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Anime Stats
Days: 151.8
Mean Score: 7.27
  • Total Entries905
  • Rewatched20
  • Episodes9,525
Anime History Last Anime Updates
Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2
Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2
Jul 1, 2018 1:57 PM
Watching 22/24 · Scored -
Hug tto! Precure
Hug tto! Precure
Jul 1, 2018 1:56 PM
Watching 21/49 · Scored -
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Tootsuki Ressha-hen
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Tootsuki Ressha-hen
Jul 1, 2018 1:56 PM
Completed 12/12 · Scored 8
Manga Stats
Days: 6.2
Mean Score: 6.70
  • Total Entries44
  • Reread0
  • Chapters1,124
  • Volumes111
Manga History Last Manga Updates
Ikinokore! Shachiku-chan
Ikinokore! Shachiku-chan
May 16, 2018 2:04 PM
Reading 8/? · Scored -
Yagate Kimi ni Naru
Yagate Kimi ni Naru
May 15, 2018 12:29 AM
Reading 22/? · Scored -
Saihate no Paladin
Saihate no Paladin
May 5, 2018 6:24 AM
Reading 4/? · Scored -


All Comments (316) Comments

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eccentrich May 15, 11:08 PM
I wrote most of a reply, then my computer rebooted while it was supposed to be asleep & I lost it all... Oh well. :(

Yeah, I did try to make it sound at least somewhat humorous, though it was also disturbing at the time. My mom got bruised a bit during the x-rays, but otherwise is in much better physical condition a week later (still no word on what the x-rays found). It's been a bit hectic the last couple of days, my sister abruptly went back home yesterday after spending 3 weeks here, and my mom has been cranky ever since.

I just *seem* older. Yes, I do feel rather degraded... Fortunately, I don't have to worry about grades any more.

Not according to the engineering calculations; you should be able to heat up the iron nickel sufficiently to get it soft enough that the vaporized water vapor will stretch the asteroid instead of blowing it up. In theory, but having it blow up is still a possibility...

GPS calculations already depend on relativity... Hopefully they will figure out it eventually, instead of frustrating theoretical astrophysicists forever...

Yeah, having so many interesting properties depend on such a small magic angle is somewhat amusing.

That an article about AI pun generation would have so much accidental verbal humor in it...

It's been busy lately, trying to keep two cranky women from blowing up is time consuming, even if I did get more sleep than usual.

Those wrestling robots were weird... So many of the "fights" were rather arbitrary, with the robots falling over randomly. Except that last robot, as you mentioned.

I did watch the latest OnePunchMan episode, which did have at least some plot progression, even if Saitama seemed to spend too much time in the bathroom...

A species of birds went extinct, then seems to have resurrected itself again. Or at least a species very very similar, in the same place.

This isn't really anything new, but it always amuses me when experts do so poorly
If you recall, I spent 2-3 years or so participating in a very similar predictive group, doing quite well myself.

Different kinds of intelligence in different social insects - wasps vs bees

There was an interesting article about an Elon Musk company developing neural link technology, using a concept called neural lace borrowed from a SF author, allowing direct human/computer interconnections, similar to what I wrote a couple of weeks ago, though not as advanced. But the article has disappeared since I saved the link... Here's a short wiki link to the company, which just raised 39 million in financing 2-3 days ago:
-and- another short article:

Also read about some 99 million year old amber than had an ammonite in it (a very small one). It's quite rare for sea life to appear in amber, since it comes from fossilized sap from trees in a forest.

Another article about how the flu is more dangerous when humidity is low; in past, there were reports that the virus lasted longer in low humidity, making it easier to infect someone. This article claims low humidity inhibits parts of the immune system, including mucus clearing by cilia, release of interferon to signal infection, and inhibited repairs of airways damaged by the virus.
(A humidifier in dry areas might be a good idea)

A surprisingly promising treatment for Alzheimer's.


After they met ALEC*, few people were surprised to find him metallic.

* Autodidactic Lifeform Enhanced Cybernetically
(weird humor)

The Doc you meant

A hospital administrator stopped a man in the corridor to ask him “Is this the document you were looking for?”, while gesturing with a set of papers.

“No... You see this picture of Dr. Hoo on the first page of *that* document? Taken while standing on first base? Can you see the document he is holding up in the picture? That’s the doc I meant.”

“Wait, you meant the Doc, or the document he is holding in the picture in the document I’m holding?”

“The document being held.’

“But the document I’m holding is not the doc you meant…?”

“No, the document held by the Doc.”

“So, the doc you meant is the one being held up by the Doc in the picture of the document I’m holding? That’s the doc you meant, or rather, the document held by the Doc in the picture in my document?


“Here,” handing him the document he had been holding out and taking off…”

“That’s *not* the doc I meant!”

“Hoo’s on first…”

A bit of a homage to the old Abbott and Costello routine “Who’s on first?”

(Not as good, of course, many consider the above one of the very best comedic sketches of all time.)

Vitreous Humor/ Humorous Humors

The oddly shaped glass mirrors warped the shapes of people reflected in them, which was certainly more amusing than getting poked in the vitreous humor (eye).

(Vitreous humor is the gel like substance that fills the eyeball, between the lens and the retina. Vitreous also means glass like in appearance.)

Aqueous Humor is what happens when someone falls in the water accidentally, though it can also cause glaucoma, which isn’t as funny.

(It's also the substance between the lens and the cornea, in a different part of the eyeball.)

Who knew the eyeball was so humorous?
eccentrich May 8, 12:37 AM
I haven't read most of it, I just read this part of the manga after OPM, season 1 ended. So it's a bit of a coincidence... Hopefully OPM with get past this martial arts competition arc soon. While OPM is busy at the tournament, all the monsters are going berserk...

Yeah, the latest with my mom is that she somehow hurt her leg or hip, and now can only barely, with help, get up or down the stairs (while making lots of noise, because of the pain). We took her to her doctor today, who sent her to get x-rays. *That* was quite the ordeal, especially for the poor x-ray technicians, with my mom screaming and carrying on, demanding to leave, people asking what was going on, etc. My mom actually hit one female technician in the face... (too weak to actually cause harm). There were 3 technicians vs my mom, and they only barely got the x-rays done -- kudos to them for succeeding. And she has no memory of her condition, so she's constantly hurting herself because she doesn't remember, like every few minutes or even seconds. She did seem slightly better today than yesterday...

Well, I have gone horseback riding a few times, so I'm somewhat familiar with horses. There's an old expression, "Horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow" (a silly expression...), but it does point up how much horses sweat. And how vain women can be...

You might, or it might end up like countries not using nukes. Satellite systems are pretty expensive, so it isn't something to casually mess up.

Kind of odd, though there are some countries where that isn't possible, like North Korea.

Having your facilities degrade over time isn't uncommon, but also not inevitable. I'm not quite as sharp as I used to be... (I just turned 60 today.)

I believe it *was* intended to show off how good the apple phone is at taking pictures or videos.

Yeah, he should get some kind of punishment beyond a restraining order, but I don't know if he will or not. It's pretty much an attempt at stock manipulation...

There's an old idea for how to make a large space habitat with a metallic asteroid like Psyche; you drill into it, pack it with water (or ice), seal the ends, slowly heat the whole thing up with solar mirrors until the water boils and causes the molten asteroid to balloon up from the pressure (like a super sized popcorn kernel), creating a large, hollow metallic structure you can rotate for gravity. Though I think that plan is a bit ambitious for this particular one, it's too big.

Always a possibility, there's a long history of such mistakes, but I vaguely seem to remember several fossils were found in the same area, reducing the likelyhood. Another possibility is that all they found were fossils of tiny larva, and the adult form was very different (they mentioned that the larval forms of many crabs look similar).

So much of current scientific theory is built upon Einstein's theories, that ignoring even his mistakes seems like a bad idea to many. Other people think the whole theory of the Big Bang, inflation, dark matter & dark energy is like a big house of cards w/o a lot of real solid evidence... Not that we have any particularly good alternatives.

Mildly interesting, with some nice graphics/video:
The whole thing looks like some super-super-sized weapon, blasting away in almost every direction.

Some scientists think they have found a new form of dementia, that looks a great deal like Alzheimer's but has a different cause, that might account for almost half of all suspected Alzheimer's cases. I didn't bother to include the link...
Where did a lot of our heavy elements come from?

Another longish article about a new hot area in physics
(AI puns, and a female researcher named He He)

I made a few puns this week, but nothing probably worth including. Still better than the ones made by the AI... Thought about making a feghoot about pine-oak-ia (Pinocchio), but never got around to it.
eccentrich Apr 28, 2:03 PM
It's part of what they call the 'mosquito abatement program'. They look for any standing water that they might breed in; fortunately, this is a semi-arid climate, so they are few enough that it isn't prohibitively difficult to deal with. We do have a fair amount of marshy areas, but most of those are salty, I think only fresh water ones are a problem.

Um, I haven't watched it yet, so I don't know. But kappas are sounding weirder by the moment...

In the last episode of OnePunch, I actually recognized a scene from part of the manga I had previously read, though the anime had vastly shortened it (where the fencer and the ball thrower were fighting the antagonist trained by martial artist (I've forgotten all of their names...).

She remembers her fine, but she still freaks out anyway... Freaking out is just one of her 'freek'uent behaviors. :(

I think a lot of mammals sweat, except for some very hairy cold adapted species (dogs, descended from wolves, are famous for using panting to cool off, basically sweating with their tongues). Large mammals, like horses, cows, etc. are particularly sweaty. Probably plenty of available sweat to bee available...

Countries develop the ability to blow up satellites in case they need to fight a war -- blowing up the enemy's satellites robs them of GPS, communications, and observational abilities (spying), all of them important both tactically and strategically. Technically, there aren't supposed to be any weapons deployed in space, by treaty, but ... Things will get very messy if a large scale conflict ever takes place (even partially) in space.

