Limerick

There was a young lady named Susie
Whose surname said she was a floozie.
Cathouse was the name;
It caused her such shame
She chose to pronounce it Cathouse.

Bullseye

0.999… is the same as 1. Not just very close, but precisely identical:

a = 0.999…
10a = 9.999…
10aa = 9.999… – 0.999…
9a = 9
a = 1

There’s no trick here. It’s just a mathematical fact that most people find deeply counterintuitive.

Bishop-Fish

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Merman.jpg

Is there an aquatic church we don’t know about? Three centuries after John Stow’s sea monk escaped, a “bishop-fish” was caught and taken to the king of Poland. It gestured to a group of Catholic bishops, appealing to be released, and when they granted its wish it made the sign of the cross and swam away.

Another bishop-fish was reportedly caught near Germany in 1531. This one refused to eat and died after three days.

Swiss naturalist Conrad Gesner, who described it in his Historia Animalium, also refers to monk-fish caught off Norway and in the Firth of Forth. Someone ought to take up a collection.

Unquote

“It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.” — Oscar Wilde

The Ding Hai Effect

Adam Cheng isn’t very popular among stockbrokers. That’s because every time the Hong Kong actor stars in a new television show, there’s a sharp drop in global stock markets.

No one can explain it, but it’s happened eight times since 1993, when Cheng first starred as Ding Hai in the dramatic series Greed of Man. Only once, in 2004, has a new Cheng series not been accompanied by a drop in the stock market.

Desert Downpour

A “magic tap.” Can you see how it’s done?

Click for Answer

Richard Sharpe Shaver

Amazing Stories was full of, well, amazing stories, but Richard Sharpe Shaver insisted that his were true. Between 1943 and 1948, Shaver and editor/publisher Ray Palmer told of cavern cities filled with evil robots that kidnapped and tortured unwary humans. Shaver insisted he had been a prisoner for several years.

Strangely, the first story brought a flood of excited letters corroborating Shaver’s tale. One woman claimed she had been abducted from a Paris subbasement and raped and tortured before good robots freed her. “Shaver Mystery Club” chapters began to spring up, and Amazing gained about 50,000 subscribers.

The stories petered out as the sensation ran its course, though the clubs persisted into the late 1950s. By the 1970s, Shaver was insisting that certain rocks were “books” created by ancient Atlanteans. Today it seems he was not a misunderstood visionary but a troubled schizophrenic with a compelling imagination.

One, Three, Five …

In English, every odd number contains the letter e.

The Forevertron

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forevertron.jpg

The Forevertron is the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world. Salvage expert Tom Every spent decades collecting 320 tons of antique machinery, including dynamos built by Thomas Edison and an actual decontamination chamber from the Apollo project. It’s in southern Wisconsin.

In a Word

jerque
v. to search for smuggled goods