Trump Is Best President Ever. Moon Made of Green Cheese. Earth Is Flat.


In a recent poll of Americans who can remember at least one branch of the US government, President Trump received a whopping  133% approval rating. The poll, taken by the Phew! Polling Research organization, named Donald Trump the Best US President EVER.

“I’m even a better president than Fake US Presidents George Washington, Abe Lincoln and Alec Baldwin,” tweeted a jubilant Donald Trump from the recently opened Kentucky Fried Chicken Wing of the Oval Office. Also, as far as we know, there was no truth to the rumor TRUMP wanted to appoint Col. Sanders to run the Veteran’s organization.

TRUMP aboard AIr Force once relaxing with a family-sized bucket of KFC.

TRUMP aboard Air Force once relaxing with a family-sized bucket of KFC. (TRUMP’s hands shown actual size.)

Then TRUMP tweeted: I’ve said many times I know more about the military than generals. I know more about the economy than economists. And I know more about porn stars and Playboy bunnies than any US President. Not counting Milliard Fillmore, of course. I think I met him once.

TRUMP: Hey, Kellyanne Conwoman, was that last tweet too long?
KELLYANNE: No problem, Mr. Best President Ever. We’ll just change the rules or deny you ever said it.
TRUMP: Can we do that, Kellyann?
KELLYANNE: Every day, Mr. Best President Ever. We do it every day. Sometimes hourly.
TRUMP reaches across the table and thrusts his tiny hand into the KFC bucket pulling out a chicken wing.
TRUMP:  You gonna eat this wing?

The English writer and essayist GK Chesterton once said, “The problem with most people is they understand everything too soon.” Sound familiar, Mr. Best President EVER!?

Check out this video of just a few of the things that the Best President EVER knows more about than anybody else in the world.

Other reasons why TRUMP has earned the Best President EVER title.

He’s a Job Maker.

White House insiders

Look at all the jobs he’s created just by firing White House insiders. And he’s just getting started

He’s a Hard Worker.

He didn’t just drain the swamp. He restocked it.

Betsy De Vos

Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, said she didn’t plan to visit under performing schools. She believes in school choice…for those who can afford it.

Scott Pruitt

Scott Pruitt, Secretary of the Environmental Protection Agency, has lowered pollution standards and done everything he can to wreak havoc on his own agency. Science be damned.

Ben Carson

Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and winner of Gilbert Gottfried’s Blind Man’s Bluff Award, has scaled back fair housing enforcement.


He United America.

A United America is expected to send TRUMP a reply in 2018 and 2020.

He sticks to his guns and never gives up.

Even after proof that President Obama was born in Hawaii, Trump refused to give up his birther claims.

So far all those reasons and many more TRUMP is America’s Best President EVER!

And now, a guest blog post from my good friend, the soon-to-be ultra rich Jay Harrison. He just got a letter from some guy in Nigeria. Pretty soon, Jay will be a gazillionaire.

It’s From Nigeria, And It Could Make Me Rich

Got an email today that was very disturbing, from a Moses Odiaka. I don’t think I know him, in fact I’m sure I don’t know him, because he’s from Nigeria. I don’t know anyone from Nigeria, unless you count Bosh the exchange student that I met about 45 years ago. This Moses Odiaka seems to have done very well for himself, as he explains in the email that he works in the Credit and Accounts Department of Union Bank of Nigeria, PLC, in Lagos. Sounds like a very good job with a reputable firm, but then I don’t know much about Nigerian banking.

Nigerian prince

Jay’s Mom questions whether the Nigerian Letter might be a scam.

Anyway, the email was disturbing to me because, as Moses explains it, there was an engineer by the name of Manfred Becker who died in a plane crash during the time of the late General Sani Abacha. These are all new names to me, but who wants to learn of even a stranger’s death in an email?

According to Moses, Mr. Becker had an account with the Union Bank of Nigeria that at the time of his death contained $18.5 million. Now here’s the next disturbing news — no next of kin has come forward with the password to access the account. Can you believe that? Over $18 million is just sitting there.

So Moses has come up with an idea that is really brilliant when you think about it. Since Manfred Becker was a foreigner to Nigeria, Moses thinks that if another foreigner were to come forward to claim the money, the bank would find that perfectly normal under the circumstances. He has retrieved the password record from the bank’s vault and is currently holding that information in his possession.

The reason he emailed me, and you’re not going to believe this part, is that he needs someone, a foreigner, to come forward and claim the money. If a local made a claim for the money, the bank would know something was hinky. In exchange for me stepping forward to claim the money, Moses has assured me that I will get a cut of the $18 million.

Now before you get as excited as I did, keep in mind that he is the one who got the password and he is the one who has been monitoring the account. In other words, Moses has done most of the work, so I expect he will want most of the money. To be honest, I don’t have a real problem with that.

Nigerian Scam

Nigerian Scam

Moses is in Europe at the moment, but he gave me his phone number and two private email addresses so that I could get in touch with him. That’s when we will discuss how to split the money up. In the meantime, he needs my telephone number, my bank’s name, and account number, so that he can complete the application for transfer of the funds by wire from Manfred Becker’s account to mine.

As you can imagine then, I have gone from getting the most disturbing news to learning that I could be a millionaire. And the irony is that I don’t even know where Nigeria is on a map, but I’m beginning to think it’s a great country.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. Jay has also written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author. Today’s guest blog post and many others that look at life from a humorous perspective can be found at Jay’s online publication, Boomspeak.

Product Recommendations from 10 Minutes of Brilliance

These days it seems everybody is in the recommendation business. After all, there’s nothing like relying on strangers you’ve never met to make your own decisions. Here are 10 Minutes of Brilliance’s Recommended Products.

We recommend:


Yumm! Yumm! Arsenic wafers. So good, they’re to die for.


children and alcohol

Trix may be for kids, but so is alcohol. Raise your glasses and toast the younger set. Just remember not to drink and ride your tricycle.


Like Wonder Bread, Radium builds strong bodies 12 ways. You’ll not only be growing, you’ll be glowing!





















less cancer causing

Better tasting Penis Reduction pills! Now that’s an improvement! But there’s more. They now have less cancer causing ingredients. What’s not to like?


Vaseline Goes down easily.

Vaseline goes down easily. No surprise there!














Butter claimed they lubricated veins and arteries. Well, yeah, until science came along.

STAN: That Jack Goldenberg is a real genius. And what a great writer. I love his blog. He’s so brilliant!
HARRIET: Stan, you hate Jack. And you’ve said such terrible things about him over the years.
STAN: Yeah, like what?
HARRIET: You said Jack was stupid, boring, that he smelled bad and that he couldn’t shut up.
STAN: Fake News, Harriet.
HARRIET: You said he wasn’t really a has-been. He was more like a never-was.
STAN: Don’t remember saying that.
HARRIET: And in the 10 years since you’ve been on this blog, you’ve never gotten his name right. Not once! You called him Goldman, Goldenwasser, Golberg, Goldenflosse. Even GoldenMalarky!
STAN: Can’t recall saying those things, either, Harriett. You sure you don’t have me confused with some other imaginary character?
HARRIET: Imaginary? I thought you always said you were real.
STAN: Don’t be so naive, Harriett. Of course, I’m imaginary. Jack writes everything I say.
HARRIET: Stan, are you sure you’re feeling alright? You’ve spent years interrupting Jack’s train of thought and trashing him and his blog. Now all of a sudden, he’s real, you’re imaginary and Jack’s some kind of brilliant blog writer. Would you care to explain yourself?
STAN: I would, Harriett. I would. There’s a simple explanation for everything I’ve said.
HARRIET: I’m waiting.
STAN: April Fools, Harriett. April Fools. I’m real, Goldman’s not and he’s still a lousy writer.
HARRIET: Well, I’m glad you’re back to abnormal.
STAN: Me, too, Harriett. Me,. too,
HARRIET: Now say goodnight Stan.
STAN: Goodnight Stan. See you soon. The next time Jack writes a blog we’ll be back for another fun edition of Ozzie and Harriett.
HARRIET: That’s Stan and Harriett.
STAN: Whatever.

Note to our Brilliant Readers. If you wouldn’t mind, would you LIKE this blog, comment on it and maybe even send out an #AprilFools tweet about it. We used to have over 20,000 followers and lost a good chunk of them when I didn’t tweet for several months. So if you like it, please LIKE it. Thanks. The Management

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.