On Satire Bits: Vol. 57

Greetings everyone! Hope all is going well for each of you.

My week hiatus is progressing, although I haven’t visited others as much as I hoped. Then again, my break isn’t over yet!

Since our last communication, we’ve made it to the dance floor, attended a euchre party, hosted friends, moved 10 cubic yards of mulch (that’s 7.6 cubic meters elsewhere in the world), played lousy golf, and a few other odds and ends.

Although this isn’t a normal week, I could use a dose of satire for my mid-week boost. For your entertainment, I went to The Onion’s archives in search of headlines about North Korea. Any favorites?

Enjoy – and have a good rest of the week.

“What we are doing is weird and wrong” says small voice in Kim Jung Un’s head

Kim Jong-Un announces plans to bring moon to North Korea

North Korea nukes self in desperate plea for attention

Kim Jong-Un interprets sunrise as act of war

North Korea returns to normalcy after synchronized jump-rope gala

Kim Jong-Un unfolds into giant robot

North Korea celebrates as Kim Jong-Un first man to walk on moon

Teen Newsweek reports North Korea is The Bomb

President sends Secretary of State to North Korea to do that condescending nod thing

North Korea tests short-range missiles on family and friends first

Visual Bonus: See storyboards of new Batman movie starring Kim Jong-Un

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 183

On Politics
I discovered that all but one of Oklahoma’s representatives and senators voted against relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Because of the recent tornado, keep your eye on them. Interestingly, the one rep that supported the relief is from the district taking the biggest hit this week.

Do you remember the cranky criticizing UN Ambassador Susan Rice? Well, the disclosed emails regarding Benghazi seem to be vindicating her.

Because important problems remain, I like the headlines of this Charlie Cook column: Republicans Hatred of Obama Blinds Them to the Public’s Disinterest in Scandals.

Earlier this week, I asked a question that Congressional committees focusing on the IRS scandal, so here is another one. Whereas the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling opened the door to financial contributions to campaigns, did it protect the fact that such a vehicle be through a 501(C)(4) tax-exempt organization?

This week we saw the dark side of humanity through the horror of the senseless attack of the British soldier.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
90% of audience at college graduation involved in heated family argument
Nation supposes it is outraged by White House scandals
Burundi Beef Council announces, “Please send beef”
YouTube to air first hour-drama: Turtle has Sex with Shoes
Everyone forgets to bring swimsuits to coworker’s party
Study: Anxiety resolved by thinking about it real hard

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The Onion secured this picture of Duchess Kate Middleton with morning sickness.

Interesting Reads
The global garment trail
Ottomans then, Turkey today
Clergy and their views of origins
Importance of mom from Scientific American
Infographic: The evolution of headphones
Caffeinated toothpaste

On Potpourri
To my American readers, we have a three-day holiday weekend, don’t forget to remember Monday’s intent.

Congratulations to Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough for winning the latest Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). I know cast selection involves luck, thus this season’s cast was a bit weak (in terms of dancing). However, Kellie and Zendaya were awesome …. and how could anyone not enjoy Jacoby Jones!

Overall, I continue to believe that part of DWTS success is that it is a throwback to variety shows of the past.

The rash of followers continues, but it surely is not translating into increasing reads and comments. For someone who has blogged as long as I have, my stats are, at best, mediocre. On the other side, thank you to my regulars.

I’m taking a break after this post, which means another Saturday morning without a cartoon post. I know – that’s three in a row. Nonetheless, I plan on using the break to 1) finish some in-progress posts, 2) focus on visiting other blogs, and 3) doing some daytime activities with my wife during her time off. Besides, maybe I will at least sneak in some satire to charge my week.

I’ll send you into the weekend with two videos. The first is a commercial that I couldn’t take my eyes away. The second is a tribute to the US Armed Forces, fitting for our Memorial Day weekend. Personally, I like this tribute from 2008, as it also reminds me of a wonderful maestro who is no longer with us.

Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Omega Co-Axial Commercial

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Armed Forces Salute

On 36

cooltext36The following past post marked the occasion of our 36th wedding anniversary. Given that I also enjoy saluting numbers, here’s my toast to 36.

In Mathematics

  • Divisible by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 36
  • Is a perfect square (of ±6), a triangular number, a square triangular number, a 13-gonal number, a highly composite number, a semiperfect number, a Harshad number, an Erdős–Woods number, the sum of a twin price, and the sum of 1-cubed + 2-cubed + 3-cubed
  • The degrees of the interior angle of a regular pentagram
  • The number of possible outcomes when rolling two dice
  • Number of sides on the truncated cube and the truncated octahedron
  • 36 squared is 1296
  • The sum of integers 1 to 36 = 666

In Chemistry
Atomic number of Krypton, whose neutrally charged atom has 36 protons and 36 electrons

In Space

  • Messier object M36 is in the constellation Auriga
  • New General Catalogue (NGC) object 36 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces
  • 36 Cancri is an A-class star in the constellation Cancer.
  • Discoverer 36, also known as Corona 9029, was an American optical reconnaissance satellite launched in 1961\
  • Soyuz 36 spaceflight was in 1980
  • Expedition 36 to the International Space Station is scheduled to begin in May 2013

In Standards

  • In the US (and very few other countries) 36 inches = 1 yard
  • IBM System/36, a minicomputer
  • Refers to a 36 inches long pipe wrench
  • In the UK, a standard beer barrel is 36 UK gallons, about 163.7 liters
  • Many early computers featured a 36-bit word length
  • ASCII code for the symbol ‘$
  • The number of characters required to store the display name of a UUID or GUID (e.g., 00000000-0000-0000-C000-000000000046)
  • IBM System/36 (S36) was a minicomputer marketed from 1983-2000
  • 36-bit computer architecture
  • In temperatures, 36 C = 96.8 F, but 36 F = 2.2 C

In Music

  • 36 is a punk band
  • 36th Grammy Awards were in 1994 with Whitney Houston as the big winner
  • 36D is a song written by Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray and performed by The Beautiful South.
  • 6-C is an album by Fifth Column
  • Mozart wrote Symphony #36 in 1783
  • Berlin 36 is a 2009 German film about a Jewish athlete in the 1936 Olympics

In Art

  • 36 Views of Mount Fuji
  • 36 Views of the Eiffel Tower

In Literature

In Film

  • The 36th Chamber of Shaolin (1978) is a kung fu film
  • 36 is a movie (2010) directed by Martin Campbell
  • 36th Academy Awards held in 1964 with Best Picture nominations to Cleopatra, How the West Was Won, Lillies in the Field, America America, and Tom Jones (winner)
  • 36 Pasos (36 Steps) is a 2006 Argentine horror film
  • North of 36 is a 1924 silent film Western Drama

In Entertainment

  • Watch Channel 36 in Charlotte, Lexington (KY), Oakland
  • Canal 36 is a television station in Honduras
  • The Incubator was the 36th episode of M.A.S.H, which aired December 1, 1973
  • 36 is a sports documentary show on NBC Sports Network and TSN
  • The 36th season of Saturday Night Live was 2010-2011
  • The game of roulette has ’36’ numbers on the playing grid and roulette wheel
  • Rollorpoker, a roulette-based game, uses ‘36’ playing cards on the wheel and playing grid, instead of numbers

In Language
Thirty six, trente six, dreißig sechs, kolmekymmentä kuusi, tretti seks, talatin da shida, XXXVI

In Sports

  • Retired jerseys of MLB’s Robin Roberts (Phillies) and Gaylord Perry (Giants), NFL’s Mack Lee Hill (Chiefs), and NBA’s Lloyd Neal (Trailblazers)
  • The Adelaide 36ers are an Australian Pro-Basketball team
  • In NASCAR, #36 has raced 633, never won, finished in the top 5 32 times, and driven the most by Ken Schrader (106)
  • Super Bowl XXXVI: New England Patriots 20 – St. Louis Rams 17, played at the Louisiana Superdome on February 3, 2002

