Aliens Downstairs

This story is from the very recent archives of St. Petersburg’s agency of Russian EMERCOM (the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense, Emergency Situations and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters), one of the Russian Federation’s emergency services.

Image result for emercom of russiaThe EMERCOM agents respond to the unusual complain from a citizen residing in the second floor apartment of an upscale St. Petersburg’s building.

The agents ring the doorbell. A man wearing an aluminum foil cap opens the door just a crack. When the agents announce themselves and enter the apartment, they can hardly contain their bewilderment. Every surface  in the entire flat — walls, floors, ceiling and every piece of furniture — is covered with aluminum foil. The owner, still wearing the foil cap, explains the reason for his obsession with foil covering as an attempt to protect himself from the deadly radiation emanating from upstairs.  “You see,” he laments, “My neighbor from the apartment directly above mine constantly, day and night, irradiates me. Do something. Help!”alumium.PNGThe agents gently reassure the “victim of irradiation” and, on his insistence, head upstairs to visit the villainous neighbor. They don’t mind, really. As a matter of protocol, they have to make sure that the paranoiac foil-capped man doesn’t bother the inhabitants of the upstairs apartment.

Another doorbell, and the neighbor — bespectacled, bearded, looking, incongruously, like a mad scientist from a bad movie — opens the door. EMERCOM agents walk in and… encounter yet another curious setup. The entire apartment is filled with… microwave ovens. microwave.PNG

Dozens of them. All turned on and facing down. The “mad scientist” explains that this is how he fights against an alien living downstairs who wants to enslave the world!

Funny or not, this is a real and fairly recent story from Russia. I would’ve forgotten about it, if not for this article in Daily Mail: Billionaire Bigelow space mogul says he is ‘absolutely convinced’ there are aliens on Earth.

A billionaire aerospace entrepreneur who has recently worked with Nasa has said he is 'absolutely convinced' that there are alien visitors living on Earth. Robert Bigelow (pictured), speaking in an interview with 60 minutes, said he has spent 'millions' on alien research

A billionaire aerospace entrepreneur Robrt Bigelow has said he is ‘absolutely convinced’ that there are alien visitors living on Earth. 


Robert Bigelow, aforementioned billionaire space mogul, runs Bigelow Aerospace, a private space technology company, often partnering with NASA.

Speaking in an interview with 60 minutes, asked if he believed in aliens, Mr Bigelow responded: ‘I’m absolutely convinced. That’s all there is to it.’

Mr Bigelow made a number of other statements about his belief in aliens among us:

‘There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence [on Earth].

‘I spent millions and millions and millions – I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject [aliens].’

Mr Bigelow did not specify exactly how much he has spent on this research, and declined to comment on any personal UFO encounters.

Correspondent Lara Logan, who was leading the interview, then asked Mr Bigelow whether he felt it was risky for him to say in public that he believes in aliens.

She asked him whether he worried that people might think he was ‘crazy’.

Mr Bigelow responded: ‘I don’t give a damn. I don’t care.’ (–Excerpt from the article.)

Catch A Cockroach…

greencockroach_alamy

Cockroaches, fortunately, are not an everyday occurrence in my life. However, if in the same day you come across not one but three stories related to cockroaches, perhaps, it’s worth mentioning.

The first story comes from China: One million cockroaches escape from Chinese farm.
At least one million cockroaches have reportedly escaped a farm in China where they were being bred for use in traditional medicine.

Unidentified wildlife enthusiast — cockroach sympathizer? —  broke into the enclosed area where the insects were held and cracked the terrarium open. To this day, residents of a small town next to the farm remember the event and curse the guy back and forth: instead of running into the unknown wilderness, cockroaches smartly decided to resettle in the town’s warm and comfortable apartments.

Another one was reported in BBC News Magazine: How cockroaches could save lives.

“Cockroaches are often associated with dirty kitchens and grimy bathrooms — scuttling away as soon as you enter the room and turn on the light. But pest controllers aren’t the only people interested in them — these insects are inspiring research into antibiotics, robots and mechanical limbs,” writes Mary Colwell in the article.

And on a humorous note, from the Russian source, comes a newspaper article Fortune-telling using a cockroach.

гадание на таракане

A fortune-telling with a cockroach.

This is an image of an article in an unidentified Russian newspaper, appearing, appropriately, in the section UNKNOWN or, rather, UNBEKNOWNST. Wanted to learn everything about yourself but didn’t know how? Read translation below (loose translation is mine with a few comments.) To glean the most benefit from it, you need to catch yourself a cockroach.

Thus catch a cockroach, any random cockroach will do — it’ll be YOUR cockroach. Now observe and scrutinize it carefully.tarakan

    • Is it healthy and vigorous? If the answer is yes then your house is in order and your family life is satisfying. (Healthy and vigorous cockroaches, like happy and orderly households with untidy kitchens. VG)cartoon-cockroach-vector-illustration-34820119
    • Is it appear weakly and lethargic? Your wife/husband should feed you better. (Or feed a cockroach. Ordinarily, cockroaches aren’t fussy eaters. VG)
    • Is it red in color? A redheaded person is in love with you.
    • Is it green? Rejoice! Money is coming to you.t1
    • Is it constantly moving its whiskers? You are full of energy. (If you don’t quite feel energized — try multivitamins. VG)
    • Is it frozen in its tracks? You must be a philosopher. (Yes, you are, even if you don’t know it. Pick a subject and start philosophizing. VG)
    • Does it look startled? You feel under-appreciated.
      t1
    • Does your cockroach looks frightened? You are a person who can stand your ground.
    • Is it bright blue, horned and speaks fluent English? Congratulations, you have delirium tremens.таракан7

Now carefully measure your cockroach.t1

  • If the length of a cockroach is less than 1 centimeter — then you are a reliable family person;
  • If it’s length is more than 3 centimeters — then you are a seeker. (What is it exactly you seek isn’t specified. You must know better. VG)

What can cockroach whiskers tell us? t1

  • The spread of cockroach whiskers equal to the length of your nose: You are an inquisitive person. (This discovery is possible if you measure your nose for the sake of comparison. VG)
  • One whisker is shorter than the other: You haven’t quite realized your tremendous potential. (Now run along and realize it. Make your cockroach happy. VG)
  • The total length of the whiskers is equal to the length of its body, multiplied by the square root of the diameter of its belly, divided by the logarithm of the number of its legs: Well, this might mean that you are a scrupulous and meticulous person. (Some rudimentary knowledge of math is necessary to come to this conclusion. VG)

And now pay attention to the cockroach’s legs.

  • If the legs are evenly distributed along its body:  You might need an appointment with psychiatrist. (Tell him/her everything. Show him/her your cockroach. You’ll feel better immediately. VG)
  • If the length and width of its legs are equal: This insect might as well be a bedbug. (And those little critters are bad news, unless you don’t know it already. VG)

Now set the cockroach free and let it run along as it pleases.hohmodrom_Tarakan

  • If the cockroach runs straight forward: The best part of your life is still ahead of you. (Good news if you ever doubted. VG)
  • If it runs to the left: Look forward to a heartbreaking encounter. (Might as well you’ll be hit over the head with a wet sack as you turn the corner of the house to your left. VG)
  • If it runs to the right: Be careful in your professional life — a backstabbing coworker sits to the right of you.
  • If it runs toward you: You are an intriguing person. (The person you intrigue the most might be found in every which direction. VG)
  • If it flops on its back legs up: It is dead. (Catch yourself another cockroach. VG)

Happy 25th Birthday, Ig Nobel!

Run by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research, Ig Nobel is a jubilantly irreverent affair. It has become world famous for recognizing scientific achievements that “make people laugh, and then think”.

This year Ig turns 25. Since 1991, scientists have won for such various feats as levitating a live frog with magnets, teaching pigeons to discern between Monet and Picasso, studying the effect of country music on suicides and experimenting with Coca Cola as a spermicide.

This year’s Ig winners traveled from six continents to accept their trophies.

