Becky's Tribute


New Idea Parade #6


Space Planet


Songs of the North American Oak Tree


Podcast recommendo - Your four-year survival plan.

Okay, so let's say that, hypothetically, for whatever crazy reason, you're dreading hearing or seeing any newscast for the next four years or so. You won't get a chance to do anything about it until then, so why not protect your self mentally and pay attention to something else for the time being? You don't have to stick your head in the sand. Believe it or not, there are other things going on in the world, and here's how you might distract yourself with all those kooky shenanigans without simply "going dark".

Please skim this podcast recommendo list, and see if you can't find something else to pay attention to for a while. America can lose it's shit without your help for a few years, right?

A lot of these are going to be from the BBC, thought by many to be the  most objective observer of global events, but it's not all just news. Every radio program the BBC produces is also downloadable as a podcast, and they don't care whether you live in the UK or not.

BBC Global News. Yes, they will probably mention some stuff that America does, but that part is usually a brief summary, and is easily skippable if you can't take it. But did you hear about the avalanche in Italy that swept an entire hotel down a mountain last week, and the rescuers skiing two hours through blizzard conditions to save people? Probably not, right? BBC, man. Thirty minutes long, updated daily.

The Why Factor. Why do we wear ties? Why do people hoard things? Why do we write farewell letters? Why can't we trust eyewitness testimony? Every episode covers one subject of curiosity. Each weekly episode is around twenty minutes long.

Under the Influence. A weekly podcast from Terry O'Reilly, a career veteran in advertising, telling noteworthy stories about getting people to buy things. It's a really good story teller that can make any subject compelling, and that's O'Reilly. Stories about marketing always involve human psychology and sociology, and that means you, man. Know thy enemy. Thirty minutes long. Great theme music, too.

Radiolab. Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich host this weekly series of science-related stories, both current and historical. Lavish audio production keeps it moving quickly, even when they do a long-format documentaries. Usually about an hour long.

MastertapesJohn Wilson talks with artists about career-defining albums, fielding questions from the live audience. New episodes "fortnightly", heh. Love the English.

Skeptoid. Every week, creator and host Brian Dunning separates fact from fiction about one topic. Cryotherapy, dietary supplements, anything sold, promoted, or said by Gwyneth Paltrow. Each episode is completely referenced with scientific data and other reliable evidence. Around fifteen minutes per episode.

The Documentary. Just like it says on the tin. A weekly show about pretty much anything. Episodes are about forty five minutes long, with no shouting or name calling. Nice, huh?

In Our Time. Every week, Melvyn Bragg covers everything there is to know about historical events with a roundtable of experts on that subject. Mary Queen of Scots? Yep. The crazy popularity of Gin in the 18th century? Also yep. It's like an hour long, and if you're not completely fascinated with the week's subject, you may find yourself skipping it. I don't blame you. But when it's on, it's so on.

Here's the Thing. Alec Baldwin interviews artists about their careers. However smart you think Baldwin is, he's probably smarter. The discussions never get sycophantic or ass-kissey, which is good. I recommend starting with the Billy Joel episode. Joel makes fun of himself freely, and it turns out he does excellent impressions.

Witness. "The story of our times told by the people who were there" says the summary. The advent of microwave ovens, Russia's "dog man", Apollo 8, The Breakup of the Soviet Union, all told with no second- or third-hand information. About fifteen minutes long, with new episodes weekly.

Discovery. Stories about science, how it happens, and how the human race learns new things. Never boring. Mesmerism, Testosterone- "Elixir of Masculinity", the origins of human culture, "The City that Fell Into the Earth", can your immune system make you psychotic or depressed?

Seriously... Another documentary show, but more heavily flavored with the personalities of the hosts. Less formal than The Documentary, mentioned above. Why do older people take up music lessons? Death row inmates, after being exonerated. The history of exams. About 30 minutes long, and episodes are only available for thirty days before being replaced, so get on it.

