Let’s face it. Winter 2015 has been brutal. Snow. Snow. More snow. Ice. Freezing Rain. And then more Snow.
It’s gotten so bad, I’ve got Log Cabin Fever. I just want to stay inside til Spring and eat pancakes.
Part of me thinks climate change is responsible. While another part of me keeps hoping it’s just an overly ambitious post-movie campaign for Disney’s Frozen.
If Mother Nature is going to wreak havoc with every aspect of your life this Winter, remember some of the great advice our Moms used to give us.
No, no.! I’m not talking about when your Mom said,
I’m talking about when she said,
With that sage advice in mind, here are 10 examples of people who refused to let the snow and bitter cold get the best of them. Instead, they got the best of Mother Nature and Old Man Winter.
Well, that’s all for now. This is just a short blog to warm up your winter. Stay tuned, though, because I’m halfway through my once-a-year look at Toy Fair. I’ll be revealing Einstein da Vinci & Goldenberg‘s 10 Best of Show Toys at Toy Fair 2015. You won’t want to miss this behind-the-scenes look at what will be the best toys under the Christmas tree.
It’s an event so big, I even had a noted Canadian artist create a logo for me. Here. I’ll show it to you.
Thanks for checking out my compilation of the best Winter photos. I hope it inspires you to build your own snow sculptures, laugh at Mother Nature and Blow Off Old Man Winter.
One more thing. I kept Stan and Harriet off this blog because I found out Stan has been planing something behind my back. I don’t know exactly what it is, but if you hear about it first, please let me know.
Until the next time we meet, may your cocoa be hot and filled with marshmallows. Bye now.
STAN: Is he gone?
HARRIET: Yes, but I don’t think you should follow with what you’re gonna do. Jack will be furious.
STAN: I don’t care, Harriet! Keeping me off this week’s blog was the last straw! And I don’t want you to telling Goldstein or his Readers what I’ve got planned, you hear?
HARRIET: If you don’t want me to spill the beans that you’re planning your own blog, then I promise not to say a word.
STAN: Good. Let’s leave it at that.
Hi, Welcome to 10 Minutes of Brilliance.
STAN: It’s more like 10 Minutes of Stupidity.
I’m your host, Jack…
No, no, it’s Goldenberg. Jack Goldenberg, Stan,. Now will you please shut up?
STAN: Hey, a**ho**, you’re the writer. Make me.
STAN: All right, all right. I get it. I’ll be good (for a while).
Today’s blog reveals:
1. Three Recently Discovered New Maps of the United States
2. 10 Cool Inventions You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
3. Let’s Pause for Ten Seconds of Zen
4. The Latest News on Exploding Kittens
5. An Advertising Story from My Checkered Past. This One’s for the Birds.
And so it begins…
Kids today don’t know a damn thing about geography. When I grew up we had to memorize country names like Burma, Ceylon, Persia, Rhodesia, Zaire and and faraway places like Pikesville, Maryland.
It was important for us to memorize these places and know approximately where they were located.
Not sure why it was important, though. None of those countries are still around. Oh, wait, they’re still here. They didn’t vanish. The just have new names. You know, like Datsun became Nissan. And Abott became Costello.
STAN: If Goldman has somethin’ to say, why can’t he just say it?
HARRIET: Don’t challenge, Jack, Stan. Especially so early in the blog. If he deletes this blog before he posts it, the only place we’d be working in his last blog on the Super Bowl.
STAN: Please, Harriet, I’d rather be the comic foil on the Entanglement Spectocoscopy of Quantum Matter blog or The Wit and Wisdom of the 2016 Republican Presidential Candidates than suffer though that turged tome again.
HARRIET: Then quit yer yappin’ and let Jack finish.
So here’s what I was thinking. Since most boomers have forgotten what they learned 600 years ago in school and since today’s Millennials and the most recent generation, Gen Z, never had to learn country names or fold maps, I’m proposing a new set of maps that more Americans can relate to:
Here are a few suggested maps stolen in the dark of night from other places on the Internet. To enlarge each map so you can read them better, Mac users should hold down the Command and Plus keys.
PC users should buy a Mac.
Or how about a map that identified each state by what they were worst at?
Or we could really simplify things by defining the most popular TV shows set in every state. Surely that’s something even Baltimorons could understand.
Some inventions don’t solve a huge human problem. Like stairs that contain a sliding board.
Other inventions are quite brilliant and useful. I love this one.
Here are a few more real inventions:
When Mathew Inman, Elan Lee and Shane Small launched a card game called Exploding Kittens on Kickstarter, they had a modest goal. They only wanted to raise $10,000. Twenty minutes after putting the project on Kickstarter, they reached their goal.
Within an hour they raised one million dollars.
Their project is still live with less than two weeks to go. They’ve raised over $5 million and attracted 130, 657 supporters, the largest number of individual backers, in Kickstarter history.
What is so attractive about Exploding Kittens? After all, it’s not even a video game. It’s just a very clever deck of cards. According to one of the co-founders, Elan Lee, “This is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.”
OK, that explains it!
The story takes place in the prehistoric past. Not just before Google Maps, but back before people had any inkling what a GPS was or why they even needed one.
In case you missed my earlier post on today’s blog, I should explain that back around the mid 1980s, people would travel from place to place guiding themselves with a folding phenomenon called “maps.” The directions on these “maps” were printed on material made of cellulose pulp, wood, rags, and certain grasses, processed into flexible sheets deposited from an aqueous suspension.
My client, a telecommunications company called Communications Electronics, was introducing the first global positioning system to the Baltimore marketplace. We created an elaborate invitation designed to entice the top executives of 25 fleet car companies to witness how a GPS operated.
We figured they would be the ideal first adapters of this new invention designed to get drivers from here to there quickly and more accurately.
The invitations went out and no one responded. No one even RSVP-ed their regrets.
Rather than re-inviting these executives by explaining the advantages of GPS technology, we sent each of them a live homing pigeon along with information on the GPS demo.
We told our invitees that the pigeons they’d just received were homing pigeons and they was very much like a GPS. Because no matter where they were released, the pigeons could always find their way home.
We told the executives that if they wanted to attend the demo, all they had to do was release the pigeon. There was a band on each bird identifying the 25 company executives we invited.
We also told the executives that if they didn’t want to attend the event, they should just keep the pigeon.
Do you know what? All 25 executives released their pigeons and attended the demonstration. Many of them brought two or three other people with them.
They probably just came along to see what kind of crazy ad agency would send out live pigeons as part of an invitation.
But really, they didn’t have to attend the event.
They could have just kept the pigeons.
OK Brilliant Readers, I appreciate that you stopped by to see what was on my mind. If you enjoyed today’s blog, please leave a comment or use the space if you have any questions.
Of course, that’s not likely to happen. A few regulars are in my good graces for leaving a comment every once in a while. But although we have over 20,000 subscribers, (I know. It says 11,000 subscribers below. I have to fix that.) few Brilliant Readers ever leave a comment. I’ll get over it. Maybe.
Until the next time we meet, all I can say is… OK Stan, take it from here…
STAN: Why don’t you all ** **** *******ves.
HARRIET: Way to go, Stan. Now we’ll never get a job on another blog.
STAN: Say, you wouldn’t happen to have the number for the Entanglement Spectocoscopy of Quantum Matter blog , would you?
HARRIET: No, I don’t. Now, say you’re sorry, Stan.
STAN: You’re sorry, Stan.
Super Bowl 49 (sorry, no one speaks Latin here) is shaping up to be an epic battle.
And I’m not just talking about the commercials.
It’s a battle of champions to the bragging rights of who’s the Best Football Team in the World.
I don’t want to state who I want to win right now, but after the game I’ll reveal whether I wanted the tough Seattle Seahawks or the cheating New England Patriots.
The one-and-only Super Bowl attracts everyone from die hard fans….
