Google’s original name was Back Rub! Don’t believe me? Google it!


Today’s blog is dedicated to Dickson, a Denville, NJ postal worker and avid 10 Minutes of Brilliance Reader. Just 20 minutes after I posted my last blog, he said to me, “Hey, it’s been a while. When are you going to write the next one?”

Today’s blog covers: 1. How Famous Brands Got Their Names 2. A Brilliant Idea from Custodian in a South Florida High School 3. What $1500/Month Rent Buys You Across America 4. Star Name Changes 5. Naked Cowboy’s Origins Revealed 6. Shooting Holes in The NRA’s Power Grab

As a Copywriter and Creative Director who launched four billion dollar brands, I’m a real blacksmith. Oh, sorry, I meant wordsmith. I used to be a blacksmith in a Previous Life, so I wrote about it in a previous blog.  And since you may have been a Previous Reader in my Previous Life, well, no sense rehashing that.

Now where was I? Oh yeah, today’s blog is about brilliant companies, ideas and actions. First up, how five famous companies changed their names.

Imagine you have a day off work. It doesn’t matter what your job is. For the purpose of this experiment, let’s assume you sell women’s shoes at Nordstrom. (No sense working at Bloomies or Macy’s. You might as well work for the best.) If you’re like most people, you start your day checking your email and cruising the Internet.

Will you use the world-famous browser, Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web or the search engine Backrub? Before deciding, maybe you should pop open and drink an ice-cold Brad’s Drink , then put on your favorite pair of Blue Ribbon Sports sneakers.

And then, even though you have sympathy for the #MeToo movement, maybe instead of cruising the Internet, you’ll just spend a couple minutes checking out the centerfolds in back issues of Stag Party.

Yup, that’s the way it could have been if Yahoo, Google. Pepsi-Cola, Nike and Playboy magazine hadn’t changed their names.

Brand New Names: Google’s original name really was Backrub

In 1996, when Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin conceived the idea of creating a universal search engine, they originally named it Backrub because the program analyzed a website’s “back links” to understand how important and authentic the site was.

Eventually, they amassed so much data, they ran into a snag. Their bandwidth of the data overwhelmed Stanford’s servers. Page and fellow Stanford students decided the Backrub name didn’t evoke the huge quantity of data they were amassing.

Google it

 It just doesn’t work to say, “If you don’t know something, just Backrub it!


So Sean Anderson, a graduate student at Stanford, suggested they call it googolplex. Googolplex is a number so large, I can’t even explain it to you except to say that it is 10 to the power of one followed by 10 to the power of 100 zeros. See, I told you I couldn’t explain it.

Larry Page liked the name googolplex, but felt a shorter version would be easier to say and more memorable. When Anderson searched to find out if the domain name was taken, he accidentally typed in Page liked the new name and the rest is internet history.

And if you don’t believe me, just BackRub it.

Pepsi-Cola was Brad’s Drink

Pepsi-Cola, originally named Brad’s Drink, was concocted as a patent medicine.

Pepsi-Cola was named Brad’s Drink after it’s originator, North Carolina pharmacist Caleb Bradham. In 1893, Bradham concocted what would become one of the world’s most famous beverages in his drugstore. He formulated it as a patent medicine to treat dyspepsia, an uncomfortable feeling in the upper part of a stomach. Bradshaw also wanted something to create a medicinal brew that would taste great with Cheetos. OK, I’m kidding about the Cheetos. I should have said Doritos!

Unlike Coca-Cola which originally contained cocaine, Bradham wanted to invent a medicine that didn’t contain stimulants. Originally, it didn’t even contain caffeine.

In 1898, Brad’s Drink was renamed Pepsi-Cola. the first part relating to dyspepsia and the Cola moniker because it was made from kola nuts.

Blue Ribbon Sports became Nike.

Just do it! Blue Ribbon Sports.

Nah, it doesn’t exactly work, does it, but Blue Ribbon Sports was the original name conceived by Nike co-founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman.

Nike was originally named Blue Ribbon Sports.

Aren’t you glad this logo isn’t on your Air Jordans?






Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory

Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory, doesn’t quite work as a “Just do it” logo, either.










In 1964, the two men launched what would become he world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel  with revenues in excess of $24 billion. It employs more than 44,000 people and its Nike logo and the company are currently valued at over $29 billion.

The worldwide multi-national American company officially became Nike, Inc. on May 30, 1971. It was named after Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory.

Quote. Unquote. How Yahoo Got Its Name

When Web pioneers and entrepreneurs Jerry Yang and and David Filo launched their world renowned search engine and directory (eventually named Yahoo) in January 1994 the original name was Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web. It doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, does it?

So they changed it to the backronym Yahoo.

STAN: Ah ha! And ah ha, again! Mr. Higher than Mighty Blog Writer Goldenbergowitz! I just found a typo. Or, possibly just a stupid mistake. It’s so hard to tell with you.
HARRIET: What now, Stan?
STAN: Goldenbergstein said Yahoo was a backronym. He meant to say acronym.

HARRIET: Au contraire, stupide petit cochon. (Translation: “On the contrary, you stupid little pig!”) If you had read further down the blog, Jack describes the difference between an acronym and backronym.
STAN: My bad!

Yahoo, jerry and David Guide to the World Wide Web

Yahoo’s first incarnation was called Jerry and David Guide to the World Wide Web


Yahoo masterminds Jerry Yang and David Filo

Yahoo masterminds Jerry Yang and David Filo. Or is it David Filo and Jerry Yang? Not sure.

So, by the time it was incorporated on March 2, 1995, Yang and Filo changed the name to Yahoo. It stood for Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle.

Still, naming their browser Yahoo had its risks. While screaming “Yahoo” can have positive implications, as if you’ve unexpectedly found something you were looking for, a yahoo is also a boring, loud unpleasant person, with little of no education. Sound familiar, Mr. Trump?

Note to Readers. Yahoo is a backronym, not an acromym. An acronym uses initials to spell a non-word, like MIA stands for Missing In Action and APB for All Points Bulletin.

A backronym, on the other hand, uses initials to spell actual words. Like, yahoo for Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle and USA Patriot Act which stands for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.

Why Do You Have to Know the Difference between an Acronym and a Backronym? It may be on the final.

Playboy Goes Stag

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1953 with a degree in psychology, America’s most famous playboy, Hugh Hefner, worked several stints in the publishing business. He caught the publishing bug and decided to launch his own men’s magazine, raising $8,000 to publish his first issue. Among his investors were his mother and brother.

He had to abandon the original name for what would become Playboy magazine, Stag Party, when an unrelated men’s adventure magazine, Stag, threatened suit. Searching for a new name, he considered Top Hat, Gentlemen, Sir, Satyr, Pan and Bachelor. He finally settled on the name Playboy after it was suggested by a friend and investor.

Still, Hef didn’t have very high hopes for Playboy magazine when he launched it. He produced the first issue in the kitchen of his Hyde Park, Chicago home and didn’t even bother to date it December 1953 because he was unsure there would be a second.

But he made a shrewd decision for the magazine that launched a sexual revolution worldwide. He included a risque nude photo of starlet Marilyn Monroe and it’s inclusion helped make the Playboy name and iconic bunny logo one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

STAN: Hey, damn it, how come Goldfarb didn’t show us that nude, risque photo of Marilyn Monroe.
HARRIET: Well, this is a family-safe blog, Stan. Even when Jack uses swear words like F*ck, Holy Sh*t and, excuse the vulgarity, Do*ald Tr*mp, he tries to do it in a classy way without showing all the letters.
STAN: Yeah, but we’re all adults here.
STAN: OK, me excluded.
HARRIET: You’ve got that right. Read ahead, Stan, I’m sure Jack can accommodate your prurient instincts.
STAN: Yeah, whatever.

In case Brilliant Readers, like Stan, you’d like to see whatPlayboy’s first centerfold looked like, click here: Marilyn Monroe Proves “Some Like it Hot”

Hugh Hefner distinguished Playboy magazine with many publishing industry groundbreaking firsts, including fiction by some of the world’s most gifted writers–Arthur C. Clark, Ian Fleming, Saul Bellow, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Crichton, John le Carre, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Hell, that’s why I read it.

When Hugh Hefner died on September 27, 1917, some people said he "went to a better place," I'm not sure that is possible

When Hugh Hefner died on September 27, 1917, some people said he “went to a better place,” I’m not sure that is possible.

As a young boy growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, I must confess Playboy magazine both amused and confused me. For many years, I thought naked women had staples in their navels.

STAN: They don’t?

Brilliance Comes From Anywhere

Here at 10 Minutes of Brilliance, we celebrate brilliance in any form. So we note that recently it was the birthday of Albert Einstein and the death of the visionary physicist Stephen Hawking. Dr. Hawking never allowed his physical limitations, a lifelong struggle against Lou Gehrig’s Disease, to stop him from exploring the Cosmos to discover, “Where did the Universe Come from?”

Brilliance come in many forms and from many sources. The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School reacted with brilliance when they organized students to fight back and march against the NRA and insane gun laws that permit anyone to buy an assault rifle. etc.

Another source of brilliance came from Roy, a school custodian in a South Florida high school who came up with an innovative solution to solving the problem of girl’s putting their lipstick on the bathroom mirrors.

It seems that some of these girls, especially the stuck-up seniors, thought it was cute to see how their lipstick appeared on a mirror, not realizing the mess it created for the school custodian who had to clean the mirrors every day. Roy the Custodian went to the principal for help, but when she broadcast her announcement on the school PA system it only made matters worse.

So Roy the Custodian came up with am ingenious solution.. Watch the video that demonstrates a flash of brilliance from Roy the Custodian.

Note to Brilliant Readers: For some reason, my Brilliant Readers rarely click on videos when I put them on my blog. Do me a favor and check them out every once in a while. Like this one:

What $1500/Month Will Buy You Across America

It’s expensive to live in major cities on the east coast and living in the tri-state area–New York, New Jersey and Connecticut–is the most expensive of all. Ever wonder what it would be like to live somewhere else? Money Magazine recently studied what $1,500/month would buy you in all 50 states. Our editors have picked five examples to give you a taste of what it would cost to live somewhere else on a relatively small rental budget.

STAN: Liar. Liar. Pants on fire. This blog doesn’t have any editors. Goldberger should get the Pinocchio award.
HARRIET: Too late. Trump’s already claimed it!

Trump's nose has grown as he fabricated lies.

Liar-in-Chief, Donald J. Trump. The J stands for Pinnochio.


In Indiana, you can get three bedrooms, two and a half baths and access to a fire pit, pool and hot tub for around $1500/month. In New York, be prepared to squeeze yourself into one-bedroom less than a half that size. For double the cost! And it’s probably a walk-up. Here are examples of how far a $1500/month housing budget would go from across the US.

Alaska: Average $1,500 apartment size: 1,200 square feet.

Alaska on $1500/month rent

In Alaska, you can rent this 1,100-square-foot house in Wasilla, a community north of Anchorage. The three bedroom, two bathroom ranch-style home costs $1,425 per month. And from your backyard, you can see Russia interfering in the US presidential election!

Connecticut: Average $1,500 apartment size: 1,100 square feet.

Connecticut on $1500 month housing budget.

What you can rent in the Nutmeg state: A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in Manchester, a Hartford suburb. The 1,112-square-foot unit features walk-in closets, a storage area, a balcony and an open floor plan that combines the living room, dining room and kitchen for just $1,500 per month.

Florida: Average $1,500 apartment size: 1,140 square feet

Florida oina $1500/month housing budget

Rent: A 970-square-foot apartment in Deerfield Beach, just south of Boca Raton on Florida’s east coast. The $1,551 unit at Quiet Waters at Coquina Lakes comes with a walk-in closet, open floor plan and balcony, in addition to community pool, gym and hot tub access.


Idaho: Average $1,500 apartment size: 1,710 square feet

Idaho Rental on $1500/month housing budget

This Spuds for You: A three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit at Kensington at North Pointe in Boise. The 1,333-square-foot apartment is available to rent for $1,500 and includes a balcony, walk-in closet and access to the community spa, steam room and pool.

Nevada: Average $1,500 apartment size: 1,600 square feet

Nevada housing budget under $1500/month

Rent: A three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Esplanade, a Las Vegas apartment complex. Renters can lease the 1,713-square-foot apartment with a loft, garage, two balconies and community pool access for $1,590.

To read the entire article on What $1500/month rent will get you in every state, click here: Money Magazine

Changing of the Stars–Who They Were Before Who They Became Who They Are

Stars, celebs, and fashion icons are famous for having stage names. Sometimes it really makes sense. Would you buy designer Polo shirt from Ralph Lifshitz? Probably not, but when he changed it to Ralph Lauren, well, it definitely made a difference.

Ditto for President Leslie Lynch King, Jr. Never heard of him? Maybe you remember him as President Gerald Ford.

Here are several celebs, appearing with the names they were born with:

Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez, a k a Bruno Mars

Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez, aka Bruno Mars


Eric Marlon Bishop, aka Jamie Foxx

Eric Marlon Bishop, aka Jamie Foxx

Calvin-Cordozar-Broadus-Jr., aka Snoop Dogg

Calvin-Cordozar-Broadus-Jr., aka Snoop Dogg









Mark Sinclair, aka Vin Diesel

Mark Sinclair, aka Vin Diesel


Caryn Elaine Johnson, aka Whoopi Goldberg

Caryn Elaine Johnson, aka Whoopi Goldberg

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, aka Tina Fey

Elizabeth Stamatina Fey, aka Tina Fey


Margaret Mary Emily Hyra, aka Meg Ryan

Margaret Mary Emily Hyra, aka Meg Ryan

Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, aka Lorde

Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde










Sometimes a childhood prank….

Bobby was getting a little behind in his schoolwork

Bobby was getting a little behind in his schoolwork

….can lead to an impressive career…

Naked Cowboy

I’ll bet The Naked Cowboy’s Mom is so proud her son is in show business

Pledge of Allegiance–Shooting Holes in the NRA’s Incessant, Insane Power Grab

A friend of mine, we’ll call him Mel because that’s his name, sent me a petition that I thought was worth sharing. Although the NRA is worth over $27 billion, it is legally a charitable, non-profit institution. Maybe the best way to curtail its awesome power over the US Congress is to take away its non-profit status.

Here’s the petition and a link to sign it.

“I am disturbed by the response of the NRA leadership in prioritizing political gains over peoples lives. By these actions the NRA is demonstrating that they are not eligible to continue as a tax exempt organization.

That’s why I created a petition to The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate, which says:”The NRA promotes gun violence which is neither charitable nor socially responsible. Therefore they should not receive the benefits of a tax exempt organization. ”

Will you sign this petition? Click here: NRA Petition to Lose their Tax-Exempt Status

The The The That’s All Folks!

Thanks for stopping by today, Brilliant Readers, and for staying until the end. If you enjoyed it, please share it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or leave an anonymous note on a Carl’s Jr.’s menu. See you again as soon as I have some more Brilliant thoughts

STAN: Yeah, if ever!

Here’s How I Got My iPad Back from the Thief Who Stole It


After an 8-month absence, Jack Goldenberg returns with a new edition of his world-famous blog, 10 Minutes of Brilliance. The current blog features all the ingenuity and irreverence that captured the attention of over 20,000 loyal Readers in 2017. (Well, 20,000 before we shut down. Who knows how many are left?)

Today’s blog covers: 1. The Return of Stan and Harriet 2. 10 People Donald Trump Has Not Insulted 3. How Goldenberg Got his iPad Back from the Thief Who Stole It 4. The Brilliance of Simplicity 5. Look What Happened When You Weren’t Paying Attention 6. Five-Part Art Appreciation Course 7. Irony 8. A Final Few Words about Brevity

STAN: Hi Readers, I’m Jack Goldenberg. Welcome back to my stupid, boring blog. Oh, and did I tell you Readers that you suck?
HARRIET: Stan, why are you saying such terrible things and pretending to be Jack?
STAN: (WHISPERS TO HARRIET) Shhhh. Quiet, Harriet. I’m workin’ here.
(STAN RESUMES HIS NORMAL VOICE) Where was I? Oh, yeah. Hi Readers, I’m Jack Goldenberg. And you’re reading my boring, repetitive and redundant blog. Did I mention it’s also stupid?
HARRIET: But you’re not Jack. You’re Stan, Stan.
STAN: Ignore the little lady. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
HARRIET: It’s no use, Stan. Everyone knows you’re not Jack. All they have to do is look in the margin. It clearly says you’re Stan. Look. Over here to the left.

STAN: Oh, damn. I see what you mean.
HARRIET: Besides, this is a terrible time to make fun of Jack. He needs to welcome all his former Readers back. He hasn’t written 10 Minutes of Brilliance in 8  months.
STAN: Eight months huh?. That’s exactly how long I’ve been away.
HARRIET: Well, of course, Stan. You couldn’t appear here without Jack’s help. Remember? You’re imaginary. Jack writes everything you say.
STAN: OK, Harriet, I’m going to tell you this one last time…
HARRIET: I doubt that…
STAN: Here goes. Listen carefully. Jack is imaginary. I am real. And I can prove it to you. I’m here now and Jack isn’t.
HARRIET: I’m not convinced. We’re both just virtual creatures created in Jack’s fertile mind.
STAN: Do I have a fertile mind?
HARRIET: Well, in a way. You are full of….Oh, never mind.
STAN: And stop telling me I’m not real. I’m as real as the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Donald Trump’s heart. And brain.

HARRIET: I can go along with that.
STAN: Hey, what’s that noise?
HARRIET: Sounds like Jack’s working on a new blog. Better scram, Stan. If Jack catches you here, he’s liable to write you right outta the blog.

STAN: I’m blowin’ this pop stand, Harriet. See you later. When he’s gone.

10 People Donald Trump Has Not Insulted

The list of people, organizations, and countries Donald Trump has insulted is large and ever-growing. Just top of mind, and not counting individuals, this list includes women, Mexicans, the press, the judiciary, Gold Star parents, the Pope, the FBI, CIA and our complete intelligence community, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, NFL players, Africa, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and immigrants not from Norway.


Putin No Shirt

SpongeBob Squarepants

Spongebob Squarepants

But surely there are people Trump hasn’t insulted. Yet! Here’s the short list of people Donald Trump has yet to disrespect:

  1. Mother Teresa, Saint
  2. Vladimir Putin, beefcake  and formerly head of the KGB
  3. The Marx Brothers, Karl and Groucho
  4. Vlad the Impaler, impaler
  5. Johnny Appleseed, folk hero and tree hugger
  6. Spongebob Squarepants
  7. A guy in Belgium
  8. David Duke, Imperial Wizard
  9. His family
  10. Uncle Ben, Rice Maker

Here’s How I Got My iPad Back from the Thief Who Stole It

Maybe I was good in a previous life. Or maybe I’m just lucky. But for all the potentially negative things that could happen to me and somehow seem to turn out right, I’m convinced I’m protected by angels. There’s no other way to explain how I got my iPad back from the thief who stole it.

STAN: OK. Here it comes, Harriet Another lie. Another story Goldenschnauzer will stretch beyond exaggeration. Sorry, Harriet, but I doubt Goldenheimer is protected by angels. It’s just another one of his “Liar. Liar. Pants on Fire.” stories that probably never happened.
HARRIET: Actually, Stan, it did happen. And if you can shut your pie hole for a minute, you may be a believer, too.

Everyone has their share of ups and downs. Good days and bad ones. And I’m no different. But on so many occasions, even when things go wrong for me, they have a way of working themselves out.

When I was younger, I lost my wallet five times, but always got it back. With my credit cards and credit still intact. Once I left it in a NYC taxi cab and got it back with my three twenty dollar bills still inside it.

Taxi cabs

Note to Gens X, Y and Z. Cabs were yellow Uber-like vehicles driven my men with unpronounceable names

Sometimes, when I’m in Starbucks, I plop my coat down on a comfy chair to reserve it until I return with coffee. But I take my iPad with me when I order. I know some people think Starbucks is a gentrified place only frequented by upright caffeinated people. But I always remember the most pilfered book in the world is the Bible. So its best to be careful.

One day last month, I forgot my iPad was under my coat when I went to order. I didn’t realize it was missing until I got home. No worries. I was sure someone would find it and turn it in. But just to be safe, I used a Find My iPhone app to locate it. That’s weird. Apparently my iPad was now in a beauty salon a few stores down from Starbucks. I drove back to the salon to retrieve it, but it wasn’t there.

In fact, according to my trusty app, my iPad was now in a pizza parlor ten miles down the street. I was pretty sure I’d never see it again.

Next morning, I got a text from Verizon saying I had gone way over my 2 Gb data limit.  Apparently, they said, I’d been streaming video for 12 straight hours. Without using wi-fi.

God knows what the thief who took my iPad was watching for 12 straight hours, but if wasn’t CNN, he was probably dead by now.

That afternoon, I got an email from someone at a car dealership who said he mysteriously found my iPad in his office . Unfortunately, I saw the email too late to reach the guy at the dealership. No problem. I’d call him in the morning. At this point, I figured he was my angel. Story closed.

No so fast. The next morning when I reached the man who’d found my iPad, he was terribly apologetic. “I’m so sorry,” he said. “God, I can’t believe what I did!”

“What’ja do,” I asked.

“I gave away your iPad.”

“What? Why would you do that?” I wanted to know.

He explained, “Yesterday, I interviewed a guy for a job at my dealership and after the interview, the guy came back two hours later. So I asked him, ” Michael, what are doing back here?”

“Oh,” said Michael, “I came back to pick up my iPad. I left it here.”

“At first I insisted, it couldn’t be his,” the car dealer’s Sales Manager said. “I traced it to a man named Jack Goldenberg.”

STAN: Did he mean Goldman?
HARRIET: No Stan, his name is still Goldenberg.

“I know. I know,” said the thief. “Jack’s my best friend. He loaned it to me. I’m so glad you found it. Jack would have been pissed if I lost it.”

“And so, mistakenly,” the Sales Manager said, “I gave it to him. I’m so sorry I did that.”

At this point it was a weird turn of events.What were the odds of a guy stealing an iPad, leaving it on a job interview, then coming back to retrieve it?

Give up? OK, I’ll tell you. 43,347 to 1. Although I’m sure the odds are a lot better if you have angels on your side.

“Do you happen to have his phone number and address?” I asked the Sales Manager.

“Sure. He was here for a job interview. I have all that. His name is Michael, but his friends call him Mikey.” Then he gave me his cell phone number.

I wasn’t sure what to do next. Should I rat on Mikey and call the police? Nah, too drastic.

Should I ring his doorbell and confront him? Nope, too dangerous.

So instead, I called him early the next morning. I was pretty sure I woke him up. “Mikey, hi, this Jack Goldenberg. (The fact I knew his nickname must have startled him!) You’re my angel, Mikey (you little thief). I understand you found my iPad. Thank you so much for being such a good Samaritan.”

“So glad I could help out,” Mikey said. “Would you like to come to my house to pick it up?” Right! And be shot dead when he answered the door? No way.

Next he coaxed me with another offer. “There’s a bar right around the corner from my house. We could meet there.” Sure, then his friends could beat me up and take my iPhone, too.

So instead, we agreed to meet at a McDonald’s in my neighborhood. When I left my house to meet him, my wife asked me where I was going. “I can’t tell you,” I said, “but if I don’t come back, you’re gonna need a new iPad.”

Anyway, long story even longer. I got my iPad back from the thief who stole it. To this day, I bet he still wonders how I tracked him down. Guess he never heard of angels.

The Brilliance of Simplicity: Alfred, Lord Tennyson Proves “Less is More.”

Everyone has heard the expression “Less is More.” It’s true in many circumstances, but especially when communicating. My favorite example of “Less is More” comes from the great English poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Tennyson never said the words, “Less is More,” but he exemplified them. The story of Lord Tennyson’s college exam brilliantly demonstrates the importance of brevity. I’ve blogged about this story before, but it’s worth hearing again.

If you’re one of my regular Readers–Mike, Robin, Bingo, Ross, Robin, David, Barry, Lesley, Jeff, Geoff, Ernie, Julz, Lisbeth, Annie, Liz, Flynn, Yuri, John, Victoria, Tommy, Susan, Patricia, Debbie, Jay–please skip this part and go onto the next piece.

STAN: Sure it’s worth hearing again. But the real reason is Goldman just doesn’t feel like writing anything new here. I’m tellin’ you, Harriet. Goldfarb’s nothing but a lazy, no-good bum.
HARRIET: You mean Goldenberg, Stan Jack Goldenberg.
STAN: Yeah, he’s a lazy, no-good bum, too.

Where was I?  Oh, yeah. The story takes place when the nineteenth century Victorian poet was only 16 years old. Tennyson was in his sophomore year at Cambridge University and he was taking one of the University’s toughest courses, comparative religions.

His final exam was a long, grueling affair, a 6-hour ordeal with only one essay question on it. Tennyson’s professor handed out the exam booklets and announced the question.

“The Bible says Jesus turned water into wine,” the professor said. “Please explain in detail how he did it.”

“You have six hours to answer that question as completely as possible,” said the professor looking at his pocket watch. “Begin now.”

Eleven of the 12 students opened their exam booklets and began feverishly answering the question. The 12th student, Alfred Tennyson, sat there with his exam booklet and both eyes closed.

“Five hours to go,” the professor announced about an hour into the exam. “Keep writing.” Eleven of the students picked up speed and wrote faster and faster, completing their first booklet and now writing in a second. Tennyson just sat there with his exam booklet closed.

As every hour went by, the assembled students wrote so much, their hands hurt. Many of them filled up 3 or 4 booklets explaining how Jesus turned water into wine. Still, Tennyson just sat there.

“One half an hour to go,” the professor announced. “Start to finish up, class.” He glanced over at Alfred Tennyson. He still hadn’t picked up his pencil. The professor couldn’t understand why Tennyson hadn’t written anything in his exam booklet. He was supposed to be a brilliant student. Was he so stumped by this question that he couldn’t think of anything to write?

“One minute to go,” said the professor said, as he gave a cold hard stare to young Tennyson.

Finally, Tennyson opened his exam booklet for the first time.

“Thirty seconds. Time’s almost up.”

Tennyson picked up his pencil and started to write. There was barely enough time to write one sentence. But that’s all he needed.

“Time’s up! Hand in your booklets,” the professor admonished his class.

All 12 students, including Tennyson, handed in their exams. When the grades were awarded one week later, most ranged from a B minus to B+ Only one student, Alfred Tennyson, aced the exam, and got an A for his efforts.

When he was asked how to explain the miracle of how Christ turned water into wine, Tennyson’s one sentence reply was simply, “The water met its Master and blushed.”

Look What Happened When You Weren’t Paying Attention

You must not have been paying attention. Recently, when you looked away from Life In Front of You, something very unusual happened. They changed the meaning of several words. As a public service, here is the new meaning of:

1.  Coffee (n.), The person upon whom one coughs.
2.  Flabbergasted (adj.), Appalled over how much weight you’ve gained.
3.  Abdicate (v.), To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4.  Negligent (adj.), Describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
5.  Gargoyle (n), Olive-flavored mouthwash.
6.   Flatulence (n.) Emergency vehicle that picks you up after you’re run over by a steamroller.
7.   Pokemon (n), A Rastafarian proctologist.
8.  Oyster (n.), A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish words.
9.  Frisbeetarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
10.  Circumvent (n.), An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

5-Part Art Appreciation Course

As a 10 Minutes of Brilliance Reader you are, quite literally, Brilliant! Why else would you hang around here? But along with having an exceptional mind and insatiable curiosity,  you understand that increasing one’s knowledge is a never ending process. It continues right up until the day you die. And possibly up to three weeks after that!

To satisfy my Readers thirst for knowledge, we’re proud to present this 5-part, condensed Art Appreciation Course.

Painting by Titial

If the background is dark and everyone looks tortured, it’s a painting by Titian



If men expose their backsides and women bare their breasts, it’s a paining by Rubens



If everyone looks like a beggar under a public street lamp, the painting is by Rembrandt


Pieter Brugal

If there are lots of people cramped together in a small space, it’s a painting by Pieter Bruegal


US Congress

If the painting depicts a large group of mostly white men, thieves and ne’er do wells, it’s a painting of the US Congress



Brevity Revisited: Less is still More.

I just saw a headline that tells a unique and magical story about a Girl Scout and her Girl Scout cookie sales. The 11-word headline is so powerful, you don’t need to read the whole story to appreciate what happened in its entirety. You can just see it in your mind. In the interest of brevity and proving that Less is More, here’s all you need to know.

The headline reads:

Girl Scout sells 300 boxes of cookies outside California marijuana dispensary

That little girl was one smart cookie.

Now say goodnight, Stan.

STAN: Goodnight, Stan. Goodnight, Harriet. Good night, Golberg.

How to Attend the Great American Solar Eclipse Right In Your Backyard


Your Personal Guide to Watching the Great America Solar Eclipse in your Zip Code

The Great American Solar Eclipse that hits town today, Monday, August 21, will be here for one Performance only. And it won’t last long. The Universe will be streaming the partial eclipse of the sun for 90 minutes. And the Main Attraction, the total solar eclipse, will only be On Stage for less than three minutes.

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding what you’ll see and when you’ll see it. After all, total solar eclipses are rare events, although not as rare as you probably think. In fact, if you didn’t buy a Front Row Seat for this one, you can catch a total solar eclipse in America in 2024. More on that later.

At 10 Minutes of Brilliance, our team of physicists and astronomers have been working diligently for months to sort through the confusion, so you’ll know what to expect tomorrow no matter where you are in America.

STAN: Liar! Liar! Pants on fire! Goldman’s lying again! He doesn’t have a team of physicians and astrologists. There’s only him, you and me. And sometimes I’m not so sure about you!
HARRIET: For God’s sake, Stan, Goldman’s not lying. Damn, now you’ve got me calling him Goldman!
STAN: I kinda wear on you, don’t I?
HARRIET: No, you don’t. And by the way, his name is Goldenberg. Jack Goldenberg. And he’s just being creative when he…oh, never mind. Just shut your pie hole, Stan, and let Jack continue.

Where was I? Oh yeah. The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are only two Sections where you can watch the celestial Performance of the Century. Unlike a theater where you can sit in the Orchestra, Box Seats, or the Balcony, the only viewing sections for the eclipse are in the Front Row and the Balcony.

Those who live in or who have traveled to the narrow 76-mile band that stretches across America from sea to shining sea have a Front Row view of the Great American Eclipse. They’ll see a total solar eclipse. It’s estimated that crowd will be from 2,000,000 to 7,000,000 people. And by all accounts, they’re in for the time of their lives.

The Great American Solar Eclipse, the total solar eclipse can only be viewed in a narrow 76-mile band that stretches from sea to shining sea.

The total solar eclipse can only be viewed in a narrow 76-mile band that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina.

For the rest of us, about 312 million people, well, we’re stuck in the cheap seats, the Balcony. We’ll only get to see a partial solar eclipse. It’ll be somewhat cool to be there, but not that cool to see it. The sky will darken, but you won’t experience any of the phenomena that those in the Front Row will be talking about the rest of their lives. Sorry, we’re just being honest here.

WARNING #1: Odds 62 million to 1 You’ll Be Disappointed

The odds are 62 million to one that if you only get to see the partial eclipse, you’re going to be disappointed. As one astronomer described it, “The difference between seeing the total solar eclipse and a partial one is Night and Day.” Jeez, you don’t need a telescope to figure that out.

It’s like the difference between watching Macy’s fireworks on TV or sitting right under the fiery boomers as they decorate the night sky. Or watching someone eat an incredible meal on Food TV. It just doesn’t taste the same as when you eat it.

We hate to be downers here at 1o Minutes of Brilliance. It’s just not our normal style. But we want our Readers to be prepared. This doesn’t mean we think  you shouldn’t check out the partial eclipse, if only because you”ll be that much more jazzed about getting Font Row seats the next total eclipse appears over much of America in 2024.

WARNING #2: Do not Look at the partial eclipse at any time with your naked eyes. You May Go Blind!

STAN: Hey Harriet, can I borrow 500 bucks? I’m gonna catch a plane to Nashville tonight. I’ll be right in the path of the totality tomorrow.
HARRIET: Did you buy solar glasses?
STAN: Nah, I don’t think I’ll need them.
HARRIET: Well, you won’t see anything.
STAN: Of course, I will. I just told you. I’ll be right in the part of totality.
HARRIET: No, I meant you won’t see anything because you’ll go blind. Besides I’m not loaning you any money.
STAN: OK, have it your way. I’ll just stay here and watch the partial eclipse without solar glasses.
HARRIET: Stan, you’re just lookin’ for trouble.
STAN: We’ll see.
HARRIET: No, Stan, actually you won’

WARNING for partial eclipse viewers: You CANNOT look directly at the sun during a partial eclipse. The moon does cover quite a bit of it during the partial phases leading up to totality, but you HAVE to use special solar viewing glasses to look at the sun during the eclipse.

WARNING for total eclipse viewers only: During the brief period of totality ONLY, when NO bright part of the sun is showing, you can look directly at the totally eclipsed sun without any kind of filters and you will not believe the sight. The view is simply stunning.

BUT, IMMEDIATELY after totality, (as soon as you see the really bright diamond ring effect again, when the bright part of the sun returns to view), the glasses have to come back on. To repeat: You MUST use the eclipse glasses whenever the sun is not TOTALLY eclipsed – whenever ANY bright piece of it is visible. No matter what “eclipse times” you may get off the internet, on TV or from your crazy Uncle Bob.

If you’re not in the path of totality, you have to use approved solar glasses for the ENTIRE eclipse, and you will not see any cool things during totality that will amaze you.

How Rare Are Solar Eclipses?

Most people assume total solar eclipses are incredibly rare.  They’re not. They happen about once every one to two years. But with 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by water, eclipse attendance is usually limited to fish, whales and Charley the Tuna.

There was a small solar eclipse in the US in 1979, but you have to go back 99 years to 1918 when the moon performed its celestial dance and blocked out the sun across America from coast to coast.

When to Catch THE NEXT Solar Eclipse in North America

If you not in the narrow band across the US where the Great American Solar Eclipse will be visible tomorrow, don’t fret. As mentioned earlier, the Show has been renewed. It’s coming back for a Repeat Performance on April 8, 2024. But that eclipse will only be visible in a much smaller band of land in America from Texas to Maine.

Total solar eclipses that can be seen in North America in the 21st Century

You’ll still have a chance to catch the next total solar eclipse.

And if Ted Williams’ cryogenic head can be revived by September 23, 2099, he can catch a total solar eclipse that will cross about 7 or 8 US states. Although, if only TED’S HEAD is revived, he may need to hitch a ride to see it.

Ted William's Head

“Hi, Uber. This is Ted’s Head. Can you pick me up? I need a ride to the total solar eclipse in 2099. In fact, there may be two of us if Walt decides to join me.”

What is the Best Time to See the Eclipse, Partial or Total, in my Zip Code?

