Saturday, October 31, 2015

Why Dinosaurs Are Really Extinct: Prequel to a Series

National Geographic tells us: "Scientists tend to huddle around one of two hypotheses that may explain the Cretaceous extinction: an extraterrestrial impact, such as an asteroid or comet, or a massive bout of volcanism." Two key takeaways:
1) This sounds like the scientists are little cavemen, rubbing two hypotheses together and trying to start a fact!
2) If scientists are just huddling around two hypotheses, then they lack imagination.
Me? I have many more hypotheses re: why dinosaurs are extinct. (Ed. Note: The following photos may upset dinosaurs if they are not, in fact, extinct. My apologies to any such dinosaurs who, I hypothesize, would be very large and angry and "go all Jurassic Park" on me.)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Why Dinosaurs Are Really Extinct, Part 1: Dinovalanche!!!

Rex: "Like I said, I only bring the transceiver if I think there's gonna be an avalanche. I didn't think there was gonna be an avalanche, so I didn't bring the transceiver. HEY! Who's kicking me? Quit it!"

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Why Dinosaurs Are Really Extinct, Part 2: Killer Icicles

Archie: "So I go, 'Knock those icicles down. It'll take 5 seconds.' And Rex goes, 'They'll melt soon.'"

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How to Do Everything (I read the pamphlets so you don't have to!)

How to Recycle: Dump everything into one can and throw it anywhere!
What Happens When You Smoke Marijuana: You stand around and make fun of your friend who is cold and scared because he has not smoked marijuana. 
How to Develop Your Leadership Skills: Convince People to Follow You Blindly Up a Staircase to Nowhere! 
Improve Your Interpersonal Skills by Forcing Others to Shake Hands! 
If Your Coworker is Crouched Down with a Globe On His Shoulders, Don't Ponder It--Run. There is a Gun Behind That Globe.  
Improve Your Listening Skills by Growing Ears!  
Now that You Are A Young Lady, You Will Spend Hours Staring Into Lockers...
Get a Load of This! Natural Gas is Cuddly and Fun! Play with It! 
If A Stopwatch Falls on Your Friend, Fondle Him!  
In An Emergency, Wave Goodbye to All You Hold Dear.
If You Cannot Get Cocaine, Your Brain Will Break In Two.  
If You Are Making Out and Question Marks Appear in the Air, Be Very Worried.

You and Your Attitude Have Scary Roundy Heads.
If Your Older Relatives are "Problem Drinkers," You Might Need to Remind Them Where They Hid the Booze.
To Conserve Your Hearing on the Job, Tune Out Your Coworkers. Tune them alllll out. 
If You Try to Be Abstinent, A Big Bed Will Follow You Wherever You Go. So, Don't Bother. 
You Do Not Want to Know About "Universal Precautions." Rubber Glove? 'nuff Said. 
Poop is Shaped Like Flowers. Do Not Mistake It For Flowers.  
Conserve Water? Why? It is Plentiful and Jolly and Loves Being Squandered! 
If You Allow Yourself to Be Crucified at Work, That's a Winning Attitude, Mister!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ad Nauseum..."How to Buy A Suit..."

G'day, I'm Nat and I disapprove of everything. I especially disapprove of this ad. The formula to buy a suit ("Go to a reliable store and ask for a brand you can trust.") makes me want to shake the Ad Men. They're just not trying very hard here AND what is a reliable store and who can I really trust? Also: What the heck is up with that gal behind the counter? Is she a Perfume Nurse? Is she a nun? Why is she hiding? Lemme tell you: With that gal, this is not a reliable store that I can really trust.

Ad Nauseum..."The Simple Foods of War..."

Penrose's Prime Takeaway From This Ad: "It's War: Get Drunk." Buy some beans, put them in a pot, then get as drunk as you can and maintain it until the war is over (and buy bonds).

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ad Nauseum..."For MEN Only"

Ahoy, there! Cappy here...getting sloshed up here with the befuddled Handmaidens of He-Men Soup. These soups are "For Men Only," and that means hands-off for the gals. So how do they heat it up for their menfolk? One more thought: The Ad Men of CampbellsTM must have been tired when they wrote this ad. I mean: "Beef! Beef! Beef!" "Everybody Likes Chicken!" "Another Grand Meat-Stock Soup!" These are the words of Ad Men who have run out of adjectives.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Dormeyer Power Chef

This is my great-aunt's Dormeyer Power Chef mixer. Which great-aunt? The tall great-aunt who didn't swear like a sailor like the other great-aunt!
I assumed ownership of the Dormeyer Power Chef mixer; my great-aunt no longer needs it. It works really well and I like the way it looks. The first thing I found out about the Dormeyer Power Chef is that it's kind of fun to read the list of its functions* out loud, really fast, emphasizing the first syllable of each word (it was a quiet day, what can I say):


The second thing I found out about the Dormeyer Power Chef involved myself. Once again, I realized that I can't leave words alone. I looked at the list and I thought, "Okay, I understand that there are different kinds of beating and mixing, but redundancy is a real problem here. Couldn't they have taken the time to substitute appropriate synonyms or more descriptive terms?"

Yet, quite quickly I had to concede that "...the list has a nice momentum and sense of urgency, despite its obvious repetitiveness--or perhaps even because of it. In a literary sense, a rough form of poetry emerges--a small, fierce word storm fills the room....The ten-word gerund rocket [I made that term up just 'cause I could] creates an epic juggernaut of batter-blending intensity..." (It was a very slow day.) For example, let's use a ten-word gerund rocket to capture a temper tantrum:


Once I had accepted the list as rough poetry, however, I found that I still had a few quibbles. As I worked on the temper tantrum experiment, I found that it was hard to get the perfect last couple of words to land the gerund rocket neatly and with force. Uneasily, I fell back on rhyming--as shown above. This gerund rocket challenge is also evident in the original list shown above. After building up a certain amount of dramatic tension ("Beating Beating Creaming Mixing Whipping"), the list collapses weakly with "Mashing" and "Adding"--a definite anti-climax. I decided that the Dormeyer people should have tweaked those last two words:


As you can see, I felt I had to resort to petty sensationalism to land the gerund rocket.

The Dormeyer Power Chef: A heckuva machine.
The Gerund Rocket: A heckuva literary challenge.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Good Words!

Last week we talked about bad words, and this week we're talking about good words. Why are we posing with vintage cameras? Well, because they're damn good-looking and kinda extinct-y, like us. Nothing to do with the content of this post. Gratuitous Cameras. On to the good words!

1) Cozy.
2) Tasty.
3) Apparently I like words with "y" at the end? Anyway, here's one that doesn't have a "y" at the end: Barbara. I like "Barbara" because of a line in "Night of the Living Dead" that I like to use a lot, "They're com-ing to get you Bar-bar-a..." See, it works not JUST in this movie--which is a great movie--but for many menacing situations in life. Relationship trouble? Tough times at work? Life getting you down? "They're com-ing to get you Bar-bar-a..." will make you laugh (you kind of roll the rrrrrs in a spooky voice when you say "Bar-bar-a"). Either that or my friends are humoring me--which is very likely--but they're laughing anyway, which is all that matters.
4) Calliope. Dunno why. It's kind of perky. WAIT! Perky is a "y" word. Hmm.
5) Sassy. (Another "y" word...what is this?)
6) Frisky. (I give up, I guess I have a "y" fetish. Who knew?)
7) Crisp. (Well, sure, you could tack a "y" on the end of that one, too, but I like the final "p" sound. Cris-P.)
8) Mol-ten La-va. I dunno--I just like to say that. Mol-ten La-va.
9) Magooin'*...because I came up with it. As in "fumble through life like Mr. Magoo." Upon reflection, I spend 99% of my life Magooin' around the landscape--one way or another.
10) Sparkly.* (Geez. I need a 12-step program to get over this addiction to words with "y" at the end, huh? And: This has nothing to do with my nom de blog and everything to do with rhinestones. Sparkly. Sparkly. Sparkly. I like.)
11) Tantamount. Okay, this is kind of a "stunt" word. It's a longy, but it's fun to jump down hard on each part of the word, "That price is tan-ta-mount to highway robbery." It's kind of like bouncing on a bed. Tan-ta-mount.
12) Just for flow, I like words with lots of "l's" in them. Alluvial.

*Okay, a few more of these "y" words and I'll have assembled the New Seven Dwarfs.