Monday, July 30, 2007

English: A Caught on the Bound Original Series - Episode I: Spelling Test

As promised, the first installment of a Caught on the Bound's week-long series on the English language - its oddities, powers, foibles, and greatest hits! We begin with a spelling test. Don't worry, you won't have to spell anything. Here's the test: by looking, see if you can tell which of the following words are misspelled:
















How many do you think are misspelled? Some are obviously wrong. Others look right. But they're all wrong. As a student of Japanese, I lamented the fact that each kanji character could have a number of pronunciations or meanings with no consistent reading. As it turns out, English is just as often a matter of recognizing words as a cluster of letters that phonetically make little sense. Wired how you can udreanstd tihs sneetncee ins't it? Atefr a pniot, we sotp sunodnig wrods out and sratt momeizrnig tehm. Spelling correctly in English often requires us to simply "know" rather than logically sound a word out. Now, the correct spellings for the words listed above: supersede, concede, proceed, idiosyncrasy, consensus, accommodate, impresario, irresistible, rhythm, ophthalmologist, diphtheria, anomaly, aficionado, cesarean, and graffiti

It all seems so stupid, doesn't it? But would you really feel comfortable spelling everything phonetically? Wud yoo rilly feel komfterbul spelleeng evrytheeng foenetiklee? As you can see, it's flat-out impossible without a standard phonetic alphabet (which dictionaries employ). Some of you will even quibble with the way I phonetically sounded out some of those words in the above sentence. Now that we've been thurolee pissed off by English, we'll look next at its more endearing qualities...

Way to Use Your Headlines

Rice, Gates offer arms, seek help on Mideast trip

I imagine taking a trip into a crossfire is difficult without upper appendages. That said, what a sacrifice!

US announces major Middle East arms package

Said to contain limbs from Rice, Gates. Packed in dry ice?

'Crappy' Souvenirs Made from Panda Poo

I don't get it.

Senate to Weigh Joint Chiefs Nomination

The scales of justice are put to use!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Radio

Now that I've finally matured, I can say with confidence that much of who I am goes back to a character in the 1987 animated film, The Brave Little Toaster. Yes, I have matured so much. The film, based on the book by Thomas Disch, tells the story of five household appliances who go searching for their Master.

The Radio, voiced by Jon Lovitz, is an old-fashioned bit of electronics and the only character without eyes or a face - he's simply a voice behind a grill who seems to think that one of the Roosevelts is still president.

It's hard to look back at your life and pinpoint pivotal stages of development, but I'm quite certain that any sense of humor I have now is firmly rooted in this character. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the radio:

"I think Houdini did this once, and if I remember right, he was out of the hospital in no time."

The Radio: Things could be worse you know.
Lampy: How?
The Radio: How what?
Lampy: How could they be worse?
The Radio: They couldn't; I lied.

The Radio: If you sabre wags as loosely as your Norman tongue, you'll be run through in an instant. Defend yourself, Sir Lampy of Locksley!
[the Radio continually whacks Lampy with his antenna, Blanky falls on them]
The Radio: A blow for Richard! A blow for Marion! A blow for Mario, the garbage man! And for Carl and all the boys at the delicatessen! And here's one for the guys on 5th street!

"I've always loved travel anyway: the open road, the smell of the wind in my face, the flies clogging up my grill."

The Radio
: [thinking Kirby is a whale] Damn thee accursed whale! By the depths of Hell I stabbeth thee!
: Climb on, you idiot!
The Radio
: Oh, it's you.

Blanky: You can't fool us. We love you.
The Radio: That's right, like Mrs. Roosevelt loved her husband.

"Why listen to this. I'm picking up something. I think its a news flash: President Roosevelt has declared today a national holiday in honor of those five amazing appliances we've all been hearing about. So lock up the office, take down the top and open that rumble seat. Last one to Coney Island is a party pooper. From the starlight roof high atop the Ritz, we wish our intrepid little friends the best of luck and a fond farewell."

"Get ready, you devil dogs, because the master bebop blaster of all time is about to give you a soul injection."

Lampy: Are you sure this is the right way?
The Radio: I'm as sure as I am honest.
Lampy: In that case, we're definitely lost.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Next Week on Caught on the Bound

-The story behind the enigmatic site counter

-Kevin revisits his Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows predictions to gloat/hang his head in shame (Does it need to be said? Spoiler alert! Finish the book!)

-A behind-the-scenes look at Caught on the Bound. This 30-second tour, complete with telling photographs and obfuscating text, will show you the inner machinations of the blog Time magazine once called "stop sending us letters about your stupid blog!" They're such jokesters, that Time magazine.

-The debut of a week-long series on the more hellish recesses of the English language. Why is we spoke dem ways we don't not? Why is speling so arbitrary? Why are the endings of through, though, thought, tough, plough, thorough, hiccough, and lough all pronounced differently? (That last one is pronounced loch...with that gutteral ccckkkk sound at the end.) Now I need to wipe my screen down after that gutteral sound.

-Announcements for several CotB Contests in the works. Perhaps the best way to understand this concept is through a simple analogy. I have no way of proving that, though.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Headlines or Tailshapes?

Former US sailors shake hands with Japan kamikaze

Fortunately, the kamikaze didn't end up being a true kamikaze. Read this article, very cool.

Controversy? Nepal's "goddess" prefers instant noodles

Sometimes, certain headlines don't require smartass remarks to explain them.

Pentagon makes contingency plans for Iraq pullout

You know, because they never thought of this before...

Asian markets decline after Dow plunges (AP)

Asian Market #1: "Oh, crap! Look at the Dow!"
Asian Market #2: "Hey! Watch where you're going!"

FBI chief contradicts Gonzales testimony (AP)

Fox News has FBI chief "challenging" Gonzales testimony.

Hidden Underwater City Wows Experts

Is a hidden underwater city really capable of wowing an expert...on hidden underwater cities?

Blog: In 12 million years, we're dead

Now would be a good time

Senate OKs package urged by 9/11 panel

Packages urged by terrorists were not OKed. In fact, they're really holding up airports a lot lately.

Giants 2, Braves 1: Braves Fall to Giants; Bonds No Closer to Record

No one goes home happy.

Nationalism gains strength in Japan

And our grandparents remember how well this went last time....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Traffic Stat of the Day - A Ginny Weasley Cameo

There have been a lot of hits on this site from individuals searching for "ginny weasley" and "spanking" on search engines, no doubt fueled by my Harry Potter predictions below in which I separately refer to Ginny and the possibility of Dudley getting spanked.

That said, the funniest part of it all is that these people have to be familiar with the characters to even venture searching for this combination. These people either read the books or saw the movies, and then decided one night, "You know what? It's time to enter the search terms 'ginny weasley' and 'spanking.'" You sick sick Harry Potter fans. Gah!

Now it's time to brace for the inevitable wave of search results this page will show up on now...

Into the Lion's Den

My neighborhood here in the dry hills of Orange County, CA has been put under "Mountain Lion Alert" after several sightings and an ill-placed deer carcass in the area. Apparently, the hills are dry enough to force other animals into our canyons in search of water, and the mountain lions are following. Logical, makes sense. THUS! Let the sensationalism begin!

As tales of the mountain lions' deeds spread, so to does the hype and legend! Mountain lions (or cougars or pumas or panthers or baaaad kitties, whatever you call them) have taken on a mythic quality around here.

"I saw one walk across the street. Did you hear me? THE STREET! And you'll never guess what else I saw! Two cubs with her! (The nerve...) And she was HUGE."

This might be a good time to try a little social engineering. Maybe I'll plant some myths and disinformation into the public consciousness here:

-Mountain lions are attracted to fear and will actively seek you out if they can feel it

-Mountain lions have learned to climb trees and will jump on the hood of your car as you pass!

-Mountain lions spawn other smaller mountain lions that will grow up to be NORMAL mountain lions!

