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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014
Forward into the Past
Posted Friday, September 9, at 11:35 AM
Well, I come to you once again with another sad tale of geezerhood. Go ahead and laugh, young people! Laugh at me all you will. I'm not bothered because I know that someday your laughter will dry up as mine has. Unless, of course, you die young. Either way, I win...

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A Bug in Your Ear
Posted Tuesday, July 5, at 10:12 AM

While I was recently hunkered down in my Holiday Bunker, I heard an interesting bit of science news. The news was fascinating, and it was also particularly appropriate to the holiday, because it involves loud noises. (My Holiday Bunker is where I go on the 4th of July to escape the patriotic pyrotechnics. ...

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Eight Legs Bad
Posted Thursday, June 9, at 9:39 AM

Phobias are scary. This is, of course, self-evident if you have one or if you know Greek. But if you don't have one, chances are you are dismissive of those of us who do. I have a phobia concerning spiders. Not bugs in general--I have nothing but affection for beetles and wouldn't even mind the odd cockroach if it would stay out of my cereal. ...

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Apocalypse Update
Posted Thursday, May 12, at 10:02 AM

UPDATE TO THE POST BELOW: This just in: World still here. Eternal Earthbound Pets dodges bullet. Given the current climate, this may not be the best time to go into the prophecy biz. However, I will venture the following predictions with absolute certainty:...

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Save the Frogs!
Posted Thursday, April 21, at 2:33 PM

No, the title of of this entry is not the answer to the Jeopardy question, "What did we do in World War II?" It is what you should do on April 29th. April 29th is Save the Frogs Day. I did not realize that frogs needed a "save me" day, since I didn't know that frogs were in any particular danger (any more than the rest of us, anyway.) But it turns out that a quarter of the world's amphibians are close to extinction. Learn all about it at savethefrogs.com if you don't believe me...

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Feelin' Googly
Posted Thursday, April 7, at 3:32 PM

The other day it suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea how to play cricket. I know! I was as stunned as you are. I don't mean that I had never seen cricket played. I have. (Only on television, of course.) The trouble is, you can watch cricket being played for quite a while and still have no idea how it is played. ...

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Paradise Recalled
Posted Thursday, July 22, at 8:39 AM

Speaking as a guy who has trouble remembering the beginning of this sentence, which I only started typing a few seconds ago, I tremble in awe of Mr. John Basinger. When he was 58 years old he decided he wanted to test his memory, so he took a shot at memorizing the poem, "Paradise Lost," by John Milton. I'll tell you in case you've never bothered to count them: "Paradise Lost" is over 10,500 lines long...

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No iPhone in Heaven?
Posted Tuesday, June 29, at 10:49 AM

Clearly nobody could have predicted where telephones would end up back when the Carter Family recorded their tear-jerker about the limits of communications technology, "No Telephone in Heaven." But here we are at the point where great swathes of the populace feel that if they can't take their phones to heaven, maybe they'd rather not go...

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Just Add Chocolate
Posted Wednesday, June 16, at 9:11 AM

I am not really what you would call an "early adopter." That is, one who buys the newest gadget as soon as it hits the shelf. This is partly because I try to cooly evaluate those things and see how they work in the real world before committing myself, but mostly because they cost more when they first come out, and I'm usually broke...

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A Case of Mind over Stupidity
Posted Friday, May 7, at 8:32 AM

Have no fear. The situation in the Gulf is under control. Carl Fuermann, a gentleman in Boulder, Colorado, says he will take care of the oil spill though the use of meditation. " 'I'm very known for fixing things and making things work,' Fuermann said, adding that he believes his meditation helped fix a friend's Flip video camera. 'I visualize things working and hold the belief that they actually work.' "...

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Haberdashery or Heresy?
Posted Thursday, April 29, at 10:46 AM

Some things just scare me, and one of them is horizontal corduroys. They didn't scare me yesterday, because I was unaware of their existence. If ignorance isn't exactly bliss, it certainly is better than what I'm feeling now. My feeling today must be like it would have been back in the day if Copernicus told me that, contrary to what I seemed to see in the sky every day, the earth actually revolved around the sun and not the other way around. ...

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Reverse Graffitti
Posted Friday, April 23, at 9:16 AM

Here is a tribute to 35 great works of reverse graffitti. These are some people who have taken the basic idea behind scratching "wash me please" on somebody's car trunk and run with it way beyond the logical conclusion. I had never heard of "reverse graffitti," the act of decorating a public space not by adding, but by removing filth. ...

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Just Like it Sounds
Posted Monday, April 19, at 9:14 AM

The volcano which is causing such a dust-up in Europe is named Eyjafjallajökull. You don't need to recall that, since the name can easily be re-created by simply slumping forward and falling asleep with your nose in your keyboard. Like so: Eyjafjallajökull...

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What's the password?
Posted Wednesday, April 14, at 4:38 PM

A guy named Cormac Herley, who is a Principal Researcher for Microsoft Research, says that looking at the big picture might lead one to believe that all this worry about keeping our computers secure could be a waste of time in the long run. I'll muddle his conclusions with the following scenario:...

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Drastic Measures
Posted Wednesday, April 7, at 9:33 AM

I have upon occasion had a hard time with procrastination. I keep meaning to do something about that, but I haven't gotten around to it. But I just read that the Greek orator, Demosthenes, in order to force himself to stay home and finish his orations, shaved half his head so that he would be ashamed to go out in public. And Victor Hugo would occasionally take off all his clothes, give them to his valet and order him not to return them to him until he was finished writing...

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The Large Supper
Posted Wednesday, March 24, at 3:38 PM

Comparing 52 depictions of The Last Supper painted between the year 1000 and the year 2000, it has come to the attention of a couple of brothers named Craig and Bryan Wansink (one a Biblical scholar and the other the director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab) that while the number of guys at the table has remained constant, the amount of food on the plates had steadily grown. ...

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Read Across Town!
Posted Monday, March 8, at 1:59 PM

Or at least across the street. Here is last week's fun at McIver's Grant Public Library...

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No More Bootleg Sheep Guts!
Posted Monday, January 25, at 4:43 PM

Finally! After 21 years, the ban on the importation of the Scottish delicacy, haggis, has been lifted. Hallelujah! Haggis consumption was driven underground by the scare over the appearance in Great Britain in the 1980s of bovine spongiform encephalitis, or "mad cow disease" as all the cartoonists and bad comedians are so glad it was more popularly known. It was feared that the disease could make eating haggis lethal. Many people, myself included, assumed it pretty much was already...

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CBS Apparently Doesn't Know Jack
Posted Wednesday, January 20, at 11:32 AM

CBS has 25 never-released prints of episodes of the Jack Benny Program. There they sit in the vault (not as secure as Benny's vault by any means!) doing nobody any good. These programs are in the public domain. While (in my opinion) Benny's greatest work was in radio, his contributions to early television are undoubted. These TV shows are valuable cultural artifacts, and bound to be entertaining...

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(The) Reality (of) TV
Posted Tuesday, January 12, at 11:15 AM

Via this article I learn that a study released in the journal of the American Heart Association shows that spending time watching television increases a person's chances of dying. (Everybody has a 100% chance of dying. I presume they mean an increased chance of dying sooner rather than later.)...

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Forward into the Past
(0 ~ 11:35 AM, Sep 9)

A Bug in Your Ear
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Eight Legs Bad
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Apocalypse Update
(0 ~ 10:37 AM, May 22)

Save the Frogs!
(0 ~ 2:33 PM, Apr 21)