She says the government can spy on you through your television set. But is that the most insidious use of TV technology?

Now & Then

Sleepless from St. Paul (in Minneapolis): “Last week, Kellyanne Conway made the claim that the CIA is capable of using your television to spy on you, much like ‘Television Spy.’


“Back in the ’30s, there seemed to be some paranoia about the new technology. According to another film in the genre, ‘Murder By Television,’ starring Bela Lugosi, television murdered by emitting ‘Intergalactic Frequency Death Rays.’

“Curiously, they failed to predict the most insidious use of the technology: the nostalgia channel’s ‘Very Brady 24 Hour Movie Marathon.’

“This ad appeared in the January 4, 1940 edition of the Pioneer Press.”



Immutable Laws of the Universe
Refrigerator Division

Little Sister writes: “A refrigerator has the capacity to go dirty and disorganize itself overnight. I am sure of it.

“Cleaning ours has to be one of my most dreaded chores, and it seems that no time at all passes between scrubbings. For one thing, anything that has spilled inside is sure to be sticky and require extra elbow grease. And anything sticky is guaranteed to have found a path into an area that’s impossible to get at, unless you dismantle the whole works. It’s downright puzzling to me that this space can deteriorate so fast, considering there are so few of us in the household. Generally speaking, we are not pigs. However, for some reason, the refrigerator brings out the worst in us.

“I am considering posting a few rules on the refrigerator door:

“1. Just buck up and eat that half-cup of leftover beets. If you put them in here, the container will surely tip over and drip onto everything else.

“2. If you spill something, even a bit, wipe it up. If you don’t, it will solidify into something on par with cement.

“3. Every time you open this door, take inventory. And yes, stoop down and move things around. If you see any food or drink that looks questionable or is out of date, throw it away — immediately. It won’t be any more attractive in a day or two.

“Not that this would do any good, but I can dream, can’t I?”

The rest of the story . . .

The Hoot Owl of St. Paul: “Subject: Value of TWO home-delivered newspapers.

“We are very glad that we receive BOTH newspapers on a daily basis here at home.

In today’s Sunday Minneapolis paper comic section (which does not carry the “Fox Trot” comic, there is a “Pearls Before Swine” comic strip which addresses the fact that a year ago the cartoonist, Bill Amend, had evidently poked fun at The Stephan Pastis comic. Pastis is known for horrible puns and today’s strip is no exception. However, in the St. Paul Pioneer Press (which does not carry Pearls Before Swine), we see that Bill Amend has a nice rebuttal in his FoxTrot comic.   Those who read only ONE set of today’s comics cannot get the full story.”


BULLETIN BOARD SAYS (everyone’s a critic, right?): Having seen the “full story,” we’re not certain it was worth the effort.

Our birds, ourselves — plus!

Al B of Hartland reports: “(1) I watched a pair of peregrine falcons zoom over the Kahler Hotel in Rochester. The raptors sliced through the air above a large flock of perched pigeons. There is a significant difference in size between the sexes, with the male about 70 percent the size of the female. The male is called a tercel (third) perhaps because every third egg in a clutch was thought to hatch into a male or because male hawks were said to be a third smaller than females.

“Peregrines prey upon pigeons, but the pigeons didn’t appear to be worried. Maybe they could tell that the falcons’ fancy had turned to romance rather than lunch.

“Maybe the optimistic pigeons, like humans, think that bad things could never happen to them.

“(2)  I drove down the road, wondering as I wandered: Did Noah believe in climate change?

“A skunk, both adorable and odorable, crossed the road ahead of me.

“I missed it — and I missed being in Kearney, Nebraska, for the sandhill crane migration along the Platte River. Circumstances made such a visit impossible this year.

“A new stamp from the U.S. Postal Service celebrates one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North America: the annual convergence of sandhill cranes on Nebraska’s Platte River valley. The stamp features a photograph of cranes flying low over the river at sunset, taken by Nebraska photographer and conservationist Michael Forsberg.

“I felt the absence of the cranes in my life.

“Just then, two sandhill cranes flew high over my car.

“Life is good.”

Band Name of the Day: The Very Bradys

Website of the Day, from Grandpa Z of White Bear Lake:

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