Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Why doesn't the housewife command "Roll-Oh" to crush the annoying salesman? That's what I would have done.

And where can I obtain my very own house-robot to answer the door and fetch people's hats?

*video originally posted by roborama

**I was pretty amazed at the truly nasty sexism in the beginning (!)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Trials,Tribulations and Woe

Well, this week is becoming slightly horrid and inconvenient.

Not only am I terribly, terribly injured from Ultimate Frisbee (I've ruined something jointy or tendonish relating to my knee), and not only did someone else preemptively extend an offer for MY cute little cottage, but I also explosively blew out a tire (road debris) going over 65 mph on the way to work this morning-- almost lost complete control of the car. The money I spent afterwards could have purchased this and this, which is most upsetting.

Thank goodness I don't drive this particular model of vehicle, as it would have taken considerably more money to fix.

To add insult to injury, Johnny Depp still refuses to answer my phone calls and text messages. Has he already forgotten that wistfully beautiful moonlit evening we shared in Paris last year? Has he forgotten that I'm his little Sugar Pie?!! I am listening to music from old dead French people right now, but so far it isn't helping.

Le sigh


Monday, April 23, 2007

Vibrators, Prosthetic Eyes and Other Curious Medical Devices

Can I just say that I absolutely love this website? Now I want to spend all my time collecting obscure and *frighteningly curious medical antiques!
Favorites include:
The Propriety of a Physical Exam (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!)
Quack Medicine! ("light therapy", "preventing onanism", "eye massagers", etc.)
Off the Market Today (actual snake oil, heroin tablets, etc.)

From the section relating to Vibration Therapy:
(just look at those happy faces!)

And, of course, one cannot have an antique medical device website without including completely freaky prosthetic eyeballs (!)

And 17th century orthapedic surgery!

* Some sections (amputation, urology) might not be suitable for those who are terribly, terribly squeamish

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Blog: it's what's for dinner

I won't be blogging this weekend, as I will be indisposed lazy busy sleeping.

Monday will see a return to prime, aged, and totally raw USDA-approved Random_Speak blogging.

Have a great weekend.


The Pulitzer Prize Selection Committee: What Were They Thinking?

As many may have heard, this year's Pulitzer Prizes were recently announced, with the awards ceremony to take place some time next month. While most winners were hardly surprising (Charlie Savage of The Boston Globe for National Reporting and Brett Blackledge of The Birmingham News for Investigative Reporting), there was one result which shocked many across the nation.

The category of Letters, Drama and Music saw what perhaps may be the most unexpected upset in Pulitzer history, with the prize for Fiction being awarded to Cormac McCarthy (Alfred A. Knopf) in a narrowly contested race against Fox News. While McCarthy may have certainly written something that passes for a "novel" acclaimed by "literary critics", its quality never approached the exceptionally imaginative creativity displayed by the Republican-controlled Fox News channel since its inception.

Ranging from tear-jerking, emotional drama to brilliantly comedic moments in their quest to produce the very best in American fiction, they have consistently succeeded in having countless viewers suspend any and all disbelief -- which is the true hallmark of their success. No one else reaches the same level of expertise in mastering such literary conventions as the hyperbole, irony and assonance. And no one else has the imagination to use them.

With yet another egregious defeat in this category, many have called Fox "The Susan Lucci of News Channels", as they are passed over year after year. And after this latest expected win transformed into yet another shocking loss, other more astute observers now ask "Are the Pulitzer Prizes still even relevant?"

Perhaps we shall be answered next year.

* screenshot links taken from Welcome to Pottersville


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Odd Art: Installment # Something-Or-Other

As everyone who knows anything knows, we here at Random_Speak highlight the very best and brightest of the Odd Art genre. To-day we are presenting another educational installment in our ongoing series on black velvet paintings-- this time focusing on two important subgenres: black velvet Jesus and black velvet Elvis.

