* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where our top priority is helping you get your child into a good college. And if you believe that, you may believe Candy Schulman.

Letter To The Chancellor Of Any College Who Will Admit My High Maintenance Son: First Draft

By:
candy@candyschulman.com
www.candyschulman.com

Dear Chancellor,

By the time you receive this, there is a 10% chance my son will have completed his essay. Depends on how the Knicks are doing. My daughter was never this way. She wrote her college admissions essay in second grade, graduated from high school at twelve, and was admitted to HYP before puberty.

My son has strengths other than time management. In any event, most universities request supplemental essays, so I thought I’d write my own. The way I crafted a parent statement when we applied him to that Park Avenue preschool, which promised to put him on the Ivy League fast track. We sure fell for that one.

Let’s get this on the application table: we are paying full freight. Fuck the FAFSA! I know how much cash flow means to an elite liberal arts college. Here is the password to our Chase account — feel free to stalk our copious balances online.

I suggested that my son choose the prompt, “Who Are You? Who who who who?” but all he came up with was: I ♥ Roger Daltrey. Believe it or not, he writes well. He never relies on auto-correct. In box #1, please find a portfolio of his texts over the past six months (the sober ones). He doesn’t have time to write this essay, incapacitated with acute senioritis, for which there is no known cure. I wonder if you’d consider this a true disability for your quotas.

The Common App can’t illuminate everything about this unique human being. It began on a January morning after 63.2 hours of labor — a hospital record. My son’s first of many awards. Before third grade, his room was full of those tacky soccer medals (you’ll find them enclosed in box #2). Sure, everyone on the team got medals for just showing up, but my son showed up more often than most. As did I, his chauffeur. Have you ever driven a car full of stinky post-practice pre-pubescent boys? That’s an accomplishment. But this supplement is not about me.

My son has always taken the initiative. Like the time he drove our car to the mall when he still had only a learner’s permit. My husband used political connections to cover up the arrest record.

In terms of his assets, he’s strikingly handsome if I must say so myself, he doesn’t use heroin, he’s from a mixed marriage (lapsed Catholic/secular Jew), and no one in our family has been arrested for sexting. Not yet.

I am confident/convinced/c#$@sure (note to self: look up alternatives in thesaurus.com) that my son will look debonair on your college brochures, locked arm in arm with his African American and Latino BFFLs. On his community service trip to Belgium last summer, he was introduced to the world of artisanal beers, making him an asset to fraternities. But this is not about my son. It’s about the genes that spawned him.

I swabbed my cheek and sent my DNA sample to the Genographic Project, which informed me that my people started in Ethiopia, migrating to South Asia. We are .00004% African. I’ve always regarded our heritage as multi-cultural. German, Polish, Austrian, Czech, Russian — the whole mishpocheh. Think how many minorities you can check off!

In box #3, you’ll find our unedited home videos of my son’s first year. Watch how he achieved developmental milestones like starting his terrible twos at just eight months. Please ignore footage of him rolling off our bed at six weeks. The neurologist assures us that his brain is just fine.

I am not a helicopter mom, but I’ll bring his lucky roommates gluten-free cookies with NoDoz chips, ideal for all-nighters, my own recipe I’m patenting. Just call me Big Mom On Campus.

I hope you’ll take all this into consideration in the event that you mistakenly reject my son for legacies with perfect board scores fueled by Adderall and nepotistic summer internships. Did I mention we celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas? Love decorating that cute tree. (Note to self: remove this for Brandeis.)

Finally, let’s peek into the future. My son plans to invent an app nobody yet knows we need or want, and take it public. Picture a faux colonial building he’ll surely donate to campus, enshrined with his name.

In box #4, you’ll find letters from my shrink, personal trainer and meditation leader, documenting how my stress level would be reduced if I could get my high-maintenance son out of the house for four years. This would also give me privacy for lazy afternoons with the gardener I’ve had a crush on. Who knows? I might even be able to fill my empty nest with a satisfying new career. I hear ghostwriting college application essays is quite lucrative.

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, the world's only peer-reviewed journal of quantum physics and humor. This week, our good friend David Martin explores a famous phrase of Einstein's while in the same breath exploring the rib-tickling nature of space-time.

God Does Not Play Dice

By:
david.martin@bell.net
http://davespoliticalsatire.blogspot.ca

“God does not play dice with the universe.” – Albert Einstein 

 

For years, it has been up for debate what Albert Einstein meant by this statement. Even Einstein himself was not that clear. But perhaps the following transcript of a recent conversation can help clarify the matter…

The Universe: “Look, I’m really getting fed up with your stubbornness. Every Friday we meet for Game Night and not once have you agreed to play dice. What gives?”

