Dictionary of Received Ideas
That's the name of a feature by Justin Evans in the new periodical The Point (issue two, Winter 2010). It's a bit like Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary and I found it to be the funniest article I have read this year. (It doesn't seem to be on-line.) Here is one set of consecutive entries:
Economics: actually explains everything
Economy, the: completely incomprehensible
I also liked this one:
Debt: i) public -- is inexcusable;
private -- drives the economy.
ii) public -- drives the economy;
private -- is a failure of social safety nets.
Dictionary of Received Ideas, Marginal Revolution, July 9, 2010
These winter guests were trying to take advantage of Peter's natural refrigerator.....
The one on the left is NOT a nutria.
Mrs. Hughes Live at the Ice House
15 year old son: "So, why'd you have me?"
Mrs. Hughes: "Well actually, we didn't know it would be you."
"We were hoping for someone with a job!"
Time for Some Campaignin'
Time for Some Campaignin' - from JibJab on YouTube
Globalization and Its Discontents
Ring bell for psychic?
Doesn't the "psychic" know you're there?
Unclear on the concept.....
Homer Simpson does Noah Kalina
Bob and Ray
Bob and Ray on SNL, from YouTube
Bob and Ray - from Wikipedia
A little Minnesota humor ....
This is from our friend Hans.
After having dug to a depth of 10 meters last year, Scottish scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed, British scientists dug to a depth of 20 meters, and shortly after, headlines in the UK newspapers read: "British archaeologists have found traces of 200 year old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the Scots."
One week later, "The Frizbee", a Freeborn Minnesota newspaper reported the following: "After digging as deep as 30 meters in corn fields near Freeborn Lake, Ole Johnson, a self taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing. Ole has therefore concluded that 300 years ago Norwegians were already using wireless."
If you want to see a holiday panto this Christmas, we found one in DC and another in Malvern, PA. Let us know if you are aware of any holiday pantos in or near NYC.
- "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's production of A Christmas Carol," through December 31, 2006, at the Church Street Theater, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC, near DuPont Circle, 800-494-8497
- "Robin Hood," through December 31, 2006 on the Main Stage at People's Light Theatre Company, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA, Rt. 401 (between Rts. 30 and 202) Box Office: 610-644-3500
This is from a list of lawyer jokes a friend sent.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.
"I will survive"
An alien sings "I will survive"
I bought it on eBay....
Are you an eBay junkie? This song, based on the music from "I Want it That Way" by the Backstreet Boys, is for you!
With words superimposed on the screen:
And if you missed it the first time around ... the 2 guys from China lip synching "I Want it That Way" ...
Don't honk at granny ...
Careful who you honk at ...
Alexander Calder's wire puppet circus
boingboing has links to "Carlos Vilardebo's 1961 documentary of mobile-maker Alexander Calder's intricate, ingenious wire puppet circus. The flying trapeezes actually fly, the lion poops, and the belly dancer gyrates lasciviously in the mind-blowing film that shows that, had Calder not become famous as an artist, he might have been equally famous as a puppeteer. In four parts." On YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
- Alexander Calder's work
- Alexander Calder - wikipedia
- "The Engineer Behind Calder's Art," by Joan M. Marter, Mechanical Engineering Magazine, December 1998
- Alexander Calder at the Guggenheim
- Alexander Calder at MoMA
- Alexander Calder at the National Gallery of Art
- "Vertical Constellation with Bomb" - from the National Gallery of Art
Whistling soccer fans ...
All the whistling by the German fans didn't seem to help their team beat Italy .... Italy 2, Germany 0 ... On to the finals!
You'd think they would have learned from the English fans ....
Connie Chung: Can't. Sing.
Daniel Kurtzman declares "The competition is over. Connie Chung is officially the worst singer in the world."
Ai yi yi ... don't give up the day job ... whoops ...
- "Connie Chung's Serenade Gag A Web Hit," by Amy Sara Clark, CBS News, June 20, 2006
- "Grrr! Connie Chung's Dumb Stunt," by Mike Straka, Fox News, June 20, 2006
Why is the World Cup better than the Olympics?
