Three-Dot Thursday

[ Posted Thursday, December 18th, 2008 – 19:21 UTC ]

We haven't done one of these in a while, but between working on tomorrow's column (don't miss Part One of our annual awards show!) and all the usual holiday stuff, I don't have enough time for more than a few short items here. Oh, I did want to say thanks to everyone who has donated so far to the "Send Chris To The Inauguration Fund" as we have just topped halfway towards our giving goal. I sincerely appreciate the support.

But let's get on with today's tidbits...


...In England, they actually spell it "titbits" but it got bowdlerized in America long ago. This isn't even really "news" but it was such a good segue I simply couldn't resist it...


...Speaking of Europe, Ireland has won the right from the European Union to continue selling beer in pint (and half-pint) glasses. While Ireland has adopted to the rest of the metric system (their road signs are in kilometers, for example), the "half-liter" down at the pub was just a bridge too far for them. Everyone should enjoy a pint of Arthur Guinness' finest in celebration this holiday season. Or, as they say in Ireland "the usual" -- as in the phrase: "I believe my physician would recommend a pint of the usual...."


...OK, on to some sad news. Nurse Chapel is dead. Long live Nurse Chapel! Majel Roddenberry has died, who not only played "Number One" in the pilot ("The Cage"), but also the ongoing role of Nurse Christine Chapel, in the original Star Trek television series. Also of note, in just about every Star Trek incarnation since, she was the voice of the computer. She had finished recording for the upcoming Star Trek movie, so this will be her swansong. "Computer... not... working... any more." All Trekkies will sorely miss Gene Roddenberry's wife. Long live Nurse Chapel...


...In other sad news, Socks the Cat is nearing death (includes what has to be the greatest photo ever from the White House Press Briefing Room). Yes, Socks Clinton, who followed Chelsea to the White House from Arkansas and became our nation's First Cat, is about to make the final journey to the Great Catnip Field in the sky. Socks was always a cool cat, and will also be missed by many, including the home-state news people -- who, I have to say, honored Socks with their headline: "Past White House Arkie Resident Ill." I have a Socks audio recording around here someplace, and will try to get this up on the site soon, just because. Socks was one classy First Cat...


...George Bush issued another "midnight regulation" -- one that was expected, but is still a shock. It gives medical professionals a "right of conscience" to refuse to participate in anything that would violate their "personal, moral, or religious beliefs." So what happens when I'm in a car crash in some remote area of America and I get a surgeon who believes that blood transfusion is evil? Or someone who believes solely in the power of prayer to heal? These cases will happen, as a direct result of this new rule. My opinion: if you can't morally do everything the job asks, then choose a different profession in the first place, or enter a different branch of medicine....


...And one comment on the auto company bailout. I would sincerely like it if everyone who ever expressed an opinion on it (pro, con, or indifferent) would at least agree on one basic fact: the amount of bailout money being talked about for Detroit is currently $14 billion dollars. The amount of bailout money given to Wall Street was $700 billion dollars. So I think that everyone should refer to it thusly: "Detroit is asking for TWO PERCENT of the money the taxpayers just handed out for free to Wall Street, with no strings attached. Detroit wants ONE-FIFTIETH of what Wall Street just got." I mean, seriously, we have to see these two things in some sort of perspective here...


...And finally, some good news from the federal government: Santa's flight path has been cleared. From the Washington Post comes the following:

Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters announced special "Santa Skylanes" for the jolly old red-suited guy today.

"We know Santa Claus must adhere to a really tight schedule to get to every house on his list," she said while signing the special flight certificate at Andrews Air Force Base. "Allowing him to use military airspace will ensure that crowded skies won't mean empty stockings on Christmas morning. It just wouldn't do to have the gridlock Grinch stealing Christmas."

Well, I'd hate to wake up Christmas morning to headlines of "Santa Shot Down By Military," so I guess that's one less thing to worry about. Our tax dollars at work!


-- Chris Weigant


5 Comments on “Three-Dot Thursday”

  1. [1] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    Majel Roddenberry also played Deanna Troi's mother on "The Next Generation." She will be missed.

    I'm fascinated by the Ireland story. It's a perfect example of the local vs global tensions of our age. The fact Ireland even had to win a special exemption speaks volumes about the process, but the fact Ireland DID get an exemption says everything about the outcome. It's exactly the sort of report we would have dissected for an hour in International Studies 110.

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Osborne Ink -

    The pint's war with the half-liter was actually predicted in 1947 by George Orwell:

    "You telling me you ain't got a pint mug in the 'ole bleeding boozer?"

    "And what in hell's name is a pint?" said the barman, leaning forward with the tips of his fingers on the counter.

    " 'Ark at 'im! Calls 'isself a barman, and don't know what a pint is! Why, a pint's the 'alf of a quart, and there's four quarts to the gallon. 'Ave to teach you the A, B, C next."

    "Never heard of 'em," said the barman shortly. "Liter and half-liter -- that's all we serve. There's the glasses on the shelf in front of you."

    "I like a pint," persisted the old man. "You could 'a drawed me off a pint easy enough. We didn't 'ave these bleeding liters when I was a young man."

    "When you were a young man we were all living in the treetops," said the barman, with a glance at the other customers.

    . . .

    " 'E could 'a drawed me off a pint," grumbled the old man as he settled down behind his glass. "A 'alf liter ain't enough. It don't satisfy. And a 'ole liter's too much. It starts my bladder running. Let alone the price."

    -- from "Nineteen Eighty-Four"
    (when Winston Smith goes slumming in a prole bar)

    [This erudite and literary break was brought to you by Arthur Guinness' fine product.]


  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Oh, and...

    Long Live Number One, Nurse Chapel, the Computer's Voice, and Deanna Troi's Mother!


  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Another Majel Barret Roddenberry addition.

    She was the voice of the computer in EVERY Star Trek series, from Star Trek TOS all the way thru Star Trek:Enterprise.

    Truly a sad day for Trekkers.

    However, there is a ray of sunshine..

    For all you HEROES viewers, there will be a new treat in store for us next season.

    Michael Dorn, the irrepressible WORF, will be appearing in Heroes as the President of the United States..

    Hows THAT for art imitating life... :D

    Dorn's appearence marks the second Trek alumni to appear as a regular in HEROES. The first was (and is) George Takei.


  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    For those of you who really don't want to see Trek EVER end... :D


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