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Douglas Adams

Somehow I ran across a page of Douglas Adams quotes, and was immediately transfixed. Even though many of them were pulled out of context from various books and essays he has written, they still grabbed me with a Universal poignancy that seemed to shine a spotlight on my life. I culled the list down to a few of my favorites, which I have down below. (They aren't ranked, because how can you rank the immortal Douglas Adams?) After each quote I have my pathetic attempts at humorous commentary. Please do not let my failures as a comic lessen for one minute your enjoyment of one of the 20th (or any other) Century's greatest wits.


In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. [Assuming the Universe didn't just spring into existence completely from nothing, do you think whoever or whatever created the Universe ever just sits back and sees what's going on and says, ", that happened."?]

Life is wasted on the living. [Lately I've been semi-obsessed with that being dead means. What if it's nothing like we think/thought? We've all met people who had "near-death" experiences, but those people weren't actually dead. Not in any appreciable sense. Their brain never stopped working. I'd like to meet someone who's been dead for a year. Are they still in that box/urn? Did their spirits make it to afterlife? If so, does that make this world less important, or more? I feel an 8000 word musing forming in my belly, so let's just move on.]

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. [I was going to write "Insert Bush joke here" but then I thought, too easy. I have to say, all the people who make "Bush is dumb" jokes realize they are just lashing out as a way to feel superior, right? It's like what Verbal Kint says about the Devil; the single greatest thing Bush ever did was make people think he wasn't worth taking seriously. And if he is that dumb, what does it say about you that he beat you twice??? (For the record, I'm not a Bush Hater per se. I hate all politicians equally.)]

The difficulty with this conversation is that it's very different from most of the ones I've had of late. Which, as I explained, have mostly been with trees. [Even out of the context (of the book where this quote comes), it explains my life so well.....]

For a moment, nothing happened.Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen. [I love his dry humor. This kind of passage is similar to a "Garden Path Sentence," where what we think is going on isn't, and when we come to the end we have reevaluate the sentence from the beginning.]

The mere thought hadn't even begun to speculate about the merest possibility of crossing my mind. [You're not going to believe it, but this kind of escalating hyperbole is very Biblical. The first author of Isaiah used it well ("Holy Holy Holy" is actually an escalating adjective, not some early mention of the Trinity), and Jesus himself used this kind of sentence structure often. Who knew?]

It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it... anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job
. [A paraphrase of Groucho Marx, but so freaking true. Not the mother of all Catch-22s, but at least a nephew.]

I'm spending a year dead for tax reasons. [I love the simplicity. When I was sixteen, and not yet fully understanding the relationship between working and drinking, I was at a Subway one Sunday night. Two guys in their late thirties stumbled in looking like something the cat leaves on the doorstep. One of them said, "You gonna call in sick tomorrow?" The other one replied, "Can't. Called in sick too many times. Hafta call in dead."]

Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space. [There's a scientific concept called the Large Number Problem (I may have the term wrong; Google isn't working), that basically says that very large numbers are so impossible to put into context that people equate them with much smaller more manageable numbers. For example, if you truly understood the odds of the lottery, you would never play. However, most people see 350 million to 1 as 100 to 1; in other words, long odds but certainly possible. Space is the same way. Describing how big space is (especially if you include Dark Matter and Dark Energy), is so impossible to wrap your head around that it's almost not worth trying. Conversely, I think the longest distance in the universe is the several feet away your remote control is hiding when you're comfortable with your pillows and don't want to get up. By the way, not for nothing, but those lights in the picture aren't stars, they're galaxies, each with about 100 billion stars. Yeah.]

I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. [Man, if this doesn't describe partisan politics, nothing does. Scott Adams wrote once that we tend to give credence to evidence that confirms our prejudices, and discount evidence that contradicts it. So true. This is my main reason for not understanding those affiliated with a political party. How can you be so sure a party is right on a vast number of issues that you've joined their ranks as a member? What if they're wrong about stuff? What if you're wrong about stuff? How on Earth are you ever going to be persuaded and convinced when you have a membership card to the clubhouse? Sorry. I'll get off my soapbox.]

