Sunday, April 20, 2014

Weed in 17th and 18th Century English Society:

Happy 4/20

Weed in 17th and 18th Century English Society: 
"The Dose of it is about as much as may fill a common Tobacco-Pipe, the Leaves and Seeds being diced first, and pretty finely powdered. This Powder being chewed and swallowed, or washed down, by a small Cup of Water, doth, in a short Time, quite take away the Memory & Understanding; so that the Patient understands not, nor remembereth any Thing that he seeth, heareth, or doth, in that Extasie, but becomes, as it were, a mere Natural, being unable to speak a Word of Sense; yet is he very merry, and laughs, and sings, and speaks Words without any Coherence, not knowing what he saith or doth; yet is he not giddy, or drunk, but walks and dances and sheweth many odd Tricks; after a little Time he falls asleep, and sleepeth very soundly and quietly; and when he wakes, he finds himself mightily refresh'd, and exceeding hungry..."

From The Philosophical Experiments and Observations of the late Eminent Dr. Robert Hooke, London, 1726

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Man with samurai sword arrested at New Jersey deli

Employees at a southern New Jersey deli say they feared for their lives when a man walked in and brandished a samurai sword.

Friday, April 18, 2014

For all you René Magritte fans...


HINT: Google "The Treachery of Images"

Ouch redirects to

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dear Alanis Morissette; THIS is Ironic


Thursday, April 10, 2014

A battery that can charge in under 30 seconds has been shown off at a technology conference in Tel Aviv.


Israeli start-up uses Alzheimer's disease amyloids to fabricate fast-charging batteries and, ironically, memory chips:

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Cupcake machine opens in New York to satisfy 24-hour cravings

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Yorkers, who live in the city that famously never sleeps, now can satisfy their craving for cupcakes in any of those endless waking hours.

A 24-hour vending machine that dispenses gourmet cupcakes opened for business this week on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and locals are lining up despite the wintry temperatures for a taste.

"It's so fun," said Melissa Martelli, a schoolteacher and neighborhood resident as she nibbled on a cinnamon sugar cupcake she bought from the machine. "You could just go in the store and wait on line, but it's just so cool."

"It's the experience of buying a cupcake from an ATM. It's an incredible concept," said Amy Benaderet, a financial services account manager who lives nearby. "You can get money at any time. Now you can get cupcakes at any time."

The nine-year-old company behind the machine, Sprinkles, also has installed cupcake machines in Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta and Beverly Hills, California, where the company is based, and plans to expand into Houston and Washington, D.C.

The New York model holds 760 cupcakes and sells up to four at a time, making it larger than the company's other machines.

full @

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Bryn Mawr Decides to Drop Vowels

Bryn Mawr College is announcing today that it is dropping the vowels from its name and questioning the use of vowels generally. The college will now be known as Brn Mwr.

The move is being described as the first major initiative of the college's new president, Kim Cassidy. A statement from Cassidy said: "This is the age of Twitter, every character counts. And really, what's the difference, no one can pronounce our name anyway."

The college also announced plans for an academic conference related to the institution's new skepticism of vowels. The conference is "The Hegemony of the Vowel: Incontinence and Lipogrammatics." One of the planned sessions is "The Habermasian Response: Communicative Ir-Rationality?"

Faculty reaction has been mixed, with English professors expressing concern about the college's anti-vowel stance, particularly if it is to be applied to works of literature. See video below, where faculty discuss the issue.

 If you are feeling confused by Brn Mwr's actions, consider today's date.

Learn Klingon the easy way

At last, I can read Hamlet in the original Klingon!

Best. April Fool's Prank. Ever.

On April 1, 1957 the British news show Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. The success of the crop was attributed both to an unusually mild winter and to the "virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil."

The audience heard Richard Dimbleby, the show's highly respected anchor, discussing the details of the spaghetti crop as they watched video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets.

He explained how each strand of spaghetti always grows to the same length thanks to years of hard work by generations of growers.

The segment concluded with the assurance that, "For those who love this dish, there's nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti."

The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest hoax generated an enormous response. Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this query the BBC diplomatically replied, "Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."

