Statistics Saturday: Some Things That Yeah, We’ve Tried Already, They Didn’t Work


  • Turning it off and back on again.
  • Going back into the other room and thinking what we wanted to come in here for.
  • Club soda.
  • Writing an apology for losing our temper, at least, since it is true to say we were wrong to do that.
  • Trigonometric substitution.
  • Offering it again, with a raisin as treat.
  • Unplugging and replugging it.
  • Putting “make to-do list” as the first item on the to-do list.
  • Counting the seconds off.
  • Putting a plastic ruler on top of the drawing tablet to make the reference lines.
  • Drop-catching the pinball.
  • Translating the sentence into Latin to see if its meaning is clear.
  • Screaming into the pillow.
  • Keeping a log of every time this happens so you can prove you aren’t imagining it.
  • Dedicating 15 minutes a day to resolving e-mails until there’s only like a couple dozen in there.
  • Jiggling the key.
  • Putting both spellings into Google to see if one’s way more common than the other.
  • Preemptively striking.
  • Having a little tray on the endtable for all keys.
  • Celery. Lots and lots of celery. All the celery.

Oh! But a slant rhyme, I bet that’s exactly what we need!

Is Anyone Checking On Reader’s Digest These Days?


I won’t make excuses for leafing through a Reader’s Digest in the self-check lane at Meijer’s. Those lanes move slow, what with the United States having decided it has to switch over to chip-card readers like fifteen years after everyone else in the world has. Also that every store has to do it over the course of three weeks. So every line in every store is slow and angry, with chip readers cursing at us. We curse back. But the current issue offers this headline:

Be a Folding Genius: 5 Folding Hacks That Will Probably Change Your Life

And they’re not even talking about stuff that really would help, like folding your car up into an easily totable suitcase like George Jetson did in the opening credits and never on the actual show. Or working out how to unfold, say, an old Sam Goody receipt into a basic but functional-for-experimental-purposes 3-D printer. They’re talking about folding underwear up so it takes less space in your luggage. In short, I have never been all that comfortable with how Reader’s Digest places its possessive. It isn’t a magazine for a single reader and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t reflect the tastes of a solitary reader. I’m bothered.

Things I’ve Observed About Science Fiction


Providing lifehacks is all the rage among people who are precisely sure what it takes for something to qualify as a lifehack, and I’d like to offer some that I’ve figured out. They mostly involve talking about science fiction online, so here goes:

  1. You can save time when discussing Star Trek: The Next Generation by not bothering to look up the name of the Star Fleet Guest Character Who’s This Week’s Plot Annoyance by just referring to him as “Admiral Jerkface” instead.
  2. People who show off their knowledge of age-of-consent laws are doing nothing to help their argument that Piers Anthony’s Xanth books aren’t creepy.
  3. That first tip doesn’t actually save you more than like a couple seconds a year because everybody pretty much ran out of stuff to talk about Star Trek: The Next Generation back when we all didn’t go see Nemesis.

That’s about it, really. Sorry.