Mick Hartley asks, "Why is the World Cup so much better than its global rival, the Olympics?" and gives 12 reasons .... our favorites ...
- You can't harness football to political ends as you can with athletics.
- The Olympics is not only about racing against other competitors, it's also a race against the drug-testing rules. The whole event is fatally compromised by drugs. With football it's not even clear what drugs would be appropriate: given the history of the sport, probably booze and fags.
- Football's always got an element of chance.
- Footballers are normal guys who just happen to be very good at football. Olympic events are full of tree-trunk-thighed weirdos.
"The Footie," Mick Hartley, June 11, 2006
Tired of eating fancy food?
then try Monkey Chow ... The Monkey Chow Diaries is a diary by Angry (Canadian) Man
Imagine going to the grocery store only once every 6 months. Imagine paying less than a dollar per meal. Imagine never washing dishes, chopping vegetables or setting the table ever again. It sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
But can a human subsist on a constant diet of pelletized, nutritionally complete food like puppies and monkeys do? For the good of human kind, I'm about to find out. On June 3, 2006, I began my week of eating nothing but monkey chow: "a complete and balanced diet for the nutrition of primates, including the great apes."
We love this Day 3 entry:
Monkey-like Attributes: Do monkeys have superhuman olfactory senses? Because I can smell every hamburger barbequed within 5 miles of my house.
World's smartest cow - what if there were 2 of them?
"We've never seen such a friendly cow," farmer friends kept telling me. True enough. When people enter the pasture, Elvis comes running up to greet them. The effect is rather like a building lifting off its foundations and charging down a hill: You just pray he can stop if he wants to. He sticks out his big tongue and slurps. He grabs at shirts and hats. If you sit down, he'll happily put his head in your lap. But since his landings are neither graceful nor accurate, it's not an entirely welcome gesture.
. . .
But Elvis has changed my ideas about cows. He's very social, fond of me and my helper Annie and my Labrador Pearl. When I take the dogs out for their morning walk, he moos repeatedly until I bring him an apple. He's figured out how to move bales of hay into place so he can snuggle next to them (when he lies down, you can sometimes feel the vibrations all the way to the farmhouse). He especially seems to love the view, staring out at the valley much of the day.
He is amiable, happy to hang out with the donkeys and sheep, given the chance. He coexists peaceably with the chickens—with everyone, in fact. Once or twice a week, he has a burst of cow madness and goes dancing playfully around the pasture in circles. Trees tremble.
Plus, he comes when called, stays when asked, and doesn't grab clothing anymore. Not all of my dogs will do (or not do) those things as reliably. I'm very happy to have him on the farm. It will cost me more than $1,000 to keep him in hay next winter. A bargain.
"The World's Smartest Cow: What my steer, Elvis, has taught me," by Jon Katz, Slate, April 28, 2006
DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. A vote is held, and the cows win.
DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. They outvote you 2-1 to ban all meat and dairy products. You go bankrupt.
See "You have two cows. The government...." from TheCapitol.Net
Free the Garden Gnomes!
A long time ago when mankind was still drawing pictures on cave walls there was a great city within which there lived the highest developed species on the planet - GNOMES.
Gnome City stretched as far as the Gnome eye could see; its sapphire towers dazzled against the clear blue sky; its golden walls glittered in the sunlight. In Gnome City there were no cars, no fax machines and no computers - all was well.
"Gnome Story," from Gnome City
When I returned to the States and heard about Le Front de Liberation de Nains de Jardin (the Liberation Front for Garden Gnomes) -- a French activist group that abducts the wee garden ornaments, repaints them in unrecognizable hues, and sets them "free" in nearby forests -- I knew my former neighbor would be in a torment.
"Garden Gnomes do not prefer woods," I could hear her tsking over a steaming cup of Earl Grey. "Otherwise, they would be Woodland Gnomes, wouldn't they, dear?"