It is hard to make major progress without putting in a fair amount of work... If you are lucky, it can be fun work.

I think the reason owls are so popular is because their faces somewhat resemble human faces (compared to other birds), and they are quite cute, with their big eyes, etc. Chickens aren't nearly as visually appealing. Not eating owls might actually make them more popular (e.g., babies...).

Yeah, no one would want to have their mind directly hacked... Hackers are the worst... (!) I wouldn't use it unless I could at the very least turn it off whenever I wanted, and with at least some reasonable assurance of decent security. Still be pretty scary...

Why would age (experience) make you more gullible, w/o accompanying functional problems? (Aside from becoming increasingly left behind by technology.) IAE, they seemed pretty sure it did correlate with future Alzheimer progression risk, based on the study results.

Ants' behavior, like a lot of small minded animals, does seem heavily driven by scents & such. It's actually amazing how such simpleminded entities can exhibit such complex collective behavior, but it does seem like even a few simple rules can produce complex swarm behavior. Insects that use their eyes as their primary sensory input are usually focused on fairly specific targets.

(I actually started thinking recently about writing a story from the viewpoint of the early clown beetles, showing how they first learned to infiltrate ant nests & such, which was highly dependent on the exact properties of the specific ant species they were sneaking into. Not that I have anything resembling proof of whether my wild theories are at all correct, but it's at least somewhat plausible.) Anyway, yes, it does seem ants lack the visual processing ability to clearly distinguish ants from non-ants.

Well, we did have the missile toe pun previously...

Toe bee or not toe bee, that was the unexpected question. Though bees usually do toe the line...

There is a recent ad from Apple on TV lately, that shows a bunch of quick nature related scenes, including one very short scene of a centipede crawling rapidly toward the camera across a plant, which is revealed to be a Venus Fly Trap when it closes over the centipede. Rather striking...

A somewhat interesting recent story that used restraining orders, albeit for rather different reasons:

A proposed space mission to an asteroid:
It has so much metal in it, it's estimated to be worth $10,000 quadrillion dollars.

I decided to look up the asteroid Vesta as well, discovering something rather amusing:
I quote:
"In August 1798, a group known as the Celestial Police formed to search for this missing planet." (that was believed should have existed where the asteroid belt is located.)
It was the 'Celestial Police' name for the group that amused me. The rest of the link is only worth reading if you want to know about Vesta.

This newly discovered extinct crab has gotten a lot of attention recently, because it so different from other crabs (& cute):

This might not be terribly interesting to you, but I was rather surprised to find out you can get Cherenkov radiation in a vacuum, which seems impossible at first impression.

Lots of attention to the recent report/claim that the universe is expanding faster than scientists can currently account for, but for some reason I failed to realize the corollary that this implies the universe is about 1 billion years younger:

On the High C’’s

A man bought what was reputed to be a pirate treasure map; it was a pale yellow-green color (parchment with some mold growing on it), similar to chartreuse *.

Naturally, it was a fake, as might expected from the color (chart ruse). But it did turn out to be an interesting palimpsest (chart reuse) of an old musical composition, so it wasn’t a total loss. :\

* An odd color, named after a type of liqueur made by French monks.

Recent unfortunate events had left him both blue and cyan* (sighin’).

* a blue-green color
eccentrich Apr 21, 11:01 PM
Well, there are a lot of diseases spread by mosquitoes, but the only ones I can think of off hand are West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis and malaria. The more often you are bitten, the amount of the diseases present in the local mosquito population (and other species that mosquitoes bite), and how weak your immune system is are probably the main factors. I know my parrot had St. Louis encephalitis when I got her (messed her up a lot), probably picked up from mosquito bites, and the non-malaria diseases are common in local birds, especially crows. Malaria is apparently pretty easily picked up, but some of that might be from how common mosquitoes are in tropical climates (i.e., lots of bites). My dad apparently caught malaria while serving in the Pacific during WW II, though I never observed any symptoms. Locally, I don't think people catch many diseases from mosquitoes, though local health organizations usually monitor it, and they do try to kill off mosquitoes whenever possible (spraying still water sources) & testing dead birds. You probably don't have a lot to worry about...

I'm not at all sure I'll like Sarazanmai; some of the comments I've read about it made it sound a bit obsessed with anal sex... I was starting to wonder if it was some new Boku no Pico type of trap... I will try to at least start watching the first episode.

The second episode of One Punch Man did have a funny bit about Typhoon's sister (she's jealous of her powerful sister, and has her own mafioso-ish organization of guys she uses to pressure weaker heroes, and tried to pull that on the MC. She got shocked by how many powerful friends and followers he had, and was lectured by him about how a hero should act. Err, sorry if that had too many spoilers...

Originally, I had so much trouble getting along with my sister I told her it would actually be easier for me to look after mom on my own, and she was so annoyed with me she moved out. Now, several years later, my mom has gotten much worse, and my sister is having a lot of trouble where she is currently living. Very little money, hardly anyone in the area she knows, and because it's out in the desert, there is hardly any good health care places nearby. And she is having a lot of health problems. So both of us could use the change (we sort of simultaneously surrendered, though I did start it); even if my sister doesn't actually do very much, she can at least watch my mom enough to give me time to get at least a few things done.. Right now, my mom won't even left me use the toilet without freaking out.

I don't know about the frequency of police calls related to restraining orders, I don't think they are super frequent, compared to other kinds of police operations, but I don't think they are super rare either. Though I'm probably basing that on cop shows on TV I've watched, to some extent...

Perhaps some day you might become infested with the reading bug... as unlikely as that may seem. Lovecraft is famous for his purplish descriptions (though he did write one story called the Colour out of Space, so his descriptions weren't all purple...).

Oh, here's an expression I ran into recently in a book: wǒ kào (holy shit, or similar expressions). Mandarin I presume. Apparently the expression is much milder when kao is used instead of cao.

The bees were already well known, called 'sweat bees', attracted to sweat. Apparently these ones found tears just as appealing...

The black hole thing was more interesting for the technique used to collect the image, than the fairly low res and expected image that was produced. And the way a bunch of people tried to make a thing about the woman who helped develop the algorithm, and the backlash that generated (sigh, people...). There is a lot more space related activity lately, which is nice after the rather long period of limited activity caused by discontinuing the space shuttle. Of course, now India is blowing up satellites as a test, creating a bunch of extra debris in orbit, which isn't a good development. Not that they are the first country to do that.

Oh, there are some well known fairy tales about a frog who claims to be a prince transformed into a frog (usually by a witch), who will be turned back into a prince if he can get a pretty girl to kiss him. There are a lot of variations, tropes, expressions and memes related to the idea, and my comment just implied that most such frogs are lying.

Well, the song is over 100 years old, and is very widely used at graduations in the US, but apparently not in the UK, which I didn't realize (though I did suspect the possibility enough to put in an explanation). A further explanation:

It has been a while. Vermillion was more active before I joined AU, but we had enough overlap for me to appreciate some of his posts.

Making some good friends and learning a bit sounds like a reasonably successful first year. And some spectacles are probably better avoided... unless you are nearsighted. :\

Well, they also serve who merely test and document... If those are areas he isn't good at or dislikes, he may have been happy to have your help. Did you spend any time reading through his code/work? That might have been helpful, for future projects, especially if you thought about possible modifications you could have made (just as thought experiments, probably). You might have come up with useful suggestions...

I did learn a fair amount about programming (especially in my first year at university) reading programs written by other more experienced people.

I include this article summary mostly because it reports on how popular owls are among the public.
The Who-man connection remains strong!

This was one of the most interesting links I've included in awhile:
It's not only promises great possibilities for the future, but is also a bit scary in terms of how it might get misused. I'm dubious about being incorporated into a global superbrain... Is collective thought any better than a collective economy? ...though I love the idea of such easy access to information. I had already read about the early experiments mentioned. I'll probably be dead before it's implemented. :(

Somewhat good news about the possibility of my impending dementia:
I am not easily gulled by scammers -- too suspicious. Sad that such a common problem is preyed upon so relentlessly by scammers. We got called 9 times in one day by one group of spammers, and two more the next day.

Ran into a couple of articles about battlebots, mainly about one being developed locally.
Apparently episodes were being taped about 1.5 hours drive north of where I live, but I didn't discover this until shortly after the sessions were over with (not that I could have reasonably taken my mom to one).

Freeloading beetles:
Myrmecophiles... Might make an interesting subject for a feghoot... Hard to have an elaborate society w/o freeloaders. Clown beetles... Interesting that the beetles managed to switch hosts...

Census Bureau data reports that the island of Puerto Rico lost nearly 4% of its population from Hurricane Maria, the biggest single drop in its recorded history. O..o

Toeing the Line

It turns out Don ‘Magic Toes’ Smythe has a brother, who has his own unique toe related nickname. He too attempted to be a dancer, but because of a neurological condition, that caused his toes to be permanently numb (basically, always asleep, with very poor circulation, possibly caused by over stressing his feet), he was very inept and graceless. So, no ‘magnet toes’, or ‘twinkle toes’, he was known as ‘comatoes’ (comatose). Because his toes were in a coma (even *shaped* like commas, more or less, because of atrophied muscles). He also managed to burn his feet, and only narrowly avoided being called ‘toastoes’ (toast toes)...
eccentrich Apr 14, 8:03 PM
The visa thing is annoying, because you need to get pre-approved, and pay a fee. But it does last for 3 years.

We don't have a *lot* of mosquitoes locally, but if you wander outside during twilight, getting bitten is a risk. Including catching diseases from being bitten...

Hmm, I guess I can see (based on the MAL summary) some of the appeal for the anime Sarazanmai, though I'm not at all sure how I'd feel about it. I'll try to find some time to at least watch the first episode. BTW, I do appear to be watching One Punch Man season 2. I skipped the recap start, but have watched the first real episode. Seems as good as I remember, without being so complicated it's hard to follow late at night.

I might even end up with enough free time to watch other anime this season, since I think my sister is going to move back in with us in a month or so. I finally realized that I simply can't handle all the issues related to my mom without any help, and my sister seems interested in helping out (she needs a lot of help too). Hopefully we can bury the hatchets previously deployed and at least maintain an armistice. Time will tell...

Probably my preference as well (glasses).

Well, computer scientists have been using proofs for years, but this does appear to be a step up. Someday we'll have AIs doing large scale proofs for us...

We're barely capable of human ethics...

No, twinkle-toes is not a name I would aspire to... :\

If you can establish that you are at risk of being attacked by someone (ex-spouse, crazy acquaintance, etc.), you can file (in court) for a restraining order, that limits the person from coming within a certain distance of you, especially at home or work. If they violate it, you can call the police. Not sure what the penalties would be, but it is supposed to be a deterrent, though also considered weak against really dangerous people.

In Flew Enza was kind of a weak title, just a joking reference to influenza, roughly similar to the disease mentioned.

So the story didn't seen too long? It certainly wasn't heavy on puns...

I recently was reading some stories from a well known author (both generally and to me personally), that were written *before* I was born. I was struck, quite unexpectedly, to realize that my style resembles his more than a little. He's much better at descriptions (and writing in general), but a number of stylistic elements were similar. I certainly wouldn't have expected our writing to be so similar, out of all the authors I've read, he has a pretty famous & distinctive style. Of course, this was early in his career, so some of his stylistic elements were still being developed, but it still mostly sounded like him. I'm tempted to put more effort into my descriptions, to get even more like him, but I'm afraid that would lengthen my stories a bit more than I would prefer...

Speaking of eyes again...:

This would be quite scary if it wasn't very small, and extinct:

The Israeli lunar mission crashed on the moon a few days ago. It was called Beresheet, leading to at least one comment about “Does a Beresheet in the woods” (no, it splats all over Luna, while mooning the moon). I think it was going about 300 miles/hour when it impacted. There was a prize goal it was trying to accomplish, but even though the prize had expired, and the mission crashed, they were given $1,000,000.00 anyway, so they could try again. Meanwhile, while the Israeli's were bombarding the moon, the Japanese were bombing an asteroid, intentionally in their case.


How do you know amphibians can’t be trusted?

It’s in the name: am-fib-ian. Definitely not a prince.

(You probably know this, but ‘fib’ is a slang term for lies.)

Psychopomp* and Circumstances

A man came to his inevitable if somewhat tragic end, and met Death (Charon) when he came to collect him. Skeletal in appearance, with nothing but a skull for his head, and lightless eye sockets that seemed to extend backwards forever. “My, you’re more tall than I expected. Rather ironic, since you’re not”, the man said.

“Taller?” Death replied.


“Not too bad, “ Death responded gravely, “though I have heard it before. It’s hard to kill at comedy with some audiences, even using gallows humor.”

“Even though comedy is basically ‘come die’, it probably works better with eggs.”

“I’m not a big fan of Easter… Come this way, the ferry awaits us both.”

The two of them, a lengthy skeletal assembly and the even less corporeal soul, began to walk down toward the water, where a wooden boat awaited them.

“I say,”, the soul inquired, “how do you manage to propel the boat? Sheer force of personality, or…?”

“I skull” (scull - a type of rowing) came the reply.

“Of course, that’s using your head!”, earning him a dubious glance from Death.

They boarded the ferry, and proceeded across the water, eventually arriving at a dock.

“Is this where your keep your ferry when not in use?”

“This is my berth”, Death agreed, “though it is rarely not in active use.”

“The berth of Death!”, the soul exclaimed, “though which must eventually pass the result of every birth.”

This time Death just ignored him... (He recognized a reused pun when he heard it.)

* A spirit that transports the dead to their final destination is known as a psychopomp, which is basically what Death (or Charon) is here. The connection between ‘come die’ and eggs is clearer if you spell ‘die’ dye. And of course, 'Pomp and Circumstances' is associated with graduations, the name of a traditional song.
(another longish one)

Vermilion Flames*

Scientific projects are usually lead by a single scientist, the Principal Investigator (PI). But on the occasion I’m now describing, two different senior scientists both wrote up similar, intriguing and complementary proposals, and the funding agency rather quirkily decided to approve their proposals, but make them both co-Principal Investigators for the project Thus providing a cautionary tale against such practices…

The project related to investigating new methods for generating gravity waves, particularly high frequency ones. Since the only gravity waves ever detected by science were created by the catastrophic collisions of massive objects (black holes or neutron stars), this was not at all an easy problem to solve. Still, they had an idea about how it might be done.

<Skip Science Babble: /On>

To wit, using Bose-Einstein-Condensates (BEC) to create cold, relatively compact collections of bosons (a type of particle, not to be confused with nautical bosuns), all in exactly the same quantum state, which are then caused to vibrate at a high frequency.

Although such BEC collections are compact, none so far created have ever been at all massive enough to have much of a gravitational significance. Both PIs had ideas for how to create more massive BECs, and suggested in their proposals that the BEC’s singular quantum state would magnify any resulting gravity waves, perhaps enough to be detectable, at least at short ranges. They also wanted to create multiple simultaneous BECs, and have them resonate with each other through the use of coordinated matter lasers, further ramping up the result.

<Skip Science Babble: /Off>

In a few words, a pretty complicated and highly experimental set up.

Both PIs were pretty senior PhDs, and were irritable and arrogant. They didn’t get along very well -- in fact, they fought like starving, rabid weasels. They were so good at rowing (fighting), they should have competed as a two person sculling crew... They had a fairly large number of graduate students, but their constant fighting eventually drove all the other PhDs off the project.

Their mutual dislike and competition ended up moving the project along much further than most outsiders would have expected, but they did have one fundamental disagreement they couldn’t settle: what the final, optimal frequency should be. Even as they set up the configuration for the first experimental test of the final system, it was still up in the air. 2*PI are round, and it was time for their next round of fighting...

Each of the 16 BECs were cooled, fed, and vibrated to a neutral frequency, a fairly time consuming process. While one of the PIs was verifying the settings and initial results, the other PI moved the frequency setting to the value he believed was optimal, until PI #1 noticed and yanked the control setting to his frequency. The two PIs continued to struggle with the frequency settings, yanking it back and forth, inadvertently setting up a complex beat that further amplified the resulting gravity waves. Suddenly the local space-time seemed itself to be vibrating, until…

A rip in the fabric of space-time itself (portal) seemed to open up near the center of the lab equipment, a dark depthless surface, out of which large shadowy tentacles extended, coated with vermilion flames. They groped and thrashed around the lab, creating a chaotic and surreal scene, narrowly missing both PIs, but latching onto several of the BEC installations. With immense force, the seized installations were wrenched loose into the air, and then sucked back through the portal (cue weird sound effects). The feeling that space-time was shaking died away, along with the odd vermilion light and the portal itself.

The two PIs stared around at their nearly entirely wrecked lab, disbelief on their faces. “Did our gravity waves somehow affect a neighboring cosmos, irritating them sufficiently to reach out and shut down/wreck our apparatus?” “That’s a preposterous suggestion, nothing like that could possibly have occurred!” “There’s a well known theory that the reason gravity is so comparatively weak is because parts of the field extend into other dimensions!”

The two continued to argue, prompting one of their grad students to remark “When you are working with a pair of docs (paradox), no explanation of what happens is possible.”

*I came up with this (more or less) several years ago, but was reluctant to post it on AU, for fear the title might offend Vermillion, one of the older members of the site, best known for his flaming prowess… Or just be so obscure as to annoy everyone who reads it. :(
eccentrich Apr 6, 9:02 PM
In Flew Enza

A male individual was being held in an interrogation room by federal agents, though he didn’t seem particularly perturbed. One of the agents was questioning him:

“As I’m sure you’re aware, Mr. Drake, a few months ago we had a worldwide outbreak of some type of flu like illness. It spread with unbelievable swiftness, managing to infect at least 5 billion people, probably the most virulent viral infection ever seen. And yet, it seemed to be quite mild in its symptoms, only causing people to violently sneeze for a few hours, w/o causing any other significant symptoms, and not having any apparent long term effects. Prepubescent children were unaffected, as were the elderly.”

Drake merely nodded.

“Scientists who have studied the virus believe it was genetically modified, most likely weaponized. But we haven’t figured out who did it or why it was released. No credible claims have been made to be behind it, otherwise we would probably assume it was a dry run or threat demonstration. No country, racial or ethnic group was targeted or excluded. We’re rather stumped.”

“But we have managed to figure out one thing: Where and when it was released. We also know who patient zero was.”

Pause. “It was you Mr. Drake, you were patient zero.”

“I’ll save time and admit I wasn’t just an innocent dupe, selected at random to be the starting point. I had the virus created to my specifications, and did make the initial release. No harm to any living creature on Earth was intended, and I have no intentions of making or causing any further disease releases. My goals *appear* to have been fully accomplished.”

“Thanks for the confirmation… But we still have no idea why you did it. Aside from a very brief burst of alarm in the world media, there doesn’t appear to be any long term result. The whole thing seems to have been superfluous. Highly alarming to world governments, but ultimately pointless.”

“I assure you, it wasn’t pointless, though calling it superfluous isn’t *completely* wrong, since the virus was related to a superflu (which makes it super-flu-ous).” (Drake indulges in a brief smirk.)

“The virus subtly modified infected patient’s DNA to release a particular protein into the overall environment, and continue to do so after virus itself was no longer viable or present. Before you get alarmed, the protein released is harmless to anything on the planet. Producing it uses negligible resources, both generally and for individual ex-patients, can’t cause allergic reactions, and so forth. It is now widely dispersed throughout the world, and should remain that way for hundreds of years.”

“What possible reason for doing something like that could you have? Do you have any idea of the risks involved? And did you have to use *people* to manufacture and disperse this mysterious chemical? The whole thing sounds insane, like the behavior of a crazy supervillain from a comic book! And now you’re practically doing a monologue!”

“Ah. Yes, I can see how it might seem that way. The problem was, very little warning of the impending threat this was intended to deal with was received, and my resources were quite limited. And the threat is catastrophic, or at least it *was* before being dealt with.”

Drake paused for a moment, not quite as calm as before. “There is no way anyone would believe me, under any reasonable circumstances. Either I acted, or no one would. Once the threat was widely known, it would be too late. In a sense, I was immunizing the entire planet in advance.”

“What, you created a disease to immunize everyone against another disease? Sort of like a vaccine?”

“Only by analogy, the threat isn’t a conventional disease... There isn’t much point in trying to convince you right now, but in an hour or so events should make you more receptive. Is there any chance we can set up a monitor, to watch the major news event I’m talking about? I’m not the source of the threat, though the defense I’ve put in place will become apparent pretty quickly. Once again, no living entities on the planet will be affected adversely.”

“Seriously? We certainly aren’t going to give you any access to news broadcasts!”

“Suit yourself, but I’m probably the only one on the planet that can explain what is going to happen, even in retrospect. I’m trying to be helpful, not threatening you, or extorting anything. I’d tell you now, but you just wouldn’t believe me yet. Well, if you don’t want to watch events live, you can just record what happens, and then I can explain it as best I can afterwards.”

The agent shook his head, and left the room. Meeting with his superiors, he said “This guy sounds like a complete nutcase, but none of our scientists have any idea how he could have designed the virus, given our current technology. It’s easy enough to make, but too hard to design as of yet. It’s hard to see how he couldn’t know something we don’t, implausible as that also sounds.”

“Go ahead and keep an eye on the news for an hour or two, and then see what happens.”

About an hour later, outside the UN building in New York:

A truly historic event takes place, an obvious only semi-humanoid alien appears before the building. For no apparent reason, nothing can approach it within 30 feet (force field?). After a few moments, it starts to address the people present, loudly in English:

“I am, as should be readily apparent, an alien. I am here to declare ‘a lien’ on your planet, Earth, claiming it for my own race & civilization. This is our only announcement. We will…” Violent sneeze, followed by an immense indrawn breath, then… it exploded. The entire body of the alien violently exploded, splattering over the inner surface of a now visible sphere. Then everything, exploded body and sphere, disappeared, as abruptly as it had first appeared, leaving only the panicked spectators.

“Okay, you’ve had a chance to view what happened, was that some kind of weird special effects show?”

“Don’t be silly, no one could have done that. It was an actual alien, member of a rather aggressive species intent on claiming as much territory for themselves as possible. Much like the Spanish and Portuguese splitting most of the world between them with the Pope’s blessing several hundred years ago, they don’t consider humans much more than annoying animals. Their own hypocritical laws require them to make an announcement, but nothing you could have said or done would have stopped them from taking over. And clearing nearly all of humanity out of the way very quickly.”

“But, that doesn’t really explain what happened!”

“It was the virus, and the protein it spread around the world. Like I said, it wouldn’t hurt any lifeform on Earth, but it was specifically designed to produce a very violent reaction in any of the aliens exposed to it. They had already studied Earth, and knew it was safe for them, at least until the virus appeared, during the brief interval between the survey and their arrival to claim Earth. But now, the planet is completely useless to them, and it would cost them more to clean it out of the environment than the planet is worth. The virus has given a few hundred years of safety, hopefully you’ll be more ready for them by then.”

“As part of their announcement here on Earth, they also broadcast their claim (a lien) to the other neighboring aliens in this general area of the Galaxy, some of whom may attempt peaceful contact in the near future, and may be of aid in technological development.”

“Fortunately, almost no evidence other than visual was left behind, so you can probably cover up the whole thing as a prank, at least for now.”

“And that’s pretty much my entire explanation; I’ll be leaving quite soon…”

“What the heck!? What makes you think we’d let you wander off? We need a much more thorough explanation. It isn’t even clear we won’t throw the book at you for your reckless behavior. And how could you possibly know all that? Unless…”

“I’m another kind of alien, lending a little hand by sabotaging the other aliens? Gee, I wonder…”

‘Drake’ vanishes from the interrogation chamber.

“I’ve seen people invoke their ‘inalienable’ rights before, but that was ridiculous…”

(This whole thing got completely out of control, I have no idea why it got so long, though the ‘interrogation’ format was probably part of it. Oops.)

(BTW, I named the man 'Drake' because of how the English Sir Francis Drake caused so much trouble for the Spanish in the New World. And there are 3 puns in the whole story.)
eccentrich Apr 6, 8:59 PM
We now have over 500 posts on here. I guess my last one was #500. (I actually went back over them recently, mostly just for the feghoots & puns, which weren't as common as I thought.)

Apparently not just a Visa, because they are adding it soon. Might need permission from Europe before coming, rather than automatically allowing it.

Yeah, and we crisscrossed it several times. I swear, the NE parts of the US are horribly humid during the summer, with lots of bugs & mosquitoes.

Well, after thinking about it, I doubt the naval battlebots would work very well, given the lack of long range weapons. But they could use dirigibles for air combat, with lifting bodies filled with helium. Then they wouldn't move as fast, and you could focus on puncturing the opponent to win, so they lose lifting capacity. Seeing them slow crash might be amusing. Or just several balloons bouncing off each other...

Most of the ones I mentioned were literal; My Mother, the Car was about a guy with a very old Model T car, whose mother died and reincarnated into the car, able to animate it. My Favorite Martian was about a guy with a (secret) Martian who was his friend, etc.

Let's just say... No. It was too racist to even hint at, shades of the KKK.

Well, I don't want any serial killers targeting me, but I still think knowing it was someone who was close to me would be more disturbing.

Well, that was the original idea, but later on some people started seeing evidence that the dinosaurs were already thinning out well before the asteroid strike, so there was some controversy.

Yeah, I wondered about how the research had gone as well.

Too long! A little spellbinding though...

Another potential way to reshape corneas, without lasers or scalpels.

When mathematical proofs and code intersect
The AI ethics board only lasted a week...

The Return of “Magnet Toes”!
(Complete with excessively long backstory!)

Long ago, Don “Magnet Toes” Smythe was a young boy with a mother who was a professional dancer. He adored her, and wanted to be a great dancer as well, studying hard. She came up with a very odd method for enhancing his dance skills: she wanted to attach LED lights to his toes, so people would call him twinkle-toes (parents… such odd ambitions).

But to make attaching & detaching the LEDs easy, she decided to have magnets implanted in his toes, which would hold the LEDs in place. Basically replaced his toe bones with rare earth magnets… It doesn’t really sound like a good idea, especially for a dancer, but again: parents. In the end, the procedures were done, but the magnets were considerably stronger than intended. And by increasing how much his feet were attracted to the floor, they made him slower and less capable at actually dancing... The LEDs were abandoned, but he still had magnetic toes. Later he discovered that they greatly improved his climbing abilities, allowing him to actually walk up walls, as long as he walked over the studs in the walls. Carefully…

So, instead of being known as “twinkle toes”, his nickname became “magnet toes”. Life can be cruel...

Many years later, as the CEO of an investment company, he had some trouble with the local city council. There were several things he sought their approval of, to improve his business, but they weren’t inclined to support his ideas. He kept on making requests though, and eventually came to be seen as an extremely annoying pest by the council, to the point they refused to listen to or meet with him any more.

He sued for access, and lost. He appealed, and lost. Again. The council filed a restraining order against him, preventing him from approaching them within 100 feet (500 toes?). He became increasingly frantic, even to the point of climbing the walls (literally, in his case). In the end, he became in-council-able about the matter… (It didn’t help his mother was on the council…)

(A bit of a sad backstory. Originally I made him the one pushing for the surgery, but then changed it to his mother, which was actually sadder.)

Many people have a sort of vague impression that the Irish are a bit ill-tempered, who's ire is easy to raise. But then again, it *is* called Ire-land…

There was no path Nor way through those Po’-lands. (Po’ can be slang for poor, esp in Louisiana) (I'm making country name puns again.)

Why does having a foot long centipede land on you often prove fatal?
It’s a hundred foot fall…

A trainee cook was making a pizza, under supervision. “Finish it,” he was told.

“All of it?” the trainee asked. “Olive it!” he heard back in confirmation.

“Okay, now I’m confused… Does it need more olives, or not?”

Avoid a void,
O void ovoid.

When he took off his polarized sunglasses, his eyes looked so cold, they still seemed like polar eyes.

My next one is soo long, I'm sending it as a separate post. Unfortunately, don't assume that length is the measure of quality in this case...
eccentrich Mar 31, 1:08 AM
Well, I don't *completely* ignore it, but some stuff gets very low prioritized. And tends to get forgotten more quickly.

You can substitute advanced notification for advanced warning if that sounds better. They just want to know (90 days?) before US citizens start wandering around in their area. Partly because of things we are requiring for their citizens.

I traveled around with my family roughly once a year before I turned 18 (both during HS and before), mostly traveling around the US (though we did dip into Canada once or twice briefly). I've mentioned trips to National Parks, like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Carlsbad Caverns, Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, Washington D.C. (Various building & monuments, and the Smithsonian), New York (Empire State Building, climbing the Statue of Liberty), etc. Also stopped to visit relatives, which we have scattered all over the country. And sometimes picked up cars in Detroit, which we drove back home. Never went to Florida or Seattle (SE & NW). Never went to Alaska or Hawaii, though my parents have gone to both. Visited a turkey farm run by relatives, crossed one of the Great Lakes with a ferry, yadda yadda. We also attended one or two family reunions, where large numbers of my father's relatives would occasionally gather, and I got to meet some of my vast flock of cousins.

In the past, most classification systems were based on physical appearances, behavior and physiology, but now a days it is usually done genetically, which is easier and more accurate.

Doesn't sound very appetizing, I agree. We get enough sh*t from out parents as it is...

No, I don't think I've ever read a pun dictionary, but regular dictionaries are useful references, especially pronunciation and for extending vocabulary. Internet is even better.

Battlebots, still pretty much the only 'reality' tv show I care to watch. I wonder if they should have a strictly flying version, someday... Or even an aquatic version...?

Um, if you want to be alarmed, how about videos that increase religious beliefs? Or affect political orientation... Or product loyalty...! Oh yeah, those are called ads... Virtual reality is probably more likely to allow something like that.

(I had a rather alarming experience about a week ago; a couple of Mormon missionaries came to the door, and I chatted with them for awhile. One of then was a big fan of SF/F books, and we discussed them a bit, but my memory was astonishingly bad. I was rather tired, but this was a pretty bad showing for me, I felt like I was developing alarming dementia symptoms...)

Never assume limits to my vocabulary! Until dementia sets in...

There are actually a number of such confusing words pairs...

Yep, blame it on the sixties. I did watch at least a few episodes of it back in the day. A few other weird old TV shows: My Mother, the Car (probably the weirdest); My Favorite Martian; Have Gun, Will Travel; Get Smart; Mister Ed.

I got in trouble in school once for repeating a nickname my father had for my shoes (!). Once I realized what I was saying, I was pretty embarrassed, while I did laps around the athletic field. Pretty racist, even 45 years ago.

Yeah, I've known about E-ink for a long time, even reading about its development before it came out. I have at least 2 e-readers that use it, and it is very easy on the eyes. Unfortunately, as the video pointed out, it doesn't update very quickly, so it wouldn't be very practical for a monitor, unless it was sped up hugely. Because it is much more efficient when updating a whole page, e-readers using it only do full page flips (sort of like the old vector graphic textronic terminals I used to use 40 years ago), while tablets allow you to scroll line by line in books.
Included mostly for the picture at the beginning, click on it for an expanded view

Analog computing with electromagnetic waves:
Not as weird as it sounds...

For some reason, I find the female serial killers more alarming:

Something to annoy your statistics teachers with:
"The statistical community has not yet converged on a simple paradigm for the use of statistical inference in scientific research -- and in fact it may never do so," they acknowledge. "A one-size-fits-all approach to statistical inference is an inappropriate expectation. Instead, we recommend scientists conducting statistical analysis of their results should adopt what we call the ATOM model: Accept uncertainty, be Thoughtful, be Open, be Modest."

“And the Nobel prize should be renamed the No-Bull prize.” [my addition]

So they rip off advertisers & end users...
No one sees the ads, but it drains your batteries...

So for years, we've heard that warmer waters make typhoons stronger, but now it's making them weaker?

Definitely watch the video in this article:
Watching the Kangaroo Rat kick that snake is rather amazing

Pretty interesting stuff about the meteor impact 66 million years ago:
And an amazing fossil find, demonstrating among other things that dinosaurs were around right up to the impact.
(There is some controversy about this article, the significance may have been overstated or exaggerated. Too soon to be sure.)

One of those longish articles:
Dissipation is why we exist...

Scientific acronym:
In 2016, a trio of MIT theorists drew up a thought experiment for detecting axions, inspired by the magnetar. The experiment was dubbed ABRACADABRA, for the A Broadband/Resonant Approach to Cosmic Axion Detection with an Amplifying B-field Ring Apparatus.

Any germ could get into Germany... (rather unsanitary)

No one would cooperate while Mr. Cooper ate.

A man was rushing into trouble, when he tripped over a comma, and was knocked unconscious for a period.


Ar goo, ably -- an skillful evocation of a pirate baby, arguably.

The germ innate helped it germinate.

The rum innate helped him ruminate.

I provided succor to other people so many times, I started to feel like a sucker myself.

A plumber was good at his job, except in one area: when it came to sinks, he sucked. Fortunately, he was a man of few words (succinct)

What do you call it when you get dunning emails from your ex-wife, demanding immediate payment on your monthly alimony check?


Is this an orangery, or angery? Oranger or anger?

The inanest thing ever seen ‘in a nest’. (A skating rink -- apologies to Woodstock/Peanuts.)

Sorry, not a lot of (good) jokes today...
eccentrich Mar 20, 12:51 AM
Not sure about the bananas, that's a fruit I can't stand, so I tend to ignore any info I encounter about it. But there are a lot of affected plants, including coffee, potatoes (the Irish famine), etc.

Ever since I left high school, I've gone hardly anywhere outside So. California (just Las Vegas & San Francisco, still in the Southwestern US). And now I'm hearing that Europe is going to require advanced warning from US citizens wanting to visit, starting in a year or so. Not such a welcoming world any more.

Well, if it isn't a shark or ray, yes, nearly always. The cooking process can also soften the bones. Bony and cartilaginous fish belong to different Classes (genetic lineages, separated about 400 million years ago). There are other differences besides their skeletons (like how their gills work), but that is the biggest difference. But just because ocean sunfish belongs to the bony fish Class, doesn't mean it can't evolve features from the other class, if it is genetically useful. Sneaky evolution... It's a bit like some mammals lay eggs or are cold blooded.

BTW, one of the members of the cartilaginous fish class is the chimaera, the same name as the mythological creature. They are similar to sharks, but have a few odd features of their own, including retractable sexual appendages on the forehead (a type of tentaculum) and in front of the pelvic fins. O.o Holy tentaculum, Batman...

(Speaking of weird creatures, you've probably heard about naked mole rats, but I was recently reminded of another weird feature of theirs; once their children are weaned from breast milk, they are fed shit, with the adults producing a special kind of poop called cecotrope.)

Every word I used was one I was already familiar with (except the name of that one operation); I've even seen syzygy several times in fiction. There are both advantages and disadvantages of having an OP vocabulary... but it does allow me to work on puns while dozing in bed, w/o needing to consult a dictionary.

The fog is innocuous; particularly thick fogs are often nicknamed 'pea-soup' fogs, so it came from the soup. ...and what about pho soups? (Vietnamese). It's weird seeing ads for authentic pho soup, when the word looks like it should be pronounced like faux (which means imitation or fake). (though pho it's actually pronounced 'fuh').

Sounds like a good turn of events. Hopefully London won't be too hot or humid during the Summer.

Some good news:

An interesting & surprising approach:


Although people usually think the Mola mola/ocean sunfish is slow, it has one great advantage in any race: It is always a head. :\


That girth isn’t right…

John had never been a very good equestrian. And tragically, his problems seem to be mounting...

Moral: Don’t hire employees direct from HS shop class...

An older man ran an auto repair shop, and most of his employees were a bit childish. To try and get them to behave better, he put up a motto on the wall in the garage: “Man, if old, are mature.” (Manifold armature -- both car engine parts).

It didn’t help…

Elementary, my dear punster

A man tried to sell people on the idea of investing in his silicon circuit factory, but it was just a ’silly con’. (The factory actually made squid ink flavored corn chips.)

He knelt with his ’knee on’ his neon colored opponent.

‘Manga knees’, unless of Gundams, don’t actually use manganese.

Bro of mine, bromine is not as good as chlorine for hot tubs.

While crossing the Ionian sea, some iodine was picked up while ‘Io dined’ on seaweed.
(Io is a figure in Greek mythology, a woman pursued by Zeus who was turned into a cow...)

Although socialist, he wasn’t anti-money (antimony), giving him a bit of antinomy.
(antinomy, unlike antimony, isn't an element, and means a contradiction or paradox)

The ten salesmen were using their ‘tongues ten’ to try and sell us tungsten.

The ‘raid on’ the radon contaminated basement did not go well.

‘Your opium’ contained radioactive europium.

(Mild language and nasty concepts warning)

Holey Idols, Batman!

Some people have very strange religious beliefs. E.g., some people go beyond merely being *ssholes, to actually practicing *ssholatry (a mix up of idolatry -- worship of false idols -- and *sshole). They literally worship the worst part of themselves… Some go even *further*, creating golden idols of asses, and I don’t mean donkeys…

Fortunately, I don’t think anyone has thought of enabling the idols to actually fart -- oops. :(

And yeah, there’s a fairly high correlation between *ssholators and golfers, only partially because of the later’s obsession with getting a ‘hole in one’.

Dumbo’s Sister...

Way, way back in the late 60’s there was a TV program in the US called The Flying Nun, starring Sally Field. It ran for 3 seasons (82 episodes), and was set in Puerto Rico (though mostly filmed in Burbank). It was about a nun who was so small (less than 90 lbs), that the headpiece of her habit (a large starched cornette) and the strong local winds gave her the ability to fly. As silly as that sounds, there really was an element of truth behind the TV show*.

The Vatican, hearing the rumors, sent investigators to Puerto Rico to, well, investigate. They showed pictures of the local Sisters to eyewitnesses, and asked them which had been seen flying. All of the witnesses were forced to mark ‘Nun of the above’... (The investigators *claimed* to have heard laughter drifting down from above...) No splattered nun poop was ever observed. :\

* don’t be silly. :\ But the TV show really did exist. The character explained her ability to fly as: “When lift plus thrust is greater than load plus drag, anything can fly." (except the show’s ratings). In the third and last season, Sally Field was noticeably pregnant, which made filming difficult…

Why do people in Los Angeles (LA), home of Hollywood and so much of the movie industry, spend so much time wailing and complaining, and always feeling like they deserve better from life?

It’s just LA-mentation.

(might have done this one before)

As the dictum goes, life is not fair

While many people use nicknames, to shorten their names and create closer bonds with their friends and familiars, some people draw the short end of the stick, and are forced to endure dick-names (Richard). Some people wish they could nick [slang for steal] a better nickname...

Dictator: A potato you don’t want to eat…

Pre-munition: The concern/prediction that your enemies are arming themselves against you.

Falling from Grace

He had a fall on his ‘acy’
Because of a fallacy.
But it was no felony
When he ‘fell on knee’.

He fri-ended the fish he caught,
And then fried & ended it.

Why are eagles one of the symbols of Rome?
Because eagles are natural seizers.


A man was observed molding tiny ants out of clay. But the ants were formed so as to create the appearance of molding larger ants, etc., until the largest ants could be seen molding huge feet out of clay.

“Feet of clay, eh?” another man observed. “Isn’t that a bit obvious?”

The artist modeling the clay merely gestured further out, where a whole series of huge feet could be seen forming a large barrier, holding back what appeared to be a very large wave of clay trying to swamp them. In the middle ground, a group of celebrating figures could be seen sheltered by the barrier. (A feat of clay sheltering a fete of clay.)

But off in the corner, some of the huge feet forming the barrier could be seen crumbling, with some of the clay wave getting past it, threatening the clay celebrants. One former celebrant had fallen asleep right in the path of the clay wave, but their sleep appeared restless (effete clay => defeat of clay => fitful sleep of clay).

And far in the distance, it seemed that the giant wave of clay was a splash, created by a massive footfall of clay… caused by feet of clay.

‘Are boreal’ forests home to many arboreal species? Probably a few, like squirrels, but not a lot.

I searched for frequencies 'in spectrum' that could help inspect rum, to tell if it went bad.
eccentrich Mar 9, 11:25 PM
I pretty sure I haven't had pigeon or squab, but I have had Rock Cornish Game hens, another immature small bird (actually a variety of chicken).

Well, when domesticated breeds (fauna or flora) are genetically modified by selective breeding, they are usually trying to improve the yield, or make them more durable for shipping/shelf life. In the process they purge a lot of general purpose genes, which can sometimes weaken their immune system. A more general problem is that the more similar their genetics are, and the lower amount of genetic variation among the domesticated population, the more susceptible they become to a widespread pandemic. A single disease can't infect every one of a population unless they have very similar genetics, as a general rule. Which is why mono cultures can get hit so hard. They might even be hardier against many diseases, but still highly vulnerable to some. Similar to a shop that all uses the same version of Microsoft is more likely to get shut down by viruses than a shop that uses a mix of PCs, Apples, Linus and Chrome. No single disease/virus will infect everything.

It went Robert->Rob->Bob. There is no Bobert, except for joke purposes... It's like Dick came from Rick, which came from Richard.

They seem to think the nano-bio infrared detectors are better than regular ones, which might enable them to support high band width transmissions & more sensitive detection of signal. Perhaps that makes it easier to transmit entangled quantum transmissions for encryption purposes, or at least speed up such transmissions to the point of being more generally useful. But they were pretty vague, so I'm mostly guessing... It kind of sounded like a non sequitur to me too.

Not sure I want to see a spider kill an opossum... Among other items. Yeah, I never really understood why so many people are scared of centipedes until I read that article. Some guy claims to have killed and preserved a 14 inch centipede in Hawaii, which is a place I might actually visit... though maybe not now. (I won't even think about visiting Florida anymore, now they have been invaded by giant land snails, that can get fired like missiles at people when cars run over them. But of course, I have a thing about regular snails, which are much smaller.)

Most fishes are either bony fishes, which have actual stiff heavy bones made from calcium, or cartilaginous fishes (sharks & rays), which don't have stiff bones, but flexible ones more like tendons (they also lack swim bladders). The ocean sunfish is weird because it is descended from bony fish, but has replaced most of their bones with lightweight flexible cartilage. Though they might have inherited that from puffer fish, because they might need a more flexible skeleton to blow themselves up. (Fish IEDs)

A somewhat unfortunate aspect of human nature:

This was so adorable (more or less...) I had to include it:
Now it needs its own anime show. (Yeah, there are probably characters already that look similar)

I thought it was worth pointing out that much of the benefits of superconductivity can also come from spintronics
They have been working on it for a while though...

Did you enjoy the Psi-ants callback? I was going to mention the owls shutting down baseball games too, but I forgot it in the end. :(

Not a China Shop, but...

One day a rancher needed to transport 6 bulls several hundred miles to another rancher, but didn’t have his usual transport vehicles available. He was forced to settle and use an old bus almost ready for the junk pile.

Each of the bulls was directed into the bus in turn, with makeshift barriers inserted between them. Unfortunately, the bulls weren’t at all happy about the whole idea, and did a fair amount of damage to the old bus, creating a lot of unsightly dents, protuberances and bulges in its structure. It was quite a sight...

But of course, what else could you expect from a bus filled with bulls, then a highly ‘bulbous’ appearance?

Every time I wear a blazer for a jacket, people get blinded…


Mystery, symmetry, psychology, synergy, payday, synonym and zymurgy are very wise words (even yoyo is wise), but syzygy is even more wise*. (Though I should note that the result of zymurgy often leaves people in a very unwise state.)

* Ys.

A married couple were meeting with their neighbor to try and settle a disagreement about a tree near their shared property line. When the neighbor first saw the couple, he pointed at the women (who was wearing a camel hair pant suit, that very closely matched the color of her skin), and asked: “Is that her suit, or is she just very hirsute?”

The black eye the neighbor was sporting the next day was completely unrelated…

Don’t mention* castration? Yes they do.

Do mention* castration? Ironically, yes to that as well.

* men shun

Can a man shun a mansion?
It was my intention to shun intent.
If you try to shun some content, you will probably get contention.

Ridiculously obscure factoid:
Choledochojejunostomy: A surgical procedure to bypass blockage in the common bile duct, and avoid or relieve jaundice. Can be necessary if pancreatic cancer growth has blocked the bile duct. (Ran into it when researching stage 4 pancreatic cancer, recently announced for the host of the game show Jeopardy (somewhat ironic, in retrospect -- it usually kills the patient in just a few months. Poor Alex).



The detectives stood over a body. “Do we know who he was?” asked the second detective. His partner somberly replied: “Just some burly guy, so far.”

“That’s one workout routine that didn’t work out…”

Protect the China Shops!

The aristocracy had absolutely no tolerance for minotaurs, killing them at any and all opportunities. No labyrinthine explanations were acceptable -- it was the greatest duty of all noblemen*. Extinction quickly followed...

* No-bull-men.

This isn't really ready yet, it's just a list of some possible Souper Hero meals:

Pea soup + Tuna Hero = great strength and endurance, the ability to create a visually nearly impenetrable fog (but the hero can see through it easily), and the ability to ‘swim’ through the fog at high speeds.

Chipotle chicken soup + buffalo chicken Hero = Phoenix like powers (flames, flying, regenerating)

Tortilla soup + Gyro Hero (double strength generic hero powers ala Superman + ability to wrap/immobilize enemies with a force field
(Note that Gyro is pronounced 'hero', a double hero sandwich)

Vegetable soup + Pesto Tomato Mozzarella Hero = Nature (Plant) based powers plus very stretchy body + rapid healing
eccentrich Mar 4, 3:30 PM
This is a very long story (for me) about another species of animal, involving ecological concerns. While it does have some puns in it, I'm not sure it really qualifies as a feghoot, since the puns are more or less scattered throughout. It's supposedly just the first part. Tends to be rather educational, because I spent a couple of days reading up on the subject animal. I've put it into a separate post (this one)... At least it doesn't assume much knowledge from the reader.

The Grinder (aka There's something fishy going on...)

I [not really] was sailing in my boat about 20 miles out from the coast. Alone. I was trying to get away from civilization and human works, or at least get a break from it. Of course, my own boat was a product of that civilization, and a fairly high tech one at that. By using electric winches, GPS, weather tracking, etc., I could operate the boat single handed without much difficulty. It would have been safer with a larger crew, even just one other person, but that would have largely defeated my purpose...

It was about 3 in the afternoon, and I was still travelling west, with the sun just starting to get into my eyes; the waves were mild, and the winds light. I spotted the sun reflecting brightly off of something low in the water, almost directly ahead of me, still a ways off. It was probably something made of metal or glass, something technological, something I wanted to avoid…

But… I was also curious, it *was* pretty low in the water, and it might have been a capsized vessel. Only a jerk wouldn’t at least check it out, and I started furling the sails, slowing the boat down.

Upon closer approach, the object started to look like a floundering, flat flapjack (pancake), mostly oval in shape, and a light grey in color. It did reflect the sun rather well… About 10 feet long, with triangular fins sticking out on opposite sides, a bulging eye and a rather goofy looking mouth on one end. No tail… It looked like a very large fish that had been cut in half, leaving just the head. A swimming head, or rather, a basking one.

At this point I finally recognized it (I know a little about creatures of the sea, though I had never seen one this big before), it was a Mola mola, aka an ocean sunfish, the heaviest bony fish alive. (Some sharks, cartilaginous, are bigger). This one might weigh as much as 2 tons, or thereabouts. They normally swim upright (like a coin on edge), but they like to bask on the surface while lying flat, like this one was doing. There was actually a seagull walking around on it, pecking at it occasionally. One of the reasons ocean sunfish bask like this is to get birds to eat some of their parasites, but also to help warm them up again after a deep dive into the cold depths.

They have very thick skins, covered with mucous (yuck), the later might have contributed to its reflective properties. (“What’s that shining on your chin? Is it a dime? No, it’s snot.” -- something my dad used to say for *some* reason…)

They are pretty gentle giants, friendly to human divers, and with symbiotic relationships with quite a few other animals (mostly to remove their parasites). By now my boat had basically stopped, drifting nearby the Mola mola (mola means grindstone, something they resembled, with their mostly round shape, usual grey coloration and rough skin). The ocean sunfish seemed unperturbed by my presence, merely rolling it’s eye in my direction with its mouth open, giving the false impression of being comically surprised (pretty much their normal look - they can't close their mouth).

There wasn’t really anything miraculous about the encounter (or so I thought), but I was nevertheless entranced, it was almost like encountering a elephant while out for a hike -- in the US, not Africa or Asia. Possible, but not very likely. Man and Mola stared at each other, and frankly, it looked the more surprised.

A few other facts about Mola mola (it’s scientific name) ran through my mind: they generate more eggs than any other vertebrate, about 300 millions eggs at a single time. Their fry, when hatched, are very small, and can grow more than 60 million times as large over time, the greatest growth of any vertebrate. They are closely related to puffer fish, and even look like them while small.

Oddest of all (to me anyways), while they look like an enormous swimming head, their brains are actually very very small. A sort of half-wit half-ish.

<<I’ll have to correct you on that, I’m afraid. There is a genetic variant of Mola mola that grow quite sizeable brains as they get older; something your scientists are ignorant of, having primarily studied younger specimens and never encountering a full size specimen of the variant variety.>>

“What?!??! What the heck was that…? Did that come from you…?” I reacted to the sensation of words making themselves felt in my brain.

<<Yes, that was me, the ocean sunfish before you. I am one of the variants I mentioned. You can refer to me as ‘Sunny’ if you wish...>>

“Because of your ‘sunny’ disposition? (I hope)”


“Have you been hoodwinking scientists all this time, pretending to be stupid?”

<<Not really… Most oceanic sunfish really are stupid, and the Hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) is a completely different species, though closely related. My variant is the so-fish-ticated one...>>

“Certainly not a dwar-fish variety…”

“Wait, am I exchanging fish puns with an actual fish?!?”

<<So it would appear…>>

“Why are you talking to me, after remaining unnoticed by humanity for so long?”

<<We have some ecological concerns… This is basically an experiment, talking to a relatively knowledgeable isolated human, to discuss some of those concerns.>>

“Let me guess… Pollution, including plastic bags*, fishing bycatch, and other ecological disruptions?”

<<Yes. We’re also a bit concerned about disrupted food chains, global warming, low oxygen dead zones from fertilizer runoff, excessively loud sonar noise, and yes, those damn plastic bags.>>

“We’re more or less aware of those issues, but are still arguing among ourselves about how urgent the problems are, and the best means of dealing with them.”

“If we were to discover another demonstrably intelligent species, deeply affected by our ecological disruptions, it might motivate us to act more quickly.”

<<Might… We have our doubts.>>

<<You’ve almost wiped out your closest primate relatives, among many other tool using and relatively intelligent species. You even recently accidentally created another intelligent and psychic species, the Psi-ants (!), and almost immediately started a clandestine war with them, only recently achieving peace. We’re afraid we might be hunted down as a potential threat/competitor, if we were to reveal ourselves.>>

“I’ve heard rumors about those ants… You definitely have a point…” “Wait, are we communicating psychically, like telepathy?”

<<Yes. I’m both reading your mind and projecting my thoughts into it. That ability might well seem like a threat to many of your species. Although we don’t form hive minds like the Psi-ants, our psychic talents are actually greater.>>

“Another good point. That ability is kind of scary… How exactly are you planning on ending this conversation, given the concerns you raised…?”

<<Are you afraid we’ll just erase you once the experiment is over? No need to answer, I can tell you are.>>

<<That isn’t the plan; you simply won’t be able to convince anyone you didn’t hallucinate the experience, so there isn’t really any need. We really are very easy going, and that kind of violence isn’t part of our nature. Unlike those vicious sea lions…>>

“Yeah, I’ve heard about that… They are about as nasty as the people who cut fins off of sharks and throw the mutilated/crippled bodies back into the ocean to slowly die...” [pretty much exactly what sea lions like to do with Mola mola.]

“I can see why you wouldn’t trust us very much.”

<<Frankly, we aren’t sure what to do; most of the accidental deaths happen to our much less intelligent cousins, but the larger issues affect us as well. If human activities continue to do more and more damage to the world, eventually most of the world’s species will go extinct. And aside from our psychic abilities, that would make you fear us the most, we really don’t have much to offer humanity to encourage better ecological practices. And we would prefer to avoid threats...>>

"That sounds like a good preference..."

“You might try some kind of advertising campaign; it could even be tongue in cheek, so people don’t realize who or what you are. Mola mola are actually quite popular in Japan...”

“And I could try to think about it for awhile, and go over any ideas I get later on. Assuming you’re comfortable about another meeting...”

<<I’m reasonably certain you aren’t planning to betray us. In some kind of future sting operation… Not currently anyways… So I’m willing to risk a future follow up meeting. If you are…?>>

<<Though I’d like to avoid the kind of popularity we have in Japan, since they like to eat us….>>

“Okay, let’s plan on meeting in a month, presumably at these coordinates?”

<< That will be fine. Let’s try to both avoid any sel-fish or oa-fish behavior…>>

“And try to not restrict ourselves only to fish puns…”

“See you in a month Sunny-fish…” (you ‘O shun sun fish’)

* To a Mola mola, a floating plastic bag looks a lot like a jellyfish, one of their main sources of food. But if they accidentally eat one, it can block their digestive system and kill them. Sea turtles have the same problem.

Afterwords: What's up with these weird fish?

Ocean sunfish have somewhere between 40-50 different types of parasites on or in them, mostly picked up from jellyfish. Given how fast they grow, and how low in nutrition jellyfish are, Mola mola have rather voracious appetites.

As mentioned, the Japanese are fond of ocean sunfish, both culturally and as a delicacy. Nearly everyone else thinks they taste terrible. There is even a Mola mola pokemon, heart shaped, and at least one game devoted to them.

Unlike most fish, Mola mola don’t have a buoyancy bladder, but they do have a layer of jelly under their skin that keeps them neutrally buoyant.

Although the ocean sunfish is one of the bony fishes (genetically), they have ironically replaced most of their bones with cartilage to make themselves lighter. And of course, the fish that are larger already used cartilage, it seems almost a necessity for a fish to grow very large.

Although often considered slow and lazy, they can swim fast enough to fling their entire bodies up to 10 feet out of the water, presumably to try and shed some of their parasites. Some people have been surprised to have one jump into their boat... And many boats have been quite damaged by colliding with one.

I started doing my research on the ocean sunfish 2-3 days ago, only to discover that a species of ocean sunfish had just beached itself onto a California beach the day before, the first time this particular variety had ever been seen in the northern hemisphere. This was a Hoodwinker sunfish, which had only been discovered at all as a species about 2-3 years ago, and only verified genetically, because they resemble a Mola mola so closely.

The biggest specimen ever seen was 10 by 14 feet in size, and weighed about 5,000 lbs.

And as a story aside, the threat the ocean sunfish were considering, was to psychically take over the crews of nuclear submarines, potentially launching nuclear missiles and/or triggering a nuclear war. A pretty big threat, but not really their style. Fortunately...
eccentrich Mar 4, 2:51 PM
I was wrong in my answer last week, or at least partially wrong. Multifocal lenses (glasses and contacts) do exist and are marketed as such, but they are really just modifications of the bifocal idea, but the transition between the two (or three) parts is smooth, rather than having an abrupt change marked by a line in the lens. True multifocal lens like the ones in my mothers eyes still don't appear to exist. I'm not sure exactly how they work, it sounds as though they provide focused images at different distances simultaneously, and the brain has to learn how to select which one to pay attention to. ?? I never did get a decent description of how it works.

They also serve squab, a very young pigeon/dove, which is supposed to be similar to duck. Mostly in gourmet restaurants.

Humans are hurting bees with pesticides, and by selectively breeding them, probably making them more vulnerable to diseases and mites (domestication & selective breeding usually has that effect). Feral bees, operating mostly in wild areas, wouldn't encounter nearly as many pesticides as bees pollinating human crops & trees. Certainly no more than the native bees they are competing with.

About the only thing I know about cricket is a pun, using the punchline "no rest for the wicket", I read in a book once. Oh, and somehow bowling is involved...

Ah, I've read (absorbed) so much about Einstein I forget other people aren't as familiar with him...

I couldn't make much sense out of that article, they probably were either protecting their patent, or just muddling things enough so people couldn't spot the errors. The military does financially support a lot of research, both general and military specific; this certainly would be worth researching, if it really works. The applications would be immense, as transformative as cars, lasers or the internet. The question is, did they stumble upon some way to make superconductors work at room temperature, perhaps stabilizing them with external EM fields? The only method I've ever heard of before is to subject the material to immense pressure, but that isn't very practical. It really sounds too good to be true.

In the US, a lot of people have names that were once considered just nicknames. Like Rick for Richard, Lou, Bob, Mike, etc. You are actually more likely to encounter a Lou than a Louis in the US (I think). We are usually pretty informal.

Another fun article involving injecting things into eyes:
Giving infrared vision to mice...

Even creepier!
The idea of a centipede decapitating a coral snake was particularly striking to me...
Human memes trying to bring back the nasty diseases of the past.


Astral Travelers are out of their minds… And their bodies too!

Her essay is heresy…

I wrote a very long story (for me) about another species of animal, involving ecological concerns. While it does have some puns in it, I'm not sure it really qualifies as a feghoot, since the puns are more or less scattered throughout. It's supposedly just the first part. Tends to be rather educational, because I spent a couple of days reading up on the subject animal. I'll put it in a separate post... At least it doesn't assume much knowledge from the reader.
Mladen Mar 3, 3:23 AM
Yea, mostly work. We're working every weekend now and we even stay overtime sometimes, so yea, kinda been spending most of my free time on sleeping >.>

Oh, that sounds like my life since forever. School and home, or work and home. Who needs social life? :P
Hope uni is not too stressful on you.
eccentrich Feb 27, 10:55 PM
I thought the idea of genetic programming was to introduce semi-random changes, and select the ones that improved the code, with the random changes playing the role of mutations (metaphorically). There's probably another element I'm leaving out...

