Monday, November 20, 2017


I’m amazed at how many otherwise well-informed people don’t know their own cephalic index. This is the ratio between the length of your cranium and its width. Under about 75 is considered “long-headed” (dolichocephalic), from 75 to around is 83 “medium-headed” (mesocephalic), and over that you’re “short-headed” (brachycephalic). I believe we should identify fiercely with those who share our cephalic index, forming clubs united around this meaningless skull number. We could have picnics! We could make up insults! (“Shorthead” is already pretty good.) We’ve tried unifying our species, and failed. I say let us divide anew along mind-bogglingly irrational borders.

Monday, November 13, 2017

go 'round again

Here’s something I noticed. If you walk around one block, the distance covered is four blocks. If you walk around two blocks, the distance is six blocks. Now, go around four blocks. That’s an eight block walk. Okay, how about three? Well, the distance around a three block enclosure, whether a long rectangle or an el shape, is also eight blocks. I have checked and rechecked this, with an actual dog. I probably shouldn’t let this bother me. I should probably use my brain for having interesting ideas that benefit all humankind. But we’ve tried that, and it doesn’t help.

Monday, November 6, 2017

a horse splashes

Did you know there was a 1931 version of The Maltese Falcon, ten years before the one with Humphrey Bogart? Me neither. So apparently, you can do remakes as long as they’re so good they turn the original into a footnote. Like Jerry Lewis was funnier than Ish Kabibble. And Johnny Weissmuller was better than Elmo Lincoln, even though the latter’s name conjures up delightful images of a cute Muppet delivering the Gettysburg Address. They keep trying to remake King Kong, though, and it just can’t work. It’s always too literal, like when somebody tries to tell you their dream.

Monday, October 30, 2017

I admit, I'm astounded.

Why assume that any decline in literacy is a cultural disaster? Most people were just reading crap. Here’s a heaping dollop of pulp fiction, Astounding Stories of Super-Science, September 1930:  “Now Sarka could see plainly the dome of his laboratory, and from the depths of him welled up that strange glow which Earthlings recognize as the joy of returning home, than which there is none, save for the love of a woman, greater.” I’d like to dig this writer up and sock him in the nose. Every word in that sentence, even the tiniest preposition, is screaming “let me die.”

Monday, October 23, 2017


If you were planning on doing the ever-popular William Howard Taft this Halloween, your time is running short. You can always paste on a fake mustache, but gaining 200 pounds can take several weeks.  As to scary spooks, listen: A lot of times, when you’re spending the night in a vacant old house, a talking parrot will get inside a human skull and poke its wings out the earholes. So you get a flying skull making ghostly sounds. Relax. It’s nothing to be afraid of. However, any time flames start shooting from the eye sockets, then you have a situation.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Did you ever have a sort of accident or disaster or other adrenaline bomb go off in your life and you’re lucky enough to walk away and you think you’re okay but maybe minutes later you notice your sock is full of blood or the next morning you’re so stiff you can’t move or months later you have bad dreams that wake you up? I think that’s what America’s legacy of slavery keeps doing to us. Now we are being told, as I understand it, that it’s only acceptable for black men to kneel when white men tell them to.

Monday, October 9, 2017


I marvel that after millennia of human development nobody has ever invented anything to effectively replace the shoelace. I wonder if some Asian people are smug about their fork skills. I usually accept that I should live in the moment, but that can change from moment to moment. I worry that if we repeal any constitutional amendments it will renumber the rest, thereby rendering a lot of legal precedent dangerously opaque. I hope there’s an afterlife, but only for bad people. I think a really good cantaloupe tastes like a baby might if your wife would let you eat them.