January 2017’s Scraps File


Some things I couldn’t find any use for writing in January; if you can find a good use for them, please do. I ask only to hear if any of them went on to be happy.

I’m rotten at choosing clothes. You can judge that from the slightly pained but amused look on my love’s face when it becomes obvious that once again I’ve dressed myself. If you can’t see my love’s face, I’m sorry that you’re missing such a fine experience. But instead look at any picture of people from the 70s or 80s and identify the person wearing the most regrettable outfit. I’ve worn that as recently as Tuesday. I don’t care. They’re clothes and I’m happy to wear them. — Cut from some piece or other, I think the one about crafts. Not really relevant to the main point of the article and besides it ended up long enough as is.

The thing is that gives me the idea to start wondering about something. — Cut from like fourteen pieces because it could go into any of my bits and that’s one of those warning signs I shouldn’t be putting it in any of them. Warning: I might use this to see how long a sentence I could make that doesn’t say anything at all. You’re still free to use it, just, there’s no being sure you’ll have it all to yourself.

If you have that job you either grew up wanting to be someone who makes those little paper flags hung on toothpicks or else your life took turns bringing you to making them. — The thing about my clothes (to get back to them) is that I don’t need to talk about it that much because you’ve seen ugly clothes before. Not necessarily on me, but yeah, on me.

I’m not going to stop making boxed macaroni and cheese wrong because I know it’s easier to keep doing it wrong than to remember to look at the directions and do it right for once. — Also cut from that crafts essay which had more cuts than usual. Also I don’t want to make my clothing problems seem too bad. Like, that look my love gets when noticing I dressed myself? It’s not, like, horrified or anything. It’s like, imagine if you were fixing a car engine. And you called to your dog saying, “Monty! Fetch me the 15 mm socket wrench” and figured you were making a good joke. And the dog was confused but understood there was something about fetching going on there. And the dog came back holding an ice scraper in his mouth. Also the dog’s named Monty. You know the look you’d give the dog, delighted that he was doing his best to do the perfectly hopeless? That’s the look I get when I dress myself. It doesn’t hurt any and I can usually find the socket wrench after that.

“The Tasmanian rainforest is considered a Gondwanan relic.” — I brought that back from an earlier scraps file because I was sure there was something I could do with that, and there wasn’t. It’s pretty nice as it is, on Wikipedia, but I got nothing.

I remember coloring when I was a kid, and we’d get boxes of crayons from school. There’d be as many as 62 Extremely Dark Colors Equally Likely To be Purple, Black, Navy Blue, Blue, Or Any Other Color You Do Not Want, all with the wrappers peeled off in every box of sixteen crayons. — Cut because my problems with coloring in elementary school weren’t so much about what shade of some extremely dark blue-like-or-black color I had available but more that I was never satisfied with how uniformly a crayon could color things. Also I liked the part where you colored in letters. By you I mean me, or in this context, I. I couldn’t get enough letters to color in like that. So in hindsight, again, I understand why I was treated that way.

And then the person working the Wendy’s counter warned me they were out of potatoes, which means they know me as the guy who comes in like once a month and orders two baked potatoes, so now it’s too emotionally involved going there and I don’t dare visit ever again. — Anyway these days I just wear a solid shirt of one color and pants. Pants of a different color. I learned my lesson the day in grad school when I went out wearing an orange shirt and orange sweatpants and caught a glimpse of myself in the glass door and realized what I was doing. So I have learned to do slightly better, that’s the important thing.

Good luck with February, everyone!

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index dropped nine points after Michigan’s official state groundhog refused to emerge from her lair and make a weather prediction, which is surely all normal and just fine, right? Tell us that’s normal and just fine. We don’t know anymore.

106

The Top Ten For 2016


As it’s the time of year when we run out of time for the year let’s review the Top Ten of the year gone by.

  1. August 22. This is usually a pretty solid 24 hours of the year and once again we really nailed it. Everyone involved with the production of August 22nd should give themselves a round of applause, although not in so unseemly a way.
  2. once-in-james-joyce.com. The rare follow-up project that builds on the brilliance of the original, this scrappy web site allows us to quickly look up all the words which appear precisely one time in the collected works of James Joyce. The site’s designers admitted they thought nothing might top once-in-shakespeare.com but found new challenges and delights in working with another author considering they want to be thought of as the kinds of people who’ve read Joyce without actually going to the trouble of doing it.
  3. Flatware. Although much flatware these days extends into a third dimension and so falls short of being actually flat, it nevertheless remains the best-known way to satisfy the need to have flatware. Besides, flatware can be made much more like itself if one simply is on good terms with one or more steamroller operators or possibly pile-drive drivers. You are on good terms with one or more of them, I hope, lest you have no way of slowing down that determined cartoon cat who’s been chasing you all through the construction site.
  4. Mellifluous. One of the English language’s top words for sounding like what it is without falling into an onomatopoetic trap. It’s especially good for saying out loud in case you ever need the feeling of being a comforting voice actor or movie trailer voice-over person. Rated PG-13, warnings for language use.
  5. People being buried with their cell phones. “I’m sorry, you’re breaking up — I’m entering a long, dark tunnel with a bright light at the end.” I probably accidentally stole that joke from somebody and I hope it was a friend.
  6. Simple home-recipe syrup. Despite the breakthroughs in solving higher-order syrup polynomials that make complex-valued syrups an exciting possibility we can still do quite nicely without anything but real numbers, syrup, and a trio of pancakes with blueberry that turn out to be rather more food than anyone had imagined. Also they come with eggs for some reason. And six pieces of toast. It’s getting to be a little much, but at least it’s a simple much.
  7. Adverbs. These bread crumbs of the English language have stuck on well past their expected end-of-support date. But they’re just too useful in meeting a mandatory word count. And we realize now there would be too large and too noticeable a hole if we did finally get rid of them. The hole would be where the wrong form of “a” or “an” were used.
  8. Swiss IV. This, one of the most exciting cheeses in years, overcomes nearly all the problems inherent in the original Swiss cheese. No longer are its holes too large nor too small. Thanks to the latest of aerogel dairy technology we can just have chunks of cloudlike foam that have within them the potential to be sandwiches. It’s great as it is, and promises to be only better in 2017 when we start to see rooms full of cheese air that let us finally eliminate the difference between eating and breathing. Not for the Vegan or lactose-intolerant eater, but they’re used to that. Do not ask about Swiss II or Swiss III. Everybody involved is still very sensitive about the side effects.
  9. The following Wikipedia Statement: “The Tasmanian rainforest is considered a Gondwanan relic.” Though there have been many unsettling and struggling and disturbing things about the year, to know there is still a general consensus on some rainforest somewhere being a Gondwanan relic is itself a great relief. To know that it is Tasmanian simply adds to the relief, then squares it, then doubles that result, reverse the numbers, subtracts the original number and gives us the result of 17. Is that not amazing?
  10. Chrissy the Christmas Mouse. Despite the proliferation of 24-hour Christmas music stations this chipper little ditty continues to not be overexposed. In fact I don’t remember hearing it at all since 1999 so at this point I have to suppose I just made up this little tune about a mouse that lives in the floorboards of Santa’s house and loves being around all the Christmas activity and finally one year gets to ride in Santa’s sleigh. I can’t have made that up, can I? But nobody ever plays it. So that’s good. Or maybe I did imagine it in which case I’ve got a great idea for a catchy Christmas tune that’ll become horribly overused inside of like two years. Let me know.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index rose five points when everyone resolved they had indeed eaten too much over the eating holidays this year and they were going to start a serious diet come Monday.

