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Wikileaks: What we don't learn from history, we should at least learn from science fiction.

Man on street: May I ask you a question?
Me: No.
Man on street: It's not about religion or politics and it will take less than 59 seconds. May I continue?
Me: You already asked if you could ask a question, then you asked if you could continue. That's two questions. And you had your answer - no. What're you waiting for?
Man on street: Sorry. (Walks away.)

I prevented some thoughts from swirling down the twitter-toilet:

  • Escalator stopped abruptly. Fortunately a quick-minded person up front led us all to safety.
  • when a door closes a window opens. never mind the broken glass, electrified barbed wire, and 30-foot drop.
  • I'm a true idiot savant with no redeeming qualities except for an almost magical ability to arrive anywhere precisely on time.
  • it turned out not to be a depression - i'm sorry to report that our economy is bipolar.
  • i tell NYC visitors that Brooklyn used to be city's center — and that the river was originally called "the West River".
  • Walking through Chinatown. Women waving. I wave back. Turns out they're doing TaiChi. For a moment I'm doing TaiChi. And they're waving.
  • When you whisper into one corner of a GCT vestibule, a friend in the opposite corner can hear. I went alone & whispered: one hand clapping.
  • Money doesn't buy happiness. Money UNDERWRITES happiness.
  • The glass is half-empty... and it's dirty.
  • My dinner companion admired the waitress' style; "nice hat", she said. Meanwhile I sat transfixed; "nice cleavage", I thought.
  • I went out with someone who is a pathologist. "What's your favorite disease", I asked.
  • A friend told me I was narcissistic. I thanked her.
  • Channukkah is one of those magic words — can't be misspelled.

Winter Solstice: 12:47:14pm

Monday, December 21 is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. The solstice is the day when the earth is tilted furthest from the sun, and the time of the furthest tilt is 12:47:14pm.

It is an important second -- it represents the lengthening of days. More importantly, it represents our special connection to our planet and to our sun! How do you celebrate a second?

I recommend that people spend that second airborne. Stop what you are doing. Stand with your colleagues, and look at your watch. Countdown... 5, 4, 3, 2, JUMP!

The Recession is Over!
[You read it here first — my headline was published prior to this AP announcement.]

A recession is defined as prolonged period of economic decline. In the U.S., the recession is said to have stared in December 2007.

An interesting characteristic of a recession is that it is not deemed to exist until it has existed for a specific period of time. On a personal note, a more interesting characteristic is that my business was growing up until December 2008 — the date when the recession was "officially" announced!

And when it was announced, projects stalled, clients faltered, and my pipeline of prospects dried up.

I've had enough. I won't be controlled by a buzzword. Clients, prospects, even competitors, take note: THE RECESSION IS OVER! Let the games begin.


Blagojevich seems to be the quintessential corrupt politician. He even looks the part — doesn't he resemble Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons?

This spoof of the New York Daily News should have been posted long ago. (Click to see the larger, 2-sided PDF version).

You would think think that a business that traded in the permanent writing on human flesh would take spelling seriously.

From your hands to God's inbox.

I received a strikingly meaningful fortune cookie:

Of course, they spelled the word "halve"wrong.

In their latest ad campaign, New York University dumbs down higher education.


Today is the best day of the rest of your life.
— The Cataclysmic Horoscope Reader™

New York's terrorism-awareness campaign stresses "if you see something, say something". The city is spending millions of dollars to promote this message. I see an opportunity for local restaurants to capitalize on this investment.





I saw a man holding an upside-down stuffed giraffe under his arm. It occurred to me that this is the socialy correct way for an adult male to hold a stuffed giraffe — a way that clearly states "this is not mine".

When in doubt, ask the internet.

Undo Bush!


I recently learned that cough syrup was a drug of choice for ravers.
That inspired an idea for this marketing campaign.

Robutussin: You make me feel like DANCING!


when i look at zagats i get so annoyed. “what's” “with” “the” “quotes”?

the girl walked down the street oblivious to the pedestrians falling in-step behind her, drawn like rats to the pied-piper call of her clicking heels.

