[[this story is about Bill Pullman, not Bill Paxton]]
In the newsroom, we sometimes insert warnings above the stories we send out on the newswire. Most of them are [[note nature]], which flags sex-related or excessively-gory stories, but we also have two or three other standard warnings. These three or four text flags are used in 999 out of 1,000 cases, but sometimes a story requires a unique warning.
So when I saw the warning above, I was intrigued. Why did the writer feel compelled to emphasize Pullman over Paxton? As I edited the story, I noticed that Pullman's name was mentioned three times, there was no reference to Paxton, and there was the obligatory link to Pullman's role as the President in "Independence Day," so I didn't see how any confusion could result. But I decided to check with my boss on the ol' IM (Instant Messenger), so our conversation wouldn't disturb anybody else in the newsroom. She agreed with my assessment, that the warning wasn't necessary, but then we started writing jokes, and the written conversation quickly spilled over into a verbal exchange.
In the newsroom, that's how we roll. If anybody happens across a funny story or joke, they throw it open to the peanut gallery. Other coworkers jump in with their own contributions, and all of us often end up laughing until the tears roll down our faces. It's fun, and it tickles the comedy-writing areas of our brains. We enjoy trying to verbally one-up each other.
But one of our co-workers (I'll call her Miss X) has recently experienced some severe control issues. Even though Miss X is in a position of authority, my boss and I don't report to her. Miss X affects our work only when there is some style or formatting issue that would affect the whole newsroom. Well, Miss X completely misunderstood our jokes about Pullman/Paxton, and immediately issued a command, in an extremely loud voice, about the formatting of Pullman/Paxton references from this day henceforth, forever and ever, now and at the hour of our death, amen.
There was a looooooooooooong silence. Her edict made no sense to us, and she was obviously confused about the context of our conversation. She hadn't waited long enough to fully comprehend our Pullman/Paxton riff, because lately she feels this odd compulsion to jump into the middle of every conversation. She cannot bear to think that she doesn't COMPLETELY DOMINATE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN HER NEWSROOM.
After about ten seconds, I wrote an IM to my boss: "Well, that was helpful."
My boss wrote back, "I know, right?!"
And we didn't say anything out loud for the remaining six hours of our shift.
Pluto Heart... or Pup?
The scientists say: Pluto is Dominated by the Feature Informally Named the “Heart”.
My friend Michael E Kerpan wrote: "Our family thinks the spot looks like Pluto Pup."
My website went down sometime in the last 3 days. So I just spent 48 minutes on the phone with GoDaddy - after 3 tweets, 2 previous calls and a posting on their Facebook page generated no results.
When the idiots finally fixed it, they tried to blame it on me. I said it was working 3 days ago, then it wasn't working, and I did nothing to change that status.
Then they said I didn't update the software that runs my hosting server. I said: that's why I pay you idiots, to provide me with a hosting server that actually works.
Then they quieted down, and thanked me for hosting my website with them for the last 16 years. I said: you'll be lucky if I make it to 17.
Green Serpentine Marble of Westfield, Massachusetts...
(Westfield green marble is in the Empire State Building, Lincoln's tomb in Springfield Illinois and the columns at Saks Fifth Avenue, N.Y.)