From: Deep Thoughts Weekly

Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 6:44 AM

Subject: Deep Thoughts Weekly - June 23, 2008


Good Morning . . .


The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."


My joy of discussing the Cubs sweep of the Sox this weekend has been overshadowed by the news of the death of comedian George Carlin, who died of heart failure last night (age 71).  Arguably one of the brightest and most insightful comedians ever, he was always one of my favorites and I now sincerely regret not taking the opportunity to see him in concert when I had the chance.  I still remember when I was about eleven years old, being at a friend's house when he grabbed his dad's "Class Clown" LP and we listened to the infamous "Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV" routine.  Yup, changed my life forever!   Rest in peace, Mr. Carlin . . . and this weeks Deep Thought is one from you.



1977 - Jason Mraz (singer)

1972 - Selma Blair (actress)

1957 - Frances McDormand (actress)

1940 - Adam Faith (singer, actor, d. 2003)

1929 - June Carter (country singer, d. 2003)

1927 - Bob Fosse (director, d. 1987)

1912 - Alan Turing (scientist/mathematician, d. 1954)

1910 - Edward P. Morgan (news reporter, d. 1993)

1894 - Edward VIII (King of England, d. 1972)

1894 - Alfred Kinsey (biologist, sex researcher, d. 1956)

1400 - Johannes Gutenberg (inventor - first printing press, d. 1468)




The graduation ceremony in May at Naperville (Ill.) Central High School was marred by the revelation that about half of the valedictorian's speech was plagiarized from a speech on the Internet, but in this case, the principal was helpless to punish him because the principal plagiarized his own speech. (He said he forgot to ask permission of the author, a Naperville Central graduate who was in the audience that day.) The principal has been reassigned, and the valedictorian's speech was removed from the graduation video.


I Demand My Rights!

An English professor at Dartmouth College acrimoniously left her position earlier this year to accept one at Northwestern University, but not before threatening to sue Dartmouth and seven students because they so disrespected her theories as to create a "hostile work environment." Priya Venkatesan's academic specialty is treating "science" not as natural or physical realities but as mere social or political ideas. She said some students were so "intolerant" of her teaching and so questioned her knowledge as to constitute harassment.  


The Democratic Process

The longtime elected clerk of court in Pasco County, Fla., Jed Pittman, admitted to WTSP-TV in May that he rarely comes to work and in fact has researched state law to learn that as long as he shows up once every 43 days, he can't be fired. (The law provides for removal by the chief judge only if the clerk is absent for "44" consecutive days.) Pittman's salary is about $136,000 a year, but he exploited another loophole in state law to "retire" in 2004, and then un-retire the next day, which brings him an additional $75,000 a year (besides the $362,000 lump sum he received on the day he "retired").



As a reminder, my reason for sending this is to help keep communication lines open between friends while hopefully adding a bit of levity to the day.  Back issues are available in the Deep Thoughts section of my website.  Have a great week!


Bryan McGonigal


*Weird News is borrowed from Chuck Shepherd's "News of the Weird", available at



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