Division of Labour: Funny Stuff Archives
March 26, 2013
Out of the mouths of students

At the end of an assignment, a student included this joke:

One beggar says to another: "The Fed is propping up the economy with an infusion of cash.” The other one replies: “Looks like we’re gonna need bigger cups.”

Big-gulp sized cups.

Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 03:22 PM in Funny Stuff

July 14, 2012
Uniforms, teen wellness, and endowment

Where is Diane Sawyer when we really need her? Surely some American condom maker can supply this much-needed component of a teen wellness kit as cheaply an Indian firm.

Worst lead sentence of the week: "Anthony Weiner is still one of the most well-endowed politicians in the city." It introduces this story about $4.5 million that Weiner still controls.


Posted by Wilson Mixon at 11:09 AM in Funny Stuff

April 30, 2012
Musings of the Gentle Cynic c. 1912

From the April 28, 1912 NYT:

  • The self-made man seldom puts on all the finishing touches.
  • It is considered a good thing not to be considered a good thing.
  • The man who breaks himself of a bad habit is never so successful in breaking himself of boasting about it.
  • Some people's idea of economy is to save shoe leather by buying an aero-plane.
  • Im-portunity knocks at the door oftener than his brother "op"
  • The chronic borrower discovers that some people are so close you can't touch them.
  • A man's reason is apt to succumb to a woman's reasons.
  • All men may have equal rights, but it takes a certain amount of hustle to realize them.
  • When fortune knocks at the door, some of us are afraid to open it for fear it may be the wolf.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 03:15 PM in Funny Stuff

    October 01, 2011
    A Modest Proposal

    Tim's post on the minimum wage reminds me of a proposal by Levis Kochin: Why not just set the minimum wage equal to the average wage? Think of the advantages of the reduced uncertainty.

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 07:54 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 31, 2011
    CNN.com Headline Writers

    "A Blood Test to Predict Death? It Could Be Possible"

    I can predict it now even without a blood test

    100%

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 05:53 PM in Funny Stuff

    April 02, 2011
    What Do Deities Maximize?

    Legal Theory Blog explains Judge Posner's "latest." (Hint: Note the date.)

    Posted by Mike DeBow at 12:22 AM in Funny Stuff

    March 17, 2011
    SJSU Econ: THE All-Tournament Team!

    Of 11 tenure/tenure-track faculty, 10 of us have our Ph.D.'s from tournament teams.

    Faculty name followed by ph.d institution

    1. Doris Cheng, Notre Dame
    2. Colleen Haight (on leave), George Mason
    3. Matt Holian, Ohio State
    4. Jeffrey Hummel, texas university
    5. Ed Lopez, George Mason (plus Texas A&M undergrad)
    6. Tom Means, UCLA
    7. Lydia Ortega, George Mason
    8. Yeung-Nan Shieh, Texas A&M
    9. Emily Skarbek, George Mason
    10. Edward Peter Stringham (on leave), George Mason

    The only exception above is my awesome colleague and office mate, Mike Pogodzinski (SUNY Stony Brook). Here is a complete list of our faculty.

    Go GMU, TAMU, UCLA, t.u., Notre Dame, and OSU!!!

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 06:19 PM in Funny Stuff

    December 20, 2010
    I'm in love with Hayek

    As we lawyers say, "res ipsa loquitur."

    Posted by Brad Smith at 12:11 PM in Funny Stuff

    December 01, 2010
    No, Officer I Have No Idea What That Car-Shaped Mound of Dirt in My Yard Is

    From the local fishwrapper:

    A Silver Creek man was arrested Monday on a charge of tampering with evidence after he allegedly tried to hide a car involved in a wreck by covering it with dirt, reports stated.

    According to the Floyd County Jail:

    Thomas Raymond Vautour, 47, of 3113 Wax Road, left the scene of a wreck after he tried to force another car off the road at the intersection of Wax Road and Old Wax Road on Oct. 29.

    He tried to hide the car by covering it in dirt behind his home.

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 02:40 PM in Funny Stuff

    November 18, 2010
    How to avoid a TSA pat down

    Gary Clement on TSA.
    clementblog5.jpg
    Thanks to D. S., a loyal DOL reader from north of the border.

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 12:19 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 21, 2010
    Good stuff from CollegeHumor.com

    The Second World War and social media. Enjoy it here.

    Posted by Noel Campbell at 05:18 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 19, 2010
    10 Commandments for Drinking

    from a good friend who has started a new blog. A taste:

    6. Thou shalt not covet thy roommate’s girlfriend. Breaking this one can only leave you unsatisfied with your own life and possibly cause you to miss the subtle invitations you are receiving from all the beautiful girls around you who are NOT in a relationship—but might want one with YOU. Additionally, breaking this one will guarantee failure should you get locked out of your dorm and need to appeal to your roommate for help.

    ATSRTWT

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 11:13 AM in Funny Stuff

    July 20, 2010
    Vote for my kid's Moe's video

    Click here and hit the "like" button asap. Thanks!!!

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 08:41 PM in Funny Stuff

    July 10, 2010
    If It Saves One Life, It's Worth It

    This could very well be the perfect Onion News Network video. Teaching stats? Econ? Poli Sci? Torts? Mass Comm? It works on every level.


    Truck Accident That Killed Rafters in Canyon Sparks Truck-Canyon-Rafter Reform Debate

    Posted by Art Carden at 09:31 PM in Funny Stuff

    July 02, 2010
    Econ Exercise from XKCD

    Are risks being managed appropriately?

    Posted by Art Carden at 08:32 AM in Funny Stuff

    June 29, 2010
    Tom Woods on "Interview with a Zombie"

    Here's Tom Woods on "Interview with a Zombie" to promote his new book Nullification.

    Posted by Art Carden at 05:36 PM in Funny Stuff

    Senator Byrd departs

    If you ever use Google search - and who doesn't? - you might have noticed that most news links include the headline, and then the source. Thus a search for info on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan will get you a link to "Elena Kagan - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia."

    And thus, a search yesterday for "Robert Byrd" turned up near the top of the page this link to coverage of the Senator's passing from one of America's most popular on-line news sources: "U.S. Senator Robert Byrd Dead at 92 - Yahoo!"

    OK, ok, I'm a bad person. I still thought it was funny.

    Posted by Brad Smith at 08:07 AM in Funny Stuff

    May 15, 2010
    Quote of the Day

    "Probably the only way I could be lower status is to be known as the guy who tried and failed to beat up Tyler Cowen."

    Here. HT: Tyler Cowen.

    Posted by Art Carden at 08:43 AM in Funny Stuff

    April 13, 2010
    Best line of the day

    From the comments section of a blog entry showing projections for Medicare and Social Security:

    The average reporter has the observational skills of a yam.

    More here

    Posted by Craig Depken at 09:43 AM in Funny Stuff

    April 09, 2010
    APEE 2010: Penn and Teller

    I should have mentioned earlier that the APEE program is amazing; it features addresses from Peter Boettke, Tyler Cowen, and Loren Lomasky in addition to a plenary panel featuring Yaron Brook, James Otteson, and Peter Boettke on "Ayn Rand Versus Adam Smith in Defense of Capitalism." As if that weren't enough, Penn and Teller will receive the Thomas Jefferson Award. Here's a clip from The West Wing that illustrates why--in my opinion--they deserve the award:

    Posted by Art Carden at 10:55 AM in Funny Stuff

    April 02, 2010
    The Stand-Up Economist In Nashville and Birmingham

    Here are Yoram Bauman's tour dates. If I could make it, I would go.

    Posted by Art Carden at 09:59 AM in Funny Stuff

    March 05, 2010
    Out of Context c. 2010

    Okay - I can't help but laugh at the out-of-context clip of Sen. Reid on the Senate Floor discussing how 36,000 people lost their jobs and that is "good:"

    Perhaps Harry Reid will be unseated this fall, perhaps not. However, the following clip is ready-made for his political opponent, whomever it might be: Just roll tape, rewind, repeat.

    Link from Drudge - but funny nonetheless.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 11:27 AM in Funny Stuff

    March 04, 2010
    Tyrannosaurus Debt

    A little dated but still funny and germane:

    Posted by Craig Depken at 09:30 PM in Funny Stuff

    March 03, 2010
    Mises Wins!

    Josh Hall, Pete Calcagno and I have a new paper. The abstract:

    The terms objective and subjective are considered antonyms, and yet “objectivists”, associated with the ideas of Ayn Rand, and “subjectivists”, associated with the ideas of Ludwig von Mises, are both associated with the same political philosophy: classical liberalism. There are however important apparent differences between the “objectivist” approach of Rand and the “subjectivist” approach of Mises. Who is right? And which intellectual has the greater place in the classical liberal tradition? We propose to test these questions using data from a unique housing development in Charleston, South Carolina. We find objective evidence in favor of Mises’s subjectivism.

    Before you Randroids start sending us e-mails, please take note of where we submitted the paper.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 03:00 PM in Economics ~ in Funny Stuff

    March 01, 2010
    With a straight face ...

    (or so I presume), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, according to The Hill, “No one likes raising revenue, and understandably so."

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 05:02 PM in Funny Stuff

    February 08, 2010
    The Truth Isn't Always Found By Meeting in the Middle

    Via XKCD.

    Posted by Art Carden at 02:02 PM in Funny Stuff

    January 29, 2010
    Generic News

    Warning: some salty language.

    HT: Reason.TV.

    Posted by Art Carden at 02:44 PM in Funny Stuff

    January 26, 2010
    Wise Words

    "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

    --Seen on a bumper sticker in Memphis

    Posted by Art Carden at 12:50 PM in Funny Stuff

    January 18, 2010
    Lindsey Graham opposes the industrial revolution

    Wow. “'All the cars and trucks and plants that have been in existence since the Industrial Revolution, spewing out carbon day-in and day-out, you’ll never convince me that’s a good thing for your children and the future of the planet,' [Graham] told a crowd in South Carolina,... ."

    Graham thinks it would be a good thing if we had no cars and trucks, no electricity in amounts that could serve any purpose (and no serious means to construct hydroelectric plants in any case)? He thinks it would be better for us and our children if we lived as in 1800, when the average life expectancy was about 40 - if you survived childhood?

    Wow.

    Posted by Brad Smith at 11:42 AM in Economics ~ in Funny Stuff ~ in Politics ~ in Science

    January 13, 2010
    facebook ad -- FAIL

    fbfail.JPG

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 02:49 PM in Funny Stuff

    January 08, 2010
    Happy B Day Elvis -- are you out there?

    Is there a better tribute to the King than Gary Busey's proclamation in the final minutes of the 1983 classic, D.C. Cab?


    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 01:29 PM in Funny Stuff

    January 07, 2010
    Hey man, that's nacho cheese!

    From the San Antonio Express-News:

    Updated with photos: Man cut in fight over nachos.

