Archive for the 'Humor' Category
Posted by Sgt. Mom on 3rd April 2014 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
(Herewith for a Friday, from my archive of military posts, an examination of the custom of ‘Dining Out’. This came from long-ago archives of The Daily Brief, when I was attempting to educate the general readership on some arcane practices and traditions in the military. Many of the essays are collected in Air Force Daze - including this one.)
Every once in a while an Air Force unit or organization takes it into their head to hold a formal “dining in” or “dining out”, to mark an anniversary, host a very important visitor, or mark a singular event. The formal rituals of this event goes back to the misty pre-history of the USAF, before the glorious day when it was established as a separate and co-equal service, when US Army Air Corps commanders in Britain during World War II noted the pomp and circumstance of RAF formal mess dinners, and wished to adapt some instant but awe-inspiring traditions for their own service. Legends have it that the first formal “dining in/dining out” events were very closely modeled on the RAF model, but as the Army Air Corps evolved into the US Army Air Force, and then into the US Air Force, so did the formal mess dinner. It continues evolving, or mutating to this present day, to a form warped out of all recognition to the originators, in response to changing circumstances and societal preferences.
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Posted in History, Human Behavior, Humor, Military Affairs | 8 Comments »
Posted by TM Lutas on 4th March 2014 (All posts by TM Lutas)
Forty three years ago, my parents found out that even a babe-in-arms has to have a separate airline ticket paid for. That ticket was for me to get out of Romania. I was just 2 years old.
My father’s sister, Sylvia had bought 3 tickets, one for each of them and third which my parents thought covered the two half fares for the both of us but was issued for my brother, George (who I miss very much but that’s a very different story). They had one day to get money they did not have to Sabena airlines, in a different country, and pay for that ticket, across the iron curtain that divided east from west in those days. All this was before the Internet had made things so easy. The Sabena clerk was absolutely positive my parents would never make it for the flight the next day. Such things were impossible in 1971.
My father didn’t have the phone number of his sister and the US embassy didn’t have a phone book for that area of Jersey to look it up for him so my mother swung into action and called one of the few cousins she knew the Nazis had not killed. Katus Fishbein was my mother’s, father’s, brother’s, daughter (her cousin) and had been in my mother’s, parent’s wedding party. She was very religious, an ultra-Orthodox jew (which becomes relevant later). She wasn’t sure we’d be good for it. After all, we’d be penniless arrivals and who knows what sort of guy cousin Juliana had married. She had recently found out that cousin Juliana was alive just a year prior via a postcard her uncle Joseph had written to her brother and was somehow in her father’s papers. She wrote back to that address and even though the address had had its name changed (three times by then) the postmaster delivered the letter. All she knew was that Juliana’s husband was a christian. So she called another (mutual) cousin and that cousin, Clara Fein, vouched that we’d be good for it. My mother hadn’t a clue that cousin Clara had survived WW II. Cousin Clara hadn’t known that her uncle Joseph’s family had survived until that phone call.
So the Sabena clerk in Bucharest opening up the office found my parents waiting for her at the doorstep and a telex from the home office saying that the fourth ticket was paid for twice. The Sabena home office apparently had my father’s sister’s number and had separately informed her. Aunt Sylvia came through without asking.
Of course, the adventure wasn’t over. At customs, they inventoried our possessions to make sure we weren’t stealing from the socialist fatherland. My parents were allowed three hemp cloth diapers for me, for instance. My mother still uses one of those diapers to make sure that she doesn’t burn delicate clothes when she irons. They checked me for ear rings. No gold except simple wedding bands was allowed.
We all missed our flight connection and got a flight for the next day. Unlike the previous flight which had been due to arrive at 5PM Friday, it arrived at noon on Saturday. Aunt Sylvia got notified about the day change but somehow missed the time change.
When my parents finally arrived, it was the jewish sabbath and ultra-orthodox cousin Katus had asked cousin Clara to meet us at the airport. So there were my parents, two kids, two suitcases, and not a penny to their name. And here come a pair of people, absolute strangers shouting out my mother’s name and hugging and kissing and conducting them to their car. The last time Clara had seen her cousin she was seventeen and my mother was three years old.
In the back, my father whispered to my mother “who are these people?” My mother whispered back “I don’t know.” Cousin Clara’s husband heard, laughed, and all was explained on the way to their apartment.
