Monday, 31 December 2007

Cape Cod

Cape Cod (or simply the Cape) is an arm-shaped peninsula nearly coextensive with Barnstable County, Massachusetts and forming the easternmost portion of the state of Massachusetts, in the Northeastern United States.

Although the Cape was originally connected to the mainland, the Cape Cod Canal, which opened in 1914, effectively transformed Cape Cod into a large island (though it is not normally referred to as such). Three bridges span the canal from the Massachusetts mainland to the Cape. Vehicles can cross onto the Cape via the Sagamore Bridge and the Bourne Bridge; the other is a railroad bridge.

Go to source web page: Cape Cod - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Sunday, 30 December 2007

The Immortal Memory

Toasting the Greatest Naval Hero in the United Kingdom

The Immortal Memory Toast for Lord Admiral Nelson occurs every year on the Royal Navy Trafalgar Night. Trafalgar Night is celebrated around the anniversary of Nelson's death on October 21, 1805.

The toast has been proposed in memory of Admiral Lord Nelson since his death in 1805, for over 200 years.

In 2006 Trafalgar Night was held on October 17.

Earlier Version
The Toast to Admiral Nelson has always been short, but earlier versions were a few words longer. Captain John Pasco proposed a toast to

  • The immortal memory of Nelson and those who fell with him.

Another early versions of the toast is recalled as:

  • The Immortal Memory of Lord Nelson and then of those whom 'England expected (not in vain) that they would do their duty.'

Current Version
Those who fell with Nelson have not done too well with the later version.

The current version of the toast has been shortened further to just:

  • The Immortal Memory

The Immortal Memory Toast is drunk in total silence, out of respect to the memory of the Admiral.


Saturday, 29 December 2007

Words with alternating vowels and consonants

honorificabilitudinitatibus, overimaginative, parasitological and verisimilitudes

Friday, 28 December 2007

Peg or Dowel?

Q: Could someone explain me, just simply, the difference between words "peg" and "dowel"?

A: In the usages which I'm familiar with, a dowel is a uniform-diameter rod, and it fits closely into its hole along all its length. Pegs fit into their holes loosely, or partly, or are tapered, or do not fit at all but just protrude to hang things on.

But in carpentry, a "pegged joint" is one which is made stronger by a perforation through both parts of the joint, into which there is put a close-fitting peg. Maybe that was originally tapered, but modern ones are straight, and they still call it a peg, not a dowel.

from alt.usage.english

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Librarians Top 30 Books

To Kill A Mockingbird was published over 40 years ago and its American author has lived as a virtual recluse ever since, but according to Britain's librarians, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird is the book that everyone should read. The Pulitzer prize-winning classic has topped a World Book Day poll conducted by the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA), in which librarians around the country were asked the question, "Which book should every adult read before they die?" The book, which has been a staple of schoolroom reading lists for many years, also came second in another poll released today on our favourite happy endings. It explores issues of race and class in 1930s deep south America, through the dramatic court case of a black man charged with the rape of white girl.

The list in full
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Bible
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
1984 by George Orwell
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
All Quite on the Western Front by E M Remarque
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Tess of the D'urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn


Wednesday, 26 December 2007

More on isograms

isogram - a word in which the letters turn up an equal number of times.

first-order isogram

  • each letter appears just once
  • as in dialogue, lexicography, ambidextrously and uncopyrightable.

second-order isogram

  • each letter appears twice only
  • as in deed, Vivienne, Caucasus and intestines

third-order isogram

  • each letter appears three times only
  • as in deeded and geggee

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Monday, 24 December 2007

The top 10 IT disasters of all time

1. Faulty Soviet early warning system nearly causes WWIII (1983)

2. The AT&T network collapse (1990)

3. The explosion of the Ariane 5 (1996)

4. Airbus A380 suffers from incompatible software issues (2006)

5. Mars Climate Observer metric problem (1998)

6. EDS and the Child Support Agency (2004)

7. The two-digit year-2000 problem (1999/2000)

8. When the laptops exploded (2006)

9. Siemens and the passport system (1999)

10. LA Airport flights grounded (2007)

See full story at

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Disktective 5.0.1

Freeware disk-space reporting tool for Windows

Running out of disk space? Don't know what's eaten it? Then run Disktective, our award-winning disk-reporting tool, to trace used-up space on your system.

With Disktective you can find out the real size of your directories and distribution of used space inside them. Each directory may contain hundreds of subdirectories each containing many files. Simply run Disktective and let Disktective create a complete report displaying the real sizes of all directories and their containing subdirectories.


Nick's Canal Route Planner

Canalplan AC is a comprehensive guide to the UK's inland waterways, it plans journeys, calculates the length (distance, number of locks, time taken etc) of your trip and shows gazetteer information on places along the way (pubs, shops and museums). Canalside events you might pass are listed.

See CANALPLAN AC - Canal Route Planner at

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Fork handles script makes £48,500

The original script for the classic Two Ronnies Fork Handles sketch has been sold at auction for £48,500.

The sketch, written by the late Ronnie Barker, sees the comedian trying to buy fork handles and being offered four candles by shopkeeper Ronnie Corbett.


The Doors

In 1954, Aldous Huxley wrote a book on the mind-expanding effects of mescaline, titling it "The Doors of Perception."  Slightly more than a decade later, in 1965, Jim Morrison was studying film and poetry at UCLA when he and a keyboard-playing friend named Ray Manzerek formed a friendship fueled by their love of rock music and fascination with hallucinogenic drugs.  After reading Huxley’s book, they decided to call their newly-formed band "The Doors."

From Dr. Mardy Grothe,

Friday, 21 December 2007


An "eggcorn" is a word or phrase that has been incorrectly used because the speaker or writer originally misheard the word or phrase he wanted to use and came up with something wrong that he thought was right.

"Eggcorn" is a fabricated term to describe this. A person who had heard the word "acorn" might have misheard it and then repeated the word as "eggcorn". Other terms might have been used, but "eggcorn" was the term that the linguists came up with.

Sometimes an eggcorn is a word formation that does not really exist. "Fortable", for "formidable", is an example. (Warning: "fortable" may exist somewhere with some obscure meaning, but work with me here.) Sometimes it is a real word used incorrectly: "I am internally grateful for..." is an example used in one of the cites below. There are no rules about eggcorn sightings, but it's generally accepted that the misuse has to be genuine and not the result of a typo, spellchecker substitution, or mindfart. The person uttering it has to have been under the impression that the usage was correct.


from alt. usage. english

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Difference between "try and ..." and "try to ..."


I'm not a native English speaker. Watching American TV series, I often hear phrases like "I'll try and find him" where the verb try is followed by the conjunction "and" and another verb. Less often I also her "I'll try to find him" which is more natural to me. I guess that both are correct. But are there any differences ?


The only people who think there is a difference between them are pedants like me who believe that language and logic ought to walk hand-in-hand as much as possible. I see the "try and" structure as logically incorrect in most instances. For me, the only logical and aesthetically pleasing way of saying this is "I'll try to find him".

The "try and" structure is fine for an exchange like this one:

A: Please try to convince John to come to the party.

B: Okay, I'll try and let you know what he says.

Arguing the point is a lost cause. Native anglophones don't care, so they say whichever of the two they wish to say and insist that because they say it, it's "natural" (a meaningless descriptor because it is contradictory) and "acceptable" (another meaningless descriptor because it too is contradictory) and "idiomatic" (well, what isn't these days?) and even "Standard English" (English has no real standards, so this is merely the perpetuation of a myth).

from alt. usage. english

Wednesday, 19 December 2007


All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.

= All that glitters is not Gold.


Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.

= Beggars cannot be choosers.


Male cadavers are incapable of rendering any testimony.

= Dead men tell no tales.


Neophite's serendipity.

= Beginner's luck


A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small, green, biophytic plant.

