Tag: humor

Can’t stop laughing

So it’s lunchtime and I’m reading Herovit’s World (wholely contained within The Passage of the Light and I cannot for the life of me stop laughing. Outloudly, vocally, loudly. It just keeps coming with each paragraph. This has to be one of the funniest books ever written, and yet I hesitate to quote passages because unless you’ve read Barry Malzberg before, and unless you have some idea of what it’s like to be a writer, and in particular, a writer of science fiction, the passages would all be lost on you.

Okay, I’ll give a shot. I’ll quote something dispairingly funny, but I doubt you’ll get it. Keep in mind, this is a novel, fiction, and a recursive novel at that:

He receives a phone call from the girl with whom he slept in the hotel the evening of the League for Science-Fiction Professionals’ cocktail party. She feels slightly embarrassed about calling him at home, knowing how busy a professional writer must be (probably turning out another one of those novels right there this minute), but would like to know nevertheless if he would attend a meeting of the developing Staten Island Wonder Association, of which she is still the corresponding secretary and second chariman.

“Now you don’t have to come if you don’t want to,” she says rather bitterly. “They only put me up to this job because they thought you might say yes if I asked, but if you don’t want to come, it really doesn’t mean a thing to me either. I dont’t care about any of that fan stuff; it’s still for the kids. Why, I haven’t even been active for over two years and I’m much older than the rest of them–to old for those meetings–but if I can do them a favor, well then, why not?” Her voice is hurt; Herovit feels that he has come into the middle of something quite complicated. “Most of these people have no life outside of talking about science fiction, which is a rather sad thing when you think about it, but still, someone has to buy the stuff and read it, isn’t that right? They put up the money.”

Herovit recalls listening to this as he has not recalled for several days what it was like to be with her. (Sex departed is best forgotten; why get yourself all upset, although, now and then you could come up with an image that you could jack off to.) She’s had resilient breasts and had not, even in the last throes of sex, made a sound. Maybe being a Wonder reader conditioned you against orderinary novelties. Also, she does not seem to have read a word of his, not ever, which on that basis alone means that he owes her some affection and a sense of obligation. People who have never read him have done Herovit, he supposes, a rather large favor.

There you have it. I warned you might not get it, but for me, well, I just can’t stop laughing.

DirectTV and XM radio

DirectTV now has XM radio for it’s music channels way up in the 800 range. I discovered this little fact when I was at Eric and Ryane’s last weekend and I tried it out here at home yesterday and sure enough, it’s true.

So I’ve been listening to channel 804, which the 40s music station–continuous commercial-free music from the 1940s. I don’t know why I like that music so much, but I do. It puts me into a good moon

Richard Cheese

Eric was playing some hilarious music in the car today–by a guy named Richard Cheese. This guys takes popular songs of all genres, rock, metal, rap, r&b, and makes them into “lounge” songs. He’s got a great band backing them and a clear voice that brings out the absurdity of some of the songs he sings. I checked and three of his albums are available on the Apple Music store. When I get back home, I’m going to get a few of the albums as they are incredibly funny (especially “Do Me” off the Apertif for Destruction album.

Pilot humor

A fellow pilot forwarded me this today and I thought it was hysterical. If you like flying and you are a Star Wars fan, this is for you. (Incidentally, I’ve checked and found people quoting this all over the web, but I haven’t been able to find the source site, so I’m reposting the whole thing here.) It’s worth reading:

I have read many posts on the web site from members and on MMAIL who are thinking about owning their own aircraft and looking for ways to offset the cost of ownership. I have heard many reasons for and against ownership. Why buy an aircraft? It’s cheaper to rent and you do not have all the hassle with maintenance, fuel and insurance. Well, here is a little story that I think explains it all as to why I own my own airplane.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning. No winds and the temperature was just right. So instead of mowing the lawn like my wife had planned for me, I decided to go to the airport and take the Sport out for a run. She yells back at me, “WELL IF YOU GO, TAKE YOUR SON WITH YOU.” So I ask my son. Want to go flying with dad? In which he says Yea, Can I take my light saber?

You see, my 9 year son thinks he is a Jedi Knight and that our Sport is his personal X-Wing fighter. He is only 4’5 and has to sit on a pillow in order to see over the glare shield and he always carries his light saber just in case we land on a strange planet in which there might be trouble or civil un-rest. Always prepared this one is. So away we go.


We were straight and level at around 6,000ft and I let him take the controls of the X-Wing to do some turns to the left and right. Joshua Approach called and said there was traffic at our 2 o’clock 2 miles opposite direction and my son said to me “Look over there dad, Tie fighter coming right at us”. I told him to steer clear of the Tie Fighter because our lasers were out for repair and we were un-armed. No reason to provoke a fight.

