The Sunday Funnies & Factoids, The ‘Our Thanksgiving is Earlier Than Yours’ Edition

by Keith Lennox, All-len-All, 10/12/14 –

Hey there, folks….. hope your day/week is going swimmingly.  Such a nice day here in the hinterland……. mid 60s and nothing but glorious sunshine.  Me and Owen are just chillin’ and enjoying the day.  It is our Thanksgiving Day weekend up here so the smell of roasting turkeys will be wafting in the air.

Happy Columbus Day to my friends south of the 49th, although celebrating slaughter and slavery just seems a a bit strange.  But hey, if it means a day off or shit on sale, I’m in.

Okay, enough with the chit chat and on to why you dropped by… this weeks edition of the Sunday Funnies & Factoids…… enjoy.

monday friday1) The first TV show to use “open captions,” or captioning for the hearing-impaired available on all television sets, was The French Chef on PBS.

2) Valium is an all-natural chemical. In fact, trace amounts can be found in wheat and potatoes.

3) Carly Simon’s dad is the Simon of Simon and Schuster.

4) In all of Shakespeare’s works, only one word starts with an “X” – Xanthippe, Socrates wife. He uses her name in The Taming of the Shrew.

sorry we're open5) The phrase “slipping a Mickey” likely originated with Mickey Finn, a Chicago saloon owner known for drugging and robbing customers.

6) The first seedless grapes were kind of an accident. Thousands of years ago in the Middle East, a random genetic mutation caused a group of grapes to spontaneously abort their own seeds before the seeds could develop hard casings. The result: seedless produce. To reproduce the fruit, a sly farmer simply cloned the vine (with no seeds, there’s nothing to plant)—meaning that all seedless grapes today are direct descendants of that one mutated grape vine.

7) Duct tape was invented in 1942 for use by the U.S. Army as a waterproof sealing tape for ammunition boxes…… best friggin’ invention EVER !!!!

ADD8) Author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s full name was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, named after a distant cousin who happened to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

9) At the 2000 Samsung Open, a furious Goran Ivanišević smashed three rackets and was forced to withdraw. Why? Because he didn’t have a fourth on hand.

everybody chill10) Goosebumps are actually caused by a muscle. It is called the arrector pili muscle.

11) Scottish band The Bay City Rollers earned their name after sticking a pin in a map of America, which landed on the Michigan city.

12) Bluetooth, the wireless communication standard, was named after Harald Bluetooth, a tenth century king who encouraged communication and unity among warring Norse and Danish tribes.

13) Neuticles are synthetic testicles for neutered pets. The tagline: “It’s like nothing ever changed.”….. I bet the pet would beg to differ….

14) 12 Works of Literature Recreated in LEGO by Abbey Stone:


Give a bibliophile a set of LEGO, and she’ll think outside the box. These creations, inspired by library mainstays, prove that LEGO bricks are more than just child’s play.


LEGO builder extraordinaire Alice Finch constructed a scale representation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for BrickCon 2012 (BrickCon, an annual event for LEGO enthusiasts held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, just wrapped its 2014 session on Oct. 5). Finch spent 12 months over an 18-month time span (she took a six-month break to work on “other projects”) and an estimated 400,000 tiny plastic bricks to build her massive model. The end result is not only gigantic—each side of the L-shaped replica is about 13 feet long—but incredibly detailed. Finch’s Hogwarts includes a Great Hall filed with students and faculty, Professor Lupin’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Quidditch pitch, Gryffindor common room, and more—so much more.

Finch’s Hogwarts took home both the People’s Choice and Best in Show at BrickCon 2012. And what has become of her magical structure? “I don’t plan on taking it apart anytime soon,” Finch told LEGO blog The Brother Brick in February of 2013.

Finch and her completed castle:

Alice Finch/flickr

As the first room Finch completed, the Great Hall set the scale for the entire creation. Here’s a detailed view:

Alice Finch/flickr

Dozens more photos of Finch’s Hogwarts can be found on her flickr account.


A year after completing the world’s largest LEGO Hogwarts, Alice Finch teamed up with fellow LEGO mastermind David Frank to create a replica of Rivendell, Middle-earth’s elven paradise. The finished model, revealed on The Brothers Brick in December 2013, measures 10 feet by 5 feet and was constructed using approximately 200,000 bricks.

Finch and Frank had a little help finishing their masterpiece—their children. Frank’s two sons and Finch’s two sons joined their respective parents to add some elbow grease to the build. Frank tells The Brothers Brick that his kids are responsible for 90 percent of the model’s water, and Finch credits her 5-year-old with coming up with a unique design for the trees.

