William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Category: Fun (page 1 of 91)

Two cannibals are eating a clown and one says to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?”

Calvin & Hobbes’s Atheist Days?

First comes the irresistible dawning of an ego-driven theory.

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Followed by the rejection and castigation of tradition and consequent feelings of superiority.

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Which creates the inevitable narcissism and the mistaking of self-indulgence for the Good.

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And finally, in some, a repair and maturation of the soul.

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Winner Announced In What Should Artists Do About Global Warming Contest

This is art.

This is art.

Background

Ten short days ago, we started the What Should Artists Do About Global Warming Contest. It was inspired by a performance “art” piece by one Sarah Cameron Sunde, who bravely stood in San Francisco Bay “for a full cycle of tides”, which is “more-than 13-hour process”.

Why?

To battle Global Warming, what else?

Now, modern art is pure evil, as is well known. But so is Global Warming. Therefore, why not set one evil to battle the other? No matter who loses, we win! At least one foe of humanity will have been vanquished. Hence our inspiration.

On to the contestants!

Entries

  • Hans Erren suggested any Cartoon by Josh. But this would not be sending evil to fight evil, since Josh’s cartoons are not ugly—and certainly not transgressive.
  • Paul Murphy suggested a visual performance piece, in which the artist takes stage and shows an image of the southern end of a northbound bull named “Global Warming”. The artist then “sits—back to audience, facing screen—[and] types on his iPad.” This is brilliant and earns Second Place.
  • Rich suggested playing John Cage’s hoax 4’33″, a fine start of an idea that needs fleshing out.
  • Chronus said, “I will build a pyramid of charcoal, then light it afire. After a suitable period of pondering my paleo ice age ancestors who tamed the flame and fought the earliest duel with Global Climate Change, I will forage in the ice(box) for mammal meat to char as they might have. Beer, the original killer app of civilization, will be served to the audience.” This is good, but would tend to put the audience in happy mood, whereas we are aiming for, at the least, is melancholy, if not outright despair.
  • AM (via email) sent in a project outline called “The Greening Planet”, the highlights of which follow.

    “As carbon dioxide spits forth unhindered from the smokestacks of civilization the chaotic tipping point between ice age and fire age may occur…already the Australian Outback is greener, more proof that the carbon cycle is being broken…

    We don’t care that it has been hotter, wetter, colder, dryer in the past. The past is history, and therefore it was somehow perfect. The future is a mystery, and the unknown scares us until we cry green tears. But don’t cry too much, you’ll waste energy metabolizing and spew out more carbon dioxide.

    …But we do know that the civilization that has taken us so far must somehow be our doom. Maybe we should create a new myth, the counter Prometheus, who stole fire from man, and gave it back to the gods so that we could live forever in shadow, safe from uncertainty of our own making and misunderstanding.”

    This is a good start, but not a full project idea. We need art that cuts and wounds for the winner.

  • Scotian (via email) sent in a completed project. Below are two images which our reporter on the spot was able to capture, both of which show the devastating nature of Global Warming and the ravages of sea-level rise!

    “I and my lady love, the strawberry blonde bombshell, decided on a lobster dinner at Hall’s Harbour before global warming caused the inevitable extinction of the lobster. I took the following photo on arrival. The boats were dragged up on the beach for safekeeping and could be easily launched down the central river.”

    Image 1

    Image 1

    “After a leisurely and very enjoyable meal of lobster, made even more poignant by the thought of their coming extinction, I and my one true love exited the restaurant to encounter a horrifying sight. The Greenland ice sheet had clearly collapsed while we were eating the last lobsters in existence, causing an unprecedented increase in sea level.”

    Image 2

    Image 2

    This clearly deserves an Honourable Mention, and could well have been the winner, if only Scotian had melted those glaciers himself in an effort to raise awareness.

The Winner!

Sheri suggested three projects, the best of which is this: “Alicia and George volunteered to spend one hour in light clothing in a meat freezer to show how the warming planet may actually make things more cold and there would be more snow and ice. Outside of the violent shivering, both reported the experience was certainly worth it and they would be doing more such art in the future, after the skin graphs are finished and the amputated fingers and toes surgeries heal.”

This is a clear and convincing winner because it neatly highlights the paradoxical nature of Global Warming, and the mysterious way it often makes things cold. Also, it involves amputation and bloody stumps, and if that doesn’t put the modern in “modern art”, nothing does.

The Prize

Sheri will receive a Kindle copy of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein (due to be released November 13, 2014). A Kindle is not needed to read the book; it can be read various ways using Amazon’s free readers.

Sheri, supply me your Amazon-preferred email by 5 September 2014. If you’ve forgotten my email, use the Contact Page.

How Do You Care For The Environment? #BecauseICare

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If you can’t see it, it reads: “When I drive, I only use 100% organic fuel. #BecauseICare”

How about you? What do you do for the environment?

Update You’re not doing enough. Man to live on melting iceberg for one year to urge climate change action (Video)

Still a tad busy here at WMBriggs.com-land.

What Should Artists Do About Global Warming Contest

This is art.

This is art.

Picture shows artist Sarah Cameron Sunde, who stood in San Francisco Bay on Friday Aug. 15, 2014, “for a full cycle of tides, a more-than 13-hour process.

A more than 13-hour process!

Why did artist Sarah Cameron Sunde stand in San Francisco Bay “for a full cycle of tides”, which is “more-than 13-hour process”? You already know the answer. To turn the tide against global warming!