God: “I don’t think I’m being unreasonable. After all, we’ve played any number of games of your choice over the years. All I ask is that we don’t play dice. What’s so wrong with that?”

The Universe: “It just seems so rigid. If you’re willing to play Twister or Scrabble or even Spot the Black Hole with me, why not shoot some dice?”

God: “Sorry, but I’m just not into randomness, or at least not on Game Night. You know full well that I can’t abide uncertainty. If you want to play dice, why don’t you give Heisenberg a call?”

The Universe: “Thanks but no thanks. That guy’s totally unpredictable and unreliable.”

God: “Well, then, I think we should just settle down and play something rational like bridge, say, or maybe chess.”

The Universe: “I’m so sick of bridge and chess. Next thing you’ll be asking me to play checkers or Parcheesi.”

God: “Take it or leave it. There are hundreds of games we can play. So choose one — just not dice.”

The Universe: “You’re such a hypocrite. You roll dice for board games like Monopoly and Clue all the time. And just last week I saw you shooting craps in Vegas. What’s that all about?”

God: “Craps is craps. I’m playing against the house and the odds are completely predictable. Dice, my friend, is something else again.”

The Universe: “Jeez, I wish you’d lighten up. Everything has to be so ordered and deterministic with you. Live a little and go with the flow.”

God: “Fuggedaboutit. Next thing you know you’re going to try to convince me that this quantum mechanics stuff is real. Can’t know the speed and position of a single particle at the same time? Nonsense!”

The Universe: “Okay, okay — have it your way. No playing dice. But how about this new game I just bought? It’s called Schrödinger’s Cat in a Box. Wanna play?”

God: “Okay, but absolutely no dice, understand? The last time I played dice, I got so hooked I lost my house, my car and about ten billion galaxies and had to join Deity Gamblers Anonymous.”

The Universe: “Fair enough. I just hope you don’t react as strongly to a paradox as you do to a pair of dice.”

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we always celebrate Valentine's Day by going over some important Senate hearing testimony from several months ago. Say hello to the two-man humor team of Kevin Lankes and Jeff Minnear.

Equifax CEO Hacked During Senate Testimony About Equifax Hacks

By:
klankes85@gmail.com

Testimony of Mr. Richard Smith, Former Chairman and CEO, Equifax Inc.

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing 10/13/2017

From the Account of the Court Reporter

 

The courtroom watched in stunned silence as former Equifax CEO Richard Smith twitched mechanically while taking his seat before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee. A few words into his initial statement, Mr. Smith seemed to flicker and his suit changed to a slightly different shade of gray that almost matched the pattern he had been previously wearing. The text on his name tag also changed from “Equifax” to “EQfacts.biz.” He quickly assuaged the Senators’ concerns by informing them that they had all just won a free iPhone. “All I’ll need to know is the shipping address and the email associated with your bank account,” said Smith.

Multiple rounds of questioning then commenced, during which time Smith seemed to blink in a rapid pattern reminiscent of the indicator lights on a modem.

The Senator from New Hampshire was recognized and asked when the company had first learned of the security breaches.

“I’d be happy to answer that question, Senator,” said Smith, “if I could just get your mother’s maiden name.”

“McGillicutty,” said the Senator from Arizona, as strangled glances passed among the other members of the panel.

“If requested, would you willingly submit all documents and information related to your company’s prior knowledge of these security vulnerabilities?” asked New Hampshire.

“Oh yes,” said Smith. “I can overnight you the keys to my office filing cabinet. It’s all on the up-and-up. It was passed down to me from my recently deceased grandmother and I just want a nice and tidy couple to look through those files, but you’ll need to wire me first and last month’s rent along with a security deposit upfront.”

“A lot of people remain unconvinced that you’re taking these breaches seriously,” said the Senator from Illinois when he was recognized.

Smith assured the subcommittee that he would show them “one weird trick” to expedite their inquiries, if they would just confirm their dates of birth and social security numbers. “Trust me, security experts HATE this,” he said.

“How do you respond,” said the Senator from Rhode Island, “to the charge that you have not yet been fully transparent with consumers?”

Smith reminded everyone that Equifax is a publicly traded company. And that you can always trust businesses to do the right thing. “When have we ever let you down except twice before and probably several more times that you aren’t aware of?” As he said this his face was replaced with the bared-teeth grinning emoji.

Rhode Island conceded the remainder of his time to the Senator from California, who asked about what recommendations Smith might have for Equifax to make amends.

“I must say I’m disappointed with the scope of your issues here,” said Smith. “In fact, with this new topical ointment you can grow your issues more than five inches in just three days.”

With a great deal of time left on the clock, Smith interrupted the hearing. “On the advice of legal counsel, any additional testimony will require an update to Flash Player,” he told the subcommittee. The former CEO then provided the senators with a download link at “www.equifax-totally-safe-2017.no-seriously.ron-paul-2012/legit“.

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where the problem of man-made climate change weighs heavily upon us. Not as heavily as animated films about penguins, though.

If We Let The Ice Caps Melt, How Will We Explain The Plot Of Happy Feet Two To Our Children?

By:
dcaprera@gmail.com

Our polar ice caps have never been more at risk; the planet’s North and South Poles are shrinking at an alarming rate and, if allowed to continue, the consequences of this glacial thawing could be truly catastrophic. Now, more than ever, we must think towards the future…if we let our ice caps melt, how will we ever explain the plot of Happy Feet Two — the 2011 animated smash sequel about penguins who can tap dance — to our children?

Seriously. When will we as a society realize that we’re just playing Russian Roulette with our children’s lives? And that every chamber in this metaphorical gun has been filled with a hollow-point bullet that reads: “In thirty years our precious children won’t have the cognitive infrastructure to comprehend the plot of Happy Feet Two (wherein the emperor penguin, Mumble, returns from the first Happy Feet movie and uses his powers of song and dance to convince the elephant seals of Elephant Seal Beach to destroy an iceberg on Emperor Land and return music to the fantastical realm of Antarctica).”

How can we just stand idly by and RUIN our children’s future comprehension of the world’s second-greatest film about animated penguins voiced by Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, and Hugo Weaving? Will our children even know what a penguin is? And, if not, how will they ever fully grasp why they have to tap dance again on the silver screen?

These are the questions that consume me.

Hypothetical scenario: pretend it’s the near future. The year 2047. And Earth’s ice caps have disappeared like a succulent cuttlefish into the mouth of a dancing penguin. Now imagine that I was so incompetently dimwitted as to bring a child into this damned ice-free dystopia. If my “son” (who, in this hypothetical scenario, is named Jeffrey) grows up in a world without ice caps, how will I possibly explain those aforementioned Happy Feet Two plot points to him? Will he understand that Emperor Land is a reference to emperor penguins? Will he realize that Mumble’s son Erik is different because, unlike his father, Erik cannot dance (which is something that penguins don’t normally do anyways)?

How will I have the gosh darned courage to bring my hypothetical darling Jeffrey to my study, sit him down on my favorite well-worn hypothetical leather armchair, and desperately try to explain that “in Happy Feet Two, Ramon (everyone’s favorite fast-talking Adelie penguin) finally finds love” only to see the tears well out of his confused and uncomprehending eyes like ice melting off of a glacier?

No father should have to put his child through that kind of hell.

Of course, not everything will be ruined by this all-too-possible future…For example, without Antarctica, will our beautiful babies have trouble understanding a synopsis of the first Happy Feet movie? No. Definitely not. The first Happy Feet‘s themes of bravery, self-discovery, and growth in the face of adversity are timeless. With or without ice caps. You don’t need to know what a penguin is to know that Mumble’s love is true.

But the way that Happy Feet Two expands upon the Happy Feet universe for an uninterrupted 117 minutes; or the fact that Happy Feet Two eschews many of its predecessor’s timeless themes in favor of intricate, location-specific exposition… these nuanced details require a thorough grounding in the norms and conventions of polar ice caps. Without them, our children won’t have enough background information to understand even 1/10th of the plot of Happy Feet Two.

Which is unacceptable.

Folks, unless we take a stronger stance against global climate change, there will be drastic consequences for future generations. And I don’t know about you, but I want live in a world where my Jeffrey has hypothetical children of his own; children who know that, in Happy Feet Two, Lovelace (the pompous rockhopper penguin) rips his iconic rainbow sweater after dancing too hard to the song “Under Pressure.” Because they learned about it from their father. And sure, things may seem desperate right now…but weren’t things equally desperate for the penguins of Emperor Land when they were trapped beneath that iceberg?

If we don’t act now, our children will never understand how powerful that last sentence was meant to be.

 

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