Alice Finch/flickr

A detailed view of Elrond’s library:

Alice Finch/flickr

More photos here.


OneLug, a fellowship of builders including Brandon Griffith, Alyse and Remi Gagne, and Bruce Lowell, created a Tolkien tribute of their own in the form of a 7-foot-tall Tower of Orthanc. The group unveiled their epic depiction of the Last March of the Ents, during which the living trees battle Saruman and his legions of orcs, at Seattle’s BrickCon in 2011. The completed structure is 8 feet in diameter and weighs over 145 pounds.

Detailed view:

the OneLug/flickr

More photos here.


Kevin Griffith, Professor of English at Capital University in Ohio, enlisted his 11-year-old son Sebastian to recreate scenes from David Foster Wallace’s opus Infinite Jest out of LEGO. Griffith would describe scenes from the novel to Sebastian, who would then build them from LEGO. To be clear here, Sebastian has not actually read Wallace’s novel, which is not only 1104 pages, but also filled with adult themes (sex, drug addiction, graphic violence, etc.).

The below scene is captioned: “P. 12 ’I am not just a creatus, manufactured, conditioned, bred for a function.’ ‘Sweet mother of Christ,’ the Director says.”


Likewise: “P. 88. The operative sat at Marathe’s feet…”


Griffith & Son’s genius blog, Brickjest, is here.


To celebrate the release of The LEGO Movie in February 2014, British bookstore Waterstones created a number of LEGO literary representations. Below is the infamous Red Wedding from George R.R. Martin’s fantasy bestseller.



“Thus with a kiss I die…”



Note the inspired use of Batman in lieu of a LEGO bat.



In addition to creating their own scenes, Waterstones hosted a #LEGOLit competition for their customers. Readers created their own literary LEGO scenes and tweeted their photos with the aforementioned hashtag.

The worthy winner was Rob Browne, who composed a moody representation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.



In 2010, the Sydney Wildlife World and Sydney Aquarium launched their LEGO on the Loose exhibition. The exhibit, which ran for one year, included 25 giant LEGO models made from over 1.5 million bricks.

Among the sharks, sailors, and mermaids was the White Whale himself. Designer Stephen Gerling made the sculpture from 365,420 Duplo bricks. The mural of Captain Ahab in the background is also made completely out of LEGO.


LEGO enthusiast Jared Chan built his representation of the sack of Troy for the ACGHK (Animation-Comic-Game Hong Kong) LEGO architecture competition in 2011.

Jared Chan/flickr


Alex Jones of Orion Pax Designs spent four weeks creating his scale model of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus, which measures just over four feet long. Jones based his recreation on the 1954 Disney adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel, which features a submarine designed by Harper Goff.

A detailed view of the bridge:

More photos here.


MOCpages user Mason Lindblad writes that he was inspired to create the Ender’s GameBattle Room after reading the Orson Scott Card novel at school. Lindblad’s tableau includes two teams of four players each and the corridor and doorway leading to the zero-gravity room. He even included one of the floating stars.

15) The famous Mount Rushmore in South Dakota featuring the heads of presidents Washington, T. Roosevelt, Jefferson, and Lincoln was built solely as a tourist trap to give South Dakota tourism dollars that it desperately needed. And guess what? It worked. Almost 3 million people visit the mountain each year.

anti theft lunch bag16) Amazingly, blue whales can slow their heart rate to four or five beats per minute in order to conserve oxygen during deep dives.

17) During the 38-week stretch from June 9th, 1990, to March 1st, 1991, either M.C. Hammer or Vanilla Ice had Billboard’s #1 album every week but one. The only album to sneak into the top spot during that period was Step by Step by New Kids on the Block…… how depressing is that?

18) The first recorded use of flying the flag at half-mast as a symbol of mourning occurred in 1612 aboard the British ships Patience and Heart’s Ease after their captain was killed in the Northwest Passage.

19) The Kit Kat candy bar got its name from the Kit Kat Club in London’s West End, a joint famous for bringing dance-band music to the city in the 1920s.

20) The U.S. Census reports that Americans consume 150 million hot dogs over the average Fourth of July holiday………. mmmmmmm, wieners

21) Ashrita Furman’s twelve-minute mile doesn’t sound all that impressive, unless it’s pointed out that he was riding a pogo stick at the time.


Thanks for stopping by, folks….. hoped you learned something or at least got to smile some.  Have a great week ahead and stay safe.  If the chance presents itself, please pay it forward…. it’s the right thing to do.