Stupid Expressions

You're familiar with the phrase, 'Failure is not an option.' What the hell does that mean? I mean, do people working on any kind of project ever have the following kind of conversation?
'I'm glad we're all together, so we can review our options. Jim, why don't you start?'
'Well Mary, if we want to get this project finished on time, we could add more manpower. But it will make things more costly.'
'Uh huh. And you, Suzanne?'
'I can see how we can cut some corners here and there, that's something we could look into.'
'OK, how about you, Frank?'
'Well, another idea is that we could just fail.'
'Yes, you know, not succeed.'
'Aha. Well, we'll keep that option open for sure.'
'Thanks, Mary.'

Posted by cronopio at 11:17 PM, June 18, 2003

This year's unlucky loser: Turkey

Having been forcibly restrained and forced to watch all 26 entries of the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest, I now have a theory that explains this horrifying event.
Last year, host country Estonia spent an entire year's worth of TV budget on the song contest; it's hugely expensive. No country wants to become next year's host.
How do you avoid becoming a host? By not winning. How do you not win? By submitting the worst possible song.
Suddenly, it all makes sense. The ESC is a contest to create the worst piece of musical performance possible. If you're good, you lose.
  Quick! Someone call Buffy! She's a vampire!
Posted by cronopio at 04:10 PM, May 25, 2003

The World of Meta

Whenever we talk about a group of things of the same type, the need to talk about an unspecified, random instance of that type arises, the so-called metavariables. In mathematics, for example, the metavariables are the variables x and y.
As it turns out, nearly every topic has its own metavariables. Here is a sample, can you tell me any you know of?

the widget

Technical materials
the thingamajig, dohickey, and watchamacallit

Computer programming variables
foo, bar and others


The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog

Chunks of text
Lorem ipsum etc.

John Doe

Cryptography users
Alice, Bob and others.

Posted by cronopio at 02:06 AM, May 22, 2003

Did anyone notice spam spelled backward is maps?

Dear Mr Rydell,

I'm not in the habit of reading spam, but sometimes, I'm actually entertained by them. You did the trick. I'm writing my response on this weblog because your spam says, 'DO NOT REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL, WE WILL NEVER RECEIVE IT!' (You're quite the shouter, aren't you?)
Your mail opens with the phrase, "Greetings, my name is Jonathan Rydell, a self-made Internet Millionaire, and I am offering YOU the opportunity to earn ONE MILLION DOLLARS without doing ANY work whatsoever!"
Mr Rydell, most people who are intelligent enough to use a web browser will have trouble believing this statement. There is such a thing as painting a too rosy picture of whatever you're selling. The promise of making a million bucks while apparently sitting on your ass all day fits snugly into this category. It's as believable as when someone were to walk up to you in the street and tell you that Penelope Cruz was about to drop by your house later for a hot date.
You continue with a link and the intriguing statement that 'AOL MEMBERS may need to type the above URL into your browser.' Well, I'm sorry Mr Rydell, but any AOL MEMBERS forcing themselves into my apartment to try and type the above URL (or anything else, for that matter) in my browser, will be chased out with the aid of a blunt instrument, and told to contact a certain J. Rydell for any damages.
Of course, I didn't press the link (my mom says I shouldn't, because 'you don't know where it's been') and was therefore left intrigued as to the nature of the scheme. Are we talking pyramid schemes here? Or does it involve Nigerian ex-government officials? I'm afraid I will never know, and I'm not saddened by it. In fact, thank you for lending an air of mystery to my inbox.

Yours sincerely,

Posted by cronopio at 01:32 AM, May 17, 2003

I just couldn't resist


Herbert Nigsfeld jIH. jatlhwI' tlhingan Hol Qu'ra' juHmaw'vaD vItu'pu'. tlhIHvaD jIvumqang. tlhIHvaD jIlaHbejqu'.
tlhingan Hol vIjatlhchu' Daleghlah. Doch lI'be' Qub SoSwI', 'ach DoH lI'qu'! jImaw' jalth je SoSwI'. vaj ghotpu'vaD maw' vum qay'be'chu'.
tlhihvaD HIvummoH!

Herbert Nigsfeld


Posted by cronopio at 06:02 PM, May 15, 2003

If PCs were smart and honest, they'd say:

  • "I'm not smart enough to do this for you. You're on your own."
  • "You're about to delete a document you've been editing for hours. It's illogical that you'd wanna throw away so much work, so I refuse to delete it. In fact, I made a backup."
  • "Your IQ is higher than that of a trained simian. So while you logged on as a new user, I'm gonna assume you can operate a mouse."
  • "I'll now spell check your document. Please be aware that I usually can't tell if a word is misspelled if the misspelled version is in the dictionary."

Posted by cronopio at 02:22 AM, April 20, 2003

Windmills of Mass Destruction

Well, not all blog entries need to be about the war. Let me talk instead about the book that I'm reading, the classic novel 'Don Quixote', which is truly brilliant. It's all about this guy who's insane, and who sees dangers all around him that aren't really there (remember the windmills he thinks are giants?). Though thoroughly convinced that his idiotic activities are chivalrous and of benefit to mankind, he actually hurts innocent people with the large assortment of swords, lances and other weapons he carries around.
Like I said, this posting is, of course, completely unrelated to the war.

Posted by cronopio at 12:05 AM, March 28, 2003

Please, entrust these people with your lives!

Recently, I derided the WTO for producing a 101-page document about sardines. If you think the U.S. military is a better-oiled (no pun intended) organization, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of MILSPEC. MILSPEC writes specification documents for army purchases, from H-bombs to underpants. Let me quote from the 23-page (!) specification for oatmeal cookies and chocolate-covered brownies. As far as I can tell it's about how to open the packaging:

"Delamination shall be scored as a defect except delamination of outer ply when located in the seal area 1/16 inch or further from food product edge of seal. Bags exhibiting this type of delamination shall be tested by manually flexing the delaminated area 10 times. The delaminated area shall be held between thumb and forefinger of each hand with both thumbs and forefingers touching each other. The delaminated area shall then be rapidly flexed by rotating both hands in alternating clockwise-counterclockwise directions. Care shall be exercised when flexing delaminated area near the tear notches to avoid tearing the bag material. After flexing, the separated outer ply shall be grasped between the thumb and forefinger and gently lifted toward the food product edge of the seal. If the separated area is too small to be held between thumb and forefinger, a number two stylus shall be inserted into the delaminated area and a gentle lifting force applied against the outer ply. If separation of the outer ply can be made to extend to less than 1/16 inch from the prodcut edge of the seal with no discernible resistance to the gentle lifting, the bag shall be rejected."

For more such fun, search the document database yourself (select a category under FSC/Area and pick a document from the result list that isn't categorized as 'Canceled').

Posted by cronopio at 12:57 AM, March 23, 2003

"His Q and his N look very alike"

In a surprise announcement, President George W. Bush has just declared that he will be attacking not Iraq, but its mortal foe and neighbor, Iran. He blames the confusion based on "Dick[ Cheney]'s sloppy handwriting." Bush has been suspected of dyslexia in the past.
"Of course I meant Iran!" he patiently explained. "After all, Iran is a fundamentalist country, Iraq isn't! Iran is much more likely to sponsor terrorism. What did you think I was, stupid or something?" He went on to explain that he was "sorry about the mix-up" but "still expects the Ayatollah to disarm within 48 hours."

