Skip to content

This is Precisely How the Indians Lost Manhattan

March 7, 2011

Have we learned nothing from history? (No.)

These days the story is considered terribly non-P.C., but in grade school we learned

Source: dvorak.org

all about how the innocent and nature-loving natives of the New World were talked into giving up their land and their homes on Manhattan Island in return for a handful of “wampum”, which even in those days was the financial equivalent of Cheez-Its. That didn’t seem too fair even to the mind of a nine year old, but we were assured that this trade was a good thing (“They weren’t doing anything with it anyway…”) and that the natives were happy to be done with Manhattan. Now that the Europeans had relieved the natives of their burden, they could use it to discover Religious Freedom, or, failing that, build a Starbucks on every block.

The reason I bring this up is because of an alarming Reuters story I read recently, which says that American diplomats were seriously gung-ho on trading Lockheed-Martin F-16 fighter jets to the Thai government. That in itself is not unusual; governments trade things to each other all the time, which is apparently how we wound up with Justin Bieber.

But this was an unusual trade. The Thai government, who swore up and down that they were only going to use the heavily-armed fighter jets to drive back and forth to church on Sundays, did not want to pay cash for the deal. They proposed a different kind of payment.

They suggested that we, the United States of America, trade fighter jets for FROZEN CHICKEN. A lot of it, I would imagine.

And the American diplomats almost wet themselves in response. “Sure!”, they agreed enthusiastically, “A boatload of chicken parts is just what this country needs!”

Unfortunately for the American government, the Thai regime was ousted in a military coup and the trade never happened. But their willingness to give away our technology and military secrets for the poultry version of wampum is just scary and bad business to boot.

I think they should have at least held out for lobster.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Another Reason To Fear Them

January 14, 2011

On today’s episode of “Inroads in Science: Still No Cure for Cancer”, we bring you an article in Discover Magazine that says that clowns are apparently a leading cause of pregnancy.  I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, it would not surprise me to learn that Deb either made that up or, once again, has misinterpreted a critical piece of statistical information. But you’d be wrong. Sort of. Read more…

Holiday Spirit: New Jersey Edition

December 20, 2010

Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men.

Source: Rich DeSantis/NJ Star-Ledger

Unless you are the owner of a six-foot, plastic porch Santa singing Christmas songs on a loop.  Then, screw you.

… And Then His Head Exploded

December 3, 2010

“Best Mug Shot of All Time” Award goes to Art Taylor, an 18-year-old from Masschusetts who allegedly swallowed an entire bag of cocaine after being stopped by police for a minor traffic violation:

Newsflash

November 29, 2010

I’m very pleased to announce that on January 3, 2011, I will be stepping into the formidable, size-12 shoes of Jim Horne and Patrick Merrell, who have done an excellent job of discussing the New York Times Crossword puzzle for the past few years on the Wordplay blog.

This is a new adventure for me, and I am thrilled to be a part of the New York Times team.

I sincerely thank the entire puzzle community for their support and friendship, and even if you are not a puzzle solver, I hope you will come join the party!

That's My Air You're Breathing

November 28, 2010

Hearty congratulations to Angeles Duran of Galicia, Spain, who has not only single-handedly solved the world’s economic crisis, but has also come up with a most excellent way to monetize her crazy.

Ms. Duran, who owns the Sun, is graciously donating the majority of royalties she earns from our usage of her star to the Spanish government, and has selflessly decided to keep only 10% of the aforementioned earnings for herself.

That’s My Air You’re Breathing

November 28, 2010

Hearty congratulations to Angeles Duran of Galicia, Spain, who has not only single-handedly solved the world’s economic crisis, but has also come up with a most excellent way to monetize her crazy.

Ms. Duran, who owns the Sun, is graciously donating the majority of royalties she earns from our usage of her star to the Spanish government, and has selflessly decided to keep only 10% of the aforementioned earnings for herself.