More recently, I heard about a German group that has taken the "emancipation" to a more ominous extreme, photographing abducted gnomes at international landmarks and sending the pictures to the gnomes' former owners. One such photograph was taken at Mount Rushmore with the captors wearing bandits' masks that barely hid their mirth. Copycat crimes have appeared in other regions of the gnome-loving world: Holland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Finland, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and, here, in the United States.
"Gnome Sweet Gnome: Protecting against the threat of garden gnome theft is no small undertaking," by Silke Tudor, sfweekly, October 18, 2000
Plastic, gaudy and above all cheap, armies of garden gnomes huddle at Polish roadsides near the German border waiting to be snapped up by bargain-hunting tourists from the west.
The gnome armies are the apogee of central European kitsch, but they also signify something far more important. The little men are seen by many in Germany as pathfinders for other Poles who will offer an avalanche of cheap produce once the country enters the European Union on May 1.
A trade war has been raging between gnome manufacturers on both sides of the border since the early 1990s when Polish entrepreneurs, bursting for opportunities after decades of communist-era restrictions, recognised that with cheap labour, low-cost materials and lack of environmental legislation they could vastly undercut the prices of German gnomes. At least five million have been sold.
"The gnomes of Warsaw are lesson for future of new Europe," by Kate Connolly, news.telegraph, May 3, 2004
The dormant Garden Gnome Liberation Front has sprung back to life, stealing about 20 gnomes during a nighttime raid on a Paris exhibition.
"We demand ... that garden gnomes are no longer ridiculed and that they be released into their natural habitat," the Front's Paris wing said in a statement following its weekend strike.
France's first garden gnome exhibition in the exclusive Bagatelle park on the outskirts of the capital opened last month and has been a hit with the public as chic Parisians develop a taste for kitsch culture.
. . .
The Garden Gnome Liberation Front vanished from the public eye in 1997 after a northern French court handed its ringleader a suspended prison sentence and fined him for his part in the disappearance of around 150 gnomes.
The only suspected sighting of the organization since then was a mass suicide of gnomes at Briey in eastern France in September 1998, when 11 of them were found dangling by their necks under a bridge.
A letter found nearby said: "When you read these few words we will no longer be part of your selfish world, where we serve merely as pretty decoration."
"Garden Gnome Liberation Front strikes Paris show," CNN, April 13, 2000
A secret underwater attraction that lured several divers to their deaths could have returned, police say.
The "gnome garden" complete with picket fence was removed from the bottom of Wastwater in the Lake District after several divers died a few years ago.
It is thought they spent too much time at too great a depth while searching for the site of the ornaments.
Now police divers say there is a rumour that the garden has returned at a depth beyond which they are allowed.
Pc Kenny McMahon, a member of the North West Police Underwater Search Unit, said the gnomes were well known among the diving community.
"Underwater gnome threat 'returns'," BBC News, February 14, 2005
French police are trying to find homes for over 80 garden gnomes kidnapped in eastern France earlier this year.
The tiny, bearded ornaments were taken by the self-styled Gnome Liberation Front from homes in the town of Saint-Die-des-Vosges.
They resurfaced lined up on the steps of the local church one Sunday morning.
Police have never caught the culprits, but the gnomes' owners seem strangely reluctant to come forward to claim their stolen property.
"French garden gnomes need homes," by Caroline Wyatt, BBC News, December 29, 2003
hat tip normblog, "War of the gnomes"
- Garden Gnome Liberation Front - wikipedia
- Gnome - wikipedia
- Garden Gnomes Need Homes
- FreeTheGnomes.com - "provides Garden Gnome Liberation information and calls to action. We advocate an end to oppressive gardening and freedom for garden gnomes everywhere."
- Funny Garden Gnomes - from PrankPlace
Covering the Supreme Court
6. Scalia is just as funny as you've heard. (See this letter to the editor of the Boston Herald after a reporter misinterpreted his Sicilian chin-scratching in Mass as an obscene gesture.) But Chief Justice Roberts is staging a coup to replace him as the justice who gets the most laughs. Scalia wins this round for quantity, but a Roberts' quip gets the hardest laughs, at the expense of one of the arguing lawyers. I don't know if it's considered a compliment or a good sign to one side if they provide fodder that gets a humorous diss from a justice.
