Friday, September 29, 2006

7 Tishri 5767 * 29 September 2006: Ten Days of Repentance


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing (submitted by Barry, who wants to save me a lot of effort) is “Death Star Firepower”. Yes, people wonder about the strangest things. Enjoy, Shabbath shalom, and share the weirdness.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

6 Tishri 5767 * 28 September 2006: Ten Days of Repentance


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing, submitted by Barry, is Globus Cassus, a long-term project to turn the Earth/Terra into a huge hollow sphere with lots of living space on the inside. I believe this is a bad idea for two major reasons: 1) Since Terra is the human home-world, in the long term it will inevitably be considered the holy place for our species. The Globus Cassus project, if implemented, would be so destructive to Terra as to qualify as sacrilege; one does not treat anything holy as mere building material. 2) I have trouble imagining that the project would work. I did not see anything on the site explaining why a hollow structure with Terra’s mass would not collapse due to gravity. Enjoy, or be puzzled, or something, and share the weirdness.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

5 Tishri 5767 * 27 September 2006: Ten Days of Repentance/World Tourism Day


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing, submitted by Barry, is “Trans Global Highway. A proposal by Frank Didik”. I am impressed with this ambitious idea. Though the planet clearly is not ready yet, at least for certain parts of this project, I eagerly await a future era sufficiently peaceful as to make national borders no more restrictive than state borders in the US today, when something as obviously useful as this becomes possible. Enjoy.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

4 Tishri 5767 * 26 September 2006: Ten Days of Repentance/European Day of Languages


First off, something of a new year’s resolution: One of the fallacies I recently wrote copy for in The Orange Catholic Necronomicon is “By ‘God’ everyone means the same deity.” Originally identified as YHWH (the God of Judaism, or at least the Greek equivalent Theos was in the Septuagint), the term “God” has gained the annoying feature that it can be used to refer the chief or unique deity of almost any religion. This makes it easy to gloss over very real differences between YHWH, the Christian Trinity (or just the First Person thereof), Allah, the Mormon Godhead (or just the First Person thereof), Ahura Mazda, Brahman, Vishnu, Shiva, Kali, the God of Aristotle, etc. The result makes it easy to misapply attributes (or lack thereof) of one deity to another or slip into unfounded syncretic notions. I am therefore endeavoring to avoid using “God” as a proper name in order to sidestep these problems. (YHWH, help me.)

Side note for the confused by my choice of a Divine name: “YHWH” is a transliteration of a Divine name whose pronunciation was kept secret sufficiently that it was lost, not an acronym. I am starting to use it in English due to it being the most familiar way to refer to the God of Judaism without resorting to mistransliterations. It should be pronounced “HashShem” rather than spelled.

Fake news: Popeye was overjoyed to learn that canned spinach does not entail risk of E. coli contamination.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is an obituary (a real one, not one for the Pilsbury Dough Boy or Common Sense), “He looked at life from a different angle”. Enjoy.


Friday, September 22, 2006

29 'Elul 5766 * 22 September 2006: "Tiny Souls"


Tonight starts Ro’sh hashShanah (the Jewish New Year, or one of them anyway; we have four per year). You still have some time to buy a new fruit, apples, and honey; and to bake a honey cake!

One of the more unusual practices of Ro’sh hashShanah is the consumption of symbolic foods, which are a sort of reified prayer based on puns. The one I recommend, since it’s based on a pun in English so people in the US can actually understand it, is that one consumes a salad of lettuce, half a raisin, and celery to communicate “let us have a raise in salary”.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy, share the weirdness, and have a happy new year.


Tiny Souls

God just loves hearing from them!

Dear GOD,
Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't you just keep the ones you have?

Dear GOD.
Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother.

Dear GOD.
If you watch me in Church Sunday, I'll show You my new shoes.

Dear GOD,
I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.

Dear GOD,
In school they told us what You do. Who does it when You are on vacation?

Dear GOD,
I read the Bible. What does "begat" mean? Nobody will tell me.
Love Alison

Dear GOD,
Are You really invisible or is it just a trick?

Dear GOD,
Is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his bowling words in the house?

Dear GOD,
Did You mean for the giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?

Dear GOD,
Who draws the lines around the countries?

Dear GOD,
I went to this wedding and they kissed right in Church. Is that okay?

Dear GOD,
What does it mean, You are a Jealous GOD? I thought You had everything.
-- Jane

Dear GOD,
Did You really mean "do unto others as they do unto you"? because if You did, then I'm going to fix my brother.

Dear GOD,
Thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.

Dear GOD,
It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about You that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you will not hurt him anyway.
Your friend,
(But I am not going to tell You who I am.)

Dear GOD,
Why is Sunday school on Sunday? I thought it was supposed to be our day of rest.
--Tom L.

Dear GOD,
Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up.

Dear GOD,
If we come back as something--Please don't let me be Jennifer Horton, because I hate her.

Dear GOD,
If You give me a genie like Aladdin, I will give You anything You want, except my money or my chess set.

Dear GOD,
My brother is a rat !! You should give him a tail. Ha! Ha!

Dear GOD,
I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over.

Dear GOD,
You don't have to worry about me. I always look both ways.

Dear GOD,
I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions.
--Ruth M.

Dear GOD,
I think about You sometimes even when I'm not praying.