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. [What about potatoes and cheese? I'd like to think, if I'm not being too bold here, that Douglas Adams would have rather enjoyed my BLKF Theory.]

He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher... or, as his wife would have it, an idiot. [Women of the former Hyperion Nation (not that there's not a Nation anymore, just that I don't call you that since Stephen Colbert stole it from me and as of yet haven't come up with a new....oh, never mind): Women Hoping to Bed and Wed Hyperion, hear (read) me well: this sentence will have to be your/my personal motto. Get used to it now. I'm good for many many many many things. Not a one of them is of any practical value.]

He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife
. [The funniest part of the sentence (to me) is the sly dig at how compromised many atheists' motives are. (I said many, not all, so save your letters.) I rather enjoy tweaking atheists I know; not allowing them to say 'God Bless You' and so on.]

Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. [I've said it before, and I'll say it again; I KNOW HOW TO FLY. Every time I dream about flying, I am not flying anew, but simply remembering how to fly. If only I could translate that to waking. I do know it's something similar to this. You jump up and kind of just don't come down. That's all I got right now, but one day I'll get it right.]

You live and learn. At any rate, you live. [I feel like this should be tattooed somewhere on my body.]

Songs of Change

Many singers change their name when they hit the big time. Did you know (you might want to sit down for this) that Meat Loaf wasn't always called Meat Loaf? It's true. Some name changes make sense, while others.....

Below we have the top 15 Singing Name Changes of all time, as well as some "Honorable Mentions." Enjoy


#15 Clayton Holmes Grissom (Clay Aiken) - See, I was thinking he could have gone by Clay Holmes, and then his nickname could have been "Adobe"

#14 Richard Melville Hall (Moby) - I included him only because I think it's cool how he got his stage name (from his Middle Name, in case you're slow)

#13 Christina Ciminella (Wynona Judd) - I think "Ciminella" would make a great name for one of those fruity candles they sell at Bed, Bath and Bitches. Except I've actually smelled Wynona up close, so, you know: not so much

#12 Chaim Witz (Gene Simmons) - If only because that's how he was known to "Loose Lois"

#11 Declan MacManus (Elvis Costello) - I'm not hating on the idea of calling yourself Elvis (there is some precedent and all), but wouldn't Declan MacManus sound pretty cool too?

#10 Cherilyn LaPierre (Cher) - Not really an interesting switch, but I've always wanted to know (By the way, say what you want about her, but in the picture above? She's 73.)

#9 Vincent Furnier (Alice Cooper) - I'm not trying to question "The Coop," but who changes their name to a girls'? Also, if I knew him as a boy, every time Alice Cooper tried to make a joke, I would say, "You just keep gettingfurnier and furnier...."

#8 Farrokh Bulsara (Freddie Mercury) - "We Will, We Will.....Farrokh You!"

#7 Patricia Andrejewski (Pat Benatar) - Love may be a battlefield, but so would the fourth grade with that last name. (Not for nothing, but Pat has a smoking hot daughter named Haley who's also a singer.)

#6 Toriano Jackson (Tito Jackson) - Not to be a hater, but again, I just gotta ask: how is "Toriano" not a way cooler name than Tito?

#5 Arnold Dorsey (Englebert Humperdink) - You gotta admire the balls. He takes a perfectly fine singing name and throws caution to the wind, hoping for (I'm guessing) name recognition. There's something sexual about that name too.

#4 Wladziu Valentino (Liberace) - Of all the guys who didn't need to change their names, Liberace has to top the list. Wladziu translates to "Vlad," and you're going to tell me that Vlad Valentino wouldn't set hearts fluttering? Wasn't that what he was going for? Hell; I'm thinking of changing my name to Vlad Valentino!

#3 John Deutschendorf (John Denver) - Okay, here we see real need for a name change, as I don't think the good people who listen to country music would have accepted aDeutschendorf as one of their own. I'm curious, though, why he picked Denver. Being from West Virginia, I would have thought he'd go with Bob Wheeling. It's the sensible choice.

