BBC wants to drop BC and AD

WE JUST PASSED the anniversary of the first real US newspaper. “Publick Occurrences Both Forriegn and Domestick” (that’s how they spelled it) appeared in late September 1690. The plan was to print it once a month “or if any Glut of Occurrences happen, oftener.”

Now therein lies a mystery. How come there are exactly 22 minutes of news a day, exactly enough to fill the TV news slot? Isn’t this rather suspicious? What happens if not enough news happens one day? Do editors send staff out to break a few windows?

I called a friend at the BBC for a comment, but got distracted by hearing about a row going on there. Bosses last week circulated a memo telling staff to replace BC and AD with other terms to be more politically correct. Staff complained, pointing out that they would also have to stop saying “Monday” because it comes from the pagan term “moon-day”, “June” because it comes from the Roman god Juno and “idiot” because it is synonymous with BBC bosses, etc.

I have a solution. Since scientists have now worked out when the Big Bang occurred, we no longer have to say BC or AD at all. This year is actually 13,400,000,000. We can all be more precise. For example, the line “I’ve been alive forever” from “I Write the Songs” could become “I’ve been alive for 13.4 billion years.”

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I WAS SURPRISED there was not more reaction to the most important scientific development of the past 100 years, which was announced at an inventor’s fair in New York last week. A guy called Matt Richardson produced a “celebrity silencing remote”. It looks like a normal TV remote control, but you type in the name of irritating people who you think get too much TV airtime (he had Charlie Sheen on his). Every time that person pops up on screen to deliver a soundbite, the TV’s volume is automatically muted for 30 seconds. Brilliant. I want one for my TV. Actually, I want one for real life too. Imagine a little device you stick in your ears. Every time your boss enters the room and starts to talk it blocks him out and plays soothing music. Can someone talk to Apple about this?

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LIKE EVERY right-thinking believer in karma or destiny, I was horrified that the satellite which fell out of space last week didn’t actually land on anyone. I mean, there are SO many really annoying people out there. Surely Donald Trump must have stepped outdoors at least once? And what about those generals in Myanmar? Or Kim Il Jong? Just imagine. The guy steps outside. There’s a flash of light. Ka-boom! Sorted. The world’s a better place. A missed opportunity.

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A DESIGNER has created bullet-proof t-shirts and fashion-wear, it was revealed last week. You can fire a .44 magnum at a supermodel wearing a Miguel Cabellero suede jacket at point blank range and she’ll be unhurt. I know these women are annoying, but they’re not THAT annoying, are they? Or maybe they are. Perhaps this designer is on to something.

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ITEM ON menu in China seen by reader John Sinarwi: “Braised Dork with Bamboo Shoots.”

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YOUR HUMBLE narrator had a riotous time chairing a panel of funny people at a humor discussion yesterday at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali. If you are in the area, come and see me--I am at the Maya Ubud hotel. Sadly the festival has banned filming and photography so no one could record it. Meanwhile, there are many ultra-creative people commenting or writing to me at regular intervals—I urge you all to start writing books. A free stay at a luxury hotel in Bali with lots of fun, intelligent people could be yours!