Minor Thoughts from me to you
Archives for Humor (page 1 / 4)
Deroy Murdock, with some wonderful satire.
After GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s rousing and effective convention acceptance speech last week, I found myself snapping my fingers as the GOP convention’s band in Tampa played that old hit, “Living in America.” Suddenly, it dawned on me: Team Romney might be transmitting racial messages.
I consulted my copy of the definitive reference on this topic, A Black Man’s Guide to Whitey’s Racial Code, by Jesse Jackson and Kanye West (Sharpton Books, 2010). I flipped past the highly apologetic introduction by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.). Just as I suspected, page 178 confirmed that “Living in America” was a Billboard Top 4 song by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. This, as Jackson and West teach us, is a subtle message designed to remind Caucasians that President Obama has brown skin. Also, the song was written by Dan Hartman and Charlie Midnight. It doesn’t get any darker than midnight.
Like a pot of bratwurst left unattended at a Lambeau Field pregame party, simmering tensions in the strife-torn Midwest boiled over once again today as rioting mobs of green-and-gold clad youth and plump farm wives rampaged through Wisconsin Denny’s and IHOPs, burning Texas toast and demanding apologies and extra half-and-half.
The spark igniting the latest tailgate hibachi of unrest: a Texas newsletter's publication of caricatures of legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.
Protestors demonstrated against the images throughout the Badger State yesterday, with violent egging and cow-tipping incidents reported in Oconomowac, Pewaukee, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Antigo, Oshkosh, Waubeno, Wauwautosa, Waunewoc, Wyocena, Waubeka, and Washawonamowackapeepee.
Fantastic. Another great piece from Iowahawk.
The portrait of "Ensign Chuck Hord," a Navy man lost at sea in 1908, may be the greatest—or perhaps only—prank in Pentagon art history.
As I figure out ways to write more and practice my writing, it's important to keep Muphry's Law in mind.
Muphry’s Law is the editorial application of the better-known Murphy’s Law. Muphry’s Law dictates that:
- if you write anything criticising editing or proofreading, there will be a fault in what you have written;
- if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book;
- the stronger the sentiment in (a) and (b), the greater the fault; and
- any book devoted to editing or style will be internally inconsistent.
You’ve got the curves to supply my demand!
Let’s go to bed and try to disprove the law of diminishing marginal utility.
You’re my very favorite kind of moral hazard.
I have a feeling you really understand the “nature of the firm.”
Baby, I love you so much I’m willing to forgo my exit option.
Wanna talk about our private goods?
You’re an economist. I’m an economist. How about a little horizontal integration?
Now those are some tangible assets!
I’ll reveal my preferences if you will.
And the very best pick up line to catch your own economist, as well as the filthiest thing ever said in public by an economist (and I include various jokes I’ve heard at cocktail parties) is brought to us by the dynamic duo of Roberts and Papola, and comes straight from their new Hayek/Keynes rap video.
- Bottom up or top down?
This made me snicker.
But then, when I look at the field of candidates, I get that "Directed by Michael Bay" feeling. It's not as bad as I felt in 1996 when it was clear that Bob Dole was going to be the nominee. That was like watching Stephen Hawking heading out to sea on a surfboard. You didn't know exactly what would happen, but you knew it would end badly.
-- Jonah Goldberg, in today's G-File, on the field of potential 2012 Presidential candidates
I didn't intend to read this. I really didn't. But, well, now I can't put it down.
"Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" is a fanfiction retelling of Harry Potter. It takes place in an alternate universe in which Harry Potter was raised by loving foster parents who instilled in him a great love for science, rationality, and continuously questioning everything around him. He attends Hogwarts, but attends determined to figure out what in the name of Isaac Newton is going on and how, exactly, magic fits into a rational, scientific universe. The results are rather hilarious.
I discovered the story while reading Eric S. Raymond and loved his capsule description.
Read it and laugh. Read it and learn. Eliezer re-invents Harry Potter as a skeptic genius who sets himself the task of figuring out just how all this “magic” stuff works. The science is real – it really would be a lot harder to explain transformation from a human into a cat than mere levitation, for example. When Harry, confronted with a magical time-travel device, is immediately terrified that he might be holding an antimatter bomb, this is actually a more justified fear than many readers may understand.
But the characters are not slighted. Eliezer is very good at giving them responses to the rather altered and powered-up Harry that are consistent with canon. The development of Minerva McGonagall is particularly fine.
Strongly recommended. And if you manage to learn about sources of cognitive bias like the Planning Fallacy and the Bystander Effect (among others) while your sides are hurting with laughter, so much the better.
I read the first few chapters and wasn't really getting into it. I put it down. Then I picked it up and read a few more pages. Now I'm hooked and I can't put it down.
Go, read it. Don't make me be the only one hooked on this. Grab it as an ePub or Mobi file for your favorite eReader. (Be aware that the story is still on-going and you'll need to periodically re-download the file to get the latest updates.)
