Bob Miller: “It’s been 50+ years since I read The Ugly American, but I’m pretty sure that the ‘ugly American’ referred to is exactly who we DO want to emulate. The book was about an ugly man who did good in a Southeast Asian country, in contrast to the American diplomatic corps. The sense of the expression was later changed in common use to what we understand now.”

Oops.  It’s been 50+ years since I didn’t read it, I guess.  Somehow, the picture of the boorish American tourist leaped out from the title and burrowed out a little place in my brain.

These go back to before the election,  but I never got around to posting:


I’ve been waiting for 7 years for Obama to take my gun and all I got was a job, health insurance and marriage equality.


We’re a nation of people who fled guys like Donald Trump!

Also from Twitter, via the New York Times: The 331 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List.

Which has only gotten longer.

Jeff Cox: “In Las Vegas, Penn and Teller did, and probably still do, a trick like the lottery ticket.  Before the show, they invited people to walk onstage and sign a sealed envelope which later held a piece of paper on which was written a passage randomly chosen from a book passed about the audience.  My guess is a small ink jet printer is hidden inside, behind the flap in the wallet, behind the board to which the envelope was attached.  Another hypothesis is that magicians have learned how to hop in and out of parallel universes, but I never can understand Stephen Hawking’s books well enough to know if that is even possible.”

Carroll Webber: “My theory is that he has a hole in the edge of his shoe and an elastic string from his belt and under his pants to that hole, a closable hole in the stage floor, and a confederate under the stage with a lottery ticket with numbers whited out.  Once the final number ‘2’ is spoken, the confederate adds that to the other numbers he’s been typing.  After Nate stands over the hole in the floor, the confederate can stick the folded ticket to the end of the string, to be pulled up and palmed, and finally substituted for the ticket in his wallet.”

☞ Well, you’re both right that he cheats — it’s not real magic.  That much we know.  One of you sent me the real answer, which is along the same lines, but made me promise not to share it.  Don’t hate me.



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