Statistics Saturday: Some Terms and Conditions


  • Bilinearity.
  • Differential Gearbox.
  • Enthalpy.
  • Fondant.
  • Twenty-Foot-Equivalent Unit.
  • Usufruct.
  • 0.6% of the United States covered by snow.
  • 39.84% of the United States in drought this week, up 1.6% from last week but down 6.1% from last month.
  • Moon: waning crescent.
  • Visible satellite shows deepening cumulus towers.
  • Wave height of two feet, period of four seconds.
  • Windy conditions could develop across the northern Great Basin and Northwest toward the end of next week.

Reference: The Genie in the Bottle: 64 All New Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life, Joe Schwarcz.

Statistics Saturday: Some People It Is Incorrect to List as “the Fifth Beatle”


  • George R R Martin
  • That Guy From Oasis
  • Beatles cartoon producer Al Broadax
  • Pelé
  • St Francis of Assisi
  • The Archies
  • Erasmus Darwin
  • Grover Cleveland
  • Tommy Smothers
  • 1982 Senior PGA Tour Champion Don January
  • Pope Sixtus IV
  • Alan Arkin

Reference: Over Here! New York City During World War II, Lorraine B Diehl.

Statistics Saturday: The Alphabet In Order Of Its First Appearance in _We Didn’t Start The Fire_


  1. H
  2. A
  3. R
  4. Y
  5. T
  6. U
  7. M
  8. N
  9. D
  10. O
  11. I
  12. S
  13. E
  14. C
  15. J
  16. P
  17. F
  18. W
  19. L
  20. G
  21. X
  22. B
  23. K
  24. V
  25. Q
  26. Z

Reference: Uniforms: Why We Are What We Wear, Paul Fussell.

Statistics Saturday: The Alphabet In Order Of Its First Appearance On VH-1


  1. V
  2. H
  3. M
  4. (tie) T
  5. (tie) U
  6. (tie) S
  7. (tie) I
  8. (tie) C
  9. (tie) E
  10. (tie) L
  11. (tie) O
  12. (tie) N
  13. (tie) B
  14. (tie) G
  15. (tie) D
  16. (tie) K
  17. (tie) R
  18. (tie) P
  19. (tie) A
  20. (tie) Y
  21. (tie) W
  22. (tie) Z
  23. (tie) F
  24. (tie) X
  25. (tie) J
  26. (tie) Q

Reference: Words That Make New Jersey History, Editor Howard L Green.

Statistics Saturday: How Artists Spend The Time On Their Pictures


Pie chart showing small wedges for 'Filling Out Figures' Volumes', 'Background', 'Textures', and 'Shading, Countershading, Special effects'. More than four-fifths of the pie is 'Redrawing and Erasing the Same Four Lines for the Initial Loose Figure Skeleton, While Swearing'.
Not pictured: making funny faces at their web camera (for reference); making funny faces at their web camera (to stave off fury); fingers.

Reference: Chance of a Lifetime: Nucky Johnson, Skinny D’Amato and How Atlantic City Because the Naughty Queen of Resorts, Grace Anselmo D’Amato.

Statistics Saturday: Things I Remember About Dennis Miller’s Short-Lived Early-90s Talk Show


  • Dennis Miller had a short-lived early-90s talk show, but so did every white guy in America, must be admitted.
  • So this one time a Senator(?) named Brockman Adams had to resign because it turned out eight women reported times he molested them, and Dennis Miller did a little sing-along bit at the start of his Weekend Update-ish segment where he sang to the tune of The Addams Family, “It’s creepy and it’s kooky, mysterious and spooky, it’s altogether ooky, Brock Adams’s sex life!” which is the sort of tasteful thoughtful joke we were making about rape, molestation, and drugged drinks in the early 90s.
  • Dennis Miller had this The Case For/The Case Against format to make some quick punchy jokes about some topics.
  • Only, wait, Senator (sic) Brock Adams resigned in early 1993 and Dennis Miller’s show ended in … July 1992 according to Wikipedia? But, like, I remember him singing that song so clearly, can I be remembering him on a different show? What other show would he be doing news-of-the-day jokes about though?
  • Yeah Miller did a Weekend Update-ish bit in the middle of the show probably because if he didn’t they wouldn’t have let him have a show.
  • Okay okay that’s got it it, Brock Adams didn’t resign, he just didn’t run for reelection, after the allegations came out in March and April 1992 so now the timing makes sense.

Okay so that’s six things I remember about Dennis Miller’s short-lived early-90s talk show. Well, it’s four things I have remembered in place of literally anything else, plus two things I have learned about Brock Adams while figuring this out. Good playing, all.

Reference: A House Called Morven: Its Role In American History, Alfred Hoyt Bill, Walter E Edge, Revised by Constance M Greiff, Postscript Bolton F Schwartz.

Statistics Saturday: Dow Jones Companies And How Much I Think I Could Scam Them


Note: everyone has some scam that they will fall for. For the purpose of a fair guideline here, I am thinking of a basic scam. Something like if I were to send an invoice for (say) $17,250 “for services rendered as per contract”, whether the listed company would issue me a check rather than ask any questions.

Dow Jones Company How Much I Think I Could Scam Them
3M Very Likely
American Express Dead Certainty
Amgen Unlikely
Apple Toss-up
Boeing More Likely Than Not
Caterpillar Likely
Chevron Very Likely
Cisco Not Likely
Coca-Cola Toss-up
Disney They Don’t Even Pay The People They Actually Contracted To Pay
Dow More Likely Than Not
Goldman Sachs Would Send $50,000 Just Because That’s An Easier Number To Write Out
Home Depot Unlikely
Honeywell Wait, they’re in the Dow Jones Industrial Average? Like, the thermostat people? Really? Did every other business turn Mr Jones down?
IBM Absolutely
Intel They would try to pay and somehow it would never go through
Johnson & Johnson Not until I showed up at their headquarters in New Brunswick and asked why their offices there look more like a college campus than the actual Rutgers campus across the street does
JPMorgan Chase Oh yes
McDonald’s Oh no
Merck Probably not
Microsoft Would either get laughed at or get the check in ten minutes with an apology, hard to say, depends who opens the envelope
Nike Nope
Proctor & Gamble Wait, they’re still around? I thought they vanished when the soap operas went off the air?
Salesforce This company is itself a hoax slipped into the Dow Jones, so of course they’d pay, out of respect for another player of the game
Travelers More Likely Not
UnitedHealth Probably Not
Verizon Don’t Get Me Started On Verizon
Visa Somewhat Likely
Walgreen Boots Alliance I have to have copied that name wrong, that can’t be it
Walmart Without Question

Reference: West Jersey: Under Four Flags, Ralph K Turp.

Statistics Saturday: The Movies (an incomplete list)


  • The Hustler
  • The Apartment
  • The Discrete Charm of The Bourgeoisie
  • The Casablanca
  • The Dog Day Afternoon
  • The E.T.
  • The Fall of The House of the Usher
  • Who Framed The Roger Rabbit
  • The A Hard Day’s The Night
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty The Valance
  • The Mon Oncle
  • The Night of The Hunter

Reference: The Big Rich: The Rise And Fall of The Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, Bryan Burrough.

Statistics Saturday: Most and Least Common Dates of Easter


Most Common Occasional Almost Never Least Common
Sundays in March, April Sundays in May (Orthodox) Sunday in July (that one time Sweden was going back-and-forth on whether they were going to be on the Gregorian or the Julian calendar and they threw in a February 30th for the heck of it) Thursdays in July

Reference: Pirates of New Jersey: Plunder and High Adventure On The Garden State Coastline, Mark P Donnelly, Daniel Diehl.

Statistics Saturday: Some April Holidays


  • April 1. April Fool’s Day.
  • April 4. April Fool’s Day Observed. (Scotland, West Australia)
  • April 6. Graperil Fool’s Day. (National Grape-Grower’s Association keeps insisting this is a thing and sends so many whiny e-mails if you don’t list it.)
  • April 12 – 17. News Sites Publish Articles Explaining How Something Kind of Like Some Part of the Miracles of Exodus or the Resurrection Could Maybe Have Happened Naturally So Christianity Is True, Okay?
  • April 13. Friday the 13th (Unobserved).
  • April 15. Calendar Nerds Explain How This Is Not The Ides Of April (United States).
  • April 16. Your Atheist Friend Goes on About How Not a Single Newspaper From Rome From 33 AD Mentions the Resurrection So Christianity Is False, Okay?
  • April 17. Your Pagan Friend Goes on About How “Easter” Is Originally a Pagan Word Meaning “Christianity Is Fake but Paganism Is Real” So Connect the Dots, People, Okay?
  • April 21. Day of Being Haunted by the Word Sequence “Haiku’ing for Space Ghost” and Trying to Think Why That’s In Our Heads And What That Could Possibly Even Mean. (Gen X only)
  • April 22. Conan O’Brien’s Birthday (Belated).
  • April 26. Moment of Silence Followed by Embarrassed Cough. (United States, Canada, Philippines)
  • April 31. April Fool’s Day (Extended Remix).

