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Missing piece

Why is it that whenever you buy a jigsaw with a piece missing, it is always the last piece? Weird.

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Shameful though it is to admit to watching most reality TV shows, I don’t mind acknowledging that Beauty and the Geek exhibits a certain heart and humour, that The Amazing Race offers a frenetically entertaining travelogue (albeit a highly carbon-unfriendly one) and catalogue of hilariously rank stupidity, and that Project Runway is good for, er, seeing people making clothes but mostly for the presence and charm of the estimable Tim Gunn.

Tim Gunn

One that puzzles and disturbs me, though, is I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here. Let’s be honest, for a start it stretches the definition of “celebrity” to its elastic limit: D-listers on their way down looking for a new injection of fame,  like botox for the career;  and Z-listers seeking face-time and a presentation job on a reality show of their own. Television will eat itself.

Speaking of eating, this is the part that puzzles me: I have little objection to these ‘celebrities’ being forced to consume wombat turds or chew on a kangaroo’s testicles, aside from mourning the latter marsupial’s demise or wondering at its new role as a leaping eunuch. That’s part of their Faustian deal.

When it comes to the involvement of live animals, though, I wonder where and how the producers draw the line. We are supposed feel sympathy for, or more usually laugh derisively at, these wannabes as they are forced  to lie in a coffin while rats are poured onto them, or wallow in a tank of water as snakes are dropped from on high, or wear a mask steadly filled with spiders, scorpions and spitting cochroaches. What high jinks!

But let’s look at it from the point of view of the unfortunate animals that are probably panicking at being hurled in their hundreds into the presence of some shrieking celeb. I don’t want to come over all PETA-like but what makes it acceptable for certain creatures with which we might feel uncomfortable to be treated thus? Rats might be disliked but they make delightful pets for some people, and are not unrelated to supposedly cuter rodents like guinea pigs.

So would the audience chuckle so wantonly if instead of rats our celebrity fools were rolling around in a box full of hamsters, or rather than snakes were squashing squirrels underfoot? Or the real test: showered by thousands of fluffy kittens and puppies?

I can imagine the squawks of protest from the hypocritical. But that would reality.

falling kittens

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Fish

You may feed them, should it please you so to do.

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Intrusions

Sometimes life intrudes on, er, life. So it has been this past week, and I offer my apologies for my absence and, more importantly, the lack of ‘Hemingway’ prize-giving.

Not that there is an exciting holiday to Trenton, New Jersey, or even a year’s supply of Marmite up for grabs (the latter would probably amount to one jar anyway, let’s face it). But I owe an announcement and what meagre gift it is in my power impart.

So, without further ado, and with a modicum more decisiveness than previously (despite the high standard and the consequent closeness of the judging), but the same lack of drum roll, the winner is:

the girl with the pink teacup for “Most regrettably, I’d forgotten my harpoon.”

The pithiness of which is matched by the intrigue of the implied conclusion; and which introduces echoes of not only Hemingway but Melville, too. And it has the word ‘harpoon’, which is always a plus. Performance anxiety or not, g with a p t, you have sailed home on a wave of excellence, and here’s your rather paltry prize to do with as you will: the GHenry Splendid Award.

absolutely_splendid

It’s not a patch on soda & candy’s, I’m afraid, but there it is. But speaking of whom: soda & candy, as thanks for the lovely award you designed previously, the Splendid Award goes to you as well. Even if it is a bit odd to award an award for an award.

Edit: I fear I have been a little gauche by introducing a brand new award so hard on the heels of the last, especially as the previous is, frankly, better. So help yourselves to the glorious original instead / as well!

big-fish

Special mention to sittingpugs (who writes a most excellent sport and movies blog, by the way) for getting such a pleasing combination as ‘harmonium’, ‘molasses’ and ‘caked with’ into one short sentence. Nicely done.

Thanks for your patience. Back soon.

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And the winner is

dictionary2

Finally, after way too much deliberation, and with a display of unbridled and shameful pusillanimity, I am happy to announce the winner(s) of the Word Verification Competition, which you might recall I set some time last century, it seems.

Having guffawed at regular intervals, it would perhaps be invidious to pick just one list. So here, with the help of Julia at Homemade Hilarity, is a compilation of many of our favourites.

cdf

Soda & Candy:

Ficti A really, really short story.

Vegetable Assassin:

DosphotA deft kick in the gonadular region by a horse/zebra/unicorn. (High fives both for ‘gonadular’ and for getting unicorns into the equation).

Eric:

Milaro – Italian for ‘I caught malaria’.

(and a special mention for Cystral – a skin blemish caused by being outside during windy season in southern France, particularly around the Les Baux area. (Much impressed with the subtly brilliant meteorological reference here).)

Alex:

GothuckiType of spicy sushi found only in South Louisiana.

The Imaginary Reviewer:

Cystral – Cheap alternative to real crystal, used predominantly by The Chandelier Hour on the Shopping Channel.

Cora:

Panore – Being bored with your crappy old kitchen pans and desiring new ones.

The Muse:

Gothucki –  an angry person with a speech impediment…

Cooper Green:

Gothucki – The anticlimactic feeling experienced by a theme convention attendee whose handcrafted Anime costume won accolades and applause during the day’s events, but now feels quite ridiculous on public transit.

Lingst – The creeping prickle that marks the moment when you greeted a workmate with “Hi, Lisa”, when her name is Margaret and you’ve known her since childhood.

Milaro – The word that you stuff into a song repeatedly when you have forgotten the lyrics, but have made such a show of loving it so dearly that you don’t want to risk having your friends think you are musically insincere.

Squid – Marine cephalopods of the order Teuthida that are the biggest mistake a home aquarium afficionado can possibly make.

On reflection, I suppose that tearing open the gold envelope has in fact revealed an overall winner, by dint of being quoted most. So step up and take a bow, Cooper Green; but make the speech a short one if you would. Here, thanks to the lovely Soda & Candy, is your splendid award. (Seriously – thanks S & C; it’s terrific).

big-fish

Coming very soon – the Hemingway result.

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Betsy

Look what I found a picture of in the bowels of the internet. Cerberus as a puppy.

The three-headed guardian of Hades has rarely looked so cute.

You know how quickly these mythological canine offspring of nymph-serpents and fire-breathing giants can turn on you, though. Best have your lyre and some fresh-baked honey cakes handy, is all I’ll say.

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The Gravity of Sin

A real quick and lazy post for today, but it is important, I feel, always to share new and fresh ideas in science as soon as one can. Particularly when they come from creationists. Did I say new and fresh? I meant ‘unintentionally hilarious’.

The Onion“, of course, beautifully satirized Intelligent Design a while ago with its story declaring that evangelical scientists had refuted the theory of gravity by positing “Intelligent Falling”. But this gem, from the forum at CARM.org, is beyond parody:

Gravity: Doesn’t exist. If items of mass had any impact of others, then mountains should have people orbiting them. Or the space shuttle in space should have the astronauts orbiting it. Of course, that’s just the tip of the gravity myth. Think about it. Scientists want us to believe that the sun has a gravitation pull strong enough to keep a planet like neptune or pluto in orbit, but then it’s not strong enough to keep the moon in orbit? Why is that? What I believe is going on here is this: These objects in space have yet to receive mans touch, and thus have no sin to weigh them down. This isn’t the case for earth, where we see the impact of transfered sin to material objects. The more sin, the heavier something is.

EccentricOrbit

I shall try to revisit this exciting development later.

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