27 February 2005

Many Manic Musings

Inspired by our previous programme, thousands of listeners have written in with their own intriguing questions. We are pleased to have the privilege of reading out the ones that were not mixed up with the laundry by mistake.

First up, Peter Gromsfeldt from Miccleshire asks: "Why do Blue Peter call sticky-tape sticky-backed-plastic when the sticky side is the front, not the back?" Indeed, Peter, why do they?

Janet Arseonionne from Hoverford On Madeupton writes in with the perennially puzzling "Where have my scissors gone again?"

And Stephen Shaw from sunny Staines writes from beyond the grave with the question we've all asked at some point in our lives (or deaths)... "Why is flem spelt phlegm?"

If you feel that you know the answer to one of these questions or wish to pose a question of your own, please write to us at:

The Comments Hyperlink
At The Bottom Of This Post
Tiny Tickle UnRadio
Broadcasting Basement

24 February 2005

A Listener Cook's Letter On America

A cook, who has been tuning into our unradio station on an unregular basis ever since we started broadcasting, has taken it upon himself to write us a short letter on the subject of America:

Dear Tiny Tickle UnRadio,

I have recently discovered that Americans call a trapezium a "trapezoid" and a trapezoid a "trapezium." This is odd.

Yours faithfully,
Arthur Nugens Brockson

The catering department at Broadcasting Basement would at this point be very English and offer our listeners a nice cup of tea, were it not for two slight problems:
  1. The development of the HTTP (Hot Tea Transfer Protocol) has been suspended whilst the beta testers recover from their respective burns. (They were warned them that the system wasn't watertight yet.)
  2. Tea has been scientifically proven to be disgusting. We should know; we're scientists. Chemical tests have revealed tea to be little more than partially decomposed vegetable matter heated in an aqueous solution of dihydrogen monoxide.

19 February 2005

Commercial Break

Are you fed up with catchy music spinning around in your head for hours? Are you tired of listening to those voices that everyone else says they can’t hear? Do you ever get that feeling you’re being watched, but the only thing you can see that has eyes is a teddy bear in the corner of the room, which seems to be getting darker, smaller... the walls closing in...?!

What you need is Othan-Q4’s NEW Mind-Mending Emulsion! All you have to do is apply a blob of Othan-Q4 to the included BrainBrush™ and gently scrub your mind clean in minutes!

Yes, that’s Othan-Q4 Mind-Mending Emulsion. Available at all good (and bad) retailers. Always read the libel.

18 February 2005

What Is A Tiny Tickle Anyway?

Tiny Tickles are a species that occupies higher-dimensional space. They evolved millions of years ago from the primordial fluff of the Carpet Dimensions and make a distinctive “goodge-goodge-goodge” noise when tickling things. They are particularly adept at tickling because they have five limbs, one of which doubles as a head. The head features a pair of eyes, each of which is capable of seeing the world in four dimensions, and a nose sensitive enough to detect many of the incredibly complex molecules that inhabit their habitable habitat.

Tiny Tickles were first discovered in 1441 by a certain Marcus Ghostus Dutch-Birdcageus who kept their existence secret, for he knew that human civilisation was not yet mature enough to accept the existence of other sentient life forms. In 1993, Marcus’ fears were proven correct when the racing driver and part-time villain Richard Dastardly accidentally ran over a Tiny Tickle, having carelessly shifted his racing car into reverse gear at the starting line of a televised event. Dastardly, in a rare display of kindness, was seen to get out of his car, pick up the Tiny Tickle and carry it into the nearest First Aid tent. What the crowd did not see, however, was Dastardly swallowing the Tiny Tickle whole, the moment they were out of sight.

Fortunately for this particular Tiny Tickle, it managed to slide gromways (like sideways, but in an extra dimension) out of Dastardly’s throat and escaped into the weirderness. Quite why Richard swallowed the creature, we may never know. Quite why Tiny Tickle UnRadio broadcast this programme, we may also never know...

17 February 2005

Hey! Reuse That Calendar!

And now, as the time approaches 22:50, an instructive programme on efficient timekeeping: How To Reuse Your Gregorian Calendars:

Our team of crack mathematicians recently designed a complex computer program that assisted us in the creation of the following fourteen lists. These lists should be of much use to environmentally paranoid people, such as us, who wish to save paper and money by reusing their calendars. Every year from 1901 to 2099 AD is listed below. All the years in each group have the same number of days and start on the same day of the week. Calendars that don’t include weird details such as Moon phases should be usable in any year within their group. In order to keep these lists error-free, we request that you kindly inform us of any errors that you may find.

Leap years starting on a Friday:
1904, 1932, 1960, 1988, 2016, 2044, 2072.

Leap years starting on a Wednesday:
1908, 1936, 1964, 1992, 2020, 2048, 2076.

Leap years starting on a Monday:
1912, 1940, 1968, 1996, 2024, 2052, 2080.