= A Rolling Stone gathers no Moss.


Members of an avian species of identical plumage tend to congregate.

= Birds of a feather flock together.


Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.

= Beauty is only skin-deep.


Freedom from incrustations of crime is contiguous to rectitude.

= Cleanliness is next to Godliness.


It is fruitless to become lachrymose of precipitately departed lacteal fluid.

= Don't cry over Spilt Milk.


Eschew the implement of correction and vitiate the scion.

= Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child.


Francium is a chemical element that has the symbol Fr and atomic number 87. It has the lowest known electronegativity and is the second rarest naturally occurring element on Earth (after astatine)<!-- Cf and others occur naturally in supernovae; Universe-wide abundance is difficult to ascertain --. Francium is a highly radioactive metal that decays into astatine, radium, and radon. As an alkali metal, it has one valence electron. Marguerite Perey discovered francium in

1939. Francium was the last element discovered in nature, rather than synthesized. Outside the laboratory, francium is extremely rare, with trace amounts found in uranium and thorium ores, where the isotope francium-223 is continually formed and continually decays. Perhaps an ounce (30 g) exists at any given time throughout the Earth's crust; the other isotopes are entirely synthetic. The largest amount ever collected of any isotope was a cluster of 10,000 atoms (of francium-210) created as an ultracold gas at Stony Brook in 1996.

Read the rest of this article:

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Among 19th century philosophers, Arthur Schopenhauer was among the first to contend that at its core, the universe is not a rational place. Inspired by Plato and Kant, both of whom regarded the world as being more amenable to reason, Schopenhauer developed their philosophies into an instinct-recognizing and ultimately ascetic outlook, emphasizing that in the face of a world filled with endless strife, we ought to minimize our natural desires to achieve a more tranquil frame of mind and a disposition towards universal beneficence. Often considered to be a thoroughgoing pessimist, Schopenhauer in fact advocated ways — via artistic, moral and ascetic forms of awareness — to overcome a frustration-filled and fundamentally painful human condition. Since his death in 1860, his philosophy has had a special attraction for those who wonder about life's meaning, along with those engaged in music, literature, and the visual arts.

See more at

Monday, 17 December 2007

Snooker Balls

A standard set of balls for the snooker table consists of 15 reds, 6 colours and 1 white / cue ball.The standard measurement of each ball is 2 1/16 inch in diameter.

Historically, snooker balls were made exclusively from heavy ivory. Thankfully, these quickly became a thing of the past and were replaced before the Second World War by lighter Crystalate balls made from the crushed shin bones of cows.

Crystalate balls were subsequently replaced by Super Crystalate balls, made from entirely synthetic material. These were then replaced by the Aramith balls utilised in today's game.

Aramith balls are ideally suited to the demands of the modern game, as they are more reactive to spin and power shots, thereby presenting greater opportunities for enhanced cue ball control.


Sunday, 16 December 2007

"This tape will self-destruct in five seconds..."

"This tape will self-destruct in five seconds..." - Warning heard on a tape recorded message secretly given to agent Daniel Briggs (Steven Hill) and later James Phelps (Peter Graves) on the espionage adventure MISSION IMPOSSIBLE/CBS/1966-73/ABC/1988-90. When the series was revived in 1988, the old reel-to-reel and cassette audio-tape recording were replaced by a more modern laser disc. The voice on the taped message was Bob Johnson.


What's the best way to kill a vampire?

Dear Cecil:

I have a question to which I need an immediate reply, which I hope you publish, as others on the community may feel the need to know this information. Please list in order the most preferred ways to kill a vampire. --J. Pasquale, Baltimore

Dear J.:

I'll admit I've heard some horror stories about crime in Baltimore, J., but vampires--land o' Goshen, honey, things are really getting out of hand. Grab your pencil.

To kill a vampire it is first necessary to determine its ethnic origin. I regret that I cannot offer much useful information on how this might be accomplished, but I'm sure you'll think of something.