The Way I Heard It. Yeah! The Dirty Jobs guy! Maybe you didn't know that Dirty Jobs was his creation, and that he's started a foundation awarding scholarships to students in the trades... you know, doing actual useful work. The Way I Heard It is a reboot of the Paul Harvey-style radio show, where Mike tells the back story of famous people. Just like Harvey, he waits till the end of the story to tell you the person's name. Episodes are five minutes long.

The Inquiry. "One pressing question from the news. Four expert witnesses. Challenging answers." says the show's summary. Why do governments do stupid things? What went right in 2016? Should we just give homeless people homes? Why does anyone still smoke? Reading the titles of the episodes will make you go "Hey, yeah. Why?" About thirty minutes long.

Thinking Allowed. Heh, "allowed". Get it? Cheeky devils. It's a podcast on sociology, with subjects like "a cultural history of shyness", "the link between education and violent extremism". See the host guy, there? He sounds exactly like he looks.

50 Things that Made the Modern Economy. The origins of the bank, the light bulb, concrete, the diesel engine, etc. The stories of the boring stuff that makes modern life possible. Some may sound boring until you hear how expensive and difficult life was before the invention of the shipping container.

Weekly Infusion. Doctor Drew Pinsky? The TV doctor? Well, he's really a doctor. Weird, huh? He hosts the show with Dr. Bruce Heischober. Each episode, interviews cover interesting medical subjects like synesthesia. A word of caution, though. Drew is very much a Californian, and he's not above promoting fad diet products from questionable sponsors, before the real science is in. It would pay to listen with a skeptical ear, like cross-checking his claims with science based medicine.org, or someone like the people at the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe...

The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe. Skepticism is often confused with cynicism. The difference is, a skeptic can be persuaded by evidence. Dr. Steven Novella is a neurologist who hosts this weekly show about science, critical thinking, and reason, with his panel of skeptics. The best episodes of the year are always in early January, when they check up on psychic's predictions from the previous year. Spoiler: they didn't see Brexit coming. Episodes are long - like, an hour or more. Best feature of the show is the weekly news roundup and "science or fiction", where the panel tries to guess which of three news stories is the fake.


Raving Geezer Whisky




Ladies of Wanton Loins


Terror on Planet Tailhook


Up Your Decor - How's your interior?

It's winter, decorators! And that means it's time to get excited about some winter interiors! How's your interior? It's time to give your interior a good hard look and decorate the heck out of it!

Spring will sproink at your house if you fill a room with this fabulous fern theme! Little Spermfort and Doilette just love to sit in repose, lazing away any old afternoon in a pink pinafore and blue sport coat. Spermfort is playing with a hilarious mesh shower sponge and Doilette can't keep her eyes off the action! Spermfort's showing a lot of leg today, for some reason! Oh, that little rascal! You just can't keep pants on that lad! Just be sure to keep your hands out of the punch bowl in the curio cabinet, kids - we're saving it for Easter!
"What shall I play with this morning, mother dear?" "You may play with the hearse for one hour, Crumulus, for then it will be time for your Remaining Perfectly Still in the Darkness practice." Your house will have the warm coziness of a chest cavity with this "Arterial Daydream" treatment from Galthen Valdheim & Sons Interiors! It's just the thing to take the chill out of those early spring mornings when the icy glare of the morning sun is more than your tender eyes can handle! The white cat may seem a little out-of-theme, but she'll feel just right on your lap while you're monologuing to that pesky MI6 agent that somehow got past your ravenous mechanical lobsters!

Bright and cheery is the name of the game in your new "Flower Imperative" kitchen! The walls simply scream "happy" and the refrigerator says "right now"... as if there was any question! Your family will know how much effort you put into your positive attitude every time they try to have a meal! Tasteful restraint is shown in the simple brick pattern of the flooring! But you never know - just ahead is a whole weekend to go out a pick up some more wallpaper! Why not add it to the shopping list on the chalkboard, after "guttfe", "aeqkc", "padge", and "divee"!
Ooo, la la! Your every movement will be like a tinkling, golden symphony in this bathroom by Flavio Garotti. It's "tres eleganto"! The carpet is the perfect absorbent solution to your various bathtime drippings, and the swirlicues of the fixtures will make everything you do feel just a little less strenuous! Who's the most sophisticated princess in the whole bathroom? You are, stupid! Don't use the soap! It's decorative! Don't use that one either! It's just for company. Maybe there's some regular soap under the sink or something? Wee, monsieur!