Leap years starting on a Saturday:
1916, 1944, 1972, 2000, 2028, 2056, 2084.

Leap years starting on a Thursday:
1920, 1948, 1976, 2004, 2032, 2060, 2088.

Leap years starting on a Tuesday:
1924, 1952, 1980, 2008, 2036, 2064, 2092.

Leap years starting on a Sunday:
1928, 1956, 1984, 2012, 2040, 2068, 2096.

Attention! This is an Important News Update™: I, Marcus, demand a pay rise. This UnRadio station doesn’t pay enough, I say! Hey... Give me that microphone ba... We now return you to your regularly scheduled unradio programme:

Common years starting on a Tuesday:
1901, 1907, 1918, 1929, 1935, 1946, 1957, 1963, 1974, 1985, 1991, 2002, 2013, 2019, 2030, 2041, 2047, 2058, 2069, 2075, 2086, 2097.

Common years starting on a Wednesday:
1902, 1913, 1919, 1930, 1941, 1947, 1958, 1969, 1975, 1986, 1997, 2003, 2014, 2025, 2031, 2042, 2053, 2059, 2070, 2081, 2087, 2098.

Common years starting on a Thursday:
1903, 1914, 1925, 1931, 1942, 1953, 1959, 1970, 1981, 1987, 1998, 2009, 2015, 2026, 2037, 2043, 2054, 2065, 2071, 2082, 2093, 2099.

Common years starting on a Sunday:
1905, 1911, 1922, 1933, 1939, 1950, 1961, 1967, 1978, 1989, 1995, 2006, 2017, 2023, 2034, 2045, 2051, 2062, 2073, 2079, 2090.

Common years starting on a Monday:
1906, 1917, 1923, 1934, 1945, 1951, 1962, 1973, 1979, 1990, 2001, 2007, 2018, 2029, 2035, 2046, 2057, 2063, 2074, 2085, 2091.

Common years starting on a Friday:
1909, 1915, 1926, 1937, 1943, 1954, 1965, 1971, 1982, 1993, 1999, 2010, 2021, 2027, 2038, 2049, 2055, 2066, 2077, 2083, 2094.

Common years starting on a Saturday:
1910, 1921, 1927, 1938, 1949, 1955, 1966, 1977, 1983, 1994, 2005, 2011, 2022, 2033, 2039, 2050, 2061, 2067, 2078, 2089, 2095.

Thanks for listening, folks. The second installment of this series will air next century. Better hold your breath; it’ll be just as exciting.

16 February 2005

Double Trouble with Tiny Tickles

We are proud to be able to introduce the first proper programme ever to be broadcast on Tiny Tickle UnRado: How To Make A Tiny Tickle:

Assuming that you are a mere human being, it is impossible for you to actually make a Tiny Tickle. You can, however, achieve a pretty good idea of what a Tiny Tickle would look like if it ever felt inclined to hang around in a three-dimensional Euclidean space.

For your benefit, we have carefully, cunningly, cautiously and curiously devised a set of algebraic formulae for computing the exact shape of a Tiny Tickle in n-dimensional space, and solved them all for when the variable n has a value of three. The resulting high-precision description is immensely technical and is not for the faint of heart, nor for the faint of mind. Listeners with a history of soap-opera watching are advised to block their ears now.
  1. Hold one hand with the palm facing downwards,
  2. Curl it up into a fist,
  3. Stick out the index finger so that it is straight,
  4. Curl the index finger slightly,
  5. Do the Hokey Cokey and turn around,
  6. That’s what it’s all about.
You will now find yourself in possession of an image that strongly resembles a Tiny Tickle. Listeners whose hands are fewer than one in number are advised to find a friend who is prepared to risk his or her life in order to demonstrate this difficult procedure.

And now for the second installment of our impromptu series on Tiny Tickles: How To Train A Tiny Tickle To Tickle Tiny Things:

You may be relieved to discover that the scientific methods described in this edition are somewhat simpler than those described previously.
  1. Don’t do it.
Tune in next time for more cra-a-a-a-zy capers!

15 February 2005

We're On Air!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and anybody who doesn’t fit into the four aforementioned categories, hello and welcome to Tiny Tickle UnRadio! We’re the only radio station that isn’t! Yes, it’s true: We’re a radio station that doesn’t make a sound! We have no music, we have no talk shows, we don’t even broadcast time signals digitally on shortwave... What we offer is available from no other unradio stations: Mark! And not just any Mark. Yes, this one distinctive individual, writing as though part of a small conglomeration of like-minded eccentrics, will be sure to keep you almost constantly entertained whilst pummelling you with insight after insight of potentially useful information, carefully written and presented in absurdly long but nonetheless coherent sentences. Coming up, in no particular order, we have:
  • How To Make A Tiny Tickle,
  • How To Train A Tiny Tickle To Tickle Tiny Things,
  • How To Reuse Your Gregorian Calendars... and...
  • What Is A Tiny Tickle Anyway?
Don’t touch that dial, folks!