The eighth wonder of the world.

What is the eighth wonder of the world? I think it's time to decide because there are like 300,000 candidates. Here are some various things that all want to be it. If you are a member of the Wonder Committee, please cast your vote:

  • The Palm Islands. A couple of manmade islands that are shaped kind of cool, but they are mostly used as theme parks. The wonders of the world need to be classy, and theme parks are as a rule not classy.

  • The Taj Mahal. Classy. But it is already very famous and does not need the publicity.

  • The Astrodome. Out of the running, because the guy who built it is the one who gave it that nickname. And also it is just a stadium with a roof over it. So what.

  • Andre the Giant. Pretty tall wrestler whose nickname was the eighth you know what. He was French, which is nice, because I think the wonders should all be from the old world to keep with the tradition. But again he was a person. (And a nice actor, and probably a very nice man, from what I can tell.) People out of the running. Even this guy.

  • The Thames Tunnel. A nice engineering achievement, but should it be considered? A tunnel is only air.

  • The Panama Canal. Again, a nice achievement, but the definition of a canal is "a place where there is enough not-land so that a boat can fit through."

  • King Kong (the movie, not the gorilla). TOO SAD.

  • The Terracotta Warriors. Giant things in China and most of them can't be photographed, so we don't even know what they look like! (Except for Chinese people who live near there.) This is a strong condender because they are old, myserious and probably scary.

  • The Baha'i Gardens in Haifa. They are in Israel, which is a pretty classic place to put a wonder of the world, but there already a garden in the original seven wonders. So I think this would be unfair.

  • Elizabeth Arden Eighth Wonder of the World Cream. Come on guys that's just dumb.

Happy World Internet Day

Happy World Internet Day, everybody. Would you like some facts about the Internet? Here you go.

  • As of September 30, 2007, 1.244 billion people use the Internet.
  • Some of those people are using the Internet right now.
  • Americans only make up 18.96% of the people who use the Internet. Come on guys, pick it up!
  • The first website ever was about the game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
  • The biggest website is probably Yahoo or Google.
  • Starbucks lets you use the Internet for free. You must bring your own computer. Be polite and buy a scone.
  • If you would like to turn off the Internet, you can do it here.

Fun with anagrams



Celebrity nicknames are getting dumber.

Why is it that as soon as someone becomes famous, the first thing that journalists do is remove some letters from their name? Next time why not just leave them in. Calling Lindsay Lohan LiLo or Kevin Federline K-Fed or David Hasselhoff the Hoff doesn't require too much ingenuity and also makes people uncomfortable. David Hasselhoff need not be any closer to us either in body or spirit and thus does not require a terse nickname with which to bring him more familiarity.

Madonna used to be called the Material Girl, which loses points for being self-imposed but is at least a little iconic. Now everyone says Maddy or Mo. Seriously people, her name is only one word long, it does not require any shortening. Some people think Paul McCartney should be called Macca. Really?

Billary for Bill and Hillary Clinton was a good nickname, both for its poetic assonance and the fact that in the nineties it cleverly personifed them as a single political force. Bennifer didn't have the same thematic impetus but it still sounded nice. Brangelina doesn't even sound like a word. TomKat was thought of by one person at Ok! Magazine or something. It looks like the name of a bad website and also they're annoying people to be talking about in the first place.


Fun with anagrams


True things about movies.

If the movie is the life story of a musician, when the musician is a child his father will either:
  • Force him into a musical career with such intensity as to give the boy a case of self-doubt that will last his whole life.

  • Disparage his dreams of a musical career because it is both impractical and not what the family has done for generations. (The father is probably a drunk.)

If there is a character who survived the Holocaust, at some point in the movie the tattoo on his arm will either:

  • Be seen by a small child, who will ask him what it is for.

  • Be seen by an adult, who will knowingly look at him with sadness.

If a woman gives her man a very old piece of jewelry before he goes off to battle, it will either:

  • Be given back to her by him, and it will be the happiest part of the movie.

  • Be given back to her by his best pal, and it will be the saddest part of the movie.


From the mailbag

Dear Actually Home,

I want to get my wife the perfect present for our one-year anniverary. What do you think I should get her?

Troubled Hubby

Dear Troubled Hubby,

What kinds of things does she like?

Actually Home


Do not say these things.

Phrases that must not be said by you or the people you love:
  • 'Nuff said.

  • The ass-crack of dawn.

  • What happens in (wherever) stays in (wherever).

  • The horizontal tango.

  • Single and ready to mingle.
  • You should not refer to Jack Daniels by its first name or insinuate that it is your good friend Jack.

  • You should not refer to yourself in the 3rd person, especially if you are being ironic about it.

  • You should not correct someone for misusing the word "literally" if they seem like a nice person.

Tell someone you're welcome.

The thank-you market (cards, gift baskets etc.) is a $4 billion* a year industry which is a lot of money to spend to thank someone for the lovely wedding present or the lift to the gas station or the spare ticket to the basketball game. How many people have ever said you're welcome? No one, because saying you're welcome is not socially acceptable unless you mean just saying it out loud right after someone says thanks.

What are you going to do about it? Why don't you send someone a you're welcome card or you're welcome gift basket? Find what you need at the new you're welcome emporium which just opened on the Internet. You'll thank me later! (And then you better believe I'm going to send you something in the mail after that!)

*estimated from my head.


How to respond to an old person who has just been racist.

Old man: Guess which candidate I'm following, just a little bit.
Bus driver: Senator Clinton.
Old man: Don't insult my intelligence.
Bus driver: Giuliani.
Old man: Don't insult my integrity.
Bus driver: Obama.
Old man: Yes! I'm following Obama. Just a little bit. Do you happen know why?
Bus driver: No I don't, sir.
Old man: Well, there's two reasons. First, he's an educated man. I can respect that.
Bus driver: Sure enough.
Old man: And secondly, he's a well-groomed man. That's very important in a candidate. You get it?
Bus driver: I got it.
Old man: But that's why his people are angry at him.
Bus driver: Oh? I didn't --
Old man: That's why he's got to have body guards around him all the time. Because his people are jealous. Because he's so well-groomed.
Bus driver: Huh. Yes sir.
Old man: You got it.
Bus driver: Say, whatever happened to Ross Perot? Haven't heard from him in a while.
Old man: No, can't say I've heard from Ross Perot.
In the rear view mirror, bus driver exchanges a sly smile with me.


Lindsay Lohan is not proof that you are awesome.

Every time there is a young celebrity, and that person is not addicted to alcohol or methamphetamines, everyone makes a big deal out of it by comparing him or her favorably to Lindsay Lohan.

It has been broadcast for example that Mandy Moore is not like Lindsay Lohan, Daniel Radcliffe is not like Lindsay Lohan, Tara Reid is not like Lindsay Lohan anymore, and Anne Hathaway is especially not like Lindsay Lohan because she is both poised and modest.

If you are a normal person who sometimes gets drunk but not in front of video cameras, then you are not to be celebrated just because Lindsay Lohan is a person in the world.

And what about Lindsay? She's not a yardstick for your delinquency. She is just a girl who got addicted to drugs and is now in a sorry state. Don't do it any more please. Thank you, journalists and young celebrities.

Thunderstorms: scary or exciting?

Are thunderstorms exciting or scary?

There is a correct answer to this! Here it is:

  • Thunder: 40% scary, 60% exciting
  • Lightning (and you are indoors): 65% scary, 35% exciting
  • Lightning (and you are not so lucky this time): 84% scary, 16% exciting
  • Tornado spotted in the sky by a meteorologist: 52% scary, 48% exciting
  • Tornado spotted in the sky by you: 88% scary, 12% exciting
  • Hurricaines: (This is not my territory? Probably very scary)
  • Getting to go down to the basement with a little transistor radio: 6% scary, 94% exciting
  • Power goes out: 0% scary, 100% exciting, but are you in an iron lung?
  • Flood warning: 20% scary, 3% exciting, 77% boring
  • Your basement is now flooded: 6% boring, 94% dumb


Grammar: pick your fights, please

If you are good at grammar, and you notice some bad grammar, there are two different things you can do about it:

1. Say something.
2. Don't say anything.

If you fall into the first camp, you are either 17 and think you are cool because you know what an infinitive is while the guy in your teacher-imposed study group does not, or you are just someone who doesn't know how to pick your fights. I'm sorry! Those are the only possibilities.

Why don't you just not say anything? Don't you know that the rule about splitting infinitives is antiquated. And sometimes bad grammar is better than good grammar at letting readers know how you really feel. Did you ever think about that?

You should think about doing a run-on sentence once, or adding exclamation marks where once there were none. It will probably free your mind.


A type of person who needs to be taught a lesson.

Lots of people have natural competitive streaks, and that's okay as long as you know how to control it. And if you're a mature adult you can probably do that.

So what what's wrong with those people who can't. You are 35 and you beam with pride when you are beating your nephew 35-16 in Boggle, instead of thinking that maybe you need to take it easy the next round. Not let him win, just take it easy. That would be the normal thing to do. Do you still think the normal thing is to play 100% of your game in all situations? You need to be taught a lesson.

An upset stomach and for what? I don't know.

As a human it is tiresome to feel pain that offers no clear course of action for getting rid of it. Some body pains make sense:

• Pain in my heels wearing high heels means find a place to sit down for a second.
• Pain in my arms carrying something up to my apartment means put it down for a second, and look around to see if anyone wants to carry it instead.
• Etcetera

But what if it is a stomach ache that doesn't mean anything? Why would a stomach be angry for doing things to it like giving it water, pre-packaged Indian meal and some baby carrots. If I had that pain I would feel like I had nothing to learn from it.