In Religion

  • In the Jewish tradition, light created by God on the first day of creation shone for 36 hours
  • The Torah commands love, respect, and protect the strange 36 times
  • There are 36 righteous people in every generation
  • 36 candles are in a menorah over 8 days
  • In the Māori legend, 36 gods were involve creating the first human before receving the breath of life from Tāne
  • In Shavism, 36 tattvas describe the internal aspects of creation
  • In Christianity, Psalm 36

In US History

  • Nevada is the 36th state (1864)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson served as the 36th US president
  • The 36th US Congress (1859-1861) during the last two years of James Buchanan’s presidency
  • Alexander Hamilton wrote Federalist Papers 36, The Same Subject Continued: Concerning the General Power of Taxation, the last of the seven papers on taxation

In World History Year 36 BC

  • Buddhist calendar year 509, Korean calendar year 2298, Thai solar calendar year 508, Chinese calendar year 2601/2661 to 2602/2662
  • Mark Antony married Cleopatra VII while still married to Octavia

In World History Year 36 CE

  • A leap year that started on a Saturday
  • Bengali calendar year -577, Berber calendar 986, and Iranian calendar year 586 BP – 585 BP
  • Historical figures include Pontius Pilot, Emporer Tiberius, and Herod Antipus
  • Some say this is the year of Jesus’ crucifixion

In Geography

  • The 36th parallel south only across land in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina
  • The 36th meridian east passes through Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique
  • US Route 36 runs 1,414 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado to Uhrichsville, Ohio

In Business

  • The Thirty-Six Bisto in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Thirty-Six, a camera boutique in Singapore
  • Thirty-Six Peonies Publishing Company
  • Studio Thirty-Six – spa, beauty, and personal treatment in Santa Rosa, California

Miscellaneous

  • A perfect score on the ACT
  • In French-speaking countries, 36 is often used as a placeholder number
  • International phone code for Hungary
  • The 36 pounder long gun was the largest piece of naval artillery for French war ships in its time
  • TI-36 calculator made in 1986
  • The 36 Boys were a gang of primarily Turkish immigrants from Berlin-Kreuzberg involved in criminal activities
  • The 36-line Bible, the second printed edition of the Bible and known as the “Bamberg Bible”, is named after its 36 lines of text on each page. FYI: The Gutenberg Bible had 42 lines per page

On Satire Bits: Vol. 56

How has your week?

As storms pounded the central US this week, I recall this conversation with a long-time friend. He lives near Oklahoma City, so he deals with his share of tornadoes. I asked him if he ever gets used to them, and he strongly replied, “Never!”

I’ve had a busy week doing some needed things around the house. I a run-around as trying to fix my weed whacker is taking too much time. Toss in mediocre golf and only being able to visit a few bloggers, YUK!

In other words, I need a midweek dose of satire to energize the rest of the week. Which is your favorite? For those desiring to try your own combo, use the information for the headlines below (and only that information) to make a new headline. My combo is at the end.

Have a good rest of the week!

Freezing coatless woman has decided it is spring

Physicists confirm they have found and killed the God Particle

Amputee inspires others not to lose limbs

Jessica Simpson goes on tour to promote the novel she read

Mom hasn’t ordered favorite pizza topping in over a decade

Stars of cancelled show terrified fans will raise money for movie

Website’s new layout feels like deepest betrayal

Old refrigerator unable to control when it releases water

South Carolina defends right to fly Hardee’s flag from state capitol

Man wishes computer could do thing it already can do

Course sponge excited to join Smith family dishwashing team

Report: Saxophone still an OK vehicle for self-expression

My Combo: Jessica Simpson inspires fans by finding God Particle in Saxophone

On Parties and the Partisans

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.” — George Washington, September 19, 1796, Farewell Address

As we watch the current uproar regarding the event of Benghazi, sadly and shamefully, this is the way Washington works. Regardless who occupies the White House, regardless who controls Congress, our elected officials are primarily about spin – spin to protect an ideology, advancing a political point of view, and setting the course for the next election.  With spin favoring manipulating facts, or even worse, lying, truth and integrity are two of the casualties. With many, if not the majority, of Americans aligning themselves with a preferential political party and relying on biased perspectives, who are the real winners and losers?