Do-Not-Call Registry Nixed. List For Sale
Washington, September 24 – In a surprise move, a Federal Court in Oklahoma declared the Do Not Call Registry to be unconstitutional just a week before it was to have taken effect. The Registry was to be a national database of those who preferred not to receive unsolicited marketing calls, and was to hold marketers who violated these preferences subject to significant fines. Philip Beckles, Executive Director of the American Marketing Association sees this as a great victory. "The plan was short-sighted to begin with", he said. "Direct marketing drives such a huge sector of our economy, it's not something we just want to turn off. But it's funny how we went from the threat of annihilation to quite the other extreme," he continued. "48 million people who don't like cold-calls? That's a really good list!"

Bush Orders U.N. Out of New York. Gives 72 Hours to Comply
New York, September 23 — George Bush stunned members of the international community by declaring the withdrawal of United States from the United Nations. The announcement came at the opening session of the General Assembly, just minutes after Secretary General Kofi Annan publicly rebuked the American strategy of preemptively attacking those suspected of having weapons of mass destruction.

George Bush began his speech as expected, but grew distracted as his punch lines didn't achieve the favorable response he normally receives from American audiences. All of a sudden his expression turned stern and he proclaimed: "Why do we need y'all [sic] meddling around anyway? I'll tell you what — as of this minute, the United States officially withdraws its membership from the United Nations." Bush apparently then mistook the shocked silence as indifference and added: "And this is American soil you're on here; I want you all outta here!" As a final afterthought, he concluded: "by Friday!"

Dalai Lama Says 'Quit Your Job'
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 21 — An estimated fifty thousand people congregated in Central Park today to hear an address by the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet. Though his image was projected on large screens and his voice amplified clearly, his message was distorted nonetheless due to His Holiness' heavy accent and non-mastery of the English language.

The crowd was delighted to be there on the perfect summer day, and did not seem to be bothered by the obfuscation. Indeed they were engaged by his warm animation, laughed when he laughed, and enthusiastically cheered those phrases they could understand. Among those phrases which drew the most enthusiastic response was the Lama's call to action: "Physical work deprives you spiritual work, anyway, your boss jerk! Quit job so New York become spiritual city."

The crowd attending the talk was diverse, with people of all ages, sizes, shapes and colors. Among them were Tibetans wearing traditional formal costumes, a handfull of Buddhist monks, and sunbathing beauties in shorts and bikini tops. Reactions to the suggestion of quitting was mixed, but evidently was being taken seriously. In the words of Marcia Maplethorpe who had traveled all the the way from Hawthorne NJ to hear the revered Monk speak: "He seemed to be speaking directly to me — my boss IS a jerk! I've been thinking of quitting for a while but didn't have the nerve. This is just the push I need!"

Recall Bush.


i'm standing on a small mound in a lightly-snow-covered junkyard. i have the option of wandering ambivalently around this barren landscape, or clawing through the cold sharp earth in the uncertain hope of finding something of value. do i get on my hands and knees to dig? or do i simply wander, seeking occasional solace someone with whom to pitch a tent?

My mother watched the TV in disgust. "In this country", she spat, "anyone can grow up to be president!"

It's a sign of troubled times when couples gaze into one-another's eyes and say: I want to die with you.

The sign in the restaurant's restroom reads "employees must wash hands before returning to work". I could never work in a restaurant.

There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And smallpox. Yeah, that's pretty scary too.

Some reflections on the tragedy of September 11.

bugs r getting smarter .ive been seeing it all summer .they dont buzz in the corners or bump into windows .theyre getting smarter .they zip in and out of my apartment or just sit there watching me .they watch me eat .they watch me sleep .and at night they whisper in my ear and tell me what 2 do .

in all the time he had known her, not once did it occur to him that linda was beautiful.

He turned the knob too far too fast; water sprayed off the paint palette in the sink and onto the wall beyond. As he stepped back to assess the mess, he was stunned to see that the splattered paint had formed an unmistakable image. But knowing of no way to present this phenomenon to his father, the venerable Reb Moishe Levi, he wiped the madonna and child away.

people often compare chanukah to christmas. "chanukah is not judaism's answer to christmas", i explain. "we eat some latkas, and maybe give some small gifts, but it's not a big deal." i went to a family chanukah party last night and was stunned to overhear a list of gifts received by one of the kids; i stand corrected!


