The resident faculty left two small boxes outside the mail room. One had something in it. The other did not. The staff hope it was a clue. (More)

First our thanks to last week’s guest writers:

On Monday, you shared your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week, addisnana offered Positive Uses for Civilian Drones in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan shared Environmental Science Discoveries in Our Earth.

On Tuesday, Winning Progressive offered Obama vs. House Republicans on LGBT Equality, Part 1 in Morning Feature, the Squirrel mused on The High Wire of Comedy and Outrage in Furthermore!, readers helped tell Tuesday’s Tale: Winter Storm Snicker in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan presented Science News in Our Earth.

On Wednesday, we reviewed a new Pew Poll: GOP are Out-of-Touch, Too Extreme in Morning Feature, addisnana proposed The Sequester Party in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan shared plans for Opening Access to Publicly Funded Research in Our Earth.

On Thursday, we began a series on Valuing Work with Working vs. Employment? in Morning Feature and triciawyse shared Fursdai Furries in Midday Matinee.

On Friday, we continued our series on Valuing Work with Employment, Power, and the Guaranteed Basic Income in Morning Feature and triciawyse brought us Frieday Critters in Midday Matinee.

On the weekend, we concluded our series on Valuing Work with Work, Employment, Survival, and Fulfillment in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie was asked about A Failure to Communicate? in Sunday’s Morning Feature, Winning Progressive shared Weekend Reading in Furthermore!, and winterbanyan brought our weekly Eco News Roundup in Our Earth.

Note: Please share your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week.

Thus we return to the two small boxes left by the resident faculty as they made their way from the wine cellar library where they spent the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”) to the hot tub faculty lounge for their weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference.

One of the boxes contained a twist tie that may have been formed into a squirrel. The Squirrel disagreed and the staff agreed that it may also have been a cat, until Pootie the Precious disagreed. We conceded that it might have been a horse, a misshapen DNA strand, a cloud, or merely a three-dimensional doodle made by someone who had done too much drinking thinking. Ultimately, however, the staff agreed the first box contained … something.

The other box was empty and – after a brief but spirited debate about the relevance of air molecules, quantum jitters, and the physical structure of spacetime itself – the staff concluded the second box contained … nothing.

The staff pondered this intently – a process that a casual observer might mistake for sipping coffee and chatting about the weather – while the Squirrel tapped at his Blewberry. We had moved on from the weather to the dearth of intelligent Sunday night programming in the absence of Downton Abbey, and thence to the start of the Paris-Nice cycling race and the Major League Soccer season. We were almost back to the physical structure of spacetime when the Squirrel sat upright.

“Did you find anything?” Chef asked.

“I found something,” the Squirrel texted. “But it may be nothing.”

Your lowly mail room cast a sidelong glance at the clock, silently noting that the Squirrel often eavesdrops on the resident faculty and that the entire student body were perched on the edges of their chairs, waiting for this week’s topic. Or not.

“I was enjoying the conversation,” the Squirrel texted. “Anyway, this week the resident faculty will discuss why the passage of legislation and other changes in government may be best understood in the frame of doing Something or Nothing.”

“We were supposed to deduce that,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor asked, holding up the two boxes, “from this?”

“Well,” the Squirrel texted, “at least it’s something.”


Happy Monday!