The Pencil Today:


“Physics isn’t a religion. If it were, we’d have a much easier time raising money.” — Leon Lederman



The students start moving in today. And you thought the construction traffic tie-ups were miserable this summer.

Within the next week, tens of thousands of kids and freshly minted adults will be lugging their used sofas up to dorm rooms and rental apartments.

Oh, and hundreds of pampered 19-year-olds will be careening around corners in oversized SUVs for the next nine months.

The Last Thing Many Of Us Will Ever See

Bloomington — ya gotta love it.


IKEA is going to build a bunch of budget hotels in Europe.

It won’t be too long before the Swedish company opens up its hotels here in America.

Yeah, you’ll save money but you’ll have to assemble your room with your own screwdriver.


I Couldn’t Have Said it Better Myself:

“Let me just put this right up front, for all the die-hard disinfectors out there: REGULAR SOAP WILL DO. For almost everything. Really. Not every surface in everyone’s life has to be wiped with antibacterial agents, not every child needs to be autoclaved on the daily, not every sneeze needs to be medicated with antibiotics, and regular soap works just fine. Unless you are some sort of domestic mom-surgeon making sandwiches out of immuno-suppressed bologna, you do not need to scrub up just to live your life. You’ll be fine — and, most likely, better — without this antibacterial obsession.”

That’s from Jezebel’s Lindy West.

From Jezebel

I’m telling you, few things bug the bejesus out of me more than those ubiquitous antibacterial sheets certain Moms — and it’s always Moms, make no mistake — scour down shopping carts with at the grocery.

Honestly, after Oprah hypnotized every Middle American Mom to tremble in terror at the very thought of s-e-x lest they immediately develop AIDS, the entirety of the Earth must be wiped clean every 13 seconds or so now.

You’d think our planet was nothing more than a gargantuan Petri dish of HIV, ebola, e-coli, gonorrhea, listeria, and every other bad boy microbe in existence. Which it is, actually, but that’s OK because we have immune systems which afford us a modicum of protection.

And those immune systems are going all to pot, thanks to our mania for rubbing down everything we see with disinfectant wipes. I shudder to think what some Moms might be wiping down when Daddy-o starts getting a little frisky.

Apparently, West reports, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science has found that triclosan, an alarmingly common antibacterial substance, can actually stop your heart.

Read West’s piece, or if you’re really into arcana, peruse the study itself.

And relax, Moms, wouldya?


The Huffington Post reports that people are getting anal tattoos now.

Star Stuck

Here’s a suggestion for anybody thinking of getting one of these: I Am An Asshole.

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.”

“What If?” From XKCD

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 & 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.

The UniverseA Facebook community of astrophysics and astronomy geeks.

Sunset On Mars From The Universe (Facebook)

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.


Brown County Art Guild125th birthday celebration for Marie Goth; 5-7pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Bonz; 6-8:30pm

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterWorkshop: Remorse & Guilt, presented by Ani Choekyi; 6:30pm

Unity ChurchBloomington Peace Choir invites new members; 7-8:30pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 7:30pm

The Player’s PubPost Modern Jazz Quartet; 8pm

The BluebirdThe Personnel; 8pm

Boys & Girls Clubs of BloomingtonContra dancing; 8pm

◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryOpen house, public viewing through the main telescope; 9:30pm

The BishopWoody Pines, Busman’s Holiday; 9:30pm


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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 CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

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