Pushing Buttons
Their irrationality triggers ours causes have effect.
It always drives us to the brink; we're a perfect matching set.

Hey, if the message says "forward this message to everyone you know", just delete it, OK?

a man is talking to the sea, does he think it'll listen?
since the dawn of time all its done is listen, listen, listen.

A good chicken is a grilled chicken.

The first evidence of the game of chess dates to the year 531 AD. Since then, the game has shown a remarkable abilty to transcend culture and time. Chess masters throughout the ages have been young and old, male and female, and from every conceivable country except Australia. Why should one land be so uniquely lacking of chess masters? It is because no one wants to play them they have a most annoying habit of saying "check, mate".

Recent behavioral studies have linked caffeine addiction with a wide range of social and psychological dysfunction. It is estimated that a full 30% of the population of many countries is addicted to caffeine. Still, coffee plays such an important cultural and economic role in these countries that governments are reluctant to address the problem. In a bold move whose aim is to increase global awareness as well as to quell the addiction, the Secretary General of the United Nations asserted that he himself is a caffeine addict. In order to address the issue within the U.N. he established and is chairing an addiction treatment forum: Kofi Annanymous.

They were soulmates, they knew it. And they looked at each other in horror.

City Construction Complete
Mayor Giuliani donned a hardhat today and removed the last bolt on the last scaffold in New York City. This is the culmination of his ambitious plan, started seven years ago, to stop what to everyone else seemed unstoppable the endless construction in the city. "The city is finally complete", he announced to an enthusiastic crowd. "Every building has been built, every track has been laid, every water pipe has been replaced, every pothole filled. Everything is up to spec, and there is no work outstanding." Over the city's three hundred thirty-six year history, New Yorkers have become accustomed to disruption, detours, noise, delays and scaffolding. Hardly anyone even considered there could be another way. "We can put those days behind us," the mayor concluded; "we have every reason to be proud."

It hardly seems worth it working so hard to put down a single sentence is like squeezing a last brushfull from an empty tube of toothpaste.

I order beer because I like wine. I distinguish bad wines too easily; with beer I am seldom disappointed.

I dated someone whose hands were always warm. I thought it was a sign of "chemistry". Years later I realize that, to her, my hands were always cold.

I wonder if it means I am getting old. I cannot adapt to the new paradigm. I resent keying in account numbers only to be asked, when I finally reach a human: what is your account number? I resent being forced to push button my way through sneaky voice ads as I wait on hold. I resent customer service agents who send unsigned messages meaninglessly stating that service will be restored "as soon as possible". I resent complaining about these things and having operators handle me gently as if I am a madman.

My life is not flesh and blood. Not water, not oxygen, not earth. My life is paper. The sum of my accomplishments and frustrations is the monumental pile in my living room, the monumental pile that yearns once more to be a tree.

I ran into someone I used to work with. I tried to convey warmth and sincerity, but all the while I was trying to recall: what is her name! We continued talking, and I just couldn't remember. Finally, we reached a corner and were about to separate; "It's good to see you, Steve", she said.

I was with some friends in Norway back in 1998. One of my friends wanted to hear a Troll story, but the people we were meeting weren't very warm or forthcoming. Finally, I decided to tell a story. I started, and it seemed to evolve. A friend recently brought it to mind, and I was inspired to transcribe and embellish it. Here it is.

A sardonic commentary on Y2k. I originally wrote it pre-Y2K, but modified it to be topical.

My Mom saw my site. She likes it a lot. She said she'd come back. You know what that means. No porn.

He was coming towards me from the other end of the street. His face seemed familiar, though I wasn't sure if it was the person I knew. As he came close I nodded my head enough of a nod to acknowledge an acquaintance but not so much that it couldn't be dismissed as a random shift of weight. He nodded back. We stopped. "Art!" I said; "Mike?" he questioned. We paused for but a moment then I nodded not quite the goodbye I'd give an acquaintance, nor the dismissal I'd give a stranger and walked on.