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« Back to the Seventies? | Main | Thanksgiving Pie »

November 18, 2007

Links by Charlton

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Virtuoso websurfer Charlton Griffin volunteers some recent finds:

* Compare the vital stats of different Zip codes. I've already spent a couple of hours on this one ...

* Do Japanese ads seem brilliant to many of us just because they're so strange -- or are they really brilliant?

* Forget the big threats. How about the little ones?

* Kitty says, "Hallelujah!"

* Al Bundy finally goes to the dentist.

* Finally, an easy-to-understand explanation of the subprime mortgage crisis.

* OK, I'm impressed. But I'll be even more impressed if you can put them back in.

* Become an expert on the architecture of New York City.

* The real test of cowboy macho.

* It's Mozart vs. James Bond.

* Shall we join the Church of Tom Jones?

* The winner of the "Salesman of the Day" Award.

* If all our laws were thoroughly enforced, we'd all be in jail.

* I wanna be a pop star.

* Talk about an essential life skill ...

* Yaaaay! Potting training!!!

Here's a brilliant little put-on that Charlton either devised or has passed along that we'll do well to keep in mind as election season progresses:

Recent hurricanes and gasoline issues are proof of the existence of a new chemical element. Research has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.

A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take from four days to four years to complete. Governmentium has a normal half-life of 2- 6 years; It does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes. This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Thanks to Charlton Griffin. If you haven't been visiting this blog for long, you may be unaware that Charlton is one of the best producers (and readers) of audiobooks around -- I'm a major fan of his work. Explore the titles Charlton offers here; type his name into Audible's Search box and download a few. The iTunes Store works too.



posted by Michael at November 18, 2007


Oh yeah, of course, you can become an expert on architecture of New York City - if you repeat all the education and hard work of the featured professor Dolkart. Note, Professor of Historic Preservation - not Professor of Mathematics. Not a decorative Electrical Engineer, as your beloved sweetener-tongued phony.

Here's how CW of a real architecture expert looks like:

Andrew Dolkart

James Marston Fitch Professor of Historic Preservation

B.A., Colgate, 1973; M.S., Columbia, 1977.

Andrew S. Dolkart, the James Marston Fitch Professor of Historic Preservation, is a graduate of Columbia's historic preservation program. He has been active in historic preservation in New York City for over 25 years, both as a staff members at the Landmarks Preservation Commission and as a freelance consultant. He has worked extensively with neighborhood groups on preservation efforts and has completed scores of National Register nominations, Landmark Commission designation reports, and historic resource surveys for environmental reviews. Andrew has also written extensively about the architecture and development of New York, including the award-winning Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture and Development and the Guide to New York City Landmarks. In addition, Andrew has curated exhibitions, is a board member of several local preservation groups, has been interviewed for many documentaries, and is well-known for his architectural walking tours of New York.

Credentials do NOT include being a self-proclaimed "20-years friend of Christopher Alexander".

Posted by: Tat on November 18, 2007 11:28 AM

I think the link for "If all our laws were thoroughly enforced, we'd all be in jail." is missing the ID Number. If you could fix the ID, I would love to read that article.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on November 18, 2007 2:41 PM

The piece on "Governmentium" was not devised by me, Michael. I only passed it along. I don't have THAT much time on my hands.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on November 18, 2007 8:27 PM

Ian Lewis, try this link...

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on November 18, 2007 11:02 PM

I saw the jape on Governmentium a couple years ago at Samizdata. I added that here in Jersey Governmentium bonds with Korruptonite. You know, the green stuff.

Posted by: Sluggo on November 19, 2007 1:19 AM

Based on the evidence of the Japanese ad you linked to, I'd have to go with really brilliant.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on November 19, 2007 1:32 AM

Ian Lewis, try this link...

Thank You

Posted by: Ian Lewis on November 19, 2007 11:18 AM

I am intrigued by the governmentium hypothesis. It might explain why, in the realm of social problems, every political reaction is an overreaction.

Posted by: Lester Hunt on November 19, 2007 5:38 PM

Honestly, I don't bitch about the government because they're the only thing that can whip big business into line. Sorry.

Japanese commercials are made to sell to Japanese people, so of course we think they're weird. I love the British ones.

Posted by: SFg on November 19, 2007 9:58 PM


Honestly, I don't bitch about the government because they're the only thing that can whip big business into line. Sorry.

Gee, when's the last time you saw the government whip big business into line? Maybe you're thinking of the stiff way our government hands out ever more money to the biggest business in the country, healthcare? Or, well, perhaps you're thinking of the tough line we're taking with the financial sector, in which the Fed has lowered interest rates and risked galloping inflation in order to save the bacon of Citicorp and other institutions judged too big to fail? Or maybe the hard-ass way the government regulated the mortgage originate-to-sell industry and kept them from pushing inappropriate loan products onto questionable borrowers? No, well then you must mean the tough way the government lets private equity and hedge fund managers take their riskless mega-compensation at far lower tax rates than a typical working stiff? Well, if not that, then maybe the way the railroad industry (down to only 4 major players and likely to go to a mere 2) is exempted from ordinary antitrust regulation?

Um, wait, there's more...! I've got lots more examples!

I'm guessing you've never heard of captured regulators, right? I think you have some kind of left-wing fantasy idea about an adversarial relationship between special interests and government. You need to start living in the real world, bro.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on November 23, 2007 2:23 AM

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