Cecil's back!


More to the point, the Straight Dope column is back – at least for now – but will be appearing on a biweekly basis. As so often at pivotal junctures, we provide the following FAQ:

Who’s Cecil?

One sighs. However, it’s been a long time. Cecil Adams is the world’s smartest human being, who knows everything and is never wrong. His weekly Q&A column the Straight Dope was published weekly between 1973 and 2018 in alternative newspapers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

What are alternative newspapers?

It is too painful to speak of such things. For those interested, the glorious history of the Straight Dope is recapitulated here.

Will all be as before?

UPDATE - Due to the crushing burden of trying to produce a weekly column without the army of assistants to which the Master had become accustomed, he’ll scaling back his output to biweekly.

Not immediately. As a dry run to see if the Master can still endure the grind of producing 1,000 scintillating words every week, columns will be posted each Friday in the renamed “Cecil’s Column” forum on the Straight Dope Message Board. If Cecil can handle it – and if, equally important, the Teeming Millions demonstrate they still yearn for wisdom in a world of ignorance – we’ll gear up the servers for full rollout. So, if you’re interested in seeing this experiment in global betterment prosper, spread the word.

Anything else we should know?

Questions, or simply topics, that you think are worthy of the Master’s attention should be posted in the Cecil’s Columns forum. However, Cecil won’t limit himself to whatever comes in over the transom. (And yes, we know some of you are thinking: what’s a transom?) An example is longtermism, which most people have never heard of. On first encounter with this obscure but consequential subject, Cecil thought: this is something the world needs to know.

That’s all for now. We’ll see what develops. Welcome to Straight Dope 2.0.

Incredible. Glad to see him return. :slight_smile:


A suprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.

Hooray! However, inquiring minds want to know: Is Slug back, too?

Great news!

I was about to alert @Beckdawrek to the happy news, but I see that she’s already posting a reply!

I knew the big guy could do it!

Thank goodness! There’s a serious backlog of ignorance that needs to be fought! We’ve been doing our best here on the Board, but it keeps overflowing.

BTW @Cecil_Adams , no need to wait for solicitation, on my part. Just send me my personal message ’ over the transom’ , I’ll get it😌. (yeah, you kinda walked right into that one)

Somewherrrrre over the transom,
Questions fly,
Cecil answers
The what, when, where, who, and why.

Seriously, great news!

I have contributed to the longtermism thread, and endorse anything that brings in new posters who are rational and can communicate with opinions and facts that do not involve immediate flaming or links to easily falsifiable ‘facts’.

Seriously, more people here would be great for a host of reasons! We need people to shake us out of our habits of the same 3-5 posters digging into their own very specific ruts on certain subjects.

And more knowledgeable people can give us a wider range of skills to share.

And cats. More cats. And snakes and lizards for me, but also more cats. Some dogs I guess are fine too.

I thought “over the transom” was a nautical phrase. I’ve sailed a lot, especially on old wooden boats. The transom is generally the top of the stern of the boat. It is usually a strong solid piece to reinforce the hull.

A following wave can be pretty awful on a low boat like the Tuckerton Garveys and Skipjacks I’ve done most of my sailing on. One of the reasons these are mainly river and bay boats.

I have transom windows in my house.

Cats love them.

TBH, I visualize this as more like whether Doctor Manhattan can summon enough interest in the frail, fallible, and largely irrelevant unwashed masses to continue to share his insight and wisdom.

Great news! Looking forward to reading the new columns.

About damn time!

Well bowl me over with a feather. Welcome back Unca Cece.

Supposedly, the German word for transom is vas ist das, because Germans traveling to France would point at the transom and deman to know, “What is that?”

That would be an excellent urban legend to as the Master about.

Question came up in ATMB on how to subscribe or otherwise get an email when Cecil posts a new column in that forum?

So I wrote up some simple steps to pretty much do this:

Click on the category (forum), Cecil’s Columns/staff Reports

Click the bell icon button to the far right, after the New Topic button.

I recommend selecting Watching First Post as this will let you know when a new topic is started in this forum.

As far as Email notifications, those are all under your profile preferences. However, there is not a lot of fine tuning on these options.