The season to be merry. . . .


News Headline: “For 20 years, the U.S. launch code at Minuteman silos was 00000000.”
Not to worry. The launch code has been fixed.
Changed it to the president’s birthday.

News Headline: “Wage strikes planned at fast-food outlets.”
See? This is what happens when our job creators let the servant class get uppity.

News Headline: “Obama refers to ‘tea-baggers’ in alleged handwritten letter.”
So now, on top of everything else, we see this socialist thug usurper calling names.

R.R., a Chicago reader, writes:
“You really do believe in shameless promotion, don’t you.”
Are you referring to QT’s promotion of its new e-book novel 60606, which has been called suspenseful and hilarious and can be purchased AT THIS HANDY LOCATION, name your price, and what are you waiting for?
Tell you what.
QT won’t be promoting it any more.

Then again, it won’t be promoting it any less

News Headline: “Dems say Boehner blocking farm bill, wants more food stamp cuts.”
Maybe it’s time we realized that the Republicans are the true Party of Change.
And they like to keep the change.

News Headline: “Poll: Americans don’t trust one another.”
Or is that what the pollsters would like us to think?

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
And now that it’s time to start thinking of Christmas, T.S., a Chicago reader, reminds us that is it isn’t “God rest ye, merry gentlemen” but “God rest ye merry, gentlemen.”
Ho, Ho, Ho!

QT’s new novel 60606 is available here.

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QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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This just in. . . .

News Headline: “Senate Dems weaken GOP power with major filibuster rule change.”
News Headline: “SF approves stronger penalties to crack down on illicit acts in massage parlors.”
The two stories seemed to go together, for some reason.

News Item: “A Maine teenager said a beaver stole his rifle and dragged it underwater when he took a break from hunting. . . .”
With each new hunting season, it’s time to stop and admire the animals who stand their ground.

QT Trickle-On Economics Update:
A Wal-Mart set out a food donations bin for its workers who face hunger this Thanksgiving, while McDonald’s reminded its workers that  “breaking food into smaller pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.”

News Headline: “Judge deals blow to artists, as struggle to save building dims.”
And now, on top of everything, we have judges dealing blow.

News Headline: “JFK 50 years later: The NFL’s darkest weekend.”
We can say this for the sports department: It keeps its focus.

News Item: “. . . renovation project. . . Oklahoma Capitol. . . raw sewage backups, crumbling façade. . . .”
Oklahomans, among other things, seem to have a gift for metaphor.

News Headline: “Professional chicken catcher fired over his attitude can’t get jobless aid, Pa. court says.”
Your day may not be going well, but at least you aren’t an unemployed chicken catcher with an attitude.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
E.F., a Chicago reader,  writes:
“I just came back from the supermarket. Would you please remind the supermarkets–the ones with signs for ‘ 10 or less items’–that ‘fewer’ refers to quantities that can be counted and ‘less’ to quantities that can’t?”
For some reason, QT is reminded that there are fewer and fewer hours, which means less and less time, to take advantage of its offer to send a virtual QT bookmark to anyone who orders QT’s new e-book novel 60606, which has been called suspenseful and hilarious and can be purchased AT THIS HANDY LOCATION, name your price, and what are you waiting for?
For some reason, QT is reminded of that.

QT’s new novel 60606 is available here.

Write to QT at

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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Thank you for your service

News Headline: “Don’t miss these Veterans Day appliance sales.”
News Headline: “Veterans Day Event: Free shipping on all online orders in the U.S.”
News Headline: “Honoring America’s veterans for service, sacrifice.”
Wait. How did that last one get in there?

QT Trickle-On Economics Update:
Billionaires received $11.3 million in federal farm subsidies from 1995 to 2012, it was learned, as one in seven Americans faced hunger because of cuts in food stamps.

News Headline: Amazon deforestation could trigger droughts in U.S.”
News Headline: “A garbage patch the size of the U.S. floats in the Pacific Ocean.”
News Headline: “Arctic temperatures highest in at least 44,000 years.”
News Headline: “Billions of Earth-like planets found in Milky Way.”
Forget the galaxy.
How much longer will Earth be an Earth-like planet?

S.C., a New York City reader, regarding QT’s new e-book novel 60606, writes:
“I was reading it on my Kindle on the train and laughed so loud at one point I embarrassed myself.”
QT was determined not permit further shameless promotions of its book, which can be purchased AT THIS HANDY LOCATION, and what are you waiting for?
But QT was tricked again.

