Daily Archives: August 2, 2012

The Limerick Masters of Yesteryear – The Lost Artform

By the time I arrived at adulthood the state of the limerick as a masterpiece of the literary foil was in alarming decline.  Playboy Magazine attempted to inject new life into the medium during the 1960s and 1970s by paying $500 for limerick submissions accepted for publication.  The selection process was tough and they accepted only true masterpieces.

During those years I submitted no fewer than ten [10] limericks per month and never had one accepted.  Hundreds of limericks.  There was no place in Playboy for second-rate hacks.

While the artform requires a particular meter, the truly well-constructed one needs more.  Internal rhyming.  Puns.  Lilting beat to simulate waves on a beach.  A joy to the tongue and ear. 

To illustrate my point, here is perhaps the best limerick ever written, once published in Playboy:

The new cineramic emporium
Is not just a super-sensorium
But a highly effectual
Heterosexual
Mutual masterbatorium.

Every time I run those timeless words through my mind, I’m humbled.

I don’t know whether the image at the top of the page depicts a man who once wrote limericks and submitted them to Playboy.  He almost certainly could have.  Possibly should have.

He might have been a contender.

Old Jules

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Philosophy by Limerick – The ‘Environmental Scientist’

http://spaceweather.com/

Build an arrogance fortress and man it.
Pretend you can save this old planet
You trivial beast
An infection of yeast
On the surface, too tiny to plan it.

Old Jules

The Pulse of US Concern Over Kings and Wannabe Kings

Hi readers.  Got a news flash here on the bumper-sticker issue that has all of you breathless and on the edge of your chairs.

Jeanne, the administrator for this blog, just returned to Kansas from a 10 day, 4300 mile motor trip to Washington and Oregon.  During the trip she was careful  to tally the political bumper stickers encountered on the highways both ways.  Finally finished tallying them up last night and faithfully reported the results to me:

The current King of the US:  3 each.  Two for this election, one for the last one.

The Wannabe King of the US:  1 each. 

Looks like a landslide victory for Long Live the King.  You can’t fight a popular movement.

Remember where you heard it first.

Welcome back, Jeanne.

Old Jules

The Fervent Hope of Climate Change Enthusiasts

Extent of surface melt over Greenland’s ice sheet on July 8 (left) and July 12 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. In the image, the areas classified as “probable melt” (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as “melt” (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting. The satellites are measuring different physical properties at different scales and are passing over Greenland at different times. As a whole, they provide a picture of an extreme melt event about which scientists are very confident. Credit: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/greenland-melt.html

Good morning readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

The people for whom climate change is central to their countless grant and research applications, and the people for whom NO climate change is central to their business models are probably both grinding their teeth in frustration.

Sooooo. All the academians, school kids being trained to believe they can do something to ‘save the planet’, other people who just enjoy the feel of shrill proclamations, jeremiads and threats of doom briefly danced in the streets.  Whoopteedoo!  Everybody’s going to die!

And the people with business models demanding they fervently deny climate change looked around for buildings high enough to jump from.

However, core sampling of the Greenland ice soon revealed this happens occasionally, last time maybe 150 years ago at a time when nobody claims human beings were causing climate change.

Damn Damn Damn Damn Damn.  Cry the people desparately wanting the ice caps to melt, sea levels to rise and all the coastal cities of the world to drown.

Ohboyohboyohboy! Applaud the folks with the business models requiring a continuation of the kinds of behaviors the other folks think cause man made climate change.

Changing horses in mid-stream isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s necessary.  Fact is, whether climate change is happening, is man made, is going to result in a disaster is just too large an object of comprehension to convincingly argue.  Suggesting academians and school kids can do anything to influence it one way or another is too patently absurd to convince anyone besides a grant review committee from the US Department of Environment.

Besides, there’s Genetic Engineered corn out there growing hair inside the mouths of test hamsters.  The same corn those school kids and academians are having for lunch.  http://aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

There’s a middling potential for glow-in-the-dark halibut, salmon and whales swimming up out of the north Pacific with butcher knives clinched in their teeth doing a mutant invasion of Alaska to California coastlines.  Time will argue a lot more convincingly and rapidly whether those happen, and if they do they’ll render questions about man made climate change more-or-less moot.

As for business models, there’s a lot of new potential for speculation and investment in new inventions.  An inside-the-mouth electric shaver, for instance, might represent the wave of the future.  Live flashlights made from mullets caught off the Oregon coast, not requiring batteries.  No need to stamp them, MADE IN JAPAN.  That will be obvious enough.

[Insert, “It’s an ill wind that blows no good”, “It’s time to look on the bright side of things,” and other appropriate quotes here.]

Old Jules