a world where college students are locked in their dorms every night
to protect their innocence ... in a world where coeds are allowed
visitors of the opposite sex for only two hours a week, and then only
if the door remains ajar and three feet remain on the floor ... in a
world without computers and without cell phones, where music lovers
resort to Morse code to flash their requests ... a group of young
scientists with names like Edison and Fermi take over an abandoned
garage behind an old gabled house. There they conduct
experiments that will change their world, experiments that will help
bring men and women together. These experiments are
... a new article by T. Buckingham Thomas, now playing on this website.
the latest "It's in the Bible" interview, Brother Billy
asks three distinguished experts about the Breath
The topic of discussion: When does life begin?
IS "MARION TODAY" CALLING
there! Do you know how much we have in our jackpot today?
No? Oh, that's too bad. If you had been watching you
would have known that we have $29 On Deposit at National City Bank of
Marion. Well, we'll add another dollar to the jackpot, and
better luck next time."
we placed these mid-morning calls to cable TV subscribers in the
winter of 1972, 40% of those who had their televisions on were able
to answer correctly.
this month's 100 Moons article, I remember moments like these from
local cable shows of 40 years ago.
augmented the article Dad
with more than two dozen additional items from 19th-century editions
of my hometown weekly newspaper in Richwood, Ohio. Among them,
under the topic of Weather we learn of a June thunderstorm in which
even the geese drowned under 12 feet of rain. Or something like that.
new material is in blue.
was one item of interest that I didnt include because I
suspect it doesnt actually relate to my hometown. Dated
May 12, 1887, it begins Last week,
H.W. Conley drove over to the Winnebago Indian Reservation, about 20
from Richwood, that would have been in the vicinity of Plain City,
Ohio, but I dont find any references to a reservation
there. More importantly, the Winnebagos never lived in
Ohio. The geography would make sense if this item were
reprinted from a newspaper in Sioux City, Iowa.
the rest of it. Ive added the illustration of lacrosse
from another source.
of the Indians are industrious and are becoming industrious farmers,
but most of them are still injun.
was an interested witness to their great ball play. It is an
indescribable game. Each Indian had a club about 2½-foot
long with a pouch on the end which is used for slinging the ball.
players dispense with what they call unnecessary clothing.
They wore a garment abbreviated at both ends and profusely decorated
with beads which were very attractive to the young squaws who were
there in large numbers.
GOT IT PEGGED
cant fit a square peg into a round hole. Nor can you fit
a round peg into a square hole. But which comes closer
Friday night, we broadcasters had just finished televising an
exciting hockey game; the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York
Rangers in a shootout. As we put away our TV toys, cameraman
Chris Dahl reminded me that I had once posed and answered the peg
question. It must have been 20 years ago.
consider a square hole, one inch on a side. The
cross-sectional area is 1.000 square inch. The largest round
peg that can be inserted into this hole has a diameter of one inch
and a radius of one-half inch, so its cross-sectional area (pi times r2)
is 0.785 square inch.
consider a round hole with the same cross-sectional area as the
first hole, 1.000 square inch. Its radius is 0.564 inch (the
square root of 1/pi), so its diameter is 1.128 inch. The
largest square peg that can be inserted into this round hole measures
1.128 inch along the diagonal. By the Pythagorean theorem, the
peg measures 0.798 inch along the side. Its cross-sectional
area (0.798 squared) is 0.636
78.5% of a square hole
can be filled by a round peg (or dowel), but only 63.6%
of a round hole can be filled by a square
peg. (Compare the size of the empty space in the corners.)
we know. Dowels rule!
AT CRACKER BARREL
my mother was in high school,
a man held to be irresistibly attractive to romantic young
women was called a sheik.
the spring of 1930, my mother was voted the Prettiest Girl in school
for the second straight year, while her boyfriend Durward McKee was
voted the Biggest Sheik for the second straight year.
the May 17, 1930, edition of the popular Liberty magazine
featured an illustration by Leslie Thrasher entitled The
Sheik, in which a girl draws a monocle and mustache on her
little brother to make him irresistibly attractive.
noticed a framed copy of this cover hanging on the wall next to my
table at a local Cracker Barrel restaurant, and I found an image of
the cover on the Internet.
was inside this edition? The Internet knows everything.
Further research reveals that in one passage, the humorist Robert
Benchley described falling briefly asleep every minute, a phenomenon
I would later experience in window seats on airplanes.
article was entitled Sporting Life In America: Dozing.
before arising does not really come within the range of this
treatise. What we are concerned with are those little lapses when we
are fully dressed, when we fondly believe that no one notices. Riding
on a train, for example.
is the short-distance
doze in a day coach, probably the most humiliating form of train
sleeping. In this the elbow is rested on the window sill and the head
placed in the hand in an attitude of thought. The glass feels very
cool on the forehead and we rest it there, more to cool off than
anything else. The next thing we know the forehead (carrying the
entire head with it) has slid down the length of the slippery pane
and we have received a rather nasty bang against the woodwork. They
shouldn't keep their glass so slippery. A person is likely to get
badly hurt that way.
back again goes the forehead against the pane in its original
position, with the hand serving more or less as a buffer, until
another skid occurs, this time resulting in an angry determination to
give the whole thing up entirely and sit up straight in the seat.
Some dozers will take four or five slides without whimpering, going
back each time for more with apparently undiminished confidence in
their ability to see the thing through.
is a game that you can't beat, however, and the sooner you sit up
straight in your seat, the sooner you will stop banging your head.
founders of religion are always extraordinarily intelligent
people. ... The great problem with religion is when what is
said by the founder of the religion, which was supposed to be taken
metaphorically, is taken literally. And thats where you
get complete nonsense being made of what the founder of the religion
said. John Cleese
the night of his arrest the Lord Jesus took bread, and after giving
thanks to God broke it and said: This is my body, which is for
you; do this in memory of me. In the same way, he
took the cup after supper, and said: This cup is the new
covenant sealed by my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this in
memory of me. The Apostle Paul, in I
obviously realized that the food on the table was not his own body
meant that every day in the future, when his followers broke a loaf
of bread they should let that commonplace act remind them of
his broken body.
whenever they drank from a cup of blood-red wine, they should remember
the blood that he shed to seal the new promise.
thats wrong. Jesus clearly said that when the Church
stages a reenactment of the Last Supper, the bread will magically
turn into his actual flesh! Really! And the wine will
mysteriously be transformed into his blood! What a
miracle! And then we can all eat the Lords body and wash
it down with his blood! Literal-minded would-be cannibal
Caesar walks into a bar and orders a martinus. The
bartender asks, Don't you mean martini?
Caesar retorts, If I wanted a double, I would have said
so! But on second thought, bring me a shot of hoc.
bartender hasn't heard that one before. A shot of
what? Caesar repeats, Hoc. You
know: hic, haec,
hoc; huius, huius, huius.
passes, but his drink doesn't arrive. Didn't I ask for a
shot of hoc? he asks. Yes, the
bartender replies, but then you declined it.
nonsense might have made sense had you been with me in Latin Club at
Richwood High School 50 years ago this month. I wrote a comedy
sketch (which did not include the above bar joke), and four of
us performed it. We got big laughs when our Latin teacher's
daughter spoofed her mother's mannerisms.
subsequently reprised this sketch for the PTA, and it's this month's
100 Moons article.
1973 VACATION TRIP REDUX
redcoats are coming! To Niagara Falls! And to Syracuse!
it's time for the second half of Super
latest compilation of images from home movies. Stand well
clear of the cannon, please.
blame me for this, Angelo Falconi seems to be saying.
This wasnt my idea. Playing baseball outdoors in
Pennsylvania during the first week of March? Ridiculous.
Im frozen. Im so cold I cant move.
Angelos statue is welcoming visitors with open arms
to Consol Energy Park, the minor-league stadium his 2001 donation
helped to build in Washington, PA. The parks main
tenant, the Washington Wild Things,
wont begin play until May 17, when the weather is warmer.
when I passed through town last week, I found that baseball was
indeed being played. You see, the park also serves as the home
field for Trinity High School and for California University of
Pennsylvania, 25 miles to the east. On this unusually mild day
with temperatures in the thirties, the snow had been cleared away and
several dozen spectators were watching CalU host Clarion
University. The hot tub behind first base was not yet open for
OUTTA MY WAY!
having several inches of wet snowfall today in western Pennsylvania.
the years, I've heard more than one person complain that
"Pittsburghers don't know how to drive in snow."
They never elaborate. Do they think local idiots are too
reckless, or too careful? Which is it? What exactly don't
man called a radio station this morning to gripe. He's
apparently in the "others are too careful" camp. He
sounded like one of those guys in big four-wheel-drive pickups who
regularly blast down Route 28 at 70 miles per hour. He wanted
to do so today, but traffic wouldn't allow it. He was going to
be late to work. In an aggrieved tone, he wailed, "I'm
going 40 miles per hour on Route 28! Only 40! People
should just drive!"
most calls supported the position that "others are too
reckless," reporting numerous accidents that have closed some
roadways and slowed traffic to zero miles per hour.
all hope this is winter's last gasp and we can soon forget this issue.