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Wednesday 26 November 2014

I recently had a conversation about mandatory fun at work, and my interlocutor pointed me to this classic article:

Like a diseased appendix bursting and spreading infectious bacteria throughout the abdomen, fun is insinuating itself everywhere, into even the un-hippest workplaces. Witness the August issue of Inc. magazine, the self-declared "Handbook of the American Entrepreneur." Emblazoned on its cover was "Fun! It's the New Core Value." Beneath that was a photo of Jonathan Bush, the CEO of athenahealth, which helps medical practices interact with insurers. Bush was tearing his shirt apart to reveal a Batman costume underneath, the same costume in which he gave a full presentation to a prospective client after making a deal with one of his employees that if the latter lost 70 pounds, the management team would dress as superheroes for a day.

But that's just the beginning. There are 18 pages of similar stories to instruct and inspire employers to keep their employees happy at all costs, because happy employees make for happy customers. There are rubber chickens, Frisbee tosses, mustache-growing contests, pet psychics, interoffice memos alligator-clipped to toy cars, and ceremonies that honor employees for such accomplishments as having "the most animated hand gestures." Perks include on-campus wallyball courts, indoor soccer fields, air hockey, ping pong, billiards, yoga and aerobics classes, company pools and hot tubs, and Native-American themed nap rooms so that employees can sleep (sleep!) at work. And that's all at just one company--Aquascape, a supplier to pond-builders based in St. Charles, Illinois.

Here's an abbreviated list of the jollity that will ensue at your place of business if you follow [funsultants'] advice: "joy lists," koosh balls, office-chair relay races, marshmallow fights, funny caption contests, job interviews conducted in Groucho glasses or pajamas, wacky Olympics, memos by Frisbee, voicemails in cartoon-character voices, rap songs to convey what's learned at leadership institutes, "breakathons," bunny teeth, and asking job prospects to bring show and tell items such as "a stuffed Tigger doll symbolizing the interviewee's energetic and upbeat attitude" or perhaps a "neon-pink mask and snorkel worn to demonstrate a sense of humor, self-deprecating nature, and sense of adventure."

As I was reading the article, I got an email about my company's ongoing mustache-growing contest.

Here's my fun from last week. Feel the joy:

Wednesday 26 November 2014 09:32:02 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | Work#
Thursday 20 November 2014

Yes, I'm actually in training this week that is required of everyone at my level. This morning we did an exercise on meeting planning. Our table came up with the following responses to the "Meeting Expectations/First Five Minutes" part:

  • Show appreciation for the meeting: "Mr. Wirtz, thank you for taking some time to meet with me today."
  • Confirm available time for meeting: "You mentioned you had about 15 minutes this morning. Is that still the case?"
  • Offer a look back...how did we get here? "As you will recall, yesterday we discussed releasing my godson from the personal service contract he has with you, in exchange for $10,000 in cash."
  • Briefly state the goals / objectives for the meeting: "I was hoping that we could revisit that conversation today, and that you would reconsider your position."
  • Agenda: "To help us meet these goals, I thought the following agenda might help us. First, I will make you an offer you can't refuse, and second, you will sign the release my attorney has prepared."
  • What other areas to be covered? "I assure you, if you do not consider my offer, you will cover the release in a personal and compelling way."
  • Brief introductions of...
    • Your firm's capabilities: "I am not sure you know about my organization, but perhaps I could provide a brief overview."
    • Your team/colleagues in the meeting: "Let me introduce you to my colleague, Luca Brasi."
  • Have a few "Killer Questions" that initiate dialogue: "Now that you understand Luca's role in this meeting, would you please sign this release now?"
  • Listen, be present, and probe; be "sincerely curious" in your follow-up questions: "I insist that this is the best offer you will ever receive from me, and I am eager to learn your position on it immediately."
  • Begin to wrap up with a few minutes remaining: "Thank you for your time. I am pleased that we were able to come to an agreement so quickly."
  • Summarize what you have heard: "I understand that you are also pleased with the outcome, and that $2,000 is a sufficient release fee, as we have just agreed."
  • Define specific next steps and, if appropriate, schedule follow-up meeting: "You will very likely not see me again, but I assure you, if a subsequent meeting is needed, perhaps because you have discussed this meeting with your colleagues or the Attorney General, Mr. Brasi will follow up with you in a timely and decisive fashion."

The other scenarios we batted around the table were more, ah, risqué, to say the least.

Thursday 20 November 2014 10:35:07 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | Kitchen Sink | Work#
Tuesday 11 March 2014

One of the funnier things I've seen recently:

Tuesday 11 March 2014 11:47:17 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Friday 14 February 2014

Today seemed like the right moment to recollect this short poem from Luis d'Antin van Rooten's Mots D'Heures: Gousses, Rames:

Raseuse arrête, valet de Tsar bat loups,
Joues gare et suite, et sot voyou.

As van Rooten's commentary makes clear, the wolves were really at fault.

Friday 14 February 2014 07:51:49 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes#
Saturday 2 November 2013

...brings us Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, the NPR news quiz hosted by actor and playwright Peter Sagal. Last week, one of the panelists presented an extended joke about Poland. Never mind that the panelist is probably of Polish descent; the piece annoyed the Polish consulate:

Peter Grosz, an actor and TV writer who has appeared as a panelist and guest host on "Wait Wait," offered a supposed news item referencing a joke asking how many Poles it takes to screw in a light bulb.

Host Peter Sagal revealed the light bulb tale wasn't true, but instead another item about road-crossing chickens was the real news. Listeners later called "Wait Wait" and the Polish Consulate to complain that the joke was in poor taste.

In a letter to Danforth, Paulina Kapuscinska, consul general of the Republic of Poland in Chicago, said the joke played up false stereotypes of Poles and Poland. It presented National Public Radio, which distributes the show, as "promoters of prejudice," and such jokes "are some of the most unsophisticated of jokes, which offend the intellect of NPR listeners," Kapuscinska wrote.

[Show producer Mike] Danforth replied with an apology, which the Polish Consulate posted on its website Thursday.

"I can't disagree with your judgment that the content of our October 26th show was unsophisticated and insulting to the intellect of NPR listeners. I'm afraid just about everything we do on 'Wait Wait' offends the intellect of the NPR audience," Danforth wrote.

People. Please. Danforth is right; it's a comedy show. The volume of Jewish jokes that Jewish host Sagal tells every week should have been sufficient notice that maybe, just maybe, they might make fun of other stereotypes. Get over it.

Saturday 2 November 2013 08:50:55 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Jokes | World#
Wednesday 7 August 2013
Here's a dirty little joke from Andrew Sullivan.
Wednesday 7 August 2013 11:24:23 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes#
Tuesday 6 August 2013

Via Microsoft's Raymond Chen, a real-life example of how a batter can get three strikes on one pitch:

Chen explains:

During his plate appearance, Vinnie Catricala was not pleased with the strike call on the first pitch he received. He exchanged words with the umpire, then stepped out of the batter's box to adjust his equipment. He did this without requesting or receiving a time-out. The umpire repeatedly instructed Catricala to take his position in the batter's box, which he refused to do. The umpire then called a strike on Catricala, pursuant to rule 6.02(c). Catricala, failing to comprehend the seriousness of the situation, still did not take his position in the batter's box, upon which the umpire called a third strike, thereby rendering him out.

But before I could watch that video, YouTube served up this one, which made me laugh out loud:

I'll poll some of my friends to find out if it's as funny to people in the UK as it is to us Americans.

Tuesday 6 August 2013 11:01:45 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Baseball | Jokes#
Wednesday 31 July 2013

It's good reconnecting with stuff that has been lost for years.

Like the Jewish Samurai, for example. And the quiz proving executives do not have much in common with pre-schoolers. And let's not forget the four Jewish sons.

Somewhere in the mists of time I have notes about why I released so many jokes in batches. As I move to a new blog/content platform this fall, I'll post what I find.

Wednesday 31 July 2013 14:03:43 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | Blogs#

Earlier I surmised that automating the process of extracting my old jokes from the ancient braverman.org site would take less time than hand-copying them. Well, duh. It only took two hours to write the script, lint the very few entries that needed it, and push the lot up to The Daily Parker.

So, for those of you who have missed all the jokes—there are just under 200 of them, all published from May 1998 to November 2004—start here, then skip to here, and then keep clicking the calendar control.

