Archive for July, 2009

Mount Rushmore to get laser treatment

By Joe Foy, U.S.A. TODAY
The solemn faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln are due for a face lift.   Crews from Scotland and California will shoot controlled lasers at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial as part of a beautifying project, known as “Monument Rehabilitation”. Project director Sid Finch stated in his press conference that “This project will give us and consulting plastic surgeons a chance to youthify national monuments… We‘re actually using some of the contours of George Clooney’s face for Abraham Lincoln, it’s quite revolutionary.” The monument rehabilitation project doesn’t stop there. In 2012 The Statue of Liberty is due for a makeover, says Finch “Lady Liberty looks a little zaftig these days and we’re going to slim her down a bit. The best way to describe it would be architectural liposuction. It‘s our intention to get Lady Liberty in Maxim magazine, if you know what I mean.” Mount Rushmore will be open to the public while the work is being done.

Cronkite!

Ever since Walter Cronkite “the most trusted man in America*” died last week the Discovery Channel has been running Walter Cronkite Remembers a 1997 series where Cronkite goes over his years as a war correspondent  and anchorman .  It’s really interesting stuff and he adds a great insiders view of things.  He did another show a year or two ago called Cronkite! which some wags dubbed “Walter Cronkite Forgets” The following is a brief excerpt of the transcript for the pilot of Cronkite! that thankfully never aired:

Interviewer(off screen): Walter, what was living in Moscow like right after WWII?

Cronkite: What?! Who are you, what are you doing here?!  Moscow? that was the name of a dog I had, he used to bite the mailman.  Loyal as the day is long,  not like that snake Rather.  He couldn’t wait for me to retire, that snake.  Makes my blood boil.   And don’t tell me where I lived young man.  I think I know where I lived!…and why are you here?! In my house, with those bright lights and everything, (unintelligible grumble) .

Interviewer: We’re doing a television show about your life, you’ve lived an exciting life and been part of many historical…

Cronkite: (interrupting) An exciting life? You know who had an exciting life? Kennedy, all three of them.  I interviewed him once in Hyannis Port and he was having sex with a mule!  A mule, swear to God…And that’s the way it is….I’m sleepy…get out.

*the phrase “Most trusted man in America” is copyrighted by Cronkcorp, C&P all rights reserved

Japanese professors create baseball-playing super robots

a Base-Bot

a Base-Bot

TOKYO (A&P) — Look out Hideki Matsui and Daisuke Matsuzaka . A pair of baseball-playing super robots (or Base-Bots) that can pitch and hit with amazing results have been developed in Japan.  The pitching robot, nicknamed  “Rodan” has a three-fingered hand, can throw 95% of its pitches in the strike zone and won’t need any relief from the bullpen. The batting robot, nicknamed  “Gamera”  has a sensor to determine if pitches are strikes or balls, hits balls in the strike zone 100% of the time and doesn’t swing at pitches outside the strike zone.  The two robots were created by University of Tokyo professor Kawabata Makoto.  “The  level of the robotics technology of each robot is extremely high,” Makoto said. “What was difficult was to create a mechanism to satisfy such a high level of roboticness.”  However the robot ballplayers are not without their own unique problems.  “Rodan” was recently arrested in Tokyo’s so called robot town district for an altercation with a robot prostitute or (Ho-Bot), while “Gamera” created tabloid headlines when he disrupted this years robot awards (the Robies) by appearing drunk on robo-saki (aka: high grade machine oil).  Still the sky does seem to be the limit for these talented Base-Bots.  The future of baseball? It does compute.