To this day the Panorama broadcast remains one of the most famous and popular April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time. It is also believed to be the first time the medium of television was used to stage an April Fool's Day hoax.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Alternate History

A friend of mine posted the following question on his Facebook page:

What if....
The allies had a Super Guppy Cargo Plane during WWII? What if the Axis powers had one? Explain how history would be different today. Go!

I thought you'd appreciate my reply to his question:

In preparation for the Conference of the Allied Leaders in Yalta, the Super Guppy from Great Britain was loaded with 52,500 lb of cargo that would be necessary to sustain Prime Minister Churchill during his stay in Yalta.

While unloading the Super Guppy, the Russian airport crew discovered that the entire cargo hold was filled with cigars and brandy.

Churchill's supplies never made it to the conference. It was all diverted to the front line Soviet troops.

Three days afterwards, the Russian advance towards Berlin sputtered, then stopped due to alcoholic stupor.

German troops prepared for a counteroffensive, but an hour before they launched their counter attack a 10,000 foot tall cloud
stretching the entire length of the front line – menacingly rolled towards them. One million Russian troops had lit their cigars and exhaled in the general direction of Germany.

The miasma was overpowering. Blood, Tears, Soil and Sweat; these were the well-known Stenches of War, but nothing could prepare the Germans for La Aroma de Cuba.  Those that were not immediately overcome fell back in hasty retreat, clearing the road to Berlin.

.   .

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Keep Calm ...


Monday, March 17, 2014

Chicks with Guns


FW: Romper Room - SciFi Style


I see Yoda, & the Alien, & The Doctor & R2D2 & Marvin & ….



How many things can you recognize?

Why Irish Americans eat corned beef and cabbage not bacon for St. Patrick’s Day

Beef was not readily available in Ireland and was considered a luxury. That's why the traditional Irish meal centered around ham, the bacon.

But when these Irish got off the boats in America it was quite the opposite. Corned beef was the meat that they could easily and more cheaply get their hands on and, so, this became the meal of choice for generations of Irish Americans to come.

In New England, a tradition formed of having a boiled dinner. For this dish the corned beef, cabbage, and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and potatoes were boiled.

Many maintain that the dish is simply not Irish at all. The close proximity of the Irish and Jewish communities at the time is said to be largely responsible for the popularity of corned beef among the Irish immigrants. According to, when the Irish arrived in America, they couldn't find a bacon joint like they had in Ireland so they gravitated toward the Jewish corned beef which was very similar in texture.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Most GM cars with at-risk switch not recalled

General Motors' recall of the Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5 covers fewer than half the GM cars on U.S. roads that it years ago told dealers might have the ignition switch problem linked to at least six deaths.

The car company continues to decline to explain publicly why it believes some vehicles with the apparently identical ignition switches are at risk for shutting off unexpectedly and others are not.


If a new car built by my company leaves Chicago traveling west at 60 miles per hour, and the rear differential locks up, and the car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside, does my company initiate a recall?

You take the population of vehicles in the field (A) and multiply it by the probable rate of failure (B), then multiply the result by the average cost of an out-of-court settlement (C).

A times B times C equals X. This is what it will cost if we don't initiate a recall.

If X is greater than the cost of a recall, we recall the cars and no one gets hurt.

If X is less than the cost of a recall, then we don't recall.

- "FIGHT CLUB" by Chuck Palahniuk

Happy π Day!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chuck Norris was born March 10th, 1940.

Chuck Norris was born March 10th, 1940. Don't worry about missing his birthday.
Chuck doesn't have birthdays.

You see, Birthdays are timed by the year it took for you -- on the Earth -- to revolve around the Sun.

The Sun, however, revolves around Chuck.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Benjamin Franklin's Essay on Daylight Saving

Benjamin Franklin's
Essay on Daylight Saving
Letter to the Editor of the Journal of Paris, 1784

The idea of daylight saving time was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 during his stay in Paris. He published an essay titled "An Economical Project."

He noted that the sun rises before most rise from their beds, and declared
(tongue in cheek) that the sun gives light immediately upon its rising. He suggested using all available daylight rather than using candles at night.

In true Nerd fashion, Franklin then proceeded to calculate the number of candles t
hat the city of Paris might save every year by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.

Full text of his essay:

Friday, March 07, 2014

Biology class should have been this fun.

