Saturday, November 01, 2003

Who's on First

A teacher friend who knows my enthusiasm for the "Who's on First" routine sent this updated version to me. I found a well formatted copy of it on the web. Very fun. It helps to know your Microsoft jargon.

Friday, October 31, 2003

In honor of Halloween:

Halloween movie safety tips

If you happen to end up in a Halloween or horror movie, it is worthwhile to remember a few simple rules to help keep yourself healthy, happy and safe (in other words, not dead).

When it appears that you have killed the monster, NEVER check to see if it's really dead.

Never read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke.

Do not search the basement, especially if the power has gone out.

If your children speak to you in Latin or any other language which they should not know, shoot them immediately. It will save you a lot of grief in the long run. However, it will probably take several rounds to kill them, so be prepared. This also applies to kids who speak with somebody else's voice.

When you have the benefit of numbers, NEVER pair off or go alone. Hit the first person that says, "Let's split up."

As a general rule, don't solve puzzles that open portals to Hell. It's just not that fun.

Never stand in, on, or above a grave, tomb, or crypt. This would apply to any other house of the dead as well.

If you're searching for something which caused a loud noise and find out that it's just the cat, GET OUT OF THERE ANYWAY!

If appliances start operating by themselves, do not check for short circuits; just get out.

Do not take ANYTHING from the dead.

If you find a town which looks deserted, there's probably a good reason for it. Don't stop and look around.

Don't fool with recombining DNA technology unless you're sure you know what you're doing.

If you're running from the monster, expect to trip or fall down at least twice, more if you are female. Also note that, despite the fact that you are running and the monster is merely shambling along, it's still moving fast enough to catch up with you.

If your companions suddenly begin to exhibit uncharacteristic behavior such as hissing, fascination for blood, glowing eyes, increasing hairiness, and so on, kill them immediately.

Stay away from certain geographical locations, some of which are listed here: Amityville, Elm Street, Transylvania, Nilbog (you're in trouble if you recognize this one), anywhere in Texas where chain saws are sold, the Bermuda Triangle, or any small town in Maine.

If your car runs out of gas at night on a lonely road, do not go to the nearby deserted-looking house to phone for help. If you think that it is strange you ran out of gas because you thought you had most of a tank, shoot yourself instead. You are going to die anyway, and most likely be eaten.

Beware of strangers bearing tools. For example: chain saws, staple guns, hedge trimmers, electric carving knives, combines, lawn mowers, butane torches, soldering irons, band saws, or any devices made from deceased companions.

If you find that your house is built upon a cemetery, now is the time to move in with the in-laws. This also applies to houses that had previous inhabitants who went mad or committed suicide or died in some horrible fashion, or had inhabitants who performed satanic practices.

Dress appropriately. When investigating a noise downstairs in an old house, women should not wear a flimsy negligee. And carry a flashlight, not a candle. Make that two flashlights!

Do not mention the names of demons around open flames, as these can flare suddenly. Be especially careful of fireplaces in this regard.

Do not go looking for witches in the Maryland countryside.

Way to go, Harry.

The Harry Potter yarns have become the first literary series to sell more than a million audio books in the UK, the BBC said today. The unabridged CD and cassette recordings run to a colossal length of more than 80 hours, each read by Stephen Fry.

Steven Edney, sales director of BBC Audiobooks, commented: "Harry Potter has broken all the rules in the audio category.

"The brand is now worth over £30 million at retail - a truly remarkable and unique achievement for the audio market."

The latest Potter book, The Order Of The Phoenix, is spread across 22 cassettes and 24 CDs.

Helen Nicoll of production company HNP, which created the recordings, said: "When we published the first book we said that if we made 10,000 sales of such a long unabridged book, that would be a fantastic achievement."

via UTV News

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Worth any price: Hogwarts headaches.

The spell cast by the latest Harry Potter book may have an unintended side effect. A Washington doctor warned that he has seen three children complain of headaches caused by the physical stress of relentlessly plowing through the epic 870-page adventure.

Call them Hogwarts headaches, named after the wizard school that Harry attends.

Dr. Howard Bennett of George Washington University Medical Center wrote in a letter to this week's New England Journal of Medicine that the three children, ages 8 to 10, experienced a dull headache for two or three days. Each had spent many hours reading "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

After ruling out other potential causes, Bennett told his patients to give their eyes a rest. But the spell cast by the book was clearly too powerful. "The obvious cure for this malady -- that is, taking a break from reading -- was rejected by two of the patients," Bennett said, adding that the children took acetaminophen instead.

In each case, the headache went away only after the patient turned the final page.

"Order of the Phoenix," the fifth book in the series, has nearly three times as many pages as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the first book, and J.K. Rowling still plans two more tomes.

"If this escalation continues as Rowling concludes the saga, there may be an epidemic of Hogwarts headaches in the years to come," Bennett predicted.

via Yahoo! News