Jokes of Billionaires

Let’s start locally with this one. Mike Lazaridis of Blackberry fame is still a billionaire. He started and named the Perimeter Institute which is the premiere physics institute in Canada. He used the name Perimeter because he expected that the science to be done there would be on the edge of known science. It’s acronym is PI which brings fond memories of the first constant we were likely to know. To me this sounds like a Dad joke but it is a joke nevertheless.

Mike Bloomberg is at a very high risk of being the joke Democratic candidate. Even if he pulls himself up by the bootstraps, he has already made a joke out of most of the rules that candidates have to live by. It’s surprising how much a few millions can actually buy in politics.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame made the same joke politicians have been making for the last few decades. Instead of delivering quality jobs, he had virtually every large metropolitan area vying to be the second Amazon headquarters with about 50 000 new jobs on tap. This would be wonderful if Amazon was known for creating only good jobs. But they are not. Some jobs might indeed pay well but I heard the majority of the jobs would be poor paying.

The quantity of the jobs appealed to the politicians of almost every large city in North America. After all they’ve been promoting jobs, jobs, jobs for decades even if they end up being temporary or part time. Politicians know the quantity not quality joke, too.

Elon Musk’s recent joke is calling the spaceship part of his rocket/spaceship, Starship. Even with some improvements in longevity, we won’t be alive to see Starship reach the closest star. Indeed all the plans for Starship currently involve the Sun and its environs – not other stars. His name overreaches quite a lot.

To my mind the funniest joke of any billionaire is the one that Bill Gates made when he said he was now going to give most of his wealth to charity. Ha! Why does Bill Gates’ wealth continue to grow then? Granted he’s let other billionaires surpass his wealth but he aims to be super rich for the rest of his lifetime and I’ll bet that his kids will inherit billions of dollars if he ever dies. Not the 10 million dollars he alluded to leaving them some years ago.

But the biggest joke of a billionaire is, no surprise, Donald Trump. That is of course if he even is a billionaire.

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Fun With Flag Burning

Hate is so common in the nation of Iran that the country supports a business that makes American, Israeli and British flags just for burning.

Iran regularly holds protest days in the year so the business is quite steady and not the angry against the US one day and then back to business as usual the next day.

I say sweet. How are we going to get in on the action of hate and make a profit while making our carbon footprint bigger?

First of all I thought we should do this with the flag of Iran. A natural reaction, some might say, and a bit of retaliation for how they view the west. But when we burn the Iranian flags, how are our fellow patriots going to know we are burning the flag of Iran?

I am fairly literate in countries and flags of the world. But despite being able to point out Iran on a map of the world, I’m not sure what their flag looks like. I have this vague idea that Muslim countries have moons on their flags so I might guess that. Except I know most Muslim countries are Sunni Muslims and I know this is not true of Iran. So what do they have on their flag? I don’t know.

I just looked up the flag of Iran. It is a horizontally laid out tricolour flag of green, white and red. In the middle of the white is a red symbol and there is Iranian writing on the borders of the green and white and the red and white, also. I would never have recognized this as the flag of Iran.

Oh we could burn Iranian flags alright it’s just that we would have to explain to everyone old and young that it is the Iranian flag we are burning.

“What flag?!”

“The Iranian flag!”

“WHAT?!”

“THE IRANIAN FLAG! IRAN! IRAN!”

“I DON”T CARE IF YOU RAN! WHAT COUNTRY’S FLAG IS THIS?”

But we don’t have to just burn the flags of countries we are currently on the outs with. As a flag making enterprise, we could just make up reasons to be angry with any country.

But some burnings might cause confusion. While burning the Liberian flag some might ask, “Isn’t that the flag of a US state?” It sure does look like it could be with its solitary, white star in a blue square on a red and white striped background.

Still hate is easy. And now that I know it can be a moneymaker, I don’t think anyone could deter me from making a buck off of burning flags.

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Superhero Tryouts: Near Absolute Hero

“I see an AH on your outfit. So what superhero name are you using?” asked a curious Mother Earth.

“It dates from a time when I thought I had the most kick ass power. That was before the testing phase began. I have since been humbled. And I found the name was not original, too.”

“What was your name?”

“Absolute Hero.”

“Is that the power of cold? Surely it must be from absolute zero, the science term for the lowest temperature possible.”

“Yes. This is my cold gun and notice that it is attached by a hose to my backpack. With this I thought I could cool things super quickly. But you see I am stuck at the lowest setting for my gun.”

“Yes, well what can you do on this lowest setting? Surely there is some hope for your power.”

“Well this is a giant warehouse room with nothing that looks flammable behind me, so perhaps I can demonstrate.”

“You certainly can.”

“I have your permission then in case anything goes wrong?”

“Yes.”

“Look at this cup of water. If you had a real finger here I would ask you to dip it in and see that the water is at room temperature. I’m sticking my finger in and it is a comfortable temperature. Now I’ll go back 10 feet and shoot my gun at it on its lowest setting.”

Would be Absolute Hero did exactly as he said and shot the gun. There was a cracking sound almost instantly from the cup and it almost immediately looked different.

“It’s all ice now,” he said walking up to the cup and then dumping the ice onto the floor. It stayed cup shape. It was indeed ice.

“But look,” said would be Absolute Hero. “Behind me heated up so much that when I throw the ice back there it becomes water again.” He threw the ice by itself and it arced up and then down creating a splash on the floor.

“So your invention creates more heat than cold?” asked Mother Earth.

“Yes, that’s its downfall. Though I am pleasantly surprised that I didn’t burn anything behind me. I guess nothing behind me was flammable.”

“Welcome to the laws of Thermodynamics,” said Mother Earth. “Every air conditioner or fridge creates more heat than it cools.”

“Wha? I didn’t know that.”

“You must use your powers outdoors and just make sure there is nothing flammable behind you. Then you might be able to turn up the strength of your power.”

“Hmmm. That’s right. I did all of my testing indoors. That’s how I was maintaining secrecy before finally unleashing my secret on the world. But it gets so hot that I think grass would burn and asphalt would melt.”

“I’ve been playing around in US government computer systems and I have found a top secret mechanical exoskeleton with wings. I believe it could make you fly and let all that heat escape to the open air. Plus the wings beating would fan the heat away from you resulting in you being able to use even higher settings. Plus flying’s not a bad bonus.”

“You’d really give me the exoskeleton or at least plans so I could try it? I’m in.”

“I so hope testing is successful,” said Mother Earth. “I imagine you as a super fireman who could put out hotspots in roaring fires, keep heat away from explosive materials and fly to rescue people who previously had to jump from flaming buildings. I’d be all in if it wasn’t for the name. I might have a fix.”

“Do Tell.”

“Also in thermodynamics we’re told that absolute zero is impossible to reach. So how about Near Absolute Hero?”

“It’s a bit awkward. Still, I could tell everyone I was a nerd but that might not scare the criminal element.”

“Think fires. If you’re working alongside firemen you could be near their absolute herodom. And I would like you to work with other superheros so you could be near their absolute herodom, too. It’s settled.”

“I don’t know.”

“If you want the wings it’s settled.”

“You are a hard bargainer.”

“Plus you could say your modesty prevents you from referring to yourself as an absolute hero.”

“Er – okay. I really want to fly!”

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Superhero Tryouts: The Flying Squirrel

“Let’s get right to the point Flying Squirrel. Just what are your powers?” asked Mother Earth unsure of the costumed man in front of her with webbing between the legs and under his arms.

“I’m not sure if I have powers so much as I am skilled in a variety of ways.”

“Well explain your skills.”

“Firstly I am a BASE jumper. That’s when skilled skydivers jump off of still footings like a tall Building, a high Antenna, a big Span (or bridge) or very high Earth (like a cliff). Then they successfully open their parachutes on time so as not to kill themselves.”

“How does that stop criminals?”

“I am excellent at aiming the parachute. I could easily land on and kick the criminals.”