89

A Very Momentary Last Thought About The Leaves


I was thinking hard, as hard as reasonable, about the problem of the leaf-bootleggers clearing out our yard. Then I got distracted by wondering … uh … hang on, it was right here. It was something stupid. Oh yeah, that’s it. I got to wondering whether the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a species of land or of sea turtle. It must be on a fan wiki somewhere. And just think of the Discussion Page behind it. What if they’re an invasive species? Wouldn’t that be kind of fun in that obscure scientific-fact way? Well, maybe only to me. Also, I am still not reading about the history of socks.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

Four points! We’re up four points! The traders take back everything they said about lower numbers being better because up is definitely the way to go and they’re looking ahead to 98 or even 102 in the near future!

94

How The Vice Presidential Debate Brought Me Wikipedia Joy


I got to looking up Farmville, Virginia, because that was the site of the Vice Presidential Debate that gripped the nation (any nation; Malawi, for example) last night. Here’s its Wikipedia entry’s “Today” section as it existed yesterday, before the race between eagle-eyed, mongoose-blood-accelerated Wikipedia editors to change “will be held” into the past tense the moment the debate ended:

Today[edit]

Farmville is a growing community mainly because of economic growth in the Lynchburg and Richmond areas; many residents use Farmville as a bedroom community to take advantage of the low cost of living. Many Longwood alumni are staying in the community after growing up elsewhere.[citation needed]

Farmville made headlines in September 2015 after being selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host the 2016 vice-presidential debate. The debate will be held at Longwood University on October 4, 2016.[21][22]

In 2008 a new YMCA was opened behind the recently built Lowe’s. It includes an indoor swimming pool, locker rooms, six large HD TVs overlooking a gym, a child care center, and athletic fields. Family locker rooms, a teen center and aerobics room are included.

The town is crossed by the High Bridge Trail State Park which extends 4 miles (6 km) east to the historic High Bridge.

So that’s why I’ve been going around the past day trying to read that whole string of sentences in my best BBC News Announcer voice and let me tell you the news about the new YMCA just keeps getting funnier to me and me alone. I give it another four hours before someone punches me in the kidneys.

Also while I understand the appeal of editing Today should we really leave that power in the hands of anyone who wanders by Wikipedia? Shouldn’t there be some kind of screening process? At least make people leave a deposit before they edit the whole day?

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index was rising steadily when my love pointed out this ShutterStock gallery, by Azuzl, that’s anthropomorphic chickens wearing the national garb of various Eastern European nations so you can understand why that’s more interesting to the market.

140

If Only History Looked Upwards Two Paragraphs


My love pointed this one out. From Wikipedia’s entry “Deodorant”:

The first commercial deodorant, Mum, was introduced and patented in the late nineteenth century by an inventor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Edna Murray.[2]
[ … six sentences later … ]
In 1888, the first commercial deodorant, Mum, was developed and patented by a U.S. inventor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, whose name has been lost to history. [2]

Screen shot from part of Wikipedia's Deodorant page, in which the introduction and the history manage to talk about what seem to be the same events in different and confusing ways.
Another perfect Wikipedia moment: the sentence explaining that Ban Roll-On was briefly withdrawn from the market in the United States, but not to fear, as it’s been reintroduced as Ban Roll-On. I couldn’t think of how to highlight the sentences I’m particularly delighted by — the first sentence in the top paragraph of the screen shot, and the first sentence under History — so, sorry.

If it’s possible to make things any more perfect, both the sentence claiming the first commercial deodorant was developed by Edna Murray and the sentence claiming the inventor’s name was lost to history cite the same reference.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The index rose appreciably thanks to a precocious child who didn’t see any reason not to keep pressing the ‘up’ button on the elevator. Well done, child, keep trusting in your elevator-button-pressing instincts! Until the building closes and everyone has to leave.

114

Air Bud, Naturally Enough


Adapting Wikipedia’s description of the plot to Air Bud, which needed my attention, naturally enough.