Reference: The Jersey Midlands, Henry Charlton Beck.

Statistics Saturday: Some Signs of a Toxic Workplace


  • All questions, including about whether it’s still raining, met with glassy stares and nervous looking-about.
  • Curious faint green glow across the workplace when seen by night.
  • Dress code is one paragraph plus a 22-page addendum about scarves.
  • All your anecdotes about work peter out because of that look on your friends’ faces.
  • Corporation featured in eight-part essay on Skeletor’s Bad Management Blog.
  • Cobalt-60 elemental holding court in Conference Room B.
  • Company is named for the evil corporation in an R-rated 80s movie kids watched all the time anyway.
  • Voluntary gender identification box on the application form offers “Normal” or “Difficult”.
  • Corporate communication style guides insist on employees using the word “sould” whether or not it fits and even though it isn’t a word.
  • Ninja turtles keep showing up to keep nefarious forces from dipping the company in the city reservoir.

Reference: 4th of July, Asbury Park: A History Of The Promised Land, Daniel Wolff.

Statistics Saturday: Some Signs of Spring


  • Local news anchors chat a lot about how they like the weather forecaster now.
  • Hardware store replaces fortress of bags of rock salt with fortress of bags of mulch.
  • Fancy young men thinking of love.
  • They play the Emergency Spring Alert System timer right before starting The Price Is Right but then never the spiel about how this was only a test.
  • It’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit at noon. It’s 72 degrees at 3 pm. At 5 pm, it starts to flurry. By midnight, all subcompact and compact cars are lost under the new snow.
  • Fourth robin of the season tweeting about what a jerk the first robin is.
  • All your Argentinian blogger friends posting “Some Signs of Autumn”.
  • They take the Moon down to change the batteries out.
  • You switch from forgetting your plants shouldn’t be watered to forgetting to water your plants.
  • “Spring: Next 6 Exits”

Reference: Steel Pier, Atlantic City: Showplace of the Nation, Steve Liebowitz.

Statistics Saturday: Some Bad Wordle Starts


  • XYLEM
  • AAAGH (word)
  • XYZZY (cheat code)
  • (Four greys, one yellow, and a scolding look from Word-Lor, the Elemental Spirit of Word Games)
  • AAAGH (cry of despair)
  • (Computer catches on fire)
  • SZKZK (snore)
  • (Computer, self catch on fire)
  • “@[=g3,8d]\&fbb=-q]/hK%fg” (cat walked across keyboard)
  • (Three greys and two squares of a color never before seen, or suspected, in the existence of any beings capable of reason.)
  • :wq! (Exit-with-save command for the vi text editor)
  • (Computer, self catch on fire; earthquake)

Reference: The Pine Barrens, John McPhee.

Statistics Saturday: Some Popular 19th Century Gambling Games, So Far As You Know


  • Faro
  • Brag-and-Stick
  • Twenty-card Poker
  • Chuck-a-Luck
  • Cudgels
  • Phreno
  • Tiger and Mugwump
  • Policy
  • Lick-the-Walloon
  • Two-Card Monte (the third card took a blue ribbon, pastimes and recreations, when introduced at the Lewis and Clark Exhibition of 1905)
  • Lexo
  • Thimble-Rig

Reference: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life Of Cornelius Vanderbilt, T J Stiles.

