Archive for September, 2001:

The real definition of bootleg

Many people think that the term “bootleg” refers to illegally recorded music, movies, or software. In fact, the term dates back to Prohibition days, when Sam Reebok invented the still boot. The still boot looked like an ordinary boot, but it hid a fully functional still between the bootleg and a false sock, while the action of walking powered a small heat source hidden in the heel. The wearer could distill the alcohol from the fermented grain of his choice while walking around town, or while enjoying himself at a society party featuring his bootleg moonshine.

A later innovation from Reebok that never caught on was the still pump. This was simply the still boot with a small hand pump mounted on the front, with which carbon dioxide bubbles could be injected in the distilled mixture, making champagne. This went largely unused, because the stench from the false sock (which couldn’t be cleaned) ruined the bouquet of the champagne.

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Emergency Remote Control

The government might consider a system of emergency remote control for commercial jets? Yeah, that’s a great idea, as long as they use that 100% secure system that the military uses. It’s been warding off Chinese hackers so well. We can all feel safe knowing that our commercial airliners are being hijacked by 12-year old kids that are tired of being picked on.

Could you imagine if somebody crashed a plane into a school? The For the Children Patrol would have planes banned by the end of the week.

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In Case of Rapture

I want a bumper sticker that reads, “WARNING: In case of rapture, I’ll loot your house”

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Congressional Condemnation

Congress and the Senate condemned the terrorist attacks. Wow, they were really going out on a limb with that decision. I bet they were conferring late into the night with the pollsters.

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Terrorism again

I’ve talked a lot about terrorism in the past, and it all boils down to one thing. Which is more important to you: the American way of life, or your own health and well-being?

When tragedy strikes we have several options for moving forward. We could all lock ourselves in our homes, stockpiling arms and ammunition. Then we’d be assured of our safety. Of course, we’d also let the terrorists win.

All over the news, and even here, people are saying that the world will never be the same. Quite frankly, I don’t see where the big changes will happen. Sure, the FAA will force airlines to follow stricter security guidelines, the CIA will be returned to it’s pre-Kennedy glory, and we’ll invade a country or two, restoring our sense of security. There will be a wave of TV movies about terrorism, the World Trade Center will be the thing to explore if you want to express your individuality in the counter-culture, and we’ll have a national day of mourning every September 11th.

I believe that will be the extent of the long term changes to our way of life. There were no essential, irreplacable functions lost in the attacks. People will be afraid for awhile, but that fear will fade. Do you see yourself staying home from work next week because you fear for your life? If the fear does linger, that doesn’t mean we can’t live full lives. Every day in Israel people leave their homes, knowing there is a good chance they will die that day, yet they manage to continue one. Even if there are more attacks, we’ll just continue on this cycle. America has a terrorism script to follow, and the people know their part well.

The choice is yours. Cower in fear that you might be the next victim, disgracing the memories of all those who lost their lives, or hold your head up high, and proudly let the world know that the freedom of many is more important than the lives of few.

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