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About me and terrycolon.com

Interview of me at Existable

Interview of me at The Setup

Notes for Young Illustrators  Learn from My Experience, or Get Your Own

features1 archives1 cracked1

American History 101 2.0  The Fake But Accurate Story

Chartology Made Stupid  Connecting the Dots

Cosmology-Wiz  A Shorter History of Everything and Nothing

Dangerous Hot Air  The Truth About Inconvenient Global Warming

The Disunited States of America  A Preview of Coming Attractions?

Don’t Look Down  Everthing You Never Wanted to Know About Air Travel

E-Z P-Z House Selling  Redirect, Repackage, Relabel

Government Machinery at Work  How the Wheels of the Bureaucracy Grind

Happy New Year  2007 in Review

How ESP Works  Mind Reading Diagramed and Explained

Lights, Camera, Reaction!  The Periodic Table of Hollywood Plot Elements

Mess Transit  Bus Riding Primer for Dummies

Mysteries of UFOs Revealed  They’re Here, They Are, They Are, They Are

Money Blather  Your Guide to Economic Jargon, Lingo, and Gobbledegook

Not-so-Special Winter Olympics  Olympic Events You’ll Never See

Quick and Easy Housekeeping  Or Sisyphus Unbound and Unkempt

A Short Long Good-bye  It's the End of the Year as We Know It

Space Warps and Wefts  What Fabric Is The Fabric of Space Made Of?

Star Dreck  Musings of a Semi Hemi Demi Trekker

Those Darn Cats  Our Deal With the Devils

Unnatural Empty Junkfood Words  Half-Baked Buzz Phrases and Overcooked Terms

Uranimals  Beastly Beasts

Welcome to the Burbs  Whatever it Is

Win Any Argument  Using Paralogic and Surreason

Winless Wear  2008 Detroit Lions Merchandise

Reader's Digest

The B-B-Q Pyramid  For the Cooking Unimpaired

Mythic Snowmen  And More Snowmen

Quick and Easy Meals  For the Cooking Impaired

Venn Again, Again  More of the Same, But Different

Venn Again, Maybe Not  Another Last Laugh

Suck.com

Crash Course  Cartoon Motorcycle Accidents Versus Cartoonist Motorcycle Accidents

Suck School of Comic Art  How to Draw Funny

Suck School of Comic Art - Graduate Course  How to Draw Funnier

Bernoulli, Coanda & Lift  What Is What and What Is and Isn’t Doing What

Better Than Sliced Bread  Uncelebrated Inventions Great and Small

Bikes Don’t Turn By Leaning  Proving Cones and Gyroscopes Are Futile

Billiards Bits for Beginners  The Shape of Cheating the Pocket With Throw

Changes that Changed Everything  The 10 Greatest Inventions of All Time?

Counter-Steering Made Easy-Peasy  Balancing a Bike by Turning

Folk Etymology  From the Greek Meaning “Fake it”

The Futility of Fashionable Foods and Fitness Fads  Is It a Paradox or Not?

Flying Made Simple  Understanding How Planes Can Fly Without all the Messy Details

How Planes Can Fly  The Correct Explanation of Lift For Non-Engineers

Moving Goalposts  It's Harder to Make Ends Meet Because We Keep Moving Them Apart

My First Car  How I Almost Ran Myself Over With a Jerry-rigged Jalopy

Notes for Young Illustrators  Learn from My Experience, or Get Your Own

Optical Illusions You Often Run Into  Don’t Worry, They Don’t Hurt

“Pass the Honey, Sugar”  The Processed Food Processed Food Haters Love

A Powerplant in Your Garage?  Dense Plasma Focus Fusion

Science Legends
Things People Know to Be True That Aren’t

There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat  Three Card Monte Math Which May Surprise You

Unsurprising Yet remarkable  One Step at a Time to One Step Beyond

Works for Me  Prosperity Is As Energy Does

Bizarro.TerryColon.www  Goodbye, Earthlings

Elusiver, Mysteriouser Creatures  Another Search Game

Find the Secret Message  A different Kind of Word Search

Hollywhat?  A Movie Trivia Quiz of the Funny, the Obscure, and the Strange

Internetelepathy  I Will Read Your Mind

Mystic 8 Ball  Ultimate Mystic Service Answers Any Yes-or-No Question

99 & 44/100 % Pure Amusement  A Pop Quiz About Percentages and Probabilities

Superest Super Bowl League  What Is the Best Pre-Merger League at Winning the Big Game?

Terra Incognita  A Trick Tricky Geography Quiz

Unanimated Gif Monte  A Little Optical Illusion Fun

What Was That Nym Again?  Some Fun With Words

Webio-Bot Video Games and Animation

Whack-a-Bot  Quick, Get 'Em!

Webio-Bot Illusion  A Little Fun With Optical Illusions

Webio-Bot Invaders  Save the Planet

Webio-Bot Rerun  Getting Into the Net With the Web-a-Tron 9000

Webio-Bot Rescue  A Game Where You're the Hero

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Ultimate Mystic Service Answers Any Yes-or-No Question

Another Search Game

Getting Into the Net With the Web-a-Tron 9000

Animated Optical Illusions

Using Paralogic and Surreason


updates

How the Wheels of the Bureaucracy Grind

I Will Read Your Mind

Lift Explained


reruns

Cosmology-Wiz

A Shorter History of Everything and Nothing

Remembering WWI As It Really Wasn't

Proving Cones and Gyroscopes Are Futile


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Bus Riding Primer for Dummies

Taking the bus is the newest hot trend folks around the country are flocking to in droves. Okay, that's obviously a lie, but I need a catchy lead-in to this bit. Anyway, sheep come in flocks and cattle go in droves, and who wants to commute like livestock? For the sake of argument, or rather to avoid any argument, let's pretend the opening line were true.

Folks who've never ridden a bus will benefit from some tips on how it's done safely and effectively. Therefore we present this Bus Riding Primer for Dummies. Which is not to say you have to be a dummy to ride the bus, but you may be one if you follow our advice…

Read it all

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Balancing a Bike by Turning

It's hard to believe some people don't believe counter-steering is a real thing. This despite the century or so of motorcycle racers doing it. For those readers unfamiliar with counter-steering, it is some­times stated as, "Turn right to go left." It might sound absurd, but it works.

The first thing we need to clear up is that counter-steering is not really about turning so much as about leaning and balance. Which means "turn right to go left" is misleading though accurate. I'll explain that in a bit.

If you read my article Bikes Don't Turn by Leaning you know why leaning a bike can't possibly make it turn. The reverse is completely contrary, turning a bike will make it lean. Which might sound somewhat inconsistant until you think about it for a minute…

Read it all

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Learn from My Experience, or Get Your Own

There comes a time in life when one feels duty bound to pass on the benefit of one's experience to the younger generation whether they like it or not. Then one can retire and collect Social Security so the younger generation can pass on part of their income in return. Whether this is an equitable trade is debatable. After reading said benefit of one's experience and realizing how paltry one's contribution is, one might conclude there's no debate about it.

One might also realize calling oneself one or oneself sounds pretty stilted and stupid and one should cut it out forthwith. And never again say forthwith, either.

I was going to call this article, "Advice for…" but thought that might be doing the young illustrator a disservice. Truth be told, I don't know that I have any great pearls of wisdom to pass on. Or nuggets either as wisdom comes packaged that way, too. Experience is the name we give to all the dumb things we've done. Wisdom is realizing afterward just how dumb they really were…

Read it all

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Come enjoy Whack-a-Bot, the video game that's endless fun for the whole family. Though you'll have to take turns unless watching someone else play is fun to you. Then again, the fun might not be endless, but the game can be. That's because, well, try it and see.

