Stories for April 1996

Thursday, April 25

If God Didn't Love Pigeons, He Wouldn't Have Given Them Wings

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

Union-Tribune's Self-ish History

San Diego Magazine publisher unrelenting on Copleys

The San Diego Union-Tribune harbors “unprofessional, childlike, head-in-the-sand attitudes toward events and ideas." The paper has "bad journalistic habits, plus [a] tendency to sound the bugle call to action whenever it feels its ideological tenets ...

The top and bottom of eggs

Store them on the narrow end

Dear Matthew Alice: My girlfriend and I got into an argument about eggs. I said that the narrow part of the egg is the bottom. She thinks that the fatter part of the egg is ...

President Clinton says he reads about 250 books a year

George Mitrovich's friends on reading — Gary Hart, Ben Bradlee, Richard Reeves, Gloria Steinem, George Plimpton

My library, which is more than a couple of thousand volumes, has been accumulated over a 35-year period. It’s the most diverse personal library that I’ve ever seen, and that includes the libraries of friends ...

Polarized sunglasses are like dropping acid

Try tilting your head far to one side

Matt: Okay, so I’m driving along. It could be Anytown USA. Sun is out. Gotta have the sun out. I’m wearing my shades. I notice that a lot of cars around me have these weird ...

Why the Pope picks the saints

First official declaration was 933 AD

Dear Matthew Alice: Are there any saints in the Bible? I don’t recall reading about Saint Abraham or Saint Lot. A Catholic friend said that Peter was the first pope and thus the first person ...

Thursday, April 18

When the Soprano Hit the First High C It Just Blew My Head Off

San Diego composers Gillis, Bastien, Groupe, Reynolds, Sollberger, and Ward-Steinman

“I have always been interested in music.” says composer Ron Gillis, founder and artistic director of the San Diego Choral Artists. “As a kid I always walked around with tunes in my head. I thought ...

Armadillos swallow air for buoyancy

Six or seven minutes underwater is not out of the question

Mr./Ms. Matthew/Alice: Perhaps you could resolve a lingering dispute between a friend and me. He insists that armadillos cross streams by holding their breath and walking along the bottom until they reach the other side. ...

Many questions about Fargo

The duck stamps, Prince, and the true story inspiration for the movie

Dear Matthew Alice: In the movie Fargo, Margie’s husband, Norm, is painting in a competition for wildlife postage stamps. Is this something artists get paid for or work worth doing because of the honor of ...

Between You, Me, and the Navy

Reader writer tries to get in.

Al suggested I get into the nuclear field. It required a high score for entry and entailed a lot of training— more than two years — but would translate to a marketable skill in the civilian world.

Jimi Hendrix Told Me Not to Scream

Triumph in degradation

What woke me was a hand over my face, over my mouth and nose: the pressure, the instinctive still-asleep panic of being unable to breathe; someone’s hands yanking my arms over my head; a body on mine, knees crushing my chest and stomach.

Thursday, April 11

Where Everybody Is a Star

"The universe is a bar," Buck says between swigs of beer, in one of those lines that led the late poet William Stafford to observe, "Everyone wanders into poetry sometimes." If Buck hadn’t just told ...

Golf course concessions own the golf balls

The city does own Torrey Pines and the course at Morley Field in Balboa Park

To: Matmail: The City of San Diego owns how many golf balls? — A. Pismo Clam, La Jolla Okay, I’ll bite. My answer is zero, but something tells me Senor Clam is already preparing his ...

DNA — right, left, and twisted

Transplanted liver, heart, whatever, will always bear the donor’s DNA.

Dear Mat: Since even a minute quantity of somebody’s blood can be analyzed to determine the person’s DNA, what happens when somebody’s entire blood has been replaced by someone else’s blood during a transfusion? — ...

Pennsylvania soldiers on

What if you had a 30-year-old fire near you?

Dear Matthew Alice: I lived in Pennsylvania in the 1960s. One of the things that I remember about the place is that there were underground coal fires that had been burning for years. Have they ...

The story behind marischino cherries

Soak ’em in brine for a while, douse ’em with red dye #40

Dear Matthew: A cocktail waitress at Milligan’s told me that a maraschino cherry will stay in your stomach for four years. Something to do with the preservatives. This seems unlikely, at best, but it raises ...

Thursday, April 4

Work is a vow heaven never ignores

The power struggle in the Mexico City dump has driven them north to Tijuana

Five a.m., and the sounds of sleeping fill the house. Dona Juana rises first, climbing from the slumping bed as Don Manuel snores lightly, the swollen knuckles on his left hand glistening in the dull ...

Humphrey Bogart was not the Gerber baby

But his mug appeared on Mellin’s Baby Food around 1900

Last December, my wife and I successfully completed the adoption of a baby boy from an Eastern Bloc country. We have both decided that he is officially the cutest child in the entire world. In ...

Western Swing — California's official dance

Hollywood adaptation of the East Coast’s Lindy hop

Matt: I just read somewhere that California has an official state dance, the Western Swing. Can this be possible? — M.J., San Diego In Sacramento, all things are possible. But right at the top, to ...

Giving the finger goes back to Caligula

“The finger” has always represented sexual dominance

Mr. Alice: When and where did the displaying of one’s middle finger to another originate, AND is there an “official” or “proper” name for the gesture, AND how did it come to represent expressions of ...

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