is older than it's ever been and now it's even older



There is a long running feature in the St. Paul Pioneer Press called Bulletin Board, which is a reader-submitted half page of whimsy, humor, and amusing, or sometimes not very amusing anecdotes. It features a series of inside jokes and running gags, like "Warning! Cute kid story ahead! Which is, of course, for cute kid stories. One of the ongoing set pieces is what BB refers to as the "Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon." It's rather interesting, but I think the term was coined on the site. A search of Google results in the only hits for this phenomenon on the official site for studying the Baader-Meinhof gang in Germany in the 1970s (a rather interesting time period, but I don't understand the connection) and Bulletin Board itself.

What is Baader-Meinhof? It is the phenomenon by which if you hear of some event, you then notice references to that event over and over again. This happens to me quite a bit. What made me think of it is that when we went to see Bill and Kelly the other night, we were introduced to a series of videos known as Veggie Tales. Bill and Kelly are raising their children as vegetarian Christians, which is interesting in and of itself, but contributed to me misunderstanding their purpose. Based on the bit that I watched, the videos seemed kind of neat. They feature a tomato and a cucumber living their lives like any good couple; resisting the allure of rampant commercialism, and being in favor of good clean living. When I visited Randomwalks I found this sarcastic review of the author's trip to a Veggie Tales premiere in Orange County. It's weird enough that I should see anything about this thing, but to see it two days after I had first heard of it? That's weird. I didn't figure this out the other day, but the Veggie Tales themselves are Christian, but not necessarily Vegetarian. So I didn't really get it anyway. But apparently they're very popular! (Disclaimer: I thought the Veggie Tales were very entertaining. But I am a big fan of good children's entertainment.)

Extra linkage

Hey! Remember the last election? I thought this Q and A about the Supreme Court's decision was very instructive.

From the Jeff Shaw file: why Deion Sanders is the embodiment of all that is bad and evil in professional sports. Wow. And I thought I disliked him before I read that.

Update on Ellen Ripstein, the Susan Lucci of the professional crossword scene. The full story of her stunning victory at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament this year after 18 years in a row in the top five without a win.

"Some people think the people who come here are nerdy," says Hovanec, "but I think we're all nerdy in some way." Many self-deprecating crossword fanatics might agree with her assessment. At one point during the 2001 final, announcer and famed constructor Henry Rathvon referred to Conan as "a man you can't have a normal conversation with." Conan's quick-witted response-"unlike so many others in this room"-was punctuated by an outburst of laughter from the crowd.


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