Posts filed under “General Knowledge”


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Why did the federal government choose homeopathy for its economic stimulus package?

Your government, dedicated to serving you efficiently as always, looked for the largest effect from the smallest intervention. Our experts considered two avenues, namely voodoo and homeopathy; but while voodoo had the more plausible mechanism, it was determined that homeopathy was more economically feasible.

How does it work?

A charge of one mill has been added to the annual income-tax calculation of every American taxpayer. This infinitesimal subtraction will cause a tsunami of prosperity to roll back in the other direction.

How do I pay the one-mill charge?

The payment is not due until the charges have accumulated to the amount of one dollar. You will receive a bill one thousand years from yesterday.

Why is the President’s name microprinted on every stimulus notice in type visible only under a microscope?

Your government’s homeopathic experts determined that homeopathic doses of the President would assure continued good governance.


In response to our question about whether there is any subject about which it is not possible to become incandescently furious (Dr. Boli believes those words demand to be set in italics), our frequent correspondent Colin writes,

I suppose that a subject would be impervious to any kind of luminous fury if it is either devoid of any meaning whatsoever, or so unimaginably dull that nobody even wants to think about it.

To my mind, among the topics that meet these criteria are:
– The contents of The Museum of Bad Art
– The philology of the Klingon language
– The platform of the American Whig Party
– and of course, The Complete Works of Irving Vanderblock-Wheedle

Dr. Boli believes, however, that anyone who cannot become incandescently furious about those subjects has a rosier view of human nature than is currently fashionable. Let us take them one by one:

The first is too easy, because the Wikipedia article on “Museum of Bad Art” gives us a reason for outrage without our having to go to the trouble of inventing one ourselves: “The Museum Of Bad Art has been accused of being anti-art, or taking works that were sincerely rendered and mocking them.” If you are not already burning with incandescent fury on behalf of those sincere artists whose work is held up to ridicule here, you need only sincerely render a work of art yourself and then leave it in a trash can somewhere in the vicinity of one of the museum’s locations, and if it is acquired for the permanent collection you may tremble with outrage.

The second item, the philology of the Klingon language, must already have provoked blazing infernos of incandescent fury on a dozen different forums dedicated to the topic of the Klingon language. However, you may test whether the subject is capable of provoking incandescent fury by entering such a forum and posting a statement that is regarded as incorrect by the other members.

The platform of the American Whig Party:

As for the complete works of Irving Vanderblock-Wheedle, there were riots in Newport News when Mr. Vanderblock-Wheedle’s novel Perpetua-Lou was published. The mob was not pacified until the Superintendent of Schools signed a pledge that the work would not be included on any required reading lists.

Meanwhile, our likewise frequent correspondent Maypo writes,

What drives me past incandescent fury into spittle-flecked rage is the fact that I’ve never even heard of frybread! And it sounds delightful!

It is never too late. Here is Dr. Boli’s utterly simple two-ingredient recipe for frybread.

Instruct your cook to take

Self-rising flour


in a ratio of about 8 to 3. For example, for a dozen medium-sized rounds, you might use 4 cups of flour and a cup and a half of water.

Mix the two ingredients in a big bowl.

Need the dough as much as it kneads.

Pull off pieces of dough, form them into balls, and have the servants flatten the balls into thin discs.

Fry the discs in a shallow pan of hot oil or shortening until they look golden.

Let the fried discs drain on paper towels or a wire rack.

Eat them with anything you can think of that you would like to eat with fried bread. As a general rule, if it is food, it probably goes well with frybread.



A correspondent with the mellifluous nickname “Alcohol Rehab Near Me” introduces herself:

Hello from Australia. I’m glad to came across you.
My first name is Ramonita.
I live in a town called Karrakup in east Australia.

I was also born in Karrakup 23 years ago. Married in May year 2000.
I’m working at the college.


It is a sign of the times that the single largest section in the Wikipedia article on “Frybread” is the section headed “Controversy.”

Yes, it is possible to become incandescently furious about frybread. And indeed there may be some good reasons for that rage, although Dr. Boli wonders whether aiming it at the food itself is warranted.

But if it is possible to become incandescently furious about frybread, is there any subject at all that cannot make us incandescently furious? (Dr. Boli, after a brief experiment with compact fluorescent fury, has settled on light-emitting-diode fury as a much more efficient expression of rage than incandescent fury, but incandescence is back in fashion again.) Is there a single uncontroversial subject left in the world? And if not, is there a way of harnessing the energy of all that rage? Could we place the enraged persons (or should one say persons with enragement?) on treadmills, and would that make them even more furious and thus even more powerful sources of rage energy?

At any rate, here is a challenge for readers. Try to think of a single subject about which it is not possible to become incandescently furious. And then, having thought of such a thing, try to become incandescently furious about it, thus proving yourself wrong. You hate being wrong. It makes you incandescently furious.


Why are you eating French toast? Do you hate America that much?

What gives you the right to decide whether a carrot lives or dies?

Do you know how many poets and peasants have to die to make one Poet and Peasant Overture?

Don’t you realize that every time you ride the streetcar you put 0.0014 auto worker out of work?

How can you play a game like that that normalizes war and violence, and can’t you see your knight could take her bishop?


With thanks to our alert Russian correspondent who left this comment, very appropriately, on our article “Yet More Surrealism from Type Specimens.”

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