Kite-Line Cutaway for Toy Parachutes

The cutaway is made of a small piece of board, a cigar-box lid, an old yardstick or a piece of lath, which should be about 6 in. long. Common carpet wire staples are used to hold it on the string. The under side has a wire bent into such a shape as to form a loop at the forward end over the kite string, then running back through the two staples at the one side and through two staples at the other side.

Wires Attached to the Traveler

The parachute should have a small wire ring fastened at the weight end so as to fasten in the carrier, and should be put between the two staples that are closest together on the under side of the carrier. A small nail or button—anything larger than the loop in the wire—should be attached to the kite string a few feet from the kite. When the parachute is carried up the kite string, the knob on the string will strike the loop of the wire on the carrier, which releases the parachute and allows it to drop. The carrier will return of its own weight to the lower end of the string.—Contributed by I. O. Lansing, Lincoln, Neb. 

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.


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.