Posted by cronopio at 01:15 AM, March 18, 2003


"Hey, Bob."
"Ed! Haven't seen you in ages, how have you been?"
"Well, to cut a long story short, I'm married."
"Married? Well, congratulations! That's great to hear."
"Thanks. We're very happy."
"But wait, why did you say, 'to cut a long story short'? What was the long story?"
"I didn't tell you."
"That's right, you didn't. Why not?"
"I just told you. To cut a long story short, that's why."
"But don't people usually say that after a long story?"
"Do they? That's stupid. Why cut a long story short after you've told it?"
"Hm. I guess you're right."

Posted by cronopio at 02:00 AM, March 17, 2003

Movie Clichés Strike Back

30. The private eye will always somehow anger the police detective, generally by being on the scene of a murder first.
31. If said private eye is injured in some way, he will be asked how he got the injury and reply, 'I cut myself shaving'.
32. If a team of heroes, confronted with some problem, is stuck, one team member will cry out, 'There's just no way to do this!' The oldest and/or wisest person will then volunteer that 'there is one thing… but it's very dangerous.' The team will execute the plan, which never fails, no matter how unlikely the odds.

Earlier clichés

Posted by cronopio at 12:44 PM, March 16, 2003

Was Hitler a Nazi?

In his controversial new book "The Secret Life of Adolf Hitler", Harvard professor of History Cecil Arkin claims that Hitler, the man who was Germany's leader from 1933 to 1945, was a nazi. "I think there's substantial evidence to support my claim", says Arkin. "I've been looking at a great deal of documentary material, and it is my firm belief that he was certainly a nazi sympathizer."
Arkin's bold claim has generated mixed responses in the academic community. "If this is true, it puts Mr Hitler's military campaign in a whole new light", says Professor David Muffel of the UCLA.
Mr Hitler

Posted by cronopio at 11:24 PM, March 14, 2003

Fifty Former Googlewhacks

coelacanth novelisation
warmonger nauseates
mastodon synecdoche
eggnog prescience
aphrodisiacal oxtail
sociopathic allosaurus
visigothic crocheting
zoroastrian firefighting
happier archeopteryxes
messianic peignoir
troglodytical cuisine
hagiographical golem
fratricidal bumblebee
ejaculating poppycock
filibustering yaks
splendiferous diarrhoea
taoist vociferousness
psychotropic philatelist
comatose generalissimos
sandblaster petrification
lithotripsy stoning
endowing goatherder
jaywalking somnambulism
persecutory chansons
snowiest whodunits
antediluvian neurotoxins
autohypnosis sleeplessness
sabertoothed preponderance
gobbledegook mohawks
telekinetic jitterbugs
impregnated constabularies
mousey ornithopter
sublunar osculation
violoncellist fundamentalism
dodecahedral slobs
criminologist lederhosen
astrophysics knish
munchkin nefariousness
flatulency colognes
hydrochloric chador
depolarize spittoon
marimba shiites
visigothic palmtop
jackass colporteurs
ichthyological deixis
diphthong lasciviousness
interurban parsec
despot cigarillos
serendipitous blowpipes
heteroerotic projectile

Posted by cronopio at 08:04 AM, March 12, 2003

Jackass: The Movie a "desperate cry for help"

Dr Ruth Hentzbacher, MDDr Ruth Hentzbacher, a University of Tennessee psychology graduate, has seen the entire "Jackass" series, and the resulting movie, many times. But not for fun. Rather, she claims its participants are "troubled youths in need of nurturing and care."
'I've often heard young people speak about performing auto-mutilation to escape their difficult and confusing lives. But never before has such unambiguous masochism been filmed and shown to millions. This will definitely raise self-mutilation awareness. These kids are obviously numbing the pain of their dreary, banal lives with even stronger physical pain.'
'Either that, or they're a bunch of fucking idiots.'

Posted by cronopio at 01:23 AM, March 04, 2003

Iconography 101

Icons were, supposedly, once intended to help users figure out what a button does, without having to display the text.
However, most computer operation only marginally lend themselves for visualization, resulting in cryptic icons such as these.

book.pngThis is probably gonna take a while. Read a book or something.
disk.pngYou're still using floppies? That is so last millennium!
flag.PNGThe guy who made this program was a commie.
getdown.pngHey you! Get down!
okguy.pngApplication made by an ok guy.
paperclip.pngPress this button to see your favorite help avatar.
writing.pngIf you don't like this editor, buddy, there's always pen and paper.

Posted by cronopio at 02:29 AM, February 28, 2003

Quis verificat ipsos verificatores?


Posted by cronopio at 12:04 AM, February 27, 2003

Distant Relatives 2

Kate BushGeorge W Bush
One of these two people is currently the most powerful person on the planet, about to unleash death and destruction on an entire nation without any concrete provocation, and notorious for blundering through university and winning the elections on a margin of a few hundred voters.
The other is an acclaimed singer/songwriter who, starting a career around the age of 18, has managed to incorporate references to such literary masterpieces as Wuthering Heights and James Joyce's Ulysses into the lyrics of an oeuvre that is both publicly and critically popular.
Of course, the question is: how could they be related?

Previous Distant Relatives

Posted by cronopio at 02:17 AM, February 26, 2003

The Fandom Menace

In 2017, a group of hysterically obsessed Star Wars fans, convinced George Lucas is their spiritual alien leader, found the Cult of Darths. Reading Lucas' films both as religious works and as subtle pro-Dark Side pamphlets, the Cult claims that "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" means there must be historical clues proving the saga really happened, and that the star of Bethlehem was actually the blinding flash of the demolition of the planet Alderaan. In 2029, twenty-seven members commit seppuku with light sabers (by that time an actual weapon); the remainder of the cult dissipates.

Posted by cronopio at 01:28 AM, February 25, 2003

Revenge of the Movie Clichés

27. When a new recruit joins the police force, he will initially be regarded suspiciously by his new colleagues. However, by the end of the movie he will have shown himself to be a professional who never makes mistakes and has the respect of the entire department.
28. If a heart monitor is beeping during a scene, either while the patient is undergoing surgery or just while lying in a hospital, there is a 94% chance the patient will go into cardiac arrest within the next 10 minutes.
29. The elderly are never shown kissing each other on the lips.

Earlier clichés

Posted by cronopio at 02:50 AM, February 24, 2003

They Hide Swords Under There

Many people complain that Islamic women's chadors and burqas, those headdresses which leave only the eyes visible, symbolize sexist oppression by muslim men.
But in reality, this type of clothing is a symbol of power, stealth and major ass-kicking, and originated in the Far East rather than the Near East. The pictures below should enlighten you.

...came from this!

That's right, a chador's simply an extension of the ninja costume. These silent and mysterious assassins inspired muslims visiting the Orient into adopting a similar dress code. So when you see a woman wearing a chador, don't pity her; just be very, very afraid.

Posted by cronopio at 03:35 AM, February 23, 2003

Mr IT Conspiracy Theorist Says:

"You know how sometimes, when you enter a user name and a password, you think you mistyped the password but you still get in? Well, here's a newsflash for you, my friend: you really did mistype the password. They just don't check it properly. I mean, get real. You don't think they really have this whole security thing going on, do you? It would cost them amazing amounts of money to program that stuff. The whole thing is just a front to make you feel like they care whether people find out about your porn collection. It's just clever marketing."

Posted by cronopio at 01:40 AM, February 22, 2003

Shameless Attempt to Boost Traffic to this site

Dick and Lolita were having a discussion in the garden. 'So you're saying politicians suck? My, Dick, I'd expected something more original from you,' said Lolita, stroking her pussy cat, known fondly as Booty because of its bright, white paws. Dick looked at the horizon; though the sunset was golden, showers were predicted for tomorrow. 'Well,' Lolita said, 'You'd better come in. My face is red from the cold.' 'But I want to stay out,' whined Dick. 'Don't be a jerk. Off with you to the house', his girlfriend said, and they went inside. There, they engaged in sexual activities.

Posted by cronopio at 12:56 AM, February 19, 2003

The Return of Thomas Swift

  • 'If I only knew someone who could poetically inspire me...', mused Tom.
  • 'I don't care about driving drunk tonight, my girlfriend's left me', Tom said ruthlessly.
  • 'I see you have a talent for music', Tom noted.
  • 'I happen to own a large amount of ships', Tom said fleetingly.
  • 'Who- who- who- who- who- Who let the dogs out?!' Tom barked.
  • 'Don't eat all the cake!', said Tom tartly.
  • 'All these clothes I have to put on!' Tom said wearily.
  • 'You're saying my insurance is no longer valid?!' Tom exclaimed.
  • 'Your chemical burned a hole in my carpet', Tom said acidly.

More of this

Posted by cronopio at 01:22 AM, February 18, 2003

Click to see inside!

A special gift...

Posted by cronopio at 12:30 AM, February 15, 2003

Keep It Real

This little-known movie running at only 26 minutes, had the critics raving about "postmodernist plot devices" and "a credible, finite storyline", but bombed in cinemas. In it, we meet Sergeant Alex Logan, whose partner gets mowed down in a drive-by. Logan, out for revenge, has a fight with the commissioner and loses his badge and his gun. Intent on solving the crime alone, he responds to an anonymous call promising clues to the murder. Cautiously, Logan heads for the dockyards at night and ventures into an empty warehouse as instructed. He gets shot in the back and dies instantly. The End.

Posted by cronopio at 01:30 AM, February 12, 2003

"Don't call me stupid!" -Otto

'I'm studying this difficult subject, and you know what I'm beginning to realize?'
'That I'm really not stupid; I actually understand everything.'
'Sheesh… I could have told you that. Of course you're not stupid. Not realizing you're intelligent, now that's a sign of stupidity.'
'Of course it isn't!'
'What do you mean?'
'Listen. You're saying only stupid people don't realize their own intelligence, right?'
'Right, exactly.'
'But if you're stupid, you don't have any intelligence to begin with. So what's to realize?'
'Er… hang on. Let me think about this. Ehm…'
'See? That's why you're stupid and I'm not.'

Posted by cronopio at 01:07 AM, February 10, 2003

Pen and paper's good enough for me, thank you very much!

For professional reasons, I'm now the proud 'owner' of The Chicago Manual of Style (14th edition, last updated 1993). Sources inform me that this is one of the most authoritative sources on writing well, formatting footnotes and building bibliographies.
I'm sure it is, but reading the following passage made me laugh:

"A great many, perhaps a preponderance, of manuscripts are now prepared by computerized word processing. This process not only offers the considerable advantage of greatly facilitating revision, but also provides a much broader range of characters and functions than those offered by even the most sophisticated electronic typewriters. With some computer systems, function keys, combinations of keys, or special codes can be used to enter diacritical marks, non-Latin characters, and math symbols. There are also systems that allow the "remapping" of standard keyboards (alternative keyboard functions) to make it easier to enter text that requires special characters. Such systems may display the alternative keyboard layout on the screen. Not all systems have the capability of displaying all the special characters that have been entered, but in that case it may be possible to gain some reassurance before printout by displaying and verifying the codes for such special characters. Not every printer, moreover, is capable of reproducing all of the characters displayed on the screen, and it may therefore be important to find a printer that is sufficiently versatile. Special characters may sometimes be represented by combinations of standard characters. It is also possible to find software that can create individual special characters and, indeed, complete fonts. Some software packages are capable of setting up tables; such programs can, for instance, produce multiple tabs, make columnar adjustments, perform spreadsheet management functions, and provide vertical as well as horizontal rules."

I'm imagining the author of this wonderful prose as being the proud owner of a bow-tie, a pipe, several vests, countless pencils and a mind that thinks things started going downhill when those long-haired youngsters began wreaking havoc. Someone should gently try to introduce him to the twenty-first century.

Posted by cronopio at 02:24 AM, February 09, 2003

Movie Cliché #26

[minor character] calls [hero]; he has important information to divulge, but "I can't tell you over the phone --it's too dangerous. Meet me at [location]". [minor character] will now come to a gruesome end before [hero] can learn the secret, but usually leaves behind some useful clue.
The reasons this happens so frequently are:

  • Plot development: The clue helps [hero] to find [villain].
  • Suspense: [minor character]'s death signifies that [villain] means business.
  • Drama: If [minor character] is a close friend of [hero]'s, this will motivate [hero] (implying that if it's not personal, [hero] sits on his ass all day.)

Earlier movie clichés

Posted by cronopio at 02:22 AM, February 08, 2003

Culture Clash

In these days of imminent war and an ever-growing transatlantic divide, we tend to overlook how big the difference between Americans and Europeans really was in the first place. Consider the following.

The movie 'Batman'An exploration of the darkness of the human psyche through the mythical cartoon characterLots of explosions while some guy runs around in tights without saying anything, looking moody
The movie 'The Flintstones'A hilarious tribute to the first fully animated sitcomSome people dressed up like idiots resembling that stupid cartoon in which the characters only moved their mouths and legs.

Posted by cronopio at 12:31 AM, February 07, 2003

The Encyclopedia of Questionable Lyrics, Part 1

Julio Iglesias was creepy, but the son he spawned is weirder:

If you feel like leaving
I'm not gonna beg you to stay
Soon you'll be finding
You can run, you can hide
But you can't escape my love


Gee, Enrique sure knows the way to a woman's heart. He'll unlock the handcuffs if she insists, but the tracking device has no 'off' switch.
What's that? Shouts from the audience? 'You're just jealous, cronopio. He'll be sweet–even if it means violating a restraining order.' Well, pshaw, I say, read this:

Maybe I just wanna touch you
Feel you warm inside again
Maybe I just wanna hurt you
The sweetest pleasure is pain
I don't know why why
But I love to see you cry
I don't know why why
It just makes me feel alive

('Love to see you cry')

So the stalker is a sadist, too!. Book me a dream date with Enrique, but keep the ambulance in neutral. He may not 'know why', but I do, Enrique: 'cause you're a fucking sicko, that’s why.

