Oops: A Taxing Error

While browsing the news archive of United Press International (UPI), I came across an article published on November 18, 1993, which contained an amusing blunder. The article was about Dewi Sukarno, widow of Indonesia’s first president, receiving compensation from the Indonesian government: The government said Thursday it has paid a $2.85 million to Dewi Sukarno, […]

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Being Laconic Is Harder Than You Think

One time, the publisher of Mark Twain told him through telegram to write a short story: NEED 2-PAGE SHORT STORY TWO DAYS Twain wired back with this: NO CAN DO 2 PAGES TWO DAYS. CAN DO 30 PAGES 2 DAYS. NEED 30 DAYS TO DO 2 PAGES. “I… never could make a good impromptu speech,” […]

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Asking for a Raise

The January 1957 issue of Advertising Agency Magazine published the following memo sent by an office secretary named Ilean M. Clarke asking for salary increase: The Secretary You Save May Be Your Own. One Secretary in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush. Damn the Personnel Department, Full Speed Ahead. They Also Serve Who Sit and […]

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Quotable #81: Advertising

“Advertising is usually a trick to get you to spend money by telling you how much you can save. An advertisement is 85 percent confusion and 15 percent commission.” — Fred Allen “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you’re doing but she doesn’t.” — Thos. B. […]

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Checks Written in Blood

Charles K. Feldman (left) and Alexander Korda (right) Film producer Charles K. Feldman (1905 – 1968) related this story: I lost at gin rummy with Alexander Korda one evening, and mailed him a check next day. It was written in red ink, and accompanied by this note: “Dear Alex: You will see that this check is written in […]

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Pun of the Weak: It’s Logical

Here’s a classic one: Two ladies argue with one another every day from their windows, across an intervening lane. They never agreed, which was to be expected of course, for they argued from different premises!

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“Physical Law”

While perusing an old newspaper, specifically St. Cloud Times, May 10, 1946, this amusing short verse by Esther Baldwin York caught my attention: Little boys and cookie jars Gravitate together. Separate them by a shelf It’s a question whether It will be a stool or chair For the best ascent, Or the jar hooked off the […]

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Gleanings from the Past #80

Cynicism and Horror Only a cynic can create horror — for behind every masterpiece of the sort must reside a driving demonic force that despises the human race and its illusions, and longs to pull them to pieces and mock them. — H. P. Lovecraft, letter to Edward Baird dated c. October 1923, quoted in […]

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Mathematicians And Demagogues

Here’s a little wordplay I came up with: There’s nothing special about it though a few people who heard it though that it’s amusing.

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