|Funny Number 1||Funny Number 2|
|Funny Number 3||Funny Number 4|
|Funny Number 5||Funny Number 6|
|Funny Number 7||Funny Number 8|
|Funny Number 9||Funny Number 10|
|Funny Number 11||Funny Number 12|
|Funny Number 13||Funny Number 14|
|Funny Number 15||Funny Number 16|
|Funny Number 17||Funny Number 18|
|Funny Number 19||Funny Number 20|
[My friend Valerie, has a co-worker who collects Beanie Babies. When Val heard that Jen was going to England, she asked if Jen could look around for "Britannia Bear", and said that Jen shouldn't spend more than, say, $10 for it. Here is the e-mail that Jen sent to Val when she returned.]
So, I went to England and all I got was... a brief glimpse of the Britania bear locked in an airtight glass case near the home of Shakespeare.
But, let me start at the beginning... After a few days of trying to ascertain what a beanie baby was without consulting an expert, I finally relented and asked a store keeper if her wares were indeed beanie babies. She said yes. I then asked her about Britania bear. When she finished laughing, she said, "What, you think that you come to England and somehow Britania bear will be easier to find." I put my tail between my legs and scuttled away.
After enquiring in a few more stores, I was dejected and nearly gave up all hope of ever laying my American eyes on one of these delectable British stuffed bears (apparently it is British because of the British flag emblazened on its little heart -- apparently it is made elsewhere, reminiscent of the NAFTA giant sucking sound).
Then, in Stratford upon Avon, I saw a store that proudly advertised its beanie ware. Inside, I saw the Britania bear *and* the princess bear both at the same store, though separated to prevent reproduction, tainting of the bean pool and a reduction in market value.
Made apprehensive by the locked glass container, I nervously enquired about the price. I was optimistic when told that princess bear was available at the bargain basement price of 50 pounds ($75). But, then it was explained to me that the Britania bear is no longer in production and clocks in at a whopping 350 pounds. This was beyond the budget you had given me (and heavier than many sumo wrestlers), so I regretfully returned to the U.S. without said bear in tow.
Just so you do not think that I am cheap, I should note that I did return with a stuffed hedgehog for Julie. It cost 1 (British!) pound and is very cute. We have named him Edmund for no particularly compelling reason.
TOP TEN SIGNS THAT YOU ARE FROM PHILLY
1. Realize that your favorite desert is wooder ice.
(It comes in churry, strawburry, and other assorted flavors)
2. Find yourself using "Yo" and "Youse guys" when talking long-distance to family members.
3. You know how to spell Schuylkill.
4. Think $2,500 for insurance on a '79 Toyota is a bargain.
5. Don't think WaWa sounds funny.
6. You snub a cheesesteak that isn't on an Amoroso roll.
7. Your parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles all live on the same block.
8. You love scrapple for breakfast.
9. You know where to find the Rocky statue.
10. You buy soft pretzels at a traffic light.
The Difference Between Men and Women
Let's say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.
And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: "Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?" And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Geez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.
And Roger is thinking: Gosh. Six months.
And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship, either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward ... I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?
And Roger is thinking: ... so that means it was ... let's see ... February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means ... lemme check the odometer ... Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.
And Elaine is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed -- even before I sensed it -- that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.
And Roger is thinking: And I'm gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a damn garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent theives $600.
And Elaine is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. God, I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.
And Roger is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a 90-day warranty. That's exactly what they're gonna say, the scumballs.
And Elaine is thinking: Maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.
And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warratny? I'll give them a damn warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their ...
"Roger," Elaine says aloud.
"What?" says Roger, startled.
"Please don't torture yourself like this, " she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have ... Oh God, I feel so ..." (She breaks down, sobbing.)
"What?" says Roger.
"I'm such a fool," Elaine sobs. "I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse."
"There's no horse?" says Roger.
"You think I'm a fool, don't you?" Elaine says.
"No!" says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.
"It's just that ... It's that I ... I need some time," Elaine says.
(There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)
"Yes," he says.
(Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.)
"Oh , Roger, do you really feel that way?" she says.
"What way?" says Roger.
"That way about time," says Elaine.
"Oh," says Roger. "Yes."
(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)
"Thank you, Roger," she says.
"Thank you," says Roger.
Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think about it. (This is also Roger's policy regarding world hunger.)
The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.
Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say:
"Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?"
NEW YORK--A spokesperson for the letter D announced Monday that the consonant is withdrawing sponsorship from Sesame Street following a Children's Television Workshop announcement that a homosexual muppet will soon join the show's cast.
"The letter D is proud to have brought you many wonderful Sesame Street episodes throughout the program's 28-year history," said Patricia Willis, public-relations director for D. "But the letter D does not condone the sort of morally questionable lifestyles that Sesame Street is advocating with the introduction of this new character. It can no longer in good conscience associate itself with the show."
Willis said D's withdrawal is effective immediately, and applies to both capital and lower-case versions of the letter.
The gay muppet, "Roger," will be introduced on Sesame Street Dec. 23, CTW director Leslie Charren said.. Thus far, no other sponsors have pulled out, though the number seven has requested an advance tape of the episode before it makes a decision.
Many public-television insiders believe D's withdrawal was motivated by a desire not to alienate religious conservatives, a section of the population that employs the letter frequently.
"D is for, among other things, demagoguery, dogma and doctrine, words crucial to right-wing groups like the Christian Coalition," said Yale University political-science professor J. Wright Franklin. "It is likely that D felt it could ill afford to offend such a large segment of its users."
While a long-term replacement for D has not yet been secured by Sesame Street, the number three will temporarily fill in for it in a number of the show's animated shorts. Other pieces will simply skip from C to E, with vocalists stretching out C into two syllables to match the rhythm of the alphabet song.
Sesame Street is stung by the sudden departure of its longtime supporter. Speaking to reporters, cast member Cookie Monster said:
"Me disappointed letter D choose to end relationship with Sesame Street due to pressure from extremely vocal minority. We accused of endorsing deviant lifestyle. Me say homosexuality natural, not immoral. Diversity and enrichment. That good enough for me."
Subject: Strom Thurmond comes out
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 23:11:25 -0500 (EST)
Casual One-Nighter Gives Strom Thurmond Change Of Heart On Gay Issue
WASHINGTON, DC--Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC), widely known for his conservative views, retooled his hard-line stance against homosexuality after a casual one-nighter last weekend with a D.C.-area man identified only as "Stan."
Thurmond, 93, first elected to Congress in 1956 on a segregationist platform, described the homoerotic rendezvous as "a remarkably loving and mutually rewarding exchange of affection between two consenting adults."
"I was mistaken when I said that homosexuals were perverts bent on the destruction of the family and the nation through their wicked, deviant sex acts," a visibly glowing Thurmond told reporters. "Stan respected me for who I was, not just for my body. He was a sharp dresser and a charming conversationalist, not to mention a considerate and attentive lover."
"To all my longtime constituents," Thurmond continued, "I want to stress that this sexual episode was neither planned nor expected. I was heading home from my senate office after working late on a revised defense budget, when I was approached by a tall, handsome man who asked if he could buy me a drink. We had a wonderful conversation about old Judy Garland movies, the sort I used to love back when I was in my mid-70s. Before I knew it, Stan was asking me back to his place to see his house plants. He had incredible blue eyes, the kind that no legislator--liberal or conservative--could resist."
Thurmond went on to state that they had stayed up nearly half the night, talking about such varied topics as men's wear; low-fat gourmet cooking; and the tragic, early deaths of silver-screen luminaries James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.
Thurmond said that his new found friend, a systems analyst in the greater D.C. area, held and cuddled him as he fell asleep, then left him a plate of cheese and fresh fruit salad before leaving for work the following morning.
"He would not have made me breakfast if all he cared about was sex," Thurmond said. "Stan saw me as more than just a piece of meat."
Though reluctant to discuss more personal, intimate details of the encounter, Thurmond did say that "you have not lived until you have brought another man to climax using only your lips and tongue."
Thurmond's aides were quick to point out that despite the homoerotic nature of the encounter and the fact that Thurmond and the gentleman in question have since become "very close," the senator does not consider himself "gay."
"I see no reason why we must put labels on the senator," said Harlan Richardson, Thurmond's longtime press secretary. "It is unfair to judge a man's entire identity on one sexual episode alone. Why must we always speak of 'gay' or 'straight,' when human sexuality is so much more complex than that?"
"Gay, straight, bi--we are all just people," Thurmond said. "Yes, I have known the love that dare not speak its name, but I am still just me, Senator Strom Thurmond--a human being."
