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My humorous thoughts about life.

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Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2016

#AtoZ : Zits

Ever wonder how long people have been getting zits? They've been around for my entire life, yet I don't remember seeing historical photographs where pimples protruded from young noses.

Take Joan of Arc who died at age nineteen, yet not a blemish on her face. Surely she had at least as much stress as the teens of today, but no one ever sees pimples on her face.

Or how about King Tutankamum who also died at nineteen? Look at that face. Okay, it's black, cracked, and aged, but the skin is smooth. Where are the zits? Did he use ancient Clearasil? Wait a minute. What's that spot on his right cheek?

Nope, I didn't find historical pictures with acne, so I did a google search and BINGO!  Did you know that ancient Egyptian writings mention pharaohs with zits? So that's what they meant by the curse of boils in the Passover story! The pharaohs were covered in pimples.

Yep, zits have probably been annoying teenagers since the cavemen days.

"Doff, don't eat that greasy mammoth thigh or you'll get bumps on your face."

"Yes, Mother." (Rolls ancient eyes)

Factually, the word "acne" was invented in ancient Greece. As for the word zit, it popped up in the dictionary in 1966 with an "origin unknown" label. From that, the 60s brought us "zit-coms." Ie., sitcoms aimed at teens.

I first learned about zits in grade school when my brother complained about black heads. I didn't know what a black head meant, but when my friend Jean came over, I told her my brother had them. She didn't understand how my brother could have a black head and neither did I, but I learned. 

As I aged, I got my very own pimples. I especially remember the friendly zits that would pop up to say, "Hello" whenever a big event was on the horizon.

When it comes to zits, nothing beats this scene from Animal House. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Je suis Jeuf.

I am Jewish. My religious roots go back as far as I know, and I wouldn't want it any other way. If you dislike me because of my faith, then leave my blog. I don't need your visits. Furthermore, I fully support Israel and her need to protect herself from terrorist attacks. I am sick of the United Nations condemning Israel for her acts of self-preservation while having nothing to say about the horrors of ISIS.

Antisemitism is once again on the rise, with an over 300% increase in Europe. As a result, I have no plans to visit this part of the world anytime soon. Antisemitism first showed its ugly head in 586 BCE (Before the Common Era) in ancient Babylonia when Jews refused to worship Khnum, the Egyptian Ram God. Soon after, the first temple was destroyed. This occurred in what is now Israel, long before Palestinians even existed.

Basically, hatred for Jews has followed a repeated pattern of a ruling factor saying, "You will do this."

While Jews replied, "We will not."

Some 400 years later, Egyptians frowned upon Jews who worshipped one God as opposed to multiple Gods. Yet, we Jews refused to give up our practices.

With the antisemitism among the Roman Empire, how in the world do people believe the lie of Jews killing Jesus? Jews had no power and were a small and intellectually divided community. In fact, many Jews were nailed to the cross for refusing to practice the Roman religious ways. Plus, the Romans destroyed the second temple in 70 CE.

Throughout history, Jews have been a convenient scape goat due to our refusal to assimilate. We did not cause the black plague; we just didn't catch the dreaded disease because we kept our houses clean. Or, er, my ancestors did. ;) Nor, have we sacrificed humans in bizarre rituals. However, people believe what they want to believe.

At the beginning of this article, I claimed that I wouldn't want to deny my ancestry. Throughout history, my ancestors have repeatedly had threats to their lives. I am proud to be the child of the survivors. I am also amazed at the persistence of those who try to convert me. My ancestors refused conversion over the threat of death, yet you think you can ring my doorbell and expect me to drop my religion for yours. No apologies to you. I refuse to spit on my ancestors graves.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Silly Sunday: Lincoln

I'm thrilled to hear another Abe Lincoln movie, directed by Stephen Spielberg and starring Daniel Day Louis and Sally Field, is coming to theaters this week. Lincoln has always been one of my favorite presidents not just because of the Emancipation Proclamation but also his great wit that most people don't even know about. Last January, I posted funny anecdotes about him. History: Abe Lincoln was Funny

Here are some jokes coined by Lincoln himself.

* It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.

* When I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees.

* If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

* Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

* Whatever you are, be a good one.

* He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.

* When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, its best to let him run.

* You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

* The man who murdered his parents, then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan. 
* Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#GBE2: Cobwebs

We've all seen those messy dust threads that form over items forgotten for any length of time. They resemble spider webs because they indeed originated from spiders. Some were once webs, others drag lines, or residue left from a passing arachnid. Their sticky nature causes dust to settle on them and voila–cobwebs.

 I wondered how those sticky strings got their name. They don't come from corn, short horses, or male swans, but rather, the word originated from Middle English with the word "coppe," which means "spider." Someone along the way must have messed up the pronounciation because "coppeweb" became "cobweb."

Do you remember Lily Munster? She had cobwebs all over her house, but hers did not come from spiders. She would dust the furniture by shooting crud out of a vacuum cleaner. That chick makes my house look good!

The show that gave me nightmares for years.
So if cobwebs come from spiders, I have problems with cobweb humor, such as someone having cobwebs in their brain. As a child, I saw an episode of Night Gallery where a man tortured his enemy by placing an "earwig bug" in his ear that ate tunnels through his brain until it finally escaped out the other ear. I remember swatting bugs away from my ears for fear that something might dine on my brain; so if cobwebs form on the unused brain, does that mean spiders crawled inside a head?

Then there's the one about the old married couple who have not had sex in so long that the wife has developed cobwebs between her legs. Once again, bugs crawling where they shouldn't be!

I hate spiders and scream for my husband to kill them when they trespass. Hopefully single women are not as wimpy as me and can get rid of spiders on their own wherever they crawl. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Silly Sunday: History Lesson

The History of the Middle Finger 

English Archers
  Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as 'plucking the yew' (or 'pluck yew'). 
Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew!  Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute!  It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as 'giving the bird.' 

And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing!

Here are some interesting tweets on the topic. I'll behave myself and not correct the grammar or spelling.

When i was 5, sticking my tongue out was like giving someone the middle finger.
When i'm mad at you, I text you with my middle finger.

My middle finger has too much energy, its been up allllllll day !

Keep your head up high & your middle finger higher.
My wife came in complaining that I never lift a finger around the house. So I did. The middle one.
My middle finger is my power point presentation.
Sometimes I gotta let my middle finger do the talking for me!!!"

Sunday, January 8, 2012

GBE2: History–Lincoln was Funny

This week's topic–history–is one of my faves; but at the same time, it was hard to narrow my post to one event. In searching historical events online, I remembered Abraham Lincoln who was not only a great leader, but also one of the funniest presidents we've ever elected.

Here are some fun anecdotes about him:

*Once as a young lawyer, several attorneys wrestled outside the court house before a trial. One of the men split his pants causing the others to pass a note asking for money to buy him a new pair of trousers. When the note reached Lincoln, he wrote, "I have nothing to contribute to the end in view."

*A ranking man in the post office, who was a personal friend of Lincoln's, died. A job applicant immediately asked the president if he could take his place?”
“Well,” replied Lincoln. “It’s all right with me if it’s all right with the undertaker.” 

*During the Civil War, Edmund Stanton, the Secretary of War, told Lincoln that General Grant was boozing in his tent.
“Find out what kind of whiskey he is drinking.”
“Why is that, Mr. President?”
“Because I want to send a case of it to my other generals.”

 And finally, here is my favorite story!

*A visitor once asked Lincoln how many men the rebels had in the field. Lincoln replied seriously, “Twelve hundred thousand, according to the best authority.” 

The visitor turned pale and gasped, “Good Heavens!”

Lincoln continued: “Yes, sir; twelve hundred thousand. You see, all of our generals, when they get whipped, say the enemy outnumbers them three to one, and I must believe them. We have four hundred thousand men in the field, and three times four makes twelve. Twelve hundred thousand; no doubt about it.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit captured at age 19
Although I'm a humor blogger, every now and then, news happens and I'm compelled to voice my opinion about it.

Gilad Shalit today
With the recent release of Gilad Shalit, Israel has once again shown that she is unlike any country in the world. In case you missed it, this Israeli soldier had been held prisoner by the Palestinians for five years. Yesterday he was released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Several of these prisoners were terrorists who had made threats, carried out vicious attacks, or even murdered Israeli citizens. Israel swapped 1,027 prisoners for one, and the citizens of Israel were mostly in favor of the exchange.

Free Gilad Shalit open air concert

This is not the first time Israel has done this.  Over the last 30 years, Israel has released about 7,000 Palestinian prisoners to secure freedom for 19 Israelis and to retrieve the bodies of eight others.1

Many folks are probably asking the obvious question, "Why exchange one soldier for a thousand criminals?" If that one soldier were your son, wouldn't you do anything to get him back? That is the attitude of Israel. Every life is important and the country will do whatever it takes to get its soldiers home safely. As a result, Israel has one of the most loyal armies in the world. Those soldiers take risks because they love their country and know that the country loves them.

Let's contrast this with the mentality of Hamas who encourages their young to strap suicide belts around their wastes and kill innocent civilians. How can Israel make peace with people who hate them more than they love their own children?  

1 Wikipedia

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The last thing he remembered was...

Here's my response to Courtney Miller-Callihan's prompt over at Agent Courtney. The winner receives a query critique and who knows, maybe representation, so why not?

Clara Barton

The last thing he remembered was...

Captain Amos Card's teeth bore pressure on a wooden stick when a blue-eyed nurse forced a saturated rag into his open abdomen. His pulse hammered his ears as sweat soaked through his brow, back, and the torso that fought pressure and pain strong enough to rip him in two. Damm Confederates! My body is no more together than our blessed country due to their treasonous ways.
Not two-hundred yards away, canons boomed as the smell of death penetrated the Union camp site. Card watched trees rotate in a circular arc then jerk back to their original position only to resume dizzying circles. Gray spots blocked his blurry vision and once again he chomped on the sap sweetened stick.
"You're going to be peachy." The nurse kept her composure better than any he'd encountered from the Mexican War. As an elder soldier, he'd seen many army hospitals decked with sharpened tools and frantic medics tearing into the lost limbs of soldiers. With black braids secured behind her head, this nurse gave him a kindly expression as she replaced his chewed stick with a cup of strong whiskey.
Something unique surrounded this angel of the battlefield and shouted fame. He envisioned her saving multiple live, becoming a powerful suffragist, and even presiding over The American Red Cross. Through these hands, I shalt not die. Not here, nor from the gun of a rat-brained Confederate.

"Miss Barton," a younger doctor addressed Card's nurse, "That soldier's not going to make it. Come, accompany us over yonder." He pointed. "A young private needs a splint."
"No. This man's going to live, and I'll make sure of it. Get Mr. Jones to help you, I'm busy."

"There, there, captain. We'll get you sewed up. Do you have any young soldiers back home?" She cradled his head while trying to distract him from the pain of Labarraque's solution dripping over his exposed torso. His back lunged as his body arched upward and wood chipped off the teeth-riddled stick holding in his bitter shrieks. Thought's of Clara Barton fulfilled his last memories and brought him home.

Once again, I can't give up the chance to ask for a vote on the picket fence. If you like my story please, pretty please, push this button. Thanks!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Paul Revere and Other Myths

Our Next President?
I recently had a story published in AppleSeeds Magazine about Paul Revere's ride. According to Sarah Palin, I got my facts all wrong. Paul Revere rode up and down the streets ringing a bell to warn the British that we were going to lock and load. What's even more amazing is that I actually met someone who tried to convince me that Palin was right! If that's the case, we can change all kinds of historical events to meet our needs. Hmm.

Did you know that our fore fathers started the electoral college not because they believed the commoner wasn't smart enough to vote but because starting a college would get them more prestige, better paying jobs, and noticed by the ladies? That's right. Unknown to the public, the electoral college is actually a place of higher learning. Where else would folks learn how to make those powdered wigs?

And the crimes of taking over land from the Indians is all a myth too. They gave it to us because they liked how we taught them how to hunt, fish, and pop popcorn. We even showed them how to add sugar, salt, and preservatives to make this healthy food stick to ones insides and make one fat. Next, Indians enjoyed pilgrim led aerobics instruction.

 We were also overly kind to our Japanese citizens during World War II. We sent them off to fine spas where they got to enjoy saunas, steam rooms, and sushi. Then we taught them how to play soccer, a sport that originated in the United States, so they could all become brilliant soccer moms like Sarah Palin.

So remember, vote Sarah Palin for President. Humor bloggers need her stupidity to keep the jokes coming. If you want more laughs, here's a link to Steve Colbert's incredibly funny clip.

If you like Catch My Words, please click on the white picket fence or the snippet. Thanks!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Historical Humor #AtoZ

It's a rare clip that is so funny that no matter how many times I watch it, I still laugh. I'm talking about Abbott and Costello's famous skit, "Who's on First?" This hilarious duo worked radio, television, and film for ten years starting in 1942. Since then, many other comedians have graced the stages but so many of them depend on raw, dirty humor to get a laugh. Not these two. They didn't need to spew the F word in every other line to be funny. Check this out:

Another funny man from the past was Buster Keaton who made his start in 1899 at age three. He was born into a Vaudeville family and performed a comedy skit with his parents. The stone faced youth would anger his dad who grabbed a hook on his back and threw him across the stage. This violent act led to accusations of child abuse, but Buster, who Harry Houdini nick-named after a fall down a flight of stairs at age eighteen months, insisted he was fine. In fact, Buster Keaton became a pro at physical humor. Watch this:

Finally, my blog wouldn't be complete without honoring at least one funny gal from history. Lucille Ball was great and could be a post all by herself, but I'd like to honor the late, great Gilda Radner. I especially loved her skits as Roseanna Roseanna Dana on Saturday Night Live. Unfortunately I couldn't find my favorite, The U.S. Wants to Make Puerto Rico a Steak," but here's one that I'm sure you'll enjoy.

So is it cheating for a humor blogger to give you a laugh from the great ones? Nah! We learn from the best. See you Monday, which will be brought to you by the letter I.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lunar War?

When I heard about two news stories covering papers and televisions this week-end, I wondered if they were somehow related. I'm referring to the enormous size of our moon that is closer than it's been in nineteen years and the Allies striking hard at Gadhafi. Two seemingly unrelated stories, but maybe not.

Last night a bright and enormous moon shown unlike anything observed in the past nineteen years. It was a Bruce Almighty moon without the Hollywood special effects. As I gazed at that moon, I wondered, how many cranky women menstruated a week early? The moon historically has a way of bringing out "lunacy" in the world and creating "lunatics."

Which brings us to the headline news. A disturbing headline, Allies strike hard and a photo of a plane on fire, covered most of the Commercial Appeal's front page. It appears that during the phase of this gigantic full moon French planes attacked ground forces in Libya while Britain and the U.S. fired 112 missiles at air defenses. Albeit, it's clearly Gadhafi's fault as he defied UN orders, but is there lunacy in the start of yet another military offensive?

What causes humans to act like lunatics? So out of curiosity, I googled "1992" + "war." This was the last time our moon shown so bright. Sure enough, the page was covered in historical wars. Early in 1992, civil wars erupted in Bosnia and Georgia; Kabul was at war as was Transnistria; and of course our American Gulf War.

Was all this coincidence or does the moon affect us more than we like to believe? Hmm.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Challenger Explosion

Twenty-five years ago the world mourned the loss of seven bright explorers who boarded the Challenger. We watched Christa McAliffe prepare to be the first to teach a lesson from space and even envied her for being the one chosen. Folks tuned in to cheer Christa along with her shipmates Francis Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, and Gregory Jarvis as they waved to the cameras and headed toward the shuttle. This moment-we'd all waited for-morphed into the moment we'd all dread when the ship exploded in front of crowds of people and television cameras.

Today's news reporters have asked us to remember what we were doing when we learned of this disaster. It's not tough for anyone who lived through this news story. The memory took root in my mind twenty-five years ago and is still as vivid as ever.

My husband and I were in an airport returning home after a visit to my sister's house. As we stepped off our plane, the airport buzzed with stories from travelers deplaning one gate over. They'd witnessed the Challenger explosion first hand when the pilot came over the intercom and told everyone to look out the window to see the Challenger taking off. The passengers watched in horror as the O ring separated causing the shuttle to burst into flames. The pilot did not speak to his passengers again.