STAN: See, that’s what I’m talking about?
HARRIET: What now?
STAN: Goldenfeld is almost at the end of his blog and he’s finally getting around to telling his Readers when to watch the eclipse in their zip code. It’s like a roller coaster ride with him.
HARRIET: Jack always claimed this is an ADD-addled Scream of Consciousness blog. He just tries to make things interesting. And he’s really a great writer. I know that because he just told me to say it.
STAN: All right, I give in. Say, after the blog is over, you wanna go have some virtual sex.
HARRIET: That’s virtually impossible.
STAN: What if I wear solar glasses?
HARRIET: You’re on.
STAN: That’s what I was hoping for!

Whether you live in 59701 (Butte, Montana), 10022 (New York City), or 33125 (Miami, Florida), you can still enjoy the show if you know when it happens in your area. NASA created a user-friendly animation that simulates how the eclipse will look in any zip code in the United States. Here’s a screen shot from that animation of when the Great American Solar Eclipse will be visible over Denville, NJ. Assuming, of course, Governor Christie doesn’t block the view.


The great American Solar Eclipse

As an example, the moon will block out the largest portion of the sun in Denville, NJ at approximately 2:43 PM. tomorrow.

To see the best viewing times in your zip code, just go to the link below, type in your zip code and click to begin the animation.

Click HERE to see when you can check out tomorrow eclipse in your hometown.

STAN: Is Goldenrod almost done?
HARRIET: Just about.

Final Advice on the Best Way to Experience the Eclipse

1. Recommended food for eclipse watching: Moon Pies

Moon Pie

Moon Pies. Just perfect.

2. Recommended song to play while watching the eclipse: Cat Steven’s Moon Shadow.

Cat Stevens' album "Moon Shadow"

Oh, I’m being followed by a Moon Shadow. Moon Shadow. Moon Shadow

That’s all for now, Readers. Thanks for stopping by. Be safe today. And remember, no mooning.


The Toughest Job in the World Is A Real Mother


It’s Mother’s Day 2017 and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so fasten your seat belts. (Wait. Didn’t Attorney General Sessions outlaw seat belts? Oh no, sorry, that’s next week!) One wish, please. If you like today’s blog, please LIKE IT, Tweet it or send it to your Mother. After all, she’s got you for a kid, she deserves a little honor and a few laughs.

Here’s a rundown on what you can expect today:

1. First up, a description of “The Toughest Job in the World.This Job is so tough, no man on Earth could ever handle it!

2. Next, An Open Letter to Donald Trump. From His Mother. The President’s Mother (Earth) is not happy with Donald Trump. Here’s why!

3. Here’s a Tribute to my Late Mom, although she was hardly ever late, usually right on time,. Well, except in the end. But then again, aren’t we all?

4. What Not to Buy Your Mom for Mother’s Day! Don’t honor your Mom’s never ending love with the gift of a toaster oven.

5. Mother’s Day in Theory. The perfect gift for the Mother of my Daughter

6. STAN Meet His Maker. The notorious STAN meet his Mother for the first time. Again!

STAN: Cool. I’m gonna meet my Mom today?
HARRIET: Shut up, STAN. It’s not time for us to talk yet.

And now, let the festivities begin.

1. The Toughest Job In The World Is A Real Mother!

You may be under the assumption America’s Asst. Liar-in-Chief, Sean Spicer, has The Toughest Job in the World. After all, has to appear before the White House Press Corps moments after the President has tweeted, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! And it’s all Obama fault!”

But whether you dislike the President’s Spokesman or you hate him intensely, you’ve gotta give him credit for lowering his integrity and consistently delivering the President’s ever changing messages.

True, it’s not easy to stand there in the briefing room like Sean does, naked, sans truth, and try to convince everyone that the egg on your face is really an omelet. But Shaun Spicer does not have The Toughest Job in the World, nor do any other members of the Emperor has no Clothes’ administration.


Sean Spicer

Asst. Liar-in-Chief, Seam Spicer, insisting the egg on his face is really an omelet.

Because even those jobs pale when compared to the stress, aggravation and sheer patience that Mothers exhibit every day.

A few years  ago, a Boston newspaper ran an ad for “The Toughest Job in the World.” Over 2 1/2 million people saw the ad. Only 27 people had the stamina and courage to apply for the job

It’s no wonder so few applicants applied. The requirements were a real killer.

Requirements for the Toughest Job in the World

  • Must be able to work 135+ hours a week, no breaks
  • Ph. D. in psychology or real-life equivalent
  • Crisis management skills a must
  • Proficiency handling sticky situations (literally and figuratively)
  • Able to work with associates with minimal ability
  • Breasts, preferably milk producing
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in negotiating, counseling and culinary arts
  • Unlimited patience
  • Understanding of medicine, finance, social media and video games
  • Valid driver’s license, CPR certification and Red Cross membership
  • Positive disposition at all times

And if that weren’t enough to scare you away, The Toughest Job in the World doesn’t even pay a salary. Nada. Nothing! Although three meals a day are included (as long as you cook them.)

If you haven’t guessed it yet, The Toughest Job in the World is a real Mother. No, really, it’s being a real mother, a job so tough and only women can handle it. Here’s some footage from people who applied for the job.


If I forget to mention it, Happy Mother’s Day to Moms Everywhere, They’re America’s most valuable natural resource!

STAN: Hey, what’s goin’ on? I smell something funny here.
HARRIET: Something you stepped in?
STAN: No. No. It’s Goldman. The writer of this blog.
HARRIET: You mean Goldenberg?
STAN: Goldman. Goldenberg. Whatever. Goldbloom’s trying to scam his Readers.
HARRIET: How so?
STAN: He runs “The Toughest Job on the World” blog every Mother’s Day.
HARRIET: Well, that’s true, but when he blogged about three years, he only had 4,000 Readers. Now he has over 24,000. That’s a lot of new Readers
STAN: I know. And it’s all because of me.
HARRIET: Don’t flatter yourself, STAN. Don’t forget, you’re imaginary. Jack writes everything you say.
STAN: Yeah, right, and I suppose the Pope is Catholic.
HARRIET: Pretty much. Look, STAN, it’s true Jack runs this story every Mother’s Day, but he’s updated it so even die-hard Readers won’t mind. So please, just let Jack continue.
STAN: I will, it’s not like I always have to have the last word.
HARRIET: I know. (almost understandingly)
STAN: It’s not like I always have to have the last word.
HARRIET: Shush, quiet, Jack’s back
STAN: Last word.

Where was I? Oh yeah., I’m pretty sure my Mom is reading this 10 Minutes of Brilliance blog in Heaven. I doubt she’s in Hell or Pittsburgh, because Mom led a good life and was never very fond of those places. Anyway, I hope I’ve made her proud.

2. An Open Letter to Donald Trump from His Mother. Mother (Earth).

Dear President Trump:

You are stripping away regulations that will keep my air and water clean.
You have tried to take away health care for millions of my residents.
You are ignoring those who are already born., eliminating funding for programs that aid women and children.
You have threatened to despoil the beauty of my National Parks.

Mother Earth

ATT: Hey, President Trump. Protect the Environment. There is only one Earth. There is no Planet-B. Love, Your Mother

On Mother’s Day, think not just of your children and grandchildren, Mr. President, but of all children and grandchildren who deserve the right, no matter where they were born, or how wealthy they are, to breathe unpolluted air, drink clean water, be protected from dangerous chemicals, and enjoy the natural beauty of their world.
As you play golf at Mar-a-Lago this weekend and fret over the difficult job of being President, remember those who work hard to allow you your lavish lifestyle.
Please take care of me, and all those already living on earth.
I am the only Mother Earth you will ever have.

The above Open Letter appeared in the NY Times on Friday, May 12 as a full page ad.
To express your views, visit Keep Mother Earth Happy.

To make Mother Earth happy, copy this Open Letter to Donald Trump, print it out, sign your name and mail it to:
President Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Of course, he won’t read it. He doesn’t read. Perhaps Ivanka can read it to him, or even Jared, if he’s back from solving the Mid East crises

Or better yet, call the President at 202-456-1111.

Leave this message: President Trump. Mother Earth is not Happy.

NOTE: He will probably not answer the phone. He may be playing golf,  just destroying the environment or canceling healthcare for those who can least afford it. hey, he’s a bust mna. Who knew the Presidency would have been this taxing?

3. A Tribute to My Mom.  Who Had Three Wonderful Children. Oh yeah, and me.

A few years ago, I ran my Mother’s Day blog 2 weeks AFTER Mother’s Day. Boy, was my Mom upset. I felt her wrath all the way from Heaven. (I’m pretty sure she’s in Heaven, because she never liked Hell or Pittsburgh and sometimes couldn’t tell the two apart.

But true to the spirit of my Mom, she took the blame and apologized for my tardiness. She wrote,” PLEASE EXCUSE MY SON JACK FOR POSTING HIS MOTHER’S DAY BLOG TWO WEEKS LATE!

The she signed it, “JACK’S LATE MOTHER.”

My Mom always had a great sense of humor. She loved to pose in pictures with famous fictional characters. Here she is with one of the part-time employees from my Dad’s store who was prone to wearing red suits.

My Mom and Santa Claus. My Mom is the one on the left.

I owe my Mom a lot. Besides my giving me my twisted sense of humor, my Mom gave me a sense of wonderment and curiosity about the world. She also had a love of learning, and taught me about the responsibility to stand up for what’s right and call out what’s wrong. It got us both in a little trouble, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We still have regular conversations, although they’re somewhat one-sided now. Come to think of it, they were one-sided back then! It was just a different person talking,

My Mom lived to be 93 and for most of those years she was full of life. She got her Masters Degree in her late 70s. In a wheel chair. I can’t imagine anything that would have stopped her from doing anything she wanted to do. It drove my Dad crazy.

STAN: Why is Goldberg going to go on and on about his mother?
HARRIET: Because this Sunday is Mother’s Day.
STAN: Well, I’m sick and tired of hearing all this cr*p about Mothers. Hey, did you see that? I tried to say the word cr*p, dam* it, but Goldberger bleeped it out! He really s**ks.
HARRIET: Well, this is a family blog, STAN. Now, let Jack finish. And try to remember you’re just an imaginary character Jack dreamed up. Or he’ll bleep out more than your off-color language.
STAN: Off color? It’s blue.
HARRIET: Exactly.

My Mom was also a bit of a rascal. Not a trouble maker, mind you, but someone who didn’t mind giving the world a little “oudgie” when it deserved it.

Here are a few stories that showcase my Mom’s desire to always keep the world on its toes.

Ever since I can remember, my Mom didn’t get along with her youngest brother, my Uncle Donald. She wasn’t hostile or mean to him. She often loaned him money to help him out of a jam. and he got in more jams than Smuckers. But my Mom did think her brother was lazy and stupid and she had no problem letting him and the world know it.

After my Mom graduated college (at 18), she became a substitute teacher. One day she had to substitute for a history class my Uncle Donald was in. She called on Donald throughout the class, embarrassing him again and again because he didn’t know any of the answers.

After class, my Mom wrote a note, sealed it in an envelope and told Donald to take it home to “his” Mother. If you’re following this story carefully, you’ll note my Mom and Uncle Donald had the same mother, a k a my grandmother.

When my grandmother read the note, she was so mad, Donald thought he saw steam coming out of her head. This may just be urban legend, or perhaps a tea kettle nearby. Hard to say.

The note to my grandma said, “Congratulations. Your son is an award winner. He is the dumbest person on the planet.”

Anyway, there was no signature on the note, so my grandma grabbed Donald by one of his big, flabby ears (oh no, wait , that was Dumbo) and she dragged him to school the next morning to search out and destroy whoever wrote that damming note about her son.

When she got to Donald’s class the next day, she saw her daughter, my Mom, standing at the front of the class.

“Bernice, did you write this note?” she asked.

“Which note?”my Mom said.

“The one that said ‘Congratulations. Your son is the dumbest person on the entire planet.‘”

“Why,” Mom said, “Do you have any other children you think would qualify?”

STAN: OK, not a bad story. Not as boring as most of Goldman’s stories. But I still don’t know why everyone makes such a big deal about Mother’s Day?
HARRIET: Don’t you remember good things about your Mom?
HARRIET: What? What did you say?
HARRIET: You said “you didn’t have a mother?” Of course not , Stan. That’s what I’ve been telling you. You’re not real. You’re just something Jack dreamt up to make the blog more interesting,


STAN: That’s it, Harriet! I’m outta here! I QUIT! I want off the blog. It’s obvious I’m not important to anyone here.
HARRIET: No, Stan, no. You’ve got it all wrong. You’re very important to Jack. He never writes a blog without you. To Jack, you’re practically his leading man. His hero. In fact, Stan, Jack thinks “You’re the Tops.”

WITH THAT COMMENT, HARRIET BREAKS INTO SONG, SINGING COLE PORTER’S HIT, YOU’RE THE TOPS (If you know it, Sing a few bars to yourself, then read on.)

HARRIET: Wasn’t that a touching story, Stan? You know, a mother’s love for her children is the strongest force in the Universe. It’s stronger than Hate, Greed or Power!
STAN: I guess so. But I still don’t see how it relates to me. I’ve never even had a Mother.
HARRIET: Well, you might have one one day, Stan, you never know. Maybe Jack will write your Mother into this blog.
STAN: Never happen, Harriet. Never in a million years.


My Mom around 1950, with two of my three sisters, in some Leave it to Beaver type neighborhood. The little bugger in the baby carriage is me. It’s difficult to see, but I had a pen and paper in my buggy. I was working on my first blog.

Funny Story #2 about my Mom

When my middle sister, we’ll call her Rainy, because that’s her name, was 7 years old, she tried to climb out of her crib and got her leg stuck in the slats. Rainy screamed for help and my Mom came running. “Don’t worry, Rainy, I’ll get you out.” With that, my Mom ran out of the room. A minute later she returned with Old Joe, a neighborhood handyman. Old Joe was carrying a big rusty saw.

My sister Rainy screamed, ” Mom. Mom. What’s he gonna do Mom? He’s not going to cut off my leg, is he?”

My Mom replied, “Well you don’t think I was going to ruin a perfectly good crib, do you?”