"Supreme amusement," by Greg Piper, The Smoking Room, March 31, 2006
[P]eople always talk about heaven as the place where we are all going. The problem with thinking about heaven is that you then have to think about hell. The irony of our culture is people are constantly telling other people to go to hell, but no one tells them to go to heaven.
"The End. Or Maybe Not." by Art Buchwald, The Washington Post, March 14, 2006
I had two depressions, one in 1963 and the other in 1987--the first clinical depression, the second manic depression. One of my major fears during my depression was that I would lose my sense of humor and wind up in advertising.
"Political Humorist Art Buchwald Kicks Off The Open-Door Policy With A Tale Of His Own Travails," Psychology Today, November, 1999
- Washington Post columns
- Art Buchwald - Wikipedia
- "The Final Days of Art Buchwald: A Visit," by Suzette Martinez Standring, Editor & Publisher, March 4, 2006
- Selected Quotes
Christmas light show
PunditGuy links to
the most amazing, creative and well executed Christmas lighting display I’ve ever seen. Prepare to be amazed.
Video here ....
Here's a link to another video on the same house set to Jingle Bells, by Barbara Streisand ...
Update: According to Snopes, this was the 2004 Christmas light display of "Carson Williams, a Mason, Ohio, electrical engineer who spent about three hours sequencing the 88 Light-O-Rama channels that controlled the 16,000 Christmas lights in his annual holiday lighting spectacular."
"Man decks house with synchronized lights," boston.com, December 6, 2005
"25,000 lights dance to music: Display timed to a broadcast soundtrack," by Jessica Brown, The Cincinnati Enquirer, December 5, 2005
Mr. Williams shut down the display on December 6, 2005, due to traffic congrestion in his neighborhood
Something is going around - Cornelius Bear and Bakerina
We wondered why Cornelius Bear had not been posting much lately ... he has been feeling a bit under the weather ... he has a new diet ... and complains that "'Mrs. Dash,' a spice-based salt substitute ... does not in the least bit begin to fill Old Man Morton's straining, creaking hobnail boots." ... you'll have to read this post to find out why he says, "I had better not wear yellow." ... especially on a bicycle ...
Bakerina has "a cold, and while it isn't bad enough to keep me out of the box factory, it was bad enough to send me nearly sleepwalking through the subway and directly to the lumpy armchair in the living room." ... "It was not, however, bad enough to keep me from discovering that we still had nearly half a chocolate-cherry bread from last weekend's market haul, or to keep me from buttering the little 8" square Pyrex dish, from beating together 5 eggs, 3 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar and a pinch of salt, from cutting that excellent loaf into cubes, from saturating it with the eggs and milk and sugar, or from baking it for 40 minutes in a slow oven (preheated to 350 degrees, then turned down to 300)." ... thank goodness she's not sick ... she might have forgotten to turn it down to 300 ...
Which City Council candidates in Districts 4 and 5 have the best looking volunteers?
Alarming News reports "If you're thinking about getting involved in a local campaign on the east side of Manhattan during this last week, this is what you need to know...." and lists the attributes of each campaign's volunteers ... if you want to know which campaign has the cutest guys, women "of far-above-average attractiveness," and "blonde guys with huge teeth" ... read the whole thing for real political reporting ...
"The politics of attraction," Alarming News, October 29, 2005
Cake or Death? had a "45 minute wait on the L train platform" last Monday ... "Mondays" ... but the best part of the post is the penguin video ....
How old are you?
I just finished Yom Kippur services, and I even noticed this attitude with our rabbi, who is a transplanted native Californian. He peppers his sermons with jokes. My favorite from today was this: a boy goes to his grandmother and asks what her age is. She responds "I'm holding at 39". He then asks, "What age would you be if you let go?"
The Anonymous Blogger, October 13, 2005