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  #1  
Old 01-30-2006, 08:17 AM
Diamonds02 Diamonds02 is offline
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"Small minds talk about people; mediocre minds talk about events; great minds....

....talk about ideas."

Agree or disagree?
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2006, 08:27 AM
ParentalAdvisory ParentalAdvisory is offline
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Agree 100%.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2006, 08:28 AM
Booker57 Booker57 is offline
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Not only do I agree, I have the poster in my garage.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2006, 08:36 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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<whoosh>
Well adjusted, happy people talk about people or events. The lonely or pretentious talk about ideas.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2006, 08:49 AM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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Nope--they may use people or events as examples of ideas, but I have to agree with the OP's premise.


Also, most happy, well adjusted people don't feed on gossip, aka talking about people.
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  #6  
Old 01-30-2006, 08:51 AM
kiz kiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleanorigby
Also, most happy, well adjusted people don't feed on gossip, aka talking about people.
That must mean that almost everyone I work with is unhappy, ill-adjusted, and has a brain the size of a peanut...

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  #7  
Old 01-30-2006, 09:02 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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  #8  
Old 01-30-2006, 09:07 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Agreed until you bring drugs into it. I've seen some great minds brought to tedious gossip by alcohol, and some morons made idealogues with the aid of weed.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2006, 09:10 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Small minds obsessively categorise people by means of overly-simplistic jingoisms, such as the title of this thread.
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  #10  
Old 01-30-2006, 09:10 AM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiz
That must mean that almost everyone I work with is unhappy, ill-adjusted, and has a brain the size of a peanut...

Well, pretty much. That would describe most of the world, really (at least one of the 3 defining characteristics that you mentioned).

think about it.

Add mind altering substances and all bets are off.


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  #11  
Old 01-30-2006, 11:02 AM
Diamonds02 Diamonds02 is offline
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I guess I agree and disagree with this quotation.

I've seen many great debates (no pun intended) of ideas lead to inane personal attacks.

Conversations about people do not always involve gossip or shit talking. It can simply involve who's doing what, and your interpretations of their actions.
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2006, 11:09 AM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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I think I disagree 99% with the sentiment.

Considering that people can be much more fascinating and complex than any idea, and more unpredictable and engrossing than any event, why shouldn't great minds think about people, and thus, write about people, talk about people, etcetera?? Of course, mediocre minds and small minds will probably talk about people too.

It seems way too simplistic and formulaic to have any value except for the (somewhat dubious,) notion that small minds are not able to ascend above the realm of the events and people of their everyday experience and converse about abstractions.

And now, I'm feeling more than a little weird about the entire way the 'great minds/small minds" distinction is presented, no matter what you say about them. Not sure what that says about me.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2006, 11:18 AM
Epimetheus Epimetheus is offline
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People that like to discuss big ideas and don't care to deal with people, be they anti-social or whatnot, like to believe this saying is true, and people that are small minded or very sociable, intelligent or not, do not think it is.

People adopt philosophies and sayings that support their idea or tribe.

Therefore this statment is as meaningless as any other claim, such as those that paint intellectuals as living in an ivory tower.
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2006, 11:27 AM
NurseCarmen NurseCarmen is offline
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Flingo frog bats eat measle toes!

That's all I have to say on this topic.
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2006, 12:23 PM
Larry Borgia Larry Borgia is offline
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Completely disagree. Everyone talks about people, events and ideas. Some people have difficulty dealing with ideas on a very abstract level, but pretty much everyone has some sort of world view. Everyone talks about events. After the WTC/Pentagon attacks, events were pretty much the only thing anyone was talking about for a few weeks. And who doesn't enjoy a good gossip session. Gossip covers a good chunk of the threads in the pit.

Since the quoted phrase is talking about people, does that mean its author posesses a small mind?
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2006, 12:34 PM
Giraffe Giraffe is offline
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Completely disagree. As chrisk pointed out, it's one of those sayings which attempts to be insightful, but is in fact too simplistic to mean anything. If we ever do figure out why some people are brilliant while most everyone else isn't, it likely won't fit on a bumper sticker.
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2006, 01:11 PM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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This was a bumper sticker? I thought it was a quote from someone.

I see the point about how to take the phrases--if talking about people is equated with gossip, then yes, small minded people (or people with too much time on their hands or even drama queens) do this, but others don't.