Dear GOD,
Of all the people who work for You I like Noah and David the best.

Dear GOD,
My brother told me about being born but it doesn't sound right. He's just kidding, isn't he?

Dear GOD,
I would like to live 900 years like the guy in the Bible.
-- Love Chris

Dear GOD,
We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school they said You did it. So I bet he stole your idea.
--Sincerely, Donna

Dear GOD,
The bad people laughed at Noah- "You made an ark on dry land you fool." But he was smart, he stuck with You. That's what I would do.

Dear GOD,
I do not think anybody could be a better GOD. Well I just want You to know but I am not just saying that because You are GOD already.

Dear GOD,
I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


I let Rupert Hippo post a message to the blog yesterday from my computer, and I forgot to make sure that I got logged into my own Blogger account before posting this morning. Sorry about any confusion that may result.


27 'Elul 5766 * 20 September 2006


This is going to be “politically incorrect”, but that never stopped me before.

In response to the childish overreaction to comments from the Pope which were not meant to be offensive, I hereby register my very real offense at all the negative claims made about YHWH the God of Israel and about Jews by Muslims, starting with Muhammad in the Qur’an and by Muslims ever since then. I find extremely offensive the notion that YHWH would break His/Her agreements and abandon His/Her chosen people. I find it extremely offensive the notion that my people would deliberately corrupt the Torah and Psalms, especially when no copies of the Torah or Psalms show the least trace of prediction of Muhammad as the ultimate prophet or of the laws or history being the way Muhammad related them. I find extremely offensive all the claims of my people being vile in every imaginable manner, including the arch-insult of claiming cannibalism.

I therefore demand an apology in the most groveling and self-effacing manner from every single Muslim who dares believe such horrible lies, especially from all those who even think that violence is an appropriate response to mere insult. I demand that all the insufferable lies be purged from all Muslim literature and media, and I do not care that the Qur’an will be virtually shredded in the process; Muhammed (may his bones be ground up) should have known better than to insult YHWH.

I have no plans whatsoever for registering my protest violently. Furthermore, I do not suggest anyone else who is similarly offended register their protest violently. No bombing, torching, knifing, shooting, killing, or anything else of the sort. Period. And I really mean it. Though it is good to know that since Muslims have insulted non-Muslims far worse than non-Muslims have insulted Muslims, Muslims believe it completely justified that when Muslims attack non-Muslims, non-Muslims are entitled to do absolutely anything imaginable to the Muslims. I know that Muslims actively deny that, but that is more than fair, considering Muslim behavior.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is the Weird Fortune Cookie Collection. Enjoy, and share the weirdness.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More weird things

Hello. This is Rupert Hippo. I just wanted to note a few articles that Bobby told me about:

1) “Photo in the News: Python Eats Pregnant Sheep”. Poor sheep. The python deserved getting indigestion.

2) “Elephant Crop Raids Foiled by Chili Peppers, Africa Project Finds”. This is unfair to elephants. I say all herbivores should band together and protest.

3) “Lions dying in Indian zoo after failed experiment”. We need fewer lions anyway.

Have a nice day, and feed the chili peppers to the crocodiles.

Rupert Hippo

26 'Elul 5766 * 19 September 2006: International Talk Like A Pirate Day


Relevant to today’s holiday: The Wikipedia article on International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing be “An Engineering Masterpiece!”, which Josette sent me a copy and I subsequently found on-line. Enjoy, and stay away from me treasure. Arrr!

Cap’n Aaron

Monday, September 18, 2006

Worthy cause of the day: "The Senate must not pardon President Bush for breaking the law"


There is a new petition on-line: “The Senate must not pardon President Bush for breaking the law”. Please sign and tell Congress that you do not want George W. Bush, repeat offender when it comes to violating the law, to be able to tap your telephone line without a warrant. He can only get away with what we let him to get away with. Thank you.


25 'Elul 5766 * 18 September 2006: "Recycling Center"


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Recycling Center”. Enjoy, and share the weirdness.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

24 'Elul 5766 * 17 September 2006: Constitution Day


Ro’sh hashShanah (one of the Jewish new years) is going to be this Friday night until the following Sunday night. In the proper spirit of the season, I hereby unconditionally forgive those that have inadvertently transgressed against me this past year, and I humbly request the forgiveness of those I have inadvertently transgressed against. We are all fallible creatures, and there is no point in holding onto ill-feelings that in the end are pointless.

Relevant to today’s holiday: Wikipedia’s article on the United States Constitution. This is a topic which George W. Bush needs to review desperately.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something from Emily’s collection. Enjoy, and share the forgiveness.


Notes For The Milkman

These are actual notes left for the Milkman

"Dear Milkman,
I've just had a baby, please leave another one."

"Please leave an extra pint of paralyzed milk."

"Please don't leave any more milk. All they do is drink it."

"Sorry not to have paid your bill before, but my wife had a baby, and I've been carrying it around in my pocket for weeks."

"Sorry about yesterday's note. I didn't mean one egg and a dozen pints, but the other way 'round."

"When you leave my milk, knock on my bedroom window and wake me because I want you to give me a hand to turn the mattress."

"Please knock. My TV's broken down, and I missed last night's SOPRANOS. If you saw it, will you tell me what happened?"

