Strange Tales of Nostalgia

Once upon a time:

Much like Cuba, Russia once had a Communist government. It wasn’t called Russia then, or even the Empire of All the Russias. It was called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or The Evil Empire.

New Zealand had a First Past the Post electoral system.

Pan-American was an airline.

The IRA were terrorists.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia were united into one nation. It was called Czechoslovakia.

Coffee shops didn’t have a menu, they had coffee, espresso, cappuccino and that “au lait” stuff.

Computer data, movies and musical recordings were stored on magnetized tapes.

Punk music apparently didn’t sound polished.

There were once only three television stations. In order to change between the stations a person had to actually get up and turn a knob, yes a knob, on the television set.

UFO sightings were much more common.

Eritrea was once forced to exist under the tyranny of Ethiopia.

There were only 26 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The internet as we know it was not around, although there were such things as Usenet and games involving M.U.D. Back then all electronic communications were voice or text-only.

“Paper or plastic” was a much bigger deal.

There was no Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was called Zaire.

Bombs only relied on gravity and planes looked like planes on radar, not sparrows.

When people wanted to listen to a piece of music they would go to a store and purchase a recording of the album.

There was the idea for a space shuttle regularly visiting a vibrant and active space station.

Back in the day there was a well-known Edvard Munch painting called “The Scream.”

Letters were written on paper, placed in an envelope upon which was affixed postage and then mailed.

The tallest buildings in New York were the 110 storey tall World Trade Center Towers, often called The Twin Towers.

AIDS was known as GRID.

Movies were once available on a format called Laser Disc. Even stranger, music was available on things called “minidiscs.”

It was called Burma.

People enjoyed films which utilized special optical effects and camera tricks to create fantastic illusions.

When you wanted to go from New York to Paris in only a couple of hours you would hop on the super-sonic transport plane called The Concorde.

Telephones were actually attached to the wall using a primitive cord and there were no buttons, just a dial.

Students could bring butter knives to school without getting expelled or arrested.

Cartoons used to involve two dimensional figures painted onto sheets of celluloid. Some were even animated in the United States.

There once was a body of water in Asia known as the Aral Sea.

David Bowie often wore more interesting things than a hoodie under a blazer.

Brain Teasers

Here are some puzzles to test your mental accumen. If you fail to answer them it means that you are worthless and foolish.

1. Can you add one letter to this word to make it mean something similar?


2. Can you move one of these matches so that the remaining shape is of one of the letters of the alphabet?


3. The son of this man’s father is me. Who am I?

4. Two trains leave Cincinnati traveling at a velocity of 66mph. One train, it’s blue, increases its velocity by 1mph after each mile traveled, excluding miles divisible by 8 when it increases its speed by 2mph. At every forty three mile mark the train stops for five minutes and starts up again going at 50mph with the normal level of increased velocity per mile. On calendar days divisible by 7 the train ignores the double increase at mile marks divisible by 8 but changes to a decrease by 3mph for each mile mark divisible by 26. One leap year day the train reverses direction, maintaining the same velocity increases. The blue train does not run at all in March or August, nor on any Federal Holiday which falls on a day of the week named for a celestial body. The other train, which is red, increases its velocity by 3/8th of a mph after each 5000 meter mark, excluding Sundays, when at the top of each hour it increases by 78/15th of a mph after each 4km mark. How far apart are the two trains after 17 years? Please give your answer in furlongs.

Answers will be posted next week.

Join the Unified Nations

Unified Nations

Dear Consul, Ambassador, Minister or Official,

Are you tired of the disrespectful attitudes shown towards your nation and its citizens by the disinterested bureaucracy of the United Nations? Do you truly feel that this bloated, scandal-ridden organization represents your needs? Is it not most frustrating that member states of the Security Council can willfully and freely veto any United Nations action, leaving the vast majority of member states virtually powerless in this long-useless body? Wouldn’t it be great if there were a solution to these problems?

Now there is. This is your opportunity to get involved in the new Unified Nations. The Unified Nations is a new organization with bold new ideas for the world. No longer will your nation and your people be forced to sit idly, powerless and ignored, while the so-called “major powers” dictate the course of the corrupt and villainous United Nations, holding your nation hostage.

The Unified Nations will be the new power in global politics. We will give your people a voice, give them an equal vote, give them the power to forge their own destiny amongst the varied peoples of the Earth. The decadent autocracy of the United Nations will be swept away, replaced by the strength and glory of the Unified Nations.

You will find that the Unified Nations will give you power in the world beyond that which your nation has ever known. And all for a members’ fee far below that of the greedy United Nations.

The fee for member states will be €20,000 per year, payable by cheque or money order made out to “cash” and sent to the Unified Nations Headquarters. Member states will receive voting privileges and veto power on all Unified Nations proposals. Once we reach a quorum of voting states we will commence work immediately on our charter. We want you to be a part of this glorious new adventure. Your ideas, policies and positions will be crucial in the creation of the charter and the destiny of the organization.

Take your stand now and rise with the powerful new order. The world will be ours and all its spoils. Organizational meetings are held at headquarters every other Thursday at 9 PM, where snacks are provided (including cheese, vienna sausages, water crackers and sometimes smoked salmon). Email us for further instructions.