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.

Statistics Saturday: Some Partly Foggy, Semi-Clear, or Sort-of-Imprecise Words


  • Approximativish
  • Becloudedish
  • Brumousesish
  • Gauzyish
  • Inexactly
  • Loosish
  • Mistyish
  • Murkyish
  • Mushyesque
  • Opaquish
  • Undeterminedlike
  • Vaguish

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

Statistics Saturday: Some Unfoggy, Clear, or Precise Words


  • Inapproximative
  • Unbeclouded
  • Inbrumous
  • Ungauzy
  • Uninexact
  • Unloose
  • Immisty
  • Immurky
  • Ummushy
  • Inopaque
  • Antiundetermined
  • Unvague

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

Statistics Saturday: Some Ways To Spend November


  • No-Shave November. Celebrate the month by going thirty days using full ice cubes, or none at all. None of this shaved or chipped ice stuff.
  • NaNovember. Like November, but in one-billionth slices.
  • Hanovember. Celebrate the imperial court where Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz did his most significant avoidance of work for the Court of Hanover.
  • Napvember. A much-needed time to lie in bed while the afternoon sun’s warming your toesies.
  • Nullvember. 30 days in which we examine the byte patterns denoting the end of a string variable in C-based programming languages.
  • DiNovember. A whole month in which the most serious argument you have is about whether brontosaurus is the right name for them or not. (Note: we mean whether they’re the right name for brontosauruses. We all agree ‘brontosaurus’ is not the right name for kangaroos, Zach.)
  • No-No-November. Each day your life becomes an even-more-faithful adaptation of the smash Broadway hit No, No, Nanette.
  • Perry Comovember. Not limited to Perry Como but rather to learning about the originals of all the performers and movies you learned about from watching SCTV. Next week we compare The Towering Inferno to when they opened that super-skyscraper over Melonville!
  • Morevember. November, but it’s a 31-day month. Think of the possibilities.
  • Hypnovember. Thirty days, thirty right triangles, thirty hypotenuses!
  • San Marinovember. We all visit the tiny nation at once and see if we can’t make it tip over!
  • Renovember. Finally we do those little home-repair projects we’ve been putting off for eighteen years. … Maybe next month.

Reference: The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed, John McPhee.

Statistics Saturday: Some Movies You’d Think Would Have At Least One Dragon In Them


  • How To Train Your Dragon
  • Eragon
  • Dragonslayer
  • Dungeons and Dragons
  • Pete’s Dragon (1977)
  • Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God
  • The NeverEnding Story
  • Quest for Camelot
  • Spirited Away
  • Pete’s Dragon (2016)
  • Dragon Fighter
  • The Flight of Dragons

Not listed: Disney’s Robin Hood although doesn’t that really feel like it should have at least one dragon in there, somewhere?

Reference: The Most Unsordid Act: Lend-Lease, 1939-1941, Warren F Kimball.

Statistics Saturday: Earliest and Latest Sunrises Of Each Month


Month Earliest Sunset Latest Sunset
January 1st 31st
February 1st 28th (common years)


29th (leap years)

March 1st 31st
April 1st 30th
May 1st 31st
June 1st 30th
July 1st 31st
August 1st 31st
September 1st 30th
October 1st 31st
November 1st 30th
December 1st 31st

Reference: Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery, Stephen J Pyne.