Thurmond noted that he had been exploring only one facet of his sexuality, and that he remained deeply devoted to his family. He then thanked his wife for being supportive and understanding of his emotional growth.
Veteran Pillsbury spokesman Pop N. Fresh died yesterday of a severe yeast infection. He was 71. Fresh was buried in one of the largest funeral ceremonies in recent years.
Dozens of celebrities turned out including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker, and the Hostess Twinkies. The graveside was piled high with flours as longtime friend Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, describing Fresh as a man who "never knew how much he was kneaded."
Fresh rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with many turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes.
Still, even as a crusty old man, he was a roll model for millions. Fresh is survived by his second wife. They have two children and one in the oven.
The funeral will be tomorrow at 4:50 for about 20 minutes.
[In the end, what was so funny, was that this was not even by Kurt Vonnegut. This was written by Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune. JV]
Kurt Vonnegut's 1997 commencement address to MIT
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE CLASS OF 1997...
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.
Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.
Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.
Kurt Vonnegut, 6/97
There's this nutball who digs things out his back yard and sends the stuff he finds to the Smithsonian Institute, labeling them with scientific names, insisting that they are actual archeological finds. The really weird thing about these letters is that this guy really exists and does this in his spare time!
Anyway... here's a letter from the Smithsonian Institute from when he sent them a Barbie doll head.
207 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20078
Thank you for your latest submission to the Institute, labeled "211-D, layer seven, next to the clothesline post. Hominid skull." We have given this specimen a careful and detailed examination, and regret to inform you that we disagree with your theory that it represents "conclusive proof of the presence of Early Man in Charleston County two million years ago." Rather, it appears that what you have found is the head of a Barbie doll, of the variety, one of our staff, who has small children, believes to be the "Malibu Barbie".
It is evident that you have given a great deal of thought to the analysis of this specimen, and you may be quite certain that those of us who are familiar with your prior work in the field were loathe to come to contradiction with your findings. However, we do feel that there are a number of physical attributes of the specimen which might have tipped you off to it's modern origin:
1. The material is molded plastic. Ancient hominid remains are typically fossilized bone.
2. The cranial capacity of the specimen is approximately 9 cubic centimeters, well below the threshold of even the earliest identified proto-hominids.
3. The dentition pattern evident on the "skull" is more consistent with the common domesticated dog than it is with the "ravenous man-eating Pliocene clams" you speculate roamed the wetlands during that time.
This latter finding is certainly one of the most intriguing hypotheses you have submitted in your history with this institution, but the evidence seems to weigh rather heavily against it. Without going into too much detail, let us say that:
A. The specimen looks like the head of a Barbie doll that a dog has chewed on.
It is with feelings tinged with melancholy that we must deny your request to have the specimen carbon dated. This is partially due to the heavy load our lab must bear in it's normal operation, and partly due to carbon dating's notorious inaccuracy in fossils of recent geologic record. To the best of our knowledge, no Barbie dolls were produced prior to 1956 AD, and carbon dating is likely to produce wildly inaccurate results.
Sadly, we must also deny your request that we approach the National Science Foundation's Phylogeny Department with the concept of assigning your specimen the scientific name "Australopithecus spiff-arino." Speaking personally, I, for one, fought tenaciously for the acceptance of your proposed taxonomy, but was ultimately voted down because the species name you selected was hyphenated, and didn't really sound like it might be Latin.
However, we gladly accept your generous donation of this fascinating specimen to the museum. While it is undoubtedly not a hominid fossil, it is, nonetheless, yet another riveting example of the great body of work you seem to accumulate here so effortlessly. You should know that our Director has reserved a special shelf in his own office for the display of the specimens you have previously submitted to the Institution, and the entire staff speculates daily on what you will happen upon next in your digs at the site you have discovered in your back yard.
We eagerly anticipate your trip to our nation's capital that you proposed in your last letter, and several of us are pressing the Director to pay for it. We are particularly interested in hearing you expand on your theories surrounding the "trans-positating fillifitation of ferrous ions in a structural matrix" that makes the excellent juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex femur you recently discovered take on the deceptive appearance of a rusty 9-mm Sears Craftsman automotive crescent wrench.
Yours in Science,
Subject: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Andersen Consultant: (or skip down 5 pages)
Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes.
Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM) Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge capital and experiences to align the chicken's people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework.
Andersen Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and best chickens along with Andersen consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park like setting enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken's mission, vision, and core values.
