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.

Mankind is as mankind does

News Item: “. . . lightning deaths have fallen 78.6 percent for men and 70.6 percent for women since 1968. . . . ”
In other words, the human race is on the verge of having enough sense to come in out of the rain.
Who says we aren’t making progress?

News Headline: “Apple faces new China worker abuse claims.”
For those keeping track of  iSweatshops.

Lest We Forget that the Dark Ages Were a Faith-Based Initiative:
Creationists at a hearing on Kentucky state education standards testified that the teaching of evolution instead of the Old Testament in science classes is “elitist.”

News Headline: “Eliot Spitzer: I would have fired Anthony Weiner for his ‘improper’ behavior.”
Your day may not be going well, but at least you aren’t being lectured on propriety by Eliot Spitzer.

William Ferry, a Lafayette, La., reader, regarding QT’s hoping to discourage its readers from playing games with President Obama’s announcement that his favorite food is broccoli, writes:
“Achoccha up every time the broccoli discussion surfaces.”
Stop it.
If you araza this subject again,  there will be consequences.

News Item: “France on Sunday officially replaced the English term ‘binge drinking’ with the French alternative ‘beuverie express’ . . . .”
Is there anything the French can’t make sound better than it is?

News Headline: “Has Bradley Manning been punished enough?”
News Headline:
“Would it be smart for fast-food chains to raise wages?”
News Headline: “Will summer’s big-budget disasters change Hollywood forever?”
News Headline: “Should the Postal Service stop delivering mail to your door?”
News Headline:
“Will GOP abortion battles backfire?”
Yes, yes, no, no, yes.
See how easy?

News Item: “Budget airline EasyJet has apologized after accidentally telling surprised passengers their flight would be delayed for 86 years. . . .”
In other news, experienced travelers hardly gave it a thought.

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
Bob Crystal, a Rochester, N.Y., reader, writes:
“Why is ‘defenestrate’ only transitive? Why can’t I say, ‘I had to watch Michele Bachmann’s press conference and after 10 minutes, I defenestrated’?”
Feel free to.
This is accepted among grammarians as the Bachmann Exception.
It is not to be confused with the Trump Exception, which allows “gasbag” as an intransitive verb–for example, “gasbagged” instead of  “said” or “announced.”
And you don’t want to know about the Limbaugh Exception.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

When the press corps gets excited

News Headline: “3 million pack Copacabana Beach for mass with pope.”
QT has covered a number of papal events here and overseas.
It developed this rule for press crowd estimates:
Divide by two.
At least.
Or just give up and go with “jillions.”

News Headline: “States jump to push voter ID laws after SCOTUS ruling.”
News Headline: “Lincoln Memorial is shut down after vandals splash paint on it.”
The two stories seemed to go together, for some reason.

News Headline: “Plan for Yosemite calls for scaling back human activity.”
As the search continues for  situations that aren’t improved by scaling back human activity.

QT Trickle-On Economics Update:
Caterpillar, whose CEO has nearly doubled his compensation in the past two years, is pushing workers to take a six-year wage freeze.

News Headline: “Gunman among 7 dead in Florida apartment shooting.”
Have you noticed that we hardly notice these anymore?

Kevin Adler, a Barrington, Ill., reader, regarding QT’s hoping to discourage its readers from playing games with President Obama’s announcement that his favorite food is broccoli, writes:
“You should be on your gourd for more.”
Stop it.
Stop it now.

Modern Education + the Criminal Mind =
A man in Beaverton, Ore., used a baseball bat to attempt the robbery of a gun store.

News Item: “One of Afghanistan’s top religious figures . . . series of religious decrees. . .  ban on women leaving their homes without a male companion. . .  banned the sale of cosmetics. . . .”
B.L., a Boston reader, wants you to know there are currently 2,700 Google hits for “tap-dancing militant Islamic fundamentalists.”
For those keeping track.

News Item: “Bryan Zuriff, the executive producer of the Showtime hit ‘Ray Donovan,’ pleaded guilty today in a high-stakes illegal sports gambling business run by the
mob. . . .”
In other news, Showtime announced the upcoming series “Bryan Zuriff.”

QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language:
J.W., a Chicago reader, regarding the news that “unloosen” means the same as “loosen” and “unravel” means the same as “ravel,” writes:
“Take care. Passionate grammarians can be [in]flammable on the subject, [ir]regardless of your good intentions.”
QT can’t sanction your use of  ‘irregardless,” which isn’t a word.
So it will have to sanction your use of “irregardless,” which isn’t a word.
And can it be time for QT’s semiannual reminder that it isn’t “to the manor born,” but “to the manner born”?
Evidently.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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 out 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.

Write to QT at zaysmith.qt@gmail.com

QT appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Our fat, drunk, and stupid nation, the threat of Ted Cruz, and more

News Headline: “U.S. junk food subsidies since 1995 equal to cost of nearly 52 billion Twinkies: Study”
News Headline:
“Mississippi among the nation’s best at beer drinking”
News Headline: “Utah lawmaker calls for end of compulsory education”
Consider this an intervention.
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, nation.

MORE AT THE WEEK. . . .

J.K. Rowling’s mistaken spell, a massive bull semen heist, and more

QT Trickle-On Economics Update:
McDonald’s, which tripled the pay  of its CEO last year, has offered its workers a budgeting guide that allows no money for heating, $20 a month for health insurance and suggests they work an extra job if they want to make it.

MORE AT THE WEEK. . . .

Stereotypes of the Zimmerman case, memorable wedding brawls, and more

News Headline: “House GOP gets its way on farm bill; food aid jeopardized”
News Headline: “Food stamps: Military families redeem $100 million a year”
Should we ask the House GOP why it hates our troops?

MORE AT THE WEEK. . . .

Texting wordsmiths, Sarah Palin residency suspicions, and more

News Headline: “Microsoft helped NSA, FBI access user information”
Critics can be glad it was Microsoft.
The access will soon freeze or shut down for no apparent reason.

MORE AT THE WEEK. . . .