-Mountain lions can read minds

-Mountain lions can smell blood, sweat, and unconditioned hair from over 10 miles away

-Mountain lions have been known to fly short distances

-One guy down the street says his friend across the golf course saw a mountain lion microwave its prey with its eyes

-Not only will mountain lions jump on your car, they will try to take control of the vehicle from you so they can search for water

In any case, I'm apparently not supposed to be out running right now. Normally, I would say something like "pssshh" to that, but after reading my own hype, I think I might kick back and read a book instead.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Since You're Gone

Straight out of 1982 and directly to you, it's The Cars' "Since You're Gone," a delightfully quirky music video that has captured my imagination and held it prisoner on some remote island of detached early-era MTV surrealism.

Some observations:

-It sure is a drag to wake up and find that your sweetie is no longer there to make plastic eggs for you
-Flowers are a tell-tale sign that a female is around. Guys don't have time for fragrant botanical side-quests in life! When the woman leaves, the flowers vanish, and part of your soul dies.
-The idea of a girlfriend's shoes walking out on a guy is just awesome. Guys tend not to walk out on girls as much for some reason, but I'm sure if one did, a parade of power tools would march right out of the garage.
-Interesting....Sunshine Movers seems to prefer the clandestine night-time operation. What are they covering up? Or is it some metaphorical nod to the lonely darkness following the break-up of a sunny relationship?

(WARNING: Don't read comments...possible HARRY POTTER SPOILERS...have I mentioned that?)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Predictions


That said, don't read my predictions below if you want nothing to do with the book until you read it.

Here are my predictions for the final book, posted here so that I can check them after completing it. Enjoy! Again, I strongly urge you to AVOID the COMMENTS - SPOILERS MAY ABOUND.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Predictions

The Serious Stuff

-Voldemort will suffer a fate worse than death

-Harry will live

-Harry’s scar is a Horcrux; but he will think that HE is up until the last minute

-Snape is good, but had no choice but to kill Dumbledore, who pleaded with him to complete the task for the sake of the Order of the Phoenix; Narcissa Malfoy (not with intention to deceive) snuck in that last bit of the Unbreakable Vow about completing Draco’s task, catching Snape off-guard

-Draco Malfoy will redeem himself; Lucius will remain in Azkaban

-Bellatrix Lestrange bites the pixie dust

-Ron and Hermione will end up together, but not during the course of this book

-Neville will do some SICK magic, kill Bellatrix Lestrange, and play a crucial role in Voldemort’s defeat (there’s a reason he is in Gryffindor and not the arguably more suitable Hufflepuff)

-Percy Weasley redeems himself to his family and dies

-Dumbledore is dead, but will speak through his portrait at Hogwarts

-Sirius will return in some form (Jedi ghosty thing?!)

-Harry will pass through the veil

-Hagrid will live and become Head of Gryffindor House

-Peter Pettigrew repays his life debt to Harry

-Lupin dies

The Fun (possibly outlandish) Stuff

-A Death Eater will fall victim to one of Fred and George Weasley’s joke items

-Sirius will return on his flying motorcycle and look dead sexy doing it

-All of the cats in the story will have some big secret to spill (Crookshanks, Mrs. Norris, Mrs. Figg’s felines, even McGonagall in Animagus form)

-Petunia Dursley gives Dudley a spanking

-Filch will perform magic

-Ginny Weasley also does some SICK magic and makes life hell for several Death Eaters

-The Giant Squid in the lake near Hogwarts is an Animagus

-Snape brews a potion that puts “a stopper in death” that saves Harry

-Harry and Ginny end up together (another Potter ends up with an attractive, red-headed girl) and they go on to have seven children, all of them boys except the youngest

-Buck—er Witherwings will attack Death Eaters and generally be pissed off at evil

-I have no idea what Dudley’s biggest fear is

-Harry is a descendant of Godric Gryffindor through his mother

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Don't read any comments on this site....people have been going around posting what they think to be SPOILERS regarding the last HARRY POTTER book. Unless, of course, you don't care.