Statistics Saturday: 15 Things You Can’t Believe Happened Earlier In 2021


  • Bean Dad
  • Sea shanties on TikTok
  • Like three probes orbited or landed on Mars and one of them had a helicopter
  • Balloon Boy
  • The Kellogg’s strike
  • That morning we all found a box of Peak Freans on our counter even though they haven’t made Peak Freans since like 1989 and nobody could explain where all these Peaks Freans came from
  • That guy did that really good impression of Robin Williams learning of John Belushi’s death
  • Culture Club released the hit song “Karma Chameleon”
  • The imperatives of state bureaucracy drove European governments to impose family names on all their inhabitants, without regard to local culture or the lack of community need for such things
  • The controversial “Rashomon” episode of Scooby and Scrappy Doo aired
  • Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins died
  • Ken Russell’s film adaptation of The Who’s Tommy uses rather a lot of beans, is unconnected to “Bean Dad”
  • End of the Recombination era of the universe, when electrons and atomic nucleuses finally became cool enough to bind together into atoms, allowing photons to travel great distances, causing space to no longer be opaque for the first time
  • Boss Baby 2 came out
  • Audiences were enchanted by that “so good … but no lumps!” commercial but can’t remember, was it for gravy? For Alka-Seltzer? But Alka-Seltzer was that “Mama Mia, that’s a spicy meatball” commercial, right? That was like four years ago?

Reference: American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, Nick Taylor.

Statistics Saturday: Even More Promotions For The Coming Month


  • Wicktober. A public-safety month in which we go around to all the candles in our house and make sure each of them still works when lit.
  • Slicktober. Finally our most elaborate scheme comes off without a hitch and it looks effortless.
  • Talktober. “Talk Talk”, by Talk Talk, spends 31 days playing in your head.
  • Yaktober. Don’t let the name fool you; it’s a chance to celebrate all the Warner Siblings.
  • Marktober. Spending all this time getting worried that the spell checker allowed “Marktober” through as a word that it thinks somehow is spelled correctly even though it refuses to help me any with the spelling of Cincinn .. Cinci … Cincinat … that big city in southwestern Ohio where WKRP broadcast from.
  • Smocktober. Unleash the artist within without getting it all over your nice t-shirt!
  • Hawktober. A whole month to try selling other people your wares, perhaps foodstuffs of some manner! Good luck!
  • Woktober. We enjoy great pots of melted cheese that we dip bread into. The name is because “Fonduetober” doesn’t scan.
  • Bricktober. Unleash the chimney-repairman within without getting it all over your nice smock!
  • Socktober. A month that feels as good to take off as it does to put on!
  • Marktober. Trying a second time to spend the month — oh, look, “Marktober” has the same cadence as “Hot Blooded” and now that song’s competing with “Talk Talk”. Sorry.
  • Stoptober. Persons close to you have leave to say what they’re tired of, which is mostly persons close to me, and this whole October promotions thing.

Reference: Enslaved By Ducks, Bob Tarte.

Statistics Saturday: Some More Promotions For The Coming Month


  • Roctober. Once more, you’d think self-explanatory: we’re all great birds the size of an island. Gets crowded.
  • Snacktober. So many potato sticks. Just soooo maaaaannnny.
  • Jocktober. We all get to use our silliest fake French accent. (Should be Jacquestober.)
  • Mawktober. The month where we most don’t respond to emotional manipulation.
  • Voxtober. The voice of the month!
  • Brachtober. Finally we get to enjoy some hard candies.
  • Oc-tube-er. The month when you finally finish that project with all the cathode-ray-tube television sets.
  • Oc-tube-er. The rival month when you finally finish that project with all the potatoes.
  • Sticktober. Our month for appreciating adhesives of all kind. May last through the 5th of November if the drop cloth doesn’t work.
  • Stacktober. A chance to put things on top of many other things.
  • Barktober. We ensconce ourselves in a pleasant, cozy skin of growing wood.
  • Tictactober. We’re not getting out until we’ve played all the tic-tac-toe.

Reference: Gilded City: Scandal and Sensation In Turn-Of-The-Century New York, M H Dunlop.

