New content every weekday. Sometimes.

Month: July, 2014

Just a Thought: Snowflakes

by Lincoln Sedlacek

I don’t like the mantra that every student should be treated like a “unique, special snowflake.” I’ve seen millions of unique snowflakes in my life and treated every one of them exactly the same.

PIAOR How: So You Want to Make a Dog Pun

by Lincoln Sedlacek

(1) Make a list of all the dog-related words, phrases, or idioms that you know. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to think up dog words before trying to make a dog pun. If you feel like you need a leg-up, you can try googling “dog-related words,” or going to an animal shelter and asking the workers there if they have a list of dog words you can have.

(2) Once you have your list of dog words, pick a context in which you can use your pun. A good rule of thumb is to pick a context that involves dogs in some way. For example: If your son has a funeral for his pug, who was attacked and partially eaten by your neighbor’s Rottweiler, saying, “I guess they’re telling the truth when they say it’s a dog-eat-dog world,” is sure to get some laughs. However, if you’re giving a eulogy at your grandmother’s funeral, this statement is likely to cause confusion as opposed to amusement.

Note: If your grandmother was eaten by a dog this pun will make sense as long as you called her a bitch in the previous sentence.

(3) Now you have your list of dog words and your context. Do any of the dog words sound kind of like words that relate to your context? Do any of them bring to mind particular circumstances unique to the context you want to use the pun in? If you have trouble fitting dog words into your context, you can try going the other way, too, and attempt to fit context-specific words into your dog words.

(4) If you haven’t found your perfect dog pun in the first fifteen minutes, chances are you didn’t think of enough dog words – it’s time to reevaluate your approach to the project. Don’t be afraid to get hands on. Adopt a dog, play with it, walk it around town, and then dissect it, and see what words pop into your head.

(5) All creative people need a break every now and then. If you still don’t have your dog pun figured out, watch an old rerun of your favorite sitcom or go get some coffee; your creative juices will start flowing again in no time.

(6) Try putting yourself in a real-world situation that lends itself to dog puns. Here’s my suggestion: buy a couple dozen dogs, a gun, and a pair of sunglasses. Drive out into the middle of a desert, get one of the dogs out of the car, and tell him to sit. Then slowly put on your sunglasses, aim your gun at the dog’s head, and try making one good dog pun before you pull the trigger. Don’t worry about coming up with the “perfect pun” each time – remember, there’s no judgment in brainstorming. Plus, you should have a lot of dogs with you, so it’s not like there’s no room for mistakes.

Note: some of the best dog puns I’ve gotten this way include, “Don’t give me those sad, puppy eyes,” and, “Looks like dog days are over.” Feel free to use these if you want.

(7) Finally, at long last, you’ve got your perfect pun. You’re not finished yet; practice your delivery! You’d be surprised at the number of times a great dog pun has been butchered because the punner didn’t rehearse – don’t let this be you!

Congratulations! You created – and practiced – your pun; now deliver it and enjoy your audience’s reaction. You’ve put in the work, now reap the rewards. Because trust me, no reward is greater than hearing your audience’s laughter when you deliver the purrfect dog pun.

Tip of the Day #798

by Jordy Greenblatt

Before diving into a pool for the first time, practice with a more viscous fluid like honey or maple syrup.

Quotes That Validate the Proverb “Loose Lips Sink Ships”

by Jordy Greenblatt

“Hey baby, I’m not saying I have top secret naval security clearance, but if you’re looking for a nuclear sub, I have a hunch there’s one at latitude 17.713, longitude 178.065.”

“What do you mean I don’t know anything about boating? I know that all American aircraft carriers built after 1990 have a weak spot three feet above the keel in the stern marked by a large red X.”

“You can torture me all you want, but I’ll never tell you that the USS Stockdale is low on munitions and fuel and would be forced to surrender if confronted!”

“You guys want to go to a party aboard the Freighter Luna tonight? It should be a pretty classy shindig, what with all that priceless art they’re supposed to transport around the Horn of Africa.”

“Ahoy there, we have lots of gold and we need one more person for hide-and-go-seek. Why don’t you walk that peg leg of yours over here so we can lock ourselves in our cabins while you roam freely through the hull?”

“Take this ship? Hah! You would have to know how important my father’s watch is to me and exploit my childlike gullibility by saying you stole it before I began bawling pathetically and begging you to take the ship instead.”


Haikus by Tian Tian, The National Zoo’s Panda

by Melissa Chiasson

Glass imprisonment

I plumb the depths of despair

Oh look a peanut


A man said today

These pandas must be best friends

It’s all a charade


Zoo keeper jokes that

I always look tortured. Yes,

But you clean my poop


The band En Vogue said

Free your mind and the rest will

Follow. Ah, but when


Zoo wants baby, but

What of my dream to become

Poet laureate


Endangered species

Wordplay sustains me, as does

Lack of predation

Tip of the Day #222

by Melissa Chiasson

If you take first place in a wet t-shirt contest, do not call your dad and expect him to be proud.

Regions of Spain With Soup Names

by Jordy Greenblatt

  • Madridestrone
  • Chowderlonia
  • Borschtalona
  • Granoodle
  • Andastewsia
  • Bisque Country

Just a Thought: Observational Comedy

by Lincoln Sedlacek

Too much comedy comes from harping on tired stereotypes. I want to see a comedian come out on stage and say, “Have you ever noticed how Chinese people drink coffee like this” – (mimes drinking coffee) – “and people of all other ethnicities drink coffee in a more or less identical fashion?”

List of Contingency Plans for if I’m Single When I’m Thirty

by Lincoln Sedlacek

A. Marry my best friend from college, provided she is also single.

B. Marry my second-best friend from college, provided he is also single and/or open to polygamy.

C. Marry my best single professor from college, provided (s)he is near death and will leave me enough money to get a trophy spouse or really nice microwave oven.

D. Kill the husband/fiancé/boyfriend of my best friend from college, then marry her.

E. Buy a cat.

F. Have sex with people I believe will feel a societal pressure to marry me afterwards.

G. Have sex with someone named Mary, allowing me – on a stretch-linguistic technicality – to say I am a “Mary-ed man.”

H. Buy two cats.

I. Find a roommate, live with them for a year, and then when it’s time for us to sign our new lease, “accidentally” replace the lease with marriage papers.

J. Call Apple tech support and try to provoke them into arguments over what color the living room carpet should be.

K. Develop multiple personality disorder and just count on one of my new personalities being a loving spouse or cat.

L. Find someone who is highly susceptible to societal pressure, invite them to a baseball game, and then propose to them on the kiss cam.

M. Get blackout in Las Vegas and rest easy with the knowledge that there’s always the possibility that I drunkenly married someone with $50,000 of gambling debt.

N. Resign myself to the fact that I will die alone.

O. Continue living my life and seeing if I meet someone special, just as any healthy, socially-adjusted thirty-year-old human would do, instead of feeling pressured into compromising my happiness because of unfair and inaccurate societal stereotypes that stigmatize people past their 20s just for being unmarried.

P. Thirty cats.

Michael Bay Directs Youngstown, Ohio’s Annual Fireworks Display

by Melissa Chiasson

Emcee segues from live music performance to fireworks display, thanks families for coming out to the celebration, reminds audience that the theme for this year’s event was “America’s Birthday.”

Cue music—2 Chainz, “Birthday Song”

Note: the emcee may signal to cut the music at this point, as this was not the agreed upon introductory song.

After second iteration of “All I want for my birthday is a big booty ho,” fire red, white, blue Roman candles.

Fire on sparklers that spell out “AMERICA”

Fire on sparklers that spell out “FUCK YEAH”

Note: at this point the emcee might attempt to stop you from continuing, as this is nothing like the show you pitched to the city council. Punch him in the face and barrel right through to:

Music transition—Bruce Springstreen, “Born in the USA”




Cue hologram of Optimus Prime impaling Megatron with pole of American flag

Cue hologram of Mark Wahlberg high-fiving Optimus Prime in celebration

Cue hologram of hot woman with big rack running towards Mark Wahlberg in slow motion, eating a hot dog suggestively


Music transition—Lenny Kravitz, “American Woman”

Helicopters will fly over at this point, guns ablazing, dropping free taco coupons and spent ammunition over crowd

Cue hologram of Optimus Prime, Mark Wahlberg, and Boobs McGee riding on back of Transformer T. Rex waving American flag

Cue hologram of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and hot woman with big rack #2 being harassed by Belgian soccer team

Cue hologram of T. Rex biting heads off of Belgian soccer team, everyone high-fives, Boobs McGee’s top accidentally falls off



Fire on sparklers that spell out “THESE COLORS DON’T RUN”

Fire on sparklers that spell out “THE END”

Cue hologram of you, Michael Bay, riding a majestic Transformer bald eagle into the sunset

Fire on sparklers that spell out “OR IS IT???”


Crowd cheers wildly, elects you mayor of town, hot woman with big rack tells you it’s the best fireworks display she’s ever seen, top accidentally falls off

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