flotsam and jetsamIt used to take a dog’s age to conduct proper research for a school assignment. First, you had to find your way to a library with a reasonable selection. Then, you had to find your way through a card catalog. Then, you had to find your way through the stacks and the Dewey Decimal System. Then, you had to find your way through the checkout process. Then, you had to find your way home with your burden of books. Now, in minutes you can become an expert on any subject, and all you need is access to the Internet.

Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of TV news, and I’ve had a lot of questions, as you can imagine. In days gone by, these would have gone largely unanswered since it is unlikely I would have raced down to my local library to look up everything I wanted to know. Now, I can respond to any random squeak of a question my mind generates before it has an opportunity to lose interest in the answer. Here is some of what I learned yesterday when I benumbed Google with my many queries:

Bruno Mars is 27 and is tormented by young, wild girls. NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell is the daughter of Sydney Mitchell, who was CEO and part owner of a furniture manufacturing company in New York City. Margaret Brainard Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz, never married again after she and her husband, Paul Boynton Meserve, divorced in 1938. In 2010, Wayne LaPierre earned just under a million dollars as Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association. Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 novel that “is notable for its explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism (BDSM).” Stefon Zolesky, a Saturday Night Live character played by Bill Hader, touches his face and hair excessively possibly because of an “excessive consumption of recreational drugs.” Rudolph’s nose really does glow red because “reindeer have 25-percent more blood vessels in their noses than humans do.”


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