Sta Safe Eye Mask - An clip art and gaff?

Good news, too-much-sex-havers! Your days of sexual peril are at an end, thanks to the Sta Safe Eye Mask! With the Sta Safe strapped to your face, you will stay safe from any and all sexual contact.

"Safe", that is, unless your're somehow into sexual welding, in which case you will completely not be protected from having a puddle of molten Sta Safe bonded to your head. Lastly, if you can only get turned on by third degree burns and searing hot face plastic, you're in luck. Sta Safe has you covered.

"Built to stand the gaff of hard service,..." Hmm. "Gaff"? This is a new use of that word. Did the tradesmen of 1946 use "gaff" as part of their eye-melting jargon? Let's see what the laziest of dictionary searches can turn up.

Definition of gaff
a :  a spear or spearhead for taking fish or turtlesb :  a handled hook for holding or lifting heavy fishc :  a metal spur for a gamecockd :  a butcher's hooke :  a climbing iron or its steel point used by a telephone lineman
:  the spar on which the head of a fore-and-aft sail is extended:  gaffe

Nope. Unless the copy writer for Sta Safe just forgot to add the "e", which would mean "a mistake or fumble", the mystery goes on. Just for the sake of curiosity, let's assume it was spelled right, and it is meant to be "gaff", as printed.

What does my copy of Partrige's Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English have to say about "gaff"? Completely ordinary bookshelf - DEPLOY!

Let's see...

So, "gaff" either means "a criminal affair or enterprise", or "a dwelling-place".

I think the guys at Standard Safety Equipment Company just forgot the "e". So, the ad seems to intend that the goggles are tough enough to stand the "gaffe of hard service" (meaning mistakes and abuse). That's a bit anticlimactic. I was hoping to unearth a bit of arcane terminology, but instead we got ordinary sloppy grammar from goggle-makers, just like always. Dammit, goggle producers of the world! When will you tighten up the screws on your verbiage?!?

You'd think a nerd with glasses like that would be a better speller, wouldn't you? Well, GOOD NEWS, poorly-spelling nerds! We've got your new profile picture here! Use it on all your InstaFace accounts! You're welcome!

Click for 1000px jpeg.

Now how much would you pay? Well, shut up, because here's another Graphic Gift! See those tiny serving suggestions down the right side of the ad? Well, one of them obviously shows a person being comedically crushed under a car! Ha ha ha! You need that as a nice clean clip art, right? Yep!

It kinda makes you want to open up a car repair service and use this image in your logo, just so you can see all the customers totally fail to stampede to your garage, doesn't it? "Your car's not fixed until one of our technicians dies." You're extra welcome!


Nectar of the Teat


How Splendidly do I Murder Thee


New idea Parade #5


Voder - Hideous 1939 speech synthesizer spells the end of all civilization.

Wake up, citizens! Computers have begun to speak, and certainly within Five Years, these devil machines shall surely be issuing commands for us all to obey!

As I have just read in Popular Science Monthly, there is now a machine that can be manipulated by a human participant to spew utterances that are indistinguishable from Human Speech! Consternation and uproar! What horrors does this hideous contrivance have in store for Mankind? Will it tear itself loose from its moorings and storm across the Territory, ripping out our throats, demanding that only machines may be allowed to speak? This can only end in destruction of all civilization and universal discomfort, Dear Readers! Surely this monstrosity is only the first of an army of machines, bent on Human Conquest!

Please enjoy this article on what will doubtlessly be the end of all civilization. Death! Blood! Horror! In case you are wondering what this "voder" (which secretly goes by the alias "Pedro") sounds like, don't miss the pasted photo-play beneath the article at the bottom of the page. Be informed that to hear the machine speak is to plunge into madness itself. Like and subscribe!


Clash of Star-Kings

Click for big.