From: Christopher Morgan Subject: a brief history of cambridge "There exists a certain type of person who, while able to solve second order partial differential equations in their head while simultaneously completing the Times crossword, are unable to tie shoelaces or safely cross a road. Approaches to this problem are twofold: 1. In America they take the aforesaid individuals, teach them how to tie their shoelaces and cross the road safely, and encourage them to embark on lucrative careers as top businesspeople or Nobel-prizewinning scientists. 2. In England they send them to Cambridge. Originally established to house troublesome young clerics, the invention of shoelaces, and later traffic, resulted in the need for somewhere to store these individuals who otherwise would think nothing of pausing mid-saunter in the fast lane of a motorway when struck by a particularly interesting idea or difficult integral. Thus modern (post 13th century) Cambridge was born. The urban planners were brought in to design a one way system that would keep traffic at a permanent standstill thus allowing all roads to be safely traversed, and manufacturers of sandals, flip-flops, and shoes with velcro flaps were offered large government grants to open up shops in the town centre. To deter escape inmates (known locally as "academics") were provided with dilapidated bicycles incapable of travelling more than a few hundred metres, and put on salaries insufficient to allow the purchase of a car, and the station was situated at the end of a long inconspicuous avenue in a suburb some 30 minutes walk from the town centre at the wrong end of a one way street. Meanwhile, a large number of kind-hearted individuals were drafted in to play the roles of locals, whilst in fact remaining on permanent alert for any academics heading unsuspecting for an open manhole cover, or worse still attempting to escape. Unknown to the academics themselves, or to the few legitimate visitors, everyone in Cambridge, from the man on the Evening News stand who delights in remaining silent for hours at a time and then shouting "EEEEEEEEN'NOOOOOS" just as you walk past, to the busloads of Japanese tourists and the busker who sings arias from famous operas between 2 and 3 tones flat, are all in constant radio contact with Cambridge headquarters, deep in the bowels of Anglia Polytechnic, where no academic would ever think of going. The tourists are a relatively recent development, responding to a growing tendency among academics to ask if there was anywhere else "out there". (Rumours abound of a mythical second University somewhere in Oxfordshire). Bus-loads of amazed-looking Japanese, together with chain-smoking French school parties and Americans exhaustively trained in effective use of the words "Gee" and "Quaint" are liberally scattered around the town to give the impression that it is a place you are lucky to live in, and not somewhere you should leave in a hurry. The experiment has met with great success, with the vast majority of academics never leaving the city throughout their lives. It is worth noting that the Americans also built their own Cambridge and converted it to a University town. However their relative lack of sociopaths (of this particular variey at least...) left no role for the town but the accumulation of often esoteric but occasionally useful knowledge of an extremely advanced nature."
>Subject: Apology >Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 02:47:41 -0500 > >An apology from Rick Mercer from this Hour Has 22 Minutes to the USA...... > >I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. >He is a moron but, it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any >consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the >people of America. After all it's not like you actually elected him. > > >I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you >doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than >your own. > > >I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse >would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours. > > >I'm sorry we burnt down your White House during the war of 1812. I notice >you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice. > > >I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer but, >we feel your pain. > > >I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against >a crazed dictator, you want to have your friends by your side. I realize it >took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, >but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons. > > >And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly >apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly >veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. We've >seen what you do to countries you get upset with. > > >Thank you.
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