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Observation of the day
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Published Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 11:19 PM EDT
Aug 23 2013

News Headline: “Is social media ruining our grammar?”
No. Not at all.
Social media are ruining our grammar.
-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes


Categories: Observations, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Enrich your vocabulary
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Published Wednesday, July 31, 2013 @ 9:43 AM EDT
Jul 31 2013

Bob Crystal, a Rochester, N.Y., reader, writes:
“Why is ‘defenestrate’ only transitive? Why can’t I say, ‘I had to watch Michele Bachmann’s press conference and after 10 minutes, I defenestrated’?”
Feel free to.
This is accepted among grammarians as the Bachmann Exception.
It is not to be confused with the Trump Exception, which allows “gasbag” as an intransitive verb–for example, “gasbagged” instead of ”said” or “announced.”
And you don’t want to know about the Limbaugh Exception.

From today's QT by Zay N. Smith:


Categories: Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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This is a test
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Published Friday, July 19, 2013 @ 10:58 AM EDT
Jul 19 2013

demaenianumification

Don't ask.


Categories: WTF?, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Ah, nature
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Published Monday, March 25, 2013 @ 10:30 AM EDT
Mar 25 2013

News Headline: “NASA slams spending cuts that put Earth at risk of undetected killer asteroids.”

Let’s not panic, shall we?

It has been more than two weeks since the last undetected asteroid passed between Earth and the moon.

And it was only the third one this month.

-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes


Categories: NASA, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Observation of the day
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Published Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 10:42 AM EDT
Mar 22 2013

We Have Seen the Present, and It Does Not Work:
Coca-Cola has announced a new product called “Fruitwater,” which contains no fruit.
-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes


Categories: Observations, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Historically speaking
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Published Wednesday, March 20, 2013 @ 10:45 AM EDT
Mar 20 2013

From Poor QT’s Almanack:
On this day in history 98 years ago The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity was published, followed 88 years later to the day by the U.S. land invasion of Iraq, and it is left to the reader to consider which one wasn’t come up with by an Einstein.
-Zay N. Smith, "QT"


Categories: Albert Einstein, History, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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New digs
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Published Friday, March 15, 2013 @ 10:57 AM EDT
Mar 15 2013

Zay N. Smith, author of the wonderful "Quick Takes" (QT) column, has finally taken his destiny into his own hands and launched a permanent home for his formerly itinerant column. You can find it at ZaySmith.com.

When he first resurfaced after being torpedoed by the Chicago Sun-Times, I wrote about it here. He moved again to an obscure, best unmentioned outlet until settling in at his eponymous home on the web.

Here's a blurb for the new site, Zay:

"When I grow up, I want to be able to write like Zay N. Smith."


Categories: Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Just saying...
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Published Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 8:24 AM EST
Jan 16 2013

News Headline: "Walmart promises to hire 100,000 veterans."
News Headline: "Bill would give homeless veterans unclaimed clothing from airports."

A lot of thought has gone into honoring our veterans.

Now they will have secondhand clothing to wear when they start their underpaid jobs with no benefits.

-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes


Categories: Observations, WTF?, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Observations of the day
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Published Thursday, January 10, 2013 @ 12:53 AM EST
Jan 10 2013

News Headline: "Study: Billions of Earth-size planets in Milky Way."
And we're the one that gets Donald Trump.
-Zay N. Smith- Quick Takes

-----

Q. If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about 2013?
A. I possess a device, in my pocket, that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers.
-from Reddit


Categories: Observations, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Miscellany
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Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 @ 4:26 AM EST
Nov 20 2012

I derive pleasure from the suffering of people who don't know what schadenfreude means.
-John Fugelsang

Hamas could confuse the sh*t out of Fox News viewers by changing its name to "Christmas."
-@LOLGOP

The new normal is always worse than the old normal.
-@BechwoodReport

You'd think the secessionists could at least wait until the Lincoln movie is out of the theaters.
-Paula Poundstone

News Headline: "NY district attorney admits he acted in 1970s porn films.
And then he fell in with a bad crowd and went into politics.
-Zay N. Smith, QT (The Beachwood Reporter)


Categories: John Fugelsang, Miscellany, Observations, Paula Poundstone, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Quote of the day
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Published Friday, October 19, 2012 @ 9:03 AM EDT
Oct 19 2012

Do you think the Job Creators who are against equal pay for women would be satisfied if we accomplished it by lowering the pay for men?
-Zay N. Smith, Quick Takes


Categories: Quotes of the day, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Observation of the day
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Published Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 9:27 AM EDT
Oct 17 2012

On this day in history 79 years ago Albert Einstein arrived in the United States, and why we keep allowing all these so-called immigrants to traipse into this country, QT will never know.
-Quick Takes, Zay N. Smith


Categories: History, Observations, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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This is a Google test.
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Published Friday, August 03, 2012 @ 9:53 AM EDT
Aug 03 2012

Nicely understated Olympic ceremony.

Tap-dancing militant Islamic fundamentalists.

We'll keep you posted.


Categories: Google, Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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Balance in the universe is restored.
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Published Tuesday, May 08, 2012 @ 6:36 AM EDT
May 08 2012

I stumbled across Zay N. Smith's "Quick Takes" column in the Chicago Sun-Times by accident.

From October 2000 through October 2005, I worked in Chicago and commuted between a mostly-unfurnished studio apartment there and my home in Pittsburgh, spending a not insignificant amount of time riding in assorted cabs, trains, and airplanes.

It was 5 am on a cold, snowy Saturday morning in December. I was on a Blue Line train heading toward O'Hare. I dreaded the inevitable weather delay that awaited me at the airport, and the endless gate reassignments that would keep me shuttling between terminals on the fluorescently illuminated underground moving walkway. (One interesting feature of this conveyance was that it had its own musical accompaniment, an endless loop of music box-like tinkling that achieved the impossible: making Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" as irritating as "It's A Small World After All." But I digress.)

I'd overslept that morning, and in my rush to catch the train had failed to stuff into my backpack the usual poundage of books and magazines that maintained my compulsive reading addiction. Desperate for material, I spotted an old Sun-Times on the seat across the aisle. It was folded and opened to an inside page. The first thing that caught my eye was a column by Zay N. Smith called "Quick Takes."

I was hooked.

The weather delay, a wi-fi connection and a wall outlet commandeered at great personal risk enabled me to fire up my laptop and read a couple years' worth of QT columns until United finally decided it was safe to venture to Pittsburgh.

Remember when you looked forward to the morning paper so you could read Gary Larson's The Far Side or Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes? Same deal with "QT."

Thanks to the Internet, my return to Pittsburgh in 2005 didn't interrupt my habit. Indeed, Smith's column attained a national and international readership, and was probably one of the Sun-Times' most read features.

Which is why the paper's decision in November, 2008 to drop the column after 13 successful years seemed so patently absurd. Throughout that year the Sun-Times had laid off or bought out dozens of its editorial staff as it tried to reduce its costs in a contracting newspaper market. Many thought Smith- like Sun-Times legend Roger Ebert- was untouchable, given his decades with the paper and QT's international popularity.

Ah, but stupidity knows no limits.

The good news is that "Quick Takes" has returned, as a blog on the website of Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM. The column will appear on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. A representative entry:

"News Headline: Man exposes himself at Association for the Blind.
There is probably an interesting story behind that."

Meanwhile, the Sun-Times continues its slow-motion implosion toward inevitable oblivion. When it finally does succumb, its death will be attributed to the same cosmic force that claimed such entities as Ken Lay and Andrew Breitbart:

Karma.


Categories: Zay N. Smith - Quick Takes


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