I friend in England just sent me a rather funny email that describes the various terrorist threat levels used by different countries…
This purports to have been written by John Cleese of Monty Python fame. It certainly sounds like something he might have written, but with the way things zip around the Internet it’s hard to be sure sometimes.
But be that as it may, this certainly made me smile, which has to be a good way to start a Monday morning:
ALERTS TO TERROR THREATS IN 2011 EUROPE By John Cleese
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's Get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."
The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is cancelled." So far, no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.
John Cleese – British writer, actor and tall person
@Max, KB, thanks for the comments. The facts that (a) they are over 2 years after I posted mine and (b) I'm a grey haired old fart who easily forgets things, meant that I could enjoy the links again almost as much as when I first saw them :-)
@David: And here's some more politically incorrect national stereotypes...
This reminds me of that classic book by George Mikes called "How to be an Alien." One chapter is titles "Sex" -- the entire body of the chapter reads: "On the continent poeople have sex lives. In england they have hot water bottles." LOL
@Duane: He forgot to list the US terror threat levels...
I always get confused with those. I think the best is Green, which means all is well in the world, but how does it go after that? Is it Verdigris Green, Titian, Smalt, Cattleya, Damask, Puce, and then Vermilion?
This is a funny, yet there-is-some-truth-in-it, take on the security level of England. Typical of British humor and coming from John Cleese, it is forgivable. Security issues are indeed a serious matter, but a little comedy and humor would not hurt so much. Being resistant to threats does not mean that we have to be very serious, and no space for some humor. Humor is good!
And here's some more politically incorrect national stereotypes:
(The one I got emailed recently had Australians in place of Americans, so this one's probably more likely to offend more of the EET target audience ;-))
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.