The Pencil Today:


Oy! Another week, albeit a short one.

Okay, let’s get it started with some trivia fun. Here’s the question:

Where in the world is the Isle of Langerhans?

You want to google it, I know, but hold off for a little while. Let Pencil fans from around the globe have a crack at it off the tops of their heads.

Then google it.

The first correct answer wins an all-expenses-paid trip to the Bypass Construction Zone.

The Grand Prize!

Hat tip to my old pal Andy Wallingford, Triviameister Emeritus of Wick’s Pizza-Goosecreek in Louisville, Kentucky, for the question.


Our first-ever Pencil Poll appeared Saturday. Our crack team of statisticians worked ceaselessly throughout the rest of the weekend in a valiant effort to keep up with the avalanche of responses. I’ve just been handed the latest results and they indicate a grand total of nearly two dozen people ventured their opinions on what should become of the various Occupy encampments around this holy land.

Man, no wonder the economy nearly came to a standstill over the last 72 hours!

Anyway, the majority of respondents want the camps to be left alone. Nearly a quarter of the fine folks who are loyal to this site think the Occupy people ought to do something more constructive. One person doesn’t care — in fact, that respondent doesn’t care so much that he went out of his way to answer an online poll to tell the world he doesn’t care. That’s certainty.

Oh, BTW: We got respondents from both coasts. And I’m not referring to the coasts of Lake Monroe. I mean the coast of the greatest nation in the history of humankind, this experiment in democracy, the United States of America.

Next goal — readers on all seven continents. In fact, we’re planning a marketing caravan to Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica next year.

Watch us grow!

America’s Outpost In Antarctica


Oh, baby! This is too good to be true. Have you seen the pissing match between Alaska Rep. Don Young, a Republican, and the eminent historian Douglas Brinkley yet?

Brinkley actually lives out every thinking person’s fantasy when he goes toe to toe with the proto-human Young. The Republican Party has been trafficking in anti-intellectualism since the late 1970s when the Christian right organized to put a saint in the White House.

He’s In Heaven Now, With All Dogs And Randy “Macho Man” Savage

So, Congressman Young was attending a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources, no doubt in his ongoing quest to allow multi-national corporations to sully every square inch of pristine wilderness in this holy land. Brinkley was testifying against oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Young, natch, would prefer to see oil derricks are far as the eye can see there.

Suddenly, Young blows up at Brinkley. In fact, he’s so choleric that he calls him the wrong name and then…, well, watch.

Er, uh, don’t watch. I don’t know why, but C-SPAN won’t allow me to embed the video of the dramatic exchange. Maybe Rep. Young’s thugs got to the C-SPAN people (tee-hee).

Here’s my transcription of the Battle of the Century.

Young: “If you ever want to see an exercise in futility, it’s this hearing…. I call it garbage, Mr. Rice, that comes from the mouth….”

Brinkley: ‘It’s Dr. Brinkley. Rice is a university….”

Young: “Well….”

Brinkley: “You know, you went to Yuba College. You couldn’t graduate….”

Young: “I’ll call you anything I want to call you when you set (sic) in that chair!”

Brinkley: “Pardon?”

Young: “You just be quiet!”

Brinkley: “Why? You don’t own me! I pay your salary.”

Young: “I don’t own you but I’ll tell you right now….”

Here, the chairman tries to throw a bucket of cold water on the two baying dogs. Too late, they’ve got their teeth in each other’s necks.

Brinkley: “I work for the private sector; you work for the taxpayers!”

The chair continues to try to chill the angry Brinkley, who repeats his complaint that Young misidentified him and called his testimony garbage. The chair says the committee “see(s) a lot of people here and we make foo pahs.”

Well, that finally shut everybody up — for the moment. What on this green Earth is a foo pah?

Later, Young tears into Brinkley again, accusing him of living in an “ivory tower” and being part of the wealthy elite that sees Alaska only as their vacation playground. Young added — unnecessarily, I might add — that he is “pissed off,” presumably by smart guys, trees, wildlife, and perhaps democracy itself.

Anyway, go to C-Span to see this meeting of the minds. The exchange begins at 31:15 and lasts a little over a minute. My favorite part is the reaction of the blonde congressional aid whose eyes grow to the size of saucers when Brinkley tells Young, “you don’t own me.”

2 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Thanks for the props. -AW

  2. ex-b-i-l-i-l says:

    It’s all in your head.

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