Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Look for the union label

QT Trickle-On Economics Update (Labor Day Edition):
Starbucks, which recently almost doubled its  CEO pay to $28.9 million, fired a worker this week for eating a sandwich out of the store trash.

News Headline: “Obama: Limited military strike will send a message to Syria.”
The message being that the United States doesn’t really care how many tens of thousands of people Syria kills, depending on the techniques used.

News Headline: “Birthers greet Obama with ‘Kenyan Go Home,’ ‘Impeach Obama’ signs.”
News Headline: “Tiny human almost-brains made in lab.”
Which is–
Nah. Too easy.

News Headlines: “Pat Robertson says gay people in San Francisco use sharp rings to ‘get people’ and spread AIDS.”
Then again, as long as we’re in the brain lab. . . .

T.L., a Chicago reader, regarding a Chinese politician who testified at his corruption trial that he is a man of simple needs who wears 50-year-old underwear, writes:
“Isn’t China where they had a boxer rebellion?”
Stop it.
Stop it now.

News Headline: “Oxford dictionary online sees TL;DR, phablet and derp added.
“”TL;DR” means “too long; didn’t read.”
As our attention span dwindles to a couple of minutes of Miley Cyrus, well, twerking.

News Headline: “NFL agrees to settle concussion suit for $765 million.”
With CLVI days to go until Super Bowl XLVII, no concussion figures are yet available for the MMXIII exhibition season.
But we know at least CCXXXVI  concussions happened in MMXII.
As for the lawsuit settlement?
II little, II lVIII.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Jack Finarelli, a Falls Church, Va., writes:
“Please remind people that ‘imply’ and ‘infer’ are not synonyms. When someone misuses the words, I immediately infer that he or she is a moron.”
Or owns the wrong dictionary.
Some dictionaries have given up on the distinction.
But such are the vagaries of life.
Which is pronounced vah-GAIR-eez.
And Happy Labor Day!

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Our neighbors in space

News Headline: “Sun fires solar storm directly at Earth.”
News Headline: “Check out this animation of the sun destroying Earth.”
It’s OK.
Not this time.

News Headline: “Building evacuated after burlesque dancer sets off fire alarm with burning nipple tassels.”
See? Civilization goes on.

News Item: “. . .  Obama said the government will create a rating system for higher education,. . . average tuition, loan debt and what graduates earn . . .bigger bang for their
buck. . . .”
Kids, go get grandpa and ask him what it was like when colleges were supposed be  more than technical training schools
for high-paying jobs.

QT Digest of Rush Limbaugh’s Thursday Show (for Your Convenience):
“My. . . typical. . . show. . . has. . . no real substance. . . except for . . . obvious pandering. . .  to the. . . low-information crowd.”
Is there anyone more fun to quote out of context?
Or who deserves it more?

QT News Presented Without Comment:
A worker suffered minor injuries when lightning struck the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.

News Headline: “New atomic clock’s precision ‘groundbreaking.’ ”
This is a story worth reading.
It takes only a couple of shakes.

QT Modern Corporate Gibberish of the Week:
Abila has acquired Avectra.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Mark Graham, a Chicago reader, writes:
“That was so cool. You used ‘tittering’ and ‘flaccid’ in the same column.”
QT wasn’t able to include a Politico column noting that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) had matriculated at both Princeton and Harvard.
And in other news:
News Headline: “Is social media ruining our grammar?”
No. Not at all.
Social media are ruining our grammar.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The Olympic Ideal

News Headline: “Russia and the IOC agree: Don’t be openly gay at the Olympics.”
It’s a matter of propriety.
Figure the Olympics Committee will keep these matters quiet.
Same as  all the judging irregularities.

News Headline: “Could Canadian-born Ted Cruz be president?”
News Headline: “Birther 2.0: Can Ted Cruz run for president?
Sometimes life is fair.

News Headline: “Paul Stam, North Carolina Republican, says schools chief ‘should stick to her own knitting.’ ”
News Headline: “Editorial: Stam’s sexist comment.”
Brings to mind  President Truman’s infamous sexist comment.
Something about a kitchen. . . .

