We Are Doomed; Nuggets from the Edge of the Abyss
■ "I met with my financial adviser and he says I'm all set financially for the rest of my life, as long as I die by the middle of next month."
■ Someone said the president has a "barking" diction. That's not the whole of his way of speaking, but it does capture an aspect of it.
■ The president sometimes drops his h's, but when he does, he doesn't also alter the "in" to "een" as so many people do, as in "streameen' video."
■ "The Michelin Man quilted jacket has been slimmed and reworked for a sophisticated outdoorsman look." "Sophisticated outdoorsman"? What next, nuanced rednecks?
■ "Of course you can wear a suit under [a puffer jacket]. It is almost mandatory. They're for the sportsman, but also for the style-conscious professional." --Remo Ruffini
■ A "Dark and Stormy" is a classic maritime cocktail of ginger beer and dark rum. Ginger-lime simple syrup brightens it up. Recipe on request or in Sat 20 Oct 2012 WSJ.
■ Joe Queenan once read Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flat" during a nine-hour guitar solo by Jerry Garcia on "Truckin'." Queenan owns more than 6000 books in hard copy.
■ After the English in the 1600s left the Irish with nothing of value but words, the Irish made words into books that, ingeniously coupled with music and alcohol, enabled the Irish to transcend reality. (Joe Queenan.)
■ The Great Depression did not slow technological progress, nor was progress speeded up by WWII, the Cold War arms race, or the Space Race.
■ "Macauley" by Sir Arthur Bryant (1932; 109 pages) is "the best short biography ever written." (Paul Johnson)
■ Will there ever be a time when CGI (computer-generated image) movies will be indistinguishable from live-action movies, so that we can have new Bogart movies and movies that match up Clara Bow and George Clooney?
■ "Error all compact" is a felicitous description of a short erroneous question or statement that takes many more words to discredit than to ask or say.
■ "Truth all compact," by contrast, refers to things like, "If a weed killer is truly nontoxic, it doesn't kill weeds." Absolutely bulletproof.
■ If they use DNA technology to make a new woolly mammoth from a mammoth fossil, won't the new mammoth be lonely?
■ "One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Quick questions: (a) Didn't Armstrong say something before that, like "Okay, I'm down"? (b) Would "humanity" for "mankind" have made the great remark better or worse?
■ Harold Ross, founder of The New Yorker, was an ignorant man. He asked things like, "Is Moby-Dick the man or the whale?"
■ Did David Halberstam choose the less euphonious title when he picked "The Best and the Brightest" over "The Brightest and the Best"?
■ What is Goofy? Pluto is a dog that ambulates on all fours and barks, and Pluto exists in the same fictional universe with Goofy, so what is Goofy?
■ The other Pluto has been demoted. The official term is "dwarf planet," but actual astronomers frequently call such objects "plutoids." Must these free spirits be brought to heel?
■ "My very excellent mother just served us nine pizzas" is out; now it's "my very excellent mother just served us nachos" and a plutoid.
■ An object from space big enough to end all life on Earth might be small enough to go undetected till it smacks into Earth's atmosphere, at which point we all just might have enough time to kiss ourselves goodbye before we fry.
■ If you think that's alarmist, check out the weather report.
■ Haunting blues lyric: "If you snooze, you lose; you gonna wake up in another world."
■ The late Andy ("Moon River") Williams was a close friend of Robert F. Kennedy.
■ U.S. armed forces have more bayonets today than in 1917, but fewer horses.
■ Herbert Stein's law: "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop." (Another example of "truth all compact.")
■ Fudd's First Law of Opposition: "If you push something hard enough, it will fall over." (Another "truth all compact.")
■ Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN-6) is opposed for reelection by Jim Graves, who gives out buttons that say, “I Dig Graves.” And why not? We're doomed.