We don’t beat dead horses, we round them up, hogtie them, then pointlessly animate and needlessly interactivate them. In other words, two more bits in our ongoing efforts to spiffy up the old site.
Headlines Torn from the Pages of History —and Thrown Away Things That Didn’t Happen in 2015
USA No Way Fake But Accurate News
On this date in 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. Though Columbus didn’t discover it in his own mind, he thought he’d reached some outlying islands of Japan. Believed it to his dying day. He wasn’t the only one confused because other folks at the time thought the people living there were Indians. Indians in Japan? Hey, it was a new world. Well, new to everybody in Europe. That’s why they later named all the bits they took over things like, New Spain, New France, New Amsterdam, New Jersey, Newport News, and like that. Though they called it all North and South America and not North and South New Europe.
“My dad is so cheap that when he dies, he’s going to walk toward the light and turn it off.”
—Comedian, Matin Atrushi
Ten En-lightning Bits about Lightning
Yet another pointlessly animated and needlessly interactive rehash of an old bit. Though we kinda give away the animation here. Still, there’s the promised interactive part. Admit it, your Interweb experience just wouldn’t be complete unless there was something to mouseover or click. So here you go:
Compare & Save Big-Time
Are You Paying Exaggerated Prices for Exaggerated Differences?
This famous phrase in the headline is commonly misquoted as ‘the savage beast.’ As a matter of fact, there are twice as many citations with ‘the savage beast’ as for ‘the savage breast.’ The phrase was coined by William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697:
Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast, To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
Which means even if you get the breast-not-beast part right, it’s ‘a’ not ‘the’ savage breast. All the same, is it true? We can’t vouch for the softer rocks and bendy oak bits, but the soothing part works, no matter how you spell music(k) and sooth(e) or if you capitalize the nouns like a German.
Top Ten Benefits of Good Music
It almost goes without saying all this only works with music you like. And played at a medium volume. Odious music played loud enough to rattle the windows doesn’t soothe. It might even turn you into a savage beast.
And now, Thursday frivia complete with pointless animation:
The background radiation level on a plane flying at 38,000 feet is over seven times the level at Chernobyl. (Don’t tell the EPA or they’ll mandate planes be made of lead. And we all know how well lead ballons go over.) Thing is, there are dozens of populated places on Earth, major cities, which have natural radiations levels higher than, even double, the level at Chernobyl. These spots are not rife with birth defects, riddled with cancer patients, nor teeming with animal freaks. Nor are folks there becoming zombified or turning into superheroes. Ditto for comercial airline flight crews.
Now then, what about that headline? Remember the Radio Flyer? A kid’s little red wagon. Strange name that. There’s nothing electronic about it and wagons don’t exactly fly, do they? Who comes up with these things? Reminds us of Grape-Nuts cereal. Grapes don’t produce nuts, they have pits. But who would buy Grape-Pits? Still, there are no grapes and no nuts in Grape-Nuts. And no radio in a Radio Flyer. Talk about bait and switch.
And still yet another new old feature updated with animation and interactivity. We think it makes things a little clearer. Or not. We can’t tell. It is livelier, for what it’s worth.
Counter-Steering Made Easy-Peasy Balancing a Bike by Turning
This is the last dubious fall bit we’ll do. We promise. At least for a year.
When we were younger, much younger, the arrival of fall heralded back to school, football, a new TV season, and new car model debuts. None of which we care about anymore. Our big issue now is, when will we need to fire up the furnace. And will it?
In London, the Tower Hamlets council has given developers the go-ahead for a project that will include offices and luxury apartments, but only if it also includes a gay bar and the bar stays open at least 12 years. The government must be involved in the decision about who gets to rent the space and will send an inspector to make sure it is sufficiently gay. Officials say they are concerned that LGBT clubs across the city are closing.
Let’s see, there’s not enough demand to keep the number of existing gay bars going, ergo we need more gay bars. Only bureaucrats could find that sensible.
Here’s a quintet of mystery words we ran across reading some Dorothy L. Sayers classic Whodunnits featuring her famous sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey. Who, from her description, we always imagined looked a lot like Mr. Peanut. But maybe that’s our whimsey. Anyway, we didn’t know the following five words, do you?
Take the words of Wimsey test over at: What’s That Supposed to Mean? –The Collected Word Definition Quizes
Jon Carey says the pond on his 10-acre home near Butte Falls, Oregon, is the best part of the property that he and his wife bought two and a half years ago. The pond has been there for 40 years. But now the Jackson County watermaster says it is illegal. State law gives the county rights to all rainfall, and the Careys are not authorized to collect it.
