"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
(Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899)

 

AND SPEAKING OF TECHNOLOGY...

From an interview with "Disney's Wizards" in Newsweek, 8/11:

Minsky: I have a slogan: when you confront something new you should try to understand it.

Kay: I'll give you a slogan: technology is all that stuff that wasn't around before you were born because the stuff that was around when you were born was just part of the landscape. Like the pencil.

Ferren: I think of technology as just being one of the byproducts of human imagination.

Hillis: I think technology is all the stuff that doesn't work yet...

Parker Posey in BUZZ Weekly: "I think I'm in a natural state for this time in history. Everyone's going all crazy and wanting Prozac and Zoloff. It's the excitement of the millennium. I think I'm right on speed (sic). Everyone is just buzzing."

Ted Bonnit observes, "Women of the 90s are the men of the 80s..."

Magic Mike says: "My office manager is named Venus. She lives on Olympus Drive, and drives a Mercury. I lament she has no dog to name Pluto"

Kurt Vonnegut spoke of Princess Diana, in Time, 10/20 -- "I don't know why people are worshipping this tweed... Don't you think you've all gone loony?"

Then there's Tori Spelling, from the same issue, on keeping Sea Monkeys as pets: "They're really kind of gross. I came in one day, and they were having sex. They were attached, and they were like, 'Uhh...' and I was like, "Ohh..." Three days later, they ate their babies." And speaking of Spelling, the L.A. Times reports that some neighbors at Mandalay Bay in Oxnard where "Melrose Place" is filmed are complaining. The bright lights and jolly cast and crew post-shoot dinners are getting to them. And it probably doesn't help that the abandoned Oxnard Press-Courier building has been renamed the "Los Angeles Sperm Bank." Look out for those night deposits...

And finally, from the now-still lips of the late Harold Robbins as quoted in his obit, "I won't leave any unfinished manuscripts. I'll live till I'm 200 years old, and I'll write all the stories that are in me. Put it on my tombstone: 'He finished his job and went home.'"

 

THERE'S NO BUSINESS...

A recent "direction" on a piece of copy I had to read for a 30-second spot on "Riven, the sequel to Myst," was as follows, literally:

"Male or Female -- both should be talented, a matter of fact, interesting, 'Just like cheese, it just lies there' male reference Richard Attenborough."

As challenging as the game, don't you think?

Also, I worked with the talented and silly Andrew Prine last week, and he told me of a reading he had had not long ago for a part on "Cybill." Naturally, Ms. Shepherd wasn't there, so he read his scene with a female casting assistant. Checking in with his agent later, he learned that he'd been turned down. Why?

"Not enough warmth between you and Cybill. The chemistry wasn't right..."

 

UP AGAINST THE WHALING WALL

From the US above A: Canadian killer whales living with the growing din of whale-watching boats are in a way getting their own back.

A Vancouver scientist has been granted a license to broadcast their cetacean chatterings over Orca-FM, thought to be the world's first all-whale radio station. Live and uninterrupted, the primeval clicks, grunts and whistles used by killer whales, or orcas to identify each other, navigate and hunt in murky waters can be heard at 88.5 on the FM dial, starting this month.

The signal will initially be broadcast within a ten-mile radius of an underwater microphone positioned in Robson Bight, a renowned natural orca sanctuary 250 miles northeast of Vancouver; but Dr. John Ford, the marine biologist behind the project, hopes soon to transmit to the public at Vancouver Aquarium where he works, and eventually worldwide over the Internet.

Engine noise from the fleets of tourist boats that frequent Robson Bight off the north coast of Vancouver Island may be interfering with the whales' signals, Dr. Ford believes. Hence the radio station. "The idea of listening to 30 to 40 whales chatting to each other without bothering them at all was pretty compelling," he told The New York Times, recalling a day last year when 107 boats put to sea in pursuit of just 21 orcas.

Asked in his radio license application if the station's main language would be English, French or "other," Dr. Ford wrote -- "whale."

 

YOU HAD TO ASK...

Q. Did the Eskimo of old believe in God?

A. They did. They thought God, the Supreme Environmentalist, created polar bears to prevent humans from over-multiplying so they wouldn't eat up everything in one season. Yum.

On one bridge in Boston is the graffito: "10 Smoots." On another: "18 Smoots." On a third: "42 Smoots." Other bridges thereabouts are similarly labeled. Research reveals a Harvard fraternity used a fellow named Smoots as a measuring unit, turning him end over end to determine the bridges' lengths.

Every actor, it's said, gets a qualm going on stage before a live audience. It was the moment before the moment of looking out across the orchestra pit that gave us the old phrase "to face the music."

A young man who frequents singles establishments says his most successful opening line has been: "I'm glad you're not her."

The most famous female in America, the Statue of Liberty, weighs 225 tons.

In the lobby of the Continental Hotel in the strict Moslem city of Dacca is this sign: "Ladies in shorts may be stoned."

Eleanor Roosevelt carried a handgun.

(The Sampler. To subscribe, contact: sampler-request@lmboyd.com)

 

WHAT A WORLD...

God wanted to take a holiday, so he asked St. Peter for suggestions on where to go. "Jupiter?" said St. Peter.

"No, too much gravity and stomping around" answered God.

"How about Mercury?"

"Too hot," said God.

"Would you go to Earth?" asked St. Peter.

"No way, they are such terrible gossips. I was there 2000 years ago, had an affair with a Jewish woman, and they're still talking about it!"

(Richard "Damn Me To Hell" Gonzalez)

 

UP AGAINST THE WALL

Last orbit's graffiti quotes were apparently from a book called, "Wisdom From The Walls," by Kristen Kammerer and Bridget Snyder. Here's more:

*Don't trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and doesn't die. Men's restroom, Murphy's, Champaign, IL

*If you can piss this high, join the fire department. On the wall in the men's restroom at a height of 6 feet. O'Ryan's Irish Pub. Ashland, Oregon.

*I've decided that to raise my grades, I must lower my standards. Houghton Library, Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass.

*If life is a waste of time, and time is a waste of life, then let's all get wasted together and have the time of our lives. Armand's Pizza. Wash, D.C.

*Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity. The Bayou, Baton Rouge, La.

*It's hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere. Written in the dust on the back of a bus. Wickenburg, Ariz.

*God is dead. - Nietzsche; Nietzsche is dead.- God. The Tombs Restaurant. Wash, D.C.

*If voting could really change things, it would be illegal. Revolution Books. New York, NY.

*A Woman's Rule of Thumb: If it has tires or testicles, you're going to have trouble with it. Women's restroom, Dick's Last Resort. Dallas, Texas.

*JESUS SAVES! But wouldn't it be better if he had invested? Men's restroom, American University. Wash, D.C.

*If "pro" is opposite of "con," then what is the opposite of progress? Congress! Men's restroom, House of Representatives. Wash, D.C.

 

TASTES LIKE CHICHEN

Verbatim from Earthweek by MR VOICES:

A last-minute appeal from the humane society persuaded organizers near Peru's southern coastal town of Canete to cancel a festival of cat cookery intended to celebrate a local saint's day. Just as the highly advertised festival began amid crates of chilled beer and about 50 plump cats ready for the grill, health authorities showed up to cancel the event.

The tradition of cat-eating in the area goes back to the 18th century. "Some people eat them today for superstitious reasons," said Lima folklore specialist Manuel Acosta. "Because cats are supposed to have nine lives, some believe it will make them live longer." One Canete inhabitant identified as "Jaime" explained to a local television station that stray cats are the best, "because they have more flavor." Do they serve them with Lima beans...?

 

NUDES FROM PENN CENTRAL

My favorite godless magical clown, Penn Jillette, will be regularly exposing himself on the web and writes, "if you check out 'Penn Central' at Excite.Com -- you'll see this in a few days: Free Celebrity Nudes!"

(Here follows an excerpt to wet your, whatever...)

"The most under-appreciated art form on the Web is the FAKE celebrity nude. Has there ever been a clearer example of imagination?

"The idea of the Web is 'one person one channel' (to expand on The Firesign Theater). You get to see what every lone nutter and alien subculture has going on in their little ant brains. I love this. Isn't it great that we can look at these wacky collections without having to go to their owners' homes? That's the beauty of the web: You can roll around in a stranger's obsession, without having to smell his or her house. You can amscray whenever you want without being rude. The site gets its 'hit' and you know more about our species' diversity."

(For more, go visit "P C," and tell'im Rocky sent ya.)

 

THERE WAS THIS TURTLE...

In the beginning was the plan,

And then came the assumptions.

And the assumptions were without form.

And the plan was completely without substance.

And the darkness was upon the face of the employees.

And they spoke amongst themselves saying of the plan,

"It is a crock of shit and it stinks".

And the employees went unto their supervisors saying,

"It is a peril of dung and none may abide the odor thereof".

And the supervisors went unto their managers saying,

"It is a container of excrement and it is very strong such that none may abide it".

And the managers went unto their directors saying,

"It is a vessel of fertilizer and none may abide its strength".

And the directors went unto their executive directors saying,

"It contains that which aids plant growth and it is very strong".

And the executive directors went unto the general manager saying,

"It promotes growth and is very powerful".

And the general manager went unto the board of directors saying,

"This plan will actively promote the growth and efficiency of this organization and these areas in particular".

And the board of directors looked upon the plan and saw that it was good and the plan became policy.

This is how shit happens.

(With thanks to Larry "White Button "Lantz and April "Push My Button" Winchell.)

 

....OR I'LL BITE IT OFF

A group called the Campaign for Victims of Sexual Harassment in Little Rock, Arkansas held a press conference in Washington, D.C. to announce a special Harassment Hot Line for those who have been victimized by President Bill Clinton. The number, 888-HARASSU, is being promoted through billboards and a $250,000 nationwide radio and television advertising campaign.

Says Blanquita Cullum, president of the National Radio Talk Show Hosts Association, "The hot line is designed to help victims who have experienced sexual harassment from President Bill Clinton come forward, launched by powerful men of influence... Specifically, the group is concerned about the confusion and double standard where those in the military who have been accused -- not found guilty -- of sexual harassment have seen an end to a long-standing military career. On the other end, (sic) possible sexual harassment victims such as Paula Jones become the subject of high-profile, intense smear campaigns." Is it a 900 number? just asking...

(Thanks to Harris "keep your hands off me" Mike)

 

AND A FINAL CATTY REMARK

"I suppose a computer and a cat are somewhat alike -- they both purr, and like to be stroked, and spend a lot of the day motionless. A cat and a computer are both on the quiet side, with secrets they don't necessarily share." John Updike, quoted in The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town."

P.S. Who sent me the keeno Planet Proctor Logo? Fess up!1

[1. Editorial Footnote: the Planet Proctor Logo mentioned here -- which appears at the top of this web page and on the Table of Contents page -- was created by (and I'm quoting Phil here) "Dan the Beachcomber is the artist. He and his wife run a hair salon in Huntington Beach!"]

 

(10-18-97)

Published 10/18/97

PLANET PROCTOR
1996/2002 by Phil Proctor