November 26, 2020

Saturday Brunch, October 12, 2019

Hello friends, and welcome to the weekend? Better have some brunch before your big plans for the day.

Regular commentator Ted said on Tuesday that I should include cats in my column this week. I always obey Ted; he has some rich blackmail material on me. So I will be throwing in some random cat videos of cats. Hope you enjoy. Let’s start now.


When Paul Gilmore was 13 his family emigrated from England to Australia. Paul got a little bored on the long boat ride, so wrote a letter asking someone to be his penpal, put it in a bottle, and threw it overboard. Last week the bottle was found by nine-year-old Jyah Elliott — FIFTY YEARS later. Jyah found the bottle on a beach in South Australia, and wrote back on Tuesday.

It was a cold-blooded crime. Reptile breeder Brian Gundy had just given a talk and animal presentation Saturday at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in downtown San Jose. While going to get his car parked on the second level of the Fourth and San Fernando Street garage about 4:30 p.m., he left his his snakes and lizards in boxes and a bag in a no-parking zone.

When he returned for his critters, he made a grim discovery.

“As I was loading up my gear, I realized the bag that had my four pythons and blue skink lizard inside was gone and they were just there seconds ago.”

I feel really bad for the snakes, but I would LOVE to see the thief’s reaction when he opened that bag—hopefully in really small car.



Well, this is interesting: A new experiment proves that giant molecules can exist in two places at once: “Giant molecules can be in two places at once . . . That’s something that scientists have long known is theoretically true based on a few facts: Every particle or group of particles in the universe is also a wave—even large particles, even bacteria, even human beings, even planets and stars. And waves occupy multiple places in space at once. So any chunk of matter can also occupy two places at once. Physicists call this phenomenon ‘quantum superposition,’ and for decades, they have demonstrated it using small particles. But in recent years, physicists have scaled up their experiments, demonstrating quantum superposition using larger and larger particles. Now, in a paper published Sept. 23 in the journal Nature Physics, an international team of researchers has caused molecule made up of up to 2,000 atoms to occupy two places at the same time.”

We’re gonna need more cream cheese: A semi-trailer hauling 38,000 pounds of bagels erupted into flames Sunday night in Northwest Indiana.

On the plus side, now they’re already toasted!

Why do zebras have stripes? Japanese researchers had a theory that they wanted to test out: that the stripes confused flies, who then bit the zebras less often than they would if they had no stripes. But how to test this? Well, why not paint some stripes on cows? 

Sure enough, the striped bovines had 50 percent less flea bites than their plain-jane sisters.

What is the oldest restaurant in the world? “A tiny trattoria in Rome that specialises in tripe and boasts Caravaggio, Goethe and Keith Richards among its past customers has laid claim to being the world’s oldest restaurant and hopes to knock a Spanish rival out of the record books.”



Apple removes app: The company took down, which let protesters in Hong Kong track the police, after intense criticism from China.

Alex Cameron is no fan of street art. In fact, he argues that street art is a crime and should be punished not celebrated:

“Street art is an individual act that speaks of a chronic lack of consideration for anyone else. Its creators think they know best. They decide what, when and where. The people who live there, and must live with it, don’t have a say. There is no ‘demand’ for street art from ordinary people, and there is no consensual or participatory impulse on the part of the artist. It is only one person’s view of what should be and what is good for ordinary people. It is the act of an entitled, middle-class narcissist.”



Dominic Green laments the decline of American arts: “Everything is derivative and nostalgic. Nothing of note happened in painting or dance — or criticism, because the task of the American critic is to write obituaries and rewrite press releases. In music, Taylor Swift, once the Great White Hope of a dying industry, emitted a scrupulously bland album by committee. The jazz album of the year was, as it was last year, a studio off cut from John Coltrane, who died in 1967. The show, or what remained of it, was stolen by Lizzo, an obese but self-affirming squawker who, befitting an age of irony and multi-tasking, is the first person to twerk and play the flute at the same time. Meanwhile at the Alamo of high culture, 87-year-old John Williams marked the Tanglewood Festival’s 80th anniversary by perpetrating selections from Star Wars and Saving Private Ryan for an audience of equally geriatric and tasteless boomers.”

Do you agree?


When did the universe stop making sense? That’s the question LiveScience asked this week:

We’re getting something wrong about the universe.

It might be something small: a measurement issue that makes certain stars looks closer or farther away than they are, something astrophysicists could fix with a few tweaks to how they measure distances across space. It might be something big: an error — or series of errors — in  cosmology, or our understanding of the universe’s origin and evolution. If that’s the case, our entire history of space and time may be messed up. But whatever the issue is, it’s making key observations of the universe disagree with each other: Measured one way, the universe appears to be expanding at a certain rate; measured another way, the universe appears to be expanding at a different rate. And, as a new paper shows, those discrepancies have gotten larger in recent years, even as the measurements have gotten more precise.

They also gave us this really cool illustration of the problem. To understand it go here: 

Related question: How likely is it that our brains — part of the physical universe — will ever fully be able to understand the physical universe?

Here is Alex Noel who won the New England Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off with a  2,294.5 pounds gourd:


Hmmm…this doesn’t seem right: a study claims that one American in four has NEVER eaten vegetables? How is that possible?

