To maintain equilibrium, please call me …

Your royal highness. I figure since the royal formally know as Prince won’t be needing it anymore this should be okay. I want you to all know that I will treat you all in the same way I treat everyone beneath my rank. Don’t expect to be invited to tea anytime soon.

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A Wee Bit of Humour this Late Saturday Night: Scottish Army Ration (MRE)

There is a curious subculture on YouTube of exploring and, sometimes at great personal risk, taste-testing military rations, sometimes from wars fought long before the tester/taster was born.  Big Clive was motivated to contribute to this genre, and posted this taste test of one of the last MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat) prepared by the Scottish Army before it was assimilated into the British armed forces.  All of the major food groups a proper Scotsman should require are provided: sugar, alcohol, carbohydrates, nicotine, and plutonium.

... [Read More]

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A Feminist View of Guns

Somehow, I don’t think this talk will be pro-gun.

Senior Lecturer Caroline Light, who is Director of Harvard’s Undergraduate Program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, will give a historical view on visual depictions of armed femininity and discuss her writings on “America’s love affair with lethal self-defense.” Light refreshments will be served.... [Read More]

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BBC Scotland: “At Home with the Thunbergs”

One naughty word, OK on the Beeb.

Continue reading “BBC Scotland: “At Home with the Thunbergs””

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Finally! U.S. Patent 10,513,862: System, method, and apparatus for simulating immersion in a confection

Well, the Roaring Twenties are finally here, so we shouldn’t be astonished by the wonders of technology and human innovation soon to usher forth.  Here’s one that arrived a week early, on 2019-12-24, U.S. patent 10,513,862 [PDF] (text-only version), for a swimming pool or hot tub filled with simulated candy, including “synthetic multicolored sprinkles”.  Of course there’s a diving board!

US patent 10513862 cover... [Read More]

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Unexpected Trouble

As a child, did you ever do something you thought was innocuous, or at least only semi-problematic, and then find out your parents were surprisingly steamed about it? I ran up against this unexpected trouble more than once.

One incident was when I was nine years old at boarding school in northern Thailand. My friend C. dared me to eat a worm. Well, she wasn’t really my friend at the time. She was my rival. We were around the same age, and she was a newcomer from the States, with a collection of novel American toys. Plus she had olive skin, dark hair, and large, expressive green eyes. She liked the boy I’d had a crush on for years–despite her unusual looks, I had dibs on him. My jealousy weighed on me unpleasantly. She and I were always vying for first place in stupid scenarios: who would win in arm wrestling? Who could climb a mountain? We both sensed when the other was showing off, and were mutually annoyed. I affected a slight babyish accent that rubbed her the wrong way; she wanted everyone to know her affinity for animals and talked to lizards with a high-pitched lilt I couldn’t stand.... [Read More]

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Warm Wishes

I just want to thank everyone here for the great variety of wonderful writings and pictures that tumble through Ratburger every day! I don’t always comment but I see them and appreciate the work and the brain power that precedes them. I hope to be less of a Scrooge with my time, now that my busy season in work is almost over.... [Read More]

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Impeachy Counter Programming

We have achieved the Marshall McLuhan Singularity Point of No Return Event Horizon of History.

Not “The Medium is the Message” but the best Woody Allen scene ever in Annie Hall where in response to a loudmouth jerk pontificating on McLuhan’s theories on a movie line, Woody’s character stops him and says “I have Marshall McLuhan right here” and pulls the man out from behind a movie poster. McLuhan then begins to dismantle the self important jerk.... [Read More]

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