Category Archives: Humor

Odds Of Survival

I’ve often (only half) joked that there are billions of people alive who have never died, so why should we consider it inevitable?

Well, someone has actually worked out the ratio. Hey, 7% odds of survival beats zero.

Mortality Hourglass

[Update a couple minutes later]

Speaking of which Peter Thiel seems to finally be getting serious about longevity, not only funding non-profit research, but actually investing in companies pursuing it.

Claire Berlinski rebranding:

I felt rebranding was in order, though, for it struck me this morning that the photo you have been looking at was taken in 2008. It does not reflect the maturity, wisdom, and insight I have acquired since then.

Nor does it convey the deep and appropriate alarm I wish to suggest when discussing profoundly important geopolitical events such as the rise of ISIS, the return of Russian Imperialism, the criteria I will use to select my next Commander-in-Chief, and the incentives we are creating to rapid nuclear proliferation. Nor, above all, does it convey the most significant geopolitical event of my life: my catastrophic realization that I may have been wrong in my assessment of French demographic trends. So I believe this photo more accurately conveys “the deep and serious questions we must all ask ourselves.”

It also properly suggests that I am older and more knowing. Now, of course it would be beneath me to exploit, for political purposes, my opponents’ youth and inexperience. Nor is it my intention to do so. I am merely concerned about truth in advertising: I am 47 years old. Were you to consider a photo of me at age 39, is might mislead you. You would be ill-served by underestimating my wisdom and gravitas.

Moreover, it would be quite unfortunate were you to meet me in person and think, “But Claire looks older than her photo.” Clearly, it is much more important that you meet me and think, “Goodness. Claire looks even better than her photo.”

I’m sure she does.

Star Trek Heresy

Matthew Continetti does not love Spock.

Last week, I tweeted that I was going to write a post about how Obama is not Spock like, but to the degrees that he is, I agree that it’s Spock’s most annoying traits.

[Afternoon update]

The gauntlet has been thrown:

Continetti just glosses over the sacrifice at the Battle of the Mutara Nebula, I assume because he knows it demolishes his case. What about the personal loss at the betrayal of Valeris? What about the hurtful but necessary decision — directly enforced by Spock — to let Edith Keeler die? How I hated him for that! But look, who among us wouldn’t let Hitler dominate the world in exchange for a lifetime of sweet sweet loving from young Joan Collins? Anyone? No one? Just me?


Fifty Shades Of Dave Barry

He reviews the book:

So what kind of book is Fifty Shades of Grey? I would describe it, literary genre–wise, as “a porno book.” But it’s not the kind of porno men are accustomed to. When a man reads porno, he does not want to get bogged down in a bunch of unimportant details about the characters, such as who they are or what they think. A man wants to get right to the porno:

Chapter One
Bart Pronghammer walked into the hotel room and knitted his brow at the sight of a naked woman with breasts like regulation volleyballs.
“Let’s have sex,” she mused matter-of-factly.

A few paragraphs later they’re all done, and the male reader, having invested maybe ninety seconds of his time, can put the book down and go back to watching SportsCenter.

Apparently that is not what women want, porno-wise. What women want, to judge from Fifty Shades of Grey, is not just people doing It. Many pages go by in this book without any of It getting done, although there is a great deal of thinking and talking about It. The thoughts are provided by the narrator and main character, Anastasia Steele, who is a twenty-one-year-old American woman as well as such a clueless, self-absorbed ninny that you, the reader, find yourself wishing that you still smoked so you would have a cigarette lighter handy and thus could set fire to certain pages, especially the ones where Anastasia is telling you about her “inner goddess.” This is a hyperactive imaginary being—I keep picturing Tinker Bell—who reacts in a variety of ways to the many dramatic developments in Anastasia’s life, as we see in these actual quotes:

“My inner goddess is swaying and writhing to some primal carnal rhythm.”
“My very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba.”
“My inner goddess is doing the Dance of Seven Veils.”
“My inner goddess is doing the merengue with some salsa moves.”
“My inner goddess has stopped dancing and is staring, too, mouth open and drooling slightly.”
“My inner goddess jumps up and down, with cheerleading pom-poms, shouting ‘Yes’ at me.”
“My inner goddess is doing backflips in a routine worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast.”
“My inner goddess pole-vaults over the fifteen-foot bar.”
“My inner goddess fist-pumps the air above her chaise longue.”

That’s right: Her inner goddess, in addition to dancing, cheerleading, pole vaulting, etc., apparently keeps furniture inside Anastasia’s head. Unfortunately, this means there is little room left for Anastasia’s brain, which, to judge from her thought process, is about the size of a walnut. On the other hand, Anastasia is physically very attractive, although she never seems to figure this out despite the fact that all the other characters keep telling her, over and over, how darned attractive she is.

Go read the rest. You know you want to.

[Afternoon update]

Some quotes that probably won’t make it into movie.