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lookin last won the day on April 30

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  1. International House - 1933 (pre-Hayes Code) - Professor Quail descends in a hot-air balloon Hey! Where am I? Woman: Wu-Hu . . . Woo hoo to you sweetheart. Hey, Charlie, where am I? . . . Man: Wu-Hu (removes boutonniere) Don’t let the posey fool you!
  2. Not sure how I missed hearing about the Telharmonium all these years, but I guess better late than never. Also called the Dynamophone by its inventor, Dr. Thaddeus Cahill, this early electric organ is considered the first electromechanical musical instrument. Cahill invented it in 1897, before vacuum tubes were used to generate electrical waveforms and, in fact, before vacuum tubes themselves were even invented. It used a “tonewheel” mounted to an electric motor to generate a waveform in an adjacent electromagnetic coil. The number of nubs on the wheel and the speed of the electric motor determined the frequency of the waveform generated by the coil. While the principal was pretty straightforward, the implementation was not. It took some fairly heavy-duty gear to generate a single frequency. And, since a large number of individual frequencies were required - simultaneously no less - to produce a tune, it makes sense that the Telharmonium was a large device by any standards. The first model that Cahill constructed - the Mark I - weighed seven tons! By the time he got to the Mark II, the beast weighed in at over 200 tons and required 670 kilowatts of electricity to operate! Obviously, Cahill couldn’t easily move it around to find his audiences, and amplifiers hadn’t been invented yet, so his idea was to transmit the sound produced by the Telharmonium over the telephone system which was just getting going around this time. There weren’t any loudspeakers then either, so Cahill figured he’d send a full ampere of current down the line to each telephone and get the earpiece vibrating so loudly that the listener didn’t even need to pick it up to listen. This, of course, begat its own set of problems, crosstalk in particular, so that early telephone users would sometimes hear strange musical sounds interfering with their voice calls. One story has it “that a New York businessman, infuriated by the constant network interference, broke into the building where the Telharmonium was housed and destroyed it, throwing pieces of the machinery into the Hudson river below.” For a while, around the turn of the century, Cahill leased a space at 39th and Broadway and gave live performances of his invention, while sending the music down the telephone wires to those who were interested in hearing it, as well as to some who were not interested in hearing it. Sadly, no recordings of the Telharmonium exist today and Cahill’s brother scrapped whatever remnants of the device remained in 1950. But the tonewheel mechanism and Cahill's designs formed the basis for the original Hammond organ four decades later. By that time, vaccuum tubes, electronic amplifiers and loudspeakers had been invented and Cahill’s original ideas lived on and thrived. By the way, a two hundred ton instrument would be about the equivalent of a hundred Honda Civics in mass. Dr. Cahill was nothing if not committed to getting his music out to the public.
  3. Good thing too. There have been a number of Major Assholes over the years, but they seem to get drummed out of the corps before they ever make it to Colonel. I dimly recall a Brigadier General Asshole who served briefly on the Southern flank, but he was such a raging bottom that OZ had to cashier him before all his troops deserted. If we ever do manage to attract someone with more than one star, you can be pretty sure he’ll pop up in the Politics Forum, so check there when you find yourself ready to deal. In the meantime, please feel free to send me a private with any other asshole-related questions.
  4. Also useful when shifting positions.
  5. Loved him then, loved him now. One of my favorite songs on that album is My Home Town. Though I've heard minor variations of the fifth verse. In the clip above, it's That fellow was no fool Who taught our Sunday School And neither was our kindly Parson Brown (We're recording tonight so I'll have to leave this line out) In my home town But, on the album, the fourth line changes: That fellow was no fool Who taught our Sunday School And neither was our kindly Parson Brown (I guess I better leave this line out just to be on the safe side) In my home town I guess it's possible that Lehrer never wrote a fourth line and left it up to the listener to imagine the kindly Parson's particular perversion. But I've always wondered if he had described some distinct depravity in his original lyrics. If I recall, AdamSmith, you yourself once hobnobbed with Lehrer and stood inches away while he sang. Do you happen to know if there is indeed a fourth line, and recall what it is? A long shot, I know, though it can't hurt to ask.
  6. It takes me so long to come up with a couplet I can’t pay the rent on this lousy old sublet I need something catchy that’s better than prose Some sort of a gymmick where anything goes My friend AdamSmith says a slant rhyme will do With a hit or miss rhythm up which one cannot screw I think he may have it, I’ll give it a try If he’s right, I’ll be faymous long after I dye
  7. Well, Todd's the real expert on green house gas And he hasn't been hot since Willow was born If it keeps up, we'll just drive over to Russia I think the airport thing was way overblown One day a year we can show him our tanks No, not unless something happens to Mike Pence
  8. The Wart did not know what to do. He did not know whether it would be safe to go up to this knight, for there were so many terrible things in the forest that even the knight might be a ghost. Most ghostly he looked, too, as he hoved meditating on the confines of the gloom. Eventually the boy made up his mind that even if it were a ghost, it would be the ghost of a knight, and knights were bound by their vows to help people in distress. "Excuse me," he said, when he was right under the mysterious figure, "but can you tell me the way back to Sir Ector's castle?" At this the ghost jumped, so that it nearly fell off its horse, and gave out a muffled baaa through its visor, like a sheep. "Excuse me," began the Wart again, and stopped, terrified, in the middle of his speech. For the ghost lifted up its visor, revealing two enormous eyes frosted like ice; exclaimed in an anxious voice, "What, what?"; took off its eyes--which turned out to be hornrimmed spectacles, fogged by being inside the helmet; tried to wipe them on the horse's mane--which only made them worse; lifted both hands above its head and tried to wipe them on its plume; dropped its lance; dropped the spectacles; got off the horse to search for them--the visor shutting in the process; lifted its visor; bent down for the spectacles; stood up again as the visor shut once more, and exclaimed in a plaintive voice, "Oh, dear!" The Wart found the spectacles, wiped them, and gave them to the ghost, who immediately put them on (the visor shut at once) and began scrambling back on its horse for dear life. When it was there it held out its hand for the lance, which the Wart handed up, and, feeling all secure, opened the visor with its left hand, and held it open. It peered at the boy with one hand up-- like a lost mariner searching for land--and exclaimed, "Ah-hah! Whom have we here, what?" "Please," said the Wart, "I am a boy whose guardian is Sir Ector." "Charming fellah," said the Knight. "Never met him in me life." "Can you tell me the way back to his castle?" "Faintest idea. Stranger in these parts meself." "I am lost," said the Wart. "Funny thing that. Now I have been lost for seventeen years. "Name of King Pellinore," continued the Knight. "May have heard of me, what?" The visor shut with a pop, like an echo to the What, but was opened again immediately. "Seventeen years ago, come Michaelmas, and been after the Questing Beast ever since. Boring, very." "I should think it would be," said the Wart, who had never heard of King Pellinore, nor of the Questing Beast, but he felt that this was the safest thing to say in the circumstances. "It is the Burden of the Pellinores," said the King proudly. "Only a Pellinore can catch it-- that is, of course, or his next of kin. Train all the Pellinores with that idea in mind. Limited eddication, rather. Fewmets, and all that." "I know what fewmets are," said the boy with interest. "They are the droppings of the beast pursued. The harborer keeps them in his horn, to show to his master, and can tell by them whether it is a warrantable beast or otherwise, and what state it is in." "Intelligent child," remarked the King. "Very. Now I carry fewmets about with me practically all the time. "Insanitary habit," he added, beginning to look dejected, "and quite pointless. Only one Questing Beast, you know, so there can't be any question whether she is warrantable or not." - The Once and Future King, T. H. White
  9. Sounds like you may have missed the Priority feature that @TotallyOz installed in the last software upgrade. It’s a pulldown menu that lets you determine your level of notification for new posts. The default is Level 1 and it’s pretty hit-or-miss. I expect that’s what you got. Level 2 makes sure you get a notification within 30 seconds of a new post showing up. Level 3 adds a siren sound which comes through even if your computer or phone is switched off. And Level 4 hooks you into the IPAWS Emergency Alert System and all your connected phone, computer and TV devices will sound off within three seconds of a new post. That’s the one I signed up for and I’m glad I did, as I was following one of @AdamSmith's poop threads at the time. Even so, I’d be reluctant to sign up for Level 5.
  10. Well this sunk me into a heavy-duty depression! And I didn't even have to watch the video.
  11. You can't buy memories like that.
  12. I believe I recall your sharing that insight in an early review of Andre.
  13. The Wave Organ Peter Richards and George Gonzalez Exploratorium artists in residence, 1986 The Wave Organ is a wave-activated acoustic sculpture located on a jetty in the San Francisco Bay. The concept was developed by Peter Richards and was installed in collaboration with sculptor and master stone mason George Gonzalez. Inspiration for the piece came from artist Bill Fontana’s recordings made of sounds emanating from a vent pipe of a floating concrete dock in Sydney, Australia. In 1980, Richards (a Senior Artist at the Exploratorium for many years) received a planning grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that enabled him to conduct an extensive period of investigation into the physicality of the Wave Organ phenomenon. A prototype, built at the same location, was presented as part of the New Music ’81 Festival. Though very rudimentary in nature, it generated enthusiasm and support for a permanent work. Permit acquisition and fundraising efforts by Frank Oppenheimer, Founding Director of the Exploratorium, began soon after, but actual construction did not start until September 1985, seven months after Oppenheimer’s death. The Wave Organ was completed in May 1986 and was dedicated in June to the memory of Frank Oppenheimer. The Wave Organ is located on a jetty that forms the small Boat Harbor in the Marina district of San Francisco. The jetty itself was constructed with material taken from a demolished cemetery, providing a wonderful assortment of carved granite and marble, which was used in the construction of this piece. The installation includes 25 organ pipes made of PVC and concrete located at various elevations within the site, allowing for the rise and fall of the tides. Sound is created by the impact of waves against the pipe ends and the subsequent movement of the water in and out of the pipes. The sound heard at the site is subtle, requiring visitors to become sensitized to its music, and at the same time to the music of the environment. The Wave Organ sounds best at high tide.
  14. As adults, the female pinworms move into the colon and exit the body through the anus at night. Very clever. Perhaps I should sleep with a nightlight.
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