Category Archives: Shameless Filler

Count Your Blessings

At least you haven’t got any of these. I hope.

Pretty Pictures

OK, here’s something completely uncontroversial and apolitical: some beautiful images from a National Geographic photo contest. And don’t miss these.

Sexual Predators

If you’re into “vintage” erotica, it’ll be hard to top this.

The Devil’s Workshop

Having spent hours on the road this afternoon schlepping back to Gotham from Cape Cod’s outer extremity, and facing the prospect of a long and early day of toil tomorrow, I’m feeling much too lazy to write anything this evening. Fortunately, Bill Vallicella has posted up a link I can steal, and it’s just the […]


After working all day and teaching class this evening, I’m spent. So for tonight, just a few links to keep you occupied: — Nothing new under the sun. — Plan B: Algae! — The birds and the bees. — Last but not least, news you can use: How to to deal with those annoying roadblock […]

From The Mailbag

A reader just forwarded me one of those whimsical emails that people pass around the Internet. I usually don’t post such things, but it’s a slow night… I’ve been saying for a while that the problem facing America today is no longer a problem of conservatives and liberals learning to get along — we’ve gone […]

Long Ago And Far Away

It’s easy to lose perspective with one’s nose pressed up against the local affairs of this evanescent speck of dust we call home. So: zooming out just a little from U.S. politics, here’s a nice example of gravitational lensing: a “magnified” galaxy that we see as it was two-thirds of the age of the Universe […]

Software Professionals: A Field Guide To Indentification

Here’s how you can tell working coders from computer-science Ph.Ds: Make them mad. We all know when you’re angry you should count to 10; this should be sufficient for distinguishing the two species. The Coder: “zero…one…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine.” The Ph.D: “one…two.” Related content from Sphere

Why I Love The Internet

Just tweeted by “Karma’s janitor”, @Iowahawk: New York New York, it’s a helluva town / 3 foot rats, but the transfats are down


Bonneville Salt Flats, 462 m.p.h. Here.

Sad Sack

I don’t know what to say about this, so I’ll just pass it along without comment.

“You’ve Changed…”

Here’s an awkward item courtesy of my son Nick, who’s now a senior staffer over at Wish I Didn’t Know. Don’t know about you, but I really hate it when this happens. Related content from Sphere

I Am Here, And You Are My Sofa

It’s been a long busy day, with no time for writing. I did run across this little item, though, just now: a new approach to sorting out the various authors of the Bible. As I write, my friend G. Orcalimbo Jones at WOMR is playing Side 2 of Zappa’s One Size Fits All. What an […]


I’m working a long day today, so for now, just a few links: A fold in the brain seems to have something to do with distinguishing reality from imagination. A collection of “coffins” — math problems with relatively simple solutions that are hellishly difficult to find — used by Soviet schools to keep out Jews. […]


How To Artificially Inseminate A Rhino. “Shameless Filler” seems about the right category for this one. (HT: Derb.)

The Honey Badger

As advertised, we’re lying low out here in the remoter reaches of Cape Cod, and paying little attention to the wider world. I hear there are things going on out there — apparently something’s happening in the Middle East or something — but my attention has been more focused on oysters, old books, and keeping […]

This And That

I had hoped to find some quiet time today for getting some thoughts written down about recent events (in particular the massacre in Oslo and what it means for the defense-of-the-West club that has been spotlighted from all angles in its aftermath), but it was not to be, and now, with a couple of very […]

Dinner And A Dance

I’ve been brooding and distracted, and trying to organize my thoughts for a serious post or two, but have hardly had a moment to myself all day, and so have nothing much to offer tonight. Except, of course, this appetizing illustration of sodium-ion channels in action, courtesy of my daughter Chloe. Related content from Sphere

Just The Check, Please

Four years ago I reported on a chicken-wing-eating competition I chanced upon at Grand Central Station. I had never seen professional gurgitators at work before; the best thing I can say about the experience was that it has helped me, in contemplating the great arc of civilization, to lower my expectations. Like other sports, though, […]

Baby Elephants!

Courtesy of Jonah Goldberg. Related content from Sphere

One From The Gipper

Here’s a pungent partisan punchline, from a president who could actually tell a joke. Related content from Sphere

Charm, Beauty, And Friendly Service

I’ve had no time for writing much of anything today, so for tonight here’s an amusing relic from a bygone age of the world: the 1968 Playboy Club Bunny Manual. Related content from Sphere

Make It Stop

President Obama’s in town, and in a spirit of hospitality I won’t have anything to say about last night’s speech. (Anyway, everybody’s already said it, for example here and here.) Instead, then: a grab from the Shameless Filler bag. Tonight it’s one of the damnedest eyetwisters I’ve ever seen. The squares in the image below […]

I Have To Ask

On the commercial street near my house, there’s a comic-book store, and as I walked by it today they had a big picture of Superman on display. It looked something like this: It seemed to me that the Man of Steel was looking even more buff than ever, certainly way more so than when I […]


The website has been offering some amazing solar images lately. Here’s a good one: a video clip of a gigantic plasma ejection.

LBJ Orders Pants


Nuts To You!

