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ewmayer 2010-01-19 17:41

[QUOTE=flouran;201846]According to some Christian fanatic on the radio by the name of Harold Camping the world will end in 2011.

To be more precise, he predicts that:
May 21, 2011: rapture begins
October 2011: world is destroyed

Can't wait to see who will be correct as to when the world will end (i.e. either '10, '11, or '12?)...:wink:[/QUOTE]
I believe I've told this story elsewhere on the forum, but can't seem to find it ... back when I was as teenager I briefly experimented with religion, at the invitation of a school friend whose family attended a local evangelical-Christian church. (My dad was nominal Lutheran, but nonpracticing, Mom was raised Catholic but also lapsed after marrying Dad). Several months into the "free trial", about a dozen of us were sitting in sunday school class, and the sunday school "teacher", a 30something lady, told us flat-out that there was a giant cube-shaped star that astronomers had spotted hurtling toward earth (I was a tad skeptical since Dad was an avid amateur astronomer, but held my tongue) and that it was the 2nd coming and that none of would live to see 30. Now I'm sure she meant well, that she intended the "won't live to see 30" in a *good* way ... but I never went back. That was enough religious nuttery for me for one lifetime. Now I made it to 30 and in fact well beyond, but the scary thing is that there are huge numbers of people out there who *believe* this kind of stuff, and most major religions, while not making crazy-sounding-and-easily-refutable astronomical claims, have at their core assertions which are no less wacky. Loaves and fishes, anyone? God's rather pronounced pro-Hebrew bias in the old testament? Virgin births? Might as well be a giant cuboidal star hurtling towards Earth, bringing the rapture.

Sorry, don't intend to turn this into a religion-debate thread, but thought the above worth sharing.

davieddy 2010-02-27 08:15

Man bites dog
8.8 earthquake in Chile - not many dead.


Uncwilly 2010-03-16 12:35

4.5 outside of Los Angeles

Spherical Cow 2010-03-16 18:44

1 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=ewmayer;202433].... and that it was the 2nd coming and that none of would live to see 30. [/QUOTE]

While I was a college student, Comet Kohoutek appeared, and a surprisingly large and organized group of people showed up on campus passing out literature, explaining that the world would end at 10 pm on January 31.

Not wanting to let a good crisis go to waste, those of us in our dorm organized an "End of the World Party", with invitations carefully and laboriously typed on toilet paper (see below). Had a grand time, toasting the end of life as we knew it; several of the "heathens" among us insisted on leaving early to do homework that was due the next day, while the true believers partied on, insisting there was, of course, no need to do homework.

Unfortunately, there was.


cheesehead 2010-03-17 00:03

Ernst, Norm:

Both are great stories! Thanks.

Spherical Cow 2010-03-17 18:54

I wonder if Ernst and I were the victims of the same end-of-the-world comet?

Ernst- The souvenir toilet paper I have is dated 1974; was that the year of your run-in with religion?


P.S.- You know it's a good thread when there are phrases like "the souvenir toilet paper I have is dated 1974..."


[i]Edit: Was perusing some of the old posts in this thread just now, came across this one, and realized that I never replied to Norm - in fact, I was 14-15 at the time of my "cuboid star hurtling toward earth and bringing the 2nd coming" experience, which means 1977-78ish. Pretty close, "only a few TP rolls away", as the saying goes. --EWM[/i]

bsquared 2010-03-17 18:59

[QUOTE=Spherical Cow;208671]... souvenir toilet paper ...[/QUOTE]

An excellent name for a rock band.

[SIZE="1"]with apologies to Dave Barry...[/SIZE]

cheesehead 2010-03-17 20:00

[quote=Spherical Cow;208546]Not wanting to let a good crisis go to waste, those of us in our dorm organized an "End of the World Party", with invitations carefully and laboriously typed on toilet paper (see below).[/quote]Wisconsin used to host (and boast) the Madison Museum of Bathroom Tissue. (Several manufacturers of bathroom tissue are headquartered in Wisconsin.)


[quote]In its day, the Madison Museum of Bathroom Tissue, established in 1992, was the largest and arguably most important bathroom tissue museum in the world. Before closing in 2000, "the MMBT" was located at 305 N. Hamilton in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, in a second-floor apartment three blocks from the state capitol. Besides its impressive collection of toilet paper from across the country and around the world, the museum featured an audio tour and informative displays detailing the history of toilet paper.

The collection

At its peak, the MMBT's permanent collection contained approximately 3,000 rolls of toilet paper. The toilet paper's origins ranged from the bathrooms of other museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim, to American tourist destinations like Wall Drug and Graceland. The museum also boasted extensive holdings of European, African, Australian, Canadian, and Mexican toilet paper as well as an encyclopedic collection of toilet paper from bars and restaurants located in Madison. The Manufacturers Wing contained a relatively small but interesting collection of retail samples donated by toilet paper manufacturers, many with headquarters in Wisconsin's Fox River Valley paper-producing area. Kimberly-Clark, which makes Cottonelle bathroom tissue, was one such contributor.


Visitors to the museum were always encouraged to collect toilet paper during their own travels and donate it to the museum. Sometimes specific donations were sought, to expand particular museum collections such as de To Our Mothers, a display which boasted toilet paper taken from museumgoers mothers bathrooms. When the staff realized it had every contiguous U.S. state represented except for North Dakota, it went to the airwaves on North Dakota drive-time radio and sought mail-in donations. In addition to its normal hours, the MMBT frequently held evening social events to display recent acquisitions, welcome new visitors to the museum, and recruit more toilet-paper collectors. Those who regularly donated toilet paper were awarded membership complete with i.d. cards. The museum publications included brochures, a calendar, and the MMBT newsletter, wipe.

MMBT exhibit.

While the first museumgoers were largely University of Wisconsin students and Madison residents, the MMBT eventually found its way into numerous national magazines and travel guides, which resulted in people from around the country visiting the museum. The Madison Museum of Bathroom Tissue was eventually acknowledged by the Madison Chamber of Commerce and the Wisconsin Tourism Board as well. By the mid-to-late 1990s, the collection had grown to its peak size of 3,000 rolls and the MMBT member roster boasted nearly 25 dedicated collectors. Due to changes in staff availability, the MMBT began to limit visiting hours toward the end of the nineties. The museum closed its doors in December 2000 when the remaining live-in staff vacated the address to move away from Madison. The collection currently resides in Elgin, IL, kept in storage by new owners Caleb and Tracy Hanson.

Collection origins

The roll of toilet paper that would bring about the genesis of the MMBT was ...[/quote](I'll let you read the rest at the site.)

The Wikipedia article is here: [URL][/URL]

[URL][/URL] has photos of some of the rolls, from famous locations such as the Empire State Building and Churchill Downs.

- - -

Personal note: I first learned calculus from a mentor who drew diagrams and formulas with a ballpoint pen on a partial roll of bathroom tissue. On a lazy September Saturday afternoon we had been assisting the construction of an exhibit booth for the upcoming state fair. There was a lull while someone went to fetch materials, so Graham Kendall, my mentor, got the partial roll from the restroom, and proceeded to show me the basics of differential and integral calculus.

Uncwilly 2010-03-17 20:29

[QUOTE=bsquared;208672]An excellent name for a rock band.[/QUOTE]They are playing at South By SouthWest

Spherical Cow 2010-03-17 23:15

[QUOTE=cheesehead;208681]Wisconsin used to host (and boast) the Madison Museum of Bathroom Tissue. [/QUOTE]

Cheesehead- That is tremendous. But I am deeply saddened to hear that such an establishment existed and I didn't even know about it. I've encountered some interesting toilet paper in my travels, and would have gladly sent them samples in the hopes of meriting an actual MMBT membership I.D. card. That would be an even higher honor than my Prudhoe Bay Golf and Country Club membership (from the 1970s).

Hope the MMBT is resurrected one day-


davieddy 2010-03-18 00:46

While waiting at a bus stop the other day, I was
wiling the time away with two ladies. One had a bag
with a large quantity of toilet paper.
In my risquee style (familiar to all here) I confessed that
I had avoided the need to buy and transport the stuff for
several years by using old newspapers.

Lady with the bog rolls: "I wouldn't do that but my mother used to"
Me: "I find the Sun more absorbent than The Times".
Other lady: "but your finger pokes through the Sun".

That is my idea of small talk at its best.


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