I'll call out my favorites once I re-acquaint myself with them. This one goes at the top of the list.

Now, programming trance ended, I am off to bed.

Wednesday 31 July 2013 00:13:49 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | Readings | Blogs#
Saturday 13 July 2013

After a short experiment yesterday at lunch, in which I put up three original braverman.org posts from 1998, I've added all the content from May 1998.

A couple of things came up during this process:

1. dasBlog, whose open-source project has ceased active development, won't display any of the entries for a particular day if any one of them has any errors in its HTML. That is really annoying.

2. In frustration, I started looking for other blog engines, and came upon Orchard. I'm intrigued. The extension model seems like it would work really well for me, it's in active development, and it's cool. I have a little time this weekend to play with it.

For now, enjoy the jokes from 15 years ago.

Saturday 13 July 2013 10:06:50 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | Kitchen Sink | Blogs#
Sunday 28 April 2013

I don't remember reading about this in Article II, but it sure is funny:

Sunday 28 April 2013 13:48:48 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Wednesday 27 March 2013

Something about the Seder I went to last night and the marriage equality cases currently before the Supreme Court got me thinking along these lines:

The wise son asks, "What are the statutes, the testimonies, and the laws that the Constitution has commanded you to do?"

To the wise son, you say: The 14th Amendment gives every citizen equal protection under the law. The 10th Amendment reserves powers to the States that aren't specifically granted to the Federal Government. And the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion.

The wicked son asks, "What does this mean to you?"

By saying "you," he separates himself from the rest of the United States, and its rich tradition of liberty and tolerance. You say to him,

JUSTICE SCALIA: When did it become unconstitutional to ban same-sex marriage? Was it 1791? 1868?

TED OLSON: When did it become unconstitutional to ban interracial marriage?

JUSTICE SCALIA: Don’t try to answer my question with your own question.

Or, more succinctly, "Sod off, Tony."

The simple son asks, "What is this?"

Explain to the simple son that the founders of the United States created a system in which things that hurt no one are generally tolerated, so unless there is a rational basis for legislation, and the benefits of the legislation outweigh the harms, it must be overturned.

What about the son who is too stupid to ask a question?

In this case, just ignore him. He's a partisan hack without sufficient intellect, curiosity, or temperament to serve as a justice of the peace in South Podunk, let alone the highest judicial body in the country. And you know how he's going to vote regardless of the facts or law anyway.

Now go learn.

Wednesday 27 March 2013 14:41:18 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Monday 21 January 2013

After a quick weekend in New York, I'm back debugging and fixing and going to lots of meetings. So this was much appreciated:

Monday 21 January 2013 11:05:31 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes#
Saturday 12 January 2013

Via TPM, the White House has responded to the petition to build a Death Star:

This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

Perhaps the previous administration would have been more amenable?

Saturday 12 January 2013 08:43:11 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Monday 17 December 2012

Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams finds a comparison for Congress:

I've never wanted to run for Congress until now. The job looks boring, but I'm attracted to a system that punishes total strangers for my bad performance. I assume this is some sort of "best practice" that our government is borrowing from a successful system elsewhere. So starting today, if you tell me you don't like my blog, I will pay a stranger to kick another stranger in the nads. If Congress is right about the trigger concept, you should see a big improvement in my blogging performance. I'm all about incentives.

There's a Wally-esque genius to this budget trigger concept. It actually solves Congress' biggest problem, namely that doing anything that is balanced and appropriate for the country renders a politician unelectable. Republicans can't vote for tax increases and get reelected while Democrats can't cut social services and keep their jobs. But don't cry for Congress because this isn't the sort of problem that can thwart a building full of lawyers. They put their snouts together and cleverly invented a concept - called a trigger - to take the blame for them. This way, both sides can screw their supporters while still blaming the other side. No one has to take responsibility for anything.

He might have a point.

Monday 17 December 2012 14:34:48 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Wednesday 10 October 2012

I have just inflicted this on my friends; you're next:

After the "incident" with Esmerelda, the Cathedral of Our Lady in Paris—Notre Dame—needed a new bell-ringer. A man showed up for the job. The bishop in charge of hiring noticed he had no arms. "Pas de problème," said the man. "I hit the bells with my head, like this." He then proceeded to play a magnificent carillon using only his face. As he reached a crescendo, the glorious music reaching out across Paris, he slipped, fell from the bell tower, and died instantly.