The recent IRS news is another example. Congress is jumping into the fray with various committee hearings, which are actually prime opportunities for predictable political grandstanding. Besides taking advantage of diversions to avoid critical issues, the committees probably will not address this key question: Do political groups fit the definition for 501-C4 tax exemption as an organization organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

The answer: Absolutely, because they act in the welfare of most (if not every) elected official in Washington!

FYI: I wrote the above before reading these two good reads: a column by Ruth Marcus and this commentary from Roll Call.

On a Backwards Monday

As storms belted the central US, humid air with scattered rain enveloped Cincinnati this weekend. How was your weather?

We had a full weekend involving a ballroom night, a church wine group gathering, and hosting my in-laws to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday.  How was your weekend?

Chocolate and Wine was the theme at the wine event. The host had this interesting activity. They purchased 12 high-quality chocolates (most were flavored), and then broken them into bite-size bits. The samples were numbered 1-12, plus each participant received a “checklist” that included 12 short descriptions as “Sea salt and almonds, 45% cacao, Belgium” – thus everyone’s task was to match the descriptions to the samples.

On to the current task at hand. As humid air remains, temps are expected to reach 88 F (31 C). Hot, muggy weather is not my favorite. Because I hope that temperatures go in the other direction, enjoy this creative clip from Dancing with the Stars. Watch carefully – and have a good week!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 182

On Politics
With current topics as Benghazi, the IRS, and the AP, our elected officials continue to demonstrate their preference for diversions over finding solutions to primary problems.

The IRS story has activated a burr. I’ve been writing on it other the past several days for this post, but eventually exceeding a short, so it will an upcoming post.

Here’s a good one for Gov. Steve Breshear (D-KY) responding to state Republicans avoiding expanding Medicare at the state level in response to Obamacare: “I say get over it. This law was passed by Congress and it was upheld by the Supreme Court. This is not a political decision, it’s a policy decision.”

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Seedless watermelon coming to grips with facts it will never have kids
New crispy cracker to ease crushing pain from modern life
Man demands to know how many siblings co-worker has
Sea World to discontinue Great White Shark ride
Elf finger found in box of Keebler cookies

Interesting Reads
A conservative economist’s support for Keynes
The Bible is not a science book
Top 10 blown umpire calls
Fred Flintstone’s feet as breaks
Wyatt Earp’s Fourth Wife
How curling stones curl?
A slideshow of Cincinnati’s mosaic murals

On Potpourri
The recent news about Angelina Jolle’s choice of a preventative double mastectomy surprised many. Interestingly, the morning of the Jolle’s news, CNN’s Zoraida Sambolin stepped up to publicize her decision for a double mastectomy after her recent breast cancer diagnosis three weeks ago.

Just finished reading Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists versus God and Religion by Karl Giberson and Mariano Artigas (2007). Very interesting profiling six leading scientists who also publish: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Steven Weinberg, and Edward O. Wilson. I’ll review it later, but a thumbs up. PS: Debra, I haven’t forgot!

I haven’t cooked this recipe in a while, so we just did for a friend. Still, a big thumbs up to Cranberry-Sausage Spaghetti.

Several weeks ago, I mentioned the Cincinnati Ballet doing a production with Peter Frampton to his music. Here’s a review.

Sorry – no Saturday Morning Cartoon feature this weekend.

As my Chocolate and Wine week ends, below are a few short videos fitting for the occasion. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Chocolate Covered Bacon


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Chocolate Covered Jalapenos

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Chocolate in Wine (Rosenblum Desiree)