"Market research reveals most households in Ireland use instant potatoes."
(Ye Olde Sampler)





The Milky Way has a halo.

It is the result of a gamma ray glow caused by the conflict between MACHOs and WIMPs. (That is -- Massive Compact Halo Objects which collide with Weakly Interactive Massive Particles). And you thought there was no God...

Furthermore -- the Pathfinder is as frozen as Mr. Foster. And although President Bill never called to say goodbye, ("He got distracted..."), team NASA bid an emotional farewell to it's spunky little rover which is acting like any other offspring as regards to its non-responsive (dare I say, "dead"?) mother (ship).

As K.C. Cole so eloquently writes in the L.A. Times, "Without instructions from Pathfinder, the rover continues to follow its built-in contingency plan which directs the Sojourner to head straight toward the center of the mother ship."

But it can't really touch the lander because its programmed instructions tell it to approach no closer than three meters, so it stops, moves around and tries again next day. Thus, it may have actually dug a circular moat around it's still, silent parent.

Scientist Jacob Matijevic (how did he get on this project?) says: "My own speculation is that it drove up on a rock and is waiting for instructions from home."

"E.T. -- call from home." I think I may cry...




According to the Sampler, the longest stream in the Northern Hemisphere that doesn't outlet in ocean waters is the Bear River in northeastern Utah which starts in the Uinta Mountains, wanders 500 miles through three states and empties into the Great Salt Lake about 90 miles from its source... Sounds like a great place for a Bearwhiz Brewery, eh?




A little boy was overheard talking to himself as he strode through his backyard, baseball cap in place and toting a ball and bat. "I'm the greatest baseball player in the world," he said proudly. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung and missed.

Undaunted, he picked up the ball, threw it into the air and said to himself, "I'm the greatest baseball player ever!" He swung at the ball again, and again he missed.

He paused a moment to examine the bat and ball carefully. Then once more, he threw the ball into the air and said, "I'm the greatest baseball player who ever lived," swung the bat hard and again missed the ball.

"Wow!" he exclaimed. "What a pitcher!" (Esther Hirsh)




Garry Margolis says that Mitsubishi shipped lots of cars to America that were labeled "Starion". "I have it on good authority," he asserts, "that they believed that was the English word for 'male horse'. But neigh!"

The now-defunct Pan Am (not the current airline) sent a 747 on their first flight to Beijing with large Chinese pictographs which were supposed to read: "China Clipper". What they actually read was: "China Barber".

Then, Fuji, despite warnings from its French distributor, shipped zillions of audio cassettes with shrink-wrapped slogans in English: "Pure Tone", which could be interpreted by a French speaker to mean "Pure Shit"! And Toyota, despite warnings from its Paris distribution office, went ahead with releasing the MR-2 in France. In French, one says "Em - Er - Deux" or... "Merde"!

Finally, secondhand reader Ian W. Hill from Falmouth, ME adds:

When McDonald's first introduced the Big Mac to France, it was the "Gros Mec," but decided to return to the American name -- as any viewer of PULP FICTION knows -- when it was discovered that this means, "Big Pimp." And he's sure everyone knows that Kennedy declared at the Berlin Wall, "I am a jelly donut!" (He should not have included the "ein" in "Ich bin ein Berliner.") Ach du lieber!







A man went to his dentist because he felt something uncomfortable happening in his mouth. The dentist examined him and said, "What have you been eating? That new upper plate I put in six months ago seems to be eroding."

The man replied, "All I can think of is that about four months ago, my wife made some asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and I loved it so much I put it on everything now --- meat, toast, fish, vegetables -- everything."

"Well, that's the problem," says the dentist. "Hollandaise sauce is made with lots of lemon juice, which is highly corrosive. I'll make you a new plate, but this time I'll use chrome."

"Why chrome?" asks the patient.

"Simple," the dentist replies, "Everyone knows there's no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise..."




From the Washington Times under the banner "Waste Not, Want Not," we learn that Democratic senator Tom Harkin from Iowa, "Where Cows Are King," wants to hold a summit on animal waste. And the USDA is already keeping records, since 200 times more animal poop is produced than human, "creating problems around the nation."

And so, here are the numbers -- in thousands of tons:

Range cattle, 46,678; dairy cattle, 26,738; feeder cattle, 18,364; pigs, 8,496; chickens, 7,206; sheep, 2,996; and turkeys, 1,240 -- and this is only the manure collected for fertilizer. Even the federal government can't keep track of how much is "out in the field."

"As if Washington didn't have enough bullshit to worry about," contributor Mike Harris adds...




Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

There can't be a crisis today, my schedule is already full.

I'd explain it to you, but your brain would explode.

Did you ever stop to think... and forget to start again?

A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.

I don't have a solution, but I admire the problem.

Don't be so open minded that your brains fall out.

If at first you DO succeed, try not to look astonished!

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie"... 'till you can find a rock!

Diplomacy is the art of letting someone have your way.

If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest have to drown too?

If things get any worse, I'll have to ask you to stop helping me.

Don't look back, they might be gaining on you.

It's not hard to meet expenses, they're everywhere.

Help Wanted: Telepath... you know where to apply.

Mechanic's slogan: If it ain't broke, we'll break it.

Shin Fui: The art of finding furniture in the dark.

Dain bramaged.

Headline: Bear takes over Disneyland in Pooh D'Etat!

And least, but not last -- Department of Redundancy Department.

(Hmm, that sounds familiar, and I've heard it before...)




Steve Harvey of "Only In L.A." fame, recently told the tale of Angelino Adam Tschorn and a Native American artist in Chinle, Arizona who "unrolled a very large, beautifully woven blanket which he described as a 'Navajo Cheese Blanket.'"

He asked him for which ceremony the Cheese Blanket was utilized, and after a pause the weaver replied, 'It's a Navajo Chief's blanket,'" (Not according to Art, the Buffalo, however...)




Yeshiva University decided to field a crew team, but they lost race after race even though they practiced for hours every day; so the Rosh Yeshiva finally decided to send Yankel to spy on the Harvard team.

Yankel shlepped off to Cambridge and hid in the bullrushes off the Charles River, from where he carefully watched the Harvard team as they practiced. When he returned to Yeshiva. he announced: "I've figured out their secret. They have eight guys ROWING and only ONE guy shouting."




The "last" word origins by Dr. John Scialli, from Anne Hathaway's Thatched Cottage in Victoria, BC:

Cut through the Red Tape: Solicitors kept their clients' papers in a file folder tied with red ribbon to prevent the papers from falling out. When they wanted to get at the papers, they would have to cut through the red tape.

Son of a Gun: After sailors crossed the Atlantic to the West Indies, they would take the native women (or froggy native boys) on board the ship and have their way with them in-between the cannons. Some of the women the sailors left behind would have boys, who were called sons between the guns.

Spinster: A girl who brought a dowry of wool to her marriage would spin as a spinster until wed.

Lock, Stock and Barrel: When you had to replace part of your gun, it was usually less expensive to buy the whole lock, stock and barrel.

Nosey Parker: Mayor Parker of London had a large nose and was said to be quite a busybody.

Rob from Peter to Pay Paul: After the great fire of London, the churches were rebuilt and they took from St. Peter's coffers to help pay for the much larger St. Paul's. [Sounds like a pyramid scheme.]

Don't Throw The Baby Out With The Bathwater: Once the water was heated up and poured into the large tub for the family's yearly bath, it was not changed. Since it cooled down, there was a priority system with dad would go first, then the other males, including farmhands, then women children and finally babies. By the time it was for the last in line, the water was murky at best and one had to be careful that the babe wasn't hiding under water when the filth was tossed outside.


Gives Me the Willies. From "Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes" by Harry Graham in 1899. It was full of gross doggerel concerning Little Willie, "who carved up his sister and ground up his father."

Incidentally, also according to The Sampler, England's Queen Mary died in 1694, and her husband, King William III, ordered all members of the court to put on black robes. They've been wearing them ever since.

The word 'Pound' is abbreviated 'lb.' after the constellation 'libra' which means 'pound' in Latin, and also 'scales'.

The British Pound Sterling's symbol comes from the same source: 'L' for Libra/Lb. -- with a stroke through it to indicate abbreviation, and same goes for the Italian 'Lira' coming from 'libra'.

And British currency before it went metric was always "pounds/shillings/pence", abbreviated as "l/s/d" (libra/solidus/denarius). LSD? What a country!




...to host the InVision Awards in Sci-Fi City; and sorry, but they canceled "Over The Top." Off the list... PP



Published 11/07/97

1996/2002 by Phil Proctor