PHYSICS: Discovering that almost all mammals empty their bladders in somewhere between 8 and 44 seconds.собачки
A group of physicists from the US and Taiwan won for finding “the law of urination”: the principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds), whether they’re the size of an elephant or a shrew.
слоникResearcher David Hu said explaining that gravity was the great equalizer: “the taller the pipe, the faster the pee”.  Link to video. Winners Patricia Yang, David Hu and Jonathan Pham, Jerome Choo recently amended their result: only those mammals whose weight exceeds 3 kg fall under its scope.

DIAGNOSTIC MEDICINE: Discovering that acute appendicitis can be identified by driving a patient over speed bumps.

The idea started as a running joke among surgeons, but Helen Ashdown decided to test it out while working as a junior doctor at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury. In a formal study of 101 patients, 33 of 34 people who were diagnosed with appendicitis reported pain travelling over speed bumps.Speed Bump

MATHEMATICS: Trying to figure out whether it was possible for a 17th and 18th century Moroccan emperor to father 888 children.

The copulative prowess of a 17th-century Moroccan emperor was the subject of a study by German and Austrian mathematicians who won a prize.

Intrigued by the story of Moulay Ismail, born in 1672 and dead at the age of 55, Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Karl Grammer sought to learn whether it would be physically possible for a man to sire between 600 and 888 sons as the fable alleges.ignobel-prize-2015-6-

“It’s a lot of work it turns out,” Oberzucher said. “Moulay had to have had sex once or twice a day, which you might actually regard as a low number, but if you think this is every day, every single day for an entire life, this is quite a lot.”

Moulay Ismael, who was also apparently known as Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, was Emperor of Morocco from 1672 to 1727, and is reputed to have fathered almost 900 children during his reign.

BIOLOGY: Noting that chickens walk like dinosaurs probably did, when you attach weighted sticks to their tails.

“We cannot test it in a real T. rex or any theropod dinosaurs – but we can in a chicken,” Dr Vasquez told the BBC. “[The gait] is a little bit crouching and the steps are a bit longer, because the centre of gravity of the animal is changed… and they have to counterbalance the weight of the tail by stretching their neck a little bit.”

курица

MEDICINE: Hajime Kimata (Kimata Hajime Clinic, Japan) and  Jaroslava Durdiaková (Comenius University, Slovakia) and her collagues awarded the prize for experiments to study the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities). on-screen-kiss-chess-club-comedy

MANAGEMENT: Discovering that early experience with natural disasters can cause a lifelong fondness for risk-taking.ignobel-prize-2015-9-

Gennaro Bernile (Singapore Management University) and colleagues, discovered that many business leaders developed a fondness for risk-taking because they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) in their childhood, disasters that had no dire consequences for them.

ECONOMICS: Paying Bangkok Metropolitan Police officers bonuses if they refuse to take bribes.

ignobel-prize-2015-10-

PHYSIOLOGY AND ENTOMOLOGY: Awarded jointly to two individuals: Justin Schmidt (Southwest Biological Institute, US) for painstakingly creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by various insects; and to Michael L. Smith (Cornell University, US), for carefully arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm). and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft).bee-attracting-comp31

Well, that’s a commendable dedication to science that should undoubtedly put Michael L. Smith into the ranks of scientists who risked their health and life in the name of science. An obscure Australian physician named Barry Marshall, for instance, drank bacteria-laden broth to discover the true cause of peptic (stomach) ulcers — a corkscrew-shaped bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori and point out the cure was a course of antibiotics. For his daring experiment he won a Nobel Prize in 2005.

CHEMISRY: Callum Ormonde (University of Western Australia) and colleagues, for inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.ignobel-prize-2015

LITERATURE: Mark Dingemanse of Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands and colleagues, for discovering that the word “huh?” (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language and for not being quite sure why.ignobel-prize-2015-2

Well, some years are better than others where wackiness and fun of Ig Nobel prize-winning submissions goes. I remember laughing much harder in prior years. Which makes me think… Ah, never mind. Might as well be that with the passage of years I’ve become a grumpier person. But then again, see for yourself and recall your favorite Ig Nobel winners:  Celebrating 25 years of wacky Ig Nobel Prize brilliance. 

Don’t walk under a ladder…

Here is a collection of odd, strange, unusual and otherwise curious superstitions and prejudices from around the world for your Saturday amusement.

Carlos Menem

Carlos Menem

Argentinians are trying not to say aloud the name of their former President Carlos Menem. Bad, bad luck.Brazilian superstition

In Brazil, purse fallen or dropped to the floor means loss of money.China4

In China, the number 4 is considered the number of Death, as the words “death” and “four” sound similar.  Thus Chinese are trying to avoid using number 4 at all cost… unless no other number would do.Broken

In Denmark, broken dishes often kept around until  New Year’s Eve. The shards and pieces must be shared with family and friends. It is believed that the more pieces of broken porcelain has been collected, the more successful the coming year will be. Scissors

In Egypt, it is considered a very bad luck to open and close scissors without cutting the object, and far worse than that is to leave the scissors open. At the same time, the Egyptians believe that placing a pair of scissors under the pillow before going to sleep can fend off nightmares.merd

France: Stepping in dog excrement with one’s left foot is for good  luck, with one’s right foot — for bad.

Greek RedWhen two Greeks  say the same words at the same time, they must say in unison “Piase Kokkino” out loud, and together touch something red at the same time, otherwise the quarrel is inevitable.haitians

In Haiti, many superstitions surround mother’s figure in the life of a person. If you walk wearing one shoe, sweep the floor at night, crawl on your knees or eat watermelon tips, the premature death of your mother is your fault.india

In India, a lot of odd superstitions have to do with grooming. For instance, nails are better not be cut at night, as well as on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Washing one’s hair on Thursday and Saturday brings bad luck because sweeping floors at night might lead to a number of small valuables being lost. Historically, Thursday is a day off for hairdressers and barbers, and Saturday is the day of Saturn (planet Shani) that ancient Hindus revered.japan

In Japan, every child knows that you have to hide your belly during a thunderstorm and, even more importantly, before bedtime. It is believed that if you’re not careful, then Raijin (god of thunder) might steal and eat your navel.korea

In South Korea, it is considered that the fan running in a closed room can kill you in your sleep. That is why many fans in South Korea are equipped with a timer to turn them off before they turn into killing machines.lithuania

Lithuanians avoid whistling inside their homes. Everyone knows that whistling can cause invasion of tiny devils determined to harm and terrorize you.малаизия

Sitting on pillows brings extremely bad luck to Malaysians. It is thought to cause itching, blisters and other discomforts affecting their backsides. Perhaps, no Malaysian likes to sleep on a pillow someone was sat on, just like most of people?nigeria

Nigeria:It is believed that if a man is beaten with a broom, he will most definitely become impotent. Moreover, his genitals might fall off.oman

Oman: To “cleanse” your new car, you must turn on Koran  audiobook and play it through your car speakers for 1-2 weeks. This measure is thought to protect the vehicle and its owner from evil eye.demon-horse

A sun-shower  for Philippinos means Tikbalang’s (demon-horse) wedding party.quatar

Qatar: Don’t kill spiders in your living quarters. It is believed that spiders can put out fires in the house.angry-goat-301x350

Rwandan women are forbidden to eat goat meat — it is believed they might grow beards after consuming mutton.sweden

Visiting Sweden, one might notice that sometimes people walking down the street change direction or scratch their backs repeatedly and seemingly for no reason at all.  This is because of manholes. In Sweden manhole covers marked by the letters “K” or “A”. “K” indicates “fresh water” and, coincidentally, “love”, while “A” indicates “sewage” and “unrequited love”. It is believed whichever letter one encounters more, that’s the kind of love one is going to have. However, this “curse” can be removed by stroking one’s back three three times. Works 50% of the time.turkey

In Turkey, it’s considered disgusting and bad omen to chew gum at night. You see, at night gum turns into the flesh of dead people. Banan_04

Vietnamese schoolchildren and students never eat bananas before tests and exams, since bananas are slippery. In Vietnamese, the word “slippery” is consonant with the word “failure”.Йемен

Yemen: A pregnant woman can determine the sex of her unborn child just throwing a snake into the air. If the snake hits the ground horizontally, a girl is on a way, if vertically — expect a boy.zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the life is largely ruled by black magic, thus every prejudice and superstition is deeply rooted in magic spells and curses. The groom, for instance, may impose a spell of infidelity on his bride. If she cheats on him with another man, the spell will inseparably twine illicit lovers together. This practice is believed to be a serious deterrent against infidelity.Russia

Russians fend off  evil eye using a variety of uncomplicated actions, such as biting one’s tongue, curling one’s finger into a fig (gesture of extreme contempt), spitting over one’s left shoulder three times, knocking on wood three times, wear underwear inside out, wash one’s face in water ‘puified’ by inserting a silver spoon. Works every time!podborka_foto_25_907

Murder In A Wax Museum. Update

FEMENThe following is an update to my Breaking News: Murder In A Wax Museum post of June 6, 2014.

PARIS, Oct 15 (Reuters) – A Ukranian activist belonging to topless feminist group Femen was convicted for exhibitionism by a Paris court on Wednesday for having attacked a statue of Russian President Vladimir Putin at a wax museum in the capital.

Iana Zhdanova, with “Kill Putin” written on her nude breasts, attacked the likeness of Putin at the Musee Grevin in the capital with a wooden stake in June.

WARNING: The images below are NSFW. FRANCE-FEMEN-PUTIN

FRANCE-FEMEN-PUTIN

The activist, who has lived in France for two years as a political refugee, laughed in court after the judge ordered her to pay fine of 1,500 euros ($1,897) for vandalism and a crime called “sexual exhibition” in French, as well as other damages payable to Musee Grevin.

“I’m laughing because it’s very strange,” said Zhdanova, 26, outside the courtroom. “I’m very surprised by this decision.”

Zhdanova’s lawyer, Marie Dose, said it was the first time a French court had sentenced a Femen member for sexual exhibition, calling it a precedent that would thwart the group’s ability to protest. Dose said she would appeal.

This is an official announcement of the above on the FEMIN web page:FEMEN articleAs well as the header image on that page:FEMEN page

CONOP 8888

Buried on the military’s secret computer network is an unclassified document, obtained by Foreign Policy, called CONOP 8888, otherwise known as “Counter-Zombie Dominance”, and dated April 30, 2011.

It’s a military training plan, a how-to guide for military to identify, isolate and eliminate the threat to citizenry from all sorts of the undead —  vegetarian zombies, “evil magic zombies,” chicken zombies (!), bio-engineered, alien  and whatnot. zombie1

Yessss! Everything is there:

  • “establish and maintain a vigilant defensive condition aimed at protecting humankind from zombies.”
  • “if necessary, conduct operations that will, if directed, eradicate zombie threats to human safety.”
  • “aid civil authorities in maintaining law and order and restoring basic services during and after a zombie attack.”
  • “preserve the sanctity of human life” among all the “non-zombie humans.”

Very timely, too.

As it turns out, CONOP 8888, is no laughing matter, although it’s hard to take it as anything but. As clearly stated in the disclaimer section of the document, “this plan was not actually designed as a joke.”

zombie1Plan Summary reads:

“This plan fulfills fictional contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve ‘non-zombie’ humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde.”

“Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population — including traditional adversaries.”

“Planners … realized that training examples for plans must accommodate the political fallout that occurs if the general public mistakenly believes that a fictional training scenario is actually a real plan,” the authors wrote, adding: “Rather than risk such an outcome by teaching our augmentees using the fictional ‘Tunisia’ or ‘Nigeria’ scenarios used at [Joint Combined Warfighting School], we elected to use a completely-impossible scenario that could never be mistaken for a real plan.”

The CONOP 8888 text uses verbiage that reads like the phases of a counterinsurgency campaign:”shape”, “deter”, “seize initiative”, “dominate”, “stabilize” and, after “prepare to redeploy the forces to attack surviving zombie holdouts” and “provide support to federal, state and tribal agencies’ efforts to restore basic services in zombie-related disaster areas,” there is an optimistic “restore civil authority.”

zombie1

zombie

zombie1During 2009 and 2010 US military planners were looking for a creative way to devise a planning document to be enacted in the event of an attack of any kind. The task was assigned to the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska. The zombie-movies-loving officers used zombies as their creative muse.

“The document is identified as a training tool used in an in-house training exercise where students learn about the basic concepts of military plans and order development through a fictional training scenario. […] This document is not a U.S. Strategic Command plan.” (Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for Strategic Command.)

“I hope we’ve invested a similar level of intellectual rigor against dragon egg hatching contingencies,” one defense official quipped.

The way I see it, the military simply doesn’t give a damn about snatching bread and butter out of the mouths of the Comedy Central folks.

See the text of CONOP 8888 

To Be Or Not To Be That Is The Game

Plebs needed teeth cleaned. Plebs went to a dentist…

A funny thing can happen in the dental office while you are waiting, particularly if your smartphone looses its marbles. You settle down, pick up an old magazine from the rack and travel back in time.

You observe a visage of Kim Kardashian with Kanye West to the east of her, and baby North still inside her, to the south of her navel. And you marvel at life’s miracles.

Seriously, there is a lot of accidental knowledge that comes to us directly from the old magazines on the coffee tables in dental offices.

My latest find is an old issue of the  TIME Magazine, dated ThursdayAug. 08, 2013. The article was Hello, Sweet Prince. Hamlet is reborn as a Choose Your Own Adventure, by Lev Grossman. 

times page

Much scholarly commentary has been expended on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, maybe more than on any other play in the English language, but I don’t think it’s ever been said of Hamlet that it would make a good Choose Your Own Adventure novel. Nevertheless: that was the pitch that a 32-year-old Canadian writer named Ryan North made last November on Kickstarter. North figured it would take about $20,000 to produce To Be or Not to Be: That Is the Adventure. The Internet disagreed. It gave him $580,905.

The Internet chose wisely… (– from the TIME Magazine article)2014-02-11_13-57-58_334

Teeth cleaned to gleaming shine, I found out that the book, To Be or Not To Be by  Ryan North is being published already, to great accolades from everywhere.

To Be or Not To Be is a choose-your-own-path version of Hamlet by New York Times best-selling author Ryan North. Play as Hamlet, Ophelia, or King Hamlet—if you want to die on the first page and play as a ghost. It’s pretty awesome! Readers can follow Yorick skull markers to stick closely to Shakespeare‘s plot, or go off-script and explore alternative possibilities filled with puzzles and humor. (-–Amazon)

To Be Or Not

I also checked the KICKSTARTER page, where  Ryan North makes an excellent pitch of his book. The hyperlink To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure will take you there. Below and on the KICKSTARTER page, you can indulge in viewing a promotional video, starring the author.

And no, I don’t have a book yet. Am I planning to travel Shakespearean landscape, following Yorick skull markers? I donno... Should you do it ahead of me — lemmeno. 

Kurt Vonnegut. A Lesson In Creative Writing

Well, it looks like my yesterday’s post didn’t sit well with some of my admirers. Perhaps, they don’t like cats. Or they don’t care about Russian Kitty Day. Or they feel that adorable/smart/sick/cross-eyed/limb-challenged/impossibly cute/talented felines overpopulate internet as is, and I should be the last person to infiltrate this domain.

Igor Ivanov. Still life with chain-sticks.

Igor Ivanov. Still life with chain-sticks.

With that, I retreat to a more familiar territory — Memento Mori, Ars Longa while Vita est incredibly brevis, new frontiers of populorum scientia et cetera.

All right then. No more meowing against the wind. I’ll just re-post my own blog entry from TFW.  If you don’t need a lesson in creative writing, you might want to have an infusion of good humor entirely devoid of feline cuteness. After all, it’s Kurt Vonnegut giving a lesson…

Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut. American writer celebrated for his books, his style, his humanity, his sense of irony.

Lapham’s Quarterly published excerpts from Vonnegut’s Here is a lesson in creative writing, a parody of literary seminar. It’s at once hilarious and highly educational. If you are a writer and haven’t read it, then you should. “Visual aid” graphics are provided by the writer himself.

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable.

Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” ― Kurt VonnegutA Man Without a Country

vvvvvv1vvv2vvv3vvv4

On September 13, 2005, Jon Stewart invited Kurt Vonnegut to The Daily Show. The interview is remarkable in many ways. For one thing, curiously, Kurt Vonnegut believes that the planet’s immune system is trying to get rid of humans, and, in Vonnegut’s opinion, it probably should.  Watch the interview here.