This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.
This would have been up sooner, but those YouTube self-tasering videos are like salted peanuts. Warning: profanity in the title. But the video is proof that Fitzgerald was wrong: there are second acts in American lives. I'm just disappointed the guy didn't say "Hold my beer" first." Anyway:
GOODBYE MAILBOXIn Soviet Russia, you go to mail! No, that’s not it. In United States, postman is you! Better. CNN says:
The U.S. Postal Service is marching towards a more "centralized delivery," where residents pick up their own mail from clusters of mail boxes located in their neighborhood. Local postmasters are sending hundreds of letters to fast-growing communities, warning that cluster boxes will be the way mail will be delivered to new developments.
Why? It costs $353 per house to deliver your mail, says the article. I presume that’s annually. If it’s daily, you can understand why they’re losing money. Another interesting stat: “Delivering mail is the agency's largest fixed cost -- $30 billion. Ending such door deliveries would save $4.5 billion a year.” So it costs $25.5 billion a year to do the things best described as “not delivering mail.” Wow.
"Cluster boxes" will be a new term for anything overstuffed and ignored, because not everyone will run down to the box to get their mail. It's snowing out, it's raining, it's hot, whatever: do you want to trudge down to see if you have another envelope full of coupons for window blinds and closet shelves and $10 off that restaurant on the other side of town? No. So it'll sit there. In a few years you'll look at a itchen drawer that's brimming with junk and think "what a clusterbox this thing has become."
NEWS Provocative headline from Quartz: “If you’re younger than 28, you’ve never experienced a month of below average global temperature.” To which I would add: if you’re older than 48, you’ve never experienced a year of above average global temperature, inasmuch as one cannot experience global temperature.
Elsewhere: did you hear about the Chinese airport bombing? Fox News:
A bombing at Beijing airport by a wheelchair-bound man who complained for years about police brutality spotlights how frustration over low-level abuses in China can flare up to trouble the authorities, analysts say.
Ji Zhongxing, a 34-year-old former motorcycle driver, had lost hope of obtaining redress for a 2005 beating that left him paralysed, reports said.
In a desperate attempt to draw attention to his plight, he built a home-made bomb and set it off in the airport arrivals area after handing out leaflets about his case.
That he did. This video shows the explosion, but not the aftermath:
Reports say he survived, and was taken to the hospital.
POPPIN’ DEATH A reader writes:
Years gone by WCCO TV had a show called “Moore on Sunday” had an amateur film contest. One year they had a winner that was a combo live and stop action animation done by Bradford Roberts. It was called “Poppin’ Death”. It starts with a woman going through a dramatic presentation preparing to make some bread. She cracks the Pillsbury tube on the counter and places the contents in a bake pan and then in the oven.
After the gas oven is fired up, “poppin’ fresh” sits up in the pan with a concerned look on his face. He then jumps from the pan to the oven window. You can see him from behind as he pounds on the window trying to get the attention of the women. She has her back to the oven so she doesn’t notice his distress. The women leaves the room, and “poppin’ fresh” falls back and bakes up in time lapse.
I remember it was a big deal. Do you remember?
I think I do. For some reason I remember it as an SNL skit, but nothing comes up on YouTube. This site has more info; the piece appears to be lost to the mists of history. Ah well; there’s plenty of happy Doughboy about. This one has a surprising end; I guess the Lizard was off that week.
Happy as the Doughboy on his way to a baking convention? You’d think the prospect would fill him with dread, like a human on his way to a meeting of the American Association of Cannibals. Unless it’s understood by all not to cook the sentient dough. Also: did you know he was once on the Magic Circus, in puppet form?
All you really need to know about mass culture in the early 70s can be found in that clip. Enjoy.
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