# Mathematical Proof You Are Impossible

Unless you’re a clone you have a mother and a father. And your parents each had a mother and a father. So, you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grand­parents. We could go on but it starts getting confusing adding all those greats for each generation you go back. Instead of great-great-great-great-grandparents we’ll say four-great-grandparents. Got it? Good, let’s go on.

If you go back ten generations, that’s about three hundred years or so, you’ll have one thousand twenty-four seven-great grand­parents. So then, how many thirty-great grandparents do you have if you go back that far? Pause to imagine… Eight billion, five hundred eighty-nine million, nine hundred thirty-four thousand, five hundred and ninety-two. (8,589,934,592)

We’re talking about the year 1000AD roughly. You have more thirty-great-grandparents than people existed on Earth at the time. Without all those billions of ancestors having children having children having children and so on you wouldn’t have been born. The arithmetic says most of your ancestors are missing. Therefore, you are impossible. And the further back you go the less possible you get.

Filed 4/14/17

# This Site Now Atomic Powered!

We say, everything electrical is atomic powered and terry colon dot com is electrically powered. This power isn’t from splitting atomic nuclei, but using the electrons of atoms. Electrons are atomic, eh? In DC they jump about from atom to atom. In AC they oscillate back and forth, or something. At any rate, when AC electricity enters your house, nothing actually gets in. Nothing flows through the wires, the electrons don’t zip about the house and go back to the electric company to be recycled or whatever. The whole business is like atomic vibes, man. We have no idea how it works, but we’re certainly glad it does.

We also know electricity must be a circuit, a loop. How big or how many loops there are in the house we can’t say. Toss in magnetism, which goes with electricity like white on rice, and we’re totally at sea. Magnetic fields are also loops without beginning or end, like little self contained bits of infinity made out of… what? Influence? It’s a mystery.

Filed 4/4/17

# Webio-Bot Gets Osterized

mouseover buttons to change speed

If there’s one thing the staff at terry colon dot com likes better than spirals, it’s putting our stooge mascot, Webio-Bot through the blender to become one indistinguishable bot swarm as they go from stirred-not-shaken to frappé.

Notice how the outside bot seems to be bigger than the inside bot at “Fast” speed while the top bot is biggest of all. See how they bend at “Faster” speed. Watch the inner bot grow a tail at “Fastest” speed. Why? We can’t explain it. We only did it for the fun of it. And completed an entire week of material by milking a single idea for all it was worth and then some.

Filed 3/31/17

# Spiral Vision

mouseover buttons to change speed

You didn’t suppose we’d let go of this spinning business without tossing in some spirals, did you? Like they say, persistence is a virtue. Anyway, we love spirals. Spirals are funny. Sort of. Sometimes. Not so much here but in eyeballs they’re a laugh riot. Sort of.

A lot of this is more of the same, you can see what you see and make of it what you will. Notice, though, how the little outer straight line seems to get longer and narrower the faster it goes. Next, after watching the thing spin for a while, then going directly to “Stop” it doesn’t stop. That is, it seems to be shrinking or moving slightly. Of course it isn’t, but it looks like it. Sort of.

Filed 3/30/17

# Persistence of Rotary Visions

mouseover buttons to change speed

What, another one? The terry colon dot com reader might well wonder if we’ve gone completely round and round the bend at this point. If we have, would we know it ourselves? Whatever the case, there is a method to our madness. If it be madness.

This time we forego the goofy distractions in the disc, no ovals, bots, weird flower-like eyeballs and whatnot. Nothing but concentric circles all with exactly the same weight and style of dotted line. As you can see at “Stop.” So, even though every circle is rotating at the same rate, each has a different speed. The dashes of the outer circle cover a lot more ground per rotation than the inner circle dashes. They move progressively faster from the center circle outward. This is easily seen at the default speed.

Without the distractions you can tell one other thing. The persistence of vision thing is not only a possible effect of the screen display, it’s also how you see naturally. Your eyes scan quickly and repeatedly just like a camera. Here’s how you can show it to yourself. If you focus on the outer circle without moving your eyes you perceive a lot of short, blurry, purple dashes rotating slowly clockwise. If you follow the white dash around with your eyes you see what they really are: longer, more distinct dashes.

On the other hand, at the “Fastest” speed the green dashes just sit there and the yellow circle can be followed around with your eyes counter clockwise even though the disc is rotating clockwise like mad. Is that a result of the screen display or your own eyes? We don’t know. It is curious though, eh?

Filed 3/29/17

# Rotary Aqua-Botics

mouseover buttons to change speed

We readily admit we did this rotary persistence of vision thing yesterday. Chalk it up to our persistence of pointless animation. All the same, notice how the Aqua-Bot starts to bend into the flow the faster it swims. Or circles the drain, or whatever. At top speed it gets squashed into a bug-like thing. Maybe it’s our lying eyes fooling us, but it seems to swim in a tighter circle at the fastest speed, too.

Goofy? Maybe so. We’re having fun anyway. As the man said, or sang in fact, “You can’t please everyone so you got to please yourself.” Or it could have been, “…you’ve got to…” Hard to tell with singing. There’s a word for that, but we’ll save that for another day in another department.

Filed 3/28/17

# Rotary Persistence of Vision

mouseover buttons to change speed

Here’s our little experiment on how to get seemingly complex motion from spinning one object. And different motions at different speeds. You might even perceive some slight color shift. All because of what they call persistence of vision. Which you might also call the wagon wheel effect. It all boils down to how we see motion as a series of still pictures running past rapidly in sequence. Rather than trying to explain what that entails, here’s a link. Less work for us.

Persistence of Vision

Filed 3/27/17

# Not to Worry, It’s Protected by an Imaginary Box

Man, is it windy out there around here. Well, yesterday. 50-70 mph gusts. That’s getting up towards hurricane speeds. Category 1 hurricane winds start at 74mph. (Why 74 and not 75, I wonder.)

The reader might be wondering why I’m subjecting them to talking about the weather, of all things. Egads! Well, how else to explain the mime bot walking against the wind? Pointless, yes. That’s par for the course hereabouts. Though now you know the inspiration for it. Which falls into the category of news you can’t use. Sort-of the terry colon dot com motto.

Filed 3/9/17

# It’s February 30th

Why don’t we restore all thirty days to February? Do we need a Roman Emperor to do it? They’re all dead and gone, we can nullify their edicts if we want, can’t we? Let’s do it. Take the days back from July and August and even out the months better.

Let’s go even further. Make every month thirty days. Take the extra five days and put them between June and July. Call it Midyear. A five day break for everyone. A six day break during leap year. It would balance the week-long Christmas to New Year break at the end of the year. And who doesn’t want a week off during summer? Don’t like it? Just be glad there’s no Terrius Caesar or you’d just have to lump it.

And here you thought it was only the animation that was pointless.

Filed 2/30/17

# Your Web-Wide Home For Pointless Animation

As they say, what you see is what you see. And what you get is all we got.

Filed 2/28/17

# My Life in Modern Times

I had the urge to noodle around on my musical keyboard synthesizer which is played through the stereo system. Unfortunately there is no auxiliary ports on the amp so I have to plug in through the CD ports. Which is also where I plug in the computer to play music. Meaning I have to swap out the AC plugs between devices. When I yanked out one from the Mac the central metal prong came off, stuck in the port. That was annoying. Still, I got it out easily enough with needle nose pliers.

Now then, the cords to both devices are the same, only the one to the synthesizer is longer to reach the keyboard on the other side of the room. So I figured until I could replace the short one I’d just use the one plugged in as needed. Which led to glitch number two, when I plugged into the sound out (headphones) port in the computer the sound failed. Not only wouldn’t it work through the stereo, the internal speakers wouldn’t work either. Oh no, no sound! Even more annoying.