How to tell the difference between a Land Pig and the Sea Pig.

tickle me pickle elmo

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Lamp by Igor Clark

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Revolutionary War reenactors at Peter Wentz Farmstead Saturday March 8th


Revolutionary War reenactors from the Mid-Atlantic region will be at the Peter Wentz Farmstead for the 3rd Annual School of the Soldier, hosted by the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment

Experience the camp life of the Continental Army during the long winter encampments of the Revolutionary War. Watch as the troops practice marching, drilling and firing. Visit the Visitor's Center to meet with Distaff demonstrating 18th Century hand crafts.

Saturday, March 8th, 2014 . 10:00am-4:00pm
All ages; $2 per person suggested donation; Groups Welcome.

Driving Directions The Farmstead is located on Shearer Road in Worcester, PA, near the intersection of Routes 73 and 363 in Montgomery County.
From Philadelphia:
  1. Get on 76 West (Schuylkill Expressway).
  2. Get off 76 at Plymouth Meeting exit for 476 North.
  3. Stay on 476 North through toll both (bear to left).
  4. Get off 476 at Lansdale exit.
  5. After toll, go to light and make left on to Sumneytown Pike (63).
  6. At second light, turn right onto Bustard Road.
  7. Take Bustard to Route 73.
  8. Turn left on Route 73.
  9. On Route 73, cross Valley Forge Road (363) and make first left onto Shearer Road.
  10. Farmstead entrance is on right.
From the PA Turnpike:
  1. Get off at exit for the Northeast Extension/476 North (near Norristown exit.)
  2. Go to Step 4 in directions from Philadelphia.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Know Thy Selfie

Sum izzamples of whuddah Filelfian seawns luyk

full story at

Monday, February 24, 2014

Diagram Prize nominations oddest book title of 2013


The Diagram Prize shortlist for the oddest book title of 2013 has been announced.  As usual, it's an eclectic mixture of the weird and wonderful.

The six titles are, in no particular order:

How to Poo on a Date
(invaluable advice on toilet etiquette and love, and what to do when the twain meet);

Pie-ography: Where Pie Meets Biography
(women tell their life stories through the traditional narrative technique of pie-making);

How to Pray When You're Pissed at God 
(practical tips on communicating with an omniscient deity when you are feeling peeved at it);

Working Class Cats: The Bodega Cats of New York City
(a celebration of the cats working - often illegally, it has to be said - in delis and bodegas in NYC);

Are Trout South African?
(South African identity explored through an animal with a brain proportionally one-fifteenth the size of a mammal's); and

The Origin of Feces
(an examination of how important the stuff is to the survival of the human species).

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Feb 23, 1778:

Feb 23, 1778:
Friedrich von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge.

cartoon from 

Mud and Guts by Bill Mauldin

Friday, February 21, 2014

Seen on Facebook:

Arthur C. Clark who pointed out that any technology beyond our comprehension would be seen as magic.
 I fear the average American has been dumbed down to the point where everything is magic.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

: National clown shortage may be approaching, trade organizations fear


As the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus returns to Brooklyn Thursday, membership at the country's largest clown organizations has plunged over the past decade amid declining interest, old age and higher standards for the jokesters.


What's next?  A national Mime shortage?
Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please

This day in history

February 19, 1878
Thomas Alva Edison patents the gramophone.

Sunday, February 16, 2014 "Lord's Prayer Arabic Men's Ring"

Well, for starters, it's not the Lord's Prayer. It's the One Ring of Power poem.
And it's not Arabic. It's Elvish.

That being said, once again the true comedy comes from the reader's comments:

I bought this as a prayer ring for reciting the Lord's Prayer before bed, as you do. But when I put it on and read the words out loud, I found myself standing at the food of a large tower, staring up at a flaming eye. God doesn't look like I thought He would.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Amazon book reviews: "Microwave for One" by Sonia Allison

read the reviews...


After the divorce my diet consisted primarily of uncooked ramen and whiskey. Occasionally I wondered aloud if I'd ever have another home cooked meal again.
Then I discovered "Microwave for One" and everything changed.
My favorite chapters were:
Chapter 1: Plugging in your Microwave and You
Chapter 4: How to Wait 3 Minutes
Chapter 11 [BONUS CHAPTER]: Eating with Cats
In closing, I give this book 2 thumbs up (and a paw!). Thanks Sonia Allison!