    A police report states a witness brought Henke nachos at the apartment in the 100 block of Lorita Street, but Henke said he didn't want them, so the witness gave them to Esckilsen. Soon afterwards, Henke changed his mind and asked for the nachos, according to the report. An argument ensued, and Esckilsen allegedly pulled out a knife, police said.

    Rubber neckers click here.

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 02:15 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  Comments (0)

    January 06, 2010
    Case of insanity? c. 1910

    A headline from the January 6, 1910 NYT:

    CRANK ARRESTED AT CAPITOL.

    Tried to see Sherman - Sanity to be inquired into.

    Trying to visit the vice-president leads the PTB to question a citizen's sanity?

    Actually, the person in question had been "about Washington" for more than a year lobbying various politicians for "imagined rights."

    Posted by Craig Depken at 10:04 AM in Funny Stuff

    December 29, 2009
    Reason.TV on the Naughties: Worst. Political Decade. Ever.

    "Any time Dennis Kucinich is the voice of reason, you know you're really screwed." HT: Steve Horwitz.

    Posted by Art Carden at 12:10 PM in Funny Stuff

    December 22, 2009
    Abusive acronym of the day?

    As I am reading for a long-overdue project, I came across this acronym:


    USTFCCCA

    Answer below the fold.

    Read More »

    Posted by Craig Depken at 03:19 PM in Funny Stuff

    December 16, 2009
    And now a finals thought

    Finals week on campus is kinda like early morning airport security lines. Both are filled with people who apparently haven't been here in a while.

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 10:54 PM in Funny Stuff

    December 09, 2009
    In Honor of Final Exams, Here's XKCD

    One of my favorite XKCD strips recounts one of my recurring nightmares. It's especially appropriate as final exams are almost upon us (NB: a bit of salty language).

    students.png

    Addendum: here's an offbeat take on B2B Christmas gifts from Jeff Tucker.

    Posted by Art Carden at 10:22 AM in Funny Stuff

    December 02, 2009
    Why I Sit Alone At Parties

    While talking to a community member about my decision to remove my children from the local public schools and send them to a private school a 30 minute drive away we had the following (roughly paraphrased) exchange.

    Me: The academics at the school are great.

    Him: Yes, but you'll be missing out on the diversity you have here in town.

    Me: Actually, the school is quite diverse. In the second grade class, roughly 60 percent of the students have parents who were born in different countries. India, China, Korea, Mexico, France, etc. It's amazingly diverse.

    Him: What about African-Americans?

    Me: There are a couple per class.

    Him: Well I guess I was thinking about other types of diversity, like income diversity.

    Me: Actually, the school is more diverse in terms of income too, because it has a much wider range of incomes.

    Him: That wasn't exactly what I meant.

    Me: Oh, you're defining a lot of lower-income folks as "diversity." If that's your definition, then yes, the new school is less diverse.

    Posted by Joshua Hall at 11:22 PM in Funny Stuff

    December 01, 2009
    Higher education in the 21st Century in a single picture.

    IMG00001-20091201-1307.jpg

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 02:30 PM in Funny Stuff

    November 30, 2009
    President Garfield on monetary theory

    From Jack Beatty, Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900 (an interesting but uneven book), at page 338 of the paperback:

    "The details of the nineteenth-century specie controversy repel curiosity; only obsession could make them interesting. And on that score, one does well to take James Garfield's warning to heart. 'He devoted himself almost exclusively to the study of the currency,' Garfield said of a colleague, 'became fully entangled with the theories of the subject and became insane.'"

    No source is cited for this, although the book is generally well-sourced. I hope it's true.

    Posted by Mike DeBow at 08:32 PM in Funny Stuff

    November 24, 2009
    The Gentle Cynic c. 1909

    From the Nov. 21, 1909 NYT (I know, this is a couple of days old):


  • Pot luck is too often potted luck.
  • The only people who really seem to enjoy living close to nature are those who don't have to.
  • If all the luxuries should be taxed, why not a tax on bachelors?
  • The trouble about hitching your wagon to a star is that you have got to get up before the sun rises.
  • Posted by Craig Depken at 01:46 PM in Funny Stuff

    November 17, 2009
    Late?

    A little piece on lateness, for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

    Read More »

    Posted by Michael Munger at 08:15 PM in Funny Stuff

    November 03, 2009
    On what's important c. 1909

    From the Nov. 3, 1909 NYT:

    Oscar De Rose of Belleville [NJ] is the owner of a chicken that has survived a fast of twenty-five days. The hen, a Plymouth Rock, was placed in the cellar of the De Rose home and was intended for dinner the next day. Its legs were tied. When Mrs. De Rose went to the cellar the next day to get the chicken, it was not to be found. She though it had been stolen.

    Some days afterward while in the cellar Mr. De Rose heard a noise and decided that rats had begun to frequent the cellar. The house cat was kept in the cellar nights thereafter.

    The noises, however, continued from day to day. Yesterday Mr. De Rose had occasion to go into the cellar, and hearing the same noises he searched around with a light until he came to a hole which had at one time been used as a cistern. At the bottom of the hole was the missing chicken. It was still alive and De Rose carried it upstairs. It was so weak that, when its legs were untied, it could not stand on them, and food and water had to be poured down its throat. To-day it was much improved and can walk.

    When placed in the cellar the chicken weighed six pounds, and when it was taken out it weighed just a pound and a half.

    So it won't be eaten just now.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 10:38 AM in Funny Stuff

    October 26, 2009
    Fictional Character Quote of the Day

    Call me a killjoy, but I think that because this is not to my taste, no one else should be able to enjoy it.

    -Marge Simpson on Ultimate Punching.

    Posted by Art Carden at 12:39 PM in Funny Stuff

    October 13, 2009
    On appropriations and fraud c. 1909

    The October 13, 1909 NYT prints the following funny letter to the editor:

    By an edict of Postmaster General Hitchcock cats are authorized to be provided food and lodging by all Post Offices of the first and second class. That is to say, each of the largest offices is entitled to an appropriation for the maintenance of is tutelary cat. In the present fiscal year it is estimated the department will spend $135 for cat meat.

    But we think the appropriation is ridiculously below the actual cost of providing Post Office cats with the provender they need. Unless it is proposed to stint their rations as a means of encouraging them to prey on rats and mice, it would seem, from a superficial view, to be a piece of niggardly economy. But even then, as we reckon, there are in round numbers 6,000 Presidential offices, so that each would be entitled to only two and a quarter cents annually for cat meat.

    Gauging the Post Office cat's appetite is a more delicate operation than assigning a limit to the political aspirant's greed, or measuring an office holder's capacity for emoluments. "The harmless, necessary cat," to borrow Shylock's phrase, should be well fed rather than starved to excite a predatory spirit, lest in its hunger and search for delicatessen it is driven to tamper with the mails.

    But unless the cat can be taught to lick stamps for its customers, is it not apt to be regarded as a mere ornamental appanage of the Postal Service? Rats and mice that infest first and second class Post Offices can be as easily caught in traps. Would not excessive bills for cat meat form a convenient cover for fraud and peculation when accounts are rendered for official disbursement? But perish the thought.

    Wouldn't it be nice if "cat meat" was the "fraud" about which we had to be concerned.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 10:42 AM in Funny Stuff

    September 18, 2009
    The Emerging Class Struggle


    Report: Growing Ranks Of Nouveau Poor Facing Discrimination From Old Poor

    As always, The Onion nails it. This will have a page in Onionomics, which is my as-yet-undefined book on economics in the Onion that resides on my Someday/Maybe list and which I will write if no one beats me to the punch.

    Posted by Art Carden at 01:54 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 13, 2009
    CARS joke

    Mini Cooper dealers evidently have the following bumper sticker:

    Nice.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 03:02 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 10, 2009
    How about this for government accuracy

    From this report on thepredicted "benefits" of passing health care reform for the State of North Carolina (other states here). The report doesn't mention from which of the five pending bills the benefits were to be derived, so I suppose we are to take these predictions as being generic to all five bills? The site is a White House site, so it is not surprising that there is not one single negative aspect of health insurance/prepaid healthcare reform listed.

    However, in the Status Quo section of the report on North Carolina was this gem:


    17.2483498 percent of people in North Carolina are uninsured, and 70 percent of them are in families with at least one full-time worker.

    I wonder why the document takes things out to the seventh decimal place - on a percentage no less. Further, the 70 percent number seems awfully high but it is applied to the 17.248 percent not the entire population - so that makes it around
    12.0738449 percent of the people in North Carolina who are uninsured live in a family with at least one full-time worker.

    In 2009, our fair state had around 9,397,397 folks so that means around 283,656.784 families of four are uninsured in NC.

    {\sarcasm}
    Does it mean anything to be "accurate" at the seventh decimal in the case of a percentage? {\sarcasm}

    Posted by Craig Depken at 08:05 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  Comments (8)

    July 30, 2009
    Inflation?

    Found at IMGUR:

    and another one

    Posted by Craig Depken at 03:01 PM in Funny Stuff

    July 28, 2009
    Devil is in the details?

    This one is making the rounds.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 11:30 AM in Funny Stuff

    July 27, 2009
    Ok, Take Exit 185. Wait...what?

    Story here

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:24 PM in Funny Stuff

    July 03, 2009
    And with N = 2, your R2 = 1.0!

    xkcd


    Personally, though, I prefer N = 1 so I can fit any slope I want.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 11:39 AM in Funny Stuff

    June 09, 2009
    Dispatches from the Class War: Barack Obama Goes to Denny's


    Obama Drastically Scales Back Goals For America After Visiting Denny's

    Posted by Art Carden at 12:10 PM in Funny Stuff

    May 14, 2009
    Style over substance?

    What A DealCheck out more pix at uberpix.net!

    Posted by Craig Depken at 02:56 PM in Funny Stuff

    May 11, 2009
    A government study, no doubt

    From a link I followed from reddit

    Posted by Craig Depken at 04:08 PM in Funny Stuff

    May 05, 2009
    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

    duty_calls.png

    from XKCD. HT: Steve Horwitz.

    Posted by Art Carden at 03:57 PM in Funny Stuff

    April 29, 2009
    Symbolism vs. Substance

    I haven't done the confirmatory math but the visual lesson in this video is informative. I especially like the cluttered college dorm/apartment.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 09:12 AM in Funny Stuff

    March 02, 2009
    Stone-Throwing and Glass Houses

    Dilbert.com

    HT: Don Boudreaux.

    Posted by Art Carden at 10:29 AM in Funny Stuff

    February 25, 2009
    A Contribution to Bourgeois Rhetoric

    BUB.png


    Image made here.

    Posted by Art Carden at 09:04 AM in Funny Stuff

    February 21, 2009
    Mason Pride

    The emails have been coming in hourly about George Mason's male homecoming queen. Here is a good story. The student, Ryan Allen, sounds like a fun person. Or should I say fun people? His female persona is Reann Ballslee, the newly crowned homecoming queen. From the story just linked.

    The contest was half talent judging and half voting by the student body. Allen received the most votes but doesn't know how he scored in the talent competition, in which he performed in zebra-print pants and lip-synched to Britney Spears.

    He said his drag queen persona is fairly popular and well-known on campus — he has hosted events as Reann for the school's Pride Week, as well as HIV charity shows and an amateur drag night cabaret.

    "Reann is very sassy, very silly. She's an entertainer throughout. She's not afraid to do a high kick if that's what it takes," Allen said. "She's got a little camp but is not as campy as some queens."

    You might catch some footage of Ryan -- and Reann -- tonight when George Mason travels to take on Creighton. Game is on ESPNU at 9:30 eastern time. GMU is 18-8 on the season and one game out of the conference lead.

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 01:06 PM in Funny Stuff

    February 13, 2009
    Mises meets chemistry

    His (and others') ideas in Bureaucracy have become manifest at the subatomic level:

    Lawrence Livermore Laboratories has discovered 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 tiny 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.

    HT: my dean.

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 11:23 AM in Funny Stuff

    January 15, 2009
    "Don't leave me, come back"

    Newsflash from Hammond, Indiana. This just in.

    Boy's Tongue Stuck on Pole NBCChicago.com January 15, 2009

    Remember what happened to Flick?

    In the 1983 film "A Christmas Story," based in the 1940s, Flick, a friend of the young protagonist, Ralphie, gets his tongue stuck to a flag pole when he tries tasting the frozen metal.

    Who would DO that? Well, apparently, Flick is not alone.

    In Hammond, Ind., police were called to the scene of a similar crisis Tuesday night. A 10-year-old boy got his tongue stuck on a frozen street light.

    The Field Elementary School fourth-grader managed to mumble to police that a friend had dared him to lick the fixture, and as the NW Indiana Times reported, "He must have been triple dared."

    Ahem. I believe it was a triple dog dare that got Flick. BTW, you can buy leg lamps here. The fishnet nylons are genuine, and the leg lights up. They're "indescribably beautiful" and "remind of the Fourth of July."

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 09:19 AM in Funny Stuff

    January 09, 2009
    Valuable New York insights c. 1909

    The Jan. 9, 1909 NYT reports:

    DALLAS, Texas - A corps of auditors from new York have for some time been checking up the accounts of all the State Departments at Austin. today they astonished Gov. Campbell and other State officials with the statement that the Texas Capitol building was in danger of being blown to pieces at any moment. They then called attention to the fact that all of the Texas National Guard ammunition under charge of the State's Adjutant General was stored in the basement of the Capitol.

    They recommended that all these explosives be removed at once.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:01 PM in Funny Stuff

    October 20, 2008
    Won't The Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?

    Or in this case, the real Sarah Palin:

    Posted by Art Carden at 10:37 AM in Funny Stuff

    October 17, 2008
    A Skybox Bailout
    Because the federal government has already committed itself to bailing out Wall Street, it will soon find itself obligated to bail out many of the ancillary enterprises that depend upon Wall Street for survival. One of these is sports franchises. The government will be forced to lease the skyboxes at stadiums that were previously occupied by brokerage houses, commercial banks and investment banking firms. This is not an eventuality that either Henry Paulson or Ben Bernanke had envisioned when they first floated the subject of a bailout. These guys just can't keep their eye on the ball.

    One can readily imagine the hue and cry that will greet the announcement that the Treasury Department has taken over a dozen skyboxes at Arrowhead Stadium and another dozen at Coors Field. Yet the alternative is unacceptable. Without the cash generated by luxury boxes, numerous sports franchises will go under. This would further undermine the public's mood, particularly in smaller cities, where watching ice hockey is literally the only way to have fun on a cold Friday night in February.

    That's Joe Queenan writing in the WSJ.

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 11:20 PM in Funny Stuff

    September 26, 2008
    You've Got to Love Bureaucracy

    You've got to love bureaucracy, if only for the laughs. Libertarians like to mock government bureaucracy, but private bureaucracy can be just as intransigent and mind-numbing. The key thing about bureaucracy is that it always rolls on, a big, inpersonal machine that grinds all before it. And bureaucrats do what they are tasked to do, regardless of the circumstances.

    Here, for example, is the last press release from Washington Mutual, issued September 24, as the company teetered on bankruptcy, one day before the buy-out by JP Morgan - Chase:

    WaMu Recognized as Top Diverse Employer—Again
    Company ranks in top ten of Hispanic Business’ Diversity Elite and earns perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index
    SEATTLE, WA (September 24, 2008) – Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM), one of the nation’s leading banks for consumers and small businesses, has once again been recognized as a top employer by Hispanic Business magazine and the Human Rights Campaign.

    Hispanic Business magazine recently ranked WaMu sixth in its annual Diversity Elite list, which names the top 60 companies for Hispanics. The company was honored specifically for its efforts to recruit Hispanic employees, reach out to Hispanic consumers and support Hispanic communities and organizations.

    The Human Rights Campaign, the largest national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) civil rights organization, also awarded WaMu its second consecutive 100 percent score in the organization’s 2009 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which measures progress in attaining equal rights for GLBT employees and consumers. WaMu joins the ranks of 259 other major U.S. businesses that also received top marks in the annual survey. The CEI rated a total of 583 businesses on GLBT-related policies and practices, including non-discrimination policies and domestic partner benefits.

    In both surveys, WaMu earned points for competitive diversity policies and programs, including the recently established Latino, African American and GLBT employee network groups, all of which have a corporate executive sponsor and champion.

    “Diversity is an integral part of cultivating a welcoming, innovative and dynamic workplace here at WaMu. We are proud to be recognized for the opportunities and benefits we offer to all of our employees, including the specific efforts we have made to engage Hispanics and the GLBT community,” said Steve Rotella, WaMu president and COO. “We are committed to diversity at WaMu and pledge to listen to our customers and work closely with our employees to continue to make progress.”

    You can't make this stuff up.

    The full release is here. Hat tip to Mark Krikorian at The Corner .


    Posted by Brad Smith at 09:20 AM in Funny Stuff ~ in Politics

    September 24, 2008
    The Front Fell Off

    Unbelievably funny video off of an Aussie senator discussing an oil spill. I'm told this is true [Update: but it's not], but it seems like an Abbott and Costello routine. Thanks to Pete for the pointer.

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 09:11 AM in Funny Stuff

    August 16, 2008
    I Wonder How Long This Will Last

    Some friends and I were looking at the Obama and McCain websites. You can personalize both; this text on BarackObama.com jumped out at us:

    "Get Local! Create your MyBO Account (or login)"

    Nothing yet on whether Old Spice has been contributing the Obama campaign.

    Posted by Art Carden at 09:29 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 11, 2008
    Dave Barry visits Beijing

    Five amusing reports here.

    Posted by Lawrence H. White at 03:46 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 06, 2008
    The word of the day is "execrable"

    Frank's adjective describing Hannity and Colmes made me swivel my chair to the bench where sits my Websters New Universal Unabridged Dictionary.

    execrable, adj. 1. utterly detestable; abominable; abhorrent. 2. very bad: an execrable stage performance. [1350-1400 for earlier sense "expressing a curse"; 1480-90 for def. 1; ME < L ex(s)ecrabilis accursed, detestable. See EXECRATE, -ABLE] --execrableness, n. --execrably, adv.
    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 09:30 AM in Funny Stuff

    July 27, 2008
    Heterogeneous Human Capital

    Via Radley Balko, here is Rush playing "Tom Sawyer" on Rock Band.

    Posted by Art Carden at 08:06 PM in Funny Stuff

    July 26, 2008
    Speaking of Alcohol...

    The Onion outdoes itself (NB: salty language). It also teaches an important lesson about correlation and causality. So which is higher:

    P(celebrated|alcoholism) or P(celebrated|great author)?

    P(great author|alcoholism) or P(alcoholism|great author)?

    P(John Updike Knows Who You Are|alcoholism) or P(John Updike Knows Who You Are|great author)?

    I've read that great artists did their best work while sober. There's an economics lesson for the aspiring artist, here, as well: a steady regimen of pills, powders, needles, and bottles is likely to have a negative effect on artistic productivity. At the margin, aspiring great artists should reduce the amount of time they spend participating in all-night drug binges and increase the amount of time they spend practicing. Remember the misadventures of Towelie (NB: search results are PG-13 for drug humor): getting high creates more problems than it solves. And take it from Mr. Mackey: drugs are bad, m'kay.

    Posted by Art Carden at 10:47 AM in Funny Stuff

    July 21, 2008
    Re-combining Knowledge

    A microscopic bowl of ramen noodles, which brings us ever closer to allowing the tiniest organisms to eat like graduate students (or junior faculty members, though a quick glance at my food drawer suggests that my ramen stash is at home). Nothing about whether the noodles are chicken, beef, or shrimp flavored.

    HT: Jorge Cham.

    Posted by Art Carden at 11:15 AM in Funny Stuff

    July 19, 2008
    PhD Comics

    If you're an academic (particularly if you're a grad student), you should read Jorge Cham's "Piled Higher and Deeper." It's like Dilbert for academia. The last several strips have been hilarious, particularly Cecilia's finding "that professors exist as probability density functions." I found this especially funny in light of the ongoing conversation between Tyler Cowen, Bryan Caplan, and Robin Hanson on assigning probabilities to beliefs. If I ever teach stats or econometrics, that comic is going on the syllabus.

    Posted by Art Carden at 11:33 AM in Funny Stuff

    July 14, 2008
    Chad Vader on Customer Service

    I don't ever remember being told any of this when I worked in retail. Maybe if I'd worked in a grocery store...

    Posted by Art Carden at 11:12 PM in Funny Stuff

    July 09, 2008
    Best Sentence I've Read Today*

    While looking at my sister's pictures of her recent trip to London, I came across this excellent caption:

    When sunglasses like these go out of style, I'll wish I'd taken them off in more pictures.

    What are the barriers to an efficient Coasean bargain if my sister's present-day choice of eyewear is imposing an intertemporal "internality" on her future self? Does this imply that we need a real-life "fashion police?"

    *-Marginal Revolution.

    Posted by Art Carden at 10:55 AM in Funny Stuff

    Drew Carey on the Bacon Dog War

    Here's a great idea for a party: foodstuffs that have been banned or heavily regulated in some places. Perhaps we'll have a fundraiser for the Elizabeth Palacios legal defense fund.

    Posted by Art Carden at 09:44 AM in Funny Stuff

    June 17, 2008
    More on Jarts

    A funny bit from Reno 911 about my favorite game!

    [HT: Josh]

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 02:35 PM in Funny Stuff

    June 12, 2008
    Taxes and Government

    I’m cleaning out documents that have accumulated on my USB drive, and I came across something short I scribbled down a few years ago while listening to “Broadway Spotlight” on KFUO-FM in Saint Louis. They were playing a Sondheim musical called Anyone Can Whistle that “missed” (they said it apparently spent a total of 9 days on Broadway). It contained a pretty good exchange on the nature of government. I can’t remember the characters’ names, so we’ll just call them “Bob” and “Joe.”

    Bob: “you say anyone who makes something he doesn’t use is crazy, right? Where does most of your money go?”

    Joe: “Taxes.”

    Bob: “And what does the government do with it? They make bombs, which presumably they don’t use. So you’re using your money to make something you don’t use, so you’re crazy. Of course, maybe the government is going to use them and you’re paying to have yourself killed. You’re mad.”

    Posted by Art Carden at 11:36 AM in Funny Stuff

    June 03, 2008
    Fast-Food Feedbags

    Here's The Onion on a product to fit our sedentary, high-calorie American lifestyles. In light of recent findings on the relationship between fast food and obesity, I'm not sure this would actually contribute to the "obesity epidemic." Extra credit: watch the scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen for an interesting question about the labor market.


    New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less

    Posted by Art Carden at 04:57 PM in Funny Stuff

    May 29, 2008
    Just a bit outside low

    Mariah Carey's first pitch:

    Not as bad as the Cincinnati Mayor's last year:

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 12:40 PM in Funny Stuff ~ in Sports

    May 19, 2008
    John McCain: True Anti-federalist

    John McCain dishes it dry on "Saturday Night Live". Speaking out against porkbarrell spending, he says:

    Most of these projects are at best unnecessary... [Such as] $160,000,000 to the Department of Defense for developing a device that can jam gaydar. [laughter] Now, I don't know if this is anti-gay or pro-gay or if such a device would even work. But I do know this. Jamming gaydar is not a federal responsibility. That's something best left to state and local governments.

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 10:49 AM in Funny Stuff

    May 08, 2008
    Dilbert, Hayekian?

    From Hayek's Nobel lecture:

    "We know...the general conditions in which what we call, somewhat misleadingly, an equilibrium will establish itself: but we never know what the particular prices or wages are which would exist if the market were to bring about such an equilibrium. We can merely say what the conditions are in which we can expect the market to establish prices and wages at which demand will equal supply. But we can never produce statistical information which would show how much the prevailing prices and wages deviate from those which would secure a continuous sale of the current supply of labour."

    Here's Dilbert on a similar issue.

    Posted by Art Carden at 03:59 PM in Funny Stuff

    May 03, 2008
    Surfing on the taxpayer's dime -- er, yen

    Applied research, I'm sure.

    A Japanese civil servant has been demoted for viewing pornographic websites more than 780,000 times during office hours over a nine-month period. [...] Despite his frequent porn viewing, none of his colleagues noticed his activities.

    The man's superiors discovered his extensive porn site visits after his computer became infected with a virus [...].

    So, how can you tell when a bureaucrat is doing his/her work? Preliminarily, I'm guessing that this one wasn't.

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 06:03 PM in Funny Stuff

    May 01, 2008
    Spring Haiku--work ethic version

    Co-bloggers post poems;
    Gotta appear productive.
    But wait... I'm tenured!

    Here's a Louisiana version:

    Found state budget funds;
    could give it to taxpayers.
    Nah, need to buy votes.

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 02:45 PM in Funny Stuff

    Spring Haiku -- Liberty Fund edition

    Sunshine, liberty
    No classes here in Indy
    Baby on the way

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 01:13 PM in Funny Stuff

    April 30, 2008
    Spring Haiku--Duke Version

    Buildings vomit kids.
    Blue books full, minds are empty.
    Bluetiful flowers.

    Posted by Michael Munger at 04:38 PM in Funny Stuff

    April 28, 2008
    xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

    xkcd

    A great time sink! Visit the site and hit random to sample the comics.

    HT: Kate.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 03:22 PM in Funny Stuff

    Incentives of the Untenured

    Last night, Mike Hammock and I served pancakes at the semesterly pre-exams Pancake Study Break here at Rhodes. As one might expect when output isn't priced, there were periodic long lines and mismatches between quantity supplied and quantity demanded (particularly for the chocolate chip pancakes). I asked a student as he was coming through the line about the important economic lesson we were learning from this. His response was unexpected:

    "You're working for free, so it looks like incentives don't matter."

    Posted by Art Carden at 09:45 AM in Funny Stuff

    April 14, 2008
    Handy tax tips

    ... from Dave Barry:

    For example, according to IRS Rev. Proc. 2006-50, certain individuals recognized by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission may deduct up to $10,000 for whaling expenses. Could this deduction apply to you? Think about it! I, personally, have done many things that I later could not remember; being a recognized Eskimo whaler would not be the weirdest of these. So go ahead! Find an empty box on your 1040 form and write ''Harpoons -- $9,990.'' (Don't claim the full $10,000, because that might arouse IRS suspicion.)

    Also, if you are an ostrich rancher, you can claim the depreciation on your ostriches. The IRS doesn't give an exact amount, so let's say for the sake of argument that your ostriches have depreciated to the tune of $4,800, or, rounding off, $17,000. If the IRS questions this figure, explain that you had to start raising ostriches because you were unable to make ends meet with just the whaling. That way your story is basically airtight.

    Read the whole thing here.

    Posted by Lawrence H. White at 05:11 PM in Funny Stuff

    April 11, 2008
    This has got to be an Instrument for Something

    30

    HT: Angus

    Posted by Art Carden at 04:58 PM in Funny Stuff

    April 01, 2008
    A great April Fool's joke

    Even though most of you will probably read this after the 1st. It includes these goodies:

    "But Partridge’s ordeal was only beginning. It’s reported that he woke up the morning of his death to the sound of the church bell announcing his passing...

    Partridge would frequently be stopped on the street for inquiries into how his widow was coping..."

    The story could be used for a discussion on marketing, adaptive expectations, finite vs. infinite time horizons, etc.

    Trust me, you'll definitely want to read to the end to find out who the prankster was.

    HT: Mark Shea's blog.

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 10:48 PM in Funny Stuff

    Procrastination is Blogging

    Johnny Kelly on the P-Word.

    HT: Michael Dolan.

    Posted by Art Carden at 11:21 AM in Funny Stuff

    February 19, 2008
    An Awfully Short Memory

    Late this afternoon, I received a call from a textbook rep trying to pitching me principles texts for next year. Less than 30 minutes later I received the following email from him:

    Professor,

    Good Afternoon. I’m sorry I missed you today. I can’t wait to talk to you regarding your Economics courses for Fall. Please let me know how I can assist you in creating the course environment you desire.

    [Publisher name redacted] has a variety of textbooks and levels to fit your needs.


    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 09:41 PM in Funny Stuff

    February 13, 2008
    Stossel quotes me!

    Exhibit A:
    February 12, 2008
    "...increased spending is a result of long-term growth, not its cause..."

    Exhibit B:
    February 13, 2008
    "Yes, consumer spending is 70 percent of GDP, but consumption is the result -- not the cause -- of economic growth. You can't consume what hasn't been produced."

    As I'm waiting for the swelling of my head to subside (by the way, it's hard to keep your tongue in your cheek when your head is swelling), I'll just say that Stossel's column is, as usual, much more instructive and entertaining than is mine. And, as usual, I didn't say anything original anyway. Since the title of Stossel's article is "Stimulating Nonsense," the fact that I just posted this shows that the article title was prophetic.

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 06:50 PM in Funny Stuff

    Libertarian Bingo

    Photobucket

    [HT: Kate Sheehan]

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 09:48 AM in Funny Stuff

    January 24, 2008
    Snail mail, literally

    From Reuters Oddly Enough series:

    It's official: mail is slow as snails Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:06am EST

    WARSAW (Reuters) - It's official. Postal delivery is as slow as snails, at least in Poland.

    An IT worker, after receiving a letter on January 3 that was sent on December 20 as priority mail, calculated that a snail would have made it even faster to his home than the letter.

    Daily Gazeta Wyborcza said Michal Szybalski calculated that it took 294 hours for the letter to arrive at his home. He also said the distance between his home and the sender was 11.1 kilometers.

    Given the distance and the time, the speed of the letter was 0.03775 kilometers per hour. Szybalski calculated that a garden snail travels at around 0.048 kilometers per hour.

    Story here.

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 09:51 PM in Funny Stuff

    January 08, 2008
    Thank you, thank you very much

    Pour a little out for The King. Today is Elvis's 73rd birthday.

    I cannot draw the line so starkly as Dell (Gary Busey) from the underrated 1983 comedy, "D.C. Cab," in which Dell proclaims in victory, "Okay but I don't work on January the 8th, cause that's Elvis's birthday." Alas, I am at work. (Can't you tell?)

    Here is some mindless Elvis birthday trivia.

    My favorite Velvet Elvis.

    Weird Al Yankovic's tribute to Elvis velvets.

    My, what you can find on the Internet in five minutes!

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 09:47 AM in Funny Stuff

    December 22, 2007
    d(cold)/d(booze) < 0

    I got this New York Times article from social-networking-benefits-of-booze expert, Ed Stringham:

    The Claim: A Little Alcohol Can Help you Beat a Cold

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Alcohol will not help cure a cold, though moderate consumption may reduce susceptibility.

    I'm in Western New York with family and most of us have colds. Not me, though..... Bartender!

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 04:29 PM in Funny Stuff

    December 19, 2007
    Let's repeal scarcity

    ... at least for the entitled:

    As protesters gathered at colleges around the country to criticize federal budget cutbacks that would raise the price of subsidized birth control at student health services, one University of New Mexico student described the imminent horror to Albuquerque's KFRQ-TV: "(Students shouldn't) have to make a choice between their birth control and their cell phone bill or their birth control and their gym membership ..." [KRQE-TV, 11-12-07]
    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 02:21 PM in Funny Stuff

    November 22, 2007
    That stuffy old Wal-Mart

    Debra Jackson said she likes shopping at the Dollar Palace, partly because "I don't have to get all dressed up like I'm going to Wal-Mart or something."

    HT: EclectEcon

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 02:26 PM in Funny Stuff

    October 24, 2007
    Fly SUX

    That's the three-letter airport code for Sioux City, Iowa.

    Fun story, After decades-long fight, Iowa airport embraces unflattering identifier SUX - Metro

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - City leaders have scrapped plans to do away with the Sioux Gateway Airport's unflattering three-letter identifier - SUX - and instead have made it the centerpiece of the airport's new marketing campaign.

    The code, used by pilots and airports worldwide and printed on tickets and luggage tags, will be used on T-shirts and caps sporting the airport's new slogan, "FLY SUX." It also forms the address of the airport's redesigned Web site - www.flysux.com.

    Now if only I had a reason to go to Sioux City.....

    HT: Sarah Skwire at Liberty Fund.

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 09:24 AM in Funny Stuff

    October 05, 2007
    Upward-sloping supply of amnesia

    This, from the AP:

    CHARLESTON, S.C. - A former economist pleaded guilty Friday for his role in swindling investors out of an estimated $90 million, which authorities said he used to purchase a half-dozen homes, swanky cars and jewel-encrusted pens.

    Al Parish, 50, admitted to two counts of fraud and lying to investigators. He faces up to 45 years in prison.

