Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jack and the Beanstalk Feature Film

Why hasn't there been a feature film made from Jack and the Beanstalk?

There actually have been many feature films made from Jack and the Beanstalk over the years, in fact too many to list there. More interesting, perhaps, are the fairly contemporary films that are roughly based on the Jack and the Beanstalk myth. The story in Die Hard 2: Die Harder can be traced to the action sequences in JATB, as well as subplots in Die Hard with a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard, and roughly the first act of Die Harder They Fall. Also, Joel and Ethan Coen's Fargo is purported to have been based roughly on JATB. And most recently, High-Rise modernizes the JATB story for the 21st Century. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

End of the World

Here's my question, Google has failed me on this: When will it end?


Friday, October 5, 2012

What is difference between the Amish and the Mennonites?

What's the difference between the Amish and the Mennonites?

The simple answer is that while all Amish are Mennonites, not all Mennonites are Amish. The Amish are a subgroup of the Mennonites. After that it gets more complicated, as with trying to sum up any group of people based on religious beliefs, you are left with the not very helpful "there are as many different Mennonites as there are people who are Mennonites."

As a quick reference guide, in Lydia Gilmore's book, Rumspringa and Coke (2000), she sums it up this way: "If you think in terms of motorcycles, and people are 'people who ride motorcycles,' then Christians are Bikers, Mennonites are Outlaw Bikers, and the Amish are the Hell's Angels."

This might not, however, be an analogy popular with the Amish and the Mennonites.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Would Jesus Send Mass Emails?

Would Jesus send mass emails?

Quick answer: hell yes!

A more thoughtful answer could easily go on and on, for literally thousands of pages. You would have to discuss everything from who Jesus was to who Jesus is, and include questions like, what language would he be speaking, primarily, and is he taking a quantity over quality approach, or vice versa?

Here at the Think Tank, then, we are exercising our authority to present the definitive answer:

Trying to reach the most people possible while alienating the fewest, Jesus is operating under an assumed name, is not claiming to be the son of God, and is steering clear of AM radio and TV infomercials. He has a low key singing songwriting career going, occasionally publishes humorous pop philosophy books, tours the public radio talk shows and bookstore signings, uses facebook, twitter, etc, has a blog, a website, an alcoholic publicist, and sends out an irregular mass email at least once every couple of months, but no more frequently than once a week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Morning Jacket - Origin of Name - Revised

That band, My Morning Jacket... what does that name mean?

"My morning jacket" is a slang term for when a man wakes up in the morning with an erection. 

Based on an anonymous comment (see below), The Think Tank has revised this answer.

Anonymous said...
I think your answer is incomplete -- yes, it's slang for when a man wakes up in the morning with an erection, but an erection with a condom on it.

Thanks Anonymous!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What Do YOU want to KNOW?

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Friday, May 29, 2009


I recently was afflicted with a massive craving for a Yankee-Doodle, but I have absolutely no idea what that is! What is a Yankee-Doodle and where can I get one? —Rebel Roy

Hopefully you have gotten over it by now, but if you are still suffering, first consider that "Yankee Doodle" refers both to a dessert and a cocktail, and taken together the results can be fatal. We politely suggest you turn back now before it is too late. Just say no. Why do you think they called it a "Yankee Doodle?"

The dessert was invented in 1777 for the first birthday of our great nation as a chocolate devil's food cake with a frosted design on the outside that resembled a series of number sevens. Today, however, the Yankee-Doodle can most easily be found in your grocery store's Hostess snack display, though why you would choose Yankee-Doodles over the more popular Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Twinkies, Donettes, Suzy Q's, or Sno Balls would be as big of a mystery as why Hostess Cup Cakes, which sport the signature frosting "doodle" are called “Cup Cakes”, while Yankee Doodles, with no doodle whatsoever, and no number seven, are called “Yankee Doodles.” In fact, the mystery deepens when you peruse the Hostess Cakes website, which doesn't list Yankee Doodles at all among the products! Yet there they were on the shelf of the store our research operatives recently visited. Could it be that this particular store (SuperFoodTown) merely is selling off its old Yankee Doodles from a previous era? It has been proven that Twinkies will last unrefrigerated for thousands of years, so why not Yankee Doodles? Most likely the wise course of action would be to buy the entire stock and sell the vintage snacks on eBay.

The Yankee Doodle cocktail is a much simpler story. Invented during Prohibition as an attempt to make palatable harsh and often toxic "bathtub" gin, the Yankee Doodle was famous for being the first drink of many lifetime abstainers whose introduction to the world of spirits was the negative, sometimes vomit inducing reaction to this sickly, curdled, pungent imbibement. The recipe calls for a shot of gin, a quarter ounce of each cream and lemon juice, and an additional quarter ounce of Crème Yvette, a distinctive floral flavored aperitif now taken off the market for inducing lascivious behavior. The overpowering violet flavor and aroma of this liqueur can be recreated by pulverizing several C. Howard's violet candies and dissolving them in pure grain alcohol. Anyone who has ever mixed milk or cream with lemon juice knows that the cream instantly curdles into a disgusting cloud of inconsolable solids and liquids. Perhaps that is the point of this drink, after all: to be as repulsive visually as it is to the taste. If you really must experience the Yankee Doodle, we suggest you enlist the services of a seasoned bartender who can flip the bottles in the air and juggle the glasses while making it; it doesn't make it any easier to consume, but the ridiculousness of the proceedings might take your mind off of it.

Or you could just piss in a Dixie cup and call it macaroni.

*Please note: this article has multiple issues. It may need to be cleaned up or deleted altogether.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Can I Turn Off the Beeping on My Microwave?

"Is there any way to turn that annoying beeping off when a microwave is finished?"

No, there is not. But here's what I do. I put something in the microwave and turn it on a specific amount of time. Then I go do something else and ignore it. But then in the last few seconds before the timer ends and the microwave makes that annoying, maddening beeping, I swoop back in and turn it off, often with just a second to spare. This at least puts some excitement into it. I like to pretend I'm James Bond and I'm racing against the clock to disarm a nuclear device. When I turn it off, then—especially if there is on one second to spare!—I like to say, "Bond. James Bond."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Muscadines and Scuppernongs

What are muscadines and scuppernongs?

The Muscadines and the Scuppernongs are two eponymous warring families that happen to be origins of each of two star-eyed lovers who are double-crossed by their doppelgangers in William Shakespeare’s most quintessentially historical dramedy by the same name, “Arden and Habersham.”

Saturday, January 3, 2009

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

What are those big things?

What are those big things I see out on sidewalks, they look like giant potato mashers, or part of a plumbing mechanism for the toilet of the gods. Those big, heavy, black things. Someone told me it was a truncheon.

The article to which you refer is most likely NOT a truncheon, which is a club-- that is a weapon, used for striking an adversary (pictured here, below). What the person who told you it was a truncheon was most likely thinking of is a stanchion, which is a post that, along with other stanchions, hold up some kind of a barricade, cordon, or barrier, such as that at an entrance to a club-- that is a private or restricted meeting place (pictured here, below, in red, gold, and silver). Most likely, though, the object that you are referring to is an outdoor ashtray (pictured above).

Monday, October 20, 2008

What is a "gaylord"?

I was working at this job recently and they asked me to put something in a "gaylord." I walked off the job before I could figure out what it was, but now I'm curious!
--Gaylord Perry

It is likely they didn't know that your name was "Gaylord" and no offense was intended, but rather just an unlucky break on your part. A "gaylord" is a gaylord cardboard box, roughly four feet by a little over three feet. They are often used in warehouses, for shipping, and their size is such that they fit neatly on a wooden pallet. They are named so because they were first manufactured by the Gaylord Container Company in Gaylord, Michigan, which happens to be a cute little town, worth visiting, and the last outpost of civilization before the Upper Peninsula, when driving north.

Most likely your employer meant no offense at referring to the box by using your name, as chances are he/she wasn’t aware of it. But quitting was probably a good decision, as the obvious tendency to use unnecessary jargon is an indication of insecurity which often contributes to an unpleasant work environment.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What exactly is grenadine?

Red Leary asked "What exactly is grenadine?"

Red, it's interesting that that is your name, if it really is, because the answer to your question is most precisely identical to your first name!

Though to be less precise while elaborating more, grenadine is a syrup most commonly used for mixing cocktails. (Though be very clear on this one absolute rule of all things: the word grenadine and the word martini must never, ever, for any reason whatsoever come within a thousand miles of each other!) It may also be used as a fairly effective substitute for fake blood in situations where clean-up isn't too much of an issue.

The interesting thing about grenadine is that it, while flavored, is not ever used so much for its flavor as for its color. It has been said, even, that grenadine's "flavor" is "red."

There are also several camps that insist that the flavor of grenadine is modeled after the taste of human feces. This is much like the claim that the smell of Calvin Klein CK1 fragrance is modeled after the smell of human feces. Except in the case of grenadine, the testing of this thesis is difficult as it would be necessary to taste-test the syrup in question along with the feces in question, and a sufficient number of unbiased tasters has as of yet been too difficult of assemble with the limited funding available for such a project.

Friday, May 16, 2008

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Damaged Money

If you take a partial dollar bill to the bank, will they replace it with a whole one? How much has to be left? Do they do that with larger bills?
--Donald T.

There are a lot of myths and rumors floating around about this one. Generally it's thought that you can take any bill, as long as over one half of it exists, to the treasury, and they'll replace it with a new bill. Why over one half? We're not going to answer that. Don't get greedy. This is actually a pretty good deal. You can't take 51 percent of anything else into a store and get a new version!

In actuality, though, it could be a little more difficult than that. In each case of damaged money, questions are asked, inquiries made. Why is that money damaged? Where did it come from? Where is the rest of it? If you look too much like a terrorist, most likely your money refund will be denied. Generally, if you have less that half a bill, they will refund the money, as long as you explain where the rest of the bill is. The exception is if you look like a terrorist. If you look like a terrorist, you won't be able to get a full refund of any bill, and most likely you will be detained.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Was Yul Brynner bald by choice?

Was Yul Brynner bald by choice?

Wikipedia says Yul Brynner adopted the shaved head look for his role in The King and I. He then went on, in his career, to play that role, on stage, 4626 times! So we'd say the answer to your question is: "Yes AND No."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why don't people like me?

Why don't people like me?

With that question we'll assume the "people" who don't like you are of the general population, but we're referring to the people who have had some type of contact with you. The crucial word in this question is "like" which essentially means love (the world like is used instead of the word love because love often seems too strong and has hierarchical implications, romantic or sexual implications, or an understood hyperbole ["I 'love' avocados"]). But essentially, like means love, and the question "why don't people love me" is based on the idea that people who know you either love you or don't love you. The people who don't love you don't because: they think you were mean to them; they are racist; you remind them of the nun that beat them; they feel threatened by you; you are an American; they hate everyone of your gender; they are afraid of you; you stole their cold pizza out of the refrigerator; you did not use your turn signal; you owe them money; they do not love themselves and you remind them of them; they believed a lie someone told about you; you used the last of the toilet paper.* (The people who DO love you love you because they are loving people. They don't need a reason.)

*These are examples used for illustration purposes only. They are not meant to reflect a specific situation.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

What Do YOU want to KNOW?

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Video Tapes Damaged by TV?

Is it bad to store your videos on top of the TV?

First of all, when you say "video" these days, people think of youtube videos, and so your question sounds kind of metaphysical-- but what we think you're asking about is placing VHS tapes on top of the TV.

When you turn on a TV or computer monitor, a built in degausser sends a strong electromagnetic wave over the screen to clear it of any built-up interference. As VHS tapes are magnetic, this can definitely damage them. You probably also shouldn't keep your IPOD there, or your pet hamster, or your goldfish, or your cojones-- were that possible.

Besides that, what are you doing screwing around with VHS tapes? Shell out $49 for a DVD player, for godsake! If you're some kind of an archivist, keep the damn tapes on a shelf!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


What exactly are sprinkles, and why do people like them, and are they healthy?