I Hate Me pt. 228,167

This weekend the town had it’s yearly sidewalk sale, we had 25% off of all used cd’s, dvd’s and lp’s. It was busy and annoying; “Is this on sale?” “No, just used items.” “But why isn’t this on sale?” “It’s not used.” “Well, it should be on sale.” “I can’t help you, it’s not used so it’s not on sale.” So by the end of Saturday I was a frayed nerve, it was ten minutes before I was to punch out and I was just trying to avoid everyone. A group of 5 people came to the back counter and started asking questions about Rueben Studdard the American Idol guy. I was trying not to make eye contact with them so they would leave quickly but the questions came fast and furious. They were asking for songs and albums that weren’t listed, doing stuff like asking new questions before I finished answering the last question. I was being really curt with them and about to snap when I looked up and the woman who had asked the last question had a Special Olympics shirt on and looked like she could have been a participant. The guy behind her also had on a Special Olympic shirt on and then I realized all five of them were wearing different Special Olympic shirts. Of course I felt like a douche, the same feeling I get when I see a 3 legged dog, or a happy retarded child, or an old guy who looks like a gnarled root with a head on top. So being humbled and then some, I finally figured out they were looking for Clay Aiken, not Rueben Studdard. then I went home and had a drink

exotic animal amnesty day

Connecticut holds successful exotic animal amnesty day
(A&P)

Bridgeport, Conn. — Owners of exotic animals in Connecticut were given a day of amnesty to turn in their illegally-owned exotic pets. The state Department of Environmental Protection’s had its first exotic pet amnesty day Saturday at the Bridgeport Zoo. Deputy Commissioner Dan French said owners turned over at least 135,000 animals, most of them exotic reptiles. The collection included 72,115 boa constrictors, 15,000 pythons, 10,000 eye gouger monkeys, 7,003 alligators, 350 polar bears, 270 brain bats, 160 mauler squirrels, 90 giant ants, 72 venom pups, 15 walking rattlesnakes, and a pantherette ( an extremely rare animal, it has the head of a panther supported by 30 tiny legs. It’s very fast and lethal). Officials asked about the animals’ diets, reading habits, medical history and temperament but didn’t ask the owners their names.
The event comes five months after a privately owned chimpanzee escaped from his home and wrote several bad checks. It’s illegal to own large, potentially dangerous and criminal minded wild animals in Connecticut.

I Like Records 17

A woman came in to sell a local CD on consignment.  It’s a fairly straightforward process, how many CD’s are you leaving and how much money do you want back for them.  Chris was the unfortunate who was handling this customer

-Ok, you’re dropping off five CD’s, how much money do you want back for each CD?

As much as I can get

-(friendly chuckle) No, I need a dollar amount, how much do you want back

As much as I can get, how much is that

That’s what you have to tell me, How much money do you want back for each CD that we sell

-(mumbling) How much can I get back

Look, you’re selling the CD, right

Yes.

-Ok, how much money do you want for each CD that we sell.  I need to know a dollar amount, do you want $8, do you want $10.  You have to tell me how much money you want for each CD that we sell.

uh…as much…as…I can get…how much is that

It had devolved into a bad Abbott & Costello routine and Chris just stood there, sagging shoulders, stunned and defeated. Suddenly the woman grabbed him by the arms

Look, this is all very confusing to me

And Chris frozen in uncomfortableness

PLEASE…DON’T…TOUCH …ME

There was a prolonged silence and the woman left, called the store five minutes later and complained about her treatment

Secrets of the Presidency, part 2

Lincoln’s Hat
The image of president Abraham Lincoln wearing a stovepipe hat is part of the american psyche but it also held a dark secret.  Lincoln’s tiny cojoined twin Jebadiah who was joined head to head with Abe and lived in his stovepipe hat.  Young Jebadiah’s body didn’t develop and Abraham had to wear his signature stovepipe hat from the time he was in a cradle to hide Jeb’s malformed body. However this wasn’t a one sided deal, Jeb was extremely smart and guided Abe all the way to the White House.  There were of course problems, Mary Todd Lincoln went insane when she found out the shocking truth and during a meeting with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, Lincoln’s top hat fell off exposing Jeb.  A stunned General Grant who was a teetotaler started drinking heavily soon after in an attempt to erase the horrifying sight from his mind.  It is said the vision haunted him to his dying day.  Immediately after President Lincoln was assassinated Jebadiah was surgically removed and against his protests was sold to a freak show where he lived out his remaining days living in an upside down stove pipe hat and telling fortunes.

President Flying Giant?

Recently discovered medical records show that our 5th president James Monroe was actually 60 feet tall, ate rocks and could fly.

Secrets of the Presidency, part 1

Old Hickory

Andrew Jackson the 7th president of the United States (1829-1837) was nicknamed “Old Hickory” not because of his toughness but because he was actually a tree.  The circumstances behind Jackson’s “birth” in South Carolina in 1767  are shrouded in mystery but this much is true.  Jackson’s father cut down a small hickory tree at the same instant both he and the tree were hit by lightning.  The small tree that was cut down had become what is medically known as a “treebaby”, as human as you or I except that he was a tree.  Little is known about Jackson’s childhood except that his rough bark/skin was explained away as a gypsy curse.  A hickory blight in 1801 nearly crippled him and termites plagued Jackson for  most of his adult life and made him ornery.  When he died in 1845 he was cut up and made into eight ceremonial bowls which are now placed unmarked throughout the White House.  Although quite rare Human Treeism has been documented and Jackson wasn’t the only president who was a human tree, Woodrow Wilson was another.  An early draft of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio was based on Jackson’s life.

The Curious Case of Presidents Adams

8th President John Quincy Adams was actually the father of 2nd President John Adams.  Amazing, unexplainable, yet true.

Energy Saving Tip:Cars

Energy Saving Driving Tips:
Idling gets you 0 miles per gallon. The best way to warm up a vehicle is to build a fire around it. It doesn’t have to be a big fire, just a small dry leaf and twig fire for about three minutes.   For people living in frigid climes, we suggest dousing the vehicle in kerosene and setting it on fire for 2-5 minutes, your car should be toasty and comfortable by then. Be sure to extinguish fire before driving.

Using your cars’s air conditioner decreases gas mileage by as much as 20 percent.  So use your car’s heater at all times and increase your gas milage by as much as 20 percent.  If it gets too warm, open a window.

toast

We got a request recently (7/18/09) for more articles on Toast. Since we wish to keep our vast readership happy, here goes. Instead of digging up new information on toast (and believe us, there’s not much new since the Peking toast uprising of 2007) we decided to reprint a couple of excerpts from the what is thought to be the seminal work on toast, Butter & Jam Men: Dragging Toast into the 20th Century by Rikki Rachtman (Simpleton Press, 1972):
The modern age of toast began in the 1890’s when Brooklyn born Lentil McPhee the son of persian and irish immigrants started experimenting with toast production. “In the old days” said McPhee “people would usually make toast on a giant bonfire. most places would have a part of town reserved for a constant toast bonfire. There would be two or three men to mind the fires, Toast-Minders they were called. The townspeople would bring their bread for toasting and the Toast-Miners would have giant iron grills set up in and around the bonfire. Everyone thought this was fine but I knew there had to be a better way.” Mcphee went and built the first modern multi slice toaster in 1894. It was made of pig iron, was as big as a city block, ran on coal and made an astounding 5,000 pieces of toast every 45 seconds. “Of course we didn’t always fill it to capacity, but on holidays we had that thing cranking. One Easter we made 750,000 pieces of toast. Let me tell you, toasting was dangerous work, it was as hot as a volcano, and we lost more than a few men to it.” McPhee sold his toast through A&P food stores where it would be bought and reheated at home. He also had McPhee’s Toast-Carts, horse drawn carts that “Toasters” would sell from. “The Toast-Carts had coal warmers on them and the Toasters would hawk them on the street, fixing the toast with butter for three cents a slice or strawberry jam for four cents. Butter and jam together was five cents and was called a “Kings Hat” because it resembled a crown.” McPhee later talked about the end of his toast empire, “It was rye toast that killed us, we were strictly white and whole wheat toasters but there was a rye toast movement and we didn’t see it coming, and then pumpernickel toast was the final nail in the coffin. Pumpernickel toast! have you you ever heard of a thing so dunderheaded. Of course by that time Edison had invented an electric toaster and people could make toast at home but it lacks the specialness, the grandeur and the zazz of toast from a cart.”