A great follow up read to "Drinking for One," "Sex for one," and "The 5 People You Meet in Heaven."

It used to be that I got home from work and the only thing I'd want to put in my mouth was the cold barrel of my grandfather's shotgun. Then I discovered Sonia Allison's Chicken Tetrazzini, and now there are two things.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sid Caesar, Brought Jewish Humor to Middle America, Dies at 91

Caesar told "The Jewish Chronicle" in 2010: "There's a lot of fun that you can bring out in being Jewish. But I didn't want to make fun of being Jewish. There's a fine line… I used to see people davening in shul and they'd snap the book shut when they'd finished. Like they'd won a race. Then look around to see if anyone else had finished. I used to find that very funny… Jews appreciate humor because in their life it's not too funny. We've been trodden down for a long time, thousands of years. So we've had to turn that around because if you take it all too seriously you're going to eat yourself. And we're very good at being self-deprecating. Either we do it or somebody's going to do it for us. We might as well do it first."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

: Suicide Bomb Trainer in Iraq Accidentally Blows Up His Class -

BAGHDAD — If there were such a thing, it would probably be rule No. 1 in the teaching manual for instructors of aspiring suicide bombers: Don't give lessons with live explosives.

In what represented a cautionary tale for terrorist teachers, and a cause of dark humor for ordinary Iraqis, a commander at a secluded terrorist training camp north of Baghdad unwittingly used a belt packed with explosives while conducting a demonstration early Monday for a group of militants, killing himself and 21 other members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, army and police officials said.

Monday, February 10, 2014

That's one way to put it.


Cartoon Humor: How 99.9% of people judge the quality of their coffee


Jerry Seinfeld on Olympic events

"The luge is the only Olympic event where you could have people competing in it against their will, and it would look exactly the same.

Take people off the street, "Hey, hey, hey, what is this?! I don't wanna be in the luge!"

Once you put that helmet on them, "You're in the luge, buddy!"

"aaaAAAaaaAAAaaaAAA...aaaAAAAA..." World record. Didn't even wanna do it.

I'd like to see that next Olympics, the Involuntary Luge."

  - Jerry Seinfeld

Friday, January 31, 2014

: How Would the U.S. Media Cover the Super Bowl if It Were in Another Country?

The two finest teams from the nation's 32 premier league squads meet each year in an event known as the Super Bowl. (There is in fact no bowl.) This year, the game pits a young upstart team from the Northwest Frontier Provinces against another from the mountainous interior region led by the aging scion of one of the sport's most legendary families. The winner of the contest will claim the title of "world champion," although very few people play the sport beyond the country's national borders.

While the competition can last for more than three hours, actual playing time is no more than about 11 minutes. The rest of the time is taken up by military-level strategizing, replays of the action, and providing medical attention to injured players. The game's rules are so intricate that television networks employ teams of well-paid "analysts" to explain to viewers what happened in the play they just watched.

But the spectacle of the Super Bowl—which can consume more electricity on its own than some small countries—involves more than just football. The nation's largest corporations use the event to showcase their latest products in elaborately produced advertisements that some fans find as entertaining as the game itself. (American businesses, in defiance of normal economic logic, consider it worthwhile to spend $4 million on just 30 seconds of airtime during the event.) America's premier recording artists are brought out to perform at the game's midpoint. Millions of chickens are slaughtered to obtain only their wings—the traditional American delicacy consumed by fans at home.

full @

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sheesh. Kids these days...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Good point

A guy was driving down the street and got a flat tire. He jacked up the car, spun off the bolts and took off the flat tire.

The tire landed on the pile of bolts... and all of them flew up in the air and fell into a nearby storm drain. He sat there fuming with anger. How was he going to put on the spare?

"No problem," said a man leaning out of a window from a building across the street. The building had a sign on the lawn: "Insane Asylum."

He repeated, "No problem. Just take one bolt from each of the other three tires and use them to put on the spare tire."

"That's brilliant!" said the guy with the car. "What are *you* doing in an insane asylum?"

The man at the window replied, "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid."

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sometimes all you need is a headline