’ and weird ass music video.

And in case you’re overwhelmed by all of that like our hero Bill here, let’s talk through the rap song before…oh, just watch.

I want to go to Wendy’s now. Anybody else? I haven’t had a Frosty in ages.