"My daughter says she wants a milkshake.
Do you do it before you deliver, or do I have to shake the bottle?"

"Please send me a form for cheap milk, for I have a baby two months old and did not know about it until a neighbor told me."

"Milk is needed for the baby. Father is unable to supply it."

"From now on please leave two pints every other day and one pint on the days in between, except Wednesdays and Saturdays when I don't want any milk."

"My back door is open. Please put milk in 'fridge, get money out of cup in drawer and leave change on kitchen table, because we want to play bingo tonight."

"Please leave no milk today. When I say today, I mean tomorrow, for I wrote this note yesterday... or is it today?"

"When you come with the milk please put the coal on the boiler, let dog out, and put newspaper inside the screen door. P.S. Don't leave any milk."

"No milk. Please do not leave milk at No. 14 either as he is dead until further notice."

Friday, September 15, 2006

22 'Elul 5766 * 15 September 2006: Felt Hat Day


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “New Directions in Pooh Studies: Überlieferungs- und religionsgeschichtliche Studienzum Pu-Buch”. Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Update on updating

In case you’re wondering what is going on with the blog, I just recreated my CV and “About Aaron” pages, which mysteriously disappeared and needed updating anyway.


About Aaron

Who is this guy?
Aaron is a scientific-empricist Orthodox Jew, a descendant of הגאון רב אליהו, and a fan of אבן עזרא. He is single, 37 years old, and has earned a PhD in epidemiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He self-identifies as Litvak. He is a creative, unconventional, and inspired thinker, and he holds the title of Official Introvert of the Internet, though he is happy to talk to people (including about his religious views). He enjoys a good argument, can act as a backup תורה reader, and gives דברי תורה unlike anything you’ve heard before. He hopes to leave Charleston for some place with a bigger Jewish community. Life around him is never dull. He is a nonconformist, an avid reader, a writer of strange stories in English, a translator of Carrollian material into Hebrew, and enjoys punching holes in logical absurdities. One day he may yet make a living looking at other people’s statistical computations and telling them that everything they’ve done is dead wrong. Either that or get paid to write about theology.

What does he look like?
Aaron is 167 cm tall and weights about 60 kg. He has multicolored hair (color varies significantly over his head, and some strands are even blond at the root and dark at the tip). He’s worn glasses since the third grade and a beard since he graduated from high school. He bears a striking resemblance to Trey Anastasio, lead guitarist of Phish.

What are his hobbies and interests?
Learning (תנ״ך, משנה, גמרא, הלכה, historical background material, and lately גר״א- and קבלה-related material; heavily on שבת but also trying to fit it into “cracks” between other stuff during the week), reading (wide variety of subjects), writing strange stories, epidemiology, religious/theological epistemology, experimental theology, computers (Mac OS X and Unicode fanatic, enjoys making computers do interesting things), cheering for monsters when reading or watching bad (or even good) science fiction, and playing classical guitar (from time to time).

Where was he born?
Washington, DC.

What sort of preferences does he have? (Borrowed from surveys people put on the Net and sent him.)
  • Adidas, Nike, or Reebok: None of the above.
  • Are you a lefty, righty or ambidextrous?: I write with my right hand, but I use my left hand for a lot more than just scratching my right elbow.
  • Best feeling in the world:  I’m not sure.  I haven’t found out what getting $10,000,000 and being exempted from paying taxes feels like yet.
  • Chocolate or vanilla?:  Yes.
  • Croutons or bacon bits: He keeps כשר; take a wild guess.
  • Do you eat the stems of broccoli?: No. Broccoli is the work of the יצר הרע!
  • Do you like to drive?: People crazy? Yes.
  • Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?: No. I’m only interested in flesh-and-blood human females.
  • Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?: I use both sides of the keyboard. This is especially critical for me, since I use the Dvorak keyboard; if I used only the right keys, I wouldn’t be able to type any vowels.
  • Dream car: Electric/solar and not requiring much maintenance.
  • Favorite alcoholic drink: Any he is not drinking. (Aaron does not like the taste of alcohol.)
  • Favorite board game?: I don’t play board games. They’re all too boaring.
  • Favorite food: Unstable preference.
  • Favorite foods: Anything home-made with love.
  • Favorite ice cream: Strawberry.
  • Favorite magazines: Any science magazine with cool stuff in it.
  • Favorite movie of all time: Undecided.
  • Favorite movie seen recently: There are too many bad movies that are fun to make fun of to answer this question.
  • Favorite movies?: Anything with a plot or at least New York being trashed by a giant monster, but especially the (original trio of) Star Wars movies.
  • Favorite perfume or cologne: Deodorant.
  • Favorite salad dressing: Russian.
  • Favorite smells: Any delicious food cooking, cinnamon.
  • Favorite soft drink: Papaya juice.
  • Favorite soundtracks: People listen to soundtracks?
  • Favorite sports to watch: No sport is fun to watch, though the fans of some of the more violent sports (hockey, football) can be fun to watch.
  • Favorite subject in school: Epidemiology.
  • Favorite town to chill in: Anywhere but Charleston.
  • Favorite type of music: Severely classical.
  • Favorite Web site: Undecided. Too many to choose from.
  • Have you ever been in love?: No. I haven’t been in Love. The only country besides the USA I have been to so far is Canada.
  • How many rings before you answer the phone?: Depends on whether I can get someone else to answer it.
  • If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?: Fluorescent.
  • If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?: Professional goof-off.
  • If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be?: Moses, preferably alive. Dead people do not make good company.
  • Is the glass half empty or half full?: Both. The terms mean the same thing.
  • Least favorite subject: Anything involving differential equations.
  • One pillow or two: One.
  • Present (future) daughter’s name: שושנה, דבורה, הדסה. (Strong preference for Biblical Hebrew names. Hates the idea of giving kids different Hebrew and English names; no sense in creating needless confusion. Also adverse to using names that have been used so much as to have been reduced to meaninglessness.)
  • Present (future) son’s name: גדעון, אליהו,עזרא, מטטרון. (Same comments as previous. Also: how many people named מטטרון have you ever heard of? The kid would be unique!)
  • Roller coaster-scary or exciting?: Neither.
  • Say one nice thing about the person who sent this to you: She’s a wonderful person who’s full of love!
  • Shampoo or conditioner: Shampoo.
  • Storms-cool or scary?: Cool, unless I happen to be outside in a thunderstorm.
  • Toothpaste: Blue gel.
  • What do you think about ouija boards?: They’re very useful for scamming stupid people.
  • What is on the walls of your favorite room?: Blue paint.
  • What is on your mouse pad?: Not applicable. I use graphics tablet.
  • What is the first thing you think of when you wake in the morning?: “Must kill alarm clock.”
  • What is under your bed?: Ancient computer equipment, plywood, and scary monsters.
  • What is your favorite number?: 17.
  • What is your zodiac sign?: Anything from Virgo to Scorpio. Thinking of changing it to Telescopium.
  • What type was your first car?: Matchbox.
  • Worst feeling in the world: “Now where did I put that antimatter bomb? Uh-oh...”
  • Your favorite TV shows?: Nothing on the air these days.

What does Aaron want?
Aaron is looking for a single Orthodox Jewish woman with compatible השקפות. She must be intelligent and knowledgeable Judaically. A knowledge of science and a working knowledge of Hebrew are extremely desirable. He also considers a sense of humor, an appreciation of the bizarre, a deep weird streak, a bit of cynicism, and glasses attractive, though not strictly necessary.

What other names is Aaron known by?
  • Nails (usually used by his brother Barry)
  • Mountain-Man (obsolete)
  • Hiergargo (used mainly by Aaron; those who understand the reference will probably be puzzled, and those who don’t will be definitely be puzzled)
  • ☺ (meant for use in ideographic writing systems)

What isn’t Aaron that he’s been mistaken for?
  • An Englishman, based on his accent
  • An Australian
  • A Russian (based on that he has sometimes worn a Bukhari yarmalke)
  • An observant Muslim, possibly more than once
  • An Irishman, probably based on his (partially) red hair
  • A neo-Nazi, based on a severe misunderstanding of his nickname “Hiergargo”
  • A חסיד, once for a Lubavitcher twice in the space of half an hour
  • An Amish man
  • Not Trey Anastasio.

What sort of rare and unusual stuff is he looking for (seriously, in no particular order)?
  • The right woman.
  • A job and job security.
  • Works of the גאון רב אליהו, ר׳ חיים וולאזין, and אבן עזרא, in print or in electronic format.
  • A Pyraminx Magic Tetrahedron, Pyraminx Magic Octahedron, ImpossiBall, and other similar puzzles.
  • Identification of the reference: “We are the Metatron.” Aaron has a dim memory of this being spoken by some sort of cylindrical robot in a cartoon, but he is very uncertain on any details. (Yes, Aaron does know who the original Metatron is.)
  • Anything by Lewis Carroll translated into Hebrew.
  • Hebrew and Aramaic texts, especially pointed ones, in computer format.
  • MIDI files of classical music altered so that the instruments are those of modern rock music.
  • Cool reading material.
  • Reading material, be it cool or non-cool, for his Divine Misconceptions project.
  • Very big scanned photographs (1,440 × 900 pixels or bigger) of places in Israel for use as desktop pictures on his MacBook Pro.
  • A viola da gamba, electric and cheap.

What sort of rare and unusual stuff is he looking for (not seriously)?
  • 10 kg of antihydrogen.
  • A lightning bolt caught in a jar.
  • A snark.
  • A snorg beast, which is a sort of large-tongued creature which in served in fine Italian restaurants with bread sticks.
  • A steamroller, so he can participate in the Sixth Annual National Championship Steamroller Race.
  • Photographs of Udovorum magnum and Udovorum parvum, or in everyday language, the greater and lesser sock-eating monsters. These are suspected of consuming his laundry.

What is Aaron’s policy with regard to people sending him spam?
Anyone who sends Aaron any message trying to sell him anything or trying to get him to take part in any illicit or foolhardy scheme implicitly agrees to pay him US$10,000.00. Likewise, anyone who signs Aaron up to any mailing list without his prior explicit consent, who tries to solicit him to commit any improper behavior, or who gives any information about him to any marketing company without his prior explicit consent implicitly agrees to fork over $10,000. All payments are payable in cash. Complaining about not having read this notice costs another $10,000.

Note: Aaron does not discourage people from sending E-mail to him. Only people trying to make a buck off of him have anything to fear.

20 'Elul 5766 * 13 September 2006: Defy Superstition Day


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is the Wiktionary list of protologisms. (I’m responsible for “zilo-” and “zicro-”.) Enjoy.


Monday, September 11, 2006

18 'Elul 5766 * 11 September 2006: Patriot Day


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something silly I got from Mom by way of Emily, included below. Enjoy.


As we enjoy the holidays, remember to be nice to those first-time turkey cookers...

One year at Thanksgiving, my mom went to my sister's house for the traditional feast. Knowing how gullible my sister is, my mom decided to play a trick. She told my sister that she needed something from the store.

When my sister left, my mom took the turkey out of the oven, removed the stuffing, stuffed a Cornish hen and inserted it into the turkey, and re-stuffed the turkey. She then placed the bird(s) back in the oven.

When it was time for dinner, my sister pulled the turkey out of the oven and proceeded to remove the stuffing. When her serving spoon hit something, she reached in and pulled out the little bird.

With a look of total shock on her face, my mother exclaimed, "Patricia, you've cooked a pregnant bird!" At the reality of this horrifying news, my sister started to cry.

It took the family two hours to convince her that turkeys lay eggs!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

17 'Elul 5766 * 10 September 2006: Swap Ideas Day


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is The Generic Bad Movie Drinking Game, which Barry and I invented. Since its current location is imperiled (I graduated, remember), I am including it below. Suggested additions via comments are encouraged. Enjoy, and share the weirdness.


The Generic Bad Movie Drinking Game

The Original Generic Bad Movie Drinking Game
Any time there’s a scene that appeared in the promos, you take a drink. If they showed it in the promos way too many times, you take two drinks.

If someone says a cliche or does anything cliched, that’s a drink.

Any time a monster appears (dinosaurs and aliens included), everyone takes a drink. If it is obviously a person in a rubber suit, two drinks. If it’s an especially gross or ugly monster, that’s 2 drinks. If the monster is ugly and gross, 3 drinks. Ugly, gross, and definitely a human in a rubber suit, 4 drinks.

Any time a teenage girl seduces an older man, everyone takes a drink. If the alleged teenager is played by someone in her twenties, two drinks.

If there’s a fight of any kind, including verbal and laser fire, everyone takes a drink. If the fight is physical and none of the good guys is shot or otherwise injured, two drinks.

Any time there is partial nudity, everyone takes a drink. Full nudity, two drinks. If they show a guy’s butt, everyone empties the bottle.

Any time there is an appearance of a former Star Trek actor (any series), everyone takes a drink.

Any time anything known to violate the laws of physics happens, take a drink. Any time anything known to violate the laws of psychology happens, take two drinks. Any time anything known to violate the laws of logic and mathematics happens, take three drinks. If more than one of these happens at the same time or happens in a cliched manner, empty the bottle.

On the first appearance of a character in an adaptation of a cartoon or series, if the character doesn’t look anything like he/she should, take a drink. If the character later does anything sex-related to another character he/she would not do so with in the cartoon or series, empty the bottle.

If a CGI character appears, takea drink. If the CGI looks fake, two drinks. If the character is Jar Jar Binks, empty the bottle.

If a character jumps from one roof to the next in a chase scene, take a drink. If a character changes vehicles while they are in motion, two drinks. If the character has sex with more than two other characters, empty the bottle.

If anything happens with displays gross ignorance on the part of the writers, take a drink. If the actor betrays not understanding the script, take two drinks. If anything happens which shows that the writer plainly doesn’t care that he/she’s ignorant, take three drinks.

If profanity is used, take a drink. If extreme profanity is used, take two drinks. If profanity is used which if removed would improve the script considerably, take three drinks.

If violence is used, take a drink. If violence which violates the laws of phys ics is used, take two drinks. If violence which if removed would considerably improve the script is used, take three drinks. If violence and profanity are used simultaneously, empty the bottle. If the violence involved involves a knee to the groin, empty the bottle. If violence, profanity, and sex are used simultaneously, empty the bottle.

Alex’s additions
If Christopher Lambert is in the movie, empty the bottle.

If an underwater fight scene lasts longer than five minutes without either combatant getting a breath of air, empty the bottle.

If a foreign actor is playing a foriegn character that is not their national origin, take a drink. If the actor is British, take two drinks.

If the hero/heroine must kill a former friend who has either turned bad, been impregnated with an alien fetus, or been transformed into a zombie, take a drink.

If someone screams: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” for whatever purpose, empty the bottle. (Beware when watching the death of Art Lean in Mortal Kombat, and do not operate heavy machinery afterward. This may include your VCR.)

If the walls bleed, take a drink.

If you can see the wires holding up spaceships or demons, take a drink.

If the camera shakes and everyone falls to the floor in the opposite direction, empty the bottle.

If the hero must battle skeletons, take a drink for each skeleton destroyed.

If there is a stop motion dinosaur, take a drink.

If the dinosaur is an iguana with a fake fin glued to it’s back, take a drink.

If there is a giant squid/octopus, take a drink.

Further additions by Aaron
If a monster of any sort moves slower than the average human, take a drink.

If an alien is humanoid, take a drink. If an alien is green, take two drinks. If an alien is dripping with slime, take three drinks. If the alien is humanoid, green, and dripping with slime, empty the bottle.

