July 4, 2001

Giant Brains and Empty Heads

By Roy Rivenburg

Unidentified Flying Organs: Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s ... the world’s biggest anatomically correct inflatable human brain! According to Wireless Flash News Service, several members of Mensa, the high-IQ society, flew a brain-shaped hot-air balloon over their annual convention in Dallas this week. The 1,100-pound balloon was reportedly big enough to hold 3 million real brains.

Let’s just hope this doesn’t give Pfizer, the makers of Viagra, any ideas for their annual stockholders meeting.

Speaking of Giant Brains: In other high-IQ news, a U.S. inventor has finally licked the problem of carpal ice-cream syndrome, in which the wrist is injured by repetitive spinning of an ice cream cone while trying to keep the scoop from melting. According to author Ted Van Cleave’s new book, ‘‘Totally Absurd Inventions,’’ a patent has been issued for the first motorized ice cream cone, which rotates automatically.

In related news, a British designer has solved an equally vexing problem by inventing a toaster that predicts the weather. The device downloads weather forecasts from the Internet and then stamps the bread with an appropriate symbol: the sun, a cloud or streaks of rain.

The Joy of Road Kill: By popular demand, the author of ‘‘The Original Road Kill Cookbook’’ has finally developed a product for children. No, it’s not an Easy-Bake Road Kill Oven. It’s the ‘‘Road Kill USA Coloring and Activity Book,’’ featuring outlines of ex-critters to color in with crayons, and connect-the-dot pages to find out what animal has just been run over.

Quote of the Week: From an inmate at Florida’s Pasco County Jail, explaining why it’s unfair to require prisoners to wear the jail’s new black-and-white striped uniforms: ‘‘It makes us look like convicts!’’

Weird PR Stunts: In a bold effort to alter North Dakota’s image as a ‘‘frigid, treeless prairie,’’ the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce is urging the state to change its name to just Dakota. But we’re not sure that really solves the problem. We suggest changing the state’s name to North Florida, East Tahiti or Jennifer Lopez.

Alarming Trends Bureau: More reasons not to get out of bed tomorrow:

-- A Finnish professor has translated Elvis Presley’s ‘‘Blue Suede Shoes’’ into ancient Sumerian, a 6,000-year-old language. He introduced the translation wearing a loincloth and blue suede sandals.
-- Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has announced she’s single and ‘‘interested in meeting new men.’’
-- The country song ‘‘Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town)’’ recently hit the 3-millionth performance mark. The milestone would’ve been reached sooner, but many artists are waiting for the ancient Sumerian version.
-- The creator and voice of ‘‘Alf’’ is hoping to bring his cat-eating alien back to TV as a cable talk show host.

Off-Kilter Encyclopedia: According to a survey by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 22 percent of U.S. teens don’t know which country America declared its independence from (14 percent thought it was from France). So, for all you dumb teens out there, here are the facts: In 1776, the 13 colonies (which consisted of New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, New Kids on the Block, Rhode Island, Road Kill Island, Gilligan’s Island, Pennsylvania, Canada, Georgia, Boy Georgia, East Tahiti and Jennifer Lopez) formally declared their independence from the kingdom of Sumeria.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Baby Born with David Niven Mustache!’’ (Weekly World News)

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News, St. Petersburg Times, the Oregonian’s Edge column, Chicago Sun-Times.

Copyright 2001 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by
Creators Syndicate