A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

16 March 2012

A Random Act of Mindless (Part II)

This is Part II of my foray into making up "Random Facts" to post on Facebook. I had to split them into two groups because over the course of a few days there were more than I realized. If you didn't catch the first part, this part probably makes less sense, so go over and read Part I first.

After realizing people actually were commenting to these things and liking them...and my newfound joy for writing them...I publicly acknowledged this fact (as was appropriate as it was a fact and was randomly inspired)...

"I am having a lot of fun making up "Random Facts". I cannot speak for those who are reading them...but I'm enjoying this a lot."

And then I went right back to making them up...again, hopefully you will smile a bit...

"Random Fact #15: Sophocles dedicated "Oedipus Rex" to his mother."
"Random Fact #12: Avocado pits will only sprout with three toothpicks - if you put a fourth in them (suspending the lower half of the seed in a glass of water) - they do not sprout."

"Random Fact #23: Women did not have the right to use a surname until the mid 1500s. Before then they were only referred to by first name and the place they were from...such as "Anne from Dover"."

"Random Fact #19: "The Bridge to Terabithia" was written only while the author watched episodes of "Bewtiched"."

"Random Fact #20: If you record a cat's purr and play it back to them backwards they will run away and hide. There is no explanation for this other than they are cats and cats like to f*ck with people."

"Random Fact #38: Most people whine in the key of C Minor...this is why most composers chose to write symphonies in this key -- they were whiney little bastards and found the key soothing."

"Random Fact #33: If you pick up a good-sized turtle and hold the underbelly of it up to your ear, you can hear the seashore...but only when the legs and head are fully inside the shell; otherwise you will hear the sound of you dropping it when it scratches you with its really long nails."

"Random Fact #4: The reason most people are lactose intolerant is because cows are notorious methane producers."

"Random Fact #12: The battery evolved from a one-celled organism."

"Random Fact #2: New Jersey is the only two-word state which is also commonly referred to in one word: Jersey. (West Virginia being called "backwards" does not count.)"

"Random Fact #16: The Mayan Calendar was originally invented to show women which days they were most fertile."

"Random Fact #81: No one knows how a snail can excrete that much mucous to leave as a trail. Scientific tests speculate the snail's body is like a wick of a humidifier and depending on the humidity level...determines how far it can travel."

"Random Fact #38: The "optimal" time for falling in love happens between the ages of 16-24. After age 24, the capacity to tolerate the irritating things people do declines drastically, thereby lessening the chance you will find them "ideal". Also, on the average, most people will fall in out of love four times in their life and remember those more fondly than a relationship later on. This is also the reason posited for why you have better childhood memories then your adult ones, i.e., life was better, food tasted better, television and music was better, etc. It's not that things were better so much as you tolerated more back then."

"Random Fact #4: Tablecloths were originally used to sop up/cover up the blood from the previous patron as there would usually be all-out brawls in most inns/restaurants. It was easier to cover up the blood than to go outside and pump water, bring it back inside, clean the table and set it back up."

"Random Fact #77*: The average person consumes about 3000 potato "eyes" in their lifetime. While potato eyes are indeed poisonous as they contain glycoalkaloids...it takes a great deal of them to actually make you sick...but as little as three of them can send you to the emergency room if you are hypersensitive. It is always best to toss ANY potato out if you see visible sprouting.

*This random fact brought to you by the "National Potato Council"."

"Random Fact #3: The human skeleton contains 206 bones...but that was not always the case. Early hominids had only 200 bones - anthropologists have determined that as we evolved our bones became more diverse and thinned slightly causing some to actually branch off and form two bones instead of one. The bones of the inner ear, for example, were once much denser and thicker possibly to hear frequencies of predatory animals which we do not need to fear anymore."

"Random Fact #97: If Dorothy Parker were alive today (and on Facebook) her witty comments would have been replaced with things like "Awwww...look at this kitty photo, it's sooooo adorable!" and "I'm stealing!"

Progress...sometimes one step forward is still two steps back.

