- 6 November 2008
- No. 5,440 (cartoon)
- Youre too domineering.
No; you just need to be told what to do.
- 7 November 2008
- Sticky Poking
- My mother likes to regale visitors with stories about my youth, including the time when I ignored all the gifts I received for my second or third birthday and spent the entire day playing with a large, empty box. I remember nothing about the occasion, but my alleged behavior certainly seems sensible. A train is a train, a car is a car, but a box could be anything. And, apparently, it was.
Thats why I was pleased to learn that, in 2005, curators at the National Toy Hall of Fame added a generic box to their collection. And this year, they added a stick to the museums inventory.
Its very open-ended, all-natural, the perfect pricethere arent any rules or instructions for its use, explained Christopher Bensch, the institutions curator of collections. It can be a wild west horse, a medieval knights sword, a boat on a stream or a slingshot with a rubber band. No snowman is complete without a couple of stick arms, and every campfire needs a stick for toasting marshmallows.
Bensch failed to mention one of the sticks most effective use: poking. Is the ice on the lake really solid? Are there wasps in that hole? Is that rat really dead? And theres the ultimate sticky pleasure of poking a sibling. Now thats a childhood memory I can remember, fondly.
- 8 November 2008
- Songs Like a Cake
- Over lunch, Lily told me that I should enjoy a good musical composition like a cake, one layer at a time.
I dont like sugar, especially in cake, I said.
Suit yourself, she replied, then think about lasagna.
Ah, lasagna. Thats a cake of a different stripe!
Lily went on to explain that she liked listening to the same song repeatedly. First, she listened to the percussion, then the bass, then the keyboards, then the horns, then the guitars, and so on. As she was expounding on her approach to music, she took the same approach to her fish sandwich. She ate the piece of bread on top, then the tomato slices, the lettuce, the onions, the tuna, then finally used the soggy piece of remaining bread to clean her plate.
I didnt like Lilys approach to food or music, but I did appreciate her reminder about how tasty lasagna is. Ive overlooked that branch of the pasta tree for too long, an omission I shall address tonight.
- 9 November 2008
- Bald Finger
- I enjoy getting older; the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks. So far.
In a neutral development, I noticed a few days ago that one of the pubic hairs growing on whats left of my right index finger is turning white. Its a phenomenon Ive noticed before: one half is white, the other is black. As my late grandmother Beulah said, How bout them apples?
The photograph I made of my finger wasnt as sharp as it might have been, so I decided to photograph it again this afternoon. To my surprise, the black-and-white hair wasnt there any more. Fortunately, Ive never been concerned about my physical appearance, so if I have a bald finger, so be it.
- 10 November 2008
- The F[art]-word
- Its been a few decades since I was a boy, but juvenile humor still carries a certain intrinsic appeal. Actually, childish humor is easy; it merely involves saying forbidden words such as booger, poop, and, of course, fart.
And so, I was delighted to read an article in the 24 October edition of the august journal Science about hydrogen sulfide generated by bacteria residing in the human colon. The learned researchers were discussing the relationship between blood pressure andto use the colloquial language of a nine-year oldfarts. According to Dr. Solomon Snyder, the rotten-egg smell of gas expelled from the anus lowers blood pressure in mice.
Now that we know hydrogen sulfides role in regulating blood pressure, it may be possible to design drug therapies that enhance its formation as an alternative to the current methods of treatment for hypertension, explained the Johns Hopkins neuroscientist who coauthored the report.
I feel sorry for poor Dr. Snyder. Hes done all that research at a prestigious institution, but Im sure such an eminent scientist cant allow himself to use the f[art]-word. I wouldnt be surprised if he secretly lectures in elementary schools under an assumed name.
- 11 November 2008
- Two Good Ways to Die in Brazil
- Seventy-six-year old Josi Silveira Coimbra died dancing. I dont dance, but if I did, I think that would be a pretty good way to die.
I imagine Marciana Silva Barcelosh, his widow, wondered what life would be without her partner. If she did, she didnt speculate for long. Barcelosh was riding with her late husbands body in a hearse en route to the cemetery when
The driver of an Alfa Romeo sports car slammed into the hearse, sending Coimbras heavy coffin into the back if his wifes neck. She died immediately. So now, theyre still together. Or not. I know almost nothing about life or death in Brazil.
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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart