“The resident faculty should put me in charge of grading,” Professor Plum said. “I can guess who the smart students are at least half the time.”

He read the mail…. (More)

Professor Plum took Ms. Scarlet’s hand and they left to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library and 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 tried to guess Chef’s hand. Chef opened with a raise and then called when the Professor of Astrology Janitor reraised with the Ace and King of Hearts. The King of Diamonds fell with the Queens of Hearts and Clubs on the flop. The Professor of Astrology Janitor offered a half-pot-sized bet and Chef replied with a half-pot-sized raise.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor felt sure Chef didn’t have a pair of Aces or Kings, as she would have reraised back before the flop. Her preflop raise and call made more sense for a suited Ace-King or Ace-Queen. There were only two possible hands for each, the Ace and King of Spades or Clubs, or the Ace and Queen of Spades or Diamonds. If Chef had Ace-King, they were almost certain to split the pot. If she had Ace-Queen, she was almost certain to win it all. So he could win back the chips he had already bet, or lose even more. He sighed and folded.

“Pocket Jacks?” Chef asked as she flashed her Ace and King of Spades.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling. Chef went to the kitchen to make Omelet Muffins, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I would like to be the head of Donald Trump’s Homeland Security. I’ll get it all done before breakfast because I could kind of guess who the criminals are going to be at least 50 percent of the time.

I’ll also make immigrants be American. There will be no celebration of Cinco de Mayo, there will be no Ramadan, in fact there won’t even be a Feast of the Immaculate Conception – we are an Anglo-Protestant country, and you will learn about the Battle of Valley Forge.

Ann in FL

Dear Ann,

We admire your capacity for fantasy. That said, we note that the Attorney General, not the Secretary of Homeland Security, is tasked with enforcing criminal law. We also note that a criminal justice system based on your guesses, which you concede are no more accurate than a coin flip, would imprison many innocent people yet leave many criminals roaming free. Or perhaps you intend to repeat the process, imprisoning more people by guess – half of them innocent at each iteration – until you feel confident that you’ve caught all the criminals. While that would benefit the for-profit prison industry, we doubt most Americans would accept it. Finally, we note that your proposal to ban non-protestant religious celebrations would run afoul of the First Amendment Establishment Clause. We conclude that your idea of “American” is … distinctly un-American.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

There have been tremendous disasters hitting America at the very same time as America is turning from God. Earthquakes have stuck this nation in response to gay pride parades and that hurricanes have hit America because of legal abortion. All of these disasters are God warning America to repent. But we are past the point of no return.

John in PA

Dear John,

We searched for stories on earthquakes caused by LGBT Pride parades. We found an earthquake this past April in New Zealand that coincided with the Anzac Street Parade, an annual commemoration of those who served in World War I, but we found no scientists who claimed the parade caused the quake. We did find confirmation that a small tremor in Seattle, the BeastQuake, was caused by the crowd reaction to an amazing touchdown run by Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch. We also found plenty of scientific research documenting earthquakes caused by the injection of wastewater at fracking sites. But we found no scientific evidence of any earthquake caused by an LGBT Pride parade.

That said, we did plenty of religious loons saying natural disasters are God’s wrath on LGBTs, feminists, and other groups that religious loons believe are hated by God. However, we could not find a single natural disaster that struck only LGBTs, feminists, or other God-hated groups.

This leaves us with three hypotheses. The first is that God has a very poor aim. The second is that God, like Ann in FL, is willing to punish thousands of innocents to make sure his wrath engulfs those he hates. The third is that natural disasters have natural rather than supernatural causes. We conclude that the third hypothesis better fits both the scientific evidence and the common understanding of a just and loving God.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Usually Chef’s recipes reflect the theme of the opening letter. What do Omelet Muffins have to do with guessing who the criminals are? Also, how do I make those muffins?

Guessing at Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Guessing at Breakfast,

Chef’s recipes usually do reflect the theme of the opening letter. However, when Chef searched for {breakfast recipe guess} she came up empty. So she searched for {mystery breakfast recipe} and that led her to the website I Don’t Know…It’s a Mystery, where she found the recipe for Omelet Muffins.

To make them, first fry and then thinly chop 4 strips of bacon. Next steam and then finely chop ½ cup of broccoli. Then whip 8 eggs together with salt and pepper to taste, add the bacon and broccoli, and pour into a greased muffin tin. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes, until the eggs are fluffy and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. The website’s author suggests turning on the broiler for a few seconds to give the muffins a lightly-browned, crispy top. Chef sprinkled the top with grated Cheddar cheese, which melted and browned under the broiler to provide a yummy crust without overcooking the eggs. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: AP


Ann in FL.

John in PA; New Zealand Anzac Parade earthquake; annual World War I commemoration; BeastQuake; fracking earthquakes; plenty of religious loons.

I Don’t Know…It’s a Mystery; Omelet Muffins.


Happy Sunday!