Only Wild Animals Are Allowed On This Playground

Only wild animals are allowed in the play area.

A photo posted by Colin Burch (@cfburch4) on

Please, no pets. Wild animals only. No domestic animals allowed.

One-Year-Old Sells Potent Leaves, or Two Funny Slip-Ups in a Article had an interesting article yesterday about Paper & Leaf, an upscale, boutique-style marijuana shop in Bainbridge Island, Washington. The shop was started by Brendan Hill, the drummer for Blues Traveler.

The writer of the article certainly had green leaves on his mind. Here’s a screen grab:
The writer also believes Brendan Hill is “just over a year old.”
Yes, I’ve made my share of typos, too.

Funny Signs: Towing Being Enforced

Things are going to get really interesting if "being" is a noun. #momentofmyrtle #myrtlebeach #myr

A photo posted by Colin Burch (@cfburch4) on

Things certainly will get interesting if “being” is a noun. I won’t just lose my car — I’ll lose my very existence.

It’s quite a poetic sign. “Towing” and “being” rhyme, and both words are trochaic.

Something happens when people make signs related to parking. The intended meaning slips away to operate independently of the grammar, like in this sign.

Maybe that’s because parking can be so frustrating. As the late University of California president Clark Kerr once said, “I find that the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni and parking for the faculty.”

In his book Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do, Tom Vanderbilt wrote, “The way humans hunt for parking and the way animals hunt for food are not as different as you might think.”

Which is why, here in Myrtle Beach, S.C., at least one hotel is vigilant, threatening violators’ very existence.

All The News That May or May Not Be News

The Durham Daily Globe of Durham, N.C., shared this brief of alleged news on April 5, 1892:
peach crop
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Read This Somewhat Confusing Sign And Tell Me What It Means

Even with an apostrophe, this would be a difficult sign to interpret.
I think I’ve got it: Everyone except the Private Property will be towed, but the owner of the Private Property will pay for the towing.

Or, maybe, all property except for this Private Property will be towed, yet the owner of the Private Property will pay the bill.

Does a Political Question Amount to an Attack? Mika Brzezinski asks Sen. McCaskill

Today on Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski pushed back at comments by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D.-Missouri) and in the process slipped in an interesting observation about political rhetoric and public discourse.

When I turned on the TV, Sen. McCaskill seemed to be saying the Morning Joe crowd, especially Mika and Joe Scarborough, were unfair in some of their questions and unbalanced in how they treated some politicians. That’s about as much context as I have. (On the Morning Joe site, the video clip of the McCaskill interview stops short of the below quotation.)

For clarity, Mika is a Democrat whose father was Secretary of State under President Carter, and Joe is a Republican who once represented a Florida district in the U.S. House.

Here’s Mika:

“I want to know what you’re trying to say, Claire, because I think that sometimes you might misunderstand questions and take it as a political ploy. I think that’s a game that’s been played since the ’70s, and it’s getting old.”

Mika’s comments were off-the-cuff, so I don’t want to hold her to an unfair standard, but I see a disconnect between the first sentence and the second.

The disconnect might be expressed like this: Is a politician’s misunderstanding of a question genuine or fake? Do some politicians pretend to mistake a question for an attack so they can control their image and the rhetoric around them? Or do they, in a thin-skinned or paranoid sort of way, take a sincere question to be motivated solely by the journalist’s political agenda?

That being said, the bigger point from Mika is more interesting: That such a ploy could exist, that it might be a crafty rhetorical and political move.

Furthermore, Mika identifies when this crafty move might have begun: in the 1970s

If I had more time to research, I would try to nail down the historical and political antecedents of Mika’s comments. That would be fascinating for anyone interested in political rhetoric.

ACLU’s Nadine Strossen Gives Keynote For FIRE

“The current clamor for campus safety seeks protection from what? From ideas that make one uncomfortable!” — Nadine Strossen, law professor and former president of the ACLU

In case you missed it, here’s a worthwhile keynote address from anyone who values freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

There’s a brief drop in audio quality near the beginning — stick with it! The audio quality returns!

Strossen, quoting the late Clark Kerr, “legendary” president of the University of California: “The university is not engaged in making ideas safe for students. It is engaged in making students safe for ideas.”