Next, locate the vampire's daytime whereabouts, i. e., its grave. My vampire manual recommends placing "a young lad who is innocent of girls," such as Richard Simmons, atop a black virgin stallion, and leading the two through a likely graveyard. If the horse refuses to pass a certain grave, you've hit paydirt, so to speak. The telltale signs of a vampirous corpse are fluidity of the blood, lack of putrefaction, and flexibility of the limbs (we're talking about corpses now, mind you).

Finally, administer treatment as prescribed below:


  • Sampiro - Albania - Stake through heart

  • Nachtzehrer - Bavaria - Place coin in mouth, decapitate with ax

  • Ogoljen - Bohemia - Bury at crossroads

  • Krvoijac - Bulgaria - Chain to grave with wild roses

  • Kathakano - Crete - Boil head in vinegar

  • Brukalaco - Greece - Cut off and burn head

  • Vampir - Hungary - Stake through heart, nail through temples

  • Dearg-dul - Ireland - Pile stones on grave

  • Vryolakas - Macedonia - Pour boiling oil on, drive nail through navel

  • Upier - Poland - Bury face downwards

  • Gierach - Prussia - Put poppy seeds in grave

  • Strigoiul - Rumania - Remove heart, cut in two; garlic in mouth, nail in head

  • Vlkoslak - Serbia - Cut off toes, drive nail through neck

  • Neuntoter - Saxony - Lemon in mouth

  • Vampiro - Spain - No known remedy

I realize the above will not be much use in the case of a Third World vampire, but you can't have everything. Incidentally, we'll have none of this "preferred ways" business. There's a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Take some pride in your work.

from [the Straight Dope]

Saturday, 15 December 2007


Hessian cloth or Burlap (chiefly US) is a coarse woven fabric usually made from jute or hemp and allied vegetable fibers. The name 'hessian' is attributed to the use of the fabric, initially, as part of the uniform of soldiers from the German state of Hesse. The name 'burlap' appears to be of unknown origin.

German soldiers loyal to King George III who fought for Britain in the Revolutionary War. King George was from Hanover, an area in Germany, and called in a favor to his homeland, asking for soldiers willing to fight in the New World. The Hessians numbered almost 30,000, and they fought mostly in the Northern Campaign. They are most famous, however, for being surprised and defeated at Trenton by American forces under General George Washington, whose army had just crossed the Delaware River in the dead of night on Dec. 25, 1776.

The Hessian binary web service protocol makes web services usable without requiring a large framework, and without learning yet another alphabet soup of protocols. Because it is a binary protocol, it is well-suited to sending binary data without any need to extend the protocol with attachments.

Friday, 14 December 2007

More words with 3 consecutive identical letters

brasssmith, goddessship, bulllike


There's a rumour that the word Stovies comes from the French "étouffée", to steam, but we think that's a load of old leftovers. Truth is that's exactly what stovies is - something to do on Monday with all that delicious meat and veg, fat and gravy, left over on the stove from the Sunday roast.


Thursday, 13 December 2007

English is Such a Wacky Language, Part 2

English is Such a Wacky Language, by Peter Heinlein

If you WROTE a letter - perhaps you BOTE your tongue? (BIT, BITE, BOTE?)

Sometimes I think all English speakers should be committed to any asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite a play - and play at a recital? SHIP by truck - and send cargo by SHIP?

Have NOSES that run - and FEET that smell?

How can a SLIM CHANCE and a FAT CHANCE - be the same?

Why are a WISE MAN - and WISE GUY - opposites?

How can OVERLOOK and OVERSEE be opposites? While QUITE A LOT and QUITE A FEW - are alike?

How can the weather be HOT AS HELL one day, and COLD AS HELL the next?

Have you ever noticed that we can talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a HORSEFUL CARRIAGE? Or a STRAPFUL GOWN?

Met a SUNG HERO? - Or experienced REQUITED LOVE?

Have you ever run into someone who was COMBOBULATED? - GRUNTLED? RULY? - or PECCABLE?

And where are all those people who ARE Spring chickens - or who WOULD hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can BURN UP - as it BURNS DOWN. In which you FILL IN a form by FILLING IT OUT. And in which an alarm clock GOES OFF by GOING ON.

English was invented by people, not computers - and it reflects the creativity of the human race, (which of course isn't a RACE at all).

That is why, when the STARS ARE OUT, they are VISIBLE - but when the LIGHTS ARE OUT, they are INVISIBLE.

And why - when I wind up my watch - I START IT, but when I wind up this essay, I END IT!!!

35 Fun things to do while driving

  1. Have a friend ride in the back seat. Gagged.
  2. Roll down your windows and blast talk radio. Headbang.
  3. Wear snorkel gear and hang fish around from the ceiling.
  4. Two words: Chicken suit.
  5. Write the words "Help me" on your back window in red paint. The more it looks like blood, the better.
  6. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Watch in rearview mirror as toll collector tries to explain to next driver.
  7. Laugh. Laugh a lot. A whooooole lot.
  8. Stop at the green lights.
  9. Go at the red ones.
  10. Occasionally wave a stuffed animal/troll doll/Barbie out your window or sunroof. Feel free to make it dance.
  11. Eat food that requires silverware.
  12. Put your arms down the legs of an extra pair of trousers, put sneakers on your hands, and lean the seat back as you drive.
  13. At stop lights, eye the person in the next car suspiciously. With a look of fear, suddenly lock your doors.
  14. Honk frequently without motivation.
  15. Wave at people often. If they wave back, offer an offended and angry look as if they gave you an obscene gesture.
  16. At stop lights, ask people if they have any Grey Poupon.
  17. Let pedestrians know who's boss.
  18. Look behind you frequently, with a very paranoid look.
  19. Restart your car at every stop light.
  20. Hang numerous car-fresheners in the rear-view mirror. Talk to them, stroking them lovingly.
  21. Lob burning things in the windows of smokers who throw their butts out the window.
  22. Keep at least five cats in the car.
  23. Squeegee your windshield at every stop.
  24. If a firetruck comes up behind you, pull over, get on the roof of your car, and do a cheer for them as they pass!
  25. Compliment other drivers on their skill and finesse.
  26. Have conversations, looking periodically at the passenger seat, when driving alone.
  27. Stop and collect roadkill.
  28. Stop and pray for roadkill.
  29. Stop and cook roadkill. (If in Tennessee.)
  30. Throw Spam. Tape signs on windows protesting email abuse.
  31. Get in the fast lane and gradually... slow... down... to... a stop. Then get out and watch the cars.
  32. Vary your vehicle's speed inversely with the speed limit.
  33. Drive off an exit ramp, ask for directions to the town you're in. When they tell you you're there, look confused, glance at your map, laugh, and exclaim, "Oh! Wrong state!"
  34. Sing without having the radio on.
  35. At stop lights, run out of your car, place pylons around you, then gather them back up as the light changes and drive off

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

The Great Train Robbery, 1963

The Great Train Robbery was the name given to a £2.3 million train robbery committed on 8 August 1963 at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, England.

The Royal Mail's Glasgow to London travelling post office train was stopped by tampered signals. A 15-member gang, led by Bruce Reynolds and including Ronnie Biggs, Charlie Wilson, Jimmy Hussey, John Wheater, Brian Field, Jimmy White, Tommy Wisbey, Gordon Goody and Buster Edwards, stole £2.3 million in used £1, £5 and £10 notes — the equivalent of £40 million in 2006.

Although no guns were used in the robbery, the train driver, Jack Mills, was hit on the head with an iron bar, causing a black eye and facial bruising. The assailant was one of three members of the gang never to be arrested or identified. Frank Williams (at the time a Detective Inspector) claims to have traced the man, but he could not be charged because of lack of evidence. Mills recovered fully from the attack and died in 1970 from leukemia.

