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Happy Sunday! Photo by Wonkette Operative "Militant Agnostic"

Remember when the awful news of our Worst Timeline Ever at least slowed down a little on the weekend? No, neither do we. That's why we have this Sunday Nice Things column, to remind you to put the brakes on and take a breather for just a few minutes. Whew. Have a cup of the relaxation beverage of your choice, put on some nice calming music, like maybe some Death Metal, and as the cow philosopher reminded us, don't forget to stop and eat the roses.



Book Club Programming Note; Or, Dok Can't Read A Calendar

Last week, at the end of our discussion of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, I confidently said I wanted to take a couple weeks off before diving into book clubbing Atwood's new sequel, The Testaments. And then I said we'd start discussing The Testaments next week, doy. Haha, silly me, what I had in mind was two weekends of Nice Things columns between book clubs, not just two actual weeks, so forget the reading schedule I wrote last week (I've updated that post too). We'll begin reading Testaments on October 27 (through Part XV, "Cat and Fox") and finish it for November 3. I've started reading / listening to the book and its Audible audiobook, and so far, I'd agree (spoiler-free) with the readers who've said the new book, set fifteen years after the events of Handmaid, is less unremittingly dark. And that's all I'll say so far

Stuck Dogs And Quacking Cats

As we like to remind you from time to time, not all of Reddit is a soul-sucking hellsite of rightwing craziness. A lot of it is just pleasantly ridiculous, like the many, many adorbs animal subreddits. Such as /r/DWASBPEIF: Dogs Who Are Stuck but Pretending Everything is Fine, a collection of videos and photos of puppers who may be in a pickle (happy spoiler: none are in any danger) but aren't about to let on there's a problem. Like so:

This is just a fashion accessory


He looks pretty relaxed.

Hammocks appear to be a running hazard for formerly running dogs, regardless of whether they're capitalist lackeys:

"My coworker's dog got herself stuck underneath their shed."


Also, there are a few dogs who aren't actually stuck, but are quite certain they ARE, and find it mildly upsetting. This one was originally posted to /r/aww as "Some one said my dog was a killing machine and it made me sad so I remembered the one time he got him self stuck in my bed frame after my dad put it together."



We have also thoroughly enjoyed visits to subreddits about cats who yell, cats who squeak, cats who chirp, AND cats who quack, although for some reason nobody has added this little kitten from the "awww" forum to the latter:


While trying to find that video again, we discovered another quacking kitten, Melvin, who apparently went viral in August when we weren't looking.

Really, you can find a hell of a lot of videos of quacking cats, once you start looking:

When I cough, the cat quacks www.youtube.com


Elephants And 45-Year-Old-Soup

Because of breaking -- and awful -- news, we're going to have to cut today's Nice Things short here, but we'll leave you with a couple of NPR stories we enjoyed this morning.

First up, a story about using artificial intelligence and other tech to save endangered elephants from poachers:


And then a story about a restaurant in Bangkok that has been simmering the "same" soup stock for 45 years. The restaurateur wants to make very clear that the pot is washed every day, but yes, a bit of the stock is kept simmering overnight.


And because the real news is awful, how about we make this post today's open thread, and when the next story goes up, this will stay the open thread?

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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