Best and worst candies? As soon as October hits, debates on hot-button political issues take a backseat to what might be the most important discussion of all time: Which Halloween candy is the best, and which is the worst? To find out, aggregated data from several best and worst lists from sources like Business Insider, Bon Appétit, and BuzzFeed, and combined its findings with surveys from more than 30,000 of its customers. The results are about as close to a definitive answer as we can maybe ever hope to get.

10 Best Halloween Candies

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Snickers
  3. Twix
  4. Kit Kat
  5. M&Ms
  6. Nerds
  7. Butterfinger
  8. Sour Patch Kids
  9. Skittles
  10. Hershey Bar

10 Worst Halloween Candies

  1. Candy Corn
  2. Circus Peanuts
  3. Peanut Butter Kisses
  4. Wax Coke Bottles
  5. Necco Wafers
  6. Tootsie Rolls
  7. Smarties
  8. Licorice
  9. Good & Plenty
  10. Bit-O-Honey

In case you don’t recognize the name of some of these, here is a visual

Worst Halloween Candy Top Ten

This part surprised me. How can anyone think candy corn is worse than those nasty, chalky necco wafers, or those peanut butter kisses with the consistency of wet cement? How would you vote?


Well, that’s it for this week. Chaplain Mike will be back at the con next week. See ya!


  1. Christiane says

    hard to think about the written portions because I’m laughing so hard AT THE CATS 🙂

    thanks Ted, thanks Daniel

  2. “When did the universe stop making sense? ”

    When we started trying to make sense of it. :-/

    • In the words of the late, great Douglas Adams:

      “There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.”

  3. Iain Lovejoy says

    How can you people not like Smarties??!! They’re basically just slightly smaller chocolate M&Ms anyway. (Or maybe they are different in the US?)

    • Smarties in the US are lower quality, less flavorful Sweet Tarts. (And both are essentially pills of sugar and flavorings ) Smarties are an abomination to Sweet Tart fans. 😉

      • Sweet Tarts are not abominable? Gross.

      • When I was studying in Germany, Smarties were “chocolate lentils” – shaped like M&Ms, but about 50% larger, with much better chocolate and a more delicate candy shell. I still use a couple of empty Smarties tubes for pencil cases.


        • Iain Lovejoy says

          Yup. That’s what they are everywhere in the world except the US: this is why I couldn’t understand how anyone could not like them.

    • Iain Lovejoy says

      As you were. I now find that “Smarties” in the US are a completely different thing than in the UK. They sound horrible.

  4. The parrot opening the box with the cat inside is the best! (And as far as I’ve scrolled at the moment…)

  5. Iain Lovejoy says

    In the 16th Century astronomy had very nearly figured out exactly how the solar system operated. Their theoretical model was complex, counter intuitive and involved a lot of assumptions about how the universe worked, but the system they had pretty nearly matched observations, with a few oddities and anomalies that they were trying to work out (the orbit of Mars was a particular problem that an obscure astronomer called Kepler was trying to figure out).
    They had the earth in the centre of the universe with the planets revolving in concentric circles around it (or rather around a point a little way off centre, otherwise it didn’t quite work). And each planet didn’t quite revolve in one circle: it revolved around a point in its main orbit, or yet another circle around another point in the larger circle, and so on. To keep the basic model involved circles and sub circles and circles in circles, with more circles added to fit more observations.
    Copernicus proposed shifting the sun to the centre but kept the concentric circles (which helped a bit, but not much) but it was Kepler who cracked it, abandoning entirely the physical model of the cosmos as planets fixed to concentric revolving circles which had prevailed for millennia and proposing what we now know ti be true – free floating planets in elliptical orbits around the sun.
    It sometimes feels to me we are in the same situation as those 16th Century astronomers before Copernicus and Kepler – about to realise all our “nearly right” models are hopelessly wrong, and the truth is utterly different from anything we so far conceive.

    • Yeah, the Bible is totally accurate and YEC is totally validated! Any day now… /s

      Sorry, couldn’t resist. Saw some ark bs on my timeline today and just couldn’t believe they are inventing more lies to justify their beliefs…

  6. I find it more plausible that 1 in 4 Americans don’t know what vegetables are than 1 in 4 Americans haven’t ever eaten a vegetable.

    • Particularly since the same study claims that 91% report liking corn and potatoes. Also, I refuse to take seriously any study that claims that tomatoes are vegetable. This is one of those obviously untrue things that people for some reason agree to pretend is true. See also: the franchise history of the Cleveland Browns. The Browns moving to Baltimore has been erased, and we are to pretend that the Browns just took a few years off.

  7. Candy corn, smarties, and bit o honey are all good

    • thatotherjean says

      Bit o’ Honey is undoubtedly the favorite of many dentists. I wonder how many fillings have to be replaced in the week after Halloween?

  8. When I was 5( 1951) we were having dinner at my aunt Catherine’s in Forkston, PA. At the table was a hermit who lived only about a mile behind their place. We were having deer roast, that’s what I remember about the meal. When passed a tomato he said, “No, I don’t eat them desserts”.

  9. Licorice is on the Worst Halloween Candies list? I wouldn’t waste good licorice on trick-or-treaters.

    • I feel the same way about licorice that you do about Sweet Tarts. #gross

      • Have you ever had real licorice? Not the artificially flavored stuff, that’s disgusting, but the real McCoy made with real licorice root?