Then my fun culminated on the 29th of February with this last one:

"Random Fact #29: The first "Leap" year was started after the Gregorian Calendar was implemented in 1582...but not officially adopted by England and the American Colonies until some 200 years later. The origination of the word "Leap" is not what most people think...that the calendar has to "leap" ahead one extra day once every four years to make the calendar work, but it is from the Old English/Latin word "lepre/lepros" as in "leper". It was customary in the late 1500s/early 1600s to burn effigies of lepers on this day to cleanse villages from the scourge of leprosy...hence the name "Lep Year" or, as it is now called "Leap Year"."

All in all, I had a lot of fun...and I think I did two really witty ones -- altho I'm not sure if you thought any of them were witty...but two? Eh. Who knows. I'll see if anyone comments.

And for those of you who were curious...I did indeed mention a number twice - two times. Numbers 81 and 33 were repeated. There's probably a random fact to explain this, and when I get around to thinking of it, you can bet I'll let you know.

13 March 2012

A Random Act of Mindness

I am not sure any of you know of this thing they have online called "Facebook". Facebook, for those who don't know (yeah, I'm being sarcastic), is this online "social networking" site...many times more like an anti-social networking site, but, nonetheless, it is online and about a billion plus two people are on it at any given moment.

People, being of either the trusting (or more likely, stupid) sort...tend to believe anything you post up there. Just think of it as the "early Wikipedia" of the Internet. Wikipedia, if you don't know (again with the sarcasm), is like a vast encyclopedia of "stuff", which, in its early incarnation...allowed anyone and their cat...to post up "factual information" which people, in turn, assumed was real information and turned right around and would do things like quote from it, copy/paste whole sections of it into their homework, and would "impress" anyone around who would listen to them. Consequently, it was the perfect opportunity for people to reinvent history. And invent they did. Way back when it was a witty person's dream: Think of something, the more plausible sounding the better, and post it up on Wikipedia and sit back and see how fast people start transferring their made up stuff, i.e., convoluted creme de la crap, to their websites and other websites and even more websites. It was fun while it happened. Now they require you to pass some test of fortitude or something in order to post stuff on Wiki...but, if you are imaginative, you can now turn to Facebook.

Sure, it's not posted up there for eons for all to see...it's a fleeting bit of silly...but, as all the world's a stage...I'm going to be a player.

Enter people and those "Random Facts" -- usually posted on background type of card or poster to make it seem "legit". It seems anything you put on a poster type thing will make the rounds no matter how mundane or totally unimaginative it is. So...when I started getting a bunch of these "random facts" showing up in my Facebook screen...I decided I was game...and started making up some of my own.

Half the fun was thinking of something witty, half the fun was trying to make it believable. The last half was sitting back and seeing if anyone commented. Fun was born for a grand total of about three days. Then I decided it was time to move on...but at the risk of never having these seen by more than the three people who bothered commenting on them...I'm packaging them all up and posting them here. Yeah...there's a lot...and I'm doing it because I can -- plus I'm also curious if I repeated any numbers...since I did them all "at random" without having any plan.

Hopefully some are enjoyable...if not, sorry for the huge waste of your time. And because there were much more than I originally thought, I'm going to do a two or three part blog.

It all started out innocently enough with this one:

"Random Fact #27: If you saved up all the grit in your eyes when you wake up, by the time you reach age 75 you could have had a real hobby."

This one was fun because it got people thinking and commenting. I, naturally, added more and more specifications like "...uh...that is citrus" and "...that is yellow" as they kept disproving my fact:

"Random Fact #42: 'Lemon' is the only two-syllable named fruit."

I won't bore you with commentary on each one...so here they are (in half their glory):

"Random Fact 70: The apostrophe was originally written as a comma on the first typewriters. In order for you to make an apostrophe you had to manually adjust the carriage, type the "comma" in the higher placement on the paper and then readjust it back again to continue typing."

"Random Fact 191: Ladies underpants were invented a full 150 years before men's were."

"Random Fact #2: Statistically, because I'm not keeping track, each time I come up with another random fact's number (at random I might add), I'm 11.4 times more likely to use a number I used before."

"Random Fact #90: If $1.00 of each Disneyland/Disneyworld ticket were set aside...in 10 years it would be able to pay off the national debt."

"Random Fact #29: It is widely conjectured that the species of animal responsible for the most puns...is fish. For example: Salmon chanted evening. I did that for the halibut. I need an aspirin because I've got a haddock. Et al."