The monsignor ran over to the bishop and demanded, "What happened? Who is this man?"

"I don't know," said the bishop, "but his face rings a bell."

The next day, another man showed up to apply for the job. He introduced himself to the bishop, saying, "It was my brother who fell from the tower yesterday. We are all very sad, but our family is one of bell-ringers. I must take his place."

The bishop nodded, but then noticed the new man had no legs. "Pas de problème," said the brother. "Ecoutez." He climbed up to the bell tower using only his massively-powerful arms, then began another carillon, even more glorious than his brother's had been. He swung from rope to rope, in perfect time, sometimes pulling on two or three ropes at once, building to a finale that had the bishop in tears of joy.

As he rang the final bells, he returned to the ground floor, and presented him to the bishop. But before he could speak, he had a massive heart attack, and died instantly.

"Not again!" cried the monsignor. "And who was this man?"

"I don't know," said the bishop, "but he's a dead ringer for his brother."

Wednesday 10 October 2012 10:41:45 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes#
Wednesday 22 August 2012

At least according to the Onion:

Wednesday 22 August 2012 10:09:08 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Friday 15 June 2012

...and only four blocks from my house:

Friday 15 June 2012 15:38:54 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Jokes#
Wednesday 6 June 2012
Wednesday 6 June 2012 09:48:52 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | Photography#
Wednesday 16 May 2012
Wednesday 16 May 2012 11:48:09 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Sunday 1 April 2012

The Economist reported this morning that engineers have developed a machine to create bespoke pets:

[A] small Californian company, the Gene Duplication Corporation, based in San Melito, proposes to push the technology to its limits. On Sunday it will announce plans to use 3D printing to make bespoke pets.

GeneDupe, as the firm is known colloquially, has previously focused on the genetic engineering of animals. However Paolo Fril, the company’s boss, is keen to expand into manufacturing them from scratch.

There are still a few technical difficulties to overcome, of course, but Dr Fril plans to start taking orders soon. And he is already looking forward to the firm’s next product, custom-printed boyfriends and girlfriends for those who cannot find the right partner by conventional means—a surprisingly large proportion of the population. If all goes well, these will be available by St Valentine’s day. If not, customers will probably have to wait until April 1st of next year.

In related news, Antonin Scalia pretended to be a lying, partisan hack this week. I'm sure he was making an early April Fool's joke as well.

Sunday 1 April 2012 13:31:52 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Saturday 7 January 2012


Saturday 7 January 2012 11:39:45 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | US | World#
Thursday 24 November 2011

I'm rushing to get a major change to the resurrected dasBlog code done before I leave tomorrow (because I don't want to push code from anywhere I can't recover). Meanwhile, here's a timely NSFW comic for your holiday.

Thursday 24 November 2011 09:22:47 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | Blogs#
Wednesday 21 September 2011

Via TPM, search-engine watcher Danny Sullivan says former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum hasn't been Googlebombed; he's simply lost the war:

In a classic Googlebombing — which Google did crack down on when it was used to tie searches for “miserable failure” to George W. Bush back during the Republicans administration — pranksters tricked Google’s algorithm into sending (for lack of a better term) the “wrong” results for a search. An example could be you entered “apple” in the Google bar and got back a page about bananas thanks to people purposefully tricking the algorithm.

This is not what happened to Santorum, Sullivan explained. [Columnist and LGBT advocate Dan] Savage literally created a new definition for the word “Santorum” and then made a website explaining it. That explanation has become accepted and — “in some quarters,” Sullivan said — a topic people actually go searching for when they enter santorum into Google.

And how did Santorum lose this battle? In a nutshell, committing homophobia while in national office. And what is the colloquial definition 'santorum?' You're on your own there...

Tuesday 20 September 2011 20:03:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US | Business#
Friday 16 September 2011

ParkerI'm David Braverman, this is my blog, and Parker is my 5-year-old mutt. I last updated this About... page in February, but some things have changed. In the interest of enlightened laziness I'm starting with the most powerful keystroke combination in the universe: Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V.

Twice. Thus, the "point one" in the title.

The Daily Parker is about:

  • Parker, my dog, whom I adopted on 1 September 2006.
  • Politics. I'm a moderate-lefty by international standards, which makes me a radical left-winger in today's United States.
  • Photography. I took tens of thousands of photos as a kid, then drifted away from making art until a few months ago when I got the first digital camera I've ever had that rivals a film camera. That got me reading more, practicing more, and throwing more photos on the blog. In my initial burst of enthusiasm I posted a photo every day. I've pulled back from that a bit—it takes about 30 minutes to prep and post one of those puppies—but I'm still shooting and still learning.
  • The weather. I've operated a weather website for more than ten years. That site deals with raw data and objective observations. Many weather posts also touch politics, given the political implications of addressing climate change, though happily we no longer have to do so under a president beholden to the oil industry.
  • Chicago, the greatest city in North America, and the other ones I visit whenever I can.

I've deprecated the Software category, but only because I don't post much about it here. That said, I write a lot of software. I work for 10th Magnitude, a startup software consultancy in Chicago, I've got about 20 years experience writing the stuff, and I continue to own a micro-sized software company. (I have an online resume, if you're curious.) I see a lot of code, and since I often get called in to projects in crisis, I see a lot of bad code, some of which may appear here.

I strive to write about these and other things with fluency and concision. "Fast, good, cheap: pick two" applies to writing as much as to any other creative process (cf: software). I hope to find an appropriate balance between the three, as streams of consciousness and literacy have always struggled against each other since the first blog twenty years ago.

If you like what you see here, you'll probably also like Andrew Sullivan, James Fallows, Josh Marshall, and Bruce Schneier. Even if you don't like my politics, you probably agree that everyone ought to read Strunk and White, and you probably have an opinion about the Oxford comma—punctuation de rigeur in my opinion.

Another, non-trivial point. Facebook reads the blog's RSS feed, so many people reading this may think I'm just posting notes on Facebook. Facebook's lawyers would like you to believe this, too. Now, I've reconnected with tons of old friends and classmates through Facebook, I play Scrabble on Facebook, and I eagerly read every advertisement that appears next to its relevant content. But Facebook's terms of use assert ownership of everything that appears on their site, regardless of prior claims, which contravenes four centuries of law.

Everything that shows up on my Facebook profile gets published on The Daily Paker first, and I own the copyrights to all of it (unless otherwise disclosed). I publish the blog's text under a Creative Commons attribution-nonderivative-noncommercial license; republication is usually OK for non-commercial purposes, as long as you don't change what I write and you attribute it to me. My photos, however, are published under strict copyright, with no republication license, even if I upload them to other public websites. If you want to republish one of my photos, just let me know and we'll work something out.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy The Daily Parker.

Friday 16 September 2011 18:36:32 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Baseball | Biking | Chicago | Cubs | Duke | Geography | Jokes | Kitchen Sink | Parker | Daily | Photography | Politics | US | World | Raleigh | Religion | San Francisco | Software | Blogs | Business | Cool links | Security | Weather | Astronomy | Work#
Monday 15 August 2011

Sometimes The Onion has a satirical piece that's, well, almost completely true:

Visa Exposed As Massive Credit Card Scam

SAN FRANCISCO—In coordinated raids Monday at locations in Delaware, South Dakota, and California, federal agents apprehended dozens of executives at Visa Inc., a sham corporation accused of perpetrating the largest credit card scam in U.S. history.

According to indictments filed in U.S. District Court, Visa posed as a reputable lender, working through banks to peddle a variety of convincing-looking credit cards carefully designed to dupe consumers into spending far more money than they had. The criminal group would then impose a succession of escalating fees on unpaid balances, allegedly bilking some $300 billion from victims in the past year alone.

The article goes on to enumerate Visa's alleged wrongs. Only, most of them are true.

Chuckle, or nervous laughter?

Monday 15 August 2011 12:31:59 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Sunday 7 August 2011

From the New Yorker:

UPDATE: Pretty pleased with what I’ve come up with in just six days. Going to take tomorrow off. Feel free to check out what I’ve done so far. Suggestions and criticism (constructive, please!) more than welcome. God out.


Beta version was better. I thought the Adam-Steve dynamic was much more compelling than the Adam-Eve work-around You finally settled on.

