Statistics Saturday: The Official Ordering of the Star Wars Movies


  1. Star Wars: A Star Wars Story
  2. Star Wars: A Wars Star Story
  3. Star Wars: A Star Stories War
  4. Wars Star: A Stars War Story
  5. Star Wars Stars: A Story
  6. A Wars War: Star A Star Story
  7. Star Star: A Wars Star Stories
  8. Star Wars Star: A Wars Star War Starry Story
  9. Star Wars: Star Wars Story A
  10. Star Star War Star Wars: A War Stars Story Wars Star Story
  11. A Star Wars Story: Star Wars

Honorable mention: Star Wars: Sraw Rats, the secret movie for people who know Star Wars forwards and backwards.

Reference: Who’s Who In Mythology: A Classic Guide To The Ancient World, Alexander S. Murray.

Statistics Saturday: How Much States Are Messing With You by When They Observe Arbor Day


State Observance Messing With You Level
Ohio Last Friday in April Not at all
Kentucky First Friday in April Not much
Nevada Last Friday in April Considerably, as Nevada has only 16 palm trees, and they’re all on a golf course that consumes two-thirds the volume of the Colorado River to maintain
South Dakota Last Friday in April Messing with North Dakota, not you
North Dakota First Friday in April Messing with South Dakota, not you
Washington Second Friday in April Only a little
Georgia Third Friday in February What
New Hampshire Last Friday in April Not particularly
Vermont First Friday in May Just picking a fight with New Hampshire
Nebraska Last Friday in April Thank you for getting things back in order
Maryland First Wednesday in April Just checking if you’re paying attention
Maine Third full week in May Up to moderate mischief here
California 7th – 14th of March Up to even more mischief here
Alabama Last full week of February Now cut that out
Wyoming Last Monday in April Adorable attempt to pretend there’s trees in Wyoming
Oregon First full week of April This is refugee Californians messing things up, right?
Colorado Third Friday in April Why not
Pennsylvania Last Friday in April Not at all
North Carolina First Friday following March 15 Ugh, this again?
Texas First Friday in November What the heck?

Reference: Stan And Ollie: The Roots Of Comedy: The Double Life Of Laurel And Hardy, Simon Louvish. With special thanks to my love without whom I’d never have realized Arbor Day isn’t the same day in every state and that some of them put a whole week to Arbor Day.

Statistics Saturday: Some Needless Parts of my Brain


Pie chart with roughly equal slices for each of: "Part that builds elaborate fantasies of being awesome in committee hearings as state senator"; "Part that thinks ``Rain’’ is by the Kinks and not the Beatles"; "Part that remembers machine language code for the Commodore 64"; "Part that remembers the ``Lash Rambo’’ episode of The New WKRP In Cincinatti"; "Part that’s still relitigating that argument from 1991 about the undergraduate newspaper budget"; "Part that decides since I could do these tasks in this order I can’t do them in ANY OTHER ORDER even if that means wasting all day waiting for a tiny roadblock in doing the first thing"; "Part that wants to change lanes now for the turn that’s 15 miles away"; "Part that wants to make a roman-à-clef out of my unremarkable experiences on the undergraduate newspaper"
Not depicted: the part that wants to offer as a “fun fact” that for a short while the cities of Cincinatti and Detroit belonged to the same Hamilton County, Ohio Territory, even though while a fact this is not fun.

Reference: The Game Makers: The Story Of Parker Brothers From Tiddledy Winks To Trivial Pursuit, Philip E Orbanes.

Statistics Saturday: The Episode Title Trajectory of your Favorite _Cheers_ Podcast


  • Episode 1: Where Everybody Knows Your Name
  • Episode 3: Two American Kids Growin’ Up in the Heartland
  • Episode 6: Crane Spotting
  • Episode 8: That Harry Anderson, he’s going to be Dave Barry someday
  • Episode 12: Janeway or Saavik or Pulaski or Whatever Star Trek Dame Sam’s Dating THIS TIME
  • Episode 15: Can a Cat Be Said to Have “Slept In”?
  • Episode 18: Wait, Have We All Lost a Fiancee to a Freak Zamboni Accident?
  • Episode 20: That’s a Good Price for Adequate Bread
  • Episode 24: Speedrunning Dutch
  • Episode 27: Glorple Globble Globble Gleeple
  • Episode 31: Officially the Internet’s Third-Best The Art Of Being Nick Podcast
  • Episode 36: Snorses! Snorses Everywhere!
  • Episode 40: No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.
  • Episode 48: The Important Thing Is YEEAARRAARRRRAAUUGH
  • Episode 52: Our Episode 50 Superspectacular

Reference: Bottom of the Ninth: Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From Itself, Michael Shapiro.

Statistics Saturday: The Duration of 15 Things as Measured by the Runtime Of Turbo (2013)


ThingDurations in Runtimes of Turbo (2013)
Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address0.05938
Apollo 14135
Bambi0.7292
Construction of the Empire State Building244.375
First non-exhibition/spring-training baseball game of the Houston Colt.45s, 10 April 19621.583
“The Gates of Delirium”, by Yes0.2274
The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island (including commercials)1.250
The Hundred Years’ War637,711.71
One second0.000 173 6
Robert Altman’s Popeye1.1875
The 1960 Summer Olympics262.5
Thunderhawk roller coaster (one ride cycle only), Dorney Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania0.01354
Turbo (2013)1
Turbo Teen (complete series, including commercials)4.0625
We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story0.7396

Reference: Roughing It, Mark Twain.

Statistics Saturday: 15 Famous Movie Mis-Quotes


  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real thin man!” — Not said by Nick or Nora Charles, The Thin Man.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real treasure of the Sierra Madre!” — Not said by Fred C Dobbs, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real love story!” — Not said by Jennifer Cavalleri, Love Story.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real wizard of Oz!” — Not said by Dorothy Gale, The Wizard of Oz.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Goldfinger!” — Not said by Goldfinger, Goldfinger.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real cool hand, Luke!” — Not said by Dragline, Cool Hand Luke.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real space odyssey!” — Not said by Dave Bowman, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Scrooge!” — Not said by Mr Snedrig, Scrooge.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real shape of water!” — Not signed by Elisa Esposito, The Shape of Water.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Casablanca!” — Not said by Rick Blaine, Casablanca.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real space jam!” — Not said by Lola Bunny, Space Jam.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real planet of the apes!” — Not said by Dr Galen, Planet of the Apes.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Wall Street!” — Not said by Gordon Gecko, Wall Street.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Turbo!” — Not said by Turbo, Turbo.
  • “Yowza yowza, that’s a real Chinatown!” — Not said by Lawrence Walsh, Chinatown.

Reference: Inside Nick Rocks: The Complete Story of the Music Video Show You Remember Being On Between Mr Wizard’s World and You Can’t Do That On Television, and How it Changed the World — and Whatever Happened To “Joe From Chicago”, Dr Will Miller.

Statistics Saturday: Star Wars Movies versus Star Trek Movies


Bar chart showing the count of Star Wars and of Star Trek movies, per year, 1977 to 2020. Star Wars has a lead from 1977 to 1985; after that Star Trek takes the lead and never loses it again, although by 2019 Star Wars comes close to tying it.
Not pictured: that special 75-minute extended cut of The Omega Glory that Gene Roddenberry adapted from the original Star Trek to play in theaters in Italy and France in 1969 alongside the View-Master reel, nor The Ewok Adventures and Ewoks: The Battle For Endor, made for TV and aired in 1984 and 1985.

Reference: Anxious Decades: America in Prosperity and Depression, 1920-1941, Michael E Parrish.

Statistics Saturday: Papal Regnal Numbers Over Time, 1900 – Present


Line chart of Papal regnal numbers for each year from 1901 to through 2021; eg, Leo XIII (13), Pius X (10), Benedict XV (15), up to today's Francis (I). Also across this is a red line showing the number has been, on average, decreasing with time.
The red line is the best-fit linear interpolation of these numbers over time. The projection is that if trends of the past 120 years continue then sometime in the year 2070 we can expect a Pope with regnal number of 0.

Reference: Pluto and Charon: Ice Worlds on the Ragged Edge of the Solar System, Alan Stern and Jacqueline Mitton.

Statistics Saturday: Tunes I Remember Learning For Introductory Violin In Elementary School


Part of my recurring series, On Reflection I Don’t Understand My Childhood At All.