Cross posted: Flit-TM
Posted in History, Humor | 16 Comments »
Posted by David Foster on 4th March 2014 (All posts by David Foster)
Posted in Humor, Obama | 2 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 1st March 2014 (All posts by Jonathan)
-Will Israel Be the Next Energy Superpower? – A balanced, thoughtful look at recent developments from Arthur Herman. There is cause for optimism.
-Wildlife photographer pleads guilty to violating Endangered Species Act – The gist of the story is that some guy was photographing “endangered” birds from less than 500 feet away, which apparently is a violation of the Endangered Species Act, and was turned in to the feds by zealous environmentalists who saw him do this. Of course he copped a plea. If he had taken his chances in court he could have ended up in jail for years. As it is he may still do time and will end up with a felony conviction and probably a big fine to make an example of him. The birds he supposedly harassed aren’t even rare, merely locally rare in Florida, and he didn’t harm any of them. At most he should have been fined a few hundred bucks and warned to stay farther away from the wildlife. But nowadays everything is a federal crime with draconian penalties, and you can’t fart in a wetland without violating some rule. And the enforcement agencies have to justify their budgets. He should have left the birds alone, but his punishment is cruelly excessive. Some of the comments in response to the article are remarkably heartless. Not just the EPA but also the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Park Service deserve substantial defunding.
-Possibly my best blog post ever.
Posted in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Energy & Power Generation, Environment, Humor, Israel, Law, Law Enforcement | 10 Comments »
Posted by David Foster on 20th February 2014 (All posts by David Foster)
The association known as the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has apparently been wracked, of late, by political-correctness insanity. SF writer Sarah Hoyt posts about her experiences with this organization. Not to be missed!
The politicization of all aspects of American life continues apace.
Posted in Arts & Letters, Civil Society, Humor, Leftism, USA | 17 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 17th February 2014 (All posts by Jonathan)
SYDNEY (AP) – Australian police seized about 180 million Australian dollars ($162 million) worth of methamphetamine hidden inside kayaks shipped from China, officials said Wednesday.
Love the headline!
Posted in That's NOT Funny | Comments Off
Posted by David Foster on 11th February 2014 (All posts by David Foster)
Posted in Humor, Media | 3 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 2nd February 2014 (All posts by Jonathan)
(Via The Augean Stables, The Jewish Chronicle Online and Free Republic. Original source unknown.)
WHEN A FLY FALLS INTO A CUP OF COFFEE
The Italian – throws the cup, breaks it, and walks away in a fit of rage.
The German – carefully washes the cup, sterilizes it and makes a new cup of coffee.
The Frenchman – takes out the fly, and drinks the coffee.
The Chinese – eats the fly and throws away the coffee.
The Russian – Drinks the coffee with the fly, since it was extra with no charge.
The Israeli – sells the coffee to the Frenchman, sells the fly to the Chinese, sells the cup to the Italian, drinks a cup of tea, and uses the extra money to invent a device that prevents flies from falling into coffee.
The Palestinian – blames the Israeli for the fly falling into his coffee, protests the act of aggression to the UN, takes a loan from the European Union to buy a new cup of coffee, uses the money to purchase explosives and then blows up the coffee house where the Italian, the Frenchman, the Chinese, the German and the Russian are all trying to explain to the Israeli that he should give away his cup of tea to the Palestinian…
Posted in Humor | 9 Comments »
Posted by Sgt. Mom on 7th November 2013 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
Covered here, at length, I am certain that New Mexico, or at the very least, the Hidalgo County PD needs a new motto. This takes ‘search and seizure to whole new levels. I’ve seen this story linked on a couple of different independent blogs, but now it goes to a whole new level of ‘WTF?’
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Posted in Civil Liberties, Diversions, Just Unbelievable, North America, Privacy, Society, That's NOT Funny, Urban Issues | 6 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 28th October 2013 (All posts by Jonathan)
Digital camera drying off by the campfire.
Posted in Photos, That's NOT Funny | Comments Off
Posted by Jonathan on 4th October 2013 (All posts by Jonathan)
Chicagoboyz keep abreast of current events.