Not only that, there was a red light on inside the sound out port on the back of the Mac. A bad sign, no doubt. So I did a quick Bing search of the problem and followed the various possible problem solving recommendations. The one that worked? Blowing in the little sound out hole. How’s that for a high-tech solution? Reminds me of the old joke of the ancient technician who fixed the machinery by banging on it with a mallet. It’s all in knowing where to hit it.

Filed 2/25/17

# Ten Things Explained with One Venn Diagram

Mouseover number for each diagram

Filed 2/22/17

# An Anecdote and Links Which Have Nothing to Do with Each Other

I had an unexpected visitor this morning. Seems one of the neighborhood tomcats figured out how to use the cat hatch on the exterior kitchen door and sauntered in as big as you please. One of my pair of cats got into a fit of hissing (wonder if cats are the origin of hissy fit) at this interloper alerting me that the mewing coming from the hall was not from one of the resident felines. Rising to investigate I spied a biggish, yellow tom well into the hall scoping the environs. Upon confronting me the old boy beat a hasty retreat where I quickly let him out the back door as he seemed a bit unsure that the kitty door worked going out as well as in. Still, no harm, no foul.

On the unrelated note, if you like reading an eclectic mix of topics I gladly recommend Isegoria blog. Well, if you like the kind of things I like, which is hard to categorize or explain really. Here are a couple links to recent entries I found quite interesting. The first is about shell shock not being only a purely psychological phenomenon, but can be a physical effect on the brain from blast compression. The second is about some African bushmen’s take on Hamlet.

Btw, that’s not me in the pic. I’m a poor caricaturist and a worse self-caricaturist. So I used my stand-in for the scene. But I’ll be darned if it doesn’t look exactly like him.

Filed 2/13/17

# Sciency Fiction News

We excerpt an amusing short review by William M. Briggs on what looks to be a funny new Science Fiction novel, A Theory of Nothing by Thomas Barlow. While we try to poke fun at some of the nonsense in Sci-fi and the way science is too often done in the real world, this book seems to have skewered both in a way we can only envy.

The working of this beastie conjured the theoretical negatronium particle, which was duly searched for and discovered. Thinking on this led Barlow to have Karlof say, “It is one of the extraordinary attributes of modern theories that their theories often prove malleable enough to conform to almost any fact.”

This allows Barlow to have a wise old man to tell Karlof, “Long ago, we invented the first truly effective way to disconnect Americans from reality. It’s called the national debt… What we’ve shown, through the practical application of simple economic principles, is that if Americans cannot have free energy, they can at least have free money. Public debt is our equivalent of a perpetual motion machine.”

A Theory of Nothing Leads to Something

(Good joke in the comments, too.)

Filed 2/10/17

# And Now…

Mouseover to enlarge

More from the strange but should be true file. You just knew we’d slap one of these in here sooner or later.

Filed 2/8/17

# Happy Woodchuck Day, or Subterranean Homesick Blues

Woodchuck, groundhog, same thing. But we already did that. The question on everyone’s mind, will the woodchuck come out of its burrow and chuck some wood? The second question, how much wood would the… forget it, we already did that one, too.

Groundhog Day is one of those holidays, if it can be called that, which nobody takes seriously. Like Arbor Day and April Fools Day. Along similar lines are Saint Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Labor Day. The first is an excuse for folks to pretend to be Irish and drink green beer. Though it’s named for a Saint, there’s nothing very saintly about it.

Valentine’s Day has mostly lost the Saint part of the name. About the only time it’s tacked on is for the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Which was not very saintly either. There are lots of other Saint days, but very few people keep track of them any more. Do you know when Saint Crispin’s Day is? See?

As for Labor Day, do people go out and celebrate the working class on Labor Day? We don’t think all that much. It’s just a day off work for a lot of folks or a seasonal marker to put away the white belts and white shoes. Though in this tacky sneaker-wearing age white shoes are year-round attire.

This year, instead of rousting some poor groundhog from its slumber to see if it sees its shadow, let’s sing Bob Dylan’s wood­chuck song. Don’t know it? Sure you do.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck,
If a woodchuck could chuck wood?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Filed 2/2/17

# Some Idle Thoughts on Shopping

Are some supermarkets putting the parking lot shopping cart corrals, or whatever they’re called, in the wrong place? They’re often about a third or so of the way up the lane. Now then, handi­capped parking is located near the store entrance so the handicapped don’t have so far to go. But to return a shopping cart they have to go back to the entrance or out to where the cart corral is. Wouldn’t it make more sense to locate the return corral right next to the handicapped parking?

Why is fresh produce usually the first thing you encounter in the supermarket? You’d think boxed items and canned goods would be first, that’s what you want at the bottom of your shopping cart. We mean, you don’t want to pile canned goods on top of your tomatoes, bananas, and such, right? Shouldn’t produce and baked goods be the last thing next to the checkout?

Though how a store is set up might depend on logistics, it probably makes sense to have coolers and freezers along a wall. On the other hand, some of a store’s layout is psychology, enticing people to make impulse buys or have confidence in the products or the store. Grocery stores toss out a lot of produce, but keep produce overstocked because it just looks shabby if the bins are low on goods. Shoppers don’t trust a store with slim pickings.

Another trick is the “five for five dollars” type offer. This simply means one dollar apiece, you needn’t buy five to get that price though some people think you do have to buy five, and so do. Then there’s the absolutely meaningless offer. Which we’ll explain with a little anecdote.

Some time ago in a party store (maybe called a liquor store, box store, bodega, corner market, or convenience store depending where you live and who sells the hard booze) we noticed the proprietor had several signs on shelves of liquor reading “Best Buy!” We said to the man behind the counter, “We don’t get your ‘best buy’ signs, aren’t liquor prices set by the state?” To which he replied, “Yes. The prices are not lower, but it helps move things that aren’t selling well.” Thing is, the sign is no lie. You will not find a better buy on the same bottle of booze anywhere in the state since the price is the same everywhere.

Which reminds us of a line spoken by Humphrey Bogart’s character in We’re No Angels. “We’re not selling a product, we’re selling an idea.”

The liquor store story reminds us of another thing. We spent some time in Charleston, South Carolina and noticed they had a lot of “Box Stores” all over the place. It puzzled us why there were so many stores selling cardboard boxes. Why? Did people move a lot down there or what? Only later did we learn they were liquor outlets. Unlike Michigan where packaged liquor is sold in any old store with a license, down there they had dedicated stores for it. Why they called them a Box Store is still puzzling to us.

Filed 2/1/17

# We Changed the Redesign Already?

Yep. You may not have picked up on it straight away, but there’s an additional button at the top: Cartoon. We broke it out of the Humor section to list our Suck.com links, Reader’s Digest bits, Cracked articles, and other cartoony type stuff in a similar vien. The wordier bits remain in the Humor section.

Wait, that’s not all. We retitled the Fun section as Fun & Games. We figure that gives readers a better idea what’s to be found in there since just the word “fun” is pretty ambiguous.

We also renamed Shorts as Blog for similar reasons. We know what we meant by Shorts, but the great web going public might not. Blog they understand. While our blog doesn’t quite function like your usual blog, no comments or perma-links, that’s pretty much what it is so we might as well call it that.

Filed 1/28/17

# How I Came to Make This Site

This entry will only make sense if you first see the splash page it refers to. You can see that at the link below. Check it out. We’ll wait…

Getting Warmer-Closer

Back already? OK. The chart loosely shows how I arrived here via the influences and distractions that made it all possible. When I say loosely shows, make that very loosely. I never lived in Siberia or during the Stone Age. But, in a way, it took thousands of years of civilization, culture and techno­logical achievement to pave the way for terry colon dot com. Hardly seems the bother, but there it is.

That’s how I got here, how you arrived I couldn’t say. Possibly by accident searching for a site about colon cleansing. While you might not find anything here funny enough to make you crap your pants, they do say laughter is the best medicine. Perhaps a smile is second best. While the site may not cure what ails you or help with your number twos… I don’t know how to finish that sentence.

In case you’re wondering about the logo in the pic, I designed that for a Detroit based record label, Transmat. That was back in the day after discovering there was no market for hand turkeys and before I became an illustrator. I suppose I could have chosen some other things I designed or drew to represent those days long gone by, but most of it is pretty unmemorable. I’m trying to forget about it myself.

Filed 1/25/17

# Brace Yourself for Another Pirate Post

A usage of brace you don’t hear much these days, “The pirate sported a brace of pistols.” Quite simply, a brace is two. The pirate carried two pistols. So, why not say a pair of pistols? we hear ourselves ask. We hear ourselves guess, back in the day if they weren’t a matched set they weren’t a pair. Think of a pair of glasses or a pair of gloves. Two the same, pair; two of a type but different, brace.

We think the British call suspenders braces. So they might wear a pair of braces, but not a brace of braces. Which would be two pairs of suspenders, four suspenders in total. A single suspender would be a Sam Browne belt. Which didn’t hold up pants, rather it held up itself, if that makes sense.

Pirates didn’t wear Sam Browne belts that we’re aware of, so perhaps we shouldn’t have brought them up. We have no information on whether pirates wore suspenders or not. They did wear eye patches, though never in pairs. They also had hooks for hands and peg legs. Or sans peg leg a crutch, a different kind of brace. The pirate business was obviously pretty hazardous.

Most pirates didn’t have a brace of pistols, they fought with cutlasses. A short saber-like sword with a large hand guard. If the more colorful reports are to be believed, they also fought with tooth and nail, which we imagine means in the heat of battle they’d bite people or claw their eyes out. Which might explain all the eye patches.

Cutlass Compared to Sabre

Pirates kept monkeys and parrots for pets. Perhaps just to be colorful, or maybe because cats don’t go in for sailing. On the other hand there were sea dogs, which weren’t actual dogs but the ship’s crew. Then there’s Chicken of the Sea which…

We seem to have strayed from the word brace through some guff about pirates winding up at some silliness about tuna fish. Chalk it up to our unplanned pirate theme that started over the week­end. Will there be more pirate shorts or just the brace pair two so far? At this point we don’t know ourselves.

Filed 1/10/17

# Happy New Improved Year!

It’s the newly retooled terry colon dot com, smaller and better than ever while retaining all the pointless animation, aimless verbiage, and silly pictures you’ve come to expect. Yep, rather than the usual bigger, we go the reverse. We’ve reduced the Blog departments from ten to six by rolling Links, Lists, Money, and Quotes into other departments. Also, many entries and features were whittled down and others eighty-sixed in toto.

We also retitled some articles and wrote a smear of new Blog headlines so they actually tell you what the heck the thing is about. Perhaps not as clever wordplay-wise, but better utility-wise. Speaking of which, readers can now navigate to every page from every other page with the new menu thingy at the top.

Observant readers might also notice the new, more consistent headline fonts used throughout. No more boring old Ad Lib available to everyone and used all over the place. Instead, all custom fonts designed by us with an occasional bit of something article specific tossed in. For you typeface wonks, here they are on display.

The new header type, where it says TERRYCOLON.COM at the top, is Terrifix. Humor bits use Neutronix Bold, Webio-Bot has Robotix with an outline, and the rest get Atomix Bold, mostly. Below are custom faces used here and there or in the past.

For your amusement, or more like our amusement, here are some other uniquely unique fonts from our typeface foundry, which we dub Face Front.

Can you tell we have a thing for the -ix suffix? The old folks out there from Motor Town might recognize Orbitronix. Just lop off -ronix and there you go. For everyone from everywhere, only 365 days until the next redesign. Enjoy!

Filed 1/1/17