The film opens with an alcoholic abusive clown, Norm Snively, and his Golden Retriever Old Blue, doing a show at a child’s birthday party, naturally enough. Due to Old Blue causing trouble at the birthday party and both being tossed out of the house, Norm angrily takes him in a kennel to a dog pound, until the kennel falls out of his truck, naturally enough. Old Blue is homeless until he meets 12-year-old Josh Framm, naturally enough. After the death of his father, who died in a plane crash during a test flight, Josh relocates with his mom Jackie and 2-year-old sister Andrea from Virginia to Fernfield, Washington, naturally enough. Due to heartbreak over his father’s death, he is too shy to try out for his middle school’s basketball team and to make any friends, naturally enough. He instead becomes the basketball team’s manager, an awkward offer by Coach Barker which he accepts, naturally enough. He practices basketball by himself in a makeshift court that he sets up in an abandoned allotment, where he first meets Old Blue and renames him Buddy, naturally enough. Josh soon discovers that Buddy has the uncanny ability to play basketball, and decides to let Buddy come home with him, naturally enough.

Jackie agrees to let him keep Buddy until Christmas and she plans to send him to the pound if his rightful owner is not located; however, she sees how much Josh loves Buddy and how loyal he is, naturally enough. When Josh wakes up on Christmas and Buddy is not in his room, he goes downstairs and finds Buddy with a bow secured on his head, naturally enough. She gives Buddy to Josh as a present, naturally enough.

Following Christmas, Josh finds a tryout invitation in his locker, although he does not know how it got there, naturally enough. Puzzled on what to do, he further discovers Buddy’s talent when he discovers that he can actually shoot a hoop, naturally enough. These facts together prompt Josh to follow through and try out and he gets a place on the team, naturally enough. At his first game, he befriends teammate Tom Stewart but earns the disdain of star player and team bully Larry Willingham, naturally enough. Meanwhile, Buddy leaves the backyard, goes to the school and shows up while the game is underway, naturally enough. He runs into the court, disrupts the game, and causes mayhem, but the audience loves him after he scores a basket, naturally enough.

After the game and once Buddy is caught by Josh, the former sees Coach Barker abusing Tom by violently pelting him with basketballs in an attempt to make him catch better, naturally enough. He leads Josh, Jackie, and the school principal Ms. Pepper to the scene, naturally enough. As a result, Coach Barker is fired and replaced by the school’s kind-hearted engineer, Arthur Chaney, at Josh’s suggestion, naturally enough. Buddy becomes the mascot of Josh’s school’s basketball team and begins appearing in their halftime shows, naturally enough. After the Timberwolves lose one game, the team has subsequent success and qualifies for the State Final, naturally enough.

Just before the championship game, Norm appears after seeing Buddy on television, naturally enough. Hoping to profit off Buddy’s newfound fame, he forces Jackie to hand over Buddy as he has papers proving that he is Buddy’s legal owner, naturally enough. Knowing they do not have a choice, Jackie forces Josh to do the right thing and give Buddy back to Norm, naturally enough. After a period of feeling withdrawn and depressed, Josh then decides to rescue Buddy, naturally enough. He sneaks into Norm’s backyard, which is muddy and where he finds Buddy chained up, naturally enough. Norm, who is on the phone scheduling performances, initially does not notice Josh in the yard due to a stack of empty beer cans on his windowsill until it falls and Josh is caught in the act, naturally enough. Josh gets the chain from Buddy and they escape, naturally enough. Norm gets into his dilapidated clown truck and pursues Josh and Buddy through a park where Norm scatters a small swing set, a couple’s picnic, the sign of Fernfield, and hits a parked car, naturally enough. The pursuit rages on to a parking lot near a lake, during which Norm’s truck falls apart and crashes into the water, with the latter surviving and swearing vengeance, naturally enough. A few minutes after the pursuit, Josh then decides to set Buddy free in the forest to find a new home, naturally enough. Initially, his team is losing at the next championship to the opposing team until Buddy shows up, naturally enough. When it is discovered that there is no rule that a dog cannot play basketball, Buddy joins the roster to lead the team to a come from behind championship victory, naturally enough.

Norm reappears and attempts to sue the Framm family for custody of Buddy despite lack of ownership papers, naturally enough. Upon seeing Buddy, Judge Cranfield is disgusted and initially reluctant on a case over a dog, but only agrees only under a strict condition of the case being executed seriously, naturally enough. After numerous protests, Arthur arrives and suggests that Buddy chooses his owner, naturally enough. As a fan of Arthur himself, Judge Cranfield accepts his proposal, and moves the court outside to the lawn, naturally enough. The rule is for both parties to call Buddy while staying put on their spots, and one single step towards the dog would result in a loss, naturally enough. During the calling, Norm takes out his roll of newspaper, which he often used as a punishment to hit Buddy, and yells at him, naturally enough. Buddy angrily rushes at Norm, bites him, rips up the newspaper, and runs towards Josh, naturally enough. Judge Cranfield grants legal custody of Buddy to Josh’s family while an angry Norm rushes toward Buddy and Josh in a last ditched effort to try to get Buddy to himself, but is leed away by the police and arrested for animal cruelty, while Josh and the rest of the citizens rejoice and gather around Buddy to welcome him home, naturally enough.


Because a movie about a dog that plays basketball needs a subplot about a custody battle on behalf of an alcoholic abusive clown, naturally enough?

Statistics Saturday: Aquaman Enemies That Sound Like The Jokes You’d Make About Aquaman Enemies


Excerpted from Wikipedia’s list of Aquaman enemies.

