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Greetings That Must be Remembered

Believe it or not, there was a time when you went down to the dime store (yes, there were such things) or drug store and bought greeting cards to send to friends and family for special occasions. You could buy birthday greetings, get well cards, congratulations on your new baby, sympathy cards, and not much else. Now that the internet has made our world into a global marketplace, there are special greetings for occasions you'd have never thought of, in styles that no national distributor would've taken a chance on selling just ten years ago. Many ecards are free, which only forces sellers to raise the quality of greetings worth paying for. Niche greetings are not limited to ecards, either -you can buy paper greetings in a range of styles that would make Grandma's eyes pop. This is by no means an exhaustive, or even representative list, just some greeting sources you may not be familiar with.

Depressing Times holiday cards

Order of St. Nick offers Depressing Times greeting cards for all occasions, because no matter how bad you've got it, someone else is worse off... and you may as well laugh about it instead of crying! The card shown is actually a birthday card. The 5x7 cards are printed on glossy cardstock and are made of 50% recycled fiber.

Some Ecards

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Some Ecards uses the tag line "for when you care enough to hit send." These greetings are free, but require registration. This company is right on top of the current buzz, with ecards available now on the topics of the Iranian protests and the death of Michael Jackson, as well as the example you see here. You can also customize cards with your own text, colors, and a huge library of images.

Three Squares Greetings

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Three Squares Greetings are cards specially designed to be sent to those who are incarcerated. Some are humorous, many are supportive, and some say the things that you might find really difficult to say in your own words. You can order cards individually online or find them in stores in California.

Wrong Cards

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Wrong Cards are "ecards that are wrong for every occasion", but are fine for your friends who have a sense of humor. Subjects range from apologies for every dreadful thing you could have done to the event of zombie attacks. And they are free to send.

Gramkin Paper Studio

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Gramkin Paper Studio is an Etsy seller of high-quality printed notecards, stationery, and greeting cards. The greeting cards are slightly rude and somewhat generic, sold in boxed sets with blank interiors so you can customize them to any occasion -or no occasion at all!

Mean Cards

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Mean Cards features "stories of daily peril, both real and imagined." Many of these are situations you'll relate to, but have never before seen on a greeting card. Cards are blank inside, and are made of recycled paper.

Wondermark

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Wondermark is not specifically a greeting card company, but artist David Malki ! has a store attached to the site where you can find his strange ideas in greeting card form. See what the inside of this card says here. Greetings are printed on premium linen cardstock.

Cute Baby Animals

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Amanda Mccall and Ben Schwartz published a book of postcards called Grandma's Dead: Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals.  The removable cards feature distractingly sweet puppies, kittens, and other fuzzy critters to mitigate the news that you are having an affair, think the recipient is too fat, or that you may have given the recipient an STD. Some reviewers recommend buying two copies, so you can send the cards and keep a book for yourself. Get a preview of some of the cards here.

See? Now there is no excuse for sending anyone a boring greeting.

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The Funniest Word in the English Language? 'Booty,' According to New Survey
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Some words, regardless of their meaning, are simply more chuckle-worthy than others. To determine which expressions in the English language are truly the most comical, Smithsonian reports that psychologists at the University of Warwick in the UK conducted a survey in which they asked people to rate the “humor value” of a sampling of chosen words. They recently published their findings in the journal Behavior Research Methods.

The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of 4.32. In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of 3.9 or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”

Why these words are so funny remains fuzzy. But when they analyzed their findings according to age and gender, the researchers did find that sexually suggestive words like “orgy” and “bondage” tended to tickle the funny bones of men, as did the words “birthmark,” “brand,” “chauffeur,” “doze,” “buzzard,” “czar,” “weld,” “prod,” “corn,” and “raccoon.”

Meanwhile, women tended to laugh at the words “giggle,” “beast,” “circus,” “grand,” “juju,” “humbug,” “slicker,” “sweat,” “ennui,” “holder,” “momma,” and “sod.” As for people under the age of 32, they were amused by “goatee,” “joint,” and “gangster,” while older participants liked “squint,” “jingle,” “burlesque,” and “pong.” Across the board, all parties were least amused by words like “rape,” “torture,” and “torment.”

Although humor is complex and dependent on elements like syntax and delivery, the study's researchers say that breaking comedy down to single-word units could demystify its essence.

“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”

[h/t Smithsonian]

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Watch the Original Spinal Tap Short Film
Chris Weeks // Staff // Getty Images
Chris Weeks // Staff // Getty Images

Spinal Tap formed in 1979, five years before the classic film This is Spinal Tap premiered. They performed on TV and began developing their personas as idiotic heavy metal monsters.

When the band, along with director Rob Reiner, went to pitch their mockumentary to production companies, nobody "got it." It wasn't clear what an unscripted comedy pseudo-documentary would feel like. So Reiner asked for the screenplay fee—$60,000—to be paid up front as a budget for a short proof-of-concept film.

That skimpy budget went a very long way, allowing the group to produce The Last Tour, a 20-minute Spinal Tap film exploring some of the plot (and many of the songs) that appeared in the later film This is Spinal Tap. There's a surprising amount of concert footage, as various bits that were repeated in Tap (some interview clips were even used in Tap unaltered).

The Last Tour is delightful because it shows a well-developed idea being implemented on the cheap. The wigs are terrible, the sound is spotty, but the vision is spot-on. The characters and the core story of the group (including a string of dead drummers) is already in place, and we get to see the guys improvise together. Tune in (and be aware there's plenty of salty language here):

(Note: Around 4:38 in the clip above, we see Ed Begley, Jr. as original drummer John "Stumpy" Pepys in the "Gimme Some Money" video. Stumpy died in a gardening accident, of course.)

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