#2 Walden Waldo Robert Cassotto (Bobby Darin) - He's named after half the Transcendentalist movement; kind of ironic how he ended up singing mostly fluff. In UNDER THE SEA I learned that Bobby Darin's mother was really his grandmother, and his sister was really his mother. With all that, what's a little name change?

And the number one Famous Singer's Original Name is.....

#1 Yorgos Panayiotou (George Michael) - I've been trying all morning; I cannot come up with an appropriate gay joke to close our list. So, with that in mind, sing with me, won't you? "....Wake me up, beforeYor-Go-Gos!"

Honorable Mention (not so much because of the bizarre names, as because of the fame of the singers)
Henry Rollins - Henry Garfield
Tina Turner - Anna Mae Bullock
Joni Mitchell - Roberta Anderson
Joey Ramone - Jeffrey Hyman
Axl Rose - William Bailey
Rob Zombie - Robert Cummings
Billy Ocean - Leslie Sebastian Charles
Steven Tyler - Steven Tallarico
Hank Williams - Hiram Williams
Van Morrison - George Morrison
Ja Rule - Jeffrey Atkins
Tommy Ramone - Tom Erderlyi
Iggy Pop - James Osterberg
Pink - Alecia Moore
Lou Reed - Louis Firbank
Sade - Helen Adu
Ice Cube - Oshea Jackson
Nelly - Carnell Haynes
Mama Cass - Ellen Cohen
Fatboy Slim - Quentin Cook
Sir Mix-A-Lot Anthony Ray
Stevie Wonder - Steveland Morris
Conway Twitty - Harold Jenkins
Shania Twain - Eileen Edwards
Bob Dylan - Robert Zimmerman
Barry Manilow - Barry Pincus
Elton John - Reginald Dwight
Nikki Sixx - Franklin Ferrana
Seal - Henry Samuel
Marilyn Manson - Bruce Warner
Vanilla Ice - Robert Van Winkle
Meat Loaf - Marvin Lee Aday

Driving Songs (Redux)


#30 LAST SASKATCHEWAN PIRATE (Angry Worms) – I’d never heard of it before this, but I took a listen and had to agree it was pretty cool. Plus, being a pirate!

#29 DREAMS (Van Halen) – This is another I really didn’t know, but have to agree it goes on the list. Personally I’d pick JUMP, but several had this on their list, so I’ll bow.

#28 SUMMER OF ’69 (Bryan Adams) – I wouldn’t put this on my list, but quite a few of you did, so it goes here.

#27 BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS (Smashing Pumpkins) – I thought this was “Ready to Cage” growing up. Am I the only one?

#26 SUMMERTIME (DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) – This is a smooth groove song, and makes me wish I had a convertible just to drive around playing it

#25 I WILL SURVIVE (Donna Summers) – Just one cool lady

#24 SWEET HOME ALABAMA (Lynyrd Skynyrd) – A bonus for putting this song on the list; I just figured out how to spell the band’s name.

#23 MONEY FOR NOTHING (Dire Straits) – If only for that sweet beginning.

#22 CALIFORNIA DREAMING (Mamas and Papas) – Okay, this doesn’t rock, but it’s pretty sweet to sing while driving.

#21 HOT IN HERRE (Nelly) – You can trash this choice if you want, but you know when it comes on you sing it too.

#20 SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (Nirvana) – This would be even higher if I could actually decipher the lyrics enough to sing along more than “na na na na”

#19 DEVIL INSIDE (INXS) – Laureate correctly points out NEED YOU TONIGHT would be great for parking, but tooling around I’ll take this.

#18 EVERYBODY’S WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND (Loverboy) – This is THE perfect Friday afternoon song.

#17 ENTER SANDMAN (Metallica) – this video scared me too.

#16 MY PREROGATIVE (Bobby Brown) – I wish Bobby still sang instead of his current career of beating and getting beaten by Whitney

#15 POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME (Def Leppard) – I broke a friend’s steering wheel once rocking out to this.

#14 BLACK DOG (Led Zeppelin) – Side one of 4 could go on en masse, but if I had to pick one, this’d be it.