If an alien speaks English, take a drink.

If evil aliens attack the Earth, take the drink. If the aliens have a weak motive, take two drinks. If the aliens have a patently stupid motive, such as that in Independence Day, take three drinks. If the aliens have no motive at all, empty the bottle.

If high-tech people (aliens count as people) are depicted as evil and low-tech people as good, take a drink.

If humans and non-avian dinosaurs appear together, take a drink. If dinosaurs are depicted as scaly, cold-blooded, or sluggish, take two drinks. If the writers clearly don’t know that the famous finback Dimetrodon was not a dinosaur but a pelycosaur (“mammallike reptile”), take three drinks. If the writers think that humans evolved from dinosaurs, empty the bottle. If the writers have no comprehension of evolution at all, such as in Super Mario Brothers, empty two bottles.

If non-avian dinosaurs survive to the present day on an isolated island, take a drink.

If something escapes from a black hole, take a drink. If someone uses a black hole as a shortcut to somewhere else, take two drinks.

If the writers diss science or religion, take a drink. If the writers do not understand what science or religion are, take two drinks. If the writers think that science and religion are diametrically opposed, take three drinks. If the plot centers on portraying one of science or religion as evil and the other as good, empty the bottle.

If the writers do not understand the difference between logic and reason, take a drink. If the writers think logic and emotion are diametrically opposed, take two drinks.

If you can hear sounds in space, take a drink.

If the story is advertised as being a true story, but the story is clearly false, take a drink.

If Heaven is portrayed as being bright and shiny, take a drink. Bright and shiny with fluffy clouds, empty the bottle.

If angels are portrayed as having wings and wearing robes, take a drink. If angels are portrayed as having luminous circles suspended above their heads, take two drinks. If you can see the wire holding up the luminous circle, take three drinks. If Cupid is depicted as an angel, empty the bottle.

If the Devil is in the picture, take a drink. If the Devil wears red, has horns, and carries a pitchfork, take two drinks. If the Devil has hooves, take three drinks. If someone sells his/her soul to the Devil, take four drinks. If that person manages to get out of the deal and receive salvation, empty the bottle.

If the Devil's name is anything other than Satan, take a drink.

If an angel and a devil sit on someone’s shoulders and dispense advice, take a drink.

If a Greek god survives into the 20th century, take a drink.

If a evil being has no choice in the matter of doing good or evil (anymore than a human does), take a drink. Take one drink for every such being. If said being is undead, empty the bottle. Empty one bottle for every such being.

If the writers portray incompatible religions as compatible (e.g., Pharisaic/Orthodox Judaism and any form of Christianity), take a drink. If any form of mysticism, especially the Qabbaláh, is thrown into the mix, take two drinks. If the writers think all religions are the same or accepting of each other, take three drinks. If you have any uncertainty on these matters, empty the bottle.

If any religion is portrayed as being significantly older than it really is, take a drink. If this religion is Islam, take two drinks. If this religion is Wicca, take three drinks. If any religion maintains a secret organization charged with an important secret over many generations, empty the bottle.

If the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, or Romans are venerated or held in esteem in any way, shape, or form, take a drink. If their religions are portrayed as being the true religion, empty the bottle.

If ancient Hebrews/Israelites/Jews dress like modern Arabs, take a drink. If they shave, take two drinks. If they go about with uncovered heads, empty the bottle.

If anything anachronistic occurs, take a drink. If this anachronism happens to be popular at the time the movie is made, take two drinks. If you have any doubt on this matter, empty the bottle.

If a witch is either excessively beautiful or excessively ugly, take a drink. If a witch dresses in dark clothes and a pointy hat, take two drinks. If a witch is not evil, take three drinks. If a witch lives in modern times, empty the bottle.

If a monster, robot, or dinosaur kills a human, take a drink. If said monster, robot, or dinosaur has no motive, take two drinks. If a monster, robot, or dinosaur destroys at least one building, take three drinks. If said destruction takes place in Tokyo or New York City, empty the bottle.

If radioactivity causes any change in an organism other than cancer or death, take a drink. If the organism becomes hideous, take two drinks. Hideous and gigantic, take three drinks. Hideous, gigantic, and violent, empty the bottle.

If a human and an alien produce live offspring, take a drink. If the offspring is fertile, take two drinks. If the hybrid is Mr. Spock, empty the bottle.

If someone is cloned, take a drink. If the clone is born or decanted as an adult, take two drinks. If the clone has the memories of the cell donor, take three drinks. If the clone is evil, take four drinks. If more than one of these occurs, empty the bottle.

If dead people act evilly against the living, take a drink. If these evil dead have poor motives, take two drinks. If the evil dead have no motive, take three drinks. If the evil dead are Native Americans, empty the bottle.

If a serial killer wears distinctive clothing of any kind, take a drink. If the clothing includes a mask, take two drinks. If said serial killer is dead, take three drinks. If said serial killer is dead and wears a mask, empty the bottle.

If Earth is a major political power on an interstellar scale in the future, take a drink. If Earth is a major political power on a galactic scale, take two drinks. If Earth is a major political power on an intergalactic scale, take three drinks. If either you or the writers do not understand the difference between these scales, empty the bottle.