Character First Appearance Wikipedia’s Description
Captain Rader World’s Finest Comics #127 (August 1962) Undersea pirate, used submarine disguised as giant fish.
Electric Man Adventure Comics Vol. 1 #254
(November 1958)
Roy Pinto was an escaped prison convict who decided to keep a low profile. His specialty was electric eels. Constantly handling them mutated him, granting him immumity to electric shocks. Later escaped from prison with five other villains in JLA No.5 to battle the JLA, but was captured by Green Arrow.
The Fisherman Aquaman vol. 2 #21
(May 1965)
A villain who uses fishing gimmicks to commit crimes, member of the Terrible Trio
Gustave the Great Adventure Comics #261 (June 1959) AKA the Animal-Master; an expert animal trainer, Gustave would perform daring crimes on the side. Since Aquaman stopped him while in action, Gustave swore revenge.
The Human Flying Fish Adventure Comics Vol. 1 #272 (May 1960) Vic Bragg was a swimming champion before turning to crime, before he fell in with Dr. Krill, the brilliant medical doctor and marine biologist who had also turned to a life of crime. After several months of recovery and training, Bragg began his career as the Human Flying Fish. One of the few Aquaman villains to appear in the Super Friends comic book.
Iceberg Head DC Special Series #6 (November 1977) Ice creature, caused worldwide cold wave so world would be frozen like himself, convinced by Aquaman, Aqualad and Mera to desist, “melted” and became water creature. [ Editorial note: ahem. ]
The Malignant Amoeba Adventure Comics #135 (December 1948) Giant artificial life-form created by scientists, eats everything in its path; the scientists spent ten years containing it until it escaped and encountered Aquaman.
The Octopus Man Adventure Comics #259 (April 1959) Roland Peters, conducted illegal experiments on marine life to transfer minds between species, transferred Aquaman’s mind into different fish.
“Shark” Wilson Adventure Comics #203 (August 1954) Criminal who was magically transformed into a shark.
Taggert Aquaman #19 (January 1965) Unethical showman who enslaved Atlanteans.
Tom Lariar Adventure Comics #170 (November 1951) Used telepathic machine to command fish to commit crimes.
V’lana Action Comics vol. 1 No.539 (January 1983) Current Queen of Xebel a kingdom located in Dimension Aqua, and enemy of Queen Mera.

So, wait, there are laws about developing fish-mind-swap technology? I guess I’m glad there’s some regulatory oversight. I’m just wondering which is the governing body. And are the fish-mind-swap and fish-mind-control technologies independent lines of fish-mind science or do they blend together? Like, what’s the difference between two fish swapping minds and two fish controlling each other’s body? Anyway it’s really just “Dimension Aqua” that gets V’lana on this list.

Statistics Saturday: The Star Trek Movies Ordered By Length Of Their Wikipedia Talk Pages


Movie Length (in words)
Star Trek: First Contact 193
Star Trek Beyond 454
Star Trek Generations 1327
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier 1776
Star Trek Into Darkness 1927
Star Trek: The Motion Picture 1940
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 2087
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 2344
Star Trek (2013) 3137
Star Trek III: The Search For Spock 3904
Star Trek: Insurrection 5019
Star Trek: Nemesis 6256
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 8287

Based on their talk pages as of the 2nd of July, 2016, in case that matters. No, I have no idea what the deal is with First Contact having nothing considering how much there is to dispute about the movie.

What Is Battle Creek, Michigan Named For?


I’m over forty years old. I have an advanced degree in mathematics. I have lived in Michigan for four years. I have only just this weekend stopped to wonder: what battle is Battle Creek, Michigan, named after?

My best guess: French explorers named the spot for where they refilled their water stocks. Then when the English poked in they figured ‘Bottle Creek’ must be some crazy moon-man mistaken pronunciation and they fixed it to ‘Battle Creek’ and we’ve been stuck with that since. So, yeah, please lock that in as my answer, won’t you? Thank you.



And according to Wikipedia, it’s actually named for a battle in the winter of 1823-24 in which two of the natives got into a fight with two people from a federal government survey party. In the fight one of the natives was wounded. After the fight the survey party fled. So, yeah, it involved not quite as many people as were needed to play the classic game show Password Plus. Although I guess there is a folk etymology that the river’s native name, Waupakisco, itself is some kind of name meaning “battle creek”, for some battle they dunno when it happened or what over, which makes people who know the language roll their eyes and sigh. So there we go.

Statistics Saturday: Amount Of The Plot Of 1994’s _The Mask_ That I Remember At All


Based on the Wikipedia summary of the plot, how much I remember of a movie I have seen possibly as much as twice back in the 90s:

