Main Page > CircuSoc > Newsletters 1998Newsletters 1999 - Newsletters 2000

Alternative Newsletters

Circusoc Alternative Newsletter 1.

Pointless Heading:
Welcome to the Bonus Circusoc newsletter - only sent to those who think they can take it. This is the uncensored [for once] work of the secretary, Tim, whose web site cannot be accessed at, (and your browser will self-destruct if you attempt to do so. [Go on!]). Whenever he has the time, inclination, and remembers to write an alternative newsletter, you can be sure he will. Write about yourself in the 3rd person whenever you think you can get away with it.
Anyway, The AN as I catchily call it will have regular paragraphs which will turn up once or more, or less, in every newsletter, without fail. If you have received this letter by mistake, or don't really want it, then you must forward it to everyone in the world within the next 2 seconds or be extremely lucky for your previous 10 lives, through an unproven and unworkable process of illogicality. This does not affect your statutory rights, unless you do not know what they are, in which case it has a catastrophic effect on them. Between you and me, all conspiracy theories are true except this one.

Life tips:
Everything is subjective, everything is true of everyone to a certain extent, and originality is undetected plagiarism. Although personally, its at least partially true of me that I don't fully believe all of that, and I certainly didn't come up with it myself.

Random Facts (all guaranteed probably true):
Persian is cool, but Meowth kicks his bum. Even Yoda has a lightsabre. 'Compared to' is used when comparing similarities, 'Compared with' for differences. Type 'volcano' in your 3d text screensaver to see names of volcanoes. In an emergency, clean date stones can be used as replacement duffle-coat toggles.

Unworkable Mao Rules:
This section will feature some of Tim's ideas which are unworkable for one reason or another, sometimes both. Don't read this section if you've never played, especially not this sentence.
If a player finds he has the ace of spades, he must immediately declare it. All players must then check their hands for the 2 of spades. If found, proceed upwards, all the way to King if possible. Upon reaching the nth card, the player with the ace must then enforce all of the rules of the (N-n)th game of Mao they played, where the current game is designated N.

Tim's sudden and unexpected moment of clarity:
If you argue well, you should win when you are right, and lose when you are wrong.

Sensible stuff:
We juggle outside!
The British is coming!

The Eagle Joke:
Copy text here.

Paul's nodding dogs
Richard's raven/magpie!

1) Is the answer to this question yes?
2) Is the answer to this question no?
3) Is the answer to question 4 maybe?
4) Are most of the answers yes in this quiz?
5) Have you stopped worrying about logical yes/no question traps?
6) If you answered maybe to questions 1-5, ask yourself another question in place of this one: If you cyclically rotate 'maybe', 'no' and 'yes' forwards through the alphabet, then answer questions 3 and 5 again, does this change whether or not you have to answer this question?
7) Answer this question last: What is the answer to question 8?
8) Is the answer to this different in comparison with the answer to the last question?

You don't need answers, you know how many you got right.
0-2 questions correct: congratulations, you could be sane.
3-5 questions correct: bonus question! Did you get more than 3 correct? Answer, mark, and re-score.
6-8 questions correct: you do not need my congratulations, getting this many correct is its own reward (and punishment)
9+ questions correct: Apply for the job of co-authorship of the AN immediately

Writer - Tim
Ideas pinched from - the world in general
This AN was brought to you with the running themes of paradox and the number 285.

Alternative Newsletter II:
Return of the Alternative Newsletter!

Its back! You probably all thought you were safe and that the delirious
dribbling doodling dystopian dreadfulness that was The Alternative
Newsletter had gone away - but no! I'm afraid I must warn you now, the
longer the gap between Alternative Newsletters, the more time the
madness in my head has to ferment and degenerate. The ordinary
newsletters have also been shockingly ordinary of late, and this needs
some desperate counter-measures, the likes of which may not have been
seen before, but I can't gaurantee that, mainly because I can't spell
the word garauntee. Anyway.

Unwanted garlic bread:
Experts tell us that judging by the current rate of garlic bread
acceptance and the most probable correlation between it and the
production of an Alternative Newsletter, we should cut down on
cholesterol and be aware that garlic bread is not vegan in any case.
Experts also say "If I had a fish for every time I heard someone
sneeze, I could be on Mars by now" but not in public. We know. We are

Tim's sudden and unexpected but disappointingly unsurreal moment of clarity:
To be trustworthy, you have to be able to lie.

