Thursday, November 23, 2017

Talking Turkey (Well, Really Beer...)

"Welcome, welcome Englishmen! Do you have any beer?" Sub-Chief Samoset of the Abenaki tribe is supposed to have happily exclaimed when he first met the Pilgrim Fathers. Of course, that was in March, not November, but the same sentiment has endured down to this very day.

May you and yours enjoy each others company in a similar spirit on this Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Really Hungry Plants

Meanwhile, at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns in Dublin, Ireland...

Nom nom nom...
Image courtesy of Noel Donnellon

But this sort of thing happened much more frequently in the middle ages, so don't fret too much about it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

"There's a battle outside and it's ragin'!"

Trainy has a tense conversation with "The Man"
Image: Sony Pictures Television
By now the whole world knows the misbegotten saga of the HMS Boaty McBoatface*. The state-of-the-art British scientific research ship was given that name in a cheerful public referendum only to have the will of the people cruelly stomped in the dust by "The Man" and replaced by the staid and stoggy HMS Sir David Attenborough, as described in this very sober-minded article. Not that there's anything wrong with Sir David, but he just ain't Boaty.

But the voice of the masses will not be stilled. There's a movement moving my friends, and a new world's a-comin' so don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall, man.

In Australia, a defiant racehorse has taken on the noble name of Horsey McHorseface. Even the UK's immovable establishment buckled and threw a sop to the unruly populace milling angrily in Trafalgar Square by conferring the name Boaty McBoatface on a little robot yellow submarine. (Shouldn't its name have been 'Ringo' though?)

But now Sweden has once again lived up to its motto ("Sweden: Best place in the world") and decided to stand shoulder to shoulder with the common man and woman and officially, irrevocably, and undeniably name their newest express train on the Stockholm-Gothenburg line Trainy McTrainface.

"I can guarantee with my life that the train will be called Trainy McTrainface," said MTR Express marketing chief Per Nasfi in an effort to allay Swedish fears. "I imagine that some people were quite delighted to get some revenge for the Boaty McBoatface thing."


*Yes, I know the proper designation is RSS, not HMS. Consider it artistic license taken with Britain’s hoary traditions for the greater good.

Monday, November 06, 2017

More About Clowns

Back in 2014, you may recall,  I told you of the dreadful Clown Epidemic that afflicted the world at that time. If that was an incredibly proactive advertising campaign for that freaky "It" movie that opened in September, it seems to have worked, since it's grossed $305 million at the box office. Of course, it's hard to balance that against the cost of three years worth of clowns but New Line Cinema probably at least broke even.

During the Great Clown Infestation of '14 very few clowns were
Image: Vermont State Police
caught and interrogated about their clownishness. Those that were generally turned out not to be ancient transdimensional creatures that eat children for breakfast. However, their motives were murky and they tended to disappear down storm drains before they could be questioned.

But now a clown has been caught and unmasked in Vermont. It turns out that creepy clowns are actually 43-year-old guys looking for a place to sleep off a bender. This particular clown was just too inebriated to find a storm drain.

Friday, October 13, 2017

I Vote For McIntire!

Voting Booth

What if they gave an election and nobody came?

That's what happened in McIntire, Iowa the other day (well, really back in August but "the other day" sounds more folksy). It was a special election, too! They were asking the 70 registered voters of McIntire if it was ok for the Mayor and city council to stay in office twice as long as they have been.

"Don't really care," was the resounding answer from the citizenry, including, if you think about it, the other 40 who weren't registered. Even the various city officials apparently thought it wasn't worth the bother.

A Few Paragraphs would humbly like to suggest that the rest of the country follow the bold democratic example of McIntire and just ignore the next few elections -- the big ones, anyway. Think how much better off we'd be if nobody at all voted last November. For anybody.

And don't worry, I'm pretty sure that under the law whoever was in office has to leave when their term is up, whether there's a replacement or not. The bureaucracy will keep things running.

We'll be fine.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Fancy a Piece of Sea Pork?

Florida sea pork
Continuing on, however tenuously, with our "pork" theme from yesterday's church sign featuring the apparently quite delectable pastor Ressler of Saint Louis, I present you with "Sea Pork," the plague of South Carolina beaches. In fact, they invade beaches all up and down the eastern seaboard and into the Gulf, surprising hapless swimming children and wandering beachcombers by their self-defense technique of imitating a large pile of mucus or discarded squid intestines.

Tempting as that may sound, you probably should curb your desire to throw some fresh sea pork on the grill, although various fish, skates, and sharks favor them. Supposedly they got their name because people thought they looked like a piece of fatback, perhaps washed up from some sunken sea kitchen. I certainly never would have thought of that, but they say that the sea can play tricks on a man's mind...
The lovely blue sea squirt

Deliciously (?) enough, the little amorphous masses are also known as 'Sea Liver.'

In reality they aren't pig livers or hearty gobs of snot sneezed into the ocean by some salty sailor who's a bit under the weather. Instead they are members of the happy-go-lucky tunicate sub-phylum, which includes much prettier, but still not delicious, looking creatures, such as the Blue Sea Squirts. Many tunicates live together in colonies, and when sea pork floats onto your foot it's usually a dead colony that floated to the surface as corpses tend to do and was washed ashore by a storm.

Another reason not to toss it in your frying pan to have with your morning eggs that.