    Even economists, it appears, respond to incentives:

    At a hearing in May, a psychiatrist testified that Parish suffered amnesia resulting from extreme stress, but she also said Parish's memory improved after he learned amnesia was not a defense to the criminal charges.

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 03:25 PM in Funny Stuff

    September 24, 2007
    Is That an Iguana in Your Pants or ...

    A news item:

    A Californian man has been charged with using his false leg to smuggle three endangered iguanas from a nature reserve in Fiji to the United States.

    Prosecutors say Jereme James stole the banded iguanas while on a visit to the South Pacific island in 2002.

    He is alleged to have constructed a special compartment inside his prosthetic limb to move the reptiles.

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 05:00 PM in Funny Stuff

    September 23, 2007
    Assume a Sandpile, Take 2

    Just for fun: Here's a tongue-in-check "example" of a negative feedback from ecoEnquirer.com, a site run by Roy Spencer. A good-natured article about the site is here.

    [M]any people are now also having to deal with another sinister side effect of the extra CO2: plants are loving it. The extra plant "food" has caused a worldwide greening of the Earth, with vegetation sprouting to life in the spring weeks before it is supposed to. This unnatural disruption of Mother Nature's busy schedule has even caused some tropical species to expand their habitats poleward.

    This worldwide greening has led to an unexpected problem for motorists in many countries. People are increasingly finding their cars, trucks, and SUVs covered in vegetation that has grown overnight into tangled masses that engulf their vehicles.

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 04:35 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 03, 2007
    Say what?

    Heard on National Public Radio yesterday afternoon, during a sponsor’s blurb for an educational foundation: “We guide children to think outside the box.” Say what? If you’re guiding them, it can’t really be outside the box, can it? “No, no, Johnny, that’s not how to think outside the box. This is how to think outside the box!”

    Seen on a store sign at the mall: “Every jean on sale.” Say what? Will you really sell me one jean?

    Posted by Lawrence H. White at 09:52 AM in Funny Stuff

    May 25, 2007
    The best MR post EVER...

    Tyler v. Alex: A Guide to the Perplexed

    Posted by Edward J. Lopez at 07:57 PM in Funny Stuff

    April 09, 2007
    What's the impact on M2?

    The Penny Pyramid Project: Picture of completed version: 289,318 pennies.

    It's from April 2006 but still cool.

    Funny and interesting comments at digg.com

    Posted by Craig Depken at 01:23 PM in Funny Stuff

    March 30, 2007
    Ten men go into a bar ...

    It's an old chestnut, but Kamerschen (not Kamerschen as it turns out; see update below) lays it out so nicely.

    Bar Stool Economics

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
    So, that's what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20."

    Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so:
    The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
    The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
    "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"
    "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
    "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

    David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.
    Professor of Economics
    University of Georgia

    Update: Frank pointed me to Greg Mankiw's site, which in turn links to Snopes.com. David Kamerschen has expressly denied authorship, which has yet to be determined.


    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 07:37 PM in Funny Stuff

    March 14, 2007
    Holy Water

    Tim's post reminds me of a joke that I heard when I was an undergraduate: The Vatican is considering freezing holy water and selling it as Popesicles. Which goes to show that reporting people's actions is funnier than making up jokes.

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 03:07 PM in Funny Stuff

    February 28, 2007
    Mike Lester on Gore's Carbon Footprint

    Mike Lester of the RNT provides a nifty follow-up to my post yesterday:

    GoreCarbonFootprint.gif

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 12:47 PM in Funny Stuff

    February 25, 2007
    Ghostbusters on Universities

    "Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities. We didn't have to produce anything. You've never been out of college. You don't know what it is like out there. I've worked in the private sector. They expect results!"

    - Dr. Raymond Stantz, a parapsychology professor played by Dan Aykroyd in the Ghostbusters movies.

    [HT: OCPA]

    Posted by Joshua Hall at 09:23 AM in Funny Stuff

    February 20, 2007
    NASA=Need A Sane Astronaut?

    Christopher Buckley offers a new screening test for the astronaut program.

    HT: Craig Newmark

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 08:34 AM in Funny Stuff

    December 15, 2006
    The need for cattle-lytic converters

    Mike Lester's cartoon is the better of the two, but this one from Chip Bok provides unsuspected context.

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 12:18 PM in Funny Stuff

    December 04, 2006
    A Story About A Christmas Story

    While visiting friends this weekend, my son watched A Christmas Story for the first time. When the movie was over he came downstairs and I asked him how the movie was. He said, "It was good. This guy got shot in the face." Without skipping a beat, my friend said, "What were you watching - the Dick Cheney story?"

    Posted by Joshua Hall at 11:53 AM in Funny Stuff

    November 15, 2006
    Headline of the day

    Jacko stalked by wacko looking for a thriller

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 01:30 PM in Funny Stuff

    September 27, 2006
    Ig Nobel ceremonies coming up

    The 2006 Ig Nobel prizes will be awarded next Thursday, October 5.

    Live webcast is promised starting at 7:20pm Eastern.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:46 PM in Funny Stuff

    Finally, Someone Has Captured American Economics

    Finally, someone has captured the essence of the American economy - or at least the essence of the economic thinking of far too many Americans:

    "[T]he Bush/Halliburton team [is] pulling out the stops to get the Republithugs back in office. Once the dirty deed is done we can expect heating oil prices to climb just when we need it the most. This will be followed in the spring by another “market driven” increase in the price of gas just as the summer driving season begins. It is an old game, drive prices higher just at the time when we need it the most and let them decline just when we don’t use it as much. These gyrations are just a way to tamp down our outrage enough to let them get away with it again next time and conveniently keep their profits down when elections are about to occur and our outrage might lead to change.

    "Think I am wrong? When did we invade Iraq to seize their oil? March, just before driving season. Easy cover for jacking up oil prices wasn’t it? When will we invade Iran? Before May, I promise.

    "It is no accident that elections are held in the fall. Long ago the oil companies figured out that the fall was not an especially profitable time for them due to low gasoline usage and relatively tame energy usage for heating and cooling. What better time to manipulate the market for lower energy costs?"

    This is great satire precisely because it rings true - you can read rants that aren't all that different on left wing blog sites every day. Worth reading the whole thing.

    Posted by Brad Smith at 10:41 AM in Funny Stuff

    September 18, 2006
    Professor v. Cell Phone

    Oh -- I would so love to do this when someone's cell phone goes off in my class.

    [HT: Alex Padilla]

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 04:26 PM in Funny Stuff

    September 16, 2006
    The Gentle Cynic c. 1906

    From the September 16, 1906 NYT:

  • Many a girl has lost a good friend by marrying him.
  • Liquor improves with age. The longer you keep it the better it is for you. Figure it out.
  • The minute a man accomplishes anything he is called a crank by those who have failed.
  • If you go about it right, a quarter will make as much noise dropping into the collection plate as a five-dollar gold piece.
  • Posted by Craig Depken at 02:47 PM in Funny Stuff

    September 11, 2006
    Creative Destruction

    Okay, libertarian professors, you claim to support capital formation. Let's see if you implement this in your classroom.

    To entice you to click, of course you'll want a teaser quote:

    "Now if only Apple could do this with girls."

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 04:46 PM in Funny Stuff

    September 08, 2006
    If you're happy and you know it, ...

    Does money buy happiness? Maybe a better question is whether a system that allows productive activity to generate wealth generates happiness. Anyway, an article at NewScientist.com answers in the affirmative. Excerpt:

    Large industrialised countries fared well in the new analysis, with the US and UK coming in at 23 and 41, respectively, out of 178 nations. This stands in contrast with the recently released "Happy Planet Index" from the New Economics Foundation think tank, which placed Columbia (sic) and Honduras high up.

    How did the "Happy Planet Index" reach its (to me) unexpected conclusion? The HPI is computed as follows:

  • HPI = (Life satisfaction x Life expectancy)/Ecological footprint.

  • This imposes an elasticity of -1 on income, assuing that "ecological footprint" and income vary more or less proportionately. This way you can conclude that Palestinians (52.6) are happier than either the Swiss (48.3) or the Israelis (39.1). Likewise, Americans (28.8) are less happy than Mexicans (54.4) or Guatemalans (61.7). I guess that explains why the Mexican and Guatemalan governments can't keep out those damned American immigrants. By the way, citizens of Nigeria (31.1), Congo (41.8), Burma (44.6), and Vietnam (an amazing 61.2) are happier than Americans.

    Posted by Wilson Mixon at 05:31 PM in Funny Stuff

    August 08, 2006
    Misleading headline of the day c. 1906

    The headline of an article in the August 8, 1906 NYT:

    BELCHER IN STRIPES - Begins his 12 year term in Jail - Will have work in the Kitchen
    I clicked on the story because the headline was interesting. Heck, one never knows if there was an interesting case of belching in public or whatever.

    It turns out that Belcher was the ex-mayor of Paterson, New Jersey, going to jail for ebezzlement and forgery.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:38 PM in Funny Stuff

    Time waster of the day

    Flight simulator mashed with google maps

    HT: Dennis Wilson

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:01 PM in Funny Stuff

    July 31, 2006
    A cop with a sense of humor?!

    This morning, I'm dropping the critter off at her day camp which is located inside one of the state office buildings downtown. As we walk in the lobby we see an Ohio State Highway Patrolman (the OSHP has jursidiction on state property in Ohio) who looks at me wearing a Florida State University t-shirt.

    Cop: "Sir, I'm sorry but you can't come in here with that shirt on. Only OSU shirts are allowed."

    Me: "Ha, ha. I can't win. Just last week the guy at Will Call at the Detroit Tigers game told me when I showed him my ID that he couldn't give me a ticket because I was from Columbus."

    Cop: [Smiling now.] "That's funny. I've given tickets to lots of people from Michigan."

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 06:52 PM in Funny Stuff

    May 09, 2006
    Must Love Dogs

    "No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session," goes an old saying. But now and then a legislature does something right, even if it is only correcting something the legislature did before.

    The Florida legislature closed out its session last week by passing legislation allowing dogs to join their owners in outdoor seating at restaurants. The law had formerly prohibited their presence, even in these outdoor areas. Yeah! One thing I always liked about living in Ecuador many years ago was the ability to take my dog into restaurants. This is the kind of thing that really has little to do with public health, and that the market is perfectly good at regulating. This small step to increase freedom will make the lives of thousands of Floridians just a little bit more enjoyable.

    And note, too, that the legislature also did away with a per drink tax on alcoholic beverages, and named a state pie - the former being an objectively good thing, the latter a better use of time than many other things they could have done. They provided for voter registration at bait shops and gun shops, which for some reason the St. Pete Times doesn't like - presumably, the paper is all for easier registration, just not of gun toting, fishing yahoos.

    On bigger things, the legislature's record was mixed. But allowing dogs into restaurants - well, I'm thinking of moving south.