This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. Andersen Consulting helped the chicken change to become more successful.
We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was on, but it was moving very fast.
This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it.
'cause it (censored) wanted to. That's the (censored) reason.
Pyrrho the Skeptic:
The Air Force was only too happy to provide the transportation, so quite understandably the chicken availed himself of the opportunity.
You tell me.
Due to the loveliness of the hen on the other side, more fair than all of Hellas' fine armies.
Henry David Thoreau:
To live deliberately ... and suck all the marrow out of life.
The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated.
Stephen Jay Gould:
It is possible that there is a sociobiological explanation for it, but we have been deluged in recent years with sociobiological stories despite the fact that we have little direct evidence about the genetics of behavior, and we do not know how to obtain it for the specific behaviors that figure most prominently in sociobiological speculation.
Captain James T. Kirk:
To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken's dominion maintained.
For the greater good.
It was a historical inevitability.
Thomas de Torquemada:
Give me ten minutes with the chicken and I'll find out.
Because that's the only kind of trip the Establishment would let it take.
Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.
National Security was at stake.
The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being.
In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road.
The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road," and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.
Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.
To actualize its potential.
If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature.
It was the logical next step after coming down from the trees.
Because it could not stop for death.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
It didn't cross the road; it transcended it.
Johann Friedrich von Goethe:
The eternal hen-principle made it do it.
To die. In the rain.
Out of custom and habit.
Because of an excess of pleghm in its pancreas.
Subj: CDF/ViP Training Exercise and BBQ Plan
Our subject today is lighting charcoal grills. One of our favorite charcoal grill lighters is a guy named George Goble (really!!), a computer person in the Purdue University engineering department.
Each year, Goble and a bunch of other engineers hold a picnic in West Lafayette, Indiana, at which they cook hamburgers on a big grill. Being engineers, they began looking for practical ways to speed up the charcoal-lighting process. "We started by blowing the charcoal with a hair dryer," Goble told me in a telephone interview. "Then we figured out that it would light faster if we used a vacuum cleaner."
If you know anything about (1) engineers and (2) guys in general, you know what happened: The purpose of the charcoal-lighting shifted from cooking hamburgers to seeing how fast they could light the charcoal.
From the vacuum cleaner, they escalated to using a propane torch, then an acetylene torch. Then Goble started using compressed pure oxygen, which caused the charcoal to burn much faster, because as you recall from chemistry class, fire is essentially the rapid combination of oxygen with a reducing agent (the charcoal). We discovered that a long time ago, somewhere in the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (or something along those lines). By this point, Goble was getting pretty good times. But in the world of competitive charcoal-lighting, "pretty good" does not cut the mustard.
Thus, Goble hit upon the idea of using - get ready - liquid oxygen. This is the form of oxygen used in rocket engines; it's 295 degrees below zero and 600 times as dense as regular oxygen. In terms of releasing energy, pouring liquid oxygen on charcoal is the equivalent of throwing a live squirrel into a room containing 50 million Labrador retrievers.
On Gobel's World Wide Web page (the address is http://ghg.ecn.purdue.edu/), you can see actual photographs and a video of Goble using a bucket attached to a 10-foot-long wooden handle to dump 3 gallons of liquid oxygen (not sold in stores) onto a grill containing 60 pounds of charcoal and a lit cigarette for ignition. What follows is the most impressive charcoal-lighting I have ever seen, featuring a large fireball that according to Goble, reached 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The charcoal was ready for cooking in - this has to be a world record - 3 seconds.
There's also a photo of what happened when Goble used the same technique on a flimsy $2.88 discount-store grill. All that's left is a circle of charcoal with a few shreds of metal in it. "Basically, the grill vaporized," said Goble. "We were thinking of returning it to the store for a refund."
Looking at Goble's video and photos, I became, as an American, all choked up with gratitude at the fact that I do not live anywhere near the engineers' picnic site. But also, I was proud of my country for producing guys who can be ready to barbecue in less time than it takes for guys in less-advanced nations, such as France, to spit. Will the 3-second barrier ever be broken? Will engineers come up with a new, more powerful charcoal-lighting technology?
It's something for all of us to ponder this summer as we sit outside,
chewing our hamburgers, every now and then glancing in the direction of West
Lafayette, Indiana, looking for a mushroom cloud.
Top Twenty Signs You're from New York
1. You say "the city" and expect everyone to know that
this means Manhattan.
2. You secretly envy cabbies for their driving skill.
3. You have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.
4. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park at 3:30 on the Friday before a long weekend, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.
5. The homeless are invisible.
6. The subway makes sense.
7. The subway should never be called anything prissy, like the Metro.
8. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
9. You think $7.00 to cross a bridge is a fair price.
10. You've considered stabbing someone just for saying "The Big Apple".
11. Your door has more than three locks.
12. You go to a hockey game for the fighting. In the stands. To participate.
13. Your favorite movie has DeNiro in it.
14. The most frequently used part of your car is the horn.
15. You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.
16. You call an 8' x 10' plot of patchy grass a yard.
17. You complain about having to mow it.
18. You are a skee-ball juggernaut.
19. You consider Westchester "Upstate".
20. You cried the day Ed Koch took over for Wapner.
Subject: HUM: US Air Force Issues
Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by US Air Force pilots and the replies from the maintenance crews.
Problem: "Left inside main tire almost needs replacement."
Solution: "Almost replaced left inside main tire."
Problem: "Test flight OK, except autoland very rough."
Solution: "Autoland not installed on this aircraft."
Problem: "The autopilot doesn't."
Signed off: "IT DOES NOW."
Problem: "Something loose in cockpit."
Solution: "Something tightened in cockpit."
Problem: "Evidence of hydraulic leak on right main landing gear."
Solution: "Evidence removed."
Problem: "DME volume unbelievably loud."
Solution: "Volume set to more believable level."
Problem: "Dead bugs on windshield."
Solution: "Live bugs on order."
Problem: "Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent."
Solution: "Cannot reproduce problem on ground."
Problem: "IFF inoperative."
Solution: "IFF inoperative in OFF mode."
Problem: "Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick."
Solution: "That's what they're there for."
Problem: "Number three engine missing."
Solution: "Engine found on right wing after brief search."
There is a man who has three girlfriends, but he does not know which one to marry. So he decides to give each one $5,000 and see how each of them spends it.
The first one goes out and gets a total make over with the money. She gets new clothes, a new hairdo, manicure, pedicure, the works, and tells the man, "I spent the money so I could look pretty for you because I love you so much."
The second one went out and bought new golf clubs, a CD player, a television, and a stereo and gives them to the man. She says "I bought these gifts for you with the money because I love you so much."
The third one takes the $5,000 and invests it in the stock market, doubles her investment, returns the $5,000 to the man and reinvests the rest. She says, "I am investing the rest of the money for our future because I love you so much."
The man thought long and hard about how each of the women spent the money, and decided to marry the one with the biggest breasts.
From an actual newspaper contest where entrants age 4 to 15 were asked to imitate "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey."
My young brother asked me what happens after we die. I told him we get buried under a bunch of dirt and worms eat our bodies. I guess I should have told him the truth--that most of us go to Hell and burn eternally--but I didn't want to upset him. Age 10
When I go to heaven, I want to see my grandpa again. But he better have lost the nose hair and the old-man smell. Age 5
I don't know about you, but I enjoy watching paint dry. I imagine that the wet paint is a big freshwater lake that is the only source of water for some tiny cities by the lake. As the lake gets drier, the population gets more desperate, and sometimes there are water riots. Once there was a big fire and everyone died. Age 13
I like to go down to the dog pound and pretend that I've found my dog. Then I tell them to kill it anyway because I already gave away all of his stuff. Dog people sure don't have a sense of humor. Age 14
I believe you should live each day as if it is your last, which is why I don't have any clean laundry because, come on, who wants to wash clothes on the last day of their life? Age 15
Whenever I start getting sad about where I am in my life, I think about the last words of my favorite uncle: "A truck!" Age 15
It sure would be nice if we got a day off for the president's birthday, like they do for the queen. Of course, then we would have a lot of people voting for a candidate born on July 3 or December 26, just for the long weekends. Age 8
As you make your way through this hectic world of ours, set aside a few minutes each day. At the end of the year, you'll have a couple of days saved up. Age 7
Democracy is a beautiful thing, except for that part about letting just any old yokel vote. Age 10
Often, when I am reading a good book, I stop and thank my teacher. That is, I used to, until she got an unlisted number. Age 15
It would be terrible if the Red Cross Bloodmobile got into an accident. No, wait. That would be good because if anyone needed it, the blood would be right there. Age 5
Give me the strength to change the things I can, the grace to accept the things I cannot, and a great big bag of money. Age 13
For centuries, people thought the moon was made of green cheese. Then the astronauts found that the moon is really a big hard rock. That's what happens to cheese when you leave it out. Age 6
Think of the biggest number you can. Now add five. Then, imagine if you had that many Twinkies. Wow, that's five more than the biggest number you could come up with! Age 6
Once, I wept for I had no shoes. Then I came upon a man who had no feet. So I took his shoes. I mean, it's not like he really needed them, right? Age 15
I gaze at the brilliant full moon. The same one, I think to myself, at which Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato gazed. Suddenly, I imagine they appear beside me. I tell Socrates about the national debate over one's right to die and wonder at the constancy of the human condition. I tell Plato that I live in the country that has come the closest to Utopia, and I show him a copy of the Constitution. I tell Aristotle that we have found many more than four basic elements and I show him a periodic table. I get a box of kitchen matches and strike one. They gasp with wonder. We spend the rest of the night lighting farts. Age 15
If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize
world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be
until the looting started. Age 15
Reprinted from the New York Press, April 23, 1997
From a recent addition to the British Airways operations manual for pilots:
"There appears to be some confusion over the new pilot role titles. This notice will hopefully clear up any misunderstandings.
