Thursday, March 26, 2015

Second star to the right, and straight on till morning

Wonderfully evocative scenes, iconic even, from the best play I never saw are available at the end of this paragraph, but only if you are signed in to Facebook before you click on the link (I think) . If you are not signed in to Facebook before you click on the link, you probably will not be able to view any wonderfully evocative scenes, iconic or otherwise, from the best play I never saw. However, you will still be able to see the three principal characters (one of whom just happened to have been played by my grandson) by looking at the post just before this one.

Wonderfully evocative scenes, iconic even, from the best play I never saw

To commemorate this auspicious occasion, I wish to announce a poetry contest. In the comments section, please submit your entry, which must have something to do with Peter Pan. It can be a sonnet, a villanelle, a limerick (clean only, please) , a haiku, a parody of another poem. The only requirement is that it must make the reader think of Peter Pan.

For example, you might begin:

Tiger Lily, sinking fast,


How doth the hungry crocodile


O Captain! My Captain! Your shiny hook is sharp


Tinker Bell, Tinker Bell, Tinkling all the way

or even

There once was a playwright, James Barrie,

Well, I’m sure you get the idea.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The best play I never saw

For some time Mrs. RWP and I had been looking forward to attending this past week the spring musical production at our grandson’s and granddaughter’s school. When the date arrived, however, illness forced us to stay home. We were very disappointed.

What a pleasant surprise it was, then, to discover that one of the grandchildren’s maternal uncles had posted the playbill:

and an after-show photograph of three principal characters:

on his Facebook page!

Our grandson portrayed Captain Hook. The other characters are Wendy (L) and Peter Pan (R) .

If the acting and staging were half as impressive as the costuming, we missed a wonderful show!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Viewers of my blog

In the last two hours:

In the last day:

In the last week:

In the last month:

In the last five years:

As Gladys Hardy of Austin, Texas, once said to Ellen DeGeneres, “Well, I’m sure that means something.”

I thought it would be a nice touch to end this post with a link to a video of someone singing “Am I Blue?” but the only videos I could find were by Billie Holliday, Ethel Waters, Hoagy Carmichael, and Cher. Not singing together, mind you. Individually. In the end I decided against doing it. However, you are welcome to look up the song for yourself if you like.

Today is the birthday of my maternal grandfather, Nathan Silberman. He was born in 1875 and died in 1970.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Solipsisms R Us

The statistics for my birthday for this year have now been tallied, certified by the Secretary of State’s office, and archived for posterity.

With 100% of the precincts reporting, the final figures are:

Number of cards received via snail mail using actual postage stamp: 5
Number of musical cards received via email: 1
Number of greetings received on Facebook: 19
Number of comments received on my birthday Blogpost: 9
Number of telephone calls received from my children: 2
Number of text messages received from my children: 1
Number of text messages received from my children’s children: 2
Number of times hearing “Happy Birthday” sung: 2
Number of free desserts received at swanky restaurants: 1
Number of free milkshakes received at fast-food restaurants: 1
Number of pairs of new socks received from spouse: 4
Number of pairs of new underpants received from spouse: 4
Number of sets of new pajamas received from spouse: 1.5

But enough about me. What did you think about my birthday?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

J’ai soixante-quatorze ans aujourd’hui

It’s true.

I’m 74 years old today. Note that the French do not say seventy-four, they say sixty-fourteen. The French also say four twenties instead of eighty, but I don’t have to come to terms with that for several years yet. Six, I think. I was never that good at math.

I received text messages and phone calls from my children, and my wife took me out to lunch at an Italian restaurant. Nine people wished me a happy birthday on Facebook, and I received three real cards and one online card.

I think I will pretend that people all over the world are celebrating my birthday and wish myself a happy birthday in many different languages:

Joyeux anniversaire! (French)

¡Feliz cumpleaños! (Spanish)

Gute zum Geburtstag! (German)

Buon compleanno! (Italian)

Gëzuar ditëlindjen! (Albanian)

Gelukkige verjaardag! (Dutch)

Feliç aniversari! (Catalan)

Všechno nejlepší k narozeninám! (Czech)

Všetko najlepšie k narodeninám! (Slovak)

Tillykke med fødselsdagen! (Danish)

Hyvää syntymäpäivää! (Finnish)

Zoo siab hnub yug! (Hmong)

Boldog születésnapot! (Hungarian)

Furaha ya kuzaliwa! (Swahili)

Usuku olumnandi lokuzalwa! (Zulu)

Wszystkiego najlepszego! (Polish)

Grattis på födelsedagen! (Swedish)

And those are just some of the languages that use the same alphabet English does. I did not yet tell myself happy birthday in any languages that use a different alphabet (if that is the correct term) . Let me correct that oversight:

С Днем Рождения (Russian)

Χρόνια πολλά (Greek)

สุขสันต์วันเกิด (Thai)

生日快樂 (Chinese)

عيد ميلاد سعيد (Arabic)

जन्मदिन मुबारक (Hindi)

생일 축하 해요 (Korean)

お誕生日おめでとうございます (Japanese)

יום הולדת שמח (Hebrew)

ბედნიერი დაბადების დღე (Georgian)

Boy, that Tower of Babel incident really did a number on the human race, didn’t it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Did Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist Maureen Dowd really write that about Hillary Clinton in The New York Times on Sunday?

The short answer is:


She really did.

For those of you who never click on links, let’s just say Ms. Dowd was less than kind.

Some of my readers across-the-pond (you know who you are) may have conniption fits at the perceived meanness of Ms. Dowd. They may even be stricken with the collywobbles.

It simply cannot be helped.

As the young folk say nowadays, it is what it is.

There was one statement near the end of Ms. Dowd’s column with which I emphatically disagree, and it didn’t have anything to do with Hillary Clinton:

Ms. Dowd said, “Whatever else you say about [President Obama], he has no shadows.”

Au contraire, Maureen, au contraire. He has been keeping millions of people in the dark for several years.

In spite of that being the case, a happy St. Patrick’s day to one and all!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Since Y2K happened, Pi Day 2015 is no longer special

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post.

The whole Y2K brouhaha that took place fifteen years ago has taken all the fun out of Pi Day for me.

I’ll tell you why.

Nobody -- at least, no computer -- uses two digits to indicate the year any more.

Without going through all the gory details, computer programmers in the 20th century could get away with using a two-digit year in a date field (such as 3/14/15) , but as the 21st century loomed on the horizon computer programmers already had long-range plans and made adequate preparation suddenly panicked at the thought that extensive changes to many, many programs had to be made to be able henceforth to determine whether a date -- a date of birth or marriage or death, for example, or the difference between two dates -- involved a 20th-century date or a 21st-century date.

In the early days of computer programming (mid- to late-20th century) , computer programs routinely subtracted one year from another to determine which date was earlier and which was more recent. But crossing the millenium boundary* made it necessary to solve in another way the problem of, say, June 3, 2004, being a later date than November 9, 1997. Subtraction simply wasn’t going to work any more using a two-digit year. I mean, 04 is less than 97, but humans know that 2004 is not earlier than 1997. Computers do not. In this respect, human beings are very smart and computers are very stupid.

Where previously month, day, and year could be expressed in mmddyy format, beginning on January 1, 2000, the format had to be changed to mmddyyyy (alternately known as mmddccyy where cc meant century) . This caused no end of consternation among the computer programming portion of the populace for months on end.

But, as we all know, the conversion eventually took place and the world did not end at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 1999. However, one result of all the hand-wringing and head-scratching fifteen years ago is that the most recent Pi Day was not 3/14/15, it was 3/14/2015, and 9:26.53 a.m. on Pi Day could not possibly be expressed as 3.141592653 since, using the new yyyy format, it must be expressed as 3.14201592653. That is not what Pi meant at all. That is not it, at all.

The following passage of poetry suddenly leaps to mind:

I grow old . . . I grow old . . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.

Can you tell why?

*The millenium boundary was actually 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2001, not 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2000. But that is probably a topic for another post.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Yesterday was Pi Day, but there is still time to celebrate Approximate Pi Day™

I neglected to say one word about Pi Day yesterday, although I did write a post about it last year.

Pi Day. Get it? March 14 (3.14) .

It only works in countries in which most of the people write the month before the day. Countries in which most of the people write the day before the month (14 March, 14.3) find the whole idea rather curious.

But this year’s Pi Day was a more interesting one than usual. In fact, the sort of Pi Day this year’s Pi Day was happens only once every century.

It didn’t happen on 3/14/12 or 3/14/13 or 3/14/14 and it won’t happen on 3/14/16 or 3/14/17 or 3/14/18. Only on 3/14/15 do the month, day and year match the first six digits of pi (because pi is not 3.1416, it’s 3.14159, don’t you know.

Furthermore, at a certain moment Saturday morning it was 3/14/15 at 9:26 a.m. (first eight digits of pi) and not only that, at a certain second in that minute yesterday morning it was 3/14/15 9:26.53 (first 10 digits of pi). This phenomenon, pi expressed as a month, day, year, hour, minute, and second happens only once every hundred years. The last time it happened was in the year 1915, and the next time it will happen will be in the year 2115.

And I missed it.

I suppose you could say it happened twice (9:26.53 a.m. and 9:26.53 p.m.) , but let’s just go with the 24-hour clock, in which 9:26.53 p.m. is expressed as 21:26.53 and say it happened once, and be done with it.

I’m posting today because some people say better late than never.

Some people also say a stitch in time saves nine.

Some people say faint heart ne’er won fair maid.

Some people say pride goeth before a fall.

Some people say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I fear I am drifting off topic.

Where was I? Oh yes, Pi Day.

If you live in a country where most of the people write the day before the month and are content with approximations rather than insisting on multiple decimal places of accuracy, you can still celebrate Approximate Pi Day™, which I think I just invented.

You can celebrate on July 22nd instead of March 14th because 3.14 is approximately 22/7. Moreover, it doesn’t happen just once every hundred years. You can celebrate Approximate Pi Day™ on July 22nd every single year if you like.

So the moral of the story is that while one man’s meat may be another man’s poison, one man’s Pi Day is March 14th and another man’s Pi Day is July 22nd.

The balance of the cosmos is now restored.

Now if only the water in toilets would swirl in the same direction in both the northern and southern hemispheres, humankind might achieve a true and lasting peace in the world.

This post will be continued tomorrow.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

My readership seems to have plateau’d

Now that I am posting less often than I used to, pageviews of my blog have taken a decided downturn. In fact, my readership has plunged alarmingly pretty much leveled off except for occasional mountains here and there. You might even say that interest in my blog has plateau’d:

At first it seemed to me that more views were taking place on Mondays, but that phenomenon was short-lived. My current theory is that the number of readers a blog attracts depends on whether the labels attached to individual posts match what potential readers enter into search engines.

It occurs to me that the chart of my blog’s pageviews has counterparts in nature.

Here’s proof:

The Rock of Gibraltar:

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, USA:

Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia:

Canyonlands National Park, Utah, USA:

(CC-BY-SA-3.0; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License)

Maybe I just have an overactive imagination.

You don’t have to agree so readily.

In closing, I have something to say to readers and potential readers everywhere.

Don’t mesa with my blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why couldn’t Hillary Clinton just tell the truth and say, “My dog ate my emails”?

I’ll tell you why. Because even if the dog actually did eat her home- work emails, we wouldn’t believe her.

Transparent? The woman wouldn’t know transparent if it walked up to her and slapped her in the face.

She seems a nice enough person to the casual observer. I’ll give her that. But that is also the problem. She wants us all to remain casual observers and just believe whatever she says. Who are we to question her?

As columnist Matt Bai points out in this article today on Yahoo, it’s no longer the 1980s or 1990s. The world has changed. Whether the change is for the better, you can discuss amongst yourselves. But changed it certainly has. (Sorry, I lapsed into Yoda-speak there for a minute.)

Jackie Kennedy smoked, but who knew? She never did it in public, so the game was to make us think she never did it at all. It was whispered about Mamie Eisenhower that she drank a lot. Betty Ford came right out and admitted it. Hillary Clinton’s feet of clay may well be that she is known to shout and scream and drop F-bombs all over the place in private. Then again, at this point, what difference does it make?

The world never stops changing.

Hillary Clinton continues to stumble over her own “master plan” -- or so it seems to all of us not-so-casual observers. She never seems genuine. She always gives the impression that she has examined carefully every possible response and picked the one that will deceive convince the greatest number of people voters.

Since I just violated two of my own rules (Never say never; always avoid always) , it must be time to stop.

Hillary Clinton, a woman with many admirers and many detractors, may well wind up becoming America’s First Female President. Only time will tell.

Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.

Maybe the world hasn’t changed that much after all.

Monday, March 9, 2015

My name is Bob and I’m a folk dancer

(I’m not really a folk dancer. This was another one of those Facebook photos I just couldn’t resist.)

According to our old pal Wikipedia, “The hokey cokey (United Kingdom) , hokey pokey (United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand) is a participation dance with a distinctive accompanying tune and lyric structure. It is well known in English-speaking countries. It is of unclear origin, with two main traditions having evolved in different parts of the world. The song and accompanying dance peaked in popularity as a music hall song and novelty dance in the mid-1940s in Britain and Ireland.”

The entire article is fascinating, and I recommend that you read it.

Hokey pokey may also refer to:

* An iconic New Zealand flavour of ice cream
* A New Zealand term for Honeycomb toffee
* A record label
* An album by Richard and Linda Thompson released in 1975

Now there’s something I really could become addicted to.

Grammarians, do not think less of me for ending that sentence with a preposition. Someone has said that people who think prepositions are something you should not end a sentence with do not know what language is all about or what prepositions are for. No less a personage than Winston Churchill, when he was criticized (British, criticised) for ending a sentence with a preposition, said, “That is the sort of criticism up with which I will not put.” He said some other memorable things as well, but they are not pertinent.

Speaking of words and how they are used, there is a slide show over at showing seven words the Internet has reinvented. The words are friend, troll, like, link, address, surf, and block. Take a look.

As longtime readers of this blog know, I have always tried to cover many topics in my posts. And when I cover a topic, I try to look at it from different angles. Whether the subject is words or Winston Churchill or ice cream or the participation dance known as the hokey pokey (hokey cokey in the U.K.) , my readers deserve no less. After all...

That’s what it’s all about.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Time marches on

I can’t remember whether I have shown these photographs to you before, but if I have, I’m about to show them to you again.

Mrs. RWP and children, circa 1969:

Mr. and Mrs. RWP and children, July 2010:

Two of the six grandchildren, circa 1999:

Same two grandchildren, October 2014:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone, the leg bone’s connected to the knee bone; or You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours; or Follow the money

I know that everything one encounters online, especially on Facebook, is not necessarily true. All’s fair in love and war, everyone seems to have an axe to grind, and so forth. Nevertheless, I found the following particularly interesting:

For readers who find reading white text on a black background difficult, especially if it is in a sans serif font, the text under the photograph of a long, long line of railroad tank cars reads as follows:

“Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad (BNSF) owns all of the rail lines in the US that connect to western Canada, and they haul 80%+ of the crude from Canada to the Midwest and Texas or charge other Short Line railroads a fee to use their tracks. BNSF charges $30 per barrel to haul the oil while the Keystone Pipeline would cost $10 per barrel by the State Department’s own estimates. BNSF is owned by Berkshire Hathaway whose chairman is Warren Buffet. In the last 2 election cycles, Buffet gave extensively to democrat causes and candidates. He also bundled and hosted numerous fundraisers for Obama. If anyone believes the Keystone Pipeline isn’t being blocked by Obama on Buffet’s behalf, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Buffet could stand to lose $2 billion+ a year if the pipeline is constructed. He makes the same amount every year that the pipeline is delayed.”

I have no idea whether the figures 80%+, $30 per barrel, $10 per barrel, and $2 billion+ in the above paragraph are true, but I do know this:

Warren’s last name is Buffett. Not Buffet. Buffett.

An error like that just makes the whole thing suspect in my eyes.

But it certainly provides ample food for thought.

Photo: “Hot Buffet line aboard Celebrity Equinox” by Joe Ross of Lansing, Michigan, 12-09-2011. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy, and Bess

I briefly considered writing a post about sauces but my research gave me a headache. I will tell you that many French sauces have geographical names (Hollandaise, Lyonnaise, Bordelaise, Bourgignonne) , but even though a few English sauces have geographical names (Worcestershire, Oxford, Yorkshire) it is far more common among the English to refer to sauces as white, red, green, brown, and so forth.

Be that as it may, a family friend told us the other day that one of her great-great-grandmothers was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian and that someone else who had “done the research” had told her that her family were direct descendants of Queen Elizabeth.

Whoa! Wait just a minute, Nellie (not her name) . I, being the sort of fool who always rushes in where angels fear to tread, immediately mentioned that Queen Elizabeth was (a) known as The Virgin Queen, (b) never married, and (c) didn’t have any children. This bit of information didn’t faze my friend, however. She ended this particular thread of conversation by replying, “Well, I don’t know about any of that, but there was more than one Queen Elizabeth.”

Of course there was. Queen Elizabeth One and Queen Elizabeth Two. But she couldn’t have meant the current one, could she, and now be claiming to be a Mountbatten-Windsor?


This particular conversation spurred me on to do some research of my own, and my friend is absolutely correct. There have been a whole slew slough passel bunch of Queen Elizabeths or Queens Elizabeth or whatever they should be called. So I thought I would make today’s post about them.

In no particular order, they are:

*Elizabeth I of England (1533–1603) , last Tudor monarch over England, reigned 1558–1603
*Elizabeth II (born 1926) of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth Realms, reigning since 1952
*Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900–2002) , queen consort of King George VI, queen dowager and queen mother of the United Kingdom, born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
*Elizabeth Woodville (1437–1492) , queen consort, queen dowager and queen mother of England
*Elizabeth of York (1466–1503) , queen consort of England
*Elizabeth de Burgh (1289–1327) , queen consort of Scotland
*Elisabeth of Bavaria (1876–1965) , queen consort, queen dowager and queen mother of the Belgians
*Elizabeth the Cuman (1239/1240–1290) , queen consort and regent of Hungary
*Elizabeth of Sicily, Queen of Hungary (1261–1303) , queen consort of Hungary
*Elisabeth of Bohemia (1292–1330) , queen consort of Bohemia
*Elisabeth Richeza of Poland (1286–1335) , queen consort of Bohemia and Poland
*Elizabeth of Poland, Queen of Hungary (1305–1380) , queen consort of Hungary, regent of Poland
*Elizabeth of Bosnia (1340–1387) , queen consort and queen dowager of Hungary and Poland, queen mother of Hungary
*Elizabeth Granowska (c. 1372–1420) , queen consort of Poland
*Elisabeth of Habsburg (1436–1505) , queen consort, queen dowager and queen mother of Poland
*Elizabeth of Austria (1526–1545) , queen consort of Poland
*Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia (1596–1662) , the "Winter Queen", briefly queen consort of Bohemia, wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine
*Elisabeth of Bavaria (1837–1898) , queen consort of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia
*Elizabeth of Holstein-Rendsburg (c. 1300-before 1340) , junior queen consort of Denmark, wife of Eric Christoffersen
*Elisabeth of Bavaria-Ingolstadt (c. 1370–1435) , queen consort of France
*Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of France (1554–1592) , queen consort of France
*Elisabeth of Bavaria, Queen of Germany (c. 1227–1273) , queen consort of Germany, Jerusalem and Sicily
*Elizabeth of Carinthia, Queen of Germany (c. 1262–1312) , queen consort of Germany
*Elizabeth of Pomerania (1347–1393) , queen consort and queen dowager of the Romans, Bohemia, Italy and Burgundy
*Elisabeth of Nuremberg (1358–1411) , queen consort of the Romans
*Elizabeth of Luxembourg (1409–1442) , queen consort of the Romans, Hungary, Bohemia and Croatia
*Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern (1715–1797) , queen consort and queen dowager of Prussia
*Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria (1801–1873) , queen consort of Prussia
*Elisabeth of Romania (1894–1956) , queen consort of the Hellenes (Greece)
*Elizabeth Kaʻahumanu (c. 1768–1832) , queen consort and queen regent of Hawaiʻi
*Elizabeth Kīnaʻu (c. 1805–1839) , queen consort, queen regent and dowager queen of Hawaiʻi
*Elisiv of Kiev (1025-c. 1067) , also known as Elisaveta Yaroslavna, queen consort of Norway
*Elisabeth of Wied (1843–1916) , queen consort and queen dowager of Romania
*Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine (1711–1741) , queen consort of Sardinia, Cyprus, Jerusalem and Armenia
*Elizabeth of Hungary, Queen of Serbia (1255–1313) , queen consort of Serbia
*Elizabeth of Carinthia, Queen of Sicily (1298–1352) , queen consort and regent of Sicily
*Elisabeth of France (1602–1644) , queen consort of Spain and Portugal
*Elisabeth of Swabia (1203–1235) , also known as Beatrice of Swabia, queen consort of Castile and León
*Elizabeth of Aragon (1271–1336) , queen consort, queen dowager and queen mother of Portugal, also known as Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
*Elisabeth of Valois (1545–1568) , queen consort of Spain
*Elisabeth Farnese (1692–1766) , queen consort, queen dowager and queen mother of Spain

Forty-one in all. It would have been just perfect if there had been 42. Which one of those my friend is related to I will let her figure out on her own.

There are also a couple of fictional Queen Elizabeths or Queens Elizabeth or whatever they should be called, and I don’t want to leave them out:

*Elizabeth III of the House of Winton, monarch of the Star Kingdom of Manticore, in David Weber’s Honorverse books
*Elizabeth X, aka “Liz 10”, fictional queen of Starship UK in the Doctor Who episodes “The Beast Below” and “The Pandorica Opens”

As Paul Harvey used to say on the radio, “Now you know the rest of the story.”

Fittingly, I end today’s post with a riddle in the form of a nursery rhyme from Mother Goose:

Elizabeth, Elspeth, Betsy, and Bess,
They all went together to seek a bird’s nest;
They found a bird’s nest with five eggs in,
They all took one, and left four in.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Douglas Adams, paging Mr. Douglas Adams

Here are the answers to the poetry pop quiz in my last post and a few more answers thrown in for good measure:

1. “I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died” by Emily Dickinson.
2. “Fable” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
3. “Dream Variations” by Langston Hughes.
4. “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou.

The answer to the question “Where’s Waldo?” (which was asked in the title of the poetry pop quiz post) was 2 (Ralph Waldo Emerson) . He was there all the time.

The answer to the question “What is The Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything?” (which wasn’t asked at all) is 42.

42 is a domino game played mostly in Texas.

42 is the age of the youngest president of the United States (and it was not John F. Kennedy) .

42 is the number that baseball player Jackie Robinson wore on his jersey throughout his Major League career.

In Lewis Carroll's Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Rule Forty-two is “All persons more than a mile high to leave the court”. Specifically:

At this moment the King, who had been for some time busily writing in his notebook, called out “Silence!” and read out from his book, “Rule Forty-two. All persons more than a mile high to leave the court.

Everybody looked at Alice.

“I’m not a mile high,” said Alice.

“You are,” said the King.

“Nearly two miles high,” added the Queen.

“Well, I sha’n’t go, at any rate,” said Alice: “besides, that’s not a regular rule: you invented it just now.”

“It’s the oldest rule in the book,” said the King.

“Then it ought to be Number One,” said Alice.

I must say, I quite agree with Alice.

According to a woman named Connie Robertson in A Dictionary of Quotations (1998, p. 447) , Voltaire once said, “England has forty-two religions and only two sauces.”

42 is a lot of things. For just some of them, click here.

It will make your head swim.

This post is the blogging equivalent of the Theater of the Absurd, a term that can be traced (sort of) to “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus, which was written in -- wait for it -- 1942 .

It is only fitting, therefore, that we end this post with the song “Mairzy Doats” which was written in 1943. Here is little Janet Lennon, youngest of The Four Lovely Lennon Sisters, singing it on The Lawrence Welk Show in 1957 (1:39) .

<b>As Robin once said to his BFF...</b>

"Holy place names, Batman!" Here's a list of holy-sounding place names that I threw together. Can you identify the ones ...