Here’s an oldie from the art archives which sets the mood for the day, even though fireworks are more a Fourth of July thing than a New Year’s Eve thing. All the same the spot hints at things to come here at terry colon dot com. Stay tuned, one year’s end is another year’s beginning.
As the year winds down we reprise our old bit of reporting fake but accurate newsworthy items for the 366 days past. Or at least list the headlines since non-news is generally rather skimpy on details.
Top Ten Things that Didn’t Happen in 2016
“Wait a minute, that’s eleven, not ten” we suppose the reader is saying in their head at this point. Ah, but, we object, number eleven happened so there are only ten that didn’t happen. We simply couldn’t resist shoving that one in at the end as a bonus gag. Devious, eh? Anyway, it was leap year so you get one extra. That’s our story and we’re running with it.
Did Santa bring you what you hoped for this Christmas? Did he forget the batteries which were not included? Hey, it probably warned as much on the package. Or did you get something that didn’t need batteries but did have one of the following real warnings on actual products?
Are people really that stupid? We doubt it. More likely these warnings exist because litigious lawyers are really that weaselly.
This site intended for entertainment purposes only and does not constitute life advice. Before taking any of it in part or whole to heart contact your local minister, rabbi, guru, psychiatrist, commissar, or parole officer.
Professor Frank N. Bienz explains the world situation to the Sucksters (not shown) in 1997 or thereabouts. I don’t know why, but this spot always makes me smile even though I have no idea what the heck it was supposed to be about. If you have a similar reaction, consider it my Boxing Day gift to you, keeping in mind nobody expects much in a Boxing Day gift.
Winter arrived for its annual visit at about 5:00 this morning. Did you feel it? If not, try going outside. Without a coat. Which might not help depending where you live. The holidays are fast approaching and we all know what that means: Lists.
Shopping lists, wish lists, naughty lists, nice lists, best of the year lists, worst of the year lists, New Year’s resolution lists, prediction lists, lists of lists. And coming soon to a web device near you, our annual “Not Done” list.
Without lists modern life would not be possible. We mean lists like indexes, tables of contents, appendixes, directories, menus, sub-menus, sub-sub-menus, and so on. We simply couldn’t manage modernity without lists. We at terry colon dot com have a hard time managing with them.
By the way, that “Ah-h-h-h-h” in the headline is not said the same as an “Ah-h-h-h-h” we say for summer. More like an “Ah-h-h-h-h” we’d say if our computer crashed. But not so much like an “Ah-h-h-h-h” we’d say if we crashed our car into a Mack truck. It’s all in the inflection as “Ah-h-h-h-h” doesn’t have a definite meaning. Interjections just sort-of work that way.
More Infrequently Answered Questions We Cannot Answer
We at terry colon dot com have no good answers for these questions. Though the last reminds us of a joke, which we don’t remember exactly, but will reconstruct as best we can. Did you hear about the (your choice of type of idiot here) who was two hours late for work? Their excuse, the power went out and they got stuck on the escalator.
Offissa Pup chasing Flatop who’s just committed an intellectual property theft. The irony is they are copyrighted characters and this is art taken from Suck.com and so maybe I’m guilty of the same.
OK, some people will say that’s not really what ironic means. Well, that’s the way most folks use the word and I’m not going to swim upstream against the tide of half a billion English speakers, to mix a metafor. Besides which, what is the word that means what it is I’m using ironic to mean in that case? I dunno. If nobody else can tell me it’ll just have to do.
Odd how the seven day week came from the Bible while the names of the days are all pagan. It does make us wonder, when did non Jewish/ Christian/Muslim countries fall in with this seven day week business? Was there a seven day week in the Han Dynasty? Did ancient Hindus or Aztecs have a seven day week? Or a week of any length, for that matter? Did pre-Christian Romans only divide months in halves, were the Ides their version of a weekend?
Anyway, the day names are not even consistently anything. Four Norse gods, one Roman god and the sun and the moon. Maybe they should all be modernized to be more relavent for today. Wednesday could be Humpday for instance. Saturday might be called Funday. Sunday, which starts the week, could be dubbed Oneday. Which turns Monday into Twoday. Though if one day Oneday were today, Twoday would be tomorrow. That won’t work.
