Category Archives: Blind Alleys

So-called God

D'un bond prodigieux Henrik s'élance vers la corde

We were relieved to hear that another particular god is dead. We heard it in the howl of the banshee, calling shipwrecked sailors to their doom. I who had the ears that let me hear remember grandpa saying, any dead god is a good god. Said they all eventually go down the pike to the home for the ungodly, where they enjoy a generous retirement package. 

Feat of Balancing on Chairs

Feat of balancing on chairs

Among the numerous physical exercises is the feat of balancing on the two rear legs of a chair while one foot rests on the front part of the seat and the other on the back of the chair. This may appear to be a hard thing to do, yet with a little practice it may be accomplished. This exercise is one of many practiced by the boys of a boys’ home for an annual display given by them. A dozen of the boys will mount chairs at the same time and keep them in balance at the word of a commanding officer.

The Boy Mechanic, vol 1.

Silage

Silos are potentially hazardous: deaths may occur in the process of filling and maintaining them, and several safety precautions are necessary. There is a risk of injury by machinery or from falls. When a silo is filled, fine dust particles in the air can become explosive because of their large aggregate surface area. 

Fermentation presents respiratory hazards. The ensiling process produces “silo gas” during the early stages of the fermentation process. Silage gas contains nitric oxide (NO), which will react with oxygen (O2) in the air to form nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is toxic. Lack of oxygen inside the silo can cause asphyxiation. 

Molds that grow when air reaches cured silage can cause organic dust toxic syndrome. 

Collapsing silage from large bunker silos has caused deaths.

Silage itself poses no special danger.

Dorks to donuts

I’ll bet you dorks to donuts that there’s nothing up my sleeve, and if there is, that you put it there.

And I’ll drop a dime on you if you spill those beans on the birds and the beeswax. Keep it all under your tinfoil hat. Don’t spoil the children’s surprises, lord knows we’ve left them a batch.

In the prenuptials they pledged to lick each other’s compass until the cows came home, if it got to that bearing. But he learned to speak Urgudu on the tom-tom when he heard there were some cool cats there, and that changed his whole way of looking at things. When the bottoms fell out of the pussy market he was the last to know.

Let them without pretensions utter the first scoff. And let them who ain’t stoned honor their vows.

Reservations

Hey you! Your pants are on fire!

Pay no tension to the curses of a crotchety old geezer. Blue as the lack of ball room, yet a faithful geezer. We reserve the right, as we lead with our left, to mock, malign, mortify, minimize, mess with, and misundersestimate:

  • folks from the funny farm, nut cases, the feeble minded
  • she who for her heirs left a loft to be desired
  • he who left his creditors a pretty penny
  • the hardly boys when they met the milky maidens

It is but right, however, to mention in the first place the plants whose discoverers can be found, with their properties classified according to the kinds of disease for which they are a remedy. To reflect indeed on this makes one pity the lot of the human.

Clearing the air


According to Valerius Maximus, Aeschylus (c. 455 BC), the eldest of the three great Athenian tragedians, was killed by a tortoise dropped by an eagle that had mistaken his bald head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile. Pliny, in Book X of his Naturalis Historiæ, adds that Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avert a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.

Unusual deaths

The Barker of Strange and Curious Attractions


In 1871, after he had already achieved success through his famous New York museum, P. T. Barnum entered into a partnership with two men from Wisconsin, who organized “P. T. Barnum’s Great Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Hippodrome.” It offered several strange and curious attractions, borrowed from his museum, from which evolved another major feature of circuses — the sideshow. Its characteristic attractions included the giant, the fat lady, the thin man, the midget, the three-legged boy, and the armless wonder, as well as such other curiosities as the fire eater, the sword swallower, the snake enchantress, and the magician. Housed in its own tent, the sideshow typically was fronted by giant banners or panels illustrating the marvels offered inside. A unique and vital element of the sideshow was the barker, whose fog-horn voice and unceasing patter attracted the public to the show.