Precision Junk realignment:
Here's some advice someone gave me. I can't remember it exactly but it
went something like this:
Dance. Accept certain inalienable truths; prices will wibble,
politicians will cook pasta, you too will get cold. And when you do,
forgive those who trespass against you, and the Lord will pour hot
coals on his enemies, because fundamentally he's a bit strange. He only
doesn't flood us because he liked the smell of the dead animals that
Noah burnt, you know. And what about Ezekiel, anyway? Exactly.

Late-breaking news section:
A fossil of an ancient species of jellyfish, which is closely related
to winged dinosaurs, was found in South Carolina, Australia, with two
eyes. Experts say it finally proves the missing link between Darwinism
and Creationism. We think the experts are a bit weird, but that's what
we pay them for.

Upcoming events:
This summer, turn up to the grand final of the "logic-maniacs
debate": James E Grist vs. Nick Mayer's mum, on the topic of
Herringbone manufacture in Sweden in the spring of 1986. The aim of
this sport is to support an extremely strong viewpoint on a topic you
have little or no knowledge of, and these two have walked through the
competition so far. Expect sparks to fly, and bacon if I'm any judge.

Questions of Questionable Questionness:
When is a question not a question? Precisely. Here are a selection
of so-called questions, which despite the fact that they clearly have
many alternative answers, will only answer to one. If you already know
them all, send me more:
a) How long is a piece of string?
b) How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
c) What is the difference between a duck?
d) How far can a dog run into the woods?
e) Brothers and sisters have I none, but my father's brother's
uncle isn't my mother's son... if this question was stated correctly,
what would be the answer?
f) What do you get if you cross a road with a chicken?
g) How many shirts can you fit in an empty wardrobe?
h) What is the difference between a can of beans and Father Christmas?
i) How many months have 28 days?
j) How many beans make 5?
k) My age is exactly twice what yours was when mine was twice what
yours was when mine was three years more than yours was when mine was
both three times what it was when you were born and three quarters of
your present age. So, how old am I? And how old are you?
Ok that last one doesn't really fit but I just had to get it in.
Please don't tell me the answers. The next AN will not be
produced, however, until I know them all, and then I won't include them
in it.

Old Wive's Tales Research Update:
Experiments have now shown conclusively that operating at a
sub-optimal cook-to-broth ratio can seriously impare your chances as a
feline of negotiating an alternative fur pattern. Recent results also
suggest that there is indeed a strong correlation between severely
impaired health in felines and their level of inquisitiveness,
independent of fur pattern and/or sheeplike appearance. So watch out
for that one.

Bop-it secrets:
After changing the batteries in your Bop-it, count the number
of commands given. On the 285th command, if you twist it seven times in
under a second, you access the secret menu. Pull-it once for 'psychic
Bop-it' in which you must perform each command before it is given.
Pull-it twice for Bop-it in Swahili. Pull-it a third time to access an
interactive lecture on the relation between quantum non-locality and
unladen African Swallow velocity.
Other Bop-it secrets: if completed flawlessly 100 times
consecutively, you will hear a special message, but you might be able
to guess what it says anyway. If you 'Destroy-it' and then
'Recycle-it', you will alter the happiness distribution of the world:
this might be a good thing.

You might think that this Alternative Newsletter makes less sense than
Dutch baboons trying to order fajitas in an opticians, but I would
disagree. I would say it makes one two-hundred-and-eighty-fifth as much
sense as itself, and be done with it.

This was inexplicably composed and sent to you by
Tim 'tight-as-a-church-mouse' Mannveille
for slightly less inane drivellings see [Doesn't work any more - this is the new site! - T.M. 14/12/2]
This AN was brought to you with the running theme of pointlessness and
the number 285.

Alternative Newsletter 6*+

* For those of you that are worried you may have missed Alternative
Newsletters 3, 4 and 5, fear not! I merely felt like writing number 6
at this time. The others shall take their place in due course.
Back-issues, as ever, are available on request.

+ I told this newsletter that what people wanted from it was
information information information! When I further informed it that
it was number 6, it expressed a wish to assert that it is *not* a
number, it is a free newsletter. I laughed maniacally at it.

Welcome back!
Here indeed is proof that the Alternative Newsletter is no
lightening-flash-twice-in-the-same-place-in-a-pan phenomenon. Ready
your inboxes for this, the third Tim-sent onslaught consisting of
near-randomly assembled words! I leave the exercise of developing an
anti-Markov-chain programme to the reader, who might be spurred on by
the idea that some sense might be drawn from this, were it to be
un-Markovved. That said, due to an overdose of revision, you might
notice that this issue is curiously semi-coherent

First, an ode to Monday night juggling at Bristol (sing it to the tune
of 'Rainbow' and bewilder the people nearby!):

Happy both-hands passing people,
Eight clubs flying high,
Mandy's double back-cross flawless,
Tarim's not surprised.

People watch them passing, passing:
still those eight clubs fly,
time for tea now, so they call out
"Let sleeping clubs lie!"

Drop stop pick-up still they juggle,
"One last juggler's try!"
Richard's cunning plan soon stops them:
Vegan chocolate pie.

"Paint the whole world with a RAINBOW!!"

Tim's thinly disguised bit of preaching:
People in need of existential comfort, hear me. Just because nothing is
certain, everything depends on everything else, and the existence or
otherwise of free-will is irrelevant oh man, whats the point of
anything?! No wait, that wasn't what I was leading up to. Ok where was
I. Remember that for every thing, there is another thing that is the
same, but the reverse. Hmmm that doesn't sound so good when it isn't in
my head. Ok, try this instead: be excellent to each other. And - party
on, dudes.

How to create the illusion of profundity!
Here's a simple way of tricking people into believing you have thought
deeply about something you haven't in fact considered at all. Simply
listen for sentences of the structure
"Such and such is the case - even if/when some other condition is
fulfilled" or similar.
You then quickly follow it up with,
"*Especially* if/when that other condition is fulfilled!"
People will look upon you with awe and wonder at the profundity of your
statement, for maybe a second, if you are lucky. And then they will
think about it. There are many other similar techniques that I am
collecting, but none of them are as effective - or as annoying - as
Here are a couple of further examples. Perhaps the most
famous one, goes something like this: "When I die, I want to either be
cremated or buried." to which we of course respond, "Or both!"
Many will be tempted to follow up "Or both!" with " or neither!", but
there is a simple and original alternative that I prefer to use: "In
that order." As with the first example, this is excellent for briefly
promoting the image that you have thought deeply on the matter in a
very short space of time.
Well, it keeps me off the streets

Free Gift!
Starting in this Newsletter! The first part of a collection that you
and your whole family (even your most distant relatives) (nay,
especially they) can enjoy! Everyone everywhere recalls with crystal
clarity and incomparable nostaligia Adam West, at his best, as the
caped crusader we all know and love: Batman - the original TV series.
To celebrate that glorious programme, I shall bring to you a small part
of perhaps the greatest distillation of wisdom from that great series -
yes, I speak of none other than a complete list of every exclamation
the young Robin (Burt Ward) made that began with the word 'holy'. And
yes, disbelievers, this list covers all the episodes of all the series,
even the one's that weren't shown in the right order. In fact, esp- oh
forget it. Here is the first part:

Holy Agility!
Holy Almost!
Holy Alps!
Holy Alter-ego!
Holy Anagrams!
Holy Apparition!
Holy Armadillos!
Holy Ashtray!
Holy Asp!
Holy Astringent Pomite Fruit!
Holy Astronomy!
Holy Audobon!

Next time, as well as bringing you the holy things that begin with 'b',
I shall provide instructions on how to cut and paste each part into a
single document, for easy and convenient access! But astoundingly there
will be more in an unprecedented move of bold generosity, I intend to
provide another fantastic list compiled from the golden Batman era.
Suffice it to say that it shall start like this "Aieee!" "Aiieee!"
"Arrgh!" "Awk!" "Awkkkkkk!" "Bam!" "Bang!" "Bang-eth!"

But first, I just have to get this pesky degree thing out of the way.

This was inexplicably composed and sent to you by
Tim 'I revise in my free time' Mannveille
for slightly less inane drivellings see [Doesn't work]
or [Does - T.M. 14/12/2]
or both! In that order. Or even neither. Especially neither. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

This AN was brought to you with the letter 'A' and the number 285.


Relevant News
The current world-record equaller recently attempted to recreate his twelve-ball-flash success with the additional challenge of gale-force winds, and an audience, and while maintaining a controversial position on God.

A new form of street performance has been witnessed in San Francisco: the entertainer leaps out at and startles unsuspecting passers-by from behind a handy bush to earn money from the twisted audience that lurks inconspicuously nearby.

We will delete this line before we send out this e-mail.
This line, however, will be left in.

Spank the Monkey takes the world by storm. Rumours hold that an 1807mph has
been achieved but photographic evidence has so far only confirmed sightings
in the region of 800mph. [Doesn't work - now try - T.M. 3/12/4]

Irrelevant News
A local Bristol denizen is currently seeking funding for his ambitious attempt to demonstrate the wave-particle duality of all matter by driving two double-decker buses through a pair of Young's slits, in order to achieve a bus-diffraction pattern. Stephen Hawking was heard to say, "Well, it's a million to one chance, but…"

Generalised instructions for succeeding at any task:
Take the first object and align it correctly with the second. Initiate the correct mixing procedure such that the desired result occurs. If this does not work, switch everything off, count to 285, and then restart.

Rumour has it that the upcoming film, "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" will be loosely based on the book of the same name by J.R.R. Tolkien. Meanwhile, booksales for the previously overlooked J.R.R. Tolkein have shot up. J.K. Rowling is also considering suing the Tolkien estate on intellectual copyright. "Just look at it - my books are all about wizards, and now there's this film with a wizard playing a very prominent role. Co-incidence? I doubt it. Also, notice that this 'Tolkien' character is even using very similar initials to mine."

Report from the resolution of difficult thought-problems committee:
The committee reports that after years of exhaustive and precise measurement, sandtimers really do weigh less when running in space, underwater, or upside-down, compared to when it's being watched. No animals were harmed during the course of this experiment. Fortunately, no one has asked why that is yet.

Having proved the existence of telepathy, clairvoyance and telekinesis beyond statistical doubt, psi researchers are now attempting to telekinoose James Randi (sceptic extraordinaire) to the moon.

Language Update
'Telekinoose' was formally introduced today to the English-speaking world as the new verb for moving an object with one's mind alone. The past tense is still being debated, although the contenders are 'Telekinoosed', 'Telekinunk', 'Telekinoosified', 'Televised' and 'Herringbone'.

Grammarians yesterday declined the sloppy use of metaphors in today's language. A. P Scroople said, "We really are scraping the slippery end of the wedge - if something isn't done about it soon, we'll be up the broth without a cook. But don't quote me on that."

Thingamabob deplored the near-constant use of metasyntactic variables in stuff. "We're having enough trouble with the oojamaflips, it'll only take something like this to come along and we'll be out of our thingies."

Someone else said, "I think it is far more worrying that the composers of the Alternative Newsletter use exactly the same form for two paragraphs in a row, if not three. If you ask me it's definitely a case of too many wossnames spoiling the jigamibob."

Ex-CircuSoc member James Grist recently staged a one man "Keep the war going" campaign, in -keeping with his pro-active stance on world overpopulation. Despite frenzied waving of banners, policemen refused to take any interest, and one old lady gave him 50 pence saying, "It's terrible what they do to animals there, isn't it dear."

Plans for the sequel to Memento were scuppered when the writing committee failed to agree on whether it should be referred to as a sequel, equal, prequel or irrelevant. Guy Pierce was quoted as saying, "What? I was in a film? Wait, let me write that down…"

Thought for the month and life tips:
'An owl in a sack troubles no man'

If someone says, "Trust me, I'm a doctor", remember, they might not be a medical doctor, but they might still be trustworthy… and a doctor.

We hear that someone recently broke an arm while doing something very innocuous, which we can't quite remember. So, watch out for that.

Puzzles and competitions
Best silliest phrase that sounds deep and meaningful and/or isn't (see above
thought for the month). - entries by email to the collator
( will forward them to Nick)

Year long competition. Person with the strangest sounding email address (in
our subjective opinion) will win a pat on the back, considerable pride and
prestige in the world juggling community. Get finding those good account
names now!

Those that are in the running so far are:


Brain-mangling puzzle:
Come up with five completely unrelated things.
Example: Banana, Hippopotamus, Iceland, …

We cannot guarantee the reliability of anything said in this newsletter, or indeed anywhere else.

This AN was randomly generated by TWMannvielle and NJMayer
For past Alternative Newsletters, see [Doesn't work - you are looking at the new page! - T.M. 14/12/2]

Main Page > CircuSoc > Newsletters 1998Newsletters 1999- Newsletters 2000