Escape The Room – Virtual Hogwarts Edition

“Escape the Room” games have been all the rage recently, especially in corporate circles looking for fun team building exercises. Now with the whole COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally changing things, one has to wonder how the ‘escape’ trend will fair in the ‘pandemic world order’.

A librarian in Pennsylvania took matters into his own hands, using of all things Google Docs, to create a virtual Harry Potter ‘Escape the Room: Hogwarts Edition’. No confirmation if they got an approval from JK Rowling herself. :P

I went through some of the game and found it fun and entertaining. Will need to give it my full attention to see how it works through to the end. This also makes me think I may need to fire up the Harry Potter movies and/or books sometime soon as this is making me realize how much I miss the Wizarding World!

Still Bringing The Heat

This past Sunday, I went to NJPAC (New Jersey Performing Arts Center) to see a screening of Young Frankenstein, followed by a ‘conversation’ with Mel Brooks himself…all of 90 years young.

Watching the movie in a theater the size of NJPAC was fantastic. I’ve only watched Young Frankenstein (more times than I can count) at home on TV, so listening to an audience laughing and reacting to the movie was a unique experience. It made me appreciate even more the subltle nuances of Gene Wilder’s reactions, and the classic facial expressions of Cloris Leachman and Marty Feldman. You just don’t get that from watching the movie in your living room.

But the real joy came during the conversation with Mel Brooks after the show, where he shared stories and memories of filming Young Frankenstein: how Marty Feldman kept on switching the shoulder of Igor’s hump until someone on the set noticed, upon which Mel thought it funny enough to write it into the script; how in the grave digging scene, an off the cuff quip from Feldman (again) led to him writing in the downpour of rain as being the only thing that could make digging up a grave worse.

Near the end of the conversation, the host read some questions that the audience got to submit for Mel to answer and there were two interactions that illustrated how quick and brilliantly funny Mel Brooks still is:

The Underwear Question

Audience Question: Mel, boxers or briefs?
Mel (without missing a beat): I’m going to give you an honest answer. Depends.
Brought down the house.

Don’t Kiss And Tell Question

Initial Audience Question: Katie asks if you would consider marrying her?
Mel: I’ll think about it. I’ll definitely think about it
Next Audience Question: Jennifer says that she is a huge fan and was wondering if she could give you a kiss?
Mel (again, without missing a beat): Oh, I’m sorry Jennifer, I’m engaged to Katie now and I don’t think that would be appropriate.
Brings down the house again.

Of course, the most popular questions were: When are “Spaceballs II” and “History of the World, Part 2” coming out?

Redhead Festival

The town of Breda in the Netherlands held the 6th Annual Redhead Festival. Approximately 5,000 fellow redheads showed up and they also set some sort of world record when over 1,200 redheads gathered for a photo (who keeps these records?).

The redhead fest was launched somewhat by accident in 2005, when a local Dutch painter was recruiting 15 ginger-haired models for a painting. When he received 10 times the number of responses than what he needed, he decided to amass them all for a photo shoot. And the number of redheads present each year has grown exponentially, as has the number of boring-haired spectators. These non-ginger gawkers numbered more than 7,000 in 2009, the BBC noted, although that total hasn’t been updated since.

According to the article, us redheads are said to make up 2% of the world’s population, although I’ve heard differing reports that the number is closer to 5%. I think I need to put this event on the calendar for next year.

Via Time by way of NextDraft

Happy Birthday Yogi! (A Day Late)

I’m not one to extol complements on NY Yankee players, but yesterday was Yogi Berra’s 86th birthday. Yogi was one of the great catchers and players of his era, but is just as widely known for his epicly logical-yet funny-quotes. So in honor of his b-day, here are a few my favorite “Yogi-ism’s”:

  • “Ninety percent of this game is half mental.”
  • “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
  • “You can observe a lot by watching”
  • “It gets late out there early.”
  • “It ain’t over until it’s over.”
  • “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
  • “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
  • “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
  • “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”

Better late than never. :)

The Holy Censorship Letter of Antioch

A letter between the producers of the film Monty Python and The Search for the Holy Grail after a member of the British Film Board saw a pre-production screening of the film.

“I would like to…retain ‘fart in your general direction’.”

I am not prepared to pursue this line of inquiry any further and I think this letter is extremely silly.

Via Letters of Note

Flip The Switch

Received today from a friend. I just laughed. With all the miserable news these days, someetimes I do feel this way:

DUE TO RECENT BUDGET CUTS,
AND THE RISING COST OF ELECTRICITY, GAS AND OIL,
THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL HAS BEEN TURNED OFF.
WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE

Sincerely,
Your US Government

Call In Sick

This is just so amazingly simple and obvious, it’s brilliant. Call-in-Sick.com enables you to call in sick to your boss/employer at any time and assign when it should be delivered and to who/what phone number. So you can record your message on Thursday evening and then have it delivered at 6AM Friday morning while you are sleeping the morning away.