News Headline: “Sarah Palin compares federal debt to slavery at Iowa dinner.”
News Headline: “Sarah Palin tells Iowa conservatives it’s time to ‘stiffen our backs.’ ”
Some might be tempted to say it takes a stiff back to support a thick head.
But not QT.

QT Early Warning System:
The Mormon Church now owns 2 percent of Florida.

News Headline: “Falling satellite causes no damage after re-entry.”
Is this a good time to mention Asteroid 2013 VJ11, which passed between Earth and the moon on Friday, the sixth asteroid in a month to be discovered after nearly hitting us?
Maybe another time.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
+ Bill Wade, a Chicago reader, writes:
“I have noticed a trend among the talking-head media to pronounce the ‘t’ in ‘often.’ ”
Some people are eager to show they can spell.
+ Bill Laude, a Frankfort, Ill., reader writes:
” ‘Et cetera’ is Latin for ‘and others,’ with the abbreviation being ‘etc.’ But when the expression is spoken, I hear ‘ek cetera’ far too often.”
There is no excaping these mispronunciations.
You’ll hear them from here to the Artic, for all intensive purposes.
Which reminds QT that it is past time for its semiannual reminder that there is no “x” in “espresso.”
So there it is.

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QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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Tell us something we don’t know

News Headline: “Sarah Palin plans to visit Iowa.”
News Headline: “Ted Cruz says he knows how to unite the GOP.”
News Headline: “Rush Limbaugh: GOP doesn’t want to win.”
News Headline: “Sean Hannity gets fact-checked hard on Obamacare.”
News Headline: “Glenn Beck: ‘We are on the eve of destruction.’ ”
 News Headline: “5 terrifying real-life clowns.”
No need.
We seem to have it covered.

News Headline: “Ted Cruz’s dad: Send Obama back to Kenya.”
OK. Make it six.

S.A., a Chicago reader, regarding QT’s new e-book novel 60606, writes:
“This is going to be a hard act to folio.”
Stop it.
Stop it now.
QT is not looking for easy excuses to remind people the e-book can be purchased here.

QT Trickle-On Economics Update:
Wall Street executives marked a fifth year of escaping criminal prosecutions for the 2008 crash as a Texas man was jailed for an overdue library book.

QT What Passes for Miracles These Days Update:
An image of Jesus was discovered in the sweat stains on a T-shirt in Mount Horeb, Wis.

News Headline: “Is Texas suppressing women voters?”
News Headline: “Is Ron Paul a political liability for his son?”
News Headline: “Are insurers trying to game Obamacare?”
News Headline: “Is the GOP overplaying its hand?”
News Headline: “Are Democrats more extreme than the GOP?”
News Headline: “Is Congress helping Wall Street loot your pension?”
Yes, yes, yes, yes, no, yes.
See how easy?

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
+ J.J., a Seattle reader, regarding another reader’s reminder that it should be Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight Savings Time writes:
“Now that you mention it, shouldn’t there be a hyphen? Daylight-Saving Time?”
Now that you mention it, yes.
But remember it has been said:
If you care about hyphens, you will surely go mad.
+ W.S., an Evanston, Ill., reader, writes:
“And it’s safe-deposit boxes, not safety deposit boxes, right?”
As sure as you can purchase QT’s new novel here.
QT will stop now.

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QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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Or is it a bluff?

News Headline: “America ‘on precipice’ of government shutdown.”
K.R., a Baltimore reader, writes:
“Couldn’t we just be on the brink like ordinary people?”
We do sometimes put on airs.

News Headline: “Cruz’s filibuster strategy ‘the height of hypocrisy.’ ”
News Headline: “The GOP’s stunning hypocrisy.”
Or think of it this way:
If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

QT NFL CXXV days to go until Super Bowl XLVII Update:
NFL players have suffered XXVII concussions as of the IIIrd week of the season.
Give or take I or II.

News Headline: “Miley Cyrus says Justin Bieber has the mentality of a 12-year-old.”
Your day may not be going well, but at least your maturity hasn’t been questioned by Miley Cyrus.

News Headline: “Glenn Beck on Obama U.N. address: ‘Blood shoots out of my eyes’ every time I hear him talk.”
Could a problem with our national conversation be that we keep listening to people whose eyes shoot blood?

Rush Limbaugh regarding fashion statements:
“For the longest time, I didn’t wear blue jeans. I didn’t wear T-shirts. I didn’t wear my hair long. I did not want to be associated with–”
Do not try to visualize this.
Too late?