I’m working late again tonight, and haven’t had the time to write anything interesting, or to work on any of the longer posts I’ve been gestating. So here’s some truly shameless filler. Related content from Sphere

Crack Addict

It’s a very busy week, and there will be scant opportunity for writing for the next day or two, so it’s Shameless Filler time once again. This cheeky item certainly qualifies, I think. What? You sophisticates are in no mood for such lowbrow japery? Well then, waste your time instead with the hosts of my […]

Filler Time!

Some longer posts still being under construction, all I can offer tonight is a link or two from the Shameless Filler grab-bag. First, I’ll bet all of you who frittered away the Cold War years in our nation’s amusement arcades did so secure in the knowledge that Our Side must ultimately triumph, due to our […]

The Mountain Labored…

An enduring, and endearing, marvel of our species is how hard we are willing to work to produce something truly ghastly. Example here.

What Time Is It?

It’s Shameless Filler time! For tonight: The marvelous Curta calculator, creepiness from Japan, and a 2010 update for a classic computer game. Back again soon.

Time In

It’s almost midnight on Tuesday, and we’ve just got back from a long (and, as far as the news goes, completely tuned-out) weekend, with a lot of catching-up to do. So for tonight, here’s an entertaining site that I ran across while putting together last week’s Martin Gardner post. Don’t miss the Mandelbulb. Related content […]

I Want One

As far as nifty gadgets go, it would be hard to top the computerized anti-mosquito laser cannon we showed you a few days ago. But a German tinkerer has certainly come up with an impressive little toy. Video here. Related content from Sphere

Oh Well

Well, whatever Iran had planned for today appears to have been a bit of a fizzle, at least as far as a “blow” to the West is concerned; indeed even the link I posted yesterday appears to be down. Any heavy blows were apparently reserved for the political opposition, and delivered by the Basiji. Don’t […]

Rust Never Sleeps

I’m in rather a bit of discomfort sitting at the computer tonight, having pulled, with a loud “pop”, something in my after rigging while teaching class earlier this evening. So I’ll leave you for now with an advisory item that’s been making the rounds about online security. Here. Related content from Sphere

It’ll Have To Do

Not being a man of independent means, I’ve been selling off my dwindling store of days just to earn a crust. As it happens I sold off almost all of this one, and so have none of it left for writing. That means it’s time to add another weightless diversion to our “shameless filler” category. […]

Keys To Ascension

With a hat tip to my friend and former employer Bob Wyman, here’s a clever way to get people to take the stairs.

Justice Is Served

Heading wearily home on the subway late this evening, I skimmed an item in today’s Times — Waiter, There’s A Gavel In My Soup — in which the author Gay Talese described finding himself at the table next to Chief Justice John Roberts’s last Saturday evening at a cozy little Upper East Side restaurant. As […]

Tiny Dancer

With deadlines looming over me once again at work, I’m frazzled. It looks like it’s going to be another Shameless Filler Week here at waka waka waka. Our Muse tonight is Terpsichore, as we present a video clip — sent our way by the lovely Nina — in which we meet Elvyna, a p’tite jeune […]

Tuts My Barreh

Ah, the healing power of music. Here.

World Wide Website

It’s been a busy day of roistering at the wedding of a friend, and the little grey cells are in no shape to get behind the keyboard. So for tonight, all I can offer is a diverting little link, sent our way by reader JK. Here. Related content from Sphere

Low Life

Here’s something curious. I have no idea if this video — allegedly taken from a camera being snaked through a sewer line in North Carolina — is real or fake, or, if real, whther it depicts something already well-known or utterly strange. What the hell are these things? They look like mighty good eatin’. Related […]

Liszt With A Twist

I’m working very late tonight (and for the rest of the week), and have no time for brooding and scribbling — so for this evening, I’m afraid all I have to offer is froth and diversion. Here, then, are the great Harpo Marx, and his namesake, collaborating on a familiar theme. Related content from Sphere

They Just Can’t Help It

Here, if you haven’t seen it, is an amusing item from YouTube: how would Microsoft have marketed the iPod?


Not much time for writing this evening, so it’s time for some Shameless Filler. In tonight’s edition: The 50 Worst Cars Of All Time.

Trouble In Paradise?

Software engineers often imagine that Google must be just the best place to work. A couple of years ago I visited a friend who works in their New York office (which then was in Times Square), and I have to say it looked pretty good: a beautiful, modern office with all sorts of worker-friendly touches: […]

Some Holiday Cheer

Having trouble getting in the Christmas spirit? With yet another hat tip to our reader ‘JK’, here’s a story that has it all: solid religious content, a prophet in the wilderness, and, if the story’s true, an impressive display of lights. Related content from Sphere

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

I have several email accounts, and I get plenty of spam, just everybody else. Every now and then, though, something comes in that I simply cannot, for the life of me, imagine why anyone would bother to send. Here’s the latest example: Hello , Am David i want to know if u carry (Aluminum Planks) […]

Six Feet Under

Well, seven, now; I should have penned this post back in August, when the title was most apt. But there are definitely strange things afoot in British Columbia: story here. Related content from Sphere

Crunch Time

This from today’s Borowitz Report: November 13, 2008 Bush in Race against Time to Wreck Country Legacy of Destruction at Stake Confounding the conventional wisdom that he is a lame duck president with no agenda as his days in office dwindle, President George W. Bush is redoubling his efforts to mutilate the country before his […]