Welcome to the rebirth of your desire to write.

The Best of The Week

'Yard of clay', often hyphenated ('yard-of-clay'), was an informal way of refering to a long smoking pipe in the 17th century in England. Long pipes are more commonly called a churchwarden pipe, although many churchwarden pipes are not made of clay.

Despite the name, these pipes were not nearly a yard long, generally being about a foot in length. The length allows for the smoke to cool before it is inhaled, and may keep smoke and pipe bowl from impeding one's vision, although the later was probably not a consideration in the use of yard-of-clays.

It was a tradition in part of England for a tavern to provide pipes for their patrons, just as the establishment would provide cups and plates. Clay pipes were much cheaper than wooden pipes, and could be sanitized by putting them in the oven -- although this was probably not done often. Thus, yard-of-clay had the connotation of a cheap, shared pipe, a friendly item redolent of good times in smoke-filled beer-halls, but certainly not…


Can you draw Binky? You may win one of five commercial art scholarships or any one of ten cash prizes!

-1971 ad for Art Instruction Schools


Can you draw Binky?

I’d like a straight answer.

Your mother and I are very concerned.

I could draw Binky when I was your age.

Your mother can draw Binky 

with her eyes closed, I bet.

You have so much potential.

Why can’t you draw…

Well Queen Elizabeth II finally died. My country of birth has a new monarch, King Charles III, and a new national anthem lyric. I still feel strange about it all. The Queen's head was on the currency and postage stamps for my whole life. Thankfully or sadly, I won't have to deal with that.

We have finally seen off the heat waves that plagued the Central Valley for seemingly months. At last this cold-climate Englishman won't…

News for Noders

October 1: Oh no! It's The 2022 Halloween Horrorquest.

October 17: Happy Birthday gnarl!

October 31: Something spooky will probably happen today. It usually does.

If you have an item for this calendar, /msg Tem42.

September 1: Brevity Quest 2022 starts!

September 8: Happy birthday svntax!

September 16: Feliz cumpleaños Ancientsnow!

September 18: Happy birthday Stuart!

September 25: Happy birthday Templeton!

September 26: Stanislav Petrov Day.

September 27: Happy birthday Uberbanana!

If you have an item for this calendar, /msg Tem42.

August 4: Happy birthday avalyn!

August 6: 広島

August 9: 長崎

August 27: Happy birthday Bitriot!

If you have an item for this calendar, /msg Tem42.

July 1: Canada Day.

July 4: America Day.

July 26: Happy birthday teleny!

If you have anything to add to this calendar, let Tem42 know.

June 1: SciFiQuest 3022 ends. Rewards will be announced shortly.

June 4: Aesop's Birthday.

June 11: TerribleAspect's birthday!

June 13: Serjeant's Muse's birthday!

June 16: Bloomsday.

June 19: Juneteenth.

June 21: nicolasstag's birthday!

June 21: Summer solstice (northern hemisphere) and winter solstice (southern hemisphere).

June 23: AdamTheDewott's birthday!

June 28: Tau Day.

If you have an item for this calendar, /msg Tem42.