Stories for December 1994

Thursday, December 22

Room at the Inn

This cover story has not yet been posted. However, you can download the digital edition to view any story from this issue.

Pancho Villa’s head, toenail biters, Al Capone's anatomy, marijuana balloons, best roach killer

1994 annual Straight from the Hip quiz

Here we are again, kiddies. You’ve screwed away another 12 months making lists of things that never got done, watching twisted talk shows, and reading “Straight from the Hip” hoping Rikki Lake and I can ...

Thursday, December 15

Buses Are a Bit Like Bread

A love letter to San Diego Transit

CHRIST! “8:45,” says the radio. Still shaving. It’ll be halfway up the Silver Strand already. Don’t rush, don’t rush. You’ll cut yourself. “Can you find my wallet!” I yell. I’m running round hauling trousers on. ...

Champagne — right amount of bubbles and perfect foam

How its wet foam differs from beer's dry foam

Dear Matthew Alice: Recently, as I lay sipping fine champagne and playing snugglebunnies with my latest female conquest, my visions of carnal delights-to-be were constantly interrupted by one niggling query: Why do champagne bubbles appear ...

Our dorky California state flag

The bear looked remarkably like a large red pig

Matt: For such a hip state, how did California get such a dorky flag? Why is the bear staring at the star? What is he thinking? What is that red thing at the bottom? How ...

Beat Lit Writ Large

What Beat is. What Beat is and isn't. Stuff like that.

Ten, 12 years ago I was talking to some small-press jerk, a publisher of pamphlets and broadsides and occasional 40-page books and such, who didn't much care for the Beats. His idea of a Real ...

Thursday, December 8

Whether human pheromones work

Suppose you’re a jerk with a bad haircut and no financial prospects

Dear Matthew Alice: Is there such a thing as human pheromones? Some perfume company is selling something they claim makes men and women irresistible to each other because it mimics the human natural attractant chemicals. ...

Our town of Nestor and Nestorianism

Nestorius, the patriarch of Constantinople, was declared a heretic in 431

M. Alice: Is there any relationship between our local village of Nestor (east of I. Beach) and Nestorianism, the early Christian heresy? — Jim Edwards, Coronado Nestor a nest of Nestorians? Not likely. There once ...

Watch out for spinach and rhubarb

Calcium oxalate is undissolvable in water

Hey, Matthew: What is it in raw spinach that makes your teeth feel gritty and funny? — Downtown Abe Think spinach makes your teeth feel weird — dig into a dish of rhubarb, friend. Both ...

Why people bite their nails

It's a long-term habit

Dear Mr. Alice: Why is it that so many people bite their nails? — Michelle, San Diego It’s been studied scientifically, so there are a few reliable things to say about onychophagia. Unfortunately, “why” is ...

A Little History on Imperial Beach

Streets paved in the 1940s

Imperial Beach was originally part of an 1846 land grant from the Spanish Crown to the benefit of one Pedro Cabrillo. Queen Victoria was on the throne and Grover Cleveland was president when the first ...

Why flannel is so warm and marble so cold

You would not expect these answers

Dear Matthew Alice: The question I’ve always been meaning to ask: Why are flannel sheets warmer than cotton sheets? They aren’t just thicker and keep you warmer eventually, they feel warmer to the touch at ...

One Tough Town

Why they live in Imperial Beach

“If you use eminent domain, you’re setting up people who spent life savings to live on the beach. Now, they’re going to be forced out to build a giant hotel for tourists from out of town.”

Thursday, December 1

When You Don't Know How To Turn On Your Radio

Don Norman Is On Your Side

Don Norman wanted a large latte made with decaffeinated coffee and low-fat milk. He told this to the college student behind the counter at the Grove Caffe, the coffeehouse set among one of the stands ...

Iron Mountain

The shorter route up Iron Mountain has become San Diego County’s second most popular hike — after the ascent of Cowles Mountain.

North County’s Iron Mountain thrusts its conical summit nearly 2700 feet above sea level, well above any low-lying wintertime haze over the coast and suburbs. On many a crystalline December day, the summit offers a ...

Stucco Reigns

It worked well for the Mayas, built much of Rome, and it covers San Diego.

Two factors helped bring the artistic use of stucco to a halt: modernism, with its emphasis on simple, unbroken planes, and the invention of the stucco “gun,” a machine process for blowing stucco onto walls.

What if we'd been named Edward?

Pat Daugherty meets Pat Daughertys

My birth certificate reads "Patrick Daugherty." When I was a child everyone called me Pat. My first love, a big-busted, traveling woman, dubbed me Patrick, gave my full name back to me, but that happened ...

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