But, upon further reflection, I have to agree with chisk to some degree. How is gossip defined? Do the "small" people use the people talked about as examples to prove a point, or is it all malicous mischief? etc

I don't see anything wrong with the statement--it's true enough in general. But like so much else, once it is looked at--it sort of dissolves into meaninglessness.(and there's a word!)
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2006, 01:15 PM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is offline
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I dunno about the quote, but did you see the pants Diamonds02 was wearing? Woah! Those are so nineties.
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2006, 01:23 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
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Better put as "Small minds never graduate from talking about people; mediocre minds never graduate from talking about events; and great minds talk about any damn thing out there." I can match ideas with the best of them, but I talk about people and events too.
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2006, 02:49 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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I have seen a parallel quote that I've found is quite true:

Amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk tactics; generals talk logistics.
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  #21  
Old 01-30-2006, 03:28 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is online now
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I'd simply point out that there are some fantastic biographers and historians out there who are obsessed with people and events. I don't think that makes them dumb.

And, since this is the SDMB, I'd point out that Bush often talks about the big idea of democratizing the Middle East. I leave it to others to expound upon on what I imply.

So, I disagree.
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2006, 03:38 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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A person who spoke and thought only about ideas would be pretty damned divorced from the real world. Is that "great?" No. Solipsistic, maybe, but not great.

There's a grain of truth behind this quip, sure. Talking only about people becomes petty, and talking only about events is reactive. If you have a grasp of the world of ideas, you can discuss what's causing events and bring other dimensions to the conversation. But ultimately I agree with Giraffe. I hate bumper-sticker philosophy.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2006, 04:03 PM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epimetheus
People that like to discuss big ideas and don't care to deal with people, be they anti-social or whatnot, like to believe this saying is true, and people that are small minded or very sociable, intelligent or not, do not think it is.
I should hope that small minds believe, while great minds conclude.
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2006, 04:18 PM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by js_africanus
I should hope that small minds believe, while great minds conclude.

I read that as "....great minds collude."



I like my version better!




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  #25  
Old 01-30-2006, 04:18 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Bah. I talk about all three.

- Tamerlane
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  #26  
Old 01-30-2006, 06:21 PM
Epimetheus Epimetheus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by js_africanus
I should hope that small minds believe, while great minds conclude.
Well, you have to believe your conclusions right?

D&R
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  #27  
Old 01-30-2006, 10:56 PM
robardin robardin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout
Small minds obsessively categorise people by means of overly-simplistic jingoisms, such as the title of this thread.
*applause*
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  #28  
Old 01-30-2006, 11:21 PM
bitwise bitwise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamonds02
Conversations about people do not always involve gossip or shit talking. It can simply involve who's doing what, and your interpretations of their actions.
I do not think this is a good criterion for distinguishing what's gossip from what's not.

Not gossip: What do you think Osama bin Laden meant when he said X in the latest video of him that was released?

Gossip: Do you think A was flirting with B when she said Y?


In any case, some conversations are not so easy to categorize.

"I met a girl who has no recollection of the Cold War. I suppose it is obvious, but it is not something one thinks about until confronted with it: a person who was four at the time would have no recollection of the Berlin Wall falling. As more and more time passes, the history that people are taught will have to become more and more compressed. Do you suppose that the Cold War will be relegated to a footnote?"

Person, event, or idea?
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  #29  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:09 PM
Ben123 Ben123 is offline
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Gosssip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
People that like to discuss big ideas and don't care to deal with people, be they anti-social or whatnot, like to believe this saying is true, and people that are small minded or very sociable, intelligent or not, do not think it is.

People adopt philosophies and sayings that support their idea or tribe.

Therefore this statment is as meaningless as any other claim, such as those that paint intellectuals as living in an ivory tower.
Some people like to gossip about others because it helps them vent. It's a human pastime. Christianity also causes a lot of people to judge others with gossip. (gossip is when u talk about others when they are not present.)
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  #30  
Old 10-29-2011, 11:29 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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And zombies talk about....
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  #31  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:25 AM
Lancia Lancia is offline
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BRAAAAAAAAAIIIINNS!















In a gossipy, valley-girl voice, of course...
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  #32  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:43 AM
Max the Immortal Max the Immortal is offline
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What do delicious minds talk about?
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  #33  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:51 AM
Zulema Zulema is offline
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It's one of those trite facebook type quotes that's supposed to make the poster sound oh so much deeper than everyone else. An interesting human person talks about all of those things and if they don't they're boring. I have a friend who only talks about ideas, his own ideas. He's boring. His ideas are boring too and he has no interest in anything outside of himself. He would think this quote is true because he thinks he has the greatest mind ever.

So, I would have a small mind if I talked about my mom to my friends? Or I'm mediocre if I talk about an upcoming event I want to attend? It's a rubbish saying.
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  #34  
Old 10-30-2011, 01:55 AM
Farmer Jane Farmer Jane is offline
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and great minds talk on SDMB. Full stop. End.
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  #35  
Old 10-30-2011, 04:09 AM
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I'd heard it as small minds mostly talk about themselves (under the assumption that they can't process anything beyond that), greater minds also talk about the world around them, and the greatest minds also talk about abstract ideas.

