Paraprosdokians (1)

Paraprosdokians: a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence is unexpected and often humorous.




  • If I had a dollar for every girl who found me unattractive, they’d eventually find me attractive.


  • I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom, until they’re flashing behind you.


  • A man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool, so I gave him a glass of water.


  • Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.


  • I’m great at multi-tasking–I  can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.


  • If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.


  • Take my advice — I’m not using it.


RAJA – YouTube No. 6

Review of ‘Pithy Perspectives’ by author Raja Arasa Ratnam.

This truly is a smorgasbord of short stories. With 21 wonderful short stories to choose from, I decided to skip about and read in no particular order- simply because I could due to the way the author crafted this book.

Grounded quickly became an early favorite as I liked the interaction of the characters but dear Rueben in the Boat People reminded me much of the delightfully browbeaten Richard in Keeping Up Appearances on PBS.

Nothing Fishy at the Seaside was another story that stood out as I liked the idea of the story and it made my brain work double time.

The last story, Of Mice and Morality, was captivating, thought-provoking, poetic, and left me feeling inspired by the end of it.

After much debating, I find choosing a favorite from these delightful gems is a task that is far more difficult than it seems. While they are stand-alone stories, they flow nicely together when read one after the other.

The author managed to take an eclectic mix of stories and create a book that one can read a little at a time or in one sitting with the same outcome-a true pleasure to read. The stories are engaging, unpredictable, a little weird, highly imaginative, and will appeal to a wide audience.

If you appreciate exceptional short fiction like I do I’m sure you’ll enjoy this 5 star collection. It’s available on Kindle at a very affordable price.

(Review by William Potter of Independent Author Network)

The benefits and dis-benefits of colonialism

A few years ago, published the following article of mine – ‘The pros and cons of British colonialism’. It has attracted attention continuously ever since. At about 800 words in length, it is easy to read.

It is, of course, strange to have an anti-colonial, a former British subject, acknowledge any benefits to subject peoples from colonialism. I instanced the English language as a significant benefit. It is now an international language. My relatives, by blood and marriage, are now well-entrenched citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore – as part of the Ceylon Tamil diaspora.

Regrettably, some of us have lost our heritage – except in our minds. Some of us speak only English, have no knowledge of our distant origins as Dravidians, and have little appreciation of the literary wealth of our distant forbears, the Tamils of India. These are the ‘cons’ of modernisation, offsetting the ‘pros’ derived from mastery of the English language.

Looking at the level of education experienced by my Australian children and grandchildren, I came to realise how well educated I was by the colonial British. I received a broader and deeper education than did my descendants! That the British people at home are significantly more tolerant than many (most?) of our colonial rulers in British Malaya was proven by 2 of my sisters who acquired valuable qualifications in Britain after WW2. As a schoolboy, I remember my elders referring to the ‘upstarts’ who ruled us.

Other benefits were British law and Western democracy. Codified law, drawing upon precedents, does offer a clearer path from the past to the present. However, I believe that the adversarial system in courts, and which allows lawyers to obfuscate issues and ‘play games’ (I write from experience)  diminishes prospects for justice. Pros and cons in balance!

Then, there is that so-called democracy. Every adult has a vote. Our political representatives (federal, state, and local government) are, however, not accountable to voters, and certainly never consult us. I write from experience as a resident in Australia over 65 years as an adult. At federal and state levels, political parties rule openly, their main objective being to hold office.

Today, we seem to be governed by Vaticanites. How so? Compassion is suppressed by Papal Bull, for example. Western democracy is indubitably a con!

The pros and cons offered by the hegemonic empire of the USA, based on indirect controls, await judgement.

Excellence and wellbeing

International rankings of educational achievements can be useful as indicators of relative effort and outcomes. Even if Australia manages to be ranked ahead of the UK and the USA in some areas of knowledge, could not Australia do better? Of course, we do have highly motivated and competent students. Even if many of them are of Asian descent, could they not all be guided to do better in an all-round manner? Would not individual wellbeing be enhanced by increasing levels of competence (however measured)?

Is white or Western supremacy responsible for Australian authorities ignoring the learning available in Singapore about raising the skills of Australian teachers continually? Or, could it be cultural differences – chopsticks vs. cutlery, Christ vs. Confucius, welfare vs. self-sufficiency, individualism vs. communalism?

The hallmark of a civilised society is how it looks after the lowest ranks of that society. Do we not need to do more for students from low-education, or low-income, or disinterested families? The ‘near enough is good enough’ adage of the ‘old’ Anglo-Australian is now out-of-date. Adapt or sink!

Waffling about students’ wellbeing, or whingeing about the need for more money (to do what?) is no help. Enhanced all-round competence will ensure increased personal wellbeing. Make education relevant, but varied according to potential. Actualise the potential of all students. Does this mean different streams and content of learning? Indeed, is ‘one-size-fits-all’ the appropriate approach?

‘My way and no other way’ will also have to go. I refer to fads in education. Remember the failed effort to ‘deconstruct’ language – which left students sloshing through semantic sludge? Or the ‘whole-of-word’ fiasco imposed upon little children for decades, while teaching by phonics was actually banned. I write from the experiences of my own family. Thus, learning their own mother tongue was delayed by years because of this ridiculous fad. There are not many words in the English language requiring a whole-of-word approach.

We do have great schools (even in the public sector), and wonderful teachers who are sensitive to the reality of unavoidable stress, trials, and tribulations through life. There is an undeniable need to impart to youngsters usable knowledge and skills (while rounding them off in other directions), underpinned by ambition and resilience of mind. Perpetually increasing the quality of teaching is surely conducive to shaping youths to fit into a competitive future.

