Whenever I’m stuck for a post (i.e., Grump hasn’t sent me an interesting link that I could have found myself if it weren’t for the fact that I am too damned lazy), I turn to April Winchell. The daughter of the ventriloquist (and voice of Tigger), Paul Winchell, has a thing called LiNkApAlOOzA! where she lists 50 reader-submitted links. It’s like open mic night for weblinks. You just click on the “Add a link” link, and it goes on the list. The oldest one drops off. As you can imagine, there’s usually a ton of strange crap on there.
Yesterday morning, I was trolling the list to see if I could find something to toss up on this site (the home of strange crap), when I got completely sidetracked.
Well, the backspace key is my friend, so I had to go and see what in the hell Houseplant Picture Studio was all about. So, I got sucked in to that strange vortex of odd images for about a half hour. It’s all very Ernie Kovacs. And, really, anyplace with a tribute to George “Goober” Lindsey, a link to Wavy Gravy, a flash serial called “Attack of the Pasta Weenies” and art by Eric Brooks (not that one) is all right by me.
But, of course, then I started to write up a post about it and got sidetracked when I went to Paul Winchell’s site. I was just trying to give the young whippersnappers out there a place to go see who Paul Winchell was, when I noticed a spot on his site where he claims to have invented the artificial heart. The story sounded very tongue-in-cheek to me, so I had to spend another hour tracking down the truth. As it turns out, I couldn’t find actual proof that it’s true (nothing on Snopes or The Straight Dope, and the only mention of Winchell at the Patent Office site is about his patent for a Halloween mask). But there are enough web sites that mention it that either it’s true or everyone’s bought it as true.
My search at the Patent Office dug up a nifty little Patent, Trademark and Copyright Calendar of Trivia. So, each day, I can celebrate something cool. Like today it’s Charles Steinmetz Day! On this day in 1895, he patented a “system of distribution by alternating current” (A/C power). Cool, no?
Naturally, I was led to look for other celebrity inventors. I found mention that Zeppo Marx was an inventor, but nothing too spectacular there. Then, Grump reminded me that Hedy Lamarr invented some technical thing. So, I went looking for that and found that she co-invented spread-spectrum communications.
All this from one flipping click of a mouse.
And when I went back to April’s site to finish up this post, I saw a whole new batch of links. Argh! I got caught up in Merlin’s lists of five things. (Like “Five words that are fun to say in an elaborate Jerry Lewis voice”.)
Must. Turn. Off. PC.
Must. Go. To. Work.
Right after I finish this bottle of gin, so I can get THIS out of my head…