  • Mary Had A Little Lamb
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Jingle Bells
  • Memory (from the musical Cats)
  • Tomorrow (from the musical Annie)
  • Theme from Masterpiece Theater (from the not-necessarily-musical Masterpiece Theater)
  • I Love Rock and Roll
  • Daisy, Daisy

I think it was even in that order in the music instruction book too.

Reference: Asimov’s Chronology of the World: The Story of the World From the Big Bang to Modern Times, Isaac Asimov.

Statistics Saturday: The Internet, by Volume


Large chunk: arguments that the Star Wars prequels are good, actually. Equally large chunk: arguments that no, no they are not. Small chunk: absolutely everything else
Not depicted: arguments that The Rise Of Skywalker, by returning to the menace of Emperor Palpatine and bunches upon bunches of Death Star cannons, is making a trenchant point that among the tragedies of authoritarianism is that it lacks creativity. That even in terror all it can truly do is make more of what has already been terrifying; all prospect for original life is strangled by the drive to control. Omitted because even people who like The Rise Of Skywalker don’t like it enough to argue for it.

Reference: Wotalife Comics #4, cover date Oct-Nov 1946, Fox Feature Syndicate, publisher.

Statistics Saturday: Some Amazing Facts about February


  • Though February has had more leap days than any other month, it has yet to have a leap second.
  • One-sixth of all the months with men walking on the Moon were February.
  • Each February contains between eight and ten percent the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B-12.
  • No United States President has died in February since 1924.
  • February in the north temperate zone has the same specific gravity as honey.
  • A Broadway musical comedy based on February opened in the Broadhurst Theater on the 14th of May, 1951. It closed after 40 performances. Music by Sammy Fain, book by E Y ‘Yip’ Harburg and Fred Saidy.
  • February has the worst home-field advantage (422-398 over the last ten years) but the smallest visiting-team disadvantage (49.39% winning average over all recorded seasons) of any of the major-league months.
  • Though April remains the cruelest month, February is the month most likely to bring up a slightly shameful in-joke at a moment it will embarrass you.
  • Februaries that start on Sunday (or, on European calendars, Monday) are the best months of all according to bookish, nerdy seven-year-olds who believe they know The Rules that everything should follow to be neat and orderly. EXCEPT FEBRUARIES DURING LEAP YEAR.
  • Famous February births include: Jack Benny, orange (the color), Saturn’s moon Mimas, the Renaissance, sneezing, orange (the fruit), and Barry Bostwick.

Reference: Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent the Perfect Calendar, Duncan Steel. Which is not even the ONLY BOOK I HAVE about calendars written by a guy named “Duncan”.

Statistics Saturday: Some Teams Not In The Splendid Bowl This Year


  • The New York Giants
  • The Chicago Bears
  • The Philadelphia Cardinals
  • The Denver Nuggets
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagles
  • The Detroit Wolpertingers
  • The Albany Diamond Dogs
  • The The
  • The Toledo Ohios of Ohio
  • The Dallas North Bobcats
  • The Oklahoma City Interurban Transit
  • The Seattle Opossums
  • The Toledo Ohios of Kentucky
  • The Mid-Atlantic States Savings Bank
  • The Miami Dolphins
  • The Boise Tumble
  • The Human Metabolic Pathways
  • The St Louis St Pauls
  • The Los Angeles Mangroves
  • The Tonawanda Kardex

Reference: Shakespeare’s Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages, 1337-1485, John Julius Norwich.

(Personal note, the Human Metabolic Pathways is my favorite Kraftwerk tribute band.)

Statistics Saturday: Some Astounding Apollo 14 Trivia


Apollo 14 Thing Apollo 14 Thing Count or Measure
Launch vehicle Saturns 5
Launch vehicle Saturn V’s 1
Change in angle of flight azimuth required by 40 minutes, 2 second prelaunch weather delay 3 degrees, 30 minutes, 39.24 seconds
Astronaut noses (total) 3
Astronaut noses (per capita) 1
Tree seeds 400, maybe 500, who knows, they’re seeds
Golf balls hit on moon 2
How much longer the astronauts needed to walk to catch sight of the abandoned alien spacecraft in Cone Crater 52 seconds
Softballs hit on moon 0
Service Modules returned to earth 1 (not observed; if you find an Apollo 14 Service Module please bring it to your nearest NASA office)
Baseballs hit on moon 1
Baseballs foul-tipped on moon 2
Moons visited 1
Wastewater dumps deliberately photographed 1
Wheels left on the lunar surface 2
Mortar shells left on the lunar surface 4
Moons secretly visited 3
Astronauts named ‘Stuart’ returned from lunar orbit 1
Time between lunar impact of S-IVB stage and its first detection on the Apollo 12 seismometer 94 nautical miles away 37 seconds
Frisbees thrown on moon 5
Successfully 0
RCS engine deactivation completed 457 hours 57 minutes Mission Elapsed Time
Moon features given the name “Weird Rock” 1
Astronaut toes 10 per nose
Relative humidity at launch 86%

