Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mark and Mark

“He just didn't tell the truth”: Mark Hurst, who has deleted his Facebook account, catalogues the deceptions in Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony, with links to many other commentators.

“Trump’s mystery mansion”

Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Journalism, has become one of my favorite podcasts. Here is one short Reveal story, about a Beverly Hills property changing hands in exceedingly strange ways: “Trump’s mystery mansion.” And a longer version for reading. There’s sketchy stuff in them there Hills.


1:45 p.m.: I listened to another episode while walking: “Checking into Trump’s Washington hotel.” All about doing the laundry, and much more.

Cohen, Cohen, Cohen

At Talking Points Memo, three pieces on Michael Cohen: 1, 2, 3.

[I wish though that Josh Marshall were a more careful writer. “Cohen has worshiped Trump since he was a high schooler”: see what I mean?]


MUrray Hill-Seven Seven-Five-Hundred. MUrray Hill-Seven Seven-Five-Hundred. MUrray Hill-Seven Seven-Five-Hundred.

[An “over and over,” resulting from my excitement at discovering this bit of the past online. I love the shot of the furtive, slightly stooped figure entering the house and the door closing behind him. But most of all, I love MUrray Hill-Seven Seven-Five-Hundred. MUrray Hill-Seven Seven-Five-Hundred. Typing “7500” would leave the pronunciation ambiguous.]

Zippy metamorphosis

[Zippy, April 19, 2018. The third panel adds: “Hint inside each balloon.”]

It’s Samsa-time again. (See also Zippy as Betty Boop and Woody Woodpecker.) The comments on today’s Zippy identify the six characters who appear in the strip.

Related reading
All OCA Zippy posts (Pinboard)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

MSNBC, sheesh

Chuck Todd just referred to the nonprofit investigative organization ProPublica as “Pro Pube-lica” — twice.

Related reading
All OCA sheesh posts (Pinboard)

[Elaine heard it too — twice. As she points out, Chuck Todd was caught with his pants down.]

Coffee shocker

A shocking headline: “This is what drinking just tea and coffee all day does to your body, according to a registered dietitian” (Business Insider).

I’ll save you the work of clicking through. As most people who read the article will already know, drinking just tea and coffee all day hydrates your body. The shocker: “You’ll probably be extremely over-caffeinated!” Yes! You will be!

Related reading
All OCA coffee and tea posts (Pinboard)

[My over-caffeination is feigned. I’ve had just one cup of tea, one cup of coffee today. I can’t speak for the dietitian.]

“A right or wrong hand”

Beverly Cleary, writing about first grade:

The teacher was a tall, gray-haired woman who wore a navy blue dress and black oxfords. “Good morning, children,” she said. “My name is Miss Falb. It is spelled F-a-l-b. The l is silent. Say, ‘Good morning, Miss Falb.’”

“Good morning, Miss Fob,” we chorused.

She then wrote Miss Falb in perfect cursive writing on the blackboard and instructed us to get out our tablets and copy what she had written.

The whole thing seemed unreasonable to me. If the l was silent, why was it there? I picked up my pencil with the hand closer to the pencil. Miss Falb descended on me, removed the pencil from my left hand, and placed it in my other hand. “You must always hold your pencil in your right hand,” she informed me.

No one had ever told me I had a right or wrong hand. I had always used the hand closer to the task. With her own pencil, Miss Falb wrote Beverly Bunn on my paper in the Wesco system of handwriting with its peculiar e’s, r’s, and x’s that were to become a nuisance all my life.

A Girl from Yamhill: A Memoir (New York: William Morrow, 1988).
Cleary’s signature, stamped on the cover of this hardcover edition, shows the Wesco e and r.

[A library copy, with a ballpoint slash through the final y.]

For further reading: a biographical sketch of John Austin Wesco and a 1939 edition of Wesco System of Writing.

Related reading
Beverly Cleary on writing by hand : Ramona Quimby and cursive : All OCA Cleary posts (Pinboard)

[Miss Falb turns out to be a real piece of work. I suspect that those of us who’ve had miserable teachers are never reluctant to identify them by name.]

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hyphen needed

From a New York Times article about the ugly incident in a Philadelphia Starbucks:

The chief executive, Kevin R. Johnson, said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that what happened to the men was “wrong,” and that he wanted to meet with them personally to apologize.

“It’s my responsibility to understand what happened and what led to that, and ensure that we fix it,” Mr. Johnson said. He said that the company was reviewing its guidelines, which can differ among its 28,000 stores worldwide, and that it would invest in unconscious bias training.
Make that unconscious-bias training. Unconscious bias training, a lifetime’s worth, is what might prompt an employee to call the police when two men of color are waiting on a friend before ordering.

Great crosswords, free

At bewilderingly, Will Nediger posts a free crossword puzzle of his making every Monday. He describes his puzzles as erudite and witty, and vows never to make a puzzle with the answer EMAG. I found quite a range of reference in this week’s puzzle: Bach, Howard Hawks, Japanese beer, Nancy Drew’s boyfriend, Rihanna, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Six circled letters in three answers add up to an obvious-once-you-finally-see-it theme. But it was the clue for 60-Across, sixteen letters, that really won me over: “Classic Thelonious Monk album with the track "Pannonica.” Holy cow!

I must have found my way to Will Nediger’s puzzles via Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle, an always interesting and often contentious daily discussion.

[No spoilers for possible solvers. The Monk album title is in the comments.]