My Mom, the Roller Blader. She wasn’t really Roller Blading. My sister was at a park, saw my Mom near a Roller Blade outfit and it didn’t take much to convince her to put it on.

My Mom: Funny Story #3

My oldest sister, JoAnn, had an engagement party in New York at my brother-in-law-to be’s apartment. Both families were equally represented and it was the first time anyone other than my sister and my soon-to-be brother-in-law ever had both families in the same room.. Throughout diner, my sister’s in-laws bragged about this book and that book..And this author and that author. This went on all evening, hardly giving anyone else a chance to talk.

Now, my Mom was an avid reader, but she didn’t feel she had to brag about it. Finally, during dessert, my Mom had a chance to speak. Rosalie, my brother-in-law to be’s mother asked my Mom, “Do you like to read,” asking it as if she were talking to some country bumpkin!

“No, Rosalie,” my Mom answered, “we don’t really read books in Baltimore. But we sure like to f*ck.”

Of course, my Mom, forgetting her manners for a moment, didn’t use any asterisks to express how she was feeling. My Mom was quite a character.


4. What Not to Buy Your Mom for Mother’s Day 2017

As my regular Readers (all 24,000 of them) know, I love to uncover brilliance–especially in marketing. It’s not easy to create something brilliant and stand out from the clutter that’s narrowcast into our eyes, ears and minds every day. The Mother’s Day 2017 campaign from the Peruvian store Oeschle does just that. It takes a stand against buying your Mom a thoughtless gift–something she doesn’t want or need

Peru’s largest retailer has raised the prices of everyday items you shouldn’t buy for your Mom. The price for a bathroom scales has been raised from $59 to$8,572. An iron is “ON SALE’ for $8,799. Ans plastic flowers are being offered for $5,672–all in an effort to get you NOT to buy them.
Click on the video so your don’t insult your Mom this year.

CREDIT: Oechsle – Mom doesn’t want it from Yoshi Ishikawa on Vimeo.


Darfuri women spend the greater part of their existence trying to feed their families.

5. Mother’s Day In Theory

Now that you know what not to buy your Mom, here’s what you should buy her: Anything she wants. Something very special.

Do you know what your Mom’s favorite thing is? Or at least something she really likes? Buy it for her even if she says, “Oh I don’t need anything. All I need is your Love.” She’s right about that. LOVE is more valuable than any material gift. But even still, honor your Mom with a gift she’d appreciate.

As longtime Readers of this blog know, I’ve been forbidden from ever mentioning the name of the Love of My Life (my wife) and her offspring (my daughter) on my blog. They don’t read it. And they want to stay out of it.

But since I know there’s little or no chance they’ll be reading this Mother’s Day blog, it’s safe to tell you want I got my wife for Mother’s Day.

Theory. That’s what I got her. No, I didn’t get her a theoretical gift, I bought her two pants, a jacket and a sweater from the well-known upscale clothing line Theory.

Theory garment bag

No, this wasn’t the gift. Just the garment bag it came in.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I must make a lot of money writing this blog if I can afford an upscale clothing line like Theory. Well that’s true, partially. I do make a small fortune writing 10 Minutes of Brilliance. But fortunately, I bought Margaret (Wait. Forget I mentioned the name Margaret)… Fortunately, I bought my unnamed wife a few outfits from Theory’s Outlet store in Woodbury Common Premium Mall.

Here’s what I got “Sir” ( A cute affectionate nickname I have Marg,.. er,  my wife) for Mother’s Day.

Theory clothing

Sorry, Theory, I’m a Copywriter, not a Photographer. Rest assured they will look great on the woman who shall go unnamed. Happy Mother’s Day, unidentified lady.

I know it’ll look great on her because Theory always does.

Now, back to our program.

Before reading the next post, please turn out the lights and hide, so we can surprise STAN.

6. STAN Meet His Maker. The notorious STAN meet his Mother for the first time. Again!


SFX: Knock. Knock.
STAN: Is this a knock knock joke?
HARRIET: No, I think someone’s at the door.

STAN: I didn’t know blogs have doors!
HARRIET: Shut up, STAN, give Jack some creative license here. Will you just see who’s there??
SFX: Sound of a door opening
STAN: Yes, how can I help you?
STAN: Yes?


STAN’S MOM: Don’t you recognize me, son?
STAN: Should I?
STAN’S MOM: STAN, I’m your Mother.
STAN: Right! Look lady, I don’t have a Mother.
STAN’S MOM: You do now! Jack just wrote me into the blog.


STAN: Are, are you sure you’re my Mom? My real Mom? (THE WORDS ALMOST GET CAUGHT IN STAN’S IMAGINARY THROAT.)
STAN’S MOM: Of course, STAN, I ought to know my own son, shouldn’t I?
STAN: B-but, how are you so sure?
STAN’S MOM: Your favorite food is steak. You hate asparagus and Lima Beans. And the only time you drink beer is when you’re having hard shell crabs.
STAN: Hard shell crabs?
STAN’S MOM: Yes, with Old Bay.
STAN: How do you know all that?
STAN’S MOM: I’m your Mother, STAN. Of course, I know everything about you. It’s in my job description. Look, if you don’t believe me, just look over here to the right.

STAN: It’s true! You are my Mom! God, this is the happiest day in my blog life.
STAN’S MOM: STAN, how come you didn’t send me a Mother’s Day card? No card. No chocolates. No roses, No phone call. And when was the last time you cleaned up your room, Little Stanley? Or took a bath? Or ate your broccoli? Or visited your grandmother?

STAN: Listen to her. She’s only been my Mom for five minutes, and already she’s driving me crazy.
STAN’S MOM: I love you, STAN.
STAN: I love you too….Mom.

And now we pause for a moment of peace and wisdom!

“When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep.
Like my grandfather did.
Not screaming my head off like the passengers in his car.

OK, Goys and Birls, that’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by and for staying til the end. It’s because of Brilliant Readers like you that we now have over 24,000 subscribers. Stay tuned for a very special blog, soon. The next time I get another Brilliant Idea!

This is your bloggist, er, blogger, oh, what the Hell, it’s me saying goodbye. Good night. And drive safely.

And Now a few words from our sponsor, Me.

If you actually got to the end of the blog, then thank you so much. You’re obviously a homicidal maniac or a very loyal follower. But of you could do me one more favor and LIKE the blog  and send it to your Mon. Sure, she’ll fall asleep reading it, but who cares?

And while you’re at it, tell your  Mom I said hi.

CREDITS: I get by with a little help from my friends

Special thanks to two friends who are always there for me. Graphic Designer Extraordinaire Ian Tremaine who contributed Sean Spicer wearing a little egg on his face. He is my friend, confidant and partner  (professional only, of course) and I am lucky to use his many talents on all things graphic. Next tim, I’ll salute other incredible Graphic dsigners who I am lucky enough to work with,

Also, thanks to Michael Yublosky who helps me with SEO. In addition, Michael is a much sought-after Linked-In guru.

That’s all for today, Readers, I appreciate your stopping by and staying for the long hall. Come back next time, whenever that is, when we will reveal The Top 10 Reasons Donald Trump Would Make A Terrible Advertising Copywriter.