I'm working to remove them if I can.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Skip Aheadlines

Bush denies al Qaeda at pre-September 11 strength

No comment regarding on-September 11 strength.

Fuel oil-laden tanker grounded off New York City

What they can't figure out, is how it ever got off the ground in the first place.

Gun shops under closer scrutiny (AP)

It has something to do with the sale of weapons. We always knew they had something to do with the use of guns...

CBS News chief: Couric staying anchored (AP)

Get it? Because she's the anchor...and she's staying!

Man owes $10,000 for child who's not his

That's usually how adoption works, isn't it? Except this isn't adoption.

Potter's magic breaks record

There has to be a charm that can fix it, though.

Food vendor's buns are made of cardboard

This makes it especially difficult for him to sit on a wet bench.

Lightning + iPods = ZZZZZTTTTTT!

ZZZZZTTTTTT! is the standard CNN style guide-approved term for onomatopoeic electrocutions. Note the 6 Ts as opposed to the 5 Zs.

Fencer leaves PanAm Games after stabbing

That's the object of the sport right? Other news: "Swimmer leaves meet after getting wet"

Samoan Butterflies Evolving Fast

Just a few weeks ago they were these worm-like crawly things!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


You really have no choice. Whenever you fly on an airplane, it is always in the seat pocket in front of you. You've read (well, looked) through the safety card that has illuminating ideas like "run away from fire" or "use the slide." The airline magazine crossword has already been done (like the previous person actually knew all of the answers without turning to page 114!). What else is left?


The magazine of luxurious excess. A few items that I noticed on my last flight, conveniently found on the interweb tubes as well:

Gravity Defyer Dress Shoes

Not only is this the first printed instance of the word "defyer" I've ever seen, it's also a ludicrous product. In my simpleton mind, Gravity Defyer means FLYING. What do these dress shoes do?

As your weight changes to the balls of your feet, the hidden shock absorber generated upward pressure pushing your body upward. This mechanism give you the feeling of jumping like a kangaroo (or some say feel like flying) each time you step with the Gravity Defyer Shoe.

  • Have a more Active Lifestyle
  • Appear 2" Taller
  • Ease Joint Pain and Pressure on Your Spine
  • Look like a Million Dollars

  • If you managed to get past the incorrect verb tense in the first sentence, you probably realized that this shoe doesn't really do anything. I have little dress shoe experience, but I don't know of many people who would look like a million dollars jumping around (or FLYING) like a kangaroo all day.

    How about the Voice-Activated Grocery List Organizer? Tired of using a simple pen or pencil? Now you can watch your list flow out of this elegant Star Trek-prop without the hassle of basic writing skills! OK, so maybe this could be kind of cool. But for $149.99? That would buy you about 300 BIC pens and several trees to write lists on for the rest of your life. Does anyone actually sit there and go, "You know, I am so SICK of WRITING down these grocery lists! I just want to go and shop!" For me, the creation of the grocery list is a great way of procrastinating the actual dreadful task itself.

    Or the Instant Screened-In Room! What better way to enjoy the outdoors than to go outside to go inside? Did the guy who invented this think, "You know, I really like being outside, but sometimes I just want to go inside." Now you can sit outside in your inside and look at your home and go, "Oh yeah! That place!"

    The only thing left in the seat-pocket is a vomit bag.

    Sunday, July 08, 2007

    The following post has been rated

    Free Online Dating

    Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

    This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

    * bomb (3x)
    * death (2x)
    * zombie (1x

    Kids! Get some guidance before reading this! I had no idea this was such a morbid blog. We'll do everything we can to keep it that way.

    (Hat tip: John)

    Sunday, July 01, 2007

    Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues

    Will Return in One Week

    I'll be taking a week off from Caught on the Bound. The interns have been instructed to make absolutely certain that nothing happens. That includes posting.

    Anyways, here's a shot of the interns we currently have on staff for the summer:

    I'm somewhere in the middle, behind the important-looking guy in the suit.