Lasers can be dangerous, depending on the power, frequency, etc. They might have also tuned the laser to a frequency that the eye is particularly sensitive to. Even regular small lasers can cause eye damage to the retina...

Well, most people use bifocals, which are split, with one lens (usually the upper part) helping with far sight, and the other helping with close up vision. There are lenses, particularly some used for cataract surgery, that allow you to sort of see both far and near at once, but I don't think they have those for glasses. My mom has those, because she didn't want to use reading glasses, but then a year after her surgery she developed double vision, and had to get glasses after all. :(

Oh, I never watched Dragon ball, so I wouldn't have gotten it anyway...

Yeah, long PM exchanges did feel a lot like a long running email chain to me.

I've never encountered a duck sandwich, certainly not in a small restaurant, but it isn't impossible. Turkey or quail are more likely.

Yeah, it was a bit weird.

Okay, it goes US->50 States (one of which is California)->counties->cities. San Diego is both a county and the largest city in the county (much like with Los Angeles, it's a common for a county to be named after its largest city).

These were feral bees, which may be doing better, since they have more varied genetics. Or maybe it's just too dry here for the fungus or mites to be a big issue.

I'm not sure of how hat trick originated, might be from tossing cards into a hat... No, apparently it came from the awarding of a new hat to a cricket bowler taking three wickets successively in some cricket clubs.

Yeah, I liked that one too, it can sort of blindside one. You could do something similar with 'oppressing'.

I liked the damsel one too, and I probably would respond to something like that sarcastically. I rewrote it a bit (after sending the older version to you) so the reason for the call wasn't immediately revealed, making a more interesting read.

Didn't like the whimsical Bert one? The whimsy of a poetical Einstein dismissing the idea of a black hole, in a way similar to how he criticized quantum mechanics, etc., sort of appealed to me.

A fairly general question of moderate interest:

This would be enormous news, *if* it actually works:

Post Human: The first humans small enough to fit in a mailbox.

Mediums = dummies (anagrams)

Built mostly of lucite (a clear acrylic), the loo site has enough lumens shining in you can easily see the men’s loo.

Though you might not be conscious of it, a conscience often tries to 'con science' into pretending this is a morally meaningful cosmos.

The lewder he got, the lou-der he was.
('lou' is a name pronounced 'lew')

Do not confront a dragon when you’re draggin’ -- it’s rude.

Why are so many bombs made with lots of fertilizer?

So when the bombs are planted, they will grow lots of boom blooms.

Anyone who dethrones a king can get a reputation as a de-scepter*

*a Scepter is a typical piece of royal regalia.

The harem member was pretty enough to have little trouble preveiling over her master before donning a veil...

Much like the comedian had little difficulty gagging the people he robbed...

Sorry, only short ones tonight.
eccentrich Feb 24, 12:23 AM
Doing a genetic algorithm does sound interesting to me... Hopefully whatever artificial mutation system you use (~) doesn't cause the program to Hulk out... (Though a genetic solution might not be the most efficient, depending on the problem parameters, it should be very flexible ("generic").

The laser probably vaporizes small portions of the surface (cornea), basically burning it into the proper shape a little bit at a time. Probably not awake for the procedure...

Well, we can just consider it free verse (no meter/rhyming), since I'm not actually charging anything...

It was a very long article, no point in reading it all if it wasn't that interesting. I was interested, and it still seemed long.

I don't normally wear glasses, though my far vision is somewhat weak. I do carry a pair of glasses with me in the car, even though it isn't required legally for me to wear them while driving, in case I'm driving in an unfamiliar area where I need to read signs to locate myself. I'm not entirely sold on laser surgery yet, since it can increase how near sighted you get as you age, though they may be getting around that. And you can still get side effects, like dry eye, and some visual issues. I may need to start wearing reading glasses soon...

I'm not sure that's a formal term, but the expression about a big fish in a little pond is quite common. It might have been a bigger problem in Cambridge...

I'm not particularly upset if there are people in my classes or work that are better than I; I'm reasonably content knowing I'm smarter than 99% of the population w/o really trying, which still leaves millions of people in the world who are smarter than me (theoretically). While it is gratifying to get the best grade or performance, I'm fundamentally too lazy to make a big deal out of it. If it happens with little effort, great... Well, that's a little disingenuous, sometimes I do put a fair amount of effort in.

They aren't cows, they are CROWS*. I checked, that is what I wrote... And crows do vocalize Kaa, or kaw, or caw while bobbing their heads. I don't really get yours, were you spelling out kanahanaha? Too long for my limited linguistic decoding...

* I got a email once titled two cows, with a story in it about two cows. We replied back and forth for a while, using the re: two cows title, until I changed it to re: two crows, so I could brag (crow) about how well I did on my GRE test results, and the other person didn't immediately notice the title change.

There was a big storm on Mars a few months ago (covered almost the whole planet), and the Opportunity rover was covered in dust and went silent. They were hoping the dust would blow off and reactivate the solar cells/batteries and it would start working again (it's happened before), but within the last week they gave up. The Opportunity was lost. Curiosity, which isn't as old, is still functioning, and the new Lander called Insight started operating recently (not a rover, I think). It provides detailed weather reports for Mars, and is drilling down into the ground.

Some people were claiming that the last message from Opportunity was “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.” But that was just a poetic version of the instrument readings, it didn't send messages back in English.

I'll keep the Souper Hero in mind going forward, along with the languishing 'magnet toes' and the still pending Cat' feghoot (only pending because I have been too lazy to finish it). Would it make sense for him to eat a chicken sandwich if he wanted to fly, or would that just make him a cluck? (You can forget about him eating calamari, I don't want him to become a tentacle monster.)

This short video clip amused me:
When owls attack! That's what happens when you drone on...

I'm including this partially because it has some interesting info about honeybee communications, and also discussed the area I live in (San Diego County, in the SW corner of California):

Hippocamp(us) strikes again:
(new moon of Neptune)

A data science internship position available in my own city of Carlsbad (very short):
(just for laughs -- Google felt like pointing it out to me)

Because of Amazon’s “global* enterprise”, when you open the package you will see the light.

* Glow ball enter prize. Weak, I know.

We bought a new house, just before several weeks of rain, and discovered the house was extremely porous -- poor us, the roof leaked.

In the shadow of my pen (pen-umbra), my words may darken any day.

When you have two suns, you really need a para-sol.

Step on it!

A man took a woman to the beach, because she wanted to experience something there, even though the man warned her it was dangerous. He took her a short way into the surf, so the water was about mid thigh on them, then he deliberately stepped on her foot.

“Ow!” she exclaimed, trying to pull back from him, but he kept his foot bearing down on hers. “Now, “ he exclaimed, “you’ve experienced the undertoe.”

A hat trick, generally speaking, is to accomplish 3 successes within a short time, often consecutively. Scoring 3 goals in one hockey or soccer game is probably the most common usage (something similar in cricket).

A theatrical company had just finished the performance of their play, and after taking the usual bow, was called back 3 times for standing ovations by the audience, thus accomplishing the "hat trick theatric". Then the stage collapsed, giving broken legs to three of the performers...

If you want to bid that, use your own

While playing a game of poker, one player tried to ‘bid more’ with a morbid item (a skull). His bid was matched with a rabbit’s foot...


What is the main result of depressing behavior?

I had little interest in sham poo, until I got real poo in my hair…

Or maybe there were two?

A woman received a text from her boyfriend, breaking up with her. She stared at her cell phone for a moment, screamed “Damnit!” and threw her phone into a nearby river. Then told her brother, who was with her, what had happened.

He then noted bemusedly: “That’s the first time I’ve seen an actual damn cell in distress…”

Bert and Einie, in an alternate history

In the early 1900’s, a young man named Bert, who fancied himself a poet at the time, was gazing out over the Grand Canyon, marveling at its immense size, and very glad he wasn't stuck working in a patent office.

“I wonder,” he thought, “can yon canyon be plumbed with all the plummeting plums of China?”

Because he was also highly gifted at mathematics, he tried to calculate the answer. “I’d estimate the Grand Canyon has a volume of about 5 trillion cubic yards, and the annual plum production is about 12 million metric tons*. About half of those are grown in China, and a typical plum is about 2” in diameter…”

After a bit, he realized that the attempt would undoubtedly produce an enormous flood of juice from the squashed plums, the remains of which would quickly dry out into prunes. Having an entire Grand Canyon filled with prunes did not seem at all a pleasing prospect…

“If only some kind of object with powerful suction existed, perhaps powered by gravity, we could suck all those nasty prunes into oblivion after the experiment was over,” he continued his Gedankenexperiment (thought experiment) out loud. “But that would be relatively silly; surely nothing so bizarre could really exist, God would never create something so singularly odd.”

Abandoning any further cogitation about his whimsical thought experiment, (Al)Bert Einstein continued on with his travels.

* That’s the approximate worldwide plum production figure for 2017, much more than the production in the early 1900’s.

Obviously, the ‘gravity powered’ suction object he was thinking about was a black hole, AKA a singularity, a natural consequence of his alter ego’s theory of General Relativity (sort of). Though actually using one would make an even bigger mess of the Grand Canyon...

This is sort of an inverted feghoot, since the main pun is located near the beginning.

P.S. When I wrote the above item, I set it around 1904, when "Bert" was about 25, and thought the Grand Canyon was already a National Park. But it didn't become one until 1919, one hundred years ago (weird coincidence). Which means Indians were still living in the Grand Canyon (quite a few tribes), and there was at least a small possibility that someone might have scalped Bert, wild hair and all. Though it was getting a little late historically for that sort of thing...