Statistics Monday: What Was Popular Here In November 2018


I like taking a day near the start of the month to look over what WordPress tells me was popular around here. It’s usually a nice, low-key way to fill the content hole with a lot of numbers followed by a heap of other numbers, some of them including decimal points. It’s great.

In September there were 2,644 page views around here. They came from 1,436 unique visitors, who left a total of 174 likes and 50 comments. In October there were 3,070 page views and I do so like getting above a big round number like that. 1,681 unique visitors, who left 173 likes and 67 comments. And for November?

November 2018 statistics: 3,077 views, 1.731 visitors, 1.78 views per visitor, and 30 posts published.
1.78 views per visitor is down from October’s 1.83, and September’s 1.84. But all this really suggests is I’m not seeing these deep archive-binges. (I’m not sure I have ever been archive-binged, but there have been months I had a whole 2.34 views per visitor.)

I was surprised to have a very slight increase in page views, to 3,077. My mathematics blog had a drop in readers in November and I expect the two blogs to stay synchronized. (More accurately the mathematics blog had an extra readership boost in October.) The number of unique visitors rose more than slightly, to 1,681, more than I’ve had since this five-month streak in early 2018. Likes fell to 150, the first time in seven months that they’ve been outside the 165-to-180 range. The number of comments rose to 88, the fifth month of increase in a row and the greatest number since February 2018.

As in October, all the most popular stuff here was comic strip updates. Also as in October, the most popular pieces weren’t actually published in this past month. At the top were:

The most popular thing actually published in November was I Don’t Know Who’s Officially Writing Spider-Man Now. It is Roy Thomas, although Comics Kingdom doesn’t have his credit on the strip yet. They just list Stan Lee. My most popular long-form piece was In Which I Am Extremely Helpful Making Food For Thanksgiving, suggesting there might be some interest in me writing pieces that make me out as incompetent but well-intentioned. I had expected that to be well-received. Intellectual-amiable-fumbling in that Robert Benchley mode plays to my strengths. The most popular Statistics Saturday post was Questions Raised By Learning Kings Dominion Amusement Park Had A Wayne’s-World-Theme Area. There’s not really any reason that had to be a Statistics Saturday format, truth be told.

Here’s the roster of the story strips I hope to explain What’s Going On In for the coming month. Subject, as ever, to fast-breaking news updates.

And it won’t matter for December. But Alley Oop is scheduled to go into new strips the 7th of January. Alison Sayers is to write and Jonathan Lemon to draw. And apparently the Sunday strips are to be about “Li’l Oop,” a preteen version of Alley Oop. I have no idea if that’s going to be a separate storyline or just standalone gags.

The country count: there were 60 countries sending me readers in September. 69 in October. For November there were 66 countries, if you count “European Union” as a single country. The exact roster:

Country Readers
United States 2,352
India 113
Canada 107
Australia 66
United Kingdom 53
Italy 44
Brazil 31
Germany 27
Philippines 22
Denmark 20
Hong Kong SAR China 18
France 16
Spain 14
Finland 11
Netherlands 11
South Africa 11
Peru 10
Sweden 10
Turkey 9
Chile 8
Mexico 7
Russia 7
European Union 6
Japan 6
Poland 6
South Korea 6
Malaysia 5
Norway 5
Romania 4
Serbia 4
Thailand 4
Vietnam 4
Belgium 3
El Salvador 3
Hungary 3
Jamaica 3
Nepal 3
Oman 3
Portugal 3
Venezuela 3
Austria 2
Costa Rica 2
Croatia 2
Czech Republic 2
Indonesia 2
New Zealand 2
Nigeria 2
Singapore 2
Switzerland 2
Ukraine 2
Bangladesh 1 (**)
Colombia 1
Egypt 1
Georgia 1
Guyana 1
Honduras 1
Ireland 1
Malawi 1
Maldives 1 (*)
Mongolia 1
Morocco 1
Panama 1
Papua New Guinea 1
Qatar 1
Saudi Arabia 1
Sri Lanka 1

There were 16 single-reader countries in September, 17 in October, and in November, 16. I guess I have my level, then. Maldives have been a single-reader country two months running now. Bangladesh, three months.

According to Insights, for the end of November I had published 334 posts and a total of 212,977 words this year. That’s an average of 638 words per piece, up from an average of 634 from the start of November. It’s also by the way a total of 17,378 words over the 30 posts. So I’m doing really well at getting my Monday-Wednesday-Friday posts down to short, snappy pieces.

As of the end of November I’m averaging 2.5 comments per post, up from 2.4 at the start of November and 2.3 at the start of October. And an average of 6.0 likes per post, down from 6.1 at the start of November and October. December opened with my having 105,666 page views total, from 58,125 unique visitors. And 2,129 total posts, by the way.

I’m glad if you choose to follow Another Blog, Meanwhile. You can add it to your WordPress reader with the button that says you can add this to your WordPress reader. If you prefer an RSS reader, you can add my articles from this link. And I’m also @Nebusj on Twitter. Finally I’d like to thank everyone for my theme song and great music cues. See you next month.

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Statistics Monday: What November 2017 Did For My Readership


I apologize for running this so late, but I was dealing with car stuff Friday. I didn’t have the time, or the energy, or enough desire to not crawl into the gap where the old maple tree’s rotted away to curl up to go looking over my statistics. They’re probably close enough now.

Might want to curl up again, though. My readership took a pretty big drop in November. I was below 2,000 page views for the first time in three months, and below 1,900 for the first time since April. It was nearly more dire than that: only 1,805 page views, compared to 2,151 in October and 2,126 in September. I’m curious what if anything explains this. I can’t imagine it’s the story comics rotating into a less-popular phase. November let me update people on the goings-on in Dick Tracy, Mark Trail, and Mary Worth. The first has lasting “did I miss something?” moments, and the other two are maybe the ironic-story-comics-reads now that Apartment 3-G has stopped happening.

The number of unique visitors dropped too, to 1,049. This stays above the nice round number of a thousand, at least, although it’s the smallest monthly total this year. I guess it says good-ish things about the number of views per visitor, although I’m still startled by it.

The number of pages liked was down, but not nearly so much: 165 likes were logged in November. There were 184 in October, but only 142 in September. This is still above the median for the year. The number of comments was up, too, to 35 from October’s 22. It’s close to September’s 38, and this is the third-highest total for the month. I know that’s juiced, though, by people sharing the origins of their blog names after I explained the title around here. I can’t do that every month, unless I start making things up. So now you know what next Monday’s bit is going to be.

The most popular essays have been, as usual, comic strip coverage. Fair enough. None of my long-form pieces were even remotely popular in November. This was a bit startling. They were (nearly) all variations of the same premise, goofy this-day-in-history pieces, and apparently people weren’t having it. Well, I stand by the long tail, and that future generations will find them when looking up “historical events november 24” and wonder what the heck this is before going off somewhere else. And I rake in the page views. As for what was genuinely popular or even remotely wanted now:

Those what’s-going-on posts are from the first time I thought to do a summary of recent plot developments in the strips. There’s a paragraph at the top of each to explain that more recent developments are covered at this other link, but I suppose it’s hard to resist the appeal of a subject line that exactly matches what people are asking the search engine. Kind of sorry I can’t just shuttle them right along to the page that’s probably more relevant to what they need to know, though. Maybe I need to retitle story strip posts as I supersede them.

Now for the running of the big list of countries! I make out 68 countries sending me readers, if we accept “European Union” as one. There were 22 single-reader countries in November. And who were they? These:

Country Readers
United States 1354
India 65
Canada 60
Germany 38
United Kingdom 35
Philippines 20
Brazil 19
Australia 18
France 14
Indonesia 14
Sweden 12
New Zealand 8
Italy 7
Netherlands 7
Romania 7
Russia 7
Ukraine 7
European Union 5
Japan 5
Mexico 5
Turkey 5
Denmark 4
Guadeloupe 4
Hong Kong SAR China 4
Hungary 4
Singapore 4
Switzerland 4
Vietnam 4
Belgium 3
Bermuda 3
Estonia 3
Ireland 3
Malaysia 3
Peru 3
Portugal 3
Argentina 2
Armenia 2
Chile 2
Greece 2
Israel 2
Serbia 2
South Africa 2
South Korea 2
Spain 2
Thailand 2
Algeria 1
Austria 1
Bangladesh 1
Bulgaria 1 (*)
Cambodia 1
Cameroon 1
Colombia 1 (***)
Czech Republic 1
Finland 1
Jamaica 1
Kazakhstan 1
Kenya 1
Nepal 1
Norway 1 (*)
Panama 1
Poland 1
Puerto Rico 1
Slovenia 1 (*)
Taiwan 1
Trinidad and Tobago 1 (*)
Tunisia 1
United Arab Emirates 1

October had 70 countries send me readers, and September 65. So, things are wobbling there. There were 21 single-reader countries in October, down from 24 in September. Again, wobbles.

Bulgaria, Norway, Slovenia, and Trinidad and Tobago were single-reader countries last month too. Colombia’s been a single-reader country four months running now. I think they’re maybe going for Cambodia’s five-month record from this year.

The month started at 66,974 page views, from something like 37,460 unique visitors. If you’d like to be among them, thank you, I’d be glad to see something unique out of you. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but, sheesh, the car thing is still dragging out. I don’t have the energy to be appealing.

On This Date: November 24, If You Will


2019. Highly disappointing opening of the canal between the fifth and the second floors of the West Mall in Bukit Batok, Singapore, with critics saying the whole system seems to be “just a slightly large elevator” and “not really better than riding a couple escalators would be”. The complaints are harsh but fair because riding escalators is a really grand thing. If there were some way to fix the problems of having to step onto or off of them then we’d really have something.

2020. The Internet has one of those weird spasms where everybody gets hung up on how the Dreamland amusement park in Margate, Kent, England, was renamed “Benbom Brothers Theme Park” in the 1980s just because that sounds like the name you’d create if you were in the 90s and doing a bad translation of a Japanese RPG. Within 14 hours, it passes, leaving no harm done.

2026. The “Inbox Zero” e-mail productivity fad gives way to the “Inbox Infinity” model as this turns out to be a great deal easier for everyone and their nerves needed it by this point.

2064. Last specific reprinting of Art Buchwald’s column about introducing Thanksgiving to the French, which is a shame since that bit about translating Miles Standish’s name as “Kilometres Deboutish”? That’s solid enough.

2065. Mutual occultation of Venus and Jupiter happens, two days late, following last-minute negotiations when the planets can’t agree about whether it should be the occultation of Venus by Jupiter or of Jupiter by Venus, and a furious debate on the Wikipedia talk page about “Crayons”, where the debate somehow settled in a process people were still trying to explain to their great-grandchildren.

2085. We fix the problem of having to step onto or off of escalators with the invention of shoes that can’t get caught in the teeth of those things but keep you pretty stable when you’re stepping into the belt.

2121. Bigfoot’s job hunt lands him a career as the mascot for the Jersey Devils. He lasts nearly eight years at the post before going on to greater fame as the official public greeter for Baltimore, Maryland (starting the 26th of July, 2129) and sees the Devils to two World Series appearances when their bus gets lost.

2200. The Universal Postal Union agrees that next year shall be 2200: The Gold Edition”, although it will be labelled as “2201” for the sake of not breaking anyone’s database software.

2243. 186th anniversary of the 24th of November, 2057, passes without turmoil but with many people asking “Huh?” and “Why?” and “This is a thing because of why?”

2371. Deep in a star system nearly 75,000 light-years from Earth the locals begin producing a program known as Star Trek: Voyager. It’s purely coincidence, though, as the vastness of the universe and the enormity of the number of peopled worlds and the relatively small number of sounds that are likely to be made into words cause a program that happens to have that name without actually being a remake or continuation of the United Paramount Network classic program. It is in fact a shot-for-shot remake of Star Trek: The Original Series except in this one Lieutenant Uhura gets along great with Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, and critics say this one little change drastically improves the whole body of work.