As one can see in Blind Jesus Suffering From Mumps and Deformed Hands (artist unknown, date unknown), the medium of black velvet painting has often been utilized to express the motif of Christ's possible disabilities, as well as a macho-gestural deconstructive hallucinatory rationalism that explores metaphysical scenery to describe the impossibility of retro-academic apocalyptic representations.

In the classic Hairless Plastic Singing Elvis With Broken Nose and Missing Ears (artist unknown, date unknown), we see a continuation of this teleological attitude towards an affirmative corporeality and non-linear narrative of an infinite symbiotic and meditative hallucination.

As the black-velvet-Elvis-Jesus school of painting slowly matured during the latter half of the twentieth century, there slowly emerged a new style in which these two themes coalesced, as can be seen in the provocative Perplexed King of Kings Without Halo Staring at Clinically-Depressed King of Rock and Roll With Halo After Escaping From Atomic Fallout (artist unknown, date unknown)-- which was generally acknowledged to be the masterpiece of its genre until the creation of Exploding Heart Hispanic Elvis-Jesus near the end of the 1990s.

* More odd art may be found in the drop-down box under my avatar

** images taken from Indignico Inc. (from "The Tijuana Black Velvet Standards of Indignico Inc., The Limitless Edition," a black velvet portraiture series on display and on sale at
The Jesus Christ in The Garden of Gethsemene velvet painting (Tijuana velvet artist "L. Zamora")
The Elvis Presley Singing Into a Microphone Wearing White Jumpsuit and Blue Scarf velvet painting (Tijuana velvet artist "Ricardo Terrones")
The Elvis Presley, side-by-side with his good friend Jesus Christ velvet painting (Tijuana velvet artist "Ramirez")

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some kick-ass lindy hoppers

excerpt from Hellzapoppin (1941) featuring Frankie Manning

originally posted by jivedancer

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

possible Blogger server problems....

It seems people are having image posting issues today, and Random_Speak is no exception.... hopefully they will fix their problem soon.

I was out sick today, but spent some time out of bed to peruse the news and the WTF archives. It makes for very fun reading, although they don't always seem to be very open to having female readers.

my faves (really just to amuse Karen):
Really Unique Passwords
And I think I'll call it -- Referential Integrity!
Manager of the Data Dump
We'll Optimize Later
The Magical Mystery Report
Raiding Disks
Insuring Proper Error Handling
The Really, Really Long Way
Roll Your Own Clustered Index
Practice Makes Perfect
Injection Rejection


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dork-Off! Also, a terribly scandalous play

I had previously written such an incredibly moving blog post filled with philisophical truthiness and brilliantly incisive commentary on the correct principles of reasoning and the essential nature of intelligence. There was critical analysis of international politics, a ground-breaking theory of artificial intelligence and a singular mathematical proof for the existence of cheese.

Rather unfortunately, the White House "accidentally" deleted it, so I will just babble aimlessly about random occurrences from the week instead.


1.) I read Mark Twain's mildly alarming and scandalous one-act play, 1601, which tells the story of Queen Elizabeth trying to sniff out which aristocrat farted in her court. One of the cleaner excerpts runs as follows:

"In ye heat of ye talk it befel yt one did breake wind, yielding an exceding mightie and distresfull stink, whereat all did laugh full sore, and then-

Ye Queene.-Verily in mine eight and sixty years have I not heard the fellow to this fart. Meseemeth, by ye grete sound and clamour of it, it was male; yet ye belly it did lurk behinde shoulde now fall lean and flat against ye spine of him yt hath bene delivered of so stately and so vaste a bulk, where as ye guts of them yt doe quiff-splitters bear, stand comely still and rounde. Prithee let ye author confess ye off spring. Will my Lady Alice testify?"

2.) I attended the first of my earnest friend Brian's "Weird Movie Nights", during which we watched the mildly hallucinatory The Science of Sleep. I also got to meet Brian's friend Charles, who waltzed in with a partially shaved head (acquired from drunken revellers after he fell asleep at a party). It looked a bit like this:
It was most impressive and really lent a strong visual emphasis to our Dork-Off!, in which we bragged about novels, scrabble, discussed prank phone calls at the U.N. (as well as the accidental widespread usage of fake "Untied Nations" stationary), black market smuggling, odd film, Austria, magic realism, Werner Herzog and New York.

