I remember that guy from Hebrew School!

Three thoughts on the Mark Halperin scandal. I knew Mark Halperin, the political reporter and pervert, when he was a kid in my Hebrew School at Beth El in the mid-seventies. We were in the same class for a few years and he really really didn’t like me at all. I do remember that Mark … [Read more…]

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen Department!

This is the Lum and Abner Museum in Pine Ridge, Arkansas. The small town in the (very very very popular) Lum and Abner radio show was named Pine Ridge, and it was based on a town called “Water,” which then changed its name to Pine Ridge. This is still the main claim to fame of … [Read more…]

Answer an Easy Question, Win a Book

I’m not going to blog about politics on this page at all, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Deputy AG in the Trump administration, Rod Rosenstein, is married to a genuine Barsoomian (his wife is former US attorney Lisa Barsoomian)! His daughters, who live in my hometown of Bethesda, Maryland, are therefore the … [Read more…]

RIP Village Voice Print Edition

The Village Voice isn’t actually going out of business, but it won’t be the same without the print edition. Back in the 1980s, I actually bought it regularly (it was the only way to find out in the pre-internet era where The Raunch Hands were playing that week), and then I reviewed movies and wrote … [Read more…]


I have had five agents in my life. (I’m not easy to get along with, apparently.) Jonathan Matson was my third. Jonathan fired my second agent on behalf of the company he ran under his father’s name and then took me under his wing, for a while, anyway. He was the most storied, by far; … [Read more…]

Guest Post: Are Aliens Neurotic, Too?

A Guest Post by Mark Laporta: Knock around the sci-fi space-time continuum, and you’re bound to run into familiar alien stereotypes. There’s the Galaxy-wise Sage full of cryptic maxims. Or the muscled-up bigot, who thinks you’re a threat to his warrior clan. Successfully dodge his e-mag blade and you could bump into a Sidereal Opportunist. … [Read more…]


October 17, 2016. I noted yesterday that if (as NASA now claims, more than somewhat inexactly) there are two trillion galaxies in the universe, that means that there are two million quintillion planets, give or take. That SOUNDS like a lot, but when you consider that there are seven and a half quintillion grains of … [Read more…]