Play Whack-a-Bot

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Relabeled and Rejiggered

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The new and improved bigger and better than ever Shorts section has arrived. Well, it didn't just arrive it took a lot of work on our part. You'll be happy to know it involves no work or effort on the reader's part. Just click, read, enjoy.

The change isn't major, just a reorganization of the pagination. Instead of arbitrary numbered pages the categories are put together by years. This will make it much easier to update and keep track of things. For us, that is. For the reader I can't imagine it makes much difference. The content hasn't changed, just the files. Old clowns in new shoes.

Filing bits by year means once a page is done it's done and won't be further fussed with. Unless we get a time machine and change the past. Unlikely. Besides, if we had a time machine there are better things to do with it than post-updating terry colon dot com.

There are no doubt a few stray internal links that are now defunct. We'll get around to fixing them all in due time. Being lazy we can't say when that time is due.

Filed under Odds & Ends 5/26/15

Nobody Expects… You Know

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Another oldie but goodie spot illustration from the Reason magazine archives.

Darling Velez waited years to become a Spanish citizen. But after finally accepting the Colombian woman's application, the government reversed itself. Spanish law forbids the government to register names that do not clearly indicate gender or might provoke ridicule. Registry officials suggested Darling change her first name to that of a saint to clearly indicate her gender, but she wants to keep the name she has had for 33 years.

Filed under Snippets 5/22/15

Surfing the Globe

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A Variety Six-Pack

  1. No better mouse trap, but clever redesigns of simple objects
  2. Bathroom humor, literally
  3. Peoples of the world mapped according to other people, or plotting stereotypes of stereotypes
  4. All signs point to huh?
  5. There's a reason boats have boat tails: boat tails for trucks save gas
  6. Some people are wildly indignant over just about anything it seems

There's really no link among the links other than we found them interesting or amusing.

Filed under Top Tens & Other Lists 5/19/15

Star Trek Is Real (Sort-of)

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"Make it so." A familiar phrase to Trekkers. You know, Jean-Luc Picard, TNG. The first time I heard the character say it I thought it was contrived. The writers attempt to create a catch-phrase for their new non-Kirk captain. I have since learned this bit of naval jargon goes way back in British naval history.

It seems Captain Picard was continuing an old British ship captain's tradition. Which by his time would have been a thousand years old. Still, Picard was supposed to be French, despite Patrick Stewart's obviously English accent. Shouldn't he have spoken like Pepe LePew or something?

OK, all very trivial. How about this? Remember transparent aluminum from Star Trek IV? Guess what, it's a real thing: Transparent Aluminum

Filed under Fun Facts & Trivia 5/15/15

Halloween in New York

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In honor of National Police Week I present this spot of art from Reason magazine of February 2008. OK, I admit not so much in honor really. National Police Week recognizes good police work, not the kind of police work below. If you can call it police work.

When officers Thomas Elliassen and Michael Danese caught a 14-year-old boy tossing eggs at cars on Staten Island last Halloween, they did what any cops would do. They took him to a swampy area, made him strip to his shorts and socks, and left him there.

Filed under Snippets 5/11/15

Not Guilty Is No Excuse

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Another 'Brickbats' spot done for Reason magazine in 2007. Once again, it happened in Britain.

Warren Blackwell spent three years in a British prison after being falsely accused of rape. After an appeals court freed him, he expected to get some compensation for being wrongly imprisoned. Instead, he got a bill for nearly 7,000 for "board and lodging" from the Home Office.

And if he doesn't pay he goes to jail and the meter will just keep running. If it were debtors prison he'd never get out.

Filed under Snippets 5/8/15

When Hroses Wore Shews

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Many, many years ago folks in England didn't know about the birds and the bees. Only because the word bird used to be brid. Bee was bee, but wasp used to be waps. And a horse was a hros. Over time the sounds within the words got switched around. It's a process called metathesis. How exactly does it happen? Don't aks me. See, in some quarters it's happening today with ask, aks.

Back in the day folks talked the talk and walked the walk differently. If you went back in a time machine and listened, you'd hear them pronounce the L in folk, talk and walk. Dropping a sound out of a word is called velarisation. Anyway, you've got to figure they spelled the words with those now unsaid letters for a reason.

To show these things can be undone, Americans have returned the L sound to psalm and balm. If you listen to some folks talk they're returning the T sound to often. Though nobody has started to say the T in listen or glisten. Yet.

Oh yes, the Y in ye was pronounced as the TH sound. That Y represents an old rune, thorn. Ye wasn't said as yee, or thee, it was simply the.

Filed under Word Meanings & Origins 5/5/15

Staking out the Trash

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Another 'Brickbats' spot done for Reason magazine in April 2007:

In London, England, the Ealing Council is spending $285,000 a year for plainclothes police officers to hunt down people who put their trash out too early.

Because CCTV cameras on every corner just can't contain the crime wave of premature rubbish sweeping across the city. What could be worse than early trash? Witness this 'Brickbats' from 2010:

The English shopkeeper Mark Howard says he recycles all the cardboard boxes his bicycles come in, sometimes as packaging for secondhand bikes and sometimes at home as bedding for his chickens. The Southend Council has fined him 180 for not producing any garbage.

Filed under Snippets 5/1/15

New Wheels

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I've gone from a used '64 Ford Falcon to a 2015 Wolf Islander. With about twenty or so other cars, vans, and motorcycles in between. Progress? Well, vehicles sure have changed in the interim. Your average econobox of today is more advanced than a Ferrari GTO of the '60s. Though the Ferrari still looks way cooler.

I didn't have a motor scooter when I was young, but the new one is different than what I could have had; the body is entirely plastic. Which surprised me, though maybe it shouldn't have. Many car and motorcycle fairings and such are plastic nowadays. Some entire car bodies are plastic, like a Saturn.

While my new motor scooter has a retro look of an old Piaggio Vespa, the original motor scooters out of Italy were advanced designs in their day being built with monocoque airplane technology. In fact, Piaggio manufactured aircraft for the Italian military in WWII. After the war they switched to building civilian vehicles with airplane technology. By the way, vespa is Italian for wasp. Just one glance at a riderless Vespa explains the name.

Anyway, the rather non-standard technology of that old Falcon led to a rather peculiar adventure, see My First Car. What adventures are in store for the new Islander I can hardly imagine. Though I hope it doesn't involve any broken bones.

Filed under Odds & Ends 4/29/15

Rolling in Dough


"I'll be forever in your debt."

While that's just a figure of speech to most, to a bank it's a business model. That's because in a way a bank never pays off its debts. Banks are in debt as long as they exist.

This is how it works. Say a bank opens with $100m of deposits. Deposits are loans to the bank. Year after year accounts grow and shrink, new accounts open, old accounts close. All the while the total deposits hover right around $100m. (Adjusted for inflation) Two hundred years after the bank's founding deposits are still $100m and none of the original accounts or depositors exist.

In effect, the bank continually rolls over it's debt paying off old loans of old depositors with new loans from new depositors. In aggregate the bank never pays off the $100m principle, it more-or-less transfers the ownership of its IOUs. As long as the bank can take new loans to pay old loans it can go on forever paying only interest on the perpetually rolled over debt.

Unlike people, banks are not mortal. Mortal people generally pay off the principle on loans they take; banks, corporations and governments don't need to. Theoretically these institutions could never pay off outstanding debt so long as they can roll over their loans and make the interest payments.

This is why some folks say, "Debt doesn't matter." If you can repay old loans with new loans it would seem not to matter. If you simply ignore the interest paid. Ten percent interest means paying an amount equal to the principle every ten years. Or ten times the principle in a century.

Anyway, immortal institutions can and do go bust from bank runs and liquidity crunches, where old loans are called and new loans are not forthcoming. Suddenly the immortal is mortal after all. Just ask Lehman Brothers about that.

Filed under Quotes & Sayings 4/28/15

Simple Water Molecule Is Simply Amazing

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Living things are mostly water. By weight a person is about two-thirds water. On the other hand, the simple water molecule is much, much smaller than long-chained fat and proteine molecules. By count 99% of the molecules in your body are water.

We all know plants get energy from sunlight. Photosynthesis and all that. But, do people get energy directly from sunlight? Well, if Dr. Gerald Pollack is onto something about sunlight and what he calls the fourth phase of water, maybe we do. Shine light on this structured water and it moves itself through a tube, it performs work, it has electrical charge separation. No chlorophyl involved, just H2O. Or in it's fourth phase, H3O2.

So then, what is a living organism really all about? Is it all a sophisticated way of organizing the work done by water into a higher order function? Is life really carbon based as they say, or water based? Is water alive? Or proto-living, if that's a real thing?

Filed under Fun Facts & Trivia 4/24/15

Fourth Time’s the Charm

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And now, an old 'Strange Deaths' spot illo from Fortean Times magazine of several years back.

A Pentacostal preacher who followed his father into the practice of handling snakes to prove his faith in God died after a timber rattlesnake bit him on the thigh during an outdoor service in Panther State Forest, near Bluefield, West Virginia, on 27 May. Mark Wolford, 44, pastor of the Full Gospel Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka, West Virginia, had survived three previous bites. Praise the Lord and pass the rattle­snakes, brother, he had written four days before his death. His father had also died after being bitten – in 1983, aged 39. Serpent-handlers cite Mark 16:1718 as justification for their practice. It is illegal in some states, such as North Carolina and Tennessee.

Yes, I've posted this one before. But now it's in the archives so I won't do it again. Some people learn not to repeat things over and over until it bites them on the behind.

Filed under Snippets 4/21/15

Blue Light Special in Isle Three

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Since I'm currently busy doing the 'Brickbats' art for an upcoming issue of Reason magazine, I thought I'd post an old 'Brickbats' spot from an old Reason magazine issue. Enjoy.

Georgette Prince was coming out of an Akron, Ohio, convenience store when a man pushed her back into the store, pointed a gun at her, and told her to get on the ground. When she did, he pulled her hands behind her and handcuffed her. Outside, another man pointed a gun at her 12-year-old son, Davonte, ordered the boy out of the vehicle he was sitting in, and forced him to the ground. The armed men were part of a SWAT team that was raiding the store as part of a shoplifting inves­tigation. SWAT team members and other members of the sheriff's office say their treatment of Prince and her son was "according to the book."

Who wrote that book? The Committee for Public Safety?

Filed under Snippets 4/16/15

The Other King of Rock & Roll

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Other than all being rock and rollers of sorts, what do Paul Revere & the Raiders, Jan & Dean, The Sonics, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, Toots & the Maytals, the Stooges, the Clash, Lou Reed, Black Flag, the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Sisters of Mercy, Bruce Springsteen, and Smashing Pumpkins have in common? OK, rather a vague question. Let's ask it this way, what song do they have in common? What song have they all recorded, along with about 1,600 other people?

"Louie, Louie" by Richard Berry. Check out the whole story of how he wrote the most recorded song in rock and roll history and hit pay dirt. Forty years later.

Just a little point of style: You almost always see it titled as "Louie Louie." But on the original record it was "Louie, Louie" with a comma. Which is right? Does it matter? You also see Rock 'n' Roll instead of rock and roll. Should you capitalize musical genres? As far as I can find, you don't need to, but many find it acceptable. As they say, close enough for rock and roll.

Filed under Fun Facts & Trivia 4/13/15

Name That Beast

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Infrequently Answered Question #85: Is a muskrat a kind of musky rat? Is a crayfish a fish that is cray? Do groundhogs oink? Do woodchucks chuck wood?