    Posted by Brad Smith at 01:44 PM in Culture ~ in Funny Stuff ~ in Law ~ in Misc. ~ in Politics  ·  TrackBack (0)

    April 25, 2006
    Police Arrest Nude Man Stuck in Chimney

    HAYWARD, Calif. — A man who spent five hours naked and stuck in the chimney of his stepmother's home was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, police said.

    Police say Michael Urbano, 23, locked himself out of the house early Saturday morning and decided to get in on a cable TV wire through the chimney.

    But the wire broke and Urbano fell, getting stuck about three-quarters of the way down. He was freed when a firefighter pushed him to safety.

    Story here.

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 11:05 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    April 12, 2006
    A rose by any other name c. 1906

    From the April 13, 1906 NYT is an advertisement by Anheuser-Busch :

    A beverage made of barley-malt which is flavored with hops, induces restful sleep and yields placid nerves? Hmmm...that sounds something like - BEER!! Okay, perhaps it wasn't fermented beer, that is, it was alcohol free, but are we sure about that?

    After all, according to my knowledge of brewing (some say I have a knack for the science), it isn't the hops that provides for a restful sleep.

    Such interesting advertisements populate the old papers. My understanding of truth in advertising and consumer protection laws, such as food labelling, etc., is that they stemed from ads like this. Mothers (or fathers, or both) were "tricked" into thinking that drinking "predigested food" (that probably looked, smelled, and perhaps tasted a lot like beer - even if it wasn't technically beer) was preferred to, say, eating some broccoli and drinking some milk.

    Well, perhaps some folks need/needed to be protected from big beer and themselves, as well as Nigerian e-mailers.

    Read More »

    Posted by Craig Depken at 09:19 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    April 08, 2006
    Musings of the Gentle Cynic c. 1906

    From the April 8, 1906 NYT:


    1. You can't buy success at the bargain counter.*
    2. The hand-shaker may be a leg-puller in disguise.
    3. Love is a dream, but marriage is an alarm clock.
    4. Love in a cottage now demands a town house as well.
    5. Honesty is a virtue, consequently it is its own reward.
    6. It seems easier to write life insurance than to right it.
    7. A good cook is more to be desired than great riches.
    8. No man is so fond of pets as to welcome the wolf at the door.
    9. Many a man would trade a family tree for a load of firewood.*
    10. The charity of some people begins with the Charity Ball, and ends there.
    11. Many a thousand-dollar portrait has been painted of a thirty-cent man.
    12. It's hard for a man to get into heaven who puts his religion in his wife's name.
    13. Even the fellow who is wedded to his art may marry in haste and repent at leisure.
    14. A fool and his money are lucky ever to have gotten together in the first place.*
    15. The proof of the pudding may be in the eating, but the proof of the brandy sauce is on the breath.
    16. Beware of the fellow who does the most talking about despising wealth. He generally wants to borrow a quarter.*

    * My personal favorites.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 08:32 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    March 18, 2006
    Time waster

    Internet-wide boggle game.

    Pretty cool.

    HT: Boing Boing

    Posted by Craig Depken at 03:57 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    March 17, 2006
    The Fed is more powerful than we all thought

    Scientists say 'inflation' led to massive expansion.

    But I'm confused, and I'm hoping a science-savvy reader out there can fill me in. The story says

    By the faint cosmic glow of the oldest known light, physicists say they have found evidence that the universe grew to astounding proportions in less than the blink of an eye. In that trillionth of a second after the big bang, the universe expanded from the size of a marble to a volume larger than all of observable space through a process known as inflation.

    Now, wikipedia says that the speed of light is roughly 300,000 km per second, or 0.003 meters per trillionth of a second. In the time of the inflation, then, light would travel only 0.003 meters yet the universe grew to the size of observable space so the universe is expanding much faster than the speed of light. How is it possible that we could observe a faint cosmic glow? Would it not be traveling away from us at a faster rate than the light would be traveling back to us to observe it?

    If you drive your car 70 mph and pass point A, wait a second, then throw a baseball 50mph out the back window, the baseball will never return to point A.

    And, my faint grasp of relatively theory is that something traveling near the speed of light doesn't experience time. If the universe was expanding so much faster than light, wouldn't the particles on the expanding edge still retain the same properties as the first marble? They wouldn't age at all, no?

    What am I missing here? Besides even a bachelor's degree in science.

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 01:28 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    March 15, 2006
    "Cops" Moment c. 1906

    From the March 15, 1906 NYT:

    CLEVELAND - A man whose rolling gait was justified by his sailor costume, strolled into the sixteen-story Williamson Building...this afternoon and boarding an elevator rode to the top floor. Then he took to the stairway that runs through the cupola, and unobserved, reached the roof.

    When they [the police] reached the roof the man in sailor costume had sought a still higher level - he had shinned up the towering flagpole, 225 feet above the ground.

    "Hey, you," called Hannan in tones of authority, "come down out of that."

    "Can't do it," responded the man up the pole. "I have an engagement to meet a bird here in a couple of minutes."

    "Don't you see you're blocking traffic?" demanded Bellet, pointing to the street.

    "What, airships?" grinned the sailor, disregarding the gesture.


    One of the policemen actually lassos one of the fellow's feet and they drag him off the flagpole to the cheers of the staring crowd below.
    "Who are you?" the police asked.

    "I'm Grover Cleveland," he said, "but don't give it away. Treat me right, and I'll do the same for you."

    The police locked him up and have reason to believe that he is not Grover Cleveland at all, but J. Cline, formerly of the battleship Iowa.


    Posted by Craig Depken at 02:13 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    March 04, 2006
    The Best Half-Sentence I've Read Today

    Being a chairman is a lot like a full lobotomy (except the scars last forever)...
    - Mike Munger

    Posted by Joshua Hall at 12:03 PM in Funny Stuff

    February 19, 2006
    Daddy won't be happy

    Why you don't loan your Corvette to your teenager. (Some ads may not be suitable for work?)

    Posted by Craig Depken at 11:10 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    February 02, 2006
    Lowered Expectations

    I hope this fosters some similar posts. We got our course evaluations back today from the Fall semester, and I received the following response to the question "What did you dislike and/or value least about this course and why?" (italics added):

    "I did not like how there wasn't a whole lot of reviewing material. We were sometimes expected to know the information."

    This one is going up on the fridge. As my office neighbor asked me, "Sometimes? What about the other times?"

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 11:49 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    January 21, 2006
    Insert Georgia Joke Here

    From the Rome News-Tribune:

    The tailgate of a truck owned by the city of Rome was reported stolen Tuesday.

    According to Rome police reports:

    Randall Vines told police a 2004 Ford F-150 was left at the city’s public works camp on Vaughn Road. When he arrived at the site close to 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, he discovered the tailgate was missing. There was no value listed.

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 03:03 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    January 11, 2006
    Memo to self:

    After filing for Worker's Compensation for a bad back, stop running marathons.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 11:08 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    January 09, 2006
    Ramming Speed

    Here is the story, segun Greenpeace, of the ramming attack by Japanese whaling vessels.

    You can get the video there also. About halfway down. Just press the play button.

    Yobbo proposes we consider it as a geometry exercise. To wit:

    As you can see, the highly skilled Japanese whaling captain somehow managed to “ram” the Greenpeace vessel’s bow using the starboard flank of his own ship. To an uneducated observer like me, this looks like the maritime equivalent of a handbrake turn. You’ve gotta hand it to the Japanese engineers who’ve invented the sea handbrake. Brilliant.

    Another possible explanation is that the Japanese imported their technology from Neon Genesis Evangelion and secretly installed it onto the Greenpeace boat, then used a telepathic link to cause it to ram the Japanese boat against the captain’s will.

    No two ways about it: the nose of the Greenpeace vessel strikes the side of the Japanese commercial ship. This is a lot like the thug complaining, "You hit my fist with your nose."

    Now, before some Greenpeace folks decide to try to write this down on my permanent record somewhere, let me say this: I don't care much if the commercial vessel did ram you. So, save your technical explanations of the rules of the sea for someone who doesn't admire fishermen trying to do a hard job out on the ocean.

    Sure, they should be careful. But they are trying to make a living by producing something. You bunch of nimrods are trying to make a living by playing on the sympathies of gullible contributors. I'm sure that Sad-eyes Sally in New Jersey will pony up another $100 for the outrage she feels about this video.

    You should thank the fisherman. They enable your parisitic lives, Greenpeace. If you weren't such a bunch of pussweilers, you could become real pirates, like this guy. (Link from Yobbo, again)

    Posted by Michael Munger at 09:54 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    December 23, 2005
    Google will eat itself
    We generate money by serving Google text advertisments on a network of hidden Websites. With this money we automatically buy Google shares.

    We buy Google via their own advertisment! Google eats itself - but in the end "we" own it!

    Only 3.4 billion years to go...

    [Link]
    [HT: Dave Reed]

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 10:38 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    December 20, 2005
    Bad Santas

    They are apparently a real problem this year.

    An excerpt:

    One Santa was stopped by police for driving 150 kph (90 mph) on a northern German motorway, 50 kph over the speed limit.

    "He said he was in a rush because he still had packages to deliver," said a spokesman for the police. They gave Santa a fine and took away his license.

    A different excerpt, my favorite:

    In Britain, police said they were looking for a Santa acting suspiciously -- a flasher who exposed himself to women.

    Hey, Santa: That package is too small to deliver! And why don't you wrap it?

    UPDATE: RL sends some more links for Bad Santas....
    Buff robber santa
    Flashing Santa
    Shooting Santa
    But, here, right here, is the worse Santa of all. Not work safe, and not "just ate" safe, either.

    Posted by Michael Munger at 04:09 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    December 12, 2005
    Spider Sense

    Okay, so I'm going through security on the way to go visit the DoL mother ship at Capital University.

    And I noticed the guy at the x-ray machine sort of move his head forward, then shake his head, and then start to point. He called over another guy from TSA, and they both pointed and whispered to each other about what was on the screen.

    I was thinking, jeez, some moron is trying to bring on some scissors. What an idiot. And aren't these rules stupid? Who cares about scissors?

    Then, a bag comes out of the x-ray machine, and it's my laptop case. They ask, "Is this yours, sir?"

    And my spider sense started to tingle a bit. At least, I think it was my spider sense. Isn't that where you urinate down your own pants leg? I'm pretty sure that's what spider sense is.

    Because I remembered that I had left my pocket knife in my laptop case. I had been book review editor for Public Choice for quite a while, and occasionally I would use the knife to open boxes of books. When I moved from BR Editor to ROW Editor (that's "Rest of World", by the way, outside of Europe), I had slipped the knife in my laptop case.

    And then carried it around for two weeks, never reaching down into the front pocket enough to notice it and take it out.

    Here's the thing: this is not a small knife. It is not even a medium size knife. It is the John Holmes of pocket knives. Folded, it is nearly 7 inches long. The blade is six inches long, easy.

    Anyway, by this time, TSA guys have their gloves on, and a group of about five of them are standing around the computer bag. One of them pulls out the knife, in its little sheath. "Damn! You were right!" the puller yells over his shoulder to the x-rayer.