Maybe we could go Alphabetical. Aday, Bday, Cday, etc. That’s pretty bland, so maybe we could use the Greek alphabet, Alphaday, Betaday… uh… who knows the Greek alphabet besides the Greeks? Perhaps the days shouldn’t be named after anything or anyone but be totally contrived, like modern brand names that vaguely sound like something meaningful. Beginning on Sunday the week might become Rilaxday, Bactwirkday, Blazzāday… Hm-m, reckon we can forget about that lucrative career concocting novel names for the Big Three.
On the other hand, if we were radical about separation of church and state we should get rid of the seven day week altogether. It’s from the Bible after all. People shouldn’t be paid extra for working Sunday, that’s a Christian Sabbath thing, right? We could possibly decimalize the week, ten days. But that makes an eight day work week. Too long.
Perhaps we could take our cue from the calendar, base twelve, a twelve day week. Nah, a ten day work week sucks more than an eight day one. What if we divide a month by twelve? That renders a 2.5 day week, which is ridiculous. Let’s try base six instead. A five day week with a two day weekend. Other than national production sinking like a stone from working only three days a week, we can go for that. Plus, we only need five day names. Rilaxday, Betaday, Humpday, Enday, Funday. There, problem solved. You’ll thank us Oneday.
futilize (fū′ tĭl īz) verb. To inadvertently do, or start to do, something with the wrong implement or item; i.e., picking up the wrong tool and starting using it before noticing it’s the wrong tool. [As per Clyde Crashcup, that’s futi as in futile plus lize as in utilize: futilize]
In my case, futilize is like trying to draw with the X-acto knife I grabbed instead of the pencil. Or flicking my cigarette ashes in the coffee cup instead of the ashtray. In the movies this would be someone trying to light something they stuck in their mouth thinking it were a cigar, but it wasn’t. (Hilarity ensues.)
For Curly Howard that would be making pancakes out of plaster instead of flour then pouring glue instead of syrup over them. Though why anyone would keep plaster and glue with the foodstuffs is something of a mystery. But then, thinking and watching the Stooges don’t really go together.
Futilize is basically a typo for everything else in life away from the keyboard. You simply hit the wrong button, grabbed the wrong thing, or whatnot. It’s an un-d’oh moment. Hey, we’ve all done it. Now you have a word to describe it.
Perhaps the splash page animation is still pointless, but it’s something completely different, as per a Monty Python segue. Though it does have a spinning globe, a square globe to be sure but still a globe. So maybe it’s not so completely different after all. This intro breaks from the usual Terry visual formula of no straight lines, no square corners, no parallel edges and whatnot. Which explains the old reprised square peg in a round hole illustration spot from… uh I forget what magazine.
If you’re too young to really remember Monty Python’s Flying Circus on TV, it was from the early 1970s after all, you can see it all over the place on YouTube. Parts, whole shows, stage versions of favorite skits from the Secret Policeman’s Ball. However the stage versions won’t have any animation from that other Terry, Gilliam by surname. And we know how much you love goofy animation. Well, we do at any rate.
Top Ten Will Get You Twenty Money Sayings
It’s our year-end clearance of overstocked weak gags. Dredged from the bottom of the barrel and foisted on the unsuspecting public. Let that be a lesson to you not to be so easily taken in. Beware, fake news and fake jokes are everywhere.
But then, don’t we all have some half-baked ideas floating around in the back of the head, on the back burner, filed under “this might come in handy someday”? You know, like that loose-armed task chair with the missing caster in the attic. At some point you just duck tape thing and use it or toss it and be done with it.
We’re sort-of doing both. Consider the new toon opener the duck tape and the Internet the dumping ground. There, that’s that then. We feel relieved anyway.
The clock on my range (stove if you will) reads: “17:=U” Huh? There’s one bugaboo with digital readout clocks of the LCD variety. When some of the liquid crystals, or whatever, start to fail it makes for a pretty lousy clock.
I say for a lot of things analog dials and nobs (or pots as some call them) are just better. Old fashioned clocks with hands are one case. The display has meaning without having to read it or say in your head, “ten forty-five.” The minute hand pointing straight left tells you it’s fifteen to the hour at a glance. This is very handy because many times you know what hour it is so you really only need to know the minutes.
Things like analog tachometers have a similar advantage. You don’t really need to read the numbers to see the engine is revving at the redline. With a digital readout you have to remember what the redline number is to make sense of what a numerical readout is indicating. Plus, a needle on a dial isn’t quantized at number points, you get zero to whatever and everything in between.