Bit Of Plot Do I Remember It?
Stanley Ipkiss is a shy and unlucky bank clerk working at the local Edge City bank. Yes
He is frequently ridiculed by everyone around him, except for his Jack Russell Terrier Milo, and his co-worker and best friend Charlie Schumaker. Yes
Meanwhile, gangster Dorian Tyrell, owner of the Coco Bongo nightclub, plots to overthrow his boss Niko. No
One day, Tyrell sends his singer girlfriend Tina Carlyle into Stanley’s bank to record its layout, in preparation to rob the bank. No
Stanley is attracted to Tina, and she seems to reciprocate. No
After being denied entrance to the Coco Bongo, he finds a wooden mask near the city’s harbor. Yes
Placing it on his face transforms him into a zoot-suited, green-faced, bizarre trickster known as the Mask, who is able to cartoonishly alter himself and his surroundings at will. Yes
Stanley scares off a street gang that attempts to rob him by turning a balloon into a Tommy gun, and then he exacts revenge on his tormentors. No
The next morning, Stanley encounters detective Lieutenant Kellaway and newspaper reporter Peggy Brandt investigating the Mask’s activity of the previous night. No
To attend Tina’s performance, he again becomes the Mask to raid the bank, inadvertently foiling Tyrell’s plan in the process. No
At the Coco Bongo, Stanley dances exuberantly with Tina, whom he ends up kissing. I guess?
Following a confrontation with Tyrell for disrupting the bank robbery, Stanley flees leaving behind a scrap of cloth from his suit that transforms back into his pajamas, while Tyrell is arrested by the police as a suspect for the bank robbery. Yes?
Based on the shred of cloth, Kellaway suspects Stanley to be the bank robber. Yes
Stanley later consults a psychiatrist who has recently published a book on masks, and is told that the object may be a depiction of Loki, the Norse god of darkness and mischief. Maybe?
The same night, Stanley transforms into the Mask and meets Tina at a local park, but the meeting is interrupted by Kellaway, who attempts to arrest him. No
Stanley tricks a large group of police officers into joining him in a mass-performance of the Desi Arnaz song “Cuban Pete”, takes off the mask and flees with Peggy, but she betrays him to Tyrell for a $50,000 bounty. Yes, up through that “Cuban Pete” thing, although the rest of that is a mystery to me.
Tyrell tries on the mask and becomes a malevolent green-faced monster. No
Forced to reveal the location of the stolen money, Stanley is kept hostage in one of the mob’s cars while Tyrell’s henchmen search his apartment. No
With the money now in the hands of Tyrell’s gang, Stanley is then delivered to Kellaway, along with a rubber green mask, where he is arrested. No
When Tina visits Stanley in his cell, he urges her to flee the city. No
Tina thanks Stanley for treating her with respect and tells him that she knew that he was the Mask all along. No
She attempts to leave the city, but is captured by Tyrell’s men and forcibly taken to a charity ball at the Coco Bongo hosted by Niko and attended by the city’s elite, including Mayor Tilton. No
Upon arrival, the masked Tyrell kills Niko and prepares to destroy both the club and Tina with dynamite. No
Milo helps Stanley escape from his cell, and Stanley brings Kellaway as a cover and hostage in a desperate attempt to stop Tyrell. No
After locking Kellaway in his car, Stanley enters the club and manages to enlist the help of Charlie, but is soon after spotted and captured. No
Tina tricks Tyrell into taking off the mask, which is recovered and donned by Milo, turning the dog into a cartoonish pitbull who wreaks havoc among Tyrell’s men, while Stanley fights Tyrell himself. Yes
After recovering the mask, Stanley uses its abilities to save Tina by swallowing Tyrell’s bomb and flushing Tyrell down the drain of the club’s ornamental fountain. No
The police arrive and arrest Tyrell’s remaining henchmen, while Kellaway attempts to arrest Stanley once again. No
Mayor Tilton intervenes and demands that Kellaway release Stanley, declaring that Tyrell was The Mask the whole time. No
As the sun rises the following day, Stanley, Tina, Milo and Charlie take the mask back down to the harbor. I guess?
Tina throws the mask into the water, and she and Stanley kiss. Yes
Charlie then jumps in the water to retrieve the mask for himself, only to have it taken by Milo first. Yes
The film ends with Stanley kissing Tina, quoting the Mask’s catchphrase: “SssssMOKIN’!!!” Not really, but it makes sense so I probably kind of remember it?
Sentences To Describe Plot: 33
Sentences I Remember At All: 14
Percentage Remembered: 42%

Statistics Saturday: My Time Spent Preparing For A Weekend Car Trip


Activity Time
Packing 15 minutes
Checking The Packing Hasn’t Unpacked 3 hours, 45 minutes
Trying To Write A Whole Four Days Ahead Of Deadline For These Blogs About Two Weeks
Forgetting Toothbrushes (again?!)
Downloading Podcast Episodes Almost At Random Until There’s Like 65 Hours To Listen To Two hours, plus three hours yelling at iTunes for not actually downloading the things I told it to
Worrying I Didn’t Pack Enough (I never stop, even after the trip)
Spending Fourteen Hours Wikipedia-Binging Starting From The World ‘Envelope’ 14 hours, 20 minutes
Turning Things Around The House Off (can’t tell; accidentally turned off the clock I was using to time it)
Removing The Fourteenth Pair Of Underwear From My Duffel Bag, Trusting That If I Need That Many Over The Course Of A Three-Day Trip I Could Probably Buy One, Even If I Am In The Barely-Settled Wilds Of Sandusky, Ohio Three minutes before I change my mind and put it all back
Panciked Buying Of Yes Albums So There’s Also That To Listen To Six minutes, plus ten minutes punching iTunes
Emergency Game Of Europa Universalis III Four years running now and I haven’t got the hang of it yet
Finding Every Possible USB Cable Except The One That Plugs Into My Camera 85 minutes

The Most Wonderful Sentences In Wikipedia’s Entry About The Red Imported Fire Ant


This is regarding the species Solenopsis invicta:

The specific epithet of the red imported fire ant, invicta, is Latin for “invincible” and “unconquered”. This derives from the phase Roma invicta (“unconquered Rome”), used as an inspirational quote until the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD. This symbolic statement was printed on minted coins.

Only fair to stop using “Roma invicta” after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. I mean, yeah, there’s that whole other part of the Empire to consider but who does that? Not us from the west. Still, that’s got me thinking. There must have been someone who was carving “Roma invicta” into something — a brass pin, a building stone, something — just when the news of Rome being conquered came in. What’d the person do? I suppose edit things over to “Roma invicta for the most part” or “Roma invicta-ish” or, if the news came early on, “Roma pretty darned near invicta all things considered”. Anyway I don’t know why the coins come into play given we were talking about ants. And we were talking about ants because I heard the phrase “economically important ants” and wondered what that would be. It sounds like ants that are major supporters of microlending operations or something. There’s somehow still things I don’t understand about ants despite reading several paragraphs and skimming the rest of an article about one kind of them.

Pinky-Swearing In Time


I was looking up the plot to the gratuitously stupid movie The Butterfly Effect, because I was thinking of the gratuitously stupid movie A Sound Of Thunder instead. This happens. It led me to discover there was a Butterfly Effect 2 and even a Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (“Death Repeats Itself”) for some reason. And then in its Wikipedia page plot description we get this sentence:

Sam complains he is now `too stupid’ to fix things; Jenna pinky-swears him to not time-travel anymore.

