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Ramblings in cyberspace


There are many off-beat air conditioning and refrigeration-related stories out there. In this first chapter in a far from serious despatch from the far reaches of the internet: Let’s speak Spanglish; worst-ever exaggeration in the history of the world; two for one on edible insects?

The best quote on the internet ever…today

There is an often-encountered tendency for aggrieved parties in disputes to exaggerate their complaint and there is nowhere better to find examples of this than on the internet. 

A marvellously convoluted example is this one from the Canadian CBC News website. A recent report from Calgary covered the local disquiet (sorry) at the likely noise to be created if the proposed installation of a new air conditioning chiller as part of the redevelopment of a local school is given the go-ahead.

It carried this quote from a resident who was fearing the worst:


Strong stuff but the the sting was somewhat taken out of the statement by the ending: history-of-calgary

My favourite was from a few years ago when fire destroyed the Waitrose supermarket in Banstead, Surrey, UK.

The report of the blaze on the local newspaper website included this surprisingly short but nonetheless breathtaking observational description from a bystander. His reaction to the fire – “It reminded me of the Great Fire of London” displays a level of exaggeration that makes you wonder how it ever got past the sub-editor.

Apart from the individual needing to have been over 350 years old to have been “reminded” of something that happened in 1666, he also draws a comparison between a fire that lasted four days, destroying over 30,000 homes, making around 90% of the city’s population homeless, and consuming 87 churches including St Paul’s, with a fire in an upmarket grocer in a sleepy Surrey town.

Be fashionable with Toshiba

I loved this Toshiba air conditioning advert from Australia.


Cockroaches in aisle 5

1024px-Jumbo_SupermarktenSome of our Far-Eastern readers may be surprised to learn that Western tastes do not normally stretch to eating insects – or, at least, not knowingly or willingly. You will understand that here in England, for example, we are more likely to play cricket than eat one (although for some, the latter might be more palatable). So, news of the introduction of fresh edible insects by a supermarket chain in the Netherlands is a major story.

Available this month in selected stores, Jumbo supermarkets says it plans to roll out the new delicacy nationwide next year. 

One wonders whether, in future, the in-store PA announcement of cockroaches in aisle 5 is likely to attract customers or the local public health inspectors.

Anyway, I’m game providing they are free-range and humanely slaughtered, of course.

Tea and biscuits

Fair play to fire officers in the German town of Zülpich who managed to track down the source of a strange ammonia smell at a local old folks’ home recently.

With five ambulances standing by, the “large contingent” of firefighters managed to lead the 20 residents to safety. Reports on the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger website that:


is unlikely to have helped much in finding the cause, being that the rest were probably complaining of dodgy hips or things “not being like they used to be”.

Thankfully, no one was hurt but, like looking for a needle in a haystack, it took half an hour to find the source of the smell. Blame my German or Google Translate but, even then, it’s still not made completely clear whether the culprit was a leaking fridge….or a leaking resident:


Rumours that firemen are now looking for the source of a strong smell of digestive biscuits are without foundation.

And finally…

While on the subject of translations, we have to admit, the British or, more widely, the English speaking nations are notoriously bad at learning languages. Not that English is even the most common indigenous language. English is outspoken 2-1 by Mandarin and is now trailing behind Spanish as the most common language in the world.

English is not easy to learn, apparently, (I’m still trying to master it) but the group of Americans in the video below certainly struggle to pronounce a number of common Spanish words. The Spanish word “refrigerador” (refrigerator) proves to be linguistically insurmountable but there’s a confused and embarrassed refusal to even attempt the word “negar” (deny).


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