Because the haircut is truly a unique and beautiful thing, he decided to keep it for a couple of days -- which means that he was probably anally probed by Homeland Security before boarding his flight to-day.

As an emotional parting gift, Brian presented him with a light-up baseball hat that spelled out "Genius", which we hope will be worn the next time he pitches a screenplay. An added bonus was the fact that it did absolutely nothing to hide his haircut.

heh heh heh

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Sunday, April 15, 2007


I just toddled back home after seeing a lovely and heartwarming film filled with spellbinding action sequences and feel-good performances. And, I hate to admit it but, I do (sniff) love a happy (sniff) ending.

Yes, Grindhouse was all that and more!

***** SPOILER ALERT *****

Not only did it have hordes of the undead, Rose McGowan and a machine gun/prosthetic leg, but it also had Kurt Russell as a psychopathic stuntman with a big scar (yeah!), kick-ass muscle cars, gory violence, "crazy babysitter twins" and vengeance with fists!

I loved the faux trailers sandwiched between the double features, and if anyone ever actually films a movie to go with my favorite one (Machete: They F**ked With The Wrong Mexican!), I will instantly run out to see it. My second favorite trailer (Don't!) cracked me up completely, because it sounded like such a throwback to low budget trash classics like Don't Go in the Basement and Don't Go in the House. And my third favorite (Thanksgiving) was a very believable parody of old nasties like Silent Night Deadly Night. Another noteworthy effort was Werewolf Women of the SS from Rob Zombie...

The first feature, the hilarious Planet Terror from Robert Rodriguez, is full of cheese, gore, testicles and fairly fast action once the zombies start pustulating madly and attacking everyone in sight. But my favorite part had to be the sex scene (complete with a wooden leg) where the film was made to seem completely worn out from continuous play... until the "reel" goes missing. heh heh. The second feature, Death Proof from Quentin Tarantino, was a radical change in energy level (me: "I don't know if I can take all this dialogue shit..."), but it picked up rapidly once Kurt Russell revealed the chilling sadist beneath the affable "Stuntman Mike". This had a great extended car chase as well as a very suspenseful scene where one woman is stuck on the hood of a speeding car.

It's always so funny to watch each Tarantino flick and pick out all the old movies he borrows from (Lady Snowblood! Django! Master of the Flying Guillotine! ha ha ha!) . But this double feature is obviously the result of a torrid love affair with many, many B movie exploitation flicks.

Favorite quotes:
"I'm Cherry."
"You sure are."

"I will eat your brains and gain your knowledge."

"If anyone comes to the door, I want you to shoot them"
"What if it's Dad?"
"Especially if it's your dad"

"White meat. Dark meat. They all get carved."

Can you find where *this image shows up in Death Proof?

I can!

* from Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

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weird old postcards

Yes, yes... I'm lazy to-day. Found these while thrifting.

on the back of the first (dated 1907)
Dear Samuel:
We are saving you a tiger - will ship potatoes later.
How is school and how is the baby?
Big and fat I suppose.
I am going to school
Come up when you can

on the back of the second (dated 1913)
Dear Nitte
how are your get along this wheather
good by from


Thursday, April 12, 2007

more vargas cards

Here are a few more Vargas playing cards

The question is: are these particular ones supposed to correspond to the four branches of the military?

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I've Been thinking....

I'm not naming any names, but I certainly hope that the next time any of my friends are about to give birth they remember to embrace modern technology rather than trying to give birth the "natural" way, which, of course, is hopelessly outdated.

Why go through all the pain of pushing for 48 hours when you can just have your baby come shooting out of you in a stylishly convenient manner?

Forget the breathing, the salad tongs and the C-section -- just strap yourself into the Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force (Patent #3216423)!