Reference: It’s Back To School, Charlie Brown, Charles M Schulz.

Statistics Saturday: How 2021 Treated My Humor Blog


I thought I might get ahead of schedule for once in my life and so check what my 2021 readership figures might look like. So here’s where we go based on the start of the month:

Bar chart of annual readership, showing from 2013 through 2020 a general growth. The bar for 2021 is empty, and a pop-up window explains the year as having, as of the moment of New Year's, 0 views, 0 visitors, nad 0.00 views per visitor.
I bet things looked totally different two minuts after midnight New Year’s Day, when dozens of people stopped in to see what the deal was with Mark Trail.

Zero page views, zero visitors … Maybe I checked too early.

Statistics Saturday: The Cops In True-Crime Podcasts


Small wedge: 'Cop whose Columbo-Like Insight Finally Catches The Guy Who Did It'; Enormous wedge: 'Cop Who Spends Years Hounding Someone Who Had Nothing To Do With Anything Because They Thought They Had a Columbo-like Insight'; Moderate wedge: 'Cop Who Was Just Trying To Give The Guy A Failure-To-Yield Ticket and The Guy Got All Panicky About What Turned Out To Be Eighteen Severed Hands In The Trunk'.
Not pictured: Forensics lab cop who had all the evidence but spent four years unsuccessfully begging everybody in the precinct to at least send one person to check out the guy who actually did it. All right, one more, but one who actually asks a relevant question this time. Please. Just this one time try taking this one suspect seriously for one minute.

Reference: Sir Gregor MacGregor and the Land that Never Was: The Extraordinary Story of the Most Audacious Fraud in History, David Sinclair.

Statistics Saturday: Things From 1925 Now In The Public Domain


  • The first issues of The New Yorker.
  • Vice President Charles G Dawes’s Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Comic strip Flapper Fanny Says.
  • The Scopes Trial.
  • The Grand Ole Opry.
  • The 1925 “Great Race of Mercy” — the “Balto” delivery of serum to Nome, Alaska.
  • The New York (football) Giants
  • The National Spelling Bee.
  • Rogers Hornsby’s .403 season batting average.
  • The Chrysler Corporation.
  • The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio short Alice Solves the Puzzle.
  • June Lockhart.

Reference: Mercator: The Man Who Mapped The Planet, Nicholas Crane.

Statistics Saturday: Things You Forgot Happened This Year


  1. The guy who directed Batman And Robin died.
  2. We were sharing pictures of people cutting open stuff to reveal it’s cake inside.
  3. “At this point I ran out of magnets.”
  4. Series finale of Steven Universe.
  5. The impeachment trial.
  6. “A large boulder the size of a small boulder.”
  7. The failure Fyre Festival amused and delighted the world.
  8. The death of David Bowie shocked the world.
  9. “Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom SNAKE.”
  10. Woodstock ’99.
  11. The Canter and Siegel Green Card spam on Usenet introduced the Internet to mass unsolicited commercial advertising.
  12. The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 2,000 points for the first time.
  13. The world’s longest Monopoly game reached into four days, with Parker Brothers sending emergency supplies of cash to keep the game going (despite the game rules specifying that the bank shall issue scrip when the official cash runs out).
  14. A scandal in salad-oil inventory storage endangered the American Express corporation.
  15. A giant panda was brought into the United States for the first time.
  16. W.C.Fields made his screen debut in the silent comedy shorts Pool Sharks and His Lordship’s Dilemma.

Reference: The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television, David Weinstein.

Statistics Saturday: Is This A Joke?


“You know, in British English, the world `left` is spelled `lieut`.”