News Headline: “Should women drink while knocked up?”
Should headline writers stop pretending they’re goodfellas?

+ Dan Skowron, a Romeoville, Ill., reader, regarding QT’s asking readers not to play games with reports of a new opera inspired by Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, writes:
“This could go either way. I think it’s a Tosca the coin.”
+ J.C., a Duluth, Ga., reader, writes:
“I’ll put it to you as a reader: If you Lakme at all, you will put a stop to this.”
+ F.T., a Denver reader, writes:
“Do you think the opera includes Scalia because it wants to appeal to the Republican bass?”
This will stop now.
Consider the subject a restricted aria.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
Eight percent of North Carolina residents, when asked by a survey if they had ever taken their shirts off and twisted them around “like a helicopter,” answered “not sure.”

News Headline: “Activist investors eye big brand-name companies.”
N.T., a Chicago reader, wants to know when corporate raiders became activist investors, and when can we have corporate raiders back?

News Headline: “What’s it like to be an atheist in the military?”
Then again, consider the benefits.
Just tell the sarge you’re not allowed where there are any foxholes.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Doug Dahlgren, a Chicago reader, regarding a news story about an “imminent historian,” writes:
“Wait till His Imminence hears about this.”
Good point.
The Vatican is filled with surprises.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The minimum wages of sin


News Headline:
“Kanasas couple arrested for Walmart sex.”
News Headline: “Accused Walmart prostitute accepts plea deal.”
This is the trouble with Walmart sex:
People feel cheap afterward.

News Headline: “Rodeo clown who wore Obama mask is banned from state fair.”
Exactly.
A state fair is not an appropriate place for clowns to mock the president.
This could have waited until Congress was back in session.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
A new wi-fi filter at the British Library blocked access to “Hamlet” because of its “violent content.”

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) on why President Obama hasn’t been impeached:
“If we were to impeach the president tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives to do it. But it would go to the Senate and he wouldn’t be convicted.”
C’mon, Mr. Squishy RINO.
Real Republicans would have impeached the president 40 times by now.

+ Beverly Feldt, a Homewood, Ill., reader, regarding QT’s asking readers not to play games with reports of a new opera inspired by Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, writes:
“I’ve heard the opera is mostly about Justice Ginsburg. They weren’t that interested in the Manon the bench but wanted to Toscalia a bone.”
+ Dave Carr, an Owen Sound, Ontario, reader, writes:
“Wouldn’t this be a Traviata of justice?”
+ J.J.S., a Germantown, Tenn., reader, writes:
“Canio not stop acting like a clown?”
Stop it.
Stop it now.

News Headline: “New species of naked bone-eating worms found in Antarctica.”
This was the last we heard from the Intelligent Designer before he went back into rehab.

QT There Is No Such Thing as a Stupid Question (Except on Occasion) Update:
Rick Santorum at an Iowa fundraiser:
“Since when in America do we have classes? Since when in America are people stuck in areas or defined places called a class?”

Modern Education + the Criminal Mind =
A Chicago restaurant owner faced with two robbers told them he was busy and asked them to come back in an hour, which they did, police said.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Item: “. . . The imminent historian contends. . . .”
News Item: “. . . was an imminent speaker at the rally. . . .”
Fair warning to get out of their way.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

1,184 days and counting

News Headline: “The presidential race may have just started in Iowa.”
News Headline: “100,000 sign up for one-way trip to Mars.”
The two stories seemed to go together, for some reason.

News Headline: “Oprah faces not just fashion retail racism but size bias too.”
Which brings us to another bias, the one concerning anyone, from any background, who would spend $38,000 on a handbag.

News Headline: “Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) defended his controversial remarks about immigrants. . . that ‘for every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. . . .’ “
Some might be tempted to say that for every Tea Party lawmaker who is a valedictorian, there are 100 whose brains seem the size of nectarines.
But not QT.

News Headline: “Donald Trump beats the birther drum again: ‘Was there a birth certificate?’ “
News Headline: “Finding the best bunch of nectarines.”
These two stories seemed to go together, also, for some reason.