A: While we might see rat and fish in them, they aren't the origin of muskrat and crayfish which are actually foreign words that have been Anglicized. Crayfish comes from the French écrevisse which isn't a fish but a kind of lobster. Though it may be a musky rodent, muskrat allegedly derives from the Algonquin word muscascus, meaning red.

A groundhog isn't some kind of pig-rat. Groundhog is another name for a woodchuck. The origin of woodchuck is not certain, though some say it is from Algonquin, wecyeka. Do woodchucks chuck wood? There you have me. All I know is there is no Wood­chuck Day.

Hardly that interesting, you say? OK, let's go off on an animal names tangent. How about a wienerdog. That's just a comical name for a dachshund. A wiener, short for wienerwurst, is a sausage from Vienna, Wienne in German. Still, dachshunds don't get no respect. They're silly looking. Short legs, floppy ears, long body like a hotdog.

However if you translate the name from German it might change your idea about the breed. Dachs is the German word for badger, hund is hound or dog. A dachshund is a badger dog, a dog bred to go into burrows and kill badgers. Takes a pretty fierce animal to do that for a living.

Is a dachshund a terrier? That I don't know. Terriers were also bred small and fierce to go into burrows and kill. Which might make them terrors, or terrifying. Which isn't why they're terriers. The term derives from Latin Terre, earth, because they hunt underground.

Filed under Infrequently Answered Questions 4/11/15

Time for a Debt Jubilee?

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We all know about the seven day cycle called a week. Comes from the Bible. The seventh day is the Sabbath day, a day of rest, a reset day. There's also a Biblical seven year cycle. The seventh year is a Sabbath year, called the Shemitah, a reset year. Then there's a seven-seven year cycle, a sort-of super Shemitah every 49 years. It marks a Debt Jubilee, all debts are forgiven, wiped out. It's a super reset year.

We don't bother with that sort of thing now-a-days. But maybe it's not a bad idea. It would be one way to wring out excessive debt in the system built up over time. With a debt wipeout every half century we couldn't run up massive debts the next generation is on the hook for. Give it a modern spin and call it the Social Justice Cycle.

Still, mightn't it lead to irresponsible borrowing if people knew their debts would simply be wiped out? Yes, if lenders were stupid enough to give long-term loans in year 48. If everyone knew the great reset was scheduled they'd plan so they wouldn't be left holding the bag. One can imagine how it might make lending and borrowing more responsible, not less.

The Debt Jubilee is something in the way of Biblical central banking. —That Yahweh, He thinks He's Janet Yellen.— Believers say this seventh seventh year comes along whether we like it or not. Debt forgiveness or default, same result. Unless I'm mistaken, September 2015 is supposed to be the start of such a year. Is that when the Shemitah hits the fan?

Yep, I wrote this whole thing just to get in that bad pun. Or did I?

Filed under Talkin' Bout Money 4/7/15

More Fun With Flags

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The five interlocking olympic rings flag symbolizes the peoples of the world getting together in peaceful sport and games. There's one ring for each continent: Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. Wait, that's seven. Who'd they leave out?

Antarctica is certainly missing. Nobody lives there. Or rather, there's no indigenous population. There are no Antarcticans and no Antarctican olympic team. Not even for the winter games which you'd figure they'd be pretty good at if they existed. The Antarcticans, that is. The winter games exist, despite most folks not really caring that much.

I guess the other missing continent is Australia which is all one country. Still, it is a continent so why the snub? Then again, why should one country have a ring of its own?

All the same, Europe and Asia aren't really separate continents in any geographical sense. It's pretty much an ethnic division between white folks and other-than-white folks. But the Olympic ideal is bringing people together, not dividing them. So make it one continent. There's already a name for it, Eurasia.

Now we're down to four continents and four rings. But that's the Audi logo. Can't have that. Maybe we can let four rings represent the four continents and the fifth ring be the leftover non-continental bits. That sort-of works. On the other hand, who the hell cares? Let the games begin! Uh, next year.

