Why do superheros have secret identities? I mean, if you’re Superman why not be Superman all the time? What’s the point of being Clark Kent part of the time? Wouldn’t Superman get more girls than Clark Kent? Wouldn’t Superman get a better-paying job than Clark Kent?
If Superman needed an income he could do a lot better than newspaper reporter. He could hire himself out to NASA to fly satellites into orbit. How much does NASA spend on a rocket launch? A hundred million? Superman could do it for a tenth of that and make out like a bandit. Work once a year, make ten million, save the world in his spare time.
Though maybe I’m looking at it the wrong way around. Is Superman’s secret identity Clark Kent, or is Clark Kent’s secret identity Superman? Then you might ask, why be Superman. Why not be Clark Kent, man of steel?
“Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Clark Kent.” Though since he can fly why would he leap over tall buildings in a single bound?
Then again, maybe both Clark Kent and Superman are secret identities. After all, he was actually an alien from the planet Krypton.
The picture above is my own version of something I saw recently on Zero Hedge. I thought it was pretty funny and so reprised it. Whether this is a quote or a saying or just plagiarism I leave for the reader to decide.
Whatever is the case, there’s no denying it is what it is. Why? Because it is. Is that it? It is.
Ten Rainy Day Activities
Of course, you can always stare out the window and watch the rain fall. It’s good for the grass. Then when the sun comes out you can watch the grass grow. Exciting. All in all a pretty sorry list of little worthwhile accomplishment. But at least you succeeded in accomplishing number one. Congratulations.
Now, get your thumb out of… just get back to work.
The top occupation of leading men in Hollywood films and TV is lawman. Which can be a sherif, marshal, or most often a detective. Then you have the private eye, a detective for hire. Related to these is the secret agent, a sort-of undercover detective in a foreign land. As leading men are also soldiers, what we find is Hollywood good-guys carry guns and shoot people, but only if they deserve it.
It’s a different story for Hollywood leading ladies where the top occupation is entertainer. Which could be singer, dancer, stripper, or possibly hooker if you stretch the definition of entertainer. But this is changing. Now-a-days Hollywood leading ladies are also police, detectives, and spies just like leading men. So, Hollywood good-gals now get to carry guns and shoot people, too.
One other change in TV heros these days. A protagonist you’d never see in Hollywood’s golden age –vampire. How did that happen? How did vampire go from blood-curdling night terror to misunderstood sympathy figure? Then again, I don’t suppose vampire is a job, is it?
France has over 200 different kinds of cheeses and China has… I dunno. I can’t think of one cheese from China. Seems the familiar Japanese and Chinese cooking curiously lack cheese. No cheese sushi, no cheese stir-fry, no cheese fu yung. Not only that, they don’t have forks, they eat with sticks.
The Japanese give us tofu, bean curd instead of milk curd. That’s sort-of like cheese made from beans. And very bland cheese at that. Which also doesn’t melt nicely on a burger or work at all satisfactorily on a pizza.
Of course, my knowledge of east Asian cuisine isn’t that great. Just what I’ve seen on the menus in restaurants. Maybe the Chinese have cheese, but they keep it to themselves. At least I haven’t seen any. Not only that, but I haven’t noticed much in the way of any kind of dairy in their cooking. There is coconut milk, but that’s not real milk any more than tofu is real cheese.
So I wonder, are there pizzerias in Tokyo? Do they serve cheeseburgers and shakes in Chinese McDonalds?
Ten Useless Inventions that Never Materialized
On the other hand there’s these ten useless inventions that shouldn’t have materialized, but did. Including illuminated tires, the rainy day cigarette holder, and the baby cage. Then there are useless inventions that made the grade, but are still pointless. Striped toothpaste for instance.
If you’ve been out of work, can’t find a job and simply give up even looking, you’re no longer unemployed. Statistically you don’t exist. So take heart, while you may be jobless at least you’re not unemployed.
You gotta love the way economists figures things. They’re so, shall we say, optimistic. But no matter how optimistic you are a glass that’s half full is still half empty, too. Or you could claim the empty half has quit trying and so doesn’t count.
But where it gets real fun is when economists take all these questionable figures and insert them into their formulas to determine what policy should be. From this they expect to get the correct answer. Oh well, it works in theory anyway. Is it any wonder economics is called the dismal science?
