“It’s beastly out there,” Professor Plum said as he entered the mail room.

It wasn’t, but at least he read the mail. (More)

In fact it was 76° with 94% humidity at the BPI Main Campus when Professor Plum made his predawn entrance. That’s quite comfortable for South Blogistan, if one has air conditioning to wring out the dampness, and the New Venerable Hall does. Thus Professor Plum’s hand was not clammy when Ms. Scarlet took it in hers and they left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor had a hot hand, as he had been dealt pairs or made straights or flushes in several recent pots. So when he looked at a Jack and Ten of Clubs, he confidently opened with a raise. Chef called, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor’s heat wave seemed to continue when the Jack and Ten of Diamonds fell with the Six of Spades on the flop. He bet his top two pair and Chef responded with a pot-sized raise. Might she have a pair of Sixes or, less likely, a pair of Jacks or Tens, for three of a kind? Did she have a King-Queen or Nine-Eight for a straight draw, or two Diamonds for a flush draw? Indeed the King-Queen or Nine-Eight of Diamonds would make her a slight favorite against his two pair. He folded and began his plaintive mewling and Chef headed for the kitchen to make Chilled Berries and Clotted Cream, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

The immigration bill scares me. We also have this issue of visas and we’ve lost, I think the latest nonsense I saw from the Homeland Security Department was something like a million people that have come here on visas that we have no idea where they are. The government’s solution is biometric scanning. And, of course, we know in biblical prophecy that that is the End Times. That is going to be the brand either on our foreheads or on the back of our hands. That is demonic through and through. That is End Times prophecy. There is no question about that.

Cathie in TX

Dear Cathie,

We admire your capacity for telling yourself scary stories. However, we note that the prophecy in Revelation describes people forced to wear the mark of the Beast as a sign of fealty in order to conduct business transactions. Conversely, biometrics are not about applying an external mark. Instead, biometric scanners verify your identity using inherent characteristics, most often fingerprints. Such scanners have been used for years in high-security areas, and Walt Disney World now uses a them to ensure guests don’t sell or give away all-day passes. The State Department added biometric data in new U.S. passports in 2006, and over 60 other countries use biometrics to verify a passport-holder’s identity. You may have misunderstood the prophecy in Revelation, or perhaps did not know how biometrics work. More likely, we think, you simply believe any story that reinforces your apocalyptic worldview.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I’m a conservative political action committee leader and I’m so glad it’s August. That means my Republican congressman will be in my area, and I can go to his office and tell him how I could have been targeted by the IRS. He’ll even bring in select reporters to hear me talk about what could have happened if the IRS had targeted me, and hear him talk about what he’s doing to hold President Obama accountable for using the IRS to attack his political enemies. My Republican congressman sent me his briefing notes so we could we get our stories straight and together we’re going to keep the political media focused on the IRS.

Rusty in Red Blogistan

Dear Rusty,

We thank you for the warning. We are not surprised that you still believe in the IRS scandal, as a detailed media study revealed that coverage of that story peaked long before most of the relevant facts were revealed, including the fact that the IRS also scrutinized progressive groups and even open-source software developers. Of course, those facts don’t fit the story that you and your Republican congressman want to tell, so we’re sure you’ll leave them out when you explain – in feverish detail – what could have happened if the IRS had targeted you.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

In other words, we should expect a lot of hot air during the dog days of August? If so, will Chilled Berries and Clotted Cream help, and how does Chef make that?

Chilling for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Chilling for Breakfast,

Yes, you can expect a lot of hot air during the dog days of August, and not only from the weather. As for Chef’s Chilled Berries and Clotted Cream, she buys frozen mixed berries and leaves them on the counter for an hour to thaw before placing them in a bowl and pouring over a dollop clotted cream. Chef buys clotted cream online, but can make your own by pouring 4 cups of heavy cream in an oven-safe pot and leaving it in the oven at 180° for about eight hours, then chilling it in the refrigerator overnight. Bon appétit!



Cathie in TX; prophecy in Revelation; biometrics; Walt Disney World biometric scan; U.S. passport biometric data; over 60 countries.

Rusty in Red Blogistan; detailed media study; open-source software developers.


Happy Sunday!