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12 November 2015
No. 4,107 (cartoon)
Why do you loathe me so much?
I don’t hate you in the least ...
... but in the extreme is different.
13 November 2015
Philip complained that my recent email was, “rather rude.” To put his comment in context, here’s what he wrote.
I’d like to visit your studio next Thursday or Friday; do you have a preference?
All the best,
And here’s the entire text of my offensive reply: “Thursday.”
He complained, as he’s wont to do, that I didn’t address him by his name or include my name, let alone a warm closing. In response, I pointed out that both his name and mine were included in the message’s header, and that to type them again would be repetitiously redundant.
I was pleasantly surprised when he didn’t argue, but I fear he’s coming up with something more substantive about which to complain when I see him next week.
14 November 2015
Alcoholic Linguistics Down Under
What’s the source of the Australian accent? In a word, alcohol. Or so maintains Dean Frenkel, a “public speaking expert.”
“Our forefathers regularly got drunk together and through their frequent interactions unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns,” he wrote. “For the past two centuries, from generation to generation, drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught by sober parents to their children.”
And just in case any of his fellow Aussies didn’t do their lolly after reading that, he added, “It is possible that our national speech impediment is a symptom of inferior brain functioning.”
Frenkel’s hypothesis is my favorite form of pseudo science: complete bollocks and quite entertaining. Who cares if the author is a drongo? It all makes for a good cack down at the pub.
15 November 2015
The Illiterati Win
The Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2015 isn’t a word at all. Instead, it’s a stupid little graphic of a tear on a cartoonish face. I’ve never used such images, or emoji, but apparently they’re increasingly popular with the illiterati.
Oh well; words were wonderful while they lasted.
16 November 2015
Sans Frisco is Not in Idaho
In addition to potatoes, there’s one cultural aspect of Idaho that I appreciate: its traffic laws for cyclists. Bike riders there may treat red lights and stop signs as yield signs. There’s no need to stop if no one is at or approaching the intersection.
I have always used that approach while cycling around San Francisco, and have never inconveniencedlet along hurtanyone. Following the Idaho law has never been a problem for me until this afternoon.
I was cycling down Euclid when a policeman in a patrol car pulled me over to give me a geography lesson: Sans Frisco is not in Idaho. He also gave me a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign, and not just any stop sign.
A couple of days ago, a little girl was hit by a car at that intersection, and the cop was under orders to ticket anyone who didn’t come to a complete stop, even if it was a cyclist riding down a street with no moving cars.
The ticket itself was only a hundred dollars or so, but by the time all sorts of government agencies had added their fees, the total cost of the infraction was five hundred and thirty-eight dollars. (Politicians pride themselves on not raising taxes, so instead they levy huge fees on the odd scofflaw like myself.)
I remain relentlessly positive. Amortized over a decade of cycling, that’s less than fifteen cents a day, and probably less than a penny for every stop sign I’ve ignored. In any case, I’m glad that I’m not in Idaho.
17 November 2015
A Whole Lot of Coffee Goodness
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, especially since I’m feeling even more slothful than usual today: I love headlines that obviate the need to read the article, especially when they confirm what I already believe or want to believe.
Here’s today’s example: “New Harvard study suggests drinking a whole lot of coffee is actually quite good for you.”
Since I’m feeling a whole lot of lazy, I’m going to drink a whole lot of coffeeas I already did this morningand take the rest of the day off.
18 November 2015
Clamorous Rollercoaster Coil
This is one of my favorite times of the year. That’s not saying much; every time of the year is my favorite for one reason or another. Today, it’s time to review the finalists for the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award. The excerpt from List of the Lost sticks out like a sore, pretentious thumb.
At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.
I’m betting on the author of that unintentionally hilarious dreck, Steven Patrick Morrissey, to be this year’s winner.
19 November 2015
“Facts are stupid things.”
Ronald Reagan did in fact say that, but then read the correct John Adams line, “Facts are stubborn things,” a couple of seconds later.
The Texas school board has channeled Ronal Reagan and decided not to allow academic experts to fact-check textbooks used in Texas. (That may or may not make them Texbooks.)
I, for one, applaud the move. Too much of my formal education involved simply memorizing facts, so doing away with them is a bold, innovative step.
And so, Texas students will continue to read unfacts like the one in a McGraw-Hill World Geography texbook: “The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.” Slaves were really just workers, unless you ask those pesky, so-called experts.
But that’s not going to happen in the Lone Star State. Once again, Texas leads the way!
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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart