On this day in 1066, William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings and imposed a greatly enlarged vocabulary on the unwilling Saxons.
Day after day, year after year, our most popular feature is the Free Blank Sheet of Paper we provided more than four and a half years ago. It has always fascinated Dr. Boli to see that most of the traffic to that page seems to come from search engines, suggesting that there are people all over the Internet looking for exactly what that article has to offer. The comments on that page, however, suggested that some visitors went away disappointed.
Dr. Boli will be perfectly frank with his readers: he was not actually intending to meet a real need with that article. Every once in a great while, Dr. Boli feels compelled to vary the usual serious tone of his Magazine with a little frivolity: a joke, if you will. The number of people searching for a printable blank sheet of paper has therefore always puzzled him a bit.
Just yesterday, however, a comment was left on that article that provided a good and legitimate reason why one might want a printable blank sheet of paper, and Dr. Boli will admit that the reason had not occurred to him. In response to this comment from “Kdon,”—
U people are so dumb- If you can print this sheet, you have blank paper because it is in your printer.
—a reader named “iggy” replied yesterday (expressing himself in the English of the Future),
not if your in school and your not allowed to open the printer like me
So Dr. Boli has met a legitimate need, and he is very happy to see that his hard work in producing a blank letter-size PDF was not in vain. To the Internet at large: You’re welcome.
The answer to yesterday’s literary puzzle: the illustration advertises H. G. Wells’ Outline of History, one of the most popular books of the early twentieth century—perhaps because its publishers knew a thing or two about promoting historical works.
This illustration, by the well-known DeAlton Valentine, was commissioned for a magazine advertisement. It was promoting a book, and your task, dear readers, is to guess what book. Dr. Boli will give you the hint that it was a very popular book by a very famous author; and, if it helps, he will even reveal the headline of the advertisement:
Akhn-Aton was human
Can you guess, without going to the Wikimedia Commons page where the image is hosted (because that will give away the source, of course) or resorting to Google’s massive artificial-intelligence empire, what book this image was advertising?
Learn to read Braille. The ability to read in the dark will considerably diminish your lighting bill.
Instead of cooking your vegetables in a conventional oven, use cardboard, newspaper, and foil or reflective tape to create a parabolic reflector. Then place the vegetables in it and leave them outside for the groundhog to eat. Result: vegetables disposed of without use of conventional fuels.
Instead of using powered machinery to dig holes, split logs, hoist pianos, &c., have your children do it. What did you have children for, anyway?
Tie a chain to the rear bumper of your neighbor’s car and the front bumper of your own. Your neighbor ought to be doing his bit to reduce fossil-fuel consumption, after all, and here is a concrete way of encouraging him. He may not always go where you had been planning to go, but you can learn to like the places your neighbor frequents.
If you carry moonbeams home in a jar, they may be next to useless for domestic illumination, but the philosophers Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen have demonstrated conclusively that you will be better off than you are.
Always charge your electric car from random strangers’ porch outlets.
Turn down the thermostat and wear a hat. It is a well-known fact, verifiable by asking your mother, that human beings lose 90% of their heat through their heads. If, therefore, you wear a hat and nothing else, you will still be nine times warmer than if you were fully dressed without a hat.