Thursday, September 13, 2012


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • If you thought IRS regulations were tough, try figuring out your Body Mass Index.
  • My computer supposedly accepts all kinds of cookies, but every time I reach inside, there's nothing but wires!
  • "You want flies with that?"  The sanitation at many McDonald's leaves a lot to be desired.
  • You're an old-timer if you can remember having to wait one week instead of one second to see how your pictures  turned out.
  • "Show business is not so much a 'dog eat dog' world as it is a  'your dog won't return my dog's phone calls' world. "--Woody Allen
  • What price progress? Today's car may be safer for drivers, but they pose tough challenges for first responders, such as trying to avoid cutting a high-voltage cable in a hybrid-electric vehicle or being able to slice through strong steel, Door County Daily News has reported.
  • There's more: Air bags mean more explosive propellant tanks and fewer safe places to cut, and even usual practices like disconnecting the battery and removing the key upon arrival are made more complicated by things like keyless ignitions and plugged-in electronic devices that can contain enough stored power to trigger an air bag deployment. 
  • "Jazz is a music where we never play anything the same way once."--Shelly Manne, legendary drummer.
  • " . . .They extensively tested the president’s [convention] speech in dial groups, a type of focus group where voters twist dials to register approval or disapproval of specific passages . . ."--Howard Kurtz in the Daily Beast.
  • Comment:  I like President Obama, but how much confidence can you have in a president when he gets those proverbial 3 a.m. phone calls if he can't even trust his own instincts on what to say in a convention acceptance speech in which the outcome is already known?
  • DoctorSpeak 101:  "Betz Cell Anemia."
  • (Betz cells are in the brain.  Anemia is a paucity of cells.  In other words, this is the medical term for "airhead.")
  • "Take care of the luxuries, and the necessities will take care of themselves."--Dorothy Parker
  • Small-print follies: The median length of bank disclosures for a checking account is now a whopping 111 pages, the Wall St. Journal reports.  (That's no Tweet!)
  •  Transparency Labs, an online database of contracts, is launching a free Web-based service that promises to translate every contract issued by America's largest corporations into readable, 9th-grade-level text.
  • The inspiration for the archive? The  Labs CEO was shocked when the first $100 he put into his kid's' savings account was quickly reduced to zero by fees.
  • Coinage of the week:  "Conglomerateur."  (Discovered in "Mr. S, My Life With Frank Sinatra," by George Jacobs and William Stadiem.  Highly recommended, by the way.)
  • "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Item of the Week:  The NFL Network's four-hour pregame shows this season will be preceded by a two-hour pre-pregame show.  That's right--a pre-pregame show, airing at 7 a.m.!  Six hours of programming about a 60-minute game.
  • Favorite Mental Floss Item of the Week:  Smokey the Bear's original name was Hot Foot Teddy.  (You can see why they went back to the proverbial drawing board!)
  • (Runner-up Favorite Item:  Reed Hastings was inspired to start Netflix after racking up a $40 late fee at a video store.)
  • People who  eat right off the buffet table at restaurants should be subject to immediate deportation.
  • Fading phenomena:  Tie tacks, Sony MiniDiscs, car ash trays. 
  • Another in SZSEZ's series of Media Words, words you see or hear only in print or on news broadcasts and never, ever hear anyone use in real life:  Vapid.  (As in, "She was, essentially, a vapid creature.")
  • Whatever happened to Joe Piscopo?
  • Forty-third entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes:  Tonet, Wis.  (R.I.P., Gerald O. Vandenhouten ,Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Aug. 13, 2012.)  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton, Goodman, Readstown, Dousman., Butternut, Montpelier, Cecil, Red River, Gillet, King, Laona, Kelly Lake and Glenmore.
  • Sign on door of Brooklyn pawn shop:  "Closed due to death in family." (Penciled in below:  "Not Sam.")
  • Today's Latin lesson:  "Propinquus due ut nex in prosapia." ("Closed due to death in family.")

No comments: