Monday, April 29, 2024

Speak for Yourself

“Lead Author Professor Jianfeng Feng, University of Warwick, said: ‘Developing a healthy balanced diet from an early age is crucial for healthy growth. To foster the development of a healthy balanced diet, both families and schools should offer a diverse range of nutritious meals and cultivate an environment that supports their physical and mental health.’” I didn’t cut and paste the above to dispute the content but to question the use of the word “said.” I’m pretty sure Professor Feng never “said” what he’s quoted as saying. Nobody has ever actually “said” such a thing. It’s not how humans say.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Dumb Luck

You don’t wish an actor good luck before going onstage. What you say instead is “break a leg,” which may be derived from the German “Hals- und Beinbruch” which actually includes the encouragement to break your neck as well, because Germans. In baseball, you’re not supposed to mention when a pitcher has a no-hitter going. For good luck, Chelsea Football Club players all use the same urinal (not, I assume, simultaneously) before each match. And of course, fast-food professionals hold the superstition that mentioning MacDonald’s by name is bad luck; they always refer to it as “The Scottish Place.”

Monday, April 15, 2024


I can’t think of a single reason why I would wake up this morning thinking about Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney, but there you have it. The human brain, which fundamentally is solely tasked with keeping our reproductive organs intact until such time as they have successfully continued the species, has a tendency to use its off time to continue working aimlessly in very much the same way a lawnmower when not actively engaged in cutting grass never would. “Cha Cha” was portrayed onscreen by Bonnie Bedelia who it turns out is the aunt of MacCaulay Culkin of Home Alone fame.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Mohawks and fingerless gloves

Is it only me who thinks that the Tesla Cybertruck looks like a prop built of spray-painted plywood on a Fiat chassis in a really cheesy Italian Road Warrior knock-off movie from about 1983 where all the extras look like they escaped from a Ratt video? I think the Tesla’s designers wanted it to look futuristic but the problem is we’ve already used up the future. Like, an Amazing Stories cover from let’s say 1926 looks way more like The World of Tomorrow than any current technology here in the actual 21st century which we’re nearly a quarter through it.

Monday, April 1, 2024

No Fooling

For a long time it was thought that the apricot originated in ancient Armenia but recent genetic studies seem to indicate that the fruit was first domesticated in China. The pits contain amygdalin which in the digestive system decomposes to produce hydrogen cyanide, a deadly poison. A derivative of amygdalin, laetrile, was promoted as a cancer cure but this was pure quackery. The original Steve McQueen (not to be confused with today’s Steve McQueen, the British film director) underwent a series of treatments that included both laetrile and coffee enemas in an attempt to cure the cancer that killed him.