The Occasional Joke


Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Look out, Daedalus Books

Although Daedalus remains my favorite source for remainders and other less-than-mainstream books, I've run across another source of good stuff, Revisionist Press, specializing in books that question conventional wisdom, mainstream science, and common sense. Here are a few items from their Holiday Catalog:

  • The Really Interesting Stuff I Found, Douglas N. Thusiast. Chronicles two years' work on the author's family farm, excavating a site which he now believes represents centuries of pre-Colombian habitation by the lost tribes of Israel in central Indiana. Details his struggles with the archaeological establishment and his valiant efforts to bring his theories to the public, despite widespread scepticism and his complete lack of academic credentials. Not the first but certainly the most recent exposition of the "I really want to believe this, so it must be true" approach to epistemology. "Presents a distinctly new theory of the settlement of the Americas, based on seemingly irrefutable evidence consisting of some scratches on some rocks." The Complete Wacko Magazine. "Hard to argue with, since he refuses to speak to strangers." Journal of American Hallucination.
  • Hydrate Your Way to Health, The International Bottled Water Association. A team of hired physiologists sets forth the case that the more water you drink, the healthier you'll be, also more attractive to the opposite sex, and cooler. "It's blindingly simple," explains the chapter on coolness. "Drink half a bottle of water and pour the rest over your head: presto, you're cool. Or cooler, anyway."
  • Sons of Heaven and Corn: The Chinese Discovery of Des Moines, Louis Natick. Based on careful study of aerial photography, satellite imagery, and epigraphy (scratches on rocks), Natick (who holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the University of Phoenix) argues that an offshoot of the fifteenth century expeditions of Zheng He found the northwest passage, sailed down through Hudson Bay, built birch bark junks in what is now Lake Huron, visited the site of present-day Cleveland, and then marched overland to eventually found Des Moines, bringing with them the life-giving grain we know as "corn," plus the recipes for ethanol and bourbon. "Very convincing, if you're prepared to abandon two hundred years of western-centric thinking and hard data." Proceedings of the American Council of Deluded Halfwits.
  • A Really Nice Guy, Once You Get to Know Him, Ed. Newton Leroy Gingrich. Anthology of contrarian biographies, exposing decades of liberal mud slinging at such misunderstood historical figures as J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph Stalin, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-P√©rigord, Slobodan MiloŇ°evic, Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, William Marcy Tweed, John Mitchell, and Attila the Hun. "Makes you think twice ..." The Wall Street Journal.
  • Mounds of Rubbish, Rev. Utter Lee Barking. Lays out the Reverend Barking's theory that North America was populated in ages past by a race of white ("well, white-ish") mound-builders who were eventually overwhelmed by dusky-skinned barbarians from somewhere else (the book is a bit vague on just where the invaders came from -- in one chapter, it's the Middle East, in another place, it's Newark.) He bases his conclusions on the debris and discardia found in his excavations of a mound on his property in West Virginia, including inscriptions on golden tablets, copies of the Wall Street Journal, and some scratches on rocks. Traditional archaeologists, confronted with Barking's evidence, tend to resort to cheap shots such as pointing out that the mound in question is approximately 4 feet high and does not appear to have existed prior to 1987. Barking refutes this criticism in a chapter entitled, "Unbelievers Shall Burn in Hell!"

Get your copies now, while supplies last and lawsuits are still pending.

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