Straight Dope still in its prime at 41

Cecil Adams’ admirers – from the lowliest, but still important, in his own way, Straight Dope functionary [Mr. E. Z.], to an eternally grateful world – are indivisibly determined to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the 1st (February 2, 1973) appearance of The Straight Dope column. This joyous jubilation will no doubt be n+1 better than the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 11th, 13th, 17th, 19th, 23th, 31st, and 37th anniversaries.

Thanks, I’ll be sure Ed and Cecil both see this.

We shall not speak of the 29th anniversary.

*Mmmmph! Mmmm! *Ixnay! Ixnay!

One more year and it will be The Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything! :smiley:

Opps, missed one. Although didn’t I read somewhere that 29 has been demoted to being a “dwarf prime”? (May have confused that with something else.)

So the quality of the jubilation increases not linearly, not exponentially, but factorially?

I’m not sure I’d want to be around for the uncentennial*, 152,444,172,305,856,930,250,752,000,000[sup]†[/sup] times as joyous as the original launching, or 233,153,109,116,928,000[sup]†[/sup] times the joy of this anniversary.

*The regular centennial is doable, but much harder. I’d love to see someone have a go at it, though.
[sup]†[/sup]Normally I’d explain how I got those numbers, but since this is the SDMB, I’m going to leave it to other Dopers to figure it out. The only other help I’ll give is this website. And, of course, my little addition to the quote to make things easier to calculate.

Let’s see. That makes Cecil about- maybe 50 years old? :slight_smile:
Congrats to everyone who is, or ever was, involved with the 'Dope!
Of course that would make Cecil 8 years old when he wrote his first column here. I Told you he was smart!

The Master has asked me to thank you for your kind remarks, but offers the following comments:

  1. While he concedes your lowly servant makes some contribution, it is more in the nature of the dead weight at the bottom of a boat helping to stabilize the vessel.

  2. Jubilation is inherently joyous.

  3. He remains confident of the monotonic increase in global happiness due to his efforts, and also the steady retreat of ignorance. He acknowledges, however, that a lot of days the world sure doesn’t look it.

Those also serve who only stand and weight.


How do you navigate to the beginning of Cecil’s columns? The Straight Dope site used to go back that far, I think, but now I can only get it to go back to about 1994, and it misses some entire years.

Buy the books.

Which, alas, are not available directly from this website, but are on amazon and similar.

Odd or even, rational or irrational, huzzah for the Straight Dope’s 41st! has a link to “What was the first Straight Dope column”. Not sure of a direct way to get to older columns, but they appear to be mostly online. I did some searches using phrases from the first book, and came up with (1979), (1980) , (1982)

Thanks for the information. I’ll toggle around and see what can be found.

Virtually everything that made it into the five Straight Dope books is online, as is everything published since ~1994. I believe everything since ~1988 to 1994 is also online (the SD website was maintained by a third party during this time), but I don’t remember exactly what we did. Omitted pre-1988 material was mostly topical.

If you want to read the entire online Straight Dope oeuvre, use the following URL:

… replacing x with 1 and working up. In the early going this reflects the order in which material was presented in the books, starting with the first (NOT date order). The column title following the number may be ignored. There are a few duplicates and missing numbers.