Posted in Photos, That's NOT Funny | 2 Comments »
Posted by Ralf Goergens on 8th September 2013 (All posts by Ralf Goergens)
From the ‘Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce’, Volume 6 some ‘Fantastic Fables’:
THE LASSOED BEAR
A Hunter who had lassoed a Bear was trying to disengage himself from the rope, but the slip-knot about his wrist would not yield, for the Bear was all the time pulling in the slack with his paws. In the midst of his trouble the Hunter saw a Showman passing by and managed to attract his attention.
“What will you give me,” he said, “for my Bear?”
“It will be some five or ten minutes,” said the Showman, “before I shall want a bear, and it looks to me as if prices would fall during that time. I think I’ll wait and watch the market.”
“The price of this animal,” the Hunter replied, “is down to bed-rock; you can have him for a cent a pound, spot cash, and I’ll throw in the next one that I lasso. But the purchaser must remove the goods from the premises forthwith, to make room for three man-eating tigers, a cat-headed gorilla and an armful of rattlesnakes.”
But the Showman passed on in maiden meditation, fancy free, and being joined soon afterward by the Bear, who was absently picking his teeth, it was inferred that they were not unacquainted.
FATHER AND SON
“My boy,” said an aged Father to his fiery and disobedient Son, “a hot temper is the soil of remorse. Promise me that when next you are angry you will count one hundred before you move or speak.”
No sooner had the Son promised than he received a stinging blow from the paternal walking-stick, and by the time he had counted to seventy-five had the unhappiness to see the old man jump into a waiting cab and whirl away.
MORAL PRINCIPLE AND MATERIAL INTEREST
A Moral Principle met a Material Interest on a bridge wide enough for but one.
“Down, you base thing!” thundered the Moral Principle, “and let me pass over you!”
The Material Interest merely looked in the other’s eyes without saying anything.
“Ah,” said the Moral Principle, hesitatingly, “let us draw lots to see which one of us shall retire till the other has crossed.”
The Material Interest maintained an unbroken silence and an unwavering stare.
“In order to avoid a conflict,” the Moral Principle resumed, somewhat uneasily, “I shall myself lie down and let you walk over me.”
Then the Material Interest found his tongue. “I don’t think you are very good walking,” he said. “I am a little particular about what I have underfoot. Suppose you get off into the water.”
It occurred that way.
Bierce’s contemporaries weren’t used to this kind of cynicism and sarcasm, so they gave him the moniker ‘The bitter Bierce‘.
Posted in Anglosphere, Arts & Letters, Book Notes, Deep Thoughts, Diversions, History, Human Behavior, Humor, USA | 2 Comments »
Posted by Ralf Goergens on 17th August 2013 (All posts by Ralf Goergens)
Posted in Diversions, Film, Humor | 5 Comments »
Posted by Sgt. Mom on 16th August 2013 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
(Sorry, no history post today – just too much going on and I am too steamed about this particular First Amendment issue. It seems that in the eyes of certain parties, our current president may not be mocked by the peasants.)
That useful concept (thank you, the French language for putting it so succinctly!) is defined “as an offense that violates the dignity of a ruler” or “an attack on any custom, institution, belief, etc., held sacred or revered by numbers of people.”Well, it appears that our very dear current occupant of the White House is certainly held sacred by a substantial percentage of our fellow citizens. How else to account for the perfectly earsplitting howling from Missouri Democrats and the usual suspects over a rodeo clown wearing an Obama mask to yuck it up before the crowd – most of whom seem to be laughing their heads off. All but the desperately sensitive, who breathlessly insisted that it was just like a KKK rally, practically. The rodeo clown’s name apparently is Tuffy Gessling; his supporters, and those who, as a matter of fact, support the rights of a free citizen to mock authority figures of every color and persuasion, have set up a Facebook page. He’s also been invited by a Texas congressman to come and perform the skit at a rodeo in Texas.
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Posted in Civil Society, Conservatism, Diversions, Humor, Just Unbelievable, North America, Obama, Politics, Society, Tea Party, That's NOT Funny, The Press, USA | 11 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 14th August 2013 (All posts by Jonathan)
Stupid green features
Mindlessly pause computer
Just when you need it
Had a profound thought
But forgot to write it down
Now it’s gone, dammit
They’re modern women
And yet they still expect you
To pick up the check
Feeling like a cork
Cast adrift on life’s ocean
Age does that to you
It’s an absurd world
Your hovercraft full of eels
My dog with no nose
Posted in Humor, Poetry | 8 Comments »
Posted by David Foster on 12th August 2013 (All posts by David Foster)
Saw this comic book cover displayed at the Computer History Museum last summer:
…had to search around the Internet to find the story. It seems that a friend, knowing that Lois will never get anywhere with Superman, tricks her into appearing on a TV program in which the UNIVAC computer is used to find ideal matches for people. When she is called on stage, Lois agrees only because she thinks it might make a good story for the newspaper.
How does it turn out? You can read the whole story here.
Posted in History, Human Behavior, Humor, Tech | 2 Comments »
Posted by L. C. Rees on 10th August 2013 (All posts by L. C. Rees)
It is dangerous to promote an ideal and pretend it’s not for entertainment purposes only.
From time to time, motivational slogans like “national interest” and “grand strategy” have proved useful in prodding the slothful along. Fiction has power to move people and move people it does. Mixing up myth for reality, however, leads to cognitive whiplash when reality steps, as it must, on myth. Many gleaming ideals are little more than bright colors painted on after the fact to cover up grimy back stage shenanigans and less than visionary ad hoc improvisations, usually for temporary short-term political gain.
Entering politics, if you lead with your idealistic chin, you will soon discover you have a glass jaw. As Warren Buffet might have said once, “If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.” This is true even in organizations that are reputedly non-political. Experience suggests that, the more someone protests how non-political they are, the more political they prove to be. Consider three of the most consequential peace treaties of the twentieth century:
“Key West Agreement“ (Function of the Armed Forces and the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Signed: April 21, 1948
Belligerents: United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force
- ‘The Navy would be allowed to retain its own combat air arm “…to conduct air operations as necessary for the accomplishment of objectives in a naval campaign…”‘
- “The Army would be allowed to retain aviation assets for reconnaissance and medical evacuation purposes.”
- “The Air Force would have control of all strategic air assets, and most tactical and logistic functions as well.”
Pace-Finletter Memorandum of Understanding
Signed: November 4, 1952
Belligerents: United States Army, United States Air Force
- “removed the weight restrictions on helicopters that the U.S. Army could use”
- “widened the range of tasks the Army’s helicopters could be used for”
- “created an arbitrary 5,000 pounds weight restriction that limits the Army’s ability to fly fixed-wing aircraft”
- “the U.S. Army…is dependent upon the U.S. Air Force to purchase and man fixed-wing ground-attack aircraft to fulfill close air support missions”
Signed: April 6, 1966
Belligerents: United States Army, United States Air Force
- “the U.S. Army agreed to give up its fixed-wing tactical airlift aircraft”
- “the U.S. Air Force relinquished its claim to most forms of rotary wing aircraft”
These are examples of what Paul Wolfowitz said about
the use of “weapons of mass destruction” as the primary justification for the Iraq intervention:
“The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason,” Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in a Pentagon transcript of an interview with Vanity Fair.
The magazine’s reporter did not tape the telephone interview and provided a slightly different version of the quote in the article: “For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.”
America’s armed forces are, and always have been, dens filled with vipers scrambling for procurement bucks. For every John Boyd willing to subsist on morning dew and lichen gnawed from the bottom of rocks for principle, there are fifty James Wilkinsons with eyes single to the glory of their personal bottom line.
Some of this is due to unideal incentives to let slip the inner sociopath when someone, previously constrained by circumstance of the most bootlicking sort, acquires power. A professor of H.W. Brands used to observe “a country gets the foreign policy it can afford”. This is why, since political power is a form of supply that generates its own demand, today’s U.S. has a finger in every global pie. Similarly, a problem at a lower rank can become a catastrophe when promoted to higher rank. More power comes with more opportunities for pratfalls: an officer gets the Paula Broadwell he can afford.
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Posted in That's NOT Funny | 11 Comments »
Posted by Sgt. Mom on 4th August 2013 (All posts by Sgt. Mom)
In Texas. Proof below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Humor, Photos | 10 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 31st July 2013 (All posts by Jonathan)
Returned rental car
They tried to charge extra hours
Not what they quoted
Your doctor’s office
Miscoded the procedure
Insurance won’t pay
Modern vampire tales
Even square beta guys know
It’s porn for teen girls
Once upon a time
We laughed at denture glue ads
Sadly, no longer
Posted in Humor, Poetry | 14 Comments »
Posted by Dan from Madison on 23rd July 2013 (All posts by Dan from Madison)
Seen in France a couple of weeks ago.
Posted in Humor, Photos | 3 Comments »
Posted by Jonathan on 9th July 2013 (All posts by Jonathan)
Like a finely honed machine, Chicagoboyz contingency training never stops. This video demonstrates implementation of latest high-precision zombie invasion evacuation plan.
Posted in Humor, Video | 5 Comments »
Posted by Michael Kennedy on 19th June 2013 (All posts by Michael Kennedy)
The Chicago Teachers Union president is lashing out at the villains in the school mess.
“When are we going to address the elephant in the room?
Say What ???
“When will we address the fact that rich, white people, think they know what’s in the best interest of children of African Americans and Latinos—no matter what the parent’s income or education level,” she said, according to SubstanceNews.net.
Oh. That elephant !!!
How about this one ?
What is it with these union bosses ?
Posted in Big Government, Chicagoania, Education, Humor, Unions | 18 Comments »
Posted by David Foster on 15th June 2013 (All posts by David Foster)
John Barnes asks: Are we as a society putting too much emphasis on abstract categorization rather than practical application? The so-called Flynn Effect says that average IQs worldwide rise by about 3 points per decade, but:
Stuart Brown has described younger engineers at advanced research facilities who are “good at filling in bubbles” but don’t seem to be able to make a machine work. Senior engineers lament that the next generation overvalues its high test scores and undervalues the things that get the job done. Fine arts teachers tailor assignments to students who want to express simpler ideas with easier tools rather than acquire more open-ended and sophisticated skills.
Should Apple get into the 3-D printing market?
Speaking of 3-D printing, GE is running a couple of interesting contests. First, there is the GE jet engine bracket challenge–participants submit a design taking advantage of additive manufacturing capabilities to meet all performance criteria while minimizing mass. Submitted designs will be evaluated by simulation: the top ten will then be fabricated and subjected to actual loads. There is also the 3-D printing production quest: high precision and advanced materials. This one is focused on making parts requiring extreme precision with complex geometries, especially for healthcare applications–entrants are going to need production as well as design capabilities, and in addition to the $50K prizes there may be an opportunity to become a GE supplier or otherwise “collaborate” with the company.
Posted in Business, Human Behavior, Humor, Photos, Political Philosophy, Tech | 15 Comments »
Posted by Carl from Chicago on 3rd June 2013 (All posts by Carl from Chicago)
I read Bloomberg every day. My WSJ online page is dusty to use an offline analogy compared to Bloomberg (although I skip over his gun control diatribes).
In this article titled “Putin Dividend Push Flops as Micex Discount at 4-year High” they discuss how the Russian stock index sports an extremely low price / earnings ratio of 5 and by other measures’ as well they are valued about half their “BRIC” peers. Putin was attempting to cajole Russian companies into paying larger dividends to increase this ratio but it largely has fallen on deaf ears. The final (cheeky) paragraph illustrates why Bloomberg knows how to write:
“The Russian corporate sector would do almost anything on earth to be seen as modern and transparent, Eric Kraus, a managing director at Nikitsky Capital in Moscow, where he manages about $200 million in assets, said by e-mail on May 28. “Anything but pay fair dividends, respect minority interests in corporate transactions, or allow truly independent directors. There is a disconnect between the rhetoric and the reality.”
Cross posted at LITGM
Posted in Economics & Finance, Humor, Russia | 1 Comment »
Posted by Carl from Chicago on 19th May 2013 (All posts by Carl from Chicago)
While across the pond in London I saw these blokes pedaling some sort of “party bike” (there is an entry in wikipedia for it with a similar photo on Tower Bridge) through London traffic. Apparently there is one sober guy who steers and everyone else drinks and likely occasionally pedals. I saw a few of them and as they went by the pedestrians lots of people hooted at them or tried to give some sort of hi five or British equivalent. In River North we have the party buses (trolleys) these seem more eco-friendly, I guess.
By the way I am trying this blogging for the first time with an application through my iPad so if it looks a little funky I will get better over time.
Posted in Britain, Humor | 2 Comments »