“But they’ll see you coming and get like 20 shots at you before you land.”

“Alright. Well maybe I could land in a walled compound and thus let my superhero friends inside.”

“Well that at least has some usefulness. How low of a building can you jump from in order to land safely?”

“Caution dictates that I should leap off 30 floor and higher buildings. There are many of them in The Big Smoke.”

“Do you have more useful skills?”

“Well I can pick almost any lock in seconds.”

“Where did you learn that?”

“A lot of BASE jumpers can. It’s rare that a tall Building or Antenna will allow you to jump off of it. The owners worry about being held responsible for a death. Even with a successful jump they will throw you under the ‘no trespassing’ bus.

“Well I’m glad to see you might understand the vigilante superhero game. Is that your official Flying Squirrel suit?” It had the man’s mouth exposed but the rest was made to look like an actual flying squirrel. There were flaps under the arms to look like wings or webbing and one flap between the legs which had the image of a bushy tail.

“Yes, but I won’t use it for just BASE jumping. I just use a mask for BASE jumping. In actuality it is a wingsuit. With it I can fly 3 feet for every foot I drop. That’s my third and final skill.”

“Now that would be a speedy way to knock down a criminal.”

“It’s not like that. Once I get low enough I use the parachute to get to the ground again.”

“We’ll think about using you sometimes. But really don’t call us. We’ll call you.”

They left each other on that annoyed note. But all was not lost, Mother Earth realized with a smile. BASE jumpers were the cooler, badder element of skydivers. Seeing Flying Squirrel want so much to be a superhero just meant that superheros were cooler than BASE jumpers.

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Superhero Tryouts: Modern Ninja

“Alright, Modern Ninja, you have shown me your martial arts skills and your use of a couple weapons. But those are just traditional ninja stuff. Explain to me why you call yourself modern,” said the image of Mother Earth that was on a screen with various cameras pointed around the empty warehouse that the testing was taking place in.

“Okay,” said Modern Ninja, dropping the sword she had been using and reaching in her clothing for something. “Traditional ninjas eschew modern improvements like guns.” She pulled a handgun out with a silencer. “Even when they’re ninja friendly like this gun with this silencer. Stealth is a priority for the ninja. I am modern because I use guns with silencers.

“The second reason I am modern is because I use point invisibility. That’s where a sensor detects what my eyes are looking at. My clothing is made up of video pixels controlled by a tiny computer enmeshed in the clothes. Cameras see behind me and extrapolate what my clothes should look like from the point I am looking at. The computer then makes me look like the background I am up against. It’s invisibility except for my eyes. Do you wish me to demonstrate?”

“I would love to see that,” said an eager Mother Earth.

“Which camera should I become invisible to?”

“The one above my image.”

Modern Ninja did something and suddenly only her eyes and the skin between them were visible to that camera.

The eyes approached the camera quickly and Mother Earth ordered, “Don’t touch the buttons! I can see you in the other cameras!”

Modern Ninja appeared again to all cameras. “I’m showing you one of my greatest powers. Is it not right that you reveal more about yourself?”

“I think I will shortly. I just don’t want to skip steps. Are there any other reasons that you are modern?”

“I’m a modern ninja because I’m a woman,” she said, arms akimbo.

“Well I just have to ask. If you are a modern ninja can’t you take the assassin thing down a notch and say you are going to detain the criminal element and not kill them outright.”

“I think I could do that. But at the start you promised that you could add to my powers. I’m curious as to how.”

“I’m a cracker who has broken into the Chinese government’s most top secret security systems. There I found an exoskeleton designed to increase the strength and power of the wearer. I was surprised because I had seen similar ones from other countries and they were not the same. The Chinese one would be superior for those who had mastered martial arts because it gave the wearer more range of motion and agility.

“Are you prepared to spend a few more months practicing with this before you are let on the streets as a new superhero?”

“I have trained my whole life. A few more months should not bother me.”

“Then we will have five reasons why you are a modern ninja.”

“But mostly because I’m a woman!”

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Superhero Tryouts: The Fire Tosser

“I am Mother Earth and I call myself a cracker. I can get into any computer system in less than a second and I will help you in any adventures you might have – if you are accepted.”

“So I’ll only see this image of you on a computer while you hide safely wherever you are?”

“That’s it, but half the reason I am doing tryouts is to try to ensure that you are capable enough to handle the criminal element without too much danger to your person.

“You go by the name of The Fire Tosser. I must question the lethalness of your power. I assume you somehow throw fire. How can you subdue a criminal without killing or almost killing him?”

“Well I could surround him with a ring of fire-”

“You’d have to get all around him to do that. Or fly above him but you don’t fly. Do you?”

“No, but I could weld the doors shut of the building he’s trying to rob-”

“He’ll break through the window.”

“It might be a windowless vault. Or I could weld shut his getaway vehicle’s doors.”

“Perhaps you might be of some use. Your name says tosser. Does that mean you throw fire by your hands in some way? How would fire be generated?”

“Toss doesn’t have to mean you throw by hand. That would be more complex.”

“I hope you mean you are a fire breather. Tell me it is your mouth that generates the fire.”

“Why of course the mouth generates it. I have to eat a full pail of beans before I am capable of generating my fire!”

“Does that mean-”

“Yes. There is a reason that my costume doesn’t have a cape. That would be dangerous.”

“So how do you ignite your farts?”

“I have a sparker.”

“And there’s a smell.”

“Of course there is but you wouldn’t ever smell it in your video form.”

“I have others that I might work with. I hope that they would work with me more than once. Next!”

“I should have known that a female superhero would be too prissy,” Fire Tosser grumbled as he went out the door.

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Tail: The Aftermath of the First Patrol

Police Chief Summers watched as some kind of member slid open the 2nd floor window to his office. The chief knew not to go to it. The strange member came in further and then flexed and in a second the masked vigilante, Tail, was in the office.

“I see that the broadcasters alerted you to my wish to see you.”

“Yes,” said Tail, grabbing a seat.

“We can’t have vigilantes in town.” Tail looked more than skeptical. “I am going to show you from just your first patrol example.”

“Everyone was obviously guilty!” protested Tail.

“Those first two women that you apprehended were not drunk and disorderly.”

“But I saw them both puke for no reason.”

“They claim it was a reaction to-” Summers almost puked a little just thinking about it – “your tail.”

“That’s just wrong and biased!”

“My officers did due diligence. We made them both take a breathalyzer and take impaired tests. They both passed and were not impaired in any way. I would trust them to drive immediately after we released them.”

Tail slammed his fist against the desk. “Such a reaction is not possible because of someone’s appear-”

A much louder sound from outside the office reached the pair’s ears, “SUUUUUUUU WEEE! WEEE! WEEE! WEEE!”

“Don’t look!” warned Police Chief Summers. But Tail opened the door just enough so both could see.

A man who was being held by a very shocked and surprised cop let out another, “SUUUUUUU WEEE! HERE PIGGY, PIGGY, PIGGY!”

As one, every spare cop in the whole station charged the hog caller. The shock wore off for the attendant cop and she attempted to throw the man to the ground. This almost worked and the first couple extra cops got him down and pinned him to the floor. But his mouth was free and out came, “SUUUUUU WEEE! WEEE! WEEE! WEEE!”

Fists started flying and the man stopped making the offending sounds.

“It was an honest mistake,” said Tail looking away from the scene.

“Yes, yes,” said the police chief still staring in shock.

“I mean my detention of the two women.”

“Oh.”

“An officer can make a mistake just as easily. Do we have an understanding?”

“Uh, I guess.”

Tail easily disappeared from the presence of the distracted police chief.

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I Have to Side With the Adults in the Movie ET

There are two major scenes that made up my mind against E.T. But just think of the idea that these creatures glow in the dark. Obviously they have lorded it over all the other animals on their homeworld and for a long time. The two scenes I want to discuss give some idea of what we’re dealing with here.

The scene where E.T. is in the kitchen and the mother is unloading groceries turned me against E.T. This scene is played for laughs but I wasn’t laughing in my new found understanding of what was really going on.

Firstly E.T. is walking randomly in the kitchen totally out of touch with the idea that the mother will likely out him to the rest of the adults. Either this creature that jumps from star to star is really stupid at this point or has an ace up his nonexistent sleeve. E.T. wanders aimlessly around the kitchen and the mother, who seems to look everywhere else, never looks at E.T.

I think E.T.’s erratic movements are because he isn’t concentrating on himself too well. I think he is inside the brain of the mother making certain that she doesn’t look his way. Yes I believe that E.T. is telepathic and his powers extend beyond just communicating. If you can send messages to the language centre of the brain, can’t you also send orders to the movement centres of the brain as well? I believe E.T. had total control of the mother for this scene.

The other scene is when all the kids take flight on their bicycle to get away from the adults. My first thought was that E.T. , as well as being a powerful telepath, is also telekinetic and can move objects with his mind. But maybe this was just his telepath skills expanded. Perhaps he can telepath a hallucination that hundreds saw as real. It doesn’t matter. Either way E.T. is one scary dude.

It is my belief that one E.T. could likely control 1 000 earthlings. More if they use the violence of dictators. It wouldn’t take many E.T.’s to take over the earth. This is a dictatorship I doubt we would ever get out of. That is why E.T. scares me and why I side with the adults.

Remember also that E.T. faked his own death. Even the more wised up adults fell for this one and let E.T. get away. This is what one lone E.T. did. Let’s not glorify it and call this a movie with a happy ending. It is a movie with a tragic ending. Now all the Earthlings in this movie must just sit back and wait to be controlled by the returning aliens.

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Best Posts of the Decade

This is post number 670 for those of you who care. I do – I’m trying to catch up with the number of episodes of the Simpsons. Hallowe’en either a year ago or two years was episode 666 so I am getting there and publish a new post at twice the rate the Simpsons does.

From 2010, my favourite post was The Horny Shower Curtain. Honourable mention goes to What I Don’t Like About Asimov’s 3 Laws of Robotics. It’s not every day that you can make a famous series look bad. As well, Hard SF writer Mike Brotherton linked to it from his blog.

I’ve long been annoyed with the almost always positive treatment of Baby Boomers so I wrote The Herd Mentality of Baby Boomers. In 2012 I aimed at vampires and got The Case for Vampires Staking Vampires, In 2013, I had fun with The Masked Asphalt Chewer.

In 2014 I envisioned Cursive Code to talk behind the backs of youngins. In truth and in jest in 2015 I suggested Let’s Chuck the Royal Family. I felt sorry for dogs and the way they are named in Naming Animals by Sex That Are Closest to Us.

In 2017, I liked the Canadian Duel. In 2018 I was fascinated by 7 League Boots. This year I picked Lovecats as my favourite post. Yes it really did happen.

So I hope we see the world in 2020 vision next year. (You knew someone was going to say it before the new year!)

 

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10th Anniversary of This Blog – That’s a Lot of Ranting

The true anniversary of this blog is on December 20th. My admittedly poor memory thought it was after Christmas in 2009 when I started but it was really before. So it is actually 10 years and a week old.

First I will dredge up my favourite 6 posts from this year and tomorrow I will link to my favourite 10 posts of the decade. This decade I like to call the teens.

In January, I finally got to vocalize a long held belief – that Stevie Nicks bleats like a sheep. In March I had an idea for a lucrative business for plastic surgeons. May had the mind bending title: This is a Work of Fiction.

August had Lovecats and the machinations of Robert Smith. October saw a way to ruin the learning time of more students.

November opened up a new superhero duo that I intend to write more of in the new year. Visitor wise the superhero bits don’t do as well. It’s just that it is a new avenue for me with many ideas to come. The fact that this December and last December I wrote 2 posts about the same use of the words scrooge and grinch. I need to use what ever new avenues I can find or else I will stagnate.

Till tomorrow, then.

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