Lawmakers are still debating whether counties may charge residents for rain by the inch or by the gallon.
It’s not to get to the other side. They do it because it’s there. Like a cat chasing a string, they simply can’t resist. So, are they just stir crazy being cooped up in a cage and desperate for exercise or what? Well, they put rodent wheels in fields and wild mice ran on them, too. Guess rodents all over just go for that runner’s high.
How long will hamsters run getting nowhere? They’ve been recorded as commonly going the equivalent of five and a half miles in a night. Now, we didn’t sit around counting wheel revolutions all night long, some researches measured it with a hamsterometer or something. They also recorded rats running 27 miles, mice going 19 miles, and gerbils clocking in at five miles.
You just knew sooner or later we’d add words to go with our oft repeated hamster wheel animation. Rendering our pointless animation a little less pointless. Though still trivial. In fact, here’s a bit of trivia to round things out: A hamster in a running wheel hooked up to a tiny generator can generate up to 500 milliwatts of electric power, enough to illuminate small LED lamps. Though why a hamster would need LED lighting isn’t clear.
One thing we can’t answer, how do the little beasties go at breakneck speed without, you know, breaking their necks? We mean, those rodent wheels are just a series of bars across two hoops, not a solid path. How do they run on such a thing without tripping and stumbling? ’Tis a mystery to us.
The old gag updated and expanded for entertainment purposes only. Your results may vary. Batteries not included. Do not eat toner.
New title, added text, revised art, new animation, newly interactive. But the basic gist of things is the same. All in all, a trip down memory lane down memory lane.
The Bigger Better Newer Improveder Rat Race How Middle Class Was Easier Fifty Years Ago
We dutifully bring you another chance to know your nouns, verify your verbs, define your determiners, and generally impress yourself with how many words you know the meaning of. Or will know after you take the pop quiz. Need we explain more? Surely you know how a multiple choice test works by now.
Click on text to select or change your answer. Double-click to unselect.
Otiose (ō′ shē-ōs)
This is only the first of five. Click the link to take the entire test. The answers are there, too.
What’s That Supposed to Mean? The Collected Word Definition Quizes
Still yet another new old feature updated with pointless animation. Well, it doesn’t make it any worse.
Government Machinery at Work How the Wheels of the Government Grind
“We don’t believe what we see, we see what we want to believe.”
Yes, we did this one before, but not with the fancy-schmacy animation. Are you beginning to spot a trend here?
To continue the theme, a companion follow-up piece to Monday’s “The Periodic Table of Dark Matter” article. More of our ongoing campaign of updating old bits with pointless animation and useless interactivity.
What Fabric Is the Fabric of Space Made Of? Space Warps, Time Wefts and Bent Reality
Our ongoing campaign of updating the old site with pointless animation and useless interactivity on goes. This time around, a companion follow-up piece to last week’s “Cosmology Willikers” article.
The Periodic Table of Dark Matter The Emperor’s New Fabric of Space
Ultimate, as in the last, as in the letter Z. Not that this is the last word quiz. Just the first and last one featuring the letter Z. There is a catch. You have to go to the brand new collected word quizes page to play. There’s a link coming up right… now:
Filed under What’s That Supposed to Mean? The Collected Word Definition Quizes
We’ve tweaked the interactive menus to make things easier to find. ARTICLES have been divided into ARTICLES and HUMOR. CARTOONERY has been split into CARTOONS and GAMES/QUIZES. Fauxcabulary has been moved from the blog to its own ongoing feature page under HUMOR. All our blog word quizes have been moved to their own ongoing feature page under GAMES/QUIZES.
Whether any of this really helps readers find things they probably weren’t even looking for in the first place is debatable. It does mean less scrolling within the menus anyway. Hope that helps.
As promised in our ongoing campaign of festooning the old site with pointless animation and useless interactivity, here’s another one. Be the very first to view it refreshed. And maybe the last. There’s just no telling how many folks will take the bait.
Cosmology Willikers A Newer Shorter History of Everything and Nothing
Yet doesn’t seem to get anywhere. All the same, we soldier on with our all pointlessly animated and/or uselessly interactive marching orders. To that end, he’s another updated oldie. It may not be profoundly better, but it’s animated and webbier.
Extra Dimensions of Existence Don’t Exist There Is No Three in 3-D
We have this idea that terry colon point com should be all pointlessly animated and/or uselessly interactive. This is the Internet after all. To that end over time we will update old stuff to suit. Even if it simply means an opening animated and or interactive bit that’s pointless, useless, or just plain silly. At least that is the plan. For now. Who knows if it’ll work or last.
At any rate, he’s an updated oldie. It may not be any funnier, but it’s interactive and webbier.
E-z P-z House Selling Redirect, Repackage, Relabel
We previously explained why pound is abbreviated lb. and ounce is oz., now we wonder why number, which has no O, is abbreviated no. and barrel, which has one B, is bbl.
Up first, number is no. because it’s an abbreviation of “numero,” the ablative case of the Latin “numerus.” Which now has us asking, what the heck is the ablative case?
Ablative: [grammar] of, relating to, or constituting a case expressing typically the relations of separation and source and also frequently such relations as cause or instrument.
Get that? No worries. English doesn’t have the ablative case. Now then, where does the extra B in bbl. for barrel come from?
In the early days of the oil business kerosene was shipped in blue barrels and gasoline in red barrels. As the standard 42 gallon kerosene barrels were more plentiful, the term “blue barrel” came to identify 42 gallon barrels verses other size barrels. Which means bbl. really stands for blue barrel, hence the extra B.
Online sources have it the extra two gallons (above 40) was to allow for evaporation and leaking during transport. We have our doubts about that story because the liquid measures in containers go way, way back. These are often divisible in thirds, multiples of six, and whatnot. For instance, a barrel is one third of a butt. Half a butt is a hogshead. Two butts is a tun. A puncheon is 72 gallons, six times 12. A barrel is six times seven, 42 gallons.
Maybe. Various sources give various measures. Some say old time barrels were 36 gallons. We can only wonder who’s got the real skinny on it. Still, at least now you know how no. and bbl. came about.
Filed in Gag Cartoon Gallery 7/23/18
Our update, the word weekend, which used to be week-end. And today, tomorrow and tonight used to be to-day, to-morrow and to-night. When these were changed we really don’t know. Nor do we know why they ever had a hyphen to begin with. All the same, there’s never been a to-morning or to-afternoon. Nor an after-noon that we know of.
Ah, yes, frivia at its best. Or worst. Your choice.
For some reason the next to bottom row of keys on our keyboard are only sort-of working. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Makes it hard to produce new content when every sentence contains numerous missing letter typos. To show you what we mean, here’s the headline and opening paragraph as they came out before we went back and added the missing letters:
For soe reaso the ext to otto row of keys o our keyoard are oly sort-of working. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. akes it hard to produce new content when every setece contains umerous missig letter typos…
Not Exactly easy reading. Until we get this sorted out, the reader will have to make do with the archives. Thank you for your patience.
The crab has arrived. As in Cancer. As in the Zodiak. While astrology isn’t our cup of tea, at least its divisions, unlike our conventional months, line up with the seasons. And they come complete with beings: bull, lion, scorpion, goat, twins and whatnot. Quite handy for illustrators. What do we get with our standard month names? Boring ordinal prefixes: sept, oct, nov, dec. Which don’t line up either.
So, what might the being or whatnot be for June? June was initially named Iunius. The name either comes from the Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter, or from the word “iuniores,” Latin for “younger ones.” That’s our calendar for you; things don’t line up and we aren’t sure what it all means.
Seven Not-Quite-Deadly-but-Still-Annoying Sins
To be honest, we’re not sure why the seven deadly sins are deadly. Sloth, gluttony, and lust don’t kill other people, they just make you a lazy, fat lecher. Calling them deadly might be overselling it a tad. Could be just an old-timey attention getting device before they came up with web ad teasers like…
Pick the words from the pull down menus to form sentences for a fresh, unique terry colon point com blog entry of your very own. There are almost countless possible combinations. (Well, we didn’t count them, anyway.) Read ’em all! and we shouldn’t have to write another thing for months.
The the just like the the So don’t And you can quote yourself on that.
…at the track bumping into his old friend Frank.
“How’s it going?” he asks.
“Going? Want to hear something amazing? Tell me –what’s the date today?”
“Right. The seventh day of the seventh month. I arrived at the track at seven minutes past seven. My daughter is seven years old today, and we live in apartment seven, at number seven, Seventh Street.”
“Let me guess, you put everything you had on the seven horse in the seventh race.”
“And he won?”
Frank shrugged. “He finished seventh.”
8 Shocking Facts about Electric Eels
Court TV imagined forty years ago by The Two Ronnies before there was Court TV. Once again, as is often the case, the original was much better. And funnier.
