“I’m sure I know nothing about something,” Professor Plum said as he walked into the mail room. He read the mail…. (More)

Professor Plum then left with Ms. Scarlet 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 confidently opened the betting with his King of Clubs and King of Hearts. His confidence was unshaken by Chef’s call, and remained unshaken when he saw the Nine and Seven of Clubs fall with the Ten of Hearts on the flop. He confidently offered a pot-sized bet. His confidence vanished with Chef’s raise.

He doubted that she would have called his opening bet with a Jack-Eight or Eight-Six, so she probably did not have a straight. But she might have called with a pair of Tens, Nines, or Sevens and now had three of a kind. Or she might have the Ten-Nine of Spades or Diamonds and now had two pair. Or she might have only the Ace and another Club for a flush draw. But Chef’s raise seemed intended to end the pot immediately, before the turn could produce a straight or flush. The Professor of Astrology Janitor concluded that Chef must have two pair or three of a kind, and he began his plaintive mewling as he folded his pair of Kings. Chef flashed the Ace and Ten of Clubs and went to the kitchen to make the Confident Cook’s Portabella and Kale Breakfast Muffins, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Hillary Clinton is not unbeatable. I think multiple people could beat her. I would ask her the question I would ask her now, ‘You were the secretary of state during the first four years of the Obama administration. Name one significant foreign policy achievement, now or after you left. The reset with Russia has been a disaster, the Middle East is more unstable today than it’s been in I don’t know when – and that’s saying a lot – our relationships in Latin America and democracy has deteriorated in Latin America, the Chinese are increasingly aggressive, our partners around the world view us as less reliable. I think I could beat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Marco in FL

Dear Marco,

We commend your capacity for self-delusion. Before you could challenge Hillary Clinton, you would need to win your party’s nomination, and recent polls show you averaging only 7% support among GOP voters. In a Survey USA poll of Florida voters earlier this month, Clinton routed you by 53-39. A Latino Decisions poll last summer found that Hispanic voters nationwide preferred her over you by 66-28, and the Huffington Post nationwide polling average shows her leading you by almost 15 points. While early polls have less predictive value, the consistency of the data suggest you may qualify as a case study in the Dunning/Kruger Principle: that incompetence is often coupled with overconfidence.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Rubio is an idiot. He says he is not a scientist so he doesn’t have a view about climate change and sea-level rise and so won’t do anything about it. When statesmen like Rubio say things like that, they make it very, very hard for anything to get done on a local level – for instance for Miami to raise the millions it needs to build new sewers and canals. If local people have been told by their leaders that global warming is not happening, they will simply assume you are wasting their money by building defenses against it.

But global warming is occurring. That is absolutely unequivocal. Since the 1950s, the climate system has warmed. That is an absolute fact. And we are now 95% sure that that warming is due to human activities. If I was 95% sure that my house was on fire, would I get out? Obviously I would. It is straightforward.

Phillip in FL

Dear Phillip,

We commend your scientific expertise … and your political acumen.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Is Chef the Confident Cook? Also, those Portabella and Kale Breakfast Muffins sound yummy. How do I make them?

Confident of Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Confident of Breakfast,

Chef is a confident cook, but the Confident Cook (and Hesitant Baker) is Hindy Garfinkel. To make her Portabella and Kale Breakfast Muffins, first lightly sauté 3 cups of chopped kale in olive oil with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Once softened, place a tablespoon of kale in the bottom of each cup of a lightly-oiled muffin tray, and add a sprinkling of chopped shallots and portabella mushroom caps. Whisk 12 eggs together with 2 teaspoons each of salt and pepper, and pour the eggs into the muffin cups. Sprinkle with grated Swiss cheese and bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, until the egg is set. Bon appétit!



Marco in FL; averaging only 7% support among GOP voters; Survey USA poll; Latino Decisions poll; Huffington Post polling average; Dunning/Kruger Principle.

Phillip in FL.

Hindy Garfinkel, Confident Cook and Hesitant Baker.


Happy Sunday!