Come, wasn’t it brave of artist Sarah Cameron Sunde to stand in San Francisco Bay “for a full cycle of tides”, which is “more-than 13-hour process”? She called her art “36.5: A Durational Performance with the Sea.”

Artist Sarah Cameron Sunde stood in San Francisco Bay “for a full cycle of tides”, a “more-than 13-hour process”, to raise awareness about rising sea levels. Consider my awareness raised! For instance, I’m now aware that if the Pacific ocean keeps rising at the same alarming rate as now, then in three or four short centuries, residents might have to move their beach chairs an inch or two back from the shore, lest they get wet feet.

SF Gate reports artist Sarah Cameron Sunde’s final words: “I’m walking out – I hope I survive”.

She did. Survive, that is. But there was little doubt. Artist Sarah Cameron Sunde also stood around in the water for a day in Bass Harbor, Maine and Akumal, Mexico. She survived those, too. SF Bay is pretty cold, though. Her warming trick? “I pee in the wetsuit,” she said. Charming.

Now I don’t know about you, but this is what I call art. Don’t take my word for it. Writer Jennifer Herman, the paper reports, happened to walk by and noticed Sunde not doing anything, so she, Herman, “was inspired to sit down and write some prose.” Prose!

Great art should be inspirational, and while it’s true little could top artist Sarah Cameron Sunde’s “durational performance”, we still ought to try. We only have one planet! (Not counting the few billion which are slightly too far away to get to using today’s technology.)

Dear readers, what kind of art best conveys the true message of Global Warming?

Contest

Readers must describe, in 300 words or so, art which raises awareness of the true message of Global Warming. You have one week from today to do so.

Entries with vivid pictures will, of course, receive higher weight. As will those that are written in professional art talk. Look to any major museum or art installation for examples, or take your cue from artist Sarah Cameron Sunde, who managed to make standing around in the water for a few hours into a heroic sounding deed.

Yours Truly is the sole judge and jury. There will be no appeals. I may engage in favoritism.

The Booty

The winner will receive a Kindle copy of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein (due to be released November 13, 2014).

The winner must supply me his or her email one week after I announce his or her name. Look to this webpage for the announcement.

Pass It On

Readers will be doing the entire planet a service by passing this contest around to the widest extent possible. Use the buttons below to push the post to Facebook, Twitter, and other services. Or simply email it.

Come on, gang! We have a planet to save!

Bonus activity

In popular accounts, of course. Do try it. “The science is settled!” becomes “The politics are settled!” Have fun!

Best Drinking Songs?

The results of the Theme Song post are below.

Best drinking songs? How about this? I mean The Perfect Fool’s part, Ed “Fire Chief” Wynn’s bit.

Don’t you dare say it isn’t. It is, and obviously so. If you think not, it’s only because you haven’t tried it. Sluice down a schnapps and give it a go.

See, I was raised on radio. My maternal grandpa had a set of old radio show LPs which I listened to over and again. Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, The Shadow, Johnny Dollar, Big band remotes, and of course Ed Wynn’s Fire Chief. (Nowadays we can search for “OTR”—treasures await! I recommend Box 13.)

It was on those records I learned the true appreciation of the Bad Joke (that, and my father is a master). Anybody can tell a good joke: all the work is done for you in the words. But only a master comedian can make a bad one funny.

Which is why it pains me this clip is cut short. (Disney is jealous of its copyrights and longer legal ones don’t exist.) Here’s the finish. Mary Poppins and company are stuck floating at the ceiling and discover the only way to escape is to think of something sad. Wynn knows a story that will bring them down.

Ha!

Wynn tells us that a man knocked at his neighbor lady’s door, and the man said, “I’m sorry to tell you madam, but I have run over your cat.” (The ceiling party begins to sink, saddened.) The lady is pained, which moves the man. “Madam, I’d like to replace your cat.” (They sink lower.) “That’s very well,” she says, “But how are you at catching mice?”

Ha!

This is also the scene where Dick Van Dyke begins a story, “I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith” and Wynn interrupts, “What’s the name of his other leg?”

Ha!

Drinking song runners up:

That’s it. There’s only two. Face it: you’re drinking. How many songs can you be expected to remember?

Perhaps you have other ideas?

Theme Songs

Couple weeks back we picked our theme songs, and I asked readers for ideas besides Hard to be Humble for me.

Gary suggested, with good cause, Groucho’s I’m Against It. YOS thought Fur Elise (in ragtime, or as DAV corrected, stride), played by a well-dressed gentleman (though black hats with white bands are to be discouraged). Scotian, staying with the clothing theme, went with Donald, Where’s Your Trousers?. JH said Touch of Grey.

Sera said any song by Dean Martin. This one. Though I’m more of a Bing Crosby guy (what a mullet! Hey, Giddens! When is volume II coming out?). What a voice!

Bruce Foutch was probably closest with the Peter Gunn Theme. Along those lines, and much jauntier, this, my favorite theme (Hint: “Cops and women don’t mix. It’s like eating a spoonful of Drano. Sure, it’ll clean you out, but it’ll leave you hollow inside”). Or perhaps this, the theme from Perry Mason, maybe the best of them all (that pause! another interesting take).

Speaking of radio…

From Dr Grumpy (as recommended by the Blonde Bombshell):

“Dr. Grumpy: ‘Any other major health issues?’

Mr. Durante: ‘I sneeze once a day, sometimes twice.’”

Think about it.

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