"Random Fact #57: The Lunar Rover was named after Neil Armstrong's dog."

"Random Fact #23: All English words have been either borrowed or the pronunciation bastardized from foreign words from other countries. No words in the English language, with the exception of those made up by Chaucer, Shakespeare and Snoop Dogg...are English or American in origin."

"Random Fact #92: Contrary to popular belief, Gordon Lightfoot was not that great a dancer."

"Random Fact #71: Approximately 1 in 280 milk cows are born with an extra udder. They are promptly sent to the slaughter house and sold as veal as the automatic milking machines only have four "milker" receptacles. Having a fifth teet makes it impossible to get the proper "suction sequence" going for the machine to work optimally, and therefore the cow will produce less and less milk with each subsequent milking...eventually becoming a "dry" cow. Slaughter not only aids in higher milk production but also ensures this gene abnormality is not passed to the next generation."

"Random Fact #22: The cheapest gas has ever been per gallon was in 1932 at 17 cents. The last time it was 25 cents per gallon (or cheaper) was 1947. Adjusted for inflation, that would be roughly 2.83 and 2.41, respectively. So, the next time someone tells you they remember when gas was "less than a quarter per gallon"...either they are really old...or they are lying."

"Random Fact #81: No one knows how a snail can excrete that much mucous to leave as a trail. Scientific tests speculate the snail's body is like a wick of a humidifier and depending on the humidity level...determines how far it can travel."

"Random Fact #43: Sharks do not have tongues and therefore cannot taste their food until it reaches their stomach...this accounts for the fact most human "prey" is not usually swallowed but spat back up."

"Random Fact #87: The word "garbanzo" as in "garbanzo bean" (otherwise known as the chickpea) means "testicle" in Aztec."

"Random Fact #33: Anthropologists have long deduced the fork evolved from an ordinary stick. It then took the shape of two prongs when mankind realized the stabilizing effect of the dual tine. Mankind further evolved the fork into a three-pronged implement...again further stabilizing the usefulness of the device. Science has proven that four tines is the optimal configuration for an eating implement of that type and that five would be pretty much superfluous. This fact has totally been lost on the razor/shaving industry altho it has been proven that the extra blades are unnessary and do nothing more than give the impression that 'more is better'."

"Random Fact #81: "Bubble Wrap" was invented after a scientist noticed how his foot's blister cushioned the underlying skin from further impact from outside stimuli even when pressed with extreme force."

"Random Fact #55: While most people know the "Guinea Pig" is neither from New Guinea nor a pig...most people do not know they used to only cost one guinea to buy (in England in the 1700s) and, when roasted, smell remarkably like bacon."

"Random Fact #102: A typical five pound bag of grits usually contains 1/2 pound of non-corn-based grit -- mostly road-based and/or the wearing down of antiquated machinery-type grit."

"Random Fact #48: "Global Marketing" is in fact a misnomer as no one ever markets anything for Antarctica really."

"Random Fact #17: Wikipedia was originally a database of Wiccan information and was originally entitled 'Wiccapedia'."

"Random Fact #59: Shakespeare's title for "Love's Labour's Lost" was originally 'Eat Pray Love'."

"Random Fact #27: Scientists have calculated that the temperature would have to dip down to -256 degrees K for Hell to freeze over. Ironically, this is the number of pages in "Dante's Inferno" and exactly the same temperature it takes for the creme inside a Twinkie to solidify fully."

"Random Fact # 31: If you drop a compass from a great height above at the North Pole - the needle will spin erratically until it hits 4,000 feet. This is caused by the interference of the Coriolis Effect on the gravitational pull in the stratosphere. When the compass enters the troposphere...it regains the correct reading."

"Random Fact #2: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was only 4' 8" tall and was the inspiration for the "Munchkins" in L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz". A lifelong feud between the two has typically been said to have produced some of the greatest written material of all time."

"Random Fact #1: No matter what kind of bread...or how expensive your toaster, no one in history has ever had their toast "toasted" correctly on the first try."

"Random Fact #4: You can sing any song to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" except Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"."

And, on that note...I'll stop until Part II.