2618. After years, maybe a decade, of cruel taunting about what work it does exactly that ‘S’ and ‘K’ don’t do just as well the letter ‘C’ declares it’s had enough and leaves the alphabet. While people are able to carry on mostly fine, what with having both ‘S’ and ‘K’ there, it does leave words such as “church” pretty well stuck. The letter ‘J’ steps up to remind everyone that it could totally do the hard ‘ch’ sound, and is told to sit down because it’s done “so much already” and is really appreciated “right where it is” by letters that are rolling their eyes.

4211. No end of discussion about the way the dates of the year line up, if you’re in the United States, and a lot of arguing that the United States way of listing the dates is just stupid and dumb and wrong. By the time it’s over very few people are still talking to each other. It’s a good way to figure out who you need to stop interacting with, though. Consider it.

Statistics Saturday: Least-Likely Dates For (US) Thanksgiving


  1. November 17th
  2. November 31st
  3. Kevin’s Birthday (Kevin was born in February)
  4. November 9th
  5. Maundy Thursday
  6. The Feast of St Ailbe
  7. The New Jersey Big Sea Day (second Saturday in August, Manasquan, New Jersey)
  8. November 0x2AAth
  9. Black Friday
  10. Other Kevin’s Birthday (Other Kevin was born in December)
  11. It’s not tomorrow is it? We can’t go to the farmer’s market today, it’s going to be madness!
  12. September 4, 476 AD

On This Date: November 17, If You Like


765. Date of the historical incident believed to have inspired, in distorted form, the fable of Jack the Giant-Killer, when seven flies were indeed killed in one blow by a giant rampaging through a middle-Uressexshire hamlet. Less famously the incident is also credited with creating the village of Flattstone-Under-Stompenhedge. It’s a little baffling how the story ended up like we know it today. Most historians of legend suspect “political satire around the time of the Commonwealth or Restoration”. But we’ll admit that’s their answer to everything.

797. Kanmu, Emperor of Japan, changes his residence from Nara to Kyoto but the student loan people find him anyway.

1602. Birth of Agnes of Jesus, who’d go on to become a nun in what seems like typecasting but there you go. Sometimes you just know what your course is in life.

1777. The Colonial Congress sends the Articles of Confederation to the British Parliament for ratification in a deliberately-arranged “accident” that both sides fail to use as a chance to apologize and try to come to some reasonable settlement of the whole matter. It ends up making everybody feel eight percent more awkward.

1810. Sweden declares war on the United Kingdom in order to start the Anglo-Swedish War, since it seems like a shame to have such a snappy name for a war and nobody declaring it or anything. The war ends two years later when they notice everyone’s been so happy with the stylish name and the idea of Sweden and the United Kingdom being at war that nobody ever bothered to fight the other side, and that isn’t even my joke.

1858. Day zero of the Modified Julian Day scheme so that’s why your friend who does all this database stuff with dates is staring wistfully out the window and wondering why we have to have a February even today. We do not; we have a February in-between January and March.

1869. The Suez Canal successfully links the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. Backers fail to reach their stretch goal of connecting the Mediterranean with either the Pacific Ocean, the Baltic Sea at Brunsbüttel, or Albany, New York. But they’re happy with what they did achieve and give out some commemorative coasters.

1933. The United States recognizes the Soviet Union.

1935. The United States recognizes the Soviet Union a second time when Guatemala explains how the two of them used to stand at the window outside the League of Nations building in Geneva staring inside and sometimes putting pickles from the burger stand down the way onto the window to see if they’d freeze in place there.

1946. Last use of a Murphy bed except in a black-and-white sitcom.

1952. Soap magnate Dr Emanual Theodore Bronner, serving his jury duty obligation for the civil court, is asked whether he is familiar with the law regarding trees and shrubs which overhang the property line. Both sides’ attorneys excuse him 36 seconds later. He finishes the first of many extremely considered sentences about the matter in December, and his whole thought about fallen branches by 1954 (estimated).