If a human is referred to as an “Earthling”, take a drink. If a human is referred to as an “Earther”, take two drinks. If a human is referred to as an “Earthian” or by any term that sounds even sillier, empty the bottle.

Further additions by Barry
If the person being chased is wearing high heels, take a drink. If he/she stumbles and falls while the pursuer is WALKING after him/her, take two drinks. If an irrelevant person gets killed by the pursuer who is walking after the true victim, take two drinks. If the pursuer who is walking manages to catch up to a pursuer running an obviously shorter distance, take two drinks. If a pursuer who is walking after his/her victim manages to make the kill, take three drinks. If this happens within ten meters of people who are paying attention to something else and thus do nothing to help the victim, empty the bottle.

If a woman is shown wearing nothing but a towel wrapped around her, take a drink. If the towel is arranged to show off her cleavage but obviously requires tape to keep it in that position without falling off her voluptuous body, take two drinks; repeat every time said cleavage can be seen.

If the person being stalked, attacked, hunted, etc., tries turning the tables on the baddie by becoming the one stalking, attacking, hunting, etc., take a drink. If this gambit actually succeeds in saving the would-be victim (which it almost invariably always does), empty the bottle.

If anyone gets amnesia from a blow to the head, take a drink. If the same person recovers due to another blow to the head, take two drinks. If memories of events are examined for new information not previously recalled, take three drinks. If this happens years after the events being recalled, empty the bottle.

Every time a car crashes and explodes, take a drink. If people in the car run away from it and it explodes afterwards, take two drinks. If they just barely get away and are sent flying from the explosion, empty the bottle.

If a giant snake actively hunts prey instead of ambush predation, take a drink. If a giant snake moves faster than a slow crawl doing anything other than a quick lunge, take two drinks. Take a drink for every human swallowed.

Take a drink for the appearance of any of the following names in the credits: Ed Wood, Joel Schumacher, Kevin Williamson, Akiva Goldsman, John Carpenter, Michael Crichton. Empty the bottle for the occurrence of two or more in the same movie.

If the title contains someone’s name before the title “proper” (e.g., Sam Armstrong’s Ready for Termination), take a drink. If this is the author of the book the movie is based on (e.g., Ursula K. LeGuin’s A Wrinkle in Time), take two drinks. If the name is John Carpenter, Stephen King, or Wes Craven (e.g., Wes Craven’s Pokemon), take two drinks. If the name is Disney (e.g., Disney’s The Story of O), empty the bottle.

Anytime someone makes an absurdly hereditarian statement (e.g., “Everyone in our society is assigned to jobs solely on the basis of genetic makeup because nothing else matters”), take a drink.

If someone recovers memories from a previous lifetime, take a drink. If this involves a change in genders between lifetimes, take two drinks. If that person looks in that lifetime exactly like they did in the current one, empty the bottle.

In a Joel Schumacher film, take a drink for each appearance of the following: a one-liner, a nipple, a gluteal region, a cod-piece, a fluorescent gangster, a nude male statue, the initial appearance of a horrible miscasting, an unbelievably stupid statement (e.g. “we will drill three concentric holes”), an example of the costumer failing to take the appropriate medications.

If someone gets graphically mutilated, take a drink. If someone gets killed as a result, take two drinks. If the baddie responsible is unusually short (e.g., a possessed doll, a gremlin, or a leprechaun in peppermint-striped stockings), take three drinks. If the baddie uses a really stupid or implausible method (e.g., psychic control of corn plants), empty the bottle. (Note: Watching this sort of movie plus this much alcohol may induce vomiting.)

At the first appearance of a voodoo doll, take a drink. Take a drink for every pin stuck in it that has an effect.

At the first appearance of a Budweiser sign, take a drink. Empty the bottle when the fight ensues.

If someone dresses as a member of the opposite sex, take a drink. If while doing so, they encounter members of the opposite sex in a state of undress (including partial), take two drinks. If they fall in love with someone they are interacting with while in transvestite garb, take three drinks. If, while confronting said person, they try revealing their true sex through partial bodily exposure, take four drinks. If this involves a woman flashing her breasts, empty the bottle.

If the bad guy laughs maniacally, take a drink. If the hero gets strapped into a stupid death machine, take two drinks. If the bad guy then gloats, take three drinks. If the bad guy, standing over the hero strapped into the death machine, explains his/her entire evil plan, empty the bottle.

If James Bond introduces himself as “Bond, James Bond” (or anyone else imitates this form of address), take a drink. If James Bond asks for “a vodka martini, shaken, not stirred,” take two drinks. If the hero uses a gadget which he/she got much earlier in the movie but just happens to be exactly what is needed in that specific instance, take a drink.

If the lead male character sleeps with more than one woman, empty the bottle for every woman he sleeps with after the first. If it’s only implied, just take a drink.

If a bad guy transforms into a monster (for any reason), take a drink. If a bad guy has a prosthetic (excluding glasses, dentures, and hearing aids), take two drinks. If a bad guy wears an eyepatch, empty the bottle.

In a series of films with a baddie who appears in most of them, if he/she does not appear in this one, take a drink. If someone else imitates him/her to commit a crime, take two drinks. If the crime involves killing children in a really stupid manner, take three drinks. If this is the film where the original baddie is brought back because the previous film sucked, empty the bottle.