Posted by cronopio at 01:51 AM, February 04, 2003

Movie Clichés -- they just keep coming!

24. Whenever the hero, arriving at his home, sees patrol cars in the street, it always means a friend or relative was shot dead. (They always have the courtesy of getting killed a few yards from the hero's house.) He then manages to slip past the cops who are holding back the dozens of onlookers.

25. More often than not, the hero and villain, while chasing each other, wind up in some warehouse. While trying to find each other amongst the crates and cardboard boxes, they will always engage in some kind of profound discussion, rather than shutting up and listening.

Earlier clichés

Posted by cronopio at 01:02 AM, January 28, 2003

New From Nuthouse Publishers, Inc.

..made easy!

Posted by cronopio at 01:34 AM, January 22, 2003

Waaaaiiit a minute...

Sometimes, you repeat the same routine again and again for years, until one day, your neurons are aligned in such a way that you have an unexpected insight.
For example: when cooking Chinese noodles, the package says to throw in the nests of noodles and, after about 2 minutes of cooking, 'use two forks to pull the nests apart.' I don't know how many thousands of times I obediently followed these instructions without thinking.
Until one day, when I suddenly thought: Forks. Forks. For Chinese noodles. How do the Chinese pull this off? They don't have forks!
The enigma remains.

Posted by cronopio at 03:51 AM, January 19, 2003

Fun Facts

Here are some interesting internet factoids:

  • 85.4 percent of internet users does not actually own a surfboard.
  • The company that produces the luncheon meat known as Spam has never actually produced spam in the junk email sense. The meat, however, is almost as disgusting.
  • If you receive an offer from a Nigerian to help him free some ludicrous amount of money from a Swiss bank account (and gain a few percent of the money pile in the process), do not be tempted! The man or woman is a scam artist. He or she is actually from Niger, not from Nigeria.

Posted by cronopio at 01:03 AM, January 18, 2003

Homer, buddy, let's do lunch and discuss the merchandising!

You've read the books.. now own the gadgets!

Golden Apple. An exact replica of the apple Paris gave to Aphrodite. A perfect gift for
that special someone.
"Sirens" CD. To listen to over and over again. We guarantee you'll never get enough of this beautiful singing.
Lotus Flower Seeds. Plant them, grow them, eat them... and take a well-deserved break from reality.
Penelope's Embroidery Book. Learn embroidering the Penelope way... sew, tear out, cry and sew all over
again. Guaranteed to keep you busy for twenty years!

Build-Yourself Trojan Horse. The talk of every dinner party!

Posted by cronopio at 01:01 AM, January 17, 2003

More movie clichés

21. When a horrendous criminal is being interrogated and Our Hero is looking at him through the two-way mirror, there is a 59% chance the criminal will look at the mirror. In such cases, he will always be miraculously staring at the exact spot where Our Hero is standing (and realizing he is doing so), no matter how large the mirror.
22. In any military platoon, police team etc. there will always be either one person of an ethnic minority or none, but never two or more.
23. Any black supporting character's wife will have a lighter shade of skin than her husband.

Earlier movie clichés

Posted by cronopio at 02:29 AM, January 11, 2003

A flick by any other name II

I recently thought up the idea of movies with the title of a classic but with a completely different plot. I've found a new one:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 2003. Gay porn movie made on Ibiza. Butch, a muscular thirtysomething, is an unhappily married man with a secret desire. He runs off to Greece and rediscovers himself, going crazy at house parties. Then, Mr Cassidy falls in love with a mysterious, beautiful, barely legal boy. "Nobody know hees name", says Homos, the DJ, "they all call heem thee Sun Dance Kid." You can guess the rest, can't you?

Posted by cronopio at 11:34 PM, January 07, 2003

Crusading. Alone.

"Knight Rider, a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless in a world of criminals who operate above the law. One man can make a difference: Michael Knight, a lone crusader in a dangerous world... the world of the Knight Rider."

How many people heard this preamble? Now just realize its utter stupidity.
First of all, Michael Knight is a "loner on a crusade" and a "lone crusader"! Thesauri are made for a reason, people. Equally stressed is his living in a "dangerous world" (twice), although he is rarely in any mortal danger.
My favorite, however, are the " criminals who operate above the law." Don't confuse them with law-abiding criminals.

Posted by cronopio at 12:58 AM, December 21, 2002

You know what they say..

To a pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To an optimist, the glass is half full.

To an alcoholic, the glass is now empty and in dire need of a refill.

Curiosity killed the cat. Makes you wonder what it found out, doesn't it?

There's plenty of fish in the sea. Sharks, for instance.

We'll leave no stone unturned. It's only after we've turned the last stone and demolished the entire goddamn house that somebody will think of checking under the couch.

There's no business like show business. Then again, there's also no business like taxidermy or selling edible panties.

Posted by cronopio at 02:04 AM, December 18, 2002

Next generation's political icon: "V"


Posted by cronopio at 02:52 AM, December 12, 2002

Rapier Wit


Posted by cronopio at 03:59 AM, December 08, 2002

Distant Relatives

Genghis KhanChaka Khan

One of the two people above has redefined torture and terror to the world, putting fear into the hearts of the bravest of men, displaying feats of unequalled cruelty and actually experiencing genuine pleasure while inflicting horrendous pain upon millions of innocent victims, ignoring their pleas for mercy.
Genghis, on the other hand, was an accomplished military strategist, who, like Alexander the Great, managed to rule a vast empire, his stretching from Hungary to Korea. The fact that he used to build pyramids of the skulls of his enemies just showed that he was a playful, creative type of person.

Posted by cronopio at 12:47 AM, December 05, 2002

Let's face it, he was around more often than our parents

Live Young and Prosper

Posted by cronopio at 02:25 AM, December 03, 2002

Miss Switzerland looked on horrified, maintaining her neutrality

Just when you think the news couldn't get any more bizarre, you read: "Miss World riots kill dozens." I know what this is really about (Nigerian muslims going berserk after a newspaper suggested the Prophet might have married some Miss World contestants), but it still conjured up images of a catfight run amok.
"Miss Columbia then produced a semiautomatic weapon and shot Miss Japan. Somehow, five other contestants, including Miss Finland and Miss Australia, had managed to sneak AK-47s into the pageant. One massacre later, the entire North American continent's gorgeous delegation bathed in a pool of their own blood."

Posted by cronopio at 11:55 PM, November 22, 2002

Now available from Unlikely Books, Ltd

Order Now!

Posted by cronopio at 11:15 PM, November 20, 2002

Movie clichés

Here are some often-heard quotes in movies:

  • 8. "Oh, so now it's my fault?!"
  • 9. "You can't do this to me! I'm an American citizen!"
  • 10. "You set me up!"
  • 11. "This was the plan all along, wasn't it?"
  • 12. "I didn't do it!"
  • 13. "You have 48 hours."
  • 14. "I know what I saw!"
  • 15. "All the nice guys are either gay or married."
  • 16. "I'm taking you off the case."
  • 17. "This time it's personal."
  • 18. "While we're standing around talking about this, that guy is out there!"
  • 19. "I'm not saying a word without my attorney."
  • 20. "I want the truth this time!" – "You'd never believe me."

