Good News From Germany!

Sorry — not a 50% price reduction on BMWs, not even gratis cases of Bernkastler Beerenauslese. But:

For only the price of a stamp, learn of two life-prolonging offers from Herr Wolfgang Dog of Bavaria.

  1. By the latest technique of laser surgery, applied to the palms of your hands, have those vital life-lines extended;
  2. Inform Herr Dog of the date, time and place of manufacture of your car, and he will send you an “Autohoroscope”, indicating the best and worst days for going on journeys or having the car serviced.

Herr Dog describes himself as a certificated Diplomate in Inspiration Moderating and as a Magical Energiser; he is attached to the Institute for Holistic Transformation Metaphysics in Hersbruck. Operating from the same address is G. Hund, seller of games and books on magic. Before rushing to take advantage of the above-mentioned advances in pseudoscience, readers should note that Wolfgang Hund (=Dog) is a member of GWUP, the German Skeptics Organisation.

With acknowledgement to Skeptiker, 1/95

Stir Signs

National Radio has scored a first by becoming the first public, non-commercial radio service in the English-speaking world to feature regular astrological advice. Every Monday evening around 8:40 pm Wayne Mowat and Linda Rose make fools of themselves by asking an astrologer earnest questions about listeners’ fate for the coming week.

It’s perhaps the most singularly embarrassing offering we’ve heard on National Radio. Besides, the character description for the various star signs are altogether too smarmy and flattering (you know: you’re ambitious, brave, intelligent, trustworthy, loving, tender, brilliant, sexy, generous, spiritual, etc.).

In case you’re interested, here is the real story of the various star signs, courtesy of an unknown Internet poster:

The Real Horoscope

AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18)
You have an inventive mind and are inclined to be progressive. You lie a great deal. You are inclined to be careless and impractical, causing you to make the same mistakes over and over. People think you are stupid.

PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20)
You have a vivid imagination and often think you are being followed by the CIA. You have minor influence over your associates and people resent you for your flaunting of power. You lack confidence and are generally a coward. Pisces people giggle while burning ants with magnifying glasses.

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19)
You are the pioneer type and hold most people in contempt. You are quick tempered, impatient and scornful of advice. You are not very nice. You belong at the head of a combat unit on the way to a massacre.

TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20)
You are practical and persistent. You have dogged determination and work like hell. Most people think you are stubborn and bullheaded. You are. Upon being sacked from a job you are likely to return with an assault rifle.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
You are quick and intelligent. You are inclined to expect too much or too little. This means you are cheap. You put pebbles in a blind man’s cup.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
You are sympathetic and understanding of other people’s problems. They think you are a sucker. You are always putting things off. That’s why you’ll never make anything of yourself. You bought Equiticorp shares at $9.97.

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You consider yourself a born leader. Others think you are pushy. Most Leo people become bullies. You are vain and dislike criticism. Most Leo people are thieves. You sold Brierley shares at 75 cents. To your mother.

VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22)
You are the logical type and hate disorder. This nit-picking is sickening to your friends. You are cold and unemotional and would rather fall asleep than make love. Virgos are good bus drivers. The books in your bookcase are arranged alphabetically.

LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22)
You are the artistic type and have a difficult time with reality. Chances for employment and monetary gains are slim. You talk a lot to yourself. You have to. Everyone else has stopped listening.

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21)
You are shrewd in business and cannot be trusted. You will achieve the pinnacle of success because of your total lack of ethics. Many Scorpio people are murdered by someone they know.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21)
You are optimistic and enthusiastic. You have a reckless tendency to rely on luck since you lack talent. The majority of Sagittarians are drunks or substance abusers. People laugh at you a great deal.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19)
You are conservative and afraid of taking risks. You don’t do much of anything and are lazy. There has never been a Capricorn of any importance. Capricorns should avoid standing too long in one place, as someone might paint them by mistake.

The Wyant Heavy-Weight Motor

It may interest skeptics to know that I have solved the world’s energy problems. The concept is surprisingly simple… but then works of great brilliance often are.

Our methods employ what we call “The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back Technologies.” I won’t mind however, if future generations call them “Carl Systems.”

As etheric physicists know, all objects on Earth inherently “want” to leave the planet. But they can’t, because gravity holds them down. We call this syndrome “weight frustration.” Thus, metals like gold or lead are “extremely frustrated,” whereas subjects such as feathers and dry leaves are only “mildly neurotic.”

The Wyant Heavy-Weight Motor — simply called by the boys and girls at the lab the “Wymo” — works according to ancient cosmic principles.

The fuel, already desperate to fly forth from the Earth, but held back by the forces of gravity, is subjected to further “annoyance” by way of a powerful screw-driven press. This “further annoyance” is The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back, known as “strack” among professionals.

Basically, Wymos and other strack devices increase “annoyance” until the fuel “freaks out” and discharges its “frustration.”

So far we have found lead to be the best fuel for strack machines. Forty pounds of lead will drive a six-foot turbine at 190 RPM for five hours, producing ten times as much energy as it takes to drive the press.

Granite and other hard rocks are also proving to be good sources of frustration. And with the current development of strack amplification units we expect major breakthroughs with alarm clocks and bulk copies of the Listener any day now.

Some alternative fuels, unfortunately, have not shown favourable graphs. For example, repeated stracking trials using glossy magazine editors and cow-shooting journalists for fuel have failed to turn over our smallest turbines, much less “over produce.”

We have hopes of explaining this anomaly in the near future. But for now, why 20 pounds of granite yields more energy than 150 pounds of journalist remains a hotly debated issue at the Wymo lab.

In the meantime, we persist with our work. We are confident the patent office will soon recognise the importance of the Heavy-Weight Motor.