As the days and weeks go by, certain news stories, trivia bombs, and random developments in the Weird catch my attention. When these items reach a critical mass in my brain (i.e., I’m about to forget a bunch of them), I rush here to share. My mind can hold about as much information as a single fortune cookie strip at any one time (excluding the lottery numbers), and not a byte more.
Important Cold War Dental History Update
It turns out the secret agent cyanide tooth is a myth. I always suspected this—you’d kill yourself biting into an almond–but it still hurt when Mental Floss broke it down.
Sigh. We’ll always have Wellington Yueh’s gas-spewing DEATH TOOTH. It almost killed Papa Harkonnen. Almost. (apologies to all non-Dune fans. The rest of the post is Dune trivia-free).
I’m deep in my second Tana French book, The Likeness, after reading In the Woods. I’m late to the game here; sometimes I discover things that everybody else already knew about for a long time. It’s a gift.
Instead of gushing elaborate praise for French, her style, and her storytelling, I’ll just say this: I’m a writer. I write novels. I know this. It’s an objective fact. Yet every time I pick up one of her books and read even so much as a paragraph, I start to think “Am I a writer? Do I write novels? Do I even exist? Should I fly to Australia, walk to the edge of the outback, pause briefly at the edge of civilization and look back with a sad glint in my eye, then disappear forever?”
That’s how good she is.
Note: there is nothing speculative or supernatural or science fiction-y about her writing. Usually, a reading recommendation from me comes with the expectation of some decidedly unreal story elements. Not in this case; just pure mystery (at least as far as I’ve gotten).
Squirrels Know Where You Live
I’ve spent almost every minute of every hour of my adult life wondering how many squirrels are around me at any one given time. I can’t seem to look anywhere without seeing one, unless I’m inside a building, and even that’s no guarantee. They’re athletic, industrious, and they love without limits. I’ve always wanted to get some hard numbers on this entirely commonplace but fascinating creature.
Apparently, someone else had the same tortured brain characteristics as me, because they set out to answer this very question! In my own backyard of Atlanta, thank you very much. The squirrel census has plans to expand—Central Park is next. New York gets everything first—except for volunteer squirrel counting schemes.
*I’ve recently learned that if you live in Colorado (and nearby states, I guess), the prairie dog is your ubiquitous small curious fast-paced mammal neighbor. Or that it is ALSO one, in addition to the squirrel. You’ll have to start a unique census for those numbers.
You’re Not Watching Enough TV
Probably. Collectively, I think we watch a lot. But if you are currently viewing any amount of television and the show Killing Eve is not a part of your rotation, you are NOT WATCHING ENOUGH. Add it. Give up time with loved ones, avoid going outside, limit exercise, quit your job—whatever you have to do. Sacrifice some of your life to this show, and the value will be returned to you one thousandfold (depending on how you value life).
That’s it! Things on my radar, paid (vomited) forward. Now that I’ve pushed them out of my brain, I’ve got room for more to fit in. Just in time, too—word has it there is a new outer space hotel on offer, and the first few months are already booked and sold out…