Thursday, January 31, 2008

Book Count: January

Number of books read: 11
Pages read: 3175
Average number of days to read a book: 3
Average number of pages read in a day: 102
Number of more books to read to reach goal: 89

A Book in Review – The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Outrageous Excuses

Book Count: 11

The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Outrageous Excuses By: David Macfarlane
Non-fiction: Humor 485 pages 2006

As one could guess this book is a giant listing of excuses. The excuses run from the practical to the insane. Real life excuses giving by various famous and everyday people are also in the book with a short explanation on when and how they were used. There are tips on the types of excuses and how to best use them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Book in Review – Berserk!

Book Count: 10

Berserk! : Terrifying True Stories of Notorious Mass Murders and the Deranged Killers Who Committed Them, By: Graham Chester
Non-fiction: true crime, physiology 252 pages 1993

As this is an older book we will not review it, but instead let you know how to tell if you or someone you know is more likely to become a mass murder based on things that most ones have in common.

1. Being male: (according to the FBI over 90% of people who kill 4 or more people or men. Women killers tend to kill either only family members, for money, for ideology or while helping a male loved one who is a killer.)

2. Being white/ being in the historic majority ethnic group and/or group that runs the majority of the country.

3. Being an only child or first born with an unusually close relationship with your mother and a negative or non-existent relationship with your father.

4. Being part of a culture that values guns: Actually it depends on how you value guns, the more American “wild west” type way a group of people see guns the more likely they are to have mass murders.

5. Having an inflated sense of personal sovereignty: see #2 and 3.

6. Being socially isolated: We all know mass murders are almost always described as nice quiet/shy guys.

7. Being lower class or first generation middle class and being obsessed with getting more status.

8. Being obsessed with the military: If in the military one is most likely a private first class or a corporal. Also see #4.

9. Feeling like a failure: A lose of a job, getting kicked out of school or some other failure is often what triggers the attack.

Other traits often connected with mass murderers.

1. Having a dark secret that you are afraid people know about: Especially a sexual secret such as extreme Oedipal complex or soliciting gay sex in back alleys.

2. Having an extremely conservative moral code or sense of patriotism: This is especially true in the case in those with the dark secret that goes against everything else that they believe in, although there are a number of mass murders who we would consider Nazis.

3. Having grown up in an abusive home: They will also show abusive behavior shortly before the murders.

4. Being paranoid or fearful: see #1.

5. Being obsessed with an Armageddon.

6. Watching mainly violent TV shows and movies with a vilagantie, dirty cop, revenge etc. themes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Holidays in February:

African American History Month
Chocolate Lover’s Month
Friendship Month

2 Groundhog Day
Candlemas/Purification Day

3 Super Sunday
Diabetes Sunday

5 Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday

6 Start of Lent/Ash Wednesday

7 Chinese New Year
Tet Nguyen Dan

10 World Marriage Day

11 Thomas Edison/Inventor’s Day

12 Lincoln’s Birthday

14 Valentine’s Day

18 Presidents’ Day
Pluto Day

29 Leap Day

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Note on Numbers

As you may have noticed shortly into the New Year we changed our tagline to “Watch us try and read 100 books this year.” As you may also have noticed we have multiple editors. (We would take this time to recommend our web editor’s blog
but they haven’t posted a blog in months.) So we just wanted to let you know that the 100 books in the count are only those actually read by our head editor. Books on tape, read by other editors or read in dreams do not go into the count. So we are not cheating and having five people read 20 books each or something. It’s one person reading an average of 8 to 9 books a month every month.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Book in Review – The Care and Feeding of Books Old and New

Book Count: 9

The Care and Feeding of Books Old and New By: Rosenberg and Marcowitz
Non-Fiction: books, hints, cleaning 182 pages 2002

We had three major problems with this book, one practical and two ideological. First the practical problem, most all of the information in this book is either common knowledge or things that you could pick up on your own with a little trial and error. The one good hint on book care that we have never heard and wouldn’t think about is how they got old books to smell better, which was using a solid air freshener in an air tight box with a few books around it. Now to the ideological problems: first, these people are dog people. The whole reason that they wrote this book is from what they learned selling books on dogs. We are cat people; we find all there “dogs are great” bits to be annoying and they have nothing to do with the subject. The second issue on our different prospective was that they look at books like collectors who see all books as collection worthy. We like to enjoy our books, and think they get a bit crazy at times. We would kick out of our house anyone that tried to shame us for not dusting, cleaning, and “properly” rotating our collection of old beaten up paperbacks that we got for $1 a bag at the church rummage sale already in that condition. They actually suggest shaming friends into taking care of all books they way they do. (We are amazed that they actually suggest that one can read a book, with the proper projection in the correct manner, of course.) We could see the good in offering to help fix books for our local library or getting them to make up a flyer or book mark on how to care for the libraries books; however, to be horrified that the library would rather sell one of their 20 (million) copies of “Harry Potter” then spend the time fixing it is just silly.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Book in Review – I Am America (And so Can You!)

Book Count: 8

I Am America (And so Can You!) By: Stephen Colbert
Non-Fiction: Humor, etc. 228 pages 2007

This book was written by Stephen Colbert the character not Stephen Colbert the actor. If you don’t think that that is an important difference then look it up at Wikipedia; two different people, which according to Stephen Colbert the character makes it true. (The people have spoken!) If that made no sense to you because you don’t watch The Colbert Report then this is not the book for you. It was written for members of the “Colbert Nation” (People who love the show) as something for them to do when not watching The Colbert Report, getting things named after Stephen Colbert, buying things off his web site, defending themselves from bears and the pro-bear agenda and what ever else he tells them to do on his show. Amazingly, unlike the other humor book written by a comedian that I read this year, this book is like watching an episode of the show. (Amazingness do to the fact the Colbert the character hates book and reading. Like watching TV as sometimes he says the exact same things on TV.) So, if you like the humor of The Colbert Report or somehow think it is not meant to be funny, but still like it, then this book is for you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Quotes of Martin Luther King Jr.

+We cannot be truly Christian people so long as we flaunt the central teachings of Jesus: brotherly love and the Golden Rule.

+If a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

+Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

+Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

+Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity

+One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

+Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and . . . when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.

+A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of Saint Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.

+Morality cannot be legislated but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.

+Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

+My study of Gandhi convinced me that true pacifism is not nonresistance to evil, but nonviolent resistance to evil. Between the two positions, there is a world of difference. Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but True pacifism is not unrealistic submission to evil power. It is rather a courageous confrontation of evil by the power of love. .

+Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon . . . which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.

+Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

+Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

+The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.

+Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion. The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody. Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideas hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.

+A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.

+Rarely do we find men who willingly to engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

+We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Book in Review – UJBR: Plunges into History

Book Count: 7

Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader: Plunges into History By: The Bathroom Readers’ Hysterical Institute
Non-Fiction: History, short stories 490 pages 2001

We at WNBNI like history and we like short stories and factoids so it would stand to reason that we would love this book. And for the most part we did like it, there was just one problem, in multiple cases the book states something as fact that we have heard from multiple other reliable sources is not true or isn’t known. And its not like it’s saying “many people think this but its incorrect” or “new evidence shows this” it just acts like it is already an established fact. For example, there is an article on the Roma (aka Gypsies) stating that they are from Northern India as if everyone knows that. Sure the name Gypsy, meaning one from Egypt is generally thought to be incorrect by all, but we’ve read interviews of people who were Roma stating that they are called that because they are from Rome, and of course there are the various people who believe that they are a “Lost Tribe” of Israel or are originally from some other group in the Middle East with all the similarities in culture. And again it would be one thing if they backed this “fact” up (for example if it was determined as part of the human genome project) and sure it adds to the cruel irony of Nazism if one of the groups that they went after were the only true Aryans in Germany, but with multiple facts that we don’t know if they are facts or not we could no longer trust that any of the facts that we didn’t already know were true. Lucky, this book mainly had facts that we already knew put in fun new ways.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Book in Review – Hollywood Urban Legends

Book Count: 6

Hollywood Urban Legends By: Richard Roeper
Non-Fiction: celebrities, legends 240 pages 2002

This book had some fun urban legends in it. However, most of the legends were either ones that I had never heard of, or ones that I already new the truth of. There were a few ones that although I had never heard of before the truth behind the story was interesting, and there were a lot of little facts that someone that is into Hollywood would be interested in: things like Nicolas Cage is really related to Francis Ford Coppola, Liz Sheridan (who played Jerry’s mom on the show Seinfeld) dated James Dean and Mama Cass Elliot and Keith Moon both died in the same apartment.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Book in Review – The World is Flat

Book Count: 5

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, By: Thomas L. Friedman
Non-fiction: current events, science, business 469 pages 2005

This book takes a look at all the factors that are “flattening” the world by making it easier to connect with people around the globe, how that is being used, ways that it is helpful or harmful to different groups and countries and the forces that are working to stop this. For when it was written it was well done; however, given the speed in which this is happening even being a couple years old makes parts of this book obsolete. For example, any book written today about how the shift of factory jobs to China would need to address the many problems found with the goods made in China over the last year and the ways that companies deal with the required recalls and how they affect the way the company, factory and countries involved work. In this book it was still operating under a believe that these goods were as safe as when they were made elsewhere. But it still was worth reading for the areas that would still be true today and for its analyst of how this flattening of the world is both helping unindustrialized nations better there standards of living, and creating problems due to the speed of changes. It also has an interesting theory on the sudden growth of fundamental Islamic terrorist groups. And at a bonus to mothers of young children everywhere it finally puts Pizza Guy as a hero on “Higglytown Heroes”. (Anyone that has been forced to watch this show over and over again will understand it. The book is talking about how technogy has allowed then to connect actors in Hollywood or New York with writers and artist across the country and the world, but importantly it goes over the ideas and goals of the show, which is about how everyone is a hero in their own way by doing their jobs. So people have been heroes because they cook, knit, feed the dog, brush their teeth and other simple non-hero type things, but there is this one guy (Pizza Guy) who delivers pizza and is always helping these kids in the show out, as if he was a helpful big brother that is NEVER EVER said to be a hero in the show even though he does more then the heroes sometimes, and it is nice to see that the creators of the show know that in “Higgly” logic he is a hero too.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How’s it going?

We at WNBNI would like to know how your New Year’s Resolution is going? It’s been a couple of weeks now, so it’s getting to the point where many people give up. Hang in there, many people believe that if you do something for 30 days it becomes a habit making it easier for you to continue it.


It appears that we were incorrect in our blog yesterday. We incorrectly thought that as the SC vote was this week and it was being talked about much more then MI that it too was on Tuesday, as it is the day of the week that elections are almost always held on, and we thought that they were on the same day, but as SC is more important (with all the votes counting in all) that that was why we were only hearing about it. However, it turns out that it is on Saturday. Sorry for any inconvenience that this caused.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Attention MI and SC

Remember that today is the primary in your states, so get out and vote because every vote counts! Unless of course, you are a Democrat in Michigan. Then don’t bother because the party refuses to count your vote just because your state changed the date of the primaries, which you also had no say in. Boy, for a party running 3 minority candidates in one year (a female, African-American, and a magic leprechaun [we want to know what spell he used to get such a HOT wife]) the Democrats sure are picky. First, they won’t let Stephen Colbert run in SC, even though he is actually a Democrat. (Luckily, Huckabee still is offering him a chance to be Vice-Pres so he can enjoy the race threw him.) Now, they aren’t counting votes in a state that has been known to be a swing state in the election, way to piss off the people you’ll need in a few months! Anyway, if you’re in SC or in any other party then Democrats in Michigan go out and vote. And if you are a Michigan Dem. You could always right in a vote that won’t be counted to say “Screw you, party for not counting me!” We hear Ralph Wigmins is running.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Book in Review – Michigan: Rogues, Desperados, Cut-Throats

Book Count: 4

Michigan: Rogues, Desperados, Cut-Throats By: Tom Powers
Non-Fiction: history, biographies 129 pages, 2002

This book includes some interesting people. There is the person that is thought by many to be the real life Paul Bunyan. And a man so evil that it is said the seven ministers refused to say his funeral and that he was buried outside of the graveyard as no one would bury him on holy ground. There is also the story of the man whose execution is what caused Michigan to be the first state without the death penalty. There are also stories from Helltown, USA. (That is amazingly not about the city of Hell, MI.) And many other amazing true life tales. All and all this was an interesting look at Michigan history.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Book in Review – The Doll People

Book Count: 3

The Doll People By: Martin & Godwin
Fiction: Youth, fantasy 256 pages, 2000

We thought that while we were reading a large number of books, we would try to hunt down some of the books that we loved as kids, but do not remember the title or author. There were a number of books that were about living dolls, so we tried this one. Once we got to the title page, we knew that this was not one of the books, but it looked interesting and so we read it. This book has the required 100 year old living dolls, but it also has the twist of having new plastic living dolls that move into the next door bedroom of their owner’s little sister. And like all books with living dolls there is a mystery that needed to be solved. It’s mystery what happened to the aunt doll that disappeared decades ago. It was a fun read that would be well liked by a younger girl.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

They’re Back!!!

The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are back!!! Of course the strike is still on, so there is the whole: will it be as good, will this hurt the strike issues, but as someone that is tired of getting there news from “reliable” “unbiased” sources I am excited. That and as phony news/ interviews it doesn’t need to be written like say a sit-com does. Which brings up a question that we would like to know your thoughts on. With the lack of new episodes of shows that started in the fall and limited ones on the shows that start in January, do you think shows that were popular will lose ratings after the strike due to people giving up on them and getting use to nothing being on TV? Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Book in Review – When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

Book Count: 2

When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? By: George Carlin
Non-Fiction: Humor, 295 pages 2004
We heard a lot of good things about this book when it first came out, and so when we saw it we thought we would enjoy reading it. We find Goerge Carlin’s work to be largely funny; at times more offencive then funny, but overall some one we would watch perform as long as we weren’t hanging out with our grandparents or some one like that. But this book wasn’t that good. For the first 20 pages or so we seriously considered not finishing the book. The book has three major problems. First, some of the material just wasn’t that funny to start with. Some things would be funny, it we were watching it being preformed with the change in tones, timing and actions to realy get us involved with the joke, but being words on a page causes the joke to fall flat or made it go from humorous anger to “this guy should see a shrink and take some pills before he kills someone,” anger. And lastly some things were funny, even as they were, but the joke was just taken too far so that it lost some of its humor. For example a bit on how people compare size of tumors to fruits was followed by one about how they compare them to sports equipment (i.e. balls). Each was funny on it’s own but together not that good.

Friday, January 04, 2008

2007 in Review

It is that time of year when all you here about is what happened last year, and we at WNBNI have decided to be no different. Only we will be reviewing only the best of our blog, as if you want a timeline of how crazy Britney was when there are most likely a million sites with that information.

We started the year with holiday info and help with your resolutions.
We made our sister happy with our report “The Rise of Manatee’s Mating Rituals in Popular Culture”. To read the report click here.
Our web editor made their own blog.
And we learned that having an affair is a felony that could land you with life in prison. Really, click here to read about it.

We celebrated Black History Month, Edison’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day, governmental stupidity, Chinese New Year, and Marti Gras. And all in only 28 days!
We asked you what you would like us to read and report about.

Pi Day!!!!!
We learned about St. Patrick and the Irish while noting that St. Patrick was actually the only English man all the Irish like.
We learned that pot is not kosher during Passover.

We found out what to do on Good Friday.
We ranted on Cadbury Cream Eggs getting smaller.
We learned how to tell time in Ancient times. Click Here for a refresher.
We ranted on Email forwards

We started “Phobia of the Day”
1,000 hits to the blog!

We asked what you would like to see in this blog, and we are still taking answers.
We blogged from the worlds slowest connection.

We started “Presidents on Politics.”
We ranted on Disney playing Halloween films in July.
We ran our tag line contest

There were Phobias and books what more do you want?

The Classic WNBNI “Useless Conversion Chart”
We started “Daily Education”
We celebrated like it was 1999, because in the Coptic and Ethiopian calendar it was until the 12th.

Super Holiday Special!!!
We started “In Other Words”
We learned of other Holidays in Oct.
We gave tips on stopping Vampires and becoming werewolves.
We learned some famous last words.

We had our yearly list of odd patron saints.
We learned of the holidays of Nov. and Dec.
We studied the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. To get the song stuck in your head click here.

We celebrated Advent, Hanukkah, St. Lucy’s Day, Christmas, and New Years. There were quizzes, quotes, and one guy calling people names.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Book in Review – The Best Case Scenario Handbook

Book Count 1

The Best Case Scenario Handbook By, John Tierney
Non-Fiction, how to, 149 pages 2002

This book is exactly like the worst case scenario books. . . it will never happen to you, you won’t remember what you are to do if it does happen, etc. But, these are things that you would want to happen. Things like winning a Nobel Prize, negotiating with a magic genie, and being able to read minds. And with only 149 pages it quickly added to my book numbers for this year.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Note to Self

Book Count 0 (was read in ’07)

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents By: Terry Pratchett
Fiction: Young Adult, fantasy 241 pages, 2001

What if the master mind behind the Pied Piper was his talking cat? Then he would be Maurice and this would be his story. This book was a fun read and I would do a full report on it, but I’m tired and I already reviewed another young adult book from this author. To see it click here.