Ten Things You Don’t Want to Hear Your Boss Say
“We’re moving your job offshore. Can you swim?”
“To maximize space, cubicles will now be triangular.”
“We wanted to hire a monkey for your job, but the S.P.C.A. stopped us.”
“We’re not downsizing the operation, just your pay.”
“According to your performance evaluation, you owe us money.”
“From now on, human resources will be called robot resources. As such…”
“We promote from within. Within the family, that is.”
“Don’t worry, all our cubicle partitions are bullet-proof.”
“We’re not laying you off, we just decided to stop paying you.”
I heard on the radio this was the second snowiest February we’ve had since records have been kept. The we in we’ve being the Detroit area. How far back the records go I couldn’t say because the radio didn’t say. But I can’t imagine it’s more than a 150 years or so. All this snow this year only goes to show… I don’t know what it goes to show other than it snowed a lot this February.
Does it mean weather is getting more extreme? You’d have to look at the record, which the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project did. Their analysis of global weather since 1871 shows no evidence the incidence of extreme weather events has increased. Which only goes to show, snow happens.
Ahhh, the joys of home ownership. I just shoveled a foot of home ownership joy off the walk and drive. If you own it you maintain it, that’s part of the deal. Mow the grass, rake the leaves, shovel the snow. It never ends. Know what else never ends, paying for your property.
Even after the mortgage has been paid you’re still not off the hook. Every year you pay property tax, and if you don’t… bye-bye house. Property tax is basically a fee to maintain possession of what you’ve already paid for. It’s like renting your own house from the government. Forever.
Makes you wonder, do you ever truly own your house free and clear?
Have you ever been watching TV or reading a book and get the sneaking suspicion the writer doesn’t know what they’re writing about? This might happen when the story concerns something you know quite a bit about, your own particular field of work, interest, or study. In my case it’d be the illustration game or to a lesser degree horse racing tracks.
For example, I saw a horse racing movie where a track rat goes up to the betting window and says something like, “A hundred dollars on Dragonfly to win.” Thing is, no experienced gambler places a bet by the horse’s name, they use the number. They’ll say something like, “A hundred to win on the four horse.” Which only goes to show writers are mostly experts at writing and not always what they’re writing about.
The same thing happens with the news. How often have you watched the TV news or read the paper and had the sneaking suspicion the reporters don’t know what they were talking about? Again, usually about a subject you know well. Did you ever then stop and wonder, if they could mess up on this familiar topic how well are they doing on other stories?
Which brings us to the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. As explained by Michael Crichton:
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward — reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story — and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
So, the problem is how can you tell when the news reports on the unfamiliar are full of errors? They say you can’t believe everything you read, but how do you know which parts to believe and which parts to not believe?
When economic times are tough we need heroes, or we need to be heroes, or we need heroic efforts or something that segways into the premise of this bit. New characters for the television show Heroes with paranormal powers more suitable to real life.
Les Munny who can make ends meet on half his former income.
Emma Surviver who lands on her feet no matter how hard her pocketbook gets hit.
Prudence Pender who can resist the hardest sells that confront her.
Nomar Savens with the ability to live large with a shrinking net worth.
Liv Indared who posesses the superstrength to carry heavy debt.
Holden Green who can freeze excess spending at will.
Penny Pincher with superflexibility to stretch a dollar without breaking it.
Rufus Fallen who has invulnerability to survive a collapsed house market.
Mort Gage with the ability to stay afloat when financially under water.
Hellen Highwater who has the ability to sleep despite it all.
Of course not all the characters use their paranormal powers for good. Heroes has its villians.
Dee Flation with the ability to suck the value out of everyone else’s assets.
Ian Flation with the power to suck the value out of everyone else’s money.
Wally Street-Banks who can transform worthless mortgages into ballance sheet profits.
Robin Depopulus with the power to convert bailout money into personal riches.
Lotta Detts who can’t stop growing bigger and bigger and bigger…
Then there are characters who didn’t make the editorial cut. Mostly because I didn’t know what their powers might be. These are Hope Ann Change, Nada Dime, Bette DeFarm, T. Bill Bonds, Mark Tomarket, and Will Powers. You are welcome to use your imagination, since mine seems to have run dry.
An interactive joke. Hold the cursor over the pic and the characters talk. Sort-of. It’s high-tech, easy, fun for everyone!