Posts filed under “General Knowledge”


Our frequent commenter “The Shadow” writes, in reply to “International Typewriter Appreciation Month,”

I’ve never yet encountered an international typewriter to appreciate.

That is a pity. Fortunately the L. C. Smith & Corona Typewriter Co. comes to our rescue with this chart of the International keyboard available on four-bank portable Coronas. The numbers (1) and (11) indicate that it can be had in Pica or Micro type styles.4-bank-international-corona

It comes from a brochure listing a wide variety of other special-order keyboards—including the one Dr. Boli most covets, the F101 Writer’s, with true em dash, proper quotation marks, and the ligatures æ and œ.



Slogan for Pompeian Fragrance talcum powder from the Pompeian Company of Cleveland:

“Brings You Instant Charm”

Slogans rejected at the same marketing meeting:

Bury Yourself in Charm

A Volcano of Fragrance

Excavate a Forgotten World of Beauty

For the Remarkably Well-Preserved Woman

Makes You Smell Like Cleveland


It is not possible, Dr. Boli believes, to look more like the founder and president of a corset company than M. G. E. Amyot does.


Piano-Wire Spaghetti with Lava Balls.

Hornet Salad.

Shale Muesli with Gravel.

Thistle Fritters.

Hot Pepper and Vinegar Lemon Smoothie.

Icepicks au Gratin.

Macaroni and Cheese with the Queen Consort of Lesotho Looking Over Your Shoulder.


Your account is being updated to our new Three-Step Authentication system, in which it will be necessary to enter your username and password to receive a text message by responding to which you will authorize our express rider to hand-deliver an authentication code each time you wish to access your account. As part of this update, you are required to choose a new password for your account. Your new password must be a prime number of characters long and must include one upper-case letter, one lower-case letter, one numeric character, one punctuation mark, one Old Hungarian character, one emoji, and one rude gesture.


Generously Provided by Nergal-Sharezer the Rabmag.

Capricorn. You resolve to take up a healthier diet. For Capricorn, that might mean tin cans and old shirts.

Aquarius. Those old records in the basement still have a lot of good music in them. You resolve to leave them in the basement for another year, because somebody might want them eventually.

Pisces. This year, you resolve not to repeat the mistakes of last year. Unfortunately you spent all of last year drunk, so you can’t remember any of them.

Aries. This year, when Venus comes into your house, you resolve not to insult her the way you did the last time.

Taurus. You resolve to avoid china shops.

Gemini. Last year you resolved to lose ten pounds. How did that work out? That’s what the stars thought. This year you resolve to lose those ten pounds for real, plus the fifteen you gained last year.

Cancer. You resolve to push forward with your plans for world domination. You will be encouraged by your eighteen followers on Twitter.

Leo. This year you resolve to build a garden shed. The world needs more garden sheds. Next year you can resolve to plant a garden.

Virgo. You resolve to make a daily schedule that you can actually follow this year. It will include an hour a day for moping.

Libra. This year you resolve to enjoy nature more. Go sailing! Ride your bicycle through the Great Allegheny Passage! Climb Mount Katahdin! Or, you know, look out the window and glance at a starling.

Scorpio. You resolve to be yourself this year, because you’ve decided that everything that’s wrong with the world is other people’s fault.

Sagittarius. This year you resolve to give more to the people who have made your life better. It is very easy to support Nergal-Sharezer the Rabmag on Patreon.


The first thing we learned in 2020 was that we never want to be in 2020 again, and most commercial dealers in time machines have already installed safety rigs in their devices to make it impossible to land in 2020 by accident. But readers of this Magazine also learned a number of other useful things. It is traditional for such publications to dull their readers’ senses with a year-end roundup, and this celebrated Magazine is nothing if not traditional.

We started off the year in January with “The 7 Most Intriguing Clickbait Headlines You Can’t Actually Click On.” People are still trying to click on them.

February was regrettably full of haiku, with some advice on how to sneak form past the formless.

In March we gained a historical perspective on “early music.”

In April we discovered a strange anomaly in a photograph of Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra. Naturally we reported our findings to the police.

May brought us a very topical Handy Guide to Demics. We strive to avoid topicality, but sometimes it seeps in.

In June we made an original contribution to literary scholarship with the discovery of a hitherto unknown portrait from life of the great classicist Charles Anthon.

In July we painted a zebra in its true colors.

In August we learned the meaning of the word “transgressive.” It turns out that the word “transgressive” perfectly describes every item in this Magazine.

September brought us a number of signs of the end times. We have since lived through the end times and discovered that they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.

In October, Sir Montague Blastoff met himself from an alternate universe, and himself from an alternate universe, and himself from an alternate universe, &c.

November taught us about Green Tea and Our Health, which was a welcome contribution at a time when good health information was sorely needed.

In December we learned how to upgrade the memory in a laptop computer, which would have made it much easier to enjoy the memory-intensive multimedia content in this celebrated Magazine if there had been any memory-intensive multimedia content in this celebrated Magazine.