    At this point, I figure I am going to be on television that night, at least locally. "Moron tries to take sword onto plane; TSA vigilance saves lives. Moron killed with automatic gunfire." At a minimum, I expect some rude questions, a sginficant fine, and a delay long enough to miss my flight.

    But the head TSA guy comes over to me, and explains (in a voice like you would speak to a child, but a child you liked), "Sir, you can't take this onto an airplane. It's against the rules."

    I literally just stare at him, speechless. My spider sense, by this time, has started to make a pool around my left foot.

    "Now, sir, you have some options. You can take this down and put it into your checked baggage, or you can mail it to yourself...."

    I start yelling, and waving my arms as if surrounded by invisible flying bees. "Take it, throw it away, I don't want it, no, I don't want it!"

    TSA guy just smiles and says, "Okay, sir, it will be destroyed. Please be careful next time."

    Now, here are my questions:
    1. WTF?
    2. Why didn't they at least ask some questions?
    3. Why wasn't I fined?
    4. WTFingF?

    Anyway, I made it to Columbus. Really great to see the guys from Econ at WVU, who came over to do some other work, and hung around for the talk and for dinner. (How scary is this picture? Russ...decaf, man, decaf). Great times.

    (Thanks to Bob L, by the way, for posting the streaming version. I thought it said "screaming Munger" at first, and it struck me that was redundant...)

    Posted by Michael Munger at 09:49 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    December 02, 2005
    Lileks on Astrology
    "What’s astrology, daddy?" "It’s a system of belief for people who cannot handle the intellectual demands of Scientology." [Link.]

    Can't.

    Stop.

    Laughing.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 10:00 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    November 22, 2005
    Homer Simpson: Prudent Dove?

    From tonight's Simpson repeat:

    [Bart has just been expelled from Springfield Elementary].

    Marge: Bart, I love you, but sometimes I don’t love your choices. (sigh) Now we have to find another school for you.

    Homer: Yeah, and if you get kicked out of that one you’re going straight in the army where you’ll be sent straight to America’s latest military quagmire. Where will it be? North Korea? Iran? Anything’s possible with Commander Cuckoo-Bananas in charge.

    Posted by Joshua Hall at 07:54 PM in Funny Stuff

    November 17, 2005
    Do as I say...

    In today's campus newspaper an alumnus complains about the newspaper's writing and editing,

    I see less spelling errors and grammar mistakes in blogs.

    Really? I see fewer.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 11:08 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    November 07, 2005
    French Film Star Le Pew Injured in Paris Cat Riots

    Iowahawk spoofs the French riots; an excerpt:

    PARIS - Former French matinee idol Pepe Le Pew was among the hundreds injured last night amid violent feline rioting in the impoverished Parisian suburb of Dans-le-Crappeur. Le Pew, 58, a former Warner Brothers studio actor turned Chirac government spokes-skunk, sustained severe scratches and concussions in the melee before nose-pin equipped EMT rescue squads could drag him to safety. He is expected to make a full recovery.

    Last night's rioting marked the eighth consecutive night of violence in the Paris suburbs, as thousands of immigrant feline youths continue to rampage to protest a lack of jobs and cuts in French government tuna programs. Dans-le-Crappeur, home to tens of thousands of unemployed first-hundred generation immigrant cats, has been particularly hard hit.

    If this isn't politically incorrect enough for your tastes, see also Iowahawk's Hawkeye Hoosegow Honey of the Week.

    Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 04:04 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    October 22, 2005
    Mommy Knows Worst : Highlights from the Golden Age of Bad Parenting Advice

    James Lileks fans should know that his new book will be released this week according to Amazon.Com.

    Shhh. I'm getting a copy for my wife for Christmas.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 09:06 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    October 16, 2005
    World's worst job interview

    As mentioned below, I was in Chicago to interview job candidates. One fellow on our list had bounced around at a few jobs and I was already a bit leery of him before he sat down at our table. We asked him to tell us about himself and here's roughly what he said:

    Well I'm definitely leaving my current position sometime. Maybe not this year but soon. The pay stinks and the teaching load is too high. "What I really want is more money for less effort." (This is a direct quote.) ... I basically can teach whatever but am looking for a paycheck you know? I mean as the saying goes, I'd rather be fishing after all....

    You gotta admire the honesty I guess, but he'll be working for less effort somewhere else.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 05:44 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    October 11, 2005
    Mr. Ohio Wyoming?

    One of my university's students is featured in Cosmo magazine as "Mr. Wyoming". Problem: he's never been to the state of Wyoming in his life. I would've thought that was a requirement. Go figure.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 09:56 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    October 07, 2005
    Ig Nobel in Economics

    From last night's Ig Nobel Prize awards, as described in the Chronicle of Higher Education (reg req'd):

    Economics: Gauri Nanda, who was a master's student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when she invented Clocky, an alarm clock that scurries around the room as it rings, forcing the person it awakens to get out of bed and chase it. "My goal with Clocky was to approach technology in a playful way," wrote Ms. Nanda in an e-mail message.
    Some other awards:
    • Agricultural history: James Watson, head of the School of History, Philosophy, and Politics at Massey University, in New Zealand, for his study "The Significance of Mr. Richard Buckley's Exploding Trousers: Reflections on an Aspect of Technological Change in New Zealand Dairy Farming Between the World Wars," which appeared in the journal Agricultural History.

    • Medicine: Gregg A. Miller, of Independence, Mo., for inventing Neuticles, prosthetic testicles for neutered animals -- cats, dogs, horses, and steers -- in various sizes and three degrees of firmness.

    • Peace: Claire Rind and Peter Simmons, researchers in neuroscience at Britain's University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, for electronically monitoring the brain-cell activity of a locust while it watched selected Star Wars highlights.

    • Fluid dynamics: Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow, a professor of biology at Germany's International University Bremen, and Jozsef Gal, of Hungary's Loránd Eötvös University, for calculating the pressure that builds up inside a penguin's bowels.

    • Literature: The "Internet entrepreneurs" of Nigeria, for their "bold series of short stories" -- in the form of spam.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 11:53 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    October 06, 2005
    Ig Nobel Prizes

    From AIR

    Ig Nobel tonight!

    Tonight the new Ig Nobel Prize winners will be revealed at the Fifteenth 1st Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.

    The LIVE Webcast begins at 7:15 pm Boston time, with a 15-minute pre-concert (The world premiere of "Infinite Chopsticks" performed by the composer, Nicholas Carstoiu)

    The ceremony proper begins at 7:30 pm, and should be approx 90 minutes to two hours long.

    More information:


    The new winners will be journeying, from slightly more than four continents, to attend the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on Thursday night, October 6, at Harvard University.

    This year's theme is INFINITY. The ceremony will include three Infinite Lectures, as well as the premiere of the mini-opera "The Count of Infinity," and the Win-a-Date-with-a-Nobel-Laureate Contest.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:58 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    October 05, 2005
    From reason.com

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:11 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    September 28, 2005
    I dunno

    I don't know much about protecting property in a hurricane because I choose to visit rather than live where hurricanes strike. I don't know what to say about this one, but maybe the Aggies know something other people don't?

    Aggies and Tea-sippers can chime in.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 04:00 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  Comments (5)  ·  TrackBack (0)

    September 26, 2005
    Petitions-R-Us

    Sign a left wing petition for every cause!

    [HT: Brad]

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 09:39 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    September 14, 2005
    How to get PETA activated

    A bio-diesel made, in part, with dead cats:

    Koch said around 20 dead cats added into the mix could help produce enough fuel to fill up a 50-liter (11 gallon) tank.

    But the president of the German Society for the Protection of Animals, Wolfgang Apel, said using dead cats for fuel was illegal."

    Posted by Craig Depken at 09:04 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    September 13, 2005
    "Beef" -- The Rest of the Story

    A local tabloid ran a story about that funny obituary I posted about earlier. Sad story, but that's still one hell of an obit.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 08:31 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    September 11, 2005
    If you dig, will you end up in China?

    According to this Google Earth hack if I dig straight down from Arlington, I would end up somewhere in the Indian Ocean (I think) - I am not sure if that is correct.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 11:50 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    September 05, 2005
    R.I.P. "Beef"

    James Robert "Beef" Ward

    WARD James Robert "Beef" Ward, 39, passed away Thursday, September 1, 2005 at O.S.U. East Hospital. He will be sadly and sorely missed by his loving family. Jimmy, whom his family affectionately called "Pork" or "Bubba", will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor along with his dedication to his family. A beloved son, brother and uncle he was also a devoted animal lover whose kindness and gentle soul enriched all who knew him. Preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Jean "Buffalo Butt" Ward and pets, Princess, Buster, Lady, Bonkers, Susie, Daisy and Silky. Survived by the "light of his life" fiance, Annie "Red" Callahan; father, J. Richard "Old Fart" (Debbie "Peep") Ward; sisters, Cathy "Funny Face" (Paul) Graf, Karen "Turtle" Ward, "Hamburger" Patty Ward, Amy "Amos" Ward; beloved children to be, Jessica "Thunder Child" and James; nephews, Joshua and Jason; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends; pets, Simba, Charlie, Max, Bailey, Aussie, Sylvia, Elvis, Moe, Misty, Chloe, Blue, Sidney, Coco, Harley, Cassie, Paige, Little Dude and Diabla. A funeral service will be held...

    Published in The Columbus Dispatch from 9/3/2005 - 9/4/2005.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 10:42 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    August 17, 2005
    First evolution, next intelligent design, and now this....

    The world was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 02:57 PM in Funny Stuff ~ in Science  ·  TrackBack (0)

    August 08, 2005
    Viral Marketing

    Hat tip to Financial Rounds
    Here is the definition of viral marketing:

      Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence

    I caught the virus. Here is the message.

    Posted by at 01:08 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    August 03, 2005
    Who polices the mall police?

    A shocking revelation from the Bridgeport mall in West Virginia, reported by WBOY:

    A former mall security chief is free on bond, charged with pocketing more than $120-thousand dollars in coins. […]

    Police say he stole more than $120-thousand dollars over six years from the mall's kiddie rides. According to the criminal complaint. police say Beatty cut the wires to the machines and made off with around $20-thousand dollars a year since 1999. Mall officials started an investigation after noticing a drop in sales.

    Wow. Who knew coin-op kiddie rides were so lucrative?

    How did he spend or convert $20,000 in quarters per year? Wouldn’t your bank be suspicious if, wearing your mall security guard outfit, you brought in $400 in quarters every week?

    Posted by Lawrence H. White at 02:30 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    July 22, 2005
    Google to replace NASA?

    Take a look at Google Moon. I suppose we could replace NASA with Google and be done with it all. The discoveries might be impressive - try zooming all the way in. The details are amazing.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 11:50 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    July 08, 2005
    Keep the change

    On Friday, June 17, a temple elephant named Mahalakshmi, in Kinnigoly, India, reportedly ate a female worshipper’s plastic bag containing keys, coins, and Rs 7,000 (about $160) in currency notes.

    The woman had just borrowed the money to pay her daughter’s college fees. She spent the next two days patiently waiting and sorting through the elephant’s manure, fearing that the paper notes had been digested. Finally, on Sunday evening,

    the elephant reportedly discharged about Rs 4,000 worth of notes - a few in Rs 500 and the rest in other denominations - but they were all in drenched and discoloured state. They may not be fit to be put into circulation again.

    May not?

    Posted by Lawrence H. White at 02:30 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    July 06, 2005
    More google maps apps

    I am back from vacation and am wading in the shallow end of the Matrix - I have to teach tonight and I have some grading to do today - but here is an interesting application of Google Maps:

    Google News overlayed on Google Maps

    This is pretty interesting.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 11:01 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    July 01, 2005
    A little fun for the kiddies

    Over the weekend, a lot of ice cream will be eaten. Why not burn some calories and have some fun with the kids by making your own ice cream without an ice-cream maker?

    Instructions here

    Posted by Craig Depken at 04:09 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    Thanks mom, I think?
    "To everyone else, it seems like a stupid thing to do. To me, $10,000 is like $1 million. I only live once, and I'm doing it for my son," she said.

    So says Kari Smith who had her forehead tattooed with the Web address of a gambling site for $10,000.

    Story here

    Posted by Craig Depken at 03:38 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (1)

    June 17, 2005
    Buzzword of the day

    From Buzzwhack.com:

    Deja poo: The feeling that you've stepped in
    this bull before.

    I like that one.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 01:21 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    May 31, 2005
    Buzzword of the day

    From Buzzwhack.com:

    MBA: To a small part of the workforce, it's a coveted business degree. To the folks who work for bosses with MBAs, it more often stands for Mediocre But Arrogant.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:03 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    May 27, 2005
    Another trade deficit with China?

    As if things weren't bad enough, we now have a trade deficit in dogs with China. Evidently, China can make dogs faster and cheaper (but are they of higher quality?).

    Okay, seriously...From the May 25th New York Daily News:

    Thirty dogs, given a reprieve from death at a Beijing animal shelter, are being flown to Long Island, where they'll be put up for adoption. The pooches - basset hounds, Dalmatians, German shepherds, terriers and, yes, Pekingese - land at Kennedy Airport tonight.

    The North Shore Animal League in Port Washington and the International Fund for Animal Welfare raised $30,000 to bring the dogs over.

    I don't want to hear any New Yorkers complain that the economy is in the tank when they can find 30 grand to fly dogs across an ocean and a continent. Have these people ever encountered the concept of opportunity cost?

    A side note:

    In Beijing, some 41 breeds are verboten, and it's illegal to own a dog taller than 14 inches. Also, the residents of China's capital can't have more than one dog each.

    It's illegal in Beijing to own anything but a yip dog? What about seeing eye dogs and such? Alas, another cost of statism.

    Update: Perhaps there are no seeing eye dogs for two reasons. Either there are no blind people in China or China is so labor intensive that there are seeing eye people instead of seeing eye dogs.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:30 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (0)

    May 13, 2005
    Ripping off James Taranto and BOTW

    I found a local example of "It's the Eponymy Stupid:"

    Kenneth Prude took the stand Thursday as the first defense witness during his child molestation trial and cried as he talked about a plaque he received from a parent the night of one alleged incident.

    The guy is an ex-high school coach.

    Posted by Tim Shaughnessy at 01:52 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (24)

    April 29, 2005
    Gizoogle

    Warning: Politically Incorrect Material to Follow

    Translate your webpage with this website. Here's DoL's current Adam Smith quote translated:

    "The dawg of system...seems ta imagine that he can arrange tha different memba of a bootylicious society wit as miznuch eaze as tha hand arranges tha different pieces upon a chess-board...but that, in tha bootylicious chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own..."

    Adam S-M-to-tha-izzith

    [Hat tip: Keith]

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 04:33 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (86)

    April 26, 2005
    Buzzword of the Day

    From Buzzwhack:

    time toilet: Any project, assignment,
    meeting, etc., that takes more time than
    expected -- effectively flushing away
    whole your day.

    Sounds like a good name for most college faculty meetings - our's is this Friday.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:22 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (25)

    April 22, 2005
    Interesting "game"

    Guess the Google presents montage of pictures and you guess the google keyword that generated it. They start to repeat, but the first time I played I scored 119 and the second time 260 (with three repeats - two I got right and one I didn't).

    Interesting what comes to mind when you see things.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 08:30 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (32)

    April 15, 2005
    More things found in food

    This time in Fort Worth. A teacher found a dead (thankfully?) frog in the grean beans she had bought from a local Grandy's.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:10 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (22)

    April 13, 2005
    Crazy Patents

    Those of you who believe in real business cycle theory might like to visit Free Patents Online. It provides a free searchable database of patents. The Crazy Patents page makes you wonder who is working late at the patent office. At the top of the list is a method for exercising cats. It involves using a laser pointer. Gosh, I have been doing that for years, but I never viewed it as exercising the cat. It was more like, look at the stupid cat.


    cat.jpg


    Posted by at 11:27 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (23)

    April 07, 2005
    More trouble with $2 bills

    A while back I linked to a funny story about an incident at a Taco Bell concerning a $2 bill. It seems that the lowly $2 bill has caused problems again - this time in Baltimore:

    PUT YOURSELF in Mike Bolesta's place. On the morning of Feb. 20, he buys a new radio-CD player for his 17-year-old son Christopher's car. He pays the $114 installation charge with 57 crisp new $2 bills, which, when last observed, were still considered legitimate currency in the United States proper. The $2 bills are Bolesta's idea of payment, and his little comic protest, too.

    For this, Bolesta, Baltimore County resident, innocent citizen, owner of Capital City Student Tours, finds himself under arrest.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 11:58 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (29)

    March 28, 2005
    For those with empty doors

    Posted by Craig Depken at 10:59 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (3)

    Buzzword of the Day

    From Buzzwhack :

    SEP: Someone Else's Problem. "Let's outsource production and make it SEP."

    Sounds like Congress's answer to social security reform and everything else that requires a backbone.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 12:24 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (1)

    March 26, 2005
    DOL Attacked!?

    By viruses, or hackers?

    Nope, but what about by martians? or by nukes? The perspective makes DOL seem massive.

    Posted by Craig Depken at 05:02 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (2)

    March 25, 2005
    Jousting Peeps

    After a few hours of family time and a few highballs on Easter Sunday, I always look forward to the traditional family Peep jousting tournament.

    I love smell of burning sugar in the morning.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 10:47 AM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (2)

    March 10, 2005
    Summers is Sick!!

    The article referenced by Craig below is a hoot. Summers is definitely sick and so were all those dissidents in Soviet psychiatric hospitals. Then again, this could describe the typical economist.

    "People with Asperger's may be unnervingly smart in specific modes of thinking but have trouble functioning in rudimentary social situations. They have difficulty handling change and transition. They don't work well on teams. One on one, they won't make eye contact, instead staring at a wall or into space. While they may have excellent vocabularies, they can also be linguistically tone-deaf and use words that convey a different meaning than they intend, which can result in their sounding brusque, dismissive, or simply as if they're not listening.”

    Or in the words of West Side Story


    RIFF (to Action)(sings)
    My Daddy beats my Mommy,
    My Mommy clobbers me,
    My Grandpa is a Commie,
    My Grandma pushes tea.
    My sister wears a mustache,
    My brother wears a dress.
    Goodness Gracious, that’s why I’m a mess!

    ACTION (as psychiatrist)
    Yes!
    Officer Krupke, he shouldn’t be here.
    This boy don’t need a couch, he needs
    A useful career.
    Society’s played him a terrible trick,
    And sociologically he’s sick!

    RIFF
    I am sick!

    ALL
    We are sick, we are sick,
    We are sick sick sick
    Like we’re sociologically sick!

    ACTION (speaks as psychiatrist)
    In my opinion, this child does not need
    To have his head shrunk at all.
    Juvenile delinquency is purely a
    Social disease.

    RIFF (spoken)
    Hey, I got a social disease!

    Posted by at 01:43 PM in Funny Stuff  ·  TrackBack (2)

    March 05, 2005
    What a year!

    As the cliche goes, I don't usually pass these along, but...

    What a YEAR!!!!

    I want to thank all of you who have taken the time and trouble to send
    me your !@#$% chain letters over the past year.

    Thank you for making me feel safe, secure, blessed, and wealthy.

    Because of your concern:

    I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

    I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are 'atheists' who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

    I no longer drink anything out of a can because I will get sick from the rat feces and urine.

    I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

    I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could get pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

    I no longer use cancer causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

    I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

    I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

    I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops.

    I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a stupid
    number for which I will get the phone bill from HELL with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan.

    I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

    I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now HAVE their recipe.

    I no longer worry about my soul because I have 3,163,214 Angels looking out for Me.

    I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time).

    I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special E-mail program.

    Yes, I want to thank all of you soooooooo much for looking out for me!!!

    I will now return the favor. If you don't send this E-mail to at least 1200 people in the next 60 seconds, a large bird with diarrhea will crap on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas of a thousand camels will infest your armpits. I know this will occur because .. it actually happened to a friend of a friend.

    Posted by Robert Lawson at 09:45 AM in Funny Stuff

    March 02, 2005
    Cause...Effect? I can NEVER keep those two straight

    I am quite sure you don't have to be an idiot to teach at the NYU Poli Sci department. They have many distinguished faculty.

    But....well, check this out. I give you Bertell Ollman : ay, marry now, unmuzzle your wisdom.

    The rules of basketball have changed often over the years, so I hope no one will object if I offer a few modest revisions to make this truly wonderful game even better:

    First, I would charge an admission fee not only to watch the game but to play in it. And the more one pays, the longer one gets to stay in the game.

    Second, there should be a price paid for each shot taken, and the easier the shot, the more it should cost.

    Third, as for fouls, one should be able to pay the referees, so that they never call any fouls on you (or walking or double dribble violations for that matter).

    Fourth - and maybe most important - there is no good reason that the baskets should be the same height for both teams. It should be possible for the team that pays more to have its basket lowered, and for double that amount to have the basket the other team is going for raised.

    Under present rules, those players who are taller and better coordinated and can run faster and jump higher have all the advantages. My rules would exchange the advantages enjoyed by these people for other advantages that would benefit a different group, one that has been poorly served by basketball as now played. That group is the rich. With my rules, the rich would possess all the "talent" (what it takes to win) and - more in keeping with what occurs in the rest of society - never lose a game.
    ...
    Our goal? To make all of life as interesting, as fair, as cooperative and as much fun as basketball, whose rules and mode of play would then serve as excellent education for life in such a society. Our motto? "Basketball players of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your coaches, your bosses and your landlords." Now there's a game - and a world - worth celebrating.

    ATSRTWT.

    Nod to MWT, even though he probably buys this stuff.

    Posted by Michael Munger at 09:39 PM in Funny Stuff

    The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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