Modest-size wedges: 'Yes' and 'Yes, but I resent it.' Large wedge: 'No'. Even larger wedge: 'No, but it is joke-shaped'.
Not pictured: “It’s shaped like a deconstructed joke hoping for reconstitution into humor”.

Reference: The Perfect Machine: Building the Palomar Telescope, Ronald Florence.

Statistics Saturday: Your Wham!ageddon Timeline


  • December 5. You realize you’ve made it this late in the month without hearing about Wham!ageddon this year. Starts a good argument online about whether you can join in late since you think you heard “Last Christmas” a couple days ago but don’t remember if it was in November or not.
  • December 7. Debate about whether it has to be Wham!’s version or if a cover of “Last Christmas” counts. Two friends stop speaking to one another.
  • December 8. Running through the grocery store run to minimize exposure to Your Local Christmas Hits Station and also Covid-19.
  • December 10. You were gone for 35 minutes, how is everybody you know angry about whether the “Sleigh Ride” carol “really” has words?
  • December 12. Remember that you forgot you were doing Wham!ageddon this year.
  • December 13. Your bad-movie podcast is about Last Christmas. Debate about whether you can be exempted for the time necessary to listen to the episode. This generates three new factions among your friends, who engage in a Talmudic debate about whether you heard the song if the podcast hosts do a brief, a capella, rendition unburdened by any musical key.
  • December 14. Get 1600 words into a deep-dive essay about what it means that people do these avoid-the-ubiquitous-thing contests for the fifth time before realizing the author hasn’t gotten to a thesis statement yet and give up on the whole thing.
  • December 18. Remember that you forgot you were doing Wham!ageddon this year.
  • December 19. You were gone for 25 minutes, how is everybody you know angry about the “Monster Mash”?
  • December 20. Debate about whether it counts if you catch yourself starting to hum it to yourself in the shower but are legitimately not sure whether you were just singing in your head.
  • December 21. Debate about whether this is, as Wikipedia’s article about Wham!ageddon implies, a “strategy” game.
  • December 24. You were gone for 15 minutes, how is everybody you know angry about haikus somehow? Haikus? What are people even arguing about over haikus? Even for 2020? Haikus?!
  • December 26. Debate about whether there even is such a thing as the “We Didn’t Start The Firefest” contest ahead of New Year’s.
  • January 2. Finally have the somehow two hours, 35 minutes needed to listen to that movie podcast.

Reference: The Impossible Dream: The Building of the Panama Canal, Ian Cameron.

Statistics Saturday: Second-Tier Hanna-Barbera Characters of the 60 or Rejected Names for Snuffy Smith


So far as you know.

  • Breezley and Sneezley
  • Hooty Owlsy
  • Possumpuss Watson
  • Snip and Snap
  • Dean Dizzy
  • Yippee, Yappy, and Yahooie
  • Hoot and Annie
  • Gidge and Bidge
  • Smoky Crow
  • Tip, Tap, and Tom
  • Biffy and Sniffy
  • Pooky, Coopy, and Boopy
  • Bingo Miboy
  • Paw, Maw, and Floral Rugg
  • Zippy and Pippy

Reference: Barney Google and Snuffy Smith: 75 Years of an American Legend, Brian Walker.

Statistics Saturday: Hypotheses about How the Premise to _Loonatics Unleashed_ Came About


  1. One of the writers was caught photocopying his Batman Beyond/Wile E Coyote crossover fanfic on the work machine and so had to write up a show treatment to justify it and then somehow it got to air.
  2. The producers liked the concept of this doomed world-encompassing city at the edge of the explored universe filled with a desperate population struggling to survive, but felt it lacked Yosemite Sam as a space pirate.
  3. Somebody dropped the minutes from the six-hour pitch meeting for the whole season’s shows, and the notes all got mixed up, and when they were typed up nobody could remember what the network had agreed to but they also know you don’t go back after the network said “yes” so they just went with what they could piece together.
  4. They were sitting around thinking what to do with everybody’s favorite Looney Tunes characters, and also Lola Bunny, and someone said, “what about if it’s a postapocalyptic dystopia with supervillains who can still be tricked into the ‘He does SO have to shoot me now!’ bit” and just kept yes-anding each other, and then it turned out a pack of elves who always wanted to be animators were there and overheard and after everyone went home for the night, the animator elves drew the whole series up.
  5. Somehow something else happened?