…to One Day Fan-atics who just come for the wings, pizza, subs and beer. These football neophytes celebrate every aspect of the Super Bowl except one. Watching the game! Oh, they’ll catch a play or two in between commercials, but they’re too busy socializing and stuffing their pieholes to realize:
Well, since I am a fan of the underdog…
STAN: I think Golberg’s lost it, he’s had too many pre-game Super Bowl wings. He can’t seem to follow a straight thought.
HARRIET: That’s just the way Jack writes, Stan. His mind wanders.
STAN: Yeah, well if I wrote the blog, I could get from here to…..
STAN: Very funny. I could get from here to there.
HARRIET: But what would you write about?
STAN: Me. My accomplishments. My humanity. My good looks. Maybe even my sexual prowess.
HARRIET: That might work.
HARRIET: Sure. Some people like a short blog.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, I am often a fan of the underdog, so I decided to offer Football Dummies (sorry, Football Dummies) a reason to pay attention to the epic battle today on TV. And what better way to do that than to give them their own pool designed for the football illiterate.
After all, everyone pays attention when you’ve got some pigskin in the game! And this pool is so simple, even Stan could play it. Well, maybe not.
This is the perfect pool for those who can’t tell a helmet from a hat trick, eh? Or people who thought Tom Brady should see a doctor because two weeks ago he was playing with deflated balls.
In The Football for Dummies Super Bowl Pool you don’t have to know Nuttin’, Honey. Every question is multiple choice and the only two choices are YES or NO.
I’ve attached an pdf of the pool so you can print out copies of the pool. Just decide how much you want your friends to wager, print out copies, distribute them to your Super Bowl guests, and collect all pool entries before the start of The Big Game.
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. After you’ve collected the money, send it to me. Use PayPal. And send it in bitcoin, OK?
And if you find your crowd still isn’t interested in betting or even watching the game, after pool questions below, I’ve listed 25 More Super Bowl Party Rules that were in Friday”s The Wall Street Journal in a very funny article by Jason Gray. The article is worth reading because I’ve only stolen, I mean borrowed with attribution, some of Jason’s funny comments.
One Way or another, you’re sure to have a SUPER great time! For a print version of the Super Bowl Pool, click here.
Oh, don’t waste your pre-game prep time reading all the questions below. You can read them when you print out the pool (See above.) .
Also, the pool shown below is not the exact one you’ll see when you print it out. I simplified it so all the questions are about both teams, not just the lying, cheating team from New England. So you’ll only need to answer YES or NO. Good luck.
(Note to my Readers: Give credit where credit is due. I did not write these Super Bowl Party Rules below. They were written by some Gay guy at The Wall Street Journal.)
by Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal
1. If you have a choice of Super Bowl parties to attend, always—always!—go to the party with the best food-and-drink situation. You will survive a Super Bowl party with a less-than-stellar TV. You will not survive a Super Bowl party with bad chili and a host who thinks pickled eggs make a good appetizer.
2. Cereal is a surprisingly brilliant thing to bring to a Super Bowl party. At first, everybody will be like, “What’s with the cereal, idiot?” Midway through the fourth quarter, everybody will be destroying that box of sweet, delicious, comforting Froot Loops.
3. If you’re hosting and need a last-minute snack suggestion: Tater Tots. No one in human history has ever objected to a hot tray of crispy Tater Tots.
4. If you think you’ve eaten too many wings, you’ve eaten too many wings.
5. If you’re dipping wings into ice cream, ask someone to call you a cab.
6. There’s somebody at your Super Bowl party who’s on a 10-day juice cleanse. He or she just ate half a pizza in the bathroom.
7. Yes: Your homemade guacamole recipe is good, but everybody’s homemade guacamole recipe is good. That’s why it’s called guacamole.
8. The best seat in front of the TV must always be surrendered to the host. When the host says, “Oh, I’m just fine standing here,” it means “Please get out of my chair right now.”
9. Sometimes you find an empty chair and sit in it for 20 minutes before you realize you’re sitting in the dog’s chair. It smells a little funky, there’s hair on your jeans, and there’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel giving you a surly look.
10. You think you don’t want to sit on the beanbag chair, but it turns out the beanbag chair rules. On Monday, you will buy a beanbag chair on eBay. Two beanbag chairs, in fact.
11. There’s a guy at the Super Bowl party who made a big deal in September of telling everyone he was fed up and boycotting the NFL. You can remind him of this.
12. The Seahawks’ uniforms make them look like cops in a future robot movie. The Patriots’ uniforms make them look…well, the Patriots are dressed like the mid-1990s.
13. If you are new to football, that is not a grumpy lighthouse keeper on the sideline. That’s New England head coach Bill Belichick.
14. There will be guests who sit down and repeatedly say, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
15. Within two years, Hollywood will make a buddy action movie with Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski, and it will be superb.
16. If the game is boring and a blowout, you can leave at halftime. That’s what the Denver Broncos did last year.
17. If you stay for halftime, don’t pretend you don’t know any Katy Perry songs. Everyone on the face of the planet knows at least two Katy Perry songs. Even if you don’t think you know Katy Perry songs, you know Katy Perry songs.
18. In the second half, briefly switch over to the Kitten Bowl. If nobody notices, those brownies might have been magic brownies.
19. If you find yourself watching the Super Bowl with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie , be warned: The man likes to hug.
20. There are at least three or four people at your Super Bowl party who will have a loud, 45-minute conversation about how they’re “cutting the cable cord” like they’re climbing Everest or something.
21. If a guest drinks the last beer in the fridge without asking the host first, launch an investigation. The NFL will do its own investigation, which will conclude in 2079.
22. If you are watching the Super Bowl on a plane, the plane will begin its final descent to the airport and the TV will suddenly shut off with three minutes left in the fourth quarter. That’s the rule when you watch football on an airplane. Happens every time.
23. There will be at least one controversial video replay in the game that will last longer than your junior year of college.
24. Remember: All guests that arrive at your party are 12.5 PSI. If they step outside for 10 minutes, their PSI can drop by as much as 2 pounds per square inch.
25. If you do not get that joke, ask someone at the Super Bowl party to explain it. It only takes six to eight hours to explain.
Write to Jason Gay at Jason.Gay@wsj.com
Gotta go. Have fun today. May the best team who has never been caught cheating win!
Today’s blog contains:
1. The #1 Reason to Never Move to Florida
2. Obituary, Tony Verna, Inventor of the Instant Replay
3. The Top 10 Best Signs of 2014
4. View from Tony’s Backyard- He’s So Hip, He’s Fleek!
5. BREAKING NEWS! Never-Before-Seen Footage of the Epic New York Blizzard of 2015
At the end of December, I went to Naples, Florida for my middle sister’s birthday party. I don’t usually use my family’s real names in 10 Minutes of Brilliance, so for the purpose of this blog, let’s just called her Rainy. Besides that my sister’s name, Rainy. It’s short for Lorraine.
Rainy’s birthday party was a 2-day event shared with relatives and many, many of her friends. I’m telling you all this because even though I had a terrific time in “the Sunshine State,” I have unearthed for you, my Readers, why you should never ever move to Florida. And if you’ve moved there recently, I’ve got an excellent reason to pack your bags and head home.
Politics is one reason you might not want to live in this most southern “Red state.” When I was in Florida, the county legislature was considering a ban on same-sex marriage. Twenty one states and the District of Columbia have passed same-sex marriage laws. Even the Bush-packed Supreme Court will most probably make same-sex marriage the law of the land this year when they rule on its constitutionality.
Still, some Floridians believe homosexuality is a choice and only reprogramming will fix the situation.
And when I say “reprogramming,” I’m not talking about using your DVR!
Still, political views aren’t the #1 reason to not move to Florida.
I also read when I was there that one of Florida’s counties was considering banning books. Now, I don’t know what books they were planning to burn, but that’s so fascist and un-American, it defies description. Still, making sure books conform to some people’s sense of morality is not reason enough to never move to Florida. Although it is close.
