Monthly Archives: March 2013

Intermezzo: the Wonder Drug for Stupid People


One of the funniest ads on TV isn’t meant to be funny. It’s for Intermezzo, a drug for people who wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep, a condition which is the scourge of Western Civilization. A woman with a soothing voice explains the benefits of Intermezzo, and then, as we watch happy pictures, soothingly gives all the possible risks of taking Intermezzo. Including:

Severe allergic reactions, some of which could be fatal. Hives. Difficulty breathing. Headache. Nausea. Fatigue. Swelling of your face lips, tongue, or throat. Having no memory of something you just did, like driving or making a phone call. Confusion, hallucinations, and agitation. Increased aggressive behavior. Impaired thinking or reactions. Suicidal thoughts. Drug dependency. Withdrawal symptoms if you’ve used it a long time. And if you stop using Intermezzo, your insomnia may be worse than before. Also: don’t take it unless you have four hours of sleep time left.

Instead of that soothing woman’s voice, I think New Jersey governor Chris Christy should do the voice-over. It would go something like this.

“Do you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep? Then do what I do, for goodness sakes–read a book or watch TV for a while. But if you’re impatient and totally stupid, you can try a dangerous and habit-forming drug called Intermezzo. Just don’t blame me if you break out in hives, have debilitating headaches, and your tongue swells up like a balloon. You might drop your kids off somewhere, and totally can’t remember where. This stuff can kill you, and if it doesn’t do the job by itself, it might drive you to commit suicide. Then, if you try to quit, you’ll discover–surprise!–that you’re hopelessly addicted. And even if you DO manage to quit, your insomnia might be worse than before.

“I mean, this Intermezzo drug is a total joke, and you’ve gotta be stupider than a dirt clod to take it. But hey–if you find it annoying to wake up in the middle of the night, and if you routinely engage in such activities as Russian Roulette or running blindfolded across freeways, then by all means try Intermezzo. It may be just what you, and the human gene pool, need.”

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Mom Sings the Classics

The women singing "Music, Music, Music."

The women singing “Music, Music, Music.”

That Mom in the middle (second from the left).

That Mom in the middle (second from the left).

Tonight (March 16, 2013), Pam and I attended a dinner theater at Mom and Dad’s church, Calvary United Methodist in Fort Wayne, Ind. After a swiss steak meal, we enjoyed an hour-long program of song featuring old American songs, the type included in the hypothetical Great American Songbook. Mom was part of the singing cast–probably around 20 people, plus instrumentalists.

They did 30 songs, but most of them were very short. I recognized about a dozen of them, including:

  • Edelweiss
  • Love is a Many Splendored Thing
  • I Left My Heart in San Francisco
  • Memories
  • Three Coins in the Fountain
  • Zip-a-Dee Doodah
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • The Band Played On
  • In the Good Ol’ Summertime
  • A Little Bit of Luck.

A very enjoyed, and often humorous, program, and it was obvious that the singers had a great time.

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It’s Not the Video Games


I’m a proud gun owner, but Wayne LaPierre of the NRA drives me nuts. He tries to deflect blame for gun violence onto video games, rather than on access to guns. Is he right? Consider a comparison with Japan, which has very few guns in the general population, but which is more fanatical about video games. So, Wayne, let’s look at facts.

Per capita spending on video games

  • Japan: $55
  • US: $45

Civilian firearms per 100 people

  • Japan: .6
  • US: 88

Gun homicides in 2008

  • Japan: 11 (out of about 1300 total homicides).
  • US: 11,030 (out of 16,440 total murders).
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Cellphones vs. Our DNA


If listening to someone talk on a cellphone seems incredibly distracting, there’s a reason for it. Researchers say the mind automatically tries to fill in missing information. So when you hear only half of a conversation, your mind tries to figure out what’s being said on the other end.

One study showed that people can tune-out a full-blown conversation, but have trouble tuning out a one-sided cellphone conversation.

So it’s not cellphones that are the problem, but our response to them. God designed us to be annoyed by cellphones.

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The Clip Vs. the Twist-Tie


There’s Mac Vs. PC, and there’s “clip” vs. “twist-tie.” It’s a $10.6 billion industry.

Imagine being a salesman for twist-ties. Your life’s work is to convince breadmakers to switch from plastic clips to twisties. Can anything be more rewarding, or make a child more proud? (“My dad sells those plastic clips on hamburger bun packages.”)

Also imagine putting together a PowerPoint presentation to sell your product. Twist-ties provide a tighter seal, but clips can be applied faster, and you can print stuff on them (like expiration dates). Yes, this sounds fulfilling.

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The Charmed Career of Anquan Boldin


How lucky is Anquan Boldin? He’s with the lowly Arizona Cardinals when they have a magical season and almost win the Super Bowl. Then, as that team implodes, he lands with the Baltimore Ravens and, a couple years later, wins the Super Bowl. Now, as that team falls apart, he’s traded to the 49ers, who are gonna win The Big One in the next year or two. And yes, I’m talking about the NFL in March.

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I’m Down with Them Being Down with Us


Words get redefined. I remember in the 1970s, as a high schooler, when the word “bad” suddenly began meaning “cool.” A basketball player would make a great move, and you’d say, “That was so bad!”

The word “down” has assumed a similar meaning. When you say, “I’m down with that,” you’re saying, “That’s cool,” or “I agree with that.”

So when Iranians paint “Down with USA” on the old embassy in Iran, they are saying, “We like the USA.” They just don’t realize it.

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The Mouse Diet

It’s been calculated that each mouse click burns 1.42 calories. That seems a bit high to me. I think I could sit here on my duff and click 700 times, but I woulnd’t burn off no 1000 calories. But who am I to argue with dietary science?

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Rumor Control

snopesI just read a great story about an 11-year-old clay shooting champion from Butte, Montana. Two illegal aliens broke into her home while her parents were away. She grabbed a shotgun and killed both intruders. One was armed with a .45 handgun stolen during a previous break-in, during which they murdered gun’s owner.

The story is a double whammy, supporting the gun-rights cause and the anti-illegals cause. BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED.

These stories are SO easy to check. Nevertheless, they turn up regularly on Facebook, blogs, and emails. I continually post links to Snopes on Facebook, to let people know the story they just published is false. But too many people don’t think of going to Snopes BEFORE they post.

I guess when people want to believe something is true, when it confirms their own viewpoints or tugs their emotions, they just accept it as true and pass it on.

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The Bear, the Boyfriend, and the Beretta

jetfireA woman in Alberta, Canada, was out hiking with her boyfriend when a huge grizzly bear suddenly charged at them. Fortunately, she was armed with a 25 calibre Beretta Jetfire pistol. Most people would say a 25 calibre pistol is too small to stop a human attacker, let alone an aggressive grizzly bear. But not in her case.

“Just one shot to my boyfriend’s kneecap was all it took. The bear got him, and I was able to just walk away at a brisk pace.”

(Thank you to Brian, one of my Canadian friends, for sending me this. For those of you who are humor-challenged: no, this isn’t a true story.)

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