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Ligua Stupid

What Does Richard Hoagland Know About Sentence Structure And When Did He Know It?

In the classic 1976 Neil Simon comedy Murder By Death, a befuddled Sidney Wang says of a particular situation presenting itself to the assembled detectives:

‘Is confusing.’

At that moment, on the wall above the dining table, a mounted moose head begins to savagely sway back and forth as the disembodied voice of Lionel Twain, who has been eavesdropping, responds angrily:

‘IT! IT! IT is confusing! Say your goddamn pronouns!’

And as I struggled to slog through the ridiculous and appallingly written ‘story’ about Wernher Von Braun’s 50 Year Old Secret (available through the direct link or found at The Enterprise Mission homepage about twelve ‘Now Hear This’ items down the page after the big Google banner ad) I just want to scream at Richard C Hoagland:

‘Stop dangling your goddamn participles!’

For anyone not interested in torturing themselves with the 500 or so gripping pages of Dark Mission, this more recent small-scale epic proves a perfect example of the unbelievably amateurish writing style I so harshly criticised in Is That Lipstick On the Doll’s Head? I wonder if it ever occurs (or matters) to Hoagland that sometimes more than half of his sentences don’t even make sense? How does he expect people to take him seriously? Better still, does he really want people to take him seriously? You certainly can’t tell from this type of imbecilic fourth-grade blathering:

A half-century ago, from a windswept Florida beach, the United States finally “got back in the game” — after the shock of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik just three months earlier — and successfully launched its own satellite into an orbit of the Earth … dubbed after launch, “Explorer I.”

Three months from when? And why would the Earth be dubbed Explorer I?

A fine specimen of the pointless dramatics which often tend to diminish and undermine whatever important concept Hoagland tries to impress upon the reader can be found in this jewel:

Unknown to anyone but a handful of civilian engineers and US Army personnel, intimately involved with the launch that night, this would became a true “history-defining moment” —

when the launch team, via Explorer I, immediately and serendipitously made America’s MOST important and overarching discovery, of all nations that would someday ever venture off the Earth … in the entire fifty-year history of “space”–

The secret of gravity and inertia themselves … revealed as a true “anti-gravity effect”
somehow operating on Explorer I … radically affecting its very orbit!

So what you’re saying is, the handful of civilian engineers and the US Army personnel knew that this was a history defining moment that would lead to the discovery of anti-gravity?

For anyone pining for more of the senseless description/image agreement errors so rife in Dark Mission, there are gentle reminders such as:

The Jupiter-C rocket (C standing for “composite”) that successfully launched this first US satellite into the Florida skies (below)

And yet ‘below’ is not a picture of Florida, but a picture of a Jupiter-C rocket.

My perennial question with all Hoagland writings is, of course, why are ‘so many’ of the ‘things’ being ‘written’ about emphasised in ‘quotations?’  Is there some ‘doubt’–

as to whether these ‘things!’ …

are ‘true’ or ‘not?’ Are these quoted ‘statements?’

How about dropping the bullshit?

I had to read this convoluted statement at least half a dozen times before it finally made some sort of sense. That’s writing for clarity for you:

By stark contrast, the ultimately far more significant (literally “physics-shattering” — as you shall see) anomalous orbital dynamics exhibited by this same satellite, and, on its very first orbit that night–
That, Explorer I’s actual trajectory, unambiguously (and most disturbingly) seemed to violate two basic laws of 20th Century Physics, immediately after launch–

Have received NO scientific acknowledgements, prizes, or peer-reviewed discussions … even fifty years after their totally unexpected discovery ….
So, “who” made this remarkable discovery … and then (as the evidence will prove …) actively participated in its subsequent, deliberate, decades-long (and still on-going) cover-up?
Why — none other than Wernher von Braun, himself ….

But I thought the civilian engineers and US Army personnel did expect this result. That’s exactly what was said previously, so why flatly contradict that statement now?

I could go on, obviously, but I couldn’t bring myself to read any more. I had to stop before I ever finished the first part. The wild deviations from topic, the promises of things to come sometime eventually when we get round to it maybe a little if we can remember our primary point and aren’t too busy trying to wow you with eccentric tangents, and the thorough trivialising of perceived or presumably important scientific details in effort to be melodramatic just left me cold.

Once more, whilst reading, I couldn’t help but feel as if Hoagland was some sort of metaphoric Stanley Kowlaski  kneeling in the centre of the street screaming to the world, ‘Oh god! Please! Somebody validate me!’




More Completely Stupid Shit I Heard Today











‘I have a friend who drinks Seagram’s Seven. Does that sound right?’


‘Hows come this is pink?’

‘Because it’s White Zinfandel. It’s supposed to be pink.’

‘But it says it’s white. I need white.’


‘How much are your two dollar scratch-offs?’


Holding up a clear glass bottle of white wine upon which the label states, A Fine White Wine From the Clare Valley:  ‘Would this be considered a white wine?’


Brandishing a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine:  ‘Are these both the same thing?’


‘We’re having turkey and stuffing. Do you have any recommendations?’


‘What time do you close?’

‘We close at eight p.m.’



‘Alright. You have a nice one.’

‘Thanks. I like to think so.’

I’d Like To Buy Another Vowel, Pat

I’d thought my former assistant manager was gone, yet still her spectre haunts me; taunts me from afar. This was found taped to the wall under my calendar in the ill-configured box pretending to pass for my office. I’m not entirely certain who posed the query atop the Post-it Note, however I concur whole-heartedly: What the fuck does this spell?


I cannot, with any reasonable assurance, provide an adequate answer to that question. Suffice it to say that there has, apparently, been quite a problem with these so-called ‘Couterit’ bills…

You Can Almost Tast It

It’s ever so much easier to explore the immediacy of ignorance when you have a digital camera…