Thursday, October 26, 2006

An Uncontrollable Explosion of Word Combinations

I usually worry when I am posting about Google results, as usually it is something of a copout, blog-post-wise (though I would never (I hope) fall prey to the frequently intellectuo-despicable practice of forming a conclusion based on the comparative number of Google results for particular words that are usually held in contrasting esteem by the arguer) but in this case I am digging deeper into the topic, so to speak, so perhaps it is justified.

For better or for worse (I'll leave it to others, or myself later, to decide on this) it seems that we are exponentially/geometrically/measurably (and certainly uncontrollably) descending into an ever-widening chasm of word combination usage diversity - that is, with the explosion of publication that the explosion of electronic media allows (and encourages, I suppose) more and more long strings of words are being created and placed into our so-called common discourse. Before long it may be impossible to write something that truly seems original.

What's perhaps most remarkable is that, even given in the relative Infancy of our Internet, there are still relatively short word combinations that have not yet been taken up (as an example, the reason this topic was brought to my present attention was a search for the phrase "you don't have any logical excuse not to", a voiceover quote from Warren Miller's Snowriders 2, for which there were no internet results, although there is one unique result for "there's no logical excuse not to"). There's probably a simple mathematical analysis that would make quick work of explaining whatever idea I have just brought up, but on the other hand, isn't it more important that you readers are thinking about this idea than whether or not there is an explanation? (???) .

There are too many ways to go with this topic for me to even begin to continue (I actually, at this point, considered abandoning this entire entry in hopes of avoiding the appearance of woefully incomplete coverage of the subject but come on people, look at the last time I ever put anything up here) so I will merely ask you to consider a) plagiarism; b) patents (note, particularly, some recent article in some recent publication about patenting complicated and original tax advice (Apology to Readers: I have no interest in linking right now (I realize this is laziness bordering on a violation of blogojournalistic ethics; please forgive me))); c) the psychological impact of realized originality; and 4) the eventual meaninglessness of all human innovation (should there have been a comma (or nothing) instead of that last semicolon? This is one of the more frustrating questions of punctuational decisionmaking, in my experience).

So anyway, there you have it, or whatever.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

SBTBQOTD New Post Watch

This week, Cmdr. Steve Carey of Poppycock Theatre has returned with new daily publications of the excellent Saved By The Bell Quote of The Day. I highly recommend that you peruse these new ones and his archive.

An interesting compilation from today's edition:

The Official Bayside Intelligence Hierarchy

1. Zack (1502)

2. Screech (1220)

3. Jessie (1205)

4. Lisa (1140)

5. Kelly (1100)

6. Slater (1050)

I advise that you print that out and keep it in your wallet. I can’t see how it won’t come in handy at some point.

Have a nice day, and a nice next week or so as well.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Accordionists of the World, Something Something

Not to be outdone by NegativeMode (and I hypertexted (how silly is that term, by the way) that because I'm referring to the blog, not the person; the convention, as a I currently understand it, is to not link when referring to the person but to do so when referencing the blog, though maybe the proper usage in this situation is and always has been just a "does-it-seem-right-in-this-case" kind of thing), NegativeMode being predisposed to posting news about National [fill in weird cultural phenomenon] Day/Month, and not to miss the opportunity while June is still with us, I am happy to announce that June is National Accordion Awareness Month.

Accordionists of the World, Something Something

Not to be outdone by NegativeMode (and I hypertexted (how silly is that term, by the way) that because I'm referring to the blog, not the person; the convention, as a I currently understand it, is to not link when referring to the person but to do so when referencing the blog, though maybe the proper usage in this situation is and always has been just a "does-it-seem-right-in-this-case" kind of thing), NegativeMode being predisposed to posting news about National [fill in weird cultural phenomenon] Day/Month, and not to miss the opportunity while June is still with us, I am happy to announce that June is National Accordion Awareness Month.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One Way of Getting Yourself Excited about Going to Las Vegas

Las Vegas
by How's Your News?

When you're down and out
There's one place to go

It's called Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Jennifer Holloway, Jennifer Holloway
Las Vegas, Las Vegas
I perform with Jennifer Holloway-ay-ay-ay-ay-aay

Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Jennifer Holloway, Jennifer Holloway
I perform with Jennifer, Jennifer Holloway
I perform with Jennifer, Jennifer Holloway
Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Las Vegas

Las Vegas…
Las Vegas…
Las Vegas…
Las Vegas…

*This post is primarily "dedicated" to NegativeMode, and his upcoming trip to Las Vegas, in hopes that all attendees can be as absolutely excited as possible about it.

