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Today's piece comes by way of John, and requires a bit of explanation. It seems that a group in Britain asked folks to vote for the "World's Funniest Joke." According to Reuters, there were 10,000 submitted, with the following being chosen as the best by 47 percent of the 100,000 people from more than 70 countries who took part.

Personally, this wouldn't have been my choice.  How about you?

The "Final Thought" is perhaps the most famous quote from Holmes, and has appeared as an illustration of some obscure truth in countless mystery novels since it was penned.


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Famed detective Sherlock Holmes and his associate Doctor Watson pitch their tent whilst on a camping expedition, but in the middle of the night Holmes nudges Watson awake and questions him, as follows:

HOLMES: "Watson, look up at the stars and tell me what you deduce."

WATSON: "I see millions of stars, and if there are millions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it is quite likely there are some planets like earth, and if there are a few planets like earth out there might also be life."

HOLMES: "Watson, you idiot! Somebody stole our tent ..."

-----------------A Final Thought ...

"It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize out of a number of facts which are incidental and which are vital. ... I would call your attention to the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."

"The dog did nothing in the night-time."

"That was the curious incident."

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930), English author. Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Gregory, in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes: Silver Blaze” (1893)

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Sometime after the above piece was released (or escaped, depending upon your point of view), word reached me that the early frontrunner had been dethroned and yet another piece has emerged from the dustbin of humor lore.

According to the Associated Press, some academic in Britain has spent a year reviewing over 40,000 candidates. I'm reproducing the "winner" here for your consideration, although frankly I would have passed over it otherwise. Shows what I know and what twelve months of tireless research can produce.

From such research I draw these conclusions:

  1. Anything remotely "British" rates a wholly disproportionate level of media attention in the U.S.
  2. Clearly, some academics have far too much time (any money) on their hands.

The search for truth goes on and on.

Thanks to John for sharing this update.

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Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He breathing has ceased and his eyes are glazed. The other guy takes out his phone and calls the emergency services.

"My friend is dead! What can I do?"

The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead."

There is a silence, then a gunshot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says,

"OK, now what?"

----------------Another Final Thought ...

"From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it ..."

- Groucho Marx (1895–1977), U.S. comic actor


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Revised: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 03:54:09 AM