Monday, July 31, 2006

6 'Av 5766 * 31 July 2006: The Nine Days


It’s still the Nine Days, and it’s not one of my better days. (Didn’t sleep well last night, feeling allergic, waiting on other people for stuff, the weather is more appropriate for Venus than Terra/Earth.) The major bright side is that I have managed to install a separate swap partition on my Mac (which speeds things up when faking more RAM than actually exists, though setting things up is dangerous), though I find myself wondering why Apple doesn’t make an option for setting it up for you upon installation. Someone send me a decent icon for a swap partition, please, something that looks like a RAM module.

Today’s news and commentary, other than the zillion things under “Recommended Reading”:No weird thing for today. Sorry.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Friday, July 14, 2006

18 Tammuz 5766 * 14 July 2006: The Three Weeks/Bastille Day


Worthy cause of the day: Political Action: Renew the Voting Rights Act.

The Arab-Israeli war rages on. (See under “Recommended Reading”.) HashShem, please, do not let Olmert chicken out. Do not let him leave any terrorists alive or at least uncaptured. And do not let him listen to anyone pushing “restraint”. The last thing we need is leaving things in such a condition so as to set the stage for another jihad.

At special request, today’s weird thing is Candy propellants, which deals with using high-sugar substances for model rocket fuel rather than for rotting teeth. Sugar Shot to Space is an extreme version of this idea. Enjoy, may the Merciful One help us, and Shabbath shalom.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

16 Tammuz 5766 * 12 July 2006: International Town Criers Day


According to my usual sources (see under Recommended Reading in the sidebar), Hizbullah has attacked Israel (including some kidnappings), and in response Israel has effectively declared war on Lebanon. (HashShem, save us!) I am really not in a mood for weird things at the moment. The timing is at least appropriate. Tomorrow is the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day beginning the Three Weeks, a period of mourning for the destruction of both Temples and multiple disasters throughout Jewish history, culminating in the 9th of ’Av. There will be no weird things tomorrow or on the 9th of ’Av, and in between expect few, if any. Please pray for the State of Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces, and that the politicians do not make a worse mess of the situation than they already have. If you can think of anything practical to do to ameliorate the situation, please do it. Thank you.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

15 Tammuz 5766 * 11 July 2006: National Slurpee Day


Today’s weird thing is FedexFurniture.Com, which is the site of someone who made furniture out of FedEx boxes. Enjoy.


Sunday, July 9, 2006

13 Tammuz 5766 * 9 March 2006: Pachycephalosaurus Day


I am declaring today to be Pachycephalosaurus Day since yesterday some kids left a rather amusing Pachycephalosaurus model in the shtibl I went to. I got to joke that the Pachycephalosaurus was my havrutha’ (study partner), and the Pachycephalosaurus got to be the sponsor for se‘udhah shelishith.

Today’s weird thing is derived from “Urban Legends Reference Pages: Jest in Time II”. Some items were omitted due to their poor taste. The rest are included below. Enjoy.


One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names with small American flags mounted on either side of it.

The seven year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the Pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."

"Good morning, Pastor," the boy replied, still focused on the plaque. Then he asked, "Pastor, what is this?"

The pastor said, "Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."

Soberly they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked:

"Which service: the 9:45 or the 11:15?"

Hans Grapje was raised in a Catholic school in The Hague and, as a young man, aspired to become a priest, but was drafted into the Army during WWII and spent two years co-piloting B17s until his aircraft was shot down in 1943 and he lost his left arm. Captain Grapje spent the rest of the war as a chaplain, giving spiritual aid to soldiers, both Allied and enemy.

After the war, he became a priest, serving as a missionary in Africa, piloting his own plane (in spite of his handicap) to villages across the continent. In 1997, Father Grapje was serving in Zimbabwe when an explosion in a silver mine caused a cave-in. Archbishop Grapje went down into the mine to administer last rights to those too severely injured to move. Another shaft collapsed, and he was buried for three days, suffering multiple injuries, including the loss of his right eye. The high silver content in the mine's air gave him purpura, a life-long condition characterized by purplish skin blotches.

Although Cardinal Grapje devoted his life to the service of God as a scholar, mentor, and holy man, church leaders agree: he will never ascend to the Papacy. No one wants a one-eyed, one-armed, flying purple Papal leader.

A blonde walks into a bank in New York City and asks for the loan officer.

She says she is going to Europe on business for two weeks and needs to borrow $5,000. The bank officer says the bank will need some kind of security for the loan; so, the blonde hands over the keys to a new Rolls Royce. The car is parked on the street in front of the bank. She has the title and everything checks out. The bank agrees to accept the car as collateral for the loan.

The bank's president and its officers all enjoy a good laugh at the blonde for using a $250,000 Rolls as collateral against a $5,000 loan. An employee of the bank then proceeds to drive the Rolls into the bank's underground garage and parks it there.

Two weeks later, the blonde returns, repays the $5,000 and the interest, which comes to $15.41.

The loan officer says, "Miss, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely; but, we're a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?"

The blonde replies, "The airport wanted to charge me two hundred dollars to store my car. Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $15.41 and expect it to be there when I return?"

Not all blondes are dumb.

A little girl was talking to President Bush about whales. Mr. Bush told her that it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human being because even though it was a very large mammal, its throat was very small. The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the President reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human; it was physically impossible.