**Also, thanks to Howard Stern and his show for bringing attention and interest to this tremendous song.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ways of Attracting Attention to a Website

I discovered earlier today that yesterday someone was directed to last week's post, "Can You Swim In Jello?", through a Google search of "is it possible to swim in jello" (I would note that this is not a very refined search). I have to assume they were disappointed in what they found (but again, partly their fault, as it was not the most well-constructed Google search ever), given that my post was really not designed to answer this question, but rather took the form of a social critique against a society that fails to answer it.

But this does serve to call attention to the fact that this is a question to which people around the world are desperate for an answer. I only hope that some industrious soul who is searching for this answer is mistakenly directed here, and is, in turn, further inspired to find the real answer.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Is It Rude to Wear Sunglasses Inside?

I sometimes wonder whether it conveys a negative impression when I leave my sunglasses on while riding the elevator when I arrive at work in the morning. No one really says anything, but I know from past experience that people often like to make snide comments to people wearing sunglasses inside (or, to me wearing sunglasses inside). And that's fine, I guess, as I enjoy criticizing people's appearances as much as anyone. But the commentary invariably takes the form of a sarcastic reference to the relative brightness of the indoor environment. This is boring and uncreative.

People need to come up with a new sarcasticocritical comment to make to people who happen to be wearing sunglasses inside. "Pretty dark in here, huh?" is old and tired. And was never very funny. A replacement escapes me for now. But as we enter the natural-light wheelhouse that is midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere, the frequency at which these encounters are occuring is undoubtedly at or near its peak, and something needs to be done.

I suppose the only real impact I can have here, as the humble proprietor of a rarely-visited blog, is to say: if any PositiveMode readers are inclined to offer comment to indoor sunglass-wearers, be mindful of your choice of phrase. Make the world a better place and come up with something new.

On an unrelated note, Andy Rooney is really weird. What a whiner.

Also, there is a shortage of yellow shirts in Thailand. (This is really not a very interesting story but I think the headline and concept are funny).

We're also out of coffee.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Can You Swim in Jello?

Why can't anyone provide a straight answer to this question? Simply put, if there was a pool or other large container filled with ordinary jello, and possibly pieces of banana and small marshmallows, could one swim in it?

The information available on this topic, as uncovered in my brief attempt at free internet research (in this case, free internet is probably the best source other than a personally commissioned practical experiment, and don't say a chemistry professor or something like that because there are plenty of their opinions available on the internet and they're no better than anyone else) is exceedingly vague or "conjecturous" (i'm a bit out of practice at presenting words that may or not be in the dictionary but nonetheless make sense (in this case, I believe the proper word would be "conjectural" (that one is in quotes not because it's not "real", but because I intended to call attention to it)); when I get used to it again I will stop using quotes and allow you, the loyal (and resurgent) PositiveMode reader to take these words as they come). I won't even bother providing any links, you can easily search for this yourself (okay, one: this is one of the more thoughtful sources I found). But it still doesn't answer the damn question.

People have been wondering about this for a long time. It should be simple question to answer with a yes or no and why, not "Well, it depends on what kind of jello, if it's a very thin jello solution then you could [obviously] and if it's thick like a "Jiggler" [Reader Note: I hesitate to put that word in print; seeing it makes me slightly shudder, in a way I would not have expected from my experience in speaking the word] then you would probably just rest on the top and anyway how much jello would that take to fill a pool this is a ridiculous question and what about" JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION! CAN YOU SWIM IN JELLO??!

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Those of you who watch Lost are undoubtedly familiar with Michael's penchant for elongated screamings of his son's name. Fortunately, we have been spared this annoyance as a result of his capture/killing by the mysterious Others.

A lot of people on the internet have written about or mentioned this phenomenon, though there appears to be no convention for how many A's to put in the word's written form. Going as high as 27 A's Google returns results for the search (and, at 30 and 31 A's as well; I didn't try any higher than that). Rather than contribute to a discussion as to what the proper number of A's should be, I thought I would create a unique search result by posting "Walt" with 28 A's (seen above). That's all.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

This Is Getting Old

PositiveMode Returns, for now. I am inspired. (You would think that accompanying such inspiration would be a longer post, but sometimes brevity is the something of, well, something).

Control Over Own Life = Good

It just occurred to me how much better life has become. I remember 6+ years ago how disappointed I would be when Conan came back from commercial only to announce next week's guests. I was truly bummed. Now, I just fast forward through such nonsense. Not that I watch Conan that much anymore, sadly, but I'm watching it now (also, sadly). I don't think it's "stealing television" if you fast forward over the actual "content", is it?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Being Difficult In America

PositiveMode, for the time being, has become a linking engine to NegativeMode. The latest one involves a silly short (really, actually short) play that I wrote recapping a disagreement with NegativeMode.

I had an interesting observation on modern life earlier in the evening but I've forgotten it. Oh well. If it was really important, I'll remember it (that's not true, but it's a bit of folk wisdom that I sometimes cling to).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fly High Duluth

Read my latest post on NegativeMode.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Eli's a-Coming and the Cards Say...

A broken heart!!! Not really. Actually, a New Blog.

For some, this is perhaps a cryptic blog-title and elliptical (ellipsesical?) lead-in. For the creator of Bad Chicken, Mess You Up!!!, however, which you can find at, it's an all-too-real reminder of one of the most popular, yet worst, yet eerily alluring bands of all time: Three Dog Night.

Read his inaugural post today.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

If You're The Whipmaster, Then Prove It

Jingle: "He's an expert with a whip
and he rides the Mississip.
The Whipmaster! The Whipmaster!
They call him the Whipmaster!"

Announcer: [ over scroll ] "The producers of the show would like to thank Todd Blanston for stepping in to play "The Whipmaster" during contract negotiations with our regular star. The producers would also like to point out that proficiency with a whip is very difficult to achieve and takes many years, and it is hoped that viewers will bear that in mind."

[ dissolve to interior, River Squen steamship ]

[ Whipmaster enters ]

Cowboy: Say.. aren't you the man they call the Whipmaster?

Whipmaster: That's right. Some men use a gun.. some a knife.. others just use a big rock. I use a whip. [ steps up to the bar ]

Bartender: Well, if you're the Whipmaster, then prove it.

Whipmaster: What'd ya have in mind?

Bartender: Knock this cigar out of my mouth! [ places cigar in his mouth ]

Whipmaster: Very well. If you insist. [ steps back, then repeatedly cracks his whip in an attempt to gain proficiency with his whip ]

Bartender: [ whip scars burnt on his face, as the cigar flies from his mouth ] Wow! That's really amazing! You really are the Whipmaster! Alow me to.. buy you a drink. I'll just get that bottle down there at the end of the bar.. [ starts to walk down there ]

Whipmaster: [ holds up his whip and stops the Bartender ] Why go all the way down there to the end of the bar? Why not make the bottle come to you? [ cracks his whip at the bottle repeatedly, finally taking his whip with both hands and wrapping it around the bottle to pull it closer ]

Rich Man: [ ambles into the bar ] Maybe you'll let me buy you a drink.

[ Music Sting ]

Whipmaster: [ turns and scowls ] Youuu..

Rich Man: You see, Whipmaster, I'm a very rich man. For one thing, I own a silver mine.

Whipmaster: [ angry ] My father owns that mine.. and you know it..!

Rich Man: Oh, really? Well, that's not what the law says! Not as long as I hold this deed. [ pulls out deed and holds it up ] And I intend to keep it.

[ Whipmaster repeatedly cracks his whip toward the deed, until the Rich Man lets go off it. The Cowboy jumps in to toss the deed to the Whipmaster before anyone else gets hurt by his poor aims. ]

You've made me your whipping bot for the last time, Whipmaster! [ points gun ]

Whipmaster: Not quite! [ cracks whip, aiming for gun, but hits Rich Man's crotch instead ]

Rich Man: Owww!!

Whipmaster: [ grabs gun, as Rich Man stumbles out ] I guess he won't be using that gun for a while!

Bartender: Boy, I've never seen whipping like that!

Becky: [ mad ] I thought we had a date, Whipmaster?

Whipmaster: Oh.. Becky.. darling.. sorry.

Becky: Why don't you take that whip to the dance! [ trots off ]

Whipmaster: [ looks at the camera ] Why don't I take both of you? [ cracks whip, knocking over fake dummy of Becky to the ground, then reaches over to pick the real Becky up ]

Becky: That whip is one smooth talker!

Whipmaster: [ wraps his whip around her ] That it is. That it is! [ kisses her, as the crowd laughs with him ]

Old Man: [ runs in holding dandelion ] Hey, everybody! Lookit here, the big ol' dandelion I found!

Whipmaster: [ grins at the crowd, cracks his whip and hits the Old Man in the eye ]

Old Man: Oww!! Oww!!

[ the crowd laughs at the Old Man ]

Jingle: "The Whipmaster! The Whipmaster!
They call him the Whipmaster!"

Friday, September 09, 2005

So That's Why He Wanted to Be Pope

Apparently, the Pope is being sued (or more properly, "Joseph Ratzinger" was sued before he was elected Pope), and is claiming head of state immunity. No one seems quite sure what the outcome will be. Sounds like a scam to me.

Reader Note: while I'm not normally a fan of simply posting a news story without any commentary or explanation, this piece seemed like the sort of oddity that doesn't get much coverage on front pages, and therefore is the sort of news that you, the faithful, resurgent readers expect to be given full attention on PositiveMode. Also, it's relevant to an argument NegativeMode and I had regarding Vatican statehood (for one take on that, see Here).