Statistics Saturday: Some Promotions For The Coming Month


  • Rocktober. Self-explanatory, you’d think, but all right. Everybody’s into geology.
  • Shocktober. A whole month spent distinguishing between behing shocked and merely being startled.
  • Mocktober. The month for spoofs (good-natured).
  • Locktober. Three weeks we waste trying to remember the combination. It is 11-4-69.
  • Blocktober. The floor is covered in Legos.
  • Clocktober. We all engage in clock- and watch-themed crimes to overwhelm the Caped Crusader!
  • Spocktober. 31 days of serious inquiry into Dr Benjamin Spock’s program and how it differed from what the people trying to follow his guidance differed, with the final question about whether he was a net positive or negative force answered once and for all on the 29th, by a paintball fight. 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific.
  • Hard Mocktober. The month for spoofs (nasty and a touch bitter).
  • Octoctober. You have eight arms! Finally! I mean that you can show.
  • Stocktober. You lay in enough durable supplies for the winter ahead, as it’s a bit late to lay them in for hte summer behind.
  • Docktober. We finally get all these breakbulk goods off these cargo ships.
  • Socktober. Finally something warm and comfortable on our feet.

Reference: Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!, Arthur C Clarke.

Statistics Saturday: Some Cartoons In Which Popeye Does Not Each Spinach


  • Goonland (Fleischer Studios, 1938)
  • Spree Lunch (Famous Studios, 1957)
  • Bimbo’s Initiation (Fleischer Studios, 1931)
  • Sleepy Time Donald (Disney Studios, 1947)
  • The Woody Woodpecker Polka (Walter Lantz Studios, 1951)
  • The Ruff and Reddy Show: The Mad Monster of Muni-Mula (Hanna-Barbera Studios, 1957)
  • Poppa Popeye (Paramount Cartoon Studios, 1960)
  • Rickey Rocket: The Count Draculon Caper (Ruby-Spears Productions, 1979)
  • Gilligan’s Planet: Too Many Gilligans (Filmation, 1982)
  • 2 Stupid Dogs: Let’s Make A Right Price (Hanna-Barbera Studios, 1993)
  • Dave the Barbarian: Night of the Living Plush (Walt Disney Television Animation, 2004)
  • Loonatics Unleashed: Planet Blanc: In Search of Tweetums (Part II) (Warner Brothers Animation, 2007)
    • Reference: The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age, Alan Trachtenberg.

Statistics Saturday: Even More Counting Numbers


Beyond even July’s counting

  • Fifteenteenteen
  • Sixteenteenteen
  • Seventeenteenteen
  • Eighteenteenteen
  • Nineteenteenteen
  • Teenteenteenteen
  • Eleventeenteenteen
  • Twelveteenteenteen
  • Thirteenteenteenteen
  • Fourtenteenteenteen
  • Fifteenteenteenteen
  • Sixteenteenteenteen
  • Seventeenteenteenteen
  • Eighteenteenteenteen
  • Nineteenteenteenteen
  • Teenteenteenteenteen

Reference: Conan Doyle: Portrait of an Artist, Julian Symons.

Statistics Saturday: Trivia about The Facts Of Life I’ve been having a hard time dealing with this week


  • Dana Plato was not a regular on The Facts Of Life. She was on Diff’rent Strokes.
  • There were many more episodes made after the gang was at the Academy (122) than there were when the Academy was the premise of the show (79).
  • In fact, Dana Plato wasn’t on The Facts Of Life at all, except for the stealth-pilot episode that aired as part of Diff’rent Strokes‘s original run and the first episode of the first season.
  • Molly Ringwald played one of the characters first season, until the show decided they had too many characters and she was one of the ones that got cut.
  • Heck, Dana Plato played her character Kimberly Drummond on more episodes of Hello, Larry (three) than The Facts Of Life (one or maybe two depending how you count the stealth pilot).
  • Had Soviet Air Defece Force officer Stanislav Petrov not kept his cool during the 1983 false nuclear alarm incident, and had allowed the mistaken reports of a sneak attack by the United States to escalate into a nuclear “retaliation”, the first episode of The Facts Of Life which would have been preempted for nuclear war was #80, titled “Gamma Gamma or Bust”.
  • There are five episodes of Diff’rent Strokes that Gary Coleman was not in. This has nothing to do with The Facts Of Life, but it is hard to accept.
  • The Facts Of Life has been mentioned in more host sketches, through season twelve, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (one) than have any works of science fiction legend Ray Bradbury (zero).

