Saturday, February 27, 2021

Today’s Newsday Saturday

Today’s Newsday  Saturday crossword is by the redoubtable Lars G. Doubleday, aka Doug Peterson and Brad Wilber. It’s a good one. What’s the old saying? A Saturday Stumper by any other name, &c.? This puzzle felt quite Stumpish. A good old good one, as Louis Armstrong might have said. Which makes me think of a possible Armstrong-themed crossword clue: ten letters, “Explosive preparation.”

Some clue-and-answer pairs I especially liked:

1-A, five letters, “Half of a sitcom psychiatrist pair.” I hope that when the one returns, the other will too.

3-D, seven letters, “Research outfit.” Makes me think of another musician.

6-D, seven letters, “Sonny of jazz sax fame.” There are at least two possible answers. For most solvers, just one.

7-D, eight letters, “Make sour.” I like the way the clue blurs the line between different kinds of sourness.

11-D, seven letters, “Three-sided wall adornment.” Common in comics, movies, and television shows. Has anyone ever seen one in real life?

17-A, nine letters, “Ancient ‘white,’ ‘venerable’ city near Rome.” Yep, that’s the one.

21-A, three letters, “Easter precursor.” LEN? Simple but deceptive.

39-A, six letters, “Magnet collector.” I like the idea of something attracting magnets.

56-D, three letters, “Thing in some packs.” Not PEZ.

My favorite pairs in this puzzle:

30-A, eight letters, “Duke’s fall, e.g.” Very clever. I had a fleeting thought that the answer must be a French word. That’s what can happen from reading Proust.

50-A, seven letters. “Throw back quickly.” Yes, now that the puzzle’s done, shall we?

One quarrel: 37-D, seven letters, “Victorian syntax.” The clue is a pun, really, and the answer is delightful, but it’s a matter of semantics not syntax.

No spoilers; the answers are in the comments.

Recently updated

#Sedition3PTruck With new developments. I’ll continue to add to the post as appropriate.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Small pleasures

When I saw this oatmeal cookie, I thought dog. But it’s pretty clearly a bear.

[No. 4 in a series.]

At Smith College and elsewhere

The New York Times tells the story of an encounter in a Smith College dorm lounge, the campus history that preceded the encounter, and the aftermath:

This is a tale of how race, class and power collided at the elite 145-year-old liberal arts college, where tuition, room and board top $78,000 a year and where the employees who keep the school running often come from working-class enclaves beyond the school’s elegant wrought iron gates. The story highlights the tensions between a student’s deeply felt sense of personal truth and facts that are at odds with it.
This story reminded me of two incidents from my teaching career. For many years, I went into my office on Sunday mornings to get work done. The building was always locked, and empty aside from another faculty member here or there. One morning I noticed two young men rounding the corner at the far end of the hallway. They were wearing black trench coats. Whenever this happened, I know that it was post-Columbine — that’s why I noticed the trench coats.

I closed my office door as quietly as I could and listened as they came down the hallway. They weren’t talking, just walking. Several minutes later, they were back. They seemed to be making a circuit of the third floor (a large square). I called the campus police and explained, as quietly as I could, what was happening. Someone came to check it out, and as I later learned, the walkers were part of a gamer group that was meeting in the building. Yes, on a Sunday morning. Maybe they were walking to burn off nervous energy — who knows?

On another Sunday morning, I cut through a study lounge on my way to the men’s room. The lounge lights came on automatically, and I saw a young woman asleep on a sofa. I let her sleep and went about my business, baffled as to how someone might be sleeping on a Sunday morning in a locked-all-weekend classroom building. I did though send an e-mail to campus police about the need for outside doors that really locked.

There are indeed many circumstances in which students and faculty of color are made to feel that a college campus isn’t really their place. I remember telling one young woman of color, unhappy about a grade on an essay, “Don’t you think I know that you’re a good student?” No, she had no reason to assume that I knew that. She had learned to feel that teachers always already assumed that her abilities were marginal. But she worked on her writing and saw her grade soar. Yes, an A.

The Smith College scenario seems to admit of no such pleasant ending.

If you’ve been wondering, the walkers, presumably students, were white, which did nothing to make them appear, to my eyes, anyway, less “out of place.” The sleeper was a woman of color. Like any other student in a presumably locked classroom building on a Sunday morning, she too appeared to be “out of place.” Not because of color — just because the building was supposed to be locked.

Thursday, February 25, 2021


From The Daily Beast, “Three Percenter Truck at Capitol on Jan. 6 Belongs to Hitler-Quoting Rep’s Husband”:

A pickup truck parked at the United States Capitol and bearing a Three Percenter militia sticker on the day of the Jan. 6 riot belongs to the husband of freshman U.S. Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois, who approvingly quoted Adolf Hitler a day earlier.

Researchers on Twitter first noticed the Ford pickup truck with the far-right militia’s decal parked on the Capitol grounds in footage posted to social media and taken by CBS News.
Oh, the Millers, Mary and Chris. On Twitter she’s now called #HitlerLady. And he’s #Sedition3PTruck. She’s “my” representative in Congress. He’s “my” rep in the Illinois House.


February 26: Chris Miller has now given two explanations of the sticker. One, in the Daily Beast article:
“Army friend gave me decal. Thought it was a cool decal. Took it off because of negative pub,” Miller wrote in an email late Thursday. He says he “never was member” of the militia and “didn’t know anything about 3% till fake news started this fake story and read about them.”
A different explanation, given to a Nexstar outlet:
“My son received the sticker that was on my truck from a family friend who said that it represented patriotism and love of country,” Miller said. “The original group, which has disbanded, was not a violent anti-government group. They were not involved in the Jan. 6th riots. They have issued a statement distancing themselves from the extremists who have copied their name. I have since removed the sticker. My intention was to display what I thought was a patriotic statement. I love our country and consider myself a patriot. My intention was not to hurt or offend anyone but simply to express what I thought was a statement of patriotism. God bless America.”

February 27: The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association has asked for a state investigation of Chris Miller. Representative Adam Kinzinger (R, Illinois-16) also supports an investigation.

February 27: ABC News reports that Chris Miller spoke in front of 3P and QAnon banners last May. You can see the performance on Miller’s Facebook page.

February 27: Here’s Mary Miller on February 22, sans mask, among hundreds of people at a largely maskless indoor event for Illinois gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey. You can see her at the 1:10 mark. And listen to what Bailey has to say about masks. Christ, what an airhole.

Related posts
Chris Miller, no pandemic : January 5 and 6 in D.C., with Mary Miller : The objectors included Mary Miller : A letter to Mary Miller : Mary Miller, with no mask : Mary Miller, still in trouble : His ’n’ resignations are in order : Mary Miller in The New Yorker : Mary Miller vs. AOC

An on-screen jump-seat

[Barry Sullivan joins Ann Dvorak, Louis Calhern, and Lana Turner in a cab. From A Life of Her Own (dir. George Cukor, 1950). Click either image for a larger view.]

I know about jump-seats from reading J.D. Salinger. I was inordinately happy to see a jump-seat in a movie.

Kudlick plumbing

[Dustin, February 25, 2021.]

The digital scale sometimes gives a different result on a second try. That’s why Helen invokes the movies: “So it’s like in ‘Dirty Harry,’ right? You’ve got to ask yourself one question.” Thus the panel above.

I think there are further questions to ask about today’s Dustin.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Separated at birth

  [Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and Ernest Angley. Click either image for a larger view.]

I’ll grant that there’s an age difference. But the resemblance is unmistakable.

El Chapo has been in the news of course. Seeing a photograph of him (not this one) is what made me think of Ernest Angley. If that name is unfamiliar, you probably didn’t watch enough UHF television as a teenager. Angley was and is a piece of work, as the Wikipedia article about him makes clear. What the article doesn’t describe is his long history of healing services and faux miracles: ending addictions, removing cancers, making people hear and walk. But never, say, growing someone a limb. “Thou foul nicotine devils, come out!”

Also separated at birth
Claude Akins and Simon Oakland : Nicholson Baker and Lawrence Ferlinghetti : Bérénice Bejo and Paula Beer : Ted Berrigan and C. Everett Koop : David Bowie and Karl Held : Victor Buono and Dan Seymour : Ernie Bushmiller and Red Rodney : John Davis Chandler and Steve Buscemi : Ray Collins and Mississippi John Hurt : Broderick Crawford and Vladimir Nabokov : Ted Cruz and Joe McCarthy : Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Gough : Henry Daniell and Anthony Wiener : Jacques Derrida, Peter Falk, and William Hopper : Adam Driver and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska : Charles Grassley and Abraham Jebediah Simpson II : Elaine Hansen (of Davey and Goliath) and Blanche Lincoln : Barbara Hale and Vivien Leigh : Harriet Sansom Harris and Phoebe Nicholls : Steven Isserlis and Pat Metheny : Colonel Wilhelm Klink and Rudy Giuliani : Ton Koopman and Oliver Sacks : Steve Lacy and Myron McCormick : Don Lake and Andrew Tombes : William H. Macy and Michael A. Monahan : Fredric March and Tobey Maguire : Jean Renoir and Steve Wozniak : Molly Ringwald and Victoria Zinny

George Sanders and a Ticonderoga

[George Sanders and pencil, in Witness to Murder (dir. Roy Rowland, 1954). Click for a larger view.]

That’s a Dixon Ticonderoga, no doubt. The ferrule gives it away.

The Ticonderoga appears in a number of OCA posts, sometimes starring, sometimes in a supporting role. Among the other cast members: John Garfield, June Lockhart, Toni Morrison, Lloyd Nolan, and Jon Provost.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919–2021)

No. 20, from A Coney Island of the Mind (New York: New Directions, 1958).

The poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti has died at the age of 101. The New York Times has an obituary with a 2007 video feature, “The Last Word.” The San Francisco Chronicle has an obituary with a large slideshow.