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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak III


15 January 2012

gratuitous image

No. 958 (cartoon)

I feel so alive!

Only because it’s illegal to bury you.

It’s only illegal if you get caught.

16 January 2012

Avant Garde Ain’t

Buzz cringed when I showed him a copy of a book he published in the eighties. He used the Avant Garde font, a typographic choice he regrets a quarter of a century later.

Almost by definition, the face didn’t hold up well. “Avant garde” is a military term that means marching ahead of everyone else. Unfortunately for Buzz, the Avant Garde font stayed in the same conceptual place as soon as it was set in steel. The typography was perhaps actually avant garde when it was created in the seventies, but it hasn’t aged gracefully.

17 January 2012

A Claw for an Eye

Most people like lobsters with butter and lemon, but I like them for other reasons as well. I’m impressed with a lobster’s ability to regrow an amputated appendage, something I’d like to do with my missing index finger.

“Appendage” is the key word here, since lobsters can regrow claws but not eyes. In practice, that means a lobster with a missing eye may have more problems than blindness. The lobster will sometimes attempt to replace its missing eye, something it’s biologically incapable of doing. That’s the second time this paragraph I said that, so it must be true.

But here’s the problem. Sometimes a one-eyed lobster’s wiring goes kerflooey, and the beast grows a claw out of the empty eye socket. When that fails to restore the critter’s vision, it may try again and again, resulting in multiple claws growing out of the same cavity.

The story may have a happy ending in addition to the obvious gastronomical benefits. If I could grow a claw where my finger used to be, that might be profoundly useful.

18 January 2012

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Dr. M’s Passport Photograph

Even as we speak, and even though we’re not speaking, Dr. J is heading back to Europe at eight hundred kilometers an hour. To get on the plane, she used a passport featuring a photograph that looks almost nothing like her. I’m convinced that the reason the authorities accept her passport portrait is that it’s covered in holographic hexagons and all sort of technological fripperies.

19 January 2012

Two Tents

I told Annie about the recurring dreams I’ve been having. I imagine that I’m a teepee, then a yurt, then a teepee, then a yurt, and so on. I couldn’t interpret my dreams until my analyst pointed out the obvious: I was two tents.

Annie yawned.

I suppose that it would have been a better joke had it been funny.

20 January 2012

Methamphetamine Dealer Detention Center

For some reason, government bureaucrats seem to pick the very worst names when it comes to new buildings. For example, administraitors in Fort Wayne, Indiana, offered the public an opportunity to name a new government center. Voters overwhelmingly suggested naming the facility after a former mayor: the Harry Baals Government Center. In yet another blow to democracy, elected officials overruled them.

In another dumb move, politicians in Colorado chose to name a new jail the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Center instead of something straightforward, such as the Arapahoe County Slammer. In one of life’s little ironies, Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. is now an inmate at the Patrick J. Sullivan Jr. Detention Center. Apparently, the former sheriff after whom the building is named wasn’t a very accomplished methamphetamine dealer.

21 January 2012

The Most Wondrous Inventions of the Last Billion Years?

Poor Nicholas Money, the author of Mushroom. It sounds like a great book, but he ran into problems promoting it when he did a radio interview with Terry Gross. She began the conversation by saying that when Money “thinks mushrooms, he thinks about fungal sex organs that are the most wondrous inventions of the last billion years of evolutionary history on Earth.”

Hoo boy, what a setup! Having lead the audience to expect licentious tales of fungal sex as well as the most wondrous inventions of the last billion years, the following discussion had to be relatively boring.

It was, but only because of the astronomically high expectations.


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart