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15 October 2011
No. 8,238 (cartoon)
How much do you hate me?
I’ll never leave.
16 October 2011
The Case Against Water
In wine there is wisdom; in beer there is freedom; in water there is bacteria. I know that’s true, because Benjamin Franklin wrote that. Although I never had an opportunity to meet Franklin, I know for a fact that he said that because I read it on the Internet, and one can’t publish anything on the Internet unless it’s true.
Researchers have established that anyone who drinks a liter of water a day will ingest a kilogram of Escherichia coli. That statement is obviously false (almost three grams of pathogens in every liter of water?!), but I’m a sucker for any sentence that begins with, “Researchers have established.”
One doesn’t need pesky facts to argue the case against water. As W. C. Fields may or may not have said, “I don't drink water. Fish fuck in it.” If you can’t trust an alcoholic, who can you trust?
17 October 2011
Thirty-Six Prime Shakespeare Sonnets in Four Movements
I downloaded all one hundred and fifty-four of Shakespeare’s sonnets from the Internet Archive, then selected the thirty-six poems with prime numbers. After that, I deleted the all the characters in them except for the first seven letters of the alphabet, which correspond to the letters of the musical scale. Here’s what Shakespeare’s seventh sonnet looks like after my editing.
I fed the remainder of each sonnet into the P22 Music Text Composition Generator, resulting in thirty-six little pieces of music. I then assigned four sonnets worth of music to one voice in a nonet: piano, harpsichord, clavichord, celesta, organ, violin, viola, cello, and bass. The end result was a seven minute piece in four movements that’s every bit as boring as it sounds.
18 October 2011
Don’t Fear the Pepper
Herbert showed me an article from the Edinburgh [Scotland] Examiner that documented a contest that went horribly wrong. Kismot, a local Indian restaurant, sponsored an event to see who could eat the largest quantity of its “killer curry.” The event resulted in a number of contestants vomiting, fainting, and flailing on the floor before being hauled off to the hospital in ambulances.
“It was very painful,” said one of the sufferers, “I felt like I was being chainsawed in the stomach with hot sauce on the chainsaw.” (I do hope that Tobe Hooper noted that.)
“So you see,” declared Herbert, “all those chilis you eat are dangerous after all.”
“That’s balderdash,” I repled. “The Scots who overdosed on curry had spent their lives surviving on haggis and oatmeal, so of course they overreacted dramatically to their introduction to a little bit of capsaicin.”
I went on to explain that if I did want to commit suicide with peppers, I’d theoretically need to eat a couple of kilograms of the world’s hottest peppers to do so. In practice, however, I’d pass out before I could ingest a lethal dose. The poor Scots who suffered the curry attack will probably succumb to the cholesterol in their haggis, not zesty capsaicin.
19 October 2011
Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Archival Sign
The building in which the Internet Archive lives was a church before it became a library. There are some visual hangovers from its previous life, including this sign on one corner of the property. Several coats of paint have removed all traces of any linguistic content and transformed the sign into a rectangle on a pole planted in a granite square. I thought it was an obvious photograph to make; parallelograms always please.
20 October 2011
Two South Carolinians were arrested for having sex in the Charleston Museum. Not surprisingly, alcohol may have been a factor; police report that Michael Miller and a woman only described as being “from Folly Beach” had trouble talking and standing.
“What can I say,” Miller explained, “I get around.”
His clever defense didn’t work; he and his Folly Beach partner were each fined four hundred and seventy dollars.
I wish they would have consulted me; I believe I could have exonerated them. If people prefer to have sex rather than experience what’s on offer in a museum, I think that’s a legitimate critical comment. Had the curators done a better job, the couple might have paid attention to the exhibits instead of each other.
21 October 2011
The End of the World
As I predicted six months ago, the world didn’t end today. I do know with certainty, however, when the world will end: the day after I die. From the moment I pop my clogs, nothing of any interest or even relevance to me will transpire; reality as I know it will cease to exist.
As predictions go, it’s bulletproof: no one can possibly prove I’m wrong during my lifetime.
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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart