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Posts from ‘September, 2010’

It All Depends on How You Look at It


I recently ran across an interesting map online. It's made by a company called Hema Maps in Australia and shows what the world looks like upside down. Here's a picture of their map — you can click on it to see it enlarged.

picture of upside down map

I started to wonder why most map makers put north at the top of a map and south at the bottom. Is there a reason for that, or is it just another blantant example of directionism? I really don't have time to research this right now (read: my life is insanely full), but I'm hoping some of my readers might look into it and share their findings in the comments.

Today's iv is five jokes that comically illustrate people looking at things from different viewpoints.

The new preacher's family was presented with a pie which had been baked by one of the parishioners who was not the best cook. The pie turned out to be inedible, so the preacher's wife reluctantly disposed of it in the garbage can. The preacher was faced with the necessity of writing a thank you note, while at the same time being truthful. The note read as follows: "Dear Mrs. Smith, thank you for being so kind and thoughtful. I can assure you that a pie like yours never lasts long at our house."
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Safe at Home


picture of sign

This past week the home of a couple who reads my blog was burgled. I don't know much about exactly what happened or whether they had a home security system. If they have something in place, it wasn't effective in this case. It seems as if the thief knew the family's schedule since it happened during a very short period (an hour and a half) when no one was home.

In these days of unemployment and a tough economy, it's a good idea to do what we can to protect ourselves against break ins. Some people do that with a watch dog. I'm not sure that this sign I found on eBay would do much to deter crooks.

picture of warning sign

These next couple of signs would make anyone think twice before breaking in.
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The Autumnal Equinox


picture of explanation of the equinox

There is an equinox twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. It's when the tilt of the earth's axis is such that the night and the day are approximately the same length everywhere in both the northern and southern hemispheres. This year that moment occurred at bed time last night where I live. Today is the first full day of fall, and we also had a full moon at 5:17 am. The full moon closest to the fall equinox is called a "harvest moon." The last time the harvest moon was this close to the equinox was 1991.

All this thinking about the sun's rays and full moons reminded me of some pictures I've accumulated and received from readers. This seems like the perfect time to share these. Some are quite sunny, others a bit loony.

Here are several pictures people snapped when cranes and the sun were in perfect alignment.

picture of sun and moon placement

picture of sun and moon placement

Here are some shots staged by sports-minded people.
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Have You Ever Heard of Paraprosdokians?


I don't remember ever hearing of a paraprosdokian until this past week. Three different readers, total strangers to each other, sent me an e-mail with a list of paraprosdokians, which were mostly the same, but with some differences. I did some searching to find out exactly what the word means. It comes from two Greek words — para which means "beyond" and prosdokia which means "expectation." Therefore a paraprosdokian is a sentence or several sentences which go beyond the expectations of the listener. In other words, the second part of the sentence or a phrase delivers something quite unexpected, often humorously anticlimactic.

picture of garden path

As we read or listen to what is being said, we unconsciously try to work out what is probably coming next. A good paraprosdokian sets up an expectation and then dashes it, causing confusion and making you review and rethink what has really been said. It's a technique known as "leading someone down the garden path." Many comedians and satirists use this figure of speech quite effectively.

Today I'll share some of the best paraprosdokians that came to me unattributed, followed by some uttered by several people well known for this type of figure of speech.

The car stopped on a dime, which unfortunately was in a pedestrian's pocket.

Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, you will be a mile away and he won't have any shoes.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.
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Are You Ever Conflicted?


picture of signs

I've been told for years that "duties never conflict," but that's not always been the case in my experience. Duties actually seem to overlap quite often, especially when you move about in several spheres and as your schedule fills up. Do you remember being a "tennis ball" as a child with, "Go ask your mother," followed by "Go ask your father," and so on until you finally got one of your parents to make a decision? As an adult do you get conflicting messages coming your way? It's not always easy to know what to do or to whom to listen. Today's post illustrates this in various settings, as always, with some humorous twists.

Some signs aren't helpful because of their conflicting messages. When I saw the following sign, I was amused at the message since, to me, most chanting seems like confused noise. Would you chant, and how would you chant?

picture of conflicting sign

Is there such a thing as "wholesome junk food" as in the sign below? And is it the lower prices or the wholesome junk food that is in every aisle, every day?
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