#13 EVERYTHING ZEN (Bush) – this video scares me, but the song sure rocks

#12 BULLS ON PARADE (Rage Against the Machine) – I hate their politics, but I sure love to make sound effects along with this song (you know what part).

#11 SLOW RIDE (Foghat) – If I had a child, I’d name him Foghat.

#10 LOW RIDER (War) – The second of what could have been 5 songs from DAZED AND CONFUSED (sorry Alice Cooper). This is the best groove song on the list.

#09 TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART (Bonnie Tyler) – The Second most listed song, I wouldn’t normally consider it, but I can just see people singing it in their car, and I have to agree.

#08 STAYIN’ ALIVE (Bee Gees) – How do you pick just one song by them? This was tough, as I love all the Brothers’ output.

#07 NOTHING BUT A G THANG (Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg) – When I said LOW RIDER was the best groove song, I may have spoke too soon. This song makes me wish I had hydraulics.

#06 SWEET CHILD OF MINE (Guns N Roses) – Another group I could pick 50 of their songs, but this one never lets up.

#05 THAT’S THE WAY (UH HUH, UH HUH) I LIKE IT (KC and the Sunshine Band) - Were those guys ever sober?

#04 BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Queen) – Way too long and slow, but c’mon. Who hasn’t sang this with their friends? Wayne and Garth live forever.

#03 BORN TO BE WILD (Steppenwolf) – The most requested song, by far. How can I argue?

#02 I WANT YOU TO WANT ME (Cheap Trick) – Just now half the girls reading were shocked to find out this song doesn’t come from the 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU soundtrack, although I like that version too. This song just rules.

and the Number One song to drive to…

#1 LIFE IS A HIGHWAY (Tom Cochrane) - You can disagree. Hell, maybe even I would if I did this list tomorrow. But to me, HIGHWAY is a perfect driving song. Easy to sing, easy to keep beat, does that a cappella thing. Can’t improve on perfection.

[see the original post, which includes the Honorable Mentions and an Introduction on how I made the list]

ABBA the Slut

ABBA has always been a mixed blessing for me. In my formative years it was used as the instrument of abuse. What had happened was: every Saturday morning my mother would get it in her head that the whole family should come together and clean the house. Putting ABBA Greatest Hits on the stereo was the signal that the day of horrors was to begin. Upon first hearing that drumbeat and synthesized sounds my siblings and I would go scurrying for whatever place of hiding we could find. For years I was like Pavlov's dog (if the dog had been abused by ABBA). It wasn't until the late teenage years that I was able to appreciate ABBA as more than mind-control. I became a fan. A casual fan, mind you, but a fan. I mean, who doesn't like the occasional ABBA song? On the other hand, Kaida is closer to those groups of fans I like to call "The Nuts and Sluts." They just go crazy for their favorite musicians. (She feels the same way about Bon Jovi and Rita MacNeil.)

When the new movie MAMMA MIA Kaida saw it three times on opening day, and she was through the roof. She demanded I see it, which I will, but I fear I'm destined not to like the movie as much as she. How could I? I didn't even know it was based on a Musical. And, well, I don't lose my mind over ABBA. I'm not an ABBA Nut. (Or an ABBA Slut.) Anyway, with the movie's release, I thought it would be a good idea to run a Top 20 ABBA Songs list. Initially Kaida and I were going to make it collaborative, but after the 50th fight on where to put "Voulez Vous" I demanded my name be taken off the credits. Also, we fight incessantly about how to pronounce ABBA. I, like all people who are not monsters, say it correctly. Kaida has "other" ideas. And without further ado, let's get to the list. (All comments are hers unless indicated otherwise.)


#20 Thank You for the Music - A bit sappy but still a happy song.

#19 Money, Money, Money - When I first hear this song I thought they were saying Honey, Honey, Honey.

#18 Fernando - I added this one in honor of all the Fernandos in my life. (trust me, there are quite a few)

#17 Lay All Your Love on Me - This is a sexy, sexy song.

#16 One of Us - [Hyperion's Note: Kaida forgot to put remarks for this one. I was going to pretend to be her and say something clever, but I fell asleep while watching the video, so I cannot]

#15 Waterloo - This is where I live, how can it not be on the list.

#14 S.O.S. - So when you're near me, darling can't you hear me S.O.S.

#13 Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) - Amen Sister!

#12 Honey Honey - Honey honey, how you thrill me, ah-hah, honey honey.

#11 Chiquitita - This is my second favourite ABBA harmony song. [Hyperion's Note: which came first, this song or the Banana?]

(We're halfway there. This is so exciting!)

#10 I Have a Dream - Simply lovely.

#9 The Winner Takes It All - I'm a little bit influenced by Meryl Streep performance in Mamma Mia here. She owned this song.

#8 Voulez Vous - A very sexy, sexy song. [Hyperion's Note: how on Earth you could rank this song out of the Top 3 is beyond me. It was Voulez Vous more than anything that forced me to take my name off this Abomi...., I mean off this ranking]

#7 The Name of the Game - I think I can see in your face. There's a lot you can teach me.

#6 Knowing Me, Knowing You - Ah hah, there is nothing we can do.......

#5 Does Your Mother Know - I love this song because it highlights the boys of ABBA and it's a man dealing with jailbait. [Hyperion's Note: actually, I better leave this one alone, if I know what's good for me]

#4 Super Trouper - This song has one of ABBA's best harmonies.

#3 Take a Chance on Me - Take a chance, take a chance, take a ccchhhhannnnce. Need I say more. [Hyperion's Note: ACCCCCCCCHHHHHHH! This song was #1 in her first draft. At least we agreed on that. I hate giving her final cut of her own lists.....Grrrrrrrr (This is also the best video. If you were only going to watch one, this should be it)]

#2 Mamma Mia - This song is so catchy. Every time I hear it it sticks in my head for hours.

and the number one ABBA song of all time according to the mighty and musically limited Kaida

#1 Dancing Queen - Its always the first song I think of when someone mentions ABBA

Supporting the Women's Movement

Today is International Top Ten List Day. Obviously, I need to come through for you people like never before. At the same time, I got an email from one of the Feminist groups I belong to that said, “Support the Women’s Movement.”

I emailed back: “Whenever possible, I always try to be behind the Women’s Movement. You appreciate it so much more that way.

I received a return email saying I was no longer a part of the group. I wrote them back, asking, “Why is it that ugly chicks never have a sense of humor?”

Anyway, I have been thinking about the Women’s Movement lately. Coming on the heels of my Ode to Jello Butt, I thought I would rank the Top 40 synonyms for the “Women’s Movement.”

Now, I want you to know that I tried as hard as I could to find alternative pictures for illustrations, and when that wasn’t possible, I tried to keep the assery artistic, with as many paintings as possible. Some of you might be offended, but if so, you don’t support the Women’s Movement. Thus, any bad comments I get are from people who hate all women, and are probably perverts. And with that…. We present


{Not included: nates, prat, fourth-point, arse, clunes}

#40 Bum – I HATE this word used for butt, but Canadians are mad about it, so I include it for them.

#39 Tuchis – Along with “tush,” Yiddish for “underneath

#38 Tush – I included this picture mostly because my family is nuts about Ohio State, and I wanted to showcase the talent that fine university produces.

#37 Buns – Something your grandmother might say.

#36 Rump – I’ve never thought about it too closely, but what’s the real purpose of a Rumpus Room?

#35 Seat – I got nothing for this one. Oh, wait! “Have a seat.” Pretty good, huh?

#33 (tie) Aft and Stern – the rear of a boat. Likely to impress lusty sea wenches.

#32 Can – To me, Can is not sexy. Can is what you fall on, like this Miss USA hopeful. The only sexy exception I’ve ever found was in high school, reading the John Updike story “A&P.”

The one that caught my eye first was the one in the plaid green two-piece. She was a chunky kid, with a good tan and a sweet broad soft-looking can with those two crescents of white just under it, where the sun never seems to hit, at the top of the backs of her legs.

