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New Award: Roald Dahl Funny Prize for the Most Hilarious Children's Authors

Roald Dahl never won a children's book prize in his lifetime, but today he has gone one better, as the shortlists for a literary prize bearing his name are announced.

Founded by the children's laureate Michael Rosen, the Roald Dahl Funny prize celebrates honours the most hilarious children's authors. The inaugural winners will receive £2,500 - a slightly more serious prize than the Gloucester Old Spot pig handed over to winners of the Wodehouse prize for adult comic fiction.

Rosen founded the prize to boost the profile of humorous books as part of his campaign to put the fun back into children's reading. More from Guardian UK.

Obnoxious librarian from Hades now as a podcast

Since July 2007, the obnoxious librarian from hades (olfh.blogspot.com) is cheering up librarians around the world with satirical tales about life as a librarian in a large bureacracy.

Now the blog has started as a podcast, so you can listen to the obnoxious librarian tackling management, reorganisations, l-users (library users) and other things that keep him from doing his job.

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Private Party @ Your Library

Well, at least you can say someone is having a good time at the library...

After all, just because you're amongst all those books, doesn't mean it has to be boring. So next time you feel the onset of yawning and fatigue, remember the patron in the video. You too, can get on down @ your library.

Which reference book would you like to see made into a movie?

It's been reported that bestselling diet manual French Women Don't Get Fat is to get the big screen treatment. Hilary Swank's production company has picked up the finger-wagging weight-loss manifesto that instructs the Brits on how to be as slim as their éclair-scoffing sisters across the Channel.
Here are The Guardian's favourite non-fiction tomes: can you think up likely plot-lines for any of them? And which titles have they left out?

1) The Joy of Sex
2) Eats, Shoots & Leaves
3) Who's Who
4) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
5) What to Expect When You're Expecting

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Poop! from the people who brought you Gallop!


When franchises go too far.
I read the discussion about the latest Mummy movie where most critics agreed that it was time to retire that franchise, that the ideas were gone and they were just milking a dead goat.

But another franchise comes to mind in the book publishing world: Gallop!

Now, Gallop! is a pretty cool idea; it uses "scanimation" to animate still images by having stripes pass over an image thereby revealing one part or another and creating the illusion of movement. It's a simple, but extremely cool effect.

And based on the popularity of that first book, the scanimation people are releasing a second book, Swing!

And again, this is fine. But I just read that a third book is already in the works with the unpleasant title of, Poop!

Now, I don't know when an author or publisher should just call it quits, but I think a book called Poop! might be that point. I could imagine books with animals doing many other things before I would imagine them pooping. You have Gallop!, Swing!, maybe Hop! or Leap!, or, well, that's basically it, isn't it? What else do animals do? Sleep! Yeah, that'll stretch the use of scanimation to the cutting edge as animals lie completely still.

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Automated Keyword Replacement Gone Awry

Tech pundit John C. Dvorak posted at his blog about an interesting problem in automated keyword replacement. This seems to fit the law of unintended consequences perhaps?

Post Apocalyptic Library Commercials

This one from the good folks over at Boing Boing:

"When I was in fifth grade, Mississippi Public Broadcasting decided to introduce a series of short films to educate children on how to use the library. For some godforsaken reason, the people at MPB decided that the best way to do this would be through a post-apocalyptic science fiction serial with children roaming the blasted earth in a… bookmobile… like a cross between 'Reading Rainbow' and 'Damnation Alley.' Confused? So was I. I loved the library and post-apocalyptic movies and television programs, and even I was completely nonplussed. Apparently someone has uploaded the entire run onto YouTube. The music still gives me the creeps!"

The adventure begins!

Library sued for violating gamer privacy

(from the Associated Press,... not!)

Philip Landisberg, 14, participated in the Colbert County Library's Video Game Hot Licks Showdown on July 2, and scored a "dismal" 60% on "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" during the first round of the Guitar Hero Axe Attack.

"Sixty percent on that song, and on 'easy' is truly embarrassing," explained young adult librarian Sarah Brand. "That song is meant as a warm-up, to relax the kids and get them to feel good about the game and themselves. I could understand if the kid was wearing mittens because of some OCD problem, or if he was obsessively touching himself while he played, as so many boys at that age seem to do, or even if he was born with lobster claws for hands like on Nip/Tuck, but damn, that kid sucked. Is Nip/Tuck coming back? I love Christian so much. But really, this kid just sucked. Oh, wait, that's my phone."

For the record, Sean's son on Nip/Tuck was born with Ectrodactyly, or "lobster claw hands," a deformity which may seem really cool to have because you get to have claws, but unfortunately, makes touching yourself truly dangerous. And to clarify, you should actually have a love/hate relationship with Christian.

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To Serve Us.

I finally understand the mystery that is Google. It can be found by understanding the meaning behind their philosophy of Don't be evil.

When Google space aliens came to Earth to conquer us, they made the same mistake so many space aliens had made before; they based their understanding of human society on transmissions they'd received from deep in space.

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Literary Ink Jobs

I don't know everything about librarians, but I do know that some of them are into tattoos. And by "into tattoos" I mean that they have ink work that would make Henry Rollins pause for admiration.

I can't get a tattoo (long story, it has to to with genetic bleeding problems and original sin) but if I could, I'd probably get something like those pictured in this gallery of literary tattoos. Though I wouldn't get the Vonnegut quote from Slaughterhouse Five. I'd be more inclined to get "Hi Ho" from Slapstick.

I'd like to get a tattoo over my whole body of me, but taller. ~Stephen Wright

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