This should be punishment enough for you...

...This mushroom walks into a bar and starts hitting on this woman... She, of course, turns him down. Not willing, to give up, he pleads with her... "C'mon lady, I'm a fun guy..."

...This horse walks into a bar and the bartender says "Hey, buddy, why the long face...

...These two strings walk upto a bar... The first string walks in and orders and the bartender throws him out and yells "I don't serve strings in this bar... The other string ruffs himself up on the street and curls up and orders... The bartender shouts, Hey, didn't you hear what I told your buddy?" String says "Yeah." Bartender says, "aren't you a string?" ... String says, "No, I'm a frayed knot..."

...This grasshopper walks into a bar, and the bartender says "Hey! We have a drink named after you!" The grasshopper replies "Really? You have a drink named Steve?!"

...This baby seal walks into a bar and the bartender says,"What'll ya have..." The seal says, "Anything but a Canadian Club...

...This skeleton walks into a bar and says, "I'd like a beer and a mop..."

...A man walked into a bar and sat down next to a man with a dog at his feet. "Does your dog bite?" he asked. "No." A few minutes later the dog took a huge chunk out of the man's leg. "I thought you said your dog doesn't bite!" he said indignantly. The other guy replied, "That's not my dog."

...A neutron walks into a bar. "I'd like a beer" he says. The bartender promptly serves up a beer. "How much will that be?" asks the neutron. "For you?" replies the bartender, "no charge"

...Descartes walks into a bar, and the bartender asks "Would you like a beer?" Descartes replies "I think not" and POOF! he vanishes...

...A three legged dog walks into a bar and says, "I'm looking for the man who shot my paw..."

...A hamburger walks into a bar, and the bartenders says, "I'm sorry, but we don't serve food here..."

...A termite walks into a bar and says, "Is the bar tender here?"

...A snake slithers into a bar and the bartender says, "I'm sorry but I can't serve you." "Why not?" asks the snake. The bartender says, "Because you can't hold your liquor..."

...Baby seal walks into a club... what a tragedy...

...A guy walks into a bar. "OUCH!" he said...

...Two peanuts walked into a bar, and one was a-salted...

...Two vampires walked into a bar and called for the bartender. "I'll have a glass of blood," said one. "I'll have a glass of plasma", said the other. "Okay," replied the bartender, "that'll be one blood and one blood lite..."

...Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, 'I think I've lost an electron.' The other says 'Are you sure?' The first says, 'Yes, I'm positive...'

...Two cartons of yogurt walk into a bar. The bartender, a tub of cottage chesse, says to them, "We don't serve your kind in here." One of the yogurt cartons says back to him, "Why not? We're cultured individuals."

...a man walked into a bar, sat down, and ordered a beer. As he sipped the beer, he heard a soothing voice say "nice tie!" Looking around he noticed that the bar was empty except for himself and the bartender at the end of the bar. A few sips later the voice said "beautiful shirt." At this, the man called the bartender over,"Hey...i must be losing my mind," he told the bartender. "I keep hearing these voices saying nice things, and there's not a soul in here other than us." "It's the peanuts" answered the bartender. "Say what?" "You heard me" said the barkeep."it's the peanuts... they're complimentary."

...Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused his dentist;s Novocain during root canal work because he wanted to transcend dental medication.

...Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak got chilly so they lit a fire in the craft but it sank proving once and for all you can't have your kayak and eat it too.

...Two boll weevils grew up in South Carolina; one went to Hollywood and became a famous actor while the other stayed behind in the cotton fields never amounting to much and became known as the lesser of two weevils.

...There was a man who entered a local paper's pun contest. He sent in ten different puns hoping at least one of the puns would win but, unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

...A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One goes to a family in Egypt and is named Amahl while the other goes to a family in Spain and is named Juan. Years later Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother and upon receiving the picture she tells her husband she wishes she also had a picture of Amahl. "But they're twins," says her husband, "If you've seen Juan you've seen Amahl."

...A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing around in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. About an hour later the manager comes out of his office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked as they moved along. "Because," said the manager, "I can't stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer."

...It was a doctor's regular habit to stop off at a bar for a hazelnut daiquiri on his way home and, aware of his habit, the bartender would always have the drink waiting for him at precisely 5:18 PM. One afternoon as the end of the work-day neared the bartender was dismayed to find he was out of hazelnut extract but, thinking quickly, he threw together a daiquiri made with hickory nuts and set it on the bar. The doctor came in at his regular time, took one sip of the drink, then exclaimed: "This isn't a hazelnut daiquiri", to which the bartender replied, "No, I'm sorry, it's a hickory daiquiri, doc."

...A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat when he came across two men; one was sitting under a tree reading a book while the other was typing away on his typewriter. The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him proving even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.


Weird or just plain crazy?

The Bible tells us that God created Adam and Eve just a few thousand years ago, by some fundamentalist interpretations. Science informs us that this is mere fiction and that man is a few million years old, and that civilization just tens of thousands of years old. Could it be, however, that conventional science is just as mistaken as the Bible stories? There is a great deal of archeological evidence that the history of life on earth might be far different than what current geological and anthropological texts tell us. Consider these astonishing finds:

The Grooved Spheres
Over the last few decades, miners in South Africa have been digging up mysterious metal spheres. Origin unknown, these spheres measure approximately an inch or so in diameter, and some are etched with three parallel grooves running around the equator. Two types of spheres have been found: one is composed of a solid bluish metal with flecks of white; the other is hollowed out and filled with a spongy white substance. The kicker is that the rock in which they where found is Precambrian - and dated to 2.8 billion years old! Who made them and for what purpose is unknown.

The Dropa Stones
In 1938, an archeological expedition led by Dr. Chi Pu Tei into the Baian-Kara-Ula mountains of China made an astonishing discovery in some caves that had apparently been occupied by some ancient culture. Buried in the dust of ages on the cave floor were hundreds of stone disks. Measuring about nine inches in diameter, each had a circle cut into the center and was etched with a spiral groove, making it look for all the world like some ancient phonograph record some 10,000 to 12,000 years old. The spiral groove, it turns out, is actually composed of tiny hieroglyphics that tell the incredible story of spaceships from some distant world that crash-landed in the mountains. The ships were piloted by people who called themselves the Dropa, and the remains of whose descendents, possibly, were found in the cave.

The Ica Stones
Beginning in the 1930s, the father of Dr. Javier Cabrera, Cultural Anthropologist for Ica, Peru, discovered many hundreds of ceremonial burial stones in the tombs of the ancient Incas. Dr. Cabrera, carrying on his father's work, has collected more than 1,100 of these andesite stones, which are estimated to be between 500 and 1,500 years old and have become known collectively as the Ica Stones. The stones bear etchings, many of which are sexually graphic (which was common to the culture), some picture idols and others depict such practices as open-heart surgery and brain transplants. The most astonishing etchings, however, clearly represent dinosaurs - brontosaurs, triceratops (see photo), stegosaurus and pterosaurs. While skeptics consider the Ica Stones a hoax, their authenticity has neither been proved or disproved.


The Antikythera Mechanism
A perplexing artifact was recovered by sponge-divers from a shipwreck in 1900 off the coast of Antikythera, a small island that lies northwest of Crete. The divers brought up from the wreck a great many marble and and bronze statues that had apparently been the ship's cargo. Among the findings was a hunk of corroded bronze that contained some kind of mechanism composed of many gears and wheels. Writing on the case indicated that it was made in 80 B.C., and many experts at first thought it was an astrolabe, an astronomer's tool. An x-ray ofthe mechanism, however, revealed it to be far more complex, containing a sophisticated system of differential gears. Gearing of this complexity was not known to exist until 1575! It is still unknown who constructed this amazing instrument 2,000 years ago or how the technology was lost.

