“I just found out I’m based on a character from a board game,” Professor Plum said as he entered the mail room. “Or maybe they copied me.”

He read the mail. (More)

Professor Plum and Ms. Scarlet then 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 was undone by another kind of counterfeit. He opened the pot by raising with the Ace and Nine of Hearts. Chef called and the flop brought the Ace of Spades, Jack of Diamonds, and Nine of Clubs. The Professor of Astrology Janitor put in a pot-sized raise, and Chef replied with a pot-sized reraise, enough to put the Professor of Astrology Janitor all-in. He was sure Chef would have reraised before the flop with a pair of Aces or Jacks, or even a suited Ace-Jack. Only one other hand could beat him – a pair of Nines for three-of-a-kind – and with both other Nines in view that was only a remote possibility.

So he guessed that Chef had an Ace and top pair, and that Chef thought he was betting a hand like pocket Kings or Queens. He called and pushed in his chips.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor sighed with relief as Chef turned over the Ace and Six of Diamonds. His two pair was good after all. Until the Jack of Hearts fell on the turn. That counterfeited his second pair, giving them both Aces and Jacks with a Nine kicker. The Queen of Spades on the river changed their kicker, but not the outcome: a split pot.

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


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I’m as grumpy as the Squirrel. I’m a comic with a YouTube video channel called DNews, and last week I created a fake Donald Trump tweet:

It was retweeted over 2300 times, but someone else tweeted my fake tweet image without attribution and his tweet garnered over 15,000 retweets. He’s since given me credit and taken it down, but really:

Twitter lets users quote tweets. Why not quote the original instead of copying the image?

Jared in CA

Dear Jared,

We commend your wit and understand your frustration. However, we fear you ran face-first into Poe’s Law, which states that – without a clear indicator of intent – it can be impossible to distinguish between a parody of an extremist and the extremist’s own statements. We suspect that @Rivermansky63 believed your parody Trump tweet was real. By embedding the image from your tweet, he thought he was quoting the original source. That said, we agree that Internet users too often use other people’s work without attribution, or cite links to third- or fourth-hand sources that require other users to click through multiple articles to find the original source … only to discover it was taken out of context. We fear this may be inevitable, but we join you in wishing that Internet users would be more careful about citing original sources.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Wow, so Donald Trump didn’t say that? I bet today’s logo photo with the birds in his hair is fake too. Sigh. If I make Chef’s Copycat Pumpkin Pancakes, will those be real?

Copying Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Copying Breakfast,

Yes, today’s logo photo has been altered. Chef notes that she found the recipe for Copycat Pumpkin Pancakes at a site that linked to a site that linked to Kristen Doyles’s Dine & Dish. She doesn’t say whether she copied the actual recipe used by the International House of Pancakes, or experimented until her recipe copied the taste. Regardless, she does cite IHOP as her inspiration.

To make Copycat Pumpkin Pancakes, mix 2 eggs, 1¼ cups of buttermilk, 4 Tablespoons of melted butter, 3 Tablespoons of canned pumpkin, ¼ cup of sugar, and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a large bowl until blended well. In a separate bowl, combine 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth. Use ¼ cup portions of batter to make 5″ pancakes. Cook until the edges firm up, then flip and cook until a toothpick comes out clean. Chef notes that these will be darker than the golden brown of plain pancakes. Chef tops hers with cinnamon-apple butter, but you may prefer maple syrup. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: Helen Thomas (Popdust)


Jared in CA; DNews; his tweet garnered over 15,000 retweets; given me credit; taken it down; “The Internet: A place where everyone steals my f–ing work”; Poe’s Law.

Copycat Pumpkin Pancakes; Kristen Doyle’s Dine & Dish.


Happy Sunday!