Archive for December, 2009

A Pre-Mortem Itemization of Unattainable Aspirations

Posted in Humor with tags on December 28, 2009 by Wiggy

With the New Year approching it’s time once again to start thinking about those promises and resolutions that each of us makes in hopes of fulfilling our dreams…or at least lose a few of those holiday pounds.

Two years ago there was a movie released to the big screen entitled “The Bucket List.” Two elderly men, played by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, discover they are both terminally ill with cancer. Sharing a hospital room, they become friends and decide to fulfill a list of their dreams and desires before they “kick the bucket,” hence the title “The Bucket List.” I like to think I am a little more creative than your average Hollywood writer.

I’m of the opinion everyone has dreams which one day they’d like to fulfill. Putting them down in writing may actually help you work toward accomplishing at least one of them. The following is my top 10 list of things which, by this point in my life, I greatly desire but still have yet to experience. The list is in order from “are you smoking crack” to “with enough book royalties I may be able to swing it.” Maybe someone out there reading this might be able to lend a little assistance.

1. Travel to outer-space: I’m not talking about a little skip out of the atmosphere in a souped-up 737. I’m talking about spending a few days on the International Space Station or on the moon. Though, I’m not sure I want to get there in a Russian-built tin can strapped to a retired ICBM.

2. See the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl: This would actually prolong my life. I’m positive my stress level each football season thereafter would be greatly reduced…or at least until the start of the next season.

3. Not ever have to hear the song “Free Bird” ever again. Losing my hearing isn’t an option.

4. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway in California in my fully restored 1982 Corvette. If I ever get my manuscript published I figure I will be permanently banned from ever traveling to California again.

5. Finish restoring my 1982 Corvette: I’ve never had enough money, time or proper skills and tools, or any combination to have everything looking like new and functioning properly all at the same time. My investment to accomplish such would probably cost more than the car is actually worth.

6. Go one day without hearing or reading the names Britney Spears, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsey Lohan or Tom Cruise. I have a better chance of voting Democrat.

7. Enjoy a multi-course dinner starting with shaved smoked swordfish then moving onto risotto Milanese and concluding with a char-grilled medium rare filet mignon topped with blue cheese accompanied by a fine French red wine. All while sitting in an outdoor café on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France, while smoking a fine cigar. Fine French red wine…who am I kidding?

8. See a UFO with my own two eyes. Unfortunately that would involve marrying my one-toothed sister and moving into a trailer home in an inhospitable town somewhere in the American southwest near an air force base. All of my sisters DO have all their teeth.

9. Witness in person the Philadelphia Flyers win a hockey game on the road against the New Jersey Devils. I am 0 for 14 so far.

10. Get my manuscript published.

See. How hard is it to accomplish at least one of your dreams? Even Jessica Simpson has been published.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs
Delineator of Delusional Deeds and Dreams

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Holiday Hypotethis

Posted in Humor with tags , on December 12, 2009 by Wiggy

A little something for the holidays that has been floating around the net for years in one form or another. This is my updated and slightly more dimented version…

Most of us as children, for some mysteriously warped reason, were taught by our parents about the magical fairy with a periodontal fetish who visits us while we are sleeping…and you wonder why children are afraid of the dark. And about the springtime bunny who thinks he’s a chicken and delivers ornate hard-boiled eggs on Easter Day. Who came up with this stuff?

But the most enduring and globally accepted mystical tale of all of these with roots in reality is the story of Santa Claus. The unfortunate part to this important basis of childhood doctrine is this once credible yarn has over the centuries morphed into a tale which defies the laws of physics. I’m here to set the record straight and save your children a lot of disappointment later in life with…

A Holiday Hypothesis on that age old question, “Is there a Santa Claus?”

1. No known species of reindeer can fly. But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified. And while most of these are insects and germs, this doesn’t completely rule out flying reindeer, which only Santa has seen.

2. There are 2.5 billion children in the world. BUT since Santa doesn’t appear to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children of the world, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total – 375 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average census rate of 3.5 children per household, that comes out to 107 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good child in each.

3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the Earth, assuming he travels east to west, which would seem logical. This works out to be 960.1 visits per second. Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. This excludes the time taken to eat the cookies and milk left for him. Assuming each of these 107 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth, which of course we know to be false, but for the purposes of my calculation we will accept, we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household. A total trip of 75 ½ million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us do at least once everyone 31 hours, plus feeding, etc. This means Santa’s sleigh is moving at 676 miles per second, 3,208 times the speed of sound, assuming an average altitude of 1000 feet. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle to leave earth orbit, the New Horizons space probe launched in January 2006 on its way to pseudo-planet Pluto, moves at a poky 9.44 miles per second. A conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming each child gets nothing more than a medium sized Lego set weighing in at approximately 2 pounds, the sleigh is carrying 375,000 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting “flying reindeer” (see point #1) could pull ten times the normal amount, we can’t do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 250,000 reindeer. With the average reindeer weighing in at 375 lbs., this increases the payload, not even counting the weight of the sleigh, to 418,750 tons. Again for comparison, this is six times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth II weighing in at 70,327 gross tons.