        • Even worse. 😛 Licorice is like coffee – I don’t mind the smell, but I can’t STAND the taste.

          • Eeyore & Jean,

            If you don’t like licorice, perhaps your body is sensitive and is keeping you from having problems. Eating a lot of black licorice can actually cause irregular heartbeats because of the effect of licorice root on potassium levels.


            p.s. I happen to love it – haven’t detected any heart arrhythmias.

    • thatotherjean says

      There is such a tings as good licorice? I’ve tried it in a variety of incarnations, both natural and artificial, but I could never describe any of them as “good.”

    • I used to enjoy strawberry-flavored licorice twists as a kid. Today those twists, and almost all Halloween candy, are off my diet.

  10. a bright flower
    of autumn moonlight
    on the dark dumpster

  11. Klasie Kraalogies says

    In all my visits to the US (typically not major tourist places) I was slightly surprised at the lack of vegetables on the menu. The poorer the area, the worst it got (worst place – Pope and Hardin counties, Illinois). Even in restaurants. That said, one of the best (chain) restaurants for vegetables was in the US too – BJ’s Restaurant and Roadhouse, Victorville, CA.

    Note that I there are many areas I have never been – not the south, not the east coast, not the Pacific northwest….

    • With the slow growth (pun intended) and acceptance of vegans/vegetarians, that is changing, especially on the coasts and big cities. And you can always find good, fresh veggies at farmers markets.

      • But you won’t find a farmers market, nor even a grocery store/supermarket stocked with fresh produce, anywhere near a poor urban neighborhood. You will, however, find plenty of fast food restaurants.

        • thatotherjean says

          You will, sometimes, find corner stores, or convenience stores–but neither has much in the way of fresh produce. Occasionally there are apples and bananas–sold individually, and not cheap.

          • Real licorice, like good unsweetened black coffee, is a gift from the gods.

            • Oops, meant to be a response to your above comment about licorice!

              I should learn to proofread. Wait — I do proofread! I guess the proof is in the pudding.

            • for the unsweetened black coffee, try ‘blue mountain’ if you can get it, and grind it fresh, it’s very expensive but the FLAVOR

            • try licorice from the Netherlands

              they know how to make it

              • You mean salty licorice? That’s also a thing in the Scandinavian countries.

                I’ve been told that regular licorice is also *much* better in most of northern Europe, but as i have problems with the taste of licorice, I’ve never tried it.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          You will, however, find plenty of fast food restaurants.

          Same with college campuses out here.

          On-campus foodservice has been completely replaced by on-campus food courts of fast-food franchises like an upscale shopping mall.

    • In the USA the worse the food is for you the cheaper it is. You really have to be well-heeled to eat a healthy diet over here.

    • My wife and I were on holiday in San Francisco from the UK when there was that Icelandic volcano. As a result we had to stay an extra 11 days. We had a credit card snafu that meant we had to be very frugal for 5 of those days, and by the time we had access to credit again we were seriously vegetables.

  12. Cosmology: There is a long history of such contradictions. A hundred years ago there was a problem with the age of the earth. Geology clearly showed that it ran to the billions of years. But astrophysics had no mechanism for the sun to be that old. The answer lay with nuclear physics. Once they figured out fusion, it all made sense.

    For another example, the idea of continental drift goes back to when maps first got good enough for people to notice that the east coast of the Americas and the west coast of Europe and Africa matched up like a jigsaw puzzle. Various other arguments were added over the years; stuff like peculiar geological formations, and even species of trees, that matched up between those jigsaw puzzle pieces. But this made no sense from a geophysics perspective. They didn’t really understand how the earth’s crust worked, and took it to be a more or less solid layer, with the continents being the higher up bits and the oceans the lower down bits. Then after World War II submarine technology leaped forward, while at the same time there was a military incentive to map the ocean floor. At that point the rift lines became obvious, and the pin dropped that the crust is actually a collection of solid plates drifting around and bumping together.

    The moral is that when science is producing contradictory results to some interesting problem, this isn’t a failure of the scientific method. It is a sign of impending breakthrough–a “paradigm shift,” for the Thomas Kuhn fans out there. This is a Good Thing, and how science works.

  13. Bagels: call me a bagel snob, but I am going to hazard that bagels packed into a semi in Indiana were Not Good Bagels to begin with. I am not a New Yorker, and I generally roll my eyes at the “NYC as the center of the universe” crowd. But they are right about their bagels. See also: New Jersey tomatoes.

    • Making real bagels (which should be both boiled and baked) is a dying art even in New York City. And as for real bialys (should not be made with bagel dough, nor in a bagel bakery — it’s a completely different art!) — nearly extinct.

  14. I looked it up to get it right since the quote is often mangled –

    “The Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”

    ? J.B.S. Haldane

    The trouble is of course we’re exploring it from the inside. Nothing to do but keep on searching and hope we can make sense of what we find. What must not happen is that we become so demoralized by the universe’s strangeness that we shrink back from it. And someday when we do finally reach the limit of what can be known we arrive as a humble mature species reconciled to its limitations and not as a petulant child who pitches a fit because he sees candy he can’t have.


    The way American corporations pucker up for the Chinese is sad and disgusting. Remember when economic relations with the Chinese was going to change THEM?


    My favorite candy is a Cadbury Caramello. .

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The way American corporations pucker up for the Chinese is sad and disgusting.

      You mean gwai lo making kowtow before the Dragon Throne, as is their proper place in the way things are?

  15. American arts: What a silly essay! Yes, there is a lot of schlock out there. When has this not been true? If this clown wants to look at the schlock and pretend that this is all that is out there, that is his right. But no sensible person should take him seriously. Yes, John Williams playing film music at Tanglewood is silly. I would roll my eyes, and skip that performance for something more substantial. But the point is that there is plenty of substantial stuff to listen to at Tanglewood, and in general. This also is a exciting time for new classical music. Since we are talking about specifically American arts, I will throw out the names Jennifer Higdon and Caroline Shaw as composers to check out.

    I see at the bottom of the piece that it is part of The Spectator’s inaugural US edition. Gotta say: They’re not selling it. I my knowledge of the British press is incomplete, but looking it up, I see that The Spectator is a Tory party rag. This surprises me not a bit.

    • Lancaster PA, where I live, has a good orchestra, the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, that has sponsored new American composers from around the country. I’ve heard a few of their compositions premiered at the Fulton Theatre; good, creative music. The city of Lancaster has become a magnet for young artists of all kinds in the last decade, with an artistically thriving downtown full of music, visual arts, performance art, you name it — and good restaurants too. Schlock there is, derivative and unimaginative; but, as you say, the bad has always existed alongside the good.

      • You don’t say! Lancaster is close enough to me (Westminster MD) that I have made the trip to catch a ball game. I will have to look up the symphony.

      • I just looked up this season’s schedule. I am impressed. My objection to major symphony orchestras is that their programming is dull. Not that the repertoire is bad, but that it is the same stuff over and over. There is some of that here, but also some stuff out of the ordinary. I may come up for the Piazolla concert in January.

        • The Fulton Theatre all by itself is a cultural and architectural marvel worth making the trip to see, with a long and interesting history.

          • I double-checked the schedule: the Piazolla is not being performed at the Fulton Theatre, but at Millersville University. In the last couple years, for scheduling reasons, the Fulton has not been the sole location of LSO performances; that may change with the extensive renovation and expansion of the Fulton Theatre facilities that is currently underway.

    • Not only is that “essay” (rant) about the arts WAY off, the nasty comment about Lizzo’s weight is completely uncalled for.

      As for the supposed dire state of the performing arts, this guy needs to get out more. Sheesh.

    • Christiane says

      many small American cities have string quartets and some are quite good and will sell both season subscriptions and also individual concert tickets

      museums will frequently be the venue for these performances

  16. No blackmail this week. The cat videos are enough to keep me quiet about your dealings in Ukraine.

    Is that a leopard kitten in the box?

    Did Mike Bell draw that chart of the universe?

  17. Off topic, but it occurs to me that some of you might be interested. I have been doing a daily “150 years ago today in baseball” series on my Facebook feed. The inspiration was the 1869 Red Stockings, but while they are featured prominently, I discuss the broader baseball world, too. Anyone interested, look me up on Facebook. My feed is publicly visible, and I accept friend requests.

  18. senecagriggs says

    2009: How is my gay marriage going to hurt you? We just want marriage equality.

    2019: We want the tax exempt status of the churches, charities, and colleges revoked for your failure to change your views on gay marriage.

    [Moving the Overton Window ]

    • senecagriggs says

      Liberal website on the Democratic LGBPT meeting with the candidates 2 nights ago.

    • Why should churches have tax exempt status in the first place?

      • senecagriggs says

        Why should ANY organization have tax exempt status Eeyore?

        SPCA? Nix it

        NAACP Nix it

        Child LIteracy Programs? Nix it

        Mental Health Programs? Nix it

        There’s a million of them Eeyore. You want to nix them all or just churches?

        Apparently people have believed these organizations/churches are a positive in the culture and should be encouraged. Therefore, tax exemption.

        And of course there’s the First Amendment

        • Government has legitimate interest in promoting the common good, and defining it for official purposes, hence the justification for tax exemption for all those other institutions and organization; but government has no competence to decide what is a legitimate religious institution and what is not, in order to grant tax exemption to some but not others. And an argument could be made that the First Amendment’s requirement that government not be involved in regulating religion is violated by its ability to grant tax exemption to some religions but not others, since tax exempted religions are thereby privileged and legitimated by the government.

        • So, “If I can’t have it, nobody can?”

      • Granting tax exemption to some religious institutions and not others puts government in the position of deciding what is a legitimate religion and what is not, something for which government is not qualified; and then it privileges those religious institutions that meet government religious standards. Government should not be in the religion business at all.

        • senecagriggs says

          Robert F. you just need to amend the constitution. It’s quite legal to do so. If you get the votes; you win.

          • Well, if you don’t mind government making the call on what a legitimate religion is for tax-exemption purposes, then you’ll have to take the good with the bad regarding possible revocation of that exemption on the basis of changing social mores. That wouldn’t mean you wouldn’t be allowed to exist as a religion, only that you wouldn’t have your traditional tax-exempt privilege as a government legitimated religious entity. “Those who live by the sword, shall die by the sword.”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Granting tax exemption to some religious institutions and not others puts government in the position of deciding what is a legitimate religion and what is not…

          It’s actually simple.
          A legitimate religion bends the knee and burns the pinch of incense before the statue of Caesar. (Or whichever faction is in power.) Extra points if the religion’s nose is a good deep brown.

