Loaded With Nourishing Roughage

by Scott McLemee on June 22, 2007

And to imagine there are people who think the Interweb cannot contribute to the advancement of human knowledge…

How many times have I seen the Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Bugs squares off against a baseball team called the Gashouse Gorillas? And how many times have I taken in the joke advertisements lining the walls of the baseball stadium?

So why did it take me this long to notice that one of the ads is for something called Filboid Studge? I knew the Warner Brothers animators at Termite Terrace were a smart bunch, but extra kudos are in order for the gag writer who managed to work in a nod to Saki, aka Hector Hugh Munro.

I never would have caught this Edwardian allusion, helpfully glossed in suitable detail by Steven Hart.

The second reliberation of Iraq

by John Quiggin on June 22, 2007

It appears that General David Petraeus, who recently announced that the US is once again liberating Iraq, is a reader of William Tenn. Tenn’s classic story The Liberation of Earth in which two alien races, the Dendi and the Troxxt, repeatedly liberate Earth from each other, was published back in 1953, but has, sadly, never lost its relevance for long. The ending, if I recall correctly, has the planet’s remaining inhabitants gasping for air but taking consolation in the reflection that no planet in the history of the galaxy had ever been as thoroughly liberated as Earth.

UpdateA discussion over at my blog reminded me of a point I meant to make. There’s nothing in Tenn’s story to rule out the possibility that the Dendi (or maybe the Troxxt) are telling the truth when they claim to be the galactic good guys (at least relatively speaking). Unfortunately, to those being liberated, it doesn’t make much difference.