The resident faculty left a photo of some kind of sport outside the mail room this morning. The staff aren’t sure what sport it is, so we hope it was 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 and Linda Lee knitted learning and life with It’s a Design Element in Midday Matinee.

On Tuesday, the Squirrel warned of the Beltway Media Pushing Democrats to Make a Sucker’s Bet in Morning Feature, readers helped tell Tuesday’s Tale: Winter Storm Argh in Midday Matinee, and Winter B saw Sled Dogs Teach Us About Physical Endurance in Our Earth.

On Wednesday, the Squirrel listicled 5 Nuts I Won’t Eat Today or Ever in Morning Feature, Linda Lee pondered Cultural Fluidity in Midday Matinee, and Winter B celebrated as China and U.S. Agree on Emissions Reduction in Our Earth.

On Thursday, the resident faculty began a series on Bouncing Back with The ‘Right’ Path to Happiness in Morning Feature and triciawyse brought us Fursdai Furries in Midday Matinee.

On Friday, the resident faculty continued their series on Bouncing Back with Empathy’s Double-Edged Sword in Morning Feature and triciawyse shared Friedai Critters in Midday Matinee.

On the weekend, the resident faculty concluded their series on Bouncing Back with Hope Is a Verb in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie was asked “I’m Not Blaming Republicans?” in Sunday’s Morning Feature, and Winter B 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 photo left outside the mail room as the resident faculty 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:

“Looks like a weird kind of baseball,” Chef said as she brought out the decoder ring:

 photo SquirrelPecanRing.jpeg

The Squirrel shook his head and tapped at his Blewberry. “It’s cricket. I think that’s from yesterday’s ODI in the South Africa tour of Australia.”

“Umm,” the Professor of Astrology said, “ODI? Do the Aussies say ‘onder de influence?'”

Chef chuckled as she scraped stray pecans into the Squirrel’s bowl. He shook his head and texted: “ODI stands for One Day International. Each side gets one innings of fifty overs. Yesterday South Africa won by three wickets, 157 to 154.”

“They scored 157 wickets?” Chef asked.

The Squirrel shook his head and tapped at his Blewberry. “No, wickets are like outs. Australia batted first and scored 154 runs before their tenth wicket fell, ending the innings after 41.4 overs, so South Africa needed at least 155 runs to win. They were at 153 runs with seven wickets down in their 27th over when Dale Stein hit a boundary for four runs. So they won by three wickets, ten to seven.”

“And three runs,” Chef insisted, “157 to 154.”

“Well yeah,” the Squirrel texted, “but they only score ODI matches by run margin if both teams finish the innings with 50 overs.”

“How many innings?” the Professor of Astrology Janitor asked.

“One for each team,” the Squirrel texted. “Each team’s innings end at ten wickets or 50 overs, whichever comes first.”

“Wait,” the Professor of Astrology said. “You just said they each get one inning.”

The Squirrel’s eyes brightened. He tapped at his Blewberry. “Ahh, I see the confusion. In cricket, ‘innings’ is both singular and plural. In an ODI, each team gets one innings.”

“You see the confusion,” Chef muttered, “and that’s all you explain? What about overs and boundaries and wickets?”

“An over is six balls, bowled from one end of the pitch,” the Squirrel texted. “Then they switch ends and bowlers but the batsmen stay.”

“Bowlers,” Chef said, looking at the photo. “So those three sticks behind the – what did you call him, a batsman? – are pins?”

“Yes, he’s a batsman,” the Squirrel texted. “But those sticks are the wickets.”

“Hold on,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said. “You said wickets are outs.”

The Squirrel nodded and tapped at his Blewberry. “They’re both. If a bowled or batted ball hits the wickets behind the batsman, or a bowled ball was going to hit the wickets but the batsman blocks it with his leg, he’s out. If he hits the ball and he and his partner are running between the wickets and a fielder knocks over the wickets with the ball before the runner grounds his bat at that end, he’s out. Oh, and the batsman is out if he hits the ball in the air and a fielder catches it, but they don’t bother to knock the wickets over for that.”

“And the boundaries?” Chef asked.

“That’s the ring around the pitch,” the Squirrel said. “If the batsman hits the ball and it touches or bounces over the boundary, that’s four runs. If he hits it over the boundary on the fly, that’s six runs.”

“Like a ground rule double or a home run in baseball,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said.

The Squirrel nodded and tapped at his Blewberry. “But in cricket when the batsman hits a boundary he keeps batting. Unless he hits a single. Then he’s at the other end so his partner bats. Unless that was the last ball of the over, because then they switch bowlers and ends so he would bat again.”

“Did they have a contest to make this as complicated as possible?” Chef asked.

“The rules are set by a committee,” the Squirrel texted. “The International Cricket Council.”

“I see,” Chef said.

The Squirrel shook his head. “No, ICC.”

“I meant ‘I understand,'” Chef said.

The Professor of Astrology looked at Chef. “You do?”

“Not even close,” Chef said. She looked at the Squirrel. “Tell me the resident faculty aren’t going to talk about cricket this week.”

“Oh dear, no,” the Squirrel texted. “They’re going to jump around topics, like crickets.”

The mail room was silent.

“Crickets,” the Squirrel texted. “The insects.”

The mail room was still silent.

The Squirrel’s brow furrowed. “Like grasshoppers? They jump?”

The mail room remained silent.

The Squirrel reached for his Blewberry and paused. He looked around again and nodded and tapped away. “I get it. Your response is … crickets.”



Happy Monday!