piling on the knowledge    

February 4th, 2010

There are few birds as ardent, as powerful in love as the sparrow; they have been seen to couple as many as twenty times in succession, always with the same eagerness, the same trepidation, the same expression of pleasure...

Georges-Louis Leclerc,
Comte de Buffon 


For sale: detailed instructions outlining how to sharpen a pencil using only a penci sharpener. Available on DVD ($12) or as a small booklet ($12). box 9.
For rent: oven mitts. Why own a pair when you only use your oven once or twice a month? Daily or weekend rates. Box 1313.
I am a single guy with a love of tape dispensers and long pieces of string. If you share these enthusiasms why not contact me? Box 119.
Know nothing about science? We have a number of science books like Flaberty's Handy Guide to Parasol Thermodynamics, Sack and Trim's Chemical Mishaps of the Seventeenth Century and The Complete Book of Boiling Substances. Our catalogue is only $10. Box 756.

The Mystery of the Lost Lenore

Listen to Part Forty-Two

Click on the picture. (3:29)

Or start from the beginning.



Silly Rabbit, Trix Are For Kids:

Theft as a Dominant Motif in Food Advertising

If you are an inveterate watcher of television advertisements as I am you will no doubt have noticed that the themes of theft and thievery play a dominant role in much of it. Starting back in the early 1950s with the introduction of various animated mascots, food manufacturers and distributors began to use the motif to move consumers in the direction of their products. Their reasoning being that if someone was willing to either a) steal their product a la Trix Rabbit or go seriously overboard in an attempt to protect it from theft (like Lucky the Leprachaun aka Sir Charms aka L.C.Leprachaun then it was ipso facto desirable.

McDonalds, at one time, made heavy use of this reasoning, with a whole slough of criminal characters devoted to snatching single product lines. Captain Crook, whose primary interest was the Filet O'Fish, The Griddler who stole McGriddles, the original "Evil Grimace" who was originally supplied with extra appendages in order to better purloin milkshakes andd the aptly named Hamburglar, dedicated to stealing any and all hamburgers. This startling array of food criminals necessitated the establishment of a burger police force to better protect these "delicious" foodstuffs.

A particularly horrifying example of this trend was Sugar Bear who stooped so low as to steal cereal from a helpless old lady. And finally there was Mister Bananagrabber, a segue mounted felonious banana who stole other bananas. Was this kidnapping or cannibalism? Who can say for sure?

What can we say with certainty is that this consistent depiction of criminal action in pursuit of tasty treats in no small way contributed to two of the main problems with today's youth. As a direct result of these careless and ill considered advertising campaigns youngsters today have become more inclined towards stealing and they have gotten very overweight.

The blame for all these fat little crooks falls squarely on the shoulders of the advertising executives who dreamed up these terrible ploys. No doubt once their Sugar Crisp and Lucky Charms were safely under lock and key.

Elrose Watermuldar

Live Sex Show!

The French botanist Sebastien Vaillant (1669-1722), in charge of the Jardin du Roi (now called the Jardin des Plantes), using the pecularities of the pistachio tree that still stands in its Alpine garden in Paris, had boldly opened his public lectures in 1717 with a demonstration of the sexuality of plants, which awakened the adolescent Linnaeus' interest and set him scrutinizing every plant to count its genital organs.

- Daniel Boorstin in The Discoverers

Oh my but it was a lovely tree. I had never really liked pistachios [Pistachia vera] before but wow! My eyes were opened.

Soon after that I began lifting the petals of one of the Pasque flowers [Pulsatilla vulgaris] in the garden when my mum wasn't looking. Often times when others were about, I would carefully cast furtive sideways glances at the Nasturtiums [Nasturtium gambellii] and the Flowering Almond [Prunus triloba].

Once, I was almost caught when I was flat out ogling a particularly pert little peony [Paeonia officinalis]. Full and flush and fuschia.

Even now thinking about it, I get a little hot and bothered. And when I think of the naughty nicotiana [Nicotiana tabacum] or a tumescent Horned Tulip [Tulipa acuminata] - yikes!

I think maybe I'll go for a cold shower [Pluvia gelida]. Or maybe a walk in the garden [Ferociter fricans].