Thing is, a dial shows you relationships, where the needle is along the entire spectrum. Heck, an illiterate can make sense of that sort of indicator. If the needle is pegged one way or the other you know there ain’t no more of whatever-it-is to give. You don’t always get that with a digital readout. It’s sort-of like a map where X marks the spot so you can tell where you are related to the surroundings, whereas a couple of coordinate readings might leave you baffled.
Volume controls are much better as knobs. OK, much quicker, at any rate. You can turn the volume up or down fully in a fraction of a second, no delay in waiting for that up or down button to cycle through the levels. On the other hand a digital button might be more precise, or at least easier to hit the exact level you want. In the same vein, a digital readout timer is a better option, being easier to set with precision. A digital readout stopwatch also makes the grade for similar reasons. As does a thermostat.
Be that as it may, a lot of analog clocks don’t even have numbers on them and we can still tell the time. Anyway, dials just simply look better, they have an esthetic appeal those clunky, blocky digital readouts invariably lack. I mean, how many different typefaces do you get with an LCD readout clock? I rest my case.
The last challenge, what time was 17:=U ? 10:30, 10:50, 10:28? Who knows?
Do we really need so many adjectives for size? On the one hand we have big, colossal, enormous, gargantuan, giant, gigantic, ginormous, great, huge, humongous, immense, jumbo, large, mammoth, mega, monumental, massive, titanic, and whopping. Not to mention economy-sized, family-sized, king-sized, man-sized, and Brobdingnagian.
On the other hand we have half-pint, itsy-bitsy, itty-bitty, little, little-bitty, micro, mini, miniature, minuscule, minute, nano, peewee, pint-sized, small, teensy-weensy, teeny-tiny, teeny-weeny, tiny, and wee. Not to mention dwarfish, midget, pygmy, puny, and Lilliputian.
Note how we double up words to make things even smaller or bigger. Itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, or, going the other way, great big, big huge, or even great big huge jumbo jet.
Still, we don’t seem to have a specific word for something that’s not big or little. Words like average, medium, middling, moderate, normal, and standard don’t specifically refer to size. All we get are hyphenated terms, average-sized, medium-sized, and middle-sized. Hm-m-m.
In clothing we have small, medium, large, extra large, extra-extra large, and extra-extra-extra large. With all the words we have for big couldn’t we do better than extra-extra-extra large? We could take a page out of the olive sellers book and go with small, medium, large, jumbo, giant, and colossal.
For cars we get full-sized, mid-sized, compact, and sub-compact. There just doesn’t seem to be any big cars. At least not that they admit to. Have you seen the size of some of the SUVs on the road? They seem to be something more than full-sized to us. Compact means close-packed, tightly packed, condensed. Maybe these trucks masquerading as cars could be called the antonym of compact. How about expansive or sprawling? Or our choice, call them bloats. Just a thought.
Once again another good old “Brickbats” spot from Reason magazine.
A report by the charity Age U.K. found that many elderly patients are left to starve in National Health Service hospitals. The study found that nurses often place trays out of patients’ reach or do not give them needed help cutting food or opening covered plates and other containers.
Register nurses, not firearms. Oh wait…
Infrequently Answered Question #103: Why is a big rig truck called a semi? It looks like an entire truck to me.
A: The whole rig is a tractor-trailer with the tractor being something like a railroad locomotive, which actually carries no cargo but provides motive power. As a locomotive isn’t a train unless it’s towing cars one might ask, is the big rig tractor without a trailer even a truck?
So, without a trailer perhaps the tractor is only half a truck, a semi truck. Actually, the term semi comes from the trailer part rather than the tractor part. Normally a trailer is towed and stands on its own front and rear wheels. That would be a full trailer. A trailer that’s supported in back on its own wheels and in front on the tractor is a semi trailer.
Put the bits together and you have a tractor-semi trailer. Which is easier simply to call a semi. Or a big rig. Or call it a truck, we don’t imagine truckers really care what the public calls them.
Big rigs can also tow full trailers behind the semi trailer. They call this a road train, appropriately enough. The biggest and baddest of these run in Australian, called a body and six. That’s a tractor, one semi trailer and five fully towed trailers. They pretty much only traipse through the outback on long, flat, straight roads with scant traffic. After all, you wouldn’t want to try maneuvering one of these beasties through city streets. Or even backing up for that matter.
What you didn’t ask is why truck drivers are called Teamsters. This goes back to the days when the motive power for pulling trailers was a team of horses. We reckon you can figure it out from there.
Mouseover pic to enlarge
Here’s some cover art from Reason magazine back in the day. Slightly updated for the times. Don’t pay any attention to the man, or woman, behind the curtain. Lord knows the powers that be don’t.
