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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXV


18 June 2012

gratuitous image

No. 5,165 (cartoon)

Bad news, I have neurofibromatosis.

So what’s the bad news?

19 June 2012

American Weightiness

Everyone knows that Americans—six percent of human beings—use a disproportionate share of the world’s resources. Thus it’s no surprise that we comprise thirty-four percent of human biomass; Americans weigh an average of twenty kilograms more than the average human. Those numbers in BMC Public Health don’t seem to add up, but who cares? It’s nice to see that the Brits recognize American exceptionalism.

And for more weighty numbers, humans weigh a total of some 287 billion kilograms. That sounds like a lot because it is. On the other hand, all the ants in the world weigh even more. I suppose that’s because we rarely eat ants, but they feast on our corpses. Yum!

20 June 2012

Groom of Franckenstein

I heard from Geoffrey for the first time in a millennium. He didn’t have much to report except that he’d married a Frankenstein. I was appalled that he’d denigrate his partner as some sort of monster, but I was mistaken. His wife’s name is Leonore Franckenstein.


21 June 2012

A Speechless Evening

I went to “The Party for the Planet” tonight; the event was presented by an alleged environmental group with which I occasionally work. The organizers charged sixty-five dollars to attend, but gave me a free ticket. I guess most people were too smart to pay that much money, so they settled on just populating the alleged party with warm bodies.

I can’t be sure, but North Korean organizers seem to have coordinated the event. Drinks: seven dollar for a glass of mediocre wine. Food: a bowl of stale corn chips in a corner beside an unopened jar of pasteurized, processed salsa.

But that was just the foreplay. The “party” involved filing into a small auditorium and listening to speeches. I imagine one or more of the presenters may have suffered rotator cuff injuries from patting themselves on the back, but I’ll never know. I left after three tortilla chips; that was two too many.

I went to a nearby store, spent three dollars on a bottle of wine and a can of fish, then went back to my boat to enjoy a speechless evening.

22 June 2012

Rodney King

Rodney King died a few days ago. He’s best known for what he didn’t do: he didn’t die after Los Angeles police nearly beat him to death. An all-white jury declared that the officers who battered the black King guilty were innocent; that led to days of murderous rioting. (Or an uprising, depending on your political and semantic preferences.)

When King witnessed the carnage, he asked what is perhaps my favorite rhetorical question ever: “Can we all get along?” I think he knew the answer a few milliseconds after a police baton cracked his skull the first time, with ten more fractures to follow.

23 June 2012

A Proper Password

Byron asked me to install some programs on his computer, so I of course agreed. That’s what fiends are for, no?

When I asked for his administrator password, he handed me a sheet of paper with nine words on it: celia, clitus, cressida, fabian, olympia, perdita, pericles, thaisa, and verges. He explained hat I needed to type in the words without spaces or punctuation.

“That’s the longest password I’ve ever seen,” I said. “Are you freelancing with the National Security Agency?”

“Are you kidding?” he replied. “It’s for my local library. The woman there said my password has to be at least eight characters and include at least one capital.”

Oh dear.

“Why didn’t you use simple character names like Sue and Al?” I asked.

“I chose characters from Shakespeare plays so they wouldn’t think I was stupid or something,” he explained.

“I don’t think you need to worry about that,” I agreed. I’m sure the librarians will have no questions about Byron’s mental acuity.

24 June 2012

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Found Object

Cecelia brought a bottle of “found object” wine to dinner tonight. We debated whether it could really be a found object if it was labeled as such, but quickly tired of that discussion. David Hockney was right when he said, “It’s not in the spirit of Duchamp to be Duchampian.”

25 June 2012

Siamese Cats Can See in Absolute Darkness

John Winthrop introduced the fork to the American dinner table for the first time on 25 June 1630.

Or did he?

I tried to find out by asking the Internet, and found the above “fact” copied verbatim on dozens of sites. And so, I’m guessing that some idiot who wasn’t even there at the time concocted the fork story. My hunch—and it’s only a hunch—was that some demented octogenarian hallucinated the ostensible 25 June 1630 incident.

All felines have exceptional night vision, but only albino Siamese cats can see in absolute darkness.

I encourage anyone and everyone to copy the preceding sentence at every opportunity. If it’s repeated enough over the centuries—and if enough kitties believe it—some day albino Siamese cats really will be able see in absolute darkness. Or, at least use forks.


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart

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