On Sunday, speaking on CNN's Late Edition, White House economic adviser Gene Sperling said it reminded him of the game "Twister." What?
Send your answer by noon ET Wednesday to email@example.com.
Wednesday's Question (No. 283)--"Storm Warnings":
The current issue of a national magazine lists these warning signs: stain, unusual odor, the sound of broken glass or plastic. What publication, what danger? (Question courtesy of Jim O'Grady.)
"Cosmopolitan; another 'Rate Your Man in Bed' quiz."--Beth Sherman (Sylvia V. Bastani had a similar answer.)
"Car and Driver; how to tell when your Expedition has hit another Festiva. Those sedans can become wedged in the suspension and cause damage, you know."--Matthew Cole (similarly, Steve Reiness)
"That new Starbucks-Time Warner joint venture, Joe; frankly, I think they're overstating the dangers of Folgers Crystals."--Tim Carvell
"Catholicism Today; advising its readers how to stay clear of Mother Teresa's miracle 'misfires.' "--David Ballard
"If I remember, this was the last issue of Brill's Content. I got as far as Page 7 before I nodded off and toppled a glassful of prune juice on the rug."--Dave Gaffen
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"Just Before the Battle, Mother," one of the most popular songs of the Civil War, sold over a million copies in sheet music, an interesting thing to contemplate (or call for at a karaoke bar) as we await the debut of Talk magazine (as I understand it, an abbreviated form of the original title, Talk Is Cheap) and the resumption of Tina Brown-mocking.
It's as if we were monologue writers for a late-night talk show who knew that tomorrow Richard Nixon would rise from the dead, recant his resignation, resume the presidency, and start having sex with Monica Lewinsky and Joey Buttafuoco. Humbling. It's not often that life gives you a second chance to do pretty much what you did when you had your first chance.
Some of you might feel like Adm. Nelson before Trafalgar, Adm. Yamamoto before Pearl Harbor, Gen. Giap before Tet. Are you worthy? Judging by the magazine savvy of today's responses, I face tomorrow with confidence, eager to see you react to the premiere issue of Talk (as I understand it, an abbreviated form of the original title All Talk, No Action), proud to be among we few, we happy few, we band of quizzers.
Postal Life, the in-house magazine of the United States Postal Service.
Signs that an unmarked package contains hazardous material--HAZMAT.
A photo accompanying an article in the July-August issue shows a letter carrier holding a parcel that is smoking, presumably another danger sign.
The article proudly notes that the postal service was in no way responsible for the 1996 crash of Valujet Flight 592 in the Florida Everglades.
"Mail has never been a contributing factor to a plane crash," says the service's aviation mail security representative, Bill Carlton, with barely a hint of disappointment. "And that's an impressive record considering we could have mail on 56,000 flights a day!"
Not all HAZMAT is taboo. The post office will carry "nail polish, household cleaning supplies, dry ice ... some infectious substances and clinical specimens" if they are properly packed and labeled so as to pose no threat to health or safety of postal workers or the mail-reading public.
Al Cloutier Signs In
Street sign or protest sign?
And then we sing:
The Last Word on Charybdis/Caribdis
"Jeff Newman was right. Charybdis is the Latin spelling and became the preferred English spelling. Homer's Greek spelling cannot be precisely rendered in Roman characters because not all the letters in the Greek alphabet have exact analogs.
For a very brief discussion, see Spelling of Greek Names, which also explains that some scholars might prefer Kharybdis as a truer transliteration of the Greek."--Roger "Cogito Ergo Spud (I Think Therefore I Yam)" Hipp
Monkey News Extra
Which of these recent headlines and its accompanying lead is an actual news story, and which is my way to give you a few moments of amusement and some pointed social commentary because I like you and just want you to be happy?
1. HONG KONG BANS MONKEY FEEDING
Stifled by traffic and smog all day, Hong Kong residents know the value of their parks for peace and quiet. That is, except for the wild monkeys ...
2. NYC OFFERS $20 MILLION TAX ABATEMENT TO MONKEY
Citing similar offers to Time Warner and to Ernst and Young, and noting that "This is a very wealthy monkey who will create a lot of jobs, you stupid bastards," Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced ...
3. FIVE PEOPLE ARRESTED FOR POACHING YUNNAN GOLDEN MONKEYS
Five people have been given jail sentences of varying lengths by a court in Deqing County in southwest China's Yunnan Province for poaching five Yunnan golden monkeys in 1994. The Yunnan golden monkey is under state protection, similar to the Giant Panda ...
4. YOUNG GEORGE W. DRANK HEAVILY, STRANGLED MONKEY
Describing a troubled phase of his early life that he says ultimately brought him to Jesus, the Texas governor recalled a weekend binge that ended with the corpse of Pepe, a rhesus monkey at the Houston Zoo, floating face down in ...
5. ANGRY MONKEY BITES STEWARDESS IN LATEST CASE OF "AIR RAGE"
Fed up with long lines, cramped seats, indifferent service, and third-rate movies with the hot parts edited out, ChiChi ...
6. BANGLADESH POLICE CAPTURE DRUG-DEALING MONKEYS
Bangladeshi police said on Monday they had captured two monkeys trained to deliver drugs to addicts in the capital Dhaka.
7. BANGLADESH COPS RESCUE DRUG MONKEYS
(Same story, different spin.) Police say they have rescued two spider monkeys who had been trained to sell contraband drugs by recognizing the colors of different currency.
8. REPUBLICAN TAX CUTS TO BENEFIT WEALTHY, MONKEYS
Brushing aside the warnings of Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan and the widely accepted research of Jane Goodall, House Republicans pushed ahead with ...
9. UTAH ZOO CITES FAMILY VALUES, ORDERS MONKEY PANTS
While it may be an ordinary fact of life that is practiced nearly universally, masturbation is not ...
1, 3, 6, and 7 are actual stories.
George, assorted aviation alerts.
There will be only two quizzes this week, today and Wednesday, so I'll have time to help PBS alphabetize its mailing lists.