Category Articles

If I Had Starred in the Shining

I recently had the opportunity to see The Shining on the big screen and let me tell you, what a cinematic achievement! Though, some part of me, could not help but think, “What if I had been in this movie?” If I had, it would have been pretty different.1 Now, first things first, when the owners of the hotel told me that there would be no alcohol in the place, I would have shrugged and said, “No problem,” since I would have brought a grocery bag full of marijuana with me. I also would not have taken the job nearly as seriously as Jack Nicholson. Hiding behind the pretext of professional responsibility as a reason for killing your family doesn’t seem like something I could get into. If a ghost in a bathroom told me that I was the eternal caretaker of the hotel, I would have said, “Thanks but no thanks,” and then probably laid off the grocery weed for a couple days.

Read the rest of the piece at The Higgs Weldon

Theodore Roosevelt’s Big Deal

I’ve been watching Ken Burns’ new Roosevelt documentary and I thought I’d share some of the fascinating things I’ve learned. If you look at pictures of young Theodore Roosevelt, you see how lean and fine his features were. As he aged his head grew physically larger, as befits a great leader. Many other parts of his body grew as well, including his midsection, and his hands. By the end of his presidency he was able to flick a football across the room. Even his manhood increased gradually in size. At Oval Office meetings he was known to brag, “I am the largest president to ever sit in this office, if you understand my implication.” To which Secretary of Defense Barnacus Morgan often replied, “Yes indeed Mr Presidnt, we can feel it kicking our feet under the table.”

It was known to eat crumbs and foodstuffs dropped at dinner parties. The governor of Missouri was once reprimanded for slapping away the president’s organ as it had incessantly begged him for a chicken bone.
To his aides, he would remark, “Someday, when it has grown to its full size, I intend to shoot it and hang it on my wall.”
“Ha! Very good sir,” his aides would chuckle as they attempted to keep it from slobbering on their shoes. Amongst servants, it was the most hated job in the house to clean its water bowl.

But Theodore was not joking about his intentions and two years after leaving office he shot it off with an elephant gun and placed it in his trophy room like the great pink trunk of a prehistoric ant-eater. In later years, the Roosevelt children would dare each other to touch it, but of course the only one brave enough to do so was young Franklin, who went so far as to rig it up with a piece of string such that when servants entered into the room it would rear its head and peel back the foreskin, causing no small number of fine china plates, cups, and saucers to be dropped upon the floor.

A conversation with Jesse Elias on the benefits, or lack thereof, of Twitter

Jesse: What do you even get out of Twitter?

Miles: Well, it gives me an incentive to work on short jokes and raw ideas. That’s what I tell myself. Honestly, it might just be a compulsion.

Jesse: The way I see it, you’re writing for free, giving this horrible corporation content, and you’re burning through the material.

Miles: Yeah the free labor thing grosses me out but I don’t see why I can’t use the jokes again elsewhere. The whole idea is that you can test stuff out and see what sort of a response it generates.

Jesse: Oh but that’s just another trap. You tweet the wrong thing and all of a sudden you’re on trial in the kangaroo court of public opinion.

Miles: Oh my god! “The kangaroo court of public opinion.” That’s the best line I’ve heard all week. Is that a Jesse original?

Jesse: No… I’m pretty sure I’m stealing it from somewhere.

Jesse smiles.

Seeking an Intern

higsweldonMy new advertisement for an unpaid, personal assistant is up.
Well over half of the text was culled directly from craigslist, ads
for unpaid internships. Even though the ad is a joke please
feel free to send me your resume.
You can read it at the Higgs Weldon.

8 Modern Day Omens

  1. Drop your phone. If it lands face up, you will receive welcome news from a friend or relative. If it lands face down, it is broken.
  2. When your entire face tingles you are about to be tagged in a photo.
  3. Finding a spider in your bathtub means you must touch an old man’s leg before you buy your next lotto ticket.
  4. Take a fun, fanciful word that describes you and then add the word “taco” after it. That is your online dating screen name.
  5. A barista using whole milk instead of skim to make your coffee drink means your day is ruined.
  6. If an expert on a daytime television show lists seven signs that your partner is cheating on you and all of them apply then that expert is a witch.
  7. Passing by an accident on your way home from work is good luck.
  8. If no hummingbirds visit your hummingbird feeder then your children will be autistic.

Magic Tricks Performed by a Depressed Magician

  • Saws picture of ex wife in half.
  • Turns one ball into suicide note.
  • Pulls incredibly long handkerchief out of mouth and then weeps into it uncontrollably.
  • Guesses audience member’s card is stupid and pointless.
  • Pulls rabbit from hat, locks rabbit in box and then never speaks to it again.
  • Swallows sword, followed by gun barrel.
  • Wraps self in straight-jacket and is lowered into glass of whiskey.
  • Causes smiles to vanish.

Space and the Y-Axis

As seen on the front page of Reddit

In the Star Trek universe, when one space faring race encounters another they always have at least one thing in common: both their ships are oriented the same way vis a vis up/down. But space has no objective up/down axis. Nonetheless, when the Enterprise runs into some Romulans it looks like this:

But it’s just as likely the two ships would encounter each other as such:

This could cause some confusion.

The only way to explain why different star ships always meet each other right side up is to postulate some sort of galactic standard. But this wouldn’t explain all the alien civilizations the Enterprise discovers that also fly at the same angle. This could have made for great story lines where alien races are offended by the upside down approach of the enterprise.

However, it bears mentioning that at least one species is an exception to this phenomenon.