Filed under The Casual Sportsman 4/4/15

As the World Turns Upside Down

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The Earth's magnetosphere is sort-of like a protective force field against cosmic radiation and high energy particles emitted from the sun. Don't look now, but the Earth's magnetic field is getting weaker. It's lost about 15% of its strength in the last 150 years. The pace of the weakening is increasing, the last quarter century accounts for a third of that loss.

At the same time the Earth's magnetic poles are moving. Also at an accelerating rate. Could be the magnetic poles are going to flip, or are already starting to. The poles have periodically flipped in the past and those who study these things say it's overdue to do it again. Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed

The sun has gone quiet as well, sunspot activity is much lower than anticipated. Some solar scientists posit we're entering another grand minimum, like the Maunder minimum that accompanied the Little Ice Age.

Is there a connection between these three things? How weak will the Earth's magnetic field get? How long does it take the magnetic field to flip? What happens while it does? Will a grand solar minimum be a good or bad thing during all this? Other than compasses being pretty unreliable, it's hard to imagine.

Could it be Sir Isaac Newton's calculation for the end of the world in 2060 was not so crazy as it seems? I make no prediction on that score. Maybe you should consult the Mystic Eight Ball. Should the phenomena start wreaking havoc the information in this Fun Facts & Trivia entry might turn out to be not so trivial. Or fun, either.

Filed under Fun Facts & Trivia 4/2/15

Fun With Flags

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People like flags. What exactly the appeal is I couldn't say, but you can't deny people like flying them, wearing them, and sticking them on things. All the same, in my view there are only a handful of national flags that are both visually appealing and distinctive.

Way too many flags are hard to tell apart. Like all those striped flags, mostly made of three horizontal or vertical colored bands. Europe is full of non-distinctive striped flags. I mean, if you can't tell what it is in a black and white picture it's not all that distinctive.

The best European flag is the UK union jack, both visually appealing and distinctive. I'd go so far as to say it's the best national flag in the world. Though the union jack is really three flags in one, all explained here.

The Japanese flag is very good distinctive-wise, though perhaps a bit sparse. China's is OK, but they miss the boat by not having a dragon. How could they pass that up? Turkey and Switzerland have good flags, though they are basically the same idea: a big white religious symbol on a red flag.

The US flag is distinctive, but too busy with all those stars and stripes. With the blue panel in the upper corner it looks like a flag within a flag. Overall rather lopsided and ungainly. Plus it just looks wrong facing right-to-left.

Let me offer a new design for the US flag. To be less busy we lose the red stripes. Or are they white stripes? Whatever, ax the stripes. Fifty stars is a lot of stars. I get that they represent the fifty states, but states don't mean much since now-a-days the federal government runs the show.

So we're left with one white star on a blue field. Not that great. Besides, blue is not very inclusive, think of all the colors left out. Can't have that. Let's go with black and white. White covers the entire light spectrum, black makes all that color diversity pop. This leaves us with a white star on a black field.

Five-pointed stars on flags are a dime a dozen, plus too many communist countries use them. So let's swap out the star for something else. Since it's supposed to be a democracy we need some­thing to represent people, like a human head. But it has to be generic, no ethnicity or sex. The flag should also have something to remind all foreigners that the US of A is the most powerful country on the planet. I think I've got it. Now, that's a flag…

Mouseover to see the new, improved US flag

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Filed under Odds & Ends 3/31/15

More More Fun All Over

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Half a Dozen Side Trips Through the Web Portal

  1. Need a joke flyer, take a joke flyer
  2. Don't cross this Mexican pedestrian at the pedestrian crossing
  3. Do-it-yourself you never thought to do yourself
  4. One is not like the other — Oh wait, it is
  5. Don't tell Elaine Benis what doctors write on medical charts
  6. If you don't like cute cats catnapping cutely the link is optional

Try as you might you'll be hard pressed to find a link between the links. They're just various collections of various things, and one video, that made me smile. Though these days I guess you're supposed to say diverse instead of various.

Filed under Top Tens & Other Lists 3/28/15

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