The Pencil Today:


“We should stop going around babbling about how we’re the greatest democracy on Earth, when we’re not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarized republic.” — Gore Vidal


Here’s the distribution of native language groups in what is now called North America, before the Europeans started coming over in the late 15th Century.

Click For Larger Image

In other words, this is a map of nations. Each of these nations not only had common languages but cultural ties among the various groups within.

They are no different, in those senses, than the United States or Mexico. The only things they lacked were steel and the wheel.

Steel And The Wheel

Accordingly, they disappeared.


I bet it’s killing Charlene Spierer to refrain from divulging the name of the person she’s certain did in her daughter.

Charlene Spierer

She probably wants to shout the person’s name from the rooftops but, for obvious reasons, she can’t. There are little matters like getting a probable cause warrant, arresting the suspect, and arraigning him or her (oh hell, who am I kidding, him) that must be done first.

The Marion County Coroner’s office has extracted a tooth from a skull found a month ago in the White River in Indianapolis. As it stands right now, examiners don’t even know if the skull comes from a woman or a man.

Marion County’s Deputy Coroner tells The Journal News that the tooth will be compared to Lauren’s dental records in an act of kindness for the Spierers. Examiners generally don’t do that for specific parties who have reported missing people. But the high-profile nature of the disappearance and the Spierers’ savvy use of the media forced the Coroner’s hand.

Charlene has written an open letter to the person who snatched her daughter in the Spierers’ blog. She writes: “We were shocked when several people hired attorneys within days of Lauren’s disappearance. Five young men, five attorneys.”

That’s been my point all along: The last thing I’d think of doing if one of my pals disappeared would be to hire an attorney.

Lauren’s mom then addresses the person who did the deed: “Who are you? Did you go on any searches? Maybe you were no longer in Bloomington as thousands helped look for Lauren. Did you use Lauren’s disappearance to your advantage? Have we met? Time will tell.”


Our next door neighbors’ daughter, R, a senior at Bloomington High School North, copped an Honor award at the Monroe County Fair for her entry in the Bake It with Pineapple contest.

R’s entry was a pineapple coconut tart topped with meringue. Gotta tell you, it paled in comparison to another recipe she experimented with over the weekend: a zucchini-pineapple bread. Too bad — for my money if she’d have submitted the bread, she’d have won the blue ribbon.

All this is yet another way of saying I love living in Bloomington.


Tyler Ferguson of the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls is all agog this AM. She’s going up to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indy tonight to see — oh, god, I don’t want to say it — Barry Manilow.

She’s been warned: Should she come in to Soma Coffee tomorrow singing any Manilow hit and thereby implanting it as an earworm in my fragile psyche, there will be hell to pay.


In the category of sugary pop, you can’t beat this from BJ Thomas.

It’s recorded directly from the 45, complete with scratch and dust noise. How can you not love it?

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.

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

From I Fucking Love Science

Present and CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

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.

Click For The Quiz

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

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

◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center — Summer 2012 Sustainability Internship Symposium; 11:30am

Monroe County FairgroundsDay 7, 2012 Monroe County Fair, Hearts of Fire; 6:30pm — Music Makers Extension Chorus Group; 7PM; Demolition Derby; 7:30pm; Soul Patrol; 7:30pm; ; Noon to 11pm

◗ BEAD District Bloomington, Gallery WalkReceptions & exhibits:

WonderLabThe Science of Art: Screenprinting, with David Orr: 5pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet; 7pm

Bloomington Playwrights ProjectOriginal musical, “Dreams & Nightmares”; 7pm

Buskirk-Chumley Theater — “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”; 7:30pm

The Comedy AtticCostaki Economopolous; 8 & 10:30pm

Cafe DjangoDavid Miller’s Art Deco Quartet; 7:30pm

◗ IU Woodburn Hall Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Polisse”; 8pm

The BluebirdJJ Grey, Mofro; 8pm

Max’s PlaceKathy Gutjar; 8pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Oslo: August 31”; 8:30pm

Max’s PlaceTarpaper Turley; 10pm

The BishopDJ Junebug; midnight


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; opens Friday, August 3rd, through September 1st

◗ 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; 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 CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

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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