Wednesday, June 5, 2019


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • My next book project: "Bitcoin for Dummies."  (As soon as I de-dummy myself about the subject, that is.   And I should probably finish it before bitcoin falls out of favor or is declared illegal.)
  • Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post referred to the impeachment process as "constitutional hygiene."  (Delousing, perhaps?)
  • All suspects are innocent until the surveillance video is shown on TV.
  • You know, life ain't easy these days.  Not when the movers and shakers keep moving the goal posts instead of leveling the playing field, while the rest of us have to have a multitask mind-set while fighting a never-ending learning curve.  So all you can do is hit the ground running,  play hardball when you have to step up to the plate, and at the end of the day, pick all the low-hanging fruit.  
  • Let's face it, the fat cats have us on an emotional roller-coaster, no matter how much they try to downsize the elephant in the room.  So cut to the chase, and before the whole ball of wax reaches critical mass,  we'll take stock of the benchmarks and the Big Picture and come to the realization that we must go back to the drawing board.  It is what it is.  
  • With the population aging as it is, it's only a matter of time before we have a TV show called "America's Got Geezers."   (Will Ryan Seacrest's grandfather be available?)
  • Take this, TV meteorologists:  Believe it or not, thermometers in the late 1800s provided more accurate readings than the measuring equipment in use today. 
  • Why?  I'm told that the temperature measuring system has a platinum wire resistive device whose electrical resistance varies with temperature.  It’s accurate, but requires maintenance for correct readings.  (Chance of accuracy?  Who knows.)
  • The man:  Adolphe Quetlet.  
  • His occupation:  19th Century Belgian statistician, mathematician and astronomer.
  • What he did:  Invent the Body Mass Index.  (Kind of hard to work into a conversation, but there you have it.)
  • "100 percent of the people who give 110 percent do not understand math."--Demetri Martin
  • Normally, we hear the Memorial Day weekend traffic death toll.  But thanks to the hordes of Mt. Everest  climbers, we heard a different kind of number. I guess nothing beats the rush of taking a selfie in the Death Zone.  
  • Related tourism madness:  Photos of eight-block-long lines to see the Mona Lisa.  Did you know that in the early 20th Century, the ML was receiving so much fan mail that it had its own mailbox at the Louvre?
  • Jungle justice:  "Rhino poacher trampled by elephants then eaten by lions." (April 7 headline)
  •  jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week:  "Say [actual partygoer's name here], did you know that a piece of plastic with T’s at both ends used to secure labels in clothing is called a perket?"
  • Drudging Around:  Gonorrhea May Be Transmitted Through Kissing . . . Couple Films Sex Tape in Driverless Tesla . . . . Average American Hasn't Made New Friend in 5 Years . . .  DIY Coffn Clubs Take Sting Out of Death . . . Cops:  Suspect Had 7 Syringes Hidden in Body Cavity . . . Frat busted for "hazing" dog . . . Study:  Men think about sports more than sex! . . . Navy releases probe in "sky penis" drawing . . .Chimpanzees Spotted Cracking Open Tortoises for Meat . . . The Wildly Popular TV Host Accused of Killing People to Boost Ratings. . . Parents To Buy Celebrity DNA to Customize Kids.  (Thanks to Matt Drudge and his merry band of aggregators for these eyebrow-raising links.)
  • Oy vey! Some cannabis growers in California are paying Jewish rabbis to certify their products as kosher. Because the federal government still considers marijuana illegal, growers cannot apply for labels such as “Organic” or “GMO free.”
  • That’s why growers are asking for kosher certification from rabbinical authorities, said Josh Drayton of the California Cannabis Industry Association. “Folks deserve to know that what they’re consuming is healthy.”
  • Music Appreciation at 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea:  California sea lions have been observed moving in time with complex, changing beats.  And fish were able to differentiate between classical composers, as well as between genres of music.--Psychology Today, March/April 2019 
  • jimjustsaying's Name for Something That Doesn't Exist But Should:  Fitting Persons Bureau:  A registry that should exist (maybe on an overhead TV-like monitor) at department stores because you can't find your wife because she's in the Fitting Room trying on half a dozen things.
  • Headline on Ebola virus story:  "Blanket travel ban ruled out."  (No word yet on sheets and pillow cases.)
  • The answer:  Wampire, Zola Jesus and The Dead Milkmen. The question?  Name three groups that released CDs late last year.   (The temptation to say "Never heard of them" is tempered by the reminder that at one point, no one  had "ever heard of" Elvis Presley or The Beatles. (Not that The Dead Milkmen are destined to attain that level of immortality.)
  • Classified Ad Curiosity of the Month:  In the Wanted to Buy section, "$$$ Cash Paid for Diabetic Test Strips!  Pickup Service Available."   A a head-scratcher if ever there was one.
  • People who wear bow ties on a daily basis or argyle or other garish-type socks are drawing attention to themselves in the worst possible way.
  • jimjustsaying's Obituary Headline Nickname of the Month:  "Weef." As in Steve “Weef ” Lorrig, Green Bay Press-Gazette, May 14, 2019.  R.I.P., Mr. Lorrig.
  • Take some air, some nonfatmilk and milk fat, add sugar, polysorbate 80, some Vitamin A palmitate, along with cocnut oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, cocoa and the ever-popular soy lecithin, and you have . . . a Dairy Queen Chocolate-dipped Cone.    (What would we do without Wired magazine's What's Inside feature?)
  • Today's Latin Lesson:   Vos can dico de homine suo, consectetuer adipiscing elit.  ("You can tell a lot about a person by his or her ring tone.")