+ Mike Ireland, a Hometown, Ill., reader, regarding QT’s mention that a new opera inspired by Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia would make it harder for anyone to rigoletto the orders they hand down, writes:
“What would forza you to write that? Or was it just destino?”
+ S.A., a San Francisco reader, writes:
“Verdi you get off playing these games?”
Stop it.
Stop it now.

News Headline: “Still hot? Exclusive pics of Paris Hilton DJing in Ibiza.”
It has been  2,243 days since Paris Hilton announced she was leaving public life.
For those keeping track.

Beware the ides of National Water Quality Month.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Headline: “Beyonce’s short hair is an epic new look.”
Add epics to the list of things that aren’t what they used to be.
News Headline: “Obama defends data spying as modest privacy encroachment.”
But understatement remains alive and well.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

License to steal? Renewed

QT News Presented Without Comment:
The Justice Department notified Bank of America it faces “monetary penalties” for $100 million in alleged fraud as a Florida man was sentenced to eight years in federal prison for burglarizing banks of loose cash in teller drawers.

News Item: “Supercomputer simulates one second of brain activity.”
The scientists knew it was a success when the computer asked to see President Obama’s birth certificate.

News Item: ” . . potential asteroid strike. . . . only a one in 20,000 chance that a truly dangerous one will hit Earth in a year’s time. . . . ”
In other news, Asteroid 2013 PJ10 was discovered yesterday,  two days after it crossed the moon’s orbit.
But it was only about the size of the one that laid waste to more than 800 square miles of Russia in 1908.
Hardly worth noticing.

News Headline: “Climate change could spark global violence.”
Quick. Name anything that hasn’t or couldn’t.

News Headline: “How to replace a kitchen faucet with Sean Buino.”
Paul St. Onge, an Elmhurst, Ill., reader, says it might be easier to use another faucet.

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission now classifies grass as an “inappropriate” playing surface for children.

 

News Headline: “Congress’ Iran policy: short-sighted and irrational.”
We can only admire Congress for its consistency from policy to policy.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Headline: “SeaWorld vets perform first-ever shark C-section.”
News Headline: “Scientists serving up first-ever hamburger grown from stem cells of cattle.”
J.D., a Toronto reader, writes:
“You know what they say. There’s a first-ever time for everything.”
And it is never “firstly,” “secondly” and “thirdly,” but always “first,” “second” and “third.”
And so forthly.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Here’s to human rights

News Headline: “Bars worldwide boycott Russian vodka over anti-gay laws.”
News Headline: “Couple challenges Kentucky law against gay marriage.”
And enlightened bourbon drinkers urgently wish the couple well.

News Headline: “House Republicans to push $40 billion cut to food stamp program.”
Like taking candy from a baby.
And strained vegetables and formula and. . . .

News Item: “Fluorescent tetrapod nanocrystals could light the way to the future design of stronger polymer nanocomposites. . . .”
Good news for anyone who had tetrapod nanocrystals in the office pool.

Facebook Item: “My new rule–If I walk into your business, and your TVs are set to Fox News, you lose my business.”
Not always.
Depends on what kind of business you have in mind.
If you’re looking to put one over on someone. . . .

Tom Hedeen, a Chicago reader, regarding a 12-year-old who robbed a 10-year-old’s lemonade stand at BB gunpoint Johnstown, Pa., writes:
“This wouldn’t have happened if the 10-year-old had been armed and able to defend himself.”
More than that.
Every 10-year-old should have concealed carry, just to be safe.

News Headline: “Is global warming causing brain-eating parasites to flourish?”
A note to those who pride themselves on not giving global warming a second thought:
Soon it may be easier.

News Item: “. . . King Harald V of Norway kissed the queen’s hand. . . .”
QT Rules of Etiquette for Guys and Dolls:
A hand is never kissed.
What is kissed is the air above the hand.
And then you can give the queen a big hug.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Item: “. . . More than 250 people attended the event in a specious restaurant. . . .”
. . . known for its unwarranted entrees.
As long as we are eating, Kevin Adler, a Barrington, Ill., reader wants you to know it isn’t brussel sprouts, but brussels sprouts.

 
Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.