March 2008 Archives

Found: One Screwdriver

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I thought this photo was pretty funny.

Could You Be British? Part II

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And now, the answers...

1. Where would you hear the following accents: Geordie; Scouse; Cockney?
"Well-known dialects in England are Geordie (Tyneside), Scouse (Liverpool) and Cockney (London)."

2. What are the nations of the United Kingdom, from most populous to least--and who are their patron saints?
England (St. George); Scotland (St. Andrew); Wales (St. David); and Northern Ireland

3. What is the rule regarding the teaching of religion in state schools?
"Schools must, by law, provide religious education (RE) to all pupils. Parents are allowed to withdraw their children from these lessons. RE lessons have a Christian basis but children also learn about other major religions."

4. What is the maximum amount that a university may charge per year for tuition fees?
"At present, univeristies can charge up to £3,000 [about $6,000] per year for their tuition fees, but students do not have to pay anything towards their fees before or during their studies. The government pays their tuition fees, and then charges for them when a student starts working after university."

5. By law, how old must you be to work behind the counter of a fish-and-chip shop?
"By law, chldren under 16 can only do light work. There are particular jobs that children are not allowed to do. These include delivering milk, selling alcohol, cigarettes or medicines, working in a kitchen or behind the counter of a chip shop, working with dangerous machinery or chemicals, or doing any other kind of work that may be harmful to their health or education."

6. How many players are there on the UK rugby team?
A trick question. "There are no United Kingdom teams for football and rugby. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own teams."

7. Where is the original copy of the British Constitution kept?
Another trick question. "The British Constitution is not written down in any single document, as are the constitutions of many other countries. This is mainly because the United Kingdom has never had a lasting revolution, like America or France, so our most important institutions have been in existence for hundreds of years. Some people believe there should be a single document, but others believe that an unwritten constitution allows more scope for institutions to adapt to meet changing circumstances and public expectations."

8. If you notice that everybody on the Tube has paper poppies in their lapels, what time of year is it?
"Remembrance Day, 11 November, commemorates those who died fighting in World War 1, World War 2 and other wars. Many people wear poppies (a red flower) in memory of those who died. At 11 a.m. there is a two-minute silence."

9. What led to the American revolution?
"When the British government tried to tax the colonies to pay for their wars in North America against the French and the Native American tribes, the colonies rebelled. They said there should be 'no taxation without representation' in the British Parliament. Parliament refused to compromise. This led the American colonies to declare independence from Britain in 1776. The Declration of Independence asserted universal principles of free government. Many people in Britain and Europe who wanted political reform welcome the ideas of the declaration."

10. How did the colonies win the war?
"The American colonies defeated the British army with the help of the French."

Could You Be British?

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Now that Lauren and I have been in the UK for five years, we've decided to apply for an "indefinite leave to remain" -- the UK equivalent of a green card. (NOTE TO OUR PARENTS: Yes, we do still plan on moving back to the States at some point. Honest.)

Of course, Her Majesty can't let in just any riffraff. Before she will grant us leave, we have to take a test on life in the UK--the same test taken by people hoping to become British citizens. For those of you who want to test your Britishness, here are some questions based on the official government study guide. I'll post the answers in a day or two; in the meantime, if you want to play at home, you can post your guesses in the comment section. (Googling your answers is most definitely not cricket.)

  1. Where would you hear the following accents: Geordie; Scouse; Cockney?

  2. What is the rule regarding the teaching of religion in state schools?

  3. What is the maximum amount that a university may charge per year for tuition fees?

  4. By law, how old must you be to work behind the counter of a fish-and-chip shop?

  5. What are the nations of the United Kingdom, from most populous to least--and who are their patron saints?

  6. How many players are there on the UK rugby team?

  7. Where is the original copy of the British Constitution kept?

  8. If you notice that everybody on the Tube has paper poppies in their lapels, what time of year is it?

  9. What led to the American revolution, and what was the reaction to it in Britain?

  10. How did the American colonies win the war?

Jewno

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As he has been in year's past, my-friend-the-Daily-Show-writer Rob Kutner is involved in a charity sketch show in honor of the Jewish holiday of Purim. And as in year's past, I've written a sketch for it.

This year, guests include also-from-the-Daily-Show Aasif Manvi, and a special video appearance by Lewis Black. If you're in New York, on Saturday, March 22, I highly recommend you stop by the Shushan Channel. You may want to buy your tickets now; it tends to sell out.

And if you aren't in New York, here's a small sample of the Hebraic humor goodness you're missing.

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