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Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Straight Dope

The Straight Dope was one of my favorite reasons to go to the laundromat when I lived in downtown Salt Lake City.  They carried the Straight Dope column and it was always exciting to learn something new and obscure.

Cecil Adams is the pseudonymous author, possibly a team of authors, that created a weekly column in the seventies.  People would write in and ask obscure questions and Cecil would find the answers.  Everything was in play from what happens if you carry a glass of water into space to why is there on channel one on television.

As you can see from the last question, since my Comcast now comes with channel one, lots of the information that Cecil imparted is now wrong, irrelevant or quaint.  This book even includes a charming chapter on the phone company.  Who is the phone company again?

Unfortunately someone like Cecil would have a tough time getting off the ground, now we have Wikipedia, Google and even Cecil has moved his content online with a forum where you can ask the "teeming millions" as Cecil affectionately called his fans questions and they will point you to a web link that will probably answer your question.  The days of writing in and hoping that weeks or months later that your question would be answered are long gone and good riddance to them but still those days of reading a paper while I did some laundry have a warm place in my heart.

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Hey I appreciate you leaving your thoughts behind! Be well my friend.