So even though he is having a blast, I am starting to get a little bored and thought, “Let’s go do a practice approach on the ILS”. So I called Joshua Approach, requested the ILS 25 Approach to Palmdale Full Approach and off we went. I maneuvered the X-Wing to the VOR and started the turn outbound to the outer marker. Now my son is just really enjoying this. At the outer marker, the blue light started to flash and you could hear the BEEP in the headset. My Son jumps in and said “That Tie Fighter has locked on to us” I said “That’s Right” and I started my evasive maneuver on the procedure turn.

My Son is listening to the exchange between me and the controller and wants to chime in on the conversion. I said to my son, “Just hang on; I will give you a chance”. I never should have said that because now he is all excited to talk on the radio. As I start to turn inbound on the turn, the Approach control said “Contact tower when established on the localizer”. So I told my young Padawan Learner “OK, when this needle gets here on the dial, push the radio button and tell the tower that 93 Romeo is inbound on the localizer”.

Now imagine this, I am giving basic instrument instruction to a 9 year old, I cannot get adults to say this during training. So before I can give him something simpler to say he keys the mike and says “REBEL BASE, THIS IS RED 5. WE ARE STARTING OUR ATTACK RUN ON THE DEATH STAR”.

Good God.

Now this post 9/11 and before I can key my mike and say anything, the tower jumps on and says “RED 5, YOUR CLEARED FOR THE APPROACH TO THE DEATH STAR. REPORT HITS AWAY”

Now I am waiting for the tower to add “And tell your dad to call this number” But I hear nothing else. So we continue the approach. Now my son is in heaven. This is real life stuff to him and he is doing everything I tell him to do as far as tracking the needle. As we approach the outer marker inbound, the light starts to flash and there is that tone again. “Dad, the Death Star has a lock on us”. Yes Son, you keep on the approach, I will worry about the guns.

Everything is going great and now we are approaching the middle marker. My son has noticed the GPS has a red line with an airplane on it and it ends at the Death Star. So he asks me “IS THAT A TARGETING COMPUTER DAD?” Well of course it is, and it shows us where we are to the target. So now he hears Obewan tell him to USE THE FORCE SCOTT and he turns the GPS OFF. Tells me he is OK and does not need the targeting computer because he is using the FORCE.

Now the middle marker light flashes and the tone comes on. I apply full power and the airplane,,,X-Wing,,, Starts a climb. I start the turn to the missed approach path when my son keys the mike and says “HITS AWAY”. The tower answers back with “GOOD JOB RED 5, CONTACT REBEL APPROACH ON 126.1”

We go back to Mojave SPACEPORT, and I decide that the X-Wing needs a bath. So out comes all the cleaning stuff and we spend the rest of the day washing and waxing the turbo jets and laser pods.

So you see. This is why I own my own aircraft. You cannot beat this kind of quality time with your kids. And there is no way you can put a price on that.

Jeff Bryant
Southwest Regional Director
Beech Aero Club
1975 X-Wing Fighter Model B-19

Laughing Outloud: from “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”

I was reading this book shortly after getting back from vacation in November. There is a lot of funny stuff in this book, but one passage in particular made me burst out laughing, mainly due to the nature of the subject. I received a few strange glances, laughing so hard at something contained within a physicists autobiography. Here’s the passage:

I often liked to play tricks on people when I was at MIT. One time, in mechanical drawing class, some joker picked up a French curve (a piece of plastic for drawing smooth curves–a curly, funny-looking thing) and said, “I wonder if the curves on this thing have some special formula?”

I thought for a moment and said, “Sure they do. The curves are very special curves. Lemme show ya,” and I picked up the French curve and began to turn it slowly. “The French curve is made so that at the lowest point on each curve, no matter how you turn it, the tangent is horizontal.”

All the guys in the class were holding their French curve up at different angles, holding their pencil up to it at the lowest point and laying it along, and discovering that, sure enough, the tangent is horizontal. They were all excited by this “discovery”–even though they had already “learned” that the derivative (tangent) of the minimum (lowest point) of any curve is zero (horizontal). They didn’t put two and two together. They didn’t even know what they “knew.”

From “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” by Richard P. Feynman.

Science and Law on SCIAM

This month’s “Antigravity” column in Scientific American (by Steve Mirsky) was really funny. For anyone who doesn’t subscribe to Scientific American (shame on you), the Antigravity column is on the website. You can find it here.

The author takes issue with the fact that Supreme Court nominees should be familiar with business law. He thinks they should be more familiar with science and has ten (very funny) questions that he would ask all nominees if here were on the Senate committee.