The resident faculty left a photo of fallen apples outside the mail room this morning. It may be their request for Thanksgiving pie, or it may be their weekly clue. Or both…. (More)

“The apples didn’t fall far from that tree,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said as he looked at the photo left by the resident faculty when they 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.

“That’s why it’s a cliché,” Chef said as she brought out the decoder ring.

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The Squirrel nodded and tapped at his Blewberry. “That photo reminds me Isaac Newtufts dropping the famous apple on his human collaborator’s head. The birth of modern physics.”

“You know that’s a myth, right?” Chef asked as she scraped stray pecans into the Squirrel’s bowl. “Newton said many times that he began thinking about gravity when he saw an apple fall from a tree, but he never said the apple landed on his head. That embellishment was added later.”

“It’s not an embellishment,” the Squirrel texted. “Newtufts said he dropped the apple on the guy’s head. But the guy had ego issues – he never even mentioned Newtufts – so it’s hardly surprising that he also didn’t mention getting bonked on the head.”

“Lemme see if I’ve got this straight,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor began. “Your evidence for an embellishment that Newton never mentioned … comes from a squirrel whose existence was never documented.”

The Squirrel huffed and tapped at his Blewberry. “Newtufts was never documented because humans always leave squirrels out of the history.”

“As Napoleon said, ‘History is written by the winners,'” Chef noted.

“Actually Napoleon never said that,” the Squirrel texted. “George Orwell wrote that phrase in a 1944 essay, but other people had expressed similar ideas.”

“Wasn’t it Ben Franklin who said ‘99% of quotes on the internet are made up?'” the Professor of Astrology Janitor asked.

“I think that was Abraham Lincoln, and he said it was 85%,” Chef said.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor shook his head. “Lincoln said ‘The problem with internet quotes is that you cant always depend on their accuracy.'”

“Ooh Im on dat site!” Pootie the Precious texted excitedly on her iHazPhone. “See?”

Out of Fish photo outoffishcat.jpg

Chef chuckled. “Then it must be a reliable source.”

“But what does any of this have to do with falling apples?” the Professor of Astrology Janitor asked. “And what does the clue mean?”

“Maybe the resident faculty want apple pie for Thanksgiving,” Chef said.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor shook his head. “I don’t think people are supposed to eat fallen apples. They’re usually bruised, and sometimes they’ve already been nibbled by other critters.”

“Ahem,” the Squirrel texted, his tail flicking testily. “Critters is … rude.”

Chef leaned over to the Professor of Astrology Janitor. “Is he especially grumpy today, or is it just me?”

“Maybe he’s hungry,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said.

Chef nodded and slid the bowl of stray pecans over to the Squirrel. The Squirrel perked up and nibbled a nut.

“Mmmhhh, thanks,” he texted. “Oh, the Professor of Astrology Janitor was right.”

“That you were hungry?” Chef asked.

“That too,” the Squirrel texted. “But the key to the clue was what he said up there at the top. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor drew a slow breath. “Please tell me this won’t be one of those ‘fun’ science weeks that leaves my head spinning.”

The Squirrel shook his head and tapped at his Blewberry. “Nope. But I won’t exactly bounce around the news with Mixed Nuts either. It’s Thanksgiving week, so we’ll do our usual lighthearted holiday fare.”

“With apple pie?” the Professor of Astrology Janitor asked hopefully.

“I can do that,” Chef said, “so long as the apples haven’t been … nibbled.”

The Squirrel gave his best innocent look. It was almost convincing.

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Note: Please share your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week.

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Photo Credit: A Life Of Apples

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Happy Monday!