Kennedy, Lincoln, and Snopes oh my…

256px-Abraham_Lincoln256px-John_F_Kennedy_Official_Portrait

Every once in a while I wander over to Snopes.com and hit their randomizer button in order to see if I can learn anything new. A few days ago, I landed on the Lincoln/Kennedy Coincidences rebuttal, and I was entirely surprised at the demeanor of the unnamed author of the rebuttal. I have read hundreds of Snopes articles by now, and I have never seen one that seemed as distressed or as angry as the article on this urban legend. The author seems downright irritated that this particular legend persists. Usually Snopes has a good sense of humor about their mission, but there is a tone throughout the piece that is somewhat distressing, and it makes me wonder what set the writer off on the tangent. Below are some quotes, but it is the article in its entirety that has the underlying anger.

QuoteWe’re supposed to be amazed at minor happenstances such as the two men’s being elected exactly one hundred years apart, but we’re supposed to think nothing of the numerous non-coincidences

QuoteAnother non-surprise. Absent all other factors, the odds were already one in seven that both killings would have occurred on the same day of the week. (Don’t even think about writing to tell us that we’re wrong and the odds are really one in forty-nine. If you think we’re wrong, you don’t understand the question.)

QuoteThis is one of those coincidences thatisn’t a coincidence at all; it’s simply wrong.

 

QuoteCoincidence? Neither their first nor last names have the same number of letters. And why should it be significant that both assassins had the same number of letters in their full names when the same wasn’t true of Abraham Lincoln and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, or of Andrew Johnson and Lyndon Baines Johnson?

A side note!

I found it kind of humorous that in the rebuttal of coincidences, Snopes actually gave us one more coincidence to consider (underlined in quote):

QuoteThis “coincidence” is another one which is exceedingly trivial in nature. The only two types of shots which reasonably assure a dead victim are chest shots and head shots, so two assassinations committed by head shots aren’t the least bit coincidental — especially when one considers that since both Lincoln and Kennedy were shot from behind and while seated, so their assassins had no other practical choice of target.

A note to the author of this Snopes piece:

It’s all gonna be okay! It really is. Have some tea and enjoy the evening.

Light bulb triage

Ahh yes. Lightbulb triage. I’ll get to that in a minute. There seems to be a heated discussion over light bulbs. (no pun intended) (really!) Or, at least over the word lightbulb. Should it be a compound word? Should it be two words. I never wondered or even cared until I decided to write this post. I looked it up on my favorite search engine, and every other post said something different, leading to my decision: every time I write it I will change it up.

So, light bulb triage is a term that I made up to explain the following mindset, and series of actions: A lightbulb burns out, and you have no backups, so you take a bulb from somewhere else in the house, a bulb that you consider the least important. Now, you still have one burned out bulb, but it is in a room that you don’t use too often. Since you keep forgetting to buy them at the store, Continue reading “Light bulb triage”

The best (unintended) compliment about my magic ever

Belt buckleI used to walk Bardstown road in the Highlands when I lived in Louisville, KY, getting myself partially inebriated on local brews. On on particular occasion during my walk home, I met a cool group of people coming out of a gas station that I was going into. I’m pretty sure they struck up the conversation and invited me to their little porch party at an apartment, less than a block away. I hung out with this group of four for a couple hours, and we had some laughs, and I ended up doing some magic for them.

This turned into a regular thing, as they were always partying on the porch, and I was always walking home from a bar. They would invite me up, and we’d chat for a couple of hours. It was strange, but we never became “friends” – we never got personal.

Mostly we talked about conspiracy theories. It was never about magic. Maybe every other time, or every third time I’d go over, they would bring up magic, and ask me if I could do something for them. I did mostly mentalism and card tricks. I had this great book of Annemann’s (about mentalism with cards) that I was studying, so I practiced on the group. This went on for about five months. (Mid-April to mid-August.)

Then, I had a bout with an odd brain disease. Spontaneously Low Cerebral Spinal Fluid Pressure/Spontaneous CSF Leak. It’s a long name, I know. (My friend Rhonda said, “Only you, Matt. Only you gonna get somethin’ like this.) Anyway, what it really meant was that Continue reading “The best (unintended) compliment about my magic ever”

Contradicting cookies; Vanishing video

Contradicting Fortunes?
Contradicting Fortunes?

I got these fortunes tonight with my Chinese dinner. Yes, I ate two cookies. It’s okay, though, because based on the contradicting nature of the fortunes, I think the calories will cancel themselves out.

I also watched THIS MOVIE* – which was kind of awesome, and it kind of seriously sucked! I watched it on Amazon Instant Video, and I guessed it was from the 80’s. I just looked it up for this blog post, it’s from 2010. Which makes the filming, acting, and quality far worse than I thought. I expected better from Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). On second thought, no I didn’t.**

* If you didn’t click the “This Movie” link, but still want to know what movie it is, hold your cursor over the link, and the name should pop up. I could have just told you the name of the movie here, or there but that just seemed way too easy

** Okay, Okay. I’ll tell you the name of the movie. “Vanishing on 7th Street”

Travel Log: Vegas 2012 and the rules of the game

The rules to the game
The rules to the game

As if the excitement of gambling wasn’t enough, Janelle and I came up with our own rules for a game where we compete against each other with slot machines.

Yes, we were there for educational purposes. Yes, we were there to learn. Yes, we gambled.

We went to the NCTE conference during the day, hung out at night. We met a couple of friends who were also there for the conference, and we ate at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant at the MGM. It was a really fun time. We got to screen a pilot episode of a pretty stupid TV show and give our opinions. I wasn’t kind. I walked the strip several times, and bought the best shoes I’ve ever owned (and the most expensive!)

My neck and shoulder were killing me the entire trip, I’m pretty sure it’s due to the all of the cramped flights. But no complaints, because I always remember the best parts.

Ehhhxcellent…Meh heh heh.

In Tulsa, we stayed across from Oral Roberts University. It was an interesting hotel experience – at one point we needed a corkscrew for our wine, and we called the front desk. They had one – I mean one! – and handed it to us. The lady said, “Please don’t tell anyone we gave this to you.” Weird.

So, the big ORU sports a gigantic statue of praying hands, which is creepy in itself, and a little extravagant for a religion that tells you to feed the poor. I assumed they were praying hands, but Janelle pointed out that they looked more like Mr. Burns’ (of Simpsons fame) hands.

burns
Excellent. Meh heh heh.

 

 

The Tennessee witch project

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Camping in the woods of mid Tennessee, we decided that it would be a good idea to burn an apple core so we didn’t attract critters. This had the opposite effect, as we were immediately surrounded by some persistent raccoons.

They kept coming a little too close for comfort so I gathered a bunch of stones to toss at them as they got closer. This worked wonders. (No animals were harmed during the writing of this post!!!! Just scared a bit.)

When it came time to retire to the tent, I dumped the stones out of my pockets and put them in front of the tent. Good idea except that as soon a the stones were down, I couldn’t get “The Blair Witch Project” out of my head. This didn’t make for comforting sleep at all. Solitude in the middle of a large woods is not peaceful if you keep thinking of that movie.

On a side note, I left the tent to use the bathrooms later and saw that the raccoons did indeed attain their goal. The burnt apple was gone.