I agree. There are many things not to like about Governor Palin. Her sense of humor isn't one of them. He also points out a great example of President Bush's humor.
Any advice for parents of teens? "Look them in the eye and say, 'I love you and there's nothing you can do to make me stop loving you. (pause) So, stop trying!'"
As I was reading President Bush's memoir, I was reminded that I do like his sense of humor and his personality. It was just his policies that I mostly disliked.
A couple of days ago I wrote about why I wouldn't be writing a series on this blog rebutting Norm Geisler's and Frank Turek's I_ Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist_, a book I feel is pretty emblematic of Christian apologetics as a field.
This is the beginning of that series.
I changed my mind and decided to write it for a couple of reasons. First, I was pretty convinced that such a series would be merely redundant, since Kyle over at ExChristian.net has already done an excellent job of putting paid to Geisler and Turek's book, but on further reflection Kyle's responses to the majority of these arguments aren't (all) mine. Second, the book's 12-step line of reasoning for why the Bible is divinely-inspired and inerrant also looks like a handy way to organize a discussion not only of Geisler and Turek's points, but the points of other Christian apologists like the odious Dr. William Lane Craig. Third, I have to read the book anyway - I promised - so I might as well get some mileage for Joe's blog out of it.
Webmaster Joe, incidentally, is reading and annotating a book of Christian apologetics himself: In Search of A Confident Faith, by Drs. Moreland and Issler. I think it'll be interesting to see how the two books we're reading compare. I suspect, for example, to find the two books replicate many of the same arguments. I will, of course, continue to snap at his heels whenever he posts, and gladly invite him to return the favor.
OK then! So here's Geisler and Turek's chain of logic, which is designed to take one from no presuppositions whatsoever in favor of Christianity to believing the Bible is the divinely-inspired Word of God.
- Truth about Reality is knowable.
- The opposite of truth is false.
- The theistic God exists, which we can tell from the Cosmological Argument, Teleological Argument, and Moral Argument.
- If God exists, miracles are possible.
- Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God.
- The New Testament is historically reliable.
- The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God.
- Jesus' claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by his fulfillment of prophecies, sinless life, miraculous deeds, and resurrection.
- Therefore, Jesus is God.
- Whatever Jesus/God said is true.
- Jesus taught the Bible is the Word of God.
- The Bible is the Word of God and anything which contradicts it is false.
We'll start either tomorrow or the day after.
If anyone has any good ideas for what to call this series of posts, by the way, I'm open to suggestions. Nothing's coming to me just at present and unless something does, I'm just going to be boring about it.
ABOVE: Father Tim Jones of the Church of England. Used to be when you invited the pastor over for dinner, you didn't have to count the silverware afterward.
The BBC informs us (in a story I am for some reason unable to link to - so go look it up) that a priest in Britain has told his flock "God's love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich" - so if times are truly desperate, steal what you need from your local Wal-Mart.
Or any other big corporation, just so long as "they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses — knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices."
Because one way to regularly update a blog is to shoot fish in a barrel, today we continue our look at the development of a Republican Study Bible (because may we just be honest? While the project is officially entitled the "Conservative Bible Project", "conservative" is a term that's changed its meaning several times just in the last century. "Republican" is much more accurate), now underway at Conservapedia.
From the Project's website, we learn:
Socialistic terminology permeates English translations of the Bible, without justification. This improperly encourages the "social justice" movement among Christians. For example, the conservative word "volunteer" is mentioned only once in the ESV, yet the socialistic word "comrade" is used three times, "laborer(s)" is used 13 times, "labored" 15 times, and "fellow" (as in "fellow worker") is used 55 times.
Now as someone with a B.A. in English and an interest in politics, I've always found the propaganda potential in word choice very real and interesting. Still, I'm unconvinced words like "laborer" and "worker" are so much Leftist vocab as they are common words that Leftists have simply run into the ground.
But hey, who knows? Maybe better alternatives do exist - so out of curiosity I jumped onto Thesaurus.com to find a few synonyms they might prefer, then decided to try inserting them in a sample verse.
I chose 1 Timothy 5:18 (ESV): "The laborer deserves his wages." Clearly runs afoul of the CBP's standards, so let's see what we can do with it, shall we?
"The worker deserves his wages." Hmm. No, that's definitely no better, is it?
"The blue collar deserves his wages." Oof, no. Even worse. The United Auto Workers could put it on a poster.
"The drudge deserves his wages." Apolitical, but seems a little insulting. Looking down the list I also see "peon" and "grunt", neither of which I feel any better about.
"The farmhand deserves his wages." Too narrow.
"The stiff deserves his wages." Too on the nose.
"The wage-earner deserves his wages." Redundant?
"The migrant worker deserves his wages." Uncomfortably pro-immigration.
"The grunt deserves his wages." I told you they were further down the list.
"The manual worker deserves his wages." If we could only get rid of that darned 'w' word. Replace it with "technician", maybe - but I suppose that would be what the Conservative Bible Project calls "liberal wordiness".
