I’m a sucker for jokes told by chimps wearing clothes and have been since the halcyon days of Lance Link, Secret Chimp. I remember this as one of the very first videos I was sent by email, back in the days when email was still a novelty. The smutty joke made me laugh then, and it still makes me laugh now.
Archive for June 15th, 2012
Using dating techniques that examine the build-up of calcium carbonate, scientists have concluded that artwork found in caves in Spain is more than 40,000 years old. That makes the particular artistic statement — a red dot, found on a wall that features a series of depictions of hands rimmed by red paint — is more than 4,000 years older than the previous oldest known piece of human art.
The age of the art is extraordinary, because it stretches back to the dawn of human immigration into Europe, which is believed to have occurred about 41,000 years ago. To give some context to the amazing age of the paintings, consider that the first known civilizations didn’t begin until about 6000 years ago, and that if you went back in time 4000 years from today you’d be at a point centuries before the birth of King Tut.
Discoveries like this make you wonder how old human expression truly is, and when it first was displayed. Is cave painting the earliest form of human artistic expression, or is another form even older? When did humans first sing, or dance around the fire pit, or create some form of music? How soon after language was developed did the first poet or storyteller come into being?
The days of these early humans were consumed by hunting dangerous animals, foraging for food, building fires, creating tools and clothing, and avoiding predators — and yet they spent time creating art on the walls of their cave shelters. The fact that the artistic impulse is found in such early humans says something very powerful about creativity and the artistic urge as a fundamental part of human nature.
Our political leaders’ approach to our budget woes reminds me of a curious device that we found in my grandmother’s basement, long ago.
We called it the butt belt. It was a machine linked to a canvas belt. You stood on a platform, slipped the belt around your keister or waist, and turned on the motor. The belt vibrated and you leaned back, letting the contraption shake your rump like crazy.
The marvelous concept was that you could just stand there, let the machine do all the work, and the mechanical jiggling of your flesh would make the pounds and cellulite melt away. Heck, you could even eat a sandwich back there, while the machine whaled away. And after you were done shrinking your ample butt, you just turned around and let the magic belt cause that stubborn belly flab to vanish. A few sessions with the butt belt, and you’d be ready to slip into that new bathing suit!
Of course, the machine really didn’t work, which is why we never found Gramma down there, getting shaken all over. We now know that if you’ve overindulged, lost any sense of dietary discipline, and let yourself go, getting back into reasonable shape is going to require some really hard work on your part. You’ll have to get some exercise and sweat, reduce your caloric intake, and change your habits to stop the constant snacking if you really want to make progress.
Hey, President Obama and members of Congress! Standing immobile and hoping that the butt belt machine will magically turn your blubber into muscle won’t do the trick!