QT Modern Corporate Gibberish of the Week:
Actelion has acquired Ceptaris.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Bill McCormick, a Chicago reader, regarding another reader’s mention that “ravel” and “unravel” can mean the same thing, which is not to mention the same thing about “loose” and “unloose,” writes:
“I am whelmed.”
QT is whelmed by anyone who knows that “whelmed” is the same as “overwhelmed.”
And a quick reminder that “inflammable” is more flammable that “flammable.”
As long as we’re at it.

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QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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A-hunting we will go

News Headline: “Texas turns to Ted Nugent to control feral pig epidemic.”
Not always easy to choose sides.

News Headline: “Iowa grants gun permits to the blind.”
So what you do is head north from Interstate 80 to Interstate 90, then across, and then back down to Interstate 80.
Avoids the state entirely.

Brent Musburger ending the third quarter of the Michigan-Notre Dame game:
“We’ll be back with the money quarter after these
messages. . . .”
The NCAA Committee on Desperately Keeping Up Appearances would like a word with you, Mr. Musburger.

News Headline: “Pope Francis: Starvation in a world of plenty  ‘scandalous.’ ”
Comes to maybe 1,000 deaths an hour, give or take.
But we can be grateful no red lines have been crossed.

News Headline: “Poll: Americans don’t trust polls.”
So Americans evidently do trust polls.
Or do you trust this poll?

News Headline: “Some see Biblical visions of doom in Syria trouble.”
News Headline: “Some see image of Jesus on truck trailgate.”
For those keeping track of people who see things.

QT Move Along, Nothing to See Here, Update:
Asteroid 2013 RO30 was discovered Saturday, three days after it passed between Earth and the moon.
But it was a smallish asteroid.
About the same size as Asteroid 2013 RF32, which was discovered Sunday, three days after it passed between Earth and the moon.
Nothing new since then.
That we know of.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
News Item: “. . . picnics on the Ravinia lawn, sometimes with white tablecloths and candelabras, still occur for CSO
events. . . .”
R.B., an Evanston, Ill., reader, wants you to know that it is one candelabrum–and two, three, four or more candelabra.
And Bob Crystal, a Rochester, N.Y., reader, writes:
“Add to your pronunciation guide the list of conflicts in the English language. Take a bough and gather your dough. An erudite scholar serves crudites to his friends. . . . ”
QT senses that you frequent this space.
Which is to say free-KWINT.

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QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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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.

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Anthony Weiner’s spiritual side

News Headline: “Churches profit from turning steeples into cell towers.”
And don’t think the sexting community isn’t grateful.

A Republic, If You Can Keep It:
One in three people you see on the street thinks the First Amendment “goes too far.”

News Headline: “Rush Limbaugh: It’s ‘preposterous’ to blame white people for slavery.”
Larry Rand, a Chicago reader, wonders:
If Rush Limbaugh went gigging for amphibians in a Florida swamp, would it be a case of a toad tailed by an idiot?

News Headline: “Texas’ proposed abortion restrictions could be a financial boon for Rick Perry’s sister.”
QT knows what you are thinking.
Heavens to Betsy, what a dreadful thing to think.

News Headline: “Too much exercise may be harmful to the heart: study.”
News Headline: “Sleep cuts risk of heart disease–study.”
There is something to be said for the heart-healthy regimen.

Gary Wisby, an Evanston, Ill., reader, regarding QT’s hoping its readers are finally discouraged from playing games with President Obama’s announcement that his favorite food is broccoli, writes:
“Peas kale a halt to this.”
Stop it.
Stop it now.

News Item: “. . . The political calculus is changing as more members of Congress. . . .”
This evidently has to do with members of Congress finding the instantaneous rates of change of functions and hence the gradients of tangents to graphs or in finding functions from their rates of change.
Which may explain the Tea Party.

QT Worldwide Man-Bites-Dog Pinpoint Locator:
There have no recent biting incidents.
But a University of Florida linebacker was arrested in Gainesville for barking at a dog on the 19th dog day of summer.
There are 18 dog days to go.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Austin Stanton, a Northfield, Ill., reader, writes:
“While attempting to remove a stubborn bolt from a piece of equipment, a colleague inquired if I had any success unloosening it and I had to reply that, in fact, it already was unloose.”
Daiquiri  is pronounce DIE-kur-ee, by the way.

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