Every web site needs to have some frivolous content. Here are a few inconsequential things, good for passing some time.
HELLO DEAR BOOKSELLER
An actual email exchange, involving a Nigerian, who expresses a wish to purchase books from this website, and Vinnie Carbone, our Manager of International Sales, who explains how this can easily be done...
(15,795 bytes; 3 pages)
If Airlines Were Based on Computer Operating Systems
A copy of material that has been circling the Net, looking for a place to land...
(4,750 bytes; 1 page)
Imagine if instead of cryptic text strings, your computer produced error messages in Haiku...
(6,740 bytes; 1 page)
Voltaire. 1759. Candide
Is there a more classic piece of humor than this? Besides it is in keeping with the biological orientation of this site, since it offers an alternative to evolution in explaining adaptation:
"It is demonstrable," Pangloss said, "that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly we wear stockings."
(557,634 bytes; 104 pages)
Mark Twain. 1897. Horrors of the German Language
Mark Twain brings his sense of humor to the German language with this speech that he delivered to the Vienna Press Club in 1897. Native English speakers are often initially confused be German word order, since in German sentences the verbs all at the end piled up are. Here is Twain's speech, both in good German and in a literal translation into English.
(35,329 bytes; 3 pages)
Swift, Jonathan. 1729. A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from being a burden to their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public
Modern black humor has nothing on this little essay, written more than 250 years ago.
(56,167 bytes; 7 pages)
Scientific publishing is always a challenge, especially in a premier venue. Here's the story of what it took to publish a major finding in human genomics.
John, chapter 11, verse 35
Can biology provide dispensation? Here's a theological, ethological, evolutionary, and cladistic consideration of the notion, recently put forward by the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Most Reverand Richard Hollaway, that "adultery is caused by our genetics" and thus should not be condemned as sinful.
(4,396 bytes; 1 page)
Support continuing education and place this sign next to a crib, playpen, or baby carriage to alert passers-by to the content.
(61,347 bytes; 1 page)
Hu's on First
Transcript of an exchange between Condi Rice and George Bush about the emergence of Hu Jintao as the new leader of China...
(79,733 bytes; 2 pages)
How to Attend a Meeting
Advice from Dave Barry on that most essential component of organizational behavior...
(8,034 bytes; 2 pages)
A brief overview that shows how the teaching of mathematics has evolved over the years...
(43,350 bytes; 1 page)
Moving to Seattle
A brief chronology, recording the typical joys experienced by newcomers to the northwest...
(8,034 bytes; 2 pages)
White House Press Release: President Clinton signs the Americans with No Abilities Act into law. This startling new legislation, providing benefits and protection for more than 135 million talentless Americans, is being hailed as a major victory for the millions upon millions of U.S. citizens who lack any real skills or uses. Read about it here...
(4,064 bytes; 1 page)
ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )
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