Missin' Dubya, -gate, eating off the floor, and truthiness

Today, we look at Stephen Colbert's contributions to the English language, "gate" scandals, people who miss and don't miss #43, and the 5-second rule.

"Miss Me Yet?" refers to a series of billboards that cropped up about this time last year, starting in Minnesota, then Florida, and later dotting the nation. President George W. Bush's official White House photo is featured on the left, and the eponymous words are next to it, sometimes with a phone number for a voicemail that requests comments. I'm not going to try to drag politics into the blog too often, but yes, I do (can't bash my current commander-in-chief, but suffice to say, I'm glad I didn't vote for President Obama). Hopefully, this doesn't turn out to be some kind of psychology project or anything like that.
The photo used was a 2001 White House image, replaced by another in 2003.

Speaking of politics, scandals are always a part of the process; the competitive nature will always eventually boil down to a certain level of ad hominem, some worse than others. The use of the "-gate" suffix to name a scandal became popular after the Watergate scandal became the popular name for President Nixon's cover-up efforts in the 1970s, with Koreagate being the first to establish the pattern. Some of the more amusing entries on the list include Toallagate ("towelgate") where Mexican President Fox spent US$440,000 to decorate his cabin (including embroidered towels at $400 a pop), Nipplegate, the infamous Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy, Kanyegate, where West took the mic from Taylor Swift during the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards (to which even President Obama called him a "jackass"), and Ketchupgate, another government intrusion on the tomato's status as a vegetable.
Kanye Krosses the Line

The infamous five-second rule is known by kids across the nation. It purports that food dropped on the floor is "safe" to eat if picked up off of the floor within a set number of seconds (most often five). Unfortunately for us, this rule has no basis in medicine, biology, or culinary arts, and anyone using it as a justification is just plain unhygienic. Bacteria, including dangerous kinds, can live for days on food with as little as a moment's contact, unless the floor itself was exceptionally clean and dry. the MythBusters (of whom I am a huge fan) did an episode on this in 2005, and came to the same conclusion, expanding a bit on variables such as moisture, surface geometry and the location the food item was dropped on.
WikiWorld comic by Greg Williams

Stephen Colbert is one of my favorite comedians, who got his start on the Daily Show and moved to his own program, the Colbert ReportTruthiness is a bit of gold from the latter show, whereas his joke on the pilot episode in 2005 became an actual part of the English lexicon. Referencing uncited edits on Wikipedia and President Bush, he defined it as knowing "from the gut" without evidence or reference, possibly in the fact of opposing logic or facts. A neologism and stunt word, the viral popularity got it featured as the American Dialect Society's word of the year for 2005 and Merriam-Webster's in 2006, and even the New York Times added into a crossword puzzle in 2008.

From the October 17, 2005 pilot: satire in its finest moment.

Another WikiWorld by Williams.
Today's bonus is a blog titled Sketchpad Warrior, written by Sgt Kristopher Battles. He's a (as far as I know, the only) combat artist in the Corps, an actual professional painter, sketcher, and sculptor. Some of his work has gotten some attention lately (I'm sure it helps that as a federal employee, it's all in the public domain), especially Sharing the Courage, a graphic comic series highlighting Marine heroes of the 21st century.

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