January 27, 2021


Happy National Chocolate Cake Day! I hope you have made appropriate celebration arrangements — I know I have!

Speaking of chocolate cake, have you ever noticed that it's the most dangerous of all cakes? True story! Black Forest cake (not that the Black Forest region of Germany is dangerous, but it certainly sounds sinister); Devil's food cake; chocolate lava cake; Death by Chocolate; Depression cake; blackout cake. Watch yourselves out there, fellow cake fiends!

There is nothing "mild" about the way chocolate makes me feel.

There is nothing "mild" about the way chocolate makes me feel.


On the birthday front we have several worth recognizing, so I'll be categorizing them thusly:

• Whimsical weirdos with regrettable photography interests: Deacon, poet, and children's novelist Charles Lutwidge "Lewis Carroll" Dodgson (1832).

• Fancy dancers with wandering eyes: Soviet (Latvian) ballet defector Mikhail Nikolayevich Baryshnikov (1948), who ruled pretty much every stage he set foot on in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the Wilt Chamberlain of the pointe shoe set. His performance in the 1977 production of The Nutcracker still slays, and I say that as someone who knows zilch about ballet.

• Funny humans: Comedian, actor, and writer Patton Oswalt (1969)! Patton remains one of my favorite stand-up comics ever, and if you're unfamiliar, his 2007 album Werewolves and Lollipops is a great entry point to his special brand of self-deprecating humor.

• Talented actors: Bridget Fonda (1964) and Alan Cumming (1965).

OK, OK...you've waited long enough. It's link time!

1. Why are British place names such a nightmare to pronounce? Now we know!

These enterprising lads endeavor to explain the cause of so much linguistic consternation. 

2. Mokomoko is a mysterious wizard of snow sculpting. Let's all chill in awe!

Seriously, these are incredibly detailed and realistic snow sculptures of pokémon, Godzilla, and what appears to be an airbender of some sort. Don't worry, there are also cats. 

3. Now let's all watch this adorable otter snuggle its kitty pal!

Look, I know that we shouldn't domesticate wild animals, but OMFG I want an otter to love on me as much as this one is loving on this cat.

4. Nothing slaps quite as hard as 1960s anti-glue sniffing propaganda cartoons.

I've never seen such an adorably maleficent tube of toxic adhesive — delightful!

5. UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis is amazing, and we need a lot more hip-hop in our Olympic gymnastic routines.

Check out that swagger!