Thirteen of the gang members were caught after police discovered their fingerprints at their hideout at Leatherslade Farm, near Oakley, Buckinghamshire. The robbers were tried, sentenced and imprisoned. Ronnie Biggs escaped from prison 15 months into his sentence, settling in Melbourne Australia, and later moving to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when police found out his Melbourne address. Charlie Wilson escaped and was living outside Montreal, Canada on Rigaud Mountain. In the upper-middle-class neighbourhood where the large, secluded properties are surrounded by trees, Wilson was just another resident who enjoyed his privacy. Only when his wife made the mistake of telephoning his parents in England was Scotland Yard able to track him down.

See the 10 Greatest Robberies of all time at

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

English is Such a Wacky Language, Part 1

English is Such a Wacky Language, by Peter Heinlein

There's no EGG in eggplant, nor HAM in hamburger, neither APPLE nor  PINE in pineapple.

English muffins weren't invented in England, or French fries in France.

SWEETMEATS are candies, while SWEETBREADS - which aren't sweet - are MEAT.

We take English for granted. But - if we explore its paradoxes - we find that QUICKSAND can work slowly - BOXING RINGS are square - and a GUINEA PIG is neither from Guinea - nor is it a pig.

And why is it that WRITERS WRITE - but FINGERS don't FING. GROCERS don't GROCE? And HAMMERS don't HAM.

If the plural of TOOTH is TEETH - why isn't the plural of BOOTH - BEETH?

If the plural of MOUSE is MICE - why isn't the plural of HOUSE - HICE?

One GOOSE, two GEESE. So - one MOOSE - why not two MEESE?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make AMENDS - but not one AMEND.

That you can comb through the ANNALS of history, but not through a single ANNAL.

If you have a bunch of ODDS AND ENDS - and you get rid of all but one of them - what do you call IT?

If teachers taught - why didn't preachers PRAUGHT?


from alt.usage.english

Dead Parrot?

It's not pining, it's passed on. This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker.This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.

from Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just the Words, at

Monday, 10 December 2007

They Really Said That?

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year."
The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"But what ... is it good for?"
Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home."
Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp.,1977

"640K ought to be enough for anybody."
Bill Gates, 1981, commenting on size of RAM in computers


Sunday, 9 December 2007

Horatio Nelson

Lord Admiral Nelson (1758 - 1805)

Horatio Nelson, or the 1st Viscount Nelson, is considered to be the greatest naval hero in the history of the United Kingdom, because of his participation in the Napoleonic Wars.

He lost his life on October 21, 1805 during the Battle of Trafalgar, after receiving a mortal bullet wound shot from the French ship, Redoutable.

Lord Nelson was famous during his lifetime, but since his death has been lionized like no other military figure in British history. He is commemorated in Trafalgar square in London with a triple-life-sized column, commemorating the admiral who died defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.


Saturday, 8 December 2007


Anchorage, Alaska is a consolidated city-borough (officially called the Municipality of Anchorage) in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the largest city in the state of Alaska, with 278,700 residents, comprising more than two-fifths (with its metropolitan area, over 50%) of the state's total population


Friday, 7 December 2007

19 Fun things to do in the bathroom stall

  1. Stick your palm open under the stall wall and ask your neighbour, "May I borrow a high lighter?"
  2. Say "Uh oh, I knew I shouldn't put my lips on that."
  3. Cheer and clap loudly every time somebody breaks the silence with a bodily function noise.
  4. Say, "Hmmm, I've never seen that colour before."
  5. Drop a marble and say, "Oh shoot!! My glass eye!!"
  6. Say, "Darn, this water is cold."
  7. Grunt and strain real loud for 30 seconds and then drop a cantaloupe into the toilet bowl from a high place and sigh. Eight to 6 feet. Sigh relaxingly.
  8. Say, "Now how did that get there?"
  9. Say, "Humus. Reminds me of humus."
  10. Fill up a large flask with Mountain Dew. Squirt it erratically under the stall walls of your neighbours while yelling, "Whoa! Easy boy!"
  11. Say," Interesting.... More sinkers than floaters"
  12. Using a small squeeze tube, spread peanut butter on a wad of toilet paper and drop under the stall wall of your neighbour. Then say, "Whoops, could you kick that back over here, please?
  13. Say, "C'mon Mr. Happy! Don't fall asleep on me!!
  14. Say, "Boy, that sure looks like a maggot"
  15. Say, "Darn, I knew that drain hole was a little too small. Now what am I gonna do?"
  16. Play a well-known drum cadence over and over again on your butt cheeks.
  17. Before you unroll toilet paper, consciously lay down your "Cross-dressers Anonymous" newsletter on the floor visible to the adjacent stall.
  18. Lower a small mirror underneath the stall wall and adjust it so you can see your neighbour and say, "Peek-a-boo!"
  19. Drop a D-cup bra on the floor under the stall wall and sing "Born Free"

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Had had ...

Smith, where Jones had had "had," had had "had had." "Had had" had had been the correct answer.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

More Questions

Can you cry under water?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

Why do you have to "put your two cents in".. but it's only a "penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?

Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?

Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

What disease did cured ham actually have?

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up every two hours?

Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song about him?

If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They're both dogs!

If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why didn't he just buy dinner?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride, he sticks his head out the window?

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Popes Hat Dorito sold for $1,209, the eBay-happy Internet casino most famous for their purchase of the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich, has raised the stakes with an even cheesier purchase - $1,209 for a Nacho Cheese Doritos chip that resembles the Pope's Mitre, otherwise known as a really tall hat. After seeing the chip in his bag of Doritos, the seller decided that it would be unfair to not share it with the world. Following the recent trends of auctioning religious memorabilia, the chip was immediately ushered to a late-night photo session and then posted on eBay.


Sinatra on drinking

I feel sorry for people who don't drink.

When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.

--Frank Sinatra

Monday, 3 December 2007

Highway Patrol

A police show which featured Broderick Crawford as Captain Dan Matthews.

For an officer of his rank, he spent a lot of time in patrol car barking "10-4."

Highway Patrol had a great appeal for young guys as it had great car chases.

Broadcast 1955-1959, in black & white, 156 total episodes


Sunday, 2 December 2007

Is Happy Birthday Copyrighted?


The melody for Happy Birthday was first penned by two sisters from Kentucky, Mildred J. Hill and Patty Smith Hill. The song was called Good Morning to All, but bore the recognizable melody. The tune was first published in 1893 in the book Song Stories for the Kindergarten. The melody has since passed into the public domain, and is safe to hum in public without permission.

While it is not entirely clear who first wrote down the words for Happy Birthday, it showed up in a few places before Jessica Hill (another Hill sister) was able to demonstrate undeniable similarities between Good Morning to All and Happy Birthday and to secure the copyright to the song.

Working with the Clayton F. Summy Publishing Company, Jessica Hill published and copyrighted Happy Birthday in 1935. While the copyright should have expired in 1991, copyright has been extended repeatedly over the last quarter of the twentieth century and the copyright for Happy Birthday is now not due to expire until at least 2030.

The Clayton F. Summy Company is no longer independent, but, through a chain of purchases, the copyright for Happy Birthday To You lies securely in the hands of the Time Warner company. Happy Birthday's copyright is licensed and enforced by ASCAP, and the simple little ditty brings in more than USD $2 million in annual royalties.

For more information on the history of the tune, lyrics, and copyright status, check out these resources:

Saturday, 1 December 2007

This is a Hoax - or is it?

The Museum of Hoaxes was established in 1997 in order to promote knowledge about the phenomenon of hoaxes. Why do we (the staff at the museum) care about hoaxes, and why do we think other people should care also? One reason is that we live in an era in which reality and unreality are becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish, and the only reliable way to sort out what is real from what is unreal is to have some knowledge about what unreality looks like and how it manages to slip past our defenses. But the real reason we care about hoaxes is simply because we’re endlessly fascinated by the bizarre things that people have been talked into believing over the years.