"The jobholder deserves his wages." OK, this is technically perfect, but doesn't it sound like it came out of the company manual instead of God's Word? Ditto for "staff member" and the like. I just want something with a bit more soul.
Shoot. Well, I've been through most of the modern synonyms the online thesaurus has to offer, and I haven't found any I think would really communicate the proper capitalist spirit in a striking fashion. I guess for me the words "laborer" and "worker" are justified. Maybe the good folk at the Conservative Bible Project are a little more inventive than me, though.
Come to think of it, to believe what they do I guess they'd have to be.
Heh. Related story..
Seen on /.:
The main advantage of the Kindle over the iPhone is actually the fact that it's not a phone; do you realize how high you jump when you're sitting in a quiet place deeply into a horror novel, and right at the scariest part, the damn thing RINGS at you?!
From the it-made-me-laugh files, this e-mail arrived in my spam folder:
Get a complimentary 2007 personal forecast from Bethea Jenner
I think this has to be a candidate for best April Fool's Day prank ever:
But Partridge's ordeal was only beginning. It's reported that he woke up the morning of his death to the sound of the church bell announcing his passing. Before long, he was visited by an undertaker looking to prepare his home, and later by the church sexton seeking orders for the funeral sermon. Throughout the day a string of mourners, funeral workers, and church officials were shooed from the cobbler's door.
Partridge would frequently be stopped on the street for inquiries into how his widow was coping, or to be chided for lacking the decency to be properly buried. The old astrologer had no shortage of enthusiastic enemies willing to perpetuate the myth of his death, and the more literarily inclined among them -- some the past victims of Partridge's own predictions -- set about printing additional denials and confirmations of his passing, adding to the confusion. Some of these forgeries were released under Partridge's own name, making it difficult to separate his genuine protests from the comically-enhanced accounts of his imposters.
This is the best news I've read all week.
WASHINGTON—Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters unveiled a new $270 billion federal project Monday to build special lanes for dangerous and careless drivers on most major U.S. highways.
"These new lanes are for the millions of drivers who can't be bothered with speed limits, turn signal use, or not careening madly out into oncoming traffic," Peters said during the opening ceremony for the first reckless-driving route, a steeply banked, guardrail-lined on-ramp to I-395 outside Arlington, VA. "Whether hell-bent on putting themselves and everyone around them in danger or just drunk off their gourds and out for a simple joyride, America's reckless will no longer be forced to putter along with careful, conscientious, considerate citizens."
Here's another symbol of how rich our country is: the Aston Martin DB6 Couch:
This couch is an exact replica of an Aston Martin DB6 rear end. It's painted in a classic Aston Martin color, Silver Birch. The red leather is finished off with a Y-stitch on each cushion. Polished to perfection, this couch would look good in a garage full of Astons. You might not want to put this work of art in the garage though, at over $7,300 the thought of accidentally getting a little grease on the car couch might make you think twice. The limited edition couch comes with an engraved number plate and is available in any color scheme you would like. Matching headrests are not included.
We're rich enough that someone can make a couch that looks like a cars. Not only can the bright entrepreneur sell said couch, he can make a profit on it as well!
Next up: If enough people to buy the couch, competitors will enter the market in search of similar profits. As supply rises, prices will decrease. Soon, everyone can own their piece of an Aston Martin DB6. Start buying people -- I want my cheap DB6 couch!
From Redneck Peril, Lack of Realism in Evan Almighty Dept.:
And it came to pass, in the fourth day of the sixth month, that Noah settled in the land of Massachusettes. And behold, the LORD spake unto Noah and said, "Again hath the earth become wicked, and it repenteth me that ever I made man, and behold, I see the end of all flesh before me. In three years, I shall cause to open the floodgates of heaven, and every living thing that walks on the earth shall perish. But thou, Noah, shalt build thee an ark, and thou and thy family shall I save. Thou shalt take onto the ark two of every living kind of animal; male and female shalt thou take onto the ark with thee, and thus shall I replenish the earth when after I have caused the waters to recede and the dry land again to appear."
And God did give Noah plans for the ark. And God said, "On this day three years hence shall I come to you again. Be thou ready."
And it came to pass that on the appointed day God returned to Noah, in dark clouds and great wind. But Noah was found standing alone before his tent, weeping in dismay, for there was no ark.
And God waxed wroth, and demanded of Noah that he justify himself before God. And Noah pleaded for God's mercy, saying, "Oh LORD, thou knowest that I am now a stranger in the strange land of Massachusettes. And I began to build the ark as thou didst command. But the rulers of this land demanded of me a building permit, and the marshall of fires required of me that I install a sprinkler system, and my neighbors did brandish before mine eyes the covenants of building and did show therein restrictions of height. Therefore did I seek justice from the Development Appeal Board; but they have scheduled my hearing for next month."
There's more. And I love the ending...