I think it's true to an extent, but it means there are a lot of great minds, as any average person can talk about ideas.
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  #36  
Old 10-30-2011, 04:47 AM
njtt njtt is offline
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Minds can't talk.
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  #37  
Old 10-30-2011, 06:40 AM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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"Small minds talk about people; mediocre minds talk about events; great minds....

I'm not sure, but I'm feeling the urge to go shopping.
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  #38  
Old 10-30-2011, 06:48 AM
chrisk chrisk is offline
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And great minds start to wonder if they're losing their minds when they realize that they've already weighed in on this topic and can't really remember posting to it. Then they feel a bit of relief when they notice that the topic is nearly six years old.

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  #39  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:04 AM
Vihaga Vihaga is offline
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Disagree, and I loathe the sentiment. Most people talk about everything, whether it's some idiot pontificating on how to fix the economy or a genius asking his friend how his kid is doing. The quality changes, but the subject matter seems to be spread around.

I think some people just like to act like caring what about other people are doing is beneath them.

Last edited by Vihaga; 10-30-2011 at 08:04 AM..
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  #40  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:41 AM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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Well rounded minds talk about all three.

Those with limited minds talk about one of the three.

As in "My God theres a Tsunami approaching!"

"Yes, Yes but didn't Kant once postulate.............."
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  #41  
Old 10-30-2011, 11:57 AM
monstro monstro is offline
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Great minds don't talk. They just listen to the rest of us blabbering away.
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  #42  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:09 PM
Alka Seltzer Alka Seltzer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lust4Life View Post
"Yes, Yes but didn't Kant once postulate.............."
Hey, don't leave us hanging like that.

<splosh>
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  #43  
Old 10-30-2011, 12:15 PM
Skald the Rhymer Skald the Rhymer is offline
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I disagree quite strongly, though I'm not all that interested in celebrity gossip.
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  #44  
Old 11-01-2012, 10:08 PM
captainjman captainjman is offline
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Disagree all you like - its true

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk View Post
I think I disagree 99% with the sentiment.

Considering that people can be much more fascinating and complex than any idea, and more unpredictable and engrossing than any event, why shouldn't great minds think about people, and thus, write about people, talk about people, etcetera?? Of course, mediocre minds and small minds will probably talk about people too.

It seems way too simplistic and formulaic to have any value except for the (somewhat dubious,) notion that small minds are not able to ascend above the realm of the events and people of their everyday experience and converse about abstractions.

And now, I'm feeling more than a little weird about the entire way the 'great minds/small minds" distinction is presented, no matter what you say about them. Not sure what that says about me.

Everyone is good at something, I for instance am not good at writing/spelling but I am a relatively high genius IQ176... so, it is easy to say I am both stupid and smart, like an idiot savant if you will.

People with small minds are not necessarily stupid, but they do not use their minds to their full potential. People who spend most of their time talking about other people, what they are wearing, what they are driving, what they said at the water cooler, how they reacted to the new project, how stupid they are, how much you love this guy.... are focusing their mind and capabilities on something quite inconsequential.

People who talk about sports for instance obviously are using a larger amount of brain power, trying to analyze tactics or memorize scores and stats. These people don't only think of a team or two, but a whole genre such as baseball or basketball etc etc. It obviously takes more brain power to discuss an event like sports than what Suzy looked like at the dance for example.

when people try to solve problems, discuss economics or politics, calculate how to navigate a spacecraft to Mars... these acts take a lot more brain power to conduct and whilst thinking in this manner , you are in fact employing a larger mind compared to what Suzy looked like, or discussing how your favorite sports team won the game.

That isn't to say those who calculate the trajectory of the Mars rover can't stoop down to discuss what Suzy looked like at the dance, but those who engage in high level thought for longer periods than others do in fact have a "larger mind" as they use their brain power for bigger issues.

The saying was not created to make fun of those who watch soap operas, or like to talk at the water cooler at work - it was created to help those who wish to engage in "larger mind" type of activities to stay on topic, work harder, or to cease talking about idiotic non consequential issues and get back on topic or back to work.

While there may be geniuses out there who do nothing but talk about people or sports, they are obviously wasting their minds potential, and not putting it to good use. And it isn't impossible for a layman to create a theory that changes the entire field of physics - but those who spend all their time talking about people will not have invested as much thought into a concept as a guy who talks about concepts and ideas all the time.

like it or not, there is a lot of truth to the saying, just as much as I can't write or spell very well... and it doesn't help that I am not going to proofread what I wrote - but its late at night and I'm just too damn tired. LOL.
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  #45  
Old 11-01-2012, 10:19 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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CalMeacham, I love your sig.
That is all.
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  #46  
Old 11-01-2012, 10:34 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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Great minds usually sit in a lab by themselves and are too awkward to converse.

I like this quote. I don't agree with the concept that there have only been a few thousand, but by and large it is 1-5% of society who really makes things work. The rest of us are just technicians at best.

Quote:
Perhaps men of genius are the only true men. In all the history of the race there have been only a few thousand real men. And the rest of us--what are we? Teachable animals. Without the help of the real man, we should have found out almost nothing at all. Almost all the ideas with which we are familiar could never have occurred to minds like ours. Plant the seeds there and they will grow; but our minds could never spontaneously have generated them [4, p. 2242]. - Aldous Huxley
http://prometheussociety.org/cms/articles/the-outsiders

Last edited by Wesley Clark; 11-01-2012 at 10:37 PM..
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  #47  
Old 11-02-2012, 02:14 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Great minds don't talk. They just listen to the rest of us blabbering away.
Yes. Great minds wish everyone would shut up and let them think.
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  #48  
Old 11-02-2012, 02:45 AM
Jragon Jragon is offline
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This is one of those quotes that, no matter how many times people say it, I seriously question how many believe it when they examine what they're saying. Consider, for a moment, the stereotypical philosophy major in your run of the mill university. Philosophy is often considered a "throwaway major." Philosophy students talk about ideas all the time. There are smart ones, yes, but many, many of them are simply not bright, they take the major because it's a major that's easy to graduate in -- precisely because the "ideas" aren't grounded in reality and are often so fuzzy that you can write anything and have it accepted as valid. There is a big part the quote is missing, the quality of discourse. I'm in a philosophy course right now -- partially for fun, partially for upper division credits (it's crosslisted among like 5 departments, Philosophy of AI, I'm taking it as Comp Sci). I've heard some smart things, don't get me wrong, but there are people who say lots of words that are ultimately meaningless. Maybe they have some really deep ideas in there that they can't express, but they seem to equal parts miss the point completely and couch their ideas in language that's impenetrable to the point that I'm not sure they even understand the words ("Well yes, that's the abstraction on an abstraction of a paradox", actual quote. There was nothing remotely paradoxical about what I said). Now, he may be smart in other ways, I can't say for sure, but I really don't think "talking about ideas makes you smart" is something I can get behind.

Also consider the general consensus of people who say they "don't watch the news", or "don't keep up with current events." I've seen threads here, most of those people are considered morons. Ideas flow naturally from events, and vice versa. Think about that guy who talks about his personal political philosophy every time you bring up a newsworthy event. You know that guy. "All of this could have been avoided if we adopted my post-Anarcho-Capitalist Vegan-Communazi political system." Most would consider him more obnoxious than brilliant, and I'd wager most people would consider that person's (typically) blindingly simplistic political philosophy rather stupid, because it doesn't take into account certain things. Certain things that require a good understanding of people and events to comprehend.

On the topic of people, again, quality of discourse as well as prudence. Politics exists, and I don't mean "politics" in the governmental sense. I mean politics within an institution. Being able to play "the game" with other people is as much a mark of intelligence as discussing the newest algorithm or quantum theory. Now, they're not smarter than a socially inept genius in their field, they're different types of intelligence, but being able to work with and around people is every bit a skill that requires critical thinking and intelligence as talking about "ideas".

Do you know what other kind of people tend to talk about ideas all the damn time? The very religious. The very religious are the kinds of people who find a way to reduce everything to some kind of causal philosophy relating to their beliefs. They talk about love, and hate, and some nebulous "God's plan" and argue about philosophical minutiae about how to live a Christian life along with the claptrap about exactly what "The Holy Ghost" means in your heart. The religious are very idea oriented, and, well, I don't think I need to point out the general opinion about Born Agains, Evangelicals, etc on this board.

Hell, what we term "woo" is almost entirely ideas. Bad ideas, but ideas. Talking about crystals and psychics and ghosts and healing magic? All ideas. Terrible, uneducated, unscientific, sometimes damaging ideas, but ideas nonetheless. Anti-vaxxers frequently talk about the idea that vaccines cause autism.

So no, I don't think the quote holds, there are far to many examples of people who talk about "ideas" that are often dumb, and often at best people whose ideas are useless due to lack of grounding in reality. You can be the most idea-oriented person in the world, but your ideas don't mean anything if they don't have the connection to the real world that talking about events and other people provide.

And no, I don't think I'm exceptionally bright or anything, I just don't think the quote really holds up.

Last edited by Jragon; 11-02-2012 at 02:49 AM..
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  #49  
Old 11-02-2012, 09:00 PM
Diamonds02 Diamonds02 is offline
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It's funny when my old threads get bumped. Me and SDMBers having civil conversations.

I guess everyone went crazy within the last year.
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  #50  
Old 11-02-2012, 09:49 PM
I Love Me, Vol. I I Love Me, Vol. I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max the Immortal View Post
What do delicious minds talk about?
Gerald Ford dying after being eaten by wolves. He was delicious.
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