The little girl said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah."

Mr. Bush asked, "What if Jonah went to the other place?"

The little girl replied, "Then you ask him."

Lawyers should never ask a witness a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grand-motherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"

She responded, "Why, yes I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper-pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?"

She again replied, "Why yes, I do. I've know Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him."

The defense attorney almost died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench, and in a very quiet voice said, "Neither of you bastards better ask her if she knows me."

Microsoft Windows 98's secret:

Recently one of my friends, a computer wizard, paid me a visit. As we were talking I mentioned having recently installed Windows 98 on my PC and that I am very happy with this operating system. I also showed him the Windows 98 CD, and to my surprise he threw it into my micro-wave oven and turned on the oven. Instantly I got very upset, because the CD had become precious to me, but he said: 'Do not worry, it is unharmed.'

After a few minutes he took the CD out, gave it to me and said: 'Take a close look at it.' To my surprise the CD was quite cold to hold and it seemed to be heavier than before. At first I could not see anything, but then on the inner edge of the central hole I saw an inscription; an inscription finer than anything I have ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:


'I cannot understand the fiery letters,' I said.

'No,' he said 'but I can. The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:

One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

The real danger to us from the Middle East

This morning, from a cave somewhere in Pakistan, Taliban Minister of Migration, Mohammed Omar, warned the United States that if military action against Iraq continues, Taliban authorities will cut off America's supply of convenience store managers. And if this action does not yield sufficient results, cab drivers will be next, followed by Dell customer service reps.

The Israeli Ambassador at the U.N. began, "Ladies and gentlemen before I commence with my speech, I want to relay an old Passover story to all of you ...

"When Moses was leading the Jews out of Egypt toward the Promised Land, he had to go through the nearly endless Sinai desert. The people became thirsty and needed water. So Moses struck the side of a mountain with his staff and a pond appeared with crystal clean, cool water. The people rejoiced and drank to their hearts' content.

"Moses wished to cleanse his whole body, so he went over to the other side of the pond, took all of his clothes off and dove into the cool waters. Only when Moses came out of the water, he discovered that all his clothes had been stolen. 'And,' he said, 'I have reasons to believe that the Palestinians stole my clothes.'"

The Palestinian delegate, hearing this accusation, jumps from his seat and screams out, "This is a travesty. It is widely known that there were no Palestinians there at that time!"

"And with that in mind," said the Israeli Ambassador, "let me now begin my speech."

Thursday, July 6, 2006

10 Tammuz 5766 * 6 July 2006: National Fried Chicken Day


Today’s news and commentary, some of which has been suggested by Barry:Today’s weird thing is The Pitch Drop Experiment, which is probably the longest continually running physics experiment on Earth. Enjoy.


Tuesday, July 4, 2006

8 Tammuz 5766 * 4 July 2006: National Country Music Day/Independence Day


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is a review submitted to me by someone who wanted to save me the trouble of choosing a weird thing. (Isn’t that super?) I have included it below. Enjoy.


If anyone out there is considering going to see Superman Returns, Warner Brothers’ attempt at reviving a series which went horribly awry after two movies and spent nearly two decades in hiatus, then please think again. The third and fourth movies plunged into total camp (the bad kind of camp that nearly killed the Batman movie franchise), and the current one pretends they never occurred, making this one a direct sequel to the second. However, the current offering offers something even worse: immorality.

Those who wish to avoid spoilers, turn away now, but know at least that this movie reaches new depths of depravity. Yes, it is horrible that someone has an evil scheme that promises to better himself while threatening the lives of billions of people. But this movie has something much, much worse. From the advertisements it is clear to all that Lois Lane has a son. This is not so bad in itself, but Lane is not a terribly good mother, continuing to work at her job even though it risks her son and, horrors, shacking up with a man who she is not married to. Even worse, it is readily apparent that this man is not the child’s father, but instead the real father is Superman, who cruelly abandoned her to go work out his own issues, leaving her to raise their child alone. Even at the end, there is no resolution towards him doing the honorable thing.

Thus, the movie displays unwholesome, wanton immorality, portraying Lane as a loose woman and Superman as a cad who betrays his boy-scout image to take advantage of her weak will and despoil her good name. Shame on you, Man of Steel! Yes, mass destruction and mayhem is one thing, but implied sexual impropriety is much, much worse! How dare you pollute our children with this filth, diametrically opposed to family values, truth, justice, and the American way! If this is the kind of behavior they tolerated on Krypton, it is little wonder that God Almighty sought to smite them all by destroying their planet. Let us not thus not tempt His wrath and avoid their fate.

—Lex Luthor, concerned and moral reader

Monday, July 3, 2006

7 Tammuz 5766 * 3 July 2006: Stay Out Of The Sun Day


Today’s news and commentary:Last night, I looked up on Wikipedia a couple of unusual hybrids of different dog breeds Erin had mentioned to me, and I came across this picture of a mutated goldendoodle:

It’s hideous! It’s a dog with two heads! It’s—

OK, I’m being silly.

Today’s weird thing is The Secret Society of Happy People. Enjoy, and be happy.


Sunday, July 2, 2006

6 Tammuz 5766 * 2 July 2006: "RFC 3092 - Etymology of 'Foo'"


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “RFC 3092 — Etymology of 'Foo'”. Enjoy.