CSotD: Midweek Randomness

A bit of politics before we go for the laughs. I was surprised that NASA’s asteroid deflection drew so much attention, since they’ve been talking about it for several years.

I was also surprised that several cartoonists, including Kevin Necessary, greeted it with a “Why are we doing that?” response. I think the last time I heard that question, the answers began with Tang, but quickly expanded to a list of far more substantive scientific developments spawned from NASA projects.

And Tang wasn’t really created for the space program after all.


Joel Pett seems to be reaching, since all the Dart did was make a very minor shift in the asteroid’s orbit and we’re going to need a much more substantive change of direction if we hope to challenge the rise of fascism.

I suppose GPS has changed this, but hiking with a compass once drove home the potential value in making a slight change in an asteroid’s pathway, because even in a hike of five miles, getting just a tiny bit off can utterly change where you end up. Over a couple of parsecs, the math becomes mind-boggling, but the potential is reassuring, or should be.

I don’t object to science for science’s sake, but I also remember when an asteroid-turned-meteor burst in the atmosphere over Cheyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. The damage and injuries were bad enough, and might be worse the next time.

What went on in space the other day was theoretical science directed at a very practical goal.


So I like Joe Heller’s take, because, while the project was theoretical in nature, it’s also practical evidence that (A) we can worry about more than one thing at a time and (B) we could be doing more to save the planet from other threats.

Though perhaps not by dropping nuclear bombs on hurricanes, no.

We’ll deal with Ian the old-fashioned way, thanks.


Shifting our own path to less parlous things, Non Sequitur offers a preview of the upcoming fall season, though I don’t have a favorite color, and, in fact, take particular pleasure in the mix, having lived nearly 20 years out in Colorado where the aspen turns golden and that’s all you get.

To which I will add that people who use filters on their foliage photos are not simply fakers but philistines.

To gild refined Gold, to paint the Lilly;
To throw a perfume on the Violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hew
Unto the Rainbow; or with Taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful, and ridiculous excess.
                     — King John, Act IV, scene 2


I will, however, spare a smile for the pup in this Half-Full, because the first day of cool weather here brought out a few dog jackets. It reminds me of college, and the freshmen from California and Florida who pile on all their cold-weather gear at the first frost, thinking this is the harsh winter they were warned about. Heh heh heh.

I have seen no evidence that my dog cares about cold weather at all, but she’s got a nice hunter-plaid coat she can wear when it’s in the single digits, not because she wants it but because other people will nag me about letting her run nekkid in the snow.

But, jeez, folks, not yet.


Zits (KFS) offered another trip back, past freshman year and into high school, and a reminder that my class, for some reason, was ahead of the curve. We did have prom court, but our King and Queen were not the usual “popular couple” but, rather, two people we really liked and admired, and I don’t know how well they even knew each other, though it was a small school.

I was on yearbook staff, and, when someone suggested we do one of those “Most Likely” and “Best Whatever” features, we shot it down immediately as catty and pointless, though we kept the “Class Will” and “Prophecy,” in which every senior got an affectionate mention.

We also held the first walkout at our school, spring of ’67, after a classmate was suspended the day before finals for smoking.

It felt a lot more like a union action than something out of Berkeley, but we were a blue-collar crowd.


Moving back five years from there, Big Ben Bolt (Vintage KFS) has an interesting 1962 story arc, in which Keno, a kind-hearted hustler, has opened a fitness gym, with Ben providing some free publicity.

Now here comes a very pretty lady to challenge not just the all-male default in terms of admission to Keno’s gym, but the contemporary view of women as sitting on silk cushions and maybe waving a pom-pom while the men play sports.

It was said, in Olden Times, that horses sweat, men perspire and women glow, but they were supposed to glow in private, and this seems an early admission otherwise.

This looks like it’s going to be a fun story arc.


This Andertoons made me laff anyway, but it also reminded me of having a pie hurled across the table at me by my soon-to-be-wife.

I don’t remember why I had burst into the chorus of Ray Bolger’s classic tap dance number, “Once in Love with Amy, always in love with Amy,” but, as a piece of chocolate custard pie exploded against my head, what I did suddenly remember was that the last girl I’d dated before meeting my soon-to-be-wife was named “Amy.”

Well, you know what they say: If you deal with people who can’t take a joke, you’d better be prepared to take a pie.

That’s what they ought to say, anyway.

I could have used the warning.


I could claim “dessert” as the segue leading to this Wallace the Brave, but, really, I’m just putting it up here out of sheer admiration for how much Will Henry has managed to pack into three panels.

Wallace’s dad not only has a talent for tall tales, but a seemingly inexhaustible store of source material. (Kind of explains the kid, y’know?)


Finally, Jonesy offers an excuse for posting an ear worm that has rattled around my brain since I was three years old.


8 thoughts on “CSotD: Midweek Randomness

  1. No school today!

    Big John and Sparkie’s theme song.

    I confess I had to look it up, but I remembered it was Saturday mornings.

  2. Wallace the Brave is really a wonderful strip. Even the dailies are full of stuff to look at!

    Shooting at the asteroid reminded me of an old (like the 1930s) SciFi story I reread recently. Someone came up with the idea that mankind needed someone to unify against to keep peace on Earth, so they declared war on the Moon and fired a weapon at it. Alas, someone (or someTHING) unbeknownst to the Earth, lived on the Moon, and they fired back. OOPS.

  3. Mark B: The story you are recalling is “The Next Chapter: The War Against the Moon” by Andre Maurois. First English translation circa 1927 or 1928.

  4. I’m still puzzled why throwing food is thought funny by Americans. I see it as an obscene and pointless waste. Can someone throw light?

  5. It’s at least mildly funny when a pompous individual gets pie in the face. Their reaction is the best part, like when they “comb” the goo off their visage with two fingers.

  6. Agreed that pies are best delivered to snooty faces, just as top hats beg to be knocked off by the snowballs of street urchins. But you have to be in the mood: Pie fights are to be expected in Three Stooges movies and from clowns, not in Harold Pinter screenplays.

    Though I think a good pie fight might have livened up the French Lieutenant’s Woman.

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