Nobody but terry colon point com brings you Wednesday Words of Wisdom complete and uncut, on Thursday. That’s us, a day late and a dollar short. Remind us later we owe ourselves a buck. Without further ado, those promised wise words.
I felt sorry for myself because I didn’t have a pair of shoes, until I met a man who didn’t have two pairs of shoes.
—Ol’ Remus, woodpilereport.com
Q. What is the biggest lie in the whole wide world?
A. “I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions.”
How many grumpy old men does it take to screw in a light bulb?
None. The lightbulb can screw itself.
You may have missed the news, but global temperatures have gone down 0.5 degrees in the last 24 months. That’s at a rate of five degrees per decade. As the average temperature of an ice age is ten degrees cooler than today, if the trend continues we will be in a new ice age in twenty years. Now that would be an inconvenient truth.
Though we don’t think of it much, names have meanings. For instance, what you do for a living: Carpenter, Cooper, Smith, Weaver. People don’t much name themselves after their occupation these days. Though there are thousands of new, modern jobs to be named after. Instead of Smith, the most common name now might be Bookkeeper, Pencilpusher, or Drudge. Still, it’d get confusing if you changed your last name every time you switched jobs.
First names have meanings, too. These are more obscure than surnames, people don’t know or care about their meanings anymore. It’s just a personal label our parents dubbed us because they liked the sound of it or whatever. That’s why a lot of people now have novel, totally made up, meaningless names. Check out an NBA team roster to see what we mean.
Ten Olde Names and Their Erstwhile Meanings
As you can see, names weren’t always very complimentary. Some are just plain weird. Name your kid Birthday? Guess goofy hippie names predate goofy hippies. Did Alfred the Great really have a council of wee folk? What kind of parents name their daughter Pig? Makes you wonder what the heck your parents named you, eh?
*Ræd or rede go back to an old oral usage of read, as used in “Read him his rights.”
Just ask anyone; Pelé was the greatest soccer player ever, hands down, no argument, period! Then they’ll trot out these two bullet points of evidence:
Let’s look at those from the bottom up. Single players do not win World Cups, teams do. Team championships are a feeble measure of one players ability. Was Yogi Berra the greatest baseball player ever because “he won the World Series” more than anyone else, ten times? Were Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, and Hank Aaron lesser players because their teams didn’t win any?
Pelé did little to help Brazil win the cup in 1962, he was injured and scored all of one goal. Basically Brazil won the World Cup without him. Thing is, Pelé was never the top goal scorer in any World Cup he played in. In 1958 he scored six, while Just Fontaine netted 13. In 1966 (also injured) he scored one, while Eusébio had nine. In 1970 he scored four to Gerd Müller’s ten and teammate Jairzinho’s seven.
Now then, what about those 1,283 goals? Pelé officially scored 757 goals in 812 games. The other 526 goals came in unofficial friendlies and tour games, including when he played for the Sixth Coast Guard in the military competition. That’s like including Babe Ruth’s spring training, off-season touring and barnstorming homers in his career total. We’d guess that to be about 1,283 home runs.
Even so, many of Pelé’s 757 official goals came against third-rate teams in Brazil’s state leagues. These leagues comprise all the pro teams within a state, regardless of level. Imagine a California Baseball League with the five major league teams, five triple-A teams, five double-A teams, and five A teams. Bobby Bonds probably wouldn’t have needed steroids to knock out 80 dingers a year against that competition.
Who might be better than Pelé? As of this writing Cristiano Ronaldo has notched 652 official goals and Lionel Messi has racked up 611. Ronaldo is 33 years old and Messi is 30, both have a pretty fair chance to surpass Pelé’s career goal mark. And against better competition.
Then there’s the “Galloping Major,” Ferenc Puskás, who scored 84 goals in 85 international games for Hungary. In the Hungarian and Spanish leagues he notched 514 goals in 529 matches. You might also consider Sporting Lisbon’s Fernando Peyroteo who in the 1930s and 40s amassed 539 goals in 334 official games. That’s an amazing 1.61 goals per game. In 1946-47 he tallied 43 goals in 19 games, 2.26 goals per game.
Pelé the greatest soccer player ever? You may want to rethink that. By our reckoning he ranks maybe number five.
“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” is undoubtedly the most famous pangram in English. A pangram is a sentence containing all twenty-six letters of the alphabet. Still, it isn’t the only one, and at thirty-five letters is not the shortest, either.
Top Ten Other Shortest Pangrams
So, what’s the point of a pangram, one might wonder. It’s simply a sample of every letterform of a typeface as text. More imaginative than simply listing them, abc…xyz. Even though it ain’t much of a story.