Saturday’s news items, part 2 [masks work; worthwhile life lesson; strawberry time & more] – 6/6/2020

Portland, Maine, newspaper editorial | Yesterday’s Fast Forward’s notes on POTUS’s campaign visit to Maine included this reference to the Portland, Maine, newspaper editorial: “President Trump: We’re sorry that you decided to come to Maine, but since you are here, could you do us a favor? Resign.”

masks work

In other words | Masks work: “Scientists have retracted an earlier study that said masks weren’t effective in blocking the spread of COVID-19. Turns out they are. So hey, put one on.” – MakeMeSmart

“Covid-19 spread – mask vs no mask | This is a video demonstrating the difference between wearing a mask and not wearing a mask when in public.”

JSTOR, a digital library of academic publishing, | put together a syllabus of readings on institutionalized racism.

Watch the video above | It’s a short (four minute), really worthwhile life lesson. Read more: “The remarkable story of TCU’s Rhodes scholar, Caylin Moore.” ESPN

Reactive rather than proactive | “City Councils Across the Country Respond to George Floyd Protests” – Wouldn’t it be great to be “ahead of the curve” some day?- Route Fifty


June: Strawberry time | Frugal Lancaster‘s “pick your own” Strawberries guide is here.

cs - strawberries

People then were as people now | In the June 4, 1859 issue of the Columbia Spy, this writer extolled the strawberry in this masked advertisement.

cs janitorIn this issue, the Columbia School Board was seeking a janitor.




  1. Brian, I come from Kittery, ME, (note that a comma comes after a state. I just has to add that because you didn’t have one in the Portland Press Herald story above. Do you think I should have been an editor?), and the Portland Press Herald was one of our newspapers. How the times have changed. If this were the 1950s or 1960s, that newspaper would have been crowing about how great the Republican POTUS was. Their editorial about Trump’s visit yesterday is right on the mark!

    BTW, today in 1968, Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. Another sad moment in US history. Also, I heard on the radio this morning that the 75 year old man who was knocked onto his head by Buffalo cops is still in the hospital. Those cops showed how caring they are about citizens by ignoring that man as he lay on the pavement bleeding profusely. Do you think POTUS would call those cops great?

  2. I suspect the use after the State abbreviation is a stylistic choice. Our use of these specific abbreviations break the rule of using a period after the foreshortening, as in Ky. as opposed to KY without the period. Neither would we write it as Ky., as you reinterpretation suggest. Interesting question.

    As to policing being ahead of the curve, all I can say is Chicago has had 90 years of unbroken Democratic control and Milwaukee sixty. It doesn’t appear that has helped in the least.

  3. And while we are at it, to hell with professional sports. I will watch no more. If an athlete wants to make a political statement, refuse to play the game. This is meaningful action not some ‘look at how enlightened I am’ pusillanimity.

    My hate for the Steelers is unlimited but Mike Tomlin was the only one who knows what to do. If you remember, he kept his team in the locker room during the anthem. He was crucified.

    My disgust with the Steelers will never abate as long as Big Ben lives. They should have taken a contract out on him years ago. He should be in jail; instead Mike Tyson goes to prison because he forgot to send flowers the next day. Our court system is far more racist than the cops!

  4. Back to the use of a comma: In the book, The Practical Stylist, by Sheidan Baker, RULE Iv. Enclose parenthetical insertions with a pair of commas. You are cutting the sentence in two, and inserting something necessary: if you do not tie off both ends, your thought will die on the table:

    When he packs his bag, however he goes.
    The car, an ancient Packard is still running.
    April 10, 1980 is fine.
    That handsome man in the ascot tie, is the groom.
    John Jones, Jr. is wrong.

    You do not mean that 1980 is fine, nor that Junior is wrong: all parenthetical insertions need a pair of commas.

    Thus, April 10, 1980, is fine. = This is correct.
    John Jones, Jr., is wrong. = This is correct.

    In recent usage, it is now considered correct to not use a comma between a person’s last name and Jr. or Sr. So it is considered equally correct to write Happy Smith, Sr. or Harry Smith Sr

  5. The phrase “giant man eating tiger” can take on several different meanings depending on where you put a comma if at all

    I glad I’m rather small.

  6. One could make it easier by placing a hyphen between man and eating. “giant man-eating tiger.”

    “I saw him, a giant man, eating tiger flesh.” Good example, /2!

  7. Doesn’t answer the question of how the tiger relates to the women in his life.

    Send flowers!

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