Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category.
Nick Gillespie discusses the difficulty artists have had grappling with 9/11, and suggests two that did a particularly good job. I was not familiar with the Elton John performance and it did not really move me seen today out of context from its original airing. But I did see the documentary "Man on Wire" and think it's fabulous -- the world is made better by peaceful eccentrics and Philippe Petit's story of walking a tightrope between the twin towers is amazing. It should be noted that he developed his overpowering vision of walking a wire between the two towers before he had ever once climbed on a tightrope.
I would like to add one more successful artistic treatment of 9/11 -- the Onion's 9/11 issue. The issue was in its way as brave as Petit's tightrope walk, as it came out when no one was joking about the tragedy (hell, no one really attempts to address it with humor to this day). But the Onion staff put out an amazing issue that was both funny and respectful and a spot-on tribute.
The entire archive is here, keep scrolling some of the best are at the bottom. But even the small throwaway details are great -- who else in September of 2001 could have written the (likely spot-on) headline "Rest of Country Temporarily Feels Deep Affection for New York"? And perhaps it is just me, but I still laugh at stuff like this, particularly in this age of virtue-signalling.
Dinty Moore Breaks Long Silence On Terrorism With Full-Page Ad
NEW YORK—Nearly two weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, the makers of Dinty Moore beef stew finally weighed in on the tragedy Monday with a full-page ad in USA Today. "We at Dinty Moore extend our deepest sympathies to all who have been affected by the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001," read the ad, which pictured a can of Dinty Moore beef stew at the bottom of the page. "The entire Dinty Moore family is outraged by this heinous crime and stands firmly behind our leaders." Dinty Moore joins Knoche Heating & Cooling and Tri-State Jacuzzi in condemning terrorism.
Direct links to a few of the lead articles:
U.S. Vows To Defeat Whoever It Is We're At War With (an article that highlights what is still the major problem in the supposed war on terror)
For those who are younger and don't remember the day that well, the last article may seem a little random, but one of the odd reactions one heard everywhere on 9/11 was people saying that the jets ramming the towers and the later collapse of the towers all looked like a movie, like things we only expected to see in special effects and not in real life.
Speaking of movies, I was in Manhattan that day -- in the championship of bad timing awards, I was scheduled to make a presentation at 9am on 9/11 to a group of investors asking them to invest in our commercial aviation internet venture, making the pitch that the commercial aviation industry (which had been slumping a bit) was poised for a turnaround. Anyway, one thing I have never seen reported much is what Manhattan was like that night. I was stuck in the city, planning to leave the next day in the last rental car available. I was wandering the city looking for dinner, happy I suppose to have been only lightly touched by the disaster, not knowing yet that several of my friends from business school had died that morning. The authorities had been letting everybody leave the island through the bridges and tunnels, but no one, not even taxis or public transportation, was being allowed back in. By the evening, the city was deserted, like a scene out of a post-apocalyptic movie. Perhaps one car every 10 minutes came through Times Square. The quiet was astounding, probably the quietest the city had been then or since for 200 years.
This advertisement from the 1970's is a fail on so many levels that it is just hilarious. Using the Shah of Iran as you source of moral authority? Cheer-leading the Iranian nuclear program? Awesome. Via How to be a Retronaut
I spent four days last week trying to get my online backup file restored for Quickbooks, our accounting software.
One morning, we woke up and found our entire QB file corrupted. I would insert cautions to QB users about such occurrences, but I think everyone already knows the problem. Such a warning would be like reminding a New York resident about street crime. We QB users always feel like we are walking on eggshells with QB, ready at any moment for everything to go haywire. We live with it, because the program is useful and ubiquitous.
So I perform a backup every day, but recently started using the QB online backup facility. This automatically backs up the file every day. I still make a local backup from time to time, but I have gotten lazy. When things went south the other day, my online backup was 10 days old, an eternity in our business. I sent QB our file to try to execute a repair, but in the mean time I went to the restore command to restore the most recent online backup before the corruption.
Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail. After four tries, each 3 hours each, I got the idea maybe it was not going to work. So I called QB and got their Phillipines tech support desk. They walked me through some steps. Fail. Fail. Fail.
Through all this time, we were entirely shut down accounting-wise. Finally, in exasperation, I asked them to just post my backup file on an FTP server somewhere. After all, we could both see the file exists, and it was just the QB proprietary file transfer protocol that was failing to restore it. Well, three countries and four departments later, no one could post the file on an FTP server. Or to my Amazon S3 account. Or to a password-protected web page.
For God sakes, this is a software company? Finally, they agreed to have someone at the third party contractor who runs the servers try to put the file on a DVD and mail it to me, LOL.
It was almost exactly at this point that I opened this XKCD comic:
I tell you, sometimes that site is totally dialed into my brain. (by the way, as I blog, a signed version of this comic on the wall behind my monitor).
PS- eventually the Quickbooks people rebuilt my corrupted file before I could ever get the backup in my hands. Object lesson here - don't ever give up on the original file, the Intuit guys have twice in my life fixed a file that seemed corrupted beyond all hope of recovery.
I make fun of homeopathy from time to time here, so I thought this was hilarious, via Megan McArdle.
Homeopathic bombs are comprised of 99.9% water but contain the merest trace element of explosive. The solution is then repeatedly diluted so as to leave only the memory of the explosive in the water molecules. According to the laws of homeopathy, the more that the water is diluted, the more powerful the bomb becomes.
'It was only a matter of time before these people got hold of the material that they needed to make these bombs,' said former UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, 'The world is a much more dangerous place with the advent of these Weapons of Mass Dilution.'
'A homeopathic attack could bring entire cities to a standstill,' said BBC Security Correspondent, Frank Gardner, 'Large numbers of people could easily become convinced that they have been killed and hospitals would be unable to cope with the massive influx of the 'walking suggestible'.'
The severity of the situation has already resulted in the New Age terror threat level being raised from 'lilac' to the more worrisome 'purple' aura. Meanwhile, new security measures at airports require that all water bottles be scanned to ensure that they are not being used to smuggle the memory of an explosion on board a plane.
Speaking of making fun of homeopathy, I saw Penn and Teller in Phoenix on Friday. Very enjoyable show. I have a sense their Vegas show is more "adult," but their road show was appropriate for the whole family (unless you are really uptight and/or politically correct).