Invented by George and Charlotte Blonsky in the 1960s, this technological marvel consists of:
1.) a delivery table, to which the expectant mother is strapped and which is spun around rapidly to generate centrifugal force in order to pop the baby out.
2.) a "pocket-shaped reception net"
3.) a "suitable hand brake"
4.) a safety fence to protect onlookers

I guarantee that this amazing device will completely revolutionize the whole process of giving birth!

* images taken from Wacky Patent of the Month

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the weather is beautiful -- bwah ha ha ha ha ha!

The weather is finally beginning to behave, just when I was about to write a very strongly-worded letter of complaint.

It's time for irresponsible beach outings, lemonade, regular napping, sailing and swimming. Of course, it will also soon be time for termite infestations, fire ant invasions, 3rd degree burns from walking on sidewalks, sudden death from heat prostration and neighborly visits from enormous palmetto bugs -- which have gotten so large that I've taken to naming them things like "Robert" and "Frederick" right before I squish them.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

knowledge is power!

To-day we have interesting and informative excerpts taken from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica!

From Venereal Disease:
"The treatment of acute gonorrhoea is best carried out if the patient can lie up for a while. He must avoid all fermented drinks and rich foods, and sexual and other excitement, and he should drink freely of such things as barley-water, in order to dilute, and lessen the irritation of, the urine. Hot baths are comforting. Laxatives should be freely given."

From Atom:
"The atomic theory has been of priceless value to chemists, but it has more than once happened in the history of science that a hypothesis, after having been useful in the discovery and the co-ordination of knowledge, has been abandoned and replaced by one more in harmony with later discoveries. Some distinguished chemists have thought that this fate may be awaiting the atomic theory, and that in future chemists may be able to obtain all the guidance they need from the science of the transformations of energy. But modern discoveries in radioactivity 2 are in favour of the existence of the atom"

From Automaton:
"... a self-moving machine, or one in which the principle of motion is contained within the mechanism itself. According to this description, clocks, watches and all machines of a similar kind, are automata, but the word is generally applied to contrivances which simulate for a time the motions of animal life. If the human figure and actions be represented, the automaton has sometimes been called specially an androides."

From Cod Liver Oil:
"Cod-liver oil may be given in all wasting diseases, and is occasionally valuable in cases of chronic rheumatoid arthritis; but its great therapeutic value is in cases of tuberculosis of whatever kind, and notably in pulmonary tuberculosis or consumption."

* there is also a lengthy article on phrenology(!), which, if you recall, is the old theory that one can determine personality traits and predict criminal behaviour by reading the shape of the subject's head (i.e., the lumps on various areas of the skull).

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check this out

this might be the weirdest/coolest house I've ever seen


Monday, April 09, 2007

just so the men aren't left out...

We here at Random_Speak have consistently led the pack in informing women of the best in beauty products that target such "problem" areas as the face and the body. In keeping with our commitment to excellence, to-day we are proud to announce a line of superior beauty hygiene products for men!

Do you wish you looked like Clark Gable but have the face of Jimmy Durante instead? Search no further -- you can correct that hideously ugly nose! Just send away for our patent-pending facial harness to shape your flesh and cartilage! Wear it 24 hours a day and women will never notice your nose again!

Even if you have the perfectly masculine nose, you must be vigilant against the evils of "vacation har", which is the bane of athletic men everywhere. Without our product, just dipping your toe in the pool can cause your perfectly coiffed hair to resemble week-old roadkill, so don't forget to order it today!

While we provide the only true cure for vacation hair, we also recommend a regular maintenance program involving our electric-automatic Vitabrush, which gives your scalp and hair an invigorating "workout"! Not only is it relaxing, but it's also a lot of fun to use since you don't really have a real social life anyway.

Chances are that you also have terribly protruding ears, which means that women laugh at you whenever you walk by, and you are a social outcast. If you don't want to spend the rest of your life eating cold pizza alone, you need to send for our mysterious "Primset" apparatus to reset your ears immediately. Not only is it "comfortable" and "harmless", but it is also "invisible".

Those enormous pimples on your face are also quite hideous, which has completely blown all your chances at parties. But take a look at our catalog to order our state-of-the-art skincare products.