More movie clichés

Posted by cronopio at 12:07 AM, November 14, 2002

Now to find a story to put these in..

  • "It was 5:25 –the time of day when the hands of the clock most resemble a flaccid penis."

  • "Only when her hair looked perfect and she shifted her gaze toward the pale, bony figure in the mirror, did Cindy realize what she had been experiencing: a brush with death."

  • "Small Oaks was like a badly maintained weblog –change was uncommon to it, and visitors were rare."

  • "The thought popping into Jim's head resembled the time when the winner of the Nobel Prize for chemistry, Henry Pachowsky, keeled over, falling into a coma: a stroke of genius."

Posted by cronopio at 10:53 PM, November 03, 2002

Tie a Slightly Off-Mauve Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree..

We had the red ribbon against AIDS. We had the blue ribbon for free speech online. No wonder, then, that someone invented The Ribbon-O-Matic to enable ordinary people to design their own color-coordinated ribbon for a cause of their choice.
On the right, you can see what I feel is a worthy and noble goal. Down with Concerned Citizens I say, in whatever form or shape they may appear. Relax, Concerned Citizens. Things are not as bad as all that, and even if they are, there's no point worrying about it, or pretending you could have some real influence. Chill.

Posted by cronopio at 12:13 AM, October 31, 2002

The Adverbial Adventures of Tom Swift

Ages ago, I found a collection of strange, humorous sentences on the web called Tom Swifties. Apparently inspired by a book character named Tom Swift, they follow this pattern:
"<Sentence>", said Tom <adverb>.
The joke is the indirect and often pun-related way in which the adverb refers back to the sentence. But let me show you:

  • 'I'm telling you, I wrote another FOR loop here', Tom reiterated. [geek humor]

  • 'Yes, it's true; they let me in', Tom admitted.

  • 'My mom's German', Tom muttered.

  • 'You think that's a hard life? Let me tell you, living in the same town all your life is not much fun either', said Tom unmoved.

  • 'I can't believe it's -17 degrees!' said Tom nonplussed.

  • 'The whole thing was a big joke', said Tom seriously.

  • 'You should have gone to the front of the boat', said Tom sternly.

  • 'I get sick every Wednesday', said Tom weakly.

  • 'I'm moving to the Midwest', Tom stated plainly.

  • 'Does this mean I'm acquitted?' asked Tom innocently.

  • 'You're really religious?' asked Tom in disbelief.

Posted by cronopio at 12:53 AM, October 30, 2002

I've got you in my sights, baby!

MSNss.jpg This beauty appeared on my MSN frontpage the other day. It illustrates perfectly what havoc automated content management can wreak without human supervision.
To answer the question, John Muhammad is a shy young African-American. He likes driving around in his blue Chevy and thinks the world of his 17-year-old stepson. A bit of a loner, he enjoys mystery in a relationship and may seem distant at first. But underneath, he's an ambitious go-getter who knows what he wants. He's appeared on the front pages of many national newspapers and magazines.
In short, he's what you might call 'quite a catch'.

Posted by cronopio at 12:33 AM, October 29, 2002

Canteen Conversation

"Hey, did I tell anybody yet that... wait, I forgot what I wanted to say."
"Maybe you wanted to say, 'Did I tell anybody yet that I have a short term memory problem?'"
"Maybe, yeah."
"And then we'd say, 'Well of course you did, you moron! Only about a million times already!'"

Posted by cronopio at 11:18 PM, October 23, 2002

Definitive Spam

In my inbox today was the following bold headline at the top of a piece of spam:

"Every Man Wishes He Had a Larger Penis...
Well...So Do 72% of Women..."

What can you possibly add to this? Never before has advertising shot itself to perfectly in the foot. It was right there in fluorescent pink-and-white:
Seventy-two percent of women wish they had a larger penis.
I hope I never run into any of them, thank you very much. I prefer my women penisless.

Update: I stand corrected. Browsing on, I caught this gem: "Click here and in less than a minute you will learn how to attract the opposite sex like a magnet".
Think about it for just a minute if you will. Take a magnet. Put it on the pavement in a busy street. Does it attract the opposite sex? I don't think so. So learning how to attract the opposite sex like a magnet is something that seems pretty easy. I'm sure I could learn that in under a minute.

Posted by cronopio at 12:02 AM, October 03, 2002

A flick by any other name

Instead of making old movies again under a different name (say, "Death Takes a Holiday" becomes "Meet Joe Black"), why not make different movies under an old name? Here's an example:
The Big Chill, 2002. Directed by Jerry Bruckheimer. Starring Bruce Willis as The Weatherman, and Julia Roberts as His Assistant Meteorologist.
The Plot: A cold front threatens to engulf Southern California. Panic ensues as a light breeze hits the Los Angeles area. Cars get stuck in traffic jams and things inexplicably explode. Then there is a drizzle in Hollywood, and all hell breaks loose. Not recommended for intelligent viewers.

Posted by cronopio at 03:28 AM, September 07, 2002


Technology is only what people do with it. SMS, for example, was nothing more than an error reporting system until people figured it out and came to its current electronic Post-Ittm usage. However, SMS is also a means of isolationism, of retreating into our cocoons even when we're in a bar, at a party or in a crowd. A group called NO CHASMS, which stands for 'National Organization of Civilized Humans Against SMS', attempts to counter this trend by, ironically, sending SMS messages to random phones. Their messages include:





Posted by cronopio at 01:17 AM, September 02, 2002

Coincidence, or....?!

Lately, I've been noticing some creepy stuff.

In the year 2000, I visited New York City. While there, I visited the WTC towers and looked down from one from a dizzying height. Less than a year later, those very same towers had fallen victim to a brutal and senseless terrorist attack.

In 1992, I visited Prague. For several days, I explored the old center and strolled along the beautiful Vltava river. One decade later, that very river is experiencing its worst floods in a century. The old center is hit hardest.

Am I the only one seeing a pattern here?

Posted by cronopio at 08:20 AM, August 16, 2002

Posted by cronopio at 01:01 AM, August 15, 2002

Useful icons

More and more weblogs employ useful and informative icons such as 'current mood', 'currently reading', 'current humidity', and, of course, 'current amount of peanut butter in my fridge'. What we tend to forget sometimes, though, are icons referring to current events. Here are some helpful ones to get you started:

The current likelihood of an American invasion of Iraq
The name of today's multinational bankruptcy
The number of people killed in today's Palestinian suicide bombing

Posted by cronopio at 02:58 AM, August 11, 2002

An unknown classic

Dutch comedian Wim de Bie once recorded the only honest rock'n'roll song ever made. (Not many people know that the expression 'rock and roll' used to be slang for sexual intercourse.) Now, he just put this little gem on his (Dutch) weblog. He even comments on the song's failure to be released internationally at the time, apparently not realizing the power of this new medium to correct this regrettable mistake. So, for the English-speaking world to listen to, here is a link to Melvin Rosbeef's tender ballad, 'I wanna fuck you'. (Not work safe, as you may have already guessed.)

Posted by cronopio at 12:28 AM, August 10, 2002

Suspected Islamic Terrorist Arrested

The amphibious admiral
While trying to enter the U.S. as an illegal alien, Alliance Fleet commander Admiral Ackbar was arrested by a SWAT team this morning, charged with membership of an Islamic terrorist group. FBI Special Agent B. Fett commented that "we've had our eye on this one for some time now." Agent Fett denied that Ackbar had been subject to "species profiling". "Whether they are humanoid, lizardlike, or, as in the case of Mr Ackbar, amphibious, everyone is subject to the same kind of scrutiny."
The FBI suspect the Mon Calamari military officer because of his surname. "You are probably familiar with the phrase, 'Allah Akhbar', or, in English, 'Allah is great'." Agent Fett told interviewers during a press conference. "It is our strong suspicion that Mr Ackbar is an Al-Qaeda operative who is aiding these cowardly criminals with his advanced intergalactic technology."
Ackbar, meanwhile, is speaking only through his lawyer, a Mr Max Rebo. "These allegations are very extreme and completely unfounded", Mr Rebo told the press. "I have yet to be presented with one convincing piece of evidence. As for my client, he has asked me to let everybody know that he is being framed in a conspiracy that reaches into the highest circles. Or, as he put it, 'It's a trap!'"

follow that meme!

Posted by cronopio at 01:10 AM, August 07, 2002

More movie clichés

6) When two cops in a buddy movie meet by accident, the dialog is as follows:
'What the hell are you doing here?!'
'I could ask you the same question!'

7) Movie funerals take place on sunny days, in peaceful patches of forest. There is a 73% chance that someone watches the ceremony from a distance. The number of attendees is big enough to indicate the deceased was liked, but small enough to not get in the camera's way.
At a military funeral, a firing squad shoots a salute; the grieving widow jolts as the shot rings out.

Earlier cliches

Posted by cronopio at 01:54 AM, August 05, 2002

Useful Resumé Tips

Recently, I had to examine a few dozen job applications and resumés for my employer. Here are some useful tips that I extracted from them.

  • Remember, it's quantity, not quality, that counts in a resumé. Nine pages is good; twelve is better.

  • If you're starved for content, simply list every OS, programming language, and application you've ever used, seen, or heard talk about, without offering any indication of your level of expertise in any of them. And remember: all the Windows versions are separate OSes, so list them individually, one on each line.

  • Make the most, and the dumbest, mistakes in sentences which describe your fluency and/or accuracy; always spell the word "professional" as "proffesional".

  • When you are a web developer, don't provide URLs of sites you've made. Don't make it too easy.

  • Describe your activities at previous employers in painstaking detail, such as "Installed MS Word". Showing thoroughness will get you the job.

  • Demand an outrageous salary to show you intend to start with a strong bargaining position.

  • Mention the names of obscure 4GL programming languages and highly specialized applications. This will intrigue your prospective employer and lend an air of mystery to your person.

  • Apply for a job for which you don't match with any of the basic requirements, simply because you use a computer, too.

  • Play hard to get. Say stuff like, 'Maybe I could be persuaded to come by for a job interview. If you want.'

Posted by cronopio at 02:25 AM, August 02, 2002

Bitter... but sweet!

Would you like to indulge in the same kind of gastronomic adventures as today's top executives and make their kind of money in the process? Then what you need to buy is the latest culinary craze: Humble Pie tm! Yes, nine out of ten Fortune 100 CEOs eat Humble Pie these days. You don't think that's a coincidence, do you? So, if you want to be as successful and rich as Kenneth Lay, eat Humble Pie, too! Try our Enron Pie for extra energy, the Stewart Pie (our beautifully arranged specialty), or the Xerox Pie (cheaper in larger amounts). Order now, for just $19.95 by sending an email to

Posted by cronopio at 10:50 PM, July 31, 2002

An open letter

Dear Sir or Madam,

This letter is in response to your correspondence (undated) stating: "You could be our lucky winner!!" It is quite a puzzle to me why you would choose to inform me of this most obvious of facts. "You could be our lucky winner!!" Well, yes, I suppose I could be. I could also get run over by a cement truck. Or be abducted by a gang of kidnappers who hold me hostage for seven months. Or combust spontaneously. In fact, the possibilities are endless. Me being a winner (and a lucky winner, no less) is merely one of them. No need to get all excited about it.
When discussing my reception of your epistle with my neighbor, he surprised me by producing a letter from your company providing the exact same information to him! He explained that these letters are sent by the thousands! So not only do you state the bloody obvious, you also do so to a large amount of people! I think you could have saved yourself a lot of postage stamps by refraining from the endeavor altogether. It would definitely save me and many others from a cumbersome and annoying two minutes which could have been spent more wisely.

Hoping you will refrain from such eccentric behavior in the future,
Yours sincerely,

PS You could be hearing from my lawyer soon.

Posted by cronopio at 01:35 AM, July 31, 2002

Another fine snowstonetm product

Are you one of today's male business executives? A red-blooded go-getter with a win-win attitude? Then you, too, will have discovered the wonderful world of internet porn. A plethora of obscene images would be at your disposal –were it not for your boss monitoring your online behavior. He (or she!) will carefully intercept any image file you download and expose you for the dirty little pervert testosterone-charged alpha male that you are.
Now, snowstone offers you a unique opportunity to covertly continue your sexual surfing, thanks to Sexceltm! Sexcel takes pornographic image files and converts them into harmless MS Excel sheets, representing sets of pixels as colored cells in the sheet. Granted, image resolution decreases and the number of colors is limited, but no one will suspect a file with the .xls extension. Sexcel -- it gives a whole new meaning to the word 'spreadsheet'!
Click here to see a sample of a Sexcel "image"!

Posted by cronopio at 12:43 AM, July 19, 2002

More movie clichés

4) Guy One has recently become a widower, and is preparing to massacre those responsible. Guy Two will attempt to stop him with the following words: 'Listen to me! LISTEN TO ME!! She's dead! Nothing you do is gonna bring her back!' Guy One will ignore him.

A: 'What are you doing?'
B: 'Something I should've done a long time ago.'
Romantic comedy: This is B's cue to punch The Girl's fiancé and run off with her. She didn't really love the fiancé anyway.
Action movie: B, usually a reasonable man, turns into a raving killing machine.

Earlier clichés

Posted by cronopio at 12:24 AM, July 17, 2002

snowstone's Handy Movie Trailer Quick Reference Guide

If the movie trailer contains the words...It means that the movie...
"In a world where [insert criminal or terrorist problem], one man must fight to [insert lofty goal]"...contains lots of explosions, action and machismo.
"[violin crescendo] Yada-yada Pictures is proud to present...." an epic wannabe, aspiring to grab a handful of Oscars.
"This summer, [insert virtue or primal emotion] has a new name."...aspires to be the sci-fi or horror blockbuster of the year.
"A movie about love, life and other catastrophes." a romantic comedy.

Posted by cronopio at 10:07 AM, July 05, 2002

Nonsense Poetry

Here's a poem I still remember from a British collection of nonsense poetry called "Oh! What Nonsense!":

Way down South where bananas grow,
A grasshopper stepped on an elephant's toes.
The elephant said, with tears in his eyes,
'Pick on somebody your own size!'

If I recall correctly, the poem was attributed to one 'Anonymous'. If I recall incorrectly, all rights reserved, blah blah blah.
Oh, and my suddenly quoting this poem has nothing whatsoever to do with some challenge on the internet.

Posted by cronopio at 11:22 AM, June 21, 2002

In your newsstand today!! Buy a copy!! NOW!!!

Posted by cronopio at 01:32 AM, June 14, 2002

A Personal Memoir

Guest author Velma Dinkley writes a short personal memoir called The Demons of My Past, exclusively for snowstone. A sample: "What I remember best is the smell of that van, that smell of wet dog. We had a big dog back then, it had to stay in the back, of course. And it would sleep there, yelping, ignorant of the tens of thousands of miles of American highway rushing away under it. We'd found the poor mongrel tied to a tree in some state in the Midwest, emaciated. We took it in and gave it some leftover pizza, which it seemed to adore. Over the next few weeks, the poor animal regained its strength."

Posted by cronopio at 02:19 AM, May 11, 2002

The Blog World

This is the true story of seven strangers, picked to post on a blog, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. It worked in other media, now it's come to a blog near you! Follow the wacky exploits of Alan, Darlene, Ying, Javier, Jennifer, Tyrone and, of course, Lori as they share a weblog. The Blog World --it's creality at its best!

Posted by cronopio at 02:18 PM, May 04, 2002

Disappointing Superheroes: SpectacleMan

Although his name suggests an astounding, ‘zowie’ kind of superhero, SpectacleMan is, in fact, not spectacular at all. “Spectacle” refers to his glasses.
SpectacleMan’s real identity is ten-year-old Harvey Knitzelberg. His mom put him on skating lessons and forced him to wear his tight spandex outfit to and from practice (“my son doesn’t change clothes in that place!”). Lo and behold, SpectacleMan was born.
When asked about his superpowers and whether he could see through girls' clothes with his Special Spec-taclestm, he told the other kids, “I’m working on it.” He was then defeated by his arch-nemeses – the other kids.

Posted by cronopio at 10:57 PM, April 17, 2002

100 words - Movie Clichés and Cliché Dialogues

1) Bad Guy [after revealing ingenious Evil Plan]: “Well, what do you think?”
Hero: “I think you’re insane.”
[optional:] Bad Guy: “Maybe I am.”

2) When someone climbs a ladder in a comedy, there’s a 95% chance that they will fall down with the ladder.

3) When the hero visits the bad guy, he finds him at his desk, surrounded by heavies. The hero makes a very insulting remark to the bad guy. Stunned silence will follow. Then the bad guy will burst out laughing (his cronies joining in sheepishly) and say the words, “I like you, you’ve got balls!”

Posted by cronopio at 01:22 AM, March 30, 2002

100 words - Boy's Toys

Browsing through a mail-order catalog, I came across the vibrators. Fifteen years ago, the catalog politely called them “massage sticks”, showing the thing held near a woman’s cheek. Yeah, right. These days, they have unambiguous descriptions.
Also listed was something called “oral stimulator –for him”. (No photo.) Somehow I don’t think it’s gonna sell well. Not just because no self-respecting man would admit to needing one (after all, plenty of men don’t respect themselves at all), but because of the comment: “Really sucks!”
Let’s improve that, ok?
“Sucks at ten different settings!”
“You won’t believe how much it sucks!”

Posted by cronopio at 01:10 AM, March 26, 2002

100 words - It's about time somebody told the truth!

Europe has a problem it would rather not discuss. Heaven forbid that we should discriminate! But let’s be honest. There’s a group of people who simply won’t adapt to our society; who have outdated religious and moral views; and who put an ever-increasing burden on our social security, at the taxpayer’s expense. We see their women, wearing headscarves, in our supermarkets, searching for ingredients for their disgusting recipes. And their numbers just keep growing.
I say enough is enough. If you can’t assimilate to 21st century Western society, leave the country!

I am speaking, of course, of our senior citizens.

Posted by cronopio at 08:07 PM, March 08, 2002

Posted by cronopio at 12:28 AM, March 05, 2002

100 words - Real

"So when Neo takes the red pill, we agree that we know his universe is not real. Right?”
“The universe he’s in at that moment.”
Thinks he’s in.”
“Right, right, the one where he starts swallowing the mirror and stuff.”
“That’s the one.”
“But now take the universe he wakes up in, is that real?”
“You mean the one with the aliens harvesting the entire puny human race in pods to supply electricity for their evil schemes?”
“Of course, I mean, what could be more real?”
“I disagree.”
“Then you’re stupid.”
“Guys… it’s just a movie. It’s not real.”

Posted by cronopio at 02:54 AM, March 03, 2002

100 words - White Dove Up - review

Touching and subtle drama about US Marine Clark Cole, who, during a peace mission in Somalia, falls in love with a local woman, and through her, learns the plight of the Somali people and the entire African continent in its proper historical and cultural context. Cole converts to Islam, deserts from the army and dedicates his life to improving the living conditions of the Somalians by working in a hospital and teaching at a primary school. Critical of US foreign policy and third world aid, this movie doesn’t have any easy answers but took theaters by storm anyway.
Yeah, right.

Posted by cronopio at 12:41 AM, February 28, 2002

100 words - Excerpt from “You Too Can Be A Songwriter”

  • Stuck with a word to rhyme with “girl”? Try “world”. There are other options (“curl”, “whirl”), but use these cautiously. Never use “hurl”.
  • If you feel there is no way to avoid using the word “fuck” in your lyrics, simply use the word “dance” as a substitute.
  • A boy band song should always include one part that is spoken, in a deep voice, and invariably starts with “Girl…”
  • If you feel completely untalented, there is a career for you in death metal or old Southern blues. In both of these genres, all lyrics are unintelligible anyway.