1961. The United States recognizes the Soviet Union again, but pretends to stumble and have to fiddle with its shoelaces a couple minutes while they pass on the sidewalk.

1973. One of the most successful weight-loss plans of the 70s gets started when Eater’s Digest publishes this compelling bit of reasoning. The reasoning: you can burn off more calories simply by going about your business while wearing weights. But what is fat except excess weight? And, better, weight that you can’t take off even if you want? Therefore simply by walking or standing or breathing or sleeping on your chest you’re burning off excess calories, thereby causing yourself to lose weight on the whole deal. And therefore being fatter is the quickest way to being thinner and, therefore, being overweight doesn’t exist and within two years everybody is.

2015. ‘Bob and Bert’ create the only podcast advertisement ever recorded that makes listening to the podcast sound appealing or desirable or even something other than just a bit of sadness. After the successful advertisement their Wheeler-and-Woolseycast releases one more episode, then misses four months for an unannounced hiatus, returns with a 15 minutes apology and explanation that it’ll be two months before they get back to their twice-a-month-schedule, and then never be heard from again.

On This Or That Date: November 10


1433. Birth of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, died 1477 before anybody could make font jokes at him, which is just as well, because after forty years of those he’d probably throw boiling serifs over the ramparts before anyone even got near him.

1551. Wait, is that just someone wandering through the background of the ‘Mister Food’s Test Kitchen’ segment on the noon news? She can’t just be wandering up to the fridge there for no reason, right? No, wait, she is. The heck? And there she goes again and Mister Food doesn’t acknowledge her at all? Oh, I guess she’s come in at the end to sample the macaroni-and-cheese he suggests people try cooking. Is it, like, her job to wander around in the TV kitchen and then eat macaroni and cheese at the end? How do I not have that job myself? Sorry, TV distracted me there.

1662. A daring attempt by that Old English letter that looks like an o with a tiny x dangling precariously on top of it to sneak back into the alphabet is foiled. An alert guard at the Tower of London notices something “funny” about the tic-tac-toe game the letter was trying to use as camouflage. But since it was the 17th century he explained his suspicions in a sentence that ran on for over 850 pages of court testimony. The letter was able to escape to Flanders and lead similar attempts to get back into the alphabet in 1717, 1896, and whenever it was they made up Unicode.

1774. Benjamin Franklin’s first, primitive, USB cable is connected to one of his stoves. Nothing much happens, causing the inventor and statesman to admit that he “didn’t know what I expected, really”. Sometimes you just get “a case of the giggles” and have to run with the idea.

1871. Henry Morton Stanley locates Dr David Livingstone, near lage Tanganyika, after a long process that I had always figured amounted to Stanley going into Africa and asking, “Hey, anybody seen any other white guys poking around?” and then following wherever they pointed. And then I heard that yeah, that’s pretty much what he actually did. And I’ve never gone to look up just how he did go searching for Livingstone because I don’t know if I’d be more annoyed if it turned out my joke actually happened or if I’d be heartbroken to learn it didn’t.

1929. Toontown’s so-called “Valentine’s Day Massacre” happens when a truckload of rapid-fire erasers falls into the hand of calendar reformers who think that we don’t have enough February in our lives.

1956. Aberdeen, Scotland, and the Malay state of Negeri Sembilan agree to end their technically never-resolved state of war dating to the Austro-Prussian War of 1866. When spoilsports note that neither Aberdeen nor Negeri Sembilan had anything to do with the Austro-Prussian War to start with they were helpfully shoved into the Old North Creek. Organizers then put up a memorial there to remind everyone what happens when you go knowing actual history in front of people.

