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fauxklore
Celebrity Death Watch: Yvonne Craig was an actress, most famous for playing Batgirl. Melody Patterson played Wrangler Jane on F Troop.

The death I most want to note is that of Merl Reagle. He was the first crossword constructor who I was ever aware of as a constructor. His penchant for puns and wordplay made his puzzles immediately recognizable – and infinitely more pleasurable than the earlier style which relied entirely on knowledge of obscure words. It’s hard to imagine what Sundays will be like without Merl’s puzzle in the Washington Post magazine section.

Del Campo: I went out to a restaurant week dinner with flyertalk folks at Del Campo. Organizing the reservation was annoying, because people drop out last minute and we went from 6 people to 10 to 8 to 6 – and then one didn’t show up. I do understand people having to travel last minute, but I really hate no shows.

Anyway, the deal is a three course dinner for $35. The restaurant had a reasonable menu – 3 choices each for appetizer and main, 2 for dessert. The mushroom empanadas were good, but didn’t blow me away. For the main, I got the short rib, which also came with chorizo and a marrow bone, as well as a surprisingly bland potato puree, with its only sign of the promised jalapenos in its color. The meat was quite tasty, however, and was the highlight of the meal. I chose the carrot cake for dessert and it was okay, but not nearly as good as my own. I also got a cocktail called a gin joint, which had grilled grapefruit juice and smoked simple syrup (as well as more normal things, like gin). It was interesting enough, but a bit sweeter than I would have preferred. Overall, I’d give the place a B to B+. I’ll also note that the service was very good, but it was awfully noisy so I felt like we were shouting at one another all evening.

Stoshvzihl Rrwvhuw: I happened to read a science fiction short story recently, which reminded me of why I don’t read a lot of certain types of science fiction. Namely, there is actually nothing wrong with a character being named Tim or Mary or the like. And, if you are going to invent some alien species, you are actually allowed to use a normal combination of vowels and consonants in its name.

When I Rule the World: There should be sensors at the entrance to metro stations which detect excessive fragrance and soak the offender with water and (unscented) soap.

Also, people should not be allowed to chew juicy fruit gum in the office.

The Height of Absurdity: I thought that the toaster I saw in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog which imprints your toast with a selfie was going to win this category. But I was in Bed Bath & Beyond recently (a store which I have deeply mixed feelings about, primarily because of its missing commas) and I saw a device intended to cook ramen noodles in half the time. In much of the world, that dish is known as "two minute noodles." Are people really that bloody impatient?