Quick Takes.

It’s A Douglas Adams Universe. We Just Live In It.

The way it functioned was very interesting. When the Drink button was pressed it made an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject’s taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject’s metabolism and then sent tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centers of the subject’s brain to see what was likely to go down well. However, no one knew quite why it did this because it invariably delivered a cupful of liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

drink1drink2If you’ve encountered one of these machines you’ve probably discovered that no matter what you select it comes out tasting vaguely like everything else it also dispenses. Never before has anyone thought to combine lemonade with Coke, Vanilla Coke, Cherry Coke, green tea, Powerade, Sprite, at least four flavors of Fanta, orange juice, and assorted other beverages, and if you’ve tasted the result you know why.

It’s a classic example of good idea/bad design. Some engineer came up with a brilliant idea to collapse a standard drink dispenser into the same space as a standard vending machine, saving restaurants approximately six square inches, but didn’t think that something as simple as an intermittent squirt of water to clean the nozzle would be necessary.

Coming up next: how the ancient myth of Sisyphus anticipated Windows 8.

The Parts May Vary.

Twenty Animal Euphemisms For Embarrassing Body Parts:

1. Giraffe ankle

2. Salamander eyelid

3. Zebra earlobe

4. Horse uvula

5. Abalone tongue

6. Vulture chin

7. Bear lip

8. Muskox armpit

9. Hyena knee

10. Cobra eyebrow

11. Millipede finger

12. Gazelle thigh

13. Hawk elbow

14. Panda cheek

15. Baboon clavicle

16. Trout nostril

17. Aardvark neck

18. Skunk insole

19. Cuttlefish bone

20. Nictitating membrane.

If you’re wondering how any of these apply this may clarify things:


I Have No Idea What’s Going On Here.

After taking a sip of his morning potato juice and putting aside the news sheet Lord Buxtingtoncheth motioned to the underbutler Digby.

“Pray tell my good man if you would, where is the Lady Anesthesia this morning?” he queried interrogatively.

Digby straightened the wastrels of his tunic coat.

“I am given to understand she is breakfasting in her room m’lud.”

Upstairs Lady Anesthesia sat up in bed. She’d tried to counter her insomnia with a novel, but after writing two chapters had given it up as hopeless.

Back in the dining room Lord Buxtingtoncheth’s eldest daughter Primrose, already dressed on flocculent muslin, entered, and promptly tripped over her sister Chrysanthemum. The son Hawthorne then entered and joined the dignified tangle of extremities on the Polynesian carpet.

–selection from Sceptre Over Skegness by R.A.L.B.G. Wavell, O.B.E.


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