No one can upside down the borg

Because of their simple ship design the Borg cannot be flanked, dropped onto or attacked from behind. The Borg have assimilated all three spatial dimensions into their ship design and they always appear right side up.

To view the original with comments go here.

Reasons Your Robot Son is Better Than Your Biological Son

  • You only have to tell him once
  • He can transform into a Television and watch himself
  • You don’t have to take him to Disneyland to see his face light up
  • He’s not dying of cancer
  • His nose is a button and if you push it he will smile
  • He beat your real son to death in unarmed combat
  • You don’t have to go to his soccer games because he streams them to your phone
  • Flame decals on abdomen
  • When his birthday approaches you can set his clock back another month
  • You can always send him back

Friends

Friendship is a strange thing. As I see it, life’s a competition to obtain the most prizes which means that anyone else should be thwarted at every available opportunity. But apparently friends are a necessity, since otherwise we would never be invited to dinner parties, or cocktail parties or have anyone to testify on our behalf as a character witness. So the other day I was standing in the middle of Macy’s department store with my very best friend Matthew when he said, “Boy all these shirts and I can’t find a single one I’d want to buy.” I turned to him quite in disgust and said, “It’s not about wanting to buy them for yourself but making sure that nobody else has them!” (I myself wear four shirts at a time, just to let everyone know that I’d rather die of heat stroke rather then let someone else get their grimy claws on my clothing) so after berating Matthew I threw up my arms and sighed in annoyance for roughly a minute and a half.

The thing you really have to keep in mind is that when you’re friends with someone you’re not allowed to actively sabotage them. The irony though is that friends make the most tempting targets since they’re constantly exposed, letting you into their houses where you can just start putting stuff in your pockets until all three of your jackets are bursting with nick-nacks and expensive items from the pantry. And then they say, “hey I thought you were only wearing three ties when you came in here? Isn’t that one mine?” at which point you should ask for their car keys. Wait, that was the old me. The me that lost all of my friends and is no longer invited to social functions with free shrimp and alcohol, the new me would have given back the tie and sent a card somewhat like the following

I have been told that you cannot exploit your friends because that would jeopardize the friendship but if your friend has something which makes you jealous, it is not acceptable to destroy the object even if it would save the friendship to do so. So how is that consistent? What I now know is that there are many rules when it comes to friendship and someone should really publish a book detailing them. I’m probably not qualified to write that book as long as I still have everyone’s social security cards in my junk drawer but maybe this is a start

Everything I have learned about friendship:

  1. Just because your friend is an organ donor does not make you “first in line”
  2. Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, which means you are allowed to call your friend anytime of night and ask for a car ride, however this does not apply to rides from your house to a separate location
  3. Publicly ranking your birthday presents is considered to be in poor taste
  4. Never post pictures of your friends on facebook that they did not realize you had taken, no matter how flattering they may look in their sleep
  5. Friends do not like it when you try to get them to fight each other to the death and become even more resentful if you tell them about an analogous event between your pet scorpion and a spider and how entertaining that was at the time
  6. It is surprisingly difficult to throw a bird into a pool
  7. Never let a friend into your junk drawer

 

Antiques Road Show of the Post Apocalypse

Announcer: Welcome to Antiques Road Show. This week we bring you to the Burning Waste, home of the longest continual funeral pyre. Will we discover treasures from before the shattering of the world? I hope so.

A stinking barbarian clad in leather stands across from an appraiser. They are both standing outside in a barren wasteland.

Appraiser: So this is a very interesting find, where did you get this?

Barbarian: I killed a family and took it from their wagon.

Appraiser: So this is a packet of seeds. Long ago families, just like the one you slaughtered, would plant them in something they called gardens.

Barbarian: (grunts)

Appraiser: Now these are flower seeds, which means the plants they’ll produce are decorative, if they were seeds for potatoes or cucumbers then-

Barbarian: Ragghhhh!

Appraiser: But they’re still very valuable! If you were to put these up at auction they might be worth as much as two human slaves, maybe even two slaves and a lame dog.

A man, GERG, proudly displays a large stack of money

Appraiser: Well these are a real find. Since they’re made out of paper there’s not a lot left, I’m surprised you didn’t burn these for warmth already.

Gerg: Oh it was tempting.

Appraiser: I’ll bet. So this was called “money” and do you know what it was used for?

Gerg: I think my Grandfather was given it in exchange for work.

Appraiser: That’s right people were made to work and then given this in return. Sometimes they could trade it for food or services.

Gerg: Right.

Appraiser: Now in its day this twenty dollar bill here would have been worth at least 10 cans of food.

Gerg: Wow!

Appraiser: Yes but the market’s really fallen out on currency ever since the collapse of society so you’re probably not going to be able to get much for any of these.

Gerg: Not even this one?

Holds up a bill that has Sarah Palin’s face stamped on.

Appraiser: Especially not that one.

A woman stands across from the appraiser, a baby is on the table between them.

Appraiser: So, Isix, how’d you come by this?

Isix: It came out of my body.

Appraiser: So this is a human, female infant. I’m guessing it’s about… four months old?

Isix: Yes.

Appraiser: And it’s got all ten fingers and toes so it looks like you kept it away from radiation while it was growing inside you. Of course, as you know, female children are hard to find these days. Just recently a baby girl, in poorer condition than this one, fetched over 200 shotgun shells in auction.

Isix: Oh well that’s nice to know but we’ll probably keep it in the family

Appraiser: Well this is an amazing find young lady. In fact, we’re going to have to take this one for safe keeping.

Isix: No, don’t take my baby!

Strongmen come in and drag away the shrieking woman.

Announcer: Well that’s been Antiques Road show, see you next time.