For some time I’ve been trying to recall favorite sites I used to visit in my pre-Mac OS X days; not easy since my old bookmark file went to that great bit bucket in the sky nearly two years ago.

Anyway, an errant neuron just coughed up one of those URLs: Outrageous On-Line Uncle Al: New Weapons of Mass Consumption. Alan “Uncle Al” Schwartz, an industrial chemist by trade, publishes vitriolic essays on varied subjects – he’s at #345 at this writing, and a subscription to “the collected wisdom of Uncle Al” is available. He’s a curmudgeon’s curmudgeon, with the additional infuriating habit of often being right. As they say here in Brazil, when he dies he’ll be buried in two coffins (the second one’s for his tongue). He also was the original inspiration for my disclaimer. (I hasten to disclaim that Uncle Al’s political and philosophical orientation may not be congruent, parallel or even orthogonal to my own.)

Uncle Al’s site’s HTML contains this line:

<META NAME=”description” CONTENT=”Luxuriate in surreal mentality, indulge in wicked and delicious excess. We have come for a piece of all mankind!”>

Come to think of it, this probably was one of the first weblogs, in intent if not in format. His list of search engines and power user links has been invaluable to me in the past.

Herewith some excerpts to give you an idea:

One is Officially informed that the Food and Drug Administration exists for benevolent safeguarding of US citizenry…

I purchased a 148 milliliter bottle of McIlhenny tabasco sauce amply free of anything your body needs – hence its voluptuous palatability. Printed on the box flap was this warning:

“The Food and Drug Administration’s suggested measure is 1 teaspoon.”

The folks who won’t let you smoke marijuana to prevent blindness from glaucoma, or ameliorate 24 hours of projectile vomiting from cancer chemotherapy, or lessen screaming in Burn Wards recommend you use tabasco sauce by the teaspoon. Shake a drop (1/50 of a teaspoon) on your tongue. What is wrong with this picture?

…As your FDA minimum recommended dose of a full teaspoon of Tabasco explodes within your face, foments massive sensory erosion down all forty feet of your gastrointestinal tact, and finally exists with a searing scream… look at the bright side. Fruits like grapes and peppers contain resveratrol, especially in their skins. Said 3,4′,5-trihydroxy-trans-styrene is the apparent anti-carcinogenic principle of red wine. Those who indulge in tabasco’s searing siren song may be prolonging their life and improving every second of its enhanced duration.

If that is not a valid reason for the FDA to ban the stuff, I cannot imagine what is.

Finally, he also apparently wrote a paper about “Parity pair tellurium test masses will violate the Equivalence Principle in Eötvös experiments” which contains such assertions as

Unitary groups U(1), SU(2) and SU(3) parameter spaces are isomorphic to (in one-to-one correspondence with) the circle, the sphere (a surface) and the “three sphere” (not a ball) respectively. Fields with non-abelian symmetries divide into “electric” (curl-free; e.g., gravitational) and “magnetic” (divergence-free; e.g., inertial) fields as do abelian electromagnetism and the linearized form of Einstein’s field equations for weak gravity and slow matter.

And that’s in the preliminary arguments, where I think I understood all words, if not the entire sentence…