Thursday, March 31, 2011

Work Can Be Stressful

2010 Darwin Award Winners!

Each year, the prestigious Darwin Award is granted to those individuals who are guilty of acts so outrageously stupid that they qualify in improving the gene pool. The award is almost always granted posthumously.

Here are the nominees for 2010:

25 August, 2010 in Daejon, South Korea: A handicapped man, annoyed that an elevator door closed in his face and the elevator departed without him, thought it over for a minute or two and started ramming the elevator doors with his wheelchair not once, not twice, but three times in all -- only to plunge down the elevator shaft when the door opened on the third impact, sending the 40-year old man to his death.

Visualize this: A young couple, driving along Via Dutra, the largest freeway in Brazil, at 6AM in heavy fog, decide it was time to park and passionately go at it. Unfortunately, the driver parked in the right-hand lane, and not the shoulder, the median, rest stop or gas station. They were soon surprised in the very act of procreation when a huge dump truck encountered their 'parked' vehicle as a speed bump, crushing both instantly and enabling a double Darwin Award nomination in one fell swoop.

In late fall and the early winter months, snow-covered mountains become infested with hunters. One ambitious pair climbed high up a mountain in search of their quarry. The trail crossed a small glacier that had crusted over, and the lead hunter had to stomp foot-holds in the snow, one step at a time, in order to safely cross the sloping glacier.

Somewhere in the middle of the glacier, his boot stomp hit a rock instead of snow, he lost his footing and fell, sliding slowly down the crusty glacier, over the edge and out of sight.

Unable to help, his companion watched him slide away. After a few seconds, he ventured, "Are you all right?"

"Yes," came the answer from not far away.

Reasoning that it was a quick way off the glacier, the second hunter plopped down and accelerated down the ice sheet, following his friend. There, just over the edge of the glacier was his buddy, holding on to the top of a tree that just barely protruded from the snow. There were no other treetops to grab, nothing but a hundred foot drop for the second hunter, down to the rocks below. As he shot past the first hunter, the second man just yelled a one-word expletive which I dare not repeat on this family blog.

July 19th, 2010 Washington State: Thanks to Skagit Raceway, the town of Sedro-Woolley fills up with racing fanatics. During the American Sprint Car Series, two crew members at a custom machine shop dreamed up what they thought would be a novel thrill ride. Remember, these are highly skilled mechanics with great technical know-how! They placed a 55-gallon barrel in the middle of the parking area, poured in 4 gallons of methanol (same fuel used by Indy cars), sat on top of the barrel and lit the rag in the bunghole halfway down the barrel.

Apparently they figured that the barrel would skid across the parking lot like a rocket, with a tail of flames shooting out the bunghole, with the two rodeo clowns sitting on top waving their caps and wooting! But they didn't move across the parking lot as planned because, let's be honest, 4 gallons of methanol in a 55-gallon drum is kinda like a bomb.

The barrel blew up beneath them with enough force to propel it upwards, landing some 120 feet away. The two mechanics landed in Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle, where one man lost his life and the other finally discovered the true force of internal combustion.

August 14, 2010 in Kentucky: A young lady who we shall name only as Kelita H. was traveling at "highway speed" down country road 519, wind blowing through her hair, when she and her passenger decided to swap seats. Now, let's point out that Kelita was driving a Chevy with an open T-top, so instead of just pulling over and doing a quick "Chinese fire drill" with her passenger, Kelita pulled herself onto the roof while her passenger grabbed the wheel and moved to the driver's side.

Unfortunately, Kelita fell over backward and was soon traveling at "highway speed" behind the vehicle now driven by her friend. The Fayette County Coroner's Office reported that 20-year old Kelita died as a result of injuries sustained in hitting a metal guardrail at 60MPH.

The passenger, by the way, earns a Honorable Mention himself, as he was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license, with improper registration and no insurance.

Monday, March 28, 2011


While the progressives have been getting their knickers in a twist over Arizona's controversial immigration law, look what the good folks in Oklahoma have been up to:

Oklahomans passed by a vote of 37 to 9 (a few liberals were in the mix), an amendment to place the Ten Commandments on the front entrance to the state capitol. The feds in D.C., as well as the ACLU, said this was a mistake. Hey, progressives, Oklahoma is a conservative state, with Christian values! HB1330.

Guess what, Oklahoma did it anyway.

Oklahomans recently passed a law in the state to incarcerate all illegal immigrants, and ship them back to where they came from unless they care to apply for a green card become lawful American citizens. They all scattered. HB1804. This was against the advice of the feds, and of course the ACLU, who screamed that this was a huge mistake.

Guess what, Oklahoma did it anyway.

Recently, Oklahomans passed a law to include DNA samples from any and all illegals to the Oklahoma database, for criminal investigative purposes. Pelosi hollered that this was unconstitutional. SB1102.

Guess what, Oklahoma did it anyway.

Several weeks ago, Oklahomans passed a law declaring Oklahoma a sovereign state, not under the federal government directives, joining Texas, Montana and Utah as the only states to do so. More states are likely to follow: Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, both Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi & Florida. Save your confederate money... it appears the South is about to rise again! HJR1003.

The federal government has taken bold steps to take guns away from Oklahomans. A couple of weeks ago, Oklahoma passed a law confirming that people in this state have the right to bear arms and transport them in their vehicles. This sure was a huge setback to criminals and liberals (and especially President Obama), but guess what?

Oklahoma did it anyway.

Just this month, the state legislature voted and passed a law that ALL drivers' license exams will be printed in English, and ONLY English. They have been called racist for doing this, but the fact of course is that ALL the road signs in the entire USA are in English only. If you want to drive in Oklahoma, you must read and write English. Quite logical. President Obama does not like any of this, apparently, but guess what?

Oklahoma is doing it anyway.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Radiation Dosage Chart

In view of the tragedy in Japan with the earthquake, tsunami & nuclear accidents, please view the following chart to become more aware of radiation risks/dangers. CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE AND TO READ THE DETAILS.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Three More of Sam Loyd's Puzzles

Here are a further three puzzles from America's Greatest Puzzlist, Sam Loyd. Readers who wish to obtain a solution, please make a request in the comment section.

Puzzle #1
"What is the age of that boy?" asked the conductor of the train. Flattered by the man's interest in his family affairs, the commuter replied:
"My son is 5 times as old as my daughter, and my wife is 5 times as old as the son, and I am twice as old as my wife, whereas grandmother, who is as old as all of us put together, is celebrating her eighty-first birthday today."
How old was the boy? (And did the conductor ask the man to leave the train?)

Puzzle #2
I started two watches at the same time and found that one of them went two minutes per hour too slow and the other one went one minute per hour too fast. When I looked at them again, the faster one was exactly one hour ahead of the other. How long had the watches been running?

Puzzle #3
Two children, who were all tangled up in their reckoning of the days of the week, paused on their way to school to straighten matters out.
"When the day after tomorrow is yesterday," said Priscilla, "then 'today' will be as far from Sunday as that day which was 'today' when the day before yesterday was tomorrow!"
On which day of the week did this puzzling prattle occur?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Must Be True Love

Word Squares

Having recently been chastised by a couple of readers that the subject of this blog has strayed too far from the main topic of presenting challenging puzzles for our readers, I give you a new offering, and present a challenge as well.

Crossword puzzles are one of the staples presented to people who want to exercise their minds, and appear in newspapers, magazines & online. The Word Squares talked of here are similar to Magic Squares (see Puzzlist Archives, May 23, 2010), and require the use of acceptable English words which can be filled in to a grid of 3, 4, 5, or greater magnitude such that the words read both horizontally as well as vertically. Of course, each word square could have words in German, or Spanish, or Italian... that is what makes the word square puzzles fun.

Let's start with the simplest word square, the Order-3 variety, of which I present a sample:
As one can see, the 3 words used in this word square read both horizontally as well as vertically. It should be a simple task to create different Order 3 word squares, which leaves me to assign the challenge to all readers, to create other Order 3, Order 4, and higher word squares besides the examples I give you here as a guide.

A typical order 4 word square could be one such as this example:
Just to be different, let's look at an Order 5 word square in Latin. Yes, it has actual Latin words, in this case in the form of a quotation "Sator, arepo tenet opera rotas", which translates as "Arepo, the sower, delays the wheels by his works".
Not to labor the point, these word squares may be created in many more levels of difficulty, not merely in the Order 6 example I leave you with below. But let's provide you with the following challenge: Create different word squares yourself, one for each order from 3 through 6.
LinkDue to the multitude of possibilities, you do not need to send your solutions to me, simply do them as a personal challenge.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Ant & The Grasshopper - A Modern Fable

Two Different Versions ......... Two Different Morals


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool, so he laughs and dances around and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm, comfortable and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food nor shelter, so dies out in the cold.


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool, so he laughs and dances around and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his warm, comfortable home with a table loaded with great food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How is it possible that in this country of such wealth this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper and everybody cries when they sing 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

ACORN and the SEIU stage a noisy demonstration in front of the ant's house, as the news stations film the group singing, "We Shall Overcome."

Then Rev. Jeremiah Wright instructs the crowd to kneel down and pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

President Obama condemns the ant, blaming President Bush, President Reagan, Christopher Columbus and the Pope for the grasshopper's plight.

Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Chris Matthews that the ant has gotten rich on the back of the grasshopper, and both demand an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his 'fair share.'

Finally, the EPA drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Ant Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined heavily to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive tax burden, his home is confiscated by the Government Green Czar and given to the grasshopper.

The story now ends as we see the grasshopper and his free-loading friends finishing up the last of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which as you may recall happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around them because the grasshopper doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared into the snow, never to be seen again.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident,and the house, now abandoned & trashed, is over-run by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once-prosperous, peaceful neighborhood. The entire state collapses due to countless similar acts of stupidity and wastefullness, bringing the entire Nation down as well.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Canadian Idol

For our international visitors, Puzzlist wishes all to know that Canada is not a backward country. Our publicly-funded national newscaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (aka CBC), has even developed its own version of the popular 'American Idol' seen in the USA and creatively called it 'Canadian Idol.'

The clip below proves that Canadians do indeed have talent to spare. Thank you, CBC!

Showering Protocol - Men vs. Women


Take off clothing and place it in sectioned laundry hamper according to lights and darks.

Walk to bathroom wearing long dressing gown. If you
see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.

Look at your womanly physique in the mirror -- make
mental note to do more sit-ups/leg-lifts, etc. Get in the shower. Use face cloth, arm cloth, leg cloth, long loofah, wide loofah and pumice stone.

Wash your hair once with cucumber and sage shampoo
with 43 added vitamins.

Wash your hair again to make sure it's clean.

Condition your hair with grapefruit mint conditioner

Wash your face with crushed apricot facial scrub for
10 minutes until red.

Wash entire rest of body with ginger nut and jaffa
cake body wash. Rinse conditioner off hair.

Shave armpits and legs.

Turn off shower.

Squeegee off all wet surfaces in shower.

Spray mold spots with Tilex.

Get out of shower.

Dry with towel the size of a small country.

hair in super absorbent towel.

Return to bedroom wearing long dressing gown and
towel on head. If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.


Take off clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed and leave them in a pile.

Walk naked to the bathroom.

If you see wife along the way, shake wiener at her
making the woo-woo sound.

Look at your manly physique in the mirror. Admire
the size of your wiener and scratch your ass.

Get in the shower.

Wash your face.

Wash your armpits.

Blow your nose in your hands and let the water rinse
them off.

Fart and laugh at how loud it sounds in the shower.

Spend majority of time washing privates and
surrounding area.

Wash your butt, leaving those coarse butt hairs
stuck on the soap.

Wash your hair. Make a Shampoo Mohawk.


Rinse off and get out of shower.

Partially dry off.

Fail to notice water on floor because curtain was
hanging out of tub the whole time.

Admire wiener size in mirror again.

Leave shower curtain open, wet mat on floor, light
and fan on.

Return to bedroom with towel around waist. If you
pass wife, pull off towel, shake wiener at her and make the woo-woo sound again.

Throw wet towel on bed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The One Finger salute - A History

On October 25, 1415, an English army composed primarily of archers were faced with a huge force of French knights, men-at-arms and archers in what we know today as the Battle of Agincourt. The prelude to battle saw Henry V and his archers, with their famed yew longbows, surrounded on three sides by knights in armor on their horses, armored men-at-arms and smaller numbers of French archers, face each other for some time on a muddy farmer's field in a steady drizzle while the principals met to negotiate surrender.

The French emissary told the English delegates that their vastly superior force would slaughter the English army unless they surrendered, but that the English bowmen would have the middle finger of their right hands cut off so they could no longer draw their bows in battle, and so would be allowed to live. All the while, the two armies were milling around in the mud, with the armored French knights and men-at-arms, and the heavy horses of the French were finding that moving around in the deepening mud was becoming increasingly more difficult by the minute.

The English delegates came back to their archers and informed them of the French terms: if they surrendered, they would not be killed but would lose the middle finger on their right hands. Thus, they would no longer be able to pluck the English longbow (made of the wood of the yew tree) - or, as the French emissary sneeringly had said, that they would not be able to "PLUCK YEW."

The enraged English archers agreed to fight to the bitter end, and in the ensuing battle rained volleys of arrows on the French, who for the most part became stuck in the mud and easy prey to the flights of English arrows. The English archers, seeing their success, started to wave their middle fingers in the air at the remaining French, screaming, "See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!"

The French army was routed and most of the ones who surrendered were slaughtered.

When the victorious English archers returned to England, they told of their great victory and how they had taunted the French army into a frenzy by holding up their middle fingers and shouting "Pluck Yew." As this term is not easy to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning was gradually changed to a labiodental fricative 'F' with each retelling when the one finger salute was shown.

As an addendum to this lesson in history, the English archers used goose and pheasant feathers to fletch their arrows, which is believed to be the source of the expression "Giving the bird" when the One Finger Salute is given.

Monday, March 14, 2011

May God Forgive Me

Bumper Snickers #6












Friday, March 11, 2011

How To Survive A Heart Attack


Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting.
Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. 60% of people who have a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. The pain in the jaw happened to me and woke me from a sound sleep. I was one of the fortunate ones. Trust me when I tell you it's pain unlike anything you've ever experienced before. Given a choice between natural child birth and a heart attack, pain-wise; it's much easier to have a baby.

Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive.
A cardiologist says if everyone who sees this item sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll save at least one life. Read this... It could save your life!!

Let's say it's 6:15pm and you're driving home (alone of course), after an unusually hard day on the job. You're tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.


Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.
A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital. Tell as many other people as possible about this. It could save their lives!! "

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Great Inventions - The Wheel

Bumper Snickers #5













(Previous Bumper Snickers are in our archives, dated 4/9/2007 & 7/10/2009)


Puzzlist has discovered that Air Canada Jazz air flight AC8957, on Feb. 23, 2011 from Fredericton to Toronto, had to be cancelled because the eagle-eyed ground crew in Fredericton spotted a missing ashtray on the plane.

Spokespersons for Jazz said that the plane could not take off without the missing ashtray as it violated safety concerns and regulations.

"A self-contained ashtray has to be available as a safe method of disposing of a lit object, should there be need," Manon Stuart, corporate communications manager, said in an interview. "Because the piece of equipment is a regulatory requirement, we could not operate an aircraft without replacing that aircraft part."

Jazz decided to have the missing ashtray flown in from Halifax so that AC8957 could simply be delayed, but due to miscommunication breakdown, the ashtray was not shipped from the Halifax storehouse and Jazz decided to fly the empty aircraft back to Halifax to have a new ashtray installed. The empty plane then flew back to Fredericton, where the flight was resumed late that evening.

Naturally, the original passengers had to have their meals and transportation costs paid for by Jazz; those who missed the late evening flight on the now-ashtray-equipped plane had their hotel rooms paid for and were flown to Toronto the next morning.

Puzzlist wants to know why a missing ashtray can ground a plane when noone is allowed to smoke on board at any time, and what justifies the expense of flying an empty plane from Fredericton to Halifax and back just to have some union flunky install a totally useless piece of wall decoration on the plane.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bill Gates v. Government Motors

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates chose to compare the computer industry with the auto industry in the following manner:

"If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1000 miles to the gallon."

Quite incensed with Mr. Gates' comments, GM ad executives issued a press release which stated:

"If GM had kept up with technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines on the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no apparent reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all the windows, shut off the car, restart it and reopen the windows before you could continue driving. For some reason you would accept this.
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall a new engine.
5. Macintosh would come out with a car that ran powered by the sun, was totally reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would only run on 5% of the roads.
6. Your car's oil, water temperature and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single 'This Car Has Performed an Illegal Operation' warning light.
7. The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure?" before deploying.
8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed a hold of the radio antenna.
9. Every time a new car was introduced, you'd have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as before.
10. You'd have to press the 'Start' button to turn the engine off."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If You Were A Child Born Before The 70s

We survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, peanuts, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. After the trauma of birth, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs painted in brightly colored lead-based paint.

We didn't have childproof lids on medicine bottles, and bathroom cabinets where drugs were often kept were never locked. When we rode our bikes, noone wore helmets; we often hitch-hiked. As infants and small children, we rode in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or airbags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was a special treat.

We drank water straight from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared our soft drinks and sodas with our friends straight from the bottle, and noone actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, ate white bread and home-made jam, drank Kool-Aid made with sugar but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing. We could leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back home when the streetlights came on.

And we were OK.

We would spend hours and hours in dad's garage, building go-carts out of scrap lumber and then ride down the hill, only to find we had forgotten about the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve that problem.

We didn't have Playstations, Nintendos, X-Boxes or other video games, our TVs had no cable with 150 odd stations, no DVD players with surround-sound, no cell-phones, personal computers, no internet or chat rooms, but we had friends, and we went outside and found them.

We fell out of trees, got cuts and bruises, broke bones and teeth, but there was no thought of lawsuits from these mishaps. We ate worms and mud-pies made with real dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns on our tenth birthdays, made up great games using sticks and tennis balls, and despite being warned repeatedly by our parents, we did not put out many eyes.
We rode our bikes or walked to a friend's house, knocked or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League tryouts meant that not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to handle that disappointment. Imagine that!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

We enjoyed a couple of golden decades of truly great music, especially the 50s and 60s when songs could be enjoyed in soda shops with our friends, or listened to on our radios at home or in cars. Magic times.

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50+ years have been an explosion of innovation and technology. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

So if you were a kid in the 40s to early 70s, as I was, congratulations on being born in a golden age, before the lawyers and the all-encroaching government regulated so much of our lives.