    • You had to go political, didn’t you?

      While I don’t agree with Beto’s statement that tax-exemption should be revoked for failure to change views on same-sex marriage (I’m not even sure there should be a religious tax-exemption at all), Elizabeth Warren had the best response to those who profess belief in traditional marriage:

      “Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that. And I’m going to say, ‘Then just marry one woman. I’m cool with that.

      …Assuming you can find one.”

      • senecagriggs says

        Pandering to her base – but its politics and they all do that.

        • Or just saying it how it is.

          I think Christian marriage should be a special subcategory of marriage, for Christians, not something everyone has to subscribe to, just as the polygamy of the OT doesn’t seem to have been something everyone had to subscribe to. We have superseded that model of marriage so…

        • no, she was confronting the hypocrisy of those who practice serial marriage-divorce-marriage-divorce- ad infinitum

      • thatotherjean says

        And Elizabeth Warren is spot on.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Teh Christian Fag Card is now officially in play.

      And the Dem that pandered to his base just pushed another million voters into Trump’s Base.

      The Dems are the best recruiter for Trump we’ve ever seen; if they want to be a real party again, they’ve got to pull back their Lunatic Fringe.

  19. Caramel is a waste of space. I can’t stand all those caramel-filled candies like Twix/snickers/etc. I prefer m+ms and regular chocolate (as well as those like Crunch/Kit Kat’s which merely have an added textural component) over those all day. Although more recently I’ve come to prefer good dark chocolate (which growing up I was not as big a fan).

  20. Candy corn is awesome. I get that not everybody likes it but worse than NECCO wafers, black licorice and Mary Jane’s? Absolutely not. Btw, the New England Confectionery COmpany went out of business last year (maybe two years ago) so don’t expect to see any NECCO wafers this Halloween or possibly ever again.

    The zebra striped cows; you switched from flies to fleas but I think it was flies they got fewer bites in the headlines I saw.

    Mike posts everyday. It’s been a treat having you for Brunch, you should see about extending your Saturday residency.

  21. Randy Thompson says

    The “cat in the mirror” video reminded me of the wonderful mirror scene in the Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup.”

    • Reminded me of my tied-for-favorite “I Love Lucy” episode, when they were in Hollywood and Harpo Marx came to visit. Classic, and still funny!

      (My other favorite is when they are in Paris, Lucy gets arrested for unknowingly passing fake currency, and things get straightened out through a line of translators: a French policeman speaks French and German, a man jailed for public drunkenness speaks German and Spanish, and Ricky speaks Spanish and English – the whole sequence complete with expressive voice inflections and bodily gestures.)


  22. senecagriggs says


    • Why are you always spoiling for a partisan political fight? Even on a Saturday wherein politics is not even touched on in the Saturday Brunch menu? Is that your real religion? You have no grounds for complaint about anti-conservative bias on this blog after you’ve baited liberals into a partisan dust-up with you.

    • Since we are going political: How long do you think it will be before Trump claims he hasn’t had much to do with Giuliani, hasn’t spoken to him in such a long time, years maybe, no idea what he’s up to, but he’s a good man. Keep in mind, he’s already saying he’s not sure Giuliani is still his lawyer. In the dictionary next to the entry for the world disloyal, they should have an illustration of Trump.

      • senecagriggs says


        • It’s a shame. On 9/11 at least, Giuliani cut a brave figure as courageous, in-command mayor of NYC and calming influence as the world seemed to be falling down around us. He has sadly put his fate in the hands of a shameless rascal without an ounce of courage or decency in his body.

      • As he left the White House for a campaign rally in Louisiana, the president was asked if Giuliani was still his personal attorney.

        “I don’t know,” Trump said. “I haven’t spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday briefly. He’s a very good attorney, and he has been my attorney.”

        “I haven’t spoken to Rudy. I spoke to him yesterday…” WHICH IS IT?? Typical for the BullS_____OTUS.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      There you go. Old dude bullying a passionate teenager. You are some kind of creepy…

      • senecagriggs says

        I’m some kinda something – that’s for sure

        • senecagriggs says

          Greta has been used, of course, by not so well-meaning adults. They are the creepy ones.

          • Have you actually heard her talk, or read her statements? She does not strike me as somsome who is easily used…

          • You’re going to need a decent source for that Jimmy. She’s old enough to get married, have kids, join the Army, drive a car, & so on in my country. She’s no fool.

            I’m not seeing any worrying signs of her being used, & I speak as a professional Safeguarder. People are jumping on her bandwagon now, of course, but she has a simple message – ‘listen to the scientists’ – & wants to be back at school.

            It has been a sobering sight to see so many old white men go after her, often pretending they are concerned for her, but giving themselves away very fast that they don’t like hearing an authoritative (rather than submissive) voice from a young white woman, of all things. There are other young climate activists, but they’re not mentioned much yet, as being First Nations or POC they don’t qualify as having a voice at all to such men.

            • She’s articulate, and she’s fierce. She has some of same “warrior qualities” that senecagriggs would admire in a man, even a young man, but finds threatening and unacceptable in a woman of any age, but especially a young woman.

              Go Greta!

          • J8mmy/seneca, i for one am sick of your trolling.

            Please refrain.

            • Christiane says

              don’t silence people . . . . all voices here are needed!!!!!

              • Klasie Kraalogies says

                He didn’t ask him to go away. He asked him not to troll.

                • Klasie – thanks, and no, i didn’t mean “leave.” I meant “quit trolling.”

                  Fwiw, I’m a woman. 🙂

                • Klasie – thanks, and you are correct, although I’m actually “she.” 🙂

                  • Klasie Kraalogies says

                    My apologies!

                    • Klasie – Hey, no worries! 🙂

                      My username is deliberately ambiguous, b/c I’ve been using discussion forums and the old Yahoo groups and the like for a very long time. Unfortunately, that means I’ve had to adapt to appearing (possibly) “male” by default. It’s a lot safer that way, given some bad things i encountered in various places…

                      Also, my username is an homage to a pet hedgehog who was, briefly, an internet celeb.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  Klasie, I don’t think this guy can NOT troll.

              • You did not see his endless trolling and cruel posts about victims of child sexual abuse on The Wartburg Watch. Both beakerj and i did.

                He was banned from commenting at TWW after being given loads of time to change. He never did.

                His posts here are partly an attempt to censor the comments on this blog.

                So no, I’ve had it with him. There’s absolutely nothing but bairing and trolling in his repertoire, and a lot of decent people who read and comment at other blogs have been his targets.

                If anything, I’d be happy to see comments by him IF he had any intention of actually engaging in decent discussions with others.

                But it’s not even on his agenda.

                Sorry, not sorry – he has trolled pretty annoyingly here today – so much so that people are writing about him (me too), which encourages him to keep on.

                So I’d better stop.

                • Christiane says

                  when my troll-o-meter goes crazy, I take a break from the computer for a while, especially over on Patheos-evangelical blogs where the trolls way outnumber the un-trolls

                  sometimes I LIKE the trolls when they are so hyperbolic that they are funny, but they can get a bit nasty when they know they have a mark they can annoy and the mark gets really riled up and a good fight gets going . . . sometimes you can’t tell who is who

                  thing is, I always thought Christians were not supposed to be easy to annoy, but on the evangelical blogs . . . oh boy !

                  • Truth. Tbh, prejudice, small-mindedness, and sheer nastiness seem to be the order of the day in many white evangelical circles.

                    I’ve experienced this IRL (includes being kicked out of a church and people being told not to speak to me or respond to any communication from me, in any way).

                    To be fair, i knew many lovely people who were kind and compassionate – but the guys running the show were a different matter altogether.

                    I now see that the world i lived in for 30 years was actually full of authoritarian cults claiming to be real churches. This was b/c of the discipleship/shepherding movement, which was and is horrendous. Although other people, in other parts of the country, were hugely successful at creating their own authoritarian cults – cf. Calvary Chapel and similar.

                    It took many years for me to start feeling free from the stiflingly narrow and prejudiced way of looking at life that had basically been indictrinated. It’s a wonder my head didn’t explode, especially when the head honcho of the church that booted me engaged in gaslighting. It was unreal.

  23. senecagriggs says

    Washington Post – and Lizzie

    After landing her punchline, Warren turned, took a few steps and smiled broadly as the room exploded in laughter. Her response went viral online, and by Friday afternoon, Warren’s campaign team, which rarely brags about such things, was crowing that the clip had garnered more than 12 million views on Twitter.

    The glitterati gushed. “The single greatest response to this question, in or outside politics,” wrote actress Minnie Driver. “Made my day,” added actress Alyssa Milano. Javier Muñoz, who recently played the title role in the smash musical “Hamilton,” posted seven emoji of clapping hands.

    But Republicans and some Democrats warned that the quip at the CNN-sponsored forum would play poorly among a big swath of voters.

    “It’s about telling people who don’t agree with you that they are backward by definition,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist who advised Bill Clinton’s presidential reelection campaign. The line was a “stab” to those who don’t agree with her, he said, and “it is a battle cry for men to turn out against Elizabeth Warren.”

    Yes. If you don’t want to be made to care, you’ll want to vote against Elizabeth Warren.

  24. I’d like to eat in that oldest restaurant in the world, I might even try tripe for the first time in my life, since that is a specialty of theirs and I’m sure they have a wonderful recipe for it — as long as they don’t serve the oldest food in the world.

    • Tripe is not on my personal menu, but I’d try just about anything else there.

      This summer I got to eat in the oldest Mexican restaurant in the country (founded in the 1920s), in a mostly residential area of Tucscon. A bit different than the Sonoran/Baja style of popular in California, but extremely tasty. Outdoor seating was in the lovely patio between the main house, now the kitchen and indoor seating, and the former shed, now the bar. Daughter ordered a chili Margarita – it’s a Thing nowadays, I surmised.


  25. Rampaging Chipmunk says

    Hey guys. Pop art sucks so clearly the arts as a whole are suffering. My eyes. They are rolling.

  26. Genial, me encantaron los gatos.
    Aplausos por Ted, excelente.
    Gracias, alegra mi día.

  27. Sad about the loss of Necco wafers – still a favorite of mine as an adult. And it’s interesting to me that so many of the top ten are Mars products. I saw a show on PBS about the chocolate industry in this country; Mars got started by buying chocolate processed by Hershey, who didn’t believe Mars posed any competitive threat. Hershey’s was intentionally left bitter, which explains why I never really liked it except in S’mores.

    My year in Germany cured me of American chocolate – rarely eat the stuff, especially since good European chocolate can be found in lots of places in the US. It’s even available in the food outlet store in my town.


  28. On another note, I have lately discovered the videos of Canadian Jonathan Pageau. He talks a lot about symbolism in art and modern culture. He started on the contemporary art track, hoping for some kind of career in it, but was overwhelmed by the ugliness of it and chucked it all. He lived in Kenya for a few years (not sure of the circumstances) and while there was introduced to carving soapstone. He was an Evangelical Protestant; somewhere along the way he and is family came into the Orthodox Church, and he is now the premiere maker of carved icons, in various media, in North America. My parish has one of his works.

    Most germane is “Sacred Art in Secular Terms”. Also good is “Feminine Symbolism in Christian Art”, which is actually all about what the depictions of Mary mean. He has a YouTube channel.

    He’s friends with Jordan Peterson, but don’t hold that against him – he’s interested in how Peterson analyzes the symbolic in culture.


    • I’m not sure why he checked out on *all* contemporary art. It doesn’t make sense to me – some of it, yes, but there’s a lot of really good stuff out there.

      However, i get why someone might be drawn to the art of a completely different era. Tsdte and inclination are highly personal and that’s ok.

    • Christiane says

      La Sagrada Familia in Spain!

      other-worldly art

      • Well, it is very different from anything else, except maybe the Watts Towers.

        I had painting and sculpture (etc.) in mind when i commented earlier, but architecture is certainly a visual as well as a plastic medium, and a very fascinating one.

    • Dana, are you familiar with Jaroslav Pelikan’s book on depictions of Mary/ideas about Mary? I’m blanking on the title for whatever reason, but it’s excellent and i think you would like it a great deal. (Written after he became Orthodox.)

      • Mary Through the Centuries – Her Place in the History of Culture.

        Pelikan also wrote a very similar book with virtually the same title; just substitute “Jesus” in place of Mary’s name and you’ve got it. (Also “his,” natch.)

        Pelikan was a true Renaissance man, from the era when the humanities were taught and studied in a much more holistic way than is now (generally speaking) the case. So even though he wasn’t an art historian per se, he was much more knowledgeable and educated in that field than many with Ph.D.s in it. He also wrote a nifty short book on Bach and his music, Bach Among the Theologians.

        • Yes, Pelikan’s books are on my “to read” list. So many good books, so little time…

          I hope you’ll take a look at Jonathan’s gallery photos. The work he did for our parish is at the very bottom, the triangular carving of the Protection of the Virgin and its placement in the portico of the old church on our property.


          • Thanks for the link, Dana! Will check it out after finishing this comment. 🙂

            • He is *really* good!

              The one thing missing – since photos are 2-D – is the sense of depth in his pieces. I suspect that many of them appear to be flatter than they actually are, and would love to see his work in person.

              He’s done a very good job per the lighting in many of his photos, so that viewers can get some sense of both detail and depth.

              Also, if you were meaning that trying to get representation by a dealer, etc. was part of what he encountered in trying to be out here in the “secular” world, then i get why he left it behind. All of those aspects – businees and related – can be very ugly, no question.

  29. Klasie Kraalogies says

    Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. Busy making the first of 2 ice creams: Burnt fig and honey ice cream. The second is a homemade marshmallow and choc chip ice cream (my son makes the best marshmallows you will ever taste).

    Main course will be slow roasted wild boar. Except for the middle one who is pescetarian and who will enjoy a trout fillet. Both to be seasoned with North African spices…

  30. I hope my employer doesn’t find out it’s possible to be in more than one place at a time; if they knew that, they would expect me to do it.

    Wait…..they already do expect me to do it!

  31. senecagriggs says
  32. senecagriggs is a courageous man to participate on this site. Not a lot of Christian love here for non group-think folks.

    • Nonsense. There were a multitude of stories in the post today, none of them political, at worst leading to disagreements about subjective esthetic matters. senecagriggs came looking for fight, chose off-subject issues to bait with, and would’ve been disappointed if he didn’t get negative reactions. He loves it. Nothing courageous about it, though maybe something a little masochistic.

    • He’s not exactly participating though – he’s trying to cause arguments so that he can declare himself the only real Christian here. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, & gives evangelicalism an even worse name.

      If he’d actually participate genuinely, & interact with others, rather than endless baiting & tests of orthodoxy, people here would welcome that. I’m not sure many here feel any Christian love from him.

      • Christiane says

        I have a problem when anyone is silenced, especially these days, which may or may not be the last days of our freedoms in this country. Disagree we may, while we still can. But we need all voices on deck.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          He is not being silenced. His trolling is (rightly) being criticized.

          • Klasie – yes.

            Christiane, we have all put up with too much trolling today. Ask Dee at TWW about his behavior there. He is one of a handful of individuals to have gotten banned there, most particularly for his cruel and hurtful comments about people (kids and adults) who have endured sexual sbuse.

            His comments today have intentionally disrupted quite a few discussions here – he is trolling.

            • If someone chooses to participate in *discussion* here, that’s an entirely different matter.

              As you might have noticed, some people choose not to do that.

              If even one of those folks actually dropped the trolling and just pulled up a chair – well, that’s a completely different thing.

              But it hasn’t happened today, has it?

            • senecagriggs says

              Numo, I’m still allowed to post. I just don’t

              • Jimmy you know that if you post there what you always posted there, you would be banned again. You run an entire website criticising everything the Wartburg Watch does. You simply can’t stretch to caring about victims of sexual abuse & iy has been years now you’ve had that chance.

                There has to be more to you than this constant trolling & attempts to provoke arguments which you can ‘win’ by quoting Scripture.

                Please please contribute more than this, I just don’t understand why you keep on with it, it’s so wearisome.

                • I hadn’t checked on your website for a while – but I see you’re still going strong , 32 posts slamming TWW this year alone:

                  I’m going to give up my quest for you to actually contribute to a discussion, you’re a one trick, or maybe one troll, pony. I wish it wasn’t so.

                  Best wishes Jimmy, I’ll be scrolling past your ‘comments’ in future.

    • Rampaging Chipmunk says

      Burro doesn’t follow the standard opinions here, but he makes engaging and thought-provoking posts from a unique perspective. Seneca… does not.

      • Burro (Mule) says

        Thank you. That was a very kind remark, and it was deeply appreciated.

        This is a center left, pro-Enlightenment board. If you want to comment here, you just have to take that as the lay of the land.

        • “Pro-Enlightenment”?

          You mean the movement(s) that gave us public education, abolitionism and a democratic republic?!

          Like “post-modernism,” “the Enlightenment” is constantly bashed in many white, Xtian circles without the bahers actually knowing much of anything about it. Same for “humanism.”

          It’s almost enough to make a person turn agnostic.

          • Forgot to add: cessation of the slave trade. That is an 18th c. thing, even though the actual laws banning it weren’t passed until the early 19th c.

            It’s hard for me to understand how and why history gets reduced to simplistic catchphrases, but clearly, not everyone would agree on that. The thing is that cultural currents – and the human beings who are their initiators – are always adapting, synthesizing and creating new things. There are many good events, ideas, writings etc. from all eras in recorded history. The story of human beings is always multifaceted and multidimensional. Same with many overriding ideas in the arts and humanities.

            • Ack!

              Cultural currents, etc. are created by humans, of course, but we can’t actually control how they play out over time. While some things have led/are leading to horrors, others combine in ways that are completely unexpected and very good. Some of the most beautiful things that humans have created have come from unexpected and unlooked-for syntheses. (Jazz is a big one, per American culture, plus all the varieties of music in the W. Hemisphere that has been the result of African, Native American and European cultures and people living in the sane place…)

              Ok, I’m getting too verbose, so time to hang it up for tonight.

              • Burro (Mule) says

                numo, I didn’t want to wade into this. Let’s not say you’re full of yourself. Let us say you’re full of that which did either did not pass muster to become part of yourself, or of that which was formerly part of yourself and no longer needed.


                • You’re not worth any response at all, not when you act as you do – and just did.

                  It would, however, be instructive to see how you might reply to the things that i raised in my 1st reply, starting with the formation of the United States and how that state came from the era and way of thinking that you decry without any explanation at all.

                • And honestly, you can do better than veiled scatalogical insults.

                  If or when you do, it might be that you’d have something to contribute here.

        • Post-Enlightenment for the most part.

    • Courage is standing up for your convictions and making a cogent argument for them. Trolling doesn’t meet either criteria.

  33. Just read the linked article, and, my goodness, Dominic Green sure does have a bad case of the spleen.

  34. senecagriggs says

    It’s Saturday brunch right?

  35. senecagriggs says

    What seemed to irritate the commenters at T.W.W. was my insistence that they should hold off the social hanging until the trial is over. So many of them seemed intent on having the hanging first.

    Is that not true of social media in today’s culture? I think it is; particularly progressive culture.

    • Why just the other day that notorious progressive Donald Trump announced on the social media platform Twitter that both Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi are guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, “and even Treason.”

    • That’s not true – what irritated them was that you never ever ever showed any mercy for the victims.

      My particular ‘favourite’ was when you argued voraciously for the legal right of a paedophile to return to his house after a jail sentence because he owned the property, completely ignoring that his young victims were his close neighbours who would be traumatised daily by seeing him.

      For some reason you just couldn’t see that their rights to feel safe, & to move on from their trauma should trump his moving back into the neighbourhood, particularly as he claimed to be a repentant Christian. The right thing was for him to show love to his victims by selling his house & moving away, so they could heal. But you could not accept this, because ‘legal’…that’s what irritated people.

      But by all means, claim it was something else.

      • Beakerj is correct, seneca/Jimmy. A whole lot of people read what you wrote there. Lack of mercy – or any consideration for victims at all – is what got you banned there.

        Still, really not worth the time it’s taking to write this.

  36. Thank you, Daniel J., for taking the helm of Saturday Brunch during CM’s absence.

  37. senecagriggs says