That’s not really a sentence. It’s a pile-up of a couple sentences. Also it’s about pinky-swearing to not time travel. And despite the power of pinky-swearing and the Wikipedia page about that, Sam breaks his promise before the paragraph is even out. What is the point of pinky-swearing if you’re just going to warp the fabric of history anyway? I guess he might set it so he didn’t ever pinky-swear but that still sounds like cheating to me.

From this I learn that there isn’t a Wikipedia category for “films including broken pinky-swear promises”. Also that when the page was created, in August 2008, the movie’s title was given as Butterfly Effect: Revlelation.

Rob Schneider’s The Animal Or Something


Drawn from Wikipedia’s description of the plot to the 2001 Rob Schneider movie The Animal, an 83-minute movie I never saw with a plot summary 719 words long that I never read before, with the words ‘or something’ suffixed to every sentence. Inspired again by my love.


Marvin Mange (Rob Schneider) is an awkward, clumsy nice-guy who dreams of being a police officer like his dad was or something. He continuously attempts to pass the physical test to become a full-fledged police officer, but he just can’t seem to finish the obstacle course or something. Marvin gets constantly mistreated by Sargent Sisk (John C McGinley) or something.

One day, while alone at the station, he receives a robbery call or something. With all of the real policemen out at a softball game, Marvin rushes to the scene or something. Along the way, he swerves to avoid a seal in the road and crashes over a cliff or something. He is critically injured, but is rescued by Dr Wilder (Michael Caton), a mad scientist who puts Marvin back together using animal parts or something.

Days later, Marvin returns to his normal life with no memory of what had happened or something. Suddenly, he’s full of life or something. He can outrun horses, mean dogs are now scared of him, and he doesn’t need his asthma medicine or something. He thinks it’s due to his late-night TV purchase of “Badger Milk”, which is guaranteed in the ads to make him stronger or something.

One day at the park, Marvin meets Rianna (Colleen Haskell) while she’s out walking dogs or something. His animal-like tendencies are slowly taking him over or something. When a frisbee is thrown in his direction, he can’t control himself, and he jumps to catch it in his mouth or something.

He goes to the airport to talk to his friend, Miles the security guard (Guy Torry) about his problem or something. While there, Marvin sniffs out a man trying to hide heroin in his rectum or something. For uncovering a drug smuggler, Marvin is declared a hero and is made a full-fledged police officer or something.

As days go by, Marvin’s animal instincts are becoming stronger or something. He often wakes up in strange places, and subsequently, hears about animal attacks that occurred in the middle of the night or something. Because of these attacks, Dr Wilder believes that Marvin is out of control or something. The mad scientist confronts him, takes him to his laboratory, and explains about the grafts and transplants that saved and changed Marvin’s life, and gave him remarkable animal powers with certain problem side effects or something.

Later at a party thrown by the Mayor (Scott Wilson) Marvin chases after a cat and destroys everything around him and is fired on the spot or something. During his reprimand, he hears something, jumps into the nearby lake and rescues the mayor’s son using powers derived from a sea lion and a dolphin or something. He is swiftly reinstated or something.

Chief Wilson (Ed Asner) questions Marvin about the late-night attacks on farm animals, because one of witnesses made a police sketch—and it looks like Marvin or something.

Rianna goes to Marvin’s house, where he has barricaded himself inside or something. They spend the night together, but Marvin wants to be tied up so he can’t hurt anyone anymore or something. In the morning, he finds himself untied, courtesy of Rianna or something. Suddenly, the police show up outside or something. Another attack had happened that night, and the police have come for Marvin or something. Rianna convinces him to run or something.

Marvin escapes to the woods, where a huge chase ensues or something. The police have organized an angry mob into a search party to catch Marvin or something. While running through the woods, Marvin finds Dr Wilder or something. The scientist tells him that there was another “patient” of his that is out of control, and he is in the woods looking for it or something.

Sergeant Sisk confronts Marvin, and is about to shoot him or something. Suddenly, the other “animal’ jumps from a tree and knocks Sisk down or something. The beast is Rianna or something. Now, the crowd finds them both together but Miles is there, and takes the blame for everything or something. He has been claiming that there is reverse discrimination with him since he’s black, and that no one wants to hold him accountable for anything or something. Sure enough, once the mob thinks a black man was responsible, they don’t care anymore, and leave or something.

Marvin and Rianna get married, and have a litter of children that each look like Marvin or something. While watching television, they see Dr Wilder win the Nobel Prize or something. He says he owes it all to his fiancée, who is the same woman from the Badger Milk commercial or something. When she turns around to kiss him, there are large scars shown on her back, implying that Wilder performed the experiment on her as well or something.


Snarker’s note: wait, what the heck with that penultimate paragraph? Seriously? The heck? I mean, what the heck? Seriously?

Ernest Saves Christmas, Somehow


Being a reprinting of Wikipedia’s web page about the 1988 movie with the word “somehow” suffixed to every sentence. An idea that was created with the support and help of my love, somehow.


Ernest Saves Christmas is a 1988 Christmas comedy film directed by John R Cherry III and starring Jim Varney, somehow. This is the first film to feature Gailard Sartain’s character, Chuck along with Bill Byrge as his brother, Bobby, somehow. They made their first appearance in the television series Hey Vern, It’s Ernest! which was in production at the same time as this film, somehow. It is the third film to feature the character Ernest P Worrell, and chronicles Ernest’s attempt to find a replacement for an aging Santa Claus, somehow. Unlike other Ernest movies, it does not have an antagonist, somehow.

Plot, Somehow

A man who claims to be Santa Claus (Douglas Seale) arrives at the Orlando International Airport in Florida, somehow. Ernest P Worrell (Jim Varney) is working as a taxi driver, somehow. He takes a passenger to the airport, but speeds and the passenger falls out of the taxi, somehow. Ernest later picks up Santa Claus, who tells Ernest that he is on his way to inform a local celebrity named Joe Carruthers (Oliver Clark) that he has been chosen to be the new Santa Claus, somehow. Carruthers hosts a children’s program named Uncle Joey’s Treehouse in the Orlando area similar to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with emphasis on manners and integrity with the catchphrase “They never get old, somehow. They always stay new, somehow. Those three little words, Please and Thank You, somehow”, somehow.

While they are driving, a runaway teenage girl (Noelle Parker) who says she is named Harmony Starr joins Ernest and Santa in the cab, somehow. When they get to their destination, Santa possesses no legal currency (only play money), so in his giving Christmas spirit, Ernest lets him ride for free, somehow. The decision gets Ernest fired from his job, somehow. Back at the taxi garage, Ernest discovers that Santa left his magic sack behind in the cab, and Ernest begins a quest to find the old man and return it to him, somehow.

Santa arrives at the Orlando Children’s Museum to talk to Joe, but is interrupted and rebuffed by Joe’s agent Marty Brock, somehow. Marty misunderstands Santa’s name, thinking he said “Mr Santos,” and continues to call him by that name, even when Santa tells him his real name, somehow. Santa begins to worry as he then discovers he lost his sack, and becomes more discouraged as he realizes he is becoming forgetful in his old age (he’s 151 years old, indicating he was born in 1837), somehow. Joe does not believe Santa’s story and Marty has Santa arrested, somehow. Meanwhile, Ernest goes over to his friend Vern’s house to put up a Christmas tree, much to Vern’s distress (as with the original commercials that first introduced Ernest, the audience never sees Vern’s face and only his point of view), somehow. Ernest poses as Astor Clement, an employee of the governor and Harmony as the governor’s niece Mindy, and the two help Santa escape from jail by convincing the police chief that Santa believing that he is Santa Claus is “infectious insanity” and he must be taken to an insane asylum, somehow. Ernest disguises himself as an Apopka snake rancher (Lloyd Worrell from Knowhutimean? Hey Vern, It’s My Family Album) who sneaks Santa into a movie studio and speaks to a security guard about delivering the snakes to people who direct horror films, somehow. Meanwhile, Marty presses Joe to quit his children’s job, shave his beard, and instead land a part in a horror film titled Christmas Slay a movie about an alien which terrorizes a bunch of children on Christmas Eve which offends Santa so deeply he punches the director in the eye, somehow.

Santa tracks down Joe at his home, but Joe finally tells Santa, “Thanks…no thanks,” somehow. Later on, however, Joe is overcome by conscience when the director of the movie wants him to use foul language, which he refuses to say in front of the kids on the set, somehow.

Ernest and Harmony (whose real name is later revealed by Santa to be Pamela Trenton) discover the magic power of Santa’s sack, and immediately Pamela starts to abuse it, somehow. She steals the sack, and attempts to run away yet again, somehow. On Christmas Eve, however, her conscience prevails, and she rushes back to find Ernest and Santa and return the sack, somehow.

Eventually, Joe hunts down Santa on Christmas Eve and accepts the job, somehow. For the first year, however, Ernest gets to drive the sleigh, somehow.

Cast, Somehow

  • Jim Varney as Ernest P Worrell, Astor Clement, Auntie Nelda, The Snake Guy, somehow
  • Douglas Seale as Santa Claus (aka Seth Applegate), somehow
  • Oliver Clark as Joe Carruthers, the new Santa Claus, somehow
  • Noelle Parker as Pamela Trenton, aka Harmony Starr, Mindy, somehow
  • Gailard Sartain as Chuck (Storage Agent), somehow
  • Bill Byrge as Bobby (Storage Agent), somehow
  • Billie Bird as Mary Morrissey, somehow
  • Key Howard as Immigration Agent, somehow
  • Jack Swanson as Businessman, somehow
  • Buddy Douglas as Pyramus the Elf, somehow
  • Patty Maloney as Thisbe the Elf, somehow
  • Barry Brazell as Cab Passenger, somehow
  • George Kaplan as Mr. Dillis, somehow
  • Robert Lesser as Marty Brock, somehow
  • Zachary Bowden as Boy in the Train Station, somehow

Filming locations, Somehow

This was the first major feature production filmed almost entirely in Orlando, Florida at the then-unfinished Disney-MGM Studios, somehow. Vern’s house was actually a façade located on Residential Street at the park, and was part of the Studio Backlot Tour until it was demolished in 2002, somehow.

The remainder of the scenes were filmed in various locations in the greater Orlando area, including Orlando International Airport, Epcot Center Drive, Lake Eola, Church Street Station and Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando, a toll booth on the Bee Line Expressway, the original Orlando Science Center which has since been replaced by a new facility (used as the “Orlando Children’s Museum” in the movie), and the Orlando AMTRAK station, somehow. Scenes that take place in the movie studio and its hallways were shot at the facilities of the local FOX affiliate WOFL which in the mid-1980s had its own custom promo featuring the Ernest character, somehow. A small number of scenes were filmed in Nashville, somehow.

Reception, Somehow

The movie was not a critical success, although it earned back its costs, somehow. In the opening weekend the film opened at #2 at the box office and grossed $5,710,734 from 1,634 theaters, somehow. Its final domestic grossing was $28,202,109, somehow.

Statistics Saturday: Ten Unsettling Sentences In Wikipedia’s Guide To ‘Wild Kratts’ Episodes


Drawn from “List Of Wild Kratts Episodes”:

  1. Using the combined powers of whale and squid, the Kratt brothers try to withstand the immense water pressure of the ocean to save the whale and her calf before its too late.
  2. But after their new worm friend is carried off by a bird and left on the sidewalk to die, Chris and Martin race to save the worm before the sun dehydrates her.
  3. And if breaking the dam over and over again was not enough, they also have to deal with beaver predators, and they must solve the issue by the use of the abilities of the beaver.
  4. Meanwhile, Zach devises to plan to keep the neighborhood children off his lawn, by turning T[asmanian]-devils into Tasmanian devil robots.
  5. But after getting lost in the forest, Chris and Martin challenge each other to a creature contest, to see which is the better oak tree planter, the gray squirrels or the blue jays.
  6. And this is no ordinary [ badminton ] birdie — it is Aviva’s precious family heirloom.
  7. When a miniaturized Chris gets covered with pollen and ends up sticking to a bee, he is off into the remarkable world of the pollinators.
  8. Chris and Martin find a wolf pup in Martin’s bag after a chaotic morning involving a wolf pack and Chris’s Creature Power Suit set in moose mode.
  9. However, Zach tied balloons to many animals that then floated to his jet.
  10. But when the unstable [night vision] goggles stop working, the brothers find themselves taken in by the nocturnal society of the tarsier.

Bonus unsettling point: all this is from the first season of the show. It’s now halfway through its fourth season.

The Most Alarming Paragraph I’ve Ever Read On Wikipedia This Week


From Wikipedia’s entry on Teen Angel, the short-lived ABC “Thank Goodness It’s Funny” sitcom. The show was created in 1997 by The Simpsons‘s Al Jean and Mike Reiss, I imagine to comply with the terms of a very specific ransom demand:

Teen Angel follows a high school boy, Steve Beauchamp (Corbin Allred), and his recently deceased best friend, Marty DePolo (Mike Damus), who dies from eating a six-month-old hamburger from under Steve’s bed on a dare and is then sent back to Earth as Steve’s guardian angel. Marty’s guide is a large, orange and disembodied head named Rod (Ron Glass), who identifies as God’s cousin (a running gag throughout the series is that Rod is mistaken for God himself). Maureen McCormick, who played Steve’s mother, Judy, left the series halfway through its run.

That first sentence is the one that most sits on my head and makes me beg for mercy. Not just for content, but the way it’s said. I write some convoluted sentences myself, but that’s in order to achieve a deliberate effect. A big old Wikipedia Heaping Pile Of More Words (Now With More Words! If you find some more, please add them to the pile!) like this makes me want to diagram sentences, which I shouldn’t be doing since I’m not in eighth grade anymore.

So naturally I would like to know: why, in the start of the 1974 Rankin/Bass animated special Twas The Night Before Christmas, are the children of Junctionville sending letters to the rather touchy Santa Claus in September? Well? Huh? Maybe Santa had no idea a mouse published mean stuff about him in the local newspaper and instead he was just peeved they were begging for stuff before Labor Day For Crying Out Loud. Maybe all the characters’ little drama just went completely unnoticed.

Statistics Saturday: Things Learned From Reading The Snorks’ Wikipedia Page


From reading over https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snorks I now know:

  1. There’s fresh- and salt-water Snorks, differentiated by how many snorkel-horns they have.
  2. There were a pair of robot Snorks, named “SNIP” and “SNAP”, who “pretend to be UFOs upon first appearance”.
  3. Wikipedia’s editors for this page judge it appropriate to mention that “clams” is a slang term for money.
  4. The page has not just a “Minor Snorks” section, but even a “Supporting Snorks” sub-section, which I find piquantly sad.
  5. They had a time machine used to send a prehisnorkic Snork who’d been trapped in ice to the present day back to his home time. I admit I am uncomfortable letting Snorks have power over the course of history.
  6. There were prehisnorkic Snorks trapped in ice cubes underwater until the (then-) present day.
  7. There’s a “Snork-Eater Eater Fish”, a fish which eats Snork-Eater fish. I’m glad they have a world tidy in this way.
  8. They apparently had at least one writers session which ended with a consensus that they would call ancient times “prehisnorkic”.
  9. The series was sold to NBC television on the strength of a three-minute pilot episode which has never been revealed to the general public.
  10. Snorks adopted the human custom of wearing clothes after an encounter with the captain of a Spanish Armada ship in 1643. Wikipedia leaves the details of this encounter to my immature imagination.

Statistics Saturday: Getting To Philosophy From Pettipants Via Wikipedia


It is alleged that if one follows the first link in a Wikipedia article, and the first link in that next article, and so on, one eventually gets to Philosophy. Here it is attempted from the starting point of “pettipants”, which Wikipedia claims is a thing that really exists. They surely wouldn’t be fibbing about a thing like that, would they? On the other hand they also claim Helena is the capital of Montana, when in fact Montana has no capital. So who knows?

  1. Pettipants
  2. Lingerie
  3. Undergarment
  4. Clothing
  5. Human (as “Human Beings”)
  6. Homo Sapiens
  7. Latin
  8. Classical language (which explains “a classical language is a language with a literature that is classical”, so I’m glad we have that sorted out)
  9. Literature
  10. Literariness (skipping ‘cultura’ as that’s just a link within the same page)
  11. Language
  12. Communication
  13. Intention (as Purposeful)
  14. Mind (as Mental)
  15. Consciousness
  16. Quality (Philosophy)
  17. Philosophy

I have not the slightest idea how I got to Pettipants in the first place, even if they were anything that ever existed, which they don’t.

My New Favorite Wikipedia Sentences Of All Time Of Today


I don’t know how long the thrill of this is going to last, but I was reading the “List Of Fictional Mustelids”. If you’re wondering why I went there, it’s because I thought I was going to the “List of Fictional Skunks” page. But before it gets to its list of mustelids that do not exist, we have these paragraphs:

All fictional badgers are found within the list of fictional badgers.

Fictional raccoons are found in the List of fictional raccoons.

I love the clarity of these paragraphs. And wonder how they can prove that all fictional badgers have made the list. Also why someone would go to a list of fictional mustelids if they were looking up fictional raccoons. I mean, who would think a raccoon was a mustelid? A rodent, sure, baby raccoons are classified under rodents, but mustelids? Sheesh.