The Baghdad Battery
Today batteries can be found in any grocery, drug, convenience and department store you come across. Well, here's a battery that's 2,000 years old! Known as the Baghdad Battery, this curiosity was found in the ruins of a Parthian village believed to date back to between 248 B.C. and 226 A.D. The device consists of a 5-1/2-inch high clay vessel inside of which was a copper cylinder held in place by asphalt, and inside of that was an oxidized iron rod. Experts who examined it concluded that the device needed only to be filled with an acid or alkaline liquid to produce an electric charge. It is believed that this ancient battery might have been used for electroplating objects with gold. If so, how was this technology lost... and the battery not rediscovered for another 1,800 years?

The Coso Artifact
While mineral hunting in the mountains of California near Olancha during the winter of 1961, Wallace Lane, Virginia Maxey and Mike Mikesell found a rock, among many others, that they thought was a geode - a good addition for their gem shop. Upon cutting it open, however, Mikesell found an object inside that seemed to be made of white porcelain. In the center was a shaft of shiny metal. Experts estimated that it should have taken about 500,000 years for this fossil-encrusted nodule to form, yet the object inside was obviously of sophisticated human manufacture. Further investigation revealed that the porcelain was surround by a hexagonal casing, and an x-ray revealed a tiny spring at one end. Some who have examined the evidence say it looks very much like a modern-day spark plug. How did it get inside a 500,000-year-old rock?

Ancient Model Aircraft
There are artifacts belonging to ancient Egyptian and Central American cultures that look amazingly like modern-day aircraft. The Egyptian artifact, found in a tomb at Saqquara, Egypt in 1898, is a six-inch wooden object that strongly resembles a model airplane, with fuselage, wings and tail. Experts believe the object is so aerodynamic that it is actually able to glide. The small object discovered in Central America (shown at right), and estimated to be 1,000 years old, is made of gold and could easily be mistaken for a model of a delta-wing aircraft - or even the Space Shuttle. It even features what looks like a pilot's seat.

Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica
Workmen hacking and burning their way through the dense jungle of Costa Rica to clear an area for banana plantations in the 1930s stumbled upon some incredible objects: dozens of stone balls, many of which were perfectly spherical. They varied in size from as small as a tennis ball to an astonishing 8 feet in diameter and weighing 16 tons! Although the great stone balls are clearly man-made, it is unknown who made them, for what purpose and, most puzzling, how they achieved such spherical precision.

Impossible Fossils
Fossils, as we learned in grade school, appear in rocks that were formed many thousands of years ago. Yet there are a number of fossils that just don't make geological or historical sense. A fossil of ahuman handprint, for example, was found in limestone estimated to be 110 million years old. What appears to be a fossilized human finger found in the Canadian Arctic also dates back 100 to 110 million years ago. And what appears to be the fossil of a human footprint, possibly wearing a sandal, was found near Delta, Utah in a shale deposit estimated to be 300 million to 600 million years old.

Out-of-Place Metal Objects
Humans were not even around 65 million years ago, never mind people who could work metal. So then how does science explain semi-ovoid metallic tubes dug out of 65-million-year-old Cretaceous chalk in France? In 1885, a block of coal was broken open to find a metal cube obviously worked by intelligent hands. In 1912, employees at an electric plant broke apart a large chunk of coal out of which fell an iron pot! A nail was found embedded in a sandstone block from the Mesozoic Era. And there are many, many more such anomalies.

What are we to make of these finds? There are several possibilities:

  • Intelligent humans date back much, much further than we realize.
  • Other intelligent beings and civilizations existed on earth far beyond our recorded history.
  • Our dating methods are completely inaccurate, and that stone, coal and fossils form much more rapidly than we now estimate.

In any case, these examples - and there are many more - should prompt any curious and open-minded scientist to reexamine and rethink the true history of life on earth.


Writerisms and other Sins: A Writer’s Shortcut to Stronger Writing

Writerisms: overused and misused language. In more direct words: find ‘em, root ‘em out, and look at your prose without the underbrush.

  1. am, is, are, was, were, being, be, been … combined with “by” or with “by … someone” implied but not stated. Such structures are passives. In general, limit passive verb use to one or two per book. The word “by” followed by a person is an easy flag for passives.
  2. am, is, are, was, were, being, be, been … combined with an adjective. “He was sad as he walked about the apartment.” “He moped about the apartment.” A single colorful verb is stronger than any was + adjective; but don’t slide to the polar opposite and overuse colorful verbs. There are writers that vastly overuse the “be” verb; if you are one, fix it. If you aren’t one—don’t, because overfixing it will commit the next error.
  3. florid verbs. “The car grumbled its way to the curb” is on the verge of being so colorful it’s distracting. {Florid fr. Lat. floreo, to flower.}If a manuscript looks as if it’s sprouted leaves and branches, if every verb is “unusual,” if the vocabulary is more interesting than the story … fix it by going to more ordinary verbs. There are vocabulary-addicts who will praise your prose for this but not many who can simultaneously admire your verbs as verbs and follow your story, especially if it has content. The car is not a main actor and not one you necessarily need to make into a character. If its action should be more ordinary and transparent, don’t use an odd expression. This is prose.This statement also goes for unusual descriptions and odd adjectives, nouns, and adverbs.
  4. odd connectives. Some writers overuse “as” and “then” in an attempt to avoid “and” or “but,” which themselves can become a tic. But “as” is only for truly simultaneous action. The common deck of conjunctions available is:
    • when (temporal)
    • if (conditional)
    • since (ambiguous between temporal and causal)
    • although (concessive)
    • because (causal)
    • and (connective)
    • but (contrasting)
    • as (contemporaneous action or sub for “because”) while (roughly equal to “as”)

    These are the ones I can think of. If you use some too much and others practically never, be more even-handed. Then, BTW, is originally more of an adverb than a proper conjunction, although it seems to be drifting toward use as a conjunction. However is really a peculiar conjunction, demanding in most finicky usage to be placed *after* the subject of the clause.

    Don’t forget the correlatives, either … or, neither … nor, and “not only … but also.”

    And “so that,” “in order that,” and the far shorter and occasionally merciful infinitive: “to … {verb}something.”

  5. Descriptive writerisms. Things that have become “conventions of prose” that personally stop me cold in text.
    • “framed by” followed by hair, tresses, curls, or most anything cute.
    • “swelling bosom”
    • “heart-shaped face”
    • “set off by”: see “framed by”
    • “revealed” or “revealed by”: see “framed by.” Too precious for words when followed by a fashion statement.
    • Mirrors … avoid mirrors, as a basic rule of your life. You get to use them once during your writing career. Save them for more experience. But it doesn’t count if they don’t reflect … by which I mean see the list above. If you haven’t read enough unpublished fiction to have met the infamous mirror scenes in which Our Hero admires his steely blue eyes and manly chin, you can scarcely imagine how bad they can get.
    • limpid pools and farm ponds: I don’t care what it is, if it reflects your hero and occasions a description of his manly dimple, it’s a mirror.As a general rule … your viewpoint characters should have less, rather than more, description than anyone else: a reader of different skin or hair color ought to be able to sink into this persona without being continually jolted by contrary information.Stick to what your observer can observe. One’s own blushes can be felt, but not seen, unless one is facing … .a mirror. See above.
    • “as he turned, then stepped aside from the descending blow … ” First of all, it takes longer to read than to happen: pacing fault. Second, the “then” places action #2 sequentially after #1, which makes the whole evasion sequence a 1-2 which won’t work. This guy is dead or the opponent was telegraphing his moves in a panel-by-panel comic book style which won’t do for regular prose. Clunky. Slow. Fatally slow.
    • “Again” or worse “once again.” Established writers don’t tend to overuse this one: it seems like a neo fault, possibly a mental writerly stammer—lacking a next thing to do, our hero does it “again” or “once again” or “even yet.” Toss “still” and “yet” onto the pile and use them sparingly.
  6. Dead verbs. Colorless verbs.
    • walked
    • turned
    • crossed
    • run, ran
    • go, went, gone
    • leave, left
    • have, had
    • get, got

    You can add your own often used colorless verbs: these are verbs that convey an action but don’t add any other information. A verb you’ve had to modify (change) with an adverb is likely inadequate to the job you assigned it to do.

  7. Colorless verb with inadequate adverb: “He walked slowly across the room.”More informative verb with no adverb: “He trudged across the room,” “He paced across the room,” “He stalked across the room,” each one a different meaning, different situation. But please see problem 3, above, and don’t go overboard.
  8. Themely English With apologies to hard-working English teachers, school English is not fiction English.Understand that the meticulous English style you labored over in school, including the use of complete sentences and the structure of classic theme-sentence paragraphs, was directed toward the production of non-fiction reports, resumes, and other non-fiction applications.The first thing you have to do to write fiction? Suspect all the English style you learned in school and violate rules at need. Many of those rules will turn out to apply; many won’t.{Be ready to defend your choices. If you are lucky, you will be copyedited. Occasionally the copyeditor will be technically right but fictionally wrong and you will have to tell your editor why you want that particular expression left alone.}
  9. Scaffolding and spaghetti. Words the sole function of which is to hold up other words. For application only if you are floundering in too many “which” clauses. Do not carry this or any other advice to extremes.”What it was upon close examination was a mass the center of which was suffused with a glow which appeared rubescent to the observers who were amazed and confounded by this untoward manifestation.” Flowery and overstructured. “What they found was a mass, the center of which glowed faintly red. They’d never seen anything like it.” The second isn’t great lit, but it gets the job done: the first drowns in “which” and “who” clauses.In other words—be suspicious any time you have to support one needed word (rubescent) with a creaking framework of “which” and “what” and “who.” Dump the “which-what-who” and take the single descriptive word. Plant it as an adjective in the main sentence.
  10. A short cut to “who” and “whom.”
    • Nominative: who
    • Possessive: whose
    • Objective: whom

    The rule:

    1. treat the “who-clause” as a mini-sentence.If you could substitute “he” for the who-whom, it’s a “who.” If you could substitute “him” for the who-whom it’s a “whom.”The trick is where ellipsis has occurred … or where parentheticals have been inserted … and the number of people in important and memorable places who get it wrong. “Who … do I see?” Wrong: I see he? No. I see “him.” Whom do I see?
    2. “Who” never changes case to match an antecedent. (word to which it refers)
      • I blame them who made the unjust law. CORRECT.
      • It is she whom they blame. CORRECT: The who-clause is WHOM THEY BLAME.
      • They blame HER=him, =whom.
      • I am the one WHO is at fault. CORRECT.
      • I am the one WHOM they blame. CORRECT.
      • They took him WHOM they blamed. CORRECT—but not because WHOM matches HIM: that doesn’t matter: correct because “they” is the subject of “blamed” and “whom” is the object.
      • I am he WHOM THEY BLAME. CORRECT. Whom is the “object” of “they blame.”

      Back to rule one: “who” clauses are completely independent in case from the rest of the sentence. The case of “who” in its clause changes by the internal logic of the clause and by NO influence outside the clause. Repeat to yourself: there is no connection, there is no connection 3 x and you will never mistake for whom the bell tolls.

    The examples above probably grate over your nerves. That’s why “that” is gaining in popularity in the vernacular and why a lot of copyeditors will correct you incorrectly on this point. I’m beginning to believe that nine tenths of the English-speaking universe can’t handle these little clauses.

  11. -ing.

    “Shouldering his pack and setting forth, he crossed the river … “

    No, he didn’t. Not unless his pack was in the river. Implies simultaneity. The participles are just like any other verbal form. They aren’t a substitute legal everywhere, or a quick fix for a complex sequence of motions. Write them on the fly if you like, but once imbedded in text they’re hard to search out when you want to get rid of their repetitive cadence, because -ing is part of so many fully constructed verbs {am going, etc.}

  12. -ness A substitute for thinking of the right word. “Darkness,” “unhappiness,” and such come of tacking -ness (or occasionally – ion) onto words. There’s often a better answer. Use it as needed.As a general rule, use a major or stand-out vocabulary word only once a paragraph, maybe twice a page, and if truly outre, only once per book. Parallels are clear and proper exceptions to this, and don’t vary your word choice to the point of silliness: see error 3.