Reference: Fred Allen’s Letters, Fred Allen, Edited by Joe McCarthy.

Also you would think someone would have an article explaining where the concept for Loonatics Unleashed started and how it got to where it did, and as far as I can tell they haven’t, and that’s weird too.

Statistics Saturday: 10 Trivia Answers That Are All Paul Blart, Mall Cop


  1. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  2. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  3. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  4. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  5. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  6. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  7. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  8. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  9. Paul Blart, Mall Cop
  10. Paul Blart, Mall Cop

Fun fact: one time Trivia Night at the local bar was about something I knew I knew nothing about, so I warned everybody at the table that I was just going to offer “Paul Blart, Mall Cop” for every question. The first couple times they chuckled at the bit, but this faded out after like the third question. Nevertheless, I carried on, and you know? By about the ninth time? It started to change. My commitment to the bit paid off: before the end of the night everyone agreed this had the structure of a joke and was slightly amusing, they guessed, in its way.

Reference: The Footnote: A Curious History, Anthony Grafton.

Statistics Saturday: Some Trivia Answers, For My Dad


So my Dad thought this thing in his local paper where two people compete to give trivia answers was great and I should do that. I agree. So here we go.

  1. Olives
  2. The Ulna
  3. There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight
  4. Gimbels
  5. Painted rice crackers
  6. Vercingetorix
  7. Oatmeal
  8. North Dakota in the year 1822
  9. Planetary-gear transmission
  10. Kenny Loggins

Reference: Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution, Ronin Ro.

Statistics Saturday: Days Remaining In 2020


As of the … there were this many days remaining in 2020
1st of January 366 days
1st of February 366 days
1st of March 366 days
1st of April 366 days
1st of May 366 days
1st of June 366 days
1st of July 366 days
1st of August 366 days
1st of September 366 days
1st of October 366 days
1st of November 366 days
1st of December (impossible to predict)

Reference: 365: Your Date with History, WB Marsh, Bruce Carrick.

Statistics Saturday: Ranking of _Nightmare Before Christmas_ Alternate Universes


  1. Jack Skellington opens the tree-door into Saint Patrick’s Day Town instead.
  2. In a Prisoner Of Zenda scenario Jack Skellington has to pretend to be Santa Claus long enough to foil the evil plot that would destroy all holidays. Everywhere.
  3. They kidnap the Santa Claus from the Rankin/Bass Specials Universe, the one who never saw a Christmas he wasn’t ready to ditch.
  4. Story is set in an alternate history where a Progressive-era reformer convinced the American culture that his, highly idiosyncratic, order for washing his body parts was the one and only one truly hygienic way to clean, and since most everybody is naturally drawn to a different order and has to train themselves out of it most folks have very slight bathing or showering-related neuroses, and while there’s modern research showing whatever order you wash your body parts in is fine, not following The Cleaning Protocol is still seen as this weird-o hippie moon-man attitude and is shunned by respectable white cis-hetero society.
  5. Sally has a specific interest that isn’t this Jack guy that I guess knows who she is but I’m not positive he does?
  6. It starts with what looks like a Freaky Friday scenario, Jack and Santa swapping bodies, only for Jack to slowly realize that in the future he grows up to be Santa Claus.

Reference: Empire Express: Building The First Transcontinental Railroad, David Haward Bain.

(Have to say I’m really interested in how #4 there plays out with the baseline story.)

Statistics Saturday: How Many People Wanted To Know What Was Up With Mark Trail This Past Week


Drawing from WordPress’s statistics page and how many people went to Mark Trail-tagged items. Promise.

Day of WeekReaders Asking About Mark Trail
Last Friday4
Saturday5
Sunday16
Monday120 [ First Jules Rivera strip publishes ]
Tuesday158
Wednesday188
Thursday126
Friday147

Reference: Ideas: A History from Fire to Freud. Peter Watson.

All my Mark Trail plot recaps are gathered at this page. Those and all my story comics plot recaps are at this link.

Statistics Saturday: Top Five Letters In October


  1. E
  2. R
  3. O (second O)
  4. C
  5. O (first O)

Reference: Life Science Library: Giant Molecules, Herman F Mark.

(You know, plenty of people complain how October isn’t the tenth month, but do you ever hear anyone complaining how it hasn’t got eight letters in it? Yeah, me neither.)