The resident faculty left a bowl of macadamias outside the mail room door, with a card that read: 4265206e696365. The Squirrel had already eaten breakfast, so it had to be a clue. (More)

First our thanks to last week’s writers:

On Monday, you shared your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week, addisnana pondered April? Fools? in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan shared The Washington Landslide in Our Earth.

On Tuesday, we began a series on Net Worth and Human Value with Tennessee May Cut Struggling Students’ Family Aid in Morning Feature, readers helped tell Tuesday’s Tale: A Home for Wally Gator in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan spotted Increased Antarctic Sea Ice in Our Earth.

On Wednesday, we continued our series on Net Worth and Human Value with Income Inequality and “Fretting Over Success” in Morning Feature, addisnana mused on The Easter of Pecans in Midday Matinee, and winterbanyan reported on Plastic Oceans in Our Earth.

On Thursday, we concluded our series on Net Worth and Human Value with The False God of the Market in Morning Feature and winterbanyan warned that Colony Collapse Disorder Worsens in Our Earth.

On Friday, Winning Progressive shared how The GOP War on Voting Continues in Morning Feature and triciawyse brought us Frieday Critters in Midday Matinee.

On the weekend, Winning Progressive offered A Reflection On Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie was asked about Our North Star? in Sunday’s Morning Feature, 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 bowl of macadamias left outside the mail room 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. As we’re sure you recall, the card on the bowl read:


This clearly wasn’t an inspection tag of the sort one used to find in the pockets of new clothes. Number 10 did all of those. Even if the garment company decided to hire more inspectors, so Number 10 could take an occasional vacation, we doubted they would hire 6265206 to the 696365th power. There aren’t that many people on earth.

Of course, these were macadamias and not clothes, so the nut company might hire squirrels to inspect them. But there aren’t that many squirrels on earth either. None of the staff have seen those “Inspected by Number 10” tags in years anyway. Maybe Number 10 retired. Regardless, it wasn’t an inspection tag.

The Squirrel tapped away on his Blewberry and then texted us: “Be nice.”

The staff looked at him oddly, as we hadn’t realized we weren’t being nice. We were debating whether Number 10 should have retired, but we weren’t yelling or anything like that. “You be nice,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said.

“I was being nice,” the Squirrel texted back, flicking his tail impatiently. “I’m telling you what the clue is.”

“No, you told us be nice,” Chef replied as she counted out several macadamias from the bowl to use for muffins. She held up her SmarterThanYouPhone. “See?”

The Squirrel rolled his eyes and took a deep breath. “That’s the clue. ‘Be nice.’ It’s in hexadecimal.”

“Hexawatsis?” Pootie the Precious asked on her iHazPhone.

The Squirrel took another deep breath and tapped patiently on his Blewberry. “Most humans use decimal numbers. That’s base 10. Probably because humans have 10 fingers and 10 toes. Hexadecimal is base 16.”

“Da fakultee haz 16 fingers?” Pootie the Precious asked.

“No,” the Squirrel said. “But computers use binary, base 2, and computer languages often change that to hexadecimal, base 16, because it’s easier to read.”

“Dey thot dat big pile uv numberz wuz eezee?” Pootie the Precious asked, aghast.

“It’s easier than 01000010 01100101 00100000 01001110 01101001 01100011 01100101,” the Squirrel said. “That’s ‘Be nice’ in binary code.”

Pootie the Precious’ tail flicked. “Ok. Datz harder.”

Your lowly mail room clerk then asked the Squirrel why the resident faculty would tell the staff to “Be nice,” in hexadecimal or any other computer notation.

“Because this week the resident faculty will discuss Andrea Weckerle’s new book Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks,” the Squirrel texted before taking the last macadamia out of the bowl.

We have no idea where the rest went. Honest.


Happy Monday!