1983. After a furious round of rewrites and arguments Dan Aykroyd agrees to shift the focus of his years-in-development labor-of-love project from a quirky comedy about animal control officials over to some guys who shoot special effects at ghosts. While the new project is successful the pre-revision script kicks around Hollywood for several more years before being finally kicked out again. It’s finally picked up and made as an indie project in 2014. Goosebusters goes on to win the East Lansing Film Festival’s coveted “… The Heck Am I Even Watching” Medallion With Dabs Of Cooking Oil Grease On The Ribbon.

2001. Stern Pinball signs a license to make the popular video game Roller Coaster Tycoon into a pinball machine. This is one of the early triumphs of the game company’s “license stuff picked at random from the US Trademark Office database” program. Other successfully licensed games include: CSI, Uneeda Biscuits, the Wendy’s Where’s The Beef Multiball Frenzy Arcade Experience, Cinerama, and Bally Pinball Games: The Pinball Game.

2008. The day’s Slylock Fox mystery doesn’t draw any complaints from anyone about the solution being contrived or requiring we make assumptions like, yeah, while dogs in this world can talk and wear clothes and hold down actuarial jobs they’re nevertheless still red-green color-blind.

From The November 2016 Scraps File


November 2016’s scrap file, free to anyone who didn’t feel like just scrapping the whole month and doing it over:

that unsettling feeling when you see an out-of-town news van driving into your neighborhood — cut because while I was waiting at the light a news van for Channel 8 drove on down Saginaw Avenue. There isn’t a Channel 8 here. I’ve never lived anywhere that even had a Channel 8, and I always knew deep down if I were someplace that had a Channel 8 it was some weird moon-man possibly alternate universe like, I don’t know, mid-Connecticut. I don’t know what’s happening and I’m afraid to go and check because, sheesh, Channel 8? That’s gotta be from some fictional town like Kalamazoo or something. I can’t handle that, not this year.

because what I really was looking for in a box was one that was smaller than the thing I hoped to fit in it — cut from a letter to whoever it is makes Meijer’s plastic storage bins for making a storage bin whose linear dimensions apparently refer to the maximum width of the overhanging lip rather than what can actually be fit inside. Really, it’s my fault, what with thinking I could fit a punch bowl that’s 14 inches across inside a plastic bin with dimensions given as 14 7/8 inches by 18 1/2 inches. The more fool me, right? Anyway it’s probably easier to just return the stupid thing and go looking at cardboard boxes since what are the chances the next cardboard box for it is going to get ruined by rainwater? I’m sorry to even bring it up. I bet I sound like I’m whining.

Sometimes reading the news leads to the suspicion the world is becoming alarming. A headline could read “Leapfrogging mayor injures woman dressed as tomato”, which may fairly describe the event, but it’s still bizarre. Or you might come across a three-column headline “World Denies Sneaking Up On You”, subhead, “UN Rep: `That’s No Blindfold And Gag Either’.” It’s certainly not a gag, as you’ll find out if you don’t retreat to your bedroom and lock the door, but you have to admit it’s sporting of them to warn you. — cut from a bit of odd-news reporting because while I like the flow of it, (a) there’s nothing going on in the world that isn’t alarming and (b) the paragraph isn’t really about anything. You could put that paragraph in front of absolutely any little essay inspired by odd news and it won’t fit any better or any worse than before. I need something more definite. Also I don’t know if I made up that leapfrogging mayor story anymore. It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing I might make up. I’d make up a woman dressed as a hippopotamus, maybe. Unless I realized “duck” was punchier. And I’d write it so it was clear whether the mayor, the woman, or both were dressed as tomato ducks. Really the whole paragraph is badly flawed and I should take it out back to have a serious talk about whether to even include it in this scrap file.

Saturn enters the house of Aries, only to find Aries is not present. It playfully rearranges the dishes so they and the coffee mugs are on the wrong sides of the cabinet. It leaves undetected. — Cut because it comes all to close to being a spoof horoscope/zodiac column and have you ever read one of those that was funny? Have you read a second one, after your high school paper ran the “Horrorscopes” for its edition your junior year? Yeah. Seriously flawed premise to the whole joke. I was off my game all November.

zippered banana sleeves for reclosing an opened one — cut from the notepad on my bedstand where I figure I’m bound to have a billion-dollar idea. This clearly isn’t it. I’m sure there’s a market for banana-resealing technology, but I can’t see that netting me more than about $2.25 million once all the startup work is done and I get through with all the court costs against companies stealing the idea from me. And at that point is it really worth doing? I’m just going to keep the banana underneath a tea towel until someday I clean the kitchen and lift the towel and find a dense gravity-warping nebula of fruit flies. This will be followed by my screaming, which is certainly a better use of my time.

If you find anything useful in all this please, do. I just want to be remembered fondly.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

Everybody is still extremely optimistic about getting the mainstream and the alternate Another Blog, Meanwhile index traders back together again. Incredibly optimistic. You might be momentarily blinded by how smilingly cheerful their faces all are. Both indices dropped nine points. They blame the stairs feeling “wobbly” as they were carrying points down to the first floor.

97

November: Its First Impressions


It’s a strange start to November considering I haven’t put my first lip balm of the season through the wash yet. Combined with the ongoing leaf-bootleggers keeping our yard clean it’s got the month going in weird directions. Anyway, that’s all got me putting off the monthly review of what was popular around these parts because I was feeling lazy. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next year.

Mostly, I’m just glad that Halloween night I’m pretty sure I was able to take the trash to the curb without anyone photographing how I was wearing my raccoon mask. That feels like it would be a little too meme-worthy for my style of living.

Meanwhile, I started reading a book on the history of Pythagoreanism because I figured I should do more than just make jokes about it. And then right at the top of the second chapter it mentions how one story has it that Pythagoras talked a greedy bull out of eating beans. So that is going exactly and in every detail just as I had imagined.

Another Blog, Meanwhile Index

The Another Blog, Meanwhile index broke out of its holding pattern at 94 and even rose a bit, giving traders hope that they’d get it back up above a hundred, at this rate, tomorrow. And if the trend continues they might even see 200 as soon as next month, which wouldn’t that be a treat?

97

What I Couldn’t Write In March 2016


Pieces from March’s scraps file. All text free to a needy author that can use it. Better luck with it than I had.

seeming like it might be — cut from like ten essays this past month because it doesn’t mean anything. It just slows down moving from the start to the end of the sentence. I don’t ever have any reason to put that in somewhere. I just type a while and look up and there it is and I have to eradicate it. This is some kind of grammatical zebra mussel. I would just leave it in a trash bin, on fire, but if you really want it go wild. Sorry. The rest of the scraps are more promising. Don’t take this one.

So I admit to being torn about National Haiku Pedantry Month coming up this April. We need to get some discipline back into the art form. Right now it’s just what people use for comic verse when they aren’t up to writing a limerick. But then we have thirty whole days of having to pretend we approve of haiku pedants. Some of these people are fine, pointing out that there are actual syllable counts and it’s not just a short-long-short line thing. But then there’s the guy you know who’s going to leap up on a desk, shaking a yardstick around, and hollering, “It’s not just syllable count! You need nature imagery and a cutting word! Where is the cutting word in this? Well?” And you just know he goes home to sulk that all he can find are yardsticks around when it would just make his day to get a meter stick. A haiku pedant like that isn’t going to pass up a good fight with the Pun Control Squad. You know them. They admit there might be such a thing as a pretty good, amusing pun, but they haven’t seen one. And they’re going to take action. — Cut because, of course, National Haiku Pedantry Month is November.

very — cut from about forty posts this past month because I don’t even like having it there. It’s just too easy to make my minimum word count. Also I guess I have a minimum word count even though all my popular posts are two paragraphs long and comment on a picture from the store.

So we trust that we have commutivity and that there’s a multiplicative identity within the collection of elements. And that if the product of two things is zero then at least one is zero. I know that sounds crazy, like specifying that a triangle has to also not be a square. But this can happen, and let me show you how. — Cut from my essay about Dedekind Domains because I realized I wasn’t even halfway toward saying all the rules one of these things had to meet and oh good grief this is why people hate mathematics.

You in your spectacle of arrogance, incapable of imagining that someone other than you might ever need something that isn’t “the chance to gaze in adoration at your alleged magnificence” — Cut from a draft letter to an estranged friend I’ve been trying to reconcile with even though it’s seeming like it might be hard to figure out why, exactly.

I perused the closed-captioning transcript of this episode so that I can say with confidence — cut from a TrekBBS post about Star Trek: Voyager because we were debating a Kes episode and who’s got enough time in their lives for that? Not Kes, obviously. Ha ha! I’ll explain why that’s funny in a footnote [1].

This hoodie makes me feel pretty, oh soooo pretty. — Cut from the back of an index card we were using to keep track of scores at a pinball tournament yesterday. Not sure who wrote it. It’s seeming like it might be one of our friends who had some hard luck on the game Jack-Bot. But he has got a hoodie that’s become a merry in-joke ever since the state championships back in February.

Go off and be happy, insofar as you think that’s wise. — Cut from waving bye to a friend because it does sound kind of Ashleigh Brilliant-ish.

[1] It’s funny because I was trolling for the chance to show off that I know what “peruse” means. The chance never came, and never does.

Statistics Saturday: The Months Of The Year In Alphabetical Order


No, I really can’t stop myself doing these.

  1. aaJnruy
  2. abeFrruy
  3. achMr
  4. Ailpr
  5. aMy
  6. eJnu
  7. Jluy
  8. Agstuu
  9. beeemprSt
  10. bceOort
  11. beemNorv
  12. bcDeeemr

If it helps any, my most recent review of mathematical comics is the “Spherical Squirrel” edition, and the name is accurate.

Statistics Saturday: The Days On Which United States Vice-Presidents Have Died Most Often


Rank Date Vice-Presidents Dead On That Day
1 July 4 John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Hannibal Hamlin
2 January 13 Schuyler Colfax, Hubert Humphrey
2 (tied) June 4 William A Wheeler, Charles W Fairbanks
2 (tied) November 18 Chester A Arthur, Henry A Wallace
2 (tied) December 26 Harry Truman, Gerald Ford
6 January 5 Calvin Coolidge
6 (tied) January 6 Theodore Roosevelt
6 (tied) January 18 John Tyler
6 (tied) January 22 Lyndon B Johnson
6 (tied) January 26 Nelson A Rockefeller
6 (tied) February 8 Charles Curtis
6 (tied) March 8 Millard Fillmore
6 (tied) March 31 John C Calhoun
6 (tied) April 18 William R King
6 (tied) April 20 George Clinton
6 (tied) April 22 Richard Nixon
6 (tied) April 23 Charles G Dawes
6 (tied) April 30 Alben W Barkley
6 (tied) May 16 Levi P Morton
6 (tied) May 17 John C Breckinridge
6 (tied) June 1 Thomas R Marshall
6 (tied) June 11 Daniel D Tompkins
6 (tied) June 14 Adlai E Stevenson
6 (tied) July 24 Martin Van Buren
6 (tied) July 31 Andrew Johnson
6 (tied) September 14 Aaron Burr
6 (tied) September 17 Spiro Agnew
6 (tied) October 30 James S Sherman
6 (tied) November 7 John Nance Garner
6 (tied) November 19 Richard Mentor Johnson
6 (tied) November 21 Garret Hobart
6 (tied) November 22 Henry Wilson
6 (tied) November 23 Elbridge Gerry
6 (tied) November 25 Thomas A Hendricks
6 (tied) December 31 George M Dallas
36 All Other Days

If we learn anything from this, it is: don’t be a Vice-President in November. It doesn’t work out well for you. But August is surprisingly safe.

Sees The Day


Now this is interesting. According to surveys yesterday felt like a Saturday to nearly 30 percent of the population, but 34 percent said they thought the day smelled like a Tuesday. It had the sense of balance of one of those Mondays that’s used for an observed holiday, and it held water like the last weekend of the month. It had the sponginess of a late November day, which is about what it should have done, so at least that much of life in order.