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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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17 July 2011

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No. 1,276 (cartoon)

Have you ever killed anyone?

No one who deserved to live.

18 July 2011

My Two Cents

Now that I’m back from Europe, I noticed that a bottle of my favorite wine cost two cents less than usual. After a bit of cursory research, I learned that California politicians lowered the sales tax by one percent.

The state could afford such largess by reducing or discontinuing support for the disabled and the poor, closing public parks, reducing spending on education yet again, et cetera.

Even though I’m far from wealthy, I can’t help but think that millions of people need support more than I need two extra pennies in my pocket. My problem is that I fail to grasp conservative economics, which is based on the premise that the richest Americans don’t have enough money and that the poor have too much.

19 July 2011

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A Small Victory for Pastafarians Everywhere

Niko Alm won a victory over Austrian bureaucrats. His triumph? He’s wearing a colander on his head in his new driver’s license photograph.

Alm, an atheist, convinced authorities that the pasta strainer was religious headwear reflecting his pastafarian beliefs. I don’t understand how an atheist can belong to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster; I’ve never been interested in theology.

Not the kind of hombre to rest on his laurels, Alm’s next move is to get Austrian authorities to recognize pastafarianism as a bona fide religion. He’s in for an uphill fight, since pasta’s not very popular in Austria. I hope he fails; I imagine pastafarians wouldn’t have as much fun with the Flying Spaghetti Monster if they weren’t part of a persecuted minority.

20 July 2011

A Day Without Pants

Dang; it’s hot today. Hot hot hot. Really hot.

I had to do something about the stifling heat so I did: I took my pants off. What a great idea!

It feels great to be unconstrained by needless fabric; I may never wear pants again until I return to Alaska. Why isn’t every day a pantless day? And why did I not think of asking that question until today?

21 July 2011

Why Men Exist

Why do men exist? After all, what do any of us contribute to humanity except for a few miniscule spermatozoons? Nothing a woman couldn’t do better, that’s what. Or maybe not.

I read a great article in a recent issue of Science, “Running with the Red Queen: Host-Parasite Coevolution Selects for Biparental Sex.” The piece explains why we males aren’t completely redundant.

If women decided to reproduce by self-fertilization, then the entire human population would be at risk from a family of parasites feasting at the same Homo sapiens buffet. By stirring up the gene pool, men aren’t completely worthless after all!

[... sigh of relief ...]

The researchers came up with a brilliant conclusion. “The experiment shows that coevolution with parasites, but not the presence of parasites per se, selects for higher levels of outcrossing. Thus the coevolutionary struggle between hosts and their parasites could explain the existence of males.”

22 July 2011

Murdered by Murdoch?

Lori called to ask if I’d heard the newest twist in the latest Rupert Murdoch scandal. When it comes to tawdry tales about the media baron who puts the vile in evil, who could resist such schadenfreude?

She reported that Sean Hoare, the whistleblower who worked for Murdoch’s News of the World franchise, was found dead under “mysterious circumstances.”

“Do you think Murdoch had him killed?” Lori asked.

“Let’s talk about something else,” I replied. “Even suggesting that someone was murdered by Murdoch is the sort of thing that can get you killed by Murdoch.”


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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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