The Pencil Today:


“Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.” — Pablo Picasso


In the car, on the way home from work at about 6:30 last night, The Loved One driving. We’re heading east on Atwood Avenue. We both see a woman jogging with a big old dog.

The dog’s tongue is dragging about a half a block behind him.

Me: “Anybody who runs with a dog in this weather is insane.”

The Loved One: “Anybody who runs in this weather is insane.”

That’s all you need to know about Summer, 2012.


You knew this was coming.

Our old pal god made sure a miracle occurred during the shooting rampage in Aurora, Colorado, Friday morning.

One of the victims took shotgun pellets to the brain. Lo and behold, she has some previously undiagnosed brain abnormality. The 22-year-old woman has a channel or void in her cerebral structure that actually allowed the shot to pass through her brain while causing minimal damage. The condition is called Cavum septum pellucidum.

So instead of being instantly killed or relegated to a life of slurred speech and halting ambulation, she’ll recover fully.

Natch, her priest is grabbing all the credit for his boss. Pastor Brad Strait of the Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church, of which the woman is a member, says it’s “a miracle.”

He writes: “In Christianity, we call it a ‘prevenient’ grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future. It’s just like the God I follow to plan the route of a bullet through a brain long before Batman ever rises. Twenty-two years before.”

Crime…, Oops, Miracle Scene

I bet that makes the families and friends of the 12 people killed feel great about things.

BTW: Cavum septum pellucidum is associated with the eventual onset of schizophrenia, chronic brain trauma, and antisocial personality disorder.

Some miracle.


Spaghetti ice cream?

Yeah. That’s what some lunatic panel of judges and a vote of Indiana residents has determined to be the signature food of the state fair this year.

In addition to anything and everything deep-fried, spaghetti ice cream will now join the pantheon of nauseating fair food.

The “spaghetti” tag is a sham, of course. The dish is made of gelato, strawberry sauce, and white chocolate.

Still, I’m not into toy food. My taste for “creativity” in my comestibles extends only as far as animal crackers. BTW: I’ve always been partial to elephants.


Once again, h/t to Maxxwell Bodenheim.

In related news, gun sales are up in Colorado after the Aurora atrocity.

And where did I read this? Only in America could a massacre carried out by a clearly deranged young man who’d amassed an arsenal of firearms cause authorities to ban the wearing of costumes in movie theaters.


By Jr. Walker and the All Stars. The only pop chart song whose rhythm line is a single chord throughout.

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.


Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Koda The Cattle Dog Mix

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

◗ IU Dowling CenterEnglish Conversation Club, for non-native speakers of American Emglish; 1pm

Scenic View RestaurantYoung Professionals of Bloomington monthly mixer; 6pm

Monroe County Public LibraryVolunteers needed for bike rack inventory; free ice cream after job is finished; 6:30-8:30pm

◗ IU Musical Arts Center, room 301 — Summer Music Series: Opera workshop directed by Carol Vaness; 7pm

◗ IU Wells-Metz Theatre“The Taming of the Shrew”; 7:30pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 7:30pm

The Player’s PubPost Modern Jazz Quartet; 8pm

The Comedy AtticBloomington Comedy Festival; 8pm

The BluebirdRod Tuffcurls & the Benchpress; 9pm

The Bishop Neulore, Dead Ghost, The Canvas Waiting; 9:30pm

◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryPublic viewing through the main telescope; 10pm


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This  @#!%”; through July 30th
  • Claire Swallow, ‘Memoir”; through July 28th
  • Dale Gardner, “Time Machine”; through July 28th
  • Sarah Wain, “That Takes the Cake”; through July 28th
  • Jessica Lucas & Alex Straiker, “Life Under the Lens — The Art of Microscopy”; through July 28th

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits: Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; July 27th through August 3rd

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break

Monroe County History Center Exhibits:

  • “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
  • Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

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