#31 Cheeks – How did DIRTY DANCING not have a “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” song somewhere in there?

#30 Crack – You owe me for skipping the obligatory plumber pic here. Owe me.

#29 Crease – Because of the hockey connection, do you think Canadian chicks like having it called a “crease”?

#28 Hams – I could be wrong, fellas, but you might not want to compliment your lady on her “hams.” Just sayin’.

#27 Haunches – that horse does not trust you. Maybe he’s seen CLERKS 2.

#26 Booty – I’ll be glad of the day we can retire this word. Until then, there’s the woman who’s responsible for the creation of “bootylicious.” (What? I’m going to have a Top Ten on butts and not include Jennifer? Please.)

#25 Hiney – It took me the longest time just to figure out how to spell this!

#24 Posterior – I once got “posterior” and “posterity” mixed up during an Art History lecture. If only this guy had been around!

#23 Hindquarters – In case you were wondering, those hindquarters belong to a rhinoceros, not Rosie.

#22 Breach – A breach is a rupture or a rip. Pretty creative, once you think about it.

#21 Cheeseburger – I first heard this watching THIRTEEN. Spoken by a girl, about her own all beef patties. I doubt anyone over 20 will jump on this one.

#20 Keister – The picture’s legit. Not only is it art, but the painting is by Roy C. Keister. No, really!

#19 Behind – I’m not sure why this picture came up on my google image search. I guess because the two women are “behind” the towers. For some reason it cracked me up. Get it? Cracked me up?

#18 Bottom – Question: would gambling specialty hookers ever bet their bottom dollar?

#17 Rear – “Rear” never seemed sexy to me. More like “get your rear in gear.” However, the lovely and sexy Grace Kelly was in REAR WINDOW, so that works.

#16 Culo – Latin slang. Sometimes offensive, but not in Spain, so that’s the one we’re picking. Seems only fair we showcase a Latina, so I give you Vida.

#15 Gluteus Maximus – There just HAS to be a Roman-era porn movie about this guy, right? “On my signal, unleash lube!”

#14 Back End – I’ve been trying to think of a “back end of the catalog” joke for an hour and am finally giving up. I predict big things for the kid. Maybe politics.

#13 Dumper – A dumper is what you see above (modified dump truck), and Dumper is British slang. How can British women be okay with this?

#12 Backside – I wonder what the model for this painting was thinking about while she sat in that chair?

#11 Derriere – Well, there really was no other type of picture for this one.

#10 Trunk – Take a look at that tree trunk. It may not be the Virgin Mary in a taco, but it’s darn close!

#9 Fanny – Now, before you hate on the picture; it’s actual historical thing, from the first erotic novel, Fanny Hill. I present it here to you as history. On another note, why would parents name their girl Fanny?

#8 Fundament – The fundament is the base of a structure, what holds it up. In addition, you could tell a woman, “Baby, you put the fun back in fundament” and maybe even get away with it.

#7 Badonkadonk – I’m not making this up; the onomatopoeic sound a woman with a large butt makes when walking.

#6 Butt – You can’t get mad at me; it’s a Nike Women’s advertisement! Long live sport.

#5 Tail – I’m guessing “get some tail” has a whole different meaning in the Furry community

#4 Caboose – Don’t know why. I just like it. By the way, as this picture illustrates, always keep your caboose clean.

#3 Ass – that’s a Democrat for you…..

#2 Rococo – Actually, more of an adjective. From the French art-style that spawned these paintings. They developed a whole new aesthetic. Thankfully, naked ladies were part of it.

And the number one synonym for the Women’s Movement is…..

#1 Callipygian – Another adjective, but an awesome one. Callipygian means the beautiful shape of a woman’s butt. Did you know the Hyperion Institute’s full name is The Hyperion Institute for Callimastian/Callipygian/Kickassian Studies? And you thought we had no culture.

That’s it; we’re done. No ifs, ands, or….well, you know.

Sure, deck your limbs in pants,
Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
You look divine as you advance . . .
Have you seen yourself retreating?
-Ogden Nash

That's the End?