Statistics Saturday: Some More Winter Olympics Trivia


  • For several months the 1956 Winter Olympics were scheduled to be held in Santo Domingo until someone asked why Avery Brundage’s geography whiz of a grand-nephew kept giggling.
  • If this were 1988? You could get a laugh anywhere, anytime, out of anyone, just talking about the “luge”. Just the idea of the sport was the most funniest thing anyone could imagine. By 1992, the moment had passed. Sorry if you missed it.
  • Although they’re formally named the “Winter Olympics”, in the southern hemisphere where the seasons are opposite they’re known as the “Winter”.
  • They didn’t originally plan to have the 1976 Games in Innsbruck, it’s just everyone assumed that’s where the Games would be and everyone had bought their plane tickets before anyone checked where they were supposed to be held (Santo Domingo).
  • Fictional nation with the greatest number of gold medals in the Winter Olympics? Freedonia. Greatest number of medals, period? Klopstokia.
  • Sports never played in the Winter Olympics include ice baseball, snow basketball, sleet football, frost hockey, and slush rugby.
  • Like you could pretend you’re trying to think of the name of “luge” and then say your brain keeps on wanting you to say “luge” and that isn’t even a word, and if it’s 1988, you’re beloved for your sense of humor.
  • Oh yeah and if this were 1994? It would be crazy funny for David Letterman to have his Mom asking Olympics athletes questions, and that’s why to this day we have the talk show comedy genre of “somebody’s relative does a halting, insecure interview that would be painfully embarrassing to watch if you weren’t at least 75% sure the relative was in on and liked the joke”.
  • Luge, though. Luge.
  • Olympic events added for Richie Rich include $ledding, bob$leigh, $peed $kating, and ¢ro$$-¢ountry $kiing.
  • They are figuring to sneak in an extra Winter Olympics in Innsbruck next year, just to stay in practice.
  • Happy luge, everybody! We probably missed it for this year, though.

Reference: Expository Sciences, Editors Terry Shinn, Richard Whitley.

Statistics Saturday: Some Winter Olympics Trivia


  • Since 1984 the official mascot of the Winter Olympics has been Groo the Wanderer and nobody knows why.
  • They wanted to organize some winter events for the Stockholm Olympics of 1912 but couldn’t find a good place to hold them.
  • Each gold medal is initially struck in stainless steel and then touched by King Midas.
  • The typical Winter Olympics athlete will consume over twelve pounds of vegetables in their lifetime.
  • The first Winter Games were named in 1925 when the International Winter Olympics Committee woke up in the middle of the night remembering that’s what they meant to do last year and sent Chamonix, France, an exciting letter.
  • The correct answer to any trivia question about any Winter Olympics up to those of 1960? Sonja Henie.
  • Each silver medal is initially struck in stainless steel and then touched by King Midas’s decent but not really ready eldest son.
  • Ice skating was originally in the Winter Games as Ice Kating — that is, putting on a performance of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate — until a typesetting error in the program for the 1952 Games changed things forever. (Not Olympics-related, but a similar mishap with the event of rotating episodes of Mrs Columbo gave us roller skating!)
  • Each bronze medal is initially struck in stainless steel and then touched by King Midas’s brother who, you know, he’s trying, he means well, he just doesn’t get it.
  • The first ski jump was put in place because the event course had to get over State Road 832 somehow.
  • There is a 288-way tie among all the countries and special teams for greatest number of copper medals won at the Winter Games, with zero each.
  • Taking the most Winter Olympics gold medals through to 2022? Carmen Sandiego.

Reference: Expository Sciences, Editors Terry Shinn, Richard Whitley.

Statistics Saturday: Some Cartoon Characters I’d Believe Were Adapted Into Movies Recently


I mean, if you told me, I’d have no way of arguing you were wrong. Here I’m talking about movies where these characters are the stars, you know, the protagonists. I’m sure every one of them had a cameo in Ready Player One, Space Jam II: Space Jammier, Scoob!, and I’m guessing that one where space aliens jam a giant Pac-Man into a city or something? I don’t know, I just saw the commercials and figured that was enough. Anyway if you want to put one over on me, and start talking about a movie starring any of these, I would never suspect you were fibbing. Also I don’t know why you’d want to put that over on me, but that’s your business, isn’t it?

  • Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har-Har
  • Grape Ape
  • The Silverhawks
  • Tom Slick
  • Mighty Mouse
  • The Herculoids
  • Space Ace
  • Hoppy the Marvel Bunny
  • Superchicken
  • The Tazmanian Devil
  • Droopy
  • Huckleberry Hound

Reference: The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation, Frank O’Brien.

Statistics Saturday: Major Bodies of the Solar System in Alphabetic Order, Which Upsets Me Somehow


  1. Earth
  2. Jupiter
  3. Mars
  4. Mercury
  5. Moon
  6. Neptune
  7. Pluto
  8. Saturn
  9. Sun
  10. Uranus
  11. Venus

Right? There’s something about that which doesn’t look right? It’s not just me?

Reference: Twinkie, Deconstructed, Steve Ettlinger.

Statistics Saturday: Gifts Given for Squirrel Appreciation Day This Year


Pie chart showing gifts given for Squirrel Appreciation Day. Popular gifts: acorns, peanuts, mixed nuts, more peanuts, walnuts, cashes, the rest of this peanut butter sandwich, the first two seasons of _For All Mankind_ on Blu-Ray so they can finally see what's so great about it, more peanuts, popcorn, texting gloves, and Brazil nuts.
Not listed: burned almonds from all those times it turned out the window to take roasted almonds off the stove is almost 0.0625 seconds long. Also, I want someone to give me For All Mankind on Blu-Ray so I can finally see what’s so great about it.

Reference: The Jersey Game: The History Of Modern Baseball From Its Birth To The Big Leagues In The Garden State, James M DiClerico, Berry J Pavelec.

Statistics Saturday: Some Failed Attempts At Finding The Past Tense Of ‘To Glide’ After ‘Glided’ Looked Weird


  • Glode
  • Glidden
  • Glade
  • Gliddled
  • Gline
  • Glidest
  • Glued
  • Glidded
  • Glinda
  • Gloud
    • Reference: Dust: A History of the Small and the Invisible, Joseph A Amato.

Statistics Saturday: Some Pre-19th-Century Christmas Traditions, So Far As You Know


  • Whelk-shaming
  • Introducing ferrets to places where they are inefficient
  • Slapping a great volume of cheese
  • Determining, from the use of indirect questions alone, which person has put their right sock on their left and vice-versa
  • Suspending small coinage from a great height using a rope
  • Describing animals from the New World or Australia and challenging others to tell whether they are real or made up
  • Naming someone the Ruler of Dubiously Appropriate Music
  • Pants-cudgeling
  • Finding how many rounds of drink are necessary before no one in the room can pronounce the word “lugubrious”
  • A great deal of twirling
  • Trading folded-up pieces of paper on which everyone has made a secret mark which then no one looks at
  • Running chest-first into a brick wall until you have to stop

Reference: The Invention of Tradition, Editors Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger.

Statistics Saturday: Some books you could totally get me for Christmas


  • Sand: The Unassuming Mineral That Created Glass, Recreation, Navigation, Computers, and Changed the World
  • A History of the World in Six Token Coins
  • Bricks: The Construction Element that Built Empires, United Cities, Overthrew Kings, and Changed the World
  • Standardization: The 1920s Fad that Gave Paper Its Size, Brick Its Interchangeability, Consumers Their Freedom, and Big Business Their Unbreakable Domination, and Changed the World
  • A History of the World in Five Doctors’ Notes
  • Carousel Horses: The Medieval War Trainer that Entertained the Million, Invented Fun, and Changed the World
  • A History of the World in Ten Roller Coasters (I’m really hoping to set this one up for a fight with the carousel horses book.)
  • The Chipmunks: The Novelty Music Act That Revitalized Music, Redefined Animation, and Changed the World
  • A History of the World in Twelve Christmas Carols
  • Sheldon Leonard: The Racetrack Tout who Invented a Generation of Sitcoms and Changed the World
  • Rubber Bands: The Elastic Trivialities That Organized Our Work, Powered Our Play, Neatened Our Homes, and Changed the World (Also a possible fight with the carousel and roller coaster books)
  • A History of the World in Eight World Histories

References: Tea: A History of the Drink that Changed the World, John C Griffiths and Tea: The Drink that Changed the World, Laura C Martin.

The Holidays in Order of Their _Peanuts_ Special


  • Christmas
  • Halloween
  • Election Day (select jurisdictions)
  • Thanksgiving
  • Easter
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Arbor Day
  • D-Day (observance)
  • New Year’s Eve
  • Christmas
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Christmas
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Eve

Reference: Blondie: The Bumstead Family History, Dean Young, Melena Ryzik.

Statistics Saturday: Some Partly Unfoggy, Semi-Unclear, or Sort-of-precise Words


  • Inapproximativish
  • Unbecloudedish
  • Inbrumousesish
  • Ungauzyish
  • Uniexactish
  • Unloosish
  • Immistyish
  • Immurkyish
  • Ummushyesque
  • Inopaquish
  • Antiundeterminedly
  • Unvaguish

Reference: Semantic Antics: How and Why Words Change Meaning, Sol Steinmetz.

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