The latest posts tagged with kottkeFriday — April 23, 2010
Of mice and lords
- From a House of Lords debate transcript, a discussion of the mouse problem in the Lords' part of the Palace of Westminster. In part...
- The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, I am well aware that there are still mice around. I saw one in the Bishops' Bar only yesterday evening. I do not know whether it was the same one that I saw the day before or a different one; it is always difficult to tell the difference between the various mice that one sees. We believe that the problem is getting better. Cleaning is one of the measures we are taking, as I outlined in my original Answer. As I speak here this afternoon, the Bishops' Bar and the Guest Room are being hoovered, so we can get rid of the food scraps from lunch. If you were a mouse, you would rather eat the crumbs of a smoked salmon sandwich than the bait. Therefore, we want to remove the crumbs as quickly as possible.
- Lord Pilkington of Oxenford: Why should I and noble Lords trust the Executive to deal with mice when they cannot deal with the economy?
- The Chairman of Committees: My Lords, I do not actually deal with the economy. I am glad to say that that would be above my pay grade, whereas trying to deal with the mice is probably just about right for me.
- Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I was in total ignorance that there was anything of the nature of a mouse helpline until this Question Time. Can the Chairman of Committees tell us what helplines there are for Members of the House on other issues that we do not know about?
- The Chairman of Committees: I rather hope that we do not have too many other ones. I was not going to advertise the existence of the mouse helpline, although it was advertised some time ago. Indeed, I invited Members of the House to telephone when they saw mice. The trouble is that when the person at the other end of the helpline goes to check this out, very often the mouse has gone elsewhere.
- (via Kottke)
If Back to the Future were made today, Marty would have travelled back in time to 1980.
— Dammit, Kottke. Why you gotta go and do that?
The playwright David Mamet and the theatre director Gregory Mosher affirm that some years ago, late one night in the bar of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago, this happened:
Ricky Jay, who is perhaps the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive, was performing magic with a deck of cards. Also present was a friend of Mamet and Mosher’s named Christ Nogulich, the director of food and beverage at the hotel. After twenty minutes of disbelief-suspending manipulations, Jay spread the deck face up on the bar counter and asked Nogulich to concentrate on a specific card but not to reveal it. Jay then assembled the deck face down, shuffled, cut it into two piles, and asked Nogulich to point to one of the piles and name his card.
“Three of clubs,” Nogulich said, and he was then instructed to turn over the top card.
He turned over the three of clubs.
Mosher, in what could be interpreted as a passive-aggressive act, quietly announced, “Ricky, you know, I also concentrated on a card.”
After an interval of silence, Jay said, “That’s interesting, Gregory, but I only do this for one person at a time.”
Mosher persisted: “Well, Ricky, I really was thinking of a card.”
Jay paused, frowned, stared at Mosher, and said, “This is a distinct change of procedure.” A longer pause. “All right-what was the card?”
“Two of spades.”
Jay nodded, and gestured toward the other pile, and Mosher turned over its top card.
The deuce of spades.
A small riot ensued.
— Ricky Jay via Kottke via The New Yorker.
In 1704, playright John Dennis invented a new method of producing the sound of thunder during a play. Dennis’ play was unsuccessful, but his thunder technique was soon borrowed by another production, leading Dennis to exclaim:
Damn them! They will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder.
— (via kottke.org)
a am and anywhere are be boat box car could dark do eat eggs fox goat good green ham here house I if in let like may me mouse not on or rain Sam say see so thank that the them there they train tree try will with would you
All fifty unique words used in Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.
DAD: Why do the molecules have a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail?
DAD: Because the C-O bonds in the head are highly polar, and the C-H bonds in the tail are effectively non-polar.