Sideswipe: December 24: The mask nativity

Betty White as a measure

On Twitter Jelena Woehr suggests that we use the unit of Betty White’s lifetime to get our grey matter around how short human history has been.

Society has not gotten better at implementing public health measures since the 1918 flu pandemic – it sounds impossible, but that was only 1.03 Bettys ago.

Beethoven died just 1.3 Bettys before The Beatles released their first album.

One hundred Bettys ago, the last mammoths roamed the Earth.

The Black Death was less than seven Betty Whites ago. In just 0.07 Bettys, it killed perhaps as many as 200 million people, reaching from North Africa to West Asia.

It’s been 20,000 Betty Whites since hominids harnessed fire.

It’s been 40 Bettys since the first human use of fossil fuels and 10 Bettys since coal mining began.

It’s been less than two Bettys since the first commercial oil well.

The last time the planet warmed this fast was 2.5 million Bettys ago.

Behold the magnificence of Lederhosen Unicorn

Delivery guy for traffic cop

“When I went for my driver’s licence in Wellington, seven days after I turned 15 in 1965, for the practical test the traffic cop loaded half a dozen Christmas presents into the back seat of my car and then asked me to drive all round the city to deliver them to his friends,” explains Rod McCallum. “As it was a few days before Christmas, it was very busy and no carparks were available, so he instructed me to double park whenever we stopped and told me to say his name should anyone ask us to move on, while he headed into the various buildings to deliver them!”

Festive dad joke

Bowie: Why so sad Bing?

Bing: My inflatable butt has gone flat.

B: You need my rubber bum pump?

Bing: Rubber bum pump?

B: Rubber bum pump

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