🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Dessert, Not Desert 🍨
Happy Belated Birthday, McLovin 🎁
Men Kissing 🏳️🌈
I started out my career in the news business and quickly learned that people suck. I mean, back in the mid-1990s, the internet was just becoming a thing — we even capitalized it … Internet … and wrote “e-mail” instead of “email” and Web site instead of website, thanks to the Almighty AP Style Guide. People still largely got their news from the newspaper and evening news, and there were a limited number of pages and minutes in which to cram all the stuff going on out there.
It took me exactly one day as a professional copy editor to realize how much I controlled what people learned about. The AP News Wires were filled with interesting stuff that you never read because people like me couldn’t find a place for it in print. Hell, it wasn’t just the wires. The police scanner was similarly filled with hints at human tragedy that you never knew because we didn’t necessarily have the staff — even then before the ax fell across the necks of so many great journalists — to send someone to every single thing.
Nowadays, the media landscape is different, and we’re constantly deluged with a fire-hose of information right in our wide-open maws. No longer are copy editors making decisions on the limited amounts of stuff you see. Now, it’s algorithms that are directing your personal fire hose (and increasingly radicalizing you, I might add). I’m not quite sure what’s worse, but I lean toward the latter, as at least I had a conscience and a soul when I was making my decisions.
What often happens now is that the quirky little stories I found interesting and would make room for in the printed paper get ignored so The Algorithms can shoot you your latest dog video or Amber Heard story (he writes blushing and hiding his own YouTube home page).
Not on my watch, motherf’r! I might no longer have access to 55-gallon drums of ink, but I’ve got Internet — err, internet bandwith, so get ready! It’s a Tour de Headlines, Snark Edition.
Missourahns aren’t known for being, shall we say, svelte. Indeed, Wifey Poo and I attended a St. Louis Cardinals game recently and sat in the rightfield bleachers, which blessedly have backs but still are just numbers slapped on an aluminum bench to tell you where to place your ass.
The problem as I saw it that hot spring day was that Missourahns asses don’t exactly conform to the space allocated by the numbers.
That’s a lot of words to stay that we are a more fat state than, say, California.
Which makes it ironic that, according to GoogleTrends, the most misspelled word by my people is “dessert.” I’m imagining we’re saying we’re eating a lot of sand instead of delectable treats. But at least we’re not Michigan, whose residents most commonly misspell “lose” or Louisianans who misspell “gray,” which I forgive because of the whole Cajun thing and because “grey” is acceptable.
Want something funny? The most commonly misspelled word in West Virginia? West Virginia. Seriously.
Before we leave this topic, can we look at Utah and wonder how the hell its most commonly misspelled word is “boutonniere?” How many times and ways are you people actually using that word?
I have said frequently in discussions about Tesla CEO Elon Musk that I’m not quite sure yet what history will ultimately see him as. He’s either going to be one of the greatest visionaries of our time or a charlatan up there with P.T. Barnum.
Musk wrote in an email to execs on Thursday that he had a “super bad feeling” about the U.S. and (because of rampant globalism, I imagine) world economies, ordering an immediate hiring freeze worldwide. He also announced 10% of salaried employees would be going the way of the dodo bird, at least as far as Tesla was concerned.
I’m not saying whether I feel like he’s right or wrong. I’m just loving his choice of words. “Super bad feeling” is hardly insightful economic analysis.
Speaking of Superbad, happy 42nd birthday yesterday to McLovin. He can definitely buy beer now.
The company that makes Tasers wants to put them in your kids’ classrooms. More specifically, they want to put stun-gun-equipped drones in schools to combat mass shootings, calling political efforts ineffective.
As with Musk, I’m not here to comment on the rightness or wrongness of the idea, but I will say it’s funny that the announcement came mere hours before the company’s own ethics board said it had voted against the idea.
Internal communication is important.
Pour yourself that second cup of coffee this morning. It’ll save your freaking life.
OK, it probably won’t. But a study in the Annals (be careful when writing that word, kids) of Internal Medicine found that people who drink 1.5 to 3.5 cups of java a day had lower mortality rates than people who didn’t drink any coffee. (Who exactly are those people?)
As with any study, this is an important time to bring up the axiom “correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation.” Other characteristics of coffee drinkers could be the source of the not-dropping-dead thing. For example, coffee drinkers tend to exercise more than non-coffee drinkers. Plus, if we’re going to say that coffee is the key to a longer life, well, two things.
- Why exactly are we wanting to live in the middle of this shitshow any longer than we have to?
- The benefit of coffee falls off after 4.5 cups (he reads before removing the freshly place coffee IV from his vein).
While we’re talking about numbers and studies and such, a new Gallup poll shows that 71% of Americans (the other 29% being Amuricahns) support legal same-sex marriage. When Gallup first dared to ask the question in 1996, the number was 27%. Times are a’changin’, folks.
In Other Writing …
Welcome to Songs of Significance, chronicling the songs that have helped shape me and people across generations. Black, Pearl Jam, from the 1991 album Ten Line of Significance I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life/I know you’ll be a star/In somebody else’s sky/Buy why/Why/Why can’t it be mine Black has so much behind it.…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I want to see that same-sex study in, say, 2040. I imagine it’ll be considered offensive to even ask the question, kind of like we today wouldn’t poll Americans (well, at least not outside Trump’s South) with: “Do you think people with darker skin should be slaves?”
- I want to be there to celebrate McLovin’s 50th.
- I want to drink more coffee.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mindfulness 🧘Mullet Prez 👩🦳Murder Family 🔪 Our brains are amazing things. So adept are they at routines that they can essentially run on autopilot and let you do the everyday stuff like operating a multi-ton object advancing at 70+ mph among lots of other multi-top objects advancing at 70+ mph without…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bloody Hell 💂Circus Moments 🤡Silence 🤫 OK, people: I’ve got a bone to pick with you. But first, a little digression. What in the bloody hell does that phrase mean? “A bone to pick with you?” That sounds absolutely disgusting. And if you’re wondering why I said “bloody hell,” well, that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩24 Hour Video 😡Rubik’s Kid 🧊Dilbert Doofus 🤪 There are two things I cannot stand in the working world — and in life, in general. The first is people whose lack of preparedness turns ordinary stuff into emergencies. The second is when people criticize the result of something they previous approved.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mormon Billionaires 💰Bigger Packages 🍌Birds Really Aren’t Real 🐦 Can we just get on with blowing the tits off the world with nuclear weapons or something and end this stupid thing we call the human race? Yeah, I know that’s a little dramatic, but when I take a look at the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Muricah The Evil 🦅You Buy You 💰Big-Ass Van 🚚 I find it rather humorous that Muricah warned China not to send arms to one side of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine … and that we issued this warning with a straight face. I’m quite sure most Muricahns believe their country…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Salve 🩹Car Wash 🚗💧Light Removal 🎄 I try not to venture too often into a Wal-Mart, especially on the weekend. I cling to slim hope for this nation as it is, and I find Wal-Mart trips do not help my grip. Alas, this weekend, Boy The Younger was under the weather…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CC, BCC, FU 📧Basketball Poll 🏀Andy Rooney 🎙️ This week has largely been a Shit Week marred by Shit People. What are Shit People? They aren’t exactly easy to define, but one hallmark of a Shit Person is his rampant use of the CC function at work to passive-aggressively play power…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chill Day 🛋️Busy Weekend ⚾Halftime 🏈 I’m not working today. Not only am I not working at my day job, I’m not doing any work for my side gig today. I’m not planning on doing much of anything, actually. And I don’t feel guilty about that. This weekend was insanely busy.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Big Pharma Sucks 💊Work Rules 🧑💼Big Weekend 🏈 Spend any time in front of the television and you’ll see ads touting the latest drugs that you shouldn’t take if you’re allergic to and that you most definitely need to ask your doctor about. Now comes a study showing that the people…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Top 5 🎈Symphony 🎻Living Eulogies 💗 Top 5 things overheard in Missourah last week as a purported Chinese spy balloon made its way over the state en route to its rendezvous with an F22’s missile: Despite my high-brow upbringing in Suburbia, New York, I’m not what anyone would call A Symphony…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Space Walk 🧑🚀Bye-Bye Brady 🏈Failure Rate 🐿️ When Boy The Elder was just Boy and devoid of a younger brother, we had a nickname for him: Pokey Joe. BTE didn’t do anything fast, but more than anything, what he did incredibly slow was get out of a car. That would suck…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Raccoons 🦝February 💘Man Nips 🕺 Today I bring you the story of a raccoon who got his balls stuck to railroad tracks. But the reason you think I’m bringing you this story is not the reason I’m bringing you this story. You think I’m bringing the story of the raccoon Neil…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Tyre Nichols 😔Tattoo Day ✒️Nephew Hoops🏀 I was a white kid in suburbia, New York, in 1988 when the gangsta rap group N.W.A. came out with its album Straight Outta Compton, featuring the song Fuck Tha Police. It was scandalous, at the time, to suggest that the police would be anything…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Car Concert 🎵Sick Wife🤒People Suck 🖕 Within the 24 hours in the run-up to Snowpocalypse 2023, the estimates on the Weather Channel app for our snowfall total ranged from 1 to 10 inches. That’s like going to the doctor and being told you have anything from a splinter to terminal cancer.…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading