Fairly conventional funnies this week.... Niece #2 introduced me to "Basic Instructions" last summer, and I've been following the strip online since. It's a twice-weekly sort of affair. Drawn by Scott Meyer in a spare, text-heavy style, and always addressing an issue of practical concern ("How to Confound Your Alien Captor"), the 'Instructions are usually pretty amusing.
The Weekend Diversion
I have spoken of Dice Wars before in this chronicle, but it returns now as the Weekend Diversion. I have not been able to stop playing this game in the half-year since I discovered it. The intoxicating feel of a sprawling "4x" strategy game, but it only takes about 10 minutes. What could be more practical for Today's Busy Lifestyle?
The Quiz End-of-Season Wrap-Up
At the end of previous Quiz seasons, I've prepared a visual representation of the leaders' trophy cases. But frankly, that took forever. Besides, there's the L&TM5K Leaderboard now, so you can always check out who's who anytime you want. But still, this is a good time to salute the leaders:
The Thursday Quiz
After thirty Thursday Quizzes, Rex Parker still holds a strong lead in total number of Stars, with 15. Behind him is Mrs.5000, with 11; Rebel, with 9; and drschnell, with 8.
In the third season (TQXXI-TQXXX), drschnell led the way in Star production, with 6. Mrs.5000 and Cartophilia trailed a bit behind him, with 4 apiece; Boo had 3.
It's still a tie in the overall race for Gold Stars, with Blythe, Phineas, and Cartophilia locked in at 3 apiece. In the third season, though, Cartophilia set the pace; all three of his Golds came in the last ten quizzes, with the remaining seven Gold Stars split between seven different contestents.
The Monday Quiz
After twenty Monday Quizzes, Mrs.5000 has collected an impressive 7 Exclamation Points. Phineas and Chance are behind her with 5 apiece, and Becky and d right on their heels with 4 apiece.
Mrs.5000 and Phineas split the second season honors with 4 Exclamation Points apiece; behind them, there were six contestents with 2 E.P.s to their credit.
With that, we will roll seamlessly into MQXXI on Monday.
I am willing to bet that, because I used the Roman numeral for thirty, the recent post titled "The Thursday Quiz XXX" will become the L&TM5K post most often accessed through random Googling. If my prediction is correct, it will replace the post "Indulgent Uncle, Preteen Nieces," which is currently far and away my most Googled item. Yes, friends, there are some real creepy folks among us, here on the Internet.
The Semiotics of Facial Hair: An Album
I started last Saturday looking like this:
There were many stops on the way to the clean-shaven state. At each of them, I felt more or less the same inside, but would, I think, have seemed like a much different kind of person to an independent observer.
Facial hair, and its shaping, conveys powerful messages about one's social position and conceptions. There are styles of facial hair that, combined with a certain range of personalities, create a sort of semiotic dissonance.
And then there are styles that, because they have acquired special signification through historical associations, are really just not a good idea for anyone.
I finished the afternoon looking like this. Was I still the same person I had been two hours before?