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On the first day of Prohibition, January 17, 1920, Bat Masterson, a 66-year-old relic of the Wild West now playing out the string as a sportswriter in New York, sat alone in his favorite bar, glumly contemplating a cup of tea. In Detroit that night, federal officers shut down two illegal stills (an act that would become common in the years ahead) and reported that their operators had offered bribes (which would become even more common). On the Maine-Canada border, reported a New Brunswick paper, “Canadian liquor in quantities from one gallon to a truckload is being hidden in the northern woods and distributed by automobile, sled and iceboat, on snowshoes and skis.” –“Wayne B. Wheeler: The Man Who Turned Off the Taps,” Daniel Okrent, Smithsonian
Bring on the puffery! Arizona’s windbag-in-chief doesn’t need your money;
Hugo Chavez will bury, I mean, tweet you;
nitrous oxide on Mars: evidence of life, or is the Red Planet a haven for Dead Heads?
Larry Summers is a clumsy public liar. His noxious, condescending manner helps explain why he failed as president of Harvard. But it is the crude mendacity that ought to bother people now. The man is President Obama’s top economic adviser. Watching Summers befog the mild-mannered interviewer on the PBS NewsHour the other night, I found myself yelling back at the TV. It takes real arrogance for the former Harvard professor to imagine he can get away with such evasions and falsehoods. I lost count on the fibs. If this is how Summers explains the financial mess to the president, maybe that’s why Obama has been a reluctant reformer. –“Professor Pants-on-Fire,” William Greider, The Nation
Join a Japanese sex cult;
“Abe Vigoda, Emily Deschanel would appreciate a call,” and other famous people who should make babies;
sick Brazilians must have more sex
Guess what, “a body of research” coming out indicates that if you’re ten pounds or so overweight, well, hell, what’s the difference? It’s not gonna make you die any earlier. And a little pot belly is a manly thing, why can’t your wife understand that you’re in just as good shape as you were in high school, a few freaking pounds are not a big deal, you don’t need to be walking around looking like some god damn Ken doll, she didn’t marry a freaking male model, come on, give you a break, so what if you like barbecue, god forbid you be happy for a few hours a week, right? –“America’s Divine Right to Junk Food,” Hamilton Nolan, Gawker
More from TedRoss:
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”