Welcome to The Funny/Alerts Newsletter. I'm on PTO (vacation) this week and Anne is out of school for the summer. Yee-haw! We'll be going to Monterey to see the aquarium and to Carmel to get a picture of one of my Dad's paintings that Clint Eastwood has hanging in one of his restaurants. Dad says that the last he heard Clint had it in his Mission Ranch Restaurant in which "A wall of windows in the airy dining room overlooks a meadow of grazing sheep stretching to the shores of Carmel River Beach, Point Lobos and the ocean." It sounds wonderful!
Stay tuned in for more details when we get back...
Co-Conspirator To Make The World A Better Place
GRINS & GIGGLES:
Al and Joe are bungee-jumping one day. Al says to Joe, "You know, we could make a lot of money running our own bungee-jumping service in Mexico."
Joe thinks this is a great idea, so they pool their money and buy everything they'll need; a tower, an elastic cord, insurance, etc.
They travel to Mexico and begin to set up on the square. As they are constructing the tower, a crowd begins to assemble. Slowly, more and more people gather to watch them at work.
When they had finished, there was such a crowd they thought it would be a good idea to give a demonstration. So Al jumps. He bounces at the end of the cord, but when he comes back up Joe notices that he has a few cuts and scratches.
Unfortunately, Joe isn't able to catch him, and he falls again, bounces and comes back up again. This time, he is bruised and bleeding. Again Joe misses him. Al falls again and bounces back up.
This time he comes back pretty messed up-he's got a couple of broken bones and is almost unconscious.
Luckily, Joe finally catches him this time and says, "What happened? Was the cord too long?"
Barely able to speak, Al gasps, "No, the bungee cord was fine. It was the crowd. What the hell is a piñata?"
[thanks to Roy Howard for this one]
This week marks the 51st anniversary of the introduction of UNIVAC I, the world's first commercial computer. Unisys Corp., an e-business solutions company whose roots go back to UNIVAC, last year issued a tongue-in-cheek "public apology" for "the many human inconveniences" resulting from its invention of that computer.
UNIVAC, short for Universal Automatic Computer, was a large-scale, general- purpose commercial electronic computing system designed to satisfy the diverse needs of business management. In 1952, UNIVAC I gained widespread public attention when it correctly predicted the Eisenhower landslide in the US Presidential election. Because most political pundits were expecting a much closer election, CBS chose not to air the UNIVAC prediction, acknowledging its accuracy only after the election had been decided, according to Unisys.
"UNIVAC was a marvel of its time," Leo Daiuto, corporate VP, and VP and general manager of Unisys's Product Development & Technology Department. "Directly or indirectly, our invention of UNIVAC led to a whole new industry and a new way of life for all of us. Today, we're still inventing bigger, faster, more cost- effective enterprise computers. But sadly, the many benefits of the Computer Age have been accompanied by a number of transaction-based annoyances -- all unimagined 51 years ago. As the company that started it all, Unisys feels it only fitting that it mark this historic anniversary with an apology for those inconveniences."
Specifically, Unisys "apologized" for:
·Making it impossible for anyone to do more than five minutes' worth of work without being interrupted by an e-mailed joke, Top Ten list, or chain letter.
·Ensuring that if something goes wrong with a piece of equipment, intelligent, well-meaning people armed with hand tools and mechanical know-how will no longer be able to fix it.
·Relegating to obscurity the smell of fresh-cut flowers because the only flowers you ever get to smell nowadays are the ones you see in online pictures when you're ordering them to appease an irate spouse, who's feeling neglected because you're spending every spare minute online.
·Making trips to the mall unnecessary because anything you can get there is available online at a steep discount.
·Ending that great morning tradition of newspaper and coffee, because by the time your coffee is hot, the "news" in your newspaper is already two generations behind the online edition.
·Giving government, business, and the average twelve-year-old the means by which to find out more about you and your personal tastes than you yourself ever knew.
·Getting you so used to receiving responses in nanoseconds that you can no longer wait the ten seconds it takes for your microwave oven to warm up your bagel.
·Making it impossible for you to justify that trip to a training workshop in Cancun because all the training you'll need is now available on your desktop.
·Making it possible for you to vacation in Cancun without ever losing touch with your boss back at the office.
·Forcing you to go through a five-minute startup routine every time your computer crashes while you're creating a three-minute memo.
·Giving SPAM a bad name.
·Jeopardizing the continued influence in American presidential politics of the hanging chad.
·Making it easier for the IRS to spot discrepancies between your tax return and objective reality.
·Reducing your life and everything in it to a series of counterintuitive acronyms.
·Giving you a false sense of security regarding the spelling and grammatical accuracy of your next memo.
·Increasing your volume of in-mail to the point where you have to devote significant time outside of regular working hours to get through it all.
·Eliminating the concept of regular working hours.
·Providing you with the means to lose money in the stock market at an unprecedented pace.
·The half-dozen keystrokes you need to press for the privilege of being put on hold.
·All those Monday morning deadlines you didn't know about because they were e-mailed to your laptop at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday.
·All those theater tickets you can no longer buy at the door because every seat has already been sold online.
·The dot.com bubble.
·The bursting of the dot.com bubble.
·The concept of multitasking.
·The avalanche of press releases that any company with a media directory and access to email can now generate at a moment's notice.
Unisys noted that the US Census Bureau was their first customer. Various governmental agencies and defense departments jumped on the bandwagon early on, along with corporations like GE, Met Life, US Steel and DuPont.
Technology has come a long way in half a century. Unisys said that its top-of-the- line system today, the ES7000 Enterprise Server, has 1.6 million times more memory and weighs about 1/24th of what the original UNIVAC did.
The contrast between the Univac and today's mainframe equivalents is astounding. Unisys' ES7000 server, for instance, offers 216,000 times the speed and 7.6 million times the memory of the Univac while consuming one- eighteenth as much power and just 1/24th of the Univac's weight. But even with such advances, computers remain both a blessing and a curse, a fact that led Unisys to mark Univac's 50th birthday by issuing an apology for the resulting inconveniences that sometimes outweigh the benefits. "For all the data, for all the analysis, for all the processing, they still don't help us understand," Unisys VP Guy Esnouf says of modern computers. "It's still just as difficult to make a decision."
Annular Eclipse today (June 10)
"A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes in front of the sun as seen from Earth, versus a lunar eclipse where the Earth’s shadow moves across the moon," Johnson said.
The moon’s shadow will follow an 8,700- mile path, racing eastward from Asia across the Pacific Ocean at 1,000 mph.
Because it’s only a partial eclipse, the sun’s light will be dimmed, not completely blocked, Johnson said.
Johnson said the planetarium also sells treated eyeglasses that allow people to look at the eclipse safely. They cost about $2. He warned that damage can result to the eyes if people use a telescope that does not have a solar filter or if they try to view the eclipse through regular sunglasses, photographic negatives, smoked glass, candy wrappers, CDs or other unsafe devices.
Those who miss Monday’s solar eclipse will have to wait 10 years to catch the next one, Johnson said.
The next eclipse coming up visible in the U.S. will be in 2005, but it won’t be visible in Nevada. We won’t see one here until 2012, when a good, annular eclipse will go through Reno.
An annular eclipse is ring-shaped, caused when the moon darkens only the center of the sun, leaving a bright ring around the edges.
There will be a total eclipse on Dec. 4, but that will be visible only from southern Africa and Australia.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/2002/index.html [maps available]
http://www.rgj.com/news/files/2002/06/08/10669.jpg.php [how to watch safely]
Still falling for it
The only thing I have to say about the following story is that a little homework goes a long way...
UNITED STATES CONGRESSMAN
3rd DISTRICT, NEBRASKA
For Immediate Release
Friday, March 23, 2001
Contact: Kelly Sokol
5 Cent Surcharge On E-mail Is A Hoax
Federal Bill 602P Does Not Exist
Washington, D.C.— "No legislation applies a five cent tax to e-mail messages to compensate the U.S. Postal Service," declares Rep. Tom Osborne (NE-03) in order to clear up any confusion surrounding the Internet hoax. "Federal Bill 602P simply does not exist."
"I have heard from over 70 constituents worried about their e-mails being taxed, and I want to assure them that this rumor is false."
The e-rumor started in 1998 with a fictitious Rep. Schnell calling upon e-mail users to fight the tax. The rumor is perpetuated, primarily, through email: "People receive the e-mail and then forward it to their friends."
[from the site http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ne03_osborne/pr_010323_emailhoax.html]
KEEP THIS HANDY:
Strict or lax: Road trip planning is a must
By Jenna Milly
(CNN) -- If the idea of organizing a summer trip transforms your face into the uncanny likeness of summer-fun tyrant Clark W. Griswold, then this summer vacation planner is perfect for you.
On the other hand, if your notion of driving directions is a barely legible, pencil doodle of the local highway system, this summer planner could be exactly what you've been searching for - - albeit not among the fast food wrappers in the floor board of your 1982 El Camino.
For either type, the highly organized traveler or the spontaneous road tripper, summer is here and taking a vacation is your personal right.
This checklist was created with Griswold, Chevy Chase's character in the 1983 ode to summer vacations, "National Lampoon's Vacation," as the model of the quintessential summer traveler. So we begin where Griswold, the all-American "must have fun" guru, did -- at his home computer.
Two months ahead:
__ Log onto the Internet and start browsing travel sites
__ Choose a location
__ Decide who will go with you: Family, friends, pets
__ Decide on a budget
__ Decide how much time you have to spend
__ Start saving extra cash for the trip
__ Research pet-boarding facilities and/or pet-friendly destinations
One month ahead:
__ Tune up your vehicle
__ Decide how long you will spend in each destination
__ Call and make hotel reservations
__ Schedule time off of work
__ Set up house sitting or mail-pick up
__ Pay bills in advance if you'll be gone for more than two weeks
__ Buy light timers for your house
Three weeks ahead:
__ Buy travel books
__ Call about guided tours and park hours
__ Rent "National Lampoon's Vacation" and see what you could be missing
Two weeks ahead:
__ Plan a route to your destinations
__ Double-check your car insurance for expiration
__ Double-check that your license has not expired
__ Research sight-seeing possibilities
__ Make an extra copy of your car keys and leave them with a friend
__ Gather extras like hiking boots, kayaks, canoes, fishing equipment and camping gear
A week ahead:
__ Confirm hotel and other tour reservations
__ Make a packing list
__ Refill prescription medicine
__ Make boarding reservations for pets
__ Set aside road-trip games
__ Give an itinerary to a friend for emergency purposes
Two days before:
__ Check the weather
__ Start packing (consider proper clothing, shoes and accessories)
__ Pack extras: Sun screen, insect repellent, eyeglasses, contacts, first aid
__ Confirm mail pickup
__ Confirm house-sitting if necessary
__ Gather all travel documents: Reservation numbers, maps, directions
__ Gather all personal documents: Traveler's checks and credit cards
One day before:
__ Fuel up your vehicle
__ Shop for groceries or snacks for the trip
__ Pick up extra maps if needed
__ Withdraw extra cash if needed
__ Finish packing
__ Jump in the car and get rolling!
RAPIST GETS BUTT KICKED:
If you watched, this is what you saw
Tyson comes out jabbing, and Lewis jabs back. Tyson bulls Lewis into corner and Lewis lands two right uppercuts. Tyson misses wildly with left hook. Lewis holds Tyson. Referee Eddie Cotton separates the fighters. They clinch again. Tyson backs Lewis up with left jab. Lewis holds Tyson. Tyson lands a left hook with 50 seconds left. Lewis holds again and Tyson pushes him into ropes. Lewis lands jab and misses right.
Round to Lewis
Tyson comes out and they clash heads. Lewis is warned by Cotton for throwing an elbow after Tyson complains. Lewis lands a right uppercut 30 seconds in. Lewis begins jabbing and Tyson misses a wild left hook. Lewis lands another uppercut at 1:46 of the round. Lewis is warned again by Cotton for holding. Tyson rushes in and is caught with a right uppercut. With a minute left, Lewis begins using jab, landing four or five. Lewis lands an uppercut with 15 seconds left.
Round to Lewis
Tyson head-butts Lewis as round opens. Lewis towers over Tyson and pushes him off when he comes inside. Again, they clinch and Cotton forces them apart. Lewis is throwing jabs, dancing around with 1:30 left. Lewis is controlling the fight with his jab and Tyson can't find the range. Tyson hits on Lewis' ribs while they clinch. Tyson tries to move his head to avoid jab but it still lands. Tyson lands left hook with 47 seconds left, his biggest punch. Tyson is cut on the right eye. Blood is running from the cut. Lewis works on cut. Lewis lands good right as bell sounds.
Round to Lewis
Tyson rushes out again but is tied up and Lewis lands two jabs. Lewis lands a big right hand with 2:25 left. Lewis misses a left but lands a right. He is pushing Tyson around. Lewis jabs Tyson, who appears confused and unable to do anything to keep Lewis off of him. Lewis' confidence is growing. He hits Tyson with two jabs and a right uppercut midway through the round. Lewis lands a big right with 1:14 left as Tyson tries to hold him. Lewis hits Tyson with two big rights. Tyson swings wildly with 40 seconds left. Tyson is desperately trying for a big punch but can't land it. Lewis jabs him, then hits him with a right hand and Tyson goes down on his back with 10 seconds left. Cotton rules it a slip. Cotton takes a point from Lewis for pushing Tyson down.
Round to Lewis
Lewis lands his jab early. Tyson simply standing in center of ring taking it, unable to punch. Lewis lands an uppercut then Cotton stops fight and talks to Lewis again for pushing. Tyson is an easy target for Lewis' jab. Lewis jabs again late in the round. Tyson is unable to get off a punch and is beaten to the punch.
Round to Lewis
Tyson's corner is trying to prevent swelling on both his eyes. Lewis hits Tyson then pushes him across the ring. He seems to have no fear of Tyson's power. Lewis lands a big left-right with 2:15 left. Tyson tries to throw a right and misses, then misses another and they clinch. Lewis lands a succession of jabs midway through the round, then a right hand that backs Tyson up. Lewis is pushing Tyson off when he clinches. Tyson finally lands a right hand but it doesn't faze Lewis.
Round to Lewis
Lewis has some swelling under his left eye. Tyson is cut over both eyes. Lewis is dominating with his jab. Lewis lands two jabs and a right, then is warned again by Cotton for using elbow. Action slows in this round, but Lewis' jab is still accurate. Tyson is bleeding from the nose and from cuts on his eyes. With 23 seconds, Lewis left lands good left and right and Tyson hits him below the belt. Lewis buckles Tyson's knees with a right hook with 8 seconds left.
Round to Lewis
In the seventh round, Lewis landed 31 punches to four for Tyson. Now he comes out in the eighth and jabs some more. Tyson lands a right to the body and Lewis begins circling him. Lewis lands a right and then left uppercut. Tyson's knees buckle and Cotton rules it a knockdown. Lewis goes after him, landing a right with 1:18 left. Lewis batters Tyson with lefts and rights. Tyson throws a wild right, but he has nothing left. Lewis' right hand crumples Tyson on canvas. He's on his back and tries get up at eight Fight is stopped.
Lewis wins by KO
Fall seven times, stand up eight.