Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Interrobang), ‽ (often represented by ?! or !?), is a nonstandard punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark (also called the “interrogative point”) and the exclamation mark or exclamation point (known in printers’ jargon as the “bang”).

The glyph is a superimposition of these two marks.

The interrobang, also known as the interabang.

A sentence ending with an interrobang asks a question in an excited manner, expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or asks a rhetorical question.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrobang

Saturday, 28 July 2012



Two challengers face off, each armed with a regulation wooden pencil taken from a factory-sealed pack.

The only recognized regulation competition pencil is the Dixon/Ticonderoga #2 yellow – graphite core, cedar shaft, latex eraser with aluminum stay.

The pencil may not be sharpened or altered in any way prior to initial combat.

A Pink Pearl Eraser flip determines which fighter strikes first.

The loser of the eraser flip becomes the “Defender” and holds his or her pencil between both hands in a horizontal position.

The winner of the eraser flip becomes the “Striker”, holding their pencil vertically and bringing the pencil down in a strike across the opponent’s pencil with full force, attempting to break it in two.
If the Defender’s pencil does not break from the Striker’s attempt, then it becomes the Defender’s turn to strike.

This repeats until one player’s pencil breaks in two and cannot continue.

If a pencil is cracked, but not fully broken in two, referee determines whether said pencil can continue.

If both pencils break during a strike, victory goes to the striker.

See full set of rules at http://pencilfightingwriting.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/extreme-pencil-fighting-rules/

Also see ABOUT WXPFL: THE WORLD EXTREME PENCIL FIGHTING LEAGUE at  http://pencilfightingwriting.wordpress.com/about/

Monday, 23 July 2012

A Higgs boson goes into a church …

A Higgs boson goes into a church.

The priest says "We can't have elementary particles in here, I'm just about to say mass!"

"Without me there is no mass" says the particle.

From Sue at uk.rec.humour

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences® (OEIS®)

The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences® (OEIS®) is the on-line version of a database of sequences of numbers which will soon be celebrating its 50th anniversary.

A conventional dictionary is a collection of words, together with explanations of their meanings, hints for their pronunciation, pictures illustrating particular words, examples showing how the words have been used in books and newspapers, and so on.

The OEIS is a collection of sequences of numbers (such as 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, ...) together with, for each sequence, a list of items such as:

  • The first 10, or 10,000, or sometimes 500,000 terms of the sequence
  • A definition or description of the sequence
  • Comments explaining further properties of the sequence
  • Formulas for generating the sequence
  • Computer programs for generating the sequence
  • References to books and articles where the sequence has appeared
  • Links to web pages on the Internet where the sequence has appeared
  • Cross-references to related entries in the OEIS
  • The name of the person who submitted the sequence to the OEIS
  • Further names of people who have added additional information about the sequence
  • Examples illustrating some of the terms of the sequence (for example, sequence A124. which gives the maximal number of pieces that can be obtained when cutting a circular pancake with n cuts, is illustrated with pictures showing the pieces obtained with n = 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 cuts)
  • The history of each sequence in the OEIS as it has evolved over time
  • Users of the OEIS may also view graphs or plots of each sequence, or to listen to the sequence when it is converted to music

From http://oeisf.org/

Saturday, 14 July 2012

All the lights are almost off

' ... it doesn't matter. All the lights are almost off.'

'What are you talking about?' Mars seemed to grow as he got closer, filling the room. Jennifer backed away.

'Good boys turn off the lights so that no one can see them doing bad things in the dark. My mother told me that.'

"Mars" Krupcheck in Hostage by Robert Crais

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

For Sale: Volcano House

The creation of architect Harold J. Bissner Jr., the dome house has been sitting atop a 150-foot conical hill of volcanic fragments since 1968 and is now for sale, at $750,000. The 1,800-square-foot home—guarded by two caretakers whose faces have been sculpted by desertic whim—and its adjoining 60 acres belong to Huell Howser, the host of California’s Gold, the travel show for PBS affiliate KCET that highlights places of interest in California, often along remote paths.

See full article at http://vegasseven.com/style/2010/april/22/sale-volcano-house

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Vampires and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Old folklore from Eastern Europe suggests that many vampires suffered from a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder , being fascinated with counting. Millet or poppy seeds were placed on the ground at the grave site of a presumed vampire, in order to keep the vampire occupied all night counting. Chinese myths about vampires also state that if a vampire comes across a sack of rice, s/he will have to count all of the grains. Aside from the Muppet character of Count von Count on television's Sesame Street and a fifth season episode of the X-Files titled Bad Blood , this characteristic seems to have largely disappeared from popular culture.

From http://www.draculas.info/vampires_traits/

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Rules of Office Kitchen

If you've ever worked in an office, you've probably seen quite a lack of office kitchen etiquette. You know what I mean: Dirty dishes in the sink, crumbs or other leftover food particles all over the kitchen counter or the table, about two spoonfuls of coffee left in the coffee pot, filling the office kitchen with the heavenly scent of rapidly burning coffee.

Following is a list of rules pertaining to office kitchen etiquette that should cover most office kitchens quite nicely.

1. Probably the most widely abused and ignored rule of office kitchen etiquette is to make a new pot of coffee if you are emptying or near to emptying the pot.

2. Clean up after yourself, another rule of office kitchen etiquette that seems to be a foreign concept to many. Just because the company has a cleaning person does not mean you have your own personal maid or janitor.

3. As an addendum to the trash rule, be sure to throw out any of your old leftovers that have been residing in the fridge for some time, lest everyone soon be greeted with an unpleasant odor every time they go to retrieve their own lunch and snacks.

See full article at http://voices.yahoo.com/the-rules-office-kitchen-etiquette-450786.html

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Fluorescence & Phosphorescence

Fluorescence and phosphorescence are both examples of photoluminescence. In both cases, light is absorbed and then re-emitted at a less-energetic wavelength.

Fluorescent and phosphorescent objects usually glow under exposure to ultraviolet light (though this is not a requirement).

Fluorescence involves absorbing and releasing lower energy light almost immediately, while the light release of phosphorescence is delayed, so these materials appear to glow in the dark.

From http://chemistry.about.com/od/imagesclipartstructures/ig/Fluorescence---Phosphorescence/