If the baddie apparently dies, take a drink. If he/she definitely dies, take two drinks. If he/she definitely dies and there is absolutely, positively no way in the real world he/she could have survived and has zero chance of coming back, take three drinks. If the baddie who has absolutely, positively apparently died with zero chance of coming back in the previous film comes back, empty the bottle.

If the baddie apparently dies but suddenly reappears alive in the same film to try to kill the good guys, take a drink. Take another drink for each such resurrection.

For each one-liner, take a drink. Reduce to a sip if more than five occur.

If humanity has a last hope, take a drink. If that last hope is under thirty, take two drinks. If humanity’s last hope is attractive to women in a way that ticks off the boyfriends of those women, empty the bottle.

If a precious object is worn next to the heart, take a drink. If that object stops a projectile, empty the bottle.

Friday, September 8, 2006

15 'Elul 5766 * 8 September 2006: International Literacy Day


Worthy cause of the day: The petition “ABC Must Not Air Partisan Propaganda on 9/11”. Please sign and fight the forces of whitewashing.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions: Astrology”, which is an excellent read on one of humanity’s longest-standing errors. Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.


Thursday, September 7, 2006

14 'Elul 5766 * 7 September 2006: "Classification of Disney Heroines"


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing, thanks to Barry, is “Classification of Disney Heroines”, which diagnoses their problems and recommends treatment. Enjoy.


Tuesday, September 5, 2006

12 'Elul 5766 * 5 September 2006: "New Rules"


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something silly from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.


New Rules

TO: All Personnel

FROM: Administration

SUBJECT: New Rules

After some studies we have decided to revise our rules regarding employee absenteeism. The following rules are now in effect:

SICKNESS: Absolutely no excuses. We will no longer accept your doctor's statement as proof, as we believe that if you are able to go to the doctor you are able to come to work.

LEAVE OF ABSENCES FOR AN OPERATION: We are no longer allowing this practice. We wish to discourage any thoughts that you may need an operation, as we believe that as long as you are an employee here you will need all of whatever you have, and you should not consider having anything removed. We hired you as you are and to have anything removed would certainly make you less than we bargained for.

ACCIDENTS: Our safety programs and company policy preclude any lost time accidents. First aid in most instances will be treated during normal breaks. Application of splints, hemorrhage and artificial respiration may be done at other times, work-load permitting.

DEATH (OTHER THAN YOUR OWN): This is no excuse. There is nothing you can do for them and there is always someone else with a lesser position who can attend to the arrangements. How ever, if the funeral can be held in the later afternoon, we will be glad to let you off ONE hour early, provided your share of the work is ahead enough to keep the job going in your absence.

DEATH (YOUR OWN): This will be accepted as an excuse, but a two week notice is required as we feel it is your duty to teach someone else your job.

NOTE: We have noticed that too much time is being spent in the restroom. In the future we will practice going in alphabetical order. For instance, those with names beginning with "A" will go from 8:00 to 8:15; "B" will go from 8:15 to 8:30, and so on. If you are unable to go at your appointed time it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your turn comes again.

Monday, September 4, 2006

11 'Elul 5766 * 4 September 2006: Labor Day


Today’s news and commentary, above and beyond material under “Recommended Reading”:Today’s weird thing, submitted by Barry (he seems to want to save me work) is “Perpetual Motion”. Enjoy, but do not try what is described in the article at home.


Sunday, September 3, 2006

10 'Elul 5766 * 3 September 2006: Skyscraper Day


I’m feeling a little dazed by having both a qiddush in my honor and holding a siyyum yesterday. This week I get to face paperwork. (Ugh!)

Today’s news and commentary, some of which Barry is responsible for:Today’s weird thing was sent to me by Barry, who got it from Nancy. I have included it below. Enjoy.


Why did the chicken cross the road?

Dr. Phil: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on "THIS" side of the road before it goes after the problem on the "OTHER SIDE" of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his "CURRENT" problems before adding "NEW" problems.

OPRAH: Well I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

GEORGE W BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road...

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going.

Rush Limbaugh: He was going across the street to pick up a package for me.

Condoleezza Rice: We must try to understand that this Administration is using every diplomatic effort to try and stop the chicken from crossing the road.

Al Sharpton: It is the chicken's constitutional right to cross this road!

Louis Farrakhan: We must fight against the oppression of our fellow poultry and wild fowl alike. We must take a stand and cross the road "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!"

Friday, September 1, 2006

8 'Elul 5766 * 1 September 2006: Obituary


Today’s news and commentary, much of which Barry is responsible for:Today there will be no weird thing due to the passing of a dear friend. His obituary is included below. Shabbath shalom.


Today we mourn the passing of an old friend, by the name of Common Sense.

Common Sense lived a long life but died recently in the United States. No one really knows how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories and helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades, petty rules, silly laws, and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it's okay to come in second. A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including body piercing, whole language, and "new math." 

His health declined when he became infected with the "If-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus. In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of well intentioned but overbearing regulations. He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but could not inform the parent when a female student was pregnant or wanted an abortion. Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from the Boy Scouts to professional sports. Finally, when people, too stupid to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, were awarded a huge settlement, Common Sense threw in the towel.

As the end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments regarding questionable regulations as those for low flow toilets, rocking chairs, and stepladders. Common Sense was preceded in death by: his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers: My Rights, and Irma Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.