Another decade old “Brickbats” spot appearing in Reason magazine.
Police in Treovis, England, have warned Gordon MacKillop that he could be charged under the Protection From Harassment Act. MacKillop, they claim, placed “a garden gnome with intent to cause harassment.” MacKillop says he put the gnome, which is dressed like a police officer, in his yard to deter criminals. But a neighbor, former police officer John McLean, says the gnome is in “an annoying position.”
Not only that, the shrubbery was trimmed in a menacing manner.
If you are interested in the Plasma-electric Universe paradigm, referenced here a few times, you might like to check out the newly redesigned Thunderbolts Project site. I’ve also added some permanent links to a few similar sites. Under the Links button, needless to say.
Electric Universe Sites
The Plasma-electric Universe theory uses only known, measurable and pretty well understood phenomena. Much of which can be replicated and tested in the lab as these phenomena are scalable from the micro to the inter-galactic scale. In fact, the Thunderbolts group has recently begun testing the electric sun model in the laboratory, the Safire Project. Stay tuned, there could be some interesting results to report any day now.
Another ancient Suck.com spot retrieved from the old archives. Just seemed appropriate somehow. Am I something of a visionary? Hardly. As they say, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Another recent vintage “Brickbats” spot of art from Reason magazine.
If you’re caught smoking in a Boston city park, you’ll face a $250 fine. “Secondhand smoke in any concentration is dangerous,” explains Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “There’s no safe level of exposure.”
The image, complete with death personified, looks like it might fit one of my old Fortean Times “Strange Deaths” bits. Well, the English rag does bill itself as the magazine of strange phenomena, and there’s nothing stranger than the workings of the bureaucratic mind.
Infrequently Answered Question #101: Why does a mirror flip the image right to left but not top to bottom?
A: Because if a mirror flipped your image top to bottom it’d be really confusing to shave or put on makeup and mirrors are there to help, not hinder, our daily ablutions.
Try this: Lie down on your side and look in the mirror. Your image is flipped from your left to right, but your left and right is now top and bottom in the mirror. Is the mirror flipping your image left to right or top to bottom?
Standing upright you see your right side on the right and the left on the left of the mirror. Is it flipped or not? Wouldn’t flipping put your right on the left? On the other hand, someone facing you sees your right side on their left. So to them you’re turned front to back. Is this making any sense?
Think of using car rear view mirror. Sure, if you stop and think about it the driver looks to be on the wrong side of the car, but if you see the car going to your left in the mirror you know its going to pass you on the left. So, the image is flipped left to right but still correct left to right. Or something.
How do we make sense of all this? Do we even need to? We know how a mirror works, there’s no confusion to it. It’s only confusing if you try to explain it. Forget about that, just chalk it up to its being the Devil’s work and let it go.
Click pick to replay animation
This is the second correction of an entry on these pages done some time ago about the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, the Spitfire, and the Me109 (Bf109, actually). Two boners in a single piece, pretty shabby. This revision concerns… well, I think the little opening animation pretty much tells the story.
The BMW logo has nothing to do with a spinning airplane propellor as previously given. It’s more along the lines of American companies using a star in their logo, it’s a symbol for the location of the company. In BMW’s case, Bavaria.
Thing is, the mistaken information (if something incorrect is information) repeated in the old post has made the rounds for decades. I first heard it in the early 1980s, well before the advent of the Internet allowed folks to spread myth-information at lightening speed. Still, the Internet does afford the opportunity to more easily double check this sort of thing. Though it seems fact checking doesn’t happen as often as it might. In the particular case mentioned, I stand guilty as charged.
For you fans of German soccer, you may also note Bayern Munich have sort-of copped the BMW logo for themselves, a circle with stylized Bavarian flag blue and white checks inside. Check it out for yourself. See, the Internet makes research easy. Not that you’ll always find the truth, but you’ll find something. Without having to leave your seat.
One map explains it all.
interrobang (ĭn tër′-ə băng) noun, A punctuation mark (‽), designed to combine the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!), indicating a mixture of query and interjection, as after a rhetorical question.
Not a punctuation mark you run across every day. If ever. All the same, as you can see there’s even html code for the thing (‽). Could be useful if you run a nice family friendly site that eschews profanity. Instead of WTF you can use WT‽
Or not. Frankly, as text it looks rather a mess. Could be why it never caught on. Not that these will either: