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ArchiveAUGUST 2022

AUGUST 30, 2022    IT WASN'T A RIB?

Some have speculated that according to the original story, the first man needed a housekeeper, so God took away his man-bone and created a woman from it.  Is this true?  I thought God took away one of his ribs.

In a new article, Brother Billy interviews The Yahwist Source.  She's the hypothetical woman who came up with this children's tale, plus others like the half-divine giants and the stubborn talking donkey.


AUGUST 27, 2022   

I have some reservations about a spectacular ten-year-old Louisiana building that I've never seen in person.

Dissing the LSHF&NLHM explains why.



“The ‘Hallelujah’ chorus,” writes Michael Marissen in the New York Times, “was designed not to honor the birth or resurrection of Jesus but to celebrate the destruction of Jerusalem and the Second Temple.”

In the time of George Frideric Handel, many Christians believed that Rome's sack of Jerusalem in 70 AD represented God's revenge on the Jews for refusing to accept Jesus as their promised Messiah.

Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!
     The kingdom of this world
          is become
     the kingdom of our Lord
          and of His Christ!
And He shall reign for ever and ever.  Hallelujah!

But did the other party in the sack of Jerusalem likewise deserve punishment?

In the time of John of Patmos, many Christians believed that a volcanic eruption in 79 AD represented God's revenge on the Romans for desecrating the Holy City.

On this date 1,943 years ago, fire and brimstone fell from the sky upon the wealthy Roman town of Pompeii, killing some 2,000 people there and as many as 16,000 around the Bay of Naples. 

My latest article compares two accounts of the latter disaster.  One is by an eyewitness.  The other, from John's book of Revelation, implies that the event was God's message to the Romans:  “Ultimately, I'm the boss here.  In One Hour Has Thy Judgment Come.”



There's a lot of crazy in the world — even in my old Ohio hometown, where the 150-year-old local newspaper reports that a 37-year-old woman named Matheny allegedly committed burglary on July 24, then stole and crashed not one but two vehicles, as well as breaking windows and threatening arson and smashing up two additional cars.

The woman, who lives about eight miles outside the village, “went to a home in the 200 block of Blagrove Street.”  The owner was inside.

That's the street on which I used to live, a quarter mile away!

“According to court documents, Matheny picked up ‘a small, concrete statue’ in the yard and allegedly threw it through the glass in one of the home's doors.”  She stole the keys to a 2016 Chevrolet Traverse, got into the vehicle, and drove it 50 miles to Columbus.

There she “was apparently involved in a domestic dispute, when she allegedly threatened to start a fire.  Police were called to the scene,” but she left the area.

Next she ran a red light and crashed into a Chevrolet Cruze, spinning it around several times and severely injuring the driver.  The Cruze eventually hit a third vehicle.  “A nearby driver saw the crash, got out of her car, a white Nissan, and ran to the scene to offer help.  When that woman left her car, Matheny and her passenger, a Columbus woman, got out of the Traverse and into the witness's running vehicle.”

With sore ribs, Matheny drove to Nationwide Children's Hospital a block away “and at 9:31 a.m. crashed the Nissan into a window at the facility.  Both Matheny and the passenger allegedly went into the hospital.”

Indicted in Union County, Matheny could serve as many as 11 years in prison for stealing the first car, plus whatever charges she faces in Columbus.


AUGUST 18, 2022    CAR TALK

This month's 100 Moons article details the complicated procedure that drivers 100 years ago had to follow to get their cars started.

Much of that had been automated by 50 years ago, when my father, the Chevrolet/Oldsmobile dealer, was asked whether one of the newfangled gadgets was any good.  He told the customer where he could put his foot.


Commerce certainly has changed since then.  It used to be that to purchase something you had to go to a physical store.

Now, there are many delivery services, from food to Amazon.


To buy a used car back then, one had to visit a lot to see what was available.  If you liked one, you could “kick the tires” and take a test drive.  The dealer could tell you about the car's history and previous owner.

Now you can go to carvana.com, scroll through 25,000 vehicles, and have your choice delivered as soon as the next day.

But there's no opportunity beforehand to check out the seating and performance, not to mention other features.  For example, do the dashboard controls consist of easily-recognized knobs and buttons, or will you have to navigate through a series of touchscreen menus while trying to keep your eyes on the road?

Trading in your previous car?  If you don't like the terms you're offered, you can go to givemethevin.com.  They'll use your Vehicle Identification Number to look up your car's history, then bring you a check and take your old ride away.

People liked to deal with my father, but I guess that many today have had bad experiences with car dealers.  They prefer to transact their business online.



I've got an internal selfie to show you in a new story about This Summer's Big Event Spoilers:  the exciting parts include opening a bottle and falling asleep.


AUGUST 11, 2012 flashback    Aqua=Agua, BUT OTHERWISE...

I wasn’t brought up to use the language in the following ways.  The times, I suppose, must be a-changin’.

• “We had no objections to the proposal, but nor were we excited about it.”

Those two conjunctions together sound odd to me.  I always thought it should be “but neither were we excited.”

“I’m going fishing.  Do you want to come with?”

I always thought “with” was a preposition that required an object:  “come with me.”  To avoid a dangling preposition, use an adverb instead:  “come too” or “come along.”

Another pet peeve:  We all learned that the letter Q is very often followed by the letter U.  We learned it so well that some of us think the hockey team in Pittsburgh is the “Penquins” and the third baseman for the Yankees is Alex “Rodriquez.”

It’s a small thing, but put a loop on those lower-case descenders, people!  “Penguins” and “Rodriguez,” please.

On the other hand, a July 2015 Sporting News web article quoting former quarterback Joe Theismann mentioned “Theismann's Hall of Fame plague.”



Those born under the sign of Leo are said to be proud and ambitious, like a lion.  Astrologers (but what do they know?) claim that Leos are egotistical.

We can go further.  Gali-leos, according to Eric D. Snider, are super-egotistical.  They're convinced that the world revolves around them!


AUGUST 5, 2022

How can it be that there's an eight-acre lake just north of downtown Richwood, Ohio, fed by no creeks or rivers?

And why has a tower been erected upon its western shore at the place indicated by a yellow arrow — a lighthouse which will be dedicated tomorrow morning at 10:30 as part of the annual Richwood Park Appreciation Day?

I explain in A Light by the Pit.


The very earliest motion pictures were filmed from a single angle, as though audiences were viewing a stage play.  However, it was soon discovered that editors could “cut” to a closeup or to a completely different scene.  An instantaneous change of location is impossible in real life, but movie audiences can accept the convention.  We can suspend our disbelief.

Nowadays movies and TV have gone cut-crazy, with many individual takes lasting less than a second or two.  Presumably this boosts the energy and excitement, but I find it annoying.  I've just begun to appreciate a character's face and expression when suddenly I'm looking at a helicopter.  It's hard to keep up.

Occasionally cinema directors maintain our interest with the opposite technique.  They move the camera around to show as much of the story as possible in what seems to be one continuous take, many minutes long.  Examples include Alfred Hitchcock in Rope (1948), Orson Welles in Touch of Evil (1958), and Alejando G. Inarritu in Birdman (2014).

In television sports, directors usually find it necessary to cut frequently from one camera angle to another, from the batter's swing to the fielder's catch to the runner's slide.  But there are exceptions.  One example:  the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard in Indianapolis two days ago.

When the winning car returned to the finish line for a victory celebration, NBC had a cameraman waiting right there on the asphalt.

As a now-retired TV crew member, I'm proud of what a single skilled camera operator can accomplish.  He gave us a 90-second continuous shot, walking completely around the car at one point, leading into his coverage of the interview of the driver.  He knew exactly what angles we wanted to see.

Below, I imagine the director's instructions — as if any had been necessary.  They would have been as superfluous as future WTAE-TV news director Herb Morrison's words to his engineer Charles Nehlsen while the Hindenburg was crashing in 1937:  “Get this, Charlie!”

Tyler Reddick is starting his burnout!  Careful, don't get in the way.

But move in there and show us the smoke.  We want to taste it!

He's going to stop at the flagstand!  Include all the fans in the picture.

Now get around in front to show the start/finish line and the Yard of Bricks.

The driver's climbing out of the car!  Don't miss this, Charlie.

We can hear him on the finish-line microphone, pounding on the roof of the car in exhilaration!

Now he's standing on the roof and posing for the fans!  Show the Pagoda behind him!

Oh, look, here comes his little boy to give him a hug!  I think the kid's name is Beau.

And his pit crew is running out there, too!  Don't forget them!

Show the handshakes and congratulations!  This is great!

Okay, our reporter has arrived to conduct the interview.

Great job, Charlie!