All things shark

August 24, 2015

Heavy advertisement on cable tv for the summer-end event Shweekend (Shark Weekend — somehow, sharks provoke portmanteaus) on the Discovery Channel.

(#1)

(The poster plays on the film title Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!)

Read the rest of this entry »

At the fair

August 23, 2015

Bulletin from Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird in the September 2015 Funny Times:

Summer is state-fair season, i.e., the time of sugar- and fried-fat-based comfort snacks that rarely appear anywhere except at state fairs. Recent samplings: caviar-covered Twinkie (Minnesota), mac-and-cheese cupcake (Minnesota), deep-fried Oreo burger (Florida), deep-fried gummy bears (Ohio), deep-fried beer (Texas) – and old favorites such as chicken-fried bacon (Texas), spaghetti ice cream (Indiana), Krispy Kreme chicken sandwich (California), and the hot-beef sundae (Indiana, Iowa).

Lots of fried things:

  (#1)

Plus, for a change of pace, a grinder in Iowa:

  (#2)

A grinder is essentially a loose-meat Italian sausage sandwich, with red sauce, onions and green peppers served topped with melted cheese on a hoagie bun.

There’s more, so much more.

Fidel of the Castro

August 23, 2015

The latest Funny Times arrived a couple days ago, and as usual there was a bunch of cartoons I laughed at, and some I wanted to post, but I couldn’t find usable copies or even identify the artists, despite trying several routes. Here’s my favorite of the set, a cartoon with no signature at all, and a style I didn’t recognize. So here, a description.

We see a burly Fidel Castro, with a smoking cigar in his hand and heavy-duty pecs on display, one notably pierced, plus metal stars in one pierced ear and on his epaulets. Titled as above: Fidel of the Castro, punning on his family name and the name of the San Francisco street that gives its name to The Castro, the gayborhood.

Leads to the cartoon would be much appreciated.

Falling trees

August 23, 2015

Yesterday’s Bizarro puts a fresh twist on an old philosophical puzzle:

Previously on this blog, a Zippy (posted 10/15/12) on a related theme, with the punning punch line:

If a red-breasted nuthatch sings in a forest & there’s no one there to google it, did it post a tweet?

So what does it refer to in the top panel? In the old conundrum, it refers to the falling of the tree. But in the bottom panel, it refers to the tree itself, which turns out to have the power of speech; it can certainly make a sound (of its own volition).

Read the rest of this entry »

Kraken! And GEICO!

August 23, 2015

This recent tv ad for GEICO entertained me enormously:

A description, from the iSpot.tv site:

At a golf tournament, a golfer prepares to make a shot over the water. Just before he goes to swing, a kraken emerges from the water and grabs the golfer and his caddy, swinging them around with its tentacles. While all this is happening, the golf commentators continue quietly narrating the event. When you’re a golf commentator, you whisper — It’s what you do. If you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance, you switch to GEICO.

(#1)

Now, some notes: on the Kraken, and on GEICO and the”It’s What You Do” ads.

Read the rest of this entry »

Annals of cultural diversity: B&H Dairy

August 22, 2015

The latest episode in the tale of B&H Dairy, in NYC’s East Village: from yesterday’s NYT, a triumph: “B&H Dairy in the East Village Reopens After Months of Red Tape” by Jim Dwyer:

At lunchtime Thursday, there wasn’t an empty stool or seat to be had at B&H Dairy, a venerable 400-square-foot restaurant in the East Village that survived the Second Avenue gas explosion in March but appeared doomed when it was bound and gagged in red tape. The place managed to reopen a few days ago, and everyone has come back.

… Working the cash register, Ola Smigielska, who owns B&H with her husband, Fawzy Abdelwahed, greeted each customer who stopped to chat and wondered how they had lasted so long without the stick-to-the-kishkes blintzes.

… B&H is a kosher dairy restaurant created 80 years ago for a generation of Jewish immigrants that has long since moved on. It is now run by a Polish Catholic, Ms. Smigielska, and an Egyptian Muslim, Mr. Abdelwahed. They sell T-shirts printed with the words “Challah! Por favor.”

A triumph of cultural diversity, pretty much possible only in a cosmopolitan city: a highly culture-specific resource maintains itself even after the people who originally used and staffed it have moved elsewhere, only to be replaced by people from other cultures. It’s as if Kosher Dairy Restaurant had taken on a life of its own. B&H Dairy is now staffed by a Polish Catholic and an Egytian Muslim (who are, wonderfully, married to one another) and its clientele, all devoted to the food, are drawn from a huge slice of urban groups.

Read the rest of this entry »

Seedy invasives

August 22, 2015

In my “More plant families” posting yesterday, I turned to two big families I’d missed in an earlier posting and then to my recollections of plants in my Columbus OH garden that were self-seeding and/or self-hybridizing: cleomes, California poppies, opium poppies, foxgloves, borage, columbines, tradescantia, nasturtiums, and then I looked at the plant families they belonged to — a project that added 8 more families to the 9 I’d looked at in the earlier posting and the two I’d looked at in my “Penstemon” posting. (If you’re counting families, the score is now 19.)

Now I want to switch my focus from the intricacies of botanical taxonomy (without abandoning the topic entirely) to the significance of self-seeding (or self-sowing), one form of invasiveness in the gardening world, one way in which plants can spread so as to take over parts of a garden. The other is vegetative spread, by division or, especially, by creeping (via underground roots or surface runners). You’ve got your seedy invasives and you’ve got your creepy invasives.

Of course, the topic goes well beyond these homey horticultural matters, to invasive plants — and animals — on a much larger scale, where invasiveness has taken on political significance of several kinds. Eventually I intend to post about a piece by Andrew Cockburn in the September 2015 Harper’s, “Weed Whackers: Monsanto, glyphosphate, and the war on invasive species”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bizarro: use and mention

August 21, 2015

Yesterday’s Bizarro:

The student’s query, as represented by the punctuation in the strip, mentions the words “I” and “you”; the query is about words. The teacher has access only to what the student says (not her intentions as indicated by the punctuation), so the teacher takes the question to be about people, expressed in non-standard subject-verb agreement (“What is you?”) — and the teacher then uses non-standard agreement as well (“I is the teacher”).

Read the rest of this entry »

More plant families

August 21, 2015

After I posted on “Plant families” I realized I’d missed one gigantic, and enormously important, one: the grasses. Collecting material for that, I found one more big one.

Meanwhile, inspired by some late-season cleome flowers at the Gamble Garden yesterday, I began to assemble material on plants I had grown in my Columbus garden that self-seeded (as the cleomes did) or self-hybridized (like the columbines), and that took me mostly to smaller plant families, ones I hadn’t already posted about. In the end, 8 new families, plus a replay of two from an earliier posting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Braldt Bralds

August 21, 2015

Another artist in the borderlands between graphic art, illustration, and cartooning: the creator of this work, “Rainbow Whiskers”, which my family picked up at the Columbus Museum of Art in a sale of reproductions around 1980:

(#1)

Our copy (now with me in Palo Alto) bears a message from the Lung Association, by way of the cats:

We Don’t Want You To Smoke

Read the rest of this entry »


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 855 other followers