The Pencil Today:


“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan


NPR marked today’s 50th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe with the usual navel-gazing about whether the movie biz used her or she used it.

Marilyn Monroe is becoming smarter by the year. By 2025, she’ll probably be known as an intellectual who dabbled in acting.

Blonde Bombshell Or Scientific Genius?


One of my fave annoyances is the growing tendency of people to write “Love you” when they mean “I love you.”

Is it really that much of an ordeal to key in the letter I and the extra space? Will doing so make the writer late for an important appointment?

I’m Late! (I’m Late, I’m Late, I’m Late)

“Love you” strikes me as impersonal and lazy.


If you’ve kept up with the screeds in these precincts of late, you know how spectacularly bored I’ve always been with the Olympics.

The track and field events are going on now. Funny thing is, I really like these competitions.

A Pole Vaulter Narrowly Misses The Sun

It occurs to me I’d actually like the Olympics if the games were limited to track and field, tests of the capabilities of individuals representing their countries.

That was the original intent of Olympics, not only in ancient Greek times but when the Olympiads were re-instituted back in 1896.


It’s a good bet marijuana may be legalized in my lifetime (assuming I don’t drop dead tomorrow afternoon.)

Oh, Wow.

Will there be any more important catalyst in the long, slow slide toward legalization than the career of one Michael Fred Phelps II, history’s most decorated Olympic athlete and noted pot smoker?


One last Olympics note (today).

Look, I admire Oscar Pistorius‘s dedication and discipline as much as you do.

AKA: “The Blade Runner”

But, honestly, the man is wearing a pair of springs.

How is that different from another athlete using performance enhancing drugs?

Sure, you might say poor Oscar was born without fibulae in his legs and had to undergo a double amputation when he was 11 months old so how can we deny this courageous man the use of his springs?

Well, that’s the point. I was born without the exquisite musculature and fantastic hand-eye coordination of Willie Mays. So why can’t I try to ameliorate those disadvantages with a few cycles of anabolic steroids?

Willie Mays On A New York City Street

See, sports competitions aren’t democratic contests. When it comes to games, not all men or women are created equal.

That’s why some people win Gold Medals or Most Valuable Player awards and others don’t.


The Onion‘s taking heat for doing a faux news video showing a jet headed for a crash into the Willis Tower.

Formerly known as Sears Tower, the Willis was, until recently, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The joke is Sears operatives, flying the company jet, are attacking the interloper into their formerly sacred space.

From The Onion

Sound familiar?

Again, it’s a joke.

The Onion is a joke newspaper.

Many in New York and elsewhere detest the idea of jokes about 9/11. One woman was quoted as saying in the Huffington Post, “That’s not funny.”

She’s right. To her, it’s not funny. My suggestion? Don’t laugh.

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.

I Love 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.

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.

Click For Entire Story

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.

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

Bloomington Playwrights ProjectOriginal musical written by young people, grades 4-11, “Dream & Nightmares”; 2pm

Fairview United Methodist ChurchConcert of songs, arias, and duets from Broadway & opera; 2pm

Buskirk-Chumley Theater“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”; 3pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Weeds of Eden; 5-7pm

Bryan ParkSunday outdoor concert series: Afro Hoosier International; 6:30pm

Bear’s PlaceRyder Film Series: “Polisse”; 7pm


◗ 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:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th
  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ 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

One thought on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Carolyn VandeWiele says:

    Michael wrote… “Love you” strikes me as impersonal and lazy.
    Only to be expected from a people who have given up on the adverb

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