21 May 2009

Greenbacks, white faces, old dead dudes.

Did you know I'm on Tumblr, too? It fills that niche between micro-blogging I get on Twitter and the full-fledged blogging I do here, or on one of my specialty sites. But sometimes, like with my weekly recaps of Sketch War, I feel a need to post in more than one place. Like this piece...

Indefensible is right. We’ve got slave owners on our currency. Sucks. But not all of the old dead white dudes were slave owners. So for those of you abroad, or those who went to school in California, Mississippi, or - well, most anywhere in America, unfortunately - here’s a primer on the dudes wot be pictured on our moolah.


  • 1¢ Freed the motherfuckin’ slaves.
  • 5¢ Screwed the motherfuckin’ slaves. Literally, I mean.
  • 10¢ Beat the shit outta Hitler.
  • 25¢ Owned slaves, but freed them on his death, so he’s got that goin’ for him.
  • 50¢ Screwed motherfuckin’ Marilyn Monroe.
  • $1 I have no idea who’s on the dollar coin right now. I don’t go to enough Indian casinos for it to matter.
Paper Currency
  • $1 Lost almost every single battle he commanded as a general. I mean, this guy’s record in futility is like the Cubs or Wile E. Coyote. Seriously. I’m not kidding. He was a bad field commander.
  • $2 Seriously? What are we two-years old and we’re getting these in a card from nana? More of the slave-fucker.
  • $5 Did I mention he freed the motherfuckin’ slaves? He also beat the shit out of the slave owners in the process.
  • $10 Bastard immigrant probably shouldn’t have deloped on the Heights of Weehawken.
  • $20 You see, there was this big block of cheese
  • $50 Right. That fellow up above who beat the shit out of the slave owners? This guy did the killin’. Beat those fuckers right back into the stone-age, or as we Yankees call it, “Georgia”.
  • $100 Flew a motherfuckin’ kite. Also, fought a bitter battle to abolish slavery at the founding of the union.

20 May 2009

Mr. Wizard on Knees

Emily asks...

What would chairs look like if our knees bent the other way?


Do penguins have knees?
The latter question is the easier of the patella-oriented queries, so let me answer it with the following diagram:

Now while it may not be clear in this picture, there is in fact a femur on the upper half of the lower limb. This should come as no shock as we share a common ancestor with penguins (though we'd have to go back a *really* long way to find that common ancestor.)

So yes, Emily, there is a knee. It is the joint between the femur and tibiotarsus/fibular pair.

Now as to your second question, that one's a bit of a puzzler. It's difficult to imagine a successful biped with a knee that bent in the other direction, as locomotion would be difficult at best, making it easy prey for animals with unhindered knees. However, if we assume all animals shared that odd joint, there would be no relative disadvantage to an organism with that structure. So let's assume that's the case, and somehow locomotion works with lower limbs that rotate in the same direction at both the first and second joints.

In that case, it seems that some variation of a Swedish kneeling chair would work best.

Just as the kneeling chair directs most of the downward force of the body along the length of the femur, our hypothetical reverse-kneed people would sit in a similar fashion, but the lower halves of their legs would extend out and up with a slight bend.

Ask Mr. Wizard Wednesday

There is NO question I can't answer.

Of course, not all my answers are serious or useful, but that's a risk you run with a wizard.

Questions about me, advice for the lovelorn, software questions, writing questions, questions about the annual cinnamon harvest in Sumatra...ask 'em and I'll answer 'em. I make no guarantees of the quality, veracity, or utility of the answers, but you'll get *something* either useful or funny.

Ask your questions in comments and I'll be posting your answers through the following days. This will keep you coming back and keep me more actively engaged over here. See? We *all* win.

15 May 2009

Interviews That Never Aired Wrapup

With cable, satellite, and millions of websites streaming content, 24/7/52/7/71 straight into our brains2 you’d think we’d be hard-pressed to find any interviews that hadn’t filled up *someone’s* empty airtime. I mean, have you *seen* the crap on FOX and CNN?

But succeed we did, three times over. These interviews have been in the vaults, in one case for millenia, and unseen by the public until this week. Aren’t you lucky!

We’ve got friends, Romans, and quarterbacks this week. Take a look and don’t forget to send your friends on by. We’re always open.

Next week’s cue promises to be explosive. Be sure to come back around when the sketch warriors take on, The State of Healthcare.

If you think you’ve got the comedy chops to do battle with our scarred and bitter warriors, if you dare step into the hailstorm of seltzer and cream pies, if you think you’re MAN ENOUGH or WOMAN ENOUGH to make us laugh, write a sketch and contact us at submissions(nospam)@sketchwar.org.

  1. That’s 24 hours in a day, by seven days in a week, by 52 weeks in a year, by seven years between sabbaticals, by seven sabbatical cycles in a jubilee. I mean, we’ve got a LOT of content. []
  2. The aluminum foil hat doesn’t go with my shoes. []

12 May 2009

If JJ can do it with Star Trek...

Owing to the runaway success of the Star Trek reboot, I'm going to start on my script for a reboot of Star Wars. Someday, George'll finally be dead and gone and we can sully his reputation for him, instead of him doing it himself. I thought I'd give you a little taste of my reboot right here, though.


Everything goes sideways when a traveler from the future replaces the Emperor's coffee with Folger's Crystals. Turns out the Sith *can* tell the difference. So Palpatine puts on his cranky pants one morning thanks to this time traveler and rips Vader a new one. He tells Vader he'd better step up the work on the Death Star or else.

So Vader cracks the whip, the Death Star gets finished six weeks ahead of schedule, and that causes ripples in the time stream.

Suffice it to say, with Han dead (he shot first, but his blaster malfunctioned) and Luke too busy raking in the credits through water profiteering, it's going to be tough to get the old gang back together again. But we will!

09 May 2009

Sketchwar Mother's Day Wrapup

With a topic as rich and pregnant with possibilities as this, I’d hoped the warriors would have come from far and wide to toss their humor grenades into the ring. Then I remembered not *every* comedy writer has a Jewish mother. While being chosen isn’t a requirement for being funny1 and is certainly no predictor for comic ability,2 it does give us an edge in writing funny stuff about mothers.
I mean, with my goyim friends, what can they do? Make fun of sandwiches made with mayonnaise and white bread? Mock index funds? Mine comedy out of minivans?
So we had a short week, but three excellent entries:

Blow up sex dolls, truffle canap├ęs, killer robots and disappointed mothers vie for your affection this week. Won’t you be a good boy or girl and just come by and say a little hello to your dear old sketch about mom? And would it kill you to tell your friends? Maybe while you get a haircut; you look a little shaggy.
Next week our sketch warriors will battle on the cue: Interviews That Never Aired.
If you think you’ve got the comedy chops to do battle with our scarred and bitter warriors, if you dare step into the hailstorm of seltzer and cream pies, if you think you’re MAN ENOUGH or WOMAN ENOUGH to make us laugh, write a sketch and contact us at submissions(nospam)@sketchwar.org.

  1. Richard Pryor: non-Jew. []
  2. Howie Mandel: Jew. []