Generating Controversy

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"OK, so you probably have gathered that the new approach to the Web site, the new attitude if you will, hasn’t kicked in yet. You’re not surprised, now are you? I thought about lying and telling you yesterday’s simply failed to load after I’d carefully chosen a cartoon for you and placed it in the hopper, but you’re too smart for that. So, we’ll limp along this week. I do want to go back to the beach and pick up where we left off last week, with this series from 1995. It can’t be Wednesday already.

69 responses to “Generating Controversy”

  1. Do the rock bands of the 60’s and 70’s still trash their hotel suites when they do reunion and nostalgia tours? Perhaps not, as those canes and walkers they have to use to get around now probably slow them down a bit.

  2. Apparently there IS a course in cartoon physics. It isn’t at the famous repository of knowledge in College Station or the one in Austin. It is taught at Ithaca College in New York. (Get a rope!) [yes, I know it’s upstate, not in ‘The City’]
    Looking at the course schedule, it seems the class isn’t available this fall.
    A link to a paper about the course is at: Link to Article
    If the complicated URL that I’ve hidden in HTML doesn’t work, Goggle search for “Physics Cartoon Ithaca PDF” and click on the first link, that will take you to a copy of the article.

  3. Depending on your browser, you may actually have to go to the downloads list and look for the PDF file and open it from the download listing. Other browsers may take you directly to a copy of the file.

  4. Ha! Weren’t we just talking about the Roadrunner the other day? Perfect. And I am ashamed to admit I didn’t figure out what rhymes with “woes” until I read the comments. #fail

    To everyone treking back up the mountain of wellness, or helping someone who is, (literally, spiritually, emotionally, or all of the above), I wish you all the best of luck. *This* is the best part of this place. Although the bulk of us have never met, we really do care about one another.

  5. I’ll admit I just scanned the “cartoon physics” sheet, but the academic value of this line of study is…? To expand the students’ minds, perhaps? Yeah, well, so did (supposedly) taking LSD. To come up with innovative ways to spend all the student loan money flooding institutions of higher learning?

    It seems to me the course is about itself.

  6. Ok, so curiosity got the best of me. I’ve read the posts from Monday. I’m back for an encore.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments about the blog. I want to be clear that I have nothing against the community/village.

    To Mark in TTown, Rocky & others: For me, there are only 3 topics that I visit the blog for: discussion about the daily newspaper strip, discussion about the archive strip and discussion about JJ’s comments if he’s posted (like today!). Really, that’s all. I’m not trying to be “regimental”. It’s just that it’s an A&J website, so that’s specifically what I expect to find here.

    To Lilyblack: My experience was the opposite of yours. I used to be a semi-regular poster. But as the blog got off-point and more clique-y (is that a word?), it became less fun for me.

    To David from Austin: I wholeheartedly agree with you that one needs to be willing to state their case. That’s why I’m here. But having many years experience in Customer Service, I know that dissatisfied customers don’t voice their thoughts/concerns/complaints. The vast majority of the time they simply and invisibly…….just leave. So the sad reality is, we don’t get to hear their point of view. Everybody’s loss.

    To the few who described the virtues of scrolling, it’s certainly a useful tool. I just found myself scrolling more than reading.

    To those who charged that some poster rebuttals get too aggressive and personal, all I can say is there’s no excuse for that. Behavior like that drives people away, too. But on reflection, some of the problem stems from the fact that with the written word, you can’t see whether someone is smiling or not when they respond in a “sarcastic” way. But sometimes people are just mean. I have no personal experience with it here.

    I guess, at the risk of assigning labels (usually not a good idea!), some of us fall into 1 of 2 camps – the Purists and the Free-Wheelers. Different strokes for different folks. The Purists merely expect different things from the website.

    That’s all – I’m done. Sorry for the length. Thanks for listening. In the interest of reconciliation, the only thing we can ALL agree on is our affection for a little strip called Arlo & Janis which touches our lives every day. JJ – You’re The Man!

  7. Bonnie, I really see no clique here, except the whole Village is one. It is a very friendly place, really.

    Good morning, Villagers. Sunny and pretty, here. The Boss Of My Life did a percutaneous cholecystectomy this morning, “and I helped.” Mainly by sitting there uttering encouraging words. Then we made rounds and I pushed the dressing cart. I love our patients. I have christened one of them “Blinky,” cos he is always asleep when we get there and cross till I josh him a bit. Then he starts smiling. No, he is not a wombat but it is a wonder he is still with us.

  8. Dear Mindy from Indy,

    I am in your company: I couldn’t figure out at all what rhymed with “woes” either. But I am bad at crossword puzzles too. They’re really letter puzzles, too far removed from syntax and meaning for me. I’d much rather read cartoon strips!

  9. Since Ithaca was a hotbed of the film industry before the other coast took over it is probably a hold over from then. I do get a kick out of seeing the Twighlight Zone episode where the guy gets stuck in the bus station in Binghamton trying to get home to Cortland. I am sure people in other parts of the country don’t know that those are real places and that Rod Serling grew up here in the area.

  10. Nominees for the “Underwater Basket Weaving Award, Actual Courses of Study Division”:

    Parapsychology, PhD in Ufology, Surfing Studies, and (I swear I’m not making this up) The Phallus.

  11. Ghost, it’s a physics course for non majors. It is a way for them to talk about vectors, force, mass, gravity, levers, inclined planes and bunches of other science stuff that would otherwise be painfully dull to them.


  12. Guys, obviously I can subscribe to either “School of Blogging”. I moderate one very rigid, stay on topic one (I didn’t set the rules) I moderate one that is more free wheeling but polite and you should somehow tie in topic of building boats or boating (I don’t set rules) and then I have one where it can wheel free as long as we are polite and don’t get political
    (I set rules on this one) I am an owner of all forums I moderate, which gives me some or a lot of say.

    I have seen others disintegrate due to “no rules”, trolls, drunks, political and religious attacks, etc. Personal warfare, rude comments, none of that is fun. Some of these were groups I had helped promote and build because I thought them worthwhile in the beginning.
    None of that is fun and yes, I withdrew and yes, I said why.

    I made a personal “rule” that if I participated in ANY group, I would be upbeat and positive and try to find that same connection in those I read or address. Our lives are too short for anything else. I did lurk and read you guys a long time before I decided I’d join in the conversation.

    Obviously I love comics. I can sit around and read and discuss comics until the cows come home. But JJ has a strip that roams and veers and takes circuitous routes to make his point and that is what life/lives are like too.

    Lordy, I know that is true! No matter how high or how low we go, we are all important as the other and no one is less valuable. Nor opinions, so long as they are polite.

    I have to go to Dollar General while I have someone here to sit with mom and grandson.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  13. David, at Berkeley it is called “Physics for Future Presidents.” Sounds like Berkeley is aiming higher than the other institutions.

  14. Physical Science for Non-Scientists at the N. MN. school where I taught for decades. Some faculty in at least two depts., one dept. in the arts and humanities, the other in the school of business, PE, and such, told their freshmen under no circumstances to take Gen. Biol., take PSNS instead. May have short-changed a few bright students, and also may have enabled some to avoid science/faith conflicts. Sad.

    Ithaca College in New York: In the late ’40s, it used to be in downtown Ithaca, on the flat at the S. end of Lake Cayuga, W. and downhill from Cornell U. I’d seen the small campus once or twice. Understood it was strong in music and drama. Now it’s NW of town, on the W. side of the lake, with a much larger campus and several thousand students. I don’t know what its particular specialties are but understand it’s a fine school. Also have no idea what the extent of intercampus cooperation may be, but expect it is good. (Another free apostrophe lesson.)

  15. When I was reading today’s strip I thought “maybe JJ does read what we say and use it!”

    We had all been talking about roadrunners and Wiley Coyote and Acme in our blog comments. By the way, that Wiley Coyote and Roadrunner animated song was awesome on youTube.

    I suspect JJ often works close on his deadlines but that is good because his cartoons are always fresh and current. Not always case on those who stay six months ahead!

    Had an editor who suggested I write and send in about six months of columns. I said I didn’t know what I would even be thinking about in six months!

    Love, Jackie Monies

  16. Jackie, I’ll just bet he did. That way he wouldn’t have to nag you about it. I’ve read biographies of JRR Tolkien and O. Henry and that seems to be one of an editor’s primary duties

  17. I have a friend/acquaintance who writes a monthly column and one of the running gags is about how his editor has to run him down and find him in some scuzzy location in a bar drinking like Hemingway. Then he has to try and get something written on time for the magazine to go to printers.

    It’s his shtick.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  18. Once I had an immature salesman I tried to turn into a real salesman. Anyway, his dad was all of our bosses, so you know how this ends! But I was always having to track him down in some woman’s bed, usually 150 miles from where he was supposed to be seeing a customer at 8 a.m. I quit six times during this juvenile episode! I thought he had a drug or drinking problem, turned out he was a health nut except where it came to being unfaithful.

    Tracking someone like that down for drinking is easier actually once you learn their habits.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  19. Well, the computer lost my first answer! Lily, most magazines pay so little that you would be totally shocked. One thing is you can deduct things like travel, expenses, etc. from your tax bill so if you wrote about drinking as part of your article, then it is deductible. Or so I have been told.

    But it might be a negative thing, the costs exceed the pay!

    Love, Jackie Monies

  20. Re: yesterday’s topic of cremation ashes –
    I mentioned the possible splitting up of ashes for disposition in different places to a greatly experienced genealogist last evening. She told me this was not at all unusual; that it was almost commonly done.
    From a different genealogical source – and not having anything to do with ashes, but which applies – I suggest that the person so inclined write up those wishes in the will. A simple statement [“I, _____ _______, wish my cremation ashes to be divided up, one part to be buried in_____________ located ____________; a second part to be buried in ________ located ____________; and the last part used in making a 100 lb. cement statue of a flamingo which shall be placed on my brother-in-law’s grave.”] will suffice. The will connection is for the benefit of future genealogical researchers, for a serious researcher will always seek out wills when making an investigation. Wills are public documents, so are available to anyone who cares to ask.

  21. [. . . the last part used in making a 100 lb. cement statue of a flamingo which shall be placed on my brother-in-law’s grave.”]

    Lovely. We once had a univ. pres. and his academic v.p. who often flamingoed each others’ lawns. Both were better > average in their official duties. emb

  22. Sandcastler, I’m Type II, so I have to limit my consumption of alcohol. And, because of a blood clotting issue (chronic low platelet count) my Hematologist has told me to keep my consumption low because it’s a blood thinner. If memory serves, the last time I had as much as a glass of wine was at a Seder back in April.

    And, just to keep on-topic as far as the current strip goes, if you really need to take someplace out but don’t want the long-term problems of nuking it, there’s always the O.A.D.:

  23. I think Jerry Pournelle originated the idea of kinetic weapons from space. I’m pretty sure it was called Project Thor. The idea was conceptually bars of iron with guidance packages. By the time it reached the ground, HUGE kinetic energy was available. It would make any existing armor obsolete. I don’t think it was pursued anywhere other than fiction, because it is cheaper to make nukes. Kinetic strikes would be much cleaner, though. That’s a very good reason to be sure that no single political body controls the orbitals!

  24. My goodness; David in Austin; your kinetic weapons idea is amazing, and hard to figure out. But, don’t try to explain it to me!

    All day I’ve been intending to ask you how you found out about the Physics for Cartoons at Ithaca College? You didn’t imply that you went to school there, did you? Maybe you turn to college catalogs when you need a little light reading?

    How is the walking program progressing? I did some exercising today and felt good about it.

  25. In the 1985 science fiction novel “Footfall” by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the invading aliens use “flying crowbar” kinetic energy weapons to take out ground targets…spectacularly. (The authors also wrote fictional versions of themselves and RAH into the story.)

    Charlotte, it’s really not much more complicated than dropping a rock on someone’s head from a very, very long way up.

  26. Which reminds me of the old urban legend about someone on the ground being killed by a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building.

  27. Lily, don’t be too sure about that “bundle me into the coffin if I can’t drink.” In my 20’s, married to a man with access to the finest wines in the world of all sorts at no cost and an unlimited entertainment expense account I found myself with that very choice. I had pancreatitis and still do, plus three episodes of various hepatitis, etc. etc. etc.

    The agony lying on the floor in a bathroom thinking/wishing you might go ahead and die is not worth it. Not even for the finest wines in the world.

    I became totally “dry” and it was actually hard to explain, given Mike’s occupation and the restaurant owners and chefs we hung out with. But there isn’t a lot of glamour in dying young in my opinion!

    By the way, we could deduct stuff like that in those days. Now our boats are a hobby and we know it. The income is far less than all this costs, but the reward is worth it.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  28. Just read today’s strip. I love it! Classic comic. Good one!

    Wiley Coyote is about to get Acme’d again. Great gag, JJ.

    Love, Jackie Monies

  29. When I lived in Uptown Garden District in New Orleans, I had a neighbor that took the flamingo joke further than most. A neighbor with an impeccable yard and flower beds would get an installation of the most tasteless item she could find, like a big “S sthatch you?” of the Virgin Mary in virulent colors and a grotto. One year it was a hideous fountain with multi-decks both painted and inlaid with broken glass shards.

    I was there when he arrived home one day to find her latest “gift” and he blanched and said “How long has that been there?” She did this to the same lawyer friend who had a lovely showcase home and I was surprised he never sued her!

    Love, Jackie Monies

  30. Oh my fevered brain can’t wait to see if a “guest actor” pops by to get accordioned.

    Flamingos in the yard … I’ve done that. Had a friend who had just bought a house after a painful divorce. She was grumbling about the unusual conditions of her front yard inhibiting landscaping, and I (jokingly) suggested the finest tacky lawn decor I could think of. She flipped at the thought of flamingos. I tormented her about it for a bit then let it drop … until a little over a year later when I decorated her lawn with every flamingo item I could find (And big “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” banner to clue in nosy neighbors (and not get arrested). Turns out, she’d come home early from work AND took a different route home, and saw my handiwork not ten minutes after I left. I wasn’t even home yet! She was on her phone with her boyfriend at the time and from what she told me, he lost his hearing for a spell when she saw it all. I was ALSO nice enough to temper said decor with a bottle of her favorite adult beverage, so all was forgiven.

  31. Good morning Villagers….

    RE: today’s strip…..will the roadrunner stop by and eat the ‘fruit’? Stay tuned, I am 🙂

    Miss Charlotte….you keep on ‘truckin’

    GR 😉 Good duet, saw EmmyLou open up for the Eagles in ’78….with Joe before his ‘intervention’

    Lily…thought of you and your running abilities yesterday at work….had to run from one end of the aisle to the other (belt was not moving)….600 feet, I ran…..pant, pant, then I told myself “self, if you had known you were going to live this long, ya should’ve taken better care of yourself”. 🙂

    Sandcastler…..old habits die hard…..welcome home Loon…


    ya’ll have a blessed day

  32. Good morning Indy Mindy…..good to have fun with friends, and then to make up with an adult beverage….come down and decorate my lawn 🙂

  33. Well, daughter had to leave at 5 a.m. to meet with oncologist in Tulsa re: her dad and I was left with sleeping toddler who was to sleep until 10 or 11. Big thunder and lightening and he woke up at 5:37 with no mommy in bed!

    We have been watching kiddie channel and waiting to hear from his mommy about granddad. Husband is not doing well and will be on oncology floor for some time. He is in a form of isolation due to no immunity and grandbaby and grandmom, me and great grandmother are off limits to be around him.

    So, who does everyone think will end up under the Acme anvil tomorrow?

    Love, Jackie Monies

  34. The house we used to live in had a slightly marshy side yard and the home owners association were referred to as the Yard Nazis. I really wanted to put lots of pink flamingos in that side yard and see what the HOA would do about it. Husband firmly nixed that idea, as well as the one for getting the body of a VW Beetle, knocking out all the glass, putting in planter boxes, and planting marigolds and morning glories in it, and putting it in the middle of the front yard. He can be a real party pooper some days. 😉

    Ghost, I’ll see your Emmylou and Linda Ronstadt and raise you a Reba and Linda Davis!

    I attended a college that turns out some fine musicians (no, I wasn’t one of them. I was an English major) but many of them were a bit shaky in the math and science departments, so the school came up with two courses: Math for Fine Arts Majors, and Physics for Fine Arts Majors. I did take them, as I was unable to pass the serious courses.

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