The titles P1, P2, and Co-Pilot will now cease to have any meaning, within the BA operations manuals. They are to be replaced by Handling Pilot, Non-Handling Pilot, Handling Landing Pilot, Non-Handling Landing Pilot, Handling Non-Landing Pilot, and Non-Handling Non-Landing Pilot.
The Landing Pilot is initially the Handling Pilot and will handle the take-off and landing, except in role reversal when he is the Non-Handling Pilot for taxi, until the Handling Non-Landing Pilot hands the Handling to the Landing Pilot at eighty knots.
The Non-Landing (Non-Handling, since the Landing Pilot is handling) Pilot reads the checklist to the Handling Pilot until after the Before Descent Checklist completion, when the Handling Landing Pilot hands the handling to the Non-Handling Non-Landing Pilot who then becomes the Handling Non-Landing Pilot.
The Landing Pilot is the Non-Handling Pilot until the 'decision altitude' call, when the Handling Non-Landing Pilot hands the handling to the Non-Handling Landing Pilot, unless the latter calls 'go-around', in which case the Handling Non-Landing Pilot continues handling and the Non-Handling Landing Pilot continues non-handling until the next call of 'land' or 'go-around' , as appropriate.
In view of the recent confusion over these rules, it was deemed necessary to restate them clearly."
Reprinted from June 1997 Harper's Magazine
From "karma cards" used in the board game "C'est la Vie! The Game of Lesbian Life," manufactured by Play on Words in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The object of the game, in which players "travel through life's events such as softball, camping, careers, womyn's festival, commitment ceremony, and retirement," is to accumulate both cash and "karma tokens".
You see your best friend's girlfriend at a party - without your best friend - and then make out with her until 4:00 am. Forfeit two tokens.
You pass up the opportunity to intervene in the racially based maltreatment of a co-worker because "it doesn't concern you." Forfeit two tokens.
You slide into second base with your cleats up, injuring the second-base player. Forfeit two tokens.
You become involved in a heated debate, yet manage to share your beliefs in a calm and peaceful manner. Collect one token.
You host a "Welcome Party" for a lesbian co-worker who is new in town. Collect one token.
You blow off your volunteer work shift at the Womyn's Festival. Forfeit two tokens.
You are in a committed relationship but are sending sexual innuendos to the shortstop on your ball team. Forfeit two tokens.
You take your Saint Bernard, Stella, to the Children's Hospital on Saturday's to visit the young inpatients. Collect one token.
Your declare your home off-limits to family members who refuse to recognize your domestic partnership. Your protect your sacred space. Collect one token.
Your offer your services, gratis, as a legal defense for gays in the military. Collect one token.
Your write a love note on your partner's banana skin when you are packing her lunch. Collect one token.
Your catcher is 0 for 3 after her third time at bat. You pat her on the back and say, "Don't worry. The beer and burgers will still taste good." Collect one token.
You listen objectively to your straight friend's problems with her stupid boyfriend. Collect one token.
HAIKU ERROR MESSAGES
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
Everything is gone; |
Your life's work has been destroyed.
Squeeze trigger (yes/no)?
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
Seeing my great fault
Through darkening blue windows
I begin again
The code was willing,
It considered your request,
But the chips were weak.
Printer not ready.
Could be a fatal error.
Have a pen handy?
A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
Errors have occurred.
We won't tell you where or why.
Server's poor response
Not quick enough for browser.
Timed out, plum blossom.
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
Only perfect spellers may
enter this system.
This site has been moved.
We'd tell you where, but then we'd
have to delete you.
wind catches lily
scatt'ring petals to the wind:
Close all that you have.
You ask way too much.
First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.
|The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.
The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist
Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire
The network is down
A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.
There is a chasm
of carbon and silicon
the software can't bridge
Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that
To have no errors
Would be life without meaning
No struggle, no joy
You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
This page is not here.
No keyboard present
Hit F1 to continue
Hal, open the file
Hal, open the damn file, Hal
open the, please Hal
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
The ten thousand things
How long do any persist?
Netscape, too, has gone.
Rather than a beep
Or a rude error message,
These words: "File not found."
All shortcuts have disappeared
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
Reader's Digest version of "Titanic"
For those of you with short attention spans, the following is the script for a shorter version of "Titanic."
KATE WINSLET: My, this is a fancy boat, isn't it?
KATE'S WEASELLY FIANCE: Yes, it certainly is. Here is the art you asked for. It is by an artist named "Picasso." I am certain he will amount to nothing.
KATE: Ha ha ha. That is very funny to our 90's audience, because they know these priceless paintings will sink with the boat.
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO: Hello, I'm Leonardo DiCaprio. Perhaps you have seen the many Internet sites dedicated to the worship of me. You are very pretty.
KATE: Thank you. So are you.
LEONARDO: I know. Prettier than you, in fact. I am going to put on my "brooding" face now, to ensure that women will keep coming back again and again to see this movie. Later, my white shirt will be soaking wet. Women will find this very attractive, even though I have the body of a 12 year old.
KATE: While you're doing that, I will concentrate on standing here and looking pretty, to keep the men in the audience interested until the boat sinks and people start dying.
WEASELLY FIANCE: Excuse me. I do not like you, Leonardo, even though you saved my fiancee's life. I am going to sneer at you and treat you like dirt because you're poor, and then I'll probably be physically abusive to my fiancee, and then, just to make sure the audience really hates me, and to make sure my character is entirely one-dimensional, perhaps I'll throw a small child into the water.
AUDIENCE: Boo! We hate you! Even though all real people have at least a few admirable qualities, we have not been shown any of yours, and plus, you're trying to come between Leonardo and Kate, and so therefore we hate you! Boo! (Even though technically it is Leonardo who is coming between you and Kate. But Leonardo is handsomer than you, even though he is only 12, so we are on his side. Boo!)
LEONARDO: I'm glad we snuck away like this so that you could cheat on your fiance.
KATE: So am I. Even though I am engaged to him and have made a commitment to marry him, that is no reason why you and I cannot climb into the back seat of a car (probably his) and steam up the windows together. The fact that I am the heroine of the movie will no doubt help the cattle-like audience forgive me of this, though they would probably be VERY angry indeed if my fiance were to do the same thing to me.
AUDIENCE: Damn straight we would ! Moo! We mean, Boo!
LEONARDO: I agree. First, I would like to draw you, though, so of course you have to take off all your clothes.
KATE: But can a movie with five minutes of continuous nudity be at all successful in say, Provo, Utah, where the audiences might not stand for that sort of thing?
LEONARDO: I would be willing to bet that for the first three weeks the film is in release, every single showing at the Wynnsong Theater in Provo will sell out.
NARRATOR: According to Wynnsong manager Matt Palmer, that is exactly what happened.
KATE: All right, then. (sound of clothes hitting the floor)
FIRST MATE: Captain, we're about to hit an iceberg!
CAPTAIN: Great, I could use some ice for my drink. (sound of drinking)
ICEBERG: (hits boat)
FIRST MATE: That can't be good.
CAPTAIN: Bottoms up!
FIRST MATE: That was irony, you fools.
AUDIENCE: Baa! Moo! Where's Leonardo?
LEONARDO: I have been informed that this boat is sinking.
KATE: That is terrible. And I am the only passenger that has noticed that there are not enough lifeboats! Everybody else took New Math in school.
LEONARDO: Would you like to engage in some more immoral-but-justified-because-we're-pretty behavior?
KATE: Certainly. (kisses him)
WEASELLY FIANCE: I'm getting the raw end of the deal here: (to Leonardo)Listen, Leonardo, to cement my morally-dubious-yet-somehow-less-annoying-than-you personality, I am going to falsely accuse you of a crime, then handcuff you to this pipe here in a room that will soon be filling with water, due to the fact that we are sinking, which I believe has been mentioned previously.
LEONARDO: Why don't you just shoot me?
WEASELLY FIANCE: Because then you wouldn't be able to escape and save Kate from me. Also, all of the women in the audience would get up and leave. Of course, you're going to die anyway.
AUDIENCE: Don't spoil it for us! Booooooo!!
LEONARDO: He's right, though. I am doomed. It's in the script.
AUDIENCE: Aww, look how cute he is when he's doomed!
WEASELLY FIANCE: I really hate you people.
150-YEAR-OLD-KATE: And that's when Leonardo rescued me from my evil fiance and helped me float on a board in the water. Of course, if it hadn't been for having to rescue HIM, I could have gotten on an actual lifeboat to begin with, and not nearly frozen my ass off. Anyway, he's pretty much dead now, and I'm well over a thousand years old, and who's making my supper? I need another Depends. Turn down that Enya music, it's making my ears hurt. You kids today, with your loud music. Why, in my day - hey! Don't you walk away from me, Mr. Snooty-Patootie Oceanologist! I'd turn you over my knee, if I could bend it. I'll beat you in the head with this huge extremely rare blue diamond! Hey, come back here!
(FADE TO BLACK; roll credits; play annoying Celine Dion song "Never Let GOOOOOOOO".)
I pushed something wrong
All the lonely users, where do they all come from?
All the lonely users, where do they all come from?
All the lonely users, where do they all come from?
He's a real UNIX Man
Knows the blocksize from du(1)
UNIX Man, please listen(2)
He's as wise as he can be
UNIX Man, don't worry
He's a real UNIX Man Sitting in his UNIX LAN
Write in C ("Let it Be")
When I find my code in tons of trouble,
As the deadline fast approaches,
Write in C, Write in C,
I used to write a lot of FORTRAN,
If you've just spent nearly 30 hours,
Write in C, Write in C,
Write in C, Write in C
WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?
Assembler Chicken: First it builds the road ...
C Chicken: It crosses the road without looking both ways.
C++ Chicken: The chicken wouldn't have to cross the road, you'd simply refer to him on the other side.
THEN PERFORM 0010-CROSS-THE-ROAD
VARYING STEPS FROM 1 BY 1 UNTIL
GO TO 0001-CHICKEN-CROSSING
Cray Chicken: Crosses faster than any other chicken, but if you don't dip it in liquid nitrogen first, it arrives on the other side fully cooked.
Delphi Chicken: The chicken is dragged across the road and dropped on the other side.
G3 300 mH Chicken: It crosses twice as fast as any Pentium chicken
Gopher Chicken: Tried to run, but got flattened by the Web chicken.
Intel Pentium Chicken: The chicken crossed 4.9999978 times.
Iomega Chicken: The chicken should have backed up before crossing.
Java Chicken: If your road needs to be crossed by a chicken, the server will download one to the other side. (Of course, those are chicklets.)
Lotus Chicken: Don't you *dare* try to cross the road the same way we do!
Mac Chicken: No reasonable chicken owner would want a chicken to cross the road, so there's no way to tell it to.
Microsoft Chicken (TM): It's already on both sides of the road. And it just bought the road.
Newton Chicken: Can't cluck, can't fly, and can't lay eggs, but you can carry it across the road in your pocket!
NT Chicken: Will cross the road in June. No, August. September for sure.
OOP Chicken: It doesn't need to cross the road, it just sends a message.
OS/2 Chicken: It crossed the road in style years ago, but it was so quiet that nobody noticed.
OS/ 8.1 HFS+ Chicken: It had much more free space to cross.
Quantum Logic Chicken: The chicken is distributed probabalistically on all sides of the road until you observe it on the side of your choice.
VB Chicken: USHighways!TheRoad.cross (aChicken)
Web Chicken: Jumps out onto the road, turns right, and just keeps on running.
Windows 95 Chicken: You see different colored feathers while it crosses, but cook it and it still tastes like ... chicken.
Windows 98 Chicken: It should have expected to cause a crash while crossing.