Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Hunt for Bigfoot

It's underway in Michigan.

Dr. Grover Krantz, a scientist specializing in cryptozoology, believes Bigfoot is a "gigantopithecus," a branch of primitive man believed to have existed 3 million years ago.

But mainstream scientists tend to dismiss the study as pseudoscience because of unreliable eyewitness accounts and a lack of solid physical evidence.

You may remember Dr. Grover Krantz for his memorable role on television. He has since lost his blue radiance due to the demanding nature of cryptozoology. Bigfoots (or Sasquatches, Yetis, King Kongs, Velociraptors, etc) continue to be a nagging thorn in the side of mainstream science. I think cryptozoology is a legitimate area of study, though. Remember that one fish scientists found in the ocean that was thought to have been extinct for millions of years?

What is it with these "mainstream scientists" and their incessant need for "solid physical evidence"? They just need to believe, man.

Prime Minister's Questions: Good Luck Gordon Brown

With Gordon Brown taking over as Prime Minister after Tony Blair's departure, I figured today would be a good opportunity to highlight some of the fun quirks and intricacies of the parliamentary system in the UK. For this, we turn to our Caught on the Bound Senior Parliamentary Analyst.

Right, that's me. Now, where is that talking points sheet....ah, here.

Hoots! Hollers! Order! Chaos! Do these words come to mind when you think of government? Most likely. But do they come to mind when...

OK, that was rather dumb. Let's try again.

One of my favorite events to watch, be they on C-SPAN, BBC, or YouTube, are the Prime Minister's Questions, a constitutional convention of Parliament in which the Prime Minister will answer questions in the House of Commons, often sparring with the Opposition Leader over matters ranging from policy to the Prime Minister's daily appointments. The result is a healthy, lively, and often humorous debate. It gets even more interesting when the Speaker of the House of Commons interrupts to shut everyone up, shouting over the hollers and jeers of the entire House. Check out this example (skip to the 6:00 mark to watch a funny exchange with the Speaker):

Can you imagine what would happen if President Bush had to do this every week? This is no knock on the U.S. form of government, but you have to admire the open and accountable nature of PMQs.

Researchers May Remake Neanderthal DNA

So it says here at Unexplained Mysteries, a website that I definitely do not scan like a hawk every day hoping for a big "break" to prove skeptics wrong. I know they are only referring to constructing the genome, but it makes you wonder what would happen if some mad scientists managed to get one to run around and scare us to death. Would we consider this Neanderthal a human? A different species? I can hear the ethical angst simmering already. If you read that last sentence again, you'll find that it was a strange one.

You know, I could point to several pieces of non-empirical fictional evidence that lead me to believe that something like this might not be the best idea:

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Press Conference - June 25, 2007

Great, everyone calm down. I know it's been a while since we've done one of these, but please, for the love of all things, chill! Now, let's get started, you there, sir.

"A lot of blogs, well, personal blogs, tend to have titles like "The Ramblings of John Doe" or "The Scrambled Thought Process of John Doe" or "Musings of John Doe." Why doesn't Caught on the Bound adopt a similar title?"

That's a great question. Good stuff. People who start blogs have a few things in common: they think they have something worth saying; they have confidence; and they believe themselves to be reasonably intelligent. I think, when someone makes a blog, they tend to compensate for the ego push by "downplaying" their abilities as "ramblings" or "musings." Caught on the Bound, of course, is a collective team effort made up of myself and whoever I haven't fired. Also, we're just f***king Caught on the Bound. Yeah, you...

"I noticed that a high percentage of your pictures on the site come from Wikipedia. Why?"

That's a great question. Caught on the Bound uses an in-house Integrity Index to rank its sources. Here it is:

1. Wikipedia
2. Hearsay
3. Widely-believed facts
4. Stories from old people
5. Google
6. The New York Times
7. The grapevine
8. CNN
9. Fox News
10. Empirical data

As you can see, Wikipedia is the most trusted source. Since Hearsay and Widely-believed facts rarely provide photos, we do what we have to.

I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue

Listen to it here.

From the BBC Radio 4 website:

The self-styled antidote to panel games. First broadcast in 1972, this hugely popular panel game regularly features high-calibre comedians such as Stephen Fry, Sandy Toksvig, Paul Merton and Jeremy Hardy.

I've become addicted to this show. While listening, I often get a sense of "Oh, that is SO a British inside-joke," but then I eventually realize why it's funny: because everyone else is laughing. The description sums up this show well: "a self-styled antidote to panel games" followed by, in the next sentence, "this hugely popular panel game." I don't know which it is, but one of them is funny.

Upon further review, this post made no sense whatsoever.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Don't Lose Your Headlines

Google Asks Court to Extend

Enough with Google and their vague demands! Extend...a ligament? The length of a sentence? Maybe they just want the judge to stretch out his gavel arm.

US student loses free speech case

The bad news: the student lost the case.
The good news: the speech inside of it was free, so it's not like a lot of money was wasted.
I hope we find that case, though, because we're talking about a whole Bill of Right here.

At Wimbledon, a Missing Player: the Roof

That's incorrect. It was Col. Mustard, in the billiard room, with the candlestick (not the roof). Good try though. I can't really come down on this too harshly as my own Clue skills are negligible.

Victim's mom: Nothing in alleged killer cop's eyes

Are we talking about a literal piece of matter in the cop's eyes or something abstract like "menace" or "envy"? Because I think it makes a difference.

Barrasso sworn in as Senate debates divisive issues

Remember the good ol' days when the Senate would debate unifying issues? That was so much easier. Everyone was like, "Raise your hand if you are FOR family values. The ayes have it, 100-0 this measure PASSES."

First-known albino mountain goat spotted in Italian Alps

Is that so? I didn't realize albino goats could have spots and still qualify as albino. Lies!

Newsweek Poll Says We Isn't Learned Hard Enough

Newsweek claims its recent poll on general knowledge and cultural literacy generated "disheartening results." (Hat tip: dcl via Brendan) As some commentators pointed out, the survey itself misspelled Jane Austen's last name and "decided" that we are, in fact, losing the War on Terror. COME ON NEWSWEEK! GET YOUR HEAD IN THE JOURNALISTIC GAME!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

His Limits

I've decided to participate in an Internet meme from The Baker Street Blog:

In the blogosphere, a standard term is "meme." According to Wikipedia, a meme is "a unit of cultural information transmitted from one mind to another." In other words, it's a conversation-starter.

Adam's Blog - a non-Sherlockian blog at that - started a Sherlock Holmes meme, which I'll continue here. The idea is to either post a comment with your responses, or post your answers on your own blog, if you have one, providing a link to this post.

In Chapter 2 of A Study in Scarlet, Dr. Watson atttempts to capture the essence of his new acquaintance for the reader by creating a list that he titles "Sherlock Holmes - his limits."
  1. Knowledge of Literature. -- Nil.
  2. " " Philosophy. -- Nil.
  3. " " Astronomy. -- Nil.
  4. " " Politics. -- Feeble.
  5. " " Botany. -- Variable. Well up in belladonna, opium, and poisons generally. Knows nothing of practical gardening.
  6. Knowledge of Geology. -- Practical, but limited. Tells at a glance different soils from each other. After walks has shown me splashes upon his trousers, and told me by their colour and consistence in what part of London he had received them.
  7. Knowledge of Chemistry. -- Profound.
  8. " " Anatomy. -- Accurate, but unsystematic
  9. " " Sensational Literature. -- Immense. He appears to know every detail of every horror perpetrated in the century.
  10. Plays the violin well.
  11. Is an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman.
  12. Has a good practical knowledge of British law.
So, on with our meme!

1) What is something you know practically nothing about?


2) What is something where your knowledge is weak?


3) What is something you know just enough about to get by?

Music of the past 40 years

4) What is something where you have a profound depth of knowledge?

UFOs, presidential trivia, Sherlock Holmes canon, college football

5) What is something that you do even though you don't do it well?


6) What is something you are expert at?