Before I reveal the #1 reason to never move to Florida, I’d appreciate if you’d make sure the kids have left the room. It’s gonna get ugly. And before I tell you the horrifying reason you should never move to Florida, let me warn you: you can’t un-see or un-think what I’m going to say. It’s like that video of Chris Cristie hugging Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones. Once you’ve seen it, you can never get it outta your head.
So really, you may wish to leave the room, too. No problem. I’ll wait.
But if you do stay, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here goes. Please make sure your are seated and not using heavy machinery. Ready?
Florida has combined pet and car washes!
That right, you can have your Honda Civic cleaned and shined at the same time you can wash and wax Fido, Jasper or Rin Tin Tin. (What kind of name is Rin Tin Tin, anyway?)
I admit I was too frightened to see this horrible event in person, so I confess, at first, I didn’t actually witness it first hand. I can only imagine how it works.
Do they just ask you to open your back window while Rover gets sudsed up, watered down, blow dried with those giant blowers, then wiped dry by six foreign nationals? (Press #2 if you can say Green Card in Spanish.`)
Or do they actually hook your favorite doggie onto some small sled, then whisk him through the water, suds and wind tunnel behind a Hyundai Sonata and in front of a Volkswagon Beetle.
It appears you don’t even need to be a human to wash and clean your pet canine. Apparently, dogs can bring other dogs to Self-Serve Dog and Car Washes where one dog hoses down another! For an extra $5, they can add undercoating.
Personally, I think that’s a rip off. Sorta like one-hour Martinizing!
Being human, I had trouble getting into the Pet Car Washes. Even after disguising myself! But finally, I had to see the Self-Serve Dog Wash for myself. So I bribed a German Shepherd to let me into the Self-Serve Dog Wash on Route 66.
At first, I offered him a 10 spot, but he refused. He only wanted Bacos, Kibble ‘n Bits or Gravy Train. I barked like a Basenji, but he wouldn’t budge. He also wouldn’t Sit. Fetch. Or rollover either.
I’ll show you evidence so you can see for yourself what this dog eat dog world has come to. Look at this little Jack Russel Terrier with his nose pressed up against the glass in the Self-Serve Dog Wash on Rte. 66. (If any of my Brilliant Readers are dog lovers or if they are actual dogs, I would appreciate knowing the breed of this dog.
STAN: What kid of an ending was that? Goldenboy su*ks. He couldn’t even craft a proper ending.
HARRIET: Stop complaining, Stan. Or Jack will kick you right off the blog. Now let’s go on.
STAN: Well, I have to give Goldsboro some credit.
HARRIET: Not Goldboro, Stan, Goldenberg. Jack Goldenberg. You’ve been on his blog for 4 years now. You should know this name by now!
STAN: Aw, don’t give me that cr*p, Harriet. Don’t start saying Jack Goldenrod is real and I’m imaginary.
HARRIET: You aren’t real, Stan, Jack writes everything you say.
STAN: Oh, so I’m imaginary, huh?
STAN TAKES OFF HIS SHIRT WHILE HARRIETT STARES AT HIM IN AMAZEMENT. THEN HARRIET REMEMBERS, ”Oh, well, yeah. I forgot Stan isn’t exactly the brightest bulb in the Crayon factory.”
STAN: Hey, Harriet, imagine this!
STAN STARTS TO TAKE DOWN HIS PANTS.
HARRIET: All right, all right, Stan. Please, leave your pants on! This is all-family blog. Let’s get back to how this thing started. You said you were going to give Jack some credit. What did you mean?
STAN: Just that for once in his sad little blog life, he didn’t take the low road. You know, most writers publish a Top 10 List chronicling things from the previous year. I’m just surprised Goldman didn’t resort to one of those year-end Top 10 Lists. That would have been weak. And demeaning.
HARRIET: If Jack had any Top 10 Lists for 2014, I’m sure he would have published them by now.
STAN: So, I guess he’s not a total loser after all.
Everybody in the media and their Smother’s brother has a 2014 End of the year Best and Worst of EVERYTHING list.
Since I don’t want you, my Readers, to be left out, I felt compelled to compile a list of The 10 Best Signs of 2014. According to, well, me. Here they are:
I was really happy Tony W. and Alan F. (not their real initials…maybe) were my college roommates for my senior year at American University. Both of them were so COOL, I was sure some of it would rub off on me. It didn’t!
Alan was a great dresser and Mr. Cool about Everything. Some people just can’t help being COOL.
If Alan was COOL, Tony was Ultra-COOL. As his roommate, I planned on being Ultra COOL by association. No such luck.
I saw Alan and Tony a few years ago at a fraternity reunion. They still had it. In fact, they were so cool they were fleek.
Fleek? Fleek? What does not “fleek” mean. You don’t think that’s a word, do you, my Brilliant Readers? After all, you’ve never heard it before have you?
Fleek? I must be kidding.
Well, Fleek is a word, in fact, it’s so cool and hip, it’s only just starting to catch on. It means “on point, or “totally authentic.”
Only the in-crowd of the in-crowd even bothers to use it. Well, that was true at first. But now the Madison Avenue spies working for Denny’s have used the word “fleek” in a tweet to describe their hashbrowns. Denny’s, huh? Can’t imagine anything cool coming out of their kitchens!
STAN: Look, Harriet. Goldberg’s losing it. It takes him waaaay too long to get to the point.
HARRIET: And your point is?
STAN: Why not just say to his Readers, “I saw some cool photos. Would you like to see them?”
HARRIET: And that’s how you’s do it, huh, Stan?
STAN: Damn straight, Harriet! It’s pretty fleek of you to notice.
HARRIET: So why don’t you introduce those photos. I sure you can be just as engaging as Jack. (HARRIET, TONGUE IN CHEEK, LAUGHS TO HERSELF.)
STAN: OK. Sure.
STAN: Attention, Readers! Get off your fat a** and listen up. Truth is, Jack’s friend and college roommate. Tony, didn’t see a damn thing from his backyard. Except maybe Sarah Palin looking at Russia.
STAN: Face it. Goldberg’s is a liar. A lazy, good for nothing, no-talent writer who….
HARRIET: All right Stan, that’s enough. I’ll take it from here. What Stan was trying to say is the top photographs on the year can now be viewed online. Showing them on Jack’s blog doesn’t do them justice. To see these award-winning photos of 2014 from National Geographic (Hi Eric L, now put away those National Geos and finish your homework!”), go to this link on Buzzfeed. The shots are really incredible!
STAN: Or paste this link below into your trousers!
Here’s one of them. It’s called “A Well-Earned Rest,” shot by Evan Cole. It was shot in the Sahara Desert, Unfortunately, the format of this blog doesn’t allow us us to display it properly.
HARRIET: There, Stan, was that so hard?
STAN: You want me to answer that?
HARRIET; No, I guess not.
In NY, they called it Epic! Historic! The Blizzard of the Century.! And though you might have heard on TV it fizzled out in The Big Apple, you’ve just been watching the wrong channels. Her’s how the epic New York Blizzard of 2015 was captured on film. Er, make that video.
Well, that’s all for today you fleek Readers of 10 Minutes of Brilliance. As always, I appreciate your stopping by. I’ll try to blog more often.
STAN: I’ve heard that before.
But I guess I’ve promised you that before. Look, maybe I can get Stan to help. It’s about time he added something constructive to my blog.
STAN: That’s not gonna happen anytime soon, Goldenboy. I’m your perfect foil, your alter-ago. I say the things you never could say. You’d be lost without me.
I’d still have Harriet.
STAN: Harriet? Harriet? Hah! She’s not even real, Goldman. Like you, she just something I made up.
NARRIET: So, I guess you made her up so you have someone to talk to.
STAN: Well, yeah that, and to have sex with.
Oh, not when you’re here. We just do it when you’re offline.
That’s enough. Now, say goodnight, Stan!
STAN: Goodnight, Stan!
Goodbye, Readers. Thanks for the use of the hall.