5. 418,750 tons traveling at 676 miles per second creates enormous air resistance. This resistance will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as a spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second, each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa, which seems ludicrously slim, would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

In conclusion, if Santa ever did deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he is now dead. Just remember kiddies, when you stop believing in Santa, you start getting clothes for Christmas…

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs
Habitual Holiday Herald

Did St. Nicholas Cause Global Warming?

Posted in Humor with tags , on December 5, 2009 by Wiggy

St. Nicholas Day, December 6th, is celebrated by a large portion of the Christian world population. This includes the Dutch, Belgian, Italian, German, Lebanese, Palestinian Christian, Swiss, Austrian, Russian, Czech, Slovenian, Croatian, Hungarian, Romanian, French and Portuguese. Please forgive me if I left out any other European or Asian countries who may venerate this day, as I’m not currently up on the daily social and religious aspects of Armenia, Moldova, Albania, Macedonia, etc.

Previously “Did Noah’s Ark Cause Global Warming” uncovered the little know fact the species-sparing ancient mariner known as Noah may have played a part in the world’s greatest impending natural disaster. We now look at another possible trigger behind the recent explosion of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the negative affects on the global climate. We’ll forget while writing this, it was sixteen degrees and snowing at my home.

We can thank the overly-generous Patron Saint of Sailors and ex-Bishop of the Greek colonial city of Myra, St. Nicholas, or St. Nick for short, solely for the commercialization of several religious and not-so-religious holidays including Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, Winter Solstice, Diwali, Boxing Day, Yalda, Soyal, Bodhi and Festivus. This Portage of the Present, Gulliver of the Gift, is chiefly responsible for the appearance of holiday decorations in department stores the day after Halloween. Disclaimer: please note the utilization of the word “holiday” in lieu of Christmas in the previous sentence is purely for political correctness and as not to offend any readers of the Wiccan, Jewish, Buddhist, Canadian or Seinfeldian persuasion. What you may not realize is St. Nicholas should also be recognized as a major contributing factor to the global warming problem. Just think about the number of mail order catalogs each household receives during the holiday season!

Let’s for argument sake assume a typical mail order catalog weighs one pound, realizing anyone who’s ever ordered anything from Cabela’s, scourge of the mail carrier, knows this outdoor catalog, which one receives at least weekly from October through December, weighs closer to two and a half pounds. There are approximately 111,400,000 households in the U.S., according to the U.S. census bureau. As I can’t accurately speak to the winter holiday selling/purchasing habits or the postal efficiency of our holiday-celebrating-brethren in the rest of the civilized world, I’ll err on the side of conservatism and not include them.

If each household averages just one mail order catalog a day…my mailbox averages at least 4 per day…that’s 111,400,000 catalogs. This conservatism takes into account such factors as hermits/manifesto authors and residents of questionable status. The illiterate and NASCAR fans aren’t excluded, as they can at least look at the pretty pictures. Multiply the number of catalogs by one pound per catalog for a total of 111,400,000 pounds of wasted paper each day. To add the “green” factor to these calculations, we’ll generously assume at least 25 percent of households recycle their coated-paper publications. That brings the number down to 83,550,000 pounds or 41,775 tons per day.

With the holiday mail order shopping season, by some perverse reason, beginning on approximately October 1st each year…at least that’s when the increase in postal poundage seems to begin…let’s calculate the duration. Using the 2007 calendar, as global warming seems to have picked up particular attention that year with campaigning politicians and left-coast entertainers, it gives us the following: 25 mail delivery days in October and 24 in November, taking into account the non-postal delivery days of Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. Let’s assume 25 delivery days in December taking into account the non-delivery day of Christmas. The 25 delivery days in December, for arguments sake, includes the inefficiency of the U.S. Postal Service to deliver all mail order catalogs before December 25th and accounts for delivery in rain, sleet and gloom of night. That works out to be 74 mail delivery days during the holiday season. Multiply by the previously calculated 41,775 tons per day, it leaves us with 3,091,350 tons of discarded, useless, electronics, apparel, and knick-knack catalogs each winter holiday season.

To keep this intellectual diatribe brief, I won’t bore you with the statistics and details of the tree fiber, to paper pulp, to paginated-kitchen-clutter process. One can only imagine how many naturally-occurring greenhouse-gas filters are slaughtered to produce the three million-plus tons of retail sales brochures, inflicted on every household in America each holiday season. And this doesn’t even consider the energy, chemicals or helpless, furry, woodland creatures which were consumed in the printing and production processes.

These back-breakers of the U.S. postal professional also serve as one of the main grounds for worker compensation filings for USPS employees, rivaled only second to animal attacks…specifically from annoying yapping lap dogs with Napoleon complex, which have no value except as a fashion accessory to over-shopped Hollywood “celebrities.”

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs
Calculating Composer of Complex Concoctions and Colloquialism