The Diabolo

What about you? What are your limits? If you have a blog, please post these questions and link back to this post; if you don't have a blog, I welcome comments.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


"Irish QB Clausen has medical procedure on elbow"
Will he still be able to fit into his jersey? I just hope it isn't noticeable. I don't really know how big a medical procedure is, but I would not want it hanging off my elbow like that.

"Police smash global pedophile ring"
They had previously tried throwing it into the fires of Mt. Doom, but were able to cut a few corners when one cop had an idea.

"Iraqis assure Bush progress being made"
It's pretty bad when one of the most unstable places in the world is in charge of helping our president.

"Bush has a rainy Father's Day"
Strangely, other fathers in the area have come forward reporting the same phenomenon.

"Caverns to remove exotic fish from pond"
The caverns are just going to blast them out. Everybody stands back when the caverns decide something has to go. Did the caverns consult environmental experts about this little plan? I assume the caverns share some kind of hive mind that enables them to make big decisions about the ecosystem.

"Red shrimp said may threaten food chain"
Red Lobster said to be first on his list. I'm not as worried about the food chain as I am about what else that red shrimp will threaten to do.

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Things You Didn't Know About Paul!

My good friend Paul Nguyen had these interesting facts about himself in his AIM profile. Enjoy:

Things You Didn't Know About Paul!

- In High School, Paul was among the top 3% of math students, competed in the high school math "Superbowl" and other math invitationals.

- In College, Paul received "D"s both semesters of calculus.

- In High School, Paul performed Shubert's Unfinished Symphony with his orchestra to win a Grammy for most outstanding music program.

-In College, Paul performed in the Notre Dame Symphony Orchestra only to fall asleep (while playing his violin) during rehearsals.

I can verify the college facts. I should also point out that he was still hitting most of the notes while falling asleep in rehearsal. Incidentally, Paul has been offered a position as a Senior Staff Writer for Caught on the Bound.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Bookshelf

I think I have one of the strangest bookshelves. Here are some of the titles I currently find staring at me:

Scams, Shams, and Flimflams: A History of Hoax
The Boy Scout Handbook (1962 edition)
The Oxford English Dictionary
Classic Sitcoms
East, West by Salman Rushdie
George Orwell: A Collection of Essays
The Classic Fairy Tales
Conspiracies and Cover-Ups
A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A General Theory of Love
A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Presidential Anecdotes
Crime and Punishment
Unexplained Phenomenon
The Lives of Great Composers
Central Middle School Yearbooks 1997
Computers Simplified
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess
The Encyclopedia of World War II
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
The Radicalism of the American Revolution
Faster Reading - Self-Taught (this is a 500 page book from 1979)
Players of Cooperstown: Baseball's Hall of Fame
The Comedy Thesaurus
The Three Theban Plays, Sophocles
A Window on Williamsburg
The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Vol. II
Human Genetics
The Vital Guide to Fighting Aircraft of World War II
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Roughing it, Mark Twain
Shogun, James Clavell
several World Almanacs
Surfacing, Margaret Atwood
The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary
Vindication, Lyndall Gordon, biography of Mary Wollstonecraft
MLA Handbook
Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami
Intermediate Japanese for Advanced Speakers and Late Beginners (OK, I made up the last six words)
Mythology, Edith Hamilton
The Magic Handbook
Pride and Prejudice
The Worst Case Survival Handbook: First and College Editions, I also see Travel up there
Snow White, Blood Red
A Passage to India, E.M. Forster
The Shadow Lines, Amitav Ghosh
Waiting for the Barbarians, J.M. Coetzee

My interests are whimsical and ridiculous. Far from being widely-read, I find myself to be increasingly narrowly-written. Caught on the Bound interns are picking that phrase apart.

Some of these titles don't even make sense to me. I don't even know anything about baseball or Cooperstown. And I'm pretty sure that Computers Simplified book comes from 1989, which would explain the title. That old Boy Scout Handbook is quite amusing. An excerpt:

"So keep your mouth shut and the passage through your nose clear. Always blow your nose gently and one nostril at a time, never both together. If you have trouble breathing through your nose, let a doctor take a look at it."

Yes, not being able to breath is one of the tell-tale symptoms of.....uh....death. I can imagine some irate scoutmaster shouting at those Tenderfoots trying to blow both nostrils at once. "You'll never make Eagle, Smith! You were a Tenderfoot yesterday and you'll be a Tenderfoot tomorrow!"

Another excerpt, from the inevitably hilarious "From Boy to Man" section:

"There are boys who do not let nature have its own way with them but cause emissions themselves. This may do no physical harm, but may cause them to worry. Any real boy knows that anything that causes him to worry should be avoided or overcome. If anything like this worries you, this is not unusual - just about all boys have the same problem. Seek the correct answer to any question which bothers you about your development from boy to man. But be sure to get your information from reliable sources - your parents, your physician, your spiritual advisor."

Yes, I suppose there is a lesson to be learned. Little Johnny took nature into his own hands and now he is worried! I like the vagueness of "worry" but I think a better word might be "guilt-ridden" or "dirty dirty filth" or "happy." What do they do if there is physical harm? I believe the answer to that is also "worry." We also know that "any real boy" knows to avoid worrying. Don't let those fake or imitation boys fool you.

I have a question about my development from boy to man: What was this whole paragraph about? Worrying about "emissions"? Sounds like a concern for the EPA or NASA.

I think I might make excerpts from this old Boy Scout Handbook a regular thing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

19th-Century Weapon Found in Whale

A 19th-century bomb lance fragment was found in a whale caught off the coast of Alaska. I didn't even realize whales could live that long. If I caught a whale that old, I think I might consider throwing it back.

UPDATE: Sorry, I just had to interject in this one-sided conversation because I can't get my mind off the idea that someone shot a "bomb lance" into this whale, who we will now call Hector for compassion purposes. A bomb lance is a device that is shot into the whale with a time-delay fuse meant to explode after penetration. This seems better suited to zombie attacks or slime molds attacking Cleveland than for stout-hearted Hector (remember, that's his name now). What's even more impressive is that Hector apparently shook off this exploding harpoon and went on living for a hundred or so more years! Hector is a bowhead whale, a species found only in Arctic waters. Sorry, I didn't know any other way of ending that paragraph.

I also find it funny that whenever an AP article is talking about something old, like a tortoise or Hector, they always have to give the RBH Index: how old something is relative to the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes, who has assumed the role of standard 19th-century age marker. Since Hector was a contemporary of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, I would say he was about 2.1 GigaHolmes old.

That makes no scientific sense whatsoever. Poor Hector. We hardly knew thee...mainly because we were all born at the whale tail-end of your ridiculously long life. Sometimes 130 years just isn't enough time.

Ancestral Names

I had a chance to do some genealogy research for kicks the other day, and discovered that a lot of my ancestors have GREAT names. Here below are some of their first names, and my best guess as to what they were like.

E.P. - No-nonsense sort of guy, very busy, didn't even have time to spell out first name

Bertha - Derived from an old German word meaning "bright," so...bright?

Ludmila - Slavic Olympic gymnast or figure skater

Minnie - What is this short for? Minerva? Likely an Animagus or mouse. Or both.

Vaclav - Vampire. I am so tempted to put "Count" before his name.

August - His favorite month was April, his name is August ok?

Johann - Was probably famous.

Johann - I have three great-great-great-some sort of great-grandfathers named
Johann. What else do I have to say?

Johann - Must have been kind of confused when he went to family reunions.

And just for kicks, following my paternal line as far back as I can, the first names are as follows:

And the maternal line:

And somewhere in my ancestry:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Futurama - Three Hundred Big Boys

One of my favorite scenes from the Futurama episode Three Hundred Big Boys, in which Fry finishes off 100 cups of coffee:

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Now Hiring: Sworn Enemy/Villain/Antagonist/Criminal Mastermind

Alright, here's the deal. Caught on the Bound has been around for some time now. Big proverbial whoop, right? Captain Picard has been around for a while. So has Sherlock Holmes. And Jesus! (varies depending on beliefs, see local religious leader for details) Even Dave Thomas's spirit lingers on every time we visit Wendy's. But these guys were interesting. More interesting than Caught on the Bound. Why? Because they had ENEMIES. Would Picard be as cool without the Borg? Sherlock Holmes had criminal mastermind Prof. Moriarty to foil, and Jesus had Satan. Even Dave Thomas had Colonel Sanders to glare at across advertising space (OK, maybe not so much...Sanders encouraged Thomas to open his own chain of restaurants....).

The point is, Caught on the Bound has no menacing antagonist who will wreak havoc upon the site. I need someone to vilify, to revile, an evil thing, a villain and other words containg "vil" as well! So let me know if you have it out for me or this site. You might just have yourself a new career as Caught on the Bound In-House Criminal Mastermind.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Déjà Vu: The Endgame

It looks like scientists have finally pinpointed the cause of déjà vu. It took me a while to sort through all of this pop science mumbo jumbo, but from what I've been able to discern, déjà vu occurs when the brain fails to note the distinction between two very similar situations. You know, like the distinction between the situation of being offered a nice job and the situation of spending most of your time updating a blog that maybe 20 people read.

Jaded cynicism aside, this is remarkable to me. I've always been intrigued by "common mysteries" like this. I hope MIT eventually completes a conclusive study regarding where the other sock vanishes off to in the dryer or why cargo is sent by air or sea and shipment is sent by car. You know what else would be nice? Someone proving that UFOs are a real thing and not some crackpot conspiracy theory. That would be excellent. One of the CotB interns just had to wipe up some of my drool off the keyboard.

What mysteries would you like to see solved? Or at least partially explained away? Comment!

Friday, June 08, 2007

CotB Breaks Into Coveted Cyprus Market

NICOSIA, Cyprus - For fledgling website Caught on the Bound, the news couldn't be better. On Friday, the small, independent, yet mob-connected blog received its first visit from the Eurasian Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus.

"I don't think you understand how it feels to be visited by someone from Cyprus until you actually see, with your own eyes, the little Cyprus flag appear on your visitor statistics. Unbelievable" said long-time Editor-in-Chief and widely-known exaggerator Kevin Curran.

"For a while there we were just putzing along, throwing up these weird posts about videos for days of the week and some sort of hit piece on the editor's shoes. Now, we have Cyprus!" said one underpaid and partially nonexistent Caught on the Bound intern.

In recent months, the blog has received visitors from exotic locales such as Mexico, Portugal, UK, Spain, and Connecticut.

"Sure, go ahead and chalk up some of those visits to mis-clicks and accidental viewings, but you can't deny..." said Curran, his voice trailing off into what his employees call 'some sort of Coca-Cola-induced La-La Land.'"

With Cyprus being the birthplace of the well-received goddess of beauty and love, Aphrodite, the Caught on the Bound employees were visibly excited by the news. "Hey, I don't know about you, but I am all FOR any island that's the site of where Uranus' genitals were cast into the sea by his son Kronos causing extensive foaming action and birth" said Curran, interrupting an answer by one of his interns, who explained that he may have confused this legend with frog mating procedures.

Friday I'm In Love

So Monday was High Fidelity, Tuesday was a shot of the Rolling Stones, Wednesday I skipped, Thursday I forgot about until now...Friday. The Cure.

The Tim Tang Test

Give it a shot. I got to level 6 or 7 before realizing that my life was slowly melting away. Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into other units of time, space-time was warped, and my dinner was cold.

It's a URL-changing game, in which the answer to each puzzle becomes part of the URL for the next one. This stuff gets really hard really fast - be prepared to Google and/or end all prior life engagements you may have had. I'm currently reintroducing myself to my mother. There's a Facebook group, as well.

As for me, I've had my fill of it, but give it a shot. Let me know if you break into the ranks of the elite. As Dr. Watson once said of his friend, Sherlock Holmes, "Internet games are his only vice, that poor sorry son of a b--"

That was made up. The Sherlock Holmes part. Maybe. It could be a puzzle! Wow, it's late.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Scott Niedermayer Takes the Cup (May or May Not Give It Back)

Since the Anaheim (once Mighty) Ducks are both the closest NHL team to my home, as well as the team that I have followed and seen the most, I feel it only right to reflect on their first Stanley Cup win. Specifically, this sick picture of Scott Niedermayer doing the mandatory "hoist" of the ridiculously oversized Cup.

Adding to the epic feel of the whole thing is the streaks of gray in his beard. Here's a man who's been around the rink a few times - a seasoned veteran of his sport. It almost looks like he's screaming "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" like some kind of padded, maniacal Gandalf. I'm sure Niedermayer is glad to get the Cup back from the damn punk kids who had it before him, even though he's won a number of them himself. As I stare at this picture even more intently, it looks like Niedermayer might be thinking "What if I drop this thing? Will that tarnish my legacy?"

In any case, these Ducks, despite the name change, are, at least for now, quite Mighty.

Photo Credit: (AP PHOTO/CP, Paul Chiasson)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ruby Tuesday

Since there was a Monday video yesterday, it seems only fitting to have a Tuesday one. I couldn't stop a few outbursts of laughter during this (I think it was the big white hat): Ruby Tuesday

Monday, June 04, 2007

Recon at Rushmore

I enjoyed these tidbits about Mt. Rushmore; check it out.

I've always liked how Washington and Jefferson look sort of like a two-headed Founding Father monster. Roosevelt plays it cool and Lincoln is enjoying his extra space. Or something.

Bad ND Daddy

From the excellent Notre Dame blog The Blue-Gray Sky, Bad ND Daddy.

Sheet of Writing Paper = Lazy Dog

This is one of the most ridiculous and pointless proofs I've ever read:

Theorum: A sheet of writing paper is a lazy dog.

Proof: A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. An inclined plane is a slope up. A slow pup is a lazy dog. Therefore, a sheet of writing paper is a lazy dog.


Now, when someone tells you that a sheet of paper is not a lazy dog, you'll have this silver bullet in your barrel. I think a part of my logic died after posting this.

Monday Morning Got You Down?

This should pick you up - Monday morning at Championship Vinyl:

Your Room - Episode VI

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Shoes

During my recent trip to San Francisco, I noticed that the beat-up, decrepit, raggedy shoes I was wearing told a fantastic story of travel, adventure, and romance. The Shoes were purchased in the autumn of 2004, in October, if memory will back me up here. It was a time of change! Of revolution! My sophomore year of college was underway and my old pair of shoes were overworn. And so it came to pass, that on an overcast October afternoon, I found my way to the University Park Mall in Mishawaka, Indiana to buy this pair of K-Swiss.

They were good shoes. Comfortable, well-liked, always had something interesting to say at parties. Even my girlfriend approved! Since then, these Shoes have seen quite a bit. Some highlights:
-University of Notre Dame (a number of football games as well)
-Chicago, IL
-Denver, CO
-Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, NE
-Iowa (some gas station)
-Dallas, TX (airport)
-Las Vegas, NV
-New Jersey
-St. Louis, MO
-Grand Rapids, MI (Weezer/Foo Fighters concert)
-New York, NY
-Southern California (LA, SD, OC)
-San Francisco, CA
-Phoenix, AZ (2006 Fiesta Bowl, too)
-London, Bath, Stratford, Canterbury, Dover, Oxford (UK)
-Paris, France
-Dublin, Galway, Waterford, Kilkenny, Shannon, Ring of Kerry (Ireland)

Now, with the soles worn through, the heel indistinguishable from air, and the brilliant white color now turned a grayer shade of shale, I feel the time has finally come for their permanent retirement (which I had previously attempted twice only to be tempted back into wearing them). Plus, my girlfriend isn't too keen on their manginess. These shoes carried me across bridges, heaved me up the Eiffel Tower, steadied my foot on slippery slopes in Ireland and Golden Gate Park, gave me hope where there was fear, circled me around many a block in many a city, and now sit at the foot of my bed, ready to be entombed. Thank you, Shoes, from the bottom of my weary soles.

Posts to Resume Sunday

That is all.