Posted by cronopio at 01:15 AM, February 22, 2002

Open letter to

Dear Mr Howard Ely,

Recently, I submitted a poem to your site, I'm humble enough to admit that the idea of having it published on your site was seductive. After all, the site's name makes it the most logical URL to type if you're into poetry. I submitted my actual name and address as well, and sure enough, after I'd forgotten all about it, your letter arrived on my doorstep.
The first piece of information you give me is that I am a semi-finalist in something called "International Open Poetry Contest". I assume you write the name with capital letters to endow it with some sense of prestige, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the contestants will largely consist of unpublished hopefuls such as me. What's more, I turn out to be eligible to win cash or gift prizes, up to $10,000! Please, Mr Ely, if I was doing this for the money, like you seem to be, I would be a garbage man--it's a much more financially rewarding occupation.
But wait, you say, also wishes "to publish your poem in what promises to be one of the most highly sought after collections of poetry we have ever published..." Just a thought, Mr Ely, but isn't this a very convoluted way of saying that you just expect to sell more copies of this book because (a) it'll be a bit thicker than the previous one, and (b) you expect every sucker who's published in it to fork over $49.95 for it? Well, I'm afraid you'll have to explain to your sales manager that he should lower his prognoses a notch, 'cause this sucker ain't falling for it.
For one, the enclosed picture of one of your earlier tomes shows two pages with a total of some 20 poems on them. If you had any sense of poetry rather than commerce, you'd know that the use of whitespace is essential in poetry, and that each poem should be on a page of its own. You should even change the size of your paper where necessary in order to accommodate a lengthy poem, or one with long lines. But hey, all of that would cost precious money, wouldn't it? And the book is dead cheap as it is, so no cigar.
Secondly, the volume's title will be "Under a Quicksilver Moon". (Titles of other volumes include "Tranquil Rains of Summer" and "Star Dust in the Morning."). I can honestly say that I am thoroughly ashamed to be published in a book with a title that could have been the title of a bad heavy metal record. If you can think you can tempt me into actually purchasing it for fifty bucks, you are sorely mistaken. I'd rather be published on toilet paper rolls.
At this point in the letter, I had hardly any confidence in the competence of your "Selection Committee" left. Their identity, incidentally, is shrouded in mystery. That they are poets or even literary critics is doubtful; that it is you and the coffee lady flipping coins is at the very least a possibility. But what really made my judgment of final was the location of the "International Society of Poet's [sic] Convention and Symposium". This apparently mind-boggling event, which is again surrounded by a lot of smoke and mirrors, is to be held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. That's right: Disney World. If there's any location where everything that true poetry stands for is raped and destroyed on a 24/7 basis, it's Disney World.
To summarize: an anonymous jury using unnamed criteria has selected my poem for the sole purpose of ripping me off, and invites me to a poetry session with Goofy. I sincerely hope that your selection of my poem was not based on your opinion of its poetic quality, because I wouldn't trust your poetic judgment any more than I would trust my own expertise on nuclear physics in a meltdown emergency. Your crass commercialism is repugnant; you take advantage of people's vanity through unsubstantiated praise; your inability to hide your greed even a little is just plain amusing. Publish my poem or don't publish it, I really couldn't give a hoot.

Your sincerely,

Posted by cronopio at 02:25 AM, January 27, 2002

snowstone profile

After browsing through a zillion corporate websites and reading all of their company profiles and mission statements, I've decided that snowstone needs a profile, too. See if you can figure out what everything is, there's not a lie anywhere.

Founded in the second year of the new millennium, snowstone is a content-driven interactive website aimed at the uncommon denominator. We implement high quality boredom solutions, focusing on the human aspect of information management. Our innovative, dynamic content seamlessly integrates graphic and linguistic material and makes it available to a worldwide audience. snowstone is upgraded on an as-needed basis and is part of a global computer network that includes all of the Fortune 500 companies. As an independent content provider, snowstone is unique in today’s marketplace and its growth potential is unlimited. snowstone: changing the productivity of businesses everywhere!

Posted by cronopio at 11:31 PM, January 22, 2002

Modern-day Crusoë sends message

SAN FIASCO, CA -- San Fiasco police were visited today by Guillermo Jerez, a 6-year-old boy who presented them with a bottle he'd found on the beach. In it was a piece of paper. To their surprise, the police discovered that this was a message from Wall Street banker Ernest Olafsson, who'd gone missing in late August during a cruise. Mr Olafsson, the letter shows, is still alive and on a small, uninhabited atoll somewhere in the South Pacific. In his letter, he urges whoever reads it to start a search for him. But the piece of paper also contains some personal thoughts. Here are some excerpts:
"Another crate arrived today. I swam out to find it contained some useful supplies. I've emptied a lot of bottles now and will continue to send messages. [...] Much as I try to avoid it, my thoughts turn to home and to Wall Street. It feels as if God Himself has picked me to fall from the cruise ship and end up on this island, to suffer this horrible fate. [...] I know I haven't always been the kindest of people. Still, I hope that no one will think ill of me. But I guess I'm already the newest joke over at the World Trade Center. 'Where's Ernest?' they'll say. 'He's always first to arrive and last to go. But now...' Well, if any of you are reading this: you have no idea what real suffering and hardship is. The pain that I'm going through, both physically and mentally, and the anguish that my family must feel in these dark days, are a million times worse that anything that will happen in your lives. You'll just get up every morning, go to your dreary job in the Twin Towers, and go back home at five. [...]"
"Today, a plane flew overhead again. I lit up my fire, shouted and danced as per usual, but to no avail. Deep in my heart of hearts, I know that these planes are far too high to ever see me. But they inspire me nonetheless. To me, the plane is a symbol of hope and happiness. It keeps me alive. [...] There is only one good thing about this experience: I value life much more. I've been thinking about world peace. Back at my old job, it would have been just an empty phrase. But now, I can envision it. All those wars going on in the Middle East, countries bombing other countries, killing innocent civilians... it is barbaric. If I ever get back home, I'll dedicate the rest of my life to achieving peace around the world."
The FBI have been handed the letter. Having presumed Olafsson dead, the Feds had not yet assembled a search party. But now, according to an unnamed source at the bureau, a special taskforce can be sent down to the Pacific as early as May next year.

Posted by cronopio at 03:21 AM, December 14, 2001

New Children's Book This Christmas

Unexpectedly and as a great follow-up to what promises to be a very successful movie, famed British author J.K. Rowling has been secretly working on her next project. To be released this Christmas, the fifth novel in the incredibly successful "Harry Potter" series is called "The Cave of Kandahar". Harry leaves Hogwarts to become an exchange student in the Middle East. But before he knows it, he is rolled up in an adventure beyond his wildest dreams! Hermione learns of a powerful, dark wizard called Osama, who is presumably in hiding in the magic Cave of Kandahar. Harry's strange and unexplained powers have kept him alive as a small baby when Voldemort tried to kill him, so surely, he should be able to defeat the Anthrax Monster and withstand an onslaught by the powerful Osama... or...? In bookstores this Christmas.. "Harry Potter and the Cave of Kandahar"! (Advance ordering recommended.)
[This article was linked to by Mijn Kop Thee. If you speak Dutch, pay this weblog a visit.]

Posted by cronopio at 02:17 AM, December 10, 2001

Web services we'd like to see...


snowstone offers the PUPIL PROTECTION PROGRAM!!

The web is full of personal information that former schoolmates can use to hunt you down so they can force you to attend high school reunions. Think about it. Do you really want to spend an evening with the assholes of your teenage years, only to find out that they're part of the successful assholes of your adult life? And think of the reunion itself. The bad food. The pointless anecdotes. The music! The horror! The horror! Is there no escape?
Yes, there is!! Now, you can avoid the embarrassment of having to justify the huge mess you've made of your life to people whose names you probably don't even remember. The snowstone Pupil Protection Program (tm), or sPPP for short, effectively removes all your personal data from school records, internet databases and old address books.
Here's what other have had to say about sPPP (tm):
"Mysterious fire destroys school archive -- arson suspected" --The Milwaukee Daily
"Thanks to snowstone's Pupil Protection Program, my eyes are now safe from the sun's harmful UV rays! Thank you, snowstone!" --Jeff Adenauer, CEO,

Posted by cronopio at 11:41 PM, November 14, 2001