This video about a choking dog has a happy ending because its owner smartly saves it. It’s the other dog that you need to watch. I’m still laughing.
Some people are gifted with languages — and some very special people are gifted at sounding as if they are gifted with languages.
During the Israeli War of Independence, my father was extremely ill and spent some time in a hospital. Since this was a military hospital, he wasn’t in a private or even a semi-private room but was, instead, in a ward, along with a rotating crop of several other patients. Although he was too out of it to be a participant in the following story, he witnessed the events and he and my mother both swore to their truth.
The men in the ward (some of whom were sick, as was my father and some who were wounded) mostly kept to themselves. One day, though a new man showed up in the ward and he appeared to be not just convivial but amazingly multilingual.
The Israeli Defense Force was, of course, a multilingual military, comprised as it was of Jewish soldiers from all over the world. Each individual soldier, though spoke only one, maybe two, languages, with a tiny fraction speaking as many as three or four. This man, though, went far beyond that. [Read more…]
A dying refrigerator provides an object lesson about technology, differing opinions, and trial-and-error repairs — and elephants.
Oy, what a day! My 17-year-old refrigerator has been unhappy of late. A month ago, a repairman diagnosed dust. Yesterday, as it heaved, wheeze, and warmed, another repairman diagnosed Freon deficiency. And today, when it stopped working entirely, a third repairman said “frost.”
You know what the repairmen remind me of? This lovely old poem: [Read more…]
We will have so many awesome Second Amendment posters that you may get bored with Second Amendment posters (as if!). Plus other cool, funny stuff and dogs!
If the internet keeps being awash in stuff supporting the Second Amendment, I’ve got to go with it — but there’s lots of other good material here too.
Before going on to the next set of posters (the ones about things other than the Second Amendment), here’s a wonderful video. Although it comes from 2013, the Vietnamese-born man challenging gun grabbing has some impressive points to make about the Second Amendment (plus a nice little dig about illegal immigration). It’s less than 5 minutes so please take the time watch it — and pay attention special to his point about the difference between the state and government because it’s that good a point: [Read more…]
If the news is getting you down, I have a video that will provide a true moment of warmth and laughter in your life, as only a baby sloth can.
When I was in high school, a place awash in energetic clubs, a friend and I came up with the idea of forming a club for lazy people. We would call in “The Sloth Club,” and its motto would be “Make Haste Slowly.” Unsurprisingly, we never got around to forming the club officially. Still, I’ve always had a soft spot for sloths. That may be why I found this video so incredibly endearing:
How can one resist Mikey Bustos’s clever, funny reworking of Luis Fonsi’s hit song “Despacito” into an homage to men’s Speedos?
No matter your views on the epic battle between Dr. Dao and United Airlines, you have to admit that it’s made for some wonderful all-American humor.
I continue to be agnostic about the Dr. Dao versus United Airlines kerfuffle, in that I think all concerned behaved badly. The fact that United took advantage of laws allowing overbooking and allowed passengers to board when it already knew it needed states, that Republic (its subcontractor) failed to negotiate a peaceful solution with Dr. Dao, and that Chicago’s airport security was unnecessarily rough is all bad. As Scott Kirwin said in a must-read post here, as competition amongst airlines has diminished, airlines have gotten careless and unforgivably arrogant.
However, Dao’s behavior was also careless and unforgivably arrogant (or maybe insane). His screaming hysterically, running back on the plane, and violently resisting being removed from the flight was simply asking for the police to escalate their force. Once it was inevitable that he was going to be booted, he really needed to yield gracefully and sue later.
That, incidentally, is the same point I’ve made with those videos of ugly arrests involve police and black men or women. Once it’s clear they’ve got you, yield gracefully or you’re in for a world of hurt. That’s not a nice thing to have to say, but it’s true. And what’s true for black Americans is true for the Vietnamese Dr. David Dao.
As best as I can tell, the only person who comes off looking good in this entire debacle is Dao’s attorney, Thomas Demetrio. He did a great, low-key press conference, I was impressed:
There’s been one really wonderful thing to come out of the whole United Airlines debacle, and that’s the collective wit of the American people. Steven Hayward put together a great compilation, but I have a few he didn’t include:
I don’t know how I got on the Genius Pack email list, but I did, and I’m so glad I did. If I hadn’t, I would never have been able to enjoy this wonderful vocabulary error:
Meanwhile, I continue to set up my new computer. My old one, after nine years, was slowly dying. It’s certainly easier to set up computers than it was back in the 1990s, but it’s still time-consuming to download programs, re-authenticate passwords, hunt down misplaced files, etc. I’ll be good to go by later this afternoon, basking in the pleasure of a fast computer that doesn’t crash several times a day.
When Chihuahuas pass a mirror, they don’t see six pounds of a scrawny, pop-eyed rat-like creature. Instead, they see a wolf, red of tooth and claw. And when a Chihuahua owner sees his little dog, he doesn’t see a yappy, nasty, nippy little creature. He sees pure love. Like this:
If it weren’t for Aleksei Goloborodko, last night’s Cirque du Soliel’s production, Luzia, would have been merely a good, although not a great, show. Perhaps after having seen 90% of all Cirque productions since the very first one came to San Francisco, way back in 1984, I’m a bit jaded.
Thinking back to 1984, though, I really do have a specific complaint: Recent productions have backed away from what made the early shows so great: spectacular performances that didn’t have busy backgrounds (as is the case with Ringling’s “three ring” circuses), but that allowed one, instead, to focus on the elegant and creative main performances. Now, though, the performances are incredibly cluttered. I find it difficult to keep track of things, which frustrates me.
Looking at last night’s show, I suspect part of the busy-ness is to hide the fact that Cirque’s acts aren’t as good as they used to be. Why do I say this? Because, for the few phenomenal acts, Cirque did not clutter the stage, thereby allowing the audience to focus tightly on the main events. Such was the case with Aleksei Goloborodko, the contortionist.
Since it’s first show, Cirque has usually included a contortionist in the act. I always find the contortionists’ combination of strength and flexiblity fun to watch. It’s beautiful and spectacularly weird to see people bend and twist their bodies into shapes denied most of us.
Last night’s contortionist act, though, was out of the ordinary even by contortionist standards. Aleksei Goloborodko looked as if he had no bones, only cartilage. He was completely liquid when he performed his act, sinuously twisting and folding his body into a series of pretzel-like shapes that exceed all contortionist acts I’ve seen to date. Here — you can see what I mean:
The coach had put together the perfect team for the Chicago Bears. The only thing that was missing was a good quarterback. He had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian and European leagues, but he couldn’t find a super athlete who could ensure a Super Bowl win.
Then one night, while watching the news, he saw a war-zone scene in the West Bank. In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Israeli soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand grenade straight into a 15th story window 100 yards away.
He threw another hand grenade 75 yards away, right into a chimney.
Then he threw another at a passing car going 90 mph.
“I’ve got to get this guy!” the coach said to himself. “He has the perfect arm!”
Baloo and friends, displaying a surprising lack of concern with the fact that Donald Trump is President Elect, demonstrate the art of bear pole dancing.
The truly embarrassing fact is that they have better moves than me.
I have a friend who went to college on a ROTC scholarship and has been an active duty officer for the past thirty-three years. When we last spoke, he told me that, while the new generation of enlistees has great potential, basic training has changed substantially. I forget his exact words, but they were something along the line of “we have to handle them with kid gloves, or we get in trouble.” This funny video would seem to support his sense of a drastically changed military: