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Today’s Saturday Stumper
“Bad-weather wear.” “They take long naps.” “Story arcs.”
crossword 
yesterday
Anthea Bell (1936–2018)
I know Stefan Zweig’s fiction in large part through Bell’s translations. W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz too.
translation 
3 days ago
Hand wash cold
From Smithsonian: “If Americans turned down the heat when washing their hands they could save 6 million metric tons of CO2 every year.”
culture  energy 
3 days ago
Early voting
A dream last night: CNN announced that Beto O’Rourke had won election to the United States Senate. Precognitive, I hope.
dreams 
3 days ago
“The deepest motive for writing”
Richard Lanham: “Motive has always been the question of questions for Freshman Composition. Perhaps more success might flow from assuming, paradoxically, that the deepest motive for writing is not communication at all but the pleasures of writing for its own sake.”
teaching  writing 
3 days ago
Writing and speech
Richard Lanham: “Writing’s advantage, as a presentation of self, is not that it allows us to adopt the mannerisms of speech but that it allows us to adopt the tempo of speech without its hesitant waste.”
teaching  writing 
3 days ago
“Slow Reading”
Richard Lanham: “Every course in composition ought to be a course in Slow Reading.”
reading  teaching  writing 
3 days ago
Language, evolving
Nancy, Sluggo, and our evolving language.
comics  language  Nancy 
3 days ago
Practicing
At a debate, a political candidate uses appallingly dated language.
words 
3 days ago
Words of the day: apricity, apricot
Does “apricot” have anything to do with “apricity”? No and yes.
OED  words 
3 days ago
Cover stories
I’m reminded of what Captain Reynaud says about the courier Ugarte in Casablanca: “We haven’t quite decided whether he committed suicide or died trying to escape.”
truth 
3 days ago
Heroic handwriting
Chiune Sugihara saved lives with his handwriting.
handwriting 
3 days ago
Decorate, diagram
Does anyone still diagram sentences Reed-Kellogg style?
comics  grammar  Peanuts  sentences 
7 days ago
NPR, sheesh
Donald Trump wasn’t “making an argument” about climate change in his 60 Minutes interview. He was making an unfounded assertion.
NPR  sheesh  truth 
7 days ago
Hallmark “trees”
The sappy, saccharine Hallmark movie Falling for Vermont has everything: a Famous Author, a cozy bookstore, a gazebo, a “town meeting,” and fake trees.
movies  television 
7 days ago
Main Streets
Griffy and Zippy in Norwich, Connecticut.
comics  dowdyworld  Zippy 
7 days ago
Old barber, old joke
“I eat thin spaghetti, so I don’t get fat”: Anthony Mancinelli, 107, is the world’s oldest barber.
age  jokes  work 
7 days ago
Another headline
From the New York Daily News : “Cultured klepto who swiped painting worth over $1,000 in the Bronx wanted.”
headlines  sentences 
7 days ago
Today’s Saturday Stumper
“Racket clubs.” “Scorch with pans.” “David : Milhous :: Delano : __ .”
crossword 
7 days ago
Sardines in the comics
Today, in Rhymes with Orange.
comics  sardines 
7 days ago
“Like winter”
Nancy and Sluggo are cold.
comics  Nancy  weather  winter 
10 days ago
One!
When someone is feeding you, grasp spoon in mouth. Do not let go.
fambly 
10 days ago
A meeting of the minds
Another step toward what I call the reality-TV-ification of everything : today’s Donald Trump–Kanye West meeting. How glorious to have two proud non-readers of books in the Oval Office at the same time.
books  culture  politics  reading 
10 days ago
The art of the deal
Wal-Mart is remaking Mr. Mom. Our culture is in good hands.
culture  film 
10 days ago
Mystery actor
Whoever he is, he’s making his screen debut.
film  television 
10 days ago
Balzac: Orlando in a flat
“‘Orlando furioso is all very well in a poem.’”
Balzac 
10 days ago
Got goat?
The case for goat meat.
food 
10 days ago
Cachou Lajaunie
Little French candies. The flavor is kinda ghastly, but the tin’s design is beautiful.
design  France 
12 days ago
Balzac: courtesans and grammar
Thanks to Valérie Marneffe, Célestin Crevel never makes mistakes in grammar.
Balzac  grammar 
12 days ago
How to register to vote
The New York Times covers it, state by state.
politics 
12 days ago
Last Seen
A podcast series from WBUR and The Boston Globe: Last Seen, an examination of the still-unsolved theft of thirteen works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
art  Boston  podcasts 
12 days ago
Hard-boiled Balzac
For a moment, I could have been reading Raymond Chandler.
Balzac 
12 days ago
Ellington on the air, 1932
From Newark’s WBGO-FM: an eight-minute fragment from a 1932 live radio broadcast of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra. It’s the earliest known recording of the Ellington band on the air.
DukeEllington  jazz  music  radio 
13 days ago
Hamiet Bluiett (1940–2018)
I was fortunate to hear him, just once, in person, in 2008, playing with Kahil El’Zabar’s Ritual Trio.
jazz  music 
13 days ago
How to improve writing (no. 77)
A Washington Post headline: “Kavanaugh arrives wounded, as is the Supreme Court’s image.”
howtoimprove  writing 
13 days ago
“The repeated refrains of nature”
Rachel Carson: “There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”
life  nature 
13 days ago
Today’s Saturday Stumper
“Verb with preposition and noun homophones.” “System conveying blog updates.”“What was once called a ‘fountain paintbrush.’” Words. Blogs. Supplies. Represent.
crossword 
13 days ago
What Susan Collins didn’t talk about
The White House’s limits on the FBI investigation, the many potential witnesses never interviewed (there’s no possibility of corroboration without a genuine investigation), Deborah Ramirez’s allegation (for which there are contemporaneous witnesses), Brett Kavanaugh’s defensiveness and evasiveness in responding to senators’ questions, his blatant dishonesty under oath, the many doubts about his ability to be an impartial and even-tempered justice.
culture  politics  truth 
13 days ago
Geoff Emerick (1945-2018)
The recording engineer Geoff Emerick, best known for his work with the Beatles, has died at the age of seventy-two.
Beatles  music 
17 days ago
Scene from an Eye-talian restaurant
The owners had thought of almost everything.
food  pronunciation  words 
17 days ago
“Plaid”
An episode of Articles of Interest, a podcast series within in the podcast series 99% Invisible.
podcasts 
17 days ago
Photographs by Joanna Key
Photographs by my friend Joanna Key, appearing in Midwestern Gothic.
photography 
17 days ago
Down a garden path
“Father of off-duty cop busted for hiring hooker who stole his car and gun explodes after hearing the details.”
grammar  sentences 
17 days ago
Olivia Jaimes!
An eyewitness report from Rocko Jerome: “I Have Seen Olivia Jaimes, the Cartoonist Behind the New Nancy.”
comics  Nancy 
17 days ago
The Gmail redesign
Some good suggestions for modifying Gmail’s ugly new interface when the option to return to “Classic Gmail” is no longer available.
Gmail 
17 days ago
Here’s a reason to look at the Spam folder
“A correct pronunciation in English is midway been to Increase Your Success !!!”
e-mail  spam 
17 days ago
Twelve movies
Now with stars, one to four. And four sentences each. No spoilers.
film 
20 days ago
Great books
The Toad and a shelf full of Nancy and Sluggo.
comics  Nancy  Zippy 
20 days ago
Throwing ice
Reading the New York Times story about Brett Kavanaugh’s behavior in 1985 in a New Haven bar, how I wish that my senator had asked Kavanaugh the question I suggested: “Have you ever assaulted anyone?” I don’t think there’s much question that throwing ice in someone’s face constitutes assault, however minor. A “No” would have been perjury, no?
culture  politics 
20 days ago
“I got into Yale”
Joe Pinsker, on the “I got into Yale” defense: “It should go without saying, but there are all sorts of bad actors who have attended prestigious universities.”
culture  politics 
20 days ago
Mystery actor
He’s making his big-screen debut. Do you recognize him?
film 
21 days ago
Booth (box) blight
The New York Times reports on a telephone booth (box) blight in London.
telephone 
21 days ago
Otis Rush (1935–2018)
“All the old musicianers and music philosophers are going: their time has come.”
blues  guitar  music 
21 days ago
Domestic comedy
Glenlivet and Glenmorangie.
domesticcomedy 
21 days ago
Today’s Saturday Stumper
“Mississippi constituents.” “Roller coaster restraint.” “Leader of the Trojans.” “Triple hedge.” “Boom alternative.”
crossword 
23 days ago
Kavanaugh loses the Jesuits
“For the good of the country and the future credibility of the Supreme Court in a world that is finally learning to take reports of harassment, assault and abuse seriously, it is time to find a nominee whose confirmation will not repudiate that lesson”: the Jesuit magazine America has rescinded its endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh.
culture  politics  truth 
23 days ago
“Do you think that Brett Kavanaugh is telling the truth?”
Two survivors of sexual assault, Maria Gallagher and Ana Maria Archila, confront Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).
culture  politics  truth 
23 days ago
Purees and spelling lessons
Comics are not just purees and spelling lessons. There’s also realism.
comics  dowdyworld  food  Zippy 
23 days ago
At the Department of Agriculture
From Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk: “Trump sent, among others, a long-haul truck driver, a telephone company clerk, a gas company meter reader, a country club cabana attendant, a Republican National Committee intern and the owner of a scented candle company. One of the CVs listed the new appointee’s only skill as ‘a pleasant demeanor.’”
politics 
23 days ago
July 1
A compelling analysis by Philip Bump The Washington Post: “Kavanaugh is pressed on the key July 1 entry in his calendar. But only to a point.” Why couldn’t a senator have put these pieces together?
culture  politics  truth 
23 days ago
Three points that should have been made
1. It’s not a victim’s responsibility to gather and present evidence of a crime.

2. Contra Brett Kavanaugh’s breezy claims about three witnesses refuting Christine Blasey Ford’s story: For one thing, they weren’t witnesses.

3. Contra Brett Kavanaugh’s breezy claims that these (non-) witnesses have refuted Christine Blasey Ford’s story: No. Not remembering ≠ refuting.
culture  politics  truth 
23 days ago
Too many beers
Kinda seems that Kavanaugh never quite left high school. Kinda seems that he’s an angry drunk, even when sober.
culture  politics 
23 days ago
Wishful thinking
I wish that every member of the United States Senate understood civic duty — and courage — as well as Christine Blasey Ford does.
culture  politics  truth 
23 days ago
Word of the day: úhtcearu
From the Anglo-Saxon: “care that comes in the early morning,” especially appropriate today.
words 
23 days ago
Notebook sighting: Stage Fright
The sergeant’s notebook appears to be what might be called a police notebook, top-bound, with an elastic band at the bottom.
AlfredHitchcock  film  notebook 
23 days ago
EXchange names on screen: VICtoria
From Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright.
film  telephone 
23 days ago
Close-reading Brett Kavanaugh
If Kavanaugh wants to claim (in a way that defies all plausibility) that the acts of which he’s accused were without sexual intent, the denial “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone” becomes a crafty way to dodge the question of whether he did what he’s accused of doing.
politics  reading 
23 days ago
Hahaha
“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” And nations, united, laughed.
politics 
23 days ago
“Not gonna do it”
Julie Schumacher: “At Minnesota we’re supposed to be using Moodle or Canvas or something with our students, and I announce on Day 1: ‘Not gonna do it. If you guys want to know what the assignment is, come to class. I’m going to write it on the chalkboard right here in front of you.’”
academia  learning  teaching  technology 
23 days ago
Masks
From the Peabody Museum: “In masked dances, twentieth-century descendants of native peoples keep alive the memory of the Spanish invasion and the resistance of their ancestors to conquest.”
art 
27 days ago
Facades
Thinking about Brett Kavanaugh and the accusations against him makes me think of my encounters with two plagiarizing students. What can I say? My experiences as a teacher color everything I see.
plagiarism  politics 
27 days ago
Things I learned on my summer vacation
How is it that Elaine is able to accomplish all she does? “No traffic!” And more.
learning  life  summer 
27 days ago
uBlock Origin for Safari
If you’ve updated to Safari 12 for the Mac and are wondering where uBlock Origin has gone.
Mac  Safari 
27 days ago
Nancy’s “Olivia Jaimes”
The Washington Post reports that Olivia Jaimes, or “Olivia Jaimes,” the pseudonymous artist who draws the new Nancy, will appear this week at a comics festival in Ohio.
comics  Nancy 
29 days ago
Dreaming of autumn and fall
Precognitive dreaming? Autumn, fall, Mutts, and synonymity.
comics  dreams  words 
29 days ago
Today’s Saturday Stumper
“Probationer’s problem, perhaps.” “18+ points, to librarians.” “Paper that requires reporting.” “’90s diet with menu cards.”
crossword 
29 days ago
As our president would write, WOW
From The New York Times: “The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.”
politics 
29 days ago
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