Not listed: the first Diff’rent Strokes episode that would have been preempted had the world destroyed itself in nuclear war in 1983 was the one where they’re filming an episode of The A-Team in the Drummonds’ apartment for some reason and so Arnold (Gary Coleman) makes himself up as a miniature Mister T.

Reference: Naming Infinity: A True Story Of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity, Loren Graham, Jean-Michel Kantor.

Statistics Saturday: Some August Holidays


  • Feast of the Assertion
  • The New Jersey Big Sea Day
  • August Bonk Holiday
  • The Big Jersey New Sea Day
  • Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday (Unobserved, New South Wales)
  • Halloween in May in August
  • Satellite Echo 1A Launch Anniversary
  • The Big Sea New Jersey Day
  • Elephant World Day (Alberta and Seal World only)
  • Pompous Symbolic Gestures Day
  • The Big Day New Sea Jersey
  • September Eve

Reference: Euphemania: Our Love Affair With Euphemisms, Ralph Keyes.

Statistics Saturday: Ten Most Amazing Facts Of The Week


  • Despite the name no so-called “universal remote” has ever in fact been remote from the universe.
  • No United States president has ever been born in the future.
  • The 100 pleats in a chef’s hat represent the 100 times that the guy who bought the hat-pleating mechanism insisted on showing this was too a good purchase and would pay for itself in time.
  • In the Star Trek episode “Court Martial” Spock discusses what would happen “if I let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity”, implying there are enough zero- and negative-gravity planets around he needs to shut talk about them down before it even starts.
  • There must always exist at least one breadbox that cannot be put inside another breadbox. However, if the universe were infinitely large, we could not count on this being true.
  • No episode of the 1980s animated series of The Smurfs establishes that Gargamel knows of the Snorks.
  • Those coworkers whose names you aren’t sure you have yet, and it’s too awkward now to ask about? Sara and Mike. If there’s a third, it’s Darryl or maybe Darren. Go confident on the “Darr” part and underplay the second syllable and you’ll get away with it.
  • D is known as “the sunshine vitamin” because it was first discovered by spectral analysis of the sun. It would not be seen on Earth for nearly a generation after its detection.
  • Not only could they make Blazing Saddles today, they did, which is where everybody was all day and why they’re all tuckered out. You should have come over and helped, you’d have had a great time. Maybe you can catch them next month when they hope to make Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One.
  • Despite every advance in the technology to write songs, they are likely to be outnumbered by unwritten songs through 2024 at the soonest.

Reference: A Diplomatic History Of Europe Since The Congress Of Vienna, René Albrecht-Carié.

Statistics Saturday: Most Commonly Used Words When I Write Cursive, Apparently


  • rmffmnmrmoffmomifms (?)
  • striiisng (?)
  • Skareneslm (?)
  • adflemnoriiis (?)
  • thent (?)
  • Argranis’t (?)
  • snozzigigqq (?)
  • Gesorningblatz (?)
  • pank (?)
  • Fernowerz (?)
  • enfloorowore (?)
  • w’tna (?)

Reference: Second Founding: New York City, Reconstruction, and the Making of American Democracy, David Quigley.

Statistics Saturday: Apollo 15 By The Numbers (corrected)


Editorial note. Due to an editing error last week’s chart included the number “1”, representing the number of deep-space spacewalks (as opposed to moonwalks) during Apollo 15. Although that statistic had been considered, the intention was to instead present the number of parachutes which failed to open during the (safe) splashdown. I regret the mistake and include the corrected chart here. Thank you for your understanding.

Pie chart of unlabelled numbers, such as '15' and '4,100,000,000' or '295:11:53' which all do have some relevance to the Apollo 15 spaceflight, but all unlabelled and unorganized so there is no meaning to any of them.
Still not depicted: 26.975, 560.389, or 4.687.

Reference: European History 1648 to 1789, R M Rayner.

Statistics Saturday: What Some Cooking Terms Mean


  • Brazened Apples. To take apples or any other fruit with edible skin and subject them to a display of outrageous behavior.
  • Deglaze. To take food off the window.
  • Reassembled Eggs. Scrambled or stirred eggs which have been placed back into a shell or similar hard container. It is not necessary to unstir them; if one does, the result is called “Delmonico Eggs”.
  • Oignon Brute. A half-peeled onion placed on a skillet in a manner characteristic of 1960s and 70s architecture, generally reliant on concrete, with the working structure implied by the shapes of the visible exterior or of elements within the living interior space.
  • Adumbrate. To set a relish or other briny material on the shelf in the pantry by mistake until you remember it maybe should be refrigerated, but you’re not sure if that’s really necessary or just cautious.
  • Roast Jeté. To set something in the oven while jumping.
  • Discoursing the Meat. To remove the edible part of an artichoke from a golf course or other public walkway.
  • Naked Spaghetti. The most dangerous pasta.
  • Icing. To make any kind of food wait for you.
  • Serendipity Sauce. Any process which moistens your cooking surface without your effort, including the automatic sprinklers going off.
  • Blornching. To over-stir the meat, meat substitute, or thick pudding, to the point you neglect everything else, and you end up not even liking the meat either.
  • Escanaba. (Localism.) To have or serve food in Michigan’s upper peninsula.
  • Scowling Cheese. Any hard or semi-soft cheese which has been made to disapprove.
  • Western-Fried (as in steak). To southern-fry something while lost.
  • Chunked Wheat. To sort into four or fewer categories a pile of flour or other wheat product.

Reference: Defining NASA: The Historical Debate Over The Agency’s Mission, W D Kay.

Statistics Saturday: What Your Most Common Misspelling Of “Parmesan” Says About You


  • Parmesean. Your family had the joke pronunciation of “par-mee-see-anne” and now you are willing to fight for it.
  • Parmisan. You understand vowels are flexible things but darn it, you have to call it as you hear it.
  • Parrrmesan. You think Talk Like A Pirate Day should last longer.
  • Parmejean. You wish to encourage Italian, as a language, to do more with the letter ‘j’.
  • Parrmeesianne. You have a hard time stopping once you’ve really got started on something.
  • Parmsan. You are in a hurry and don’t have time for this.
  • Sherbert. You misunderstand questions.
  • Parmasan. Your ability to spell this was ruined forever by learning the cheese comes from Parma.
  • The Green Bottle Of Cheese. You are so afraid of typos that you forget it’s not kept in a bottle but rather a canister.
  • Parm. You hope to acquire prestige by posing as closer to cheese than you are.

Reference: Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation, Peter L Bernstein.

Statistics Saturday: Some Fictional Spices


  • Paragon
  • Oleomangels
  • Antitheseed
  • Dingo peppers
  • Melankonkus
  • Qualia
  • Mega-vanilla
  • Oregoo-no-look-out-it’s-loose
  • Sysop
  • Manganese
  • Vermillion Sands
  • Hypochondria
  • False Coriander
  • Balsam and Soapbark, Radio’s Smile-A-While Boys
  • Cassio

Reference: Amelia Earhart: A Biography, Doris L Rich.

Statistics Saturday: More Counting Numbers


  • Fifteen
  • Sixteen
  • Seventeen
  • Eighteen
  • Nineteen
  • Teenteen
  • Eleventeen
  • Twelveteen
  • Thirteenteen
  • Fourtenteen
  • Fifteenteen
  • Sixteenteen
  • Seventeenteen
  • Eighteenteen
  • Nineteenteen
  • Teenteenteen

Reference: Conan Doyle: Portrait of an Artist, Julian Symons.

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