Adam was obviously created somewhere else and then just put here. So, until I see some paperwork proving otherwise, I question the legitimacy of his dominion over any of this.


Sunday 7 August 2011 13:04:00 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | Religion | Blogs#
Wednesday 20 July 2011

Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the boilerplate:

 * Copyright (c) 1995, 2008, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
 * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without
 * modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions
 * are met:
 *   - Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright
 *     notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
 *   - Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright
 *     notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the
 *     documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
 *   - Neither the name of Oracle or the names of its
 *     contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived
 *     from this software without specific prior written permission.

 * The HelloWorldApp class implements an application that
 * simply prints "Hello World!" to standard output.
class HelloWorldApp {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello World!"); // Display the string.
Wednesday 20 July 2011 12:17:05 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | Software | Business#
Monday 6 June 2011

Via my family:

Sunday 5 June 2011 19:33:18 PDT (UTC-07:00)  |  | Jokes#
Friday 20 May 2011

Via Bruce Schneier, evidence that the Centers for Disease Control have a sense of humor:

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

This is a lot more entertaining than Internet Information Services configuration, no?

Friday 20 May 2011 16:56:38 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes#
Saturday 7 May 2011

Via Gulliver, an Irish cabaret group experiences the joy of a 75c air ticket:

Friday 6 May 2011 22:29:44 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Jokes#
Thursday 28 April 2011

A tongue-in-cheek alternate take for a PSA describing the benefits of AFSCME (NSFW):

Thursday 28 April 2011 15:41:54 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes#
Wednesday 20 April 2011

Scott Adams likes to provoke people. On occasion, like today, he writes something that provokes other people. He makes a good case that Donald Trump's presidential campaign is a practical joke:

The magnificent part of this whole thing is that he's putting no effort whatsoever into concealing his prank. That's what I love about the guy. He knows that no level of clownery in a field of clowns will single him out as the one clown that doesn't really mean it.

He's a graduate of the Wharton School, which means his intelligence is in the genius range. He's a world-renowned businessman with attention to details. He's also famous for a trademark form of self-parody that has boosted his brand for decades. There isn't the slightest chance that this man hasn't looked at the birther evidence. He knows the President of the United States is American. That's the hiding in plain sight part of this prank. It isn't the least bit credible that Trump thinks the birther issue is real.

Some of you are thinking he's gone too far with the joke. Or maybe he went too far when he said we should take Iraq's oil by force as payment for a war they didn't ask for. This is not a man who thinks he might someday debate serious politicians in a public forum. This is a man who is winking at the camera and daring you to see the obvious.

Now, other than the silly assertion that he's smart because he went to the Wharton School (it's not Fuqua, after all), Adams hits a stand-up double with the post. I'm convinced.


Wednesday 20 April 2011 13:33:05 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Sunday 17 April 2011

Worth the trip:

Sunday 17 April 2011 11:40:48 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes#
Friday 11 March 2011

Via Failbook:

Friday 11 March 2011 09:37:59 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes#
Friday 21 January 2011

Via Sullivan, what happens in the House of Commons when a MP's tie starts to make unusual noises:

Friday 21 January 2011 10:17:20 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | Politics#
Saturday 25 December 2010

This came to me in 1988 from the Internet (though back then no one called it "the Internet" and we ramped onto it through CompuServe). Enjoy.


By James Zachary

Every now and again, a caller to the water and wastewater department will ask about issues of national concern.


Southeast plant, this is Zack.

"I am taking a survey for my organization. Do you have time to answer a few questions?"

Ma'am, this is a sewage plant...

"You are a taxpayer and a voter, aren't you?"

Yes Ma'am, but...

"This will only take a few moments. Do you think prophylactics should be on television?"

Say what?

Read the rest at The Daily Parker.

Saturday 25 December 2010 13:21:23 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes#
Friday 24 December 2010

From 1995, various historical figures answer the age-old question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

For the greater good.
Karl Marx
It was an historical inevitability.
So that its subjects will view it with admiration, as a chicken which has the daring and courage to boldly cross the road, but also with fear, for whom among them has the strength to contend with such a paragon of avian virtue? In such a manner is the princely chicken’s dominion maintained.

Read the rest at The Daily Parker.

Friday 24 December 2010 12:33:14 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | Kitchen Sink#
Friday 17 December 2010

(Hat tip: The Daily WTF.)

Friday 17 December 2010 08:37:19 CST (UTC-06:00)  |  | Jokes | Software#
Thursday 21 October 2010

No, not Christine O'Donnell or Sharron Angle—though this one answers Barbara Walters' famous question for them:

Now I'll be honest. When TPM Reader JB told me about Pterocarya fraxinifolia earlier today, I thought there was a pretty decent chance I was being punk'd. Or maybe JB had been punk'd. Someone was getting punk'd. But some simple googling showed that if this is a put-on someone has spent a ton of time posting spoof pages on tons of arboreal and nursery websites around the world. More than 16,000 according to Google. So I'm going with the Caucasian Wingnut being the real thing.

Ironically, this Caucasian Wingnut is most common, or at least started out, in Northern Iran, which isn't necessarily what you'd figure for your garden variety Tea Partier. But there you go. JB says it's the official tree of the Tea Party Movement. But I'll just say you've been warned.

No, really: the Caucasian Wingnut is a tree.

(Via Talking Points Memo.)

Wednesday 20 October 2010 22:30:52 EDT (UTC-04:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Friday 24 September 2010

The looks on the opposition's faces are well worth the price of admission:

Friday 24 September 2010 13:42:46 EDT (UTC-04:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Saturday 18 September 2010

From Dan Savage the week before last:

Is everyone in the Republican Party a closeted homosexual?

—Ken Mehlman's Out Now

Everyone except Ken Mehlman and Ben Quayle.

Of course, this simply isn't true. Other Republican leaders have come out as well.

Saturday 18 September 2010 13:34:07 EDT (UTC-04:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Monday 16 August 2010

Via Sullivan, a little piece of awesomeness to brighten your day. Example:

Monday 16 August 2010 13:53:25 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Geography | Jokes#
Thursday 12 August 2010
Thursday 12 August 2010 09:53:53 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | Kitchen Sink#
Thursday 10 June 2010
Thursday 10 June 2010 09:10:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes | US#
Sunday 30 May 2010
Sunday 30 May 2010 19:12:40 EDT (UTC-04:00)  |  | Jokes#
Monday 12 April 2010

I discovered this joke from the head of Duke's CCMBA IT department:

An accountant is having a hard time sleeping and goes to see his doctor. "Doctor, I just can't get to sleep at night."

"Have you tried counting sheep?"

"That's the problem - I make a mistake and then spend three hours trying to find it."

And 24 hours from now, I'll be somewhere over Minnesota on my way to Shanghai...

Monday 12 April 2010 14:07:23 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Duke | Jokes#
Sunday 11 April 2010

Before continuing yesterday's list of Star Wars lines that only a 14-year-old could love, I need to tip my hat to reader AS who found this sparkling diamond of a list. Change one word in a Star Wars quote to "pants" and you get, for example, "I find your lack of pants disturbing," or, "In his pants you will find a new definition of pain and suffering." Fascinating that the list includes lines from all six movies, and yet only lines from the first three made it into the top 20.

Here's a clue. Here are the top 10 lines from The Empire Strikes Back:

  1. "And I thought they smelled bad...on the OUTSIDE!"
  2. "Possible he came in through the south entrance."
  3. "I must've hit it pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, huh, kid?"
  4. "Hurry up, golden rod..."
  5. "That's OK, I'd like to keep it on manual control for a while."
  6. "But now we must eat. Come, good food, come..."
  7. "Control, control! You must learn control."
  8. "There's an awful lot of moisture in here."
  9. "Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you?"
  10. "I thought that hairy beast would be the end of me!"

And from Return Of The Jedi:

  1. "I need more men."
  2. "Our instructions are to give it only to Jabba himself."
  3. "Thanks for coming after me."
  4. "Rise, my friend."
  5. "I can't do it, R2."
  6. "Look, I want you to take her."
  7. "I'm endangering the mission. I shouldn't have come."
  8. "General Solo, somebody's coming."
  9. "I have felt him, my master." "Strange that I have not."
  10. "Back door. Good Idea!"

Further evidence that Lucas lost his art when he did the first three.

Sunday 11 April 2010 09:37:46 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes#
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David Braverman is the Chief Technology Officer of Holden International in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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