Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tuesday Morning Quarterback

More Proof of the Decline of Western Civilization: The first State of the Union address, delivered by George Washington in 1790, was 1,087 words long and contained this magnificent passage: "Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. In one, in which the measures of government receive their impression so immediately from the sense of the community, as in ours, it is proportionately essential. To the security of a free Constitution it contributes in various ways: By convincing those who are entrusted with the public administration, that every valuable end of government is best answered by the enlightened confidence of the people: And by teaching the people themselves to know, and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority; between burdens proceeding from a disregard to their convenience, and those resulting from the inevitable exigencies of society; to discriminate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness, cherishing the first, avoiding the last, and uniting a speedy but temperate vigilance against encroachments, with an inviolable respect to the laws." Last week's State of the Union address was 5,432 words long and contained such passages as, "We'll fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips" and "Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran."


Super Bowl Ad Watch: The Stunt City ad was the only memorably clever commercial; it was so funny viewers might have missed the product being promoted. That was Degree antiperspirant; click the extra-silly "director's cut." Blockbuster ran ads for a service that promises "free movies every month" for $9.99 a month. Let's review what the word "free" means, please.


Patriots Announce Stadium to be Renamed: Next One Will Have 11 Trans-Dimensional Nanoprobe-Embedded Force-Field-Projecting Blades Field: Reader Josh Byrne of Philadelphia relates the news that Gillette's six-blade razor has already been trumped -- Hitachi just released a 10-bladed razor, which "plays at invariable speed, ensuring the overall effectiveness." As noted last week, TMQ's Law of Razors holds that each century will see a razor with blades equal to the factorial of the highest number of blades on a razor of the previous century. This means that in the 22nd century, someone will market razor with 3,628,800 blades (10x9x8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1).

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