In addition to providing products that target the face, we also provide corrective measures for the average body. Try our new inflatable air shorts, which both massage AND slenderize "where you need it most". If you make sure to buy our special deluxe package, our patented air shorts can inflate in just the right place to provide YOU with a special deluxe package -- if you know what I mean (and I think you do).
(ad taken from ModernMechanix)

Of course, no skinny man has any sex appeal, so you will also want to try our new bulky He-Man diet formula with Ironized Yeast tablets. Thousands of thin, tired, nervous men have tried our product-- and now they all have successful jobs as Certified Nursing Assistants carting helplessly paralyzed damsels around.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Drunks and Quiches

This year's Easter party seemed to be a success. Everyone enjoyed a toasty bonfire, beer, sausages, ritual sacrifices of stuffed animals, a drunken attempt at summoning Satan and an official countdown to the Resurrection.

The morning brunch was also quite successful, as we enjoyed drinking mimosas and making faces at babies-- including Sandra and Rene's newborn, Brooks, who was dressed rather stylishly as a burrito.

To celebrate, I helped make four delicious varieties of quiche... I am posting my favorite as people always seem to be emailing me asking for recipes.

Easter Hangover Quiche

1. two cups of grated cheese (we used swiss, but cheddar might be better)
2. four eggs
3. one and 1/3 cup milk
4. one deep dish pie crust
5. a large handful or two of thinly sliced zucchini sauteed with garlic and olive oil, enough to create a thick layer in the pie (although spinach might be yummier)
6. some mushrooms sauteed with garlic and olive oil
7. four slices of chopped, cooked bacon (or more if desired)
8. a bunch of chopped scallions
9. a bunch of fresh dill
10. some fresh cilantro or fresh basil
11. a few pinches of paprika
12. salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. pile the grated cheese in an even layer in the bottom of the pie crust
3. layer the zucchini evenly next
4. layer the mushrooms
5. layer the bacon and scallions
6. layer all the fresh herbs on top of that (make sure to use a LOT of dill)
7. throw the eggs and milk into a bowl and really beat the hell out of the mixture, making sure to add some salt and pepper in the process
8. pour the egg/milk mixture into the pie crust on top of the other ingredients
9. sprinkle some paprika on top
10. bake in the oven for 35 - 40 minutes then let cool for a few minutes.

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Happy Easter from the Resident Heathen

I'm about to take a little jaunt back to last night's party, which is actually still going and has been transformed into an Easter Sunday brunch.

Meanwhile, here are some Easterish sorts of links:

Disapproving Rabbits
Cooking with Peeps
Peeps in Outer Space
Scary Easter Bunny
2007 White House Eggs by State
Egg Art
Rabbit Recipes
Peep research!
Easter Island Travel Guide
Peep Show
Make Your Own Peeps at Home


Saturday, April 07, 2007

random activity

After noshing on very very very yummy foodish things at the India Grill downtown, a group of us meandered to the Independent and then on to the Globe. We met up with Brian and listened to Geri X, who was absolutely amazing live and had the crowd swooning. You can buy some of her music through Mekka Records. Unfortunately, she is moving from the area, but will luckily return for Tropical Heat Wave in May and On This Earth in July. Her voice reminds me slightly of Harriet Wheeler's for some reason.

An absolutely lovely evening was had by all, and Ally (of course) received a random marriage proposal. At least this was a change from all the remarks like "Hey, Legs!" and "Hey, I'm lost can you give me directions, Gorgeous?" that she kept getting the last time I took her downtown. We seriously could not walk more than five yards without commentary.

There is something I would like to add, but I'm not allowed to yet as it involves celebrities and gobs of cash. AAAAARGH!

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Some Geri X footage I found on YouTube

She sounds much better in person, but....

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Did you remember National Have Fun At Work Day?

I hope that everyone remembered to celebrate national "Have Fun At Work Day" to-day; I certainly did! Of course, practically every day is Have Fun At Work Day, as long as you don't forget to remember to forget any actual work.

I celebrated the day with a couple of coworkers by blowing off anything useful for the afternoon, shooting hordes of the undead with a plastic pump-action shotgun, eating snacks, tossing basketballs and smashing virtual race cars at the Gameworks arcade. We also competed in a slightly dangerous series of air hockey games, from which I am still nursing a minor injury.

There remains only one message for those who worked as usual:

Suckers! ha ha ha ha ha!


Almost Forgot!

Congratulations are in order for my lovely friends Sandra and Rene, who had their first child earlier this week. As both parents score very high on the Cute-O-Meter, I suspect that when I visit to-morrow, he will be more of the same.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

sinking to a new level of uselessness on teh internets...

While rummaging around in a state of ennui, I happened upon some random old photos of someone's ancestors. Being a rather thoughtful and scholarly sort, I've spent many minutes researching their lives and history, which I thought would be interesting to share.

Meet Ethel Quackenbush, the sixth daughter in a family of twelve children, ten of whom died of melancholia during their teens. While Ethel survived well into her forties, she is pictured here at the age of twenty, two years before she burned down the local schoolhouse in a fit of insanity caused by untreated tertiary syphilis, which she contracted from a traveling Bible salesman. She spent the remainder of her life locked up in the family attic, where she spent her time weaving clothing from cat hair and writing incoherent sonnets.

Gertrude Penelope Fizzle and Edwin Codger Fizzle III are pictured here at the left. This notorious brother and sister team secretly continued a ten year incestuous relationship while embezzling large sums from the local church's Widows and Orphans Fund. Although relatively uneducated, the Fizzles managed to leave town with their crimes undetected until some months later. After managing to evade the authorities for several years while disguised as contortionists in a traveling carnival, they were finally hung after being captured between the snakecharmer's tent and the lemonade stand.

Victoria T. Higginbottom (pictured at left) spent most of her youth suffering from a severe goiter, but she never let that dampen her spirits. Condemned to a life of spinsterhood after her fiancé was tragically trampled in a runaway carriage accident, she continued to wear what would have been her wedding gown every day for the rest of her life. She was often seen wandering through the cemetery, but also spent much of her time taking parcels of baked goods to the local Poorhouse. Unlike most of her generation, she lived to the ripe old age of fifty-eight.

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Old Corset Ads

Tired of having all that "flesh"?

Strap on one of our patented ultra-tight corsets, and you can have a waist so small that you will be unable to physically reach for that last doughnut, let alone eat it! In no time at all, you too will have that extra-exra-extra-teensy-tiny insect-like physique, the delicately pale complexion, melancholia, vapors and woe. We guarantee you will find yourself draped romantically and consumptively on the fainting couch of your choice while dashing suitors anxiously pat your hand and try to revive you.

Don't forget to buy yours to-day!

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Monday, April 02, 2007


I've been cleaning the apartment, as it currently resembles a dilapidated bawdy house that's been condemned after weeks of carousing by irresponsible bikers, mentally ill escapees and various malcontents. Of course, that's after I washed all the dishes.

It was much worse before.

Other useless news that no one really cares about:

1. I received a promotion! Yay! Now all I need to make my life complete is a vast loinclothed army of servants..... and a pony.

2. Someone also gave me the "Mad Scientist" award at work. I'm going to take it as a compliment, as I was also given a lovely purple dancing monkey pen to go with it.

3. I accidentally damaged a developer by taking him to Ultimate Frisbee night. He is still limping severely one week later.

4. Someone hit me rather badly in the head during Sunday scrimmage. I've been told that it's made absolutely no difference in my behaviour.


Oddish Links I am Posting Because I Am Far Too Lazy To Write A Real Post:

the top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of all time

A Case of Curiosities
Unusual Phobias
The Official Mr. Bill Homepage
Pets In Clothes
Belly Button Lint Collection
Dorcus Menswear
the 100 worst films of the 20th century
invest in the Time Travel Fund
weird recipes
The Nerdity Test
Snowflake Gallery
Toilet Paper Museum
Rate My Fish

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