Sprinkles are the little colored mouse turds put on cupcakes and other baked goods which are enjoying unprecedented popularity due to the retro-comfort food epidemic. They are made of pretty much what you'd expect: partially hydrogenated oils, wax, sugar, artificial colors. They are essentially not food, but edible decoration. They are multi-colored for nostalgic purposes, and also because if they were black they would look too much like the mouse turds they are. They aren't mouse turds. They are actually less nutritious than mouse turds.*

*It is not recommeded that you eat mouse turds.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Roderick Jaynes

I noticed that Roderick Jaynes was nominated for an Oscar for editing for No Country for Old Men. At this Oscar party I was at, someone insisted that he doesn't really exist, and it's the Coen Bros. who do the editing. Is that true.

That's a good question, "Quenton!" It is generally believed that "Roderick Jaynes" is a pseudonym the Coen Brothers use for an editing credit when they edit their own films. In fact, however, Roderick Jaynes is a publicity-shy, elderly, veteran editor who enjoys, with the brothers, pulling the wool over the public's eyes in this fashion. One thing to remember, while they like to come off as clueless dorks, the Coen Brothers are extremely clever and will always be one step ahead of you and the general public.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Deck of Cards

There is this song by T. Texas Tyler, I believe, performed by Tom T. Hall, as well as many lesser acts, called "Deck of Cards" about a soldier using a deck of cards as a prayer book and almanac. I'm thinking of covering it-- however there is a part that says if you count the spots in a deck of cards you get 365, the number of days in a year. What the hell does that mean? No matter how many times I try to count up various markings on decks of cards I don't come up with near anything like 365!
--Johnny T.

The "spots" the song refers to is the numerical designation of each of the cards, the Ace being one, number cards what you'd expect, the Jack is 11, the Queen 12, and the King 13. If you add all those up you get 364. Add one for a Joker and you get 365, and the other Joker can serve as Leap Year! It's really quite uncanny.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Rubber Ducks

I have noticed that most people have a rubber duck in their bathroom or bathtub. Why?

First of all, we'd like to apologize for the lateness of this reply. We researched this question exhaustively and spent the majority of several meetings discussing, debating, and arguing over this question. One of our senior researchers retired in a huff when the board was unable to reach a consensus.

Finally, we just had to concede that occasionally we will be stumped. Sometimes it is best to just give up and admit that you are human. So we are just going to have to answer this query with a humble but honest reply, "We don't know."

If it Rains in Summer, Why is a Duck?

I once had a college class (polysci, I think) where the prof put a bonus question on the final which was "If it rains in summer, why is a duck?" He said anyone who answered that correctly would get an A in the class. No one did, (no one got an A either!) and over the years I've become obsessed with the answer to that riddle.

Vanessa, the clue to the answer of this riddle is contained in your question. No one got an A in your professor's class.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Is it okay to drink distilled water as drinking water?

Is it okay to drink distilled water as drinking water?

If you're not aware of what a hotly contested issue this is, you might be surprised at the controversy surrounding this seemingly simple subject. Of course it isn't simple. Nothing about water is simple, and seeing how we, as humans, are pretty much walking bags of water, we should pay attention to the issue of water more than anything.

Experts will tell you reasons for avoiding distilled water, as well as reasons it's okay to drink-- and even desirable. Experts will also tell you that they're experts, then send you a bill. We feel it's appropriate to remind you what you already know: that moderation is the key here, as always. Like distilled alcohol, distilled water can be harmful if that is the only thing you consume. And that goes for all water. Too much water can be fatal, as can not enough.

But generally you can put some of just about everything (though there are exceptions!) in your body in small amounts, or occasionally (note the exceptions!) You can even put your own urine in a purifier and drink that. The danger there, however, is if you happen to be doing that in a $200,000,000 movie, people might not be inclined to come back seven or eight times, or whatever the formula is for making that kind of thing profitable.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

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Wisconson Quarters with an Extra Corn Leaf

Is it true there are Wisconsin quarters-- you know those new ones with the different states on the back-- with an extra leaf on the corn? And if so, how much are they worth!?

Yes, it is true. These came out of the Denver Mint, so there will be a little "D" on the front. The mint isn't saying WHY this happened-- as it is an embarrassment. You can compare with a normal Wisconsin quarter-- there is an ear of corn coming up behind the cheese. The coins in question have a pretty obvious extra leaf-- you'll be able to tell if you compare the two.

Since this became well-known, however, people naturally save their Wisconsin quarters, just in case-- so it's been increasingly hard to come across even the normal ones.

Are they worth a million dollars? We estimate that about four million of these quarters are worth a million dollars, but do you want to be putting all those in those paper rolls? In other words, they're not really worth anything. There is no money in coin collecting, generally. It is much more lucrative to be an NFL quarter-back. Don't retire yet, friend!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

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How do I search for a search engine?

I know there are new search engines out there, but how do I find the best one? It doesn't seem right to search for a search engine using a search engine!!!
--Tommy Schribble

Tommy, that is exactly what they want you to think. But how else are you going to search for a new search engine? It won't be long before they are all owned by the same company anyway. Imagine that you want to use, say, (fictional search engine name) "Wxyz-Universe" to see if you can find pictures of drunken celebrities or something. And before you hit "search" you have to enter your credit card number and will be charged a small amount for each result you click on. That sounds pretty depressing, doesn't it!? Well, GET USED TO THE IDEA!

Or, you know, you could do things the old way and stop by your church, interrupt your pastor from his studies, and ask him your question. He might have your answer or even loan you a book that will help. I'm not talking about The Bible! I mean an old encyclopedia or something. That might not help, however, with the funny and tragic photos of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan.

Or you could come HERE and ask your question! I know it's been several days since you asked THIS one, and the answer may not be satisfying to you, but it is well thought out and definitely not the answer you would get when asking Wxyz-Universe-- and it's free!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

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Knowledge Management

Hi! I was looking for a job online and I came across a job requirement that said: "Knowledge Management knowledge is a plus." Does that sound crazy or is it just me? Is there such a thing as "Knowledge Management"? And do I need to know what it is-- or can I just say something like, "minus a management knowledge management"?

Anonymous, that does sound crazy and it is, and it's good you have a sense of humor about it. Keep that, first of all! As the economic world furthers its death-spiraling shift from production of the tangible to the production of nothing, expanding entities desperately need to find a way to sell nothing for increasing amounts of money in order to hold off extinction. As a job applicant, your strategy should be to practice using words such as filtering, linking, contextualizing, and disseminating in a KM environment. If you want to go all out, read a few articles online, but don't become overwhelmed. It's more important to practice working these phrases into a rational sounding conversational style; practice with a friend (or imaginary friend). It's likely the person interviewing you won't know what you're talking about any more than you do. What they are interested in is someone who can sell nothing convincingly. Most of all, keep laughing!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ask Us Anything!

Ask your question by clicking on the "0 comments" link below, and post your question as a comment. You may include your name or remain anonymous! Come back later for your insightful answer, and possible discussion!

Why do eggs have yolks?

question from "Over EZ"

Do you believe in God, Over EZ? Well, that's beside the point. Have you ever heard the expression, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" That's what THAT is all about! The yolk is essentially a little chicken and the white is the "egg"-- which feeds the little chicken until it can feed itself!

The important thing here is to think about how lucky we are to have the distinction between the two. There are many recipes that call for just egg yolk or egg white-- including some drink recipes! Even if you're a vegan, you can still be happy for this miracle of nature-- for the little egg will grow into a big chicken-- and they make fine pets and companions!

I've heard about the development of a uniform yellow egg-- kind of like it gets after you beat the yolk and white together. This sounds tragic to me! Like the seedless grape or watermelon. And the eggs are being designed to be square, no less, to minimize shelf space. This would make it easy for fast food establishments to make cheap egg dishes, but only scrambled or omelet-- never over easy or sunnyside up! And these things would never, EVER grow into chickens! Please write your congressperson, your clergy-person, and other community leaders and ask them to oppose this heinous development!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Just ask!

Please ask your question by clicking on the "comment" link, below.

Why are cats so nutty?

Cats ARE NOT nutty. Cats are cats. HUMANS are nutty.