The wellbeing of students comes from them knowing that they are being well prepared for life.

Thoughts for the day – NOT (Part 1)

  • Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
    • When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
    • Broken pencils are pointless.
    • What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
    • I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
    • All the toilets in New York’s police stations have been stolen. The police have nothing to go on.
    • I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
    • Velcro – what a rip off!
    • Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last.

(Comment: Should I apologise?)

Doctor jokes

A man called his doctor’s office for an appointment. “I’m sorry, we can’t fit you in for 2 weeks” the receptionist said. “But I could be dead by then!” the man said. “Not a problem. Your wife can let us know and then we’ll cancel your appointment.”

Shared by The Joker


A man who hasn’t been feeling well goes to his doctor for a check-up. The doctor comes out with the results and says…
“I have some very bad news for you. You’re dying and don’t have much time left.”
“Oh my God! How long have I got?”
“Ten what? Months? Weeks?”

Shared by The Joker


What is black, 12 inches long and hangs in front of an asshole?
A stethoscope

Shared by Argo
edited by MC Hacker


A man walks into a doctor’s office. He has a cucumber up his nose, a carrot in his left ear and a banana in his right ear.
“What’s the matter with me?” he asks the doctor. The doctor responds “you’re not eating properly.”

Shared by NumeroOcho


A 7-year old girl told her mother “a boy in my class asked me to play doctor.”
“Uh oh,” the mother nervously sighed. “What did you say, honey?”
“Nothing. He made me wait 45 minutes and then double-billed the insurance company.”

Shared by NumeroOcho


What’s the difference between a general practitioner and a specialist?
One treats what you have and the other thinks you have what he treats.

Shared by NumeroOcho


Some thoughts about Destiny

Japanese proverbs

  • Even the fortune-tellers do not know their destiny (Who does?)
  • The good walk on, whatever befalls (especially when facing racism)
  • What one does, one becomes (the reincarnation path of Destiny)
  • If I peddle salt it rains; if I peddle flour the wind blows (my life)

Note: The words in brackets are my response


  • ‘The ancient saying is no heresy; hanging and wiving goes by destiny’ (The merchant of Venice)
  • ‘As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport’ (King Lear)

English proverb  

‘He that is born to be hanged shall never be drowned’ (16th century)

Reminds of that conundrum in Buddhism: the need to be compassionate towards all sentient beings when being attacked by a hungry tiger!


  • Destiny is not Fate, It is, in my (optimistic) view, a pathway, a trajectory – not an outcome.
  • The Koran apparently says that ‘When its time has come, the prey goes to the hunter.’ Not so! This is also to suggest that everything written in the Good Book of a religion need not bind all, everywhere, on Earth. Remember free will!
  • Since some conservative Hindus attribute mishaps to karma, but not success, and also because they see karma as fate, I prefer Destiny, but as also defined by Hinduism.

An alternative view of Reality

David Bohm, physicist, as stated at the end of my previous post, offers another view of Reality from that of current scientific thinking.

“Reality, Bohm’s work suggests, has a more subtle nature than that which can be defined by linear human thinking … Within the fabric of reality, Bohm found not just the wave/particle duality phenomenon … but also an inter-connectedness, a Non-Space or Non-Local reality where only the appearance of waves also being particles exists. He saw, perhaps intuitively, that it is ultimately meaningless to see the universe as composed of parts, or disconnected, as everything is joined, space and time being composed of the same essence as matter.”

Semantically, at this high level of abstraction – so it seems to me – I admit to being adrift. A ‘Non-Space’ or a ‘Non-Local’ reality? As David Lewis says in this article from which I am quoting, ‘The physicist as mystic’ (in ‘Forbidden history’ edited by Douglas Kenyon), “Reality, then, is not material … it is something far more ineffable … Mystics call it ‘oneness.’”

More from Lewis: “Bohm evolved a yet more profound understanding, that of an interconnected whole with a conscious essence, where all matter and events interact with one another, because time, space, and distance are an illusion relative to perspective. He developed, in fact, a holographic model of the universe, in which the whole can be found in the most minute part – in a blade of grass or an atom – and where matter, circumstance, and dimension result from holographic projections of subtle but powerful conscious energy.”

I think that I need 2 things. First, someone to translate the above in operational terms; then an explanation as to how I, and everything else of substance like me, exist in space. Having once seen a holographic image of a tiny human performing on the stage in space (that is, he was there and yet not there), I can only remain in conceptual wonderment. I also remember reading that my elbow contains more space than substance; yet ‘tennis elbow’ was most painful for months. That is, I (assuming I am a projection) did hurt.

Perhaps I should just follow Hinduism’s Upanishads and seek to apprehend Reality through deep meditation (even if I cannot talk about that experience). But, by what path would a follower of Bohm perceive Reality?

This is a serious question.

Funny quotes

A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s: She changes it more often. Oliver Herford

If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me. Alice Roosevelt

People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. Isaac Asimov

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. Margaret Mead

We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don’t know. W. H. Auden

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive. Elbert Hubbard

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. Mark Twain

I can resist everything except temptation. Oscar Wilde

I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party. Ron White

(From ‘Brainy quotes’ on the Internet)

A Grecian exchange

My good friend Calligopoulos told me this story. I present it as told to me. He is beyond reach. He is ‘up there.’

A Greek man took his pants to the tailor to have a small tear repaired.
At the tailor’s premises, he handed over his pants, saying Eumenides?
After examining the pants, the tailor said Euripides?

(Heh, heh! Don’t blame me.)